Friday, December 12, 2014

[Review] Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

Long time no see, people! I have been busy and as such have not had time to write a review really, so here's a new one for you!

Crystal Dynamics is the developer of this game and Square Enix published the game. Crystal Dynamics is also the developer of the 2013 version of Tomb Raider, which was excellent, and I wish I could do a review for it. Maybe if I ever have the time, one day.

(There were actually people who refused to play the 2013 Tomb Raider game due to the character not having large breasts, which I find outrageous, because the game was great, and you should feel bad for having that opinion. But it's your opinion, so whatever, have fun in la-la land, you chumps.)

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is not what most people thought it was going to be, and it isn't what I thought it was going to be either. I nabbed the game and immediately started playing it, and wouldn't you know it, it was an isometric, almost top-down, slightly role-playing, rooty-tooty-point n' shooty. However, as with all "Tomb Raider" games, there were puzzles galore, and each one harder than the last... sort of. My point here is I was expecting another 2013 "Tomb Raider" when in fact, it was definitely far off the mark from that. But there is quite another mark it landed on, and that's fun factor.

I am not good with puzzles, at all, and had to look to Youtube and Google for help with some of them, but even then I figured out most of them on my own, so it's to say that the game isn't for people looking for hardcore puzzling like some Tomb Raider games have. However, still when I figured out the puzzles, even if I had to look them up, there was definitely a sense of achievement.

The game looks decent for the most part, and definitely does not skimp on any action whatsoever, or particles in the graphics for that matter. While recording, I had some framerate issues unfortunately which you'll see in the video at the end of the post.

So the story for the game basically entails Lara Croft discovering a tomb (of course, because loltombraider) that belongs to the Egyptian god, Osiris. However, they find out that Osiris was killed by Set, his brother, out of jealousy or something, even though Set got all the attention he friggin' wanted from ANYONE. So he trapped Osiris's body in a staff and Lara uses the staff throughout the game to solve many puzzles and the like. Also, upon discovering the staff with an archaeologist she was with at the time, who consequently touched the staff and cursed Lara and himself, they loosed Horus, son of Osiris, and Isis, who was Osiris's wife (is, I guess.). When they touched the staff, they also unleashed Set into the world, but he is trapped in the pyramid's tombs gathering his power, waiting for the right time to strike out into the world of man.

So as Lara Croft you basically have to go around and put Osiris back together, since Set carved up Osiris after killing him at some point in the distant past, and put all of his body parts into several conveniently located tombs in the area. These tombs are gathered around one center focal point, which is where you bring the body parts back to place on pedestals to assist Osiris in the fight against Set. That's pretty much the entire game, but the developers have made a right go of it and have a gem (pun intended, you'll see why in the next section) on their hands, in my opinion.

The RPG mechanics in the game are few and far in-between, but generally the main RPG aspect is the gear you can collect. Most weapons are handed to you on a silver platter extremely easily, but most of the gear you can get is easy to acquire and you can even run through the game just with the dual pistols/pistol and torch combo for some levels, it's fairly easy. There is also a mechanic in the game to break vases with gunfire, as the vases drop gems (rupees from Zelda anyone? Lol. Also, PUN CONNECTION!) and you gather them up and you get points for collecting them, but there is actually a counter for each gem that you collect. That counter goes towards a total, where at the end of each level, or even as you run around the main temple area, you can open chests that have pieces of gear inside. Gear consists of 2 wearable rings, an amulet, and 3 slots for weapons. I'd honestly recommend sticking with the dual pistols where they're at and changing the other two slots, but it's up to other people what they want to do. Chests range from 100 gems a chest, to 1,000 gems a chest. The 1,000 gem chests are at the end of each level besides the first level, and usually have a decent quality item inside, better than the other chests. I believe the scale goes 100, 250, 500, 1,000.

I believe that's all to say about the game, have some gameplay!




Tuesday, December 2, 2014

[Random] A Tad Bit About Euro Truck 2's Multiplayer Mod

So I recently got back into playing Euro Truck 2, and decided to try to get into playing the Multiplayer mod. However it seems like I'm just playing single player on it.

The employees eventually bug out and don't earn you money.

The game doesn't let you do Quick Jobs (which are jobs where you can just pick up and drive instead of driving your own rig to a place to pick up cargo and deliver it).

The game freezes where you were when you log off and then takes out money in a lump sum from your loans to pay back the bank even though your employees aren't making money while you're offline.

To un-bug your employees you have to "drive" their truck then go back to your truck and continue your game (is the impression I got so far from the forums).

All in all, an extreme hassle. Also, nobody talks on the servers either so it's just extremely boring all around. There is also no traffic on the multiplayer servers, I.E. other cars you have to go around, etc.

Euro Truck 2 is an excellent game, and one people should play. Just don't bother with the multiplayer until it's way more developed, hopefully. Progress seems to be pretty slow on it so I don't think it will ever get that far.

Buy Euro Truck 2!

Friday, July 18, 2014

[Review] Assassin's Creed 4


Yeah, I'm sure you knew this review was coming. I've been playing a lot of AC3 over the past week, maybe week and a half since I bought it and didn't want to leave it unplayed... like the other 100 games in my Steam library, but nonetheless I wanted to play it since I liked the setting of AC3. At least, how it sounded.

Anyway, AC4 is a much better game than AC3 all around in every aspect whatsoever! 

"Ubisoft made a decent game?"

"OH GOD THE WORLD IS ENDING"

Yep.

So the crafting is better, the story is better, the naval gunplay is better, general gunplay is better, everything is better. Combat too, an important part of Assassin's Creed games.

The game is about an Edward Kenway, who goes off from his life with his pretty good looking wife for a guy like Kenway, to go be a pirate. He talks about his father wanting to be a privateer in the King's Navy or some shit and apparently he never did so he wants to be better than his dad I guess, I dunno.

Anyway, so he gets wrapped up in the conflict between Templars and Assassins by accident, since he wasn't looking for a particular person or anything, just floating from island to island. I believe this takes place in the caribbean too but I'm not really sure to be honest. However it gets to the point where you can really just tell that Edward was meant to assist the assassins.

I just have one problem with the beginning of the game, as Edward has had no prior assassin training, yet he runs like an assassin. This baffled me at the beginning of the game as it was really weird to see. 

Anyway, so the story is about Edward getting wrapped up in Assassin and Templar affairs to the point he becomes an Assassin himself. He doesn't like doing it however as he's more of one of those 'free spirits' or whatnot but he always gets tangled in stuff anyway. Also I believe this is set somewhere in the 1800's as it's definitely not the 1900's, possibly the same time that AC3 is set in, maybe a little bit afterwards, I am not sure. Anyhoo, I'm not sure how to go about describing the story other than everyone pretty much dies besides a woman on Edward's crew and himself, along with a decent amount of the Assassin population. That pretty much entails the story, to be honest, if you play it, you'll just see what I mean by "everyone dies".

However, I found the real world in the game more intriguing and better than AC1, 2, and 3. You play as a nameless, faceless person who works at Abstergo, testing the Animus and testing the memories of Edward Kenway. One can only assume that by doing this, the person playing it (I.E. the anonymous person you're playing as) has a relation to the Kenways, but I'm not sure as there's no I.D. card or anything that tells you who you are, so eh. It's just a theory.

