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    • vVv Bagzli

      We have moved to Discord   08/04/2016

      There 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
    • vVv Bagzli

      New Supersonic Series Start Time   10/17/2016

      We 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.
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About this blog

Musings and other tidbits I find of interest from LoL, vVv, ToR, etc.

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Ahryse

If you haven't seen Sky's video yet, you can do so

and his follow up video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCdor8xjsPg.

There are 4 major issues here:

  1. The intent / goal of streamers
  2. HOW that goal is reached
  3. Harassment of gamers – specifically those who are female
  4. Streamer diversity

Let’s break this down.

The inherent goal of streamers is to make money. I suppose it may compete with the desire to entertain and provide a good experience. When it comes down to it, streaming is a business. The more money a streamer elicits the more frequently a streamer is likely to stream. This may allow a streamer to make this a full-time job or career.

Streamers reach this goal by the entertainment value of their stream – whether that’s comedy, showmanship, personality, great plays and/or… boobs. For women we have this awesome marketable feature no one else has. Those are breasts. It’s great. However, it’s also not so great. This is something that is infinitely complex because there are so many sides.

Boobs are great! The issue lies in the intent behind the marketing. As we already defined, the goal is to make money. However, does the streamer manipulate the relationship between streamer and viewer to capitalize on this? It’s when streamers exploit the already female hungry male gamers to extract more money from them, that an issue is created. Furthermore, I think this is also a huge issue for girl gamers. Why? Because we try so hard to show we’re a gamer, whether or not we’re male, female, transgender, we’re gamers. We don’t want to be treated differently.

I do think Sky stuck his foot in his mouth a little when speaking on this subject. I really do think after reading his twitter after the video was posted, that he was focused on the intent behind the marketing. However, I believe if he had simply titled his video “Dear Streamers” without focusing directly on female streamers – it would have been more accurate. To say some males don’t exploit their streamers as well is a fallacy. I do think though, that girls are simply more noticeable or at least the marketing is more noticeable – more talked about - than other streamers.

I find it incredibly ironic actually, since we spend so much time complaining and flat out, avoiding, sexual attention. Do gamers realize how many women masquerade as men in games because we don’t want the sort of attention we normally receive? Some of us refuse to talk in any kind of voice client to avoid any attention that could cause – because a lot of times it’s either sexual or hate. Some of us refuse to even join any community aside from one which is girl-only. In fact, when we ask ourselves why any gender or identity-only groups exist; it’s because we don’t feel safe.

Which leads me to my next point: Harassment. Let’s be honest – gamers are assholes. We ALL are assholes. We play to win and god forbid if we think anyone has the potential to prevent us from getting that. We have no problem telling someone where to shove it or when. This means our filter is for the most part non-existent. Not exactly a good thing. We get used to saying whatever we want – when we want. The internet is anonymous after all, who will know?

Furthermore, since gaming has been predominantly men until relatively recently, there’s still a lot of nastiness there. As soon as someone reveals she is a girl, she is friended, showered with gifts (RPGs), and harassed. The harassment can take the form of sexual predations or just plain hate. Twitch chat especially is a cesspool of filth. Regardless if she shows skin or not, she will receive hateful comments.

What does this all mean? We need more streamer diversity as a gender! We cannot change a player’s sex drive – sex marketing will always work. We may be able to alter people’s online behavior, but I believe that will take a lot of time. It will be a gradual shift. What we can do, right now, is if someone wants to stream, do it. Do it however you desire. Persevere through the hate and keep doing what you love. Just keep in mind the long term effects of your actions.

Happy streaming!

"she" is meant to be ambiguous.

Ahryse

In an attempt to get to know the other players/members of vVv better - those who don't play in my respected division, I've decided to branch out and talk to these players. I've always been interested in not only the people in a community, but also how they came to be in the community, the hows, whys, what ifs.

Q&A with vVv NaturaL

Ahryse: How did you first become interested in vVv? What keeps you around?

vVv Natural: I didn't apply to vVv until February of last year. I've known about vVv since their beginning, because I was a Gears of War player growing up. That's what got me involved in the competitive scene and how vVv started. What made me apply and interested in becoming a vVv member, was improving myself as a gamer. At the time, I didn't really play Call of Duty - it was actually the last game I wanted to play. But unfortunately it's the only console game that's played competitively. The community is a big bonus too, you get to meet people and play with new people. Overtime, I wanted to be on staff and learn about the eSports scene in general. I started following League of Legends a lot more and MMOs as a whole. I got interested in the eSports scene, which is what I like to do now. I'm always learning about what's big, what's coming out and how the business side of eSports works.

