AggroChat #48 – Ori and the Sad Sads
Last night we embarked upon another journey through that weekly tradition we call the AggroChat podcast. Things are a little different sounding this week because I finally got a proper microphone. Positive is I can have my fan on me while we record without it picking that up… however it seems to pick up my mouse clicks like insanely bad. Last night we dedicated the show to the ultimate Pi day, and Kodra was celebrating with a bunch of tiny pies. The first game we talked about in depth is Ori and the Blind Forest which is so many sads out of sad. The game is a gloriously animated and beautifully done…. but has the saddest intro I have ever experienced in any game. We talk about how the hopeful tone of the rest of the game, doesn’t really fit with the intro sequence. From Ori we move into the pitfalls of the Final Fantasy XIV crafting system, and why all of us are trying to become Omni crafters for the sake of our free company Airship. This makes Tam exceptionally sad because all he really wants to be is a good goldsmith.
I talk about my guilds progress in Blackrock Foundry and some of the drama that happened as a result of us needing to pair down our dps in order to conquer the content. Most of the guilds I know have been struggling with keeping enough healers this expansion, and because we are habitually short that limits the number of dps we can realistically bring on fights. Since we are getting into harder content we had to bench a few people, and one of them took offense enough to rather dramatically guild quit during the middle of the raid. Tam went into a interesting discussion about the new Infinity rules and how they will change the way gameplay happens, by shifting focus away from combat to instead be focused on objective completion. Finally I talk at length about my experiences playing the Steam beta of Moonrise… but I will go into that in more detail below.
AggroChat Dot Com
A few weeks ago I had a bit of a brain storm… or at least a slight drizzle. The revolved around the idea of trying to apply to get press passes for the AggroChat folks to Pax Prime. It made me realize that between all of us that do this podcast on a weekly basis there is quite a lot of content that we are producing on a regular basis. I write Tales of the Aggronaut daily, Tam writes Digital Initiative, Ashgar writes Ash’s Adventures, Kodra the Keen Gamer, and Rae does Little Rae of Sun. What if we pulled all of this content together in one place, and then augmented it with some of our other friends that maybe don’t want to take the time to maintain a full blog of their own, but have the occasional post in them. The end result is AggroChat.com and while it is not finished and still very much a work in progress, I feel like it is “done enough” to start talking about it. Right now the big daunting task that is ahead of me this morning is pulling together all of the content from AggroChat into the site. This means manually creating entries for all 48 of our episodes so far, but it is well worth it to make sure everything works correctly.
There are a few outstanding issues, like why exactly Ash’s preview images are broken. Other than that I think things have come together rather nicely. I still need to do a “real” logo for the site pulling together the awesome Chibi versions of ourselves that Rae created, and I still need to get bio information from all of our bloggers for the individual author pages. However I am pretty pleased with how things are shaping up. The color scheme was intentionally obnoxious in some what of an honorific of Kodra… who we honestly thought was color blind for the first several years of gaming with him. He puts together some pretty outrageous color schemes, and I figured because of this our website needed to be equally insane. Let us know what you think of the site so far. Hopefully more bloggers will be coming on board the site within the next few days as I sort things out. My hope is that this will push all of us to create more interesting content.
One of the games I talked about a little bit in my day one PAX South wrap up post was Moonrise by Undead Labs. I had a lot of fun playing the game and being shown the ropes by Richard Foge, even though he kicked my ass in PVP numerous times. So as exciting as this game was, because it reminded me so much of Jade Cocoon… it really fell in the realm of “not the key demographic”. I am not really much of a mobile gamer, while I own tablets and numerous handheld systems… I don’t game on them very often. In fact right now I think the only mobile game I have installed on my phone is Final Fantasy Dimensions. As one of the few people on the planet that do not have an iPad the game fell in that category of “really excited to see it” but probably not for me. All of this was until the other night when I happened to click through to a twitch stream posted by the Undead Labs account. It turns out the game is coming to Steam Early Access soon, and this immediately changed my perspective on it. To make things even cooler I managed to score a closed beta key, and have been playing quite a bit of the game since.
I have a more proper preview post in the moderation queue on MMOGames.com, which should be releasing Monday or Tuesday, but I wanted to take a few minutes this morning to talk about this game and why you should be excited about it. First off the game is a really enjoyable art style that reminds me so much of Free Realms. I have always liked that sort of “realistic cartoony” feel to games where I can create something funky without it feeling like I am no longer actually connected to reality. The game centers around the event called the Moonrise which normally happens for only a few days, causing normally peaceful “Solari” to turn into ravening corrupted “Lunari”. The problem is this Moonrise has been lasting far longer than normal and seems to only be growing in strength. You play the role of a game keeper like Warden, and your job is to go around the countryside cleansing the Lunari of their sickness by engaging them in battle.
Immediately the game has some characteristics that feel very Pokemon like in that you are sending your pets out to do battle with other creatures. Where this whole equation gets turned on its head is the fact that it is happening in real time, and you are battling with up to two Solari at a time… out of a stable of six that you have “at the ready”. So if this were not frenetic enough, you also have the ability to do battle yourself, with your warden earning various abilities as you level up. When it comes to Warden vs Warden combat, you have two win conditions. Either you can knock out all of the enemy Solari… or you can instead use abilities that focus the enemy Warden directly. When I fought Foge at Pax South I seemed to do just fine at whittling down his Solari, but he would do a better job at focusing me directly and knocking me out as a Warden. The game itself is extremely enjoyable with a combination of lobby areas with open hunting zones and dungeons to explore and treasures to find. When this goes to open access I highly suggest you check it out, and I am sure over the next few weeks I will be posting more about it.