New World launched this week. You don’t need me to tell you that but I’m doing it anyways.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to stop in this week on account of next week I hardly be able to play at all. But alas, Tuesday morning rolled around and I just couldn’t resist picking it up. A $40 price tag is exactly that sweet spot for me for I’ll buy this and give it a go. Any more and I would have been waiting to the blogs and reviews before dipping my toes in.
I didn’t play in any of the betas. By the time I got around to remembering there was an open beta earlier this month it was already over. I haven’t really followed the news about it either. I remember when it was announced, I remember a beta last year and reading some blog posts about it, and that’s about as invested as I was in it. But when the new Western MMO launch happens you just got to be there.
And I got the full experience! I knew there was going to be queues but man, those were some queues right? I knew for sure I wasn’t getting in Tuesday, I got home from work late and figured by the time I got through the queue it would be way to late to actually enjoy playing. I woke up earlier than usual Wednesday, figuring I might be able to beat the crowd and dable a bit before work. Unfortunately I was met with server maintenance! I was able to get in right as the servers came back up that morning and run through some of the tutorial quests.
Thursday night I decided to brave the queue for a chance to play. When I got online I was only 67 deep and that number was slowly going down. Right until it was stuck at 17 players for 2 hours…..Today I was off from work and woke up with my wife in the wee hours of the morning and beat the crowd.
Not today queue, not today.
Having no previous experience with the game everything was new and shiny, sort of. I keep getting the impression that I’m playing a weird, piecemeal, game that doesn’t quite all go together but it kind of works. The gathering and crafting feels like a hold over from a survival crafting game. The supply crates on the map feel straight out of a Battle Royale. The combat feels like an early access souls-like knock off/ Oh and there’s also this whole open world faction PVP thing you can just completely ignore but seems like kind of the focus of the whole thing.
But like I said, the whole thing kind of works for me.
Relatively speaking, I haven’t put that much time into it. I’ve played for a total of 6 hours and I’m still very much in the honeymoon phase. I’m taking it slow and taking it all in as I go. I’ve been trying all of the weapons to see which one I like the best. So far, I’m a fan of the rapier, ice gauntlet, and war hammer.
I’ve been following along with the main questline at a steady clip. I chose my faction and everything: Go Team Purple!
To be completely being honest though, the majority of my time spent in New World has been doing manual labor.
I can’t help myself. I think playing Runescape at a young age (and much more recently) instilled a compulsion to mine and chop trees. Especially, when the mining and cutting of the trees has level that goes up…it’s a problem, probably. But I’ve been happily swinging away at them gathering those materials and bringing them back to town to engage with the crafting system that also has levels attached to it.
Oh and there’s fishing which I haven’t even looked into yet. I’m going to be a very happy camper in New World even if I never swing a sword again.
I’ve been playing Warframe for a good month an a half now with no stopping in sight. In fact, it’s the only game I’ve been playing over that time period. I’m still a bit suprised how much it’s grabbed me but I think it’s come down to two things.: My friends are still playing it and I can consistelntly find new goals to work towards.
The former has been a great way to keep my interest since I have people to discuss the game with and maybe even compete a little bit. The later is really what keeps me going though. Warframe is such a big game with so much content that I’ll have goals to work towards for a while.
So far I’ve acomplished:
Finding and upgrading a few weapons I like and can use effectively for the rest of the game
Finding a Warframe I really like to play. Gauss is just so much fun to play. Gotta go fast!
Crafting an Archwing Launcher to I can fly around the open world areas.
Unlocking the Archgun Deployer so I can use a giant gun to shoot things anywhere.
Building a Railjack.
Completing a lot of the story quests.
Achieving Mastery Rank 15.
I’ve managed to do all of this since I’ve been back in the game. Some of them have been easy and some of them, like the Archgun Deployer, involved a 2 week reputation grind to get. But all of it has been enjoyable content to do.
Next up on goals to chase are:
Completing all of Nightwave
Completing the remaining story quests
Chasing down the parts to Octavia Prime
Collecting all of the Plague Star Blueprints before the event ends.
I’m sure I’ll find more to chase after as I continue to play but for now this is my current list of goals in the game. I especially what to catch up on the story quests as the next major story piece comes out in a few months.
