Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Day 3: Battlefield 2042 Impressions (Tweakin')

 For my third day of Battlefield 2042 I did some tweakin' of my settings.  I mostly followed this guide on YouTube (embedded below as well).

The most helpful tweaks to improve my Battlefield 2042 experience were:

  • Field of view recommendation around 90.  I was going max 105, but 90 (or 89 recommended in the video)
  • Low video settings still look really, really good and the frame rate increase is noticeable.  I am actually a little shocked at how good it looks on low settings.
  • Showing all kills in the kill feed; was surprised that is not the default setting
  • Hud icons!  Holy crap!  Being able to hide objective icons when zoomed in is so nice.  Being able to make sure enemies show up more bold while shrinking/hiding friendly hud icons is also great.  Lots of tweaking to do here!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Day 2: Battlefield 2042 Impressions (Breakthrough, Irish, and the Rorsch Mk-4 Railgun)

 For my second day of Battlefield 2042 I decided to take a journey into a new game mode, Breakthrough, but stuck to the new map, Spearhead, that came with Season 3.  I like to learn a map before jumping to other maps.  Also I am enjoying Spearhead a good bit.

 Breakthrough is a good fit for the new map as its a linear game mode where an attacking team starts on one end and pushes to the other end in sequence (meaning there is no jumping over the current objectives and back capping).  This leads to a more defined "front line" for fighting and I found it a more enjoyable mode than Conquest for this map.  I spent a lot less time getting shot in the back.

 I also figured out some nuance in the control and the ability to change between my attachments.  This is a nice quality of life change from many other games where these sorts of systems require you to make the change outside the game mode. Now I can easily change between scope one and two to fit the current need on the battlefield which fits perfectly with the new map as players transition from outdoor fighting to close-quarters-combat in the factory buildings.

 I am also spending time as other specialists (Day 1 was all Boris). I really like Irish as I am a defensive player by nature (i.e. my aim and reflexes suck so I am better at supporting the team).  One item that I've become very fond of is Irish's APS-36 Shootdown Sentinel (deploy a trophy system that intercepts enemy explosives).  In a single round last night I stopped 96 explosives... which is a bit crazy as each one of those may have been something that killed myself or a team mate.  

 Irish also can pop up defensive shields on the battlefield and combined with a sniper rifle can allow for some unique "sentinel" (apparently Call of Duty's term for campers and I am stealing it) scenarios.  This also gave me a chance to try the new Rorsch Mk-4 Railgun as a sniper rifle.  The weapon takes a bit to get used to but with its chance at landing one hit kills and its pinpoint laser accuracy (i.e. almost zero projectile drop at range) I can see now why so many players are using it.

 I am trying to avoid getting sucked into one specialist as I do want to give more a try, but Irish is really fun and Boris was fun before him.  Zain, the new Season 3 specialist, is likely the next on my list to try just to jump on the bandwagon of trying all the new stuff while everyone else is.

 Who's your favorite specialist?  Whats your favorite game mode: breakthrough or conquest?  Leave a comment!


Monday, November 28, 2022

Sunday 11/27/2022 Post

 Relationship ended with Aaron Rodgers.

 Relationship started with Jordan Love.

 End result still the same.


Sunday, November 27, 2022

Day 1: Battlefield 2042 Initial Impressions

 I grabbed Battlefield 2042 on sale for $20 and jumped into Conquest on the new Spearhead map.  While memories of Battlefield 2 (my all time favorite in the series) didn't come flooding back 2042 definitely caught my attention.  The visuals are beautiful and the gun play is sufficient.  Here are some other thoughts after a few hours of play on Day 1.

 Being late to the party and knowing most modern Battlefield games rely on progression systems I was prepared to have limited options and that is spot on for 2042.  I had basic weapons without any unlocks.  The first few matches felt a little oppressive as I found myself constantly getting one shot while being unable to take down targets even when I got the jump on them.  

 It turns out this was mostly just an experience with the new rail sniper rifle being strong at one-shot kills and the fact I needed to be more evasive so I wasn't an easy sniper target.  Once more comfortable with the Spearhead map and getting with some better squad mates my kill:death ration improved and I made my way through some unlocks and a few new weapons.

 I do want to mention that the user interface for managing weapons and their load outs is confusing.  It is not clear at all what you have equipped.  There seems like there are multiple slots per weapon part (for example; three slots for scopes/sights) but no explanation of how/which one is active or if there is some way to swap between them in game.  I eventually somehow got the scope I wanted to try in the first slot so just left it there.  Over all the user interface in many areas is confusing.

