Category Archives: Game Reviews

Warhammer: Chaosbane – A Review

Surprisingly, in the universe of Warhammer, there aren’t many real-time action isometric or 2.5D role-playing games. There is Inquisitor and there is Chaosbane. To summarize, Chaosbane released in 2019 is a casual aRPG, very accessible to players who are new to this genre, and very easy to pick up. Just that, you shouldn’t expect Chaosbane to be on par with other mainstream aRPG such as Diablo 3. The storytelling is basic. Voice acting has its hits and misses. Maps and enemy types are limited. But what I really like is the multi-stage boss fight that is epic and fair. The combat is fluid. Last, but not the least, you wouldn’t need to invest a lot of time to progress well in this game.

Chaosbane has a total of six classes. All gender locked. One is available as a DLC. You start with a story mode. Act one to four and act six are included in the base game while act five is a DLC.

Like Diablo 3, you can pick a difficulty that suits your current progress. The higher the difficulty, the better the rewards in terms of loot quality, gold, fragments, and experience point.

Chaosbane supports different tiers of gears. The approach to set gear is rather refreshing. The more set items you collect, the better the single effect. Higher-tier gears do have special benefits as well. Overall, it is uncomplicated and new player friendly.

There isn’t crafting per se. But you can bless your items by utilizing your fragments and currencies. There is a randomness to the outcome and that is probably one of the reasons to keep you playing the game, collect more of the same item for random blessing.

What is most refreshing about Chaosbane is their approach to skill tree and god skill tree, the latter can be unlocked through a DLC, and to me, it is almost a must-have. Each skill has three tiers. Each tier may have different effects and potency. To equip the skills, you need to work within the finite skill points and skill slots you have. There are trade-offs to be made to equip skills with the relevant rank in creating a build of your own. For example, you can’t have all the skills at the max rank of three. You can however hunt for gears that allow you to equip certain skills at no cost.

Like Diablo 3’s paragon system, Chaosbane has a legendary ranking mechanism. Experience points earned after the level cap contribute to the legendary rank. You can further boost your offense and or defense through legendary ranks. Again, trade-offs are to be made and the legendary ranking in Chaosbane is slightly more in-depth compared to Diablo 3’s paragon system.

Story mode is just one of the game modes of Chaosbane. There is a game mode called Towers of Chaos whereby each floor has a specific objective. The difficulty escalates as you progress through the floors. So are the rewards. At some points, you would have to decide if you want to keep going or take the profit and end the game. Once you open the chest upon completing the objective on any given floor, the game ends. If you fail to complete the objective, you would lose the chest.

Another game mode is called Boss Rush. You can pick any of the bosses from the story mode and repeat the experience of taking them down without having to go through all the leading storylines and quests. You may augment the difficulty level for better rewards by picking up to four hazards. Obviously, the number of bosses is limited. And tackling a boss at a higher difficulty can take a much longer time.

There is also a game mode called Relic Hunts. Like Boss Run, you may augment the difficulty level by picking up to four hazards. You may upgrade Relic Hunts with relics for better rewards. It is basically a game of clearing up the trash mobs and down the boss in the end. Kill streaks are the key factors to determine how much loot you would get at the end of the run.

Last but not least, Invasions is another game mode that allows you to transverse through the map and reap certain rewards such as stats, passives, and specific gear according to the map layout. There are many missions within the Invasions. And every time you change the rank, you would need to start all over again.

In conclusion, if you like the Warhammer universe and need more depth to any given game, play Inquisitor Martyr. If you are new to the genre or in between games like I do waiting for Diablo 4 to launch, Chaosbane is a good option.

Diablo 4 Open Beta Early Access – An Afterthought with Concern and Hope

How time flies is an understatement. A little over 11 years ago, I have participated in the Diablo 3 beta. Last weekend, I played the open beta early access. I would like to share with you my afterthought. The beta weekend has its ups and downs. I will address my concerns first and end this on a good note with things that I like.

