I didn’t exactly plan it this way, I thought I’d hold on a fair bit longer yet — despite a rather tepid response to the game so far. Between work keeping me much busier these last few weeks than normal and choosing to use a lot of my remaining free time to recover long-lost Java knowledge I just… didn’t log in.

And I haven’t missed it. The fact I hadn’t played in… *checks Steam* …7 days didn’t even really register.

In retrospect this doesn’t surprise me, I suppose. When your summary of a game can be essentially summed up as, ‘Nothing special, but eh, not actively bad I guess’ then maybe it isn’t exactly going to have a lot of staying power. Particularly not when the person in question is me, someone who can be quite flighty when it comes to games at the best of times.

I have returned to gaming a bit though these last couple of nights — Friday and Saturday nights being prime gaming-with-friends time after all.

Game in question?

Back 4 Blood

Screenshot sourced from Steam’s official shots — as I still haven’t found a screenshot solution I like for Xbox Game Pass games yet. If you have the Xbox Game Bar app enabled, you can use Windows Key+G to bring up the overlay and click to take a shot, or you can hit Alt+Windows Key+Print Screen to directly take one. But in the heat of action? Good luck with either of these.

Back 4 Blood. Itself, an unplanned addition to my gaming line-up. After playing the beta for a few hours my conclusion was: Fun game, but not worth the asking price. Not when Aliens Fireteam Elite was also a thing that existed.

Enter Xbox Game Pass! Back 4 Blood was put up as a day 1 title. And that changes everything. I’m still constantly surprised by the value Xbox Game Pass provides. Having said that, it is still my strong preference is to buy games outright for the most part. Games come and go from the current lineup, it separates my achievements to a different platform, I have a username there that isn’t my preferred, screenshots are a pain… All individually fairly trivial reasons, but collectively are enough to drive my preference.

Every once and a while though it is just perfect.

So far, I’ve been having a lot of fun. There have been a couple of pretty awesome set pieces, too. I think the deck building system is pretty smart, overall a decently put together package!

Not enough to change my stance on buying it outright, but if the post-release content keeps up? And on a half-decent sale? Yeah, for sure — I could see myself happily buying this.

The Riftbreaker

I don’t think I’ve written about Riftbreaker here previously, but it has been on my wishlist for a while now. It is a blend of a number of genres and game elements I really like.

An RTS that trades out units for Tower Defense and a suped-up hero the player controls and a factory-builder that eschews the laser focus on ruthless efficiency and item pipelines for swarm combat action.

All in a package that looks really good to boot.

I’ve not spent much time with it yet — about 90 minutes, as I put this post together, but 30 of those minutes were from jumping in now ‘just to get a couple of screenshots’.

Setting up a mini-outpost to improve Carbonium collection

Already Riftbreaker is probably worthy of its own post, so I won’t go on too long about it here. But suffice to say, I’m really enjoying it. The risk with genre-bending games like these is often sacrifices are made on the depth of the individual elements. It’s hard to say for sure of course, being so early into the experience but it doesn’t feel like that’s the case so far.

I mean- just look at this research tree. And this is just one of the three trees. The second focuses on armaments for your mech, the third on alien ecology and understanding (which I haven’t even unlocked the start of yet).

Java

I really need to make myself a reusable ‘this post is about programming’ image like UltrViolet has.

In any case, since the last post, I’ve completed the sections on gaining user input via the keyboard. I had forgotten just how finicky the Scanner was though, eesh!

I’ve also made a start on the Object-Oriented Programming section. Just the basics though; class structure, member variables and constructors.

Scanning through the remainder of Part 1 of the OOP, it’s mostly content I remember — scope and reference vs value, in particular. We spent a lot of time in the first year of Uni working through this and ensuring these concepts were absolutely locked into place. Apparently it worked because just seeing the titles of the course content section was enough to bring it all flooding back!

My goal is to finish all this Part 1 content this weekend in any case, and perhaps make a start on Part 2 which then jumps into composition, polymorphism and encapsulation.

I also played around with Visual Studio Code, to see if I liked it any better than IntelliJ as an IDE. Short version, no, I don’t. I gave it a try for a number of the challenge projects but ultimately flipped back to IntelliJ.

I might eventually give the full version of Visual Studio a go, but for now I’m content to just keep working through the learning process with what I have. :)


Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

12 Comments

Stargrace · October 17, 2021 at 3:23 pm

I too have already given up on New World, it just didn’t have enough going for it more than any other game out there – and I’m content in my games of choice lately, which is probably a big part. It’s lovely to live in an age where there are so many choices, and to realize that not all games are for all people.

Love reading about the programming stuff! Keep the posts coming!

    Naithin · October 17, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    So far as MMOs going, BDO is probably the one with the best shot of grabbing me back again in the near term too. Although Asheron’s Call via emu is on the cards too.

    I am very much enjoying digging back into programming though, so glad to hear you’re enjoying the posts. :) I made myself not do another full programming post back-to-back with the last one though, haha.

Nimgimli · October 17, 2021 at 3:43 pm

I tried Back4Blood but couldn’t get past the constant “quips” the characters make. They annoyed me SO much! LOL Also I was playing solo with 3 bots which I think is not the intended way to play.

