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We have moved to Discord 08/04/2016There has been a strong desire among the community to migrate to Discord for quite some time. As of today, our community will be using Discord and as a result, we will no longer be actively using our TeamSpeak Server. The TeamSpeak server will temporarily stay active to help inform all of our move to Discord. Within the next couple of months, it will be shut down completely. For a quick invite to our new Discord server, you can click here.
For a full detailed guide visit http://www.vVv-Gaming.com/Discord
New Supersonic Series Start Time 10/17/2016We would like to thank everyone who participated in our recent survey regarding the start time of our tournaments. After reviewing responses from the survey sent out to tournament participants we have decided to make changes to the start time of our events to try to better accommodate everyone. Beginning on Monday, October 24th, all of our tournaments will start an hour earlier - at 8PM Eastern. This means that registration will close at 7:30 EST, and that check-in starts at 7:30 EST and closes at 7:45 EST.
Our community blogs
With Jerry returning to vVv to run things again, my time as President of vVv has come to a close. I wanted to take some time to reflect on how things went. Primarily I feel like I failed vVv in a lot of ways. The ADL stagnated due to my mismanagement and failure to keep people pushing toward excellence. The CoD division was on life support for way too long. As a whole I didn't effectively execute on my vision for making vVv Gaming an awesome place for competitive gamers.
Primarily there were certain personal things holding me back from executing on my vision. The main two were my self-awareness with how I handled my working relationships and my inability to focus. I looked for all kinds of ways to increase my productivity, reading up on things like prioritizing, focusing on your mission, having a clear idea of what it is that you want to accomplish, but none of that addressed the core problem: I was just getting distracted by everything and unable to focus when it came time to do the big, important work. I wasn't lacking a strategy, I was lacking discipline. With my working relationships, I was acting like a complete ass to people without even realizing it. I didn't take the time to re-read what I was writing, or think about how I was coming across to people, and the ways I tried to approach people to "help" them made me come across as a bureaucratic authority who's only help was to tell people "no" or "do things my way". Obviously these two flaws are going to prevent anyone from being a good, let alone great leader.
Thankfully Jerry was able to help me regain my focus and also help me raise my self awareness within just two weeks of returning. In the past two weeks I've gotten more accomplished, felt better about myself and my future, and improved the way I handle my relationships more than any time in the past 9 years. I've even started looking at some difficult problems I've been facing personally and just by asking myself "What would Jerry tell me?" I can usually figure out the best way to proceed and handle things.
So now I just need to return to my vision and remember why it's so compelling for me. As a kid I had to go through some real difficulty trying to figure out how to be gay and in love with someone who would never return that feeling. It's deeply important to me that no one should have to go through life facing difficult challenges without feeling like there is someone there who can help them. I think that within the larger gaming community there are endless opportunities to fulfill that mission. Don't like the way you look? Cosplay as your favorite game character. Bullied at school? Go online and find people who love you just because you share a passion for the same game as they do. Giving up on your dreams? Volunteer your time doing amazing things for the larger gaming community and develop marketable skills to work in or outside of the gaming industry.
There is so much good that we can do together, and I am passionate about making the world a better place than the one I had to grow up in. I sometimes wonder how many people there were in the world when I was growing up who gave up on their dreams to live a normal life. How many hours spent watching TV that could have been spent changing peoples' minds about homosexuality? How many hours spent in closeted sex clubs or on seedy hookups that could have been spent coming out and leading the LBGT awareness movement? How many desperate, needy relationships that distracted people from opening places where LGBT youth could come for help? Not that no one should watch TV, or people should never hookup, or that people shouldn't find love, but what was the real cost to the world when this becomes the focus of a life instead of a way to enhance it? How many suicides could have been prevented? How much bullying could have been stopped?
And it's not just LGBT who have difficult challenges. Everyone has a closet. How many people feel like they have no one to turn to for help when the burden of hiding inside of it becomes overwhelming? How much of a better world could we create for all of humanity if we just took the time to focus on each other? I aspire to be as good as Jerry at finding, identifying, and communicating what people need in order to go from struggling to successful. And I look forward to creating an awesome community for all competitive gamers here over the next few months, and wherever life takes me I will continue on this mission for the rest of my life. If you feel the same way then come join me and let's make this awesome together.
Fantasy LCS: Must Plays, Sleepers, Busts for NA Week Nine/Day One
The best matchup's of the day are C9 vs. TDK, TSM vs. NME, and TL vs. T8.
Must Play: Quas (TL) ($1312) vs. T8: He's the most expensive top laner on a day when it's going to be hard to fit all the top options in, but he probably has the most upside.
Sleeper: Balls (C9) ($1067) vs. TDK: C9 have been playing much better sicne Hai rejoined and I think they will beat TDK. Balls is a nice cheap option with good upside.
Bust: ZionSpartan (CLG) ($1198) vs. DIG: I'm avoiding this game entirely as CLG players are expensive and I have no clue how to predict DIG's games.
Must Play: Santorin (TSM) ($1325) vs. NME: Steady jungler in a game TSM should win.
Sleeper: Hai (C9) ($1072) vs. TDK: Hai is dirt cheap in a game I think C9 will win. Even though he hasn't been jungling long it's clear that his shotcalling had been missed.
Bust: Rush (TiP) ($1182) vs. GRV: I think Rush will try too hard to make up for the loss of XiaoWeiXiao and that'll cause some sloppy play. Not worth the risk for his price.
Must Play: Bjergsen (TSM) ($1854) vs. NME: He's really expensive but in this match up he's definitely worth it. Expect a huge game for Bjergerking.
Sleeper: Keane (GRV) ($1246) vs. TiP: I expect GRV to bounce back and win this game and Keane will be laning against Gate who was originally listed as the incoming Support. He's also cheaper than Gate and should provide nice upside.
Bust: Gate (TiP) ($1277) vs. GRV: He's a support main playing in his first game of the LCS and he's also the fourth most expensive mid laner. Stay away.
Must Play: Piglet (TL) ($1563) vs. Team8: Good match up and he's been playing very well. It's really hard to fit him into a lineup with the other expensive must plays unless you punt however.
Sleeper: Sneaky (C9) ($1254) vs. TDK: Another cheap C9 option in a game I expect them to win.
Bust: Doublelift (CLG) ($1610) vs. DIG: He's just too expensive for me to use in such a random game. I never know what is going to happen with DIG.
Must Play: Lustboy (TSM) ($1180) vs. NME: He's expensive but probably will put up the most points of any support this week.
Sleeper: LemonNation (C9) ($980) vs. TDK: Cheaper option in a game C9 should win.
Bust: Aphromoo (CLG) ($1148) vs. DIG: Like his teammates he's too expensive for me to want to use in a game that could go either way.
Here's my lineup for Week Nine Day One in the NALCS:
Top: Quas (TL) ($1312)
Jungle: Santorin (TSM) ($1325)
Mid: Bjergsen (TSM) ($1854)
ADC: Sneaky (C9) ($1254)
Sup: LemonNation (C9) ($980)
Flex One: Dyrus (TSM) ($1195)
Flex Two: Hai (C9) ($1072)
Flex Three: Ninja (TDK) ($996)
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Recent EntriesLatest Entry
Wow! over 110k views on this blog and still going strong despite the fact that I haven't written anything in months! So before I get into anything else I really want to say "Thank you" to everyone who reads (and apparently continues to read) The Zero Logs. I had a LOT of fun with the blog and, believe it or not, I sometimes miss playing those really bad games I wrote about. They were awful as video games, but they were all perfect examples of what NOT to do when creating a game. Even though I will most likely never make a game myself I was able to apply a lot of the lessons I learned to my life's work. So, again, thank you all for reading, laughing, commenting, sharing, and enjoying the best of the worst with me. (My only regret is not being able to play and review Deadly Premonition.)
Words cannot describe how badly I wanted to tackle this one...
Which brings me to why I'm posting here. First off, my name isn't Josh Stiles, it's Yeshua Espaillat. And if you have to ask why I called myself Josh Stiles instead just go back and try to read my real name again. Yeah, THAT'S why. Second, I feel like I need to come clean about something I've kept to myself for years. I don't have a high school education. I never made it to high school, but not because I was too dumb. In all honesty I have no idea if there's ONE thing that happened in my life that derailed my education. It could've been my hopelessly dark view of the world (9-11 had just happened), it could've been the issues I had and continue to have with BOTH of my parents (neither of them should have had kids), it could've been that my untreated depression eliminated my motivation, or it could simply have been that I stopped caring as a result of everything else combined. I ended up enrolling in a program supposedly for kids who were in my exact position and after taking a very long and very mind-numbing and difficult test, I obtained my diploma (not a GED. I wanted to go to college after that, but it never happened and now, thanks to our delightfully downtrodden economy, rising student loan rates, and lack of decent living wages, I will most likely NEVER be able to afford a college education.
So with that little caveat out of the way... my first book is officially up for sale! Yeah, I wrote a book. Well... three actually. It was too long, so I had to karate chop it into three parts. The process has been a pain in the ass, but it was damn fun and very enlightening. I now know things I didn't know and have new skills I didn't have before just like when I started this blog way back. Maybe the book will sell and a new chapter in my life will begin or maybe it'll go nowhere, but regardless of the outcome I would just like to say once again: Thank you, vVv-Gaming!
Eternal Requiem Act I: http://amzn.to/110eBNa
I just realized I haven't really written about where this story came from or what I hope to do with it, so I suppose now is as good a time as any. When I was a kid, I grew up watching all the normal cartoons kids watched like the Ninja Turtles, Tiny Toons, the Power Rangers, Animaniacs, etc. and when the shows ended (or in the Power Rangers case when a cast was replaced) I was always more curious about what was happening afterwards (I don't think I know what retirement meant at that age, I guess, so the thought obviously didn't occur to me). Some shows had definitive endings that couldn't POSSIBLY go any further like the ending of Dinosaurs (the whole family freezes to death; it was depressing and it heavily applies to our current global situation), but others you just don't know. Like, does anyone here remember the green ranger from the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers? I stopped watching around the time the actor left the show, but I didn't know he came back years later to play the same character as a professor (and he was the black ranger that time). I've always liked to see growth and development and consequence, even as a kid, and that's where Eternal Requiem really comes from.
The baby died, too! ;_______;
So with that in mind, the first trilogy is aimed at a certain target audience: Young Adult (15 - 18)
Why that particular age group? Two reasons related to one: Twilight!
We all know why we hate it; it was insipid. It was mind-numbingly, robotically, stupid, BUT (There's a legitimate one in there) those bad books and bad movies got a lot of teenagers into reading (Yeah, Harry Potter had them reading, too, but it's target audience was primarily younger children; the teenagers and adults into it most likely were fans of the fantasy genre).
Twilight was meant as a dumb teenage "romance" (or a relationship based on abuse if you can read INTO it) and it succeeded in spades, so everyone has to give Stephanie Meyer props for proving it isn't hard to write for idiots.
I hate stupidity. I really, really, REALLY do. The kind of slope our entire society is on in nearly every way imaginable is so goddamn head-scratching that I don't understand why we have problems to begin with, but then I remembered most people are (say it with me now) STUPID. Too many awful things have done well that feed into the lowest reaches of the human brain that we've come to expect less-than-quality in everything now (like how Man of Steel was a bad movie that did too well and will likely lead to disappointing future films).
