VIDEO: A Love Letter to Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

About a week ago I finished a playthrough of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines on my twitch channel with a barebones Gangrel Build, built for melee and stealth, the two most overpowered mechanics in the game. Even having weighed everything in my favour, I ended up having to turn on the cheats to get through the painfully-aged combat in the title. However, I was so close to the end that one would make the argument that, now having seen the finale, and seen the rest of the endings that are available, I could end each playthrough (aside from the Camarilla ending, perhaps) after the Werewolf encounter and not miss a thing.

The game is an experience, and an involving one at that. Troika developed the title knowing that players wouldn’t be able to see all that the game had to offer in one sitting; multiple playthroughs were required to see everything and as such, it was necessary to incorporate different styles of play (mostly centred around Stealth, Gun-based, Melee, or Social) for the same mission, a task that many developers have attempted but few have achieved, and that list gets fewer additions to it every year.

I recommend getting VtM: Bloodlines from GOG.com as it includes the patches to make the game operational in Windows, and restores a lot of removed content. But if you’re not interested in involving yourself in twenty-fourty hours of Action-RPG, at least watch the video above.

“He [is] my friend.”

I’m a part of Cyrus Gaming, in case you didn’t know ([/sarcasm]). We’re a guild that has been around in one form or another since March 2009. I joined on the 4th of October 2009 when I was in Aion, and stayed for almost a year before I learned a hard lesson from Redh, Cyrus’ leader. Long story short, after a while of bouncing back and forth, I came back in 2015 to stay when I finally realised that it was my home when gaming in a group, and nothing I could say or do would change that.

So, when he comes at me a couple of days ago, saying that he’s ‘loving the new [me]’ and that ‘It reminds [him] of the old [me]’, I was taken aback. I didn’t think I’d done anything different than usual. But then I thought about it, and realised I had been doing more, and not thinking about it.

Most of my life in the past couple of years has been passive outside of work, and that might be down to the way I prioritised my life. My life was work because I took pride in it, and thus it was what I wanted to focus on as it was the only part of my life that I did take pride in. And therein lied the problem; I was proud of the work that I had put into something that achieved nothing for me, and everything for someone else. Don’t misunderstand me – I like my work, and I like the people I work with; they’re akin to family to me, and each time one of them moves on I’m happy for them but it’s bittersweet.

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VIDEO: POLYBIUS – The Video Game That Doesn’t Exist

The more I watch long-form videos, the more I get recommended them, which is Youtube’s algorithm at work; encouraging more ‘watch minutes’ as opposed to number of videos watched, or interaction. Ahoy is a channel I wish I had found sooner, as it has fantastic standards of both audio and video, the former I am entirely envious of.

In this hour-long video, he delves into the history of a non-game called Polybius, an arcade game that has been in legend for at least the last twenty years or so. He unravels the mystery from present day, all the way back to the apparent birth of the legend. When I watched it originally, I was amazed by how long I had been watching; Ahoy has a succinct presentation with dedication to the facts and interpretations therein.

Vroom Vroom…

I know that I haven’t posted anything of meaning in the last couple of weeks, or posted any stream archives in the last week and a half. All I can do is apologise for that, but I also want to talk about what will happen to the archives in future. Foxhole will no longer be archived on Youtube, purely because, in my opinion, there’s no storyline to it bar the setting and precursive history/events. I’m more than happy to keep the videos up on Twitch as long as the system allows me to, but in future, and in the batch of entries I’ll be putting up on here over the weekend, I’ll only be putting up the playthrough videos (i.e. the current playthrough of Vampire: The Masquerade, and Stonekeep). I’ll also be fooling around with the way the streams are put on the website as well; thinking of doing a page per game rather than a page per stream.

But, I wanted to explain why I’ve not been streaming at all since Monday. On Monday, my 2009 Razer Naga died (RIP), and I didn’t get a replacement until the following morning, and then I was experiencing computer issues, somehow getting conflicting drivers crashing the computer with the OS receiving unexpected input from what it thought was the old Naga. Long story short, it’s sorted now.

From Wednesday to Friday I was busy with lessons to pass my motorcycle test and get an ‘A’ or unrestricted licence. Twelve hours altogether, excluding the examination itself and the ride home. I was wary, purely because I didn’t think I was ready. My gear changes were still somewhat jumpy, and my clutch control was sometimes a little off on tighter bends.

I passed, and am now waiting for the DVLA to renew my licence with the new entitlements and remove the restrictions on it. I was aware of the three minor marks that I had, and knew why I got them, but beyond that it was a good ride. I need to lean more, but that’s down to spending five years on a 125cc with tyres that feel like a knife’s edge (in a good way), going up to a 650cc with tyres twice as thick. My plan is to ride my CBR125 until the MOT and tax are due, renew the MOT so it has a full year’s worth, and use the interim to build up funds for a bigger motorcycle. I don’t see the point in transitioning straight away, because I don’t need the power that a larger bike has just yet.

That’s one of my resolutions for this year done. I’m easily on track to pass the other two, so long as I don’t relapse. I think this’ll be the first time since starting this blog that I actually meet and beat all my resolutions.

Feels good, man.