League of Legends: January Highlights

For those of you who haven’t subscribed yet to my YouTube channel, I’ve fallen into a pattern of releasing at least one video a week. For the past couple of weeks, those videos were of League of Legends. I’ve been playing quite regularly and practicing with the new champion select, a few new champions, and at least one who has been reworked. Joining me has been Tacktix of Tough Love Critic, and to a lesser extent my other buddy Tyvokka (who has gone by other names that I’ve mentioned before), both of which are members of my guild Obsidian and part of our Fantasy LCS league. Lately we’ve been getting together several times a week to practice while jumping on Skype while we play. We may make the switch to Discord at some point though, as the guild is planning to use it more often once we start playing Crowfall together.

I have to say, I love the changes that came through during season 6. The new champion select is fantastic, allowing you to pick two roles that you want to play and you are guaranteed to get one of those roles. This heavily cuts down on toxicity during champ select, though I have still seen some flaming during matches, but that’s never going to be eliminated entirely. I’ve noticed having at least one of my friends on and having voice comm has helped with my map awareness and shotcalling abilities. I started gravitating towards top lane during last season, but oftentimes took up the support role because that would help me to focus on objective and vision control. Having practiced support last season helped me to carry those skills over to the top lane, and playing characters like Shen with a global ultimate means paying more attention to the map. I also always run teleport up there, so that helps too. There have been many times that Shen ult or well timed TP have been game changers. Through practice this season with the new masteries, item changes and other tweaks, I’ve found a handful of champions I rather enjoy playing up in the top lane.

For a time I was picking top + fill in champion select. After being stuck in the jungle a couple of times, I’ve found that Trundle (who I’ve spammed A LOT up top) is a fantastic jungler. Now I’m picking top + jungle in queue, and have found success in both roles more often than not. Tacktix plays Thresh support primarily, and between the two of us we have heaved several low-skill teams on our shoulders and turned dire looking situations into wins individually and for our teams. It’s been a huge confidence booster, and I’m really looking forward to doing our placement matches in ranked mode very soon. Occasionally I’ll switch things up and play some ADC too, though I really only want to be in the bot lane if I have him backing me up.

So far I’ve been loving Trundle, the newly reworked Shen, and Tahm Kench up top. I have played around with the reworked Poppy a bit, along with being relatively confident with Maokai and Illaoi. I think that’s probably enough to work with. I’ve only really played Trundle in the jungle, but I think a couple of these other champions might work well there also. On ADC I’ve mostly played Corki, Jinx and Caitlyn, but I want to get some time in with Graves as well. The massive ADC rework threw me for a loop for a while there, but I’m starting to wrap my head around it.

Anyway, I wanted to share the two January Highlights videos I culled from a ton of games played over the course of the month. Going forward I can see this being a new trend, and I hope to chronicle my ranked journey via video this season. I’d say two videos per month pertaining to this subject will probably be all that will happen, due to the fact that I have to record a bunch of games and cut out the best stuff, but it will be cool to document it all. Here’s the videos for January:

Part One:

And Part Two:

Oh, and if you haven’t yet, subscribe to my channel for all the newest videos! Thank you!

Revised Season 6 Runes/Masteries

When the preseason first started for season 6 of League of Legends, there were sweeping changes to the masteries system. Essentially all of the masteries were changed, and though it was easy enough to theorycraft what setups would be best for each role, it turns out that the vast majority of people just said “fuck thinking, let’s all use Thunderlord’s Decree!” I saw it as a viable choice in some situations, but it was clearly not being used as intended. Yes, it can be used on any champion in any role, but it’s sort of a bitch move when it comes down to it. Just because one thing is OP doesn’t mean you should just use it by default. But that’s my train of thought, perhaps you would prefer the above quoted like of thinking. Either way, I have noted that some of the builds that I was using weren’t that viable or were less-than-optimal, so I have made changes while practicing during the preseason.

I also decided that rather than making rune/mastery pages for roles that I don’t necessarily play (like hybrid champions), I would limit my pages to those that made the most sense: One per lane. This way if I decide to “fill” I will still have a viable set of pages for the role I get stuck playing, even if it isn’t one of my best roles. So the pages I have now reflect those lanes, and I have one flex page that will work for multiple roles. Instead of taking a bunch of screenshots and writing a wall of text, I decided to record a video of my pages and provide further commentary there. So here’s that video, for your viewing pleasure:

That’s all for today kids. If you liked the video, please like, share and subscribe. I’m still working on this whole “build a following on YouTube” thing. Oh, and thanks!

