Desktop Platform RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Desktop RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Art of War: Red Tides Is Coming To iOS This Month https://www.gameskinny.com/qbv80/art-of-war-red-tides-is-coming-to-ios-this-month https://www.gameskinny.com/qbv80/art-of-war-red-tides-is-coming-to-ios-this-month https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/fda715f06479ae3055cd62a22a599133.jpg qbv80/art-of-war-red-tides-is-coming-to-ios-this-month Sun, 24 Sep 2017 15:10:58 -0400 UltimateWarriorNot

If you’ve been itching for another strategy title for your phone, Red Tides: Art of War has you covered. Since its release on Steam's Early Access platform in December 2016, this game was only available on PC -- but it has now made the move for iPhone and iPad for free. 

Red Tides was heavily inspired by the Starcraft 2 map “Desert Strike”. According to developer Game Science:

"At its core, Red Tides is a competitive multiplayer RTS that takes place in a single 'lane'. Everything from army building, to timing and strategy, is key, especially for climbing that ranked ladder! Our heartfelt thanks go out to the developer of the Desert Strike map from Starcraft 2, without it and our love for it, Art of War: Red Tides would not have been possible".

The game has you play as an Army’s commander, where you go head-to-head against another player in one lane. Each match consists of players choosing what units to bring into the battleground and using special abilities to get an upper hand. 300 units can be on the battlefield at the same time, and 120 units between three races give plenty of strategic possibilities. The game boasts both its simple-to-understand gameplay and its depth as proof that accessibility and complexity can be connected.

Red Tides also boasts its “fair monetization”, where any purchases made in-game will not affect matches. This will make every match fair, regardless of whether someone buys in-game items or not.

Red Tides: Art of War is available to download via Steam or the App Store for free.

]]>
SteamWorld Dig 2 Review: Just Keep Digging https://www.gameskinny.com/t7jmi/steamworld-dig-2-review-just-keep-digging https://www.gameskinny.com/t7jmi/steamworld-dig-2-review-just-keep-digging https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/04f931deb5f190ce482a15b82bb30f9b.jpg t7jmi/steamworld-dig-2-review-just-keep-digging Sat, 23 Sep 2017 17:03:28 -0400 Steven Oz

If you are familiar with the anime Gurren Lagann then you know this quote: “If you're gonna dig, dig to the heavens. No matter what's in my way, I won't stop! Once I've dug through - it means that I've won!

This inspiring call to courage tells you to forge ahead for unknown depths just like SteamWorld Dig 2. The direct sequel to Image & Form Games' SteamWorld Dig, Steamworld Dig 2 follows in its predecessor's footsteps to create a Metroidvania-style game with outstanding visuals and an intriguing world.

You Don't Have to Dig Far for the Story

SteamWorld Dig 2 begins a few years after the events of the first game when our new main protagonist, Dorothy, a steambot with a heart of gold, takes up the quest to uncover the meaning behind the strange earthquakes plaguing the old mining town of El Machino as well as search for Rusty, the protagonist of SteamWorld Dig who mysteriously vanished after the previous game's final boss fight.

While the story is on par with other games in the SteamWorld universe, there is not much to it. The main thing you need to know is that there are earthquakes in the area and that the search for Rusty is still ongoing by your character. Though the game features two main antagonists to combat, only one has even some depth to their character. The other, Ronald, who leads a doom worshiping cult, felt like a simple throwaway character. Players only face his forces a handful of times, which felt a bit sparse and unnecessary. The ending similarly felt lackluster. Again, this is typical for the SteamWorld universe, but lackluster is still lackluster.

The world that this story takes place in, however, is brimming with character. Reminiscent of old western-style lore, El Machino and its population of humans, cult members, and steambots embody the legends of cowboys and cowgirls. Even the environment itself feels like a character, with each new mine you explore possessing a unique feel. One might be dusty, while another is fairy-like. The Temple of the Guardian in particular features traps reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie. Enemies even behave differently in these different biomes, adding an additional layer of freshness to each area. 

Gameplay Is Dusty But Fresh.

An interesting take on the Metroidvania genre, SteamWorld Dig 2 takes that formula and flips it vertically. Simply put, you have to dig to get where you are going. Starting out with just a pickaxe, you dig your way through the ground to find gems needed to buy upgrades for your tools. Also within these deep mines are enhancement sites that grant you access to new tools, like the hookshot. 

The game manages to improve upon its predecessor to enhance the already-fun gameplay experience. In the previous game, for example, double-jumping and wall clinging were abilities that had to be bought and then upgraded. While the new game lacks a double-jump, players are now able to wall cling immediately, which is a great tool when trying to climb up long mine wells.

Likewise, you can now obtain a much-needed jetpack for those times where you end up in a deep open pit with no feasible way of escape. Even some simpler items like transport tubes, which act as a fast-travel system, make it much easier to frequently replenish you health and sell your wares. These simple additions help take out a lot of unnecessary hassle and allow players to spend more time just having fun.

What SteamWorld Dig 2 does retain, however, is the addicting resource gathering and exploration of the first game. Even as someone who does not 100% games, I could not put it down. The depth of the semi-open world is simply immense and I wanted to complete it all. The map is handcrafted to show off the depth of the game and enable full exploration, giving the player the option to systematically mine everything on the map. This makes the loop of digging, selling, and upgrading much more efficient. 

Digging further and further uncovers more secrets. Caves open up to different challenges that test your abilities, often with puzzles that require the use of one of your many tools. One such cave was a puzzle involving a finite number of mining carts. Completing these caves earn the player cogs, which are used for upgrading blueprints, and each cave also contains secret areas that hide artifacts which can be traded for more blueprints.

As you sell your various finds, you can use your hard-earned cash to buy upgrades to your core abilities. Each upgrade can be then be modified with the aforementioned blueprints. These blueprints can then be further enhanced with cogs for different purposes that fit your need. A fascinating part of this upgrade system is that cogs are not locked in, allowing you to mod and re-mod your abilities to better suit different activities. For instance, when facing the final boss, I changed my cogs to focus on health and attack to better tackle the challenge. By mixing and matching these enhancements, players are able to take better control of their own game experience.

All in all SteamWorld Dig 2 is a fantastic game that you don't want to miss. The story is sparse but fair for a world that seems to be alive. The gameplay improves on the last game to enhance players' experience, but still retains the addicting cycle of looting, selling, and upgrading. I hope Image & Form Games can keep on creating such fun games for years to come.

SteamWorld Dig 2 is available now on Nintendo Switch and PC and will be available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on September 26.

[Note: A copy of this game was provided by the developer for the purposes of this review.] 

]]>
Creative Director of Warface Talks About the Game's New Mission; the Future of Shooters and More https://www.gameskinny.com/0c8vl/creative-director-of-warface-talks-about-the-games-new-mission-the-future-of-shooters-and-more https://www.gameskinny.com/0c8vl/creative-director-of-warface-talks-about-the-games-new-mission-the-future-of-shooters-and-more 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/a/r/warface-e2aa7.jpg 0c8vl/creative-director-of-warface-talks-about-the-games-new-mission-the-future-of-shooters-and-more Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:15:01 -0400 Caio Sampaio

No soldier can win a war alone. This is the premise behind Warface, a free-to-play FPS game developed by Crytek, which combines the intense combat with mechanics that foster cooperation between you and your allies. Released worldwide on October 21, 2013, the game will soon live through another birthday and players will receive a gift from the developers a couple of months later.

During this year’s Gamescom, held on August 22 through 26, Crytek and the
publisher My.com announced additional content for the game, which is set to release in December. The latest content will mark a new chapter of the conflict that drives the universe of Warface

According to the developers, the update will feature a new narrative-driven co-op mission held in Pripyat, Ukraine. Located right next to the epicenter of the Chernobyl catastrophe, it once was a vibrant location, but now, it is a setting reminiscent of the post-apocalypse. Watch the trailer below:

Crytek’s free-to-play shooter takes place in a world devastated by the greatest
recession in history. Amidst the turmoil, a group of capitalists controls most of the global wealth, and to preserve their interests, they fortified their ivory tower with the might of a paramilitary force known as Blackwood. Players join Warface, an elite squad that fights back against the worldwide dominance of Earth’s resources.

During the story, you will face new enemies, bosses, and enjoy newly refined gameplay mechanics. With new additional content on the horizon, this is an opportunity to reflect on how the game became what it is today and where it will go next.

The Future of Warface:

GameSkinny had the opportunity to hold an exclusive interview with Michael
Khaimzon (above), the creative director of Warface, to have a better understanding of what the upcoming content will bring. Apart from the future, he also discussed the past and the present of the game, ending our conversation with some predictions for what innovations might be in the making for the FPS genre. As for the new mission of Warface, he said:

“This will definitely be one of the biggest updates in our history. The Chernobyl mission is going to be epic. It has been in production for almost a year, so there are lots of new things coming. New environment, new enemies, new boss fight, and a new chapter in the Warface- Blackwood duel. Let’s not forget, though, that, in addition to this mission, the update will also include new weapons, achievements, and many other things.

December, traditionally, is the most important month for us, as many players prepare for holidays; they have a lot of free time. So, we like to release especially enticing content in this time period. This year is not an exception. Having said that, there is also a new experimental mode coming to Warface, more like an event thing, in which we will test something that we actually started over 7 years ago. We really wanted to do this mode, but never got the chance, so now is the time.”

From the answer provided by Michael, we can assume that the new update will significantly change how you experience the game. On August 28, the official Warface account on YouTube uploaded a video showing behind the scenes footage of the new mission, allowing you to take a better look on what the expansion will bring to the table. You can watch it below:

The video gives you a glimpse of what the expansion will deliver and
displays the effort Crytek put into developing the content, even sending developers to study the location personally. While we will only be sure once we can actually play the new mission, it is possible to speculate that ambiance and immersion will be two of its strongest attributes, as a consequence of their hard work and research.

We can claim this due to the fidelity of the levels, which are almost identical to the real locations they are based on. With the future of Warface covered, Michael continued to discuss Crytek’s free-to-play shooter.

Warface Today: 

One of the main challenges for any game is staying relevant through the years. Some titles pass the test of time with excellence, such as World of Warcraft, while other productions are not as fortunate and their player base shrinks over time, as seen with Evolve. Michael commented on how Crytek works to retain its community for the long run:

“I think the key is listening to the community, understanding them, and releasing regular updates. We did 70+ updates so far - that is literally an update every single month. Thus, our players see that the game is truly live. It is changing, evolving, and they can influence that evolution. All of us, the developers, have to play the game, really play it every day, face the issues, and deal with them first hand.”

Apart from creating ways to keep an audience, the free-to-play model brings
another challenge. The game is always under development, meaning that the stream of new ideas must be constant.

Designers must always craft new features, maps and fine-tune the ones that already exist. Having new ideas is an appealing process for the developers and, once the ideas are approved, the team must bring them to life. This brings us to our next topic.

Designing a Game That is Constantly Growing: 

Throughout the life of a competitive FPS title, developers often continue to expand the game by releasing new maps. To give an optimal experience to players, these levels are usually asymmetrical, meaning that both sides of the battlefield are different. The objective is to provide the player with a sense of novelty when crossing from one side to another, but this also raises a concern.

It is necessary to ensure both parts of the level have the same tactical opportunities; otherwise, a team will have an advantage, thus breaking the balance of the game. Creating two different sides for a map, while making sure they are fair to both teams is an enormous challenge, and Michael provides us with some information on how this process works:

“It’s definitely a know-how that took us years to develop. We have a very detailed level design “bible,” that teaches certain rules relevant to all levels. There are tons of things to consider – timing, positions, slides, coop climbs, and best places for each class. This is really a topic that deserves its own article.”