So Eternal Requiem is there to give a younger, reading generation something more intelligent than they're used to, something that will grow up with them, AND something that gives them what they want to see (lots of action that would make great visual effects).
F*ck you, Zack Snyder! Your Superman movie sucked!!!
For now, it's a story following a trio of high school students witnessing the actions of adults around them and trying to grow into themselves, but it also throws in a lot of mystery using the adults in the story by making the teenagers (and thus the audience) think about what's happening around them. We learn that the situation the main character is being introduced to has been steadily building up over time, forcing him to grow up through the initial trilogy.
When this arc is over, the story is nowhere near complete and there are consequences afterward (it's called Eternal Requiem for many reasons and that is only one). The whole point is to snag the audience while they're young using dumb action and relatable teenagers to enjoy what's coming in the future when the audience (and the characters) are in their 20's. The stories become much more mature and take on existential and political topics such as the military industrial complex and technological advancements for "defending" people being used against them. All are consequences of what is set up in this trilogy (like the Star Wars expanded universe, it all starts with one trilogy).
I also wrote it in a certain way to allow for simple-adaptations. It's like an easy math problem that almost any Hollywood "genius" can solve without even realizing it, but I wouldn't let anyone make a movie without me there to make sure they don't mess something up anyway.
I hope I've made sense to everyone. I know I tend to be redundant sometimes. It happens.
Eternal Requiem Act I on sale now!
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It's good to take a couple days or so to wind down after E3. It's too easy to get caught up in the hype, as I did when I was scouring over ever piece of game footage released in Nintendo's E3 Direct earlier on Tuesday. Mostly because I felt starved - the PS4 and Xbone reveals left the Wii U as an idle passenger, waiting for its stop but forced to deal with the antics of the rest of the car in the meanwhile. It was the Wii U's turn to shine, many of us thought. It seemed rather obvious, at least to us sitting at home, that Nintendo would deliver the final, killing blow to Microsoft with an extravaganza of gaming wonder, while the PS4 sits back hoping not to make the same mistake.
Except, I didn't get that feeling at all. Instead...I felt, well, satisfied but not necessarily full. Although Nintendo showed off a multitude of quality games heading to both Wii U and 3DS - Wind Waker HD, Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS, Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8, the list goes on - none of them had that huge surprise that many of us were looking for. I had eaten an entire Dominoes pizza the night before, my body was as ready as it could ever be. Yet, I did not shit even one brick. It was disappointing to say the least.
Considering that Nintendo had the best opportunity in the world to win everyone over, I wonder if Nintendo actually accomplished that as well as I may question that they did. I was hoping for literal bombshells, which were almost guaranteed considering the Wii U is a much less successful follow-up, thus far, to Nintendo's last home console. The launch line-up was just not cutting it. As we knew about games like Wind Waker HD and Pikmin 3 heading to the Wii U soon enough, Nintendo had a clear opportunity to bring out the big guns.
Instead, we got Super Mario 3D World, a sequel to the 3DS's Super Mario 3D Land. Even with its 4 player co-op, new Mario suits, and the expected additions throughout, it wasn't the major, open-world Mario game that people were expecting. Likewise, Retro Studios, behind the Metroid Prime series and the Wii's hugely successful Donkey Kong Country Returns, was hinting at a project "everybody wanted them to do" which only become another Donkey Kong Country game. No Metroid, no new IP, just more Donkey Kong.
Over time, though, I began to take a look at my own perspective on E3. I didn't seem satisfied, but maybe it was because I was asking too much? Nintendo cannot please everybody, and is it surprising that they would go with a sequel to a very successful Wii game over the next installment in the Metroid franchise that, while acclaimed by critics, has never been a system seller? Hell, we got Smash 4 and Mario Kart 8, safe bets but nevertheless great additions to already amazing game series.
I feel conflicted. Nintendo's new games and news aren't necessarily unhype, but they aren't exactly what we expected or wanted. But, people do seem rather excited for these new games. It feels weird - normally Nintendo playing safe like this gets a less than stellar reaction, but this time around Nintendo hasn't drawn the worst of backlash, at least not yet.
Retrospectively, the Smash 4 reveal probably reflects my feelings on E3 the best, specifically the reveal characters. We got Mega Man, a huge addition to the character roster finally allowing our Nintendo favorites to face off against Capcom's finest warrior himself. We got the Animal Crossing Villager, a really hilarious addition that seemed unexpected but fits right in. And we got...the Wii Fit Trainer, even more unexpected and definitely drew more attention than anything else. I can definitely say that I didn't expect these newcomers coming into E3.
Mega Man represents all the good games Nintendo is bringing us that I seem to be overlooking. With Mega Man I was astounded, but because I'm not the biggest Mega Man fan and was hoping for a really insanely hype Nintendo character (plus, Mega Man has been on everyone's wishlist character roster since 'Nam), it felt a bit lessened than the reaction to the Solid Snake reveal for Brawl. Yet, I realize I should be more excited because it's truly a big thing for Smash! Likewise, even though Nintendo's games may not be exactly what I expected, they are still looking to be quality titles.
The Villager represents the unexpected that fits in perfectly. The Villager is a character that caught me really off-guard but won me over bit by bit, and that's how I felt about Nintendo overall. I wasn't exactly sure at first what to feel about Nintendo's E3 reveals, but over time I found that there's a lot to love with what Nintendo's offering. All the new games plus a console that has dodged the ire and drama of the Xbone and PS4 reveals gives gamers quite the opportunity to try out some excellent new experiences throughout this year and the next.
And, finally, the Wii Fit Trainer, the character I hated at first. Being a long time Smash fan, it feels literally cut-throat trying to support some characters for the next game. Years go by on discussion forums about who should and should not be in the next Smash game. It hurts to not see your favorites make the cut, even when they too could be great additions to the series and have a lot of worth in the franchises they come from. While I never expected my two hopefuls Ridley and King K. Rool to show up in the trailer (as Sakurai isn't that cool), it's frustrating to see a character like Wii Fit Trainer get in and not others.
This is how I felt with Nintendo's choice of games at E3 - more Mario? Why not Star Fox? more DK? Why not Metroid? Where's F-Zero? Where's Zelda Wii U? This still sticks with me. I still wish Samus stepped out of her hunter ship for another adventure. I truly wanted to see Link battle in full high definition. In contrast, it seems silly that Nintendo would instead stick to another handheld-like Mario platformer as one of its big reveals. Similarly...just...damn, Nintendo I like yoga pants, but not that much (alright, not true, I love yoga pants, but I was fine without them in Smash Bros.).
Maybe it's just because change is hard to accept at first. Even Nintendo's skipping of a traditional press conference felt weird - imagine hearing the crowd reaction to the Mega Man reveal? That's something you'll never be able to capture thanks to Nintendo using a pre-recorded video as its "presser." Without that to look forward to, most Nintendo fans began clinging to the internet, waiting for the inevitable droplets of news that would be rung out the E3 sponge throughout the three days of the event. It's an unfortunate reality, but it is what it is.
I guess, most of all, we were all hoping for Nintendo to play along. Microsoft is down, get 'em Nintendo, now's your chance! But, Nintendo has never been about that. They've always done best sticking to their guns and keeping their path. They've never needed to play anyone else's game. It seems like they did just that - Nintendo did Nintendo as Nintendo usually does. The games are coming and the consoles are out there.
However, if the Wii U launch tells us anything, it's that Nintendo can be unprepared when you would expect them not to be. So, let's hope that Nintendo has truly prepared itself for the next year and beyond to strengthen the integrity of the Wii U before the big splash of the PS4 and Xbone hits shelves.
End of the year. Yup, here comes the end of 2012. There's so much I wanted to do, things I've not been able to fit into this busy part of the year. My videologs were neglected for longer than intended. My practice became rather erratic last week again, due to so-called pre-christmas madness. You know, the chores around the house, families keeping us busy. Well, me complaining about the hecticness of year ending, that's not really the purpose of this writting of mine.
2012 - My year of StarCraft!
Originally, I actually wanted to make this into a videolog, however, time constraints. But, I would like to look back at this year. Share the upsides, small victories, but also the downsides, struggles. Every story has two sides and the main character of this story is not without struggles and happy moments either.
Diamonds are forever!
Sufficed to say, that I made it into Diamond sometime in January. That was a good way of starting my year, isn't it? For those following my story so far, as a reminder, and even for those, who are unfamiliar with my story - I originally started out as a really, really low Bronze player, with no RTS/StarCraft/Brood War experience. So yes, for me, that was huge achievement. I was really happy and my motivation was going through the roof. It was certainly one of these small steps on my journey I was happy about. Back then, I was still part of one Czech team, however, the team wasn't very active and I haven't learnt much from them, which was my main grief. I didn't want to be just that "token female" or a team mascot. So, around January, I left the team, to try and join Fem-FX, which used to be female-only team.
The worst enemy - myself
At the beginning, things seemed all neat and nice with my new team. The team seemed really tight, even though I really struggled with them, as my notorius anxiety was kicking in, and I was really shy around them. There were some nice people along the way, Lydia, who was the team's CEO, was nothing but a super, Austin, who was one of the managers, been a good friend ever since as well. Sufficed to say, by the time I decided to join them, I was already struggling with myself, as depressions seemed to re-emerge, but I didn't want to admit that to myself, I didn't understand the signs, I didn't even understand myself at that point. Around March, things got really bad, and I suddenly dropped everything I had passion for. I was hating on myself, all I could feel was this ever-present fatigue, everything felt like a chore. I couldn't find any enjoyment in my life. I was simply surviving, it wasn't even living.
At the top of all, Team Fem-FX's activity dropped. People stopped showing up at practices, and overally, everyone saw StarCraft more and more casually. I knew I needed to have highly motivated people around myself. I knew, that this alone should help me through my depressions, as I somehow seem to be highly motivated by people, who are likely to be highly motivated as well. Forwarding to the end of March, I announced my retirement from Fem-FX. I needed a change and I needed it fast. I needed to find like-minded, highly motivated, and positive teammated. A place, where I could grow not only as a player, but also as a person. Of course, I knew there would be obstacles, given my anxiety issues, which cause me to be really shy around new people, but at the same time, leaving things as they were, that'd mean me withering even further.
So, around the end of March, after I left Fem-FX, I actually finally found courage to apply to vVv Gaming. I didn't understand how the team/community operated back then, but I was familiar with their tolerant approach to people, as well as they'd accept you no matter where you were, personally and gaming speaking. Simply said, I hoped I'd find my chance to gradually grow as a StarCraft 2 player, to get over my depressions and solidify my practice at last.
The Academy - under construction!
Few of those familiar with the situation in vVv Gaming will remember, that vVv gaming's StarCraft 2 community lacked a person, who'd push things forward. I needed something to do, so I basicly did writing and graphics. At that time, my depression was still at it's peak though. I still missed a solid team of like-minded people. An insane idea then sparked my mind. It's something I wanted to find for along time. A team dedicated to growth in StarCraft 2. And since I still had no luck in this regard, an insane idea struck my mind - Why not to try and make an Academy team in vVv Gaming? Both it takes the "Entertain, Educate, Dominate" on the next level, and I'd also be able to have something I've only dreamt of - A solid, dedicated team, who live, breathe and shit StarCraft. I made a very, very long write-up and sent it to the vVv management, crossing my fingers, well aware of the fact that their previous Academy ended up with a huge fail.
DreamHack Summer, the personal Trial of Fire...?
