Warhammer Chaosbane Impressions

I sat down with the Warhammer Chaosbane private beta during the weekend it was on, and managed to get just under two hours in. Now I have played plenty of these types of games before, Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance 1 & 2, Diablo 1-3, Champions of Norrath, Path of Exile, Torchlight, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 1 & 2, Sacred 2 and Titan Quest. So I like to think I have some experience with the genre.

One thing that you can notice immediately is that the setting takes a break from the End Times and the time of Karl Franz. It is based during the time of Magnus the Pious who united the empire against Asavar Kul, which is a while before the time that the likes of Warhammer Fantasy and Vermintide take place in. The change of setting is neat and makes for a nice new story. The story is shaping up to be really cool, but I will get to that later.

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/warhammerfb/images/5/57/Capturedfsd.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20131118010750
Magnus in all his glory.

Now what isn’t new are the character choices, Imperial Soldier, High Elf Mage, Dwarf Slayer and Wood Elf Ranger, where have I seen that before? Probably everywhere. I don’t fault the developers for these choices as they are iconic roles that compliment each other very well, but I always want to see more unique things. A Warrior Priest, Witch Hunter, a White Lion of Chrace, a Swordmaster of Hoeth, Dwarf Runesmith, Bretonnian Knight, things like that. Dwarf Slayer is probably the most unique of them and I can always applaud that, as well as the High Elf to some degree cause I love High Elves in the Warhammer Fantasy setting. Also some people might point out these were lots of the things that were playable in Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, to which I have to say, yes they were and it is too bad that game isn’t around anymore. That is a whole other thing though..

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/warhammerfb/images/2/2e/Warhammer_White_Lion_of_Chrace.png/revision/latest?cb=20161209000702
White Lion of Chrace

The other issue I find is the lack of equipment diversity, something about the Imperial Soldier not being able to wield a great sword sits wrong with me. Of course there is build diversity with skills, but equipment goes a long way in games like this, so you want to see as many different weapon options as possible without overkill. While I was playing I was definitely driven to get all the loot I could, so it wasn’t a BIG issue, it was that I just wanted more options. However, I don’t want to sell short the amount of skills and powers available though because there are a lot that sound like lots of fun later.

Those two points are my only real critiques and that’s all they are, they aren’t what I would really call negatives. As for positives the combat itself flows nicely and is satisfying. The two classes available for the private beta, Imperial Soldier and High Elf Mage, both were fun with the Mage being the best for me. Flinging spells will always be more than just being the dude with a sword who can hit them in slightly different ways, but that is just me. The classes all have their unique skill mapped to the space bar by default, the Mage lets you manually direct spells which can let you really blow up specific enemies. This was a fun mechanic for the Mage and definitely helped to keep me going. The game looks and feels good, as well as being completely Warhammer in all of its facets. The combat in general is quick and satisfying, giving you just enough enemies to feel powerful as you carve through groups of them.

My greatest compliment I can give this game is that I love how the story is presented with the art style and narration of the cut scenes. They look and sound phenomenal, I absolutely adore them.

Honestly the voice acting and story telling is very compelling to me. The story for the Imperial Soldier was honestly so awesome and appealed to me in so many ways, too bad I couldn’t get into his game play as much as I got into the Mage. I just hope the game has so much of this story telling because I just love the way it is presented. The launch unfortunately has the different editions that get you different levels of access to the game which is something that I have never liked when it comes to releases. It isn’t a big deal though, and nothing to really be complained about though since you see it everywhere.

Choices, choices, choices.

In conclusion I think this game has lots of potential, but I honestly find it hard to commit to at its price point ($66.99 CAD.) Honestly I want to say it is wholly worth this price point, but with so many competitors in the genre it can be a hard sell, especially when it feels like it doesn’t do all that much for new experiences since you can be the Imperial Soldier or Wood Elf Ranger archetypes in so many other places. If you are a massive Warhammer Fantasy fan I would definitely recommend it especially if you like these kinds of games because the setting and storytelling is just top notch.  I hope to see something that really pushes me onto the ‘must purchase’ side, but it would definitely help if my friends also got it… though the playing with friends argument can make ANY game better. Warhammer Chaosbane could be a really awesome experience, especially with the awesome storytelling, but time will tell if it is worth the price point.

 

Review of Mechanicus

Alright I wanted to share my thoughts on Warhammer 40,000 Mechanicus. Why am I a month late? I wanted to take the time to play it and give it some real thought. So here is what I came up with. I did plan to have this done for last weekend, but I over estimated the amount of time I had to get assignments done and all that. What else is new? Before we get into it I want to set the mood, so watch this video of the opening.

This was what they also used as their teaser trailer, it is the same thing you see when you open the game, but still sets the mood perfectly. It gets me hyped right up and ready to be part of the Adeptus Mechanicus!

Story

Story? There really isn’t much of one, but that is okay since you are given lots of atmosphere and interesting missions from your various advisors. The story boils down to this image right here:

20181213160614_1.jpg
Well put.

