Category Archives: First Impression

Guild of Dungeoneering: First Impression

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I was looking through Steam curator, Total Biscuit’s list and found the review for Guild of Dungeoneering. Watched the video’s criticisms and i thought that the negative oarts of the game don’t seem like they would bother me much. Went to look at metacritc score, which seemed quite alright, except that the number of reviews wasn’t that much. But the game did seem like something that i would like.

After the first couple of hours, i felt that the biggest issue i have with the game is hardly the repetitive slow animations. It’s the inability to replay dungeons that you have completed. Which makes grinding for gold a really weird affair. Does it mean i have to keep failing dungeons to grind for gold?

The game is basically a card game, somewhat like Card Hunter. Each hero have their own set of cards and acquire equipment in a dungeon to modify the card set. The heroes do not keep their levels or equipment between dungeons. This is good in a way for a Roguelike game, as there isn’t a feeling of loss when a hero dies in Guild of Dungeoneering. Heroes are automatically replaced when they die. There is no cost for failing and retrying a dungeon. In fact, as mentioned earlier, it seems to be the only way to grind for gold.

The game doesn’t seem to have alot of information about its mechanics. It took me quite awhile to realize that the heroes do not accumulate experience. They seem to level up when they kill an equal level monster.

I completed the first dungeon, “Rats? How Original” and got stucked in “Firelord” for a long time as i kept getting destroyed by Embro. In the end, i switched to another dungeon, “Gobliiins”.

The way i won Gobliiins was to play Bruiser, level it up to level 4 and kept killing level 3 monsters to collect level 3 equipment. The idea is to have lots of physical (red) block and a couple strong attack cards, or something that can boost your next attack while blocking.

Despite the seeming difficulty in earning gold, i did find myself quite liking the game. As with all card games, there’s the element of RNG (randomness), but there’s also quite abit of min-max planning involved.

All in all, Guild of Dungeoneering is more puzzle-like than Roguelike. If you like to give try out a roguelike without the genre being too daunting, Guild of Dungeoneering is definitely worth exploring.

So much for now, Geek Generation out.

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Hearthstone: Tavern Brawl: First Impression

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

Tavern Brawl was available to play yesterday and boy was it over-hyped. Before i begin, Let me talk a little about Casual and Ranked play modes.

When i first started playing Hearthstone, i always went for Casual mode. After a while, the decks i encountered became so hard to win against that i switched to Ranked mode. Daily quests felt like they were easier to complete when playing in Ranked mode.

I never knew that Casual mode had an internal elo system too. I always thought that it just paired you randomly with whoever else clicked on Casual and that over time, strong players came to feast on the new players in Casual mode and all new players migrated to ranked mode.

But every now and then i would alternate between playing Casual mode and Ranked mode. But with the introduction of golden heroes, i never went back to Casual mode. The thought process was like: If i’m playing constructed, why would i play anything other than Ranked mode? Casual mode doesn’t help me work toward getting a golden hero.

The same fate that has befallen Casual mode awaits Tavern Brawl. After my first game, and getting that pack, there isn’t any compulsion to play any more Tavern Brawl. I would rather spend time playing my own constructed decks to work toward a golden hero. There’s not even an achievement or ladder board for playing Tavern Brawl.

It was not like an adventure where i would end the game with a couple more cards. Those cards would in turn generate more interests in Hearthstone as i thought about how i could fit those cards into existing decks, whether i could build decks around those cards etc.

With constructed on Ranked mode, even if i were net decking, i would’ve attempted to tune it to my own particular play style. Even if i didn’t tune the deck, i would at least have dragged/double clicked the cards to fill the deck. When i win a game because of certain tuned cards that i put in, it gives me satisfaction. It makes me feel like i was kind of clever. With preconstructed decks, Tavern Brawl didn’t seem very satisfying.

But to be fair, Tavern Brawl wasn’t all bad. I liked the idea of pitting Nefarian against Raganaros for the fact that the decks are an asymmetric match. There are lots of big minions and big effects, which is not something you can do with constructed.

Personally, i think Tavern Brawl works better for people who have lots of friends playing the game. It lets friends duel each other while eliminating/minimizing the power level differences in card collection between friends. A player who has an extensive collection could duel a friend who’s just starting out on Tavern Brawl without the advantage of a bigger collection.

I really hope they could add some weekly leader board for Tavern Brawl. They are counting the number of Tavern Brawl wins already, so it should be small matter to implement it. They could make Tavern Brawl both free to play, and registered. Registration fees should be similar to Arena, 150g. All who registered gets a Classic pack (at end of Brawl week). This helps new players to get Classic cards. Like Arena, Tavern Brawl should award goodies hidden in gift boxes. Top 5% of the leaderboard gets 4 gift boxes, top 10% 3 gift boxes, top 20% 2 gift boxes etc. Leaderboards are reset for every brawl.

