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EGX 2017: Floor Review And A First Timers Look At EGX

The joy of the prevalence of video games in recent times, is that it’s easier to explain your niche to others. This made it especially easy to explain to strangers why I was dressed as a character from Overwatch on a busy Sunday train to Birmingham, as I made my way to EGX at the NEC. And, while I am a regular convention goer and equally an avid gamer I had never been to a games specific expo before.

 

 

EGX is a mainstay for the big name gaming companies, with many demonstrations and presentations on new titles; regular Twitch streams by devs; cosplay competitions and merchandise on the floor. It has big draw for casual gamers, for families, and for industry professionals – and even for those looking for advice for how to make gaming their career. With all this in mind I was definitely expecting a busy day of exploring the expo floor and hopefully getting to try out some games in the process.

 

 

The upside was there was definitely plenty to see and do from a browsing standpoint. From the moment you walked in there were people handing out fliers and codes for promotions. The indie games area, EGX Rezzed, dominated the front zone even before you started to approach any of the larger name companies. I found this quite refreshing, as a demonstration of the importance of the indie market, and offered a great mix of games to play in genres ranging from very family friendly, to viral horror potential.

 

 

There were a good number of competitive gaming areas on show. This included the ESL E-Sports Arena; The Road to EGX Overwatch tournament; and a Street Fighter V tournament that had a raucous and excited crowd. It was great to see audience participation encouraged, as these areas had huge viewing screens that allowed folks to stand back and immerse themselves in the action, and to get behind the players throwing down – sometimes, quite literally – on screen.

 

Being present Sunday meant catching the tail-end of the various exciting panels that were available to attendees, but EGX had provided streams via Twitch the entire weekend and these could be caught up on through mobile even if it wasn’t physically possible to get inside. These can also be watched back on the EGX YouTube channel and give a good insight into many of the games that were on parade as well as industry insights.

 

 

The biggest draw still came in the shape of the big names, with Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Sega, Square Enix and Blizzard all having their own zones broken up over the expo. There were long waits for anyone who wanted a sneak peek at titles such as Farcry 5 or Assassin’s Creed Origins, to learn more about recent releases like Destiny 2, or even to try their hands at Youtube phenomenons like PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds.

 

There were upsides and downsides throughout my time on the expo floor. The biggest obstacle I found as a casual con-goer was that when it came to trying things out I didn’t get to see or do quite as much as I might’ve liked. Though the Indie Rezzed zone occupied most of the entrance area many games were only available on one or two screens at best.

 

 

A prevalent theme throughout the whole expo was that there didn’t seem to be many people enforcing rotation of players, either. On one occasion I came over to the Overwatch area after having been there an hour previous, and the same folks were still playing on many of the computers available. It made it much more evident to me why so many people make EGX a four day long event, in order to get as much gaming in as possible.

 

But where there was sometimes a lack of gaming there was still a lot of engagement. Representatives were generally happy to talk with con-goers. There was a cosplay stage in the centre of the convention where people could go and watch others that had turned their love of gaming into a creative outlet. There was some great merchandise available, from t-shirts to bags, figures to tech accessories.

 

Another great addition came in the form of a board gaming area, which had the Playopolis board game library working with EGX for the first time. They were providing games for visitors to sit together and play in the seating area. Some upcoming titles were demonstrating as well, including the MMORPG inspired City of Kings, were set out for folks who wanted physical gaming as well as digital gaming. There were some board gaming specialist vendors, too, making it just as easy to take the same experiences home with you.

 

 

All in all, I found my first experience of EGX a fun one, with most of the hiccups I encountered ones that could be easily rectified with a little pre-planning, or even spending a longer time at the convention over its four day length. And, with the joyous prevalence of video games in recent times, who knows – it may be even bigger and better than ever the next time it rolls around.

 

And with that…

Isnotavampire.

 

 


September 26th, 2017 by isnotavampire
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, MOBA, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood Live Letter 37 Digest (Part 2)

Welcome back! In the last part I went over the first half of the Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood live letter at E3 and in this part I will cover the Q&A as well as the announcements at the end.