Essentially it is as Faustinus puts it and you end up finding out it is a Necron Tomb World leaving you to deal with them before they all awaken. The intro mission shows you everything you need to know and has you encounter one of the big baddies of the opposing force.

20181115134004_1
Need a game based on the War in Heaven.

The game gives you all the reason you need to start delving and fighting Necrons, that is all I need.

Missions

Every mission plays out in a similar manner, you are greeted by this holographic map of the area you are investigating for the mission. Every mission has its offerings of rewards as well as showing you what difficulty it will be and what enemies you can expect. Now it is very important to note that there is no starting difficulty and it is measured by mission. So you want a harder experience? Go for harder missions, but I will touch on the overall difficulty near the end.

20181213152411_1.jpg

You will have to deploy your units, choose your canticles, and jump right into it. I will touch on the specifics of units and canticles later.

20181213152553_1.jpg
Sure you can fit everyone in there?

This is the map you are met with on starting a mission.

20181213152658_1.jpg
Green = Glyphs and Exclamation = Event.

From this map you have objectives you need to accomplish and little events along the way. The green symbols are glyphs that have you picking one of multiple options to get either a beneficial or detrimental effect. These can vary from healing a unit, to giving you resources, to increasing the awakening level. Glyphs always have a set effect and it allows you to start figuring out which ones you want to be avoiding which is nice. The exclamation points on the map give you a little event that also has you picking an option, but in a more narrative way.

20181213152719_1.jpg
Tough choice.

These events like the glyphs can result in positive or negative effects pending on your choice, but are far harder to guess what they will do. It will constantly keep you guessing as you will never know what is always the right choice.

20181213152728_1.jpg

Finally these yellow diamonds represent your objective which will always play out in a battle that can have different objectives like activate a terminal, survive, or just straight up slay all the enemies. Good variation in these missions and they aren’t too terribly overwhelming. Caution is always advised as sometimes when you run to an objective you will activate others and put yourself in a bad situation. So take it slow, and no need to rush, well except for the fact that the Necrons awaken more the longer you take.

20181213153525_1.jpg

20181213154128_1.jpg

These levels of awakening will give the Necrons various buffs and contribute to the overall percentage that they are awakened in your play through. So you want to get through at a brisk pace, but not too fast as to cause yourself issues.

20181213154626_1.jpg

Once you get that Awakening to 100% there that is when things come to an end more or less, but you can also defeat their head honcho earlier if you like. Anyway at the end of a mission you are rewarded for enemies slain, deducted for tech priests damaged or troops lost. So the better you do the better you are rewarded, that is the way things should be right?

Battles

Now everyone likes to compare it to XCOM, and I feel that is a decently accurate comparison. They are both of the tactical turn based RPG genre and both have a similar feel. Mechanicus takes all the good things of XCOM and leaves behind many of the annoying things. Like in Mechanicus all your characters actually know how to use their weapons effectively and don’t have a percent chance to hit. I get that this is part of the allure of XCOM and the difficulty of it all, but it is gets damn right frustrating. Moving on, the combat in Mechanicus is pretty much what you would expect form something compared to XCOM except for the lack of cover and everyone being generally stronger. Never will you feel like you are just weaker than your opponents because you are very strong in your own right. There are two damage types, energy and physical, so balancing the two damage types out in your group is important because if you say brought all energy weapons and were fighting enemies with high energy armor you are going to have a bad time.

20181213153625_1.jpg

You are also unable to use ranged weapons while you are engaged in melee, making it pretty true to the core material. It allows you to deal with pesky ranged units by disabling their ability to use their deadly ranged weapons when you run at them in melee. This is especially handy if you build one or more of your priests to be proficient in melee combat.

20181213153858_1.jpg

You are also able to charge up the machine spirit of weapons through using them allowing additional effects for the next time you use them. Like the Skitarii Vanguard whose weapon will do extra damage while the machine spirit is charged.

20181213154146_1.jpg

There are several mechanics that are noteworthy, but this is one of the most important; cognition points. Now these points are generated through various actions, scanning things on the field, collecting them from downed enemies, and from Tech priest abilities. Now this cognition allows you to use abilities, weapons, and move your tech priests more. They are represented by the little gears on the bottom of the screen. As you do more missions you can have more at a time, and they allow you to use your best tools.

20181213152821_1.jpg
An example of collecting cognition points.

Your management of cognition is incredibly important to your success and good management will have you win battles lopsidedly. Cognition is also used for the deployment of your basic troops, and the varying troops have different costs. Canticles are also something vital to success in battle and are something you can only use once per mission. The effects of canticles vary from healing to ignoring armor and overall are incredibly important.

20181213152628_1.jpg

You can only take three Canticles at a time so you better choose wisely. They are also unlocked from achievement style progress.

20181213154635_1.jpg
Lame canticle imo.

So you are able to utilize Canticles in many different ways to augment your preferred play style.  The battles have varying objectives from killing all enemies, using a terminal, or surviving, so you will get some decent variety.

