League of Legends

Good Gaming – Free to Play PC Games

We’ve been playing a fair few games lately (as always :P) and recently we’ve been diving into as many free to play PC games as we can, this blog will be a sticky one that we constantly update with new games as we play them but for now we’ll start things off with a few¬†unique and rather good games for your PC that will cost you nothing but the data to download them ūüôā (the titles for each are download links, videos are short gameplay tests captured by GGPC NZ)

Currently checking out Duelyst and Warhammer: Eternal Crusade \o/

ARGO –¬†A hardcore tactical first-person shooter, jump straight into combat in this official standalone FREE total conversion of Arma 3. This one¬†has us fighting for supremacy in a familiar but new setting – the Mediterranean island of Malden, complete with dense urban areas¬†and wide open plains ideal for snipers you’ll find each location¬†has¬†been built to provide an optimal experience for each game mode¬†ūüėõ What really makes this one stand out for us here at GGPC so far is the new Combat Patrol CO-OP mode in which you can team up with some friends and fight against AI opponents¬†with both randomized objectives and procedural generation of enemy forces making each session of Combat Patrol unique. Combine this with three competitive game modes and a pretty good looking Scenario Editor with which you can create your own missions with and you’ve got ARGO, it’s a pretty darn impressive free to play war gaming experience ūüôā

Dreadnought¬†–¬†This is a medium¬†paced arcade action game which puts you in command of a massive sci-fi battleship, similar in many ways to Fractured Space and Cloud Pirates below but with some really beautiful landscapes to wage war on this is one¬†can be a stunner with settings cranked to high. Customisation for your starship is first class¬†from guns and turrets to coatings and decals and there are a range of configs for each ship class so you’re sure to find one that fits your playstyle perfectly. Massively enjoyable in a group or alone, we’ve been playing this one since early BETA days and it just keeps getting better!

Atlus Reactor – A rather refreshing and unique take on¬†turn-based tactical combat. Engage in 4v4 team battles with a short moment between each round to lock in your players actions after which all eight players will execute their command lists. Each character has¬†a range of moves available to them that will initiate at different¬†times in the action que depending on the type of move selected, this makes playing Altus Reactor a game of predicting what your opponents might do which just keeps getting better the more familiar you become with the growing roster of freelancers available (numbering 25 as I write this). Once you reach level 10 there is also a “Seasons” XP event¬†in which¬†players can complete challenges and receive some extra bonus loot to customise their characters.

Paladins РA team-based shooter set in a vibrant fantasy world and features a diverse cast of Champions ranging from sharpshooting humans to mech-riding goblins, mystical elves, jetpack-clad dragons, and bomb golems. Each Champion brings a unique set of abilities to the battlefield and new Champions are regularly added to Paladins, keeping the game exciting.  With strategy elements and character customisation through a unique collectable card system, players can amplify and augment a character’s core set of abilities to play exactly how they want to play.

Cloud Pirates – Arcade airship based combat awaits you in this science-fiction fantasy battleground game ūüôā Remarkably tactical but also good fun early on for a casual run-and-gun play style, as you progress though you’ll gain access a bunch of unique upgrades for your airships, captain and crew which leads to much more challenging¬†matches and modes as you progress. ¬†There are numerous visual customization options to tinker which as you go and plenty of airships to choose from each with their own unique handling and firing arcs – snipers, tanks, dps, tackle – there really are a lot!

Warframe – A¬†team based hack’n’slash shooter with some pretty action packed moments, heaps of gear and hours of fun ūüôā¬†The “War Within” update recently went live¬†live for this one so it’s a great time to jump into the fray and hack some enemies to pieces. You play as a¬†Tenno, an ancient warrior, a weapon master… You wield the mighty Warframes and command their awesome powers – the Grineer Empire grows stronger as a cryptic adversary surfaces. Underpowered, unprepared and forced out of your comfort, you must find it in yourself to improvise, not just to save yourself but the fate of all Tenno. The Queens’ Fortress awaits, where both Warframe and Operator will be pushed past their limits as they slowly unravel mysteries about the Tenno‚Äôs past and their true capabilities.

