State of the Game: Post-Thanksgaming

This week saw the completion of another game, a couple of new ones purchased during the Steam “Exploration Sale,” and more MOBA action. I even dipped into another MMO, but that still doesn’t change any of my feelings expressed last weekend. I seem to have more fun when I’m playing something else, and those are the same feelings I had when I left the genre for years. It’s a turbulent relationship.

That’s part of where the name for this blog came from. It’s a bit of an aside, but it’s truly where I was at when I decided to name change and it has held true for a few years now. That inner monologue that goes something like:

“I feel like playing an MMO tonight.”
“But you don’t like them.”
“Yes I do, I just get annoyed/bored when it feels like I’m repeating the same content that’s presented in different packaging.”
“But they are all basically what you just described.”
“I know. But I’m going to give this one a shot anyway. Maybe it will suck me in and I’ll be able to overlook the things that annoy me.”
“That’s what you said last time.”

It truly is Me vs. Myself and I. Sometimes I win, sometimes they do. Does that make me crazy? Probably. The game in question was Rift, I picked up my Cleric who was level 38 and leveled him to 40, but then I started playing other things and I haven’t been back. Like I’ve said already, I’ll most likely only play super casually until something new comes along that piques my interest. Here’s a shot of my Cleric in the Droughtlands:


So anyway, this past week I blogged about League more than once, but focused on the newest Champion reveal, talked about Football and Playstation Plus. Some of that may appeal to you, some of it may not, but they have been staple topics on the blog for a while now.

Really, I just needed quick content for the week because of holiday preparations and celebrations, along with focusing most of my efforts on completing Demon’s Souls. I didn’t realize I was as close to the end as I was, despite having three worlds worth of content ahead of me at the time of my last writing. When I left off, I was facing Black Phantoms after the Penetrator fight, and one of them was giving me trouble (the one with the tower shield and big ass spear). I ended up finding an easy fix, where I could cheese him to death. Basically if you run back to the “zone line” (where the archstone is sort of acts like a barrier where most enemies will not follow) and wait for him to give up and walk away, you can shoot him in the back with an arrow. This is a long process, but eventually he will die. The final Black Phantom had a bow and arrow, so I just matched wits with her in ranged combat and won. She dropped the white bow which was a nice upgrade to the bow I had been using. That was just the beginning of the 1-4 zone though, and the rest of it entailed quite a few soldiers and knights and a Dragon that would perch in two separate places and 1 shot you with fire if you didn’t time your run correctly. This was my biggest hurdle of the level, but eventually I managed to find the perfect spot where I could shoot it with arrows (somewhere in the ballpark of 250) til it died. Further runs were no longer impeded by that fire breath, and there was much rejoicing (along with the dragon’s demon soul). There was another Black Phantom, this one modeled after Ostrava, whom I had rescued in 1-3. Thankfully the bastard was pretty easy, and dropped a runic sword and shield that were nice upgrades to my current gear (with heavy magic defenses). Past him was the next boss, King Allant, or the false King Allant if you prefer (and already know the story).


He was kind of hard, it took me a few tries to finally down him. He wasn’t overly difficult he just breaks your guard too readily, and also drains your soul level if you happen to get caught in one of his attacks. That was a pisser. I lost a couple levels during the fight til I knew what to look for. Still, he went down, and it was on to the third world: The Tower of Latria.

The third world was composed of a dark and gloomy prison, mysterious towers, and a blood swamp. The bosses encountered were the Fool’s Idol, Maneater and Old Monk. I had a couple of deaths working my way through the prison, but the first boss was rather easy. The tower section was rather easy as well, though the Maneater was a son of a bitch. The reason for this was that once you had him down to about half health, he would summon a copy of himself, and then you had to deal with two of them. My best advice for that fight is to utilize the brazier on the platform for cover and to be patient. Eventually you’ll kill them both. From here, the game seemed to drop in difficulty. I’m not sure if it’s because I had farmed earlier levels and had a high soul level, along with a combination of good gear, or if the developers ran out of ideas to keep things super difficult. Honestly the game went from frustratingly difficult through most of the first two worlds to ridiculously easy. I only died 3 times after the Maneater fight. worlds three, four and five, and not to bosses, only during the levels. I don’t want to think about how many times I died in the first two worlds. My final thought is that I just finally understood the mechanics and became “good” at the game. Perhaps it’s a combination of the factors listed. Right after the Maneater fight, you ascend a final tower and kill a few Black Phantoms, and then are attacked by the Old Monk, who himself is a Black Phantom. He would have been super easy except he would heal himself quite often so I just had to out damage him and try to hit him when he went to cast a heal or eat an herb. I still beat him on the first try though.