I do still wonder how long Warframe will continue to hold my attention. I’m notorious for getting really in to games for a short period and then moving on to something else. I think it will continue to hold my interest as long as I have things to work towards and people to play with!
I’ve been playing Warframe off and on for…let’s see…5 years now? 5 years that sounds about right. In those 5 years I haven’t gotten very far and have clocked around 250 hours according to Steam. But I still like coming back to warframe every once and a while to see what’s new and make a little more progress.
Usually what happens is someone in my friend group gets the urge to play. Then we’ll all go down the Warframe rabbit whole for a week or two and subsequently leave the game on the shelf for months or years on end. This time around, we’re making a bit more of a concerted effort to stick with the game for a few months and see how that feels.
For the past 2 weeks now I’ve been trying to play Warframe a bit every day and find something to work on. It’s one of those games that has so much to do and so many systems to work on that if I don’t have a clear goal in mind I get lost. My goal right now is to get rid of my Kuva Lich who I accidently made last summer. It’s a charming enemy that not only steals rewards from missions on the planet it controls but constantly taunts me while it’s doing it….
Like everything in Warframe, the process for excommunicating the thing is a bit convoluted. It’s a good thing such an amazing wiki exists and there’s countless informative websites and videos out there. From what I understand, in order to kill the Lich I need specific mods for a weapon called a Parazon. These mods are obtained from Requiem Relics which are awarded sometimes during Kuva Siphon missions and always at the end of a Kuva Flood mission. There are eight of these special mods but only 3 are needed to kill the lich. Except you don’t know which three you need.
In order to find out the right mods you have 2 options: kill thralls during missions on the Lich’s controlled planet or trial and error every time your lich comes to visit on one of these missions. I went with the first option and killed enough thralls over several missions to see which mods I needed on my Parazon. At this point I had gathered 6 out of 8 of the Parzon mods and of course the two I didn’t have were the ones I needed…
Once I had the mods I needed the real fun begins. The mods need to be in a certain order for it to actually kill the Lich. This is the stage of the process I’m on now. Basically, I have to run missions on the planet it controls and kill thralls until it’s angry enough to come after me on the mission. Every time it loses a third of it’s health I get the chance to stab it with the Parazon. If the first mod is in the correct position then the fight continues until you hit the lich with the wrong mod in the wrong spot. At which point it disappears and you have to run more missions to piss it off and try again.
On top of all of that, there’s now a Rail Jack portion which I haven’t even looked in to.
The whole thing has been quite the project but I’ve been doing a little everyday so I don’t get burnt out on it. I’ve also been doing a lot of reading about the mechanics of damage in Warframe, how to build weapons, how to build warframes and I’m getting a better handle on how the game works overall. It’s definitely made things more enjoyable than it has been in the past. I can see myself sticking with it for a while as long as I have another goal to work towards.
Of course, now that I’ve said that I’ll probably drop it next week.
This is mission 13 of the Blogger Succession game. You can find more details and previous missions at Time to Loot.
When I arrived back on the Avenger things were already underway. Plated armor was a few days from being completed along with experimental ammo. As there wasn’t anything to research at the moment I set off to fly the Avenger around the map in search of my next mission.
I seemed to have considerably more time on the strategy portion of the game than last time. I don’t know if that’s because I missed a mission or if RNG gifted me with more time to roam around the map. I was informed there was resistance contacts not to far from my location. I flew over there and spent 5 days scanning.
During those 5 days a few things happened.
Plated Armor was completed
Experimental ammo was completed giving us Dragon Rounds which sound like incendiary ammo.
Two Dark events triggered: Ufo’s are now chasing the Avenger and the Aliens have improved their threat response procedures. Yeah, that sounds bad…
With research completed I went back to the Avenger to set up some new projects. I started another round of experimental grenades and performed some instant autopsies on Vipers and Sectoids. This seems to have unlocked new engineering research projects. I also started Alien Encryption research because it had a star next to it….and it’s also one of our next quest goals.
