Weekend Flash Fun
April 5, 2014 6:41 AM   Subscribe

Remember Gemcraft? Or perhaps Gemcraft Chapter 0 or Gemcraft Labyrinth? Well after a characteristically long wait Gemcraft 2 has finally arrived. (Previously 1 2 3)
posted by Proofs and Refutations (33 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
There goes my week.
posted by kyrademon at 6:44 AM on April 5, 2014 [3 favorites]

posted by josher71 at 6:45 AM on April 5, 2014 [3 favorites]

posted by Faint of Butt at 6:52 AM on April 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by and they trembled before her fury at 6:56 AM on April 5, 2014

Hey and my boss thinks I'm in seminars all this week so
posted by shakespeherian at 7:02 AM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm so terrified this is not going to live up to the wait. But... must try.
posted by Sequence at 7:06 AM on April 5, 2014

Wait, do I need to pay for these random bits of in-game content? Paying for endurance mode? wtf?
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 7:06 AM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Damn you, and just after I discovered 2048. I have grad school to finish!
posted by X-Himy at 7:12 AM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

I did not need to know about this. Oh no.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:16 AM on April 5, 2014

Oh good, I can't play it on my phone! Maybe I will manage to get work done.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:18 AM on April 5, 2014

Remember Bullfrog's Gene Wars?
posted by grobstein at 7:24 AM on April 5, 2014

I can't actually start until after I finish some stuff this morning or I won't finish it, but how much is the pay content?
posted by Sequence at 7:55 AM on April 5, 2014

posted by The Whelk at 8:00 AM on April 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

This is bad news for my parenting and marriage.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:01 AM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

"This trait is only available if you click the Magician's Pouch. Click to purchase!"
"Magician's Pouch: Extra modes, skills, traits, levels, and more!!: $4.99"

Not complaining, game developer's gotta get paid. And it looks like this purchase just makes the grind faster (edit: no, there's more). Just never seen the Armor Games store before.
posted by Nelson at 8:02 AM on April 5, 2014

The first few comments of this thread are an exact representation of what went through my head when reading this post. Now, to just find a gaming site that isn't blocked at work, c'mon Canada and Australia!
posted by carsonb at 8:10 AM on April 5, 2014

Wait, do I need to pay for these random bits of in-game content? Paying for endurance mode? wtf?

It looks like it's just one purchase for all the unlocks.

Gemcraft Labyrinth also had a "buy the game to unlock bonus modes" but it was a long way further down the chain.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:48 AM on April 5, 2014

It looks like it's just one purchase for all the unlocks.

Except for the -- ugh -- "get more shadow cores" currency.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:02 AM on April 5, 2014

I played through the first six fields (the initial hex) and the game is definitely fun. Feels just like the Gemcraft of yore, only with more level-up RPG stuff and maps added. I'm not sure the core TD game has changed much, it feels the same as I remember the previous ones.

The $5 "Magician's Pouch" is basically asking you to pay once to unlock the full game. What's weird is you're introduced to it after the first tutorial level, when you're supposed to select a skill. But the only skill available is behind that paywall, so it felt a bit clumsy. You unlock other skills on various maps, although some are only available with the purchase.

Shadow Cores are the grindable currency you need to upgrade some stuff. You can pay $1 for 4000, or I "earned" about 20 after playing for an hour. In general I'm OK with "pay to skip grind" mechanics except when the discrepancy is that enormous. Maybe shadow core income goes up.

