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Alan Stock

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Everything posted by Alan Stock

  1. Nothing taken as personal, no worries. You pretty much nailed it on my account. I don't have a next gen Xbox. This is the first PC I've owned that stands a chance of running a lot of these games at anything above lowest quality settings. I am very well versed in the gaming sphere so I was aware of Gamepass for PC. But like you say because of the previous factors I've been an outsider looking in, with all my Gamepass knowledge second hand from forums, game websites, friends and podcasts. Most people offline who I chat about PC games with just use Steam. I have a massive Steam library so my first excitement on getting a new PC was all the new games on there I'd be able to play. What I didn't realise was what a big catalogue Gamepass PC has, and most of all how many non-exclusive titles they have on there. I do agree from a marketing point of view they probably aren't raising awareness about their PC offerings. I've never seen or heard an advert that simply outlines the PC gamepass and how many games they have, or examples of games they have on there. I do reckon there is a large audience on PC that just uses Steam, who are completely unaware of Gamepass on PC. And when Microsoft is offering up lots of games like Grounded or EA games which retail at 30-40 quid on Steam, suddenly a Gamepass subscription could make a lot of sense to Steam users.
  2. I got a Gamepass Ultimate trial with my new laptop. My old laptop wasn't very good and I don't have an Xbox. I have been loving it! I hadn't even thought about Gamepass for PC until a friend reminded me it existed (I'd really just been associating Gamepass with Xbox). I immediately added about 15 games to my 'to play' list and installed about 5, including epics like Valheim and Grounded. I get to try Gears Tactics for basically free, I was able to try out Pentiment, and I played hours of Power Wash Simulator which I normally wouldn't bother paying for. The games on my list will keep me going for months so even when I keep up my subscription it will be more than paying for itself even at its fairly high cost of 11 quid a month. When it reaches a point where I've exhausted the games on my list I can just cancel. Its funny because I had kind of dismissed GamePass as having a lot of 8/10 games without too many big hitters. But the PC line-up is surprisingly good, with a nice mix of AAA, Xbox exclusives and top grade Indie titles. It is pricey as a sub service but if there are enough games on the list you want to play it seems worth it. I'm curious what other people's thoughts on Ultimate are who have just been using it for PC games. Do they add enough new titles to make it worth it in the long run? Do they add older games to the catalogue, is there a decent cycle rate on it? I'll definitely sub for at least a few months whilst I get through the must-haves.
  3. Reviews are coming out today - and it's not bad. Quite a lot of 8/10s so far. I wasn't that interested in this, but I absolutely loved FFVII Remake and if this continues to get good reviews I might change my mind!
  4. I will get this eventually, but I spent a lot on The Quarry and although it was ok I've still not got back and finished it (about two thirds of the way through), which doesn't say much for its pull. I'm done with paying 40 or 50 quid for these games. Although this one has been getting quite a lot of love from Youtubers compared to the previous ones, and I do like the premise of Devil in Me.
  5. Tried this out on gamepass for a 'quick go' which predicatably saw me spending 3 or 4 hours doing the van, back garden, a bike, and a house exterior to 100%. Its once I was able to afford the nozzles I really got into the zone with it, super satisfying to make it all efficient and figure out the best tools for each bit. I thought the garden was the most fun and the house boring, so I'm hoping the focus going forward is on areas with interesting objects and shapes like the garden, rather than big flat surfaces like the house. The big issue I have with the game though, is who are all these dirty bastards with their houses literally coated black with dirt? And when you look around at the neighbours it becomes clear that despite the lovely text messages, the inhabitants of these foul black abodes are serial killers or have major issues in their lives. I would love there to be a side lore part of the game where you discover the horrible truth behind these disgusting places and what the everyday joes say about them. The only thing that's dissapointing considering the level of detail is that water doesn't wash down from the area you are spraying and help to clean the stuff below. Maybe that will be in the sequel with better tech? One question, does soap actually help loosen up dirt if you just go over stuff fairly quickly with it? I spent quite a lot covering big areas with soap on the house and garden, which obviously cleaned things a bit, but probably not much more than if I'd done the same with a big jet. But was it helping out making the dirt underneath come off more easily?