Level design, however, is only one of the parts that creates the experience of the player. A developer must pay close attention to the dynamics of the game modes the title offers.

In a game such as Warface, which contains a plethora of modes for PvE and PvP, a question begs for an answer; How do the creators split their attention across distinct types of gameplay while ensuring they are all fun? Michael discussed the matter:

“Well, some are more fun than others, but it’s a natural process – you have to try different things, some will work, some will not and it depends on the player’s own preferences. It’s OK, no one can predict with 100% certainty what will happen. We make assumptions based on what our players like and then go ahead and try these ideas. One thing we are definitely proud of is our Blitz mode.

We tried to take the typical Plant the Bomb mode to a different level - make it more casual and fast paced, while still quite tactical. It worked out really well. We can definitely say that Warface players prefer very dynamic type of game-play where you engage an enemy just a few seconds after the spawn or when the round doesn’t take longer than a couple of minutes - and that’s what we always strive to achieve.”

As Warface changes with each new update, by delivering new maps, modes and missions, the game continues to make its path towards the future. With the largest mission in its history set to release in December, it is time to look back and recall how it all started. On this subject, Michael offered some insights on the initial moments in the development of Warface.

Where Everything Started:

The video above shows the first trailer of Warface and it displays how much the game has changed over the years. Prior to its release, Crytek had already developed other successful titles, such as Crysis and Far Cry, which scored 91 and 89 on Metacritic respectively. After the success of these productions, then came the moment for the studio to plan their next move.

The next step for them involved beginning development on a free to play competitive FPS game. For a company that had thrived developing paid AAA experiences, the shift in the payment model may seem as an audacious move. But, according to Michael, the decision came naturally. On this matter he claimed:

“We already had a team in Frankfurt dedicated to AAA titles such as Ryse and the Crysis series, so we wanted to try a different approach – take a smaller team, and launch a title as fast as possible in a completely different way. It was also obvious to us that we were in a unique position. There was, and still is, not much competition on the F2P market for a high quality PvE COOP shooter. We knew that we had unique experience and a tool-set to get this out before others.”

Once the decision to develop a free to play FPS game became official, it was time to start planning the title. According to Jason Schreier in his book Blood, Sweat and Pixels, during the pre-production phase of a project, the developers must make decisions that will determine the future of their game; and that's just what Crytek did.

Through these preliminary stages, it is paramount to set priorities. Considering that Crytek had created successful FPS games in the past, the developers needed to decide whether they would transfer gameplay elements from Crysis (above) and Far Cry to Warface. According to Michael, the right choice was clear:

“Not much was carried over. When working on a typical box title, your main objective is to sell the game to the players. You do not have to worry about the churn rate or the playtime. In F2P there is no second chance. If you do something wrong – you lose the player forever, as he can simply delete the game. At the same time, it is easier to get people in, because there is no pay wall. In a nutshell, there is little to carry over, unless you are releasing a sequel with a different payment model.

As far as the other areas go, there is also a big difference. For example, in Crysis our objective was to make the most beautiful game, no matter the time and effort. In Warface, the focus is on performance, comfortable navigation, and map balance, as it’s - first and foremost - a multiplayer title, as opposed to FarCry and Crysis, which were about cinematic single player experience first.”

Considering Crytek’s approach of creating a brand-new design for Warface, the development team worked under the pressure of crafting innovative ideas that would resonate with the audience. The first step to developing a new game is delineating the goals of the project, and Michael spoke briefly on the subject of Warface's objectives at the start:

“Our priority was to deliver the first AAA F2P COOP title with a balanced,
cybersports ready PvP mode, and over time we managed to deliver pretty much exactly what we wanted.”

According to Michael, Crytek is happy with the product Warface has become.
Reaching the milestone of 48 million users -- according to the publisher My.com -- proves that the game has developed a strong audience.

However, the FPS genre is a competitive market and studios must fight to stay at the top. This scenario entices competition between companies, as developers constantly innovate to get an edge over their rivals, and players benefit from this as more new and interesting games pop up.

The Future of FPS Games: 

Gamers enjoys spending time with innovative technologies; and one of the biggest developments of the video game industry in recent years is the push to create experiences in Virtual Reality (VR). While this hardware still needs to be refined, many players worldwide are already enjoying it, as evidenced by the 915,000 users who purchased the Sony PlayStation VR as of February 19. However, if you think this is the future of gaming, think again, because Michael believes that another innovation may be in store:

“One thing that will probably happen sometime soon is eye control. We will no longer need the mouse to move the cursor around and it will definitely affect the speed and precision of gameplay. As for VR, it is a very specific platform; it’s great for certain games, but not as much for fast-paced shooters. It is definitely cool, and Crytek has released some amazing games for VR, but in order for it to become mainstream, there needs to be significant hardware improvements.

No one wants to move around with heavy goggles on the head, trying to not be stuck in cables. May be once the glasses are wireless and as light as regular sunglasses, the VR will take off. But again, chances are it’s not going to replace PC for fast paced shooters.”

According to Michael, VR is still a long way from being the future of FPS video games. This is okay, because while players do wish to see developers experimenting with new tech, studios can still create innovative and enjoyable experiences with today’s hardware.

Game makers are constantly conceiving new concepts to deliver unique productions. One of the departments in which they are investing is narrative design.

Story in a Free to Play Competitive FPS Games?

On October 31, 2013, the YouTube channel Extra Credits released a video (above) discussing whether or not it is possible to implement a narrative in a competitive multiplayer game. Storytelling in gaming continues to become more mature and complex, and as this process unfolds, developers continue to bolster their skills to create more compelling narratives.

An example of this trend is Ken Levine’s presentation during 2014’s Game Developers Conference, when he pitched a concept for a story that can only be told through video games. With this scenario, some questions emerge: can game makers successfully implement a story in every genre? Can a free to play FPS game provide players with a meaningful narrative? Michael shared his thoughts on the subject:

“In F2P, the main issue is, probably, the resources – cut scenes and realistic acting is very hard to do, and it’s always a matter of priority. You ask yourself: what is the best way to utilize our time and effort? In F2P games, players want primarily action, so this has always been our focus.

Another thing to remember is that Warface is a coop game, there are five players who are not at the same place, looking in different directions, and doing different things, so it’s much harder to play a cut-scene that everyone will see. We definitely want to improve storytelling in Warface and are looking for the most efficient ways to do it without interrupting the gameplay.”

This statement from Michael may shed some light on the future of Warface, as
developers at Crytek try to discover new storytelling techniques that suit their game. Considering that their goal is to have a narrative that does not interrupt gameplay, it is possible that they decide to invest more in environmental storytelling. Whether this prediction will be accurate remains to be seen. 

Conclusion/Summary:

Our conversation with Michael provided us with a glimpse into the future of Warface. The narrative-driven mission to be released in December will significantly change how players experience the game, according to the developer. From the behind the scenes footage, it seems that ambiance and immersion will be two strong attributes of the expansion.

Another note-worthy point of our talk was Michael’s perspective over the future of FPS games. Unlike what some people may think, the Creative Director of Warface does not believe VR will be the future of the genre. He reckons this role will fall on the shoulders of eye tracking technology.

Concerning the future of Warface, he claimed that his team is studying how to create stronger narratives in the game. However, due to the characteristics of a free to play title, the team would prefer to avoid relying on cutscenes to convey their story. This may lean them towards the use of environmental storytelling to strengthen the narrative of Warface.

To stay updated on how the game will continue to evolve and to play the upcoming Pripyat mission in December, grab your rifle and enlist today on Warface.

 

]]>
Divinity Original Sin 2 Mordus Basement Puzzle Solution https://www.gameskinny.com/y1p18/divinity-original-sin-2-mordus-basement-puzzle-solution https://www.gameskinny.com/y1p18/divinity-original-sin-2-mordus-basement-puzzle-solution 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/i/v/divcov1-475b8.jpg y1p18/divinity-original-sin-2-mordus-basement-puzzle-solution Fri, 22 Sep 2017 14:37:34 -0400 Ty Arthur

While there's loads of combat, conversation options, and hidden items to be found in Divinity: Original Sin 2, the game goes a step further and throws in some puzzles that have to be solved by good old fashioned trial-and-error, rather than having a high stat or skill.

One of these puzzles has players consistently stumped if they don't put all their abilities to use. When you reach Driftwood, there's a seemingly unsolvable puzzle in the basement of Mordus' house during the A Taste Of Freedom quest. Below we walk you through the solution, which requires a little ingenuity and a special Source power.

How to Solve the Divinity: Original Sin 2 Mordus Puzzle

Eventually in Mordus' basement, you come across a room covered in pressure plates and a door that can't be opened. Clearly there's a pattern where you need to stand on the plates -- but unless you got lucky trying out dozens of random combinations, this one is next to impossible to figure out organically... until you activate Spirit Vision, which shows you the solution.

Spirit Vision is acquired during the main quest line and can't be missed, so if you don't have it yet while in the basement, go back and complete some storyline segments. While it counts as a Source power, it doesn't cost any Source points to use, so it can be freely utilized for this puzzle.

A pattern of elemental images will appear over the pressure plates showing where you need specific plates to be pressed. The element for each plate changes based on where you are standing and how many plates are pressed.

For instance, if one person is standing on a plate, the nearby plates will be water. If two are standing next to each other, they will change to fire. If three are nearby, it will change to poison. You have to use that changing pattern to get the specific sequence of elements shown in front of the locked door.

 The pattern you are trying to mimic with pressure plates

Even with the elemental abilities highlighted in the air, there's still a major catch though. You need to step on five pressure plates, but you can only have four characters in your party at any one time!

To get this puzzle solved and open the door, unchain your four characters and have them stand on each corresponding pressure plate. Then, set one of the big stone vases on the final spot, since you only have four characters but need to step on five plates. Alternatively, if you have enough heavy objects, you could just set them all on there and not unchain the group at all.

So how do you reach the correct mix of water, fire, and poison markers? The correct pattern (in the 4 X 4 pressure plate grid from left to right) is to place your characters or heavy objects on the spot marked "1" like this:

  • 0010
  • 0101
  • 0100
  • 0001

You can more clearly see what that means in the image below, showcasing the proper positioning of characters and vases. From top to bottom, it should be third position in the first row, second, and fourth position in the second row, second position in the third row, and fourth position in the fourth row.

You should clearly see the water, fire, and poison elements change to match the pattern in front of the door as you place characters/vases.

Once the puzzle is solved, its time to face a very ancient (and very hungry) lich -- good luck!

If you're looking for more Divinity: Original Sin 2 guides, be sure to check out our other tips and tricks for every aspect of this turn-based fantasy experience:

]]>
The Best Lone Wolf Build for Divinity: Original Sin 2 https://www.gameskinny.com/wta2t/the-best-lone-wolf-build-for-divinity-original-sin-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/wta2t/the-best-lone-wolf-build-for-divinity-original-sin-2 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/o/s/dos2-banner-c492c.png wta2t/the-best-lone-wolf-build-for-divinity-original-sin-2 Fri, 22 Sep 2017 11:03:46 -0400 Kengaskhan

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is one of the best co-op RPGs to come out in recent years, allowing up to 4 players to play together any way they want. However, if you prefer flying solo, you can do that too, because the game offers a Lone Wolf talent for you to use with your character!

The Lone Wolf talent doesn't restrict you to just one character in your party, and you'll be able to have at most one other companion with you. But bear in mind that a party of two will need to employ a very different set of tactics than a party of four will. 

If you know you want to play a Lone Wolf character, some builds will be better than others. In this Divinity Original Sin 2 guide, we'll go over the best build for lone wolfing the game. I hope you like Summoning!