That being said, in the real world there's a guy named John who happens to work slightly for the Assassins... in a Templar building. But he's head of IT, so no one can eavesdrop on him. However he has you deliver various recordings to, I think her name is Rebecca? Who grabs them from the tablet you carry around with you and leaves. Also the techie guy from the last game, AC3 is also in the building and is sort of like, "reception" even though he's not, it's never really defined who he is. I didn't know who these people were because it's been awhile since I've played AC1 and AC2, but I knew who they were from AC3 because they worked with Desmond... and were significantly less whiny, I'll say that, jesus christ.

Anyway so John has you sneak into a bunch of crap and you're also able to hack other Animuses (Animusi? Animus? Plural?) and get information about what happened to Desmond and such, A lot of it was interesting because I hadn't played AC3 yet, so I read everything I could get my hands on about it. Hours worth of reading in there, I have to say, Ubisoft did an awesome job with the lore of these games. They may be copy+pasted, but goddamn the lore is off the chain!

Anyway, at the end of the game, some stuff happens to John and you keep your job. You're also still alive, yay! So you still get to explore the offices and hack the computers for information, etc. There's 33 computers to hack but I can't find where the other like, 22 are, it's weird. Ah well I'll look at a youtube guide later probably. Anyway, there's a decent amount of stuff to do in this game, for sure.

There's buried treasure, collecting items (chests and other things), doing assassination contracts (which are a lot more formal than AC3, running to the guy and smacking them with your axe and doing 5 of them and getting 2000 reales. (The fuck is this) and collecting animal pelts for crafting. Oh and sailing, they really nailed the sailing. Though it honestly feels less... satisfying taking ships down in this game, but I'm not complaining about the aiming mechanics because it was really frustrating in AC3 for sure, but it was satisfying when you took a man 'o war down or another boat, etc. I'm not saying it's not satisfying doing it in AC4, 'cause once you build your ship up, she's goddamn impenetrable unless you're really careless with things and inventory, I.E. Heavy shot and mortars. They did implement other weapons for the boats into this game which I'm glad to see, makes things a lot more interesting for sure, in ship-fighting.

Nonetheless, the crafting system is very well done in this one. None of that "homestead" shit, you're a goddamn pirate and you know how to make stuff! YEAH! ARRRR! You can expand your inventory to very large portions and go for awhile without needing to restock (15 unit dart pouches are AWESOME). They did a good job with the crafting in this, and I hope they don't change it for future Assassin's Creed games.

Ah... I think that's it? Oh, community events! So if you have a bunch of people on your UPlay friends list, they can come across special events on the map, such as chests with large amounts of money in them (about 1000 reales), white whales to get white whale skin for crafting (buying a skin will run you 20,000 reales, but sometimes you need it so... yep), and Royal Convoys. Royal convoys usually have anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 reales in them, so it makes for good money. However, friends on your friends list have to sail across these/find these in towns to show up on your map and vice versa, so just be aware. And make sure to fill up your Uplay friends list!

I realize a lot of my reviews have been very jump-around lately but whatever, I'm just trying to get points across:

A: Good Game!
B: "Eh" game.
C: Bad Game.

So yeah. I may also add things down the line for both my AC3 and AC4 reviews as I haven't played AC4 in awhile and I'm still working on AC3's collectables.

However, AC4 is a great game. If anyone from Ubisoft reads this, or whatnot, keep this style of game up and just copy+paste into other AC games, damn it!

I'd highly recommend it at full price, or on sale, either or.

Purchase it here:


And don't forget to sign up for Amazon Prime!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

[Review] Assassin's Creed 3

Genre: RPG

Assassin's Creed 3 is a game set in the colonial era, in a setting between two secret societies that have been carried over from Assassin's Creed 1 and 2, namely the Assassins and Templars. The character you play who controls Connor inside the Animus, a virtual reality machine capable of exploring stories through people's DNA, is Desmond Miles, who is, in my opinion, a whiny, careless guy who doesn't give a hot shit about anyone else, ever, in the game. Which is why the ending is supposed to be so explosive, I guess?

Assassin's Creed 3 was developed by Ubisoft and their various sections of Ubisoft who seem to have just slapped together this game. I'm not going into the details of Ubisoft because they seem to just butcher or copy everything they put out.

Assassin's Creed 3 starts with some of Desmond's stuff, etc in real life. The Templars and Assassins are alive and well in the modern day world, and it seems with Templars in power and the Assassins undermining them at every turn, as it is in other Assassin's Creed games. I can't really remember what happens and I'm not going to go back through this piece of work game to get the information, but I'll sum it up in that the character Desmond plays as in Assassin's Creed 3, Connor, is every bit naive and a little less whiny than Desmond is. However the gameplay doesn't leave too much to be desired... on consoles. But according to the general public, the game does have a ton of bugs, none of which are good and a lot are game-breaking, though they seem to be in the beginning of the game and based on your machine's hardware. If you have a great or good machine, you should be fine. If not, you're on your own with Google search results as Ubisoft does not support AC3 anymore.

Anyway, the first thing I did was hop in the Animus, because I absolutely detest Desmond and wanted to get right into the experience. The game does do a... job on delivering the AC experience, however. But I can't really say if it's good or bad, because I know some people like the AC3 experience and some don't. I seem to be in neutral territory. See, I'd have no problem with the game as long as:

A.) Horse spurring worked (Spurring your horse to go faster while already at a gallop, it can make or break a chase, especially for one mission in the campaign where you essentially have to 'cheat' the system by going backwards...)
B.) Synchronize viewpoints revealed everything on the map. They don't, in this. Or rather, they only reveal a 'few' things on the map. 

More in depth on the viewpoints: You have to uncover viewpoints via running around FIRST, then you can use viewpoints to uncover other viewpoints... sometimes.

The rest of the collectables you have to purchase through maps that show locations or such through the general stores or find them on your own. However, there is no map for viewpoints, only blank spots on the map where you have to go find either the viewpoint for that area (or viewpoints in some cases) or you have to actually walk into the area and uncover most of it, or a little of it if you're lucky, to find a collectable. Also, chests are not uncovered and neither are the pages you have to collect along with... I think that's it actually. But there are a TON of each thing, and the developers didn't exactly think about the routes for the pages to run as sometimes they go across an entire street that you can't exactly just jump across to follow. (The pages move and you have to chase them)

The storyline follows Haytham Kenway through, a beginning of sorts where you find out he meets up with his buddies searching for a Precursor site with an amulet they think is a key for it. You find out later what side they're on, however you can pretty much guess the Native American guy on the cover is the assassin, so you can guess what side Haytham is on. (Interesting connection but one nonetheless, Haytham is son of Edward Kenway, who is the main character of AC4. I like exploring family lines like that, it's interesting to see.) Haytham ends up having sex with a Native American woman he rescues from the British from a slave camp named some really long Native American name but she has Haytham call her Ziio for short. Then, perspective switches from playing Haythem to Ziio in the loading screen, to playing Connor Haytham as a child.

I'm gonna skip ahead a bit here to the point where you actually start playing in the open world, because the game holds your hand to a point for a fairly long while.

Ziio dies, and Connor grows up more and a sphere is given to him where he meets one of the members of The First Civilization. Connor is sent to a man named Achilles, who teaches him the way of the assassins pretty much.

A few missions later and multiple years passing, Connor is a full grown man and a skilled assassin.

I have to point out here that at this point in the game some coding must have been removed or something or the model for Connor gets broken because climbing small ledges and trees and moving in different directions gets significantly harder.

