Flieger, grüß' mir die Sonne, grüß' mir die Sterne und grüß' mir den Mond. Dein Leben, das ist ein Schweben, durch die Ferne, die keiner bewohnt! - Hans Albers, F.P.1 antwortet nicht (Adaptation in the 80s: Extrabreit)

Thursday, 27 November 2014


This is just a hasty update and excursus.

I really wish they would implement shared missions and bounties asap. Right now I so totally crave for some teamplay, after about four monthes of mainly a solo experience in Elite: Dangerous.  Dragon Age: Inquisition with its multiplayer part fills a gap where Elite: Dangerous still has to deliver, namely a support for teamwork and fast paced challenging missions for teams. Or maybe, it has not to exactly to fill it, it is just two different genres to play with. It is a pity that my time is too scarce to serve both games. But that´s life. DAI is already released and Elite still in its gamma, but frankly, both behave like being still in beta stage, so no matter how you look at it, the choice is difficult. Once I start one of them, I am usually hooked for the rest of my game session. I do not remember a situation like this ever before, that two equally very interesting games are out roughly around the same time and making up my mind which one to play was never so difficult for me!

DAI multiplayer is basically a dungeon crawl into one of three dungeon templates which are assembled randomly and consist of five levels each. You are assaulted by one of three different factions; templars, mages or demons. The difficulty level is considerable, especially the last level, which features hordes of enemies and a particular annoying leader, the "endboss". I suspect the perceived difficulty might just be because the game mechanics are not fully explored yet by the playerbase, respectively the required epic weaponry is still not in place.
You have three starting classes and can unlock via random loot up to 12 classes. They are defined via two skill trees each, to be leveled up to a maximum of level 20, so a little bit (although indeed little bit!) variety is possible. You also have a loot mechanic similar to Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, whereby you only find very few items in the dungeon, mainly gold, with which you can then buy supply chests; they give you random of common, rare, epic quality (like a package of trading cards).

So far, I am having a blast. I have now six active characters, one at level 20 and the rest around level 10-14. A first epic item, a staff for my level 20 Keeper, also found its way into my inventory, and I have sufficient high-damage weapons for every class. I usually play one class for about three to four runs and then switch around for some change in play style.

What I like about DAI multiplayer is, that it did largely away with the old and overcome tank-healer mechanic. There are no healing spells. You can carry only two healing potions max per dungeon. There are some classes with "tank" skills, meaning they can take a beating, but all other classes have some form of damage avoidance, too. People tell me that you still need a tanky class in the third and highest difficulty, but I would like to challenge this opinion, once characters are geared up sufficiently and players now better how to play the game mechanics.

There are also some "bads". The slow connects until the run can finally start, some very annoying disconnects which make you loose all XP and loot from the run. There is no dodge or cover mechanic, so the game does not feel as frantic and fast paced as Mass Effect 3 multiplayer does. And, nerdy but true, the mostly ugly to very ugly character faces. E.g. to by classified as "very ugly": the Keeper. Besides, I don´t know why Biowares after decades is still not able to produce proper long haired characters. Well, at least they have now bows with strings, which was not the case in Dragon Age: Origins back in 2010 and made me doubt their overall programming skills). And, last but not least, there is no push to talk for the ingame voicechat, WTF, Bioware did you think if you thought at all!?!? Speaking of which, I am not sure if Elite has a push to talk button? Have to look this up!

Right now, I do not feel like engaging DAI´s apparently huge and Skyrim-eque single-player part. Since Bioware has a record of moreless high quality role playing games, I am sure it is going to be a lot of fun. However, Elite still takes precedence over this venture. This is also why I think that DAI currently just fills the multiplayer gap of Elite: Dangerous for me. BTW, a good space sim multiplayer is offered by SWTOR. It is arena-style. I played it for some time and found it a nice experience. It was just the lack of connection to the game world as a whole which ultimately made it boring for me.

In the meanwhile, I thought about having a blueish paint for my Eagle and a dual rail gun outfit, naming the ship "Blue Fire". Coincidentally, when I looked up the available paint jobs in Frontier´s online shop, a free set of paint jobs for the Cobra was handed out. Unfortunately, the shop acted very buggy so I was not able to browse and buy stuff. What I could see though is that the kind of blue paint job I imagine I want for my Eagle does not exist (yet). There need to be a paint jobs with outlines of Eagle wings included, this should be obvious for an Eagle class spacefighter!

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