  6. I know its all praise in here (and elsewhere), but I played through the first day of the game and not really feeling it. I do recognise all of its strengths and unique flavour, and its nice to have a game you can actually learn in, but I found it pretty boring. Part of the problem is I've never been a fan of this historical era/religious setting, I don't like the art much and the wandering, overall in general it just hasn't grabbed me. Should I stick with it or do you reckon if I'm not feeling it now, I never will? Maybe once things heat up a bit in the story it will get better. I do fancy seeing it through just as its had so much love, but its quite a long game to invest in.
  7. When starting out I'd suggest dropping mid to late to familiarise yourself with the weapons, terrain and general mechanics. Don't wait too long though or you'll spend the whole game looting and then get killed by whoever else survived the whole game. If you want to get better at combat fast, try hotdropping with all of the other suicide squads to the most popular locations but be prepared to die a lot, which probably will suck with 2 friends. As for weapons I'd recommend all rounders to begin with like the R301 and Flatline with a backup weapon for closer quarters like a shotgun or SMG. Don't forget to use your character's abilities frequently as they recharge fast, and your Ultimates. Use the movement mechanics at your disposal to climb and slide. You can body block doors to stop people coming in. Because Apex has shields the time to kill is a bit longer than other Battle Royales, so don't forget to back off or stay in cover and recharge shields with your cells/batteries if you have time to do so. Make use of cover and don't push alone. Beware of looting for too long if you are outside the first zone as it really hurts these days if you get stuck too far out. Grenades are powerful in Apex so try and keep one or two on you and get the hang of chucking them. As for Legends, for a newbie crew its probably good to have a Lifeline because she can help keep you alive and call in loot. Bloodhound is another good shout because scan info is king in this game. Bangalore can be good in the newbie ranks because her smoke buys time for escapes and revives. I don't think you get Caustic unlocked immediately but he's great if you prefer a more defensive style, and is good for buddies because he can buy time to revive teammates or hold off the enemy to catch a breather with his stinky barrels. Remember to ping better armours and weapons for your buddies. Stick together. If your shield is low you can save yourself cells by looting a full one off a death box or picking one off the floor. Hipfire (rather than aim down sights) is quite strong in this game for close range combat, give it a go. 2x or 3x scopes are great for midrange guns like the R301. I could go on but really its all experience. If you want to get some good practice with the different weapons and combat in general, why not hop into Arena mode with your mates, where you can buy the weapons you want and toy around with Legend abilities without the fear of losing a 20 minute game.
  8. No worries, thanks. Yeah I have been getting a much better grip on Cragheart, learning to use those obstacles wisely, making the most of AOEs, finding good combos and learning when its best to hang on to the heal cards or go for broke. I think I'll try a restart if I still can't make progress, and if that turns out the same I'll drop the difficulty. I'm quite on the cusp of being able to do these harder ones but not quite there yet. I do like the challenge! I watched that video review of the board game version linked earlier in the thread and I do think the board game has some really cool features in its physicality, like the hidden character unlocks. I do think though that the takeover of the admin by the videogame takes out a lot of the downsides. What is a shame though, aside from missing out on the social all in a room aspect of the board version, is no fun emulated phsyical dice in the videogame or card pulling for modifiers etc. Its always way more satifying to pull out an actual card than just seeing a number pop up on the screen.
