Pass Royale

Another new and rather large update has been implemented in Clash Royale, and it brought with it some interesting changes. The first and most obvious portion of the update is called Pass Royale, and it essentially breaks down to being a new subscription option. You can look at it as sort of the battle pass idea we’ve seen in many free to play titles in recent years too. I’m comparing it to a subscription because it is attached to a season number, and that season will obviously reset at some point, and I’d assume you’ll have to pay again. The fee is only $5, so it’s reasonable compared to some of the battle passes out there, and it seems to be more reasonable to complete as well. Battle passes in other games usually require playing a shit ton of games more than you usually would to get the full value, but this pass has tiers that are unlocked at the same rate as crown chests, which is something I try to keep up on daily anyway. For normal players, you just get the crown chest, but pass holders will get additional rewards, including new emotes and skins. These are supposed to be exclusive to the pass, so you won’t be able to buy them indirectly like you’ve been able to do with emotes in the past.

A new legendary card was added, this time we get the Fisherman who is reminiscent of a combination of Scorpion from Mortal Kombat and Nautilus from League of Legends. The Fisherman carries with him a big anchor, and when he gets into range of enemies, he pulls them to him with it. Conversely, if he gets within range of a building first, he’ll use the same anchor to pull himself to it. He’s weak to air cards, but he’s looking pretty strong otherwise. My favorite interaction so far is pulling a golem to you into the other lane so my opponent’s split push didn’t work out so well.  The new emotes available have to do with the Fisherman, and the tower skin is sort of related. The Legendary arena has been reimagined as a boat as well.

Beyond getting access to these new emotes and skins, the pass gives you a gold tinted name in clan chat, allows you to queue chests for opening, and unlimited free retries for challenges. You’ll also be able to use a strike on crown chests through all of the tiers, so perhaps you’ll get better value out of the normal chests, but it’s still all random. I’m getting to a point where many times I open up cards I already have maxed out and end up with star points + gold instead, which is probably better to be honest.

Overall I think the pass is good value for the price. It’s not giving us things that are overpowered or pay to win, so I’m on board. I don’t really care about the emotes and skins, but the other perks are nice and extra rewards help max out cards faster so I’m all for that. Here’s a video version of the update if you’re too lazy to read the above linked patch notes.

P.S. Happy Independence Day if you’re in the States! MURICA!

Couch Podtatoes Episode 70: LoL Season 6


A big occurrence just went down in the MOBA sphere. The preseason for League of Legends’ sixth season has kicked off, and with patch 5.22 there have been some big changes. You might have caught my recent post detailing my changes when it came to the new masteries, and we touch upon that and many other changes that have occurred. I’m joined by three other bloggers and fellow LoL players and we discuss our thoughts on the changes, various things we thing will be fixed and how toxicity could potentially be reduced in the new season. There’s anecdotes from our play time sprinkled in with theory crafting, jokes, memes and reddit stuff brought up too. As a result this is a lengthy episode, but with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, we aren’t going to be releasing a new show next week, so this extra long show should keep you held over for a while.

With that said, you can expect to see a new episode on December 4th. See you then.


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

Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 70: LoL Season 6 (runtime: 1:33:04)

What are we playing? (starts at 1:50)
Discussion: LoL Season 6 (starts at 12:52)

Host Contact information:

Blog: Me vs. Myself and I
Twitter: @mevsmyselfandi

Tough Love Critic
Blog: Tough Love Critic
Twitter: @ToughLoveCritic

Rambling Redshirt
Blog: Beyond Tannhauser Gate
Twitter: @rrbtg

Out of Beta
Blog: Out of Beta
Twitter: @0utofBeta

Music Credits:
“Bit Rush” by Riot Games
“Braum” by Riot Games
“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.

You can also find the show in video format at The Gaming And Entertainment Network YouTube page, or stream it right here:

Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged!

#couchpodtatoes #podcast #gamesdiscussion #gaming

Patch 5.18 + Kindred

As season five rapidly approaches its end (the World Championship is coming up very soon) we’re getting what is presumably one of the last patches before we start the next preseason. There’s a good chance we’ll see another, but then again this could be the last major patch before the season ends. Either way, this patch is primarily a bunch of tweaks and bug fixes, as is to be expected, mainly because Riot has a pattern of lesser patches right before a season’s end, as they don’t want to tweak too much during the course of Worlds, and bigger sweeping changes usually happen during the latter part of the year during the preseason. You can read the full patch notes here. If you don’t feel like reading, here’s a handy TL;DR version of the patch notes from Blakinola, a youtuber who has been doing this for a long time, and makes the patch notes a bit more easily digestible. Shit’s funny too.

