Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dynasty Warriors 8 (PS3) - Game Save Now Available that Removes Affinity from All Weapons!


I have gotten some attention regarding the post "How to Disable the Affinity System in Dynasty Warriors 8 (Playstation 3)" and its subsequent follow-ups. For some, the idea seemed brilliant: finally be able to rid of that irritating weapon affinity system in its entirety with little to no side effects, playing the game once again like its Dynasty Warriors 7 and past days.

However, many aren't that keen on doing the required manual tasks themselves, including transferring their saves to their PC, using software to modify hex values, yada yada. For some, it may require too much brain power and work, even though it probably would take an average person less than 5-10 minutes total to accomplish... But still, I understand completely, really...

Well, what if I told you that you didn't have to do any work at all, or very little to get this experience? Well now, as a few have requested, I am providing a game save that already removes all affinity from every weapon in the game. That's right, just download the save for your correct region, transfer it to your PS3, then enjoy Dynasty Warriors 8 the way it should have been (if you aren't catching up this point, hint: I despise the affinity system like a lot of people).

DOWNLOAD: US | EU | JPN

There are some caveats to this save, however. All weapons will have the same elements (in the save, the elements for every weapon will be Cyclone lv. 5, Slash lv. 10, Thunder lv. 10, Velocity lv. 10, Flurry lv. 10, Thorns lv. 10). In addition, any new weapons you obtain will not be granted the no affinity effect.

To get around this, you will need to refer to this post for details on how to reapply no affinity to newly obtained weapons and change weapon elements and their levels (YES, THIS WILL REQUIRE SOME MANUAL WORK!).

Also, if you want to be able to save any new progress, you must resign the save too. Refer to the Playstation 3 Save Resign Tutorial.

Have fun, and let's hope Dynasty Warriors 9 will not have the less than stellar weapon affinity system!

Below is an extended gameplay demo of the modification:


BTW, if you are wondering what music that's playing in the background in the above video, it's a song I created myself—for fun and because I was tired of getting copyright claims on every video I put music to. I call it "Pink Sky" and you can download the song here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/66210285/Pink%20Sky.mp3

Oh, about the beautiful cosplay photo that doesn't have anything to do with this post other than being DW8? That's just there to get your attention, duh!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires - How to Individually Change Any Character's Stats (PS3 Mod) and Some Codes



Recently, I've been experimenting with individually altering character stats in saved games on Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires for the Playstation 3 and have been fortunately successful doing so.

One dominant reason which resulted in me ensuing this was so I could lower my controlled character's stats and raise enemy officer stats (particularly attack, health and defense), enabling lengthier combos as officers tends to be annihilated a bit too quickly for my liking. Of course, one could easily reverse that and raise their own character stats to abnormal amounts and the enemy to nothing. Personal choice is a wonderful thing, ain't it?

Anyway, that's probably not important to you—you want to just know how to change a character's stats to anything you want, correct? Well, I'll show you how!

First things first, you'll need the obligatory and rehashed on this blog Bruteforce Save Data. Be sure to download the latest version and update the database pronto (also, run the program as an administrator). I assume you already know how to use Bruteforce Save Data, but if you happen to not, read up a bit on it here and here.

Second, you'll need a save game present on Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires to modify. No, I'm not talking about system data (which cannot be decrypted at the time being), but a save game such as an Empire Mode save and quick save.

Pick the game save you want to use and open it with Bruteforce Save Data, decrypt it and open it with HxD as usual.

You first need to pick the character you want stats changed, taking note of that character's current stats.

In this tutorial, I will change my controlled character's stats (ruler). You can choose any character you wish, as long as that character is present in your current game and you can view their stats.

The first important thing is to view the character's current stats and convert them to hex.

IMPORTANT: You must remove all of your character's item equipments (if you are using any) for this to work. You can re-equip them after you are done changing the stats. Weapons and mounts can be left alone. This only applies to characters you control.

Here is a screenshot of my ruler's stats:

Excuse the Japanese. English version will have no difference aside from language.
Convert the first four stat numbers to hex using this online tool. Four should be sufficient to isolate the specific character and anything less you'll run into the possibility of editing the wrong character.

In my instance, health (520) would be 208, attack (410) would be 19A, defense (550) would be 226 and leadership (510) 1FE.

Put them together IN ORDER and you will get: 208 19A 226 1FE

Now you would think that the hex above would be enough to search out in HxD and change, right? WRONG. This is because KOEI is swapping the hex in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires. If I searched 208 19A 226 1FE I would never find anything or anything relevant to the actual stat location.

First, if any of your pair of hex are three digits, you will need to prefix a 0 to each one, such as: 0208 019A 0226 01FE

Two digits, you will need to prefix a 00. One digit prefix a 000. Four digits, do not prefix anything. The rule is to keep all pairs of hex four digits.

What you have to do now is to swap the hex. So 0208 019A 0226 01FE = 0802 9A01 2602 FE01.

Notice how the first two digits and last two digits of each pair of hex are swapped around. You must do this for all pairs of hex.

Example again:
0208 > 0802
019A > 9A01
0226 > 2602
01FE > FE01

Now with that hex swapped, you can finally search it using HxD and start changing values.


This is what the search results leads to, spot on!
And here is a general idea of which pair of hex correlates to which stat:


But remember, you have to input your new desired hex swapped as well. So if I wanted 1000 for health, attack, defense and leadership, the hex will be E803 E803 E803 E803 (and not 03E8 03E8 03E8 03E8).

