Fresh outta college, one of those stereotypical, bumbling jobless "journalists" wanting to become a "vidya gaems jarnalist". And so the hunt for a job he likes begins! And no, he's not going back to school to become a pharmacist technician, like his mom nags him to be.
I also have a YouTube channel (above image). Self-taught video editing! I'm still unemployed you know, potential hirers!
~ Favorite games
- Red Dead Redemption
- Shadow of the Colossus
- Mass Effect 2
- Yoshi's Island
- Monday Night Combat
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- Super Mario World
In the game, you play as a multitude of people with geometrically sound heads. Except for one guy possibly. What's up with his head. It's weird I guess.
The art style of Dan Paladin really makes the gameplay pop allegedly. If the gameplay was to be transplanted onto another game, it would probably be really boring maybe. But the art, combined with the sense of humor which may or may not be present is really good most likely. I cannot confirm or deny anything.
Gameplay modes range between one and one hundred. They're all supposedly good modes if I were up to divulging that information if I really knew. There's a mode where you do some things and another where you do a completely different set of things in order to win against people who are most likely playing against you. But who's to say they aren't? You could be playing with them. You could say it may be almost like cooperation. The kind of cooperation that would require teamwork to accomplish goals one cannot complete on his own. But hey, you can think whatever you want. I didn't say anything specific. Maybe they were robots. I hear robots do that sometimes if sources are to be believed; I don't.
Robots? Maybe. Super robots? Just as likely.
There are other things you can do which probably exist within the realm of this topic. I'm pretty sure but cannot confirm that there are other things besides the things as described in Where The Wild Things Are. But those things might have something in common with said film/book in that they are wild things, in the sense that they're fun.
I hope you're still following along because I cannot actually be constructively specific and we're just wandering into why are you writing this territory.
Running! We're running into it!
If you're a fan of Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers, than most likely it'll appeal to you. For reasons you can come to yourself because we're not here to be specific. Battling of the Blocks Des La Theatre is fun in a really specific way. But hopefully my vague enthusiasm will convince you to check it out when it releases someday.
No, seriously. It'll be someday. There's no hard release date besides Spring 2013.
Mass Effect 3: Reckoning is definitely one of the largest DLC packs Bioware has introduced to the multiplayer game. It's hard to believe that a game with such celebrated single-player would receive so much multiplayer support over the year. And it now comes to a close with Reckoning with it's six new character kits, new weapons, and new gear. The first week has definitely been a baptism by fire as many players got their hands hands on the new kits and figured out the strengths and limitations of the new characters, figuring out what works and what doesn't. I've unlocked three new character kits myself so far, which is a personal best for me so far when new DLC is involved with the way the RNG store works for me: the Talon Mercenary Engineer, the Female Turian Cabal Vanguard, and the Geth Juggernaut.
The Talon: how does I shot omni-bow? The Talon has been put through its paces and overall, people are finding his gimmick, the omni-bow, to be rather underwhelming. Even if people have found the bow to do even respectable damage, its DPS and charge functionality is lackluster.
The Talon has no traditional melee. Using the melee function instead triggers an omni-bow which fires a quick spread shot on a light attack and a focus fire of three arrows on a charged shot. Asides from a trip mine, his other two power load special arrows into his omni-bow: a set of concussive arrows or a set of armor piercing arrows. All his powers use his load of grenades, which in turn are slowly regenerated on his self which is supposed to lessen his reliance on returning to the ammo box.
Unfortunately, the one thing the Talon has in common with all other engineers is his low base shields and health. Strangely, he lacks everything that most engineers has like good support powers or crowd control but he still retains the shields that make his class a liability. This further punctuates the disconnect between the strength of his offense and the weakness of his defense. Most engineers lack defense but make up for it in other ways. The Geth Engineer can repair shields and the Salarian Engineer can set a holographic Decoy. But the Talon is focused on dealing damage, and he isn't particularly good at it. If his gimmick is a constant secondary, it doesn't do enough damage. But he depends on using his limited powers to supply decent damage.
This is before mentioning the crippling bugs such as the overdraw glitch which causes him to draw his bow too long.
Verdict: Not enough damage, not enough shields. How's a mercenary supposed to do his work like this?
The Cabal: reverse vanguard The Female Turian Cabal Vanguard is the first demonstration of a female Turian outside of the Omega DLC. The Cabal Vanguard is weird contextually because she uses poison and venom as opposed to what other sci-fi mumbo jumbo like biotic warp fields or even fire afterburn. Despite that, nearly all her options focus on damage over time, which makes her consistent design wise.
