Pre-Season 4

There are so many changes coming down the pipe-line for League of Legends that I don’t feel I can adequately go over all of it in a single post. There is a wealth of information over at the official site, and here is a video roundup of the most important bits we know so far:

I really like the focus on helping out Supports. Playing support competitively is something that is easy to understand but difficult to master. I played the majority of my ranked games as a support, and I know how thankless of a job it really is. If your marksman feeds, you are to blame. If no one else buys a ward, you are to blame for lack of vision. Add in the fact that you get no farm, are under-leveled and get less gold for assists than kills, and you’ll see why people aren’t clamoring to be the support. Riot has seen this pattern develop, and are working to fix it. The main part of that fix is coming with a new item slot specifically designed for trinkets, all of which are free and perform different functions all pertaining to vision. Paid upgrades are available for these items later in the game, but it amounts to less gold that is typically spent on wards throughout a game, so now vision is finally everyone’s responsibility!

Changes to the mastery tree and runes are expected each season, as the balance is always tweaked. Information on runes hasn’t been released yet, but the new mastery trees appear to be similar, but with some new tweaks. Adding to the support love, there are masteries that give extra GP5, gold for being in the vicinity of kills (minions included!) and gold for poking enemy champs. It appears getting items will be much easier to do as the support without having to have as much lane dominance.

I am very much looking forward to the changes that are coming. I will be touching back on these changes as they develop.

Get Excited!

I’m actually really looking forward to playing Jinx. She seems much more up my alley than Lucian or Quinn were. She has some abilities that are very similar to Ezreal (her ultimate) and Caitlyn (her poke/traps), and then some of her own flair. She seems less gimicky than recent marksmen, and more dedicated to straight up chaos. I still can’t get over the Harley Quinn inspiration. I’m almost willing to bet that if you ask the lead designer that they would admit to the inspiration. I made this statement before, but if you had doubts, just watch this music video:

If you don’t seem the similarities now, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s pretty blatant. This is the steampunk Harley Quinn. The song is pretty catchy too, though isn’t really my style of music. I want a punk rock Twitch music video. Do it, Riot.

Today the Champion Spotlight for Jinx was posted, though I’m not sure if that means that she’s made her way into the game yet or not. I haven’t played any today, so you’ll have to find out for yourself. But if you want to see her in action in-game, here’s the video:

She looks like fun, no?

The Fall

The Fall is finally starting to set in here in Southern California, and this really is my favorite time of year. Besides the change in weather and the time change that will be coming shortly, it’s also football season, and some of my favorite TV shows are on, including Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story, and of course The Walking Dead. Breaking Bad also just came to a close and though I’m sad to see it go, they did a great job of wrapping things up. Aside from all of this good stuff, there’s more in the gaming world:

Usually I split up my PS3 and PC gaming posts, but as I have been lazy of late and didn’t get them done at a more appropriate time, I’m cramming everything into one post. For starters, the Playstation Plus preview for October was posted last week, and the first free game of the month came out a couple of days ago. I couldn’t round up the fancy graphic, so I’ll just tell you that the games this month are varied, though I own a couple of them already. The first release was Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. I purchased the game when it came out last year, and though I really wanted to like it, and it contained many elements that I did enjoy, I think it was just poor timing on when I bought it. At the time, I was playing through Skyrim, Dragon Age II, and some other games, and really just never gave it a chance. I ended up purchasing the DLC for the game and never got around to playing that either. Then I traded the game in along with some others to gift a copy of Borderlands 2 to my roommate (mainly so we could co-op through it). With all that said, I now have a copy of the game again, and can actually utilized the DLC I paid for as well. It’s a bit disappointing because I’d prefer a game I didn’t already reject, but at the same time I think that I need to give this game a proper chance. I have mixed thoughts about the game as should be obvious, but I think that most people would be happy with an in-depth RPG for free. Now they just need to give out the Skyrim DLC for free and I’d be a happy boy.