Results of change. Red indicates altered values.
Once you are done, encrypt the game save and presto! You've changed your character's stats! Best of all, it doesn't affect any other character other than the one you changed.

SATISFACTORY!
Tip: Once you have obtain the offsets for a certain character's stats, you can reuse those offsets again next time in any game (even a different one from the the one you modified) without redoing all the stats to hex conversion above.

You can also change your materials, money and unit likely in the same manner.

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at: rubypeace13@gmail.com.

Have fun!

P.S: Want to completely destroy your game and possibly have KOEI coming after your ass? Try these easy to use codes (WORKS ON NTSC/EU VERSIONS ONLY):

[All Characters Max Stats (Except Speed)]
4203F63A 9F860100
43A6005C 00000000
4203F64E E803E803
43A6005C 00000000
4203F652 E803E803
43A6005C 00000000

[All Characters - Max Aptitudes]
4203F65A 64646464
43A6005C 00000000


[Max Matterials 999999]
42005BF4 905F0100
402800E4 00000000

[Max Money 999999]
42005BF8 9F860100
402800E4 00000000

[Max Unit 999999]
42005BFC 905F0100
402800E4 00000000

Monday, April 6, 2015

Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires - CAWs with Former Weapons Resembling Their Originals

Ever missed being able to use the older and original weapons including EXs and musous in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires on characters such as Wang Yi, Sun Quan, Lian Shi, etc?

Well, here's an interesting take on how to somewhat overcome that by a Japanese player—creating CAWs that basically resembles those characters and give them their original weapons.

By all means this is no work of art and the resemblance could be definitely better, but the idea is still cool and even somewhat funny. It can even be something to shut complaints a bit for not liking the altered weapons.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

YouTube: New "Recommended Videos to Watch from Others" Playlists on My Channel Starts Today!


Starting from today onwards, I'm going to attempt to hopefully help establish my channel more as a one stop place for significant games I've played and uploaded footage of, while giving back to other content creators. The first games that I'm tackling is of course the Warriors/Musou games.

So I have created new playlists for specific DW/SW/WO games that are labeled "Recommended Videos to Watch from Others". These playlists will contain videos (from friends and strangers) of that game that I recommend others to watch. 

You can now view these new playlists at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/user/wonderpierrot/playlists

What's the main point of this? Well... imagine this: various viewers continuously ask me to upload a video showcasing all musou attacks in a new Warriors games, or cutscenes, or whatever. Instead of giving into pointless labor and create such videos, I can simply redirect these viewers to existing videos that others have already created in my playlists, covering their wanted subjects and keeping them happy. IF such videos already exists.

My modus operandi has always been to create + upload what is necessary and avoid repeating what others have already done. If no one has done such a video yet, I will sometimes get out of my to try to be the first to get the video out. Nevertheless, videos that are not personally unique (i.e. videos that anyone can create and upload, such as cutscenes and musou compilations) are the bottom of the barrel for me in terms of priority—so I usually save these types of videos for last.

One of the reasons these playlists will be additionally helpful to me is because it gives me the chance to share videos I like and believe others would enjoy for that certain game.

In conclusion, everybody wins with these new playlists. I win, the viewers win and the content creators who I chose to have their videos featured in my playlists wins!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Code to Mass Remove Affinity from All Your Weapons in Dynasty Warriors 8 (Playstation 3) + Xtreme Legends Findings

GOODBYE WARNING SIGN! NO ONE IS GOING TO MISS YOU!
This is an update to the post - How to Disable Weapon Affinity in Dynasty Warriors 8 (Playstation 3).

I've created a code to now remove affinity from all weapons in your collection in Dynasty Warriors 8 for Playstation 3. Just simply decrypt your game save in Bruteforce, apply the cheat code, encrypt and you're now affinity free for all weapons that you currently own! No hex searching and editing required! Of course, you have to reapply the code when you obtain new weapons.

[Remove Affinity for All Weapons in Collection]
40015D43 000000FF
47260018 00000000


You can still manually remove affinity from specific weapons only by doing it the hex method, as described in the original post. This is just an easy way to get rid of affinity entirely with little work.

Remember, put Cyclone (a low to high level) as one of your elements on each weapon you decide to use without affinity.

You can use the following code to mass change all elements on all weapons in your collection:

[All Weapons Elements Change]
42015D45 0CXXXXXX
47260018 00000000
41015D49 0000XXXX
47260018 00000000


Replace each XX with your desired element. See the weapon modding guide for element values. First 0C is for Cyclone, I suggest you do not change it. 

[All Weapons Elements Level 10]
42015D4B 0A0A0A0A
47260018 00000000
41015D4F 00000A0A
47260018 00000000


Xtreme Legends Testing Results: Do not attempt this on Xtreme Legends for now. Removing affinity in Xtreme Legends will cause the game to freeze. The reasoning behind it is because Xtreme Legends added gray affinity, which equates to the game's new "no affinity". Unit Commanders are the only enemies you will see with gray affinities. Attempting to use gray affinity on your own weapons will cause the game to crash, with reasons only the game developer will know.

In the original version of Dynasty Warriors 8, there is no such thing as gray affinity and removing affinity will always result in your affinity being red (during battle). Even though red, you are still technically affinity free (and also freeze free).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires Review (Shin Sangoku Musou 7: Empires Review)


INTRODUCTION


In the world of video games, no company's zeal is as strong and evident as Omega Force and their Dynasty Warriors franchise, spawning eight major installments over sixteen years, and never ceasing to additionally release an expansion pack and a spinoff for each new numerical value.

