I crafted Golden Lord Jaraxxus and Golden Mal’Ganis

Ever since I first started playing Hearthstone, I’ve liked Warlock.

The idea of hurting yourself – discarding your own cards and dealing damage to your own health pool – just to get ahead in the game is something I like. I’m all about efficiency, and if damaging yourself is the most efficient way to win the game, I’m all for it.

Unfortunately, for the longest time, I had to stick with Mage if I wanted to win games because most of the cards I had were either mage cards, or cards that synergize well with mage.

But the time has come for me to enter the big leagues. I am no longer a new Hearthstone player, re­strict­ed by my card availability.

I made a monumental decision a little while back to craft Golden Lord Jaraxxus and Golden Mal’Ganis, the two legendary Warlock cards. It was probably the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in Hearthstone, and I still believe it was the best possible use of 6,400 dust.

Hearthstone - Warlock - Card Collection

Hearthstone - Warlock - Golden Lord Jaraxxus

Hearthstone - Warlock - Golden MalGanis

After crafting the Warlock legendaries, I was able to build myself a new mid-range demon Warlock deck.

I’ve always played zoo Warlock, which focuses on board control and favorable trades through battlecry and aura effects, and I still love zoo. But, I decided to add variety to my Warlock play and build a demonlock.

I have some relevant videos, the first being the highlight clip of me crafting the two golden legendary cards, and the second being gameplay of my new demonlock deck:

Sources: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ygx5xVdMrU4 & http://youtube.com/watch?v=Oep0sQbSU7w

Ever since starting to play demonlock, my games tend to be a lot more satisfying. I’m guessing it’s because the games are longer, and I feel like I’m putting more investment into each game, so it’s more meaningful to me when I win.

Also, so far, demonlock has been a more engaging deck to play because there are usually many different things you can do on each turn, and it requires a lot of planning, prediction, and critical thinking to come up with the right answer (while, on the other hand, although zoolock requires decision-making, the num­ber of decisions from which you must choose is generally lower than the possible decisions while playing demonlock).

Another funny thing I’ve noticed is that I’m getting a lot more “Well Played” emotes after I win or lose games (while, on the other hand, when I play zoolock, I usually receive a “Hello” when I lose and nothing when I win). I’m guessing this is because people perceive mid-range and late-game decks to be “real” decks while zoolock is more of a “cheap” deck.

I personally don’t feel as if it’s any much easier to win with zoolock than with demonlock. In my opinion, the thing about zoolock is that, if you fail to make the most optimal play, it might cost you the entire game, while with demonlock, it might set you back a little bit but not make you lose the entire game. Thus, I feel as if playing perfectly is much more important in zoolock and other ag­gres­sive early-game decks, compared to “bigger” decks.

Finally, I realized today that I’m pretty bad at playing against control decks when I’m not playing ag­gres­sively. Generally, when I play zoolock and face a control deck, it’s either I get my board wiped with area-of-effect and lose the game, or I kill them before they can get anything useful done (which is usually the case). Only after playing demonlock have I realized the true meaning of control – I feel like they have the answer to everything I throw out, and I am literally being controlled at their will.

 

Star Guardian Lux – New unreleased skin preview on LoL PBE

Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Tyhu34J0-a8&list=PLKQUciHiP2v4FC-81KQi_y3eFTITpiftc

I don’t even know why I still play League of Legends … it’s almost as if I’m a masochist who enjoys being tortured by constant ping spikes and packet loss.

Anyway…

If you’re actually interested in seeing the skin in action, I played a game on the League of Legends Public Beta Environment with Star Guardian Lux.

The game was constantly buggy, like usual, and I had awful ping spikes and packet loss throughout the entire game.

There was even an instance in the game where I got off my full combo on the enemy marksman, and the explosion animation on my ultimate went off, and I definitely reactivated my Lucent Singularity, but he only took damage from my Light Binding.

If you don’t like watching people who are annoyed, then I highly discourage you from leaving your sound on while watching this video, because I complain a lot throughout pretty much the entire stream.

As I said in a previous blog post from a few days ago, I love League of Legends as an eSport. I still love casting games, and I still love thinking about the game and learning about new strategies and theories. But, when it comes to playing it, things just haven’t ever been going right lately.

At least I’m having fun playing Heroes of the Storm, I guess…

 

Every time I play League of Legends, I get reminded why I hate playing it

I’ve had a lot of problems playing League of Legends. I’ve completely stopped playing it for months at a time, and when I do end up returning, I do it very reluctantly.

