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)
Blizzard said that they listened to our feedback regarding the original Heroes of the Storm “Heroes of the Dorm” broadcasts, and made some changes. They published a blog post stating that a lot more scenes had been added, but pretty much spent most of the time justifying why it’s not possible to include all this information on an ESPN broadcast. The tl;dr version is that TV screens come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, and they need to simplify the broadcast interface in order to make the viewing experience good for everyone. If that’s the case, then Blizzard made a mistake broadcasting eSports on national television. As League of Legends analyst Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles said, “In some ways it feels like a step backward to be on TV.” In my opinion, there are two very easy ways to fix this. The first is to have two different live streams, one for television and one for the Internet (through an outlet like YouTube Live or Twitch). The casting would be the same, but the video would be more in-depth and have a more informative overlay for the people who elect to watch online. The second is to just broadcast the more informative overlay to the television viewers, and just add black bars to the top and bottom for those who still have 4:3 ratio televisions. Technology, especially technology relating to the Internet, is evolving way too fast to be accommodating for television viewers. A lot of new games nowadays are released only online through digital download. Game companies aren’t going to burn the game onto a DVD (or a dual-layer DVD for most new games) and ship it to your front door. If you have slow Internet, you’re just gonna have to let it run for a few days. You adapt to the game companies; they don’t adapt to you. The same should be for the Heroes of the Storm broadcast – the viewers adapt to the game companies; the game companies don’t adapt to the viewers. (Note: Yes, there are some prerequisites for this statement to be effective. The game company should research the viewers and make sure that the highest standard is set for their broadcast. But, after that, the broadcast should not have to adjust and accommodate to every obscure outlier with an old television set.) (Second note: It’s not like these outliers are being restricted from viewing. They’ll see the broadcast, it’ll just have black bars on the top and bottom, similar to how we see them on YouTube for videos that aren’t 16:9. On the other hand, a lot of gamers who really do care about Heroes of the Storm ARE being restricted from viewing because they don’t have an ESPN subscription.) Sure, my ranting here isn’t going to change much. But, in my opinion, it’s not something that can just be ignored either. And hopefully, as eSports continues to grow, better solutions can be found to broadcast problems like the ones ESPN is facing right now.
One of the huge topics on reddit right now is the fact that UberDanger, along with a bunch of other YouTube content creators, are applying malicious tactics to their reddit posts in order to increase their popularity. Supposedly, there is a massive group on Skype of League of Legends content creators on YouTube who post links to their reddit submissions and upvote each other in order to ensure everyone in the group reaches the front page and receives maximum visibility. Just this is enough to get all associated content creators banned from reddit, as long as the reddit moderators and administrators are able to verify that it actually happened. Unfortunately, the validity and severity of this is being diminished by people who are going for more – not just removing immoral content creators from reddit, but also trying to ruin their lives. An example of this is UberDanger. UberDanger posted a vlog on YouTube stating that he did, in fact, participate in these unethical practices on reddit in the past. This should be sufficient evidence to ban UberDanger’s content from reddit and move on, never seeing him again. But people keep bringing up the fact that there is a rumor going around claiming he performed statutory rape on a fifteen-year-old girl in the United States when he visited Boston to attend PAX East. The validity of the rumor is unproven, as the girl in question has not personally come forward claiming it happened (as far as I’m aware). Thus, there is absolutely no reason to bring a random rumor into a discussion regarding a more serious topic about vote manipulation. Those who keep mentioning the statutory rape accusations are only hurting their own case. It’s common for people to attack the individual if they feel as if their argument in the original debate is lacking. The argument (UberDanger and his content should be banned from reddit) in the original debate (YouTube content creators, including UberDanger, are abusing reddit and breaking its terms of service) is not lacking. So stop taking this too far, and keep UberDanger’s personal life out of it. If he did in fact commit statutory rape, that’s a job for his local justice system, not a job for the “reddit detectives.”
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.
If you’re familiar with Android, you might already know that version 5, also known as Lollipop, was released back in late 2014. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4, and every time I went to check for updates, it said that I already had the latest version, even though I had Android 4.4.4. Today, it finally updated itself to Android 5, and it’s a pretty huge change. Overall, I think I like it because it seems a bit cleaner and more organized. I’m personally big on distinct contrast because I think it makes things more crisp and easy to see. I think each individual item should be easy to separate from another, and contrast helps out in that regard quite a bit. Ironically, it seems like Android 5 has reduced variance of contrast, but for some reason I’m not having too much difficulty telling apart different on-screen elements. The first thing I noticed that I really like is the changed look of the QWERTY keyboard. Version 5 has much smaller keys than version 4.4.4, which makes it a lot easier to type. Not only is there less possibility of unintended key presses due to being off-center and accidentally touching borders between keys, but it also forces more accurate key pressing of there being less buffer space on the edges of the key. Unfortunately, not everything is amazing, and the biggest issue I have is a buggy gallery. Every time I open my gallery, all my images appear gray, and I need to wait several seconds before they start loading up. On the topic of pictures, the Picasa integration also seems to be gone. Now, the only way I can integrate with Picasa and manually backup my photos online is to either use the Photos in Google+ (which doesn’t let you pick the album to which you’re uploading), or to get a separate third-party app (which I did). Another buggy thing I noticed was the display of widgets. Not only were the widgets moved to a different location (now they appear when pressing and holding your finger on a blank space on your home screen, and I’m not sure which location I like better, the new one or the old one in the apps menu), but they don’t always pop up. Immediately upon updating, my parents’ weather and alarm widgets disappeared, and I had to manually add them back onto their corresponding pages. Mine was fine at first, but my weather app randomly disappeared after a period of time. I tried Googling why this was happening, but all I found were basic solutions (like just dragging the widget back where it used to be), rather than possible explanations as to why it was happening. In order to try and catch potential problems with the new operating system before I fell victim to them, I looked up common problems and bugs with the new operating system, but all of them seemed to be problems that couldn’t really be avoided with any preventative measures, and they were problems that I didn’t encounter even though I tried to intentionally reproduce the problem. Overall, I’m content with the new update, because the useful things are actually quite noticeably convenient, and the problematic things are either bearable or have workarounds.
