After the excellent Wasteland 2, we were excited to get our hands on the new installment, and we can say without fear that it has met expectations. Wasteland 3 is a sign of the love that InXile has for his work and Brian Fargo for the genre that has created a name for him. If you are a lover of the saga or the genre, do not hesitate to enjoy it.
Wasteland 3 doesn’t pull any punches with its subject matter in sexuality, violence, and language. But if you are fine with that, I would highly recommend you give Wasteland 3 a shot, especially if you were (or still are) a Fallout fan.
On Paper Wasteland 3 sounds like the perfect RPG-Dream but the execution leaves much to be desired. Bugs, Glitches and graphics that doesn't really represent a game that releases and the end of this console generation are a bit of a letdown. Everything else from the great story, entertaining NPCs, solid battle system, clever leveldesign over to the love for details is amazing, besides some flaws that should soon be fixed, as inXile and Brian Fargo promise. Everyone that wasn't happy with the latest Fallout Games will surely love Wasteland 3.
Wasteland 3 is a old-school role-playing game, with a compelling story, a combat system that promises but is not groundbreaking and some funny moments and black mood, which always remind us that we are in a post apocalyptic world, but with a smile. Don't forget the powerful character editor, rhythm voices, and the beautiful scenery that puts you in that atmosphere of cold and snowy Colorado.
Wasteland 3 can be a bit of slog if you're gunning for marathon gaming sessions with it at the helm. Combat, whilst exciting initially can fall into the traps of repetition. A little more variety could have negated some of the repeated player actions. That said, the story is compelling and the characters an interesting assortment of misfit survivors, although perhaps fitting post-apocalyptic stereotypes. It's a fun, easy to play game overall though that should well-please fans of the series and keep players entertained for quite some time with its high replay-value. However, aside from some bugs here and there, the impressive amount of voice-work on offer, the character building is the best part of the experience where you can really nurture your ranger squad in this snowy post-apocalyptic world.
At least in my time with it, Wasteland 3 has been a fascinating experience. I’ve come to appreciate its depth of gameplay, character, building, and exploration, even if some of its pieces and parts still feel very foreign to me.
I will be even happier with Wasteland 3 once it’s patched and most of the bugs that bit me end up getting squashed. Even in its current state I’m having a grand ol’ time bringing some justice to the cold depths where no Ranger has dared to before. But for as much of a blast as I’m having out northeast in the cold, I hope I can make it back to sunny Arizona in time to save my fellow lawmen!
Wasteland 3 is a throwback to the old School RPGs of yesteryear, while providing a new combat experience and a bigger world. Players that liked previous Fallout Games, or games like Wasteland 2 or Baldur's Gate will feel right at home with this title, and will have the opportunity to try X-Com like combat. For the amount of content provided, 60 USD is a very good price, and fans of the genre should get more than their money's worth.
Wasteland 3 doesn't bring much new to the table, both as a CRPG and as a piece of post-apocalyptic fiction. But, it's a terrifically executed role-playing game that rewards player investment from beginning to end.
Wasteland 3 is a heady crescendo of post-apocalyptic story-telling. Its combat is compelling and fun while its characters and overall plot are engrossing, even when it goes to some dark places. A must-play for tactical RPG fans.
We’ll update this review if the game is fixed, and the issues outlined are fixed or at least addressed; and then I’ll pick it back up. As it stands now, I’ll be playing something else that isn’t as apt to crash. Buyer beware.
There are a few misgivings related to Wasteland 3's technical aspects, mechanics, and overall challenge. However, its cast of characters (both old and new), the switch to a traditional turn-based combat system, and branching paths filled with decisions and dire consequences make for a superb journey with the Desert Rangers.
With a focus on freedom of choice that is second-to-none, Wasteland 3 has set the benchmark for CRPG narratives, all the while being supported by wonderfully engaging gameplay and roleplaying mechanics.
It took me a while to realize how much these interactions, whether it be the interpersonal conversation or combat encounters themselves, stuck with me. Wasteland 3 has rules, but they only exist for you to bend them. With limitless character creation combinations, branching dialogue choices that affect what quests you do or don’t experience, and multiple endings, Wasteland 3 is an expanse of content and opportunity. The change in locale does wonders, no longer relying on a tired post-apocalyptic biome. Wasteland 3 has a wonderful backdrop in Colorado’s frozen wastes, making it the perfect place to spend a nuclear winter.
Wasteland 3 takes players to a new location and presents them with equally unfamiliar challenges, yet still perfectly demonstrates all of the reasons why this series has had die-hard fans for over three decades, and is absolutely worth playing for anyone looking for their next post-apocalyptic fix.
Wasteland 3 doesn't change its predecessor's successful formula but, outside of certain design limitations, it perfects and modernizes it. It's easily the best game in the franchise, in terms of pure technique, and one that clearly gives you an idea of what inXile is able to achieve.
Wasteland 3 is a good role-playing game, technically passable but enriched by a dense network of intriguing subplots that will push the most dedicated to play it several times. Watch out for the ever-present release bugs, though – best to wait a couple patches if you want to avoid unnecessary hurdles.
Wasteland 3 features everything only the best role-playing games do: an engaging story powered by excellent writing, compelling characters, tons of customization options, and a deep tactical combat system that feels fresh even after dozens of hours. But, most of all, it features a living world that reacts to what the player does, and changes depending on how the player decides to deal with the troubles ahead, providing a role-playing experience of the highest degree, one that very few games can boast of.
Wasteland 3 is a testament to the power of the branching narrative, taking it far beyond binary choices and into a grand canopy of cause and effect. It gives the wintry climbs of Colorado a lifelike quality that must have been painstaking to build. The most impressive RPG in years, Wasteland 3 is a masterpiece.
Wasteland 3 shines with clear dedication to crafting the best game its genre has ever seen. Excellent visuals are matched by top notch voice work and some of the best and most natural writing I have seen in a video game not made by Naughty Dog. The combat is a brutal dance where one wrong move can spell disaster, but victory is an exhilarating rush that never becomes old. Wasteland 3 cements inXile as one of the best in the business in the RPG genre and affirms that Xbox has something truly special on their hands.
A very long, very indepth attempt at analizing Teemo
Warning, this is extremely long. Like 12 pages on a google doc long. You have been warned.
So there has been a lot of discussion about Teemo recently, from what his iconic skills are(all of them), to what items he can build(all of them), to what position he can be played in(... all of them), and it’s kinda went nowhere fast as Teemo, and by extension his player base, is just too flexible to be defined in any of these ways. So what actually makes Teemo unique? His playstyle. Teemo is an old style of champion. I'm not talking about his art, or his kit(though both of these are technically also true), I'm talking about how Teemo’s goal isn’t to all in and combo his opponent down on their first mistake and snowball from there, but rather to create a lead from dozens of small victories. Your goal isn’t necessarily kill your opponent (though that’s always good) but to force them back, causing them to miss cs and xp repeatedly, or waste their time smashing blindly into a bush. And later in the game, while, again, killing people is now the goal, forcing them to have to back after tripping a few shrooms, or leading them on a fruitless chase through the jungle after splitpushing are just as useful to Teemo. If I had to describe Teemo's playstyle, it would be
Attritional, Rapid Force, Psycologically Manipulative, War Mastermind of Breakdown
I'm only half joking, as even though this is from a Spongebob theory video on Plankton, it actually describes Teemo to some degree. As The Theorizer(the guy who made the video Im referencing) put it:
Attritional, someone who engages in attrition warfare. Rapid force, very fast, very hard attacks. Psychologically manipulative, basically, very good at trickery and getting people to do what you want. War mastermind, well duh, someone who is good with war. Breakdown, to break something down.
Only instead of getting a burger recipe, we are getting our enemies to tilt. But with every new release Teemo has gotten more and more outclassed, as his opponents get more and more mobility that a small 10-52% movespeed boost can’t escape from. We all recognize that Teemo needs a rework, a Morgana/Ezreal level rework that modernizes Teemo’s kit without changing its functionality that much, but a rework nonetheless. Last year u/RiotJag attempted to do a mini rework on Teemo, starting with this:
Base Mana Regen increased from 1.92 to 2.5 Mana Regen per level increased from 0.09 to 0.15 Mana/lvl up increased from 20 to 25 Toxic Shot (Passive) Teemo’s basic attacks now deal 10-50 bonus magic damage and leave a Poison DoT that deals 24-192 magic damage over 4 seconds. Toxic Shot damage (both the on-hit and the DoT) is amped by 50% whenever there are other Poison debuffs on the target Blinding Dart (Q) Base damage lowered from 80/125/170/215/260 to 80/115/150/185/220 AP Ratio lowered from 0.8 to 0.6 Now is a Poison Debuff Move Quick (W) No longer breaks stealth Guerilla Warfare (E) [New Active] After a 1 second delay, Teemo enters Camouflage for 3-5 seconds. Teemo is slowed by 25/22.5/20/17.5/15% during this effect, and gains 20/30/40/50/60% Attack Speed for 3 seconds when it ends. Camouflage does not tick down while Teemo is in a brush or is standing still. Noxious Trap (R) Base Damage lowered from 200/325/450 to 150/250/350 AP ratio lowered from 0.5 to 0.4 Mushrooms health increased from from [6 at all ranks] to [6/8/10] Mushroom max ammo count up from [3 at all ranks] to [3/4/5]
And then after a few iterations it ended up like this
Base Mana Regen increased from 1.92 to 2.5 Mana Regen per level increased from 0.09 to 0.15 Mana/lvl up increased from 20 to 25 Base damage lowered from 54 to 51 Attack speed per level lowered from 3.38 to 2 Toxic Shot (Passive) Teemo’s basic attacks now deal 8-50 bonus magic damage and leave a Poison DoT that deals 24-180 magic damage over 4 seconds. Toxic Shot damage (both the on-hit and the DoT) is amped by 50% whenever there are other Poison debuffs on the target Blinding Dart (Q) Base damage lowered from 80/125/170/215/260 to 70/105/140/175/210 mana cost increased from 70/75/80/85/90 to 80/85/90/95/100 AP Ratio lowered from 0.8 to 0.6 Now is a Poison Debuff Move Quick (W) No longer breaks stealth Guerilla Warfare (E) Cooldown: 40/37/34/31/28
[New] "After a 1 second delay, Teemo becomes Invisible indefinitely if standing still or in brush, and can move up to 7/7.5/8/8.5/9 Teemos while out of brush, but any non-periodic damage from champions will break him out. Teemo can see 25% farther while stealthed. Upon breaking Guerilla Warfare, Teemo gains 20/30/40/50/60% Attack Speed for 3 seconds. While on cooldown, standing in brush will tick down guerilla Warfare's cooldown faster." Stealth duration while moving: 2/2.25/2.5/2.75/3 >Noxious Trap (R) Base Damage lowered from 200/325/450 to 150/250/350 AP ratio lowered from 0.5 to 0.4 Mushroom max ammo count up from [3 at all ranks] to [3/4/5] Traps now become invisible after 1 second Traps can continue to bounce on other traps Additionally there were these prospective changes that were scrapped due to the community’s disinterest in the rework direction.
"Most recent version in testing was pretty E focused as follows (differences all versus previous prototype version, not versus live Teemo): - No longer granted extra sight range - CD didn't tick down faster in brush - Distance while invisible up a bit - CD lower - Standing in brush slowly replenished distance Teemo could move while invisible Haven't heard how playtesting with that went though. Expect this will likely continue as a slow burn project rather than something that gets released or killed quickly, especially given it's the secondary priority of the designer working on it."
After it was scrapped we got the quality of life buffs that we have now. But lets discuss the rework. I honestly thing that the _concept_ is the best shot at reworking Teemo. The numbers and exact implementation are debatable, but switching e and passive is a great idea as, after the shrooms, Teemo’s on hit poision is his most iconic ability. Not to mention it freed Teemo up to be able to max his abilities depending on what he needed for his matchup, rather than e max always, and then either q or w depending on choice. The things people didn’t like about it though were:
The shrooms being nerfed damage wise.
