Friday, 28 April 2017

ESO Housing, Grand Topal Hideaway

Nice Scenery!

I took a few screenshots of my wander around the latest purchasable 'house' in Elder Scrolls Online.

On arrival, the area looks huge.

Vast beaches left and right with wooden housing built onto the edge of an active volcano. I'm standing on a very gradually sloping beach looking inland in the screenshot above. Appearances can be deceiving though. Only the front section of the island is actually accessible - you're not getting the entire island for your money. You can swim around it but sheer rock faces and invisible walls prevent you getting to places you're not supposed to be.

The scenery is very nice though. Waterfalls, lots of places to jump from into water and those beaches! Anyone who wants multiple beach parties, or even one very big one, will find more than enough room!

The housing is strange. It's like Robinson Crusoe meets Tarzan with rope bridges strung up between wooden tree houses and platforms. It all works quite well and they provided short cuts for people in a hurry - it's possible to jump off the bridges onto platforms and rocks.

So, is it worth the asking price?

This one can't be bought with ingame gold. It's a (very) limited duration crown store only item costing 15000 crowns unfurnished and 18500 crowns furnished. For that you get a usable area which is somewhat larger than the Hundings Pallatial Hall which costs 6500/8100 crowns unfurnished/furnished. Whereas the hall is nice and compact and has a building with a couple of floors plus a small beach, the island area is spread out over a much larger area. The dwellings and other areas are scattered about and are, frankly, a pain to get to because they're only accessible via rope bridges.
On the other hand, it does look very nice in a secluded island sort of way and you get some lovely looking flat beaches whereas the hall's beach is tiny and on a slope. The housing area is cut off from the rest of the island by flowing lava. It is possible to swim past the lava but invisible walls and sheer cliffs prevent access to the rest of the island.

Personally I was a little disappointed with it. For that price I was expecting to be able to access the entire island rather than just a little area at the front where the beach and housing is located. Whether it's worth the money is a personal choice, obviously. I  bought the Hundings Pallatial Hall so I really don't need this island as well... especially considering the lack of utility housing offers at present. That will probably change though as the developers work on increasing the usefulness of housing (hopefully!).

For me it's too expensive for what you get; quite a lot of empty space (albeit beautiful) and a few little wooden buildings. Others might disagree, of course ;)

Note: If the images look a little vivid, it's because I accidentally ran unsharp mask and colour enhancement filters on them. They still serve to show the area quite well though so I decided to keep them.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Couple of Screenshots from Conan Exiles

I've been playing Conan Exiles, both on a local server just to get a feel for the game and on a private PvE server; people who know me know that I have zero patience for PvP ;)

Conan Exiles is a survival game developed by Funcom in which, on a PvE server, everything that isn't another player wants you dead. Everything from the environment to spiders and dragons, and the ever present hunger and thirst.

It's been fun. It's not perfect, there are lots of strange things going on and odd little (and not so little) bugs but the game is in early access on Steam so that's to be expected. The developers are getting on top of the bugs and updates are coming regularly.

For me, the fun is in building and... well, you can do some crazy things with the building tools in the game. I took a screenshot of someone elses tower... and yes, tower is the only word you can use to describe this thing, I think the person building it will need oxygen soon...

Back to more mundane things, the scenery in this game is amazing. At present it only has one 'biome', a desert, and it's not a place in which you'd want to get lost! There is water, if you know where to find it and plenty of food, as long as you like meat. Other biomes are coming, maybe later in early release or maybe we'll have to wait till after the 'proper' release of the game. Time will tell.

As I wander around trying to stay alive, I'll grab some more screenshots to post in later articles. People have built some amazing structures and they've been working on their defences for 'The Purge.' What's that I hear you ask?
Oh, you didn't? Well, I'll tell you anyway. The Purge is the name of an event (I believe it can be disabled on private servers) which is due to be introduced at some stage in which hordes of npc's will roam the area attacking any players and their structures that they come across. They will, basically, cleanse the area of unprotected/unused structures and generally give the players a hard time. It's not yet known how strong the npc's will be, that's something we'll just have to wait and see!

More later...

Friday, 7 April 2017

Ship of Heroes Kickstarter Cancelled

Sadly, the developers of the new mmo Ship of Heroes have had to cancel their kickstarter. Development continues with slightly lower goals and an alternative funding method planned. You can read more about it on their kickstarter update page.

The developers are now aiming for what they call a 'soft launch' with a smaller version of the game launching late 2018 which will be expanded as the players get involved with the game and subscribers arrive.

Discussion over the cancelled kickstarter is taking place on the sites forum.

Also a very informative and interesting youtube video from DM21 Gaming: