Bound by Flame Tips, Tricks and Strategies

Flame

If you want to get the shiniest horns ever in the Bound by Flame history, you might want to check out our tips, tricks and strategies article below where we share some… uhm… Bound by Flame tips and tricks for all the players out there, from how to build your character and put those skill trees to good use (and not become a useless tank, like many do) to how to beat the final boss in the game. Pretty much everything you need to know to get you started and running!

1. Don’t rush to become a demon! I know that I said something about shiny horns in the intro, but that also prevents you from wearing a helmet. Becoming a demon also reduces your ice resistance (and defense in general), so it might not be the best suited route to take in the first place. It’s true, your fire spell abilities will increase, which helps a lot. Probably going for the Rogue – demon combo is the best option.

2. Don’t be afraid to go Rogue. Playing as one, with all the stealth abilities and the demon combo is extremely exciting. This opens up the possibility for multiple approaches and the dual daggers are really fun to play. Still, you need to think your build for the final boss battle, otherwise you will have a really tough time there, since Rogues generally have low health and damage resistance.

3. Become an expert fire spell caster. You really need to max out all of the fire skill tree and reap the benefits. And have in mind that if you want to play the Hero, you can (and should) still max out the fire spells, as this is not what turns you into a demon, but the in-game choices.

4. Understand the character builds. To put it short, Warrior is tank, Ranger increases damage per second and Pyro goes great for support on all builds. So focusing solely on your Warrior tree will make it very difficult to play later on, as you will be able to absorb a lot of damage, but cause little. My suggested build is 45% Pyro, 30% Ranger (or Warrior, whichever is your favorite) and 25% the secondary style. Choose the right traits, find out what works best for you and try to balance things as much as possible.

5. Dodge is your friend. This is basically the right approach to any type of battle, including all the bosses. Learn the attack patterns of your enemies and dodge at the right time. If you manage to combine this with keeping your character permanently on the move, you will be able to easily flank opponents and take them out quickly.

6. Increase your health. You will need it, despite knowing how to dodge, despite being a great player. The bosses get more and more difficult, trust me, so you will need all the health you can get, as well as resistance from the Warrior tree. Go for Tough and Colossus or at least one of those to make your life easier.

7. Long range attacks are your friends, too. Always have some crossbow bolts with you and learn how to fight from a distance. Not manly enough, I know, but it will save your demon’s behind on numerous occasions. And you never know when you need some extra bolts to put to good use…

Need more? We have more: How to Make Gold Quickly, How to Defeat the Concubine Bosses, Final Boss Guide and more. Just stay tuned with us as we’re producing more Bound by Flame content to help you out with the game!

The VGamerZ Monster Files: Necromorphs (Dead Space)

Dead Space

The futuristic, dystopian survival horror of Dead Space broke new ground upon release in 2008. It followed in the wake of Resident Evil 4, which pretty well marked the moment that the series/genre went gung ho and actiontacular. Remember Alice doing her slow-mo Matrix jump and kicking that dog in the face in the movie? That’s what Resident Evil looks like now, for better or worse.

The very mention of the fifth or sixth game causes great tidal waves of bile and fury across the internet, for that very reason. But what Dead Space did was nothing short of miraculous: keeping that gun-totin’ spirit while still retaining enough of the good ol’ fashioned horror.

Central to this was the creation of the Necromorphs. Hold on to your undercrackers, we’re going to meet them.

These hideous buggers are a step above your standard zombies in the ‘ew’ stakes. There are, granted, reanimated human corpses, but it’s a little deeper than that. They are born through exposure to the Markers, mysterious alien artifacts which spread a sort of infection to those with whom they come into contact. This causes a ghastly kind of mutation, in which claws grow from unusual places, skin turns inside out and even grandma doesn’t love you any more. A grisly fate indeed.

GAH!
GAH!

With their transformation complete, these beasts’ only thought is to spread the enigmatic ‘infection’ and create as many dead bodies as possible for this purpose. By, unsurprisingly, killing everybody and anybody right in the face. With death.

The bog standard Necromorph foot soldier is the Slasher, with its ghastly scythe-arms and tiny mutant hands growing from its stomach and such. These guys aside, they come in all kind of ghastly flavours. They range from horrific tumour-things which fire acid at you from shadowy corners to exploding baby-bombs. It’s all kinds of nasty.

Just to add to the fun, Dead Space introduced the ‘strategic dismemberment’ system. This meant you must blast off limbs to deal any real significant damage to some opponents. Couple with the improvised-mining-tools nature of your weaponry, it’s a brutal experience.

