Recent Posts

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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Hearthstone (and battlenet desktop)
« Last post by Snique on April 10, 2018, 05:05:11 PM »
The next (big) patch is going out today, though witchwood won't launch for another couple days. If you play on mobile you might want to open Hearthstone while on wifi to save your data plan.
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Finished playing...
« Last post by ghoselle on April 09, 2018, 07:35:19 PM »
Age of Fear 1,2, and 3

So, sometime in 2015 Age of Fear was released.  It had 2 campaigns.  They released Age of Fear 2 that same year, with 2 more campaigns.  Age of Fear 3 was release 2 years later, with 2 more campaigns.  All of them use the exact same game engine, and the developer keeps actively updating it.  They also support home made campaigns (of which there is 1 good one on steam).  And I just noticed they added some DLC. 

The game itself is a top down, turn based, strategic combat game - you have 1-3 heroes and a bunch of units.  It has a variety of difficulties.  I played through on normal and once on hard.  I didn't notice hard being especially hard (he notes hard is the default difficulty for the russian version), but I did have some fights I had to restart.  It has a generous save system that is disabled on the hardest difficulty.

The graphics are dated.  The voice work is stilted.  But its a fun game.  It reminds me a bit of the old warlords games, which I loved.

It has a multiplayer mode that I've not played with.

Its probably not worth the full steam price - but if it comes on deep sale again, I'd recommend it.

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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Finished playing...
« Last post by Winston on April 09, 2018, 05:38:14 PM »
Batman: The Enemy Within

I enjoyed the first game in this series, Batman: The Telltale Series. It had a different take on the standard tale of Bruce Wayne as he transitions into his role of the Batman. It also set the stakes for a different origin of the classic Batman villains, especially the Joker.

Batman: The Enemy Within continues the story and greatly raises the stakes. It also puts a very different spin on the descent of the Joker; for example, in this version Harley Quinn is already criminally insane, and it’s the Joker who follows her.

Telltale games are known for their adaptive stories, which evolve depending on the decisions you make in the game. Batman: The Enemy Within take this to a higher level. Like all Telltale games I’ve seen, it’s played over the course of five episodes, but these episodes are longer (two hours or more) than most of their other games. The choices you’re presented with are more difficult; for example, do you try to make friends with the Joker in the hope of turning him away from Harley Quinn, or do you give up on him and allow him to descend into villainy? In this game, sometimes there are no “good” choices.

It’s my custom to play a Telltale game twice to get a sense of the different paths you can take within the story. The first time I play to be as “good” as I can be, the second time I make the worst possible choices to see how the story would turn out. Typically I see the same story “beats” no matter which path I take, though the characters react differently and there are some sequences that depend on earlier choices.

In the case of Batman: The Enemy Within, I was impressed by the difference in the story depending on your choices. In fact, when it came to the fifth episode, I played an entirely different game as a result of the difference between the “good” and “bad” paths; only a single scene was the same.

Another first, at least in my experience with Telltale games: The consequences of your decisions in Batman: The Telltale Series can, if you wish, carry over into Batman: The Enemy Within. Of course, I carried over my “good” Batman from the first game into “good” Batman of the second, and did the same as “bad” Batman. I really put Jim Gordon through the ringer in the latter; it’s a wonder he didn’t put a bullet in my head.

If you played Batman: The Telltale Series, Batman: The Enemy Within is a must-play. If you never played a Telltale game before because you thought the story might not be strong enough, this game might convince you otherwise.
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Finished playing...
« Last post by Marco on April 08, 2018, 01:28:10 PM »
Steamworld Dig 2 (notes on the first game here).  I think this is a good sequel to a good game.  It brings slightly different gameplay than the first game, had a robust and engaging upgrade system, has a nice mix of gameplay and narrative rewards, and makes you feel suitably overpowered right near the end.  Some of the music loops are too short, although the music is good aside from that.  The final boss fight is out of character with the rest of the gameplay, but with all of the upgrades I had by that point I was nevertheless able to do it in one shot.  Twitch doesn't seem to tell me how long I've spent playing a game, but I'd estimate it was in the 10-20 hour range.
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Trade and Crafting / Re: Directory: Alchemy
« Last post by **andius on April 07, 2018, 03:12:52 PM »
My Alchemist Shandius can do it, would be happy to make you one :)
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Trade and Crafting / Re: Directory: Alchemy
« Last post by Andraax on April 06, 2018, 06:24:37 PM »
Anyone around who can still do Vial of the Sands?  A friend would like the mount and doesn't know anyone who did the grind.
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Discount deals on games
« Last post by ghoselle on April 06, 2018, 09:54:21 AM »
They are giving away Crusader Kings 2 for free on steam for 48 hours.  http://store.steampowered.com/app/203770/Crusader_Kings_II/

