Category: Computer Games

The other day a friend sent me a text message, “If I get the 4 pack of DungeonLand, will you and your other half play?”

Well…YES.

This is what Steam says about DungeonLand:

Dungeonland is a co-operative hack and slash game that takes players on a deadly tour through a medieval theme park. Playing as The Rogue, The Warrior or The Mage, the heroes will need to work together as a team to get past the evil overseer of this “Tragic Kingdom” – The Dungeon Maestro.

This game is developed by Critical Studio and published by Paradox Interactive.

I know nothing about Critical Studio, and it looks like DungeonLand is the only thing they’ve put out so far.  However, Paradox Interactive is another story.  You’ll know these guys if you’re a Magicka fan.  They have a few other titles that I’m not really familiar with as well.  But I’ve always enjoyed Magicka so DungeonLands ought to be fun as well.

So, aside from the blurb on steam, this is what I’ve found out about DungeonLand:

- Co-op gameplay.  You have to work together to get through the theme park.

- Competitive multiplayer.  Apparently one person can play as the Dungeon Maestro and beat up your friends.  Not unlike the board game Descent, where one player is the Dungeon Lord and he makes the lives of the heroes miserable.

- Re-playability.  So it’s supposed to randomize monsters, treasures and dangers.  Wonder if they did it better than Blizzard with Diablo.

- 3 classes (rogue, mage, warrior)

So it looks to be a Diablo/Torchlight type hack and slash that is very silly.  Can’t wait! However, first ConceptionUK.

I don’t pretend to know anything more about Diablo 3 than the next player, however, I played a druid in Everquest.  Because most Everquest druids who played solo were masters of kiting, I decided that I could do the same with my demon hunter.  So here is my Demon Hunter Kiting Build which I’ve done fairly well with even with Monster Power 1.

This build has been successful in both group games and solo while using the Templar as my companion.

Demon Hunter Skills

I’m 100% sure that other players have figured out different skill combos for demon hunter kiting, but this is what I personally use and find a lot of success with.

Primary: Hungering Arrow with the Spray of Teeth rune.  The hungering arrow is nice because I can try to get as far out of range from the battle as possible and the arrows will find my enemies.  Since my gear is currently focused on Critical Hits, this is why I’m using Spray of Teeth.  But really, which rune is personal preference since I’ve had success with all of them.

Secondary: Rapid Fire with Webshot as my rune.  Rapid fire does a ton of damage while it lasts (it is a hatred hog) and Webshot slows enemies.  The slow is fantastic when you’re on your own without a tank to hold the agro.  If you’re fighting with a friend or in a PU game, you can get away with using one of the other runes, but I’ve found the slow is nice even when I’m playing with my other half or friends.  If they die, chances are the slow will help me survive.

Defensive: Caltrops with the Torturous Ground rune.  The caltrops helps slow enemies and Torturous Ground immobilizes them.  It allows you to get some distance from your enemies.

Hunting: I think there’s quite a few nice combinations here, but I personally use the bat companion for hatred regeneration.  Rapid fire just eats it and I’m very light on hatred regen gear.  If I don’t have the bat up, I can feel it.

Devices: Sentry with the Vigilant Watcher rune.  From what I’ve read, the Sentry isn’t very popular and I’m not sure why.  From the moment it was available, it was love at first bolt.  I was pretty pissed about the changes to the Sentry in the last patch, however, being able to have 2 up at once has become pretty awesome for kiting.  Because I love dropping these everywhere, the reduced cool down is pretty important.

Archery: Rain of Vegeance with the Stampede rune.  This combo sends these shadow bat creatures at your enemies and it has a nice knock back effect that keeps mobs off of me.

Brooding: Gain 1% life per second.

Steady Aim: Increase damage to 20% as long as there’s no enemies within 10 yards.

Thrill of the Hunt: Every 7 seconds, your next skill that costs hatred will immobilize your target for 2 seconds.

Demon Hunter Kiting Gear

If you go onto the Diablo3 forum, you’ll find all sorts of advice on gear.  There’s folks out there that are far better equipped than I am, so I’m not really going to spend time discussing equipment.

The things that I like on my solo gear are knock back, stun, slow, fear, and lifetap.  Pretty much anything that’s going to slow the monsters down so they don’t steamroll me.

Techniques to Kiting 

1. Open areas are your friend.  Yes, it’s completely possible to kite in dungeons and say, act 3 on the battlements.  I do it all the time, especially when my other half who is the tank bites it on his barbarian.  However, I’ve found that my death rate is a lot higher when I’m kiting in enclosed spaces than open.  Oh, and a tip if you’re in a dungeon.  Don’t lead the mobs toward the entrance   That gets a little tricky.

