XCOM 2 Blogger Succession Game – Mission 27: Operation Half-Eaten Rose

At the conclusion of the last round Rakuno offered some advice to make contact with Europe to do the story mission or Blacksite facility there. I decided I would start there and see what I could do.

Looking at our resources we are running low on just about everything. Including intel, which is exactly what I needed to make contact with Europe. So the question became, how can I get us some more intel.

I was immediately warned of an incoming interception by ADVENT. Taking some evasive actions halfway around the globe we managed to avoid interception. On my way back to base the mission popped. Sadly, no intel was gained in the Geoscape Phase.

Operation Half-Eaten Rose

Luckily, one of the rewards for this mission was a fair bit of intel. Completing this one would get us some more resources to make contact with Europe.

I was happy to see that some familiar faces were available going in to this mission. I was less happy to see the mission was a VIP extraction. I remember playing this type of mission before on a different save. Not only does it have a timer but everyone needs to get to extraction or be left behind. The timer for this one was 12 turns.

The VIP needed captured or killed. Before the squad even dropped I knew which option I was going with…

Once the squad landed I could tell this was one long map. The drop point at one end and the extraction on the other. Somewhere in between was the VIP.

The first building contained and Andromedon and a Codex. The squad took the Andromedon down pretty quickly. The Codex managed to disable most of the squads weapons forcing them to reload and get out of the way of the AOE bomb that was about to go off. The fight was over in 2 turns without anyone getting hit.

I sent most of the squad towards the extraction and making sure they ended their turns in the most cover possible. There weren’t any enemies in sight so everyone kept moving up until Naithin spotted the VIP through a window. I figured most of the enemies would be inside the building and I didn’t want to risk sending the squad into a trap if I didn’t have to. So Naithin took the shot and finished off the VIP.

Then all the enemies showed up. A mix of ADVENT units including a MEC and a Sheildbearer and one Sectopod. All of them were waiting by extraction and started moving towards the squad.

I had Magi take the high ground on a building behind most of the squad. This afforded for some great 100% chance shots on the majority of the enemies. Bookahnerk and Volcano went for the flank while Black Widow, Naithin, and Rocket took the fight to the enemy up the middle.

Bookahnerk and Volcano, with a few supporting shots from Magi, were able to take down the Sectopod without taking too much damage themselves. I made the mistake of sending Naithin a little to far forward causing him to be the primary target for 6 Advent units. Oops. Through sheer luck and poor enemy accuracy, Naithin managed to get through a turn without taking damage. I was able to move Black Widow close enough to land heals on Naithin if needed. Backed up with the heals from Black Widow, Naithin was able to stay ahead of most of the squad and brute force a path even closer to extraction.

There were only a few enemies left but reinforcements were on the way. Time was running out and I didn’t want to risk leaving squad members behind. I started rushing soldiers to extraction. Bookahnerk and Volcano made it out first managing to avoid overwatch shots from the enemy. Advent reinforcements arrived.

Again Naithin and Black Widow managed to take out most of the fresh enemies. Naithin made it to extraction with two turns left. Sadly, Rocket wasn’t so lucky, getting taken out by the Advent Officer.

I had Black Widow make a run to extraction setting off 2 enemy overwatches. Both missed and this cleared the way for Magi to get to extraction safely.

Aftermath

Naithin got a well deserved promotion after the mission. Keeping with the Assault skills I went with Untouchable.

Unfortunately, killing the VIP didn’t net us any intel. That would have been nice to know going in though I’m not sure it would have changed my decision in the moment. We did get some supplies and a Codex Brain out of it.

The end of this mission could have been a lot worse. Sure, everyone is injured for at least a few days, and sure Rocket died, but if anyone was going to die on that mission, I’m glad it was the guy with the least missions under his belt. I was almost certain I was going to lose Black Widow or Magi or both at the end there.

There weren’t any pips added to the ADVENT project this turn so we’re still in the same predicament of needing to make contact with Europe to complete the story mission or the Blacksite mission. We’re also still really low on intel.

