Started Immortals Fenyx Rising two days ago and it really is a gorgeous game. I know everyone keeps saying Assassins Creed meets Breath of the Wild. It’s true though. Great humor too. Looks gorgeous on PS5
So the Game Awards happened, and among other news was the next Smash DLC character (hint: villain) and a new trailer for Monster Hunter Rise ... of course, the latter isn't coming out for a few months yet (but there will be a demo!)....
Otherwise, not much to report for today.
Beat the Zaejin region in Gems of War, which primarily featured Goblins (and their assortment of "gain an extra turn" spells/skills). As I've said earlier, these types of skills tend to be lower-tier than others, but when the CPU teams are scaled higher than you are, they still hurt. And some of them can be charged particularly fast. Luckily for me, I recently acquired a Blue weapon that can strike and freeze an enemy (negating at least some extra turns).
There was also a dangerous wildcard in the form of the "Black Beast", a Green/Brown troop whose ability Devours a fellow ally on its own team. Devour is a one-hit kill that additionally adds ALL of the victim's stats to the user, so it can become exceptionally dangerous if left unchecked.
And AGAIN, despite having trouble against a few CPU teams during the area's quirky questline I prepared and took down the boss with relatively little trouble.
In the meantime, I specifically farmed Traitstones to unlock one passive trait for Amira (nothing special yet, but her next trait is "Stealthy" which will be a massive help for her survivability) and Roc (now fully traited).
Also got a new event pet, "Minfernus" or something. It's on fire and it's cute, and it even comes with a bonus. It doesn't buff you in combat directly, but it does buff your Kingdom Bonus (one of few things the game doesn't give you at least some explanation of); other pets tend to just be cosmetic.
Starting to acquire some really interesting Weapon cards, at least, like one called the "Dragonfire staff" or something. Deals "Mana Burn" (10 + enemy's current Mana charge as damage) followed by actual Burn status, and if it kills the target directly you transform into a random Dragon. However, this latter effect (though cool) is generally not too useful because (and the game does explain this) when a card Transforms, its level may be capped to the current level of whatever target card it transforms into. E.g. if I transform from a Lv.20 Hero into a Dragonette, I have her card at Lv.17 so the transformation caps at Lv.17; my Silver Drakon is only Lv.10 so Transforming into that would get capped at Lv.10. And it he transforms into a card I don't otherwise have yet ... ouch, Lv.1.
Picked up "Monster Sanctuary" on a weekend sale but playing it will be later. Part Pokemon-like, part sidescroller, all pixelart.
Completed the story quest in Glacial Peaks. Opposing teams frequently featured Fey and Beasts, a lot of Blue Mana users and a lot of Frozen status ailment, but now that Amira has the Stealthy perk (exempt from manual spell targetting) she just started wrecking things. It also helps that I equipped my Hero with a Weapon called "Anu's Sceptre" -- remove/collect all gems of a single color, similar to Clockwork Sphinx (and boy do the two make a powerful combo for charging team members fast). Really didn't encounter much trouble in this region at all ... a surprise or two, but most battles were over on the first try, and even the boss (against a Queen Mab and her blue dragon Borealis, among two other cards) nothing needed more than 2 attempts. Weird, but that's been my luck in general, and it's still holding out.
No new additions to the rotation currently, but I am definitely considering farming out the passive traits on more of my regulars first. Next region to visit is "Ghulvania", which features a lot of Undead typed characters. That will finish this tier of story progression and unlock the next (which includes the Raksha catpeople's homeland, known as "Pride Lands").
Also, while you generally unlock a "Class Quest" after completing a region's questline, for some regions (notably Shentang and Blighted Lands) it only tells you "Class quest: coming soon". Turns out their class quests just become available after completing later tiers in the story.
[Update] Welp, Ghulvania didn't take long at all. A few unexpected battles against Templar and Paladins were a mean combination to fight, but the mainly Undead-themed enemy teams were otherwise not too difficult, especially with Dimetrexia to keep everyone burning. I've now unlocked all kingdoms on the map, as confirmed by the game itself.
In other news, MH is uploading Rise editions of weapon showcase trailers, with the first two being Bow and Dual Blades. (When will they cover Charge Blade and Lance, I wonder...) Bow keeps the Dragon Piercer and Dual Blades keeps the "beyblade" aerial attack.
Initially completely disregarded it because sci-fi and what they were showing at the time was very meh to me. Then delay, then another delay, then I kinda forgot about it until a couple days before release when people were talking about it again. Looked into it again, found out there's some neato features and I can avoid the sexings, plus I have nothing else to do with my time right now and desperately need distractions... So I spent money I shouldn't have and got it.
I'm 36hrs in as of writing. Doesn't say much about my progress though, because I keep getting sidetracked by quests and exploring and just generally being in awe of things. Oh, and crashing... Lots and lots of crashing... Probably the buggiest game I've ever played. The only thing that could rival it is Ark when it first came out because, while it didn't crash, you were lucky to get 20fps at best, regardless of system and settings. Another comparison I see a lot is Bethesda games because they're infamous for being buggy messes, but at least they're playable. Cyberpunk crashes on me every 20-30 minutes if I'm in the central area, I can go 1-2 hours without a crash outside of it. Needless to say, me and the F5 button have become besties. B)
props to markiplier for getting me into what I always enjoyed to play
Simulators where I get to play god and see what bests ways I got to have fun and destroy a "human being"
don't worry, I always try to reverse my doings by reviving them.
As promised the other day, started playing Monster Sanctuary. Nothing too difficult so far...
No sooner do you name your character, the game prompts you to pick one of four creatures to be your "starter"; the lore describes these as special "Spectral" monsters immortally tied to four family bloodlines (one of them yours; the other three are seen in the companionship of friend/rival NPCs). Not only are they your first creature but they are also an NPC who gives you your first tutorials (and you can consult for a reminder of your current main objective).
Battle system is simple so far ... and the game isn't afraid to tell you a monster's elemental matchups right out of the gate. The game's elements are classical (leaf/earth, thunder/wind, fire, water/ice) and seem to be arranged in opposing pairs, with a given monster being vulnerable to one and resistant to another; monsters tend to have access to two elements (plus a "neutral" element) for attacks.
Combat moves tend to inflict multiple hits by default, and this builds up a "Combo" meter that boosts the effect (damage or healing) of your next move in the same turn. Which moves a given monster can learn is determined by four Skill Trees, some of which are shared between several monsters.
Certain monsters are dubbed "Champions"; these are boss monsters with boosted stats from their normal counterparts, and can take multiple actions per turn.
And all monsters have some kind of ability you can use in the field to help explore, find secrets, etc. -- for example, flying monsters can levitate your player (for a few moments) to assist in jumps.
And, apparently the similarities between Gems of War and Puzzle Quest are more than just striking, because (according to its store page) it's actually made by the same team!
Apparently this originally released in ... 2014? WOW.
Version was recently updated to 5.2.5 (Switch), which lags behind the Steam version by about a month but no big deal.
One major tweak (started with 5.2.0) is to its "Arena" mode:
- Your Hero no longer participates in this mode. (even without a Class, being able to bring a late/endgame Weapon apparently dominated it too much.) Instead, you get to pick an Epic-tier troop for your arena team.
- "Difficulty" option was removed.
- Overall length reduced from 8 victories to 6 (with corresponding adjustments to rewards).
And according to the game's official update notes:
- More consistent difficulty in Arena mode
- Special Offer if you won at least 5 battles (+10% discount if you won 6). Today it offered a variety of Arcane Traitstones (the rarest tier) and I had enough Gems stockpiled to afford it. I kinda miss being given the option to purchase the team (I was actually saving Gems for one such occasion), but whatever.
I really need to start farming out Traitstones to get various troops fully Traited, because that's a requirement for upgrading the Power level of regions. Ironically, it's the Minor Traitstones I'm always super short on (they're easy to farm, but still).
The Steam winter sale just hit so I ended up buying a bunch of indie games with a gift card I had. The games I got were Timespinner, Wonderboy: The Dragon's Trap, Ori and the Will of Wisps, and Streets of Rage 4. I think I'm going to go back and finish the first Ori game so I can play through the sequel.
Sephiroth releases today, but over the weekend I booted up Smash Ultimate for the first time in a while and did the "Sephiroth Challenge". Defeating him on Normal took three tries; afterwards I swept Easy, then started bouncing off of Very Hard for awhile. I eventually did defeat him on Very Hard but it was by complete accident -- I picked Ike (not a good matchup, apparently) and not 10 seconds into the match I'm sent flying off, I legitimately attempt to recover but Sephiroth gets in the way, then red freeze-frame and "Game!" in my favor.
Yeah, I defeated Sephiroth with Aethercide.
I later bested Very Hard a second time, with Marth, in a time of just 16sec by somehow knocking Sephiroth so far offstage that not even Octoslash could save him.
Been playing Underworld areas his week; Werewoods and Hall of Guardisns are complete.
Underworld areas feature one minor tweak to the gameplay where the board has a few squares occupied by inert blocks that slightly limit the area you can match gems in. (But you can clear them with explosions.)
After clearing the (relatively short) questline, you unlock a mode called "Delves". Access to this mode is limited by a "Delve Token" (e.g. about 3 runs per day). You are required to assemble a team based on a restriction (like eligible mana color), then you proceed through a dungeon map of rooms. Every time you beat the cpu team in a room, this stacks one passive buff onto all future battles during the run, but it also increases the overall rewards for your run.
However, the biggest difference in a Delve is that you can't edit the cards in your team in the middle of the run. While your team does start each battle at full status, any Troops that get defeated are left behind and you must continue without them. But by the same rule, any Transformations or Summons you perform also persist from one battle to the next!
Delve rewards include "Chaos Shards", a currency of sorts that you can spend to acquire Troop cards of the area in question.
Welp, starting today Gems of War just went full Christmas mode.
- Different BGM for the game's main map screen.
