Friday, October 22, 2010

SC2 - SlayerS_BoxeR vs. Fruit Dealer (Cool) at Blizzcon

SlayerS_BoxeR is known as "the emperor" in Korea, a SC 1 legend vs Fruit Dealer, the winner of GSL 1 and regarded as the best SC2 player in the world right now. Commentated by Artosis, Tasteless, my man Day9.

Such a great and intense match that I felt like I needed to post something. I don't have much to say as I'm not a good commentator and I don't wanna spoil anything for anyone who missed out. This match was just amazing.

LotRO celebrates it's annual Harvest Festival.

A few days ago, Middle Earth began it's autumn celebration "Harvestmath"in the online MMO Lord or the Rings online. Players can now enjoy a variety of fun and interesting mini games (dancing and playing tricks on towns people) and side quests, as well as explore "The Haunted Barrow", a MMO style haunted house.

Entrance to the Haunted Barrow

Players can take up quests that lead into various wings of the Barrow and uncover all sorts of "spooky" secrets in return for tokens that can be traded for various cosmetic items.

Oh look, the ghost is a just hobbit with a sheet.

The Barrow acts as a maze, full of moveable walls, trick doors, and spooky "traps". The traps aren't traps in the normal sense, but places that trigger events that scare your character, such as bats flying around his head or spirits holding him in place for a short while. It's not too hard to navigate but it takes a few minutes to get used to everything.

I wonder what's in the barrel...


Anyways, it's nothing too serious. Some fun quests and mini games that offer decent costume cosmetic rewards and silly emotes. There's also the option to raise reputation with the Inn League or the Ale Association, so there's a ton of things to keep you busy. It does a good job of providing a change of pace compared to normal game play. Being new to the game, I was pretty impressed.

Also, for anyone who plays and hasn't found it yet, there's a fake wall in the basement that has a little something special waiting for people who find it. It's not that hidden, but in case anyone if looking for it...

The right part of these barrels is the hidden door.

And as a side note, Lord of the Rings is now free to play. It's limited, but you can enjoy the game without paying anything and enjoy most of the features. If you're upset at the recent fail of FF14 and need an MMO to hold you over for Cataclysm, I'd recommend giving this a shot. Despite what you'd think, it's actually a good game.

EDIT: For some reason only the first picture is linking correctly, hopefully I can fix it later but I'm frustrated with it now.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

osu! - What the hell is Osu?

I wanted to do daily posts here, I really did, but then I played Starcraft 2 instead. Oh well. Anyways...

It's osu!... apparently.

Lately I've been playing this game that's simply known as "osu!". It's a rhythm game that only uses the mouse. You click on circles and follow "slides" to the beat of whatever music is playing. It's a decent game if you're into rhythm games, but it's good for another reason which I'll get into a bit later.

The music and rhythm charts are supplied by the community, and since it has a Japanese sounding name, it attracts similar music. It's not all bad though, it's more along the lines of music you'd hear in Dance Dance Revolution instead of the high pitched anime theme songs. If you're into J-pop then more power to you.

The circles are conveniently numbered so you don't get confused on the order. 

The game play consists of 3 different uh.... things. Circles that pop up that you need to click as soon as the ring surrounding it hits the edge (as seen above), two circles connected with a slider, which work the same say as the circles except you have to follow the slider to the next circle after clicking the first one, and a giant turntable looking thing you have to spin around a number of times before the time runs out. It's pretty simple but it gets fairly hard to keep up at higher difficulties.

So what's the real reason I'm talking about this game? Well, it's the perfect "fun" way to train your mouse control. Weather you play RTS, FPS, or just click in WoW (lolololol) you need to be able to move your mouse quickly and accurately, and you don't always get the high APM required situations needed to repeatedly practice. If you're looking for a different way to increase your mouse skills, try this out. Play until you're good enough to do 4-5 star songs and then tell me it isn't easier next time you go to split your Marines.

Give it a shot, let me know if it's fun. Or don't, that's okay too.

Monday, October 18, 2010

[Review] Minecraft

Holy shit. If a game has ever had the gaming world held by the balls, it's this game. If you're even half aware of the interwebz then you've probably at least heard of it by now. The game was created by one dude, most likely in a basement somewhere, and has graphics that are a lot like the 3D maze screen saver from Windows 95.

 These extremely blocky skeletons want my blood. Luckily there's a door in the way, putting a severe flaw into the undead's attack plan.

You might be thinking to yourself right now, "What is minecraft? And why is it so popular?" Well, I would like to tell you, but I really don't have an answer. I was trying to explain the game to friend the other day and the best I came up with was "Imagine you're in a 3D retro world playing with Legos building houses and items and it's filled with zombies that feed on people playing with Legos. You want to keep your brains inside your head so you have to build a house to stay safe while playing with your Legos. Also you can mine and stuff." Yeah, it's something you just have to try yourself. It's fun though, really.

There are rare items and candy underneath lava streams. (No lie)

So how popular is the game? Well, the creator is currently selling the ALPHA version (as in, not complete, prone to bugs) for 9.95 Euros/13.87 USD and has sold over 360,000 copies. Don't worry, I did the math for you. 4,993,200. Almost 5 million USD, and he's just now starting to hire people to boost development. Holy shit.

Oh, and it's worth mentioning that there's a player building a to scale size model of the Enterprise. No joke.

So if you haven't already, give it a try.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

IdrA takes first in MLG 2

As most Starcraft fans know, the 2nd SC2 MLG tournament just finished it's final match up of IdrA (zerg) vs SeleCT (Terran). You'd also know that Blizzard applied patch 1.1.2 in the middle of the tournament. The question here is, how much of a difference did it make on the final outcome?

The patch hurt Terran drops a bit. By slowing Medivac speed and buffing the health points of a handful of Zerg buildings, it gives players much more time to react against stimed marauder drops. On top of that, building a barracks now requires a supply depot, which had a sudden impact on many opening Terran builds by delaying how quickly they were able to build a barracks. The most notable one effected would be early Reaper harass/rushes, a common effective early harass option again Zerg players. It wouldn't be a huge deal if on top of it they didn't move Nitro Packs (Reaper speed upgrade) to be researched at the factory, making early reapers a thing of the past.

On the other hand though, the Zerg unit "Roach" got range upgrade from 3 to 4. This makes Hellion and Reaper harass a little easier to deal with, more notably the Hellions. This makes to very popular and strong early harass options against Zerg weaker as well.

So, it would seem that the patch obviously favored Zerg, and would logically lead to pushing the win into IdrA's favor. Or maybe not. IdrA didn't win with mass Roaches, he won with Mutalisks and Zerg/Banelings. Also keep in mind SeleCT is a professional player who doesn't need to rely on early game cheese tactics to take a win. You don't often see early Reaper bunker rushes in tournament play because it's hit or miss, if it fails there's usually no chance to recover your economy. So maybe this patch didn't hand IdrA the win like it would seem. SeleCT himself admits he didn't practice TvZ as much, but who could blame him? There's hardly anyone to play against and it was an "underpowered" and unpopular race in the tournament scene.

Bottom line though, two recent high level tournaments have been won by Zerg players. (fruitdealer winning GSL) Maybe it's time Blizzard stop balancing their games around Bronze League and start looking at top level game play because at Diamond and pro league levels, win rates are (and have been) fairly even. Sure tweaks need to be made, but Zerg don't need a massive buff just because it's hard to time your Inject Larvas.

PS: Nerf marauders.