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2:20 PM on 10.12.2012

League of Legends. A basic yet extensive overview.

I haven't blogged in a while. This is mostly because, well, I tend to lose track of things. Even though everything I fill my day with is kind of trivial to the average person, I see it all as priority. I would also like to note here that all artwork in this blog belongs to the creators. I do not own any of this, and do not claim rights to it. I am simply using it to beautify the walls of text.

One of the things that has been eating away at my precious time, is League of Legends. If you aren't familiar with the game, It is becoming (kind of already is) the most popular game this side of the internet. I began playing late July, and truly got into it when I got a new laptop in early August. I've learned much about the gameplay styles, as well as the company behind that. And while I don't expect many to turn their heads, I feel as if I should talk about it.

Despite my short time in the Fields of Justice, I feel I have become very knowledgeable on many different aspects of this incredible work of art. As an AD carry main, I intend to try and help others understand the role that I fill, as well as several of the others. I also want to talk about the company itself, and I think I will do that first. If you want to skip the company talk, scroll down to the picture of Ashe (the girl with the bow) and read from there.

(For those that are annoyed by them, I apologize for the large pictures. I felt that it brightened up the blog a bit. If you have any suggestions on how to make them look better, feel free to submit them to me.)

The company behind the phenomenon is known as Riot Games Inc. While I could spend the next few hours talking about the history of the company I am going to hit a few key points that perked my interest.

The very first thing that got me interested in the company itself started when I decided to become an active forum member. While I was browsing around, I noticed that several of community-posted threads had "redposts," which are posts made by rioters themselves. This amazed me, as most companies don't give their fanbase the light of day. It makes it even more impressive when you consider the fact that they have a 32 million+ player game on their shoulders. As I continued reading and commenting on several threads, I noticed how honest the rioters could be, and have started to want to become one, myself. As a person who will be trying to follow the path required of a professional psychologist, you cannot imagine my joy when I discovered that riot hired 3 seperate psychological professionals on board, each with their own specialty. The idea of mixing my two favorite things in the world is just the cherry on top of the world that I am envisioning for my future.

My personal opinions aside, it is amazing to see the lengths that Riot will go to to keep their players happy and playing. I will probably try to talk more about the company itself in a seperate post; but for now, let's get on to the gameplay.

League of Legends is an MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) centered around destroying the enemy teams nexus, which is located on the opposite side of the map from yours inside their base. Their base is defended by several towers inhabiting 3 seperate lanes (in the classic map, Summoner's Rift. Their are other maps and game modes, but I will be talking about this one, as it is the most popular.) that the players are to defend/attack at their will. There are several roles to fill, and it will be difficult to talk about each. I will give basics on the others, and then give an in-depth description of what I do as the Attack Damage Carry.

(A map to help understand for those who have not yet played LoL)

There are 5 roles to fill, each with it's own set of champions that are more suited to this role than others. The top lane is typically inhabited by a bruiser, who utilizes melee attacks and relies on armor and special abilities to out-perform their opponents. This lane is sometimes referred to as a farm-fest, as they spend a large amount of time killing the minions that march down the lanes at specified intervals, and are often cut-off from the team for a large portion of the early game.

In between the lanes is an area inhabited by several neutral minion camps, with a river going down the middle. Some of these minions provide special buffs, while the rest are weaker but good to farm money off of. With the inclusion of this feature, the Jungler role was born. The jungler spends his time trying to farm minion camps within the jungle, and occasionally "ganking" the lanes to surprise the opposition to try and land some easy kills. They are usually tanky/bruiser champions, though sometimes people will play a more assassin-y role to provide more proficient ganking potential. It is their job to keep an eye on the camps located on the banks of the river, with the Baron Nashor inhabiting the area between top and middle lane, and the Dragon between middle and bottom. These neutral monsters provide large buffs in the form of damage and regeneration (Baron) and large sums of gold (Dragon) to the team that manages to kill them.

The next position I will talk about is located in the middle lane, which happens to be the shortest of the three. Due to the shortness of this lane, it is usually occupied by an Ability Power Carry, who utilizes the power of their abilities to strike down their foe. They typically have short cooldowns, and use items that boost the strength of these attacks instead of the basic auto-attacks that AD carries focus on. These champions usually have some form of light or heavy CC (crowd control) that is used to slow, stun, snare, or in any way inhibit the enemy from moving/attacking. This is usually their own form of escape and it must be used wisely, as it can also be used to snag a kill.

