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Torment: Tides of Numenera Impressions

I’ve been playing a lot of Torment: Tides of Numenera for the last few days. “Torment” they said, “an isometric, old school rpg!” and I came running. First of all, it takes guts to make a game and name it Torment so brazenly. We’ve seen some spritual successors or long lost brothers and adopted children of Baldur’s Gate saga for example. And most of them just couldn’t live up to the name. I’m not saying they were bad games, on the contrary, I really loved some of them. Take Pillars of Eternity for instance! That was a great game and a good RPG in my opinion but it was too short and was lacking enough number of side quests under it’s belt to carry the name of Baldur’s Gate. And then there is Dragon Age… Even though it wasn’t the game that was promised, I enjoyed it while it lasted. (Say “Except DA2!” Say it!) So, can Tides of Numenera be the next Torment?
Considering the parts I’ve played, I’ll say: Yes. It definitely has the potential.

Mysterious immortal main character? Check.
Arguing about philosophy with random strangers in a bar? Yup.
Solving problems with looooong conversations instead of fighting your way out? Also Check.
The system rewarding the learning more than hitting people with sticks? Yes, that’s how Numenera works anyway.

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“What about Fenix?” – Heroes of the Storm Interview in Gamescom 2015

Gamescom 2015 is still going on as I write this. There will definitely be more news regarding lots of games and stuff. But specifically, I want to talk about my interview with Blizzard Entertainment’s Heroes of the Storm team. Because I actually managed to get a straight and satisfying answer about one of the questions every Starcraft fan has been asking for awhile. And it is from the Game Director of Heroes of the Storm, Dustin Browder himself!

It was a really friendly enviroment and we talked about a lot of things: Such as why they decided on the Team Leveling system, their other game design choices etc… When the topic came to our soon-to-be arriving heroes (Kharazim -Diablo 3 Monk, Rexxar and Artanis), Dustin Browder mentioned that they were really looking forward to getting Artanis and his gameplay kit into the game. He is supposed to be a sturdy and heavy-hitting hero with little mobility. Your typical zealot, right? So I had already set my mind on asking about another favorite Zealot character from Starcraft and it was the perfect opportunity: “What about Fenix?”

If you know your Starcraft lore, you probably also know about Praetor Fenix. He was a legendary Protoss zealot who fought against the zerg swarm in the original Starcraft game. And even when he was overrun with zergs, he didn’t just stop fighting. He was just suited up in an exo-skeleton Dragoon armor and picked up where he had left off. So naturally, he is a huge fan favorite. But enough with the introductory. We’ll have a detailed Fenix article soon anyway…

I somehow expected Dustin to dodge the question but as I said, he didn’t shy away from it. Instead he tackled it and told me that they had also been talking about Fenix internally. A lot. But to reflect Fenix properly, they had to implement some kind of resurrection mechanic into his skill set. And since there are already lots of heroes with resurrection mechanics (one being the lately released hero – Leoric), they had to step away from that mechanic and move on to something different. At least for a while. However, all is not lost… Apparently he was saving the best for last: “Give us some time. Maybe 6 months or so… We may be talking about Fenix then.”

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History of Diablo – Part 4: The Mage Clan Wars

The infinite war between Heaven and Hell led to unexpected results as it headed towards different ways with the Sin War. It was unforeseen to have a third party in the war, which had the power to wipe out the forces of both Hell and Heaven from the battlefield. As a result, The Burning Hells and the High Heavens had to withdraw from Sanctuary and left the Nephalem to their fates, which didn’t improve the situation for the Nephalem whose powers were slowly getting absorbed by the Worldstone. Continue reading…

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History of Silent Hill – Part 2: The Order and the Reestablishment of the Town

In our first article about the History of Silent Hill, we took a look into the Order’s foundation and goals. In this second article, we will explain the Order’s system of beliefs and the reestablishment of the town.

The Order’s System of Beliefs

The members of the Order, in order to fully commit themselves, had to take four factors into account. These factors formed their system of beliefs and determined the base hierarchal order amongst the members.

1. Commitment

All members had to fully commit themselves to the purpose and goals of the Order in their everyday lives, activities and beliefs. This commitment was very important for the Order and was seen as a sacred act to the extent that anyone who broke it would be sentenced with death.

2. Membership

The way to membership was open to anyone who seek the the Old Ways. Anyone willing was able to become a member of the Order and would contribute to the activities of the organization. The order of precedence would determine the ranks of the members and their right to speak, and this difference between members would change their duties and priorities accordingly.

