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Topics - HamsterIV

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General Discussion / Why GoIO is not for every one
« on: June 19, 2014, 02:34:52 pm »
I have a theory as to why some people quit Guns of Icarus after a few games while others have played it for 1000+ hours:

The game is an incredibly niche product. It underemphasis individual accomplishment and rewards a different set of skills than people expect from this genera of game. There is very little skill transfer from other games to Guns of Icarus.

Regardless of a player's skill level it is next to impossible to carry a game solo. This runs in the face of what most single player games and many multiplayer games on the market do; which is cast the player as the big damn hero. Players who enter this game wanting to lead the server with the highest kill to death ratio are bound for disappointment.

Many gamers have become accustomed to thinking they are "good at video games" because they have a skill set that many games reward. A player can take the snap reflexes and movement techniques they learned in counterstrike and apply them to Call of Duty, Battle field, or Grand Theft Auto.

The ability to pick up a new game and be proficient at it in a very short period of time has been taken for granted by much of the gamer populous. AAA developers are not blind to this which is why most games play very similar to each other. Guns of Icarus looks superficially like the standard game that most gamers are good at, yet the the skills to make a snap head-shot or dodge bullets as an individual are essentially worthless in this game. This leads to further disappointment

These feeling of disappointment are the source of many requests for boarding, personal weapons, and player driven carrier launched planes. They are an attempt to make Guns of Icarus more like what the average gamer is already good at. I am glad Muse has resisted these requests and kept Guns of Icarus a unique if niche product. There are dozens of games released every year that cater to the standard FPS skill set, but only one (technically 2) Guns of Icarus.

We as a community should understand Guns of Icarus will never have the mass appeal of AAA games. The type of person who can get into this game is a very small subcategory of gamer. We should not expect every one to enjoy the game as we do. Anybody who has bought the 4 pack yet is the only active account can attest to this.

Feedback and Suggestions / Reload UI while off gun.
« on: June 09, 2014, 06:55:24 pm »
I spend a lot of time as a gungineer, and one of the most frequent mistakes I make is swapping ammo on my gun right as the reload cycles ends. It is usually when things get busy and i just put out a fire or two, I hear the gun still clicking so when i mount it and press 2 for the specialty ammo type I expect the ammo to load and the gun to be ready. Instead It starts a new load cycle because in the time it took me to hop on the gun the reload had completed and I was sitting on a fresh clip of vanilla ammo.

To make the game dynamics a little more transparent I would like to see the load status of the gun on the gun's icon when it is viewed from deck roaming mode. Currently it shows the ammo icon with a background indicating the repair state of the gun. I would like the ammo icon to fill from the bottom up (like the bullet icon while in gun mode) to indicate what state the reload is in. This hopefully will prevent people like me from pressing the swap ammo button when I get on a gun too close to reload complete.

Gameplay / Engineering Game 1.3.6
« on: May 07, 2014, 11:50:16 am »
With everyone finding their inner pyromaniac thanks to the latest adjustments to the flamer, the engineering game has changed. Here are some ways my engineering game has changed:

I default to chem spray and spend more time running about the ship between combat than looking out for new targets/ stuff the captain is about to run into.

If a component gets too many stacks of fire and there is no extinguisher aboard, I might let it burn out rather than chem it 8 times.

After rebuilding the balloon while under flame attack I chem spray instead of mallet when it comes up. Spanner, spanner, spanner, mallet is part of my muscle memory and I have to consciously force myself to use chem instead of mallet on rebuild. Sometimes habit still takes over.

I have to be aware of what the other engineer has an extinguisher and not chem/mallet a component if they are in a better able to deal with the fire.

On a whole the changes to the flame thrower has made the engineer game more busy. This has lessened my enjoyment of the game. Prior to the flame patch I was able to keep a look out for hostile ships, offer tactical advice to the captain, and occasionally shoot a gun without worrying that the ship would fall apart. I spend more time worrying that a sub optimal performance as engineer will cost us the game.

How are you coping with the changes the new flame thrower has brought to the game?

