Posts Tagged ‘sadnbox game’

Black Desert is amazing – Part 2

black-desert-onlineIn this issue: Immersion! Crafting! Amity!

Last time I covered the basics of BDO and why it was amazing. Today I’ll cover some more aspects in a little more depth to show more reasons why I love this game. I should also say that I still don’t know everything, there’s a lot I havnt experienced yet.

Amity

BDO has a conversation system that allows you to improve your standing with individual npcs. Why would you want to do this?

By conversing and increasing your amity, you unlock different things: new lore, items for sale or quests.
Conversations can take place when you have enough information or topics to talk to the person. For example, they may be interested in the other people in the town, so in order to hold the conversation, you need to meet everyone else in the town, or they might be interested in lore, so you need to know all the pieces of lore (such as to do with wealth as a topic) to talk to them.

When you have all the information you need, you can start a Conversation. Each piece of knowledge you gathered works as a card. You then have to place cards strategically in order to meet a certain requirement. For example, you may get the objective “gain more than 33 favor” and so you would play cards that have a good chance of gaining that number. Each card also has an interest rating and interest value. If the card fails to gain interest, you gain no amity or favor from the card.

This adds to immersion as you can pass through an area multiple times and still not discover everything. Like many things, amity is shared across all characters on an account on that server.

black-desert-online-1Crafting and gathering

The crafting system is complex and deep. There are many different resources and ways to craft. The player can do some basic crafting- cooking, drying, alchemy, mixing, grinding or heating anywhere. To do something more complex, a workstation is required and can be played in a house being used as a residence.

Crafting stations allow the player to experiment, mixing different ingredients to create items. Cooking and alchemy provide various buff items; cooking also produces additional items that can be sold or traded to npcs for other ingredients or resources.

Players can gather resources themselves in multiple ways. By equipping a tool, a player can gather resources in the environment, such as by butchering or skinning animals.

Players can also manage and grow crops by renting some fencing to create a farm plot. The farm must be cared for in order to grow crops, many of which can not be gathered by npcs.

Npc workers can be used to gather resources from nodes, but require lodging in houses and for there to be storage space in town to deposit the resources they gather. If a house is set to a workshop or refinery, workers can create the items in that workshop, such as armor, weapons, furniture and even costumes.

Nodes must be connected to the workshops/storage and to the worker’s location in order to use these buildings. Different buildings have different options, which can can be upgraded to different levels, so you want to plan where you want to build, although you can sell anything that uses contribution points to get them back.

black-desert-online-2Workers use energy while working that can be refilled with beer, which you can get from some quests, buy it or make it with cooking. Workers level up, gain abilities and can be promoted.

Pets and mounts also have energy meters that can be refilled with food from cooking, using some ingredients that are farmed, others that are gathered.

There’s also a bunch of minigames for various resources. Fishing involves several minigames to catch a fish (or can be done without, but it takes much longer.) Cow milking and horse taming both involve mini games  and there is another one for gathering black stone dust.

Blackstone is a resource used in upgrading weapons and armor, or in other crafting recipes.

Equipment does not have levels and can be upgraded to increase effectiveness. Armor and weapons are upgraded with blackstones, other equipment using other pieces of the same type.

It’s a lot to learn, and I’ve barely scratched the surface myself.

Game Review: Tom Clancy’s The Division

the-divisionA devastating pandemic sweeps through New York City, and one by one, basic services fail. In only days, without food or water, society collapses into chaos. The Division, a classified unit of self-supported tactical agents, is activated. Leading seemingly ordinary lives among us, The Division agents are trained to operate independently of command, as all else fails. Fighting to prevent the fall of society, the agents will find themselves caught up in an epic conspiracy, forced to combat not only the effects of a manmade virus, but also the rising threat of those behind it. When everything collapses, your mission begins.

The Division, Ubisoft’s latest release for PS4, XBoxOne and PC, is an MMO-style RPG 3rd person shooter set during winter in New York City.  As a Division Agent, you are tasked with bringing law and order to the chaotic streets while investigating the cause and eventual cure for “The Green Poison or The Dollar Flu”; a mutated form of Smallpox.

As soon as I logged in, I was greeted with the stunning visuals of NYC streets and started feeling immersed right away.  From the ambient noises and dynamic lighting as well as a day/night cycle that can actually affect combat, I was in deep.  A gripping storyline and easy to use controls kept me logged in for over 7 hours the first night and over 10 hours the next day.  As I kept playing through single player missions, the game eventually forced me to join up the-division-2with others to complete a larger mission.  Having been here before in other games and knowing that pick-up groups in games can be a lesson in aggravation, I was curious to see how my team would shape up.  Once the team was formed, I was surprised to hear all three of my team mates had microphones and were ready to work together.  Fourty five minutes later we were a well oiled unit, setting up crossfire, ambushes and proper flanks.  I was in heaven.  I quickly added these fellows to my friends list and with a team behind me, we were unstoppable.  

Once outside of safehouses, the world is set for a single player with all other players in their own instanced version of the world unless you are actively grouped with others, then you can roam the city as a group making grinding the missions fun and engaging.  Then we came across The Dark Zone.

