Without The Sarcasm http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com Insights. Analysis. Answers. Thu, 30 Oct 2014 02:12:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Clash of Clans Halloween Headstone http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/clash-clans-halloween-headstone/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/clash-clans-halloween-headstone/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 02:12:43 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5761 Clash of Clans Halloween Banner

So at first SuperCell teased us with this picture of the Halloween Headstone as part of promotions leading up to the 2014 Halloween update, but it may not have been immediately obvious that the Halloween Headstone is actually an in game obstacle much like the Christmas Tree from previous years. If you’re lucky (and you keep your village Nice and Tidy ) then after a few days you may have noticed a Halloween Headstone in your village. Some Chiefs will rip it up without a second thought, but if you are like me you want to know what you get for removing the Halloween Headstone before you destroy such a festive decoration. Well, fear not I’ve got all the details.

Halloween Headstone

To be clear, the above picture is what the Halloween Headstone looks like. It’s likely you have tons of regular headstones in your park after every attack – but it’s easy to spot the difference. Regular headstones have no awesome blue light or skeletal hand coming out of them – and if you are in doubt, simply touching a regular headstone will make it disappear.

Halloween Headstone Removal Price

If you’ve gotten this far, you’ve likely already noticed that the price tag to remove it is 25k Elixir, but I mention it only for completeness. If you’ve got enough Elixir to cover that, you can remove the Halloween Headstone in 30 seconds and the reward is 75k Elixir. For those of you keeping score at home that’s a profit of 50,000 Elixir. It’s not a bad bonus, but it certainly isn’t game changing. I’ll plan on keeping one around for looks, but removing the rest to keep my village looking clean. I hope you found this helpful, and Happy Halloween!

CoC Halloween Headstone Removal Reward

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The Top 6 Mobile Games for Young Kids Part 2 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/top-6-mobile-games-for-young-kids-part-2/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/top-6-mobile-games-for-young-kids-part-2/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 02:52:23 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5748 Prev Page 2 of 2 Next

Welcome to part 2 of our Top 6 Mobile Games for Young Kids. Did you miss the first three? Click the link above!

Where's My Water Game for Kids

4. Where’s My Water/Perry Best for ages: 4+

Not to be outdone in the kid game department, your good old pal Disney has released a multitude of “Where’s My…” games. While the games each have their own central character, and a smattering of cut scenes for plot – they are all based around the same light weight physics puzzling gameplay mechanic. You use your fingers to touch and remove dirt, and in doing so you guide the path of various fluids and gasses toward collection points. Collect a certain amount of fluid and/or gas and you win. This seems easy at first, but each level is its own puzzle to be solved, and the interactions get more challenging as you progress into higher levels. You are also incentivized to achieve “perfect” results on levels in order to unlock more levels to play, and there are various collectible items you can find within the level – both of which add to the challenge and replay value of the game.

To me the “Where’s My…” games are a fun game concept, with a bit of learning about fluid and gaseous physics. I really like the fact that there isn’t really a “right” way to solve levels – instead you have to reason out the physics of how the fluids and gases will move, and make a plan to achieve the objective. Even better, things often don’t go exactly as planned, and you need to fine tune your strategy based on how things actually happen. Your kids won’t realize they are learning all of this as they play, and that’s the beauty of it.

Cut The Rope Game for Kids

5. Cut The Rope Best for ages: 4+

Another kids game that has become a dynasty in it’s own right, Cut the Rope is solid series of titles for young kids. Your objective… stay with me…. is to cut.. the rope. You do this by swiping in a cutting motion, and it happens that there is a piece of candy at the end of the rope which you are trying to drop into the hungry maw of your puzzling companion Om Nom, who makes no mystery of his feelings on the matter.

The earliest levels are fairly straightforward, but also fun – and younger kids can replay these for quite some period of time without getting bored. Even as an adult you’ll find yourself grinning when Om Nom gets the candy and disappointed when it falls into the abyss. As things progress, new elements are added to interact with – teleporters that pass the candy through while maintaining momentum, air bubbles that must be popped at the right time, and air bladders that push the candy around with an amusing, if slightly rude, noise that sounds a bit like breaking wind. Like the “Where’s My…” games, the Cut The Rope series has plenty of levels to keep your kids entertained – and the loose physics concepts that are included add some educational value to the fun.

Lightbot Game for Kids

6. Lightbot Best for ages: 4-5+

While the other games in this list are fun, and some have some fringe benefits in educational concepts, Lightbot goes the extra mile and explicitly teaches your kids a skill: programming. Having played a decent number of “learning” games in my tenure as a capital “G” Gamer, I can say that most either suck at teaching or suck at being a game. It can be a hard line to walk, but it makes me wonder if teachers just don’t tend to be gamers – because a bad game is pretty easy to spot. But I digress, Lightbot is a fun series of programming lessons wrapped in a game where you control the actions of a cute little robot. Using a simplistic “tile” programming language, your kids will learn the basics of commands, conditions, loops, and a lot of other stuff. My kids really enjoy the game itself, but also get a lot out of trying out “failing” programs which don’t achieve the victory conditions but still make the robot do entertaining routines.

While there is always a “best” program for solving each puzzle (and you are rewarded with more stars for figuring it out), there are often multiple other successful approaches, and a few tricks to figure out. This will give your kids a lot of opportunity for trial and error and some exposure to learning how to improve iteratively (which is something I do professionally all the time). I also find that there are some really pleasing “refrigerator moments” when your kids presents to you a complicated program that they’ve figured out that sets the Lighbot to business blinking, jumping, and turning until all objectives are complete. The Lighbot games are more than just a time killer – they are a learning-fun mashup that is unfortunately all too rare on the App Stores.

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Is there a game your kids love that we missed? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

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The Top 6 Mobile Games for Young Kids http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/top-6-mobile-games-for-young-kids/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/top-6-mobile-games-for-young-kids/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 02:52:13 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5737 Even if you try to limit “screen time” for your young kids, there come those times when it is very very useful to be able to occupy them for a few minutes. When you are waiting for your food in a restaurant, or taking a long drive in the car, there are those moments when all else fails and just a few minutes of silence can help you hang on to sanity for one more day. It as at this point that you may think about that super powerful smartphone in your pocket. A lot of parents are okay with a few minutes of supervised phone play, but they worry about what their kids will get up to. Like most technology, it works best if you plan ahead. Having apps for young kids already installed and pre-screened on your mobile device will mean you are prepared for whatever new disaster decides to call itself “Wednesday” this week. In fact, there are a lot of great games for young kids out there, but I find that its not that easy to filter the good from the bad, especially when searching on the App Store itself. Check out the WOTS Top 6 mobile games for young kids and be prepared for whatever life throws at you.