Your Units

The next big thing to talk about is the amount of unit variety and customization you get. Your troops have their own load outs and abilities based on their level that can be raised after completing certain missions.  So you can take various kinds of troops that fulfill different roles and tackle the battles in the way that best suits you.20181214232627_1.jpg

Now the tech priests are where the real customization comes in, as they can be upgraded down various trees, equipped differently, and given different abilities. You have your choice of six different disciplines that have their own combat specializations. Often you will end up dipping into multiple trees to optimize your priests and make them as strong as possible.20181213152512_1.jpg

You will also get specific gear from a skill line that makes them better at what that specific discipline does, for example being better at ranged combat with gear from the Dominus tree.

20181213154701_1.jpg

As you can see there are very many choices for equipment you can get, and I didn’t even get them all. Overall you have so many options for your priests to make them into your preferred kinds of killing machine and is something I very much appreciate. I loved dropping a Kastellan Robot on my enemies who loved ranged combat and forcing them to face down my big robot… good times.

20181213153019_1.jpg
He isn’t ready for this.

My only gripe is that you can’t change their portraits that are randomly assigned to them, and they seemed to randomly change whenever I loaded the game (they might have fixed this since I tried it last though.)

Design

Now the music and graphical design are top notch, everything bleeds tech priest and Adeptus Mechanicus. The music makes you feel like a tech worshiping zealot from the 41st millennium. With its mix of vocals and techno, man I really like the soundtrack, it fits so well. The weapons also all look and feel like they should, which is very important in a Warhammer 40K game, especially if you have ever heard what some people have done to Bolters in some games.

All in all the game looks and sounds fantastic, big points for nailing that.

Conclusion

In conclusion Mechanicus is a fantastic game, and is more than worth its lower price point. The game play is fun and the atmosphere feels right at home with anyone 40K fan or not. The difficulty got to be on the easy side once I got my priests kitted out in the right way, but there is nothing wrong with being rewarded for building your characters the right way. I definitely recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of tactical RPGS or of 40K in general. This along with Gladius are a big turning point for 40K video games as these two are of great quality and make me hopeful for the future.

EDIT, December 17: They released a balance patch that fixes a lot of bugs, and changes weapon characteristics. Most importantly they make the final boss have more health which should definitely help with him being more of a threat. Definitely worth checking out the changes.

September updates.

So with the coming of September it means I am once more back in school and also able to put more time (and money) into my hobbies. I know that sounds a little weird, as it is usually the opposite, but that is just how it works for me. So I just wanted to talk about some of the things I have been up to since my last update:

Warhammer 40K

Now for most of the summer (other than Kill Team) I was rather slow to get anything done on my current models, or to purchase new ones, but in the past week I have made quite a few updates to my lists.

  • Deathguard

I had this idea of a brigade planned for my 2000 point Deathguard list, but I found I didn’t like how many points I had to invest into Heavy Support and Fast Attack, which obviously I want some of those units, but honestly I ended up having not as many of the units I wanted. I am not a man who plays competitively, just one who has fun with it, so I decided to say ‘screw the brigade’ and went with a double battalion list instead. This limits the amount of spending I would have to do at minimum, while allowing me to make more use of what I do have. One less Plagueburst Crawler, one less Fast Attack option, and I can have more of the units I want; Plague Marines. Man I love Plague Marines, aesthetically, lorewise, and in usage. This is also why I love Deathguard in Kill Team, since I can have my Plague Marines do some real work. On that note I did play another Kill Team game with them today, and only lost a single Poxwalker, awesome.

  • Blood Angels

Now see this is where I have found most of my hobby efforts focused as of late, on the sons of Sanguinius, which probably can largely be attributed to my reading of the Dante and Devastation of Baal books. I have always liked the Blood Angels, and find them to be really interesting, on or off the tabletop, so when I made the decision to start them up a little while ago it was a decision I never looked back on. In the past little bit I have accumulated a good deal of my ideal brigade for my Blood Angels force, and I would like to talk about what it is that I have gotten to that end.

As an HQ option I picked up the Primaris Lieutenant Tolmeron model, as I like the ability to re-roll wound rolls of one on a character who I can use for awesome fight capabilities.

https://i0.wp.com/www.games-workshop.com/resources/catalog/product/920x950/99070101027_Telermon02.jpg?w=825&ssl=1

And of course I modeled him to have a helmet, because I think Space Marines not having helmets is somewhat ridiculous, because why wouldn’t you have one?

Next I had managed to pick up a Start Collecting Blood Angels box, since the value of these boxes is undeniable, and it killed two birds with one stone.

https://i1.wp.com/www.games-workshop.com/resources/catalog/product/920x950/99120101157_SCBloodAngels05.jpg?w=825&ssl=1

I had decided that for Kill Team I wanted some tactical marines, as well as their bits, and the Baal Predator was something I needed to get for my Brigade list. This made the Start Collecting the obvious choice for pure value alone, and it actually led to me making some changes in my list, to replacing a group of Primaris intercessors with a squad of tactical marines. This accomplished things on two different fronts, and I am rather pleased with it.

Then we come to my purchases today as shown below;

The mostly Blood Angels related purchases of the day; a single Bike Squad out of my required two, a Scout squad to outfit with Boltguns who will be having a role both in and out of Kill Team, and an Assault Squad to fill a Fast Attack spot (I also love the look of eviscerator weapon so I wanted it for some bitz). The other purchases include a journal to keep track of games/notes, data-cards which I sorely needed, and the set of Drukhari dice. I gotta say those dice did work for me in my Kill Team game today, so they are a for sure winner.

  • Next?

I am not too far off from finishing my full Blood Angels force now, so after finishing that my attentions will be turned to finishing my Drukhari Brigade, then the acquiring of both Harlequins and Thousand Sons Kill Teams. That is what I have my hobby goals set on for the near future and there will be a lot more coming about that.

Gaming

Another large chunk of time has been the gaming I have been doing, so I wanted to take a brief amount of time to talk about that a little bit.

The Shin Megami Tensei series has always been something that I have loved and their games don’t disappoint me.. Ever. Persona 5 is a game that I have sunk 50+ hours into and will for sure sink many more into, as I have yet to beat the game, forgetting the fact that I plan to do New Game+.

Street Fighter 5 is a constant grind, and I am rarely not playing it to some degree. I am making slow, but steady progress in the world of ranked. Would like to hit Diamond someday, but who knows if that will every transpire.

For Honor is a game that I picked up on release, stopped with for a bit, and recently just got back into. I have always thought the game was really fun, loved the aesthetic of it, and for all purposes it is a fighting game, which I love. The major downside was that on launch it was a peer-to-peer connection base, so it was a jumbled mess that would disconnect you rather frequently. In a game that sees 95% of its content in multiplayer, this was a terrible idea on their part. Fast forward to a week ago (ish) where it was free on steam, so there was a surge of people that started playing it again, so I figured I would try to get back into it. There is also that expansion that is coming out in October as well, which I can talk about more later. I got a buddy to play it with me, and have been having a blast with it since. Plus side is that they made the switch to dedicated servers a while back, so no more garbage connections.

https://i1.wp.com/ubistatic19-a.akamaihd.net/resource/en-us/game/news/forhonor/fh-game/hro_keyart_rgb_web_crop_327027.jpg?w=825&ssl=1

Conclusion

That is all I really had in mind to talk about for now, just some 40K stuff and some gaming stuff. Until next time everyone!

Vermintide 2 DLC – Shadows over Bogenhafen

So the first DLC for Vermintide 2 received a teaser trailer today, a whole 30 seconds that doesn’t manage to show you much. It is however, still worth a view because A) 30 seconds is not any time at all really, and B) you still get something out of it.

Most importantly see that it is coming out on the 28th which is fast approaching here, less than two weeks, so it is likely lots of information will be revealed here. There are two notable things about the trailer itself, the heavy dense atmosphere that is heavily obscured, and then the fireworks that denote some kind of celebration (perhaps playing into some mission?) Also Morrslieb does look really awesome in the sky in this trailer too, looking incredibly clear, as a sign of further ill-tidings. My hope is that we will see some new weapons and enemy types, but who knows what we will get?

Also interestingly enough the night of the DLC “Shadows over Bogenhafen” is the exact same name of an adventure from the Warhammer Fantasy RPG, that takes place in the titular town as well. This adventure was part of the bigger campaign “The Enemy Within,” which we can find some stuff out about Bogenhafen.

bogenhafen colour map.jpg

It is situated on this big river which could play into game-play quite a bit, well if the developers choose to use it, which I think it is safe to say that they will as it is a major feature in the town. This is also assuming they keep to this idea for Bogenhafen, but I think it is safe to say that they will, because the exact same name as the adventure can’t be mere coincidence.

Anyhow I just wanted to share my thoughts and findings on this trailer, so that’s all for now, until next time!

Thoughts on Gladius: Relics of War

Warhammer 40,000 Gladius: Relics of War came out last month on July 12th, so this may seem a little late, but I have at this point, put quite a bit of time into the game and figured it was time to say a few things about it.

July was an incredibly busy month for me and I didn’t even pick up Gladius for a week after it came out, because I honestly didn’t even realize it was out. It came out with what I thought a fairly silent release, despite it being fairly well received. Once I did get it it was easy to dive into and sucked me in instantly. The game is well-crafted and reminiscent of the 4X games that it shares a category with.

What is 4X?

Well to get the easiest explanation I turned to Wikipedia (yes shame on me) and here it is; The term “4X” originates from a 1993 preview of Master of Orion in Computer Gaming World by Alan Emrich, in which he rated the game “XXXX” as a pun on the XXX rating for pornography. The four Xs were an abbreviation for “EXplore, EXpand, EXploit and EXterminate”. So there you have it, a game that has you exploring the environment, expanding your empire, exploiting the world, and exterminating your enemies. It plays out on what essentially looks like a board game looking like this:

20180801141343_1

Factions

So for release we see only four factions for Gladius, them being Astra Militarum, Space Marines, Orks, and Necrons. This is a decent spread for sure, and is quite interesting that we see Necrons, and not something more common like Eldar. This is a good thing though, as I am sure fans of Necrons are rather happy to see their living metal buddies in this game. As is usually the case with 40K there are no good guys or bad guys really, all seek to accomplish their mission through their own violent ways. They also have their own research trees that allow for different ways to unlock units, unlock buildings, unlock abilities, to upgrade existing units, etc. This allows you to further differentiate yourself from your enemies showcasing your faction’s specific strengths. Also each faction has a really sweet opening video when you start a game with them.

