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      Welcome!   03/05/2016

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The Demigoddess of Random Numbers is in full play today on Eve.  Belt rats are

  1. Rare
  2. Acting weird (attacking drones instead of ships)
  3. Not dropping loot worth a damn.

Yesterday they were common, acting as expected and dropping fat loot.  Le Sigh.

 

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1 hour ago, mlooney said:

The Demigoddess of Random Numbers is in full play today on Eve.  Belt rats are

  1. Rare
  2. Acting weird (attacking drones instead of ships)
  3. Not dropping loot worth a damn.

Yesterday they were common, acting as expected and dropping fat loot.  Le Sigh.

 

That reminds me of a time on World of Warcraft. My group was finishing a quest in a low level area and the loot system was being annoying so I wanted to set it to Free For All, abbreviated to FFA. But I mistyped and announced to the group, "Loot set to FFS."

We all had a good laugh about that and one of my teammates announced that his loot had been set to FFS all day long. So as you see, @mlooney, you have fellow sufferers. We have all been there and I sympathise. :icon_eek:

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9 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

That reminds me of a time on World of Warcraft. My group was finishing a quest in a low level area and the loot system was being annoying so I wanted to set it to Free For All, abbreviated to FFA. But I mistyped and announced to the group, "Loot set to FFS."

We all had a good laugh about that and one of my teammates announced that his loot had been set to FFS all day long. So as you see, @mlooney, you have fellow sufferers. We have all been there and I sympathise. :icon_eek:

I also had similar instances of loot drops not being in my favour, one year for the Brewfest event I was making my attempt to get the Brewfest Ram mount from the tavern in Blackrock Depths. Since it was a daily quest during the event, some guildies and I would run through with multiple Alts. It got to the point where I ran out of Alts so I had to bow out of the group and let someone who hadn't done the event yet get a turn. Of course that's when the game decides the mount was going to drop.......

 

I did eventually get the mount the next year, but still you can't help but feel betrayed by the game.

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I have one regular Pichu and one Pichu wearing a witch's hat.  I was really hoping to get a Pichu with a Santa hat, to match all the similarly-clad Pikachus, but the darn game just refuses to give me one.

I have, BTW, renamed one of my cyndaquils "Justin".

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Last night, at a Mensa games event ( which usually means board games, card games, word games, trivia, and Werewolf), one of the guys brought a VR setup.  Goggles go over your eyes, headphones over your ears, and you hold a handle with a glowing tip in each hand.

And suddenly you're holding a blue lightsaber in your right hand, a red lightsaber in your left.  Boxes come flying towards you and you have to hit each box with the same-colored lightsaber, in the direction indicated by an arrow on the box.  When you hit a box, or when the lightsabers hit each other, you can feel the handle vibrate and see them spark.  And it's all synchronized with music, so you're swinging in synch with the beat and almost dancing.

I am in love.  Where is there an arcade with one of these?  How much is a Playstation 4 and the VR gear?

I didn't even start with my first try until about 11:30pm, and took turns with a few others until maybe 2:30am.  And then kept playing without interruption until almost 4am when most folks had gone to bed.  (It's an all-weekend event, so people were playing various stuff 24 hours, but I was only there Saturday night.)  It was a surprisingly good workout, and I enjoyed the electronic/techno music, which was a great match for the game.  I endorse this product and/or service!

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New Nintendo Direct.

This one is all about the Nintendo Switch. Let's break it down:

