Systems Owned: DS Lite, GCN, GBA, GBA SP, GBC, N64, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS Vita, 3DS
Favorite types of games: FPS, RPG, Action-Adventure, Puzzle
Favorite single player game: Mass Effect
Favorite multi player game: Rock Band
Dislikes: crappy music, Mac lovers, sand.
Really? Another League post Viral? Yes its another league post. I can't help it if I really like the game and am impressed by Riot Games' constant push to evolve the game and how people play it.
This time the folks over at Riot are attempting to fix an all too common matchmaking problem. Let's say you queue up for a ranked 5v5. You wait the queue time, get into the lobby and you see something like this
Summoner 1: Top
Summoner 2: Mid
Summoner 3: Mid
Summoner 2: Too bad called it first
Summoner 1: Nope 3 called it first on my screen
Summoner 4: ADC
Summoner 3: Mid
The argument either escalates from there into a full on verbal war for the lane assignment, or one of the players drops from the champion select screen, thus forcing everyone to go back into queue, among many other plausible outcomes. This is a very frustrating part of any team based game as I'm sure DoTA players or anyone looking for a raiding party in an MMO has encountered. Players want to play the role they are most comfortable with and the one they feel they are the best at. And when playing with people you don't know, a player will usually not trust others to play the role they beileve to be their own.
Now I am not going to say that I have never fought over a role, but I am usually the one that just says "Fuck it." and lets the other player take Top lane (my desired role) while I am relegated to one of my other two roles.
So in order to maybe quash some, if not all of this team infighting even before the game starts, Riot is introducing to their Public Beta Environment (or PBE) what they call Team Builder.
According to Riot Lead Social Systems Designer Lyte, Team Builder is "a new feature coming to PBE... where you can queue up for a specific role, champion and position and get connected with four teammates that also preselected their preferred role. The goal is to build a balanced team where everyone’s in agreement on where they’re going and what they’re playing, and in doing so help lay the foundation for good teamwork. "
Lyte goes on to say that "An ideal champ select is one where all five players get their preferred role and feel like they’re all on the same page for the upcoming match."
And the loftiest of promises made by Lyte in this forum post is as follows "With Team Builder we’ll also be rolling out a smarter matchmaking system that can dynamically account for your experience with a given role, position or champion. First time playing Ahri? Learning how to be a solid Marksman? Venturing into the jungle for the first time? Team Builder’s matchmaking will take all of these factors into account." I have no idea how Riot thinks they can pull this off, but with the amount of data they have on a player both internal, and external (thanks to site like lolking.net which track every player in the world) they might be able to pull at least some of this off.
Now all of this sounds well and good, might even be a huge step in a direction that leads to less team infighting at champion select, better team makeups and overall more competitive matches. But this is all in its early stages and won't hit the PBE until the "near future" if you want more information you can head on over to Lyte's forum post and follow the discussion there.
I for one hope this works, because it would make matchmaking a whole lot less stressful when going into games with randoms.
A few weeks ago Riot games revealed their next champion to be an off the wall criminal wanted by the authorities of Piltover by the name of Jinx. Rumored among the fans to be Vi's sister (though that is becoming more and more unlikely), this quirky master of mischief quickly became something of a crowd favorite for her style, jokes, and the fact that her laugh is longer and even more maniacal than that of Demacia's lady Lux.
Now I don't quite remember when Riot started giving each new champion a log in screen theme, but I have loved it ever since. My personal favorites have been Vi and Diana. Where as Diana's log in music was somber and more of a poem with music behind it, Jinx's theme goes along the lines of Vi's with a rock song belted out by a female vocalist. Jinx;s song is all about blowing up the city of Piltover, mowing down security robots and just causing havoc. But rather than just let it belt out every time you log in, Riot has seen fit to up the ante once again and give Jinx her own music video.
The video mixes cg and cartoons pretty well, where all the explosions are in a cartoon/anime style, and the smoke effect coming off of Jinx's bombs and guns follow the same style. Overall I think the video fits the character very well and am exited to see Riot maybe do this again with more of their upcoming champions bringing them to life outside the Summoner's Rift.
