Armagon Live

Completed: Mass Effect 2

Posted in Completed, RPG by Armagon on January 23, 2016

As I wrote already, I am catching up on the Mass Effect universe.

I’ve started ME2 not long after I had finished ME1. I imported my original character (would have loved to fix the nose, but it’s not so bad that I have to) and continued there.

normandy

The Steam version of ME2 works a lot better than the ME1 one – I’ve had no problems at all (Win7) with Fullscreen and a 2nd screen connected. Either I grew accomodated or they even fixed the horrible menu PING sound. I am not sure I found any of the Digital Deluxe Edition ingame items – if so, they were unexciting.

Warning: Mild spoilers – it’s been long enough, even I have played it now after 5 years.

I didn’t love the combat in the beginning, but I liked it better than when starting ME1. The whole game feels more like a shooter, but also easier (again on “Casual” setting, I’m not fond of shooters anymore, sorry).

I don’t get why they changed all the keybindings. Space is LShift, E is Space. Quicksave went from F6 to F5. WHY? Not as bad as with AC2 -> Brotherhood, but still.

I do like the Paragon/Renegade system, but it would be cool to see if I *really* am at 100% Paragon already. It looks like it, so I’m chasing some more Renegade points, but whatever.

I do like my companions, but I find it odd that they would add Personal Assistant that only sometimes correctly tells me about my mails (mostly correct, but sometimes too late, when I already read them) and rarely ever about other companions who want to talk – but maybe I was diligent enough that no one felt left out because I’ve been visiting them pretty regularly.

The new scanning mechanics are very good – the old one was ok, but with the probes and the graph it made for an enjoyable 1-2 hours of acquiring resources without having to go on a trip in the Mako – which I didn’t like at all in ME1. Also the research system to use up those resources is awesome, although I didn’t really get why it would sometimes show 2-3 greyed out weapons or armor research items. Apparently I had them, as I couldn’t buy them, but others vanished once I had bought them – weird, but not a big deal.

The dialog menu is still fine, dito the galactic travel. The fuel mechanic is useless so far, and I doubt that will change as I finish it up.

The ingame soundtrack is awesome again, so is the voice acting. I only have one slight complaint – when the characters are looking neutral, everything is fine, but if Shepard or Jacob smile… ugh, bad modelling work.

 

While writing all of the above I’ve been 24h in and finished every single side quest this time. I have all companions, and all are loyal to me – just my love interest in ME1 left me feeling bit ignored.

Update after 27.5 hours: Done. Apparently the “No one left behind” achievement is a bit too hard without reading up, so I lost people.

In general I have 43 Achievements and am missing 9 of them, but there should be 63. I see 12 for the DLC, kind of add up, I guess.

Summary: Awesome game! Can’t wait for ME3 now. Downloading all the DLC for this one right as I’m writing this.

Apparently I should’ve downloaded the DLC earlier, but this is the first game I’ve ever played that kind of did it like this. And last time I didn’t even find anything on that BioWare social site. Too bad, but I’ll just have a look what’s there now. New companion, yay.

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Completed: Memoria

Posted in Adventure, Completed, Uncategorized by Armagon on January 22, 2016

On to the second adventure in the Daedalic Bundle I mentioned – The Dark Eye: Memoria (Wikipedia/on Steam).

This was completed in a bit less than 10 hours, I think it was 8 or 9 – but I could ask for help and thus sometimes did not spend ages trying to figure out a puzzle.

It handles just as Chains of Satinav does, that means you need a mouse to click and the space bar to highlight items you can interact with – if you prefer to have this hint. :)

From a story point of view, it’s clearly better than Chains of Satinav – even more interesting main characters (and also not so many not-good voice actors for less important characters), but from a gameplay point of view I liked Chains of Satinav a bit more – but the story was more generic.

