RPG Genre RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com RPG on GameSkinny https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network X4 Foundations Beginner Tips and Tricks Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/ydtiz/x4-foundations-beginner-tips-and-tricks-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/ydtiz/x4-foundations-beginner-tips-and-tricks-guide Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:45:04 -0500 Sergey_3847

X4 Foundations, the latest space combat and trading simulator from Egosoft, is an exemplary space strategy that is as complex as they get. New players may feel completely alienated by the overwhelming number of options and features in the game.

In order to prevent you from enjoying this excellent game, here is a selection of the most important beginner tips and tricks that should help you start this unique space adventure on the right foot. So just follow our advice below and create your own space empire!

Piloting and Docking

The game starts with you sitting in the pilot's chair of your first spaceship. At this point the game will offer a tutorial on the game's controls, which you should most definitely take. It will show you how to control your spaceship, so that later you could take full control of your ship.

Tip 1: Turn off your autopilot

If your ship is under control of the Flight Assist Computer, which you need to turn off by pressing Ctrl + Space key combination. This is the first essential step, which will allow you to fly your ship manually.

Tip 2: Dock at the station

After taking control over your ship, you can dock at your first station, which can be found on your world map. Approach the station and request for docking permission by pressing Shift + D.

At the station you can hire a pilot/captain and other personnel for your ship. But be sure to hire a captain first, who will pilot the ship so you could focus on other things.

Finding and Accepting Missions

After the initial steps you need to find a way how to make cash. The best way to make cash at the beginning of the game is to find and accept missions from NPCs.

Tip 3: Scan stations for available missions

When you approach a space station, you need to open your map and choose the Available Missions tab in the left menu. There you will see the types of missions available at the station.

But the best way to make a lot of money quickly is to activate the Scan Mode near the station by pressing Shift + 2. In this way you can intercept secret missions that offer much higher rewards than generic missions.

You can also pick up cash rewards in space by detecting Crystal Clusters, Lockboxes and Data Vaults that randomly spawn in space by using Scan Mode.

Purchasing New Ships

After you completed your first few missions and collected some money, you can buy yourself a new ship. Depending on the level of your income, you can buy:

  • Small to medium ships at Wharfs
  • Large and carrier ships at Shipyards

These ship trading stations can also be used for selling and upgrading your ships.

Tip 4: Buy the best ships

Various factions offer different types of ships in their wharfs and shipyards. The fastest and best M class ships in the game are:

  • Osprey Vanguard (Teladi Company, Profit Center Alpha)
  • Osprey Sentinel (Ministry of Finance, Eighteen Billion)
  • Nemesis Vanguard (Godrealm of the Paranid, Trinity Sanctum)
  • Nemesis Sentinel (Holy Order of the Pontifex, Holy Vision)
Tip 5: Upgrade your hardware

At the ship trading Wharfs and Shipyards you can add or remove certain parts of your ship. If you started off with a small or medium combat ship, then it is recommended to upgrade them with:

  • Combat main engines and thrusters
  • Guns and missile launchers on forward mounts
  • Medium gun turrets for M class ships
Tip 6: Upgrade your software

The two most important software upgrades for your ship are:

  • Docking Computer: Auto-corrects your ship's position during the docking procedure
  • Long Range Scanner: Allows you to detect stations and other small objects, including Lockboxes and Data Vaults, as far as 200 km
Tip 7: Hire new crew members

During the purchase of a new ship you can hire new crew members, including marines and service personnel. Marines are especially useful during combat and boarding other ships.

You can choose the number of crew members in the left menu and select 'Add to shopping list' in the right menu to complete the purchase.

Capturing and Boarding Ships

When you finally get a well upgraded combat ship with marines on board you can start capturing and boarding other ships. Boarding smaller ships is really simple, while doing the same with a carrier is a much harder undertaking.

Tip 8: Capture a small ship

If you attack small ships in space, then usually their owners will immediately abandon them. This will make it really easy for you to capture and own the ship.

Here is how you do it:

  1. Right-click on the abandoned ship
  2. Order a marine to board the ship
  3. Claim the ownership using Boarding Pod
  4. Assign the marine as the pilot of the ship

Later, it is recommended to hire a new pilot for the ship and bring back the marine on the board of your combat vessel.

Tip 9: Create a fleet

If you have several combat ships in your possession, you can create a wing with a wing leader by following these steps:

  1. Open the Map menu
  2. Go to Unassigned Ships tab
  3. Select ships you want for your fleet
  4. Right-click on your main combat ship
  5. Select Assignment
  6. Choose Defend this leader

In this way you will create a fleet of your own, which can now attack and board larger ships.

Auto-Trading and Auto-Mining

When you have more ships in your possession, you can make some of them do the Auto-trading or Auto-mining missions for you. This feature allows you to send trading ships into other galaxies, which will make profit for you automatically.

Tip 10: Create a trading ship

Go to any Wharf and buy a small or medium Trading ship. Upgrade it with Trading Computer Extension software and assign a pilot to it. Then, you can assign the ship for auto-trading operations.

Here's how you can set it up:

  1. Go to Map menu
  2. Open Unassigned Ships tab
  3. Right-click on your trading ship
  4. Choose Information
  5. Right-click on the galaxy of your choice
  6. Select Auto-trade (Galaxy)
  7. Go to Behaviour tab in the left menu
  8. Add/delete wares you want to trade
Tip 11: Create a mining ship

The auto-mining works in basically the same way as auto-trading, but you need to replace all the instances of auto-trading with auto-mining.

So first thing you need to do is purchase a mining ship and assign a pilot to it, and follow the same steps as above but for auto-mining.

Building Your Own Stations

In the latter parts of the game you can actually start constructing your own space stations. This is a huge undertaking, so be sure to dedicate a lot of time to planning and building your station.

Tip 12: Obtain blueprints

Each space station consists of various modules, which can be assembled to create a single structure. Before crafting modules you need to obtain their blueprints.

There are three sources of blueprints in X4 Foundations:

  • Faction Representatives
  • Data Leaks
  • Space Suit EMPs
Tip 13: Claim a plot

When you acquired the necessary blueprints, you can claim a plot in space. If you claim a sector within a faction territory, then you will have to pay taxes. If you refuse to pay them, the faction will try to destroy your station.

Follow these steps to claim a plot in space:

  1. Open your Map menu
  2. Go to Manage Plots tab
  3. Select New Plot
  4. Use axis sliders to adjust plot size
  5. Confirm by pressing Create New Plot
Tip 14: Build your first station

Finally, you can start connecting your modules to create one giant space station. Here is the list of all necessary modules for your space station:

  • Production: produces wares
  • Build: builds, upgrades and repairs ships
  • Storage: stores resources and wares
  • Habitation: NPC shelters
  • Defence: weapon module
  • Dock: docking facility

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Now you should be able to rise up in galactic ranks very quickly using these beginner tips and tricks, and for other X4 Foundations guides at GameSkinny, please follow the links below:

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10 Must-Download Kenshi Mods https://www.gameskinny.com/niho6/10-must-download-kenshi-mods https://www.gameskinny.com/niho6/10-must-download-kenshi-mods Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:10:56 -0500 Ty Arthur

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Mod: In-Game Biome Map

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Want to know exactly where the boundaries of each biome can be found without having to exit the game and check the online wikis?

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This small but very nifty mod adds a biome border display over the normal in-game map. If you don't like the bright biome hues that don't quite fit with the overall color scheme of the game, there's also a non-colored version of this mod here.

\n

---

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What do you think of these Kenshi mods? Are there others we left off that you think we should add? Sound off in the comments and let us know. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/p/populated-c9bbc.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/p/populated-c9bbc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192573","description":"

Mod: Populated Cities

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Tired of all the empty, lifeless cities found across the game world? With this mod, every major population center gets significantly more interactable characters; it also upgrades NPC behavior.

\n

Now citizens will buy things from stores you own, and they all operate on more realistic schedules, like leaving their shops to buy supplies or going to their homes to perform chores at night.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/e/i/weight-0364c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/e/i/weight-0364c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192575","description":"

Mod: Weight Bench - Strength Training

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This is another mod aimed at simplifying Kenshi's micromanagement, and it succeeds in spades.

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Rather than training your recruits with rock-filled backpacks, you can now quickly boost their strength by building a weight bench.

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Note that you have to unlock the training dummies first, and the weight bench is actually found in the interior tab of the building menu, rather than the training tab.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/e/sheds-b04a0.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/e/sheds-b04a0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192570","description":"

Mod: Storage Sheds

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This handy mod drastically simplifies the game's storage micromanagement. Rather than filling a shack with storage bins, shacks themselves now hold storage and get their own building tabs for easy browsing.

\n

The mod also throws in a handful of decorations you can place next to sheds to remind yourself what you were storing in which shed. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/r/dark-481a2.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/r/dark-481a2.png","type":"slide","id":"192572","description":"

Mod: Dark UI

\n\n

Don't care for Kenshi's standard user interface? Neither did the awesome modder behind this enhancement to the game.

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With Dark UI installed, all of the game's interfaces get a cleaner, darker appearance that is much easier to navigate.

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Note that if different menus appear stretched or you can't read the text after installing this mod (like shop money no longer appearing where it should), you just need to change the game's screen resolution to 1920x1080 to resolve the issue.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/e/previewfile-937096807-7f3c9.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/e/previewfile-937096807-7f3c9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192568","description":"

Mod: Shops Have More Items

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Wish shops had more money and items available? This mod drastically increases both in many shops found across the game. It also changes the base values so that a shop's inventory refreshes more quickly.

