Greetings and salutations, geeks and gamers!
There’s been so much going on in the world of Geeky Antics that we have not been able to report everything as it happens via our blog or even Twitter. This installment of The GANG Minute will provide some highlights so you can get all caught up… We’ve got lots cooking and the GANG is ROCKIN! Here are the highlights…
NOTE: Be sure to take the poll at the end – we need help brainstorming for our new show!
GANG May 2014 Guest Appearances & Previews
On Thursday, May 1st 2014, I will be joining The Gaming Death podcast at 9pm Eastern, which is live on Twitch just like HorsePLAY! It should be interesting as there will be like five or six people on the show. Right after, Chip Cella a.k.a. CaptinChaos from The B-Team Podcast will be joining us on HorsePLAY! LIVE Episode 20 (the title is currently undetermined) to talk about some of the following items as part of our #RetroFriday initiative:
- What the “next-gen” REALLY is.. or should be.
- The games we’re playing instead of “da newness”.
- Marvel Puzzle Quest strategies and call-ins.
- Core concepts in TCG/CCGs.
- A mini Hearthstone survival guide.
- What makes strategy games so replayable?
- Can puzzle fighters be considered strategy games?
- Some of our favorite strategy games of all time.
We’ll also be setting the stage for a real throwback episode, where we’ll talk about classic and retro-style games. We’re just waiting to see when Fred Rojas from Gaming History 101 can join us so we can go DEEP! I’m working on trimming some of the fat for EP20 so we can have more time for our featured topics and do more community interaction. We’d also like to do more Freeballin’ to talk about whatever! Maybe we’ll get to #TheDustOff and talk about the latest games sucking our souls away…
FTL: Advanced Edition – Hidden In Version 1.5x And Up!
In case you missed it, the long-awaited expansion to FTL: Faster Than Light Advanced Edition was released on April 3rd 2014. If you’re like me, you eagerly anticipated this, couldn’t find a firm release date, and probably got tired of waiting.. Then it snuck up on you like a ninja in your underpants!
It turns out that, for many of us, this was not an auto-update thing. Everyone who owns FTL: Faster Than Light does get the expansion for free BUT you might have to manually download v1.5x from Humble Bundle or wherever you bought the game if you went DRM-free. Steam FTL players probably did not even notice.
The changes are very subtle (you won’t see a new intro video or splash screen, in case you were waiting) until you poke around a bit and engage in extended play sessions. You’ll have to enable Advanced Edition content whilst choosing your ship and prepping your crew members. You’ll notice that the randomized encounters are more varied now, there are new ships, visuals have been (and usability) improved, and the clone bay provides an alternative to the med bay.. Just to name a few changes.
I hear there are also new ships but I can’t confirm this personally until I unlock more of them. I currently have around five space ships unlocked, BTW. The biggest change has to be the clone bay. The fear of losing crew members used to be the biggest thing for me but the clone bay makes life in space much easier. Suddenly, having enemies board your ship is not as scary, whether you have blast doors or not.
Other FTL advanced features that excite me:
- Mind control
- Backup battery
FTL used to be one of my most-played games on Twitch and the expansion makes me want to suit up in a bad way. There are times I wish the game went a little deeper on the simulation side but the rogue-like elements (i.e. permadeath) make the experience new and challenging every time. I recommend playing on Easy or Normal, difficulty unless you don’t mind dying.. A LOT.
A few quick tips for new FTLers: burst lasers and ion weapons are likely your best bets for an aggressive, crippling loadout. Drones and missiles hog up resources, plus they can be dodged or countered by elite ships. That said, missiles penetrate shields and can cause really nasty damage. The last thing you want in outer space is a fire that goes out of control or hull breaches that suck the oxygen away. I reckon that would suck.
#RetroFriday – The Granddaddy Of MOBAs And RTS Games
I’ve been teasing Herzog Zwei for a long time and finally got the ROM recording environment perfected. I’ve been super stoked to share this with you. I’m a big fan of SEGA but Herzog Zwei is more than just a great SEGA Genesis game. Herzog Zwei inspired MOBAs and RTS games as we know them today. yet it remains mostly unknown.
Please like, favorite, and comment on the YouTube video. I think everyone should play this game at least once. Herzog Zwei holds up surprisingly well today.. And it is not the hand-holding BS we see today, either. Did I mention the game let’s you play as a mech (Land-Armor)? It’s like Transformers.. Without Michael Bey.
We also invite you to join our #RetroFriday Steam community group Herzog Zwei and AirMech discussion. If you love strategy games but need something fast-paced, these are two fantastic games worth checking out. Let me know which 8-bit and 16-bit classics you’d like me to play [more of]. Every #RetroFriday, I’ll stream and record retro games from indie developers and classic consoles. Others are doing the same so be sure to check out the hashtag.
#YOHTAI – Join Us For Hearthstone Streams & Game Nights!
Our beloved Stan Faryna, the hardest working man in social media, has been rallying our fellow geeks and get #YOHTAI off the ground. Ye Olde Hearthstone Tavern And Inn is a place for Hearthstone players to share their Battle Tag and make new friends. We have a Steam community group, too:
This Hearthstone Steam community group is unofficial.. But it’s fun to be one of the handful of groups dedicated to the game. Let’s make #YOHTAI the biggest unofficial community for Hearthstone and play more together. Join us and we can do some Twitch streams and videos together, maybe even exchange some tips!
In around two weeks since we started this social initiative, I have made five new friends on Hearthstone. That’s significant considering I have been bad about adding people I play against during matchmaking. Sworen from The B-Team Podcast recently whooped my ass with a Warlock “test deck”. It was brutal.. I need new Hearthstone friends.
We Need Help Coming Up With A Show Name!
We’re getting closer to releasing a pilot episode for our NEW! game theory/mechanics and strategy podcast. Right now, I am unsure about the name but I have some good ideas for logos and banners. Could you give us a hand?
This new show, codenamed “Strategery” (yes, we know that’s not a real word), will have revolving hosts and guest hosts that will include hardcore gamers, casual players, game developers, marketing specialists, analysts, and scientists. The idea is to provide fresh perspectives on the inner workings of games, both tabletop and digital. We’re gonna go hard and deep with our ANALysis!
As this table shows, there’s lots in play when we are playing games. Analyzing these subleties can help us foster a greater appreciation for the amount of work that goes into gaming. If you’re not into game design or any of the business-side, the knowledge is helpful for identifying right-fit experiences or developing new strategies.. Break the meta!
Currently, we are leaning towards the first half or so being deep discussion on a theme for the week (along with the usual pleasantries and banter) and the second half shifting to tips, tricks, and strategies. There will be a heavy focus on strategy games and anything with an online or team focus. Our game spotlights will include Hearthstone, SolForge, League of Legends, Smite, DotA 2, Marvel PuzzleQuest, and AirMech.
Once I get some concept art together and firm things up a bit, expect an update to this article or some quick comments. For now, I think that covers all the stuff we’ve been meaning to cover here on GANGnet. Stay tuned for more great content. There’s going to be lots more variety coming up (if all goes well) including stuff covering Doctor Who, geek social issues, anime picks, and comic strips.
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