Endless Space 2, Early Access First Impressions

Endless Space 2, Early Access First Impressions

For anyone who likes space adventure and conquest games that are a bit demanding, Endless Space is a gem. Amplitude, the studio behind this intergalactic 4X game is back with a second episode that is now in Early Access on Steam. After the success of the first, expectations are high. Good news, Endless Space 2 didn’t stray too far from what made the success of its predecessor.

With Sins of a Solar Empire, Master of Orion, Civilization: Beyond Earth, Galactic Civilizations (no relation to the former) or even the excellent Stellaris, the 4X genre (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate) seems irremediably attracted by the concepts of infinite space and galactic empires. And while this may came as surprising for some, the first 4X game, Reach for the Stars released in 1983, took place in outer space. Almost thirty years later, it is a French studio that stands out in this genre with Endless Space, a title that has now reached the status of cult for all the space opera lovers. Do not forget that Amplitude is also one of those studios that always seem to know how to renew its successful licenses. After passing through the medieval fantasy with another 4X called Endless Legend, and the dungeon-crawler with Dungeon of the Endless, Amplitude goes back to Endless Space, this time under the banner of Sega.

First of all, keep in mind that the game is in early access. Regardless, the game still looks great in its final version and no noticeable bugs have affected my gameplay so far. Moreover, developers are always working to improve what can still be improved, and slowly adding the many missing features. Thus, there are only two types of victory conditions available in early access, scoring and military, which somewhat limits the game experience. Regarding the races, there are currently 4 available ones. And big news, they are totally asymmetrical, each has its own style of play.

Endless Space 2, Early Access First Impressions

The Cravers, for example, are militaristic, expansionist and generally motivated by a desire to destroy, where Sophons are nice scholars, most likely to focus on scientific development than on fights. The Lumeris, meanwhile, are merchants, always looking for their best financial interests. The Vodyani, however, are difficult to describe. This race is the result of uncontrolled overdevelopment, and literally sucks the resources of the planets they encounter without bothering to colonize them.

The principle remains unchanged from the setting of Endless Space: the player is the leader of a nation in the middle of space, which will expand its empire and explore the galaxy, develop itself technologically and militarily, but also manage its domestic policy, with a galactic senate system divided between factions or clans. These are separated according to their affinities (Ecologists, Religious, Militarists, Pacifists, Industrialists), their loyalty to you changing according to your actions. Moreover, the atmosphere of Endless Space is still clearly present, both in the the interface and some of the new options. Evidence that a studio take the best of its previous titles to offer increasingly complete and enjoyable games.

UI navigation is now much more fluid, without the player being drowned in numbers with each click. Tabs display the minimum required information, without polluting the statistics screen, which are obtained through the very friendly “scan” function. This displays the details of planets, their economy, their population, and so on. No need to beat around the bush, the interface is rid of all reproaches that we could have against Endless Space.

Endless Space 2, Early Access First Impressions

Diplomacy and policies will play a major role in Endless Space 2. Each player action, from the choices of quest to the assimilation of other races, and even technological research or construction of buildings, will impact the factions within your senate and the results of elections held regularly. And the weight of each faction will determine which laws you can vote for or repeal, knowing that the dominant political faction can pass laws without your consent. Note that (fortunately?) you can rig elections by funding your candidate, bribing or threatening the opposing candidates, and so on. Thankfully, these shenanigans are rarely required, and the political changes regarding who is in power can sometimes be beneficial. Additionally, certain quests will move the senate towards the direction you desire, or conversely bring about the end of your empire, plunging into the sort of political anarchy that has Trump elected as president.

Regarding the military matters, some might be disappointed to see that there are no fight where your are in manual control. You are the emperor, not a lowly space admiral. The fighting, generally offers three tactical choices, more or less compatible with the type of vessels or land units that you encounter. It is, admittedly, a bit limited and we can only hope for the addition or more options in the final version of Endless Space 2. But for now, depending on your choice and the forces you are fighting, it is the AI that determines the outcome of the battle, the player here being only a passive spectator.

Endless Space 2, Early Access First Impressions

Conclusion

As it stands, Endless Space 2 promises to be a great title. Graphically beautiful, intuitive and readable without disappointing fans of 4X hardcore games. The developers are really taking advantage of the Early Access to reveal its flaws and improve the game. Each patch balances the game with a number of fixes, gradually correcting anything fans could complain about on release. We can also expect new playable races, perhaps new political factions, a more extensive technology tree and a fleet that moves a bit faster. What really matters is the transformation of gameplay, more intuitive, more fluid, more accessible, strongly inspired by Endless Legend.