2. Put your skills, stand still, and potion keys someplace that you will know which is which without looking at the keyboard.

3. Watch the edge of your screen.  As soon as you see monsters there, start shooting them with rapid fire before they start moving towards you.  The faster you can bring down the first few in a pack, the less that will get close enough to do damage.

4. If you run into mobs, or there’s more in a pack that you can handle, throw down your caltrops and run away.  This is also a good time to throw Rain of Vengeance at the pack that you run into.

5. Run in a big circle.  If you can find something to run around, like bushes, holes, wagons, etc, all the better.  This does 3 things.  First, it allows you to drop your sentry in 2 locations on your circle.  The sentry will pluck away at the monsters while you’re running.  Second, it keeps you from running into unexplored areas which means more mobs.  This particularly sucks when you find more elites.  Third, it keeps the area where loot drops to a minimum.  Not missing your hard earned loot is always a good thing.

6. If the mobs are on your back and you need some breathing room, turn around and hit Rain of Vengeance to get some knock back going.

7. Pay attention.  Mobs that throw fireballs, wall, do lava or the poisonous green crap will get you if you let your guard down or stand in 1 space too long.

7. Wash, rinse and repeat.

Last Thoughts on Kiting

As I said in the beginning, I don’t pretend to be an expert at kiting or demon hunter kiting builds.  However, I must be doing something right because my deaths usually involve elites that wall and throw fireballs and make it so I’m unable to move away.

Good luck, and please comment if you have different kiting builds you’ve been successful with!

 

It’s always nice to see fantastic cosplay when you wake up first thing in the morning.  So, this is what I woke up to…some very awesome Demon Hunter cosplay on DeviantArt.

As someone who plays a demon hunter in Diablo 3, I fully approve!  The costume maker said that the costume isn’t done at the time of this photo shoot, but really, I can’t tell.  The costume looks just like the costume that my own Demon Hunter Kshali wore when I first started playing her back in May!

Well done nephalem, well done.

 

Visit more of *empress-arcana on DeviantArt

 

Diablo 3 Demon HunterLike everyone else, I pre-ordered Diablo 3 (by Blizzard) and received it back in May.  However, unlike everyone else, I didn’t get to play until early June due to being in the states on business.

I’m not going to muse upon the game, mostly because if you put Diablo3 into Google you’ll find a liturgy of whines and complaints.  Don’t worry, I’m right in there on being disappointed that Blizzard put out a fairly crap product instead of releasing the product we’ve all come to know and love with the Diablo franchise.  However, what I’d like to do is go over my thoughts on Diablo 3 patch 1.0.5.

While patch 1.0.5 didn’t get rid of the Real Money Auction House (RMAH), it did fix a number of things that I didn’t like about the game.  A big one seems to be the rubber banding and lag (gotta love the always on DRM…that was a brilliant addition to Diablo, really it was guys).  Or maybe I’m just lucky.  Either way, it’s nice not having to disable every process known to man before firing up Diablo3 for a gaming session.

If you want to see the full patch notes, visit the Diablo3 blog here.

Monster Power

Thank you, thank you, thank you Blizzard for introducing this.  If you played Diablo2, you’ll remember a feature kind of like this (the Players X command).  Basically in Diablo 3, Monster Power lets the players scale monster difficulty up and down.  Level 10 in normal (with an Inferno geared Demon Hunter) means machine gunning mobs and getting a bucket full of loot.  Level 10 Monster Power on Inferno (when you’re really not geared for it) means you’re looking to see if anyone was able to catch the license plate of that Buggati Veyron that just mowed down the family dog.  All I’ve got to say is my other half and I looked at each other and sheepishly went back to a Monster Power of 1.

New Event: Infernal Machine

My other half and I haven’t started farming the components for the Infernal Machine event yet.  However, we also haven’t completed the game on Inferno yet either.  My other half has been farming, and I’m trying to get my new Vampire Darkages campaign written and prepare the one shot adventure of Savaged My Little Pony: Whinny of Cthulhu for the November 11th Amsterdam Meetup.  So this is my long winded way of saying, I have no opinion yet.

