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Bedroom music production, gaming and random shit

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(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72RxA5F7XEA)

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What’s On PlayStation?

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My year with the PS4 so far. Currently I’m playing Dark Souls III, Uncharted 4 and last year’s Metal Gear Solid V, which to me is a bit disappointing. The other two games, well, let’s just say that they are perfect.

I’ve “finished” Fallout 4, and seen two out of four endings. In short, Fallout 4, is just (much) more Fallout, but not in a good way, like Uncharted 4 or Dark Souls III.

The Division was alright up to a point, the end game (read: multiplayer) became boring and I’m not really into grinding for better loot and gear, I think I like match-based multiplayers more.

I’m looking forward to Battlefield 1, which should be the best multiplayer ever made.

And let’s hope the rumored PlayStation NEO 4K/PlayStation 4.5 or whatever it’s going to be called will be great. 

Upcoming Games

I thought I’d write something about gaming. While the posts on music production gain most of the attention on this blog, gaming is also a part of it.

For the time being I’m playing Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin on PS4. It’s okay, not half as beautiful as Bloodborne, but still deeper than most of them. I am, however, looking forward to Dark Souls III, which I think will be great.

I should be interested in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but right now I don’t have the time, and I know it will take some to get into. (By the way, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was one of my favorite games.) But I will get it eventually.

I hope Star Wars Battlefront will be good and that it will gather my online friends, but I’m not sure. I think the Star Wars saga is overrated and even if I grew up with the movies, the merchandise and all, I don’t get nostalgic about it.

I played the public beta of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 with some friends. It played pretty much as a typical Call of Duty game. I don’t think I’ll buy it. In that case it would be the first game in the series since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 from 2009, that I don’t get on its release date.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate could be fine, but I think they watered down the concept and lore, and I lost interest already on Assassin’s Creed III.

Fallout 4 should be good. I really liked Fallout 3 with all its expansions, but I thought Fallout: New Vegas was a lesser chapter. I rather get a new great multiplayer than another oversized single player RPG.

I can’t wait for the Bloodborne: The Old Hunters expansion though.

Early Farming for Blood Echoes

You can farm for Blood Echoes (and Blood Vials) quite early in Bloodborne. But first you need to defeat the Blood-Starved Beast in a ruined church at the bottom of Old Yharnam.

This will cause the Snatchers to appear around Cathedral Ward. So go there and get killed by a Snatcher.

You will now wake up in a prison. Leave the cage and ascend the stairs, and reach the lamp of Hypogean Gaol (which in fact is in Yahar’gul, Unseen Village).

Fight your way through the main hall and exit the building.

  1. Outside Hypogean Gaol. Wait next to the stairs for the Giant Pig to reach the top where the note “Behold! A Paleblood sky!” can be found. Kill the bloody pig.
  2. Advance forward on the main street (left of Hypogean Gaol).
  3. On your left side there’s another Giant Pig. Dodge the attack and then kill it.
  4. Continue up the streets and kill the Rabid Dogs. Pick one at a time.
  5. By the end of the street there’s a Snatcher and two more Rabid Dogs. Ignore them, and turn back to the Hypogean Gaol.

Follow the alley to the left of the building and open a door to the lamp.

Return to the Hunter’s Dream.

Now wake up at Hypogean Gaol again. Take the shortcut that you’ve just opened so that you don’t need to fight the relatively tough Snatchers in the main hall. Repeat step 1-5 above.

At this point of the game, every time you wake up at Hypogean Gaol – before you kill Rom, the Vacuous Spider – the Giant Pigs and the Rabid Dogs will respawn, and these creatures are pretty easy to kill and will get you over 10,000 Blood Echoes each iteration. The Giant Pigs are also likely to drop Blood Vials.

Swords, Swords, Swords

For me gaming last half-year has been filled with single player sword fighting. (I miss playing with friends and I miss shooting in first person.)

Swords

It started off with Dragon Age: Inquisition by the end of last year. I was playing as a rogue with double daggers.

DAI was pretty huge but full of meaningless quests of the sort: kill 5 enemies and collect award, gather 10 herbs and collect award… The stories and characters were okay but not fantastic in any way.

More Swords

Then came Bloodborne – and it was fantastic. The swords were presented as trick weapons that could be transform for different attacks.

Everything about this game was just great: the story and plot, the art direction, the level design, the game mechanics, the voice acting, the thrills.

I’m on my third playthrough now.

Swords Revisited

My third installment of sword swinging games was The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. There were two swords – one of steel and one of silver – to chose from for fighting human and beasts, but that whole thing was merely a gimmick.

