Paradox Interactive Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Paradox Interactive RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Cities: Skylines Parklife DLC Review https://www.gameskinny.com/holma/cities-skylines-parklife-dlc-review https://www.gameskinny.com/holma/cities-skylines-parklife-dlc-review Wed, 23 May 2018 18:15:02 -0400 Fox Doucette

Cities: Skylines, arguably 2015's Game of the Year, continues to get new DLC three years after its launch, and "Parklife," the latest, seeks to blend the resurgent amusement park genre of games like Rollercoaster Tycoon and Parkitect into the classic SimCity formula that Skylines has otherwise been following since launch.

The question becomes whether this is a clever fusion of genres or whether you're essentially being asked to pay 15 bucks for content that's either superfluous, poorly integrated, or both.

And the answer to that? Well, it's the same answer as every DLC to come out for Skylines so far, and for every DLC to come out for publisher Paradox's other games that use this model, like Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV.

Repeat after me: “It depends on your playstyle.”

I loaded up a city that was fairly bog standard and still very much a work in progress (pop. 3,500 or so and just starting to expand across the freeway for the first time) and used the game's districting tool, repurposed to “create a park area,” to carve out some land like Walt Disney looking out at bare ground in Anaheim in the 1950s.

And here ... is where things got a little underwhelming.

A Place With All the Zip of Nuka-Cola

You get four broad templates to work from: City Park, Zoo, Nature Reserve, and Amusement Park.

Each has its own flavor, and Colossal Order clearly had broad city types from its previous DLCs and the basegame in mind. The Zoo and Nature Reserve in particular are supposed to appeal to the same people who got the most out of the Green Cities DLC, while the City and Amusement parks reminded me, respectively, of New York's Central Park and Disneyland.

Parks start off at the first of five levels; you build an entryway connected to the main road, then use park paths to direct people on foot through your park, building attractions, places to eat, and places to use the bathroom.

Broadly, this is the same no matter what park type you choose. The parks level up pretty much by themselves as their visitor counts and entertainment ratings increase, allowing you to charge higher gate fees (or use the parks as loss leaders to beautify and enhance the neighborhoods they're in).

They're also very pretty for screenshots, especially on higher-end computers taking advantage of the game's prettier graphics features; this effect is going to be lessened on potato-mode PCs.

At the top level, you get a cool attraction to draw more tourism into town, and the coveted “Castle of Lord Chirpwick” is Mad King Ludwig meets Skylines' not-at-all-angry bird.

The Player Style Problem

There's just one little-bitty thing wrong with all this fun:

Min-maxers and efficiency fans will hate it.

Calling up the land-value overlay shows that just plunking down a residential zone with a Japanese Garden or a basketball court will do more for your tax base and your city's ongoing maintenance costs than the DLC offers.

What's more, by the time your city is big enough to sustain the visitor traffic required to make the park into an actual revenue source, you might not want to redesign your infrastructure around a big park when you're already balancing it against a stadium or some monuments or whatever else you've already got in place from the game's leisure and land value choices.

Which leaves you with a choice: Either design your city around being a tourist haven, or stick to conventional park-building tools from the basegame. Which you'd rather do is the final arbiter of whether you'll get anything out of this DLC.

The Verdict

"Parklife" is also $14.99 US, which is full price for a game like Stardew Valley.

If you really want to dive into city beautification and quality-of-life and tourism and all that, wait for a sale and pick this up at half price. Otherwise, you can safely give it a miss.

Disclaimer: The reviewer was provided with a Steam key by the publisher.

]]>
Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor DLC Review -- An Underwhelming Addition https://www.gameskinny.com/xlx7k/hearts-of-iron-iv-death-or-dishonor-dlc-review-an-underwhelming-addition https://www.gameskinny.com/xlx7k/hearts-of-iron-iv-death-or-dishonor-dlc-review-an-underwhelming-addition Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:40:16 -0400 Skrain

Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor is Paradox Interactive's most recent expansion to its WW2 grand strategy game. With a name like Death or Dishonor, anyone with a historical knowledge of Japan's Sengoku period would assume its DLC related to that, or to Asia in general.

Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Sorry China -- you'll just have to deal with the generic national focus tree Paradox cursed you with. Because in spite of whatever historically informed opinion you might have, Death or Dishonor  doesn't have anything to do with Japan, or Asia, or anything even vaguely relevant to that part of the world. Instead, this DLC is focused on the Balkan area of Europe.

Death or Dishonor in Southeastern Europe 

Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia are the four countries this Hearts of Iron IV DLC targets -- adding a range of country events, leader portraits, music, and most importantly, unique national focus trees. Unfortunately, this leaves Austria and Bulgaria sitting there, completely out of place with no change to their National Focus trees. Paradox could have put more effort into these countries as well, considering they are influenced greatly by this DLC.

These added focus trees are the major change you'll see with the Death or Dishonor DLC. And it really changes the gameplay for certain countries. Hungary, for example, becomes one of the most interesting of these countries when it's given the ability to invite the Habsburgs back into power and reform the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Romania focuses on dealing with their lavish king and his ornate lifestyle, which deeply affects the efficiency of the government. Czech is allowed to focus more on denying the Germans the Sudetenland, or willingly giving up the region in an attempt to keep some autonomy. Finally, Yugoslavia gets a slew of options for handling the increasing unrest from angry Croatian separatists and poor national unity.

Miscellaneous Changes 

Other (non-nation) changes include an equipment conversion feature that allows you to turn captured enemy gear into a more usable local variant, and the ability to convert older equipment into more up-to-date variants. Military variants can be purchased or sold to other countries, as well -- meaning theoretically you can build British Spitfires as any country, if they sell you the license.

Fascists also gain new levels over subjects -- such as the Reichskommissariat, which forces their puppets to grant them their equipment licenses, partial industry, and strategic resources. Governments affected by Fascist overlord control will also find it much more difficult to break free from this grasp. 

Potentially Interesting, But Poorly Executed

Overall, the additions in Death or Dishonor strike me as trifling and lacking major depth. The ability to purchase licenses is irrelevant given that most times, you could simply come up with a functional equivalen -- or simply surpass what the still horrid AI can come up with. New national focuses, whilst good in their own right, should honestly have been either part of the base game in the beginning or released later as a free patch. Paying to have vital content that should already be accessible leaves a bad taste in my mouth -- and the cost to gain ratio doesn't even out either.

There are still bugs regarding many events linked to new focuses as well. One glaring example is the event for Austria to accept Hungary's invitation for coming together as one nation again. On multiple playthroughs, I've had the event fire for Austria accepting, and then a single in game hour later the same event fires as them refusing to agree. Romania has a few of these "false start" style events, too, which seem to fire both a success and fail. 

Verdict

Unfortunately Death or Dishonor is nothing special to write home about. Several of its new features are never really useful, the new national focus trees are just mediocre, and things are still pretty buggy. Rather than pushing the DLC, I still recommend free, player-made mods to get the ultimate Hearts of Iron IV experience. 

]]>
Try These 5 Mods to Take Your Stellaris Game Out of This World https://www.gameskinny.com/tf9x4/try-these-5-mods-to-take-your-stellaris-game-out-of-this-world https://www.gameskinny.com/tf9x4/try-these-5-mods-to-take-your-stellaris-game-out-of-this-world Sun, 16 Apr 2017 13:00:01 -0400 Paige McGovern

On April 6, Paradox Interactive's latest Stellaris expansion, Utopia, was launched. This expansion brought a whole host of new changes, including additions such as:

  • Megastructures - Dyson Spheres and ringworlds were introduced. 
  • Habitat Stations A new way to grow the population. 
  • Ascension Perks - Greater empire customization is now available.

So, now that it's been over a week since Utopia hit, what mods should you be looking out for?

Here's our list of five popular mods that have the community talking.

