Archives For February 2013

A League of Legends (aka Why the hell do I keep playing this?) Article

LeagueFor the honor of pride…
For the joy of the battle…
The never-ending blood lust…

They rise up fighting each moment in the grandest of arenas, fueling the pride of lands and nations; settling final scores and bringing home the greatest honors.  Be it for the pride of Noxus or Demacia, the solo goal of devouring the Starchild’s heart or even finding the greatest warrior of time, they rise up and fight to the bitter or highest ends.

Welcome to Runeterra… Welcome to the League of Legends.

There is nothing but excitement in most players when you hear those four words, ‘Welcome to Summoner’s Rift’, at least that’s how it is for myself.  League of Legends is a high rising game with stakes going from an average player to the professional player.  There are matters of pride and sometimes a great joy in simply being the best or even be considered a professional player.   Professional or average, this game does span across lot of different players as well as levels of play.

The first time I ever considered this game it was a moment of just following the crowd.  A full out PVP game where your only goals ever seemed like you had get the most kills and destroy the enemy base.  Definitely not the game for me but I wanted to see why it had all my friends so interested in it.  From first glimpses, this game heavily relies on strategy and knowledge of RTS games but wait, it’s not all that.  After playing a few horribly frustrating games, I realized it’s not just any old RTS and found the lore (being a heavily RPG player, this was gold in my mind at the time).  Unfortunately, a real interest in the game is what keeps you there and well, mine was out the door.

Months go by and I find myself once again waiting for the patch to finish for this game.  Most games don’t ever have that interest to pull you back but this one certainly did.  Even with my awful start and believe me it was awful, I had never killed a single champion on my own if that says something.  The second try was what had kept me playing for about a year and I played on the North American server.

League of Legends offers a lot of joy depending on what you enjoy in a RTS game.  From their creative lore of the champions to the champions themselves.  Each game can be different, even through wins or losses, the combinations of the champions can make or break games but make each game fun.  There are stressfully parts of League being, the lovingly called, ‘Elo Hell’; this is where players solo or duo queue up to be ranked using a system similar to chess.  The higher the Elo, the higher level of play you are capable of.

One of the cons to the game, if you are playing with friends, is the ranked teams of 3v3 or 5v5.  This in my opinion is either a friends destroyer or it makes you better friends.  I played on a ranked team in the North American server with some people I had met in the queues.  Like any team sport, team play as well as sportsmanship is needed and once that is gone, it is nothing but full out blood bath.  Arguments from who plays what position on the team better to the good old fashion ‘You suck at this game’ come out.  The more you fight, the more the game becomes less fun and eventually it is a turn off if you let the ‘drama’ get to you.  Leaving my ranked team at 1.5k Elo, I set off again for the land of MMOs but this isn’t the end to the League story, as long as their lore is developing so is every player.

League is definitely a game that can suck you in again and again.  A couple of my guild mates from an MMO dragged me kicking and screaming back to League because I had sworn I was never going to play this ‘darn awful game again as long as I lived’.  With a good set of incentives, I was playing on an average basis and this time around I noticed a lot more about the game.  This time around, I was playing on the European West Server and that was something completely different.

There is a difference of game play depending on the server and it was something that had shocked me.  I would have thought, no matter what server you were on, the game play would be the same.  Each server, the players have different ideas on what to do, what is acceptable as well as their own different strategies.  As they says, when in Rome, do as the Romans and that is what I did.

From what I’ve seen again of this game, this game is simple to understand but it’s the matter of mastering it.  Here I am another year later, another level 30 account working on my Elo once more and this time with more experience.  The game is enjoyable on many levels, with or without friends, and even if it’s the same thing again and again, kill enemy champions and destroy their bases, it is never the same.  Each game changes with the players and the enemy team; it’s about outwitting and outplaying and that is why I keep coming back to it again and again.

***Before reading, please know that I tried not to give away anything big in the story-line***

Arrow_Costume_Final_SNow I am not a huge fan of the CW. I do not think that there has been anything good on that channel since the XFL (Xtreme Football League) back in 2001. But since I heard all the good things about their new show “Arrow”, which is based on Oliver Queen or Green Arrow in the DC Universe, I decided to give the show a chance. Now I do not know much about the original origin story for Oliver or even the New 52 version of it, but this story was interesting. Oliver is still a wealthy man because of his family’s fortune.

Just a little background on the storyline to get you going if you have not seen the show. Oliver, his girlfriends sister (Sarah), his father (Robert), and father’s friend went on a yacht trip out in the Indian Ocean and the boat ends up getting destroyed, along with

Sarah. Himself, Robert and friend survive on a raft for days with little to no supplies. Oliver’s father has run his business pretty much as a mob boss, turning Starling City into a crime and drug haven and is telling Oliver how he has done so while on his deathbed. Once Robert dies (I won’t spoil the way this happens), Oliver finds a book within his father’s pocket. The book contains nothing but blank pages.

