Grim or Grab: Crashlands

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Because F@$% Space

A giant space head just blew up my ship and now I am cold and stranded on an alien planet with nothing but a witty robot box who stands in place of a generic tutorial. If Crashlands was bred and had not just crawled out of the indie dev primordial ooze this is how I would break it down. Add one part Terraria, add a dash of Borderlands, sprinkle with that annoying voice over dude from Wildstar and slam in Don’t Starve without even spitting on it.

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Click away tiny dancer

Crashlands combines crafting, ARPG elements, and building in a bright cartoony landscape. I was initially skeptical and didn’t think it would hold my attention long enough to even get to the point of writing this. I was wrong though. Crashlands does a very good job of stringing you along and giving that loot satisfaction ARPG players yearn for, but not to the extreme of the likes of Diablo 3 or Path of Exile. It supplies random crafting recipes as drops. Smack out a Wommpit and get a recipe for a new chair. Stuff like that. The weapons are crafted, and it seems to be RNG to which stats and quality whatever you are nailing together procure. Below is my board with nails. It’s really good at bamming things (Credit to my 3 yr old son for the word bamming).

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Here you can see where I get that Borderlands vibe

Oh and there are quests, which even though light-hearted and goofy had me feeling for a group of winged fly looking things that had also been wronged by the giant space head. It again kept me in the game and was a nice aside from the tedium that becomes of any game of this type. That tedium is what I look for in these kind of games though. The mindless slog of building a homestead. Though being able to add in a bit of a pick me up in the form of a mid grade progression satisfies the itch.

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WARP Me!

Quality of life things like telepads also make this game great for dropping in and getting something accomplished quickly. This was particularly useful after completing a quest and dodging the time spent getting back to the turn in point. Also having a bottomless inventory makes me warm and fuzzy inside knowing I wont be spending most my playtime dragging to and fro.

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RIP

Dying isn’t that bad. You drop all your gathered goods but it is easy to eat some Baconweed (a over time health potion) and corpse run back to your gravestone. Trying not to die is fun though and I felt as though I wasn’t forced into combat.  It was enough of a challenge when I made it an option and I needed to pay attention in the more difficult fights.

20160620235554_1.jpg Crafting is a breeze to handle and a multitude of stations provide different tools and materials to achieve a home base worthy of a purple god such as myself. As you can see above the beginning of my…well its a start. Oh and I found a egg and crafted a nest which hatched said egg and gave me a pet. It fights for me and does whatever I tell it to. As long as whatever consists of go there or come here. I like pets. Nuff said.

The Verdict

Crashlands is a great detour from the main strip with its great art style and its immature swagger. It does what it sets out to do and it does it very well with a few chuckles squished in. I am not going to stay Grim on Crashlands. So if you are on the fence I say Grab It.

Crashlands is available for PC on Steam  and also for IOS and Android. On a side note I hear there is cross save compatibility between PC and mobile versions but I wont fork over another 7 bucks to test this out. Let me know in the comments if you have.

MMO Monday: A little Secret


 

If you have been following me the last few weeks at The Grimcanuck, you would know I have been playing The Elder Scrolls Online. This where we take a detour to something a bit different. The Secret World is Funcom’s sci-fi, action, and may I say investigative MMORPG. Set in modern times with modern problems in which you are tasked to solve with extreme prejudice. This may come in the form of blades, balls of elemental hatred, guns, and well pretty much everything shy of the kitchen sink. You initially are tasked to choose one of three factions, The Templars, The Illuminati, or The Dragons. The character creation is satisfactory but is nothing special and certain races seem to be faction locked. After creation of my character I was thrust intro a quick tutorial where I picked my starting weapons and learned the basics of getting around in The Secret World.