Guillli’s Habitat Specializations

  • Posted: April 13
  • Updated: April 15
  • DLC Required: Utopia
  • Compatible With: All other mods
  • Overall Review: 4 stars (42 ratings)
  • Link to Mod
What It Offers 

This mod offers an event that shows up upon completion of a habitat station. With this new event, you can specialize your habitat in five unique ways: as an outpost, food, mineral, science and combat specialization. This feature grants the habitat certain bonuses. Specializations can be changed or removed if necessary.

Drawbacks 

After the first specialization is set, changing the habitat's specialization costs 1500 minerals and 250 unity. For 90 days, there will also be a happiness malus of 10%. Because of this, players should carefully choose what they want their habitat's specialization to be. 


Diverse Rooms

  • Posted: April 9
  • Updated: April 13
  • DLC Required: None
  • Compatible With: All other mods
  • Overall Review: 5 stars (436 ratings)
  • Link to Mod
What It Offers

This mod offers a huge amount of variety to room backgrounds when one is setting up their empire. The mod's creator, Last Leviathan, has stared a Steam discussion where users can request what rooms they want to see in the game. 

Drawbacks

Users are reporting that a bug where every empire displays the same background as the first custom empire. There is no fix yet. 


Plentiful Transitions 

  • Posted: April 11
  • Updated: April 15
  • DLC Required: Utopia
  • Compatible With: Mods that do not alter the "topbar_traditions_view.gui" file
  • Overall Review: 5 stars (224 ratings)
  • Link to Mod
What It Offers

This mod offers five new tradition trees, each offering new traditions themselves. As an example, cybernetics focuses on robots, machinery, and energy, while Biogenesis focuses on gene-therapy, food, and growth.

Drawbacks

Players with really low game resolutions -- such as 1360 -- need to be scaling their UI to 0.9 or less. If they cannot or refuse to, they should not use this mod.


Utopia Expanded

  • Posted: April 9
  • Updated: April 13
  • DLC Required: Utopia
  • Compatible With: Mods that do not alter "00_ring_world.txt" "01_dyson_sphere.txt" "02_spy_orb.txt" "03_think_tank.txt" and "topbar_traditions_view.gui" files
  • Overall Review: 5 stars (164 ratings)
  • Link to Mod
What It Offers

This mod offers a new depth to ringworlds, making repair to damaged segments, more ringworld habitats, and the construction of advanced buildings all possible. This mods frees up previous restrictions with the game or other mods. Extra Ascension perk slots are also included. 

Drawbacks

This mod can't be used with Megastructures Placement, which is another popular Utopia mod. 


Animated Hollow Portraits

  • Posted: April 10
  • Updated: April 12
  • DLC Required: None
  • Compatible With: All other mods
  • Overall Review: 5 stars (2443 ratings)
  • Link to Mod
What It Offers

This mod offers a "fully animated space dimensional horrors portrait set", a custom city set, custom room, beginning solar system, ships, and custom empire. Who doesn't love more portraits?

Drawbacks

Game files must be tweaked manually upon mod updates if a user is also using NSC and ISB Stellaris mods. 

---

What are your thoughts on these mods, and the new Stellaris expansion? Are there are other mods you think are worth trying? Post them in the comments! 

]]>
Which Cities: Skylines DLC Is Most Worth Getting? https://www.gameskinny.com/6wy7p/which-cities-skylines-dlc-is-most-worth-getting https://www.gameskinny.com/6wy7p/which-cities-skylines-dlc-is-most-worth-getting Sat, 08 Apr 2017 15:21:53 -0400 Paige McGovern

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/f/t/after-dark-d8a22.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/f/t/after-dark-d8a22.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155147","description":"

So which Cities: Skylines DLC is most worth the money?

\n
Definitely the After Dark expansion. 
\n

This expansion truly improves gameplay from the base game. Unlike "Natural Disasters", it adds nothing that could be subjective to the player's goals. Every city will be safer with the improved crime system, and travel will be more efficient with designated vehicle travel lanes -- not to mention the added leisure and tourist specializations, which add more diverse gameplay.

\n

The 50% off discount -- making this expansion only $7.59 -- makes "After Dark" an instantaneous sell. You can pick it up on Steam now. 

"},{"image":"http://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/s/disasters-1c6d4.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/i/s/disasters-1c6d4.png","type":"slide","id":"155138","description":"

Natural Disasters

\n
    \n
  • Release Date: November 29, 2016
  • \n
  • Price: $14.99 regular (currently 25% off at $11.24)
  • \n
  • Overall Review: Very Positive
  • \n
\n
What It Offers
\n

This expansion includes earthquakes, thunderstorms, tsunamis, forest fires, tornadoes, sinkholes, and meteors that can wreck havoc on any mayor's city. There are also new disaster-oriented buildings, a scenario creator, and helicopters introduced. Gameplay reaches a whole new level with this expansion.

\n
Criticisms
\n

Natural Disasters does not offer anything to improve one's city. It only offers destruction and buildings for citizens to seek refuge in. Some players complained of citizens moving away after disaster strikes. And of course, destroying one's city means that the buyer must spend their time and effort rebuilding it again. 

\n
Get This If...
\n

You are an individual who enjoys "playing god" and causing death and destruction. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stadiums-57a2b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stadiums-57a2b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155136","description":"

Stadiums: European Club Pack

\n
    \n
  • Release Date: October 18, 2016
  • \n
  • Price: $5.99 regular (currently 25% off at $4.49)
  • \n
  • Overall Review: Positive
  • \n
\n
What It Offers
\n

This DLC adds in new football stadiums, team colors, and logos. In addition, mayor-players can expect traffic changes and great ticket revenue on game days.

\n
Criticisms
\n

Some say that this DLC is not worth the $6 price tag given the free Match Day DLC has just added stadiums and ticket revenue to the game. 

\n
Get This If...
\n

You are a football/sports fan. You should be able to appreciate this expansion more than the average player.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/r/dark-1097e.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/r/dark-1097e.png","type":"slide","id":"155135","description":"

After Dark

\n
    \n
  • Release Date: September 24, 2015
  • \n
  • Price: $14.99 regular (currently 50% off at $7.49) 
  • \n
  • Overall Review: Very Positive
  • \n
\n
What It Offers
\n

With this DLC, you'll get new leisure night activities, beach tourism, and more forms of transportation -- like taxis and bicycles. There will also be new prisons, plus new city policies on education, prison sentences, and taxation.

\n
Criticisms
\n

The main feature advertised in this DLC preview -- the day and night cycle -- was added to Cities: Skylines for free. This expansion isn't necessary if one simply wants to have that cycle. Additionally, there aren't enough tourists to utilize the great features it offers. 

\n
Get This If...
\n

You want to optimize the free content released in the patch. With the addition of new lanes for buses and riders comes traffic lessons. Crime is reduced once a prison is placed and its corresponding policies enacted. Your city will run much more smoothly with this expansion installed. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/a/space-86489.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/a/space-86489.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155125","description":"

Content Creator Pack: High-Tech Buildings

\n
    \n
  • Release Date: November 29, 2016
  • \n
  • Price: $4.99 regular (currently 20% off at $3.19) 
  • \n
  • Overall Review: Positive
  • \n
\n
What It Offers
\n

This DLC brings 15 new buildings from creator Mauro Vos. It features several unique buildings -- including a farm, nanotechnology center, research center, robotics institute, a space shuttle launch site, and television station. There are also city service buildings, including police headquarters, medical laboratory, large crematorium, and university.

\n
Criticisms
\n

The service buildings provide some value, but the rest aren't functional. Like Art Deco, the content in this DLC was not created by Colossol Order -- so any proceeds go to the creator, Mauro Vos. In addition, as mentioned, similar unique buildings can still be downloaded for free elsewhere on the web. 