The Dark Zone is a quarantined area of NYC where enemies are exceedingly difficult without a team and other agents can go “rogue” and assault you (basically PVP) and take your hard earned belongings.  The gear drops are much better but the dangers are greater.  I still hesitate to venture too deep into the DZ.

the-division-3Game controls for the PS4 were set up in a mostly classic configuration that makes for smooth combat sequences and instinctual gameplay.  I did, however, have to discover a few controller moves on my own, the control tutorial was a little lacking in some details.  The crafting system could also use some more instruction, but any dedicated player can go to YouTube and watch a few folks explain the details.  And then there’s my headshot dilemma; in most shooters, quite a few fights can be ended with a single well-aimed headshot but in The Division, even low level enemies can take four to five shots straight to the top and still keep coming.  I heard someone refer to the enemies in The Division as bullet sponges.  Few complaints aside, Ubisoft has three expansions planned so far and I cannot wait to see what upgrades and changes they bring.  

So this game.  This GAME!  Action packed co-op third person shooter MMO style?  Yes please.  I’m off to play more.

Black Desert Online is amazing

black-desert-onlineToday I want to talk about a game that is consuming me with practically every aspect: Black Desert.

What is it?

Black Desert is a new MMORPG that just released in the Western hemisphere, although it’s been out in Korea, Japan and Russia for maybe a year at most.

It brings back the sandboxy elements of the classic era of MMOs, where the open world aspects are not JUST PVP, although PVP is still a big thing.

The game has 7 classes. They’re race and gender locked, although the Wizard and Witch are identical classes.

Those classes are:

  • Warrior: Human male with a sword and shield
  • Valkyrie: Human female with sword, shield and some celestial powers.
  • Ranger: Elf female with bow and dagger.
  • Berserker: Giant male with two axes.
  • Tamer: human female with short sword and a demon dog thing.
  • Sorceress: human female with talismans to cast shadowy magic at close to medium range.
  • Wizard/Witch: Human male/female with staff, dagger and elemental magic.

black-desert-online-01Korea has the Ninja/Kunoichi and the Blader/Plum classes, which will come to NA/EU in the future.

The combat is action and combo based, so you have to aim your attacks (not a difficult thing to do), similar to TERA, but with more detail. You don’t have to use hotbar for abilities.

For example, hitting backwards and left clicking will cast a spell or do a swing of your weapon that may knock a for over, depending on your class. The attacks are weighty and move you around, so they’re very satisfying and strategic. Explosions and arcing swings will hit multiple targets, so taking on groups is part of the gameplay.

Resources/Crafting/Trade

A unique aspect of Black Desert is the Nodes system.

As you complete quests, you gain contribution points and energy. You use contribution points to invest in nodes, which are locations all over the map. Many are resources like mines, farms and forests, others are guard posts and gateways. Each of these locations has a connection to other nodes and eventually to a village, town or city. You connect towns by investing in all the nodes along a path between two towns.

By connecting these towns you can transfer items from storage in one town to storage in another at a much cheaper price than if two locations are not connected.

It also allows for items that can be sold to trade managers to sell at a higher price. Trade item prices are based on supply and demand, but also distance from origin. Some of these items are earned in quests, others as loot.

black-desert-online-04Investing in resources on a node allows you to send workers you have to those locations to harvest those resources for you. You can gather resources manually with the right tools, but it costs energy.

In towns and nodes there are often buildings you can purchase with contribution points. These can be put to various purposes- expanding storage, crafting areas a for specialty goods such as armor, weapons, wagons, tools, boats or furniture. They can be upgraded to different degrees, some locations offering unique buildings.

You can also choose to make up to 6 buildings a residence that you can decorate and enter, using it as a personal house.

All building use is instanced, every player can own every building if they choose.

Mounts

There’s no fast travel, so you’ll need mounts to get around. The three types are donkeys, horses and camels.

black-desert-online-03Donkeys are the slowest mounts, they can carry a little in their packs and you get one for free early on.

Horses come in multiple tiers, they have various skills, can be bred and trained up. If your horse has the skills and you have the training skill high enough, you can fight on horseback. High tier horses need to be found in the wild and tamed.

Camels are used for traveling in the desert. The desert region is only available in the Korean version currently.

Parkour

It’s not showy, leap off walls, flipping off ledges. But you can grab ledges and pull yourself up, which is great for getting on rooftops and scaling some cliffs or getting over a wall. Your character will also stop at ledges so you don’t accidentally fall off.

Exploration

black-desert-online-02The game is big, but even small areas can be full of surprises. You need to talk to a lot of people in town to discover everything in it, including getting quests. The conversation system builds on this.

You gain amity with characters by using the conversation mini game. You need to have enough conversation topics for that person in order to have a conversation, the people you need to discover depend on the interests of the npc. Amity will unlock new options from that character.

Some nodes are hidden and take some real exploration to find. They won’t all show up on the map until you discover them, so even in areas you’ve passed through multiple times you can discover new things.

There’s more to the game and a lot more depth to some of the systems, but that’s an overview.

I’m having a lot of fun and can see a lot of potential for this game, so I shall sing its praises at every opportunity.

If you are interested in more information, check out the game’s website: https://www.blackdesertonline.com/game/

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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2017
Copyright 2012 Beazley Entertainment
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