Thursday, June 30, 2016

Big Fish Games Happy 4th of July Sale

Big Fish Games is having a sale on ALL GAMES -- All games are TWO FOR ONE from July 2nd to July 4th.

New Customers can also use code FTC99 at checkout to get standard version games for just 99 cents. Offer valid from July 1st to July 4th.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wasteland 2 Director's Cut - Character Hacking and Respec

Wasteland 2 Director's Cut: Character Hacking and Respec

Play Wasteland 2 risk-free with money-back guarantee from Good Old Games.

To edit your character's Attributes and Skills you can simply open a text file and edit it.

Savegames are typically stored in ...\Documents\My Games\Wasteland2DC\Save Games\

This directory will have subdirectories that are named based on the name you gave your savegame.
Open the directory and you will find two files, a .bin and a .xml
Open the .xml in a text editor and examine it to find the skills and attributes for each character. Start by searching for your character's name.

Below is an sample section of the file comprising one character's entry. In larger font are attributes and associated values. Skill entries follow after.
  • For attributes, valid values are 1-10. Any value above 10 is treated as 10 in-game and flagged in red (but apparently harmless).
  • For skills, the values represent the number of Skill Points put into the skill -- NOT the skill level.
Just edit the numbers and save the file as a text file (but of course do not change the file name).
You can get away with less editing and do it in-game later by tweaking the <available...> entries, giving you Attribute Points, Skill Points, and Trait Points to spend in game.

BONUS TIP: The .char files for custom rangers in the ...\Documents\My Games\Wasteland2DC\Characters directory are also plain text files with a similar structure. You could assign a character 10's in every Attribute and Skill (including the two hidden skills) and start with "perfect 10" characters to rapidly explore the Wasteland or replay the game to try different things.