Apple iPad kid

Step Zero: Secure your device

Before you go any further, I implore you to put your device on lock down. While many game developers argue to the contrary, in-app purchases (IAPs) in kids games are deceptive at best, and a trojan horse into your digital wallet at worst. To some extent juries agree, as we’ve reported before.. In some cases refunds are possible, but rather than have one more thing to fight with a customer service rep about I recommend you disable or limit IAPs on your device. While you are at it, take a look around your specific devices controls. You may find several other parental controls that will be useful for your specific situation.

Top 6 Mobile Games for Young Kids

Now that you’ve got your device under control, here are six great games for young kids that I’ve “researched” extensively, including many hours of playing them with my own brood. I’ve organized them in order of accessibility from youngest to oldest, but I’ll also call out the age range I’d recommend for each.

Scoops Ice Cream Game for Kids

1. Scoops Best for ages: Any

Scoops is simple mobile gaming at it’s finest. Your objective is to stack a “multi-decker” ice cream cone as high as you can. The controls are incredibly simple (just tilt your device back and forth), and the gameplay is fairly easy to understand even for kids just barely old enough to hold a phone: ice cream good, vegetables bad (at least when mixed with ice cream). The penalty for failure is also very low – lose all your lives? Just start again. Past the basics, the game is a very entertaining challenge for young kids and old kids a like. There are amusing noises when you have a “near miss”, the music is pretty good, and interesting changes happen in the background as your ice cream pile climbs higher into the clouds and eventually into space. High scores are also tracked, so your kids can show off new personal bests, and you can know who the reigning family champion is. Good, clean, simple, fun.

Doodle Find Game for Kids

2. Doodle Find Best for ages: 2-3+ (with parent reading), 4-5+ (early readers)

Another simple work of art, Doodle Find is a matching game that challenges you to simply find things in a jumble of colorful doodles. The ability to read is a plus, but all you need to know are the few simple words the game uses to identify objects, and even before my daughter could read she had begun to memorize some of the more common words like “socks” and “owl”. If you can’t find the object for several seconds, a little sounds queues you and one of the objects of that kids will begin “jiggling” back and forth to draw your attention. This makes the game playable, even without reading, but is a little suboptimal as it eats up a lot of time on the short clock. Doodle Find is a great game to play together with your kids, especially on a larger screen, as you can team up and try and find all of the objects really fast to set new high scores. If you do this a few times, your kids will get the hang of it pretty quick, and it will make it easier for them to play independently later. I must confess I’ve done a few rounds of this with my wife before just to see how fast we could go, and we had a good time doing it.

Pocket Frogs Game for Kids

3. Pocket Frogs Best for ages: 4+

You might not think that frogs would make for an interesting central character in a kids game, especially frogs that with no anthropomorphized comic hyjinks or witty banter. Pocket Frogs has a wholly different charm, as much an interactive aquarium as a game. In it, you start with a few plain frogs that you can go on to breed into a staggering array of different combinations. Small minigames are used to breed frogs, find new frogs, collect items, and even race your prized amphibians. Even just looking at the frogs in their different habitats can be entertaining for a few minutes as they hop around and make their froggy sounds. Its also a great game that you can put down for a long time and come back to, without having missed too much.

If you find that your kids enjoy the minigame aspect of Pocket Frogs, you might also try Pocket Frogs Splash (AKA Dizzy Pad). Another blissfully simple title, Pocket Frogs Splash brings the heroes of Pocket Frogs to a spinning lily pad. You must then time a jump off the pad so as to land on the next pad and not fall in the water. Easy to learn, hard to master, this is another really easy game to like for kids. For the younger ones frustration can set in with too many failed jumps, so I occasionally take a few “at bats” to help my daughter get a little farther. You get indefinite retries and the music has a catchiness to it, so you may find yourself splashing even after the kids are in bed.

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Wasteland 2 Review: Toasters are Bigger on the Inside http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/wasteland-2-review-toasters-bigger-inside/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/wasteland-2-review-toasters-bigger-inside/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:35:34 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5730 Wasteland 2 a worthy successor to Wasteland and Fallout? Let's find out.]]> Wasteland is a game with a complex legacy. One of the great, classic, post-apocalyptic computer RPGs of its time, it is often forgotten. It lives in the shadow of it’s bigger brother, Fallout. Complex legal issues have entwined both game series over the years. However, following a successful Kickstarter campaign, Wasteland 2 was born. Is it a worthy successor to Wasteland and Fallout? Let’s find out.

Classic Turn-Based RPG Action

Let’s get this out of the way first – Wasteland 2 is a top-down turn-based RPG game, similar to the first two Fallout games and to the more recent Shadowrun Returns. If you’re looking for a first-person RPG like Fallout 3 or New Vegas, this isn’t the game for you.

From the start, you create a set of four characters to form your core party. You can also meet friendly NPCs in the wastes that will offer to join you, up to a maximum of 7 characters in your party total.

wasteland-2-guide-exploring

The game has two main modes – I’ll call them “exploration” and “combat.” While exploring, you’ll comb new areas, talking to NPCs, trading for supplies, disarming traps, picking locks, digging stuff up, and so forth. This is all handled in real time, by clicking on people, skills, or objects to interact with them.

When things turn ugly (and they often will), combat begins. Now the game switches to a turn-based system where each character has an allotment of AP that they can use to move, fight, or use their skills. When all enemies have been slaughtered, the game automatically awards experience and switches back to the exploration mode.

A Solid Core

Both the combat and exploration modes are well done. Exploring new areas feels interesting. Each new town contains an interesting and unique story that unfolds as you progress through it. You can make choices about how to handle various situations, and usually there are non-violent ways to resolve the various major conflicts.

wasteland-2-guide-combat

Of course, violence is sometimes the only answer. The combat here is well thought out and a lot of fun to execute. Spread your team out, take cover, choose weapons, and shoot stuff. The early games in the Fallout series really set the bar for this type of combat in a RPG, and Wasteland 2 carries on that proud tradition.

Characters grow more powerful through loot and experience. Loot is plentiful – there are very few screens that lack at least a couple of lootable objects. There’s a bunch of different skills and weapons to choose from, and balancing these across your entire team makes for some interesting decisions.