The final lane is usually home to two people; the support/tank for the team, and the glass-cannon Attack Damage Carry. The reasoning for this is that the ADC usually needs some form of support in the early game to bring the power they provide in the early game. This is usually done by farming as much as possible, and trying to kill the opposing laners, just as the other lanes do. The support typically does not kill minions, and instead relies on items that increase their gold generation. This will be the lane I will go in-depth on if you're still interested at this point. Before I do this, I would like to explain exactly why these champions lane here, instead of elsewhere.

Imagine, if you will, trying to kill a large dragon at a low level by yourself. This is simply not doable. It is for this, and a few other smaller reasons that the support/ADC go on the bottom lane. If they can manage a double kill, the middle lane and jungler will often group up with them at the dragon camp to kill him and earn a nice extra boost in gold.

The middle lane is usually dominated by APC as it is the shortest lane, and therefore the least threatened by ganking junglers. AP Carries are typically not equipped with the best of escapes and require the shorter lane in order to stay safe and get away from any potential threats.

I have already explained the jungler and the top lane's purpose in nice summaries, so I will refrain from repeating myself in order to keep you interested. It is now time to move on to the in-depth AD carry guide.

I will use Ashe as my example, as I play her more often than any other AD carry.

Ashe is an Attack Damage Carry. This means that she uses basic attacks as well several abilities that scale with physical damage to try and deal, well, damage. Her first ability is a toggle slow that consumes mana in order to infuse my arrows with frost. Her second ability fires 5 arrows in an outward cone that also applies frost and decent damage to any enemies hit (including minions) by one. Her 3rd ability gives her passive gold bonus for any kills she obtains on minions or champions; and has an active that fires a frost hawk to try and spot any enemy lurking nearby. Her ultimate ability fires a large arrow across the map. If it hits someone, It applies a stun to the target hit, a large amount of damage, and half of that damage as well as a slow to any enemies nearby.

In order to carry properly, she will need to buy items that boost her attack speed, attack damage, critical hit chance, and often life-steal in order to stay potent in battle. I prefer to lane with a support who has a healing ability such as Alistar, Taric, Soraka, or Sona. This match-up allows me to stay in lane as long as I can while I try to out farm the enemy carry. The early game usually consists of just this, as well as some poking and prodding and the occasional fight between the contesting teams. While some see this as boring, I often see it as art when one can master last-hitting minions to obtain the gold required to scale and bring that amazing damage that all AD carries bring in the late game.

As stated before, if I can manage a double kill with my support, I will often try to attract the attention of my jungler and mid-lane so we can score an early dragon for a nice boost in profit. If they are incapacitated and I believe I can handle it I will go with my support (who most likely has heal) and try to score the kill myself assuming the heals can keep me alive (or if the support can tank the dragon that works out even better) to return to my lane and continue farming/defending my tower.

I usually try to hold lane until I can destroy the enemy teams tower in order to give my team an advantage. Afterwards, I will join up wherever it is seen fit, and try to keep my farm up to make sure I can get the expensive items that yield the higher damage bonus.

In team fights, I can either initiate with my ultimate, or wait for another teammate to initiate. I will usually try to stay back and shoot any enemy that falls into my range, as they will be targeting me due to my low health/high damage output. An extensive knowledge of what an enemy champion can do is required to play a champion like Ashe. This is because unlike some other AD carries, Ashe does not have an escape. She has a slow, but this is only useful if you can stop them before they get too close. With the rising popularity of bruisers with gap-closers, this is becoming more and more difficult, though not impossible. Another very strong aspect of AD carries is their ability to quickly kill towers in the late game. They have very high DPS, and this is not wasted on a tower. While you cannot critical hit or life steal a tower, it is still very easy for any AD carry to crumble a tower in a matter of seconds.

All-in-all, most of the information I have obtained about my position is from gameplay. While you can learn a lot from guides, it is important to note that player skill plays a larger role than what champion you are, or what items you have. This is why I did not include an item build, as you can usually build one for yourself that fits into your playstyle. If you happen upon this and found it a good read, and maybe want a video guide, I would be happy to post one.

Until next time, happy summoning!   read

12:38 AM on 01.07.2012

3DS, and the amazing Nintendo Corp.

Hello. It's been quite awhile since I've blogged. I've been really busy with..well nothing of importance. BUT. I have some stuff to talk about now :D As you can tell from the title, I will be talking about the 3DS. That little underestimated machine has blown me away.