<pc><name><@>Lady Thor{F}</name><displayName><@>Lady Thor{F}</displayName><portraitName>cosplay Thor</portraitName><position><x>121.9337</x><y>6.401434</y><z>29.14721</z></position><rotationY>348.8566</rotationY><gender>2</gender><religion>None</religion><smokes>None</smokes><ethnicity>Russian</ethnicity><biography></biography><skinColor>0</skinColor><age>20</age><level>1</level><xp>0</xp><curHp>35</curHp><size>4</size><noOfKills>0</noOfKills><damageDone>0</damageDone><availableAttributePoints>0</availableAttributePoints><availableSkillPoints>0</availableSkillPoints><availableTraitPoints>0</availableTraitPoints><isSelected>True</isSelected><isHostage>False</isHostage><perceptionOn>False</perceptionOn><crouch>False</crouch><hasCommittedPoints>False</hasCommittedPoints><isCNPC>False</isCNPC><luckyHitpoints>0</luckyHitpoints><defaultEquipment><item /><item><resourceName>Fem_Robb_Hair_B</resourceName><ammoResourceName></ammoResourceName><slot>-1</slot><ammoCount>-1</ammoCount><firingModeIndex>0</firingModeIndex><isJammed>False</isJammed><quantity>1</quantity><junk>False</junk><fav>False</fav><isOriginalProperty>False</isOriginalProperty><inventoryGridX>-1</inventoryGridX><inventoryGridY>-1</inventoryGridY></item><item><resourceName>Fem_Topekan_Head_B</resourceName><ammoResourceName></ammoResourceName><slot>-1</slot><ammoCount>-1</ammoCount><firingModeIndex>0</firingModeIndex><isJammed>False</isJammed><quantity>1</quantity><junk>False</junk><fav>False</fav><isOriginalProperty>False</isOriginalProperty><inventoryGridX>-1</inventoryGridX><inventoryGridY>-1</inventoryGridY></item><item /><item><resourceName>Fem_UndWear_Torso_C</resourceName><ammoResourceName></ammoResourceName><slot>-1</slot><ammoCount>-1</ammoCount><firingModeIndex>0</firingModeIndex><isJammed>False</isJammed><quantity>1</quantity><junk>False</junk><fav>False</fav><isOriginalProperty>False</isOriginalProperty><inventoryGridX>-1</inventoryGridX><inventoryGridY>-1</inventoryGridY></item><item /><item><resourceName>Fem_UndWear_Legs_I</resourceName><ammoResourceName></ammoResourceName><slot>-1</slot><ammoCount>-1</ammoCount><firingModeIndex>0</firingModeIndex><isJammed>False</isJammed><quantity>1</quantity><junk>False</junk><fav>False</fav><isOriginalProperty>False</isOriginalProperty><inventoryGridX>-1</inventoryGridX><inventoryGridY>-1</inventoryGridY></item><item><resourceName>Fists</resourceName><ammoResourceName></ammoResourceName><slot>-1</slot><ammoCount>-1</ammoCount><firingModeIndex>0</firingModeIndex><isJammed>False</isJammed><quantity>1</quantity><junk>False</junk><fav>False</fav><isOriginalProperty>False</isOriginalProperty><inventoryGridX>-1</inventoryGridX><inventoryGridY>-1</inventoryGridY></item><item /><item><resourceName>Fists</resourceName><ammoResourceName></ammoResourceName><slot>-1</slot><ammoCount>-1</ammoCount><firingModeIndex>0</firingModeIndex><isJammed>False</isJammed><quantity>1</quantity><junk>False</junk><fav>False</fav><isOriginalProperty>False</isOriginalProperty><inventoryGridX>-1</inventoryGridX><inventoryGridY>-1</inventoryGridY></item><item /><item /><item /><item /><item /><item /><item /><item /></defaultEquipment><equipment><item /><item /><item /><item /><item><resourceName>Wearable_Topekan_Torso_B</resourceName><ammoResourceName></ammoResourceName><slot>4</slot><ammoCount>-1</ammoCount><firingModeIndex>0</firingModeIndex><isJammed>False</isJammed><quantity>1</quantity><junk>False</junk><fav>False</fav><isOriginalProperty>False</isOriginalProperty><inventoryGridX>-1</inventoryGridX><inventoryGridY>-1</inventoryGridY></item><item /><item><resourceName>Wearable_Topekan_Legs_A</resourceName><ammoResourceName></ammoResourceName><slot>6</slot><ammoCount>-1</ammoCount><firingModeIndex>0</firingModeIndex><isJammed>False</isJammed><quantity>1</quantity><junk>False</junk><fav>False</fav><isOriginalProperty>False</isOriginalProperty><inventoryGridX>-1</inventoryGridX><inventoryGridY>-1</inventoryGridY></item><item><resourceName>Blunt_Tier_1_1</resourceName><ammoResourceName></ammoResourceName><slot>7</slot><ammoCount>-1</ammoCount><firingModeIndex>0</firingModeIndex><isJammed>False</isJammed><quantity>1</quantity><junk>False</junk><fav>False</fav><isOriginalProperty>False</isOriginalProperty><inventoryGridX>-1</inventoryGridX><inventoryGridY>-1</inventoryGridY></item><item /><item><resourceName>Energy_Tier_1_1</resourceName><ammoResourceName>Ammo_EnergyCell</ammoResourceName><slot>9</slot><ammoCount>6</ammoCount><firingModeIndex>0</firingModeIndex><isJammed>False</isJammed><quantity>1</quantity><junk>False</junk><fav>False</fav><isOriginalProperty>False</isOriginalProperty><inventoryGridX>-1</inventoryGridX><inventoryGridY>-1</inventoryGridY></item><item /><item /><item /><item /><item /><item /><item /><item /></equipment><inventory><item><resourceName>Ammo_EnergyCell</resourceName><ammoResourceName></ammoResourceName><slot>-1</slot><ammoCount>-1</ammoCount><firingModeIndex>0</firingModeIndex><isJammed>False</isJammed><quantity>18</quantity><junk>False</junk><fav>False</fav><isOriginalProperty>False</isOriginalProperty><inventoryGridX>-1</inventoryGridX><inventoryGridY>-1</inventoryGridY></item><item><resourceName>Usable_PainRelievers_1</resourceName><ammoResourceName></ammoResourceName><slot>-1</slot><ammoCount>-1</ammoCount><firingModeIndex>0</firingModeIndex><isJammed>False</isJammed><quantity>2</quantity><junk>False</junk><fav>False</fav><isOriginalProperty>False</isOriginalProperty><inventoryGridX>-1</inventoryGridX><inventoryGridY>-1</inventoryGridY></item><item><resourceName>UsableShovel</resourceName><ammoResourceName></ammoResourceName><slot>-1</slot><ammoCount>-1</ammoCount><firingModeIndex>0</firingModeIndex><isJammed>False</isJammed><quantity>1</quantity><junk>False</junk><fav>False</fav><isOriginalProperty>False</isOriginalProperty><inventoryGridX>-1</inventoryGridX><inventoryGridY>-1</inventoryGridY></item></inventory><hotkeys><hotkey><skillOrItemName>perception</skillOrItemName><isItem>False</isItem></hotkey><hotkey><skillOrItemName>outdoorsman</skillOrItemName><isItem>False</isItem></hotkey><hotkey><skillOrItemName>mechanicalRepair</skillOrItemName><isItem>False</isItem></hotkey><hotkey><skillOrItemName>toasterRepair</skillOrItemName><isItem>False</isItem></hotkey><hotkey><skillOrItemName>Usable_PainRelievers_1</skillOrItemName><isItem>True</isItem></hotkey><hotkey><skillOrItemName>UsableShovel</skillOrItemName><isItem>True</isItem></hotkey><hotkey><skillOrItemName></skillOrItemName><isItem>False</isItem></hotkey><hotkey><skillOrItemName></skillOrItemName><isItem>False</isItem></hotkey></hotkeys><statusEffects><statusEffect><name>Status_Trait_CircusFreak</name><startTime>246436</startTime><nextHitpointChange>0</nextHitpointChange><elapsedTime>89608</elapsedTime><lastUpdate>336044</lastUpdate></statusEffect></statusEffects><attributes><pair><key>coordination</key><value>3</value></pair><pair><key>luck</key><value>3</value></pair><pair><key>awareness</key><value>3</value></pair><pair><key>strength</key><value>3</value></pair><pair><key>speed</key><value>5</value></pair><pair><key>intelligence</key><value>10</value></pair><pair><key>charisma</key><value>1</value></pair></attributes><skillXps><pair><key>alarmDisarm</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>animalWhisperer</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>atWeapons</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>barter</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>bladedWeapons</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>bluntWeapons</key><value>2</value></pair><pair><key>brawling</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>bruteForce</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>calvinBackerSkill</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>combatShooting</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>computerTech</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>demolitions</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>doctor</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>energyWeapons</key><value>2</value></pair><pair><key>fieldMedic</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>handgun</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>intimidate</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>leadership</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>manipulate</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>mechanicalRepair</key><value>2</value></pair><pair><key>outdoorsman</key><value>2</value></pair><pair><key>perception</key><value>2</value></pair><pair><key>pickLock</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>rifle</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>safecrack</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>shotgun</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>smg</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>sniperRifle</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>spotLie</key><value>0</value></pair><pair><key>toasterRepair</key><value>2</value></pair><pair><key>weaponSmith</key><value>0</value></pair></skillXps><traits><pair><key>Trait_RaisedInTheCircus</key><value>1</value></pair></traits></pc>