I understand this one, Doomshroom Teemo is my favorite build, but his shrooms are problematic in their current state as they take up a large amount of Teemo's power budget, but also can amount to nothing as the enemy gets 5 sweepers and clears all of them. Not to mention how they synergize so well with Liandrie’s that its a core item for Teemo, despite the fact that his q, the only other ability that can proc it, does not utilize it all that well due to being a medium cooldown, single target spell that can only proc it once. And this is going to be a problem, as in the item update Liandries will be a mythic item, and Teemo builds Liandries [77.5% of the time!](https://www.leagueofgraphs.com/champions/items/teemo) To put this into perspective, Nashors tooth is only bought 61.5% of the time. An item that gives Teemo every stat he wants regardless of build(ignoring Tankmo) and reinforces Teemo's main damage outlet(basically increases e's on-hit damage by 150-30% depending on e rank, and the on-hit scaling from .3 to .45 AP), is bought 16.5% less often than an item that only synergizes with one skill. If this continues after the update, which it likely will as Liandries increases Shroom damage by 20-200%(depending on when it's bought, the target hit, and other items bought. The 200% would be lvl 1 ult, no other ap, and an 1000 health target with 50 mr) and its being _buffed_ via the mythic item stat bonus, that will be above the threshold that will cause Teemo to be changed due to [hardbinding](https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en-us/news/dev/dev-updated-approach-to-item-balancing/). Unless Zyra and Brand also buy it at the same rates after the update(as that would trigger the “nerf item” option), but unlike Teemo the item actually synergizes with their entire kit(plants and blaze, which utilize every ability) rather than just one ability.
It didn’t improve the w
This was a major hole in the rework, as while switching e and p is great, it wouldn’t be awful if they stayed the same. Meanwhile Teemo’s w is supposed to put the “swift” in his title of Swift Scout, and it does so… barely. Exactly what should happen with it is, as always, up to debate, but it needs changing to be on par with current LoL as the current w is supposed to help Teemo kite, yet even if you dodge everything thrown at you it can get disabled by a ludens proc hitting an ally.
The camo stealth makes him a worse Twitch.
This is half true. The first one, yes absolutely. But it didn’t stay as a camouflage ability. Sure, both are marksmen that can go invisible, but Twitch’s is for long distances and to keep him safe while he positions to obliterate the enemy team from 800 range, while Teemo’s is restricted range wise, and is more useful to dodge enemy's notice or wait for them to come to you rather than you going to them. At that point, they only share the fact that they both come out of stealth to surprise people(and a DOT, if 30 damage after 6 attacks at lvl 18 deserves to be called one), which every camoflage user does And my own complaint about both proposed rework and live Teemo:
His kit has limited synergy.
Each part of Teemo's kit doesn't help the other parts very much. Over the years Teemo players have worked the separate parts of his kit into a cohesive playstyle, but each part of his kit just does it's own thing. Like for instance, in theory his blind should support keeping his w up, but in reality every champ, even Udyr, has a non auto attack way of hitting Teemo(Udyr typically has smite and he always can rush up to you with Bear and activate Phoenix stance), and many have attacks that are undodgable(unless you count not being in range to be targeted as dodging it, which for many champs is just being outside Teemo's attack range). So, where should we go from here?
Well, we should discuss the purpose of his abilities.
If every part of his kit is iconic, and replacing them completely would change Teemo in a way that the playerbase wouldn’t like, then we should decide what role each of his abilities plays in his playstyle, and how they could be changed to better fit them.
This is the base of Teemo’s kit. Doing DOT damage after autoing someone is key to Teemo's attritional playstyle in lane, and hit and run/kiting playstyle later in the game. It has a decent base damage and a great scaling, and is just as useful for pure AP builds as on hit ones. It does exactly what it needs to, nothing about it needs to be changed.
Teemo's reactive defense in a fight. On one hand, it's extremely powerful as can completely shut down the main damage of auto reliant champions(Yi, Udyr, some ADC's) for up to 2.5 seconds, provided they don't have on hit effects that ignore the blind and hit anyway. On the other hand, it's completely useless against every other type of champ(mages, assassins, tanks, spellslinger ADC's, most Juggernauts). Its not healthy for Teemo's main defensive tool to be useless(or of limited use, as I counted champs like Nunu who auto attack, but don't rely on it to do their job as part of it being useless) against 70% of the champion roster. As people have talked about, Teemo _needs_ this in order to stay safe, yet in most of his matchups(regardless of role) it can't do anything to protect him, let alone later in the game when he has to face the other 4 enemy champs. And that's not counting the fact that ranged auto's that are in transit before the blind hits are not blocked, which means that even against a Vayne with Condenm on cooldown, it still can’t keep Teemo’s w up as even if you blind her first chance she probably will have lanched an auto already.
If blinding dart is a reactive defense, then Move Quick is supposed to be Teemo's proactive defense. When he was added, it allowed him to more easily kite slower enemy champions as there were fewer speedboosts and dashes, and in general lower mobility. Nowadays, the passive is deactivated rather quickly in a fight, and 3 seconds of MS isnt enough to give him a fighting chance of escaping/keeping up. The intention of the skill is to allow Teemo greater kiting potential in fights, while giving enemies a way to shut it down to have a chance of catching Teemo. But the reality is that unless you are against a champ like Garen who has zero ranged attacks, you are not going to be able to keep it active, making it feel like an out of combat passive. The issue is keeping the balance between Teemo having kiting power in a fight, and allowing enemies a chance to slow down Teemo, because whether we like it or not, Riot does want enemies to be able to catch kiting champs like Teemo, Kalista, and Ashe, because they would be horrible to play against otherwise. Right now, the balance is heavily skewed towards enemies, as any kind of damage will reduce Teemo's ability to kite enemies with matching boots to a singular 3 second burst for the rest of the fight.
The most underultilized part of Teemo's kit. In its current form it's incredibly strong, yet is extremely situational. Its a decent strategic option for positioning mid game, as it can allow you to dodge an enemy(providing they didn't see you yet), or allow you to ambush people, but to use it offensively requires an enemy to come to you as you can only move inside bushes, and defensively it's limited to: Dodging people that have not seen you Becoming invincible to enemies that only have point and click damage(Vayne, Yi,) Stalling for time so an ally can come save you For such an integral part of Teemo’s kit… it feels a little tacked on. Its a situational fight opener or utility tool, and any attempt to use it while near enemy champs usually ends up with them knowing where you are and throwing skillshot after skillshot at you. Its not _bad,_ but to say it can’t be improved would be a lie. Personally I like the sound of that last version, as it would differentiate between Teemo’s e and Twitch’s q, while fitting into Teemo’s playstyle nicely(or, at least, I already dash from bush to bush while in the enemy jungle to check if the coast is clear. Not sure about the rest of you). The fact that you would have to “charge up” movement time by staying in bushes helps give the feel that you are creeping around, without actually slowing Teemo down like the first version of the change.
Shrooms have 3 main uses: Damage, be it wearing down enemies as they attempt to move throughout the map, making it so they always enter fights below full health or killing low health fleeing enemies Granting vision of important areas, such as Dragon, Baron, and the enemy jungler's camps(or your jungle camps, if your jungler is being invaded) CC, cutting off engage or escape paths, slowing enemies so that Teemo/his team have a chance to escape/engage. Right now they do all of these well, except damage vs tanks, and don't have to be changed. But like I pointed out before Liandries is a massive amount of their power, and that isn't healthy as unless you are planning on ignoring the shrooms damage completely you have to buy it, and mythinc item, hardbinding, yada yada yada.... So if the Shrooms are changed they should aim to keep the same power, but less oppressive against squishes and more effective(or, rather, less ineffective) against tanky targets without having to rely on Liandries to the point where its a core item even against full squishy teams.
Suggestions on what could change
The only thing I would change about it is move it's ticks from 1/s to 4/s, like Singe's poison, Karthus's aoe, or 2/s like Casdiopia's poison. It would give a better readability on the damage for everyone involved, which, while it is a slight nerf to Teemo, clarity changes that increase counterplay allow for more power to be added elsewhere. Also, unlike Singer's poison or Karthus's e, Teemo doesn't have a "turn on for one tick to farm and turn off" mechanic for his poison like they did, so other than age I can't think of why it is one second between ticks. The ‘surprise’ factor of how much damage it does is good for Teemo, but how much damage the enemy is taking shouldn't be something that is obscured.
The simplest change would be to make it apply nearsighted, which would have 3 effects.
make it less of a hard counter to melee auto centric champs,while still allowing it utility
Improves its usability against all kinds of champs, and opens up more uses than "damage" and "no auto attack for you"
Allows Teemo to actually participate in gurilla warfare, making it possible for him to pop up, attack, and disappear on an enemy champ, providing he is outside their truncated vision range.
I have other ideas as to what can be done with this ability, but it makes more sense in context so that will be below.
I have two ideas for how this could be changed to be better:
It does not break on damage from poisoned enemies, as well as increasing it to 10-30% because round numbers.
This one is kinda obvious of how it helps Teemo, but I like it because it allows Teemo to keep his speed if he gets the drop on enemies, but if they get in the first attack then they are rewarded with a Teemo that is easier to catch.
Teemo’s base MS down to 325 (WAIT, don’t crucify me just yet), and decrease the % MS boost from 10-26% to 10-19%, and then add on +5-25 base MS per rank.
Now that sounds broken, as an increase of 5 base ms is a huge increase in winrate usually, but hear me out. Rank 1: Teemo would have 325+5+10%= 330+10%=363 which is exactly the same as live. Rank 2: Teemo would have 325+10+12.25%= 335+12.25%=376 the same as live. Rank 3: Teemo would have 325+15+14.5%= 340+14.5%=389 the same as live. Rank 4: Teemo would have 325+20+16.75%= 345+16.75%=403 the same as live. Rank 5: Teemo would have 325+25+19%= 350+19%=416 the same as live. Though a note is that with boots, ranks 1-4 actually give less ms than live. Its only 5-1 ms difference, which may not even end up showing up after the Movement speed soft caps apply. Except for Mobie boots, there is a significant difference there after the MS cap, but Teemo only builds them .03% of the time or so, and they are deactivated whenever someone trips a shroom, so that’s a sacrifice I'm willing to make. The only noticeable thing that would change is how fast Teemo is when the passive is down, and how fast he is when using the w active(if im doing the math right it is slower by a max of 18 ms, with Mobie boots, but that makes sense as we are dropping 14% bonus ms on the w active in exchange for 25 flat ms, which means less of a boost with just it, but it scales better with other % movement boosts) [Here is my compiled list of Teemo’s movement speed with every kind of boot + w](https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mkKCcFzXV8PbXseYadoi6z1rs9SN0xGRCFMjw4z3Ito/edit?usp=sharing), and [here is a graph that allows you to easily put in the variables if you want to check it out yourself](https://www.desmos.com/calculatoirneett3wh).
In addition to the prospective changes that we never saw, which to me sounds like the best version(assuming the numbers are not terrible), here are a few ideas I thought of: Teemo’s e breaks on damage outside bushes, but while inside a bush Teemo is obscured(you know, that broken “true stealth” thing Akali had, only there are no bushes inside tower range and Teemo doesn’t have 3 dashes so it should be less obnoxious) and the invisibility doesn’t break. What this basically means is if an enemy hits a scyre bloom or an ability that gives true sight on Teemo when he is inside a bush, he is still not able to be clicked on. Standing still for 1 second increases shroom vision range over the next two seconds. I like this one, as it enhances the scouting aspect of his theme, but enemies can interact with it and it has to be something Teemo is actively doing, rather than just passive extra vision.