I turned my attention back to the map and headed down to the New Mexico radio tower for a few days. With that unlocked we’re gaining some more monthly supplies with the supply drops and reducing the cost to contact nearby countries. We also received a Spare Parts bonus which decreases the cost of Proving Ground projects by 50%
By the time that was finished the Avatar Project progress was looking bleak. We’re currently 3 pips away from it maxing out which seems like it might be an issue. There are 2 Alien facilities both 2 countries away from us. My plan was to try to get to one of them or at least make contact with a country before my mission triggered. I flew the Avenger over to the New Artic and clicked scan. Right away a mission triggered all the way back in the Eastern US. So we flew back without any scanning to start Operation Wolf Hound
Operation Wolf Hound
The goal of this mission is to extract a VIP from an Advent City. I remember these types of missions well as they were one of the reasons I gave up with Xcom 2 the last time I played it. The mission gives you a turn limit to extract the VIP and your soldiers. Anyone not extracted gets left behind. Last time I played I never managed to get the whole team out before the turns ran out. The saving grace of this escort mission is you’re in control of the NPC being escorted. At least your not at the mercy of your VIPs back decision making, only your own.
My squad for this Mission
Before starting the mission I equipped everyone with new armor. Now that we had completed the Plated Armor research we had the option of equipping Predator Armor. This adds some more protection and unlocks the second item slot for your squad.
This mission is on a 12 turn time limit for extraction. I’m informed that Advent already knows we’re here so there’s no point in hiding. Well if you say so….
Extraction is 2 buildings away from where we start. It’s on the roof top of the second building which I assumed was full of enemies. When the mission starts I send Easha down to check out the scene and see what we’re up against. Immediately we find 2 advent troopers.
I move everyone else into position. Endalia stays on the first roof top and takes up overwatch. Magi goes to the second roof top and takes up overwatch on the high ground. Now I forgot that once they move they can only take up pistol overwatch which isn’t ideal but it’s something.
Bookahnerk moves down to take full cover behind a statue to assist Easha in taking out the Advent troopers. I send the VIP close to the ladder to move up to the next roof top on the next round. To cover the VIP I send Valiyeva up with here.
On Advent’s combat turn I learn that windows exists and I should not position any one near them. The Advent tropper shoots at Valiyeva from the first floor window. Luckily, the shot misses. Lesson learned. Endalia fires with the pistol overwatch and surprisingly hits from quite a far distance! No one in the squad takes damage this round.
The Advent troopers have moved close enough for Easha and Bookahnerk to do their thing. Easha blows the first trooper away and earns a promotion. Bookahnerk fires at the next visible enemy and takes about half it’s health. Emalia fires from the roof top and finishes it off.
With no visible enemies I start moving people up. Magi takes a forward position on the next roof top and discovers 2 vipers on the second floor of the extraction building. The VIP has been moved up as well hopefully out of danger along with Valiyeva on the second roof top. Endalia, Easha, and Bookahnerk move up to get better shots at the vipers.
The vipers promptly jump out of the Windows and move up. This triggers 3 overwatches and the first Viper is toast. Out of spite, the remaining Viper shoots at the VIP and poisons her….
I send my poisoned VIP back out of range on her next turn and hope the poison doesn’t last to long otherwise I’ll need to use a medkit. Valiyeva finishes off the second viper with and earns a promotion. The field looks clear but I just know there’s got to be a few more aliens around.
A miss click on my part sends Easha way to far up out of cover. But hey, we found 2 more aliens a Muton and another viper. Unfortunately, Easha takes a whole lot of unnecessary damage in the process.
To try and cover Easha I send Endalia and Bookanerk up but in actual cover. Magi is on long watch still on the roof top which works out great when the Muton moves out of the second building. It’s not quite dead and suppresses Bookahnerk.
The Viper makes a grab at Easha and hits.
Magi still has a good shot on the Muton and takes it out with ease. Thanks to Nathain’s advice last time a viper grabbed someone I knew to move Bookahnerk up and throw a flashbang to free Easha. In turn, Easha blows the viper away with a point blank blast of the shotgun.
Not seeing any more enemies around it’s time to get everyone to extraction. I was trying to be a bit more aggressive this mission so I wouldn’t run out the turn clock and have to report leaving people behind. So once all the visible enemies were cleared I had 6 turns to get everyone to extraction.
I had everyone extracted with 3 turns to spare!
After Action Report
I was really hoping to find an Advent Officer to skulljack but didn’t see one on this mission.
Everyone returned home this mission with only Easha being gravely wounded. Unfortunately, this means Easha will be out for 24 days. Yikes! Everyone else returned without a scratch.
