The Wandering Caretaker

Going back to my post, The Wonder Above, I had talked about the speculation around the new champion teaser. Today Riot released more information about that champ, who’s name is in fact, Bard. The discussion revolved around whether or not Bard would be a support, and being from Targon, be a big tanky champion. This much we can confirm.

Bard_Splash_WP

Bard is his name, so I think we can drop the speculation about it being a race, unless more of these champs show up at a later time. We can also drop the idea that it’s Ao Shin, obviously. The symbol that was shown up in the sky above the makeshift camp in the teaser is his, in that he can create tunnels through walls, thankfully not limited only to the spots where they are already visible. He’s basically the support version of Rek’Sai, to be honest, though from a different region of the world. You can see the full reveal over here. I’ve been having good luck with the new meta supports and/or newer champions who are supports, so I’m stoked for this release. I’ll be saving my IP for him certainly.

image

Bard’s kit is very much about wandering and securing objectives, and that is the new meta that has emerged this season. Since there isn’t a champion spotlight video just yet, you’ll have to visit the earlier link to see his abilities in action, and I’m not going to go into great detail here. They also haven’t released their recommended builds but I imagine the typical tanky support builds will be viable, with maybe a splash of AP for early poke. I will probably run my usual Tank rune page and Support Masteries for this champion.

tankrunes supportmastery

Looking forward to checking him out. As of yet the release date has yet to be revealed.

#leagueoflegends #championreveal #riot

State of the Game: The One Constant

sotg

Years ago, I grew tired of spending money on a variety of games, and felt that MMOs gave me the most bang for my buck. $15 a month for unlimited access seemed like such a steal, and I slowly phased all other aspects of gaming out of my life. I devoted myself to playing one game for months/years at a time. It was a simpler time.

Fast forward to 2011. I ended up giving up on the MMO genre (though I would still dip my toes into massive worlds from time to time). The new kid on the block, the MOBA genre was gaining traction, and many competitors to the throne would crop up. Of the few games I tried during this time, League of Legends took hold of me the way my first MMOs did, and it still hasn’t let go of me to this day. Like MMOs before it, I still take breaks and sometimes don’t play for months at a time, but I always come back, and it’s the one game I still think about playing every day (and usually do).

That isn’t something I can say about other games. Sometimes I’ll start a title, get sucked in and actually complete it within a decent timeframe. Other times, and more often than not, even if it’s a title I’m extremely excited about, I’ll start a game and only get a few hours into it, just to put it on the shelf and sometimes I’ll never go back to it. Sometimes I will come back later on and complete it, but some games have sat half-finished in the backlog for years.

It’s not as if I don’t have the time. I have hours each day that I could dedicate to gaming, and many of those hours have been spent doing just that. But sometimes other bits come up. I have been neglecting this blog for starters. The podcast has been going strong, but it takes up gaming time as well. Add in a budding social life, responsibilities and Netflix, TV shows, and other odds n ends, and I’m out of time, each and every day. Picking and choosing what to do with your time is probably the biggest first world problem of them all. At least I’m not struggling to eat and I have a comfortable place to sleep.

This probably all sounds like a rehash of things I’ve said before. I have a ton of games, and many of them are really good and I need to finish them, if not for any reason other than to say I did. Many of the titles saw their fair share of time and have been eliminated from contention, and some are on-going efforts, such as MMOs and MOBAs. At the end of the day, I’ll sit and think “what game should I play tonight?” and often times I just go with the tried and true, LoL. It frustrates the shit out of me, and sometimes I end up wondering why I bother, but the next day rolls around and I’m sucked right back in. I think I had similar feelings with MMOs in the past, so I suppose the only constant is that I love video games, despite the fact that it’s not always good for my mental health.

