Warframe: Just a Bit of Railjacks

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We took a break from GTFO this week as it’s been getting stale for a few of us. I think we’re going to move to play every other week to break things up. Before we started GTFO, our Saturday night group game was Warframe so we headed back over there this weekend.

It’s surprising what was a month and a half off a game will do to your enthusiasm about it. I still enjoy Warframe but logging in last night I didn’t have the excitement I had for it not too long ago.  I was farming and progressing on my own, crafting warframes and weapons left and rights. Now I’m just not as into it.

Unbeknownst to us, one of our group members didn’t stop playing when we did. So when we came back to the game last night he had a nice surprise for us. A Railjack.

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Now me, being great at avoiding spoilers, didn’t really know what a Railjack was. I assumed it was a ship and you did space ship things in it. I thought it was a one-man thing. But I was wrong. The Railjack was MUCH bigger than I thought it’d be and the gameplay much different.

It’s basically a 4 man crewed ship and each person has a role to fill. There’s the pilot who drives, a gunner who guns, an engineer that mans the forges and patches up wholes in the ship, and the ship boarder who flies around on an Archwing and takes over enemy ships. The whole thing reminds me of Guns of Icarus.

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I was the designated engineer for the night. I couldn’t do much because my engineering was level 1 but I fixed a lot of holes in our hull when our shields went down!

The issue we ran into was only the guy with the RailJack could use intrinsic to level up certain roles. So while he kept unlocking all these useful perks the rest of us were stuck at the basic levels. We were hoping it was upgraded to the ship but sadly it was upgraded to the warframe.

It was a fun diversion from the usual gameplay but at the rate we play this game I don’t think the rest of us will be seeing our own Railjacks for a long time.

GTFO: On to Septic and Power Corrupts

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I wasn’t able to play with the squad last week. They managed to complete Pathfinder and Sacrifice without me. Since we had gotten so very close the times I played and because they take a while to run I’m not too worried about getting them completed for me. Once we clear the next two on the tier someone can drag me into the third tier lobby.

This week we attempted Power Corrupts and Septic. We’ve been putting these off as they have the most annoying mechanic so far: the cysts. These are basically proximity mines on the walls and ceilings that will explode when you get too close. They take a good chunk of health and leave you with some infection level. If your infection goes over 20% you take damage over time until you’re at 20% health. These can be “disarmed” by shining a flashlight at them but they will regrow after a few seconds. It’s quite annoying getting hit by these when you forget where they are.

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Power Corrupts has the players carry 4 batteries to put into generators across the map. It didn’t seem too bad at first. But then we noticed that most of the sleepers in the rooms were the large ones. These can’t be killed in one hit with a hammer and they take a ton of ammo to take down. We were running into rooms with 5 to 9 of these constantly. It also didn’t help that we were finding nothing but glow sticks in any of the lockers. With no resources and no way of effectively dealing with the big enemies we were not having a good time.

We reset a few times thinking we were just getting bad spawns. Unfortunately, it looks like rooms filled with big enemies is par for the course. The one saving grace was the lack of alarm doors. We ended up using our turrets a lot to set up traps and funnel the big guys into them.

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Just when we thought it couldn’t get much worse, we ran into a room with 4 scouts at the end. Luckily, our objective wasn’t in that room but still, 4 scouts are terrifying! The farthest we got this weekend was setting up 3 generators. The last one was behind an alarm door that we didn’t have enough ammo to complete.

Septic features the cysts even more heavily than Power Corrupts. You’re tasked with finding a fog turbine and brining it to extraction. There were many big rooms with large groups of small enemies so this took us a bit of time. You can’t shine your flashlight at cysts in rooms full of sleepers because they’ll get alerted. Not only were we watching for stirring sleepers but we also had to keep an eye on the walls and ceilings too.

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We managed to get the turbine and were rewarded with whole sections of the map with infection fog. Going in there without the turbine leads to 100% infection pretty quickly so everyone had to stay around the person with the fog turbine. To make matters worse, there are also enemies littering the dense fog. Good thing we brought a Bio Tracker or we’d be alerting things left and right.

