Tag Archives: MMO

Haven Review: Destiny 2 – A very Unexpected adventure!

Now, for the last few years I have watched the hype of Destiny grow to exponential proportions and I never once had a chance to play the game, despite owning a copy and all the DLC (Long story). But since I had some downtime while sorting through the mess which is my life, I got a lovely review copy of Destiny 2 from our friends over at Activision and finally got to try it out.

I love it, I honestly wish I boarded the hype train with everyone else a while ago. The game shares remarkable similarities to a lot of the game titles I have enjoyed over the years and is simplified much to how I would design a game and yes, I have designed a few games in my time.

Its weapon system is basic, like very basic there are probably at least three to four different types of armors for each rarity for each class. So four green, four blue, four legendary and four exotic. I may be wrong on this but after getting four days worth of grinding in to get my power level up to 280, I have noticed an awful lot of similarities in all the armors.

However, this isn’t a bad thing it just means you got to pick the equipment you want and like and just power it up rather than keep picking up new armors and throwing out the old armors. The game focuses more on the key element of appearance rather than functionality, because almost all armors at least for the Hunter have pretty much the exact same function and it doesn’t really change. So go ahead and make your outfit look good, the other pieces of armors will probably do the same thing anyways.

The same goes for the weapons, not just the armors. The weapons have basically the same functions as the guns in Borderlands, its a gun except they can add the bazillion different guns in front simply because of the power levels for each gun or effects making them all individually unique effect being used in this case of elemental property.

Now, I know this similarity is a bit crass but its still accurate. I love the Sparrows you get, it reminds me so much of Firefall with the vast open area’s you can explore and traverse, Destiny probably came first but Firefall was free and available to me so I could play it and I absolutely loved the ability to do that. It was even more fun for me to do sick tricks in the air with just like the latter and it is incredibly enjoyable.

But I think despite the mechanics, from riding a Sparrow, or customizing your character the things I enjoyed the most was the story of the actual characters. Cadye (voiced by Nathan Fillion also!)  being my favorite to the point where if you put the two of us together in a room. We would never shut up, because of how similar we are. (Friends noticed it also.)

The story in this game alone feels solid, but from what my friend was telling me since I never played Destiny, I kinda switched off during the time traveling robots. So I fear this is something I cannot connect too yet simply because this title is its own title, and I am jumping into the middle of it without playing or knowing ANYTHING about Destiny.

But I think the thing, the one key element I enjoyed about the game, about the entire time playing it was and has definitely got to be the musical composition. I love, the soundtrack. I have never had in any of the previous games I have played had a musical score make me feel so much as I played through the title with my friends, and colleagues fighting Vex, Cabal, and the Fallen.

The game is good, from its vast open area’s loaded with visual porn in ways that just make you stop and admire everything that’s been put into this title. It’s unique characters, its witty dialog, and simple yet enticing game play mechanics. Games like these are a rarity now a days even more so if its a triple A title and they are pushing hard to get it out. Making the game more about the experience rather than cheap shoddy work to make money.

However, the competitive side of the game should be tweaked a bit.
Despite the player power cap being well, capped in such area’s as the Crucible item effects aren’t and if you haven’t been lucky enough or skilled enough to get special items such as the MIDA guns or Foetrackers you can be at a bit of a disadvantage. Although a good well balanced team can fix a lot of these issues and skill can outshine item effects easily.

This is what a game should be, from the adventures with friends, to a story you can enjoy by yourself, the game is really amazing. In conclusion the game is amazing, and I absolutely love it, from its musical score, to is mechanics, and overall game play, with very minor things being barely noticeable, hell its not even pay to win, any money you put it for bright engrams is solely cosmetic or maybe a slightly faster sparrow and even then you can get them by leveling up once you go beyond level twenty the cap level.

I even managed to get a few, But like I was saying the game is good and despite the scenery being a bit linear in places it brings that atmosphere that people want, i’ve found myself just listening to the music in the game and the ripples of the water on the farm because its enjoyable, and it makes me yearn for a chance to experience things like that in real life.

But despite all the positive things I got to say about it, I should point out the loading screens are annoyingly long, and serve only as gloat material to show off your ships, on the PC it crashes quite a bit and I have been stricken with error code buffalo a lot. Not to mention the game will suddenly and without warning just exit to the desktop for no apparent reason. But despite all these issues,

I love it.

-Daniel Clatworthy
(Team Note: Zaceron hates the suicide enemies in the HIVE and Vex, and Invixs thinks the story is very lack luster in comparison to the first game, and we all experienced bugs that made playing the game far more challenging than it should have been.)

Haven Review: Tree of Savior

Our world is in peril and the goddesses are missing. But one night I had a dream; a revelation. It told me that it’s my job to cleanse the world of evil and save the holy ones. Now I just have to smash 20160515161236_1several hundred oversized onions to get some experience under my belt!

Tree of Savior is a free to play, Korean online game with a lot of charm, a ton of enemies and many, many classes. Since I’m talking about an online game, grinding and monotonous quests are a dime-a-dozen. As the mystery of the missing goddesses unravels, the story gets much more involved.

