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Dauntless Preview from PAX South!

I totally meant to write something up about the stuff I saw at PAX this past week, but PAX pox actually hit me pretty hard this year. It seems it always happens after South! I think I’ve only gotten sick from the other PAX shows like once. I think I’m going to do 3 total PAX South posts. This one about Dauntless, another one about Hyper Universe, and the a 3rd one about some other stuff I got to check out a bit that I thought was cool. We’ll see how slowly that gets pumped out >.>. BUT, let us talk about Phoenix Labs’s Dauntless.

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First, let me explain what Dauntless is for folks that have maybe never heard of it. Dauntless is a essentially a Monster Hunter style CO-OP Action game. Very similarly to Monster Hunter, you’ve got a variety of weapons at your disposal (each with different move sets) that you use to dispatch Monsters – Or as Dauntless calls them, Behemoths. It is being developed for the PC only (for now, I believe they mention console isn’t out of the question) as a Free-to-Play title. If I recall correctly, the exactly payment model they’re using hasn’t been decided on, but they did say that all ‘gameplay affecting’ things would be free (correct me if that is wrong please :D). That pretty much covers what the game is, so let’s talk about the PAX South demo.

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The demo features two Behemoths: Pangar (pictured above) and Shrike (the Behemoth in the first picture of this post) and 3 weapons: Shrike Sword, Iron Axe, and Iron Hammer. I played twice against Pangar, the first time using the Shrike Sword and the second time using the Iron Axe. The first major thing I noticed was how smooth everything was in the demo. No glaring performance issue, controls were very responsive, movement and animations were very smooth – Overall it already looks extremely polished and very well ironed out. The only issues that did occur during any of the demos was the offsite demo servers crashed once, otherwise the entire demo looked and played very smooth. I don’t know exactly what FPS the game is running at, but it felt like 60 at least.

Aside from the technical stuff, you can really feel the difference in each of the weapons. The Shrike Sword is lighter so attacks quicker, but has less of a feeling of impact. The Axe is a slow but has a better display of you beating the hell out of the behemoth. Each weapon has some unique abilities to them as well, which I wasn’t able to explore all that well. The Shrike Sword goes into a bit of a ‘power up’ mode after you beat things with it for a while. During this mode you attack quicker and I was told deal more damage (I couldn’t tell from anything on the UI). The Iron Axe has the ability to charge your attacks to land some heavy damage and also wider attack angles. I’m sure there is loads more to it than just that, but it will take more exploration of the game for me to figure it all out (which I’m totally excited to it). Overall the actual fighting was just as smooth and polished, which I was honestly a little worried about. I’ve played other Monster Hunter style games where the controls get super clunky in battle or you have to fight the camera, etc etc (Looking at you Toukiden), but I didn’t really run into anything that put me off on the game from a technical or control aspect. When I talked to the developers about more weapons, I was told there will definitely be more. I wasn’t given specifics for obvious reasons, just the intention to release with more than just the previewed 3 weapons and that a range option was being worked towards. Also, I hear the president of Phoenix Labs really wants to add a Yo-Yo as a weapon option ;).

I know I didn’t talk much about the Behemoth itself in that last paragraph, but that is mostly because I wanted to dedicate an entire paragraph to just how fucking cool these things sound design wise. I’m going to use Pangar as my example, and then expand a bit on it. So Pangar is this giant part T-Rex part Armadillo looking badass with heavy scales going down its back all the way to its tail. There are 3 things here that lead to an understanding of just how awesome these things are designed. Pangar in particular has 3 ‘phases.’ A normal phase which is just how it looks the first time you walk up to it. An enraged phase (there was a name for this, but I forgot it 😦 ) where the behemoth beings to have some red glowing areas on its body, attacks quicker and for more damage. Then an ‘Aether’ phase, which is probably the coolest of all of them (pun intended and you’ll see why 😉 ). Using Pangar as my example still, throughout the fight Pangar’s scales will being to freeze over. Slayers can attack the scales to break off the iced ones, but if all of Pangar’s scales become iced over it enters the Aether phase. During this phase Pangar visually looks a bit more frosty and begins to use a few elemental based moves. The most notable one when I was playing was when it would put up too giant ice pillars just before rolling between them with its roll attack, which makes it significantly harder to dodge that attack and when they spike up deal a good bit of damage. This design in general struck me as really cool, basically because think of how many awesome things you can do with these sort of mechanics. It lends itself pretty easily to creating some awesome sounding creatures. Even some low hanging fruit like a Phoenix or something like that would be neat. There are a lot of really cool possibilities though using just the idea of what Pangar has as an example. Then what about adding more layers to that? Imagine a Hydra type Behemoth with multiple heads. Each head is a different element and maybe you’ve got to damage each head evenly or one (or more) of the heads will go into Aether mode. Or maybe a Chimera or Sphinx like Behemoth where each differen’t ‘creature’ in its body is a different element which will trigger if not dealt with in a different unique way. It has almost endless design possibilities, and that is before you even get into stuff like manipulating a fight by chopping off appendages – Which wasn’t featured in any of the Behemoths in the demo, but I believe was told is a thing. There is just an insane amount of possibilities with only these few tools and it gets me a little excited. Game design is one of those things I will really nerd out talking about and these things stacked on top of each other are just so cool to me.

