Silver, Finally

Those of you who have followed this blog for a decent amount of time will know that I frequently play and write about League of Legends. It’s my “evergreen” game, as Void likes to put it. I’ve played casually, fervently, and taken breaks. It’s something that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to quit though, despite really wanting to at times. Either way, in my history with the game, I’ve managed to get out of Bronze one time before, and now I’ve done it again.

I started playing the game during the first season, but it was nearing its end. I was still playing bot matches and normals at that point in time, so ranked was far from my mind. In season two I still hadn’t mustered the courage to play ranked, as I felt I wasn’t good enough to compete. It wasn’t until season three that I decided to give it a try. It turns out that I had better luck with matchmaking back then, because it only took me 73 games to reach Silver V, and I recall it being fairly quick. I wrote up a piece on my promotion to Silver which you can read right here. Back then I was mostly supporting, while playing top a little as well. During season four I had aspirations to try and reach Gold, but I ended up not playing any ranked at all, though I know I probably took about six months off from the game so that’s a big part of it. This season, I was gung-ho to get back into ranked play, and it took me until last night to finally get out of Bronze. There’s still time; I could theoretically get to Gold before the season’s end, but it would take some dedication and some luck, and I’m not sure if I’ll make it or not. Had I made Silver sooner, I might have pushed harder, but at this point I think I’m going to go back to playing here and there. There’s always next season.

I’m sure most of you have seen these pictures going around on social media sites. It’s a promo for the movie Straight Outta Compton which is the story of NWA, that hits theaters this Friday. There’s an image maker on the official site, and I found this to be a perfect opportunity to use it to create this image. Yeah, I’m straight outta bronze. Catchy, no? Unfortunately, I didn’t go so far as to screen shot all of the matches leading up to my promotion, mainly because I was in the promotion series to get into Silver about six or seven times before I finally made it. It never failed, I managed to get trolls or rage-quitters every time I was in a series. I lost most 2/3 (in a best of five) but lost one of those 1/3. In the final series, I ended up winning two, losing one, and winning another to go 3/1 overall. During the loss, there was (you guessed it) one of those rage-y types who declared the game would be over during champion select, and he ended up being the worst player on the team, go figure. We still held on for a while but it was too far gone by that time. Similarly to my season three performance, I ended up winning the whole series while playing support, though I feel that my contributions were note-worthy. I ended up being the shotcaller, and our rotations ended up being superior to our opponents. In the final game, there was a mutual desire to win, because every last one of us needed that win to promote into Silver, and we ended up getting our wish. I honored them all, and added them all as friends. It was truly one of the best experiences I’ve had in the game, considering the toxic nature of League.

statspage

Stats wise I’ve been doing alright, though I don’t like that win ratio. My personal performance overall seems pretty good, though I know it’s a team game and that’s why my win ratio doesn’t reflect that. It took me a hell of a lot more games to reach silver during this season though, 206 as opposed to the 73 I mentioned earlier. I spent most of my time playing Top, Support and ADC, but had a few games in the Jungle and Mid. The former have become my preferred roles. For stats people, and posterity, here’s a break down of the major points of my played champions:

Morgana: 22/13 | 62.9% win ratio | 2.7 KDA
Graves: 14/16 | 46.7% win ratio | 3.3 KDA
Corki: 11/9 | 55% win ratio | 2.7 KDA (also first ever Quadra kill in ranked)
Hecarim: 11/8 | 57.9% win ratio | 2.9 KDA
Maokai: 9/10 | 47.4% win ratio |3.3 KDA
Nautilus: 9/8 | 52.9% win ratio | 2.4 KDA
Lux: 5/5 | 50% win ratio | 3.1 KDA
Jinx: 6/4 | 60% win ratio | 3.2 KDA
Braum: 5/4 | 55.6% win ratio | 2.9 KDA
Sona: 2/6 | 25% win ratio | 2.8 KDA
Wukong: 2/5 | 28.6% win ratio | 2.3 KDA
Sion: 3/4 | 42.9% win ratio | 2.9 KDA
Caitlyn: 1/4 | 20% win ratio | 2.3 KDA
Ziggs: 0/4 | 0% win ratio | 1.8 KDA
Vladimir: 0/2 | 0% win ratio | 1.9 KDA
Pantheon: 1/1 | 50% win ratio | 1.7 KDA
Nami: 0/1 | 0% win ratio | 2.3 KDA
Bard: 0/1 | 0% win ratio | 1.6 KDA

Except for the few at the bottom, I’ve maintained at least a 2.0 KDA across the board, and that feels pretty good. How have you fared this season?

