GTASC - Period 1: It's a Trap!
We have our first big game of the season, and unsurprisingly, it's a "free" game, brought to us by our GwG partners. World of Van Helsing: Deathtrap
is the second new-release GwG title offered by Neocore, and it's fair to say that this one is receiving a fair bit more good press
. World of Van Helsing gets a 2-star review bump from the officials over plain old Adventures of Van Helsing. I've been watching, excitedly, the Van Helsing world for years, so this is all-in-all good news for me as a gamer, and the recent announcement that Van Helsing #3 will be coming to Xbox One is also great news, as that's yet another Dungeon Crawling loot game that I can spend ridiculous numbers of hours on.
But when we think Dungeon Crawling loot games, we certainly think of the Diablo franchise. And Diablo was not absent from this past week either. Though it's too old to show up in the hot scoring games, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition
has a special event going on itself. Diablo is twenty years old!
The iconic and ground-breaking game that spawned this genre of choice for me is almost old enough to drink.
To celebrate, Blizzard released a patch with the usual bug fixes and balance changes, but also a brand new dungeon--a recreation of the 16-levels of the original Diablo, complete with a filter to make it look grainy and animation changes to your character so that they look like they're marching again. It is a nostalgia hit to be sure, but the mechanics are still core-Diablo 3 in the Reaper of Souls era. Players interested in returning to Old Tristram can battle familiar foes, including the Dark Lord himself, while acquiring classic loot, in addition to modern loot, such as a new legendary gem. There are also some fetch quest style puzzles to be solved for a pet that will pick up the gold that drops for you. This is definitely advantageous if you haven't earned this yet:
In other gaming news, the slow descent into pure payments for GS has taken a rather absurd turn with the anniversary event going on in DC Universe Online
where apparently for the low price of $85 you can eliminate the entire grind of the game and just be done with it. It's not yet to the absurd level of Prominence Poker
's $40,000 (or more) which is what you'd have to pay for 1 Billion chips. I'm just glad they're using the "short" billion (1x10^9) rather than the more old-school "long form" billion (1x10^12). Meanwhile, on the other side of the price scale, Cut the Rope (Win 8)
came on my radar this week for being a $5 pay for completion type of game. When we are at a point when we can exchange $ for GS, aren't we all just Chinese gold farmers?
This is our first look at the new badge system as we try to figure out how much of an impact on strategy this will have. Badges have undergone a substantial change over the past few years. Before, they were just cosmetic, and not even that really--just a way to honor teams that did something unique. Last year they became worth a small number of points; too few to really matter, but the floodgates were open. Now no longer merely cosmetic, badges can be part of a comprehensive strategy as each badge earned can be a significant multiplier of points.
This new strategic element also turned into our first few bits of drama for the contest. That didn't take long! Since ratios, by their nature, subject to change and are very manipulatable, we seem to have had people manipulating the ratio of some very rare achievements. Maybe. Perhaps. It's all very shadowy. It doesn't seem to be making a difference at this point, but it does seem to be a first. Whether this kind of manipulation is really plausible on a large scale going forward isn't knowable, but with ratio now being a more important part of the contest, we'll certainly see more and more people looking for every competitive edge they can get; ethical or not.
Early on the differences between the Team Contest and Individual Contest are minimal. Deathtrap was still the number one game played for points. Typically the top games in each contest will be the same, but the scores won't line up right, and won't even be proportional. Next week we may see our first real impact of that as the Deathtrap achievements continue to decay. The game is long enough that the normal decay pattern for these new games could be extended far enough to impact some players next week and beyond. In many ways, though, the worst is being felt right now by gamers that really hit the game running in "Period 0," that week in January where the game released but where the GTASC hadn't started. As a result, some had over 1000 points of decay from Deathtrap and/or other games to deal with early in the week. Nothing like starting a contest from a 1000 point handicap.
Even with the changes to the registration process and elimination schedule, the individual side still is looking a bit like the little sister of the team event. The lower cutoffs, prorated, will definitely give the metagame of low scoring more of a chance there, though it will still be harder than it has been in the past.
I had a busy week at work and a lot of family stuff going on, including on the weekends, so I was never really able to sit down and grind out a lot. Also, I was very easily distracted by the opportunity to play Diablo 3 with my wife. That was definitely a lot of hours, and hours very well spent.
That's a lot of loot. Another gift for planting42
Beyond Diablo 3, Lies of Astaroth
is taking up a lot more of my time than I think I realized. And I knew it was taking a lot of time. F2P grindiness in a Card and Board format, is this game my kryptonite? More new content is due to be released next week too. This game could be the end of me. I just wish it were a better game, if it's going to drain my gaming time like that.
So, with all those distractions, I didn't score much, right? Nah, The Deer God
's inflated ratios coming from GwG and general glitchiness gave me a ton of points in a fairly short period of time. I scored decently for the week, but I'm still below pace for even my most moderate of goals: matching my GS total from two years ago. It goes to show that I actually had a pretty good year two years ago, despite it being fairly quiet most of the time. That also proves that a few weeks of chaos can boost the average considerably, as long as I don't tank it early. This will be a marathon, not a sprint. That said, I hope to improve the pace a bit as we go forward.
What all of that does is give me additional appreciation for how hard the task in front of me is, and further admiration for those who have dedicated themselves to the GS chase and done so much before me, and particularly on fewer easy titles.
Look, it's a bad game and this achievement is super glitchy, but that's actually what makes this the highlight. Well, that and it being a quiet week. I didn't have a lot to pick from. Earning this achievement took three runs through the game because the first two runs attempting it glitched out.
Yep, that was the game breaking so badly that a storyline quest wouldn't progress and became a wall of nothing. Exiting the game would fix the glitch, but break the achievement which as part of its glitchiness seems to require that all five bosses be beaten in one sitting. Since two bosses, including one I had already defeated at the time of that video, are single-attempt only... time to restart again.
It's not listed as glitchy, but it glitched out on me anyway. Just awesome, game. You can't even count to 25 correctly.
None this week. Probably starting at least one next week. Oh, wait, the bonus is for ratio? Nevermind.
The Deer God
Bad game is bad.
Posted by Xpovos
on 15 January 17 at 15:32
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