I’d say we were halfway through the mission when discord disconnected our point man from voice chat. Perfect timing as he had the fog repelled and we were in a large room full of fog. With our communication, broken things declined very quickly. Before we knew it enemies were alerted but we had no idea where they were coming from.

Communication is key.

 

Holding Pattern

Since the beginning of the month I’ve been putting off starting new games that require a large time investment. This is due to the announcement that Phantasy Star Online 2 would come out sometime at the end of May. Up until Monday, this still hadn’t been announced. Now that I have a date, May 27th, I’m even more reluctant to start any new games.

It’s not that I have these high hopes that an 8-year-old game is going to rock my socks off. Phantasy Star is an IP that I really enjoyed on PSP. It always felt like a single-player MMO and well…here’s the MMO version of that. I think it’s going to be something fun and a bit nostalgic for me. Plus my friends are excited about it and that means it’ll have more sticking power for me as long as they stick around.

For the most part, I’ve avoided spoilers of any kind. Just this week I’ve been looking into what class I might want to play and what the monetization looks like. There’s a premium subscription with some boosts so I’ll probably end up getting that. Subs are my preferred spending in free to play games anyways.

I did see that there’s a talent point reset for purchase. That brings me back…way back to the days where I played Flyff. That game taught me always to look at a guide before I messed around with stats on a character. I couldn’t afford a stat reset so my first character there was a mess of stat points and low damage.

It’s a little weird that I’ll be getting the launcher to form the Microsoft Store. It’s not a place I think of when I think of video games. The only game I’ve bought from there was Forza Horizon 4 and until just now, I forgot I even owned it.

So for now, I’m sticking with games I know. Lots of Trove and our weekly GTFO runs until Wednesday. It’s too bad it releases on a Wednesday, I have Monday and Tuesday off!

 

Backlogged: The Fall

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Time to Finish: 3.5 hours

I’ve had The Fall recommended to me many times over the years. It’s the kind of sci-fi story I like with philosophical questions, a lot of atmosphere, and robots. Who doesn’t like a good story about robots?

I picked this up a week or two ago when the Indie MegaBooth sale was going on. For the low price of $2 I got a short little game with a solid story. It’s a point and click adventure game with some light combat elements.

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Things I Liked:

Story: The game follows A.R.I.D an AI onboard a military-grade combat suit. After falling from who knows where and landing on an unknown planet, Arid wakes up with the sole purpose of protecting its pilot. We later find out that Arid has crashed on a domestic robot manufacturing facility and anything deemed faulty is disassembled. To get to the medical bay Arid must pass eight tests designed for domestic AI as a military AI.

Arid: It’s a cool idea to have the player be an AI controlling a suite with an unconscious human inside. As an AI, Arid has a set of directives it must follow: Must not misrepresent reality, must be obedient, must protect the active pilot. Arid does all of these things but in a “creative” way. There are a lot of systems locked behind “organic operator approval” but these can be unlocked if Arid finds a way to make them necessary to protect the pilot. Things like getting shot at by a turret to unlock the camouflage system. Technically needed because the pilot’s life was at risk but it’s also a contradiction to put the pilot at risk to protect the pilot. This game is full of interesting decisions made by Arid to achieve its objective.

The Domestic AI Tests: These tasks take up the middle of the game. In order to leave the facility, Arid has to be marked as a domestic AI and in order to do that, it must pass eight tests. Things like cleaning, getting a baby to stop crying, walking an old woman across the street. Except Arid is a military AI so it goes about solving these problems in a “unique” way. I don’t want to give anything away here but if there is one reason to play this game it’s the creative ways Arid gets through these tests.

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Things That Could Have Been Better:

The Controls: First and foremost this is a point and click adventure game. There are a lot of items to interact with and places to put them. But you can only see these when your pistol and flashlight are out. Eventually, you get a laser sight for your pistol to make it easier to aim. You lose the ability to see the interaction points when the laser site is out so I found myself constantly switching between modes which I found slightly frustrating. Also, while interacting with objects you have to select the X in the middle to get out of the interaction menu. But if you forget that and hit the escape button instead it doesn’t do anything. Which is fine, until you leave the interaction menu the correct way and the main menu opens…this was really the most irksome thing about the controls for me.

Combat:  It’s playable, it does its job, but it’s not great. You can take cover and fire your weapon. It all seems a bit clunky but luckily you don’t have to engage in combat often. I wouldn’t let the combat dissuade anyone from playing the game.

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Other Things of Note:

This is part of a trilogy. This game came out in 2014, its sequel The Fall Part 2: Unbound came out in 2018. The third game is not out yet and I couldn’t find any information on its development.

With that said, this feels like a complete game. It has an ending that feels final and feels like it could continue at the same time. Some episodic games have a tendency to leave cliff hangers to get you on board for the next one. I would rather have a complete story with room for more. The Fall does this very well. I could never play the other game and feel like I got the whole story.

The puzzles could be challenging at times but I got through them without looking at a guide!

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Some Short Term Trove Goals

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It safe to say I’m back into Trove. The new update has breathed new life into the game for me. There’s also the added benefit of having an excuse to listen to podcasts again. I bought my patron pass for the month and have been happily plugging away at a few new goals.*

Level the Lunar Lancer to 30

The original idea was to level a new class specifically for delves instead of changing the stats around on my Dracolyte. I’m still leveling my Lunar Lancer to 30 but I’m not sure I want to completely switch over. I like the different play style but I know how long it takes to get a class to the stats I’ll need and it might just be easier to try and get my light up on my Dracolyte.

One of the added bonuses of the new class leaderboard rewards is having a reason to play another class. Originally, you just needed above 10k PR on every class to guarantee 12 empowered gem boxes a week. This lead to slapping a whole bunch of bad to ok gems and gear on classes and never playing them again. With the new system, playing them for a short time is the only way to get your Weekley boxes.

This week it’s the Shadow Hunter, the Revenant, and the Boomer Ranger. The Shadow Hunter is my second highest class and main farming class so that’s easy enough. I haven’t’ played the Revenant or the Boomer Ranger since they came out a few years ago. It turns out the Revant is quite fun and I may look at leveling him up after the Lunar Lancer hits 30. The Boomer Ranger still isn’t for me but I’ll run a few dungeons and challenges with him to get my boxes.

Level the Knight to 30

The knight is one of the original classes. I’ve disliked the Knight for as long as I’ve played Trove. But he does have one thing going for him: his subclass.

The subclass for Knight grants faster ground mount moving speed and up to 6 extra flasks. The ground mount speed is meh since you’re flying most of the time, though it could be useful for delves now.  The flasks are huge. Not only will it allow you to live longer but since activating flasks activates your emblems as well, it gives you more DPS. And if there’s one thing you want in Trove it’s more DPS.

Lucky for me, his class gem makes him much more fun to play. He’s been sitting at 20 for years but I’m finally getting around to leveling him to 30 for the extra flasks. I don’t enjoy it enough to want to play it often though. So I wait until Saturday, which is XP boost day, and pop a double ex[erience potion which has been working quite well. He’s currently sitting at 25. I should be able to get him to 30 either this week or next.

Erimatra, Scourge of the Everdark: +250 Magic Damage, 1% crit hit, +50 Magic Find

This is the next Dragon I’m after and only for that 1% crit hit. Sometime between the last time I played and last week I lost 3% crit hit. I’m not sure why but I’ve been slowly using the gem stat boost items to get my crit hit back to 100%. This will make it that much easier to do. It may not be the most important permanent stats to go for right now but I’m tired of seeing 99% crit hit…

The only thing I need to craft it now are 180 dragon coins. I should be able to get those through daily challenges and using my cubits to buy Dragon coins this week.

 

*This is definitely a post more for me to keep track of the things I want to do than anything else.

 

 

Delving into Delves

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I wanted to give the new Trove update a try last week but unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. Both Wednesday and Thursday the server was taken down for hotfixes which started right as I was able to play and ended after I was able to play. I finally had some time this weekend to spend time with the new content.

