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Welcome to the Nexus: Admiral Alexei Stukov

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Welcome to the Nexus Admiral Alexei Stukov. We’re glad to have you here. You and all of your parasites, pathogens, and viruses. You’re not what we expected. Anticipation was that you would be a specialist, spreading your infestation far and wide, commanding legions of undead Terran soldiers. But, here you are, a brand new support hero, treating your allies with pathogens and hindering your enemies with viruses.

Team compositions are going to alter around Stukov, changing the focus to an extremely active team. Not only will the characters drafted change, but so too will the way people play them. Adaptability is key when playing any type of massive online battle arena (or MOBA for short). A crowd control heavy team will lend itself to Stukov’s ability to silence in an area. Picture this: A root placed by Malfurion roots two enemy players, Stukov then places his Lurking Arm beneath them, he both silences their abilities and damages them. But wait, there’s more! At level thirteen, the talent “Virulent Reaction” allows him to root any victims caught in his area of effect. To activate the root he must detonate any pathogens and viruses currently applied using his Bio-Kill Switch ability. The capacity to channel Lurking Arm indefinitely makes the combination all the more deadly.

Imagine the vicious potential that characters like Jaina and Chen have. Both have abilities to slow the enemy. This means spending more time in Stukov’s silence for the hindered enemy. Not a good time. At least, not for his foes.

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Crowd control is hardly the only utility that benefits Stukov though. Teams that are able to dive on the enemy team suit him just fine. These are known as pursuit compositions. The potential to spread both Healing Pathogen and Weighted Pustule while his team engages the enemy is fantastic. Heals spread to all nearby allies and mend them for 4.5 seconds. That is, unless Stukov chooses to detonate the pathogen before it’s heal over time has expired. To do this, he uses Bio-Kill Switch. With that he can remove the timed heal and increase all affected allies’ health greatly.

Not only can he aid his teammates, Stukov also has a skill that places a virus on his enemies. Weighted Pustule too can be detonated before time runs out. Bio-Kill Switch makes the virus slow (and potentially blind) all effected foes. A slowed enemy is a good enemy, especially for a pursuit team. An Illidan with Stukov’s heal applied to him and a target afflicted by a virus can dive to his heart’s content. Stukov allows a dive heavy squad to jump on the enemy’s back line without hesitation.

Now, while he has a great toolkit, he’s not without flaws. An out of place Stukov is a dead one. There are no ways to escape in his kit. Limited mobility makes him an easy target to displace. A well timed Stiches hook pretty much guarantees death for him. But a one on one fight will lean in his favor. His high sustainability and level 10 talents make him a force to be reckoned with.

The first level 10 skill is Massive Shove. This one lets Stukov push a single target out of place. His arm stretches and propels the enemy in a straight line until they hit a solid object. The impact stuns them while giving him 50 additional armor. The other talent, Flailing Swipe shifts any nearby hostiles out of place with three massive slaps. Both do a decent amount of damage and can be deadly tools in both team fights and solo combat.

Overall, Stukov is a top tier healer with great offensive capabilities. He’s adaptable and fits practically any team. A skilled player will know when to detonate his abilities, and when to let them tick. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Heroes of the Storm and how the game will change around Stukov.

 

 

 

Born in the mountains of Colorado, it is said that Zach Kimbell has always been a nerd. His passion for art, literature, and video games bloomed at a young age. With a background in illustration, tabletop RPG creation, and IT you can bet Zach will be dissecting everything from new age tech to the brush strokes on a comic panel. Stick around and you just might learn a thing or two.

Gaming

Frostpunk 2 offers a thrilling combination of post-apocalyptic survival strategy and intense political maneuvering

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Frostpunk 2 is the follow-up to a morally challenging strategy game that has captivated players, and it appears that even more difficult decisions await in the sequel. The game is set to release on PC and Xbox Series X|S on July 25th, with plans for a later release on PS5. Thanks to IGN, we were treated to an in-depth preview of 11 Bit Studios’ dark and gritty survival city builder.

Players are faced with the challenging task of making difficult decisions in order to endure the impending storm. They must carefully navigate through various ideological technology trees to reach their inevitable outcomes. Considering the shortage of manpower, are you planning to employ underage workers to fulfill the demand? What is the most efficient method for controlling a rebellious population: using brute force or employing religious manipulation?