I absolutely love watching it – I think it’s a great spectator sport, and love keeping up with the professional scene. I watch a lot of the games, and interact with the eSports aspect of it quite a bit.

Unfortunately, actually playing the game is a completely different story.

Out of all the games I’ve played, League of Legends has literally the trashiest community. Notice how I said “the trashiest,” and not “one of the trashiest,” because I literally do not know of any group of people who are as bad as the group that make up League of Legends players.

(Note: I do not play Counter Strike, Call of Duty, or any first-person shooters, but still, I included them in my judgment. Sure, you might have little boys screaming and swearing at you through their headsets, but they’re just that – little boys. They’re children who are growing up and having an identity crisis, and not necessarily bad people.)

I have quite a few friends who successfully and profitably produce content related to League of Legends. I help them out a bit in particular areas, and it inspires and motivates me to start doing that kind of work independently rather than just being an assistant.

But, if I’m going to make my own content, I obviously need original footage to use, which means I need to play the game. (Yes, I realize that I can cast other people’s games, and I already do that, but the best way to raise your popularity is to use your own content and build yourself up as a personality.)

I decided I was going to try and turn “Heighlights” into a series. I was somewhat satisfied with how the first episode came out, and I had some aspirations for what I would do for future episodes.

On this mission, I played some more Heimerdinger games, when this happened:

If you’re not familiar with League of Legends’ advanced play, you might have some difficulty figuring out what’s going on.

In the current meta and state of the Summoner’s Rift map, a very easy way to get ahead in top lane is to do a jungle camp. There are two different ways you can do this – you can either take Teleport, kill the camp at level 1 and hit level 2 off of it, recall back to base, then Teleport back to top lane … or, you can be Heimerdinger, set up turrets, solo the camp, then walk to lane with Ignite instead of Teleport.

I was being Heimerdinger, obviously, so I was doing the second option.

Unfortunately, my pants-on-head retarded jungler by the name of “TopCarriesU” didn’t understand that.

Normally, I kill Gromp when I’m on the southwest side of the map, and the golems (or whatever their new names are now) when I’m on the northeast side of the map. My jungler generally has no problem with me doing this because he can very easily start on the opposite side of the map (where he will get the help of both his ADC and support), and because there are plenty of camps to go around at level 1.

But for some reason, my Kha’Zix had a problem with me getting ahead in lane.

Instead of just going to bottom lane and starting his golems, getting the help of his ADC and support, he instead decides to sit on the other side of the wall as I do Gromp. When it gets into Smite range, he takes it, reducing the amount of XP I get from it so I don’t hit level 2 off of it.

The worst part is that I didn’t even all-in on the Gromp, because I assumed that Kha’Zix would also be attacking the Gromp. I never realized someone could be so spiteful that they would sit on the other side of the wall to make sure they could screw over their “ally” to maximum efficiency.

(Note: All-inning a jungle camp means putting down all three available turrets before it spawns, then juggling aggro between yourself and the turrets just enough that by the time the camp dies, you re­gen­er­ate to full health and walk back to lane completely healthy at level 2.)

Needless to say, after this had happened, I instantly left the game.

I see no reason to play with someone who wants me to do badly.

This isn’t a rare occurrence either. I just happen to be using this example because I was streaming at the time and was able to take a screenshot to accompany my story.

And if you’re considering playing League of Legends, this is something you should take into consideration. Sure, anyone could “deal with it,” but the real question is, do you really want to?

I sure don’t.

 

I forgot to redeem double points for RuneSpan during Skiller Weekend

I even saw a public service announcement on the RuneScape subreddit – “don’t forget to exit RuneSpan before the Skiller Weekend ends.”

I still forgot.

The last few days were Skiller Weekend for RuneScape’s 2015 Road Trip. Each weekend of May, they’re running a special event where you get bonus rewards for participating in particular events, such as skilling, dungeoneering, mini-games, slayer, and boss killing. For the skilling weekend, one of the bonuses was receiving double points for all runes harvested inside RuneSpan.

I spent quite some time inside there – even though I only streamed about three hours of it, I was inside RuneSpan for a lot longer.

Sources: http://youtube.com/watch?v=1HPHS8KPeAY & http://youtube.com/watch?v=mzC_IzGm0X8

Some slightly irrelevant good news, though, is the fact that the legacy mash-up is a thing now.

It’s a little bit inconvenient to stream in RuneScape 3 with the updated, customizable layout because of how dynamic it is. It’s great for actually playing the game, but it becomes tricky when you want to change it into dimensions that will fit snugly inside your stream.