  • Super Mario Maker 2, now featuring slopes! June 2019
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. Now including Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel. Summer 2019
  • BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! Now featuring 270 levels and 2-player mode.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is getting the Ver. 3.0 Update soon. Features unknown, but remember that Joker from Persona 5 was confirmed for the DLC, and he'll be ready in April. We got a glimpse of his 3D model too.
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker gets two updates:
    • The free update is a 2-player update, available today.
    • The paid DLC includes new challenges and courses
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Fighting demons through a gothic castle, using all sorts of reality-bending powers such as gravity-inverting, laser travel, and voice acting. Summer 2019.
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2. Building and defending a village. Eh. Looks alright. July 12, 2019.
  • Speaking of Dragon Quest, we got another game, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age: Definitive Edition. A neat-looking feature is it lets you switch between 8-bit and 3D graphics, chiptune and orchestral music, and English and Japanese audio at any time. Fall release.
  • Disney TSUM TSUM Festival. Sure. Why not.
  • Starlink: Battle for Atlas gets a new update this April. Every member of Team Star Fox, not just Fox, has their own missions, especially since Fox's rival, Wolf, has a team of his own.
  • Rune Factory 4 Special is now on the Switch, if you're interested. 2019 release.
  • Rune Factory 5 is in development!
  • ONINAKI, by Square Enix. Rescue lost souls before they become monsters in an action RPG game. Summer 2019.
  • Yoshi's Crafted World is almost here. Lots of new features and lots of old ones that might be familiar if you've played Yoshi's Woolly World. Demo available today so you can give the first course a try.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses. We got some exposition about the three kingdoms, saw snippets of both anime- and 3d-animated cutscenes, learned that the Three Houses are school houses akin to Gryphondor and Slytherin and apparently you're a professor at said school when you're not fighting, and saw some gameplay of battles, which apparently happen during class trips. Of course, you're still the Tactician, and your troops are the students themselves, giving you some extra incentive to keep everyone else alive beyond "Dying is bad, m'kay?" And I'm sure the protagonist has a personal stake in this, but I didn't see that all that much in the video. July 26, 2019.
  • Tetris? Tetris! Tetris 99, to be specific. There's an online aspect, where other players can attack back, filling your grid with garbage. Attack back by filling lines and such. Oh, and the whole thing's free. Get it now! No, seriously, it's available now.
  • Dead by Daylight, a survival horror game, is now on the Switch. Nintendo's not pulling punches; they've openly accepted the fans of blood, gore, and violence and are letting everyone know. Fall 2019.
  • Undertale's sequel, Deltarune, is also getting a Switch port. The trailer is full of hilarity at avoiding spoilers by covering things with the Annoying Dog from the first game. Chapter 1 (the only chapter that currently exists in any version, it seems) will be available February 28 on the eShop. For free! (More chapters currently in development (...will not be free)).
  • Daemon X Machina, an upcoming mech game, has a demo of the first mission available today. Give it a shot. The full game should be out this Summer.
  • GRID Autosport is now on the Switch. It provides realistic racing, difficulty that scales to your skills, varied courses, and online and local multiplayer. Summer 2019.
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, now on the Switch. Go through Viking Hell (yes, that's what they called it) in a journey of self-discovery and such. Spring 2019.
  • And now for the end-of-direct rapidfire list of new Switch releases:
    • Mortal Kombat 11, available April 23
    • Unravel two, available March 22
    • Assassin's Creed III Remastered, available May 21. Includes all the DLC
    • Final Fantasy VII, available March 26
    • Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy!, available March 20
    • Final Fantasy IX, available today
  • Astral Chain, by Platinum Games. Some cool sci-fi game where you play as a pair of cops with awesome toys, from laser bows to motorcycles to robot dogs. There's voice acting, suggesting some deeper lore about the main characters. It looks pretty cool. Available August 30, 2019
  • In case you're wondering about Bayonetta 3, they're still working on it. ...that's it.
  • A choppy ocean in a storm? A tiny ship, barely held together? An animated Link? It's The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening! 3D graphics and new orchestration. A fine remaster. I wonder if they're gonna add in little fun details to muddle up the series timeline even more. 2019 release.

So, nothing really huge this time, unless you're a super fan of <insert series here>, in which case, <insert game in said series here> was probably the major highlight.

Honestly, I was expecting a Smash Bros. character trailer for Joker. Ah well.

Astral Chain looks kinda neat, though.

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Okay, so I missed the last two big Nintendo vids (about the debut of Pokemon Sword and Shield, and about the Smash Ultimate 3.0 update and Joker DLC). Let's recap, then:

 

Smash 3.0 Update:

DLC:

  • DLC Challenger Pack 1: Joker from Persona 5, coupled with the stage Mementos, eleven music tracks from Persona 5, 4, and 3, and several spirits from Persona 5.
  • DLC Mii Fighter Costumes: Morgana hat (Persona 5); Teddie hat (Persona 4); Persona 4 Protagonist Outfit; Persona 3 Protagonist Outfit; Tails (Sonic the Hedgehog) and Knuckles (Sonic the Hedgehog)

Free content:

  • Stage Builder
  • Video Editor
  • Upload videos and stages to the app!

 

Feb 27 Pokemon Direct: Pokemon Sword and Shield:

The Galar region is based on the United Kingdom, specifically Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland).

