Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Alien Isolation: An Underrated Video Game Masterpiece


Alien: Isolation, released in 2014, was a game that was surrounded by a level of major hype. Given the utter flop that was Aliens: Colonial Marines, there was a major negative focus on games based around the Aliens franchise. Upon release, Alien: Isolation was polarising. Many praised it as a game masterpiece, while others were less generous, calling it mediocre. But was Alien: Isolation a misunderstood masterpiece, or just another cash in on a popular franchise?
The game sold reasonably well, but was not the smash hit developers Creative Assembly hoped for. The game had been a risky endeavour in many departments, and some gamers didn’t know what to make of it. Featuring a heavy stealth focus, a minimum of actual shooting enemies, and a heavy leaning on unscripted horror, it was certainly not what many were used too.
Let’s take a closer look at the game that may be the most underrated technological video game creation of all time, as it is as exciting and enthralling as the online pokies NZ have to offer.
Flight Not Flight
In terms of video games, there are certain rules that are universally followed by developers, to create an enjoyable video game experience. One of the rules is that the game should be fun, fair, and cathartic. In other words; modern video games are overwhelmingly designed to make the player feel in control, powerful, and capable. Alien: Isolation flew in the face of this rule, going in the exact opposite direction.
In the game, the player takes on the role of Amanda Ripley, daughter of the famous Ellen Ripley character form the movies. As Amanda, the player must face off against the notorious alien. But, the player cannot kill the alien, cannot defeat the alien, and will die, instantly, if spotted by the alien. In terms of game design, this should have been a recipe for disaster. Although other games are designed around the idea of the player hiding from enemies, Alien: Isolation would be the first major game to make the alien a one hit killer. Or, an enemy that kills simply by touching the player a single time.
Ultra-Advanced AI
What made the game playable was the fact that the alien in the game had some of the most advanced AI in gaming history. The alien can be tricked, misled, distracted, hidden from, and even confused.
AI in video games is generally simple in most regards, but the alien in Alien: Isolation was a key focus of the development process, making it possible to engage in a battle of wits with the creature, in order to stay alive. It is is an endeavour never before undertaken in a video game, and feat that developers Creative Assembly deserve recognition for.
Why No Mega Success?
The game did succeed financially, but only just barely. What was it about the game that kept it from reaching the mega success it surely deserved?
The pacing of the game was slow, aiming to create gradual dread and tension in the player, much in the same way tension is achieved in movies. The alien did not even become a major element in the game for the first hour. Sadly, many modern gamers, used to pulse pounding fast paced action, did not respond well to the slow tension, and purposeful feelings of helplessness. Plus, given that the game relied heavily on the player learning without being prompted, many gamers were left feeling lost.
Hopefully, should the game ever get a sequel, it will manage to appeal to a broader audience.

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Bad Games That Could Have Rocked


The video game industry is tricky, of that there is no question. Being expensive to make, time consuming to do right, and often subject to timelines, making a good game is no small task. In some cases, games are pushed out too early due to time constraints, leaving them unfinished. In other cases, due to meddling by a higher power, video games are altered from their original vision, leaving them awkward and broken.
Either way, the result is a mediocre, or even bad game, that could have been great, if given the proper treatment. Here are are disappointing, or bad games, that could have been good.
Sonic 06
Sonic 06 is often regarded as one of the most broken, disappointing games of all time. Released in an unforgivable state that reeked of being pushed out the door months sooner than it should have been, many fans were so let down that the game slipped into legend.
Of course, if the game had not been rushed out to meet a deadline, it could have been much better, probably even great. As it stands, however, Sonic 06 is bug riddled, and even tragically badly designed is some areas. Check out sonic standing upside down at the top most point of a loop, defying gravity. Why? Because the rushed developers desperately hoped no one would stop before the end of the loop. Unlike the slick, stylish online Blackjack NZ games, this one is so bad, it’s funny.
Assassin's Creed Unity
There was an era where big games took a serious hit, mostly due to the transition from one console generation to the next. Many big games, already in development, had to be desperately adjusted in order fit new generation specifications. The result was games slashed, downgraded, and messily readjusted. The most infamous, perhaps, was Assassin's Creed Unity.
The intention of the game was to wow audiences with next level technology, and blow minds with a massive step in graphical fidelity. In the case of Assassin's Creed Unity, however, the result was a game so broken it was depressing. Clearly the game had not been optimised correctly for the new generation of consoles, probably due to time constraints,  so the game not only ran badly, but also suffered from horrendous bugs. If given more time, the otherwise decent game could have been excellent.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
If doing research, one can find a troubled, messy development history for Mass Effect Andromeda. Apparently the game was in hell, due to the development team being forced to use a less than adequate game engine, simply as a way to give publicity to Electronic Arts. If this is or isn’t true, when the game released it suffered a number of glaring problems, the most notable being poor facial animations.
These technical shortfalls stole the show, quickly destroying a game that otherwise not so bad. If the development period of the game had been better handled, the game surely would have have been given a better reception, saving it from a horrible, undeserved death.

