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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Game News: Vindictus BETA!

Now after a large period of relative inactivity with the occasional house-keeping log-in, I have been given a Beta key for Vindictus EU which has now started it's launch. Beta will last from today for about a week. Also don't forget to check the website for updates: http://vindictus.nexoneu.com/

If anybody wants, find me: Zaknafain. See you in game..

Friday, 12 August 2011

Game Review: Atlantica Online

I've always been a fan of Final Fantasy style turn-based gameplay since FF8 but have, since the release of PS2,  abandoned the series for MMOs instead. What I did always wonder was how a game that had that sort of gameplay function as an MMO instead of the usual click-and-battle staple and eventually I came across Atlantica. Although history is distorted in the game, the game maps the world in a sort of fashion seen in early cartographer's workshops and includes real cities that can be auctioned every month to the game's guilds. The one with the highest guild point bid gets to rule over the town and collect tax and revenue from its various services.

There are a few key things to note about this particular game. The first is that the gameplay is completely different from the usual and instead of controlling a single 'avatar' character, you control your main character and his mercenaries. The team can be a maximum of 9 (including the main) and this goes for NPCs too. Hence a casual battle could be 9 vs 9 and depending on how many guildies you have along could go up to 27 vs 27 (or 9 vs 27 if you are in an aggro area).

Secondly, the loot, again unlike most MMOs, does not reduce at increasing levels. Hence you have the same chance of a particular item dropping from a particular animal with the same character at levels 1 or 70, unless of course you have monster info (which increases the amount of every item dropped by the monster you have info for). This means that you can keep looting as you wish but be warned: The good loot is only available at particularly high levels and most of the time certain events, even for easily craftable items.

Thirdly, crafting is much more evolved than I had seen in other games and a whole guild can be tasked with crafting an item or a set of items, with each member's battle contributing to the crafting (guild crafting or GC). Personal crafting does however get priority and so if you are crafting something of your own out of GC, the points acquired from battle will go toward that until it is complete. Certain crafting recipes are particularly popular such as crystals and ammunition for ranged characters.

Finally, the most addictive, at least for me, aspect of the game is the market. In this game, trading your loot is as easy as ever and if you know what you are doing, making a few million gold pieces is quite easy. But reaching high levels also has its benefits as you can buy a licence and trade non-usable goods between towns.

I have stopped playing AO for some time now but if you would like any tips on making gold fast or want any info in general, feel free to ask. I'm planning to try a few more MMOs and will review the best.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

(Daily) Random: Future of implants

Fast forward to 2100, what do you think will be there? Sleek high-tech cities with amazing architecture and enhanced humans? A toxic landfill the size of a planet? Or just the same-old society? With technology advancing in large steps (think before the advent of the iPhone and now) new technology that may not have been imagined by the general public was more of a sci-fi dream or an idea shared by a group of scientists and now is considered more of a possibility, so long as adequate funding exists.

But imagine short-term improvements. What could occur in 20 or 30 years that would radically change the world? New energy sources are one thing, high-tech solutions to several problems are another (such as improvements in transportation infrastructure). But imagine if the change isn't so much of an improvement to man-made constructs such as buildings or stand-alone gadgetry such as the iPhone or 3D glasses. What if humans' aspects were improved?

By humans' aspects I am referring to intelligence, strength, health, well-being in general. And what if those aspects were improved by implanting something into our bodies to generally improve it's function?

It's true that if we wait for biological evolution, we won't be advancing much, very soon. But what if we could implant a brain enhancing system which would improve our intelligence? Though far from being reality and casual use, I have made a short list of some impressive future implants to maybe make you think of how the world could be a decade from now:

1. My brain, the machine god:
In the future implants game, Intel has started (for some time now) researching brain-computer interfaces in an attempt to mass produce an implant. These would read brain waves and produce the desired effect such as move a cursor or use the internet. This sort of technology could one day completely replace conventional interfaces.
2. 90% human, 10% science:
Attempts to improve and enhance ourselves could see eye implants becoming a reality. Of course, intraocular implants have existed for a while now, but these new implants would in fact be part of a system where a camera fitted into a pair of glasses will then send a signal to an eyeball mounted microchip which in turn sends this to the brain. Also, while IOLs can be used when vision is simply impaired, these glasses may completely restore vision to blind people.
3. Want an enhancement? Change your DNA:
Gene therapy, although not an entirely a gadget since it is based on DNA changes to produce results, may well be controlled by nano-sized robots implanted to deliver the therapy. This could in fact be a solution to cancer but is yet to produce results which would point to that.
For more info: Brain chips, Brain chips #2, Bionic eye, Bionic eye #2, Gene therapy

