Stranded Deep

2015-01-26_00003As I mentioned last week, I really enjoy survival games. A friend pointed out ‘stranded deep’ to me last week, which is available on steam greenlight. The basics of the game are simple. You start out on an airplane and that’s where you’ll do a brief tutorial. You make a martini by dragging items around and learning how to use your inventory (which is a maximum of 8 slots to begin with). Crafting is pretty simplistic, which in this game I found to be a good thing. Basically you right click and drag items around close to one another in front of you, and a little square menu will pop up that tells you those items craft into something.

Eventually your plane crashes and you find yourself swimming around in an ocean, surrounded by sharks and water, with more sharks and water (and a few islands). Your goal from that point on is survival. The graphics to this game are absolutely beautiful, and the music caused me to jump out of my chair more than once. I managed to survive the first day, but just barely. A shark decided I would make a great meal as I was swimming around trying to explore an old abandoned boat I found just a few feet off of my island. I was getting a bit tired of eating nothing but crab, so I crafted a crude spear so I could catch some fish.

For this game it may be worth watching some of the tutorials that are out there if you’re easily frustrated by trying to figure craft recipes out. Most of them are simple logic, like dropping sticks on the ground in a pile (5) will allow you to create a campfire. You can then turn that campfire into a firepit, and turn that firepit into a fire spit, where you can hang food and cook it without having to manually hold your food over the fire.

So far my only negative comment would have to be that when food finishes cooking – you hear a ding, like a microwave. Out on my little island home away from home I’m not really expecting to hear a microwave ding when my crabs are done cooking over an open flame. Since the word of the food changes from crab to cooked crab, I really feel this is an unnecessary feature, and should be disabled. Unless of course your isolated island is equipped with a microwave. Then by all means, keep the ding.

What do you Do if your Class isn’t Fun Anymore?

WoWScrnShot_111614_165034Back when I first started playing EverQuest, I only had one character. I adored my enchanter, and never dreamed that I would want to play anything else. In EverQuest 2, I also started out with one character. Eventually as time ran on and I started raiding, the needs of my raid guild came first, and I swapped over to a new character. Their needs (of course) changed over time, and I decided I was flexible enough to keep up with that, so my one main character soon became 5, and I swapped between them all. There was even a time where I was dual boxing on raids and playing two characters at once. Those were hectic times, and I quickly burned out.

Since that time, I have rarely (if ever) settled on just one character. I have over 20 characters in EverQuest 2, around 10 in World of Warcraft, 4 in WildStar, and multiples in pretty much every single MMO I have ever played, including but not limited to Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, Fable, Rift, The Secret World, and Wurm Online. On one hand I quite like having a great selection of characters to play; on the other hand though, it’s very stressful (and expensive) to keep so many alts around. The decision of “who should I play tonight” is never a straightforward answer. There are so many variables that come into play it’s like an entire game on its own.

Now the point of this post. When WoD released, I started playing my priest as my ‘main’ character. It has been a character I’ve stuck with the ‘most’ if there was such thing. I had no desire to play any alts at all, and I found that a relief. Now that I’ve been level 100 for some time, I’m not sure I actually enjoy the class as much as other classes that I have played (like my shaman, I love my shaman). I’m not sure if it’s because I dislike the changes that have come to healers overall, or if there’s just something about my priest in specific that I no longer find appealing. So what do you do when this happens? Do you tough it out and continue to play that ‘main’ character of yours, or do you decide not to waste another minute, and start working on a more-favourable alt? For now I’ve decided to work on an alt of mine and see if I enjoy playing them any more than I did the priest. The downside to that is that my priest had so many more achievements than my other characters, it seems almost a shame to have to “start over” – even though I do realize that achievements are account wide. It’s not quite the same for me.

New Game Thursday – H1Z1

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I am not really a fan of zombie games. No big surprise there. I don’t enjoy horror, or blood or killing. Why on earth did I find myself playing H1Z1? Well, first of all the game came as a gift, and that always helps. Second of all, I do really enjoy survival games, exploration, and crafting, and H1Z1 has all of those built into it. Right now it’s in alpha on steam, and you can get access for a $20 or $40 purchase. I know I said I wasn’t going to buy into any more alphas, but this was a gift, surely it doesn’t count!

You start off in the middle of no where, with very few belongings on you. The clothes on your back, a flashlight, and your fists. The game at the moment could be called attack of the wild blackberries, because you’ll be spending a good portion of your time wading through bushes collecting enough food to stay alive. Hydration and energy are supposed to be tweaked in an update so that they don’t drain quite so fast.

