Now With 50% More Love

Super excited at the below loot..

Yes... yes you would lie. 


More Borderlands 2 Randoms

My Grandfather has been pretty sick in the hospital these days and after spending time with him there, all I want to do is vegg on the sofa and play games. Kind of a depressed response, no? Natural? Maybe. I've been getting alot of Borderlands 2 in, so here are some randoms:

- I hate Buzzards; basically enemies in flying hover cars.. just like the Rakks in this game, the Buzzards' flight pattern is totally erratic.. actually anything that flies (includes the Hyperion surveyors) is very hard to take down manually
Guns guns guns. You want them, I have them.

- game getting too hard? Use those Golden Keys and you may be surprised at how powerful you become

- don't have Golden Keys? 1. Make a Shift Account on the Extras option on the Main Screen for Borderlands 2. Follow @GearboxSoftware on Twitter and enter the free codes. They are time sensitive but can be used by unlimited people, so give it to your friends!

- I want a bigger storage space or maybe a mailbox I can use to send to my alts; people would argue if you had such a system, its like having an unlimited bank space, but I disagree, its all about implementation: Make the mailbox system last only for 3 hours or so and if you don't get to them, the system sells it or puts it back in your inventory; possibly throwing out the cheaper/weaker gear automatically

- disliking the Eridium Blight area; its too sparse. My vehicle got destroyed by accident (damn RPG robot!) and it took forever to walk to the next vehicle station. The Highlands (major are before) was large, but it had 2 big areas to content, many pockets of things to do between each area and had many quick travel areas to other instances. The EB, doesn't seem to be that way; get a vehicle and don't lose it!

- Gearbox did a great job in making fun characters to play with; I keep trying my all my characters and have a blast with them (although I'm afraid my Commando is too weak right now). I was originally leveling my Mechromancer so she could play with my gf, but then I found it was really easy to solo (until you hit the Eridium Blight area.. whoops) and shot past my target of lvl 23. So I decided to play with my Gunzerker and he was incredibly powerful; always Gunzerking with dual fast shotguns, and throwing out 2 cluster grenades at a time.. things died FAST. When I got him to lvl 23, I switched to my Assassin to snipe as it is my preferred way to solo. Got him to lvl 31 which allowed him to get his highest tiered talent skill, switched him to a melee specc and used the gun/shield combo of Law&Order (melee attacks heal OMFG & roid damage). If that wasn't powerful enough, while in stealth, if he killed an enemy with melee, he would RE-stealth again to infinity (if you can do it before the timer runs out). Game Changer.



Now everyone knows, I love Borderlands.. but I'd like everyone to stop right now. I do not suggest buying the newest DLC of Captain Scarlet and her Pirate's Booty.

I've only had a short chance to play the DLC, but so far i'm highly disappointed. 

1. Everything is so far apart. I understand needing to space things and make it seem like a big open world, but this Oasis area is way too big and the fighting areas are so small. It feels like you spend 5 minutes fighting while travelling from one spot to another for 15. Do not like. I prefer places like the Bloodshot Stronghold which were huge and full of baddies.

2. The new hover boat vehicle, the sandskiff is over-rated; so you can hover and run over enemies easier... big whoop. I don't see what is so impressive about it. I actually just use the car from the first Borderlands when i'm travelling as the double turrets do accurate consistent high damage.

3. Weak story.. unlike Borderlands 2 which has a rather inclusive storyline, I can't really tell what the story about this DLC is about other than looking for treasure....

Anyways; will be spending more time with it in the next coming weeks; I've bought the season's pass already, so maybe I can find what makes this DLC worth it. Worst case scenario, this can be the 'free' game from the season's pass.

I had some time the other day *halo* and I actually beat XCom: Enemy Unknown. It was a big surprise to me, because the original XCom games were incredibly tough and I rarely survived my missions. Heck, I never beat the game or came even close. Granted I was on the easy setting, I can see how it can be an incredible challenge.

