Steam Winter Sale & Steam Awards 2017

Steam released the Winter Sale last week bringing back more sales as well as Seasonal Trading Cards and of course the Steam Awards. However, I’m quite disappointed with the content this year, hence why I’m only writing this post now.

Continue reading Steam Winter Sale & Steam Awards 2017

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GW2: Winter’s Presence

I’ve finally finished the collection and crafted the shoulder skin “Winter’s Presence”. I completed all but 2 things for this collection last year so I was determined to finish it this year after having the achievement sat in my watch list for the past 12 months.

Continue reading GW2: Winter’s Presence

Smite: 4.24 Patch Notes

Patch 4.24, Frostfire, is upon us bringing the awaiting T5 Odyssey skin to Smite.

This is the patch that will be used for SWC, so until Season 5 there will be no major changes to the game. There’s only one more patch left until Season 5 anyway, but until then there’s been plenty of new skins released this patch with the Odyssey 2018 coming to an end. Although there’s no new god this time (or next time either), there will be some big announcements at HRX in January – where I assume they will announce Cerberus as the next addition. Anyway, here’s what’s coming with patch 4.24!

As always, if you haven’t seen the Official Patch Notes yet, follow the link!

 

Skins:

Obviously I’ll start with the skin everyone has been waiting for, Frostfire Ullr. There’s a whole bunch of new effects to go alongside this skin including new minion death animations for each stance as well as it also changing the Odyssey jump stamp/recall/level up effects from ice to fire when in the fire stance. You can only get the fire versions of these effects when using the Frostfire Ullr skin. There is also a custim voice pack with different voice styles for the fire and ice stances after the evolved level 10 form. About 80% of this voice pack was also written by the community.

This T5 skin is the final reward in the Odyssey and will be awarded to players who reach Odyssey level 28 (98,000 Odyssey points) which equates to purchasing 28 of the Odyssey items, or purchasing 20 items and completing all 8 of the Odyssey quest lines (or a different combination of these). This T5 is a limited skin and once the Odyssey 2018 ends, it will never be available again.

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Here are the last of the skins being released for Odyssey 2018. There have been two groups released this patch so Ullr can be unlocked, so there are double the amount of skins!

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I was up for buying the Arctic Seer Artio skin but I’m a little disappointed as it looks more like a T2 skin for Skadi. The Krampus Cernunos skin is an interesting design as it’s a Christmas skin with the untraditional concept. It looks good though with Pygmy goats for the Ultimate and the voice pack is well done too.

The Medusa skin is also quite good and it was based off of the Earth form of the T5 design shown in the previous T5 community vote. It’s not the best Medusa skin in the game, but I do like it. I love everything about the Fallen Angel Nike skin so I’ll definitely be buying that once, it just looks so awesome!

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Tremor Tech Cabrakan and Rocket Punch Mercury will also be new Exclusive skins included in this patch. The Cabrakan skin comes with a unique emote where Cabrakan will ride around on his sheilds like a surf board. I assume these to be in chests.

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Empress Nu Wa is also a new Exclusive skin coming to the game. I do like this skin, but it looks quite similar to her mastery skins in my opinion. It’s also listed an exclusive which is a shame… I know they released a 400 gem skin for her not long ago, but she already has so many Exclusive skins…

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HRX Loki is the final skin for this patch. This is another Exclusive skin and unfortunately will only be available through Twitch drops like the SPL Bellona skin.

To be in for a chance of getting a drop you need to link your Twitch and Smite accounts and watch hireztv streams on Twitch to be in for the chance of being gifted one of these skins through the lootbox. It’s worth it, I linked my account at the beginning of last year and I’ve had so many drops including the SPL Bellona skin, Ra’merica and Grim Eclipse Hou Yi as well as plenty of gems and FP just for watching Smite games!

 

Item Changes:

Stone of Gaia – Increased cost from 2000 gold to 2100 gold.

 

God Changes:

Agni:

  • Noxious Fumes – Decreased mana cost from 60-100 to 60-80.