I have to sidetrack here a bit. The Academy project was still in discussion between me, LordJerith and some other people from the management. But, I was starting with practice again. After solid 5 months of erraticness and lack of practice, I was getting back to it. I saw a hope, something to aim for. Despite of me still struggling with depressions, I felt a bit more energetic once more. So, when an opportunity to travel to Dreamhack to Sweden emerged, I was shitting gold bricks. I saw it as an opportunity to learn, grow and also to fight my personal struggles. And surely I did fight them. I also learnt a lot. I was on emotional rollercoaster. Sheding tears after defeat by Merz, but also happiness, that I could breathe that all-StarCraft 2 atmosphere. Happiness from meeting White-Ra, who is someone I truly look up to. Being glad for meeting some of the people I've known only online until then!
After DreamHack, I've made many realizations. How much StarCraft 2 means for me, and how much I needed to grow stronger as a person, if I was to pursue this passion.
The Academy - Emerges!
On 4th July, while still being on holidays with my family, after being in a car-crash (yeah, rough patch there), the vVv Academy team was announced officially on the team's page. Me being me, I had to get online for the launch day, despite of being on holidays. It was a big day. Of course, I was put in charge of the team, so I was a team's Captain, manager and player in one. It's just how I do things. I wanted to lead by best possible example, as that's how all good leaders should be. Well, it's something I truly believe. Take it as you wish. The team started with mostly Diamond players, a bunch of guys, who were to suddenly act as a team. It was time for all of us to learn to be a team. And for me to learn, how to be a leader.
The only pain you feel, is the growth one!
No growth is without pain. Something I learnt during the couse of the time I've been with my Academy team. I see my self-doubts emerging quite a lot. Am I doing my job correctly? Am I truly the captain, manager and player this team deserves? I won't deny it, I've often been feeling really down from the fact, that I am the weakest player in the lineup. I often call myself, literally "a fucking excuse for a player". Depressions in and out, they make me an emotional bomb at time. It is really easy to doubt one's self. Especially when things get out of my control. When self-doubts and lack of good performance occur.
The Academy team gives me a purpose, a drive. Something I didn't have for a long time. There are glimpses of moments, when I feel that maybe, maybe I am worth of something to others. That I can be of help. A light in the darkness. I should also mention that to combat my anxiety/shyness, I've began making videologs, to learn expressing myself better while talking (after that disaster in my first ever video-interview at Dreamhack, lol). I believe that during the time I've been doing them, I've actually became less awkward - enough to be bold and if someone asks me ever again (I hate, hate that question), if there's any advantage to being a female progamer, I'll just tell them "Of course, no queues on the female toiletes." with a nice troll-face grin.
I've grown very fond of my team. They are my second family away from home. Seeing all of them progress, seeing them grow, I couldn't be more proud of them. Despite of all of my personal bullshit, I've been able to hold, and I know I am not going anywhere. A big part of why that would be would be that team. I don't care how much crap some people throw at vVv Gaming or my Academy team. They don't know us; living in the past. And well, it is true we are not the best players out there, wrecking tournaments, but I have some of the most passionate people on my team. That is what counts. You can't learn that, unlike in-game skills. These can be gained if you train properly. But you can't teach your heart to love something, if it's simply not there.
It is my job to cherish this passion, this dedication, not just in myself, but also in them.
Coming to an end. Everything has an end, and this writing is no exception. What to look forward to? My personal wishes? First of all, I want to become a more solid player, with a good, healthy practice habits. To learn to accept losses and setbacks, not just in StarCraft, but also in general; and that they are not the end of the world. To accept the fact, that I too am just a human being, making mistakes, without going and hating the shit out of myself. To learn to forgive to myself, to be more patient with myself. To be able to see the good, positive things about myself, both in regards to StarCraft 2, but also in general.
I want to compete more in StarCraft. Really hoping to go to DreamHack (Early Bird Dreamhack Summer tickets on, Secret Santa, anyone? Wink-wink ) and show a progress! I want my team to have a reason to be proud of me, as a player! And a reason for me to shed tears of happiness! I know I will once the time comes! To feel is to exist, and for a change, I want my feelings to be the happy ones!
A new year is closing in. What it will bring? You all are welcome to continue walking this journey of passion with me. As I am nowhere close to the journey's end - after all, I am BabyToss, so to 2013 onwards!
PS: Sorry, no pictures this time! Except this one!
OP, OP, OP Zerg style!
TERA: The Exiled Realm of Arborea, is a Korean developed Action-MMO, originally released in January of 2011. En Masse Studios picked up publishing rights for a North American Release;,now slated for May 1st 2012. While the game went through quite a few troubles upon release, along with legal issues, the game has finally made it into its first beta stage which was opened February 17th till the 19th. Currently En Masse plans on 4 more beta test weekends over the next few months, along with an open beta in early April and finally a head start event for pre-orders April 28th. After almost two years of waiting for some good news, I finally got a chance to take a look at TERA: The Exiled Realm of Arborea.
The World itself feels quite massive, especially when you get past the Isle of Dawn. Unfortunately the game starts very linear, with only 1 starting zone, and really doesn’t open up until almost level 20. However at this point the game starts giving you story quests in multiple zones, allowing you to make choices where to level and quest. The down side? Well you will need to get back and finish those story quests, so they are still fairly mandatory to go to each zone.
As you may have noticed, TERA does not have a very standard UI system… in fact you will not see a mouse on your screen a large majority of the time. This is due in part to the way combat works (which I will describe in detail later on). You may also notice the shortness of the hotbar, and the inclusion of tab, left click and right click. The game allows you to use these buttons as hotkeys and change them as needed. The last major difference is the mini map system. In the upper right you have a radar, which shows npcs, monsters, your field of vision, grouped players, and more. Next to your quest log you have the actual minimap, which is more of a see through road map with markings. These markings can be changed based on the monster or quest you are tracking, which allows for very easy questing as you no longer have to search online forums or through all the quest text to find where 1 guy is hiding out.
In total, there are seven races available and yes, your choice matters! Each race provides fairly unique racial abilities, and with that also comes the size advantage. While Elin and Popori are tiny races giving them the advantage of less hit boxes, they also have some of the poorest racial abilities. The Aman and Baraka on the other hand stand tall and will be much easier to hit; but in turn gain some very useful abilities making them much more resilient. So choose wisely!
One of the beauties of TERA is it actually allows players to level how they want. Monsters have fairly good drop rates and give a good amount of experience, so solo grinding is a viable option (if that is how you wish to play). Questing is still probably the best option as it advances the story, and it is fairly necessary to return to towns from time to time. When you start to find boss monsters the game returns presents you with another viable option of group grinding, as these monsters give very good experience, money, and drops. Combine this with the entertainment of the action combat and suddenly grinding isn't so much of a bother.
TERA moves away from the standard “tab and spam” combat that has been around since the 90’s. The game revolves heavily around a reticle targeting systme for all of your abilities, with some exception, and plays much more like one would expect from a monster hunter game. Why does this make such a big difference? It removes a large portion of RNG from the game, giving control of actually landing hits, or resisting them, to the player. The down side comes in the form of how lag will influence combat, most specificity PvP.
If you enjoy games like God of War, Monster Hunter, etc. Then you will likely be very happy with the combat provided in TERA. Melee combat revolves around closing the gap and really punishing your opponent while at the same time dodge rolling or blocking (yes, you actually have to hold your shield up to block!) to avoid taking damage. With many options to close distance, deal damage, and control the flow of battle, Melee combat becomes an incredibly fun way to play the game.
Ranged Combat/ Healing:
Ranged combat plays heavily on the reticle targeting system as melee does, however there are a few differences. Ranged combatants, depending on class, gain access to traps, ranged AOE, player based AoE, and heals. Due to the nature of the combat system, it would be almost impossible to land some of these abilities, thus making them fairly useless. To fix this some ranged abilities use a lock-on system to make them viable. Does this break the combat and make ranged overpowered? Unfortunately PvP has been very limited in the beta and thus it is hard to tell at this point. However, from my experience the debuffs, dots, and basic lock-on damage attacks do fairly low damage, similar to a players auto attack, and leans more towards not actually breaking PvP combat. However, this is something the developers need to monitor.
Boss Monsters / Dungeons /Group Play:
This is probably the most fun I have had in a game leveling in my 20’s. Grouping up with a few friends, we tempted to grind basilisks (the first abundant tough monster available). These monsters have around 5- 10 times the amount of HP as normal monsters, give less visible signs of the attacks they do, and really require players to pay attention, less get hit for a quarter to half their HP. I was very impressed with the group combat dynamics this early on, and only makes me excited for the challenges further down the road.
Unfortunately my group didn’t get to the point of doing the first major dungeon in the game, however I can only imagine it is scaled up from the dungeon on the Isle of Dawn; if so TERA will be a game that will both challenge PvE players in a brand new way, and be much less of a “farm” as so many other MMO games become.
Unfortunately I didn’t get into the crafting system too much. However from what I saw, it really isn’t anything too impressive at the basic level. If you played Aion, it is essentially the same system with the exception that you automatically have access to all gathering and crafting skills. Crafting appears to go up to a skill of 410, and while crafting it is possible to “bonus” giving you either more of what you craft or possibly better items.
A nice feature for gear upgrading, TERA gives players the option of using all the junk weapons and armor they find to upgrade their own equipment by use of the Enchanting system. The menu can be opened anywhere in the game, and as long as you carry around some alkahest (a common material found on general merchants) you plop your item in, some alkahest, and the excess gear, and you can start the process. It is important to note that not all gear is upgradable, so this isn't always the case to keep your gear updated.
Unfortunately not something I got around to, however there are a few things I picked up on. Guilds do have a leveling system to them. The way to level a guild up is via message boards (located in major towns) that provide guild quests. Likely bonuses will be provided through guild levels and will also likely be required to take part in the political system.
Most games use a Talent tree system, TERA instead uses Glyphs. Players are able to customize their abilities towards their play style with the use of adding glyphs to their abilities. This system works by giving an augment (some abilities have upwards of 7 choices) to specific abilities to either make them do more damage, additional effects, change the speed or damage of a follow-up ability, etc. To balance this system glyph points are used, giving value to each glyph and of course more points are avalible as you level.
The Way I See It:
Overall the game has some very strong content to offer, and an entertaining combat system to enjoy. There are plenty of elements that continue to add depth and entertainment to TERA. The combat system is a very nice change that has rarely been seen in the MMO industry thus far (exceptions would include Tabula Rasa, Vindictus, and Darkfall). If successful, it will add another layer of skill for all players. However there is one downfall; based on initial feedback players experienced lag issues, mainly with PvP. This is a very serious issue and may very well hinder the game if not fixed.
Several elements of the game I still would like to see more of; namely Open World PvP, Guilds, and the Political system; However even without that, the game could prove to be a very fun game with the PvE alone... as long as content can continue to prove entertaining and challenging. Of course this is no excuse to drop the other elements as an entire package is what I signed up for.
Welcome to the KICK.TV Invitational - Esports Changing?? - LIVE from NYC
This past week (20th – 25th) I took part as a full time analysis professional at the KICK.TV Invitational where the largest FIFA YouTuber’s battled it out in order to claim a $10,000 1st place prize and the title as “Champion” in NYC. Last year, this event erupted with popularity across the community as the audience watched with anticipation as each match went LIVE on YouTube with the top FIFA content creators facing off on the big stage.