Thursday, 4 August 2011

(Daily) Random: Codex Gigas (Giant Book)


While browsing the web for any mildly interesting footage of headshot carnage (see previous entry for more info) and after stumbling on a mound of nothingness, I decided it's time for more random!
And here you have it: You may have heard of this as one of the "Seven Wonders of the Medieval world" if there is this sort of list, but nevertheless, this book is nothing short of spectacular. I say book but it is in fact a medieval manuscript weighing around 75kg, composed of 310 leaves of parchment for which about 160 donkeys (or calves, the scholars are still debating this) gave their lives (even though they had no choice probably) to package into this behemoth novel.

But the interesting part is not the size of the manuscript alone. According to legend, a monk who had broken his vows and was sentenced to a "premature burial" (also known as being walled up alive) vowed to complete a manuscript that would glorify the monastery and contain all human knowledge, in a single night. As the hours passed and he realised the dificulty of his task, he called upon Lucifer to complete it for him in exchange for his soul. He thus completed it and the monk drew a picture of Lucifer in the book to honor his aid. However it is also interesting to note that the calligraphy alone would take 5 years to complete, hence making this book a great undertaking at the time. For those of you who would like to see and browse the manuscript: Digitised Codex Gigas

For anyone interested about finding out more: Wikipedia, National Geographic

And happy demon hunting!

I accidentally his face..Headshots Galore

Me during a headshot. True story.
For those fans of FPS who prefer to 1 Hit people with their favourite high powered sniper, or those more adventurous who use their sidearms or claws (as often is the case in WolfTeam) I will try to find interesting headshot videos, pictures and the like to see just how creative a headshot can really be. Anybody interested is free to join in and post their own. And don't forget to shout BOOM! HEADSHOT! every time. It gives you more experience and gold or something.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Upcoming Game Review: Warhammer 40k: Space Marine

As you'd expect, I'm a huge fan of Warhammer 40k. A tribute to all the fans of these steel clad juggernaught-style angels of death bent on the protection of the Imperium of Man from the hands of the corrupt Chaos Faction, the numerous Orcs and the plethora of other enemies threatening the future human race, Relic Entertainment and THQ proudly present Warhammer 40k: Space Marine. Having played the various strategic titles of Warhammer, modelled after the tabletop version with which I have minimal experience, I always hoped that I would see an FPS version where you could unleash the Emperor's Wrath at it's fullest.

Sporting traditional bolters and chainswords as expected from space marines, Single Player focuses on the campaign led by Captain Titus of the Ultramarines and his squadmates who provide support, while multiplayer allows the player to choose from a specific class: The all rounded Tactical Marine or the quivalent Chaos Space Marine, the long ranged Devastator Marine/Chaos Havoc or the close quarter combat Assault Marine or equivalent Chaos Raptor.

I hope that this continues to develop and more classes, races and chapters become playable. I'm a personal fan of the Adeptus Mechanicus and Techmarines. And don't forget:

Show me a fortress and I'll show you a ruin.

+++ Captain Eddan Bourne, No. 2 Assault Company, Silver Skulls +++

For more info: http://www.spacemarine.com/ and http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Main_Page

Upcoming Game Review: Vindictus EU

Vindictus boasts an explosive hack and slash style gameplay with something other games can't offer; realistic combat. The gameplay is not like the usual MMORPG click and attack style game but has a player controlled avatar who does exactly what he's supposed to: Hits where you want him to hit and moves where you want him to move and not like a 3D sprite. Here, dodging and defense is up to the player, who can use the environment to his advantage: using debris as a weapon for one. The player also gets to choose his equipment by crafting from looted materials to create a customized piece of armor or arms. Finally, each character has his/her own skills which will play a major role in multiplayer (such as Evie's gravity spell). The game is F2P and although only available in North America and Korea (or to anywhere else via proxy servers) it is now going to be released in Europe very soon.
If the gameplay is as good as described, then it is definately going in my indefinately installed games.
For more info see: http://vindictus.nexoneu.com/teaser/