Posts made in July, 2015

Heavensward Early Access Begins For Pre-Order Players

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in guides

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn developers Square Enix today announced the beginning of pre-order access for those that have already committed to the purchase of the highly anticipated Heavensward expansion. The official release date for the first large-scale expansion to the revived Final Fantasy XIV project is June 23rd but one incentive for pre-ordering the expansion was the opportunity to explore its myriad of new features prior to this date, giving access to players for an additional 4 day period.

The official Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn website has been updated with a long list of requirements that players must meet before they’re able to get started in the Heavensward head start program. Additional details on the specific requirements can be found here. The head start event began today, Friday June 19th, at 2AM PDT.

The final requirement, should you have the correct platform and pre-order package, will be to ensure you have already completed the main story quest line that culminates in the “Before the Dawn” quest that arrived with patch 2.55.

 

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Too Old for D&D?

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in guides

Is there such thing as being ‘too old’ to play Dungeons & Dragons? This is the question I’ve been asking myself lately, and honestly I don’t see a specific age as a requirement. When I was growing up I played with a few of my friends, but I was never as involved as I wanted to be. Now that I’m older (and have my own place) it has become my goal to get a weekly group going. While I know that there are numerous tools that turn this tabletop game into a digital adventure, I miss being able to sit around an actual table and I miss the interactions and bonding that happens. I’ve seen a lot of my video game industry friends stating that they’re heading off to their weekly D&D night, and it makes me crave the entire experience even more. Silly? Maybe, but I love the creativity that comes from playing this game.

So I did it. I went out and bought the player’s handbook, the dungeon master’s guide, and the monster manual (plus two pounds of dice. I mean come on, you can never have enough dice). I downloaded an easy 5e adventure to whet my appetite, printed out character sheets, and asked a few friends if they wanted to come over to play. First session is creating characters. While I have played the game before (AGES ago) I’ve never been a DM. I’m excited about it. I love making up stories and describing locations. I love drawing maps. I am eager to see how players interact to certain things, and responding in kind. Since I’ve never DM’d before I figured the best way to go through the learning process would be to use an already created adventure, which is a lot shorter than a campaign. There are some more complex ones that you can purchase on Amazon, but I just did a quick internet search for a free one that used 5e rules. I don’t want things to be horribly complex, and I imagine that for my first few runs I’ll be quite lax on the “rules”. I’d rather players get creative and get into the story and involved rather than trying to enforce a lot of regulations.

Once I get more comfortable with how things flow, I’m looking forward to creating my own campaigns. I have a notebook ready for.. well, notes, and I’ve already begun planning out what stories I want to run, npc’s to fill my towns, and I’m looking forward to picking up some graph paper so I can hand-draw some maps. That’s right, I said hand draw. Who even does that these days. I know there are other bits and bobs that may be important to pick up along the way (like a play mat and miniatures) but for now those are not essential. Lets just see where this goes.

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Games with an Ending

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in guides

 

It’s an ongoing joke with anyone who knows me that I never finish the games I buy, especially not steam games. They can sit in my to-play list for years before I finally get around to them and even then, it’s rare that I ‘finish’ them. In truth I don’t own many games that have a solid ‘ending’ where I can sit down and feel confident that I’ve ‘beaten’ the game. Finishing a game is a pretty subjective point of view no matter how you look at it. Is a game completed when the story is completed? When you’ve earned all of the achievements? When you can’t progress a single character any further? What about games that have no real ending? Games like Sims 4, Banished, or Cities: Skylines? What constitutes the ‘end’ for you there? What about in an MMO, when have you ‘finished’ the game? When you’re at the maximum level available? When you’ve defeated all of the end-game encounters? There’s so many different values that you can attribute to the end of a game that it’s hard to know when one has completed it. At least for my games of choice which are typically sandbox games or at least games with sandbox features. Games like Super Mario World are much easier to decide when ‘the end’ is – but what about trying to accomplish all of the goals the game sets forth, for some people just making it to the end of a game isn’t actually ‘the end’.

