“This is a really bad fight … NOT ANYMORE!” :^) Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLhSD0ymf5c Today’s stream highlight clip comes from the end of my journey to Rank 1 in Hero League on Heroes of the Storm. Facing a losing fight with our engage spells down and Illidan on the brink of death, I Bolt into range to hit a five-man Devouring Maw. This buys my team enough time to heal and re-engage favorably, ultimately leading to a five-for-one won team fight.
I’m proud to announce that, through my commitment to climbing the Hero League ranked ladder on Heroes of the Storm in the past two weeks, I have reached my goal and hit Rank 1 today. I won my last two games today, both with Zagara, and streamed both games. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-uOoP5j97U It seems like once you reach Rank 1, you go off a different point system, where you can collect up to 1,000 points. The point progress bar also disappears, so you’ll have to hover over your rank in order to see how many points you have left until you max out. I’m eager to set my new goal at 1,000 points into Rank 1, but I’m also a little hesitant, as I don’t want to overwork myself. As you might have suspected, I tend to get burnt out pretty easily, especially if I’m doing something by myself, and I don’t want this same thing to happen to Heroes of the Storm. Because of all the dedication and focus I’ve been putting into this, as well as the fact that I am solo queueing all my games, I feel as if it’s even more susceptible to burning me out. So, for now, I’m going to mix in some different games into my schedule for a little while as I cool down from Heroes of the Storm, and only play it casually for a bit. From there, I’ll decide if I’ll go for the ultimate goal of 1,000 points before the Grandmaster system gets introduced (the gold border that was asset-farmed from a recent patch).
At the beginning of my Heroes of the Storm Hero League journey, I set a goal for myself – to reach Rank 1. I knew that I could do it. I was a diamond-level player from Season 2 League of Legends, which supposedly put me in the top 0.1% of players on the elo system. The top 2% that comes along with Rank 1 surely can’t be harder than that. Earlier today, I hit Rank 2, putting me two victories and one rank away from my goal. Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=QhLEhi9dpH0 & http://youtube.com/watch?v=bhhvx7MRFRs I started panicking a bit at the end of the second stream session because my Internet died when the enemy core was at 3% health. I literally had Banelings rolling out to deal the final blow when my connection dropped. After trying to restore my connection, I finally managed to get back into the game. Due to my disconnect, the game recorded in my match history as a defeat. However, as a result of great fortune, my team’s victory still registered in my Hero League ranking, and I got all the corresponding points. There was another funny occurrence with game result reporting earlier today, where apparently I had an “undecided” game, even though we were actually victorious. That was a game in Hero League, but as you can see, the entire indicator for ranked points gain is completely missing. Fortunately, it ended up just being a visual bug, and when I went back to the Hero League preparation screen, I saw that my points had been added. Only two more victories should be enough points for me to Rank 1, and I look forward to doing that tomorrow.
The United States’ Independence Day is coming up in a little over a month, and parades are starting late next month. The martial arts academy where I occasionally train and teach is building a float for this year’s parades. I remember hearing that they placed second or third in the parade competition last year, and it seems like they’re taking it up a notch and trying to win first place this year. The owner and CEO of the academy is building the float himself, with the help of other staff and students. He came to visit me next door yesterday afternoon (we have neighboring businesses) so I could check out his progress. He already has a bunch of pieces cut out, and he still has a bunch of panels of wood left for the rest of the design. He was hard at work the entire day; when I went to visit him again late at night, after I had closed my family’s business, he had a lot more pieces cut out, and had already started putting some parts together. I personally don’t really have much of a passion for sculpting, so I don’t really go out of my way to experience it. As a result, this is particularly novel and interesting to me to see the process behind something like this being built. I’ll try and keep up with their progress on designing the parade float, and post progress photos here for those of you who might also be interested.
