Crucible Review: Amazon Fails

Before Crucible even launched it had poor misdeeds. It was over an hour late to launch on steam but they failed to even comment until an hour after launch to tell people it would be coming soon, but only for north america. The other regions would have to wait and considering how bad they are at communication for their first game…who knows when that will be.

Next they launched as much dlc paying options on their steam store as they could before launching the game. Giving you an idea of where their focus is.

Of course streamers got to get in early.

Onto the game: It is poorly optimized and has poor loading times. The tutorial is a joke. It tells you to do this or that but barely explains anything and really is just a waste of time as it is.

Matches, on launch day, not even an hour after it was able to be downloaded take over a minute just to find one. Considering I can find matches in under 10 seconds on other games in the genre this game is aimed at well…

The abilities are quite frankly uninspired trash. You have four abilities. One is a move ability, 2 are pointless, and I guess the last is an “ultimate” which is basically a regular attack in every other game in the genre. Outside of that, the characters themselves are generic. The only one they seemed to put any effort into is the rocket raccoon clone.

The maps are big and movement is slow and stiff. There is no run, only a movement ability that has a cool down.

There is zero real direction in a match. There was no talking or typing in game, I could not even figure out how or if it was possible. The only way to communicate is by very generic bad pings.

I went a melee class and had the most damage in game and tied for kills first on team. Because shooting is just that bad.

This game is a poor poor first launch for a new game company in an already over crowded genre that brings nothing new, interesting, or even a nice story to get into.

Population Zero Review

Yikes. The only word that comes to mind with Population Zero. If you want a game that takes the worst aspects from mmos and survivals and puts them together than this is a game for you. From the start of the game it gives you a crappy custom character creator that is pretty limited. Then it shows you all these cool options but nothing you can do until you level up the “account”.

You create and then click play. Then you are given 3 game modes but can only do the pve mode because all the rest is locked behind your account being higher. You cannot even pvp until you level up more.

Upon logging on you are met with a barren world with few things to interact with, very few people, and even fewer npcs and mobs. You are given a few supplies and a metal pipe. Upon doing the quests and finding the npc city for questing. Yes this is a game that takes the kill 5, gather 10 quests everyone mmo fan loves and decides you need 10, or 100 of them.

The survival aspect is in the hunger, water, elements and toxic elements. All of which are pretty extreme and silly.

Crafting? Well you can unlock tons of crafting recipes, like stone, bone(a bonesword that is very similar to last oasis), leather and other basic crafting. You know, the type you expect in a nonscifi mmo. But no ranged that I have seen. This is a scifi mmo that apparently everyone forgot how to even cook meat on a campfire or how to even make a campfire let alone anything more advanced than level 20 ark player.

Also there are no stones to be found. Took almost 2 hours to find 3 stones. Now you could say it is because the game is so populated, but, at of writing this there was only around 736 in game. So to advance past your crappy metal pipe you start with, you need stones for stone weapons and tools to even gather most stuff. Which you cannot get. As stones do not exist.

The way to advance is thru quests and finding new objects which help give you points in various sections. However the land is either weather extreme so you cannot explore, or so barren of anything to interact with or fight it makes you want to jump off a cliff.

Also there are apparently only 4 mob types and most of them are just the same model but colored different.

The graphics and art style is “okay” and about the best part of it.

This game was not ready for early access and should be avoided. Maybe in 3 years with a new dev team this game might be something. It is also at a mostly negative review on steam as of now.

The Survival Genre Issues

There are quite a few glaring issues with the survival genre. Atleast those online anyways. Many try various gimmicks to try and fix it but normally fail for the most part. So what are the biggest issues in the genre?

Offline raiding. This tends to be a major issue for most survival games. The issue of this is that if you are not on the game 24/7 there is a high chance people will wait till you log off to raid you. Now there is a few trials to fix this in the genre but most tend to not do well. Many offer a pve-conflict type option where there is timed pvp and no base destruction, but that leaves tons of other issues and a lower player base.

Last oasis has the offline protection logging for the player/walkers but the server issues make this impossible to be good or even work many times. Others like rust/cryofall tend to wipe every month but that makes it more session based and less fun for folks who do want a static place. Also unless the core loop is really really good like rusts gunplay then no one is gonna want to keep doing that fresh start loop.