The Empires games are standalone spinoffs of Dynasty Warriors that attempts to mesh together two very different game genres—the turned-based tactical strategic gameplay of KOEI's own Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and the fast paced hack and slash gameplay of Dynasty Warriors.

The results are not so much RoTK as it is Dynasty Warriors. At its heart, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires remains mostly true to its title, but the sufficient strategy element helps elevate the gameplay away from the games' criticized repetitive nature and lack of brain power to play. With its marked improvements to the already excellent Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires may just be the very best Empires game yet.
 

GAME MODES


EMPIRE MODE: The meat and bulk of Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires lies within Empire Mode, a name that's not alien to players who experienced other installments in the Empires series. It's basically your entry into the game's turned-based tactical strategy segment, spawning many historical and fictional scenarios to choose from, and largely mimicking KOEI's Romance of the Three Kingdoms games, albeit much less in-depth and dramatic.

Scenario selector and map of China showing divided forces
Your primary goal in any scenario is to conquer and unite all of China under your ruling, or under your ruler's ruling. Tackling such a titanic task requires you to defeat all your opposing enemies in battle, stealing their territories, and executing important strategies that ensures your forces are always victorious. Not only that, but you may be burdened the task of maintaining your land, people and kingdom; including ensuring imperative facilities are built, keeping material possessions high, recruiting officers, training your troops and either be an angel to keep your people and fellows happy or be a devil to make them despise your existence. All through one action at a time. Yes, this is game mostly based upon choice, after all...

When you first pick a scenario, you have the selective choice of being a ruler, general, strategist, viceroy, vagrant and others in any territories available from the initial map. These positions can be exchanged for another during your playthrough, such as a vagrant can become a ruler and a general can become a strategist, dependent on the choices you make during play and your status. A ruler has the highest authority of any person and carries all duties of the kingdom, having enough power to demand an opposing kingdom to outright surrender. A strategist is allowed to invoke certain strategy actions, such as recommending generals to the force, carrying out invasion/defense battles and building of facilities. A general can only partially assist their kingdom such as aiding them in battles, partaking in raids and tackling requests. A vagrant wanders China in search for a specific goal, perhaps to build their own kingdom or join another's. Vagrants are not held in any kind of peril as they are safe from any kind of enemy attack; however, that does not mean you should forever be a vagrant!


"Allow me to serve you, my lord."
Romance and friendship plays an important role in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires similarly to the previous installment, although it is quite a bit more amplified here. And before you shudder in fear of the thought, NO, this isn't one of those infamous Japanese date simulators and absolutely nothing like it.

Maintaining high levels of friendship with your forces and people (through discussions, aid and banquets) will keep them smiling and discourage them from revolting. Let's just say that if a revolt were to occur within your own forces, they will hastefully and forcefully attempt to overthrow you (and with your own stolen generals, as well). Certain characters such as Lu Bu, has a mighty tendency to revolt regardless of how friendly you are, so be aware that having the mightiest warrior in China on your side may not be such a brilliant idea.

Heterosexual marriages are offered much the same way as Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires; however, the game now allows you to have your own offspring, but regrettably only one. You and your spouse will have lovely, romantic conversations and events with each other until your child gets unleashed from the womb to the world. And you two become the happiest people in the planet, or do you?


"We're married and we're going to have a beautiful child, right?!!" - Lu Bu
"Um... not with those eyebrows." - Diao Chan
The problem with the game's offspring system is in its character generator—it just frankly generates fugly children no matter the mother and father. Sometimes children don't even look children, as some may have faces of a 70 year old man or woman. Some appear alienish with a head of a little boy or girl and a body of a grown adult. One thing is for certain however—Omega Force literally takes genes all too seriously, seriously... If the father has bushy eyebrows and small eyes, you can be damned guaranteed that child will have bushy eyebrows and small eyes too. If the mother wears red and certain clothes, do not be utterly shocked your child wears the same clothes in red. If the father wore blue and mother wears red, the child may come out with a clown looking wardrobe in terms of color consistency. In the world of China in Omega Force's eyes, I guess there are no such thing as good looking children...

Looks like Lizzie Velasquez may have some competition...
Thankfully, you can save your children from shameful disgrace by completely overhauling their face, body, clothes and voice after playthrough. Of course, you can always throw a mask over their face, that works eminently well too. Now I didn't realize ancient China had plastic surgery, but I can certainly assure you I don't wish to know how it's done, ever...

One of the most highly respectable changes to Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires is the elimination of the dreaded fluctuating fame system that plagued the otherwise excellent Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires. In its place is a more traditional leveling system which allows characters to level up to 99 and importantly maintain that level and its respective stats granted. The fame itself has now been pushed aside to simply display indication of how good or evil a person is, rather.

Characters each now have their own "Way of Life" appellation, which determines their learning stratagem, specific strategy actions, employment costs, virtue level and starting level. Characters you control start out as mere ordinary men/women, but can escalate themselves to have different Way of Lives, achievable by obtaining certain titles during playthrough. An interesting addition, however profoundly confusing from the get-go.

The store in the game no longer has its own area one can traverse in and graphically shop. It has been completely consolidated into strategy actions and this is a definite pro, as it saves the agony of having to constantly sit through loading screens in order to purchase something.