The legacy interface is great for that, as it’s very simple and it automatically adjusts the elements de­pend­ing on the screen size without adding scrollbars to everything. So, streaming RuneScape has become a lot easier for me, as you can see in the VODs above.

I personally don’t like legacy combat, because I feel as if the new evolution of combat is much more efficient in terms of gaining XP and getting faster kills, but the legacy interface is definitely worth using, and I’ll probably be switching back to that whenever I stream to keep things looking nice.

 

K.H. Kim’s 15th Biannual Taekwondo Tournament

Back on November 2nd of last year, I went to K.H. Kim’s 14th Biannual Taekwondo Tournament (and posted about it on Google+ and my website). I went again this year for the 15th tournament, again as a coach.

I had Emma, one of my students, be my assistant for this tournament. Unfortunately, she’s a little too young to actually be a real coach’s assistant, so I instead gave her my camera for the event and asked her to take photos.

The quality of the photos were pretty much what you would expect from a nine-year-old girl (a lot of blurry and a lot of selfies), but she still managed to get a bunch of good shots.

Unfortunately, I have chosen not to post those publicly on my website in order to protect the privacy of the underaged competitors (and if I were to have chosen to post them, there are a lot of liabilities that go along with it that I don’t want to deal with).

However, I do have one shot that I can post, and that’s the full group photo of everyone competing, as well as the staff:

I’m not in the photo because I went as more of a private coach rather than a staff member, even though I was associated with the school the assistant director owns. I was instead on the other side of the shot, escorting my assistant so she wouldn’t get trampled by all the people.

Yes, that is indeed fake grass – apparently the main competition area had a capacity of 420 people, so they used this field as the waiting area so there wouldn’t be a fire hazard due to exceeding capacity. It was also the place where the opening ceremony happened.

This is one of those tournaments where everyone is a winner – they split the competitors up into very small groups, and they award small trophies to every participant. So, the placement isn’t really that significant (at least, not very significant relative to other more legitimate tournaments), but I’m still pretty impressed at the performances from some of my academy’s students.

My primary role there was to make sure the students were feeling comfortable. From what I’ve perceived, the most common reason students underperform is because of nervousness due to sudden exposure to a novel environment.

By being there, chatting with them, and helping them practice their routines in the new location before they’re out to get judged, it accustoms them to the new setting and helps them relax a bit. That will reduce the chances of the students losing confidence, forgetting sequences, and/or disregarding the technicalities that may reduce their presentation score.

And finally, one thing that was particularly memorable to me was a girl with a limb-control-related disability who participated in board breaking. I’m not entirely sure what handicap she had, and I’m not medically educated enough to even take a guess, but simply put, she could barely walk straight.

Each round is judged relatively, meaning, students of similar age and skill level compete against each other. Obviously, this girl with the handicap had to be placed in her own division, as there was nobody else there who would be on fair judging grounds as her.

She did end up missing a few attempts, but ultimately, she broke all three boards in her sequence, received a standing ovation, and got the one and only perfect score of 10.0 in the entire tournament.

Some people might wonder why she deserves to be given a 10.0, but when you look at taekwondo from a traditional viewpoint as to what it’s intended to be – a martial art revolving around discipline, designed to build your character and better every aspect of your life – it’s pretty understandable why this girl deserved the score she got.

It takes a lot of courage and confidence to go to a tournament and perform your art in front of hundreds of people. The fact that this girl already achieved a level of mental maturity high enough to accept her handicap and not allow it to hold her back shows that she overcame a huge hurdle in her life already – a hurdle of such a magnitude most people her age haven’t even encountered yet.

 

The Hidden Laboratory, last wing of Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain

Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=IQXs3Du9NMw&list=PLKQUciHiP2v6lehTLfSf2M9HVjrfb8Hzt&index=2

I think I can safely say that fighting the bosses in the Hidden Laboratory was probably one of the most fun moments I’ve had in Hearthstone.

The first boss had an interesting mechanic to his passive that made me want to drag out the game longer just so I could figure out what it did. Not only that, but apparently it makes a funny reference to Annoy-o-Tron if you keep spamming emotes (which I didn’t know until I read it on reddit after I finished streaming).

After defeating the second boss, I was renamed “Slayer of Stupid, Incompetent, and Disappointing Minions.” At first I thought it was just dialog, but I couldn’t hold in my laughter when I realized that Blizzard had actually renamed me to that.

And finally, the last boss really did feel like a “final boss” fight, even in normal mode. It had some tricky elements to it, where you had to time the amount of board presence you had based off the phase of the fight, and it added some depth and critical thinking in a facet not seen before in Hearthstone.

