Hi humans. While scrolling through some old photos on my camera, I came across this strange one I remember taking back in September. It was a really bright and sunny day, but the sky was covered in a massive black cloud. I’m pretty sure I was going to mow the lawn that day, but ended up deciding against it because I thought it was going to randomly rain. As you should expect with my luck, it didn’t rain.
Hi humans. The patch notes for 3.13 recently came out, and one of the champions changed was Zyra. Being a Zyra main, a bunch of people asked me about my opinions on her changes. I am personally fine with the changes, and feel like Zyra somewhat deserved them, but this is coming from a middle laner. Someone who mains Zyra as a support will probably say that she was significantly nerfed. In the middle lane, the first and most significant change to Zyra is her ability to dominate melee champions in early levels. Zyra’s Deadly Bloom (Q) + plant combo was so powerful that after hitting it twice, most early-level melee champions wouldn’t have enough health to go anywhere near Zyra to harass her. If they did go in to harass her anyway and fail to kill her, they would continue to get poked to death by plants and auto attacks as they’re retreating. To reduce her power, Riot reduced the range on Deadly Bloom and reduced the early-level base damage on her plants. According to the current numbers, her plant damage is the same as pre-patch at level 6, and has increased damage after level 6. This allows melee champions to have more counterplay to Zyra – the amount of poke damage will be slightly reduced during levels 1-5, and Zyra needs to get a tiny bit closer to harass. The damage at level 6 is the same as before, but this is acceptable as, by that time, the melee champions will have their ultimate abilities and be able to fight back. The next noticeable change is that Zyra can now safely initiate with Stranglethorns (R) and not have to worry about losing the attack speed bonus to plants. This is because Stranglethorns was changed such that plants spawned inside the area while it is active will still get enraged. This allows Zyra to better chain her crowd control upon a catch, as she doesn’t need to wait until her plants spawn to place her ultimate on top of them. The biggest changes to Zyra come with playing her as a support. The base damage on her Deadly Bloom was reduced, but her ability power ratio was increased. In order for Deadly Bloom (at rank 5) to deal the same amount of damage as prior to the patch, a Zyra must have 500 AP. Zyra with more than 500 AP will deal more damage with her Deadly Bloom compared to before the patch. One of the reasons support Zyra was so powerful was because of the very high base damages on her abilities. Normally when I play Zyra as a support, I usually deal significantly more damage than my AD carry due to the initial burst, then the constant pummeling of the plants. This change ensures that if Zyra players want to continue dealing heavy damage, they must itemize to do so.
Hi humans. Earlier today, I got promoted to Platinum V in solo/duo queue ranked in League of Legends. I was in Silver IV and Silver III for the longest time, so people assumed that that’s where I belonged. I decided to take League of Legends a little bit more seriously lately to demonstrate that I could very easily get myself into Platinum whenever I wanted. It took me about a week to get from Silver IV to Gold V. This happened before my laptop broke. After I got a replacement laptop, I spent another six days playing ranked to get myself from Gold V to Platinum V. During the process, I skipped Gold IV and Gold II because the rating system thought my skill was far higher than my ranking. Overall, out of days played, it took about two weeks for me to get from Silver IV to Platinum V by playing anywhere between 1-5 games per day. So, what’s my secret? I’ll share.
- I stopped giving up in the middle of the game. When things weren’t going my way, I was patient and kept trying my best, rather than randomly walking around the map doing nothing.
- I stopped playing purely to have fun, and started playing to win. When I wanted to do something exciting and crazy, but knew it would hurt my chances of winning the game, I refrained from doing it.
- I stopped raging at my allies. When they did things that made me unhappy, I did not express my discontent.
- I complimented my allies. When I noticed my allies did something well, I pointed it out so they knew I noticed all the hard work they’re putting into the team. This ultimately motivated them to keep performing well.
- When I didn’t get the lane I wanted (middle), I negotiated. Before, I would just pick a random champion and go to whatever lane was open, then feed and give up after ten minutes. Instead, I asked the higher-pick person who wanted to go to middle lane if there were any other lanes (s)he was able to play, and tried to negotiate to see if I could get my main role.