\n
Get This If...
\n

You want to support Mauro Vos and show your gratitude for all he's developed in Cities: Skylines.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/r/t/art-d310b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/r/t/art-d310b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155124","description":"

Content Creator Pack: Art Deco 

\n
    \n
  • Release Date: September 1, 2016
  • \n
  • Price: $4.99 regular (currently 33% off at $3.34) 
  • \n
  • Overall Review: Mixed
  • \n
\n
What It Offers
\n

This DLC adds in 15 new buildings from creator Matt Crux. The building types vary from commercial and residential to unique -- featuring a hotel, laundromat, ice cream parlor, radio station, and several new apartments. 

\n
Criticisms
\n

Art Deco is not worth the $5 price tag when hundreds of similar buildings can be downloaded for free from Matt Crux's own workshop. 

\n
Get This If...
\n

You want to support Matt Crux and let your wallet show your gratitude for all he's developed in Cities: Skylines.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/l/relaxation-c1d45.jpeg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/l/relaxation-c1d45.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"155122","description":"

Relaxation Station

\n
    \n
  • Release Date: November 29, 2016
  • \n
  • Price: $3.99 regular (currently 20% off at $3.19)
  • \n
  • Overall Review: Mostly Positive
  • \n
\n
What It Offers
\n

This DLC features a high-quality "jazzy and relaxing" soundtrack for players to listen to while building and managing their cities. That's all there really is to it -- just some extra music for you to listen to while you construct the city of your dreams.

\n
Criticisms
\n

Some players thought the music wasn't "jazzy" or "relaxing" enough for their tastes. Others admitted they only bought this expansion because it is included in the bundle pack. 

\n
Get This If...
\n

You enjoy jazz music, and don't want to pull up YouTube or Spotify every time you start the game. Just make sure to preview the music included so you know whether it not it suits your ears. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/n/o/snow-1612e.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/n/o/snow-1612e.png","type":"slide","id":"155121","description":"

Snowfall

\n
    \n
  • Release Date: February 18, 2016
  • \n
  • Price: $12.99 regular (currently 50% off at $6.49) 
  • \n
  • Overall Review: Mixed
  • \n
\n
What It Offers
\n

This DLC brings a new in-game weather system -- including snow, rain, and temperature changes. It also adds several new city maps, and introduces trams as a new public transportation option. 

\n
Criticisms
\n

Potential buyers may expect that seasonal cycles are automatically included in this expansion, but that is not the case. Having snow in one's city is all-or-nothing. If a mayor wishes to get rid of their snow, they must start a new game entirely -- which means the regular $12.99 price tag is steep without offering the ability to change seasonal cycles. 

\n
Get This If...
\n

Weather is your thing. And if you're okay with having an endless winter in your city. You should also pick this DLC up if you simply want trams as a transit option. That alone justifies the price for some players.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/i/t/city-dfcd6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/i/t/city-dfcd6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155113","description":"

Cities: Skylines has several DLC packs that mayor-players can add to the popular build simulation base game. The benefits of purchasing DLC range from a weather system to natural disasters. Seven must be purchased, while two others -- "Match Day" and "Pearls from the East" -- can be downloaded for free.

\n

Colossol Order, developer of Cities: Skylines, first released "Match Day" on June 9, 2016. This expansion brings a stadium, ticket revenue, team colors, and stadium policies. "Pearls from the East" was released on March 22, 2017, and includes three new buildings inspired by Chinese architecture. These two DLC are must-haves, simply because they're free. 

\n

But what about the rest?

\n
With so much content available of varying prices, which is best for your budget?
\n

Let's break it down and find out! In the following slides, we'll go over all 7 pieces of paid DLC and examine their strengths and weaknesses. On the final slide, we'll let you know which ones are going to give you the most bang for your buck if you've only got a little to spend.

\n
    \n
  • Note: It should go without saying, but all DLC requires the base game Cities: Skylines to play. Cities: Skylines is currently 68% off on Steam, which means it can be bought for as low as $9.59 (regular $29.99).
  • \n
"}]]]>
Tyranny Console Commands Cheat Sheet https://www.gameskinny.com/yowcb/tyranny-console-commands-cheat-sheet https://www.gameskinny.com/yowcb/tyranny-console-commands-cheat-sheet Mon, 14 Nov 2016 19:00:15 -0500 Ty Arthur

Remember the glory days of looking up item codes or experience cheats to enter into the command console on Baldur's Gate or Neverwinter Nights? Obsidian Entertainment may have drastically changed the formula with Tyranny, but that tried and true method of cheating returns in this RPG where it's good to be bad!

Below we cover all the console commands we've discovered so far for earning money, increasing experience points and turning on various cheat modes. Looking for more Tyranny guides? Be sure to also check out:

Tyranny Console Command List

Update: IMPORTANT! Activating any of these cheats will turn off achievements for that playthrough - you won't be able to unlock ANY Steam achievements unless you start a new game on a separate save file.

Sadly, there are a lot of lists out there with console commands that don't appear to work at all, so we're only including the ones below we've personally tested and found to be functional.

Before any of these commands will work, you first have to enable cheats by pressing the ~ key (next to the 1 on most keyboards) and tapping Enter to open the command console. With the console open, type iRoll20s to enable cheats. Typing it again will disable them.

Activating Cheats

Now you need to return to the console by pressing ~ and Enter again and then typing in any of the commands below. For commands with an X, just replace X with the desired number, such as 100 for 100 iron coins, or 800 to earn 800 experience points.

  • additem money_01_ir X - adds X iron rings
  • additem money_01_cr X - adds X copper rings
  • additem money_01_br X - adds X bronze rings
  • addexperience X - gives all party members X additional experience points
  • god - party becomes unkillable, enter a second time to turn off
  • healparty - restore stamina, wounds, and health to all party members
  • unlockall - open all containers on the map (including hidden ones)
  • rest - restore all encounter abilities without using camping supplies
  • nofog - turn off fog of war

You can also increase skills and attributes using the Skill and AttributeScore cheats, but these first require knowing the proper codes for each companion. The proper companion command names are as follows:

  • Comp_MobileDamage - Verse
  • Comp_Defender - Barik
  • Comp_Historian - Lantry
  • Comp_RangedMagic - Eb
  • CompSirin - Sirin
  • CompBeastwoman - Kills-in-Shadow
  • player_newcharacter(clone)_0 - Fatebinder

Now you can upgrade any skill or attribute using this example:

  • Skill Comp_Historian Dodge 50
  • AttributeScore Comp_RangedMagic Quickness 15

The above examples increase Lantry's Dodge skill to 50 and Eb's Quickness attribute to 15. Simply pop in the appropriate companion name, skill or attribute and enter the number you want to increase. While most skills are their exact name as shown on the character sheet, Subterfuge must be written as Stealth instead in the console command.

And that's it! Are you planning on cheating your way through a particularly tough area? Let us know if you discover any other useful Tyranny console commands!

]]>
Tyranny breaks PC RPG Trends with Daily Rewards System https://www.gameskinny.com/6s27f/tyranny-breaks-pc-rpg-trends-with-daily-rewards-system https://www.gameskinny.com/6s27f/tyranny-breaks-pc-rpg-trends-with-daily-rewards-system Mon, 14 Nov 2016 16:00:01 -0500 Ty Arthur

The partnership between hallowed roleplaying developer Obsidian Entertainment and Paradox Interactive for the release of new real-time-with-pause RPG Tyranny has led to some unexpected surprises, and not just with the game letting you play the bad guy for once

The latest addition no one saw coming was gaining a random consumable item or equipment accessory each consecutive day you open the game while connected to a Paradox account. That's right: daily rewards, a staple of freemium mobile games, have arrived in Terratus.

Daily Tyranny Rewards

This feature was added on the down-low and was mentioned by a small icon you could hover over near the bottom of the screen, which can be seen in the screenshot below. 

A new menu item seems to have appeared...

For those logged in with a Paradox account, you'll get a reward for each consecutive day you login and play.