At first, Blades and I were worried. With Shadow Towers basically gutted we didn’t know how easy or hard it would be to obtain those needed rewards from Delves. We actually miss read the patch notes and thought it said you needed to clear 25 levels of delves to have a chance at getting a Shadowy Soul Cache to get a chance at these rewards. Which would have been insane considering each level takes 6 -9 minutes on average to complete. Turns out these actually spawn randomly after a boss fight after Delve level 25. Which is way more reasonable.

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I think the old shadow tower rewards are actually much easier to get with this update. It’s the same limit as before on Despoiled Divinity, Titan Souls, or Lunar Souls. Since Monday’s “Delve Day” bonus doesn’t increase the amount of these rewards like “Shadow Tower Day”  you end up getting the amount you used to get on Monday any day of the week. Plus you can run these by yourself if you don’t want to find a group that adds less friction to getting these rewards.

We ran exactly two public delves to see how they were and to gather enough crystals to make a private delve. It went exactly how I thought it would. Most people either ignored the objective, were AFK, or spent the time mining instead of fighting. It’s new content so it may get better once people understand what their suppose to do. The problem is the delve level is based on the collective level of everyone in it. If there’s not 100% participation from everyone it’s almost impossible to progress.

Private delves are where this whole update shines. The private delve portals are a one time use and the level is based on who places them and who joins them. Delves are broken into two parts: The first is the delve objective which can range from kill x number of creatures, kill x number of a specific creature, clear x number of rooms of creatures, mine x amount of ore, or find and activate 4 monoliths. The second part is defeating the lair boss that spawns at the end of the map once you complete the objectives. The delve objective is on an 8-minute timer and the lair boss is on a 3-minute timer.

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Jay and I were placed in Delve level 118 using our highest Power Rank classes. We were able to make it to level 124 before we couldn’t kill the boss in time. The trickiest parts were the monolith objectives. Once the monolith is activated a bunch of creatures spawn and you have to kill them all to complete that monolith. The issue becomes when you think you’ve cleared it and move on. I can’t tell you how many times we ended up in the boss room and then had to rush backward to find the one enemy we missed hiding under the stairs…

We also found a bit of cheese here too. If you open a private delve with a low power rank class and have another low power rank class join you’ll end up at a very low-level delve. Once inside the private delve, you can switch your class to a high PR but the delve level won’t change. I’m not sure if this is intended but I’ll tell you it very easy to get all your rewards for the week when you start out at level 85.

Private delves don’t let you use mounts or wings that aren’t bought with inert geodes. I had forgotten just how painful it is to navigate Trove without these things. Once we got our mounts we were in a much happier place with the update. Now we’re working on getting wings so we can glide around in the caves which will make traversal even easier.

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Delves also attempt to mix the combat side of Trove with the Geode non-combat side. There are some utilities from the Geode tool kit that are nice like a grappling hook and increased movement speed but I haven’t found a use for much else. Jumps and mounts can replace these for the most part so I don’t find myself switching into Geode mode very often. There was a new vacuum utility added that seems useful so I may have to do some Geode to get that.

All in all, I think Delves is a fantastic update with a lot more to do than the Leviathan update. I was a bit worried about Trove for a while there. The last few updates had been nothing to write home about after Gamigo took over. Gardening was overhauled which was needed but wasn’t something I was interested in. Leviathans added randomly spawning mega bosses to Geode Topside which had some rewards but wasn’t something that pulled me back into the game. Delves give me some new goals to work toward and I already have a few projects in mind. I’m sure I’ll be able to get a few month’s worth of playtime out of this.

 

 

GTFO: Getting Closer on Pathfinder

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We didn’t end up having as much time as we usually do on Saturday night for our group game. As a result, we only had time for two mission attempts.  We almost finished Pathfinder last week so it seemed like the obvious choice. The one downside is Pathfinder is a long mission. A run typically takes 30-45 minutes depending on the spawns.

