Accelerate your Urban(mech) improvement with PPCs and LRMs

Subject: General Tech | April 24, 2019 - 02:03 PM |
Tagged: gaming, urban warfare, paradox, harebrained schemes, battletech

The next expansion to Battletech has a trailer which you can see at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN, as well as some information on where your mercenary crew will be doing its shopping.  Urban Combat will indeed add very large buildings to combat, with new hazards such as fuel trucks, heat exchangers and electrical transformers to keep an eye on.  As you are unlikely to find much cover in the city, you might want to bring along the new Raven 1X which will sport ECM and and an Active Probe in a small package.  From the sounds of it, you will be able to mount ECM and Active Probes on other 'mechs, though you should expect them to eat up a serious amount of tonnage. 

The expansion will also bring in the Javelin, a close combat mech with the speed needed to close the distance and evade incoming fire, as well as three new crunchies to step on, if you can find them, and new type of mission.  This release will mean the RogueTech team has a bunch of work to do, especially as they've already included the BAP and Guardian ECM, as well as the aforementioned 'mechs. 

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"Giant stompy bots aren’t exactly known for being stealthy, but in a loud city full of metal things, they have a slightly better chance of getting the jump on each other. As well as the cover-filled environment, there’s going to be a bunch of new ECM-focused techs in the expansion."

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Pre-order to get a severed arm skin ... tempting Bloodlines 2, tempting

Subject: General Tech | March 27, 2019 - 05:19 PM |
Tagged: vampire the masquerade, paradox, gaming, bloodlines 2

When last we visited The World of Darkness, it was a list of mods for the original Bloodlines game which was released back in November of 2004.  You can try but an antediluvian game such as this is still going to look rather graphically dated, what we really needed is a new game.  That is exactly what we are getting from Paradox Interactive, with the announcement of Bloodlines 2 as well as the release of a trailer.  The development team includes Brian Mitsoda, who was a designer and writer for the original. 

Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN got a look at the demo, and like anyone whom spent some of their younger years playing in White Wolf's World of Darkness should be, they are rather stoked.

"More than that, I have seen, hands off, the first half an hour of it and have spoken to senior writer Cara Ellison (late of this RPS parish), as well as Hardsuit Labs co-founder Andy Kipling, and narrative lead Brian Mitsoda. "

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Stomping from tabletop to desktop, Battletech is here

Subject: General Tech | April 25, 2018 - 03:22 PM |
Tagged: battletech, gaming, paradox, harebrained schemes

If you have played the tabletop version of Battletech before, then you have some idea how long a single turn can take.  Paradox and Harebrained have replicated that somewhat, much to the dismay of Alec over at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN who found the pacing extremely slow even after turning off the closeup animation feature.  Having managed to steal an hour yesterday to try the new game I can understand why he feels this way, as there is a long waiting period for the sequential weapon animations.  For now it is enjoyable, watching PPCs and missiles impact an enemy but I can believe that after a dozen missions or more it will begin to pale. 

If you are easily bored by turn based games, and found the new X-Com incarnations to be paced too slow for enjoyment you might want to steer clear of this game.  If, on the other hand, you can't wait to teach those crunchies not to play with the big boys or engage in a bit of friendly death from above this is worth picking up.  The game manages to replicate the feeling of massive inertia from the tabletop and the battles are very satisfying.  I still haven't seen secondary ammo store explosions yet but here's hoping!

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"There was, for once, none of the thunderous din of new kitchens or loft extensions being built in one of the adjacent terraced houses, and nor was my own PC’s volume set high as I threw stompy tankbots at each other in XCOM-meets-Mechwarrior turn-based strategy game/boardgame adaptation BattleTech. "

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That's no moon! Stellaris adds planet killers plus the chance to mine the corpse of your enemies home

Subject: General Tech | January 17, 2018 - 02:44 PM |
Tagged: gaming, stellaris, paradox

In the not too distant future new DLC will arrive for Stellaris, likely in conjunction with the new free patch that Paradox will be releasing as that is their style.  The new DLC will include two new ship classes, Titans, which outweigh battleships and come with specific weaponry only available to that class of ship as well as the colossus.  A colossus is only marginally a fleet ship, it does not have much in the way of hull or conventional armament but is specifically designed to go after planets while your fleet protects them.  There are several different weapons you can install, from the aforementioned planet cracker to a shield generator which forever seals a planet off from the universe to a God Ray you can use on your own planets to increase spiritualist ethics attraction.

As well, the free 'Cherryh' patch will make some huge changes to the base gameplay; restricting all races to hyperspace pathways, changing how borders work and adding starbases and more detailed ground combat. 

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"Too many worlds. That’s the problem with space. You develop interstellar flight and hope to find a big emptiness that you can coast around in until all of the stars fade to black, but there’s all this stuff scattered about. Planets and asteroid belts and big alien jellysquids."

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A chat with Paradox on sequels and expansions

Subject: General Tech | June 7, 2017 - 01:21 PM |
Tagged: gaming, paradox

Paradox is well named as it has a very different philosophy from the rest of the industry about how to treat games after they have been released.  It is becoming quite common for developers to already be working on a sequel to a game that they have just released, or are in the process of releasing.  Once a game launched you can expect to see numerous and often expensive DLC released for the game, which usually offer little to no new real gameplay or functionality.

Paradox treats games completely differently, their DLC expansions are often expensive but frequently offer a significant change to the base game and when released they always add several major new features to anyone who owns the game without charge.  They do this for a long time after launch, two examples are Crusader Kings II which is five years old and has twelve expansions, while the four year old Europa Universalis IV has ten expansions.  Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN sat down with the creative director Johan Andersson and CEO Fredrik Wester to discuss the future of these games and Paradox itself, as well as talking about the effects of offering major updates to older games as opposed to the more common constant release of sequels to games.

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"With Crusader Kings II now five years old and twelve expansions deep, and Europa Universalis IV a relatively sprightly four years and ten expansions, what is the future of these titles? At what point are they done and at what point does the thought of a sequel come up."

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Good news Battletech fans, Paradox will publish Harebrained Schemes new game

Subject: General Tech | May 17, 2017 - 02:56 PM |
Tagged: battletech, paradox, gaming, Kickstarter

The Kickstarter for the new turn based Battletech gaming was wildly successful with 41,733 backers pledging $2,785,537 and now we have even more good news.  Paradox Interactive, they of the continual updates and addins to published games have agreed to publish the new Battletech game.  Not only does this ensure solid support for players after release but could mean we see a long lineup of expansions after release, Paradox just added another major expansion to EU4 four years after its release.  For backers there is even more news, the closed beta will kick off in June and there is a new video of multiplayer gameplay you can watch.

"The long life of these internally developed games is a core part of Paradox’s business model, but the company is also expanding as a publisher. That includes not only third-party originals like Battletech, but ports of existing titles such as Prison Architect on tablet."

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