It’s okay, we’re with the minutemen.


And we’re FABULOUS.


Fallout 4 and the one thing I dislike about it.

Fallout 4 is great. It’s amazing. I’ve been playing it almost exclusively these past two weeks, and I feel bad about that to a degree. Then I stop feeling bad about it and boot it right back up again.

The game is almost everything I hoped for in my next trip to the wasteland. But of course, you can just read other reviews for all that is good in the game. I want to talk about one glaring issue I have with this game, one I’m worried will impede future play-throughs of it that I might attempt.

In short, it comes down to the conversation system. Here’s a screenshot from the last game in the series, Fallout: New Vegas.

maxresdefault (1)

In it, you can see three options out of the many you can scroll down and see. The system in New Vegas gave you options with multiple effects. In the image you can see one normal option and two lies. The second lie is influenced by your Barter stat; if it is 55 or above, the check will be successful and he’ll believe the lie. If your Barter is below the necessary amount, the lie that is told will be different, and probably won’t work on the NPC. Various stats could effect speech, leading to vary different discussions with each character and different results.
In addition to that, various perks you unlocked in the game could give you extra dialogue options. If you took the Confirmed Bachelor perk, you could unlock a bonus line of dialogue that could help persuade a character to help you out, for example.

Compare that idea to the following.


That is Fallout 4, and that’s what the interface looks like for conversations the entire game. You get four options for dialogue responses, and they seem to be static options that don’t change character by character. At best there are some speech checks that are influenced by the Charisma stat, but I don’t know to what end because I have literally never failed a single one.

Now, this is an eloquent and professionally designed chart of the dialogue trees in the game:


Basically, a lot of the time dialogue will go down one predefined path and nothing can change it. If you go with the sarcastic option, the character you are talking to might throw out an extra sentence of dialogue, but then continue on with the default statement he was going to make anyway.
There are a few instances where your dialogue actually has minor repercussions (another character might die, for example), but these are so few and far between that so far in sixty hours of playing, I can recall this happening once. Apart from that there’s also the ‘karma’ you can with your followers. Even if both option A and B take you to the same response from an NPC, maybe Cait prefers B and dislikes A.

This leads to a very linear experience and limits options for multiple characters. Consider this comparison, which I’m lifting from Reddit:

Man, comparing this “When Freedom Calls” quest here in this video to the quest “Ghost Town Gunfight” in Fallout New Vegas, it’s severely disappointing. Both quests have a similar premise: help defend a group of people/town from raiders/powder gangers.

In Fallout 4, the quest is completely linear, you just follow a straight line, kill all of the raiders, talk to the NPCs who apparently can’t look after themselves, hack a terminal, get the core for the power armour, get into power armour, kill more raiders, kill a deathclaw, then talk to the NPCs again and then that’s it. It’s structured like an FPS rather than an RPG, which is really disappointing.

Compared to the quest in FNV, there are so many ways you can go about the quest, in classic Fallout style. You can convince the townsfolk to help fight them off, some requiring skill checks to help give you an edge in the fight, and then you fight the powder gangers. Then and there once they attack.

Or, you could kill their leader when you first see him in the saloon, making the fight a little easier, or of course you can go over to where the gang is hanging out and eliminate them in any manner you wish, guns blazing or stealthy. Hell, with the intimidation perk, you can even scare them off, hilariously!

And that’s not all. You can even join the powder gangers with attacking the town if you want, you aren’t forced to kill them, and you aren’t forced to be the goody good guy! There are so many more choices in the first major quest in FNV compared to Fo4’s first major quests, and that’s really disappointing to see right off the bat.

Which leads to a question; is it possible to even DO evil things? In New Vegas you could opt to side with factions that are generally considered to be ‘evil’, and choose to do things otherwise looked down on. In Fallout 4 it apparently is not possible at all, apparently (possible spoilers in this link). There’s no actual choice. Of course, this is second hand information and when I do  attempt my second play-through, I’ll TRY to not be a good guy, though according to the above video, that will be a futile attempt.

I digress though. I get that there are reasons for all this, including the fact that the player character is now voice acted. I can see by restricting the dialogue to this 4-directional system, it makes things streamlined between console and PC (not necessarily a good thing) and means that mods won’t be a hassle on the console versions (a good thing)… but it doesn’t feel like Fallout. Having all those options and all those possible paths and directions is what made the series special.

2015-11-11_00004Here’s a random screenshot of my character in a dress. Just because.

While I still love Fallout 4, this was one change to the game that feels like a negative, and didn’t need to happen. We’ll see if future additions to the game fix these issues I have, or if some talented people in the modding community do it instead, but for now I guess I have to enjoy being guided through the game as I am.


