Ragnarok M: Eternal Love

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Suckapunch has branched out on a new adventure with Ragnarok M: Eternal Love!

If you’re a Guild member or looking to join our Guild, visit our Guild Forum by clicking HERE

There you will find GUIDES that explain everything you need to know about Guilds and what we expect of you as a member.

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Suckapunch has a YouTube Channel!

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Rounding out our recent Social Media expansion… we’ve recently created a YouTube channel. Go check it out and subscribe. We only have one worthwhile video posted at the moment. It’s kind of long at about 50mins… but, its entertaining none the less.  It’s Project and I playing Spintires with a custom map and vehicles.  Project in a 1991 Dodge Ramcharger and I am driving (if that’s what you want to call it) a 1975 Chevy K5 Blazer.

I hope to have the 2nd half of this adventure posted tomorrow sometime.  After that I intend to post a first impression Let’s Play of ‘This War of Mine’.

If you have any suggestions for our new YouTube channel please subscribe and post a comment with that suggestion.  Any games you’d like to see us review or play…tutorials….whatever.  If you think we need to produce it, and can, we will.  We’re thinking of doing some game giveaways related to our channel too, so tune in and don’t miss out.

Lastly, in case you missed it, we also are now on Facebook.  You can click the bubbles in the right sidebar to visit and like our page!  Until next time, Goat, out.

Grand Theft Auto V: Released on PC

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Alright folks… GTAV has been released on PC as of April 13th at about 4PM, Pacific time. I’ve got about 9 hours in so far and man, I forgot how much fun I had playing this game. I played it on console until I migrated to gaming on PC. That, and my 7 years old step-son gave the game disc away at school. No, he didn’t sell it…just gave it away. *sigh*

The game play is smooth, graphics are great and I really haven’t found any gotchas other than if you ALT+TAB out or change focus to another window. In these cases it prevents you from returning to the game window and you are forced to close and re-launch the game.

Creating your in-world game character is quite detailed. My character inadvertently looks a bit like what I expect Macklemore will look like at age 50 or so. I need a fur coat to complete that look. I don’t think it will be only 99 cents, however. Instead of picking things like complexion, tone and shape… you start by picking your parents, individually. Then, using a slider to say if you look more like mom or dad. From there you can pick complexion and features. High or low cheekbones, crooked nose, square chin; the options are extensive. I am sure you will spend more time on this screen than you anticipate, just playing with the character appearance options here.

Joining your steam friends or GTAV friends is pretty easy and pain free, though occasionally you will get shuffled to a different server after completing in-game missions and jobs. Not sure what that’s about. But, its easy enough to re-connect to them or them to you. Oh, and speaking of friends and different servers… PC GTAV servers can host 30 players at a time like PS4 and XBONE variants. XB360 and PS3 were limited to 20 player servers.

Currently the game is retailing for $59.99(USD). There are some discounts to be found through key retailers such as direct2play.com and G2A.com, and I am sure others. Unfortunately if you missed out on the pre-load (notice they weren’t calling it a pre-order to avoid the recent grass-roots movement to boycott all pre-orders) you won’t get the bonus in-game cash. It sure helps you get established a little quicker beings you can buy an apartment with a 10-car garage on day one.

If you enjoy open-world shenanigans then GTAV is for you. Pick it up and join us for some fun, some laughs and some mayhem!

Suckapunch Goes Dedicated

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The transition has happened. We have migrated from running multiple game servers on multiple gaming hosts, to one gaming host to a dedicated system. Currently we are hosting 4 game servers and TeamSpeak3 from a dedicated server. Likely, later this year, we will also move this website to that same system, as well.

The system is an HP Proliant DL360 G5. Its a bit dated but is readily available as are parts. The system is plenty powerful to run what we are currently running without issue. The one bottleneck we have, and can’t be avoided, is network bandwidth. I only have a 25Mbp/s connection on this server; that’s a balanced connection with 25 download and 25 upload. If it becomes to be too much of a pain, I don’t mind moving some stuff back to hosted solutions, but donations would have to support the costs associated with those subscription fees.

So, what kind of hardware are talking about here? The DL360 G5 carries dual CPUs. Both are quad-core Xeon 3.0Ghz processors. 16GB of DDR2 RAM. Dual 1G NICs in a teamed pair. Dual PSUs for redundancy. Dual 300GB, 15k, 6G, Dual Port SAS hard drives ran from a Battery Backed Write Cache RAID controller. I have them configured in a simple mirror for data safety and redundancy. I considered adding another disk array in a striped set for performance, but then we would lack redundancy… so, we’ll hold off on that until its needed. Disk is not our bottleneck right now. And, to round things out, the system is plugged into a UPS which in the event of a power failure will gracefully shut the server down to avoid data loss or corruption. On top of all of this is the latest Windows server operating system: Windows Server 2012 R2.

