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PC Game Review: Verdant Skies

Verdant Skies is a life simulation game born from a love for games like Harvest Moon and a desire to create something unique with modern gameplay and deep storytelling. Ensure the success of the colony as you make friends and pursue romance with a diverse cast of characters.



Verdant Skies is the latest game brought to us by Howling Moon Software, a small indie developer mostly known for their work in building gaming engines.
However, their true passion (as stated in their bio), is for creating their own game titles such as Verdant Skies.


The idea for the game was formed through Beth and Andy Korth (Narrative and Programming respectively)’s mutual love of games such as Harvest Moon, Rune Factory and Animal Crossing; and existed in concept far before going into development May 2014, undergoing a huge change in design and game engine in March 2015, and finally seeing release late 2017.



The game centers on the character’s avatar – which is fully customizable in gender, skin tone, clothing and accessories – crash landing on a planet (which as luck would have it was their destination already), and starting a new life with a sizeable debt on said planet.


The main game mechanic of Verdant Skies, is building, both in terms of harvesting resources to construct new items, and performing tasks for the locals in order to build relationships with them, the end game of which would be to pursue a romantic relationship with the character of your choice.



This leads me into one of the most pleasant aspects of the game, the inclusiveness. As mentioned above you can customize your character’s gender, you can select the usual male or female, but the game will allow you to use a non-binary selection if you see fit, the same goes for the relationships, with any character being a potential match, assuming you put in enough work in building the relationship with them.


Verdant Skies also incorporates a few menu options into the game that further their inclusive leanings, with both options to slow down aspects of the game for people with motor disabilities, and an option to influence the colors in case of color blindness; and it is this level of heart and inclusivity where the game really shines, taking what could be essentially a remake or knock off of a beloved franchise and injecting it with a real sense that the game was crafted by very caring people.



The music and art of the game (handled by Troy Strand and Lizzie Siemers respectively), are both lovely and fit the overall feel of the game perfectly, with Troy’s music being relaxing, plaintive and occasionally bouncy, but never overbearing; and Lizzie’s hand painted artwork evoking the feeling of exploring a piece of artwork.


Overall the game is a very pleasant experience, one that you probably already know if you’d be interested in going on if you are familiar with their chief inspirations already.



Verdant Skies gets a Barn storming 7/10 from us!  ~TGB-Sirhc

You can also check out some gameplay in our review video here:

You can also check out and buy Verdant Skies on STEAM, and follow them on social media at Twitter & Facebook

March 4th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Real Time Strategy |

3D Print Your Ships From Star Trek Online!

Remember when it was announced a year or two ago, that soon you’d be able to 3D print your Star Trek Online, and literally within a month of this announcement the company that were going to do it, went under?


Guess what? Second time lucky maybe?!


That’s right, officially announced on February 20th via the Facebook Page for STO, you will (again) be able to 3D print your ships directly from Star Trek Online and recieve them as a model directly to your mailbox!



Perfect World & Cryptic have teamed up with the team at Mixed Dimensions with the goal of introducing the custom Star Trek ships into the community of STO fans. The end result will be a 12’ model made of resin which will come in three different tiers. A single colour version, a primed model ready for your painting at home, and a hand painted version, painted by the talented artists at Mixed Dimensions.



Players will be able to design their own ships in the game, and upload their design to the Mixed Dimensions website for printing. Fans will also be able to order from 20 of the most popular ships in Star Trek Online.


At time of writing, there has been no pricing announced, for custom or pre-made ships. And the planned launch is sometime in March 2018.


Below are just a few pictures of the Pathfinder Long Range Science Vessel model primed and painted.



Remember, Star Trek Online is Free To Play and is playable via ARC or Steam game clients, XBox 1 and PS4.



Register for an account now at http://www.arcgames.com/en/games/star-trek-online and join in the fun Boldly Going Where Some Men Have Gone Before!!

February 23rd, 2018 by HeavyMetlBrian
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Technology, Xbox |

Star Trek Online New Mission Overview – Scylla and Charybdis

My face lit up when I heard the news come directly from the Star Trek Online Facebook page. A brand new episode (mission) was coming to Star Trek Online to kick off the 8th anniversary festivities! For me, the big gap between episodes now is just downright depressing, but Perfect World will be Perfect World!



