I don’t really even play World of Warcraft. I first played for a bit back during the Mists of Pandaria expansion, and I pre-purchased Warlords of Draenor at the time. I played a bit of WoD when Blizzard offered me seven free days of game time, and I leveled my character up to the new level cap. Other than that, I don’t ever get on World of Warcraft, because I never maintain an active subscription anymore. But there was just something about Legion. Something pulled me in. I am now the confused owner of World of Warcraft: Legion, digital deluxe edition. Edit: Suddenly, I now own Overwatch: Origins too. At least I’m a little less confused about this one, seeing as I’m eventually going to need the game to effectively get work done for Tempo Storm Overwatch. Still no clue why I got myself Legion, though. Blizzard marketing is magic.
If you haven’t been checking Tempo Storm’s website lately, you’re missing out, because I’m doing full coverage of the panels and presentations at BlizzCon 2015. I released the first two BlizzCon articles for Heroes of the Storm today, going over the announcements made during the opening ceremony and the reveals done during the “Heroes Deep Dive.” Here is an excerpt from the first article, “Opening Ceremony Announcements at BlizzCon 2015 – First Impressions.” Check out the original article to view the embedded images and videos as well.
One of the top-requested features in Heroes of the Storm was a fun game mode, like an ARAM (all random, all mid) mode found in League of Legends. Your wishes have been granted, because the Arena is coming to Heroes of the Storm! Arena is an open, brawling map where players get to fight other teams, no-holds-barred. Want to face a team of five Illidans with your very own team of five Illidans? Arena’s got it! Want to show off your team fighting mechanics without having to worry about objective timings? Arena’s got it! Compared to other MOBAs, Heroes of the Storm is very reliant on objectives. You can still perform decently well if you have less-than-ideal control of your hero, as long as you work well with your team and control objectives. Because of this, some players wanted a map where the winner is decided by how well you can use and abuse your character’s mechanics. According to the presentation, heroes in the Arena will be selected based off controlled randomness; you will be offered a pool of three heroes from which you can pick. This not only keeps the game fresh and fun, but it also relieves some of the pressure from people who hate RNG, striking a good balance between the two.Source: https://tempostorm.com/articles/first-impressions-of-the-blizzcon-2015-opening-ceremony… Here is an excerpt from the second article, “Hero Deep Dive at BlizzCon 2015 – First Impressions.” Same as the previous article – check out the original article to view the embedded images, with screenshots taken from the panel broadcast.
Cho’gall is a hero three years in the making that is controlled by two different players. Cho is a bruiser who likes to get into melee range and punch his enemies, while Gall is a caster with short-cooldown spells. Cho is responsible for movement and basic attack, while Gall is the companion. Both have their own individual talent trees and heroic options. Cho’gall’s concept was originally derived from an April Fool’s Day joke. Back in 2004, World of Warcraft announced that a two-headed Ogre would be playable as a class. Now, in 2015, this has become a reality, as the development team has worked through all the potential problems of a two-player hero. What really brings the two players together is the E ability, Rune Bomb and Runic Blast. Throughout the whole game, this ability will require synergy and teamwork. The Cho player throws out a Rune Bomb that rolls on the ground, and the Gall player determines when to detonate it by activating Runic Blast. After a handful of games, you will start developing an emotional bond with your other half; to keep in the spirit of this theme, Cho’gall will be unlocked through a teamwork mechanic as well. Only one friend needs to own Cho’gall to be able to play the hero, and winning two games with the hero will unlock him on the other player’s account. As for some of the interesting aspects of Cho’gall: Both Cho and Gall pick their own desired skin and mount. Upon entering the game, the game will do a coin flip, using one player’s skin, and the other person’s mount. If Cho disconnects, the AI will take over, but become very alert to pings so Gall can determine where he goes. If Gall disconnects, it generally won’t be a problem because the AI is very good at aiming skillshots. And finally, Cho’gall doesn’t ride his mount … his mount rides him.Source: https://tempostorm.com/articles/first-impressions-of-the-hero-deep-dive
Not long ago, I applauded Blizzard for making grouping changes to their Heroes of the Storm ranked system.Before the patch, players would be able to group as a premade party of any size between 1 and 4, then queue up for Hero League. I indicated that this was bad, because a large part about MOBAs is playing with strangers, adapting to their playstyle, and working together. By eliminating the need to get along with other people, a critical aspect of MOBAs was not being taken into account for many people’s Hero League ratings. After the patch, Hero League became restricted to only solo and duo queue. If people wanted to play as a group of three or four, they would have to play Quick Match; if they wanted to play as a group of five, they could play Team League. This restored the importance of teamwork and once again made it a universal element for achieving a high Hero League rank. Recently, League of Legends decided that this was not, in fact, what they wanted to do. As Heroes of the Storm took a step forward, League of Legends took a step backward and changed their system to what Blizzard already realized was not the right thing to do. Source: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/site/2016-season-update/ranked-improvements.html So now, if you see that someone is diamond in ranked, you have no clue if they’re truly a diamond-level player, or if they just happen to have a lot of challenger- and master-level friends who carried them up the ranked ladder in five-man premade groups. Luckily, I’ve become deeply involved in other games, so these changes to League of Legends won’t even be relevant to me…