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Wasteland 2 Director's Cut - Perk Trees (sorted by Skill and Prerequisites)

 
Wasteland 2 Director's Cut Perk Trees (sorted by Skill and Prerequisites)

Play Wasteland 2 risk-free with money-back guarantee from Good Old Games.


This page sorts the Perks into categories by Skill to help you plan how deeply you want to specialize in a Skill. Requirements are in square brackets.

NO SKILL
  • Hardened - +1 base Armor
  • Healthy - +1 CON per character level (retroactive)
  • Hit the Deck! - -25% damage from Explosives
  • Hoarder - +20% Max Carry Weight
  • Limber - Crouching and Standing Up costs -1 AP
  • Powder Packer - +10% Chance of finding bonus Ammo when looting (party-wide)
  • Tormentor - +10% damage to enemies in cover
  • Turtle - +10% Evasion bonus from cover
  • Weathered - -15% damage taken from Critical Hits
ALARM DISARMING
  • [Alarm Disarming 2, Computer Science 2] Cyber Scrounger - Gain Energy Cells when using Computer Science and Alarm Disarming
  • [3] Ghost - No longer trigger Ambushes
  • [6, Ghost] Quick Reflexes - +3% Evasion
ANIMAL WHISPERER
  • [3] Camel - -10% Water Consumption on World Map, stacks with multiple squad members
  • [6] Big Game Hunter - +20% damage vs. Animals
ASSAULT RIFLES
  • [4] Full Metal Jacket - +1 Armor Penetration when using Assault Rifles
  • [6] Melee Shooting - -35% close range penalty when using Assault Rifles
  • [8] Gunner - -5% Chance to Hit penalty on Burst Fire attacks
BARTER
  • [3] Pawner - +20% more Scrap from selling junk items
  • [7] Loose Change - +15% chance of finding bonus Scrap when looting containers (party-wide)
BLADED WEAPONS
  • [5] Glancing Strike (Bladed) - Gain Bladed Attacks of Opportunity against enemies when they move past you in combat, dealing 50% normal damage
  • [7, Glancing Strike (Bladed)] Opportune Strike (Bladed) - Bladed Attacks of Opportunity deal 75% normal damage
  • [9, Opportune Strike (Bladed)] Strategic Strike (Bladed) - Bladed Attacks of Opportunity deal full damage
  • [3] Self Defense - +1 Armor at close range with Bladed Weapons
  • [6] Samurai - +1 Armor Penetration when using Bladed Weapons
  • [8] Adrenaline Rush - +2 AP when below 25% MAXCON
BLUNT WEAPONS
  • [5] Glancing Strike (Blunt) - Gain Blunt Attacks of Opportunity against enemies when they move past you in combat, dealing 50% normal damage
  • [7, Glancing Strike (Blunt)] Opportune Strike - Blunt Attacks of Opportunity deal 75% normal damage
  • [9, Opportune Strike (Blunt)] Strategic Strike (Blunt) - Blunt Attacks of Opportunity deal full damage
  • [4] Charge! - +0.5 Combat Speed bonus on first turn of combat
  • [6] Shoulder the Load - -25% Combat Speed penalty when wearing Heavy Armor
  • [8] Slayer - +10% chance your Blunt attacks use no Action Points
BRAWLING
  • [4] Free-For-All - +10% chance to inflict random Precision Strike status effects on enemies when attacking with Brawling
  • [5] Glancing Strike (Brawling) - Gain Brawling Attacks of Opportunity against enemies when they move past you in combat, dealing 50% normal damage
  • [7, Glancing Strike (Brawling)] Opportune Strike (Brawling) - Brawling Attacks of Opportunity deal 75% normal damage
  • [9, Opportune Strike (Brawling)] Strategic Strike (Brawling) - Brawling Attacks of Opportunity deal full damage
  • [8] Rush 'N Attack - On first turn of combat, your first Brawling attack costs no Action Points
BRUTE FORCE
  • [5] Applied Force - +5% chance to Stun enemies when using melee weapons
  • [7, Applied Force] Stunning Force - +10% chance to Stun enemies when using melee weapons
  • [9, Stunning Force] Staggering Force - +15% chance to Stun enemies when using melee weapons
COMPUTER SCIENCE
  • [Alarm Disarming 2, Computer Science 2] Cyber Scrounger - Gain Energy Cells when using Computer Science and Alarm Disarming
  • [5] Roboticist - +20% damage vs. robots and synths
  • [8] Overclocker - Hacked enemy robots automatically gain Overclocked buff
DEMOLITIONS
  • [2] Long Arm - +15% maximum range when throwing Grenade type weapons
  • [4] Improvised Explosives - +15% chance to recover a Grenade type weapon when disarming booby traps and mines
  • [6] Bomberman - +20% larger Area of Effect when using Explosives
ENERGY WEAPONS