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Important note, though: don't use this mod with other shop modifications active at the same time as they will cause major conflicts with one another.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/2/0/720660382-preview-20161014041003-9fa9b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/2/0/720660382-preview-20161014041003-9fa9b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192569","description":"

Mod: Interior And Exterior Design

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Want to build all of those cool non-researchable furniture items you've found across the game?

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With this mod, you can research and build pillows, shelves, benches, and more. Note that some objects will still only be decoration after being built, even though they look like you should be able to sit/sleep on them.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/4/4/1441873807-c5874.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/4/4/1441873807-c5874.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192566","description":"

Mod: Interesting Recruits

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Want more story-heavy recruits to spice up the game's empty spaces? This mod does exactly that, offering up interesting new recruits who spawn in different taverns.

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From cannibals to disfigured scientists to samurai, there's something for everyone with these seven new characters:

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    \n
  • Grimm
  • \n
  • Optic
  • \n
  • Katharciss
  • \n
  • Okuro
  • \n
  • Yunomi
  • \n
  • Mikael
  • \n
  • L'Cie
  • \n
"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/4/9/1492822528-9f7e6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/4/9/1492822528-9f7e6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192563","description":"

Mod: 256 Recruitment Limit

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Other than Recruitable Prisoners, this is the other must-have mod. I don't recommend playing Kenshi without it.

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Once you've mastered survival on your own, it's time to start recruiting a squad, which will help you thrive in the post-apocalypse. Thing is, to have your own army, you need more space than the vanilla game allows.

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That's where this mod comes into play; it increases the recruitment limit to 256, maximum members available for a squad to 50, and the maximum squad limit to 20.

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If you use multiple mods, make sure to place this one at the bottom of the load order. Many different mods out there change the values on the game's data tables, and they will often overwrite the 256 recruitment value.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/5/0/1504958741-09ad8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/5/0/1504958741-09ad8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192561","description":"

Mod: Recruitable Prisoners

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This is easily one of the most popular mods for Kenshi, and for very good reason. Unarmed, captured prisoners now have a small chance to be recruited -- and they come with their own unique dialog.

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This mod also opens up the possibility of recruiting creatures like the Frog Prince and the Error Code robots.

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You should note a potential issue, however -- some users have reported problems where turret guards won't actually do anything when you have prisoners in cages while this mod is installed.

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In some instances, turret gunners will also shoot at new recruits when you recruit prisoners. In either case, just save and reload to fix the issue.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/d/mods-972e6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/d/mods-972e6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192549","description":"

Despite being in active development for more than a decade, Kenshi still has some rough spots to iron out.

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But as diligent as always, the modding community has stepped in to alleviate most of those problems -- or at least cut down on the more annoying aspects of the game.

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From recruitable prisoners to an in-game biome map and more, we've rounded up the 10 best Kenshi mods that are currently available.

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Note: If you've browsed around for Steam and Nexus Mods before, you've probably noticed the Workshop has significantly more options available than Nexus, which isn't usually the case.

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That's because in many cases, modders have stopped updating the Nexus Mods versions during the course of the game's lengthy open beta. If a mod there doesn't work in the full release version, there's a good bet you can find an equivalent mod over on the Steam Workshop instead.

"}]]]>
Pokemon GO's PvP Is Live, But It's Not Perfect https://www.gameskinny.com/g8cxl/pokemon-gos-pvp-is-live-but-its-not-perfect https://www.gameskinny.com/g8cxl/pokemon-gos-pvp-is-live-but-its-not-perfect Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:59:58 -0500 QuintLyn

Niantic has officially begun the process of rolling out Pokemon GO's PvP, known as Trainer Battles. As part of their plan, the company began rolling the system out to level 40 players first, giving them time to assure the new mode works well.

As it turns out, it seems this was probably a good move. As Eurogamer reports, the current iteration of Trainer Battles has some problems -- particularly for player who are trying to challenge other players via their friend lists or using QR codes.

Players are discovering a variety of issues such as not having attack buttons in combat, or combat simply not taking place at all. In some cases players throw out their Pokeballs only to stand in place for the rest of the battle, waiting for it to time out. Other issues include trainers starting battle out of sync, attacks not registering, and battle freezes.

The good news here is that -- as mentioned above -- Niantic is more-or-less running a testing phase on the content with the roll-out system, so hopefully by the time Trainer Battles roll out for everyone these issues will be fixed.

As for what's contained in the PvP battles, the update adds a second Charge Attack slot all Pokemon in the game. It must be purchased for Stardust after which players can use it in Trainer Battle, gyms and Raids. The addition of this new attack slot  also means a change in the game's hud, with the buttons being replaced with meters.

Players can battle AI characters, training against three team leaders and earning sweet rewards. They'll also want to do this in order to earn the Ace Trainer badge.

Eventually, these features will be available to everyone. However, Niantic hasn't stated when lower level players can expect it. In the meantime, if you'd like to keep up with the changes Niantic will be making to the new system, you can follow the Pokemon GO action here on GameSkinny.

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Fortnite's Cross-Platform Services Offered Freely to Developers https://www.gameskinny.com/y1saj/fortnites-cross-platform-services-offered-freely-to-developers https://www.gameskinny.com/y1saj/fortnites-cross-platform-services-offered-freely-to-developers Fri, 14 Dec 2018 10:17:43 -0500 William R. Parks

As multiplayer gaming continues to exponentially grow in popularity, the ability for players to play their favorite titles with friends, regardless of their preferred platform, is becoming increasingly important. Fortunately for players that are dreaming of more pervasive cross-play support, a recent announcement from Epic, the developers behind Fortnite, suggests that their dreams may be one step closer to reality.

Specifically, Epic is making portions of its cross-platform game services free to all developers. These services, which are the foundation of Fortnite's cross-play support, will begin their rollout in 2019, and they will be "open to all engines, all platforms, and all stores."

Furthermore, the company emphasizes that developers are free to take the portions of the online services that fit their needs and that all services are operated under GDPR compliance.

Epic's announcement offers further insight into the release of these services:

The service launch will begin with a C SDK encapsulating our online services, together with Unreal Engine and Unity integrations. We’ll start with a core set of features and expand over time.

Developers will begin seeing these core features made available during the second quarter of 2019. This includes the ability for supported games to recognize friends and acquired items (such as cosmetics) across PC, Mac, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch. 

Then, in the third quarter, Epic will be making cross-platform voice communication available as well as trophies and the beginnings of the requisite support for matchmaking across the seven major platforms.

"The services described above are just our first steps," Epic's announcement reads. "As you can see from our game and engine efforts, we’re also working on further support for user-generated content, enhanced social features, anti-cheat, and more."

Between this announcement and the launch of the Epic Games Store, a digital distribution platform with a focus on increasing developers' revenue, it is clear that Epic is committed to turning the success of Fortnite into an opportunity for other developers. This sentiment is specifically reflected in this new announcement, as it states that the company's goal is to "help game developers succeed."

While clearly these new offerings are not completely selfless acts, and some have already leveled criticisms at the Epic Games Store for locking developers into exclusive distribution deals, many small game makers are certain to benefit greatly from them. These freely available cross-platform game services may not guarantee that all multiplayer gaming has full cross-play support moving forward, however, they will make it an option for studios that could never have considered it previously.

Epic's full announcement is available on the company's blog.

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Fortnite: How to Complete All the Season 7, Week 2 Challenges https://www.gameskinny.com/3mqxj/fortnite-how-to-complete-all-the-season-7-week-2-challenges https://www.gameskinny.com/3mqxj/fortnite-how-to-complete-all-the-season-7-week-2-challenges Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:47:07 -0500 William R. Parks

Fortnite's seventh season has been live for a week, and players have been familiarizing themselves with its new wintery biome, the game's first ariel vehicle, and the newly introduced Infinity Blade. Additionally, weekly challenges are keeping fans occupied, as they work to acquire the newest cosmetics, and the Week 2 challenges are now available.

For players that do not own a Fortnite Battle Pass, there are three free challenges:

  1. Search a Chest in different Named Locations [7]
  2. Damage opponents with different types of weapons [5]
  3. Eliminate opponents in Snobby Shores or Fatal Fields (HARD) [3]

All of these challenges are straightforward, and they should be easily completed by slightly modifying play patterns in order to focus on these objectives.

For those that do own a Battle Pass, there are four additional challenges, including one multi-part challenge, and some will require a little more work than the free challenges:

  1. Stage 1: Visit Snobby Shores and Pleasant Park in a single match
    Stage 2: Visit Lonely Lodge and Dusty Divot in a single match
    Stage 3: Visit Frosty Flights and Tomato Temple in a single match
  2. Play the Sheet Music on pianos near Pleasant Park and Lonely Lodge [2]
  3. Compete in a Dance Off at an abandoned mansion [1]
  4. Eliminate an opponent from at least 50m away [1]

As with the free challenges, the first Battle Pass challenge should be easily completed by simply modifying gameplay to make sure that the criteria is met over a few matches. For those that would like to expedite the process, starting a match by landing in the first location and then going directly to the second location is the fastest option.

In the second challenge, players will need to locate two pianos and play the notes indicated on the accompanying sheet music. This can be done by jumping on the corresponding piano keys.

The Lonely Lodge piano is located along the east edge of the island in J5, and the Pleasant Park piano is located on the hill in B3:

The third challenges asks players to dance in an abandoned mansion, which is located in J5 (very near to the Lonely Lodge piano):

After arriving at the mansion, players should make their way to the building's basement, where they will find a dance floor and scoreboard. Those that dance in this location will complete the challenge.

Again, the fourth challenge is straightforward so long as players hone their sniping skills and are intent on executing it.

