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Month: October 2015

Windward – Ahoy There!

My latest favorite is Windward. For years I played Sid Meier’s Pirates! and would just sail around plundering Spanish galleons with little care for the plot. That alone amused me far longer than it should have with simple controls for firing your cannons and sailing against and with the wind.

Flash forward some years and we have Windward. Immediately I was caught by the Steam sale advert video. The game looked beautiful and it is. Gameplay is simple, you sail to and from towns while trading goods or running Quests and you’ll loot floating crates and barrels that have one of the commodities: Gold, Stone, Wood and Gunpowder Each commodity has it’s use though you’ll amass far more than you’ll likely ever use. Combat is almost automatic, as you sale upon an enemy ship your cannons will fire and you have a selection of manual use abilities that feature some targeting.

The world is generated when you start the game, though your progress is saved to a character name you create. I’ve sailed in single player games and Internet games with 30+ players all with the same progress as I learn the ropes. It features some easy internet sharing, so I can create a game and have my friends join me. I can even redraw the map, supposing I don’t like what it generated, I can mold the map borders to my liking.

I find a lot to like in the design, it’s very peaceful and easy to play for 5 minutes or 5 hours. This is easily my favorite game this year!


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Battlefield 4: Why am I dead again?

I was hanging with Katie of who sometimes streams her antics via Twitch and some of her friends when Battlefield 4 went on sale. 18 bucks for Premium and I had all the hot content and priority queueing. Between this and another blog I was (and still am) reading, September went rather quickly.

Battlefield and it’s kin, amuse me for the strategy and the action. Like a digital football. But I’m an MMO player, I like progression and advancement. BF4 provides an excellent instant-action venue for it’s gameplay. There’s always a server up you can join, “shoot some dudes” and have a pretty good time. And yes, there’s a level system, there’s a progression of unlocks as you move through the game. But aircraft are something of a joke and too often you get a map dominated by some excellently skilled players in helicopters. But for what it provides I would easily recommend BF4 for anyone looking for a modern combat experience. This isn’t a refined simulation, on the contrary it’s quite arcade-like.

That being said, I got about two weeks into BF4 when someone brought up Planetside 2. Planetside 2 brings just about everything BF4 brings but it’s persistent. You can spend hours fighting over a tower or a hillside as the sides fighting ebb and flow trying to seize territory. In BF, we’re talking about matches. Lose the round? Oh, well better luck next time. Planetside will have you taking and losing and retaking structures in the ever present war. If the fighting here is too intense or too quiet you can redeploy to another region for more war. Or if you’re feeling like flying around the map and look at the scenery, you can retreat away from the front lines to putter about.

Planetside 2 is made by Day Break Games (or at least supported by them). Also in their lineup is H1Z1 which is on my docket for October. I’m enjoying the roam and scavenge survivalism. It’s something I like about Fallout and i’m eagerly awaiting Fallout 4 in November. H1Z1 has it’s moments of brilliance. Radios you can loot, let you join a global voice chat. Make a compass to get general direction with crafting. Some usual crafty stuff. There’s a character wipe tomorrow morning so I’m likely to spend some hours Wednesday learning my way through the world.

I’m planning a play of H1Z1 for Halloween. A LAN party if I can get the volunteers, a streamed solo session if I can’t. I’ll link here when I have better information.

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