Friday, July 29, 2016

GOG Best of Summer Sale 2016—UP TO -80%

GOG, famous for their no-risk money-back guarantee, is having a "Best of Summer Sale" with titles like Dying Light, SOMA, Rebel Galaxy, Trails in the Sky, and Homeworld Remastered on sale for up to 80% off!
Click here now! -- This offer ends August 2, 2016, 3:59 AM UTC.

2016-07-29 GOG Best of Summer Sale

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Gaming Insights - Marvel Avengers Academy P2P Profiles - "Michael R"

Being F2P (Free-to-Play) in online games, I am very interested in how paying players (P2P or Pay-to-Play) approach the games. This anonymous survey looks at alias "Michael R", a P2P player for the game Marvel Avengers Academy. Our stock questions are in bold.
  1. How did you find Marvel Avengers Academy and what made you commit time to the game? 
    • I've been a Marvel fan for years. If I remember correctly I saw an ad for it from another game and checked it out.
  2. How much time are you able to spend playing the game compared to: What you initially expected; the amount of time you actually play the game; and what you would like your time investment to be?
    • I spend a lot more time than I thought I would originally. I used to play it casually. Maybe two or three times a day. Now I play once an hour. I wish it was a lot less time intensive. Maybe like half way between the two.
  3. Does this have any influence in your decision to spend money? 

  4. What keeps you coming back to the game / what do you like about the game itself? E.g., The actual mechanics of the game and events such as crafting items and fighting bosses; or collecting characters or decor; or laying out your Academy campus; or following the various story/one particular story; etc. 
    • The thing that keeps me coming back and the thing I like most is the writing/story. I find it funny and well-written. I also like the aspect of collecting the heroes.
  5. What specifically about the game makes you spend money?

  6. Do you compare your purchases in the game or your reasons to spend money, to any other type of expense (e.g., it's part of your entertainment budget not different from watching a movie, or it's like buying a service with no physical goods you take away, or it's a consumable like eating at a restaurant, etcetera)? Do you feel this comparison is key to understanding why people spend money?
    • I would say I classify spending shards as entertainment money. I try not to spend that much on the game.
  7. When did you first buy Shards and what made you decide to? E.g., Did you decide to do so as soon as you saw the game, right when you started playing, when the "Buy One, Get One" quest ["Buy a Box of Credits and get US$5 of Shards for free!"] appeared, some experience later in the game, etc...
    • I bought shards right when I first started playing to get Spider-Woman.
  8. Do you have a budget or other heuristic to determine how much you spend per unit time (e.g., per week); do you have a maximum amount you are willing to put into this game in total after which you will definitely not spend any more? What is your decision process / reasoning?

  9. How much have you spent so far and how do you think you compare with other P2P in the game? How does it compare to your other online game purchases and do you use those purchases to decide how much to spend?
    • Honestly I've spent probably around 200 dollars... and it's way too much in my opinion. My partner gets so mad I spend this much on this game. :P  I've tried to cut back on the shards I buy. Its the most [I've spent] on online gaming currency for anything [I've played].
  10. How much commitment to the game do you have now that you have spent money, and does that commitment increase the more you spend? What would make you walk away now?
    • Having spent so much money does make me feel more invested honestly. I do think a lot lately about going fully F2P... I think if they keep forcing players to pay A LOT to win like they have with this [the Spider-Man Event] I will.
    1. How do you feel about F2P players in general? How do you feel about F2P players able to get Shards without paying (e.g., through levelling up or watching advertisements)? How does this influence your purchases? Other than having spent real money in the game, how else do you think you differ from F2P players?
      • I think it's frustrating that I don't have the option to earn free shards. I'm definitely not mad at F2P... good for them for being able to do it.
    2. What are your expectations / what do you feel you should be entitled to compared to someone who is F2P? How would you feel / what would you do if at some point the game stops developing and no further content is created. Do you feel this is part of the natural life cycle of a game and to be expected?
      • The only expectations are that if the game doesn't change [its] pay to win model is that they will loose a lot of players. And then the game will spiral into obscurity. Which would suck because I really enjoy the game. It would be sad to see greed ruin such a fun little game.
    If you also play Marvel Avengers Academy and have spent money on the game, we'd love to interview you too and compile more insights into P2P player for all the F2P out there.

    Big Fish Games Weekend Promotion!


    Big Fish Games is having a weekend sale!

    New Customer Promotion!
    • All standard version games are 99¢ for New Customers (reg. $9.99)! Use code FTC99 at checkout. Offer valid July 28-31, 2016.
    CE BOGO!
    • This Weekend Only! Get TWO Collector’s Editions for the Price of ONE! Use code 2FOR1 at checkout Offer valid July 30-31, 2016. 
    Half Off Sale!
    • All Games Are Half Off! Collector’s Editions use code HALF and Standard versions use code OFF. Offer valid August 3, 2016.
    Enjoy!

    Wednesday, July 27, 2016

    Gaming Insights - Marvel Avengers Academy P2P Profiles - "Derek J."

    Being F2P (Free-to-Play) in online games, I am very interested in how paying players (P2P or Pay-to-Play) approach the games. This anonymous survey looks at alias "Derek J.", a P2P player for the game Marvel Avengers Academy. Our stock questions are in bold.
    1. How did you find Marvel Avengers Academy and what made you commit time to the game? 
      • I found it through an advertisement on Facebook and I kept playing because I enjoyed the style of game mixed with Marvel characters.
    2. How much time are you able to spend playing the game compared to: What you initially expected; the amount of time you actually play the game; and what you would like your time investment to be?
      • I might not be the best example in this case because I don't have much of a social life and I work from home so I can play all day long. There have been 1 or 2 events where I set timers during the night, like [the Spider-Man Event], to get specific actions done (in this case its the training of our heroes).
    3. Does this have any influence in your decision to spend money? 

    4. What keeps you coming back to the game / what do you like about the game itself? E.g., The actual mechanics of the game and events such as crafting items and fighting bosses; or collecting characters or decor; or laying out your Academy campus; or following the various story/one particular story; etc. 
      • I keep coming back because I like the Marvel characters. I particularly enjoy some of the actions the characters have such as Spider-man's Slinging Webs, Ant-Man's Watch Where You Step, etc. It has no affect on whether I spend money though.
    5. What specifically about the game makes you spend money?

    6. Do you compare your purchases in the game or your reasons to spend money, to any other type of expense (e.g., it's part of your entertainment budget not different from watching a movie, or it's like buying a service with no physical goods you take away, or it's a consumable like eating at a restaurant, etcetera)? Do you feel this comparison is key to understanding why people spend money?
      • I spend it as part of my "Me money". I'm extremely big on keeping up my finances.
    7. When did you first buy Shards and what made you decide to? E.g., Did you decide to do so as soon as you saw the game, right when you started playing, when the "Buy One, Get One" quest ["Buy a Box of Credits and get US$5 of Shards for free!"] appeared, some experience later in the game, etc...
      • Actually I was inspired by the quest you mentioned. It was also a time where I had a lot of extra money and I thought "Why not?"
    8. Do you have a budget or other heuristic to determine how much you spend per unit time (e.g., per week); do you have a maximum amount you are willing to put into this game in total after which you will definitely not spend any more? What is your decision process / reasoning?
      • I have a budget and I ration how much I spend. My decision is based on what events I have planned for the rest of the month and of course I pay my bills first before calculating how much I'll spend.
    9. How much have you spent so far and how do you think you compare with other P2P in the game? How does it compare to your other online game purchases and do you use those purchases to decide how much to spend?
      • I can't honestly remember how much, but if I had to ball park it I'd say $150-$200. I feel at times that I've spent way more then anyone else, but I've seen quite a few P2P that have spent significantly more. I don't buy much other then necessities aside from the occasional Xbox game.
    10. How much commitment to the game do you have now that you have spent money, and does that commitment increase the more you spend? What would make you walk away now?
      • I feel very committed and it is highly impacted by how much I've put into this game already. It would take being massively short handed to stop playing, like if I didn't get through streak 7 of Mysterio after all the money I spent on Episode 5 alone.
      1. How do you feel about F2P players in general? How do you feel about F2P players able to get Shards without paying (e.g., through levelling up or watching advertisements)? How does this influence your purchases? Other than having spent real money in the game, how else do you think you differ from F2P players?
        • I don't think any differently of F2P than P2P, I personally believe that you should only spend money if you want to and enjoy the game. I'm unhappy that P2P do not have access to those advertisements that offer shards, but other then that I have no concern otherwise.
      2. What are your expectations / what do you feel you should be entitled to compared to someone who is F2P? How would you feel / what would you do if at some point the game stops developing and no further content is created. Do you feel this is part of the natural life cycle of a game and to be expected?
        • I dont think I'm entitled to anything more then F2P other then the item/character I purchased. I do believe that the game will follow the cycle of no further updates.
      If you also play Marvel Avengers Academy and have spent money on the game, we'd love to interview you too and compile more insights into P2P player for all the F2P out there.