 Vehicles were also all sorts of confusing and I decided I'll need to spend some time on YouTube to understand these near-future vehicles better and their weapon systems. For example riding shotgun with a squadmate in some sort of SUV-looking vehicle I manned some form of camera with two abilities.  Nothing is explained in the UI on what either of them do.  Then at multiple points I fell victim to vehicles parked on top of the large "cube" buildings on the Spearhead map.  No idea how they are getting there or how the roof supports such large weights.

 Speaking of roofs that should be collapsing there was a definite lack of damage happening on the map.  Some of my fondest memories in Battlefield were in Bad Company 2 where by the end of the match each progressive conquest point was leveled with barely a building left standing.  For the most part in 2042 other than the obvious expendables like piles of wooden crates nothing seems to take much damage.  This leads to some on-rails corridor game play without any of the fun Battlefield work-arounds of blowing out a wall to get behind your opponent.

 There is a specialist system that is new to the Battlefield series.  From what I hear it is a shadow of its launch version and has been re-worked significantly for this most recent major patch (3.0).  The main take away I got from it is that each specialist comes with a unique gadget.  I stuck to the initial specialist I was dropped into, Boris, and his automated turret.  The turret was fun to place and great for helping spot enemy movement.  I will have to take some time to look into other specialists.

 Along with specialists are your standard build outs of assault, engineer, medic, and sniper.  The load outs are really just placeholders in name as a sniper can carry an ammo pouch and a medic can carry a sniper rifle and anyone can revive a player (not just medics).  I believe this is just a halfway state to their entire rebuild of the specialist system.  This is an area Battlefield honestly doesn't need to screw around with.  It has been tried and true for years and not sure why they decided 2042 was the game to screw around with it.

 There is a lot going on with this game and I just scratched the surface day 1.  There looks to be a lot of depth and complexity to the specialists and tuning your weapons.  I have some ideas on weapons I want to work towards and need to spend some time figuring out how to get there most efficiently.  Then there are the vehicles I mentioned.  

 Also an option called "Battlefield Portal" caught my eye.  Apparently it allows players to create custom game modes and mix'n'match content from Battlefield 1942, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3, and 2042.  That means you could have a Spitfire facing off against a F22 Raptor!  This looked very promising and warrants some further investigation.

 Over all I enjoyed Day 1 in Battlefield 2042.  I definitely feel like I will get my moneys worth out of the game and it feels good to be back in a Battlefield game.  Have you given the game a try? Were you there for it's rocky launch?  Share a comment.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Going to give Battlefield 2042 a try

I have been itching to pull some triggers so I grabbed Battlefield 2042 on sale for $20.  Will share my thoughts as I play it.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

A New World Tip and Happy Thanksgiving

 Happy Thanksgiving (to those that celebrate)!

 And a relevant New World tip.  Make sure you get your Feast-O-Plenty Food Trophy from the Turkey Terror event.  This buff is great and combined with the same buff on your bags can almost double your food buff duration!  Players have until Dec 6th to obtain this from the Turkey Terror event.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Call of the Wild:The Angler Patch 1.1.3

 Call of the Wild: The Angler has a new patch out: 1.1.3

 The big change in this patch is the ability to toggle off the strike indicator.  This change also came with some developer commentary.

  • We’ve added the option to toggle on or off the Strike UI during the biting phase.

    • Dev Team’s Notes: There are two separate options that reside within the Accessibility Menu, which allow you to change the audio and visual cues independently. In the near future, we’re also planning to do more to further improve this phase of gameplay - including improvements to the float and line behavior on the water.

 This is a step in the right direction as the STRIKE flashing across the screen firmly placed this game in the "arcade" category of fishing game.  It will be interesting to see how this works, but I suspect the latter part of the dev statement about improving this phase of the game will be a requirement before you get a decent experience out of turning the strike indicator off.  As it was before this patch I am not sure I could tell you what the game gives as far as feedback for a strike.

 For the rest of the patch there were some quality of life improvements. The biggest of which is a chat feature added to multiplayer.  Maybe a little late unfortunately as almost no one is playing the game anymore (me included).

 Steps forward with this patch but still too little to get me back fishing.  What about you? 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

New World: Greatsword/Sword and Shield Build

 Under the weather today so just sharing a video guide for greatsword/sword and shield.  Looks like a fun build.