Is Battlefront really worth it?

So I took advantage of the “open beta” weekend for STAR WARS Battlefront, to see what it was like. The game pointed you in the direction of where to pre-order the game instead of where to post feedback, so this is one of those situations with heavy use of air quotes when you say the word ‘beta’.

All screenshots look the same and generic, so here’s a staged wallpaper to colour up this post.

With that in mind, the game was beautiful and I could see myself playing it a bit if I owned it. A good Star Wars shooter would be an entertaining change of pace compared to the stuff I’ve been playing lately. However of course, when I go to the Origin store page for the game, I’m greeted with the horrendous price tag of $99.99 AUD.

It’s a lot and I don’t like spending more than fifty, maybe sixty dollars on a game, but being it’s a game based on a pretty massive franchise maybe it would be worth it. After all, EA have really been turning themselves around; Titanfall was awesome and Sims 4 wasn’t completely terrible.

Of course, they fucked it up for me. Now, EA have announced an additional season pass for the game. I was never against the idea of paying a lump sum for all DLC for a game, but I’ve been burned before when I’ve purchased a Season Pass only to get SOME of the DLC, and have to fork out  even more money for it.
Furthermore, I’ve joined that legion of people who try to avoid preordering games until we see if they’re actually good. What if I fork out the sixty additional dollars, only for the future content to not be that good, or not worth the money? I don’t know what the content even is yet and they’re asking for the money before the core game is even released.

Maybe this game will be great, maybe it will be a popular game played by tens of thousands of people every day for the next few years. However now I’ve written this, I don’t think I will be joining them. Given the price-tag sits at a total of $160 AUD currently, I have a feeling many others will be on my side of the fence.


Infinity Wars–Healing Kills

OPPRESSION-_Recruit_Of_Solace ORDER-_Grounded_Angel ASCENSION-_Mindbender

Deck in action (YouTube).

The main objective of this deck is to bring out Celestial Dragon and Corrupted Celestial Dragon. With Corrupted Celestial Dragon in the support zone, Celestial Dragon will do 40 damage instead of just 20.

The commander choices are to get some early attacks and disruption happening, and the deck is full of abilities to kill the forces the opponent brings out and buy time until late game is reached.

[click to continue…]




April Fools Day for Guild Wars 2, featuring old style visuals (flickering sepia), and our characters running around pretending to be airplanes.

What a time to be alive.


Tell me I’m wrong to hold off on GTA V.


I have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting. GTA V is finally coming to PC. I’ve held off on playing it on consoles, wanting to experience it in all it’s glory on my ideal platform.
Now it’s here though, I’m finding myself hesitant and skeptical of it. This is in part due to it realistically being a 19 month old game that still costs $80, but there’s one main issue that has me worried.

See, GTA Online is the thing that appeals to me most. Multiplayer GTA in a massive scale sounds amazing and is something I want to be a part of.
However, I’m really put off by what I see on the Steam Store page for the game:


So if a person pre-purchases the game by the end of the month they will start off with one million dollars in game. This might truly be insignificant, but judging from what I’ve read, it isn’t.
You see, apparently things you buy in GTA Online aren’t just restricted to weapons and armor. You can also buy cars and places to store those cars, as well as home properties.So already, you have players able to own cars before people who don’t pre-order.
Next, according to an excerpt from an old IGN article:

Rockstar has also said, in an interview with Game Informer, that Heists will require at least one player with a larger home with an office for planning the jobs

The minimum price of one of these buildings, which are apparently the 10-car garage apartments, is $200,000. Now I don’t know how hard it is to get money yet, so it might be really easy to get this. However, the fact that players who pre-order have an advantage over other players in that they get to do Heists quicker as well as having weapons and cars faster feels bad.

This may all be a non-issue, but based on the information I have, it’s definitely unappealing for the person like me who can’t spend $80 on a game. Once again as stated in the title, if you can convince me otherwise I would love to hear it.


I may buy Elder Scrolls Online

Actually, I will be buying Elder Scrolls Online. When it’s on sale for really really cheap, of course.

I have had a change of heart because Zenimax have finally caved and proclaimed that not only will the game be coming to consoles, but as of the 17th of March, there will not be a mandatory subscription. In essence, the game is adopting the “Buy to Play” structure games like Guild Wars 2 utilize.
If you like the game, you will apparently be able to pay a completely optional subscription fee for ESO Plus, which will give you access to all future downloadable content for as long as you stay subscribed (If you are not subscribed or your subscription lapses, you will need to purchase the downloadable content separately to play it), plus “monthly benefits” and a monthly allotment of crowns to spend in the store. What those benefits are and what will be on offer in the shop is unknown to me, but as long as it doesn’t fall under the rather vague label of “pay to win” 1, then I’ll be fine.