      Monday, July 25, 2016

      Gaming Insights - Marvel Avengers Academy P2P Profiles - "Stormy"

      Being F2P (Free-to-Play) in online games, I am very interested in how paying players (P2P or Pay-to-Play) approach the games. This anonymous survey looks at alias "Stormy", a P2P player for the game Marvel Avengers Academy.
      Our stock questions are in bold. Because Stormy only became P2P because of a particular event, and more specifically because of a particular purchase, some of the answers will seem redundant.
      1. How did you find Marvel Avengers Academy and what made you commit time to the game? 
        • I find the game addicting to be honest, I also like the recruiting and levelling up the characters. I'm aware that some of the characters I like in the MCU are premium characters. My commitment to the game is due to my boredom from my previous games I played as well as the small secret hiding in the time fog that never seems to see light of day.
      2. How much time are you able to spend playing the game compared to: What you initially expected; the amount of time you actually play the game; and what you would like your time investment to be?
        • I expected the game to be a doddle to be perfectly honest, something that wouldn't take up all my time. That was up until some major events like the Guardians of the Galaxy and Civil War events. I would love my time investment to be drastically reduced, but that won't happen until the events aren't timed. I feel the timed events pressurise [sic] people into spending every little moment that they can onto the game to get some early unlock characters.
      3. Does this have any influence in your decision to spend money? 
        • I've only spent money on the newest event, the Spider-Man Event. I didn't want to but the Act I heroes available made me change my mind just on this event; then I’ll return to being a free to play, F2P, player.
      4. What keeps you coming back to the game / what do you like about the game itself? E.g., The actual mechanics of the game and events such as crafting items and fighting bosses; or collecting characters or decor; or laying out your Academy campus; or following the various story/one particular story; etc. 
        • I love how I can rearrange the academy, give or take, and also the reason behind this timefog mystery. I enjoy the levelling up of all the students, heroes and villians, and seeing how their outfits change. Speaking of outfits I like how there are new outfits for different events such as the Symbiote Spider-Man outfit for fighting The Lizard.
      5. What specifically about the game makes you spend money?
      6. Do you compare your purchases in the game or your reasons to spend money, to any other type of expense (e.g., it's part of your entertainment budget not different from watching a movie, or it's like buying a service with no physical goods you take away, or it's a consumable like eating at a restaurant, etcetera)? Do you feel this comparison is key to understanding why people spend money?
        • My purchases were really based on getting what I want, like the Symbiote Spidey. It does come out of my personal spending budget I give myself each payday.
      7. When did you first buy Shards and what made you decide to? E.g., Did you decide to do so as soon as you saw the game, right when you started playing, when the "Buy One, Get One" quest ["Buy a Box of Credits and get US$5 of Shards for free!"] appeared, some experience later in the game, etc...
        • In a way the quest Buy One Get One did have a play in it, which I feel it shouldn’t have, as it was bugging me being there and not being able to complete it without spending money. The first time I used my [free] shards, which I earned by watching videos, was to complete and get Black Knight from the British Invasion event. Then I purchased shards to get Symbiote Spidey.
      8. Do you have a budget or other heuristic to determine how much you spend per unit time (e.g., per week); do you have a maximum amount you are willing to put into this game in total after which you will definitely not spend any more? What is your decision process / reasoning?
        • I started buying shards during the Spider Man Event, and I'm only doing it for this event. Whatever shards I have remaining afterwards will be rationed, unless it's a hero I really want and am convinced to get it, like if it's a limited time offer. 
      9. How much have you spent so far and how do you think you compare with other P2P in the game? How does it compare to your other online game purchases and do you use those purchases to decide how much to spend?
        • I must have spent just over £100 on this game which I think is about average in comparison to the other Pay to Play, P2P players. In all honesty if I didn’t buy the shards on this game I would have bought a game via my console. 
      10. How much commitment to the game do you have now that you have spent money, and does that commitment increase the more you spend? What would make you walk away now?
        • I'm more frustrated with the game, some of the heroes should be so expensive. I mean I know Spider-Woman is cheapish (260 shards) but Hulk is 1495 Shards or unlockable at level 35. As far as I can divulge I won't be spending my money on shards after the Spidey Event. Currently I’m not sure what could make me walk away, I’m generally happy with game besides the constant need of shards
      11. How do you feel about F2P players in general? How do you feel about F2P players able to get Shards without paying (e.g., through levelling up or watching advertisements)? How does this influence your purchases? Other than having spent real money in the game, how else do you think you differ from F2P players?
        • F2P players are lucky to get the advertisements, I think that if [you're] only buying shards like me for one event they should still have the option for everyone to earn shards. As mentioned previously, I'm not buying any shards after this event. F2P players seem to not actually care if they don't get a certain character. I'm a person that likes to complete a collection, like unlocking and "buying" the heroes and villains.
      12. What are your expectations / what do you feel you should be entitled to compared to someone who is F2P? How would you feel / what would you do if at some point the game stops developing and no further content is created. Do you feel this is part of the natural life cycle of a game and to be expected?
        • My expectations as in game progress and what to add should be the Defenders, the X-Men, a repetition of previous events so that people who start the game now can get the Guardians of the Galaxy and Civil War heroes. I still reckon P2P should be allowed to earn shards by watching videos. If the game stops there's not much I can really do about it. I'll end up playing another game and is a natural part of the game's life cycle. I'll be a little bummed out that I didn’t get all the characters, but until everyone ever stops buy shards I don't think Avengers Academy will end but I may be wrong. 
      If you also play Marvel Avengers Academy and have spent money on the game, we'd love to interview you too and compile more insights into P2P player for all the F2P out there.

      Gothic 4: Arcania Maps - Innos Statuettes

      For a list of all Gothic 4: Arcania maps by HaKaShi, click here.

      The Statuettes of Lord Dominique
      Amongst Daranis' documents you found an excerpt from a text about the life of Lord Dominique, who is said to have hidden a large number of Innos Statuettes on Argaan. Whoever manages to find all of them, is said to have the blessing of Innos. Keep your eyes open, perhaps you'll find them.
        Cleaved Maiden
      1. At the side of the barn next to Murdra's tavern
      2. Inside the Southern mine behind some crates

      3. South Stewark
      4. Upstairs in Ogtar's house, the statue is cunningly hidden in between the 3 barrels. This can be awkward to pick up but I managed to get it by climbing on the bed on the left and looking down at it.