Purchasing items are now a breeze in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires
Store purchasable weapons, items and stratagems are unlocked exclusively through construction of different types of facilities, unlike Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires. Each territory allows two facilities to be constructed, and the more facilities that you build, the higher level they become, equating to more rewards. Facilities can also encourage and automatically develop more resources such as gold and troops, which is a blessing if you're the kind of person who prefers to just sit on your bum and watch the valuables pour in without doing any work.

Weapons are unfortunately preset, and the game provides zero customization including any kind of tempering, which is very disappointing given how the original and Xtreme Legends has always provided such a necessity. Regardless, elements aren't completely disgusting on high ranked weapons, as most provide at least velocity so you aren't torturing yourself too much.

During invasions, in contrast to regular Dynasty Warriors games, Empires differentiates during battles with one primary goal to victory—enemy base capturing followed by eventual defeating of the leading enemy officer. As usual, the general idea is to create a chain of allied bases between your main base and that of the enemy's, allowing you to take down the enemy's leading officer in the end (who appears at some point in-between).


ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!
When defending a territory, the objective remains the same with the variation in being that the battle can be won by simply allowing the timer to run out, while keeping your army bases in check. It's good to note that the timer has been reduced to a mere five minutes on defense battles instead of fifteen. Thus, defense battles aren't nearly as bothersome and annoying to deal with as in the past, especially when the enemy decides to be an ass and bombard you with invasions. Defense battles can furthermore be entirely avoided altogether during the strategy phase with the inclusion of being able to fix damaged territories after enemy invasion, albeit costing resources. You are allowed up to three disregarded enemy invasions (without fixes) to a territory before it ultimately crumbles and gets claimed.

A different type of optional battle, called raids, can be carried out by the player in any position. Raids allows you to launch an assault on a nearby enemy territory, with the goal being to damage it before the eventual invasion, granting you a positive handicap and allowing easier take down.

A new type of optional battle, called requests, are available that allows your character to accept and complete various battle requests given by officers within the vicinity of your territory. By completing requests, your character will earn assorted rewards including new weapons and items. Friendship levels with the giver are also raised as a reward.
These are small types of battles that only lasts for a few minutes with various objectives such as protecting an ally or defeating a number of enemy officers.
 
Overall, Empire Mode remains at large indifferent from Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires aside from the aforementioned changes. This is rather peculiar as there has always been a very stark difference jumping from one Empires game to another. Nevertheless, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires without a doubt does offer the very best Empire Mode yet in the series.

FREE MODE:
Free Mode has been a staple feature for all major Dynasty Warriors games, but it seems to be more often than not passed behind in the Empires series. The last Dynasty Warriors Empires game to include such a mode existed minutely in Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires, which was nearly eight years ago.

As a supporter of freedom and personalization in games (who wouldn't be?), I highly believe in the existence of a free mode for every type of Dynasty Warriors games, be it Empires or not. In Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires, I could sorrowfully complain about not being able to simply jump in a battle from the get-go with all my equipment unlocked, set up my own armies, selecting a stage, all without having to paddle through the tedious strategy phases of a regular game. In Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires, the same complaint cannot be held valid.


Free Mode is a mode you wish never left the series in the first place
Although the 8th Empires' Free Mode is pretty robust with all the aforementioned features included, it does have some rather pesky limitations and annoyances which mars it down a bit.

For one, individual characters on both armies cannot be assigned their own levels separately. Both your army and the opponent army must be grouped into a specific level each, and that level will be applied to all characters. Because of this vexing limitation, tailoring very specific handicaps and balances is out of the question. For those who likes a little gamble, there's also a random level you can opt into, but that clearly isn't recommended if you're sane.

Secondly, the game fails to remember any kind of equipment setup from previous playthroughs in Free Mode, unlike Empire Mode. Whenever you start a new battle through Free Mode, don't be surprised to be constantly hassled of reequipping your character his or her weapons, items and stratagems again and again; even if you used that character a thousand times previously.

Third, there's very little incentive to play Free Mode other than earning bonus points, experimentation, practice and some quick fun off of Empire Mode. The game does not keep track nor carry over character levels through playthroughs, so you're not going to be able to utilize the mode to develop characters. Sadly, you cannot gain weapons, items or stratagems either, as even if you did, they wouldn't be available to you at the end of the battle, anyway.

By all means, Free Mode is a wondrous and necessary supplement to the game and I'm dead glad Omega Force blessed us with one this time around. However, it clearly isn't wholly ripe yet and can certainly be improved easily through patch updates.

CHARACTER CREATION: It's blatantly apparent at this point that Omega Force isn't debating to entirely rework their character creation system that's been essentially copy pasted in the past multitude of recent Warriors titles. It's no stranger here that the character creator in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires feels and works virtually identical to the past installment, minus a few new parts such as hairstyles and clothing.


Cute, but I feel like this all too familiar before...
It isn't a new game if everything is exactly the same, nevertheless. Hence, several new features are introduced in the editor, including the ability to custom craft up your own flag, horse and even troops. Sadly, the vastly cool photo uploader is exclusively available for flags and isn't accessible at all for characters, unlike Samurai Warriors 4. So no, you can't draw a pretty face on your PC and slap it on as your character's portrait. Or an ugly face, if your character is ugly.

It's... like something straight off a HORROR film!
SCENARIO EDITOR: The Scenario Editor is a new and very welcomed feature in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires that gives you the choice of almost completely constructing a scenario the way you desire it to be. I say "almost", as besides from freely planting officers wherever you please, assigning them positions and colorizing your kingdoms, there's actually little else possible. You can exclude certain officers from appearing entirely in your scenario, such as excluding playable characters from the main cast or custom characters. You can additionally name your scenario and share it online with other fellow players.