Monday, November 21, 2022

New World 300 STR and the Grit problem

 New World has five attributes: strength, dexterity, intelligence, focus, and constitution (STR, DEX, INT, FOC, and CON).  Investing 300 points into any one attribute unlocks a final bonus for that attribute.  In the case of 300 STR that is grit on all heavy and light attacks.  This is a problem; grit is strong and no other attribute's ultimate ability comes close to the grit provided by 300 STR.

 Grit is important in that it helps prevent a player from being staggered.  Normally grit is reserved for specific attacks or abilities and thus players can plan around those specific moments and what grit brings to that moment.  With grit on every light and heavy attack the nuance is gone and the power is obvious as the 300 STR attacker stays upright and doesn't suffer staggers that every other player has to either dodge or endure.  There is no trade off being at 300 STR.

 Compare 300 STR's grit passive to 300 FOC 300's.  FOC 300 grants faster mana regen when mana is down.  300 FOC bonus mana regen in a game where there are mana potions and mana regeneration potions you can quaff!  300 FOC has a pointless bonus.

 Now combine 300 STR's grit bonus and the fact it is a primary damage attribute and it gets even nuttier.  Any STR weapon player is going to want to get 300 STR for the damage; grit makes it a no brainer.  Throw in the Thwarting Strikes perk that gives +12% damage to attacks with grit and voila!  Top damage stat and one of the best passives in the game to help you stay upright to dish out that damage?  Sign me the freak up!

 Obviously I am ranting on the 300 STR passive for grit but anyone that knows the weapons and builds I like to play knows that I abuse that 300 STR.  In fact I've played with it so much that when I swap to any other build that is not 300 STR I feel like I am playing an entirely different game as I am stuttered across the battlefield.  Grit just unlocks "smash left click" mode and without it the player has a little more thinking to do.

 The question is: does grit on all attacks make sense anywhere?  Actually it does: for tanks.  Tanks need to stay up right and out of stagger to do their job.  Grit on attacks being tied to 300 STR means tanks are almost exclusively going 300 STR.  Ideally tanks would be encouraged to go 300 CON. Some tanks do because the hit points are nice and for PvP the 300 CON passive that increase duration of roots/slows/stuns can be helpful (though no where near grit on all attacks), but giving up grit on all attacks means as a tank you spend a lot of time not doing your job in PvE and PvP.

 Is there fixes to the situation?  Yes; two jump right to mind.

 The first change that could be made is to tie grit on all attacks to 300 CON.  CON is not a damage skill so it makes sense that it could gain an advantage in attacking by giving 300 CON players grit on their attacks.  It fits right into tanking where this sort of benefit is a great synergy without dipping into the "it's just broken" category. 

 The second approach to take is to give grit on all attacks to heavy armor users.  It makes thematic sense and mechanical sense.  Heavy armor is penalized a huge loss in damage (30%) and gets a much worse dodge.  It would make sense to reward heavy armor with the ability to not get smacked around easily.  Other than PvE tanking heavy armor doesn't have much of a clear role.  Giving it grit on all attacks would give it an immediate role.  

 The only issue with grit on all attacks being moved to heavy armor is this bridges top damage attributes with grit on all attacks (heavy armor + 300 STR) so just shifts the problem somewhere else.  That is why I think the first proposal makes so much sense.  In fact if I was sitting in a development meeting about balance that would be the first thing I'd question.

 Hopefully AGS is listening because this conversation is on repeat in the community and most recently exasperated by the popularity of the greatsword which is a top target for 300 STR.  Knowing that AGS wants to both improve heavy armor and melee in PvP I am hopeful addressing the 300 STR grit issue will be top of mind.  Until it's addressed I will just keep on using it because without it this is an entirely different and clunkier game.


Sunday, November 20, 2022

Friday, November 18, 2022

New World: Obtaining Motherwell Wisher's Coin

 I have used Sword/Shield for the majority of my time playing New World.  I leveled up as Sword/Shield and Firestaff.  I spent a long haul playing Sword/Shield + Hatchet when leaping strike + shield bash was the king combo build.  I have most recently done a bunch of tanking in PvP and a bit in PvE using Sword/Shield.  So it came much to my surprise to learn there was a round shield, Motherwell Wisher's Coin, that had the Rogue perk (increases backstab damage).  More curious was what was required to farm for it!

 The shield drops from Well Guardian inside of the Motherwell.  Players that played at launch may remember the original version of Well Guardian tied to the main story quest line and it's millions of hit points creating an excessively long and exhausting fight (which meant players just exploited terrain to spank it to death).  Well Guardian was brought down to normal hit point levels appropriate to its position in the quest chain.