Assuming we are touching these, I honestly think having it apply % current health(better against tanks, not as oppressive against squishies), along with the passive poison would allow it to function both as a weakening chip damage, and potential low health killer, without getting into the 2 shot shroom territory as that feels bad to be on the end of. They should be able to kill if you run into a ton of them in a row, but not automatic death after hitting one from a fed Teemo. I honestly haven’t thought of a better way other than that to keep the balance between chip damage and kill threat without entering the binary “die by 2 shrooms or 5 Sweepers” territory And now for my Rework suggestion(do note that while I have considered the numbers I gave things, numbers are easily changed about and as such laying out the mechanics is my goal):
Toxic Shot Teemo laces his attacks with poison from his Kumongu shrooms, causing his basic attacks to deal [10-50 + .3 AP] damage, and his basic attacks and spells to poison the target for [1.5-11.25 +.025 AP] every .25 seconds for 4 seconds. Poisons from unique attacks(autos would be one unique attack, q is one, and shrooms count as one) stack up to three times, each new stack at 50% extra damage(so 175%, which max damage without refreshing the poison would be 315 + .7AP total at level 18, for landing a shroom, an auto, and a q).
Similar to Sol’s passive, I'm suggesting Teemo’s passive be the main source of his damage and tie his entire kit together. Maybe 175% is too low for 3 stacks, but I thought 200% might be too overbearing. Anyway, its not like numbers are not constantly changed.
Sporecloud Dart Skillshot, 700 range, AOE detonation, 300 range, 80/85/90/95/100 mana cost Does 50/75/100/125/150 +.4AP + 1bAD(bonus AD) damage to main target, applying on hit effects(not passive’s on hit), reduces vision range for them for 1.5/1.6/1.7/1.8/1.9/2 seconds, spreads passive DOT(not on hit) to target and nearby enemies
This one has many reasons: By changing it to a skill shot, from a targeted skill, it allows enemies to do more than just “don’t get near Teemo” to avoid it, but in return the cc is better against a wider assortment of enemies rather than just auto reliant ones. It also means that if an enemy can get on you, they have a chance of actually hitting you, but it also keeps his ability to shut down enemy ADC’s intact, if a little less duration. As it is a skill shot, I gave it slightly increased range so that Teemo has something to do in teamfights, but also increased its mana cost so it can’t be spammed The reason it applies the passive in AOE is because I was inspired by Teemo’s skill in this TFT set, which is where the name comes from, and it addresses his issue in the jungle of having poor multi-target damage pre-6. This gives him a pre-6 option for clearing camps/pushing waves, and makes up in part for the damage that is lost from the shrooms(keep reading for that, its not as bad as you might think)
Move quick 10/15/20/25/30% ms Does not break on damage from poisoned targets
That other option I outlined above would also work, I just thought of this one first and it fits with Teemo spreading poison everywhere.
Guerrilla Warfare 1.5 second arm time, indefinite while still/in bushes. Can move 2/2.25/2.5/2.75/3 seconds while stealthed, recharges slowly in bushes. Element of Surprise: 20/30/40/50/60 AS for 3 seconds
Optional bonus:>! After standing still for 1 second, shroom's vision radius grows by 10/20/30/40/50% over the next 2 seconds.!< Basically the prospective changes that we never saw. Not sure what the cooldown was going to be though. The optional bonus is a different take on the “Teemo gains 25% sight range while stealthed” from the most recent one. Im not sure if it would be overpowered or not, but I thought why not? Its not like they haven’t removed mechanics before. Anyway, the idea would be that Teemo can set up a vision network, which enemies are already looking to clear because shrooms, but at the cost of doing things. Great for ambushes, not so much for watching for a gank.
Noxious Trap Deal 10/15/20% max health, and applies Toxic Shot’s DOT(not the on hit) Enemies effected by shrooms take .75% extra damage from Toxic Shot for every 1% missing health, capping at 50% damage(so 109/lvl 6 - 270/lvl 18 +.6 ap total damage, when they are at 33% health for just the shroom, and 472 +1.05 AP for 3 stacks)
Assuming the combo is just one auto, q, and shroom, that is a max of 100% tAD+ 100% bAD + 50 + 150 + 472 + 10% current health + 175% AP(so 672 + 175% AP + auto damage) when the enemy is at ⅓ health. That sounds like a lot, but its not that much for just one combo. For reference, Vigar can do 650 +150% AP with just his ult alone, and then has another 540+160% AP from his other abilities. Anyway, the % current health would allow Teemo to affect Tanks with his Shrooms, without making it overbearing for squishies, while the pseudo-execute extra passive damage makes it so that Teemo can still kill with Shrooms, be it in fights or on fleeing enemies. The idea is to make 2 shot shrooms less feasible, but allow the damage to scale better. It also would only apply Liandries only once, which, while is a nerf, is one that ultimately benefits Teemo as Liandries would be an effective option for 2-3 tank teams, but not a mandatory item for every game you don’t go with On Hit Teemo.
Summary of Tau-Chain Monthly Video Update - August 2020
Transcript of the Tau-Chain & Agoras Monthly Video Update – August 2020 Karim: Major event of this past month: Release of the Whitepaper. Encourages everyone to read the Whitepaper because it’s going to guide our development efforts for the foreseeable future. Development is proceeding well on two major fronts: 1. Agoras Live website: Features are being added to it, only two major features are missing 2. TML: We identified ten major tasks to be completed before the next release. Three of them are optimization features which are very important for the speed and performance features of TML. In terms of time requirements, we feel very good to stay on schedule for the end of this year. We also are bringing in two extra resources to help us get there as soon as possible. Umar: Been working on changes in the string relation, especially moving from binary string representation to unistring. The idea is that now rather than having two arguments in the term, you would have a single argument for the string. Thus, the hierarchy changes from two to one and that has an effect on speed and on the storage. So the first few numbers that we calculated showed that we are around 10% faster than with the binary string. There are some other changes that need to be made with regards to the string which he is working on. Tomas: Had to revise how we encode characters in order to be compatible with the internet. It also was the last missing piece in order to compute persistence. The reason is that the stored data has to be portable and if TML needs characters and strings internally in the same encoding as it stores its own data, we can map strings directly into files and gain lots of speed with it. The code is now pushed in the repository and can be tested. He’s also working on a TML tutorial and likely before next update, there should be something available online. Kilian: Transcribed past month’s video update. You can find it on Reddit. Also, he has done more outreach towards potential partner universities and research groups and this month the response rate was better than earlier, most likely because of the whitepaper release. Positive replies include: University of Mannheim, Trier (Computational Linguistics & Digital Humanities), research group AI KR from within the W3C (https://www.w3.org/community/aik) articulated strong interest in getting a discussion going, particularly because they had some misconceptions about blockchain. They would like to have a Q&A session with a couple of their group members but first it’s important for us to have them read the whitepaper to get a basic understanding and then be able to ask respective questions. Other interested parties include the Computational Linguistics research group of the University of Groningen, Netherlands and also the Center for Language Technology of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. We also got connected to the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. Also has done some press outreach in combination with the whitepaper, trying to get respective media outlets to cover our project, but so far hasn’t gotten feedback back. Been discussing the social media strategy with Ohad and Fola, trying to be more active on our channels and have a weekly posting schedule on Twitter including non-technical and technical contests that engage with all parts of our community. Furthermore, has opened up a discussion on Discord (https://discord.gg/qZtJs78) in the “Tau-Discussion” channel around the topics that Ohad mentioned he would first like to see discussed on Tau (see https://youtu.be/O4SFxq_3ask?t=2225):
Definitions of what good and bad means and what better and worse means.
The governance model over Tau.
The specification of Tau itself and how to make it grow and evolve even more to suit wider audiences. The whole point of Tau is people collaborating in order to define Tau itself and to improve it over time, so it will improve up to infinity. This is the main thing, especially initially, that the Tau developers (or rather users) advance the platform more and more.
If you are interested in participating in the discussion, join our Discord (https://discord.gg/qZtJs78) and post your thoughts – we’d appreciate it! Also has finished designing the bounty claiming process, so people that worked on a bounty now can claim their reward by filling out the bounty claiming form (https://forms.gle/HvksdaavuJbu4PCV8). Been also working on revamping the original post in the Bitcointalk-Thread. It contains a lot of broken links and generally is outdated, so he’s using the whitepaper to give it a complete overhaul. With the whitepaper release, the community also got a lot more active which was great to see and thus, he dedicated more time towards supporting the community. Mo’az: Finished multiple milestones with regards to the Agoras Live website: 1. Question part where people post their requests and knowledge providers can help them with missing knowledge. 2. Have been through multiple iterations of how to approach the services in the website. How the service seeker can discover new people through the website. 3. Connected the limited, static categories on the website to add more diversity to it. By adding tags, it will be easier for service seekers to find what they are looking for. 4. Onboarding: Been working on adding an onboarding step for the user, so the user chooses categories of his interest and as a result, he will find the homepage to be more personalized towards him and his interests. 5. New section to the user profile added: The service that the knowledge provider can provide. Can be added as tags or free text. 6. Search: Can filter via free text and filter by country, language, etc. 7. Been working on how to display the knowledge providers on the platform. Andrei: Improved look of the Agoras Live front page: Looks more clean. Finetuned search options. Redesigned the header. It now has notification icons. If you query a knowledge provider for an appointment, he will receive a notification about the new appointment to be approved or rejected. You can also add a user to your favorites. Front page now randomly displays users. Also implemented email templates, e.g. a thank you email upon registration or an appointment reminder. What is left to do is the session list and then the basic engine will be ready. Also needs to implement the “questions” section. Juan: Has switched towards development of TML related features. Been working mainly on the first order logic support. Has integrated the formula parser with the TML core functionality. With this being connected, we added to TML quantified Boolean function solving capability in the same way as we get the first order logic support. It’s worth mentioning that this feature is being supported by means of the main optimized BDD primitives that we already have in the TML engine. Looking forward to make this scalable in terms of formula sizes. It’s a matter of refining the Boolean solution and doing proper tests to show this milestone to the community in a proper way. Fola: Have been discussing the feasibility of a token swap towards ERC20 from the Omni token with exchanges and internally with the team. Also has been discussing the social media strategy with Kilian. As we update with the new visual identity and the branding, it’s a good time to boost our social media channels and look ready for the next iteration of our look and feel. Continuing on the aspects of our visual identity and design, he’s been talking to quite a number of large agencies who have been involved in some of the larger projects in the software space. One being Phantom (https://phantom.land) who designed the DeepMind website (https://deepmind.com), the other one being Outcast (https://theoutcastagency.com) who have been working with Intel and SalesForce. We aren’t sure yet with which company we go but it’s been good to get insight into how they work and which steps they’d take into getting our project out to the wider audience. That whole process has been a lot of research into what kind of agencies we’d want to get involved with. Also, with the release of the whitepaper being such a big milestone in the history of the company, he’s been doing a lot of reading of that paper. We’re also looking to get more manpower involved with the TML website. Also going to hire a frontend developer for the website and the backend will be done according to Ohad’s requirements. Also, as a response of the community’s feedback towards the Omni deck not being user friendly, he did some outreach to the Omni team and introduced them to a partner exchange for Agoras Live. They have an “exchange-in-a-box” service which may help Omni to have a much more usable interface for the Omni Dex, so hopefully they will be working together to improve the usability of the Omni Dex. Ohad: Finished writing the community draft of the whitepaper. The final version will contain changes according to the community’s feedback and more elaboration on more topics that weren’t inserted in the current paper, including logics for law and about the full process of Tau. And, as usual, he’s been doing more research of second order logic, specifically, Boolean options and also analyzing the situation where the formulas in conjunctive normal form trying to extract some information from such a cnf. Also, what Juan mentioned about first order logic: People who are already familiar with TML will see that now with this change, the easiness of using TML got much more advanced. In first order formulas, expressing yourself has become much easier than before. Q&A: Q: What is the difference between Horn Second Order Logic and Krom Second Order Logic? A: Horn and Krom are special cases of cnf (conjunctive normal form). Conjunctive normal form means the formula has the form of n conjunction between clauses. This clause and this clause while each clause is a disjunction of atoms: It’s this or this or this or that. And now any formula can be written in conjunctive form. Any formula can be brought to this form. Krom is the case where each clause contains exactly two atoms and Horn is the case where at most one atom in every clause is positive – thre rest are negated, that’s the definition. Q: Now that the whitepaper has been released, how do you think it will affect the work of the developers? A: We see the whitepaper as being a roadmap of development for us, so it will essentially be the vision that we are working to implement. Of course, we have to turn it into much more specific tasks, but as you saw from the detailed progress from last month, that’s exactly what we do. Q: When can we expect the new website? A: We’ve just updated the website with the whitepaper and the new website should be launching after we get the branding done. There’s a lot of work to be done and a lot of considerations taking place. We have to get the graphics ready and the front end done. The branding is the most important step we have to get done and once that is complete, we will launch the new website. Q: What needs to be resolved next before we get onto a solid US exchange? A: With the whitepaper released, that’s probably been the biggest hurdle we had to get over. At this point, we still have to confirm some elements of the plan with the US regulators and we do need to have some sort of product available. Be that the TML release or Agoras Live, there needs to be something out for people to use. So, in conjunction with the whitepaper and approval from the US regulators, we need to have a product available to get onto US exchanges. Q: Does the team still need to get bigger to reach cruising speed, if so, how much by and in which areas? A: Of course, any development team would like to have as many resources as possible but working with the resources we that have right now, we are making significant progress towards the two development goals that we have, both the Agoras Live website and the TML engine. But we are bringing in at least two more resources in the near future but there’s no lack of work to be done and also there’s no lack of progress. Q: Will Prof. Carmi continue to work in the team and if so, in what capacity? A: Sure, Prof. Carmi will continue coordinating with us. Right now, he’s working on the mathematics of certain features in the derivatives market that Agoras is planned to have, and also ongoing research in relevant logic. Q: Will you translate the whitepaper into other languages? A: Yes, we expect translations of the whitepaper to occur. The most important languages that comprise our community, e.g. Chinese. What languages exactly, we cannot tell right now, but mainly the most prominent languages that comprise our community. Q: Is the roadmap on the website still correct and, when will we move to the next step? A: We will be revamping the website soon including the roadmap that will be a summary of what’s been published in the whitepaper but the old version of the roadmap on the website is no longer up-to-date. Q: What are the requirements for Agoras to have its own chain? A: If the question means why Agoras doesn’t have its own chain right now, well there is no special reason. We need to reach there and we will reach there. Q: When Agoras switches to its own chain, will you need to create a new payments system from scratch? A: No, we won’t have to. We will have to integrate with the new payment channel but that’s something we are planning to do anyway. We will be integrating with several exchanges and several payment channels so it won’t be a huge task. Most of the heavy lifting is in the wallet and key management which will be done on the client side but we’re already planning on having more than one payment gateway anyway so having one more is no problem. Q: When can we see Tau work with a real practical example? A: For examples of applications of TML, we are currently working on a TML tutorial and a set of demos. Two of our developers are currently working on it and it’s going to be a big part of our next release. Q: How can we make speaking in formal languages easier, with an example? A: Coming up with a usable and convenient formal language is a big task which maybe it’s even safe to say no one achieved up until today. But we solve this problem indirectly yet completely by not coming up with any language but letting languages to be created and evolve over time through the internet of languages. We don’t have any solution of how to make formal languages very easy for everyone. It will be a collaborative effort over Tau together to reach there over time. You can see in the whitepaper in the section 4.2 about “The Critical Mass and the Tau Chain Reaction”. Q: What are the biggest limitations of Tau and, are they solvable? A: TML cannot do everything that requires more than polynomial space to be done and there are infinitely many things like this. For example, you can look up x time or x space complete problems. We would want to say elementary but there is no elementary complete problem but there are complete problems in each of the levels of elementary. All those, TML cannot do because this is above polynomial space. Another drawback of TML which comes from the usage of BDDs is arithmetic. In particular, multiplication. Multiplication is highly inefficient in TML because of the nature of BDDs and of course BDDs bring so many more good things that even this drawback of slow multiplication is small compared to all the possibilities that this gives us. Another limitation, which we will emphasize in the next version of the whitepaper, is the satisfiability problem. The satisfiability problem of a formula without a model to ask whether a model exists – not a model checking like right now but to ask whether a model exists – this is undecidable already on very restricted classes as follows from Trakhtenbrot’s theory. So in particular, the containment problem, the scalability problem, the validity problem, they all are undecidable in TML as is and for them to be decidable, we need to restrict even more the expressive power and look at narrower fragments of the language. But again, this will be more emphasized in the next version of the whitepaper. Q: It looks years for projects such as Maidsafe to build something mediocre, why should Agoras be able to do similar or better in less time? A: Early on in the life of the Tau project, we’ve identified the computational resources marketplace as one of the possible applications of Tau, so it is very much on our roadmap. However, as you mentioned, there are some other projects, e.g. Filecoin, which is specifically focusing on the problem of storage. So even though it’s on our roadmap, we’re not there yet but we are watching closely what our competitors in this field are doing. While they haven’t yet delivered on their promise of an open and distributed storage network, we feel that at some point we will have more value to bring to the project. So distributed storage is on our roadmap but it’s not a priority for us right now but eventually we’ll get there. Q: What are the requirements in scalability, e.g. permanent storage etc.? A: We haven’t answered that question yet. Q: Will Tau be able to run on a mobile phone? A: Definitely, Yes. We’re planning on being available on all computational platforms, be it a server, laptop, phone or an iPad type of device. Q: Given a vast trove of knowledge, how can Tau determine relevance? Can it also build defenses against spam attacks and garbage data? A: Tau doesn’t offer any predetermined solution to this. It is basically all up to the user. The user will have to define what’s criminal and what’s not. Of course, most users will not bother with defining this but they will be able to automatically agree to people who already defined it and by that import their definitions. So bottom line: It’s really up to the users. Q: What are your top priorities for the next three months? A: Our goal for this year (2020) is to release a first version of Agoras Live and of TML. Q: Ohad mentioned the following at the start of the year: Time for us to work on Agoras. We need to create the Agoras team and commence work. We made a major improvement in one of Agoras’ aspects in the form of theatrical breakthrough but we’re not ready yet to share the details publicly. Is there any further news or progress with the development of Agoras? A: If the question is whether there has been more progress in the development of Agoras, specifically with regards to new discoveries for the derivatives market, then the answer is of course yes. Professor Carmi is now working on those inventions related to the derivatives market. We still keep them secret and of course, with Agoras Live, knowledge sharing for money is coming.
I’m a mess. My partner and I have been together a little over 7 years. He (preferred pronoun for now) has always been attracted to femininity in different bodies and being more feminine himself. We had a conversation the very first night we were intimate and we have had open conversation about it since then. I generally have to initiate the conversation, but it’s also generally me that needs reassurance that he still wants me, even if I’m not exactly his ideal. A few weeks ago, he gave himself a super cute haircut, but kept part of it long. He told me then that he wanted to keep the long part because he is non-binary. I was so happy for him and so glad he told me... I asked him what language he wanted me to use to describe him (I’ve used a gendered pet name) and quickly adapted my language. I wanted to ask him about other outward expression of his true identity, but I wanted him to have control, so I figured he’d come to me if/when he was ready to start fleshing ideas out. But then yesterday, he told me that he has already made an appointment to start HRT. And that he took the first available appointment. He does not need my permission, but I am hurt that he didn’t have a conversation with me first. I had and have so many questions and concerns and thoughts that I want us to have space and time to feel out before HRT. He says he doesn’t want to have any surgeries, and wants a more feminine voice and body. I don’t understand why HRT is the first stop and not a voice coach and some other feminization options. He says he won’t change anything about his expression until he can pass for female, and understands that may never happen... He is very giddy/happy about this, and I fear he is being naive about some things that could happen. The biggest for me is that I desperately want us to have a baby (this has not been a secret) and he’s always said there is no rush but HRT introduces a rush and/or the possibility of freezing sperm but we’re also both in our mid 30s so the fertility gods are not necessarily on our side with a limited supply. When I mentioned it last night, he said he has looked at freezing sperm but when I started talking about fertility testing first so we have our best shot, he shut down. My next concern is about sex. I am an anomaly about ciswomen in that I can only orgasm through penetration. I know orgasming isn’t the most important part of sex, but it’s pretty far up there. I don’t feel like he’s being completely honest with himself about the possibility that penetrative sex without toys could be off the table. I have never needed to educate myself on the mechanics, so when I asked him last night he was like “yep, I’ll still be able to get erect. Yep, I’ll still be able to ejaculate. It won’t change my sex drive much except that I won’t think about it all the time” but when I was reading (all night), that doesn’t seem to necessarily be the case? And there is no way to predict what the case will be for us. I asked him if he was scared about things changing and he said no. We’re actors and singers, and have done multiple musicals and plays together in our community. It has been one of our few outlets and safe spaces, but when his voice changes, I don’t think he’ll get cast anymore. He said he is hoping to get cast in some female roles, but... we don’t live in that progressive of an area. And the theatre world is already very hard on women’s body types and sizes, and he is very tall. I also feel like it will affect me deeply, because I can’t see myself signing up for weeks of rehearsals without him. Or even worse, him being jealous of me for having a more traditional feminine body. I have a gay sibling and my parents did NOT handle it well. I think they will take this even worse. This will end my relationship with my family. I know with 10000% certainty that it will. I don’t want to be self-centered, but this is not just a decision he’s making for himself. He made a decision for me, too, and didn’t talk to me before he made it. I’m sorry for the word vomit and not sure what I’m looking for.
We need to talk about The Outer World's setbacks, and how much it is streamlined from Fallout New Vegas and other RPGs
Well, I don't really know how to start this. I finished the game last night and I have been thinking about this all day long. Clocked close to 40 hours, did what I'm pretty sure was most if not all quests (even tasks), and played on Hard. My overall impression is that The Outer Worlds is sadly not nearly as good nor as profound as Fallout: New Vegas as so many outlets claimed... and it has some questionable cut-corners and design choices. Below you will find an absurdly long list of points in which this game falls short when compared to its predecessors, and even some of the games it is being frequently compared to. Please do note that this list focuses on things within the scope of a AA game — stuff like game balance, design, structure and writing (spoilers are marked and at the end). Visuals or direct-gameplay are not even discussed. It goes as follows:
No true disguise system: There is a small interaction in the beginning of the game (I can't recall the exact NPC), in which someone points out that you are dressed as a Marauder, and such a thing is dangerous. However, this is the game falsely insinuating that a 'proper' disguise system is in place - this is a facade. The only instance in which there is a disguise system is on marked/segmented areas in which your holographic shroud briefly clouds your identity. Other than these segments, the game (or NPCs, for that matter) never react to your faction clothing. Not only are there not consequences for wearing an opposing faction armor, the NPCs do not even address it.
Quest design: Early quest design is exemplary, especially on Edgewater. However, as the game opens up, quite the number of quests start to deteriorate into fetch quests. Go and retrieve this, go and kill that. Which isn't the crux of the problem — I think simple quest premises are fine as long as there are other elements to support them, like an intriguing plot point, twist, unique enemy type, or something along those lines. Unfortunately, that's not often the case. What I observed is that Obsidian largely chooses a different approach: paddling and extensive exposition dumps. It is good to have extensive dialogue, but sometimes NPCs use sentence structures that no human being would ever use to get their point across. They extend their ideas too much, ramble, digress, and lose sequence structure just to make room to a corporation-shenanigans joke, or a snarky passing-by comment. Other times the quest require you to go to a far away place to talk to another person and then come back. This way the game artificially extends its duration, and also makes objectives seem more complex than they really are. However, it would be unfair to say this problem is unique to The Outer Worlds — most if not all RPGs have quests like this, and not all missions can be the crown jewel of level design. I understand that.
Limited ammo types: If I am not mistaken, the game only has three ammo types: light, heavy and energy. No several ammo configurations for a specific weapon as New Vegas had. There is no piercing, hollow, explosive or any such ammo type. Any variation in ammunition comes from your equip weapon mod / abilities. Fallout 4 had more ammo types than this, even.
Uninteresting perks: Perks are the most boring, uninteresting ones I have ever seen in an RPG. Period. Damage buffs, increased carry weight, companion cooldowns and the likes. No perks like Cherchez La Femme / Confirmed Bachelor, Terrifying Presence, Wild Wasteland, Cannibalism, Mister Sandman or Bloody Mess. Perks that changed the game in fun, dynamic ways that did not have to do with simple stats boosts. Even Fallout 76 has more interesting perks. Taking flaws is straight-up counterproductive as a single perk point, which can only be wasted in garbage perks, is absolutely not worth the often enormous debuff it implies.
No skill checks outside of dialogue: One of my biggest gripes. We all complained when Fallout 4 shipped with no skill-checks, and they were added to Fallout 4: Far Harbor and 76. I could not find a single skill-check outside of dialogue. Specializing in skills like medic or engineering is utterly useless in this regard because you never get to heal anyone or repair anything. Those people in the sick-house on Edgewater? Groundbreaker? Yeah, you can die as, even though I have maxed medical skills, I can't offer my help. I can only offer my help to the guy at the beginning so you feel like there'll be similar options later (there aren't). There is also one robot you can repair on an early-game quest... but you repair it through dialogue. You don't even use components or scrap to do so. I do not count hacking or lockpicking as 'skill-checks' as those are ingrained in the experience differently. Some people like the corresponding mini-games gone, but I disagree. They added another layer of gameplay on an otherwise same-y experience. They were skills that required thought and actual player input - even if tedious at times.
Only two armor slots: You cannot equip rings, collars, layered armor pieces, glasses, or anything of the sort. Only an armor and head-ware. You cannot customize them in any way that isn't some under-the-hood stat increase. This severely limits the flexibility of builds as you are limited to only two armor pieces, which means only two armor effects. Besides, visual customization is severely impaired as most endgame characters will look strikingly similar as a result of the very limited armor selection - which I guess doesn't matter as you never even look at your character, which brings me to...
...no third-person camera: I suppose this is part of the scope of the game. I seriously don't think they intended to release this game as solely a first-person-shooter from the start. It goes against immersion to never be able to see your character. Visual customization is useless because you only see your face up-close during customization. I know the screen rotates whilst you are idle, and I shouldn't even say it, but that's obviously not enough to get a feel for your character appearance.
No companion wheel: I know that there's a companion sub-menu, but it is rather limited compared to the companion wheel from Fallout New Vegas, or the companion dialogue from Skyrim. You can only change their attack pattern, weapon type of preference, and travel distance relative to the player. You cannot order them to hold position, pick up an item, perform a specific action, activate a button, etc. You cannot talk to them about anything unless it's about a point of interest or related to a quest, or part of their small conversation pool. You can't ask them how they are doing or their current interests. I know companions had some dialogue during most major quests in the game, but so did most companions in New Vegas and Fallout 4. I want to add, nonetheless, that this is solely regarding the companion managing system, not the companions themselves. They are well developed, very unique and distinguishable from one another, and their quests are well done (save for Felix's and Ellie's, that are not bad but clearly too short).
Reduced weapon variety and lackluster unique weapons: Unique weapons are as bad as they were in Skyrim and Fallout 4, although at least the latter had more diversity in weapon effects. Most unique weapons are not even re-skins: they are just re-named base weapons with special mods. They are oftentimes weaker than weapons found in the over-world. Weapon variety is bare-bones, with most weapons behaving similarly, lacking punch or weight. Science weapons are mostly gimmicky and serve little purpose in combat, unless one specializes in them (and you are still weaker than if using base weapons with more flexible skill alternatives). No fist nor unarmed weapons.
Enemies: Fallout New Vegas had «legendary» enemies that were unique versions of base enemies, often bigger, stronger and possessing better loot. The Outer Worlds has «colossal» enemies, which just offer a bigger pool of generic loot — which, I should say, the loot in this game is terrible. Ammo and consumables are the bulk of it, with most consumables being redundant since they offer the same buffs, which are rarely needed in combat as the game becomes a cake-walk on any difficulty other than Supernova. Enemy variety is rather lacking. Only one type of generic bandit (marauders), which share like five enemy classes and three outfits. Very little variety in creatures too.
Reputation facade: There is a reputation system, as we all know, but it's really just a facade. Reputation is almost meaningless. The Board was after my head, and then I completed the quest in which you participate in a film, and I went to neutral again with them. Reputations falls to two things: their vendors cut their prices by 25% if they like me, or they shoot me on sight if they hate me. The in-between is nothing. Having negative reputation with a faction is negligible as you can quest your way out of their perception and be in their good graces again even if you did irreparable damage to them.
Binary choices: Everybody always cites Edgewater as brilliant quest design in which no choice feels ideal: that is correct. It's an excellent quest chain; one of the best I've seen in a game like this - no wonder they used it in the very beginning, as quest flow, progression and choice seriously deteriorate the more you play. Choices start to become very binary as the whimsical nature of the character's ideologies makes it rather easy to pick sides depending on your role-playing morale. Most factions are one-dimensional.
World & Simulation: The game feels static and in a constant state of hiatus, waiting on the player to set it in motion. NPCs do not have a schedule, the same NPCs always stand still on the same spot, at all times, until they are no longer needed to progress the game. Exploration is not rewarding as loot is limited, enemy variety is bad, and most interior cells in the worldspace are too similar among one another. There are even in-lore reasons that establish these limitations, as the corporations are cheap and they ship these futuristic, systematic enclaves for the inhabitants to build and settle in. This only makes it weirder that, for whatever reason, Obsidian decided to imitate Bethesda's cell streaming system using Unreal Engine 4. Bethesda uses different cells because they keep track of many dynamic systems: random events, NPCs schedules, dynamic objects, dynamic quests, and any disruption the player character can cause to those core systems. The Outer Worlds doesn't need to keep track of any of that - why does it still need to load the worldspace in chunks? Weird.
And, perhaps my biggest gripe with the game, is the way its ending is handled. Obviously I will mark it as spoilers, so feel free to turn away now if you haven't finished the game — despite my grievances, I still strongly recommend you to finish it. Alright then. The game ending is abrupt, lacking of weight and gravitas, and seems more preoccupied with establishing the premise of its sequel rather than closing off this chapter of the story. Most endings, to my understanding, involve a similar chain of events. Dr. Phineas Wells is captured and sent aboard a high-security prison, located on the planet Tartarus. No matter what you do in the game, most paths will lead you here, with slight variations (like who is taunting you along the way). The game makes it so that you think you can turn in the Doctor, but every time you are close to do it, there's always an excuse as why you cannot. This a major issue with the game - it constantly paddles you with arbitrary obstacles like high-prices for a nav-key, or being forced to travel to different worlds only to talk with someone and then come back. Most choices are not really 'felt', just heard of during the ending. To a certain extent, most of the choices feel meaningless. When you make a choice — not all choices, mind you, but most of them — the world just freezes in this state of hiatus. Nothing really happens until you end the game, and when you do, you only get to hear about it in a slideshow presentation. That on itself it isn't that disappointing, but... there were like twenty slides. A lot of things didn't get closure, and most were rather vague. For example, what happened to that lady scientist that was either working with aliens or solving the starvation problem on Halcyon? No matter what you choose, you never hear from her again and she's not mentioned during the ending. What happened with most of the Corporations now that The Board is disbanded? Most choices are hardly explained during the ending at all. It's like the story accelerates to conveniently corner you into an ending. And, besides... the ending mission was lackluster. Seriously, I have major gripes with Fallout 4's main story, but storming the Institute felt more satisfying than this. Even more so, in Fallout 4 at least you get to choose different endings — even if they are too similar from one another — you destroy the Institute, the Railroad, the Brotherhood of Steel, or a combination of these factions. In The Outer Worlds, most endings involve Phineas trapped in the Taruarus prison, with someone different standing next to him, and having the same EXTREMELY disappointing boss fight. Most endings are virtually the same with very light variations - and not that it matters, the ending slideshow is short and vague anyway. Lastly, and it is a nit-pick, I admit... for all those moments in which your companions participate and talk... why do they NOT SAY ANYTHING DURING THE END? They just stand there, and if you try to talk to them they'll greet you with their generic responses. They don't mutter a word about me assassinating the Chairman or freeing Phineas. They just stand there. I can't even say goodbye to them, and there's no closure at all because no matter what you do they eventually all leave your crew, according to the ending slides. Even your fucking robot abandons you, lmao. I don't want to do a finishing paragraph as this already extended tenfold from what I anticipated, and I don't want to risk redundancy. I'm just overall... disappointed. In retrospective, this game is a facade of a better game that seems to be there, but isn't. I wish more reviewers pointed out some of these flaws, but they seemed to have mostly ignored them. What gives? For all intents and purposes, aside from dialogue flow (which is excellent) and some of the quest design, this game is very streamlined, and hardly takes any risks or brings anything new to the scene.
One last attempt to shed light on the game security
General I want to preface this post with saying that this post is meant to shed some light on what the game actually does and doesnt do to protect the player, the data and the clients integrity. Im not a native english speaker so expect this post to be riddled with spelling mistakes. This a response to "news outlets","influencers", "game critics" and "players" which either seem to want to ignore facts to spark outrage or are inable to fact check and blindly follow other peoples opinions. Im not an employee of bethesda neither am i an employee of an affiliated company. Im currently not an employee of anybody as im still currently studying at a university. The responses and outrage of alot of these media sources just left a bad taste in my mouth. Before i start explaining about what i found i want to make one thing clear: While i fully support to express criticism i want everybody who reads this post to remember that everybody can make mistakes and everybody should have an option to own up to those mistakes. The video The video i have from the last beta with the console output has a horrible resolution. Thats because im not a content creator nor do i livestream. I just used obs to record from settings i edited ages ago. Sorry for that. The data in the console consists of these function hooks: BCrypt.BCryptEncrypt ws2_32.sendto Why you dont see the recieved traffic: I ommited WSARecv and BCryptDecrypt because i had last minute issues with my WSARecv hook. If you want to check if the recieving traffic is encrypted aswell you just need to open ida or any good binary analysis tool and look for the function. (i can expand on this if people actually read this post) Facts While i checked and tested most of the following early at the second beta session all of the posted addresses,images and data are from the last beta session.
All network traffic is encrypted.
Yes all of the network traffic is encrypted. Packets the game sends during playtime consist of an unencrypted packet header and an encrypted message body. I didnt reverse the full packet structure yet so i cant really comment on the contents of the packet header besides the obvious packet size. Example packet A. I want everybody to take a look at the video especially this part where i drop items, jump and move around a bit and you can see the resulting output in the console window. You see that each BCryptEncrypt call is followed by a sendto call and correct packet size. I still got a few logs if people want to look at the data itself. I will post the pastebins if there is actual interest.
There is an anticheat system in place.
Yes there is an anticheat system in place. The game currently does: Checking if the game currently is debugged. Reference 1 Checking if the Cheat Engine speedhack module is currently loaded inside the process. Reference 2 Checking if cheat/analysis tools are running. Reference 3
Caps and more are server side.