At the time of this review there’s a lot of lag, and the usual collection of underpaid workers wants your dollar for in-game items and gear. The NPCs and important people in town have this rather odd brown tint to them, which looks really boring, uninspired and downright creepy.

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Here be a boss, beat it to a pulp with friends!

But make no mistake Tree of Savior is addictive as all hell and the more people in the party, the more experience you gain. The serious amount of awesome bosses and sheer number of daily instances does make it more interesting than most other games in the genre. In many ways the game reminds me of Seiken Densetsu and the other games in the Legend of Mana series.
Since places are quite small and self-contained, there are always people around the various farming spots, hogging the place for themselves. Luckily, this is

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Just like any other market place on or off line.

rectified by switching between channels. Thankfully, the loading time is fast.  Leveling is mostly a speedy affair…mostly. Some levels do have a serious gap in them, which makes little or no sense, as the level cap is quite high. The cash store hardly contains any pay-to-win items, such as extra movement speed and more characters slots. This brings me to one of the biggest problems I have with the game; you only have 4 slots. Pets take one slot, and with all these classes there are at least 12 variations on each archetype.  Tree of Savior encourages team play and being in a party,

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Those red flowers are all enemy mobs, chain them up and grind them down!

since the experience boost is much increased when helping others. This in turn makes grinding a whole lot easier (not that people have caught on to it yet!) The number of high-level characters you’ve got also further increases the passive experience gain. Combat is based around using skills with a set cooldown. While this is run-of-the-mill these days, bosses and such have clearly defined “area of effect” (AoE) attacks that are dodgeable, unless the boss locks up and never stops.

Each class can pick

between male or female. As the class reached a certain level, I got to choose from two paths. Along with the levels I got skill points to increase my skills and stat points

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The Koreans have a thing for gorgeous artwork

. You can put these points anywhere you please, so be sure to have a clear build path in mind. I would not recommend the homepage. It is slow; SLOW, I tell you. The wonderful and charming graphics and the isometric camera makes Tree of Savior a pleasant looking experience. However, the music feels a bit off and odd at places. It’s composed of rave-like songs…not that this is a bad thing…just unusual. Personally I like it, and in the end that’s the important thing. It’s the kind of game I’d be very careful to whom I introduce, due to its addictive nature. There is also a video recording function built into the game, which triggers on hitting F12, the Steam screenshot key.

 

 

20160515164739_1Keep in mind, if you hate hearing people shout about gold for sale, cramped areas with people waiting for the farm to respawn, random kill steals, a lot of lag or suffer from MMO withdrawal, stay the hell away. There is one thing every online game succeeds at, and that is capturing the spirit of a middle-eastern bazaar, where everyone is peddling wares and screaming loudly at each other.

tree-of-savior

Disclaimer:  We received this game for review purposes only. As such, all views in this article are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Steam store page :
http://store.steampowered.com/app/372000/
H
ome page:
https://treeofsavior.com/

Njål H Sand

Haven Review: Black Desert Online

blackdesertlogoFirst up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Black Desert Online (BDO), that Korean massive multiplayer online (MMO) game that became hugely popular because of its character editor. You can make pretty much any celebrity or make the ugliest human in all of existence, or both.

Well the game finally came to Europe and North America, due to its popularity, and as such we got involved! 2016-02-28_143974657So involved in fact, that we’ve been part of its alpha testing, its beta testing and its second wave of beta testing. Honestly, I must say it’s been great! That isn’t to say there weren’t a fair share of issues, many of which were due to its poorly planned launch.

I was lucky enough upon official release to be granted press access, which allowed me to start 96 hours before the official launch. The servers ran smoothly, everything was fine and I even made the top 30 list of the best fishers in the game, just as I did in the second closed beta.

But the game’s biggest issue so far started at official launch: overloaded servers. It has gotten to a point where even playing is almost impossible for us, due to the lag. Since the combat system relies a lot on having a strong connection, it’s become a serious issue. I am speaking for the European (EU) region in this case, since that’s where I am based.2016-02-20_316917405

In the North American (NA) launch, characters were being placed into the wrong servers and separated from their friends and colleges. The company offered very little in terms of compensation in regards to fixing that issue. I personally wish that our press copy allowed full use of the cash shop items (other than the hawk). Due to network issues we never got to fully utilize it, although that’s peanuts compared to the other issues the game faced.

The game has been out almost a week at this point, and like in the closed beta tests I have been able to push my character further than a lot of other players and I have gotten to explore almost 25% of the entire world map. I’ve also played through much of the primary story, which I strongly think is lacking in terms of dialog.2016-02-20_321924025 I don’t have anything to make me feel attached or drawn to the characters. As I watch the story unfold…and it comes off as a shallow design…the only thing that is generally interesting is the Black Spirit, who is essentially tied to your character. I absolutely fell in love with narrative companion, as did my wife. Otherwise, the story simply relates a fight between two nations, with one guy being evil for the sake of being evil so he can overthrow the other.