The most logical fix would be to create a way for the base to become immune or protected a few minutes after the player logs. While this can create issues of battle logging but there are ways to make it so one cannot battle log either.

Another issue is that many in the survival genre think pvp is offline raiding. Infact that is the complete opposite of pvp. But the least risk and most reward is offline raiding as bases simply cannot survive without the player online. So this creates a weird non pvp meta in a genre that promotes pvp. Of course this would be solved if offline raiding was not a thing.

The core game loop tends to be a big issue for many of these as well. Many of the survival devs say they just can’t fix the offline raiding problem, however, I think it is mostly because without that loop of always starting over most players would find the core loop is basically nil.

So rather than create a good loop and a lot of good content they rely on crappy mechanics to be lazy.

The last issue is the alpha or huge tribes that are able to build up and keep things in games that do not wipe. Of course many of those do get all that by offline raiding and not really grinding it out so of course offline raiding protection would help this. But there can be other ways to help this. Various limitations on numbers, or places owned. Something like a purge like conan does. Or even adding a system where if you get to a certain level then random folks could team up to take you down. Letting the player population basically police itself agaisnt such things.

Of course these are only some of the issues but the most glaring ones that plague the genre. Think you for reading and if you have any comment or ideas feel free to do so!

Fallout 76 Steam Release Review

F76 had a very rough launch when it came out. However now they have released it on steam with the wastelanders dlc. The reviews on steam currently sit on mixed on it. I had gotten it at launch and so signed up to get it free on steam.

After playing it today I must say I have enjoyed myself and am impressed with how far it has come. Starting a fresh new character you are almost immediately thrust into the new real npcs and a starting quest line which was way more fun than the starting experience upon the original release. The npc quest and options when talking makes it feel like a real fallout experience.

The quest line itself is actually fun, engaging and features lots of action, puzzles and not much traveling but enough traveling to get you to explore the world abit.

If you just go thru this quest line you will hit around 6-8 off of it. You will also get a nice weapon at the end of the quest.

Upon hitting level 5 you are able to pvp, pk and have the same done to you for everyone 5 and above. This is a big thing for myself and many. As survival games, pvp is a big part of them.

The game itself feels way better in terms of combat and optimization. I did crash once in my 4 hours of playing. Which is better than my once every 10-15 minutes at launch.

So if you do enjoy rpgs, open world, fallout, or survival I would suggest picking this up now. It does seem like we may have another no mans sky situation on our hands with this.

I did a video you can check out for in game footage here

Valorant not a CSGO Killer

Many are touting Valorant as a CSGO killer. Having gotten in to play it today I can tell you that is not the case. While the level design does seem more similar to cs maps than other fps games that is where the similarities end.

Valorant is more of an assault on overwatch and apex legends than anything. But based on Riots upcoming game list, which includes a card game, this fps game and even a diablo like game, it seems Riot is assaulting Blizzard. Which considering Blizzards epic blunders the past couple of years, well it is a good time to strike at the once pc gaming giant.

So why do I say it is not a CSGO killer? The guns and movement feel abit “stiff” compared to the entrenched CSGO community and esports scene. The abilities alone add too much randomness and “luck” more akin to a modern EA fps game.

While yes this game will become something and be a thing in the esports scene, most of the “pros” joining it are mid tier at best. So they are not taking away much talent or prospect from the current CSGO scene at all.

However, apex legends and overwatch pro scenes will most likely be more in trouble. The abilities is akin to what they are used to as well as the roles the characters you can choose plays in a team.

Valorant Closed Beta Drops Return

Valorant is Riot games 5v5 shooter that enters the realm of gaming to battle the likes of Overwatch. It is currently in a closed beta and starting April 7th more will be able to get in. To do this you need a twitch account. Then follow those streaming the game starting the 7th. Drops will appear as they play giving lucky viewers a chance to jump into the action themselves.

You can will need to link your twitch account to your riot account to be eligible for the drops. You can do so at playvalorant.com or at the riot games site in general.

Savage Lands Review

Last Bastion Studios Savage Lands is an interesting game with an interesting history. The 2 people who worked on it originially kind of lost it for awhile and ended up getting it back and really turning it around. It started out like any EA survival type game but with some twists. Then it seem like it was more than likely going to be in the long pile list of abandoned survival ea games that are never finished. Then Last Bastion Studios acquired it and it has been worked on and improved greatly for awhile.