You can see here im attempting to change the value of the caps and "overdraw" my actual cap limit which didnt work. Conclusion/My opinion That there is even an anticheat system, is way better than a lot of triple A games these days. /Edit:Some people seem to misinterpret what i wrote. What i wanted to say is that there are triple A games with online functionality which dont implement any anti cheat measures and while the current one implemented isnt really protective it is already a step in the right direction. \Edit With the systems they have currently, they absolutely have the option to expand on those and create more client security. In my honest opinion though i think the current checks are more then enough to detect the average cheater. Most people who either produce cheats to sell them or for themselves, actually analyze the binary they want to modify and will be able disable/remove/circumvent the anticheat anyways. Being able to fully secure a client on a physical pc is a myth and will never work. The target should be to work on better server side detection. The traffic itself which consisted during the beta of error logging,general logging, the vivox voice client, the bethesda account api and obiously the actual game data, is from a technical point absolutely on par with other games with an etablished online function. Thanks for reading. Tools used General: Cheat Engine and IDA Logging: All of the logging tools used are my own and are currently not open source, not for sale and im not interested in any offers. I might upload the source to my github some time in the future once they are more polished. TLDR They had way better client and traffic security in the beta than this post described. It is still not good enough though and needs to be worked on. This post is meant to clear a few things up some news sources reported over the past few days. It is not meant to convince anyone to buy this game. Its all on Bethesda now and their ability and willpower to support this game after release on PC.
This is absolutely a 'Buy', it is well worth it at full price on the consoles and for the 45 it is available on Steam for. The game does betray its "double-A" budget at times, but to me, Vampyr is a great example of a title doing something different that I'm not sure a AAA company company would do. A lot of the safeguards that we see, even in some other AA games, when it comes to society's impacts and the social decisions you can make are gone here. Those consequences hard-felt and they are instant, and the inevitable character death of somebody that you actually like is gonna hit you even more. Combat's fun and not perfect, but it works to keep you engaged as well. At 25 hours without doing everything with so many different ways and situations this can play out, I would assume two playthroughs at minimum is what I'll do with this title, and it really does show that a game can be far more than the sum of its parts, and certainly not reflect just the budget.
A beautifully told gothic tale with interesting skill systems and some fun combat is only let down by window dressing and a location that feels like a stage and not an actual city. Vampyr might not be the game of the year, but it is certainly going to be one of the most interesting titles we see in 2018 and, sales permitting, a title that will only get better in future sequels.
The easy way out for Dontnod would have been to take the most time-worn tropes from dime store horror novels, season to taste with period melodrama and serve it all up for players to enjoy. Vampyr reaches for more, and I'm very interested to see if the finale does it all justice
Witnessing a studio succeed beyond what their audience expects of them is always a pleasure, and DONTNOD Entertainment has done just that with Vampyr. Whether you're intrigued by the idea of stalking London as a bloodthirsty vampire or expressly fancy a rock-solid ARPG, consider sinking your teeth into this gem.
Even with it's noticeable flaws, Vampyr has the potential to be the new cult gem among vampire lovers. If you can see beyond technical limitations, the story and characters will trap you within their arms and suck until the very last drop of... your time.
Vampyr exceeds all expectations and delivers a thrilling vampire adventure with great storytelling and a gameplay that borrows the right elements from games like Bloodborne. If you can live with some longer loading screens and a missing fast travel option you'll get a well made Action-RPG with lots of enjoyable content.
Vampyr manages to deliver on its promise to make choices matter. Every decision has implications that spider out in unseen directions, often far into the future. While there are some wobbles in terms of combat and load times, the engaging storyline and premise carry this title far.
There's no denying that Vampyr has some mighty rough edges to it and combat that is decent, but unspectacular. Yet there's a delicious sense of place to it that makes it undeniably interesting to get stuck into. Many of the game's flaws melt away as you get lost in the moody grime of this alternate version of wartime London. The most important job Vampyr had to do was to present a compelling game about the tragic romanticism of being a vampire, and the fight for retaining humanity or embracing the unnatural power it brings. Vampyr does drop the ball on many small things, but it does that important job superbly.
Ultimately, the sum of Vampyr's emphasis on story, combat, and progression combine to produce a video gaming experience that will appeal to those outside the RPG and adventure genres that it seeks to combine. My hope is that it finds its audience so that we might yet again see Dr. Reid on an even grander scale in the future.
Aside from a few technical issues, Vampyr delivers one of the most engaging action-RPGs in recent memory. It is a game where everything and everyone is connected through some fantastic gameplay design and yes, your choices do actually matter here.
An amazing game full of darkness, vampires and blood in the London of the first quarter of the 20th Century. A great mix of exploration, conversations and hard ecounters with dangerous creatures of the night.
Although Vampyr's combat system is thoroughly satisfying, it's the dark atmosphere and narrative that genuinely makes the game a must-have. Your choices define the experience, altering a world full of discovery and intrigue all around you. Do you give in to your blight and feast upon the weak and unworthy inhabitants of London or do you become their salvation? It should take you anywhere from 20-30 hours to complete the narrative, but if you want to see all of the possible endings, you'll have to play through multiple times, altering your choices and decisions regarding the lives of the citizens.
It takes some doing to find a middle-ground between two such conflicting genres, but Dontnod have done a terrific job marrying Adventure and Action RPG elements into a pleasant and modestly cohesive whole.
If you're looking for a story-focused RPG, Vampyr is a solid option. It offers in-depth conversation options, game-changing choices to make and an intriguing storyline full of plot twists and betrayal.
Vampyr walks a fine line between narrative storytelling and action-oriented combat, trying to appeal to fans of both genres and mostly succeeding. Though the game lacks polish in many areas, it stars a clever morality system that entices players towards both good and evil deeds, a well-rounded web of background NPCs, and an intriguing overall narrative of an undead doctor investigating the spread of the Spanish Influenza, making Vampyr a treat for any vampire fan.
Dontnod worked hard to create an immersive, dark world to explore and it succeeds in doing so. Despite some boring conversations, most of the world of Vampyr is an exciting, dangerous place and if nothing else, being a vampire in here is also very fun.
Vampyr might not be what many wanted after Life Is Strange, but it’s still an enjoyable – well, as enjoyable as its grim nature allows – game nonetheless. It follows the modern action RPG template almost to a fault, but the agency the player has in shaping the districts by disease control and straight up murder is a lot more interesting than some of the moments in other games within the genre, where they present you a binary choice that pushes the plot forward. It’s a decent idea holding up an otherwise solid game, but overall Vampyr is worth a look if you’re looking for something to plug the gap in your life in this post- Witcher 3 world.
At no point in Vampyr did I have fun following trails of blood, mixing antiquated remedies out of opium, or bludgeoning some Crucifix wielding goon in a mask for the 50th time. But I was constantly compelled forward to find out what next grim choice it would give me, anxious to spend yet another night in one of its safehouses to see if my efforts to keep London's souls alive another day had worked.
Vampyr is a hard game to review, because there is enough to warrant a low score, yet the experience is satisfying enough to make up for this. For better or worse, giving answers and explaining things make it easier to invest in the story, with the conclusion certainly being worth the time. The ability to interact with NPCs, heal them, figure out more about the world and extract new information also adds a lot. It’s just, when it comes to gameplay, Vampyr falls short. With loading screens being common when players move too fast, combat often being more about managing stamina, difficulty stemming from how willing are you to kill innocent people and a needlessly frustrating waypoint system, it’s easy to get frustrated. With this in mind, anyone looking for a vampire romance story or just want to experience a world filled with answers should consider picking Vampyr up, where as action-RPG or open world fans can probably skip it.
Vampyr is a bloody good time that is marred by some tedious mechanics and some technical issues. Hitting a game-breaking bug certainly soured my experience, but the wonderfully written characters kept me going until the credits rolled. This may not be a perfect RPG, but Vampyr is still a fun time for those wanting something a bit darker in their games.
Vampyr serves delicious ladles of angst and drama with a hearty slice of excellent, morally grey choice system that will genuinely surprise you, all wrapped up in a wonderfully gloomy London. It's just a shame the combat turns a bit sour.
Vampyr is a slow burn of an RPG, taking its time to ramp up its intriguing blend of science and the supernatural in an elaborately gloomy version of London. When it gets going you can see the potential of the way it offers you more power if you consume its interesting citizens. But Vampyr never commits to this idea to the point where I felt I needed to make that sacrifice to succeed in its relatively simple combat, which leaves it feeling toothless and vulnerable to having a lot of its fun sucked away by technical issues, despite its genuinely engaging story.
Vampyr did not live up to our expectations and did not reach the level of Life is Strange. So, if If you were expecting another Dontnod masterpiece, you'll be disappointed. If you're interested in setting, then it's probably worth a try, but only at a discount price.
The story may be a tad lackluster, and the combat may be clunky as hell, but Vampyr does offer a compelling adventure for those looking for some blood-sucking fun. It also manages to effectively make you feel like a creature of the night at times. Unfortunately, the frequent technical issues sapped just about every ounce of joy from the experience, leaving this digital world a dry, lifeless husk.
Much like its early 20th century setting, Vampyr feels like a bit of a throwback to a past age of action RPGs. In a time where the genre is evolving Vampyr holds on to past ideas for much of its tenure, and it doesn't have a story strong enough to overcome that fact. The world itself is ripe for lots of stories to be told within, with Dontnod having done a good job with world building, but while Vampyr isn't a bad game, nor is it as great as it could be.
Although flawed and at times painfully inconsistent, Vampyr manages to offer relatively engaging gameplay in spite of a lack of overall polish. Combat is stiff and quite mindless, but Jonathan's progression deeper into Vampiredom is handled well and the abilities at his disposal go a long way towards masking some of the more mundane aspects of the battle system. It's more whether or not Jonathan decides to prey on the people of London, and its consequences, that keep the experience fresh. There's a trade off between making Jonathan and keeping districts stable, each one offering their own benefits. There are technical issues, and the performance is lacking on every front, but Vampyr has enough going for it conceptually that it's worth sinking some time into, if only to be a vampire in 20th century London.
Vampyr unfortunately flounders after building some solid foundations in the opening hours. London feels like a city on a knife edge, and the citizens prove to be an inviting cast of creative characters. But Vampyr then lures you into sacrificing these characters, cutting out a key part of the game, all to have a hope of standing up to the horrors that await you in the shadows of London.
Vampyr feels like a dug-up PlayStation 2 game. It wears its ambition on its sleeve, even if it looks at times to be wearing a tank top. The underlying game mechanics require a certain amount of suspension of disbelief, but those that can will find an entertaining penny dreadful.
Vampyr competently displays an understanding of combat, dialogue, and narrative choice, but it never rises above mediocrity, and is an utter failure on a technical level. The aesthetic of the world is the best thing on display, but beyond it lies a derivative title that fails to leave a lasting impression.
EDIT - Well ain't this confusing. This was the first review thread posted, which was removed by automod I'm assuming. There was another thread posted after this that is now removed and this one is back up (Just in case anyone needs context). I'll be back to updating! EDIT 2 - Apparently automod was NOT the reason the thread was removed, it was reddit itself that removed this thread because of one of the websites being flagged for spam. EDIT 3 - Would people rather have reviews be ordered by website names in alphabetical order or ascending/descending list of scores or completely random?
