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Salamolign

With just 2 months to go until @EGX, the news of what will be on this years' show floor is slowly trickling out. The biggest playable title so far is perhaps Gran Turismo Sport, but it's still early days and the window for submissions from independent developers has not yet closed and I expect larger teams are busy working out the contractual details. I picked up tickets as soon as they released, way back in March, so I'm excited to see what will be featuring this time around at the UK's biggest gaming event. Rather than wait for news, I've put together a wish list of games and studios I'd like to see present, based on my experiences over the past year.

 

First off, and a major contender for my time over the past six months is the MMORPG Black Desert Online. They're due to appear at Gamescom next month, with a fancy booth and some 80+ high end PCs to showcase some of the game's upcoming content. It's a Korean game, but the localisation for the west is handled by Daum Games Europe, a Dutch company. Given their appearance at Gamescom I'm really hoping to see them at EGX and would love to get my hands on some BDO swag.

 

Introversion Software has become one of my favourite UK game developers since discovering Prison Architect at a gaming event a number of years ago. Always happy to chat to fans, some rather funny development vlogs and an excellent release of PA (winning a BAFTA) last year really has put this company back in the spotlight. I remember reading about Darwinia, their second release, in a gaming magazine a decade ago, I never did try it but it was graphically... unique. IV Software have been at every EGX and Rezzed event for as long as I can remember, so it would be a shame for them not to turn up and show off their newest creations, a couple of which were covered in a dev vlog a few months ago.

 

Ark: Survival Evolved is due to officially release towards the end of this year, although many of us have been playing it solidly for a year in early access. Studio Wildcard have done tremendously well to come out of nowhere and create a game enjoyed by so many. They took a life sized Rex model for photo ops to a show in the US recently, so I've got my fingers crossed for the same here.

 

I've fallen out of love with Telltale Games after the Minecraft release. I really struggled to enjoy the play through, but I put it down to me not really being the target audience for that particular title. They've done so well over the past few years with fantastic titles, Batman should be in full swing by the time EGX comes around, and we're still waiting for a third TWD instalment. There's a lot to talk about for Telltale Games and I hope to see them there.

 

League of Legends is another game I've put on the backburner recently. As fun as it is, it's the main source of conflict between my friends. It's put me off for now, but I'll return one day. A couple of years ago EGX had an area dedicated to proper live shout casting and it was surprisingly entertaining to watch people playing RIOT's extremely successful F2P MOBA. A similar thing this year would be excellent, as would a panel talking about the wild success of the game and perhaps how to get cash shops right.

 

Rocket League was another game that came out of nowhere in the last year. As with ARK, after a brief period of PC only, it's released on consoles to roaring success. The simplicity of the premise, the depth of the gameplay, the talent and skill required to pull off the plays at the higher levels... this game is attractive to all gamers and a Rocket League tournament at EGX would be a big hit.

 

If I were to choose a "least likely to attend" candidate from this list, it would be Rockstar. Despite being a fairly new arrival to PC, GTAV has been out a lot longer on the previous generation of consoles. We must be due some GTA6 information soon, and with rumours suggesting we could see it set in London, what better place to announce GTA6 than the UK. GTA:Online seems to be doing quite well if reports are to be believed. I don't quite know who is spending money on shark cards, but it's encouraging new content at a fairly rapid pace. I only wish we'd see more heists... but that could be something they announce at EGX, fingers crossed!

 

Last on my list of potential guests is the mobile phenominon that is taking the world by storm. I'm talking, of course, about Pokemon Go. Whilst the likelyhood of mobile games appearing at EGX is fairly low, I'd love to see Niantic talk about the success of Pokemon Go and how they feel about getting millions of social recluses outside, interacting and being healthy.

 

And that's it. I expect I'll wake up in the middle of the night because I forgot something awesome, but if I do, I'll be sure to add it. Thanks for reading. Are you going to EGX in Birmingham this year? Anything you'd like to see?

Salamolign

Last year's E3 prompted me to catch up with the Assassin's Creed series and try to make a dent on the Fallout franchise. It also added to the hype surrounding releases in other popular franchises including the Tom Clancy games, Star Wars, Hitman, Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy. So I made a list, games I owned and needed to play before playing the new iterations: anook.com/status/117875

 

One year on, we're once again in the midst of E3 and it's time for another list of games I want to get through. I've picked up a lot of titles in bundles this year, I've probably picked up more than I'll ever play, but I did ensure where I could that the money spent went to good charities... and that makes me feel good about buying too many games! Once again I'll do these in alphabetical order:

* 80 Days

* Alan Wake's American Nightmare

* Amnesia

* Anno 2070

* ARMA

* Assassin's Creed (Finished up to Black Flag... my word that game was good. I have Rogue but haven't start yet)

* Back to the Future

* Batman (I'll also had the Telltale game in here when I go on a Batman splurge)

* The Binding of Isaac (I got right to the end... mom stomped me...)

* Bioshock

* Borderlands (Now including Tales!)