With a few exception, the Season 7, Week 2 challenges will be easy for most players to complete. As a result, fans should have plenty of time to work on their buildings in Fortnite's new creative mode and also pickup a melee kill or two.

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Top 7 Off-Season Roster Changes in the NA LCS https://www.gameskinny.com/xq75a/top-7-off-season-roster-changes-in-the-na-lcs https://www.gameskinny.com/xq75a/top-7-off-season-roster-changes-in-the-na-lcs Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:46:30 -0500 Ted Racicot

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This has been one of the most interesting off-seasons in the history of the North American LCS. All 10 teams have made at least one change to their starting roster, with some making as many as four. Additionally, many teams have added players from different regions, including ex-World Champions, ensuring that North American fans will have plenty of new players to cheer for in the upcoming season. 

\n

Be sure to tune in on January 26th when the first week of the North American LCS Spring Split kicks off! 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/x/4/px4xggl1qyos0cs-qg0bdtvnkkye-kit7haqv9-zaim-1a59e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/x/4/px4xggl1qyos0cs-qg0bdtvnkkye-kit7haqv9-zaim-1a59e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192536","description":"

100 Thieves Gets Bang 

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100 Thieves is another team that had an impressive season last year. Having impressive finishes in both splits last year, one might not expect huge changes from this team. However, like Liquid, 100 Thieves is a team that has always expressed ambitions to preform on the international stage. While making it to the World Championship, they fell short of expectations, showing that there is clearly room for improvement. 

\n

What better way to improve a roster than adding a World Champion to the roster? Bang is one of the few players in the world to have won the World Championship not once, but twice. Furthermore, the AD carry position was by far the weakest point for 100 Thieves last year.

\n

Bang is not only a huge upgrade for 100 Thieves, but is a player that out-classes the majority of other North American players in his position. His skill, as well as his experience on the international stage, will certainly be an asset to 100 Thieves as they look to make another run at international success in 2019. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/s/a/dsadsr8vsaabs63-d8d28.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/s/a/dsadsr8vsaabs63-d8d28.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192534","description":"

Liquid Snatches Jensen 

\n

This is the second time Team Liquid appears on this list, and for good reason. Few roster changes were as shocking as the announcement that Jensen would join Team Liquid. Once again, it is hard to claim Team Liquid had a weak link considering their dominating season last year, however Jensen is definitely an upgrade when compared to Liquid's old mid laner, Pobelter. 

\n

This move for Jensen is also interesting for what it means for Cloud 9. Despite going through a variety of roster swaps over the years, Jensen has always been the center piece of the Cloud 9 roster. By picking up Jensen, Liquid has not only improved their own roster, but potential dealt a major blow to the roster of one of their main rivals in North America. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/r/o/crown0-174c4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/r/o/crown0-174c4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192535","description":"

Crown Joins Optic Gaming

\n

Optic Gaming was another team that struggled in the 2018 season. Despite a few flashes of brilliance throughout the year, they failed to make the playoffs during either split. Because of this, it was clear that the team was going to need to make some drastic changes for the upcoming 2019 season.

\n

Few League of Legends players are more well-known than Crown. As a part of the Samsung Galaxy roster that won the World Championship in 2017, Crown has a well-earned reputation as a dominant mid laner. While some Korean players struggle with their transition over to North America, Crown has proved that he has the mechanical skill that can help him out-play many of the opponents that he might face in North America.  

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/l/golden-guardians-sign-hauntzer-50eb8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/l/golden-guardians-sign-hauntzer-50eb8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192532","description":"

Will Hauntzer Help Turn Golden Guardians Around?

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If Team Liquid was the undisputed best team in North America last year, then Golden Guardians were the undisputed worst team. Finishing last in both the Spring and Summer Splits, Golden Guardians certainly had a lot of work to do over the off-season. 

\n

The most noteworthy pick up for the Golden Guardians leading into the 2019 season is the addition of Team Solo-Mid's top laner, Hauntzer. While not the most dominate player, Hauntzer has been a consistent force in the top lane for years. This consistency is something that the Golden Guardians lacked in 2018 and will be a welcome sight. The Golden Guardians can only improve upon their dismal performance last year, and the addition of Hauntzer is certainly a step in the right direction for the team.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/r/corejj-samsung-galaxy-2017-786x436-d0c5e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/r/corejj-samsung-galaxy-2017-786x436-d0c5e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192531","description":"

CoreJJ Returns to North America 

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Team Liquid was the undisputed best team in North America last year, finishing in first place during both the Spring and the Summer splits. The team however, fell slightly short of expectations during the World Championship. As a team that was put together for success not only in North America but also on the international stage, it was clear that something would need to change for the 2019 season.

\n

The team made two additions to their roster, the first of which was adding Gen.G's Support Player, CoreJJ. CoreJJ is not the only Korean player that is making their way over to North America for the 2019 split. However, it is important to keep in mind that this will be his second time playing in North America, having played for Team Dignitas in 2015.

\n

One of the biggest concerns for teams when picking up Korean players is getting them comfortable in their new country, but CoreJJ's previous experience in North America makes this less of a concern. Furthermore, while Liquid certainly had a dominating year last year, their support was one spot that could certainly be improved. This makes CoreJJ an even more attractive pick up for Team Liquid.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/t/c/dtczlkbucaexdkr-e5f12.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/t/c/dtczlkbucaexdkr-e5f12.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192530","description":"

Can Huni Carry Clutch?

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Clutch Gaming has been busy during their off-season. Of their five starters last split, only their Jungler, Lira, is returning for the 2019 season. It is impossible to know how this brand new team will function together, but their is one player that stands out among the rest. Echo Fox's Huni has been confirmed to be replacing Solo as Clutch's top laner.

\n

Huni has proven himself to be a world-class player, dominating opponents in Europe, South Korea, and North America. While on Echo Fox, Huni has consistently shown that he has the ability to take over games, especially when he gets help from the Jungle. If he can form synergy with his fellow South Korean Jungler Lira, then he certainly has the opportunity to carry Clutch Gaming to respectable finishes in the 2019 season. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/6/3/7631qyae-ccysnci-6d3ec.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/6/3/7631qyae-ccysnci-6d3ec.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192528","description":"

PowerOfEvil Joins Counter Logic Gaming 

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Counter Logic Gaming, one of the North America's oldest League of Legends teams, had a very disappointing year in 2018. Missing out on playoffs in both the Spring and Summer Splits, it was clear that CLG needed to make some drastic changes. These changes started late in the summer of 2018, when the team parted ways with Ziks, their long time coach. During the off-season, CLG continued to make roster changes. The most notable of these changes is the addition of Optic Gaming's old mid-laner, PowerOfEvil. 

\n

While CLG certainly had many issues last year, Mid Lane was certainly one of the biggest ones. Huhi, their old mid-laner, was well known for playing supportive champions. While not necessarily a bad thing, it forced CLG into one-dimensional strategies where they relied heavily on their Bottom Lane to carry most games. PowerOfEvil was the primary carry for his team last year, and his addition ensures that CLG will have multiple carry threats next year.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/1/0/b10e5125884d7c8eb10f5f9ffc684560-d97512d3750a6ceed40f67f2ccb-d01d6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/1/0/b10e5125884d7c8eb10f5f9ffc684560-d97512d3750a6ceed40f67f2ccb-d01d6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192529","description":"

The start of the 2019 Spring Split for the North American League of Legends Championship Series is less than a two months away. Though it has been a while since any of the teams have played a competitive match, each team has been busy during the off-season adding new players to improve their rosters.

\n

Here are the 7 roster changes that will have the biggest impact on the upcoming LCS season.  

"}]]]>
How Trade Offer Subscription Works in X4 Foundations https://www.gameskinny.com/58zq6/how-trade-offer-subscription-works-in-x4-foundations https://www.gameskinny.com/58zq6/how-trade-offer-subscription-works-in-x4-foundations Thu, 13 Dec 2018 11:38:46 -0500 Sergey_3847

Trading has always been a huge part of X series of video games, and in the latest X4 Foundations it has become even more important. Players now have a variety of trade options that make the gameplay truly dynamic.

Actually, trading can be your main occupation in the vast universe of X4 Foundations, where you can create an entire trading fleet, which is capable of increasing your profits immensely.

One of the most cryptic and interesting trading options in the game is buying a Trade Offer Subscription. For more details on this deal keep on reading our guide below.

What is Trade Offer Subscription?

Before making a decision to buy Trade Offer Subscription (TOS) in X4 Foundations, let's first define what it is. TOS is a deal that a player with high level of reputation can make with one of the main factions.

As a result, you will have a complete list of all trade operations with live prices within that faction at all times.

Who needs a TOS?

Now let's see who would want to purchase such a deal. Usually, players that have a special interest in auto-trading schemes would sure want to know all the prices of the faction and all their trading positions at any point in the game.

So auto-traders simply ought to buy TOS, which will cost around 10 million credits. This is quite a hefty price for a deal with one faction, so it will not fit all types of players.

How Does a Trade Offer Subscription work?

If you have a +10 reputation level with a certain faction, you can just land at that faction's station and speak to any faction representative. The option to buy their faction's TOS will appear automatically in the dialogue option.

When you open the map, you will see all their trade operations with live prices after the purchase. However, if your reputation falls below the 10 mark with that faction, the deal will be automatically annulled.

Is it worth a buy?

If you aren't focused on auto-trading, then you should probably skip this deal. Instead you could deploy a number of satellites around stations and get all the trading info you need in this way.

The cost of satellites is much cheaper, but you need to manually deploy them around the stations of your interest.

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Hopefully, our quick guide helped you make the decision concerning the Trade Offer Subscription, and be sure to come back soon for more X4 Foundation guides here at GameSkinny!

