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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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Vessa

Priest changes coming

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone,


 


after going through the discussions here in the latest input thread here we've coded various changes to spells and priests most of you seem to agree upon. The main goals have been three:


* To reduce the amount and effectiveness of carpet bombing


* To reduce the effectiveness of "spiking" players by having several priests targetting and quickly shred them to pieces with spells


* Keep priests useful and interesting in combat


 


Some suggestions were for area based cooldown but for various reasons coding that wouldn't work out well so we decided to go for another mechanism where you receive spell resistance against the last type of spell cast on you.


The resistance becomes 50% initially and goes down by 10% per 5 seconds, so after 25-30 seconds it will be gone. You should see an icon representing your current resistance.


 

Combat and some healing (Heal, Scorn and Light of Fo) spells give resistance for subsequent spells cast. So the second or third time one of those spells are cast before resistance is gone you receive less effect or the spell simply fails if the resistance kicks in. This will of course affect PVE but we think that may be good. Uniques seem too easy (and grindy) to kill because of how those spells used to work. We will probably have to make uniques take damage more easily in the process by reducing their natural armour a bit which should make it more fun as well. Not yet on the test server though. Also the resistance may be unnecessary if there's cooldown except maybe for Heal which has very short cooldown.

 

What is now on the test server and which needs testing and feedback are the following changes:


 



Your most solid piece of armour now limits your ability to cast spells and perform archery. Using lighter armours give bonus! You can hover the status icon to see the current penalty or bonus.

The damage effects of hitting limbs, heads and eyes were tweaked down a bit so that you can wear light helmets


All Priests may now use Archery without penalty


While on a vehicle or riding you may now only lead one creature which should make battles more interesting according to several sources.

 



Oakshell now has 30 seconds cooldown


Shard of Ice, Rotting Gut and Fireheart now deals more damage



Fireheart now has 30 seconds cooldown.

Light of Fo now has a 2 minute cooldown

Pain Rain now has a 2 minute cooldown

Scorn of Libila now has a 2 minute cooldown

Tentacles now has a 2 minute cooldown

Fungus Trap, Tentacles, Fire Pillar and Ice Pillar now deal double damage

Hellstrength now has 30 seconds cooldown

Oakshell now has 30 seconds cooldown


Rotting Gut now has 30 seconds cooldown

Shard of Ice now has 30 seconds cooldown

Smite now has 30 seconds cooldown

The difficulty of Smite was lowered to 70 from 90

Tornado has a 2 minute cooldown

Tornado may now stun victims for 5 seconds

Weakness now has 30 seconds cooldown

Willowspine now has 30 seconds cooldown

Wormbrains now has 30 seconds cooldown

 

So, yes a lot will change but hopefully for the better and more interesting. Go ahead and try it out and tell us what you think.

 

New accounts on the test server will spawn as priests with a statuette to use for casting. Here's a link to the test server:


 

Have a nice weekend!

 

Rolf

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All Priests may now use Archery without penalty

 

Fo will no longer say no?  :D   It should make it much easier to grind your BC when this update hits!

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Here's the actual update notes:

 

September 11, 2014by Rolf

First of all, we’re really happy to announce new furniture going live!

Secondly, we are putting these priest changes in today so we can get some much needed live feedback that we may react to before the weekend. Below is a list of changes to priests in no specific order or possibly as they were implemented. As most of you are aware there has been a feedback thread going in the forum regarding these changes.

  • The damage of Fireheart was increased. It now has 30 seconds cooldown.
  • Light of Fo now has a 2 minute cooldown
  • Pain Rain now has a 2 minute cooldown
  • Scorn of Libila now has a 2 minute cooldown
  • Tentacles now has a 2 minute cooldown
  • Fungus Trap, Tentacles, Fire Pillar and Ice Pillar now deal double damage
  • Hellstrength now has 30 seconds cooldown
  • Oakshell now has 30 seconds cooldown
  • Rotting Gut now has 30 seconds cooldown
  • Shard of Ice now has 30 seconds cooldown
  • Smite now has 30 seconds cooldown
  • The difficulty of Smite was lowered to 70 from 90
  • Tornado has a 2 minute cooldown
  • Tornado may now stun victims for 5 seconds
  • Weakness now has 30 seconds cooldown
  • Willowspine now has 30 seconds cooldown
  • Wormbrains now has 30 seconds cooldown
  • Shard of Ice, Rotting Gut and Fireheart now deals more damage
  • The damage effects of hitting limbs, heads and eyes were tweaked down a bit
  • All priests may now use archery without penalty except in heavy armour. Light and no armour gives bonuses.
  • Your most solid piece of armour now limits your ability to cast combat spells and perform archery
  • Taming is now allowed for all priests and kingdoms as well but limited to corrupted animals for Libila and non-corrupted for the other.
  • Lockpicking is now allowed for all priests.
  • All priests may now cast Locate Soul
  • All priests may now cast Nolocate
  • You now receive a severe (-10) Combat Rating penalty against other players when leading more than 1 creature
  • Magranon priest death protection (at 70+ faith and 35+ favor) now works like a free res stone at above 70 faith and 35 favor but does not stack: You have 50% chance of retaining your items.
  • Magranon priests may use Chain armour without penalty at 70+ faith and 35+ favor

 

What was implemented but never posted was a change to how the Magranon “res stone” ability works. It used to stack with Res stones which as some people have calculated created a required kill ratio of 2:1 in order to gain loot from those priests. This is not a good situation from our perspective and we felt we had to change it. We have given Magranon priests the ability to wear chain instead without penalty to archery or spell casting. Hopefully this is acceptable even for Magranon priests.

 

Thirdly, here are some other patches!

  • Uniques now bash better in caves
  • Fix so when sleep bonus runs out, it auto-freezes it
  • The quality calculation for bulk items has been changed
  • Added the mycelium growth stage to the examine message
  • Tweaked body control skillgain for archery down
  • Fix for village foundation screen when using a deed stake
  • Removed settlement size restriction when founding using a deed stake
  • Updated legendary digging title

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