      5. Stewark Castle
      6. Stand in front of the Citadel in Stewark then look to your left. You should see a wooden staircase going up. Climb the staircase and enter the house. You should see several lectern's on the first floor. Go up the next set of stairs to see some bookshelves. There is a Shaman's Bracer's plans on the table and the statue is on the bookshelf behind it.
      7. In the Citadel inside Stewark Castle (the building kept locked by Grom until the end of the "Stewark Stew" quest).

      8. Valley of Blood
      9. Go to the logging camp just north of the Ranger's Camp. On the map, just a little to the north west are some rocks with a wooden awning at the bottom of them. The statue is hidden behind the barrels.
      10. In the cave where you obtain the Golden Arrowhead, take the right fork and it is behind some barrels in a small camp, just before you enter the circular area with the relic and stalactites.
      11. Inside the cave to the north-east (not the cave with the scared man in it). The cave has goblins inside and also "Gawaan's Standard".

      12. Silverlake Castle
      13. When you enter Silverlake Castle, look directly ahead. You will see an open door with a window above it. To the left of this door (while facing forwards from the castle entrance) you will see some stairs up to the ramparts. Go up these stairs and inside the door at the top. The statue is hidden between some shelves and boxes.

      14. Silverlake
      15. Inside the watchtower (where you go to get Welgard's sketchbook during the "Dark Business" quest).
      16. In the cave with Erhag during the "Argent Honour" quest. Next to some barrels.

      17. South Silverlake
      18. Just outside the back door of Melog's Hut.

      19. Swamp
      20. Southeast of the Tooshoo tree is a farm in the swamp (Shake's Hut). It is on the path between the Tree and Lester's Hut to the southeast. A Relic is against the wall of the hut, on the outside, near a barrel.

      21. Blackwater (NOT the swamp and NOT the Tree, but the village around the tree)
      22. Hut at the west of Blackwater where a path leads directly west out of the town. Inside a room in the hut.
      23. Southernmost hut of Blackwater. Outside of that hut are some long boxes. The Statuette is behind them; the usual glowing butterflies won't activate until you are close to the Statuette.
      24. The hut northeast from the Statuette #15. The statue is next to the door in the corner.

      25. Tree of Knowledge
      26. Go upstairs from within the trunk to a northwest hut. Typically a Firemage and a Shadowmage are just outside, going up and down the nearby stairs between this hut and the hut with Beliar Artefact #15. The Statuette is on a table in plain view.
      27. Go upstairs from within the trunk to a hut with a lot of lecterns and bookcases. Behind some barrels.

      28. Monastery
      29. As you enter the monastery, there is a building to your left. Walk around the building and go up the wooden stairs and inside. The statue is on a bookshelf.

      30. Jungle
      31. After Ancient Relic #21, continue following the east side rock wall in the Jungle till you find an Innos Statuette in a nook in the rocks.
      32. Outside Jabo's Hut, northeast corner, right against the hut and the rock face. Glowing butterflies marking the location are visible inside the Hut.

      33. Refugee Camp
      34. At the Refugee Camp, check inside a cart next to one of the huts.

      35. Lost Goddess Temple - If you go too far into the Temple you will not be able to backtrack out of it
      36. In the first room after the fight with Dantero; the same room you meet the first Minecrawler. On the floor on the right side of the room, near the roots.

      37. Village
      38. When you are sent to the first village to clear out the undead, it is sitting behind one of the huts to the west.

      39. Thorniara
      40. As you enter the harbour, it is on a boat on the bow (there is also a meteoric ore on this boat).
      41. In Rhobar's Castle, head upstairs and it's in the corner of one of the rooms to the north west area of the castle.
      42. Again in Rhobar's Castle, head down to the cells and it's under the bed in the middle cell.
      43. After you clear out the Belios Cultists from the north eastern temple, head outside and hidden in the grass to the north is the statue.
      44. If you look at your map, south west of the north eastern temple is a pie shaped building. Walk down the path and inside, in the corner is your statue.

      45. Zoldren
      46. If you exit the room after collecting ancient relic number 30, you will enter south into a rectangular room. Simply turn to your right as you enter and the last statue is behind the pillar.
      10MapUnderCollectInnos

      Gothic 4: Arcania Maps - Forgotten Graves

      For a list of all Gothic 4: Arcania maps by HaKaShi, click here.

      The Forgotten Graves
      You found a scroll talking about a Rune of Frozen Might. Rumour says this rune was smashed by Setarrifian mages, and each of the mages was buried with one rune shard. Perhaps you can find the mages' grave and put the rune back together again.
        Cleaved Maiden
      1. From The Cleaved Maiden, take the path that is just south of the path up the beach where you started with Diego. Follow this path till it forks, and take the north (right side) fork. The grave is along the north-south stretch of this path.
      2. Just north of the triangle formed by paths between the Watch Tower and Garv's hut. On the right side, to the north of large rocks.
      3. Follow the path leading south from The Cleaved Maiden to the mine entrance where you first encounter the Digger (for "The Abandoned Mine" quest). It is near the first fork, on the east side.
      4. Inside the mine in one of the caves. NOT the long mounds that cannot be interacted with. Note that the map incorrectly shows that there is a grave in the southern half of the mines -- that is actually an Ancient Relic behind a table of books.
      5. Beach south of the Watch Tower. South end of the beach.

      6. Stewark
      7. On the beach south of the bridge to Stewark Castle.
      8. Along the path to the northernmost part of the map where there is a locked door to a cave. Look near the big rocks that are on the right side of the path.
      9. From the first farm shed, head east to find a winding trail up the mountain. It is along that trail, before you get to the top.
      10. Follow the winding trail (see above) and at the top, turn right (east) and head away from the fields. Where the trail forks to allow going around a rock formation, go right (west) and look for a grave before rejoining the main trail.

      11. Hunter's Lodge / Valley of Blood
      12. East side of the battlefield.
      13. From the Hunter's Lodge, follow the path east and when it turns north, go off the path and continue east. In the area bounded by the path and the mountains, the grave is roughly in the middle.

      14. Silverlake South
      15. Just past the bridge, follow the rocks on the right till you find it near a beach.
      16. From Melog's Hut, follow the south-western path. It is near the bend where it turns north-west-west, on the left (south) side of the path.
      17. Goblin cave, east side of first cave.

      18. Swamp
      19. To the southeast of the Tooshoo region is a ransacked hut (Lester's Hut) in the swamp. From that hut, go directly south until you see a large outcrop of rock on the beach. The grave is at the base of this rock formation.
      20. At the western mountain edge there is a goblin cave where you find the Water Chalice. This cave system ends on a high cliff ledge. The grave is on the ledge.
      21. West of the great tree, in a large clearing with some ruins just past the fork in the western road.
      22. Further west of #17 are caves. Inside the northernmost cave, there is a grave in the northernmost point.

      23. Monastery
      24. When following the glowing swampweed in search of Lester, the path will go past a locked gate, then down the hill to a beach, The grave is just off the seaward side of the path, near one of the big rocks.

      25. The Black Gorges
      26. Just past where you meet Bartur for the first time, at the intersection, at the base of one of the big pyramid shaped rocks.

      27. Jungle
      28. East of the Jungle Ruins teleporter there is a very large rock formation in the clearing. There is a Grave near the base of that formation, on the south side.
      29. North-East-East of the Jungle Ruins teleporter, near the eastern rock wall and some Razors.
      30. East of Jabo's campfire (where you first meet him).
      31. From the bow of the ship with Varald, jump to the squarish area blocked on its three other sides by mountain/rock. Head to the area clear of grass and with two skulls on stakes.
      32. Directly north of the ship with Varald is a north-south rock formation (forming the western wall of the area described for Grave #24. Follow the west side of this formation up the beach until you find the Grave nearby the north end of the rock formation.
        • Note that you may be able to see two skulls on spikes atop the very tall rock formation. Get up there and there is a chest.