Needless to say at this point, I’m really excited to play more Dauntless. The simple but colorful aesthetic is pleasant, the sound in both the environment and the behemoths is really well done, the gameplay and performance are extremely smooth, the animations are fluid and look great, and the potential longevity between additions of new weapons and behemoths is very exciting. The very little I got to play at PAX just has me really wanting to fully dive into the game and it is now easily one of my most anticipated this year. Even now I’m rewatching videos wishing I could play right now :). I’ll get to play more at PAX East hopefully. Can’t come soon enough! If you want to watch or read more about the game, check out the Dauntless Website, YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter! You can also join the Unofficial Discord to chat with the community and talk about Yo-Yos and Eggplants.

Big shout out to the developers who were all just super friendly, great folks who were willing to let me toss some question their way and an extra shout out to the community manager Ian (@crash7800 on Twitter) who was nice enough to let me cut in line on Sunday to get another session in!

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I word vomited a bit there, but I got pretty excited 🙂 Shortly after I publish this I’m going to start my stream up (7PM) which is a little late, but I really wanted to get at least one blog post to the wilds this weekend. Not sure what I’m going to play. I might just chill with Tales of Berseria. SEE YOU THERE?

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2017 in Misc.

 

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Stream Update and some Schedule stuff!

Hey all! Wanted to make a bit of a quick post to do a stream update. Basically just wanted to detail out some of the games I plan on playing on stream and my current schedule. Schedule is mostly the same, though I do plan on streaming more on Friday/Saturdays. It is hard for me to commit to a time on those days though. Current Schedule looks like this (all times Central time):

  • Sunday: 5PM – 10PM ~ Playing mostly old shooters this day. I haven’t quite started this yet, but I will NEXT Sunday. Starting with Painkiller. I plan to also play Serious Sam and Heretic as well.
  • Monday: Off day.
  • Tuesday: 6PM – 10PM ~ 6 to 7:15 is mostly just goofing off. 7:15 to 10 right now is Rainbow Six: Siege on PS4. Not sure how much longer that’ll last though.
  • Wednesday: 6PM – 10PM ~ Toss up date. I try to play games with friends this day though, but sometimes schedules mess up.
  • Thursday: 6PM – 10PM ~ Same as Tuesday
  • Friday/Saturday: I will cast one or both of these days, but like I mentioned above I’m not really able to commit to a specific time.

Here is also a list of games I’m currently playing:

  • Rainbow Six: Siege (PS4 – FPS PVP)
  • Final Fantasy 15 (PS4 – JRPG)
  • Nier (PS3 – JRPG)
  • Killing Floor 2 (PC – FPS MP PVE)
  • Painkiller (PC – FPS SP) – Sundays only.
  • Factorio (PC – Factory Simulator)

There are a few other games I want to finish up, but sorta not sure I have it in me. Namely, Dishonored 2, Shadow Warrior 2, and Gears of War 4. I’m also not into a lot of PVP stuff right now. Mostly because Overwatch has sorta died off for me again, and I’m waiting for Midair, Diabotical, LawBreakers, and Sky Noon. As always though, I’ll randomly be trying new stuff occasionally too. Especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays prior to Siege.

I haven’t started this season of anime yet either, I’ve got a  list of things I want to watch though. I might make an anime post to weeb out a little bit on 🙂

That is all I wanted to do with this post! If you’re interested in any of that fun, or even have some FPS or JRPG games to suggestion, head over to my stream at twitch.tv/Klokworkk or hit me up on twitter at twitter.com/Klokworkk!

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2017 in Misc.

 

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New Year Updates + Mini-GOTY thing.

Welp 2016 is over and that shit was a bit of a wild ride. It was personally a fairly good year for me at least! I’ve been battling with this post for a while, because usually I like to talk about the 5 big games of the previous year that I thought were really awesome, but I’m honestly struggling this year. A lot of really meh or just okay games released this year, and not a whole lot of really great stuff. Really the most fun I had this year came mostly from games that didn’t even release this year. Various betas and such (more on that later). So here we go, here is me trying to find more than 1 game that really stuck out this year:

DOOM (2016)

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DOOM was THE clear GOTY for me. Despite a relatively unremarkable multiplayer on launch, the single player of DOOM fucking knocks it out of the universe. The best attempt so far at modernizing the ‘old school’ model of FPS games, only seconded to the Wolfenstein game from 2014. I literally can’t think of a single negative thing to say about the single player portion of this game. It is just fan-fucking-tastic from every angle. Great gunplay, amazing soundtrack, brilliant level design, thrilling fights, it is really damn near perfect. For a game that went through some development hell, this game came out shockingly great. If it wasn’t for the really bleh multiplayer that got outsourced to a different studio the game would be nearly perfect. Also, for folks interesting in how DOOM became what it is today, check out NoClip’s DOOM Documentary.

Overwatch

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Anyone that knows me knows I have a bit of a Love/Hate relationship with Overwatch. An extremely fun casual shooter with a great cast of heroes, mostly polished gameplay (Looking at you, Roadhog Hook), and fairly streamlined experience. Blizzard took the Team Fortress 2 team based hero shooter formula and polished it up to a sheen and brought all there dedicated fans along for the ride. This is a great FPS game to play with friends and not take very seriously. Lots of fun characters to play ranging from difficult to use heroes but perfect for FPS veterans all the way to simple to use characters so people newer to the genre can still be successful. The barrier to entry to the game is extremely low. Pretty much anyone can jump in and have fun. Where things get a little dicey is when you start talking about the high end/competitive part of the game. Blizzard has never been too great at game balance, and this still shows in Overwatch. There have been plenty of awkward meta shifts from one basically overpowered thing to another basically overpowered thing. They fix one thing about the game that is a little busted, and another new busted thing is either found or introduced, to a bit of a frustrating degree. Blizzard has also been at odds with the community multiple times on some subjects. For example, the community essentially had to bitch about Competitive play need to be 1 Hero Limit (1HL) from the start of the game’s competitive seen in Winter of 2015. They’re still doing it now, with the most recent MLG event in Vegas, Blizzard pressured MLG to create a standard map pool and not let the teams pick/ban maps. This map Pick/Ban phase is literally a thing in every other FPS with a competitive scene. There are a variety of reasons for this: Teams practicing certain maps, Knowledge of a teams weaknesses or strengths on a certain map or mode, or some maps just being flat out BAD for competitive play (See: Every Capture Point map in Overwatch). There are a few other things as well, No difference in SoloQ or Teamed ranked, The Capture Point Maps all need to be overhauled, Roadhog’s Hook needs to be consistent, no true ‘demo’ or replay system, and more. So, all of this basically to say that the ‘core’ game is extremely fun, but the overall competitive nature of the game has a lot of growing it needs to do. I’d love for the game to get it all right, and not to go the crash and burn way of the competitive scenes of Starcraft/Warcraft/Heroes Of The Storm, but if Blizzard’s history with eSports, Balance, or Listening to the right part of the community are any indicator it might be a rough ride. I will say that the fact that this game has had huge success has ignited other people to either step back into the genre or realize that there is still a market for this type of shooter, which is a big plus for me!

Final Fantasy XV

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I love the Final Fantasy series. I also think that every Final Fantasy game from X onward has been pretty garbage (excluding MMOs). X was okay, X-2 had promise but ultimate was pretty bad, XII bored me very quickly, and the XIII trilogy was just horrid. When the ‘new’ FFXV was announced I definitely had pretty low expectations. Hearing about all the changes they planned to make from what XIII was had me hopeful, but still ultimately I just assumed the game would not be that great. The moment I started to get a bit more excited was when I played the original demo. Good animations, good combat system, nice sense of scale, good voice acting, and that part where you got to summon Ramuh was fucking awesome. After spending around 5 hours in that 2 hour demo, I was really pumped for the game. Luckily, the game actually delivered and wasn’t a huge let down. The great visuals, combat, scale, and style of the game I got from the demo carried over to the full release of the game. It is definitely open world, which is generally a bit of a turn off for me, but it doesn’t get SO HUGE that it feels like a pretend MMO (Like Xenoblade Chronicles X or Final Fantasy XII) which is something I LOATHE. So far I’ve spent around 75 hours with the game, and haven’t quite beaten it. I’m the insane type of person with these games that has to do everything before beating it you see (which is basically the worst for open world games, lol). Luckily there aren’t any super annoying collectibles or anything dumb like that. All just Side Quests and Main Story missions. How they use Side Quests is pretty cool too. The majority of them will be big chains kinda like you’d see in WoW or something, but the chain will end in a dungeon crawl. These dungeon crawls are actually really fun as well. Lots of tough monsters, maze like areas, plenty of secrets and items to find, with some really cool mini-bosses and big bosses. I have thoroughly enjoyed the game, which makes me excited about the series again. It isn’t without its faults though. I don’t care for the magic system in the game, as a start. Also, apparently, later in the game (I haven’t gotten to this section yet) there is a part that is in I believe Chapter 13 where you only play as Noctic which basically everyone says was pretty horrid. Still, I’m not sure that one chapter will be able to ruin the rest of the game for me. If it does I’ll edit this! Or something.

