CS:GO – You’ve got hats? We’ve got gloves.

Hello everyone!

CS:GO released a new update today, and with it came something we were all waiting for! I mean, come on, we knew it was the next thing that could possibly get customization options. It IS the only thing visible to the player, besides their guns and nades. Wait, where is your mind? I’m talking about GLOVES. No.. not that kind of glove… the ones you wear on your hands… never mind, there’s no arguing with you animals. Here, take a look:

I think they actually look pretty nice. And here I thought I was done opening cases for awhile. Screw you Valve. Now, where’s my wallet…?

They also released some music kits, and the option to join lobbies created by the Steam groups you have joined. This is an interesting feature, and might help you make friends. But, I mean, who has friends these days? hehe.. haha… Who are you looking at..?

So, what do we look forward to now? Sprays are already distracting enough, but what do you think about throwable objects… like soccer balls or glow-sticks? I know, I know, we have the tires. But c’mon guys… throw a soccer ball at the enemy team, and shoot em’ while they’re distracted… MUAHhahah… ehem… No, I totally don’t play like that. Really. I promise. hehehehe.

What do you guys think about the latest update?

Feel free to comment.

Until next time,

GAME ON!

Images Copyright: http://blog.counter-strike.net/index.php/2016/11/17081/

 

Prime Matchmaking In Competitive Gaming

This should be a thing.

Almost every person who has played an online game, especially competitively, has probably heard the stories of hackers and smurf accounts. One of the games that I have the most experience with these issues is in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. I’m an avid player of the game, and I spend a lot of time playing its competitive game mode, in which I’ve encountered multiple hackers that have cause my experience to be not as fun.

Here is an example from my YouTube channel:

It looks frustrating doesn’t it?

Now, what happens when these hackers get their accounts permanently banned?

They make a new one.

Prime matchmaking is a way to keep these new accounts, made by hackers, from being able to queue for competitive matchmaking again. How? Prime matchmaking requires a phone number, and when your account gets banned, so will your phone number. You must be thinking “hey, what if they use a voip number, or a family members phone number?” Well, they could do that. And if they hack again, they will get that phone number banned as well. Yeah, it’s a slightly messy fix, but it’s still better than no fix.

How does the banning of phone-number-bound accounts help the competitive scene? You can only bind your phone number to one account, which causes that account to be considered “Prime”. Prime accounts can only queue with other prime accounts, and play in prime matches. The more hackers that get banned, the less you will see.

This works for smurf accounts because they can only make one account prime, as said earlier. They have to choose between their account that is ranked low (not actually their rank), or their main account. If they play their main account more often, then they might choose to make that one prime, and they will only be able to play with people their current rank in matches.

What are some other benefits of prime matchmaking. I’ll give you some examples from my personal experience. I feel like people who make an account prime, and use that account, knowing they will get banned if they do anything bad, are generally the more serious players of the game. They tend to use voice communication more often, grief less often, and are less toxic in general. I noticed a vast amount of difference in the non-prime and prime games that I played. There was still that chance I would run into hackers, or griefers in a prime match, but I knew that if their account got banned, I would probably never play with them again.

The biggest benefit of prime, is that as more accounts get banned, the less likely you are to play with hackers and griefers, because they will most likely never be able to queue for prime matchmaking again. More and more will get banned, and the matches will become more and more clean over time as the system does what it does best.

That is why I believe more games with competitive scenes should incorporate this system.

All feedback is welcome.

CS:GO Prime Matchmaking – Feelings So Far

Hello everyone!

So, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has this thing called Prime matchmaking now. I didn’t have an actual phone number for awhile, after moving from the USA to Canada, so I didn’t really think much about the upcoming Prime Beta. Not too long ago, I go a new phone service here, and decided to try making one of my accounts Prime.

So what is Prime? Having a Prime account means that you link a valid phone number to your CS:GO account. You can only have one account at Prime status, unless you have multiple phone numbers. Most ISP numbers don’t work, so don’t bother trying. Being Prime also means that one you get banned, you cannot use that phone number for Prime again, meaning that if it was your main number, you’re shit out of luck. This is actually a great thing, because it means once a hacker gets banned, they won’t be coming back. It also means less smurfs, because most people will probably only turn their main account Prime.