Moving on. The rest of the month is going to be lackluster in my opinion. There’s two Vita games (my library for that system is going to be so out of control if I ever manage to get a Vita) Hotline Miami and Sine Mora, both of which I know nothing about and won’t for quite some time. I’m sure you can educate yourself elsewhere. On the PS3 side there’s Poker Night 2. I don’t care for poker, so I’ll probably skip that one. Then there’s the other game I already own, Shadow of the Colossus. I remember back in the PS2 days it was a game that I never played, but I saw my roommate play it here and there. It seemed interesting enough, but it wasn’t until the HD remake (along with ICO) was released on PS3 that I actually picked it up. I still never played all the way through it, as I got stuck on one of the bosses and got distracted elsewhere. It’s still a good game to have in your collection though.

Next up, League news. Patch 3.12 has hit the servers, and though I don’t want to go into it too much, there are some points I’d like to touch on. The first question on everyone’s mind is “is Jinx in the new patch?” The answer is no. There are some general tweaks, the wards have been visually updated, the in-game options menu was streamlined, and the champ trading system (for ARAM and Draft) has been updated. The most interesting parts for me were the re-work of Olaf, and the Garen visual upgrade:

Garen really looks way more badass, though he still plays the same. Not really one of my favorites, but I like seeing the new reworks of old champions that really needed the update. As the artwork for the game improves many of the champions do seem outdated. Now, for the Olaf changes:

Summary: Olaf’s kit has been significantly overhauled, with changes to each of his skills and new opportunities for counterplay, particularly when the Berserker gets ahead. In terms of major alterations, we’ve given Undertow a minimum throw distance and a reduced slow duration, but increased its slow amount and removed the slow decay to compensate. Vicious Strikes no longer provides attack damage or spell vamp, but instead increases Olaf’s attack speed and grants bonus healing based on Olaf’s missing health . Next up is Reckless Swing. We’ve reduced its base damage and increased the cooldown, but given the ability an attack damage ratio and allowed basic attacks to lower its cooldown. Finally, we’ve added a passive armor and magic resistance bonus to Ragnarok, and made it so that activating the ult converts the defensive bonuses into attack damage. Ragnarok’s crowd control immunity has been retained.

Context: Old and Busted Olaf circumvented a lot of healthy interactions within the game when played well. When he got ahead, Old and Busted Olaf had everything at his disposal to take out opponents with no opportunity for counterplay, including a permanent slow (when used correctly), crowd control immunity and significant true damage while building tanky. Our core goal with these changes is to create more gameplay interaction with New Hotness Olaf so that players can react and play smart against him even if he gets ahead. We realize that these changes are fairly drastic so, as ever, we’ll closely monitor how he performs over the coming days and weeks.

General

  • Base mana reduced to 235 (from 270)

Undertow

  • Base damage reduced to 70/115/160/205/250 (from 80/125/170/215/260)
  • Slow percent increased to 35/40/45/50/55% (from 24/28/32/36/40%)
  • Slow duration reduced to 1-2 seconds based on distance traveled (from 2.5 seconds flat)
  • Slow no longer decays
  • Minimum distance added (400)
  • Axes now stick in walls and structures only if they would land in impassible terrain
  • Axes now make jungle monsters ignore unit collision (to better enable Olaf’s axe pickup play in the jungle)

Vicious Strikes

  • Mana cost reduced to 30 (from 40/45/50/55/60)
  • Now grants 20/35/50/65/80% attack speed
  • Now provides 1% extra healing for every 2.5% health that Olaf is missing
  • Attack damage removed
  • Spellvamp removed
  • Lifesteal retained

Reckless Swing

  • Cooldown increased to 12/11/10/9/8 seconds (from 9/8/7/6/5)
  • Damage reduced to 70/115/160/205/250 (from 100/160/220/280/340)
  • 0.4 total attack damage ratio added
  • Health cost is equal to 40% of total damage dealt (unchanged ratio)
  • Health cost is now refunded if it kills the target
  • Basic attacks lower the cooldown of Reckless Swing by 1 second

Ragnarok

  • Cooldown changed to 120/100/80 (from 100)
  • Mana cost removed
  • Now provides 10/20/30 armor and magic resist passively
  • Active reworked: now removes the bonus armor and magic resist passive and grants 40/60/80 bonus attack damage while active
  • Olaf now turns red when Ragnarok is active
  • Crowd control immunity retained

In the commentary, half of the crowd is saying that Olaf was already underpowered and now he’s been nerfed into oblivion. The other half was saying that he was OP if played right, and will still be that way. You’ll have to play him to decide for yourself. I never felt that he was underpowered, but I’m not exactly a pro either. There’s a lot to like here, and it seems like everything is balanced out. Reckless swing still costs health, but the true damage is lower, though AD scaling was added and health is refunded on a killing blow. His ulti gives passive defensive stats and then more AD when active, along with the crowd control immunity. I could go over all of this but really it sounds like an improvement. Guess time will tell. Full patch notes here.

