Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (September 2016)

Guild Wars 2 Bookahneer's GeekwatchFirst of all, we have Rift and some tiny news about its upcoming expansion “Starfall Prophecy”. We still do not have a date for the expansion’s launch, unfortunately. I speculated about the time range before, but other than that, it’s all guessing. Of course, us players are getting impatient as we would love to hop into the new content right away! But the latest post about it was a definite “no launch date yet”. However, we now know that there will be a beta (since Trion usually does these with Rift, it was to be expected, but confirmation is still nice!) and that news about beta will come “well before we announce a date”.

Thankfully, Guild Wars 2 will launch its next piece of content update “Rising Flames” next Tuesday, so I won’t have to starve for too long with nothing to do (totally ignoring the fact I also just got World of Warcraft’s Legion… :p). I am not hyped as with Guild Wars 2, I strongly prefer not having any expectations and then just enjoying what’s given to me. However, I like that there will be a new map again!

Atlas Reactor Charr Freelancer Rask

Last piece of news from me but most exciting: Atlas Reactor just got a launch date! The game will officially release on October 5. From everything I have seen and experienced, I can tell you that I am confident that this game is ready for release! But you do not need to trust my words here, as you can hop into the game for free already (note that there will be a wipe prior to release!). And from September 15 (wait – that’s today I just realized) until September 25 the game will be in open beta and you will get everything unlocked! The game will be free to play when it launches but certain things are locked until you pay a one-time fee (all heroes, called freelancers here, will be unlocked then, for example).

“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 (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: 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!

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (June 2015)

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.

Dragon Season is in need of a few donations in order to keep paying for the website. There is a longer explanation on what is being paid with the donations on the donation page. Of course, nobody should ever feel obligated to pay for anything! But if you like what we(*) are doing and you feel generous, we would greatly appreciate your help! As explained on the website, all money will only be used for running the website and for giveaways. No writer or administrator gets paid! After all, most people that I know who write for a fansite or a gaming blog do not do it to earn money. In fact, most of them spend money on this hobby and do not earn anything from it. Dragon Season is no exception and the last thing we want is having to add advertisements on the page in order to pay for the site’s bandwidth…

(*)I say “We” because I am a writer for Dragon Season. I haven’t written much, but I am helping with the organization and well, I do have this blog here to maintain as well. :p

trove-logoIn 15 days, Trove will officially launch! The game is currently still in beta and yes, there are still bugs around. The developers have shared a “hit list” of what they want to fix before July 9. As far as I can see, all the bugs that I noticed are on this list. I am still very optimistic about this game’s launch as the game has consistently and quite swiftly gotten better with every patch. Other than the bug fixes, they also apparently want to stress test the server and are asking all players to join them on June 25 (12:00am PDT – 11:59pm PDT (GMT -7)). As you can see, the stress test will last for 24 hours. In case you are wondering, copy and paste “12 am PDT” to to see it in your local time. If you do try to log in (either successfully or not, depending on the server’s state), you will be eligible for a Flask coin which you can use to unlock a healing flask or an emblem (adding an effect to your heal) and 5 Piñatas – the latter is only for the players above mastery level 30. However, keep in mind that right now, everybody can create an account and join the game. So if you’ve been curious about it, why not give it a try on stress test day and get this nice Flask coin! Also, both the flasks and the emblems can be unlocked with in-game currency, but it’s still nicer to get one for free. ;)

GW2_Logo_kl_transparentGuild Wars 2 has received quite a big patch this week and Lion’s Arch has finally been rebuild. As I previously took screenshots of Lion’s Arch: in beta, after release, when it was burning, once it had burned down and the last one was to recap what happened – including screenshots of Lion’s Arch with various holidays decorations, you can expect to see the screenshot gallery get expanded with pictures of the new look! I wish I had the time to do that right now… in the meantime, here is one. Just one… Ahem.

GW2 Rebuilt Lion's Arch June 2015

Last but not least, the list of games I’m currently playing will be a tiny bit longer now that the Steam Summer Sale has come and gone. The first game we bought was Nidhogg (2-pack, because this game is boring when played alone) and the next day, bookahnerk left to buy a second controller. You can play the game with the keyboard, but I found it much clunkier than the controller (and I’m usually a fan of keyboard controls). We ended up playing the game on his birthday party that day with friends and they had a lot of fun! They even started a tournament, but then… I don’t actually know what happened as I’d just gone to the kitchen to refill the food. I think they ended up not being able to decide peacefully for one tournament format and then just dropped the idea and moved on.

NidhoggWe both also bought “Craft the World” – a Terraria-like game with dwarves. How could we resist? And on the last day, I got the Tropico 5 expansion “Waterborne” and Life is Strange Episode 1. I don’t know yet if I like Life is Strange or not. The first encounter with the game had to be stopped quite fast, as while it has a third person perspective, you cannot scroll out far enough and my stomach did not like it that much. I’ll give it another try soon. I previously said that I had wasted my money on Tropico 5, but I have to take that back. While I did waste some money by buying the game immediately when it got released (as I could have gotten it for much cheaper if I had waited), I at least do enjoy playing the game now and have been doing so for quite a bit these last few days. Other than that, we both behaved and managed to hold back – or rather, there weren’t that many games that we really wanted. Our wallets are quite grateful for that, of course, and will now have some time to recover until the next big sale starts…