Some future work I have planned is some scheduled tasks that auto restart some of the game servers to mimic the restart features that the game hosting companies provide. Also, I’d like to schedule and automate some backups so that in the event a game database or “world” file becomes corrupt we can revert to a previous state known to be good.

If anyone has any suggestions, comments or questions, feel free to post in the forums and I will try and reply in a speedy fashion.

H1Z1: Is it worth it?

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It’s been awhile… so I thought I would make a quick post about my experience so far with H1Z1.  I had thought, like many of you probably have: “Why should I pay for a game now, that will be free, later?”  Aside from the fact its planned to be a free-to-play title upon completion, the early access fee of $19.99 (USD) is indeed worth it, in my opinion.  Didn’t we all pay that for DayZ, 7 Days to Die and Rust?  Like those other early access titles, H1Z1 feels complete, is playable and you will soon forget this is an early access-alpha title.  You likely won’t care that you paid 20 bucks for it by the time it becomes a widely released and finished product.

You spawn into a post-apocalyptic world with some clothes and a flashlight.  You search wrecked cars and buildings for weapons and survival gear.  With any luck you can find a vehicle that is drive-able…once you find the appropriate repair parts to make it operational.  I have yet to find one of these cars but, I have the parts ready if and when I do.  I have however nearly been ran down by other players wielding their vehicles as weapons.  Speaking of, currently, other players are by far more dangerous than the zombies.  SOE specifically has the zombies toned down right now but they are planning on an increase in the zombie population later… including hordes.

Comparing H1Z1 to other survival games its really a mixed bag of features from DayZ, 7 Days to Die and Rust all together.  Its got an extensive crafting element, tons of opportunities to explore and scavenge, lots of PvP and even base building.  I was a little meh about getting H1Z1 because it seemed so DONE already with the other three titles I have mentioned in this post.  The reality of it is though…I can’t help myself but want to play it, a lot.  While it does cover a lot of the same game styles and elements as others, it does it in away that is engaging, entertaining, challenging and…fresh.

Game-play has been mostly smooth with only one night in the last week where users were having issues signing into a server.  I haven’t been witness to any hackers, exploiters or bugs that have effected game play or performance.  The game does need some more expanding, but it doesn’t feel like much of an alpha.  Like 7 Days to Die and UNLIKE Rust… it feels like a complete game.

My recommendation is to buy it if you are on the fence.

PS – A note on ‘Pay-to-Win’:  If you have followed the news or Reddit on H1Z1 you’ll see a lot of complaining about this.  Yes, you can buy air-drop tickets.  But, there are enough weapons and loot in game that there isn’t much incentive to spend real dollars on air-drops.  As I understand it, current air-drops aren’t containing large caches of weapons or gear.  Really, you’d be better off just looting a couple houses and you will find more than you would in an air-drop crate.

The Long Dark: First Impressions

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I picked The Long Dark up during the final days of Steam’s Holiday Sale.  The survival genre is really where I like to spend my gaming time, and The Long Dark has provided a unique and interesting world to test your survivor abilities.  Unlike games like Don’t Starve, Rust, Minecraft or 7 Days to Die (all games we here at Suckapunch thoroughly enjoy) this isn’t a crafting survivor style game.  It really is more about scavenging and conserving resources.  There is no base/home building or leveling up; The Long Dark is much simpler than that…and, it’s single player.  It’s more akin to DayZ with it’s scavenging resources, although it goes beyond DayZ in a few areas.  But, don’t take that to mean that it’s easy or boring because it is neither.

In it’s current Alpha state the only game mode available to play is Sandbox mode.  In the game’s main menu there is a Story mode option, but selecting it pops-up a dialogue about it not being available in Alpha.  Upon selecting ‘Sandbox’ you then get to choose your difficulty level, map/world and gender.  Before we get into the actual game play, I’d like to take a moment to talk about the Early Access/Alpha state of this title.  The Long Dark/Sandbox certainly feels like a complete game.  I found no bugs, hitches, flaws or play-ability problems.  Performance was smooth, transitions were nice and menus were well organized.  All of this makes me very impressed with Hinterland Studio Inc. and fans my excitement to see where they take this game as a final product.

The Long Dark provides a very realistic survival scenario in that you don’t only have to monitor your health and food intake but, also your fatigue, thirst and body temperature.  This may, at first, sound cumbersome.  It really isn’t though.  They provide easy to read counters for all these measurements and do it in a non-intrusive way.  That is to say, the HUD or in-game displays are clean as to no hinder the realism of the game play.  It’s not as if we would all be wearing Google Glass while running around a frozen waste land after a geomagnetic event. So, as your character is tromping through the snow, there isn’t much on screen aside from a dot in the center of your screen that serves as your focal point when interacting with objects.  It will prompt you in the lower right and left corners if you are getting colder or warmer, if your caloric balance reaches certain milestones or you become dehydrated or injured.  You can hit TAB to open an in-depth menu that shows your Hunger, Thirst, Fatigue and other stats with a directional arrow to show you if its falling or rising and how quickly.

Before this post gets too long, lets walk through a little bit of game play.  When you spawn in to the world it’s the break of dawn.  You are standing in snow and that’s all you can see in every direction: Frozen Wasteland.  As you trudge forward you will likely run into pre-built structures or abandoned cars.  Keep your eyes out though for dropped backpacks or other objects you can interact with.  I’ve found a single can of soda lying in the snow when it was badly needed.  You will also encounter some wildlife: Wolves, deer, rabbits.  Watch out for them wolves, they can and will attack and kill you.  I was able to successfully fight off my first encounter, but not my second.  (A note on dying: it’s permanent.  When you die, you start over.  There is no returning to your last save.)  Hit TAB to check your inventory and stats, time of day and daily diary.  Entering your first building, check every drawer cupboard, nook and cranny.  Take everything you can.  Be mindful of your pack weight as you will fatigue faster if you carry too much.  Swap your clothes out for clothes in better condition or with higher thermal ratings.  Move on.  Keep an eye on the clock as you don’t want to be stuck out after dark.  The wind will pickup and visibility will drop to near nothing at dusk… it’s no fun.  Take shelter in a building with a fireplace, a wood stove or a burn barrel.  You can start a fire here and cook food or melt snow for clean water as needed.  You can sleep in any bed and for any length of time… you choose.  Just make sure you have the necessary calories in you system and the proper heat before resting for the desired length.  When you awaken, your fatigue will be down but you’ll likely be dehydrated and need food.  Eat and drink to restore yourself then head out again.  The goal here is to live as many days as you can, off whatever it is you can find.  You can set up base in any of the buildings you come across and can store your loot in a myriad of locations in those buildings: Desks, dressers, file cabinets, refrigerators.  From this base of operations you can explore by day, scavenging what you can and take shelter by night.

While I did say this wasn’t a crafting game, there are workbenches scattered across the map.  Usually inside cabins or behind them.  From a workbench you can make some boots, fishing line & hooks along with a few other things.  (I haven’t tried fishing, yet) I imagine we will see this list grow and change as the developers build out the game.  You can, from the TAB menu, harvest cloth and leather from your unneeded clothing items.  This is handy for then, in the same menu, repairing your worn clothes and tools.  The better condition your clothes are in, the better they will insulate you against the weather.  Workbenches are not required for harvesting/repairing your clothes and tools.

I think this post ended up being longer than I anticipated and I didn’t even cover everything I wanted to.  But, hopefully its enough to pique your interest in the game and check it out.  If not, well… catch me in chat with any questions.  Heck, I might even stream some game play on Twitch.

The Long Dark is an Early Access Game being developed by Hinterland Studio Inc. out of Vancouver Island, Canada.  It is available on Steam HERE.  You can visit the developers game site HERE.

I Am Bread: First Look

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Yes, you read that right, I Am Bread. What is this game about you ask? Well to put it simply, it’s about a slice of bread on a journey to become toast. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! Not only do you have to get toasted to beat the level, you need to venture across kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, or any other room you can think of, all while remaining “edible”. Spend too much time on the floor? Drag your crust through an army of ants? Your edibility decreases. Once it hits 0, you lose and have to start over. Oh, but don’t worry, see that strawberry jam over there? It will increase your edibility. The same goes for many other things you might find such as butter, cheese, or pretty much anything tasty.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, how does one take control of a slice of bread? Well, the four corners of the bread are associated with a key, by default, 1-2-3-4. Press and hold a corresponding key or multiple keys for a corner of the bread and it sticks to whatever surface it’s touching. While continuing to hold the key(s), you can move your mouse to flail the slice of bread around. It sounds confusing and trust me, it is, but once you get the hang of it, you can really get that bread movin’. As for what causes the bread corners to stick to surfaces? Do we really want to know?

