So Borderlands 3 was announced and had a trailer released at Pax East 2019 during the Gearbox conference which was also live streamed. For a long time it was assumed that the Borderlands series was discontinued and gearbox had actually cancelled plans to make a 3rd installment to the series because no one had heard anything about a sequel even multiple years after the release of Borderlands 2 which was in 2012. Also Borderlands 2 is still doing decently as a game with fans continuing to play because it is now just an old classic and said to be one of the best looter-shooter games of all time which attracts new people to try it out at least once and they usually end up falling in love with it because of how fun the game play is and how entertaining and immersive the story and whole world is. When I am writing this Borderlands 3 has just been released so we don’t have too much information to go off of. However when I post that it may be different but in the trailer at least there were many familiar faces to the Borderlands series and and fans of the Borderlands series and it boasted a selection of 1 billion guns to collect and use. I am pretty excited for the new Borderlands because it was so unexpected because I had given up on the idea of a third installment to Borderlands and even if there isn’t much more the game has to offer compared to Borderlands 2 as in new features i’d still be happy playing it.
So last weekend I was finally accepted into the closed beta testing for Nvidia’s Geforce Now. Geforce Now is a service that allows you to play games on good settings with high fps even if you have a bad computer or if you have a mac and you want to have a good gaming experience. It does take a while to be accepted I sent in my request at the beginning of last November and was just accepted last weekend. I have tested a good amount of games (Overwatch, Destiny 2, Rust, Batman Arkham Knight, Fortnite, CS:GO) so I have a pretty good idea of how it works. How it works is that it plays your games from a server center that Nvidia has setup. So the game actually isn’t running on your computer but it is running on Nvidia’s server and it streams what that server is playing to your computer. This is still a fairly new thing but as long as you have a good WiFi or Ethernet connection at home it is very playable especially if you aren’t having a good pc gaming experience at home.
When I compared the streaming service to just my normal PC running it the main thing I noticed for most games was screen tear. So if I would try to flick my mouse or move it quickly the screen would lag behind for a bit and then catch-up right after I would finish the flick. That really was the only problem I had. My WiFi at home was above the recommended stats for things like bit rate and ping but the problem was that it was a 2.5 GHz connection not a 5 GHz which is recommended. The difference between a 2.4 GHz connection and a 5 GHz connection is that a 2.4 GHz connection provides a stronger connection over a larger amount of area and it isn’t as disrupted when going through walls and floors. But, overall a 5 GHz connection is stronger but only if you are close to it and not too far away. Also that the preset settings of how you want the game play streamed to your PC bottle-necked your bit rate.
If you do sign up for the program and get accepted it is a great program and is still in beta so it is always going to be getting updates and getting improved. If you have a 2.4 GHz connection then I suggest trying to use an Ethernet cable but one that doesn’t bottleneck your connection so you don’t only get a fraction of what you should be getting from your router and get everything you can. Or try to play mostly single-player or PvE games because when playing PvP it takes a lot more resources so it can mess up the experience a bit. Another thing I recommend is to make custom settings of how you want the game to be streamed to your PC. Don’t be really extravagant if you don’t need to 1280x720p and 60 fps was pretty smooth also max out the bit rate it can use for a better experience.
Overwatch League Season 2 started yesterday February 14th. With the Start of OWL Season 2, 8 new teams join the veteran 12 teams from last Season including, Toronto Defiant, Washington Justice, Guangzhou Charge, Atlanta Reign, Chengdu Hunters, Hangzhou Spark, Paris Eternal, and Vancouver Titans. The first day of Overwatch league had 4 very exciting games. The first game of the Season was the exact same as the last Grand Final Championship game of the first Season, Philadelphia Fusion vs. London Spitfire, in the Grand Finals the London Spitfire was victorious over the Fusion but this time it wasn’t the same the Philadelphia took their revenge by taking a nail biter 3-1 win. The second game of the day was the New York Excelsior vs. Boston Uprising, New York Excelsior and Boston Uprising are both teams with lots of potential, when Uprising were in their peak in Season 1 they were the best team in the league. However New York Excelsior is just the most consistent team in the league and they are consistently in the top 3 teams, so Excelsior took the win 2-1. The next game of the day was between a fan favorite Seoul Dynasty and a team playing in their own home the Los Angeles Gladiators. These teams both have great individual players and have shown lots of promise in the past. In their match-up Seoul Dynasty took the win in another close 3-1 game. The last game of the day was argued to be one of the best if not the best, Shanghai Dragons vs. Hangzhou Spark. Shanghai Dragons hold the title for the longest losing streak in all of sports history not only eSports but conventional sports as well, going 0-40 in the first Season of OWL never winning a game and not making the cut for the play-offs. The Hangzhou Spark would also be the first new team we would see play. But, ever since they announced joining the OWL they became a fan favorite with a vibrant cotton candy blue and pink color scheme and a very powerful roster coming mostly for a dominant korean team called Panthera which performed very well in smaller tournaments. But, hopes were high for Dragons fans because the entire team had been redesigned by the organization with only a handful of players from the first Season staying on the team. Sadly the losing streak continued for the Dragons losing to the Hangzhou Spark 3-1 in another very close match. In the beginning of the game it seemed as if they were going to have an easy win but the Spark didn’t give up and always came back with a fight.