Tempo Storm’s YouTube channel has been idle, but not for long! I recorded, edited, and uploaded another video today, this time focusing on how to get the most out of Sylvanas’ abilities. Source: http://youtu.be/TT0dc5PhZCk, via http://YouTube.com/TempoStormHeroes Compared to the other videos, this one is a lot more “simple.” It goes over some lesser-known tips about Sylvanas’ abilities, but the general topic is a lot more basic than past videos. This is also the first video where I was actually an expert on the topic about which I was talking. For my first Tempo Storm video – sure, I can play Kael’thas, and I have him leveled up, but I personally feel as if I always underperform with him. As for my second one about the most cost-effective heroes for Hero League, I never really thought too hard about it, because I just bought all the cheapest heroes, in order of price. Then, once I actually started playing, I spammed only Sylvanas in Hero League (without an intent to fill other roles), so it’s not like I had knowledge on the topic from experience. But, I actually main Sylvanas, and she’s my highest-leveled hero. Because of this, for this video, I was able to confidently modify the original writer’s content to better fit a style that I wanted to achieve. If you have any feedback on the video, please send it to me via a comment on either this blog post or directly on the YouTube video. I’ll be making another video of this style in the coming days, so if you think I did something critically wrong for this video, let me know so I can ponder it before recording the next one.
I was at one of our properties today and noticed that one of the tenants had a pumpkin outside their porch door. I saw that it had some holes in it, and I figured that it was intentionally carved into it, as a design. Then I realized that it was a terrible design, and had absolutely no resemblance to the classic jack-o-lantern that most people cut into their pumpkins. After completing necessary business at the property, I got in my car to leave, when I discovered why there were random holes in the pumpkin. Apparently the holes weren’t there as a result of a carving … they were there because a squirrel ate the pumpkin. (The photo is a bit white and blurry because I took it from inside my car, which was parked far away from the pumpkin.) Happy Halloween
I should probably come up with better titles, rather than just continuing on this trend… Anyway, I converted another one of Tempo Storm’s articles into a video today for their channel. I’m on my own for about a week or so because the entire professional Heroes of the Storm team is currently at BlizzCon, competing for the world championships. Seeing as I was picked up as a kind of Internet polymath, I am now taking on the responsibility of creating a video at least every few days to keep the channel occupied while the team is away. The most recent video I created was about the top ten cost-effective heroes that you should buy first if you’re interested in getting into ranked play as quickly as possible. Source: http://youtu.be/PXTBvmDyUeY, via http://YouTube.com/TempoStormHeroes If you have any feedback on the video, please send it to me via a comment on either this blog post or directly on the YouTube video. I’ll be making another video of this style in the coming days, so if you think I did something critically wrong for this video, let me know so I can ponder it before recording the next one.
I made a post yesterday talking about how I had never been invited to a Blizzard beta test, and how it is just my luck that I didn’t get invited to the Overwatch beta, even though it’s a near-necessity for me to do my job with Tempo Storm. That was mainly intended as a comedy piece so you guys can share my misery at the fact that literally nothing related to pre-release test periods (alpha and beta invites) have gone my way. Apparently, a lot of people aren’t really taking this as lightly as I am (even though my content production schedule is on the line, while everyone else only has their personal entertainment on the line). I browsed reddit a bit and saw some links on Twitter that pointed me to some controversies around the invitation process for Overwatch. Blizzard obviously states that Overwatch beta invites were sent randomly. We all know that, to a degree, that is true, and to a degree, that is false. It is true because, technically, the invitations are random. The language is accurate, and this is the kind of stuff that lawyers would pick on when fighting a case. Blizzard needs to test Overwatch on particular machines with particular Internet connections. When you signed up for inclusion in the beta program, you ran a test on your computer that let Blizzard collect information about your machine. After picking out the needed machine/Internet credentials that require testing, Blizzard then randomly selects from that pool. On a different facet, Blizzard extends offers to large content creation companies whose employees require beta access to report on Overwatch. Once a list of their employees is made, Blizzard then “randomly” selects from that list (although, they might just randomly select 100% of the people on that list). As you can see, language is pretty intricate, and there are a lot of ways you can twist it to have it work in your favor. This preferential treatment is expected, and I don’t understand why it wasn’t completely obvious that Blizzard would be using a recruitment method like this one. They want to pick out the best beta testers, and it’s obvious that people who create content and report as a profession would most likely produce findings and reports that will help Blizzard. And yes, the reason I’m so laid back about my personal Overwatch situation is that I’m confident I’ll be getting in, as a representative of Tempo Storm. But remember, I have a very low passion for FPS, so all my Overwatch-related gameplay will be driven by a passion for eSports and creating content, not just because I want to play the game for fun. For the “regular” players who want to join in for fun, sure, it might seem a bit unfair, but that’s just how life is. Keep in mind that, in your field of expertise, you will probably gain some sort of preferential treatment as well, in situations relevant to your field, simply because you are knowledgeable about it. That field, for me, is the online entertainment industry. So, there really isn’t anything to get upset about if you didn’t get invited to the Overwatch beta; look back at the things you take for granted that might prompt jealousy from others who don’t have it for their own.