The Gallery / Hamster Sketches
« on: March 14, 2014, 03:12:28 am »

So the other artists have inspired me to do some drawing of my own. Also I just got one of those fancy smart phones with the touche sensitive stylus. I can't get my head around drawing on one surface and seeing the result on another. This new phone's drawing program is more sketch pad like. Next time you fly with me, try to imagine I am three inches tall, running on the helm like a giant exercise wheel, and squeaking orders at the top of my tiny hamster lungs.

The Gallery / GOI Short Story
« on: March 06, 2014, 03:09:35 pm »
I am at the helm of my sniper variant pyramidion, two mecs up front, and gat mortar side. I have a good solid crew with me. Old hands who know the score, I trust them and they trust me. What I don't trust is my allied captain who has taken his squid run off into the perpetual dust storm of the dunes. Being sensible, I move my ship into the ribbing of an ancient wreck, and put my crew on watch.

We hear them before we can see them, the shriek of engines tortured by moonshine and the quick successive thumps of manticore rockets bursting in the sky. I turn my long guns in that direction and tell my crew to make ready. I hear the smooth clunk of the gun breaches closing behind the specialty rounds my gunners have loaded.

The clouds part to reveal my ally running hell bent for leather away from a pair of Manticore Goldfish. He is swerving erratically, but whether it is from evasive maneuvers or unbalanced engine torque, I neither know nor care. I do know his crew is working full time to keep his ship in the air as the rear gun has been completely silent in spite of it having the range and firing arc.

"Target?" I hear one of my crew ask from the top deck.

"Rear ship, focus weapons and engine if possible" I respond. The "If possible" is redundant. I know these men, they could shoot the hat off the enemy captain without mussing up his hair. Lodging a mercury round in in the big fat autoloader of the manticore at this range is child's play for them.

"Tha-thump" my guns say in anger for the first time today. Positioned as I am below and behind the mercury, I get the perfect view of both the rounds arcing towards the target. True to my expectations the first round knocks that stupid lion head off the starboard side of the manticore while the second lodges itself in autoloader. I imagine with grim satisfaction the look of dismay on the gunner's face as his beloved weapons falls silent.

"Engines if you please" I call out to my gunners. I know this will be a much trickier shot. The hostile goldfish is oriented almost square on to my ship. There are a few protruding bits of hull between my guns and their rear mounted engines.

"Thump" one gun barks into the cold desert air. The shell sails past the engineers desperately trying to free the auto loader, past an unmanned side mounted flamethrower, and lodges itself deep in the engine block of the Goldfish's port maneuvering engine.

The Goldfish captain fails to correct for the sudden loss of thrust and his ship drunkenly swings to port. My second mercury gunner was waiting for this to happen. Just as the thrust engine swings into view he cracks off a shot which shears off the engine's mounting bracket and sends it tumbling to the desert below.

The lead Goldfish fails to notice his ally getting crippled. Perhaps he is too taken with the chase and the thrill of an easy kill. Perhaps he doesn't see us lurking behind a rusty pipe with only the top of our balloon and the well worn barrels of our field guns poking out. Or perhaps he thinks that just because I am sniping I don't carry a close range bite. It doesn't really matter what the enemy captain's understanding of the situation is, so long as he keeps on running into my trap.

"Switch target to lead Goldfish. One volley into the hull armor, then stand ready side guns." I yell crisply over the clanks and thuds of the my crew reloading. My hull engineer casually walks to the rear mounted Gatling gun eager for his first action of the day.

The chase has gotten a lot closer since the first rounds left my long guns. My gunners don't even bother using the telescopic sight, but instead slam home four rounds in quick succession. I slowly rotate my ship to keep the enemy ship inside my gun's tight firing arc.

My ally squid rushes through a gap in the wreckage below and to the left of my ship. The sudden rush of air in his passing causes my own ship to rock genitally. The squid's crew are exhausted having worked non stop patching battle damage and keeping the engine's from exploding under the captain's reckless use of moonshine.

I catch a glimpse of the captain's face, eyes are wide with terror. He has seen too much this day and it will take him weeks to recover. Even then he will never again be that same cocky boy that ran out in front of the fleet for the glory of first blood. It is for the best I muse, very few of us get to make a mistake that big an live. It will be impossible for him to have not learned anything from this experience.