Bound by Flame: 5 Reasons Why You Should Play This Game

Flame

Bound by Flame is a fantasy action-RPG developed by Spiders coming out May 9, 2014. The game presents a dynamic and interactive world where every choice counts. The narrative revolves mostly around Vulcan, the protagonist and host of a ruthless flame demon, whose thirst for power will influence the whole story, including his own. Moreover, this RPG will feature a tactical combat system, challenging enemies, extensive crafting and social companions. If you’re wondering why you should play this game, then read the five reasons below.

Bound by Flame gif1. Choice-Driven Gameplay: Your Decisions Influence the Story and the Hero

 Depending on the choices made by the player and the influence of the demon, some chapters will offer different scenarios and a different experience, adding important replayability to the game.
(Spiders, May 5, 2014)

In Bound by Flame choices can shape everything and everyone around you. The decisions you make regarding yourself will not just influence future events, it will also divide your companions and allies. Besides that, you can gradually change your own appearance by accepting the demon’s offer. The more power you receive, the more demoniac your appearance will become. Indeed, it’s a role-playing game where decisions are meaningful and impactful, so choose wisely or you risk ending up with a story you didn’t wish for.

Bound by Flame gif2. Dynamic Combat: Strategy and Reaction Above All

In Bound by Flame, real time battles combine tactical skills, dynamics and showmanship. Clashes are demanding, requiring both tactics and reflexes. Parry or dodge their blows, counter-attack, break their guard, stun them… (Focus Interactive, May 5, 2014)

The combat system in Bound by Flame is extremely tactical, flexible and reactive. To successfully defeat your enemies, you’ll need to create your own battle strategy involving both offensive and defensive maneuvers, such as parries and counter-attacks. Also, players can combine magical powers with physical skills, creating unique and personalized builds. It’s possible to level three class trees at once and become a generalist warrior. However, splitting your powers and skills means you won’t excel at anything in particular.

Bound by Flame gif3. Social Companions: Build Friendships, Rivalries and Romances

During your adventure you will meet many characters (…). According to the choices you made earlier in the story and to your relationship with the demon, you will build friendship, romance, or rivalry with them.
(Focus Interactive, May 5, 2014)

In this game, companions will be social, responsive and autonomous. They have their own free will in battle and in social matters as well. During the events of Bound by Flame, companions will express their thoughts, opinions and feelings. However, forging deep relationships is a different matter altogether and it’s always a choice for players to make. If you like or love a certain character, you need to make sure you don’t betray him/her in any possible way; else the result might be drastic or catastrophic.

Bound by Flame gif4. Challenging Encounters: Each Enemy Has Its Unique Skills

Each of the monsters you will be fighting has special abilities and, more importantly, its own unique behavior. Therefore, each combat is different and forces you to adapt your combat style to the make-up of enemy packs. (Focus Interactive, May 5, 2014)

Fighting in this upcoming RPG will be surprisingly challenging and interesting. It’s not just about the dynamic combat system and the companion party assistance. Enemy forces will possess innumerous skills that will bring diversity to every hostile encounter. Additionally, each monster will have its own behavior, which means some might have an extremely aggressive conduct, while others may prefer a more defensive approach. Adaptation and reaction are the keys of success in this dynamic combat system.

Bound by Flame  gif5. Extensive Craft System: Personalize Your Combat Style

Crafting (making objects) is important in Bound by Flame. Improving your armor and weapons will not only personalize your appearance but also your skills and your combat style. The combinations are numerous and instantly effective in combat. (Focus Interactive, May 5, 2014)

To ensure customization is not forgotten, Spiders has created an extensive crafting system that allows players to personalize their equipment in multiple different ways. Because a class is not mandatory, players will be able to use any equipment type and even combine armor pieces. But there are consequences. For example, using a more light armor will make you more vulnerable when taking lethal damage. On the other hand, a two hand sword will certainly do more damage than a short one-hand sword.

 

Bound by Flame seems exceptionally fascinating when it comes to customizing and personalizing core elements in a RPG – story, protagonist, skills and equipment. For a non-mainstream game, everything seems well fit and quite promising. I deeply hope that the advertised features are not just being masked under an old-fashioned code and that what we see in trailers and screenshots is indeed the upcoming gameplay reality.

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare: 5 New Features Coming to the Series

Call of Duty

Call of Duty : Advanced Warfare is the new game of the Call of Duty series and it’s coming out on 4th November. The series is taking a different path this time by embracing a new theme and leaving behind the realistic approach. Advanced Warfare will display a futuristic world, where current-gen technology is fused with science fiction theories. The idea by itself seems quite innovative but the truth is that most of the upcoming features come from other first-person shooter titles. They’re indeed new to the series but old to the genre. Discover the core new features coming to Call of Duty Advanced Warfare this autumn.

