Showing posts with label Once Human. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Once Human. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Once Human Surprises

 One of the things I liked about the Once Human demo prior to it's launch was that it kept surprising me.  Every time I felt like the demo was about to get stale something else jumped up to pique my interest.  It may be a puzzle that took me a few minutes to figure out or maybe it was unlocking a new tree in crafting and the possibilities that come with it. Once Human is full of surprises and I wanted to share some that I've learned since launch.

 After I unlocked the garage and got the three main vehicles (motorcycle, car, jeep) in the game I thought that was it for vehicles and it was just about upgrading each of those.  To my surprise I learned about the truck and tractor trailer from the medium and large garages which allow you to create mobile bases.  I had no idea this sort of thing was possible in the game!

  This means players can effectively make a "battle bus" mobile base to roll through towns terrorizing the local deviant population.  When I say mobile base I mean mobile base where the player places and builds the base on the truck or trailer just as they would at their home.  This includes auto turrets, drones, workbenches, and that cute stuffed sheep everyone gets early in the game.

 Taking the mobile base to another level and combining it with the vending machines in the game and voila you have a mobile shop that can be rolled out to your neighborhood hotspot to serve the needs of your customers anywhere anytime (just be aware your mobile home can be destroyed).  

mobile vending machine once human
Coming to a neighborhood near you soon!

 It really is mind blowing that a massively multiplayer online game where you can build a base just about anywhere also then lets players build mobile bases that can go and park just about anywhere!  Not only that but then to have things like vending machines which can be advertised/viewed on the map!  Oh and bases (mobile or not) can have hundreds of items in them letting for really impressive visual (and functional) builds!

 Speaking of bases I am amazed how deep and complex they can get.  What we saw in the demo just scratched the surface.  As I near the max level of 50 and start maxing out my memetic skills I am getting into various areas like automated logging and mining platforms, water pumps, water purification, and all of the possibilities that come with combining them together.

 For example I learned today that certain areas (which I'm not quite sure how to identify yet) have contaminated water which you can pump via a water pump and then 1 out of 10 times in purifying it you will get acid (a key end game crafting material that you need TONS of).  Now I need to figure out if I can hook this all up on a mobile base and go out and do some mobile water pumping!

 Also to stress what you can do with these systems as an example: water flows via actual pressure so it needs a pump to go up.  However with some creative planning you can use gravity to your advantage to save on having to pump it.  And a lot of this "just works" without having to think about it.  Just connect A to B and it knows what to do.  Fortunately they are not strict on pipe placement so it's fine if it clips through walls and structures.

 Before you even get to all the cool automated systems that get unlocked with water pumps and electricity there is the deviant system where you can lock your little Pokemon-like creatures up and have them do various tasks.  Some go out and harvest, others product rare materials, and others have just "I didn't expect that" functions.

 One of the surprising ones generates "dark portal" pieces that let you make a portal.  Place one end in your base and one somewhere else and they are connected.  Go in one and come out the other.  Of course one of the first things done was to put one on the ground and encourage folks to jump in only to realize it is a jump to their death.  

 Then I more recently got the deviant Artisan's Hand which generates parts that lets players get around repairing armor/weapons that can't normally be repaired.  You can only repair gear you craft yourself.  Anything traded for or looted is used until it breaks.  With Artisan's Hand you can craft potions that repair the lowest durability item you have equipped.  Equip just the one piece of gear and bingo bango bongo you can repair it without having to be the owner.

 I swear there is a deviant for everything and I just have a handful!  Heck there is a gingerbread house that generates crumbs that can be used to make potions that do nothing other than let you transform into a random object like a tombstone.  It has no purpose as far as I can tell other then letting you hide.

 Oh and I found out the little beaver dudes can not only harvest trees but randomly can show up with a piece of furniture!  Who doesn't like more crap to put in their base.

A screenshot from Once Human showing the beaver deviant finding a piece of furniture
Little beaver dude found something other than a tree to gnaw back to the base!

 With all these surprises and a never ending supply of what seem like new deviants being discovered I am amazed there is not a central "Once Human DB" that has sprung up.  Maybe I am missing it but I can't find anything like NWDB for New World.  This game really would benefit from something like it!

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Why I always carry a torch in Once Human

 Did you know there are chests and secret areas blocked off via vines in Once Human?  

 You may have come across a chest locked up with vines but it is easy to overlook secret areas covered in vines that may hide hidden goodies.  To get rid of the vines you need fire and may not always have or be willing to use a molotov cocktail for the task.  This is where a torch comes in hand!  You can clear the vines with a single attack from a torch.

