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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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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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  • Damis
    Damis

    Empyrion - Galactic Survival is a diamond in the rough.

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    Game Info:

    Empyrion - Galactic Survival is a 3D open world space sandbox survival adventure. Build mighty ships, menacing space stations and vast planetary settlements to explore, conquer or exploit a variety of different planets and the allegedly empty space! Fight human, alien and biological hazards and survive in a hostile galaxy full of hidden dangers - on your own or with your friends. The game uniquely combines elements from space simulations, construction games, survival games and ego-shooters. Empyrion is currently under development by Eleon Game Studios.

    Review:

    I played this game last year and didn't do too much with it.  I thought the game had potential, but at the time, it didn't have enough content to keep me interested in playing it, so I shelved it for a later time.  Well, the time to dust the game off and give it another try happened this last weekend.  I was on Discord chatting with Trusin about space games and the lack of any really good ones when he started talking about Empyrion.  He had read that the game had made good progressed, so we both decided to give it another shot.  I wasn't expecting much, but ended up having a really fun time playing the game with Trusin.

    We played on the SBS server which has a Star Wars theme with three factions, the Imperials, Rebels or the Mercenary faction. We ended up joining the Merc faction.  On this particular server, all new characters have one week to leave the starting world and system.  On Sunday, any character in those zones are deleted.  Well, as luck would have it, Trusin and I only had a few hours before the deadline, so we had to work fast to learn enough about the game to build a ship with a warp engine.

    We managed to warp to another system less than an hour before the newbie zones were wiped.  Talk about cutting it close.  We had a leaky ship which took a good amount of time to make air tight, and at one point we tried to hitch hike on any outbound ship we could find.  Eventually, we fixed the leak and made it into orbit,  at which point we realized neither one of us knew how to engage the warp drive. After fumbling around the navigation controls and mostly due to dumb luck we activated the warp engine and got the hell of out there.

    We warped into a new system and had to pause to admire the game.  There were two planets in the system as well as a space station.  There were also a good assortment of player ships which I was awestruck with.  I  loved Star Wars Galaxies JTL,  but Empyrion was what we wished SWG could have been.  To have the ability to blast off from a planet and fly directly into orbit is amazing.  

    We flew about and inspected a bunch of ships.  The scale and detail of those ships was unbelievable.  Our ship looked like it was made of legos and duct tape.  We docked at the space station and just walked around with our mouths open looking like a bunch of yokuls who had left the planet of Tatooine for the first time, which really wasn't far from the truth.  It was like a huge floating mall in outer space.  

    Eventually, we left the station and explored a few other systems until we found a decent world to settle on.  We are in the process of building a base and a better ship.  The game isn't perfect and at first glance, it may seem ordinary,  but there are parts of the game which are truly magical.  Empyrion has the potential to be a true beauty.  It just needs some refinement and polish.

    Comments:

    The ability to build multi player ships in which crew members can access the control panel to manage various systems is fantastic.  Exploration, base and ship building is also good.  With that said, I do think that the game needs more alien creatures so that different planets are more unique.  I have been told that the developers are in the process of creating different biomes from which to spawn creatures.  In the meantime, you will probably see the same alien life forms if you visit different planets with the same biomes.

    There are a few multi player servers which have 100+  players on them. It would nice if we could get a bunch of members together and try to carve out a section of space for ourselves.   Anyone interested in being a pirate and wrecking havoc?  

     

     

     

    Edited by Damis

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    Empyrion definitely has a ton of potential.  I bought into the EA / Alpha a few years back.  It only held my attention for 30 hours of gameplay, but at the time I was playing solo and there wasn't a ton of content yet. 

    I still have 3 other Steam games from the Steam Summer Sale that I haven't even touched yet... However, if you guys do decide on a final server to start a group on, let me know where.

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    Building multi player ships and exploring the cosmos is where the game shines.  As always, games are more enjoyable if you have friends to play with.

    If we can get a few more people interested then we will give it a shot.  I don't imagine it will be a full time game, more likely, just something to keep us busy for a few days.

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    Update came out yesterday, added a new desert biome so a few new creatures :)

     

    I don't like you talking smack about the P.M.S. Brick, just needs a little color :P

    Edited by Trusin

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    HWS looks really good. I am game to give it a try.

     

    Warning on HWS, do the tutorial and pay attention.  Also choose your faction wisely, there is a 12 hour character reset wait period. 

    Edited by Trusin

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    REALLY like HWS. I had originally tried it and was turned off by the manual chat commands but once you get used to it, it really isn't so bad. 

     

    The starting area gives you 3 days from when your character is created to get a warp capable ship. 

    I started freelancer and had no problem finding mobs nearby. Also I seemed to be getting XP for doing just about everything. In a few hours and only traveling about 3-5 minutes away from my crash spot in any given direction, I was level 7 and working on my first ship.

    empyfirstship.thumb.jpg.1d7b510c99b0ef6aa8f6368adf6e3c02.jpg

    Mobs seemed smarter here as well. I would be attacked by hordes of small fast spiders, or large giant scorpion looking things. I also like that each origin has different abilities. As a freelancer I seem to be able to spot / find ore very easy. I can also scan planets to find out how many player structures are on them, which has it's uses. I am not sure what the other two origin abilities are but that is a neat feature not part of the core game. 

     

    The integration with the web app seems amazing. your abilities are tied into it and you can remote mine and stuff from the app. I also really like the way they setup their solar systems. it is a lot more immersive. Instead of warping from system to system, you are essentially warping from planet to planet, the planets themselves in space seem and feel much larger.

     

    It was a really good experience for one evening so far and I was by myself, so other people would likely just amplify the fun. 

     

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