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multiplayer

GTA-Online-Casino-Exterior

Not everyone is allowed to play at the new GTA Online Casino

GTA Online – Your account does not have permission to complete this purchase.

ALERT: Your account does not have permission to complete this purchase. For further help, go to:

This is the message that a bunch of players are seeing when they try buying chips from the cashier at the newly established GTA Online Diamond Casino Spa & Resort in bloody Los Santos.

The very anticipated Casino has just opened today – but gambling is not for everyone. Killing, stealing, trafficking is all well and good in GTA Online but DON’T YOU DARE GAMBLE!

Apparently, people from at least 50 countries, including Portugal, Hungary, Israel and Argentina have been prevented from trading in any chips.

These left-out players aren’t able to access the free daily bonuses at the cashier, or the wheel spin at all. It may also affect bonuses from the Penthouse, missions, world collectibles, and unique clothing and items.

GTA Online Casino
GTA Online Casino

Apparently, there’s a region lock to access the Casino’s features. This includes buying chips and playing with them – effectively limiting all gambling activity for some players.

We’re talking funny money here. In-game cash translates to the same amount of in-game casino chips which can only be refunded to in-game cash.

If there’s one thing Rockstar is used to deal with …is lawsuits.

Apparently, the reason for this region lock is that Rockstar does not want to register as a gambling entity (such as with other online gambling websites). Even if you now have to accept a new EULA, this effectively means that they’re not able to deliver this type of content to a large number of countries.

As far as I understand the law (and other games that do this), the real problem here is the fact that players are able to buy in-game currency with real money and then spend it all gambling (instead of buying new in-game cars).
Well, if that’s the problem, then the already present chip currency could be used to *legally* buy stuff without having to convert it to the real-cash-connected GTA bucks – that wouldn’t be gambling and that would solve the legal conundrum. Think about it Rockstar!

Make sure you follow me on Twitch if you wish to stay up to date about when these things change or a legal alternative has been found!

Most countries have grey-area laws on online gambling.
Most regulate physical gambling effectively but lack online regulation.

Here in the EU, only a few players in Germany seem to be able to access the Casino features. This has sparked a rush to VPN services. Players are trying to connect via VPN to get a German or American IP address in order to play at the Diamond Casino. Note: Some people argue that this practice may get your account banned for trying to bypass common online identity checks.

ALERT: Your account does not have permission to complete this purchase. For further help, go to:

Rockstar support is inefficient

Rockstar support is completely inefficient at informing players why they’re unable to use the Casino. There’s not a single official reply to queries regarding this situation and the players were left to figure it out for themselves.

I’m hoping that they eventually revise their region-lock limitations or that, at the very least, they inform players that they won’t be able to access this content beforehand. Some people are complaining that they bought Twitch Prime to access the “free” content and Penthouse at the now pointless Casino.

Players will eventually find a way around this issue. They’ve done that before with private servers, hacks and the RP server boom in the past couple of years.

They will find a way to make it work – legally, or otherwise.

Nope. She ain’t givin’ you no moneys.

In any case, it feels lame that the largest GTA Online update in years is locked to so many players around the world.

And there I was. Looking at the shiny new slot machine.
Press E to interact.
ALERT: Your account does not have permission to complete this purchase. For further help, go to: www.rockstargames.com/support

So frustrating!

This update should never have been developed in the first place. Their energy should have been spent on new content that everyone would be able to enjoy. Besides the Casino and the Penthouse, the remaining content is just a couple of missions, a few new unremarkable vehicles, and a pair of easily-outdated cosmetics.

Heists is where GTA Online truly shines – co-op missions with cinematics and a story to play with your friends. Yet, no new heists have been released in a VERY long time. Instead, we’ve been stuck with mostly cosmetic updates that don’t effectively expand the story or the replayability of the game.

GTA-Online-Casino-Exterior

The truth is that the game is still fun.

Rockstar-outlawed private servers and RP have given it a boost recently. But the updates have mostly been delivering content that is both very expensive and insubstantial.

I live in Portugal. I’ve got a casino across the street from my home and I’m not able to play on GTA Online with funny money. *shrug*

If, like me, you’re not able to play at the Casino, check out my post on How I became an Undead Pirate in Sea of Thieves. A fun read. I promise. And you won’t lose any chips.

Alternatively, you may also want to check out my Twitch channel and join me playing this and other games!

I’ll see you in Los Santos (but not at the Casino),
-ViLa4480

Tropico 6

Tropico 6 – Guess Who’s Back!

The red carpet is set, the people have been groomed, the rebels silenced.
All is ready for your speech, El Presidente!

With Anno 1800 on the very near horizon, Tropico 6 has just released.

