All posts by Brian A. Thomas

I am the father of Ari and Sidd. I am the owner and administrator of this site.

Fortnite The Quick and Dirty Post

I’ve been saying to myself I’d make a proper Fortnite post since the game’s NDA dropped… originally I was going to make an article, record a video (done), edit it (not done) and get it up, and the post up to go live as soon as the NDA dropped… I didn’t get around to it.

I did play and stream the game that first day that us testers got back into the game (a day before the regular people pre-purchasing Early Access could play), and again figured I’d get an article up soon… again, I never made it.

So now we get to today, and I think it’s time to at least post an article pointing to my recent streams (or at least highlights of such). Side note before we get into them, if you watch my stream (and some others) live, you can get special in game quests.

Without further ado, here’s some of the highlights:

First four are from the testers head start:
Fortnite – Playing the Tutorial
More Fortnight Continue reading Fortnite The Quick and Dirty Post

Why Destiny 2 Physical Copies Should Go Out Before September 6th

Destiny 2’s (Amazon link) launch date is September 6th at midnight PST, but you can preload your digital copy, at least on PS4, we don’t know the XBox One’s preload date yet, on September 3rd. 3 days early. Apparently it is about 68 GB on the PS4, so it’s a fairly big file and will take time to download, especially given how many people will probably hit the servers to get the preload started. So I’ve been thinking… I know, dangerous territory… that it makes little sense to hold physical copies back until the launch on the 6th. Destiny 2 is an online game, and having the disc ahead of time won’t let them play any sooner than those with the digital pre-load… now I can see holding the physical copies until the 3rd to have parity, and both will probably require a day one patch, at the very least to activate them, and connect let them connect to the servers.

Of course the real question is, if you pre-order from Amazon, Best Buy, Gamestop or whatever, do you get a code early enough to pre-load, or is that only for those who order from Sony, Microsoft, Bungie directly, with all others getting their code at midnight on the 6th? From the looks of things, only those who got it directly from the 3 main stores (and really Bungie’s just redirect’s you to the other two) will get the preload, Continue reading Why Destiny 2 Physical Copies Should Go Out Before September 6th

Why I’m Not Upset At GGG for Selling Beta Keys

I’m not personally upset at Grinding Gear Games for selling beta keys for $10 over at Chrono.gg for the new Path of Exile… note by the time this post is actually read, odds are the sale will be over as it was for 24 hours only, and I didn’t buy one, and I’m not in the beta myself, though I wish I were.

I’m first going to say that I’m in no way judging anyone for being angry, just noting I personally not upset in this particular case at GGG.

I fully get the anger at the way there are too many developers selling beta access. I get that betas are for testing, and many people feel GGG, or any other developer, shouldn’t charge for beta testing their game for them. The problem with that though is 90% of the people who get in betas on any modern game, don’t test, just play… now I don’t have any figures to back that up, but I doubt I’m that far off. I wager that very few people who get chosen for a beta provide the quality feedback that the developer is looking for. Most test forums, at least on the NDA games I’ve done, are generally the same group of players providing feedback, and I know the playerbase is much larger. Now there’s no NDA in place here, but I still doubt that many of the people in the beta are providing the kind of feedback that helps GGG test, balance, and otherwise make the expansion as good as it can be. Continue reading Why I’m Not Upset At GGG for Selling Beta Keys

Once More With The Crew, This Time With The Boys

Two years ago, I went to My First Columbus Crew Match. Recently, I took my boys to their (and mine) first hockey game. At long last, I, thanks to help from my mother and step father, was able to deliver on a promise to take my kids to a professional soccer match… and what a near perfect day. Slightly cloudy, but no rain, humidity was relatively low for this time of year, as was the heat, which peaked in the upper 70s (F). Continue reading Once More With The Crew, This Time With The Boys

It’s Going to be a Very Long, but Fun Journey Home

So I managed to get a preview copy of The Long Journey Home (Steam Page) from the developers, and I got to say I’m beyond glad I did. I’ve fully enjoyed my time in the game, and I’ve barely made much progress on the journey home yet. The game is basically a rouge like, space exploration game along the lines of FTL, but a different art style, and what seems far more depth than what I at least got out of FTL. It also adds a bit of the old Atari Lunar Lander arcade game thrown in for good measure. Add to all this a good narrative and you end up with a fun new game.