Fallout 4: Main Story Complete

I’ve “completed” Fallout 4. That is, I played though the entirety of the main story and I saw the ending trailer. I’m by no means finished with the game, as I know there are further quests in my journal and plenty of map that I could still scour. There’s leveling to 50 and attempting to collect all of the goodies that I’ve missed to this point. There’s also DLC on the way, within the next month or two I’d wager, so I will definitely be back for more adventures in the wasteland. Oh yeah, and that’s not even mentioning all of the mods that are out or being worked on. I’ll have plenty of fun with this title for a long time to come. It’s just going to go on the back burner for a while.

For those of you who aren’t interested in my further discussion about the game, which will include some SPOILERS, feel free to see your way out. The game released almost two months ago, so most people who were early adopters are likely done with the game by now. I know I’ve read plenty of posts stating that the authors had finished the game, but there hasn’t been too much open discussion about it. I just have a few things I want to get off my chest, and then I’ve got a video to share. Again, SPOILERS beyond this point.

The general consensus seems to be as follows:

You either
a) didn’t play The Witcher 3 so you think Fallout 4 was the best game of the year or
b) you played The Witcher 3 so you think it was the best game of the year

I’m not sure why this has to be a competition, but that seems to be the way of things. I can compare the two games in that they’re both open-world RPGs but that’s where the similarities stop. I could make comparisons between The Witcher 3 and Grand Theft Auto V as well, but I won’t because I know that people will just focus on that and miss the point. Mostly, I just don’t want to compare them because I haven’t played The Witcher 3 yet and though I already know I’m likely to enjoy it and it’s on my wish list, at this point I’m waiting for a GOTY edition to drop before bothering with it. I’m also likely to give a better score to Dragon Age Inquisition than many people did just because I’m a fan of that series and I think the things people complained about with that title are things that won’t bother me so much. But that’s a story for another day.

So the fact that this shouldn’t really be a competition doesn’t change the fact that it is. I nominated Fallout 4 as my GOTY for 2015 on a recent episode of the podcast, but Eri went the way of The Witcher 3 and we both gave our reasons why we liked each. I had another conversation with a fellow blogger and guildmate who basically called me stupid for thinking Fallout 4 was worthy of that GOTY title when a game like The Witcher 3 simply exists. It was like I had committed cardinal sin. No, not really, but that sounded pretty dramatic 🙂 Seriously though, the biggest complaint he had was that Fallout 4 had a sub par storyline and when compared to The Witcher 3 it really stood out. I think that complaint would be thrown out the window if these two titles released during separate years. Either way, I’m not trying to demean The Witcher 3, but I honestly think Fallout 4 was a fantastic title and is worth your time.

The main point I think that was missed was the fact that Bethesda games have never really been about the story. I mean yes, the story and lore drives the overall narrative, but that’s not what these games are about. These games are about just seeing what’s over that hill, finding hidden paths, secret caverns and treasures and killing mass amounts of enemies while doing it. You sort of piece together your own narrative, and sometimes that means skipping the main questline for a while or experiencing it in parts. Perhaps you’ll blow through it but then explore the rest of the world at  your own pace once it’s complete. Skyrim, Oblivion, Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas; they’ve all had their share of piecing together the storyline in your own way at your own pace. I can’t speak for The Witcher series here, but I’m willing to wager that it has a better written storyline because there is something lacking in another area. I won’t know for sure until I play it, but I’ll get to the bottom of this sooner or later. Perhaps it is just the better game, but I reserve that judgement for a later date. For now, check out my final epic moments video below:

Funny Moments: Vermintide

I’ve mentioned it a couple of times now, but there have been several occasions where me and Eri played Warhammer: Vermintide lately, and I’ve recorded several hours of footage. At some point I thought it would be possible to edit all of that down to a reasonably sized video, but it turns out that there are a bunch of funny and/or epic moments in that game, and I want to share them all. One of the first videos we recorded I was streaming as well, so it was nearly four hours long — that’s four hours of hacking, slashing, cursing, joking, laughing and loving the game. I managed to condense that to ~25 minutes worth of “the good stuff.”

I uploaded the video in the wee hours of the a.m., as I acquired a new video editing tool, and it took me a while to get the hang of using it. Now that I have the foundation down, I can only improve with practice. You might notice that the transitions aren’t that fluid, and I see it too, but I’ll get the kinks worked out. I still have several hours of footage to comb through, so expect a part two in this series at minimum, but a part three is likely as well. Anyway, there’s plenty to watch, so I’ll let you get to it. Enjoy.