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.
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
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
I’ve been playing some Heroes of the Storm on stream lately, and decided to throw up a few VODs of my recent broadcasts. Sources: http://youtube.com/watch?v=m2lQ2ZpNHN0 & http://youtube.com/watch?v=keWgiEfPNhU In the first video, I play some Nazeebo, Brightwing, and Tassadar in Quick Match and Cooperative game modes to finish some daily quests. In the second video, I play some Falstad in Hero League, Rank 1.
Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=xY5xK3B853U&list=PLKQUciHiP2v6lehTLfSf2M9HVjrfb8Hzt There aren’t very many heroes I play on Hearthstone. I main Warlock, I occasionally play Mage and Hunter, and pretty much never touch any other class unless it’s in Arena. Taking that into consideration, I decided that I would get some Hearthstone hero skins for the ones that I do actually play. Alleria and Medivh were released as the skins for Hunter and Mage (with Magni being the Warrior skin, and the other six hero skins not being announced yet). I didn’t really like Medivh, but I decided Alleria was nice enough. Also, I assumed I would like her because she’s a Windrunner, and Sylvanas Windrunner is my favorite character to play on Heroes of the Storm. For those who don’t want to buy the skin but want to see what it’s like and haven’t encountered it yet in PvP, I decided to upload a VOD of the emotes, as well as some gameplay of mid-range hunter. There was quite a bit of negative hype surrounding these skins, both prior to release and after release. Prior, people claimed that they were too expensive (at $9.99 apiece); after, people claimed they were not well polished. If the claims people are making are true, then I would hope that Blizzard goes back and adds in the little details to the hero skins. I would like to see them have special gold portraits, possibly some modified class-specific cards, and unique card interactions. Until then, I don’t really have that strong of an opinion on Alleria. It’s not bad, but it definitely didn’t make me say “wow” when I first used it. At the rate that it’s going now, I’ll probably end up getting the Warlock skin if it’s a character that I like, otherwise, I will most likely pass on it.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwCKiRMCkDs Earlier this week, I posted that I would be returning to World of Warcraft for one week and trying out the new Warlords of Draenor expansion after receiving seven days of free game time. After a tiring evening of teaching martial arts for three hours straight, I hopped on WoW to continue leveling, and made it to Level 94.1 before going to sleep. I redeemed my free game time this past Monday morning, which means I only have this coming weekend to finish my leveling. This means that I’ll need to level up three times on each day in order to meet my goal (which, unfortunately, I don’t think will happen). I looked up some information online, and it seems like most people believe it takes approximately 30 hours of gameplay to level from 90 to 100 (which averages out to about three hours per level). Sure, my first levels took only about two hours each, but I’m sure it gets a bit slower once you get higher up. This most likely means that I need to play over a full time job’s worth of World of Warcraft on both Saturday and Sunday in order to meet my goal. Sure, this expansion improved the game a noticeable bit, and the storyline seems somewhat interesting, but I don’t think it’s good enough to warrant me playing as if it’s my job. I haven’t decided yet, though, and I don’t even know how busy I’ll be over the weekend, but I’ll post an update on Monday letting you guys know how it went.
Back in March 2014, I started playing World of Warcraft. It’s a pretty big game, and I decided that it’s historical enough that I should probably at least try it out. At first, it was pretty overwhelming because there was so much content that I wanted to do that has been piling up since the game first came out over a decade ago. It managed to keep my attention for about three months before I decided to store it away for a while and move on to a different game again. Back during that time, I preordered Warlords of Draenor. The expansion came out late last year, but I hadn’t played since then. It seems like Blizzard noticed how inactive my account was, and sent me an email offering me seven free days of game time. Seeing as I had an entire expansion already purchased and waiting for me on my account, I decided it would be a good idea to capitalize on this promotion. Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=gT1IWGo_1Ec & http://youtube.com/watch?v=0Nm0Nl1KzLQ A little bonus on top of the free game time is that, if I manage to hit the new level cap of 100 during my free week, I can also get a mount in Heroes of the Storm. If you’ve been following me at all for the past few weeks, you know that I very much enjoy Heroes of the Storm and I played it nearly obsessively for quite some time. Apparently some guy leveled from 90 to 100 in 11 hours back when it came out on the public test realm; I’m obviously not going to get my leveling done that fast. It seems like I’m going at a rate of about two hours per level, so in that case, I should be done in about 16 more hours of gameplay. In an ideal world, I’ll be able to play three hours every day for the rest of my trial period, but I have a feeling that it might not end up like that. Regardless, I’m going to try and get as much as I can out of my seven days, and if I discover that Warlords of Draenor is a huge improvement from Mists of Pandaria and I want to keep playing, I might even resubscribe for another month to continue enjoying the new expansion.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG7Rn_jNgNE Back on October 24, 2014, TERA released an expansion and a level cap raise with the release of Fate of Arun. TERA is a game that I started playing a long time ago in around January 2013. Back then I thought the game was great, but the more I played it, the more I disliked it due to the fact that its end-game content is very redundant, and way too much of the game’s gearing and advancement mechanics are wildly RNG-based. One thing that I liked about it, though, was its skill-based combat. TERA is one of the few games where you actually have to aim your skills, and there are not that many point-and-click abilities. Since playing TERA, I started playing World of Warcraft, and I’ve played RuneScape ever since I was little. Playing these games made me miss how involved TERA’s combat system is. I decided that, eventually, I would go back to TERA to finish the storyline, and I would level up to the new cap. It’s obviously been quite some time, but today, I finally made it. At the beginning of the storyline, I tried my best to read everything and immerse myself into the plot, but it became very difficult. Eventually, I just did what most other MMO players do and skipped all the text. But, at the end, something quite shocking happened, which you might be able to see from the thumbnail of the VOD I embedded above. This suddenly woke me up and made me wish I had paid closer attention to the events leading up to it, but unfortunately it was already too late. I do have another level 60 character, my priest. I originally leveled that class because I wanted to see the game from a healer’s eyes, and I wanted to know how to make it as easy as possible for my healer to carry me through dungeons and raids. Even though I finished the storyline and did all the leveling, I still think healing is very boring, and I most likely won’t be bringing my healer to the new level cap. Although I’m level 65 now with my sorcerer, I don’t think the full storyline is over yet. There is still obviously quite a bit of end-game content that I still have left to play, and I’m obviously not going to think it’s redundant the first few times I play it. So, this stream session most likely isn’t going to mark the end of my TERA playing during this expansion. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m sort of at a lull period of variety gaming after grinding Heroes of the Storm for two weeks, so it’s possible that I’ll thread in some more TERA within the next several days if I get a chance.