3 squadies were up for promotion after this mission
Easha, injured but carrying the team that last mission, earned a promotion. I chose Implacable which will allow bonus movement after a kill.
Bookahnerk, with some solid damage and support, earned a promotion. I went with Haywire to hack robots.
Valiyeva, protector of the VIP who only let her get poisoned once, returns home for a promotion. Keeping the medic theme going I chose Field Medic which gives 2 extra charges on medkits.
I got yelled at by our chief engineer that we had some engineers twiddling their thumbs. They were put to work in the Proving Grounds to speed up the research. Tygen also informed me that we really need some more scientists.
It’s August 1st which means Blaugust is officially under way!
August has become my favorite month over the past few years. It’s great to see this side of the blogosphere so active, seeing new faces to add to my feed, and seeing some old faces I haven’t read in a while.
Every year I shamelessly use Blaugust as a way to motivate myself to write more. It also motivates me to comment more and try to be more active in the community. I’m a blog/discord lurker by nature. This year I’m using it to get back in to blogging as my writing has fallen off pretty hard this year.
I already know I won’t be hitting the post a day challenge. I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow and did not prepare any posts in advance. But no worries there, my goal this year is to consistently write 3 posts a week and get my mind back on blogging and writing in general.
Assassin’s Creed Origins ended up in my Steam library at some point. It’s hard to say when I picked it up exactly. It may have been last years Steam Summer Sale or maybe one a one off weekly sale. But it was definitely sometime last year that I bought it with full intentions of playing it.
According to Steam, up until recently I had played about 3 hours of the game. I think I’ve started it up a few times and tried to play it but disliked the keyboard and mouse controls and lost interest pretty fast. It’s got some weirdly layed out buttons by default. So on the virtual shelf it sat until a few weeks ago.
Honestly, I have no idea why I started playing it again. Like most things I took a bit too long to write about it to capture those initial moments but it was probably along the lines of: I had an itch to play an open world game so I fired it up. I don’t think I had intentions of latching on to it as much as I have. I’m fully attributing that to playing with a controller this time around.
I bought a PS4 in late 2014. It was my first big purchase after I graduated college that was not rent, food, or student loan payments. The PS3 was still going strong but it was getting to that point where less and less new games were coming out for it. So I made the switch and it was my primary gaming device until I built a gaming PC in 2017. I still have the original controller that came with it but sadly it doesn’t work as well as it used to.
In general, the PS4 controller can be finicky when used for PC gaming. Some games will have trouble recognizing it and some won’t recognize it at all. Even with third party tools to turn it into a “virtual” Xbox controller it could be a pain to use. A few years ago, Steam released an update that helped more games recognize the controller which solved some issues but not all. And while it’s a sleight in convenience, it always through me off to see the Xbox button prompts on screen and have to figure out which button on the PS4 controller that was supposed to be.
The big reason I don’t use it as much as I once did is because the physical hardware it failing. It turns out, after 7 years of connecting and disconnecting micro usb cables to the controller, the port is starting to come loose. Slight movements will cause the controller to disconnect and reconnect quite frequently which can be really annoying when trying to use it.
Now, I’m not sure why I tried to use the keyboard and mouse controls for AC Origins the first time around, I really don’t, but this time I tried the controller and found it played somuch better. But that disconnects from the controller were getting unbearable. So it was finally time to go out and get a new controller.
I’ve put this off for a long time because controllers are expensive. A new PS4 controller still runs around $60. Switch joy-cons go for $80! Of course, I could buy a used controller but you never know how often it’s been thrown across a roo before it’s gotten in to your hands. I figured, if I was going to purchase a new controller I might as well buy one that would work better with my PC. So I went searching for a reasonably priced Xbox controller.
For the first time in years, I actually had a reason to visit a brick and mortar Gamestop. It was one of those rare times where I didn’t want to wait for shipping and remembered I could go to an actual store and pick up something that day. As it turns out, my local Gamestop was having a sale on controllers and I had an unused gift card still in my wallet from who knows how long ago. I ended up getting the controller for under $20 which was nice.
I was a bit concerned that I wouldn’t like the layout of the Xbox One controller. After all, I’d been using the Dual Shock layout for almost a decade. Once I’d played on it I realized I actually liked the feel of the controller better than my old PS4 controller. Plus, it’s red which adds character. I’ve played a few games with my new controller and they all just work without fiddling around with Steam or usb cables which has been great.