The lull in my climbing action is finally over, and I’m back to ranking up again. My last post stated that I was having trouble getting past Rank 7, and was plateauing because I was losing just as many games as I was winning. Luckily, I’ve started to go back on winning streaks again, and made it up to Rank 4 after a little over five hours of gameplay. Supposedly, according to the little info button on the Hero League ranking system, each rank represents about 2% of the Heroes of the Storm Hero League population (meaning, the ranks are assigned linearly). That means I’m finally within the top single digit percentages of players. (For those who are curious, on the contrary to Heroes of the Storm’s linear ranking system, League of Legends has an exponential ranking system. Back when I used to actually play LoL seriously, the ranks tapered off where it got harder and harder to rank up the higher you got. Silver was the top 68%, gold was the top 13%, platinum was the top 1.5%, and diamond was the top 0.1%. Master and challenger leagues didn’t exist back then.) Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y-5GfFQaeIM & http://youtube.com/watch?v=bZTK-BhFGng I’m still sticking with playing specialists and assassins, and I’ve started enjoying playing Zagara a lot more. Prior to playing her, I was a one-trick pony with Sylvanas, where I had trouble having a satisfactory impact (to my standards) with any other hero. However, when I found out about Zagara, I played her a few times in Cooperative and Quick Match modes, then went straight to Hero League with her. I feel as if her ability that spawns a Hunter Killer Hydralisk is overpowered. If used correctly, it makes it literally impossible for anyone to out-trade her in a 1v1, and when timed properly, it can either zone your opponent from minion experience or make them pay half their health bar for it. Of course, there are times when Sylvanas is stronger, such as when you already have an extremely high-damage composition, you plan on laning as a pair, and/or when you need the grouped pushing power. I like to play Zagara on zone-control maps (such as Sky Temple) where your objective is to stand in an area, and if your opponent decides to do what they need to, they’ll take absurd damage from your Hunter Killer. On the other hand, I like playing Sylvanas in pushing maps (like Haunted Mines) where you can push with the Grave Golem and disable enemy structures to prolong your creature’s life. I realize that eventually, I’m going to have to try out all the heroes and be comfortable playing at least two out of the three roles (I already play damage dealers, so now I need to pick up tanking or healing). But, for now, I feel as if I can still make it to Rank 1 without having to be too flexible.
It seems like I’ve faced a small lull in the intense Heroes of the Storm climb, as I hover around Rank 7 for a few days. Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=pgrBcBE01Io & http://youtube.com/watch?v=etn2pIHMHzs At this point, it seems like I’m losing just about as many games as I’m winning, and I’m no longer seeing massive winning streaks. I’m not getting discouraged yet, though, because I know better than to give up now. I’ve had enough trash allies and opponents in League of Legends to realize that I’m just getting a bit unfortunate with allies who don’t have the best attitude. All I need to do at this point is to keep playing with patience, and try my best to pacify upset teammates. I’ve played with and against a good number of Rank 1s already, and almost every time I see one, I can confidently say that I’m better than them in every aspect of the game apart from game knowledge (meaning, excluding knowing which heroes exist and what they do, I’m better at pretty much everything else). Most of the Rank 1s I see have several hundred games already played, so it’s only a matter of time before I get there too. A good way to regain mental composure is to take a break from the grind and do something fun, so I decided to join Seltzer (Rachel Quirico) for some Quick Match games. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbv-_vvjRUI The 8+ hours of gameplay footage from the past three days, as well as a ton more footage from before that, means that I have enough plays to throw together my first ever Heroes of the Storm montage. I’ve already gotten started on piecing some clips together, and hopefully the final product will be done by tomorrow.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvJLEPo-mZU Not long ago, I crafted Golden Lord Jaraxxus and Golden Mal’Ganis, the two legendary cards for Warlock. That iconic event rekindled my motivation to play Hearthstone (more than just doing daily quests and the occasional arena run), and I started playing a lot more ranked ladder with my new Warlock deck. I quickly noticed that, even though the games took a lot longer to finish, it seemed like I was leveling up a lot faster (probably because I end up playing a lot more cards and kill way more minions during each game, and I spend less time sitting in queue looking for another game, relative to more aggressive decks like Zoo). I got pretty excited at how fast I was leveling up, and decided I wanted to grind my way up to Level 60 Warlock. I managed to pull this off, and saved my final game for a stream “highlight” (even though it isn’t exactly a highlight; it’s more of a Hearthstone career highlight). I waited for my buddy Del Carter to get on Hearthstone, and I made my final Warlock leveling match a friendly match against him. For those who are not familiar with Del, he goes by Peeler or Tachalius, and I met him a very long time ago on League of Legends when I was still an undergraduate in college. He’s one of the few people with whom I play more than just a single game, and he’s stuck around with me for a while in all these games, so I decided to pick him as my opponent. I played my Demon Warlock deck, and he played Grim Patron Warrior. Although this wasn’t a great game for him to show off his skills, because I had answers to all his attempted card draw and I shut down his combo, we still managed to achieve the core purpose of the match, which was to get me to Level 60. Now that this is done, two of my three huge Warlock achievements are over – crafting both golden legendary cards and reaching Level 60. The last one left is to get the golden portrait … time to grind to 500 ranked wins!