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Broken Hearts Event 2018








Every Daeva deserves love, or better yet, LOVE. Collect heart pieces to spell out LOVE and be rewarded with prizes. You can even trade these pieces to that special Daeva on your mind.



- HOW TO PARTICIPATE -

Instance monsters will have a chance to drop Broken Heart Boxes. These boxes will give you a random heart piece, with the Broken Heart: E being slightly rarer. Combine the four required pieces to spell LOVE and create the Mended Heart. Open the Heart for a random reward.

Broken Heart Boxes and the Broken Heart: E are available on the store. You can also purchase one Broken Heart Box every day during the event for 1 NCoin.





- LOCATIONS -

Mobs from the following instance will have a chance to drop Broken Heart Boxes.


Rentus Base

Tiamat Stronghold


Raksang Ruins

Dragon Lord's Refuge


Danuar Sanctuary

Ophidan Bridge


Linkgate Foundry

Sealed Danuar Mysticarium


Danuar Reliquary

Illuminary Obelisk


Seized Danuar Sanctuary

Sauro Supply Base


Infernal Danuar Reliquary

Infernal Illuminary Obelisk


Drakenseer's Lair

Anguished Dragon Lord's Refuge


Infinity Shard

Occupied Rentus Base


Drakenspire Depths

Adma's Fall


Archives of Eternity

The Eternal Bastion


Fissure of Oblivion

Fallen Poeta


Cradle of Eternity

Theobomos Test Chamber


Frozen Monolith

Trials of Eternity




- REWARDS -

Collect and combine the four heart pieces from the Broken Heart Boxes to make a Mended Heart. Open the Mended Heart for a fabulous prize. View the full list of rewards on the forums here.


Collect the pieces and spell LOVE before Broken Hearts ends February 28, 2018.
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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Power Up Week





Power Up Week is upon us! Starting tomorrow after the maintenance you will find three buffs applied to the server for one week. These server-wide buffs will greatly help when attempting to temper or enchant Essence Cores, Accessories, and Stigmas:
  • Failing to enchant a Stigma will result in a decrease of one enchantment level rather than the destruction of the item
  • Failing to temper accessories (Hats, Earrings, Necklaces, Rings, and Belts) will result in the decrease of one tempering level rather than the destruction of the item
  • Failing to enchant Essence Cores will result in the decrease of one enchantment level if using Omega Enchantment Stones rather than the destruction of the item
You’ll be able to find all the items you need to participate on the store for a limited time:
  • Tempering Solutions
  • Omega Enchantment Stones
  • Stigma Bundle (This item will grant a bundle appropriate for your class and allow you to select the Stigma)
There will also be community-wide rewards based on the total numbers of attempted enchantments based on the following criteria:
  • All stigma enchanting attempts, whether they succeed or fail.
  • All tempering attempts, whether they succeed or fail, regardless of the type of item they are used on.
  • All uses of Omega Enchantment Stones, whether they succeed or fail, regardless of the type of item they are used on.



