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By Throne

Anthem Arrives

When Bioware first announced its newest franchise, Anthem, during 2017’s E3 conference the one thing they said to describe the game was that it was unlike anything they had ever done before. And if nothing else, Anthem is certainly living up to that particular description.
Anthem is just not a game that hardcore Bioware fans would ever say is typical of the studio. Known for its stellar storytelling and its single-player franchises like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, players of Bioware games anticipate story-driven adventures along with companion characters who provide friendly banter and light-hearted romances. And hey, Anthem does provide a decent-enough story plot, with interesting and amusing characters and some good conversation opportunities, too. But the story is only a single part of the over-arching adventure that is Anthem (and hey, there’s no romances, either).

Anthem is described by its creators and by its growing fanbase as a co-op action and role-playing game, rather. In fact, its very best features can not be truly enjoyed without gathering a group of friends to embark into the gorgeous backdrop of the world of Anthem. 

There is nothing of Earth, here. This is a strange, new planet to explore, where every creature and bit of life comes from the Anthem of Creation – a powerful and mystical force that literally and even disastrously produces creatures, technology, and natural phenomena throughout the world. Everyone fights to survive and some to control the Anthem, and right there in the middle are the Freelancers, the heroes who embark past the walls of human cities to gather whatever resources they can find and to tame the myriad threats that the Anthem provides.

Freelancers survive outside the walls wearing armored suits, called Javelins. So far, the game’s four classes are encapsulated in whatever Javelin the player opts to suit up in, and each one of the four Javelins offers uniquely independent playstyles for the player’s gaming experience. There is no standard trinity that players of more traditional multiplayer games may try looking for, but this just keeps matched teams from insisting on any kind of perfect build, too. Any Javelin the player chooses will provide chances to cause damage to enemies or to save team-mates who have come under fire, in fact.

Still, exploring the different Javelins will give players an opportunity to decide which style of gameplay is their own personal cup of tea, so to speak. The Colossus, for instance, provides a heavy armored approach to the game, actually soaking up damage even as it unleashes massive firepower on the Freelancer’s enemies. The Storm, on the other hand, maximizes its time in the skies overhead to shield team members and rain down powerful lightning attacks on groups of enemies down below, too. The Interceptor is a more ground-based Javelin, zooming down onto enemies to zip and zap them swiftly with flashing blades and poison grenades. The final Javelin is the Ranger, which is also the first Javelin every beginning player will experience. The Ranger relies upon a steadied mix of abilities from all the classes, providing a well-rounded chance to inflict fast, intense damage to large numbers of enemies and combo attacks that obliterate threats in even wide areas. 

But it is the wide world of Anthem that truly sets the adventure apart from other games involving massive armored suits. Well, that and the whole flying around the world, too. In fact, the flying and swimming controls on the final released version of the game on February 22, 2019 were tuned in advance of the release through several test and demo sessions, where players pointed to issues on the varied platforms the game would be available. While there are still some players complaining the Javelins ability to maintain flight over an extended period of time simply is not great enough, the chance to navigate Anthem through the skies and even deep underwater offers opportunities for some purely amazing scenery and just plain, massive fun all at the same time. 

There were some buggy moments during the final days leading up to the release of the game, as well. Some players experienced issues with the game’s audio, actually losing sound in the middle of combat motions while moving around the world and battling enemies. A larger issue, however, was in the load times that quite a few players endured, where team-mates zoomed ahead and through the mission while they were still agonizingly lagging on the loading page. The game’s developers were quick to respond to the various issues and gameplay bugs that players reported, though. They welcomed comments on Anthem’s Twitter and Reddit pages, providing fast, public responses that the issues were noted and being addressed. The day one launch of the game then included a patch to try squashing the bugs, too.

But still, the game’s official launch was not completely void of problem or issue. Some players experienced terrible crashes of their consoles while playing Anthem, even. But overall, gameplay is remarkably smooth, even when the game is set to its highest graphic and audio settings. Each player’s game includes a chance to experience the story and get to know the various characters in Anthem, making dialogue choices that can help form their personal Freelancer. But the story is told through a first-person perspective of the walled city called Fort Tarsis, which creates a sense of disconnection with the individual player-character. Individuality comes from the amazingly complex personalization of the player’s Javelins, rather, and the Anthem fanbase has thrown itself into incredible renditions of paint and vinyls applied onto their suits.