This is a good thing for a player like me, who jumps from game to game and gets burned out quite easily when it comes to MMOs. Being able to take breaks and jump in whenever I want is important, and probably why Guild Wars 2 remains my favourite MMORPG of all time.
How they move on with development from that point on will secure the game for me as something to play, or something to uninstall and occasionally think about. As long as there’s plenty of free content added adjacent to the paid content, I will be happy.

Zenimax, do not mess this up. Also, announce Fallout 4.

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1. For clarification, “pay to win” –for me at least– means being able to pay for advantages over other players in a competitive environment. For example, being able to buy a weapon for PvP that normal players can not obtain without paying.”


Heart of an expansion


The Guild Wars 2 community has been on the hype train recently, which shows no signs of derailing as more and more of the upcoming expansion Heart of Thorns is revealed and teased.

xIx84dlNo brakes indeed.

They have a lot of plans; a new PVP mode, a WVW 1 map, and a whole slew of PVE content. The PVE content involves a new class, class-specializations and new forms of progression. There’s a lot coming, though I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed there hadn’t been any announcements regarding dungeons. I hold out that they are just saving the best for last.

Where I have concerns though, is that this is confirmed as an expansion pack you have to buy. This is the first of the game, which up until now has released it’s content updates for free as the “Living Story” progressed.
This introduces an interesting variable, in that some of the features coming in HoT seem like they would have to be part of a free update release simultaneously to the expansion, lest they risk shutting off a chunk of their users who are unable to buy an expansion pack.

  • Guild Halls are a good example of this. Guilds have existed in the game since the beginning, and the game thrives on the communities built in the form of Guilds. After years of this feature being requested, a home instance for guilds is finally being implemented in Heart of Thorns.
    But if it becomes part of the paid expansion rather than free, it means guilds would end up divided internally into those who can enter their Guild Hall, and those who can if they shell out X amount of money.
  • Stronghold is the name of the new PVP game mode, and it’s another one that could have an interesting and possibly detrimental effect on the community if it is part of the paid expansion. Right now, the whole PVP community plays the same pool of game types and maps, and games are found relatively quickly (in my experience).
    If you could only play Stronghold if you pay for Heart of Thorns, you would separate the community into two smaller groups that will have less players to play with.
  • A new WVW map could make the game mode suffer similarly as it did when they added the Edge of the Mists map. EotM features a better reward system to normal WVW, and splits the community. Instead of having the entire server banding together to dominate WVW, you have a chunk of them chasing loot in EotM. You can’t begrudge them for that, but you also can’t deny that it’s had a bad effect on the main WVW game.
    If they had the reward system of EotM in this map without revamping the original maps and bringing them on par with it, then it will further pull people from the main maps.
    It gets worse if the map is only playable if you buy the expansion. In my server, we travel as a large group jumping from map to map fighting where we need to. Imagine you have a group of 40 people and you needed to jump into that map for the fights, but only 25 people in that group have the expansion. Suddenly your group is nearly halved and you are at a major disadvantage. Wouldn’t that suck massively?
  • The Living Story is the last thing to bring up in this series of points. It’s one of the games big draws, and despite a shaky start as they tested what worked and what doesn’t, it’s pretty cool. The basic concept is that even when you aren’t playing the game, the story is moving along. Every few weeks, the next chapter of the story is released, and you can play along with it and participate, unraveling the plot as it goes. This has always been for free up until now, taking us all over as we uncover secret plots and dragons are awakened.
    However, Heart of Thorns will apparently take us deeper into the Maguuma Jungle and give us new maps to explore in the main game. The Living Story will beyond a shadow of a doubt take us into these areas.
    So, if those areas weren’t free, those users who for years have been following the stories and events of Guild Wars 2 closely and participating in everything suddenly hit a wall. We were left on a cliffhanger at the end of the second season of the Living Story, and it would probably kill it for a lot of people if ArenaNet suddenly held out their hand and said “You have to pay for the rest”.

That’s most of what was revealed though…


Yes, outside of their masteries progression system (which looks awesome and is confirmed to be expansion-only content), new classes and class specializations, there isn’t much that was revealed that I feel can be paid for unless it’s cosmetic (like Legendary weapons. I’m happy having to pay for more alternatives). This is purely because you have to take into careful consideration not impeding a player’s enjoyment of the game if he chooses not to buy the expansion.
It’s with that belief that I hope we haven’t had everything revealed to us. We have heard absolutely nothing about dungeons for example, and they’re some of the content that seems to get the least attention. There’s still no release date set for the expansion, so maybe when whatever date they have planned gets closer, they’ll refresh us and get the hype train going again with fresh news.