My beloved Sorceror

D3 Beta (2011) versus D4 Beta (2023)

If I were to compare D3 and D4 beta experiences, I would say D3 beta was more polished and it ended with little difficulty in taking down Butcher in act 1. I bet a lot of you had a very positive experience with D3 beta and that could explain the commercial success of its launch. D3 beta had demonstrated a huge step forward from D2. Not only graphically speaking, but also combat-wise, how we interacted with the environment and solid storytelling with iconic characters we cared about.

D4 beta shows us another step forward from D3, but it is more like a refinement of what we have today, and I will go over the key points in just a moment. D4 beta probably has left us with more questions and concerns on one hand and perhaps, the anticipation of how well it may turn out on the other hand. Some of you may take a more wait-and-see approach. Some of you may be very excited about the upcoming June 6th release.

Server Availability & Latency

For those who have prepurchased the game and joined the open beta early access, you may have encountered a long queuing time and felt frustrated. But that is the least of my concern because I am sure Blizzard will iron it out. My main concern is latency and Internet Service Provider (ISP) specific issues one may face.

Over the beta weekend, I was at my friend’s place wanting to play Diablo 4 and my friend is using SingTel, the major service provider here in Singapore. The latency was so bad that it was unplayable. At my home when using Viewqwest as the ISP, the gameplay was smooth. Some friends of mine who had encountered the same issue had to use mobile data to play the game! This is one area of concern of course because it is not that easy to switch ISP just to play an online game.

Even when the game is playable, I am experiencing stuttering and rubberbanding. D4 doesn’t play as smoothly as D3. I don’t think this is a frame rate issue. My frame rate fluctuates but most of the time, it is above 60. I am using a gaming laptop with a 3070 graphic card. I reckon the stuttering was due to a latency spike as I sometimes saw latency changing from 100 to more than 1,000 and back to 100 in a short duration.

Right now when I play D3, I am using the Australian gateway for more consistent latency. I am not sure if D4 has a similar setup.

Also, I won’t be surprised if D4 will have weekly server maintenance, one of the very few aRPG that still uses such a dated technology.

The Open World and The MMO Aspect

One major difference between D3 and D4 is that D4 has an open-world concept. The map is huge. D4 plays like a proper RPG. Actually, the scale of D4’s open-world reminds me of Grim Dawn. However, I must say, D4 open world feels a little bit empty. The environment looks rather generic and the mob groups are far and spread out. It reminds me of Wolcen early access, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

For those who are used to World of Warcraft, to see D4 turned somewhat into an MMO could be a welcoming change. For those who play exclusively the Diablo franchise and prefer to play alone, you may feel the opposite. As a fan of Marvel Heroes, I think an MMO aRPG when done right can be really fun. For Marvel Heroes, the story maps were not that huge. It was easy to encounter other players to complete the story objectives. There were special instances or dungeons that encouraged MMO play. “World Bosses” were spawned very often with map markers to draw people onto the same “hot zones”. In contrast to what I see in D4, D4 is a half-hearted approach to MMO. I doubt players would purposely stay in one open-world zone just to farm events, like back in Marvel Heroes’ days. At least I do not see that happening during open beta.

The Skill Tree & Respec

D4 sees a return to the concept of the skill tree, very much like the Dragonflight expansion of World of Warcraft. The skill tree seems pretty linear with main skills that can be unlocked through main nodes augmented by another fixed node and another node that you can choose between two options. That to me is a step down from the D3 rune design whereby we can have more than one variant for the same skill picked. D4 skill tree allows us to make one skill more powerful than others by investing more points in it. Also, we can pick up certain passive nodes with a trade-off against active skills. That is probably one of the minor improvements over D3.

My D4 sorcerer plays similarly to my D3 wizard, which I don’t know if that is a good thing or not. I teleport. I use hydras. And there is an armor skill. I have one basic skill to generate mana. And I use meteor. D4 is indeed a D3 upgrade. Nothing evolutionary. Having said that, I do look forward to playing Druid.

I am hoping that D4 doesn’t box me into a particular build like D3 does with set bonuses. And end-game itemization would open up more build options, especially for those who are not chasing the S-tier builds, like myself.

