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David Piner

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You may have heard, a trend rushing through YouTube is various influencers are pitching a site where you open real life loot boxes to receive items. When you open one of those boxes, you will receive a physical item. You can sell the item back for cash or have the item shipped to you. Things range from exotic sports cars to some random tat off of Amazon, with all reports showing the weight distribution is “no exotic sport cars” and “tons of random tat.” There is a lot to unpack with this. You have a ner’do’well company that’s exploiting addiction and gambling. You have YouTubers ranging from innocent youths to just people trying to make a hustle. You have the games media sounding off every siren in the world because loot boxes are abysmal as is in the virtual world, importing them into the real world doesn’t help. The Company…

Activision Blizzard is just outright being weird. It started many years ago when Activision bought Blizzard. At that point everyone declared Blizzard dead and that profits will rule the kingdom. That wasn’t… true you could say? Blizzard, under Mike Morhaime one of the co-founders of Blizzard, continued to prosper and be the one game launcher (Blizzard App, previously Battle.net) that no one complained about, Then 2018 hit and like many things, Activision Blizzard got weird. Mike Morhaime left the company, the CFO was poached twice and they basically began mothballing their very popular game Heroes of the Storm. All the while they spent most of the year being besieged by positive press about their profits. Then, there was BlizzCon where they announced the Diablo: Immortal game to basically people pausing and going what. Why did this happen? There is a lot to it, with many moving parts. If I had…

It’s no joke that game piracy really hurts the industry. How it hurts the industry, I do not know. Most of the pirates I’ve seen probably don’t have enough money to buy the games they “steal” but nevertheless it’s a problem. I mean, if games don’t make money then investors don’t invest in games and then we’re stuck with GoFundMes and Kickstarter games that have as much success making it past the first released alpha build as you do getting your order right at the local fast food restaurant. The key to piracy is that the games code is executed within the PC that it is installed in. If you play, for instance, Fallout 4 then there is very little online connectivity built into the game. Everything, from NPCs to damage calculations, is ran through your processor and graphics card to present the game to you. The game’s code is…

Everything online right now is sponsored by VPNs and I don’t really understand it. You basically are glad handing another company your complete and total internet traffic instead of your home ISP, who now gets instead of mostly encrypted traffic gets all encrypted traffic. Every single tech blogger out there and now even gaming sites are just spamming it with VPN deals from a variety of VPN companies, who I assume are carting over buckets of gold. Let’s talk about VPNs. So a “Virtual Private Network” is slang for “this thing that connects your PC to other PCs via encrypted tubes over the Internet protecting your privacy get one today.” Which is, really interesting to me. I mean, REALLY interesting to me. In a traditional setup with your current internet, all of your traffic is routed as naked as the day it was born through the tubes that connect the…

Fighting Steam is the past time for many people in this world it seems, as we’re now seeing the Epic Store vs. Steam battle keep raging on. Which is much like the golden ages of MMOs where almost every month a new WoW killer was coming to fight the champion, who won the war via attrition and investors tired of sending their money down a bottomless pit. Now Epic Games, Discord and even Kongregate the flash game site is trying to lure you into replacing Steam with their awesome storefront. This isn’t new, Razer started selling games in their zCoin software forever ago. Twitch has the ability to buy some games, but the purchases often help the streamer. Humble Bundle was once a monthly bundle of games for charity and has actually turned into a massive competitor, while GreenManGaming has solidified itself as low-cost option for AAA launch titles again…

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak was recently on the Steam Winter Sale so I finally picked it up, several years after release, because I noticed many top RTS articles had it prominently featured and I absolutely loved the Homeworld series. Deserts of Kharak was an interesting experience because it removed the Z axis from the original Homeworld series and placed the game flat on the ground, but kept the generally same gameplay. If you’ve played Homeworld before, then I’d say get it when it’s on sale or even when it’s not, because it’s more of the same but different enough that you’re not drowning in a formulaic experience. Persistence exists, so resources gathered are kept map to map along with units and their promotions. Units have an almost Atlus / Shin Megami Tensei vibe to how they play against each other’s weakness. Armored vehicles take strike vehicles out, but strike vehicles…

Not a lot is known about Heroes of the Storm’s next champion, other than he’s from Diablo 3 and was heavily featured in the expansion. We first met Imperius back in 2011’s Blizzcon, where the above concept art was introduced. It’s interesting that they’re moving for an Angel from Diablo 3 when we already have Auriel and Malthael. Andariel is a pretty popular request as she was the only female Evil until Diablo 3’s Diablo went and got a sex change. Andariel was the only female “Evil” until Diablo III. Of course, Imperius is a fan favorite too so this isn’t a giant upset. It’s just interesting that they’re expanding Heroes with more angels on the heels of announcing the reorganization of the Heroes of the Storm support team. Since we don’t know much about his abilities until January 2nd, let’s talk a little about who he is. Imperius is…

Should you buy into Atlas right now? I’m going to say no, but caveat that clearly with I haven’t played and I’m simply sharing the advice that I’m following myself. Atlas has right now an overwhelming amount of negative reviews and a lot of chatter online about how buggy, broken, etc. that it is. There is also the fact that it’s allegedly just an ARK DLC wrapped around a new standalone game, ala Fallout 76, which was a DLC wrapped around Fallout 4’s engine with multiplayer added. There is also the fact it’s still one of the most watched games on Twitch this far out. So why do I say you should hold off buying? Well, it’s to let the community sort out if it’s going to adopt it or not. If you haven’t bought it yet, I would hold off and see how the community withstands the next few…

Bethesda recently announced that they will be giving gamers a free copy of both Fallout 1 & 2, along with Fallout Tactics, as an extra bonus for all of the problems and issues that gamers have ran into. Normally, such giveaways are just a bribe, but in this instance, I actually like the gesture. It’s nice that gamers are able to get something extra with a game they purchased and for the problems they’ve experienced. What’s even nicer, the free software is actually something that most gamers won’t even think of or consider. Fallout 3 was the third main Fallout game, a huge departure from Fallout 1 & 2 which were top down ARPGs. Back when Fallout 3 came out, Fallout 1 & 2 were still popular games because it was 2008, ten years since the release of Fallout 2. It has now been ten years since Fallout 3 and…