  • [3] Overcharge - +10% damage using Energy Weapons against non-Conductive Armor
  • [5, Overcharge] Overload - +20% damage using Energy Weapons against non-Conductive Armor
  • [7, Overload] Atomize - +30% damage using Energy Weapons against non-Conductive Armor
  • [3] Solar Powered - +15% chance your Energy Weapon attacks use no ammo
FIELD MEDIC
  • [3] On the Mend - +10% effectiveness from healing items
  • [7] Stimpacks - +2% CON automatically healed per turn when in combat
HANDGUNS
  • [4] Zeroed - +2% stacking Critical Chance bonus when repeatedly attacking a target with Handguns. Bonus lost when switching to another target
  • [5] Bandit - 4% free attack chance with Handguns
  • [7, Bandit] Gunslinger - +4% free attack chance with Handguns
  • [9, Gunslinger] Desperado - +4% free attack chance with Handguns
HARD ASS
  • [1] Intimidating - +2 Hard Ass
  • [7] Bloodthirsty - +1 Action Point when killing an enemy
HEAVY WEAPONS
  • [5] Battering Fire - +1% chance of inflicting Precision Strike effects per bullet when using normal Heavy Weapon attacks
  • [7, Battering Fire] Overwhelming Fire - +3% chance of inflicting Precision Strike effects per bullet when using normal Heavy Weapon attacks
  • [9, Overwhelming Fire] Devastating - +5% chance of inflicting Precision Strike effects per bullet when using normal Heavy Weapon attacks
  • [10] Bullet-Ridden - -1 Armor inflicted on enemies when attacking them with Heavy Weapons
KISS ASS
  • [1] Affable - +2 Kiss Ass
  • [7] Silver-Tongued - +5% discount on all purchases
LEADERSHIP
  • [3] Taunt - -3% Chance to Hit for enemies within Leadership range
  • [5, Taunt] Enrage - -5% Chance to Hit for enemies within Leadership range
  • [8, Enrage] Infuriate - -7% Chanceto Hit for enemies within Leadership range
LOCKPICKING
  • [10 Lockpicking, 10 Safecracking] Master Thief - No Critical Failures when using Lockpicking or Safecracking
MECHANICAL REPAIR
  • [3] Handyman - No Critical Failures when using Mechanical Repair
  • [6] Armor Maintenance - -20% damage suffered from Energy Weapons
OUTDOORSMAN
  • [3] Scout - +25% Vision Range on World Map, applies to Hidden Caches
  • [5, Scout] Explorer - +50% Vision Range on World Map, applies to Hidden Caches and Mysterious Shrines
  • [7, Explorer] World Traveler - All hidden caches and shrines revealed.
PERCEPTION
  • [3] Tactical Positioning - +25% damage dealt to enemies from behind when using melee or ranged weapons
  • [6] Dowsing - +25% chance of finding bonus Scrap when digging up holes (party-wide)
SAFECRACKING
  • [10 Lockpicking, 10 Safecracking] Master Thief - No Critical Failures when using Lockpicking or Safecracking
SHOTGUNS
  • [2] Careful Hunter - -25% chance of Friendly Fire when using Shotguns
  • [5, Careful Hunter] Precise Hunter - -50% chance of Friendly Fire when using Shotguns
  • [8, Precise Hunter] Master Hunter - No Friendly Fire when using Shotguns
  • [6] Obliterator - Attacking cover with Shotguns always completely destroys it
SMART ASS
  • [1] Know-it-All - +2 Smart Ass
  • [5] Radiant Personality - 2x Charisma effectiveness when recruiting followers
SNIPER RIFLES
  • [5] Focused Shooter - -15% Under Pressure penalty
  • [7, Focused Shooter] Confident Shooter - -30% Under Pressure penalty
  • [9, Confident Shooter] Zen Shooter - -45% Under Pressure penalty
  • [10] Deadeye - -1 Action Point cost when firing Sniper Rifles if you haven't moved during your combat turn
  • [3] Watchman - No Chance to Hit penalty when using Ambush
SUBMACHINE GUNS
  • [4] Fast Reload - -1 Action Point cost to reload with Submachine Guns
  • [6] Whack-a-Mole - +15% Chance to Hit against enemies who are in cover
SURGEON
  • [3] Trained Physician - -25% post-revival status effect duration
  • [9, Trained Physician] Expert Physician - -50% post-revival status effect duration
  • [6] Smooth Operator - +20 CON healed when reviving downed squad members
TOASTER REPAIR
  • [2] Junk Diver - Upon finding a junk item, 50% chance of finding another junk item
  • [6] Toaster Expert - 50% chance to find bonus loot when using Toaster Repair (party-wide)
WEAPONSMITHING
  • [2] Tinkerer - +1 Action Point when wearing Light Armor
  • [5] Deconstructor - +25% more Weapon Parts gained when breaking down weapons with Weaponsmithing
  • [8] Reinforced Plating - +1 Armor when wearing Heavy Armor