Anthem is definitely a new experience, and those players who’ve adventured in other multiplayers are already asking for features common to such online multiplayer games. For instance, there’s currently no player-versus-player in the world of Anthem, and no real “raids” in the classical sense of multiplayer gameplay. There’s also a serious lack of clan or guild structures for players to rely upon. These are potential additions set aside for later patches to the game, is what the game’s developers are quick to assure.

What Anthem provides, rather, is a four-man team structure to explore the world through missions, expeditions, strongholds, and freeplay. The match-making tool in Anthem will quickly place players into random teams. Or players can create their own teams by inviting potential team-mates off their Origin friends list. 

Covenant of the Phoenix has set aside Chapter space for the community’s Anthem explorers, providing forums where guides and advice can be bantered over and shared. Also share some pictures and funny stories, too. But the Discord channels that COTP has established for the Anthem chapter of the community are even more useful, with potential team-mates gather together to help each other through the adventure. 

What is definitely true, though, is that embarking into the wider world of Anthem is most fun when you have a team to help back you up. The threats can be intensely challenging sometimes. The Freelancer can happily slaughter thousands of scorpions and Grabbits alike, only to turn a corner and run into a Titan. Hulk smash takes on a whole new meaning, then. So Anthem practically demands a team approach in order to succeed. As players and developers alike say, anyone can solo the game, sure. But it is far better to play with friends.  Only, do not hesitate to explore the Anthem with Covenant of the Phoenix! This is only the start! 
 
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By Throne

ATLAS: Present and Future

We have been at it since day one, that ugly and...well, let's just stick with ugly...launch. Even through the lag muck and server instability, you could read the stars and see the potential.  Right off the bat it was only for the tough, and we barreled through the glitchy log-ins, the shaky starter zones and the wretched "lawless" starting areas and found our way to the rafts.  Some were able to get to our island after 3-4 hours of learning how to tack, zig zag and fight through server borders and with a full stack of human hides, and then some were finally rescued after what seemed like days of being eaten alive by scorpions and crocodiles, only to quickly get used to dying to the cold, the wolves, the alpha horses, the water, the sharks and each other's general noob mistakes.
Yes, with the known developer, we did try to ARK it, or Dark and Light it...hell, we've even tried to Life is Feudal this one....and Atlas is just NOT those games.  Some visuals and sounds are there, but the depth and options and functionality is just SO much more.  What really took the game from just another ARK expansion to, the potential mmo of the decade, was getting out on our first schooner, the SS Skjoldr (video below).  The experience was entirely PvE, but when you have 13 people packed on to a single vessel and the guys repairing the ship are as vital as the helmsman steering and the deckhands manning the sails, it became something I haven't seen in a game since our friday night flights on the Decimator back in SWG.
We have had just a blast learning the game and surviving our island and our neighbors over the past couple weeks.  Though it may appear as if we are well off enough, growing from 30 actives day one, to more than double that now, we absolutely could use more folks interested in living the Atlas life.  Whether you are interested in navigating the high seas, captaining a brigand, farming the tundra, mucking through politics, taming elephants or exploring the massive (30-40 hours of sailing from one end to the other) world, it is all here and we have many members willing to help you get started.
Here is a few screencaps and videos to give you an idea of what we have been up to:
 
 




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By Throne

ATLAS

From the sister studio of Wildcard, makers of ARK: Survival Evolved...
ATLAS: The ultimate survival MMO of unprecedented scale with 40,000+ simultaneous players in the same world. Join an endless adventure of piracy & sailing, exploration & combat, roleplaying & progression, settlement & civilization-building, in one of the largest game worlds ever! Explore, Build, Conquer!
https://store.steampowered.com/app/834910/ATLAS/
Early access, Thursday, December 13th  (Update:  delayed release to December 19th) [Update 2: delayed release delayed to December 21st]
Chapter group: 
Discord:  https://discord.gg/v74dSHQ
 
 

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By Throne

Xalt defeats Elric for 2018 Fantasy Football Crown

Xalt's Zappers smirk at expectations, knock off Elric's Arksters in 171.07-127.47 rout

Both teams exceeded their projected point totals, but it was Xalt's Zappers who got the victory, cruising to a 171.07-127.47 win over Elric's Arksters. Elric's Arksters earned a 3.86-point lead on Saturday behind Joey Bosa (2.18 points) and Mike Williams (1.68), but Xalt's Zappers held the lead the rest of the way. They were led by Matt Ryan (25.46 points) and Damien Williams (22.53). Ben Roethlisberger (42.22 points) and T.Y. Hilton (19.4) led the charge for Elric's Arksters in the loss. This marks the second time this season Xalt's Zappers have beaten Elric's Arksters, after winning 118.28-117.7 in their last matchup. Xalt's Zappers end the season at 12-4, while Elric's Arksters finish the campaign at 9-7.
 