The players attending this event:
Notorious (VG Winner)
My position with the event because of my personal background in the competitive FIFA scene was to laydown player previews / analysis of gameplay among the players in attendance. All the videos can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/KICKTVFIFA - I’m expecting uploads to start going live towards the beginning of this week and roll out continuously from that point forward….
I wanted to showcase how “Esports” is a changing concept (Very Dynamic) depending on the audience for those different titles. FIFA is one of the largest selling titles each year worldwide and the community has expanded substantial amounts with the additional sales. In many titles there is an incredible fan base for “competitive” players, however in FIFA the players / event coordinators did a poor job of building up personal branding for those same individuals. This allowed for the vast amount of FIFA fans to look elsewhere and the development of FIFA YouTube came shortly after.
This event included no competitive FIFA players outside of the “Subscriber Cup Winner” from Virgin Gaming. (Notorious) The YouTuber’s add a different approach to Esports where the focus is more on the individual as opposed to the individual’s gameplay. Watching these matches live at KICK.TV Studios made me think, “Is this the future of my genre??”
FIFA gameplay in the competitive scene is so mistake free that it often leads to defensive matches between players attempting to outthink their opponents. This usually leads to low scoring matchups, because of the heavy possession / time control in each game. I obviously cannot speak about the results from the tournament, but this approach from KICK.TV makes huge strides in terms of viewership per match in the FIFA community scene.
So what if KICK.TV ran a new type of Esports? The most popular game mode in FIFA 14 is actually known as FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team) where players construct squads based on team chemistry with the usage of an open market that updates with real life football (soccer). FUT has never been used on the competitive side because of the unlimited customization and more unrealistic quicker games speed.
I leave this for thought… What is your definition of Esports?? What makes an Esport… an Esport?
Today I turn 21 years old..
The last few years have been a blur, but recently I had a chance to tell the story for the first time in a while. It actually happened this past weekend. vVv staff was all visiting LA for the weekend for MLG, LCS and to get aligned on strategy. Naturally, I’m not a very open or vulnerable person, but after sharing and seeing the reaction of the room - I realized how important the two are in building relationships and trust between people. I’d now like to share that same story with the World.
So here goes nothing . . .
I discovered vVv Gaming back in June of 2007 after joining a random Public Lobby in Gears of War. I remember it vividly. The map was canals and I was immediately welcomed by the voices of vVv members, applicants and the application manager at the time, vVv Woody56292jr. I had known of clans before from when I played socom on gamebattles a few years back, but had not encountered any on the console before. Woody did a great job explaining what vVv was and told me to check out the website if I was interested in joining. The website, which I learned was designed by a member of the community named “Froot” had an image of their Gears of War team winning a big tournament in New Jersey. I thought to myself, “These guys are legit, I want to one day become as good as them and learn everything I can from this community.” I submitted an application, and the rest was history from there. I was banned from the shoutbox several times, had my application closed due to a very immature attitude. Looking back, I was a terrible teammate and just a brat kid who thought he knew more than he did.
Although I departed from vVv before I was ever really accepted back then, they introduced my to competitive gaming, specifically the Gears scene. I took my application being closed as motivation to improve as a player and person. I played every single day that Summer for at least 6 hours on gamebattles and in scrims with friends. I attended my first major event in 2007 which in Toronto and ended up placing 4th. Not too shabby.
Local Lan in Connecticut
Fast forward about a year later, I ran into a player named Sun Down who was apart of vVv’s Gears division. We both hadn't earned “Pro Status” yet, but we hit it off right away and decided to work together with two other players in Enmity and Demon. This was our team, and the tournament we were preparing for was the next MLG event on the 2008 pro circuit in Toronto. Because Sun Down was already apart and vVv, we decided to approach them to represent a community because we knew they could help us take our game to the next level with their history in the Gears scene. I still remember that interview with Jerry and I know he knew that I was the same brat kid who had his application closed and was banned in the past, but he gave me that shot to redeem myself. We had the spot and were the 2nd Gears team for vVv at that time. That team was called vVv Destiny. Remember that name for later in the story.
Our team actually stuck together for the months leading up to the event and we were really confident in our strategies and teamwork. I still remember some of the late nights coordinating with Nick (Enmity) how we would play the host spot and secondary positions together to focus down someone trying to go for the mid pillar or sandbag push strat. We went to the event and actually had a to get a last minute replacement at the event for Demon because he sketched out. We grabbed Mephisto from another team and were ready to go. No practice with him at all, we had to change our strats, but we knew his rawl skill would definitely fill in for that.
vVv Destiny at MLG Toronto ‘07
We placed 9th at this event, which was a big accomplishment for all of us since it was of the most competitive events of the year and of course with our circumstances of using a last minute replacement.
The team stuck together, but made a roster change with bringing in Storm for Sun Down. Our next big event was closer to home for me in New York City at the Samsung Experience Center for WCG. I took the train down from Connecticut and stayed with my sister in the city. This event was on the newly released Gears of War 2 and we took 2nd at this event as an invitational team.
After this event, the team was working towards the next level and my attitude was letting not allowing the team to perform at their best. I was released from the team and got involved with several other competitive titles such as Socom, Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. I still hung around vVv, but was not nearly as involved as I was when I was competing. I was very competitive in these games as well, hitting gladiator in WoW on multiple accounts and holding the Crown in Socom for the longest out of any team that season. I became back involved with vVv again for Call of Duty, where I lead the first community team “vVv Essence. to a victory in the MLG NYB online tournament.
After Call of Duty wasn’t supported with any LAN events, I stopped playing games all together. This was all around my Junior year in High School. I switched back to Public School from a Tech Program and went on to try to lead an ordinary life, without gaming. I had a lot of catching up to do because I was away from those friends for several years, but I tried my best to be “normal” and live up to the social expectations of a Senior. I went out, hosted a few parties and built relationships. Summer just started. I just graduated, turned 18, got accepted into the school I wanted to attend and got a brand new car.
I was living the ordinary life. Not in contact with anyone from vVv or gaming at all, I thought this is what I wanted. Fourth of July was around the corner, and I thought it would be a good idea to drink and drive. Long story short. I drove home from a party by myself, hit a car and then drove home with the front end of my car scraping against the pavement. When I pulled into my driveway, the cops were already there. I refused the breathalyzer test and started talking to them about my times as a competitive gamer. They took me to jail and then later the Hospital. I was charged with Reckless Driving, Driving in the Wrong Lane and Driving Under the Influence.
Thousands of dollars in lawyer fees later, two of the charges were dropped and was license was suspended for one year. I had to take classes and immediately accept a ton of responsibility to not only pay my family back, but also get my life together. This accident turned around my life. It was a wake up call. That Summer, I worked every day with my Dad and then later got a job at Panera. For the next two years, I commuted to school my train every Monday and Wednesday. Woke up at 6am took a bus to a train, to a shuttle and then another bus. I would get home at about 9pm.
Around this time, I reached out to Jerry to tell him my story and see if I could get back involved with my passions: gaming and esports. I was paying very little attention to the scene, but it just felt right to go back home to vVv. I began writing articles and blogs just to share my competitive gaming thoughts and stories. The blog hit 30,000 views at one point, but by then I wanted to get more and more involved with vVv staff. At this point, I was getting advice from my sister and parents that I shouldn’t do vVv stuff for too long as it was unpaid work and wouldn’t provide me with anything. I also had the urge this entire time to go out and party with friends, but I stayed focused and stuck to my gut. With vVv, I wanted to help players who had the same challenges I did as a player and help them be successful. I ran tournaments, write articles, consulted on team decisions and did whatever I could to help vVv become a better organization. All of my energy outside of work and school (and even sometimes in school, see photo above) was focused on that goal.
About a year and a half later, I became the VP of Operations at vVv Gaming. Two weeks later, Jerry announced that he was joining Riot Games as the Director of People.
Fast forward to the Season 3 World Finals for League of Legends, I made the trip out to LA to visit Jerry and Jordan at their new apartment. During this time, Jordan and I were working on a project called the Experience Initiative which was focused on providing teams and staff opportunities to work in the gaming industry. While we were watching the World Finals that year, Forbes had released an article about our project with an interview - I lost it. It wasn’t the attention or article, the emotion that hit me was the culmination from that first GoW Public match, to the MLG events, DUI accident and to now. Jerry looked at me, and we both felt it. We both knew at the very moment that vVv Gaming was a very special place. For some reason, at that moment, Jerry also saw something in me and decided to offer me to come live out in Los Angeles to pursue my own personal goal of working in the gaming industry full time.
Season 2 World Championship
I landed back in New York City to stay with my sister that weekend and told her about the trip. I mentioned that it could be a possibility of me leaving school in Connecticut to come to LA to work on vVv. There were a lot of concerns about leaving school, or how I would manage out there on my own. She suggested that I study abroad in Germany like she did and I was tempted. I kept it to myself for a while because I wasn’t sure how my parents would react, but then, when my Grandma was visiting I told her all about it. We sat down with my parents and sister to explain my decision and the opportunity. About a week later it was December 15th and I had a one way ticket to LA…
I'll be releasing the full story throughout the next few days. Do you have a vVv story? Share it with us!
Have you ever had met a person in life who shared all of your interests? Thought the way you do?
The Moriarty to your Sherlock - Sometimes the other way around? Well, my brother, Chris, was and
is that to me. There is nothing in this world that gets my blood flowing like the thrill of a challenge,
a competition, or pursuit of perfection.
The earliest memory I have is playing Mortal Kombat Ultimate. My brother was a beast at
Nightwolf and Sindel. God, I couldn't stand that fucker and his axe combo; if you know the game,
it started with a low kick... followed by an annihilation of your manhood (insert rage). Anyways,
we'd play the game with large health pools so that the matches lasted for 7-10 minutes. We figured
this would balance out the flukes and allow the better player to always win. It was always him.
I would practice hours upon hours, character after character, just to find a way to beat his
Nightwolf. I would go so far as to play into the AM's while everyone was asleep on a school night.
Finally, a miracle happened. Jesus took the wheel, or in this case, control of the controller leading
me to accidentally pick Noob Sabot in the select screen. Well, it turns out the timing of Sabots
combos completely and utterly destroy Nightwolf. I ended up figuring out something called an
"infinite combo" in the fighter genre, like Marvel vs Capcom. I was unbeatable. This led to my
brother demanding the hero be banned from play, lol.
Fast forward a few years, and the best game of all time had been created; Starcraft: Brood War.
Our second greatest rivalry. I can still remember the day my brother came home with a disc of this
game. For all you youngins out there, we had to have cd-rom discs of the game to play it. This is
back when windows 95 was the most up to date operating system. Anyways, our buddy Jeremy
from down the street was all about this game. We installed, opened the game, picked protoss,
and entered a world that would define our childhood. Even to this day, I find myself searching
youtube for the game's music, old tournaments, and everything GomTV. The game was flawless.
Alright, enough gushing about Starcraft, down to the nitty gritty. Like all games, top tier players
separate themselves from the community and create their own secret hideout. In Starcraft, this
was Clan x17. To put this place in perspective; think of the biggest crush you've ever had. Now
imagine her surrounded by a multitude of bouncers, and around these bouncers are other nerds
ust like yourself. Just like the world of dating, clan x17 is the girl you want to bang, and the
amount of horny teenagers trying to get in her circle represents the starcraft community.
This is where my brother played.