You go out into the world to protect your people and help people like Paul Revere, Sam Adams and Benjamin Franklin produce the American Revolution, more or less. You assist in killing a leader at Bunker Hill, all the while the story being more intertwined with the now Americans and Brits and your own Native American people, along with the Assassins and Templars of course. At a point, even Washington commands his men to take out your own people and you have to stop the command.

At this point I'm not looking forward to doing anything else in the game but the missions, as collecting things is way too damn tedious and time consuming to do, considering the vast map distances and lack of fast travel points. Inb4 'Hurrdurr casual fast travel points' Shut the fuck up. Everyone likes fast travel points now.

Edit: I recently found out about War Clubs. And apparently you can throw war clubs. How the FUCK does this make sense? A tomahawk I'd understand throwing, but a fucking CLUB? It's a fucking joke, what the hell?

As for what happens to Desmond in the real world, Desmond pursues some power cells or something like that to power a First Civilization structure. There are three of them plus the settings (places to put them) you have to find inside the structure or something like that. Honestly I'm just skipping over all of it until the game forces me to put everything in. As it turns out, the First Civilization was wiped out by solar flares, and the game bases the next giant solar flare that will wipe out all of humanity on December 21, 2012 which is when the game is based, harharharharhar, so original, Ubisoft.

All in all, 7/10. Including game glitches and all. Love the story, likable characters (and hateable), but the atmosphere of the game is just... not good at all. Love the time setting though, definitely. And what happens to Desmond in the end is just for the best.

Edit (a few days later): Oh yeah, I forgot to talk about the crafting. I believe AC3 is the first game in which they introduce crafting for bigger inventories, etc into the game, and also at this point in the game (since they've stopped patching it despite some very glaring flaws) you can produce items to sell in shops for money too, but it doesn't bring you in much money in my opinion. Anyway crafting is utterly useless until you get everyone on your Homestead. Your Homestead is where you basically live, and you recruit new people to make you products, whether it be to upgrade your inventory space, or to sell to the general stores/around the colonies via boat. However like I said, unless you uncover ALL OF THE MAP EARLY WHICH IS A LOAD OF BULLSHIT BY RUNNING AROUND INSTEAD OF VIEWPOINTS, you'll be doing this in the endgame. Which means you'll be running around with a tiny fucking inventory all game. Yes I'm mad. Currently, I finished the storyline and am pursuing the collectables, as that gives me somewhat of a satisfaction. There's a little more to crafting via Benjamin Franklin's almanac pages which gives you "inventions" you can craft, but you need parts from a lot of people before you can even craft it.

Honestly, the crafting system is really weird and Ubisoft did a bad job with it. I'm not sure when Farcry 3 came out, but the crafting system in that is more similar to what is in AC4, which is a far better crafting system. I respect the idea of a "homestead" since it is colonial times, but I mean, come on. You're playing a Native American character who was raised on the land. You should at least be able to craft your own holsters and pouches to increase your inventory space or something, but I guess Ubisoft took the low road on that one. F you Ubisoft, F you.

Needless to say if it's cheap, pick it up as it's worth at least 15 bucks at the most. Anything over that is a no-no.

Buy Assassin's Creed 3 here on Amazon (DRM STEAM FOR PC):


And don't forget to sign up for Amazon Prime!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

[Review] Creeper World 3

Genre: RTS

So first, a little about the Creeper World franchise and who developed it. 

Creeper World Website 

KnuckleCracker is the developer of the Creeper World franchise and they have done a fantastic job with these games. In my opinion, 1 is better than 2 and 3 is better than 2 also (CW1>CW2<CW3). The only reason for that is the perspective on CW2. It was uh... it was fairly not thought out. Definitely REALLY hard in the later levels, like, unneedlessly hard. 

It's not even worth mentioning the system specs to run this game because it's really really low. Like, unless you overbuild by a bajillion units (by that time you've already got the Creeper contained and everything, you'd be so bored) your computer won't lag at all. I mean, I'm pretty sure this would be able to run on a Win98 machine. Even 95.

So, KnuckleCracker is a fairly recent dev company, with only the CW games having been made, they aren't a huge name in the game world, but Creeper World has definitely made an impact. Rock, Paper, Shotgun and IGN have reviewed CW as well as other various gaming websites. CW1 was designed by Virgil Wall, who started the Creeper World franchise. As CW has grown, so has his team. CW2 was designed by Virgil Wall of course, along with some other team members, and CW3 has a slightly bigger team also.  

Gameplay
The gameplay of Creeper World is simple. Click the unit you want to place, and click where you want to place it. Sort of like a tower defense game but more RTS like in the fact that you can place units anywhere you want on the map, besides on top of the Creeper of course. (Well, you could do that, but that's somewhat advanced gameplay) Here's a video to show you:


This is essentially all you're going to see, all the time. A sea of blue and your trusty mortars and blasters defending your 1, 2, or 3 bases you may have set up. It's a very intuitive set up that Virgil has made for himself in CW3 and in CW1 too. There are major differences from CW1 and CW3, and that's the fact that:

There are new units
The interface is smoother
A connecting storyline to CW2 (I think all the storylines should have been connected, but whatever)
Overall smoother gameplay in CW3

I mean overall, the game is a much better game then CW1, but every now and again I go back and play just for nostalgia's sake.

The game consists of your Command Center. This is the big blue building (well, 3 big blue buildings) in the video that send out those little orb-looking things called 'packets'. Packets are the lifeblood of your system. They are literally your blood, and the connectors are your veins, between the Collectors (the little round green things). You can see the packets running through Collectors and to your weapons which are holding back the Creeper. Here's a small guide to packets, more or less:

Red Packets: Ammo for your weapons
Green Packets: Power for Totems (explained later)
Grey Packets: Building Packets. These Packets go into building your turrets, mortars, Collectors, Reactors, everything. They are what gets things built.
Aether Packets: These Packets don't travel through the connections in your network, they are actually dispersed into the air and go directly into your Forge.

Also, after your weapons are built, your Command Center(s) immediately sends out Ammo packets to your weapons after they're built. This way you can immediate begin hitting the Creeper as it's coming up to you. 

Now, in the video you do see 3 Command Centers. However, they don't split the loads evenly even if they're all connected together, which is something I hate. I take it this would have been harder to code for KnuckleCracker or Virgil himself, which is fine, but I really think it'd be more efficient if the Energy load was spread out between Command Centers. 

Also, about the Totems: The Totems are the things you see in the Creeper, those green, flower-looking things. They give you Aether to power your Forge for upgrades. Usually you can nab one in the beginning of the level, and in some of the other levels in the game outside of the campaign, there are little to no Totems, or there's an average amount of Totems. If you get one in the beginning of the level and keep hold of it with the advancing Creeper in the beginning, you're pretty much set for the game, it's just a waiting game to get enough Aether to have decent upgrades.

Another new feature I'd like to point out is the Forge. You get the Forge during one of the campaign missions and it is buildable in your base from the Titans tab in your menu. The Forge is pretty much your best weapon against the Creeper, as it upgrades your weapons to have a higher fire rate and range, and move speed, among other fairly important things.

I'm not going to delve into every single little new thing Creeper World 3 has exactly, but there are some new units and old units, I'll just say that.

Sublevel of Gameplay: Interface (UI):
The UI for Creeper World in general has always been a well-thought out, great interface. It's not intrusive, it's smooth, you click a button and you get the unit that you want to place or the menu you want to open up. This is the same for Creeper World 3, and quite possibly even better, since the interface looks quite better than Creeper World 1.

