Alas Troll Side

STREET FIGHTER V_20160216173430

Changed Plans

STREET FIGHTER V_20160216173430

Yesterday morning I had every intent of coming home last night and pretty much playing Street Fighter V the entire evening.  During the day I did a bit of googling and found out that Game Stop apparently carries the Hori Fight Commander 4 controller for use with PS3/PS4/PC.  The Game Stop website indicated that a store not terribly far from where I work had “limited” stock so I decided to pop by over lunch.  I’ve been bitten by the whole limited stock thing before, but since this was a wild goose chase anyway… I didn’t really mind it much.  The last time I was in a Game Stop was to snap up $5 physical copies of Wildstar to convert into play time and digital goodies.  When I got there, it took me a bit to locate the controller… and they did in fact only have one.  The goofy thing however is that it was being closed out for $20 unlike the almost $50 price tag on Amazon.  This seems like some horrible timing, considering that Street Fighter V was just released… and that folks will be seeking out fight pads…. but whatever…  their loss and my benefit.  I have to comment that this controller is really damned comfortable… way more so than the default PS4 controller when it comes to dpad and face button feel.  If you can find one anywhere near as cheaply as I picked mine up… I highly suggest grabbing it.

When I got home from work I hooked up the new controller and booted into the game, where I honestly was undecided what exactly to do.  The game reports cross console play, but as of yet I have yet to find anything even closely resembling a friends list.  There is the ability to create a custom lobby of sorts… and in theory that might be the compromise.  I know you set up a Capcom ID when you first boot the game, and if anyone needs mine it is once again “belghast” but you will have to be smarter than me in figuring out how to actually friend someone because I could not.  For the most part I started working my way through the story mode, which unlocks alternate costumes and color schemes for the various characters.  I made it roughly halfway through this when my wife got home from work with a friend of ours… and the three of us decided that the priority was to go find food.  After eating silly amounts of Mexican food, I never quite made it back upstairs once we got home.  So in theory I will pick up tonight when I first get home and continue unlocking the various story modes.  All in all I like what I have seen of the game… which admittedly is not a lot.  The game feels more deliberate and less twitchy than many of the other Street Fighter entries, so if you are someone who cut your teeth on Marvel Vs Capcom…  you might find the game a little sluggish.  For me who started on the original Street Fighter, the less frenetic pace is a big plus.

The Mission

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Last night once I got back from eating…. I was a man on a mission.  The mission was actually something that evolved over the course of the day, but the goal was pretty simple.  Help Grace catch up and level her druid on Argent Dawn.  Originally my thought was….  lots and lots of Hellfire Ramparts because well…  when I was dual boxing WoW this was pretty much the go to instance for me when it came to pouring on some quick levels.  So the first step was to hop on my Mage and port her little druid to Pandaria so she could bind someplace with portals.  From there we met up in Shattrath and I flew her on my Obsidian Nightwing over to Hellfire.  The only problem… at level 50 she could not zone in…  and this is the point at which I remembered that World of Warcraft instances have level caps.  So we ported to Stormwind since apparently they closed off the Dark Portal…  because our original thought was Sunken Temple.  From there we flew over to Blackrock Depths because in theory she should have been able to pick up several of the quests.  We proceeded to lay waste to the Dark Iron empire, and through the course of that one instance she managed to pick up three levels.  When we got down to the Molten Core gate, on a whim we tried to zone in…. and sure enough she was able to.  Thinking “surely a raid gives good experience” we proceeded to lay waste to the entire place, and I did some of my most careful pre-clearing of a zone ever…  shockingly she did not die once.  Bad news however…  she made like 2/3rds of a level in there but did manage to pick up some “moggy bits”.

From there we did in fact head towards Sunken Temple…  which is now a completely nerfed joke.  Firstly we completely missed the entrance because apparently at some point they moved it up near the top of the sunken pyramid instead of deep down inside the base.  We did two clears of the place, and I would say that both times it took well less than ten minutes to clear the entire place.  They apparently jettisoned “Troll side” of Sunken Temple and all that is actually there is the Green Dragon Flight stuff upstairs.  We also noticed that none of the events actually required you to do anything… like I remember summoning Hakkar required you to drag snakes into the braziers or something of that sort… but this was a simple “click the pile summon a boss” scenario.  From there we flew over to Lower Blackrock Spire thinking she was right about the appropriate level, and on our first clear…. I screwed up and forgot to grab the pike… meaning we couldn’t actually summon the optional boss. So we went out, reset and I managed to get that sequence of events right the second time.  All in all the night took a little less than three hours, and we got the druid a total of seven levels.  In theory… dungeon finder might have gone quicker.  I have another theory, that is my Panda Monk is just slightly lower level now than her Druid… so I am wondering if we would be better served with me going Tanky and her going Healy and getting pretty much instant queues all the way to 100.  Regardless it was a fun night… there is something relaxing about curb stomping old content and venturing back down nostalgic avenues.