I haven’t yet finished The Witcher 3 (I’m on level 22 or so) but so far I’m not that impressed. Yeah it’s huge, and there are endless of loot, and some side quests are deep and intriguing, but most of them go on and on and only grows tiresome. There are just too many things I’m critical of this game, albeit subjective opinions, e.g. juvenile language, writing and stylistics.

Anyway, I hope that the next game for me doesn’t involve swords, just gimme a gun man.

Gold Farming of Gamers

Here’s how to fool gamers, take their money that is.

It goes a bit like this: make a video game and market it as a standalone, complete game but sell it in parts.

Have the consumer pre-order the game to receive in-game gadgets, like two extra skins for the playable character or its weapons (but add nothing that change gameplay or the overall experience).

Go ahead, charge full price for a three-quarters of a game at best. It’s alright, just release the rest as DLCs.

If the game focuses on multiplayer mode, e.g. lots of first person shooters, then hold on to half of the maps and ration them out in four DLCs during the game’s lifecycle, together with some uncanny weapons that didn’t make it past alpha phase.

And if the game is story driven, then release two or three DLCs with a few hours worth of side-quest gameplay. You should have made these already at launch, but withhold from the original release.

Anyhow, the total sum of these DLCs can almost reach the price point of the game itself. Yeah, you’re getting double paid. If you want money in the bank, then sell a season pass so that players can gain access to all content to something you should call, “a great price”. And to appeal to these fanboys, promise that they will get it a week earlier than the suckers buying the DLCs piece by piece.

Then – if the game proves to be any successful after a year – release a Game of the Year edition. Include everything above and be nice, and run a time-limited promotional pricing campaign for a short while before charing full price again.

After that you can always make a remake of the game, on whatever future current generation of gaming platform is; be sure to save your high resolution textures for this. Or you may just re-release the game and add “10th Anniversary Edition”.

That’s how to earning money on video games. I’m sure there are plenty of other ways, but these are the most obvious and common.

Fear Strong Foe

Here’s just a personal gaming update, skip if you wanna.

After a first playthrough I’m now on my second. I started almost immediately after the first, some kind of testament how good I think this game is.

While I cheated my way through Yharnam county earlier, I’m now playing as the game is designed to be played – on default “hardcore” setting, and with more tactics involved.

The first times I played Bloodborne I was almost shocked how hard and unforgiven the games was, now I feel the difficulty level seems much easier. I guess practice makes perfect.

P.S. I’m also playing Heists, the new cooperative mode for GTA Online. It’s a very nice addition to an already good multiplayer.

An Unworthy Hardline

I’ve played six and a half hour of Battlefield Hardline and reckon I’m entitled to say something: the game sucks!

It’s not that the game is particularly buggy, unpolished or broken. Nah, it has to do with the feeling that this isn’t a standalone full game. It feels more like a DLC expansion, or worse, like a
homemade mod. It’s Battlefield alright, in a new costume – but a costume that
fit the game series badly.

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While the singleplayer campaign may be
good, the Battlefield series has always been about multiplayer.

There’s a couple of new game modes
(Heist and Hotwire), the areas of engagement are more focused; 150 meters
between the flags in Conquest mode et cetera.

The engine and mechanics runs quite the
same as in Battlefield 4, no apparent tweaks. At the same time they say that
Hardline is the fastest Battlefield ever made. Maybe that’s true, but the speed
buff is really nothing compared to the boost from Ghosts to Advanced Warfare. (On
top of that, any given Call of Duty is much faster-paced than this.)

Vehicles play a big part in every Battlefield,
but mostly if they’re armed. And the unarmed cars are fast but also plain ugly
– stiff polygon boxes floating around. This is far from GTA.

Okay, maybe I’m being too hard on
Visceral’s effort, this is only a preview. But remember that “open beta” multiplayers
tends to actually be the final releases these days, well minus the 1.01 updated
with minor fixes which is released the same day as the game hits the stores. (One
could even argue that “open betas” have come to replace many limited
pre-releases that before were labeled “demos”, but that’s another discussion.)

Lastly, this cop and robber theme is
just ridiculous. What the fuck were they thinking? This is war man, who wanna
be a cop anyway? Not to even mention the police brutality and stupidness of the
context itself.

On every level, DICE’s originals are
better, this is just sell out. Usually I don’t give a damn about trademarks,
but Hardline is unworthy the Battlefield brand.