 

Game-play – General

So the general game-play is very typical for a 4X title, build units, and expand your territory as you deal with native threats, as well as your rivals. To start off there are quests present for every faction that can range from you eliminating enemies, to doing research, that all net you sometimes very useful bonuses that give you an extra edge.

20180801152132_1

There are both melee and ranged units in Gladius that have their own benefits, and true to the nature of 40K units will sometimes possess both types of weapons. This means there are scenarios that will let you shoot as you run in for melee damage, or shoot over-watch at enemies. That is right there is over-watch, so when a unit doesn’t act in their turn, and a hostile enemy goes into range of their ranged weapons, your unit will open fire upon them. This sometime allows you to set-up deadly ambushes that will devastate enemies, or unwittingly find yourself eating free damage from an enemy you didn’t know was in an unexplored area. As I mentioned there is research to be conducted that allows you to advance yourself in many different aspects, which again is a key element in this type of game. Then there is the lack of diplomacy, as to be expected in something based in 40K as There is Only War. This upset some people, but I think it is more than fine since the AI you have to do diplomacy with in the 4X games are more often than not, irritating jerks that do things that make zero sense, then blame you when it doesn’t go their way (I am talking about you, bloodthirsty Ghandi of the Civilization games). Different factions have different elements when it comes to expanding, that I will cover in greater detail for each faction, but regardless of who you play expanding territory is incredibly important. You must find land to exploit that gives you the resources you need, like ore, electricity, food, influence, loyalty, and research. Between these resources you will have to use some more than others, pending your faction, but all are important to gather. The more cities and higher population you got, the more loyalty issues you will have with your cities. Loyalty functions a lot like happiness from the Civilization games giving your cities penalties if you have a negative loyalty, so you have to build buildings, and do research to combat this issue. Territorial expansion isn’t just about building new cities, but about capturing outposts that give you faction-wide bonuses to your resource collection. These outposts give you added bonuses if they are in a city’s territory, making them useful to settle near.

20180801150104_1

Which exploiting the correct kind of resources in incredibly important as it allows you to build more and better units enabling you to fight more effectively, as well as supporting the upkeep that buildings will also bring. Another thing that Gladius does differently is having certain buildings be able to build simultaneously instead of a city sharing all production.

20180801141307_1

This allows you to be building units and key structures at the same time, giving everything a nice pace. Lastly, there are relics all around that you can capture that provide a faction wide bonus to all your units or cities, that can make for some deadly combos when put together.

20180801153046_1

These do not come without challenge however, as your rivals will gun for them and there are neutral enemies that defend them.

20180801141820_1

Enemies like this guy will seek to deter you from relics, and from moving around in general, they can be quite the challenge to start, but act as good deterrents to your enemies as well. All in all Gladius has the typical things that a 4X game would, but makes these mechanics its own and excels at this.

Game-play – Necrons

20180801150015_1

To start off I will say the Necrons retain their core trait of survivability being very sturdy (for the most part) and having an additional ability that allows them to heal themselves when you are in need.

20180801144654_1

 They also can only build “cities” where there is access to a Necron Tomb.

20180801141736_1

This makes it quite an exciting aspect to find these tombs and makes you ensure that you find them and secure the area before anyone else. The tombs also make it so where you can expand is limited, but since you don’t have to worry about food the most typically inhospitable places are typically more than fine. The standard array of Necron units is here from Warriors, to Monoliths, you will have access to your favorite Necron units to make your Dynasty the best.

Game-play – Space Marines

20180801150017_1

What would a 40K game be without the stars of the show? The ever present Space Marines of the 40K franchise. Bringing their devotion, and sturdiness to Gladius, they feel quite at home, a big bonus is their bolter sound effects are actually on point. Their units are quite strong, and are hard to take down (early fights between them and Necrons sometimes feel like a wet noodle fight). What makes them unique is they can only have the one city, since it wouldn’t make sense for Space Marines to be building cities everywhere.

20180801144722_1

The next key feature is them being able to build forts next to outposts that grant them bonuses as if said outpost was within a city’s territory.

20180801152121_1

These are decently strong and can be used to hold the outskirts of territories that you might be worried about defending, or just to acquire more of a certain resource. These Fortresses of Redemption get progressively more expensive, and also have a cool-down between calling them down, so they just can’t be spammed. Space Marines also make use of requisition instead of ore or food, streamlining what they need. This makes it really easy to get a lot of units early, as long as you have good amounts of requisition coming in. The lack of being able to build more cities makes it quite necessary to have lots of units, as you have lots of ground to cover. Lastly, the Space Marines also have things called doctrines which function like Astra Militarum edicts (covered more later) allowing you to give units a boost to combat effectiveness.

