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Scorpius Port

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29716 of 50000 words

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Do You Need A Discord Server?

Discord was created to serve as a VoIP alternative to older services such as Skype and TeamSpeak, which the creator of Discord had found to be difficult or resource-heavy when working on game development with his team.

You can find out more about the history of Discord at Wikipedia.

If you are a game developer then discord was made for you, or at the very least by people that encountered the same issues with VoIP services that you might be encountering.

Discord allows you to bring together not only the members of your dev team, but to build a base of fans for your game that you can interact with throughout the development stages and beyond.

One drawback for new Discord users is not knowing where to get started. So if you think Discord might be something you want to learn more about join the Phantascene Productions Discord server (it’s FREE) and let me know you would like some help getting started. I’m still learning and adjusting the server, but I’m happy to assist anyone in getting started in whatever way I can.

Who is Arron Keener? What to know before you play The Division 2 (Spoilers for The Division)

NOTE: This article contains spoilers for Tom Clancy’s The Division.

Masterminds HD has the below guide to Keener’s story on their YouTube channel. It is missing a few details, and some of the information is out of order for how it is discovered in the game, but it is still a good look at what is known about Keener and his motives.  

What is an Agent? What to know before you play The Division 2 (Spoilers for The Division)

NOTE: This article contains spoilers for Tom Clancy’s The Division.

Agents are the player characters in Tom Clancy’s The Division and are highly skilled sleeper agents that were activated by presidential directive to ensure continuity of government by any means necessary.

When Roy Benitez is brought back to the base of operations he tells the player’s character and Faye Lau that he does not like the idea of throwing them to the wolves. Faye replies, “We are the wolves.”

Agents are equipped with SHD (shade) Tech, special equipment developed by the Strategic Homeland Division to help the agents in the field.

There are a number of phone messages by Benitez that tell the men and women of the Joint Task Force (JTF) about the agents of the Division.

What is The Division? What to know before you play The Division 2 (Spoilers for The Division)

NOTE: This article contains spoilers for Tom Clancy’s The Division.

Extremis Malis Extrema Remedia

The above quote is the Latin moto of the Division. The literal translation is “Extreme Evil, Extreme Remedy.”

More formally known as the Strategic Homeland Division, The Division is a classified unit of highly trained sleeper agents tasked with the duty to go into an area where local authorities have lost control and restore order. Division Agents are a last line of defense that is tasked with working beyond the law to preserve or restore the chain of command.  

 “There’s always another way. Our mission is to save what remains. To save what’s left of our city. We are The Division
                                               — Unknown Second Wave Division agent

A lot of information on the Division Agents and Directive 51 can be gleaned from finding the phone messages left around the city by Captain Roy Benitez. These are briefings to the men and women under his command about the Agents and what Benitez knows about them, which primarily seems to be “Look for the orange circles, and if you see one, get out of their way.”

What Happened to the Country? What to know before you play The Division 2 (Spoilers for The Division)

NOTE: This article contains spoilers for Tom Clancy’s The Division.

There has been a lot of debate about what happened to the world beyond the playable areas in Tom Clancy’s The Division when the virus turned pandemic after it was released in Able’s on Black Friday.

The unfortunate news is that the rest of the country fared no better than New York did, and the evidence is easily found in the game or heard by listening to the radios that are scattered throughout the safe houses and other locations in the game environment.

The first evidence is found it the opening sequence.

This still from the opening sequence clearly shows that by Monday afternoon there were major outbreaks in Washington state, California, Miami, Mexico, on both coasts of South America, Morocco, London, Moscow, Cape Town, Moscow, Tokyo, and many other locations all around the world. The United Nations has, by Cyber Monday, called an emergency summit to try to figure out what to do in the face of a global crisis that has hit every continent. The game shows up front that the virus escaped Manhattan long before the Agent arrived there.

The radios confirm this within the game. They play a series of pirate radio podcasts called “Wouldn’t You Know It?” that are put out by conspiracy theorist Rick Valassi. As the game progresses the podcasts change and the situation the city is facing is explained by Valassi through his podcast.

In one episode, later in the game, Valassi releases the following podcast to the airwaves:

Heard about Houston, New York? Heard about Detroit? Heard about Pittsburgh, PA? 

And not that we haven’t had our hands full here – we are the epicenter, after all – but it’s probably fair to say we’ve been so preoccupied with making it through the grindhouse flick we’re in, we just assumed the rest of the world would be there waiting for us at the end.

Not. So. Fast.

New numbers released today on the DCD website look shitty. Boston. Philly. Chicago. Atlanta, San Francisco, and LA. Infection numbers are through the roof.

You got martial law being enforced by state and national guards in every city in America. Interstate trucking disrupted, food’s not getting delivered, food riots daily across the country. Hospitals are overloading. No emergency services, ’cause the first responders have left to go help in bigger cities, like ours. Power grids up and down, just like that.

So, what’s my point? My point is, you’re like me. You’ve been telling yourself the world you know is waiting for you on the other side of this mess.