 Well Guardian also features some named item drops which now always are a minimum of 590. As mentioned one of those drops is the round shield with the rogue perk.  The only problem now though is that players cannot enter the Motherwell after having completed the quest.  In comes the creative players who always seem to find a way around these sorts of inconveniences.

 Through some creative jumping and crawling a player can make it back into the Motherwell and farm Well Guardian.  If interested you can follow this guide on Youtube.  Then it's just down to farming Well Guardian over and over and over and over (as is MMO tradition!).  I would recommend bringing Blight Tinctures with you as you will get blighted (damage over time and healing effects significantly reduced) and while Well Guardian is a shadow of his former self he still can smack around a level 60 (got me one time).  Some spots on the rock wall will save you from blight but best to just bring tinctures (I bought a stack of 100x powerful tinctures for a few hundred gold).

As a note I had +luck on my bags (x3), no luck on my armor/weapons, and 3x major loot trophies in my house.

 Fifty or so kills later and voila!

Well guardian also drops these named items (I got several of each before I got the shield):

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Turkey Terror in New World

 New World's annual Turkey Terror event kicked off this morning.  A giant turkey, new rewards, and more await players throughout Aeternum.  The team shared a neat event video via Elon Musk's new toy.

 I journeyed out and slayed my daily quota of turkey.  I found it interesting that there are weapon coatings that do extra damage to Turkulon (the giant monster turkey) instead of just giving us a use for all the "beast" related items (coatings, ward, bane).  The boss turkey is also not a challenging fight so not sure why players would need the extra damage from the turkey coatings.  

 As far as rewards there is a new armor skin for your boots that replaces your feet with turkey feet.  I absolutely love this skin (see image at right).

 Also available is a turkey-specific skinning knife which gives event items when you skin regular turkeys such as the the aforementioned turkey-specific weapon coatings and also is the current way to get your daily diamond gypsum.  

 Probably most important though is the Feast-o-Plenty Food Trophy that increase food buff duration.  A trophy obtained from the mighty Turkulon, Feathered Avenger of Death. It inspires you when you eat a meal.  Only works when placed in your home.  Grants +25% Food Buff Time when you eat beneficial food.  I have yet to unlock the trophy but it is definitely a reward worth working towards!  It also looks like you can only gain one copy of the trophy during the event so no stacking to 75% through 3x trophies.

 There is also the giant turkey legs and the recipe that goes with them to create +Luck/Con food.  The big change though is everyone that contributes to the giant turkey kill gets a leg compared to last year where only the person that skinned the turkey got a leg.  Legs and this +Luck food will be a hot commodity!

 Most refreshing is there is a pity system so if you don't get a specific reward you will be guaranteed to get it on your 16th Turkulon kill.  It took me about an hour to get five kills in today and that was mostly just waiting for spawns while I did other daily tasks.

 Over all the event is light weight and fun.  The Turkulon fight seems either bugged or it is undertuned (i.e. its easy).  Players who want the rewards will be able to get them and still enjoy other parts of the game.  Another great event in the bag for New World!

 Fighting Turkulon and have different opinions of the fight?  Think the rewards are dumb?  Maybe brilliant?  Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

New World PTR Gold Acquisition Nerfs

 Pew. Pew. Pew. New World is nerfing individual gold gain in the latest PTR update.  As it's a bit buried in the thread here is a full copy of the text:

In this PTR update, we added a few economic changes which help maintain a healthy balance between coin going in and out of the economy.

We’ve seen significant increases in coin generation from economy updates in our July and October updates. With many returning players impacting our world economies, we see a need to get the balance of coin generation and breadth of rewarding activities back to healthy balance. Specifically we are reducing coins earned from Lost Sack of Coins to 250 per bag, and returning Trade Post tax to 5%, the standard in player driven marketplaces in

We removed Lost Sack of Coins from elite chests as the chests are very rewarding on their own now, and have chosen to make Darkness Breaches the only source for players to get Lost Sacks of coin and removed them from all chest drop tables. Tuning of the economy is ongoing in New World, and we’ll make adjustments as needed to ensure balance for long term health.

We are also correcting a trend where we’ve seen a supply outpacing demand for T5 Iron Hide, making it less valuable than other tiers of hide due to it’s excessive availability. We will be cutting the quantity per Iron hide drop by ~50%. As always we are continuing to heavily monitor the economy and will continue to work towards continually improving it and keeping it healthy!