Having only 1 computer growing up, I spent a great deal of time watching my brother in a chair
right beside him, learning from his every move. There was this one game I remember vividly,
the game he played against Testie. This guy was one of the top terran players in North America
at the time, a man ahead of his time in terms of skill. Testie decided to do a tank push/contain
on my brother's protoss base very early in the game. However, my brother had created a build
rushing zealot speed and shuttles in order to drop on top of the tanks, nullifying the terran
advantage. The game was a 30 minute slugfest of epic proportion. The result: my brother was victorious.
Throughout the next few years, he would play against the top canadian protoss Smuft- from
time to time, as well as many other Clan x17 members. I’m not sure of all the opponents
anymore, but I am certain he had to of run into Artosis, Tasteless and Day9 at one point or another.
As for myself, I played in x17 as well. My defining moment came before my brother’s success
in the game. One late night, my brother went over to our friend’s house in order to play me
1v1 online. We played for hours upon hours into the AM’s, digging deeper into competitive
nature with each passing game. And so the moment came where I defeated him in 3 straight
games, convincingly. My brother didn’t even type a word as his connection disappeared from
the LAN screen. I was beside myself because I had never truly beaten him on even terms
before. But… he crushed me in a harmful way. The following day he told me this, “I was just
playing around you know? I’m still better than you.” As a young, 12 year old boy, I accepted
my older brother’s statement and quit Starcraft for good.
There are times in my gaming career where I wonder, "what might have been if I had done 'x'?"
Well, this is one of them.
This week brings vVv's first loss in WNS at the hands of DarkCell, of Quantic Gaming. These games showcase some strong ZvT, winning against Ruff's Cheese, Murder's macro-based play and NGry's timing based play. DarkCell also wins a close ZvP, coming back from having his third base killed for free.
Replays can be found here.
Game 1: vVvMurder(T) vs Agh(P) on Tal'Darim Altar
Murder opens with a gasless 1 rax expand, into a very atypical 3 rax into 3rd command center. Agh opens with a more standard 1 gate expansion, quickly adding 2 more gates for pressure and a robotics facility. Both players macro up from here, murder teching up to starport and taking his third on the low ground, Agh teching to DTs and taking the natural third base.
Both players drop simultaneously, murder dropping a medivac full of marines and marauders into Agh's base, which does little damage, Agh warping in DTs into Murder's base, killing a few SCVs and add-ons before Murder cleans up the DTs. Murder loads up four medivacs after dealing with the DTs, dropping Agh's main while also sending the rest of his units to Agh's natural. Agh sees the units coming from the front, and only breaks off a small number of zealots and stalkers to deal with the drop. These units get crushed with relatively few losses for murder, and having no form of AoE, the rest of Agh's gateway army gets picked apart by the split attack.
Dealing with Terran's split attacks as protoss is quite unforgiving, since small numbers of gateway units are incredibly inefficient against infantry and medivac armies. Agh should have sent far more units back into his main to deal with the four medivac drop.
Game 2: Murder(T) vs DarkCell(Z) on Metalopolis
In this game, Murder opens with a 1 rax CC into 4 rax with fast combat shields. DarkCell begins with a hatchery first, following by a very late gas and a fast third queen, droning incredibly hard. Murder scouts with an early reaper, and pushes out to attack DarkCell with a handful of marines as combat shields completes. DarkCell has a perfect defense, though, with 4 queens and 2 spine crawlers. Posturing aggressively with his marines and reapers, Murder forgets to build a supply depot, and is supply blocked at 46 supply for nearly a minute, followed by another lengthy supply block at 56. Coupled with DarkCell's bold drone production, this leaves DarkCell with a 17 worker advantage, while still producing lings in time to deal with Murder's attack.
DarkCell takes a third base while Murder techs to starport. Murder beings a third CC while dropping DarkCell's main. The drop is dealt with effectively, but after securing his third base, Murder returns with two medivacs dropped behind DarkCell's mineral line and a tank/marine push at the front. Murder's dropped marines sit safely behind a spire and baneling nest, killing several lings and drones, but is eventually clean up along with the entire push due to DarkCell's massive number of lings and banelings.
Murder continues macroing while attempting to drop DarkCell's main and picking off stray lings and banelings on the map, but DarkCell's macro is phenomenal. Every time Murder pushes out, his units are flanked and slaughtered by a nearly maxed army of lings and banelings. After losing two huge armies this way, Murder's main and natural are both mined out, and he ggs.
Murder's massive supply block during his initial push cost him a lot. DarkCell droned very greedily, but went unpunished because of the supply block. With an additional round of marines, Murder could have probably killed the spine crawler on the right side of DarkCell's natural and gotten behind the minerals to kill drones and delay mining. Going into the midgame with such a huge harvester disadvantage is almost always going to lead to a loss.
Game 3: NGry(T) vs DarkCell(Z) on Shattered Temple
NGry opens with 2 rax; DarkCell again opening with hatch first and a late gas. NGry's first push kills four lings and forces ten more on top of that, while losing no marines. NGry expands behind this pressure, setting him up for a strong mid-game. NGry adds a third command center quickly while producing marines from four barracks. DarkCell, on the other hand, produces mass ling/baneling, staying on two base for a very long time.
NGry sees no ling/baneling aggression, so moves out to attack what would be DarkCell's third base. Unfortunately for him, DarkCell has not taken a third, and counters with a huge number of lings, ripping through NGry's natural and into his main. Meanwhile, NGry's army takes out two rocks before getting to DarkCell's base, where he is greeted by several banelings.
NGry's opening was solid, but his mid-game plan was abused well by DarkCell. NGry often pushes at the time most zerg players will take their third, but since DarkCell stayed on two bases, he has a larger army than usual, and crushed NGry. With the extremely early third Orbital, NGry could have afforded to scan to check for the third base, but opted for greedy instead.
Game 4: Ruff(T) vs DarkCell(Z) on Testbug
Ruff opens with three barracks at his expansion, aiming to put a ton of pressure on DarkCell early. However, DarkCell opted this game for a speedling expand, and when Ruff's initial marines reach DarkCell's base, DarkCell surrounds them, stopping the rush cold.
At this point, DarkCell's hatchery has not yet completed at his expansion, so he cancels it and builds a baneling nest, to end the game more quickly. This is a mistake, as it gives ruff a chance of winning the game, but DarkCell's bust is successful, and ruff resigns.
Ruff's initial push was not executed well. He pushed with his marines out in the open rather than staying against the wall or behind the minerals, where they may have done better against the zerglings.
Game 5: Time(P) vs DarkCell(Z) on Shakuras Plateau
DarkCell opens speedling expand, while I open 2 gate FE. I am able to sneak a probe into DarkCell's base, seeing an early roach warren. DarkCell sneaks some lings into my main, seeing nothing but two gateways. Using hallucination, I scout DarkCell taking a quick third with very few units, and push with +1 attack and blink, killing the hatchery for free, as DarkCell has very few units and can do nothing to stop my army.
During the attack, I built a third base and began teching to colossi. DarkCell begins burrow, roach speed, his third, and quickly after his fourth base. Once I have finished colossus range and my third colossus, I push again while taking my fourth. Due to poor scouting, I engage DarkCell's army out in the open, and his banelings evaporate all of the zealots and sentries quickly, leaving the roaches to deal with the colossi and remaining stalkers quite well.
DarkCell adds infestors, while I tech to templar and void rays. DarkCell uses lings to take out the fourth base while dropping roaches in the main, turning the game back in his favor. I push again once I approach maxed, and successfully take out DarkCell's natural and most of his army. However, DarkCell continues to abuse burrow to kill buildings in the main and at my fourth, crippling my economy. With reinforcements, DarkCell cleans up the rest of my army, and with constant harass, prevents me from being able to deal with increasing infestor numbers, which continue to neural and spam infested terrans, winning the game.
Despite gaining a large lead in the early game by taking DarkCell's third out for free, I lose this game with poor army control, losing the first push due to poor positioning, and later due to allowing banelings to blow up all my high templar before using any storms.
Congrats to DarkCell for the all-kill!
With the release of the Rock Band Network, there are hundreds of songs ready for you to download, but obviously not all are worthy of your hard-earned dollars. That's where we come in. vVv Adrenaline will release weekly reviews letting YOU know which songs are fun to play, which ones are great to listen to, and which ones you should avoid at all costs. Feel free to give us your opinions for the songs we've selected.
vVv Adrenaline is...
Guitar/Bass: vVv Brock
Drums: vVv HellAshes
Guitar/Bass: vVv GanonMetroid
Vocals: vVv Tobias911
I have to admit that I hardly ever find chord-heavy songs fun, especially when almost the entire song is strum notes, but I really enjoyed playing Too Much by Soulive. It's incredibly catchy and you find yourself really getting into the song that you find yourself enjoying the song rather than just focusing on the notes in front of you. There is also a guitar solo that does a great job of changing things up toward the end of the song. It's nothing difficult, but it adds a lot to t the song. Although I enjoyed playing bass even more than guitar, there's a lot of fun to be had on everything. I definitely recommend picking this up!- vVv Brock
Oh boy, another funky song. You know what that means on drums. Awesomeness. Well, you'd think so anyway. This song is pretty easy to get into when playing on drums, but it doesn't vary itself enough to be entirely too fun. There's the occasional drum fill, but other than that, it sticks to the main beat, which is pretty fun in it's on right. There's a lot of syncopation and off beat snare hits in this tune, which brings me to another point I have to bring up. The charter for drums put the main beat in straight 8th feel when you can tell this song is meant to swing. It doesn't affect the chart too much considering I can still play it with the swing feel without missing, but it just something I need to point out. I would definitely check this song out if you want to try some funk-a-licious beats.- vVv HellAshes
Hot damn, now this is soul. Listen to that groove - it's infectious. Such a great funk surely has an equally funky bass line to back it up, right? You're damn right it does! This song is filled to the brim with hammer-on patterns that just about any player could enjoy. The entire song goes all the way up and down the fret board, throwing your fingers across the notes - but still at a manageable (and therefore fun) speed. Do yourself a favor: pick up this song, trick your friend into playing guitar, and rock that bass. - vVv GanonMetroid
Talk about your difficult songs to sing, this is a challenging one indeed! Too Much is the first soul, rock, and funk song I
Original post by AlphaZealot: http://www.smashboards.com/showthread.php?t=304134
To the Smash community,
Recently the integrity of our tournaments has come under attack. While most would agree having the best players possible at events is in the interest of the community, it should also be noted that it is only beneficial if these players are playing at their best capacity and not attempting to manipulate the tournament for their own collective good. The issue directly at hand is splitting, as it has caused what should be high profile, amazing matches, to instead become a battle of players not trying their hardest, using secondaries, or worse, playing "reverse mains" and also forfeiting. This, because the players have chosen, before playing, how to divy up the winnings of the tournament. This hurts the image of the individual tournament and of the overall Smash community, and this behavior will no longer be tolerated. The BBR-RC is taking the following stance and amending it's ruleset, partially mirroring and in the same spirit as recent decisions made by The Evolution Fighting Game Championship Series, in order to combat this awful practice that has already severely scarred the community (e.g. MLG DC and the Midnight Gaming Championship).