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How to Get the Infinity Blade in Fortnite https://www.gameskinny.com/px1uk/how-to-get-the-infinity-blade-in-fortnite https://www.gameskinny.com/px1uk/how-to-get-the-infinity-blade-in-fortnite Thu, 13 Dec 2018 10:32:21 -0500 Oscar Gonzalez

Fortnite: Battle Royale Season 7 is underway, and to celebrate the new season, Epic Games added a new weapon to the game this past Tuesday. This weapon, however, is actually from Infinity Blade, another franchise owned and developed by Epic, and it is by far the most powerful object in the game.

The Infinity Blade is now available for any player who is quick and brave enough to pull it from where it rests. Those who survive the mad rush for the sword will have in their hands a power that can't be matched by any other weapons in Fortnite.

 

The Blade Is Mightier Than the Gun

Since the Infinity Blade is a Mythic melee weapon, it is incredibly overpowered. When a player pulls the weapon from the ground in Polar Peak, they will immediately receive 200 shields and 200 health.

Each swipe of the blade will deal 75 damage to other players, and there's a jumping dash attack that will cause 25 damage. The blade can also destroy buildings and structures like a hot knife cutting through melted butter. 

It doesn't end there, though. Each elimination made with the Infinity Blade will increase the wielder's health or shields by 50. There's also regeneration that comes with the blade that will increase health or shield by one point every three seconds

The Sword in the Stone

To get the Infinity Blade, players will have to head to the new snowy areas on the island that were added in Season 7. More specifically, Polar Peak.

Where the letters for Polar Peak are on the map, there is a mountaintop with a castle half-buried under snow. Players will see a square with several pillars, and in the middle sticking out of the ground is the Infinity Blade.

The exact location is marked on the map below. 

Survive the Bum Rush 

Finding the Infinity Blade is easy, but actually getting it is the hard part.

The first obstacle is the rush of players going for the sword. Numerous players will head to Polar Peak at the start of the game, especially if the Battle Bus passes over it.

The next problem is the lack of weapons and materials in the area. There are a few buildings around the sword, making the decision on whether to battle with pickaxes or run to a building in hopes of finding a weapon before another player gets the Infinity Blade somewhat tough.

Several trees are also in the immediate area, but like the conundrum of finding weapons, getting wood or brick will take time and you may be too late to the blade. 

What could be the biggest problem is the five seconds it takes to claim the Infinity Blade. You can stop while trying to pull the sword from the ground, but that will reset the five-second timer.

But we've got some tips that might make things easier.  

Gimme That Sword!

Since it's currently OP, the Infinity Blade isn't easy to get. While the strategies below aren't foolproof by any means, they should give you a fighter's chance in pulling the sword from the stone. 

Getting the Blade Tip 1

If the Battle Bus travels over Polar Peak, forget about going for the blade. Everyone will take a stab at it since it's right there. 

However, if the route for the Battle Bus is more down the center of the island, jump out and glide your way to the mountaintop.

Going straight for the sword in this configuration is a good tactic because you will most likely only deal with other players with pickaxes. You'll be able to take a few hits from a pickaxe as you try to pull it out.

The key thing is to make a run for it when other players are preoccupied, which is likely to happen since most people will be afraid to go after the blade when there are others around.

If there's one player in the vicinity of the Infinity Blade, then take a shot at claiming it. You will be able to survive multiple pickaxe attacks as long as it's only from one player. 

Getting the Blade Tip 2

Those that want to go the weapon route first should head for the castle buried under snow. There are two chests in the building: one on the ground floor and another on the fourth floor.

Use the weapons in either chest to take other players in the building. If you obtain a sniper, head to the rooftop and take shots at the player who acquired the sword. If not, go to the ground entrance and leave through the door in the direction of the square where the blade is.

Make sure to get some materials in the building as you make your way up and down the floors. If someone has the Infinity Blade, keep your distance and attack from afar. Do not get close or you'll be dead in just two hits.

You can try building a structure for protection, but a player with the sword will quickly demolish it. Stay far away and try to maneuver back to the castle in the snow or any high ground. Build some ramps to get the higher ground and try to do a quick edit to remove parts of the ramp so the sword wielder won't follow you.

Ideally, you being above them will be enough to get some free hits as its unlikely the player with the Infinity Blade has enough materials to build a ramp to chase you.

Getting the Blade Tip 3

If you do get the sword, use the jumping dash attack to close the distance on any player. It'll be easy to take them down up close, but as mentioned, from a long distance, you are a sitting duck, especially if someone has a sniper rifle.

After you've killed all nearby players, start gaining those materials so you can defend yourself from snipers and assault rifles as you try and get close. Since the Infinity Blade can heal you, don't be ashamed to disengage in order to heal up.

---

Like the Infinity Gauntlet Limited Time Mode from earlier in the year, the Infinity Blade will likely last for a short period of time before Epic removes it from Fortnite. At the very least, it will get nerfed since it's currently OP.

This means you'll need to jump on right away in order to get a taste of its power.

Looking for more Fortnite tips? Head over to our Fortnite guides page for more.

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Hitman 2 Gets New Contracts, Escalations, and an Elusive Target https://www.gameskinny.com/rxb01/hitman-2-gets-new-contracts-escalations-and-an-elusive-target https://www.gameskinny.com/rxb01/hitman-2-gets-new-contracts-escalations-and-an-elusive-target Thu, 13 Dec 2018 10:06:15 -0500 William R. Parks

With Hitman 2, IO Interactive moved away from the episodic model that defined 2016's Hitman, choosing instead to give players the entirety of its main campaign on release day. Executive Producer Markus Friedl explained that this new approach would allow for "much more varied live content right after launch," and his words are proving true, as a myriad of new activities are already coming to the game this month.

Hitman 2's December content updates began last week with five Featured Contracts grouped under a unifying theme: "Occupational Hazards." Each of these contracts are "focused on jobs, occupations, and professions," and they are all player-made creations hand selected by IO.

Details on the theme for January's Featured Contracts, as well as how players can submit their contracts, are forthcoming.

From there, the content continues with an Escalation Contract, titled "The Aelwin Augment," releasing today. Escalation Contracts are typically high difficulty challenges with multiple objectives, and IO promises more of the same here, as players will make a "memorable visit" to the Isle of Sgail.

Next up is a Limited-Time Holiday Event scheduled for December 18. No further details about this seasonal offering are currently available.

Then, on December 21, players can track down Hitman 2's next Elusive Target in Santa Fortuna. Titled "The Revolutionary," fans will have 10 days, and one chance, to complete the assignment if they want to walk away with the "Casual Tourist with gloves suit."

"The Revolutionary" marks Hitman 2's second Elusive Target, following behind a target, portrayed by veteran actor Sean Bean, that accompanied the game's launch.

To round out the month, yet another Escalation Contract will begin on December 27. This time around, players will be off to Santa Fortuna for what IO has called "The Turms Infatuation."

While Hitman 2's initial sales were less than impressive, critical response to the entry has been strong. Our writers praised it for its "staggering" amount of content, and with December's new offerings, it is clear that IO intends to add much more.

For those who have been asking for more assassinations for Christmas, it seems that their wish has been answered. 

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Learn the Ropes with our Beginner's Guide to Book of Demons https://www.gameskinny.com/j1l7q/learn-the-ropes-with-our-beginners-guide-to-book-of-demons https://www.gameskinny.com/j1l7q/learn-the-ropes-with-our-beginners-guide-to-book-of-demons Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:15:01 -0500 Jordan Baranowski

Anyone familiar with action RPGs like Diablo will feel right at home loading up Book of Demons.

Outside of its storybook aesthetic, it follows a fairly tried-and-true formula. There are a few wrinkles in it that would take you a while to learn if you aren’t paying attention however. Here are a few tips to hit the ground running with Book of Demons now that it’s out of Early Access.

Watch for Visual Cues

Most of the dungeons in Book of Demons are fairly small, but there are a few visual cues to look out for to help you navigate each one a little smoother. The first thing to notice are your footprints. Obviously, they show you which paths you’ve taken. However, notice that they will turn gold on occasion. That means you’ve explored every branch of the path back that direction - nothing to see here. Once you’ve hit every nook and cranny of a floor, every footprint will turn gold to let you know that you can move on.

If you hover over the icons at the top of the screen, they will point out to you what points of interest you’ve encountered on the map and if there are any others left to find. Finally, if you’re searching for one monster or piece of gold lying on the floor that you previously overlooked, watch the edges of the screen. Every few seconds, you should see a little twinkle. That will show you the direction of any last pieces you’re missing in your exploration.

Know Your Cards and How to Improve Them

Each of the three classes in Book of Demons has its own deck of cards to collect. These cards represent your inventory and abilities, and you have a quick toolbar that can house a growing number of them throughout the game. It’s important to know what each card type is and how they operate:

  • Blue: Ability cards. These are things like spells and talents, they use mana each time you activate them, which means being able to top off your mana reserves is key if you use a lot of abilities. Having a few powerful abilities at your disposal is going to be key to surviving as the difficulty ramps up.
  • Red: Item cards. These are things like potions, traps, and scrolls. You can collect a certain amount of them that you can hold at a time before you will have to buy more charges for them in town or pick some up during a dungeon crawl.
  • Green: Equipment cards. These are items like weapons, shields, armor, and rings. They generally provide passive bonuses, but they lock up a portion of your mana (and fill in a valuable card slot) as long as they are equipped.