Okay, so i originally only got the thing because i had a ton of extra money, am a hardcore zelda nerd, and thought the price for the 25th anniversary edition was perfect. I got this to play some Zelda, and maybe race my good friend Miles in Mario Kart 7 every once in awhile. I was in for quite a surprise when i began learning about some of the other features.

First off, the "dashboard" or whatever you want to call the home screen is just amazing. It's organized, not too flashy, and just overall user friendly. I love that. User friendly software is something that Nintendo is pretty fantastic at distributing. So as i looked through some of the features, and set up my wifi and account, I began realizing just how incredible this thing is. I am absolutely in love with the eShop. That is just perfect. I know its been around for awhile, but I still love it. And i love all of the content to come to the eShop. I already downloaded Netflix, Zelda Four Swords, and some awesome pictochat thing.

Another huge feature of the 3DS is of course, the 3D capability. I had seen it before on my friend's 3DS, and wasn't too amazed. I thought it looked way too blurry. The problem was, my eyes weren't used to the picture. If you slowly raise the 3D level as you play, you will be completely amazed at it. I find myself trying to dodge things that i think are flying at me out of the system.

Another thing i like, is the motion control. I enjoy pointing the system around to aim my bow or hookshot on Ocarina of Time. It makes things a lot quicker, and much easier to handle sometimes. Nintendo also included a game known as FaceRaiders. It's an interesting little shooter where you take a picture of your face or someone else's, and it places it within multiple helmets and you get to use the motion controls to try and shoot them. It's not amazing, but it's a fun little free game.

There's so many other things that I could go on and on about with this system, but I am tired. I would like to mention one thing though. The Nintendo Corporation.

Many people enjoy hating on this fantastic company because the wii didn't live up to their standards. Fact of the matter is, most of those people have been completely brainwashed by games like Call of Duty. Not all games have to be shoot em' ups or war-based. I very occasionally enjoy a game or two of CoD, but people seem to be worshiping it at this point. Strange.

Nintendo has a few franchises that they base almost all products on. And they have every right to. Mario? Incredible. Pokemon? Incredible. Zelda? GENIUS. Of course, that's purely opinion, but it's worked for them in the past, and these games do a fantastic job of challenging you while giving you a nice Nintendo feel. I can't think of any other way to describe it. I spent about 2-3 hours earlier today just completing the Water Temple on Ocarina of Time. First time without a guide i might add :D And even though it can be frustrating, the sense of accomplishment after that is incredible. You feel like you really did something. And isn't that what games are supposed to do? Throw you in another world where you can experience a different kind of life?

All I am saying is that Nintendo is an amazing comany. And based on their recent products, and future products, I see them as the most innovative gaming company to date. Everyone always expects them to crash and burn, yet their products always end up doing fairly well on the market.

Until next time <3   read

3:42 PM on 12.19.2011

Giving: 2 consoles 1 christmas

Let's set the scene.
2008, 13 year old boy, sitting around the Christmas tree with his family one early Christmas morning.
Wasn't expecting anything too big that year, as we had just moved into a new house recently and I tend to ask for a lot of things right before Christmas, making them early presents.
As everyone was opening the gifts that were being passed around, a box was handed to me. I looked down at it, as I knew the box size well.

I had been asking for at least some money to go towards a Wii that year, as that was what I really wanted back then.

So I look up at my parents, both grinning. I begin to unwrap the box, and I see the W on it. I immediately began tearing into it like a 7 year old. My memory isn't too great, but I do believe I danced around a bit.
Since I had just received a very, very nice present, I didn't think there was too much more in store for me. The presents continued passing around, and another large box was handed to me. I was astonished. 2 in one christmas? That's not something that normally happens in this family. So i began opening it. It contained an Xbox 360 elite, with 2 controllers, and a very large amount of well known games. I was absolutely awestruck.

I wondered who the master of presents was. I looked over to my mom, thinking that she was once again amazing me. But this year it wasn't her. It was my step dad of two years. He dived into his own money to obtain the Wii that I so often talked about. And this is where my mind was blown.

Shane (my awesome step dad) owned this car. Looked a little bit like the one below. No big deal.

He had a brother-in-law who was attempting to buy this car, and still owed him money on it. Instead of making him pay this money, Shane offered him the car for his Xbox 360 and all of the equipment with it.
THAT. Is the art of giving. He helped this guy obtain a car, a pretty nice one at that, in order to give me the experience of a lifetime. That's a win-win in the giving world!