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As for classes, TSW does it a bit different. It was a bit confusing off the hop but after a bit of staring at the screen and putting the system to work I was able to get a slight handle on it all. Essentially you pick a couple of different weapons or magic types and as you level you gain AP which can be spent on skills and passives within that skill set. I chose swords and elemental magic because who doesn’t like to slice and then burn your foes into oblivion. Now I am one of those people who like to make calculated decisions and well I had to throw that out the window. I know there is probably a right and wrong way to build a character but I have to let the game show for itself how it handles my vision of what I want. Too often we are left scouring forums for hours on end searching for that most efficient build, all the while we are not playing the game. Personally I am getting away from this approach. Only time will tell if I am forced back into my old form but for now this is how its going to be damn it.

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Focusing on the task at hand

Combat is downright clunky. It may be that I have not mastered the art of war in TSW yet so this may change with time. TSW uses a telegraph, stay out of the red stuff system much like Wildstar but not as slick. It is either the animations of the skills and/or the movement of my character that seem to snap me out of this amazing setting. It is truly a pretty game aside from the combat. The one thing I do enjoy about the combat is creating synergy between my two skills sets. For example building action points with my sword only to use them with a fireball blast. Its nice and adds a needed bit of depth at the begining of the game to hold my attention.

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I must look like the hero type

This brings me to the one thing TSW does amazingly right and like no one else. Questing, it is more focused and I dont have that overwhelming feeling of needing to knock off every quest along the way. Having to pay attention to the quests and solving them and not just completing them was refreshing. Yes I said solving. TSW tasks you to complete investigations which take you from one place to the next collecting clues to put the puzzle pieces together. I had that feeling of playing one of those puzzle books your parents gave you on long road trips. It is probably not for everyone but it was unexpected and welcome in my case.

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TSW draws you in with beautiful set pieces and holds you with story and mystery. Where it lacks in my opinion is combat. I hope that the combat becomes more engaging as I move forward. I have I feeling though that what Funcom is banking on is its story and that may not be a bad bet. Its an odd cat in a every aging ally. I may jump back in. I may not. I am undecieded and I feel like it may seem like work to get to that point of where I need TSW to be to satisfy what I want it too. Join me again next week for MMO: Monday at The Grimcanuck and check back for other gaming and tech stuff.

MMO Monday: Hero no more

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A blade of woe

Disclaimer: Contains mild spoilers of intro quest content of the Dark Brotherhood DLC.

Catch up with MMO Monday HERE

Greetings again from the Grimcanuck with another addition of MMO Monday. This week I will continue to look at The Elder Scrolls Online. As you may have noticed if you have been following since the beginning, I tend to lose focus and bounce around a bit. I blame this on too much TV as a child. Anyways that’s me and here I go again.

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The Gold Coast is the new addition to the map

As I had just began my new adventure in the frigid landscape of Orsinium, I was just getting used to the new tone and setting. This is when I remembered seeing something about the new DLC The Dark Brotherhood and how you could add poison to your blade. Sweet, awesome, gigitty-giggity-goo, who doesn’t want shit on you killing stick that makes the damage tick a bit faster. Well I do, so I say lets do this in the name of science and stuff.

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Check your conscience at the door

I accepted the intro quest to the DLC and I was off in no time to the Gold Coast. A somewhat drab and muted landscape only to be painted red by all comers. I say this because right out the gate it holds no punches and those punches are with knives. Bodies strewn about as players sneak around vying for attention of the sinister group of assassins known as the Dark Brotherhood. The intro quest was brief but to the point. Go kill an innocent person and you may get a tap from the Brotherhood. I was actually shocked. This in my opinion gates the content, not based on level nor skill but on moral compass. Hold up, I am going to jump in before, “OMFG GTFO its just a game bruh!”. Yes it is just a game but it is a MMORPG and that RPG means role playing game. For me personally I like the freedom of ESO and being able to dart around like a body snatcher on uppers. For others who take more time to develop their characters story and have a set of rules or a disposition a character takes on, it can be  difficult to take this plunge.