The thump of my gunner's feet landing behind me snap me out of my revelry. "The ladder is too slow" they would often joke. True to their word they has simply leaped over the guard rail of the upper catwalk and let gravity do the rest. A twisted ankle would be disastrous for us at this point and I make mental note to admonish them for it later.

I turn the ship to starboard and put the engines into reverse to start matching momentum with the Goldfish about to come into range. We lose sight of it for a few seconds as it moves behind a support beam of the ancient wreck we chose to hide behind. It appears again int the same hold out ally passed through moments ago. Its armor is cratered from the multiple field gun impacts, and its crew is frantically racing about the deck patching the holes.

My side guns open up without waiting for my command. My crew have been here before and pump out bullets and grenades as fast as the weapons are able to. The enemy captain realized what danger he is in and swings his Manticore to face me.

"Brace for impact!" I yell as I see those twin lion heads finally get angle on my ship.

The sound is deafening as rocket after rocket impact on our hull and balloon. Both our gatling gun and mortar fall silent as the percussive impact and shrapnel make a mess of their firing systems. A fraction of a second after the last rocket impacts our ship my crew are up and working on the guns. Numb from shell shock and beading from a dozen cuts these men know their duty. It is now a race between their autoloader and our engineering skill. It is a race we don't intend to lose.

My heart fills with pride as my crew jury-rig a new firing mechanism and resume pumping death from the side guns. Finally a lucky bullet tears away the last shred of armor protecting the Goldfish's rocket supply. The mortar gunner had been saving a few shots for this moment, and he gleefully lobs those shots through the gap.

Secondary explosions tear down the length of the Goldfish as the mortar rounds set off the Goldfish's fuel and ammo stores. The enemy ship does not sink so much as it disintegrates from the blasts. My crew let out a hearty cheer. I can just make it out over the ringing from the manticore volley we barely survived.

"Get those engines working, we are not done yet!" I roar. We had ignored the damage our engines had taken from the manticore because the guns were far more important at the time. In the distance I see that the goldfish we crippled earlier has fixed its engines and main gun. Celebration can wait.

It sends a volley of rockers our way, but being outside effective range and partially obscured by the wreck we take very little damage.

"Stand ready forward guns" I yell as I swing the bow of my ship to point at the Goldfish. The hasty patch work the enemy engineers made to their manticore is barely visible at this range. The decorative lion heads are no where to be seen. Sparks and smoke emit from autoloader att he base of the gun as it struggles to get the next volley of rockets on the launch rails.

My mercury field guns don't allow that autoloader to get any further. Round after round reduces the manticore to scrap. My crew, still bleeding from the point blank manticore volley we sustained, are in no mood to mess around. Even though the gun is clearly broken my gunners pump shell after shell into it.

The Goldfish is backing off trying to use the broken gun as a shield from the onslaught of out artillery. We break cover from the wreckage that has sheltered us for most of the engagement and begin to peruse. I instruct my downstairs engineer to keep an eye out. Inspite of the desert vastness an ambush is always possible.

"Friendly 7 o'clock" my engineer yells. I look over my shoulder to see that squid captain has found his nerve and is closing on my flank. The lesson he learned at the hands of the two goldfish seems to have sunk in. As he pulls even with me he reduces his throttle and takes up formation with me.

The Goldfish is sleek ship designed for interception and pursuit. However it is designed to fly forward and its aerodynamics work against is as it tries to back away from us. The enemy captain is stuck in an unenviable position, 2v1 with the knowledge that if he turns to run I will break his engines and close on him even faster. As we close to Gatling range he does the sensible thing and strikes his colors.

We pull along side the surrendered Goldfish, its crew raises their hands in surrender . I go aboard with one of my crew to spike the guns and dump its fuel and ammo reserves. The squid can tow it back to base. It serves him right for bringing this mess down on us. We gather the nervous crew in an open area on the main deck under the supervision of my deck guns.

An older man steps forward from among them, he is clearly the captain. Even without the rank insignias he has the look of a leader and an experienced veteran. He stands before me ramrod straight and offers his ceremonial sword. I decline, I have no need of trophies and this man will need what ever dignity he can keep hold when he gets to the prison camp.