Other issues that came out upon launch were bugged skill-trees and incomplete mission/quest lines. You would think that after all the alpha and beta testing they would have ironed out these issues, yet they are still there. Most companies give players more than a week for a closed beta, especially for a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game.

There just wasn’t enough time to get people to help find these serious issues. But that’s enough about that. Like I said, I’ve been enjoying the overall experience. 2016-02-20_321023763Thanks to my time in the closed beta and alpha tests, I was able to start the game with a slight advantage, with knowledge of how “nodes” work, as well as quick ways to level up. Hell, I would even say that playing Legend of Zelda helped me a lot in this game, as it forces the player to dodge attacks while fighting enemies of various types and sizes.

The game’s combat method is what drew me in and what made me fall in love, not its incredible character designing capabilities. The fact is that the player must be actively involved, and because of this it really begins to boil down to skill in “player vs. environment” (PvE), dodging enemy attacks and formulating plans based on opponents’ combat style; much as in the Legend of Zelda franchise. This feature is a great way to show the world that there could be room some day for a Legend of Zelda styled MMO.

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At first, during alpha testing, I had no clue at all how “nodes” worked. It was thanks to YouTubers who played the Korean version of the game that I was able to finally understand the system. Now that I grasp the concept, I love it. Basically, here’s how it works: Upon completion, certain quests and activities reward players with “contribution points“. You can then invest these points into farms, towns, building projects and much more. It’s essentially a reward for being a great adventurer, and it pays off. With these points you can buy homes in towns or farms to harvest materials for you. Early on, I invested my points into a small residence located in the starting town. From there I hired a whole army of workers. Workers require food and lodging to stay in your employ, so take care of them!2016-03-13_45214136

My workers continued to pick potatoes for me, and went on to craft a small raft. I could take the raft out to the sea and catch fish. The fishing earned money with which to purchase high-end equipment. So while other players were struggling, I had a solid plan and am progressing easily into “late-game” activity. Other benefits of playing this way include the capability of upgrading my equipment to ungodly levels, and that I don’t have to do a thing (apart from using Black Stone Armor and Weapons) to further my equipment even more.

The marketplace in BDO is one of the best concepts I’ve seen in regards to an online auction house. In games such as Diablo and World of Warcraft, players have control over just how much a item will cost. But in BDO there are set prices; players cannot alter them.2016-03-04_4344155 However, when there is more of a certain item in the auction house, its cost begins to drop in an effort to reduce overstock. I find this absolutely amazing and I honestly hope someone puts up a “Liverto Sword” soon, because I really want one!

The character skills in the game also stand out for me. They draw inspiration from Runescape, where a player starts off with basic skills that are refined over time. The skills also decrease the difficulty of getting certain items, and offer tremendous flexibility of play style. Some equipment however, is limited to higher ranked players. 2016-03-14_18557021This includes the coveted fishing rod. But for the most part, if you want to go mining for quality material, nothing is stopping you. The same is true with fish, once you’re qualified to cast a rod.

Speaking of fishing, this activity has become all the rage. It can be quite a chore however, so the game designers have added a mechanic to allow “AFK fishing”. You can literally walk away from your computer while your character stands at the water’s edge, collecting fish for you. Return home from a day at school or the office to an inventory full of delicious seafood, which you can sell for a decent price and raise your “trading level” in the process; a double win!

One issue I do have with the game’s mechanics is how a player can raise their stats. There are three (3) primary stats: health, strength and breathing. 2016-02-20_20110752

Breathing allows the player to swim longer underwater and also increases the stamina used in battle for dodging enemy attacks. Strength increases the players load capabilities. Health is pretty self-explanatory, and is equivalent to “hit points” found in other role playing games (RPG).

Health is one of the more annoying stats to level up, as to do so you must eat meals that you can cook in your house. But to further your health you need to do this every half-hour. The game even has the balls to give you an item that increases the experience (EXP) gained for health by eating for an hour straight. But when you think about how utterly useless that item is, you begin to ask “How dumb do they think we are?” If you can only eat every half-hour, essentially you have a single item that only benefits you twice per use. Furthermore, the buff you get from it isn’t even that good, as it only grants a 10% EXP hike.

Strength can be raised by buying an item from a trader and walking with a pack of materials around roads, streets or even through towns. Now in the Korean version of the game, you could make your character walk on automated routes and “AFK level” this stat. However this cannot be done in the EU and NA regions, which means you have to dedicate 50 total hours to walking. By itself this may not sound so bad. Unfortunately, roads are riddled with thieves who will attack and kill you for your goods. This obviously renders AFK travel somewhat unreliable!

Breathing can be raised simply by walking around and running fast. By all accounts this is the easiest stat to raise; you’ll be running around an awful lot. Hell, at this moment my breathing is at Level 21 and I believe the cap for it is 30. I’m pretty much almost there.
2016-03-05_36594139Anyway, to summarize: despite its issues, BDO’s pros heavily outweigh its cons and I’m still absolutely loving the game. As a rule I don’t like investing items into in-game cash shops. For once I might assume I’ll be out of poverty some day! Do I recommend buying this game and playing it? If you want a game that’s different from all the rest, I totally do!

-Daniel Clatworthy-