Blade and Soul¬†– A rather excellent MMO set in a world of martial arts masters and mythology¬†ūüôā¬†A¬†tale of revenge at its core that will have you exploring a beautiful, cinematic world inspired by the distinct visual style of acclaimed artist Hyung Tae Kim. This one’s got detailed character customization tools, offers some brilliant PVP matches and has an excellent action based combat system. The storyline is very good, especially the introduction to the game world and no matter which class you choose the cross server PVE multiplayer instances are quick to find match ups.

Path of Exile –¬†You are an Exile, struggling to survive as you fight to earn power that will allow you to exact your revenge against those who wronged you. Created by NZ game studio Grinding Gear Games, Path of Exile is an isometric online action RPG is set in the dark fantasy world of Wraeclast. It offers excellent co-op gaming with extremely¬†deep character customisation, the best skill tree¬†we’ve seen in a long long time and even a hardcore mode in which staying alive actually matters ūüėõ The game is completely free and will never be “pay to win”, the community is excellent and graphics are top notch. All in all this is our most recommended game right now, crazy good times to be had playing on your own but in a group with some friends the game really shines.

Planetside 2¬†–¬†It’s a very different experience from most first person shooters because instead of the usual 24v24 firefights – battles in Planetside 2 can typically involve a few hundred players. This war takes place over several continents each of which has a¬†defined¬†landscape, there are 3 factions to choose from each with there own infantry weapons, ground vehicles and aircraft. The scale of the game can be quite daunting at first but for new players if you go Engineer class and get a Sunderer vehicle you’ll rapidly begin leveling up while being a great addition to the war effort, doing this will allow you to quickly amass enough experience points to buy new¬†weapons, vehicle mods or abilities. The game world is large, but getting around is easy thanks to an instant action button on the map screen that will take you into hot spots,¬†you can also hover over locations to see just how many players from each faction are fighting in that specific sector which is excellent. Community wise (NZ players) we highly recommend jumping into this one on a Sunday afternoon, it’s pretty crazy!

Paragon¬†– Is a multiplayer online battle arena¬†game that feels a bit like SMITE,¬†but with some beautiful graphics ūüôā There are a range of heroes to choose from and a new ones joins the mix every three weeks so¬†it’s going to be great to see just how diverse the range will become. Like most MOBA games the action starts out pretty slow and this¬†escalates as the players level up and unlock more and more abilities leading to some great end game battles, there is also a card powerup system with which you can tweak each character to your play style a bit. It’s hard to say where to start with this one, having played so much League of Legends and DOTA 2 this game just seems to make sense right away.

Mechwarrior Online¬†– A slower paced, tactical online shooter set in the BattleTech Universe.¬†Victory requires a mastery of tactical positioning, teamwork, and firing discipline to prevent overheating and the dreaded shutdown (overload only works so much!). Each battle will reward you with credits depending on performance and these can be spent on new weapons, equipment and mech chassis to full your hangers. For new players there is a rotation of free to play pre-configured mechs to take into battle and these will give you a good taste of how each weight class performs so you can spend your credits wisely. Once you’ve brought a BattleMech of your very own there is a faction warfare system and if you spend a little time in each jumping from faction to faction you can quickly amass a bunch of personal¬†hangers to store more and more of your own mechs in, this becomes more important with multiple variants of the same frame offering different hardpoints to mount weaponry on and new skills to unlock as you progress. It’s not an easy fight¬†and don’t expect to just run in and win, this is a thinking persons shooter for sure.

Fractured Space¬†– Another MOBA at its core but very different from Paragon above, this one has us controlling a large battleship in space based 5v5 combat pushing our way towards a large enemy base that your team can only reach by pushing a spacelane¬†all the way up.¬†Each multiplayer match provides some pretty¬†intense team battles and also some¬†smaller¬†skirmishes with ships able to quickly warp to other locations on the map. The starships themselves look beautiful, there are three factions/manufacturers in the game right now each with their own unique art style for each class of ship available – each class backs some pretty awesome weapons and abilities that you can further tweak to suit your play style as you progress in the game. Fractured space is in early access now and we’ll be excitedly watching this one as it evolves, right now though it’s in pretty excellent shape and certainly a blast to play!

