I’ve been away for ages, and will be for much longer. Sorreh!

I was gonnna review Skyrim on this blog… but tbh the only review it needs is “Buy it… but wave goodbye to your social life.”
I found out that I have an average of 6 hours a day on Skyrim… and it’s STILL amazing after 140-ish hours.

I’m sure it’ll wear off by Christmas, but that’s when I’m getting Saint’s Row The Third.
So if anyone still reads this, why aren’t you playing skyrim?! 

Orcs Must Die – Angry Interlude

Once again, what would otherwise be a brilliant game has been turned into a cashwagon with the addition of unnecessary DLC.

So let’s just compare the DLC, to the Preorder Bonus, shall we?

1. Preorder Bonus

A “Knight Of The Order” reskin for the War Mage, which replaces his robes with some cool armor, and replaces the bladestaff with a huge hammer. Note that however, this confers no INGAME bonuses.

The Knight Of The Order skin, is a completely aesthetic item, which most people who didn’t preorder won’t even miss. So okay, that seems fair enough, if it was something you’d be upset if you missed it simply because you know, I get that. But then again, once you’ve killed 1,000 orcs (which takes about, ooh, 2 hours, maybe 3, of play time…) you get yet ANOTHER OMD reskin… which actually, looks even MORE badass than the war mage.

2. DLC Bonus -_-

The “Artifacts of Power” DLC gives the player, “two new weapons and two new traps”, for £1.99.

I’ll just put that into perspective shall I. The game, for £11.99 gives you access to over 30 traps and weapons. For 1/6 of that price, you get… 4.
30… 4.

Why couldn’t they just be added to the game? As an indie company… it’s not a good plan to try and milk your customers. They don’t have any reason to stay with you yet.

So yeah. For Preordering you get a reskin… but for another £2 more than you paid, you can have 4 traps that actually do something to your gameplay. That’s right… all you get for trusting the company to release a good game, is pretty pictures.

It seems that more and more game companies don’t care about their players happiness, they care about how open their wallets are.

But then again… nobody does anything about it. We sit back as they sell us less and less complete games, then complain that they beat games in a weekend. Eventually you’ll pay your £40 or whatever for your game. Then you’ll go home and realise you have to buy a CD key separately. And a character. And some gear. Now obviously this is hyperbolic. But it has the potential to happen, if all our complaining is hidden away in “OT” on forums.

Orcs Must Die! Part 1: Kill ALL The Orcs! [Synopsis and Monsters]

Note: Since this is such a long article, it will be split into two parts.

Orcs Must Die! is a game that came out on Steam on October 12th, but due to a mix of Work and a Steam Sale, it’s taken me this long to write an article on it.

The game is, unsurprisingly, based around killing Orcs. The simplest explanation of the story is this:

  • You are an Apprentice, training to become a War Mage to take over from your mentor.
  • The job of a War Mage is to defend magical “Rifts” from the hordes of Orcs that dwell outside the fortresses.
  • Unfortunately, your mentor slipped and fell in a pool of kobold blood.
  • This leaves you to defend the rift from orcs, kobolds, and more!
Sounds simple enough, right?
But wait! It gets better. You have at your disposal an ever-increasing number of traps with which to thin out the number of enemies attacking you. You start with almost nothing other than your crossbow and sword, but before long you have a powerful arsenal of magic and bone crushing fun!

These range from a simple barricade, forcing Orcs to take a longer route, to the brutal Clockwork Mace, which shreds any orcs unfortunate enough to be hit by it. (Note that if you block all their routes, the Orcs will attack the barricades until one breaks).

Losing

The only way to lose this game is to run out of “Rift Points”. You start with a set amount, be it 20, 25, or even 30. You lose 1 every time an enemy gets to the rift, and you lose 5 if you die. If you lose all of them, that’s it, enough Orcs made it through to destroy everything on the other side.

Enemies

The enemies in Orcs Must Die vary. I won’t spoil anything by revealing any late-game mobs, but I will provide  The most common, is the Orc Warrior, which isn’t that surprising considering the name of the game.

Orc warriors will charge towards the rift, straight into the path of traps, pausing only to attack the War Mage, should you get too close. They die relatively easily, although in high enough numbers can swarm past traps before they reset, and overwhelm the War Mage. Thankfully, they are dumb enough that keeping this from happening should not pose too much of an issue.

The next most common enemy is the Crossbow Orc. Pretty much the same as the Orc Warrior, the only difference is that they have attack on sight, and shoot flaming arrows. Their aim is awful, but this is a two-edged sword, as half the time you can stand still and not get hit, but others you can accidentally run into a stray shot. The easiest way to defeat them is to stun them in some way.

Quite early in the game you will encounter Kobold Runners. These pests die in a single hit, which might make them seem easy to defeat. The problem is that they’re fast, they can outrun most traps, and hitting them before they pass you is occasionally a challenge. The easiest way to catch them is to shoot at them as they leave the door, killing them before they can spread out. If they DO pass you, you are normally far enough from the rift to stop them anyway.

