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Well. I finished my first playthrough of XCOM2. I got to say, this is a stunning game. I had a hard time with it at first, but then I fully embraced the difference in the setup. XCOM2 forces you to play aggressively. That is something I usually do not do (as many gamers) and strategy games are often wars of attrition in which I heal more etc. In XCOM:EU you would always go for more and more damage. However in XCOM2 when given the option between a straight up damage increase and a more gimmicky tool emphasizing deception, recon or mobility I went for the second option. This resulted in a very unique experience. Some tips/opinions as spoilers (only for Veteran though):

  • You need at least one squad that is all about speed and scouting for the timed missions. This basically was my main squad. I had a few more damage focused characters for more "trench warfare".
  • The advanced warfare center is the key to winning the metagame. Stacking promotions early on veterans makes them way more powerful and tanky.
  • I usually had a concealed Ranger scouting. Often times she did not attack at all during the mission.
  • Mimic beacons are OP. I usually put them on the ranger, move her with a blue move. If everything goes sideways I pop the beacon. This saved my squad countless times.
  • I brought a Medic-Specialist and a Hacker-Specialist to almost every mission. Hacking is very powerful, although the probabilities seem wrong. So many failed 68% ... I combined the hacker with a skulljack and a battlescanner.
  • For snipers essentially the pistol tree is much better than the rifle tree. With bluescreen rounds you make short work of Sectopods. The Grapple-Suits are also essential for urban missions. You can grapple somewhere, which moves you there without an action. Sometimes revealing a enemy group and you are immediately able to attack with a sniper rifle shot. Tracer rounds and AP rounds work great on the Sharpshooter.
  • PSI Operatives unsurprisingly extremly powerful. You can permanently control an enemy with domination, get a mind control of "Insanity". Hack a mech, and sometimes you get a "hack-mindcontrol" from the towers: In the endgame the aliens were tearing themselves apart.
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Giving away unwanted Humble Bundle games

EDIT: All gone. But check the comments. For an additional Deadlight copy.

Hey guys.

I am an idiot and bought a bunch of games several times now. I got those already.

  • Galactic Civilizations II: Ultimate Edition
  • Terraria
  • Crusader Kings II (aka "THE GREATEST GAME EVER MADE") including some cosmetic packs
  • THE KING OF FIGHTERS XIII STEAM EDITION - I don't own that, but I have below 0 interest in fighting games.
  • Age of Empires Legacy Bundle - man I was sure I did not had that.

So essentially I bought Van Helsing and Deadlight for 17$. The latter I will not even play, because I am a wimp. Eh, whatever.

Tell me what you want. First come first serve. You must have 10 sensible forum posts to be eligible.

Please consider signing me up for the promo for the next Paradox game Hearts of Iron 4 using this referral link. This will get me some free minor DLC worth probably 5$.

Please let me enlighten you what HOI4 is:

Yes. Looking at a map is 99% of my gaming time.

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New GiantBomb team members

I have little time follow GB anymore, or better I allocate much less time for it within my free-time budget. Largely because more and more I "come home" to strategy games. Even as a teenager they made up a huge chunk of my gaming time. These types of games are not really covered here. Which is fine. I come here for the "dumb stuff", and I am still able to maintain a premium membership. At this point I more support the idea of GiantBomb (as a gaming website with a very personal spin), then the actual content.

Still, I hoped new people would mean new horizons. I kinda have my doubts here. I do not "know" the two new gentleman, though "fighting games" is probably the genre I am at least interested in. I hope the new hires do not promote a type of "comfort zone of a taste monoculture". Still: Good luck!

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Buying stuff and shooting dudes

So, I while I am not really playing games anymore.... I play Paradox Games. Almost exclusively. I finally realized my long "dream" of becoming the Saoshyant of the ancienct Zoroastrian in Crusader Kings II and "Master of India" in Europa Universalis IV. Then there are very seldom Minecraft session with a real-life friend of mine on my own server. It turns out he is really into the exploring and surivial part of it. I really can not be bothered with gathering stuff. I just want to build and maybe show it of. Maybe we should join a bigger server. Then again I certainly can not be bothered to engage in so much MMOy fake social interaction. I also bought Banished, a city builder which has been very popular with the circle of LP-casters on YouTube I follow. And the Humble bundle. .... that probably goes straight to the backlog.