So despite having a rather large library of games, and still having an equally long wishlist, I typically opt for playing League. A free to play game that isn’t going anywhere and that I can’t complete. My OCD side is screaming for me to play the games I’ve only tinkered with recently, or to go back and finish off that game I started two years ago, know is good, but can’t bring myself to finish. I borrowed that South Park RPG and barely touched it. I started Thief. I even started Yakuza 4, and it’s an interesting game as well. Divinity is sitting there. Dark Souls. So many unfinished games that I know I enjoy but I just can’t pick which one to play on any given day. I’ll even think about it when I first get up, planning to play one of those unfinished games, but by the time I get to the end of the day, I end up thinking “I’ll just play a quick game of LoL and then move on to something else” which leads to a couple games, and then it’s bed time.

I don’t think I should obsess over it like I am. I should just be happy with the fact that I am finding enjoyment in that one game, and be done with it. I see others still playing WoW after ten years, and seemingly enjoying it, and not worrying about all the other experiences they’re missing out on because they decided to stick with that one game. Why can’t I be like that? I guess I can, since that’s pretty much what I’m doing with League, but I still feel the need to play other things, yet I don’t. Apparently there’s something wrong with me.

So yeah, I spent most of my time the last week only playing League. I have plans to do other things, but they likely won’t happen. I’ve been obsessed with the battle to get out of Bronze, and I’ve been foiled at every turn. I dropped out of Bronze I again, and am pushing back up the Bronze II board to get back there. I really want to get to Silver, and then move on from there, but I don’t know if it will happen any time soon. I could talk about individual games, tactics, or otherwise complain about things, but I’ll just say that a lack of team synergy leads to a loss. I’ve had some bad synergy, sometimes on an individual level (I have a bad game) or on a wider level (someone is toxic, inexperienced, or the team doesn’t know how to close), which has lead to my difficulties getting out of this tier. I know that I will eventually though, I’ve been in Silver before.

Perhaps I’ll get re-motivated to play some other games soon. Perhaps I’ll have more to write about as a result. Just don’t hold your breath.

#stateofthegame #leagueoflegends

Couch Podtatoes Episode 34: Crowd Funding

CP4

It’s a bit late but late is better than never right? Due to my lack of attention, I wasn’t able to secure Doone’s participation in the show this week until the weekend, so we’re releasing episode 34 a tad late, but Doone made it and we had a great discussion about the current state of crowd funding, touching on recent stories about Massively Overpowered, Daybreak Games, and the Peter Molyneux interview on Rock, Paper, Shotgun. We discuss the ethics of crowd funding and where we see the future of the industry going, gaming journalism as well. Are you ready to enter the digital frontier, once again?

 

Download this Episode Subscribe via RSS Download on iTunes Listen on Stitcher

Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 34: Crowd Funding (runtime: 51:34)

What are we playing? (starts at 2:26)
Discussion: Digital Frontier (starts at 14:24)

Host Contact information:

Izlain
Blog: Me vs. Myself and I
Twitter:@mevsmyselfandi

J3w3l
Blog: Healing The Masses
Twitter: @ausj3w3l

Doone
Blog: XP Chronicles
Twitter: @trredskies

Music Credits:
“Level Up” by Cookie Monsta (from the Riot! EP)
“Cracks” by Flux Pavilion (from the album Plux Favilion)
“Enchanted Rose” by Bury Your Dead (from the album Beauty and the Breakdown)

Couch Podtatoes is a podcast about gaming, though we might stray into other forms of media. Sometimes we use strong language, but we try to keep that to a minimum. All opinions expressed by us or our guests are our own and are in no way to be interpreted as official commentary from any companies we discuss. You can visit our official podcast page at http://couchpodtatoes.libsyn.com/. Be sure to follow us on iTunes, and/or Stitcher Radio.

Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged!