I love Gemcraft because it scratches my "zero player game" itch. Games that are fun to play but don't require much interaction. Basically my ideal game is I buy and place gems once, then sit back and watch the game play itself. You can't quite do that because of the mana mechanic, but I'm still satisfied with how passive and yet entertaining the game is.
posted by Nelson at 9:13 AM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

I want to wait until this game comes out on Kongregate because I'm pretty sure it's going to get some badges, but I want to play this now. Does anyone know if I can transfer the game save over to the Kongregate version if it ever comes out?
posted by cyberscythe at 11:07 AM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

This has also been "green lit" on Steam.
posted by rustcrumb at 11:39 AM on April 5, 2014

This happens to all sorts of indie game sequels. A fun and simple concept is run into the ground with overly complex RPG leveling systems and a terrible story. And let's not forget freemium currency!
posted by painquale at 12:08 PM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

To answer my own question, I think I found a way to transfer the Armor Games save file and make it usable in Kongregate.
C:\Users\YOUR WINDOWS USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\FlashPlayer\#SharedObjects\SOME RANDOM LETTERS AND NUMBERS\

There should be two folders, one named chat.kongregate.com and one named armorgames.com or a different website you played it on

Go to the armorgames.com one and copy BOTH giabGencraftPreferences.sol and giabGemCraftSaveData.sol over to the chat.kongregate.com. Overwrite any existing data there.
posted by cyberscythe at 12:27 PM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is bad news for my parenting and marriage.

What she said.
posted by altolinguistic at 1:17 PM on April 5, 2014

posted by anotherpanacea at 3:38 PM on April 5, 2014

First read it was "Weekend Slash Fun"; I know I am in the vanishing minority in being disappointed.

Have fun, y'all!
posted by allthinky at 3:42 PM on April 5, 2014

posted by persona at 4:01 PM on April 5, 2014

Just made it to Wizard level 22. Been having fun with it, but the difficulty leaves MUCH to be desired, and the freemium nags are extremely disappointing. It seems that if I wanted a challenging experience I would have to pay to "unlock" it? Pass. That kind of freemium squeeze really rubs me the wrong way. Feels like a bait-and-switch.
posted by tybeet at 2:15 PM on April 6, 2014

I've been playing for a few hours, here's what I've found:

Transferring Your Save -- you can create an ArmorGames account to back up your save online. Not sure if this will eventually let you transfer your progress to Kongregate or Steam eventually.

Shadow Cores -- Early in the game I seem to get at least 3-5 cores per level just as random drops from enemies. "Apparition" and "Spectre" enemies seem to drop 12-20 cores, so pay attention for black flickering at the edges of the screen. You can click on things to force your towers to attack them, which is really useful when you need to take down one a special enemy. I'm not 100% sure, but it seems like spending shadow cores on battle traits increases the frequency of these enemies as well, sometimes I will even get two in a battle.

Battle Traits -- It appears that you only pay Shadow Cores for these if you win the map, so there's no penalty for losing. Very nice. I've found it very useful to power-up by going back to earlier maps and playing them with 4-5 traits, so get a better XP max.

Compass -- These appear in some levels randomly, like E3, near the lower right corner. They do appear in map previews, and you can click them to change the direction they point once you are in the map. No idea what these are for, yet.
posted by rustcrumb at 10:01 PM on April 6, 2014

Also, for those finding things too easy, you can gem bomb the enemy waves in the track on the left-hand side. It angers the wave, creating more enemies and tougher enemies; by doing this you can tailor your difficulty very precisely. I find myself playing every map riding a fine line of "things are just slightly below maximum" and "I have made a terrible mistake."
posted by cyberscythe at 8:28 AM on April 7, 2014

I seem to be stuck; I can't push the frontier of my map any further because I don't have enough mana at the start of the maps. I've upgraded all the talismans fragments and I've got all my skills at level 7.

Basically, I haven't made any progress since I got "Freeze." I'm trapped by M1, I6, H5, and E6.

Any suggestions? (short of buying the Magician's pack; I'm hoping to buy the game on Steam and avoid paying twice.)
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:57 AM on April 7, 2014

Try unlearning skills? Unspent skill points give you 7 starting mana each. (I only know this because I happened to see it in the tutorial phase...)
posted by Nelson at 10:04 AM on April 7, 2014

That was it!
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:38 AM on April 7, 2014

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