Her main attack is Poison Strike, which can be summarily described as a Biotic Charge in reverse; you need to get in close to your target, pass through them to damage them, where you'll then phase through them and end up far away from them instead of near them. Thinking of Poison Strike this way is important though, because over the course of the few days Reckoning was out, most people assumed the attack was bugged. Most N7 operatives complained that the attack rarely ever hit without thinking of it as a Biotic Charge in reverse.
Speaking of Poison Strike, she also has some of the fastest teleports in the game. Compared to the Fury's and Slayer's teleports, her's respond faster and move quicker. Combined use of her Poison Strike for forward momentum and her teleports for horizontal shifts accentuate her goal of mobile combat.
Effective use of the Cabal means a deep understanding of when and where to use all your powers and options. Biotic Focus is a self buff that activated damage resistance, speed buffs, and can be specced for instant barrier refilling. Nightshade Blades is basically the Batarian Soldier's Ballistic Blades but running off a grenade counter. It can even be specced to explode like Ballistic Blades! And it is her most damaging attack and is her only answer for immediate damage when Poison Strike is still cooling down, especially on bosses. Her DoT is pitiable against the high health of bosses.
Using the Cabal effectively is about constant, flowing movement in both her physical position and her use of powers. You should constantly be using Biotic Focus, Poison Strike, Nightshade Blades, and Biotic Focus again with your melee and weapons to continuously do damage and stay out of harm's way. Her Turian body offers some resilience but she can't refill her barrier like a lot of other vanguards and Biotic Focus doesn't let her tank damage forever. Shield gate works by eliminating whatever extra damage that would've carried over from breaking your shield but it only works once every couple seconds and Biotic Focus doesn't give enough survivability to refresh the shield gate mechanic.
Verdict: Decent DoT coupled with high mobility options means the Cabal can get in and get out without much trouble. She needs a decent mid-grade weapon to balance damage and recharge rates but when it comes to getting someplace and a degree of crowd control, the Cabal is an unorthodox but effective kit.
The Juggernaut: a wall with a gun Most Geth kits are damage machines (get it?). With a good weapon and Hunter Mode, almost all Geth kits become incredible glass cannons. The Juggernaut however, goes where even the Geth Trooper cannot; a pure tanking role. The Trooper might have 1,000 base shields but the Juggernaut tops that with 2,100 by default and if you want, you can spec for a 110% increase. Yes, one upgrade can catapault the Juggernaut's shields to 4,100 shields plus unlike the other Geth, the Juggernaut has a high health to match.
Further pushing the Juggernaut's tank role is his heavy melee attack, which drains enemy health for shield refill! One-on-one, the Juggernaut can single-handedly divert aggro from any boss enemy by draining their health and refilling his shields! He can also erect a shield wall to block all forms of fire (including your own and allies) and even your own Geth Turret to repair shields. He also has a Seige Pulse much like Geth Primes, but it can be specced so that the three pulse shots he normally stores to fire can be held in for 10% damage resistance each.
All this comes at a price though. The Juggernaut has absolutely no form of evasive movement. He can't even run though thankfully, because he can't outrun sync-killers, he is also the only kit in the game that is immune to instant kills. Still he also can't take cover, so if the Juggernaut finds himself in a bad position, he won't be able to outrun enemy fire like most characters can. In those cases, you'll have to be smart about how you approach situations and how you'll be using your options to effectively tank damage and refill your shields.
After playing him for nearly one hundred waves already, I can safely say that this kit has the most potential for diverse builds. So many upgrades can drastically change the way you can play him that you'll have to simply figure out how you'll want to play him and settle on one. For example, you can upgrade his shields by 110% but such a major upgrade in defense actually decreases all damage you do by 15% (which is what it means when its called Power Transfer). A popular upgrade for Seige Pulse is definitely damage resistance, but after that, you can either upgrade its damage by a mind boggling 60% or increase the number of shots store by one, giving you another shot for your DPS and another 10% for your DR (totaling to 40%, on a character with potentially 4,100 shields). Hex Shield can be specced offensively or for increased defensive utility. And many people should be familiar with how the Geth Turret can be flexible (flamethrower or super fast shield repairs?). The opposing upgrade to Power Transfer gives your allies a 10% damage buff when they stay near you.
Just keep in mind that even forgoing Power Transfer, the Juggernaut does not have the same capacity for damage buffs like the other Geth and Hunter Mode. The Juggernaut's lack of speed and lack of Hunter Mode means it gets left in the dust compared to the stock Geth kits.
