Fortnite Rambling

With everyone doing those “best of the year” blogs, vlogs, tweets, and so on, I figured I might as well do a post about some of the best things I came across in Fortnite. It’s not going to be long since I’ve only been playing it for like four months.

Note: These are not in order of importance or any such thing.

I might as well start with Winterfest. As I said, this is the first Winterfest (Fourteen Days of Fortnite) I’ve dealt with, but from what I’ve heard from others, it has been a good event. First, Epic Games gave everyone two free skins–according to others, they’ve never done that.

Then there was the introduction to dynamic weather. Every ten minutes or so, a snowstorm hits the map; and depending on the strength, it can make it impossible to see anything. I liked this addition and hope they’ll do more weather events; it made the game even more suspenseful.

The last part of Winterfest I wanted to mention was the XP fireplace. In the Winterfest lodge you can stand by the fire and gain random bits of XP. You can get 10, 20, or 1,000. I’ve heard rumors of 5,000. It’s also nice to just sit back, relax, drink some hot chocolate, and watch the fire.

The next item on the list is the Star Wars event. It was awesome to see a special scene from The Rise of Skywalker. The Whisper glider is also nice.

Of course, I have to mention the lightsabers. It is so fun grabbing a lightsaber and chasing down a foe. I like that you can block with it (kind of wish this was a standard feature–I suppose building the walls is a way of blocking).

I like how the lightsabers are powerful but not OP. You can’t use them in the water–found that out the hard way–and while they are cool to look at in the night/snowstorm, it also announces your location to everyone. Also, if people know you have a lightsaber, they’ll come after you in force trying to take it away. Finally, you have to get in close. It is not a range weapon, which can be difficult and dangerous at times.

But on the plus side, you can do an awesome combat/dodge roll. And did I mention the ability to block?

Next on the list deals with two challenges. One was to make it into the top 5 for Squads while the other was make it into the top 10 for Solo–not once, but three times for each mode. I figured that would never happen. But, I managed to; and it was stressful. The whole time I just knew someone was going to eliminate me when I was at 11.

I managed to do it by staying out of the named landmarks and away from places used in challenges; I avoided people as much as I could. I also stuck as close to the edge of the storm as I could–people tend to stay away from it. I also made use of the hiding spots, like the porta potty. My controller was almost completely covered in sweat by the time I was done.

Some of the best moments, however, were not part of a challenge or event. At one point, I lingered outside the safety circle too long and got caught in the storm. I had to run a good portion of the map in the storm, but I managed to escape with one point of health remaining thanks to having tons of bandages.

Another time, I learned that you can get umbrella gliders. I kept trying to get one for months and finally did. Why would I care? Simple. So, I could say, “I’m Mary Poppins, yo!” Ah, it’s the simple things in life.

Do you have any favorite moments from 2019? It doesn’t have to be gaming related. Let me know in the comments below.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading and have a great year.

Google Stadia and Game Streaming

The big news in gaming (other than the Five Nights at Freddy’s teaser images) is Google’s announcement of Google Stadia. “What on Earth is this thing?” I thought. I began looking into it. Pretty soon I saw that just about everyone has something to say about it, which got me even more curious.

According to the Google Shop page, the Stadia will be a video game streaming service. The games will be on the cloud, so you’ll be able to play your games anywhere that has Internet connection and on any device. The page goes on to state that you’ll be able to shift from watching a video to playing a game.

There wasn’t much else on the page, but there was a place to enter your email address so you could be updated as news releases.

According to IGN’s article “Google Stadia Streaming Platform Launch, Game, And Feature Details Revealed,” Google plans to release the Stadia by the end of 2019–they just aren’t sure when. But sometime in the summer there will be more about pricing, what games will be available, and more.

Google plans to have the Stadia as a service without a console. They want it so anyone can use it with any device. The game controller, which you would need to buy, would connect to Google’s servers not to the device; this would allow the controller to work with any device. The developers did hint at that if you want to play the games on your TV you would need Google Chromecast–but at $35 it is still better than the $300 plus you’d spend on a console.

The controller would also allow you to capture and share gameplay and upload it to YouTube. Another Stadia feature is called “State Sharing.” This feature allows a player to create a shareable link of their progress. The player then can give out the link and other players will be transported to that spot and given all the equipment and levels the sharer had. I could see this as a cool giveaway option for YouTube gamers.

The main concerns of the gaming community that I came across is price, game selection, and lag. Players are worried that Stadia will come with a hefty membership price. Players are also concerned about Internet connection. When streaming a video, the stream is one-way–the movie comes to you and you watch it–but video games are two-way–you have the game coming to the player and the player responding. The data from the game has to travel to the player and the player’s input has to travel back. The players input also changes the course of the game and that data has to be sent back. It is a constant back and forth, which causes lag.

Hopefully as Google releases more information, some of these concerns will be addressed. The issue about lag has already been addressed somewhat in IGN’s video “Google Stadia ‘Won’t Reach Everybody Day 1’–IGN Now.” Basically, as the title says, Google knows that Stadia won’t reach everyone on launch day. Google can have the best servers in the universe, but it doesn’t matter much if the individual has a slow Internet.

Google has also repeatedly said that the Stadia will carry many AAA games like Assassin’s Creed (according to the IGN “Google Stadia Streaming Platform Launch” article), but there seems to be some concern about independent developers. The Game Theorists (under the GTLive channel) address this issue in their tea series live podcast “GTeaLive: Will Google Stadia be the Netflix of gaming?” The hosts mention how they strongly advised Google to somehow include indie games.

Personally, I would really like to be able to play a video game pretty much anywhere and not have to buy a few hundred dollars worth of equipment every time some slight new improvement comes along. But, I’m also worried about what it will do to businesses. We’ve already seen what happen to movie rental chains after Netflix started. How many more businesses will close and how many more people will lose their jobs?


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