So how do you decide when you’ve completed a game? How do you know when you’ve reached that point where there’s just nothing more for you to do and what do you do after that point, do you never return to the game even though it may have been one of your favourites? Or do games have unlimited re-play potential so long as you’re enjoying yourself?

Of course the whole reason this question came up is because I was glancing through my steam library trying to decide how many of my games (if any) I had ‘completed’ over the years. I’ve played through Magical Diary a handful of times now and seen multiple endings, so does that count as me having ‘completed’ the game? In the end, so long as I’m having fun, I suppose it doesn’t much matter – but it is fun to think about.

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Grab a Path of Exile: The Awakening Beta key – More keys added!

Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 in guides

Grinding Gear Games has been testing the Path of Exile: The Awakening expansion for a few weeks now, and if you’ve been listening to the podcast, then you’ll know there has been a few character wipes along the way. Such is the way of beta testing.

With things settling down now in the beta test, and the expansion due for release some time early next month, we thought now would be a good time to get more of you into the Awakening beta test to get a taste of the new Act IV. Yes, there is now finally a fourth act to explore.

To be in with a chance of snagging a closed beta key all we want you to make sure you are signed into PC Invasion. Please make sure you are logged in with a PC Invasion account. If you’re not registered (shame on you!) then you can do so here. Do NOT login with a social media/Steam account otherwise it might throw a fit.

Right! That’s it! Press the magic PC Invasion Red Button below to get your key.
You must have a PC Invasion account and be logged in to get your key
If you want to know more about Path of Exile then head to their website, it’s well worth your attention.

 

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Diablo 3 says goodbye—and good riddance—to the Auction House

Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 in news

We wrote back in September that Blizzard announced it would be removing Diablo 3’s auction houses, both gold and real money, and that day has come to pass. The Auction House is no more.

Blizzard has posed a FAQ on its forums to answer some questions about the shutdown specifics. Auctions currently in progress will expire as normal and the items will go to the highest bidder (or be returned to the seller, depending on the auction). Folks have until June 24 to clear out all of the items and gold in their “Completed” tab, after which time they’ll all vanish forever.

On paper, the Auction House sounded like a great idea: it provided a relatively secure way for Diablo 3 players to dispose of unwanted loot and make some coin at the same time—much more coin than the tiny amounts offered by the in-game merchants. However, the Auction House quickly became a required meta-game that any character wanting any kind of meaningful gear had to play. Blizzard had to adjust the rates at which valuable items spawned in-game to keep item-farmers from flooding the Auction House. This made it more difficult not just for the farmers to find good loot, but for everyone to find good loot. The end result was that the Auction House became the only way to find truly useful items for every character once they’d hit the level 60 in-game cap.

The removal of the Auction House isn’t the only big change to Diablo 3’s gameplay. In preparation for the Reaper of Souls expansion pack’s upcoming debut (next week, in fact!), Blizzard also released “Loot 2.0” in February, a major patch that significantly changed how the game’s loot system functions. With the auction house sunsetting, Loot 2.0 greatly increases the rate at which powerful items are generated for the player to pick up (orange legendaries and green set items). It also makes it so that items the player finds are much more likely to be relevant to the player’s current character—your Demon Hunter might still find the occasional Witch Doctor charm, but for the most part, the items will have stats specifically targeted at your class.
Enlarge / Want to trade that sweet set crossbow you found? Too bad—it’s account-bound now. All legendaries and set items will be like this from now on.
Another change with the updated loot system is that all legendary items and all set items are now bound to your account when you pick them up—they can’t be traded to other players except under very specific circumstances and within a narrow window of time (though they can be sold to the in-game vendors or broken down for crafting components). Initially Blizzard developers were adamant that account-bound items wouldn’t be coming to the game, but as Diablo 3 has evolved over the years it’s become clear that making it a game focused on item trading had significant negative impacts on the core gameplay. Anything that pulls the focus too far away from kill-monsters-get-loot is ultimately bad.

And so we bid a farewell to the game-breaking Auction House—judging by community and forum posts, it won’t be missed. From here on, players can still trade with each other directly in-game using the trade window, but there will be no more easily gamed central clearing house for loot and gold. We’ll have more on Diablo 3 and after the Reaper of Souls expansion release next week.

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