Best Race for a Lone Wolf Build

If you want to go it alone, your best race options are Human and Elf. And I'd personally recommend creating a custom character, since Dome of Protection is an excellent skill to have.

Humans get +2 Initiative -- and though Lone Wolf forces you to run with a smaller party, their Encourage skill does affect summons.

Elves, on the other hand, get Cannibalize and Flesh Sacrifice. Cannibalize isn't especially helpful for Lone Wolves, but Flesh Sacrifice is a great racial skill that will net you more AP to work with in combat. You may not get much benefit from the damage boost, though. 

If you've read our Divinity 2 character creation guide, you know that Elves can also acquire a few skills for free without having to use any skill points -- so if you want to get an edge in the early game that will help you wander the lonesome road, Elf will probably be the way to go. 

Best Attributes for a Lone Wolf Build

To start off with your loner character, you're going to want 14 Constitution and 12 Wits. These will be your most important attributes for the rest of the game.

Constitution is obviously important for not dying, but Wits provides Initiative -- a vital stat for Tactician mode. As the initial combat round will shape the flow of the fight, you'll want to go first whenever possible. 12 Constitution should be enough to start out with if you want to throw a few points elsewhere, but you'll want to bump it up to 14 pretty early on.

The rest of your attribute points should be spent as you need them either to fulfill stat requirements or to support any other skills you decide to pick up. Note that your summons do not scale with Intelligence -- they only care about their summoner's level and Summoning skill.

Best Abilities for a Lone Wolf Build

As you probably already know, the classes don't really mean anything -- so there's no "best class" for the Lone Wolf player if you customize your abilities, skills, and talents out of the class presets. You could pick any class you wanted, then change it all to fit this build. 

With that in mind, the best ability for a Lone Wolf to focus on is Summoning. You want to get 10 points into Summoning as soon as possible -- which is incredibly easy, since every point you invest into a Combat Ability is doubled by the Lone Wolf talent.

Not only will most of your skills scale directly off of your Summoning ability, butyour Conjure Incarnate skill will also call forth a menacing Colossal Incarnate at Summoning 10 -- and it's superior in every way to the old one.

Realistically, you'll want your Summoning ability to be as high as possible, but you're also going to need to branch out a bit. You'll absolutely want 2 points in Necromancy, in order to learn the Raise Bone Widow skill -- it's a very powerful summon that scales with your Summoning ability, despite being a Necromancy skill.

You'll also want to pick up at least one Tier 2 Infusion skill, which will require 2 points in their respective elemental ability.

You can also invest some points into the Leadership skill, as the aura also benefits your summoned creatures.

The Civil Abilities you choose to focus on is pretty much up to you, but Lucky Charm is always a good choice.

Best Skills for a Lone Wolf Build

Since you'll be starting the game with only the Summoning ability, your starting skill choices are very easy: Conjure Incarnate, Elemental Totem, and Farsight Infusion.

After that, you'll obviously want to keep focusing on Summoning skills, and you'll want to focus on crowd control and support, as your summons represent the bulk of your damage. Aerotheurge and Hydrosophist are great for both.

Best Talents for a Lone Wolf Build

Obviously, your starting talent is going to be Lone Wolf -- and to be honest, you don't really need any other talents besides that one because Summoners aren't particularly talent-hungry.

The only other necessary talent you'll take will be All Skilled Up at level 3, as it'll get you that much closer to having 10 points in Summoning.

After that, it's pretty much up to you and what skills you branch out into.

Best Companions for a Lone Wolf Build

Regardless of who your companion is, they want to get the Lone Wolf talent as soon as possible. If it's another player, they can take it when they create their character. Otherwise, your companion will have to wait until level 3.

As for the rest of your companion's build, they're probably best off just mirroring you as a Summoner and investing points into whatever optional Combat and Civil Abilities you don't have.

If you (or the other player) decides to take the character in another direction, they might want to focus on crowd control, tanking, and support, with a few points in Leadership.

---

If you have any suggestions for the build (or your own best Lone Wolf builds), I'd love to hear them -- so leave a comment below! But before you dive back into the game, check out the rest of our Divinity: Original Sin 2 guides for more tips and tricks:

 

]]>
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate Edition Announced for Switch Retail https://www.gameskinny.com/m1p72/shantae-half-genie-hero-ultimate-edition-announced-for-switch-retail https://www.gameskinny.com/m1p72/shantae-half-genie-hero-ultimate-edition-announced-for-switch-retail 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/a/shantae-swimsuit-banner-d4be5.jpg m1p72/shantae-half-genie-hero-ultimate-edition-announced-for-switch-retail Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:40:51 -0400 Greyson Ditzler (PurplePocketPirate)

Video game publisher XSEED Games announced yesterday that Shantae: Half-Genie Hero will not only be getting a physical release on the Nintendo Switch, but that it will also be the first release of Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate Edition.  

XSEED claimed that not only will the Ultimate Edition contain the recently released Pirate Queen's Quest campaign mode for Risky Boots, but it will also contain the upcoming character DLC for the Sky, Bolo, and Rottytops. The statement also contained the first bit of news in a long while regarding the alternate costume modes for Shantae that were promised during the original Kickstarter.

XSEED made the announcement on their Facebook, stating that:

"Not only that, the Ultimate Edition will come with 'Friends Mode' and 'Costume Mode'! In Friends Mode, Shantae’s pals Sky, Bolo, and Rottytops must survive Shantae’s Nightmare and save their friend from doom, while Costume Mode provides three new arcade-style adventures; Dash, slash, and teleport as Ninja Shantae, work on your tan as Beach Shantae, or alter the level around you ‘Mighty Switch Force’ style as Officer Shantae!"

There isn't any information yet about the game's release date, nor any specifics regarding the not-yet released character DLC -- but XSEED promised that more details will be revealed in the near future. You can stay up to date with announcements from XSEED by following them on Facebook and Twitter.

]]>
Divinity Original Sin 2 Guide: How to Get the Face Ripper and Source Orbs https://www.gameskinny.com/botwf/divinity-original-sin-2-guide-how-to-get-the-face-ripper-and-source-orbs https://www.gameskinny.com/botwf/divinity-original-sin-2-guide-how-to-get-the-face-ripper-and-source-orbs 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/o/s/dos2-banner-8f8c0.png botwf/divinity-original-sin-2-guide-how-to-get-the-face-ripper-and-source-orbs Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:35:57 -0400 Kengaskhan

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is an exemplar of the cRPG genre, offering players a plethora of choices in what they play, where they go, and how they get there. In particular, players have the option of playing as an Undead character -- a skeleton version of the game's living races, which presents a whole new set of challenges both in and out of combat.

For starters, you'll have to wrestle with the fact that healing magic harms the Undead. What's worse, though, is the way NPCs react to you -- you could be the most benevolent skeleton in all of Rivellon, and most NPCs will still treat you with hostility, some going so far as to attack you on sight if you don't hide your face.

The easiest way around this hurdle is to have your Undead character don a magical mask that allows them to shapeshift into another race. These shapeshifting masks are essential for Undead characters to acquire, and there are a few ways to get them. But the easiest way to do so is to pick up the Face Ripper and combine it with Source Orbs to craft a shapeshifting mask. 

How to Make a Shapeshifting Mask in Divinity: Original Sin 2

Step 1: Get the Face Ripper

The Face Ripper is a magical device that peels the faces off of corpses, giving you the grislier of the two crafting materials needed to create a shapeshifting mask.

You can find the Face Ripper in the clutches of Kniles the Flenser, one of the Magisters residing in the Fort Joy Prison (by the red arrow).

Kniles isn't a very hard man to find, and he'll even approach you to strike up a conversation when he sees you. However, the ensuing fight might be the toughest you've faced up to that point, so be prepared.

Once you have the Face Ripper, you'll need to collect Source Orbs in order to craft a wearable mask.

Step 2: Find Source Orbs

As a rare crafting material in a game with randomized loot, Source Orbs can be very tough to find -- but most players find their first Source Orbs in Act 2, at Driftwood. One of the earliest locations where you'll find Source Orbs is in Meistr Siva's basement in Driftwood, in the energy chest.

  • Note: Source Points and Source Orbs are not the same thing.

If you're unable to find a Source Orb (or don't want to wait until Act 2 to pick it up), you can get one by simply killing Windego -- the Sourcerer witch that stole Fane's mask at the beginning of the game and tried to kill you. You can find her at the location marked in red below:

The Windego fight is pretty easy -- even easier than the Kniles fight. Don't worry or back down from the fight, because she won't be summoning any krakens this time around.

Once you have a Source Orb in hand, just combine it with a ripped-off face and you'll have your mask! 

What to Do With Shapeshifting Masks

A shapeshifting masks will allow any character to change their form and interact with other NPCs as though they were a different species.

Technically speaking, all the mask will do is alter NPC attitudes towards you and your dialogue options, as there's quite a few race-specific options in the game. However, this is particularly advantageous to Undead characters, as NPCs tend to treat them very poorly unless they look like something else. 

---

Shapeshifting is always fun -- and Divinity: Original Sin 2 even offers a Polymorphing skill class. But for the Undead, those shapeshifting masks are basically a necessity. So go get your Face Ripper, find some Source Orbs, and make one for yourself! Just be sure that you check out the rest of our Divinity 2 guides while you're here:

]]>
Hands-On Demo Impressions: All Bethesda Games on Nintendo Switch and VR https://www.gameskinny.com/vjbuu/hands-on-demo-impressions-all-bethesda-games-on-nintendo-switch-and-vr https://www.gameskinny.com/vjbuu/hands-on-demo-impressions-all-bethesda-games-on-nintendo-switch-and-vr 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/e/t/bethesda-5dc28.jpg vjbuu/hands-on-demo-impressions-all-bethesda-games-on-nintendo-switch-and-vr Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:01:36 -0400 Joey Marrazzo

[{"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/e/t/bethesda-logo-e0393.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/b/e/t/bethesda-logo-e0393.png","type":"slide","id":"170010","description":"

If you are an owner of a Nintendo Switch,  HTC Vive, or PlayStation VR, then Bethesda will be your home this holiday season with its surplus of games coming out. 

\n

While some of the games they showcased for demos aren't as polished as you'd want them to be, they all had their own element of fun that really makes it all worth it. Check out all of the games featured here when they come out before the end of the year. 

\n

Which of these games are you most looking forward to? Let me know down in the comments!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d832ecdc55d1e3566578a6bd1d566b6a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d832ecdc55d1e3566578a6bd1d566b6a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11412","description":"
Doom VFR (PlayStation VR & HTC Vive)
\n

This demo was a ton of fun -- and easily the best VR game that was available to test. DOOM's graphics are really good for a VR game. And although the controls take a little bit to get used to, the game plays just like the console version that was released last year. 

\n

When Doom comes to PSVR and HTC Vive, it will be about a 5-hour experience. The Bethesda representative I chatted with didn't mention any DLC, but this demon-addled shooter is definitely worth checking out if you own either one of the VR headsets it's been optimized for.

\n

Doom VFR releases for both PSVR and HTC Vive on December 1.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/b960be1846f568d9c3b66479175faccd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/b960be1846f568d9c3b66479175faccd.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11410","description":"
Skyrim VR (PlayStation VR &  HTC Vive)
\n

Entering the world of Skyrim on the PSVR was insane. Being able to take down enemies with a sword in one hand and burning enemies with fire in the other was incredibly cool while totally immersed in the world. 

\n

The controls are simple once you get the hang of them. The VR version of Skyrim isn't as fluid as its non-VR counterparts, since the game's VR movement is based on teleports rather than walking. That said, swinging a sword and extending your hand to burn things was a lot of fun. And although using the bow and arrow did take some getting used to, I was able to get a few good shots in before my demo was finished.

