GW2: Most Excited About Patch Notes

These are the most exciting patch notes from ArenaNet that I’ve seen in a long time.

https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/33724/game-update-notes-march-27-2018#Item_2

No, no sarcasm. Seriously.

  • Chair sitting. Check.
  • Humor. Check.
  • Awesome title. Check.
  • Thing I can do that does not involve grouping. Check.
  • Listened to players’ desires (including option to select specific mount from license.) Check.
  • Bug fixes that didn’t do horrible things to the PvE meta that make me have to swap classes. Check.

(I was going to write bug fixes that didn’t do anything to PvE, but I hear them gathering tools are broke. Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

99 bugs on the wall, take one down, smash it around…)

Also, #RememberRavious

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You will be missed by those whose lives you touched, bro.

I know what I’ll be busy finishing up tonight.

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Black and Blue…

Warframe’s servers have been having intermittent issues due to a DDoS this weekend, which leaves me time to ponder a blog post, while feeling twitchy and restless and almost cast adrift.

The irony is that I didn’t get back to playing Warframe till a few days ago, when I decided I’d check it out and scored the 75% off for some Platinum discount I’d been waiting for for ages.

I promptly bought some to show my support for Digital Extremes’ hard work and care for their community, then played the anniversary missions to nab the free weapons. Said weapons turned out to be fairly awesome in their utility and power level, managing to replace temporarily the maxed out Soma Prime I couldn’t function without, which gave me a reason to start playing with a tiny change up of playstyle.

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Oh yes, I also bought the Rhino Palatine skin. Fashionframe has never been sexier.

(Captura mode rocks, btw. Is this something being on PS4 demands or what? Both Warframe and Horizon Zero Dawn rock this so hard.)

I’d hit a wall around Jupiter since I’d mostly ignored purposeful modding beyond the basics of dumping in an endo’ed up Serration and throwing in whatever else seemed good from my random assorted collection of mods.

Thing is, I urgently needed -another- Serration, because I can’t exactly max out my only Serration for higher mastery weapons and then leave the to-be-leveled weapons out in the cold with zero functional damage mod.

I’d also mysteriously managed to cut paths through Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Phobos, bits of the Void, Ceres, Jupiter without scoring something as basic a Steel Fiber mod that increases Armor for my Rhino.

Obviously, some purposeful targeted mission farming was way overdue.

Some wiki reading and a failed solo Excavation attempt later, I settled on solo Survival missions for a 7 or 8% chance to drop what I wanted, and level up the new weapons at the same time. After some testing with Tier 1 and Tier 2, I eventually found a comfortable Tier 1 Dark Sector in Venus/Malva that had Infested that beelined straight for you, making Survival a lot easier than having to chase down other faction mobs.

The nice thing about new weapons is that their mod slots are more limited, so I sat down to mod them well, from a more limited list of options. The straight damage increase goes in, then maybe something to improve their handling like faster reload, and if there’s space, increase whatever damage type the weapons do and figure out what damage 2.0 type does more damage to Infested (Gas, apparently.)

Badabing, even shinier new weapons purpose-built for destroying hordes of Infested. Stay 15 mins for a shot at the Rotation B prize, linger 5 mins more for Rotation C if I somehow get delayed or distracted, extract, rinse/repeat.

Granted, the prize excites no one but me at my newbie “solo self-found” level but hey, it’s the core loop of Warframe and it’s fun in its own way.

In the other screen, I watched teams of streamers get up to shenanigans I’m not willing to experience firsthand myself in Sea of Thieves and it’s the best of both worlds. A solo experience on this end, and a delegated team experience on the other side.

It’s odd, but it seems some computer games these days are catered towards being something in a “spectator games” genre.

The actual number of players might be relatively small, as compared against the obsessive attempt of WoW-like MMOs to capture -all- of the players (which seems doomed to failure the more games fragment into various niches), while another proportion of consumers “play” them virtually by watching said players go at it.

In this case, I guess the money stream goes from the audience => streamers => game, and through advertising and tie-ups with platforms that allow said spectating (cough *Twitch*  cough).

Over in Path of Exile, things are chugging along happily. I hit level 86, lucked into a few teeny upgrades with plenty more improvement to go, alternating between going back and forth through white and yellow maps to unlock them / play some Shaper/Elder-influenced maps, with Tier 8 as the current main unlock goal.

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It’s virtually impossible to take a good screenshot of my current build. It’s just blackity black and blue everywhere. Black ravens (SRS), two lightning golems which spawn phantasms on kill, the phantasms shooting bolts of black darkness, a Hatred aura which gives all the minions blue circles and bonus cold damage… It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s sure fun.

I did a quick duelist alt to level 19 or so, thinking that I might do a really tanky melee ancestral warchief champion to put some of the STR-based and Axe uniques that have been dropping like candy for the SRS necromancer main to good use. I’ll get around to it. Eventually. Maybe. If the league doesn’t end first. (I’m sure there’s still a month or three to go.)

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Beginning

Bought a PS4 Pro.

Mostly in anticipation of Detroit: Become Human.

Thought I’d eventually get around to playing Beyond: Two Souls while waiting.

In the meantime, I Google searched for console-exclusive games I hadn’t been paying attention to. (Still love PC gaming the best, if only for mouse controls.)

After racking up an entire wishlist to keep an eye out for, the only one on current sale in my country’s Playstation store was Horizon Zero Dawn.

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No regrets.

The screenshots don’t do it justice. This thing looks stunningly glorious on a big screen 4K TV.

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It even comes with a built in photo mode where you can play around with camera angles, change your protagonist’s stance and expression, alter the time of day, tinker with virtual depth of field, apertures and F-stops… all in search of that perfect shot.

Why the hell don’t more games have this? Mind blown.

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Cutscenes look great; the early story has been intriguing so far.

You play as Aloy, outcast as a child from a tribe known as the Nora. The prologue and tutorial gives you a little taste of the mystery surrounding your origins and lets you experience the relationship with your mentor/teacher/surrogate father Rost.

Your early goals revolve around gaining acceptance with your tribe, by running a trial known as The Proving when you come of age.

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Before you know it, the plot moves along and you’re suddenly made aware there is a MUCH larger world beyond the one you knew. Cue end of learning/beginning tutorial period and the start of exploring what feels like a big open world full of mysteries and wonder.

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The brilliance of the Horizon Zero Dawn world is in the juxtaposition of the primitive tribal (almost dinosaur hunter like) protagonist/origins with beasts to hunt that are machines and reminiscent of a Transformers movie – complex almost-sentient robots that act like animals… and even scarier monsters.

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Right away, this situates you not in the dawn of prehistory, but a post-apocalyptic period that personally gives me Numenera-like vibes.

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Somehow, societies have regressed to a pre-technology period, where they hunt (and are hunted by) autonomous robots. They salvage them for metal parts, which are used in ways distinctly not intended by their original creators, such as in shiny tribal decorations or as components in simple weapons and traps.

Aloy, the protagonist you control, is naturally just a little different, a little more touched and rebellious enough to go against the “common sense” of the time and delve deeper into the¬†archaeological ruins of a more modern age in search of secrets. She doesn’t really understand what she sees at first, but from a more meta angle, the player guiding her does.

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It’s this heady mix that proves immensely compelling.

You want to know what happened to the world. What it looks like now. How it was before. Who else is in the world. Who Aloy really is. On and on, questions arise that can only be answered by playing on and seeing for yourself.