* Broken Age

* Broken Sword

* Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons (I hear this isn't even that long and I've still got it installed since last year)

* Brothers in Arms (Did Road to Hill 30 previously, want to do the others)

* Call of Duty (MW+ I like the campaigns!)

* Call of Juarez

* Castle Crashers

* Cibele

* The Crew

* Crysis

* Dark Souls (Last year I said I wasn't bothered about the first, now there are three and I want to beat them all!)

* Darksiders

* Dead Island

* Dead Space

* Deus Ex

* Dishonored (I think this one will get done, the 2nd instalment arrives this year)

* DmC: Devil May Cry

* Dragon Age (I got half way through this, then I got back into ARK, then XCOM2 released and I didn't go back)

* Dreamfall Chapters

* Dungeon of the Endless (I WILL get them to the end!)

* TES: Oblivion

* Enslaved

* The Evil Within

* FEAR (No progress all year on this. Finished the first and expansions)

* Far Cry

* Final Fantasy (Did 7 this year, have 8 installed, 9 and 10 are on my wishlist)

* Hand of Fate (I've heard good things, this was in a bundle)

* Her Story (Winner of a bunch of BAFTAs, another bundle buy)

* Hitman (I tried the original and couldn't get on with it. It was too old. I'll try the 2nd and 3rd generations before picking up the current episodic title)

* Jurassic Park (A telltale title, bundled with a lot of other good TT stuff I gave away as gifts)

* Kraven Manor

* LA Noire (Was lucky enough to have a conversation with Alexis Cruz (Skaara in Stargate(SG1 and the movie)) a month ago, apparently he is a cop in the game. Did the whole facial recognition shebang and has pages of lines. He's still acting but also writing graphic novels, one of which he kindly signed for me!)

* Legend of Grimrock

* Life is Strange (Finished episode 1 this year, haven't had the urge to pick up the others, but I will when the price is right)

* Lost Planet

* Lucius

* Magicka

* Max Payne

* Medal of Honor

* Metro 2033 / Last Light (Didn't make a start on them, however I now have them both in Redux edition)

* Shadow of Mordor

* Minecraft: Storymode (Begrudgingly I will finish the series... it's just not for grown-ups!)

* Mirror's Edge (The second instalment releases this year)

* Outlast

* Red Faction

* Remember Me

* Resident Evil (I have a few of these with funky suffixes, I'll have to figure out an order)

* STALKER

* Saint's Row

* Sam & Max

* Seraph (Developed by a university colleague, so I feel I should give it a good go)

* Serious Sam

* Space Hulk

* The Stanley Parable

* Stellaris (Will finish a campaign one day!)

* Tesla Effect

* Tom Clancy (I'll condense Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six here)

* Tomb Raider

* Trine (Finally picked up the third, don't think I've finished any)

* TW: Warhammer

* Watch Dogs

* X

 

Some of the games I finished this year were so good I'll go back and do them again one day. DLC is still being pumped out for The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4... both of which I could play again without the additions! The last 5 months have been taken up largely by Black Desert Online, and while it's great to have a game I want to play all the time, I wish I could set it aside long enough to play some of the fantastic titles listed above!

 

When I'm done with the above games (hahaha) the following are on my wishlist: steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561197979098283/wishlist

 

For the rest of the year, I think I'm probably looking forward to the new Battlefield most of all. If I play and enjoy both Dishonored and Watch Dogs, those sequels will also be high on the list of games to pick up. Other than that, tradition dictates I pick up FIFA17; The new story mode is certainly a break from the norm, I just hope it isn't awful!

Salamolign

Marketplace bots @BDO_News - So, this has been bugging me for a few weeks. I don't have the global chat on, so I expect it happens there too but I've mostly seen it in guild chat and on forums/reddit.

 

Some items are scarce, so much so that there's a Notice system allowing you to be notified when an item has been registered to the marketplace. Between 15 and 30 minutes later, the item appears to buy (or doesn't because it was cancelled by the seller) and you can pick it up after putting in your security code.

 

There are literally hundreds of thousands of people playing the game. Why is it so baffling to some people that items that are visibly in demand (due to them being sold out) are wanted by more than just YOU? The moment the item appears on the marketplace, there are going to be other players furiously hammering in the security code too, hoping to get the item before you do.

 

It's clear to me, as an observer, that if I see someone in guild chat telling us he's going for this super rare item, that it's highly likely there are many other players in other guilds that have the same goal. Heck, if it's worth getting, I wouldn't be surprised if one of us snipes it ourselves! So when someone gets the "Item already sold" message it's really flippin' stupid to blame it on marketplace bots. How is it that you can't comprehend that another player of the same game, online at the same time, has the same goals as you do?

 

I'm not saying that bots do not exist in BDO, I'd be surprised if they didn't. But it's far, far more likely that for the Marketplace, and that new shiny, you were just a little slower than the other guy. If it makes you feel better, there might have been a hundred other players that were even slower than you. Just stop with the whining and the whingeing, accept that you lost out and I'll wish you the best of luck for next time.