Earlier today, Blizzard announced that globalization was enabled for Heroes of the Storm. Until now, Heroes of the Storm was region-specific. If you got a key, you had to make sure you got a proper NA or EU key for your account. Now, with globalization, every account can play on any server, and multiple regional accounts can be bound to a single Battle.net log-in. I decided to test out this change by logging in to the European Heroes of the Storm server. I finished some of the starting tutorials, then hopped in a Cooperative game. My ping was actually impressively low, compared to my expectations, and I tweeted about it:
I hovered around 132 ms when I played on the EU server. When I play League of Legends on the NA server, my ping often sits around the 140s.
Everyone says that their connection to the League of Legends servers are fine, and they blame it on my Internet, but it’s sort of hard to believe when stuff like this happens … lol
My NA-to-EU ping on Heroes of the Storm is lower than my NA-to-NA ping on League of Legends … trololol pic.twitter.com/jAJBZmhzlT
— Adam (@Parkzer) May 21, 2015
I am finally a Level 40 player on Heroes of the Storm. It took quite some time, but the climb was fun. Now that I’m done climbing levels, I’m eager to continue climbing in rank on Hero League. For those who haven’t been following my journey, I started playing Hero League immediately after hitting Level 30. Ideally I should’ve waited until I had a lot of experience with Heroes of the Storm so I could lose as few games as possible during my climb, but I was so excited to start playing ranked games that I just started right away. At the same time as hitting Level 40, I managed to hit Rank 9 and enter the single-digit ranks. Hopefully, within the next several days, or within the next few weeks at the latest, I’ll be able to make another post stating that I reached my goal of Rank 1.
I used to hate climbing the ranked ladder on League of Legends, and I still do. Games take way too long, and you climb way too slowly. On top of that, if something bad were to happen to you during a game outside of your control (your Internet decides to stop working, your laptop overheats and won’t turn back on, you’re watching the family-owned laundromat business and a machine decides to randomly flood an entire aisle … you know, regular stuff like that), and you lose a game off of it, you need to play two additional games to make up for the random misfortune. Two additional games generally means you have to play for two extra hours (considering how long queue times are, how long champion select takes, how frequently people dodge, how long loading screen takes to accommodate for those who can only afford to play League of Legends on calculators, and how long the actual game is). I dunno about you, but for me, two hours is a long time, and there are a lot of other better things I could be doing with my time. Fortunately, Heroes of the Storm isn’t really like this. Queues are quick, hero selection isn’t tedious, and games don’t last long. So, if anything were to happen to bring you back, it’s pretty easy to get right back to climbing up. It’s actually fun climbing up the Hero League ladder on HotS because you can actually see yourself climbing. As opposed to LoL, where you see yourself moving slower than the itsy bitsy spider climbing up the spout next to you. Yesterday, I managed to get from Rank 24 to Rank 15. Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=VcXbviGSXVc & http://youtube.com/watch?v=yJY3sJta258 Of course, even though climbing is fun, it’s still always nice to take a break from ranked and play some casual games with friends. Earlier today, I played some Quick Matches with my buddy Ed. As you might’ve already seen if you actually watch the VODs, I’m a specialist and assassin main, and I pretty much play them exclusively. I rarely ever play supports or warriors, and when I do, I don’t do that great with them. However, I saw a few posts on the Heroes of the Storm subreddit talking about a bug with Li Li, where her serpents overheal. I saw a video posted as an example where she was tanking two turrets with her serpents healing her, and wasn’t really taking any visible damage. In some of my previous ranked games, I recall thinking to myself that Li Li heals an absurd amount, but I didn’t realize it might have been a bug. To see for myself, I played a bunch of Li Li games with Ed. Needless to say, yes, Li Li is definitely bugged. Her ability names should probably be changed from serpent to Loch Ness Monster, and a thousand cups to a thousand gallons. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihTLXDQDoxo At the end of the day, I manage to make it up to Rank 13, and hit Level 39. Only a handful more ranks to go until my goal of Rank 1, and only one more level to go until I reach the level cap and can play Team League (even though I don’t have enough high-level friends on Heroes of the Storm with whom I can even play Team League).