Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Starcraft II

So, Starcraft II is now in my possession. Yes, I now own what may be the most important RTS release of the decade.

Now, Starcraft II has been in development for a LONG time. The original was released in 1998 and is recognized as one of the premier strategy games of our time, arguably the greatest, and for sure the longest lasting. With people still playing Starcraft VERY seriously it’s no wonder that a lot of people watched everything that Blizzard did with a lot of criticism.

Blizzard removed LAN, they divided the Single-player into 3 separate games, they require online-activation, the want you online the entire time you’re playing the game, the entire RealID fiasco, etc. Blizzard has had a lot of PR systems that have messed them up, but I think most people are being far too severe.

Starcraft II is amazing. Blizzard is still one of the best Video Game Studios in existence, and they’re still making amazing games. Yes, the game costs $60. Yes, it has online activation, yes you aren’t getting a Zerg or Protoss campaign (YET!) and yes, RealID was arguably the stupidest thing any video game company has ever envisioned, but beyond all of that, beyond all the PR mistakes and Nerd Rage Blizzard has encountered, I think that Blizzard has created a great video game that, assuming Multiplayer Balance, will have the staying power of Starcraft, Warcraft III and World of Warcraft. This is Blizzard people, and I think it’s a bit of a shame they’ve received all the criticism they have. Some of it is valid (RealID, and perhaps even no LAN) but some of it (3 games, Online Activation), I don’t think that’s an issue. Blizzard knows their market and their market is gonna be with how they dealt with everything.

And now, I’m gonna play Starcraft II.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

More DMore LoL, Music

So, I think I';ve figured out who I can play in LoL pretty confidently without fear of being bad or anything. Probably my best hero is Warwick, who I can play pretty well on both 5v5 and 3v3. At this point I changing my build up a bit. Normally, I was building Madred's Bloodrazor pretty much every time as my main item, but I'm thinking that unless I play a tank/HP heavy team, its not worth it, so usually I'm just building Madred's Razor and then a Black Cleaver, then if I get the super farm I'll build Infinity Edge, but that rarely happens.

After Warwick, my next Phsyical Carry and my primary mid Solo is Ashe. Ashe is, honestly, the best easiest hero in the game. She is just so freaking good. Put in the mid, farm up your basic build (Regrowth into Philospher's, Swiftness, Vamp. Scepter), then work on Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer. The super build is stack Bloodthirsters.

My secondary heroes are support: Kayle and Soraka. Soraka is almost always banned so once I start playing ranked (they raised the level requirements to 30... I'm not. Ugh) again I probably won't see much of her. Having said that, I really like Soraka and she is an epic support hero. Finally there is Kayle who I play hybrid DPS/Support Caster, Nashor's Tooth and Guinsoo's Rageblade.

I don't have a real team yet, but I know a few cool guys who have a pretty good idea of the metagame and how to build teams. We're not brilliant, but we're not horrible either. The main thing is they are nice and don't insult you, which is something that I value highly. There are so many idiots on the internet. -_-

On the music side, I've listened to Children 18:3's 2nd album and I've decided that it is really pretty good. At first I thought it was a bit too Mainstream in its sound, but now that I've listened to it quite a bit I think its a pretty solid Punk Rock album. Yes, it is more mainstream than their previous album, but its also a better album. The vocals are amazing, with strong punk sounds. Several of the songs scream, "MOSH TO THIS" and have all sorts of energy. As the previous album, they have witty and entertaining lyrics: its a great album.

And well, that's about all for now. Starcraft II comes out soon, so I'll probably start playing that and take a break from League of Legends. I can't wait for that, it'll be awesome. :D

Monday, July 5, 2010

L4D2, LoL Rambles

So I’ve been playing gangplank in LoL again, and its been interesting. Gangplank is basically a low tier melee dps, so, in terms of viability at the pro level, he is either just bad, or a very specifically played hero with a very specific role. Gang has 4 spells, of course, but really only his first two are worth anything. His ulti, a big aoe damage/slow isn’t amazing. I mean, it can do some damage, clear creeps, and some different things, but really, its not the best AoE ulti. His first spell, a nuke that deals damage off of his base damage and has a crit chance, is his most important spell, and his second spell, a heal/cleanse, is arguably one of the best spells in the game, it just has a long cooldown. People say that you need a specific rune set for Gangplank, that is, I believe pure critical strike runes, which makes him a harder hero because he doesn’t have the general melee DPS runes. However, I like him. So whatever. Given enough time, I’ll probably go back to Warwick for 3v3.

One thing I have noticed, however is that DPS heroes are really, really strong in TT. Heroes like Mundo and Warwick, which are not near as good in 5v5, its interesting how that is. This is probably because Mundo has a lack of AoE, just lane control with his 1st spell, really.

Oh, and also I’ve been playing a decent bit of Left 4 Dead 2, which is really fun. I find that the campaign mode isn’t as fun as versus, but it’s still pretty good. The best thing is to get a semi-decent group together and play versus, but I enjoy playing randoms some. Mostly though, I just wait to see if friends get on and then run in and try to join a game.

Back to LoL… Season 1 should start anytime soon. Either this Wednesday or next Monday, hopefully the later as I’m gonna travel starting Thursday, and the more time I have sitting still in a house and not traveling in a car the more time I have to play LoL and see how I stack up to other players. I’m really excited about this, even if I’ll probably end up soloqueing most of Season 1 cuz I don’t have a team. I might get some team-queing with my GitP friends, but I find that unlikely.

The thing is… I don’t really know what my ELO, relative to the other LoL players is. I mean, obviously, I’m not an idiot. I know the basics of LoL, I play a few heroes like Warwick really well, I can also do decent as a Ashe (who I admit, is one of the easiest heroes in the game), Heimdeiger (or however you spell it), and Sivir. I haven’t tried some of the more tanky heroes like Alistair and Chogath, which is funny sicne I used to playa OT of tankers in DotA, but I seem to prefer damagers in LoL. I think the thing is, in DotA, I ended up playing to support the team, since we already had really strong mid solos, or damagers, so I played Support. Also, DotA’s support is more prominent, there are not support heroes in the same vein as heroes like Shadow Shaman or Crystal Maiden. First of all, there are not near as many stunners, sure you have lots of disables, but mostly slows, a few stuns, and some blinds, but mostly yes… its slows. Also, the light health heroes, the mages, tend to be damage heavy heroes: Ryze, Annie (who, come to think of it, is a kinda support hero in the vein of warlock in DotA), Karthus, Heim, these are damage heavy mages: Blasters. DotA… you don’t see those kind of heroes because nukers tend to level out in DotA. People play Lion not because of his damage (its nice, but not the main thing) but because he has 2 disables.

Anyways… so I went though the LoL list of “support” heroes, and yes, they are support heroes… but they are a very different kind of support hero. Several of them are tanks, and many others are some sort of strange hybrid damager/support or mage/support (like Zilean, who really should just be classified as LoL’s most annoying harasser/nuker/support/IHATEYOU hero).

So… I should probably stop rambling here. For a short life update I’m reading Shadowline by Glen Cook, and its pretty good, it’s one of his older books, but I really like it. Cook is a great author.