Demon Hunter Changes

Ok, I’ll admit.  When I first read that Blizzard was screwing with the Sentry ability on Demon Hunters, I was pissed.  Especially since they had just talked about in an article a few months prior on how this is one of the more underused abilities and they wanted to see people using it more.  HEY! I USE IT! Don’t screw with it!Demon Hunter Sentry

What change did they make to it? Well, first they changed it’s base power from 1o Discipline to 30 Hatred.  I really hate this since my hatred regen is crap.  I don’t have a few million lying around for gear with high Dexterity and resistances AND hatred regeneration.  However, they did increase damage from 55% to 175% AND after a short little refresh (10 seconds I think) I can have 2 out.  This has made me have to change the way I kite, but it’s not too bad.

But then they have made it so that the Sentry can no longer critical hit.  Boooo!  They did screw around with some of the skill runes.  I think one of them increases the damage more, one reduces cooldown time, and the last increases damage on the Chain of Torment, which I never use.

And of course they had to screw with the Demon Hunter’s companion as well.  I now have a 30 second cooldown which REALLY BLOODY SUCKS WHEN YOU KEEP DYING REPEATEDLY.  I repeat, the cooldown sucks.  The rest of the screwing about on both animal companion and the rest of the Demon Hunter skills don’t affect me.  But I still really hate that 30 second refresh on my bloody bat.

Other General Changes

- Extra loot for every stack of Nephalem Valor
- Experience shrines were put back into Inferno…meh
- 2 new shrines…Empowered which increases resource regeneration and reduces cooldowns (handy) and Fleeting shrine which increases speed and pickup radius.  Meh again.
- Followers, pets, summoned creatures wont’ attack enemies that are idle.  That means no more losing goblins…about bloody time.
- Reduction of snare was reduced.  Meh.
- In the auction house I can now save search parameters and search for items like the one I have…THAT should have been around all along IMO.
-  Bosses will drop improved loot the first time they’re killed in each difficulty…..meh.
- Crafting materials stack to 500.  YAY!
- Crafting regents can be converted to the next highest level. YAY.  This actually made me over a million gold the other day since Subtle Essences were rare and I had about 500 of them.

Diablo3There’s a whole bunch of other changes that came with this major patch, but I think what I mentioned made a significant change to my view of the game.  Blizzard finally listened to the players and changed things to make the game more enjoyable, in my opinion.  Sure, there’s going to continue to be whiners, but hey.

Now all I’d like to see is my repair bill drop from 30k + to something much lower….

 

We’re closing in on August and that means another Gamescom is coming up! I’m pleased to say that this year, I will be attending.  German beer and games, what can’t you love about this situation?

Unlike last year, when Funcom was showcasing The Secret World, I haven’t really seen anyone in the line-up that I specifically want to see.  I know Blizzard will be there to showcase their newest expansion of WOW (pandas, really?), Sony will be there with a new PS3, and I think I saw somewhere Gameforge will be there with Aion.  However, there will be some major players in the video gaming industry absent at the 2012 Gamescom.

Microsoft announced they’re skipping to focus on smaller promotion.  Rockstar Games won’t be there with the latest and greatest shoot em’ up gangster game Grand Theft Auto V (even though GTA5 made it into the Gamecom trailer), and I think Nintendo is skipping.

I’m rather hoping Codemasters will be there with with their newest racing game, F1 Race stars.

Regardless, I’ll try to get as much footage, info and photos as possible!

The perks of following my favorite publishers on Facebook (like Pinnacle who publishes Savage Worlds) is I find all sorts of interesting things.  Such as Shane Hensley being the Executive Producer of a Massively Multiplayer Online Real-Time Strategy RPG called “End of Nations”

This game is put out by TRION, who has also put out Defiance and Rift.  I haven’t played either, but I do play Savage Worlds.  If Shane does as good of a job for End of Nations as he does for the tabletop gaming system Savage Worlds, then I wouldn’t mind giving this beta a go.  Even though it looks a little futuristic for me.  But, it’s free and it’ll only take minutes to uninstall it if I hate it, right?

Besides, nobody can be as bad as Funcom or Blizzard right now!

End of Nations MMO

CYHW-9LCC-WQGH-D9NF-GGR2

 

Alice ReturnsA little while ago while I was going through Facebook updates, I ran across this Alice Madness Returns video which used The Cruxshadows song Wake the White Queen.

Now, being a Gamer Girl, I do have to talk a little about Alice.

Many moons ago (2000 I think), American McGee released a game called Alice via Rogue Entertainment and Electronic Arts.  In a nutshell, Alice is an alternate universe to the Alice in Wonderland story we’ve all grown up with, and it’s really not a very nice place to be.  How not nice? Alice and the sequel Alice Returns has spawned inspiration for a Malkavian character in my weekly Vampire the Masquerade game.  Coincidentally, the character is named….Alice if anyone really wanted to know.