It started out really well. We got lucky with low spawns of sleepers in the first few rooms and lots of supplies. When you’re going into the first alarm door with 4 med-packs and full turret ammo, you start feeling pretty confident.

We tried a new strategy we tested out last week. Once we trigger the alarm, we have one person run into the room we think the horde will spawn in. That person then runs around the room holding as much aggro as they can while the other three chase the security circles to unlock the door.

This seems to work as long as the room is big enough and you guess the correct door most of them will come out of. Even holding off a room of enemies for an extra 30 seconds buys the rest of the team a lot of time to unlock the door. The group of three can also defend much better from waves of enemies coming through one door than two.

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Our luck ran out when there were two back to back security doors in one room. When this happens, the group has two choices. Close all the doors to defend against the first border. Or  Leave a door or two open to save for the next security door. The first options gives you a lot of time to prepare for that first door but leaves you vulnerable on the second door with nothing to stop the enemies.  The second option makes both doors equally as hard.

We ended up using option two. You can place C-foam on the ground instead of the door which will freeze enemies for a short time when they enter it. Usually, we set a turret up next to these spots which make short work of the first few enemies. This part was a little dicey, we had one or two team members go down on the second security door but we held on.

After this lovely room, we needed to find some more supplies. The Bio tracker didn’t show many enemies in the surrounding rooms so we took our chances with scavenging. We a room that had a med-pack but also had two large, tanky enemies. We encountered this room last week as well so we knew how to run it.

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This particular room is pitch black so it’s best to throw glow sticks around it so the person stealing can see without a flashlight. I had the glow sticks, so I started throwing them around. Fun fact, when you run out of glow sticks you’re automatically switched back to your primary weapon. I didn’t know this and miss counted how many glow sticks I had. So while our stealthy friend was halfway into the room I shout an entire clip into the air on accident. As you can imagine, that woke the two big boys and we had to spend a good chunk of ammo taking those down.

After that, we moved to a part of the map none of us was familiar with. We cobbled together some more supplies, got lucky and found an ammo pack, and made our way to the objective.

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The objective in Pathfinder is to find a terminal and establish an uplink. To do this one person has to man the terminal and type in the passcode. What the person on the terminal sees is a three-character code. The rest of the group seeing a lot of three-character codes with a corresponding 4 letter word. So the person on the computer reads out what they see and the other members have to quickly find the code they were just read and read out the 4 letter word. Once it’s typed in a new code appears. I found this to be a really cool group mechanic except for one thing…While all of this is going on, you also have to fight off very angry enemies.

We must have gotten the worst spawn for the terminal imaginable. It was a very tiny hallway room with two doors on either side. We set up turrets outside the doors, C-foamed each door and the area in front of the turrets, and sent our runner out to collect as much aggro as possible.  This worked until it didn’t

We were on the last code. We had done a great job reading off codes while fending off enemies. We were in the home stretch when the first door broke. There was an intense firefight and then we heard our man on the terminal say “Last Code!” He read out his number we read out our word and then we heard “Uplink failed. Re-enter the code” He had read us the wrong code and we had given him the wrong word.

This was when the second door broke. Everyone was downed.

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So close.

Blapril Lessons Learned – Again

Blapril

Another month-long blogging event is almost in the books. It’s been yet another great experience for me personally and I’ll miss the constant content to read through every day. As always, a big thank you  Belghast for putting on another fun-filled event. And thanks to everyone who participated for giving me some awesome content to read this month!

In this final week of Blapril, the topic turns to self-reflection and lessons learned.

Earlier this week I did something I haven’t done in a very long time. I went through and updated information on my sidebar,  About page, and Games Beaten page. My about page hadn’t been updated since May 29th 2016 which is the day I started this whole thing. I also went through and cleared up some categories and tags on my old posts starting at the beginning.

Then I got curious and started reading my old posts. I don’t know if I’ve done that in the almost 5 years that this blog has been running. It’s something I always said I would do at some point but never quite got around to.

So much has changed in my personal life in the last 5 years I was virtually a different person. As I went through everything, I could see my gaming interests shift from MMOs to more general single-player and co-op games. It was great to go back and read my thoughts from years ago. So much so that it’s motivation in itself to keep the blog going.