Odds are it will take several runs to make the journey home. Each time you have to restart from scratch, but you keep your knowledge each run. The basic story of the game is that you were on the first jump capable ship, on your way to Alpha Centauri, when your jump drive malfunctions and sends you far from home. Now you are on your journey home. You’ll have to upgrade your ship and lander, and meet aliens, and work your way home. Continue reading It’s Going to be a Very Long, but Fun Journey Home

First Two Hours of The Surge

As I noted in my article about Bloodborne, Bloodborne – Frustration Triumph, my very first experience with a Souls like game, was Deck 13 Interactive‘s Lords of the Fallen, “which turned into one of my biggest game purchase regrets ever.” Indeed I was turned off the Souls like games by the experience, but then read that it was a poor example, and I did have a good time with Bloodborne. Despite that poor experience, when I saw they were developing a new Souls like game, The Surge, but based in a sci-fi setting, I still got excited for the possibility. I for one am willing to give a developer several chances to show they can do well, and so the question became, would The Surge impress.

I’ve done a couple hours now. I was out of town for the weekend, and my first day to play it I was busy with a game that’s under NDA (that one will get coverage once it drops), plus I was watching my kids for a few hours, all of which meant not much time yet with it. Still, I have to say, based on the first couple hours, I am far more impressed with this than Lords of the Fallen… it’s in all honestly not as impressive or smooth as Bloodborne was at the same point, but so far I have to say it has been fun. The game doesn’t shortcut and cheat, and mistakes are generally my own, like a proper Souls like game should be.

UPDATE: I’ve made it to the first boss… and I’ll detail more at the end of the article. Continue reading First Two Hours of The Surge

Well… At Least There Was a Fight

I’ve taken my children to their first professional, of any level, sporting event. While I had planned on that being a Columbus Crew game (MLS soccer), I decided, “Why not Zoidberg?” err… “Why not hockey?” I myself have never been to a hockey game, and the tickets for the game were cheap enough, especially for the seats… a bit cheaper than the soccer tickets will likely be later in the year. I’m a fan of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and by extension and location, their AHL affiliate the Cleveland Monsters. The AHL, for those who may not know, is the American Hockey League, it is the professional league right below the NHL. The Cleveland Monsters won the AHL championship just last year, a short while before the Cavs brought back a major league win for Cleveland. The Monsters haven’t been as great this year…

Anyhow, the boys and I arrived in Cleveland, parked and made our way to the arena, a bit of a long walk, only to discover I didn’t have my wallet. I had left my wallet in the car when I paid parking. So back to the car, then back through the mall and the walkway to the arena. It was now a bit past 7, so we missed the introductions and the start, but it was still the first 5 minutes of the game.

I think our seats were actually pretty nice all things considered.

Our end was the end the Monsters came to first and third periods. Continue reading Well… At Least There Was a Fight

Hopelessly Addicted to Oxygen Not Included

You know you are in trouble when you’ve played a game for a couple or few hours after work and now it is a bit after 10 PM and you decide you’ll stop in a minute so you can wrap things up for the night and get ready for work early the next morning, then the next thing you know it is midnight (if not near 1 AM) at now you are going to have just a few hours of sleep, and you are going to regret it in the morning. Such a game is Oxygen Not Included, the newest title from Klei, perhaps most well-known for their Don’t Starve series. The game is coming soon to Steam Early Access (you can get super early access via this Oxygen Not Included thread for $19.99 USD, and price is expected to go higher later, though they haven’t set a price yet).

Oxygen Not Included is a space colony simulator, similar to Rimworld and a couple of others, but with a fun cartoon art style from a 2D platformer perspective. It is early Alpha stage at this point, early even for Steam Early Access (which is why the normal Steam page doesn’t include a way to buy it), but is very playable, and a bit overly addictive. I’ve managed to avoid playing too much the last two nights… never mind that I was out-of-town away from my computer one night and busy with chores the other… Continue reading Hopelessly Addicted to Oxygen Not Included

Bloodborne – Frustration and Triumph

I’ve never played a Dark Souls game, nor Demon Souls, or pretty much any game like it prior to Bloodborne… well, there was a brief flirtation with Lords of the Fallen, which turned into one of my biggest game purchase regrets ever. However, after recently playing the free to play Let it Die on my PS4, and growing interest in the idea of the Souls games, I delved into seeing which game to get, and based largely on the story, I went with Bloodborne.

The result? Lots of F bombs from me to the game. It is a constant frustration to die so often. Going in, I knew this would be the case though, and I’m working on it. So far, I’ve pretty well enjoyed my time in Yharnam. Continue reading Bloodborne – Frustration and Triumph

Conan Exiles – Early Alpha Thoughts

It’s early alpha. Keep in mind it’s early alpha.

