Blue Protocol

A few months ago Bandai Namco announced that they were hosting a closed beta testing for one of the games they’ve been working on called Blue Protocol. Blue Protocol is an MMORPG where players complete various quests and clear dungeons. Last weekend, the closed beta started and lots of gameplay has already been recorded and livestreamed. This week, I’ll be writing about what I think of Bandai Namco’s Blue Protocol.

When the closed beta was first announced I was interested because compared to other MMORPGs I’ve seen, the visuals seemed less tiring on the eyes which I’d had a problem with in other games. For example, in Black Desert Online, the UI had a lot of things going on and it was really difficult to figure out what all the different things on the screen were. Additionally, the overall environment was very detailed and although everything looked nice, it was hard to find things like monsters from far away.

While I didn’t make it into the closed beta, the storyline of the game seems really easy to follow at the start of the game from what I’ve seen on livestreams. At the beginning of the game, the main quest line is focused on a lot and the introductory NPCs have their own voice lines which makes them memorable. I think that helps players get more involved with the story instead of going off on their own doing random quests at the beginning of the game.

Like most MMORPGs, Blue Protocol has classes that you can choose in the game. I’m not sure if Bandai Namco plans on adding more, but at the moment there are only four playable classes in the game. However, it looks like you’ll be able to switch between classes later on. The four classes are a shield an sword user called the Aegis Fighter, an axe duel wielder called the Twin Striker, a bow user called the Blast Archer, and a wizard/witch type class called the Spell Caster. Personally, after seeing how all of the classes play, they all seem pretty familiar. The only thing that I find interesting between these classes is how the Blast Archer’s targeting mechanic works. When firing at an enemy, a Blast Archer user can either lock on to the enemy or use their own aim to attack their target. In my opinion, it seems like the lock on would be way more advantageous. I guess it would make sense that if you used your own aim you’d have better visibility since the centre of your screen wouldn’t be focused on one enemy. Other than that though, I don’t really see too many issues with the classes.

In addition to the different classes, each class has their own skill trees with plenty of different skill points. I’m not too sure if you’ll be able to unlock every single skill for each class though because if skill points have a limit then you’d have to choose which types of skills you wanted to level up. There are definitely quite a few different skills, so it will probably take some time before people come up with the most effective skill combos for each class.

Overall, Blue Protocol is looking like a really promising game and the people playing the closed beta seem to be enjoying it. I’ll continue watching more closed beta content for the time being. Whenever the game hosts its next closed beta I’ll definitely register again, but for the time being, waiting for the official release is most likely what’s going to happen.


For the past week or so, I’ve had the chance to play Riot Game’s new project called Valorant. It’s a pretty popular new game at the moment, but for now, it’s still in closed beta. My friends and I have been playing the game quite a bit, and this week I’ll be writing about my experience so far with the game.

Riot Game’s is most popularly known for being the developers of the game League of Legends which is a competitive 5v5 MOBA game. MOBAs are Multiplayer Online Battle Areas where each player chooses a character with their own unique abilities. In order to win, one team must destroy the other team’s objective. Personally, I don’t really play too many MOBA games, but that’s the main idea. However, the point is that Riot Game’s specialty was League of Legends, so people were surprised when they heard that Riot was coming out with a First Person Shooter game in the form of Valorant.

Unlike most First Person Shooters, there are different characters that players can choose at the start of each game similar to Overwatch. These characters have different abilities and tools. The objective of the game is very similar to Counter-Strike where one team defends multiple sites while the other team has attack a site and plant a bomb. A lot of the gameplay features in Valorant are identical to Counter-Strike with the exception of specialized characters.

To be honest, when the closed beta was introduced I wasn’t really too interested, but once my friends started to get into the game I decided to try it out. I’d seen a few videos of the game on YouTube before I started playing, so I already had a general idea of how the game worked. To my surprise, I found that my experience with Counter-Strike transferred over really well. The only thing that I still find a bit confusing is how to best use each of the different characters’ abilities. For now, I’m only using one character and trying to use their abilities the best I can before trying to use all of the rest.

After a few games, it gets really fun to play especially if you have friends who are also learning the game with you. When my friends and I started playing, we were all already familiar with standard first person shooters, so it was fun finding out about what each of the characters could do and the abilities they had.