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare gif1. Futuristic Maneuvers

Call of Duty has always been about representing modern war in the most realistic way, so humanly impossible moves, such as long-range jumps, were never considered in the previous releases. However, things will be different now with the upcoming high-tech theme. Advanced Warfare soldiers will be equipped with a jet pack that will allow them to execute several futuristic maneuvers. Wall climbing, high jumps and long-distance leaps will be part of the new game maneuvers.

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare gif2. Sci-Fi Artillery and Weaponry

Advanced Warfare will present a series of new weaponry non-existent in the real world. As expected, bullet-based guns will still be part of every battlefield but that’s far from being a limitation since countless sci-fi weapons are being developed right now. Still, the most exciting innovation will rely on the vehicle sector, where laser tanks, hover bikes and ultra-sonic combat planes will become a reality.

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare gif3. Interactive Environment

It’s not entirely clear how the next Call of Duty game will make use of environmental interactivity and dynamism. The only functionality known so far is a semi-automatic metal barrier that can be assembled in a question of seconds. This barrier prototype will most likely be displayed as a dynamic element in multiple environments, allowing players to take advantage of this futuristic cover.

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare gif4. Nano-Technology Skills

For the first time, Call of Duty will have technologic advanced skills all over the place. Players will be equipped with a nano technology device capable of providing special powers, from super strength and agility to hyper infrared vision. Additionally, there will be other utility skills that will truly revolution the series – invisibility cloaks and anti-explosive scans will be two of the upcoming defensive features.

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare gif5. Advanced Cybernetic & Robotics

Advanced Warfare will feature a drone and robot systems. It’s rumored that drones will have a significant role in reconing but it remains unknown if they’ll be an integrant part of multiplayer. Furthermore, the advanced robotics will allow players to command and fight from the inside of massive combat robots. It’s unclear if machines will have any special abilities.

It’s a whole new experience for Call of Duty. So far, the reception hasn’t been the best, specially because most of the upcoming features come from other FPS games, such as Crysis and Titanfall. Let’s hope Sledgehammer Games is preparing further and more complex content and that originality will find its way into Advanced Warfare.

Bound by Flame: The Vulcan Squad – Meet the Five Companions

Bound by Flame is a new action RPG from Spiders and Focus Interactive that will release on May 9th, 2014. This game features a choice-driven fantasy world at the edge of destruction. With no one able to stop to the Deadarmy, humanity must resort to extreme measures to prevent total annihilation. That’s when Vulcan, a Pure-Blade mercenary comes into the scene. Vulcan is the protagonist of Bound by Flame and he’ll be possessed by a flame demon, who will grant him incredible powers in exchange for his humanity. But Vulcan can’t save the world alone, he needs a group of skilled warriors to assist him in every battle.

The Vulcan Squad: Meet the Five Magnificent

Companions are real assets in combat and will prove crucial in the more advanced difficulty modes. (Focus Interactive, May 2, 2014)

Bound by Flame companions will have a life of their own. They can’t be controlled in any way but their influence is tremendous. In fact, they are able to change the outcome of certain events or even alter the course of the story. Companions are not just battle allies, they can also be friends, rivals or lovers. It all depends on players’ actions and decisions in-game. Besides their social and political involvement in the narrative, they’ll play a very decisive role in combat. Each member is specialized in a different and unique area and it’s up to players to create their own synergy and battle strategy. Meet the five magnificent in detail:

Bound by Flame1. Edwen, the Avenger Witch

Edwen joins the hero to assist him in his quest, but seems to be guided by an all too personal thirst for vengeance. (Spiders, Januarry 24, 2014)

Edwen is a powerful witch who has mastered dark and mystical magic arts. In battle, she is ruthless and merciless with her elementary and mind-control spells. She joins Vulcan with the sole purpose of assisting his cause but later, it’s unveiled that her main motive relies on vengeance. Despite that, Edwen will become a notorious adviser regarding Vulcan and his inner demon. In her view, the means presented by the demon are nothing more than a weapon to achieve his goals and as so he shouldn’t hesitate to embrace it.

Bound by Flame Mathras2. Mathras, the Undead Elder

Mathras is certainly no ordinary undead. He will join the cause of the hero out of simple curiosity, or perhaps fun. (Spiders, May 2, 2014)

Undead and immortal, Mathras is not what he seems to be. Educated and refined, he has lived over 3000 years, long before any civilization ever existed. He normally travels alone and he is not even remotely allied with the Deadarmy. During all this time, Mathras has achieved perfection in several battle specializations. Nowadays, he combines melee combat with mind-control spells but this is far from being his only limitations. Mathras joins the expedition to satisfy his curiosity about Vulcan and his extraodinary will to defeat the Deadarmy.

