Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (Mai 2016)

Guild Wars 2 Bookahneer's GeekwatchWhen reading through the Steam community hub of Funatics’s game “Valhalla Hills“, I saw a post by a player saying that Funatics was recently acquired by InnoGames. The post is in German as well as most news postings I found about this happening. However, an English post that I found specifies that Funatics had to close as a company and the team was hired by InnoGames.

Either way, in case you don’t know or don’t remember, Funatics is the company who made the Cultures series. The Cultures games are still among my favourite games I ever played. They were also part of the developing teams around the Settlers games.

But let’s take a look at this acquisition. Funatics is a company that focussed mostly on building/simulation games. InnoGames is a company that makes browser-based and mobile games. I did take a look, but while those browser-based building games usually look nice and all that, but for me, at least those games are hardly ever appealing. Mostly because there is often a cash shop included which lets you speed up your game which is running in “real time” (“wait 15 minutes to harvest X” and so on). Maybe their mobile games are different and I am not doing them enough justice now, but I don’t play on mobile devices. When I am outside of the house, I am working or doing other real life-things and I made a decision at some point to not put a game on my mobile device, because I want to enjoy the outside world. :p

Cultures 8th Wonder of the World

So, while I am of course very happy for each and every team member who does not find themselves without a job, I am sad to know that the company that brought me the Cultures games and who were my “entry back into gaming”, so to say (after playing on the C64 as a kid and on the gameboy as a teenager), is no more. And that the kind of games they will be making from now on will probably be rather far away from what I like to play.

On a positive note: The publisher of Valhalla Hills said that they will try to finish the second DLC for the game, as the special edition you could buy included the first two DLCs free of charge and so far, they have only released one. I got Valhalla Hills and ended up not liking it at all, unfortunately. There’s just nothing of that Cultures charm left. So for me, at least, it doesn’t matter whether they will ever release another DLC or not, but I know I am not “everybody”, so I am still happy to see that they will try to get it out. :)

Something more positive: Civilization VI was announced! This certainly came as a surprise and everything I have read about the game so far sounds great. Especially the part about city districts and being able to see when somebody builds a world wonder. I don’t know yet if I will want the game for the fill price, as there will also be lots more DLCs and I am still not swimming in money. So I might wait for the price to drop a bit, at least.

Now on to the negative part about Civ VI – there always is something negative, right? The graphics. I have seen so many complaints about the graphics so far and to be honest, this was also my first reaction towards them. I guess enough people complained that the art director spoke up and explained why they changed the look of the game.

I think the graphics will grow on me. In fact, I don’t usually mind the graphics much at all, but this style just reminds me of “cheap browser/mobile” games which also makes me think of a “dumbed down” and easy game, so people can play it easily on a tablet etc. But that’s not what Civilization is! So seeing those graphics and having those associations in mind is a bad thing. On the other hand, from all that I have seen so far, it is exactly not what is going to happen to the franchise! There are many things coming that sound amazing and I am looking forward to seeing what else they will reveal. So yes, I am actually quite certain that once I am playing the game, I will not mind those graphics at all. In fact, it may even be easier to see what is going on on the map. Still, those trees… no. Just no. The rest I will get used to, but those trees are awful.

Atlas Reactor Solo game with Rask

Atlas Reactor recently switched from “free to play” to “buy to play”. The main concern people had was that the player base will be too small, as people will not want to blindly buy a game without trying it first. Now Trion Worlds announced their “recruit a friend” programme. If you get referred by somebody, you can try the game for free for three days. If the person you refer buys the game, you get some rewards. In case you do want to give it a try, here is my referral link. I don’t really care about the rewards, but hey, if you want to get three days of a free trial and end up liking the game, I also would not say “no” to those rewards. :p But please note: The game is free to try this weekend anyway! Additionally, the game is still in beta, so everything is subject to change as usual in betas.

“Bookahneer’s Geekwatch” is the place where we take a look at all those little pieces of gaming news that have attracted our interest and/or talk about what’s recently been in the spotlight of other fansites.

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (April 2016)

Guild Wars 2 Bookahneer's GeekwatchFragmented, the “little brother” of The Repopulation will officially arrive in Steam Early Access soon, on April 26. If you already own The Repopulation, you will get Fragmented for free – or you already got access to it if you registered for pre-steam early access-access. :p Either way, there is still an NDA on the game until after it has launched in Early Access. As such, there is not much known about the game, or rather those who do know are not allowed to say anything. But I would assume that streamers and maybe even some bloggers or gaming websites will release information and/or show off the game as soon as they are allowed to!