\n

 

\n

The graphics aren't the greatest, though. Skyrim VR looked very blocky -- not at all what you'd expect from one of the gorgeous games released in the last decade. Of course it's understandable that graphics will take a hit in a VR port, this was more like a few uppercuts and a solid punch to the jaw. 

\n

Is Skyrim VR worth picking up? If you like Skyrim and have PlayStation VR, sure. If you just want a new game to play on PSVR and don't feel that strongly about Skyrim, wait for it to go on sale or use the Amazon Prime discount to get it for a little less. I really wanted to be blown away by this game, but the graphics really impacted the experience. 

\n

Skyrim for PlayStation VR will be released on November 17.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/17c06d4b429602e5d53d8ff6490595e4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/17c06d4b429602e5d53d8ff6490595e4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11411","description":"
Fallout 4 (HTC Vive)
\n

This was one of the better VR experiences I was able to try out. The graphics for the Fallout VR port aren't on par with the graphics you'll find on console or PC, but they aren't as bad as the graphics in Skyrim VR. 

\n

Much like its fantasy counterpart, Fallout 4 VR has you teleport to move around. Using weapons in the game feels smooth and natural, making for an overall satisfying combat experience. I would definitely recommend picking this on up if you have been wanting to get into Fallout 4 or love it enough to play it again on your VR rig.

\n

All DLC will be included when Fallout 4 for the HTC Vive is released on December 12 of this year.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2fba37a3a12f259820252c67eb670b9d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2fba37a3a12f259820252c67eb670b9d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11409","description":"
Skyrim (Nintendo Switch)
\n

When the Switch was first revealed to us last year, there was footage of Skyrim running on the console. But a port of Skyrim was never confirmed until E3 this year, when its November 17 release date was revealed. 

\n

One of the questions that's come up frequently is: What version of Skyrim is it? The vanilla game, or the special edition that came out for Xbox One and PlayStation 4?

\n

 

\n

After speaking to the Bethesda representative, I learned that this version of Skyrim is more like the Game of the Year edition. It does include all DLC that has been released in the past but does not have the remastering that made the game look incredible for current generation consoles.

\n

Although I imagine this choice was based on the graphical capabilities of the Switch, the fact that this isn't the remastered version of Skyrim does show when you're playing on the portable console and hurts the experience a little bit. The graphics aren't all that great -- probably comparable to the Xbox 360 graphics moreso than those on current-gen consoles. 

\n

But despite the graphics not being up to par, the game does run really well. It's smooth and has all the quests, exploration, and looting that you'd find in every other version of the game. 

\n

If you enjoyed Skyrim on the other consoles and want to be able to play it everywhere you go, you'll probably enjoy the Switch version. But if you've never played the game before and want to try it out, I'd recommend picking it up for PC or a current-gen, since the Switch just doesn't do this game's beautiful graphics enough justice. 

"},{"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/o/o/doom-8ba18.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/o/o/doom-8ba18.jpg","type":"slide","id":"169999","description":"
Doom (Nintendo Switch)
\n

When this title was announced at the most recent Nintendo Direct, I was shocked that it was being ported -- and nervous about how this game would play on the portable console.

\n

But after getting to see it for myself, I can assure you: DOOM plays really well on the Nintendo Switch. 

\n

The graphics are comparable to the console version, but might look a little fuzzy to those who have played the game already. I played my demo using the Pro Controller, and it felt really nice. If you played the game on console or on PC using a controller, the controls are exactly the same -- so you won't feel lost when you play it on the go.

\n

 

\n

I made several attempts to get the release date out of the Bethesda representative, but she did not budge. I did, however, get confirmation that the game will include DOOM's full campaign and arcade mode. The multiplayer modes and every map released so far will be available as a download, and not on the Switch cartridge.  

\n

DOOM will release for the Switch around the 2017 holiday season.

\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/b/e/t/bethesda-5dc28.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/e/t/bethesda-5dc28.jpg","type":"slide","id":"169998","description":"

Bethesda has a number of big titles releasing this holiday season -- from Fallout 4 in VR to DOOM on the Nintendo Switch. Fans of the company's RPG and shooter games have a lot to look forward to as the end of the year draws closer. 

\n

This week, I was lucky enough to get my hands on some of these upcoming games to try them out before they hit store shelves. After spending time with DOOM and Skyrim on the Switch, and the VR ports for DOOMSkyrim, and Fallout 4, here are my thoughts about what's on offer from Bethesda this year.

\n

If you want to skip to a specific demo, you can use the links below:

\n"}]]]>
Tooth and Tail Review: An Enjoyable Game with Mild Distemper https://www.gameskinny.com/tkgbe/tooth-and-tail-review-an-enjoyable-game-with-mild-distemper https://www.gameskinny.com/tkgbe/tooth-and-tail-review-an-enjoyable-game-with-mild-distemper https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-ec776.jpg tkgbe/tooth-and-tail-review-an-enjoyable-game-with-mild-distemper Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:19:43 -0400 Skrain

Pocketwatch Games -- the studio behind the cult hit Monaco -- recently launched its second game. Dubbed Tooth and Tail, it's a casual RTS with simplified features. 

In Tooth and Tail, four animal factions are fighting for control over an important decision that will determine who gets eaten. With a cute art style and a story that's simultaneously grim yet lighthearted, there's a lot to love about this fresh take on the strategy genre. But unfortunately, the game falls back on itself hard in terms of RTS management. 

Wheat is for Swine, Meat is for Animals

Tooth and Tail takes place in a world where civilized animals (excluding pigs) have decided that they would rather eat meat, and that all other foods are for Swine. These Swine are depicted mostly as unintelligent sources of meat -- and their only purpose is to survive until "harvest" and feed the other animals. 

However, Swine isn't the only meat that this animal society eats. During hard times, religious Civilized faction, lead by Archimedes, controls a lottery that determines who gets eaten when the Swine aren't enough to sustain everyone. Recently, this lottery claimed the life of Bellafide's son -- which sparked a revolutionary fire that leads him to found the Longcoats faction with the intent to fight back against the Civilized. 

Fighting alongside the Longcoats are the Commoners, lead by the beloved Hopper -- a hero to the everyanimal, who gave up her own arm so her people could eat. And fighting for the sake of ending the war are the KSR, led by a quartermaster who was pressed into the conflict. 

An Interesting "Lite" RTS

Tooth and Tail is described as a "popcorn" RTS where you control your commander directly, and indirectly give orders to your units as you play. In the single-player campaign, you often have anywhere between 2-6 units to build or utilize depending on the mission itself and the faction. You'll also need to control Gristmills, the primary source of meat. In these Gristmills, your swine will fatten themselves up for the harvest. As the single-player campaign progresses, you'll play through each faction in the continuing war for meat and dominance. 

An interesting feature in Tooth and Tail is that all maps, including the single-player story missions, are randomly generated. So playing through the campaign multiple times yields different maps with the same objectives.

Matches generally last 5-15 minutes, and your general strategy revolves around managing a single resource for meat while defending your own production buildings and attacking your opponents. You'll do this with a variety of units -- including drunken squirrels, self-exploding toads, medical pigeons, flamethrowing boars, and much more. 

Multiplayer matches are relatively straightforward, with standard 1v1, 2v1, and 2v2 matches. Each player picks a limited number of units that they can use throughout the match, and then it sets off and plays out accordingly. Like the single-player campaign, these maps are randomized for maximum replayability.

 

Fluffy Mechanics

One of Tooth and Tail's best qualities is undeniably its art style, from the vaguely retro in-game graphics to the charming artwork for the characters. The game was visually engaging, and the variety of environments because of the randomized maps went a long way in making sure things felt fresh most of the time. 

Being a "popcorn" RTS also has its benefits, because you don't have to worry as much about time constraints if you want to sit down and play for a while. With most strategy games, you have to take a moment and decide whether or not you can dump two hours into an online match. But with the average Tooth and Tail match time being between 5-15 minutes of non-stop action, it's a great game to pick up and play for short intervals. 

The meat of Tooth and Tail, however, is its simple control scheme and easy-to-learn mechanics. RTS games have a reputation for being hard to learn, and even harder to master (and rightfully so). But T&T doesn't suffer from this mechanical learning curve, so it allows newcomers to the genre to enjoy themselves just as much as veterans. 

Multiple people can also play from the same computer at the same time. That's right -- Tooth and Tail is one of the few PC games that supports split screen. So cute animals murdering each other can be made even better with up to four friends in split screen couch co-op. 

The Wrench in the Machine

Unfortunately Tooth and Tails' greatest feature is also its greatest drawback. Simplicity can be beneficial to a certain point, but has adverse effects when it's taken too far. And those familiar with the RTS genre might find that to be true for this game. 

The game removes many of the unit control features that make RTS games enjoyable -- like complex unit pathing, patrols, direct unit control for precise orders, inability to split units of a single type into multiple groups, and many others. So there's no way to handle your Tooth and Tail unit in a granular, strategic way. You're forced to group all units of all types together, or every unit of a single type together. There is no middle ground. And the only orders you can give to these overreaching groups are "attack," "follow," or "stay". 

 

The randomized maps are also a huge drawback when it comes to strategic development, in spite of the replay value they add. In the Steam description for Tooth and Tail, Pocketwatch Games describes these maps as follows:

"With procedurally generated maps and customizable factions, no two conflicts will be the same, forcing players to strategize rather than memorize."

While adaptability is definitely part of good strategizing, I believe that Tooth and Tail has taken it too far, while claiming it's something that it's not. In most cases, strategy has been outright replaced with adaptability in both single-player and multiplayer modes.

Eventually, you reach a point in the game where the difficulty of your encounters is not determined by your skill level or the AI's skill level, but by your randomly generated start position and your foes. There were multiple matches I played where the AI would get the high-ground advantage with hills that blocked my unit vision and gave them an angle to fire down on my units -- with no possibility of going around. In this case, "strategy" would have been using ranged units to overcome the obstacle, or simply moving to a new vantage point. However, the random maps don't lend themselves well to these actions in the single-player campaign. So instead, I had to slam dozens of units at an immovable wall.

This sort of gameplay doesn't encourage strategy or really even adaptability -- it just demands that you play into the few options that you have for approaching a situation, whether or not doing so makes any strategic sense. And of course, restarting a single-player match in hopes of getting a better randomized map isn't very strategic, either.

The procedural generation isn't as bad in multiplayer mode, since for the most part things seemed at least semi-symmetrical. However, I have had times where I've run into multiple choke points against enemy players with simply no way to overcome them due to how hills, bunkers, and line of sight works. These types of issues were further aggravated by my inability to issue complex orders to my units in order to compensate.

Verdict: A Little Flat, But Enjoyable

Despite it lacking in the strategic depth I'm used to (and fond of) in RTS games, I enjoyed my time with Tooth and Tail. The story was engaging, and the frantic pace the game sets right out of the game kept me immersed in its world. It's a solid game overall, in spite of a few minor misrepresentations in its marketing. 

In spite of a few hangups, Tooth and Tail is a good casual RTS game for those who want some strategy but don't want learning a game to be a second job. If you're interested in Tooth and Tail, you can head over to Steam and pick it up for $19.99.

[Note: A copy of the game was provided by Pocketwatch for this review.]

]]>
Divinity Original Sin 2: Companion Quests and Locations https://www.gameskinny.com/qunq0/divinity-original-sin-2-companion-quests-and-locations https://www.gameskinny.com/qunq0/divinity-original-sin-2-companion-quests-and-locations 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/v/cov2-af927.jpg qunq0/divinity-original-sin-2-companion-quests-and-locations Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:15:56 -0400 Ty Arthur

While you can build an entirely custom character in Divinity: Original Sin 2, there are six origin characters provided who have deep backstories tied into the game world.