Bacchus:

  • Chug – Decreased mana cost from 40/65/90/115/140 to 40/45/50/55/60.

Hun Batz:

  • Sacred Monkey – Decreased mana cost from 75-95 to 60-80.

Isis:

  • Spirit Ball – Decreased mana cost from 70-110 to 70-90.
  • Dispell Magic – Reduced mana cost from 80-100 to 60-80.

Odin:

  • Ring of Spears – Decreased the duration of the wall from 6 seconds to 5 seconds.

Sobek:

  • Tail Whip – Decreased mana cost from 70/80/90/100/110 to 60/65/70/75/80.

 

Other:

This weekend from Friday 15th December to Sunday 17th December, all Voice Packs will be 50% off.

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Also, for those of you that don’t know, Hi-Rez have been holding a Holiday Calendar event where each day they will hold a competition to be able to win a skin that was released during this year. The skin is changed each day and there are different entries per day, such as sending screenshots of different things, answering questions or just by entering your email. If you haven’t see this then check it out here on Twitter.

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The Shadows Over Hercopolis Adventure will also still be available throughout this patch, but will end on release of patch 4.25.

See you all in two weeks for the final patch of Season 4!

GW2: Wintersday 2017!

It’s that time of year again! Tixx has returned to Divinity’s Reach to bring all the festivities back to Tyria.

Enjoy the seasonal activities taking place around Divinity’s Reach such as the Bell Choir or Snowball Mayhem to feed your competitive nature. I find the Bell Choir is actually the fastest way to farm Wintersday Gifts, so if like me you need those Wintersday drinks, I find this is the best way as long as you can stick with it for long periods of time!

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You could even visit Tixx’s Infinirarium and help Tixx take control of the toys in the workshop or take part in Toypocalypse and defend 5 gift dolyaks from 10 waves of malfunctioning toys. Or if you don’t fancy that, you could always try the Winter Wonderland Jumping Puzzle (it’s a lot easier than the Hallowe’en Clock Tower, trust me)!

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If you want to relax, enjoy the snow an have some fun you could always have a snowball fight with your friends, make some magic snowmen, compete in the mount race or join in defending the gift Dolyak (you’ll be rewarded along the way)!

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As usual with the festivals, there are a number of achievements that are available for the duration of the festival. This year there are a few new additions which can be completed annually and then the usual ones. If like me you’ve played Wintersday before, some of these achievements may already have been completed.

The Wintersday Achievements can be found in the Festivals tab in the achievements panel:

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There are also Wintersday Dailies. Completing 3 of these per day will count towards the “Season of Merriment” achievement which will give you an Extravagant Wintersday Gift after completing the Dailies for 5 days.

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Now is also a good time to work further towards Winter’s Presence as most of the items are only available to get during the Wintersday festival. I started this last year and only need to complete the Festive Imbiber achievement to finish the collection (I have everything I need to craft the Essence of Mischief already), so I’m going to try to farm as many Christmas drinks as possible!

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The Gem Store also has a few new and a returning Wintersday items. The Fancy Winter Outfit, Mini Festive Aurene and Snowflake Glider are back, as well as introducing the new Cozy Wintersday Mounts pack (available at 1600 gems – 20% off  RRP of 2000 gems) which contains a new Wintersday themed skin for each of the 5 mounts. The Jackal one is my favourite for obvious reasons… look at those antlers!

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Other new content this year includes a new type of snowflake used to craft Snow Diamonds to purchase Enchanted Snowballs. These come in a variety of colours and turn your character into a huge ball of snow. I think you could get the normal Enchanted Snowball previously, but the colours are definitely new.

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Can’t say I’ve ever seen purple snow before though… until now.

Merry Wintersday everyone! Enjoy the festivities while they’re still here as the Wintersday Festival is due to end at the beginning of the New Year (most likely 8th January). Stay posted for my Winter’s Presence guide coming soon!