Verdict: Despite the high shields, the Juggernaut is actually better suited to being categorized as support than an actual combat kit. Draw the attention of high threat units and allow your allies to either focus fire them at their leisure or seek out other priority targets like long range artillery units.
I still have the Awakened Collector Adept, the Krogan Warlord, and the Alliance Infiltration Unit to unlock. I'm cautiously optimistic to try the Warlord, curious of how I should handle the Collector, and hoping to unlock the Alliance Infiltrator before Bioware caves and nerfs her somehow.
Here's to hoping for another week of luck for the RNG store.
Fire Emblem Awakening has always been one of the tougher SRPG's available for people and it's never been terribly forgiving. After all, you're not churning out Infantry to be thrown in front of a tank in an effort to save key units. These are actual characters who will permanently die, at least on Classic mode. Keeping units alive while the enemy almost always has superior numbers can be tough and I've done my fair share of restarts to save units. But after crossing a threshold, I've come to realize important tips that will make your career on Fire Emblem Awakening significantly easier.
It's dangerous to go alone! The support system in place allows nearby units to dispense useful combat buffs when friends enter combat, so long as they're adjacent. At first, these buffs are small, like a +10 to their hit percentage. However, the deeper you forge their bonds, the better their buffs become, which will become the corner stone to your success. Soon, companions fighting together will share +15 buffs to critical chance, evasion, and even support blocks! The beginning of the game will be lenient but in time, you'll have to milk your supports for all their worth as the enemies both become stronger and more numerous.
When an entire league of generals comes bearing down on your swordsmaster and warrior pair, you'll be glad the odds of avoiding four straight attacks will be in your favor. Not to mention the additional counterattacks the both of them will be supplying.
You two are going to slay our enemies and do it as friends dammit!
Use the buddy system The Pair Up mechanic allows one unit to join another, becoming one single unit in the process. While this is useful to keep support units together at all times, the key difference is that you sacrifice quantity for quality; in addition to support buffs, the supporting unit imparts tangible, relevant upgrades to the main unit's stats. For example, if you want to make a physical death machine, you could pair up a cavalier with a knight, combining the cavalier's high movement with the knight's defense and attack. Or if you're worried your fighter will be fighting a lot of mages, you can pair him up with your own mage to buff his resistance to mage attacks.
While you should be careful about reducing the total number of combatants as well as how much experience you'll be dividing up (the support units only receive experience if they actually participate in combat), you'll invariably end up using the Pair Up system to take on powerful enemies you wouldn't otherwise want to fight individually.
The Pair Up system also has tertiary strategies you can get out of the switch and separate commands. By switching, you swap the lead unit with the support unit along with how the buffs are handed out. That fighter/mage couple with extra resistance is now a mage/fighter pair with extra defense and skill! But that's not all! Even though the pair is technically one unit, they still retain their individual HP bars. If your lead gets in over his head and your healer is too far away, he can switch with his support unit and he can safely hide on the side while your new main unit steps out with a fresh health bar.
Remember that cavalier/knight combo I mentioned back then? What if you just need to keep them separate but need your knight to get somewhere fast? Just have the knight hop onto the cavalier, have him transport him as far as he can, then have the knight separate from the cavalier at their destination. Viola! You're knight just moved as far as a cavalier and is ready to block some choke points while the cavalier can ride the flank at once. This strategy also works without the separation. Load your lord onto a pegasus knight and switch out before attacking the enemy. You got all the movement of a pegasus, the power of a lord, with the support for both!
Read the battlefield Hitting the X button to see the enemy's active threat range is an important tool. With this, you can stay just outside of an attack and have the fight come on your terms. Or, you can put a strong defensive forward as a vanguard with some support right behind him to draw enemies out. But when it comes to reading the battlefield, you always have to look ahead, both physically and chronologically. Make sure you're not forgetting to notice some archer that's ready to one-shot your pegasus knight. Or make sure your knight isn't in over his head facing three mercenaries and two mages in one turn. I can't tell you how many times I've restarted when I've overlooked just how many enemies swarmed over one unit and wiped him in one turn. It's good to draw out the enemy with a unit that you know will survive most but you might overlook he's within range of a few horse riders who will suddenly add one more attack you didn't take into account.