These characters feature unique dialogue tags, as well as their own individualized quest lines. In this Original Sin 2  guide, we'll go over all six companion starting locations and break down down how to complete their origin quests. Before you jump into the quests, however, there are some basics you need to know about character creation and playing through diverging quest lines.

Intersecting Quests and Skills

Many of these quests intersect becausethey revolve around finding some of the same NPCs -- and doing some of these quests will close off the others. You can also only have four characters in the party at a time, so you will likely only see a handful of these companion quests on a single playthrough.

Since you have total control over the build of every character, from your starting main adventurer to all the other origin companions, there's no reason not to take one of the origin characters. If you don't like the character's preset skills, abilities, etc. then just change them to match your preferred build.

When you meet a companion on the Fort Joy island (after the ship wreck), you can also choose their basic class direction, and you have full control over how a character levels up. Don't like Fane being focused on Geomancer and Pyrokinetic powers? No worries, give him points in Necromancer or Polymorphing instead when he levels.

In some cases, a companion's quest will supersede your main character's own quest when talking to a specific NPC, and they will ask to speak to that person in private. In general, it's best to allow them to do this to move their quest forward, and then talk to that NPC separately afterwards if they are involved in your personal story quest.

Fane Companion Quest

This immortal, undead being is inside the hidden alcove (the game will prompt you to look through the vines to reach the alcove as you explore the beach on the way to Fort Joy). If you keep his base build, Fane is your elemental mage with Geomancer and Pyrokinetic abilities.

He doesn't know why all the rest of his immortal species is gone and is trying to discover what happened while he was trapped in a tomb. Make sure to keep his hood on during the beginning portion of the game, or everyone will become aggressive and attack the undead monstrosity.

Inside the Fort Joy ghetto, let him speak privately to the blacksmith Nebora to begin the first part of his quest. She will not-so-politely refuse to create an object for ripping off faces.

Later, when you actually make your way into the interior of fort itself while trying to escape the island, kill Kniles and give the Face Ripper to Fane. Finally, when you escape Fort Joy, head north along the beach until you discover the insane Sourceror woman and kill her to acquire Fane's mask.

 Companion Fane

Ifan Ben-Mezd Companion Quest

Your Huntsman / Geomancer archer Ifan is found shortly after entering the main gate to the Fort Joy ghetto after you see the magister killed by her companions. He's standing by a woman who is being hassled by thugs.

Ifan used to belong to some sort of mercenary group that apparently isn't happy he left, and now people are still trying to hire him to do things he doesn't want to do. To kick off his quest line, read the note in his inventory and then talk to him directly. Next, let him talk directly to Magister Borris, then read the new note and talk to Ifan again.

After you leave Fort Joy and reach the Hollow Marches, talk to Zaleskar to get a special crossbow for Ifan. After rescuing Garreth in the main story quest, have Ifan talk to him to discuss the Lone Wolves, then talk directly to Ifan.

Later in the story after defeating Alexandar, a boy will approach the party discussing Ifan's contract. Head to the second floor of the Driftwood Tavern and talk to Baran about the contract, then talk to Roost at the sawmill, which will initiate a battle. Loot the contract from Roost's body to finish the quest.

 Companion Ifan

Lohse Companion Quest

This companion is found inside the Fort Joy ghetto, hanging out near the cots in front of the divine shrine in the center of the area (just to the left of where you meet Gawin and to the right of the blacksmith).

To kick off Lohse's quest line, go into the taverns and talk to Saheila. Lohse will ask to speak to her privately, which starts a fight. There aren't many good options here, as you will either end up killing Saheila (turning everyone in the cavern hostile and shutting off their quest lines) or fighting Lohse and knocking her out, which lowers her affinity with you but keeps the quest going anyway.

Later, in the holding cell dungeons beneath Fort Joy, talk to the dwarf named Zillik, who will tell you to head towards Driftwood. When you reach that area, talk to the demon hunter named Jahan in Cloisterwood to complete the quest.

  Companion Lohse

Sebille Companion Quest

Your sneaky assassin can be found near Fort Joy's south gate by Stingtail's camp. Recruiting her is more difficult if you picked a lizard starting character or if you already have The Red Prince in your party, requiring a successful Persuade roll.

Sebille frequently gets into fights with lizard NPCs and can end up having to kill them if you aren't careful during dialogue. She has the Corpse Eater ability though, and can easily gain new skills just by eating body parts of NPCs.

For Sebille's quest, first start the Imprisoned Elf quest by talking to Saheila in the caverns, then talk to Stingtail on the beach near Fort Joy. If you aren't playing as Sebille, she will kill Stingtail when she asks to speak to him privately, which can cause a problem since he's the Pyrokinetic skill book vendor.

Next, go talk to Griff, who will reveal you need to meet with Zaleskar in the Hollow Marshes (after escaping Fort Joy). After speaking to him, talk to Baran on the second floor of the Driftwood Tavern, then go initiate the battle with Roost in the sawmill, just like with Ifan's quest. After the battle, talk to Saheila to finish the quest.

 Companion Sebille

The Red Prince Companion Quest

This sword-and-shield fighter focused on the Warfare skill is located just slightly south of your starting position on the beach, found on the way while traveling to the Fort Joy ghetto. He used to have his own empire, so he's kinda haughty and superior in any given conversation, and you just have to let that slide. 

The people who successfully led the coup to oust him as prince also send assassins to finish the job, so get ready for random unexpected combat when he's in the group. On the plus side, he can dig without a shovel, making him a useful addition to the party.

For The Red Prince's quest, first start the Imprisoned Elf quest by talking to Saheila in the caverns, then chat with Griff. Next, head to Stingtail and talk to him -- but make sure you don't have Sebille in your party, or she will try to kill him.

After escaping Fort Joy, let The Red Prince speak with the lizard named Bahara in Amadia's Sanctuary. Afterwords, head to the Stonegarden of Reaper's Coast and use the Spirit Vision ability to talk to the ghost there. Finally, head to the Red Princess's camp so The Red Prince can find his mate.

 Companion Red Prince

Beast Companion Quest

This dwarf battlemage who led a failed rebellion against his queen is found on the beach on the western side of the island (south of the crocodile area) trying to pry a board out of a crashed ship.

Beast's quest lines are usually moved forward by talking to other dwarves, such as the NPC in the Arena Of The One found by going through the cellar near Griff, or the dwarf named Zillik in the holding cells. We haven't fully completed his quest line yet, however, so if you have any tips on specifics let us know in the comments and we'll get this entry updated!

 Companion Beast

Did you find any other ways to complete these quests or find any extra quest-related dialogue we missed? Let us know in the comments!

If you're looking for more tips on this massive fantasy game, be sure to check out our full list of Divinity: Original Sin 2 guides to get the most out of your role-playing experience:

]]>
Planetoid Pioneers Preview https://www.gameskinny.com/ur1m0/planetoid-pioneers-preview https://www.gameskinny.com/ur1m0/planetoid-pioneers-preview 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/l/a/planetoidpioneers2-12fff.jpg ur1m0/planetoid-pioneers-preview Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:37:10 -0400 Wizard of Warsaw

Planetoid Pioneers is a new physics-based game by developer Data Realms. Built in its own engine, the game has a lot of potential for a Steam Early Access title. It's a fun game even this early, but I hesitate to suggest purchasing it at this stage of development. There are some good things going on, but there are a few problems as well.  

The Positives

One of the biggest draws of the early access for Planetoid Pioneers is the Contributor Edition. So far, the game includes a few levels that feature a diverse collection of objects to help explore the various planetoids, but by purchasing the Contributor Version, you also get access to the Crush 2D engine. Contributors can use the Crush 2D engine to create their own content and share it with other players, and even the developers. 

The Game Only Edition still has some fun content on its own, with the primary planetoid having a large playable section. On top of the developer-made planetoids, there is a ton of Contributor content floating around the Steam Workshop that players can access. 

 

The Negatives

For the most part, there isn't anything too horrible about Planetoid Pioneers. Most of the negative stuff is pretty small and generally not game breaking. There are people who have run into bugs involving lost save data and game crashes, but I never experienced it myself. I'm not sure how bad the crashing actually is, but it's best to be prepared for it. 

The controls can sometimes feel unpolished, making it difficult to travel from place to place, but as frustrating as that was, it was never so terrible that it made me want to quit. The controls are primarily an issue in regards to vehicles or special gadgets, which seem to interact with the physics in an odd way by making them not move at all or just move incredibly slowly.

The most important thing to remember is that Planetoid Pioneers is still in early access. Anything and everything mentioned here is subject to change, and since Data Realms has been very responsive to player complaints I am optimistic that things this will turn into an excellent game.

]]>
Divinity Original Sin 2: Arena of the One Combat Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/x2x1w/divinity-original-sin-2-arena-of-the-one-combat-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/x2x1w/divinity-original-sin-2-arena-of-the-one-combat-guide 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/v/cov1-13066.jpg x2x1w/divinity-original-sin-2-arena-of-the-one-combat-guide Wed, 20 Sep 2017 17:16:40 -0400 Ty Arthur

You wouldn't think there would be much to do as a collared slave on an island prison camp, but the first act of Divinity: Original Sin 2 is absolutely packed with hidden quests and difficult battles.

While stumbling around Fort Joy looking for a way to escape imprisonment, you may have noticed a small cellar door found near crime boss Griff and the imprisoned elf Amryo.

Down in that cellar lies the Arena Of The One, where religious fanatics endlessly battle each other to find the One true master of combat. Perhaps that One could actually be you?

Her's how to find out. 

Preparing For The Fort Joy Arena

Before you even attempt the arena battle, you want to be at least third level and have a full party of four characters as the contingent of level three gladiators found here will wipe the floor with a low-level party that isn't well equipped.

Everyone should have all of their armor slots filled (pants, gloves, boots, helmet, chest, and when possible, magic rings). If you haven't found enough equipment lying around while exploring, you can buy some better gear from the lizard in the caverns or complete a few quests that provide bonus items and experience.

One of the easiest to complete is The Shakedown, since you just have to talk to Elodi at the front of the fort while she's being intimidated by thugs -- and then follow her into the cavern to wrap up the quest. I also recommend taking on the three giant crocodiles on the western beach to get the teleportation gloves.

Once you're ready, simply entering the arena gives you 300 XP and starts a new quest. Before taking on the arena combat, though, be sure to check the side rooms and loot all the vases for gold and crafting items. Each of the combatants also has items to sell, which you should check before hand, with Thora having a useful nailbomb grenade for sale.

Even if you don't buy anything, make sure to talk to Mia. During your dialog exchange, admit you are no battle-hardened warrior and then ask about The One. If you tell her you believe in her faith, she will give whichever character is talking a Magic Shell buff that increases magic armour. (You can actually swap characters and repeat this process for every party member, which I highly recommend doing if you want to survive.)

Finally, make sure to save before telling Thora you are ready to battle, because you can only do this once.

Arena Combatants

There are four primary enemies with a wide range of skills who will hit you at range, in close combat, and apply plenty of status effects if you aren't paying attention to your armour level. The enemies are:

  • Veerle, the Avid One, who attacks with a crossbow and can teleport.

  • Rex, the dog, who has 20% resistance to all elemental effects, extremely high physical armour, and attacks with melee abilities.

  • Ailsa, the Cultured One starts on scaffolding for high-ground advantage and will heal other party members, cast buff spells, and Fossil Strike your team from long range. She's the real threat, as she can quickly move behind a wall to get out of range of your attacks.

