Category Archives: Gaming

Game Review – Gwent

I was recently lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Gwent while it is still in its closed beta. Due to Gwent currently being in closed beta, that means there are likely to be changes before the game is formally released.

 

Gwent is a card game made by CD Projekt Red based off the popular card game in the Witcher 3.

 

Gwent is based around 5 different factions, each with their own unique faction power, and then has 3 heroes inside each faction, all of whom also have their own unique powers, allowing for a myriad of playstyles. Much like Hearthstone, Gwent has a set of neutral cards accessible to all the factions, and faction cards that are unique to individual factions.

 

To start a game of Gwent, you draw 11 cards, and mulligan 3 of them (also, the minimum deck size is 25).  Gwent is played in a best of 3 style, with the player that is the first to win 2 rounds winning, meaning that it is quite common to have games where you win the first round, and proceed to lose the next two. In Gwent there is no combat between minions, instead they are simply played and generally don’t interact any further with the board unless they have text that specifies otherwise (more on that later). There is also no draw phase in Gwent except between rounds, with both players drawing 2 after round 1, and 1 after round 2, meaning that card advantage is one of the biggest factors in the game.

 

Both players have three rows on their side, the melee, ranged and siege rows. Each minion card in Gwent has a value near the top left that is their attack power essentially, and most have text that has them do something when a condition is met, whether this be when they are played, if a minion is damaged, or if they are resurrected. A round in Gwent is won by the player that has the most combined attack power, meaning that it doesn’t matter if you have less power in a single row (or even two), as long as you have a greater combined attack power. You can improve your attack power or lower your opponents through the use of spells, which might destroy the highest attack value minion on either side, or reduce the attack value of all minions in the melee row to 1, or through minions, who for example might remove a certain amount of attack from an opposing minion.

 

I’ve found Gwent to be simple to grasp after playing the tutorial, but there is a lot of depth to the game, such as card positioning, timing of certain plays etc…

 

Gwent doesn’t have any game modes apart from single player against the AI or multiplayer against other opponents, though it is quite possible this will change during or after the closed beta.

 

Overall, you definitely should check out Gwent (I’ve attached a link down the bottom to sign up for a beta key). It is a complex card game, that I’ve personally enjoyed far more than I have games akin to Hearthstone, as I have found the game to have more strategic depth. Even in the closed beta Gwent has a lot of enjoyment to be offered and I really hope that it grows out in ever more complex and interesting ways (also, aggro decks are next to impossible to play due to the gameplay style of Gwent, so hooray.)

 

Link to sign up for beta: Gwent  (you might not get a key, as it’s closed beta, but good luck)

 

 

 

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Random Things – Top 5 Skyrim Mods

This week, in order to celebrate writing my first game review (on Skyrim), I wrote about my favourite Skyrim mods.

 

Better Vampires

Vampire Lords from the Dawnguard DLC were a transformation that overall, I found underwhelming, especially when you obtain it at higher levels, due to this I never used the transformation for Vampire Lord (never used the Werewolf one either). While the concept of playing a vampire was interesting, they were too weak to really be usable. This mod by Brehain2 makes the vampires far more customisable (I can finally make them gain power from feeding), and also makes them useful even when not in Vampire Lord form, making the trade-off of weakness during daylight well worth it.

 

Deadly Dragons

Ah the dragons of Skyrim, so pathetic that in a game all about you being the only person able to kill dragons, I have seen even bandits ruthlessly mow them down. Apart from the first one you kill, dragons are all laughably easy to kill, even on legendary difficulty. To fix this, I play using my most hated mod to date. Created by 3jiou these dragons have killed me more than all other enemies combined. Finally, proper enemies for the ultimate dragon slayer.

 

Alternate Start – Live Another Life

An interesting mod, live another life quite literally allows you to pick an alternate start to the lengthy Helgen introduction to the game. While sometimes these start locations are truly horrible (I fought a Hagraven at level 2), they are much more enjoyable then the lengthy cart ride through Helgen, so thank you Arthmoor for saving me from the same tediously long introduction 10 times.

 

Cloaks of Skyrim

The fashion choice for all stylish superheroes (or supervillains), cloaks of Skyrim makes your character look awesome (and is another place you can add an enchantment). Mod author is Nikinoodles.