        Lost Goddess Temple - If you go too far into the Temple you will not be able to backtrack out of it
      33. In the cave before the fight with the Minecrawler Queen.
      34. From Beliar Artefact #26, jump south down off the rocky path and you will basically land right on top of it and activate the glowing butterfly marker.

      35. Village
      36. When you are at Khilian's cave again (now from other side) head to the northeast. It is near the path at the fork.
      37. In the northeast of the village you have to free follow the path to the north. It is beside the path.

      38. Thorniara
      39. Near the Temple in the nothern section of the map, where the charm is. S-W of the Temple is a building that looks like a cake slice. Near the lower left corner of this building (near the Innos statue).
      40. At the cemetery where Gorn is waiting.

      8MapUnderCollectGraves

      Gothic 4: Arcania Maps - Beliar Artefacts

      For a list of all Gothic 4: Arcania maps by HaKaShi, click here.

      Hatred's Reaper
      You found a letter from Daranis to Grand Master Milten. In it he mentions some Beliar artefacts that are supposed to have belonged to the Order of Hatred. Perhaps if you manage to find them, you could combine the artefacts with a common scythe and conjure Hatred's Reaper...

      Beliar Artefacts are typically sitting out in the open on large rocks, but in locations you may have to jump up to.
        Cleaved Maiden
      1. Go to the Fishermen huts by the beach in the north west. Next to one of the huts on the beach is a rock. The artifact is sitting on top.
      2. Hog's Rock, south end. Near the start of the path going east to a clearing. There is a treasure chest very close to the location.
        • The key to the Ranger's Armoury chest is very close: From the southernmost east-west section of the path loop on Hog's Rock, go off the path to the south and look among the bushes for a skeleton.
      3. At the Bandit Camp, just before crossing the bridge into Stewark, head round the back of the house and the artifact is sitting in the grass.

      4. Stewark
      5. After crossing the bridge into Stewark, go left (to the west) and follow the cliff all the way along until it starts curving north. It is on a rock outcropping over the ocean.
      6. Near where you first meet Hem during the "Alkaloid Derivatives" quest.
      7. Near the entrance to the cave with Beliar cultists.
      8. Near the locked door at the very north end of the area.
        • Note you can pass this door only if you side against the Rebels.

        Stewark Castle
      9. Inside Chuck's house, during "The Creepy Neighbour" quest.
      10. Head to the very north of Stewark castle and you will find a door to a house that is locked. Climb the nearby stairs and head to the side of the house. Jump out onto the rocks on the cliff and then down into the balcony to enter the house. A chest inside the house unlocks the door to the house. A Beliar Artefact and an Ancient Relic are upstairs.

      11. Valley of Blood / Hunter's Lodge area
      12. South of the Hunter's Lodge, west of the main path before you enter the Gorge of the Penitants. On a rocky outcropping overlooking the bay.
      13. From the goblin cave follow the path west. On a large rock. Climb up and find the artifact on a mossy rock.

      14. Silverlake South (Melog's Hut area)
      15. Go around the rocky hill in the middle of this area until you can find your way up by a path. Look around the area for a lower rock ledge for the artefact.

      16. Silverlake East (Orc Caves)
      17. In the Silverlake orc caves head east to the storage areas and look in the northern cave, behind some wood.

      18. Swamp
      19. When you leave the stony pass leading to the Tooshoo area, follow the rock wall on the left until you get to Ancient Relic #14. Jump ahead to walk in the swamp, and continue following your left side. Eventually you will curve to the right because of the rock wall and come to a lonely tree at a clearing. The artefact is at the foot of this tree.
      20. During the "A Man of Many Friends" quest, when following the Swampweed Trail, it will eventually wind up into the mountains and shortly after you first see locked gates, it will turn south you will be at a cliff facing the sea. The Artefact is lying on the rocks there.

      21. Tree of Knowledge
      22. From inside the tree trunk, go upstairs to Innos Statuette #17, then exit that hut and go upstairs again to a hut on the west side. More or less in plain view on the ground at a shelf with bread and jars.

      23. Sea Cliff Monastery
      24. As you make your way up the winding path to the monastery, you will reach a fork in the road (and be attacked by some skeletons). Go right at the fork then immediately look to your right again. Carefully jump onto the rocks and look down and you will see the artifact on a lower rock.
      25. Go into the courtyard in the monastery and up the stairs to reach the upper ring. Follow this to the east and you will see a roof with planks on it. Jump onto this roof and follow it along till you come to a plank jutting out. You then need to do a big jump across to the opposite building. You'll now be on the roof of the building that housed the Innos statue. Look down from here and jump down onto the awning to collect the artifact.

      26. Jungle
      27. Not far past Innos Statuette #20 and the Dead Refugee are more Primeval Scavengers near two boulders on the east side of the path; one boulder is laying horizontally, the other leaning against it on its north side. The Beliar Artefact is in the grass on the east side of this formation.
      28. After leaving the jungle ruins, follow the east side rock wall until you find it behind a tree before the path slopes downward and widens into a field.
      29. On the ship you find Varald, go to the plank extending off the south side of the ship. You can just walk through the rope in your way and then carefully down to grab the Beliar Artefact. If you jump you are likely to overshoot and drown in the water.

      30. Lost Goddess Temple - If you go too far into the Temple you will not be able to backtrack out of it
      31. Northeast corner of the chamber before you pass the barrier (where you fight Dantero).
      32. Western room with a stand of 3 glowing mushrooms, two brown sarcophagi at the north end, and stairs leading up in a northwesterly direction. In the northern corner of this room is the Artefact.
      33. After killing the Minecrawler Queen, simply head out the first opening on the right to a cliff overlooking a lake and village beyond. Left side of cliff edge.
      34. After killing the Ahn'Bael twins, look on the ground in the north east area of the room you fought them in. Near one of the big golden bowls.
      35. After you get the Divine Hammer and exit the Temple, the steep rocky slope down ends in a clearing and you can go either left or right. Go right and watch the ground on your right hand side to find the Artefact. It is slightly underneath one of the big rock "steps" so you will likely not see it going down, and have to turn back to look the way you came to spot it.

      36. Village
      37. Head slightly north from the village where you kill the undead and you will see some rocks. Jump up the rocks and the artifact is sitting on top of them.

      38. Thorniara
      39. If you look at the map, to the right of Rhobar's Castle are some houses. Climb the rocks round the back of the houses to get into the backyard and collect the artifact from on top of the outhouse.
      40. When you get to the lighthouse that houses the teleporter to Xardas, take a short detour down the left side pathway. After killing 2 skeletons, the artifact will be visible in some foliage at the bottom.

      41. Zoldren
      42. Consult the map for Zoldren and look to the very top left of the map (most north west room). The artifact is on the central island inside the room. You'll know you're in the right place as it's filled with green goop.
      11MapUnderCollectBeliar

      Gothic 4: Arcania Maps - Ancient Relics

      For a list of all Gothic 4: Arcania maps by HaKaShi, click here.

      Ancient Relics
      As a token of his blessing, Gromar offered you a small y-shaped relic that he said his grandfather found in Argaan. There are said to be even more of these relics to be found there, and that he who finds them all would acquire great fame and riches.
        Cleaved Maiden
      1. Go east around the Cleaved Maiden till you find three boars. Look for the Relic by a tree in the clearing.
      2. Beach near the watch tower, at the south end.
      3. South of Garv's cabin, near where the path is a dead end blocked by rocks.
      4. In the mines. Enter from the southernmost entrance and follow north till you find a table with books. Look behind the table.
      5. Hog's Rock, south end. There is a path heading east to a small clearing. Look for it at the foot of a tree.
        • NOTE: The key to the Ranger's Armoury chest is very close: From the southernmost east-west section of the path loop on Hog's Rock, go off the path to the south and look among the bushes for a skeleton.

