A few hours in Civilization VI

Bookahnerk had pre-purchased Civilization VI for himself and for me and we’ve both been looking forward to the game’s release for weeks now. Since I’ve spent the week being sick while still going to work every day (thank you, painkillers, for helping me out), we spent Friday evening being very lazy. He brought home Subway sandwiches, so I did not have to cook. I had started a single player game on Friday morning before work, but in the evening, we decided to start a game together. Difficulty setting “Prince” gave us a very unpleasant experience. Within a couple of turns, we were both occupied by barbarians with no force to counter them.

Civilization VI playing as France

We restarted both with “Warlord” which is one difficulty setting below “Prince”. I think Warlord is too easy for us, but it worked fine to start and get to know the game. Especially if you’re playing together, it’s just too frustrating if you need to restart all the time because one of you got overrun by barbarians. ;)

In the single player game, I had chosen England as my civilization while I tried out France in the multiplayer one. The introduction video for France says that it’s a perfect civilization for those going for a cultural victory. I really like and prefer going for the non-domination victories, so it sounded like the perfect choice. But I’m not so sure right now. But that’s probably because I have not seen too much of the game yet and am not really sure what I’m doing, especially when it comes to focusing on one path for victory. I just always love the exploration part and England seems like a better choice there as it gives you an advantage in naval movement. It also seems that I go for the female leaders more than the male ones. Come to think of it, I don’t remember when I last willingly played a male leader in the Civilization games other than getting a random leader. Most of the time, the female leaders have the attributes or bonuses I want, though. Especially England!

The biggest controversy before the game’s release was probably the graphics. I even saw lots of comments about how the game was “dumbed down” which seemed to be related to the impression they got from the graphics (Halo Effect at its best, I assume). I myself was not a big fan of the graphics changes, but I also said from the beginning that the actual gameplay was much more important to me than the look of the game. My impression so far is that it does not look or feel like a “mobile game” at all. After all, it’s not even the graphics alone. It’s the combination of graphics, user interface, animations, sounds and music. If there were such a mobile game, I would probably start playing games on my mobile phone. :p

I had also heard the game’s main theme before playing and I was… disappointed. Of course, after Baba Yetu, it’s difficult to come up with something better if you ask me, but this song, “Sogno di Volare” just seemed so boring. However, I started the game and watched the introduction video which is where the main theme slowly starts playing and I can tell you: It fits perfectly. It’s no Baba Yetu, but it’s definitely a great song for the game. I also received a newsletter mail from the composer, Christopher Tin, who let us all know that the song can also be bought on several sites like Amazon or iTunes – just in case somebody is interested. :)

So altogether, after playing for a few hours, I can say that I am definitely not disappointed with the game. I have not found anything to be “dumbed down” so far and I really like the addition of the city districts. The builders only having a number of “charges” to improve fields before you need to build another builder is annoying, though. Probably very good, but annoying. I keep building other stuff in the city (like fighting units etc.) and forget that I also need builders to improve my city. It adds another strategic element, though, as you need to consider even more what you need to build in your city next and what you want to focus on.

My conclusion so far: It feels like a true Civilization game and a worthy successor to Civilization V… but I still don’t like the way the trees look. :p

Primalist and cross-promotions

All of Trion’s own games (Defiance, Rift and Trove) are receiving some cross-promotion rewards when you log into their newest game, Atlas Reactor, this weekend (to be more precise, between Friday, Oct. 7 at 5:00pm (PT) and Sunday, Oct. 9 at 11:59pm (PT)). In Rift, everybody gets 15 days of free Patron time. If you’re in the USA, you can also win a pack with all of their mounts. In Trove, you get two Empowered Gem Boxes. In Defiance, you get 15 days of Patron time (if you’re playing on the PC) and 2 x 15 inventory slots (both for PC and console players).

Logging into Atlas Reactor seems to be enough to get these rewards. So if you really don’t care about the game, just install it briefly, log in, check if you got the rewards in your game(s) and uninstall the game again. Or… give it a try! :p Despite it being advertised as a turn-based PvP game, you can perfectly play it as a PvE game with or without other players, by the way!

So with 15 days of Patron time in Rift also comes a 10 % discount in their store. I completely missed that they had reduced the cost of their additional class, the Primalist, back in April. It’s still not cheap if you ask me, – about 28 € without the discount – but with the discount, I decided it’s time to get the Primalist. I like having all classes unlocked in my MMOs! What I had not considered was that I also needed another character slot. Thankfully, I was not at the maximum amount already (12) and “only” had to buy another slot and character slots are reasonably cheap.