It is a terrible thing I do; to remove this man from the skies. Even though if our positions were reversed he would not hesitate to send my ship and my crew down in in burning pyre, I feel a stab of regret that he will no longer have the freedom of the skies. We meet eyes and there is a flash of understanding before he returns to his crew.

Only when I am back aboard my ship do I allow myself to relax. My crew performed admirably and I let them know as much. The debriefing, breakdown, and analysis can wait until we are back at base. For now I focus on the cold desert air and the elation we are still alive.

Feedback and Suggestions / Ship orders
« on: February 13, 2014, 06:23:54 pm »
Playing with PUG crews quite often. I realize I am typing the same load out instructions over and over. Usually ammo requests and occasionally engineering specifications. I would like to enter these specifications in one time and be able to hotkey the message for my crew. For each ship I would like to type a few lines of text to describe what each crew position needs and then be able to quick insert that text into crew chat. It would save me and possibly many other players a lot of time in the lobby. Also if the ship text could display under the ship while a crew member is examining it, it would allow people to get load out instructions without relying on the scrolling lobby chat.

General Discussion / Expectations of the Game
« on: January 28, 2014, 02:46:10 pm »
I want to start a discussion about what we expected this game to be vs what it is. Most of us have been playing for a while and our perception of the game and its mechanics match pretty closely to how the game actually works. What I am interested in are your thoughts about Guns of Icarus based on what you knew before you started playing it and during your first few matches.

Here were my misconceptions:
Every one will want to be captain.
People are going to whine if I take the captain spot as a noob.
There will be boarding.
Most captains will not be forgiving of newbie mistakes so I should master the game mechanics in single player.
There will be a single player for me to hone my skills.
There are so many gun/tool options that I will never be able to find an optimized build without resorting to a wiki on the game.
The Pyramidion is an ugly ship and is vastly outgunned by every other ship (except the squid).
Medium weapons are vastly superior to their light counterparts.
The Galleon is overpowered.
Tar barrel must be useless, the enemy can just aim for the tar.
Every one will be using the buffkit because there will be down time between combat.
The pipe wrench is the best of the three repairing tools.
The harpoon will prevent my opponent from getting away.
Popping my opponent's balloon is the fastest way to victory.

Here are my correct assumptions.
Exploiting an opposing ship's blind spot will be a common tactic.
You would have to be crazy to fly a squid.
You would have to be crazy good to win a match with a squid.
The Devs will release regular updates.
Flame throwers are the best way to mess with the enemy crew.
There will be a small group of people who play this game way too much.

Feedback and Suggestions / Fire/gun mechanics
« on: January 21, 2014, 07:50:24 pm »
The recent discussion on fire stacks:,3271.0.html

Gave me an idea for an alternate mechanic for fire. Instead of a number of flame stacks kicking a user off a gun a smaller number of flame stacks would prevent the gun from shooting, but the user could still reload the gun with different ammo. Specifically heat sink ammo (which would put out the fire). This would strengthen the gunner class since they won't need engineers to put out fires. Also engineers without chem spray would face the possibility of having their gun flame locked from steady stream fire weapons like the flame thrower.

The current mechanics work fine. I am throwing this idea out for discussion because I think it would make the game more interesting.

Community Events / Live event idea
« on: December 19, 2013, 12:01:38 pm »
I would like to see Guns of Icarus tournament at one of the local college gaming tournaments. Sadly I don't think there are enough of us in one area to field enough fully crewed ships to make this viable.

So I had an idea. If we could get enough decent captains together at one of these events they could pickup and train crews from the random people at this event. If everyone had 1/2 an hour to train and drill completely newbie crews before throwing them into a tournament under the hands of an experienced captain we might get some very interesting footage. Also it would spread the love of Guns of Icarus to new players which is always a plus.

The Gallery / Ludum Dare 28
« on: December 16, 2013, 02:26:51 pm »
Disclaimer: Not Guns of Icarus related

I missed you all last weekend because I was participating in the 28th Ludum Dare. It is a programming contest where participants try to make a video game around a community selected theme in 48-72 hours. The theme this time was "You Only Get One" there is usually a joke theme as well and this time it was "Justin Bieber".