There are also two ways to get improved versions of your cards. One is by finding the magical and legendary variants in your adventures. These will add additional, randomized stats to your cards - for example, your normal card might be a Chaos Ring. You might find a “Chaos Ring of the Raven,” which has additional positive effects attached to it. Magic items add one additional positive trait, and legendaries add two.

You can also start finding “Rune Cards” while you trek through dungeons. If you take these to the Fortune Teller in town, you can upgrade your cards from one to two or from two to three stars. They become more powerful as you do (and more expensive to use and recharge).

Understand Different Types of Enemy Hearts

One thing that will get you killed very quickly in Book of Demons is not understanding what your enemies are capable of and not prioritizing them in the order you should be. There are a few different aspects to familiarize yourself with to most effectively defeat your foes and stay alive longer.

The hearts above an enemy’s head show how many more hits it will be until they are defeated. It is important to know that not all hearts are created equal - here’s what you might encounter:

  • Red hearts: The normal measure of a monster’s hit points. Each heart will take one point of damage to destroy.
  • Green Hearts: These are known as Poison Hearts. They absorb the same damage as regular hearts, but they indicate that the monster will heal if they are hit with poison damage. They also usually mean that the monster will explode into a poison cloud upon death.
  • Grey Hearts: These are known as Stone Hearts. They take the same amount of damage, but indicate that the monster is immune to damage effects like poison, burning, or freezing.
  • Golden Hearts: Whenever a golden heart is destroyed, the monster’s other hearts will “lock” for a certain period, rendering them immune to damage for a few seconds. They will unlock when you can deal damage again.
  • Frozen/Burning Hearts: These function in essentially the same manner as one another. Each heart takes three hits to destroy, and will reveal a different type of heart underneath it. That means it will take four hits for every heart these enemies have; it will take them a while to go down during a fight.

Prioritize Monsters with Spells and Summoning Abilities

Another easy-to-miss aspect of combat in Book of Demons is that you can interrupt enemies who are casting spells. When using a spell or ability, a monster will become immune to damage as a circle above them fills. Once the circle has filled, they will use that ability.

If you are close enough to the enemy, you can hover your pointer over that ability and hold down the attack button to keep them from using it. This will also instantly open them back up to damage - take out those spellcasters quick before they inflict serious damage on you. Note that you cannot disrupt spells and abilities of boss enemies.

Dispel Poison ASAP

If your hit point meter turns green, we all know that means poison. However, there is a quick visual indicator you can use to dispel poison almost as soon as you are inflicted with it.

A small demonic face will drop from the top of your HP orb after a second or two of being poisoned. If you click inside your HP orb when that face is visible, it will cure you of poison. Don’t eat that extra damage - it adds up quickly!

Save Time After Clearing out a Level

I don’t know about you, but I hate it when I find the exit to a dungeon right away, and know I’ll have to explore the entire floor before backtracking all the way back the way I came in order to get to the next level. Luckily, Book of Demons has a lovely little time saver for you.

Once you’ve found the exit for a floor, a little icon will always appear on the edge of the screen to show you what direction you need to go to find it.

Once you’ve completely cleared out a floor, that icon will turn green. You can then just click it and - voila - you will instantly be teleported to the start of the next floor. No backtracking necessary.

Utilize the Magical Cauldron - Before Its Contents Disappear

Occasionally, you will find loot in a dungeon that will appear to fly into a giant pot that appears on the side of the screen. If you approach the Barmaid in town, you will have access to the Magical Cauldron, which can open up all sorts of rare loot.

It may be tempting to leave this to collect, since the cost of using it increases every time you use it. However, keep in mind that, if you die, everything that has collected in the cauldron will disappear. Not getting every last bit of loot in a dungeon crawler is a mortal sin, so don’t press your luck too long - you might get overwhelmed and lose access to several powerful items.

There are still going to be some bumps along the road to your showdown with the Archdemon, but knowing these tips out of the gate will save you time and frustration in your quest. Good luck in your race to the bottom of Book of Demons!

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Book of Demons Review: Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery https://www.gameskinny.com/cf2p0/book-of-demons-review-imitation-is-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery https://www.gameskinny.com/cf2p0/book-of-demons-review-imitation-is-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery Fri, 14 Dec 2018 10:25:08 -0500 Jordan Baranowski

This is a game where you choose from three hero classes - a warrior, a rogue, and a mage - and move beneath a desecrated church in an overhead, isometric view. Core gameplay consists of slaying demons in randomly generated dungeons, collecting loot, and working your way towards a demonic final boss, who is invading from Hell. Sound familiar?

Book of Demons draws a lot of its inspiration from classic ARPG Diablo but manages to have a unique presentation and poke enough fun at itself to carve its own spot into a crowded genre.

Stay Awhile and Listen

The first thing you’ll notice when you load up Book of Demons is the unique presentation and art style. The game is presented as a storybook, telling the tale of the adventurers who are clashing with a monstrous foe and its demonic army. The game embraces this presentation - everything looks like a paper cutout, hopping along through the dungeon and falling apart into piles of paper bones.

These little flourishes are what set Book of Demons apart from its ilk: the first time I used a Town Portal scroll, I watched the concentric circles fold open like a popup book and fold closed behind me. There are tons of fun little details that breathe life into the regularly drab and predictable “dungeon cave” backgrounds that the genre is known for.

Ante Up

Book of Demons’ other main selling point is its unique take on combat and inventory. Rather than collecting items like armor and weapons, all of your character’s abilities, spells, and items are represented by cards. As you progress in the game, you can upgrade your cards and open up more slots, granting new item synergies and increasing your toolkit to battle ever-strengthening enemies.

Each character can collect up to forty different cards, which can be upgraded three times each and also have randomized magical and legendary versions. Being able to identify combos in your available cards and adapt to new enemy types quickly is key to reaching the deeper levels of each run.

There are three types of cards available, and each work in different ways: item cards, like healing potions, have a certain number of charges that can either be replenished in town (for a price) or found in dungeons from defeating monsters. Spells consume mana, which can also be replenished in town or through various other methods when exploring.

Finally, equipment adds passive abilities to your character by “blocking off” chunks of your available mana. Finding the right combination of cards is a fun puzzle, which is compounded on the hardest difficulty, which randomizes the drop order of cards that your character receives.

Dungeon Hopping

To say Book of Demons draws inspiration from Diablo is to do it a disservice: Book of Demons revels in nostalgia for the classic Blizzard title. The old man in town who identifies items tells you to, “Stay and listen for a while.” Upon finishing the first stage of a run, your character will comment that “The sanctity of this place has definitely been fouled.” Even the three classes mirror Diablo’s character options, with abilities that should be familiar to savvy veterans.

Book of Demons treads a thin line between imitation and self-aware parody. Some of the jokes are pretty solid - the first time you see the Archdemon (the game’s final boss, a version of the Devil), he is sitting in waist-deep fire, squeezing a rubber ducky that is wearing a spiked collar. There are plenty of little winks back at the player, but their infrequency is a bit jarring considering that, outside of the graphics style, Book of Demons plays it pretty straight.

Luckily, it nails the sense of progression that a game like this needs. Like many procedurally generated titles, Book of Demons will teach you lessons in brutal ways. You’ll have to learn quickly what new foes are capable of - your health bar can melt away pretty quickly if you are surrounded and affected by status ailments. Especially on the highest difficulty, this can erase plenty of progress but, hopefully, will help you find success in future runs.

One More Level

One of the best additions Book of Demons adds to the genre is the “Flexiscope,” which allows you to customize the length of each dive back into the dungeon. The game puts together an estimate of how quickly you play through levels and will begin to estimate how long a “short,” “medium,” or “long” dungeon run will take you. This makes it pretty easy to customize your adventure and get a good idea of how much time that “last run before bed” will take you.

Granted, progress is saved every time you exit and enter a floor, so these time estimations are a bit superfluous. But it is nice to have an idea of how long a trip through the next few floors will take you - right up until that trip is cut short because you are killed halfway through without enough gold to purchase a resurrection.

Pros:
  • Unique graphical style offers plenty of charm and surprises
  • Difficulty and length customization has something for everyone
  • Good nostalgia elements
Cons:
  • A bit too similar to its inspirations
  • Self-aware humor doesn't always land

Book of Demons is a pretty fun time: it does bring back plenty of fond, sleepless nights combing the dungeons beneath Tristram. Its unique aesthetic adds a lot to the game as well. It can be a bit derivative, and if the roguelike formula of dying and starting over does not appeal to you, you may want to sit this one out.

Clearing out bosses, collecting gold, and upgrading your character are timeless fun, however, and Book of Demons has that progression down pat.

[Note: The developer provided a copy of Book of Demons for the purpose of this review]

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Battlefield 5 Gets Its First Post-Release TTK Changes https://www.gameskinny.com/79yn1/battlefield-5-gets-its-first-post-release-ttk-changes https://www.gameskinny.com/79yn1/battlefield-5-gets-its-first-post-release-ttk-changes Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:35:14 -0500 William R. Parks

At the end of November, DICE announced its intentions to adjust Battlefield 5's Time to Kill (TTK) values in response to what the company perceived as players dying "too quickly" on the battlefield. While this announcement was met with resistance by a vocal portion of the player base, DICE has continued forward with its plans, and the game's first post-release TTK changes arrive today.

TTK values are a defining characteristic of all first-person shooters, determining the speed of a game's action and establishing how skilled a player needs to be in order to compete. Changes to TTK can have a major impact on gameplay, and DICE has made its reasons for making these alterations in Battlefield 5 very clear:

Although not extremely vocal within our deeply engaged community, we see from our game data that the wider player base is dying too fast leading to faster churn - meaning players may be getting frustrated with dying too fast that they choose not to log back in and learn how to become more proficient at Battlefield 5.