EVE Online¬†–¬†The new free to play mode in EVE will allow you gain a lot of skills with no money down ūüôā Leveling up an EVE Online character has always been a little different from most MMORPG, every player in the game controls a¬†clone which they train in new skills over time (even when you‚Äôre not logged in) as opposed to the far more common ‚Äúkill this and fetch that for XP‚ÄĚ. As your clone learns more and more you will be able to fly more ships and kit these out with new modules and equipment. When you die you respawn into another clone but depending on when you last did a clone imprint that new clone may or may not have the skills you previously acquired and it‚Äôs this investment in time that makes up one of many factors that gives each life in EVE a real feeling of value ‚Äď there are of course the in game monetary losses involved with death in EVE, losing your favourite ship certainly hurts! The new alpha clone state will allow you to get some pretty potent ships like the Caracal below, armed with many heavy missile launchers you’ll be a fine addition to fleets around the univese ūüôā

DOTA 2 ¬†Originating as a fan-made Warcraft 3 modification, Dota was an instant underground hit. After coming to Valve, the original community developers have bridged the gap to a more inclusive audience, so that the rest of the world can experience the same core gameplay, but with a¬†level of polish and depth that’s unmatched.¬†Much like League of Legends,¬†Dota is a competitive game of action and strategy. Players can choose from a roster of over a hundred unique heroes, forming two teams of five players. Radiant heroes then battle their Dire counterparts to control on a beautiful¬†fantasy landscape, battling one another with cunning, stealth, and outright warfare.

League of Legends – A popular take on the multiplayer online battle arena game type¬†that¬†first came about as a mod for Warcraft 3 named DOTA back in 2003… or was it 2002, anyways it was a while ago ūüôā League of Legends released to the public in 2009 and it has since become one of the most played games in the world today with some very cool new heroes to play as and more joining the ranks constantly. It’s quite a wonderful game to play if you’re a gamer that’s short on time¬†with matches lasting from twenty minutes to one hour depending on how well each team performs. The game is both newbie friendly and deep enough to keep a long term player interested, the roster of heroes to play as changes often and there is even a¬†rune loadout enabling you to tweak you heroes slightly using various power-ups you can purchase using currency accrued as you play matches.

Killer Instinct –¬†This one has been made available via the Windows Store so you’ll need a Windows 10 Gaming PC to try it out. It’s the same Killer Instinct we remember playing in movie theatres wayyy back in the 90’s¬†but¬†with some wonderful new graphics¬†to enjoy ūüôā The free version of this one gives players a single character with which you can access¬†all game modes, including online multiplayer!

War Thunder – ¬†This one gives us action packed battles both on the ground and in the skies (also boats are in BETA!), it’s crazy how good this game is with beautiful graphics and a massive line-up of tanks and planes for us to use in the PVP battles +¬†recently the games creators added a new PVE game mode named Assault which is a blast to play. A perfect game to play with friends¬†this one has options from Simulation to Arcade, it’s similar in many ways to World of Tanks and World of Warships but ultimately War Thunder wins the day with it’s seamless combination of modes and¬†unmatched intensity of aerial dogfights. A truly great game that deserves a download ūüôā

We’ll continue adding to this list as we test more and more Gaming PC, we’ve got our eyes on Battlerite but if you know a great new free game you think we should test out please drop a comment in via our GGPC YouTube channel¬†– we are on the hunt now for¬†a nice driving game!

GAME ON!

Good Gaming CPU – Intel Kaby Lake Game Tested!