Stardew Valley

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I legit forgot this came out this year. February seems like so long ago! I actually recently reinstalled Stardew Valley after I had thought I was finished with it after 45 hours. I was ADDICTED to this game when it first released. A great Harvest Moon style Indie game for the PC. This is basically the perfect Zen game. Farm your crops, farm monsters, farm all the things, sell all the things, make bank, collect stuff, unlock things, get a waifu, and repeat. None of it was super challenging, but it was insanely addictive. Even now I just want to sit here and type about all the stuff there is to do over and over again and I’m getting itches to just load the game up. This is a good example of a game that when it released I expected nothing from it, randomly bought it after hearing about it on a podcast, and it gave me such a great experience. This game is totally worth the $15.


I honestly can’t think of another game to add to that list. I can do a few honorable mentions though (with a small snippet about the game):

  • Titanfall 2: Multiplayer is more of the same, but still really smooth and polished. Single Player actually exists and it is okay. I got a little bored of it. Short and sweet though.
  • Battlefield 1: Do you like Battlefield? Then you’ll like Battlefield 1. Just like Titanfall 2, this is just more of the same, but a really polished experience. I still suck at flying planes. Vehicles are easier to kill though, that is nice.
  • Uncharted 4: Gameplay was really smooth. Story was okay. Just more Uncharted (catching the theme here?).
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE: Really fantastic battle system, great visuals, and extremely animu lol. I almost added this to the above list, but I have only played the first couple chapters. Need to finish it.
  • I am Setsuna: Fantasic JRPG in the style of Chrono Trigger. A good story with nice pace and great characters. Fairly cheap too! Worth the price.
  • Killing Floor 2: I almost put this above as well, but I’ve only recently dived into this game. An extremely satisfying ‘horde’ shooter with a great soundtrack and good gunplay. I can’t stress the fact of how satisfying the shooting feels though.
  • Pokemon Sun/Moon: Basically more Pokemon. Some minor changes to the formula, but in the end the same ole thing. Still really fun though, if you’re into it.

I can’t really think of anything else to add to that list! Next I’ll just add a small list of games I’m looking forward to next year!

  • Persona 5: HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG
  • LawBreakers: I’ve talked about this before on here, but I’m still pumped about this game.
  • Diabotical: Backed this on Kickstarter. Still looks like a great arena shooter.
  • Midair: Also backed this on Kickstarter. Tribes style shooter, woo!
  • Quake Champions: Looks like this will be ID’s take on the Hero shooter. I’m hoping it works out really well.
  • Sky Noon: This looks like a really neat take on some FPS arena action. Check this shit out.
  • Prey: BECAUSE I’VE BEEN WAITING FOREVER. It’ll probably suck though 😦
  • Strafe: FPS with really old graphics and randomly generated levels. Played it a few conventions and it was fun! Devolver Digital is publishing it too, which is a good sign.
  • DUSK: FPS with throwbacks to the old style of the genre. Lots of Quake/Doom/Heretic/etc vibes. Check out the trailer, it is probably the best trailer ever.
  • South Park The Fractured But Whole: Loved The Stick of Truth, I’m hoping this game is just as good.
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands: This game looks more like a FarCry game than anything else, but I still really like the concept. I’m down with some COOP open world mission based FPS. I wanted to like The Division, but that game’s end game stuff ruined it. I’m hoping Ubisoft learned from that and don’t make the same mistakes with Wildlands.

Welp, I think that is about all I wanted to type about that stuff. Hopefully next year has a lot more gems than this year!

Stream Schedule is still the same. Tuesday – Thursday 6PM CST – 10PM CST and Saturday 5PM CST – Whenever. Friday Jan the 6th is a new Diablo Season, so I’ll be streaming my leveling up process from 7PM CST until I pass the fuck out. I’ll probably Stream later today too since I’ve got the day off. I want to stream more Killing Floor 2 :). I”m also planning on fixing some of my FPS ‘sins,’ I’ve never played Painkiller or Serious Sam for example.