Next up is UnwiseOwl. Good luck Commander!

Steam Next Fest: The Demo Flea Market is Back

The Steam Next Fest started yesterday. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a week long window shopping event with hundreds of demos to download and play. Sounds like a good idea on the surface right?

For the most part it is, if you can wade through the mountain of games to find ones actually interest you. There are a lot of filters to help sort through the noise but even narrowing down the field to sub genres leaves a lot of games to go through. Clicking to the store page of any given game will reset the event page which isn’t the least bit helpful. I’m more likely to check out another genre or sub-genre page then scroll through the page I was on to find where I left off.

I took a brief look last night for about an hour just to see what was out there. The last couple of times these demo events have come around I’ve had an idea of what kind of games I would like to try. Yesterday though, I wasn’t feeling drawn toward any particular style. I mostly scanned through a few genres and the lists within and downloaded whatever grabbed my attention from the thumbnails.

I found the VR category, which was not very big. Totaling 19 games in all it was easy to look through and find a few demos that looked interesting. I grabbed Hyper Hook a grappling hook arcade game, Desolatium a Lovecraft inspired point and click adventure, and Now there Be Goblins a VR tower defense game, which I’m going to make a priority to try this week. There was another game that looked interesting, The Last Taxi but a 30 gb demo is a lot of space. Maybe if I finish the other 3 VR demos I’ll try it out.

I do wonder how effective these events are in selling games afterwards. For me, it’s fun to try a demo, maybe stick it on the wish list, but that’s where it stays for the most part. I think the only game I’ve bought after one of these events is *Sable*. Loved the demo, bought the game when it came out but haven’t made the time to play it. Everything else seems to sit on the wish list and I’m reminded of it’s existence only  Steam emails me about what’s on sale. I think I’d be more likely to buy if the game was available for purchase after I played the demo rather than sometime later this year.

So maybe I’m not the target consumer for these kinds of events but they must be effective. There seems to be a number of them that pop up throughout the year. I ended up with 12 demos in all downloaded from yesterday. I know I won’t play all of them but maybe one will generate enough interest to buy at 50% off a year from now…

Backlogged: Sizable

Time to Finish: 2.4 hours

I got Sizeable in the Yogcast Jingle Jam 2021 bundle. A bundle I bought mostly to pick up Wildermyth and support charity. It also came with a few titles that had been on my wish list for year but never got around to buying. Sizeable was not one of these.

I was in the mood for a puzzle game and decided to look through my steam library first before going out to the store. A decision I should make more often than I do. That’s where I found Sizeable waiting for me. It seemed to give off the vibe I was looking for at the time.

Things I Liked:


The Simplicity: *Sizable* is a simple puzzle game. The goal is to find three pillars on the map. You’re able to shrink and grow most objects on the map and move them around. Some of them interact with each other or need to be placed in a certain spot or be a certain size. For example, on some maps, there is a pillar hiding in the trees that you won’t find until you shrink the tree and it falls out. I’m surprised this isn’t a mobile game as well. It seems like it would be a nice little game to play on a phone or tablet.


Collecting Turtles: In addition to the pillars, there is a hidden turtle in each level. They very in difficulty, from hiding in plain sight to secret compartments in the level. I found it fun to hunt for each turtle in the level before I moved on.

The Length of the Game: Overall, *Sizable* has a good chunk of content for what it is. There are 50 levels, each with their own theme and 10 extra secret levels. These are unlocked by finding all of the turtles. It doesn’t overstay it’s welcome but I wish it was just a little bit longer

Things That Could Have Been Better:


The Difficulty the Puzzles: I wish the levels were a bit longer. They don’t really vary in difficulty. Once you’ve done a couple of levels you’ve seen all the different ways to interact with the maps. I like my puzzle games easy but I feel like adding just one more pillar to find or an extra turtle on each level would give just a bit more playtime. With that said, some of the secret levels have interesting interactions. You can also play without the hints for the pillars on top if you wanted to. The game defaulted with them on so I left them there.