Wasteland 2 is a meaty game – it’s easily 60+ hours of content. It isn’t full of boring filler, either. Each new area has its own encapsulated storyline that keeps the short-term story progress interesting. Although you can visit areas you’ve been to before, there’s not a lot of backtracking either.

Issues & Gripes

I played Wasteland 2 from start to finish and mostly enjoyed my time with it. However, there are a bunch of minor issues that start to grate after a while.

wasteland-2-guide-attributes

The character creation system is complex to a fault. The game throws a screen full of stats and skills at you right from the start. Without really knowing what’s in the game and how useful everything is, it’s really hard to make these choices. The game often doesn’t explain when it would be appropriate to use certain skills, or the interesting side effects that some of them have. I would have preferred the option to respec at some point, even if it was just once after a few hours of play.

When in combat, it’s possible to get near certain objects and be considered “in cover,” similar to the way XCOM: Enemy Unknown handles cover as a mechanic. However, it’s hard to figure out just what is considered cover and what isn’t. There’s a little popup tooltip that is supposed to help, but it’s somewhat unwieldy to have to hover over a whole bunch of squares to figure out if this spot or that spot is cover.

There are several moments that are poorly marked points of no return. There are also spots where cutscenes will remove certain NPCs from your party permanently. Carefully balancing your skills across seven characters and then having one leave the party is a real bummer.

There are a lot of unmarked missions in the game. The Toaster Repair skill unlocks dozens of these. Some items you will need to cart around for hours and hours, with no idea what the use is, until the one moment where someone will react to it. Often there’s not a lot of logic involved, and it’s a matter of reading a guide to figure out what to do.

While the exploration is generally well done, there aren’t a lot of puzzles to solve here. Most of the game boils down to random dice rolls on skills. You’ve got to know ahead of time what the game is going to throw at you, and train the proper skill levels to make the roll likely to succeed. Most NPCs don’t care what you say to them, so often dialog trees are reduced to just clicking every option until you run out.

While most of the script is very well written – clever and creative – there are bits here and there where it doesn’t seem like the editing was 100% complete before shipping. I get that impression from several aspects of the game. It seems like

Bug-wise, the game’s not that bad. I had one crash the entire time, which is quite good for a game of this size and length. There were a few camera glitches here and there which I would classify as usually being minor. Occasionally in combat they might make me miss a turn as I was unable to get my character where they needed to go, but otherwise it was cosmetic.

The Verdict

In the end, Wasteland 2 is a good game. It appeals to the nostalgia factor of the Fallout series while (mostly) successfully bringing old school PC RPG gaming into the modern era. It’s not perfect, and it feels like it’s a couple of patches short of being finished, but it’s still a solid experience. Any fan of classic Interplay or Black Isle RPGs will find themselves right at home here.

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Con Report: Game On Austin 2014 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/con-report-game-on-austin-2014/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/con-report-game-on-austin-2014/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 13:58:15 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5712 The Austin Chronicle recently sponsored an indie game expo downtown, and EB and I thought this would be a great opportunity to hang out, play some games, and check out the local indie scene. Despite our best efforts, we didn’t make it to every station, but what we did get to experience was extremely fun! Stay tuned for our report on Game On Austin 2014!

Motorsport Revolution

Game On Austin 2014: Motorsport Revolution

We started out heading outside to check out the Oculus Rift stations. Of them, Ghost Machine’s Motorsport Revolution caught our eye. Ghost Machine founder Neal was on tap to show off his game. This was the first time either of us had a chance to check out the Oculus Rift, and we both had a blast! Neal had a whole setup of wheels, pedals, and the Rift. We both played a F-1 race and lost terribly. The game is still in early access, but the basics of racing against AI opponents are already implemented. I found the Oculus a bit disorienting in tight turns, but it’s something I think I could get used to, if for nothing else than the immersion factor.

You can check out Motorsport Revolution on Steam Early Access, or you can follow Ghost Machine on Facebook!

Dyscourse

Game On Austin 2014: Dyscourse

Also outside was Alex from Owlchemy Labs, showing off their newest title, Dyscourse. I was already familiar with Owlchemy Labs owing to their previous releases, Snuggle Truck and Jack Lumber. Dyscourse is an adventure game focused on character interaction and survival. If I had to describe it in terms of other games, I’d probably call it the intersection of Don’t Starve and Telltale’s take on The Walking Dead. Alex told us that they are focusing on a more divergent narrative, unlike the Telltale convention of giving you choices that ultimately lead to the same end goal. I played for a few minutes and I found it quite entertaining. The art style is beautiful and the small snippet of story I got to experience was compelling. I’m interested in seeing how it turns out!

Thanks to Alex (and Beth) for putting up with us, you guys are awesome! You can find more about Dyscourse and get your copy on the Dyscourse web site.

Added EB comments: I think agent86ix and I agree this game takes best of show for us. It looks very polished, and yet it has that slight off-the-beaten-path charm that I’m always looking for in an Indie title. Alex and I chatted a bit about games like Dyscourse in the “choices” genre, and my dislike of games that have hidden best choices. He said Dyscourse has been designed to give players many radically different paths based on the choices they make, but there are no “golden” choices, or forced plot convergence. I think this will really help players like me enjoy the game more, since so often I feel paralyzed in games like Mass Effect or Skyrim with a need to make the “best” decision in each instance – and I get sucked out of the immersion of the experience by constantly referring to guides and walkthroughs to avoid “missing” anything. Choices that really feel like your choice… what a novel concept.

Dag Blasted, Disorder, and RGB

Game On Austin 2014:  Disorder

Heading inside, we checked out Saam Phlavan and Damon Chandler’s booth. First we checked out Dag Blasted, a fun 4-player top-down arena style shooter. EB was especially pleased with how easy the game was to pick up and play.

Next we checked out Saam’s Disorder, a 2-D platforming game with dimension swapping elements. The story follows a mentally ill man as he attempts to come to grip with his sickness and his past. Saam showed us a bunch of the different levels and mechanics, and I had a lot of fun playing the parts of the game I had time to explore. The story is told via small vignettes that change as you visit the two opposing dimensions, which I found to be an engaging way of combining story and game mechanics.

Finally, we played a few levels of Damon’s RGB, a puzzle platformer where color is both your weakness and your strength. Jumping causes the background color to toggle, and only platforms distinct from the background are actually solid. I thought I had it mastered after the first few levels, but then the difficulty ramped up and I found myself challenged.

