War on Drugs; Another QA Pass, Please

War on Drugs; Another QA Pass, Please

Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Endless Space 2, Ghost Recon: Wildlands

I just wanted to start off with a shout-out to the Elgato Gaming Twitter account team. After yesterday’s post which featured the image of my custom Elite Dangerous button icons for the Stream Deck, I got a cold-Tweet from them.

I followed up with a snarky response about how I wish they actually worked, which kicked off a little back-and-forth which netted me a pre-release version of the next software update for the device to test to see if it would help my in-game detection issue (spoiler: not yet).

I’m always hesitant to pester official Twitter accounts for tech support, although I know that they are the first line in many defenses, PR as well as support. It was really nice of them to keep up the dialog and to offer a potential solution on the off chance it might help out, whereas some other companies might have just told me to sit on it until they officially released the next update and let them know if the issue still persists. Elgato are good folks.

War on Drugs

I’m pleased to announce that my local friends have mostly all picked up Ghost Recon: Wildlands. We had five people online last night, first with a friend who had played for quite some time and knew the ropes, and later with a friend who was going through the initial mission while we were doing things like stealing helicopters and raiding prisons.

Driving around with the wind whipping through my hair

As a long time MMO player who has played with others as well as alone (mostly alone) I don’t think I’ve ever really encountered a game that had such a different attraction between with and without that GR:W offers. Alone, the game is incredibly boring. Your AI companions are competent, but they do their own thing as they are supposed to, but not always the way you’d like it. But being competent means that eventually you’ll get the job done.

Since games in the Ghost Recon series are notable for their brutality relative to other shooters, incompetence is part of the equation, which is why playing this game with friends turns it into a whole different ball game. We had a chopper blow up with us in it the other day because someone in the passenger seat released a drone at 5000 ft that hit the rotors and took us out. Last night, we crashed a chopper into a hillside but walked away unharmed. People get run over, cars explode, and miniguns take out gas tanks. It’s not as over the top as, say, Just Cause, but it’s still pretty amusing sometimes, and you don’t get that when playing with bots that are good enough to complete the mission. When they die, it’s frustrating; when a real team member dies, it might be frustrating, but might also be hilarious. While the ideas are serious, and while everyone is trying to accomplish a goal to move the ball down the road, sometimes you have just just laugh at the bizzare and absurd things that happen when playing with others.

“Anyone see a chopper we can crash?”

Another QA Pass, Please

I have tried to start Endless Space 2 a total of five times now. Three times, I attempted to start a game but was interrupted by something external. Twice, I attempted to start a game but was blocked by irritating bugs.

Both bugs show up in the tutorials, which has three levels in ES2 – None, Basic, and Advanced. Having played many 4x games, and Endless Space back a few years ago, I kind of know what needs to be done, but it’s the how that requires a refresher course. I opted to try the tutorials on both Basic and Advanced level, and each had an issue. In Advanced, the game asked me to “buy out” the research using Influence…without actually giving me any influence to buy with. In Basic, the game asked me to “buy out” my build queue…without providing a button to do so, or maybe without illustrating where that button is located (it ain’t where you’d think it should be, I can tell you that).

The research thing is legit; there’s a thread on the Steam forums about it. The build queue thing might be me being dense, but the tutorial — the aspect of the game that’s supposed to hold your hand and lead you to where you need to be — dropped the ball in pointing out the button’s location if the button wasn’t where it logically should have been.

Tutorials are optional, and I could make a go of it without either level but while a lot of stuff looks familiar, I’m rusty enough to require a refresher. Considering I sent my colony ship off exploring and couldn’t figure out how to get it to turn around and return to the system I actually wanted to colonize, I think I’m needing some hand-holding.