This is not your dream scenario creator, but it's close...
If you dig the "Gathering of Heroes" scenario but don't appreciate its epic randomness, then Scenario Editor will most definitely usher a smile on your face. Still, some more finer customization would be appreciated, such as being able to set the year your scenario starts in (it always starts at year 1).

GAMEPLAY AND CHARACTERS


With any customary Dynasty Warriors game, you have at your playable arsenal characters ranging in the amounts of up to nearly a hundred. In an Empires games, that number (in which you already thought was impossible), jumps up to several hundred, literally. That's because Empires games allows you to additionally play as all generics (those boring spear, great sword and throwing knives officers which all look identical to one another), as well as your own custom created characters. Don't be fooled into attempting to play as a generic officer nevertheless, as their genericness implies, their movesets are a lot more limited in comparison to every other character.


Xun Yu looking BOSS
A brand new Wei officer and strategist Xun Yu is now available as an uniquely playable character, sporting a very traditional looking strategist uniform and wielding a totally new Taigong Wang-esque scepter as his primary weapon of choice.

Several existing characters from the main playable cast are also issued replacement weapons that are derived from previous DLC weapons, revamped with their own specialized EX attacks and musous. These include Wang Yi (Emei Piercers), Guan Suo (Sabaton), Sun Quan (Flame Blade), Yue Ying (Bladebow), Xiaoqiao (Paired Fans), Lianshi (Deer Horn Knives), Meng Huo (Stone Pillar), and let's not forget my personal favorite: Jackie Chan a.k.a Liu Shan (Dragon Stool).


And not a single F was given that day...
The replacement weapons will be a hate-it-or-love-it deal with fans, but I have to honestly admit that several of these weapons do actually fit the characters better. One in most particular being Wang Yi's Emei Piercers, which attacks' embodies a purely badass assassin and suits her cold and cruel nature way more so than the trishulas. On another note, I'm also not having to think of The Little Mermaid anymore every time I'm using her weapons, so that's another plus.

The vast majority of these weapons also incorporates their own entirely unique and interesting gimmicks, such as the harsh timing loaded charges of the Bladebow, heavily separating them from the rest of weapons (most of which are bare-bones).

In actual battles, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires adopts the Xerox gameplay and mechanics of Dynasty Warriors 8. Hence, aside from the addition of a few new weapons to slaughter with, you're not going to charge into battle and experience Dynasty Warriors 9. It wouldn't be called Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires then, would it?



Meanwhile, it isn't at all imperative to have played Dynasty Warriors as a prerequisite for playing Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires. The core gameplay of Dynasty Warriors is so easily accessible that a newcomer can quickly learn how to play through the game's battles in one sitting. The idea is exceptionally simple in a Dynasty Warriors battle—set up your equipment, ride into the battlefield and just slay thousands of enemies. Be careful though, as since this is a war battle simulator, you're going to have to watch out for your allies and ensure that important officers (like your commander) and your main base aren't stricken down by the enemy. Moreover, keep that morale bar up along with your troop counts, as that can often times decide how aggressive the enemy AI decides to pummel your army minions off screen.

New stratagems are plenty abundant in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires, featuring new grand scale stratagems that consumes time to execute but emphatically affects the entire battlefield, including those that engulfs the enemies in raining arrows, lightning strikes and mini-typhoons. Catapults and attack/defense towers can also be strategically placed nearly anywhere on the map, giving you a much more refined control of their usage. Certain stratagems can also instantly alter the weather, granting increased effectiveness on the effects of other stratagems when used in conjunction. That's right, you can play mother nature herself now in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires. How freaking cool is that? 


Stratagems lost its visual appeal but gains many more gameplay benefits
Most beneficially, stratagems are no longer fame exclusive (as the fame system has been thankfully abolished). Because of this, obtaining every stratagem in the game for usage in a battle is now possible, although you obviously won't be able to equip them all at once.

About the only downfall of Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires' stratagems is the total loss of its visual aesthetics when being executed. Sadly, you won't be receiving anymore of those epic close up shots of your characters prancing in front of a colorized electric field.
 
The game now allows you to upgrade your current bases prior to entering actual battle by utilizing resources you gained during playthrough. You can level up bases to help better protect them from downfall or transform them to other types of bases, such supply or defense bases. These aren't incredibly valuable however, as I have personally never bothered to upgrade or transform my bases and yet in every battle I was constantly on track of being victorious. You would literally have to be at a huge disadvantage and on the verge of losing at the get-go in order to resort to using this feature.

Overall, while the actual combat portion of Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires isn't any different from Dynasty Warriors 8, the amount of new weapons and added stratagems helps eliminate the dreaded feeling of playing the exact same game as before.


AI AND DIFFICULTY


Slap me on the head, throw a bucket of ice water on me and wake me up when Omega Force develops a Warriors games that implements a disparate form of AI than ones present in the past decade. Yep, there ain't no lying to anyone when I say the AI and overall difficulty of Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires remains very little different from past recent Dynasty Warriors games. To put it bluntly—mediocre AI, punishing damages.

The game is actually structured from Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends, and includes every little change introduced from that game, such as enemy officers switching affinity more often, affinity shield being more difficult to break, and tons and tons of various nerfs to all sorts of weapons.