I'm not going to post screenshots a lot here because it's really all in the video. However you'll have screenshots if I need to point something out or something like that. In the video you can blatantly see the UI is very good.

Sublevel of Gameplay: Controls:
The mouse and your keyboard (if the hotkeys work for you, they didn't for me) are your best friends against the Creeper menace! That's all I really have to say about the controls, to be honest here, nothing spectacular.

Sublevel of Gameplay: AI Difficulty:
I'll be the first to tell you... well, here, let's start with a statement, in that you can't fight the ocean. You can shore up against it, you can contain it, you can zap it with lasers and deteriorate some of it, but you most likely will never completely eliminate it. This is what it's like, fighting the Creeper. The Creeper is pretty much the ocean, if the ocean destroyed everything it touched, anyway. It may be an un-apt analogy, but you get it. The Creeper is definitely something to gear if you hop right in and don't know how to play.

There is no AI difficulty in this game, only perhaps the intervals at which Creeper spawns from it's nodes differ. The faster it spawns, the harder it is to hold it back. Initially, anyway. The Creeper eventually evens out against your lasers and mortars and anti-Creeper weapons, at which point you can focus on building up your energy resources and making sure you have enough energy to support the packets being sent out from your Command Center. 

All in all, skipping over some needless points here, CW3 is definitely a game to support Knucklecracker on. Also you can play some more of CW3 for free at Kongregate.

Also you can purchase Creeper World 3 from Amazon, here:







Also, don't forget to sign up for Amazon Prime!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

[News] Xbox One And PS4 Similar In Construct, Makes Game Developing Easier

(This was supposed to be published Thursday but I was busy. So this is today’s article, sorry for inconsistencies. Friggin’ D3:RoS review took forever so I’m trying to get back on track.)
So as we all know the Xbox One and PS4 are next gen gaming systems. However I myself would not have expected them to assist developers in making games, more like hinder them. Just because it’s like ‘Oh, now we have to up our systems and make more graphically detailed games because that’s what the masses want’ or some junk like that.
However, to Massive Entertainment’s Managing Director, David Poldfeldt, this isn’t true one bit. He believes a lot more things will be easier with the Xbox One’s systems, along with the PS4′s. (Just an FYI this is an Xbox One news article, so deal with the PS4 here. God.) The PS4 and the Xbox One apparently share the same specs mostly along with build of the system, which will make developing for both platforms much easier. The last gen offered two completely separate types of systems which made developing a pain in the ass for developers.
Poldfeldt said that it excites him, the fact that the two consoles are so similar. He also mentioned in the previous gen, they spent so much time having to develop for 2 completely separate consoles to get the same thing on both platforms when they could have spent that time obviously working on the game, roughly 25% of the ‘game dev time’ was spent developing for each other console. Also it means that they’re roughly similar to PC too apparently, so that’s good to hear. Now they should have 20-25% more time to put into games’ development, which is always nice.
Honestly, publishers are a bitch in my opinion. Yes, you have to set a release date. You need hype, publicity, and the publisher can offer that. However, in my opinion, you really, really need to say, hey, it’ll be finished when it’s goddamn finished, and just work on the game and let the publisher do its thing with other games that are releasing. I feel like publishers put too much pressure on game developers to rush games out and create bad quality games (I’m looking at you, EA. Activision and Epic Games, and other companies being publishers, not so much. They understand, I think anyway.) and then BAM, zero-day patches for everybody. And no one likes a buggy game upon release. Stop pressuring game developers in general and start supporting them like you’re supposed to be doing. Though I get everyone needs a bit of pressure every once in awhile, but that’s why you have a job. If you didn’t have a job I think you’d be under a lot more pressure. I should know, right now…
Anyway, back to the main topic of easier game developing. At this point since the systems are so similar, customers will expect higher quality games because of additional time being put into creating these games. David believes again, this will help to get things done faster and more effectively, again, creating better quality games for all of us. However, of course, there is the technical side of things. Perhaps something in the game completely bugs out and takes the team an additional month to fix. Rare, but it does probably happen, or something of the like in any case. Or any bad social situation with the team or HR problems that need to be resolved. THQ’s closing comes to mind for me, to be honest. Not making enough revenue is always an issue too, to pay people and to keep dev centers up. At least on the technology part there’s a lot less work to be doing, so Poldfeldt says.
The Division looks like it’s shaping up to be a great game, and from this information, they should have more time to put into it for Xbox One gaming, PC gaming, and PS4 gaming, and I can’t wait to play it.
The Division is based off of one of Tom Clancy’s books, one I’ll be reading quite soon before the release of the game. Tom Clancy is a fantastic writer, and Massive Entertainment has some talented game developers, so we’ll see where that goes.
Prepurchase The Division right here:


Don’t forget to sign up for Amazon Prime! Only $99 per year, that’s less than $10 a month! Amazon Prime is a program that many items on Amazon use for free shipping, no matter the cost of the item. Just go to the link at the top left that says “Try Prime”!

[News] Sony Is Apparently Going To Sell All Of Its Shares In Square Enix

Apparently Sony is going to sell its 9.5 billion shares in Square Enix, totaling to an amount of 47 million dollars. Which honestly, isn’t a lot, in my opinion and Final Fantasy has been going downhill for quite a number of years, probably since FF11(Final Fantasy 11) which was their first MMORPG, which was a total flop to a lot of people.
Sony announced this today in a Japanese news release, which was translated by the Wall Street Journal. This amount of shares also translates to 4.8 billion yen. The Wall Street Journal mentions that Sony had 8.2% ownership of Square Enix in stocks! That’s quite a bit.
In the last year, it seems Sony has been having some troubles. Sony has sold major office buildings, important to Sony, and they’ve laid off thousands of employees, and they’ve even sold their PC section as a means to make a profit. I always thought Sony was doing really, really good, being that Final Fantasy is based on Playstation systems of course. Always thought those two companies really had something going on. But I guess not, and I guess Sony’s going down the tube?
Will we see a PS5? Who knows, at this point, with this news.
Sony invested in Square Enix in the early 2000′s, and they’ve been buying shares ever since. Sad to see them part, really.
Square Enix on the other hand has really been just… not good with their games, lately. With the release of FF:ARR and FF15 on the way, and FF13 along with the sequel to 13, 13-2 and then Lightning Returns, it’s been a shit few years for them, pardon the language. They really need to get back to their roots and make some decent video games again. I liked ARR and 13, but 10X2 was definitely good to me in my opinion, and of course there’s the ever famous X (10), and 7. Can’t be bothered with Roman numerals I don’t know.
If you’d like to take a look at X and X-2, take a look at this, it’s an HD remastered version of the game that I’m sure people will buy up as you read these very words:


Also a link to FFXIV: ARR:
A Realm Reborn (Cheaper than Amazon!)

And the 3 FF13 games if you’re interested (Personally I thought the storyline was pretty good, but that’s all I play the FF games for is the storyline, really.):



Don’t forget to sign up for Amazon Prime! Only $99 per year, that’s less than $10 a month! Amazon Prime is a program that many items on Amazon use for free shipping, no matter the cost of the item. Just go to the link at the top left that says “Try Prime”!