With such a system, or similar system, in place, players would get more incentive to play Tavern Brawl. Otherwise, they would always prefer to go for Ranked mode to work toward their golden heroes, or Arena, which has better rewards for the time put in.

Last but not least, Tavern Brawl has more modes, hopefully, those other modes do not disappoint. Geek Generation out.

Civilization Beyond Earth: First Impression

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I’ve been playing Civilization: Beyond Earth alot lately. When i read about Civilization: Beyond Earth, it was mentioned as spiritual successor of Outpost. I kind of liked Outpost, and i wanted to play a game that allowed me to manage food, oxygen, power, etc., bulldozing tiles and suffering asteroid/lightning storm calamities.

It turns out that the definition of “spiritual successor” is not what i had in mind. Beyond Earth is only remotely related to Outpost. It’s not even Civilization in space. It’s Civilization on another planet. With marines replacing spearmen, primitive aliens replacing barbarians.

If i had known that Beyond Earth had absolutely nothing to do with Outpost and is basically a Civilization on another planet, i won’t have bought it. As it is though, i’ve bought it so i’ll just attempt to get as much value out of it as possible.

Geek Generation out.

Clicker Heroes: First Impression

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I was exploring the website of one of my usual games publisher looking for some casual games to play. It’s been awhile since i played these type of games.. somehow categorizing them as casual seems right, even though some of these “casual” games can be rather competitive at times.

ClickerHeroes

Anyway, i chanced upon a game called Clicker Heroes. The art looked rpg-ish and i thought it was going to be a side scroller kind of game. But it wasn’t.

The gameplay is simple. In the game, there is a single tile. On that tile, a monster will spawn. Click on the monster to deal damage to it. Collect gold when it dies and use gold to purchase automatic dps components. Every 5th level is a boss that comes with a 30s timer. If you don’t kill the boss within the allocated time, it resets.

Looking at the achievements, it appears that there are 1000s of levels and i do believe, i’ve described the gameplay of all the levels in that one paragraph. Despite the incredibly simple gameplay, i found it rather addictive. It has all the addictive elements of a grindy game without the complex gameplay of mmorpgs, making it perfect for idle gaming.

Strategy for playing the game is relatively simple. Increase the automatic dps component until you can kill a boss without needing any input, clicks/skill activation, from you. Start the game and leave it at the boss level and minimize the browser window containing the game. That about it, the game is all about idle farming until you have enough automatic dps for the next boss.

Though when i logged in today, i had a huge sum of gold, so i’m not sure if logging in would cause a back-calculation for gold that would’ve been earned during the offline period.

The thing is, even though the game is mostly about idle farming, and relative to your automatic dps, manually clicking doesn’t really help much, there’s still that urge to open up the browser to click on the monster and keep repeating in my head the mantra “I have no life. I have no life.” 😀

Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: First Impression

Hello people, this is Geek Generation. My motherboard died last week, took me quite awhile to get a new one up and running again, but now i’m back.

I managed to get my hands on a Hearthstone beta key and have been trying it out after i got my computer working again. First thing i noticed about the game, read on its news page rather, is that there is a cap on the amount of gold you can earn, from play mode, from playing the game. Incidentally, for free players, this means there’s no point in sitting in front of the computer to play the entire day. But the cap is sufficiently large that players with one to two hours of play time daily would be unlikely to hit it.

The other two modes is practice and arena mode. Practice mode doesn’t earn you gold and is only good for leveling up your hero cards. You need to level up your hero cards to collect free hero specific cards. The arena mode is the tournament mode for Hearthstone and is unlocked by unlocking all ten hero cards. Once unlocked, the first entry is free. Entry fee is 150 gold at time of blogging.

Once entering an Arena tourney, you get to pick a card from three semi-random cards (you don’t keep the cards for your constructed decks). Picking the card, gives you your first card for your arena tourney. Then another three semi-random cards are presented and you pick from it. You pick cards in this way until you have a total of 30 cards which becomes your deck for the Arena tourney. You’re tourney run ends when you’ve accumulated three losses. I think rewards are probabilities calculated based on your number of wins. You can earn gold, arcane dust and even booster packs.

You can leave and return (quit application, reboot computer, reformat hard disk etc) at any time during the drafting process or in between matches. Though if you leave during a match itself, you accumulate a loss.

I think you get a quest every day (not sure if you still get the quest if you do not log in for the day) and can accumulate up to three quests. For most players, quests are the source of income. If, like me, you’re an average player with some experience in CCG competitive tourneys, my advice is to not spend any gold to buy booster packs. Spend it on Arena’s entry fees since you can get boosters and arcane dust from the Arena. You can level up your heroes in the Arena too.