  9. Having great trouble doing Crypt of the Damned on Normal, main scenario 4 I believe. I've failed about 5 or 6 times and always run out of cards. The cultists often slow me down in the main corridor with their summoned skeletons, that's the main bottleneck. One of them is right at the back of the corridor and almost impossible to reach without opening yourself up to 6 enemies at once. There's also a room with an elite golem thing, and a room at the back with a few shielded wraiths and another cultists. Also, I realised I don't have the Brute, I have the Cragheart - they looked so similar from the tutorial I didn't even realise Is this a case where I should try some other side missions? I managed to scrape through a shipwreck side mission in a break from the crypt and there are a few other side missions to attempt. The only other main quest missions are working for the lady which I don't want to do, or the very hard mountain temple. Or maybe its just time to restart. I'm already up to level 4 from continually dying which feels a bit lame in terms of me just grinding XP and money from failing missions repeatedly. I feel like Normal is right for me and perhaps I can restart with better perks and knowledge and be in a better position for this quest in a second runthrough. Did anyone else struggle with Crypt of the Damned?
  10. Maybe I was too hasty in pre-ordering this one, it dropped on the doorstep today. Still, as long as its 7-8/10 material I'm happy, I love the genre and hard combat is something I actively enjoy, I played Dead Space 1 and 2 on the hard difficulty. Other issues, we'll have to see. What other criticisms are being laid on it? I don't want to read reviews cos spoilers. I'm getting it as an xmas pressy anyway so at least I'll get the first patch.
  11. Seeing this thread resurrect inspired me to check out the soundtrack again. Some cracking beats! Putting them in spoilers to save on real-estate:
  12. Ah, I just found there is actually an undo. In the Pause menu you can restart the round. Awesome. Yeah I've had my eyes on that hammer for a while but haven't managed to save up for it yet, armour was more important to me. Just got my ass kicked again twice on the tomb, I got quite unlucky with the Cultists continually summoning skellies before I can stop them - this last attempt they managed to get to 6 skellies in the corridor, with 2 bandit archers and 2 cultists it was quite the mess! The first attempt was close though, I was in the final room and only a turn or two from winning before I got exhausted. Going to head off for one of the side missions next and see how they are.
  13. Yeah, I did know it would make him more swingy, that's what I was aiming for. Admittedly I didn't really think it through properly, it was late last night. I should have held off like you suggest and got rid of some more minuses first but honestly I just thought it would be more exciting, and got a bit carried away . Last night I also learned the power of Stun. Amazing for tying up tough enemies and Mindthief has quite a few stun cards, including that amazing one that is on the bottom half and has 1 range. Elites are suddenly more survivable if they can't do anything! I also just found out that Push is more powerful than I thought, I didn't realise its direction was so flexible, which opens up more options for me to shove enemies into traps or do the obstacle bashing moves with Brute. Mindthief has a Push 3 attack which I am definitely going to utilise more. Some traps do 4 damage and at this stage in the game combined with the initial attack that's an instadeath for most normal mobs. Nice!
  14. Ah yeah good point about the armour perk, I'll get that one next. The last perk I spent on him was to get rid of a bunch of 0's, so if I can reduce the -1's a bunch too he'll be hitting quite a bit harder. I've been a bit guilty of forgetting about the missions, I usually complete one per scenario but never got them for both characters yet. The opening a door one is my favourite, a complete freebee! One thing I really wish this game had, and I don't understand why its not implemented, is an undo button. Yes, disable it if you start causing damage etc, but if you've not taken your turn yet, or just movement then just let the player replay. I can see why they've not done it because revealing enemy intent etc is part of the game, but I have seen threads moaning about this online as well. Because of course in the board game you can roll back if you want to under gentlemen's agreements. The problem is it's easy to make silly mistakes. Its cost me dearly making misclicks on tiles or forgetting to proc abilities. But most common is it really hurts me because I'll accidentally pair two cards where I want both top effects or both bottom effects, and got mixed up in my head about which effects were top and bottom. I don't realise until my turn rolls around that I am screwed, and even worse it means you'll be discarding one of those cards with a powerful effect. Just let me undo!