GGPC Intel Kaby Lake Gameplay FPS Tests

GGPC has been busy¬†capturing gameplay¬†with the new Kaby Lake CPU range from intel \o/ We started things off with the new i3 (we even managed to get the new “unlocked” i3-7350K!) and we’ve gone all the way into the powerful¬†i7 ūüôā As usual we’ll be¬†testing in-game but this time with no additional graphics cards fitted in our systems…

Gaming with no dedicated graphics card might sound a little crazy, and in most cases it really is but with the right game you can still enjoy some pretty high settings and go for that¬†60FPS @ 1080p sweet spot ūüôā

Of course when you throw a much heavier game at the CPU with no Graphics Card supporting things it gets a lot tougher! Below is a quick test playing Overwatch with just the i5-6400 CPU and while it’s still very playable we’ve had to turn down all of the beautiful graphics settings and we still couldn’t quite get to our 60FPS 1080P target – got pretty close though!

Swinging back around to a game that’s a lot lighter but still pretty popular we jumped into a CSGO match to see just what the CPU alone could do, while we maintained pretty close to 60FPS things were definitely still pretty tight! Much like Overwatch above adding a little GPU like the RX 460 goes a long way performance wise ūüôā

When we hit¬†League of Legends with the Skylake i5-6400¬†things really started looking good, we were pretty amazed to see LOL running so beautifully and we managed to get into a nice brawl in the bottom lane for the capture, settings wise we’ll show them at the end of every video – this is Character Detail: Very High, Environment Quality: Very High, Effects Quality: High and Shadows: Medium and in the clip you’ll see the FPS dip slightly below 60FPS – this provides us with a nice comparison point as we move into the tests with the new Kaby Lakes!

For our Kaby Lake system¬†we’ve built using the very affordable ASRock Z270 motherboard, Avexir 2400MHz DDR4 and a 250GB SSD¬†loaded with Windows 10 Home 64Bit. Originally we set things up with the B250 chipset but quickly realised we’d need to move onto a Z series for testing the “K” series unlocked CPU¬†ūüôā

All of the Kaby Lake CPU we’ll be testing for this blog are packing integrated graphics known as Intel HD Graphics 630 series so we don’t expect too much swing between the quad core i5 and the i7, what’s going to be really interesting is see how things go with the new dual core unlocked i3-7350K so let’s get started there!

Firstly, seeing as this is an unlocked processor we jumped into the bios (by pressing DEL as the computer was turned on) and edited the CPU Ratio +¬†Fixed Voltage¬†values shown¬†here for a quick & easy 5GHz overclock.¬†Once in game a little tweaking was still needed for the settings bringing down shadows and effect quality a little to ensure FPS stayed very close to 60 during some pretty colourful team fights ūüôā

Jumping into a few quick matches with the new Kaby Lake i5 saw solid boost in FPS and even allowed us to push up the effects details again which was really nice, the peak framerate difference between the i5 and previous i3 (even with our 5GHz OC) was instantly noticeable and while both performed well above¬†expectations, if you’re about to build a new system the i5-7500 certainly hits a pretty sweet spot \o/

Rounding up the tests we move our way through the new i7 range, as expected performance in game was very similar to the i5 above although again the peak FPS did reach just that little bit higher, it would be very hard to spot this in game though as once the action starts up both do really well. We played a few extra matches with these ones just to double check the shadows quality settings couldn’t be pushed to max and in most cases it can, however in the bigger team fights (especially around bases or big rift beasts) fps can dip very slightly under 60 with the shadows higher than in the gameplay FPS test below and as we like to¬†turn V-Sync on usually keeping everything¬†above 60 is¬†the goal!

So what’s the verdict with Kaby Lake? It’s GOOD!

The i3-7100 at 3.9GHz performance was right up there with the unlocked i3-7350K in game, if you’re wanting to have a play around with overclocking though that “K” i3 sure is a great way to get into things¬†(just make sure you grab a Z series mobo!) –¬†we didn’t expect to hit 5GHz stable so easily and if it was ours (this one was a loan from intel) we would have kept going for sure ūüôā

Once you hit those sweet Kaby Lake i5 things get really good, the quad cores pushed out some fantastic performance right through from the i5-7400 all the way up to the i5-7600K – These are pretty great really and going forward GGPC will be using them for most of our Gaming PC designs.