The first players to be infracted and receive a Yellow Card under the already established authority of the Unity Ruleset, Conduct Rule #5, in conjunction with the newly created Infraction System (category: Bracket Manipulation), are Mew2King, ADHD, and Anti. This is due to their actions at this weekends tournament-KTAR5, where the players agreed to a split the money allocated for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place, respectively. This has been confirmed by Tournament Organizer Keitaro. This Yellow Card will be in effect for a period of 6 months, ending Monday, November 21st, 2011.
We hope future action will not need to be taken, but the Tournament Organizers in the BBR-RC, representing the largest collective of Tournament Organizers ever in the Smash community, with over 50% of tournaments in the community now using the Unity Ruleset, has the unique ability to prevent future issues from occurring. We hope the entire Smash community can work together to collectively cry out in disgust at the all to common action of splitting, as it has deprived the community of prestige, integrity, and most of all amazing matches that participants of any tournament deserve.
-The BBR Ruleset Committee
The new section can be viewed in full below
Unity Ruleset Infraction System
Players found in contempt of rules within the Unity Ruleset are subject to the Infraction System. This is a system where players can receive either a Yellow Card or a Red Card in a certain category by the members of the BBR-RC based on evidence and discussion.
Yellow Cards are given for lesser offenses, or as warnings for larger ones. Players with a Yellow Card are under extra watch by tournament hosts for later offenses. If a player receives a Yellow Card in a category they already have an active one in, they will be given a Red Card for that category.
Red Cards are given for larger offenses, or by accumulating two active Yellow Cards in a single category. If a player has an active Red Card, they are unable to participate in any events hosted at a tournament using the Unity Ruleset.
Cards given to players will have a set expiration date determined on a case-by-case basis by the BBR-RC. Yellow Cards will typically carry longer active periods as a warning lasting approximately between one and twelve months. Red Cards typically carry lesser active periods lasting approximately between two and eight weeks, acting as a tournament ban. Expiration dates may be set differently depending on the severity of the infraction and repeated occurrence of them.
Cards are assigned a category when distributed based on the rule that was broken. Red Cards gained by accumulating two or more Yellow Cards only happens if the Yellow Cards are obtained in the same category. Categories also help represent the severity of a sentence, as some categories are more important than others. Categories will be decided on when the infraction is given by the BBR-RC. Some examples of categories (but not all of them) are listed below.
Bracket Manipulation: This category is for any offense that pertains to players modifying the outcome of a bracket based on factors such as (but not limited to) Prize Splitting, Intentional Forfeiting, Intentional Under-performance, and Outside Deals. This category may bring additional punishment immediately at the tournament by the Tournament Organizer such as being disqualified from the event or having your winnings forfeited to other placing players at the event.
Tournament Conduct: This category is for any offense that pertains to players acting out of line at tournaments. This includes factors such as (but not limited to) Fighting, Disruption, Theft, and Destruction of Property. This category may bring additional punishment immediately at the tournament by the Tournament Organizer such as being ejected from the venue.
Distribution and Operation of Cards
- Everyone may view the status of all distributed cards including their category, expiration date, and assigned player in the following thread: http://www.smashboards.com/showpost.php?p=12763608&postcount=4
- Cards will be assigned by the BBR-RC as a whole after discussion following the event in question. Cards may be assigned at any time.
- Cards do not have to be tied to a specific action at a specific event.
- Anyone is able to contact any member of the BBR-RC to suggest the distribution of a card, as well as provide evidence that may aid in the decision of the distribution.
- The BBR-RC may assign cards to players based on events not using the Unity Ruleset.
- All events using the Unity Ruleset must abide by the player blacklist formed by the Infraction System.
- Any host not using the Unity Ruleset in its entirety is still welcome to use the player blacklist if they choose.
- Any player who receives a card is more than welcome to contact any member of the BBR-RC with a counter argument for why they should have not received a certain card.
- Everyone may view the status of all distributed cards including their category, expiration date, and assigned player in the following thread: http://www.smashboards.com/showpost.php?p=12763608&postcount=4
***Remember all these are based on what I use or have used, but it is up to you to decide what you wish to use. I am just trying to help***
Buy a rechargeable battery charger that can charge both AA & AAA batteries. and have at least 6 AA or more batteries. Use 2 AA in the controller with the others charged or charging. Most come with AAA also which would be the best so you can use them on your headsets.
Sanyo Eneloop Ni-MH Charger (with 8 "AA" and 2 "AAA" Batteries, Plus 2 "C" and 2 "D" Adpaters). Found at Amazon.com = $36.29 + Taxhttp://www.amazon.com/Sanyo-Eneloop-Charger-Batteries-Adpaters/dp/B00B51D6NQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1396192277&sr=1-1&keywords=sanyo+eneloop+ni-mh+charger
- Best I used is this:
*****EXTRA: Have 2 containers label one "Dead Batteries" and the other "Charged Batteries". As you can guess that you place all batteries in the correct container. I use this so I know what to charge, when I need to, and how many to.*****
- PLEASE READ: By reading these tips below it will maybe hard to understand because the controller is very sensitive and adjusting it is very hard to do it unless you are not told or shown how, if you wish to contact me to help you to make your controller work the best way possible for what game you play.
- Also remember the setting of each game are different are not the same adjusting your controller will be hard to when playing other games.
GT: vVv WooTang
These are a pain to take off and get annoying if you try to do it the way the instructions tell you to.
Easiest way to do this is to start at the top side of the grip and pop it loose, then continue this down the grip until it pops right off, if you don't have nails or don't wish to use them use a small flat head screw driver, but if you will scratch the controller.
Now if you wish to be a little bit more crazy, just simply drill a small hole in the grip that will allow you just to the key straight into the adjustment screw, my friend does this but that is to extreme for me to do.
Best way to adjust your triggers:
- Turn the key clockwise (right) until the gun is aims or shoots by itself ( if you add pressure the gun will aim or shoot )
- Then slowly turn the key to counter clockwise (Left) until it stops aiming/shooting
- Make sure that if you add pressure to the area it will not aim/shoot itself
- Once it stopped aiming turn the key so until it works the way you wish
IMPORTANT: If the adjuster is set where if you just tap the trigger than the by adding pressure to that area will make it aim/shoot. If this happens turn the key a 1/2 - 1 turn or more if needed to fix this. Also when adjusting because you are adding pressure to that area it will aim/shoot, to make sure this does not effect the way you wish to have the triggers as you wish just simply make the adjustment and let go of the key and see what happens.
Remember that if anyone wishes to contact me just send me a message via XB1 or leave a post here. GT: vVv WooTang
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- Best I used is this:
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
I sit here, keyboard at my fingertips, and I'm trying to find the words to describe my last 7 days in L.A. Surely, going from looking at a sun soaked valley, to an iced stained window has its saddening attributes.
"Of all the things that wisdom provides for living one's entire life in happiness, the greatest by far is the possession of friendship." -Epicurus*. I cannot stress this idea more, finding people to truthfully call a friend is hard to come by. For me personally, I had never really experienced true friendship until now. Most of my past was filled with fizzled friendships which explains my inability to take something at face value. I hope this sheds some light on why I avoid people. I hope you didn't take it to heart, as my questioning as to what is implied in conversation drives me to insanity. Jerry was able to figure this out after asking me one single question,"Who do you consider to be your best friend?". I really didn't have an answer for this, I could not think of one person whom I've ever thought as a best friend. Before vVv gaming, I preferred a life of solitude as human interaction was as tedious for me as someone might feel when writing lines for bad behavior. Which explains why I always avoid petty conversation.
Small talk was probably the thing I hated the most. Due to its way of focusing on what people thought was socially right to say; rather than discussing about themselves or ideas. As a child, I tried creating conversations about ideas or about things learned. To my dismay, most kids and even parents thought I was a "know it all". I then understood that the discussion of ideas wasn't for everyone. So I spent most of my years in quiet solitude. Surprisingly, the small talk coming from people who are true to themselves is quite interesting.
What the vVv gaming HQ has shown me is that small talk between close friends is a way to find and explore more about each other. To laugh at each others quirks and help fix each others poor attributes. I believe vVv Gaming within itself is an extension of that.
Over the last week, my activity with the community has increased. I can say, I'm interested in how other people feel and interact. I enjoy helping others complete their goals and make something of nothing. What I didn't realize over the course of my lifetime is that I have a lot of empathy at my disposal. I'm able to sympathize with almost anyone, thinking of why they may feel this way or have done that. But as with my love for ideas, asking someone questions of why they are feeling a certain way and giving advice isn't within their best interest. So yes, most of my skills where for deeper human interaction then what was socially acceptable. The only way for me to actually use these abilities is when someone consciously comes to ask help from me.
The trip was definitely an enlightening one, not because of the hot California sun, but of Jerry's ability to really show who I really was. I hope, that by reading this you come to understand the impact that the people here at vVv gaming have on us. Take every opportunity vVv gaming gives you, it will be a rewarding journey for anyone brave enough to take the first step.
Good Luck in your vVv Gaming travels!
If ever you need to run an idea by someone, you know where to look.
* pg.73 in "The Essential Epicurius" by Eugene O'Conor
A step forward for equal opportunity for the LGBT Community...../sigh this is what makes the news. God forbid anything affecting everyday life. With the crimes,restrictions and downright hatred of gays,bisexuals,transgenders and all of the little in betweens of the LGBT community,things such as Gay Marriage,Don't Ask , Don't Tell and other Equal Opportunity issues are pushed to the side and dwelled on for ever. On that same token, small "almost" meaningless thing like this makes the news. To think something like this was even in place in the first place, but I guess it's another step forward for humans to gain their second set of guaranteed rights because they aren't Middle Class White Americans. Go Democracy and at least this woman gets to golf now. We can all sleep better knowing the great people of America made the right call in the end........And by the right call I mean the obvious one.
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It has come to my attention that the Thief needs some serious loving. As a potential remedy to this, a few cohorts of mine sat down and punched out some preliminary findings in terms of class deficiency, and it seemed like an appropriate topic for the blog. While reading this, I would like you to cross reference what was written with what class you play, and ask yourself if there is any room for improvement in the imbalance department. ANet can't fix the problem if they don't know what's wrong. I hope you enjoyed the tournament play i posted, and I also hope you take something useful away from this redesign.
Currently the only source of condition removal and real stealth Thieves have is Hide in Shadows. The problem is that this skill does not remove crowd control effects. Other classes have condition removal such as 10 second automatic removal passives for rangers, debuff removal for Mesmers, multiple condition removal skills including “Shake it Off” as well as a heal/condition removal for Warriors, Guardians have even more, Engineers have elixirs, Necromancers have group condition removal that isn’t their designated heal (which also removes conditions), and Elementalists have many.
Thieves are strictly limited to using Hide in Shadows for condition removal. I’ll give you the average combat scenario with Hide in Shadows:
1.) Conditions put on you via on hit effects, someone uses one of many immobilize effects
2.) You enter stealth, heal goes up, conditions off
3.) You’re still immobilized, and they know that, so they keep attacking you, applying more conditions and negating most of the benefits of your heal. It might as well not be a stealth
Because of this, most Thieves have defaulted to Withdrawal for the evade and heal on a 50% lower cool down, effectively making stealth and condition removal nonexistent. I’m aware that Shadow Refuge is technically a stealth, but the skill is extremely under powered as a whole, and I will touch on that later in the article.
1.) Currently, traps have little to no use in PvP. The trap mechanic in the context of Guild Wars 2, forces you to use them in a defensive way. If you use a trap offensively and it misses, you’re already down one cooldown before the fight starts. Traps need to be replaced with skills that have an active impact on fast engagements, as professions in Guild Wars 2 are much more mobile than they were in Guild Wars.