The mission begins in the Alpha Quadrant, as soon as you transition to this new map after accepting the mission, Admiral Quinn suddenly appears on-screen and tells you a Tzenkethi fleet isn’t too far from your location, and you’re to intercept at maximum warp. There is even a cool animation of your ship jumping to warp IN SECTOR SPACE! *Insert a fanboy face because who doesn’t love new animations?!* Sounds pretty simple right?



So I arrive in the system named NGC-9835 System (Creative right?) and when my camera pans round, I see the massive fleet of enemy ships in front of me, and my immediate reaction? Was a simple “Oh f…” but by some wonderful mercy, the bulk of the ships jump to warp, leaving you with only 3 or 4 ships to take care of. But wait, the lead ship is firing those darn Protomatter Torpedos at the planet!! Great! So the task is to take down these ships, as well as the protomatter torpedoes heading straight for the planet. This happens three times, on system two and system three, the LSS Reskava, captained by Kuumaarke, a very lovely Lukari female who is still in awe of space travel, assists in taking out the torpedoes launched while I deal with the ships. Heck no, I want ALL that glory, I’m taking down ALL of the ships & ALL of the torpedoes launched. There’s even an accolade for doing this. Pretty cool right?!



Suddenly I get a hail stating that the Tzenkethi are heading for Bajor (DS9 fans this mission is for you!) and that all ships must report there. Upon arrival, I even see Deep Space Nine itself has been moved into Bajor orbit, impressive work! She’s a big station after all! And now I have fighting along my side, Martok, Geordi LaForge, and General Rodek. Come at us now! Well, to my surprise here they came, the Tzenkethi on a full blown attempt to launch their weapons of genocide at Bajor, not on my watch Dinoboy!! The battle against the Tzenkethi fleet is pretty straight forward until DS9 contact me. They need repair teams! Oh my! So I send them over and I pan my camera around as I hear more ships arrive. Oh no, not only ships. Godzilla over there brought a freaking SPACE STATION OF HIS OWN!!! Ship after ship falls but not only that, you need to disable that freaking station too! Then guess which mug has to beam over and take down the station from the inside….you guessed it…me. Sometimes I wonder why I even joined up for this.



Once I board, it becomes obvious that they ain’t gonna let go without a hell of a fight. That’s when we come across the weapons control room. Perfect, disarm them now! Only, one big old P’O’ed Tzenkethi turns up ready for a sparring match with Martok. He falls, and the weapons consoles have been disabl…oh what’s that? It’s been rerouted to the bridge? Didn’t see that coming! That’s when it’s to the command deck itself. Before we arrive there, we find that a Captain Tzenkethi has defected to our side, and that just annoys Godzilla further. After a monologue, of what’s right and wrong, it’s time to subdue Admiral Tzen-Terrak (Godzilla) and his men and shut this station down for good. But before we can celebrate after he yields, he tells us that there is a greater evil at large….surely he’s bluffing? Suddenly, that’s when things begin to hit the fan. Some weird looking ships begin breaking free from the planets the Tzenkethi were attacking. Suddenly the fear in Martok’s voice tells the entire story. An old enemy of the Klingons has resurfaced. The only ones to almost conquer the Klingon Empire almost 1000 years ago. It’s the Hur’Q! BATTLESTATIONS!!!



Upon returning to the ship, the swarm arrives, and all hell breaks loose. Hur’Q attack anyone and everyone, and you must defend the Tzenkethi battlestation for 1:30 while evacuations take place. Suddenly DS9 takes a massive hit and an arm is completely blown apart (Oh sh..) and DS9 is now vulnerable. It doesn’t end there, as more and more of the Hur’Q swarm ships arrive. But they aren’t the only ones to arrive, as the newly refitted USS Enterprise F joins the battle defending DS9. Sadly however, for the Tzenkethi their battlestation is destroyed. But wait. Again someone else is coming….ships drop from warp….THE DOMINION ARE BACK, but they fire upon the Hur’Q and not my ship? What is this madness? Finally, after a grueling fight, the Hur’Q retreat and a hail comes in. Loriss 4 appears, and if you recall back to the old DS9 Story Arc, there was a Loriss that caused the Federation a bit of trouble by occupying DS9, but that’s another story! Anyway, she claims someone has come to deliver a message, and when asked who, an all familiar voice comes over the speaker. “We have to talk.”