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Press X for blood

If you do take this plunge though it can be a bit gruesome. You are given a new skill which when triggered queues a kill animation which varies randomly. It was kind of unnerving how I viewed my character as a do-gooder less that 30 minutes ago and now was a thieving, murderous, maniac. I will admit though with some disgust in myself, I wanted to keep going. Part of me said, “come on man, this isn’t you”, the other screamed like a good Slayer album, “die mother f*#$er”. Damn that’s dark, but true and I hope it gets my point across. The Dark Brotherhood DLC is not for the faint of heart. There are no unicorns in this fairytale, just blades and bros.

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Entrance to the dark side

I am unsure if I will pursue my quest bathed in blood. I am intrigued though and feel as though this DLC should be more of a player choice at character creati0n. Having to stumble across this with an established character might be off putting. The actions you are required to carry out had great bearing on my feelings and thoughts on who I perceive myself as in the game. The identity crisis and confusion was temporary for myself but I feel as though it may return when I jump back and forth between storylines. Only time will tell as I forge forth with my now twisted hero. Until next week I am a sick bastard, yours truly the Grimcanuck.

Catch up with MMO Monday HERE

 

 

 

 

MMO Monday: Digesting DLC

OK, Last week when I said I was going to take it slow, I meant it. I can now honestly say that if you are the rush to max level type this game may lose your interest before you get there. Now level 9 and drifting happily like a fart in the wind, I have no intentions of stopping my slow methodical, organic romp through Tamriel. Last week I said group content was on the docket, well sorry haven’t got there yet. Although I have smashed many mobs shoulder to shoulder with fellow players in the open world. We will get there, but from now on I am just going to do whatever comes at me. No goals. Quite frankly I am tired of trying to snatch the carrot on the stick, I would rather wait for the stick to wither and break.

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A living spectacle TESO is.

So it seems as though ESO is doing quite well if I had to gauge it by how bustling the world is. There are players running about along with your typical MMO chat debauchery that give us all that fuzzy at home feeling in our gut. Or is that vomit making its way forth. None the less its alive. In the screen capture above I spotted a swirling purple storm or shall I say dark anchor. This is TESO’s version of a public quest like thingy. Much like rifts in Trion’s once popular MMORPG Rift, dark anchors happen ever so often at specified locations where groups of players slaughter waves of invading demons and creatures until it poops a chest full of loot. My experience has been lack luster. There is no real challenge in this reskinned whack-a-mole. If you get a hit in before an enemy dies you’re doing all right. I will admit it was a decent 5 min detour as moved about exploring, but I was left wishing it was a bit bigger and had more impact on the surrounding world.

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A new burning wagon to save

As I mentioned in the inaugural MMO Monday, ESO Plus offers all of the DLC for a monthly sub or you can buy them individually through the crown store. My initial reasons though with my freshly minted character were for the XP perks and the ration of crown store coins every month. That has changed. As I search though my starting town (I am horrible with names), I come across an NPC quest giver with a new task. He gives word of trouble in a new land, Wrothgar. Figuring out quickly this is the intro questline to the Orsinium DLC I instantly assume that I will not be able to partake in a productive manner until I am max level plus. Curiosity killed the khajiit though so I teleported to the new scene of the crime, and boy was I surprised. It seems as though level scaling is a thing so I can do the DLC when ever I please. This brought a smile to my face indeed. So often as players we come into an established MMO that has new expansions, levels, or in ESO’s case DLC. Me personally always instantly feel rushed to get to that new content, and more often than not burn out and move on. So I chose to stay in my new icy adventure and delve into a orcish tale of death, dishonor, and destruction.

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Cold but looking dapper in a group photo

Orsinium does a fantastic job right out of the gate at setting a new mood and tone. I have all but forgotten the problems of the lush green land of the elves, and now embraced the hash cold world of the orcs. The one thing that make this easy is that it doesn’t trample the other story it works nicely along side doing its own thing.