It took me a few tries to defeat the final boss, and it gave me a decent level of satisfaction – that I had beaten a boss difficult enough that I couldn’t just wreck it with face hunter on my first try (like I did with a lot of other bosses).

On top of that, my winning attempt was done using a deck that I had built on my own, and my one-damage-off-lethal was satisfied with a Life Tap into Dread Infernal for the final ping to victory.

After playing through this PvE expansion, I’m actually pretty excited for future expansions. This was quite the noticeable improvement from Naxxramas, as it integrated a lot more storyline and humor into the adventure.

 

“Heighlights,” a Heimerdinger-only montage

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHaeqUe8GJE

HEIMERDINGER + HIGHLIGHTS = HEIGHLIGHTS … GET IT? :^)

This is an edited montage I threw together yesterday with footage from games I played yesterday morning and early afternoon.

Normally my highlight videos are just single clips of funny moments, so this is the first time I’ve actually put something together with edits and background music.

I wanted to try something a bit more advanced than the bland gaming-related content I sometimes post, and I got inspired by SivHD (WQLFY on YouTube) to make something like this.

I’m not sure if I’m going to continue making montages like this, but regardless, I’ll read any feedback posted as comments. If you put detailed thought into the feedback you leave, I’ll try to respond, ad­dress­ing your suggestions.

 

RuneScape’s legendary pet update is what I’ve wanted all this time

A very long time ago, I got myself a legendary pet on RuneScape in hopes that it would basically pick up all my drops for me.

When I first used it, I realized that it only loots about once every half minute or so, and when it does go to loot, it only picks up one random item and leaves the rest behind.

I was pretty disappointed that the legendary pet was so expensive, so I contacted RuneScape’s customer support to see if this was actually intended, and if so, to get a refund for the legendary pet because the description very clearly implied that it was basically an auto-looter.

We had an exchange back and forth, and ultimately, they said that they were unable to provide me with a refund because they are not able to remove in-game items from my account (or something along those lines).

However, if you know me, I’m very detailed, straightforward, and persistent, and it ended up working out for me – they returned all the RuneCoins I had spent on the pet, and let me keep the pet on the account. They told me that I could spend the RuneCoins on something else, and they did this to ensure that I, as a customer, was entirely satisfied.

I was pretty satisfied at the time, and I just assumed that the legendary pet just wasn’t quite legendary.

But, a recent update changed that.

In this last patch, the legendary pets’ functions were revamped for the better. The looting system, although it still doesn’t act like an auto-looter, is much better than before. It picks up items with much greater frequency, and it lets you know what it picked up in the chat box.

But my favorite part is the plethora of other features that were added to the legendary pets.

For example, the banking feature was improved such that it is now represented in the Summoning interface as an icon. You’re able to see when your pet will return from its trip to the bank, and when you can use it again. This is an important update to me because, prior to this update, I never actually knew when I would be able to use the skill again.

On top of that, the pet now provides you with a bunch of utility. Supposedly, you can only have three abilities active at the same time, but realistically, you can pretty much use all of them because you are able to swap out abilities at any desired frequency, with no penalties.

In summary, these are the kinds of updates I would like to see more of from RuneScape. RuneScape already has a ton of content, but a lot of the older content is either outdated, or isn’t up to the quality standards of modern-day gaming.

If Jagex goes back and improves the quality of older content, it can more or less become new content simply because people who never actually played the old content would have an incentive to play it.

The legendary pets are a good start, and I’m hoping that we’ll see some other things, like mini-games, revisited in the future.

 

Preview of Red Steel Blitzcrank and Forsaken Jayce on LoL PBE

I hopped on the League of Legends Public Beta Environment earlier today and played two games featuring two pieces of new content.

Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=8HR8T41ha0E&list=PLKQUciHiP2v4FC-81KQi_y3eFTITpiftc

In the first game, I play Red Steel Blitzcrank in top lane against Rengar.

I somehow start out the game extremely well, and have a score of 6/0/7 at one point.

Unfortunately, I make a critical error in my item build, and for some inexplicable reason, I buy a very early Guardian Angel. That item obviously doesn’t do much good for me, and everything ends up going downhill from there.

(Spoiler: After my first death, I get zero more kills.)

Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=N3qitwbji1g&list=PLKQUciHiP2v4FC-81KQi_y3eFTITpiftc

The exact opposite thing happens in my game with Forsaken Jayce – I end up getting smashed by the enemy Teemo in lane.

But, of course, as we know, the worse I personally perform, the better my games tend to end…