What I found particularly interesting were the other Blaugest Lessons Learned posts. I even found one from  NBI in 2016 when I was wrapping up participating in my first blogging event.

I wholeheartedly agree with Naithin here, maybe I should have looked at these before Blapril started. It looks like the lessons I’ve learned this year are the same lessons I learned every year.

  • I have time to write if I make time to write
  • I enjoy writing when I actually sit down to do it

I can’t say that I’ve learned anything new this time around either.

With this unique situation, we find ourselves in lately, there’s a lot more time in the day than there used to be. I’ve been trying to force myself to write in the morning but all that’s lead to is waking up to the thought that I don’t want to write. Not the most motivating thought first thing in the morning. I have found that it’s much easier to write on a lunch break or in the afternoon. This is very easy to achieve while working from home but I’m not sure I can keep it up once I have to go back to the office.

Once again, after writing a few days in a row I find that I enjoy the blogging process. I always come out of these events feeling so positive. This is the part of my wrap up post where I tell you I’m going to make more of an effort to blog. We’ll see about that. I find myself to be an “event” blogger.  In a week or two, it might be a while before you hear from me again given my track record.

We’ll just have to see how it goes.

 

 

 

Trove’s Delves Update

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The last time I played was just after the From the Deep patch dropped. Before then, my interest was already winning but I stuck around to see what the new update had in store. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep my interest. Random events that require cooperation from 10 plus random people in Trove…no thanks.

Just yesterday I learned that a new update was coming. And by coming I mean launched on the day I heard about it. Looking a little farther back, I’m actually surprised it launched so quickly. I found patch notes from the PTS server dated March 30th and a trailer was dropped sometime last week saying the update was coming this spring. I guess it is spring now. So, I messaged the old Trove crew and let them know we should check it out sometime this week.

You can find the full patch notes here.

 

Delves

Delves are the biggest chunk of content/ change in this update. I’m sure that surprises no one. These are procedurally generated endless dungeons that can hold up to 8 players. These dungeons mix the Geode side of Trove and the combat side of Trove as the players race through the dungeon completing an objective under a time limit. At the end of each floor, there’s a boss that must be defeated in under 3 minutes to progress to the next level. This, of course, comes with its own currency to collect for mounts, wings, banners, and allies.

There are 3 types of Delves: Public, Private, and challenge. Public Delves can be queued for in the Hub and will pair you with players of your similar power rank. You can craft portals for Private Delves at the Delve crafting bench which allows you to for premade teams of up to 8 people. Challenge Delves are generated each week so that players are on an even playing field for leaderboard competition. Rewards will be based on depth level reached in the Challenge Delve and for clearing 3 consecutive tiers the fastest.

Delves can be done by anyone at any level but this looks like more of an end game activity. Delves are replacing the previous end game dungeons, Shadow Towers, and all of the rewards from Shadow Towers are now obtainable in the Delves. I like this change, I was getting bored of killing the same bosses every week. Now I can run these and mix it up a little. Shadow Towers still exist but with no rewards. Shadow Tower portals will take you straight to the boss room now.

 

Tomb Raiser

I used to love the Tomb Raiser pre-Mante of Power update in 2016. That update took him from a viable class to the bottom tier. I haven’t touched him in 4 years. This patch brings much-needed buffs to the class. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s a playable class now.

 

Minor Updates

There are a lot of little things that were updated in this patch. Things of note were Class Leaderboards are no longer based on the Power Rank of the class and now “require effort on the class”. I would argue, getting enough power rank on a class to get rewards on the leaderboard was effort enough but it looks like now you’ll have to play the class to get rewards. There’s a whole list of activities in the Patch notes that boil down to things you’d typically do in Trove on a Weekley basis anyways. This is a little disappointing as a majority of my empowered gem boxes came from the class leaderboards every week.

Bomber Royale no longer gives Tome Experience. That’s a shame, it was an effective and fun way of getting those tomes done every week when your sick of running dungeons.