For the difficulty lineup, the game has its usual affair of difficulties covering the whole spectrum from Novice all the way to Chaos. The Ultimate difficulty has been oddly removed, much to the same fashion as Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires. Fellow brave warriors should fear not though, as Chaos is more than ample enough challenging due to its very punishing enemy damage output. But like I indicated earlier, you shouldn't have to worry too much about the AI attempting to outsmart you on any difficulty.

I shall be the wise and say: never begin an Empire Mode scenario on a harder difficulty fresh out of the water, unless you are really inept and inclined on going on a suicide mission (seriously, those one hit K.O.s from normal difficulties are bad enough). That's why the game offers the ability to transfer all your weapons, items, stratagems and strategy actions that you've obtained during all your playthroughs to the next. These have to be purchased with bonus points you accumulate by playing the game, so unfortunately they aren't freebies. You also have the option of starting out at a specific level for your character and up to 50,000 starting materials, gold and troops. These are all great options that helps makes the game's difficulty and ease of play incredibly controllable.


GRAPHICS


What happens when you attempt to throw a hundred enemies on screen at once in a ginormous battlefield filled with scenery, have a playable character roam around it wherever he or she pleases, and add flashy effects and explosions everywhere? You get the graphics of Dynasty Warriors—which is somewhere in the very middle lines of photo-realism and Minecraft graphics. Truthfully, there are always limitations imposed on game developers considering the limits of gaming hardware. To say the game looks bad is an overstatement; however, to say the game looks good is an understatement. The game actually looks astonishingly pretty considering how much havoc wrecks the screen at any given time. The most jaw dropping graphics comes from the playable characters themselves, in which every little detail such as clothing texture can be discernible when up close.  

You  have to be lying to yourself if you don't think these graphics are pretty
You might expect low frame rates to be a devastating enemy to a game of this incredible nature, but it's hardly ever jerky enough to pass it off. The PS4 version of the game handles exceptionally well, with frame rates rarely ever dipping below 60fps regardless of what occurs on screen. The PS3 version occasionally has a few hiccup moments and isn't as buttery smooth as the PS4, but I dare challenge anyone to experience it and say it isn't completely playable in the end.

AUDIO AND MUSIC


Most would agree traditional Chinese music and rock music doesn't mix, and is the equivalent of meshing up Xbox fans with Playstation fans. But let's get real, what Omega Force has done with Dynasty Warriors music is simply remarkable and the epitome of genius. If every soldier and officer were all fighting to Dynasty Warriors soundtracks back in the Three Kingdoms era, their morale would skyrocket like a speeding rocket ship; China would then always be at a stalemate because nobody would ever best one another. That's how good the music is.

Regrettably, not a whole lot of new music are introduced in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires, and those that are new are more crafted to be mellow and soft for the strategy phases and meaningful events in the game.


REPLAYABILITY


As far as games go, I find myself constantly going back to Warriors games again and again. There isn't a mysterious poison that keeps me affixed to them, but rather the sheer fact that Warriors games are designed to always have replayability in them. Not just in minute quantities, but in large, excessive amounts.

Empires is no exception. Although the replayability is a wee tarnished due to the game's inability to maintain developed character levels and stats, it's replayability is still untarnished in other areas, including access to a crazy sized playable cast and multiple scenarios to clear. Moreover, no scenario is ever exactly the same every time you play through them due to the game's random nature. Upon adding the strategy elements that only the Empires games highly encompass, it might not be a stretch to call the replayability of Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires "unlimited".


CONCLUSION


The Empires games may not be suitable for everybody. For those who prefer to just carelessly lay back on the couch, shut half of their brain off, shed off pounds of stress and slay thousands of enemy fodder continuously, the original Dynasty Warriors flavor may be the better game for them.

For those who desire a little more thought and personalization in a Dynasty Warriors game however, there is absolutely nothing that offers better than Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires. 

Even if one so wishes to just play Dynasty Warriors for what it really is, you still can't go wrong with the game's non-strategic Free Mode, or downloading the equivalent free to play version. 

OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10  

 

Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires comes out February 24th for North America and 27th for Europe

Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires Written + Video Review Will Be Published Soon!


Hello! I'm currently in process of writing up and finishing my detailed written review for Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires, which will be published exclusively on this blog. The written review should be posted by the end of this week.

A video review may likely follow suit, but considering how much more time and effort it requires to make one, the video review may not be published until the end of January to midst of February.

I also like to announce that because of this, I will be on a short hiatus from posting any YouTube videos for the time being. Don't worry, I won't abandon you guys again!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to Disable the Affinity System in Dynasty Warriors 8 (Playstation 3)

Do you not like the weapon affinity system present in Dynasty Warriors 8? Well, there is now an easy way to totally annihilate it using the magic value of FF (we'll get onto that in a little bit). By removing it, the combat system essentially returns back to its former Dynasty Warriors 7 days, where you wouldn't have to worry about which affinity to use. Additionally, there would be no storm rush, no variable counter and most importantly, being able to stagger/hitstun every enemy officer in the game regardless of what affinity they have.

So how do you do it exactly? Well, it's actually nothing new at all. Remember when I wrote the weapon modding guide for Dynasty Warriors 8 a long time ago? Remember the part where you could change your weapon's affinity to Heaven, Earth and Man? If so, basically all you need to do is instead of choosing Heaven (00), Earth (01) or Man (02); you replace that value with FF. This renders the weapon in particular to have no affinity whatsoever. No affinity = no inferior or superior affinity to worry about.

CHANGE AFFINITY VALUE TO FF
If you don't understand what I just said, you should definitely read up on the weapon modding guide. It's not just for the sake of removing affinity, but for also learning how to mod your weapons and have full customization over them.