Bound by Flame Randval3. Randval, the Fearless Warrior

 The seemingly impossible quest the Hero has thrown himself in is an epic, heroic and desperate goal definitely worthy of the code of honor of Randval’s clan. (Spiders, March 19, 2014)

 Randval is the last survivor of an ancient clan that was decimated by the Deadarmy. He joins Vulcan to restore the lost honor of his clan and to save the world from the dominant evil forces. In battle, this fearless warrior uses his beastly two hand weapon to taunt and disable enemies, giving his allies freedom of movement and strategy. Just like Edwen, he thinks the hero should take use of the demon powers to defeat the Deadarmy. Moreover, he’s very a very disciplined and faithful ally and he would not hesitate to sacrifice himself if necessary.

Bound by Flame Rhelmar4. Rhelmar, the Outlaw Elf

A former outlaw, Rhelmar rejects the Elves’ neutral state in the ongoing conflict, and takes and active part in the fight against the Deadarmy. (Spiders, February 4, 2014)

The neutral state of the Elven race has made Rhelmar to become an outlaw, a pariah among his people. Determined to fight the Deadarmy, this elite archer joins Vulcan’s expedition to do what’s right and just. He doesn’t mind risking his life, as long as the cause bends by the standards of justice. In the battlefield, Rhelmar prefer to use his fierce Flame bow but he can also use his dagger when enemies come too close. Regarding Vulcan and his inner demon, Rhlemar doesn’t seem too concerned about whether or not the hero chooses to give up his soul for greater power.

Bound by Flame Sybil5. Sybil, the Naive Wizard

Diplomatic, very smart, Sybil is pushed by her curiosity to join the Hero in his quest. She will help him to understand his new demonic inner self. (Spiders, February 27, 2014)

 Sybil is a young wizard and the daughter of the leader of the Order of the Red Scholars. She has traveled around the world to acquire more knowledge and as expected, her curiosity will lead her to join Vulcan’s expedition. She despises dark magic and she will worry about the consequences of Vulcan’s demonic powers. In battle, Sybil can cast a few offensive spells but she’s specialized in healing, so she normally attends to her allies wounds during the heat of the battle.

The VgamerZ Monster Files: The Bile Demon (Dungeon Keeper)

Bile Demon

You see this thing’s name? Its malevolent, I-eat-your-face appearance? You’ve probably already made your snap judgments from that, and they’re unlikely to be flattering. Does the Bile Demon look like the kind of guy who volunteers at a soup kitchen? Or has a sensitive side, writing poetry and sobbing at girly movies like The Notebook? No, it doesn’t, and no it doesn’t.

Not that I support judging a book by its cover –grandma told me not to do that, after all– but you’d be exactly right. That’s really all you need to know, but in the interests of more word-typery, I’ll continue anyway.

This sentient tumour hails from cult classic Dungeon Keeper. In this 1997 PC release, you were tasked with building your own evil empire beneath the ground, and defending it from the goodly Heroes who invade to end your reign of terror. To do so, of course, you needed an army of your own.

By means of portals, you could attract all manner of ghastly beasts. If your food stocks were high enough, the portly horror that is the Bile Demon would join your ranks, shuffling about on its leg-arms and farting and generally being unpleasant. And while it may be a bad house guest (you don’t want to use the bathroom after this guy), it’s certainly something you’d want on your side in a battle.

Bile-Demon-2

In combat, it’s a fearsome foe. As its appearance also suggests, it’s quite resilient, and takes a lot of punishment. It’s a powerful attacker too, with those bizarre twin dangly mace-things it has. But the Demon’s best trick is its use of poison, by way of farts. These can be fired as a projectile or unleashed the old-fashioned way, which creates a sort of AOE health sapping effect when enemies draw near the cloud.

Like all huge red disgusting blob monsters, the Bile Demon is also a dab hand at manufacturing. In the workshop, they can forge traps and doors to bolster your dungeon’s defenses. Not many creatures perform that function, so there’s another bonus for this guy.

In summation, this hideous beast isn’t one of gaming’s finest creations. For some of us, though, it’s quite an icon. Who could forget the sight of Ol’ Biley giving you the finger when you slapped him? Nobody, that’s who.

Best Games Coming Out May 2014

Games

A new month is ahead of us and the excitement rises with the imminent arrival of numerous highly anticipated titles. May 2014 will be a month extremely rich in genre diversity games and next-gen content. Even the pickiest players will be satisfied with a brand new release for their favorite gaming genre. Sports, strategy, role-playing, action-adventure, there’s certainly a release for every taste.