  15. Thanks for the tips. I am still enjoying the challenge on Normal but just wanted to check I wasn't getting some of the fundamentals wrong, rather than restarting with different mercs or build. As invisibility is already a card for Mindthief I didn't think about getting the cloak, but will look to do so. Brute usually always goes after Mindthief because of Mindtheifs many low initiative cards, but I'll try manually forcing Mindthief to take his higher initiative card out of the two. Your point about perks is sound, sometimes that -1 or -2 modifier really hurts my rounds especially as so many enemies have armour. I often do chip damage or no damage as a result. I'll have to live with it for now but if I carry on struggling I can always restart and spec differently.
  16. So I've been playing some solo digital over the past week and having fun. As advised I've been running two mercs, and I went for a Brute and a Mindthief, on Normal difficulty Campaign. I squeaked my way through the first few scenarios, clearing out the catacombs of bandits and skellys and I beat the first boss second try. Then I did a forest quest for the lady in town to murder a load of locals, and then following a warning from the city guard I went to the lady's manor and fought off her undead army. By this point I'd started to get a grip on the strategies, card synergies and how to conserve cards. I should note that I missed the first few chests in the scenarios, due to either finishing the level before looting, or having to focus on not running out of cards, and I've also missed a ton of gold (I only have 1 loot card for the Brute, and the Mindthief has a 1 loot card and a burnable 2 loot card which I can never afford to use). So I'm up to my 5th scenario and my guys were level 2. Tonight I tried a couple of scenarios with 4 available to me, 3 main quests and a side quest. The first attempt was the mountain temple chasing clues on lady's whereabouts. It was going ok until the last room which has an elite bear, 2 dragon things and 3 spirits, and by this point I was nearly out of cards too. All of those mobs just wreck, it seems almost impossible, I guess I will have to level up a bit to stand a chance there. Is there any indication of scenario difficulty in the digital or board version, or do you just have to head in and hope for the best? 2nd attempt, after levelling my guys up to level 3, was on the continuation of the undead tombs, the third in the chain. I cleared out some rooms of skellys and bandits but ran out of cards again as I entered the last room which had a bunch of spirits and a demon thing. This seems more do-able but card exhaustion is becoming a massive problem now in all scenarios. It's always been on the brink, and I've been learning from my mistakes and holding off on burning cards, I never burn to avoid damage. The worst is my Mindthief, he only gets 10 cards and so I am always in danger of running out. In two of my missions he died of card exhaustion in the final turns and the Brute had to get the victory, which also means missing out on loot. Even adapting my playstyle to not burn cards with Mindthief (Now I only burn for a summon and hold a card for augmenting), he runs out of cards too fast. I've looked for some 'help I'm running out of cards' threads online and it seems like I might need to be more agressive, not that I waste time not moving between rooms etc. Maybe I need to be inflicting more damage with him, I've certainly got more agressive lately but you have to be careful with his 7HP, I've been using stuff like stun and stacking debuffs to use the attacks which scale on debuff numbers. But sometimes I need to run him away to survive, or go invisible if I have the card. The rat summons (I have two now, but only take one on missions because of burn cost) were good in the first scenarios but now are practically useless. The poison rat only moves 1 space and so struggles to get into the fray, and the giant rat has only 4HP and keeps dying almost immediately. Maybe I should be saving them until the last room so I can keep the card in play until the end, and only summon if I'm adjacent to a tough enemy so they can draw aggro? I also almost never use Mindthiefs other burn abilities of which there are many because I can never afford losing those cards. Am I playing this class wrong? Although the Brute rarely runs out of cards I do feel maybe I am using too many of his burn buffs, I have 3 in his deck and usually proc them early, especially the retalition one and the 'add extra target to ranged attack'. Maybe I should just focus on melee or ranged for him. Again like the Mindthief I hardly ever use his other burn abilities because whenever I do I come too close to running out of cards. This last scenario I started using the obstacles synergies where you can summon obstacles and then teleport them around or smash enemies into them, that seems promising. As for kit and upgrades: I've got armour, helmet etc for my team, a poison knife for the Mindthief and each has potions, a healing one for Mindthief and an attack one for Brute. I accidentally bought 2 potions (the other was healing) for the Brute without realising I only had one item slot to play with. Doh! As for perks I first honed in on adding debuffs or mana boost, but the mana boost choices were probably a bit premature as I only have a few cards which require mana at the moment. Now I've started going for combat modifier improvements. Anyway, I've been finding it hard and tough to learn, but its a good game. Do you think I should respec or get a new Merc combination, or just keep on learning and trying different scenarios? As far as I can tell, dying doesn't reset your progress so you can essentially grind, which seems a bit OP. Any advice on what scenarios to tackle next - is the third underground tomb probably the best bet? Other options are the scary mountain temple, doing the diamond quest for the evil woman, or a side quest out in the sea going after a ship or something. Skimming through the thread I can't believe how mad this game must be in board game form. There's so much to track, so many pieces. It must take forever to set up and learn, and just do stuff like enemy turns. I do appreciate that the digital form makes things a lot smoother even if you miss out on the physical element.