Also, taking a page out of Murf’s book, for the remainder of August I’m going to try and put up a video of a Daily run in Nuclear Throne. A rogue-like with procedurally generated levels, the Daily run is a set build that changes each day, and anyone playing the game gets one chance to see how well they do. It’s been implemented in the game for a while now, but I liked Murf’s idea where he’s been doing a run a day in Binding of Issac, and this game is already setup to do exactly what I want. I’m not imposing any other rules, though I might start to do that later on. As it is I’ve never completed a run so I doubt I’ll have to make it harder on myself! Here’s today’s run:

#leagueoflegends #nuclearthrone

Let Me Tell You A Story

It’s no secret that I’m a big League of Legends fan. Love the game, enjoy the strategy and the competition. I watch YouTube videos, streams, the LCS and even participate in a Fantasy league. It’s permeated my life in ways that an MMO might permeate yours. Today, I took part in a game that utterly astounded me, and here my thought was that I had seen it all. This level of trolling and stupidity has been reported by many players I’m sure, but it’s typically easier to shrug off than this particular match up. First off, let’s go over what I’ve been doing in the game as of late.

The 5th season of the game started early this year. I played ranked in the past, but only during season 3. Last year I didn’t touch ranked, as I was mostly playing other things and only toying around with ARAM and Team Builder. I decided when this ranked season rolled around that I would dive into it again, though I didn’t jump in right away.

When I finally did my ten provisional games, I was placed in Bronze I. This didn’t offend me, as I had only placed in Bronze III a couple of seasons ago, and worked my way up to Silver from there. It was assumed that I was on easy street, that getting back to Silver wouldn’t take long at all. Oh how wrong I was.

I dropped from Bronze I to Bronze III rather rapidly early this year. From there, it was back up to Bronze I, and then back to Bronze II for quite some time. I rose and fell through the ranks over and over again, finally settling in Bronze II where I would stay for a time again. It wasn’t until I started to duo with a friend from my guild Obsidian that I finally got back to Bronze I.

There was a catch of course. He was already in Silver by the time we started to duo. Apparently you can only queue with someone who is only one tier ahead of you, and if they go beyond that, you’re assed out. My friend managed to help me get to towards the top of Bronze I, before he promoted to Gold V, and couldn’t offer his help anymore.

I took breaks here and there, but eventually got back into it pretty religiously. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve gotten into the promotional series to head into Silver V four times now. The promotional series to go between say Bronze II and Bronze I are only best of threes, so you only need two wins to move forward. To move up a tier, from Bronze to Silver, it’s a best of five, so you need three wins to get ahead.

The first series saw two immediate losses. Then two wins in a row, and I ended up staying in Bronze I after going 2-3 in the series. I still had the attitude that other people were bringing me down, and in some cases that was true, especially when a player disconnects or goes AFK. This happens more often than I would like, but there are still plenty of time when a team and I are so cohesive that everything goes right.

The next two series ended up coming down to two mistakes that I made, in pivotal games. I ended both of those series 2-3 as well, though I can’t remember the exact order. I just know that during one of the games in the first series that ended up being a loss, it came down to us needing one hit on their nexus, me being the last guy alive, and missing the opportunity to just dash away and get that last hit.