A screenshot from Once Human showing a chest covered in vines
A vine covered chest.  Use a fire attack to remove the vines.  A torch is a perfect weapon for that task!

 Also the torch is a pretty good PvE melee weapon; especially with the Blaze Blessing mod as it returns 5% HP when killing an enemy that was affected by burn and the torch applies burn!  So for those unique events that send swarms of enemies at you there is no better weapon than the torch.  Just smack them all down and heal every time one of them dies.

A screenshot of a perk mod in Once Human for the torch weapon
Blaze Blessing mod makes the torch that much better!




Monday, July 15, 2024

Monday Screenshots: Once Human

 Last week flew by and Once Human has consumed my gaming time.  Consumed to the point I didn't even blog through my early launch adventures!  So at minimum let me drop a bunch of screenshots from my launch adventure.  Enjoy!

Note: I am on server NA PVP01-00003 (World 6 is my main layer I hang out in and have my base)

A screenshot from the game Once Human
Hello World!

Off we go to a new world of adventure

A sheep to help me sleep.

The start of my base of operations

Varooom! Off on the motorcycle!

Completing the first dungeon

Fighting the Treant's Doppleganger - a good fight marred by terrible AI.

Rain collection!

Putting the Digby's to work.  Automate! Automate! Automate!

Spider bus!

Ah yes interacting with the child sitting in the creepy looking circle of teddy bears.

What I refer to as the "Pop the balloons" boss

Big Koi caught in Eternaland

My favorite activity: popping heads with the sniper rifle

Spider bus!  I love this thing.

Ummmm.... he's a little bigger than the other light heads.

Don't let anyone tell you that you aren't doing a good job little beaver buddy!

Chef-a-saurus Rex hard at work cooking my food!

Big bad

Big bad spider lady

Game over.  I win.  Yes the cat will sleep in your bed with you.

Timber!  Not as satisfying as New World logging but I get a chainsaw in Once Human so it evens out.

"Hello, we've been trying to reach you about your car's extended warranty"  Joking aside there are all of these neat little puzzles scattered across the world.

Stuff for sale at Heartlessgamer's house!

Koi in the fish tank (you can put any fish you catch in the tank)

Taking the car out for a spin.  Beautiful scenery.

My house is a mess of wires and pipes.

Seriously... send help.  Organization help!

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Once Human is LIVE!

 I'm in and playing Once Human.  I'll be on server North America PVP01-00003

June 2024 In Review

 June 2024 has come and gone.  Here is a look back (late delivery due to being in the middle of Nowhere, Minnesota for the last couple of weeks).

The Blog

Blogger provided number (last 30 days graph so a bit off)

 In other metrics:

  • Posts:
    • Target: n/a (with my big canoe trip I didn't have a target set)
    • Posted: 20
    • Difference: n/a
  •  Search Trends
    • "best battlefield game", "best battlefield", "best battlefield games" blew up last month and continues to dominate my search trends.  All thanks to this post: Best Battlefield!?
    • New World continues it's prominent spot with "new world roadmap 2024" right behind "best battlefield game" searches.
    • In the third spot is the search for "pax dei" where my post Pax Dei: Wilderness Alpha Feedback appears.

What I Played

 New World continues as my main game and I spent a lot of time in 3v3 arenas and the trading post.  The game has lost steam without much to do so we'll see how it ranks in July.

 I fished a bit in Russian Fishing 4 which was a change of pace but not sure it's a game I'll stick with.

 The surprise game of June though was the Once Human demo which ran for a week.  I was hooked on the game and looking forward to it's launch today (7/9) at 5 PM EDT!  Check out my Once Human posts.  I suspect this may break me from New World for a bit!

Years Ago

1 Year Ago

 In June 2023 I was hard at work grinding out my major combat trophies in pursuit of the ultimate combat trophies.  I finished my 3x major corrupted in the 28th.

 Oh and our vacation last year started with our rental bike getting stolen.

5 Years Ago

 June 2019 saw no blog posts on the blog and I cannot recollect what I was up to.

10 Years Ago

 In June of 2014 is when my blog drought occurred.  Crazy looking back that it lasted so long and amazing how life just gets in the way sometimes.

15 Years Ago

  June of 2009 was the month of Battlefield Heroes (which I still maintain as one of my all time favorite Battlefield experiences).  It was basically Fortnite-ish before Fortnite was a fart of an idea.

 This month also saw the merge of Bioware and Mythic after they were consumed by EA.