If you’re going with the i7 series you’ll still notice a difference in game, but it’s harder to spot vs the difference between the¬†i3 &¬†i5. As with our eSports Skylake builds we’ll likely be using these ones in special gaming PC designed to stream gameplay via Twitch, XSplit and YouTube¬†ūüôā Even these super powerful CPU have a little trouble when it comes to shadows, but hey – graphics cards gotta have something to do right!

We’ll continue to update this blog as we learn new things and get our hands on our own i3-7350K for potentially destructive max OC check ūüėõ¬†Lots of fun times ahead so be sure to keep your eyes on the GGPC Computers Blog for the latest!

Good Gaming – ONE FOR ALL LEE SIN!

BubbaKushLeeSin

Bubba Kush is at it again with another killer montage to check out with some insane Lee Sin plays from League of Legends!

For those just tuning in¬†Bubba‚Äôs main champion¬†is Lee Sin ‚Äď The Blind Monk and all the gameplay and capture is done on a GGPC custom gaming pc which has¬†pretty similar in specs to the new Paladin¬†but with a blue NZXT H440 Chassis (as requested :P). Soon we’ll testing out our latest Dark Knight¬†eSports NZ edition with Bubba to see just what this latest machine is capable of \o/

Until then, enjoy some sweet sweet gameplay below!

Good Gaming – Battlerite FREE WEEKEND incoming!

GGPC Battlerite Gameplay FPS Test Begin

UPDATE: Battlerite is available as early access on Steam right now but this weekend it opens up and we can all play free!

An action-packed Team Arena Brawler focused on competitive combat. Fight side by side with teammates to the sound of the roaring crowd in vibrant, colosseum surroundings.

The game itself is a little bit like League of Legends and Smite but without the lanes and creeps so the focus is purely on fast paced PvP matches with a range of champions that have different strengths and abilities. There are 15 champions available currently and these provide players jumping in with a decent split of melee, ranged and support to play with. Once in matches it’s all about timing and precision where predictability leads to punishment. Each battle is a race to win three rounds, the rounds are generally pretty fast paced, usually over in around 1 minute Рto ensure an entertaining fight a force field will start to move inwards pushing the players in together for a final clash in the center of the arena.

We’ve taken one of our new Custom Gaming PC¬†in for a quick 3v3 match¬†with the starting character Jade to see what the performance is like and as you’ll see from the YouTube gameplay framerate test below – things are looking very good indeed ūüôā

Next we moved tests onto the new GTX 1060 Gaming Laptop to see how good things would be with this latest generation of mobile hardware. Battlerite matches were starting to get tougher as we increased in rank and now a more tactical approach was needed to win each round, playing as Varesh our roll was to debuff enemies while shielding allies against incoming damage and the GTX1060 + i7-6700HQ config was able to keep above 60FPS even during these most intense moments.

Finishing up the first round of testing we installed on our GGPC GTX 1080 Dark Knight¬†jumped in Sirius, a melee healer with some excellent teleports that can heal teammates and deal damage to opponents, the matches now were getting pretty darn difficult with players teamwork becoming necessary to split opponents up. Performance was excellent at¬†4K with max settings and the added clarity certainly makes watching opponents ragdoll on death a lot clearer ūüôā

So far we’ve had a blast in Battlerite and can’t wait to see where the developers take this one, if you’re looking to a battle that’s quicker than ARAM this could be the perfect ticket ūüėõ

GAME ON!

Good Gaming NZ – Bubba Kush Lee Sin Mini Montage!

More League of Legends awesomeness with a new mini montage from NZ gamer Bubba Kush, this is just a quick snippet from¬†some excellent new gameplay he’s working on right now and from the looks of this latest teaser – things are looking good!

Bubba’s main champion¬†is Lee Sin – The Blind Monk and, as with many League of Legends characters there is quite a bit of lore behind this guy and some of it’s pretty brutal!