The other big League of Legends news outside of this patch and the upcoming championship, is that a new champion has been revealed. It hasn’t been that long since Tahm Kench was released, and here we are again with another new champion. There was a teaser a while back though I can’t remember if I mentioned it here, on Twitter or what (can’t seem to find any mention). Either way there was this swirly symbol and speculation. We finally know that the new champion is called Kindred, and is actually two individuals that work in synergy with each other, in a sort of yin and yang symbolism. Here’s what they look like:


The white character is a “sheep” and the black character is a “wolf” though they are both clearly spirit like. There hasn’t been a champion spotlight put out just yet, but there is a page where you can check out their kit and lore. Another League Youtuber known as Brofresco that I enjoy has some more of the inside scoop from the PBE, so you can check out the champion in action and have the kit broken down into the easiest to understand language:

Kindred looks to be a jungler the way riot describes them, but I can see a use in any lane really. That kit is ridiculous, and the ult looks hard as hell to use properly, but I think once we get the proper champion spotlight we’ll be able to see its intended use more accurately. I look forward to learning more!

Got stuck with Rogue again, and that means IDPD every damn level, as if things can’t already get crazy enough! Needless to say, I died on world 3.

The Forest 0.16 – Unity 5 Update

It’s been a while since I talked about The Forest. The last time I played it was a few weeks ago, when I was attempting to play the multiplayer with my sister whom had recently picked up the game. It played like shit, so I stopped rather quickly, and haven’t been back to it. I would like to play it some more, especially now that the game has seen a major graphics overhaul and improvements to the netcode. I will get back to you when I manage to get a multiplayer game in, but I will include some screens of the new graphics engine after the patch notes:

This patch switches The Forest over to Unity 5. Replacing all the old shaders with new PBR materials and textures. We also went and replaced almost all our tree models, implemented a new billboarding system, and put in a first version of our new ocean shader.

Plant shaders now have sub surface scattering, our skin shaders have been rewritten, and many other visual tweaks and improvements have been made to the look of the world, we’re really excited to hear what you think.

For multiplayer we’ve introduced a new network prioritization algorithm to provide more relevant updates of remote entities to players. This means smoother multiplayer gameplay and although the lag isn’t completely removed, we’re confident we can continue to tune in the coming weeks.

Some new graphics options should help those with slower computers get the game running faster, including a new level of detail setting which will allow you to raise or lower the view distance of most elements from Ultra all the way down to Ultra low. Across the board everyone should see some performance improvements.

Sick of dying in a cave and having no idea how you got there? We added a drag away by cannibals system! You’ll now see yourself carried off through world.

New bendable grass means you can see it part slightly as rabbits run through it, making them easier to track.

Some major animal improvements mean geese can now fly from lake to lake, and if you like you can follow them and watch how they spend their days. Plus, Deer now no longer run headfirst into trees!

Player audio has been partially implemented, along with a new take on the female skinny audio.

Due to the massive re-working of some of the environment and terrain we’ve had to wipe save games this patch!

As always, please continue to post your bug reports and feedback in the Discussions area of the Community Hub