Say what you will about Riot Games and their flagship title League of Legends, the folks over at Riot seem to genuinely care for the overall health of their community. From the Tribunal, to the Honor Initiative, Riot has seemingly done more to reduce the toxicity in their community than other companies who cater to a multiplayer audience. Though warning, and banning players isn't the best solution according to Riot, they are not afraid of dropping the hammer on any player, be they a normal League player or even a pro, like last year's ban of Team Dignitas' IWillDominate.
In this ongoing effort the folks over at Riot believe that it isn't just about removing the toxic players, but that encouraging those players to change their attitudes will ultimately help curve the toxicity to a more tolerable level, even to one where toxic players are a small minority instead of the norm. With that in mind they have recently released the video "Teamwork OP" on their youtube channel.
In the video Riot points out that teams and players with a better attitude tend to win more games. You might be thinking "Duh. Of course people who don't rage and help each other out win more." And you are correct, but Riot also states something that, I at least, had never thought of. How much more games does your average toxic/rager player lose? According to Riot its about 35% (they clarify that it is for those players with a negative report history, so the number might be bigger since not everyone is reported).
I am not sure how videos like this will work out for Riot's attempts at getting players to relax and play as a team rather than flame and rage at each other. But hey at least they are trying to work with the players and encourage behavior changes, rather than just outright banning them and just fueling the toxic behavior. Maybe other games could use programs like the Honor Initiative or simple videos like this, maybe then we won't have to hide the chat or mute everyone who isn't a friend of ours right off the bat.
I have been here on Destructiod for years, discovered the site way back when Halo 3 came out and became a fan almost instantly thanks to Old Podtoid, Retroforce Go and everything that was going on back then. It has been a fun ride and I have cherished every second of it, I 'm grateful for my time here at Dtoid and its community. So when this month's blog topic rolled around it took me a little while to think about what to write on the matter. I could have written about the forming of 321Go, but I already did that. I could have talked about PAX 2010, but did that already too Then I thought of something I could write about, and it, along with so many more things that have happened because of Destructoid, is probably one of the coolest moments of my life.
I don't remember when exactly it was that I figured it out, but it was definitely during a post 321GoCast Skype call a few years ago. Analoge, Ryu89 and myself were just talking and hanging around as usual when the topic got us talking about the forums. We got talking about the badges,which ones we had and which ones we wished we did.
"I wish I had the Legendary Dtoider"
I said as we continued to talk about it and the mystery behind how people got to be considered Legendary in this community.The community that brought us together and was instrumental in forming the Goof Troop. Seconds later Analoge stopped me and said that I should check out my profile on the forums. What awaited me was nothing less than the Legendary Dtoider Badge. I was shocked to see the badge above my avatar among the other badges I have earned, and I couldn't believe it.
Imagine my surprise when I saw it. 4 years after joining Destructoid officially and becoming a part of the community, I had somehow earned the right to be someone that the forum mods consider legendary. It was, and still is, mind blowing to this day. I teared up a bit when I saw it, I still get a little choked up when I think about it.
When I sit back and think about my time here at Destructoid, I don't consider it legendary... I mean what could I have done to deserve this honor? I don't even frequent the forums enough to be synonymous with them. I can't begin to fathom what makes me legendary.
Knowing that I have that badge, however small it may be, however insignificant a badge on a forum may seem to other people, that badge means the world to me. It is a big part of my life, calling myself a Dtoider, counting my self among this big wonderful bunch of nerds, geeks, and gamers who share a passion for what they do, and they play. Dtoid is as much a part of my life as my family is and to be considered among its Legendary members, is a memory i will cherish for a long time.
December 22, 2009 was the first official release of 321GoCast episode 1 (which you can still get on iTunes and RSS feeds until I take down the podbean account in a month) What a lot of DTOIDers,, including those involved with it, called the spiritual successor to FailCast debuted 3 years ago. Though the show has changed its roster, format, where is it presented weekly and its time slot, 321GoCast is (as far as I know) the longest running Destructoid community production podcast/show in DTOID history. As the guy most closely associated with the show I thought it a good idea to give a retrospective on something that has been a huge part of my life for the past 3 years.