Pick your poison: Check out Dag Blasted, Disorder, and/or RGB at their respective websites.

Added EB comments: It’s possible, in fact very probable, that many gamers out there today rarely get together with their buds to play games physically in one place. The internet has just made it too easy to pop on a headset and cross the expanse of miles between screens. There is a lot to be said for that style of gaming, but games like Dag Blasted remind me of a time when we were forced to huddle around a TV or Arcade cabinet in order to play together. It also so accessible, that “reformed” gamers that still remember the good old days can pick it up and start pumping lead without even really understanding the new-fangled controller they hold in their hands.

CodeSpells

Game On Austin 2014: CodeSpells

I saw Adrian demo’ing this game across the room and was immediately intrigued. The game revolves around building your own spells from a roster of different elements and effects. The catch is that spells have to be coded – either using a visual editor or in raw Javascript. I got a chance to play around in the game’s (literal) sandbox, creating a spell that drained the sand out of an area I fired at.

The intent of the game is to teach kids the fundamentals of programming, and given the current appeal of these type of sandbox games among the younger crowd, I can see how appealing such a concept is. Adrian detailed plans to add various multiplayer elements and the ability to script scenarios and gametypes to play with.

CodeSpells already had a successful Kickstarter, but you can check the game out and put some cash down for early access on the CodeSpells website.

Capsule Force

Game On Austin 2014: Capsule Force

Our final game for the night was Capsule Force, a retro-styled action game pitting 2 teams of 2 players each against each other in a fight to move platforms and capture orbs. The art style is very 16-bit styled anime, and reminded me a lot of Mega Man. The action was frantic and a ton of fun whether you were winning or losing. EB and I faced off against each other, and my team came out on top! (Of course, I had a ringer on my team…)

You can check out Capsule Force on its official website, and if you want to see it on Steam, go help it get greenlit!

Added EB comments: Another one of my favorite titles from the show, Capsule Force had the same frenetic party game energy vibe I got from Dag Blasted in a very different title. I think it would be best characterized as a lightweight Super Smash Bros., with an objective that balances out the fighting. Occasionally I laid down a particularly well aimed laser blast, or popped my shield at just the right moment, and I had a seconds worth of smug celebration. It was in these moments that my opportunistic colleague hopped the speed tram to “Capsule Town”, and instantly spoiled my celebrations. Pick this one up, pull together three buddies, and you’ll play “one more game” for hours.

Not Enough Time!

There were a lot of great games on display, and I’m bummed that we didn’t get to them all. Game Over Videogames was on hand to show off their retro gaming hardware for sale. The unmistakable sounds of Super Mario Bros 3 echoed through the night. We got to watch over the shoulder of someone playing Color Thief which looked super cool, but we didn’t have time to check it out. We’ve got plans to visit PAX South in January, and we’ll probably try to get to SXSW’s Gaming Expo 2015, so hopefully we’ll have more chances to check out the local indie scene!

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Wasteland 2 Quickstart Guide http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/wasteland-2-quickstart-guide/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/wasteland-2-quickstart-guide/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:49:34 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5678 Wasteland 2 is a very good game, but it’s also a very long game that throws its complexity right in your face from the start. It can be hard to understand how to create the “best” characters possible. The game mechanics are also somewhat opaque at the beginning. I’ve done the research and played the game, and I’m here to tell you all the things you need to know in order to get started right the first time.

Character Creation: Attributes

Wasteland 2’s character creation screen is… intimidating, to say the least. It took me several tries to wrap my head around the process. Knowing what I know now, I’d probably make some slightly different decisions. You can learn from my mistakes, though! Let’s start with the attribute points.

wasteland-2-guide-attributes

Charisma allows you to recruit certain NPCs, and it also effects the radius of the “Leadership” skill. However, many NPCs in the game (9 of 15, not including the “spares” at the Citadel, according to this chart) have no requirement. Therefore, I find Charisma to be pretty worthless and I set all my characters’ Charisma stats to 1.

Another Perspective Charisma or no Charisma was the subject of much debate over on Reddit. TheUnum points out that if you want to recruit all the possible optional NPCs, you’ll need more than the minimum Charisma. The breakpoints for recruiting the 6 remaining NPCs are at 12, 18, 22, and 25 Charisma across your entire party. This total includes other NPCs currently in your party, as well as any stat bonus wearables/consumables. (Thanks to 3rdAnnual for confirming this.)

Luck is useful but not critical, so it can be safely taken to 1. High Luck helps in combat with higher bonus AP and critical chance. It also helps out of combat when looting containers. However, I found that I preferred the guaranteed stat increases granted by other attributes rather than the random chance afforded to high Luck. It’s possible to create a single moderate or high Luck character to do your looting, if you wish.

Intelligence determines skill points, so you want at LEAST 4, but ideally 8 or even 10 if you can. 8 isn’t a huge sacrifice, and will make you significantly more powerful than at 4. 10 is kind of a stretch, though. You might want one person with 10, but for most 8 is fine.

Another Perspective sheltim points out that mathematically speaking, going from 4 to 8 INT grants you just one more skill point per level, while taking INT to 10 gives you one additional. Thus, the 4 INT points from 4 to 8 are less valuable per point than the 2 that take you from 8 to 10. My counter-argument was that 4 and 10 INT characters are both a bit less well-rounded than 8 INT characters. If you don’t mind a bit more specialization in your roster, consider 4 or 10 INT instead of 8. Also, it should be noted that most of the high INT NPC party members require additional Charisma over the minimum to recruit.

Attributes and skills appear unrelated, so you can have 1 Charisma and max out Leadership with no issues. I’ve heard that some skills (Surgery in particular) require certain attribute levels, though.

Attributes do effect the “derived” stats, though. One derived stat you might not initially understand is Combat Initiative. Combat Initiative is important. Having 10 or less in this stat means you won’t get the first move in most engagements, so bump up your attributes until you get there, if you can.

From here, allocating the remaining points depends on how you want to specialize your team members. Bonus AP and move distance are both worth it, but which you pick depends on what role you want that member to fill. Close quarters attackers need more speed, while long distance snipers would probably benefit from more raw AP to use for long shots.

Pro Tip You get a bonus attribute point every 10 levels. If you do a decent amount of exploring and side quest-ing, you can make level 30 pretty easily by the endgame, so keep that in mind.

Character Creation: Skills

Now it’s time to choose skills. Wasteland 2 features many useful skills, but there are also a lot of duds.

