Haven’t been this excited for an update to a game in along time; FTL is getting a complete update, filled with new events, gameplay and a new sector, and it’s all free! Props to the developers for making it free – honestly, it’s going to re-drive the hype train and get more sales, so it’s pretty smart anyhow.
Paradox Interactive recently teased an upcoming expansion for Crusader Kings 2. It leaked about an hour before the livestream that’s going on right now, however!
The expansion is called “Sons of Abraham” and is an overhaul of the Catholic religion, the Catholic church and the Pope system, and tons of stuff more. It also comes with a huge patch update that changes a lot of base features of the game!
Edit for Updates: Wheeew they’ve added Jews to the game! There are now three different sects of Judaism in the game; we can now play as Jews!
Edit again: 18th November is the release, with the usual Dev Diaries every few days until then.
I contributed this article to FrontTowardsGamer! Nice guys over there, and I’m looking forward to posting a lot more articles and guides over there soon, so stay tuned!
Pirates of the Burning Sea – currently being developed by Portulas Games after having been let go but Sony Online Entertainment (and thus the dissolution of Flying Lab Software) – is an MMO with fantastic promise. It’s also sadly been a failing MMO for some years now. A lack of player population, somewhat due to being quite a niche game but also due to rather newb-unfriendly game mechanics that drive off new interest.
It’s also been a game I hate to love, and return to it very frequently. About two weeks ago, I succumbed to my addiction once more and rejoined the game.
I’ll be making more posts about this fantastic game (seriously, it has the best PvP I’ve ever played in any game) but for now the important news is that it’s currently gone on lock-down
This game has a very limited player base, but at the moment it appears that a good portion of them have had their security information compromised. The extent of this issue is so grand that Portulas Games are having to completely re-design their website from scratch, as well as completely shut down their game for the foreseeable future.
I imagine the game won’t be down for too long, but this is still quite immense! An actual entire community of gamers who play a niche game, many of the more skilled players all know one another and come online every day. And then, suddenly, the game, site and forums are just… gone.
I can’t find anyone else having any kind of discussion about the game! No one seems to be talking about it; I can’t even find a subreddit for the damn thing!
So, if you play the game – or have at least heard about it… – leave a comment and talk to me about the game!
Shame too; I had just spent the night convincing a group of people to install it at the pub! All my efforts wasted…
I pre-ordered ‘Total War: Rome 2’, partly for the discount, and partly because I want to play it the damn second it comes out.
Sadly, I’m working a full day today, so I have to get home before I can play it (plus I’m right in the middle of an Empire Total War campaign as united Provinces… Those Indians are going to get damn well settled by some Dutch).
So, naturally, I’ve spent all day reading reviews and discussions on the subreddit /r/totalwar, and other forums.
A lot of articles and reviews have been published that give the game a less than stellar review because the game is “too complex” or “too complicated”.
Imagine what happens if Creative Assembly listen to these people? This is a Total War game, this isn’t meant to be accessible to a small child.
I want to feel challenged! I want to be confused and frightened at first, then slowly become powerful as my knowledge of the game grows, until I eventually reach the zenith of my power and the might of the great Romans comes crashing down upon all the known world!
I don’t want my damn hand held.
As an example, look at Civilization games. As they’ve been released they’ve become steadily more and more accessible – perhaps even easier. This has been seen to be an attempt to market the game towards slightly younger gamers, as too much difficulty will push younger people away.
This would be a terrible fate for any game series, as to rob the complexity of a game simply to make it more accessible to younger people is simply destroying the game itself.
A very important point on the Civilization series however is the fact that Civilization’s “dumbing down” was done pretty intelligently – the complexity of the game was somewhat reduced since the earliest iterations of the game, but in later editions what’s mostly happened is the in-game information and the encyclopaedia has been expanded and made more understandable.
For this to happen to a Total War game would be quite sad, however. There’s no real limit to when it can stop; does CA reduce the effectiveness or moral? Remove naval combat because it’s usually quite fiddly? Hell, let’s just make it so the game holds your hand the whole way!
I’m not saying that CA will certainly make the game suitable for a child and rob all the joy of a Total War game by its next iteration. Instead, consider this post more of a morose and alcoholic gamer’s grumbling diary entry – not too dissimilar from the raving of a man wearing tin foil for a hat, writing about his hatred for his government.
It’s not a warning, either. It’s a silent plea, with the hope that the underlying message of the post joins the collective voices of the Total War gaming community, in begging the company to please not make the game too easy…
I just finished Bioshock:Infinite. Work (both Uni and actual) kept getting in the way of me just sitting down and finishing this game, so it took me about four days. I technically have about 40 hours logged on Steam into this game, except a large portion of that is just the game sitting there whilst I was out for the day because I didn’t want to lose my save!
I stayed up till 03:30 this morning to finish this game. I am done. That. Was. Amazing.