So what is Savage Lands? Well the steam page lists it as open world survival and crafting. Which it is. But it is also other things as well. For instance ontop of what is listed it also feels like a virtual tabletop dungeon group game when played multiplayer. The look and feel is also akin to a Kings Field like vibe.

You can craft various items, weapons, and armor. As well as potions and food. You can build various buildings, crafting stations, traps and defenses.

Survival wise you are constantly battling the frozen cold in the land as well as hunger. Trying to survive against the AI Denizens of the island as well as the giant dragon that flies overhead.

There is no level or stats outside of the gear.

The lore is spread across the isle as are various dungeon like places, boss types and tons of things to explore and discover.

All of this together does make it more like a kingsfield era game but with friends.

Ontop of this in your multiplayer games you can toggle on pvp. Or you can stay offline and play singleplayer. Sort of catering to everyone that way.

But if you want to enjoy your tabletop gaming group during social distancing this game might just help scratch that itch a bit. Or if you are looking for a bit of a Kings Field itch to be scratched. This might do it as well.

For a survival category title it is a bit weak compared to any of the others on the market though. But the pvp toggle does add some to that.

Some of the cons to it is the lack of building options to furnish your buildings and lack of customization for armor and weaponry. There are various weapon types but they do all look the same.Lack of leveling and skill points is also in that category.

Some other cons are the AI can be weird and dumb. Hit boxes can be off at times, including for looting. As where the body falls may not be where you loot, but where you last killed it.

Some will consider the graphics a con, but I think the graphics is ahead of the next era. That era being ps1 style graphic games as opposed to voxel or 2d.

Recent updates do include steam trading cards and more bug fixes so it is actively being worked on and the devs value input for suggestions and bug reports.

It is currently on sale on steam for 2.99 down from 9.99 until april 17th.

Or a 4 pack for 10.49 down from 29.99.

If you would like to see someone bad playing it here is my two sessions in it:

Part 1: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/582991342

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB5hAZP7B2c

Last Oasis Now Live!

Last Oasis entered a stress test today. On launch day the games backend servers crashed when they reached 10k concurrent players. Today after a week of working on it we are now sitting at 20k and climbing with no real issues. So far it is looking good and the population is crazy.

On launch day in the starting cradle area I only seen a couple of people and it took me 2 hours to find pvp. Today on relaunch? I have seen 20-30 people in the cradle and it took me 10 minutes to find pvp! Check it out here: Dingos Stream First PVP.

It does seem they did delete and wipe everyones data which was expected. But if you got to play on launch day going back into the tutorial is a breeze. For those that are playing for the first time; do the tutorial. You will thank me greatly later.

It seems the steam survival crowd now has a new and very exciting game to enjoy and sink their stay at home time into! This EA survival game is one of the most polished ones to hit steams ea survival crowd since it started.

See you all in the sands!

PixArk: Needed Dinos – The Thorny lizard

A most needed dino in Pixark is the thorny lizard. They are a multi use dino that can benefit anyone and everyone in a variety of ways.

For offense and defense usefulness they have a nice dot ranged attack that comes from them shooting spikes. Up close they have a decent damage output as well as a decent hit point pool.

In terms of production and utility once you put a saddle on them they can turn basic stuff into ores. This is extremely useful as you will have a ton of say rock block stacks. They can turn those into iron ore. While it does take time for this it is really worth it.

They can turn all those dirt blocks you wondered what to do with into coal. No longer do you need to hoard dirt for fear you may need it one day. You can now use it.

The last thing they can do is turn clay into copper ore.

Those three things alone are needed for high end materials. Iron and coal to make steel, and copper goes into making electronics.

They need to be kited to tamed safely and is best to build a tame pit and lead them into it.

They can be found in the golden forest.

PixArk Second Anniversary

Pixark a game that fell hard but is one I still adore turns 2 today after it left early access. This event brings new skins you can get as well as a really cool cape.

Outside of that there is some new bone skins and item skins as well as a new item or two.

While not everything has been fixed that is buggy in the game they have made strides and I feel as it turns 2 pixark and the skyward dlc is in the best place it has ever been.

If you want to hop on feel free to join our own servers: Dingos Pve and Dingos PvP x3

Happy 2 years Pixark!