Game-play – Astra Militarum

20180801150013_1

You get what you would expect from the Astra Militarum, lots of Guardsmen to be sacrificed like they are cheap fodder, impressive tanks and armour, as well as daring heroes that stand a cut above those that serve under them. They rely on having food for their infantry, and ore for their vehicles, so you aren’t terribly starved for one resource or another allowing for a nice spread. You can also manage to get a lot of infantry out quickly, who when reaching critical mass, can put out a lot of fire power.

20180801141322_1

See? Lots of guys and that isn’t even half of my force, a bunch of guys are off fighting Necrons elsewhere.

20180801153103_1

The Imperial Guard also have the ability to issue edicts that have specifics effects on the city you use it on. These effects can vary from increasing production from certain buildings, to making a resource more abundant in that city.

20180801152227_1

This allows you to really dedicate cities to producing a particular unit or resource, helping you in the grand scheme of things. The Astra Militarum are hard to get going, but once they get going they are hard to stop. They are also able to found cities wherever they please, but still have to worry about that loyalty rating.

Game-play – Orks

20180801150016_1

Finally we come to the boys in Green, who bring their brand of humour, and deadly thuggish natures to Gladius. They particularly find themselves at home in melee combat, but have a good variety of ranged units to provide support to their melee brethren. Everyone knows a true Waaagh! is held together by the authority of those who lead them, so the influence resource is incredibly important to the Orks, giving them buffs (or debuffs) to their damage accordingly.

20180801153828_1

Many Ork units use influence as part of their upkeep, but can also generate it when defeating enemy units, so there is a greater amount that you can pull in when compared to other factions. They can also make use of the Ork Fungus that grows around the planet to use that as means of healing their units, and they can also set them up, making these patches of ‘shrooms quite useful. Ork infantry also possess an ability that allows them to move a little more, this has a short cool-down, but can be quite handy when it comes to positioning.

20180801144907_1

Scrappy, sturdy, and all-together hilarious, the Orks are a joy to play in Gladius.

Conclusion

For being below the standard price tag of games nowadays, Gladius: Relics of War is definitely worth the price tag. It manages to bring its own unique 40K flavour into the established 4X formula, that I believe any 40K fan could enjoy. I am excited to see what other factions they bring into this game, with a wide-array of possibilities Gladius is truly one of the better 40K games we have seen for awhile.

That is all for this post, until next time!

Vermintide 2 Patch – Okri’s Challenges and more!

So there was a nice “free content update” for Vermintide 2 that added a whole lot of stuff, making it even more valuable of a game. I must say I have a few thoughts about this update, first off I think the addition of challenges, cosmetics, and mod support definitely aids the longevity of the game.

The lot of changes are detailed here: http://www.vermintide.com/news/free-content-update/.

Challenges

Challenges however aren’t entirely retroactive ignoring most of the things you would have done before the update came out, which is definitely annoying. So it basically sets you back to square one making you almost feel like your efforts were ignored somewhat, especially when it comes to some of the challenges that want you to have 100 completions of Champion difficulty or higher to get a certain cosmetic. Like for example as shown below, the fact that it didn’t count my mission completions as Kruber from before so I have a measly four completions as Mercenary Kruber.

I have done more than four previously, I promise.

That is a minor gripe with the challenges in the grand scheme of the update, but still a bit annoying. The challenges are largely geared towards newer players as most reward commendation chests which once you reach a certain average item level aren’t so great, but still have a small chance for a cosmetic item.

Cosmetics

Now there were claims to have been 100+ cosmetics to the game and I have seen some of them so far, and they range from cool to damn near pointless. Some of them, like my buddy, has a Saltzpyre with nails in his head, just two nails. I will update and get the screenshot whenever I get the chance next time as it is hilarious. Either way the addition of cosmetics is rather nice and adds to what you can get in the game, making commendation chests more useful. I still haven’t gotten any cosmetics either way.

Quests

Now here is where my only issue with the update is at all, the additions of “quests”

There are two varieties to these, the daily and the event quests. The daily quests are at best a positive and a negative at the same time. It adds a nagging necessity to play with a pre-mandated frequency to make use of these dailies, I mean you could ignore them, but that is inefficient. The daily quests award an emperor’s chest at Champion difficulty which is nothing to sneeze at as it does have a chance to get you a coveted “Red” item, which are the highest rarity. You get one daily quest a day which can range from “Collect 4 tomes” to “Kill 3 bosses” (which the kill three bosses one is buggy) so there is a decent variety, and with the ability to re-roll them isn’t too bad. There is a maximum of three that you can hold on to at a time so you can save them up to do three at a time, so there is less of a strictly daily commitment. It is worth mentioning that both a friend and I got a Red rarity item from daily boxes so they are just even more justified. The aspect of dailies is just something that bothers me as every game feels the need to have them, and they are usually near pointless, so at least these ones have a point to them. As for the event quests, so far the only one is an easy “10 quick play completions” so there is nothing to complain about there as you will be doing those anyway.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion this free update is a great thing for the game adding so much added content, that in my eyes makes it even more worth getting. Basically if going for challenges, you can mostly do do recruit or the other lower difficulties, and if going just for red items you just do Legend runs, leaving Champion difficulty in a bit of a useless spot nowadays. For an example of how good Legend is for getting red rarity items:

Halberd doesn’t have a fancy skin 🙁

 

Anyway more than ever I recommend Vermintide 2, as it continues to add more stuff.