Within the storyline there are a couple familiar characters. We have the obvious one, Green Arrow (who is called “The Hood” by everyone in the city and is only mentioned as Green Arrow once), the Huntress, Merlyn, Yao-Fei of the Great Ten, Deathstroke, and Deadshot. There are a couple other potential characters that could show up because their alter-ego are already within the series like Black Canary, Speedy and Constantine Drakon to name a couple. I personally cannot wait to see what other DC characters show up within the show.

The show has a decent cast but what really draws you in is the storyline. There are many twists and turns within the story that you might have to watch some of the episodes a couple of times as it is with many drama shows. As watch the show you see people who you would not expect to be some of the heroes and villains of the series. There is so much to be said about the show but very difficult to do so without spoiling the storyline. So if you want to catch up with the series, parts of it are on demand and you can always grab the stray episodes off of itunes or on xbox. There are still 8 new episodes this season and they air on the CW on Wednesdays at 8pm. Don’t miss them!

dice

So, yesterday was the seventh month anniversary of my DM’s first campaign with my group.  For some of you, you understand the magnitude and awesomeness that is such a statement, for the rest of us—who cares, right?  Wrong.  This is pretty frikkin’ amazing, and something most of my readers would give the Obama (Not Bad) Face.  It’s a healthy spot for a D&D campaign to be at…but why do I feel less secure about my gameplay now than I did when I first started?  Let’s break it down, shall we?

Oh, yes.  We shall.

I’m a level 6 Thief.  That’s a little less than a level a month.  My friend “Borkum” (Character names used to protect…whatever) told me last night, after struggling with math and rolls of dice I had no idea why I was rolling, that I really wasn’t doing half bad.  But…I’m a level 6 Thief.  I have 23HP (Hit Points), and most of the people in my group want to kill me.  LOL.  That’s pretty bad, if you ask me.  I hate having to tiptoe when all I want to do is kill them first.  *wicked, evil grin spreads across the Writer’s face.* When I first started, it was really my first time playing a table top RPG.  I wasn’t attached to her, losing her would be like losing a pair of cheap sunglasses.  Don’t worry, I’ll get another paid.  Now, don’t get me wrong guys; I’ve been roleplaying since I was 14 years old.  I’m…not going to tell you how old I am now, but take it from me, I know how to describe a scene from start to finish.  It’s the…mechanics that always seem to muck me up.  So…

Why do people like this game?  I happen to think it’s because it allows us to be who we’ve been dreaming about being if the fear of getting caught (and perhaps committed to a mental asylum—or worse) would merely be a percentile roll on Move Silently/Hides in Shadows.  If I were simply to look at why I play, it’s because I get to be (attempt to be) a villain.  A bad guy.  How AWESOME, right?  Who hasn’t ever been driving to work and fantasized their entire car ride away daydreaming about how boss it would be to rob a bank and get away with it—living on some white sandy beach in the middle of nowhere?  That’s the whole point of Healthy Roleplay.  It’s so you get the chance to do something risky and daring, and even stupid…without completely effin’ up your R E A L life.  Some people enjoy being the Hero.  [Enter QUICK HERO THEME Here]  Others like to pull out their trusty grimoires and cast spells.  I understand that saying that would make some twirk their noses in the air and precede the usual line of, “Eh, that’s stupid, why you do that?”, but for the Rest of Us, it’s grand out!

My Favorite thing about D&D is actually what is going to get my character, Fion, killed (thus feeling less secure, just to tie this all in to my original thought, heh).  It’s the fact that ultimately, no matter how well I imagine my character could do in a given situation, she could always die.  It could always end; any well written character would his weight in gold coins always has a horrific, looming death mysteriously ticking away before it strikes.  Daunting enough is getting through a well-fortified dungeon, only to ‘roll a 1’, trip over your own shoelace and swallow the dagger you were just about to throw at that cobalt (I’m told it’s actually spelled kobold or something like that) you were about to put a mean hurtin’ on.  DAMMIT!!  (>_<)  Ask me what it’s like to lose a high level character to a bullet in the crotch, and I’ll tell you a tale that has your sides splitting and begging for more.  You don’t get stories like that after an afternoon of Fantasy Football.  No, sir.  I’ll confess, I want only the most Epic of Deaths for Fion, should her time inevitably come, but…perhaps not just yet?  Please?  Maybe?

So, if you’ve learned anything from this, it’s that Dungeons & Dragons is the sort of game that anyone could actually play, if they could only let their guard down and enjoy a bit of imagination wandering.  It’s the cheapest way to go to some of the most exotic destinations, enjoying the company of good friends, and a healthy way of expelling some of the stresses of life—if only for a little while.  Happy Gaming!!

*previously published for NerdSynq.com

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So, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve survived the doomsday apocalypse everyone was hootin’ and hawin’ over at this point.  We can all exhale that huge sigh of relief and mark it off our Bucket Lists.  So…What’s next?  Zombies?  Nah, that turned out to be a huge bummer.  Digital Blackout?  Nope.  Now, we seem to be more connected than is possibly necessary.  I’ve got it—how about some Geekium Overdrive?