fools-idol maneater Image

World three was a cake walk. The entirety of the level was based around a big castle on an island. I was careful and moved through slowly, and eventually made it through each stage with little trouble. I really can’t say much more than that, because I was shocked at how easy it was to blow through. The Shrine of Storms and the bosses Adjudicator, Old Hero, and Storm King posed no challenge, I beat them all on the first try. I also killed the Vanguard, who is standing in 4-1, and didn’t move while I shot him with arrows til he died. I’m not sure if that’s a bug or working as intended. He was the Demon who kills you in the tutorial, so it was nice to get revenge.

ds8 ds13 ds7 75237-273041-soulsstormking2jpg-620x

The final world was now upon me. During the course of world four, I picked up the Adjudicator’s Shield which regens health, a ring that does the same, and a cursed katana that drains health, but had good damage and a bleed effect. The ring/shield countered the health drain from the sword and I used this setup along with my fluted armor set and white bow for the remainder of the game. World 5 was tough to get through because of the poison and plague effects throughout, but the bosses were easily killed with my bow, and that was surprising. I literally stood there and fired arrows into the Leechmonger, Dirty Colossus, and Maiden Astraea. I supposed if I didn’t have the bow I would have had a tougher time, particularly with the latter boss. She had a minion who was an NPC with a huge 2-handed club that hurt. He killed me once, then I found a nice spot to just shoot arrows at the maiden, and avoided him altogether.

Leechmonger dirty-colossus-large maiden-astraea

Upon killing the maiden and returning to the Nexus, the sword on a statue above the weird pool fell and shattered the pool (which now seemed like glass — I know, weird) and opened up a new area. The Witch urged me to come down there with her. I followed, and we ended up on a beach, where a huge tree-like formation landed, a mouth-like opening in the front awaited us. I entered and had to fight the real King Allant, who was kind of just a blob. He died with multiple arrows as well. Too easy for a last boss in my opinion. Afterwards the Witch told me she would calm the Old One back to sleep, and urged me to go back to the Nexus. Roll credits.


And now I’m ready to move on to Dark Souls, which I happened to pick up during the Steam Sale. I also picked up the expansion for XCOM, Enemy Within. This is an expansion in the same vein as expansions for Civ games, in that it affects the entirety of the game, meaning starting a new playthrough is the best way to experience all it has to offer. Luckily I got a free copy of XCOM: Enemy Unknown for the PC earlier this year, so picking up the expansion on sale really gave me a reason to play the game again (along with the fact that I never completed a game of the original). I did check it out a little bit, but I’m going to hold off for a while before I really dive into it.

Otherwise I’ve just been plugging away at my favorite MOBAs. League of Legends had a double IP weekend that is still going for another 5 or so hours, so I’ll probably get a couple more games in tonight. That’s about all for this week. Look for more on Dark Souls in the coming week.

#stateofthegame #roundup #demonssouls

Playstation Plus: Dec 2014

Man, where has this year gone? It seems like it’s gone by faster than years past. It’s already been almost 4 months since I made my big move, I can’t believe it. Next thing you know it will be 2015. There’s still one more month to go though, which means there’s another round of Playstation Plus freebies on the horizon before the year is through. First up, here’s the video for those of you who don’t like to read:

For those of you who skipped over the pretty pictures, here’s the full post from the Playstation Blog. And now on to my commentary.