        South Stewark
      6. In the watchtower near Hertan's hideout. At the base of the stairs.

      7. Stewark Castle
      8. In a alcove next to Winstan in Stewark.
      9. Head to the very north of Stewark castle and you will find a door to a house that is locked. Climb the nearby stairs and head to the side of the house. Jump out onto the rocks on the cliff and then down into the balcony to enter the house. A chest inside the house unlocks the door to the house. A Beliar Artefact and an Ancient Relic are upstairs.

      10. Valley of Blood
      11. In the goblin cave for "The Golden Arrowhead" quest.
      12. In the tunnel where you find Khilian in the "Scarred for Life" quest. It is near an ore vein.

      13. Silverlake
      14. On some rocks to the left of a large waterfall just before crossing the bridge into South Silverlake.

      15. South Silverlake
      16. West side of the big rocky hill in South Silverlake (Melog's Hut area). Follow the edge of the hill until you find the relic sitting on a rock.

      17. Silverlake Castle
      18. Atop the tower with Tronter's Signet Ring during the "Lord Trontor's Heritage" quest. Climb up the stairs to the top of the tower and look behind some barrels.

      19. Swamp
      20. When the stone path leading to the Tooshoo region ends and you are in the Tooshoo area, follow the stone wall on the left until you can't go any further without entering swampwater.
      21. To the southeast of the Tooshoo region is a ransacked hut (Lester's Hut) in the swamp. Southwest of that hut are two caves. The Relic is at the back of the deeper cave with Snappers.
      22. Western end of the beach, at the very end among the tree roots.

      23. Blackwater
      24. Go to the south-west-south plank path leading out of Blackwater. Nearby on the walkway are a stack of three long boxes. Between them and the trunk of the great tree is a log in the water. The Relic is on the log; no glowing butterflies.

      25. Monastery
      26. As soon as you exit the orc tunnels after rescuing Lester, the relic is literally right in front of you on the edge of the cliff.
      27. Head to the west side of the monastery and into the room full of bookshelves. Inside, you will find a lever on a wall. Pull it and a bookshelf will move allowing you into a back room. Go in here and then pull another lever on your right as you enter (in the corner) and this opens another side room. Go in here and collect the relic and a nice crafting plan for mage armour.

      28. The Black Gorges
      29. Heading north away for Bartur, the gorge has as passage to the left. After that passage, follow the left (west) wall and keep checking the wall for the Relic. It is directly south of a trio boulders (the southern boulder has a sulfur deposit).

      30. Jungle
      31. As soon as you enter the jungle from the Black Gorges, follow the rock wall on the east side till you find a Relic on the ground. Continue following the east rock wall to find Innos Statuette #20.
      32. On the side of the Jungle with access to the beach and the shipwreck, there is a small lake on the west side. From this lake head north following the west rock wall. Following the wall will move you southwest before continuing northward again. The Relic will be on the ground somewhere in this detour. There may or may not be glowing butterflies marking the location.

      33. Refugee Camp
      34. Watchtower northeast of the Refugee Camp, on a narrow cliff. Like previous watchtower Relics, it is at the base of the stairs.

      35. Lost Goddess Temple - If you go too far into the Temple you will not be able to backtrack out of it
      36. Where you first encounter two Ice Golems, the are two temple entrances. At the entrance without red braziers, look behind one of the short pillars.

      37. Village
      38. After leaving the cave where you get the quest to kill the undead militiamen, head down to the immediate south and to the other side of the blocked road that you first saw in the Valley of Blood. The relic is behind a small rock.
      39. The relic is just before the "locked" rubble in the cave that connects back to the Valley of Blood (the one where Khillian was hiding). The cave is located in the south west of Thorniara.

      40. Thorniara
      41. As soon as you enter Thorniara, go right and climb up onto the battlements. Simply follow it to the end and relic is sitting in plain view in front of the rocks.
      42. After meeting Diego, find Snips. Follow the outer wall of the building he is standing at until you find a chest. The Relic is in a tight alcove nearby, at eye-level. You will probably see the glowing butterfly marker first.
      43. If you look at your map, you will see the circular arena (in the north east of Thornaria). At the very south tip of the arena outside, look at the rocks by the cliffs and you'll see some bushes. The relic is hidden inside the bushes.

      44. Zoldren
      45. Again, consult your map. You want to look at where you enter and trace the following route. Follow the path forwards till the first fork. At the fork, go south and follow this into an open area with some fire golems. The relic is inside this room tucked into a corner by one of the broken archways at the side of the room.
      9MapUnderCollectAddanos

      Gothic 4: Arcania Map Index

      If you are playing Gothic 4: Arcania and are stuck looking for the various collectibles, then these maps may be of help to you. These maps were made years ago by HaKaShi, and are mostly offline now, but we managed to find the maps and location hints.
      Gothic 4 is part of the Gothic series -- Gothic, Gothic 2, Gothic 3, and Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods. The early Gothic games suffered from really awkward controls, but Gothic 4: Arkania has industry standard FPS controls, and excellent graphics. Characters in the world and their interactions/ambiance isn't as refined as Oblivion or Skyrim, but it's also nowhere near as demanding on hardware for a really pretty game.

      As you play the game you'll be introduced to four quests for collectibles, for which there are basically 30 pieces to each. Click on these links to be taken to map pages and a list of hints for their locations:
      7MapAll

      Sunday, July 17, 2016

      Wasteland 2 Director's Cut - Highpool

      Wasteland 2 Director's Cut - Highpool

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

      A great place for maps and general information for Arizona is game-maps.com. Here, we provide additional information about the various locations, and/or specific to the Director's Cut.

      There are two versions of Highpool: If you choose to rescue the Ag Center and let Highpool be destroyed; or if you choose to rescue Highpool and instead let the Ag Center be destroyed.
      The choice is not triggered until team Echo One moves far enough south from Ranger Citadel, whereupon they receive a distress call from both locations. This is independent of whether they are following the main quest and have the Repeater Units to install at the radar dishes. There is also a time limit before both locations are destroyed; a second warning distress call warns of this.

      Compared to the Ag Centre, it's more straightforward. Perception needs to be 4 to find all the landmines, or 3 (which can be provided by Vulture's Cry, the recruitable NPC) to find most items.
      We go through the rescue mission version of Highpool first. The destroyed version of Highpool is very straightforward.