I found.. that the game is really short. **SPOILERS! TURN AWAY**
Its like: learn to capture aliens, capture an alien crystal pilot, assault an alien base and encounter a powerful telepath. Do a few more missions and get some alien technology; research it, build the appropriate building, use your telepath to assault the huge mothership and if your telepath guy lives, you win. Yes yes "you played it on easy mode, so obviously it was short"... but actually I rarely did priority missions, I ensured every single country (that didn't leave lol) has a satellite, that I built facilities on every square and researched EVERYTHING possible. I had a team of 14 troops all at the highest ranking (although I only used the same 7-8 characters over and over).

Its a GREAT game. If you are nostalgic with XCom.. this game will be even better b/c you can actually win (and aliens don't camp right outside your dropship). Go buy it!


Borderlands 2 & XCom: Reasons to Never Go Outside Again

So as the title says it, having a blast with both Borderlands 2 and XCom: Enemy Unknown and trying my best not to get addicted. Borderlands 2 released their most recent dlc: Captain Scarlet: And Her Pirate Booty. I haven't had much of a chance to play it as i've been saving it to play with my gf exclusively. 
In the meanwhile, I've been trying the new Mechromancer class which I believe is the older Tiny Tina from the normal storyline. You may notice how her left arm is robotic and there is a very interesting Echo recording on how that came to be. 

The class, to say the least is amazingly easy to solo. Even with a 60 second cooldown which I thought was too long, it is an incredibly powerful skill; it stays on the field for a good 20-30 seconds, flies, has tons of life (i'm lvl 22 and it has only died twice) and has good dps. It also is really adept at shooting down the annoying Rakks and Buzzards with it's lightning wave.. and gets even stronger with it's laser beam skill: The Stare. Its like having a second person to play with almost all the time, that draws agro better and doesn't die. If you hate pugging but find solo too difficult at times, this may be your class! Countless parts in which I had massive problems with my other classes, the Mechromancer passed it without breaking a sweat.

About 10 years ago, the game looked like this; notice how aliens will be camping RIGHT outside the dropship to get cheap kills.

I played the original XCom: Terror From the Deep (TFtD), which was apparently the worst and the hardest. This (XCom: Enemy Unknown) is an incredibly addictive game; I thought Heroes of Might and Magic where I was going "one more turn" was bad. Or with Skyrim in which it takes forever to log out, b/c there is just one more thing you need to do, put away or explore. You know what hooks you in this game? The missions seem so short.. that in your head, it takes 5-10 minutes, but in reality, it takes about 20-25.. and when you scan and build and research and do all the micromanagement there is in the game.. what you also think takes mere minutes.. whoops, its 2.5 hours later than when you promised to turn it off.

There are many sites and forums with helpful tips on this newest (and best! I say best b/c I can actually complete a mission without having a single agent die) iteration of XCom and I would have posted some links, but I can't find any. So here are a few of mine:

1. Whenever you can, build satellites. Players say to save them for the end of the month and launch them in unhappy countries to prevent them from leaving... not so sure about that.

2. Get medkits. I never bought or used medkits before in TFtD. Mostly because I didn't know how to use them and the alien's weapons were so powerful, they crumpled and died anyways from one shot. Get your support (i'd recommend 2) leveled up so they can carry 3 medkits with them. Alive units means they get more powerful AND less wounded time.

3. Assault classes and Run&Gun skill. Don't underestimate this skill. I normally have 2 assault class units with me which run into rooms and guarantee me two dead aliens. The ability to run extremely far distances and STILL shoot, with 100% chance to hit AND possibly do critical damage, is really effective.