On the flip side, one of my favorite authors Neil Gaiman helped develop a story for a movie called Mirror Mask.  A few years back The Cruxshadows put a song out on an album called Where’s Neil.  All the songs on the album are about the various works of Neil Gaiman and the one by CXS is called Wake the White Queen.  If you’ve ever seen Mirror Mask, the song suddenly makes sense.

Evidently someone out there in YouTube land decided to pair some outtake scenes from Alice Madness Returns with Wake the White Queen and I have to say as a fan of both the video game, movie and band, a pretty good job was done.  The only shame is the video doesn’t use the entire song.

I’ll have to do a review of Alice Madness Returns as soon as I get a chance to play it…I’m a slacker.  I keep playing SimCity4 instead…

And for those who want to listen to the entire song, here’s a performance from The Cruxshadows at Dragon*Con 08 complete with masks because you know…everyone wears masks!

Finally! After 18 months the first episode of gamer girl Felicia Day‘s web series Dragon Age is finally here! The first episode is Dragon Age: Redeption – Tallis.

I’ve got to admit, good things come to those who wait.  While I’m not a Dragon Age player, I can appreciate the costuming, the acting, and the props.  In 7 minutes I was drawn into the Dragon Age world and I’ve got to say, I fell in love with Felicia Day’s character Tallis.  That girl is one talented bunny! Actor, director…and man she looks awesome with muscles!

Without further ado, I offer you episode 1 of Dragon Age: Redemption.

Today is the long awaited for day! The Secret World Beta starts at 6pm GMT+1! I’m excited!

The whole thing will kick off The Secret War which is between the 3 factions in the game.  So from what it sounds like, it’s going to be a pvp event! Woohoo!

Honestly, there hasn’t been an MMO that really excited me since Vanguard, and my hopes for that one was crushed as soon as SOE decided to get their grubby hands on the billing.  I called it, I had told my friends that it was only time before they took over and I choose to wait and see what happened.  Sure enough, they bought it.  After that I tried D&D online, Conan, Eve Online and a few others.  Nothing really excited me quite like this one.

And now The Secret World Beta is finally here.  Yea, I’m going to be saying that for awhile!

Secret Societ Test

Take the Test

Roughly two years ago, a Belgian friend of mine sent me a link to “What is your secret society test.” WTH I thought? Of course I clicked the link and was taken to a flash screen that eventually asked, “what secret society are you?”.  Intrigued I took the test.

Of course, me being the evil one, I qualified for the Illuminati.  Sex, Drugs, and Rockefeller!

During the press conferences leading up to Gamescom, Funcom announced that The Secret World is finally coming out in April 2012.  When I went to the main page of The Secret World website today, I saw that the official beta registration will start in 6 days, on August 26th.  I of course have this in my calendar because there hasn’t been many MMOs in the past few years that have intrigued me as much as The Secret World has.

In the beginning, it was only the secret society test and very little information, but over the years Funcom has leaked out tidbits to wet the whistle.  What has intrigued me the most is there’s no classes or levels in this game.  If you’re a MMO player, you know that they’re all based on some sort of class and level system no matter how much they let you branch out.  It’s a piece of code, it has limits.  However, The Secret World touts a true free form character customization.  I have to wonder if there’s a limit to the game design that will eventually lock you into a certain path?

The setting is a modern day setting.  To my knowledge, there aren’t any MMOs currently like this.  I know that White Wolf and CCPGames (makers of Eve Online) are working on a Vampire the Masquerade/World of Darkness MMO.  However, I haven’t found out if it’s going to be present day as in, 2012 or beyond, or if it’s going to go back to the 90′s which is the true setting of V:TM since it was written back then.  But back to The Secret World, it is a modern day setting and they claim you’ll get to travel to both real locations and places of myth and legend.  Since one of the secret society questions mentioned Alantis, I can only imagine it’s in the game.

You’ll be able to fight modern terrors as well as those of fantasy with modern day weapons as well as magic.  Players will also be able to customize their characters as far as weapons and clothing.

Well, I guess I’ll try to patiently wait 6 more days and hope I can get into the beta and find out more about The Secret World.  Of course, if I get into the beta I’ll probably have to sign some sort of release stating I’ll keep my gob closed until the game is released, but I think I can handle that! I can only wish that today I was over in Cologne, Germany at Gamescom to check out The Secret World a little more closely! I really do hope this lives up to my MMO expectations.  Not that I have time to actually start another MMO…

You can go check out more about The Secret World at it’s official site.  Make sure you enter your email address to get game updates if this game intrigues you as much as it intrigues me!