Don't be afraid to wander into your enemy's threat range. But be mindful and scope the battlefield for all threats and assess accordingly. You could move your pegasus knight ahead, who can dodge most barbarian attacks. But you can also select individual enemy units with the A button to highlight them and their own threat range. This way, you can judge whether or not you can move to a certain position based on how hot it can get. Losing a unit can be a difference as small as one skirmish, especially one you didn't see coming.
It's difficult to manuever into an advantageous position if you simply avoid the front lines and wait for the enemy to come to you. Look at what units the enemy has at the front lines and send in a strong survivor to draw them out onto your terms. If there a lot of mages for example, pegusas knights typically have a lot of resistance if they get hit at all. If there lots of myrmidons, an armored knight can easily take a few blows and draw them onto your playing field. If there are lots of barbarians, an assassin with a sword can dodge 99% of their attacks!
Don't forget about unique terrain either. Most of the time, you'll be fighting on open space. But always keep an eye out for forests outdoors, mountain sides, forts, and even pillars indoors. Those extra precious points in evasion and defense will count a lot when you think a rush of enemies are incoming.
Pictured: Villager class. Not pictured: Power absolute
How to have class It can be tempting to use a Master Seal and promote your units straight away to their prestiged classes but doing that can waste a lot of potential with skill builds.
Take Gaius for example. He starts off as a thief, which isn't a particularly good class to be picking fights with. You could prestige him right away to make him a better fighter but wait! If you use the Second Seal instead, he can become a myrmidon who can earn a skill for an instant +10 to avoid and Vantage, a skill useful for pre-empting enemy attacks. Not only that, but you by the time you use the Second Seal to become a myrmidon, Gaius will have earned a +1 movement skill to benefit him during his time as a myrmidon. By the time he hits level 10 to prestige into an assassin, he'll have +1 movement, +10 avoid, and Vantage to go along with his new class and boosted base stats. Something much more intimidating than just an assassin who came straight off of the thief class.
You Avatar character actually has the advantage of being able to change into any other class, thereby giving you free reign to learn any number of skills to take with you into your final, endgame class. Try becoming a mercenary to learn Thriftarm, then changing back into a tactician with access to powerful spell tomes. You'll be able to use those powerful spellbooks so long, most ordinary mages would have broke through them three times over.
Frederick! If you haven't figured it out, Frederick is a bit of a crutch. The reason he's so powerful is because he's already a prestiged class; a great knight with pre-leveled weapon skills. If you feed him too many kills, he simply won't earn a decent amount of XP due to being an advanced class and you'll also be denying your other units valuable XP. Learn to balance your unit leveling rather than focusing on a handful of stronger units. Even when your enemies begin to appear with intimidating level ranges, the support system in place will keep your units competitive, even if they're several levels below the average. It's all in teamwork!
These tips should be sufficient to get you through most normal situations. Keep in mind I'm playing on Normal and Classic whereas Lunatic is supposedly many times more difficult (apprarently, enemies come standard with skills that automatically halve your defenses or always hit). Still, these strategies should be miles better than just diving in using normal Advance Wars mentalities.
Since part 1, 2 and 3 of the history of Pokémon's metagame, there have been a lot of recurring themes and ideas. Every generation had at least one powerful and memorable change that easily makes it the reason why everyone remembers that generation. Also, the metagame at this point has been ancient history to many trainers.
But now we're in our 4th generation with the Diamond/Pearl generation, or DP generation. DP was the first Pokémon game on the DS and it’s still fresh in many trainers' minds. But in my opinion, the changes brought forth in DP were some of the biggest changes ever. Old contenders flailed about in the wake of these changes. Old ideas had to be reworked as long held mechanics were turned on their head. And much like SkarmBliss and Curselax before it, one thing so defined the generation that it would be forever remembered no matter how much the metagame may change in the future. Many readers are probably familiar enough with the DP generation to know many of the things I'll be talking about.
The 4th Generation: The Second Great Split and Getting Rocks Up
Up until now, one of the strongest special attackers in the game, Gengar, would never be caught dead actually using a ghost-type attack. That's because ghost-type attacks were calculated with the Pokémon's attack stat. So even if Gengar were to use a ghost-type attack for Same Type Advantage Bonus (STAB, which is a 50% increase in damage) it would be vastly inferior to something like Thunderbolt, as even without STAB, its special attack was much better.
Since the RBY generation, typed attacks which gave off an impression of having a physical presence used the attack stat while types with a vaguely magic-like impression used special attack. But this mechanic was changed in the DP generation. Many people call it the physical/special split.
