Wednesday, October 23, 2013

League of Legends - My Journey from Noob to Below Average - Entry 2

Ah yes, the journey continues people! Its been about 2 weeks since my last LoL entry and not much as changed to be honest. I am still very much a noob and just grinding away trying to improve. I do feel that I have enough to write another entry in this series as it also serves as a tool to help me review and focus in what I need to be working on in game.

Review and Re-focus?!? LoL is serious business...

Goals from last entry
1. Play against actual people
2. Get better at last hitting
3. Pay attention to the map more / work on communicating with team

Two out of three ain't bad right? I haven't felt comfortable enough yet to jump in a normal game against actual people. I know that I should just start doing it, but I don't know. I really don't want to get yelled at or completely rolled for not playing at a high standard. I mean just from playing against bots I feel I'm surrounded by trolls that consistently want to tell me what to do and what I am doing wrong. Even though they are normally the ones with 10 kills, 6 deaths, and a 35 CS by the 30 minute mark. I can only imagine playing a REAL LoL game and all the bullshit banter that goes down.

When I get the time to play, I normally just want to hop in, practice the basics, and make good decisions. That is what I have deemed more important for the moment and I think that it has paid off so far. A perfect example is that I just finished a game where I wasn't my normal mid lane, but I still thought I did pretty good overall. However, when I looked at the final score I couldn't figure out why my "Gold Earned" was so much less then others. So I took a screenshot and headed over to the Mobafire forums and ended up making a new thread.

Last Hitting is Important Mmmm'kay?

You can check out the thread post and the screenshot from the above link. It got several responses and to my surprise the community basically stated that I was terrible at last hitting. What I thought was decent, was actually terrible for a 33 minute game. Now I don't think that they took into consideration that this was against intermittent bots and that one of the players (Kassadin) was a snowballed super beast. When I would try to farm some creeps, he would come in and kill them immediately with an aura type of spell. The game was never in danger of losing, so I mostly focused on team battles...hints my 13 assists.

HOWEVER! They still brought up a very good point. First off, the reason why the AI team had 3-4k more "Gold Earned" then me was because that is how the AI / Bot team is designed by the developer. Plain and simple answer. Secondly, the point a few of them were making is that I really should focus alot more on my CS.

So the last 5-10 games that I had played I have really been focusing on last hitting and getting my CS up. I am happy to report that I have significantly increased my CS average to about 180-200 by the 30 minute mark if I am rocking the mid lane and ~100 or so if sharing a lane. While I still have work to do, I am pretty happy with my progress.

Middle Lane and the Jungler...

Coordination, communication, and map awareness are all very important when solo in the middle lane. You just can't zone out and not pay attention to the mini map...especially the position of your team's jungler. I know this...but actually doing it and performing the task is harder then it seems. I had a game the other day against bots where our jungler actually seemed like he knew exactly what he was doing. Now, I noticed him pinging and coming into my lane for a potential gank a few times, but I didn't think it was a good time to risk my life for the gank.

Well...I guess after the first 2 passes I just didn't pay attention or coordinate with him and he made sure to call me out on it. I think his exact words were "You are really fucking terrible"

So confused and assuming it was me lol, I asked in chat and it was confirmed that he was indeed talking directly to me. It was at this point where I had to explain that I am playing against bots because I am still learning the game and not a pro like him. When I asked why he didn't type anything out once he realized that I wasn't getting it and he replied "l2play". Very helpful right? I know he doesn't have too, but it would of been nice if he could given me some tips on how not to be fucking terrible. I even asked him after the game was over to help a summoner out, but he never responded. Too pro I guess lol. No worries here though, I have no shame in asking for help for my noobish ways!

I find paying attention to mini map way harder then I realize it was going to be. Now that I am starting to get decent at last hitting, I am going to start focusing alot more on this. Hopefully in entry 3 I will have improved and actually get some games against other players under my belt.

Champions Arise!!

Maybe you noticed that the main picture for this post is Karthus. Well that is because I saw a streamer on Twitch playing him and a few hours later I saw a professional match where one of the teams was rocking him. Even though I am much more comfortable with Malzahar, I went ahead and decided to pay up and buy him. I have only played a few games with him but man...what a powerful and fun toon! All I got to say is that his ultimate is GLOBAL.

Yes, a global ultimate that hits all players...hints the nickname of King Kill Steal. I have yet to get a pentakill, but I am sure after I start playing him more and more that they will come. In fact, I think I am going to play a quick game now with him. Until next time people.

Hearthstone - Access Granted!

That's right people, I finally got my hands on the elusive Blizzard game that is still in closed beta, Hearthstone. What is even more shocking is that I got to play it last night for about 3 hours...IN A ROW!?!@?

...yeah I am paying that shit today but The Chive always seems to make my Mondays better. I don't about you, but I am betting that you are now subscribed to ZooToday's Youtube channel...


First Impressions

Solid looking game, but if you are like most people interested in this game, you already know that. You don't need some random dude on the internet tell you that shit. I have watched alot of game play from people in the beta via Youtube and Twitch. Due to this I thought that I would be able to jump in and start grinding away. Now, I am no 1337 pro or anything think, but I definitely thought I could carry my own and already have several ideas for custom decks.