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Troll bait

 

Before I laid a foot in the orcish city of Orsinium with in the DLC I was distracted by the needs of a poor trader looking for a lost friend. As I have a weird fascination with the unknown I almost made it to said friend before stumbling into an absolutely breathtaking cave. Swatting demon dogs which lined the path as I spelunked along until I met a my first real challenge. I took a breath and engaged the troll, and eventually after a ballet of sword swings and spells, fell the beast. After exploring the whole cave and fighting another notable opponent in the form of a beast trainer, I had earned a skill point and was no closer to completing my real quest at hand. The great thing though is that it didn’t matter. I felt as though I had completed my own quest and that was far more satisfying. As I exited the cave and died to a few harpies I felt deflated again. Maybe it was my gear, lack of build, or lack of skill that got me snuffed. I was beginning to feel those urges to grind some levels and gear. I needed to get back on track and head to Orsinium and check what laid behind its walls, and fast before I did something like grind mobs.

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Feeling on top

I look back at my time with ESO so far and am perplexed. I should feel more of that anxiousness and wanting to be that ultimate hero with the best gear and skills. I don’t though. ESO is succeeding at something most if not all established MMORPG’s fail to do, and that is make new players feel welcome and included in all the game has to offer. With that I will see you next week for an new segment of MMO Monday with me, The Grimcanuck. Cheers!

 

 

We could be Heroes

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Roll again!

Kings and Heroes has dropped into the Steam early access ball pit of horrors and its kinda fun. A first person procedurally generated dungeon crawler at the moment, Kings and Heroes is set in the fantasy world of Everdale. You hack, slash and spam much magic in your quest to complete surprisingly difficult dungeons that are ever changing thanks to Industry Games on the fly level generator tech.

You are first dropped into a D&D style character creator where rolls determine starting stats and you can choose to be every shade of good or evil imaginable to flesh out your character. Aesthetically the character creator and the characters created by it are nice and show a good amount of polish this early in the development.  A variety of starting races with your generic holy trinity class system round out the creator which set the tone for the game well.

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Sword smoking as intended

 

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The grouping and social systems are functional and I had no problems adding friends and joining groups

 

When you first set foot in Everdale you are placed in a small town and social hub. It contains all the amenities of your usual MMORPG fare. An inn that was packed with player characters sitting on bar stools and around tables forming groups and chatting over the in game VOIP. It gave me a sense of community I have not experienced in a game in some time. Within my first couple minutes in Everdale I was invited to a group of wanna be heroes just like myself. Our fearless leader queued us up for a dungeon and we were off. Now the sound and the particle effects in the current state of the game do make it hard to A.) Hear when your fellow man/woman is talking using the in game chat and B.) See what the hell is happening with a ass ton of spells going off. Those things aside a foundation to a great game is here and it’s quite solid. I was loot mongering within minutes and seeing progression almost instantaneously. I threw away my Champions shield and placed another sword in its place and went to work. Now we didn’t actually finish any dungeon or cave. We usually died horribly. I was finding that our deaths were mostly a product of just YOLOing shit or not realizing we just pulled a boss until it was too late. We got better eventually as we fell into our roles as tank, healer, and dps. I got a new skill to taunt enemies which helped when I could land it and my group members worked frantically to keep me alive while kiting mobs I couldn’t grab up. We finally got tired and called it a night, but fun was had and the social experience was easy and painless to acquire.

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You can track group members through walls as they are outlined in green.

 

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Kings among men

I have only touched on the surface here because I never even left the starting city. Apparently there is an open world to explore as well. Enemy AI has been turned off there to boost performance its dungeon content. Like all Early Access games buyer beware because you never know. So far though the devs have been very open and have pushed out patches daily. Lets hope it stays that way.

If you are looking for a Diablo like loot system with Skyrim like combat with a world feel much like Darkfall Online then this may be worth your $30 on Steam. I am going to keep my nose in the door so stay tuned for more impressions as I continue to play Kings and Heroes.

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Champion of the graveyard

 

 

 

 

 

Google Chromecast Review: Aftermarket Upgrade

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So who here hates having to switch devices, wrestle with cords, or deal with sluggish unsupported smart TV’s to achieve their media streaming needs? I do. Google attempts to solve this problem with the small easy to set up  Google Chromecast. Retailing at my local Walmart for $45 CAD it wont break the bank and can change any unintelligent TV in to a smart.