Year One Survivor Edition

State of Decay

State of Decay Sept 2013 Back in June of 2013 I was completely amped with the release of State of Decay on the Xbox Live Arcade.  While I am not traditionally a console gamer I spent a good deal of my time out in the loft playing this game at launch.  When it came out that September of the PC I was even more excited because it meant that I would be spending more time playing it.  Since then I have picked up the two expansions…  that I have woefully not spent much time playing.  This has been one of those titles that when it goes on sale I sent copies to friends, considering it is as close to the perfect zombie survival game as I have ever played.  The only flaw however is the fact that this game desperately wants to be multiplayer.  In fact when I told my friends last night what I was playing before the raid…  the immediate response was an excited question asking if they added in multiplayer.

State of Decay: Year One Survivor Edition 2015 While I did not take the best reference shots, because I was too busy playing the game…  I did dig up one of the screenshots I took playing the original steam release in the above section, and now directly above this paragraph is a screenshot from the Year One Survivor Edition… which is essentially an HD Remaster more than anything.  I definitely find screenshot two more appealing.  The first screenshot uses a lot of deep shadow to mask the extremely muddy textures, whereas the second shot is more willing to let you see things more naturally.  Another thing that I really dig is that the game has some nice Depth of Field going on in the YOSE edition.  You can see this in the second character on screen but even more so below in the shot of my character climbing the tower in town to scout for a view.  The world feels more “real” which makes it all the more creepy as you are wandering the wastes looking for resources.

Year One Survivor Edition

Awesome Depth of Field Effects The biggest thing I have noticed while playing is that the controls seem much more responsive.  I am playing the game using the exact same black wired xbox 360 controller I did the first time, but this time around everything feels more fluid.  If this were just shooting I would think potentially it was me, since between the times playing this game…  I played a lot of Destiny with a controller, which has greatly improved my aiming.  I am noticing it especially when I am driving a car however, that things feel more controllable and less all over the place.  Additionally the melee combat feels more responsive.  This is aided by the fact that our character has now learned how to use a knife, instead of simply kicking zombies when your melee weapon breaks.  Stupid as this sounds, it feels even more “walking dead” thanks to this little motion.  This works unbelievably well when your companion holds the zombie and you finish them off with the knife.  I did a lot of this in the lake area before moving into the town for example.

All Three Versions in One I did not make it terribly far last night, because I was playing for about an hour before and after my World of Warcraft raid, but I did manage to get far enough in to remember why I liked this game so much.  Since it had been so long since I had last played, I opted to just restart the original campaign, as it tends to be the best way to ease into the game.  Additionally while running around yesterday at lunch I picked up a Xbox One copy for my boss, so I am figuring he will want to discuss what is going on in the game.  He is not much of a gamer but picked up the  Xbox One because his grand kids also have one…  and is a huge Walking Dead fan so I figured State of Decay was just about the perfect game for him.  I am one of those people that can do something, but struggle to talk someone through it… unless I am doing it myself.  I figured the only way I could be of any help to him was to actually be playing the content myself.

Making Progress

StateOfDecay 2015-04-28 22-56-06-48 Like I said earlier I did not make a ton of progress, but after having played this multiple times I feel like maybe my play is a bit more focused than it was the first time.  As a result I have already rescued one group of survivors, cleaned out the veterinary clinic, built an outpost, built a sleeping area, built a workshop… and am working on building trust with a second group of survivors.  Not too shabby for about two hours of play if I do say so myself.  The whole “knowing what you are doing” aspect definitely speeds things up, as well as having a basic understanding of the lay of the land.  The first time I played this game I was having to constantly check the map, whereas this time around I can navigate at least somewhat based on landmarks.  I remember on my first play I overshot the church by a huge margin, crashed my car… had to get a new one… and finally made it back to the church at night.  This time I went straight there, knowing there was no real sense in exploring until I had done the introductory stuff at the church.

This is still a really great game, and like I said at the start of all of this… the only weakness is it would be so much more enjoyable were I exploring with my friends.  The bane of my existence is just how fast melee weapons break.  I feel like this is a game about me searching for my next weapon, more than anything else.  I rarely use guns, and prefer to take on the zombies in close range… in part  because it doesn’t summon more zombies to the gun shots.  Additionally I really do not want to summon a zombie horde down upon me.  That said I did at one point clear out a couple of hordes with a random car, which was extremely gratifying.  The other strange thing I have noticed is that I no longer fear the zombies.  The first time I played this game I was scared to death of interaction with them.  Every time I would search a location I would take the time to carefully board it up before proceeding.  Now I just deal with the zombies as they come… so in a way it feels like the transition someone would have to make in this world.  I understand it better, and therefore I am less concerned by it.  Still having a blast after all of the time I have played the game in the past, which is quite the compliment to the developers.

#StateOfDecay #YOSE #UndeadLabs