Version 0.16 Changelog:
New options menu setting ‘Render Type’ will allow you to switch between new deferred renderer(recommended for modern computers) and Legacy renderer (recommended for older computers)
Full pbr shaders on all items. Reworked most textures to fit new lighting.
Reflection probes added.
New ocean shader (work in progress)
Better bow aiming – sight added to bow. bow tracks better with camera view when aiming up and down. Looks better now when viewed by another player
Animals will now attempt to dodge trees, obstacles and other animals
Fixed rebreather’s air resetting to 0 after loading a saved game
(Multiplayer) Reworked the network prioritization algorithm to provide more relevant updates of remote entities to players (Smoother, less jittery enemies)
Upgrade balance: Inverted bonus curve, it now goes from small (10%) to big (100%)
Fixed booze upgrades still not showing up for some weapons
Added a small outline to chat text to make it visible in bright lighting conditions
Fixed issue preventing to lock floors/roofs on multiple walls on the same height level
Grabber system now turned off when in in inventory/book/pause menu or while placing a building (ie, placing a building near water will no longer trigger drinking)
New snapping grid gizmo to help with manual placing of experimental floors & roofs (tip shows the current lock position and is big enough to be seen from either side of a wall)
Experimental Roofs now snap back to closest edge on current support (ie the wall you’re putting it on)
Goose simulator added. Geese will now fly between lakes and swim around acting like geese
Fixed Bon Fire not lightable
Fixed flying food on rock fire pit
Fixed burn lizard scale
Added generic meat burnt
Fixed drying generic meat
Fixed Treehouse + Treehouse Chalet floor not buildable
Deer will now drink at lakes
Fixed issue where deer would run right through trees!
Dead birds now have a chance of spawning feathers when hit
Revamped cooking to allow eating burnt food but with far lesser gain
Player will now see himself briefly dragged away into a cave when knocked out but not killed.
New art added: Improved airline foodcart
Fixed bug where climbing rope for first time would sometimes cause it to release right after climbing
New trees! New bark and leaf types.
New billboard system with lit billboards and rotation
Unity 5 reflection probe system added
New clouds/sky
All shaders switched to use new unity pbr
Dirtied up and improved regular enemy textures
New pbr skin shader!
In game controls remapping, both in Title & Main scene options
Falling particle leaves now accumulate on ground
Fixed logs flying up into air when trees were cut
Fixed physics on some trees not colliding with terrain when falling
New art added: dead small trunk
Graphics options: added rendering patch selection
Graphics options: added new setting to turn off sunshine occlusion
Graphics options: added new setting to tune Level of Detail
Graphics options: SSAO setting now also changes sample count
Graphics Settings now properly show the saved preset name after restarting the game
Graphics Settings: Renamed “Laptop” level to “Ultra Low”
Fixed survival book entries not clickable on occasion
New art added: new version of plane food! plane tray, styrofoam cups and trays
New bushes- replaced 2 of the worst looking bushes with new type
New lake shader added! reflective and with murkiness
New dead trees! Better textures and models, and now all cuttable!
Better shark ragdoll
Jump animation added to player
New combat move – Flying axe attack. Attack downwards with axe while jumping to perform a powerful ground chop.
When falling from high up, player will briefly stumble to his hands and knees
You can now cook arms and legs (and … eat them – but you probably shouldnt)
Dead trees replaced and now cuttable!
New log type for buildings that matches carried log
(audio) New player sounds!
(audio) New female skinny audio!
New blueberry bushes!
New multiplayer octree based priority calculation
New art: Re-done plane seats
Fish and sharks are now also in multiplayer games!
Touch bending grass added! enemies, rabbits, animals and player will now slightly rustle the grass as they move through it (this is a first pass at this, next version will include better bending)
You can now climb fishing stands
Experimental Walls now block AIs (mutant & animals) from going through it
Fixed fire particles staying up after cutting down a burning tree
New world art: cliff wall variations.
Lighter now stays equipped when exiting/entering ropes
Added some additional optimizations and memory tweaks for 32bit machines that have less than 4gigs of usable ram
Fixed molotov fire never shutting down

The game looks fantastic in the new engine, and does seem to run a bit smoother. I won’t comment on the multiplayer improvements just yet, but here’s some shots of various areas in the game so you can see the improvements to the graphics:

2015-04-19_00001 2015-04-19_00002 2015-04-19_00003 2015-04-19_00004 2015-04-19_00005 2015-04-19_00006 2015-04-19_00007 2015-04-19_00008 2015-04-19_00009 2015-04-19_00010 2015-04-19_00013 2015-04-19_00014

#theforest #patchnotes #unity5

League of Legends 5.5

It’s been a while since the last time I really dove into some patch notes for League of Legends, but this time there is much to talk about. Full patch notes are available here, but I’ll be going over the most pertinent bits. First and foremost, Bard, the new champion that I’ve discussed recently is going to be a part of this patch. The new champion spotlight has finally turned up, so you can take a look at that now. I’ll wait.