FunCom has recently released into Steam Early Access their new survival game, Conan: Exiles. I’ve been trying the beta off and on this weekend (it’s been a busy weekend with Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands (not as overly exciting as I had hoped, but shows promise and I’ll get it on a good sale and I don’t care if it doesn’t have PvP) as well as Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 (okay but buggy on my system), I was hoping to try Decksplash, but didn’t get into that alpha this weekend, and I have the kids this weekend, so a busy weekend.. Anyhow, back to Conan. I’ve dived into the alpha (in the interest of full disclosure, provided by a PR firm, not directly from the developers) a bit off and on this weekend, and so far I have mixed feelings on it. Now note, this is based off a very limited time with the Alpha so far, and later articles may delve deeper.

It’s early alpha, not even beta really, so the bugs and the like, I can deal with for the moment as I’m sure they’ll work out some of the lag issues (from watching streams and the like, it seems the more housing and the like on a server, the more it lags, even if you aren’t near the housing and aren’t rendering them on your client), clipping and other bugs. The server lag is a big problem, and one they are working hard to solve, especially for official servers which went down while they search for better hardware.

The game is very difficult. As in harder than ARK, and this is even on PvE mode, I can’t imagine the nightmare on PvP. Continue reading Conan Exiles – Early Alpha Thoughts

Visiting the Ancient Ruins in Elite Dangerous

When Frontier Developments should a trailer of the new 2.2 Guardians update to Elite Dangerous: Horizons, they showed some ancient ruins. A player managed to figure out where those ruins were from the stars and nebula in the background and triangulated their way to the ruins. How he did that is far beyond me or the scope of this article. I had just arrived at HIP 10716 to get ready to do some Imperial rank grinding (HIP 10716 and Wu Guinagi Imperial Rank grind) and it was only a few hundred light years away, so I decided to hold off on the grind and visit the system. It would be my first time landing on a planet without a station (I’ve done plenty of station landing on planets), and first time using my SRV.

From the featured image above, you can see my SRV looking at an apparent alien obelisk.

I used the Radio Sidewinder Ancient Ruins Visual Guide to help guide to the me where to land once at the system…

As I got near, I decided to stream it. The stream went down a couple times, but I managed to get a couple good highlights in. Continue reading Visiting the Ancient Ruins in Elite Dangerous

My Suggestion for Elite Dangerous PVE Player Griefing

Elite Dangerous is a huge open sandbox MMO. And with open sandbox this usually means player can kill other players. The consequences very from game to game, and right now Elite Dangerous doesn’t do much to punish player killers. There is no PVE server, so many of us PVE players join up with a private PVE group. The other day I was at the ancient artifact grounds (Visiting the Ancient Ruins in Elite Dangerous), and left, but apparently some griefers were out there killing other players in the private PVE group, and this got me thinking that we need a solution in game. Within the groups Facebook page, there was a discussion about a PVE option, and punishments for players who grief PVE players, and that inspired this blog post.

The problem is there is no punishment for griefing players. A small bounty, but that is paid easy enough. In real life you go to jail, and that is where this gets to. Continue reading My Suggestion for Elite Dangerous PVE Player Griefing

To Those, Especially Liberals, Who Are Voting Trump Because They Think He Will Upset the Status Quo

I am confused by anyone who is even semi-liberal, or progressive, who is even considering Trump over Clinton. Don’t get me wrong, I think Clinton comes with a huge number of issues, the email scandal among others, but to even consider Trump because they think he’ll upset the status quo is misguided.

Many seem to say, we can do it again in four years, and that most of his extreme policy proposals will be moderated by congress. However, that ignores several key issues.

Firstly, there is the Supreme Court. This is why many on the right will vote for him not matter what he says, what he stands for, or what he does. The next candidate will likely appoint three candidates to the Supreme Court. They will replace a conservative justice and two of the three liberal justices. If Trump wins, and the Senate remains in Republican hands, which is virtually guaranteed if he wins, he gets to appoint three very conservative justices to the Supreme Court. Odds are that they’ll then go after older conservative justices like Thomas and try to get them to step down so they can have lots of young, very conservative justices on the Supreme Court for a very long time, remember there is no term limit. This will set back women’s rights, worker rights, minority rights, voter rights and more. Most importantly for those thinking Trump will upset the status quo, this far right Supreme Court will just further affirm cases like Citizens United which will put more and more power in the powerful elite and away from the individuals of this nation. This can’t be stressed enough. A vote for Trump is a vote to secure the status quo even more, because of the far lasting changes he and the Republican Congress will push through to the Supreme Court.