Recently I revisited a franchise that I really like when I used to play on the Xbox 360, Borderlands. Back on the 360 I had the first Borderlands and when I began PC gaming I actually bought the 2nd installment Borderlands 2 but for some reason I never played it. Over winter break I decided to try it out again, I think I didn’t play it for so long because I thought it was kind of old and outdated. But, when I started playing I really enjoyed it. I loved how you could totally customize how you play the game with class mods and skill trees to give boosts to certain aspects of your character and allow them to have certain abilities. The gun play was also really satisfying I loved trying out new weapons with different elemental burns and especially rare and unique weapons that were totally different than everything else. It reminded me a little bit of one of my favorite games ever Destiny and Destiny 2 and I think the Destiny franchise could even learn a little from Borderlands. I would definitely play a Borderlands 3 but sadly I don’t think gearbox the makers of Borderlands are going to make one.
I’ve been playing Overwatch for multiple years at this point ever since the closed beta. Over the past year my love for the game has diminished to the point where I don’t really enjoy playing it. Now when I play Overwatch it is to play my seven weekly competitive games so I can maintain my rank for the game, which I don’t even always do anymore. Overwatch for me used to be a really fun game that I could always play and enjoy now now the game feels watered down and isn’t close to being as fun for me and I want to find out why so I think I should start at the beginning.
How my Overwatch journey began was one of my friends at the time had a beta account and he let me play on it because I saw game play of the it and wanted to try it out myself. So till the full release I would share it with him. In the beta I came to love the game and would play every second when my friend wasn’t online and I had free time. When the game officially came out I really wanted to get it but I wasn’t able to so I would move on a different friends account, I would play on their only for a little while till I got my own account.
When I finally did get my own account about a year after the game officially released I jumped straight into competitive with my friend. That was a bad decision because at the time my friend was in the upper 5% of players so everyone there was way better than anything I had experienced. Even though I wasn’t absolutely terrible it was my first time playing in a more competitive atmosphere compared to the casual quick play where people would mostly just goof off. Because of this I got placed in low gold which was below the average player. This was because the game would compare my match statistics to other players that were in my MMR the hidden skill rating the game gives you, usually when you do your first ten ranked matches the game uses an algorithm to detect which rank you should be placed in and since it has no idea in the placement games it places you in your MMR. So I should have been playing against people my own MMR in my placement matches but rather I ended up playing with the top 5% of players. Because of this my statistics for the game were significantly worse than the other in my game and other players that have my MMR going against equal opponents.
When I first got placed in low gold I was a little bummed because I did want to do good. So I decided to make myself improve as much as I could, I would record matches and watch them over and watch some of the best players in the world and analyze what they did that was good and what they did that was bad. But, when I was doing all this I enjoyed it, I was having fun so it didn’t seem like work. Then after doing all these things to improve I would slowly climb in rank going from Gold to Platinum then to Diamond and then Masters. All that happened over around a year, over a year I had climbed up and improved to where I had originally been destroyed in my first 10 matches ever.
Cut to present day and I’m much better at the game but it turned out to be a curse in disguise more than anything, people in higher skill ranks people are more rude or commonly known as toxic, and the games variety gets boiled down to everyone playing the same thing because it is more powerful than everything else and gives you a winning advantage. If I had stayed in lower ranks it might had lead me to stay in a more casual experience. Also the game sadly has deteriorated over time heroes have been added in that don’t seem balanced in one way or another. Some heroes are too weak, some are too powerful, some are only viable at a certain skill rank and the list goes on. I think one of the reasons why the game ends up with such poor hero design is not because the team working on it for the game isn’t talented it is because they are rushed they make and release a new hero every 4 months. Along making new heroes the team also has to work on the things already in the game like fixing bugs, changing already existing heroes whether it is changing a cool down for a hero’s attack or entirely changing everything about the hero other than the model. Though I used to love the game I don’t think I will be playing it much in the future sadly.
(All Overwatch Competitive Ranks, the numbers on the right is the Skill Rating number)
Recently over winter break I decided to purchase Left 4 Dead 2 because it was recommended to me by friends and it had a holiday sale. At first I was a bit hesitant because I thought it might end up being one of the games that I open once a month for 30 mins because of how old it is. Left 4 Dead 2 was released in 2009 making around 10 years old. But, I got it any ways because it was super cheap anyway and when I started playing I all my expectations were surpassed. For a game made in 2009 it still had pretty fun game play with cool mechanics for different zombies you could become and all the different weapons and not to mention the really well made maps. As well as the fact that their are still many active players on PC so it wasn’t as hard to find a game as I thought. Playing with friends also made very fun because of how hectic it was and it seemed as there was never any downtime. Though Left 4 Dead 2 is really old I still think it is one of the best if not the best zombie game I’ve ever played and it should set the bar for any other zombie games.
As of this post I have about 5 hours on Subnautica. Around 2 hours in Survival and 3 hours in Creative. If you want to check it out for yourself the game it is free till the end of the month on the Epic Games Launcher, the same place you go to play Fortnite on PC.
First off Subnautica is a survival game where you are the sole survivor of a spaceship crash onto a planet that is entirely water. When starting off it was pretty straightforward, it provided you with some food and water and your escape pod for shelter. The beginning was pretty slow because you have just get some basic materials. But, after the slow start the game really picks up there are so many biomes, shipwrecks, destroyed escape pods to explore and from these new areas your character learns how to create new vehicles and how to make bases and so many really cool things. After playing a little bit in Survival I decided to jump into Creative to see as much of the game as I could. I proceeded to create the vehicles and tried making a base of my own and it really surpassed my expectations. The vehicles I played with and thought were really fun was the robotic suit that lets you go around in the depths while having a sense of security, the little underwater submarine which made going around to gather materials millions of times easier, and my personal favorite the full fledged submarine which allows you to go to depths that I didn’t even know existed and the whole submarine is accessible and allows storage for the robot suit or mini-sub and when using it felt like a mobile home.