#couchpodtatoes #podcast #gamesdiscussion #gaming

The Wonder Above

With the Lunar Revel winding down, the next big news story for League of Legends is a new champion teaser. “The Wonder Above” is a chunk of lore with its own micro-site, which is teasing a new champion, but little is truly revealed. There’s some text and pictures of constellations, but the only picture is of an older man sitting around a campfire with some younger folk. Contemplating the words and the images had me feeling like I should do a little research and see what I could dig up. There’s a pretty lengthy discussion over on the official forums, and sprinkled among the posts are bits that make sense. My first thought was that the new champion would be a support, just because the name at the end is “Bard,” and because Mount Targon is mentioned, which happens to also be a similarly named tanky support item in the newer meta. This could mean Bards in LoL lore are a race, and then the tanky aspects could be translated properly, or this could be more to do with the more typical bard aspects of lorekeeping, storytelling, and/or musical talents. The latter seems more appropriate, but there were further discussions about whether or not Sona is a bard, and really, this discussion is going nowhere fast.

Somewhere along the line I read about Ao Shin, which is a champion that was announced over a year ago, and had some concept art leaked:

AoShin_Concept

Looks more like a mage, but the Ionian and storm cues in the text and on the forum leads me to believe that Ao Shin is a distinct possibility, though the name Bard being there seems to point away from that. Further inspection lead me to a video of some rare footage of Ao Shin, and since we’re talking about him, I’ll share the video despite the fact that he’s probably not the new champion.

It does seem that Ao Shin actually is in the works, an article on PCGamer dating back to November of last year confirms that the champion is still being worked on, and “early 2015″ is mentioned there. So will this new champion be Ao Shin? Or a tanky guy called Bard? Or perhaps a typical bard with buffing abilities? That still seems like it would take too much away from Sona. This is a tough nut to crack. More lore on Ao Shin was available on the LoL Wiki, and that sheds more light on the correlations, but no matter how much I look around, I’m not finding anything that sounds exactly spot on. It doesn’t seem that whatever the champion is has made it to the PBE yet, so I’ll keep tabs on this and report back when I know more.

#leagueoflegends #championteaser

The Forest v0.13

It came out sometime late last week, but another round of patch notes have gone live for The Forest, which is in its 8th or so month of early access. The developers have been hard at work adding in new features, squashing bugs and adding Steam integration, and the game is quite a bit different from the time it released last year. As has been habit to this point, I’m still covering the patch notes as they release, with some commentary. First, the notes:

Version 0.13 Changelog:
Armsy combat improvements – can now turn around quickly, attack to left and right and attack from further away. Will swipe at trees more often. Will react to explosions by staggering backwards.
Armsy will knock down walls and other structures near player, and will now interact better with dynamic logs/props pushing them away
Lowered throw force on bomb timed and added friction to rigidbody to reduce hockey puck feel
Added distance based camera shake when bombs explode!
Improved look of wood plank barriers – better textures, better break apart chunks
Wooden planks now have a health value and will take longer to be broken down by a stick versus an axe
(multiplayer)Added two new player character model variations
(optimization) Improved Experimental Foundations & Walls memory footprint
(building) Removed Manual Foundations 4 edges limit, improved visual feedback
(building) Added closure snapping to manual foundations
Improved log sled pushing – less jitter and glitches when pushing sled close to other objects
Changed gazebo floor collider so items can be built on top of it.
Player can no longer jump while pushing the sled
Lowered damage from un-upgraded rock weapon
Added extra checks to stop player falling through world when climbing ropes
Lowered damage amount molotovs do to Armsy. Setting Armsy on fire will cause him to become enraged, running around or attacking the player
New dying sound distortion added when player is in grey-zone state
(audio)rope climbing sound effects added
(audio)Falling Leaves sound effects added and tuned
(audio)Fixed bug where bush rustle sound effect would sometimes not play if player was running full speed and at an angle
Fixed a rare bug that caused the game to get stuck halfway in the loading process
Fixed trees initializing after black screen removal when loading a saved game
Slightly larger hit colliders on birds and stick weapon, makes it easier to kill grounded birds with a stick
Enemy bodies no longer explode when you hit the body after killing them! You can now chop off individual limbs!
Tree houses now require rope to build
Cave 2 crayon map drawing with shiny sticker stars on it added as a collectible item. (hint: try and find locations of stars)
(audio) Music sting added when player is woken up by enemies
(audio) New music sting added when an important item or location is discovered
(audio)First pass at Skinny enemy audio added
Fixed log wall breaking apart rotated incorrectly
Cave 1- major design re-work. More interesting areas, easier to navigate, more secret areas and items, improved collision.
Player is no longer able to pick up logs while jumping, swimming, sailing raft or pushing sled
Equipped logs are now dropped when beginning to swim, sail a raft or push a sled
Standard enemies can now attack built player walls
(hopefully) Fixed bug where enemies would sometime appear in t-pose in multiplayer games
Improved cave 2 entrance visuals
Random hint texts added to dead screen!
Removed starfish from caves and other strange places. Will now only appear on beach.
(multiplayer) New voice chat system! Using microphones/walkie talkies will no longer cause memory allocation and framerate stutters as memory is attempted to be cleaned out.
(multiplayer)Performance improvements!
(multiplayer)Fixed delay where log would remain visible for a short period of time even after being picked up by clients
(multiplayer)Fixed delay between tree falling and breaking into logs for clients
(multiplayer)Craft audio now plays for each player, you should no longer hear other players craft sfx play from far away
(multiplayer) fix a bunch more 2d sounds that could be heard by both players at wrong time
(multiplayer)Major lag improvements for enemies! Enemies will now visually update more often when close to a player
(multiplayer)Fixed fires not replicating
(multiplayer)All enemy types now show up in multiplayer games (distorted, pale creatures etc)
Fixed missing collision on orange tents
Fixed issues where after climbing rope, it would slightly reposition player making it very easy to fall back into hole or off ledge
New buildable item: Weapon Rack! Store up to 4 non projectile equipment items
New buildable item: Snack holder
New buildable item: Explosives/molotov holder
New buildable item: Medicine cabinet
Fixed flare gun not setting enemies on fire
Getting hit while blocking now drains more stamina
Block will fail now when hit if you have very low stamina
Birds are no longer active while inside a cave
Optimized all animal animators to save cpu performance
(single player only)New buildable item: Climbing Rope (needs to be hooked to a single Structure Anchor, a minimum distance with floor is required)
Added Structure Anchors to: Gazebo (2), Log Cabin (2), Platform (2), Extensible Platform (4), StairCase (2) and Wall (2) [retro-active] (you can now attach bridges or rope to these items) (Single player only)
New cheat code added: ‘vegetarianmode’ enemies only come out at night.
New cheat code added: ‘meatmode’ cancels the other cheats
Active cheats now saved locally (Hint: Type meatmode on title screen to cancel active cheats)
(single player only)New buildable item: (experimental)Procedural Floor (snap on top of foundations, or to procedural walls that are on foundation + floors)
Can now rotate tree structures while placing them !
Improved building placement near structures that can be built upon

I jumped into the game the day this patch went live, with the intentions of finally trying out the co-op, as now you don’t need IP addresses or any of that junk, you can just start up a game and leave it open for people to join, or invite friends directly from Steam. Unfortunately, I only know a couple of people with the game and none of them are really playing it so I just started a game leaving it open for random people to join. Apparently no one was playing (or wanting to join a random game) when I was playing. Maybe it was the hour of the day or the day of the week, or perhaps there aren’t as many people playing right now due to the early access, but people are obviously finding bugs in the multiplayer component, so someone out there is playing the game. Either way, I didn’t get to check out co-op so I just played around for a while with some of the new stuff I hadn’t seen, and then logged off. I know this game would be fantastic for people who enjoy a PvE sandboxy building experience, but I guess the horror aspects scare some people away. Who knows. One day I’ll get to try the mode out.

#theforest #patchnotes #earlyaccess