I’m curious as to how they will maintain the delicate balance between those who buy the expansion and those who don’t. I’ll be buying it regardless, but I hope ArenaNet have learned how to hold the community together.

If you’re interested in what the expansion offers, I suggest checking out WoodenPotatoes YouTube channel. He covers, theorizes and speculates about lore and other aspects of the Guild Wars universe, but with Heart of Thorns being the hot topic, he’s releasing multiple videos discussing and dissecting what we know.

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1. Server versus Server mass-scale PVP


What’s that sound? I hear someone spending money!


H1Z1 was released on Steam Early Access a few days ago, and I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve played it. When I say the time I’ve played it, I mean the time not spent sitting in a queue to enter a server (Which totals at around an hour for me, altogether). I do not mind though, it’s a sign that the game is currently popular and I’m going to end up on a decently populated server.

It’s a good early version of a game, but unfortunately a lot of the discussion on the game has been controversial and surrounding the monetization aspect of the game. You see, H1Z1 is $20 to buy into Early Access but will eventually be Free To Play when it is released. The way they plan to make money is with a few items you can buy with real money. These are as follows:

  • Keys, which open crates containing cosmetic skins to style your items. Crates are apparently earned as you play, and the skins can only be applied to items you have already found.
  • Tickets to special server types, such as Battle Royale. I am yet to do anything along these lines, but I have one or two Event Tickets so I very well may in the near future. The cool part about these is that you can either earn them over time while playing, or buy them for a dollar each if you don’t want to wait.

The final item doesn’t get a dot point, because it’s the focus of this post; air drops. Air drops cost five dollars and initiate a special event on a server provided it has 120 players at that time.
Once an air drop is called, a very loud plane moves slowly over head, deploying a package that descends slowly. That package has beacons on it, and when it hits the ground it spawns a cluster of zombies around it. The air dropped package contains a bunch of items including food, water and weapons.

When the game first released a few days ago, drops were not tweaked properly, and you had people calling airdrops that would fall within 250 metres away. Since they were close, they were able to run, grab the items and have an advantage. To everyone who saw or heard of this, it sounded completely “pay to win”. Now it has been corrected with a whole bunch of changes (including slower descent/deployment, and it can now drop almost three times as far away from the calling player).

People are still crying Pay To Win because to them, the fact remains that you can pay five dollars to deploy these things with food and weapons in the game. I absolutely disagree here.

Madden gifs are still amazing. And you can’t tell me what to do, mum.

We need to look at this a different way. From where I stand, I don’t see people buying weapons and food. Instead, I see people paying to initiate a major event on the server. An event where you have to fight players and zombies alike to get to the reward at the end.
Think of it like you were playing a game such as World of Warcraft. You’re on a map that is reasonably full, but there isn’t much happening in the way of events. Now imagine you could pay a few dollars to activate a special event everyone could participate in. The players who score or perform the best during that event would be eligible for the random rewards on offer. I don’t know about you, but that sounds awesome.

It sounds awesome, and that very hypothetical situation is pretty much what is happening here. Sure, there is loot on offer if you can get it, but that’s not what you’re paying for. You are paying to create something. Imagine if twenty people see that drop and run over to it, all fighting each other to get to it. Further still, imagine if several groups of survivors ran to it. You very well may have created a fucking bloodbath, as people struggle over a reward that could just contain a bow and torch. You made drama.

I would pay five dollars to see that.


The real issue in the Street Fighter V exclusivity drama.

The other day Capcom announced Street Fighter V to the masses, and that it would be exclusive to the Playstation 4, and PC. There would be no Xbox One version, apparently ever.

This has caused confusion and speculation galore, with people suggesting it’s because of money, it’s because Microsoft refuse to allow the game to be crossplay, it’s because the Xbox One didn’t sell well in Japan. There’s a lot of suggestions, but we won’t know for sure.

I couldn’t care less about that, as I don’t own either console. I do however own one contender, who seems to be completely ignored.

Interest-in-the-Wii-U-Surges-After-Nintendo-s-E3-Presentation-Report-451910-2Forget about someone?

Where’s my Wii U version of Street Fighter? Where’s my Street Fighter vs Smash Bros. crossover? Nintendo, Capcom, you’re really dropping the ball here.