 

Undeath

Finally, to round things out, perhaps my favourite quest line (though more for the rewards then anything). The mod Undeath gives you the ability to become a Lich after completing a suitably complicated quest line. While not always the clearest with directions, (I know I spent more than a few hours looking for things I’d missed) I’ve always liked the idea of being a Lich (and to have the power to throw cows onto rooves). This epic mod was created by Antioch08.

Game Review: Skyrim

Today I’ve decided to try something new, a game review, hopefully this is something that everyone will enjoy. I try not to go in depth for the story, so nothing major is spoiled.

 

Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls V was released by Bethseda studios back in 2011. It’s one of the most played games with over 20 million sold copies.

 

Overall Story: Skyrim is one of the newer generation of games that allows you to make your own story. This is great as it makes the game open world with no real constraints (except murdering children, I’ve tried almost every single method, I feel bad, but I just really wanted to know whether I could kill them). However, making the game open ended also leads to a couple of issues I’ll touch on later.

 

Graphics: The graphics in Skyrim, while not the most amazing I’ve seen, are well done. They have a reasonably realistic feel to them, which I liked, as it helps to immerse you in the game.

 

Combat: During your first 20ish levels, every fight is a challenge, and it’s can be dangerous and you’ll sometimes just keep dying, however once you hit the point of about level 20, it just becomes a massacre, you are like a god. I’ve taken out Dwarven centurions (a type of nasty monster that is usually the end boss of Dwarven dungeons)with just my fists by this point. However, it is possible to mitigate this with the difficulty setting, but even on the highest difficulty, I was having no real trouble. On top of that, the Dragons you fight in the game are laughable, which is disappointing as they should be the hardest enemy in the game, that’s why they need you, the “Dragonborn” since otherwise Dragons are unbeatable, however the Dragons are such a joke that the city guards can take them down.

 

Powers: Well, a large part of the game is that your the “Dragonborn”, and can shout like a beast (quite literally). But honestly, by level 30 your shouts are pretty much useless.  However, that does not stop making it awesome when you yell at someone and sending the flying off a  cliff, or you shout fire at people.

 

The magic system is unbalanced and the only reason mages are viable is that they can permanently stun lock somebody, and at higher levels can cast any spell without using any Magicka (the games mana).

 

Combat System: I enjoyed melee combat in Skyrim, I’ll admit every now and then it gets a bit repetitive, but that is why I like changing around my builds, one day I’ll go in with two swords and light armour attempting to dodge all shots at me, while others I’ll go in with so much armour that I make tanks jealous and pummel whatever looks at me funny with a huge war hammer.

The archery system in the game was well designed, the arrows functioned like actual arrows, forcing you to adjust for their drop (though wind doesn’t exist thankfully, that is too much realism).  I also liked the integration with the stealth skill tree, as when sneaking, if you shoot someone they take double damage.

 

Quests: The quests were in general enjoyable, and as you had a fast travel system via your map, making even delivery quests less of a chore. While there isn’t a whole lot of variation in quests, I find the unique story lines for the main quests redeem that (except for the main story, that was just painful).

 

Modding: This game really is at its best when you’ve modded it. However, I would still recommend clearing you’re first play through without mods, as it’s a good idea to understand the game before you do. There are a large number of mods, Skyrim is likely to keep you hooked for another 50 hours (and that’s just for exploring all your shiny new houses).

 

Flaws in the game: One of the major problems in the game is just how weird the game can get by the end. By the end, you are Arch-Mage of the Mages Guild, Guild Master of the Thieves Guild, Harbringer of the Companions (while technically speaking not leader, you pretty much are), and Listener of the Dark Brotherhood. I mean seriously, you’ve got more jobs than Barbie. On top of that, you’re the Dragonborn, a werewolf or vampire, and if you’re a vampire, you’re also the Vampire Lord, you’re the richest man in the world, you’ve murdered the emperor. I just find  it odd the game doesn’t even try to adjust for that, really, you should be Lord Emperor of the entire world with how much you run.

 

The game also does not have a good amount of repetitiveness without mods,  I understand you can change your playstyle and start on a different questline etc…, but in the end, you’ll end up doing the same quests, and while in my second play through I was a sword swinging brute, in the end, it just wasn’t as enjoyable as the first play through because it was all predictable.

