Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Warframe: Nightwave and the Exploiter Orb

While there are a few syndicate factions available in the game one of the best I feel is that of the space DJ who gives daily and weekly missions to mix up your game with decent rewards to encourage people taking a change of pace (this weeks weeklies are fishing and conservation / tranquilizing wild life for example).

Given Warframe is so many things, this is great as it sends veterans back to "finished" content or gives newbies clues about obfuscated game mechanics. Hand shake emotes or raid the hidden labs anyone?

Speaking of obfuscated mechanics, there's a big spider boss on Venus called the Exploiter Orb and unlike her sister Profit Taker who is locked away behind the Solaris United syndicate, she can "almost" be readily fought with any party that wants to try.

"Almost" because the key component, Diluted Thermia, only drops from a recurring event: Thermia Fractures, so stockpile that while you can. Next, you need to go to an unmarked location on the open world to start the fight. Awesome right?

Warp to the telepad that is closest to the right edge of the map (its middle-up) and from there go South West to the nearest cave at the base of a huge stone arch. Deep enough inside you should find yourself in "Deck 12" and get audio clues to confirm it. Near the very end and up on a small balcony is an unmarked machine you can put diluted thermia in. Doing so summons the Exploiter and begins the fight, which can be messy due to lack of instruction but it's pretty simple.

If its up high, shoot the rocks its standing on or coolant raknoids if they are being summoned to make it fall. Shoot the vents between its legs to hurt it, and if the vents are "immortal", find some respawning canisters to throw (middle mouse) at them to make them vulnerable. Easy peasy for an invis Loki.

Exploiter then flees to the surface for the most annoying phase. The idea is to get it to overheat and it does that all by itself. All you need to do is kill the coolant raknoid army slowing down that gauge which might be hard without a team.

These adds drop coolant canisters you can place in lava fractures that the Exploiter will create, instantly turning them orange. Pick em up again and throw em at the spider to help speed up the heating process by .00000001%. At least that's what it feels like. It takes soooo long!

When the spider faints from the heat, walk into it to trigger a cut scene that opens a weak spot for you to shoot. Repeat three times to kill the thing, grab the loot from its butt (literally) and get out before the self destruct sequence finishes. I face tanked that the first time while looting and lets just say it did not go well for me. :P

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Archive and the Terminal List

Archive (Movie)

In this sci-fi future, technology exists to retain the consciousness of a deceased person for a time and so skilled roboticist (Theo James) who lives like a hermit is trying his best to rebuild a person while using vast company resources with nothing to show for it, because he's doing this in secret. Like that won't get him into trouble right?

Some very cool staging and location shots here for what seems to be a quiet but entertaining movie, and I did quite like the "robots" too. Don't expect much action though. Still worth a watch.

The Terminal List (Season 1)

After a terrible mission where he loses lots of his squad, Commander James Reece (Chris Pratt) quickly discovers he's been setup and goes about making a list of people that need to die because of it. It's also possible that the head injury he sustained is impairing his judgement but you know - action series needs action!

And boy does this 8 episode series have some fun action. Gun play, fights and death are aplenty - and its great that the protagonist isn't held back by silly notions of honor when it comes to combat. On the flip side, he trips balls A LOT. Maybe 25% of the season is him tripping which gets repetitive. Other than that, its a solid show I really enjoyed. Recommended!

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Warframe: Harrow and Mesa

The priest and the gunslinger.

Harrow

Only available after completing the "Chains of Harrow" quest (after which you might need to grind a little for some of h8s other parts), this clergy like warframe has a strong focus on shields and teamwork - enjoying a double capacity over shield (shield on top of a shield) and starting each mission with full energy.

He can shield the entire team, throw out a corridor of chains that give him more shields for each enemy he tangles up, flagellate himself to remove all shields to buff the entire squad based on how how much shields he lost, and wave some incense around to help everyone regenerate energy (so that he can use all those abilities again). His power loop is a pretty straight forward one and provided he doesn't tangle with any toxin type enemies (because toxin goes directly for health and ignores shields) this makes him super durable - but not as durable as the Revenant. Because of that and because I'm not into team focused powers, this priest is worm food.

Mesa

This gunslinger is locked behind the mutalist Alad V assassination mission (avoid that collar) which you'll need to craft keys for. On the plus side, you'll probably get a Nyx from all that key building. As expected all of Mesa's abilities are gun (mainly pistol) focused, and she gets benefits for not being armed with melee. She can jam enemy guns, briefly shield herself from bullets, re-apply stored gun damage with the next shot and lastly become a stationary (or slow moving) turret of doom for as long as her energy allows.

While she might be one of the higher DPS frames currently available she suffers from being not too sturdy. That bullet shield lasts mere seconds, enough time to get to the next cover I suppose but against melee hordes (hello infested) she'd be in trouble "turret" form or not. Might be one I'd like more if I got her earlier in the campaign when I still played it like a shooter all those years ago, but after seeing how quickly Steel Path grunts can shred through unprotected warframes I don't think she'll last in my arsenal for very long.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Ms. Marvel and Obi Wan Kenobi

Disney's the young and the old?

Ms. Marvel (Season 1)

Young daydreamer and superhero fangirl Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) discovers she has powers which put her in the crosshairs of a few people. Despite the main character being written as quite annoying, having not very well defined powers and that a few episodes are a tad slow, we really enjoyed Kamala's family, friends and heritage - including the impromptu history lesson included in here.

We especially liked the background visuals and creative displays when characters text or fantasize about stuff. Here's hoping they make a season two, but I suppose that will depend on how well her upcoming movie adventure goes first.