 Probably the most important update though was the fact I finally gave in and purchased my first microtransaction in a game.  Looking back it was a dumb purchase for a dumb game.  Now a days I don't really sweat buying something in a game if I am enjoying it, but back then it felt like I was breaking an unwritten rule.

 20 19 Years Ago

 Technically I have 20 named years on my sidebar, but mathematically 2005 is only 19 years ago.

 In June of 2005 I got screwed out of some loot in World of Warcraft and created a classic forum fire to go with it.  Ironically looking back I see that the guild the player was part of was Angels of Death which at the time I said "I will probably not group with any Angels of Death members anytime soon." which if memory serves me I never did until..... many years later in 2024 when I joined up with Angels of Death to play Battlefield 2042.  Small world out there.

 We also got the Battlefield 2 demo in June 2005 and I was enamored with it and have been a diehard Battlefield fan ever since.  2 is still my favorite of the series.

 And Dark Ages of Camelot was playing around with what we'd call a "classic server".

 Oh and we got battlegrounds in World of Warcraft.

 What a month!

Monday, July 08, 2024

Once Human Launch Times 7/9

 Once Human launches tomorrow but the specific time depends on your region. Consult the image below.  For me it will be 5 PM EDT.

Launch times for the game Once Human on 7/9

Friday, June 21, 2024

Once Human's Seasonal Resets

 One aspect of Once Human that intrigues me is their plan for seasonal resets.  Every six weeks the world will rest and a new chapter of the story will be revealed.  Along with it characters will start fresh for that new season.  I think this is an interesting model so wanted to share some more thoughts on it.

 First, a summary of what a season is in Once Human 

 In Once Human, seasons will introduce fresh gameplay experiences within a fixed timeframe, featuring new stories, events, and mechanics. Each season is divided into stages with unique challenges and objectives. Players start anew at the beginning of every season, but can carry over certain progress and items to the next season.

 The best comparison I can make is to Crowfall where campaigns came and went and players extracted materials from the campaign to use with their "crow" (character) in the next campaign.  Crowfall also had Eternal Kingdoms that were persistent hubs for players to build up as a more permanent hold.  Once Human is planning a similar feature with Eternaland.

Eternaland serves as a personal "bubble world" for each player that persists between seasons, allowing them to build and keep structures across resets
 This model looks to keep things fresh for players and help avoid power creep in the long run as players are brought back to level playing field regularly.  However it is at the cost of persistence so Eternaland makes sense.  To note; as far as I could tell Eternaland was not available in the demo and its not clear we have any players that can share hands on experience with it.

 Personally what I enjoyed most about the Once Human demo was the core loop of clearing enemy camps, gathering stuff, and coming back to build up the base.  The story helps as it drove me to explore more of the world and thus find more camps to clear/loot. 

 That sort of gameplay loop would eventually run out of steam if the base and my character and base persisted forever.  The season resetting and having me start fresh will keep me in that loop longer.  Now it is yet to be seen if that will be enjoyable to start over as the fine details of what carries over or does not carry over is to be seen, but I like the idea.

 I can also liken the experience to my experiences in New World; specifically server merge days.  While it wasn't cool to think less players over all were playing the game (hence server merges) it was actually a neat experience those first few days after server merge.  The somewhat stale cycle of your server was turned over and new faces/enemies/friends/etc came available.  Everything felt good for a couple weeks before thing settled in again.  

 I don't think it's wrong to think Once Human's resets will create that same sort of "server merge day" feeling.  Six weeks also feels long enough to be useful for progression but not long enough to feel like you've lost everything because of a reset.  It will likely feel weird for players that start playing right around a season ending but there is always a feeling of "I need to catch up" when you join a game past its launch.

 I will hold my final verdict until I get to move through a reset, but I think its a neat way to keep the game fresh.  I am also interested in Eternaland and what it will offer for players to have a sense of persistent progression outside of the seasons.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Once Human: I'm Addicted

heart Once Human

 I love Once Human and cannot get enough of the current demo even though I know all of my progress is for nothing when the demo closes down in a few days.  I'm hooked!  Some more screenshots and commentary from this morning's adventure.  

 One new thing I unlocked was gardening which includes in-ground gardens, raised garden beds, and a composting system.  The composting system was key because I also learned that all the food I cooked has now gone spoiled.  Apparently you need to build a refrigerator and place the food there to keep it fresh (or craft dried foods that last longer before spoiling).  I was able to turn 100+ spoiled food into compost which any gardener knows is "black gold" for plants.  Adding the compost to my growing plants let them grow faster.