Matchup Highlights

Sunday Early    There were players with standout moments on both teams early Sunday, after which Xalt's Zappers owned a 125.41-53.13 lead. Matt Ryan had a 75-yard touchdown pass and a 44-yard touchdown pass for Xalt's Zappers, while David Njoku had a 66-yard catch. T.Y. Hilton made the highlight reel for Elric's Arksters with a 55-yard catch.

Sunday Late    Both teams had players with big-time moments on Sunday afternoon, but it was Xalt's Zappers who took the lead, 148.54-96.80. For Xalt's Zappers, Robert Woods had a 39-yard touchdown catch. Ben Roethlisberger made the highlight reel for Elric's Arksters with a 20-yard touchdown pass and a 49-yard pass.

Sunday Night    Harrison Butker had a 54-yard field goal for Elric's Arksters, who trailed 171.07-118.27 after Sunday Night Football.
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By Throne

Kenshi 1.0 Released

It is generally a rarity that finds a single player game a feature of CotP articles, however, over recent months this game has entered my personal top five games of all-time and has passed my hourly steam totals for Mount & Blade, Fallout 4 and Skyrim in the process.  What the....yeah, I know.
So many titles over the years have claimed that it allows its players to "win" the game "their way" in an "open sandbox" environment.  Well, we cannot get the time back that we spent realizing that those developers were still significantly limited in the scope of what any individual's personal definition of in-game "freedom" actually means.  For me, M&B and SWG came close.  Unfortunately, both those games (or their EMU reboot) are either approaching or have surpassed the ten year mark of their seemingly eternal impending latest release. Enter Kenshi.
Freedom is a fun word in Kenshi...yes, you have the freedom to stay solo, group up with a squad, make a vegetable farm, join a faction, enslave a faction, slay the champion, be the richest hermit, recruit an army of robots or build the great city....blah blah, boring.  Now, the freedom to fail in the most unique form possible...that is the true gem in this game.  I will give you just the one example:
My squad is epic, I will tame the badlands and establish a civilized trading outpost...plan = awesome.  Headed for the abandoned fishing outpost.  Acid rain, not fun...put up tent, survived.  Reached fishing village, it is not a fishing village.  Really freaky "skin" people pour out of all the village buildings.  We put up a good fight but were overwhelmed.  One by one, my squad members were....stolen.  Knocked out, picked up and taken to some of the village huts.  What is going on here?  Then the screams.  Agonizing screams from my captured squad members.  No idea.  I am the last one to go down.  KO'd, picked up, taken to a nearby hut....
I died from blood loss.....after I was put into a grinder that peeled my skin off.
https://store.steampowered.com/app/233860/Kenshi/
 
WHAT IS KENSHI?
Kenshi is a single player sandbox PC game set in a vast and atmospheric ‘Sword-Punk’ style open world. With a mix of RPG elements, squad-based control and city-building features, gameplay is completely free-roaming and open: enjoy the freedom and potential to do whatever you want.
Set in an unrelenting world of bloodthirsty cannibals, starving bandits, brutal slavers and wild beasts, survival alone is a grueling struggle… You are not the chosen one. You’re not great and powerful. You don’t have more ‘hitpoints’ than everyone else. You are not the center of the universe, and you are not special. Unless you work for it.
Character Customization 
Edit your characters, build up their strengths and watch them endure and grow. Train Your Skills in Robotics, Thievery, Engineering, Medicine, Weapon Smithing and more!
Squad-Based Control
Play with one character or control a whole team; an army, even. Combat is Real-Time Strategy style with a choice of ranged and melee fighting styles
Build Your Base
Create and run your own city, manage an empire or simply wander the lands as a lone drifter. Research upgrades such as industry tech, weaponry crafting and trade goods
Wounds Affect Gameplay
Complex medical system where injured characters limp, crawl, bleed to death or pass out from starvation. Stem blood loss to avoid predators and replace lost limbs with robotic prosthetics
Open-ended Gameplay
An original sandbox world. Lay siege as a warlord or make your riches as a trader… There are endless game style possibilities and the world will never stop moving
Train hard
There is no level-scaling, the world does not level up along with you. At the start of the game almost everyone will be stronger than you and you’ll have to use your cunning to survive
Survive
Escape capture from deadly slavers & cannibal prisons, rescue your squad mates from grisly death and get them all home alive
Start A Faction
Keep to yourself, form an alliance or oppose other factions and territories of the world… good or bad
 
https://lofigames.com/road-map/
 


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Gopher

A&M and the SEC

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Boy has the info been flowing out the past few days that A&M will be joining the SEC maybe in 2012, but for sure in the 2013 season. Well from the info that I have gotten, A&M will announce on or before 8/22 which is that date that the BOR meet. The topic isn't on the agenda yet, but they have till 72 hrs to post it, so look for that very soon. All I can say is I am finally happy that this is happening, GIGEM AGGIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