New starters: The Grass-type Grookey, which is a monkey. The Fire-type Scorbunny, which is a rabbit. The Water-type Sobble, which is a lizard, a chameleon it seems.

 

And now, the June 5 Pokemon Direct

Theme music!

New Pokemon:

  • Wooloo, the uncreatively-named sheep. Its wool is used for various products. Useful.
  • Gossifleur, a flower Pokemon. Its spores have healing properties.
  • Eldegoss, the evolved form of Gossifleur. Looks like it's based on a cotton plant. Its seeds also have healing properties.
  • Drednaw, a new turtle Pokemon that looks like it's based on a snapping turtle. Awesome.
  • Corviknight, a new bird Pokemon that's a giant corvid (re: crow, raven). It's a taxi service, essentially, serving the purpose of HM Fly from older games.
  • Zacian, a Legendary canine Pokemon that wields a sword in its mouth.
  • Zamazenta, a Legendary canine Pokemon that has an armored shield-like mane.

There's a lot of returning Pokemon, so I won't get into them, but if you're excited about Hippopotas, you're in luck.

Bikes are back, as are new water-bikes that have air tanks instead of wheels. I guess that's the replacement for Surf, maybe?

Fishing and generic berry trees are also back.

You can whistle to get the attention of wild Pokemon.

There is now a very clear Overworld. As opposed to the numerous Routes from before, the overworld, called the Wild Area, is where all the catching is done.

  • In the Wild Area, you have full control over the camera. No more bad angles!
  • There are red beacons at places. Head over to them with your friends...wait, what?
  • That's right. ACTUAL MULTIPLAYER. Meet up with other players in the Wild Area.

The red beacons are just one place where you can use the games' new "supercharge" mechanic: DYNAMAXING

  • When a Pokemon is Dynamaxed, they become giant. Remember those episodes of the anime with giant Pokemon? The giant Dragonite at Bill's Lighthouse? The Island of Giant Pokemon (robotic or no, they were giant)? That time Ash's Treecko and somebody's Gulpin somehow became kaiju-sized? You can do that on command.
  • It's a bit limited, though. You can only use it once per battle, and it only lasts for three turns, so choose carefully.
  • But while it's active, your Pokemon gets a big stat boost, and its attacks are supercharged.
  • Somebody needs to arrange a multiplayer battle where you pit a Dynamaxed Tyranitar against a Dynamaxed Volcarona for maximum kaiju.
  • Actually, I'm wondering if you can use Mega Evolution (introduced in Gen 6) and Z-Moves (Gen 7) while Dynamaxed. Imagine a Dynamaxed Mega Rayquaza using Dragon Ascent. With stat buffs. Dear God...

Those red beacons in the Wild Area trigger something called a Max Raid Battle.

  • One wild Pokemon is Dynamaxed for the entire battle.
  • His opponent is four players simultaneously. Again: ACTUAL MULTIPLAYER. You even need four players to start the battle in the first place.
  • Only one of the players can Dynamax their Pokemon during a Max Raid Battle, so coordination is key.
  • When the Pokemon is weakened, you can catch it as normal. Some Pokemon can only be caught during a Max Raid Battle, which encourages multiplayer I guess.
  • Which Pokemon are available depends on the in-game location as well as the in-game weather. So team up often if you want to catch 'em all.

Gyms are important in the Galar Region, since Pokemon Battles are a popular sport.

  • Gyms are built in places that allow Dynamaxing, which means kaiju fights are a regular thing here too.

Some minor information:

  • The region's Professor is Professor Magnolia. She specializes in researching the Dynamax phenomenon.
  • The Professor's assistant is Sonia. She's also Professor Magnolia's granddaughter.
  • Milo is the Grass-type Gym Leader. He has an Eldegoss, which is seen Dynamaxed in the trailer, so that's gonna be fun for you if you picked Sobble.
  • Pokemon Gyms also have a flying drone camera, which may or may not be a Rotom judging by a symbol on the recording screen.
  • The region's Champion is Leon. He has a Charizard and a sizeable winning streak.
  • Leon's brother is your rival, Hop. He gets started at the same time as you, and it looks like he picks the Pokemon weak to yours.
  • Character customization is back, it looks like.

And finally: The release date. November 15, 2019. Simultaneous global release. Have fun, everybody!