Elite Barbarians First Look and Impressions

Elite Barbarians First Look and Impressions

Hi guys and gals Galbers Gaming here bringing to you a first look at the Elite Barbarians but before I get into them please let me know in the comment section:

*what combinations you are using them with

*what strategies in defence (both with them and against them) and offence you are using them with

*and if you rate the card or not

The Elite Barbarians are, using SuperCell’s words,”like regular Barbarians, only harder, better, faster and stronger”;. On a one to one basis SuperCell ain’t wrong but Barbarians beat Elite Barbarians due to their superior numbers, for one less Elixir I may add.

The speed of the Elite Barbarians, very fast, reduces the reaction speed of the player trying to defend against them. A solid strategy which I show in my video is the Elite Barbarians coupled with the Miner.

Elite Barbarians although they don’t do as much damage as Barbarians, they still kill tanks very quickly and due to their speed they are very good in counter attack especially like I said above, when paired with the Miner.

Against Barbarians I like to drop Minions down which if timed right can take out all of them before reaching your tower. This strategy does not work against Elite Barbarians, their speed will carry them through to the tower where they will get a few hits off.

Be wary of dropping range units (or non spawning buildings) in the middle of the field to kite the Elite Barbarians, you will find that only one will go to the middle whereas the other will go straight for your tower and every shot he gets off is the equivalent damage to a fireball.

Something should also be said for dropping your Elite Barbarians down when your opponent drops down an expensive unit at the back like a Golem, Pekka or even a Lava Hound. Your opponent will have to respond to your attack stopping them getting their ideal push off.

In summary, Elite Barbarians are scary units if allowed to reach a tower. If attacking with them build up an Elixir advantage and push in with them or counter attack with the Miner. To defend against them, make sure you do not allow them to hit your tower. The Elite Barbarians is an expensive card at six Elixir so don’t be afraid of using the same amount to stop them but if you are on equal Elixir standing you should be able to relatively easily make a positive Elixir trade by distracting them.

Please don’t forget to subscribe to Galbers Gaming’s channel for more strategy and tips in Clash Royale.

Hog Rider and Ice Golem Cycle Deck & Strategy - Arena 8 and 9

Hog Rider and Ice Golem Cycle Deck & Strategy – Arena 8 and 9

Hi guys and gals, Here bringing to you a Hog Rider cycle deck built around the Hog Rider Ice Golem combo. I, and I Imagine like most of you knew of this combination but didn’t think much of it until I was comprehensively chipped down by an opponent with the same troops level as I (with few exceptions 10, 7, 4, 1) and so I decided to give the deck a try-out. A deck that enables me to breach the 3500 trophies mark in my eyes deserves a write up, so, here I am!

The deck that I mostly ran with included the: Hog Rider, Log, Zap, Princess, Ice Golem, Ice Spirit, Mini Pekka and Barbarians. I say mostly as I switched out the Legendaries to see how the deck would perform without them which is still well (Archers for Princess and Arrows for Log), as well as including the Inferno Tower instead of the Mini Pekka if stumbling across excess tanks in particular the Lava Hound. The deck is essentially a Hog Rider cycle deck which means that outside the core cards, Hog Rider, Ice Golem and the cheaper cards, the deck can be tailored to your playstyle or to what you are coming up against.

Attacking card: Hog Rider

Supporting cards: Log, Zap, Princess, Ice Golem, Ice Spirit, [Arrows, Archers,]

Defending cards: Mini Pekka, Barbarians, [Inferno Tower]

Video reference:

There are two playstyles to this deck:

1.Cycle through your deck as quickly (and sensibly) as possible to get to your Hog Rider Ice Golem push. The aim here is to take advantage of decks which cannot cope with your cycle capability, for example: on your first wave (push) they might drop an Inferno Tower but that Inferno Tower will be out of the opponent’s cycle on the next round – in this case it maybe best on the second round to drop the Hog Rider asap instead of pushing out with the Ice Golem as well.

2.Play slowly get ahead in Elixir and then tailor your push accordingly, personally I prefer this style. At the back: split your barbarians, split your archers, drop your princess and see how the opponent responds. However even in this style if I have the Hog Rider and Ice Golem in hand I would immediately push out with them.