I decided to make a game about Justin Bieber only having one Vorpal Boomerang, and using it to fight his way through an army of Justin Bieber Zombie clones. Here is the intro text:

He is a Beliber.
Born wild lands of Canada 19 years ago, he is not alone.
There are others like him, some good, some evil.
For almost a decade he has been entertaining fans,
using zombie clones to augment his talent.
He can not die, unless you take his head and with it his power.
In the end, there can be only one.
He is Justin Bieber the Pop Star.

My game runs in the web browser and can be played:

The LudumDare entry is:

Here are some shiny Screen shots:

If you have a few minutes give it a play and leave me some feedback. Sorry if this counts as advertizing, I am just that desperate for attention.

Feedback and Suggestions / End Game Pose
« on: December 10, 2013, 03:11:31 am »
I just played the new patch, and I LOVE the end game screen where the crew is striking a pose on the deck of the ship. I was thinking it would be even nicer if I got to pick the pose my character is in. Heck I would pay good money to be standing in a particular way or doing a silly animation when the entire server can see me. Just one more option to the character customization screen and end game gloating can be even more fun.

Feedback and Suggestions / Forward reports to clan leaders
« on: November 05, 2013, 02:49:10 pm »
Not that I am going to name names (because that would be rude) but I had an idea about additional policing of the community. I would like any behavior report generated about a member of a clan getting forwarded to who ever is the registered leader of that clan. Also the registered leader should have the ability to strip a member of that clan tag. This would add a level of social pressure to behave in a respectful manner and prevent clans from acquiring a bad name when one of their members starts behaving badly.

This might help in situations where an offense is not grievous enough to warrant any account action but the mods still wants to put pressure on the offender.

The Pit / Forign Language Cass Video
« on: October 06, 2013, 01:38:27 pm »
I remember back when I was in high school they made me take a foreign language class and for that class we had to make a video consisting of us speaking that language (badly) to some sort of plot. I enjoyed that project even if everything I learned about that language has faded from memory.

I bring this up for any of you who are still in highschool or will be taking a class that will require you to make a video. Why not use Guns of Icarus as a base for Machinima? The costumes are fancy, the backdrops are stunning, there is a lot to talk about, and there is a friendly community with many non English speakers who could help out.

Sadly my days of making terrible videos for school projects are behind me. I fully encourage anyone who is in the position of having to make a video for class to forgo prancing about in your back yard and do voice overs for a guns of Icarus battle instead.

Feedback and Suggestions / Adventure Mode Ship Names
« on: September 05, 2013, 02:40:37 pm »
I am not sure what Adventure Mode will involve, but I am fairly certain there will be NPC airships involved. If there are I suggest they be given ship names just like our skirmish ships and that these ship names be visible next to the white box similar to skirmish. When approaching a squad of 3 NPC junkers it would be much easier to call targets by name rather than "the one on the left." Further more it would add more depth to the world. While there is a vast library of real ship names Muse could draw from I would also like to see ship names from the community incorporated into the list.

Feedback and Suggestions / Mobula component layout
« on: July 23, 2013, 06:56:36 pm »
The Mobula is generally considered an engineering nightmare with key components locates so far away from each other that two full time engineers are needed when the ship comes under sustained attack. Further more all three crew members are required to maintain the engines if the pilot decides to activate kerosine for a long term burn.

All other ships in this game have the engines close enough together that a single engineer can keep the turning engines repaired if the pilot decided to get a little aggressive in his maneuvering. This puts the Mobula at a severe disadvantage to all other ships in the game since it needs at least two player shooting to present any sort of legitimate threat.

I propose that the Mobula be changed so that all three engines can be reached from the top deck, and there be a path from the balloon repair point to the hull repair point that does not involve going up then down a ladder.

The engines could be moved to the gaps between the side wings and the hull forcing the engineer responsible for the engines to run the width of the ship to hit all engines in a single repair circuit. The proposed side positions are close to the outer guns giving that engineer something to do when not actively repairing.

For the hull and balloon modification I suggest a catwalk be provided at either the front, back, or both ends of the ship so that an engineer can run between the two core components faster. Alternately the downstairs areas could be connected inside the ship, however it may be too easy to keep the ship alive if this is the case.

Thanks for hearing out my rant.

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