Here’s an extensive list of the best games coming out in May 2014:

Watch Dogs1. Watch Dogs (PC, PS 3, PS 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U)

After a long delay, Watch Dogs is finally getting released. This open world action-adventure game revolves around Aiden Pearce, a Chicago vigilante whose main weapon is hacking. Watch Dogs will introduce an extensive series of next-gen features, unique parkour and hacking abilities, diverse multiplayer modes and a mobile application to fully connect players anytime, anywhere. In a reality where everything is connected finding the most obscure secrets is just a matter of time. Experience the dynamic world of Watch Dogs by purchasing the game here.

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Release Date: May 27     Genre: Action-Adventure

Mode: Single-player & Multiplayer     Official Website: watchdogs.ubi.com

Publisher: Ubisoft     Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Wolfenstein The New Order2. Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC, PS 3, PS 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

The Wolfenstein series are back with another thrilling game. The New Order presents an alternate course of history, in which the Third Reich came out victorious of the World War II. In this obscure reality, where oppression and tyranny reigns, players are tasked with the challenging mission to take down the nazi forces. To do so they must consider their tactical approach, which can be direct or stealthy. Furthermore, players will have access to a non-limited weapon inventory, including enemy military discoveries. Get a digital copy of Wolfenstein: The New Order here.

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Release Date: May 20 (NA), May 22 (AU), May 23 (EU)     Genre: First-Person Shooter

Mode: Single-player     Official Website: www.wolfenstein.com

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks     Developer: MachineGames

Bound by Flame3. Bound by Flame (PC, PS 3, PS 4, Xbox 360)

Bound by Flame is a promising action role-playing game from Spiders. Set in a world dominated by evil forces, players must do anything it takes to save the world. In this choice-driven game, players’ actions and decisions will generate different scenarios in the story. Also, each choice will determinate the power and appearance of the protagonist – greater power comes at the price of humanity. Companion interaction (friendship, rivalry and romance) will be a key feature in Bound by Flame. Purchase a copy on Amazon.

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Release Date: May 9     Genre: Action Role-Playing

Mode: Single-player     Official Website: www.boundbyflame.com

Publisher: Focus Home Interactive     Developer: Spiders

Mario-Kart-84. Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)

The Mario universe is getting a new racing adventure for Wii U. Mario Kart 8 continues the traditional gameplay of the franchise, in which characters from the Mario universe race against each other in go-karts. This new game will feature an anti-gravity system, as well as underwater racing and vehicle customization. Besides the usual multiplayer mode, Mario Kart 8 will also include an online mode that connects up to twelve players at once. The game is available on Amazon.

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Release Date: May 29 (JP), May 30 (NA&EU), May 31 (AU)     Genre: Racing

Mode: Single-player & Multiplayer     Official Website: mariokart8.nintendo.com

Publisher: Nintendo     Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No. 1

Drakengard 3 5. Drakengard 3 (PS 3)

Drakengard 3 is a prequel to the original game of the Japanese Drakengard series. The game revolves around Zero, a mysterious woman who partners with a dragon to kill her five tyrant sisters. As players progress, they start to discover the true reason behind Zero’s rampage. The third game continues to deliver a mixture of ground-based hack-and-slash combat and aerial battles. Zero’s new adventure is available for purchase here.

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Release Date: May 20 (NA), May 21 (EU), May 22 (AU)     Genre: Action Role-Playing

Mode: Single-player     Official Website: drakengardgame.com

Publisher: Square Enix     Developer: Access Games

Tropico 56. Tropico 5 (PC, PS 4, Xbox 360)

The Tropico series is returning this month with a brand new simulation game. Tropico 5 introduces several innovative political features and challenges players to manage their island colonies since its historical foundation in the colonial era, through World War 2, up to the cold war and present. One of the main attractions is the competitive multiplayer feature, which allows up to four players to ally or fight each other within the same island. Buy it now.

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Release Date: May 23     Genre: Strategy, Simulation

Mode: Single-player & Multiplayer     Official Website: www.tropico5.com

Publisher: Kalypso Media     Developer: Haemimont Games

0Rk.1280x7207. Mario Golf World Tour (3DS)

Mario and his friends will engage in an exciting golf adventure this month in Mario Golf World Tour. The game displays intuitive controls and a fast paced realistic gameplay. The sport simulation mirrors the basis of golf, in which the player aims a ball with a golf club across a massive golf course in order to hit it into the target hole in the lowest number of strokes. Mario Golf World Tour can be purchased via Amazon.