Starting hand

Generally the best starting hand is the Hog Rider and Ice Golem push with Zap to hand. If this is not possible just play it slow, which given the deck is a little tricky, until you have the push cards to hand.

Attacking

As I already highlighted the main push is the Ice Golem with the Hog Rider. The Ice Golem tanks the tower damage whilst the Hog Rider pushes the Ice Golem to the tower and then starts hammering away at it. On death the Ice Golem will explode slowing units and their rate of fire (tower) as well as doing a bit of damage which is enough to one shot skeletons, the skeleton army and bring minions to a Zapable range – zap and the ice golem death is one of my favourite combinations in Clash Royale, I show a couple of clips of this combination in the video above. Be aware that the Ice Golem’s death damage does not destroy the Guards’ shield nor does it kill unshielded Guards…

The Ice Golem’s death slow will also allow your Hog Rider to get one or two shots off even when Barbarians are dropped off.

If the opponent is using a Mini Pekka or Inferno Tower in defence make sure to include the little Ice Spirit in your combo as well.

For those who have the Princess, use her to help the Hog Rider get to the tower when facing against Tombstone, one volley and a Hog Rider hit will destroy it, the Princess’ next volley will finish off the skeletons.

On the subject of Princess, if you see the opponent has no efficient way of dealing with her (arrows, log, miner) then make sure you take advantage of this! It is a nightmare attacking someone with multiple Princesses up with no way of dealing with them. If the opponent is using miner to kill her, drop your Ice Spirit and a troop to take his attention away.
Defending

In defence, use Barbarians to surround the tank, they will cut through the tank like butter, do make sure you get the surround though as this will minimise area of effect (AoE) damage from the opponent’s units.

Ice Spirit, Zap, Princess, Archers and even the Ice Golem are your ‘go to’ Air defenders.

If placed properly your Mini Pekka will stop a Hog Rider getting a single shot off, drop your ice spirit or Ice Golem to stop the enemy’s Ice Spirit freezing your Mini Pekka.

Against Lava Hound decks you are somewhat at their mercy, strategy here is to race them or stop them building up their perfect push by pressuring them constantly.

With Ice Spirit and Zap you will not have a problem with Sparkys.

A given but, if the opponent has a Princess, give her wood!
Summary

As with all Hog cycle decks which this one is, they are good, no doubt about it. This deck will push you up the ladder and if you have at least tournament level cards it will allow you to reach Arena 9, the legendary arena.
If you have any questions please let me know, and apologies for the wood pun earlier in the post, I just couldn’t help it!

Taichi Panda: Heroes’ New Update Adds a New Hero and New Mounts

Taichi Panda: Heroes’ New Update Adds a New Hero and New Mounts

Mobile Action RPG Taichi Panda Heroes from developer Snail Games, receives its first major update today – the Underwater Uprising Update. The new update introduces a brand new hero, four new mounts, new mount estate system, a new PvP battlefield, as well as other additions and optimizations. Along with the announcement, Snail has also released a new official trailer showcasing some of the exciting features fans can expect in the new update:

Enter Fascinating Underwater Adventure
The Underwater Uprising Update includes a number of new game features, as well as bug fixes and optimizations to core game mechanics, including:

New Timed Hero — Esadora, the Ice Mage!
New Mounts — Sapphirus, Polar Steed, Hermitus and Mecha Fowlie
New Mount Estate System
New Limited Time Thanksgiving Titles and UI
New Seabed Trove Battlefield to Blood War
New Wild Arena and Daily Quests
New Chapter and Plot Quest
New Attack Attributes — Siphon Resist, Deflect Resist
New Equipment Enchantment Points Shop
New Battlefield Queuing Algorithm Adjustment — Shortens Queuing Time
Battle Team, Hero, Mount and Hero Skill Levels Increased to Level 95
Equipment Fortification Level Increased to Level 190
Sixth Stage of Talent System Unlocked
Optimizations and Bug Fixes to Existing Gameplay Systems

The update is now available in AppStore, GooglePlay, and Amazon. Players can download the pack and install it directly to upgrade their existing Taichi Panda: Heroes application.