Ahryse: If you followed vVv for so long, what held you back from applying earlier? Did vVv just not have a division you were interested in?

vVv Natural: No it really wasn't that, because vVv had Halo, Rainbow 6 and Gears, which were all games I'd played competitively over the years. Back when Gears had just started and picked up by the competitive scene, when vVv had just started, I was in another clan/organization which lasted about a year and a half. At the end of it, I was really burnt out and didn't want to be involved with a large group of people. Some of my friends from that organization went to vVv. Due to this, I was around vVv even though I wasn't a part of the community or a member. In the meantime, I just played with my friends from school and my team. A few years went by and I wasn't playing with anyone and wasn't playing competitively anymore since Halo 4 died, which led me to applying for vVv's Call of Duty division.

Ahryse: Is Call of Duty the only big FPS console game played competitively?

vVv Natural: Right now, yeah. Console gaming was made successful because of Halo. MLG got big through Halo. It really took off Season 2 of Halo 2 and by the time Halo 3 came out, you started seeing the big sponsors like Dr. Pepper partnering with MLG. In my opinion, Halo is the reason MLG is where it is today. Without Halo, MLG probably would have never gotten big enough to include Starcraft. Halo Reach was an awful game which slowly killed the competitive scene. When Halo 4 was released, it stayed in the competitive scene for about 6-8 months before the money disappeared. This left Call of Duty as the only FPS in the competitive scene that was even relevant as a console shooter.

Ahryse: Is the upcoming Halo expected to be better than its predecessors?

vVv Natural: Unfortunately that's not really how console gaming works. Usually the original is always better than its sequels. Take Unreal Tournament for example. Unreal Tournament was amazing, but by the time it got to Unreal Tournament 3, it was atrociously bad.

Ahryse: Oh so what about Battlefield, it doesn't have any competitive scene? Oh no, you're laughing!

vVv Natural: Think about that for a moment. You've played Battlefield before right?

Ahryse: No, but I used to be part of a community where it was hugely popular, so I thought it seemed like a good choice for the competitive scene.

vVv Natural: There's two different sides to Battlefield. It's an awesome game to most people because there's nothing else like it. You literally get to run around a map in tanks, airplanes and choppers and blow things up. But because of that it can never really be competitive, only because it would basically be vehicle warfare. I'm not saying it wouldn't take skill, but it wouldn't be ranked competitively. Everyone would be camping for vehicles. They've tried running tournaments without vehicles, like 2v2, 5v5 but it's not big. Its just not a competitive game, because the maps are too big and player movement is choppy. Actually, now that I think about it, pretty much no console game was made for competitive play except for maybe Halo 3. So yeah, there are too many things about Battlefield that are buggy, broken or just wouldn't fit into a competitive atmosphere.

Ahryse: Will the competitive scene for Call of Duty: Ghosts drop and revert back to the previous title?

vVv Natural: Call of Duty releases a new expansion every year and everyone follows the new title. So Black Ops 2 isn't even played anymore. I'm really looking forwards to Titanfall or Destiny. Those two games could possibly replace Call of Duty in the competitive scene.

Ahryse: That was going to be my next question! Are there any other console games that could be played competitively outside those two?

vVv Natural: In the near future, that's about it. Those are the only two hopefuls - possibly with Halo. But they really screwed themselves with Halo 4, so we'll see what happens.

Ahryse: Why did you decide to join the vVv staff?

vVv Natural: When Addiction rose to Vice President of Operations, Call of Duty Assistant Manager became vacant. BlackStarr was the current Call of Duty Manager at the time and when he announced the position was open, I thought I would be a perfect fit. When I got it, I found I enjoyed the staff work and being involved with vVv. I was able to be more involved with the community. When you're on staff, you need to know who everyone is as far as members goes. When I was Assistant Manager, I did a really good job keeping up with applicants, I knew who just about every applicant was. I tried to know who they were, what they did, why they were in vVv, what they liked to do, etc. I like to get to know people on a personal level. I tried to do that with the staff as well.