As your skills improve, each new rank costs more and more skill points. Thus, it’s not terrible to experiment a bit at the low levels, but you’ll want to focus on some key weapons and skills to get ahead. Skills start to require more points as they level up, so the first couple of ranks only cost 2 points, then that increases to 4, 6, and finally 8 points to go from rank 9 to rank 10.

In addition to skill points from levels, you can also sometimes get skill points from shrines. The locations of shrines are often rewards for completing quests.

Many skills also have trinkets associated with them. Equipping the trinket will boost a particular skill, usually at the cost of ranks in another skill.

It’s also possible to find skill books that will instantly increase a skill’s rank by one point.

Pro Tip Clearly it’s best to save these skill books as long as possible to get the most benefit. Ideally you’d use it to save 8 points and get a skill from rank 9 to 10. However, using it a rank or two early only really costs you a couple of skill points.

Primary Skills

First, I’ll talk about what I consider to be the “primary skills.” I suggest that you distribute these skills among your team so that you can keep them maxed out whenever possible:

  • Field Medic – People are shooting at you, and you need to heal. Give this to someone who is speedy and works well in close quarters, so that you can move him/her around the map fast.
  • Demolitions – Lots and lots of traps, guys. They’re everywhere.
  • Lockpicking – Good stuff is often behind locked doors!
  • Safe Cracking – The best stuff is often inside safes.
  • Computer Science – Sometimes this skill is required for doors and safes instead of the above skills.
  • Smart Ass – Of the three conversation-related skills, this was the one that unlocked the best options, in my opinion. If you get high enough in levels, you might consider eventually putting points into all three.

Weapon Skills

Next, you’ll want to pick a weapon skill for each of your characters. Ammo and good weapons are often in limited supply in Wasteland 2, so make sure you pick a unique skill for each character.

  • Sniper Rifles – Holy cow can you do a lot of damage with these! Most snipers take 5-6 AP to fire, so keep that in mind when you’re picking your base attributes. Snipers don’t need to move much, but they need a lot of AP.
  • Assault Rifles – Good power and range, and they generally have burst fire modes for laying on damage thick.
  • Shotguns – Decent range, and an area-of-effect “cone” that hits multiple people. Use free aim for the best results.
  • Energy Weapons – Powerful against armored foes, but do far less damage when the target is below the weapon’s “armor threshold.” They’re not super common in the early game, but as the game progresses more options open up here.

Probably 80% of my damage came from the above group. Pistols, SMGs, and melee weapons sometimes be useful as secondary weapons, but they’re not nearly as powerful as those four. Don’t take points at creation for these, but perhaps drop a few points into them as the game progresses. Snipers and Energy Weapon users can both benefit from a secondary from time to time.

Pro Tip It doesn’t take more than 4-5 ranks in a weapon skill to become pretty deadly. Finding new weapons is as important (if not more so) than ranking up your skill with a given weapon past the first few ranks.

Secondary Skills

This list of what I consider “secondary skills” are things that you’ll probably want a few points in, but aren’t as high a priority:

  • Surgeon – This allows you to revive downed allies, which is useful. Definitely put a point or two into this on one of your teammates at creation. It also sometimes allows you to help friendly NPCs who are injured. However, it’s not really one that you need to max out, in my opinion.
  • Weaponsmithing – As you progress, drop a few points in this skill on one of your characters. Breaking down old weapons creates broken weapon parts which can be sold to a vendor in the Citadel for massive profit. You can also get weapon mods from this process that can make small bumps in the stats of your weapons.
  • Alarm Disarming – There’s not really a lot of stealth in this game. You’re generally going to either negotiate or shoot people, and once you’ve done those things, the alarms lose their bite.
  • Mechanical Repair – There are a few things you can do with this, but it’s a lot less than a lot of the other “puzzle solving” skills.
  • Toaster Repair – Repairing toasters gives you items you can give to people to get special rewards. Problem is, toasters are hard to repair, the quests are always unmarked, and the rewards are often underwhelming.
  • Brute Force – Some walls/fences can be knocked down with this skill, so it has use in opening new routes.

A Short Note on Recruitable NPCs

Bear in mind that there are NPCs in Wasteland 2 that you can recruit that have their own skills which can compliment your team’s. You can recruit up to 3 more NPCs, although there are only 8 total in the game. I had 1 Charisma on all of my characters and still managed to recruit enough to round out my party.

The first one is available right from the start, and she specializes in Hard Ass, Brute Force, and Assault Rifles. Depending on your choices in the early game, you’ll encounter one of two NPCs during your first major mission.

NPCs can leave you, although it’s rare. That first NPC you meet will travel with you until you head towards a town called Damonta. Just bear that in mind if you choose to take her along.

General Exploration Tips

There’s a lot of ground to cover in Wasteland 2, so I’ve put together a few tips on how best to explore.

wasteland-2-guide-exploring

  • Use the “Z” key to highlight interactive objects in the environment.
  • Bring a shovel with you. There are often circular patches of dirt you can dig up for extra loot.
  • Perception will show you if an object is alarmed or trapped, but you can also activate the demolitions or trap disarming skill and hover over the item to confirm. Depending on your level of perception, you may or may not catch every trap.
  • Save, save, save. Making a huge mistake is not so bad if you can roll back a few minutes or an hour and try again.
  • Break down weapons and sell the broken weapon parts at the Citadel, it’s an easy way to make profit while managing your inventory.
  • Have one point in Surgery on at least two characters. (Note that one optional NPC is a surgeon.) If one of your surgeons goes down, have the other one play defensively for the rest of the fight in case you need to revive one of your party members.
  • Most of the direct routes between settlements in Arizona have oasis checkpoints between them where you can refill your water. It’s smart to seek these out so that you can top off easily.
  • Completing certain quests gives you the locations of Shrines. Shrines contain monuments you can examine to gain XP or skill points.