The puzzles were mostly doable (had to look up a few times again, but I think only 4 or 5 times. What I didn’t like were seemingly illogical solutions to some things – where I had the correct idea but didn’t use the correct item from my inventory – and I mean… not using a belt when you need a torch, more like having to try all 3 “long” objects to try to reach something high above. Apparently the developers thought you must use this 120cm long staff to reach up and the 100cm long sword will not do, even if they look just about the correct length, stuff like that – not a huge problem.

Summary: Really good game again, and also a nice continuation of Chains of Satinav, but it can be played on its own. But if you plan to play both, do it in the correct order, as this will spoil at least 2 or 3 things in the first game.

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Completed: Chains of Satinav

Posted in Adventure, Completed by Armagon on January 15, 2016

There was this enormous Daedalic Entertainment bundle on Steam lately, and I finished the first adventure, The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav (Wikipedia/on Steam).

This was the first point & click adventure I’ve played since Broken Sword. My memory is hazy, I had already pinned that one down as best adventure ever (sorry Indy, Zak, DOTT, and Guybrush) – but I’m not so sure anymore. I think I should replay some of them and ignore some of the pixels.

First something about the The Dark Eye, as you probably never heard of it. It’s the German D&D (and/or AD&D) – created in 1984 and still going strong (although I personally only started with the pen & paper RPG in the early 90s and stopped a few years ago) – but people who do or did fantasy role playing in German-speaking countries probably played this and not (A)D&D. This game also has a lot of references, but I think only one single puzzle that was really easy if you knew stuff from the world and maybe hard otherwise, everything else was explained or didn’t matter anyway.

There’s not much to say, I loved this game – and probably not because of the setting, (because while it did have some in-jokes it wasn’t that good of a world-of-The-Dark-Eye experience for the most part) but because I really liked it as an adventure game.

Many of the puzzles were on the easy side and most were just fine in difficulty, but we (played it as a duo) still had to look up roughly 4 solutions. One was a UI thing, where the correct thing was in the inventory already, but we managed to miss a right-click to examine it further and the 3 others were classic “I’ve no clue how to continue”.

This was also the first game I played via Steam Streaming (to the laptop in bed), and besides a few sound glitches and a weird resolution (black borders) it was totally fine.

I think the total time /played was 10 hours – which is pretty much a length I like. Managed to get through in roughly 3 evenings without having to spend every waking moment to continue if you want to finish it. Right after that, I started with the sequel, Memoria (Wikipedia).

Summary: Really good game, only criticism was some of the voice acting (played it in German, probably the original language, as Daedalic is a German company) – the main actors were all fine to good, but some of the NPCs were kind of horrible. Need to quickly check the English version if possible.

Mass Effect

Posted in Completed, RPG by Armagon on January 10, 2016

I bought Mass Effect 1+2 when they were on sale because some people had told me repeatedly that I simply had to play it.

shepard.jpg

First of all, the Steam version of ME1 sucks. Badly. It doesn’t launch from Steam at all, then via finding the .exe, giving it Administrator privileges and compatibility mode kind of works.

Then I was greeted by the most atrocious “select menu item” sound I’ve ever heard. Seriously, this made me reconsider even creating a character for a minute.

Character creation was ok, but I didn’t notice in there that my character’s nose is totally awkward. 4h in this is still annoying me, but I sure as hell won’t restart now.

The controls might be ok, but not for me. R is autorun in all my MMOs, so I keep on flinging grenades left and right. Mousewheel should zoom in and not draw weapons. Gladly nobody minds getting a Sniper Rifle in their face on any planet.

I hate the combat system. I’m playing on the lowest difficulty setting (“Casual”, haha) and I keep on dying left and right. It feels like playing Quake with my hands tied behind my back. QuickSave (F6) is my new best friend.

But the story and real RPG elements are nice. I like the dialogue system and the voice actors. Not sure yet about all the NPCs. Sometimes a line gets repeated too often, but that’s ok.

That was the “first 5h review”, played in 3 chunks of ~1.5h each.