Let’s get started with my first impression of Prime Matchmaking. First of all, I was solo-queuing. Solo-queuing has always been a hit-or-miss experience. Sometimes I get trolls who are throwing the game to de_rank, and sometimes I come out of the match with some new friends to play with. I started up the search, and I was actually surprised at the short queue time. This meant people were actually participating in the Prime Beta. As soon as I loaded into the match, I could hear my teammates talking on their microphones. Score! We already had some good communication. All 4 of my other teammates were using their microphones and not being total asshats.

First round, and everyone knows their positions, and has a good idea of what each other are doing. The game stays nearly tied the entirety of the match, and my team stays completely positive. What is this? Am I in another dimension? I begin to question reality. Jokes aside, we won the game because we started wrecking in the second half. I get a couple friend requests, and i accept them, because I thoroughly enjoy the match. I play a couple more matches and win because my teammates aren’t toxic little [insert fowl word here]. There was at least one person on the other team that I believed was using wall-hacks. I got a bit frustrated for a bit. I lost a couple matches after that, but they mostly felt fair.

It wasn’t until today that I realized that Prime Matchmaking wasn’t going to be hacker-free. I wasn’t meant to start that way. There are definitely those few people who don’t give a shit, or don’t realize that their number getting banned means they can’t play Prime Matchmaking anymore. So, you know what it’s my job to do? I need to Overwatch whenever I have time, and make sure that I help in getting those people banned. Because they won’t be coming back, unless they use someone else’ phone number, or get theirs changed. *slightly evil laughter* Hacking has been a serious problem in CS:GO. Anyone would notice that it is.

I’m hoping Prime does it’s job to allow those who don’t hack to have a happy place to play a fair game together.

So far it seems like the people queuing in Prime have better communication, at least that has been my experience. I did have one game where there were trolls who were griefing on the other team. But even griefing can get you perma-banned from Prime, so I will be patient and wait for the majority of these people to clear out, and keep my fingers crossed for good matches until then~

I’ll probably update on my experiences with CS:GO Prime in near future, and I’m definitely interested to hear how it has been for other people!

Until next time,

GAME ON!

Spotlight: Life Is Strange

Hello everyone!

In the spotlight today, we have Life Is Strange, a five part episodic game where you make choices that affect the story.

The first thing I want to say about this game is that the art style is absolutely amazing. The world is beautiful, and alive. The main character, Max, is an 18 year old girl with an Indie lifestyle. She spends most of her time looking at the world through her old-school instant camera. She recently returned to her hometown from Seattle, only to find that the dream school she got accepted to wasn’t as perfect as she had imagined it. There were the same old cliques, bullying, and drama as any school.

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The characters feel realistic, and you can probably relate them to at least someone you know in real life. The writing is a bit cliche’ at times, but it kind of adds to the charm. You have a bit of freedom to explore the world around you, and often get humorous narration from Max. Max is her own person, although you can affect her encounters with the people around her. You can talk to almost everyone on campus, but you may not get to talk to them for long if you don’t relate to them. If you say something wrong, they will pretty much blow you off. You can always go back in time and answer them correctly. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention… Max can rewind time.

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I played through the first episode and was really happy with it. There were a few things that I missed out on, so I will probably play through the game one more time. There are some hidden photo opportunities that can only be found by making certain decisions throughout the game. There is definitely some re-playability to the game, although the story won’t be all that different. I really loved the characters, and there was a perfect mix of real life drama and supernatural for my taste buds. You can also learn a lot about photography and cameras while playing the game, since the game also focuses on Max wanting to get the courage to show the world her photos.

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I would definitely recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of story-driven games, with just enough interaction. The game does involve drug use and some touchy subjects, so make sure you’re okay with those things before you spend the $4.99 that the game currently costs on Steam. You can buy it one episode at a time, or you can get a Season Pass if you know you want to play the whole game through. After the ending of Episode 1 (no spoilers) you will probably be inclined to check out the next episode.

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Until next time,

GAME HARD

Spotlight: Plink

Hello everyone!

In the spotlight this time, we have a browser based music game from DinahMoe!

It goes by the name of Plink.

There isn’t a whole lot to say about Plink, except that it is highly entertaining and addicting. You pick a nickname, join in, and you and a few other players all have access to certain musical sounds and instruments. You can all play at the same time, and make your own music together. You never know what kind of beat will come next.

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My first experience was that I started a beat and everyone followed. You never know who is in the room with you, but it is so easy to make great sounding music, that you will most likely never have a bad time. I urge you to check it out.

Until next time…

GAME HARD

Spotlight: Vidar

Hello Everyone!