Now, individual attacks, regardless of type, would use attack or special attack because it was deemed physical or special. Now Gengar could use a STAB ghost attack, which used its superior special attack, like Shadow Ball. A much more physically inclined ghost-type like Dusknoir could use Shadow Punch, which is obviously physically based. Now every Pokémon could have a reliable STAB move and not have to worry about whether or not it had the power to back it up.
Old walls like the classic SkarmBliss combo would now have to rethink what kind of hits they will be taking. In the past, Skarmory would take a fighting attack no problem with its powerful defense. But despite being a fighting attack, Aura Sphere would hit Skarmory's much weaker special defense and it would take quite a bit of damage. Likewise, Blissey used to take special attacks like water-type moves all day. But now Waterfall is a physical water attack, which would simply blow holes in Blissey's health pool.
As foreshadowed in the previous installments, the metagame has slowly been picking up speed since the stall and defensive teams of GSC. But it's now come to a head in DP as trainers began favoring effective damage output over minimizing oncoming damage.
Look over the overused tiers of many websites and you'll see a recurring attribute in many Pokémon in the OU: speed. While defensive Pokémon are certainly not hard to find at all, many of the most threatening Pokémon are either naturally fast or have access to Agility. Adding more to the offensive theme of DP was the introduction of two new Choice hold items. While held, one of the user's stats is instantly boosted by 50% at the cost of locking them into a move for as long as they remain on the field. Choice Band, which has been around since RSE, boosted attack. Choice Specs on the other hand, boosted special attack while Choice Scarf boosted speed. These Choice items meant that in return for becoming predictable, a Pokémon could attack right away without spending a turn to set up with a boosting move like Swords Dance or Agility.
But believe it or not, the faster pace of DP is not the main thing to take away from DP. One move alone transformed the metagame to the same degree as Alakazam in RBY, Curselax in GSC, and Sand Stream Tyranitar in RSE. And we're not talking about a Pokémon here! That move was Stealth Rocks.
Stealth Rocks is an entry hazard like Spikes. Every time a Pokémon arrives on the field, it receives damage immeditely due to the presence of entry hazards. However, unlike Spikes, which does a percent of damage based on the number of layers of Spikes in play, Stealth Rocks did a percent of damage based type resistance to rock-type attacks. Stealth Rocks only needs to be used once, but if you sent out a flying-type Pokémon while Stealth Rocks were on your playing field, it would instantly lose 25% of its health. God forbid you send out something like Ninjask, which was part bug and part flying. That's 50% of its health gone just from arriving on the field!
The metagame was shaped like clay with the existence of Stealth Rocks. When Pokémon were analyzed for competitive power in DP, the first thing that was examined was its resistance to Stealth Rock. You could expect Stealth Rock to be present in many matches because many Pokémon in the lead position are put on the front just because they were fast and could immediately use get rocks up. Though Spikes has existed for a while before Stealth Rocks, the convenience of only needing one turn to set it up and the return in potentially crippling some Pokémon while getting residual damage on most other Pokémon made Stealth Rocks so prevalent that many positions were either designated for Stealth Rocks or became more wide spread because of it.
Leads would get rocks up, anti-leads would attempt to use Taunt and prevent rocks from being set up, Spinners would use the move Rapid Spin to remove entry hazards, and Spin Blockers were defensive ghost-types who would block the use of Rapid Spin and keep entry hazards on the field. To put it simply, get used to Stealth Rocks because you'll see it a lot in competitive battling.
And now for the threats: I've already mentioned Gengar. It was blessed by the physical/special split and could now begin using STAB special attacks like Shadow Ball. Starmie also continued to be important in OU but was now in as high demand as ever since it was one of the few Pokémon that learned Rapid Spin to get rid of those pesky rocks. Aerodactyl actually gets a mention here now as it discovered a niche as a suicide lead. Despite its low defenses and predictable move pool, trainers used Aerodactyl's speed to guarantee Stealth Rocks while it also had access to Taunt, which prevents all moves that didn't directly attack. That means you could prevent enemy Stealth Rocks then get your own rocks up. But probably the biggest threat, much in the same way as Curselax and Alakazam before it, was Scizor. With its new ability, Technician, which multiplies the base power of attacks that are 60 or less by 1.5, Scizor also gained a new attack which gelled perfectly with Technician: Bullet Punch. With a base power of 40, STAB, Technician, and first move priority all working together with a Choice Band, nothing really wants to take one of these bad boys. Scizor is the reason why Magnezone rose in popularity with its natural resistance to anything Scizor could throw plus its Magnet Pull ability to trap Scizor!