- Boss BGM changed out for a "Carol of the Bells" remix
- Skull tiles randomly feature reindeer horns, elf or Santa hats
Quest-wise, I just completed Sword's Edge, which sees you accompanying a zany Raksha on a personal journey to succeed at four challenges. Not the first so colorfully questionable ally, either (your NPC ally in Zaejin had a similar story). Definitely had some trouble against cpu teams composed largely of Wolf Knights and/or Knights Coronets, but my team's strange luck of defeating the end boss on the first try came through once again (despite them approaching Lv.30 by now). That leaves only two kingdoms left on the map: Pridelands (home of the Raksha catfolk) and Merlantis (take a guess), with a possibility of whatever the game has for a finale.
Afterwards, did some event battles -- this week is a "Tower of Doom", comparable to Delves in a way that you are given a map with an arrangement of rooms and a boss at one end; the main difference from a Delve is that every battle is independent from each other (no persistent effects). Restriction was yellow mana users only, for which I assembled a team led by Roc (fully traited) and for once actually got some decent mileage from him. Strangely, if you put your Hero on the team you don't seem to be restricted to a matching weapon (though there have been events where such a restriction does apply).
Version notes (on PC) mention changes to the overall difficulty levels in various modes (notably Arena), but I'm starting to wonder if some of these apply just in general. I've seen a few cases where the cpu actually ignores a potential extra tun (i.e. match of 4 or 5) and many cases where the cpu will wait a turn before activating a spell (previously it would usually activate a spell immediately when fully charged).
Picked up Project Warlock on steam's winter sale. It's a really neat Wolfenstein 3D like FPS with retro style graphics, loads of upgradable weapons and magic powers one can acquire throughout the game.
So in Gems of War I've now completed every kingdom on the map (and unlocked all classes); this didn't unlock a super final area or anything, but whatevs ... for now.
Went back and challenged the underworld area "Fang Moor" again. Literally EVERYTHING you fight in this area inflicts Bleed (both actively AND passively, troop depending), but somehow my team's luck pulled through this time ... not at all like my first attempt.
It seems that the underworld "Factions" have only four cards each, and you're introduced to a new one with each stage of the quest. By the time you fight the region boss, you're facing all four faction troops as a team.
New cards I've been using:
- Ice arrow (weapon): Double damage against red mana users! Otherwise not really special, other than its color (blue/green) which complements my other regulars quite well..
- Incubus: Incubus is dead weight on base stats but its skill deals Charm damage to two opponents, meaning they inflict their full attack power in damage on adjacent troops. So, because its power effectively scales by the opponent and not you, it's proven VERY useful in this week's Raid Boss event.
Other cards I've thought about using:
- Sheggra's Heart: Cleanse all allies of status ailments? Cool, would've helped a lot in Fang Moor, but fairly unspectacular outside of that.
- Nullifictaion Orb: Reduces an enemy's Magic power to zero outright (like Web). Cool! Would definitely help against enemies whose spells feature major damage numbers (though not against boost calculations).
I've also leveled the Soulforge mode up to Lv.10 for a full menu of crafting options, including none other than Zuul'Goth which is the card featured as the Raid boss. The normal version of its skill is still lethal to one opponent, but its secondary effects differ from the raid version. And, uniquely, Zuul'goth seems to be the only card with "Boss" as its sole base type (boss versions of normal cards are always "Boss" + base type).
Which reminds me, I really should put together a Stealthy Summoner card sometime, as that seems to be Zuul'goth's major weak point.
In Gems of War, this week there was a new creature (Wyrmling, a baby dragon) available in the "Pet Rescue" event and I actually farmed it to completion.
The cpu teams in this event were blue teams centered around Scylla. Great news for Amira in the first few rounds with her double damage against blue users, but I absolutely had to start changing strategies after that.
At round 7, the cpu is up to Lv.80 which is, quite frankly, ridiculous. However the specific team I was fighting wasn't much threat, with its only usable colors being Green, Blue, and Purple -- blue being common to all of them, but the first two cards (both Coral Golems) having Green and Scylla having Purple. And Coral Golem's skill is fairly low-tier (explode 1 gem, armor+life buff) meaning their only real threat is Skull damage (from the cpu's overleveled attack power).
I eventually discovered a strategy to level the field: There's a weapon card ("Mang") which strips ALL armor from the target before inflicting (relatively minor) damage, but it adds that armor (at a 1:1 ratio) to your hero's Attack. So, like Warlord's Battlecry, this benefit effectively scales with your opponent's level, making it great against teams that outlevel you. The only hitch? Attack is generally only relevant for matching Skull tiles, so you need to be good (and lucky) at lining up Skulls to actually hit your opponent. And if your hero gets knocked out, you'd better have a backup plan ready.
Regardless, despite requiring very many attempts, I finally beat the cpu teams at Lv.80 and Lv.100 for the guaranteed pet reward (instead of just a chance at the pet reward, as you get for earlier rounds).
I'm thinking this weapon should prove useful against raid boss Zuul'goth, too, as if an opponent has roughly equal Life and Armor scores then this weapon can two-shot them regardless of level.