Overall, kind of a silly game, but if you’re into the puzzle/adventure genre, it’s worth a look. Just keep in mind the realism in this game (aside from being a walking slice of bread) is far from perfect. Such as how you can no longer be edible after touching the floor, but slap yourself on a skateboard or a dusty ceiling fan and everything is good. Covered in ants? Nothing a little peanut butter can’t cure! I should also mention a toaster is not always your means of finishing the level. A fireplace will work just as well, or apparently even a clothes dryer.

Check it out, tell me what you think. Just be prepared to get frustrated as you hit that retry button for the tenth time. Maybe if we’re lucky they will add co-op play to the game and we can make a sandwich together. Grilled cheese anyone?

Don’t Starve… Together!

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That’s right, Don’t Starve, the much loved game which you’ve devoted hours of your life to, has gone multiplayer as a standalone version called, “Don’t Starve Together”. For most of you, myself included, this is exactly what the game has been missing. As much as I’ve enjoyed picking berries, catching rabbits, slaying dogs, and running away from tree monsters alone, it’s much more satisfying with friends by your side. Just keep in mind that the single player version was designed for one player only, so in order to balance the multiplayer version, they have increased the difficulty of the enemies dramatically. Therefore, I wouldn’t advise you to play Don’t Starve Together on your own.

If you’re new to Don’t Starve, it’s an Indie Survival Adventure game that throws you into the wilderness with nothing but your two bare hands, pitting you against wild animals, the elements, and many other night dwelling creatures. Although monsters pose a great threat, ultimately, as the title suggests, your main enemy is starvation. This will prove most difficult in the beginning stages of the game but once you establish a home, craft some basic tools and armor, and get to know your surroundings and where to find food, things get a little easier. Maps are randomly generated each time you start a new game, so don’t get too comfortable with the world you’ve been exploring all week.

The other major enemy in the game is nighttime. To be blunt, if night falls and you have no source of light, ie. a campfire or a torch, you WILL die. Luckily, there is a long enough dusk sequence to allow you to prepare yourself for the night ahead. Whether that means finding your way back to camp, or gathering the resources needed to build a campfire to keep those creepy crawlies at bay. Nighttime isn’t very long, only about an eighth the time of daylight, so no need to worry if you’re afraid of the dark.

The crafting system in the game, although it may be easy to learn, has A LOT of items available to you. It may not seem that way in the beginning but through building certain structures, you gain the ability to unlock bigger and better things. I won’t ruin the fun by telling you about everything here, just go take a look for yourself!

The game also tailors to every type of gamer from beginners to advanced by allowing you to edit almost every detail of the game you create from day/night length, the amount of resources in the world, the seasons (summer/winter), right down to how many of each type of creature/monster is in the world. You can even disable individual creatures that you don’t like so much.

Overall I really enjoyed it. The game is currently in beta but after playing for over 6 hours, the only bug I ran into was the music level not keeping at what I set it to in the options, so really nothing to complain about. Plus, it’s on sale right now for only $5.50 CAD until the end of the year with the “Frontier Pack”, which gives you one copy of the original “Don’t Starve” game, plus two copies of Don’t Starve Together, one for you and one for a friend.

I look forward to playing with you and remember… DON’T STARVE!

The Flock: First Impressions

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The Flock is a new game being developed by Vogelsap on top of the Unity engine. Presently they are accepting applications for their closed Alpha launch. I happened to pick up key for it from Echelon here on our forums.  I ran through a couple of matches with random internet folks and wanted to drop a quick note here of what The Flock is all about.

There used to be a game played in the backyard when I was a kid called (excuse the vulgarity) ‘Smear the Queer’.  This game was played with a ball of some sort; kind of like reverse tag….to the extreme.  So, one kid would have a ball and would try and keep it from the other kids.  The other kids then, of course, try and steal said ball by any means necessary.  Tackling, tripping, kicking… you name it.  I am certain a lot of broken bones, cuts and bruises can be attributed to ‘Smear the Queer’.  The Flock is a lot like this real life game, in concept.