 

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A rotation of random photos pop off the screen

 

Specs

Display: Supports up to a 1080p display

WiFi Support: 802.11b/g/n/ac @ 2.4/5 GHz

Power: Micro USB/ or micro USB to USB power supply included in the box

Requirements

Requires a TV with an open HDMI port and a router which supports 802.11b/g/n/ac @ 2.4/5 GHz. Also an active account to one or many of the supported streaming services or using DLNA  you can also use watch personal content off your home network. For DLNA I use a third-party app off of the Google Play store Avia. It installs on my android smart phone and can cast any shared supported media on my network.

Install Experience

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As you can see there is not alot of room between the wall and the TV

Out of the box it looks quite simple to set up and fortunately for me it was. This experience could vary based upon the display though. What made it easy for me was that I have USB ports to power the Chromecast right beside the HDMI inputs. In the case where a display does not have powered USB ports a power supply pack is included for the micro USB to USB cord to tap into a wall outlet.

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A slim design offers an easy fit

The Chromecast fits well in tight quarters and its usb and hdmi inputs have enough grab to hold it in place without having to fasten it down. The extra length of usb cord is neatly held coiled keeping it tidy. Now that’s it for the manual work! Now we just turn on the old TV and grab an app from iTunes or Google Play for our tablet or smart phone. If you do not own one of these there is an alternative set up program for use with your computer. It was painless. After connecting to my home network Chromecast updated itself and I was ready to go.

 

Better than stock

So to test this I grabbed an old Nexus 7 tablet from atop that dusty forgotten place where old tech goes to die and resurrected it in all its original glory. I loaded up Netflix and automatically was greeted with the cast button in the top right hand corner, press this and any selections will head to your TV. It’s very slick and the amount of app support is staggering. One major upgrade was the image quality. Now again results may vary but going from my 2012 Smart TV’s apps to the Chromecast was night and day. Whatever was acceptable in 2012 clearly isn’t anymore. Chromecast breathed new life into my display making it have that show room shine again. As for connectivity it is top-notch and I have not encountered any image degradation or freezing.

Extra +/-

+++If using Google Chrome  you can also cast your browser making it just that much more versatile.

—Using a private dns? Too bad. Well there is a work around so you can acquire streaming services from out of country. It does require some know how and editing of router settings. I believe it may not be possible on all routers.

+++Works flawlessly with purchased media from the Play Store. I purchased a movie for my son and had it on the screen in no time.

+++Able to repurpose old tablets or touchscreens as a dedicated TV media controller

Final Thoughts

Its combination of ease of use and ever-growing catalog of supported apps makes it a great addition to my entertainment center. Having this little guy hide behind my TV and do all the heavy lifting is refreshing and its app integration makes my user experience just that much more fluid. If you are looking for an all in one way of streaming your favorite media to your living room then I would highly recommend the Google Chromecast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

MMO Monday: A return to Tamriel

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It has been sometime since I logged into TESO. It was shortly after launch when I either lost interest or more likely didn’t have time for it. I recently decided things have settled enough around here to sink my teeth into an MMO. The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited is now B2P with a membership option. ESO also has a growing catalog of DLC which is yours for the taking with the ESO Plus membership. It is also attainable with Crowns via the Crown store, ESO’s cash shop. I will on the DLC at a later date as I am starting fresh with a new character and am in no rush. My goal here is to enjoy the game. I set some ground rules for myself.

1. Listen to or read the quests.

2.Do not loot everything in sight. (I tend to think if I can pick it up I must have it)

3. Take time to explore.

4. Find some people in game to play with

5. Listen to or read the quests, JUST DO IT!

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Lots of pretty

What’s Better

OK so there is Grimcanuck. Well a medieval bad ass who wields a sword version. Beautiful is all I can say. It could just be me but it seems as though the game has had a little bit of work done to it on the visual side of things. I remember my initial reaction after launch was one of mild disappointment. It just seems shinier now. Shiny is good and so is fluidity and movement in an action combat game, ESO has definitely improved here. My sword swings seem to transition between skills quite well, but still seem a little clunky going from melee to a cast skill. Understandable I would like to see anybody smoothly swing a sword while pulling a fireball out of their ass. Ass balls of fire aside I am impressed and wish this would have been the game I had encountered at launch. Onward!