Finding the Fun in Lost Ark

I’m going to start this off by saying I knew very little about Lost Ark before it was announced it was coming to the West last year. Even after the announcement I didn’t do a whole lot of research into what the game was about. I tend to avoid hyping myself up or consuming a bunch of content about games I can’t play yet. All of this is to say, I knew very little about what to expect going in.

Over the weekend I put 8 hours into it. To give some context, after 8 hours I’m level 23 and have just entered Luterra. There are whole systems I haven’t seen or unlocked yet but I thought now would be a good time to capture my initial impressions.

I thought Lost Ark would grab my attention more than it has. I like MMOs, I like ARPGs, so combining the two should be right up my alley. Right? I don’t find myself with a burning desire to play but I keep launching it when I have some free time. The question on my mind over the course of this weekend is: Where is the fun? What’s compelling me to continue to play the game?

The fun is certainly not in following the story. It’s kind of bland and a bit generic. I’ve read every line of dialogue and the only thing I can tell you is there’s a priest looking for a powerful artifact and a demon keeps popping up to ruin his day. My character seems to be, at best, a side kick. Which is weird because at the start I was told I was the chosen one…I’m always the chosen one!

It reminds me a lot of the story in Black Desert. It seems exists as a back drop to a long tutorial, unlocking more systems as it progress, rather than provide an interesting narrative.

I’m always excited when this guy shows up. He seems to be the one voice actor having any fun.

Then there’s the side quests, which I’m not sure why they exist. Typically, I would expect the side quests to flesh out the theme of the zone and add a little flavor or some lore. Maybe even offer a diversion from the main quest. But the side quests are as much on rails as the main story. In most cases, they’re just on the way to the next main quest. I

There seems to be three types of side quest. Go kill X% of enemies, go collect X amount of things from enemies, go pick up something off the ground. Which, to be fair, is your typical MMO quest structure but the number of things you have to do for each quest are very small. They also offer so little lore/story and are so short and uninvolved that the rewards could be rolled in to the main quest line and I wouldn’t miss them at all. It feels like the only reason they are in the game is because MMOs have side quests and this is an MMO.

The fun doesn’t seem to be in the exploring the world either. At least not yet. The zones are filled with enemies who either don’t attack are easily outrun on a mount. They’re not an obstacle and certainly don’t pose a threat at all. There doesn’t seem to be much on the maps besides the designated quest markers and teleport areas. There are vistas to unlock and seeds to find in each zone so there are things to search for if you’re so inclined. I feel like these are something I’ll probably come back to rather than actively pursue right now

Everything else is just kind of there. The time’s I’ve veered off the main quest path I haven’t run into anything interesting

Am I training Agility in Runescape or playing Lost Ark?

Where I’ve found fun is in the combat. That’s really where Lost Ark is shines. I was expecting a sort of MMO Diablo and instead found myself in isometric Tera.

The control layout is kind of weird but pretty intuitive after getting used to it. It’s kind of like playing League of Legends with an extra row of buttons or a side scrolling brawlers like Dungeon Fighter Online and Closers. It let’s me pull off some nice looking combos with relative ease as long as I hit the right buttons. I have the first row down pat, it’s the second row that I’m miss clicking a lot right now.

When I first looked at the skill tree I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of skills. But now that I’m level 23 there seems like there are just enough skills to keep things interesting. Since you can’t put all of the skills on your bar at once there’s some experimentation to be had on what skills work well together. There’s also enough options to switch things out and keep combat fresh.

There are also a ton of classes with “advanced” classes that look like they all play differently. It’s going to be hard to not roll some alts as I try to finish the main quest on my Shadowhunter.

Along with the combat, the dungeons are one of my favorite parts of the game right now. I find exploring the dungeons way more fun than exploring the world zones. For one, the enemies are actually an obstacle to overcome and sometimes even a threat. There’s also a strong urge to see what’s down this hallway that is clearly not the direction I’m suppose to go.