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Updated Game Review -- MARVEL Avengers Academy

Game Review: MARVEL Avengers Academy
Score: FAIL

Previously I scored MARVEL Avengers Academy a respectable +7/-3. However, since that time they have put out several special events that are aimed at ruining all the fun in the game. They had an excellent casual smartphone game. They had aimed it to be "midcore" but the gameplay demands now are pushing it to hardcore. You not only have to strategize on how you spend money on the game, but the time demands are high as they introduce scheduling and systems that force you to constantly check your phone to keep the event going.

Here is an example of a frustrating mechanic:
  • Film Rolls are needed for just about everything in this first stage, especially the very-limited-time Spider-Crates and Limited Time Prizes. They are only some of the many resources needed.
  • You can have up to four stations: 1 per 4 hours, 2 per 8 hours, 2 per 8 hours, and 3 per 12 hours. If all four are constantly active and you you click-to-collect-and-restart-the-timer all the time, you are basically getting a rate of 4 per 4 hours.
    • This seems like a lot, except "octobots" will randomly attack a station every few hours. An "attack" is to freeze the production counter until you remove the Octobot with a Web Shooter. So far the mechanics are unclear, but it looks like the more stations you have, the more are likely to be attacked, but the time in between attacks is also greater.
    • The timing between attacks is not clear so you can't just periodically check at set intervals.
    • If you fail to remove them all at the same time, you've screwed up the counters so you no longer have all of them in 4-hour cycles -- necessitating even more phone-checking.
    • To remove an Octobot you need a Web Shooter, which needs 2 vials of Web Fibers which drop from the special event Mission Board, which typically requires a Mission involving a character working on a task of at least 4 hours.
      • Sometimes you get a shorter mission but you only receive 1 vial, which is not enough. Sometimes you get a longer mission (8 hours) but you get 3 vials.
      • In any case, if a character is tied up elsewhere or if another character is already at the building station the task requires, you either have to wait and therefore the time to get a vial increases; or if you have a lot of characters from main game progression, you could try cancelling the mission and getting a new one. There is however a 70-minute cooldown before a mission is replaced.
      • Once you have 2 vials, it requires 2 hours to actually manufacture a Web Shooter, meaning a minimum of 6 hours to get one Web Shooter.
Obviously they are playing on fear-of-missing-out to get you to spend money, but if you are on the Facebook page you will see just how much resentment this causes. Even people who spend money on the game to get premium characters are frustrated. Obviously, like most game companies, TinyCo needs money to keep going and it isn't different from most game companies in how they want your money. But there is a better way: Offering real value.