Combat Tips

Combat in Wasteland 2 can get kind of complicated, but it’s not so bad once you get the hang of it. These tips ought to help you get going.

wasteland-2-guide-combat

  • Before you initiate combat, use the Space Bar to toggle between commanding your squad and commanding the highlighted squad member. You can use this to set up your team before you start a fight.
  • Don’t get too aggressive before combat. If the enemies detect you before you fire the first shot, they’ll get a bonus to their combat initiative and will attack first.
  • Sometimes you’re just better off having your whole squad take a potshot at the nearest enemy to kick things off. Especially against dangerous targets that have lots of HP, this is a viable strategy.
  • There’s no way to reorder your team’s turns. You’ve got to move them and attack in the order of their combat initiative.
  • When evaluating a new weapon, check the ammo type it uses. Periodically you’ll find that new weapons will start to use new ammo that you might not have much of.
  • If a shot misses, it has a chance to hit any other enemy or ally on the same line. Thus, especially early on you want to spread your team out so they all have clear shots at the enemies.
  • You can also strategically position your team so that there are enemies between you and other inaccurate gun-toting baddies. Chances are they’ll get hit by bullets intended for you!
  • Crouching costs 2 AP, and moving afterwards requires an extra 2 AP to stand back up. However, crouching increases your chance to hit so it is often worth it.
  • You can only save 2 AP from one round to the next, so if you have a lot of AP left over, consider moving or crouching before you end your turn.
  • Speaking of things you can do with bonus AP, consider going into “Ambush” mode if you can’t move and shoot enemies on the same turn. Let the enemies waste their AP getting close to you so you can get a shot off easily.
  • Cover is better than crouching – it requires no additional AP to leave or enter. Not all things that look like cover are cover, so make sure you look for the little icon and the popup help text.
  • Cover gives accuracy bonuses even when it’s not actually “covering” you. For instance, you can have your back to a wall and then fire away from the wall and get the accuracy bonus.
  • You can “Free Aim” a weapon by clicking on its picture. This is useful for shooting at things that aren’t enemies (ie, exploding barrels) or for more precisely aiming the cone of a shotgun blast.
  • Grenades, dynamite, and rockets deal area-of-effect damage. There’s no skill required to use them, so spread them out among your team and use them when enemies group together. They’re super efficient for dealing damage, especially in the early stages of a fight.
  • Between combat engagements, reload. Don’t forget to reload your off-hand weapons as well!

Conclusion

If you can get past the learning curve, Wasteland 2 is chock full of turn-based post-apocalyptic fun. Hopefully with the help in this guide you feel ready to forge a path through the Arizona wastes. If not, leave a comment! Maybe we can help.

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The Top 4 Best Game Apps for Playing on the Toilet http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/top-4-best-game-apps-playing-toilet/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/top-4-best-game-apps-playing-toilet/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 21:12:36 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5690 Restroom Sign No matter who you are, or what you do, there are certain absolutes in life. One of them, is that you are going to need to visit the restroom, at least a couple of times each day (and possibly quite a few if you enjoy Chipotle). In the past, you might have been forced to waste this time with something as mundane as thinking, but luckily we don’t live in such dark ages any more. With your smartphone in hand, a trip to the bathroom is no longer the inconvenient necessity of peristalitic progress – it’s a welcome 10 minute vacation of solitude. Make the most of your precious bathroom moments with the Top 4 Best Game Apps to play on the toilet!

Plague Inc - The World

1. Plague Inc

There are those days when humanity as a whole just seems to be letting you down. Getting cut off in traffic… being asked to work the weekend… or even the occasional fart in the elevator can really make you simmer with loathing for your fellow man. It’s at these times that a few bathroom moments spent playing Plague Inc can really brighten your day. Plague Inc places you in the role of a pathogen trying to wipe out humanity. If you don’t feel inspired, just spend five minutes reading YouTube comments and you’ll be full of motivation.

Plague Inc hooks you with the basics of fun simulation gameplay – well polished icons describe everything from your pathogens attributes to the types of diseases you can unleash, and an active global map hums with boats and planes until your contagion begins to stain it with the red of infection and the black of death. You’ll keep playing it for the novel disease types and challenges, and the vendettas of previous matches where you came so close but those pesky humans managed to find a cure. If long games find you throning it in the company bathroom, remember to wash your hands and avoid real plagues when you are done.

Fish out of Water! Game

2. Fish out of Water!

IfAngry Birds has taught us anything, its that throwing random animals is fun. AB opened they eyes of the young mobile game world to the joys of tap physics, but Fish out of Water is great proof that the field is still ripe for innovation. FooW challenges you take a wide variety of fish you’ve just met, pick three of them, and throw them as far as you can. After each throw, a group of judges rate it based on your performance and adjust for factory like the weather and how bad of a mood they are in. Layered on top of this are Challenges, mix and match Boosts, changing weather events, and League competitions. After just a few tosses, you’ll have the basics of the game down, but the all the extras will keep you coming back to beat Challenges, your friends, or even just your personal bests. Since a single toss only takes a few seconds, you can get a whole game finished easily in a visit to the throne room, even if you are very efficient with your business.

Candy Crush Saga

3. Candy Crush Saga

If you are as old as me, there has surely been a time or two when trips to the bathroom took a while. For one reason or another, you find yourself throning – and these occasions call for a game so epically long, you can basically never finish it. Since you have a lot of time on your hands, it doesn’t matter that much if the game is abusively difficult, even to the point where some, such as my pal agent86ix, might even say it hates you. What is important, is that you can keep playing it… keep obsessively matching candies… keep puzzling out combos… keep… Crushing… Yes, in my opinion Candy Crush Saga is one of the hall of famers when it comes to long visits to the water closet. Nearly unlimited levels, abusive random chance, and a minefield of freemium tropes sounds horrifying on paper, but once it sets the hook you’ll be Crushing away every chance you get, and stifling back cheers when you finally beat those most hated of all levels.

Temple Run

4. Temple Run

Something that a lot of young folks may not appreciate, is that there were games before the App Store. That’s right my young friends, while I did survive a prehistoric age where people were forced to read the newspaper in their outhouse – or worse, just think about things, I had played a video game or two before I’d ever swiped my first App. The elegant simplicity of games like Temple Run do not seem wholly new to me, but in this format, on these small devices, they really do just seem to work. Capitalizing on the early success, various updates to the Temple Run franchise have been released which you can also check out, but they all feature the same run-turn-slide-jump gameplay, and the particular variant you choose is likely more a function of aesthetics or the IP veneer it has been skinned with. Pretty much any version is a great fit for a trip to drop the kids off at the lake. Its simple, mindless, quick, and infinitely replayable. Failure is a constant – but with frequent comic relief from either the trees you mash your pretty face into or the mutant gorilla things that want to eat your pretty face. Either way your virtual face takes a lot of punishment, but you’ll be running again in seconds flat! And running… and running… and running…

Is there a game you love to take with you on a brown study that we missed in our Best Game Apps list? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

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Clash of Clans MEGAGUIDE http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/clash-clans-megaguide/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/clash-clans-megaguide/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 00:08:11 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5680 Clash of Clans. We also write a lot of Clash of Clans articles. You might say we're Clash of Clans fanatics! Here I've collected all of our many articles and organized them into a MEGAGUIDE OF EPIC PROPORTIONS for easy reference. ]]> Here at Without the Sarcasm, we play a lot of Clash of Clans. We also write a lot of Clash of Clans articles. You might say we’re Clash of Clans fanatics! Here I’ve collected all of our many articles and organized them into a MEGAGUIDE OF EPIC PROPORTIONS for easy reference.

