R.I.P. First Assault Online

After less than two years being publicly available, the latest Ghost in the Shell game is now in the process of shutting down. It’s sad but not unexpected, as the title has suffered, and laboured, under it’s status as a Free-to-Play title after being paid for as part of Steam’s Early Access program.

The game itself has a simple idea; you’re an Operative of Section 9, from Ghost in the Shell. Choose from the Major (Motoko Kusanagi), Batou, Togusa, Saito, Pazu, Borma or Ishikawa. Log in, kill things, get better weapons, continue killing things. It could be considered a first person, GitS-sourced version of Warframe, albeit with far-less stellar results. But there were many faults with the game, at least from my standpoint.

(NOTE: I stopped playing at the release of 2.0 because it felt like it was trying to emulate Overwatch and it’s ilk by becoming a ‘hero shooter’. So all explanations were pre-2.0, which dropped July 17th 2017)

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[Up]Stream [Down]Stream [Just]Stream

I have a Twitch account. You all know that right?

Of course you don’t, because I never use it.

That is going to change. Mainly because I have invested far too much money in hardware that is meant for streaming, to stop just before I get to the point where I am ready to actually do it. A fair few people around me already stream regularly, and while some do it for the money (and seem to be only interested in it for the money), I want to do it because I think I would be good at it. As much as YouTube is about the personality, it is more often than not also about high quality video editing and gaming the system. Twitch appears to be less so, so long as you have a decent connection and a good PC to stream and play on.

I have gone beyond purchasing gear to just use for Voice Chat in games. I bought myself a full XLR microphone and interface set to make sure that not only would I have good quality but I would be future-proofed. I also bought the Elgato Stream Deck, on release, mainly for it’s integrations with OBS, but also because it can be used for hotkeys and shortcuts without the need to memorise key combinations and modifiers.

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VIDEO – The Lost Episodes of Half-Life 2

YouTube, somewhere along the way, has been on point with recommendations for me, at least in the realm of gaming. The site recommended the channel GVMERS, and since then I’ve been happy to see them show up on my feed. Them and Raycevick do longer form content about gaming history, and fill the gap in my viewing habits that All Your History by Machinima left behind, though without the topics being recently released or upcoming franchises.

This particular video teases Valve’s trepidation of a third game in a series, but also goes into a lot of projects that I didn’t know about in regards to their episodic system, and in hindsight is fascinating that Valve (at the time) would allow third parties a stake in their prized series.

Arieluma, Friend

Returning to Aion wasn’t something that I planned on doing. To me, the game had served it’s purpose and in its latter stages sustained its wounds. I wanted to remember the good times I had with Aion, mostly pre 2.7 (The Coliseum Update) and leave it at that. I found the housing system to be a chore that was necessary to get an increase in potion sales, and I’d earned the best gear in the game (at that point) through a combination of crafting and fighting in the Coliseum. When Redh (the Cyrus Guildmaster) decided that he was going to try Aion, I was curious and decided to join in. A few hours later and we had a group of six or seven that were willing to pile in.

They had chosen a new server as a fresh start, since neither of them had brought their accounts under Gameforge EU’s ownership for varying reasons. I chose a Bard, and quickly became bored with it. I never told Redh that, but frankly it was a one-rotation pony that did a group MP restoration. Granted I only took it to level 27, but frankly the other classes at that level were so much more involved and developed.

We were speaking about server transfers (note: lol, transfers) when I said that all Redh and his wife had to do was email Gameforge, supply some information about the account and the characters, and they would at least have a chance at getting them back. Even Redh’s banned account (hacked to facilitate RMT and then banned) was reinstated, and Dia’s was ported over. So the three of us power-levelled our trio of fresh level 1s.

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You Are Tenno. I Will Prepare You.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been engrossed in a game that has given me the chance to rack up three figures in hours played. There’s MMOs, there’s Team Fortress 2 and the Mass Effect series. Since I started playing Warframe, I’ve seen my playtime soar, and I’m feeling better for it.

I played it once before but I don’t think I gave it the attention and head-space that it needed to show off everything it had. With it being in Beta at the time (though it still is now), I wrote it off and moved on. I came back to it about three weeks ago and I’ve honestly not been able to stop since.

The game itself has a very MMO feel to it, though it’s entirely instance-based as opposed to a huge overworld with instanced areas. The game has such a flair to it that it feels like a combination between a shooter and a spectacle fighter, and it looks gorgeous even on my old machine.

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