8 hours in, I’ve managed to finish the two combat encounters I ranted about above successfully. Level 15 now, cleared some pirate outpost, got better weapons. Still not sure what the pause function via spacebar is good for, maybe I should use more biotics? But it’s a lot more fun right now

12 hours in, I’ve spent a lot of time on the Citadel, did a lot of quests and less shooting and I’m enjoying it. Now off to Feros and/or Noveria and continue with the story, although the Geth are the least fun part of the game as of now…

15 hours in, I’ve completed Feros (for the main storyline) and generally been destroying everything in combat now. Some things still feel a bit clunky, and as I’m maxed on Sniper Rifles, packs of enemies in melee range aren’t so easy, but overall it works. My combat team is Wrex and Ashley or Kaidan. I’ve also advanced with the romancing… I guess. Still very happy with this game, although now it already told me to hurry up and advance the main plot instead of doing every other quest.

And I finished after 21 hours with Level 42. Too bad I couldn’t continue with my unfinished random assignments after the main plot ended. :(
I had been doing mostly side quests until after Feros, then I started pushing through to the end.

In the end I managed to get 16/45 achievements, although the wiki tells me there should be 49, not 45. The romance stuff was ok, but I liked the SWTOR one better.

In summary: Nearly a perfect role-playing game besides the first few fights. Awesome story, some of the crew members are a bit meh and I expected to have more dialog options with them, but overall… pretty cool.

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Testing the wordpress.com desktop client

Posted in About this blog by Armagon on January 5, 2016

I’m testing the Windows version.

Help -> About WordPress.com: Version 1.2.3 release

  • Contra: The installer doesn’t ask me where it should install to
  • Contra: 153 MB is a bit much for this, really.
  • Meh: I think it’s a bad idea to call your client “website.tld”
  • Pro: Login is easy and smooth
  • Pro: The admin view looks better than the website
  • Bug: When the About window is open, I can type, but the cursor is gone
  • Pro: Autosaving works
  • Contra: It shows me 2 drafts with “Untitled” – that’s a bit vague
  • Pro: Getting to the drafts is one click less I think
  • Pro: The “posts” view is kind of nice and shows an image plus text
  • Pro: The Categories & Tags seem to be easily accessible
  • Bug: Lost my cursor again, this time I just opened and closed the preferences, switching to “HTML” and back to “Visual” fixes it
  • Contra: When resizing the whole window, this input field stays in a fixed width column, like a web page. (This editor seems to be based on either node-webkit or Electron, so probably it is just a web page. Maybe even the new editor that I didn’t like last I tried it.)
  • Pro:  The “Preview” view is a lot better than on the website and displays fine, but the embedding seems a bit buggy. (Window too high, scrollbars weird, but the content is fine)

 

Summary: Looks good so far. Now I’m gonna hit “Publish” and hope for the best.

Played too much Marvel Heroes?

Posted in Marvel Heroes by Armagon on January 5, 2016

Wasn’t in the mood for a lot more Mass Effect after Sunday lunchtime and today, so I decided to do some more prestiging.

Well, actually I had a few Heroes I had originally levelled in Midtown and not in story mode, so they only had 154 Power points (instead of 166 if you do all the important steps of story mode).

mh_20160104

Result: Hulk is green (prestiged once) and Star-Lord is blue (prestiged twice). Yes, the colors absolutely do need to fit the characters.

This makes: 33x Level 60 + 12 prestige runs + 1x cosmic prestige.

Plans regarding this for the future: Captain Marvel and Thing still haven’t done story mode.