 Continuing with the theme of the game dripping out surprises I met a new character in the story quest named T-Man who had a television as a head.  That is on point for a game where many characters have various real world objects as an appendage.

 I also got quite a surprise with what I thought was a routine "go and get this item" quest when after interacting with the "item" I ended up teleporting into a rift zone of some sort.  I had to battle tangled giant roots before I faced off with a big boss.  This was honestly the first challenging fight I've encountered in the game.  I ended up having to cheese it a bit by standing behind a rock that it couldn't figure out away to attack me behind.  

 As noted in my other post they need to make the enemies smarter so their difficulty can shine through.  Other than cheesing behind the rock the fight was really cool and full of mechanics.

A screenshot from the game Once Human showing T-Man
T-Man my good friend; what's on tonight?

A screenshot from the game Once Human
I probably shouldn't have touched this.

A screenshot from the game Once Human
Teleported to a rift zone of some sort.

A screenshot from the game Once Human
A new deviation.  This one goes out and collects ore for me. Note it get's bonuses from me having a radio playing music in my base as well as being next to a furnace giving it warmth.

A screenshot from the game Once Human
Gardening in real life is one of my favorite hobbies alongside gaming so I LOVE being able to garden in games as well!


Thursday, June 13, 2024

Once Human is a multiplayer survival game with a Stranger Things vibe

Once Human

 With the dark days of New World upon us and Elder Scrolls Online not cutting it I was on the search for newer games to give a try.  I had caught bits and pieces of Once Human in various places, but did not realize it was so close to release.  To my surprise there was a demo available.  One download later I was in and enjoying a new game!  Hours later I think I'm hooked!

 Once Human is a looter shooter survival crafting builder sandbox massively online game with a theme that is hard to explain.  Players play as a "mayfly" that has some connection to some alternate realm (maybe time travel?) and go around the world fighting sci-fi zombie-like creatures.  Simpler: it's a multiplayer survival game with a Stranger Things vibe.

A screenshot of a player created in Once Human
The character creator offers a lot of options; heart face tattoos included!

 The introduction to the game walks the player through some background about being a mayfly and having access to what are called deviations.  Deviations are best compared to Pokemon.  When a player encounters one you have a % chance of capturing it.  Once captured players can stick it in their backpack containment unit and use it in combat (though later on there are some that I've found that are more general purpose; like a balloon animal dog that generates balloons for crafting).

A screenshot showing a deviation from the game Once Human
The starting deviation

 Along with the deviations the player also gets access to an arsenal of modern day weapons and armor.  My favorite weapon set up far has been using a crossbow for ranged fights and a machete and shotgun for up close and personal encounters.  Of course all the weapon and armor can be crafted, upgraded, and eventually recycled.

 The tutorial progresses through the survival game staples: build a camp, chop down trees, break up rocks, and do a little starter crafting.  The tutorial then culminates in a big boss fight and when I say big I mean BIG.  A giant shadow creature with what looks like an embedded cell phone tower attacks the tutorial base with waves of creatures.  The base has functional defense systems that start mowing down the creatures while the player takes on the big boss.  Thematically amazing but mechanically easy.


A screenshot from the game Once Human showing a big tower boss
The tutorial boss is a giant tower creature!

 Past the tutorial the player is left to venture the world.  The game has a clever journey system that sets out a series of tasks that help the player learn the game.  It also gives step by step instructions on how to complete each step.  For example; "train this skill", then open this menu and press K, then do this specific action.  It is a simple idea and well done.  I found myself using it regularly to find things to do.

 There is also a story quest to follow which takes the player around the world.  I didn't want to go too far into the story since this was a demo period.  So far the story was nothing amazing but so far has been fully voice acted which is nice and each segment doesn't overstay it's welcome.

 Like other survival games one of the main objectives is to build a base and upgrade it so once I was past the initial story quest I got busy chopping down trees, breaking up rocks, and collecting material.  I started my base at the top of a hill but soon realized that limited expansion.  Fortunately the game makes it easy to move your entire base; just open up the build mode, press Z, and plop it down anywhere you want.  I ended up selecting a nice and flat roadside location.

 I got to crafting all the various crafting work benches and followed the various journey steps to unlock different aspects of crafting and upgrading.  One of the neat items that can be built is a containment vessel for the deviations that are collected through your journeys.  Once contained they seem to do various things.  One deviation which was literally a balloon animal dog that once in the unit started generating balloons as a crafting material.  Another deviation was an electric eel (which I got from fishing) that can supplement my base's power supply (I don't have electricity generation yet).