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Swords and lightning generally don’t mix

Story Time

So I am one of those guys usually who spams through the quest text and could care less to why he is slaughtering a bunch of elves on a beach. See rule 1 and 5. This is one thing that I have now kicked myself for doing with my initial honeymoon with ESO. I realize at least in the early game that it has enough going for it story wise to keep me on my toes. I find my self caring why I am slaughtering these elves. I won’t spoil it but I am also made to choose between letting someone live or die. I am curious if my choices will have impact in the story down the road. This remains to be seen. One character that describes himself as a simple khajiit Razum-dar is particularly intriguing. It is nice to have that feeling of wanting to see what the story holds rather than watching an experience bar fill.

Crown College

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I could have bought the wedding dress

Before we get to far along I also wanted to have a brief look at the crown store and ESO Plus. The crown store offers a variety of things from DLC to vanity pets. It seems to my layman eyes the only advantage that can be bought is XP scrolls, inventory and mount upgrades. This doesn’t bother me one bit because who cares if buddy got there quicker, I am taking the slow lane. So I had some crowns left in my wallet from the B2P transition and my ESO Plus sub I plopped down. I bought a three pack of skins that was on sale for 700 crowns. I do like the variety of skins but it does take away from that sense of accomplishment from earning cool gear in-game. That brings me to ESO Plus which is you standard 14.99 USD a month mmo subscription price. With it you get 1500 crowns a month, access to all DLC, and 10% bonus to XP ,gold gain, crafting research and inspiration. I had to look it up but inspiration is crafting XP. So far so good, I saw no real P2W and it walks the line rather nimbly. I can see myself buying a mount or two but I don’t know how pressured I will be to buy quality of life items such as inventory, time will tell.

New Beginnings

It is always nice to return to a place to see it has changed for the better or has become closer to what you have always envisioned it. ESO has done that in my opinion. I want to log back in right now and see how I can assist the Queen and her simple khajiit Razum-dar. I still have many questions that I hope to start to answer next week. First of which is group content at low levels and how accessible is it for a new or returning player. I am going to try to stick this out for as long as it holds my attention. Check back in next MMO Monday for a look at how life is looking in Tamriel with the Grimcanuck.

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Am I ESO’s drunken uncle?

 Continue with part 2 Digesting DLC

 

 

 

 

Missing the mark?

Landmark is still a thing and it is launching June 10th. I originally bought the founders pack off steam way back when it was first offered and EQ Next was still a thing. It has sat in the rotting pit that is my steam library until now. Today I look at what Landmark is shaping up too look like for its official release.

Character Creation

Out of the gate I am initially pleased with the character models and the 3 choices you have for a starting outfit. I am less impressed with the level of customization though. No real height slider just big and bigger and 6 faces if you include both genders. It does offer up a fair amount of hair and beard options though. All said and done I settle on the SciFi gear and move on.

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Fantasy Gear

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Western Gear

 

 

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SciFi Gear

 

Feet on the ground

As I am dropped in to my new playground an epic stringed symphony sets the mood just right for my first crash to desktop. Lets try this again. Well as I return I realize the UI scaling at 4K will make this a tall order to grasp tutorial, so I go to adjust the resolution to one that scales better with Landmark. Yup you guessed it, another crash. Being still in beta I can forgive for now. Just going to have to squint. OK back in game. As I make my first few steps atop my fresh new claim I am greeted by some serious lag and some graphical glitches and then another crash. With that I am off to look at some forums to see if its on my end. Well unfortunately it seems I am not the only one with issues.