 

Overall I would say the game is worth your time, it’s a robust game and should keep you entertained for many hours. However, I would recommend not getting the game until there is a sale going on, as the game is not worth  $20 without DLCs, and if you are getting the game, I would highly recommend getting the game with DLCs for the  best experience.

 

 

 

 

Update on the Youtube channel

I’ve made a couple of changes to my Youtube channel and I figured I should probably talk about them because I figured some of you might be wondering what’s happening.

Agrarian Skies- So I know I haven’t been very active with this series recently, but this was because I moved to a new laptop and the save file wasn’t working. I appear to have gotten this fixed and should begin the series again.

Modded Pixelmon- My new laptop seems to loathe running the save file from the old world for some reason. The world will never load etc… and I’m not really sure how much I enjoyed the series. The problem was I felt the focus was no longer on Pixelmon but on the mods I’d added and therefore I decided I should drop the series. Sorry if you enjoyed that series.

Hunger Games: So I will be recording Hunger Games fairly frequently. I won’t be editing the videos so it only shows ones where I do well, however because I might do badly in one game I will do 2-3 games in one video.

Minigames- Depending on what I find I might record mini-games every now and then, however these will not be a frequent thing on the channel.

Knights of the Old Republic- I’ve been enjoying this a lot (but where are the lightsabers? argh). I’ll definitely be continuing on with this.

Some thoughts on future things-

Modded Skyrim playthrough- This is definitely something I’ve been contemplating. Unfortunately Skyrim seems to dislike running with anythings so recording this just might not be possible.

My own personal Minecraft mod assortment- This is also something I have been considering. I’ll just have to find mods I enjoy (which there are plenty of, I just have to think it through a bit more).

Age of Empires III Asian Dynasties- So I’ve been considering doing this for a while. What I’ve been thinking is that I would record a multiplayer game with friends, unfortunately thus far, I have been unable to get an even number of friends.

Warcraft III Frozen Throne- This is also another one I would like to multi with friends, yet so far I’ve had the same issue.

So this has been my update, if you’ve got any game suggestions or maybe mod suggestions make sure you leave a comment.

My channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdAnPPhZInxF8CqOmCPcdXw/feed?view_as=public

Why I won’t be doing videos on Minecraft Homeschool’s Summer Program

So I know when I finished off with my Castles and Cannons tours and posts I said that I would be doing  Minecraft Homeschool’s summer program.

Unfortunately I decided not to do any videos on it because I didn’t enjoy the Summer Program.  I know some of you out there might be wondering why this is, especially when I said I absolutely loved the Castles and Cannons class, so let me just lay out my reasoning for you guys (for those of you who are interested, this will not affect me joining other classes, it simply means you won’t find me online on the summer camp server)

First off this program was way to easy, I mean starting off with /fly made everything just that much easier, and made it not really feel like Minecraft, because in all of my other modded single player worlds I’ve always had to struggle to get methods of flying, and getting flying this easily made me not really feel like I earned it (maybe because I didn’t), I still used it, but it didn’t really feel that good using it, unlike in Castles and Cannons where I felt we had earned it and we really did need it for our later construction projects.

Secondly the world was just too limited, I couldn’t for example, make my house as big as I wished too, because we were limited to a 15×15 house and I just don’t build houses that small (this is at least partially because I play with mods and have so many things I want to place in my house). Also, with the 15×15 house limit, we weren’t allowed to go build another house somewhere else. The reason for this limitation was because there were something like 233 players (not sure my figure is 100% corrects, but I think it’s pretty close)  we just didn’t have enough space.

Now, I know some of you who play Minecraft are going, not enough space?  That’s ludicrous, it’s Minecraft.  But the reason for this is because we were limited to building inside the Grand Canyon, an area made by the staff to look like the Grand Canyon. Whenever we tried to do something outside of the Grand Canyon we would get error messages.

The final problem though is definitely what made me leave the Summer Program. The final problem  was Team Speak (which I will now refer to as T.S).  The problem here was that with 233 students T.S was always going to have too many people for me to actually have a decent conversation with anyone, simply because there were so many people talking at once.

Because the main reason I enjoyed Minecraft Homeschool was that I got to talk to new people on T.S, the Summer Camp was just not right for me.

Unfortunately, the addition of all these elements means I won’t be doing tours of the Summer Camp and you won’t see me online in the Summer Camp.