Plans regarding matching colors: (white -> green -> blue -> purple -> orange -> red -> yellow)

  • Scarlet Witch: red – 5x – :(
  • Gambit: purple – 3x – ok
  • Captain Marvel: white (this costume) or blue (All-New All-Different costume) – ok
  • Ghost Rider: orange – 4x – :(
  • Taskmaster – white/blue – ok
  • Deadpool – red – kind of ok
  • Iron Man – yellow (cosmic, not gonna happen)/red – kind of ok
  • Nightcrawler – blue/purple – kind of ok
  • Wolverine – yellow (nope) – not sure what to do
  • Rogue – green – ok
  • Spider-Man – red – kind of ok
  • Daredevil – red – :(
  • Jean Grey – green – ok

The rest is fine in white. And no, I don’t think I’ll deliberately work towards this. But the green is horrendous, so only Hulk and Rogue may stay there, all others must directly go to blue. (Unless I get She-Hulk, Vision, Loki, and maybe Doctor Doom).

 

Quick 2015 review

Posted in Games by Armagon on January 2, 2016

Even though this blog doesn’t have many posts and also not many readers, I like doing review posts of my stuff. Caught a cold these days and didn’t get to play a lot on New Year’s Day.

Some people did cool charts on what they played in 2015, I can skip that fancy stuff and do a short list, especially as I can’t tell what I played in which month, as I wasn’t paying many subscriptions and am generally not good enough at tracking these things.

  • Significant amount of time spent:
    • Marvel Heroes
    • Guild Wars 2
    • WildStar
    • Ragnarok Online
    • EVE Online (only January+February)
    • Trine 2 (via AggroChat Game Club 2)
    • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
    • Shadowrun Returns
    • Lost Lands
    • Xbox 360: Rock Band, Rock Band 2, LEGO Rock Band
  • Insignificant amount of time spent:
    • Mass Effect
    • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
    • Borderlands 2
    • Age of Wonders III
    • Diablo III
    • Heroes of Might and Magic V
    • SW: TOR
    • Android: Fallout Shelter
  • Log in, play less than an hour, log out:
    • WoW
    • Age of Wonders – Shadow Magic

Gaming expenses in 2015:

Damn, this is a lot harder than last year.

  • WildStar: ~40 EUR for sub in Jan-Mar iirc
  • GW2: 110 EUR: box for 10 EUR, Heart of Thorns Ultimate Edition for 99 EUR
  • Marvel Heroes: ~120 EUR -Magik Hero Pack (16 EUR), ingame currency (~105 EUR)
  • Games on Steam: ~66 EUR – AoW3 (15 EUR), SR: Dragonfall (4,50 EUR), SR: Hong Kong (19 EUR), The Witcher 2 (3 EUR), Borderlands 2 (10 EUR), ME 1+2 + AC4 (14 EUR), Hero Siege (1 EUR)
  • Games on GoG: 3 EUR – Robin Hood (2 EUR), The Witcher (1 EUR)
  • Games on HumbleBundle: 16 EUR – GameMaker (12 EUR), Trine (1 EUR), Talisman (3 EUR)
  • Xbox 360: 0 EUR, unless I forgot a random used game for 5 bucks
  • EVE: 0 EUR (paid in Nov ’14)
  • WoW: 0 EUR
  • Ragnarok: 0 EUR
  • SW:TOR : 0 EUR

To sum it up: 355 EUR in 2015, which boils down to ~30 EUR per month for gaming. (2014: ~450/year or 37.50/month)

  • Amount of MMOs months I paid subs: 5
  • Amount of MMOs I logged into and played truly “F2P” without purchases: 3 (Ragnarok, SW:TOR, WoW)
  • Full price games/expansions I bought: 2 (Heart of Thorns and SR: Hong Kong)
  • Amount of games I feel I supported enough/voted with my wallet according to the amount of time I spent there: 2 of 2
    • preordered the HoT Ultimate Edition because I felt bad for enjoying GW2 so much on a 10 EUR one-time purchase
    • spent about exactly 10 EUR per month for stuff in Marvel Heroes – like a sub, but 100% optional. I never felt pressured to buy something. I <3 you, Gazillion.
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Hawkeye’s Cosmic Prestige, done

Posted in Marvel Heroes by Armagon on December 29, 2015

Finished! Finally!