      General

      World Map - Rail Raiders
      • If you go east from Ag Centre to HighPool, you will avoid the radiation that is to the north of HighPool but you will instead encounter dangerous Rail Raiders who are hard for a number of reasons:
        • If you are relying on Angela Deth's Outdoorsman skill, you have a 50% chance of evading them (which you really don't want to) but you also have a lousy starting position on the map with a lot of pipes.
        • They are quite hard to hit.
        • They shoot well and carry good weapons -- weapons which can be yours, along with ammuntion and, frequently, medical supplies to help you recover from a battle with them.
      • You do want to engage them for the weapon upgrades they can provide, but hopefully not just at level 2 and with weak combat skills. Remember that you are not on a timer until you have triggered the distress calls from HighPool and Ag Center so if you like you can explore and grind the map a bit, although fighting weak raiders and animals is not likely to keep your ammunition and medical supplies replenished unless you use no-ammo-needed melee.
      Roofs
      • Watch for opportunities to get to high ground (roofs) to improve your aim and force raiders into the open as they come for you.
        • If raider gunners insist on hiding behind cover, back off from the roof edge so you are out of their line of sight, forcing them to come out.
        • If the raiders are too far away, sneak someone close and behind cover until you get your attention, then pull them back.
      • When you first enter, there is a ridge on the right. Go up to get a good look. You'll notice most of the raiders are farther off and out of sight range.
        • The closest is a melee raider looking the wrong way. Go around behind him to the water tower, then east to the building which has a ladder up the side. Go to the roof where there are two ammunition boxes, and prepare your positions.
        • Still on this roof, move north to another group of raiders.
      • If it's a bigger roof, be sure to get closer to the enemy or they might find a way up the roof as well, neutralizing your high ground advantage.
      Below the Dam
      This is the initial area all the way up to the dam wall. To get atop the wall you need the lift lowered.
      • Alarmed Chest - Not sure what the alarm summons since when you get to the area you'll probably have already alerted the raiders.
      • Mines
        • Two landmines near the southern corner of the lettuce field need Perception 4 to spot. Some buried treasure also needs Perception 4 (or 3?). Perception 2 will spot many things including booby traps on some containers/searchable items, but not all.
      • Townie near Alexey - If you don't speak with him before ending the siege, he vanishes and you lose the opportunity to get dialogue XP. Kiss Ass 2 or Hard Ass 2 required.
      • Jesse-Belle
        • The three thugs in the house can be intimidated by Hard Ass 4; you might be lucky and find a Ranger Star somewhere for a Hard Ass +1 bonus in which case Angela Deth can do it with her Hard Ass 3 + 1 bonus from the Star.
        • If you intimidate them they leave and you get about 50 XP each plus XP for the person who passed the dialogue check. It is not clear if they reappear elsewhere later.
        • If you kill them you get 90 for each team member plus 30 per kill to the person who landed the killing blow. Typically weak loot.
        • If you delay too long and the safe is opened, you cannot get the note to initiate Jesse-Belle's quest. If you end the siege prior to getting the quest, she is found killed by the Wreckers.
        • After she gives you the quest, conversation will initially end. Talk to her again to get clues to her father's whereabouts, although that doesn't really help so much as a thorough search of HighPool.
      • Mortar
        • If you fire it, it doesn't appear to actually cause any harm or casualties whether you adjust the aim successfully with Demolitions or not.
        • You can also fire it after the siege for different radio chatter.
      Atop the Dam
      This is the area you are taken to when you radio to get elevated up, after killing Jackhammer and the last of the Wreckers.
      Once you get up here, your priorities are:
      • Talk to Sean Bergin. This automatically starts unless you deliberately try to evade talking to him.
        • After you recruit Vulture's Cry, his dialogue about them replaces his initial dialog which he will not initiate. You can manually enter some topics but he won't respond to all of them and you won't get the full dialog.
        • In terms of XP, the only thing you would really be missiing is a Hard Ass 2 check about "McNamara".
      • Recruit Vulture's Cry so she can start collecting group XP; also her Perception 3 helps to find all hidden items except 2 landmines in the fields (Perception 4 needed).
      • Then put out the fire on Mark's house because that has a time limit, after which the house completely burns down.
      Other notes:
      • Chickens - Animal Whisper them for BAWK! (Luck +1)
      • Graves
        • Depending on which grave you dig, you can avoid the Townies going hostile for one or two graves.
        • If you have the BB Gun in inventory you will immediately make Sean Bergin hostile when he spots it.
        • The bone in Rex's grave won't help you with the barking dog nearby.
        • Digging up Vicstrom's grave immediately makes everyone hostile.
        • During the vote (once you've repaired the valves in the Underground area), when everyone is away to vote, the graves are not watched and you can dig them all up without making anyone hostile.
      • Mark Stachowiak's burning house
        • After you reattach the valve, the easiest solution in terms of Skill Points is to use the Mechanical Repair skill. Otherwise you can use Hard Ass 4, Kiss Ass 2, or Smart Ass 4.
      • Sean Bergin
        • If for whatever reason you want to avoid speaking with Sean Bergin when you first get to the top of the dam, exit your characters 1 at a time. There should be just enough distance to avoid triggering dialog with him. If any character doesn't hug the edge of the cart and drifts closer to him, conversation will start.
        • Hard Ass 2 to ask about Red Scorpion McNamara.
      • Vulture's Cry
        • Ask her about the juvies to get XP (no Skills involved) but her speech changes.
        • Talk to Sean Bergin and use Kiss Ass 1 for XP after breaking her out.
        • Her Perception 3 will find a lot of hidden items at HighPool.
        • If you develop her Outdoorsman skill you can avoid a lot of combat for an easy way to get XP for her as well as to explore the western part of Arizona all the way up to Rail Nomads Camp.
      Underground
      The HIghpool Underground map is really straightforward.
      • Cockroaches - If you have at least one or two persons with melee skills you may want to conserve ammunition and clear this area with melee since there is a doctor in town -- there's no fear of being out in the wilderness far from healing and having to use your own first aid supplies.
      • Kathy Lawson - Until you talk to Kathy Lawson, the water system isn't in danger of blowing. You can therefore leave first to take care of the Wreckers Stronghold and come back.
      • Secret Tunnel - You need Perception 3 to uncover it near the statue Atop the Dam.
        • Skorpion Key - Opens the trunk that has a mine nearby and a booby trap on it (also bypasses the booby trap) but gives no XP.
        • Safe - Derringer is Jesse-Belle's dowry.
        • Toaster - Keep going into the tunnel with debris. Watch for the mine just around the corner,
      Highpool Destroyed
      If you came after first going to the Ag Centre, Highpool is destroyed. Find Sean Bergin in Jesse-Belle's house to get the Wrecking Crew's location. Otherwise, very straightforward map. The Double XP gate is also here.


      Thursday, July 14, 2016

      Dragon Age Origins Ultimate Edition - at a deep discount

      Get Dragon Age Origins Ultimate Edition DRM-free and with no-risk Money Back Guarantee from Good Old Games.

      With the fairly recent release of Dragon Age: Inquisition, now is a good time for new fans to experience the original Dragon Age: Origins, an extensive story with a lot of gameplay and storytelling, especially once you factor in the various backstory DLCs.

      Now it is finally on Good Old Games, where you don't have to mess around with Steam or Digital Rights Management or any other hassles -- just install and play! And it has been released in the Ultimate Edition -- meaning the Awakening expansion and all the DLCs are there in one convenient bundled purchase at a price much less than Amazon. At the time of this article, it is:
      For a game that's just a few years old, graphically it still looks really decent and with the bonus that on today's machines you can run it at high resolution and with all the bells and whistles (max AA, best shadows, etcetera).
      If you're worried your game rig is too new to run it, GOG has a no-risk money-back guarantee on their games.

      We reviewed the game here and scored it +12/-8.

      Plus this weekend GOG is having a special promotion of 50/60% off new EA games and up to 90% off Interplay titles! -- Such as Fallout, Lionheart, and various Star Trek titles!

      Saturday, July 9, 2016

      Wasteland 2 Director's Cut - Ag Center

      Wasteland 2 Director's Cut - Ag Center (rescue mission)
      -- Including how to get initiative over Dr. Larsen!

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

      Gamepressure is a good place for maps for the Ag Center amd the Ag Center Central Complex but it doesn't have a lot of notes on the area and
      A great place for maps and general information for Arizona is . Here, we provide additional information about the various locations, and/or specific to the Director's Cut.

      There are two versions of the Ag(riculture) Center: If you choose to rescue it and let Highpool be destroyed; or if you choose to rescue Highpool and instead let the Ag Center be destroyed.
      The choice is not triggered until team Echo One moves far enough south from Ranger Citadel, whereupon they receive a distress call from both locations. This is independent of whether they are following the main quest and have the Repeater Units to install at the radar dishes. There is also a time limit before both locations are destroyed; a second warning distress call warns of this.