So to update you all on things, my hernia surgery went well and my intestines are back where they belong. Sadly I didn't have as much time to write as I would have liked, (pain meds will do that), but I managed to finally get chapter twelve done in time to give you all an extra dose of JVerse once you have finished our lord and savior's most recent chapter. (Story is continued in the comments) -------------------------------------------------------- <First><Previous><Next> -------------------------------------------------------- Date Point: 3 months, 2 weeks, 5 days A.V. Unnamed system Planet 4 ring system Requiem Michael Kepler "God damn I missed this," Michael said, flipping the Requiem around another asteroid, testing the limits of the inertial compensators. They had gotten lucky and found the perfect system to test out the newly retrofitted Requiem. The system in question turned out to be a binary system with some rocky bodies and a truly gorgeous blue gas giant that sported a system of ice rings that were just perfect for running the old girl through her paces. Michael gave the main thrusters all they could take, slipping through two asteroids seconds before they collided. There was a muffled cheer through the comms from the rest of the crew back onboard the Dawn. He had set up cameras all over the Requiem so his crew could watch. Right now only himself and Hephaestus were crazy enough to fly a ship built from scrap through one of the densest ring systems on record. Even Ralthin wasn't that crazy, having said that he'd rather shoot the rocks instead. They dodged, dived, and weaved their way through the belt for another half an hour before Michael got a comms ping. He angled the ship "up" and rocketed out of the belt so he could answer without having to dodge rocks. "What's up," Michael asked, angling the ship so he was cruising parallel to the rings. Goralin's face showed up on the screen, "We just synced with Haven's network, and you've got a message from Gabby." Before they had left Haven Michael had signed them up as Gabby's new security force. To keep in touch in case of an emergency Michael had purchased an FTL comms array and had set it up to sync with the local network on Haven every week. Of course, if there was an actual emergency he had spent a small fortune on a pair of quantum entangled arrays for instantaneous recall. The fact that Goralin's ears had a mischievous tilt meant that this wasn't an emergency. Meaning that it was probably the favor he had asked before they left. "Alright, prep the hangar bay. I'm gonna test the emergency recall drive," Michael said, cutting the thrusters and letting the ship coast. "Copy that Michael. Wait to jump until we give you the signal," Goralin said, closing the channel. Michael switched over to the intercom, "Sorry Hephaestus, looks like we're gonna have to cut this short." "It isss fine," Hephaestus said with the barest hint of a chuckle, "If the messsage isss from Gabby I can only think of one reassson. We are going hunting!" "Cool your jets, we still haven't heard it yet," Michael said, running the ship through the pre-jump sequence, "All set to jump?" One other little upgrade they did was to configure a jump drive onboard the Requiem so they could get back to the Dawn in a hurry. The only downside was that the hangar bay had to be depressurized so the sudden appearance of the Requiem didn't create a hull rupturing pressure wave. "All sssyssstemsss are green," Hephaestus said back through the comms, "Ready for jump." It was only a few more seconds until Michael got the comms ping signaling that the hangar bay was ready. Michael's finger hovered over the button, "Jumping in three...two...one." He pushed the button and the ship was inside the Dawn, perfectly centered in the hangar bay. The docking clamps engaged and the bay was pressurized in minutes. Michael ran through the shutdown sequence, unstrapped himself from the pilot seat and met Hephaestus in the airlock. They double-checked the atmospheric readout on the panel before opening the outer door. Even though Michael was wearing his armor and had no fear of stepping into hard vacuum, Hephaestus was basically naked, so it paid to be careful. They made their way up to the bridge, stopping by the mess to apologize for cutting the show short and so Michael could grab a quick snack. One downside of his new armor was that he burned a lot more calories than he ever did wearing his old suit. He walked the rest of the way up to the bridge with Hephaestus in tow. When he opened the door to the bridge Goralin turned around in the copilot's seat, "You enjoy yourselves," he asked with a slightly mischievous tilt to his ears. "Yeah!" Michael said enthusiastically, "and I gotta say, yinz missed a hell of a ride." "I'll have to take your word on that one," Goralin said with a chitter, "Anyway, while we were waiting, I went through the files that were attached to the message and it looks like she sent us a good one." "Oh," Michael asked, interested, "she send anything else?" "Just a few video files," Goralin trailed off. Michael looked around to see the rest of the bridge crew barely able to hold back their chittering. So they were those kinds of videos… Michael sighed, "Put the important one up on the main screen. I'll take a look at the rest later." Goralin flicked his ears in amusement and brought up the message file. Gabby appeared on the main screen, thankfully wearing her work outfit, with a cqcq cigarette in her hand, "Long time no see," she said, taking a hit and blowing the smoke off-screen, "I had my contacts do some digging and they found a good one. There's no bounty, sadly, but I don't think you'll have a problem with that. Everything you'll need should be in the files I sent along with some...other things I know you'll like," she winked at the camera, "Hoping to hear back from you soon." "Did she send a location," Michael asked, turning toward Goralin. "Already punched in," Goralin said with a pant-grin. "Good man," Michael said with a gentle clap on Goralin's shoulder, "Prep the ship for warp, I'm gonna head to my quarters to uhh…review the other files she sent and get a reply together to send over during the next sync." Michael left the bridge to sound of barely contained chittering from the crew and made his way back to his quarters. When he reached the mess heard raised voices coming from inside. So he stopped to eavesdrop just outside the door. "For the last time Jilink," Guln said, "I have absolutely no interest in your insane delusions. No matter how...impressive you may find the humans in their mating practices!" "Oh come now," Jilink said dismissively, "You seriously cannot believe that the way our species handles reproduction is good for our long term survival can you?" "What other choice do we have," Guln asked, "we have long since passed the point of being biologically able to reproduce, but that is beside the point," he lowered his voice, "it was simply proposing the idea of reverting back to biological reproduction that made you one of the few Corti that had their banner status stripped all the way down to yellow." "That was just because those in the Directorate are too narrow-minded to see past their own hubris," Jilink said angrily, "it was only when I started unlocking and splicing genes that had been previously bred out that I started to question their rhetoric. If you would just let me-" "No! I will not hear of it. Mess with your own genetic code all you want, but I will not have you turning myself and Kilnq into genetic freaks," Guln said, moments before storming out of the mess. He ignored Michael and headed off toward the med bay. Michael poked his head into the mess and saw Jilink sitting alone, forlornly picking at a plate of steamed mushrooms and cqcq. She looked up as he walked over, "If you are going to play at eavesdropping you might want to consider that we can feel your every step through the deck plating," she said with a shrewd look. "So what was your banner status," Michael asked bringing over a chair that could support the weight of himself and his armor. He sat down and took off his helmet, placing it on the table in front of him. "No remorse and straight to the point I see," she let out a deep sigh, "Before I began...experimenting...on myself, I was a silver banner." From what Michael knew about Corti social structure, Jilink had been next to royalty. To give all that up... "Fuck," Michael said, recovering from his jaw practically denting the table, "Why the hell did you give that up?" "To advance my species of course," she said, her eyes boring into Michael's, "we may be the most technologically advanced in the galaxy, but as a species we Corti have fallen behind tremendously. I may be too brazen in saying this, but we are on the brink." "On the brink," Michael asked, "the brink of what?" Jilink's expression hardened, "The brink of terminal decline, and unless something is done my species will fade into obscurity." "And that something was playing with your own genetics," Michael asked, confused. "Not playing," Jilink said, waving one finger back and forth, "Improving. As we are, the Corti are far from ideal. Intelligent and quick-witted yes, but we lack the physicality to endure as a species for much longer." "And that has to do with what Guln said about the way yinz reproduce," Michael asked, even more confused, "you mean yinz don't have kids naturally?" "As a matter of fact, we do not. Every Corti is grown in a birthing tank," Jilink said matter of factly, "there hasn't been a natural birth for millennia." "Well that's all kinds of fucked up," Michael said, shaking his head, "and they kicked you out for wanting to go back to the way things are supposed to be?" "Precisely. You see, reverting back to biological reproduction would necessitate drastic changes to our biology. It is also the reason why I am so fascinated with how other species reproduce. I have been able to get a wealth of medical data on the subject, but the one thing that most species lack is information on how to make the act more enjoyable. Your species, however," she pointed at Michael's chest, "seems to excel in that regard." "I can see your point," Michael said with a chuckle. "Needless to say there are some practices that simply watching recordings cannot fully explain. You do not mind answering some questions do you," Jilink asked excitedly. Michael shrugged, "I got time. Ask away." Jilink pulled a small tablet from her set of pouches and tapped in a few commands, "I'll start with something that has perplexed me for some time now. Tell me, what is the exact purpose of a bukkake?" ---------- Ten thousand kilometers astern of the Radiant Dawn Whispering Breeze Agent One Six Two Something was wrong. He had been trying to link to the infrared module that was hidden next to the engine cluster on that accursed human's ship for over [an hour] only to receive no response. He double and triple checked that his ship was aligned correctly and found not the barest hint of any discrepancy. This left two possibilities, either the module had malfunctioned, or it had been taken offline. Given the extremely stable nature of current solid-state electronics, the latter of the two options seemed the most probable. He was now forced to consider alternative plans to get the information he needed. One option was to take over one of the human's crew, but the chances of finding one of them alone long enough for him to adjust to the new sensory input were astronomical at best. There was always the option of simply biodroning all the implanted crew, but with the proven combat capabilities of the human and his pet abomination, there was no guarantee of successfully taking over the ship. That left only one option that had any probability of success. Once the human's ship was out of the system and had no hope of detecting him, One Six Two punched in the codes for the only jump beacon that the human had deployed. ---------- Date point: 4 months, 2 weeks, 5 days AV Sol system Earth Allegheny National Park Daniel Mackovich After the Vancouver incident life had gone on pretty much the same as always. As much as he hated to admit it, Daniel wished the aliens had caused more damage. As it was now, people had already moved on. Of course, every news outlet on the planet had milked the story dry within a week, but since nobody other than the aliens had died the story that humanity was no longer alone in the universe had been replaced by the same old shit. Shootings, trouble in the Middle East, China violating human rights, the usual stuff. Both he and David were sick of it. So they had planned a little something to get away. That little something happened to be a camping trip out in Allegheny National Park. Not the biggest excursion by a long shot, but it seemed a couple of days out in the woods was just what the doctor ordered. The first night was just perfect. No rain or swarms of mosquitos, just hours of watching caveman TV with a good meal cooked over the fire to finish out the night. They had been watching the weather and had made sure that there wasn't the barest hint of rain, but it looked like the curse of his old Boy Scout troop had followed him. It had started raining shortly after lunch on the second day. Thanks to a few tricks he'd learned in said cursed Boy Scout troop, Daniel was able to get the fire going, even though all their wood was soaked, so they were at least able to cook their dinner under the tarp David had rigged up over the fire pit. "Well, it wasn't what we were expecting," David said, looking out of the tent, "but I can think of worse ways to spend the evening." "My old scout troop was called the Rain Makers after all," Daniel said with a chuckle, snuggling a little closer to David, "At least the company's better this time around." They sat and watched for a while, listening to the gentle sound of the rain on their tent. David turned around and rummaged around in his bag for a few moments before turning back and locking eyes with Daniel. "Well...I was hoping for a better opportunity but," David trailed off. Daniel looked down at what David was holding in his hand and his breath caught in his throat. "Daniel, will you marry me?" ---------- Date point: 9 months, 1 week, 2 days AV Far Reaches Cimbrean Radiant Dawn Michael Kepler They had made the trip out in astonishingly good time thanks to the black box drive on the Radiant Dawn. Fast as their ship was it had still taken them around six months to reach this little speck of nowhere. However, the extra time gave Michael the chance to work out some armor for his Gaoian crewmates. They had to stop and resupply before they could manufacture any of it though. It seemed that they had burned through most of their supplies for the nanofac with the Requiem's retrofit. The armor they had worked out was much like Hephaestus' in the way that it relied heavily on lightweight composite plates instead of heavy alloys like Michael's. The plus side was that Hephaestus had worked out a composite that could take multiple hits from a heavy pulse cannon before failing. Not that the Gaoians would be taking much fire though, each one had a portable cloaking generator to make the best use of their natural talent for sneaking. There was one problem with the suits though, they had to be kept loose to accommodate the Gaoians' fur. Which meant that they would have to rely on shield harnesses for protection against the vacuum of space. Not the best prospect in Michael's mind, but