As a young teen, Lee Sin was intent on becoming a summoner. His will and dedication were unmatched by any of his peers, and his skill drew the attention of Reginald Ashram, the League’s High Councilor at the time. While studying at the Arcanum Majoris, Lee Sin became frustrated with instruction paced for the other students. He spent his free time researching the nuances of summoning in hopes of graduating sooner. He made amazing advances in his arcane studies, surpassing all other students. By all indications, he would have become one of the League’s greatest summoners were it not for one terrible mistake. Too impatient, he attempted to test his ability by summoning a beast from the Plague Jungles. What he summoned instead was a young boy, but not in one piece. He barely had time to look the boy in what was once his face before the jumbled human mass fell lifeless to the floor. A League investigation later revealed that the boy’s entire village was obliterated by feedback from the ritual.

Lee Sin’s talents were so promising that the League was willing to overlook the incident, but he could never forgive himself. He left the Institute and journeyed to the Shojin Monastery for eternal repentance, swearing never to practice magic again. Years later, hoping to atone for his crime with martyrdom, he set himself ablaze as a protest of the Noxian occupation of Ionia. He remained alive in this state, enduring searing agony for weeks. His actions paved the way for a League match wherein Ionia prevailed, but by the time he was doused, his eyes had been burned completely from their sockets. Hailed as a savior, he was reborn, and his will to act invigorated. He joined the League of Legends to continue his atonement with sweat and blood, a true monk’s only possessions.

”The actions of one may sunder the world, but the efforts of many may rebuild it.”
– Lee Sin

Good eSports NZ – Hoyts Oceanic Pro League of Legends Event

The League of Legends Oceanic Pro League (OPL) is nearly coming to an end with the Grand Final taking place in Australia later this month, but you don’t have to fly all the way to Australia to enjoy the event.

League of Legends OPL ShowbagHOYTS will also be screening the OPL Finals in a couple of¬†theatres across New Zealand¬†so you can watch the action on the big screen ūüôā Another cool bonus if you’re attending one of these showings is that you can also grab an awesome showbag¬†at the event!¬†

These special showings are when Oceania’s champion is crowned so that they can progress to Worlds Qualifications.

There are two events being held in NZ, one at Hoyts¬†Sylvia Park, Auckland and another at Hoyts Riccarton, Christchurch – you can get¬†your tickets here ūüôā¬†

Want¬†to catch up on the action so far? League of Legends – Oceania¬†have a YouTube channel where you can watch the games at your leisure, you can also follow the Riot Games Oceania Twitch Channel for live coverage or look out for live match updates within the League of Legends game client ūüėõ

Good Gaming – Lee Sin tips from Bubba Kush

BubbaKushLeeSinTips

Quick tips for Lee Sin: Wardjump, Kickflash, Blinks & Runes

Wardjumping: Ward jumping is something that you have to practice, find which buttons feel the best with you, for example I use 4 for wards. I would encourage you bros to NOT use macros, shouldn’t need macros for pressing 2 buttons.

Kick-Flash: The kickflash is one of my favourites, this took me sooo long to get the hang of, all you need to do is practice and get used to the feels of angling the kick and when to execute it. Of course you will fail a lot, I fail kick flash a lot, its not something you land every time because you will fail it some times but that’s all progress of learning the kick flash. I will go into depth in¬†my actual guide.

Ezreal/kassadin Blink Predicts: Although this isn’t really something you can teach, there is a trick that you can use that’s really simple – when approaching ezreal/kassadin etc wardjumping or flashing before Q predict usually helps, the wardjump or flash will startle them and force them to use blink when you want to, gives you a higher chance of predicting them. Although this doesn’t work every time and¬†you can’t predict everything ūüėõ

Jungle Runes:
+15AD +9ARM +12MR
+15AD +9ARM +7.50% CDR
+9.6AD +9ARM +7.7ARM PEN +7.50% CDR

Small tips but hopefully it helped ūüôā

GG!