I’m glad that there’s an option to do the dungeons with people or solo. I did the first dungeon with matchmaking and found myself lagging behind the rest of my party. I tried the next one solo and on the hard difficulty just to see if I could and I haven’t been back to matchmaking since. I’m sure there will be a reason to party up as I get later in to the game but for now it’s nice to take my time through each new dungeon.

Oh, and the soundtrack for this game is awesome. I find myself in zones just listening to the music for a bit before I move on. It’s free to listen to over on Lost Ark’s Korean site here if you’re in to that kind of thing.

I’ll still be playing Lost Ark for a while. I would like to see the other systems I haven’t unlocked yet and progress to the end of the main story to see how the game pans out in the long run. I haven’t looked through the cash shop enough to see what kind of issues might reside there but for now I’m happy to continue to play the game for free and see what else is out there in Arkesia.

Dagon – H.P. Lovecraft in VR

One of my goals this month was to play more VR titles. Now that I have a new router with a 5ghz band I can take full advantage of Air Play on the Quest 2. Of course, Dagon doesn’t need the full capabilities of Air Play since there’s hardly and movement

In fact, I struggle to call Dagon a game at all. Right at the beginning you’re told that this is an interactive adaptation of an HP Lovecraft short story of the same name. It’s focused on story and atmosphere rather than game play. I’d call it a VR “experience” but that just sounds pretentious. It’s more of a walking simulator without the walking and you can only turn your head.

I love horror but I’ve never been a fan of H.P. Lovecraft. I always found the “indescribable horrors” to be somewhat of a cop-out. But having it read by a fantastic narrator and having the associated scenes played out changes things a lot. I’m all for this narrative driven, limited game play, style of game. It’s like a VR audio book with pictures. . Being a Lovecraft story, there aren’t any jump scares, just an ever mounting sense of dread.

For an interactive story there isn’t much to interact with either. Each scene goes something like this: the narrator reads a few lines, you look around the scene, find the object to click on that advances to the next screen, rinse and repeat. Sometimes there are additional objects in the scene that will bring up trivia either about Lovecraft or about the time period the short story was written. 

After finishing, I found out I missed a majority of the trivia item only finding five out of twenty. The one’s I did find were interesting but a bit hard to read in VR. I may do another play through and see if I can find more. The whole thing runs about 30 minutes long so it’s not a huge time commitment.

I very much enjoyed Dagon and would highly recommend it, especially in VR. The sense of scale in the scenes adds to the atmosphere immensely and I found myself fully immersed in what was going on. Since there is no forward movement it’s not likely to induce motion sickness

Dagon is also available as a “flat screen” title . I played a little of it to get some screenshots for this post and it’s still pretty good. You can only move the mouse 180 degrees so it might be easier to find those trivia objects. Best of all, both versions are free!

Hero Siege Season 14

Last month I really wanted to play an ARPG and when that happens I always turn to Hero Siege first. I’ve been playing Hero Siege on and off since 2013 way back when it was a rouge like wave shooter instead of a Diablo 3 clone. It’s one of my most played games on Steam clocking in at just over 200 hours. Not bad for a game I bought on sale for four dollars.

Over the years, I’ve come to expect the game to change. Sometimes it’s drastic, like the aforementioned wave shooter to Diablo 3 clone conversion. Sometimes it’s the little things like new classes, added gear slots, or gear sets, but there’s always something new when I come back to the game.  Which is suprising for an almost 10 year old indie game. At times it still feels like a 2d Diablo ripoff but with all the changes it has come to be it’s own style of game.

The last time I played was early 2020 for Season 9. I noted then that I wasn’t a big fan of some of the changes, like removing mini bosses from the end of each zone, but there were some good changes like upgrading the sprite models and overall graphical fidelity. I don’t think I ever reached the endgame in season 9 and I didn’t write more than one post about it.