I was a bit surprised to find that it cam with a set of double A batteries. Microsoft is still selling rechargeable battery packs still. It’s not really a concern since my PC lacks Bluetooth to connect the controller wirelessly
The difference between keyboard and mouse and the Xbox controller is night and day with AC Origins. It’s so much easier to play and interact with the world. The game even has aim assist for the bow so aiming isn’t too much trouble with the controller. I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised, Assassins’ Creed is a quintessential console franchise, it makes sense that it would play better on a controller. One of things I like the most about PC gaming is the options. Not just the options of what to play but how to play them.
I picked up The Pedestrian from the Steam sale this year. It’s been sitting on my wishlist for a while and I had an itch to play a puzzle game. What caught my eye with The Pedestrian was that the puzzles appear to take place on street signs. As it turns out, it takes place over all sorts of signage: From Street signs to bathroom signs to blueprints.
Things I liked:
The Difficulty: I like puzzle games a lot but I don’t like when they get so hard I feel like I need a guide on another monitor just to play the game. The puzzles start out fairly easy and do get progressively more complex as they should. While I’d get stuck every now and then on a particularly challenging puzzle, I always felt there was enough information to figure it out. Whether that be something I overlooked or leveraging a mechanic in a particular way. I never felt stuck to the point of frustration.
The Mechanics: The Pedestrian is a 2d puzzle platformer. Each part of the puzzle takes place over multiple signs and you can connect the signs in various ways to get the stick figure out of the exit door and on to the new puzzle. You can move the signs around to make more connections between them. Some connections that don’t work at a particular angle will become available when the sign is moved. Breaking connections after you’ve started moving the stick figure will, in most cases, reset the puzzle. As the game progresses, a few more mechanics are added on. Some levels need you to connect the electricity between wires to open up new pieces of the puzzle. Some signs let you jump to another sign without a door. And some signs can be painted green so certain obstacles in the level aren’t reset when breaking a connection. I really enjoyed figuring out how the whole level fit together before I sent my stick figure out to the exit.
The Visuals: The mix between 2d puzzles on signs and complex 3d scenery in the background made this game feel very unique. The music mixed with the slightly cartoony backgrounds made me feel like I was playing a Pixar short.
Things That Could Have Been Better:
Then Music: This isn’t to say the music wasn’t good because that’s simply not the case. I wanted the music to play more frequently than it did. The pauses in between the music felt slightly too long and there wasn’t much background noise in between. It lead to a bit of awkward silence, especially if I was stuck on a particular puzzle for a while.
The Length: The Pedestrian is a short game and while it doesn’t wear out it’s welcome I wish it was a bit longer. Just when I was getting a handle on the more involved mechanics of the puzzles it ended. I will most likely replay it in the future!
Over the weekend, I hit level 20 on my Techer main class. This is currently where the max level stands in New Genesis. Getting there didn’t take all that long, just over 3 weeks of pretty casual play. There were some days where I spent hours killing mobs and doing quests but the majority of my play time has been to log in, do the dailies/weeklies, and then log off. The hardest parts of the whole leveling experience was finding/upgrading gear to hit the required Battle Power to move the story along and unlock new zones.
Now that I’m here at level 20 there isn’t a whole lot I want to do on this character. That isn’t to say that there isn’t anything else I could be doing.
I could get my sub class up to level 20 but I’m not sure how this would benefit my character. Skill points are acquired by doing instanced Cocoons instead of leveling up. I’ve done all the Cocoons already so my main class and my sub class have all the skill points they need. I think hitting 20 on my sub class would boost the damage of my secondary weapon, the Rod. I hardly use the rod since I can cast just find with the wand and still dish out melee damage without having to weapon swap.
I could go out and look for rare weapon and armor drops. The problem with this is that my gear is just fine at the moment. All of the 4 star weapons and armor can be bought off the market for dirt cheap. We’re talking like 1,000 Metesa cheap. The 4 star armor is a bit more expensive but not by much. The rarity comes in the form of Fixa attributes which add additional stats to a weapon or armor. For now, these stats seem pretty minimal and since I’m not much of a min-maxer I’m not too motivated to go out and look for these right now.