Deck size is 30 cards, not counting the hero card. Maximum number of same-named copies of cards in a deck is two, except legendaries, which is one. The card pool is not huge, but there are ripe possibilities available to Hearthstone. If Blizzard so chooses, they could go the way of their upcoming moba and include lore from their other games like Diablo and Starcraft. Who won’t want to play Sarah Kerrigan as the heroine : D

zergling

First impression of the game is Star_FullStar_FullStar_FullStar_FullStar_Empty.

Nightbanes Review

Hello everybody, welcome back to Geek Generation. Today, i’m going to do my first game review. In my game reviews, i’ll generally talk about the game as a whole, the things that i like or do not like, the viability of free to play competitiveness and the hungriness of cash shop.

In this review, i’m going over a collectible card game Nightbanes by Diviad, the company that brought Ghost Trappers to ask via Facebook. Well, i assume it’s by Diviad since it uses the lore from one of Diviad’s games. At some point in the post i might be comparing it with Duel of Champions, also a free to play collectible card game but developed and published by other companies.

The game does not have any form of mana and each turn, the player can play only one card. It appears that the player cannot choose to not play anything in a turn. The speed of different cards are determined by the pips of bloodlust in the top of the card. Each creature fill a pip of bloodlust at end of turn and creatures can attack if they enter combat with all pips filled (meaning creatures cannot attack on the turn they’re summoned unless they do not have bloodlust pips or some other effect fills their pips).

The game complexity is rather simple, there are no lanes in the game. Or rather, there’s only one lane for summoned creatures to queue up in. Creatures attack the enemy hero during combat unless there’s another creature directly opposite of it in the enemy’s queue. In that case, the opposing creature is attacked instead.

Turn order of the game is as follows. Draw 3 cards (initial), play a card/hero ability, enter combat automatically, clean up phase + draw a card if a card was played. It seems that the player cannot choose not to play anything in a turn. Which kind of implies that mechanics like entire board clearing effects and disruption of cards in hands are not present in the game. Actually there might be cards that deal some damage to all enemy creatures, because i saw atleast one card that goes something like heal 2 to all creatures you control.

The mechanics in the game does seem a little limited. I’ve never managed to struggle to a win once the initiative was lost. Perhaps this is not the case in higher levels of gameplay with pools of rarer cards.

The game has a large variety of currency. There’s PVP tokens, blood pearls, blood rubies, blood diamonds. Quests gives pearls when completed and rubies when the quest level ups. You level up a quest by completing it a number of times.

As always, different currencies have different value. By value, i do not mean currency conversion. The shop sells a booster at 15 rubies or 30 diamonds. While this puts the conversion rate at 1 ruby to 2 diamond, diamond is still the more valuable currency since it’s a cash currency (bought with real cash). For some unfathomable reasons, there’s a cap on the amount of PVP tokens and rubies you can have in storage. I guess, possibly at a later stage, that there might be items for sale at a price higher than the cap and a way for players to unlock higher caps with diamonds, thereby generating more sales. I’m not sure if you can still earn rubies once you’ve hit the max levels for all your quests. There’s a daily login bonus that gives rubies though. Rubies are used to purchase boosters. So rubies are kind of the bread and butter currency for free to play players.

I played a PVP match and was paired with someone who’s deck doesn’t look like a starter deck. Perhaps i need to lose ELO rating to get paired with other players with starter decks. I lost the game, and earned a total of zero PVP tokens. Apparently i need to win a match to earn PVP tokens. That effectively puts PVP reward cards out of reach until i get the deck in order through the slow process of accumulating rubies.

Looking at the cash shop, i see the starter deck that i began with on sale for diamonds. You can’t even get other starters for in game money! In another section of the cash shop, labelled premium, i see cards sold for diamonds. And these cards have a logo that’s not part of any of the boosters. Does it mean that free to play players can never hope to own any of these cards?

In the end, comparing Nightbanes’s cash shop to Duel of Champions’s cash shop, Nightbanes has a very hungry cash shop. With exclusive cards and pvp reward cards locked away until later, competitiveness for a free to play player does not look optimistic.

Last but not least, the game has an energy system. A legacy adopted from facebook games. It could be used to limit the players from earning too much in game currency from the quests. This depends on whether rubies can be earned once the quests are at max level. If rubies can’t be earned from max level quests, then the energy system only serves to limit pearls, a currency that is much less valuable compared to rubies.

Edit: The issue of pvp matchmaking could be due to the game not having alot of players. I don’t have the numbers, but it is a possibility.