I have all sorts of issues with Season 14 that weren’t apparent until very recently. Starting this season was very much like any season. The early levels come quick and it’s fun to figure out what your chosen class does and how to get the most damage out of it. It looks like all of the classes were reworked at some point. There are now two skill trees to choose from and skills can be taken from both. Skills can be reset and reassigned anytime for a very small gold fee.

The issues I have with the current game begin around level 80. The level cap in Hero Siege is 100 which allows you to engage with the endgame wormholes/leaderboard. I really enjoyed trying to climb the leaderboards in season 6 so I thought I’d make a go at it this time around. Except, in Season 13, the experience curve was adjusted specifically so level 80 to 100 would be a major grind. At first, I thought that wouldn’t be too bad, I don’t mind a little grind. But now I’m sitting at level 95 and it’s taken me at least an hour to gain a level after 90. To make matter worse, you now lose a huge chunk of XP when you die.

At some point the four difficulty settings were condensed into three. Each difficulty has 5 modifiers that can be applied that raise the drop rate and experience but also monster health and damage. The gap between the second difficulty, Nightmare, and the third difficulty, Hell, is enormous. I can comfortably farm in Nightmare with the max multipliers but quickly get one shot in Hell with no modifiers. And when every death is a giant XP set back, there isn’t an incentive to experiment and find a different build that might be more survivable. Locked in to Nightmare mode xp rates makes leveling take even longer.

These fundamental changes have put me off to the game for me this time around. I know ARPGs are grindy, it’s kind of their thing, but I don’t want my time being wasted by losing XP every time I die. It’s just not fun. I’m sure I’ll be back one day, I always come back, and maybe things will have improved. For the time being, I’m done.

Lost Ark is right around the corner after all.

Home is Where the Crafting Stations Are

I am not a builder. That specific mechanic that is so prevalent in sandbox games is not something I take time out to focus on. This tends to be a detriment when I play these types of games with others who are builders. They want to spend time making things look pretty where I just want to run off and engage with the rest of the game. But when I’m on my own, I do as I please.

I have played Trove 6 years now and my cornerstone (personal housing space) looks like this:

It used to have walls but I go rid of those…easier to access all the stations on the go.

My house in Chimeraland is looking much the same. Now you will notice it has walls and even a second story! This is partly out of necessity, I built my house on a slope so there is only so much space I can expand to on one level. Putting in some stairs unlocked way more space to expand on the second level. The walls on the first floor are there because it looked weird without them. On the plus side I can run up the walls to the second level and crawl through the windows on either side of the house. Accessibility to my crafting stations is a must.

I like Chimeraland’s building system better than the voxel based building system of other sandboxes. Each piece needs to touch another piece and they snap together like Lego. It’s the same kind of system No Man’s Sky uses as well for base building. Using walls, floors, and roofs instead of cubes/blocks makes it easier to male things look nice without much effort. 

While my house, aka the crafting station conglomerate, isn’t very homey my Foaming Waters, my chosen starting area, has started to feel like home. Here and the surrounding areas are where I have been spending the majority of my time in Chimeraland.


This location has provided everything I’ve needed so far in the early stages of the game. To the east is a pleasant valley in between two mountain peaks. Here ore spawns are plentiful and there are even a couple totems not too far from my house.

Sometimes the forest catches fire!

To the south is a small forest where I do my logging. It is down the slope from the house but it doesn’t take too long to get there. This seems to be where the majority of my neighbors have decided to build their homes. There’s also a lake further south to fish when I’m so inclined.

To the west are more mountains with more ore, fossils, and a variety of gathering nodes. There’s also one lone house I can see from my second story way off to the west. Otherwise, I seem to be the only one to build up here thus far.

I suspect anywhere you land is going to be a good starting area. Some maybe more than others but given the choice to land anywhere in the world there has to be some harvest-able nodes to get started. I’m guessing this is why nodes aren’t locked behind life skill levels but instead give an increased chance to drop higher level materials.

I have roamed a bit outside the Foaming Waters. I recently trekked all west to Serpent Beach where I found a teleport there. I’ve also gone 15 miles north to a humanoid village located in the Isle of Mist for one of the tutorials. I didn’t stay too long and haven’t been back since.