GW2: Aurora: Awakening – Lake Doric Master

Aurora: Awakening is the first official step of the Legendary Trinket’s collections. After you’ve forged your Gleam of Sentience and purchased your Sentient Seed, you will have unlocked these collections. See my Aurora Introductory Post for more information.

Continue reading GW2: Aurora: Awakening – Lake Doric Master

Syberia 3 Review

Syberia 3 was developed and published by Microids. It was released in April 2017 as a follow up to Syberia (released in 2002) and Syberia 2 (released in 2004). Originally, this game did not have the point and click element, but this option was later added to the game in June. Follow the links to see my reviews on the other Syberia games.

Once again, you follow Kate Walker as she continues her journey after leaving the island of Syberia. After being rescued by the Youkol people, she decides to accompany them on their ancient traditional ostrich migration to their seasonal breeding gounds. The only problem is, since the last migration, times have changed making the travels through the modern day world more difficult.

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Earlier this year I picked up Syberia 1 and 2 in the Steam Summer Sale. I really enjoyed the story for both of the games so decided to give the 3rd one a chance despite it having mixed reviews on Steam.

I actually started playing this game in September, however, I became somewhat frustrated with the controls so wasn’t enjoying the experience much at all. For this reason I decided, after about 2 hours of gameplay, to leave this game alone for a while until I was in the frame of mind to give it another go.

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On the 9th November, an update released including improvement to gameplay and the free “An Automaton With A Plan” DLC. This was the perfect time for me to pick the game back up again, and last week I finished it after 14 hours of gameplay. The update definitely made a big difference but the game is still far from perfect and needs a lot more work.

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This is your inventory. It is slightly different from Syberia 1 and 2 but still has the similar object and journal sections. Middle click on the mouse opens the inventory so you don’t even need the keyboard for this. Interacting with objects in the inventory can be a little misleading at times as you may need to zoom in on objects in the world before you can interact an inventory object with it. It just takes a bit of getting used to.

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Let’s talk more about the controls. Honestly, they are pretty bad. I played with the point and click controls as I found the “WASD” method to be very clunky, particularly with the camera angles. There are very specific moments in the game where you will need to press a few movement keys even though it states you can play 100% of the game with just the mouse. There was this particular point where I couldn’t get out of a corridor, then realised there was a doorframe that could only be entered using the WASD buttons as the point and click option just made you stop in front of it, so watch out for those!

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The controls were the main reason I had issues with this game, but there were some things I did like about it and other things that need to be addressed. Here’s my summary:

Positives:

  • The voice actress for Kate Walker is the same person, keeping the character familiar. I’m so pleased they did this.
  • Kate is wearing the same clothing as she was at the end of Syberia 2 which makes it feel like there hasn’t been much time between games.
  • The return of Oscar. Although he isn’t entirely the same, I loved having his character back in the game.
  • Location changes. Although you seem to be in the starting town for a while, the new locations are interesting and contrasting to the original games.

Negatives:

  • Awkward controls. Although the patch made them better, they can still be quite frustrating. It seems to get easier to play the further through the game you get though, and the addition of point and click was definitely a wise move.
  • Voice acting. Other than Kate, Oscar and a few others, the voice acting was awful. Some voices did not suit the characters at all (Olga), some were read way too fast and others sounded like they read the words straight from a sheet. This made some of the characters unlikable, gave them no personality and ruined the experience in some places.
  • Graphics. For saying this game was released this year, the visuals aren’t that great. I would’ve thought the cutscenes would have been much better quality than the gameplay itself, but unfortunately this is not the case. They all seem very blurry which is a disappointment.
  • Subtitles. The way the subs scroll makes them hard to read sometimes. This isn’t so much of an issue, but towards the end of the game, my game music got so loud (even though I turned it down to about 5%) that I couldn’t hear the character speech so had to rely on the subs.
  • Camera angles. Sometimes the camera would just have a mind of its own and randomly point to the floor while you were walking around. Although you can move the camera manually, it really shouldn’t point at the floor or the sky so frequently and should be set point at the action on screen.

