Weekend wrapup

 

For once in lifetime (not entirely true) I played something else other than WoT or DDO. First I had a great weekend playing Knack – a under-rated game in third person with a this ‘relic’ dude set on stopping some goblins and this evil guy (Victor) from ending the world by unleashing some type of ‘relic’ god. That’s the basics – sure. The story is a little different by it’s your basic guy invents robot story and robot saves mankind from bad dudes and themselves (Victor of course think he can control the ‘relic’ god for his own purposes).

I liked how you could pick up ‘relics’ grow in size and then the scale of the game increased accordingly. How some of the giant ‘monsters’ in the game first one hit smacked you, then you were twice their size and one smacked them. Plus you can co-op – with a silver replica of Knack, now quite as big but big enough. As Knack grows so does the silver version. Knack might have the special features like the burning logs, the ice protective stuff, the metal and the ability to make himself invisible with these crystals, but other than that the silver guy can use the special powers and has the same hit pattern. The one different is that it’s slightly faster.

Then I played second son and that’s a solo experience only. It’s the third in the infamouse franchise and set in Seattle. You start out as a native indian young guy and confronted by his brother, the tribes policeman and as they’re arguing a bus crash and some guys – conduits, flee. These conduits have powers, most of them used for the wrong reason but clearly exploited by the person who oversees the protection from these ‘bio terrorists’. The cool thing about this game is that it’s kinda like GTA – you can pursue all type of side missions and explore the environment. Meanwhile you learn more about the powers you can use. He can also ‘absorb’ other conduits powers. The first guy use ‘smoke’ so you power up by pulling smoke from wrecked vehicles and chimneys. The second person you come in contact has these ‘neon’ ‘lazer’ powers so once you encounter that you’ll start using a set of ‘light based’ powers and pull your powers from neon signs instead.

All powers share the same sets of buttons in a similar way. Like the fast shooting power. With smoke and lazer it’s a similar quick attack but with slight differences. You can for example subdue someone with a headshot (unlock) with the smoke power whereas if you aim with the lazer you can either one kill in head (as indicated on the dude when you aim) or subdue by hitting a lit up bubble on the enemy leg. And you can ‘smoke bomb’ guys using smoke – it makes them cough for a bit and allows you to run off and kill or subdue them. With the lazer you make them float in mid air for a bit (called a stasis bubble). At first you can aim as normal for the leg, which is harder since they’re floating around and later on you can unlock a one shot with your lazer to do the same. In other words a lot easier. Then there’s the smoke missile as heavy attack – you only have so many before you have to get more power. And with lazer it’s a beam attack. Both very devastating, but the beam attack takes longer to setup.

Then there’s a matter of travelling around. With smoke there’s some jumps, levitation and going through vents to end up whereever that vent comes out. With lazer (or neon) you turn into a fast moving neon streak and can run up buildings. First you can only move so much before resting, but you can unlock endless running this way. It’s very cool, especially at night with all that neon glare.

The thing about Infamous is the karma system – a way of picking either good or bad or in between. As good you get powers that are for easier sub due and I’d imagine not as powerful kill features. As evil you get more destructive stuff. Of course if you go good you have to watch when you setup your powers since each innocent killed removes karma. As bad it’ll be you against the world.

I like the game; I knew how it function from previous infamous and even if I only played a few demos I got the idea around it. And with the current graphics and powers of the PS4 you get some excellent gorgoues games. But more then so – the new machine adds a lot of good features to the actual controller (and the possibility of linking your smartphone to the PS4 or the VITA for even more features like a second screen). Each controller has a small speaker and a touch pad on it. The touch pad can be used for additional features like in second son, for doing certain things. Swipe down as indicated on the screen for destroying certain things. Or sideways to release guys from a pen. Pull up while hitting R2 for destroying things you ‘lift up’. Unlike the PS3 this stuff is not as much a gimmick. If you remember from PS3 they added this sensor system where you could move things around by tilting the controller. That was back when Wii had come out and Sony was desperate to add some similar features.

There’s only one game that took advantage of this tilt sensor system and that was this dragon game. And it was not well recieved since it’s not accurate enough. And controlling a dragon by tiliting the controller up and down and sideways was NOT good.

With the PS4 it’s more a subtle use, Sucker Punch (second son developer) do it by say shaking it for shaking the spray can and for filling out stuff when you spray paint walls and such. In other words it’s a subtle mini game and not a feature that would frustrate you in the thick of battle.

To me that’s a much better use of these things, than to demand that they’re incorporated into the gameplay in a more major way. And by the use of the touch pad and tilt mechanism in second son it is perfectly done and can always be improved.

But I didn’t just play PS4 games – I also played DDO. Primarily using 3 toons to grind for mats – the rogue for the portal ones, mostly for Goblets, my wiz for the caves – doing tons of Jade Scorpions and a 2 weapon fighter (I did a lesser on him to ‘fix’ some issues) the palace ones. That allowed me to run through all the traps in the portal quest without fear of getting diced or fried, plus he managed to see all traps without having to search for them (TY level 16 Crystal Cove Trinket).

The whole reason for this silly multiple guy stuff was the fact that I wanted a few BTA items done so I could use it with my rogue for a bit. The issue (as I explained earlier) is that all of the items that the shadow assassin comes with are perfectly balanced for everything sneaky and assassinating. So hide, sneak, open, dex etc.

If you remove one item and you’re suddenly effecting 2 things. In the end I managed to move things around and even improve¬†others.

Cannith belt for unlock and disable, Cannith bracers for blur and dodge, Minos Legen for more HP and Heavy fort, Crystal Cove trinket for search, UMD and Spot, Ring of Stalker for sneak attack and manslayer and finally replacing the daggers with polycurse dagger and envenomed blade. Now I could go with 2 Envenomed blades but the polycurse is actually not all that bad. I’ve noticed with envenomed that the dps is kind of low. And that’s because the effect is primarly armor piercing, poison and paralyze. And since there are a lot of critters that are immune to poison damage and paralysing, the true damage is whatever the dagger does at base. Polycurse at least add a few interesting things to the mix, like a few crit and vorpal effects that range from useful to amusing (like cursing yourself).

And to round things off I did 2 more Wheelon quests and ran into those assassins. Note – evasion does not work very good against their swirleys. And that’s saying something since I have no problem evading most other stuff. I don’t know what effects it but it’s broken. Evasion toons should have no problem avoiding taking damage, since these assassins have no issue avoiding/evading your stuff.

Second – it’s inherently wrong. Your effect only add bleeds damage and possible knock down. Theirs add slowdown and skill/stat damage over time effect that takes forever to wear off. I don’t know if that’s too powerful in the hands of players but it’s idiotic that their assassins have a much more potent swirley than you as a player. In fact looking at theirs and comparing with the player version theirs have almost no cool down, seems to be able to be used for more than 20 seconds practically all the time and is very potent for damage and stacking de-buffs.

If players had such a device it would definitely make the Shadar-Kai a much better player class than it’s now. Personally I find the long cool down and kind of situational use of it okay, but I can definitely understand why you see fewer of the Shadar-Kai in the system compared to the endless version of Bladeforged. So here’s me hoping that they revisit the Shadar-Kai and either adjust the enemy version or strengthen the player version somewhat. Make people add some points more to the swirley and make it interesting. Now the shadow jaunt is interesting, but not really a selling point.

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