The Big “Trion Worlds Games” Giveaway

As a welcome to the Content Creator Program, we received a bunch of codes for each of Trion’s games! I don’t even know if we have readers from all of their games, but we will still give away the codes here. Since it’s a long list and lots of things, I will try to keep everything as short and easy as possible. You will find pictures of some of the prizes below as well, in case you want to see what you can get first. :)

Here’s the list of prizes

  • ArcheAge: 2x Skywhisper Glider & Oathbound Plate (2 prizes in total)
  • Atlas Reactor: 2x Gray’s Citadel Style (2 prizes in total)
  • Defiance: 2x APS Envoy Outfit and Headgear & Blue/Red Challenger Vehicle (2 prizes in total)
  • Devilian: 2x Shimmering Devil Wings (2 prizes in total)
  • Trove: 4x Streamer Dream Boxes (4 prizes in total)
  • RIFT: 2x Community Racing Snail as well as 2x Radar Corgi Pet (4 prizes in total – the mount and the companion are given away separately)
  • As well as 3x Closed Beta Invites for Atlas Reactor – A note: Atlas Reactor switched its business model to “buy to play”. So you will get beta access and can play throughout the beta, but once the game launches, you will need to buy it if you want to continue playing. The closed beta invites will be given away separately. You can read more about that in the rules section below.

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The gallery above shows what can be in the Trove Streamer Dream box. One of those items will be what you will receive with said box. Below, there are screenshots for the prizes in Rift (The snail mount as well as the corgi companion – those are two separate prizes!), Atlas Reactor (Grey’s skin) and Devilian (those devil wings). I don’t have screenshots for the ArcheAge and Defiance prizes.

Rules and Important Notes

  1. One entry per person! Please stay fair!
  2. You can enter into any game’s giveaways. Leave a comment with the keywords for the appropriate categories (the categories are: ArcheAge, Atlas Reactor, Defiance, Devilian, Trove, Rift). E.g., if you want to enter the giveaway for Rift, Trove and ArcheAge, you would comment with: Rift, Trove, ArcheAge. You can only win once per category.
  3. The closed beta access for Atlas Reactor is independent. Simply state that you want it (leave the keywords “Atlas Reactor Closed Beta” in the comment field). If there are more than 3 people entering for the closed beta access, we will randomly choose the winners.
  4. Leave a valid email address when commenting. It will only be used by us for contacting the winners and nothing else! Enter said email address into the “email” field, do not add it to the comment field as that one is public! We will send an email to the winners with the code/s you’ve won.
  5. The codes are also only valid for up to 30 days after we received them (so probably around 22 more days when you get them). It’s probably best for you to enter them right away at the official website.
  6. No debating about the outcome! We will randomly choose the winners.
  7. This giveaway will run from today until 6. August (9 pm our time!). Click the link to check for the time in your timezone.

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

 

Gaming without the internet

So on Tuesday while working from home, the internet stopped working. We figured it may be our modem, but the company wanted to test some other things outside first. Needless to say, we spent the rest of the evening without internet. I decided that it’s time to check out which games I can actually play while being offline – and to write a “diary” of my offline gaming time.

Day 1

Of course, all MMOs are out. Doh. I had started playing Van Helsing Final Cut lately and really wanted to continue with it. The problem is that I had never been able to decide for one class, so I played the starting map countless times already. I finally decided to go with the tanking class. The good news first: You can play Final Cut offline! But you do not have access to your cloud-saved games. Well, this is quite logical, of course. The problem is just that I didn’t know the games were saved online only! So the only saved game was of a level 1 character. That is a bit useless. I could have started another character but this would have been the 10th time or so I would have seen the beginning of the game. No thanks.

Anno 2070 is an Ubisoft game. Do I need to say more? Okay maybe… I have it on Steam, but when I wanted to start the game, it told me that it can’t connect to the key server. So no Anno 2070 for me. To be quite honest, I mainly started this game to see if it works offline and not so much because I felt the urge to play it. Still, it would have been nice!

I then decided to play Venetica. I bought the game not too long ago and I thought that without the internet, I could finally concentrate on the story of a roleplaying game. We usually have a stream open or watch a series on Netflix etc., so I never really pay too much attention to the story of a game or at least don’t feel immersed – other than MMOs. The problem is that this game was rather buggy. I am not sure if it’s Windows 10 maybe, but when I exited a map and entered another, I had half of the loading screen on top and only restarting the game fixed it. That’s when I decided to not play this game for now… or until I can figure out if there is anything I can do to make it run better.

