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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)
 

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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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By Throne

Drayvn ARK cluster updated with Extinction

The ARK: Extinction map has been added to Drayvn's Server Cluster.
The Goal:
Link multiple maps on one server so that players can truly enjoy everything the game offers. You can live on the Island and still explore the dungeons on Extinction while using the dragon you got from scorched and the spelunking tools you got from Aberration.
Note: This is a private server cluster created by Drayvn and is open to COTP members who are able to conduct themselves in a mature manner.  
Note II:  These servers are not modded in order to provide some difficulty to those who can handle it.
Maps currently in cluster:
The Island Scorched Earth Aberration Extinction Server Names:
Pheah Islands Pheah Scorched Pheah Aberration Pheah Extinction Forum Group Link: 
 
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By Throne

Fallout 76 is Live

Fallout 76 is live right now. It wasn’t supposed to go live until midnight last night but it’s arrived early so a few of us started our journey through Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic MMORPG yesterday.
So far, it is playing more like a Fallout 4 co-op with a new ((much larger) map than the pvp mayhem some were expecting.
I did run into a few brave souls who wanted to tangle early on, but not much came of it as there are protocols that keep open pvp from being too deadly until after you reach level 5.
I crashed twice in 10 hours, and my 4 yr old system held up nicely on ultra graphics (I7 - RX 480 - 32GB Ram).
The base building is unique and interesting.  Pieces snap much more smoothly than I remember in FO4.  If you find a unique plan (blueprint) like a crafting station or furniture, you can help your team out by building it for them on their camp (base) and they'll get to keep it, even if they move their base around.
The S.P.E.C.I.A.L system has been revamped with cards you can use to customize your characters perks and abilities, e.g. Guild Wars.  I didn't see it as a minus or plus, just something new to figure out and maximize for the way I play the game.
The difficulty was typical of Fallout games, where it can be a challenge for moderate gamers and daunting for casual gamers new to the Fallout franchise.
Good times are always best shared, and this game is no exception....running around with a team is much more enjoyable, however the game does not diminish whatsoever when it comes to making progress solo.
So far, it has my endorsement.
Join us in discord https://discord.gg/ar8NGD or on the forums
 

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By Elric

New Ark Expansion!

If you haven't already seen it, the new Ark expansion was released yesterday.  The new expansion, "Extinction", takes the players back to Earth to find a ravaged homeworld with all sorts of new creatures and challenges.  It seems like they've taken some popular mod content and created some massive "Titans" that function as world bosses throughout the new map. 
The new launch trailer: 
 
COTP does not have an "official" server right now.  Currently Cecil and I run a private server for any COTP members that want to join.  Hit me up via PM if you would like to give it a try!  We are working with our hosting company to get the new expansion server up today.
Here is the official content notes from the Steam page:
 
 
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Relaed

Radar List? Middle Earth - Shadows of Mordor

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I just noticed this game, as they have a dev preview on Twitch.TV, it looks really good, as it is based on the combat action engine used for Batman Arkam game.

 

Is this something that should be on the radar list?

 

https://www.shadowofmordor.com/announcing-middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor-season-pass/

 

Middle-earth_Shadow_of_Mordor_logo_2.png

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is an upcoming third-person action role-playing video game developed byMonolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. Games which takes place in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien'sLegendarium, the world in which The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are set. The game is due on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on 7 October 2014.

General Information Title: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Publisher: Warner Bros. Games. Description: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is an upcoming third-person action role-playing video game set in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium, the world in which The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are set. The game is an open world video game, and the player can roam around the world freely and complete side quests in Mordor. The game features a combat system where the player character often fights several enemies at the same time from a third person point of view, using a combo system which allows the player to accumulate experience points as the player's combo meter increases. Outside of combat the player is able to specialize in two distinct skill trees, and the player can spend their experience points on specific skills. The game features a unique Nemesis system: every enemy players' face is a unique individual, differentiated by their personality, strengths and weaknesses. These enemies are shaped by their encounters with the player to create personal arch-enemies who are unique to every gameplay session. Similar Games: Batman Arkham seriesAssassin's Creed series. Genre(s): Action role-playing game. Playthrough Length: Unknown. Difficulty: Unknown. Security Concerns: None. Multiplayer Information Online Multiplayer: None. Local Multiplayer: None. Voice Chat: None. Connectivity Structure: Unknown. The game may use the Warner Bros. ID (WBID) system. Age of Community: 18+. Community Attitude: Not applicable. Gameplay Information ESRB Rating: Rating pending. PEGI Rating: Rating pending. ACB Rating: Rating pending. Content Labels: To be announced. Cost Information Subscription: None. In-game Purchases: None. Gambling Elements: None.