I appear to be a part of a minority here, in that I’ve never played any of the other Bioshock games. Honestly, I never have. I heard they were scary, so I didn’t play them. I know, I know, childish but… I’m a pansy. It took me ages for my friends to convince me to play Left for Dead: 2 with them, I’m that terrible with any kind of horror / thriller games. I wish I wasn’t, because I know I’m missing out on so many great experiences, and it is something I’m trying to overcome but… Still. It persists. I would have put Bioshock: Infinite down after that one jump scare that everyone who’s played it knows about if it weren’t for the simply fantastic story that I could never bring myself to part with.
This article is going to be fairly riddled with spoilers. I’ll make a spoiler free section wherein I discuss the general motif of the game that won’t contain many spoilers. In fact, I think I’ll start with that first!
Relatively spoiler-free section – Only discussing
The game is a visual masterpiece. Few dissenting opinions appear to exist just yet; Columbia is painted so beautifully and truthfully as to be an image of heaven. This heaven soon reveals the tragic and dark underbelly of any metropolis, but the journey wherein Booker discovers the reality of Columbia is one that I will forever envy my past self for getting to experience.
What I believe to be the first hint of the truth of Columbia is at the carnival very early-on in the game. Besides all of the general revelry that the rich white people partake in, there is on who does not enjoy himself. A clown looks forlornly at you at the carnival. He just stares at you, juggling balls. That sad smile… This is the first real hint that all is not what it seems.
It’s things like that that are amazing. There are just numerous untold details that I can’t even begin to fully encompass without spoiling anything.
The gameplay was just electric. Not just the damn Shock Jockey Vigor, the whole experience; I thoroughly enjoyed battling enemies with a variety of both vigors and guns. Truth be told, the powers were sometimes a little bit lackluster and I was well aware of the fact that the powers couldn’t actually be relied upon – they just up the bad guys to be 2nd Amendment-ed by my guns. Still, the merging of powers with guns, as well as the sky-line combat just made it all so fantastic.
A few other points that are devoid of spoilers before I move on:
Rotten Apples – The game penalizes you for just accepting everything you find; it forces you to actually think what you’re doing, to stop and look at your surroundings. This is just… fantastic. It forces the player to not just spam F and eat everything they find, and to instead stop and realize what you’re looking at. This cultivates a fantastic mindset in the game where you are never not paying attention.
Elizabeth is so damn fast – This annoyed me slightly, but I guess it was necessarily in the times that Elizabeth is… separated from you, shall we say, she runs so damn fast. How? You’re goddamn Booker DeWitt, you kill countless buggers with your awesome array of weapons, vigors and bad-assery. How can this 20 year old girl with no physical training or experience (except dancing) somehow outrun you?!
Elizabeth helps you search – When searching through a variety of places for equipment, resources or some such, Elizabeth actually looks with you. She actively looks around the room, surveying stuff, making it look like she’s really helping you. She’ll also point out lock-picks to you – although it would be nice if she were to pick them up herself, the lazy cow… After all, it’s the only item she actually uses.
Without discussing spoilers, this game truly is a visual and thematic masterpiece. Obviously it has some flaws (some of which I’ll talk about in my next article, wherein I respond to a few reviews about it), but I can safely place it among my most enjoyable gaming experiences of all time.
Right, the story. My god, was that twist enjoyable. The type of experience that requires you to stop a while, consider what’s happened – hell, even go on a few forums and figure it out. The sudden and ultimate twist is something that people always enjoy, but the fantastic thing about Bioshock: Infinite’s twist was how it tied everything together. The entire game is spent on this hunt for Elizabeth with no real understanding of why you’re trying to get her; everything is ultimately hinting at this grand finale that ties everything together.
Dammit, it was satisfying. I actually had trouble playing the game due to my hands being on my head in mind-baffling bam-boozlement.
If people do not understand the story, there are plenty of places out there where you can figure it out (possibly go to the bioshock subreddit?) but just… Damn, I enjoyed it.
I was writing notes for this article whilst playing it; I thought I would be constantly referring back to it, but I ultimately just got too engrossed in the whole experience to step away long enough to put anything to paper.
I don’t want to be another writer who simply gives Bioshock: Infinite a 10/10 rating, because it doesn’t actually deserve that. It is not a perfect game. 10/10 in the sense of an excellent experience that I would recommend to anyone? Absolutely. In my next article, I’m going to be responding to a few reviews of Bioshock: Infinite – both favourable and not – about how the game failed in some areas; some of it may be nitpicking, be warned – it is hard to fault a game such as this, but however much I want to give it a perfect review one simply can’t…
So, tune in next time!
This article is going to be split into two; reason being, it grew a lot longer than I originally intended. This first part is going to talk about my favourite supports to lane with. In the next one, I’ll discuss… Everyone else, basically.
So, let us begin!
My preferred supports
I’m just going to put this out there. I love Draven. This is likely not news to regular readers.
What this means is that I’m not going to be impartial here; I prefer a few certain supports, and think poorly of a few others. That is likely due to my inexperience with them; I’m sure that many support I don’t expand on greatly can be played to great effect, but I personally prefer a few select supports. If you disagree with me (as I’m sure many will) simply argue against me in the comments either here or on reddit.