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Levels of Membership

  • Mother Circle

The reason of this circle’s name as “The Mother” was because it consisted of the founding group of the Order who was responsible of the organization’s progress. It was out of question for another member, who is not originally one of the founders, to join this group later.

  • Daughter Circle

Any person born of The Mother as second generation belonged to this group.

  • Servant Circle

Any person born of The Mother as second generation belonged to this group.

3. The High Council

The High Council was responsible of making sure that the organization was acting according to its purpose. It was supposed to help the newly-forming groups when needed, to be the governing body in matters that concerned the whole organization, and to play the role of a judge/jury if there was a dispute to settle. In short, the High Council was acting as the supreme court which decided what was what within the Order.

4. Grievances and Discipline Procedures

The decisions of the High Council were binding and were not subject to change. If someone presented a case to the High Council, they were to accept their final decision on the matter unquestioningly and without objection, no matter what kind of a decision it would be. Anyone who would look for a mediation needed to contact the Scribe first; in other words, not everyone was able to appear before the High Council.

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History of Silent Hill – Part 1: The Natives and the History of the Order

Silent Hill is one of America’s “tranquil” towns; it can even be said that the town itself is a popular vacation spot. There is an entry for Silent Hill in the Book of Lost Memories:

The name of that town is Silent Hill. Although it is known as a scenic resort area, it is a cursed place where the town’s former inhabitants were once driven away, brutal executions were once carried out, and a mysterious plague was once prevalent. The town is centered around Toluca Lake, from which a thick fog perpetually enshrouds the area and makes vague the reality and dreams of those who visit the town. And according to those who have seen them, there are also times when “things” that should not naturally exist appear.”

Around the 16th century, the Native Americans were performing mysterious religious rituals in this town. They were dealing with taboos such as resurrection, exorcism, healing of mortal wounds and communication with creatures from beyond. These lands were also sacred for the natives. Any kind of disrespect to these lands were taken as if they were direct insults to the natives themselves, and were not taken lightly.

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Pillars of Eternity – Easy way to kill The Master Below on Hard Difficulty

The trick to kill The Master Below with this tactic is to have as many “Scroll of Maelstrom” as you can. Having lots of creatures to summon also helps. If you don’t have any Maelstrom scrolls or don’t know where to buy, you can craft them yourself using Skaenbone, Adra Ban and Stelgaer Tooth. You can safely kill the leftmost Adragan without turning hostile with other ones. (It’s probably a bug, since you count as in-combat -so you can chant phrases if you have a chanter in your group)

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Dreamfall Chapters – Real Choices and Illusions

Dreamfall Chapters might be the only game I have been waiting for so many years. If you’ve played Dreamfall, you know how it ended with a cliffhanger; how it made you search around the forums, looking for the hopeful gossips of a continuation game. Then suddenly one day Kickstarter came and saved the day. So we will (hopefully) have the conclusion we have strived for. Some Kickstarter backers got angry when Red Thread Games announced they will release the game as five epsiodes (like many Tell Tale games actually), but I was okay with that. Hell, I would be okay if they just told me “Ragnar Tørnquist will tell the rest of the story through a Skype call”. I waited for this game even when there were no plans to make it happen; I think I can manage to live without it for a few more months.

Eventually, we got our Zoe, Kian and (last but not the least) Crow back. I feel like I have reunited with my old friends once again. Since people at Red Thread Games are developing the game faster than my pace of writing articles, by the time you are reading this article, we would be waiting for the third chapter. (I started writing it before the first chapter was released, lol) First two chapters “Reborn” and “Rebels” are already published and the choices we made are already haunting us. And by choices, I mean real decisions, not the illusions leading to same results no matter what you do.

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Witcher Geralt of Rivia Quote

Quote #1 – Geralt of Rivia

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History of Bioshock – Part 1: Rapture’s Foundation

“A city where the artist would never fear the censor. Where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality. Where the great would not be constrained by the small.”

Andrew Ryan’s dreams were, indeed, big. Growing up during the Russian Revolution and witnessing Bolsheviks rise to power, he relied on the belief that “everyone gets what they deserve” after what he had experienced. It was this notion that made him fled Russia to go to America where intelligence and determination were justly rewarded. There, the idea of “anyone who battens on others undeservingly is nothing more than a parasite” found a niche in his mind. Because of that, he did everything in his power to make fortune and fame. The devastating effects of the World War II prompted him to use his power and ideals to achieve the impossible, to create an utopia: A city at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean only for the ones who deserved… Rapture. Continue reading…