Obi-Wan Kenobi

This six episode series follows the titular Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) as circumstances force him to piece himself back together after the Jedi order got demolished primarily by his former friend and pupil. The story moves at a good pace and does have the same tone as the movies which include scenes of cute and silly droids to bad guys who can't shoot and all the way to spectacular duels.

The visuals and music are fantastic too - basically an all around winner in terms of entertainment. Due to the nature of the content it's unlikely there will be a season two for this but it's an easy one to recommend, especially to Star Wars fans.

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Warframe: Nyx and Rhino

Mind and body.

As I'm leveling the Helminth I've decided to rebuild a few old frames before feeding them for worm XP and helping me remember what they were like.

Nyx

At first glance you might think it's hard to get this warframe as her pieces only drop from Phorid, an infested invasion boss, but in reality you'll get so many blueprints for her when you start going after the Mesa warframe, because Phorid invasions drop a key component to hunt for Mesa. My suggestion is to hunt for Mesa directly and you'll get a Nyx on the way.

That said Nyx is one of those warframes who feels super fragile out of the box but she has some pretty nice abilities if powered up correctly. She can make enemies fight each other, go into an invulnerable sphere that absorbs and then returns damage and she can shoot a mass of psychic bolts that strip armor and shields of enemies that sounds really great once you get into the Steel Path. Still just didn't click for me though, certainly not enough to spend resources to get her to a useful level. Worm food it is.

Rhino

Collected from the Jackal (aka mercy kill training) in Venus, this is a beast of a frame right from the get go and is perhaps one of the best frames for new players to get. He can charge to rag doll enemies, roar to increase damage (of team mates too), stomp to crowd control a radius of enemies and activate iron skin which boosts his armor. I'm  pretty sure all of these enjoy a lot of invulnerability frames which makes this guy a sturdy choice for anyone early in their Warframe career.

Tank wise I think he does get eclipsed later on by the undying Inaros or ultra-shielded Revenant though as these two have in-built healing abilities (and longer invulnerability phases) which are almost mandatory for late game but until then he's an easy one to recommend.

Monday, 1 August 2022

Warframe: Solo Thermia Fractures

Here's a decent way to solo the thermia fractures event on Venus. I'm using a firewalking and perma invis Loki but I'm sure any warframe will do as long as you have an archwing launcher and some strong weapons to deal with level 70 Corpus in mid to close quarters.

Step 1: Set your game mode to friends only or solo

Step 2: Head to Orb Vallis with no quest

Step 3: Use the telepad to warp to the top left of the map next to the Temple of Profit

Step 4: Archwing further North up the mountain to find the Exploiter Orb mother. It's a giant invulnerable robot spider that will try to shoot you if it sees you.

Step 5: Little coolant spiders trail the big one, kill four without engaging the Exploiter. Each will drop a coolant pod.

Step 6: Ferry four coolants back to the Fortuna telepad using the warp. You can pick them up while in archwing mode and you can drop them by switching weapons. Just make sure they don't roll off anywhere and don't press middle mouse while holding one as that makes you chuck it and it explodes.

Step 7: From the air, find the closest thermia fracture to Fortuna which looks like a firey lava vent. Enemies in the Orb get stronger the further you are from Fortuna so ideally find the closest one by flying in lazy circles until you spot one. Mark it with "G" to help your navigation.

Step 8: Ferry all four canisters to the fracture without starting it yet, and drop them as close to the thermia start point as possible. Once that's done you can finally start!

Step 9: Plug all four canisters into the fracture in quick succession as soon as you begin and then defend as Corpus start warping in. Do your thing and fight well until you've filled up the timer gauge. Note the fracture itself will occasionally screw with your abilities.

Step 10: If you've won collect the reward canister which should net you one diluted thermia (it won't if you put less than four coolants into the fracture, you'll have to do more with that canister to get it), then go back into Fortuna. Why? So that the Exploiter Orb resets position and that new fractures near Fortuna might spawn.

Update: For all the parts that I suggest teleporting, you can actually just hold down M to bring up the map and select where you want to warp to. You don't need to be standing at a warp pad to warp! Thanks to Juris for letting me know! :)

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Warframe: Xoris and the Steel Path

After completing all the nodes in the original star map you are continuously harrassed invited to attempt "the Steel Path" which basically lets you do all the nodes again, but this time with super powered enemies (+100 level, armor, etc). Since I'm now Mastery Rank 18 (which is the same level as our guild hall in Neverwinter Online) I thought I'd give it a try - and promptly found myself overwhelmed.


I wasn't ready!

Which is great, as it forces you to learn more about weapons and builds to actually handle the increased threat which now includes acolytes of the Stalker invading every five minutes or so. It's still early days but I've found a solution in the Xoris, the frisbee Nef Anyo gives you during the rather early "Deadlock Protocol" quest. Using a heavy build to capitalize on double explosions (because apparently warframe frisbees can explode AND still come back to you) I've Firewalker Loki'd my way through a few of these now, with a Scourge primary to corrode the ones that need some armor reduction before throwing the Xoris at them.

It's good that there are five steel path alerts that take place regularly too, increasing the odds of finding a squad to go with. What I've noticed though is that in all of them I'm the only one using non-prime / non-lich gear. Maybe that will be my thing, to try beat the steel path without any primes. They're a pain to collect / pay for anyway. We'll see how we go. In the meantime, my reward is the Xoris totally obliterates everything in most normal missions now which is pretty sweet. :)