Lastly, new permanent ward skins have been added to the store.

WDLSss

This is something that has probably been in the works for a while, and honestly it’s about time. Seasonal stuff is cool, but when you get something like that in the game, people see the option to pay for it and have it all the time. They need to do something similar with Summoner Icons, and not just during pro tournaments. At 640 RP I think they’re a little pricey, but perhaps we will see more, or sales on them. Speaking of sales, there’s two for one rune pages for the week. Definitely worth having a few extra for those specific builds.

Foiled Again

Dammit.

I was so not expecting another ADC/Marksman right after having one released last time. I was wrong, but damn this one looks more intriguing than the last. Lucian is basically another Vayne with a different ult. I realize that’s dumbing things down quite a bit, but in all reality their kits are very similar. This time around we’re treated to a champion that sounds much like Jayce, although in a full on carry package rather than a bruiser one. The bit that confuses me is whether or not she has multiple abilities on each button… the way the skills read, she can swap weapons with Q, but then each of her other abilities are unaffected by which weapon she is using? I guess we should take this at face value and assume that’s the way it is, although I would think that each would carry separate abilities, like Jayce’s hammer and cannon. Perhaps there will be changes to this, perhaps not. Anyway, here are the abilities that were officially announced:

Passive: Get Excited!

Jinx gains a massive movement speed boost whenever a champion or tower that she’s recently attacked is killed or destroyed. This boost decays over time.


Q: Switcheroo!

Jinx swaps weapons:

  • Fishbones, the rocket launcher: Jinx’s basic attacks consume mana but gain increased range and deal increased damage to her target and nearby enemies.
  • Pow-Pow, the minigun: Jinx’s basic attacks grant attack speed for a short duration, stacking up to three times. Stacks fall off one at a time once Jinx stops attacking.

W: Zap!

Jinx snaps off an electrical blast that deals damage to and slows the first enemy hit.


E: Flame Chompers!

Jinx throws out a line of snare grenades that detonate after a few seconds, lighting nearby enemies on fire. Enemy champions who walk over a grenade will cause it to detonate early, rooting them briefly.


R: Super Mega Death Rocket!

Jinx fires a global rocket that gains damage as it travels. The rocket explodes on the first enemy champion hit, dealing damage to the target and all nearby enemies based on a percentage of their missing health.

Sounds like a pretty decent kit, and the ultimate is much like Ezreal’s being global. I love global ults, recently having played some games with success as a solo top Shen. I look forward to trying this champ as I am most proficient with ADCs, and she sounds like a blast to play. I don’t really have anymore commentary until more information is present or I get to try her out. But here’s some in-game art to check out while we wait for that:

Jinx_Comic

Epic Nami Game

This made my day:

nami

 

It’s only an ARAM, and yes, the teams were unfairly balanced (the enemy team on bottom has very little poke and were all melee). We had the nexus towers down and I still hadn’t died, but they did manage to get me twice after that, as they started to get a little more built. I assisted with 56 out of 64 kills. Not bad for a champ that I don’t even own, I’d say. The commentary from my team mate was even more ego boosting 😛

In other news, I finished The Last of Us last night. I also began the factions portion of the game, playing a couple rounds before bed. I must say that the multiplayer, despite being slower paced, is actually better than I expected. It’s something a bit different, but still very similar to uncharted 3’s multiplayer. I have yet to try the newest mode that Naughty Dog released this past week, but I intend to do some interrogating of my own very soon.

Otherwise, I am currently downloading the Resident Evil games that entered the IGC today, while listening to the new Nine Inch Nails album and playing League. The album is fantastic, by the way. That’s about all I have for today.