The same goes for the next series, but that one had quite a bit of toxicity thrown my way. I had called for ADC in champ select, and though another player was below me in the pick order, he insta-locked an ADC so I was forced to support. I play quite a bit of the support role, so I was ok with it, just irritated that the guy did that, and then turned out the be kind of bad at the role. We didn’t feed, but it didn’t go so well, especially when we were dived quite hard by multiple enemies. Our jungler who was playing Shyvanna was doing really well, and got fed early. By mid-game, our top, mid and ADC seemed lost as to what to do, so I started shotcalling. It was working well — we took out all of the towers and inhibitors in top and mid, but by that time the enemy team was respawning, so I called for retreat. Shyvanna decided to stick around, died, the rest of the team tried to help and died too, and I made it out alive. Shyvanna laid into me at that point, saying that I was a “pussy” and gave me grief for the rest of the game. On the next push, we managed to get both their nexus turrets down, and it was a replay of the game I mentioned before, where we needed one hit on their nexus to win, but we all died. They pushed into our base for the win. These things happen, but Shyvanna put all of the blame on me, and raged over and over. I’ve not had that treatment since my newbie days when I truly didn’t understand the game, so I can see why some people would want to avoid these types of games altogether.

However, I feel like I have a greater understanding of zones, objective control, and other facets of the game that people in my ELO might not normally have. For instance, we didn’t get a single dragon that whole game. It’s not just the jungler’s responsibility to maintain dragon control, but that is one of their primary focuses. It’s also not just the support’s job to ward, but she managed to rag on me for not having enough out, despite being at my max. Either way, just because you are fed and the rest of your team isn’t, doesn’t mean ragging on them will accomplish anything. Either way, that promo series ended the same, 2-3. I lost a couple games after that, then go to the point where I only needed one more win to get back into a series, which brings us to this last game I played:

luxseries

The score lines aren’t really all that important here. Starting in champ select, I said I’d prefer ADC, and Vayne was first pick and said they wanted it. I was last pick so I ended up filling, and picked Lux mid. Jax was top, Alistar in the jungle, and Janna support. Not the best team comp, but it was at least more meta that the weird ass team the opposing force picked. They ended up with Talon mid, Aatrox top, Kalista ADC with Katarina support, and Master Yi in the jungle. First of all, fuck Katarina. I hate that champion more than any other.

So of course, the Katarina and Kalista lane gets fed, and after dying three times in like five minutes, Janna says she’s going AFK. Typical. I was doing fine in my lane, Talon wasn’t a challenge. Jax was losing his lane to Aatrox, citing ignite as the problem. It’s more likely, that neither lane knew how to play it safe. I didn’t die until both top and bottom’s outer towers were down, and roamers started coming to my lane. This is typical Bronze solo queue shit, and part of why I’m still stuck in this ELO Hell.

In all chat, Katarina keeps talking about how much of an asshole their Master Yi was, and that she felt that he deserved to lose. Jax is egging this on, and between the two of them, it’s decided that Katarina and Kalista will AFK. At this point, Janna comes back and starts to play, albeit still playing like a dumbass. The entire rest of the game, Kat and Kali toyed around with farming and spammed all chat. We were already at the point that we had all of our inhibitors down and it took the whole team to defend against the super minions. Yi, Aatrox and Talon would push in, we’d kill them, and defend. Eventually we were all level 18, had full or mostly full builds, and we were able to take a couple of dragons, barons and towers. They almost got to our base a few times, but we still fended them off. We pushed into their base, and got a nexus turret down before Katarina and Kalista came out of the fountain to harass, and ended killing all of us but Alistar. He still managed to fend off minions and Yi, while I came back up and helped finish them off. We all pushed into their base, killed Kat and Kali, and won the game.

The only positive I can take away from that game is the fact that I’m now back into a promo series to get into Silver. But I almost wish we would have just lost the game, because their behavior was atrocious.  I reported both the Katarina and the Kalista, stating:

By far the weirdest match I’ve ever been a part of. Kat and Kali managed to snowball their lane, but said Yi was an “asshole” so they sat afk and gave us tips on where everyone on the other team was. I enjoyed getting a win, but it wasn’t earned and this behavior breaks the game. Consider a ban.

The sad part is that all of them were at least Silver V, Kalista being Silver III. I was hoping getting out of Bronze would mean less of this shit, but apparently I was wrong. I still love the game but this was simply ridiculous. That’s all I have to say.