Community Milestone Rewards


Milestone

Reward


1000

20 Luna


3500

[Event] Level Reduction Stone


6000

[Event] Berdin's Lucky Star x3


9000

2x XP Week Event #1


12500

Upgrade to 2x XP + 50% Drop Week #1


16000

Upgrade to 3x XP + 50% Drop Week #1


20000

2x XP Week Event #2


24000

Upgrade to 2x XP + 50% Drop Week #2


28000

Upgrade to 3x XP + 50% Drop Week #2




In addition to the community rewards, the top contributors from each server will receive special prizes:
  • +12 Manastone Choice, Archangel Wing Skin, Lightspeed Ironfang Mount
  • +11 Manastone Choice, Archangel Wing Skin
  • +11 Manastone Choice, Archangel Wing Skin
  • +10 Manastone Choice, Archangel Wing Skin
  • +10 Manastone Choice, Archangel Wing Skin

Be quick, Power Up Week will only be here for one week until February 14! Take advantage of these buffs before it’s too late.
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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Power Up Week is Coming



Greeting Daevas!

Next week after the February 7 maintenance, some grandiose buffs will be applied to the servers for one week deemed Power Up Week. These buffs will help you greatly when enhancing various items:
  • Failing to enchant a Stigma will result in a decrease of one enchantment level rather than the destruction of the item
  • Failing to temper accessories will result in the decrease of one tempering level rather than the destruction of the item
  • Failing to enchant Essence Cores will result in the decrease of one enchantment level if using Omega Enchantment Stones rather than the destruction of the item

Full Power Up Week details will be available next week.
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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Joker's Wild 2018





Put on your best suit and get down to the floor - Joker's Wild returns with a shuffled deck and fabulous prizes. Collect Heart and Spade cards to obtain a Tournament Key and see what rewards you can unlock.

Part 1: Building your Hand

Log in daily until Febuary 7, 2018 and pick up an [Event] Clubs Card Pack and an [Event] Hearts Card Pack by talking to event NPC, Pierodan. Opening any one of these packs will give you (1) random Hearts or Clubs card. All event NPCs are located in the capital cities of Pandaemonium and Sanctum. You'll be able to purchase a bundle on the store for 20 NCoin daily containing five Hearts and five Clubs!

Certain instance bosses will also drop (1) [Event] Clubs Card Pack and (1) [Event] Hearts Card Pack.


Instances


*Drakenseer's Lair

*Tiamat Stronghold


*Raksang Ruins

*Dragon Lord's Refuge


*Drakenspire Depths

*Infernal Danuar Reliquary


*The Eternal Bastion

*Danuar Sanctuary


*Ophidan Bridge

*Linkgate Foundry


*Sealed Danuar Mysticarium

*Danuar Reliquary


*Illuminary Obelisk

*Seized Danuar Sanctuary


*Sauro Supply Base

*Infinity Shard


*Infernal Illuminary Obelisk

*Occupied Rentus Base


*Archives of Eternity

*Anguished Dragon Lord's Refuge


*Fallen Poeta

*Trials of Eternity


*Archives of Eternity

*Adma's Fall


*Theobomos Test Chamber

*Cradle of Eternity


*Frozen Monolith






Part 2: Lucky Number 7

The 7 of Hearts card can be used in a pair with a Red Joker card in exchange for a tournament key. You can also combine lower number Hearts cards that add up to seven to create a 7 of Hearts card.



Part 3: Royal Straight

Combine the 10 of Clubs, Jack of Clubs, Queen of Clubs, King of Clubs, and the Ace of Clubs to create an [Event] Royal Straight card. This card can then be combined with a Black Joker card for a tournament key.



Part 4: Jokers are Wild

[Event] Black Joker and [Event] Red Joker cards are required in your hand when you show the cards to the House in exchange for a tournament key. Joker cards can be purchased from our store or exchanged with 8 and 9 of Hearts/Clubs for either Joker cards with event NPC, Tuperunerk. Other cards can also be exchanged for Joker cards from the other event NPCs.



Part 5: Bluffs Away

If you have any Hearts or Clubs cards you don't plan on using, you can use the item as a buff. Double-click the card you don't plan on keeping or trading to use the appropriate buff listed. The card buffs do not stack and will override your current buff should you use another card buff.