[News] PC Is The Dominant Gaming Platform, PAX East Announces

So, I know I’m biased toward PC platform gaming. I think a lot of people are. Once you go play a game on a PC, I believe it’s hard to stop. I’m not going to claim ‘LOL PC MASTER RACE’ here, I’m just reporting on what PAX East has mentioned. I have a PS3, WiiU, Wii, Xbox 360 and Xbox One myself and I do occasionally play on them myself, but most of my time is spent being enthralled by my custom built PC. And for good reason, cheap games that are triple A titles, and indie games galore. Should I also mention the numerous websites that can be visited, easily, on a PC? Not including playing flash games. I mean, there’s so many things to do on PC that you can’t really do on PS3. You can even map PS3 controllers to the PC along with Xbox 360 controllers which, when you plug one in, Windows instantly recognizes it. It’s ridiculous.
But enough about my biasedness, it’s time to report on the real thing here: What was said at PAX East.
The panel at PAX East (henceforth referred to as PAXE for typing reasons), was made up of hardware specialists and game designers, and they told the attendees at PAXE that PC was not a dying platform, and that it is alive and well in the market.
There was Oculus Rift founder Palmer Luckey[Wikilink], Planetside 2 creative director Matt Higby[Wikilink], Star Citizen creator (and creator of many other space-based games) Chris Roberts, and Nvidia director of technical marketing Tom Petersen.
Now when asked about certain things about the PC gaming platform, all of these people had a number of things to say about different aspects of PC gaming, and the PC gaming market.
In terms of PC hardware, Petersen said that there are lowered sales in the PC hardware market, but Nvidia’s hardware was seeing quite the boost in recent years, especially in their GTX market of video cards. Many non-PC gaming people are going away from desktops in favor of tablets and other things, however the market of people who are constantly on the roam for additional things to put into their rigs is growing.
Star Citizen creator Roberts mentioned that PC gaming will be far ahead of consoles in terms of 4k definition gaming. As we’ve all heard about the new 4k definition TVs, the next generation of PC hardware may very well be on the road to being capable of providing 4k definition games, leaving consoles in the dust. Consoles are much, much less powerful than a custom (or not, but if you’ve got 3,000 dollars to spend, then whatever) built PC and such things such as 4k resolution capability only a PC can provide in the coming months, leaving the PS4 and Xbox One behind in the dust. (We all love Nintendo and the WiiU, but let’s face it, they’re not really a competitor in the console race. All focus is between Microsoft and Sony, and Nintendo’s got good stuff going for them, so let’s just let them work on what they want to. Whispers GO NINTENDO!) Also, 4k equipment pricing is falling as you read this article. Every day it’s falling and it’ll be within the average consumer’s price range soon enough, and in that time I’m sure PC gaming will move into the 4k definition range, and I’m sure tablets will too eventually… that’s gonna be nuts.
Star Citizen is a new game on the Horizon for Roberts, and Roberts is concerned with cloud gaming, as latency issues abound in his mind. That makes cloud gaming mostly inconceivable for him, to be a viable product at any rate. He doesn’t think that problem is going to be fixed at any point whatsoever, unfortunately.
The biggest challenge for PC developers is diversity. But it’s also their biggest sales component in selling their game. As long as they develop an interesting game, they’re sure to make sales quite over their goals. Matt Higby, aforementioned developer of Planetside 2, talked about this at PAX East as he mentioned there’s an infinite amount of PC specs within the community; there’s not a ‘normal’ specification or a standard, everyone has different machines and is able to upgrade them as they see fit. The only limitation is the hardware you have. It’s something that is acknowledged by PC developers, but also again, it’s the biggest pitfall for developers as mentioned. It’s also worth of note that many people put together bizarre combinations of hardware and developers do have to keep this in mind, but in my opinion those are the high rollers that can actually afford to do that, not for the actual performance. You can spend less than 1,000 dollars and have a nice rig, so that’s not too big of an issue for developers, in my opinion.
Of course, with PC gaming there’s always the issue of piracy, and that was also brought up. However, everyone on the panel did agree that piracy was actually on the decline instead of on the rise like the majority of PC gamers believe. The rise of digital storefronts has eliminated the need for piracy and it’s easier instead of having to drive down to the nearest video game-selling store, you can now purchase and play in your own home. Install, download, the whole shebang. Roberts commented that piracy was an availability/distribution problem, but with practically unlimited distribution with digital copies and games being almost always available, it’s becoming a thing of the past. Also digital publishing better helps developers, Roberts noted, to get a better cut of the profits from selling their games, since you can always just toss your game on a website and throw a PayPal link on there to purchase the game.
The PC games industry is worth roughly 24 billion dollars, with sales, in-game microtransactions, out of game microtransactions, subs(subscriptions), and a lot of other factors too that influence sales. However the developers that earn the most money are the ones that release their game on simple terms: most likely not having DRM, and within 3 clicks of a button.
The new DX12 now has multithreading capabilities, taking much needed stress off of developers so they can work better. Roberts talked about this extensively at PAXE, but he did say Microsoft needs to stop focusing on the Xbox One(or the Xbox Franchise in general) as their main selling point and get back to what they were originally founded on: PCs. He said that Microsoft needs to get back together with the PC community, because they seem to have left them in the dust for PC support besides trying to push out Windows releases.
Luckey commented on their Oculus Rift, as it seems a lot of supporters want a sci-fi game to be able to be in VR(Virtual Reality) with, but they explained that sci-fi things tend to have a lot of FPS issues (Frame Per Second, or how fast the game is relayed to our hardware either on your PC or in a VR system like this case from the hard drive), and that seems to be the only thing barring the way for the Oculus Rift.
But Oculus has sold to Facebook, so no one cares about that crapheap now. Just disregard that last paragraph. Also it seems Luckey did not have much to say about anything else, so what does that tell you?
Have fun gaming, whatever console you’re on. It’s all about having fun.

[Review] Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (and mild Diablo III review}

Genre: Action/RPG

System Requirements:

Minimum Specifications:
Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8 w/ Direct X 9.0c
Intel Pentium® D 2.8 GHz or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 4400+
NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800 GT or ATI Radeon™ X1950 Pro or better
1 GB RAM (XP), 1.5 GB (Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8)
1024X768 minimum display resolution

Recommended Specifications:
Windows® 7/ Windows 8 (latest service pack)
Intel® Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 5600+ 2.8 GHz
NVIDIA® GeForce® 260 or ATI Radeon™ HD 4870 or better
2 GB RAM
1024X768 minimum display resolution
Diablo III had a rough time starting off, up until Reaper of Souls. D3 was very grindy and loot oriented, and Auction House oriented until recently, as of April first. As of today, Diablo III is running better than ever with the whiners on the forums as there is with any game. There’s a lot to be said about Reaper of Souls and even more about what RoS is building on, but this review is explicitly for RoS, so I’ll attempt to leave it at that.
So first off, the company who designed the game, Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard has been around since 1994, when they first started producing video games as a whole team. Blizzard is managed by Mike Morhaime, with Frank Pierce as VP and Co-Founder with Allen Adham. Of course there’s so many more people who work at Blizzard and design these games. Lead artists, artists under the leads, story designers, graphic designers, etc etc.