Worst screenshot of a ding ever

Worst screenshot of a ding ever

At ~273 hours /played on Hawkeye (yes, that includes a lot of idling as I’m still working on the “500 hours on one character” achievement) it’s finally done – my first (and probably last) Cosmic Prestige Level 60 Hero. I threw all the XP pots I had on top of the +100% server XP and -50% needed for Cosmic Prestige, I think I saw 640% XP on my charsheet at one point.

Gaz is also pretty generous with Team-Ups this Christmas, so this is how it looks now:

mh_20151229

Gambled for another random hero today as well – no luck. And my free costume box was a “Wolverine X-Men Uniform” one, not sure I’ll use it. After the big finale I started a round of clearing up the STASH by exchanging 4 uniques for lots and lots of relics, this time I was a lot luckier and finally got around 200 Atlantis ones. Captain America, Nova and Squirrel Girl are capped at 1000 Relics, but they don’t use Atlantis ones.

So now I’ll focus on either Thor or Blade, and I still have 463 Splinters and 480 G to spend.

All in all I spent a lot more time in GW2 the last few days, but getting this huge thing out of the way will probably fuel my fun in this game again. Cosmic Prestige is just too much.

A wild single player RPG appears

Posted in Games by Armagon on December 20, 2015

Recently there was talk about the Mass Effect series and again I noticed I had never played any of them. But I had bought ME1 and 2 on June 20th this year (surely in a Steam sale, or via GOG, or HumbleBundle…). So I set out to at least start playing before half a year is up.

My knowledge of the series was and is still very basic – I only knew about Shepard and that’s a SciFi RPG. I think I’ve never played any of the “big” BioWare RPGs besides KotOR – so even that didn’t help. But now I’m 3h in and I really like it. The music is pretty good, the controls are relatively ok (besides Space not being used for jump – I drew my gun in the face of a lot of people in the Citadel already, but they didn’t seem to mind).

But there’s also a few downsides. First of all the beeping and sounds in the menus. While creating my character I was already close to turning the sound off. WTF. Everything in the 80s on a GameBoy was less annoying. Then I only noticed too late that my character’s nose is not good. I’m usually not the one spending half an hour in the character generator, but I couldn’t adjust the nose, now it’s annoying me in every cutscene. Ah well, the rest of the head is ok-ish. But for a 2007 game I’m a bit disappointed. Sure, that’s 8 years old, but as I wrote above I’ve never played more recent games besides a few MMOs. And while cartoony – I wouldn’t say WoW’s 2004/05 Humans looked worse than the ME1 characters.

I’ve also yet to experience the “great Bioware writing”, Shepard got some introduction and also Captain Anderson, but the rest of my squad haven’t had more than 2minutes of screentime yet. And what’s with the endless elevator rides? Yes, they’re funny the first two times, but I bet I’ll hate them very, very soon.

So yeah, too bad I have a Marvel Heroes character to Cosmic Prestige (hit 56 today and there’s a +200% buff plus event) and a GW2 Guardian to level (40 already) and there’s also the Winter achievements in GW2. I especially like their Rock Band mini game.

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Back to Tyria

Posted in Guild Wars 2 by Armagon on December 13, 2015

Hawkeye is still 55, but a lot closer to 56. I’ve visited the Danger Room a lot, but wasn’t in the mood to grind.

But I’m back in Tyria! After contemplating rolling a Guardian for many months I finally did it. Went for the biggest baddest Norn possible and I’m having a blast. Steamrolled my way to 30 in under 12h with no urgency, just playing and doing what I liked. Used one Tome of Knowledge for 19->20 to get the story going, though. Jeweler is at 150, so only a bit of crafting done.

norn_guardian

So my characters are now 80 Warrior, 80 Thief, 46 Necromancer, 30 Guardian, 13 Engineer and 6 Ranger. I need more character slots.

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