Recently I was contacted by someone who introduced me to a really interesting game that they are working on. The game is called Vidar, and it takes place in a town that is haunted by a beast – a beast that kills one citizen every night. I had a chance to check out the demo, and I can tell that Vidar is a game to look forward to.

You have only 24 days to complete puzzles and quests to save the citizens of Vidar. Sound like a challenge? Well, here is the interesting part – the deaths and dungeons are random every time you play the game. Each experience you have in the town of Vidar will be different. You cannot simply memorize a puzzle, because the next time you start a game, the puzzle will be completely different.

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A really interesting part of this game is that, depending on which citizens were killed, the other citizens will all have different things to say, and different quests to hand out. They all have different relations with each other, and their stories will change depending on how close the person who dies was to them. Deaths, and player completed quests can change the feelings and dialogue of each citizen.

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Take a look at these beautiful sprites!

You will spend a lot of your time down in the dungeons, solving puzzles, and completing quests. You have a certain amount of time each day, to complete as much as you possibly can. The puzzles are very interesting, and have that old-school indie feel to them. Lever pulling, button pressing, and sliding on frictionless ice to figure out how to get to your next objective. Certain quests may even throw you further into the dungeon.

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After your time is up, you return to town, and get some free time to roam around and talk to people. You find out which citizen was killed, and most likely the citizens will have new things to say after this death. Depending on who dies, or which quests you manage to complete, different things can happen. In one quest, depending on who was killed, you either receive low quality or high quality lamp oil to light some lamps in a dungeon. If you get the low quality oil, a fire might break out, and cause more death and destruction in a town that is already suffering.

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If you don’t complete the quests and puzzles at the end of 24 days, all of the citizens of Vidar will die, and you will lose the game. The game has a bit of a time management system to it. You watch the clock tick down, and know that depending on how far you have gotten in the dungeon, more people will die before you finish it.

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The real charm of this game, is in its randomness. You can replay the game, and still enjoy it. You can even find new challenges, due to the randomized dungeons and quests. You will get to see different sides of the citizens each time. The game is in its early stages, and you can play the demo to get a feel for how it’s going to play. You can also support the game on their Epocu page. If you want updates on the game, check out their Twitter page. They will also be releasing their Kickstarter on January 12.

Check out the demo (which can be found on their website) and if you enjoy it the first time, play it again, because the next time will be different!

GameView: Subnautica – Early Access

Hello everyone!

Subnautica has finally been released, and boy do we have something to look forward to. Check out their newest trailer!

I’ve been playing the game, and I must admit, the game is extraordinarily beautiful. The world feels alive with fish and plant life, and there is a huge world out there that hasn’t even been explored yet. The game is still lacking some items which will allow you to explore beyond certain depths, so the dark beyond will stay a mystery until that is updated. Still, the area you can explore is already really interesting. You start out in an escape pod near your crashed ship, in a more shallow area of the world.

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Subnautica really gives you that feeling of being underwater in a living world. The first time you jump off your pod into the water, you are immediately swarmed with small schools of fish, and even the plants have a mind of their own. It’s like a futuristic set of The Little Mermaid on an alien planet. Some of the fish are really cute. So cute, that you might wish that they weren’t a part of the hunger system. While other fish are a little bit on the scary side. Some of the sounds they make are frightening on their own. I’ve heard the sounds of something really large in the deeper parts of the ocean.

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The game is definitely a survival game when played on the normal mode. You have to collect food, and filter water, as well as make sure you have enough oxygen for your travels. There are still a lot of features to be added to the game, and they will only make the game more awesome. Currently the games biggest downfall is the lack of a save feature, but that is supposed to be implemented very soon. It’s still very enjoyable to swim around and explore. You can craft items that make you swim faster, and you can craft tools such as a knife or beacon. You can even terraform! The game allows you to dig, which hints that maybe there will be some sort of building mechanic in the future. If you love the feeling of being underwater, this game perfectly recreates that feeling. Sometimes I even find myself holding my breath until I remember that it’s just my character that needs to be doing that. If you think the world is pretty during the daytime, just wait until the sun sets. Everything begins to glow, and the fish seem to be more calm.

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I definitely think the game is worth checking out. It has been released on Steam, but you can also purchase it from the website. The game is still early access, and not everything is in place yet. There are still some bugs, and features that need to be added, so make sure you’re okay with all of that before you buy the game.

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Until next time…

GAME HARD