Background of Diablo:

Diablo I was in essence the same as Diablo 3 today. Grind loot and move up to better monsters to get more loot. I can’t honestly say too much about it because I didn’t play it myself, and Diablo II is commonly referred to as Blizzard’s masterpiece for which they are known. Tons of people played Diablo II, and rightly so. Diablo II is something I’m sure Blizzard just wishes they could pull off again. Highly popular around the world, Diablo II sold over 16 million copies topping out at about 17 million, and it’s expansion, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction sold over 16 million copies worldwide again, roughly capping out at 17.5 million, more than the original game. Diablo III has sold over 14 million copies worldwide, probably because there wasn’t too much leakage about various models of gameplay and people were expecting a very cool, quality game from Blizzard Entertainment. Which they got! I mean, Diablo III was a quality game, and still is. The graphics, storyline, textures, detailing, it’s all very good. But I believe to most people with the RMAH (Real Money Auction House) and the normal AH (Auction House), they disliked the game because of that. It was a source of conflict for a lot of people for a long time, pretty much since a week or so after the game’s release. A lot of people even compare Diablo III’s gameplay to Diablo II’s since they enjoyed it so much, and of course they compare the Legendary drops and stuff like that too. Which isn’t too fair, all things considering. Diablo II has had years of tweaking at this point by Blizzard, it was released in 2000, and really it can’t compare to Diablo III because we don’t know if it will stand the test of time like Diablo II has. Diablo II has also been integrated with Blizzard’s Battle.net system (it was in 2000 too) and is definitely all the more better with multiplayer. But that’s neither here nor there at the moment. In essence, a lot of people expected Diablo III to be like Diablo II, but I think they got less than they bargained for in my opinion. Like 5-10% less.
Blizzard’s President At The Moment:
Just a short tidbit about Michael Morhaime, as I’m sure people would like to know a little bit about him. Mike has been heading Blizzard for quite awhile now, and has been seen of course, at multiple Blizzcons throughout the years. Blizzard started Blizzcon in 2002 to get closer to their fans, and I think they’ve done quite the successful job of that. Mike was born in 1966 and surprisingly enough was also featured on DICE’s Celebrity Poker Tournament placing second in 2006 next to Bioware’s Ray Muzyka who placed first.
Now, down to the nitty-gritty of Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls.

Gameplay:

I’ll just jump right into gameplay here, because if you haven’t heard of Reaper of Souls…

There’s, in essence, your story, right there. It’s no different from Diablo III’s base game or even Diablo II. You get through the story (and what an awesome story it is), then you grind badass loot out of monsters over days and/or years. And yeah, it does take some people quite that long to get the gear they want. I’m sure people didn’t just roll around in awesome gear upon hitting Diablo II’s bosses in the face one time. And even today I don’t think there’s anyone who’s completely geared out besides perhaps a few select people who have… a lot of time on their hands, in Diablo III. It is all RNG (Random Number Generator) based. What this means is that when you load up a level in Diablo III, all the loot is predetermined and ready to be grabbed by you, for every single monster in that level. The only way to reset it is to clear the level and start over again, or to close the game and start from the beginning of the level again. There may be some other ways but they may or may not be counted as an exploit, but I’m probably forgetting one or two. The game is wholly about loot and that’s it. Killing monsters and looking badass and getting the envy of your friends.

Sublevel of Gameplay: Classes:

I’m only going to speak about the new Crusader class here as the old classes are, well, old news. The Crusader has a variety of skills available, from throwing his shield to the good ol’ hack and slash we all know and love. The Crusader you might think is just based on doing Holy damage to enemies, but that’s untrue. They have Lightning damage available, Fire, and Cold damage, albeit only 2 options for Cold.




The Crusader class has really been well-done, and they also get an exclusive weapon to use: the Flail. I believe the flail is a really nice touch for a Crusader only weapon, however I think as time goes on they’ll probably let other classes use it. Some of the Legendary flails have really, really cool skins.

Sublevel of Gameplay: Interface:

The interface of Diablo III is really thought out, nice and smooth so you know where everything is at any given time. Of course the only real thing you’re going to be looking at is your inventory and possibly your resources to see what level they’re at. Your resources are technically your HP (Hit Points or Health Points) and your resource you use to cast skills. I’m going to use the new class, the Crusader, as the example for this review. The Crusader has the resource of Wrath. Wrath can be filled up to 100 or more depending on your gear and Paragon Levels which I’ll go into more detail later about. Wrath is made by hitting enemies with your primary attack and spending it by using your skills and your other primary right mouse button skill, or related controller button.

The start layout that displays your active hero is very well done also, very smooth. In the top-right there’s the Diablo III logo. Then directly under that there’s the Start Game button, which is colored really nicely and has good font, along with the rest of the text in the game as well. Under the Start Game button you have the Game Settings button. This constitutes the difficulty, what game mode you want to play on, and other details. In the bottom right (or wherever you may choose to put it, I suppose), the chatbox. And in the bottom left corner is various game options windows and your social options. The one I most frequently use of course is my friends list. You have access to your friends through the Battle.net system, and on Diablo III. You also have, in the bottom middle, another Start Game button.

Sublevel of Gameplay: Difficulty Levels:

So the difficulty levels have a large role to play in Diablo III. Normal is the easiest difficulty to do in Diablo and when you also get the least loot. T6, which is Torment 6 but a lot of people abbreviate it for obvious reasons, is the hardest. You’ve got the toughest monster and even tougher bosses and elites to deal with. Personally, I’m on T1 myself, and T1 is your goal basically, because that’s when gear can really start dropping for you. And unless you’re absolutely spending less than at least 20 minutes on a Nephelem Rift in my opinion, you shouldn’t be moving on to T2. (XP stands for EXP, or Experience Points)
Here are the bonuses of each difficulty:
Normal: Normal D3 experience, +0% gold and +0% extra XP bonus.
Hard: 75% extra gold bonus, 75% extra XP bonus
Expert: 100% extra gold bonus and 100% extra XP bonus, double blood shards
Master: 200% extra gold bonus, 200% extra XP bonus, bounties award double blood shards and imperial Gems can drop from level 61 and higher monsters (monster in RoS, not normal Diablo levels)
T1: 300% extra gold bonus, 300% extra XP bonus, bounties award double blood shards, imperial gems can drop from level 61 and higher monsters, new Legendary items become available at level 70
T2: 400% extra gold bonus, 400% extra XP bonus, bounties award double blood shards, imperial gems can drop from level 61 and higher monsters, new Legendary items become available at level 70
T3: 550% extra gold bonus, 550% extra XP bonus, bounties award double blood shards, imperial gems can drop from level 61 and higher monsters, new Legendary items become available at level 70
T4: 800% extra gold bonus, 800% extra XP bonus, bounties award double blood shards, imperial gems can drop from level 61 and higher monsters, new Legendary items become available at level 70
T5: 1150% extra gold bonus, 1150% extra XP bonus, bounties award double blood shards, imperial gems can drop from level 61 and higher monsters, new Legendary items become available at level 70
T6: 1600% extra gold bonus, 1600% extra XP bonus, bounties award double blood shards, imperial gems can drop from level 61 and higher monsters, new Legendary items become available at level 70
As you can see, the bonuses really get up there. However, T6 is very, very hard and I do not recommend it for the lighthearted, and for the newbies, as much as you may want to play on it. The highest I can go with my own stats at the moment is T2, however the chances of legendaries are slimmer because you’re not going through as many monsters at one time. On T1 I can roll through like nothing, but T2 gives me trouble. Here’s a chart explaining the drop rates: (What I mean by normal is anything outside of a Nephalem Rift)
T1: +15% normal, +44% in Nephalem Rifts
T2: +32% normal, +65% in Nephalem Rifts
T3: +52% normal, +90% in Nephalem Rifts
T4: +75% normal, +119% in Nephalem Rifts
T5: +101% normal, +151% in Nephalem Rifts
T6: +131% normal, +189% in Nephalem Rifts
As you can see, the bonuses do get really high for those Legendaries. (I am not sure if this is accurate as there have been talks of Legendaries getting bonus drop rates soon, or if they’ve already happened.) It is very dependent on the difficulty, but also it depends on the killing rate of the monsters. If you’re not killing stuff at a rate of probably a monster per second or two, you’re wasting your time. (Besides bosses, obviously.)
Legendary Materials for crafting which are gone into depth later in this article, have their own drop rate table which was recently updated as of April 10th, 2014, or around that time. Definitely before the posting of this article:
Normal Difficulty: 15% drop rate off of what’s called SuperUnique monsters (monsters with purple names)
Hard Difficulty: 18% drop rate off of SuperUnique monsters
Expert Difficulty: 21% drop rate off of SuperUnique monsters
Master Difficulty: 25% drop rate off of SuperUnique monsters
T1: 31% drop rate off of SuperUnique monsters
T2: 37% drop rate off of SuperUnique monsters
T3: 44% drop rate off of SuperUnique monsters
T4: 53% drop rate off of SuperUnique monsters
T5: 64% drop rate off of SuperUnique monsters
T6: 77% drop rate off of SuperUnique monsters
T6 again has the highest drop rate for things, but SuperUniques are very rare to find indeed, so you may be wasting your time unless you really need that material, but you can always farm it quicker on T1 or T2 rather than doing T6. Like I said, unless you’re absolutely obliterating everything, you’re wasting a lot of time.