That Cody trailer (Street Fighter V)

I get that lately I have been far more about blabbering on about fighting game oriented stuff, but man Combo breaker was awesome. These tournaments never disappoint, love seeing Guilty Gear, Street Fighter, Tekken and others. The real highlight though? That Cody trailer.

Now Cody Travers is a character who was my absolute favorite especially in Street Fighter IV, so the minute I saw that they were putting him in the latest installment during their third season of character releases I was ecstatic. People were playing with estimates on how long it would take for him to come out, finally we would be met with the Street Fighter pages on Facebook and Instagram changing their profile picture to a brick wall being broken open. For those who know about Cody they will know that is his thing, breaking out of jail just to partake in his favorite past time of street fighting. Now given past experiences it was known that a trailer would be coming very soon, and with Combo Breaker coming up the stars were lining up perfectly.

After the grand finals of the Street Fighter portion of Combo Breaker, we would get that trailer. Also funny that there is a live action portion to it.

Now we can see how different he is from Street Fighter IV in so many ways, but I am truly excited for his changes. For some examples he gets the knife or pipe for V-trigger, throws the little tornadoes at people now, has some sweet looking target combos, and in conclusion just looks great. Cody has evolved as a character story wise too, from convict to mayor he is changing things up, but still has that thug alive in him as he still totes those knives claiming that “desk work just isn’t his thing”. It is all these things that make him so compelling to me as a character both in and out of game-play. Also can’t forget those upcoming costumes too, definitely need all of those, show that Capcom is putting extra care into this one after the flat release of their last character Falke. Either way I am super stoked for Cody, wish he was coming out earlier, but the more time to polish the better.

Also another bonus his theme is definitely pretty sweet sounding so far, VesperArcade has done a preview theme from what we got so check that out:

I just wanted to talk about Cody some as I am so excited for him to come out, and since I have been really getting back into Street Fighter the time is definitely right. Aside from that definitely been meaning to talk about Fortnite some as that persistently bothers me, perhaps get that battle report up that is weeks overdue, and also been playing Pillars of Eternity 2 casually so there will be something about that in the near future.

“Punishment by fist, not a bad policy ain’t it?” I dig it.

Canada Cup Masters Series

So this past weekend was the Canada Cup Master Series for fighting games (and Hearthstone… Ugh) and as it was taking place in the city I live in I was able to attend. This became something I wanted to post about because I love the fact there is a FGC (Fighting Game Community) and wanted to be able to go be a part of it.

It was an awesome time, personally I was there mostly for the Street Fighter V tourney, but it was great being able to see the Guilty Gear and Dragon Ball FighterZ stuff as well. People were so friendly with many casual games that were constantly taking place. Nice to see people meeting, making new friends, and just generally having a good time.

One thing I love is the pro players are actually really cool people, just in with and around everyone else. So you can meet these people that I wish I could play at the level at. People like Punk, Ceroblast, Justin Wong (If you know Street Fighter people) and many others are just really cool friendly people. Got to meet one of my favorite streamers and youtubers VesperArcade which was really awesome, got to see him play his games. I have learned much from seeing him play, hearing him talk it about, and from some of my personal questions he has answered. Touching with the local Canadian FGC was a great experience.

The community is a great thing and I know I will be doing my best to further link up with my local FGC.

Here are some pictures I have.

Anyway it was a fantastic experience and I recommend people get into their gaming community to experience these kind of events for themselves.

DBFZ DLC – Done right… so far

Downloadable content is always walking a fine line, and it is everywhere nowadays. The concept on it’s own isn’t so bad, they make more stuff after the game and sell it as well. Makes sense right? But the issue is when every game has some DLC or another planned. I remember first taking notice of this kind of stuff in Mass Effect 2 where if you got a certain DLC you got that mercenary guy.

Yeah that guy, and this came out while I was in high school on the Xbox 360. I didn’t have the guy and guess what? Turns out the game was just fine without him. Now this is the kind of DLC that is somewhat harmless, it adds stuff but if you don’t have it it isn’t a big deal. Though it can get ridiculous with games like Evolve that would charge you for a slightly different coloured gun. Again still fairly harmless as you can ignore that stupidity and move on with your life.

Now it starts to become a problem when season passes get introduced, incorporating the once innocent expansions into this corporate promise of future DLC. A season pass is like saying “give me the money for this thing that may or may not come in the future,” which wouldn’t be terrible if most companies weren’t out just to exploit whatever they can to make a quick buck. I could go look at Steam right now, find any big AAA title, and it is almost guaranteed to have a season pass as well as other garbage on release.