In the beginning
321GoCast started as the brainchild of Crocbox, who suggested that our weekly Dungeons and Dragons pre and post game chatter was funny enough to share with the DTOID population. The sessions, which featured the like of Analoge, Cataract, King3vbo, Cataract, Crocbox and myself) were just silly banter, ribbing on each other and talking about random topics. We agreed that it would be a fun idea and after a month or so of planning, working out logistics and schedule, we sat down and recorded. For the first couple of months or so the show was broken up into 10 to 15 minute segments, since our designated recorder only had the trial version of the software suite Pamela, which only allowed for short segments to be recorded at at time. We decided to fill the gaps between segments with songs, which at first were suggested by the cast members, then based off the current conversation, until ultimately it devolved into whoever edited the show decided which songs to use. The first official line up for the show members was Ryu89, Analoge, myself, and a guest host which changed every week for about a month or so. We used silly blog intro paragraphs for each show and through the first 15 or 20 episodes I went through and highlighted stuff that we talked about, which came to be known as the epic Show Notes.
Editing became the first issue that plagued the podcast. Since day one Ryu and Analoge had an ongoing argument about who should do the editing. Ryu was our principal editor for a majority of the early episodes. But as with anything involving The Goof Troop (Analoge, King3vbo, Pangloss, Ryu, Dyganth, and myself) someone eventually get tired of doing their part, in this case Ryu grew tired of editing and handed that duty over to Analoge. Editing came to a screeching halt after the release of episode 45 or so.
Another issue was scheduling, but as with anything being produced by people in different time zones, scheduling always gets in the way.
One of the coolest parts about 321GoCast has been our many, and even recurring guests over the years. The likes of community members Stella Wong, Mikey Turvey, Garison, Philanthr0py, Bill Zoeker(RIP Billy Zoe), Spaceburrito, Rubyfair, Catarct, etc. It has also featured Dtoid staffers, such as Zodiac Eclipse, Jordan Devore, Powerglove, Conrad Zimmerman, and Chad Concelmo. We got to talk to these people, generally shoot the shit and have a fun time while doing it. Jokes were made about Stella being our emergency guest (which was true) and fun times were had by all.
Beyond our wildest expectations, and our inside joke about Stella being our only listener, we actually got a decent following here on Dtoid. It was enough to get us a badge on the forums, our segment (however unused it was) on the community shows subforum, recognition from the cblog recaps, a successful charity show, and invited to be the first community based show on the still relatively new Dtoid.tv. This added more recognition as the show added not only new guests, but viewers. With the start of StreamToid, 321GoCast moved over to the community based streaming channel and is more or less its flagship program.
We started out with just Ryu, Analoge, Crocbox and Me. Croc being extremely busy dropped out soon after, then we had Cataract for a few episodes and he had to drop as well. Our longest running foursome was Ryu, Analoge, Tactix who joined soon after his second consecutive guest appearance, and me. After being on the live channel for a while Tactix left us, and finally Analoge did as well. Now the foursome is Chris "Bleachboy" Healy, Ryu 89, Pangloss, and myself, though we will soon be saying goodbye to Pangloss as he prepares to go live in the land of moon runes and anime.
The end my friends
One last thing Id like to tell you guys about 321GoCast is just how ridiculous this whole thing has been. Coming from being a no name community member, who lurked for a while, change his username and was an avid listener of all the dtoid and community shows, it just is surreal to be writing this right now.
I have had a very weird success in my life with this show. I have grown as a person, gained friends, a reputation, recognition and just overall satisfaction with how I run my silly little round table show. I just want to finish this up before I tear up and thank everybody involved with the show, everybody who has ever listened, subscribed to our RSS feed and iTunes, Dtoid.tv for letting 4 guys with no idea what to talk about most of the time take up a Sunday evening time slot for about a year or so, and I personally want to thank my friends in the Goof Troop for being there for me and the show for such a long damned time. Three years of 321GoCast and I don't plan on stopping any time soon.
Thank you everybody.
[Here are two fun little segments from past shows if you have never seen or heard 321Go before. Here and here More highlights can be found on the Dtoid.tv highlights page!]