Fast forward 10 years later.. look ma! I'm gorgeous!!!
In my first playthough, I thought Priority missions were .. a priority and tried to complete them right away such as the one with researching the Arc Thrower which is used to capture aliens. I learnt in my second playthrough that the game will wait for you and give you other missions if you choose not to do it right away. There are 2 findings to this though: 1. Although you have more time to research, build and get stronger, you're doing more missions where you have to choose between 3 different countries when there are alien abduction missions. This results in 1 happy country but 2 unhappy countries. I've found in my 2nd playthrough, I have alot more unhappy countries. 2. The enemies get stronger as you get stronger. I may have played the same amount in real hours in my 2nd playthough, but nowhere as far into the story as my first and i'm facing against incredibly strong aliens I never saw in the first. So its my belief, the game can tell when you are getting stronger and adjusts the difficulty accordingly (which I like).

Its on my wishlist that there is some kind of sandbox mode for this game; I feel although I can avoid the main storyline, eventually you'll get to a point where you have to complete it, otherwise the aliens may get too strong or too many countries will abandon XCom. Unfortunately, that is the thing about the game, without there being a story, sandbox mode may lose it's meaning.


XCom: Game of the Year

Whats that you say? XCom: Enemy Unknown may just be more addictive than alcohol, smoking and crack combined times infinity? I can attest to that. When you thought you couldn't possibly say "ok, just one more turn" and its 5am... for the second night in a row.. it isn't Civ 5.. it isn't Heroes of Might and Magic. Its XCom.

I had serious doubts that the newest iteration of XCom was gonna be horrible; that 2KGames was going to bomb one of my most cherished pc games of all time. A game that I didn't fully understand how to play.. and a game that can be terribly hard if you don't have a solid strategy. A game that will whoop your butt and not give you any consolation prize.. nope.. the earth has been invaded by aliens all thanks to your incompetence. Goodbye!

If you played and liked the original XCom series: Buy it.
If you like turn-based strategy games: Buy it.
If you like Aliens vs Humans games: Buy it.
If you like squad based combat: Buy it.
If you like units that you can fully customize and upgrade: Buy it.
If you like a pure challenge, even on the easiest difficulty: Buy it.
If you want an insane challenge that'll bring you to the point of tears: Buy it.

I honestly can't say enough good things about the game and how happy I am to have picked it up; it makes me wish that I bought it on release day resulting in VERY tired mornings at work.. and probably resulting in 'sick' days. Its basically the XCom for this generation, like how The Dark Knight Rises is the Batman for ours. Its not 'good' is 'OMFG SICK.'

 Lets get straight to the bad; there are only two things that I can see that is bad about the game. Maybe three. One: when in a map with multiple levels (1st floor, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and more), the camera doesn't work well. You'll be wanting to move your units, but the camera will show you the level above, causing massive tactical errors. In areas such as these, mistakes such as this results in dead veterans; Ginger and Juan are now on the memorial having sacrificed themselves for the greater good. I really hope they fix this issue with a patch; it nearly makes the game unplayable. Two: the game seems short. In my first playthough, I went right ahead and started doing the priority quests, thinking that they expired.. (they don't seem to) it seemed like the game was progressing very fast story-wise. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised later, but it feels very fast-paced, when I want a little less urgency and a little more skirmishes with aliens. Three: Its so incredibly addictive. Those stories above about the 5am game sessions are true. I forced myself to sleep, knowing full well the past 3 hours I kept saying to myself: "ok, after this one scan, i'll log off." And something interesting always happened and the cycle happened again and again.

Phew. With that out of the way, we can talk about the great stuff. First: Graphics. Huge overhaul to the original and thank goodness for that. Knock on wood, no graphical glitches other than the wonky camera only in multi-level maps. And only one crash. Second: Customization. Just like the original games, you can customize your soldiers, use your name, your friends names, whatever. Make them look as much or as little in resemblance to you. When they level up, you get a simplified (more so than even Mass Effect 3 if you can believe that) ability tree; but the small choices make a big impact in the game for you. Third: Pick up and go. Well besides the 5am part, whenever you fight aliens, the map is a perfect size (atleast in the early goings) that you can normally complete one in under 10 minutes if you're efficient. It makes you feel like you're accomplishing alot and builds morale and a feeling that you're unstoppable (until your whole squad dies).
I could keep going on and on and on about how great XCom is, but I don't want to raise your expectations. Its a serious buy and totally worth the money imho. I thought this year many great games came out: Diablo 3, Skyrim, Borderlands 3, Mass Effect 3 etc etc. For the longest time going, I still thought, overall, Skyrim was the Game of the Year... Now? XCom wins hands down. No. NO! Hands down. Shuddapa your mouth; nothing is better than this game. Case in point: I haven't touched the game in 2 days in fear I won't ever go to sleep again.


