Nazeebo has never really been a hero people played much in Heroes of the Storm. I, of course, do play him, though, because I’m a specialist and assassin main (and pretty much never play warrior or support). Before the last patch, I was one of very few that I would ever see. Sources: http://youtube.com/watch?v=PoIvk94zCiI & http://youtube.com/watch?v=EGYBHb9dBTI (If you’re curious about the “never play warrior or support” part, this is what my “classes played” distribution looks like, as of a few weeks ago.) Starting from this patch, Nazeebo has seen quite a rise in both popularity and win rate. A lot of people just assume it’s heroes coming and going, and having their time in the spotlight. But, there is a much more logical reason behind this. One of the most devastating heroes before this patch was Anub’Arak. I’m quite well known for dealing an incredible amount of damage in both Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends, regardless of what character or position I play. Keeping that in mind, most of the time, Anub’Arak (as a warrior/tank) would out-damage me in a majority of the games I played with him. In a general scenario, Anub’Arak would use his gap closer to get into range of an assassin or specialist, use his crowd control to lock them down, then kill them while still tanking the entire enemy team. There is clearly a problem if that can happen, and Blizzard acknowledged that. The reason Anub’Arak dealt so much damage is because Blizzard improved the AI for his beetles, so they attacked more intelligently. In the most recent patch, in return for a smarter AI, Anub’Arak’s beetle damage was reduced. With this nerf, heroes who deal a ton of damage but can easily be taken down have risen in power because one of their biggest threats was toned down. Previously, an Anub’Arak might be able to dive right onto a Nazeebo and kill him. But now, due to Anub’Arak’s nerf, he might not have enough damage to completely eliminate Nazeebo, and leave him standing to continue dealing damage to Anub’Arak’s allies. Even more on top of that, Anub’Arak’s tankiness relied heavily on the fact that he dealt a lot of damage. A popular talent heals him for a portion of the damage dealt by his beetles. Seeing as his beetle damage has been reduced, his healing has also consequentially been reduced. That means that, not only might Anub’Arak be unsuccessful in his attempt at assassinating Nazeebo, but it might also cost him his life for trying. Sources: http://youtube.com/watch?v=E09sp3ArlPY & http://youtube.com/watch?v=HZlgk3b3k6U Jaina currently has the highest win rate in the game, and is in a very similar situation as Nazeebo. I’m sure we all know that Jaina is one of the heaviest damage dealers in the game, and can turn massive areas into death zones when she places down her abilities. When Jaina gets attacked by a bursty melee assassin, she generally throws down her Water Elemental for the chill, uses all her abilities on top of herself, then uses Ice Block so her assassin gets chunked down and the Water Elemental slowly finishes them off. This also gives her team time to react. Unfortunately, when Anub’Arak was around, this wasn’t always the case. Often, Anub’Arak would just tank through Jaina’s burst, tank the incoming follow-up hits from the Water Elemental, and sit on top of her Ice Block waiting for her to become targetable again. Seeing as this absurd (but sometimes hilarious) scenario can rarely happen anymore, Jaina’s chances of survival have noticeably increased, and the extra damage she’s able to deal as a result of this survival is bringing her to the top of the charts as the game’s current best damage dealer.
I was going to keep it as a pet, but someone ate it while I was away from the desk…
I’ve been grinding some RuneScape in my free time lately, and in the past week, I’ve managed to achieve skill mastery in Strength and Smithing. To level up Strength, I used all non-degradable power gear (to avoid repair costs) and a Saradomin Godsword with its passive effect activated. With this setup, I collected Abyssal Demon Slayer assignments from the guy standing outside of the Slayer Tower and killed them for a bit of Slayer experience and combat XP lamps. The passive effect on the Saradomin Godsword (which restores hit points and prayer points) makes it so I can permanently use Piety, and I never need to eat food. This allows for cost-effective and extremely long trips. For Smithing, there isn’t anything specific I did to level up, and this was more of a long-term thing. Whenever there was spare ore and charcoal in the clan’s citadel, I trained Smithing by creating bars. During double experience, I also used the Protean Bars I got from Treasure Hunter and the Corrupted Ore I got from Level 99 Mining. Recently, I also spent a bit of time in the Artisan’s Workshop to try out the new updates. I’m getting extremely close to Level 99 Agility, so it seems like that’s going to be my next skill mastery.
Last week, I raved about how awesome Battlefield of Eternity was. The concept art for the map was amazing, and the entire premise of the map was fascinating. Source: https://twitter.com/BlizzHeroes/status/607286408617664512 I now finally have some gameplay on the map in the form of videos. This is footage of me playing Sylvanas and Jaina on the Battlefield of Eternity in a Rank 1 Hero League game. Sources: http://youtube.com/watch?v=0YxMyMYkxSY & http://youtube.com/watch?v=zoCBlYA2GzQ The Battlefield of Eternity is somewhat similar to the Haunted Mines. There are two primary lanes, and one primary objective. In the Haunted Mines, the objective is to collect skulls to create a golem, while on the Battlefield of Eternity, the objective is to defeat your opponent’s immortal. Once the objective is acquired, it is an AI-controlled boss-like creature that helps you push. I tried out Sylvanas in my first Hero League game on this map because she’s pretty effective in Haunted Mines, and I thought she would be on the Battlefield of Eternity as well. Her ability to disable enemy turrets helps keep your own Immortal healthy, and also prevents the attack speed slow from forts. The one primary difference in using Sylvanas is the fact that both teams get golems on the Haunted Mines, while only one team gets an Immortal on the Battlefield of Eternity. So, Sylvanas is effective on Haunted Mines no matter what – there will always be a golem there with which she can push. On the other hand, Sylvanas is only effective on the Battlefield of Eternity if her team manages to defeat the opponent’s Immortal. Otherwise, her team will not have an Immortal, and her trait is not going to help much more than normal. This all being considered, Sylvanas is one of those heroes who helps you win harder if you’re already winning. If you’re confident in your early-game control of Immortals and you think your team can snowball into the mid-game, then she’ll definitely be a useful pick to get the game rolling in your favor.