I could go and hunt Gigantix but that seems like more of a hassle than it’s worth. Gigantixs are a special type of boss that spawns in the exploration zones when it rains. To actually do any damage to them you need to be level 20 but the game doesn’t actually tell you that. They also scale off of player proximity so what happens is you have characters of all levels running to these things which jacks up their power and makes them really hard to kill. It’s essentially a public DPS check on a really short timer. From what I’ve seen, people who are actively hunting these things are also not very pleasant….
I was thinking about just switching my main class to Force to try that out but the skill system doesn’t quite let you do that. Switching Force from a sub class to main class doesn’t reset the skill points I already invested in the tree. So skills that were good for the sub class would leave the main class lacking. Of course, I could buy a second skill tree for $5 but I’m not inclined to do that right now. I’d rather make a second character while I have the slots.
And that’s exactly what I’ve decided to do next. I’m curious how long it will take this time around to get another character to level 20. Since I can share metesa, gear, and upgrade materials between characters it should be much easier to pass the Battle Power restrictions and open up new zones. This does mean I’ll need to do the cacoons again, get all of the fast travel points again, and do the main quest again but I don’t think that will be too bad.
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my time in Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis this week. Sure, it has it’s issues, lag being the main one, but I’ve played Trove long enough that lag doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I’ve been eagerly awaiting it’s release since I played the beta and I’ve logged on every day since it’s been out. Something I can’t say often about any game. What makes things even better is that the squad has started playing as well!
After the beta I was torn between a few main classes to play: Fighter, Techer, or Force. I ended up going with Techer as my main class as it has a mix of support, melee, and ranged techniques. I haven’t felt the need to re-roll which is a good sign that I’m enjoying the class. The main mechanic of the class revolves around matching elemental attacks to the enemies weaknesses and throwing out a damage boost/incoming damage reduction buff. I chose Force as my sub class which gave me access to some close range AoE spells and a skill tree to keep my PP (mana) up. So far, I’m really enjoying the playstyle.
I’ve seen a lot of criticism that there isn’t enough content right now which I personally find is a non issue. Jumping in to the original PSO2 last year was a nightmare of menus, systems within systems, and really weird controls. There was a ton of content but so much that I didn’t want to sift through it all. I bounced pretty hard after a week or so. In New Genesis, there’s a lot less going on all the time and I can actually sit down and learn the few systems that are in place. The skill tree isn’t huge and for the most part I understand what each one does and how it would impact my character. The weapon upgrade system has some quirks but is understandable overall. The map is on the small side but the zones are varied enough that I don’t feel like I’m seeing the same things as I go through it.
I’m about 10 hours in and feel like I have a good thing going with this game.
That’s not to say it doesn’t have it’s issues. The lag is the biggest one hands down. Those first few days I couldn’t even follow the people I was playing with around because they’d be rubberbanding all over the place. Menus would take a long time to load. Sometimes, enemies will just stand there and not take any damage until things catch up and they’re just dead. It’s gotten better over the last week but it’s still there.
The other issue I’ve run in to is materials not respawning when the daily quests reset. If you collect too many materials in a zone and tomorrows daily quest happens to be getting those materials in said zone, you’re out of luck. It seems like materials are on a 24 hour timer from when you collect them rather than with the daily reset. This has lead me to not collect resources out in the world until I get the daily quest to do so. I’m hoping this get’s resolved because it’s terrible system when you need those resources to upgrade things.
I’ve also seen reports that there’s a bug that takes large amounts of currency when you teleport with the quick travel system. I personally haven’t experienced it but there’s enough posts on the subreddit about it that I’m constantly checking my in game wallet. The game is a week old though so hopefully all the issues will be ironed out in time.
Overall, I really like this game and hope to be here for a while. Plus it looks gorgeous!
Objectives: Avoid destroying critical supplies, Neutralize all enemy targets
The first decision I had to make was who to take with me on this mission. Everyone pre-selected for the mission was already a corporal or seargent so I thought I might take one of our rookies with me. But I vaugely remembered my playthrough from 2017 and seemed to recalled getting a lot of people killed…This being my first mission I thought it safer to bring soilders with some skills rather than subject a Rookie to my playstyle.