Note: I forgot to publish this last week >.>.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2017 in Misc.

 

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Summer/PAX Update?

WELL HELLO THERE. I haven’t posted anything on here since May. I have a new plan to sort of fix my posting infrequency. Not so much a posting schedule, more giving myself a reason to post more. I’ve also just gotten back from PAX, which always revitalizes me a bit.

So let’s start with the content plan, which is going to be in basically 3 stages.

  1. Twitch: I’m still going to be streaming on Twitch at my regular times (Tuesday – Thursday 6PM – 10PM CDT & Sat @ 5pm – Whenever CDT). My focus is still mostly on shooters and competitive games with a side of JRPGs, and that is what I want to build my content and community around going forward.
  2. YouTube: When Streaming new games, I’m going to take the first hour(ish) of me playing and do a summary of my feelings on the game after that. I’ll then Highlight and Export that to YouTube as a First Impressions video. These videos will be a bit of a knee-jerk opinion, by design, since that is essentially what a first impression is. I’ll also still export other random videos, and might do some highlight stuff as well.
  3. Blog: I’m going to go back to reviewing things. Games and Hardware mostly. I haven’t fully decided how I’m going to write these out. I’ll probably just do whatever feels best for what I’m reviewing and go from there. So these might start off very rough while I get into the groove of doing reviews again. For the record and all that: I’ll only review a game if I’ve finished it if it is single player, if it is multiplayer I’ll put in an equivalent amount of time into the game before reviewing it. I’m not sure what I’ll do for hardware. Maybe just use it regularly for a week’s worth of playtime? I’ll figure that one out. I’ll also disclose any info (free copy, sponsorship, etc) where applicable. I’m pretty small time still, so I doubt there will be much going on there :P.

Stuff I’m playing semi-regularly right now:

  • Overwatch (FPS-PC)
  • Ratz Instagib (FPS-PC)
  • Hearthstone (TCG-PC)
  • Unreal Tournament (FPS-PC)
  • Trails of Cold Steel (JRPG-PSVita)
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE (JRPG-WiiU)

Stuff I want to play in the nearish future:

  • Final Fantasy 15 (JRPG-PS4)
  • Midair (FPS-PC)
  • LawBreakers (FPS-PC)
  • Diabotical (FPS-PC)
  • Shadow Warrior (FPS-PC)
  • Battlerite (..MOBA?.. “PvP team arena brawler”-PC)

 

This next section is going to be all about PAX West. I probably had the most fun at this PAX West since the first one I ever went to. I didn’t give a single fuck about any of the games with large lines except of Gears of War 4, and I was pretty okay with skipping that. Instead I got to take Friday to see all the games I cared to poke at (Namely LawBreakers, Midair, Dusk, and Shadow Warrior 2) and then spent the rest of the convention hanging out with friends or looking for gems (and I found a few interesting things!). In no particular order, I’m going to give some brief impressions of some of the games I played.

