The Fall

The Fall is finally starting to set in here in Southern California, and this really is my favorite time of year. Besides the change in weather and the time change that will be coming shortly, it’s also football season, and some of my favorite TV shows are on, including Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story, and of course The Walking Dead. Breaking Bad also just came to a close and though I’m sad to see it go, they did a great job of wrapping things up. Aside from all of this good stuff, there’s more in the gaming world:

Usually I split up my PS3 and PC gaming posts, but as I have been lazy of late and didn’t get them done at a more appropriate time, I’m cramming everything into one post. For starters, the Playstation Plus preview for October was posted last week, and the first free game of the month came out a couple of days ago. I couldn’t round up the fancy graphic, so I’ll just tell you that the games this month are varied, though I own a couple of them already. The first release was Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. I purchased the game when it came out last year, and though I really wanted to like it, and it contained many elements that I did enjoy, I think it was just poor timing on when I bought it. At the time, I was playing through Skyrim, Dragon Age II, and some other games, and really just never gave it a chance. I ended up purchasing the DLC for the game and never got around to playing that either. Then I traded the game in along with some others to gift a copy of Borderlands 2 to my roommate (mainly so we could co-op through it). With all that said, I now have a copy of the game again, and can actually utilized the DLC I paid for as well. It’s a bit disappointing because I’d prefer a game I didn’t already reject, but at the same time I think that I need to give this game a proper chance. I have mixed thoughts about the game as should be obvious, but I think that most people would be happy with an in-depth RPG for free. Now they just need to give out the Skyrim DLC for free and I’d be a happy boy.

Moving on. The rest of the month is going to be lackluster in my opinion. There’s two Vita games (my library for that system is going to be so out of control if I ever manage to get a Vita) Hotline Miami and Sine Mora, both of which I know nothing about and won’t for quite some time. I’m sure you can educate yourself elsewhere. On the PS3 side there’s Poker Night 2. I don’t care for poker, so I’ll probably skip that one. Then there’s the other game I already own, Shadow of the Colossus. I remember back in the PS2 days it was a game that I never played, but I saw my roommate play it here and there. It seemed interesting enough, but it wasn’t until the HD remake (along with ICO) was released on PS3 that I actually picked it up. I still never played all the way through it, as I got stuck on one of the bosses and got distracted elsewhere. It’s still a good game to have in your collection though.

Next up, League news. Patch 3.12 has hit the servers, and though I don’t want to go into it too much, there are some points I’d like to touch on. The first question on everyone’s mind is “is Jinx in the new patch?” The answer is no. There are some general tweaks, the wards have been visually updated, the in-game options menu was streamlined, and the champ trading system (for ARAM and Draft) has been updated. The most interesting parts for me were the re-work of Olaf, and the Garen visual upgrade:

Garen really looks way more badass, though he still plays the same. Not really one of my favorites, but I like seeing the new reworks of old champions that really needed the update. As the artwork for the game improves many of the champions do seem outdated. Now, for the Olaf changes:

Summary: Olaf’s kit has been significantly overhauled, with changes to each of his skills and new opportunities for counterplay, particularly when the Berserker gets ahead. In terms of major alterations, we’ve given Undertow a minimum throw distance and a reduced slow duration, but increased its slow amount and removed the slow decay to compensate. Vicious Strikes no longer provides attack damage or spell vamp, but instead increases Olaf’s attack speed and grants bonus healing based on Olaf’s missing health . Next up is Reckless Swing. We’ve reduced its base damage and increased the cooldown, but given the ability an attack damage ratio and allowed basic attacks to lower its cooldown. Finally, we’ve added a passive armor and magic resistance bonus to Ragnarok, and made it so that activating the ult converts the defensive bonuses into attack damage. Ragnarok’s crowd control immunity has been retained.

Context: Old and Busted Olaf circumvented a lot of healthy interactions within the game when played well. When he got ahead, Old and Busted Olaf had everything at his disposal to take out opponents with no opportunity for counterplay, including a permanent slow (when used correctly), crowd control immunity and significant true damage while building tanky. Our core goal with these changes is to create more gameplay interaction with New Hotness Olaf so that players can react and play smart against him even if he gets ahead. We realize that these changes are fairly drastic so, as ever, we’ll closely monitor how he performs over the coming days and weeks.

General

  • Base mana reduced to 235 (from 270)

Undertow

  • Base damage reduced to 70/115/160/205/250 (from 80/125/170/215/260)
  • Slow percent increased to 35/40/45/50/55% (from 24/28/32/36/40%)
  • Slow duration reduced to 1-2 seconds based on distance traveled (from 2.5 seconds flat)
  • Slow no longer decays
  • Minimum distance added (400)
  • Axes now stick in walls and structures only if they would land in impassible terrain
  • Axes now make jungle monsters ignore unit collision (to better enable Olaf’s axe pickup play in the jungle)

Vicious Strikes

  • Mana cost reduced to 30 (from 40/45/50/55/60)
  • Now grants 20/35/50/65/80% attack speed
  • Now provides 1% extra healing for every 2.5% health that Olaf is missing
  • Attack damage removed
  • Spellvamp removed
  • Lifesteal retained

Reckless Swing

  • Cooldown increased to 12/11/10/9/8 seconds (from 9/8/7/6/5)
  • Damage reduced to 70/115/160/205/250 (from 100/160/220/280/340)
  • 0.4 total attack damage ratio added
  • Health cost is equal to 40% of total damage dealt (unchanged ratio)
  • Health cost is now refunded if it kills the target
  • Basic attacks lower the cooldown of Reckless Swing by 1 second

Ragnarok

  • Cooldown changed to 120/100/80 (from 100)
  • Mana cost removed
  • Now provides 10/20/30 armor and magic resist passively
  • Active reworked: now removes the bonus armor and magic resist passive and grants 40/60/80 bonus attack damage while active
  • Olaf now turns red when Ragnarok is active
  • Crowd control immunity retained

In the commentary, half of the crowd is saying that Olaf was already underpowered and now he’s been nerfed into oblivion. The other half was saying that he was OP if played right, and will still be that way. You’ll have to play him to decide for yourself. I never felt that he was underpowered, but I’m not exactly a pro either. There’s a lot to like here, and it seems like everything is balanced out. Reckless swing still costs health, but the true damage is lower, though AD scaling was added and health is refunded on a killing blow. His ulti gives passive defensive stats and then more AD when active, along with the crowd control immunity. I could go over all of this but really it sounds like an improvement. Guess time will tell. Full patch notes here.

Lastly, new permanent ward skins have been added to the store.

WDLSss

This is something that has probably been in the works for a while, and honestly it’s about time. Seasonal stuff is cool, but when you get something like that in the game, people see the option to pay for it and have it all the time. They need to do something similar with Summoner Icons, and not just during pro tournaments. At 640 RP I think they’re a little pricey, but perhaps we will see more, or sales on them. Speaking of sales, there’s two for one rune pages for the week. Definitely worth having a few extra for those specific builds.