For the PS4, the releases are Injustice Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition and Secret Ponchos. The former is a pretty decent fighting game, I watched and helped my former roommate play through the story mode, and it was interesting enough. I liked the fact that it forced you to play different characters, and told a more in depth story than fighting games are known for. Getting away from that “pick one character and play through several rounds culminating with a boss fight” with a flimsy story to back it up is a good thing. However, once you’re done with that, it’s back to the traditional fighting game stuff, which gets boring after a while. I’m unsure what the extra goodies entail, but I’d assume it’s more characters to play as and/or customization options. Maybe more story stuff, I don’t have a clue, but it should be a fun time waster nonetheless.

Me and Eri talked about Secret Ponchos a little on the last podcast. She (and all of the reviews on Steam I have read) said that there isn’t anyone playing it. Since I’m sure there are a ton of Playstation Plus subscribers (particularly on PS4 where it is required to use the multiplayer functions of games), there will probably be an audience for this. It looks like a combat arena type game, and 4v4 is nearly MOBA sized. Not sure on objectives or anything like that but it appears to have some neat mechanics, and should be fun.

On PS3, we’re getting the Hitman HD trilogy (yawn) and Deadly Premonition: Director’s Cut. They gave us the newest Hitman game a few months ago and I still never touched it. If I remember correctly, I enjoyed the very first Hitman game, and somewhere between then and now, I lost interest in games where you needed to do a bunch of sneaking around. I don’t mind it so much when you’re playing a Thief in a fantasy setting, but if the whole game’s premise is that you are a stealthy person who avoids combat, I’m out. No thanks, that shit gets boring quick.

Deadly Premonition is a horror game and has been commended if I recall correctly. I swear someone was talking about it recently and saying that it was a great game. I could be wrong, but either way it’s about the only game this month I have access to and am interested in. I’ll get back to you on that once I try it out.

On Vita, there’s Final Horizon and Titan Attacks! The former is a tower defense game, so yeah, probably boring. The latter is described as a shmup, and I’m into those, and it’s also cross buy for PS3 so perhaps that will be a fun time-waster. Again, more on that after I try it out.

That’s it for this month. Another so-so month for me, but that’s just based on my preferences, and lack of 2 out of the 3 systems. Oh, and update from last month, I still was never able to play Frozen Synapse Prime. For whatever reason the game just crashes my system every time it’s loading. That was disappointing, but from the looks of it, it wasn’t a game I was going to spend a lot of time with anyway. So yeah, happy gaming everyone, I’ll catch you later.

#playstationplus #instantgamecollection #pluspreview

Couch Podtatoes Episode 23: East vs. West


For episode #23 we’re going to be taking a look at the vast differences between eastern and western games, from their marketing ploys to the gameplay contained therein. This devolves into a rather long rant about many social and cultural differences between the two sides of the world, but is interesting nonetheless. Later we take a look at a banned Kickstarter attempt, where a couple of guys who have already claimed credit for a few other pranks were trying to fund a rather weird gaming peripheral. Lastly, we talk about a recent post on Hardcore Casual, where Syncaine talks about burnout being a myth. Take a listen, and enjoy the show!


Download this Episode Subscribe via RSS Download on iTunes Listen on Stitcher

Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 23: East vs West (runtime: 1:13:33)

What are we playing? (starts at 1:14)
Discussion: East vs West (starts at 22:29)
Idiots on the Internet: Blood Sport Kickstarter (starts at 56:21)
Community Spotlight: Hardcore Casual (starts at 1:03:45)

Host Contact information:

Blog: Me vs. Myself and I

Blog: Healing The Masses
Twitter: @ausj3w3l

Idiots on the Internet Article:

Community Spotlight: Hardcore Causal
The Article

Music Credits:
“Level Up” by Cookie Monsta (from the Riot! EP)
“Groove” by Oiki (from the Get it Now EP)
“Built For Sin” by The Black Dahlia Murder (from the album Miasma)
“Athena” by Datsik (from the album Let it Burn)
“Enchanted Rose” by Bury Your Dead (from the album Beauty and the Breakdown)

Couch Podtatoes is a podcast about gaming, though we might stray into other forms of media. Sometimes we use strong language, but we try to keep that to a minimum. All opinions expressed by us or our guests are our own and are in no way to be interpreted as official commentary from any companies we discuss. You can visit our official podcast page at Be sure to follow us on iTunes, and/or Stitcher Radio.

Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged!

#couchpodtatoes #podcast #gamesdiscussion #gaming

By The Numbers: Week 13, 2014


Ok, so first things first, Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers! I hope that you all have your fill of good food, and are thankful for the things that you have. I know I am! Secondly, I know that I’m late with my picks this week, so I can’t really count the game that already completed today, though I was going to pick the Lions to win, despite the fact that them losing to the bears would have helped solidify the Packers lead in the North. Ah well. So we’ll skip that predicition (as the Lions did win in fact) and move on to the other games. Less commentary this week as I need to get back to holiday stuff.

Turkey Day

Philly vs. Dallas

I think the Eagles have a harder time, having the short week. But Dallas has the tendency to drop out of the playoff race. I’m going with the Eagles.

Eagles 31, Cowboys 21

Seattle vs. San Francisco

Hard call, I hate both teams, so I don’t really care. Birds probably.

Seattle 27, 49ers 21


San Deigo vs. Baltimore

SD are chumps. Ravens win.

Ravens 21, Chargers 14

Cleveland vs. Buffalo

Hard call again, both teams could go either way but I’ll take the Browns cause they’ve done good for me all year.

Browns 14, Bills 10

Tennessee vs. Houston

Meh. Texans.

Texans 24, Titans 10

Washington vs. Indianapolis

Yeah, Skins have no chance.

Colts 31, Skins 10

New York vs. Jacksonville

Despite the Giants looking like shit, I don’t think they could possibly lose to the kitties.

Giants 17, Jags 7

Carolina vs. Minnesota

Sigh. Another whatever matchup. I’ll give it to the Panthers just to make the South decision more fucked up.

Panthers 27, Vikings 20

New Orleans vs. Pittsburgh

The likelihood that either team wins is pretty high, but I think Steelers seal the deal, helping the south remain muddy.

Steelers 21, Saints 14

Oakland vs. St. Louis

So many crappy games this week. Rams roll.

Rams 34, Raiders 3

Cincinnati vs. Tampa Bay

Bucs could take it, but probably won’t.

Bengals 20, Bucs 10

Arizona vs. Atlanta

Cards beat the dirty birds no contest.

Cards 37, Falcons 17

New England vs. Green Bay

This is the hardest game for me to call, due to my investment. The Pack has been solid for weeks, looking good on both sides of the ball, but the same can be said of the year-in year-out powerhouse of the AFC. We have home field advantage, and that’s about all I can see going in our favor. Everything else is pretty even. I’m not going to pick against my team, but you know it could go that way.

Packers 37, Pats 31

Denver vs. Kansas City

Just for shits, Denver loses.

Chiefs 20, Broncos 14


Miami vs. New York

Hahahaha Jets lose.

Dolphins 24, Jets 7

#NFL #picks #bythenumbers

Rek’Sai, the Void Burrower

Well that didn’t take long.

Called it. This time, my guesses as to what to expect from a champion teaser were on the money. In the teaser that I wrote about in my last post, I guessed that the new character would be someone suited to the jungle, and that it had something to do with the Void. I was correct on both accounts. Go me.

You can check out the whole reveal page for Rek’Sai, the Void Burrower over on the official site, but I’m going to break down the abilities and such here.


Passive: Fury of the Xer’Sai

Rek’Sai gains fury whenever she attacks her enemies. Burrowing consumes her fury, briefly regenerating her health.

This passive sounds really cool, though it’s unclear if she will be untargetable when burrowed. You can move about after burrowing, and the health regen is mild but could help for sustain in top lane.

Q: Queen’s Wrath/Prey Seeker

Unburrowed – Queen’s Wrath

Rek’Sai lashes out, dealing damage to all enemies around her with her next three basic attacks.

Burrowed – Prey Seeker

Rek’Sai fires out a pulse of void energy in a straight line skillshot that detonates on the first enemy struck, damaging, and revealing the target and all nearby enemies also hit by the missile’s explosion.