Draven loves kills. I mean, not just lore-wise, I mean he loves early game kills. As mentioned in my prior relevant article, Draven needs to use the early advantage his kit gives him to snowball the game quickly. For that reason, the supports I tend to prefer are tanky as all hell and/or have the capacity to engage the enemy for me, enabling me to win trades or straight out murder the enemy laners.
So, here’s my little list:
Leona: God damn, I love her. Fantastic engage and disengage. She has so many stuns in her kit that they almost go to waste. I want to engage; Leona, go fetch. She E’s, Q’s and then they’re basically done for, because (if I’m playing right) I’ve already taken most of their health.
You get caught by Leona, you’re done for.
One thing I love about her besides her engage is her fantastic disengage; she’s no Lulu, but she has the ability to control the flow of any trade thanks to her stuns and the tankiness that her W gives her. Ezreal engaging on you? She’ll stun the crap out of him and tank his Q’s with her W.
Without a doubt, she’s one of my favourites to have in lane.
Lulu: Ah, the purple princess. You know what, scrap that, she needs a new title; Queen of the disengage, and princess of poke. Lulu pokes your enemies down like nobody’s business, weakens the enemy enough to ensure they’re too frightened to trade properly.
Her disengage is her greatest strength, however. Say the enemy jungler comes for a gank at the exact unfortunate moment your wards run out. The enemy ADC and support are just above half their health from poke from both you and Lulu, but the jungler coming down makes the enemy duo think they can have you. Lulu disagrees. She ults you, making glorious Draven the size of a Cho’gath; then, the enemy jungler becomes a delightful cupcake (or squirrel, whatever skin takes your fancy). You may then joyfully feast on the enemy ADC and Support, leaving the jungler to either die as well, or run away to lick his wounds.
Laning with Lulu is like a free pass to a won lane, if Lulu knows what she’s doing and if the ADC remembers that, even in an unfavourable situation it can easily be turned around by Lulu’s ult. Don’t just keep running away from them, like when a friendly Shen ults you and you just run away, panicking and not knowing what’s going on, screaming “OH GOD WHY IS MY HEALTH BAR PURPLE I’M TOO YOUNG TO DIE”. Don’t do that,okay?
Taric: You know what he is. Do I even need to say what he is? Come on now, you know. He is Taric. Armour is nothing to him. The enemy ADC CS’ing is unimportant to him. He will engage, Shatter and Ult the enemy to oblivion, leaving you to mop up. If I can get him, I love him. There… is a problem, however. People see Taric as easy mode. They think they must insta-lock him first pick whether or not they know how to play him. Please don’t do this! So, so many Tarics simply walk up and stun the first enemy to get in their range. Even a half-brained enemy support will know to just walk in range of Taric when you’re not ready to engage, waste Taric’s stun and basically make you two useless for a good while. If you want to play Taric, bloody well learn the best times to engage and when to stun. Read my previous article if you like. Just for god’s sake, stop wasting it…
Another minor point that’s a mildly advanced tip, don’t use your W (Shatter) too much when it’s not an all-out engagement, as it unnecessarily pushes the lane leaving you more vulnerable to ganks. So, yeah, please don’t do that.
Nami: Kinda like Lulu, but with healing, higher mana costs and a skillset that requires the ADC to pay god damn attention. With Nami, it’s very difficult to actually plan what’s happening in lane except for both healing the adc, and damaging the enemy. Damn I love that bouncing W she has…
The strength of Nami’s kit is that she is an odd mix of engaging, sustain and poke. Each suffers somewhat though:
– Her engage is damn hard to hit. Anyone intelligent will simply move away from it. So, it requires the knowledge of knowing where the enemy is going to go rather than where he is, similar to Blitzcrank in that regard.
– Her poke is great, but it… it has a tendency to steal kills. Too many kills. The Nami will be attempting to heal you in a fight, but will instead utterly steal the kill from you… That sure is fun…
– Her ult serves as a fantastic disengage, as well as a follow-up engage from some other form of CC. I also love her E, empowering me to deal more damage.
In short, I do love her, but any Nami player needs to damn well understand her abilities.
You know what? Another great maxim to observe: Learn your champions abilities. Stop going into a ranked game with two custom games and a cursory knowledge of the ability effects of the champion under your belt. You need to know a champion through and through to play it successfully! Learn everything you can! Test it! Learn.
Those four are my most loved and treasured supports. I love them because they work well with my play style, and the champions that I typically play as well. However, I do not know everything; I have developed these preferences through my experiences with supports, and also through the supports my friends played with me – thus, I grew to enjoy the champions the people who duo’d with me played.
In my next article (this was originally meant to be a single article, now it’s going to be in 4 parts!) I’ll talk about the other supports commonly seen in bottom lane, my reasons they didn’t get put in this article, and my feelings about the support meta at the moment.
Many thanks for reading, as I said earlier if you have any perspectives you wish to share, please do write in the comment section below!