Legendary Tomes now nag the player once every 30 seconds if they are still equipped after being fully charged

This is my favorite patch note. So many times I haven’t noticed this was filled up. I welcome a notification that will “nag” me to change my tome out.

Thoughts

This looks like a decent update with content I can sink some time into again. I haven’t had a chance to test out any of the new features yet but I’m sure we’ll be playing sometime this week. The Public Delves are either going to be great or it’s going to be a few people trying to do the objective while 5 guys sit AFK. It’s Trove after all.

Apparently, the Shadow Towers were one of the main sources of lag in the game due to how they spawn a zone for each person doing them. I’m interested to see if the lag has improved. I’m not holding my breath though. Trove just wouldn’t be Trove if you weren’t rubberbanding every 5 minutes.

TemTem: It’s Not Exactly PC Pokemon

 

20200428070644_1.jpgI want to start this off by saying I know that TemTem is early access. It’s very difficult to forget as it’s plastered everywhere. There’s also this giant notification that you get when launching the game. I also know that early access games can change a lot from the time they “launch in EA” to the time they “actually launch”. You can see the roadmap here. There’s a lot still to come.

So I wasn’t expecting a finished game. From most of the reviews I expected a not quite finished but very playable game. And so far that’s what I’ve gotten.

This weekend I spent some time re-acquainting myself with the game and working towards beating the first Dojo. I bought this a few weeks ago after a friend picked it up. The main draw for me was a Co-Op pokemon game so I wasn’t too interested until someone I could play with had it. I played around 2 hours that first day and didn’t touch it again until last week. At the time of this writing I have 12 hours in the game but I haven’t done enough Co-Op to form an opinion on it yet.

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For the most part, TemTem is a reskinned pokemon you can play on PC. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After so many years of learning which pokemon are which type and what those type match-ups are, it’s refreshing to have to learn something new. This leads to situations where using certain attacks will do very little damage. But after a while, I’m starting to learn what moves to use when and when my TemTems are about to be at an extreme disadvantage.

I was going to list all of the similarities and realized it would just be easier to list what’s different: The Battle System. While it’s still turn-based and relies on knowing type match-ups it has a few key differences that make it it’s own.

The first is that every battle is a doubles battle. With two TemTems out at all times there’s some interesting strategies and synergies. My favorite is to use Chain Lightning with a partner who’s resistant to electric damage. Chain Lightning hits 3 TemTems clockwise so you hit both of your opponents and your partner. When you forget your partner is a water type things don’t go so well…

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Then there’s the stamina system. Instead of PP in pokemon where each move has a limited number of uses TemTem has stamina amounts for each move. Each TemTem has a different stamina pool based on their stats. You can use a move if it exceeds your stamina pool but it will take a chunk of your health depending on just how little stamina you have. If a TemTem overexerts itself by using all of its stamina it needs to rest for a turn. I find this adds a bit more strategy to battles. Do I go for the big hit and hope for a knockout or do I reserve my stamina for a few rounds with little attacks? Do I sacrifice some health and take out the opposing TemTem this round or take 2 rounds to KO?

I will say that TemTem is harder than recent Pokemon games. There is a lot of grinding involved to level up a newly added team member. In the first few zones, there aren’t a lot of effective type match-ups so battles go on longer. After the first Dojo when you h have access to the water, leveling new TemTems is easier but still slower than recent

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The whole game feels tougher thanks to the doubles format and the stamina system. I find that I have to switch TemTems mid-battle a lot more than I do in Pokemon. Beating Sophia, the first Dojo leader, took me two tries with about 2 hours of leveling in between. Unlike Pokemon’s gym leaders, Sophia had different types of TemTems so I couldn’t exploit one type match up the whole time.

Whether or not it’s worth the $35 price tag right now remains to be seen. Judging from the steam reviews there are 30-40 hours of PVE content right now. 12 hours in, I’ve only beaten 1 dojo and there appears to be 4 in the game right now so I’d say that’s about right. The game also just got competitive matchmaking, if you’re into that kind of thing, which is sure to extend the time you can spend with the game.