This first set of changes focuses on decreasing the amount of damage weapons do when they hit body parts aside from an opponent's head. For example, players using assault rifles, machine guns, and semi-automatic rifles will notice that body shots are dealing less damage overall.

In general, players should expect a kill from one of the changed weapon to take one additional bullet, and DICE has provided the following chart that outlines the new weapon damage multipliers. The numbers in red indicate the damage multipliers prior to today's update.

Furthermore, the distance between players has always had an impact on how many bullets are required to kill an opponent in Battlefield 5. However, today's update decreases the distance at which this phenomenon starts to take effect. That is, a weapon that may have been able to kill an opponent with four bullets within 50 meters will now need to be within 28 meters to do the same.

DICE has specified these Bullets to Kill alterations in today's TTK change list.

As stated, many players were initially opposed to DICE's intentions to alter TTK values, and it may take some time for the dust to settle on today's shake-up. Fortunately, the company has implemented a new playlist called "Conquest Core" that keeps the old TTK values in tact — the "first step toward a traditional Battlefield 'Hardcore' experience."

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Fallout 76's New UltraWide Support is Not Up to Snuff https://www.gameskinny.com/aot8y/fallout-76s-new-ultrawide-support-is-not-up-to-snuff https://www.gameskinny.com/aot8y/fallout-76s-new-ultrawide-support-is-not-up-to-snuff Wed, 12 Dec 2018 15:00:42 -0500 William R. Parks

Yesterday, Bethesda rolled out a new Fallout 76 patch with a number of improvements, including some much-requested features for those playing the multiplayer RPG on PC.

One of the additions is resolution support for Vault Dwellers using UltraWide monitors, and, unfortunately, some players are finding that its implementation leaves a lot to be desired.

Since the release of Fallout 76's new patch, players have taken to Reddit to discuss the newly added 21:9 resolution support. The general consensus from these conversations suggests that Bethesda's "fix" for UltraWide monitors amounts to little more than an edit to the game's .ini file.

With Fallout 4, another Bethesda title that did not support UltraWide monitors, players found that they could alter the .ini file to tweak in-game display settings, including field of view values and resolution.

While this made it possible to play at 21:9, the game's UI did not scale accordingly, causing menus and text to appear stretched and enlarged.

This is exactly the effect players are seeing with the UltraWide support offered by the latest update, and, after a month of indications that this feature was in progress, some are wondering how Bethesda could have implemented something of such poor quality.

This frustration is being further exacerbated by an unofficial mod to Fallout 76, which provides what many consider a higher quality UltraWide experience. This mod was, of course, created without access to Fallout 76's source code, and it has been available since the game's B.E.T.A.

Thus, it has taken Bethesda a month to release a 21:9 resolution experience that is less desirable than an unofficial mod.

While some players may be scratching their heads, trying to determine how that could happen, it is likely that the feature was simply never given any real priority within the company.

While this may seem like a minor issue, Bethesda's every move is currently under heavy scrutiny following the myriad of controversies that have surrounded Fallout 76's release. If the company hopes to ever return to the status it held prior to the game's troubled launch, this fact needs to be acknowledged and handled with care.

The ongoing conversation about the game's UltraWide support can be found on Reddit.

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Pokemon GO Adds Three New Boxes Just For The Holidays https://www.gameskinny.com/tdkzo/pokemon-go-adds-three-new-boxes-just-for-the-holidays https://www.gameskinny.com/tdkzo/pokemon-go-adds-three-new-boxes-just-for-the-holidays Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:27:40 -0500 QuintLyn

Pokemon GO is kicking off its 2018 holiday event later this month, and players will see the return of the Delibird, as well as the introduction of three new holiday boxes.

While the event itself hasn't yet started, the boxes are already available for purchase in the game's shop.

The boxes provide players with a selection of useful consumable items at varying prices, starting at 480 PokeCons for the Winter Box. The most expensive box will cost players 1480 PokeCoins.

Each box contains the following items:

  • Winter Box: 480 PokeCoins
    • 1 incense
    • 2 Egg Incubators
    • 3 Premium Raid Passes
    • 2 Star Pieces
  • Great Box: 780 PokeCoins
    • 2 Incense
    • 4 Super Incubators
    • 5 Premium Raid Passes
    • 2 Lure Modules
  • Ultra Box: 1480 PokeCoins
    • 12 Super Incubators
    • 10 Lucky Eggs
    • 14 Premium Raid Passes
    • 10 Star Pieces

If you're curious as to the actual value of these boxes, dedicated Pokemon GO players have compiled a handy spreadsheet that estimates the percentage of box cost for each item if they were bought separately.

Based on the numbers provided there, these boxes are worth the purchase.

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Rumor: Fortnite to Be Banned in China https://www.gameskinny.com/xsgw6/rumor-fortnite-to-be-banned-in-china https://www.gameskinny.com/xsgw6/rumor-fortnite-to-be-banned-in-china Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:25:41 -0500 William R. Parks

Last week, it was announced that a Chinese "ethics assessment committee" had reviewed the contents of 20 online games, requiring that 11 of these titles be amended before release in China and banning nine of them outright.

Now, a recent report suggests that the battle royale sensation Fortnite is one of these banned titles.

According to China's state-run press agency Xinhua, the assessment committee is "comprised of online gaming experts and researchers from the government departments, industry institutions and media outlets," and its goal is to be certain that online games, like Fortnite, "meet a certain code of ethics" prior to their release in China.

While Xinhua does confirm that 20 games have been reviewed by the committee, the suggestion that Fortnite is amongst the banned titles comes via a post on NGA, a Chinese gaming forum, which has since been translated on Reddit.

The reason for the ban is cited as "blood and gore, vulgar content," and the post indicates that other battle royale titles, including PlayerUnknown's BattlegroundH1Z1, and Ring of Elysium, are being denied for similar infractions.

In March, China's regulators put a full stop on issuing commercial licenses for online games, effectively preventing the public release of new titles and creating a significant shake-up in the massive market. While the results of this first round of reviews suggest that the newly established committee has strict guidelines for approval, it is, at least, indication that this total freezing of new licenses is coming to an end.

This increased focus on online gaming follows what Xinhua describes as "social concerns" about video game addiction and the negative impact they can have on their players. For instance, in August, China's Ministry of Education suggested a correlation between video game playing and damaged eyesight, and they called for a decrease in the number of online games released in the country as a result. 

At this point, there has not been an official statement confirming the ban of Fortnite in China, however, it is clear that the assessment committee has recommended that a number of titles not be granted official release. While it is difficult to be certain the exact impact this new approval structure will have, China is the world's largest video game market, and these types of bans will, no doubt, be felt the world over.

The post outlining the rumored banned titles can be found on Reddit.

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Obsidian Dishes Out New Info on The Outer Worlds, Promises No Microtransactions https://www.gameskinny.com/6ikuo/obsidian-dishes-out-new-info-on-the-outer-worlds-promises-no-microtransactions https://www.gameskinny.com/6ikuo/obsidian-dishes-out-new-info-on-the-outer-worlds-promises-no-microtransactions Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:37:23 -0500 Gabriella Graham

Last week, Obsidian Entertainment announced their new sci-fi RPGThe Outer Worlds, at The Video Game Awards with a trailer reveal that the gaming world eagerly ate up. With anticipation high, the developer has shared even more details about the game, forgoing the typical industry caginess that tends to follow such big reveals.

Over the past several days, gameplay details and extra screenshots have hit Steam under the game's official listing, RPG Site interviewed Megan Starks (Obsidian's senior narrative designer), and Timothy Cain made a bold but concise proclamation to quiet fan fears.

Steam Gets a New Listing -- and Screenshots

We already know the bare basics from the original trailer shown at The Game Awards: The Outer Worlds is a single-player, first-person sci-fi RPG steeped in space politics, conspiracy, and power struggles. What's more, the trailer's dialogue further emphasizes choice and player agency, right down to who you shoot in the face and who is spared that tragic indignity. 

The Outer Worlds' Steam listing confirms all of this while also adding some storytelling context to the events of the trailer. The player, a lost colonist formerly on their way to the colony of Halcyon, is pulled out of hibernation to jumpstart your journey. Fun fact, Halcyon sits at the furthest edges of the galaxy. (We mentioned sci-fi, right?)

Among minor gameplay and story details, The Outer Worlds' listing provides hints regarding features such as multiple endings, a natural consequence of such a choice-based open world.

Key Features in a Vibrant World

The new Steam listing also delves into the game's "flaw" system, which exists for the sake of well-rounded character development. Despite the name, flaws can be good and act as a direct gameplay mechanic.

While playing The Outer Worlds, the game tracks your experience to find what you aren't particularly good at. Keep getting attacked by Raptidons? Taking the Raptiphobia flaw gives you a debuff when confronting the vicious creatures, but rewards you with an additional character perk immediately.

For a game so quickly compared to Fallout and Fallout: New Vegas, this freshly conceived system sets The Outer Worlds apart from its Obsidian predecessors. It promises to add an extra layer of not only strategy but immediate consequence and reward.

This facet takes Fallout's perks a step further, perhaps to purposely set the new title on its own playing field while exploring one of Tim Cain's core ideas (which we'll discuss further later on).

Your strategy won't end at flaw management. Various characters across the Halcyon colony can join your crew. Your new companions come with unique abilities, individualized side missions, and fully-formed motivations and ideals.

Alien monsters, such as the lovely Raptidons mentioned above, add an extra challenge to the otherwise corporate-controlled colony in which you find yourself. And as you would expect, exploring Halcyon leaves a lot of ground to cover. Just as the name suggests, The Outer Worlds (plural, of course) will send you gallivanting through surrounding settlements and space stations.

