Tag Archives: Empire

Haven Editorial: Desucon 2017

Haven Editorial: Desucon 2017

Desucon is the biggest and longest running cosplay convention in Norway. It’s been around for at least a decade by this point. Which is fantastic achievement on its own and does the cosplay community a great service. However size has it’s own price. However it is not my place to speculate about the chaotic nightmare of logistics and people management. 

I came to Desucon to take pictures of interesting people and compete in the cosplay competition. Which I have a minor beef with. Which for once has nothing to with with the judges decisions on who would go on to the finals. Yet I’m quite sure some people do, however I did not inquire about that. It just well known fact that people will complain a lot about such things. That being said, there is a lot of fun to be had by signing on as a volunteer. The back bone of any convention.

As usual Desucon takes place in Lillestrøm during the summer. It’s a very flat region of east Norway with a big building perfectly suited to hold any convention, with easy commuting from all over. Be it by plane, bus or train. There is also a plethora of stores and high quality restaurants and an expensive hotel next door. Several noticeable and very geeky stores bring a lot of fantastic merchandise as well. A great number of artists shows up as well and most of them takes a lot of custom commissions. Replica swords, bead creatures, leather products, body pillows, figurines, cups, candy and much much more.

I’ve yet to mention the various organizations having stands there as well. Such as the highly questionable Galtvort skolen LARP. It’s a translation on the hog and wart pun, which is the recipe for having serious legal issues. Due to film companies being a dick about reinforcing copyrights.


The ever noisy and quite healthy Kendo participants. EF education, which enthralls you with the ability to study languages abroad. And many, many more. 

My costume idea for this year was a scantly clad Blackwatch Ryes from Overwatch. I figured out that parading around in his skimpy armor would be a lot more comfy than wearing a shirt. Plus I could not arsed to get an olive green hoodie. Not yet at least. The process can be found on my twitch page under the name Zaceron on pretty much anything.

Part one was held in a closed room with some cameras, several people from the crew. Apparently it was an auditorium with many rows of chairs, filled with an overwhelming amount of participants in colorful costume. Essentially the idea was for each participant to wait their turn and talk to the three lovely female judges in front. Personally I was just lucky to get there in time, since they decided to held it one hour earlier. Without notifying me, since I just arrived by bus when the announcement was made through the speaker system. Due to the ease of dressing up I did get in on time. Winning is a hard sell and there is always more to tell. However there is one big beef I have and that is the number of people going on to the finale, it went from twenty something down to five. The real problem I had about this is quite simple. Most of the participants had a sketch in mid, with music, sound and acting planned out. Now they will never be seen, which is sad and a waste of entertainment potential. Which also undercut a lot of fun. Seeing people do their hardest to perform on stage in a custom costume is a fantastic experience and fun to boot. Also a lot of the participants could greatly benefit from the self esteem boost.

However there was a drop in competition on Saturday, which had a lot of high quality participants as well and a much more chill, show your work atmosphere. I never expected to see a Daedric warrior cosplay. Then again a Oni Genji was there as well, with a mimic hiding in a corner, promising free loot. Aside from the big competition, there are a lot of other wholesome activities going on as well. Such as the LAN section, for people who have the balls to drag their expensive PC across the land. Various fandom meet ups, board games and much, much more. There is just too much to mention. After all I came there to compete, meet fantastic people, take a bucket load of images and fishing for ideas. Which is exactly what I did.

 

 

Kendo practice
The Kind of Norway during WW2
Wonder Woman
Arcade Ahri
Imperial Guardsman
Reaper vs Sith and the Remnant
Free Loot
Soldier 76
Friday the 13th
The witch king and his hand maiden?
Gone With the Blastwave
A short storm trooper
Roadhog
A Ghost Buster
Lara Croft
Joker
Bobba Fett
Sombra
Sparta
NCR Veteran

 Tai Fighter

Garen and Katarina

Njål Sand

Haven Editorial: Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 3 – open beta

Haven Editorial: Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 3 – open beta