Regrettably, you can only remove affinity of weapons one at a time, or together as a batch work. There is currently no code yet to automatically remove affinity for all weapons in your possession. Hence, it does take an extra bit of work, but that bit of work may pay off extremely well for those interested.

1/25/2015 UPDATE: I created a code to automatically remove affinity all weapons in your collection, so you no longer have to resort to doing any hex editing. Just apply the cheat code to your Dynasty Warriors 8 game save on Bruteforce and you're affinity free!

[Remove Affinity for All Weapons in Collection]
40015D43 000000FF
47260018 00000000


On Dynasty Warriors 8 (non Xtreme Legends version), there is one side effect of removing affinity from your weapons. It will cause your weapons to do very little damage to enemy officers (on any difficulty). However, elemental and musou damage are not impacted. So if you use this, it's a MUST to put on your weapon a percentage damage element, preferably Cyclone. You can mass change all elements in your weapons by using the codes provided in this post.

I have tested this on the Playstation 3 version of Dynasty Warriors 8 for a few hours and it's fully functional. There are no game issues using it besides what is mentioned above. No crashes and no freezes. 

Doing this on Xtreme Legends is not recommended due to frequent game freezes. Read this updated post for more information on why.

Below is a small demo video of removing affinity in action (notice green affinity vs red/null). I purposely added Cyclone only on the Dragon Spear to show you the damage bug. The damage bug is very apparent in the Dual Hookblades, but the Dragon Spear shows off how elemental and musou damage are not affected.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Creative Nation is launching a new YouTube Network for gamers that gives you 100% revenue share!

"We're launching a gamers+ network option very soon which I think you will be interested. We can offer you 100% of your revenue." 

are the words that echoed from a new upcoming YouTube Network for gamers called Gamers+, which is scheduled to be up and running in approximately 30 days.

Here is a screenshot of what the network offers and its incredibly hefty requirements:


Yes, I said hefty requirements, especially the view count. After my departure from Maker Gen today, I'm trying to join a different network. I may qualify for Gamers+, but I'm not going to jump on board just yet. It's generally wise to wait until a few reviews rolls around and see if this magical network lives up to its claim. We do know that Creative Nation has been around for awhile and the reviews for them has been generally positive (but not nearly as favorable as Curse). Creative Nation also grants a 90/10 revenue split like Curse for their regular network, and now they additionally offer a no-lock in contract too (which is quite important).

So if you happen to not qualify for Gamers+, you may still join their regular network. Since both Creative Nation and Curse offers no-lock in, you can't go wrong with either. And if your channel isn't 80% gaming related, Creative Nation would then be your only choice (if you desire the 90/10 revenue split, that is).

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires - Some Original CAWs Using New Parts and My Initial Thoughts on the Game

I've been having some fun with character creation in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires lately, so much that I've neglected playing the actual game.

Although I have to say that I was rather disappointed that the actual playable character editing portion remained identical to the 7th Empires. All those cool new features from Samurai Warriors 4's character creation, specifically uploading custom photos for your character's portrait and design on your clothing were missing. Rather, custom photos is only exclusively available for flag customization, which is a shame. Also, there weren't even any new hairstyles besides like two, not including certain head pieces that force their own hairstyle upon you.

I do like some of the new costumes. These are some designs I came up with using them:


Regarding the game itself, it has been mostly positive, although I do miss certain things from Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires, including the aesthetic flair when your character executes stratagems and the many more unlockable events.

I liked that they dealt away with the displeasing fame leveling system, which causes your character's stats to be determined by your fame's fluctuating levels. Now it's back to plain old fixed character levels, which makes the leveling process significantly less annoying. Please KOEI, don't you dare ever go back to that fame leveling system again, ya hear?!

Being able to build facilities in your provinces to increase gold, troops and develop more advanced weapons, items and stratagems is a nice touch that helps strengthens the strategic element of the game. No longer can you just gather a mountain of gold, run into the shops and buy the best of everything.

The marriage system allows you and your spouse to have a child that can later partake in battle. It's an interesting feature, but you're going to unfortunately generate a lot of child monstrosities, even if you and your spouse are the most beautiful beings in the universe. Not just the face will be bad, but the clothing too. The last child I had, his clothes were all different colors and none of it matched. He also had a frightening man's body yet a face of a boy. You are damn right I was ashamed of releasing him from the womb.

The one feature I definitely appreciated the most in the game is free mode. It's like a God sent gift for me in an Empires game, because it allows me to play around with movesets and study them for efficiency without going through the lengthily scenarios. Speaking of movesets, out of all the new movesets introduced, I'm liking Wang Yi's the most. That weapon and moveset, aside from a few lousy charges, is AMAZING.

Of course, the biggest downside to this iteration of Empires is the total lack of New Game+, excluding what you can carry over in free mode. Hopefully, KOEI learns of this horrific mistake and adds at least weapon transfer in a future patch.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bruteforce Save Data Frequently Asked Questions


Having woes with Bruteforce Save Data? Here I will answer some of the most common questions I receive about using the software. Hopefully this will help resolve most of your issues.

Whenever I launch Bruteforce Save Data, I receive an error message saying msvbvm50.dll is missing?


You will need to install Visual Basic Runtime 5. The software will not run without it.

Loaded game saves, but they are labeled as UNREADABLE and I cannot do anything with them.