I tried a beta or demo or something of Riftbreaker and enjoyed it. I gotta get it installed now that it is out.

    Naithin · October 17, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    I haven’t tried B4B as a solo experience, but I’ve heard it doesn’t hold up nearly so well, yeah. The bot AI apparently leaves a lot to be desired.

    As for the quips, I have the game volume so low I barely hear them. Haha. On voice chat with friends throughout anyway, so they — along with any story that might be happening — tends to be lost to the background anyway. ;)

Jaedia · October 17, 2021 at 9:53 pm

I was REALLY enjoying New World for like a good 5 or 6 days… but ESO just does what I liked about it so much better, for now. I feel a bit of regret buying the game now cus I don’t have a lot of money to go around but hey, it’s there for whenever I want to pop back in. And you know it was like a snap. I was playing it for hours each day then I just wasn’t.

As for screenshots, I need to look into some kind of screenshot tool, too. In some games it’s just awkward.

    Naithin · October 18, 2021 at 2:25 am

    nod

    I guess, like you, it is good to know this is now always available to jump back into should anything exciting happen on the update front. Buy to Play MMO’s are good like that at least, jumped back into GW2 a number of times over the years when I didn’t want to pay a sub but felt an MMO-ish itch. :)

    If you find anything decent re: Screenshots that works for gamepass games too, keen to hear about it! xD

pkudude99 · October 20, 2021 at 7:31 am

I wasn’t planning on getting New World, but since it’s B2P and I’m really just marking time until Endwalker comes out, I did a “sure why not?” shrug and got it.

It’s okay, but I honestly am not sure I see myself ever even getting to level 60, much less trying to max out trade skills and whatnot. Still and all, for now, I’ve found a kind of zen with it where I put on YouTube or Netflix and have that going off to the side while I run in circles cutting down mobs to level my weapons. Slow but steady…..

And despite it being “slow but steady” like that, I’m still level 37 out of 60 on a 1-week old character. Created on Tuesday last week, so today’s its 8th day, is all. But people are complaining that leveling’s “too slow” and that anyone who’s already 60 “rushed.” I’ve deliberately not been doing the high-xp activities and am still almost 2/3 of the way to cap… in a single week.

Yeah, this game doesn’t have enough content. If it was a sub game I’d not make it out of the 1st month. With FFXIV’s new event starting up today, I’ll probably be doing that instead of New World going forward. I may log in to NW for a bit here and there, but it’ll just be to pick at it, not to really try to accomplish anything.

    Naithin · October 20, 2021 at 10:18 am

    The B2P aspect certainly makes it a lot more palatable, that’s for sure. I do like B2P MMOs where can dip back in as whim or updates exciting enough to you warrant.

    Like you, I didn’t find progress to be terribly slow either. Although I can see a time in my past where I would have. Some people expect to be able to power level in a matter of hours, rather than days, in the expectation that the game doesn’t ‘start’ until the ‘endgame’.

    Between focusing on FFXIV and ESO recently, I think I’ve been somewhat cured of that thought process.

    I think one of the larger concerns I have seen and share is how players arriving late will get through the mandatory dungeons when there is no incentive for older players to rerun them.

    That might be something Amazon has a little time yet to fix though.

pkudude99 · October 20, 2021 at 6:43 pm

Doesn’t the quest give a free key? if so, it’s just a matter of asking your guild to have 4 people come carry you through. We did that in Greysky the other night. Someone needed Amrine and we had 5 people on, so we just all grouped up and since the 4 of us who didn’t need it were way overleveled we just blasted through it like it was nothing.

    Naithin · October 21, 2021 at 7:35 am

    It does, wasn’t the key I was worried about thought — but rather ability to find people willing to do it as time goes on.

    Hopefully for people who join guilds, it’ll be as you say. But for those that don’t, I think they’ll be in for a rough time before very long!

Frostilyte · October 22, 2021 at 5:21 pm

Few things.

For screenshots – use OBS. You can set it up to record game footage and crawl through it after the fact for screenshots. Very useful for getting frame perfect shots. You can also start and stop the videos while making notes of things you think might be worth investigating for screenshots. If you ever wondered this is how I get so many action shots for my own blog.

For Riftbreaker – am also playing it. In fact it’s after midnight here and I’m only just now about to head to bed because I was a little too engrossed in it. I can’t say that I’d have classified it as an RTS though. Feels more like a tower defense and survival game with how much time is spent advancing tech trees and amassing resources.

For IDE – personal and professional experience would have me advise against visual studio for java development. It’s great for a number of languages but eclipse or intellij tend to work better with some of Java’s boogeriness.

    Naithin · October 22, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    Thanks Frosti. OBS really should’ve occurred to me, I was using it in exactly this manner for the Dark Souls: Remastered run through, albeit as a side-effect of recording for video anyway.

    For Riftbreaker; the base building elements of it certainly carry some of the RTS genre trappings to them, with the delay (in actual fact, straight up timers, lol) to build things, unlocking (some of) the tech via specialist buildings, etc — but as noted, very much without the actual… you know… units. xD

    For IDE; aye, IntelliJ really does handle Java a lot better than VS Code did. Visual Studio full doesn’t appear to support Java at all, so wiped that one out of the running for the time being.

    When I jump into JavaScript (or maybe Python) next might take another look in at them. :)

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