The DLC are also on sale.
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Finished playing...
« Last post by Marco on April 06, 2018, 06:59:55 AM »
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun.  This is an isometric squad-based stealth game, a combination I haven't seen before.  You command a group of up to five characters, each with different skills, to carry out assassination missions on behalf of the shogun, who is threatened by a sinister plot.

In general I enjoyed this game, although I was ready to be done with it a few missions before the end.  It gives you a lot of information about enemy unit sight-lines, lets you rotate the camera for better views, lets you set up combination attacks with multiple characters, and in general presents interesting and challenging puzzles as you try to figure out how to dismantle configurations of guards on your way to the target.  There are three difficulty levels (I played on normal, the middle one), as well as badges for finishing missions with particular constraints like not using a particular character or not killing anyone except mission targets.  The game encourages incremental saving by warning you if you haven't saved recently and letting you load the last three quicksaves.  The game offers non-lethal takedowns, but not all skills have non-lethal variants and knocked out enemies will recover after a bit, so in-game ethics come with a steep increase in difficulty.  Controls are fairly precise, although the characters will sometimes slow down when navigating corners or each other, which can screw up your timing.  Initial level load times are unusually long for a game; installing on an SSD helps.

The game's visuals and sound design are generally good.  The story is engaging, but won't win any literary awards.  It was kind of nice to see a story set in the Edo period, rather than the more frequently used Meiji period.  Two of the five squad members are female; the other named characters are all male, as are 90% of the random NPCs.  The characters hew pretty closely to Japanese tropes, although with less exaggeration than usual (e.g. the ninja character is referred to as a shinobi and is a hired assassin, not a superhuman mystical warrior).  There are Japanese and English voice tracks; after experimenting with both, I played through with English voices and didn't find any of them grating.
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Battle for Azeroth
« Last post by Marco on April 05, 2018, 08:01:25 AM »
The press event Q+A was a whole lot of the usual "that's an interesting question, and we can't talk about that except to repeat things we've already said," but there was this interesting tidbit from the wowhead summary of an interview with Jeremy Feasel:
Quote
When you unlock the Islands feature by completing the War Campaign, it will also unlock for all of your alts. If you want to level up your alts by doing Islands, they will let you.
So similarly to how we can level alts in legion invasions now, it sounds like we will be able to level alts using islands in BfA.  I would guess that this will be restricted to the lowest difficulty and there will be level scaling like Legion has for normal-mode dungeons.

https://www.wowhead.com/news=283330/battle-for-azeroth-muffinus-interview-island-expeditions-wrathion
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Outside Azeroth - General Chatter / Re: Battle for Azeroth
« Last post by Marco on April 05, 2018, 07:02:16 AM »
The release date for BfA will be August 14.  There's a new short trailer for it at the first link below, but it's not a big cinematic piece like we got in the Blizzcon reveal.  Asked when the prepatch would be, Ion's answer was (wowhead paraphrase): "Pre-patch is likely a few weeks before the actual expansion, similar to past expansion schedules. Ion said not to quote him directly on this, nothing is official."

This puts the total alpha+beta time for BfA at 189 days, shorter than Legion (281) and Warlords (224).  Mists had a beta period of 188 days and no alpha period.

https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/21669948/battle-for-azeroth-arrives-august-14
https://www.wowhead.com/news=283326/bfa-press-event-talanji-cinematic-8-0-pre-patch-maghar-and-dark-iron-unlock-sche
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