“What’s that Fion?”

Well, let me tell you…”

 

It’s total connectivity.  Thank the geeks for that.  Now, you can update Facebook while playing Call of Duty:  Black Ops II while you’re on ‘sick leave’ for a week for ‘unexplained nausea’.  Whee!!  ^^  It’s geekologies becoming mainstream, and Hipster’s tryin’ to walk on your turf!  Well, I must admit that I’m not what most would call a Nerd.  I only think I’m geeky enough.  J

So, what do we do about it?  Granted, I’m slightly behind the 8 ball when I think about how very mainstream being a Nerd is…so if there’s anyone who’s qualified to write this article—it’s moi.  If you’ve read this far, you’re in the same boat I am and probably really want to know how to blend in…

No. 1 – Know Your Memes:  If you don’t know who the pimply dude is with the greasy ponytail, go find him.  And the kid with the argyle sweater.  (You don’t have to emulate these people, just be aware that we could potentially be perceived as such.  Consider it Funny Bully Bait).

No. 2—Bring up the Dress Code:  They are in our element, guys.  We decide what’s in…or maybe we did.  Did we?  I don’t know about everyone else, but this Star Trek shirt that looks like a Band Tour Poster is pretty Effn’ Boss.  Score!

No. 3—Know Your Writers/Directors:  With all this new technology we’ve been waiting so patiently to arrive, now every nerdlet’s fantasies about Tolkien characters and Rowling Landscapes are vividly painted or written, and everyone respects the story for its complexity.  Down with the Twi-whores (excuse the expression, I wonder if it’s not actually appropriate???) who slack off a potentially complex storyline with sappy teenage awkwardness that doesn’t actually apply in any reality save…But I digress…

No. 4—Know when to Nerd Out, and when to…Not:  While being smart and quirky are finally being recognized as endearing traits, there are still going to be haters.  Haters gonna hate, yo.  So, if there’s a chance to reign it in for saved Rep points, err on the side of caution.  No one needs to relive the less glamorous hours of H.S. (at any age).  Things a little bit different now, and being an adult nerd is not to be wasted on geeking out on WoW and…oh hell, what am I saying?!  Be free!!  Be free!!  Be free, young nerdlings!!  Flail your DnD character sheets like the wings of some OwlBear!!  We won!  We won!!*

 

Disclaimer:  The writer has (*) the following, to remind you that she is totally okay with being guilty by association, while not yet a full bird colonial, or even a private (depending on who you ask) Nerd.  Writer is looking for full sponsorship into the Guild of Nerds, and will gladly perform any initiation!  Thanks for reading!!  —Fion

*previously published for NerdSynq.com

poolthorDeadpool has done many interesting things in the past. He stopped the Skrull invasion single handedly, setting up elaborate schemes that somehow end up working, trying to have a relationship with Mistress Death, and eating many many tacos, chimichangas, and pancakes. But his latest might be the most interesting. The Merc with a Mouth is trying to stop former Presidents from taking over the country, zombie style. Our hero begins in the belly of the beast, literally, along with Thor (who he thinks he is doing a team-up with). He fights his way through Franklin Roosevelt, gets his eye shot out by Lincoln, has superhero women fight over him on a beach (Emma Frost, Sue Richards, and She-Hulk) in a dream, has Ben Franklin join his cause, beat up Teddy Roosevelt at a zoo, kill Gerald Ford (he walked into some helicopter blades), get a magic infused sword from Dr. Strange then stick it in Richard Nixon to destroy him. And this is all in the first three issues of the reboot of the new book!

This new Deadpool series is beautifully written by Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan. This writing staff brings back the same whitty Pool as Daniel Way did in the last series. For those do not know, Posehn is a comedian and Duggan has been writing books for many years (Infinite Horizon along with others) and is self proclaimed as a “writer for hire, have laptop, will travel”. These guys capture the essence of what a good Deadpool book should be. He makes his stupid jokes, has his short serious moments, then goes back to have stupid conversations with the people he is fighting. o, and he makes passes at women at inappropriate times. Same ol’ Wade that everyone loves.

The man who puts the pencil to the paper is Tony Moore. Tony has been writing books since 2000 with some titles like Venom, Punisher, Ghost Rider, and The Walking Dead to name a few. Marvel better have fired the guy that they had doing Deadpool at the end of the last series Filipe Andrade. I understand that people like his work, but when you go from one frame to the next and the faces looking nothing alike, that a good comic it does not make. It almost made me hate the series. But Moore does an excellent job with the pencils of this series so far and hopefully he can stay on for the foreseeable future.

With great minds like Posehn and Duggan writing this book and Moore providing the pencils, the Deadpool series should be a great book. If they are starting off with Deadpool killing zombie presidents, I can not wait to see what they do next. Deadpool #4 will be on the shelves January 23 and issue #5 out February 20. Little teaser for you, next two issues Pool fights Lincoln then he goes after Reagan in space! So go pick up the books! And monkeys, lots of monkeys.

*previously published for NerdSynq.com