Real Talk

So Landmark has some bugs to squash. With a release date set in less than two weeks from now I am beginning to think Daybreak has intentions outside of making a fun game to play. Even at a price of admission of $9.99 I would steer clear for now. I will make an update on launch day to see if any last minute heroics can change my mind or even show hope to a possible future for Landmark. With my founders pack I will be given a 48hr headstart so I should have an update before launch.

Head of Steam

“It’s a SALE!”, and now for my pavlovian response. Like a dog to a bell I clamor through the endless digital stack of games I either have never heard of before or had no interest in. At deals like this who can resist. Akin to the man/woman rifling through the bargain DVD bin at your local big box store I have no peripheral just a view to a kill.

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It’s bad enough for the a lot of us with the steady stream of highly hyped content and now highly hyped incomplete games via early access. It seems Steam is habit forming, and not in a healthy way. Many will yell, “Have some self control man!”, but I am beyond that.

I am beginning to realize like a number of things marketed to my age group, nostalgia is what is getting me. I am from a time where the internet was non existent. Where purchasing a game meant walking into a “mom and pop” shop and asking the man behind the counter what was cool and then inspecting the back of each box to work towards a decision. Where gamers now debate about the validity of their purchases on forums was then me and my brother humming and hawing over the flashy graphics and clever wording on the box. Many a times regrets were had, blood was spilled and tears were shed over particularly hard decisions. Those regrets are still there, the blood being my ever dwindling bank account, and the tears I splatter this blog, the reddits and forums of the net with.

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There is something oddly comforting, like a warm blanket when skimming through a summer sale that I get nowhere else in this world. It’s sick I know. Am I alone probably not.

4K Ready…or not?

Well it seems like I am behind the times again. I read today that Sharp is offering an 8K TV to the masses. Well that is if you have 133K in your budget. This pales in comparison to my new pc monitor which is a measly 4K. Today I am going to look at how seamless my jump to 3840 x 2160 has been. To do this I am going to look at 2 new games that just hit the streets this week, Overwatch and Total War: Warhammer. I will be looking at many things from UI scaling to optimization and ease of use at 4K. Now to show you what I am working with.

The Details

 

20160526_130214The monitor: 28″ Acer XB280HK UHD 4K2K G-Sync

CPU: i5 6700K @Stock

RAM: DDr4 2666 16G

Graphics: SLI MSI GTX 980 GAMING 4G

The Games

Total War: Warhammer

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Having never played a Total War game in my life I was lost at first especially when I set the res to glorious 4k. The developers failed to think of my entitled 30 something ass. No UI scaling. This means that the game does look phenomenal but I cannot read the text and no its not just because I am old. This was a let down having to knock back the res to non native 1440p or even 1080p to make out the tutorial text and all the other little things that make this game tick. UI scaling has probably been my biggest gripe so far with 4K. It was quite the shock that a game that boasts technology advancements like upcoming DX12 support doesn’t scale its UI to 4k. Other than that the typical things like waiting for driver and SLI support plague this game. In the end though it really is a blast and I soon forget about the resolution problems.

Overwatch

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On the other end of the spectrum we have Overwatch. If you don’t know Overwatch is Blizzards new “digital crack” arena shooter that reminds me of Team Fortress 2 and this is why I love it. I also love it because on top of being fun and easy to pick up it is also optimized more than any other recent release I have played. I set it to 4k, cranked up the graphics and watched a frame rate that never even wobbled below 60. I really thought something was wrong, this could not be real. After hearing people scream how 4k gaming was so demanding and nothing short of SLI 980ti’s would give playable framerates, I was doing it and it looked unbelievable.

My Thoughts

Being an enthusiast is hard sometimes. Personally there is something about banging your head against the wall trying to eek the most out of your rig. I am beginning to think more and more though that this shouldn’t have to be. I need to think more about the game and not the resolution I play at. As I type that I laugh and say ya fucking right. All I can think about is playing TWW @ 4k. Anyways I am going to go drag forums and fill search bars in search of a work around or mod now.

Have fun in the fray folks!