  • LawBreakers (Boss Key Productions): Of everything I’ve played, I’ve had the most experience with LawBreakers. I played it at PAX East and RTX, and I’ve also been in the Alpha for quite a while. LB is a good blend of Unreal Tournament style arena shooter, with some class based abilities thrown in. It plays pretty smooth mechanically, but movement can be a bit weird and getting used to it (especially in the gravity zones) can be a little difficult at first. That being said, I’ve enjoyed the game thoroughly and intend to play it a lot more when I can.
  • Midair (Archetype Studios): I was stoked to finally get my hands on this after backing it on Kickstarter. I was a big fan of Tribes and Tribes 2 way back when, and I was really hoping this game would deliver on the feel of those games. I probably played a total of about an hour and a half at PAX and really enjoyed the game. I’m definitely extremely rusty with the Tribes style movement because I botched my movement quite a few times. I mostly used the Disc Launcher and Chain Gun while I was playing, both of which were very responsive and destructive in their own ways. I can’t wait to play it on my own setup. I didn’t care for the mice they used, and couldn’t take time to get my sensitivity right. So playing felt a little wonky due to that. Still, the game looks great and played well.
  • Dusk (New Blood Interactive): This one sort of came out of nowhere for me. Dusk is an old school looking shooter in the veins of DOOM, Half-Life 1, or Hexen. The demo I played looked to be just a wave based endless survival game mode where you could try out a whole bunch of different weapons. I talked to one of the folks at the booth and was told that there is also a campaign for the game where you have to survive the spooky woodlands of the American Northeast. This one was pretty low on my radar but was an interesting play. I spent about 30 minutes and 2 sessions worth on the endless survival mode. The shooting felt responsive and the weapons were fairly straight forward. Some pretty gnarly looking dual scythe for melee weapons or your standard double barrel shotgun for example. Hard to give some solid feelings on this after only 30 minutes, but it was really interesting and I liked the retro style. I definitely want to play it some more. So I’d say that it gets a thumbs up at least.
  • Shadow Warrior 2 (Flying Wild Hog/Devolver Digital): This was the only game I stood in a line for. It wasn’t a huge line, but it did move sorta slow :P. I got to play a 15 minute demo. I skipped all the cut-scenes so I could get to the gameplay, so I’m not sure what exactly it threw me into. It seemed sort of like a Diablo style rift, but enemies kept respawning (which was kind of annoying). I did get to try plenty of weapons though and they were all pretty smooth. They didn’t feel quite like Shadow Warrior 1 did, but I didn’t find anything to complain about. The short demo I played just made me want to play more though. Really enjoyed it and looking forward to the Oct 12 release.
  • Eternal (Direwolf): This one was a bit of a surprise for me. Eternal is a card game, but it is closer to Magic: The Gathering than it is Hearthstone. There aren’t any classes, instead there are 5 different factions. There is actually blocking and counters similar to MTG. I played 2 matches against a bot at PAX and found it very interesting. They were nice enough to give me a beta code so I’ve been poking around at it at home too. I’m trying to get through the single player stuff to familiarize myself with the cards and learn all the mechanics. I like it so far though! We’ll see if it can hold my attention. Depends on how powerful control decks are since those are my style :D.
  • Heavy Metal Machines (Hoplon): This was another game that sort of came out of left field. Heavy Metal Machines is part Rocket League, MOBA, and Twisted Metal. I played 2 matches against bots, both of which were one sided. Sorta dominated them :P. It was fun though, and the game has a great soundtrack. It is top down, and the car moves towards the mouse with Left Click accelerating and Right Click  going reverse so that was a little weird to get used to. Each car (or character) also had QWER abilities of various types. There were also roles for each car Support (self explaining), Interceptor (Kills enemy cars), and Transporter (Runs the ball). It has a pretty interesting dynamic and I’d like to see what it looks like in PVP. The Beta starts soon, so I’m looking forward to getting more hands on time with it. They get bonus points too, because I accidentally left a mouse pad at their booth and they held onto it for me. Awesome folks!
  • Dropzone (Sparky Pants): Dropzone is an interesting mix between a MOBA and an RTS. You control 3 mechs of 3 different roles (Tank/DPS/Support) in any combination. Each role has a few different available characters, each with unique abilities and all of it heavily customization. In the game, you control all 3 mechs at the same time, with the goal being score more points than your opponent (1v1) in 15 minutes. Points are gained by completing side objectives (ex: First Blood) or delivering cores (gained by killing neutral creeps) to a central core. This is an interesting bit of difference on the standard MOBA gameplay. First that it is 1v1, and second that you’re simultaneously controlling 3 unique characters. Sort of like Lost Vikings from Heroes of the Storm, but each character has a full suite of abilities. Players that are really good at micromanaging units will really excel at this, though there are some passive abilities for players that might feel overwhelmed by too many activate abilities. The community manager actually gave me a bunch of beta keys for the game and was really cool. I’ll be playing this on stream in the nearish future 🙂

I think that is everything I wanted to talk about here. Regular streams will start back on Tuesday! Will probably start with some Overwatch. I need to get warmed back up so I can do my placement matches for Season 2. Hopefully I’ll see you there!

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2016 in Misc.

 

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May Update + Home Stream/Gaming setup

I never post on this thing enough really. Just going to do two things with this post. First, give an update from the Jan post about content creation. Second, some folks have asked about pictures and such of my home tech setup. Figured I’d do that too.

So first, I mostly ditched the YouTube idea. It wasn’t really working out for me. I still post stuff on there and I still plan on editing some videos and posting stuff there. However, it isn’t my focus. I’ll probably post like one or two videos from my stream there a week. Maybe 1 edited video a week. Mostly I’ve gone back to streaming on a solid schedule. I’ve given myself a bit of leeway but also determine to stick to the schedule. I’ve been doing pretty good with that so far.

As an additive, I’m still mostly focused on playing shooters right now. Not much else out right now that I care about. I’ll probably stream Persona 5 and Final Fantasy 15 when those release. That is about it though. Once May 24th hits I’ll be streaming Overwatch a vast majority of the time. Right now I’m just streaming random stuff. I’ve been posting the ‘game’ schedule on my channel feed when I’ve got a definite schedule of what I’m playing what night. For the next week though I’ll probably randomly be streaming Uncharted 4 (until I beat it), DOOM Multiplayer, CS:GO, Dirty Bomb, Unreal Tournament, and Rainbow Six: Siege.