FREAKING ODO ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! My jaw hit the floor on that one!! The mission concludes on a cliffhanger, and is clearly an opener for the upcoming summer expansion this year. ODO!!! HOLY MOTHER OF MY SOCKS!! The rewards are pretty decent though, a Bajoran Shield, Impulse Engines, and Deflector Dish, followed by the Mek’Leth of Martok himself! Overall from me, this mission gets a solid 5/5 for combat and shock factors. I look forward to seeing where the new content will take us.


Remember, Star Trek Online is Free To Play and is playable via ARC or Steam game clients, XBox 1 and PS4.



Register for an account now at http://www.arcgames.com/en/games/star-trek-online and join in the fun Boldly Going Where Some Men Have Gone Before!!

February 18th, 2018 by HeavyMetlBrian
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, PC, Playstation, Xbox |

Trion Worlds RIFT Gets Pay 2 Play Server, 5 Years After Move To Free To Play!

MMO Rift went free-to-play in 2011, opening its gates to more players but also ushering in loot boxes and a store packed with items you could buy with real money to make the game a lot easier. After a long think (and no doubt influenced by player pushback against microtransactions), developer Trion Worlds is going back to its roots by introducing a paid subscription model for a server free of loot boxes.



The Rift Prime server will launch in Spring. We don’t yet know how much it’ll cost to join, but we do know that the in-game store will be “significantly reduced, with more of the current store-based items obtained through gameplay or removed entirely”. Sounds good to me.


Not all of Rift’s content will be available on the Prime server from the start—instead, players will start afresh and Trion Worlds will drip-feed existing content as players progress, almost like a new MMO, albeit with everything introduced at a much faster pace. The developer promises this progression will come “to an end in spectacular fashion”, too.



A few facts from the blog:


Prime servers will progress through content at a more rapid pace than that of the original launch
“dynamically matching characters to their current zone’s level”
“dungeons dropping loot specific to your character’s true level”
profession caps available to a single character
participation awards that are unlocked across your account, even to characters on other servers


PvP will also be undergoing some changes in 2018 after the launch of the Prime server. This will include a new game mode and allowing servers to go “full PvP”.



For PvE, players can look forward to the revamp of a classic raid and the 7th anniversary will feature some new activities for players.


As more info comes out about the new sub services, we’ll be sure to keep you upto date!

For now, check out the latest trailer for the game and follow the link to check it out!


January 21st, 2018 by Lonesamurai
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, PC |

WoW 7.3.5 and My Thoughts On The New level Scaling

Let me start out by restating the title of my post: I like the current levelling system. It’s very enjoyable, and it’s been much more engaging. I’m levelling with my friend – he’s a worgen rogue going assassination / subtlety and taking herbalism / alchemy. I’m a human warlock going destruction / affliction and taking tailoring / enchanting. We’ve levelled through Elwynn (yes we got his character out of the worgen zone to come to me), then through Westfall, Redridge, Duskwood, both Stranglethorns, then moved onward to Tanaris which is where we’re currently parked.



There’s a certain level of balance between difficulty that draws attention that has to be had. The more difficult, the more attentive you must be. However, there are quite a few flaws currently.


The previous leveling system was next to no difficulty, and therefore required almost no attention. The less people paid attention, the less fun and engaging it was in general. What Blizzard has done according to this guy is that levelling time has been negligible while significantly increasing the options and variety. I like this, though I can’t say I’ve kept such data of my own, so I can’t vouch for the truth in this, but I’m willing to trust it with faith because that’s science, and you can’t argue with science and numbers. 😛



The current levelling system is not perfect by any means, but it’s certainly been a step in the right direction. There are still a lot of things Blizzard need to smooth out on. Class abilities and when you obtain them is one thing I’ve noticed heavily. It’s understandable to not have your full abilities starting out, but a lot of mechanics feel broken for an extended period of time because some core rotation pieces aren’t available, and it just feels bad. My friend and I have been levelling a rogue and warlock respectively. His rogue in assassination spec seems to be heavily gimped by rupture not doing much damage and envenom being nonexistent so far (only eviscerate) until much higher level, although subtlety seems to do somewhat fine for the most part. My warlock seemingly has all their core rotation spells for both destruction and affliction (I haven’t tried Demo and my friend hasn’t tried pirate meme spec). Destruction’s chaos bolt will usually deal about 90-100+% of a normal mob’s HP, whereas affliction can usually get a good rotation off. The rest of Destruction’s rotation has felt slightly lackluster, but otherwise nice.