Right now the zombies have very little AI. I ran right up to a large group of them and they barely even looked at me. They didn’t attack, and either they thought I was one of them, or they were already full on brains and couldn’t eat another mouthful. Either way, there isn’t much to fear in this zombie ridden land (at the moment) aside from starvation.

I found a branch on my travels and used that to kill a wolf, who also did not attack me or fight back. I tried to break into some shacks that players had set up but they were not one of the few who used 1111 or 1234 as their pass codes. I did also manage to come across an airdrop taking place, but it was packed with players and zombie and it was only a matter of seconds before I died to both.

Whewps.

I didn’t get into the crafting yet but it seems like it’s a pretty simple method. You can discover items to craft by dragging them through a menu system and attempting to unlock patterns that way. An example would be using blackberries and water to make juice.

I spent most of my time wandering around and just taking in the lovely scenery. It’s fun, and would probably be more fun with friends. I like supporting game companies in what they’re creating, even if it isn’t something that I’ll play long term. I’m looking forward to following the game updates and seeing what happens next.

New Game Thursday – Sakura Spirit

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I love visual novel games, and so when Steam put their anime sale up I was excited to see quite a few from my wishlist marked down in price. I picked up Sakura Spirit without doing much research into it, which is something I now wish I had of done. Yes, the game is ‘adult’ in nature, but in the past that hasn’t bugged me, especially if the story is good and it follows a ‘choose your own adventure’ type of gameplay. Most visual novels combine things like leveling skills and making choices that affect the story, etc, with a great plot, but Sakura Spirit doesn’t really work this way.

I played for a few hours and only had one decision to make which didn’t affect the story at all, which of course disappointed me right away. Especially after waiting so long just to make that one decision.

The story is about a young 17 year old boy named Takahiro, who is two weeks away from an intense judo competition. He gets ported into an alternate realm where he meets up with some kitsune ladies. The ladies are stealing panties and creating issues in a nearby town with their antics. He later learns that the kitsune (Maeko and Machiko) are also from an alternate reality, and that’s why there’s such strife between them and the villagers. He is given a mission he has to complete in order to get back to his own world, and the story basically continues from there. Tsuyuri is a spirit bound to a specific location in the alternate realm, and she explains all of this to him. She would love to help get everyone back to their own realms, but she doesn’t have the power to (despite being a magical creature in her own right).

I enjoyed the basic story, it was light and humorous with a lot of teasing and fun to read (minus the spelling errors). I just think it could have been so much more had they actually allowed some interaction with the reader. That one fact soured the game for me, and it’s not one I would recommend to others unless they were looking for that very specific type of visual novel.

More Ancient Warfare in Minecraft, and FFXIV for the PS4

2015-01-13_14.25.05After playing with the basics of ancient warfare yesterday, I decided to add a bit more to it. I set up a wheat farm, a cow farm, and a courier to pick up the items at all of the farms (ink sac, fish, and wheat) and then deposit them into containers. For some reason my farmer keeps going missing and I keep having to replace him. He probably gets eaten by something, but since I do have a special torch that prevents mobs from spawning at night in a 64×64 area, I’m not sure what is eating him. I know the torch doesn’t work if there are monster spawners in the vicinity, and I’m pretty sure I have a zombie spawner some place. I’m just not sure where.

In any case, having these NPC doing the mundane jobs leaves me free to pursue my other interests, like drying rotten flesh out for jerky (pictured above). I believe I’m going to get an NPC mining system up before too long, but I might need to do a bit of research into that first. Having the basic skills performed automatically lets me wander off and explore and learn other mod packs without having to worry about running out of food or supplies.

The torch took forever to make. I needed a ghast tear from the nether, along with a blaze rod from the nether. It also needed two potions, which you make with brewing. A brew station requires a blaze rod as well. The rest of the components are fairly straight forward except for one. The hardest to find was a melon. It comes from the jungle biome, and because I have ‘biomes o’ pleanty’ turned on there are SO many biomes, finding a jungle one was taking way too long. In the end I stumbled across a village, and a villager traded me 8 melons for 1 emerald. Well worth it. Now I have seeds for future plants, and I can get an NPC to automate that as well.

Besides playing minecraft, I picked up FFXIV for the PS4. It was on sale for $20, and since I already have an active subscription and because you can play your PC characters on the PS4 or vice versa, I decided to pick it up. I really wish Diablo 3 had something like this, true cross platform play. More games need it.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

A peek into my world of mmo gaming