2.) Am I saying defensive cooldowns are useless? No, they’re absolutely necessary. Am I saying traps are marginally less effective than they were in Guild Wars 1? Yes. There was a basic and undeniable boost in mobility from GW1 to GW2. There are separate levels of elevation and various routes of access to all of the maps that are currently in place/being tested, and traps are wasted cooldowns entirely.
Proposed Changes in Class Mechanics
F1: Crack Armor: Apply several stacks of vulnerability to the target, applies 10 seconds of protection to self. This helps with our survivability, and enables us to weaken a single target, making them more vulnerable to our attacks. Which is what the thief is all about.
F2: Steal Weapon: Daze the target for 2 seconds. Applies Might or Fury to self and grants a class specific item just like current
steal. This allows us a control option, as well as the random item. Only usable in melee range.
F3: Shadow Recluse: Enter stealth for 10 seconds when not in combat, 3 when in combat. This would grant the element of surprise when out of combat, but ensure that it isn't too powerful during combat. Allows for adequate positioning and proficient gap closing without the target just waiting for you to Shadowstep to put you in the ground.
F4: Shadowstep: Teleport to Target. Shadowstep would be removed from steal, and would be its own class mechanic, allowing room for a decision making process before, during, and after the Shadowstep itself.
Flaws and Proposed Skill Fixes Pertaining to Mechanic Changes
- Shadow refuge heals for effectively nothing, (200 or so per second in the AoE)
- Gives enemies a small designated area to AoE
- Doesn’t break channeled spells once you enter it
- If it’s used offensively, everyone takes a few steps back and wait a few seconds for it to go away. (That’s being generous; they would really just run past you.) The skill is
Suggestion: Provide a signet that grants some form of condition removal, as well as adding condition removal to withdrawal and/or immobilize removal on Hide in Shadows. The reason I’m suggesting adding both, is because there is not a single class, Thieves aside, that do not have a condition removal spell outside of their heal.
Cool down: 15 —> 20 Seconds
My only suggestion for Withdraw will remain adding bleed/burn removal. If it’s added, consider bumping the cooldown up to 20 seconds.
Hide in Shadows:
Cooldown: Same = 30 Seconds
Add Immobilization removal.
Utility Skill Changes
Cooldown: From 60 —> 50 Seconds
Upon entering Shadow Refuge, become stealthed. Shadow Refuge will pulse 5 times, once every 1.5 seconds. Every other pulse will remove a condition and heal for 200, starting with the SECOND pulse. Upon leaving Shadow Refuge, remain stealthed for 5 seconds, but receive no pulse benefits.
Explanation: Giving people a reason to stay AND a reason to leave, presents decision, not choice. Thought provoking and mechanically sound is what we’re aiming for. “If I stay, I’m fairly safe. If I leave, I might be able to do enough damage to kill him.”
Cooldown: Same 30 Seconds
You throw a wire around your opponent’s legs, tripping them to the ground for 2 seconds. Upon standing, the enemy gains swiftness for 3 seconds.
Explanation: One thing Guild Wars 1 did better than any other MMO, was give good skills drawbacks to make you think. ANet is a smart company, and is in the business of presenting decisions. Introduce a little complexity, in contrast with the current F1 Doubletap meta.
Cooldown: From 45—> 120 Seconds
Calls in a fellow Thief on top of your target, causing you to Shadow Step back 15 feet.
Explanation: Sticking with the “traps are not for GW2” theme, these are some suggestions with what I feel to be appropriate balance, having played the Thief extensively through all of the prior Beta Weekends, Stress Tests, and now Alpha.
Cooldown: From 30—> 40 Seconds
Throws a blinding dust cloud on top of your enemy, teleporting you to the other side of the cloud, and blinding your enemy for 3 seconds, causing you to stealth.
Explanation: Traps are wasted skills, and creating relevant abilities from the ashes will introduce new interactions, some foreseen, some not. Decisions become present here.
Needle Trap Replacement Suggestion: Signet of Death:
Cooldown: 125 Seconds
Passive: Removes a condition every 10 seconds, starting when the caster has a 2nd condition placed on him/her.
Active: Resets all class mechanic abilites F1-F4. Signet of Death's passive is inactive during cooldown.
Explanation: This gives Thieves passive condition removal, but gives us the option to sacrifice it for a long period of time if we want our class mechanics back faster. It prompts the decision of control, or survivability, and if you take control, you lose your survivability for a lengthy period of time.
Build of the Week! (Elementalist) : "Jack of all Trades"
20 Fire Magic
- 20% chance to cause burning when attacked with melee
- Deal 10% more damage when attuned to fire
- Damage at your location when attuning to fire
- All your fire weapon skills recharge 20% faster
20 Air Magic
- Move 10% faster while attuned to air
- Move faster the longer you are attuned to air
- Strike your target with a bolt of lightning when attuning to air
- Deal 10% more damage while attuned to air
10 Earth Magic
- Gain extra armor while attuned to earth
- Deal 5% more when within melee range of your target
10 Water Magic
- Regenerate health while attuned to water
- Remove a condition from yourself and your allies when you attune to water
10 Arcane Magic
- Attunement bonuses linger for 5 seconds
- Elemental Attunement
Do not rely on condition builds to carry your team to victory. They will be fixed, and the "spammy" feeling of conditions will transitively be gone. Leave any comments, questions or concerns in the comment section below, as I would love to ascertain some perspective from outside sources on class balance. That's about it for this beta weekend. I wish you the best of luck in your future warring of guilds, and as always, fight for the user.
- 20% chance to cause burning when attacked with melee
Revolution proves to be dynamic and a visual stunner
Ever since Treyarch released Call of Duty's newest post-launch DLC “Revolution” I’ve been on a solid Grind (pun intended) of playing the maps. With the preceding games such as 2011's Modern Warfare 3 or 2012’s Black Ops I, it was a tad challenging to tell the difference between one map and the next, new maps and old, especially given Infinity Ward and Activision's penchant for reusing environmental fixtures from the core game. The maps had a common theme to them, and were easily navigated even if you were new to the map. Playing these maps that looked so similar eventually grew leaden and repetitive, no matter which game it was.
Treyarch has really taken us to an entirely different place in Revolution, in terms of DLC’s in Call of Duty. The vibrant and distinctive group of maps can hopefully be taken as a signal that we can expect more and more impressive DLC’s throughout the year.
At the heart of the Revolution pack is a map set in a deserted skate park, Grind. This map conveys almost pulsating splashes of color to a sequence of games that is often criticized for its blandness and lack of variety. The fiery color scheme of the skate park lights up the entire gameplay.
Grind has a distinctive map build that is really unlike any other that has yet to be seen in Call of Duty. It features half-pipes, loop-de-loops and verticals, makes for an exceedingly dynamic multiplayer experience. While a small map when looking at the physical statistics of its length and width, the map feels as if it’s much larger due to its many corners and passageways. These give the player innumerable (let’s be honest, the answer is 42) amount of pathways that can be used to flank or maneuver themselves around the enemy. The only noticeable issue is that with all of these obstacles comes a slight feeling of being cluttered. When first playing the map I actually continuously found myself running directly into corners (which also often contained our friendly neighborhood campers) when trying to escape gun fights. Once I figured the map out, I noticed a great strategy as well. Using the ramps and curves of the park are excellent choices to get vantage points to cut off some of the most frequently used pathways without allowing the enemy much vision of you.
Regardless of its relatively lesser dimensions, Grind is a map that can cater to any range of combat styles. In the center of the map comes an intensely hectic and exposed feeling, but it offers an extremely quick option for submachine gun and assault rifle users. Likewise, there are many paths outside that cut into the middle that those same players can use to flank the opponent. Users of sniper rifles, on the other hand, will outshine the others outside; where again the map’s unique geometry provides multitudinous vantage points that can be navigated to take out the competition before they get too close.
The next map on the list is Downhill, and unlike the blistering feel Grind gives, this map provides you with more of a serene and sweeping feeling. While the latter contains plenty of protection and is packed full of pathways, Downhill takes place on a ski slope, and forces players into vulnerable, open areas. With these wide expanses, this map is brilliant for sniping, something I've always been a particular fan of. It’s very easy to watch the 3 main lanes with the sniper, and each end of the map even has different places where a less mobile sniper could set up.
Now if you happen to be like my other half and crave getting close behind the enemy and meeting them at a smaller range then you should indefinitely head to the chalet at the peak of the slopes. A few twisting routes lead there from the bottom of the map, and players implementing a sly play-style will do exceptionally well when taking these routes. If you've been having difficulties pushing the middle lanes you can use this outside path to get behind your opponent, so long as you be sure to watch for any snipers lurking at the end of the lane.
On the opposite side of these paths is the lift station, which is where the shotguns and submachine guns will really do the most damage. There’s about five different ways to enter into the mini battlefield of the lift station, and without being aware at almost all times, you’re likely to be taken out from behind or from one of your sides. With this being said an excellent strategy is to both keep an eye on the exits of the station and trap any who try to leave, or to control the station from the inside out (which takes a large amount of skill if doing it alone).
On a side note, within the lift station there lies a lift (surprised, anyone?) that will actually crush anyone who even barely touches it. And as hilarious as that may sound, you’ll be sure to have a revised opinion once it’s happened to you in the middle of a killstreak.
Next in line comes the map Hydro. This one happens to be my personal favorite and is designed both beautifully and tactfully. It’s approximately the same size of Grind, and takes short range battles to a whole new level.
The snug, heavily walled landscape of the map can make a real difficulty for snipers, though, with them only having the two boardwalks running parallel along the top of the map that make for decent vantage points. Plus, as they happen to be the only two areas where one can get above the map, they’re often checked to be sure no snipers are in fact setting up camp-making them relatively useless.
Hydro is a fast-paced and at times brutal map that absolutely allures me. It’s pathways that go beneath the map give it a dimension that the other maps don’t have, and give it a very stealthy feel to it. On this map one can easily sneak from one side of the other using multiple routes and remaining undetected to meet the enemy on the opposite side.
Mirage is the final map in the set, and another visual stunner. Set in a Chinese hotel in the aftermath of a sandstorm, this area once again as an impressive array of colors, although this one has a bit deeper and darker hues. It makes for a map that feels like it has a huge number of options within it, and is actually a tad invigorating to play, seeing as it lets you choose your play-style.
Going straight through the middle of the map can get you to one side of the map to another in a flash (a great option for you CTF junkies out there), but is also one of the biggest risks. As soon as you enter the circular center of the hotel, you’re automatically exposed from every direction. If you’re not quite up to the danger, then either of the outside paths provide enough cover to move from one side of the map to the other so long as you’re willing to take the time to do so.
Due to its greater physical size, Mirage is the most open of the maps-but not the most vulnerable. Any class can flourish here, unlike in the tight corridors of Hydro or the expanses of Downhill, which cater more towards certain play styles. That makes Mirage great for casual and hardcore play alike, and could easily become a very popular map. Its unique visuals of a hotel drowned in sand help it stand out from the pack, too, making this one an all-around great map.
Along with these multiplayer maps came a new Zombies map as well in the Revolution pack. After playing zombies for a only a short time period in the original Black Ops, Black Ops 2 brought me back into the craze with Tranzit mode, and the new Die Rise map has just made my love for this game mode all the more passionate.