Easy right? I was wrong. I didn't even have a great winning percentage against the normal and expert AI. Now this was playing with the standard decks and I only played with the Shaman. So after I got to level 10 I made a deck that focused on low mana cost cards that summoned other minions and attempted to ended the game around turn 5-6 with bloodlust. It worked out against the AI beautifully, but when I started playing ranked mode, it had some mixed results. The first night I went 6-2 and so far today I went 2-8 lol. I started fucking with it after a few losses and now I don't even remember what my original deck looked like when I posted the 6-2 record.

If you haven't already, I highly suggest you take a look at Force Strategy Gaming YouTube channel. He does alot of videos on custom decks and the strategy behind them. Even if you are not in the beta, it is pretty entertaining stuff in my opinion.

Here are some of my favorite ones from his channel. Due to work commitments the next few weeks, I am not going to be able to play much, but I will definitely use this blog as a means to talk about the game from this point forward. Are you in the beta? What so far has been your favorite class? Use the comment section or twitter to let me know freaks!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

League Of Legends - My Journey from Noob to Below Average - Entry 1

Thats right! I stated that I was going to document my journey on learning this game and I am actually doing it...quite shocking really. If you haven't checked out my first post about the game, go read that first and come back. Then my journey will begin!



LoL is considered a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) and  is a sub-genre of the real-time strategy (RTS) genre, in which often two teams of players compete with each other in discrete games, with each player controlling a single character through an RTS-style interface.

Full wiki breakdown on the game here.

There was some pretty basic things that I was confused about...

Now, I know the basic concepts of the game and at its core, it is very simple. However, it can get complicated and complex fast. I started playing it a few years ago, but I only played against AI controlled opponents. Even then, it was clear that I wasn't even the best player on my team and after a few weeks I lost interest. This time around I told myself that I was going to make a much bigger effort and really dive into this game.


1. WTF do I do once mid and late game begin? Do I still focus on my lane and minions or do I try and work with my team and focus more on getting champion kills?

2. You are on a 5 man team and in order to succeed you need to communicate. I didn't know how to alert my team members and ping the map in at the same time. I knew how to chat with my team and ping the map separately, but in the heat of the battle sometimes you just don't have the time to type it out.

Example - "player 1 has targeted the inner turret"
Example - "player 3 alerts his team to retreat"
Example - "player 4 alerts his team to be careful"

3. What is up with the item tree and how does it work? If I buy an item that apart of a bigger recipe, does the main item get discounted?

4. I knew I had to last hit minions and that it was a big part of your individual income. However, when I would look on how many minion kills I had compared to my team, I was normally 4th or 5th by ALOT. WTF am I doing wrong?

5. The jungle and neutral monsters. I knew that they gave you buffs and gold and that the current "meta-game" is to have one champion on jungle duty the whole game. Sounds pretty easy I thought. I gave it a try and lets just say I was pretty lost and didn't realize what I was doing.

6. Terminology - Like the awesome noob that I am, I have no clue what terms people were using like "cs", "leash", and a "carry".

Dem Resources...

Over the course of a few days I have played 4-5 games all with very specific goals of answering these above questions and getting better. Normally I would read a few online articles and then I would search for a video of someone showing / explaining it. I think the combination of reading about it and then seeing someone do it is a winning formula. I tried to focus on 1 or 2 things at a time and then move on once I got a good understanding of what I should do.

One of the best resource sites that I have found for noobs and pros alike is MOBAFIRE. They have a huge LoL community and tons of guides. One of the guides that I like the most is a basic general guide to the game. It is not too often that I spend time reading through a whole guide, but it was so well put together and helpful for a noob like me, I just had to read it from start to finish.

Here is it in all its glory - The General Guide to League of Legends

I am happy to report that all of my questions on the above list I have been able to answer. I have started the process of practicing and can already tell a big difference in my game play. Don't get me wrong, I am still very much a noob, but now I at least have a good idea of how the game should go.

I played a game last night against the intermittent AI difficulty and two of my teammates seemed like me before I started reading up on how to play the game. They were doing a pretty terrible job of killing minions and they kept on dying. I think one of them ended up with 21 deaths or something like that. It was the first game that I thought we were going to lose and if the AI controlled champions wanted to end it, they could have easily. However, a few of us just kept on grinding away and to be honest, I have no idea how we ended up winning. It took over 100 minutes and it was the first game that I really learned the importance of the jungle and mini bosses buffs.

Notes / Take Aways / Tips

1. Pick one champion and stick with them.

That doesn't mean you cant play around with a bunch of champions, but I think the best way to learn the game and get good at it, is to stick with one champion that you like and master them. I am still messing around with a few, but I think I am going to roll with Malzahar exclusively. What can I say, I like dark magic characters and I like dots.../evil

2. Learn how to last hit and execute it EVERYTIME.

I didn't realize how important this concept was but after reading up and watching others play online...I couldn't of been more wrong. It is one of the easiest ways to improve your game.