With its unique serious-but-silly tone, Tropico 6 sets itself apart from other city-building and management games.

Take a vacation from the polluted, traffic-ridden, industrial metropolises in Simcity or the cold and way-too-clean streets of Cities: Skylines.

Come to Tropico.
Now! -Or else.

Welcome to Tropico!

Eyes in the skies to “protect” your people!

If you’re new to Tropico, let me explain why you need to try it out:
‘Dictatorship is just a rude label.
You have been divinely appointed to guide your people… but now you need to stay in power. By any means necessary.

Things get trickier over time, as each and every decision you make tips the 8-sided scale of your people’s support towards a certain faction. If you appease the communists with a shiny new school, the capitalists will surely dislike the costs it imposes on your budget and might even rebel.
Ah… do not worry Mr. El Presidente, bribery is still an option, and there’s plenty of jail cells available in your island!

Draw tourists to your beautiful nuclear powerplant!

The game becomes more and more complex as you play it. It steadily grows the number of actions you’re able to perform, the number of buildings available to build, and the number of factions present. This level-up scalability keeps things fresh and interesting, even for experienced players.

Shiny, sweaty engines & bananas

The landmark game in the city-building genre has a brand new game engine – and it looks amazing. It allows for even prettier graphics, which have always been key to the Tropico series.

This is Tropico 6 – the banana-republic simulator!

One of its major improvements is the new archipelagoes system.
El Presidente is now able to expand his godly benevolence to nearby islands.
This new iteration also adds true multiplayer features. There might be some concerns over saving 4h-long multiplayer games. However, the prospect of having an archipelago run by several dictators with different ideologies is quite thrilling.

A lot of the game has changed but the essence is still there. You get to run a beautiful Caribbean island whilst struggling with famine, poverty, explosive cigars, religion, rebellions, allegiance to foreign superpowers and rivalry with Caribbean neighbors. You are still able to turn your island into a religious commune or a capitalistic intellectual haven.

Why bother making new landmarks when you can steal them instead?

The introduction of world landmarks (that actually serve a purpose), raids, and the expanded trade options feel like all previous Tropico DLCs have been added to this new game for free. It also seems like it has plenty of room for new, solid, expansions.

The combat system is still bad, as it has always been in the series, but they’ve added plenty of new buildings, factions, and abilities, which keeps things interesting.

Final speech

Tropico 6 does not set itself apart from the series.
We wouldn’t want that anyway – but it does a few things very well.

The game is really fun to play and explore. New and experienced players will enjoy the type of complexity and progression it provides – and it feels like a substantial upgrade to previous iterations of the Tropico series, without changing its core concepts. Even though it seems like there’s a bit of “soul” missing to the game, it still gets my vote and I can’t wait to play more.

Popcorn Score:

5/5 Pops – a solid score for a solid game that orders you to go play it. Now.

If you enjoy this soviet-era funny-but-not-so-funny approach, you might be interested in checking Papers, Please: The Short Film! Go check it out now!

If instead you would prefer to support this blog and get Tropico 6 at a discount price, buy it through here!

I’ll see you at my speech,
-ViLa “El Prez” 4480

Sea of Thieves - the undead pirate captain

How I became an Undead Pirate Captain – Sea of Thieves

I’ve got a tale to tell.
It will shiver yer bones.

If you would like to read my previous review on Sea of Thieves, check out my previous post: The Best Co-op Games 2018 – Sea of Thieves.

Something out of this world happened to me in Sea of Thieves…

I was sailing the high seas with my scallywag crewmates.
We were chasing a skull in the skies.

Skeleton fort in sight! – yelled my crewmate from the crow’s nest.

The crows nest in sea of thieves

We turned off the oil lamps, raised the sails and slowly docked our ship next to a cliff. Having the ship so close to the island meant we would be barely visible on the horizon. Pirates often roam raiding locations waiting for us to unlock its treasures… and then they attack – so it is important to stay hidden.

However…

Something strange and something wicked was bound to happen…

Once we defeated the last skeleton on the island we unlocked a treasure vault full of gold relics, silver cups, gemstones, rare spices and gold chests!

WOHOO! Someone cryed.

We started hauling our stuff back to the ship… but once we got there…
I mean… …once we got there… …ONCE WE GOT THERE…

WE COULDN’T GET ON THE SHIP!!!

Somehow, whenever we climbed the ladder, we would fall through the ship and into the ocean below it!

There we were… treasures in hand and unable to haul them back to the outpost.

Maybe the issue was the sand bank below the ship?