I went to the Mundelein Community Days Festival today with my martial arts academy’s and filmed their demonstration. Persevering through sore shoulders and people pushing and bumping into me, I managed to keep the camera up and recording for the full 21 minutes of the performance. For those who don’t have the time or desire to watch a 21-minute video, I have some stillframes of the highlights of the video. A blindfolded jumping back kick: A vaulted roundhouse kick: One of our instructors does a quadruple kick, four kicks in the air before landing: Through-the-legs flying side kick: A 540° tornado kick: A 720° spinning hook kick: A spinning aerial twist kick: A flying side kick: And the grand finale, power breaking ten bricks: I uploaded a complete album of 60 stillframes on Keumgang Martial Arts Academy’s Facebook page, so you can go check that out at http://fb.me/KeumgangMAA.
Continuing on what I posted yesterday, I decided to also make my League of Legends games more accessible as well by splitting them up into individual videos. That way, they’re more easily searchable, and it avoids having non-content content (such as waiting in queue or taking a break) that would normally come along with a standard stream VOD. The videos will be titled with the name of the champion being played, the position being played, the opponent, an indicator that it is ranked solo/duo queue in League of Legends, and the rank (league, division, and league points). I have two videos ready so far, one playing in mid against the new AP Smite Ezreal that builds Runeglaive and Luden’s Echo, and another in top lane against Rumble. Sources: http://youtube.com/watch?v=sQuY2qCBTe4 & http://youtube.com/watch?v=kd8oGnyQFmg
For the past week or so, every time I went on the League of Legends subreddit, I saw people discussing the pool party event thing, where if the community collects enough points, they get free stuff. One of the posts talked about how, at this rate, it was impossible for the community to reach the grand prize, and they would barely even earn the first few prizes. Of course, this fellow failed to realize that the point of this event is to make people play more in order to get the rewards, not to just give them out at the rate the community is already playing. Somehow, the community managed to reach the reward of everyone getting a free mystery champion. I’ve been playing League of Legends for a pretty long time – I think I started sometime around 2012. In that time, I managed to collect a lot of champions. But, unfortunately, I don’t play quite enough to be able to unlock all the champions worth 6,300 IP. With this mystery champion gift reward thing coming around, I wanted to make sure that I got the most value out of it as possible. I was stockpiling a bit of IP because I wasn’t really interested in buying more champions at the moment, but I decided that now was the time to spend. There were two low-cost champions that I did not buy until this point. One of them is Poppy. I hate Poppy. I hate how she looks, I hate what she is, I hate how she’s played, I hate her abilities, I hate her skins, and I pretty much hate everything there is to hate about Poppy. The other is Taric. He is just too fabulous for me, and it’s irritating. But, I decided to set aside my grudges and think realistically. What if Riot decides to gift me Poppy or Taric? Not only would that forcefully put into my possession a champion I dislike, but it would also essentially waste my free champion mystery gift. So, I went ahead and spent 1,800 IP on Poppy and Taric. Then, I went on to buying as many 4,800 IP champions as I could, effectively lowering the possibility that I get a gift of less value. I bought a few before my stockpile ran dry. Today, I signed in to discover that my mystery gift was… Azir. I’m pretty satisfied.
When I release Heroes of the Storm content, it’s usually in the form of broadcast VODs, where I turn on my stream for the duration of all my games, then upload the replay file in a huge couple-hour-long chunk. Unfortunately, those are a bit difficult to watch for a few reasons. First, if you’re looking for a specific hero played on a specific map, three-hour-long videos aren’t going to be very convenient to use as a resource. Second, there is a lot of down time during a stream session, during which I’m either in queue, in hero select, or taking a quick break. In order to address these issues, I decided that I would start uploading replays of my games as individual videos, rather than huge VODs. I’ll be splitting each game up individually and labeling them by hero, map, and rank. I released the first two videos in this series on my secondary gaming channel earlier today, both games featuring Jaina, one on Tomb of the Spider Queen and the other on Sky Temple. Also, by popular demand, I decided to bring back the “dogecam,” so you can see what my dog is doing while I’m gaming. Sources: http://youtube.com/watch?v=aWv6wBSeOxk & http://youtube.com/watch?v=X6QxPNgkKl0
The Battlefield of Eternity was released today as part of the Heroes of the Storm Eternal Conflict patch, and it’s amazing. Back in June, the official Blizzard Heroes of the Storm account tweeted concept art for the Battlefield of Eternity, which I promptly favorited. Source: https://twitter.com/BlizzHeroes/status/607286408617664512 After the patch got released today, I quickly queued up for a game and was lucky enough to get Battlefield of Eternity as my first map in my first game. As it was loading up, I took a screenshot of the loading screen: I also took a screenshot of the Immortal fight in the center of the map, when they clashed with each other during relocation. I play on minimum graphics settings because I have a laptop with a mobility graphics processor, overall not designed for high-intensity gaming. I also prefer to keep my FPS as high as possible, particularly when I’m streaming and a lot of my processing power is being put towards that. Even then, the map still looked nice, and met my expectation of satisfaction. I can’t wait to see it being played at maximum quality on professional/full-time streamers’ broadcasts who have high-end computers.
Same drink, same flavor, same package … but the left one seemed to be taken from a muddy glacier