#leagueoflegends #ranked #pvp

State of the Game: The One Constant

sotg

Years ago, I grew tired of spending money on a variety of games, and felt that MMOs gave me the most bang for my buck. $15 a month for unlimited access seemed like such a steal, and I slowly phased all other aspects of gaming out of my life. I devoted myself to playing one game for months/years at a time. It was a simpler time.

Fast forward to 2011. I ended up giving up on the MMO genre (though I would still dip my toes into massive worlds from time to time). The new kid on the block, the MOBA genre was gaining traction, and many competitors to the throne would crop up. Of the few games I tried during this time, League of Legends took hold of me the way my first MMOs did, and it still hasn’t let go of me to this day. Like MMOs before it, I still take breaks and sometimes don’t play for months at a time, but I always come back, and it’s the one game I still think about playing every day (and usually do).

That isn’t something I can say about other games. Sometimes I’ll start a title, get sucked in and actually complete it within a decent timeframe. Other times, and more often than not, even if it’s a title I’m extremely excited about, I’ll start a game and only get a few hours into it, just to put it on the shelf and sometimes I’ll never go back to it. Sometimes I will come back later on and complete it, but some games have sat half-finished in the backlog for years.

It’s not as if I don’t have the time. I have hours each day that I could dedicate to gaming, and many of those hours have been spent doing just that. But sometimes other bits come up. I have been neglecting this blog for starters. The podcast has been going strong, but it takes up gaming time as well. Add in a budding social life, responsibilities and Netflix, TV shows, and other odds n ends, and I’m out of time, each and every day. Picking and choosing what to do with your time is probably the biggest first world problem of them all. At least I’m not struggling to eat and I have a comfortable place to sleep.

This probably all sounds like a rehash of things I’ve said before. I have a ton of games, and many of them are really good and I need to finish them, if not for any reason other than to say I did. Many of the titles saw their fair share of time and have been eliminated from contention, and some are on-going efforts, such as MMOs and MOBAs. At the end of the day, I’ll sit and think “what game should I play tonight?” and often times I just go with the tried and true, LoL. It frustrates the shit out of me, and sometimes I end up wondering why I bother, but the next day rolls around and I’m sucked right back in. I think I had similar feelings with MMOs in the past, so I suppose the only constant is that I love video games, despite the fact that it’s not always good for my mental health.

So despite having a rather large library of games, and still having an equally long wishlist, I typically opt for playing League. A free to play game that isn’t going anywhere and that I can’t complete. My OCD side is screaming for me to play the games I’ve only tinkered with recently, or to go back and finish off that game I started two years ago, know is good, but can’t bring myself to finish. I borrowed that South Park RPG and barely touched it. I started Thief. I even started Yakuza 4, and it’s an interesting game as well. Divinity is sitting there. Dark Souls. So many unfinished games that I know I enjoy but I just can’t pick which one to play on any given day. I’ll even think about it when I first get up, planning to play one of those unfinished games, but by the time I get to the end of the day, I end up thinking “I’ll just play a quick game of LoL and then move on to something else” which leads to a couple games, and then it’s bed time.

I don’t think I should obsess over it like I am. I should just be happy with the fact that I am finding enjoyment in that one game, and be done with it. I see others still playing WoW after ten years, and seemingly enjoying it, and not worrying about all the other experiences they’re missing out on because they decided to stick with that one game. Why can’t I be like that? I guess I can, since that’s pretty much what I’m doing with League, but I still feel the need to play other things, yet I don’t. Apparently there’s something wrong with me.

So yeah, I spent most of my time the last week only playing League. I have plans to do other things, but they likely won’t happen. I’ve been obsessed with the battle to get out of Bronze, and I’ve been foiled at every turn. I dropped out of Bronze I again, and am pushing back up the Bronze II board to get back there. I really want to get to Silver, and then move on from there, but I don’t know if it will happen any time soon. I could talk about individual games, tactics, or otherwise complain about things, but I’ll just say that a lack of team synergy leads to a loss. I’ve had some bad synergy, sometimes on an individual level (I have a bad game) or on a wider level (someone is toxic, inexperienced, or the team doesn’t know how to close), which has lead to my difficulties getting out of this tier. I know that I will eventually though, I’ve been in Silver before.