But here’s the thing. What if it’s not?

The dollar flu that swept across the city of New York would have escaped not only on travelers that left the city, but it might have been possible it could have spread via contact with parcels that were bought and shipped across the country.  I am not a virologist, and have no working knowledge of how a virus such as the Dollar Flu would have been transmitted, but however it spread it is a fact stated in the game that the virus escaped New York and martial law was declared as the food, power, and emergency services across the nation were crippled.

By the end of the game a cure was discovered, and sent to persons in a position to mass produce it and get it distributed, but the Green Poison left the country, and no doubt the entire world, in crisis as local governments fell and groups like the Last Man Battalion, The Cleaners, and The Rikers all stepped up to seize power in other locations all across the world.

Valassi expresses the concerns of his listeners in one of the final radio podcasts of the main story line:

You are listening to Rick Valassi and “Wouldn’t You Know It,” the best, if not only, paranoid pirate radio podcast in the tri-state area. So you got that going for you, which is nice.

So, folks have been asking me about the federal government, what the state of things is, et cetera. Basically wanting me to reassure them somebody is still in charge. But I can’t. 

I mean, are there provisions for “continuity of government” in a crisis? Sure. Realms of classified documentation? Yes. Top-secret mountain fortresses impregnable to any attack with a conventional nuclear biological? You bet!

The question is, is it working? Is it functional? Are there still people running the federal government, and if so, who, and where, and are they answerable in any way to the people in the republic for which they stand?

I mean, we all know what they’re telling us. We see the video footage. We download the official statements. But let’s be clear. Their top priority is to keep us calm while they try to figure out what the motherfuck to do about all this, ’cause in case you ain’t been outside since Turkey Day, the one thing we can be pretty goddamn sure of is they really haven’t nailed it down so far.

Not that I blame them. It’s such a fucking mess out there, I’m amazed we haven’t all turned into cannibals yet. Yet. 

Just give it time.

That is the world the Agents will be stepping out into in The Division 2.

What is the Dollar Flu? What to know before you play The Division 2 (Spoilers for The Division)

Note: This article contains spoilers for Tom Clancy’s The Division

The so-called “Dollar Flu” is a virus that was made by Dr. Gordon Amherst in the days leading up to Black Friday. A highly skilled virologist, Amherst believed that humanity was going to destroy the planet and it was only through a strict reduction of humanity to a sustainable level that the planet could be saved.

Amherst felt that the marvels of modern medicine had created an imbalance, so took it upon himself to create a new strain of smallpox that would have a rapid spread rate and be as lethal as he could make it. A helping hand to Mother Nature to get around the antibiotics and antivirals that had allowed humanity to go so long without a global pandemic.

Amherst spoke with other virologists, including Dr. Vitaly Tchernenko, and used the information he gathered, which included the DNA of viruses that included smallpox, to create the virus that would be known by several names, including: The Green Poison Virus and The Dollar Flu.

In The Division, Gordon Amherst used bits from other viruses, such as H1N1, Ebola, Marburg, Dengue, and Hantavirus, to modify the base code of smallpox and make it not only incubate faster, but to be highly contagious during the incubation period.

Echos in Abel’s department store shows that Amherst went to several stores on Black Friday and claimed his bank cards were not working, paying for his purchases with cash that had been tainted with the virus.

Amherst knew his virus would possibly kill him, along with billions of others, but he considered it an acceptable chance when the virus was, in his mind, the only way to save the planet from humanity’s overpopulation.

The cure for the virus was discovered at the end of the game by Dr Jessica Kandel, who tells the Agent that she has sent it to persons more able than her. She expresses concern, however, that the world would not be able to survive another such event.

Who is Jessica Kandel? What to know before you play The Division 2 (Spoilers for The Division)

NOTE: This article contains spoilers for Tom Clancy’s The Division.

First and foremost, Dr Jessica Kandel is not a people person. She admits that in a comment about her ex having told her that she was better with viruses than with people.

She is a brilliant virologist, however, and guides the Agent through the search for the things she will need to find a cure; including a sample of the original virus from a contaminated bill to be found somewhere in Abel’s, Gordon Amherst’s notes from Amherst’s apartment, survivors with antibodies in their blood at the Hudson Refugee Camp, and the data from the computers at the Russian Consulate.

Her lack of good people skills is highlighted at the end of the Russian Consulate mission, when told that Vitaly was taken by the LMB and Rogue Agents, Jessica responds with an “eh” and says how she has his data, so does not really need him, yet.

By the end of the game Jessica has succeeded in her effort to find a cure for the virus and tells the Agent that she has sent it to people more able than her. She also offers the Agent a cautionary warning that if something like that virus happens again, humanity won’t survive it.

Who is Vitaly Tchernenko? What to know before you play The Division 2 (Spoilers for The Division)

NOTE: This article contains spoilers for Tom Clancy’s The Division.

