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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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Elric

COTP Discord Server

Recommended Posts

Over the past year or so COTP has been going back and forth on the idea of a centralized Discord server.  While we still really like using Mumble, Discord is slowly catching up with the available features.  I know a couple chapters such as BDO and FFXIV were running their own Discord server as it has some functions that Mumble does not. While the debate between using Mumble vs. Discord is still ongoing; we have decided to officially start the COTP Discord server that we will run for the entire guild.  The hope is that we will bring all of our chapters back together on a centralized server.  We will offer both Mumble and Discord options to our guild members, so you can feel free to use either voice platform as you choose.  The link to our centralized Discord server is as follows:
 

https://discord.gg/aPUpz5J

 

Generally speaking, the Discord server will follow the same rules and guidelines that we follow on our Mumble server.  Obviously be respectful to everyone while on the Discord server, and follow the COTP guild charter.  It's pretty straightforward, so I don't foresee many issues. :drinks: If at any time you have questions about anything regarding the discord server, please feel free to reach out to October or me (Elric).

 

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For those who haven't used Discord, here are a few terms / features you will want to know about:

 

  • Discord has a really solid mobile app available for Android / Apple iOS.  You can use it to connect to the server on your phone / tablet for both voice and text chat. 

 

  • One of the best advantages of Discord over other VOIP clients is the security feature called the "Audit Log".  This log shows every administrative action on the server, when it happened, and what user made the change.  This makes everything a lot easier to track.  If any problems occur,  we know exactly who we need to track down and discuss the issue with.

 

  • Role = The term "role" refers to the different ranks or member groups that you belong to on the Discord server.  These govern what rooms you have access to, what you can do in those rooms, and what administrative abilities that you have on the server (if any).  You can be granted multiple roles, and Discord will always use the highest ranked role that is assigned to your profile in regards to the room you are interacting with.

 

  • Text Channel = Unlike most other VOIP clients, Discord has done a really good job with integrating text channels into the same client as the voice channels.  You will see those in the top left corner of the navigation bar on the left side of the Discord client.  You may not see or have access to every room there until you are registered as a member on the server.  Generally speaking, those are not meant to replace the forums.  The text channels are basically just for quick messages and chats - similar to a guild chat in-game, but now you can get to it even when you're not actively playing a game.

==========================================================================================================================

 

COTP Officer Rules for Discord

Given that Discord handles security differently than Mumble, the specific rules for the guild officers will be slightly different. 

 

  • COTP Chapter Leaders will be responsible for setting up the voice channels for their chapter (if they are not already created).  They are also responsible for managing access to those channels and adding roles for their members.  We are not limiting the number of voice channels per chapter, as each chapter will have their own needs and channel uses.

 

  • Chapter Leaders currently have the ability to create and assign Discord roles as needed.  Please keep the number of roles per chapter as concise as possible, to keep the server as clean as we can.  If more than 4 roles are needed per chapter, please contact one of Administrators / Moderators. This full control is currently granted to all Chapter Leaders so they can have the freedom to run the channels for their chapter.  The access is granted with the understanding that they will only use their access to handle their own chapter's channels.  If they are contacted by anyone to modify channels for another channel or the general COTP chapters - they should be directed to contact the server Administrators / Moderators.

    Note: When creating a new channel, don't forget to create the channel with "COTP Member" access or higher.  Otherwise, if you create the channel with only "everyone" access, you won't be able to edit your new channel after it is created (only server Admins / Moderators can fix it at that point).  On Discord, you can only edit channels that you at least have read access to.  Given that all channels should be created with "COTP Member" access unless it is for a PvP Chapter, I doubt this will happen often.

 

  • COTP Chapter Leaders are also responsible for the text channels for their chapter.  By default, each chapter should just have one or two channels.  This is to keep the voice channels on the top part of the Discord screen, as too many text channels will be a pain to scroll through so you can get to the voice channels.  Chapter Leaders can request additional channels if needed, but only on special approval from the Discord Administrator / Moderators.  As with the voice channels, the Chapter Leaders will be in charge of setting up the access to those channels as they are created.

 

  • When any new COTP member joins the server, we will need to register them similar to how they are registered on the COTP Mumble server.  As a default, all members will be granted the "COTP Member" role.  In addition to that basic role, they should also be granted any specialized role that applies to that person.  For the PvP chapters like BDO, there will also be specialized roles like "BDO Member".  PvP Chapters will not have general COTP access to their rooms.  Instead, only members that have roles like "BDO Member", "BDO Officer", etc. will be able to access the non-public channels for that chapter.

 

  • All COTP Officers that are ranked Knight or above should be granted the role of "COTP General Officer"; regardless of what chapter they are actively leading.  Similar to how we handled naming on the Mumble server, they should also have their name changed so that their COTP rank is listed as their name preface.  So for example as a Templar, my name will be set as "[Templar] Elric".  Given that the Sentry rank is not permanent, we want to keep those titles a bit cleaner on Discord.  Sentries should only be granted the officer rank for their active chapter.  Chapter leaders will be responsible for removing the officer access to any Sentry that leaves their chapter or goes inactive.

 

  • The AFK timer is currently set to 1 hour.  We can change that as needed.  I kept the timer as 1 hour, as some situations like PvP and raids may require people to not use the voice channel even if they are actively playing. 

 

  • There will be a COTP Forum topic set up to request new channels, roles, etc. for any new chapters that do not already have official COTP Chapter Leaders created.  Alternatively, they can directly contact the Administrators / Channel Moderators on the Discord channel.

 

  • Everything that is done on the Discord channel in terms of channel / user changes is noted on the server Audit Log.  This allows us to follow up with anyone that has changed anything that shouldn't have been changed.

 

Again, as mentioned above, please feel free to contact October or me (Elric)  on the forums or on Discord.  :drinks:  Enjoy!

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Greetings,  Excellent work with this.  One thing I would suggest, is to let all guests/members be able to change their nicknames.  Discord is used by many games, and character names are different all over the place.  Names are different on different servers, so they let us change our nickname to match the game, as long as the Discord admin sets that permission.  

Also, take a look at the #rules channel for World of Tanks Discord, it's a really great idea they had to layout everything there, and I mean everything to help new members/guests get around, in corporate what you think is best, here is the invite:  discord.gg/NnRj9p4

Edited by Relaed

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7 minutes ago, Relaed said:

Greetings,  Excellent work with this.  One thing I would suggest, is to let all guests/members be able to change their nicknames.  Discord is used by many games, and character names are different all over the place.  Names are different on different servers, so they let us change our nickname to match the game, as long as the Discord admin sets that permission.  

Also, take a look at the #rules channel for World of Tanks Discord, it's a really great idea they had to layout everything there, and I mean everything to help new members/guests get around, in corporate what you think is best, here is the invite:  discord.gg/NnRj9p4

The #rules channel definitely looks like something we should incorporate, as it seems as though many people connecting are and getting lost already. 

Nicknames should be done by chapter leaders and officers and should reflect their name within our community, rather than game specific nicknames. Giving members the option to nickname themselves grants troublemakers permission to attempt to possibly impersonate others and maybe gain access that they otherwise shouldn’t have. When a member connects, they just need to reach out to a chapter officer/leader or server mod/admin to help get them set up, but otherwise, the naming convention is the same as we have it in Mumble. 

Keep in mind that because we are a community with many active chapters, many members play in different games with different names in each. To keep with consistency, that is why we identify one another by their CotP name rather than a single game’s character name. 

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i'm in, but under another name of Asheukae ( eq2 name) in general gaming 1 channel

 

 

Edited by Morg

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