Not only did he do all of this, but there's more to the story.

I had always seen Shane as a pretty cool guy. I'd talk to him occasionally. We even played a bit of Halo 3 together. But it didn't go much past that. Since he was new in my life, I kinda distanced myself from him. Natural response. But then, out of nowhere, he goes out and does something like this. It's not really the materialistic value that got to me. It's that he went to all this trouble, just to obtain something that I, someone also new in his life, really wanted.

That amazed me. It changed my perspective on everything.
And to top it all off, he later on down the road began paying for an xbox live membership for me, and I've had that membership for years and years, and still actively use it.

That's my story.   read

4:18 PM on 12.14.2011

I love Nightlife and Dungeon Defenders

Hello! I had such a good time writing my last blog, and I pretty much have so little of a life that I'm thinking about making this a daily thing :) I don't believe I got very many views on my last one, but that’s probably because this website is full of bloggers :P ANYWHO. To explain the subject liner, I am writing this while listening to a band known as nightlife. Here’s a link for all my lovers.

So I recently discovered a game known as Dungeon Defenders. Many of you have probably heard of it. I have been playing it nearly nonstop for days now, and I feel like to help kick-start this whole blogging thing, write a kind of review for a game.

So, this game is pretty much the perfect blend of rpg and tower defense. You can choose from any of 4 classes, each with rising difficulties of playability. Once you select your class, you are put in a tavern that acts as a lobby with a shop to buy/sell /upgrade items. It also contains an Eternia Crystal (we’ll get to that later) that you can use to start your various missions or challenges. Here’s a pic.

Okay. Each class has a set of unique abilities that are used to defend the Eternia crystals. Since I have only thoroughly played the Apprentice (mage) class, I will explain his to give an example. The apprentice being set at the easiest to play as, he is able to use various towers that attack the enemy, as well as magical barriers to create strategic defense points. His towers include; magic missile tower, Fireball tower, magical barrier, lightning tower, and a deadly striker tower. Each tower can be useful, depending on the situation. They each have varying ranges/fire rates/attack power.

Along with his towers, the apprentice also utilizes staves and on rare occasions, apprentice swords, which do the same thing as staves, just look different :p There’s a very, very large number of types of staves, as well as other weapons for other classes. The usual way of obtaining weapons is through loot collected throughout missions. You may also buy them from the tavern, and get specific staves from boss fights.
Each character uses a weapon, helmet, chest piece, gloves, boots, and a pet of your choice. These are obtained the same way, through loot, or the other methods mentioned. All of the named pieces have types that can give stat boosting properties, including the weapons. The boosts will affect the stats, which I will put a picture of below to avoid having to describe them right now.

The maximum level for this game is 70, but it takes one hell of a long time to reach that level. I just now hit it a few hours ago, and I play quite more than most people. Even after completing the main story, and a few of the challenges, and constantly trying out survival mode, I am still not bored of this game. I know I could go into a lot more detail, but I’d rather those of you reading this to just find out for yourself. For $15 dollars, this is a massive game, and deserves a lot of your attention.


12:45 AM on 12.13.2011

LAZY blogger by blog #2

So, I intended on writing up a review for a game I've been playing recently as my next blog. But, as I was typing it, I realized i was too lazy to make sure all my facts are straight and everything, so I'd rather talk about something more opinionated, therefore eliminating the need for me to make sure i have everything right.

OKAY so. I have been reading a lot about FPS games. In fact, the first person to ever read my blog had an entire post about it :) talkin to you Elsa. Now, I kind of have to agree with her point. They've all gotten the same. The idea of war-based shooters was fantastic when it first came out. The games were creative, and very well made. Now it's been milked way too far, and the entire idea of it is just plain boring.
For example, I recently started playing a classic FPS, Halo 3. This game had it all. A fantastic futuristic story, with a very creative gameplay style that none could ever match. This is the Halo series. If you take a look at the Halo series' recent games, you may notice that they've begun to follow along the same basic path that all FPS games are. It's just attempting to appeal to the masses, and therefore dropping a lot of the famous gameplay and creativity of the game, by focusing on graphics revamping and gametypes while not paying quite as much attention to the other features.