In the in fourth first century there can be only war and that is one thing Warhammer Dawn of War has always done right. From a visual standpoint the latest installment looks lovely and units are very well defined. The environment looks very bad in a good way. Since the theme is war and destruction., every thing is ruins and mostly gray and brown. With an every increasing pile of broken bodies and bags of blood. As for the music, it’s moody, instrumental with a touch of heroics. With decent sound effects and it’s easy to pick out the different audio ques. Every unit has a heavy British accent that fits the Warhammer universe quite well. Technically there is a rock paper scissor logic going on, where each squad has various active abilities to lob at heretics and xenos alike. Business as usual, it’s also possible to summon various heroes that has abilities of their own and a quite commanding presence on the battle field. Which brings me to a very annoying and very true problem with games such as these. Micro management from a hell. Some units such as the snipers has to deploy, while some are meant purely for close quarter combat. Some are back line and others are mobile. Combine this with a bit sluggish response times and clunky path finding, where you have to rapidly switch between units to gain the best effect. Sure I can just clump them into a big pile and right click, but that only works against stupid people. A rare commodity in a real time strategy game. Combine that with having to click on various buildings to order units, upgrades such. It does become a handful and quite vexing indeed.

In the open beta of Dawn of War 3 there is only one game mode, where the goal is to crush the power core. Where point capture is key to gaining resource acquisition points. Which in turns summons units. No longer can squads be replenished, they have to be near a base building to do that. Each match gives experience points and skulls that can be used to learn new abilities and special orders for the heroic units. Along with some pr-order bonus skins and some skin that unlocks with level. I can’t say anything about the story mode as it is not part of the beta, it’s purely multiplayer at the moment. However I’m not convinced that Eldar has any chance what so ever to with most engagements. Especially since they are not built for defense. For the most part it feels like the Ork stomps all, eventually. It’s not bad game, just not my cup of tea. Too much micro.

Njål Sand

Early Access: Avalon Lords: Dawn Rises

20160530112031_1 Avalon Lords: Dawn Rises is a multiplayer-only, real time strategy (RTS) game in Early Access. When I say multiplayer, only I mean that there is no single player story mode. There are only single player practice rounds. At the start of the game you choose one of five factions to join, each of which gives you a slight bonus to things like starting gold and reduced resource requirements for certain units. From here you can play three separate types of games:

1. Empire: This is the largest. It pits you against other players or AI for control of the world. You battle over different regions in the name of your faction. There are a lot of teams on the board and this game can take a while to play through.
2. Conquest: This is the standard match. You start with a castle and a few peasants who can build or harvest for you. You slowly build an army and take on other players or AI in practice.
3. Battle: You create an army list by choosing from several units, then you just send your army after your opponents.

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Playing against the AI is a huge pain in the ass, especially for someone who has rarely played RTS games. The AI builds much faster and more efficiently than you do. It can create huge armies very quickly and wipe you out by the time you create your first few units. I’m sure someone with much more experience in this genre could deal with the enemy a lot easier. However, since there is no way to change the AI difficulty, new players are for the most part shut out pretty early on. Playing the practice modes was about as much as I was able to do. Every time I tried to get into a human match the game reminded me that there were only 4 people playing. I waited in a queue for a while but was eventually unable to find a game.

In terms of game play, there really isn’t anything new or interesting here. Everything Avalon Lords does has been done already (and much, much better). The tech progression is fairly bog standard. You build buildings to get different units. You upgrade those buildings to get better units. You can build places that will research buffs for your units, or what have you. You have a central focus on gaining resources like iron, gold or wood with peasants in order to build. There’s really nothing in this game that you wouldn’t find in any other RTS. On top of that, the generic medieval theme has been done to death.20160531112829_1

The controls are finicky and unpleasant when you try to drag over a bunch of units to select them, or try to move the map to get to where you want. You sometimes end up on the complete opposite side of the map from where you intended. The developers have recently announced that they are making the game free-to-play. So in the future be wary of this game not only being out-shined by other RTS games (including many free ones), but also being filled with micro-transactions. This is speculation, so we’ll just have to see.

The most fun I had with Avalon Lords are the short battle games. Here you just choose units for your roster and send them out against your opponent. I found it was best to send them all in one large clump, since that’s mostly what your opponent will being doing. Here you just watch them all fight and die. Then the game ends, nice and simple. No resource management or building nonsense; just a quick fight. You can choose the configuration of your list so that you can have all archers or crossbowmen, or all weak sword guys, or heavy shielded guys…or any combination thereof. It’s over in under five minutes, and then you can do something else with your time.

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-Jordan Kamm-