So if you play MARVEL Avengers Academy, look VERY carefully at what advantage you are buying with your money and THINK whether you are spending your Shards wisely.
In the particular case of the current Spider-Man event, you needed to watch the game carefully and get advance warning from players who've moved ahead to look into the mechanics. You would have seen that buying the premium content does NOT get you ahead.
For example, buying the Spider-Ham character helped you with various drops toward getting Reporter Wasp, Spider-Crates, and Limited Time Prizes, but you are still dependent on Film Rolls for Reporter Wasp and Spider-Crates, so that's where the bottleneck really was and Spider-Ham or any other premium content really can't address it. Even the Spider-Signal and Spider-Spotlight buildings (which are useless after the event) only help keep your production free of octobots, but it doesn't actually increase production.

TinyCo still has a great and unique product but they really need to shift their paradigm away from creating resentment.

My recommendations:
  • Show value
    • If someone has spent money, show that the money they spent enhances their game. Do away with premium (need to be purchased with Shards, which cost real money) buildings that will be useless afterwards.
    • If someone bought a character, make sure that character isn't unused afterwards -- a very common complaint so far.
    • If someone buys a character during an event, make sure the benefit is really there. During the Civil War, players complained that premium characters only INCREASED the workload because they were scrambling to work on those characters too, and their help during the event wasn't actually that great.
  • Reduce complication
    • The current mission-board style of generating resources is complicated for the different schedules it creates and the jigsawing of charcters and trying to queue them into spots.
    • Instead, for each mission, choose a building, and populate its spots fully with valid characters (no overlaps, no characters chosen more than once for the same mission, no characters queuing for spots in that building for the same mission). The net hours characters spend working there will determine the amount of rewards.
    • Instead of selling additional resources, sell automation to reduce work and checking.
      • For example, the current Spider-Man event has buildings you can buy (using real money) to drop Web Shooters to remove Octobots. Instead, have the building automatically remove Octobots without the player having to click to collect Web Shooters and continue monitoring for the appearance of Octobots.
  • Reduce event complication and focus on story
    • Instead of getting people to jump through so many hoops and luring people to buy premium characters for supposed benefits during the event, make ALL event characters playable for the event.
      • This will give players a good idea of whether they like that character based on their story interactions with other characters.
      • It would also make the game story-driven rather than task/mechanics/systems driven.
    • Instead of making weird mechanics to accomplish tasks, do away with all that. For event items like Decor pieces, have event missions drop the event currency or tokens needed -- and therefore players can do it while advancing the event character storylines at their own pace.
    • For premium characters, let players have them too but to keep them in the Academy after, ask players to buy them with Shards/money.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016

MARVEL Avengers Academy - British Invasion - Black Knight

If you're playing MARVEL Avengers Academy and trying to keep up with the British Invasion event, here is a summary of the Black Knight chapter:

Step 1 - Portal
  • Follow the quest to build a portal. You need to collect Magic Runes from the Mission Board constantly to keep using the portal.
  • When you activate a portal, you can send 2 characters at a time.
    • A third slot was temporarily available if you clicked-and-hold-and-scrolled-up the portal slots but it was actually NOT usable. Watch out for this to be reactivated and made usable if TinyCo decides to help out players more, like they did near the end of the Union Jack chapter.
  • Like the Union Jack chapter, you cannot re-open a portal until everyone is out, so pair your search parties according to mission times.
    • Iron Man - 3-hour or 7-hour search missions
      • Note that Iron Man can fight Black Knight so watch your scheduling if you want to use him to also fight Black Knight.
    • Black Widow - 3-hour or 4-hour search missions
    • Enchantress - 4-hour or 7-hour search missions
  • You MUST send Iron Man on a 3-hour mission to advance the story and make the Black Knight available to fight.
    • You may then be confused by Pepper Potts saying the Black Knight will be back soon, but he is actually then in quad and you can fight him immediately.
  • If you have several characters due to story advancement or special events, take advantage of it by cancelling missions from the mission board that use Iron Man, Black Widow, and/or Enchantress, depending on who you are using to find Artifacts.
Step 2 - Artifacts
  • Portal missions get you Artifacts (rings). You need 1 per character fighting Black Knight
    • You can use a team of up to 3 against Black Knight, which is more efficient than sending them solo.
    • Since 7-hour missions guarantee you at least 3 artifacts, each 7-hour mission guarantees you a battle with a team of three.
    • 3-hour and 4-hour missions have a potential minimum return of only 1 artifact, so it is theoretically not safe for keeping up a steady stream of attacks against Black Knight.
  • The Stonehenge premium buildings (bought with Shards) automatically get you Artifacts but the drop rate is per 24-hours so you will probably still want to get more Artifacts with Portal missions to get the Black Knight quickly.
Step 3 - Fight the Black Knight
  • Captain Britain and Union Jack do the most damage, maybe around 4x to 3x compared to non-event characters.
  • Iron Man, Wasp, and Loki can also fight. If you have Union Jack, you can reserve Wasp and Loki to fight with him, leaving Iron Man free to do portal missions.
    • If you have several characters due to story advancement or special events, take advantage of it by cancelling missions from the mission board that use Captain Britain, Union Jack, Iron Man, Wasp, and/or Loki, depending on who you are using to fight the Black Knight.
    • Because there is a healing cooldown, you can use those periods to complete missions.
  • Union Jack + two non-premium characters will probably need 2x fights to defeat Black Knight once.
    • Make sure you have enough Artifacts to fight him at least twice in a 24-hour period as that is his time to heal to full health again.
    • Defeated hero teams require up to 3 hours (if the team was defeated by Black Knight, it takes 3 hours). Captain Britain reportedly takes 3x as long.
      • Watch out for a bug where the healing time does not tick down while you are in-game. Close the game and come back later.
  • You get 20 trophies per win and you need 100, so without Captain Britain you are looking at probably 10 fights at LEAST to complete the event.
  • After a win, Pepper Potts says "he'll be back soon" and the Black Knight has a timer on him, but he is actually available to fight immediately (?).
  • Watch for sidequests to appear after your wins. You may want to take care of them first.
10 fights with Union Jack + 2 characters = 10 x 7-hour portal missions = 5 x 7 hours x 2 characters = 35 hours or about 1.5 days. Since we have a week, this event should not be as tight as the one to recruit Union Jack.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Thursday, June 9, 2016

MARVEL Avengers Academy zoom-out trick

If you're playing MARVEL Avengers Academy you may find this trick useful.
Notice that when you open the game, it starts zoomed out so that you can see where all your completed tasks waiting to be collected / tapped are located. Once you tap all of them or tap something other than one of the checkmarks, the zoom goes away.
You can zoom back out, but it quickly zooms in again.

To hold that zoom, do this:
  • Zoom out on your smartphone with both fingers, then release. It takes a half second or so before it starts zooming in again automatically.
  • During that time, quickly tap a building that is NOT being used by a character performing an action. This calls up the building name, BUT the screen will also hold its current zoom level.
  • Now, tap the icon in the lower left corner for the mission board, and tap outside that interface to dismiss the mission board. The building label will be gone, but the zoom level will still hold where it is and not reset and try to zoom back in again.
Great for leaving your screen up while doing other things, so at a glance you can see if any tasks are complete.

MARVEL Avengers Academy zoom-out trick