For the rest of the evening, I played The Lord of the Rings: War in the North. It is a kind of “hack & slash” game where you control one character and have two NPC companions with you. So in total, there are three characters: A male man, a male dwarf and a female elf. Of course, I forgot all of their names. ;) I chose to control the elf, because she has a staff and can fight in melee. I love staff-wielding melee classes and would really like to see this more often in games, actually. Yes, I was the weird person running around with her female orc warrior and a staff in World of Warcraft who ended up really crushed when her boyfriend told her that while warriors can wield a staff, there are actually none for the warrior to choose later on (it was a white staff and a low level character at that point), because all staves had caster stats on them…

Lord of the Rings War in the North

Anyway, my verdict on The Lord of the Rings: War in the North: It’s not a bad game. It’s not a good game either. The problem with this game for me is that all levels seem to be on rails. In fact, you enter a (small!) map, fight off several waves of orcs and/or goblins, get some story piece (the voice overs are actually really good if you ask me!), get to choose some of the dialogue you want your character to say and then move on to the next map. Oh, and you collect better and stronger equipment pieces, of course. Before transitioning to the next map, you even get a pop-up telling you which character did the most damage, used the most special attacks and so on. You can play the game with other players instead of those companions – if you can go online, that is. But taken together, you have a small-map hack & slash game in Middle Earth with a not very interesting story. At least, not in the beginning. I fail to get excited here.

Day 2

On day number 2, while enjoying my morning coffee before work, I decided to see if I could play Fragmented. This is an online game, but you get the option to play offline or even host your own server. It’s still in Early Access on Steam, so I didn’t really think it would work – but it did! I could continue playing my character on the offline server. This was a very nice positive surprise! But it was early and I had to get to work, so I could not play.

After work, we found out that the company had not done anything yet and we still had to wait for them to actually do their tests. So, no internet that evening either.

Bookahnerk went to meet some friends and I stayed behind (my own decision! I could have joined him, of course, but I preferred being a lazy potato at home). I played some more War in the North, but that did not change my opinion on the game. It was nice, but nothing amazing. I also started up Demonicon (a “The Dark Eye” game), but after reading some Steam reviews (on my mobile phone), I had ruined the fun for me. Lots of reviews mentioned constant crashes and other issues and I just did not want to spend my “precious gaming time” with that game. Maybe another time. For the record: There were 0 crashes during the 30 minutes I did play the game. :p

By the way, Prison Architect also stores the games offline, so I did have a look at my little prison for a bit and checked on my prisoners. They’re all still there. Good girls. :p But as soon as I had started that game, I realized that I could also try Civilization: Beyond Earth. I had played the game during a free test period on Steam and had liked it so much that I bought it not too long afterwards. Unfortunately, I had soon realized that I just did not get the game. I assume it’s not complicated at all, but the last time I had started the game, I remember I tried to google quite a lot. Still, I wanted to give it a try again. Unfortunately, no matter how often I clicked the “play” button, nothing happened. That’s when I decided it’s time for Civilization V again instead.

Diablo 2 got tested at some point as well. It loads. Thankfully, it doesn’t rely on the battle.net-launcher to be online. In fact, it doesn’t need the launcher at all!

Day 3

The company had made their tests and had confirmed that it’s nothing outside into our house and that, in fact, they need to send a technician over. Not on Day 3, though. But at least, we had it scheduled for Day 4.

I immediately settled for Civ V after work. I also spent an hour in the kitchen preparing dinner which I had thought would be fast to prepare. Apparently not. ;) I usually have streams, music or Netflix on in the background when cooking. It was actually not bad not to have any background noises. I should do that more often after work. In case you’re wondering about what I had made for dinner: Chicken marinated in soy sauce with fresh vegetables and saté sauce (not self-made, though. I still had some left that I bought a while ago which only needs to be poured into boiling water).

Civ V Austria

Civ V is great, but I soon wondered: Wouldn’t I want to give Diablo 2 a shot again? I did, oh yes, I did. Don’t get me wrong: I really like Diablo 2 and would love to finish playing it one day (I never did, because once I had discovered it, it didn’t take long and bookahnerk gave me World of Warcraft…). The major downside was that I did not think about “forcing” the game into windowed mode. Tabbing in and out did not always work flawlessly the first time. So I tabbed in and out several times to get back into the game – and then tried not to tab out again afterwards. ;) I also got a slight headache from the graphics. So I only played for a bit before I decided – just one more turn! Back to Civ V until it was time for my bed.

And in case you are wondering: Yes, I know it reads like I have “gaming-ADHD”. I do the same with MMOs, only with less games  to choose from (currently it’s only Wildstar, Guild Wars 2 and Rift). But hey, there are so many choices for me, it’s really hard to decide and one moment I feel like playing a roleplaying game, the next I prefer a turn-based game. It could also be that I just get more and more tired the later the evening gets and turn-based games are easier to play when you’re tired. :p

Day 4

The technician was said to arrive between noon and 4 pm. He arrived exactly at noon! Not one minute later. I was shocked, actually, but very happy about it. Only thirty minutes and a new modem later, our internet was finally back up. Just in time for the weekend – and for me to be able to finish work without having to drive to the office as I actually had some important emails to send which I never want to do on my phone. The screen is too tiny and uncomfortable to send longer emails if you ask me.