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I don't play Eve Online anymore, but I still sometimes hear about things that go on with the game, and someone on a discord server I'm on posted this killboard entry:

https://zkillboard.com/kill/77012809/

At a glance it's a Titan kill (a Gallente Erebus to be specific), but then I noticed where it was killed, Jita, one of the market hubs in the game, probably the busiest market hub, and it's a .9 system which is considered High-sec.  So wait a minute, how the heck did a Titan get to Jita? There's supposed to be restrictions keeping supercapitals and Titans out of high-sec.

Searching the killboard's top kills in the last week turned up a second Erebus, and a Nyx (Gallente supercarrier) killed in the same system, on the same day (May 31st) within half an hour of each other. WTF?  Time to use Google-fu, which brought up this gem:

So it looks like CCP found some botters and dropped them in Jita to let the players whack some pinatas. But, that wasn't all! A friend found this news report on the event and included other ships to suffer the same fate:

Quote

The final tally from this event looks to be a Naglfarthree Rorqual miners, two Nyx, a Hel, and the two Erebus titans.

It kinda gets me giddy that there are devs who simply don't just ban or delete accounts, they'll go as far as ensure that at least some of the assets being used to commit acts like botting, don't wind up collecting dust.

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So, E3 is underway, and Nintendo dropped their expected Nintendo Direct.

Let's take a look...

Let's take a look...

  • First, a newcomer to Super Smash Bros.: Dragon Quest characters! The Hero is the name of the character, belonging to four Dragon Quest protagonists: Ireburn the Luminary from Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age (the default character model), Eight from Dragon Quest VIII, Solo from Dragon Quest IV, and Erdrick (or Roto) from Dragon Quest III. They'll come out in the Summer of 2019.
  • Then a little showcase of the new Dragon Quest game, featuring the aforementioned Ireburn and friends in Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age: Definitive Edition.
  • Next: Luigi's Mansion 3, featuring a new grappling hook feature of the new Poltergust, a goo copy of Luigi called Gooigi for multiplayer and extra puzzles, and the Scarescraper, a multiplayer tower. 2019 release, but we knew that.
  • Then we got The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance: Tactics. A game based on The Dark Crystal, if anyone remembers that movie. Looks like a Fire Emblem-esque tactical RPG or something. 2019 release.
  • More on The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening remake. There's a new side mode that lets you make your own dungeons. Neat. September 20, 2019. Not that far away.
  • Something from Square Enix: a Trials of Mana remake for the Switch. Early 2020 release.
  • Speaking of, we get Collection of Mana, which contains the first 3 games in the Trials of Mana series: Final Fantasy AdventureSecret of Mana, and Trials of Mana. Available today.
  • The Witcher: Wild Hunt: Complete Edition. 2019 release. Who's excited? (not me; I'm just asking)
  • More info on Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Looks like a number of important non-student characters were once students themselves, but now one or more of them are antagonists. Some class reunion, huh? July 26, 2019 release.
  • Resident Evil? Sure! Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 for the Switch. Why not.
  • And we get Travis Touchdown showing up for No More Heroes III. Excited yet? 2020 release.
  • Contra: Rogue Corps. A new Contra game! Looks pretty cool, if you ask me. Some unusual characters in a classic run-and-gun game. September 24, 2019. Now features wireless co-op and online multiplayer.
  • Meanwhile, you can play all the Contra games, from the original to Contra III: The Alien Wars, to Super Contra, Contra: Hard Corps, Probotector, Probotector: Alien Rebels, and some more that only have Japanese names, in Contra: Anniversary Collection. 10 Contra games and a 74-page eBook. Also available today.
  • Daemon X Machina. Not much is new here; just some new shots of giant mech battles and voice-acted cutscenes. Still cool. September 13, 2019.
  • Panzer Dragoon, a kind of flying shooter game where you're riding a dragon and shooting enemies. Looks nice. Slated for a Winter 2019 release. 
  • On the subject of Pokemon Sword and Shield, you can use the Pokeball Plus accessory to carry Pokemon around with you. We also got some footage of the Water-type gym and its Gym Leader, Nessa. She has a Drednaw, by the way.
  • And we get some information on Astral Chain: apparently the enemies are named Chimeras. Oh, and yes, it still looks awesome. August 30, 2019.
  • And we get a game that looks like it's set in the 1920's: Empire of Sin. Who wants to feel like Al Capone? 2020 release.
  • A Marvel game involving the Avengers and other heroes against a whole bunch of villains: Modok, Magneto, Surtur, Thanos... Looks like fun. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. July 19, 2019. There's also an expansion pass that throws in content from Marvel KnightsX-Men, and the Fantastic Four, available starting this Fall.
  • And more footage from Cadence of Hyrule, the official crossover game between Crypt of the NecroDancer and The Legend of Zelda. Play as Cadence, Link, and Zelda. Fight to the beat on June 13, 2019. Hey, that's two days from now!
  • Another Mario and Sonic Olympics game. Play such sports as: Soccer, 100m Hurdles, Horseback riding, surfboarding, and more. Mario and Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, available November 2019.
  • And a look at the new Animal Crossing game for the Switch, featuring a deserted island this time. You'll have to gather resources on your own this time and literally build the town from scratch. There's also multiplayer, it looks like. So, pretty much Minecraft, kinda. ...and, of course, Tom Nook still charges you for everything. Sigh. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been pushed back to a March 20, 2020 release, just to polish it a little more.
  • And the quick blitz-through of games that don't warrant a segment on their own:
    • Spyro: Reignited Trilogy. September 3, 2019
    • Hollow Knight: Silksong. Coming soon.
    • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. September 20, 2019
    • Minecraft: Dungeons. Spring 2020.
    • The Elder Scrolls: Blades. Fall 2019. Wait, another Elder Scrolls? When did this happen? Did the Bethesda conference happen already?
    • My Friend Pedro. June 20, 2019. There's guns and motorcycle chases, so it looks better than the title implies.
    • Doom: Eternal. Coming soon.
    • The Sinking City. Fall 2019.
    • Wolfenstein: Youngblood. July 26, 2019.
    • Dead By Daylight. September 24, 2019.
    • Alien: Isolation. 2019 release.
    • Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: Remastered Edition. Winter release.
    • Dragon Quest: Builders 2. July 12, 2019.
    • Stranger Things 3: The Game. July 4, 2019.
    • Just Dance 2020. November 5, 2019.
    • Catan (the video game port of the board game). June 20, 2019. Looks like it supports custom board layouts.
    • New Super Lucky's Tale. Fall 2019.
    • Dauntless. Late 2019. You wanna play Dauntless on the Switch? Now you can!
    • Super Mario Maker 2. June 28, 2019. 
  • And finally, in another fakeout-except-not-really-fakeout nearly identical to the "Rivals" trailer that introduced King K. Rool, we have another newcomer: Banjo and Kazooie are Raring to Go! (hah. Rare.) Looks like the Donkey Kong cast is excited. Fall 2019 release.
  • And finally finally... The sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is now in development!