That being said, I guess Hardline will
sell like hot cakes, and if my buddies will decide to pick this game up, so
will I.

Create a Class

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare features a total of 34 weapons. Still everybody seems to choose the same few guns on Public Matches. Talking about Primary weapons, nowadays most people use the Bal-27 Assault Rifle, the ASM1 Submachine Gun or the MORS Sniper Rifle, and their variants. (Variants can be unlocked in Supply Drops.) Before, many ran with the AK12 Assault Rifle and the KF5 Submachine Gun.

Of course you see other guns in the game, like SN6 Submachine Gun, Atlas 20mm Sniper Rifle or Bulldog Shotgun, but those weapons are not as common.

So, let’s start with a few class suggestions:

The Generic Assault Classes

  • Primary: AK12.
  • Attachments: Red Dot Sight (precision sight), Stock (move faster when aiming down the sights), Suppressor (invisible on enemy mini-maps when firing).
  • Note: The AK12 has very low recoil, meaning you don’t need Foregrip (vertical foregrip for reduced recoil). Remember, generally Foregrip helps a lot.
  • Primary: Bal-27.
  • Attachments: Stock, Foregrip, Suppressor.
  • Note: The Bal-27 seems to be the most popular gun in Advanced Warfare multiplayer, and not without reasons.

The Quickscope Sniper Classes

  • Primary: MORS.
  • Attachments: Ballistic CPU (reduces sway when aiming through the scope).
  • Note: As of today, regular sniper sights are broken (read: off center). Therefore you could pick Variable Zoom Scope (a variable zoom scope with 3 levels of zoom) for a proper align sight, but you can’t have this and the Ballistic CPU. Also, the zoom levels differ from the default scope. Quickscoping in Advanced Warfare is real, but is more of a glitch and some connoisseurs call it Blackscoping, due to the small (and black) timeframe when you scope in. Although in practice it works quite the same. You might as well chose a variant, like MORS – Pummeler with -1 Damage, -1 Accuracy, but with +1 Fire Rate, +1 Handling. However, Damage doesn’t seem to drop, so this variant is a one shot kill on the torso and head.

The Rush SMG Classes

  • Primary: KF5.
  • Attachments: Red Dot Sight, Foregrip, Suppressor.
  • Note: This SMG has good Range for its class. Bear in mind that you don’t need Stock on any of the SMGs.
  • Primary: ASM1.
  • Attachments: Foregrip, Suppressor, Rapid Fire (increased fire rate).
  • Note: You could choose a variant of the weapon, like the ASM1 – Rigor, and get +2 Accuracy and -2 Handling. And with Foregrip you get another +2 Accuracy, meaning you could chose Rapid Fire to get the +2 Fire Rate (+25% rate of fire), and take the -2 Accuracy (-15% recoil) penalty and still go positive on Accuracy.

Balance Your Weapon

Actually, you could try to counter any reduction on your weapons by adding Attachments. E.g. on the Bal-27 – Obsidian Steed (which has increased Damage but reduced Accuracy), put Foregrip and perhaps Red Dot Sight to even out the Accuracy nerf.

Perk Management

There are 13 slots to be filled with a combination of everything, and you need to make your decision based on your play style. Usually, I pick three Wildcards to max the Primary weapon and Perks, sacrificing Scorestreaks.

If I’m to choose only one Scorestreak, I’d pick System Hack (an autonomous cyber attack that disables enemy HUD, radar, and reticles).

  • Wildcard 1: Primary Gunfighter (take a third Primary attachment).
  • Wildcard 2: Perk 1 Greed (take a second Perk 1).
  • Wildcard 3: Perk 3 Greed (take a second Perk 3).
  • Perk 1: Lightweight (move faster), Low Profile (invisible to UAVs, Tracking Rounds, and Exo Ping).
  • Perk 2: Cold-Blooded (immune to Thermal, Target Enhancer, Threat Grenade, and enemy call outs. No name or reticle color change when targeted).
  • Perk 3: Toughness (flinch less when shot), Hard Wired (immune to System Hack, EMP, Nano Swarms, Stun Grenades, and Scramblers. Scorestreaks remain vulnerable).

Exo Suits and Vertical Maps

In brief, the major change from earlier Call of Duty games is how you move. With the Exo abilities you can jump, dash, dodge, slam, slide and fuck around in several new ways. Also the map structures are adapted for this; routes of navigation are increased verticality, and you need to watch the rooftops more than before.

A final tip is to try to learn how to boost jump and shoot – you will need to adjust to the new pace to be successful.

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