Anyway, I started Steam and it updated 10 games. I also logged in to my favourite MMOs and immediately got stuck in Rift again. Summerfest has started. Since there is no summer to speak of here, I guess Rift’s summer will have to do for now. ;)

Summer Sale 2016 – Part 2

And then there were four new games. In my defense, I only bought one of those and got the other one from a friend. :)

The first is Democracy 3. I had it on my wishlist for quite some time already and then decided that I really want it. Now. Not during the next sale. Yes, it was a spontaneous buy, but it was also below 10 €, at least. My first reaction after starting the game was something like: What is this? – Blue, red, white buttons. Red lines, green lines. It’s all so confusing (see screenshot below :p). Or, as bookahnerk said with a grin on his face: Have fun governing your country!

Democracy 3 Main Screen

I did slowly get into the game after playing for an hour or two (or more? I did not check the clock). The one thing I can say is annoying is that there is a strong bias for US American politics. That is, not in which policies you can activate. But here is one example: Even though I chose Germany as my country, there are only two parties in the election. Our system has much more than just two parties. I know that I should not expect one game to follow all countries’ political systems, but it is a bit strange nonetheless. I guess I am just too used to our political system.

Most of what you see above is the game. Policies that are active, consequences that need your attention (red), and the factions of your country in the middle. You get “power” every turn (seen as the fist on the upper left) and every action you make costs some of that power. Your cabinet determines how much power you get every quarter. And you can also hire and fire new members for your cabinet. I like “slow” turn-based games like this one once in a while. Especially when watching a TV series or a film at the same time. Or after a stressful day at work when I want to play, but cannot concentrate too much anymore.

The other game that I added to my library is Windward. I know I had it on my wishlist once, but I don’t think I still had it there when said friend gave it to me. She had bought a 4-pack for herself and another friend. Then she gave one copy to me and the 4th to bookahnerk. I have not played this much yet, but what I saw was really very good! I have yet to test the multiplayer. Then again, maybe I should first learn how to play before thinking about that. :p What I find difficult is moving your ship so you can fire your cannons. And I admit, I never paid attention to ships and how they are built. I actually had to ask bookahnerk: “The game says my cannons can’t reach the target. Are my cannons on the front or on the side?” – Yes, you may laugh now. Thinking about it and how a ship looks, I know they are usually on the side. But in the middle of the battle against pirates, I didn’t!

Windward

So as you can guess, there is still a lot to learn for me. But hey, at least I found how to customize your fleet’s look. I am not a fan of pink/rose at all, actually. But when I started playing the game Warlock, I somehow ended up with pink as my colour and this has sticked with me ever since. I once tried to play with a different colour and had a hard time finding my towns on the map. :p So, whenever I can, I now use pink for myself. As I said, I have not done much yet, but I did destroy a few pirate ships, did my first trade, handed in a few quests and just strolled along the coastline – or whatever you do with a ship. :p With this very limited bit of experience, I would still recommend the game. It’s only 4 €, after all. That’s two cups of espresso.

Thankfully, the Steam sale is ending in a few days. My wallet will be safe again! Though I also have to say that I really like that Steam got rid of its flash sales and extra daily deals. Now there is no “stress” anymore to try to get the best of the best of the sales. You can just ponder and mull over your wishlist’s games for a couple of weeks and calmly decide which games you actually want.

How bad is the Steam Summer Sale?

For your wallet, of course. :p

I only bought three items: Remember Me and the Ascended Souls for Rift twice. The latter for me and for bookahnerk.

After that, we created new characters to level together. He is playing a mage with the Frostkeeper soul which is a healer. I decided to level a cleric as Runeshaper which is a magic damage dealer… it plays a bit like a fire mage. We both have a mage and a cleric respectively, but the builds in Rift can be quite confusing (for players like us who don’t play regularly, at least), so we thought it’d make sense to start fresh with two low level characters and play them through dungeons to get to know the builds step by step. Only that we found that sometimes, the dungeon queue pops faster when I queue as support instead of damage dealer. In Rift, dungeons can be played with 5 players: Two damage dealers, one tank, one support and one healer. So, I switched to the cleric’s support soul, the Oracle, instead. I never thought I would like that soul, because when I first read about it, it sounded very boring. It’s definitely not and I actually quite enjoy shielding my fellow party members. If only the low level dungeons weren’t as easy as they are. But we hope that this will change later on when we get to higher levels (or veteran dungeons).

Rift Eth Mage and Cleric

Remember Me is the “spiritual predecessor” to Life is Strange from the same company – or at least, I am calling it like that. It is similar, yet very different at the same time. The combat especially – most of all, there is no combat in Life is Strange. :p But on top of that, I also find it tedious in Remember Me and would prefer if the game did not have any combat. As far as I noticed so far, it’s “click, click, click” at the same pace. You can choose whether the second click in this sequence deals damage or heals and you can choose what kind of combat animation the character does. There are different sequences that you can use, but it seems to be this pattern all the time. But there is dodging as well and so far, my “damage-heal-damage” sequence, while kind of boring to click, seems to work perfectly. And the rest of the game is quite good so far, especially the story sounds intriguing and the atmosphere is really nice, so I do not regret the purchase.

Remember Me

Other than that, I have actually kept my wallet closed. There are games I am interested in, but I currently do have a few other games that I actually want to play. So, those games will stay on my wishlist until Winter sale, I guess. ;)

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.