In Frostpunk 2, players are transported to a world 30 years after the catastrophic global weather event that challenged their survival skills in the original game. The world remains frozen, with the most pressing danger now coming from fellow survivors vying for scarce resources and the growing democratic nature of your own people. Take a look at the trailer below to get a taste of what makes the series truly exceptional.

Can you handle the challenging decisions necessary for your survival? Are there any boundaries you refuse to cross? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Baldur’s Gate 3 had a more manageable development process compared to Larian Studios’ previous RPGs

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According to Swen Vincke, the founder and CEO of Larian Studios, the level of crunch on Baldur’s Gate 3 was lower compared to their previous games like Divinity: Original Sin 2. Crunch, also known as “crunch culture”, refers to the overtime that many developers are often expected to work when production deadlines are approaching.

According to GamesRadar+, Vincke was questioned about the challenges that emerged during the game’s extensive development and whether the studio had to work under intense pressure. Vincke mentioned that they are investing less in BG3 compared to their previous projects. We definitely did. We encountered unforeseen events.

Vincke highlights Larian’s global studio setup as a method through which the developer alleviated the pressure. This structure was established to guarantee round-the-clock coverage, specifically designed to prevent individuals from having to put in additional effort to resolve late-night issues. The Belgian developer has expanded its reach by opening a seventh office in Poland.

According to Vincke, employees who had to work long hours were compensated with overtime pay. He also mentioned that after 8pm, the offices would be nearly empty, and weekend work was a rare occurrence at the studio. Expanding on the topic, he clarifies: “We didn’t excessively push ourselves, but we did have to put in some extra effort.” And I believe, honestly, there will always be a sense of anticipation when you’re working towards completing a project, particularly when there are numerous intricate elements that need to be integrated.

Did you know that the development of Baldur’s Gate 3, with its immense size and scope, involved developers working tirelessly to meet the deadline? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Mad Max developer responds to comments made by Furioso director George Miller about Kojima

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Last Friday, we shared with you the news that George Miller, the director of the Mad Max franchise, mentioned Hideo Kojima as his top choice to develop another video game adaptation during the premiere of his latest film, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. By doing so, it appears that he also criticized the previous game with the same name. The founder of Avalanche Software and creator of the Just Cause series, Christofer Sundberg, the developer behind the last Mad Max game, has responded with strong determination.

On Twitter (thanks, Eurogamer), Sundberg expressed his disagreement with Miller’s comments about Avalanche’s Mad Max game not meeting his expectations. The director stated: “I prefer to only engage in activities if they can be executed at the utmost level of excellence.” Sundberg strongly disagreed with Miller’s statements, describing them as baseless and arrogant. He then proceeded to provide insights into the game’s development, revealing some interesting details.

Sundberg believes that Hideo Kojima has the potential to create an incredible Mad Max game, but emphasizes that it would offer a unique and distinct experience. He adds: “The publisher made extensive efforts to transform this game into a strictly linear experience, despite partnering with a developer known for their open world games.” In a subsequent Tweet, Sundberg elaborated on the situation, revealing that after the initial year of development, the higher-ups came to the realization that they had inadvertently steered them towards creating a linear experience instead of the open world game they had originally proposed. He stated: “We wasted an entire year of effort and were informed that ‘players desire independence in the current era’.” Well, obviously…”

Larian Studios’ director of publishing, Michael Douse, expressed his opinion, stating that Avalanche faced challenges in capturing the spirit of the 2015 film due to limited access and legal restrictions on intellectual property. He suggests that there may be a subtle detail that Miller is unaware of.

Mad Max, developed by Avalanche and published by Warner Bros Games, was released in the same year as Miller’s previous Mad Max film, Fury Road. Drawn from the series, it presented a backstory for Max, where players were assigned the mission of collecting components for his legendary Magnum Opus.

What are your thoughts? Were Miller’s comments inappropriate? What are your thoughts on Avalanche’s Mad Max game? Additionally, would you be curious to see how a Kojima-led adaptation would bring a unique perspective to the game? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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