Ahryse: What would you say your biggest challenge has been since being on vVv staff?

vVv Natural: I would say... It's a combination of a few things. A personal challenge was getting used to the fact that I didn't have time to play competitively anymore. I also had to grow into my role and learn to be a leader. I mean, I've been captain of a few sports teams, but having a whole division of 20-30 guys looking to you [and BlackStarr], it was stressful sometimes. You want to make sure what you do is right. I want to make sure if I'm going to put something out, it's 100%. I don't want to have any second thoughts or anything like that. I needed to make sure I made enough time to interact with everyone while still completing my staff duties. It was a complete turnaround from what I was used to as a gamer.

Ahryse: How would you say you learned to be a leader?

vVv Natural: I had a lot of good help. I've always had a really good idea of people. I'm really good at talking to people one on one, especially because I can usually tell in someone's voice whether they do or don't get something. I learned from both Addiction and BlackStarr, they're both really good at what they do. They know how to talk to people, how to make something sound right.

Ahryse: What did you do in the instances that you felt unsure or weren't confident in what you were doing?

vVv Natural: Jerry has always been really open, as with Addiction and BlackStarr. If I ever had any questions, I would always go to them without any hesitation, because they would answer to the best of their ability. Obviously there are instances where they'd make me figure it out on my own, maybe put a different spin on it. You can't have someone always giving you all the answers, sometimes you need to be able to think for yourself.

Ahryse: What do you enjoy most about being on staff?

vVv Natural: Knowing you're a part of such a great and growing community. You're involved in the growth of vVv and the direction it's going in. You're involved in helping make it successful. I've learned a lot about eSports, business and just life in general. One of the advantages about being on staff is you get to know Rob and everybody. Everyone on staff is really smart, so you get to learn so much. You learn things about certain things that maybe you previously didn't have any interest in. You get to talk to Jerry a lot more - and Jerry's probably one of the smartest guys you'll ever meet in your entire life. I swear to God, he's wicked smart.

Ahryse: What have your learned from your cumulative time with vVv, as an applicant, member and staff member?

vVv Natural: Just from being in vVv in general, I've learned its crazy how you can bring so many people together who all share a common interest and learn so much. What brings everyone in vVv together is we all love games, playing games together, being around and learning about games. So it brings a large group of people in, then friendships and bonds are formed, which may even be stronger than the bonds you have in real life. It all comes from our love of gaming. Its hard to have that type of connection with somebody.

Ahryse: Do your family and friends know about vVv?

vVv Natural: My mom does. I don't even tell my dad about it. He would never understand this whole scene. He's so old school, he doesn't understand the growth of video games and all the opportunities that comes with that.

Ahryse: Your mom knows, does she understand or support you?

vVv Natural: No, neither one of my parents really supported me. My mom hates the fact I do stuff like this, but she's more understanding to a certain extent.

Ahryse: Was having your family be unsupportive of gaming ever something you had to contend with?

vVv Natural: Pretty much after I got my first 360, everything gaming-wise after that I paid for by myself. It's funny because my parents always supported me in baseball and basketball. But they never really supported me in video games. So if you think about it, what's the difference between me playing video games and making money off that versus playing basketball or baseball. I never got the support for the one thing I really loved to do. It's just ironic.

Ahryse: What do you think is the biggest thing separating vVv from other communities?

vVv Natural: Definitely success. We're extremely successful in pretty much everything we've been involved in. Our nickname is the 'talent factory' because we've produced so many talented players who got their start at vVv or grew to the point that they were a top player or in the top 32 players in their respective game. We had 12 of the top 18 Gears of Wars players get their start at vVv. There are no other communities like this one. Simply because not a lot of communities are also an organization. They're not around the height we are. I mean, we have a challenger LoL team. There's so much hype around that, it gives our community something to get around, support and root for. I can't even think of other communities that do that. There are other organizations who have teams, but they don't really have communities behind them.

Ahryse: What are your 2014 goals for vVv, outside the Year of Talent?

vVv Natural: It's hard to say, because most of my goals are involved with talent. Ideally, I would like to get really good Call of Duty players back into the vVv scene. I want to help vVv grow from a business standpoint, learn from Rob and see if I can help him with ideas or pitches. As a whole, my number one thing is to help make the Call of Duty division better. Even with League, I want to help get better players. Something I personally want to do, is grow the community on a talent level. On a personal note, I want to improve as a person. I want to better myself and make my life a little bit better.