When you join a match lobby you can’t start a game until you have at least 3 players.  I believe 5 is the max, per lobby.  Everyone starts as a member of the Flock; a disfigured creature who’s sole purpose is to get to and possess The Light Artifact.  The Artifact is an orb that can produce a beam of light that is fatal to any member of the Flock.  The map is dark, gritty and very much like an unlit, underground, utility substation.

All players start out as a member of the Flock.  Each one races out into the map in search of the Light Artifact.  Once a member of the Flock has possession of the Artifact it turns from its twisted and disfigured self into more of a humanoid creature called the Carrier.  Slower. Softer. Prey for The Flock.  When the Carrier is in possession of the Artifact all the Flock creatures will then hunt them down to steal the Artifact for themselves.  The only thing guiding them to it (and the Carrier’s) location is the light being output by the Artifact.  The goal of the game is to be the player who has possession of the Artifact the longest.  Each player has a meter/bar that slowly fills while they are the Carrier and in possession of the Artifact.  Once they lose the Artifact to another player (by death) their meter stops climbing, they respawn as a member of the Flock and the other player transforms into the Carrier and starts earning points for themselves.  The Carrier is slower than the Flock but when carrying the Artifact can kill the Flock by directing the orb’s light at the attacking Flock players.  The only defense the Flock players have against this is to stand still.  While not moving, the Flock creature will turn to stone and be immune to death from the light of the Artifact.

I haven’t quite figured out what the different symbols and power meters represent on the actual orb/Artifact.  As the Carrier in possession of the Artifact you can see the orb in your hands and it appears to be feeding you some information… I’m just not certain what that information is.  It seems one might be energy of some sort because the light from the Artifact does stop working from time to time.  And, it may indeed show you the direction of the incoming Flock players that are inbound trying to kill you.  I just haven’t spent enough time with it to know.

I really don’t know where Vogelsap is headed with The Flock.  In it’s present state The Flock is simply a dark and gritty digital version of Smear the Queer.  That’s it.  They have some interesting art and the game play worked well enough….but there certainly isn’t anything here that makes someone want to play for hours on end.  A quick match against some friends here and there but nothing that screams long term sustainability.  The one thing to note is the audio of this game; some of the screeches, howls and screams that these creatures make caught me off guard and had me in goosebumps with hair standing on end.  Without more content, objectives and goals, it’s an easily forgettable game, as is.

Have you played The Flock?  If so, tell us what you thought.

Metro 2033

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First impression… after my PC crashed 3 times at the same scene transition of the game, I realized this game was taxing my R9 290x more than any other game has to date.  So much so it caused my undersized PSU to fail in its delivery of power to necessary system components.  After under-clocking the card and dumbing down the in-game graphics options a little bit, I actually was able to play through the prologue chapter of the game and it still looked quite nice.  I received Metro 2033 for free via a HumbleBundle.com limited time offer.  (thanks to Mr. Noodles for the heads-up).

Metro 2033 is a survival horror first-person shooter game based on a novel of the same name.  It takes place mostly in the Metro in Russia; their subway system.  The essential story line is a post-apocalyptic war against mutated creatures using real and fictional weapons.  During my play-thru of the Prologue chapter it feels like a pretty immersive story aided by gritty and dark graphics.  Detail is pretty high, not only graphically, but in regards to the players ability to interact with the environment.  In one cut-scene the player wakes up in an underground bunker and is able to extinguish an oil lamp or a bedside reading lamp, and then turn them back on.  This serves no real purpose that I can tell but adds to the immersion of the player into the game.  In addition to the interactive lamps, in this bunker cabin, there is an acoustic guitar that you can strum.  I really wanted to break out into ‘Smoke on the Water’, the only song I can play on a guitar… but alas, strumming from a distance is all it allows the player to do.

The Prologue chapter of the game walks the player through how to interact with the environment while introducing them the to the story.  It explains how to move your character through the game and around/over obstacles.  They show you how to collect items around the environment and how to use those items.  It also shows you the current state of the post-apocalyptic world the player is dropped in to and the havoc wreaked on the humans of this world.  You see injured or dying soldiers and are told of the menace of the mutants and the ‘Dark Ones’; how they rule the tunnels.  Directly following this introduction you get a taste of what the mutants are capable of as you and your Russian counterparts are attacked by a swarm of them.  Armed with just a revolver you make your stand.

The Prologue chapter comes to an end and your journey through the mutant infested Metro system begins.  I stopped playing here but intend to spend a little more time getting to know Metro 2033 and see what these ‘Dark Ones’ are all about.  I just hope I get something a tad better than an old revolver to greet them with.  Wish me luck.