After that, the usual “obstacles” occurred. Do I really want a 5th dwarf? I already have one elf in both factions and for me, that’s about 1.5 elves more than I have on average in most other games that have that race. ;) I chose to try out a human on guardian side (a Mathosian) instead since I do not have one. Yeah, I’m not a fan of humans either, because they are too ordinary for fantasy games. So I’m not really sure why I chose this one… I just figured it might be nice to have something non-dwarf for once and the other non-elf non-human is the Bahmi race which I found too big and bulky for my taste. So, welcome, little Ghamina. May you grow a few levels before the expansion arrives and you’ll be put back on the shelf as my dwarf cleric will take over again! Also, I can’t believe I had not saved or used the name Ghamina on that shard until now…


Atlas Reactor: Win 1 of 5 Lockwood Citadel Skins

(Update: Giveaway is closed. Winners will be receiving their codes shortly – We decided to give away 6 codes instead of 5, so everybody’s a winner! :D)

Atlas Reactor entered its headstart (which you can join immediately if you purchase the founder pack). If you don’t own a founder’s pack, you will have to wait until the game’s official launch to play the game for free. But don’t worry: This day is tomorrow!

The launcher states that the game will launch at 8 am PDT (click the link to see the time in your own time zone) – so in less than 24 hours! And to celebrate this occasion, we were given special skins (Lockwood Citadel Skins) to give away to our readers! Skins are purely cosmetic, of course. Lockwood is the freelancer you get to try during the tutorial, by the way. He is one of my favourite freelancers and I think purple suits him very well! So if you want one of these skins for yourself as well, read the rules below and leave a comment. :)

Atlas Reactor Lockwood Citadel Skin

  1. Rules and Important Notes – Read these before participating in our giveaway! They will tell you what to do in order to enter successfully.
  2. This giveaway will run from today until 8. October (9 pm our time!). Click the link to check for the time in your timezone.
  3. Leave a comment saying “I have read and agree with the giveaway’s rules” if you want to enter the giveaway for the Lockwood Citadel Skin. No other keyword is necessary here (since we only have this skin to give away in the first place).
  4. The codes will expire on November 6, so if you win it, make sure to enter it before that date!

Last but not least, good luck to everybody who participates!

Win 1 of 3 Radar Corgi codes

Rift Radar Corgi companion and Racing snail mount

(Update: All codes are gone!)

We still have three codes for Radar Corgi companions for Rift left from our September code stash. Those poor little guys are looking for a loving home!

These codes will expire on Monday, October 3. As that is less than a week away, we’re having a “more casual” giveaway with fewer rules: It’s “first come, first serve. One code per person only.”

You only need to leave a comment saying that you want that radar corgi companion (so we know that it’s a legitimate person and not a regular spam comment :p). Once those three codes are gone (or it’s October 3), the giveaway will be closed… obviously, since there are no codes left then. ;)

WoW: Say cheeeeese!

Now who’s more photogenic, eh?

I like how silly World of Warcraft is sometimes. I had seen that they implemented the S.E.L.F.I.E. camera some time ago, but both my characters received their very own ones in the game today. Oddly enough, despite it being very silly, it’s not really breaking the immersion for me. Maybe because the game has always had pop references and the like (Haris Pilton…). I laughed quite a lot when I saw the picture I took with my draenei, but the pandaren is just adorable.

I have been playing my draenei mage as my main character ever since I first created her (when Burning Crusade released). However, when I went back to the game after Mists of Pandaria had released, I had created a little pandaren monk and I really liked that class. I made a different one (I wanted a different name), Gechi, and boosted her to level 100. But she has to wait as my draenei mage is questing her way through the previous expansion’s story content. I want to know what happened before I continue playing the current expansion! Although I somehow doubt it’s going to be too relevant considering the previous expansion put is in an alternate universe. Not really my cup of tea, but I’m also not a fan of Rift’s lore and I am slowly getting bored with the elder dragons in Guild Wars 2 as well. Let’s just say I apparently do not really care about the stories much but about the rest of the game. Anyway, this post is not about my love or hate for lore. It’s about my love for silly things in MMOs and this S.E.L.F.I.E. camera certainly is one of such things!