  1. Reduced coin in Lost Sack of Coins to 250 per bag down from 500.
  2. Lost Sacks of Coins no longer drop from any chests. They now only come from Darkness Breaches.
  3. Increased tradepost tax to 5.0% from 2.5%
  4. Reducing T5 hide drops by roughly 50%
 First, I want to commend Amazon Game Studios (AGS) on the transparency in the change.  These are the sort of changes that can sneak into test servers and create chaos if not "announced" by the developers.  AGS is out front on this one letting players know and explaining the why behind the changes.

 I like the changes over all even though it will hit my wallet hard (I make the majority of my money on the trading post).  Inflation (and deflation) was getting a bit out of hand lately on the legacy servers (not sure how its going on fresh start servers).  Anything that helps drive gold out of the game is a good move at this point.

 With that said this is going to be a hard one to swallow as a community because we still have the Windsward/Everfall-owning companies netting millions of gold a month.  As long as these mega-rich companies exist then the top end items we are all chasing are still going to be out of reach for the average folk but laughably NOT out of reach for the rich folk (seriously 300k is no different to 500k for a best-in-slot item for the richie riches).  Nerfing individual player gold rates isn't going to change that top end problem but will put players further behind getting there as we have to spend more to just exist in the game day over day.

 Is there a solution to this problem that doesn't upset the community?  Probably not.  It's needed change to fight inflation which erodes the economic foundation, but its going to cause debate in the community and put the have-nots even further against the companies-that-have-everything.  Sure there are recent changes that affected the bottom line for companies, but it also brought up other companies into the ranks of "making more gold than a company really needs".  

 Really the only change that will change this is to get rid of gold as a reward for territory control or spread the gold reward out to the entire faction. As long as the tax money funnels into a single company it will continue to cause problems for this game and drive changes to nerf individual gold acquisition.  Seriously if they just caused tax gold to disappear millions of gold would just poof out of existence.  

 In it's place could be some alternate form of currency specific to upgrading towns and forts or maybe, and I know this is crazy, something that benefits the entire faction.  Maybe I'm just crazy factions should have more of a purpose and reward for being in them?

 Anyways; pew pew pew to your money bags.  What are your thoughts?

Monday, November 14, 2022

Is Ashes of Creation over complicating systems?

 Something has been nagging at me since the last Ashes of Creation developer update.  On one hand it was awesome to see Ashes change to a gathering model of "every tree can be chopped down", yet on the other hand I worry Ashes is planning to layer too much complexity on top of the system.  This came to the forefront of my mind this past weekend as I "chopped and chilled" in New World.  Sometimes simple is the best answer.

 Before I jump into where I see issues I want to say I am optimistic that the approach Ashes is taking will combat the problem of bots.  Simple systems are easier for bots and complex systems are harder for bots.  If any change Ashes makes helps drive down bot activity then it may be worth keeping.  Note: "we'll just ban the bots" is not a plan and has not worked to solve the bot problems for any MMORPG or other type of game... ever.

 The main changes that Ashes is layering on top of their gathering system are surveying and variability based on world conditions (time of year, node status, etc). Surveying will be a skill players improve that helps them survey the landscape and identify resource nodes and details about those nodes.  This combines with the nodes being variable based on world conditions; complimentary systems to drive engagement for gatherers.

 My first concern with complexity comes from surveying.  Instead of going off what a player sees it seems like players will be encouraged to "stop and smell the roses" so-to-speak (i.e. survey first to find the good nodes to then harvest).  I like but don't like this concept.  Sometimes (actually most times for me) players just want to smash rocks, chop trees, and not have to think about it all too much.  Adding in a pre-system to gathering feels like it takes away from that feeling that drives a player to want to chop down a tree in the first place.

 Surveying also has me worrying more and more about bots.  Is surveying go to be fun enough in itself for a player to want to do over and over (and over and over and over and over - as is the tradition with MMOs)?  I think there is real risk it just becomes something either a player "sets and forgets" while they get a coffee refill or worse it becomes a reason to encourage botting even more as in theory it will highlight to a bot the nodes to go harvest.  I need to see more from the system to tell me this will be fun and engaging for players otherwise it will fall into bot-category in my opinion.

 The variability based on world conditions does have some promise to combat bots as resources will not always be in the same spot in the same area in perpetuity like they are in games like New World.  It will also reward players that stay knowledgeable on the state of the world and what is going on.  Combined with the "open world PvP" (which I honestly don't think will stick, but for argument we'll assume they do) this could really set gathering as a job players can be known for.