Having an AoE damage ability is nice for a jungler to help clear those camps faster. The video on the site just shows her standing still though, so I’m unsure if you can move without cancelling the remaining attacks. Rek’Sai has one of those kits that has different abilities dependent on what form she’s in (burrowed/unburrowed) so each will have its own pros/cons. Being burrowed and using Q gives you a skill shot instead of AoE, but your field of view is cut down while burrowed, so you would have to quickly shoot it off right after going underground. Then after a hit you’d at least know where your target was.

W: Burrow/Unburrow

Unburrowed – Burrow

Rek’Sai burrows underground, gaining Tremor Sense (a unique mechanic that shows Rek’Sai all enemy movement in a wide area around her) and increased movement speed at the expense of vision range and access to her basic attacks. She ignores unit collision as she moves around.

Burrowed – Unburrow

Rek’Sai bursts out into the open, knocking up and damaging all surrounding enemies.

Ok, so more is explained here. When burrowing, you can’t see, but you do get a little sonar of sorts that shows nearby enemy movement. She can also use this as an escape with the increased movespeed and ignoring unit collision. Having a knock up when unburrowing will be useful for chasing.

E: Furious Bite/Tunnel

Unburrowed – Furious Bite

Rek’Sai bites her target, dealing increasing damage based on her fury, or true damage if she has a full fury bar.

Burrowed – Tunnel

Rek’Sai digs toward a target location, creating a pair of long-lasting tunnels at the two ends of her path.

Here’s where jungle ganks come into her kit. Being unburrowed, she has a nice damage attack, but while burrowed, she can created tunnels meaning she’ll be able to gank from the other side of walls without having to burn flash. The tunnel lasts a little while too, so it could also double as an escape tool (use it, get under wall, when enemy burns flash to chase, just go back through tunnel).

R: Void Rush

Passive: Rek’Sai gains attack speed.

Active: Rek’Sai channels briefly before burrowing and dashing towards any of her tunnels, briefly gaining significant movement speed once she emerges.

Ok, so it’s  unclear how long those tunnels might last. However, this means you’d be laying down tunnels quite a bit, or else you wouldn’t have access to your ult very often. Good for a gank, and it appears global, however some what limited compared to other ults. Not sure what to think about this, will have to wait for full champ spotlight or patch notes to get a better idea about it.

Riot has basically pegged her as a jungler, as described here:


Rek’Sai is a mobile menace at all stages of the game, creating tunnels throughout her own jungle to help her dart from camp to camp. But she doesn’t just burrow quickly; she kills at speed, too. Queen’s Wrath brings mass carnage to each camp’s monsters, dealing solid area of effect damage to every enemy around her, while Furious Bite deals powerful single target damage. Monsters will fight back, but Rek’Sai – once she’s generated enough fury – can sustain through the slaughter by burrowing, which restores her health and speeds her toward the next camp. And once her jungle’s empty, it’s time for Rek’Sai to turn toward the enemy jungle.

Tremor Sense is central to Rek’Sai’s counter-jungling runs, which focus on killing enemy camps while her counterpart’s away rather than dueling directly. By checking for movement in her intended direction, Rek’Sai can at least understand where her opposing jungler isn’t, then use that knowledge to burrow in and steal camps, effectively starving her opponent out of their jungle and forcing them into premature ganks, or worse yet, into Rek’Sai’s lair. Pity those who dare stray too deep into the burrower’s home: her tunnels offer incredible mobility, and with good vision control, Rek’Sai can easily coordinate her allies as she hunts down wandering targets.

Then there are her ganks. Rek’Sai’s relative lack of burst damage means she thrives best when she ganks for her high-damage allies, using her considerable utility to slow and stop her target’s escape. Most crucially, Rek’Sai’s tunnels give her unique angles of attack into enemy lanes, from which she can damage her mark with Prey Seeker before unburrowing beneath them. The knock-up provides a strong enough window for most assassins to secure their kill, but even if her enemy’s still alive, Rek’Sai can turn to her own abilities – Queen’s Wrath and Furious Bite in particular – to add extra damage into the mix.

Overall she sounds like a fun champion. Look forward to trying her out.

#leagueoflegends #reksai #champion