SEC3DE-1.jpg

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Man this has been a great day and a great past few days!!!

 

To recap, Texas A&M BoR have announced a meeting for 8/22, what has happened since then:

 

Ok since then, and I am not sure about the dates but will try to be as pressies as possible.

 

Thurs. the Committee on higher education announced a meeting for Tues.

My note: They have no buisness sticking there nose in what the Texas A&M athletics does, they need to focuse on more important things.

 

Thurs. or maybe Friday morning:

The SEC announced a Prez. meeting for Sun. around 10am to vote on expansion. Also, it has come out that t.u. has hired a PR firm to start the campaign to smear Texas A&M and it is evident on the tv and tweets now.

 

Then Friday around 3pm (this is great, what a great check mate!!):

It comes out that the BoR meeting was changed from the 8/22 to Monday at 3:30pm!! The agenda was set, its item "15) Authorization for the President to Take All Actions Relating to Texas A&M University's Athletic Conference Alignment, The Texas A&M University System"

 

Also there is some stuff coming out about the Committee on higher education that they have been funded by the same PR group that t.u. has higher. Also there is no Aggies on this committee, but the head of this committee is funded by the fine folks at b.u..

 

I will post more tomorrow on the on going items before Texas A&M moves to the SEC.

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I really wish SEC would of agreed to expand. That tu cable channel is going to ruin recruiting.

 

Basically they will, but they don't want to be seen as the one who raids an existing league. So what we saw on Sunday with the no vote is they are covering there ass legally and put the ball into Texas A&M's court. So that was phase 1 of several phases to go in this expansion. Monday the Texas A&M BoR voted unanimously to give Prez. Loftin the right to search for our next Conference, that's phase II. Now Texas A&M needs to get there legal stuff in order, they need to find out there exit fee and other stuff before we can move onto Phase II which will be maybe an app to the SEC. From what I hear, we will be done before Sept. 1st, but if not, then it wont happen till after this football season :cray:. We will see within the next few weeks.

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Notice sent out earlier today, one step closer to SECede!!!!!!!!!

 

 

TEXAS A&M NOTIFIES BIG 12 OF CONFERENCE EXPLORATION

NEWS RELEASE - August 25, 2011

 

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M University today officially notified the Big 12 Conference that it is exploring options related to the institution's athletic conference affiliation. Texas A&M also requested that the Big 12 outline the process to be followed should the university elect to withdraw from the conference.

 

athleticsFacts.jpg In the letter to Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe, Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin indicated that if the university withdraws from the conference, Texas A&M would do so in a way that complies with the Big 12's bylaws. Additionally, Texas A&M would be supportive of the Big 12's efforts to seek a new member of the conference.

 

"As I have indicated previously, we are working very deliberately to act in the best long-term interests of both Texas A&M and the State of Texas. This truly is a 100-year decision," said Loftin. "While we understand the desire of all parties to quickly reach a resolution, these are extremely complex issues that we are addressing methodically."

 

"Ultimately, we are seeking to generate greater visibility nationwide for Texas A&M and our championship-caliber student-athletes, as well as secure the necessary and stable financial resources to support our athletic and academic programs," Loftin added. "As a public university, Texas A&M owes it to the state's taxpayers to maximize our assets and generate additional revenues both now and well into the future."

 

###

 

 

http://www.tamu.edu/athletics/big12Exploration.html

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Next step cleared!!!!!

 

http://sportsblogs.star-telegram.com/colleges/2011/08/am-receives-letter-from-big-12-confirming-mutual-waivers-of-legal-claims-taking-next-step-toward-pos.html

 

 

August 29, 2011

 

A&M receives letter from Big 12 confirming mutual waivers of legal claims, taking next step toward possible SEC move

Texas A&M officials received a letter today from Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe, outlining withdrawal procedures according to the financial provisions of Big 12 bylaws and mutual waivers of legal claims.