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Release Date: May 1 (JP), May 2 (NA&EU)     Genre: Sports

Mode: Single-player & Multiplayer     Official Website: mariogolf.nintendo.com

Publisher: Nintendo     Developer: Camelot Software Planning

Other Game Releases This Month: Godzilla: Smash3 (May 16); Killer is Dead (May 9); Outlast: Whistleblower (May 7); Soul Sacrifice Delta (May 14); Start a Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure (May 7); Transistor (May 20).

The Elder Scrolls Online: 5 Reasons Why This Game is Already a Failure

Scrolls

As expected, The Elder Scrolls Online (TESO) is being reviewed as an average game. It’s not fiction. It’s reality. There’s nothing new or special about this game and the flaws are endless. For starters, the game lacks what’s truly essential. Instead of featuring Tamriel as a massive multiplayer experience, it presents a standard MMO with The Elder Scrolls as its main theme. And it gets worse, as nearly every system seems to be either incomplete or totally non-intuitive. Instead of becoming a legend among MMOs, TESO has become a despicable disappointment. Here’s the top five reasons why this game is already a failure among gamers.

1. Next-Gen: Lack of Interactive and Innovative Content

The Elder Scrolls Online gifFor a MMORPG releasing on next-gen consoles, I think it’s natural to expect the game to include next-gen features. But that’s not the case. In fact, most of the features in TESO are nothing more nothing less than existent concepts from old MMOs. High-quality gorgeous graphics? Checked. Lore questing and dungeons? Checked. Massive PvP? Checked. Extensive customization and crafting systems? Checked. There’s absolutely nothing original in this game. Besides the whole system is quite anti-social and it forces players to journey by themselves, which is completely unbelievable for a MMO title. The user-interface is also too alternative and it lacks usability at several levels. Finally, the whole idea of having a classless combat system is probably the most original aspect of the game but even that has been explored before.

2. PvP System: Extremely Massive and Imbalanced

The Elder Scrolls OnlineThe PvP system in TESO is an incredible tragedy. It has been awhile since I saw a paid MMO without any kind of structured PvP system. I think the last one was Aion, five years ago. Now, the only PvP option in this game is a huge map called Cyrodiil, where the three factions in Tamriel can massively engage each other in order to obtain further land and bonuses. It seems exciting and fun at a casual level. But anyone who enjoys player-versus-player knows that this is simply a measure of entertainment and leisure. There’s too little skill or tactics involved. And the most successful strategy is gathering the leargest army possible – numbers are everything in this super-massive battlefield and it generally leads to victory.

3. Economy: Completely Devastated by Exploits

The Elder Scrolls Online gifTESO hasn’t even celebrated one full month of existence yet and its economy has been devastated by a duping exploit. The bug was so easy and simple to use that normal players could do it accidentally. Evidently, this unleashed chaos in-game, since farming and item creation lost most of its purpose. And even if Zenimax/Bethesda has already dealt with the issue by fixing the bug and punishing most of the abusers, the result of their actions is still visible in every realm. The gold generated from the duping allowed many to purchase or craft items that subsequently originated other superior pieces. There’s simply no real way to track all the “illegal” production cycles that have been creating tremendous deviations.

4. PvE: Back to the Old Days

The Elder Scrolls Online gifThe old days where mass grinding and eternal solo leveling were part of any MMO seem to be back with TESO. Apart from dungeons and PvP, it’s basically impossible to group up and quest together. Why? Well, TESO features an instanced system where players must do a great part of their quests by themselves. Even if they’re in a group with players doing the same quests, they won’t be able to share it because this instanced single-player domain inside the global multiplayer world won’t allow them to interact with each other. Also, quests can’t be repeated, which means players can’t help their friends with quests that they’ve completed before. So ultimately, what’s the point of going online if you can’t even quest with other people?

5. Pay-to-Play: The Bold Gold Mine of 2014

elder5I think the most bizarre thing about TESO is the fact that you need to pay so much to experience everything the game has to offer. First you need to pay 60$ to purchase a copy of the game. Secondly, if you wish to unlock all the features in game, including the Imperial Race and the Imperial Horse, then you need to spend an additional 20$ to buy the Collectors Edition. Lastly and because TESO is a subscription based game, players will have to pay 15$ a month just to be able to log in. I am sure gamers wouldn’t mind paying all this and much more for a game worth it, a game with distinguishing content, next-gen features and a remarkable gameplay. But the TESO Zenimax/Bethesda has presented us is nothing but a shadow of a game that never came to be, which inevitably, became a failure and a huge disappointment for everyone.

Whatever Happened to… Sportsmanship in Video Games?

Sportsmanship

In the days of yore, things were different. Everybody wore steely codpieces (even the women), and lived in draught-tastic castles with questionable toilet arrangements. Most importantly, knights lived by the virtues of chivalry and valor and so forth.