  • Gedeon, the Tenacious One will use Encourage and Crippling Blow against anyone with low physical armour. Taking him down with fire or poison effects should be a priority as he will impair the mobility of your team.

All of the enemies have robust physical and magical armour, meaning you have to whittle those armour ratings down before you can actually hurt them. Most have 30-41 points in physical armour and 12-17 points in magic armour, so skills that strike magic armour first will be more effective at killing the gladiators.

The reverse is true of Ailsa, who has 39 points in magic armour and 17 points in physical armour. Teleporting a backstabbing rogue behind her on the scaffolding can be a devastating tactic here, as Ailsa is the biggest threat.

 The end of the battle will come down to assaulting Ailsa on the high ground

Winning The Divinity: Original Sin 2 Arena Battle

Warfare and physical-based skills like Battle Stomp aren't that helpful because of the tough physical armour of many enemies. Their knockdown effects won't trigger until very late in the battle, although you may want a skill like this in reserve for taking down Ailsa.

Instead, its better to use magic spells to whittle down magic armour, then hit your enemies with magic status effects such as stun or blind. At this early stage in the game, when your skills are limited, I've found these to be the most effective:

  • Lizard's racial fire breath ability
  • Electric Discharge and Blinding Radiance (Aerothurge)
  • Fossil Strike and Poison Dart (Geomancer)
  • Searing Daggers (Pyrokinetic) and the Fireball scroll found on the boat

Because magical armour is the lowest for most of the combatants, don't discount polymorphing abilities or using summoning spells for extra firepower if your main character took either of those spell schools.

You also need to keep your party alive, and to that end make sure you have either Fortify (Geomancer) or First Aid (Huntsman) to remove burning, as the battlefield will quickly become engulfed in flames.

The Opportunist talent is also helpful as the gladiators change position frequently around the battlefield. Anything that recovers your two armour ratings will be furthermore useful mid-combat.

 Yep, everything's on fire

Set your Huntsman or ranged spellcaster up on the scaffolding to hit from afar, then go to work casting spells or backstabbing as appropriate to win the battle. Make sure to work your way towards the other side so you can get up and fight Ailsa in melee on her wooden platform.

Your party will likely have to reload and do this battle more than once even if you are prepared. I only won by the skin of my teeth with Ifan at 1 hit point and three other characters all dead when I finally took down the final arena fighter in my first attempt.

Winning the fight unlocks the Gladiator achievement, and everyone is resurrected at the end, so don't worry about using resurrection scrolls during the combat unless you need a full party to finish the battle.

Make sure to talk to Thora to complete the arena quest and get a piece of magic armor as a reward. After leaving the arena through the cellar door, the blacksmith Nebora -- found near the front of Fort Joy -- will also remove your collar after you win the arena.

This nifty bonus finally lets your main character access Source abilities and can also lead to an escape route if you talk to a Magister and have them throw you in the jail for breaking your collar.

 Choosing Your Reward

Did you manage to beat the Fort Joy Arena Of The One battle with any other tactics? Let us know your best strategy in the comments below!

If you're looking for more tips on this massive fantasy game, be sure to check out our full list of Divinity: Original Sin 2 guides to get the most out of your role-playing experience:

]]>
TCGs and CCGs -- Not Every Card Can be Good https://www.gameskinny.com/3mypg/tcgs-and-ccgs-not-every-card-can-be-good https://www.gameskinny.com/3mypg/tcgs-and-ccgs-not-every-card-can-be-good 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/a/d/bad-cards-banner-3fc66.png 3mypg/tcgs-and-ccgs-not-every-card-can-be-good Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:57:02 -0400 Kengaskhan

Be it Magic: The Gathering, Hearthstone, or some other TCG or CCG, you'll find cards that are laughably unplayable. Some are so bad that they've become memes within their communities.

As a player, it can be frustrating when your booster pack's rare card finds a home not in one of your decks, but in that large box of unused cards sitting in your closet.

Or, maybe, you think you've found a card with a really cool, interesting effect -- a card you'd love to build a deck around -- only to notice that its mana cost is double what you think it should be.

Unfortunately, bad cards are a necessary evil for the TCG/CCG genre, and it all comes down to how complicated it can be to design and balance hundreds or even thousands of cards.

Why do Bad Cards Exist?

In Magic (or whatever TCG/CCG's) R&D's card-slinging utopia, bad cards wouldn't exist -- after all, what company wants their consumers to associate their product with a feeling of disappointment?

In the real world, things aren't quite as simple -- card design is a very complicated and nuanced process, and each individual card, no matter how plain or simple, must be carefully crafted to maintain competitive balance.

And therein lies the problem.

In a Youtube video, Hearthstone's creative director Ben Brode discusses some of those issues, focusing specifically on the the design choices they made with one of the most maligned cards in the game: Purify.

That video may not have answered all your questions, but when you look at a card and think, "What were they thinking when they designed this terrible?", there are three things you'll want to consider: human error, the fact that cards don't exist in a vacuum, and the diversity of play formats.

R&D is Only Human

If there's one lesson that Magic R&D has learned over the past two-and-a-half decades it's that they've made mistakes in the past and that they're going to make mistakes in the future.

The most notable of these mistakes typically results in an overtuned card, like Skullclamp or Siege Rhino, cards that wind up dominating their respective competitive scenes.

Other times, they'll design cards that they think will be powerful, but reality inevitably proves them wrong. One infamous case of this was the printing of Scornful Egotist, a card that costs eight times the mana you'd expect it would.

Here's a snippet of internal discussion R&D had regarding the card:

Theoretically, the card was intended to play nicely with cards that played off of expensive mana costs (Riddle of Lightning, for example), but in the end, all players saw in Scornful Egotist was an 8-mana 1/1 dork.

Cards Don't Exist in a Vacuum

Naturally, Magic R&D errs on the side of safety by intentionally undertuning cards that could potentially be problematic for the competitive scene, as the only way for them to deal with such cards after releasing them is to outright ban them.

You might be wondering how a card could get nerfed so hard during development that it goes from "potentially problematic for competitive play" to "you're reading an article to try to figure out why it's so bad," but don't worry, that's not actually where I'm going with this.

Card game designers put a lot of effort into maintaining the delicate balance of their competitive metagames, and while they may want certain strategies to be present, they may not want them to be prevalent.

Take Hedron Alignment, for example -- it's a fun win-condition that's strong enough that people have managed decent tournament results with Alignment decks. In a lot of ways, Hedron Alignment is a brewer's dream.

That being said, it's also a very gimmicky card, and as fun as it might be, it'd be pretty format-warping if such an unconventional deck made it Tier 1. What could R&D have done (or might have done) to stop that from happening?

Well, they could nerf the Hedron Alignment into oblivion, and it's possible they did reduce the card's power during development -- or, they could cut back on the cards that would support the Hedron Alignment deck.

It's conceivable for a card like Secret Salvage to have had its mana cost lowered to 4 without pushing the card into the realm of overpoweredness. However, a 4-mana Secret Salvage might have been enough to push those Alignment decks up to Tier 1.5.

That's not to say that Secret Salvage is a bad card, but it's very possible that there are other cards that aren't as strong as they could have been because of the presence of Hedron Alignment in Standard.

The Diversity of Formats

In MTG, there are two general format archetypes: constructed and limited. In constructed formats, players have all their cards in their collection at their disposal (as long as they're format legal) -- whereas in limited, players only have access to whatever random 45 or 90 cards they open from their booster packs.

As such, constructed and limited are vastly different, and R&D spends a lot of effort maintaining both, which means each new set introduces cards for two separate metagames.

While a constructed metagame only consists of the cream of the crop, a limited card pool forces players to consider a much broader spectrum of cards.

Shepherd of the Lost is an absolute limited all-star, yet it is equally unplayable in Standard, the lowest-powered of all the constructed formats -- there are simply far better options.

Now, imagine what a Draft filler card might look like to a constructed-only player.

You wouldn't even find a card this "bad" in one of WotC's preconstructed decks, and those are notoriously underpowered even for casual constructed play, yet Wetland Sambar has seen a good bit of use in Khans of Tarkir limited.

And that's not to mention the loads of unsanctioned formats the game has, like Commander, Cube, or Penny Dreadful, all with their own unique card pools.

"Bad" Cards are Necessary

The reality of the current state of TCG/CCG design is that there's no way to avoid "bad" cards when the designers have to juggle so many different cards for so many different formats and metagames.

It can be particularly tough on paper card games, like Magic, where R&D has no realistic way of nerfing cards after they've been printed, forcing them to be more conservative with the power level of their cards.

However, if you start opening up to other formats of play, you might find that a lot of "bad" cards do have a place in the game -- and that they may actually be quite playable in those formats.

]]>
Destiny 2: The FPS Too Complicated For Its Own Good https://www.gameskinny.com/bfezc/destiny-2-the-fps-too-complicated-for-its-own-good https://www.gameskinny.com/bfezc/destiny-2-the-fps-too-complicated-for-its-own-good 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/a/y/cayde-header-a6ddf.jpg bfezc/destiny-2-the-fps-too-complicated-for-its-own-good Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:33:17 -0400 Kieran Desmond

Destiny 2 is a more simplified experience than its notoriously convoluted predecessor, but there are still some glaring issues with this new chapter that need to be ironed out.

After fully leveling two characters in Bungie’s latest offering, it’s clear to me that there are three main areas within Destiny 2 that could do with some polish -- the lore, the post-story grind, and the details on where specific pieces of gear can be found.

With all the resources Bungie has at its disposal, these issues can most certainly be addressed and improved for not only veteran Guardians like myself, but for newcomers as well. 

The Problem with Destiny’s Story

Something you don’t hear very often is that Destiny actually has a great story. But it’s true. The problem is that it has always been hidden away; in the original Destiny, the Grimoire cards carried the game's lore, whereas in Destiny 2, the lore is attached to gear and subclass descriptions. 

The Grimoire, which required you to log into the Bungie website to access, has now been removed from the site. Luckily for us, Destiny has a truly amazing fanbase, many of whom set up websites of their own which compile all of the lore (so far) into elegant and relevant categories. My favorite of these, and a great place to start for the lore-ignorant among us, is the Seraphim Archive, which sorts out all of Destiny's lore into a coherent and readable chronology.

However, Bungie can't seem to effectively parse out Destiny 2's story in an easily digestible fashion. BioWare faced a similar issue with the Mass Effect trilogy, but eventually implemented the Codex, which contained both written and voiced entries and was a delight to peruse. It's Bungie’s failure to implement a similar system that forces fans to consume the game’s story through secondary sources. Because of this, many Guardians will never experience the gripping tale of how Auruash became Oryx or how all the Fallen houses were once at peace with each other.

I've long thought that Bungie should take all of the great lore that they've painstakingly scribed and apply it to comic books, an animated series, or even a live-action film or miniseries. For the sake of reaching as many people as possible, please give us anything but a wall of text.

Wondering where this lovely lady got to in Destiny 2?
This Grimoire Entry from D1 gives us some indication.

How Do I Get Raid-Ready?

So you've beaten the story. Congratulations! The next thing on the menu is the Leviathan raid; but how do you get your Power Level high enough so that you won’t die from a Psion merely glancing in your general direction? Seriously, without looking it up, would you have known? I'm guessing not quite.

Power Level advancement is essentially locked behind Exotics, Clan XP rewards, and weekly Milestones that award Powerful Engrams. It’s never mentioned in-game that these are now your only avenues of going beyond the 265-275 soft Power Level cap. This can be a frustrating fact to learn after hours of needlessly farming faction tokens and legendary engrams that basically get you nowhere. Well, unless you're looking for a particular item, but more on that later.