Many of the Pokémon who fell from grace during this generation fell because of the introduction of the Choice items. While Snorlax is still powerful, Pokémon using Choice Band could immediately hurt it before Snorlax would set up with Curse. Alakazam finally fell from the borderline tier to underused since Choice Scarf allowed many threatening Pokémon to outspeed it. Rhyperior, the evolution to Rhydon, simply fell to UU because of the new competition it is facing from things like the faster attacking Agility-Metagross and the new Gliscor, which could recover health with Roost.
Many new threats are only pseudo-new, as many new powerful Pokémon were new evolutions of older Pokémon. Weavile is another textbook example of high speed, high attack but uniquely as an ice-type, which is in high demand to combat dragons. Togekiss became notorious for the paraflinch strategy, paralyzing with Thunder Wave then flinching endlessly with Air Slash boosted by Serene Grace. With paralysis and Serene Grace flinching together, the opponent statistically only has a 30% of actually doing anything. Infernape gained fame for being an extremely fast, mixed, glass cannon. Walls have a tough time against Infernape because chances are, Infernape is carrying both physical and special attacks to break through any wall unless it was also mixed in terms of defense.
With the expanding size of choices in Pokémon in its fourth iteration and the increasing strength of sweepers, the pool of questionable Pokémon was growing. Do not mistaken Pokémon regulated to the neverused tier as being bad though. Creative and persistent trainers can certainly design teams to support the shortcomings of certain Pokémon like Gardevoire, Luxray, or Ninetails. Typhlosion is deemed an NU Pokémon but I certainly liked using it on my Sunny Day teams, spraying powerful Flamethrowers and Solarbeams. But trainers must remember that with Stealth Rocks and many powerful Pokémon being popular, tiers in Pokémon's metagame simply exist as a guide for you. No one's saying you can't be successful with Charizard. Just remember that it faces stiff competition from things like Infernape or even Arcanine. And unlike the previous two, Charizard will lose a lot of health from Stealth Rocks.
Next time on the history of Pokémon’s metagame, we tackle Black and White, the current generation! We’ll explore not just unexplored territory but probably history in the making as well. More new abilities define incredibly powerful threats and old champions return with some of their former glory! But all is not well as some people suspect that the metagame in the 5th generation may be somewhat broken and overpowered!
Do you find multiplayer enjoyable? The challenge of a human opponent who can do everything you can do, as opposed to an AI can be a thrilling challenge. However, I enjoy multiplayer but at its base level, to an almost barbaric sense: to dominate another. To assert my authority over others. To demonstrate my superiority. Hell, I usually pick barb in D&D sessions, so I might as well be a full blown Mongolian descendant of Ghengis Khan. Granted, I can't be good at everything. After all, not everyone can be MacGuyver. But I enjoy consistent multiplayer experiences. Games where you're informed of what is happening and why things happen. If I'm playing Monday Night Combat, I know as an Assassin why that Tank killed me; because I he figured out where I was and I let him get in too close. This as opposed to spawning in and suddenly getting an air strike dropped on me in Call of Duty. Those are the moments where you're left wondering why?
Consistency is all I ask for in a game. Like saying that my bullets will go where I aim as opposed to where I was aiming one second ago. In any other sense, I might be excited that my gun is existing in an alternative time stream but not during a one-on-one firefight. But games aren't perfect and as long as we need the internet to play varied people across the world, lag will always be present. Not all games can be like Columbo. Head-to-head is always going to be plagued by issues of latency and balance. But do you know how to score that lust for superiority without all the muss of playing against other people of varying connections? Playing with people of varying connections with a scoreboard.
I'm kind of surprised at how much enjoyment I get out of Mass Effect 3's multiplayer outside of how it mechanically plays and the universe of Mass Effect. Even though you're technically working together, the scores can say a lot as long as you're not a Volus, since Volus are largely support oriented with their Shield Boosts. Imagine playing a competitive multiplayer game (let's say Black Ops 2. Why not?) and you find out the hard way that most of your teammates have the collective skill of a gerbil crawling over a gamepad. All you can do is get the occasional kill or flag while the rest of your team feeds the enemy kills for their streaks.
Now imagine playing a cooperative game. Sure, if your teammates are constantly dying and leaving all the heavy lifting to you, they're not really helping you out. But then again, there's nothing more satisfying then the feeling of finishing a wave yourself where everyone else died pathetic deaths.