Because people were totally clamoring for a sequel to The Crew. So look you can spend CAD$ 129.99 for some extra vehicles and three outfits for your character, seems totally worth it right? And how did The Crew go again?

I mean alright there are more good than bad reviews, but by a small margin, and of course there are people who liked it. There is nothing wrong with this, but the point being that there were enough issues that made people angry on release, and more recently too. So why in their mind did it seem to be a good idea to do the same corporate DLC crap that could have someone paying up to $130 for an alright game? And it is Ubisoft we are talking about who aren’t exactly the most reliable for this kind of thing, they have one good game as of late (Rainbow Six Siege.)

This is where DLC and Season Passes start to be an issue, so when DBFZ announced that a “Fighter Pass” was coming it had me worried. So I waited until the characters Bardock and Broly, actually came out (which you can buy separately by the way) to get the pass after I had seen some actual game-play. Man did Arc Systems nail it, not only are the characters awesome, but it actually feels like they added more into the game as a result. Each character adds to the already existing dramatic finishes, and there is actually more added dialogue for the original roster characters. Which the Bardock dramatic finish is displayed below, and if you are a Dragon Ball Z fan like me you will appreciate how awesome it is.

 

Either way the addition of new characters brings the addition of new content. Now this might sound like a no-brainer, but look at Injustice 2. Over at Netherrealm Studios they were like “Let’s add all these characters (which only some are DC characters) and not record any voice-lines for the other guys to address these newcomers,” resulting in a rather stale experience. Don’t get me wrong I love Injustice 2, but it kills the mood of a DC fan like me when you see Aquaman give Black Manta a standard generic voice line when they are each-others mortal enemies (they blame each other for the deaths of their fathers.)

So having these added characters actually feel like they fit is a big deal, not to mention how they play is actually incredible. Bardock and Broly both play differently from the other existing characters being awesome in their own rights. These two characters also have their own awesome themes adding to the collection of awesome music in the game already.

So it is very nice to see someone not exactly screwing us over with DLC right now, so I wanted to give credit where credit is due as Dragon Ball FighterZ is incredibly made. Not all games are like this, so it is important to keep our heads on a swivel and our eyes on shady companies like Ubisoft. Anyway that’s all for this post, thanks for reading!

Warhammer 40K Eternal Crusade: Dying?

source: https://www.google.ca/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwigzKacmdvYAhVQ2WMKHYm0CXkQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fstore.steampowered.com%2Fapp%2F375230%2FWarhammer_40000__Eternal_Crusade%2F&psig=AOvVaw1Iuz78IiYZLlednvW61Npl&ust=1516147886655720
Eternally Space Marines

Now if you are like me and love the Warhammer 40,000 universe you will usually take any chance at a video-game using the license. Though within the past few years the amount of games coming out of this license has actually been ludicrous, with the license being whore’d out left, right, and center. Now I realize that the video-game industry as of late turns out cheap garbage more oft than not and I think there is nothing that represents that more than the Warhammer 40K license.

source: https://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/oldthqlogo.jpg
Once upon a time…

Once upon a time there was a great company called THQ that had the license and made the great Dawn of War series (up until this latest one made by Relic which was formerly THQ Canada and clearly the magic was lost along the way) as well as the Space Marine game which was awesome. Once THQ went bankrupt and was sold off piece by piece that license also found itself adrift. Now this is where the mass production of phone games comes into play; Space Wolf, Regicide, Carnage, and Storm of Vengeance all fall under that gross brand of mobile game pay-to-win where the games more often than not lack any real depth.

source: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/warhammer40k/images/1/14/2563041-eternalcrusade_selectionscreen_new.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20141127184423
Basically how it is

Other than those though there are a few stand-outs that are good like Space Hulk: Deathwing or Eternal Crusade, and Gladius – Relics of War looks like it could be fun, but the issue lies with a lack of quality control. Eternal Crusade being a game with fun concept, but a lack of continued support from the developers have led it into a slow and unerring decay that would make Nurgle happy. One of the key issues with this is if you are a fan of things in 40K that aren’t Space Marine oriented then your options are fairly limited as many games just highlight SM happenings. As Eternal Crusade slowly dies, the fan base is all Space Marine or Chaos Space Marine with the games being one-sided stomps as the guilds who play respective sides come and go. Now don’t get me wrong there are good games that aren’t so one sided sometimes, but in my experience it usually isn’t that satisfying. There are brief periods during the day that you can find non-Space Marines playing, but it is a narrow window of time. It was me sitting in queue for about 30 minutes trying to find a game that inspired me to write this and while I have nothing against playing SM varieties it would be nice to play my favorite faction. The devs aren’t doing anything to really support it either, they are seemingly adopting the “release and drop” policy more as time goes on. Further cementing this is the fact that the game once had a price tag, and then went free to play leaving those who bought it with essentially nothing. Just an attempt to get a quick buck and exploit those who want something different than the Space Marine party that most 40K games are. It is just disappointing to see something that is legitimately fun be screwed around by negligent developers.