This meant honorable, gentlemanly competition. This meant jousting and pre-arranged duels and other such goodly behaviour. Today, this spirit lives on a little in what we might call sportsmanship.

Essentially, when a football player kicks the ball out of play so an opponent can get medical attention (having been kicked in the face by a boot full of pointed studs of pointy pain, for instance), he is a knight. He is the knightliest knight since that dude Orlando Bloom played in Kingdom of Heaven. Y’know, the one with the crap beard.

Anywho, onwards to the point. If any of these righteous dudes saw the sorry state of today’s video games, they’d cry into their chainmail. Ragequits and hatemail and other such shenanigans are rife, and it’s really not so heroic at all.

Rage Quit

As we know, FPS titles are particularly notorious for this. Whether you play Call of Duty or not, you’ll be familiar with the old notion of griefing/whining/generally cussing kids. The famous Call of Duty twelve-year-olds, with their headsets and hormones and spittle-flying rage. Some of us have encountered these poor souls firsthand, while others simply hear of them and spread the cliché, like irritating survivors’ stories.

But it’s not just in the uber-competitive world of the FPS that we see such poor sportsmanship. Consider something as relatively harmless as Pokémon. In the Battlespot mode of the latest installments, X and Y, I’ve experienced the most ragequits of any game I’ve ever played. Battles ending with ‘connection to the other trainer was lost’ became the norm rather than the exception, which is really quite upsetting.

But that’s the way of the world. The anonymity of the Internet seems to excite many peoples’ be-a-cretin gland, but adding a simple loss in a video game to the mix? That’s a real recipe for disaster.

Dragon Age Inquisition: The Inquisition Squad – Who is Who?

Dragon Age

BioWare has launched a huge update on Dragon Age Inquisition (DA:I), including a new gameplay trailer and a release date. The video unveils further details regarding Inquisition’s narrative and it also presents all the upcoming companions and some of the supportive characters. Even if most of those characters haven’t been formally announced yet, there is a lot of scattered information that can lead into solid conclusions. Discover the Inquisitor’s followers, as well as their class and possible role in the upcoming story.

1. The Inquisition Squad: There’s Only Nine Companions

It’s official for a long time that Dragon Age Inquisition will feature nine unique and complex companions, everyone else will either be a supportive or secondary character. This information used to be displayed on Inquisition’s official site but now, with the recent updates, the statement is just placed on retail partner sites, such as Collectorz:

DEEP AND COMPLICATED CHARACTERS: Lead a party chosen from nine unique, fully-realized characters – each of whom react to your actions and choices differently, forming complex relationships both with you and with each other.

This creates a polemic issue that fans have been trying to answer since the release of this information. If there’s only nine companions, then why are there twelve characters in the Inquisitor’s squad? The most obvious answer seems to contemplate the idea that Inquisition will feature supportive characters with very specific and significant roles. And even if they’re not companions, their importance won’t be inferior. Furthermore, BioWare has stated that other supportive characters are joining the Inquisitor’s squad – Morrigan and Alistair are two of them.

2. The Inquisition Squad: Who is Who?

DAI companions

This tremendous teasing from BioWare has no other purpose than to build up expectations among players. After all, with so many seemingly unknown characters, it’s natural to wonder who is who. Fortunately, it’s possible to identify most of the characters in the video and that’s mostly because Dragon Age has an impressive fan base.

Besides the three companions officially announced (Cassandra, Vivienne and Varric) and the four supportive characters (Alistair, Cullen, Morrigan and Thamond), in which three of them are not present in this image, everyone else remains in the shadows. But not in deep shadows. After conducting a deep searching, I was able to uncover most of their identities and here’s the result, following the character order in the image:

Dragon Age Inquisition Cullen1. Cullen (Presumed Supportive Character)

Cullen has always been part of the Dragon Age series and its multiple crisis. Now, he’ll return to help restoring order but possibly as a supportive character. BioWare has confirmed Cullen’s return during PAX East 2014 by assuming that he’lll be one of the possible romance options. However, Cullen appears in this video with a noble costume and no signs of a weapon. A strange detail for someone who has been part of the Templar Order for countless years. I think this can only indicate that Cullen won’t return as a companion.

vivi DAOI2. Vivienne (Confirmed Companion)

Vivienne is one of the few confirmed companions to date. More than being confirmed, she has received multiple articles in BioWare’s official blog regarding her background story, position and purpose in Inquisition. She is known as the Lady of Iron due to her determined personality and she will join the Inquisition Squad to aid her fellow mages however she can. Despite her rank and status as an Imperial Enchanter, Vivienne doesn’t allow anything or anyone to stand in her way. She’ll serve with righteous and legitimate magic and she might be a possible romance option.