Die Rise is a Survival map, and thus must be played in the simpler context of surviving as long as possible during a zombie outbreak. Like most zombies maps, there are cola machines to loot, weapons to buy, and plenty of hidden goodies to find. I enjoy this map very much, and found myself wanting to play it over and over. It has many new features, including the Jumping Jacks, the Sliquifier, and the AN 94 coming into zombies. All of these changes really added together to make an entirely new experience that will just reinvigorate the masses of zombie players Call of Duty has.
Turned mode casts players as zombies themselves, which is meant to be a “fun” twist on the classic gameplay formula of Zombies. In this competitive mode, players compete to find the cure and become human, at which point they must fend off zombified players and AI alike. The player who spends the most time as a human wins. Turned is a chaotic mode that lacks the feeling of skill that comes with the normal zombies mode and as such I don't see it attracting too many dedicated players-especially seeing as the downs you receive as a zombie actually count towards your record.
Last but not least, the final peace of the puzzle was the new Peacekeeper SMG. It’s not quite like many submachine guns, and almost feels like an assault rifle (Modern Warfare 3’s ACR comes to mind) when being used. To win close range gun fights you almost indefinitely need the first shot with the Peacekeeper. I (being who I am) immediately sought after the gun’s gold camouflage and found that the gun is actually very good when used at more short-medium distances (medium preferred) and is a great way to quickly control map areas at a fast pace.
But what's the point?
With everything said, I conclude that Revolution is the entire package (it's a REVOLUTION); and is one of the most creative and dynamic pieces of downloadable content ever released for a Call of Duty game. Each map has its own unique visual language, and the varied looks and layouts of them all serve to make the entire gameplay feel even more intense and thought out. If you’re one to put off buying the downloadable content simply because “it doesn’t look good” or because “it’s not worth the money”, then you’re honestly missing out on a great addition to the game.
I've been doing well with the LCK in Fantasy drafts so I thought I'd share my picks this week.
It's actually a tough week because upsets could easily happen with these two best of threes.
However I am going with the stats and based off previous performances the following picks I believe are going to put me in the money pool.
TOP Apple - $1136
JUNGLER Chaser - $1252
MID Crown - $1332
ADC Fury - $1412
SUPPORT IgNar - $930
FLEX Roar - $1260 SHOTCALLER
FLEX TrAce - $1209
FLEX Pilot - $1321
I avoided all players from SBENU SONICBOOM. They are trash.
So I started off my draft by picking the best to players from SG, hoping they get decent points.
After reviewing previous match ups I went through and made my picks.
JIN AIR GREEN WINGS:
These picks are based off performance from the pervious two weeks and from their first match ups against each other from earlier in the season.
Thanks and good luck if you use my picks.
For those of you interested in competitive Call of Duty and are on a team that is trying to get their team work down, here are some basic guidelines for what needs to be done in order to achieve success. This may sound reiterated if you've ever tried to compete on a 4 man roster:
Communication would probably be the biggest thing to focus on only because of the significant of it. It could be that factor that makes or breaks a team in a match depending on how well the 4 members of the team can use Call outs effectively, have good awareness and say where enemies are, etc.
Holding up your end of the team is a huge thing just basically for the concept of it. This is the most obvious one as it makes sense of what needs to be done. If you hold up your own, then it won't cause any flaws within your teams attitude for one another. Do your player roles, and listen to the captain of the team because it establishes a small chain of command and only on person calls the shots; this makes things organized and structured. What can be added on to your end, learn how to position yourself on maps as that will cause a lot of problems for your opponent and will start establishing map control for your team.
Another thing to try to learn is team chemistry, it may be the hardest thing to establish due to the differences between the players that may be evident early on in the teams life span. Once chemistry is there, it's very difficult to go away, and you'll see professional teams like EnVyUs and team Obey have remarkable chemistry. Even if every member of the team had below average individual skill levels, if the chemistry and communication is there, it still does the job and can bring teams to the top.
And lastly, establishing friendships outside of the game. Friendships always help with the way your team operates as it gives you time to understand your team mates better so you can know what they are thinking in game, as well as knowing what they are like at their bests and lowest times. Very important to know what to do when there is a problem in game and someone gets frustrated.
These things will all help any team trying to achieve good team work all around. I hope I have opened some eyes to how teamwork is done properly. I look forward to seeing some new teams break into pro status next year, good luck!
Make sure to follow me on twitter @@Slauney
After loosing a friend of mine to cancer about a year ago, and another diagnosed, I feel like I've been in the shadows for far too long. I'm putting in motion, the idea of a "Day of Play" as a fundraiser for all forms of cancer research, with the idea of having all forms of gaming represented. (Table Top RPG, MTG, and Video Games and anything I'm leaving out.) I'm currently getting a list of local shops that
I'm not looking to be trolled, for this is a serious matter at hand. If anyone has any ideas to help, I'm all ears.
#1) I have a Potential venue.
#2) Not sure on giveaways yet.
#3) I'm going to attempt to do something specific for each genre of gaming.
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Its Happened... Zombies are real, Get ready people i told you they were coming!
So this is the 4th Zombie Report i am posting, with some very very scary news! a Biologist creates "Zombie Cells" in a lab today, I think they said he works for umbrella but don't quote me on that! But not only do we now have zombies being created, BUT as quoted in the article
"The silica replicants can survive greater pressures and temperatures than flesh, and perform many functions better than the original cells did when alive."
They are making super zombies! With this statement we know that the zombie Apocalypse wont be of "the dead" series kind I.E Land of the dead, day of the dead, etc. But more like resident evil zombies, which is way scarier! People be scared because the lead researcher Bryan Kaehr is.
"Our zombie cells bridge chemistry and biology to create forms that not only near-perfectly resemble their past selves, but can do future work," he said, terrifyingly....
Terrifyingly!! He know what he's doing is dooming us all but he can't not. Because who doesn't want to see how they would do in a zombie apocalypse. Good luck everyone i hope we all make it.
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The Art of Starcraft
Quite literally, the art of the game. While playing Starcraft, the fast paced and high action nature of the game tends to not give the player the chance to look at the real details of the game. Very recently, I gave a friend a lesson on how to play the game, and pitted him against a devastatingly difficult “Easy Computer” opponent. (even though he lost the game, he still played well). During the grueling session of trying to get him to move his units, I began to really look at the environment of the game, and what I found was beautiful.
Unlike most types of games, being able to see and take in the look of the game is something that is not greatly enforced in RTS style games. In RPG’s, you have all the time in the world to take in your environment. Be it while you stare at your armor to make sure it looks awesome, grinding for that one weapon you really want, or taking a stroll from one city to another. In FPS games, even though there’s a lot of action that takes place at all times, there are still a few times that you can stop and smell the roses. Fighters, the graphics just keep getting better and better, scenery becomes interactive, and sometimes the background and foreground get motion (like a character bouncing off the screen in “Super Smash Bros: Brawl”).
The graphics of games are ever improving. Every sequel, every new release, every new engine, all of them have promises of better looking games. Often times, good graphics are taken as a raised bar, and that everything with inferior graphics are inferior games. The graphics of Starcraft 2 are no exception. When all graphics settings on the game are maxed out, the game is beautiful. Antiga Shipyard looks like a place where you would go to work in industry. Ohana LE and Tal’darim Alter look like places I’d like to go on vacation sometime. Shakuras Plateau looks like the kind of place to take a date out. The maps in the game are pretty, to say the least. And in a few maps, you can even find little special details, like a holographic zergling, or the advertisements on Metalopolis. Whenever I see one, I get that “hey, that’s pretty cool” feeling.
Then there’s the units and animation and the scenery. All the detail put into the units is incredible. If you look closely at the Terran Marine, it looks like a spaceman with a gun. It really does. And that’s what it’s supposed to look like, and it looks good. I really don’t know what unit in particular to write about, as the detail put in from the zergling to the Mothership is immense. If you look closely at all the Zerg units, you’ll probably see something you didn’t notice before in all the minute details. The only problem I see with the art of the units is that they are all the same (except Dark Templar). I think it would be pretty cool if there were small little differences in each of the units, like having a random selection of maybe seven or eight different skins for the units. But maybe that’s just me.
The other part of the artwork that impressed me was the animations. The fighting, the dying, the construction, the movement, and the environment. The fights are always intense. Fights can go from miniscule skirmishes, to epic battles, on this, I’m sure we can all agree. And they always look good. They can be colorful, explosive, with different animations, spells, and no two battles look the same. One of my personnel favorites is when a hellion roasts a line of zerglings. There’s always something really satisfying about that. But there’s all sorts of different animations that get incorporated with fights. A vortex swallowing up a ball of units, then getting demolished by a group of Archons. A couple zealots or DT’s slicing and dicing some marines. All of these little details really make the game what it is visually. And I love it.
But for a lot of gamers, graphics aren’t important at all. For others, it’s the most important thing. For me, I’ll take a good game over good graphics. I’ll still go back and play Brood War, simply because it’s a really good game, and can be crazy difficult. I might even go back to play Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, because it’s so hard. I’ll still take Cod 4: Modern Warfare over Black Ops, because the gameplay is much better for me (and because the LMG’s are OP). Some gamers love their graphics though, and will buy the prettiest new racing game, or the RPG with the coolest look, even if the gameplay isn’t the greatest.
With the upcoming release of HotS, I’m eagerly awaiting not only gameplay and the possibility of a new pro scene, but also the visual effects that will be incorporated into the game. New skins, new animations, new units, new skills and spells. I’m really looking forward to it.
And what about you? How important are the graphics of a game? Would you play Ocarina of Time for the gameplay? Or would you pick Skyrim for the look? Let me know
Thanks for reading. As always, leave your thoughts and feelings down below. It really helps, personally and for the content.
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More and more gamers are putting aside their favorite console and PC games and bringing their skills up to more serious games such as online poker, attracted by not just the skill and strategy required to play the game well but also the fact that some players have claimed to easily clear $100,000+ per year. Poker might not pack the same excitement of some first person shooters or other games but the chance to make a steady income from a game that puts many of your already well-honed gaming skills to good use is hard to pass up.
Other professional gamers have already made the leap to playing poker full-time, with some StarCraft pros finding tons of success at the poker tables. One advantage of playing online poker versus live poker is that you can play multiple tables at one time; for winning players this means that they can play many more hands online, which works out to greater profits in the long run. StarCraft players tend to find multi-tabling at poker especially easy, with years of multi-tasking practice at StarCraft and other RTS games putting them in great position to succeed at poker.
Success at poker does require hard work, practice, and the willingness to learn basic odds and common mathematical situations that arise, but none are all that difficult or real roadblocks to gamers who want to try their hand at poker. The biggest obstacle to success is commitment and being able to control your emotions, as while poker is a game of skill it does contain an element of luck, so you’ll inevitably have some losing streaks where it’s important to keep your focus and play your best game despite the frustrations.
There are a lots of websites out there that gives you access to poker games, including cash games and tournaments at a wide range of buy-ins. Some players start at very low levels, depositing just $50-$100 and work it up to the point that they’re playing in high stakes games with thousands of dollars up for grabs in each and every pot. Others haven’t deposited a penny, choosing instead to take advantage of freeroll tournaments that cost nothing to enter to get a starting bankroll, and then go to work building it up from there. However you prefer to get started, there's lots of opportunities for the gamer waiting to play!