Respec now costs gold. It doesn’t come free like D3 or WoW. Only time will tell if it is as nominal as Grim Dawn or as expensive as Path of Exile. I am for the freedom to experiment and not to rely on cookie-cutter builds. I think Warhammer 40,000 Inquisitor has the best balance on respec. It only requires you to speed time playing the game and you can earn 1 respec token every hour.

So what does it mean now that D4 respec requires gold? It will limit the freedom of build experimentation but that would mean nothing if there aren’t enough viable builds like Warhammer. Take D3 as an example, we are free to change our builds. But most would follow a cookie-cutter build at the end game and we can count the number of viable builds per class with less than 10 fingers.

By the look of it, we will not be able to switch between speed farming build versus hard content push build like in Diablo 3 through the Armory. At the end game, we would likely stick with what we have in D4. Again, my speculation. Only time will tell.

The Story

I must admit, the story of D4 hasn’t quite grown on me as D3 did. Leah, Deckard Cain, and Tyrael, characters of D3 act one instantly hooked me in. I genuinely wanted to help Deckard Cain, care for Leah, and be curious about Tyrael.

For D4, we have Lilith and Inarius, and their firstborn Rathma. The story doesn’t have that hook effect like D3. I must say, as the story unfolds, I wish D4 offers me the option for an alliance with Lilith or Inarius, very much like how Horde and Alliance work in World of Warcraft and let my action changes the course of the story. I haven’t seen the rest of the story. I highly doubt my wish would be granted.

The Graphics

Without a doubt, D4 graphics looks awesome compared to D3. After all, they are 11 years apart. I wouldn’t say though, D4 graphics are ahead of modern-day aRPG’s. But I welcome the upgrade.

The Game Pace and Difficulty

It is hard to tell what the game pace would be by looking at the open beta. My gut feeling tells me that the D4 game pace is slower than D3 and other popular aRPG. The first 20 levels feel slow playing at veteran difficulty, one above the easiest option. The gears often dropped at 10 levels below my character and don’t seem to make my character much stronger relative to the difficulty level. D4 is more difficult than D3 and this manifested in boss fights.

Boss Fight, Evade, and Active Use of Health Globe

I enjoy the multi-stage boss fight, though I think it is a bit too difficult and a bit too unfair to melee classes like Barbarian. I play the Sorceror and like the early days of D3, it is back to kitting and passive damage. I wouldn’t want to stop and deal active damage. My character would be dead by then.

Unique to D4 and common to other aRPG, there is an ability to actively dodge or evade an incoming attack on top of other movement skills you may have. This soul-like gameplay may take a bit of getting used to but I think it is good in the long run.

I also like the active use of health globes. Unlike D3 whereby health globes are automatically used to replenish health even at full health. In D4, you have a limited time to decide if you should use the health globe to refill your potions. On difficult encounters, I would want to pace out the consumption of time-limit health globes with my potion usage. There is a bit of risk and return and I like it.

What I don’t like is to get one shot or two shots by a boss spawn that I could do nothing against it. D4 can be frustrating. Again, that reminds me of Wolcen and I sincerely hope that D4 will not turn into another Wolcen.


In conclusion, I don’t regret prepurchasing the game, though it is one really expensive game. By the look of it, given what I see on the scale of the beta, I would most likely have a good time completing the story and the side quests. Will I play D4 as much as I do with D3? Only time will tell.

Thanks for tuning in. I will make more D4 videos when the game officially launches this year, June 6th. I’ll see you in hell or heaven or wherever the D4 story will bring. Ciao.

World of Warcraft Dragonflight – A Casual Review

In this blog post, I would like to share with you my casual rating on the various aspects of Dragonflight based on my initial month of playing the game. After all, I have to pay US$14.99 a month to continue playing. So one month is a good time to evaluate the expansion. And as I said, I am a casual player. Our views may vary. And if you are into watching a video review instead, below is the clip.

Now, 28 hours of gameplay on the latest expansion Dragonflight is not considered as long for a huge MMORPG like World of Warcraft. Previously, I have sunk in more than six thousand hours playing up to Cataclysm in the year 2010. I have left the game for around 10 years but I have made a promise in the past that I would return to WoW when Blizzard releases a new class and a new race. Dragonflight has Dracthyr – a new dragon race that offers one new class, the Evoker. Hence, I am back!