Ogres are massive. They can take a beating, and dish one out. Never get into close combat with an ogre that isn’t stunned, or death is likely. This of course creates a problem since the only efficient way to kill Ogres before you unlock [REDACTED] is with a sword. Early on, the best tactic is to stun them with the crossbow, run in, hit them a few times with the sword, then repeat. Since they count for 5 rift points not 1, killing them is all the more important.

As I already said, I won’t reveal any more on the monsters. For now, I shall end my explanation on this game. Check back now and then for part 2, in which I (eventually) cover traps in more detail.

As We Come To The End – Part 4

Home, Sweet Home

Due to the unforgiving surroundings, my little home in The End is as basic as it can be while still being useful. The stone pillars around the edge exist mainly to make the home more than just a wooden box, but also for a secret purpose only I may know.

Hopefully, as long as I keep my head down, there shouldn’t be too much trouble here. Who knows, maybe one day others will come through the portal, long after I am gone, and this house shall be theirs to rest in until such a time as an exit is discovered…

~This is Pointless Matters, and I have come to The End.

Oh right, this might be a short trip after all.

Evolution Of Games

More and more, games are being developed that focus less on story or immersion, and more on action and killing. As any forumer will know, there is a definite change in opinion on “a good game” as you move towards the older members of the community. Sadly, the older members seem to have the right idea, but they’re not the ones the games are being aimed at any more.

As a teenager, it saddens me that my generation seem to have shorter and shorter attention spans every year. A great example of this is the *cough* ‘wonderful’ game that is Dragon Age 2. BioWare made the original Dragon Age game, Origins, as an RPG for the PC. Everyone loved it, it was so popular they ported it across to consoles.

Then, they made Dragon Age 2. Gone was 90% of the customization, gone was the long, involving storyline. Gone was (albeit simplistic) tactical battles. Instead you have a 3rd person Button Mash with barely any content whatsoever.

The Problem

Gamers seem to be lazier and lazier every year. They no longer want to play complex games that require them to think. They just want to be able to kill stuff and have it look “awesome”.

The ‘Solution’ (According to companies like EA)

Produce games that require less and less effort.

NO! NO NO NO!

If you can’t beat a certain point game, you shouldn’t think “Oh I’ll just turn the difficulty down a bit.”
You do other stuff to make you able to beat it…

But of course you CAN’T. Because the game companies have decided to pre-empt gamers getting less attentive.

Dear game companies, when I am an adult, if I have kids, I don’t want them to not be able to focus on anything that takes more than 5 minutes. I don’t want my kids to think smashing a single button until they’ve cleared a room of generic enemies makes them a gamer.

If you just make the games to the same standard… kids have to improve their attention spans. Rather than changing what you make to what they enjoy… change what they enjoy to be what you make! 

People don’t read as much any more… it’s not because books are boring. It’s because companies like EA are making the “popular” media things which don’t require the same level of attention as books. So people aren’t capable of reading them.

We aren’t morons, please stop trying to make us into them.

I know this is degenerating into a mad rave so I’ll stop now… I just hate what’s happening to games. Like the guys at ThePiratebay say… why is entertainment an industry? Fun shouldn’t be based on how much money you spend.

As The End Approaches: Part 2

Technical Difficulties

So I decided to head into The End with a few of my supplies to set up a small base camp. I noticed a few things.

  1. Weird new ground
  2. Obsidian Pillars
  3. F**ktons of Endermen
Now, I went down  with my diamond pickaxe, and hit away at the ground. According to the noise it made,  it was a stone/rock, but my pickaxe mined it oddly slow.

When I finished my dig, the white stone dropped… cobble. After a quick “To the Wiki!”, I discovered that the only way to mine the actual stone is to enchant my tools.
Thankfully, my stronghold base has a library, complete with Enchanting Table.

While researching this stone on the wiki I discovered that “Beds will explode when used” and “No plants can be grown without the use of bonemeal“.
Well, that’s my plan down the drain.

3 Hours and 2 Stacks of cooked pork later, I finished my preparations.

So I set up a little base, with windows to observe the Endermen from. It’s worth noting that Endermen do not become agressive if looked at through glass.

As soon as the base was complete, along with cake, furnace, and Workbench, I went to head back to the real world to collect my real tools.

I ascend the  stairs to my portal and find… nothing. Dammit, I should have noticed that immediately.
Look back at the first picture. What’s not there? A portal.

So rather than give myself up to the spindly grasp of the Endermen hordes, I decided to find how extensive The End is…

The answer? Not very. It’s a floating island of white rock in a great black void. Fair enough. Time to return to reality.

As I leap off the edge, I feel almost as though I am being slowly crushed. As everything fades to black, I awake suddenly in the bed of my Stronghold. Had I dreamt that entire place?

As I headed up to the library I passed a small pool of water… I knew instantly that none of what I had seen was a dream. The End does not leave unwanted guests without scars.