 However, I question how this complexity may discourage players from just sitting back and enjoying the actual activity.  There is something to be said for the simplicty of New Worlds gathering; see a rock - hit a rock - get smaller rocks and maybe a gem.  See a tree - hit a tree - get logs and maybe some sap.  Maybe the blue glowing tree requires a higher skill level to chop and it tells you that when you approach.  No pre-scanning an area, no needing to break through a top layer to see whats underneath, and really no wasted time or movements.  Players just chop one tree to the next and it is ever so satisfying!

 Sometimes simple is just better.  What do you think?



Sunday, November 13, 2022

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Crowfall: Going Dark on Nov 22nd

Crowfall is going offline Nov 22nd (what a birthday present for me!).
Hello Crows!

Over the past few months, we’ve been evaluating the current state of Crowfall. One of the biggest challenges has been the sheer amount of development effort required to build new campaigns and keep the game running daily. In order to refocus our efforts from live operations to development, we have decided to take the Crowfall live service offline for the time being.

On November 22, 2022, at 11 AM CST, Crowfall will go dark, and the game servers will be unavailable. Until the service goes offline, take this time to try out all of the cool buildings, mounts, and emotes for free in the Crowfall store.

We're going to use this time to map out the future of the game. We have yet to determine what that looks like, but we are investing in and rethinking every part of the game - from the core technology and tools to art, design, and gameplay. Nothing is off the table.

We'll share the plan with the community as it shapes up.

We want to thank Crowfall players for their support, feedback, and patience since Monumental purchased the game.

The Crowfall Team
 Not surprising to be honest.  The game launch was lackluster and struggled to find an audience.  I don't feel the game was unplayable but it really didn't offer anything to your average player.  To be honest if you wanted to enjoy any part of the game you needed to be part of the in-crowd and the in-crowd had all sorts of exploitation to game the system which made it irritating to be part of.  I had an enjoyable run but as a mostly-solo player being forced into waiting around for guilds to do something meant there was nothing for me in the game.

I will be curious if Crowfall comes out of this dark period.  I could see the cost to re-develop not being worth it, but that would really make me wonder why it was acquired in the first place.  As an early backer on Kickstarter I do want to see Crowfall realized into a live service game so hopeful they are taking the down time to make a serious development effort around the game.  If they do relaunch I'll be there to give it a try.

Friday, November 11, 2022

New World Brimstone Sands Impressions (Part 7: Greatsword Part 2 )

For my other impressions of Brimstone Sands

Part 7 (maybe 4.5): Greatsword Part 2 - read on!

 In my first impressions post about the greatsword I mentioned I had not yet played with it. Well that has changed and I am here to tell you all about it.  I grabbed one off the market and hit the weapon experience grind spots to make it to weapon level 20.  Then I took it into some PvP.  Holy **** this weapon is good!

 The greatsword feels better than any weapon I've used in New World.  The hit tracking and mix of capabilities it brings are phenomenal.  Its flexability between defensive and offensive capability is unrivaled.  I now want every weapon to feel as good as greatsword does.

 I want to key in on the hit tracking for the weapon; sometimes called homing or seeking.  New World has an action oriented combat system so players hit where they are aiming.  This is fine and good with ranged weapons, but it is problematic for melee attacks, especially in PvP, so to compensate the game helps melee attacks cheat a little bit by locking onto their target.  Greatsword seems on another level as far as its tracking and was much easier to ensure hits with.  Combined with some great mobility skills and I was slaying enemies left and right.

 Another key that makes greatsword great is the area of effect of the light and heavy attacks.  The attacks swing far and wide and have superior reach compared to other weapons.  Where with a warhammer I can rarely hit a target right in front of me I have NO ISSUE hitting with greatsword. I also understand why I've been getting wrecked in PvP by greatsword; it literally doesn't seem to be able to miss!

Watch out - greatsword coming at ya!

 Contributing to the "don't miss" is also the greatsword abilities, at least from the Onslaught tree, is that the player has agency over all parts of the attack.  For example there is Cross Cut which is a three-part attack.  Instead of being locked into an animation that goes in one direction I can twirl and twist my camera and character around to ensure the three attacks land on target.  There are also other attacks where bonus attacks can be triggered mid animation.  It feels so good compared to weapons like warhammer where you have zero control once that animation starts and your opponent can literally just "walk away" from the attack in PvP to avoid it.