Here are some of the rewards: 

  • Healing Potion (Fine) - 50% HP
  • Healing Potion (Superior) - 100% HP
  • Potion of Revival - brings a fallen party member back from unconscious
  • Cairn's Leaf - +4 Armor, +20% Endurance defense
  • Oldwater - +10 Arcane Armor, +20% Magic Defense
  • Potion of Elemental Barrier - +10 Shock/Fire/Frost Armor, +50 Defense vs. Paralyzed/Burning/Frozen
  • Dire Remedy - 120-pt Stasis Shield, +4% Max Health
  • Potion of Heroes - +2 to all Attributes
  • Scarlet Poison - Poisons enemies on Crit
  • Fatiguing Toxin - Weakens enemies on Crit
  • Potion of Invisibility - invisible for 120s
  • Skycap - +10 Lore, +10 Magic Skills, +4 Wits
  • Sanguine Scroll - offers Blood Of The Fallen ability
  • Wrought In Ruin - 1 handed sword with Eradicating ability

Signing Up In-Game

For those who want to try out the new daily incentives, just click the Paradox Account button in the main menu before loading a game, then choose "create an account."

Tyranny oddly freezes when you create an account in-game rather than at the Paradox website, but otherwise, the option appears to work fine. Just alt-tab away to your email, and you'll have the subscription confirmation. 

From there you don't have to re-login each day: You remain logged in each time you open Tyranny.

 Creating Paradox Account

What's It Mean For Future Obsidian Games?

While neither Obsidian nor Paradox have stated anything to this effect, there are rumblings that the move heralds microtransactions coming soon. 

Reservations are already starting to be expressed by gamers across the web, with concerns of unbalancing the game with too many healing/poison consumables, as well as complaints that we are sliding towards an experience too much like casual mobile gaming.

Do you plan on taking advantage of the daily rewards or will you be skipping them entirely?

Looking for more Tyranny guides? Be sure to also check out:

]]>
Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man Patch 1.18 Revolutionizes EU4 Gameplay https://www.gameskinny.com/nn1ou/europa-universalis-iv-rights-of-man-patch-118-revolutionizes-eu4-gameplay https://www.gameskinny.com/nn1ou/europa-universalis-iv-rights-of-man-patch-118-revolutionizes-eu4-gameplay Fri, 21 Oct 2016 10:33:02 -0400 Stefano Bonacchi

The name Europa Universalis literally means "Europe is Universal" in Latin, even though the game itself lets you play the whole world. The title refers to how European nations divided the world amongst themselves during the age of exploration.

And that was well-represented in the game....until the most recent patch, 1.18. This update changed several fundamental things about how the game plays, and how countries balance out with each other.

Originally, there were "tech groups" groups of nations that were helped or hindered to a certain degree while researching new technology. For example, Chinese tech nations started on par with Europe, but quickly fell behind due to a 60% malus to tech cost.

That all changed with Patch 1.18, however, because tech groups no longer exist. They've been replaced by institutions, a mechanic which has shaken the gameplay to its very core. Since there will be no more westernization and related maluses, native countries are going to be a lot easier to play. Not powerhouses, mind you, but certainly not doomed in the case you don't have the right DLC and perfect play.

What Rights of Man and Patch 1.18 Have Changed

Rights of Man brought us something we asked for since day one -- the ability to abdicate, which is a lifesaver when your ruler is a complete moron but your heir is basically Jesus.

It also gave us Queen Regents, a way to circumvent the harsh penalties associated with having an underage ruler. Normally if your ruler dies and the heir is less than 15 years of age, a council of the nobles will rule in your place.
They get a -1 penalty in all stats -- meaning that a 0/0/0 council is actually possible in 1 case out of 3, and that is very bad on its own. That country is also prevented from declaring war until the ruler comes of age, which can be a bit of a bother in a game such as Europa Universalis IV, where war is very important.

This is why Queen Regents, whose stats get no penalties, who are known firsthand, and who act as rulers for all intents and purposes are indeed a fantastic addition. The fact that they also give you a nice opinion bonus with the country they came from is just icing on the cake.

A feature of the new expansion that I liked less than the aforementioned ones, but changes the game drastically, is Major Powers.

Major Powers are still a bit broken at the moment, in that they can join unbalanced wars on the weaker side even if they don't know a war is taking place or that the warring nations even exist. This is basically what happened in the above picture, where the Ming Dynasty China fights in the Hundred Years' War to help the English against the Frenchmen, despite not knowing what a Frenchman is.

However, the Major Power function -- bugs aside -- is still a nice addition to the base game and makes for more fluid and engaging diplomacy where you can threaten minor powers into behaving, just as the historic great powers of the time did.

The expansion also brought us a lot of new flavor events for the Ottomans, mostly regarding the Sultan's Harem and his ability to choose an heir -- thus making Ottomans even stronger and offering a whole host of new religious mechanics for fetishism and Coptic Christianity. All of this combined makes them feel more fleshed out and engaging.

Last but not least, the expansion brought us -- among other quality of life enhancements -- character traits, similar to the Crusader Kings 2 ones for rulers and generals. And there's a fair number of easter eggs among them. (For example, idiot AI rulers will randomly give absurd commands to their troops.)

Character traits range from very useful to very bad, and make for a nice addition that increases the strategic depth of the game.



The 1.18 patch itself has still added some nice changes to the gameplay as previously mentioned. Technology groups do not exist anymore, and Institutions will spawn randomly after a set date. Those who embrace them will have cheaper tech, while those who do not will have their tech costs increased by 1% every year for each institution they lack. This can add up to a lot in the long run, but it still helps Middle Eastern and East Asian countries keep from falling too far behind in tech. And this can, as always, make way for some funny historical shenanigans.

Troop groups are still there, however, and previously Western tech nations will still have the best troops by the late 18th century. But the equalization of tech levels, the removal of westernization and the great debuffs it brought during the process makes for a much different and much stronger game balance.

The second very significantly game-changing addition made by this patch is the ability to change your primary and accepted cultures at will by spending diplomatic power. This makes forming the Roman Empire more than just a bragging rights reward and it generally allows better micromanaging of empires for faster religious conversions to the "True Faith" and lesser revolt risk due to nationalism.

All in all it is a great patch and will be loved by anyone. (Unless you liked genociding North American Natives, in which case you'll have to work harder for your goals.)

]]>
Jan Mayen Easter Egg: How & Why You Can Make a Country of Polar Bears in Europa Universalis IV https://www.gameskinny.com/3u83z/jan-mayen-easter-egg-how-why-you-can-make-a-country-of-polar-bears-in-europa-universalis-iv https://www.gameskinny.com/3u83z/jan-mayen-easter-egg-how-why-you-can-make-a-country-of-polar-bears-in-europa-universalis-iv Thu, 20 Oct 2016 09:16:26 -0400 Stefano Bonacchi

Europa Universalis IV is a fairly old game by now, having been out for more than 3 years. Yet it still has a bunch of interesting little easter eggs that are not very well known.

One of those involves typing "bearhaslanded" into the console commands. Doing this will spawn the mighty bear nation of Jan Mayen. Amusingly, if you were to input the code as "bearhaslanded 420", said nation will spawn with its capital in the province of "Ganja" in modern day Azerbaijan, clearly referencing the "420 blaze it"  internet meme.

To play as the mighty bear nation, you'll have to first spawn them, then either save your game, exit, load and select Jan Mayen on the world map (if it spawned near enough for you to know it) or just input "tag JMN" to immediately relinquish command of your nation and gain the right to bear arms.

But, what is Jan Mayen?

Where does this easter egg come from? Why was it implemented?

First things first, Jan Mayen in real life is a pretty obscure (but definitely real) island in Norway. It is located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans and it is mostly uninhabited -- save for some researchers. It hardly even has polar bears on it.

So why is it that the in-game version of Jan Mayen in Europa Universalis IV is an incredibly hilarious and overpowered nation of sapient polar bears with names the likes of "Rawrorr Rawrorrsonn" ?