 

 

They started the Q&A by addressing some of the concerns about the potential state of White Mage: many people have cited the lack of utility in its kit and their new mechanic favours mana inefficient single target healing over more powerful healing spells such as their potent regeneration abilities and area of effects in exchange for reduced cooldowns on the cooldown based abilities which White Mage has traditionally based their spell usage around already. The developers were clearly of the mindset that the complaints were overblown and asked fans to wait to try it at level 70 for themselves (and also pointed out that a decent portion was born from an old press build which is almost two months out of date at this point).

 

 

The next question was asking for clarification as to the new dungeon cycle. There had been rumours that there was only going to be one new dungeon in odd numbered patches, something which was confirmed here. They went on to explain they would rather release one new dungeon at the same item level as the previous ones and use the freed up manpower to work on other new content and sited data indicated that players ran dungeons less on odd numbered patches.

 

 

Next the developers were asked yet again about a glamour log, similar to Guild Wars 2 or World of Warcraft’s and reiterated that it would be extremely difficult from a technical viewpoint (they have previously stated it due to legacy code from 1.x ) but said suggestions of being able to cheaply buy glamour items that are unlocked by achievements may be a possible alternative.

 

The penultimate question they answered was about bringing back scrapped ability animations as emotes. They were very to the point about this and simply stated it was a maybe, if there was fan feedback in favour of it.

 

 

Lastly they were asked if there were any plans to mark certain servers as official roleplay servers, something they said would be trivial from a technical viewpoint but were hesitant due to concerns about existing non-roleplayers on those servers, pointing out that since it was four years after the relaunch of the game there were fairly concrete communities of the such even on the most RP heavy of servers such as Balmung. The end result was them saying that if something like a survey heavily favoured it they would consider it.

 

After the Q&A they talked about the post launch content and reiterated the timetable: Early Access for those who preordered the expansion starts this Friday the 16th, the expansion releases properly on the 20th and then there will be a two week gap before the normal difficulty of the eight man raid’s first wing is released on the 4th of July. Then there will be another two week gap to July the 18th when Omega savage (the harder difficulty) is released alongside The Lost Canals of Uznir – which is the level 70 of the Aquopolis, a mini dungeon type instance you sometimes find portals to when doing treasure maps in the open world – as well as the weekly capped Allagan tomestone: Creation. The uncapped tomestone of Verity will be unlocked at the start.

 

 

They then ended by showing off a few new merchandise as well as a new system to reward people who subscribe instead of the current veteran rewards which are no longer being added to.


June 26th, 2017 by CyberGoblin
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation | No Comments »

Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood Live Letter 37 Digest (Part 1)

As part of their E3 livestream Square Enix hosted another Live Letter for Final Fantasy XIV yesterday going over one of the new trials, another look at swimming in both old and new areas, post launch content and a short Q&A.

 

 

They started with one of the new levelling trials: The Pool of Tribute which is where you fight Stormblood’s original primal: Susano, Lord of the Revel. The normal version was level 63 which implies we will be headed to Orthard (a previously mentioned continent which will pay a pivotal role in the expansion) relatively early on which runs counter to prior expectations where the transition will be around level 65.

 

Game Director and Producer Naoki Yoshida was going to demonstrate the fight with debug mode… but they forgot to turn it on so he died in three hits several times before moving on to the next segment after it was stated that the success rate of their E3 challenge against Susano had about a 50% success rate, presumably in part due to the slew of combat changes that are taking place with the 4.0 patch as well.

 

 

Next they moved to one of the new zones: The Ruby Sea. As the name implies it is a fairly aquatic focused map consisting of a scattering of islands connecting Orthard’s two major landmasses above the waves and various reefs and underwater settlements below.

 

They explained that surface swimming will be automatically enabled for everyone as soon as the patch hits in all valid bodies of water before they started swimming around the sea and showed off several emotes have been tweaked to also work underwater as well as sprinting.

 

 

Next they dived underwater and swam around a bit and explained there was a blue circle on the surface of the water that got bigger the further down you were to help you figure out how deep you were before mentioning the rippling water effect that distorts the screen when underwater can be minimized or turned off.

 

They then showed fof one of the new mounts which had previously been mentioned to exist: a tiger which for reasons they didn’t explain can fly and swim.

 

They rounded off the swimming segment by heading over to Costa Del Sol in East La Noscea which as players may remember to be a beachside resort which with 4.0 has been expanded with an array of new islands and a large portion of the sea there has been tweaked to allow for surface swimming. It was here they showed off a few new minions before showing a video titled “Eorzea Collection 2017S” which consisted of player characters performing emotes and abilities in both new and old zones as well as various different minions and mounts some of which had never been seen before.

