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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!