The health and difficulty as well is a bit of another topic. Many people are going to have different opinions on it. I personally was levelling with heirlooms and found the pacing to be pretty alright. Pulling 10 things did feel like a threat, and I’d rather not have to spend an inordinate amount of time to kill 1 single mob like in Classic. However, I do think that things should start getting more difficult as you level. For example, Argus feels like a pain. I would never want that on a level 1-60. I’d rather have that for 110 elite mobs. Argus feels quite frankly fine in difficulty, and I like it the way it is. However, I also want things to become more and more difficult the higher level you get, that way it isn’t the same fight, the same mob, the same difficulty the whole way through and then BAM Argus destroys your noob face because you didn’t have 900 ilvl to be able to handle things on your own. I’m not saying to make Argus easier by any means, I’m saying to progressively make the levelling harder in small increments with every level to prepare a player for the higher end content. That’s what levelling should be. It should be your time to train.



Also on the topic of health and difficulty, I felt that “bosses” at the end of quest chains, like for Stitches in Darkshire, and the Bloodsail in Stranglethorn, and Redridge’s dragon fight, all felt way too easy. They’re supposed to be bosses, and we’d kill them as if they’re an over-glorified regular old NPC. Those quest fights absolutely need to be much more engaging by increasing their damage slightly, increasing their health, and introducing more mechanics.


I personally feel there’s a wide range of potential to re-introduce class training without making it mandatory – such that it would be a proving grounds-esque area in a major city, and the class trainer shows you the tips and tricks to using an ability in combat. They would essentially be class quests, much like the monk ones in the Peak of Serenity, however they would never be mandatory to learn them. Rather, they train a player how to use them, and perhaps maybe gives that sort of XP buff that you get for completing them, as well, maybe factoring in how many alts you have at max level or above the level of the character completing the quest, something like that to make it faster – but not mandatory – to level if this is your billionth alt (like myself).



Another topic is professions. Levelling them has been a pain for my friend, with alchemy and herbalism. Tailoring and enchanting for my warlock have been actually pretty decent, but it doesn’t feel rewarding. The amount of cloth we gather seems to be sufficient (level 40s so far as of typing this comment), and enchanting materials aren’t completely obscure to obtain. I do feel that each “major town” should have profession trainers of all kinds and that there should be more ways to research new recipes by combining different materials together all willy nilly. Again, cooking massively suffers from this. You should be able to experiment cooking with any meat, and get a few recipes you’d otherwise get from a basic cooking trainer or something. Profession levelling and player levelling just don’t have the same sort of balance and it suffers greatly, but there are methods that can be done to fix that in my opinion – and considering we can learn instant 800 cap and use materials from the broken isles / draenor from level 1, I really don’t see an issue in this method either.


Professions also seem to be lacking in the department of providing worthwhile items if it’s a production profession. Gear will almost always be inferior, potions will do next to nothing, glyphs are kind of in their own niche of things I guess, cooking may or may not be useful but you rarely can level it to use it. Again, if gear worked in a sort of banding levelling system, where it perhaps scaled to your level or scaled for 10 levels according to the type (1-20 for copper gear maybe?) like heirlooms, I think it’d be quite a bit better off and feel more worthwhile to take to ensure you have appropriate gear. Blizzard somewhat made amends to this by adding more items to quest rewards across the world so that you wouldn’t have wrists from level 10, but that shouldn’t deter the value having a profession should have.



To note: I don’t count bugs like the flipping of heroic and normal dungeon values as part of this. People are accounting that into “everything wrong with this patch.” They’re bugs. They’re not the intended content of the game. This post also isn’t necessarily me saying the level scaling is completely negative – I just feel there are still quite a few things to shape up, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I want to give feedback to Blizzard to create a better game. In fact, I very much like this system currently. It’s great so far. I love it. My friend loves it. We comment and observe all the time about how things are either difficult or easy. These are just the things I’ve compiled into a list of what I think has been done right/wrong.



Uuna says hi!



January 20th, 2018 by Keyboardturner
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, PC |

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