 

 

They briefly showed off the gear from the first raid wing: the Genji set which is inspired by more heavy armour worn by Japanese samurai (as opposed to the post-Edo era inspired gear that Final Fantasy XIV’s samurai will use) before moving on to the Q&A segment, which due to the length will be a separate article.

 


June 25th, 2017 by CyberGoblin
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation | No Comments »

Kickstarter Gaming Round-Up: June 19th

It’s time for the weekly look into Kickstarter’s gaming campaigns.

 

Started as always with our previously covered campaigns, there’s a few to cover and unfortunately a lot of it is a tale of unsuccessful campaigns, cancellations and ones that have a lot of fund to make up in little time. There are three of the previously covered campaigns that have now ended without meeting target, but only one of those ended up running out time. This was The Salt Fortress which unfortunately hasn’t seen an update since it failed a few days ago. The other two had their campaigns cancelled before they ran out of time, being Blood Ancestors (the team of which are analysing what went wrong so they can try again having learned lessons) and Badlands: Outpost of Humanity (the team of which admit that they made mistakes and will be trying again in September). As well a few campaigns are struggling, with Two Scoops, Ash of Gods and (surprisingly) Project Rap-Rabbit all running out of time as I write. Indeed, by the time I publish this, the third might even have concluded it has so little time left to it.

 

However, as always there is so good news to report as well. Pathfinder: Kingmaker has not yet reached its target but it is well along and has a lot of time left so it is almost certain to make it. As well, spaceBOUND has concluded as a success.

 


 

Android Hunter A

 

 

First up we have a game that’s very Megaman in art style.

 

Android Hunter A is described as a “hardcore side-scroller shooter” that aims to bring platforming gameplay back to modern audiences. The game itself is obviously heavily inspired by the Megaman X series and this influence is even noted on the page for the game. There will be fourteen unique stages to play through, with the usual Megaman-esque abilities to upgrade your armour and skills after each victory.

 

Android Hunter A has a $150,000 goal to reach, with $8,086 made so far and 29 more days to run.

 

 


 

Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents: Space Odyssey – The Video Game

 

 

Next up we have a big game with a big name attached to it.

 

Rumours about deGrasse Tyson’s game were flying around before E3 and now it’s been announced as being a space-based game and the fans and gamers are going to be the ones to help shape it. Questions asked, suggestions made and help with development will all be at the fingers of the people who want to play the game. The game’s foundation will be based in scientifically-accurate gameplay through, so expect the laws of physics to stay unbroken.

 

Space Odyssey has a goal of $314,159, has 39 days left to run and has made $99,700 so far.

 

 


 

The Infinite Black 2

 

 

Next is a tactical space-based game based off of a cult classic!

 

The Infinite Black 2 is a tactical, role-playing game in space in which alien machines have reached humanity and when humanity tried for friendship, instead they were demanded of for flesh, violence and pain else the sun would be imploded and humanity wiped out. The game is a turn-based game, and is sequel to the original The Infinite Black – a game that the campaign page states “spawned many real-life weddings, pregnancies, divorces, parking lot brawls, and maybe a few stints in jail.” Nice to see devs with a sense of humour.

 

The Infinite Black 2 has 24 days left to go, and has made $13,848 of its $20,000 goal.

 


 

Human Interface: Be a Better Human

 

 

Finally we end with something cyberpunk. Hell yes.

 

Human Interface is a board game of miniatures for 1-5 players, and what is described as an “evocative cyberpunk backstory”. The miniatures come as plastic by default, but it is listed that metal ones are also an option. The aim is that you join together to “escape a high-security, illegal prison (black site) and gather evidence on the unlawful doings of massive corporations.” As suggested, cybernetics play a big role in this game and that makes me happy.

 

Human Interface: Be a Better Human has a goal of £48,000 which it has already crushed. It has 12 more days to go, so go check it out if this sounds your kinda thing.

 


June 19th, 2017 by PredictedCyborg
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC | No Comments »

Sanitarium.FM News Update | 19/06/2017

Blizzard, The Evil Within 2 and Xbox One X dev kits – your news update!

 


June 19th, 2017 by PredictedCyborg
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

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