I finally made another video for Tempo Storm, this time about the diffusion of responsibility. If you’re not familiar with the Storm Psychology videos, it’s a series originally written in article form by Corey Tincher for Tempo Storm, where he picks out a psychological concept, connects it to Heroes of the Storm, then explains how you can either take advantage of or avoid falling victim to the topic. Diffusion of responsibility is a phenomenon where people are less likely to take action when in a group. (This video also features a guest appearance by my sleepy dog at the end.) Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=1MihYpMhNww&list=PLRz2JWFFHXPe0dE7zosqHLbxgrppwgeeg
I hadn’t made a video for Tempo Storm since before the holidays, so I decided to record one a few days ago, and released it today. Today’s video is about the eight most common mistakes that players make in Heroes of the Storm. I talk about what the mistakes are, why they’re bad, and what you can do to avoid making them in your future games. Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=IKsgVXZH9ks&list=PLRz2JWFFHXPfp7U6spkl8K1HyM8K2dTC0 The content of this video is based on an article originally written by Aliette on Tempo Storm’s website: “Top 8 Mistakes that Players Make” Most of the content I use for videos is written by Corey Tincher, but I decided to mix it up a bit, because Aliette writes some good pieces as well. I’m working with her to see if I can guide her into writing more content suitable for video consumption by a wide and generic audience. Until then, I’ll be working with some more of Corey’s articles – the next video I plan on releasing is the third part of Storm Psychology, on the diffusion of responsibility. Hopefully, that will be done within the next week or two. If you have any questions about the content, suggestions about production, or requests for specific topics, feel free to leave them in the comments. I check YouTube video comments regularly, and I receive email notifications for comments on my blog, so chances are, I’ll see your message.
Some of you may know that martial arts is one of my hobbies. Although I took it a lot more seriously when I was younger, compared to right now, I still stop by a martial arts academy close by our family business. Although I don’t really train that much anymore, I still coach students, and I’m friends with the owners. The head master of the school wanted to start making some videos for the academy’s YouTube channel, and being a content creator, I decided to help them out. The first video we put together was a guide on how to modify tornado kicks and 360° back kicks when using them for demonstration (performance) purposes, as opposed to sparring. The head master is obviously a lot better at taekwondo than I am, by a pretty significant margin, so he was the one actually showing the kicks. I have more experience with presentational speaking, so I added in some commentary in between his demonstrations. Chris would love to hear your feedback, so if you have any comments, feel free to leave them on the video. He’s also in the process of brainstorming ideas, so if you have any requests, those will probably help him out quite a bit.
The response for the previous episode of Storm Psychology was pretty positive. Not only did people seem to like the content, but they also encouraged me to continue the series, which is something I rarely get (i.e., I get told “good job” a lot, but I rarely get told “keep going” or “make more”). The actual content for Storm Psychology is already almost all written and done (I think there is one remaining unpublished article left). However, it’s written in a pretty sophisticated manner, and I need to spend a good amount of time going through and rewriting it so it’s more exciting and catchy for video. The point here is that I actually want to turn it into a consumable, entertaining video that people can watch in one sitting. I want to try to avoid turning it into a long podcast that people will listen to while commuting to work on the train. (If I don’t remix the work, it will end up being like a podcast.) With the motivation derived from your encouragement, I decided to pump out Storm Psychology videos about once a week. Unfortunately shortly after November 30 (which was the date I released the first episode), I got sick. I get random illnesses all the time, and most of them aren’t even irritable enough for me to notice, because I’m pretty resilient. However, I will often get a residual cough after getting sick, and that throws me off quite a bit. If you’ve watched my stream for a long time, you might remember that I cough a lot for long periods of time, then randomly stop. After recovering from an illness (such as the common cold), I’ll have a lasting cough for a handful of weeks, and my huffing and puffing on stream is because of this. I recovered from my illness within a few days after November 30 (I think it was another common cold), but, as I expected, I kept coughing for a long time afterwards. The unfortunate thing about my coughing is that it starts when I try to talk, presumably because the vibration in my throat makes it tickle, and my body’s response to it is coughing. After three weeks, I’m still lightly coughing, but it’s subsided enough up to the point where I’m finally able to speak multiple full sentences again before my body decides to cough. So, I decided I was in a good-enough state to record another episode of Storm Psychology. Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=kUCGXhk9X2E&list=PLRz2JWFFHXPfp7U6spkl8K1HyM8K2dTC0 This week’s episode is on cognitive dissonance, which is the mental discomfort you experience when you hold two contradictory beliefs, perform an action that contradicts one of your beliefs, or receive new information that challenges one of your beliefs. Cognitive dissonance can appear in Heroes of the Storm when you’re trying to follow a guide that goes against what you originally thought was the right thing to do; when you play a hero simply because you see professional eSports athletes playing the hero, rather than because you actually want to; or when you say phrases like “worth it” to attempt to justify behavior that you know you shouldn’t have done. Of course, those aren’t the only ways cognitive dissonance can affect your Heroes of the Storm play; check out the full video to learn more details. If you’d rather read the original article, instead of watching the video, you can check out Corey Tincher’s piece on Tempo Storm’s website: https://tempostorm.com/articles/storm-psychology-cognitive-dissonance
