Summersalt – Tracer

According to the latest census by the Summersalt Ministry of Commerce and Security—it makes sense in Summersalt, but nowhere else—the city-state is home to more than 700.000 beings, with humans being the majority. This census is the most accurate report on Summersalt population, if you forget that it ignores all mutants, saltbabies, horrors and aberrations born in the depths and slums, most of them from exposure to some form of raw salt.

Twenty percent of the population make up the upper neighbourhoods, where the Trade Princes, nouveau riches, big merchants and old school nobility live. But among them is a family with enough skeletons in their closet to beat the census by at least twice its reported amount, and enough secrets to burn the city itself a few times over. Continue reading Summersalt – Tracer

Summersalt – Character Concept – Blankface

The city of Summersalt is a dangerous place, particularly for the Summer Knights, the regulation agents for The Salt, the wondrous substance at the core of the city’s technology, mysticism, economy and everything in between.

Regulation agents come from various background but they all have one thing in common: the job is their last hope. Some like Keegan Leona Mercer, have spent centuries burning bridges and making enemies. Then there are those like Julianne “Tracer” Allen, with two clear choices: service or some ghastly capital punishment, particularly if they have her unusual skills in Saltcraft. Continue reading Summersalt – Character Concept – Blankface

Overwatch Analysis – On Storytelling

I like Overwatch. I think I’ve mentioned that in the past. It’s the first multiplayer first person shooter I’ve genuinely loved and I’m waiting for the launch next week on the 24th, the same day I return to streaming. Coincidence? Maaaaybe…

But that’s not what I’m going to talk about today. This time I want to focus on the story, characters and the storytelling—or lack thereof to be honest—of this new Blizzard Entertainment IP. Continue reading Overwatch Analysis – On Storytelling

Overwatch Beta – Ninja is my calling!

I’m not one for multiplayer in shooters. I don’t like Call of Duty multiplayer or even Team Fortress 2. I dabble once in a while, particularly because Timlah is extremely convincing—read “annoying until you give in”—and gets me to play Killing Floor.

But this is really not my type of game…until I played Overwatch. That one I dig, a lot! I played the first beta weekend months ago and this weekend I played another one and I just couldn’t stop. But things were different in my play style this time.

I found my character!

When I first played this weird quirky game of heroes shooting it out, I went for the tanks, the big burly guys that can take a beating, give it as good as they can take it and can keep others alive by being meat shields. I loved playing with Reinhardt and enjoyed the playstyle with D-Va. But in the end, I settled comfortably with Zarya and her pulse rifle and gravity abilities. I really enjoyed the playstyle with her. I did break out Hanzo, Reaper and Tracer once in a while to try something different, but tanking was my thing—which is very odd because in World of Warcraft, while I have enjoyed tanking, DPS is what I do best.

But this time around, it wasn’t tanking for me but full on DPS. In fact, I started the other way around, going for Zarya and Reinhardt first and just not feeling it. I switched to Hanzo, McCree and Reaper before finding my match with Genji, the Gray Fox-esque ninja. His main weapon are shuriken, he has a forward dash that deals damage, can deflect bullets, climb walls and his ultimate is pulling out the Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword. There are so many hidden references—in my head at least—for this character that I couldn’t pass him up.

I was jumping with joy!

I checked the difficulty for him, and it said 3-stars, meaning highly difficult character to play and master. I’m in no way a pro at anything but you know what? I’ve found the groove with this dude. The first few matches where horrendous, and I kept getting killed the moment I showed up. The shuriken don’t deal much damage compared to other characters, but they’re really fast. If you’ve played Overwatch, it’s kinda like Tracer’s guns, not that damaging but very fast.

But as I kept playing and dying I started finding the rhythm for the character—that is very fast and opportunistic. Genji’s a ninja and the best way to use him is as an assassin. Throw out your shuriken, whittle away the enemy’s health in the middle of some barrage and when you have them low enough, just start dashing into them. That’s how I started feeling it with the character, and soon I was being bolder, tackling the enemies early on and being very aggressive. I’ve dueled and defeated Tracers, though they’re still my main enemies, their blinking and rewinding abilities kick my ass most of the time, but when I mastered the deflection—or at least learned to use it properly—I could take them on without much issue. Reaper and Lúcio are my weakness right now, as their ultimate abilities are just too much for me. But I have taken out some players using Lúcio quite easily in the past.

Throw them out in a single line or spread the pain!

My highest kill spree has been 9 consecutive kills, not the best in any way, and quite tame when it comes to this game, but I was jumping in my seat. Hell, when I had the best play of the match I was cheering, a double kill on two Soldier: 76 players.

As for the Beta itself, it was good though I had a few matches with unbearable lag, so much so that I dashed ahead with Genji and found myself further back than when I started. I’ve been in laggy games, but that was a new one even for me! Overall I like the characters and the game balance, though Genji’s shuriken could use a teeny improvement. It could either be a teeny bit more damage or faster/no reloads on his shuriken.

If you’re opportunistic, you can get a lot of kills in, and help the team in the process!

I will definitely be picking up Overwatch when it releases, and most definitely on PC—can’t imagine playing this game with crane controls—and if you’re around to play with me, let me know, maybe you can teach me how to do it properly.

But if there’s one thing for sure, is that I’ll be in the shadows, with my shuriken and my sword, like a ninja!

Summersalt – Early Character Concepts – Fuse

A few weeks ago I introduced you to the world of Summersalt, my new story idea which you shape with your votes on the poll you can see at the end of this article and on left sidebar on The Mental Attic. Each vote limits what I can create, and tells me what you don’t want to see in Summersalt, the general fantasy races, tropes and styles you feel should just go.

As part of creating this world, I’ve also started writing some of the characters that inhabit it. Currently I’m focused on the protagonists, and today I’ll introduce you to one of them, the leader of a small unit of Salt Regulation Agents aka Summer Knights.

I hope you like Keegan Leona Mercer as much as I do. This is her profile. But it’s only a story, and a few bits of her personality. If you want to truly get to know her, who she is as a person, you’ll have to wait until I write the novel.

Continue reading Summersalt – Early Character Concepts – Fuse