Here as you can see you can play as the MIGHTY nation of Jan Mayen and raze the world with your nomadic bear hordes!

It all started back in another (lesser-known) Paradox Interactive grand strategy title, Victoria II : An Empire Under The Sun. In this game the aforementioned Jan Mayen Island featured and has an interesting story. 

At first Jan Mayen had an absurdly high population due to a bug (it wasn't arctic and thus it supported more people), but it was not a nation. Or at least, it wasn't until a game developer -- who goes by the handle of Pdx_wiz on Reddit and happens to be the Game Director for Stellaris -- was jokingly asked by his superiors to make it into a country.

Which he did.

[Reddit Post: How Jan Mayen came to be]

If you played as Sweden, it was possible to release both Norway and Jan Mayen as sovereign states -- the first one because at the time the game starts Norway was in a Personal Union under Sweden. The second one, however, was just a joke from the developers, since the island was so small and had so few inhabitants (15 at most) that building a viable economic infrastructure in it was impossible. So the ability to release Jan Mayen was included as a sort of "Observation Mode" to just see what the AI would do if left to its own devices.

It is so small it can bearly be seen!

However, Paradox later added in  the ability to make Jan Mayen "buy all of Denmark's polar bears" as a joke reference to the panserbjorne.

Granted, you had to make it to the top 16 to even be given the option, but in the end it gave you Iceland and Greenland and made Polar Bear the primary culture of your nation -- allowing you to have awesome bear generals and admirals and making it possible to actually compete as a world power instead of bearly survive. But it didn't allow your population to be assimilated into Polar bear culture -- a very sad fact for all of us who would have welcomed our beary overlords.

Bear Generals and admirals are actually on average slightly more competent, it may be intentional.
The nation was later added to Europa Universalis IV with the El Dorado expansion as one of the possible random new world nations, in order to continue the inside joke born in Victoria 2. But it wasn't until patch 1.13 that polar bears were playable in the age of exploration.

Long story short: Polar Bears are pretty cool, unless they come in and try to conquer your nation.

]]>
Pebble in the Sky -- Asimov update blasts into Stellaris https://www.gameskinny.com/ren43/pebble-in-the-sky-asimov-update-blasts-into-stellaris https://www.gameskinny.com/ren43/pebble-in-the-sky-asimov-update-blasts-into-stellaris Tue, 28 Jun 2016 04:17:41 -0400 Jenifyr Kaiser

Stellaris is a game that has garnered no small amount of attention since it's release back in May. Now Paradox Interactive is bringing Stellaris fans the 1.2 patch, A.K.A. the "Asimov" update -- it is a bit more than a patch, but not quite a DLC . It brings a host of new changes to in-game systems as well as enhancing the combat visuals.

The latest update changes the way diplomacy works quite a bit. Borders will now remain open until some failure of international diplomacy causes them to be closed. Embassies have also been replaced. Now, long-term relations with other factions are built by being a trustworthy neighbor -- better be ready if they come to the door asking for a cup of sugar.

In addition to the diplomatic changes, players will now see more data on the maps, nomadic fleets, new warfare goals, and more varied populations among factions. The combat has been made clearer and graphically more pleasing to the eye as well.

Stellaris is a 4X, grand strategy game that takes a whole new approach to the genre. It places exploration above warfare and diplomacy as its primary focus. With virtually endless discoveries to make and quest chains to complete, it truly does boldly go... well you know the rest. Check out the game on the official website and keep exploring!

]]>
Cities: Skylines gets new DLC "Match Day" https://www.gameskinny.com/wa7eb/cities-skylines-gets-new-dlc-match-day https://www.gameskinny.com/wa7eb/cities-skylines-gets-new-dlc-match-day Tue, 21 Jun 2016 06:30:08 -0400 Janiece Sebris

Paradox Interactive released a new soccer-stadium-themed downloadable content for Cities: Skylines today.

The new DLC, called “Match Day,” is free for Cities: Skylines players and allows them to experience the struggles and challenges of hosting major sporting events in a city of their own.

Cities: Skylines is a modern take on a classic city simulation building game. Players can experience the pleasure and misfortune that can accompany the creation and maintenance of a major city.

While experiencing the highs and lows that come along with city simulation games, players will also experience the recurring themes while building a city.

The “Match Day” DLC helps players become the home of a major sports franchise. Players will deal with increased traffic to and from the arena and the subsequent increase revenue from ticket sales, and players can enact new stadium policies and establish their customized team colors.

The DLC can be redeemed for free on Steam for Cities: Skylines on Windows, Mac, Linux PCs.  

]]>
Review: Stellaris https://www.gameskinny.com/bg18u/review-stellaris https://www.gameskinny.com/bg18u/review-stellaris Sun, 19 Jun 2016 16:27:55 -0400 James Leeder

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, there wasn’t a clash between the dark side and the light side. Oh no, what existed was the fledgling Tibrim race struggling to form a new galactic imperium in a vast universe.The Tibrim are a feline-like nomadic people, travelling from planet to planet in order to acquire resources. They worship the suns and stars as their deities due to their life bringing and life taking abilities. Though they still practice slavery in order to sustain themselves, they are capable warriors and brilliant engineers so are far from a primitive people.

The noble Tibrim race at a glance

Stellaris is the latest offering from Paradox Interactive (publishers of Cities: Skylines). It is part of the grand strategy genre that Paradox is well known for. Having played previous titles in this genre (Europa Universalis IV, Victoria II and Crusader Kings II) it is safe to say that Stellaris is the most new player friendly making it very accessible if you have never played a grand strategy game before. While the game does offer some preset species to start with, the true charm is the ability to make your own species. Pretty much everything is open to customization, from your leader’s traits to the simple matter of how your ships travel through the universe. There are three ways to travel, the easiest is Warp Travel which allows you to jump from system to system freely but is the slowest. Hyperspace is faster but you can only travel using hyper lanes. The last option is wormholes, which is the fastest but obviously requires wormhole gates for your ships to move around.

I had the Tibirm race starting in the Tibrim system with a home planet of Tiberium (not exactly a healthy name if you know your strategy games). The first thing I had to do was to stabilize the economy of Energy Credits and Minerals by placing structures on the planets surface and having populations to run them. I also built mining stations in Tibrim and neighboring systems. To be able to harvest resources and colonize planets you must use your science ships to survey systems. It was on one of these survey missions that Captain J’zargo of the science ship Moonsugar discovered the first alien contacts of my game. J’zargo managed to flee the confrontation with the so called Beta Aliens, though that made me realize the need to create the Open Circle Fleet. This grand fleet would protect the emerging Tibrim Empire from all threats internal and external.

Just one of the many space armadas I have witnessed. Fleets can be huge if empires are not kept in check.

As mentioned earlier, everything in Stellaris is open to customization including the ships. Everything from armor, power Generators, shields, engines and more can be upgraded through tech research in the fields of Society, Physics, and Engineering. The Tibrim started off with mass drivers (other options include lasers and nuclear missiles) so to begin with the Khajiit Class and Elsweyr Class corvettes were a little underwhelming at range though were able to combat the Beta Aliens under the leadership of Admiral Maiq. This opened up the possibility of colonizing a planet in the now secure Lando system  (and no I didn’t name that one.) Swiftly a colonization ship was built (after a long time waiting for research) and the settlement of Sanctuary was founded on one of the desert planets, though I discovered that my colonists weren’t alone on that planet. A primitive bird like species was also living next to my colonists. Now the Tibrim are a Xenophobic people and enjoy the luxury of having slaves, so of course I let the colonists enslave them! Things were calm for the next few years as the Tibrim researched new technologies, improving the economy, upgraded the fleet to include Emancipator Class destroyers as well as exploring the galaxy and meeting other lesser nations. Then disaster! An asteroid was sighted hurtling toward Sanctuary, I had a limited time period to prevent it from impacting the planet. The Open Circle Fleet poured all power into their warp drives to reach the colony. They barraged the asteroid but it still slammed into Sanctuary. The settlement survived but had no power or food production at all. It seems all is lost, but maybe just maybe I can recover it.

Looks like I have plenty of neighbours

That is where I stand in my current game, though I’ve been warned to be on the lookout for end-game events such as a robot uprising (Yes Skynet can happen people) or an extra galactic invasion. I’ve also yet to discover a Fallen Empire, which I’m eager to do because they sometimes own ring worlds. I’m not going to sugar coat things and say this game is perfect. The early game is full of action as you establish your empire, gather resources and try to prevent those mushroom people from coming to murder you. The Mid to Late game can be rather slow with long periods of little action as you try to take other empires without making enemies who could crush you. You’ll end up researching everything and having a good economy while wondering what on earth to do next. I’m sure future updates and free content will fix this as is common with other Paradox titles.

The game is also designed to support mods so I’m waiting for a full Star Wars conversion. For now a Warhammer 40K mod is in the works and I’m hearing rumors of a Mass Effect mod. Paradox has been highly supportive of modders in their past games so I can see this game having a long lifespan. They have also stated that there will be plenty of DLC in the future which I thoroughly look forward to seeing. Now if no one has any objections, I have a settlement to rebuild and a galaxy conquer. For Kharjo!

Rating 9/10

Available at: Steam, Website

Price: £ 29.99, $39.99

Minimum:

  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Processor: AMD Athlon II X4 640 @ 3.0 Ghz / or Intel Core 2 Quad 9400 @ 2.66 Ghz
  • Graphics: AMD HD 5770 / or Nvidia GTX 460, with 1024MB VRAM.
  • OS: Windows 7 x86 or newer
  • Internet: Broadband Internet connection 
  • Hard Drive: 4GB free Hard disc space

Recommended:

    • Memory: 4GB RAM 
    • Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 850 @ 3.3 Ghz or Intel i3 2100 @ 3.1 Ghz
    • Graphics: AMD HD 6850 / or Nvidia GTX 560TI, with 1024MB VRAM
    • OS: Windows 7 x64 or newer
    • Internet: Broadband Internet connection 
    • Hard Drive: 4GB free Hard disc space
]]>
Paradox Drops the Bomb on D-Day: Hearts of Iron IV Releases for PC https://www.gameskinny.com/2ekx6/paradox-drops-the-bomb-on-d-day-hearts-of-iron-iv-releases-for-pc https://www.gameskinny.com/2ekx6/paradox-drops-the-bomb-on-d-day-hearts-of-iron-iv-releases-for-pc Tue, 07 Jun 2016 07:32:29 -0400 Jenifyr Kaiser

Paradox Interactive has fired off the next installment in their popular World War II grand strategy game series: Hearts of Iron IV. The game released today, June 6th, 2016 -- exactly 72 years after the beginning of Operation Overlord and the D-Day landings in Normandy. In addition to the full game, the release will also include the first DLC, "Poland: United and Ready" for free. 

One of the major changes to the game includes a new "Battleplan System" that will allow players to create and execute battle plans. Presumably this will take some of the micromanagement out of the game and allow your AI commanders a bit more freedom to make decisions within the context of the plan.

In addition, the game will include two historical campaigns. One begins in 1936 and allows players to build up for the coming war. The other begins in 1939, when the hostilities are really ramping up. The first expansion pass is also for sale, which includes access to the first two expansion packs once they are released.

Paradox is also offering three different editions of the game. The Cadet, Colonel, and Field Marshal Editions each come with an assortment of cosmetic in-game updates, forum icons, and a fancy art book featuring art from the game. Historically there has been quite a bit of DLC content released for the Hearts of Iron games. It appears this trend will continue into the foreseeable future.  

Hearts if Iron IV should appeal to fans of the series and fans of grand strategy games in general. So, go forth little soldiers and remember the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower:

"I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory." 

Take a look at the game's website for more information.

]]>
Paradox Interactive Asks Steam Spy to Remove Games' Stats from Site https://www.gameskinny.com/7vdkk/paradox-interactive-asks-steam-spy-to-remove-games-stats-from-site https://www.gameskinny.com/7vdkk/paradox-interactive-asks-steam-spy-to-remove-games-stats-from-site Thu, 02 Jun 2016 12:56:34 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Paradox Interactive, the Sweden based publisher of Stellaris and Cities: Skylines, has asked Steam Spy to remove all of their games from the site. Steam Spy is a popular Steam sales tracking site. The reasons behind this are not yet officially known.

Why would this be?

Paradox Interactive have very recently become public company under initial public offering (IPO). This means that they are not yet publically traded, but are looking for capital to expand. Removing any slightly inaccurate sales data, which Steam Spy is known to provide, could be a move to ensure that this data is not seen by possible investors.

Incorrect data could cause Paradox to either become under, or overvalued, which intern could be catastrophic to revenue. The shares could either be worth nothing with no apparent possibility of growth. Or shares could be worth too much, but again due to the lack of previous data, growth may not look possible. In both cases this would mean that shares would not be purchased, which is only bad for business.

After Paradox go fully publicly listed, they may request for their game sales to go back onto Steam Spy.

On a more cynical look

Paradox have had pressure put on them by investors to remove sales data, so that they are able to better control a sales narrative -- promoting sales data which would be slightly skewed due to how that information was captured.

Snapshot of the Steam Spy front page.

While Steam Spy is using a publicly accessible API to gather the sales data, the compliance with the request is a good will gesture to show that Steam Spy is not a threat to developers. The reasons behind why Paradox Interactive has requested to remove the sales data from Steam Spy is unclear as of yet, but should a public statement be made GameSkinny will update you as soon as we know.

]]>
Stellaris Clarke Patch Coming Soon! https://www.gameskinny.com/e873a/stellaris-clarke-patch-coming-soon https://www.gameskinny.com/e873a/stellaris-clarke-patch-coming-soon Fri, 27 May 2016 05:45:30 -0400 Allyson La Jeunesse

Recently, Paradox Interactive released their newest strategy game, Stellaris, to the good folks of Steam. And while it's an extremely enjoyable ride, even the developer feels like the mid-game is lacking.

So they've been working on their first major patch to the game. Say hello to the Clarke update!

While the patch will include many different things, a major target of the Clarke update is the UI, which will now include extra info when things like rivalries and End of Combat windows are displayed. You'll also be able to tell the size of a habitable planet from the galaxy map by hovering over it! Something that will save all of us a lot of time.

Another focus of the patch is to improve the AI, such as fixing the odd responses to galaxy-wide threats sweeping across the map. They'll also handle their populations much more intelligently. We can only hope that will extend to the sector governors as well. You will even be able to adjust how aggressive the AI is using a new option in the Game Details menu.

The last major feature is the ability to write a biography for whatever sort of weird alien empire you come up with. Did your frog people crawl up from the deep oceans of your planet, or perhaps your floating fungoid race descended from the skies to gather building materials after they developed sentience? What do they call their different leaders? It's all up to you now!

If you've already jumped into the game, you can check out our Stellaris guides, including a sector guide, an influence guide, and a list of command codes!

]]>
Paradox Interactive will release Stellaris on May 9 https://www.gameskinny.com/mwj70/paradox-interactive-will-release-stellaris-on-may-9 https://www.gameskinny.com/mwj70/paradox-interactive-will-release-stellaris-on-may-9 Mon, 09 May 2016 04:49:20 -0400 StratGamer48

Paradox Interactive, the developer of grand historical strategy games like the Crusader Kings and the Europa Universalis series, is preparing to release a futuristic grand strategy game titled Stellaris. It is an evolution of the grand strategy genre with space exploration and interaction phases as the core game mechanics.