      We talk about the more complicated Rescue first but a lot of the notes (e.g., about the pods) will still apply.

      Active skill checks here are quite high, with typically level 4 challenges. Some are very high but typically there is an alternate route, though you will miss the XP if you do not go back to take the challenge.
      Some trinkets may be randomly available that will raise your skill by 1 point, which may be just enough to attempt a challenge at the minimum (10+Attribute)% chance of success. To attempt to complete all challenges, raise your skills to level 2 before starting, and save some skill points to strategically raise a skill to 3 if necessary. If you absolutely want to get all XP, you need Smart Ass 4 and Surgeon 4 when talking to the boss Larsen.

      Wasteland 2 DC - getting initiative over Larsen

      General

      Disarming the Plants
      • Exploding Pods explode harmlessly, impassable vines can be cut, and people trapped in vines are automatically freed when both East and West Field main tasks are completed.
        • Each of the persons trapped in vines ends up in the infirmary on a bed. You can use the Surgeon skill on them again there.
      • Prior to this, completing East Field only or West Field only will give you the same benefits in that area only.
      Exploding Pods
      • There is a safe distance you can approach which causes the pods to start pulsing. At that maximum distance a pod will explode but not catch you in the blast.
      • If you flee quickly before a pod explodes, it will calm down and not explode.
      • In combat
        • If you are within a pod's trigger radius it will go through its regular build-up-and-explode sequence even if you are just waiting to just more of your Action Points and have not ended your turn.
          • Therefore, if an enemy is close by you can move closer, let the pod explode and hurt the enemy, then move in to attack the now hurt enemy unit.
          • If you cause it to explode, you get XP for whatever the blast kills.
        • If you cause a pod to explode outside of combat, even if the blast harms someone combat will not initiate.
      • After the mutagen is stopped from spreading from within the complex, all exploding pods harmlessly and immediately explode when you come within the trigger radius.
        • BUT if you damage them while in combat, they explode normally, and will inflict damage and Infection as well. If allowed to explode because you are close by, they explode harmlessly in or out of combat.
        • Some pods are close to containers so you may want to avoid them until you can get them to explode harmlessly since that will damage contents. If you get "glass cans" or "glass shards", then the container was probably damaged and you're basically left with debris.
      Mutant Animal Encounters
      • The time it takes them to notice the players is quite long, so you can sometimes slip past them even though you are quite close. In this way you can avoid combat to position in a tactically better location first.
      Rescue Missions
      • Sometimes people will be surrounded by mutant animals, and everyone is waiting for you to get close to initiate a cutscene, whereupon the animals attack until you get their attention.
      • If you are having trouble saving these hostages, don't approach too closely. Instead, shoot one of the monsters from a distance to initiate combat and draw them all to you. You'll miss the cutscene, but you can always do this from reloading the game.
      Rescue - Central Complex

      Kathy
      • If you ask her early about the radar dish you need (topic "Signal") you get to use Kiss Ass 2 for some XP. Otherwise if you ask later she is obviously not upset but you don't get any XP either.
      Matt
      • Matt stops trading from the time you give Kathy 10 Exploding Pod Fragments. He resumes trading once you give her the Fungicide from the underground mushroom area. He's the only trader at the early stages of the Ag Center rescue, so before you give Kathy the fragments, you may want to:
        • Sell junk to Matt first.
        • Ask Rose to join as a packmule.
        • Get the fungicide from the mushroom farm downstairs, which is required to complete her cure for Matt, which restores him as a merchant.
      • He will eventually give you access to his room and safe as a reward for helping the Ag Centre. If you break in first and wear his Ranger Star (labelled with his name), he will remark on that but apparently not do anything.
      Rose
      • Can be recruited early if you Brute Force down her door. Otherwise you will have to wait until you give Kathy 10 Exploding Pod Fragments, at which time she enters Rose's lab with Matt and Matt stops trading.
      • She has the control codes for the airlocks but whether she is in your party or gives them to you, you can manually open the airlocks with Computing Science or Safecracking by choosing the skill from a hotkey and manually targeting the airlock.
      Room next to Winston
      • The is a pod near a safe and no way to reach it without the safe being blown open by the exploding pod, unless you have already finished the quest tasks in the East and West Fields. At that point you can use Safecracking on the safe and get its contents.
      Rescue - Central Basement
      Room next to Winston
      • The is a pod near a safe and no way to reach it without the safe being blown open by the exploding pod, unless you have already finished the quest tasks in the East and West Fields. At that point you cannot actually interact with the safe and get its contents unless you smash it.
      Mushroom Farm
      • One Exploding Pod is at the entrance to the supplies and there are explosives buried in the ground. If you want to disarm the explosives for XP you need to turn off the mutagen first, rendering the pods harmless.
      Rescue - West Field
      Sue
      • Even if you discovered he has been spreading mutant seeds via pigeon by following the pigeon shit/pigeon coop topics, you can still get dialogue XP by asking about the suitcase under his bed. This will lead to the same dialogue again.
      Honeydew Lewis
      • If you Kiss Ass 2 you can ask him to join you in killing the rabbits.
        • If you do not immediately use the skill option conversation will move on and you won't get to ask again.
        • If he joins, conversation immediately exits and you cannot talk to him until you have killed all the rabbits. Then he leaves and goes to a melon patch where you can resume your conversation.
        • If you leave the area before the rabbits are killed, Lewis will not follow and will disappear from West Field.
      Ventilation System
      • The mechanism to fix the pump has an Exploding Pod nearby with containers inside its blast radius. If you go and get it, the pod will detonate and damage the contents. Instead, just to the Ventilation System building and look for the computer against one of the walls. You will need to manually target the Computer skill on it to hack.
      Rescue - East Field
      Cattle Pen
      • If you attack any rabbit quickly enough, they all disengage from the cattle to attack you.
      • Each cattle that remains can be Animal Whispered to follow for the CATTLE DRIVE perk (+1 Coordination), but more than two and you start automatically releasing existing animals.
      • You can tip a cow with the Brute Force skill. Once tipped you cannot Animal Whisper them but you can release them from following you and then tip them for XP.
      • Perception 2 is needed to spot the booby traps in cow dung.
      Gorilla Suit - You can find a hat, shirt, and pants that let you dress up as a gorilla.

      Wasteland 2 DC - Larsen has a booby trapped weapon

      Larsen
      • You cannot shoot Larsen first without it being counted against you as shooting non-combatants.
      • Smart Ass 4 and Surgeon 4 can be used to get XP in dialogue but is not necessary.
      • No matter what, he exits dialogue and goes first even if your initiative is higher. He can shoot 4 times with his gun (toned down from previous versions where he could shoot 6 times and had 200 CON).
      • If you manage to Precision Shot his arm until he gets the Ruined Weapons effect, the combat log will show that a booby trap explodes for about 15 damage, and he will lose his gun (even though there will be a gun in his inventory after he dies).
      • When Larsen dies, his "Atomic Heart" explodes for about 8 damage in a wide radius. You can try to run out but the game determines that you were in the blast radius and will still damage you.
      • If you are having trouble:
        • Position all characters behind him before initiating conversation. Have one character go to turn off the valve -- do not talk to him. Using the valve will force conversation with Larsen. Use the "Goodbye" option in conversation as soon as possible.
        • When conversation exits, Larsen will stand up and now be hostile, BUT he is facing the wrong way and therefore is not yet immediately aware of any characters. You then get first strike, so make it count -- e.g., Try to have everyone shoot him all at the same time. Even if your characters have an impossible 10 in all Attributes and all Skills, he will go first when combat formally starts.
        • Once combat starts, try to position your characters so that there is an open side and you can drop and explosive, such as a pipe bomb, not on him but NEAR him to include him in the blast radius but exclude nearby allies who are probably bleeding to death after his point blank range shots (see picture below for sample pipe bomb placement).
      • If you have Animal Whisperer pets nearby be careful they don't get caught in the blast. You have maybe a second after Larsen dies to move everyone out of the blast radius.
      Destroyed
      The Destroyed Ag Center (exterior map, interior map) is much more straightforward as all you can really get to is the Satellite Dish to check it.
      Kathy Lawson tells you of the infected settlements so pick up the cure and go there. You cannot apparently disinfect Ag Center itself.