This is either a permissions issue or can occur if you haven't installed Microsoft Visual Basic C++ 2010 (x86). Make sure you install the x86 version, not the x64. If you installed it and are still receiving UNREADABLE, make sure you are logged into an account with administrator privileges and are not storing your game saves on a write protected directory.

Cheats Repository will not download and/or fail to update.


Update to the latest version of Bruteforce Save Data, run the software as an administrator (right click on the exe file and select "Run as Administrator") and try the update again. You can also download the latest cheats repository manually by visiting the Bruteforce Save Data forums. Simply replace the existing game.conf and add the cheat files with the ones included in the download.

I receive [BLANK] as profile ID when setting up or resigning game saves.


This can occur if your PS3 user account does not have an attached PSN account and you are not logged into it while creating your game saves or saving over them in-game. Please read this post for more information.

BLANK ID will work on games that do not specifically require a unique ID on their game saves. You will have to test the game save after resigning it with a blank ID first.

When I do the rebuild process, the profile name and ID on the game save does not change.


Ensure you are running the software as an administrator. Right click the Bruteforce Save Data exe file and select "Run as Administrator". Then try to rebuild again.

How do I obtain a missing key for a game?


Select the game save and hit F6 (Bruteforce), then select the game's EBOOT.ELF file. EBOOT.ELF file is only available on the game data itself, not the game save. You will need to find someway to transfer the game's data from disc or hard drive to your PC.

I receive corruption message after rebuilding/encrypting a game save and using it on my PS3.


First off, check to see that the game save is actually properly encrypted. The rebuild process should automatically decrypt and encrypt the game save in the process. Always use the "Verify PFD" button to verify that the game save has been correctly encrypted and normal (you should see no red messages). Attempting to run a game save in a decrypted state will always result in a corruption message. Again, you should try to run the software as an administrator to counter this.

Secondly, corruption can also occur due to the following reasons:
1.) Multilayer encryption - Certain games, most notably newer games, will use multilayer encryption. Without a tool to specifically decrypt beyond the first layer, the game save cannot be modified and used without corruption. A fix is to wait until a tool is available, or you can use devices such as Game Genie, which allows you to decrypt all the layers of certain multilayer encrypted game saves. A list of such known current games that uses multilayer encryption can be found on Bruteforce Save Data forums.
2.) Bad/incorrect data - This can occur if you are transferring from one region to another. The differences in offset between the two regions in the game's save data can be different enough that the game will mess up reading it, causing corruption. And yes, this means that not all games can be transferred to one region to another. This can of course occur if you mess with the game save's data too much without knowledge on how to change values.
3.) Wrong region title/ID - If you use the wrong region title/ID, you will receive corruption.
4.) Wrong key - If you use the wrong key for your game save, you will also receive corruption. This can accidentally happen if your game is in multiple regions. Use the specific key for your region only.

If you confirm you did everything correctly and are still receiving corruption message, the problem may be the above four.

After resigning my game save, it still states the save belongs to another user.


Something failed during the rebuilding process or you are using a blank ID on a game that doesn't support it. You must ensure that after rebuilding, your exact PS3 user account profile name and ID appears on the game save. Running as an administrator will solve most of these problems.

How do I apply cheats?


After decrypting the game save, the cheats button should be available. Click it and you can add your cheats. After adding cheats, you need to encrypt the game save to avoid corruption. If you are running an older version, you may need to right click the game save and select "Apply Cheats" instead.

How do I edit data directly with a hex editor?


After decrypting the game save, you can open up the BIN file directly with a hex editor and make changes. Of course, you have to make sure you know what you're doing. The search function is probably the most useful tool to find existing values and change them. Encrypt the game save after to avoid corruption.


If you have any other questions and concerns not detailed in this post, feel free to jot me an e-mail and I will try to answer you promptly. Just do not ask me to simply resign a game save for you.

Important Announcement Regarding Sending Me Your PS3 Game Saves to Resign


Please do not send me your game saves on PS3 and request me to resign them. I am very sorry to say, but I will no longer accept requests of such. The same applies to region transferring or even on Xbox 360.

I just do not have the time to do them and do not feel honored after doing them. I'm also on a Mac 99% of the time, so it's rather inconvenient of me to change operating system just to resign a save for someone, especially given how easy it is to do it on their own.

Don't get me wrong, I will certainly help you through problem solving and attempting my utter best to get things working for you, but you will need to tell me exactly what problems you are having. That means being very specific, including explaining all the steps you did and what error messages you are receiving (if any). Too many are being completely vague and saying things like "it will not resign I get errors". The only reason I created tutorials was I want this to be a learning experience for everyone, so if you learn how to do it yourself right, you can always do it on your own and troubleshoot your own problems. If I simply resigned game saves for everyone, then I'm doing free favors for everyone and no one will learn anything.

Also note that before you attempt resigning a game save, ensure your game can be fully decrypted in Bruteforce Save Data first. Many people are attempting to resign the latest and newest games, failing and this is because a lot of newer games use multilayer encryption including having unknown checksums, which cannot be decrypted using Bruteforce Save Data. Game Genie can counter this, but that doesn't support all games. Tools are also available for specific games to decrypt all the layers. If you repeatedly receive corruption and did everything right, the game is likely not compatible.

If you are 100% sure you followed all steps completely in the tutorials, I can assure you I will not be doing a better job than you are.

I recommend everyone who seeks help to visit the official Bruteforce Save Data forums. There are people who have more knowledge than myself, including the creator of the software himself, and will be happy to assist you with all problems. And it's free!