In the universe of Stellaris, there is a large and diverse selection of alien races and rich stories behind them. Some are primitive and some are space empires. The gameplay can fall into two parts, exploration (or being explored) and interaction. At first, players will need to send exploration missions to other planets. During this exploration phase, players can colonize other habitable planets to expand living spaces and resources -- and this increases their influence at nearby planets.

In the interaction phase, players can choose to simply leave "UFO footage", initiate formal diplomatic interaction, or start an alien invasion. Before initiating diplomatic interaction with other species, players will need to learn their languages. Of course, there will be some violence when civilizations interact and all of the aliens understand this. Therefore, each race will be constantly improving technology so they won't be wiped out.

It is up to the player to choose to their path -- making peace or war with other aliens.

Screenshot for Alpha version of Stellaris

According to the official Stellaris webpage, players who pre-order before the game's release on May 9 will receive following benefits:

  • Creatures of the Void (Cosmetic DLC) - Five additional alien races exclusive to pre-order customers.They are Hydra/Xenomorph, Evil Porcupine, Dinosaur Bird, Shadowy Anthropoid and Fungoid Infected Mammalian, with which to populate the galaxy.
  • Ringtones and Message Alert Sounds 
  • Send Your Name into (almost) Space
  • Blorg Forum Avatar

 

Screenshot of a Blorg, an alien specie in Stellaris 

Pre-orders are still available for $39.99.

]]>
The Best 7 Perfect Historical Leaders Based on Europa Universalis IV's Standard https://www.gameskinny.com/wh12t/the-best-7-perfect-historical-leaders-based-on-europa-universalis-ivs-standard https://www.gameskinny.com/wh12t/the-best-7-perfect-historical-leaders-based-on-europa-universalis-ivs-standard Thu, 14 Apr 2016 10:23:57 -0400 StratGamer48

Europa Universalis IV is a grand strategy game that features historical events and people. Its developer, Paradox Interactive, is doing their best to simulate global history from 1444 to 1821. Within these 377 years, there were many great rulers and generals from different parts of the world who rose to power. In game, Paradox gave historical rulers stats with 0 being the lowest to 6 being the highest based on their administrative, diplomatic and military performance. If a ruler has 6 monarch points in all three skills, it means the ruler is perfect in all perspectives. Technology research will be faster if rulers have higher monarch points.

There are seven "perfect rulers" throughout the whole game. As all of them are "perfect rulers", I ranked them on their availability in game and their fixed military stat for firing, shocking, maneuver and siege, which are rated by their performance in historical battles. I will refer to them as the "four military stats" in the list below. 

7. Mori Takachika

Takachika is the Daimyo of the Mori Clan in1837. In that period, the Tokogawa Shogunate were facing imperialist threats from the Western world. At first, he was loyal to the emperor and tried to expel foreign imperialists and let Japan stay in isolation. However, it resulted in defeat at Shimonoseki. Afterward, he proposed to westernize and became a major player in the Meiji Restoration. 

Takachika is only playable if players modified the timeline in game. Even though he is playable, it isn't until the very end of the game and he can hardly be used, hence the reason I put him in last place.

Mori Takachika statue in Yamaguchi, Japan

6. Noriaki Uesugi

Noriaki is the Daimyo of the Uesugi Clan. He is the shogunate who united Japan from the Nanboku-Cho, a period of time when there were two imperial courts rivaling each other and claimed to be emperor of Japan. They were the Northern Imperial Court of Ashikaga Takauji in Kyoto, and a Southern Imperial Court of Emperor Go-Daigo in Yoshino. In 1392, the southern court declined being united by Noriaki. Later, he started a centralization reform and eventually held more power than the Takauji.

Unlike Takachika, Noriaki's timeline is placed before the game starts. If players modified the timeline, they still can use Noriaki until his death. At the same time, neither of them are playable without  modification.

Statue of Nariaki Uesugi in the Golden Pavilion at Kyoto, Japan

5. Pyotr I Veliky

Known as Peter the Great, Peter is the Russian Tsar who studied shipbuilding in the Netherlands at a young age and initiated a revolution against the traditionalist and westernization of Russia. Also, he won the Great Northern War, which resulted in the rise of the Russian Empire and the decline of Sweden and Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth after claiming Baltic ports from Sweden.

Peter is actually a playable "perfect ruler" in 1682. Because he lacks a fixed military stat, he is ranked after the following Top 4.

Portrait of Peter the Great

4. Henry VI

Known as "Henry the Great" and "Good King Henry", Henry VI rebuilt France after destruction from the French War of Religion. In the administration, he promoted education, agriculture, and expeditions to Canada. Nevertheless, he is known for his benevolence and love for his subjects. He is one of the few kings loved by the people during the French Revolution.

Henry VI is a playable French king in 1589 and has a 4,4,2,0 in the four military stats. With such stats, he definitely is able to "make France great again" after the French War of Religion.

Portrait of Henry IV 

3. Akbar I

Similar to Good King Henry, Akbar the Great is Known for his expansion of the Mughal Empire, religious tolerance and a centralized taxing system on military and subjects. Akbar also rewarded his officials based on merit instead of ethnic and religion background. He conquered most of neighboring powers during his military campaigns.

Akbar has a military stat of 4,4,2,2. He is evenly matched as Henry IV, but as he conquered other neighboring factions, a 2 in siege is given by Paradox.

Drawing of Akbar the Great

2. Gustav II Adolf

Gustav is one of the best generals in the list as he innovated new formations and weapons for the Swedish army. In the Thirty Year War, the Protestant League usually referred to him as "Lion of the North" since he defeated Catholic armies multiple times. One of the notable examples would be the Battle of Breitenfeld in which he defeated a much larger Catholic army. As a result of the battle, German Protestant states ensured their freedom of religion not being prosecuted by the Catholic Church. In the same time, Sweden became a strong and influential power in Europe.

Gustav's excellent performance in the the Thirty Year War led Paradox to give him a 6,5,6,1 in military stats.


Gustav II Adolf being presented in EU4 loading screen

1. Frederick the Great

Frederick's reign is an example of Enlightened Absolutism. As a monarch, he modernized the Prussian bureaucracy, civil service and encouraged religious tolerance. Similar to Gustav, his achievements in the military are more famous than administration. Frederick led Prussia to win the Seven Year War, which historian argue is the first world war as European colonies and natives were fighting as well. In North America, it is known as the French-Indian War. Although he did not make Prussia as strong as great powers like Great Britain and France after the Seven Year War, Prussia was able to maintain their state of existence before entering the war. 

Paradox rated Frederick 6,6,6,1. It means he is the most prominent general in the battlefield within this list.

Frederick the Great and his generals during the Seven Years War

Almost made it to the list

There are more great leaders in this period of time other than the seven I listed above. Perhaps they had some "flaws" in their political life, so Paradox did not rate them with 6s across the board. However, they are indeed great leaders in history. Here is list of "Almost Perfect Historical Leaders Based on EU4 Standard" and their major achievements: 

  • Gjergj Skanderberg, (6,5,6) Albania, 1443, defended Albania from Ottoman invasion for 20 years
  • Elizabeth I, (6,6,5) England. 1558, economic reform, defeated Spanish Armada and united religion in England
  • Minjo, Kaffa, (6,5,6) 1390, founder of Kaffa, first to innovate a method for roasting coffee 
  • Ang Chan I, Khmer, (5,6,6) 1516, defended Khmer from Siam and conquered land from it
  • Zhu Di, Ming, (5,6,6) 1402, won succession war at Jingnan Campaign, conquest of Vietnam, defeated Northern Yuan and initiated treasure voyages
  • Ismail, Morocco, (6,5,6), 1672, defeated Ottoman invasion and stayed independent, reconquered North African port cities from Spain
  • Abbas I, Persia, (6,5,6), 1587, military reform and reconquered lost territories from Uzbek, Ottoman, Portuguese and Mughal
  • Catherine the Great, Russia, (6,6,5), 1762, conquered Polish-Lithuanian, Persian and Ottoman territories, patron of art, literature and education, and issued paper money
  • Suleiman the Magnificent,  Ottoman, (6,5,6), 1520, conquered Persian, North African, European and Arabian territories, reformed education, taxation and criminal law
]]>
Humble Store's Paradox Interactive sale ends Monday! https://www.gameskinny.com/8m6xl/humble-stores-paradox-interactive-sale-ends-monday https://www.gameskinny.com/8m6xl/humble-stores-paradox-interactive-sale-ends-monday Sun, 27 Mar 2016 11:45:41 -0400 Chrisator

The folks over at Humble Bundle are offering a fantastic weekend sale, featuring some top Paradox Interactive games; Some of the titles include the full Crusader Kings 2 Collection, Europa Universalis IV Collection, Cities: Skyline and Pillars of Eternity.