 I am in love with the greatsword now and rapidly building towards a medium bruiser build with great axe.  Even without gear or experience I was instantly wrecking players in PvP and that was just taking my frontline tank build and swapping in a greatsword fully specced in onslaught.  With heavy armor you often feel so underpowered for damage but greatsword makes up for so much of that its crazy.  And I've seen the defensive tank build with greatsword and the defensive skill tree; literal unkillable turtles.

 Greatsword: 12/10!  Note: I fully expect a nerf as this is crazy strong and explains why every 3v3 arena, OPR, and open world encounter seems to heavily feature greatswords.

 Have you tried greatsword?  Agree/disagree?  Leave a comment.




Thursday, November 10, 2022

"This build. Has. It. All." and Melee Sucks! (New World: Greatsword/Great Axe Build)

 Don't have much for today so just going to highlight a greatsword/great axe build I saw on YouTube (snarky comments about melee sucking included!).  Based on my experience getting wrecked by greatsword players in PvP this definitely seems like a legit "has it all" build to quote the video's creator.


Wednesday, November 09, 2022

New World Brimstone Sands Impressions (Part 6: Revamped Starting Experience)

 For my other impressions of Brimstone Sands

Part 6: Revamped Starting Experience - read on!

 With the Brimstone Sands update there was also a massive change to the new player experience and the level 1-25 quest and related storyline.  This also includes big changes to zones and some towns.  Big visual changes are also part of the package.  While I have not done much of the new experience I do have some thoughts from the part that I have done.

 First the biggest part that jumps out is the visual changes to towns like Monarch's Bluff.  Gone is the rickety fishing village vibe replaced by a castle worthy of King Arthur.  While its a shock initially the feeling wears off quickly once you realize, for the most part, the layout and structure is the same.  It is also wore on me as far as theme as it does not feel like the New World I know and love.  I wouldn't say it takes away but I actually liked the fishing village vibe.  For new players this is likely not an issue as the general feedback from many new players is "I love it!".

 There are also other big visual points of interest in the revamped new player experience up through level 25.  The "castle worthy of King Arthur" is a recurring theme here as players run across massive castles everywhere. Visually stunning when viewed from afar but again, for the New World OG like myself, it just feels out of place when we still have literal "slapped together boards" towns like Reekwater.  

Castle; pretty!

 Fortunately the new points of interest are explored on the back of new and interesting quests.  There is still the "loot X chests" quests, but there is a variety of new quest experiences to go with them.  There are escort quests, go blow stuff up quests, dodge under the lasers quests, and plenty of interesting find and kill things quests.  This carries through level 25 before going back to the originaly-release-experience to level 60.

 I will give credit to the team for the new quest designs and experience up to level 25 but players will be in for a culture shock as they get to end game and are back to the "loot chests" loops.  Personally I have no problem with the "loot chests".  The chests are really just a driver from point A to B and where New World has always won me over is all the stuff that happens between A and B; especially if you are PvP flagged.

 In conclusion: 5/10 on the revamped experience; at least for this New World OG.  I can understand other players returning to the game for fresh start, who were expecting a different experience, heaping praise on the changes.  For me though it is a skin on top of what existed and a skin that feels misplaced.  Once the full experience is put together from 1-60 I will re-evaluate.

 Have you tried the revamp?  Playing on a fresh start server?  Leave a comment or ten.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

New World Brimstone Sands Impressions (Part 5: Nightveil Hallow)

 For my other impressions of Brimstone Sands

Part 5: Nightveil Hallow - read on!

 A little untimely as the event is over, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the Nightveil Hallow event that was part of the Brimstone Sands update.  Nightveil Hallow was New World's Halloween Event and it brought bubbling cauldrons and an open world boss to fight.


 The first noticeable part of the event were the large bubbling cauldrons in each town; visually stunning and thematic!  Next to the cauldrons was an event vendor and quest giver.  One of the changes I liked with this event was that there were only two reputation levels and players could quickly get to the second level just by completing the questline.  This meant all reward levels were available to players without any grinding required which was very nice considering the massive amount of other new content that was also available at the same time (new zone, new expedition, new weapon, etc).

 To get tokens for the event players were tasked with defeating Baalphazu and his cast of minions.  Baalphazu was an open world boss fight that takes a large number of players to defeat as not only are you fighting Baalphazu but also his never ending waves of creatures.  A good number of tokens were rewarded for each kill and combined with ease of access to reward tiers it meant with some part time effort players could get the rewards they wanted from the event.  This was a big win compared to other events that required constant daily grinding to get the best rewards.