So here is the current schedule that I’ve been running for a few weeks now:

  • Monday: 6PM – 10PM
  • Tuesday: 6PM – 10PM
  • Wednesday: 6PM – 10PM
  • Thursday: Random
  • Friday: Random
  • Saturday 5PM – X
  • Sunday: Random

On to my tech setup. Since I stream, I’ve had to do a few elaborate things in order to make my whole set up work. It involves several very long cords, 1 HDMI 5-in-1-out switch, and 3 HDMI 1-in-2-out splitters. I don’t think you see much of the splitters in any of the pictures I took though.

20160515_151358This is just the entertainment center’s setup. The angle looks a little funny but I promise it is straight. I took the picture from an angle to get the controller basket and such in the same picture. So all the consoles on the entertainment center. Sound bar’s subwoofer to the left, then the controller basket, and fight sticks. Behind the controller basket are the power cables and everything.

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This is a tiny bit messy, but it was a million times worse when I was first putting it together. I didn’t have any cords zip tied or anything. It was an apocalypse. Now I’ve got power cables and such grouped together and tagged with a color and abbreviation. The thing on top of the subwoofer is the 5-in-1-out HDMI Switch.

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This gal is the central nervous system of the console setup. Without this thing it would be a real pain in the ass to stream from any of the consoles.Some of the stickers are falling off, I should fix that. The colors are coordinated to input and also on the controller that switches the channel (didn’t take a picture of that). So this takes 5 consoles (not counting the 360, which is plugged into the Xbone) and sends the output goes around behind the couch (to the left) over to the computer in the study area on the other side of the room and plugs into the capture card.

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Didn’t take a picture of the back of the computer where everything plugs in, but this is the computer station. Looking at this picture I realized the right 2 monitors weren’t aligned right, so I fixed that :). Not much else to say here. Can’t see the green screen too well, but it is right there. PC Tower is on top of a file cabinet. So the HDMI switch’s out is plugged into my Avermedia internal capture card on the PC, then another output is sent back around from the capture card and one is also sent from my video card. So the HDMI Switch’s output eventually gets to an HDMI channel on the TV, and another HDMI channel on the TV can act as a 4th monitor (mostly used to watch ESports tournaments).

Moving on to that, I’ve got to do something a little special in order to stream to the PS4 and for the stream to hear my friend’s voices while we’re playing.

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Sorry for the dust 🙂 The left most USB cord is the controller with a chain of 2 6ft USB extension cables that plug into a 4ft Mini-USB cord that plugs into the PS4 controller (Sometimes I don’t need this, but I forget to charge my controller a lot >.>). The right cable is 1 6ft USB that plugs into a 10 ft Micro-USB cord that plugs into my Astro Mixamp. The cord not plugged into the front of the PS4 is an optical audio cable. This is a 20 ft cable that also plugs into the Mixamp.

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The 2 cables on the right are the previously mentioned Micro-USB and Optical cables. Cable on the left goes to my Astro A40 headset that I use for the consoles. I use a Logitech G633 for the PC.

Things not in the pictures:

The PS3 and PSTV both have their outputs plugged into an HDMI splitter, then that HDMI splitter is plugged into the Switch. The reason you have to do this is so you can strip HDCP from the output. Otherwise you can’t stream from either machine because they don’t have a setting to turn off HDCP like the PS4 does.

The final HDMI splitter is actually right before I plug the switch into the capture card. I split again, but I send one output to my middle monitor and one output to the capture card. This is so that when I want to stream console games I can still sit at my desk and utilize my Cam/Mic/Green Screen. Prior to this I was moving my mic and my webcam to the couch and it just became a huge hassle. It killed my motivation to stream on some days. Which is a bit silly, but it did.

Some other random details:

  • I use an Audio-Technica AT2020 microphone. It has been great.
  • The webcam is a Logitech C920. I’ve had to fight with it a little bit, but it has worked out in the long run.
  • The DXRacer chair is fairly new. I do enjoy it, but for the cost I’m not entirely sure if it was worth it. I did end up getting a 25% discount due to it having a defect, but it is barely noticeable so I took the discount instead of sending the chair back.

 

Alrighty, that is it for this post. Right now I’m watching the CS:GO ESL Pro League finals. It is round 20/30 at map 5 in the series! Pretty hype games between G2 and Luminosity. I’ll be streaming some Uncharted 4 once this is over. Probably like 30 min? 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2016 in Misc.