 

The letter, received in response to A&M’s Thursday request for withdrawal procedures, should help expedite A&M’s apparent move to the Southeastern Conference.

 

In a statement released today, A&M president R. Bowen Loftin stressed that it is “not our intent to prolong our conference exploration for an extended period of time.” Sources at both A&M and the Big 12 have suggested that, because of the mutual waiver of legal claims in regard to a possible A&M move to the SEC, an announcement in regard to the school’s application for SEC membership could occur by the end of the week.

 

In Monday’s statement, Loftin said: “I certainly appreciate the discussion among the Big 12 presidents/chancellors (during Saturday’s teleconference) and the expression of their desire for Texas A&M to remain in the conference. We all agree that Texas A&M is an extremely valuable institution; thus, it is incumbent upon me, as the president of the university, to ensure that we are in a position to enhance our national visibility and future financial opportunity. While this is a complex and long-term decision, it is not our intent to prolong our conference exploration for an extended period of time.”

 

_ Jimmy Burch

 

 

Read more: http://sportsblogs.star-telegram.com/colleges/2011/08/am-receives-letter-from-big-12-confirming-mutual-waivers-of-legal-claims-taking-next-step-toward-pos.html#ixzz1WSlSn3ux

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It was reported today that the SEC has unanimously agreed to let A&M in as the 13th barring any legal action. This was decided after Big 12 sent a letter confirming there was none. However, today it is reported that there is a legal action as the Baylor Bears are threatening to sue A&M if they leave.

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Yes Gaylor is trying to sue A&M if it goes to the SEC. How pathetic they look right now, really Gaylor, Really? It was a week or so ago the B12 and the Schools said they would survive with out A&M. It dosnt matter anymore, A%M will not be in the B12 in the 2012 season and Gaylor's crap is going to bit them in the end, no one will want them after the B12 implodes.

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If you weren't able to see t he link I posted before, they have now made it free to see. Go read it.

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Statement from SEC Commissioner Slive:

 

"In the 78 year history of the SEC, the conference had accepted the membership applications of only two institutions—Arkansas and South Carolina. Texas A&M is now the third. We remain optimistic that Texas A&M will be a member of the SEC and have started to look at schedules for 2012-13 involving thirteen teams.

 

"As I said over the past year or so, the SEC has had no particular interest in expansion. We were, and are, happy with twelve teams. If Texas A&M’s President, Dr. Bowen Loftin had not called me in late July, we had no plans to explore adding an institution.

 

"However, when President Loftin called we became interested. Texas A&M is an outstanding academic institution with an exceptional athletic program, passionate fans and wonderful traditions. While the SEC wasn't thinking about expansion, it was impossible not to be interested in Texas A&M. As you can see from the unanimous vote of our twelve Presidents/Chancellors, we would very much like to have Texas A&M as a member of our conference.

 

"When Texas A&M joins our conference, we don't have immediate plans for a 14th member. We aren’t thinking in terms of numbers. We think about the strength of the SEC and the attractiveness of Texas A&M as an institution."

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LoL, just LoL!!!

 

 

What has just been reported and happening is so funny.

 

 

t.u. got rejected by the PAC 12, I love it, ESiPN and them made a bad bed that they cant get rid of and no one wants that crappy lhn. How do you like it now t.u. fans, oh wait, no one can see lhn anyway.

 

 

Kinda surprised that the PAC 12 wouldn't take OU and OSU, they were on the up and up and are a good school, I do understand t.u. with that crap network and having to bring tech with them, but WoW.

 

 

Today has just helped out Texas A&M to the SEC with out gaylor pushing the crap they they tried to push.

 

Oh gaylor fans, how do you like this billboard on your way to the stadium?

 

 

http://i48.photobuck...b/billboard.jpg

 

 

 

Lets go SEC and also BEAT THE HELL OUT OF THE POKES THIS WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by Gopher

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Its a good billboard, I tweeted it a couple days ago. I'm betting if OU and OSU were to go to Pac-12, without any mention of tu and tech, they might of had a chance, but since everyone was grouping them together, no one wants to deal with the ego of tu and LHN(I am sick of seeing the ads for it on this website). It was mentioned that the PAC12 didn't want to have rules for 15 colleges and another set of rules for tu. Was also mentioned that the whole revenue sharing was ok with tu except for anything from the LHN which made it all unequal since they are listening to NCAA about showing HS football games on it and there was one more item that NCAA said they couldn't have on it, but they were going to do it anyway.

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