Salamolign

It's been five months since I last posted anything of length here on Anook. I've still been dropping updates on Twitter, which has been serving as a diary of my heavily game-influenced life, so if you haven't yet, do follow me @Salamolign.

 

Sadly, back in December, one of my best friends passed away. Since then it's been far easier to lose myself in games rather than outwardly project anything that even closely resembles positive productivity. Losing anyone is hard, but being so closely connected to another person who you visited regularly in the real world and was a staple party member in most games you played seems to add another level of sadness. He still follows me on Twitter, he's still my Facebook friend and he's still on my Steam list. He was still in our Skype group until we decided to move over to Discord a month or two back. We're still connected on Spotify and he'll still be my friend in Guild Wars 2, ArcheAge, Guild Wars and all the other MMOs I encouraged him to buy, although he was still in a hopeless love/hate relationship with WoW. Rockstar Social Club, Origin and UPlay will also keep reminding me of how many days it's been since he last logged in, and that's pretty hard. Out in the "real world" we've been to gaming as well as film and TV cons. He was also my gig and festival bud; this Saturday will mark the last of such events that I'd prebooked tickets for. I'm looking forward to it but it'll be tempered with sadness as the other recent events have been. It includes a sword class with Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel of Game of Thrones fame) and meeting the cast of Stargate, a show my friend absolutely adored.

 

I was hoping to write a little about the games I've been losing myself in recently too. I picked up GTA:Online again but found my character had been assassinated and replaced by a Russian. After working through the issue (which took about a week) with support I had my levels restored to the wrong character and given the sum of the items deleted in cash. It came to around $10million, but my journey had to start anew... my rugged psychotic pastey white killer had become a strong independent black woman. She's extremely classy with her top-of-the-range superyacht but I'm going to miss the cold killer eyes I used to have. It didn't take long before regular play meant regular interactions with hackers, some of which spawned millions of in game cash for everyone on the map and I decided it's not much fun to play with people I don't know.

 

I've been playing FIFA 16 on and off, won the Premiership and now my team looks completely different from when I took it over. The game then loses its charm a little because it's no longer mirroring the realism of my club... And that was one of my arguments for why FIFA will always beat out unlicensed competitors for me.

 

At the turn of the year I decided to crack on with XCOM: Enemy Unknown. At the halfway point it solidified my decision to pre-order XCOM2. By the end I was pretty hyped, but as there was a month to wait and little else that interested me I invested in an ARK server (which is still alive - currently open to members of DkR, see the forums!) and sunk a couple hundred more hours into that beast of a game. Prior to that, I picked up a relatively cheap 970, so I could now see the game in all its glory! Pet breeding was a bit of a let down, but swinging dead babies around was disturbingly funny, for a short while. Massive changes have been made since I stopped playing last summer, all for the better. It's quite astounding just how the game came from nowhere to being a super hit and so well received in the space of a year.

 

I tried to get into Dragon Age, but XCOM2 put a stop to that. Highly recommended, I will certainly return to play it again some day soon! I picked up Grow Home and completed that in one sitting, mechanically excellent but entirely too short. I tried the Division Beta but wasn't blown away, I've been tempted on several occasions to pick it up since then but the negativity at the moment surrounding it is staying my hand. And then Black Desert happened.

 

Holy cow did that come out of nowhere for me! Korean MMOs do tend to look fabulous, they also tend to come out all the time so it's hard to find the diamonds in the rough but boy did this one blow me away. Since I tried the Beta in the middle of February I've played little else. This entire post was started with the intent that I would cover the first two months of the launch, and the feeling that the hype might finally be settling down so that I can go back to playing other things. The hype has certainly dropped, but I'm only sinking time into this post because the servers are undergoing maintenance right now. There are a bunch of screenshots I've been posting here somewhere of my adventures and whilst the giddy feeling might be going away, I feel there's a pretty solid game there that could keep me occupied for a good long while!

 

Hopefully I'll be back to contribute more to Anook (I even bought a hoody the other day!) because it allows me to expand on the tweets I post regularly and really get across my opinions without being restricted to 140 characters!

Salamolign

As a fan of Minecraft since the Alpha days and lover of Telltale's new format that began with TWD, I was excited about a coming together of two of my favourites in Minecraft: Storymode. I was a little skeptical due to the lack of a story behind Minecraft, but it left Telltale with a blank canvas with which to create a masterpiece. Sadly I feel they've taken the easy option and crafted a dull story, forgettable characters, inconsequential player choices and dialogue that might amount to one weak smile per episode. I expect the game to sell well and may even be their biggest selling game to date due to the IP; and that worries me because I don't want to see Telltale leave behind a formula that I enjoy in favor of bigger profits.

 

This is not a game for grown-ups like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us or Game of Thrones. There isn't an adult storyline, nor are there enough subtle nods to grown-ups for it to be enjoyed, ala Disney. I would struggle to even recommend it to anyone with kids, Minecraft lovers or not because it's just not very entertaining.

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Salamolign

I spent far too long dressing Cait up. I went with a lightweight option so she can carry more of my junk. Matching shades... so everyone knows we are together...