Note: There aren't any descriptions of Raptidons or other aliens yet, so perhaps the only specific name we have refers to the creatures seen in the game trailer.

An Interview with Megan Starks

Given Obsidian's reputation for crafting deeply engaging narratives, RPG Site dove into the specific design philosophies behind The Outer Worlds' writing while interviewing the game's Senior Narrative Designer, Megan Starks. 

Starks' resume marks her as both an experienced narrative designer and game designer. She's worked on MMOs and fantasy RPGs alike, including Pillars of Eternity II: DeadfireTyrannyWildstar, and Fallen Earth.

The interview began by touching on the single-player specialty of Obsidian Entertainment, especially concerning RPGs and advanced storytelling. Starks' role in creating fully developed, engaging worlds entails writing a story-focused experience. 

Starks also elaborated on companions as a crucial element to Obsidian's immersive style of story development, saying:

We want our companions to really emphasize that they have stakes that are important to them. They'll ask you to help out on their quests and they'll speak out against you if they don't support what you're doing, we want their motivations and goals to always be at the center of their character. 

To further clarify, companions can and will ditch you for certain actions in The Outer Worlds. While this NPC reactivity doesn't appear in every Obsidian RPG, it certainly won't be new to Fallout fans.

It will be interesting to see if siding with one faction over another, for example, is enough to scare off some of The Outer Worlds companions, or if it will take the building of more specific actions over time to send them running, like in Fallout.

Either way, Starks promises fans a wide selection of fascinating NPCs. She specifically credits Leonard Boyarsky, a fellow designer, with creating highly-personalized characters with varying relationship motivators and moral obligations.

While the trailer already showed off some lively voice-acting, the player character will not be voiced. Starks explains, "... we didn't want to force a character, or even a voice, onto [players]".

Hints for future game mechanics

New details didn't stop there, however. Starks made various comments that shed light on some of what we can expect from gameplay mechanics. 

Here's a list of highlights:

  • The Outer Worlds' team has considered post-launch DLC, but the primary focus stays with the core game.

  • The game utilizes the Unreal 4 Engine.

  • The Flaw mechanic revolves around Tim Cain's notion that "the most interesting characters are the flawed ones."

  • Multiple difficulty settings are already under discussion. One suggested mode would force players to accept all offered flaws.

  • Bloodthirsty villains will find little to no limits when killing NPCs as a result of Obsidian's dedication to player agency.

  • The game will have several endings (as hinted on Steam), but there is no specific number as of this writing. 

A Shining Promise in a Sea of Loot Boxes 

One of the original creators of Fallout, Timothy Cain, reiterated Obsidian's year-old promise to GameStar this week, declaring: 

There are no microtransactions in the game. You buy it once and then enjoy it forever."

And we'll end on that very positive note. No loot boxes. No micros. 

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The Outer Worlds will release on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC in 2019. 

Will the creators of Fallout outsell themselves and fan expectations? Share your thoughts, your hopes and dreams, and your fears in the comments below. We've got some time to kill, after all.

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How to Find and Manage Crew Members in X4 Foundations https://www.gameskinny.com/646ok/how-to-find-and-manage-crew-members-in-x4-foundations https://www.gameskinny.com/646ok/how-to-find-and-manage-crew-members-in-x4-foundations Wed, 12 Dec 2018 14:54:50 -0500 Sergey_3847

Anyone who plays space combat and trading simulators knows that a well-trained crew is important to success. And in X4 Foundations, the latest game from Egosoft, that's no exception.

Although you only have to hire a few crew members to run your ship properly, having more can make your journey through the game's missions much more enjoyable. 

In the guide below, we'll cover how to find crew members and how to properly manage your crew. 

 

How to Find Crew Members in X4 Foundations

The first thing you need to do is to hire a captain/pilot. You can find a free (volunteer) pilot on any space station with NPCs. Just walk around the station and speak to any NPC. During the conversation, you will see the dialogue option "Hire."

Here's how you do assign the pilot to the captain's chair:

  1. In the Hire Staff menu, select an Unassigned Ship in the left menu
  2. Right-click on the ship and press Select
  3. In the Assign Staff menu to your right, click on Selected Role
  4. In the drop-down menu, choose Captain
  5. Confirm your choice by pressing Hire on the bottom of the menu

This is also how you hire and assign any crew member to your ship, whether they be marines, managers, or other crewmen.

Here is the breakdown each shipmate's role and corresponding skill:

  • Captain: Piloting, Morale
  • Manager: Management
  • Marine: Boarding
  • Service Personnel: Engineering

How to Manage Your Crew in X4 Foundations

If you want to hire new crew members, transfer them to another ship, or change their roles, then you can do it by upgrading your ship at any Wharf or Shipyard.

At the ship's upgrade menu, you can hire additional personnel by following these steps:

  1. Select Crew in the left menu
  2. Choose a number of service crew and/or marines you want to add
  3. Select Add to shopping list in the right menu

If you want to transfer your personnel to another ship or change their roles, then follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Map menu and choose Property Owned
  2. Right-click on your ship and select Information
  3. Go to Personnel -> Crew -> Full Crew List
  4. Choose a crew member you want to promote or transfer
  5. Right-click on the name and choose Promote to change role
  6. Or choose Comm -> Work somewhere else for me to transfer
  7. After choosing a transfer, select another ship from the menu

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That's all you need to know about finding and managing your crew members in X4 Foundations. Be sure to keep an eye for more X4 guides as we make our way through the cosmos and find more tips and tricks. 

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GRIS Review: A Watercolor Platformer Full of Hope https://www.gameskinny.com/eh69s/gris-review-a-watercolor-platformer-full-of-hope https://www.gameskinny.com/eh69s/gris-review-a-watercolor-platformer-full-of-hope Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:53:38 -0500 ESpalding

This week sees the release of an indie narrative platformer called GRIS. It is Barcelona-based Nomada Studio's first game and is being published by indie giant Devolver Digital. It is available on PC and Mac and will also be released on Nintendo Switch at a later date.

GRIS follows the story of a young girl who is beginning to explore her own emotions following on from a drastic event which has changed her world completely. The game boasts no combat, no deaths just plenty of platforming goodness and puzzles.

Story and Setting

As I've already said, GRIS follows the story of a young girl as she tries to come to terms with her emotions following a sad experience in her life. The titular character starts off with no special abilities and is just her exploring the world around her.

It has an unspoken story but as you progress through the game, you start to get an idea of what might have happened. There is no dialogue and no text to read. Through changes in the artwork and gradual introduction of abilities, the more you play the more you develop the story and begin to understand what is going on.

Design

I don't know about you, but there are certain things I look for when looking at new indie games. The first thing is always going to be its look. One of the first things you will notice about GRIS is that the developers have gone for a very fine hand-drawn kind of look and, in my opinion, this has got to be the best thing about this game.

The watercolor effect the game has is simply superb and adds a beauty to it that is rarely seen in games these days. It has also been used to influence the story and the more you progress, the more color is introduced in the game. It starts out pretty monochromatic but, as you will find out, it becomes more colorful as you progress.

Gameplay

I'm not going to lie. The controls themselves are pretty basic and straightforward for anyone who has spent a lot of time playing platformers. Given that there is no combat in GRIS, the controls simply move you around and activate the abilities you gain as you progress.

These abilities come in the form of her dress. The dress can move independently and change shape depending on what you want it to do. Do you want Gris to become heavier? The dress turns into a block and gives you extra weight. You want to do a double jump to get over an obstacle? The dress wafts up to give you extra lift. This gives the character a good bit of development as the game progresses.

Aside from completing puzzles, the one other thing that you need to do in GRIS is to collect stars. Stars can be used to form walkways or bridge gaps when they are joined together. It is also through collecting these stars that Gris' dress gains its abilities. Once you have enough stars, they can be made into constellations to form special symbols and creatures which will grant you these special abilities.

Verdict: 8/10

All in all, GRIS is an absolute charm of an indie game. The story developing as you go along is engaging, the artwork is stunning and the puzzles are just hard enough to keep your mind working without being too hard and make you frustrated. For the first game from a small indie studio, this game is very impressive. If they continue this trend of blending aesthetics and gameplay in such a way, I can see them gaining a lot of recognition.

Pros
  • Mechanics change and develop as the story develops
  • Beautiful artistic design and emotive storytelling
  • Consequence-free world
Cons
  • Could be considered simplistic

[Disclosure: A copy of GRIS was provided for review purposes.]

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Chef: A Restaurant Tycoon Early Access Impressions https://www.gameskinny.com/yi3iv/chef-a-restaurant-tycoon-early-access-impressions https://www.gameskinny.com/yi3iv/chef-a-restaurant-tycoon-early-access-impressions Thu, 13 Dec 2018 11:58:50 -0500 QuintLyn

Starting and running your own restaurant is not an easy task -- a fact developer Inner Void makes apparent with its simulator Chef: A Restaurant Tycoon Game. Not to be confused with more casual restaurant games, Chef does its best to emulate the restaurant entrepreneur's experience , from deciding where to set up shop to the day-to-day routines of customer service and general maintenance.

At the start, players are tasked with choosing a location for their restaurant, taking into account a variety of factors including rent, what might be nearby that can affect business, and what kind of customers they'll be most likely to attract. From there they'll need to purchase equipment and furniture, decorate, build a base menu and hire staff.

As players progress, and hopefully begin making a profit, there's plenty of opportunity to improve on things and create the restaurant of their dreams.