Dr. Vitaly Tchernenko is a Russian virologist that finds himself caught in New York during the lock down after the viral outbreak gets out of control. Through various recordings and other clues spread throughout the city, the Agent discovers that Vitaly deduced that someone created a modified virus based on the smallpox virus.

In one recording, Vitaly says that a weaponized virus was what he had been trying to defend against and that he recalls having had a long talk with Gordon Amherst about it. He concludes the recording by saying:

The consul will not allow me to contact the DCD and share what I know. They say soon we are leaving the United States. That I am so close to being able to help yet so far makes me angry. And terribly sad. I still have heard nothing from Dr. Amherst. I fear the worst.

The Agent is eventually tasked with going into the Russian Consulate to extract Vitaly, a mission that is complicated by not only mercenaries working for the Last Man Battalion (LMB), but First Wave agents that seek to get to the virologist for their own reasons.

Locating the server room the Agent initiates a download of all of Vitaly’s research to the labs at the base of operations, that had been set up in the postal building. The data is stopped by someone using SHD tech – the technology used by Division Agents.

During their run through the consulate the Agent overhears Hornet, the man that stopped the data transfer, inform the LMB on site that they are not fighting JTF (Joint Task Force), it’s Division Agents and he is on his way to get Vitaly.

In the end the Agent must watch as Vitaly is taken away by the Rogue agents and LMB soldiers in a helicopter. This leads the Agent to the General Assembly and a confrontation with the main force of the Last Man Battalion and their leader, Colonel Bliss, in an effort to rescue Vitaly.

Inside the UN building the Agent finds an Echo in a conference room where Rogue Agent Arron Keener is directing LMB soldiers and has control of Vitaly. A few moments later the Agent overhears a very upset Bliss declare Keener a backstabbing traitor and ordering his men to hunt Keener down.

The Agent does not manage to secure Vitaly, but, for what it’s worth, they do defeat the leader of the Last Man Battalion.

As of the end of The Division the whereabouts of Vitaly are a mystery. Some claimed that Vitaly is the body the Agent sees in the stairwell at the Russian Consulate, however, that is clearly not Vitaly, because Vitaly is seen in the UN with Arron Keener in the echo the agent finds in the conference room.

All evidence indicates that, at the end of The Division, Aron Keener took Vitaly and left New York.

Let’s Play The Division – Part 3: Precinct Siege

The third video in my series covers the last mission in the starting area of the game: Precinct Siege. This video ends with the Agent and Faye Lau getting ready to head over to Manhattan.

Comments, criticisms, and suggestions of all sorts are welcomed. I’m still learning how to make these videos, so all constructive feedback is appreciated. 

Who is Gordon Amherst? What to know before you play The Division 2 (spoilers for The Division)

NOTE: This article contains spoilers for Tom Clancy’s The Division.

Gordon Amherst is one of the main NPCs of Tom Clancy’s The Division, but the player never actually gets to meet the scientist.

After the Agent rescues Dr Jessica Kandel, near the beginning of the game, Faye Lau delivers a file to her that reveals that Gordon Amherst was suspected of being the person behind the viral outbreak.

The first real hard evidence that Gordon is the person behind the viral outbreak comes when the Agent is tasked with investigating Gordon’s apartment at the Amherst Apartments complex. The Cleaners have gone in and are cleaning the apartments out with napalm flamethrowers.

Getting into the front of the building the player needs to fight through Cleaners in the courtyard to reach Gordon’s apartment, where they find evidence that they need to take to the far end of the apartment complex. A helicopter has been sent to airlift the evidence back to the base of operations, while the Agent stays behind to deal with the remaining Cleaners before they harm more civilians.

In another location, the Agent is tasked with getting into Abel’s shopping mall, where evidence indicates that the viral outbreak began. It is up to the Agent to get into this ground zero point,  find one of the original dollar bills used to initiate the viral spread, and get it out past a group of cleaners intent on incinerating everyone, and everything, in the mall.

During the search the Agent can view an echo that shows Gordon Amherst in one of the shops claiming that his bank card is not working and asking if he can pay in cash. He is seen passing the first contaminated dollar to a store clerk during the Black Friday shopping rush.

After the player has finished the main story there is a brief mission that leads back to a building near Camp Hudson. Observant players will recognize the building, it is directly across from the point that the Agent first entered the city after catching a ride over from the starting area. They might have paused, as I did, to study the mural of the four horsemen of the apocalypse on the front of the building.

Inside this building, that had been inaccessible until the main story was completed, the player finds several end game things; including the body of Gordon Amherst.

It seems that Gordon Amherst developed the virus as a way to help Mother Nature bring the human race back down to sustainable levels. His goal was to wipe out a significant portion of humanity, thereby stopping the overpopulation of the planet.

Even before the outbreak, Gordon Amherst was known as a controversial and dangerous person. The character was given the personality type of a person that fully believed what they were doing was not only the right thing to do, but the only way the planet could survive. He knew that he would quite likely die from his own creation, and fully accepted that fate.

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