Dragon Age Inquisition Varric3. Varric Tethras (Confirmed Companion)

The hilarious storyteller dwarf from Dragon Age II will return as a full time companion in Inquisition. Just as Vivienne, he has been announced for a long time too and he surely won’t disappoint. His instinct to get into trouble will serve him well once again, as Varric will find himself entangled in a war that is shaking the entire world. With enemies at every corner, the Inquisitor will surely need a friend like Varric – that guy who is loyal, honest, generous, funny and most of all, he always got your back. Let the adventure begin.

Dragon Age Inquisition Cole4. Cole (Presumed Companion)

Cole is an enigmatic character and assumed companion in Inquisition. BioWare has stated that a character from the book Dragon Age: Asunder will be seen in the upcoming third game and everything indicates that Cole is that character. The Inquisition squad features a male human character with messy blond hair that corresponds to the character’s appearance description in the book. Furthermore, Cole has transcendental powers and he is not entirely human; it’s not certain if he’s a spirit, a demon or even an abomination.     Portrait [email protected]

Dragon Age Inquisition Solas5. Solas (Presumed Companion)

Solas’ identity was leaked last month by the German PC magazine GameStar that branded the character as “Solace”. Later on, BioWare stepped up to correct the magazine’s mistake and ensured that Solas is indeed an upcoming character in Inquisition. Very few is known about this elf mage, other than he’s an expert on the Fade and has knowledge of ancient magic.

Dragon Age Inquisition Cassandra6. Cassandra Pentaghast (Confirmed Companion)

The great seeker needs no introductions. Cassandra has been part of nearly all Inquisition’s trailers and she’s probably the most divulgated companion so far. Cassandra will become the Right Hand of the Divine in the upcoming game and she’ll be one of the multiple romance options, as announced in PAX East 2014. With great power comes great responsability and it seems Cassandra, together with the Inquisitor, will be extremly involved with the political affairs of Thedas.

Dragon Age Inquisition Iron Bull7. Iron Bull (Confirmed Companion)

The Inquisition squad will be truly multicultural and as evident, a qunari subject couldn’t be missed. Iron Bull is a male qunari warrior and a confirmed Inquisition companion by Official Xbox Magazine. The rumors started when BioWare’s Lead Concept Artist Matt Rhodes created a concept art featuring this character. Back then, no one really knew who he was or what it meant but now everything’s crystal clear. Iron Bull is a mercenary and he enjoys to be far away from home, that way he can be unfaithful to his religion and kill, drink and steal as he wishes.

Dragon Age Inquisition Dorian8. Dorian Pavus (Presumed Companion)

Dorian Pavus is an underworld character. No one really knows where he comes from but there’s a few details circulating that might be true. Apparently, he’s a magister from the Tevinter Empire but he’s a bit different. Unlike most of his kind, he wishes to free his homeland from slavery and corruption. He is a mage and part of his staff can be seen in the squad picture, which indicates he’s a presumed companion.

Portrait [email protected]

Dragon Age Inquisition Leliana 9. Leliana (Confirmed Supportive Character)

BioWare has recently confirmed that romance options in previous games won’t return as companions. Now, Leliana was a possible female romance in Origins, which means she won’t be a companion in Inquisiton for certain. At the end of Dragon Age II, Leliana appeared to be Cassandra’s counselor. Besides that, in this squad picture she is seen without her rogue daggers and with a Chantry’s amulet. Meaning she has become totally devoted to political affairs.

Dragon Age Inquisition Sera10. Sera (Confirmed Companion)

Sera is a female elven archer and a confirmed companion for Dragon Age Inquisition by Official Xbox Magazine. Apparently, she was leaked accidentally and nothing much is known about her. She is a young and frenetic rogue who believes that what you do is more important than where you’re from.

Dragon Age Inquisition Scribe Girl11. The Scribe Girl (Presumed Supportive Character)

The scribe girl has no name yet and nothing is known about her other than she’ll most likely be a supportive character related to intellectual matters, including trades. Her noble and notorious costume indicates that she’s most likely well positioned in society. She has been spotted in official concept art wallpapers before.

Dragon Age Inquisition Gregor12. Grey Warden Gregor (Presumed Companion)

The information circulating regarding this character is very doubtful and inconclusive. Fans assure that this bearded male human is the Grey Warden Alistair’s mentions during Origins, he’s supposedly a notable Gray warden known for his stunning drinking skills. Furthermore, he has been spotted in several concept arts and a pre-alpha gameplay trailer released in 2013.

Portrait [email protected] the Bearded