Borderlands: Headshot

Just like Pete at Dragonchasers, i've been unusually quiet on the blog scene. I attribute it to a new work schedule and playing Borderlands 2 on a nightly basis after I get most of my RL obligations out of the way. 
Its either:

1. Spend 15-30 minutes writing an entry
2. Spend 3 minutes on an entry (possibly)not worth putting up.
3. Save that time and get some gaming in.

Normally I'd pick even option 2 if I had nothing better to talk about(and post something MTG-related or photography related), but its been so incredibly busy at work that i'm extremely mentally exhausted.

Borderlands 2 once again is great, and very similar to the original. They took what was great and tweaked it.. I can't remember too many bad areas in the original game except for Moxxi's Underdome (which I didn't play much of; tho used the bank ALOT). It still provides a big challenge when soloing and is ten times better when you play with others.. unless they're being overly aggressive and dying alot. I'm disappointed that I don't have more time to play, my highest lvl characters is lvl 26/27 and while that is rather high, my friends who play on a daily basis are in their mid 30s and I wouldn't be able to provide enough support to join them.

I've been switching time between my two highest lvl characters: Commando and Assassin. I found as soon as the Commando had enough talents to get rockets for his turret, it was easy mode til lvl 25. Once I hit that lvl which means I'm in Lynchwood, it starts to become hard again. I'm also missing the assault rifles that shoots a small burst of bullets when zoomed in. Normally very accurate and thus doing alot of damage, i'm stuck with low ammo rocket guns or high ammo guns with huge recoil. Aren't assault rifles supposed to be good at a medium-long range?
Meet my little big friend.
The Assassin has been fun in Lynchwood as i've changed his specc from a very lethal melee class that was only used in a coop situation, to a sniper specc that never sees an enemey unless they're 30 feet away or more. Hitting the lvl 25 mark/Lynchwood area, i've been finding lvl 25 appropriate gear which means he's upgraded his ~300 damage sniper rifles and finding elemental snipers at 700 damage, and basic rifles topping 1k!

Gearbox came out with a new class this time around which has released early. Free to people that preordered the game, 800 microsoft points or 9.99$ for the other systems. Its a pet class with a skill tree that specializes in electric attacks. At 60s cooldown, even with mods and relics AND talents that can decrease the cooldown.. you're waiting anywhere between 20-30s with the best gear if you're lucky. I'd prefer to have my pet all the time, maybe weaker and the special skill buffs them up or something like that.

The first DLC is slated for this week; looking forward to that as i've purchased the Season's Pass for 30$ (X amt of MS points). The Seasons Pass allows you to download all 4 DLC packs, saving you 10$, or 25%. Looks to be a pirate theme, very interested in that but also hoping for another zombie dlc as well in the future.. What do you think we can expect in the future DLC? I am thinking probably a space station environment (the Hyperion moon base) or the moon that orbits Pandora.


Fire Collective

Do you like Halo?
Do you like politics?
Ok, how much do you like Halo? This link talks about how you'll earn a Halo avatar suit for the 360 if you watch the Presidential Debates. As a Canadian, I personally am really interested in the debates and hope to see full coverage of Obama kicking Romney's butt! Lol
Check this link for more info; if you're gonna watch something, might as well get something in return!

My favorite enchantment in my strongest deck.

Countless Green/White deck ideas came to mind when I saw that.