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. 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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rrl3vwf6ICU&t=45m48s I was doing some Rifts on Diablo III: Reaper of Souls today with public groups on Torment VI. About 45 minutes into my adventuring, I came across an interesting spawn inside the third level of Bartuc’s Dilemma. Apparently, it is possible for seven Treasure Goblins to spawn in the same place. Unfortunately, the person who aggroed the Treasure Goblins was pretty far ahead of us, so it took some time for me to catch up. By the time I had gotten there and started looking for Goblins to attack, two Treasure Goblins had already escaped. We did still get loot from the other five, though, which you can see scattered all over the floor on the screenshot above.
The second-to-last wing of Hearthstone’s second PvE adventure, Blackrock Mountain, was released this morning, and of course, I jumped on it right after it became available. As I’ve said multiple times during my streams, I don’t actually know the Blackrock Mountain storyline because I didn’t play World of Warcraft during the time it was fresh content, and I didn’t bother going back to learn the lore for all the past events during the short time that I did play World of Warcraft. So, it was pretty exciting to find out that Ragnaros had survived my misintended attack on him, and that Nefarian was, in fact, the one I needed to defeat. Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=8djKGW37GIA&list=PLKQUciHiP2v6lehTLfSf2M9HVjrfb8Hzt When I found out that Nefarian had unlimited mana, it was probably the biggest “wtf” moment I had in Hearthstone, and when I found out that Ragnaros would be helping me out, it was probably the most fun I’ve had in Hearthstone. It’s difficult to make Hearthstone really fun and exciting because of its nature as a game – it’s simply a card game with a very static playstyle of using cards and killing your opponent. I think it’s genius that a completely new mechanic of basically a 2v1 against a bad, overpowered boss was integrated into the game, and it was a really creative way to bring something new into Hearthstone. This fight was introduced into Blackrock Mountain a week before the final wing, so I’m hoping that they have something even more new and exciting coming up next week for the Hidden Laboratory.
When I first started playing Diablo III, I promised myself that I wouldn’t fall into the grind of improving gear. I wanted to play Diablo III just for fun, and not to become the best player at it. However, after I got the Reaper of Souls expansion, I realized that “grinding” gear could be done without ever actually experiencing the feeling of grinding. It wasn’t tedious, but rather, it was fun. Each time I enter a new rift or bounty, I have a feeling of anticipatory excitement as I think of what upgrades I’ll find next. Earlier today, I got a ton of new legendary and set gear, and spent about twenty minutes in game trying to figure out the best possible gear setup. After I was done, I realized that now I deal an absurdly high amount of damage compared to before, but I’m extremely squishy. Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=xNJuTVzw0xs&list=PLKQUciHiP2v40y-lKj6dkjyqEcGmsu5yV After thinking about all the different setups that were possible, I decided to start recording my thoughts down somewhere so I wouldn’t forget any progress I had made. Rather than putting it in a random Google Doc for my own use, I decided to post it here on my website so other people can see it too (and possibly help me adjust the gear setup if there’s something blatantly more optimal that I’m overlooking).
- Thirteen gear slots total (head, shoulders, amulet, chest, gloves, bracers, ring, ring, belt, pants, boots, weapon, off-hand)
- Ring of Royal Grandeur: “Reduces the number of items needed for set bonuses by 1 (to a minimum of 2).”
- Bane of the Powerful: Gain 20% increased damage for +1/rank seconds after killing an elite pack. Rank 25: +15% damage to elites.
- Gem of Efficacious Toxin: Poison all enemies hit for 50%/rank weapon damage over 10 sec. Rank 25: Enemies you poison take +10% damage from all sources.
- Zei’s Stone of Vengeance: Damage you deal is increased by 0.05%/rank for every 10 yards between you and the enemy hit. Rank 25: 20% chance on hit to stun the enemy for 1 sec.
- Bane of the Trapped: Damage against enemies under control-impairing effects by +15%. Rank 25: Gain an aura that reduces movement speed of enemies within 15 yards by 30%.
- Need two items of Tal Rasha: “Damaging enemies with Arcane, Cold, Fire or Lightning will cause a Meteor of the same damage type to fall from the sky. There is an 8 second cooldown for each damage type.”
- Need five items of Firebird’s Finery: “Your Fire Spells cause up to 3 enemies to explode, dealing 400% weapon damage as Fire to enemies within 10 yards.” & “Dealing Fire damage causes the enemy to take the same amount of damage over 3 seconds, stacking up to 3000% weapon damage as Fire per second. After reaching 3000% damage per second, the enemy will burn until they die.”
- Need two items of Vyr’s Amazing Arcana: +500 Intelligence
- FINAL GEAR: Firebird’s Plume (FF), Firebird’s Pinions (FF), Tal Rasha’s Allegiance (TR), Firebird’s Breast (FF), Vyr’s Grasping Gauntlets (VAA), Aughild’s Search (?), Ring of Royal Grandeur, Stone of Jordan (?), Tal Rasha’s Brace (TR), Firebird’s Down (FF), Vyr’s Swaggering Stance (VAA), Devastator (?), Firebird’s Eye (FF)
To this day, I don’t really like the Hearthstone ranked system. If you have a bunch of friends who care about the individual different ranks, then sure, it might be fun to ladder up and try to prove that you’re better than your friends. But, if you’re like me and you don’t really care about rank, laddering up in Hearthstone is completely pointless. The only meaningful milestones to me in ranked is if you reach legend or not (but only once per account), and if you reach top 100 or not (once per season). The first is, of course, because you get the Legend card back, and the second is so you can have your name published on the Hearthstone website. Apart from that, there are no real benefits ranking up high on the ladder. If anything, it’s beneficial to stay low in rank so it’s easier to win games and you can farm your golden portraits faster. Because of this, I’ve never really taken ranked mode seriously, and have barely even played ranked for the purpose of ranking up, since several months ago. But, recently, a new Warlock card was released with the Blackrock Mountain expansion – the Imp Gang Boss. I mainly play only Warlock, and the main deck I used back in August 2014 when I actually tried to rank up was Zoo. Since then, the popularity of Zoo fell significantly, and other decks rose to popularity because they were either stronger, had faster games, or both. It seems like the Imp Gang Boss brought new life into the Zoo deck, though, because it’s popping up a lot more often. I decided to seize this moment and try laddering again with the new and improved Imp Gang Boss deck with Imp-losion and Sea Giants. Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Rkl-CsFDcOY&list=PLKQUciHiP2v40y-lKj6dkjyqEcGmsu5yV I literally made absolutely no progress – I started the stream session at Rank 14 and ended at Rank 14 (not sure if I had the same number of stars because my star count glitched up at the beginning of the stream, which can be seen in the VOD). I’m figuring that the reason for this is because I’ve gotten significantly worse at Hearthstone, though, and hopefully, with a bit more practice, I can get some better results.