Now, this isn't a very clear opinion. It's very hard to explain the difference, so what i recommend is that if you own an Xbox 360, try playing halo 3 and then playing halo reach. You will feel a difference. (if you own an xbox 360 and not halo 3 in some form please fix that) While i know they were trying to move everything in a new path and not make it feel like a halo 3 remake, I firmly believe they moved in the wrong direction. The challenge is gone. It's become your basic point and shoot. Halo 3 was a strategic perfection, even in it's forge mode. Any amateur forger knows all the complications of building a halo 3 map, and while it may seem annoying, it builds an incredible sense of pride.

An FPS that seems to have done a very good job with their game is BF3. While i haven't played it myself (financial restrictions) I have heard very very many things about it from very close friends. And every single thing they have said has seemed excellent. While i am no supporter of EA, i am a supporter of DICE and their games. They focus on making the game not feel "linear." They make their game have a very dynamic feel to it. With its vehicle gameplay, it's teamwork focus, and its terrain destruction, this is an FPS masterpiece. The fact that it is actually challenging to become even adequately skilled on this game makes it a great game in my books. I am very tired of games not being challenging at all. I miss the wonderful challenge of games like Halo, CoD4, etc. Remember leveling up on those games? It was a nightmare. And i loved it.

Anyway, that's my personal opinion. Hate on it. Agree with it. Print it out, burn it, and pee on the ashes if you wish. And for my closing note, i would like to let everyone know that it is kind of challenging to write a blog while watching Scrubs, as the show is very distracting and awesome. <3 scrubs. Time to find pictures to add to this. Bye bye lovers

P.S. If you're a skilled blogger, could you please add/pm me and help me with some stuff i am still pretty sketchy on. Like templates, sizing, general tips, etc. <3   read

3:40 AM on 12.12.2011

New guy

I'm new to the blogging community. I've read hundreds of blogs, but never actually attempted it. So i am going to use this opportunity to introduce myself to this fascinating world. Hello. I'm Steven. I'm just a gamer who likes to read reviews and completely study every aspect of a game. I figured that since i do this a lot, i might try my hand at actually writing one of the very things i spend so much of my time reading. I'm not exactly sure what i want to do with this yet, but i do know i will think of something. It's either that or i completely leave this entire thing behind, forget it for about a year, read this, laugh at my failure, and continue on. Since this is a gaming site, i will of course be generalizing my subjects to games that i've played, read about, reviewed, studied, and so on. I would also like to talk about some of the darker parts of the gaming world, including the bashing and rejecting of a lot of our fellow gamers just because of a preference they have that others may not appreciate. I will do that now with the COD series.

This is a very big area of debate. Almost everyone loves to voice their opinion on this title, and a lot of them are becoming harsher and harsher. The problem is, people are only looking at personal opinions, taking offense, and then turning bleak and lashing out at others. I've read and heard so many different things about this title, but nowadays, it usually all says the same thing. This game sucks. Okay. This is kind of a silly thing to say without backing it up with facts, since you're pretty much begging for everyone to become annoyed and begin the age old arguments Talkin to you trolls.

This game title is pretty much seen in 2 perspectives. 1 - It's an "un-game" and 2 - It's a hardcore competitive game. What i don't understand is why people cant realize that its completely possible for it to be neither. In my personal opinion, i see this as a very simple, casual game. This is because i have the ability to control my temper when i am shot and killed repeatedly. A lot of people don't have that. This game isn't necessarily a bad game, people are just looking at it wrong. It's a simple point and shoot game. I don't believe it takes a lot of skill to play a Call of Duty game, as that's all it is. It doesn't include a lot of strategics, and it doesn't need to.

Sometimes you need a break from all the puzzles, strategy, and just complications that can come with other games. Yes, these are very fun, but sometimes you need a break, and what could be a better break than gathering a couple buddies and shootin up some random strangers on a classic FPS? If you take a simple game too seriously, you're bound to get frustrated. All i am attempting to say is that this isn't a bad game, but it's not a very hardcore game either. People are only perceiving it as such when they say that it's bad because other people are attempting to make it seem that way. It's all in the object of perception. And clearly that has been altered.

So go try playing a Call of Duty game, with the intention of just having a good time and blowing off a little steam from a hard day of dungeon crawling in Skyrim ;) If you just see this as a simple game, and not a matter of life or death, then you may be able to laugh a bit when you die, and keep a smile on your face despite the fact that you lost. And on that note, i will end my first attempt at blogging. Hope some people actually read this, because i accidently timed out of the class i was taking while i wrote it. Bye bye.
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