The mission started, in the rain, with the squad on top of a hill. There was a derailed train to the north and no enemies in sight. I had Magi scout ahead a bit to see if we could spot some enemies. Not far from our initial landing site, Magi spotted two Advent Solders but was not detected. They moved down the hill towards the train. The rest of the squad followed just out of detection range. Sargent Silentdeath was tasked with flanking around the train.
I had moved Rakuno forward ahead of the rest of the squad behind a tree for full cover. When the enemies moved forward, Rakuno was in the red detection zone but seemingly not spotted. I wasn’t sure how long we’d remain concealed so when Rakuno was up I decided to take a shot. With a 78% chance to hit the shot hit it’s mark and took the first solider out. The second solider moved forward right into Ramblin Red’s overwatch position. The second solider met Ramblin Red’s bullets and is taken out as well.
Again the squad is looking at an empty field and needs to find more enemies. Magi was still up on top of the hill and moved forward in hopes of finding more enemies. More enemies were found….and here’s where I learned an important lesson.
Magi was no longer concealed so the enemies I could see could also see us. Not a huge deal, I thought, as the Viper moved towards Magi. With any luck it would miss it’s shot and we’d take it out next turn.
That was the thought anyway, until it grabbed Magi with it’s tongue and pulled them into a grapple. Now, not only did I have one squad member way behind enemy lines but also in the grips of an alien snake. Yikes!
The mission quickly turned in to Operation: Rescue Magi.
Ramblin Red moved up to positions with full cover and line of sight on the snake. Endalia moved up behind a tree for full cover and in a position to snipe the snake on the next turn. I moved Rakuno up to a position with half cover and a shot on the additional Advent solider.
As it turns out, Sargent Silentdeath was not discovered with the rest of the squad and was still concealed. Silentdeath moved up along the train to flank any other enemies that may have been around. I figured with a shotgun and a blade Silentdeath could probably get out of trouble if they ran in to any.
The next round of combat started with Rakuno taking a 73% shot at the Advent solider. Once again, Rakuno hit’s the mark and obliterates the solider marking kill number two. Magi takes a pretty hefty amount damage from the snake leaving them with 2 health left. The squad needs to take out the Viper this round or risk losing Magi to a sentient reptile.
Ramblin Red is up and even with eyes on the snake only has a 58% shot at it. I had no idea how this would work, I figured there was a very good chance I would miss the snake and possibly hit Magi but it was now or never. The shot was taken and it hits causing the Viper to drop Magi!
Unfortunately, Endalia is a bit too far to make an accurate shot at the snake so it’s all up to an injured Magi now. With Magi and the snake inches from each other, Magi has a 100% shot with the pistol to the Viper, guaranteeing the kill and picking up an Elerium Core in the process.
After the tense round to rescue Magi, the field is clear again. The squad moves closer together to avoid another such situation. Everyone is in good cover but no new enemies have been sited. Silentdeath climbs the train and finds two more enemies. Another advent solider and a Sectoid.
Magi is up and takes a 53% shot at the Sectoid and hits for 6. A good chunk of damage but not enough to down the enemy. The Sectoid induces panic in Ramblin Red but also triggers overwatch for Rakuno which misses the target. Panicked, Ramblin Red fires at the enemy (thankfully not the squad) and misses. The Advent solider moves up and triggers Endalia’s overwatch and suddenly it’s no longer moving at all. The mission ends as Sargent Silentdeath jumps from the train and finishes the Sectoid off with a quick slash.
Upon the squads return, I was able to promote Rakuno and Magi to Sargent. For Magi I chose Deadeye – take a small aim penalty for a big damage boost. It seemed like a nice tool for a sniper to have in their kit. For Rakuno I chose Suppression – Pin an enemy down, grants reaction fire if it moves, and it takes a -50 aim penalty.
Sadly, it looks like Magi will be out for at least the next mission.
Research, Engineering, and Scanning
After the mission I went to investigate the Black Market. After a day of scanning the Proving grounds were ready so I headed over there. One of our main objectives was to research the Skulljack and I just so happened to find the Elerium Core it needed on my mission so I got that underway then continued to scan the Black Market. After 2 more days the market was opened and a mission hadn’t popped yet.
I moved down to rescue a special forces solider. We welcomed Klaus Weiss aboard, a sharpshooter already due for a promotion. That’s when the next mission triggered.
Looks like UnwiseOwl over at Leaflocker will be heading up Council Mission: Operation Gasping Shroud.