Paradox Interactive is famous for its thoughtful planning of games, attention to historical details, and updating games long after their release in response to fans' feedback. Their most successful games have been their large-scale, real-time grand-strategy games, as well as some other unique games like Magica and Warlock 2.

The Crusader Kings 2 Collection, which contains the original game and all of the long list of DLCs available, for $39.99, down from $159.99. CK2, a prime example of a top Paradox Interactive game, has received a myriad of updates, and has quite a hardcore following. The game has over 40 DLCs, all of which are also available in a separate collection for $29.99 - also at 75% off - for those who already have a copy of the original game.

The acclaimed Europa Universalis 4 is also on offer for $9.99, with a collection of some of its top DLCs going for $16.24, and a seperate Conquest collection which includes special DLCs and pre-order bonuses going at $20.39.

The Victoria Collection which includes the original games Victoria  and Victoria 2, as well as all available DLCs, are also available for $9.99.

Also on sale is the amazing Paradox Grand Strategy Collection which consists of  Hearts of Iron 3, Crusader Kings 2, Europa Universalis IV and Victoria II -- all for $24.99 (down from $99.99). This would be a great buy because of the cyclical nature of these games. Each takes place during a different time period, but save games can be imported to followup games, allowing for a strategy experience unlike any other.

Other interesting titles include Pillars of Eternity ($22.49 at 50% off), Cities: Skyline ($7.49 at 50% off), Magicka 2 ($5.99 at 75% off) and Warlock 2: The Exiled ($4.99 at 75% off)

To check these, and other Humble Store offers go to the Paradox Interactive Humble Store sale here.

]]>
Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum DLC offers naval updates and more https://www.gameskinny.com/563ak/europa-universalis-iv-mare-nostrum-dlc-offers-naval-updates-and-more https://www.gameskinny.com/563ak/europa-universalis-iv-mare-nostrum-dlc-offers-naval-updates-and-more Fri, 25 Mar 2016 04:55:55 -0400 StratGamer48

In April 5, 2016, Paradox Interactive is going to release its 8th DLC, Mare Nostrum, for its best selling grand strategy game, Europa Universalis IV.

Mare nostrum means "our sea" in Latin. Hence, this new DLC is more focused on navy and trading features. In the same time, there will be more modifications on provinces to make world conquest harder, an espionage idea group, the ability to rent armies as mercenaries, and playing beyond 1821.

For naval updates, players can give missions to the fleets instead of micromanaging them. The DLC is going to make players more like a ruler of a nation instead of a captain. Also, recruiting sailors is now possible, where before building a navy used to be merely just building ships. In the same vein, coastal raids will be possible for nations to harass their enemies' coastlines. 

One of the new features for trading is that small Merchant Republic nations can finally form trade leagues. This new feature allows more small nations to become strong merchant guilds (like the Hansa) to protect their mutual interests. 

Besides modifications on the sea, there are more provinces added in the Sub-Sahara Africa and Ireland. Check out the comparison of old and new Ireland below:

The new Ireland is going to have 4 more province than before

More accessible provinces so an African warlord now can cross the tropical forests and the savanna to the other side of Africa. 

Condottieri in Italian means professional mercenary or freelancer. The Condottieri is a new added system for renting a mercenary army, with a price being paid every month. Also, allowing the player to play beyond 1821 is surely a game-changing mechanic (no pun intended). As in previous versions of EU4, games automatically end at 1821.  Last but not least, espionage got some newer features like stealing maps from other factions, making your rivals have a more corrupt government, and forming a spy network. Basically conspiracy stuff.

Overall, each update is adding more to the EU4 world in simulating alternative history. And this time it filled up the emptiness in naval features, enhanced espionage, more provinces, business deals with the Condottieri, and trade league features.

]]>
City building games are now being used in real world urban planning https://www.gameskinny.com/e0tih/city-building-games-are-now-being-used-in-real-world-urban-planning https://www.gameskinny.com/e0tih/city-building-games-are-now-being-used-in-real-world-urban-planning Sat, 19 Mar 2016 16:34:00 -0400 StratGamer48

“Since the release of Cities: Skylines last year, we’ve seen our creative players use it to design thousands of different things, from clever road layouts and traffic simulations to recreations of entire real-world cities.” --Susana Meza Graham, COO of Paradox Interactive

My Urban Playground is a documentary about video games and urban planning that centers on the topic of "How games can change the world and the way we build our future cities".  

It debuted at “The Swedish Affair” program track at South by Southwest Interactive, with a screening on Sunday, March 13, 2016, in Austin, Texas; an event where politicians, architects, civil engineers, game developers and Cities: Skyline players came together and discussed urban planning topics.

These included minimizing traffic problems, improving energy systems and designing public spaces. 

In the future, video games are going to become even closer to the reality, allowing people to participate in world changing programs.  Even looking back have already been examples of games helping solving worldwide issues.

In 2011, a Fold.it player helped decipher the crystal structure of Mason-Pfizer money virus, an AIDS-causing monkey virus which had been unsolved for 15 years. It took about three weeks to do in the game. In 2012, the creator of Minecraft joined the UN to create a revolutionary project called Block by Block. It allows Minecraft players to change their neighborhood by building designing them in game. Now, the game is also used to teach Ecology.

Now, it seems that Cities: Skyline is going to be used as a "urban planning simulator," allowing gamers to help find more effecient solutions to urban planning issues.

]]>
In Obsidian's latest game, Tyranny, you get to play the bad guy https://www.gameskinny.com/ecj45/in-obsidians-latest-game-tyranny-you-get-to-play-the-bad-guy https://www.gameskinny.com/ecj45/in-obsidians-latest-game-tyranny-you-get-to-play-the-bad-guy Wed, 16 Mar 2016 10:23:05 -0400 Chrisator

Obsidian Entertainment has just announced their newest game, Tyranny, in which you get to play the bad guy! The game will be published by Paradox Interactive, and available on PC, Mac and Linux.

Obsidian is generally better known for their work on sequels such as Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Neverwinter Nights 2, Fallout: New Vegas and Dungeon Siege III, as well as original games like South Park: The Stick of Truth and Pillars of Eternity. 

Tyranny has been a well-kept secret, but the principle idea seems to be an interesting one. While there are a few games out there where you play as the bad guy, and even more where you can make 'evil' decisions, there aren't many where you play exclusively as the antagonist. And if Tyranny is to take that path, the results will certainly be interesting.

Here's what the website had to say:

A Fatebinder’s word is law, and you decide the fate of the Tiers. Even the smallest of choices shape the land and its people. Tasked with making decisions that truly matter to the Tiers and to the factions of Kyros’ army, you will develop a reputation based upon your deeds -- and you will find the world a drastically changed place each time you play Tyranny.

Information is still scarce on the exact plot of the RPG and its release date, although it should be arriving this year. The game does however, seem to have certain similarities to Pillars of Eternity, another somewhat successful Obsidian game that was also published by Paradox Interactive. For more information, check out the game's website.

]]>