When I found out that the Dwarven Fish Extractor had been released, I was somewhat excited and a bit curious as to what it would do. I figured that it might be a possible replacement for normal fishing rods, and might give some extra experience, higher fish catch rate, hidden fishing level boost, or maybe even passive fishing experience (like the Silverhawk Boots do for Agility). I managed to win one from Treasure Hunter, so I went ahead and used it. Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=N9A3KnHfsXg&list=PLKQUciHiP2v40y-lKj6dkjyqEcGmsu5yV Unfortunately, it was nowhere near as good as I thought it would be. The Dwarven Fish Extractor is basically either Coins or Bonus XP repackaged as an item. It has 100 charges, and you can either set it to sacrifice fish and give you double XP, or sacrifice XP and give you double fish. If you watched my stream VOD, you know that I used the extractor on Rocktails. So, in my situation, I had basically either traded 38,000 fishing experience for 175,000 coins, or the other way around. Of course, I’m not too short of gold, so I decided to trade the gold for experience. In my opinion, this could’ve been a much more interesting item (for any of the possible reasons that I had mentioned above, in terms of the different things it could have been). It could’ve been a good permanent replacement for your fishing rod that gave you buffs and bonuses, similar to the shark outfit. Unfortunately, the Dwarven Fish Extractor was a lot simpler than I had expected, and it was just another mediocre, renamed Treasure Hunter prize.
We’re three weeks into Hearthstone’s second PvE adventure, Blackrock Mountain, and the third wing was released today. Mere minutes after its release to the public, I hopped on Hearthstone and entered Blackrock Spire. I beat all the normal mode bosses and completed all the class challenges, and decided to give the heroic mode bosses a try. Not long afterwards, I realize how bad I am at Hearthstone and how impatient I am when waiting for good starting hands and good draws, so I end up giving up. Source: http://youtube.com/watch?v=AE8eXcoOJwI&list=PLKQUciHiP2v6lehTLfSf2M9HVjrfb8Hzt One thing I particularly liked about this week’s wing is the fact that Nefarian started turning heel (which basically means he’s becoming the bad guy). I never played World of Warcraft as a child, so I never got a chance to fully immerse myself into the Warcraft storyline. When I did play World of Warcraft for a little while, I was in my 20s and I started in the Mists of Pandaria expansion, so I never had a chance to experience all the old content. I’ve recently started becoming quite fond of good storylines, and I’m getting pretty excited at the fact that there are unexpected plot twists in the Blackrock Mountain storyline. This is making me look forward to playing next week’s wing and finding out why exact Nefarian is turning against me.
Earlier today, my parents, relatives from California, and I went to the Golden Corral buffet in Algonquin, Illinois. Apparently some other relatives from New Jersey had gone here while they were visiting Illinois, and recommended the restaurant to us. We sat over in this corner, away from most of the other people. It wasn’t actually as dark as it seems in the photo; my phone’s camera just happened to have a bit of trouble adjusting to the bright outdoors, and compensated the lighting in the wrong direction. The first thing to mention is that they have a senior discount and an “after 1 PM” discount. We didn’t actually realize this time-based discount until we were leaving the restaurant, and I was a little upset because we had arrived at about 12:56 PM. But, when we checked the receipt, we noticed that the cashier had given us the post-1:00 price without us having to request it, even though the payment was made before the eligible discount time. It’s always nice to see businesses be flexible and value the happiness of their customers, rather than stick hard to the rules in order to make more money. As for the buffet itself, it wasn’t really my preferred style of restaurant, but from a neutral perspective, it’s a pretty decent restaurant. It has a lot of different American food, so if you’re a fan of American, this might be the place for you. I personally prefer to get American food from fast food restaurants where you just get a large serving of one item, rather than tiny bits of a variety of foods. This is important to keep in mind when I say I wasn’t that thrilled at this restaurant – it’s more of a conflicting preference thing, rather than the restaurant doing anything wrong. While I was getting food, I didn’t notice any strange odors, but when I went back to my table to sit down, there was a strange smell in our corner. It’s difficult to describe, but the best I can do is the smell of undried clothing mixed with the sweat of someone who eats a lot of fatty foods. So, if you plan on going to this particular restaurant at this particular location, you might want to avoid that corner. My favorite part of the trip was the dessert. They have a massive variety of desserts, including cakes, chocolate fountains for strawberries, cotton candy, and an ice cream dispenser. This was actually the first time I had ever had cotton candy on a stick since I was a tiny child. We had an older male as our server, and he seemed a little bit too nice. He made sure that we had everything we needed, and came (almost excessively) often to refill drinks. One peculiar thing I tend to do at buffets is to reuse my old plate for my second serving in order to help them cut down on dishwashing costs. At the Golden Corral, I didn’t even have a chance to do that because my old plates were taken away so quickly. Overall, from my own personal perspective (which means taking my own preferences into consideration), I would rate this restaurant 5/10. From a non-biased perspective, I would rate this restaurant 7/10. I would say it’s a solid restaurant, but there was nothing that made me say “wow,” which is generally needed for me to give anything a 9-10/10 rating.