I decided that we were not going to be defeated by a bug!
So I climbed to the nearest watchtower and jumped onto the ship – hoping that I’d be able to lower the sails before falling through the lower deck again…

So I jumped…

Unfortunately, I forgot that I was low on health due to having fought the skeletons before. I died once I hit the ship’s upper deck.

Or did I?…

The quickest visit to the Ferry of the Damned

The Ferry of the Damned in Sea of Thieves
The Ferry of the Damned

I saw my restless body fall under the ship and then being dragged to the Ferry of the Damned – the place where dead souls linger before being returned to life.

However… my soul’s body fell off the Ferry of the Damned!!
…and it kept falling
…falling
…falling

The screen slowly faded to black…


*SPLASH*
I woke up under water.

While I’m pulling myself back to the surface I’m noticing that my arms are green… ghost green! I’m a ghost!

I am a ghost in the realm of the living!

How could this be?!
As I get my head above the water I can see the fort island far far away – easily recognizable in the distance because of the big cloudy skull above it!

As I turn around I had to take some time to contemplate and try to figure out what I was seeing.

A massive blob of chests and artifacts was floating above me. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I touched them and they fell to the sea floating above the water… several high-end chests and skulls! What were they doing here?!

I was in the middle of the ocean, my skin was ghost-green and there’s a bunch of chests hovering right above me. Wow!

A flying blob of treasure in Sea of Thieves
A flying blob of treasure chests!

While stranded in the middle of nowhere, I ask my crewmates to come and get me before I drown… I give them instructions on how to find me as there’s no mermaid in sight to get me back to my ship.

Then a small fin appears above the water. IT’S A SHARK!!!

While trying to grab my sword I notice that it is nowhere to be found!
Ghosts have no weapons – I thought to myself! – and I can’t really punch it or negotiate a truce!

The shark tries to bite me… but no damage is dealt. I am dead after all… You can’t re-die if you’re dead!

I dove as deep as I could… yet there was no damage to my non-existent health bar. …You can’t drown if you’re dead!

As I come back up to the surface I notice the chests that were previously floating above the water slowly falling down into the abyss. I managed to grab them and brought them up to the surface again and again like a juggling act!

A ship approaches me! My friends have arrived!

They’re stunned when they see my character undead which granted a few laughs and some poorly constructed jokes!

A friendly ghost waving in Sea of Thieves
A friendly ghost waving

We proceeded to haul all the chests and skulls floating above the water… we weren’t going to let them go to waste! We headed back to the fort to finish what we started and then proceeded towards the outpost to sell our stuff.

On the way there I saw something shiny in the distance – so I aimed the cannon, got myself inside it and fired it to go check it out.


Meanwhile, the sea around the ship turned ink-black and we were attacked by a giant 10-legged Kraken!
That slimy creature wrecked our ship! My crewmates were running very low on supplies and unable to survive the fight!

The Kraken has a terrible sense of timing.

I ran and swam towards the ship as fast as I could and when I got there all of our treasures were floating above the water and the ship was nowhere to be seen!

My crewmate was being attacked by sharks and I kept feeding him my bananas – a ghost has no need for bananas.
Eventually he died and I was left there by myself hauling stuff above the water as they sank slowly.

Our ship’s silhouette was visible in the distance! They picked me up and we hauled everything back onto the new ship.

so much booty - sea of thieves
So much booty!

After what seemed to take ages hauling stuff, we were finally able to sell our loot for a massive profit.

What exactly does it mean to be a ghost in the realm of the living?!

Maybe it was all just a bug that caused an exception and made me live when I should be dead.
Apparently immortal – but without weapons, I wasn’t able to cause any harm.
I was able to cross rock walls… would that be an issue for the game in the long run? Would that make me able to go through fort walls and steal the loot?

We joked that I should go to other player’s ships and act as an NPC giving them weird quests like “Fetch me a spotted 4-legged pig so a golden chest you may pick!” and then handing them a skeleton captain’s chest or something.
Or instead, pose as having a Ghost-Legendary Character Skin unique to the pirates that delivered 500 chicken!

We had a lot of fun with that peculiar bug for a while but, eventually, the server spit me out and I had to reconnect – back to being a regular living pirate with the sun laying down above a small ship floating on the waves of the Sea of Thieves.

YARR!

A ghost in sea of thieves

If you would like to join me in Sea of Thieves, add me on Steam and use this referral link to get Sea of Thieves at a special discount price.

Also, check my list of the Best Upcoming Games – 2019!

While writing this post I found a video on Youtube by Cyx in which he finds what they think is the ship of the damned deep underwater at the exact same location where I came back from the dead!
You can check it out here.

I’ll see you on the Ferry of the Damned,
-Cap’n ViLa4480