Buff

Required Card(s)

Description


*Luck of the Draw

♥7 ,♣Royal Straight, ♥Joker, ♣Joker

Increase item drop rate by 10%


*Shuffle & Deal

♥8, ♥9, ♥10, ♥J, ♥Q, ♥K

Increase Cast Speed by 2%, Magic Boost +20


*Strong Hand

♣3, ♣4, ♣5, ♣6, ♣7, ♣8, ♣9

Increase Attack Speed by 2%, Crit Strike + 20




- Rewards -

Collect your tournament keys by completing the event quests provided by the event NPCs. You can then use the keys to open tournament chests located in Pandaemonium and Sanctum.

You can see a full list of rewards on the forums here.





Get the best hand you can because Joker's Wild ends February 7, 2018.
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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Aion: Heart of Frost Now Live



Previous attempts to stop Ereshkigal’s resurrection proved ineffective, and Ereshkigal's influence continues to grow. Witness her immense power and step up once again do to whatever it takes to stop her growing army.

View the full patch notes here.

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Homeward Bound 2018





The Generous Laira, Luvara, and Leta are back again to assist new and returning players settling in the world, these generous Daevas are here to offer gifts to guide you along.

How To Participate

If you are a new player, speak to Laira in the starting areas or capital cities. For returning players, Luvara will help you get reacquainted. Both of these helpful Daevas are excited for your arrival and offer gifts to help you along in your journey. Also, once daily you will be able to obtain one [Event] Fennec Fox Daily Transformation Candy Box from Laira or Luvara.

If getting bonus experience is your thing, then you’re in luck. Many of the instances new comers encounter will be offering a chance to drop various amounts of Liquid Experience. Consuming these items will instantly grant you experience towards your next level. Be sure to be on the lookout for Leta in towns as she is ready to make your life easier by teleporting you to the entrances of many instances!

Every day, for levels 66+, you'll be automatically gifted with items every hour you're logged in up to four hours.


Hour       Reward


1             [Event] Berdin's Lucky Star

2             Fragmented Spinel (x500)

3             Spinel Coin (x3)

4            +6 Manastone Bundle




Welcome all Daevas! The Generous Daevas are only here for a short time to help you in Aion: Heart of Frost. Homeward Bound ends January 31!
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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Big Changes Coming to Aion in Korea


Aion Korea is about to go under a pretty radical change on January 17th. In addition to making the game F2P there (currently you get charged what is effectively a sub fee) many changes are being done which will have BIG changes here.

Some key points (sourced from here and here):
  1. New items will be divided into 3 new categories. Ancient, Legendary, Ultimate. Instead of mythic, etc.
  2. Items are divided between PVE and PVP attributes. To upgrade PVE, you need to PVE. To upgrade PVP, you need to do Sieges and PVP things.
  3. Existing Enchantment Stones and Holy Upgrade Serums/Temperings will disappear. They will be replaced by new Enchantment stones that focus on ither PVE or PVP attributes. They can be used on any item regardless of the slot. Omegas are gone.
  4. Breakthrough has been removed. All items can be enchanted up to level +15. The increase of stats will be higher for each level than currently. Already enchanted items can still be used. Ie, no more enchanting past +15.
  5. Various new manastones have been added. The number of manastone slots has been reduced to 3. It seems archdaeva manastones are going away (?) and we're moving back to stats.
  6. Items can no longer be improved with idians, godstones, augmentation.
It should be noted that players in Korea have not liked much of 5.0 releases, and many streamers have quit the game over them. The game has historically been VERY pay to win in Korea where full +20 items are common and you can pay via the cash shop (on top of sub fee!) for stat increase buffs.

Thus, a lot of these changes will drastically rework how endgame in the game works.

For updated information, check out this forum post:

https://board.en.aion.gameforge.com/index.php/Thread/2764-6-0-First-Info/?pageNo=1

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Aion: Heart of Frost Coming January 10



Ereshkigal’s forces have assembled in the now-icy core of the Abyss. Gather your allies and prepare to attack – Aion: Heart of Frost is coming January 10.