Sublevel of Gameplay: AI:

The AI in the game is pretty well done TBH. A lot of the elite ‘packs’ are fairly hard to beat if you don’t have the right gear to beat them on the right difficulty. However, all elite fights are fun fights for sure, because each elite or elite pack has affixes on them that makes your experience harder fighting them. I particularly have trouble with the ‘Arcane’ affix as that means they can place small orbs that shoot very, very powerful beams that go in circles about 5 rotations. And if you get a gold elite with that, you’ll have a little more powerful monsters around the gold elite that have more HP than normal monsters, and they usually have some of the same abilities as the gold elite, which means they may or may not have the ability to place arcane orbs too, which leads to some deaths if you’re not careful.
Now the general AI of how it’s used is quite different. The AI does use their skills effectively in the game, along with what seems to be cooldown timers so it’s not a cheat fest. (A cooldown timer is when you use a skill, you can’t use it again for a certain duration of time. Some skills are instantly done cooling down after you use them and some take 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 2 minutes, etc. This is just a general explanation, of the skills in Diablo III I believe the highest cooldown timer is maybe 45 seconds to 2 minutes? Not sure.) This is so you can actually have a chance at beating the monsters outright instead of just running around and trying not to die while attempting to deal damage.
As for friendly units you do have companions that can come along with you for the ride. There’s the Templar, who is sort of like a Crusader but is like a Warrior. The Scoundrel is a ranged attacker and the Enchantress is a magic attacker. They all have 8 skills that you can pick from, but you can only choose 4 for each person.

As you can see you can also equip them with some gear that you find on your travels. 2 rings, a neckpiece, and the appropriate weapon/shield, accordingly. Each companion also has a certain special item they can equip in a special slot that gives them additional stats.
The AI on these companions is fairly decent, they attack like you do and if they have any sort of healing spell they will use it on you when you are at low HP, usually about 50% HP or so, but I’ve had the Templar use his healing spell when I was at 20% loss or so from full which is pretty bad, considering I may have needed that heal farther into the fight, but it usually works out as long as you know what you’re doing.
Keep in mind this is the same screen as Diablo III.

Sublevel of Gameplay: UI: Inventory:

The inventory screen is well done and smooth. The character layout shows your gear and what you have equipped, and then there’s the inventory at the bottom along with some buttons for your paragon points and there’s a button that opens additional details for your character so you know exactly what stats you have. (Magic Find/Gold Find is being removed from the game for the Loot 2.0 system they have in place now.) It’s overall a very smooth interface to work with and you know where everything is. Also, you can tell at a glance what your Toughness, Damage and Healing is, which are the main stats you need to survive in Diablo III, pretty much.

Sublevel of Gameplay: Combat:

Combat can be initiated by clicking on whatever enemy you want to attack with the left mouse button and holding it down or clicking. I prefer holding it down but everyone’s different, most people click. Classes have ranged and melee attacks depending on the class, and every skill has unique graphics so you know what skill you’re using of course, along with skills being assigned to number buttons. I have an MMORPG mouse, so I can just use my thumb to press buttons instead of clicking skills or hitting keyboard buttons. It makes things a lot simpler to do in the game for sure, and I’d recommend you pick one up. There are various MMORPG mouses, but I’d purchase from Logitech or Razer for the best quality. In any case, combat is fluid and smooth as long as you’re using the correct skills, otherwise you may be auto-attacking for some time to gain your resources back or waiting for cooldowns.

Story/Plot of the Game:

So I mentioned way, way above there that basically the game is about beating Maelthael and destroying the Black Soulstone. I’m not going to say what this means but I will repeat this isn’t a spoiler. With how the Diablo games work, you’re always going to kick the guy’s ass on the cover. The real spoilers would be telling you anything about how you get to Maelthael, and that I’m leaving alone, only to say that it’s quite a good and well thought out story. Blizzard did a very good job in this respect, but then again, they usually do. And Diablo has always entailed getting awesome loot to beat bigger monsters etc, so there’s that part of the game too.

Sublevel of Gameplay[Unique]: Drops:

So I want to discuss Diablo III: Reaper of Soul’s loot system for a moment. As I mentioned in the beginning a bit about how vanilla D3 had loot troubles and had the RMAH and AH, and people had trouble getting the correct drops for their class. However in Diablo III: RoS, they implemented a patch that the community calls, Loot 2.0. The patch removed the RMAH and the AH and of course, before that was removed everyone scrambled to make as much gold as they could on it before they had removed it on April 1st, 2014. However at this point in time, Loot 2.0 has made it so you get drops for your class pretty much 99% of the time. The Rare items are always for your class, they don’t seem to have any particular damage enhancers on them unless you reroll them with the Enchanter (To be later discussed). The Legendaries however seem to like I said, 99% of the time roll for your class, however you do have a chance of getting another class’s weapon or rolling a stat for another class, I.E. getting a Legendary sword and identifying it and it happens to have intelligence on it, which would be useful for a Witch Doctor. Also, most of the time Legendaries are what matter at this point in the game and I don’t foresee another additional tier of loot, so if you happened to get a sword like I mentioned there, you’d have to waste a reroll on the Intelligence to Strength, using the Crusader example.
Also, in regular Diablo III there were plans that dropped (you could think of them like schematics) that you could teach your Blacksmith to make you specific pieces of armor. Set pieces, Legendary weapons and armor, Rare weapons and armor, all sorts. With the Loot 2.0 patch (I’m unaware if these were there beforehand besides a few exclusive items that took forever to get and most people were unaware of them) specific monsters drop specific materials for crafting these Set armor pieces/Legendary weapons and armor.