Perhaps I’ll get re-motivated to play some other games soon. Perhaps I’ll have more to write about as a result. Just don’t hold your breath.

#stateofthegame #leagueoflegends

Down and Dirty in Season 5

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or perhaps don’t give two shits about MOBAs, you’d know that Season 5 of League of Legend’s competitive season has started. I spoke about it a little bit in my last post, where I had done some of my provisional ranked games to see where I’d end up. Well, I managed to finish those off since then, and have even played a couple more games beyond that.

When I finished up my 10 games, I had one 4 and lost 6. That sounds pretty horrible — and it is — but I managed to still start off in Bronze I, which is actually better than where I started when I first played ranked back in Season 3. That year I ended up in Bronze III and had to work my way up to Bronze I, then promote into Silver V, where I stopped as the season ended. It had been my goal to get to Silver that year, and I accomplished that goal. I had planned on shooting for Gold last year, and I don’t remember why I never played. I just didn’t. So I resolved to try for that goal this year. Starting off in Bronze I means I have to promote into Silver and then run up the ranks there to get to Gold. I don’t think it will be too difficult, but we’ll see.

Since finishing my provisional games, I have played two more, one loss and one win. So currently I’m 5/7 on the season, which isn’t great by any stretch, but I don’t care as long as I meet my goals. So far I have had the best luck running Braum support, but I have won a game with Sona and Corki as well. I haven’t had any luck playing top so far, despite feeling pretty good at the role — I’ve had bad teams or bad games that didn’t result in wins. I have 27 league points currently, so a few more wins and I’ll be ready to promote into Silver. That will be pretty quick, and there’s still nearly the whole year ahead of me. I did get a game in with a fellow blogger and ranked player — Nitocris that resulted in a win, and that was cool to have a duo queue partner. So yeah, you can view my match history here if you’re interested.

In other League related news, Patch 5.2 is coming down the pipeline already. Here’s a video primer:

The biggest points are the removal of Deathfire Grasp (which I never really used, even when I play mid), and a new featured game mode in the works called “Nemesis Draft.” Interested to see what that’s going to be about, which should roll around when the Lunar Revel starts up soon. There are other tweaks and fixes, the Tristana rework and more, but you can check the full notes for more info.

Riot put out another one of those creative “artsy” videos that they are famous for. This time they decided to make a music video, and it’s focusing on Amumu, The Sad Mummy. I’m sure he’s sad because he doesn’t get played too much anymore. The whole thing is rather depressing, but you can see for yourself:

Lastly on the League front, there has been a new chunk of music released. Like the Pentakill album before it, this is a full CD’s worth of music, downloadable for free. This time around it’s more of the music of League itself, and I haven’t listened to it yet so I can’t comment on how good it is/isn’t. But free stuff is always nice right? You can go download your free copy of the album over here. It’s listed as “Volume 1” so I assume that means more of this will be coming out eventually. If you’re a video game music lover, this is for you.

That’s about all the news that’s come out recently. If you are playing League of Legends this season and want to duo, drop me a line. I’m Izlain on the Rift as well, so just do a search. Otherwise, happy gaming, where ever you find yourself!!

#leagueoflegends #patchnotes #music #season5

Season 3 Results

When League of Legends’  third competitive season kicked off, I said that I wanted to play Ranked games, and that I would try and get into the Silver tier at least. I don’t recall if I actually wrote that down, but I know that I told people I play the game with, and mostly, I told myself. I knew that I played at a decent enough level, because people that are my friends in game are in the Bronze-Gold range, and I was able to keep up with them when playing normals. I also just had faith that I could get out of what most would consider the “ELO-Hell” tier — Bronze. When I set the goal, I had plenty of time to go, and didn’t really even start playing Ranked games until after ARAM released. But here we are, three days before Season 3 officially ends, and I reached my goal. Last night I reached Silver, Division V. I never played any ranked in the previous two seasons, and as such I feel this is a step in the right direction. Here’s how it all went down:

This season the Ranking system was overhauled, and the new tiers added. The requirement to play ten games so that the MMR system could determine your position in the ladder was something that I did sporadically. I don’t recall what champions I played or how the games went specifically, but I know that I finished those ten games with a record of 4/6 — it didn’t go as well as expected. I have friends on my list that must have won more in their first ten games, as they ended up in Silver straight away. I was placed in Bronze, Division III.