So. Dragon Quest protagonists and Banjo and Kazooie are now in Smash, new Contra, Mario/Sonic Olympics, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a Dark Crystal game, No More Heroes III, Trials of Mana remake, Panzer Dragoon remake, Breath of the Wild sequel... Anything else sound exciting?

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1 hour ago, Zorua said:

 

  • Then we got The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance: Tactics. A game based on The Dark Crystal, if anyone remembers that movie. Looks like a Fire Emblem-esque tactical RPG or something. 2019 release.

Based on the title, I'd say it's specifically based on the upcoming Netflix series (which is a prequel series to the movie).

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1 hour ago, Zorua said:
  • Something from Square Enix: a Trials of Mana remake for the Switch. Early 2020 release.
  • Speaking of, we get Collection of Mana, which contains the first 3 games in the Trials of Mana series: Final Fantasy AdventureSecret of Mana, and Trials of Mana. Available today.

Hopefully they more faithfully remaster the soundtracks, the Secret of Mana remake last year was really hit or miss with how the updated tracks sounded. Of course it did have the option of using the original SNES tracks but still.

1 hour ago, Zorua said:

Catan (the video game port of the board game). June 20, 2019. Looks like it supports custom board layouts.

Can basically be summed up as such:

 

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I've been playing Niantic's other AR game, Ingress.  Well, technically Ingress Prime.  I freely admit that I started playing it after I heard that after reaching a high enough level you're allowed to recommend new spots for portals, which are also used as PokeStops and Gyms in Pokemon Ho, and will presumably be used for whatever Wizards United winds up sending us out into the real world for.  Among other things, I want to use the "hidden gems" category to suggest our practice, because I still hear people say they've lived nearby for years and never realized we were here.  Anything that makes more people aware of a small business is a big help!  And yes, I'm playing under a pseudonym, who knows if they'd pay any attention to any signs I work there.

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