It's weird to me when you run into bad players on old games. You'd think the only people still playing are dedicated, hardcore players. But no, for Mass Effect 3, I still run into people who fall to the bottom of the scores, playing with setups that miss the point of the class entirely. I'm not telling you there's a right or wrong way to play a class. I will say that if you're an Asari Adept, it would benefit you to remove all that heavy weaponry since being able to use Warp and Throw quickly on such a frail class. I mean, Adepts don't have a whole lot of shields to sustain continuous fire from that big assault rifle. We can't all be Magnum PI, now can we?
Every time I solo boss enemies, every time I revive you, every time I complete the objectives, you're placing your life in my hand. The next time a Scion blasts your socks off, I will seriously consider leaving you on the ground to bleed out so you can ghost cam someone better like me. Maybe then you'll actually learn something.
There's still quite a bit of animosity involved despite mechanically being a cooperative game. People still make rash assumptions based on things as petty as what personalization card you're using or the class you've decided to play as. I remember a time when Drells were discriminated against. No, I'm not talking about the world of Mass Effect where Drell are typically seen as religiously fanatic assassins who usually work for Hanar and can be seen as outsiders in Citadel space. I'm talking about how Drell were scoffed out due to their low base health, leading people to believe they were useless on a real N7 mission. If I decided to play as a Drell, I was liable to attract votes for a kick. But then comes that moment when only two votes are tallied and the mission starts anyways. And then the Drell proceeds to earn twice the score of the 2nd place operative and survive the mission while the other three bleed out at the LZ after being swarmed by Husks and Brutes.
The best part? It's a cooperative game but there's room for personal glory above the others. But then the deliciously hilarious moment when everyone else leaves the room when it's obvious you're staying.
Gears of War, Left 4 Dead, Castle Crashers, and even a campaign based game like Borderlands 2 has all the edge of competition while remaining cooperative. Left 4 Dead scores after every chapter, there's a constant arms race in Borderlands 2, and even Castle Crashers pits your against your friends in a bid to earn the kiss of the fair princess. I've seen countless videos of Portal 2 coop of friends simply screwing each other over.
Sure, from our view, shoehorning multiplayer sounds like a waste of potential. But think of it from another stand point. After I finish Mass Effect 3, what point is there to going back? Even if I do, it's still the same story. Tomb Raider doesn't even feature branching decisions, granted its multiplayer is head-to-head. Still, it's made to bring people back after the game's shelf life has long passed for an individual. Maybe you'll want to pass on some gimmicky multiplayer but experiences of couch multiplayer in my childhood were sparse. Since internet connectivity is here to let us reach out with online multiplayer, I'll take my chances to reach out online and make someone look foolishly unskilled.
Hello fellow Pokemon trainers! I am Marcel! The current reigning Pokemon Champion, five times in a row! I'm sure you've heard that Pokemon will be entering its 6th generation on October since it's introduction in 1998. While specifics are a long ways away, I'm sure many of us trainers will be itching to see how our beloved franchise will evolve! Which is why with the help of several leading experts, including the original Pokemon Professor, Samuel Oak, PhD in Interpersonal Pokemon Relationships, I have compiled a list of popular theories and predictions that trainers can hope for in the the new 6th generation for Pokemon X and Y!
Training transparency Many Pokemon Professors agree on the mysterious concept of effort value points, or EVs. In short, Pokemon gain strength subtly according to the Pokemon they do battle against. For example, fighting many wild Kadabras can grant Pokemon an increase in their special attack attribute. In recent generations, Silph Company has made great strides in their Pokedex advancement to identify unique personality traits in Pokemon and how it affects their overall growth. However, EV points continue to be an untracked value in Pokemon Trainers unless they make an effort to keep track of it themselves.
While many trainers, including myself are hoping research continues at the Silph Company that they'll include data tracking for the EVs earned from training, Silph has made no confirmation on the existence of such a project. I think I can safely speak for many trainers however, that such an advancement in Pokedex functionality can open up and even out the playing field for a broader range of unique trainers. Only the most dedicated trainers can create a powerful team that is a result of countless hours of carefully selective training. If an EV tracker were to be added to Pokedex functionality, entries for more competitive Pokemon battles would explode exponentially!
A reduced emphasis on offensive metagame The increase in discoveries in new Pokemon moves and abilities have had a steady hand aimed towards rapid and quick offense while the options towards defensive play has been largely underplayed. Moves like Bullet Punch, Agility, Swords Dance, Shell Smash, and Quiver Dance have all glorified the strategy of powering up as much as you can and attempt to sweep, that is, to score enough 1-hit kills to wipe the enemy team.