 The fight had a few unique mechanics; mainly throwing pumpkins at him to break his defense down so players could take down his life (if the defense bar was not depleted via pumpkin tossing he had greatly increased damage reduction).  Creepy crawly pumpkin headed enemies would spawn and once killed dropped the pumpkins that players could pick up and chuck.  Baalphazu also featured a few tricks with a pull and bomb mechanic followed by cascading damage waves.  There is nothing like seeing 50+ players all of a sudden get sucked in and then wiped out!

 Since the fight was open world and lots of players were interested in killing Baalphazu the fight was never much of a challenge and just a question of "how long".  While there were the mechanics with waves of spawning minions and the pull-everyone-in-and-bomb-them there was always enough players left alive or coming back (since you could create a camp right next to the boss spawn) to keep the fight going.  

 I'd of preferred seeing some sort of cooldown for players killed before they could rejoin the fight.  I don't necessarily want special events to be  "hard" but I'd prefer if more of these types of open world fights didn't boil down to throwing a zerg at it and have a camp located right next to the event boss.  Same goes for Elite points of interest in the open world; they just favor zergs and camping right next for fast respawn.  A little more challenge is all I am asking for to encourage players to pay more attention.

 Over all I enjoyed the event.  It didn't ask me for a lot of my time and gave me some cool skins and an awesome house pet I stop by daily to water in my house (yes, you literally can water your pumpklin buddy - see video embedded below). Rating: 8/10


Monday, November 07, 2022

New World Brimstone Sands Impressions (Part 4: Greatsword)

 For my other impressions of Brimstone Sands

Part 4: Greatsword - read on!

  With the Brimstone Sands update the New World developers brought to the game the quintessential fantasy MMORPG weapon: big honking swords (aka greatswords).  Players can now slap overly large swords over the top of their ridiculously large great axes and warhammers to complete that anime-but-if-anime-was-in-colonial-times look.  A bit snarky, but the swords are massive and I am here with some thoughts.

 First a note on the image included.  This is one of my all time favorite fantasy images.  Not only because of the honking big sword but also the entire outfit comes together in a "don't try me bro" way.  I used this image as the base for my guild recruiting poster back in the Warhammer Online days ("ask not what your guild can do for you but what you can do for your guild").  Needless to say; I'm a fan of big swords.

 But I cannot tell a lie.  I have not actually played with the greatsword myself so this impressions post will be entirely from the perspective of a player getting repeatedly wrecked by them in PvP.  Spoiler: a new weapon released in New World is stronger than others!

 The weapon as I understand it is broken into a stance mechanic whereby players activate and stay in a stance based on skills used.  Stances bring innate advantages and boil down to a defensive or offensive stance.  This is a unique weapon compared to others in the game and the stance mechanism is allowing it to fit into multiple play styles.  In fact I'd say it has hit the trifecta: great with light armor rollie pollies, great for medium armor bruisers, and great as a tanking weapon for heavy armor.  

 Regardless of stance; one thing the greatsword has going for it is mobility with players leaping and slashing their way to their opponents.  It seems whether you play the offensive side or defensive side there is a focus on mobility with the weapon.  

 Another unique aspect of the weapon is it scales equally off strength or dexterity where as most weapons have a primary stat they scale off of and a secondary.  This equal split approach for the greatsword means players can get a lot out of both the dex and str attributes and weapons that pair with either.  This is why I think we are seeing it paired up with everything from bow to heavy sword/shield tanks.

 As far as my experience playing against the greatswords?  I have definitely learned I need to stay and fight greatswords which unfortunately is not a great proposition for a heavy armor player such as myself.  My damage is too low to get through their defensive stance and their damage is so high on offense that it shreds right through the heavy armor I wear.  I have also seen the medium greatsword/great axe bruisers dominate in 1vX situations in PvP arenas and Outpost Rush.

 Speaking of heavy armor and greatsword there are some "turtle" builds popping up that make tanks look nigh unkillable.  The defensive side of the greatsword offers a ton of versatility for the defensive tank player so makes a perfect compliment to sword/shield.  At the same time it also brings the mobility and scaling off STR so feels like a perfect match.  I may have to swap it for my warhammer in my heavy frontline tank build...

 As can be guessed so far by my comments the greatsword is in its honeymoon phase and is every where.  I think this is a good sign for future weapon designs that a new weapon can function across the spectrum but it does create a gap with the existing weapons that don't enjoy this sort of flexibility.  Time will tell.

 What are your thoughts?