Let’s also look at the danger of the great number of increased lone wolf attacks that groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda will be able to claim responsibility for, without having to do the actual recruitment work on. A Trump presidency is radicalized Jihadist groups wet dream. His stated policies, even if not fully implemented, his desire to wage war and kill them and their children (he directly said he’ll kill their families, which means he’s targeting their children), to violate international laws and bring back torture far worse than water boarding, his desire to restrict travel, will make self radicalization far more likely. They have publicly stated they want us to war against them, because it pushes the “us vs them” narrative. Many Muslims already feel they are the most persecuted religion in the world. This persecution just proves to many that it is the one true faith, because the enemy (read the Devil) is working so hard to put the faith down. This results in self radicalization, and people will fight for the cause because they see the world turning against their faith, by people like Trump equating the whole faith to the actions of very few… they dissociate their involvement with those very few, but make mistake, the number of self radicalized people will greatly increase due to a Trump Presidency… of course Republicans want this greatly increased attacks on American Citizens as it increases American’s call for war and destruction, which the party (which oddly calls itself pro-life, while being pro death penalty, pro stand your ground and murder somebody for trying to steal your TV, and very very pro war) loves. Republican war profiteering will go into overdrive because of the increase in self radicalization… which means even more of the status quo.

Finally, let’s keep in mind that while Congress might moderate some of Trump’s most radical policies, there is no Congress between him and the button. He’s stated he might not protect our NATO allies if they are attacked if they haven’t paid. He’s stated he’d order our troops to shoot and kill people for making gestures at US forces (in regards to Iranian ships running around US military ships and making gestures at the US forces while doing so)… something that could start a war… and most scary of all, has publicly stated he would not rule out the use of nuclear weapons (as an offensive weapon) be it against a nation in the Middle East or Europe. He reportedly even asked his military advisers “if we have them, why don’t we use them”? Keep in mind how often he blows his top and says outrageous things… he’ll be like the Philippine President, Rodrigo Dutert, or North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, but of a major power. The fact he doesn’t seem to understand the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction should scare anyone, even conservatives (unless they are voting for him just to bring about the end of the world). It doesn’t matter if we launch against somebody who doesn’t have the ability to launch back, the moment one missile flies, they all fly, and that ends the world.

I could go on and on about a large number of other issues, but anyone who is even mildly liberal or progressive can not even think about voting for Trump. You want to wait four years to undue something, undue Clinton in four years. The damage that Trump will do is too vast, and will give the status quo even more power than Clinton will.

Elite Dangerous – Sothis Runs

IMPORTANT NOTE: This works as of 2.1, apparently in the 2.2 beta, Sothis runs have been nerfed. As of this writing, not sure if that will make it to live or not.

One of the easy ways to make money in Elite Dangerous is stacking Sothis runs. I just managed around 11 million in 4 or 5 stops in my Type 6 with 96 T cargo capacity and 18.83 laden jump range. This is not a full guide, just more or less what I do.

Sothis is an outlyng human colony system. From Newholm Station, you can pickup a large number of delivery missions. You do this on a few ways. First I do it via a private group that I’m in. Load up all the far away delivery missions (don’t worry, once you get there, they are all within 2 or 3 jumps of one another… at least on my Type 6) and all the data delivery missions to Ceos. Then log out to the main menu, choose Open and get all the delivery missions (they should be near the others) and data delivery to Ceos… log out again to main menu and go Solo and repeat. This process of getting missions from the Open, Private and Solo is called mission stacking. At this point it probably is best to stay Solo or if you are in a private group, go that way. First I deliver my data to Ceos, which is only 1 jump away, and this nets a good haul from the stacking.

You can only have 20 missions at a time, so if you don’t fill up on delivery missions, you can run data back to Sothis and restack the delivery missions as there usually are more… Also note there are two stations in Sothis, I typically only stack the station closest to the entry point, but I know some people stack both.

Here is a Twitch highlight of me delivering mission stacked data to Ceos. Staring Sothis Runs for Credits – Ceos data drops and notes. Continue reading Elite Dangerous – Sothis Runs

We Happy Few – Preview and Second Look Coming Soon

I recently did a preview (semi early review) of We Happy Few back in late July:

Don’t be a Downer, We Happy Few – Giving We Happy Few a quick look at it’s current Early Access alpha access level. The playable characters aren’t in yet, and most of the story isn’t in yet. Highlight starts after the escape seen in the trailers. I talk near the end of the broadcast a few bits of my early impression thoughts and opinions of the game based on the early alpha (and I was one of the ones who got to show it off early before the official press embargo ended).

That was recorded 27 July 2016, which is why I’m getting ready to do a second look and give a review based on more of what’s in the game as of now (it is still very early access) I think there’s been enough time and enough updates to go back in and check it out… plus the press embargo is long over, so I think it’s time to get an official opinion on the state of the game. So keep an eye on this page… this article will be deleted and a full review will be going up… hopefully in the next week or two, depending on my schedule.

