UPlay, or not UPlay?

I’m the type of person that tends to hold grudges against companies for a long time, if they’re doing something anti-consumer, or just shady as all hell. One of the reasons that I’ve been so loyal to Steam (my account is now 9 years old) is because while they may have been tweaking things on the back end, aside from a couple of issues (latest being the 2015 Cache-tastrophe) there’s been very little in ways of issues for the consumer. Not so much for EA’s Origin, and Ubisoft’s UPlay. They have both had their fair share of problems, anti-consumer DRM, and generally sloppy attempts at trying to beat Steam at their own game that they have been playing for well over a decade. EA’s Origin originally took 20% of CPU power just to run, and both EA and Ubisoft had anti-consumer, always-online DRM that only spurred gamers further to find out how to break it. “SimCity is not an offline experience”, except when it is after a modder figures it out is a perfect example of this.

But times have changed. I’m still something of a die-hard Steam user, but I also use Origin, if only for the ‘On the House’ games and the Mass Effect Collection that I bought in order to play the trilogy without having to fire up the Xbox 360. But UPlay is one that I have always avoided putting on my machine, not just because of the software itself, but because of what hte company stands for as a whole. Cyrus, and more honestly, Redh, changed that and encouraged me to buy the Division now that I have a good gaming computer that can handle it.

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Android: Netrunner – My First Session

Android: Netrunner was demoed for me by Ben from Jack In a Box in Ripley, Derbyshire. The demo session and a few follow up closed-hand rounds were offered for free to garner interest.

Card games and I have a love-hate relationship. I’ve only played a couple of the big ones (Magic: The Gathering & Pokémon) and while I loved the rule sets, the combos and the chance to have a collection. Though mine was smaller than a good chunk of the player base in comparison, I was still somewhat proud of it. But what I hated was the economy behind it. The expense of some of the cards, and how much the boosters are given how small a chance you have of actually pulling what you need from the pack. I must have spent nearly £500 on booster boxes, accessories, single rares and the like.

Android: Netrunner is my first foray into the other side of Card games, called Living Card Games. The main difference between LCG and CCGs like Pokémon and MtG is that LCGs do away with the blind-buy model; you know what you’re getting and you know where to get the cards you need. One of the cool things about Netrunner that Ben showed me was a QR Code on the back of the Data Packs (monthly booster packs). He scanned it and the link in the code showed him all the cards in that pack, what they did, and even the art on it. Honestly, the respect for my wallet made me want to at least try it.

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