DID YOU KNOW THIS PAGE IS ABOUT CLASH OF CLANS? IT TOTALLY IS. I HOPE YOU GOT THAT. OKAY GREAT.

Clash of Clans Beginner’s Guide

Our beginner’s guides cover the basic things you should know when starting out in Clash of Clans.

Clash of Clans In-Depth Strategies & Guides

Sometimes, we have to go deep on a particular topic in order to fully explain how it works. Our in-depth strategies and guide articles cover these difficult but rewarding topics.

Clash of Clans Tips and Tricks

Sometimes you just need a few quick tips to get over that next hump. When we come up with fast strategies, we put them together into an easy-to-follow format.

Clash of Clans Frequently Asked Questions

Occasionally, a question just gets asked so often or the answer is noteworthy enough to stand on its own. These are the questions we’ve tackled here on Without the Sarcasm:

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Destiny Light Farming | Level 20+ Guide http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/destiny-light-farming-level-20-guide/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/destiny-light-farming-level-20-guide/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 16:43:21 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5676 Destiny launched with a relatively low level cap. Once you hit level 20, no amount of experience will get you to level 21. If you want to level your Guardian to level 30, you need to accumulate Light. Light is a difficult topic to explain, and so the game… just doesn’t bother. Many people wrongly assume the fastest way to get to level 30 is grinding low level enemies, which is not the case. I’ve invested a lot of time into Destiny’s “end game” so I’ll show you how to get the gear you need to level up past 20 in Destiny WITHOUT a ton of grinding.

What is Light?

Okay, let’s explain a few things first. One is the concept of Light. Light is a stat that armor can have, like “Defense” or “Strength.” Light starts to appear on armor only around level 18 or so (although I think I’ve seen some Light on a level 16 piece of armor before, so…) Light is required to move up in levels past 20. Only equipped gear’s Light counts.

How do I get Light?

There are several tiers of gear, and each tier can have different maximum levels of Light:

  • Green/Uncommon gear doesn’t give Light. Bummer.
  • Blue/Rare gear maxes out at 15 Light per piece, although this can vary slightly from Rare to Rare.
  • Purple/Legendary gear maxes out at 27 Light (for non-raid Legendaries) or 30 Light (for raid Legendaries).
  • Exotic gear maxes out at 30 Light, although you can only equip one of these at a time.

How much Light do I need?

LevelLight RequiredNotes
Level 2120 Light
Level 2232 Light
Level 2343 Light
Level 2454 LightMax level without Legendary (purple) gear (ie, max with just Rare (blue) armor)
Level 2565 Light
Level 2676 Light
Level 2787 Light
Level 2898 LightMax level with Legendary (purple) gear from vendors (ie Faction, Crucible, or Vanguard vendor armor)
Level 29109 Light
Level 30120 LightRequires raid (ie, Vault of Glass) Legendaries

From this table you can note a pattern – in Destiny, to get from one level to the next past 22, you need 11 more Light than the previous level. Knowing this, you can estimate how far you are from the next level based on the bar at the bottom of your emblem.

Wait, my gear’s Light is too low, what gives?

Legendaries and Exotics don’t give their maximum Light until they’re upgraded. You’ll have to go out, kill stuff, and then upgrade your gear to level up further.

Note that you’ve got to get special, super rare “Ascendant” materials in order to fully level these items, so try to avoid leveling your Legendaries/Exotics past this point if you don’t plan on keeping them long-term.

Secrets to maxing Light

You can get new gear from a variety of sources. Many people think that grinding “loot caves” or other easy-to-farm weak enemies is the best way to get to level 30. This isn’t a particularly great strategy because of all the random numbers involved. For instance, kitting yourself out with Legendaries from farming is an arduous task. Legendary engrams are super rare, and even if you get one, it could be for any class. Rare engrams are still… rare, but you might find one or two that bump you to level 21 if you’re lucky.

One easier way to get Legendary gear is from timed events. For example, one of the first PvE events that Bungie launched was the Queen’s Bounty event. By completing certain bounties, you got special items that allow you to attempt very hard missions. These missions always dropped either a Legendary helmet or a chest piece for your class.

You can also play in the Crucible or Vanguard daily events and/or playlists to earn points/rep to spend at the vendors in the Tower. You’d be surprised how fast you can gain vendor Legendaries if you focus on playing the featured missions and events. Plus, while playing you have a chance at Rare or Legendary gear anyhow.

Know all those Motes of Light and Strange Coins you keep turning up? They’re actually ridiculously useful. Every weekend (Friday morning to Sunday morning, at least in the USA), Xur is at the Tower. He spawns in a random spot, so you’ll want to look around the Tower or check online to see where he is on a given weekend. Xur sells Exotic items in return for Motes and Coins. Hang on to these bits of currency for a chance at some of the best gear the game offers!

Conclusion

So here’s the recap for the tl;dr crowd:

  • You need a lot of Light to get through your 20’s
  • The only way to make 30 is with maxed out raid Legendaries, but you can get powerful enough for late-game content with vendor gear
  • You should really save your Ascendant materials for the raid Legendaries if possible (since they’re so rare and required for 30)
  • Don’t grind weak enemies for engrams, it’s a serious pain and very limited in usefulness
  • Focus on the currently running special events – do the most you can at your level to get goodies
  • Save your Coins and Motes for Xur to get your hands on epic gear

Hopefully now you know how to maximize your time investment in Destiny once you get past level 20. People have called it a grindfest, but honestly it’s not if you know what you’re doing. The game doesn’t do a stellar job explaining any of this, really, but that’s why we have the internet, right?