I’ve been focusing mostly on leveling up my housing to unlock more crafting and utility stations. Currently I’m at housing level 8 and this is where I’ve hit a wall with the resources available in my area of choice. To get to level housing level 9 I’ll need crystals which have to be mined from the bottom of the sea which means I’ll at least need to get back to Serpent’s Beach. Luckily it’s only a teleport away. It also means I’ll need an underwater mount of some sort.

That’s what I’ll be aiming for next!

Mechs and Multiplayer

Daemon X Machina was free last week on the Epic Games store. I was surprised it was being offered so soon after release. However a quick Google search fixed that. The game is almost 2 years old on PC. It’s also a PC port of a Switch game which released in September 2019. I added it to my Steam wishlist in May 2021 which is probably why I thought it was a newer title. DXM offering 4 player co-op was an instant pick up for the squad. If only just to play it once and see what it was all about.

I had booted up the game  last Thursday to create a character and try the first mission. For a console port, playing with a controller was not a pleasant experience. The controls feel floaty and I found it hard to aim (even with aim assist) which makes fighting difficult. Fighting controls are important for a mech game since all you’ll be doing is shooting things.
 
By the time we all got together on Friday, I had touched the game once while CC had completed the whole story…

This time around I opted for keyboard and mouse controls. These are much better but take a bit to get used to. There is no cursor. All of the menus are control through the keyboard, like I said, it’s a console port. Menus aside, the actual flight and fighting controls were much more enjoyable.
 
Multiplayer is available right after character creation. The tutorial doesn’t even have to be started before you’re allowed to group up. I always love to see that in a multiplayer game.

We had a hell of a time getting connected to each other though. There isn’t a join or invite option in the Epic Launcher, instead someone has to make a room and the others have to go to the in-game friends list to join whoever created the room. We kept getting errors when trying to join rooms this way. We tried creating a public match and had everyone search for the room at the same time. We would either get a random person or no one could connect to the room a all.
 

After a about 30 minutes of trial and error, we found if SuperToast hosted the room we could all join on him. I have no idea why this is the case, but it worked! A similar issue happened when we tried to play Remnant: From the Ashes together. I’m not sure if it has something to do with launching the game through Epic.


There’s two main types of missions available for multiplayer: Exploration and Missions. 
 
Exploration involves running around a map killing enemies and collecting parts from fallen mechs until the party reaches the boss room. The bosses are big ol’ damage sponges and take some time to down. Afterwards the mission completes, you have a minute to run around and pick up any loot you missed before getting sent back to the hub. The whole thing takes about 10 minutes.
 
The mission mode, from what we could tell, let’s you team up for some of the story missions/bosses but isn’t a true co-op story mode. CC noted that some of the bosses either don’t appear in the story or have more difficult encounters in multiplayer. 

Missions come in two flavors, fight a big, bad, mech killing, robot boss or fight 4 mercenary mechs. We fought the Gunfort, which looks like a cross between the Spike Walker from Trove and the Profit Taker from Warframe. We fought a giant train with guns. I think we might have fought some sort of final boss in a mission called the Nightmare. It was a big, presumably evil/antagonistic, mech that fired all sorts of laser beams at us. He was by far the hardest encounter we had. We had to run it a few times before we took it down.
 
The mech parts from the Missions are no where near as good as the parts from the Explorations. In Exploration, it seems like the whole loot pool is available to drop. CC was getting multiple pieces of new gear even though he’d already completed the story. Missions, on the other had, award progressively better parts as the difficulty increases, as you would expect. This means running Exploration is the most efficient way to get the best parts for your Mech. The issue is there’s only two exploration missions and they both take place on the same map. At least there’s variety in the Mission locations.

The HUD took up way to much screen real estate. The cross hare overlay took up the majority of the center of the screen…There isn’t a way to scale it down but you can disable individual pieces of it. Having not done the any of the single player, I had no idea what half the stuff on screen was anyways and turned it all off. Not only did it make things easier to see but it also let me take way better screenshots!
 