He looks awesome, and I’m definitely looking forward to getting some play time in with the new champion. Beyond the new champion, there is also news of a visual rework for Kassadin, which is nice to hear, because he’s looked rather ugly for a while compared to newer champions. Take a look:


In the lower half you can see how the changes affect existing skins, and I happen to own the 2nd from the left, which looks much better now. This is just a visual rework though, so there haven’t been changes to his kit save for a tweak (nerf) to his ultimate. It’s nice to see the older champions getting some love, as many of them were starting to look a bit dated. The next wave of texture balances are also included in this patch, updating Cho’Gath, Janna, Taric and Warwick. They’re all in need of some help too, so good news all around.

Remember how Deathfire Grasp was removed a couple of patches ago, but it was said that a new item would be taking its place? Well that’s finally come to fruition. The new item is called Luden’s Echo, and it’s going to be a nice item for many AP carries.

Luden’s Echo


Our new 120 ability power item is here to fill the void left by the passing of Deathfire Grasp (rest in pieces). Goals up front: we want to provide a unique item that helps out movement-focused, spell-slinging mages, like kitey Lux, bursty-train Akali, or even spell-slingy (that’s a word) Karthus. Try it out and let us know what combinations work with you – we’ll be keeping a close eye here as new experiments get brought out. It’s also important to note that this works on spell hits, not basic attacks!

RECIPE: Needlessly Large Rod + Aether Wisp + 650 gold (total cost: 3100 gold)
UNIQUE PASSIVE: Gains charges upon moving or casting. At 100 charges, the next spell hit expends all charges to deal 100 (+0.15 ability power) bonus magic damage to up to 4 targets on hit. Applies spell Effects (e.g., Spell Vamp, Rylai’s, etc).

So basically we’re looking at the Statikk Shiv for AP carries. I like getting the extra movement speed as well, because mages tend to be pretty slow. Another new item is being added as well, which is a new part of the build path for Sunfire Cape, but also part of a new jungler item that replaces the juggernaut item for tanky junglers. Behold, Bami’s Cinder:

Bami’s Cinder

Baby sunfire.

We’ve mentioned this before, but one of our goals with this ‘new’ tanky jungle enchant was to provide an item that not only provides valuable tank stats but also helps junglers with their early to mid game clears. We’ve had to be very careful in balancing champions with this new item (ie: Amumu and Sejuani probably don’t need anything in addition to the new Cinder), but we’re excited to see what possibilities emerge. Want to play a tank jungler? GET FIRED.

RECIPE: Ruby Crystal + 600 gold (1000 gold total)
UNIQUE PASSIVE: Immolate – Deals 5 (+ 1 per champion level) magic damage to nearby enemies. Deals 50% bonus damage to minions and monsters.

Otherwise, there’s mostly balance tweaks and minor changes that you can read about in the full notes if you’re so inclined. Also, the Summoner’s Rift Beta will have officially ended with the new patch, as they feel it is working as intended. Apparently that means we’ll have animated Defeat and Victory screens now. Nothing major, but a nice touch.

That’s about all for the patch notes, but there was one other news story I wanted to talk about briefly. A new part of the “launcher metagame” is coming, called Champion Mastery. I call this part of the “launcher metagame” because this is where it takes place, in the launcher, but also because I would lump runes/masteries and other things of that nature into part of the meta that you “play” when you aren’t in game. Anyway, it’s kind of convoluted at this point, but the gist of it is that you gain “mastery” by playing a particular champion over and over, but you gain more mastery if you play well. Each champion will basically have a individual leveling system that takes place out of the game. This is something done in other MOBAs, at least I know it’s happening in HotS. However, in that game the level means something for your in-game character, whereas this system in League seems more cosmetic. You get some sort of icon/border for maxing out the mastery of a particular champion, and I believe you’ll be able to look these things up on other people’s profiles. So you can tell if someone is really a great Vayne or not based on their mastery level. But since you earn mastery just for playing, you don’t have to perform well to get the mastery maxed out, you’ll just do it slower than a truly good Vayne player. So I’m not sure exactly what Riot is aiming for here, aside for something else to keep your eyes on and maybe encourage your continued play. This is going onto the PBE, so we won’t see it live for a bit, and it will be limited to Normal games on Summoner’s Rift. I’ll talk more about it when it goes live and I know more.

That’s about all I have this time around.

#leagueoflegends #patchnotes #championspotlight