  17. It's ok, you're supposed to die after 30 mins, that's the goal. It is possible to survive for a bit longer and even beat death, but requires very specific setup and isn't part of the core gameplay loop. Take your winnings and move up to the next challenge!
  18. Mario Kart Double Dachshund
  19. Paws for a minute folks, I can't take any more of this woof-less behaviour!
  20. Awesome, thanks Benny. Sounds like they have done a really good job integrating the multiplayer. I've just finished the tutorials which are very dry, but I understand its a necessary evil considering how complex the game is. I'll have a go on campaign then with 2 mercenaries. Can you change difficulty mid-campaign as well, I assume?
  21. I've picked up Gloomhaven digital at last, and am looking for advice on where to start. I'm a new player to the game and want to play solo. However I also have a few friends I would like to play with sometimes. First of all for solo play, where's best to begin after the tutorial, as I've read mixed things online. The DLC campaign? The main campaign? Guildmaster mode? And what difficulty/number of characters do you recommend, bearing in mind I'm experienced with turn based RPGs/tactics games. Secondly for getting in friends, will it be a bit crap if I start a new campaign with them if I've already seen it in solo - or is it varied enough that that doesn't matter? Is there any kind of hop in/hop out mechanism in the campaigns? Looking forward to getting my teeth into this, I've wanted to play it for years! Cheers.
  22. Oh yeah, whoever made that prediction earlier in the thread was spot on:
  23. Congrats! I made a bit more progress today, found and completed the watery underground area with the raft, and mopped up a bunch of random other puzzles for opening doors etc. Had another stab at the final white columns tile but I'm still totally stumped on that, I have noticed the relevant clues and previous patterns but can't suss the logic for it. Also discovered two hidden areas and managed to do a few of their puzzles with the knowledge I have. I found quite a few bigger puzzles today which don't show fail states, which is the right way to test your knowledge. You either fail them or pass them and because they're large there's no way to brute force them. Hard but satisfying. Next up is the flower garden with the rotating bridge which I've only partly sussed, and the industrial area which has very byzantine rules based on the first set I've done there. Leaving the house and the black and white cubes until later!
  24. I've been playing this along with Grounded on my new laptop. I've been wanting to play it for years! I have been enjoying it so far, although I do feel its quite lonely and a bit grindy playing solo. I love the atmosphere and the graphics, even though elements of it are lo-fi, the lighting and sound are fantastic. Early Progression: So, question about keeping animals, I haven't tried it yet but is it worth it? Will it help with my leather woes? Farming seemed like more of a co-op thing to explore and as the only animals I've met are boar and deer, I didn't see much point in keeping them as I just want to kill them for those precious hides. Also do you think it would be better to hold off on further progression until I can play co-op? I feel like I'm missing half the fun here. Are there any 'mukkers who are very early in the game or new to it who fancy an evening or two to give it a go? Also, if someone were to join my game, I take it they wouldn't be able to experience the first boss again?
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