NOTE: We Happy Few was provided via a press contact outside the developer and publisher.

Elite Dangerous – My Real Addition of the Moment

So I’ve given up almost all my other games (save For Honor which I discussed the other day) in pursuit of many hours of Elite Dangerous. I’ve had ED (Elite Dangerous people… come on… grow up..) since early alpha… I dropped a lot to get into the Alpha back when… I want to say 2014. Then I stopped playing for a while… I picked up Planet Coaster by the same developers, but still didn’t jump back in.

Then No Man’s Sky happened. A game that I still don’t own, but did get to play some. The mild disappointment in that got me back into ED Continue reading Elite Dangerous – My Real Addition of the Moment

Checking Out For Honor – Closed Alpha

I was lucky enough to get into the For Honor closed alpha, and decided to stream a little of my first dive in… I quickly forget the basic that the CTRL mode is block and keep trying to remember if there was a special block key for the first few matches.

Anyhow, here’s a few highlights from the broadcast (the featured pic here is from one of those broadcasts which is why it is of lower quality than a pure screenshot, I’ll likely replace that with a straight screenshot later):

Checking out For Honor (Dominion – Player vs AI) – Raider. For Honor closed alpha gameplay. My 1st match of the day, trying out the Viking (Raider) this time.
Checking out For Honor (Dominion – Player vs AI) – Warden. More For Honor closed alpha gameplay, my 2nd match of the day, trying out the Knight (Warden) this time.
Checking out For Honor (Dominion – Player vs AI) – Kensei. More For Honor closed alpha gameplay, my 3rd match of the day, trying out the Samurai (Kensei) this time.
Checking Out For Honor – Brawl (Player vs AI) Mode. I think we were supposed to try one particular hero out in this mode, but it said Not Requited… but perhaps he was chooseable anyhow… I don’t know.

I don’t think I’m ready for a VS player mode yet, and will stick to the VS AI modes… lol.

Not shown in those is hero customization, requiting new heroes and adding goals to gain more in game money.

Anyhow, what do I think? Continue reading Checking Out For Honor – Closed Alpha

Playing and Streaming Elder Scrolls: Legends – Bethesda’s Digital CCG Based on the Elder Scrolls Universe

After the huge success that Blizzard had with Hearthstone, a digital CCG based on the Warcraft universe, we’ve got a couple games that came out based on others. Chronicle, based on the Runescape universe, but with a lot of unique and cool twists that sets it apart from any of the others, that makes it well worth your time to check out. Meanwhile, perhaps one of the biggest RPGs (plus an MMO) out there, Elder Scrolls, has gotten it’s own digital CCG, Elder Scrolls: Legends. This game has a great deal more depth than Hearthstone (which remains a great game), and seems to straddle the line between Magic and Hearthstone near perfectly.

The game has a single player story mode, a solo versus mode, an arena versus mode, and others… I’ve been playing the single player story mode of late on my Twitch channel. Here are the highlights:

Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 1 Chapters 1 to 8 1:18:55 The whole first act, from here on out I cut highlights by Chapter.
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 9 15:45
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 10 21:05
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 11 25:49
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 12 10:44
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 13 26:10
Elder Scrolls: Legends – Act 2 – Chapter 14 16:01

Unfortunately I don’t have any keys to give out.

Apologies for Lack of Content Here

I’ve been busy with life, writing, playing games, watching Twitch and streaming on Twitch, work, trying to get a better full time job with benefits (I need that insurance you know)… so sorry I haven’t been active here as much as I should be. Generally this blog serves as a portal to my YouTube (not very active of late), Twitch (semi-active) and the like and has fallen behind on the content I’d like to push to it. I’m not saying I’m going to get back on the ball, as I probably won’t, but hopefully I can find something to get posted here. For now, check out my Twitch highlights.

Endless Legend Has a New Must Have DLC … or at Least Strongly Suggested

Endless Legend made my 2014 PC Games of the Year list, and would have scored higher than honorable mention if I didn’t suck at the game so much. It is much better than Civilization, but harder.

They recently released a new DLC, Shifters, which adds a new Major faction, Allayi, which make use of a new resource, Pearls which can have an influence on future winters if you build an Altar of Auriga and use it to pray, using more Pearls to cast an influence on the next winter. Some buildings and equipment also use Pearls to build.

The Allayi are a nice addition to the races. Continue reading Endless Legend Has a New Must Have DLC … or at Least Strongly Suggested