Yes, I still don’t like playing first-person shooters. Yes, first-person shooters still make me dizzy. … Yes, I made my first Overwatch video. Tempo Storm is planning on expanding into Overwatch, Blizzard’s newest first-person shooter game. I made a blog post referencing it not long ago, about how I’ve never been invited to a beta test, and Overwatch was no exception. Luckily, my lead writer for Heroes of the Storm, Corey Tincher, also plays Overwatch, so he was able to help me get the content production part of Tempo Storm’s Overwatch division started. I didn’t start earlier because I was waiting on other people to do their thing, but I ended up getting a bit impatient because I felt like I gave them plenty of time and I wasn’t seeing results. So, I just dove right in. The first video that I made is the top five best heroes for beginners. Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=m38ZEHMHWRE&list=PLmsHcs33rbXGM_4qZJ159W2rPqgEXFK9t The funniest thing about me and Overwatch content is that I know nothing useful about Overwatch, and I’m literally just there in the video as a personality. Luckily, I have two Overwatch writers in my Tempo Storm content team right now, and both of them are knowledgeable and easy to work with, so it made this process a lot better. If you have any questions about the content, or have any feedback, feel free to leave them as a comment to that video. Corey is pretty good at scanning through comments and responding, so he’ll probably get back to you if you want his input on something. If you want to contact me about this content, the best way to do so is as a comment to this blog post, as I’m pretty interactive on my website. But, I’m not sure why you would ever want to do that, as I have nothing intelligent to say about Overwatch, and I’ll probably end up making you worse at the game than you already are. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Tempo Storm Overwatch! It’s a completely new channel, so we’re still working on building up our Overwatch community.
The timing of my return to World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor was pretty lucky, because a new patch with new content just got released. I have a stream VOD of gameplay from today of completing instances for Valor Points and new battleground gear, as well as a VOD from yesterday, when I played for a few hours before going to sleep. Sources: https://youtu.be/ywemgwDb9tw & https://youtu.be/9jmnegU_A2o A few thoughts on some of the items from the World of Warcraft 6.2.3 Patch Notes:
- New Timewalking Dungeons I like that World of Warcraft is cycling through older content to encourage newer players to experience it. Especially with Level 100 character boosts coming out, some people won’t be able to go through the classic leveling process, and will instead just choose to jump to the level cap. Even for the people who do level up regularly, they will most likely be using heirloom gear, so the amount of experience gain from dungeons will be massively increased, and they’ll only do a few dungeons from each expansion before moving on to the next one. Back when I was an undergraduate in university, I played quite a bit of TERA, and one thing I hated was the lack of replayability during the end game. You couldn’t go back to redo old dungeons, so you were stuck just grinding the same three to five end-game dungeons to farm up your gear. I like that World of Warcraft isn’t falling into this same trap, and they are taking the initiative to increase the diversity of available playable content.
- Item Upgrades and Valor Something I really dislike about some MMOs is how your gear becomes useless after a new patch or expansion is released. I like keeping my old gear and adding onto it with upgrades and features, rather than just getting an entirely new piece of gear. Although Valor upgrades aren’t going to keep my gear completely relevant forever, it at least makes me feel like I’m working towards unlocking better gear through improving my current gear, rather than just grinding for new pieces. The way that Valor is awarded also encourages players to diversify their played content. Valor Points are generally only available for the first completion of the day on various different tasks, which makes sure that players are mixing things up, instead of just getting bored repeating one thing over and over.
- Warlords Season 3 This sort of branches off Valor upgrades, in that, I don’t like how PvP gear becomes completely inferior when a new season begins. I would rather prefer to see a way to upgrade Season 2 gear into Season 3 gear at a slightly reduced cost than just buying Season 3 gear from scratch. The way that it is now, it’s as if all the time spent getting the best Season 2 gear was wasted from a long-term perspective. Either way, lucky for me, I barely had any Season 2 PvP gear anyway (seeing as I just started playing WoW again about a week ago), so I’ll be playing some battlegrounds and working towards getting a full set of PvP gear on top of PvE gear.