Divine Fortress
Return to the Abyss Core and Divine Fortress, where Ereshkigal’s forces gather and grow in number. Fight alongside allies to reclaim the Divine Fortress and drive back the advancing icy army...


Mirash Sanctum
Harvesters continue to experiment with Drana and now have discovered a way to revive Ereshkigal's fallen troops.


Frozen Monolith

A powerful guardian stands before a tower rumored to be linked to Ereshkigal’s influence in the Abyss.



This is a small portion of what awaits in Aion: Heart of Frost. Stay tuned for more information as we near the launch on January 10!
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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Aion: Heart of Frost Coming January 10





Ereshkigal’s forces have assembled in the now-icy core of the Abyss. Gather your allies and prepare to attack – Aion: Heart of Frost is coming January 10.

Divine Fortress
Return to the Abyss Core and Divine Fortress, where Ereshkigal’s forces gather and grow in number. Fight alongside allies to reclaim the Divine Fortress and drive back the advancing icy army...


Mirash Sanctum
Harvesters continue to experiment with Drana and now have discovered a way to revive Ereshkigal's fallen troops.


Frozen Monolith
A powerful guardian stands before a tower rumored to be linked to Ereshkigal’s influence in the Abyss.




This is a small portion of what awaits in Aion: Heart of Frost. Stay tuned for more information as we near the launch on January 10!
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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tempered Power II





Pure Plumes and Empyrean Bracelets are powerful items blessed by the Empyrean Lords for all Daevas to use. Tempered Power has returned offering divine rewards for those that Temper to the appropriate levels.

Temper your Pure Plume and Empyrean Bracelet during the promotion to receive rewards based on the final temper level at the end!

Eligibility

  1. Only Pure Plumes and Empyrean Bracelets tempered during the event period will qualify for the rewards. Normal plumes are not eligible.
  2. Any previously tempered Pure Plumes and Empyrean Bracelets can qualify as long as they are tempered at least once to +5 or higher (for Pure Plumes) or +7 or higher (for Empyrean Bracelets) during the event period.
  3. Players must have a qualifying Pure Plume and/or Bracelet equipped on their character or in their inventory during our April 5 maintenance in order to qualify for the rewards.
  4. Players with multiple qualifying Pure Plumes and/or Bracelets are eligible to receive rewards for each Pure Plume and/or Bracelet.
Rewards

Pure Plume


Tempering Level

Reward


5

[Stamp] Anniversary Consumables Box

Large Luna Bundle


6

[Stamp] Anniversary Consumables Box

Large Luna Bundle (x2)


7

[Stamp] Anniversary Consumables Box

Large Luna Bundle (x3)


8

[Stamp] Anniversary Consumables Box

Warsinger's Armor

Warsinger's Pauldrons

Warsinger's Helm

Large Luna Bundle (x3)


9

Tamed Riding Wolf

[Stamp] Anniversary Consumables Box

Warsinger's Armor

Warsinger's Pauldrons

Warsinger's Helm

Large Luna Bundle (x3)


10

Dark Dragon Weapon Box

Tamed Riding Wolf

[Stamp] Anniversary Consumables Box

Warsinger's Armor

Warsinger's Pauldrons

Warsinger's Helm

Large Luna Bundle (x3)


Bracelet


Tempering Level

Reward


7

[Stamp] Anniversary Consumables Box

Wooden Luna Chest


8

[Stamp] Anniversary Consumables Box

Skystrike Armor

Skystrike Epaulettes

Skystrike Visor

Wooden Luna Chest


9

[Stamp] Anniversary Consumables Box

Kromede Minion Contract

Skystrike Armor

Skystrike Epaulettes

Skystrike Visor

Wooden Luna Chest


10

Dark Dragon Weapon Box

[Stamp] Anniversary Consumables Box

Kromede Minion Contract

Skystrike Armor

Skystrike Epaulettes

Skystrike Visor

Wooden Luna Chest


During this promotion you will be able to purchase Tempering Solutions from the in-game shop or the web store. Tempered Power will end on January 10, and rewards delivered by January 24.
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