Thursday, 26 February 2015

Vindictus: Bosses of the Summit

[This is part of my Vindictus tutorials.]

Since we already covered the easier enemies of the Misty Summit, its on to the main targets of the zone. The first one you run into will probably be Excavator Gianoo, a flying drill wielding gremlin who happens to be one of the hardest for me. He comes with many annoying adds but really only has one move that will put you in danger - a long drill charge which is surprisingly maneuverable. I'm assuming you know to keep away from his wild swinging at close range and triple stomp hop that many previous bosses have shown before. The hard part about his charge move is reading it because he has one that's much shorter. Either way you need to evade at the last second, or it will hurt. A lot.

Gianoo was troublesome for me because of this, until I found out that he simply cannot catch you if you run. Yup. Run circles around him and drink potions to full. That was my solo strategy anyway, because I'm one of those guys that carries 100+ healing potions at all times. :P Much further up the mountain you will encounter Crazy Masaka, a chainsaw wielding version of this guy - but he is much easier to read as he does an aerial backflip before charging. Just remember to dodge at the last minute and be patient as you whittle him away.

This is how close before you should dodge.

Of the wood men bosses, Venukan is probably the first you'll encounter and you'll recognize him from the bristling array of weapons he carries. His fighting style varies depending what he wields (eg. axes = gnoll) and is most dangerous when up close with his sword, but you can still multi-dodge-dance around him. For an easier time keep your distance and convince him to change to spear/bomb stance, which he will try hurl at you but are easily evaded. Stay at the same distance so that he doesn't feel inclined to switch to something else.

Foreman Markan is the next wood man boss you'll meet, and his fight is in an enclosed room (Twilight Desert reaper tomb) and all his moves are basically denial of space. He summons exploding poison shrooms (which will get in the way of your arrows), do an easy to evade double roll, glow green for a bit then shoot a trio of green spinners (harder to evade) but most dangerous of all - he will stomp after you which I'm pretty sure needs three+ dodges to evade. There's nowhere to go in this fight so you need to out DPS him in whatever space the shrooms don't occupy. Evade as best as you can. Steel Muspell is another angry stomper who fights in a small arena. He is a lot easier to read after he throws his hammer at you, but while he wields that massive tool you need to be on your toes to evade the purple seeky orbs he can shoot which is best evaded by going under it I think (towards him). For both these fights I recommend being ready to transform.

Lastly we have Quick-Hand Seira, a bomb throwing gremlin who can do some serious damage if all her grenades connect with you at short range. The solution for her is pretty cheesy for a Kai though. In the area is a ladder to a high perch. Despite having wings she can't actually fly or attack that high so once you get up there just snipe her at your leisure.

Better safe than sorry.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Vindictus: Misty Summit Minis

[This is part of my Vindictus tutorials.]

Home to fat gremlins and slow moving wood men, Kai players will find this area easier than the Twilight Desert. Even when on thin cliff sides and such, you will have plenty of room to eliminate all the normal baddies without taking any damage.

That leaves bosses and the "mini bosses" who show up every now and then so lets get those "minis" out of the way first: Observer Morgue, Xaehawk, and Scout Surtr (who only looks imposing) are morons. Just treat them as normals with slightly more health. The Drill Rants can be easily sniped with a longbow. Ghireal is my favorite, he tosses giant (low damage) baseballs at you. Kick them back at him to defeat him.

You can also let your cute pets deal with them!

This leaves Overseer Chiakal, a giant hammer wielding wood man who likes to slam the ground with his hammer. Strangely, the slam isn't so bad. It's 2 seconds after when the ground explodes that you have to dodge or get literally blown away by the massive but fortunately low damage explosion. The other "random" boss is the spirit of Vengeful Langro who is basically a golem that forms after you kill ANY boss in this zone.

Just like in Mabinogi, Vindictus golems are made up by the random stuff nearby which can either make him really easy or really hard, depending on his hit box size. Keep at a distance, strafe, and prepare to dodge for when he tosses junk at you or jumps. Any time any boss jumps, you'd better be dodging. :P

That's it for the mini-bosses. Next up will be the main (non-raid) adversaries of this area! :)

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Today I Smiled: FPSing through Vindictus

So, I decided to play Vindictus on the Australian server (starting from scratch) and chose to be a cross-gun Kai this time around and have found it to be remarkably fun since it plays very differently - almost like a shooter. I'm find myself curious what a full team of soldiers with ranged automatic weapons with grenades and grenade launchers could do to the club wielding foes in the game. :P

Pew pew pew!

I've also tried and tested my "Game 5" board game which is pretty much a mash up of all my favorite boardgames to date. It plays pretty decently (hard) but ultimately doesn't make sense thematically - and kinda feels like a mash up of games - so I'm going to be moving on from that idea. Hope I'll eventually have one that works better and that I can eventually produce! Maybe "Game 6" will be the answer, whatever it is? If only I had an office with cats.

Blog wise I've had a pretty good run of daily posts and have finished Project Zomboid "End-Times story". That's going to be slowing down a little bit in the next few weeks due to real life stuff. Good to see some talk about the next NBI too. I'd like to be a part of that again. As usual I need to have a musical entry here and I think this time, Lady Gaga's Sound of Music Medley at the Oscars does the trick nicely.

Lastly I just got a supply of these delicious chocolate crinkle cookies. OM NOM NOM NOM. If you ever are in the Philippines, I highly recommend visiting Becky's kitchen. That's it for now! Hope you all have a wonderful day! :)

Monday, 23 February 2015

The End-Times: Peace and Quiet

[This is part of The End-Times (Project Zomboid) story.]

