Important Stuff!

Friday, July 31, 2015

[LoL] Fiora and Gangplank, two changes, two reactions

Over the next few patches Riot is making major modifications to several League of Legends characters including Miss Fortune, Gangplank, and Fiora. The latter two occurred at roughly the same time, and the player reactions to each serve to demonstrate the prevalent sexism of how we depict women in video games.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

[Blizz] Changing of the Guard

Today it was announced that Blizzard would be announcing the next World of Warcraft Expansion at Gamescom on August 6th. This came as no surprise after the latest patch dropped in June and players are already expressing boredom. Bear in mind that Blizzard is racing a clock it set for itself. They promised repeatedly that players would not suffer a repeat of the debacle that lead to a 429 day gap between the release of Siege of Ogrimmar and the release of Warlords of Draenor. However, the news that this announcement would come at Gamescom instead of Blizzcon has ruffled some feathers.

Monday, July 13, 2015

[WoW] Tanaan is close to perfect, but I can't seem to love it

Continuing a trend started with Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard has released Timeless Jungle Tanaan Isle Gul'dan's Welfare Loot Headquarters Tanaan Jungle as the final patch's "catch up and stuff to do" zone to (supposedly) finish off Warlords of Draenor. In continuation of the "zone to do shit in every patch" trend started with Pandaria's 5.2 "The Thunder King", the zone was designed to give players plenty of solo content to chew on, and engineered to draw the content out for as long as attention spans will hold. There's certainly a lot to do, and a lot of RNG involved, but the RNG is not the worst I've encountered and the zone reflects several iterations on the concept. In short, Tanaan is as close to perfect as Blizzard has yet come, and I "like" it, but I can't seem to love it.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The glory of the Group Finder

In the past I have been very critical of Blizzard's automatic group finding tools, and being a socially awkward and shy person I am usually reluctant to try to form groups myself outside of my guild. So I was resistant to the idea of using the Group Finder initially, but after giving it a shot in Tanaan jungle my opinion has been completely changed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hugo Ballot 2015 with Puppies marked

I don't normally tread all that far outside the realm of gaming, but as I am attending WorldCon this year I've been paying special attention to the Hugos and the...lets call it "kerfuffle" going on around it. It was originally brought to my attention by George R. R. Martin's tweets, and I think he does a fair job of summarizing it. 

The following is the full Hugo Award 2015 bracket with nominees put forth by the Sad and Rabid Puppies slates color coded. When I got down to reading the nominees I realized I wanted a coherent list of how the slates impacted the nominees, including both slates, so I decided to make one myself. Sad Puppies are marked in Blue, Rabid Puppies in Red, and any nominees suggested by both are marked in Purple.* I want to make it very clear that this should not be used as a slate or voting guide. At least some of the authors the Puppy groups included on their slates were not consulted about it, and it would be unfair to them to deny them an award merely because of an undesired association. So say it with me, “This post should NOT be used as a slate.” Each work should be judged on its own merit. Of course if you do not feel that any of the works in a category merit a Hugo award you are free to choose the "No Award" option in that category.

However, due to the exploitation of the Hugo nomination system (and this was an exploitation of a system that previously relied on non-slate voting due to a, apparently misplaced, trust in an honor system) I feel it is only fair that voters have some knowledge as to why individual works were included. All knowledge is worth having, and so I leave it to you to decide what to do with this information. You will notice that in several categories ALL of the nominees belong to a slate. If that troubles you I recommend considering John Scalzi’s system.

This post will be updated as new information becomes available.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

In re: Last Hitting and HotS

Edit Addendum: I was reminded via Twitter that HotS does have some mechanics resembling a last hit; however I have since tested and confirmed that the HotS versions (at least those tested; Diablo's passive and Raynor's first tier talent), despite saying "minions and heroes killed" in their description, only require you be in the vicinity of the death, not actually land the killing blow.

I want to start by saying that from a thousand feet I don't disagree with Izlain that Hereoes of the Storm (HotS) is a more mechanically simplistic MOBA than League or DotA2; but accessibility is Blizzard's wheelhouse and frankly I'd be shocked if they tried to be the next Heroes of Newerth. HotS is angling to be the MOBA for the average Joe/Jane, the person who doesn't want to spend hours researching item builds, buy a rune build for each champ/lane, a mastery page to match, and know each champion by magic defense per level.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Talkback Challenge #3: What Made You A Gamer? #NBI2015

I like this question because it offers an opportunity to dig back into my personal history and try to figure out where my first exposures to gaming came from. Perhaps unsurprisingly my first exposure to gaming came from family. The first video game I can remember playing was Joust with my cousin on his NES. I want to say that it was at that moment that my love for gaming crystallized, but truthfully I was so young that my memory of it is foggy. The next memory I can conjure up was getting bootleg copies of Warcraft 2 and Doom from my father's co-workers.