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Destiny Farming Guide http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/destiny-farming-guide/ http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/destiny-farming-guide/#comments Sun, 05 Oct 2014 21:51:56 +0000 http://www.withoutthesarcasm.com/?p=5661 Destiny is a game that encourages a lot of grinding. Grind for XP, grind for faction rep, grind for quests, grind for resources, and grind for loot. Over time, I’ve developed my favorite spots for grinding on each of Destiny’s maps. In this farming guide for Destiny, I’ll share my general farming tips and tricks, as well as some targeted advice for each area.

General Tips and Tricks

destiny-review-loot-cave

A lot of folks (myself included) used to farm the “loot caves” that were scattered around Earth. These have been heavily nerf’ed, but they’re still a decent source of enemies in some cases. The general principle is to stay far enough away that the enemies spawn, but then shoot them a whole bunch while they’re all bottlenecked before they exit the cave. I’m not going to cover any loot caves in this guide, since Bungie’s kind of on an anti-loot-cave bender at the moment.

If you’re getting kills to farm engrams, know that it doesn’t seem to matter how hard the enemy is, or even what the enemy’s level is. You can earn level 20 legendary engrams from level 1 Shanks. It’s more about how fast you kill enemies than it is what enemies you kill.

If you’re farming for resources (ie, Spinmetal, Relic Iron), these items have fixed spawn locations. They also respawn in an area even if you stay in the area. There’s no need to move between areas, they’ll just respawn on their own.

Chests usually contain a couple of these resources, plus perhaps an engram and some glimmer. They’re not the greatest source of loot, but everything helps if you’ve got a lot of them to grind. Like the resources, these respawn even if you stay in the same area and check their spawn locations over and over.

Caves and small buildings often contain chest spawn points and resource spawn points. It pays to check these areas.

Patrol Tips and Tricks

Generally you’re going to do most of your farming while on each planet’s Patrol mission, so let’s talk a bit about Patrol.

You might as well do missions while on Patrol, so that you can make the most of your farming time.

Each area spawns a set of random missions, and these missions don’t respawn until all of the missions in an area have been cleared. No doubt some of these missions are going to be ones you want to do, and some are pointless wastes of time. If you want to skip missions just so you can clear an area and get more to spawn, pick up the unwanted missions and then abort them. (You abort a mission by going into Nav Mode and then holding the “go to orbit” button.)

There are two types of mission that go well with farming. One is the “collect items bad guys drop” mission, which is represented by a triangle as its mission icon. The other is a “kill copious amounts of trash mobs” mission. This one’s icon looks like an X made out of a square with some triangles pointing towards it.

Destiny Farming Guide: Patrol Mission for Kills

The other missions want you to go to some place (usually far away from where you are now) and scan some object or stand in some location for a while. They tend to take you out of the action for a while, and so I tend to skip them whenever I can.

Favorite Farm Location: Earth

My favorite spot to farm while playing Destiny on Earth is the Rocketyard.

To get to the Rocketyard, from the spot you spawn on Earth, fight through the building on your right. (This area is where you fight the first boss and get the warp drive.) You’ll arrive at the Divide.

Destiny Farming Guide: The Divide, Earth

From here, go across the open area and through another small tunnel to get to the Rocketyard.

Destiny Farming Guide: Earth, Rocketyard

I like the Rocketyard because there are several sets of Fallen and Hive enemies that spawn and fight constantly here. The spawn timers are short, and the enemies are all very easy. There are a few Knights, but for the most part there are just Acolytes, Dregs, and Vandals.

In one of the corners there are several stronger Fallen enemies that can be farmed for bounty quests that want you to kill Fallen Majors or Ultras.

Occasionally Fallen Walkers will provide a public event. Since Walkers are also the subject of more than a few bounties, this is an advantage as well.

Favorite Farm Location: Moon

When I’m playing Destiny to farm on the Moon, I tend to farm Archer’s Line.

Destiny Farming Guide: Moon, Archer's Line

Archer’s Line is the very first area you come to when you start a Patrol on the Moon. It’s easy to find and quick to get to.

I like it because I can get started quickly, and there’s a large area to work with. If I need to get Fallen kills, especially if they’re precision kills or kills without taking damage, there are a lot of enemies to snipe here. Helium Coils are abundant – check around the outside rim of this area and you’ll find lots. The caves in the central region often have chests as well.

If you need Hive kills, especially Majors or Ultras, you can climb the ridge across from the spawn, head through the dome, and you’ll come to a location where two Knights are. These guys are easy to kill. You can continue down the hill past these Knights to go further into Hive territory, which can be useful if you’re just after Hive kills.

Favorite Farm Location: Venus

If I hop to Venus for some Destiny farming, I’ll usually make the trek to Ishtar Commons.

To get here, from the spawn point take the right fork. Follow the path around until you see some Fallen guarding a set of stairs between a couple of buildings.

Destiny Farming Guide: Route to Ishtar Commons

Take the stairs through a tunnel to Ishtar Academy. Proceed through this zone and another tunnel to get to the Commons.

Destiny Farming Guide: Venus, Ishtar Commons

Ishtar Commons is one of my favorite farm spots, especially if I need to kill Fallen or Vex. Here there is a constant battle between a large group of Dregs and Goblins. A few supporting troops line the outer perimeter. All of these guys are easy to trash, and they’re constantly spawning. There’s one Captain here who is inside one of the buildings, but other than that most of these guys go down so fast it’s not even funny.

Between waves, take a trip around the outside of the area to find more Spirit Bloom than you can reasonably carry. There are a couple of rooms where the Vex spawn that you can find chests in, if you’re so inclined.

Sometimes an event starts here where a bunch of elite troops will spawn instead of the standard Dregs vs Goblins. They will clash for a while and then they abruptly disappear. If they’re too much for you, just hide out near the entrance to the Commons. Nothing much spawns over there.

Favorite Farm Location: Mars

Honestly, I don’t play Mars much when I play Destiny. The Cabal aren’t popular bounty targets so far, but perhaps that will change. At any rate, if I’m on Mars I’m probably at the Hollows.

Destiny Farming Guide: Mars, the Hollows

The Hollows is a straight shot from the spawn, through a short tunnel.

Here you can find several elite Cabal troops, along with a smattering of practically every type of Cabal troop there is. Check inside the buildings and you can find more of them. There’s not a lot of Vex here, but honestly if you want to fight Vex you’re better off at Ishtar Commons on Venus.

As before, scouting around the edges of the area to find chests and spawn points for Relic Iron.

Conclusion

So that’s where I grind and/or farm when I’m playing Destiny. Are there better spots? Possibly. Do you know them? Also a possibility. Why not chime in in the comments and tell me the farming tricks you use?

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