Nick Hernandez, Construction Worker
Just before opening the last can of beans I checked the garden and to my surprise found carrots ready to be harvested! In the following days the broccoli and potatoes too. I was having a feast of vegetable salads that improved my mood, only I knew now that I had over planted - and that much of the fresh produce would spoil eventually.

Maybe the plants can be turned into defensive weapons?

By God's grace I harvested seed-bearing crops, meaning I could plant again. This time using a cycle methodology, which despite getting mildew, flies and fungi still provide a sustainable food source with only rain water from the heavens to sustain it. My water is still conserved using only the neighboring house taps. While it is true that two of those houses are now "dry", they have sustained me here for three whole months. Furthermore, my base home itself still has water in the upper level that I am reserving for emergency, just like my as of yet unused "travel bag".

The zombies are still around. While I've only had to kill two who loitered too close to the garden in the last few months, I still hear machine gun fire and screaming in the night. For now I just have to be patient and quiet, and with prayer perhaps this storm will pass.


[Still alive: 3 Months - Stopped playing due to it becoming an Idle Game. Thanks for reading!]

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The End-Times: My name is Earl

[This is part of The End-Times (Project Zomboid) story.]

Earl Parker, Unemployed
Got the hell out of the train yard long ago and began walking... and walking... and walking. My hand has healed but now my feet hurt and I'm suffering from tunnel vision. I also think I'm going in circles and seeing zombies rise out from the ground! That's how tired I am. Still beating up the cute looking ones when I get a chance, so I can take their clothes and use it to bandage my ever bleeding arm. It's going to be all for nothing if I don't find something soon though, because I'm out of water.

...

Hey, this road looks familiar. Is it? It is! The "I Has Beer" Tavern! I'm saved!

...

SHIT. In my haste to clear the tavern, I got jumped by a pair of closet hiding dead heads and one of them bit my arm. I tried to bandage it and sleep it off but upon waking I feel sick. That's it. They got me. Now I'm turning into one of them, I know it! Damn pieces of shit. After emptying the remaining alcohol from the bar into my belly I've decided to take as many of them down with me as I can. Left all my gear at the tavern as I wasn't going to be needing it any more.

Found a shotgun and ammo in a nearby warehouse. Perfect.

Right outside in a parking lot was small swarm of dead heads waiting for some lead. I'm going to go out there and blow them all away. All of them!

Obviously it didn't go to plan.

[Dead: 26 Days, 15 Hrs]

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Pandemic

Deadly viruses are on the loose and it is up to your team from the CDC to stop it!


This game plays out on a world map where little colored cubes represent deadly, nameless, viruses that are spreading rampantly across the globe. If you run out of cubes of any color, or have too many outbreaks (which usually comes down to bad luck), or run out of player cards to draw (two of which are drawn each turn), you lose. That last, yet simple condition is excellent design for me as it pretty much guarantees that each game you play will only go for 45 minutes to one hour simply because you WILL run out of cards by then.

Having a "set" play time makes it easy to plan around, unlike some other games that can go on for a long while. Having multiple uses for those all important player cards also is good design in my book, as it will require coordination to actually come out on top to find a cure for all the plagues and win the game. While we have only played beginner difficulty games so far it has already been exciting with close calls and even one loss. The adding of Pandemic cards (which make the plagues burst from already sick locations) dictates the challenge level.

And if that isn't enough the "On the Brink" expansion adds three optional challenges in the forms of virulent strains, mutations and even a playable bio terrorist. We haven't tried any of those so far as the base game adds quite enough of a challenge, however that expansion does come with a better "box" to contain all the components from the first game as well as interesting new roles and cards which allow a fifth player to also join the team.

It's fun, easy to setup, easy to play, and as challenging as you want it to be. I give it four outbreaks out of five.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Gauntlet

This top down, four player co-op game sees a party of adventurers entering the titular Gauntlet of some really bored yet powerful being who enjoys watching blood sport. At least he's nice enough to leave a ton of gold and food (health) lying around as incentive to push forward into danger that scales slightly and has maps that also alter a tiny bit to keep you on your toes. Said gold is automatically shared among the party, regardless of who picks it up, which is a good system for co-op stuff. It can then be spent either on fluff items or a small selection of upgradable relics that can help in your adventures.


Those relics tie in to the rather different potion system in this game. Food is health and is consumed (or destroyed) as soon as it is touched. Potions you can carry around but they don't heal you. Instead they let you use the relics you are carrying. Got only one potion? Well, tough you can only use one of your two relics, once. Kinda annoying that you can't trade these sorts of things in game but if you have voice chat going (which I don't think is included in the game - big minus for me) it's easy enough to try organize.

Another thing you might need to organize is who plays what character at the start, as there can be no duplicates and all of them play very differently. I think the Wizard is the most powerful of the four, but is also the most complicated to play with all the spell juggling. He's very handy against the all too frequent "monster spawning stones" that appear though. Death on hard mode and above also requires a Skull Coin to pay for a revival. The only way to gain these is by killing a ton of monsters and since the Skull Coins are shared between the party there might be a lot of downtime for killed members since the levels are kinda on the long side.

Fortunately there are save points after every chapter (3 levels) so it immediately is better than Forced, which plays very similar to this complete with the annoying "shared screen" style. I'd personally prefer closer save points too but what can you do. All up it's a fun game for an already organized group to play. I give it three summoning pillars out of five.