Surprisingly deep

When it comes to Chef: A Restaurant Tycoon Game, first impressions will likely be deceiving. Upon first logging in, players are greeted with an adorable intro and a fairly simple character creator for their cute chef avatar. Players can choose skin tone, preset facial features, clothing, and hair; but don't expect to be able to do full RPG-style customization.

This does make sense, however. After all, once in the game, players will have an isometric view of their restaurant, so they won't even be looking at their avatars faces anyway.

Where the depth in this game lies is in the actual management systems.

For instance: not only can players build their own menu, but they can actually create dishes to go on it. Recipe creation is much more than just throwing a few random items together and calling it a day. Recipes are important in this game, and their quality has a direct impact on the success of the restaurant.

Much like a real-world restaurant, the menu is only one factor in creating a successful business. Players will need to determine what kind of customers they want to base their business around and cater to them. This means determining how much effort to put into cleanliness, how much to spend on decor and employees, and how to advertise.

Each of the systems tied into these decisions provides players with a variety of options. For instance, if a player plans on advertising,  they'll need to decide what platform to advertise on -- billboard, TV, social media, etc -- and what kind of customers to direct those ads at.

And then, of course, there's a skill system that offers players a way to improve upon existing abilities.

Effectively, there's a lot to learn in order to play the game well. The good news is that for the most part the tutorial is pretty solid.

Some hitches

Before we go on with this section, it's important to note that as of this writing Chef: A Restaurant Tycoon Game is currently in Early Access on Steam. According to the writeup on the Steam page, the developer doesn't plan to release the final version for about 12 months -- meaning December of 2019. 

Between now and then, Inner Void plans to expand on the game, adding skill-trees for the entire staff in addition to the one that already exists for the player character, cooking challenges, more  management options, and even the possibility of owning multiple restaurants.

With that said, if you're planning on picking up the game right now, there are some things to be aware of.

Game stalls

First, while playing the game, I've run into a few instances where the simulation just kind of stalls. The customers already in the restaurant just sit there without ordering, the waitstaff doesn't leave whatever spot they're standing in, and no one else comes in.

Twice, I had to create a whole new game in order to deal with it. By the third restaurant, I learned to save after every week summary popped up, assuring I'd have a point to go back to after a stall.

The skill menu is tricky

After spending 20+ hours in Chef, the one thing I'm still not 100% comfortable with is  the skill menu for the player character. This also happens to be the only system where the game's tutorial feels lacking.

If a player uses the tutorial, it will effectively tell them that there are points that can be spent and to concentrate on the skills they want. It does not, however, explain what certain abilities are and how they can be unlocked. As a result, anyone playing may have to spend some time using trial and error to get this right. Unfortunately, once a point is used, it can't be taken back. So trial and error may result in creating more than one restaurant.

Still a really solid game

The above issues aside, Chef is a really solid game. Not only that, it's fun and it emulates the restaurant entrepreneur experience about as well as a game can. Speaking as someone who worked in  the restaurant industry for years, I can honestly say it hits all the notes, particularly when it comes to customer reactions.

Even as an Early Access game, it gives players plenty of ways to customize their restaurant and really make it their own -- although it may not seem like it at first as customization options tend to open up as a restaurant becomes more successful. But, if we're honest, that's pretty much how opening a restaurant in the real world works.

Is it worth the purchase?

Before answering this, I want to state once again, the current iteration of Chef is an Early Access offering. That more or less means it's a paid beta. You get in early, but this is not the exact game you'll be playing at launch.

(It also means we won't be providing an official review score. That will have to wait until the game officially releases.)

That said, if you're okay with that, the game is already fun to play. Particularly if you're a number cruncher or a problem solver. Yes, you will have to spend some time learning some of the systems, but once you have them down you may find yourself spending hours on the game.

What's more the developers have noted that players purchasing the game during Early Access will be getting a special rate as their purchases assist the developers in their work to create the final product.

Inner void has not stated what the price of the final product will be. We do know that the Early Access price is $20, so it will be more than that.

[Disclosure: GameSkinny was provided with a review key for Chef.]

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Kenshi Review: A Divisive, Demanding Adventure https://www.gameskinny.com/149jz/kenshi-review-a-divisive-demanding-adventure https://www.gameskinny.com/149jz/kenshi-review-a-divisive-demanding-adventure Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:29:25 -0500 Tim White

Let's make one thing clear right away: Kenshi, the newly completed free-roaming survival-ish RPG-type-thing from Lo-Fi Games, is not for everyone. If you're looking for something casual and accessible to spend no more than 45 minutes on after work, move along. Kenshi doesn't care how grueling your day was.

However, if you've got some time and energy to devote to it, and if you can handle rejection, this game needs to find a home in your library. It'll make you work for its love, but oh, what a deep and sweet love it is.

Story

I seem to be reviewing a lot of story-less games lately, but Kenshi is a little different. It's not a simulator or an "experience." It's more like a blank canvas and a ton of paintbrushes with which to create your own story, if you're into roleplaying in your own head. Even if you're not, its engaging and intricate mechanics might fascinate you anyway.

There's no linear narrative to speak of, but I really think you should give Kenshi a try whether that bothers you or not. It does contain a ton of intricately crafted lore; after spending about 10 hours with the game, I suspect I've only just begun to scratch the surface in terms of learning about its world and the factions that inhabit it.

Gameplay

Imagine Diablo without eighty thousand billion "new" weapons dropping every ten seconds; now you know how movement and menus work.

Now imagine Mount & Blade's squad building system sandwiched by Fallout's wasteland vibe and simplified versions of the construction found in ARK: Survival Evolved, with just a dash of E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy's future-primitive techno-religion vibe.

Got all that? Me neither, at first. Just roll with it for now.

Upon creating a character, you'll be dropped alone into the middle of nowhere with nothing but half a pair of pants and a rusty iron bar that will do absolutely nothing to fend off aggressors. Where you go and what you try (and fail) to do is up to you.

The possibilities are myriad, but all paths are fraught with danger. You can start a farm, buy a fixer-upper house in town, rob the general store, or set out to explore ludicrously perilous ancient ruins brimming with valuable artifacts. You can go it alone or hire up to 29 other companions.

Whatever you do, you'll regularly find yourself beset by thieves, cannibals, vicious wildlife, and killer robots. You can run, fight (and lose), or try to pay them off—or join them. No matter what you decide, there are no simple paths and no easy answers. Every meaningful choice you might make has serious pros and cons associated with it. Each time the in-game clock rolls over, you'll simultaneously breathe a sigh of relief at living to see another sunrise and wonder how the hell you're going to make it to the next one.

If you can survive for about an in-game month, life does get easier, but it never gets easy. Once your settlement grows large enough to reliably sustain itself, you may think the worst of your troubles are over, but in fact you're now also a more tempting target for bigger gangs of deadlier criminals.

Life in Kenshi is a constant process of adaptation, exploration, being terrified of the unknown, and gradually overcoming it with the tiniest of baby steps. If you can embrace the fear and uncertainty, it's a wild and enjoyable ride.

Visuals

Kenshi isn't ugly, at least not when you consider that about five people made the whole thing. It's blocky, and most of it is really, really brown. The bulk of the team's energy was spent developing the game's mechanics and setting, not its graphics, and that's okay by me.

There are some different biomes to explore throughout Kenshi's huge map, but a solid 70% of the map seems to be barren deserts and arid plains. Even though living off the land becomes even more difficult in snowy areas, it's almost worth it just to have something different to look at.

Character models move rather choppily, although a lot of the weapons and armor sets do look pretty cool. There's definitely a neat design aesthetic throughout much of the world, it's just not rendered in photo-realistic 4K.

Sound & Music

Kenshi is a relatively quiet game—perhaps deliberately so, in order to make sure you feel as isolated as possible. Your one constant companion is the low howl of the wind moaning through the canyons around you, but for the most part, there's not much to hear.

Pitched battles are another story. At some point—probably much, much later in the game—you might find your squad of 24 up against an equally numerous foe. The cacophony of clashing metal and angry shouting is jarring in contrast to the usual silence of your daily routine, but if nothing else, it makes it pretty hard not to notice when a huge battle is raging just off-screen.

Performance

Kenshi runs well on a GTX 1080 and an i-7700 quad-core 4.5GHz processor, at least in certain respects. There are some minor performance hiccups, but I doubt they'd disappear no matter how beefy your hardware is.

Loading times and pop-in are small but persistent headaches. Because Kenshi's map is so huge, and because you can send individual squad members all over it at any time, it might very well be technologically impossible to keep enough data in memory to eliminate this problem entirely. Nonetheless, it's mildly annoying to switch between a dozen squad members and have to wait several seconds for their current locations to load each time.

However, the game is pretty stable where it counts most. I encountered no instances of what I call "unacceptable" bugs—things which severely hamper your enjoyment of the game and that the developers could have been reasonably expected to find and fix ahead of time. The game has yet to crash or freeze on me, and all of its intricate subsystems appear to work exactly as intended.

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Pros

+ Huge world crammed full of deep lore and lots of activities
+ Squad A.I. is simple but powerful and efficient
+ Unforgiving learning curve is satisfying to (eventually) conquer

Cons

– Brutal difficulty and lack of hand-holding will turn many players off
– Frequent, stuttery load times are an ever-present low-grade annoyance
– Ugly, boring environments

Kenshi will ultimately appeal strongly to some while instantly repelling others. Whether or not you like what Lo-Fi Games has done, it's hard to deny that they've done it superbly well. If you're willing to play by an unfamiliar and harsh set of rules, Kenshi will keep you entertained for many hours.

If you're having trouble with this game, be sure to check out our growing collection of Kenshi guides to help you gain some traction.

Note: The developer provided a complimentary review copy of this game.

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