- I asked my allies for help. If I still wasn’t able to get middle lane, I asked my allies for advice as to what I should be doing in the other roles with which I was unfamiliar, rather than doing whatever I wanted, feeding, and giving up after ten minutes.
Hi humans. I set up streaming software on my new laptop today, and decided to stream for a little bit to test my settings and see if everything was working. During my testing, I played a bot game with Simon, and a 1v2 handicap match against Ed and Simon. Normally I don’t post raw clips like this onto my website, and only post highlights, but because I haven’t streamed in such a long time, I decided to put this up here anyway. We only ended up playing one game because Ed was so disappointed in Simon after the first game, so once I Alt+F4 out of the first game, that’s the end of anything worth watching. (Linked image not working? Try the direct link. http://www.twitch.tv/parkzer/b/473502370)
Hi humans. Being a Zyra main, a lot of people asked me if I was excited for the new Zyra skin due to be released with the Harrowing patch. Although my answer might surprise you, I actually don’t like Haunted Zyra. So many people have asked me why that I decided just to write a post about it. To me, Zyra is a champion who appears harmless, but holds deadly power. Before she captured the body of the sorceress (according to her lore) and was just a plant, there was no apparent danger when approaching her jungle. Animals ventured in numerous times, and would eventually get killed by Zyra in a place where they thought they were in a regular natural habitat. Even after injecting her powers into a body and becoming mobile, she has an attractive and flowerly appearance, but when an enemy gets in range, she traps them in place and kills them instantly without giving them a chance of escape. Haunted Zyra seems to have an innate evil to herself. She’s surrounded by death, and spawns creatures you would presumably find in a graveyard. Upon her death, she herself turns into a hideous creature. This conflicts with what I think Zyra is, or at the very least, what I want her to be. Instead of being innocent to lure in prey, she clearly advertises how terrorizing she is. I dislike the Wildfire Zyra skin for similar reasons – it doesn’t seem like she fits in well with randomly setting forest fires when she herself is supposed to represent nature. I think a better skin for Zyra would be Death Blossom Zyra, similar to the Elise skin. I think that series is fitting for Zyra, and if it is ever made, I would definitely get it.
Hi humans. After literally 45 days of waiting, I finally have a working laptop again. If you haven’t been keeping up with the story, a tl;dr version is basically that I sent my laptop in to Dell to get it fixed, they gave 45 days’ worth of random excuses as to why they weren’t able to fix it yet, then finally decided to just ship me a new laptop. The model I got is the Inspiron 17R SE 7720. It has some pretty decent upgrades from the previous one I had, namely, an Intel Core i7-3630QM @ 2.40 GHz processor (an upgrade from an i5 processor), 8 GB of memory (an upgrade from 6 GB), an Intel Integrated HD Graphics 4000 card (an upgrade from 3000), and a second NVIDIA graphics processor (that the previous laptop did not have). The hard drive was also upgraded, but the nice part is that this laptop has the capacity to hold two hard drives, so I was able to just stick my old hard drive into this new laptop and basically have 1 TB more extra space than I did before. So far the only thing I’m dissatisfied with is the keyboard. I strongly prefer keyboards without spaces in between the keys, but the keys are all spaced out on this laptop.
Hi humans. I do a lot of things on the Internet, so you might not necessarily know me for this, but a good handful of people discovered me due to my primary streaming leadership role in the Tetris Tournament Online II, the official annual Tetris tournament sponsored by the Tetris Company, the official copyright holder of the Tetris brand. Many people were looking forward to Tetris Tournament Online III (TTO3), the sequel to last year’s tournament, and they were eager to have me return this year as a streamer and shoutcaster. However, most of these people noticed that I have not been the one streaming or shoutcasting any of the TTO3 matches so far. I did announce some specifics about why I have not been the one streaming, but due to the unofficial nature with which I shared the information, a lot of it was lost or changed as it was passed on from person to person. There have also been some particular individuals who intentionally changed information as a personal attack to me. To make things easier for everyone, I decided to publish my reasons here. If you hear anything else not included in this list, and it seems a little outlandish, it’s probably a rumor.