3. Communicate with your team and recognize the transition from "laning" to team battles.

This was one of the most confusing things to me. I had no idea what to do in the mid game and didn't understand what my other teammates were doing. What really helped me recognize this is just watching other people play. I think one of the videos I watched actually stated that mid / late game was all about team battles first and farming minions second.

I am still trying to get used to pinging the map and emoting correctly. However, now that I know how, its only a matter of practicing.

Upcoming goals for entry 2...

1. Play against actual people. Even if I only do it a few times and get rolled. I need to start playing people to get a better understanding of the game and its fun factor.
2. Get better at last hitting.
3. Pay attention to the map more and work on my communicate emotes

Copy and Paste like a Pro

Here are some of the more helpful videos I watched. They cover quite alot and helped a noob like myself A TON.

Beginner Guides - I really enjoyed both of these and highly recommend the terminology video. 

Replay Analysts

Ranked Match in the Middle Lane - I loved watching this guy play and found his thought process very interesting

Until next time people, I'm WTFout!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

League Of Legends Leading the Way

League of Legends has been out for a little over 4 years now and if you have paid ANY attention to the video game scene, you know how immensely popular the game is. I am a pretty frequent visitor to Twitch TV and I would say that LoL has the most viewers 95% of the time. Not to mention, its normally not even close in regards to viewership. As of right now, LoL has 82,000 viewers and the second most viewed game has 11,000 viewers.

I played the game for a few weeks awhile back and while it was fun, it never really held my attention for more then a few weeks at a time. In order to keep my A.D.D. at bay, a game has to be REALLY good and most importantly, fun. Now I know that alot of the fun with this game is playing with other people and working as a team. I only know a few people that play LoL and even if I knew more, my gaming schedule is anything but normal. So my playing experience has been almost exclusively solo.

So what made me take another look at LoL? As previously stated, I go to Twitch TV quite often and I am very used to LoL being the number 1 viewed game. However, this weekend when I took a look I couldn't help but to notice the overwhelming number of was over a half of million people!!! Even with those numbers, I didn't think too much of it. I just assumed some major tourney was going on. It is pretty common for big eSport games to get similar viewer numbers during major tourneys. Though I would be lying if I said that I have ever seen over a half of million viewers tuned into one game on twitch.

I went on with the rest of my day and I couldn't help to notice one of my favorite YouTuber's, Husky StartCraft, live tweeting about this LoL tournament he was at. He wasn't apart of the broadcast team, just there as a fan. Oh yeah, it was also at the same arena where the LA Lakers play their home games...the Staples Center! The SOLD OUT Staples Center at that!

Okay, okay, now I you have my interest. I mean the fucking Staples Center?!? I went back to twitch and started watching the stream. It was grand finals and I have to say I was quite shocked on all the hype and excitement from the crowd. I watched the final few matches and I figured that I have to give this game another go around. See if I can't get what all this fuss is about. I mean who knows, maybe this is my chance to go pro and win millions of dollars...

...dreams can happen right? I wasn't joking about the millions though. The winning 5 man team took home a 2 million dollar prize. Quite balla for a group of teenagers if I don't say so myself.

Check out this great article GameSpot put out on the finals and the eSport scene. LoL is eSports right now people. I can't help but to get excited when I read these types of things. I love video games and if ESPN can broadcast bowling on a Saturday afternoon, then why the fuck not popular and competitive video games? Here is my favorite quote from the article...
"Riot Games Vice President of eSports Dustin Beck tweeted during Game 1 of the broadcast that there was an estimated 1 million concurrent users watching through Twitch, YouTube, and AzubuTV, with another 1 million concurrent users watching through streams in China and South Korea. Beck added in conservative estimates of an additional 4 million watching on TV in an unspecified number of countries."
The article does also mention that they are getting some major sponsors now as well adding that Coke Zero has signed on for the upcoming season. Step in the right direction I say right? Fuck yeah it is. Like the game or not, anyone that is for the expansion of eSports has to recognize that LoL is leading the way and that by itself is pretty flipping awesome.

I Canz Play Too?!?

That's right! Even a normal fat american like myself can play the game. It is the main game that has seen huge success from the FTP (free to play) game model. Unlike other games that use the model, you really do not get an advantage by paying for in game items. I am pretty noobish at the game and have yet to play against other players...only co-op vs AI bots. The game is extremely simple and like most really good eSports competitive games, it gets very complex and complicated fast. 

So far I've been struggling heavily, but also learning quite a bit. I plan to document my journey in this blog from noob to below average...

...I know I am setting the bar high right? We shall see how it goes and hopefully it will turn out a fun and enjoyable experience to play and also write about. I have a few helpful links listed on my page under the Gaming section that pertain to LoL. It is also a given that I will copy and paste all the best information I find helpful like the awesome blogger I am.  

Follow me on twitter and leave a comment if you like. If not, its okay...I know this blog is your dirty secret.

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Hola amigos!

It is that time again. Some changes in your life are a good thing people! Embrace that shit and update your wallpaper on your PC, cell phone, tablet, or any other random device you might have.

I updated my "Links that ROCK MY FACE" and I highly suggest you check them out...especially the Misc / UBER section. Short and simple post, just like you like. Until next time freaks!

D3 Spells
Old School