Apart from the fact that I was a RuneScape player instead of a World of Warcraft player, I’ve been a Blizzard game fan since I was in high school. I was loyal to RuneScape so I didn’t want to play World of Warcraft (and I saw my WoW friends as inferior gamers); my first Blizzard games were Starcraft and Starcraft: Brood War, which I played a lot in high school. I was a member of the web club and took computer science classes, and a lot of that time spent in the computer lab was spent improving my Starcraft skills. The web club was mostly a gaming club, and I pretty much already knew everything that was done for computer science so I spent the classes playing Starcraft. Now, I realize that World of Warcraft was Blizzard’s huge source of income, and because I didn’t play it, I didn’t spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on it from subscription and microtransaction fees. But, just the fact that I’ve been around for a decently long period of time should mean that I eventually get invited to at least one alpha or beta test. I didn’t get invited to the Hearthstone beta, and I didn’t really care too much – although I would’ve been fine testing it out, I didn’t really have a dying passion for card games. I didn’t get invited to the Heroes of the Storm alpha, which I did care about. I was a League of Legends player all throughout my undergraduate university years, and around the time of Heroes of the Storm was when I was getting frustrated with all the annoying aspects of League of Legends. I didn’t get invited to the Heroes of the Storm beta, which I cared even more about, because by this time, I had consumed a lot of Heroes of the Storm content from other players, and I was eager to jump into the action. Fortunately, DayTV came to the rescue when he provided me with a beta key so I could activate Heroes of the Storm on my account. And, now that Overwatch is out, I didn’t get invited to the Overwatch beta either. Normally, this would’ve been something that I cared the absolute least about, because I’ve never really had a passion for first-person shooters. When I do try to play FPS games, I tend to get dizzy because of the way the camera is set up. But, I’m working on a project right now that requires me to get involved with Overwatch. Although I don’t have a passion for the genre of game, I have a passion for eSports, and I have a jack-of-all-trades kind of skillset that makes me a decent candidate for this project. So, the “cared the absolute least about” has become a near-necessity … and of course, I didn’t get invited again. Maybe one day, Blizzard will notice me.
As a continuation from “I made a thing” from two days ago, today, I read a thing. A lot of the writers on Tempo Storm produce some pretty good content, but most of the pieces aren’t really getting the exposure that I think they deserve. So, to expand on the reach of this content, I decided to pick out my favorite articles and turn them into videos. The first one I decided to do was Corey Tincher’s “Top 7 Tips to Help You Master Kael’thas.” Source: http://youtu.be/ZJUxZhWsZBE, via http://YouTube.com/TempoStormHeroes I went through his article at the end of a recent stream session, then edited in some notes on the screen to make it easier to follow along. If you have any feedback on the video, please send it to me via a comment on either this blog post or directly on the YouTube video. I’ll be making another video of this style in the coming days, so if you think I did something critically wrong for this video, let me know so I can ponder it before recording the next one.
There was an empty slot in the publication schedule for Tempo Storm’s Heroes of the Storm website, so I decided today would be a great day to release my first piece. It’s a monstrously long, maniacally detailed guide on Nova, titled “Parkzer’s Comprehensive Nova Guide.” It’s available for Tempo Storm Premium members only (you can learn how to subscribe for Premium by clicking on that link and viewing the page from a non-subscribed account). I wrote a supplementary article to go along with its publication, called “‘Here comes the light show!’ – The Nova Conundrum.” In the article, I briefly discuss what makes things feel unfair in games, and how Nova’s playstyle contributes to people thinking she’s an unfair hero. It also touches on why people hate to see Nova on the enemy team, but also hate to see Nova on their own team. I also provided the readers with two sample sections of the guide, which Print Previews to over 20 pages of text. If you like what you see, feel free to head on over and subscribe to Tempo Storm Premium. A majority of my high-level Heroes of the Storm content will be made exclusively for Tempo Storm Premium, so you’re going to have to subscribe if you want to read my serious work. Remember that this subscription is site-wide, so you’ll be able to see all the other Premium content for Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone as well.