On top of this, there’s the issue of mods. Every exotic drops with a +5 mod, meaning that every time you receive an exotic, it’s actually 5 levels lower than it says it is. Again, this is never clearly stated and has been a big source of confusion when it comes to maximizing your Power Level.

Let's look at this a little closer. Let’s say an Exotic drops at 290. Soon after, you receive a Powerful Engram that decrypts into a Legendary 289. “Damn!”, you might think, “If only it was a couple of levels higher. Oh well, I guess I’ll chuck it in the vault or dismantle it”.

Stop! Remember that the Exotic is 290 due its intrinsic +5 mod, meaning it’s actually only 285. If you infuse your new Legendary into the Exotic, it will go up to 289 and it will keep the mod, resulting in a 294 Exotic. Incremental level increases like this contribute to the steady crawl up to max Power Level, but the lack of clarity means more casual players will almost always lose out.

It’s also worth noting that Legendary gear has a chance to decrypt with a +5 mod already attached. The lesson here is always inspect your gear to check for mods. In the original Destiny, once you'd leveled up a piece of gear, it's border would change from white to yellow. A similar indication of whether or not gear has mods attached would be a welcome addition to Destiny 2.

Hey, This is Cool, But How Do I Get X?

Destiny 2's armor is a much more cosmetic feature this time around. There's less focus on armor-specific abilities (except for Exotics) and more focus on how badass your Titan looks as a neon-pink space knight. 

I'm still not sure how I feel about this change; I like having the choice of multiple, cool abilities on gear. I also like not being restricted to certain bits of gear because of said abilities. We're only three weeks in, so we'll see how that opinion shifts as the game comes into its own.

But as the header suggests, sometimes you'll have a piece of gear that you really like the look of, but are unsure where you got it or how to get the rest of the set. In order to figure out how to get what you're after without turning to Google, which Destiny seems to heavily rely on, you'll have to go around to each planet and social space's vendor to take a look at what their Legendary Engrams can decrypt into. Not only are many Guardians oblivious to this feature because of a lack of clear signposting, but it's also a huge pain in the ass.

Every vendor has an extra set of rewards that you can receive, titled "Additional Rewards". If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out the bottom row of gear in the image below. Those bonus rewards are actually on a 5 minute rotation. So for example, if you're looking for the Errant Knight 1.0 Hunter armor set and all you need is the chest piece, if it's not listed in the additional rewards, just wait and it might be in the next rotation. This is another feature Bungie doesn't disclose and I only discovered myself by pure accident.

By the end of the game, there are at least 10 vendors spread across five different spaces, which can get confusing as to who will unlock what gear. It can also take up a bunch of your time going from planet to planet if you're trying to figure out which vendor has that sweet cape you're looking for. I feel that in the advanced universe of Destiny, there would be some kind of wireless-network-type technology, something that would allow the instant exchange of information across vast distances... the internet, they may call it.

Oh, and here's a crazy idea: let us Guardians see what each of the vendors has to offer from an interface in the cockpit of our ships. Such a feature would kill multiple dregs with one stone; it would add a feature to our ships, keeping them from being useless cosmetic items, as well as redefining why you'd ever choose to go to Orbit in Destiny 2, making it relevant again.

---

A key thing to keep in mind is that Destiny 2 is still in its infancy. Issues like the ones I've raised above are being echoed by the community, and Bungie does listen. But don't expect too much too soon. It's going to be a busy few months for Bungie, so I doubt we'll see the much-needed vendor gear compendium or any other huge changes for a good while yet -- if at all.

That's not to say they won't fix anything, however, and I'm sure Bungie has a long list based on what I've seen of the Destiny sub-Reddit. Much like D1, in a couple of years, we could be looking at a completely different beast with new features that will make us forget all about our month-one gripes. I can't wait until we can poke fun at vanilla Destiny 2 saying, "Hey, remember when we couldn't see which gear had mods equipped?!".

Let me know in the comments below if you agree with me, if you think I'm totally wrong, or if I missed something you think is too complicated in Destiny 2 -- I'd love to discuss it with you. And if you need help with some aspect of the gamecheck out some of our Destiny 2 Guides!

]]>
Sega Unveils Sonic Forces Digital Bonus Edition and Free DLC https://www.gameskinny.com/p274a/sega-unveils-sonic-forces-digital-bonus-edition-and-free-dlc https://www.gameskinny.com/p274a/sega-unveils-sonic-forces-digital-bonus-edition-and-free-dlc https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d3897130f8b736c6a373b269353e6913.jpg p274a/sega-unveils-sonic-forces-digital-bonus-edition-and-free-dlc Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:41:42 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Sega is continuing its promotion of the upcoming Sonic Forces with some new announcements about the game and a new trailer as well (which you can view above).

The company revealed that all purchasers of Sonic Forces will receive the free day-one DLC "Episode Shadow", and PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners can pre-purchase the Digital Bonus Edition of the game starting now to receive a few additional items.

"Episode Shadow" focuses on Shadow the Hedgehog's relationship to the enigma that is Infinite, and explores the fate of Team Dark as well. You will be able to play as Shadow in more than 10 modern Sonic-style stages, but you also get three Shadow-specific stages as well. Whether the hedgehog maintains G-rated language throughout, though, Sega didn’t say. 

Sega also revealed that the Digital Bonus Edition of Sonic Forces includes the previously announced Atlus add-ons -- featuring AiAi from Super Monkey Ball and Persona 5's Joker, among others. However, it also adds an extra Shadow skin for your character, special avatars, a couple of themes, and automatically includes the Episode Shadow DLC. As mentioned, this special set is only for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players, with nothing mentioned as of yet about plans for a Nintendo Switch bonus edition.

---

Let us know in the comments if you are looking forward to playing as Shadow again or are planning on picking up the bonus edition!

]]>
Divinity Original Sin 2: The Burning Pigs Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/gyfpm/divinity-original-sin-2-the-burning-pigs-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/gyfpm/divinity-original-sin-2-the-burning-pigs-guide https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-ea23c.jpg gyfpm/divinity-original-sin-2-the-burning-pigs-guide Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:35:47 -0400 Sergey_3847

On your way through Fort Joy in Divinity: Original Sin 2 you will encounter a group of Burning Pigs that are a part of a quest with the same name. This is not a simple quest, so be prepared to go above and beyond in order to lift the curse that fell upon these poor creatures.

If you want to find the resolution to this mysterious curse and complete the Burning Pigs Quest, follow this Divinity Original Sin 2 guide for a step-by-step breakdown of what you need to do. 

How to Lift the Burning Pigs Curse in Divinity: Original Sin 2

Step 1: Speak to Scapor

You will first encounter the fiery hogs at coordinates x:446 z:176. You need to use the Bless sourcery on one of the pigs in order to awaken Scapor -- an undead servant of Braccus Rex.

If you don't have the Bless sourcery, you can get it in the Dark Cavern that is located at coordinates x:508 y:69. In order to use the sourcery you will need The Collar to be removed.

When you heal a piggy, Scapor will appear right in front of you and demand a fight, so either kill her or pursuade her. In any case, she will reveal to you that the pigs are cursed heretics of Braccus Rex.

In the same manner, Bless four more burning pigs that are hanging around.

Step 2: Speak to Feder

After Blessing the pigs, go to the Dragon's Beach. At coordinates x:579 z:179 find Feder -- a wizard who was once human, but was turned into a pig. Speak to her using the Pet Pal talent.

During the conversation, tell her to visit the Sanctuary of Amadia and pray to the goddess in order to lift the curse and return to her human form.

Step 3: Visit the Sanctuary of Amadia

Go to coordinates x:417 z:40, where Feder will be waiting for you with bad news -- the praying didn't help. Suggest that she enter the pond at the Shrine of Amadia.

Then, interact with the head of the goddess and speak to her. Continue the conversation until the blessed mist engulfs the pond. As a result, Feder will transform back into her human form.

---

That is it for the Burning Pigs quest, but there's much more to learn about the game with the help of the following Divinity: Original Sin 2 guides:

]]>
Divinity Original Sin 2: Fort Joy Escape and Collar Removal Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/nx541/divinity-original-sin-2-fort-joy-escape-and-collar-removal-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/nx541/divinity-original-sin-2-fort-joy-escape-and-collar-removal-guide 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/v/cov1-8617d.jpg nx541/divinity-original-sin-2-fort-joy-escape-and-collar-removal-guide Tue, 19 Sep 2017 18:42:47 -0400 Ty Arthur

Originally the entire map of the Early Access build, now Fort Joy is just the opening segment of the massive Divinity: Original Sin 2 game world. While there's plenty to do there, some new players who didn't get in on the early version are having a hard time figuring out how to remove their source collars and escape.

All of the party's source collars will be removed at the Seekers camp after rescuing Gareth, but there is a way to get a collar removed earlier during the Fort Joy segment. For those struggling with completing the game's first act, below we cover several different options for leaving Fort Joy and some fun things to do along the way.

Divinity Original Sin 2 Fort Joy Escape Routes

Teleportation

On the far west beach after you reach the Fort Joy ghetto (north of the cookstation and the area where you meet the talking crab Septa the Insufferable) you can find a trio of dangerous crocodiles. One of them has a partially digested teleportation glove in his gullet.

If you talk to the human wizard named Gawin (to the right of the Divine statue and painting of Lucian) you can get a quest to pick up the glove, or you can just walk straight to the crocodiles and grab it yourself. Either way, you'll want the teleportation ability granted by this nifty piece of equipment.

 Crocodile location on the Fort Joy beach

The battle itself won't be too tough -- so long as you set the crocodiles on fire and avoid setting yourself on fire, since they use Fossil Strike and create oil areas all around your party. Whittling down their physical armour and using knockdown or blinding can also be helpful.

Now head over to the hidden alcove on the north-east side of the map (see the image below) and look for a spot where you can teleport down to a ledge near a tree stump. You can bring Gawin here as part of a quest for extra experience, but he's no help in escaping since he'll betray you and leave without actually teleporting your party anywhere.

From that lower ledge, teleport each party member across to the mossy area (don't forget the black cat if you are trying to get the cat familiar). This is technically the "easiest" way, but it's also pretty time-consuming since you have to wait for the teleportation cooldown for each party member.

Although you can't use the gloves to teleport yourself, you can remove the gloves and give them to someone across the chasm through the inventory screen, then have that person teleport your main character.

From there you are pretty wide open in your options. You can try to reach the drawbridge and lower it, escape through the boat by talking to the little boy, or head into the prison and escape through the sewer after an extremely difficult battle.

Alternatively, instead of teleporting across the chasm, you can chop down the tree stump and jump down it to access the cellar, which opens up the prison escape route.

 The teleport location

Trial By Combat

This one requires a lot of tactical knowledge and a good grasp of the battlefield mechanics in Divinity: Original Sin 2. You will also need a lockpick, so either grab one, buy one, or craft one before getting started.

If you talk to the blacksmith named Nebora near the start of the Fort Joy Ghetto, she will intimate that she can remove a source collar, but only for someone who has proved themselves.

Head further into the ghetto where the crime boss Griff is hanging out near his elf captive. Just nearby there's a hatch that leads down to an arena where fanatics battle to prove themselves. If you can beat the band of fanatics, Nebora will remove the main character's source collar.

The fight is incredibly difficult at the beginning, though, and it's a good bet a level 1 - 2 party is going to get wiped out. I recommend doing all the area quests first and buy as many new skill books and items as you can before heading into this fight. Make sure to also take advantage of the high ground offered by the scaffolding and pay attention to each enemy's resistances before setting down tiles of fire, poison, or electricity.

After the collar is removed, go bug a magister and point out you don't have a collar, which will send you to the prison. Now use your lockpick to escape and leave the Fort by any of the methods mentioned in the section above.

Kill 'Em All

If you're feeling particularly overpowered and homicidal, you can just kill all the magisters, force open the gates, and escape across the bridge on the other side. But I don't recommend taking this route until you've acquired a bunch of equipment and skill books and leveled up a few times.

Elf/Skeleton Quest

If you head into the cave near the back side of Fort Joy and talk to Saheila you will kick off The Imprisoned Elf quest line. If you free Amyro from Griff during this quest, he can show you the secret passage to the cellar.

Alternatively, if you talk to the skeleton in the cavern, he too can lead you to the cellar if you complete the Withermoore's Soul Jar quest line.

Bring along a lizard who can dig or grab a shovel before going here as you have to dig. From the cellar, go through the broken wall and use a lock pick. From there you'll have to fight your way out towards sewer entrance below or the topside to get to the boat.

More Options

With all the different quest lines and methods of approaching any given problem, it's likely there are even more escape routes.

In many cases no matter how you try to escape, you will end fighting through the prison. If you come across the magister Delorus, try to keep him alive so you can get a password that lets you bypass a battle onto the boat.

Have you found any other ways to remove the collar or escape Fort Joy? Let us know in the comments!

If you're looking for more tips on this huge fantasy game, be sure to check out our full list of Divinity: Original Sin 2 guides to get the most out of your roleplay:

]]>
Divinity Original Sin 2 Ultimate Build Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/65gyo/divinity-original-sin-2-ultimate-build-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/65gyo/divinity-original-sin-2-ultimate-build-guide https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/20170914181809-4edf7.jpg 65gyo/divinity-original-sin-2-ultimate-build-guide Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:54:03 -0400 Ty Arthur

The level of customization possible in Divinity: Original Sin 2 is staggering, whether you want to focus on a smooth-talking teleporter with a ton of skills, an undead soldier who knocks down all enemies, an archer who summons corpses, or nearly anything else you can imagine.

In this guide, we're going to go over four epic Original Sin 2 builds with vastly different focuses, from a stealth assassin to a masochistic necromancer who revels in taking damage. With any of these builds, you could either co-op or even potentially solo your way through the game. 

Rogue Assassin Build

With this build, you always want to be positioned behind an enemy for backstabbing and generally avoiding detection. On the attribute side, Finesse is probably a better idea than Strength. Don't discount Wits though, as you get a bonus to initiative and critical chance. For your ability points, you want to put your points into Scoundrel for the critical bonus, and of course Stealth for the sneaking. 

On the skills, Adrenaline is a must for getting enough action points to kill with a backstab in one turn. Throwing Knife and Backlash also lets you deal backstab damage, while Chloroform can knock out an enemy at the end of your turn without breaking stealth.

If you go for a secondary ability beyond Scoundrel, oddly enough Polymorphing can be helpful, since it lets you fly around and avoid terrain or remove all negative status effects quickly. The Polymorphing skill Chamelon Cloak gives you two turns of pure invisibility without breaking stealth. Warfare isn't nearly as useful as you'd think, since many of the associated attacks aren't helpful for backstabbing and Scoundrel already gives you a bonus to Finesse-based attacks.

Pros

So long as you pick skills that don't break stealth and you have a weapon that benefits from the high Finesse, you can essentially cheese your way through any combat by staying hidden and then quickly backstabbing or knocking an enemy unconscious before they react. Getting items early that provide teleportation abilities will be a must so you have maximum mobility.

Cons

You will generally have lower armour ratings, since you are focused on staying hidden, meaning that status effects will hit you more often. The game is also a good deal slower and more tense if you are always sneaking and having to pay attention to line-of-sight cones.

 Rogue Assassin Build

Solo Masochist Necromancer Build

Put either two points into the Necromancer skill, or one in Necromancer and one in Warfare for the bonus damage. When you level up, place your combat points into Retribution. For your weapon, you probably want a big two-handed weapon that does the most base damage possible with devastating criticals.

From the Necromancer side, you absolutely want the Bloodsucker ability, which lets you heal from the ever-present pools of blood on the ground. You may also want to invest in the Leech talent to automatically heal from blood sources if you aren't going the solo route. Mosquito Swarm is another one that both deals damage and heals. If you are mixing Necromancer and Warfare instead of straight necro, either Crippling Blow or Battle Stomp is the way to go.

Pros

Your idea here is to always be healing yourself while reflecting damage back to the enemy. Every point in Necromancer means you automatically heal damage when you deal it, and each point in Reflection increases the amount of damage you automatically deal back to anyone who hits you. In other words, just walking around getting damaged in combat lets you both kill and heal.

Cons

With the Necromancer skill, your vitality only heals when dealing damage directly to enemy vitality, so any enemy with high physical / magical armour will prevent you from healing. 

It also takes several levels for the bonuses from Necromancer and Retribution to actually hit useful levels (starting at a measly 10% and 5% with only one point each at first level). However, this can be overcome by taking the Lone Wolf talent instead of Leech.

With Lone Wolf, each skill point is effectively doubled, which halves the amount of time for those skills to reach useful levels. Despite the name, Lone Wolf actually lets you bring along one companion in addition to your main character while still retaining all the benefits of the talent.

 Necromancer Skills

Paladin Build

Your archetypal holy knight, this build revolves around battlefield control. You should be dealing out decent damage, knocking down opponents for control frequently, and then healing your party when necessary.

Hydrosophist and Warfare should be your ability picks, giving access to healing and armor boosting spells, in addition to the bonus to straight damage. For skills, your starting picks should be Restoration and Armour Of Frost (which removes negative status effects) -- and your Warfare pick should probably be Battle Stomp, since it gives battlefield control and doesn't affect allies like most area effect spells.

On the weapon front, either sword and shield combo or a two handed weapon focus compliment the build. 

Pros

The Paladin build is excellent for your main character because it overcomes a lot of the weaknesses of the five other origin companions. While you won't be flinging fireballs and creating poison clouds, you can gain easy battlefield control and ensure the rest of the party doesn't go down in flames. There are a lot of combos you can do with other party members as well by first creating wet conditions using your Hydrosophist abilities and then creating electrified areas.

Cons

Outside of combat the build isn't nearly as useful, since a simple bedroll you can grab directly at the beginning of game in the ship prevents the need for healing items outside of battle. You also won't be the stealthiest.

Building a Custom Paladin 

Elemental Mage / Summoner

Taking the Lizard class for this fire build is a decent idea, since you get the Dragon's Blaze bonus ability to breathe fire. However, you may want to go with Undead instead, since they heal damage from poison, and you will frequently be creating poison clouds.

Your attributes should be focused on Intelligence for bonus spell damage and Memory so you have a broad range of spells to use and are never in a situation with all your skills in cool down. For abilities, of course you want Pyrokinetic and Geomancer.

On the skills, Ignition is less useful than you'd think because it does damage around you, which can hit allies and of course set off oil puddles and end up hurting yourself or other friendlies. Fossil Strike pairs well with Searing Daggers to create a fiery battlefield -- and for maximum map controlling damage, don't forget Poison Dart creates a poison cloud.

For a twist, instead of Pyrokinetic, switch over to Summoning but keep Geomancer. Now pick Conjure Incarnate instead of Searing Daggers. If you summon your Incarnate in a poison cloud, he will deal tons of poison damage to your enemies for you, essentially acting as a bonus free companion.

Pros

AoE is the name of the game here, as you set large swathes of the battlefield on fire or fill it with poisonous vapors. Dual-wielding elemental wands is a great idea so you can deal bonus damage to fleeing enemies who are on fire or poisoned. Even when you aren't hitting, you will still be dealing damage due to everything being on fire.

Cons

It's incredibly easy to end up damaging your own team here with all the area fire and poison effects, and you don't have much of anything in the way of healing or physical armour.

 Undead Wizard

These are the four best Divinity: Original Sin 2 builds we've had the most luck with playing through the campaign and dominating in combat. What's your favorite build, and what combos would you recommend for getting through different acts of the game?

If you're looking for more tips on this huge fantasy game, be sure to checl out our full list of Divinity: Original Sin 2 guides to get the most out of your roleplay.

]]>
Monster Hunter: World Trailer Reveals Worldwide Release Date https://www.gameskinny.com/5z4zp/monster-hunter-world-trailer-reveals-worldwide-release-date https://www.gameskinny.com/5z4zp/monster-hunter-world-trailer-reveals-worldwide-release-date https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1711c96328ac8f3c90e78c6be162f9a1.jpg 5z4zp/monster-hunter-world-trailer-reveals-worldwide-release-date Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:30:03 -0400 Erroll Maas

At Sony's pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference, it was revealed that Monster Hunter: World -- the newest entry in Capcom's popular Monster Hunter franchise -- will be released worldwide for PlayStation 4 on January 26, 2018.

Those who pre-order the game will receive the Origin Set Armor and the Fair Wind Charm Talisman, and those who pre-order through the PlayStation store will receive a custom theme as an additional bonus. Additionally, the game will also have a Digital Deluxe Edition and a special Collector's Edition.

The $69.99 Digital Deluxe Edition will include: 

  • A digital copy of the game
  • A Samurai Set skin
  • Three gestures
  • Two sticker sets
  • An additional face paint and hair style option for the hunter
  • 14 weapon-themed PlayStation 4 exclusive PSN avatars

These bonuses will also be available for purchase for those fans who pre-ordered the game elsewhere on January 26.

The $149.99 Special Collector's Edition will include: 

  • A physical copy of the game
  • A voucher for the additional customizable options from the Digital Deluxe Edition 
  • A 32-page hardcover art book
  • A high-quality flagship monster statue
  • A digital soundtrack code

In Japan, there will also be a special Liolaeus (Rathalos) Edition PlayStation 4 Pro released on December 7 for 49,980 yen (about  $447 USD). This exclusive console will include:

  • One terabyte hard drive
  • Special DualShock 4 controller
  • Digital copy of Monster Hunter: World
  • Special PS4 theme
  • Two months of PlayStation Plus
  • Special collector's box

It is currently unknown if this special edition console will be released outside of Japan.

Monster Hunter: World will release worldwide for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 26, 2018, with a PC release at a later date. The flagship monster (aka the monster featured on the cover of the game) will be the newly introduced Nergigante in Japan and the already well-known Rathalos in the West.

]]>
Square Enix Announces Left Alive at Tokyo Game Show https://www.gameskinny.com/x9rtg/square-enix-announces-left-alive-at-tokyo-game-show https://www.gameskinny.com/x9rtg/square-enix-announces-left-alive-at-tokyo-game-show https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2c14df2531ec0ab739fdd47bc6276588.jpg x9rtg/square-enix-announces-left-alive-at-tokyo-game-show Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:24:58 -0400 Erroll Maas

During Sony's pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference, Square Enix revealed that it will be releasing brand new game, titled Left Alive.

The company didn't reveal much about the game, but we do know that it's a survival shooter that features Shinji Hashimoto as a producer, Yoji Shinkawa as a character designer (known for his artwork from Metal Gear and Zone of the Enders), Takayuki Yanase (Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Xenoblade Chronicles X) as the mech designer, and Takayase Nabeshime (Armored Core) as the director. 

In the latest issue of Famitsu magazine, Square Enix revealed that the world of Left Alive is connected to the Front Mission video game series. The last Front Mission game that saw release was 2010's Front Mission Evolved for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

From all the information currently available, it can be determined that the game involves mechs of some sort. But fans are looking forward to more detailed info in the future.

Left Alive is slated for release on PlayStation 4 and PC sometime in 2018. 

]]>