Despite the technical hiccups, the weird controls, and the giant sized UI, I had fun. It does what it sets out to do, make big robots fight other big robots. There isn’t much else to it. There always seems to be a new part, weapon, or decal to collect and put on your mech for the next round. I don’t think I’ll be playing this one solo but I think everyone had a good enough time to warrant another session in the future.
 
 

Taking It All In

This totally looks like an efficient way to hatch an egg

Somehow I’ve gotten to level 25 in Chimeraland and I’m still doing the tutorial. It’s not from lack or trying. I’ve done everything Bell, has asked. I’ve built a house, I’ve gathered materials, I’ve learned to craft, I’ve learned about equipment, and pets, and on and on. But there is still more to learn. She just wants me to do more.

Bella now has me building a Base which is a separate thing from my home. But I might be able to use base parts in my house? I’m not sure yet. It’s at least a place to grow the saplings I’ve been getting from gathering plants. But again, I’m not sure what I have to do to get them to grow. I bet Bella will tell me eventually.


This tutorial is very similar to a lot of other mobile games I’ve played. Specifically of the free to play rpg/gacha game variety. System menu upon system is thrown at you in rapid succession. You’re shown how to do it, usually with a big “TAP HERE” icon, and it’s never talked about again. Then you’re on to the next thing.There’s not much depth in the explanation regardless of how much or little depth there is to any given system. 

At least Chimeraland let’s me ignore the tutorial whenever I don’t feel like doing it. I’ve found this helpful to get a grasp on things after I’ve felt like I’ve done too much at once. I look around the menus, I take some time to go out and gather or craft something that looks interesting. Or I’ll wander around looking for a cool beast I haven’t seen yet. I only start the tutorial up again when I find something I want to do but can’t figure out how.

I like an open floor concept


Figuring out how to level up my house was my first run in with this. Unlocking crafting stations, building parts, and all other sorts of stuff are tied to the housing level. It turned out to be a very simple menu that I would have eventually found on my own…probably…but it was nice to be shown too. It’s based on the number of build points you have and requires some materials to increase the level in case you were curious.

As it turns out, Bella gets a bit tired of talking sometimes. Every once and a while the tutorial quest will ask me to go do explore on my own for a few minutes. The equivalent of the game telling you it’s busy and to entertain yourself or play outside or something. As I’ve gotten farther in to the game that time has gone up from 5, to 15, now to 30 minutes.

An amusing hobby indeed.


Not to worry though, Bella’s  got some friends in the tutorial menu and each of them, presumably, has their own set of tutorials. So if I’m itching for more tutorial while my other tutorial is on a smoke break I’ve got more tutorials I can do!

I’ve clicked through some dialog and each one seems to be there to explain something a bit more depth. One is focused on how to raise your power rank, one is focused on gathering, and one wanted to send me 15 miles away to a humanoid town to get some quests. I’ve left these alone for the most part. 

These plains don’t look all that dusty

The constant tutorial doesn’t bother me too much. It’s there when I want it but can otherwise be ignored. I’m not nagged to do it if I simply choose not too. Completing it showers me with items and materials and lots and lots of currency as well. Sometimes it’s nice to be guided a bit when I don’t feel like sandboxing.

I do wonder if I’ll get to a point soon where Bella will leave me and I’ll know it all. There’s a lot going on in the game already so I can’t imagine how many more systems/menus there are to explain. Maybe Chimeraland takes the adage that the leveling process is the tutorial and the real game starts at the level cap a bit too seriously…

We shall see.

Chimeraland First Impressions

I was faced with a rather interesting choice once I completed character creation. Where did I want to be born in the world? There are two continents to choose from and the game let’s you know the choice isn’t permanent. You can travel to the other continents at any time. Not having to commit to an area of the map when I have no idea what I’m doing will probably lead to a lot less character re-rolls.