What do we officially know is that this game is supposed to serve as a foundation for The Repopulation as the developers had to switch engines and are building the games at the moment. While The Repopulation will eventually be a complex sandbox MMORPG, Fragmented will have a smaller scope. It will still be an online game, though, but also offer the option to play offline or host your own servers. There will be PvP as well as PvE servers and options. Everything that is currently in the game is listed on the Steam page under “About This Game“.

“Everything we have listed in About This Game below are currently implemented and functional in the game.”

If this sounds interesting to you, I would carefully recommend this game. Carefully, of course, as there is always a risk involved with games in Early Access. But so far, everything we have heard and seen from the developers makes me very optimistic that they are dedicated, hard-working and that we will see a finished game one day.

Atlas Reactor has started its Closed Beta. In the last Open Alpha phase, everybody could just sign up and play, but now you need to buy access if you want to play during the Closed Beta. Before anybody asks: Yes, there will be a wipe after Closed Beta, so no progress will be kept during this stage. I have taken a look at the different pre-purchase packages here. Price starts at 10 €, so it’s not too expensive if you want to check out the game during Closed Beta. You will also get that amount in in-game Credits once the game launches. The game itself will be free to play.

Wildstar New Tutorial_Dominion

Fragmented is not the only game making its appearance on Steam. Wildstar finally emerged on there as well. There is no release date listed other than “2016”. We know that they recently tested a new tutorial, so I assume this one will have to be polished and finished first before they start there. It would at least be a very wise move. They already overhauled the character creation procedure which is now a lot more intuitive to handle. So a new tutorial can only be good for the game, too. From what I have seen of the new tutorial on the Public Test Realm, it explains things for people new to MMOs, but more specifically, it explains how Wildstar works. Right after starting your first “test fights”, you are told how enemies are vulnerable for a short time if you interrupted one of their abilities and – and this is something I don’t think I’ve seen in other MMOs so far – you are then taken onto a housing plot and are shown how the housing works in Wildstar (remember: Housing gives you bonuses like rested XP, so even if you don’t care about housing in general, you may want to use it only for those bonuses and features). I only briefly looked at the new tutorial, but so far, it seemed to be well done. Let’s hope that the launch on Steam will bring in more customers, because I really like this game and would hate to see it go the way Vanguard did or Star Wars Galaxies…

“Bookahneer’s Geekwatch” is the place where we take a look at all those little pieces of gaming news that have attracted our interest and/or talk about what’s recently been in the spotlight of other fansites.

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (28. February 2016)

Guild Wars 2 Bookahneer's GeekwatchFragmented, the game that the developers of “The Repopulation” are working on as a basis for the engine-switch of Repopulation, is entering closed testing soon. You can sign up and apply for it here if you like. If you need more information about Fragmented, I wrote about it in January. Head over to that post where you will also find several links to official statements from the developers regarding both games.

I am very excited about Fragmented, especially since I have been playing quite a lot of Defiance recently. That game is also a third-person shooter-ish game where you cannot scroll far away from your character. I often have issues with simulation sickness, especially when games use first person view, so that I do not even touch those games unless I want to put myself on a special… “diet”. But it seems to have gotten much better in the past few years. Commuting to work via train and reading while on the train slowly made me be able to “handle” more before motion sickness comes in, I think. At least, the time where I started to tolerate more before feeling sick correlates with the time I had that commute.

Anyway, enough about that. The end result is that I can tolerate games like Defiance just fine now and I am excited to play Fragmented. Hopefully right when closed testing starts, but it does sound like they are beginning with just a small sample of testers which probably makes sense. If I’m not chosen, I’ll just sit here waiting more or less patiently until I can get back into that world!

Now, on to another topic. When Trove launched on Steam, it got extremely popular with lots and lots of people rushing into the game. The poor servers couldn’t handle it well, but that’s not the topic I want to focus on here. Trion Worlds just announced that they are going to wipe inactive character names come March 7! If you last logged into the game prior to August 1, 2015, but you actually like your name and want to keep it, then I suggest you better log on again before March 7. On the bright side, you will also receive 1500 cubits and 5 chaos chests (which can contain nice loot like a mount or an ally) simply for logging on.

Welcome to Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! This is the place where we take a look at all those little pieces of gaming news that have attracted our interest and talk about what’s recently been in the spotlight of other fansites.

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (February 2016)

Guild Wars 2 Bookahneer's GeekwatchWelcome to Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! This is the place where we take a look at all those little pieces of gaming news that have attracted our interest and talk about what’s recently been in the spotlight of other fansites.

Wildstar’s Humble Bundle Jumpstar Pack

Humble Bundle has launched its latest bundle “Gamepedia Online Multiplayer” bundle. I may not have even noticed it without seeing the Wildstar twitter account link to it. In case you are not familiar with Humble Bundle: You only need to pay at least $ 1.00 for the lowest tier of games (and game goodies). The Wildstar Jumpstar Pack is part of that. Of course, you can also pay more and receive more – or just pay more because you feel like it. By default, if you decide to pay $ 5.00, then $ 3.25 are for the developers, $ 1.00 is for Humble and $ 0.75 is for charity! You can adjust the sliders as you see fit, though, and decide to give more to charity – or the other two. Just as you like!

Wildstar Jumpstar Pack in Account InventoryStill, this is a nice Wildstar bundle for just $ 1.00. It contains the following items: Bag of Big Beginnings (16-slot bag), Housewarming Gift Pack (Housing Decor), Flask of Advancement (XP Potion) 1x 3hr, Shardspire Canyon Fabkit (Jump Puzzle Challenge), Blue Steel Hoverboard with Flair (Mount), Housing Teleport (Immediate Access to Housing) and New Homesteaders Allowance (5 gold). Most of those can only be claimed by one character on your account, like the 5 gold (not really a surprise if you ask me :p). But the best parts can be claimed by all of your characters (including those you haven’t even created yet)!

If you ask me, the best item is the “Protostar Housing Teleportation Unit” which gives your character access to its housing plot as early as level 3. Usually, you need level 14. Of course, that’s not too bad, but it’s still a very convenient item to have. Your housing plot gives you more rested XP and it’s also a nice spot to go afk in and then return to the world later when you want to resume playing. Then there’s a mount, a blue hoverboard. A hoverboard. My character is also standing on her “Shardspire Canyon”, a housing item you get which can also be “multi-claimed”, so every character can have one. It fits perfectly to the theme I have in mind for her housing plot!

Wildstar Shardspire Canyon and Hoverboard (Blue Steel)

Atlas Reactor’s sneak peek alpha

Atlas Reactor is “opening” its doors from February 18 to February 24. Please do note that you will need a key to access this sneak peek alpha. Some websites made it sound as if it was open just by signing up, but unfortunately, this is not the case. The game is still in alpha, so I assume it’s probably not ready for the masses anyway. I am a fan of the MOBA genre – in theory! I really like the concept and I enjoyed playing League of Legends – with friends against bots or just me against bots. But not with strangers against other strangers. Still, whenever I see a new MOBA around, I do take a closer look at it.

Atlas Reactor is not just another MOBA, though. It’s turn-based! This immediately caught my attention, as I like turn-based games. That aspect could also set it apart from the other MOBAs around. We’ll see, I guess. :) And I will certainly write about my experiences here, as there won’t be an NDA attached to that sneak peek alpha.

There are several websites where keys are given away. As always: Be careful when it comes to such giveaways and make sure not to enter any sensitive data in shady places. One website I found is PCGamesN which is giving away 5000 keys.

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch: MMO+

Guild Wars 2 Bookahneer's GeekwatchWelcome to Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! This is the place where we talk about miscellaneous things like little pieces of gaming news that have attracted our interest or what’s recently been in the spotlight of other fansites and projects.

Back in August, we received a mail from the developer behind the website MMO+ about his/her project. I am always a bit skeptical when it comes to people asking to have their projects promoted, because I don’t want to recommend something to you which then turns out to be a scam site trying to steal your game accounts or a website that ends up in the gold-selling business. So, I let those mails rest for a bit and check out the website before I make a decision what to do with it. In this case, I actually forgot about it. Blaugust had been really busy and then we’d gone on a short vacation.

Anyway, I just remembered it and looked at the website. It still looks as good as it did when I first visited it. In fact, it looks better. On top of that, several other sites have written about this project by now and the developer asked about feedback on Reddit. So now I can say that it really is a legit project and with that, a really great one, too!

You may – hopefully – now wonder what that website actually is? It’s an MMO search engine! Quite simple, but very helpful. I know from the search terms of our blog that people regularly try to figure out if one MMO suits them or which of several MMOs they might enjoy trying out. This search engine can help you with that. It’s got quite elaborate filters letting you decide what you want, what you don’t want, what’s irrelevant and so on. The MMOs are also colour-coded by their release status (released, beta, development, cancelled).

MMO+ website

I tested it trying to find upcoming MMOs that may be interesting for me and the search engine showed me Black Desert Online and Wild Terra. I don’t really know what I would need to change to get Project Gorgon to show up for me. :p But here is Project Gorgon’s profile on MMO+. At the very bottom of the game’s pages, you can find a button that lets you send in a suggestion in case you find something is incorrect with a profile.

So, if you’re looking for a new MMO to try, maybe this website can help you!