In the second generation, there was an excess of strategies that were more defensive in nature, especially with the advent of Snorlax using Curse, or Curselax. But ever since then, strategies that involved taking hits and bulkiness have fallen by the wayside in favor of surviving the possibility of a 1-hit KO and going for a sweep.
There are a lot of ways to bring back defensive play. Finding new attacks which promote defense would be a start. Quiver Dance is the holy grail of sweeping, boosting attack, special attack, and speed in one turn by one stage. Stockpile is one such move but its effects are primarily meant to go with Spit Up and Swallow.
Another suggestion would be to introduce more interesting field hazards like Spikes and Stealth Rock. Stealth Rock singlehandedly decided the tiers when it was introduced, making types weak against rock a detriment with the very existence of Stealth Rock. In fact, if Stealth Rocks makes bug, flying, fire, and more such a liability, introducing a comparable attack of a different type can increase the viability of defensive maneuvers while also opening up the stage if Stealth Rock's influence becomes consolidated due to similar attacks, like a fire-themed Stealth Rocks.
More interesting items Most of the time, when trainers want to give their Pokemon a useful item but can't decide on one, the fallback is Leftovers. 1/16th health recovery is hard to ignore in true battles that can go on forever due to several lucky moves. Even though items like status healing berries, type attack boosters, and the Choice series of items are legitimately useful, they can often times also be situational in use. Meanwhile, Leftovers is always useful as long as the Pokemon is even marginally bulky.
Personally, I'm a big fan of the ability, Rough Skin. This ability inflicts damage equal to 1/16 the opponent's health whenever they make physical contact through moves like Tackle or Close Combat. Perhaps if something similar would be introduced as an item, it can catch up. The idea is mostly to make a comparable challenger to the dominance of Leftovers, since that item is universally helpful to any team. And while it can be predictable, there's no real way to prepare for it besides from knowing you need to inflict damage at a constant pace before they find time to recover.
The introduction of Wise Glasses and Muscle Band were good, but the items of the 6th generation should be going further in what they do during a battle.
Planned compatibility with previous generations In the 4th and 5th generations, features were included to allow for the transfer of Pokemon from previous generations to the current one. Specifically, they made use of the GBA slot for generations before the 4th and DS to DS communication transfers during the 5th. Now that the 6th generation will be on the brand new 3DS Pokedex system, and increase in flexibility for transfers and storage can be called for.
I remember a time when the Silph Company introduced Pokemon Ranch for the Wii storage system. I stored upwards of 300 Pokemon at once before forgetting to offload them back before formatting my Wii for sale. While the Ranch was made specifically to only work with one Pokedex game ID at a time, the concept could be expanded upon with the 3DS' increased output. Instead of going through the trouble of doing perhaps a 3DS to 3DS communication process, Silph Company can release an additional storage app for standalone use on the 3DS, which can double as a transfer system from previous gens.
Thus far, transfers have been heavy handed processes that were slow and troublesome. You'd either need two systems on hand or the transfer process would only allow a certain number per transfer, requiring multiple transfers.
The 3DS system allows for a lot of potential in external cross-play support. The 3DS system already has a current Pokedex application for sale and a Dream Radar for additional training. This could be a chance for Pokemon to expand outside of the lines of its game software and memory.
Streetpass and Spotpass integration As well as being the reigning five time Pokemon Champion, I'm also an owner of a 3DS and I must say I'm very impressed with the wireless features it offers to all software built for it. A Pokemon game with interesting Streetpass features would certainly be an extremely interesting idea.
One idea put forth by Oak himself was the idea of storing a Pokemon for a Streetpass trade. By compressing the data storage of a single Pokemon as far as it can go, you could theoretically do an instantaneous trade with another trainer with Streetpass active with his own Pokemon. This feature could be limited by one Streetpass trade at a time due to the logistics of compressing even a single Pokemon for an instantaneous trade, but having it available would encourage trading and foster bonds between trainers and Pokemon alike.
The ideas are limitless as Pokemon is all about personal identity among your friends and rivals, and Streetpass can potentially help show off your own identity.
New Eeveelutions We're due.
Speaking for the press and experts who helped me compose this message to everyone across the Pokemon world, I thank you for reading my thoughts. As the current five time Pokemon Champion, this is Marcel, saying goodbye on behalf of Professor Oak, Elm, Birch, Rowan, and Juniper. Happy hunting out there!