For a majority of the day yesterday, I was attending a black belt promotion test as a spectator to take photos, film video, and support the students. Generally, for color belt promotion testing, I’m one of the judges because I provide a third-party opinion on the students’ performance (seeing as I’m an independent coach and guest instructor, and I’m not officially an employee of Keumgang Martial Arts). Although I’m sure I would’ve been able to do that for black belt promotion testing as well, I chose not to for two primary reasons. The first is because the black belt testing was being held at a different academy, other than ours. This academy has a huge staff base, and presumably is proportionally wealthy. There really isn’t any reason for me to volunteer for this other academy, especially because I have very limited relationships with the staff there anyway. The second is because it was far more important to me to be there supporting the students, rather than making sure they were doing their taekwondo correctly. I wanted to capture this moment for them and their parents, and this was meaningful enough to me that, even if the other academy were to pay me, I would most likely decline so I can be there as a supporter. Unfortunately, saying that the lighting there was less-than-ideal is an understatement, and a lot of the photos ended up being not-that-fantastic. But, through the power of Photoshop magic, I was able to enhance them enough that, through white balance and contrasting, they look decent. Shortly after I got back home from having dinner with the students and their families after the examination, I posted 63 cropped and enhanced photos to Keumgang Martial Arts Academy’s Facebook page. For the video footage, I clipped out the interesting parts and put them together in a compilation (and threw in some photos for short slideshow segments as well). Yes, I am very much against Facebook video because they are essentially thieves, don’t compensate their content creators, and don’t react appropriately to copyright takedown requests. But, I decided to upload this video to Facebook anyway because I used a copyrighted song in the background (to which I synchronized the transitions), and I wouldn’t have been able to monetize it anyway.
I started playing World of Warcraft during the Mists of Pandaria expansion back in March of 2014. I continued playing until May, at which point I felt as if I got the fundamentals of World of Warcraft down, and took a break. The main reason I played back then was to understand the basics of what World of Warcraft was about. Over a year later, during June of 2015, I redeemed a free seven-day subscription voucher that I received from Blizzard. My main motivator for redeeming the voucher and playing again was to get to Level 100, the new level cap, so I could earn a mount in Heroes of the Storm in a cross-game promotion. Unfortunately, during that seven-day period, I fell short and ended up running out of time at Level 94. About a month and a half later, Blizzard offered me another voucher, which I redeemed for a second week of free game time. That time, I was determined to reach my goal of Level 100, and I succeeded – I leveled my Shadow Priest to 100, and earned my mount in Heroes of the Storm. Since then, I barely even thought much about World of Warcraft until four months later, in November, when I randomly pre-ordered the new upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Legion. I made a blog post on the sixth of this month sharing my pre-order and wondering how Blizzard’s marketing managed to get me to get a game that I barely play. Now that I am the somewhat proud owner of Legion, I decided that I might as well play World of Warcraft again for a month to get back into it for a little bit and prepare myself for the expansion. So, I picked up a one-month subscription and signed back in. To get used to the controls again, I made a new character – a Blood Elf Warlock on the Hyjal server. I set up my system and interface settings, organized my action bars, and started getting into the rhythm of World of Warcraft again. I also got a glimpse at what a Horde character is like. This screenshot is of a few achievements I earned after hitting Level 20; I ended up continuing to level until I reached 24. Afterwards, I went back on my Shadow Priest and transferred to a PvE server. I was originally on a PvP server because the person with whom I originally played misadvised me and failed to tell me how dumb open-world PvP was. I decided that now was the time to move on to a normal server, and switched over to Lightbringer. I still had all my heirloom leveling gear on my Shadow Priest, but that didn’t stop me from jumping straight into end-game content. With an item level just barely high enough to queue up for heroic dungeons and basic raids, I started completing content. Sources: http://youtube.com/watch?v=bTyiEEw-qsI & http://youtube.com/watch?v=fQsMlWKloqg It took a long time to reach Level 100 because I felt pressured at the time, as if it was a grind and a race to Level 100 just to get the mount. But, now that I have no goal to be an external motivator, I’m focusing more on enjoying the game, and it’s a lot more fun than what I had originally thought. The biggest problem with the map system being poor still exists, but it’s not as salient to me anymore because I’m spending most of my time in instances and questing on Draenor. If I do end up finishing all the Draenor content and wanting to go back to farm achievements, then I’ll probably get frustrated at the map again. But, for now, it’s bearable. Overall, from the first few days of playing World of Warcraft again, I’m glad that I decided to play for a month, and the experience so far has been enjoyable. I’m hoping that this lasts long-term, through the entire month, so I can get the most out of my subscription time.