- I am gravely disappointed in the Tetris Company, and do not feel they deserve the publicity and free advertising that comes with Tetris Tournament Online. Their cooperation last year was minimal, and they just barely provided enough to get the tournament running. Nobody with whom I spoke showed any sort of genuine excitement about the tournament. The amount they supported our tournament was abysmal. They had many outlets to let Tetris enthusiasts know about our tournament so they could sign up, compete, and watch others’ matches; these outlets were barely used at all. Instead, a majority of our publicity came from Twitch, with whom I partnered in preparation for the event.
- I received next-to-zero compensation from the Tetris Company for the work I put in last year. The competitors at least received mediocre prizes – the first place winner received an electronic, but the runners up received prizes worth less than the shipping costs needed to send them internationally. The streamers, organizers, and hosts received absolutely nothing. The only benefit I received whatsoever from streaming was a little bit of advertising for my website via the logo I had on the stream overlay. My co-commentator for the grand finals received literally nothing.
- I no longer have the time to put into Tetris. I graduate from undergraduate university, and have moved on to a graduate and licensure program. I no longer have the time to do whatever I want with my free time like I did when I was an undergraduate. I also have other things into which I must invest time.
- I no longer have the resources to stream. Back when the Tetris Tournament Online II was going on, I lived in my own apartment in Madison, WI that came with free 50 Mbps Internet. I no longer live in Madison; I moved out after I graduated. I now live back at my regular house in my home town, and commute to my graduate university. This also means that we don’t get free Internet, and the Internet we have is approximately 1.5 Mbps – nowhere near fast enough to stream anything at any viewable quality.
- The time I do spend on gaming, I would like to spend on games that have a future. At the rate the Tetris Company is going, Tetris has no future. Their attitude towards the Tetris community is counterintuitive, and is causing them to miss out on opportunities that will make their game more popular. On the other hand, there are plenty of other game developers who engage closely with their community and player base that has a much more promising future. I am going to stick with those companies.
Hi humans. These are probably literally the biggest grapes I’ve ever seen in my life.
What’s the strangest place from which you’ve posted to your blog? When was the last time you were out and about, and suddenly thought, “I need to write about this!”? Source: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/daily-prompt-strange/I actually don’t really have any strange places from where I’ve posted to my blog, because about 99% of my blog entries are done at home on my laptop in the comfort of my room (even though the actual geographic location of my room has changed various times throughout the existence of my website). Occasionally I’ll post to my blog from the library or from some common area when I’m bored, but nothing too ridiculous – it’s already some sort of area where a bunch of people are on their laptops doing something, so I didn’t particularly stand out. However, one specific away-from-home blogging experience that I clearly remember is on the last day of my junior year of high school. I was sitting in the literacy center, which was a special room all the way in the back of the library that normally is a working area for students who are not up to par with conventional reading standards. Even though my level of reading was fine, I still liked to do stuff in the literacy center because it was so quiet and peaceful in there. After my last final exam, during the free time I had before heading out to catch the school bus, I wrote a pretty frustrated blog post as an overview to my junior year. Pretty much what I was getting at was that I thought I was a lot more prepared and capable than I actually thought I was. I basically gave myself a misconception that just because I was quicker to catch on and more intuitive than any of my peers, it would make up for me being lazy – which it didn’t. My grades and overall academic performance ended up being awful, and my blogging at school was somewhat of a symbolic act – although I didn’t exactly know what it symbolized. Today, writing that blog post over four years ago is still clear in my memory. I don’t know exactly why, because as of today it doesn’t really have much of a meaning to me (meaning that writing that blog post didn’t change me significantly or didn’t set off a catalyst for change), but it still ended up being memorable.
Hi humans. A while back, my university had its first home football game. The day before, in preparation, a lot of areas were either shut down or reserved so the sports crew could come in and set up their equipment. A “No Parking” sign was posted on a street near the football stadium – this happened to be the street across from the lot where I normally park, so I had a clear view of it when I arrived. While I was getting ready to pack everything up so I can head out to the bus stop to ride to the main campus, a car pulled up on the street. No parking sign? It’s clearly just an illusion.