they didn't seem to have the aversion to relying on forcefield tch like he did. And since Michael wanted some semblance of a uniform for his new band of mercs, the chest plate and helmet had kept as much of the standard Mandalorian looks as possible. The helmet was kinda tricky, considering that the Gaoians had much longer noses than humans, as well as ears that came out of the top of their heads. In the end, Gaoians had to deal with the minor discomfort of having their ears squished down, but it was worth it if they wanted to have their heads protected. As for the stereotypical "T" shaped visor, Michael settled on a shortened version, ending just above the Gaoians' snouts with a protrusion to cover their nose and mouth. It also had the benefit of allowing the Gaoians to personalize the lower portion, and once one of them had painted fangs on his, the rest had followed suit. Michael had to admit, it looked totally badass. The extra time also gave them the chance to develop their arsenal. The standard pulse guns were ditched in favor of coilguns. Most of the Gaoians went with something like an AR-15. They were lightweight, with a variable power setting so they didn't over-penetrate their targets if they were inside a ship or station. The real treat was what the brownies came up with though. The crazy fuckers had amped up their coilguns to a heavy machine gun type thing that could send a withering hailstorm of slugs at whatever unfortunate thing that happened to be on the receiving end. However, it seemed that all of the Gaoians took a liking to Hephaestus' fusion claws and had added their own to finish out their already terrifying array of weapons. They had spent three of the local days cloaked in a high polar orbit mapping the planet and trying to find the location of the palace that was supposed to be here. The only reason it took that long was that they were using passive scans to prevent the discovery of their ship. Since they were stuck in orbit Michael had left it up to the bridge crew to notify him when they found anything. To pass the time and get a better feel on things he had been going through the files on their target. After cross-referencing them with the data from the Twisted Suns it seemed that this particular fucknut had an affinity for ordering Rickytics and Vizkiticks among a smattering of a dozen other species. It couldn't be...could it? Michael dug deeper into the records until he found the right entry. Shit. "Ship," Michael said as he got up from his desk and stretched, still marveling at just how flexible his new armor was. He got a response ping. "Where is Irk?" "Irk is in hydroponics," the ship said through his room's intercom in a perfect replica of Cortana’s voice. Michael didn't know why, but using Cortana's voice for the ship just felt right. Michael grabbed his helmet and locked it in place. "Send him a message that I'm on my way. There's something I need to talk to him about." Michael went to hydroponics and found Irk in his personal corner behind their crop of cqcq minding his bonsai garden. He had originally got the idea from watching Karate Kid of all things. When they had stopped at Haven Irk had purchased a bunch of seedlings from all over the galaxy. As it turned out most of them had the same reaction as Earth trees when they were root-bound inside a small pot. With a little help from some space magic in the form of time acceleration fields, he had more than a dozen perfectly healthy miniature trees. With careful management, Irk had produced some truly fantastical shapes. Hell, he even had one "pot" that was levitating with trees growing out of both the top and bottom. When Michael walked over Irk turned around, "Ah, Michael. You have something you wanted to speak to me about?" "Yeah," Michael said, taking off his helmet and setting it down on the table next to the levitating bonsai trees, "It's about our target." Irk gave him a quizzical look, tilting his head slightly to the side. Michael took a deep breath, "There was a bit of a mix up on the part of the Twisted Suns. Your lifemate and child were actually supposed to be shipped here." "But...the Hunters," Irk trailed off. "That's not all," Michael said, shaking his head, "I really don't have a good way to say this...but it looks like the scumbag we're after wanted you and your family specifically." Irk slumped to the deck, lost for words. "I did some digging into the data we got from the Twisted Suns," Michael said, bringing up the file and sending it to Irk's tablet. It pinged and Irk pulled it out of its pouch with shaking hands. He hesitated for a moment before opening it. Delicately, he tapped the icon and read the file. Irk put the tablet back into its pouch and was silent for a few moments before he gathered his legs under himself and stood up to his full height. He looked directly at Michael, "I have only one request." "Name it," Michael said, locking eyes with Irk. "Bring the bastard to me alive," Irk said with enough bile dripping off the borrowed human curse word to make Michael flinch. No sooner had Irk walked out of hydroponics did Michael receive a notification from the bridge crew. He put his helmet back on and answered the comms. "Yinz found something," he asked, exiting hydroponics and making his way up to the bridge. "Yeah," Goralin said through the comms, "and you're gonna want to see this." "On my way," Michael said, breaking into a run for the hundred-ish meters to the bridge. He exploded into the bridge and skidded to a halt right next to Goralin. Michael was a little out of breath, but it wasn't too bad considering the weight of his armor. Practically living in the suit had its benefits sometimes. Goralin eyed Michael with a hint of amusement "Excited?" "Damn right," Michael said with a chuckle, "we've only been orbiting this dirtball for three days. What'd you find?" "See for yourself," Goralin said with a pant-grin, bringing up what looked like a palace on the main screen. Michael let out a long whistle, "Damn that had to cost a pretty penny." What was on screen was possibly the most egregious display of wealth that Michael had ever seen, aside from his own ship of course. Camera tech was really something else out here, they had to be at least a hundred and fifty kilometers up, but the pictures were clear enough that Michael could see the contents of the gardens surrounding the enormous palace complex. He'd read the specs when he had the sensor suite overhauled, but the fact that their ground facing camera was in the hundred gigapixel range never quite hit home until he had actually used it. "Cost a what," Goralin asked, tilting his head slightly. "Oh, sorry," Michael said, a little embarrassed, "it's an expression for a fuckton of money." Goralin chittered, "Well the palace isn't the only thing that cost a pretty penny. We found something else too." The next thing that came up on the screen left Michael totally speechless. Not too far off the coast was a yacht so big it was practically a floating island. Hell, it even had football-field sized space in the middle that was containing a miniature forest. "Well if they're anywhere, our target's probably on that yacht," Michael said, gesturing to the screen. Goralin zoomed in on it, "It looks like there's a landing pad big enough to land the Requiem near the back." "Well, it's our lucky day then," Michael said, turning back toward the door, "get an assault team ready. We're dropping in an hour." "An assault team," Goralin asked, his ears going slightly back. Michael stopped and turned back around, "Rich fucker like that's gotta be able to afford some really good security, and not the average Chennash mercs either." "Right," Goralin said, "I know Ralthin's gonna be damn happy to finally get a good fight for once," he finished with a slight chitter. The next hour flew by in a flurry of activity as the assault team got the message and scrambled to get into their armor. Thankfully they didn't need to load any cargo into the Requiem, and they already had all their extra weapons stored onboard. Michael made a stop by his quarters to grab his coilgun and its barrel attachments. On a whim, he dug out his antique revolver and strapped it to his hip. He had to stop and laugh at the absurdity of carrying a black powder revolver that was made in eighteen seventy-six, but something just felt right about bringing the old girl along. He made it to the hangar bay just as everyone was getting situated. Hephaestus was already onboard the Requiem running through the preflight checks from his station near the quantum stacks so all Michael had to do was wait for the rest of the assault team to show up. When everyone was strapped in and had their gear stowed for the drop he stepped out to the open space in the middle of the Requiem's cargo area. "Alright," Michael said, running his eyes over the seated Gaoians, "it's our first mission and from the looks of things, it's not gonna be an easy one. We're going in blind and this fucker's probably paranoid enough to have hired some decent security. They won't be like the pirate scum yinz are probably used to. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a company of Allebenellin mercs waiting for us." Michael paused and let that sink in for a moment, "The main problem is that the yacht we're gonna be landing on is fucking huge. So the plan's pretty simple myself, Hephaestus, Ralthin, and the brownies are gonna raise hell so all the rest of yinz can use your cloaking fields to the best advantage. Sweeping the ship for any other hostiles while looking for our target." That got some chittering out of them. "As for our target," Michael said, starting to pace back and forth in front of the seated Gaoians, "he's a Robalin with some… strong opinions on other sentient life. Apparently, this guy acquired his fortune thanks to some kind of breakthrough in medical tech and bought the palace at an auction when the previous owner's trading company went under thanks to some very poor business deals and Hunter raids on their ships. Ever since, he's lived a comfortable life on Cimbrean buying slaves from the Twisted Suns for God knows what reason," Michael let out a long sigh, "And as much as I'd like to end this guy the second we find him, Irk wants him alive. It seems that this fucker is the one that got Irk's family captured by the Twisted Suns." "An that's why we're not just gonna blast the boat," Yeg asked. "Exactly," Michael said, pausing to congratulate him, "there also might be slaves still on board, so any we find get to come back with us. Any questions?" "Yeah," one of the other brownies spoke up, "when are ya gonna quit talkin' so we can have some fun?" Michael laughed, "Alright alright, I get it," he said, vaulting up the ramp to the cockpit, "hold on to your tails, it's gonna be a bumpy ride." Michael entered the cockpit and closed the door behind him, and once he was in the pilot seat he opened the intercom, "We ready to go?" "The ssship isss ready to depart Michael," Hephaestus said back eagerly. Michael gave the signal to the hangar crew and waited while they depressurized the hangar bay and opened the outer door. Michael opened a channel to the bridge, "Yinz keep an eye out while we're planetside, we might need to come back in a hurry." "Just make sure you don't die down there," Goralin said with a slight chitter, "We'll be waiting for you." "We'll make sure to come back in one piece," Michael said with a chuckle, quickly running through the preflight checks. Hephaestus had already done them so all he had to do was to glance at the display and be sure that all systems were green, "but if yinz are that worried, I'll broadcast the view from my helmet cam." "You know," Goralin said, "I was gonna suggest the same thing. It'll make for good entertainment." "You got that right," Michael said entering the command to release the docking clamps, "Undocking now," Michael said closing the channel and backing the ship out of the hangar bay. Once he was clear of the ship Michael angled the Requiem toward the planet and threw the throttle all the way forward. "Uunngfhhh...Fyu's balls," Ralthin growled through the comms, "I forgot about that." "Yinz okay back there," Michael asked, pulling the throttle slightly back. "Other than bein' crushed inta our seats we're fine," Ralthin said back with a forced chitter. "Hey, I said it was gonna bumpy ride," Michael said with a smirk. They made the rest of the trip down in silence and before long they were punching a hole through the atmosphere leaving a flaming trail of plasma behind them. The yacht appeared on the radar when they were still twenty kilometers up, not that Michael needed sensors to find the thing, he could already see it. Floating island was right, the damned thing had to be nearly as big as the Dawn. When they were about ten kilometers out the comms panel lit up. Out of curiosity, Michael opened the channel. "Unidentified vessel you are appro-" Michael closed the channel, his curiosity stated for the moment. No use talking with them anyway. He closed the rest of the distance gradually slowing down so they wouldn't overshoot. When they got within a kilometer Michael had to admit that the yacht was a truly beautiful ship. It had three hulls connected together by an expansive main deck that swept into a sharp point at the bow where the main hull was cutting through the waves. The most prominent feature being the forest in the middle of the ship protected from the elements by the telltale shimmer of a forcefield. The landing pad near the stern was suspiciously empty, but when Michael brought the Requiem closer he noticed that it had some kind of door in the middle. No doubt it was used for bringing whatever landed down into some kind of hangar. There was no way the Requiem would fit into said hangar, but it looked like the pad was just large enough to set the ship down. Strangely, the yacht seemed to be holding course, almost inviting him to land. He activated the inter-ship comms, "Looks like they're actually gonna let us land. The second we touch down I want the brownies out first. Shoot first, ask questions later." Michael flipped the ship around so she was hovering just above the deck and matched speed with the yacht. He lined it up using the docking camera and set her down with a gentle thump. The very next thing he did was take control of the nose turrets, aiming them at the only door in the aft section of the yacht. He set the ship in low power mode instead of completely shutting down just in case they needed to make a quick getaway, and watched through the turret camera feed as the brownies stormed out of the ship and took their positions. Sloppy by any kind of military standards, but it didn't seem like there was anyone to greet them. Michael unstrapped himself and grabbed his coilgun from the rack next to the door. Walking down the ramp was always tricky thanks to the gravity weirdness, but thankfully he didn't stumble when he stepped off into the planet's own gravity. "No one to meet us," he said, stepping out into the sunlight. Ralthin glanced back at Michael over his shoulder, "I don't like this at all. Even through this helmet, it smells all kindsa wrong." Hephaestus came up behind Michael, "Thisss feelsss like a trap." "Couldn't agree with you more buddy," Michael said, walking forward to the door. "What'd ya wanna do," Ralthin said following close behind. Michael glanced at Ralthinand smirked, "Spring the trap."
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