I also play about a daily match of Battlefield 4 or more. It has run really well for me in the last weeks. And today the expansion came out. Which seems good. I also pre-ordered Titanfall - because giant robots. I will probably suck at this game. Partly because I play shooters alone and do not use teamplay, but mainly because I am actually quite bad at the "shooting dudes" part of shooters. I am able to get some kills usually because when people start playing shooters (myself included), they start to have the behavioural intelligence of eelworms. They are really easy to predict. I also go to great lengths to pop up where I am unexpected. So about 90% of my kills are kills were I shoot people in the back. Also I am liking the vehicles. Many of my kills I got in the Scout Helicopter. It is really easy to pick off infantry with it. Until one guy decides to pick up a stinger. Then you die. No matter how good you fly. Not, really fair but I have my fun. In Call of Duty I used to just load up all the stealth perks and stabbed people all the time. I fondly remember the times where they had this ridiculous "lunge knife" perk. In Black Ops (part I which was the last CoD I played) I almost only used a silenced shotgun (I am not sure these things exist in real life, then again I have no interest in guns in real life). Titanfall seems not to be this game. Its about giant robots after all.... not very stealthy.

Furthermore I am gearing up for a trip. My company sends me to the headquarters in the USA for a week. I will extend my stay with a one week vacation in New York or something. To have some gaming with me I bought Bravely Default. This is my first J-RPG. I had to upgrade the storage on my 3DS to download it. Moving the data/games to the new 32GB SD-card was surprisingly easy. Simply copy a folder. I also have the impression the load times are considerably faster. I took care to get a card with about 90MB/sec rate instead of in the 30ies.

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Swedish Steel

So lately I have been playing a downright unhealty amount of Europa Universalis IV with some Crusader Kings II and Battlefield 4 mixed in. So basically I only play games from Sweden. I am experiencing the problem that these games have spoiled me for everthing else at the moment. Also I become less and less interessted in everthing story driven. I sold my TV and I am now a PC-only gamer (apart from the 3DS). I can not believe there is so little interest in the Paradox games here. I think the "Let's Play"-revolution on YouTube in combination with Ironman mode has reinvigorated strategy games (which are mostly single player. at least for me) in a big way. Now everone can enjoy the thrill of every decision being final and relate to the Youtubers, who also can not savescum.

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Screw next-gen: I got a 3DS XL! Now what?

Look guys. I am old. I played The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past when it came out 20 years ago, as a young teenager. I was never a big fan of Nintendo or handhelds, but the quicklook of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds left me captivated. So I spontaniously bought the special edition.

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The shop experience was kinda strange, as the store clerk clearly assumed I would buy this for my kids. Anyway. Sadly (and not surprisingly) I am locked to playing games in german. Because companies love to region lock stuff for no reason.

So I am currently downloading Zelda. What next? There do I set up an account or something to put money in? I will be using this mainly on my Christmas trip home. So what are other good games? Fire Emblem: Awakening is on top of my list since I love XCOM. I do not like platformers that much, so I am not sure if I should give good old Mario a spin.

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No PS4s in tiny Switzerland

With my going back and forth on my PS4-preorders I have deprived myself of the launch experience. I canceled my long standing 1st wave pre-order, because essentially I was poor. My second pre-order was for the third wave in Janurary. I thought, I will just hunt down freely sold ones. Well, there are none ...

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This store (I did not pre-order there.) BTW received the info from Sony that they will get the staggering amount of 6 (in words: six) PS4s. 3 at launch, 3 in December. The XBox One is not launching until 2014. I know Switzerland is tiny (well 8 million people), but they are so incredibly rich, I do not understand why companies neglect it so much. The de-facto minimum wage is 4300 US-$/month. Many people easily double that. While living expenses are accordingly, that still would make a lost of potential PS4-customers.

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