Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Trying To Get Ranked

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My little MMO project I mentioned last time is not going as planned. We only can work out maybe one night a week to try to play. The previous week we had technical difficulties, and this week my friend was sick. We have, however, settled on a game. We're going to give Neverwinter a try. Consensus is that it may be the best for leisurely questing.

On the solo side of things, I was finally able to cap my summoner in the League of Legends. Level 30 opens me to the "end game" that is Ranked Play. Apparently, you need to own at least 16 champions in order to participate in ranked games. So I had to purchase a smorgasbord of champions to fill up my stable. I was glad I'd been playing ARAM, as I had a bunch I knew that I sort of enjoyed. I also picked up a few of the cheap ones that weren't awful.

As fate would have it, the very first ranked game I queue up for, I end up being the captain. This means I'm responsible for banning three champions in order to prevent "OP" characters from being used. I have to admit, I was completely out of my element. I know what I like to play, but I have no concept of what is "OP." In my opinion, it depends a whole bunch on the person playing the champion.

So, I asked, "Thoughts on banning?" There were a few minor squabbles, but I got good recs from the team. We lost that first game, but no one whined about "why didn't you ban so and so?" Communication saves the day, right?

The second ranked game I played, I was picked Captain again. Go figure. Again I asked. Again I got good recs (though by this time I was starting to recognize the "trendy" things to do). We won this game, and all was right in the League.

The third game, I was finally out of the hot seat. We won that, too. So I'm sitting 2-1, 7 games to go before I'm fully qualified to be ranked. (I think it takes 10, right?)

I like asking the team, even if already know who you want to ban. It promotes communication and can help a team get off the ground. It doesn't always work, and there will always be asshats, but I don't think it can really hurt. Haters gon' hate, whether or not you are polite and ask them for help.

For the curious, so far I've only been playing Morgana in my ranked games. I'm best with her, she's incredibly flexible (mid, support, apc are all viable roles... even sort of tanky), and no one has been banning her. I've been positive in my k/d/a ratio so far, so I think that's pretty solid. Even in the loss, I was the sole bright spot!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How Are Gamers Born In The Wild?

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I may have more to write about in the days to come. I know you're all excited. A friend and I are going to try to start playing an MMO together. She wants it to be "like WoW," but F2P. And is has to run on her old laptop with an Intel Mobile R965 graphics chipset. I mention that second bit because we were originally going to try Rift, but it wouldn't run. I was surprised. I hadn't even thought to check on her specs.

Looking into, it seems that most other F2P MMOs will run, but not necessarily run well. Also, when pressed for more criteria than "like WoW," I didn't get anything really that narrowed the list. I think we're looking for a good duo questing experience. Any ideas?

Going back to Aion or SWTOR are both on my list. Maybe dabbling in LOTRO or DDO. Rift is out. WoW is out (by virtue of being sub). She wasn't interested in Sci-Fi (TOR got a pass because it's more like fantasy Sci-Fi) or urban fantasy settings. We're talking regular old fantasy. She said she liked that "you could be all kinds of different people." I asked, "You mean, like classes? They all have that."

I was attempting to be less than patronized, but I'm pretty sure I missed my mark. Any of you have experience trying to game with, basically, a non-gamer? What would be fun for casual play? How does one birth a gamer in the wild?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Almost There!

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As I mentioned in my last post, many moons ago, League of Legends has been infringing upon my time. I've found myself sucked into the game again, and possessing a deep desire to hit 30 and start playing some ranked games. I credit the ARAM game mode with rekindling my desire. With the main game modes, I always felt pressured to pick champions that I knew. I didn't want to be a drag on the team.

With ARAM, you don't usually get five people who are all-stars, even at my level (29). There's a basic competence to the game, but depending on the luck of the roll, you're not always getting someone's favorite champion. It makes a world of difference, as it provides some room for safe experimentation. I've branched out and purchased several more champions as a result.

Master Yi was one of my first ancillary purchases. Odd because I'm almost exclusively a ranged player. Melee just doesn't feel right to me. AP Yi, however, is played like guerrilla-style. It's very hit and run, and THAT I can get into. I don't have to stay in there and hack away. Rather, quick strike, and then disappear into the weeds.

Along those same lines, I picked up Akali. She's got an energy (instead of mana) bar, and her ultimate stores "charges." She's listed as an assassin, which apparently means "swoop in and rip your face off with kama." Then, again, disappear into the weeds.

Sensing a theme? I apparently like chilling in the weeds. I'm just not a full-frontal kind of guy it seems. (Giggity?)

Anyway, I'm on my last level, approaching 30 fast. I'm having a blast with the game and my respect for Riot has been renewed. Not every champion is a flat-out winner, but there are so many different playstyles available. It's crazy. And it's mostly balanced. Sure you get some that maybe play easier than others, or seem to be favorites. But I've yet to run up against a champion that is just blatantly over powered. We whine about a few, but there always seems to be a counter. It's like a giant game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, and I love it.

For a while I'd been playing only paper. Now I'm discovering scissors can be fun. Heck, with ARAM, even rock isn't half bad. If the random generator throws me a tank, well hell! I'll build tank.

I wonder how I'll feel once I start actual ranked games...