Sublevel of Gameplay: Vendor NPCs:

So the vendor NPCs in Diablo III were ones that enhanced/made you gear. It was the Jewelcrafter and the Blacksmith. In Reaper of Souls, they have put in the Enchantress, who is able to reroll your gear.
The Blacksmith is able to learn new plans and make you gear. This gear is only really good up to a certain point, until you start getting Legendary plans and Armor set plans. Legendary plans have orange text and Set plans are green. In this fashion, set items are also green and Legendary items are also orange. This is the only real use the Blacksmith has in the end game besides repairing your gear and salvaging items for crafting material. I’m not going to get into the crafting material because it’s really self explanatory. I only ever use it for breaking down gear when I need materials at this point, because I’m stuck farming Legendary materials, which is another thing required by the Blacksmith as I mentioned before, to make Legendary gear.

The Jewelcrafter makes jewels for you to slot into your gear. Currently at the time of this writing a lot of people gripe about how much it costs to make the top jewels and I'm inclined to agree. It takes a lot of gold, many days of farming to be able to make those really nice gems to put in your gear. The Jewelcrafter also makes rings and necklaces, if you can find the required plans. There are currently no Legendary gems to speak of, but I believe the costs to make the top-tier gems are legendary in and of themselves...


The Enchantress is a new vendor in RoS, who is able to change stats on your gear and change your gear's looks so it looks like you have an entire set of gear. First I'll talk about changing stats.
As you can see by the little arrows next to the stat I changed there, it tells you, 'Hey, you've rerolled this stat and you can only reroll this stat from now on.' That's pretty much the trade you make when you reroll a stat, so make sure you read up on what you need to change before you roll it! I know I myself have made a few mistakes, unfortunately.


The other thing the Enchantress has, as I mentioned, is the ability to make items look like other items.

Transmogrification as it's become known throughout gaming land here, is the ability to change items' looks from one skin to another. It's very popular in World of Warcraft and a lot of other games are using it now too. The way it works is you put an item up you want to change the look of, spend a bit of money depending on what you want it to look like, and wham-o! You've got yourself a fancy new-looking weapon! Keep in mind most of the cooler skins are Legendary weapons, however.

Sublevel of Gameplay: Voice Acting/Human Speech/Monster Noises:

So the voice acting in this is really well done. Tyrael's voice is the same as vanilla D3's, and they added a whole slew of new cast members to the game, so there's all new voices to be had. The sound quality of the voicing is excellent, and leaves no room for error in what the characters are saying, along with the subtitles that are there of course. The banter between your character and your sidekick NPC is oftentimes humorous with some seriousness in there, and they always comment on elite fights. Your NPC crafters also are voiced by different people and there's multiple topics to speak with them about, in all areas of the game, including the new Reaper of Souls town area.
The Blood Shard vendor is also a new vendor to Diablo III, and comes again with the Reaper of Souls expansion. The Blood Shard vendor is a vendor, for the Blood Shards you get obviously, from Nephelem Rifts and Bounty rewards. The rewards are random, you purchase armor items besides the rings and neckpieces for 5 BSs each, and the rings are 10 and neckpieces are 20. One-handed weapons are 15 and so are two-handed weapons. These apply for any class, and there are no discounts, ever. This is a good way to get some extra gear, if you're really lucky. I, myself, have only gotten one Legendary from the BS vendor and that's my current helmet, had it for awhile now. You don't spend BSs on anything else so you may as well just try and gamble and see what you get. I usually turn my excess gear I'm not going to use from the vendor into gold by selling it to a merchant vendor, or salvaging items to get materials for later or rerolling my current gear.

Graphics:

The graphics for the game are very, very well done, however I'd like to point out some of the textures for the shields and some other things are very... flat. Not raised/embossed or whatever they look like they should be upon zooming in with Z. But otherwise it's a very detailed game, and I can definitely say, filled with rich graphics that won't leave you wanting. That's really all I have to say about the graphics, because if you haven't been looking at the screenshots or video, I suggest you look/watch again.

Sublevel of Graphics: Animation:

The animations in the game are very good. The ragdoll physics on the mobs is just great, you can use a skill and blow corpses off the sides of areas, blow them upwards, sideways, whatever. Also the animations on the living things too are great of course. I do have one gripe though, I think for your own character's death they should still leave a corpse. The game puts a sort of gravestone marker for other players to revive you in your party if they so desire, or can at that point. I'm not saying to get rid of the gravestone but just have a corpse for some comedic effect.
The idling breathing of all the figures in the game are good, and I believe some monsters have idle animations too. Your character/sidekick NPC just have some side conversations sometimes while you're out, nothing while you're really standing there.

Music of RoS:

The music of Reaper of Souls was composed by Derek Duke, and some other music in the game was done by Neal Acree, Joseph Lawrence, Rossel Brower, Glenn Stafford, and Jason Hayes. Reaper of Souls does indeed have an OST (Official SoundTrack) which was released on March 25th, 2014, the same day as the game's release, in a digital release on iTunes and in physical format in the Collector's Edition of the game. I honestly can't comment on the music except for small tidbits of it I heard while playing the game because I was too focused on slaughtering everything, but what I did hear was very, very good.

Sublevel of Music: Sound Effects:

The sound effects for this game as I've mentioned a little bit above are unique to each and every skill and monster type. I say type because not every single monster you're going to run into in the game is going to have a unique sound, that'd be nuts. But there's enough variation and honestly you're not going to notice while you're hacking and slashing through everything. However each skill has it's own unique sound effect on every class, and I'll just say you won't be dissapointed.

Game Utilities:

So let's get into how the game saves your progress and the like. Honestly I don't care that much about the actual mechanics as long as my progress is saved. However, a lot of people are frustrated at Diablo's saving system and I do admit it is a little bit of an inconvenience. The system basically 'saves' your game at different chapters in the story where you progress. So say as an example you have the quest to 'Go kill this dude over here'. If that guy is 2 HP away from dying and your game disconnects... tough noogies kid. You have to restart all the way from the beginning of the quest and go find the guy again, with new monsters randomized again and everything. However as soon you get to the next part of 'Go speak with this person in some town', you're good. You can leave the game and your game will start from that next step.
I want to touch on how this works in the endgame too with Nephalem Rifts and Bounties. Bounties are the same saving scheme in general, and Nephalem Rifts are the same also, except of course it's 'defeat this rift' and then if you don't, you've wasted your Rift Shards and you have to start a new rift. The entire game of Diablo with RoS is approximately 14.8 GB(Gigabytes), on my own system. Diablo III does not have an editor at this time for new items created by the community like Starcraft II or the Warcraft RTS series.

Multiplayer:

The game works swimmingly with multiplayer provided you have a solid internet connection to Blizzard's servers. The game is definitely designed around having a party, as when you have up to 4 people you get a stack of 3 additional magic finding/gold finding buff. You'll usually, usually, usually, maybe, probably, sorta get more Legendaries. The game is also doable on solo as that's how I usually play until my buddies get online and then we play together for a few hours.
I know I've been inputting my opinion here and there but here's a big one: fun factor. I can honestly say the grinding does get a bit repetitive here and there but when you're with friends and blasting through stuff I can say it's really fun, especially when you've had drinks. Everything's always... mostly better with drinks. And I'm not playing down the fun-ness of solo play either though, I do enjoy my solitude of just being able to bash through enemies while not lagging behind the group with my certain builds I use, and to try out new builds I make and trying out other people's builds from the Diablo III forum.
Also the replay-ability of the game is very high. There are many classes to try and oh-so many more builds of skills and passive skills to try and gear to collect to up your damage and run through the game on Torment 6!
So what are you waiting for? Go purchase Diablo III: Reaper of Souls today!
[Just want to mention it does require the base game of Diablo III.]


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