The game is still in closed beta though, so there are still some things that I think they could change. One of the things I don’t really like is how far away you can hear enemy footsteps. When a player runs they can be heard from really far away, and it makes rotating from one site to another take a lot of time if you don’t want to be heard. In terms of the character abilities, I think most of them are pretty balanced although there could be some small changes made to specific abilities.

Overall, Valorant has been a really fun experience and it’s different from the games I’m used to playing. I think in the near future my friends and I will be playing more of it. I’m pretty sure there are also some professional Counter-Strike players that have switched over to Valorant already. It should be interesting to see how strategies and gameplay develops competitively.

CS:GO’s First Gameplay Update After End of Operation

Yesterday, Valve released the very first update since the end of Operation Shattered Web. For the past few months, the game’s community has had a few concerns in terms of weapon balances and map updates. In this recent update Valve has tried to address some of those things, and this week I’ll be writing about them.

The biggest change that was made in this update was to the SG553 which is one of the main rifles on the terrorist side. Before this update, the SG553 had undergone various amounts of usage despite not having it’s statistical values changed. In a past update, a change in price was made for the gun, creating more opportunities for players to use it. People soon realized its potential and it became apparent that the weapon needed to be changed in order for it to be more balanced. Valve did just that by reducing the fire rate and accuracy of the weapon, but now there’s concern that they may have overdone it. Now, the SG553 has become almost unviable in a lot of eyes.

Another big change that Valve made in this update was towards the Desert Eagle pistol. Being one of the most infamous pistols in the game there wasn’t much conversation about changing the weapon before the update. In fact, some would even argue that it was already overpowered. Instead, it was decided that the jumping accuracy of the weapon was increased. Now, it’s possible to hit very accurate shots while jumping in the air. Jumping and shooting have never been really synonymous to the Counter-Strike franchise, and the pistol’s update is quickly being compared to the R8 revolver update which was known for being quite terrible in terms of balancing.

Valve also decided to reduce the price of the counter-terrorist side’s M4A1-S which is an alternative version to the M4A4 which remains at its original price. For the time being this change doesn’t appear to be that big of an issue, but later on after more usage due to a reduced price; it is possible that rebalancing may need to occur. Personally, I’ve switched from the M4A4 over to the M4A1-S just to see how it compares, but so far the price difference hasn’t made that big of a difference in my opinion.

Overall, the only other notable things included in the update were small map related changes and a slight buff to the Tec-9 pistol and PP-Bizon SMG. I think that this update has definitely already shifted the weapon choices that players make, and we’ll most likely also see further changes in the following weeks. Right now, I think that Valve has tried to balance the old META, but they’ve already created new problems for themselves. As of now, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Online Learning

Due to schools being closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, students are now being required to learn online starting next Monday. We’ve been given instructions on what to do, but I think there’ll still be some issues. This week I’ll be writing about how our online learning system is being used.

For the past few weeks, the school hadn’t given much information on what to do in terms of learning. At the start of March break some teachers gave out a small amount of work, but that was about it. However, as of this week, it’s been announced that we will begin online learning using platforms such as Google Classroom. Supposedly teachers will post class material in the morning, and students will have the rest of the day to work on what has been posted. This allows for students to choose which subjects they want to work on first.

Posting the classwork for every single class all at once happens at the beginning of the day at around 9:00-10:00. I’m not too sure how it will affect my workflow, and which subjects to work on first, so we’ll see how it goes. Students should be able to ask questions to the teacher through email which would be helpful since the whole online learning thing is quite new.

In one of the emails the school sent out, they stated that high school students will receive “three hours of work per course per week”. From my interpretation, that means that class time will effectively be cut in half since the usual class time is 70 minutes. In my opinion, I feel like this is quite strange because each day you’d only be working for around two and a half hours each day. That seems quite little since we’d usually be at school for six hours. The material will either have to be really efficient to process or else we’d be slowing down on the curriculum. With my experience of my last semester, each class was planned out so that we could get through the entire curriculum before exams came up. By cutting class time in half I’m not too sure whether not we’ll be able to get through the material in the same amount of time.

Another thing that I’m curious about is how things will turn out if students don’t do the work. Some students don’t even do their work at school, and now that teaching is being done online, it’d be up to the parents to make sure that students are doing their work. With everyone staying at home I’m pretty sure that some people are going to end up not doing their school work.

Overall, the online learning plan seems to have some holes in it, but I think that there will be improvements to the system as time goes on. However, I think the main question will be whether or not classes will be able to progress through the curriculum according to schedule while also having the students understanding the material.