Friday, November 21, 2014

So Many Free-To-Play MMOs - Why LotRO?

Old habits die hard. About a month ago, I started getting that itch to play an MMO again. I've been avoiding them for a while now (for reasons explained in older posts), but I keep hoping one day I'll find a title really worth playing.

I started doing research on some of the more popular free-to-play MMOs, narrowing down the list of potential playables based mostly on the number of limitations placed on absolutely free play.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Kripp Breaks Down Arena Matchups

Hearthstone guru Kripparian released a very informative video detailing arena matchups by class. Kripp lists what he considers the best card for each hero in arena (with explanations for those choices) and breaks down the typical strengths and weaknesses versus the other heroes. Anyone trying to get a better grasp on arena play should take heed of this great advice.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Goblins vs Gnomes Coming to Hearthstone

Today Blizzard unveiled the upcoming Hearthstone expansion, titled Goblins vs Gnomes. Unlike Curse of Naxxramas where you unlock wings and fight bosses to obtain cards (known as adventures), players can simply purchase packs of the new set in the shop with gold or real money.

Goblins vs Gnomes will contain over 120 new cards based around crazy mechanical contraptions. There's a new minion type (Mech) and a slew of ridiculous cards, both neutral and class-specific.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Why Mage Is Good In Arena

Kripparian's latest video demonstrates one reason mage is such a great arena choice.

Yes, that many Flamestrikes are excessive and actually not advised. What this does show though, is that Flamestrike in the basic/common slot for arena means it's fairly likely to appear at least once or twice (zero is rare but can happen) and has the potential to show up quite frequently.
Is this "too good" as a basic in arena?

It would be nice to simply make Flamestrike a rare, but that screws up the mage's basic card set. You'd have to shuffle things around and it would make a mess of players' collections.

Additionally, fixing one card to help balance arena can quickly bring on a number of other problems. You're going to have players crying foul towards other cards that are seemingly too strong when drafted more than twice, and a number of those complaints will be valid. A "slippery slope" scenario (say that five times fast) can arise where even more cards are changed or restrictions are placed on draft choices, which would take a lot of the unpredictability (and fun) out of arena.

As it stands, mage doesn't see all that much constructed play (though paladin is probably the least popular) so it's not the worst thing ever if they get to shine somewhere else. Just keep in mind that when you enter the arena against a mage and you're wondering how many Flamestrikes they have, it's probably correct to assume the answer is "Enough".

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Duplicate: Better Than "The Pros" Expected

When Curse of Naxxramas cards were being announced, there was some discussion over the mage secret Duplicate. A number of well-known players talked it down, saying it was ultimately "a bad card that seems good".

I've held the opposite opinion of Duplicate since I first saw it, and even hearing "the pros" bad mouth it never discouraged me from upholding that Duplicate was a strong card (particularly in arena). It can be situationally bad, but playing smart can usually net you a huge benefit with it.

The latest video from Kripparian shows his reversal of opinion on Duplicate with an example of a perfect situation for it.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

World Building is Serious Business

I've been spending a fair amount of time nearly each day helping to build the spawn city and other important locations for The Lazy Dog's "Magical Chaos" Minecraft server. It's intended to be a public server with a mix of survival and roleplay/quest/storyline elements based on the popular "Magic World 2" modpack from FTB (with several distinct changes).

While working on builds are fun and rewarding, we make sure to take breaks and just have a bit of fun. During a little downtime, a couple of our builders ended up making some avatars of a number of our teammates.

I thought these were pretty amusing caricatures. They remind me a lot of the 8-bit era, particularly the early Final Fantasy games. All of the team that's seen these little guys so far have gotten a kick out of them, so it's likely they'll be a fixture on the server officially somewhere. For now though, I should get back to work - there's places to build, quests to write and penguins to launch... ;~P