Ahryse

1.0 - Hand Positioning

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzxtPpkCVdA

The above video is just a portion of what started me on my hand positioning adventure. Initially, I was on a mission to re-program my fingers to a more efficient position for League of Legends. My hands naturally position themselves on ASDF and JKL; , as soon as I place my hands on the keyboard. Which means this is how I've played League of Legends for the past... 3 1/2 years now. Mind you, the keybindings for LoL were the same, QWER, I just moved my fingers up and down. ASDF was the rest position, where my fingers 'rested' when not pressing skills. Recently, I changed this habit to a natural position of QWER - what most would call the 'correct' position. It was really difficult. On paper, it seems like an easy thing, but it was extremely frustrating. I kept pressing 1234 keys, since I was so used to moving my fingers upwards to press keys. Hence... I'd often not be using any skills when I thought I was! Very aggravating. I admit, I gave up and went back to my old habits a couple times.

Now that I have the new positioning ...mostly, under control, there's new problems. /facedesk/ At ASDF, my pinky naturally rests on shift but at QWER, my pinky naturally rests on CAPS. That's a problem! I can't use attack-move (shift) because it feels super awkward but... maybe that's more something I need to get used to. We'll see. I still have problems pressing R for some reason, you'd think it'd be really simple seeing as its simply one key to the left of E, but more often than not I find myself hitting 3, 4 or sometimes overshooting to T. Ctrl is pretty much impossible for me to even use in conjunction with any other button. It's way too awkward for the new positioning, but since I'm used to using my left 'alt' key for PTT, I've changed my level up to 'alt+QWER' which has been game-changing for me.

At this point, I'm wondering how people use so many hotkeys in MMOs. Shift and Ctrl are pretty much out of the picture, which leaves me with alt and a handful of other keys. I did try using alt + MB3+, to my chagrin it didn't work. I thought I really had something there.

I have small hands, which I believe is part of the issue, but I'm starting to think maybe its more the keyboard is too big, rather than thinking 'I am too small'. As I'm unable to experiment with/obtain different keyboards, this led me on a hunt of 'LoL hand positions'. I did find others who positioned their fingers on ASDF, which made me feel a lot better about this inefficient positioning of the last 3 years!

What I found was this:

[P - Pinky finger, R - Ring finger, M - Middle finger, PI - Index finger, T - Thumb]

  • [R]A [M]W [PI]D
  • [P]A [R]S [M]D [PI]F with G/H as summoner spells (this is way too awkward for my hand span unfortunately)
  • [P]A [R]S [M]D [PI]F with E/R as summoner spells and Q/W for item actives (I thought this was awesome until I tried moving my pinky up and down and instantly hated it. ;; )
  • QWEDF [With E & D pressed by the same finger] (I actually liked this one, except I'd change it to E, D, F pressed by the same finger. That's more comfortable for me.)
  • QWERTYDFX (This was a really interesting one! Y may as well be on the other side of the world though. I really dig using ZXCVB but it feels... too close? especially using alt as PTT. I actually use ZXCVB in SWToR but my hands are on 123, so it feels more natural. I may experiment with it though.)
  • [P]A/Z/tab [R]Q/W [M]E/D [PI]R/F [T]Space (This one was so weird, I was confused trying to do it! Not the one for me, but hey if it works for one person, its bound to work for someone else!)
  • IJKL, UIOP spells, JK summoners, 67890 items [For lefties!]
  • [P]tab [R]1 [M]2 [PI]3/4; F1-F4 for skill level up
  • [P]Z [R]X [M]C [PI]V
  • Naga mouse (All your skills bound to your millions (slight exaggeration) of side mouse buttons with minimal keyboard use. I can't see myself doing this personally, but it may work for someone else.)

I'd be really interested to see what the finger lag time is for each different hand position. Not counting a person's individual reaction time, but how long it takes them to press the key or move a finger to the correct key. See what seems to work the most efficiently for small/big hands or if all works effectively with minimal (hundredth of a second etc) lag time for each position. There would be factors like hand span, keyboard size, familiarity of a position, moving up or down, etc. I would imagine any key you have to move your finger to would create some lag time in comparison to those who have their fingers directly on the keys or very close by.

What I'm thinking now is using C/V for summoner spells, and MB5, 2, 3 for item actives. I'd prefer to switch attack move to left/right click, but I'm not sure if that's possible. I'm also toying with the idea of using XCVB for self/party target but then I'm not sure where I'd put summoner spells. Maybe 1, 2? Easier to go up than down, in my opinion. Since you can see where your fingers are going and I think it feels more natural. I'd love to use Self Cast/Party Target hotkeys (haven't been using them at all so far), I just need to find a viable finger-friendly key to bind them to!

My questions for you!

How do you position your fingers?

Do you use Self Target and Party Target hotkeys, if so which ones?

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