Dracthyr the New Race ❤️❤️❤️❤️🤍

I like the deep level of customization on both the dragon form and its visage. I also like the auto-switching between the two forms. I don’t really like the genderless design of the dragon form but I can live with that. Hoovering by jumping is fun though at times during solo combat, it may get me into trouble as I launch ahead and aggro other groups. I can fly for short distances too. I just don’t like the long cooldown. It feels too restrictive.

Evoker the New Class ❤️❤️❤️🤍🤍

I don’t really like the Devastation DPS specialization. The whole hoovering mechanism in dealing damage while moving doesn’t quite work for solo gameplay as I tend to aggro other groups. I do like the Preservation healing specialization. I have played all healer specializations in the game. Preservation Evoker brings something unique to the table. Strong in AoE heal in a tight area with good mobility. But I find myself struggling when the group is spread out or I need to perform a single target or burst heal.

Dragon Isles Storyline and Questing ❤️🤍🤍🤍🤍

One of my least favorite aspects of WoW is questing. It generally breaks down into a few board types: kill something, fetch something or rescue someone, go talk to somebody, or listen to a story. I have leveled to the max mostly through playing the dungeons. I know I have missed out on a lot of progress. I think questing is bearable when in a group. But soloing is boring. The cut scene though is rather nice. Unfortunately, I don’t get much of the story at all.

Dragonriding ❤️❤️🤍🤍🤍

Compared to ground mounts whereby I often see the game designers restricting freeform flying on new zones till late game, dragonriding does give options for traveling within Dragon Isles. The cooldown required for the dragon to recuperate “vigor” does mean I would be doing something else like watching a Netflix video while waiting. I know the experience can be improved by discovering and earning Dragon Glyphs. I just wish there is a better way to track my progress besides having to install a third-party mod.

5-People Dungeons ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I absolutely love playing in the dungeons. While the dungeons are the same, each group is different due to the different class combinations and players’ experience of the dungeon, gear maturity, and skill. Most groups are quiet, just down to business. Occasionally, I do encounter some great groups that have nice and fun people.

Trading Posts ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

One of the new features being added to the game is called Trading Posts. It provides a means to earn cosmetic rewards with the inventory refreshed every month. You can lock one item to be purchased next month if you don’t have enough points or trading tenders. From my experience so far, it is doable even when I don’t have friends or a guild in this game anymore. It compels me to log into the game every month.

February’s reward is a beautiful tiger mount called Ash’adar. You can also spend the trading points earned this month to purchase the Celestial Steed, which I have purchased with money in the past. In a way, even when I don’t really spend that many hours playing the game each month, I would not feel that my subscription is completely wasted.

Moving Forward

I have committed to a six months plan so I will hang around for a while and will do another checkpoint later in the year. Stay tuned! And thanks for watching.

Chronicon Guides

Similar to my good old Marvel Heroes days, I am keeping track of all the useful guides in one place. Feel free to check them out as you progress in the game. Since I have just started making guides for this game, the content is less at present. But it will get built up over time.

Endgame Build Guides

General Guides

This game is the most fun aRPG I have played in past decades!

My Marvel Heroes Videos

IMPORTANT NOTICE Jan 25, 2017 – Due to patch 2.0 “The Biggest Update Ever”, I have opened up a new chapter and have started updating my video guides on YouTube.

  • CLICK HERE for the latest guides

Marvel Heroes 2016

One of my all time passion is video gaming. I have a wonderful dad who back in the early eighties bought a personal computer for me, played video games with me, and wrote computer programs (more like copy and paste from magazines) with me.

One of the games I often play recently is Marvel Heroes. Here is my playlist. It is a fun game and I have started populating my YouTube channel with content from Marvel Heroes. Now, YouTube does not seem to be that great when it comes to organizing videos. Hence, what I wish to do is to list down my major videos by category. And I will update this page as and when I publish videos. Click a button below to begin.

New Player GuideGame GuideHero GuideMisc

New Player Guide

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Game Guide

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Hero & Team-up Guide


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