 

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already have pre-ordered, cant wait

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I read a good write up today, its good combat and lore, no end game really, read on!

 

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor-a-shadow-of-its-own-ambition/

 

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor: A shadow of its own ambition Decent action and engaging encounters lack the context to form a great story.

by Scott Nichols Sept 30 2014, 7:30am EDT

mordor2-640x360.jpg GAME DETAILS Developer: Monolith
Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PS4 (reviewed), PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Price: $60 (PC: $50)
Links: Steam | Official Website

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor's style, and its very existence, owe a lot to Warner Bros. and its other big licensed gaming series of the past few years: the Batman: Arkham games. Rather than push a license through excessive crunch time to coincide with a new movie, theArkham model let Warner Bros. put the time into developing a game with an original story that would stand the test of time. The game draws both the evergreen franchise fanatics and those not automatically drawn to the license's source material.

So rather than trying to retell the now well-worn tales of Bilbo or Frodo's journeys, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordorswitches gears entirely, telling a story that takes place between the end of The Hobbit and the start ofThe Lord of the Rings trilogy. The game isn't designed to fully bridge the gap between those stories, though. As the title says, this is less a Lord of the Rings game and more a "Middle-earth" game, focused on expanding the continent's mythos, starting with Sauron's domain in Mordor.

Revenge of the Ranger

 

mordor1-640x360.jpg
Players take on the role of Talion, a ranger of Gondor tasked with guarding the Black Gate that separates the orcs of Mordor from the human kingdoms. Within minutes of starting the game, however, Talion's tenure as Black Gate guard comes to an abrupt end. He, along with his wife and son, are murdered by uruks under Sauron's influence.

 

A slit throat can't keep a good ranger down, and Talion quickly finds himself resurrected and fused with the soul of an ancient elven blacksmith. From that point the plot vanishes for hours on end while Talion occupies himself by brooding across the Mordor countryside, murdering anything he sees with even vaguely green skin.

As a ranger, Talion is well-versed in ways to kill Mordor's indigenous uruk population. Talion's murderous skills draw a great deal of inspiration from those Arkham games. In melee brawls, Talion fluidly swings his sword in a dance of slashes, counters, dodges, and stuns, with an emphasis on finesse and timing rather than complex button combinations. Stealth plays a key role too; holding the right trigger lets Talion sneak up on foes or climb ramparts to pounce silent death from above. There is even a wraith vision mode (Middle-earth's version of Batman's detective vision), allowing you to see enemies through walls and distinguish how well armed they are to plan your attack.

That isn't to say Talion is without his own unique skills. A bow and arrow makes ranged combat equally viable, and it creates a fantastic interplay with the stealth and swordplay. Later in the game you gain the ability to brand enemies, turning them into allied sleeper cells that activate at the press of a button. Branding can also be applied to the local wildlife, allowing you to ride the monstrous caragors (read: saber-toothed tigers) and graugs (read: Star Wars rancors) into battle.

Its own worst Nemesis

 


All of these combat options function on top of the heavily promoted Nemesis system that lies at the heart of Shadow of Mordor, which serves as a fascinating, unique way to incorporate a more dynamic form of storytelling into the game. The idea is that leaders in the uruk army, the captains and warchiefs, each have distinct names and personalities. These orcish military leaders can develop personal rivalries with each other and with Talion that evolve as each new encounter unfolds.

 

At first, the Nemesis system seems to work in satisfying ways. You might hunt down and interrogate an uruk informant, who'd then tell you under duress that one of the other captains is afraid of fire or has charisma that boosts the strength of his minions. Knowing these personality traits become essential to planning your attack, as you try to stalk and isolate captains in situations where you will have the upper hand.

If you fail in an attack on a captain, on the other hand, that captain will taunt you relentlessly in future meetings, possibly even going out of its way to hunt you down with increased strength later on. If a random uruk happens to kill you in battle, they'll likely earn a promotion to captain for their performance, with a new name and cockier personality to match.

Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for the Nemesis system to begin falling apart. Captains pop up rather randomly all over the map, so there is never any sense that a specific captain is ruling over a particular region. This makes it particularly odd when missions ask you to take advantage of rival captains fighting over border disputes that aren't reflected on the map.