~This is PointlessMatters… and I have seen beyond the Void.

As The End Approaches.

Okay, so today I begin my preparations to enter The End, the mystical world of the Endermen. I know too well that this will be a one-way journey. So I have decided to set up a home and survive for as long as I can. Assuming I keep my head down until I’m sheltered, I shouldn’t face too much danger.

I currently have packed:

  • 1 Full set of diamond armor.
  • 2 Diamond Picks
  • 2 Diamond Axes
  • 3 Diamond Shovels
  • 2 Diamond Swords
  • A half-stack of Diamonds
  • A stack of Wood Logs
  • A stack of SmoothStone
  • A stack of Sand
  • A half-stack of Glass
  • A Flint & Steel
  • A Cake
  • 2 Water Buckets
  • A Workbench
  • 4 Furnaces
  • 3 stacks of Coal
  • A stack of Wheat
  • A Jukebox
  • “Cat”
  • 3 stacks of Torches
  • 1 Wooden Door
  • A Sign
  • A stack of Pistons
  • A stack of Sticky Pistons
  • A stack of Ladders
  • A stack of Dirt
  • A stack of Chests
~This is PointlessMatters, I’ll See you at the bitter End.

Encyclopedia Minecraftia – Endermen

Yes, today sees the return of the Encyclopedia Minecraftia. We are going to take a look at the Endermen, a strange, otherworldly race of creature that has recently started appearing across the world of Minecraftia.

What IS Are The Endermen?

The Endermen are strange creatures indeed. Around one-and-a-half times as tall as the average person, they are almost completely composed of some dark material, appearing quite often to be little more than shadow. These tall, thin creatures have great long arms with which they carry seemingly useless materials around. Their purpose in doing so remains unknown…

While seeming at first to be passive entities, content to observe the denizen(s) of Minecraftia and carry about their work, they become instantly alert if paid too much attention. If stared at, there is a likelihood that they will turn hostile.

Some scholars believe they do not wish to be followed back to wherever they are taking their materials. Regardless of reason, a hostile Enderman is a terrifying sight at first, as they fly into a terrible rage, opening their mouths to loose a hideous sound. This may be their attempt at scaring their prey into submission, as a well-supplied adventurer can easily fell one of the creatures. Many of the Endermen carry upon them a pearl, which appears to be how they identify each other. Collection of this pearl upon the death of an Enderman is an idea with much merit, as the the Endermen seem much less inclined to attack while it is held.

N.B. – The above sketch of an Enderman, as some may know, is incorrect in that their eyes glow a darkish purple.

Enderman Hunting

Due to their ability to move materials, Endermen can cause damage to the natural environment and the unguarded shelters of less prepared adventurers. For those with access to significant resources, the Endermen may not represent a real threat in combat, being considered mere pests. However, while the Enderman itself is an easy issue to avoid, if it breaks a hole in your wall, suddenly your home becomes a lot less safe.

This is why many adventurers take it upon themselves to eradicate the Endermen from the area they live in as soon as is possible. Some take this to such an extent as to become “Ender Hunters”, devoting almost all of their effort to ridding the land of Minecraftia of these strange beings. I had the fortune to discuss with one of these “hunters”, who explained several ways to defeat an Enderman quickly.

1. Water

It’s not known why, but water has a strange effect on Endermen, slowly hurting them and disabling them from attacking you until they ‘shift’ away.

2. Particle Trails

Even when an Enderman ‘shifts’, the weird purple trail that seems to follow them lingers. Watch which way it moves, and you can know where it shifted to. This gives you crucial extra time to locate them before they attack again.

3. Damage

While Endermen might do quite a large amount of damage, they don’t attack until right up against you. Hit them first and they’ll go down fast enough.
He left us with this word of advice: As long as you can keep them from getting the drop on you, the only trick you need to know is “hit them with something pointy.”

~This is PointlessMatters, Happy Hunting.

Important Edit: It has been discovered that possession of an Ender Pearl is what enables their ‘shifts’. If in possession of such a pearl, throwing it away from you will instantly send you to that location. Sadly, it is not yet known how to get multiple uses from a pearl like the Endermen seem able.

Panda’s Advice Section!

You want me to write an article? [PM: Just a section for one] Er… okie dokie lokie! 😀

Protip 1: Do NOT engage fights with other types of mobs whilst fighting Endermen. You could fight 20 endermen and still be likely to win, but against an enderman and a [insert other mob here]? Nuh-uh.

Protip 2: While water is useful, buckets aren’t. Only use water if it’s readily available. Or if you do insist on using a bucket, place it underneath yourself to avoid being pushed around.

Protip 3: Endermen deal damage in metric fucktons, just keep hitting them.

Protip 4: Bows work surprisingly well

Protip 5: Keeping eye contact and walking up to attack tends not to work. They just teleport away when you swing.

Protip 6: If you still don’t want to fight an Enderman… don’t look at it, silly!