A screenshot from Once Human showing crafting work stations
Crafting and refining work stations

 My upgrade spree brought to me the garage option which caught me by surprise as I did not realize the game has vehicles.  A little digging around  I found a quest I needed to complete to get my starting motorcycle and voila there was a motorcycle in my garage in my base!

 Riding around on the motorcycle I ended up at the game's first dungeon.  This was a single boss fight, but it featured some cool mechanics including at one point picking up the minigun that the boss was holding. There are other temporarily usable items that enemies drop in the rest of the game as well.

A screenshot showing a player using the minigun in Once Human on the first rift boss
A satisfying brrrrrt!  Giving back to the boss with it's own weapon!

 There are also some bosses scattered across the open world as well and right when I didn't think the game had any more surprises I ran into a mutant bus creature that you can jump inside and catch a ridge to it's next destination.  I have no idea the purpose of this thing but it was pretty cool to run into.

A screenshot from the game Once Human showing the motorcylce and mutant bus monster
Vrrrrrroooommmm! (and the mutant bus)

 And that is really what I liked most about Once Human.  It surprised me around every corner.  Whether it was the mutant bus, getting my motorcycle, finding out I could relocate my entire base in one step, or the time my base was invaded because I started up a stardust converter thingy the game just keeps dripping interesting things into the players path.

 Will that drip drip drip last across the entire game?  Based on the demo I can't answer that but so far several hours in the drips haven't stopped and have kept me going.  I honestly can't say how cool I found the mutant bus thing (it also had a chest to loot inside).  I've not had a new game hook me like this since New World's preview beta.


A screenshot of the map inside the game Once Human
Even the map is well done and thought out.

 There is still work needed to make the game better.  I found the PvE way too easy and from reading other testers comments the content was harder in past beta tests but then simplified. At no point in the demo, even fighting these towering bosses, did I feel at risk.  I also took on the "recommend bringing friends" dungeons with ease as a solo player.  Don't get me wrong, I like to play solo, but this is too easy.

 Weapon balance also needs a pass.  I was excited to get my first guns, a shotgun and an SMG, only to find out they were far less powerful than the crossbow I got in the tutorial.  Balance between weapons is a key progression for survival games so if unlocking and crafting new weapons just leaves me wanting to use my old weapon then the progression can fall flat.  With that said I barely scratched weapon crafting in the demo so this may not be an issue later on.

 Building your base also has some quirks.  I kept getting an error about being too close to a stronghold but only when trying to place a specific triangle wall piece.  Placing a square wall worked fine.  Also sometimes structures don't snap together and it's not clear why.   I had to give up building a fence around my base.  Also when placing your territory it does not indicate to you in anyway what part of that land is not buildable.  I only found out after placing my base down that I couldn't build on the nice flat road area.

A base in the game Once Human
My roadside base after a few hours of effort.

 Performance was good but could be better.  I did play on the highest settings (AMD 5800x3D CPU / Radeon 7900XT GPU) and average FPS was 233.  Boss fights though dipped to low FPS and from time to time I would get a freeze or stutter.

 Visually the game looks great and I really enjoy the apocalyptic world feel and exploring ruined buildings.  The game has a sixth sense ability where when you press Q it highlights objects in the world you can interact with.  This was a nice feature saving a lot of time going bucket to box to can to see what could be picked up.

 Over all I was really impressed with the game.  Everything I mentioned was all done in a shared game world inhabited by other players that were also building bases next to me and we passed each other going here and there.  The game launches in July and since New World's next update is not until October I can see myself giving this one a spin.

 Some more screenshots:

A screenshot from the game Once Human
The crafting survival game staple: your first camp

A screenshot from the game Once Human
Base #1 on a hill; it didn't work out

A screenshot from the game Once Human
Don't forget your gas to fuel up your motorcycle

A screenshot from the game Once Human
Oh crap!  My base is under attack!

A screenshot from the game Once Human
My stardust converter thingy on the roof is what is attracting the enemy!

A screenshot from the game Once Human
The Journey system not only teaches the game but also rewards the player.

A screenshot from the game Once Human
My balloon animal dog deviation.  It makes balloons (literally).

A screenshot from the game Once Human
The map is very useful and it will give you directions via the roads in game to reach marked destinations.

A screenshot from the game Once Human
The first rift (aka dungeon) entrance.

A screenshot from the game Once Human
Gotta catch em all!  A chance to catch a deviation at the end of the first dungeon.

A screenshot from the game Once Human
A peaceful evening at home.  I really need to get electricity going and some lights!