Moreover, the lack of cohesion between the disorderly uruk ranks undermines the game's attempt to portray captains as significant leaders. Captains regularly get promoted to fill the empty spots in the uruk hierarchy that Talion leaves behind, but no individual captain spot has any significance over any other. Eliminating a captain has absolutely no larger impact on Mordor's landscape or uruk population, removing any context for why Talion should care about the captains and warchiefs aside from personal grudges.

Sure, captains will align with and protect certain warchiefs, but once you defeat that warchief there is no sense of a power vacuum to be filled. Mordor remains static regardless of your actions, which largely prevents any meaningful dynamic storytelling from taking place.

Eventually you can use Talion's branding ability to gain influence over specific captains, giving them the strength to assassinate or betray other captains and warchiefs. It is a fun mechanic to further your inexorable carnage, but it becomes little more than a gimmick without any greater established context for why the uruk army's power struggles matter.

Even the individual uruk personalities begin to blend together. This is partly because you will encounter the same names again and again, even after killing uruk with those names multiple times—"Humgrat the Vile" must be part cat, as he's already used up four of his nine lives in my playthrough. Furthermore, the uruk personalities are not all that distinct, frequently reciting the same dialog before each encounter. Sometimes, three captains joining the same fight will all introduce themselves with the same exact line about their followers taking bets on how you'll get killed.

Failing to come together mordor3-640x360.jpg

Unfortunately, Shadow of Mordor seems to be counting on its Nemesis system to keep players invested, because the central character story certainly doesn't fill that role. Talion is a walking one-note revenge story, complete with a disgruntled lone-wolf complex that makes him insufferably bland in nearly every cutscene. His spectral elven companion fares a bit better, and this sidekick comes with the benefit of a quest line that delves deeper into Middle-earth's history.

For the Middle-earth superfans out there, Shadow of Mordor is packed with lore to discover and nods to details Tolkien only ever hinted at in The Silmarillion. While Shadow of Mordor doesn't really distinguish itself as a standalone story, this supplemental history makes exploring every corner of Mordor worth the trip.

Speaking of little details that Shadow of Mordor gets right, the PlayStation 4 version in particular makes the best use of the controller's speaker yet to date. Clanging swords, rustling grass, and whooshing winds come through the controller to immerse you in a layer of aural depth by bringing sounds that are closer to Talion closer to your own ear as well.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor excels in its moment to moment action, but it stumbles over itself when trying to provide context for that action. In the end it is the Nemesis system, which was supposed to make the game world feel more organic, that highlights how static and mechanical this virtual Middle-earth actually is. The game lays solid groundwork for future adventures exploring Middle-earth's regions and lore, though.

Perhaps, like the Assassin's Creed series before it, this rote but mechanically sound first entry will lead to more fully satisfying future installments. For now, though, Shadow of Mordor is a decent action game that is merely a shadow of its own ambition.

The Good:
  • Satisfying and fluid combat whether using arrows, stealth, or swordplay.
  • Tons of hidden lore for Middle-earth fans to dig into.
  • The Nemesis system can lead to genuinely interesting individual encounters.
The Bad:
  • Talion is a boring, one-note protagonist.
  • The Nemesis system repeats itself too often.
  • Your actions have no impact on the game world, rendering the Nemesis system somewhat unsatisfying.
The Ugly:
  • The faces of the uruk.

Verdict: Try it to get a taste for the combat and the Nemesis rivalries, but bow out before the systems start to unravel.

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Is it a multiplayer game?  It looks like a RPG to me.

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It's an action rpg-lite, Assassin's Creed meets Midle Earth.

 

You get experience and "power" and collect runes. The Experience points and "Power" are all used to buy up all avaialble skills/powers/abilities. You can decide what to "buy" first. But eventually it looks like you'll be able to buy everything. 

 

The runes that drop off orc captiains seem to be randomized a little bit. You can swap them out of your weapons as often as you like. They grant certian bonuses or special abilities.

 

It's very action and stealth heavy. A lot of fun. It's single player. Although you can go on alternate missions to defeat Orc Captians that have defeated real players. So some game information is shared.

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Yeah, "Single-Player" is the reason why it's not on the Radar List.  The idea behind the Radar List is to keep track of upcoming MMORPG's that COTP may want to establish a chapter in.  Without a guild function or multiplayer options, it wouldn't really apply.

 

However, that being said - for SP it does look like an awesome game! :drinks:

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