There doesn’t seem to be  a difference between the two. One was labeled “hot”. I took that to mean more populated rather than the climate but whose to say at this point. Wanting to be where the people are, I picked that one and was presented with a 3D map of the continent. I chose a nice little spot at the foot of the Eastmound Benevolent Mountains. It just seemed like a place a small cow creature should start out.

Then I was unceremoniously ejected in to space. I found my character hurtling to the ground like I was dropping for a battle royale. 

Thanks Bella!

After landing gracefully on my feet I started following the tutorial. If you’re familiar with mobile game tutorials you know how this works. A few lines of dialogue from your friendly, neighborhood, NPC guide followed by an overlay showing exactly where to click/tap/what button to press to open a menu or do a thing. There are cutscenes with a voiced narratoion sprinkled in to explain the more involved systems.

Our friendly NPC guide is in Chimeraland is Bella. So far she has walked me through everything from opening my inventory to capturing monsters with a crossbow and everything in between. Each “quest” finished offers a reward. Sometimes it’s equipment I need to complete the next step of the tutorial, sometimes it’s money, and sometimes I have no what the item used for. That’s ok because I seem to be getting a lot of everything.

Inventory is plentiful. There’s 400 inventory slots and you start out with a large carrying capacity. It looks like carrying capacity can be increased further by leveling up. Which is great for me, I’m a “let’s pick up everything” sort of player if a game allows me to be. 

By far, my favorite part about the inventory are the tabs for each category of item. It’s nice not having to search through the entire inventory to find something. Especially now when I have to hover over each item to see what it does.

In case anyone was wondering…

There doesn’t seem to be much of a story which is fine since I’m not playing a sandbox for the story line. Bella tells me that she was the one who shot me out in to space. Thanks for that Bella…She also tells me there were some people who killed and ancient go thousands of years ago and that there is some sort of war going on now. Oh, and I’m the destined one because of course I am. Destined for what? She never really explained that.

I’m most excited about the gathering system so far. I’ve always liked gathering as an activity in games. I find it relaxing wandering around and collecting stuff. I think that’s due to my early exposure to Runescape where the majority of the game was gathering to craft and/or to sell to other players so I could buy nice looking armor. Likewise, I always use Runescape as my ideal standard for a gathering system. I like when numbers go up and I like when I can progressively gather better things.

Chimeraland’s gathering system definitely has numbers going up. Each skill, mining, logging, plant gathering, fishing, scavenging, needs to be leveled up. While the level doesn’t seem to effect the nodes I’m able to hit I think it affects the resources I’m able to extract from the node. Each gathering skill also has a skill tree which is something I don’t think I’ve seen before. There are skills for getting more resources per hit, getting better resources, and spending less energy on hit.

The energy thing concerns me a bit. Each time you use a gathering skill it spends 4 energy from the pool. This is per action so each swing of the axe depletes 4 energy. Energy regens at 100 energy per 10 minutes. In theory, there is a max amount that can be gathered in a given time frame and then I would need to wait to do more. I’m not sure how this will ultimately affect the game play. For one, the energy pool is huge, starting out at 10,000 energy points. The tool tip says that there are foods that restore energy and that the *base* energy recovery rate is 100 per 10 minutes. Which leads me to believe that the base energy recovery rate can be increased and that I can find energy restoring food eventually.

I sure hope so, because as I log back in while writing this post to check some things, it looks like energy only recovers while you’re online.

That’s a rather large bird

I’m honestly surprised with how stable my connection here. I’m assuming all of the servers are in the SEA region and I’m in the US. I haven’t gotten disconnected or felt the game was lagging at all. A couple hours in to the game I experience rubber banding maybe once but nothing that’s made it unplayable. I’ve had worse lag playing Trove.

There’s so much to write about this game and I’ve only played one time. I’ve played survival sandboxes before and have the basic mechanics down. But the way Chimeraland works these systems in with MMO progression has been very engaging so far. It feels familiar but different and a little esoteric all at the same time.