 

The content creation plan for 2016

It has been a really long time since I’ve posted on this thing. Posting on this thing more is part of the 2016 plan – I won’t commit to an actual post schedule though, because that never works out lol.

So I think the major thing I want to post about is my plans for content creation for this year. The biggest thing is I’ve decided to not focus on streaming so much. I’m going to cut back to streaming once maybe twice a week – Probably only one scheduled day (Wednesdays 6PM CST to 10PM CST). My reason for this is that I plan on focusing more on making  YouTube videos instead. I’m (slowly) learning Adobe Premiere Pro and figuring out what I can do with it. Some of my early experiment videos have some audio kinks I need to work out, and most of them are VODs downloaded from Twitch Streams. I’m still experimenting with video capture software.

The YouTube plan is basically to do a mix of short videos ( 5 to 10 min) with various types of gameplay (ranging from fun bullshitery to competitive matches) and then longer (30ish min) ‘Let’s Play’ videos for certain games. I also will probably try to do some videos where I try a random game for 15 to 30 minutes and talk about it at the end, most likely various JRPGs – Stuff I want to talk about, but doesn’t exactly fit into what I want to do for Let’s Plays or Short videos. That last category will probably be fairly random.

Right now, I have no schedule on when I’m going to be uploading things. I intend to only post two or three videos a week right now (Starting in Feb), while I learn how to use APP. As for what I plan to record: I plan on starting to record some Let’s Play stuff for either Dark Souls II or Until Dawn in the near future and then have one-off videos of me and friends playing various competitive games (We’re playing a lot of Rainbow Six: Siege and CS:GO right now).

Another thing I’m going to really start trying to do this year is small Podcast type things. My current idea is to have conversations (no longer than 30 minutes) with friends of mine about various game/nerd related topics. It would be nice to cover a large range of topics. I’ve wanted to do something similar to this in the past, but I’ve never quite been able to organize it properly. My objective with this sort of format is to keep it fluid. So I don’t necessarily need to rely on other key people to be around, and can instead schedule things with a larger group of folks. In my head, this sounds easier to manage.

The last thing is that I plan on going to more conventions this year. Namely: PAX South, PAX East, PAX Prime, Blizzcon, and RTX. I’d also like to go to at least one or two purely Esports events, but we’ll have to see on that. Not much else to say on that front – I’ve already got PAX South and PAX East tickets and everything booked!

So TL;DR:

  • Stream schedule down to one day a week (Probably Wednesdays from 6PM CST to 10:00PM CST).
  • More YouTube content, starting with two or three videos a week in Feb. BIG ASS LINK TO THE CHANNEL.
    • Dark Souls II or Until Dawn Let’s Play
  • Trying harder to start mini-podcast (No telling when/if this will kick off).
  • Hopefully more blog posting.
  • More Conventions!

 

I’m going to try really hard to stick with this throughout the year. My biggest trouble personally is that I’m a big ideas guy, but I always sort of fall through with executing on my own ideas. I can see in my head where I want to go, but I never quite hit it. For various reasons really. This is sort of a part of me searching for something that works for me, and that I can stick with. I do this entirely for fun, so I have the luxury of sort of just trying shit until something sticks.

Anywho, that’s it for now. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE.

EDIT: ALSO, the URL to this is now Klokworkk.com! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2016 in Misc.

 

Streaming schedule for this week (May 17 – May 23)

Hey all! This week is going to be a bit different for my stream schedule. Figured I’d outline that for any friends that want to watch my shenanigans 🙂

Sunday (Today): Final Fantasy 8 starting as soon as I can. I’ve got a personal thing that is holding me up. I’ll try to start by 7PM. I’ll try to go until 1 or 2 AM.

Monday: I may play some random League/CSGO/Mortal Kombat earlier in the day. But the official plan is to start streaming Witcher 3 right at 6PM if it is possible. I might take a break at 8PM to play Toukiden Kiwami with the Gregarious Gamers guys. Then swap back to Witcher 3 and not stop.

Tuesday: The plan is to play Witcher 3 from 12:00 AM Tuesday to 12:00 AM Wednesday. I’ll probably have some short breaks for food, but I plan to not sleep this day.

Wednesday: Starting at 7PM I’ll streaming Witcher 3 until about 11PM.

Thursday: 6PM to somewhere between 10 and 11. Borderlands 4-player COOP series playthrough with Keegan, Richard, and Will. Doing more Borderlands 1 DLC.

Friday: Random (Probably some Withcer 3

Saturday: Random (Probably some Witcher 3)

Lots of Witcher 3 this week. I took Mon-Wed off work so I could have maximum play time :). I also needed some chill time anyways. Hope to see some of you folks during the stream!

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2015 in Misc.

 

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