I did hit my stride for a while, where I managed to win enough games to get into a best of three promotional series. In the series, I went 2/0 and was promoted straight into Bronze, Division I. Here is where I would spend the remainder of the season, until last night. I had hot streaks. I had ups and downs. It took a while, as I didn’t played ranked games every day, nor did I always win. Sometimes I would have 92 points and then would lose them all, just to get back near 90 and lose them all again. Eventually, I entered the best of five promotional series to enter the Silver tier.

On my first attempt at the series, I ended up having early success and late failure. I won the first game, lost the second, won the third, and all I needed was one more — but lost two in a row, ending in a 2/3 mark. I played one more game after the fact, and that was enough points to send me right back into a qualifier. The second series was a disaster. I lost the first two games, and if I recall correctly, one of those was due to someone disconnecting and not coming back. The third match was a victory, but I lost the next, ending the series 1/3. I was discouraged for a while, but as the deadline neared, I really wanted to make that transition. I played quite a few games and had my point total rise and fall, before finally entering my third qualifier.

Qualified
Qualified

I earned my way into the series with Sona as you can see, and I decided to run with it. I used her for all of the games in this series.

Game 1:

game 1

Game 1 saw an amazing Jarvan IV in the jungle go deathless, and a top-notch Swain dominate mid; they both ganked bottom often allowing us to dominate our lane as well. Teemo countered Tryndamere in the top-lane, and team fights were over before they started. Great way to start out the series!

Game 2:

game 2

 

The second game I was knocked off of my high horse. After the dominating first game win I decided that I would stick with Sona in the bottom lane. Despite frequently ganking, Sejuani was unable to help anyone secure kills, including herself, and fell far behind early, but this was due in part to Jarvan IV feeding excessively in top lane. He bitched and moaned that everyone else was doing something wrong, and then completely abandoned his lane to roam and steal jungle camps. We held on as long as we could, but it was a wash.

Game 3:

game 3

Game 3 was the most interesting of the bunch, as Teemo counter picked against Shen in the top lane, and Shen was worried he would feed, but knew that he could hold off Varus and Volibear at least until we picked off the top turret. So Sivir and I swapped lanes and decimated Teemo (who also had help from Lee-Sin); quickly destroying the tower. We then swapped back to bottom lane and managed to destroy bottom tower as well. We had a push up the mid lane where we took out the inhibitor, but then had a mid-game slump where we couldn’t win a team fight, or people would get caught out. Finally, we had a good win and pushed to end it.

Game 4:

game 4

In the final game, our teams were fairly balanced, and the battle swayed back and forth. We eventually pulled ahead during team fights and pushed for the final victory, at which point I was presented with this message:

promotion

 

Despite having played that entire series with Sona, I did have success with other champions in my ranked journey. Here are some stats from my season:

  • overall record: 34/38
  • 47.2% win ratio
  • overall KDA: 2.5:1
  • best record/most games played: Sona (17/7)  3.7:1 KDA, 70% win ratio
  • best win percentage: Shen 80% (4/1), 4.2:1 KDA
  • 100% win rate: Corki (2) 6.3:1 KDA, Xin Zhao (2) 2.5:1 KDA
  • perfect games: Nami (5/8) 2.4:1 KDA, 0/0/11 and 0/0/7;  Shen 5/0/7
  • no wins: twitch (0/3), renekton (0/2), khazix (0/1), quinn (0/1), ziggs (0/1), ahri (0/1), caitlyn (0/1), lux (0/1), miss fortune (0/1), aatrox (0/1)

Surprisingly, champions that I have had success with in normal games or ARAMs are champs that I failed with in ranked, although we all know that teams can affect your wins and losses. In some of those winless instances I had good individual performance but couldn’t hold the team together.

And that’s my ranked story for this season. With season 4’s preseason kicking off soon, there will be new opportunities to get further along. I’m setting my goal now to reach at least Gold tier.