I honestly have mixed feelings about this game. I would recommend it to people that have played the first 2 games who enjoyed the story, but Syberia 3 does not particularly relate to the other games. For people that haven’t played Syberia 1 and 2, I wouldn’t really recommend this as there are much better games out there for people who haven’t followed the whole Syberia journey. I bought this on sale for about £11 and at the state it’s in currently I would definitely have felt ripped off if I’d have paid any more for it. If you like Syberia, give it a go when it’s on sale as I actually got into it after leaving Valsembor, but the ending was a little disappointing.

 

DLC – An Automaton With A Plan:

This DLC was added to the game for free with the 3.0 patch (released 9th November 17). I played this straight after finishing the main story and was quite surprised to see that it actually takes place at a point we already played through earlier in the main game. I won’t go into details as it’s very short, but I highly recommend finishing the base game first before trying this.

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The DLC actually only took me about 40 minutes to finish. It required very minimal effort with very lazy puzzles (if you can even call them puzzles) and mostly consisted of cutscenes telling you how to complete the level anyway.

I know it was free and everything, but I didn’t enjoy it. It was interesting how they managed to fit the side story in with events in the main story, but it didn’t actually mesh together as well as it probably should’ve done. Overall, don’t go out of your way to play this DLC as it really ended the Syberia series on a disappointing note for me, but maybe I was just expecting too much from free content…

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Let me know your thoughts on Syberia 3 if you’ve played it, and please feel free to ask any questions if you have any!

Smite: New Chest Roll Mechanic / Abyssal Chest

The Abyssal Chest was released with patch 4.23 yesterday. Hi-Rez bring many new chests to the game, however, this chest has a different roll mechanic which is quite exciting for the future of chest rolls. I decided to roll one to experience the new mechanic for myself and will display my screenshots below.

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The Abyssal Chest contains 30 items and costs 400 gems per roll. The entirety of the chest’s contents is skins: 3 exclusive skins, 1 (direct purchase) 600 gem  skin, and 26 (direct purchase) 400 gem skins.

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On purchase of a chest roll, a new tab will open and display three of the skins contained in the chest. You now have the option to choose whichever of these three skins you wish to keep! Gems will be taken from your Smite account before this tab opens, so once you have purchased the roll you have to choose a skin and cannot cancel it or be refunded.

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As you can see from my screenshots, you need to select a skin for the claim button to become highlighted. There is no other way to exit this screen other than choosing a skin. At this point the gems have already been deducted from your account.

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I think this is a decent feature that could have a huge impact on chest rolling in the future. At least with this mechanic you have slight control over what item you get rather than it being totally random, as well as being guaranteed a skin. The same rules still apply as to not being able to get a skin you already own, so all three options will be skins you do not already have.

Abyssal Chest item list:

I referred to a reddit post by “IamASchnitzel” for this list as I already owned 23 items in the chest before rolling.

Exclusive skins:

  • Abyssal Knight Ares
  • Igneous Terra
  • Dreadqueen Serqet

600 Gem Skin:

  • Dark Whisperer Ah Muzen Cab

400 Gem Skins:

  • Volcanic Agni
  • Gravehound Anubis
  • Torment Bellona
  • Hellrider Chiron
  • Fallen Lord Chronos
  • Soultaker Hades
  • Shaolin Monk-ey Hun Batz
  • Riftshaker Janus
  • Joki Loki
  • Fire Lord Ne Zha
  • Blind Vengeance Nemesis
  • Madame Darkness Nox
  • Dark Summoner Nu Wa
  • Mountain Man Odin
  • Solar Sentinel Ra
  • Devil Horns Raijin
  • Squirrel Squad Ratatoskr
  • Daisy Despair Scylla
  • Demonsoul Serqet
  • Final Boss Thanatos
  • Vizier Thoth
  • The Survivor Ullr
  • Sentry Vulcan
  • Shinobalanque Xbalanque
  • Siege Engine Xing Tian
  • Stormbringer Zeus