Friday, April 27, 2012

Magicka update!

If you read my Twitter, you pretty much already know the gist of this post.

So, I saw Steam download a relatively small update for Magicka a couple days ago.  Naturally I was intrigued since we were due a big bugfix update sometime mid-February, but mid-February came and went, and no update.

I click the handy "View News" link from the update and see that according to the notes, it's just adding the Reddit Robe.  Okay, a robe as a free update instead of $1-$3 DLC, that's nice, but it made absolutely no mention of the one thing that I and everyone else who has the game had been waiting for for quite some time now: the fix to the achievement "Banisher of Horrors".

Ever since the release of Magicka: The Stars Are Left, it was broken.  It would not log progress.  People did tests, basically standing in the room of the third chapter that spawns endless enemies, just repeatedly killing them for upwards of half an hour.  No achievement.

So, I cut my losses and fire up Magicka to check out the new robe.  It turns out the items it comes with are pretty neat.  The sword applies random effects like water, frost, poison, arcane damage, and possibly more to enemies, sometimes two at once (so you can insta-freeze people at random).  The staff will cast a spell with whatever elements you have available (well, in the Outsmouth challenge, at least), but it tends to bias towards mines, and if both shield and arcane are available that's pretty much all you get.  In an environment where all elements are available, it only lays mines.  I tried walking over them with various elemental shields on but couldn't quite figure them out, so my guess is they have a combination of elements.  Also occasionally it will throw out healing mines.

After playing around with that robe for a while, I exited the game and went about my business.  I actually went and got some sleep.  When I came back to my computer, I took a look at the Steam forum for Magicka, and someone made a fairly vague post that could possibly be interpreted to mean that Banisher of Horrors was fixed.  So, I fired up Magicka again to go check.

Get into Chapter 3 of The Stars Are Left, head on into the infinite enemy room, and kill an enemy...

Achievement Progress: Banisher of Horrors (1/1000).


I proceeded to stay there and get into a rhythm of casting spells that would kill the enemies before they got to me.  Which is made more difficult by the Shoggoth that spawns initially.  Once it's down, the rhythm is fairly simple.  Toss shield, two lightning, and two frost onto your sword.  Then stand right between the first two archways where the enemies come out.  Doing this will make them only come out of those two archways.  Swing the sword to cast the spell into one of the archways, then re-cast it for the other archway.  The frost will slow them down, letting the lightning fry them.  Keep both of them active at all times.  This is made more difficult by the camera movement, which tends to move just before you're about to swing your sword.

It really doesn't take very long once you get into the proper rhythm.  After a few fumbles I settled in and got it within about 15 or 20 minutes.  It gets a bit tiring constantly re-casting the same spell over and over again, but if you're like me and you had just that achievement left for 100%, well, you're going to have to do it one way or another.

Strangely enough, even though the Outsmouth challenge spawns the correct enemies to be killing for the achievement, it doesn't progress there...  Even though it would have taken longer, I think I would have preferred to at least get some of the progress done there, just because that challenge is so much fun.  Magicka needs more challenges that restrict the elements you have available at any given time.  It really forces you to think, since you won't always be able to rely on your standard repertoire of spells that you know and love, or for that matter, magick spam.  The Outsmouth challenge was how I discovered the awesome lightning(x2)-fire(x2) staff cast combination.  Lightning jumps between enemies dealing damage, and they all get set on fire.  It's great for running laps around the house in the middle playing keep-away from things.  Anyway.

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