Taichi Panda: Heroes’ New Update Adds a New Hero and New Mounts

About Taichi Panda: Heroes
Journey back to a time long forgotten in a kingdom of magical mayhem and powerful panda warriors with Taichi Panda: Heroes. The follow-up to critically acclaimed title Taichi Panda, Taichi Panda: Heroes lets players take control of teams of classic Heroes in an all new “multi-character” RPG adventure. Grow your team, battle through dungeons, and team up with friends in an expansive online open world experience. Stake your claim in a land ruled by chaos in an exciting new mobile MMO of panda proportions!

Dark and Light: Early Access is On the Way

Dark and Light: Early Access is On the Way

Since the announcement of Dark and Light (DnL) at ChinaJoy 2016, I have been keeping my eyes on the open world fantasy game. According to the official announcement the early access will be available on Steam by the end of this year. And today I saw a post on tieba, Chinese reddit, unveiled that the DnL related file has already been uploaded on Steam and is now under review.

In an recent DnL community Q&A, Horsejoke revealed more details about the upcoming game. Players will be able to build a “player town” without a lengthy process to apply for a zoning permit from your faction’s slowest bureaucrats. What’s more, beasts of burden will play an important part in the game, the larger the animal, the more it will be able carry.

Dark and Light: Early Access is On the Way

As for the most controversial PvP & PvP servers, Horsejoke told us that if ganking becomes too much of an issue on PvP servers even for hardcore PvP players, however, they may need to look into additional restrictions / penalties.

Dark and Light: Early Access is On the Way

We knew there will be some of underwater contents in DnL, but the ocean-based combat isn’t something they’ve put a lot of consideration. However, the air combat is definitely possible with offensive flying mounts like griffins and dragons.

Also, the Chinese players may have the access to the same servers as players in the west. So maybe we can except a global server?

Planet Explorers Review: A Voxel Adventure on a Distant Planet

Planet Explorers Review: A Voxel Adventure on a Distant Planet

In 2287, humanity sends its first colony ship to planet Maria in the Epsilon system. The ship struck something in low orbit during its approach phase. The occupants then rush to the rescue shuttles before crashing into the planet. The game uses the voxel technology that offers immense possibilities since it does not stop at the world design. Weapons, armor, vehicles, buildings and decorations can be created from scratch using voxel (and your talent). The dynamic soundtrack, perfectly integrated into the game world, helps tremendously to immersion.

There are 3 game modes: story mode, adventure mode and build mode. Story mode is pretty much meant for solo players, and takes us into the main plot of the game on a limited world size (but still gigantic, let’s be clear), with quests, NPCs, diplomacy and so on. Adventure mode, on the other hand, will appeal mostly to those looking for a multiplayer experience, evolving on a much larger map that they can explore, look for dungeons and bosses to defeat, complete random objectives or simply survive. Finally, build mode is for those looking for a sandbox experience, and is again targeting the multiplayer community. This mode has no enemies. You simply get an infinite amount of material to build whatever you want.

Planet Explorers Review: A Voxel Adventure on a Distant Planet

You start by waking up next to a crushed shuttle. The first quests will introduce you to the different game mechanics, including harvesting, manufacturing, fighting, hunger management and comfort. Something rather practical is that you can move while looking at the whole map, although the indicator will not move too fast due to the vastness of the map.

This huge world is separated into biomes found in different colors. Each biome has its own fauna and flora and every medium is represented: Land, Sea, Air. You can observe herbivores wander in herds and carnivores attacking other animals. The entire map is dotted with points of interest, giving a rich and coherent world.

Planet Explorers Review: A Voxel Adventure on a Distant Planet

To navigate this world, you can build vehicles from certain moments in history. The creative possibilities are numerous and you will have the opportunity to apply them on your weapons as well. If this aspect of the game does not interest you, there are other interesting features available.

Indeed, other than the usual building and survival aspects, you can also create your very own colony. This is an additional feature that will require you to perfect your management and construction skill. The main benefit of colonies is that you have access to more resources, as well as the ability to make larger and more complex objects.

Planet Explorers Review: A Voxel Adventure on a Distant Planet Planet Explorers Review: A Voxel Adventure on a Distant Planet

In conclusion, Planet Explorers offers quite a lot of mechanics for players to enjoy, promising hours of gameplay in story mode, gameplay that will then be expanded in multiplayer. The game, officially released on steam last week, has seen many updates since the alpha and continues to be maintained regularly. Things should only get better from now on.