      Larsen
      • Tighter space so harder, especially for keeping Animal Whisperer pets alive. Send everyone to the entry and have an armored person talk to him.
      • You actually have a slight chance of attacking before combat actually starts. As soon as dialogue finishes, click him to attack. If everyone has a gun (except maybe the person talking to him) they might all get a shot off and that could kill him outright before he even gets to attack.
      • If you get to move the person closest to him (and whom he likely shot first), there's a good chance he'll choose a different target, thus spreading out the damage and allowing your team to survive without anyone going down.
      Infected Settlements
      In both the Rescue mission and the investigation of the Destroyed Ag Center, there is the follow-up mission to bring a cure to the locations Sue inadvertently infected. For the Destroyed Ag Center, you are told of them by Kathy Lawson, and when you are close you will get a call from Ranger Citadel and the location appears.
      The settlements are all basically the same, except flies are weaker if you Rescued the Ag Center.
      • Infected Farm NW of Ag Center (map)
        • Try to rush away from the cows, hugging the side of the map away from the infected monsters. That should draw the monsters away from the cows during the battle, if you want to save them for the CATTLE DRIVE (+1 Coordination) perk from using Animal Whisperer.
      • Infected Settlement at the pass NE of Ag Center (map)
        • Go to the highest building near the crane -- a small square house with a chest on the roof. From that vantage you can shoot better, are harder to be spit at by flies, and none of the infected critters know how to climb ladders so they can't follow you. You may need one person to lure the Pod People around so that they won't explode too close to you, though. Also, any Animal Whisperer animals can't climb up either so be careful they don't get caught in a Pod Person explosion.
        • Safe is Lock level 5 or you can get a key from the Sheriff.
      • Infected Pump Station in radiation zone south of Ag Center (map)

          Friday, July 8, 2016

          Game Review - Darkest Dungeon (build 14620)

          Game Review: Darkest Dungeon  (build 14620)
          Score: +6/
          FAIL
          You can buy Darkest Dungeon with no-hassle setup and risk-free money-back guarantee from Good Old Games.


          Even before you play the Campaign, Darkest Dungeon sets your expectations: "Darkest Dungeon is about making the most of a bad situation. Quests will fail or must be abandoned. Heroes will die. And when they die, they stay dead. Progress autosaves constantly, so actions are permanent. The game expects a lot out of you. How far will you push your adventurers? How much are you willing to risk in your quest to restore the Hamlet? What will you sacrifice to save the life of your favorite hero? Thankfully, there are always fresh souls arriving on the stage coach, seeking both adventure and fame in the shadow of the Darkest Dungeon"

          The balance in Darkest Dungeon is one where you fight attrition on every front and thereby slowly make headway. This attrition is mostly manifested in the Stress system which handicaps your characters (but occasionally helps them) very quickly (as it is very easy to gain Stress) and the autosave system which means random sudden death cannot be rolled back and you are forced several steps back. Your slow progress basically translates to "grinding", in a worse way than grinding in online MMOs.
          While this fits perfectly with the gothic Lovecraftian genre, there is nevertheless one fatal flaw in the game design -- Disrespect for the player's time.

          Now, more than ever, there are so many great games. For any game to basically waste my time grinding over and over again, doing extremely repetitive things, is inexcusable. Cheap online MMOs get you to do that at higher levels of character development for two reasons:
          • You'll otherwise run out of content and be bored, leave the game, and stop spending money
          • You need to be frustrated by slow progress so you'll spend money in all sots of ways to make headway.
          And once you spend money you'll be hooked because you don't want to lose your investment.
          But Darkest Dungeon is not an online game. They've already got your money, so there's no reason to waste your time.

          If an encounter suddenly goes bad and you lose a key character like a healer and suddenly things can collapse very quickly, forcing you to wait for a healer to randomly show up and improve them again while everyone else waits -- more time-wasting. In fact, combat is so chancy that you are actually NOT guaranteed to see both tutorial characters survive even the tutorial getting-to-the-town mission of killing a total of three bandits.
          Even when combat isn't being hard, it can be tedious. See how the devs have a talent for wasting your time, and it's not even that interesting or exciting:



          Suppose you actually like the bleak "Lovecraftian realism", there are clearly many gameplay mechanics that are ludicrous but designed to keep pulling you back and losing ground.
          For example, if you abort a dungeon raid, there is a Stress penalty. Why? There should be stress relief, though possibly with a penalty in gold or goods representing paying the wages of the adventurers.
          And because Stress accumulates so quickly and has to be dealt with, you are basically running at least two parties, alternating them between resting in town (costing you gold to stress-relief them) or being sent on an adventure that will hopefully net a profit. You may seem to get a lot of gold, but it's deceptive as your expenses will mount.

          Another example: You cannot use healing skills outside of combat. Why? You can only camp a certain number of times. Why? Earlier versions apparently let you eat a lot of food outside of combat to heal, but a limit was implemented (you can only eat so much before you are full, and 3 units won't heal anything useful).

          For the reasons mentioned, the basic score is FAIL.

          Caveat: You may have dungeon missions that go very nicely and your team doesn't come out crippled by stress or a member short. But often this can be quite chancy, depending on the encounter you come upon. Therefore the one single thing you need to do to make this game less frustrating and at possibly decently playable is to find out where the savegames are and regularly back them up. Just doing this will at least remove some element of chance having a sudden devastating impact.

          If you want a "making the most of a bad situation" game, I highly recommend you instead play Fallout Shelter. For one thing, it's FREE. You can get your masochistic fix there for free. If you do well and want to graduate to spending money to waste your time doing the same things over and over, then try Darkest Dungeon.

          *

          Since Darkest Dungeon is fortunately easily modded in many ways to reduce the mechanics that contribute to grind, if you are willing to do that, then it has all the trappings of a very nice game. Especially once you find that the saved games are in ...\Documents\Darkest\ so you can just backup that entire directory and can roll back your saves to help keep making incremental progress.

          So, since we have these workarounds, let's look at the key positives of Darkest Dungeon -- and there really are some good ones.
          + Interesting characters and abilities
          + Simple combat but with enough strategy to make it tactical
          + Lovecraftian genre, which isn't easy to find done well
          ++ Atmosphere! From the narration to the music to contextually appropriate speech bubbles of the characters, the game sets up a very interesting and interactive atmosphere with the right gothic mood.
          + Graphically a nice game

          We have some basic tweaks that you can apply yourself to Darkeest Dungeon:
          • Darkest Dungeon prevents hitgher level characters from going back to lower level dungeons, which really just results in helping you lose characters permanently and having to start all over with new characters. This simple fix will remove this mechanic.
          • Darkest Dungeon limits your ability to rest during a mission (raid) and limits how much loot you can haul back. Our article on Camping addresses both. I find it extremely silly that your healer can throw out unlimited faith healing while in combat but not outside of it; and can heal even less than in battle when camped. DUH.
          Darkest Dungeon has a great framework for MODDING. Straight out of the box, it's not worth your time grinding it.