Summoner Pandette Frost

ffxiv_08172014_110127One of the cool things about Final Fantasy XIV is that you can have multiple classes at the same time (one active of course), but once you reach level 30 in one class (this case Arcanist) and level 15 in another (this case Thaumaturge) then you can do a quest to unlock a superclass called a “Job” (dumb name) in this case I’m a Summoner! WOOT!

 

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LATEST HEROES OF THE STORM PATCH MAKES PAN HAPPY

Well, nevermind that last post! Blizzard took our feedback to heart, and the terrible Artifacts system is no more. Here’s the patch notes.

ARTIFACTS

Artifacts were designed to provide you with a meaningful way to spend gold, while also providing additional options to customize your heroes. We wanted to test artifacts in the Alpha to find out if the system fulfilled those goals. As testing began, many of you voiced concerns around fairness issues, “correct build” issues, balance, new player tension, and other issues that made it clear that artifacts weren’t working as intended. We agree—those issues started to outweigh the benefits of the system.

As a result, we have decided to remove the artifact system from Heroes of the Storm with a patch scheduled for later today. We will explore different ways to give you fun and compelling options for spending gold, while avoiding the problems that the initial artifact system created. We don’t have any updates on what our future systems may be, but we’ll be sure to keep you informed and look forward to getting your feedback on alternate systems.

PER-HERO TALENT UNLOCKS

We’ve also seen a lot of feedback about changes we made to the talent unlocking system with our most recent patch. Our intention was to gradually expose new players to heroes and their talents, with meaningful progression that could be obtained relatively quickly on a per-hero basis.  Since making this change, many of you have shared your frustration with the time it takes to unlock a hero’s talents.

Beginning with today’s scheduled patch, reaching hero level 4 will be more than three times faster than the original implementation. Unlocking all talents on a hero can be done in as few as three games with friends in versus mode. We hope this will achieve our goals for maintaining gradual talent exposure while lowering the barrier to entry substantially enough to be acceptable to the average player.

Additional feedback revealed that initial talents did not feel as powerful or optimal as later choices. We want all of a hero’s starting talent choices to be useful and viable. We’ll continue striving to meet this goal throughout the alpha, beta, and beyond, and we’d love to hear from you if you’ve got specific feedback on a hero’s starting talents.

 

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Latest Heroes of the Storm Patch Makes Pan Mad

Let me start off by saying that I am really enjoying Heroes of the Storm. It’s currently considerably less toxic than the competition, and the game is easy to play but difficult to master, which I think is a perfect combination.

Well, it was. Until they introduced Artifacts and Hero Levels in the most recent patch. Let’s start with the lesser of the two problems, and talk about Artifacts.

Items Are Dumb. Runes Are Dumb. Artifacts Are Dumb.

So, just in case you need more exposition on my opinion of non-gameplay derived strategy and “character progression” then let me expound.

I hate the rune system in League of Legends, I hate it because it gives assholes something they can transmogrify into ammunition to detail why you are a horrible player, a horribler person, and how loose your mother is. It really doesn’t even affect the game very much, but like the old WoW Talent Trees, it allows for douche bags to determine what the “right” choices are to make. Worse, it gives you an actual chance to make a wrong (no quotes) choice that can adversely affect your ability to enjoy the game.

As a result of there being an “optimal” build for your chosen role, the term “cookie cutter” was invented. The definition of cookie cutter is as follows: a system wherein theorycrafters determine the correct allocation of runes/talents/artifacts you need for your role/hero, thereby entirely invalidating the argument that you are in any way “personalizing” your character with your brilliant “choices.”

It’s crap, and I want it to go away.

Hero Levels Are Also Dumb

Here’s one that’s harder for me to justify, because it really does offer you the ability for character progression. It actually is serving its purpose perfectly, and I can’t fault them for it… but the way it works makes me angry.

You see, if you haven’t played a character before, then you only get to start with 2 abilities, and 2 modifier choices per new talent. You actually have to play a character a whole lot to get all four abilities and modifiers unlocks, and by god by the time you hit level 2 you’re probably a freaking expert on how your character should feel, give me my damn buttons.

This is particularly angering when you’re particularly good with a role (let’s say support) but you want to mix it up and play with Brightwing instead of Malfurion for once. You’re instantly setting your team at a disadvantage because you know how to heal, you’re good at Malfurion, and you know how the game works, but you’re leaving untapped potential on the table until you get Brightwing leveled up enough to unlock al her spells.

It’s aggrifuriating.

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Curse of Naxxramas: July 22

Although we have no clue when the next expansion of World of Warcraft will drop, we definitely know that the Curse of Naxxramas adventure for Hearthstone is coming on July 22 (tomorrow!).

The first wing, The Arachnid Quarter will be free for all players for the first month, so go ahead and jump in with both feet. As the weeks progress, the next four wings will open, but will cost either 700 gold or $7 each. 700 gold is really not that hard a target for those who play strictly free-to-play, and to be honest it’s 300 gold less than I was expecting. Granted, that means you have to either shell out 2800 gold, or $25 to get the full expansion, so maybe it is a little on the pricey side. They’ve got some price trickery built in so that if you buy some wings with gold, you can buy the “whole” package at a reduced price based on how many wings you already have.

So, why did I put adventure in bold up above? Well, that’s because Blizzard is making a distinction between the two. Adventures are smaller additions to the game, say, 20 to 30 cards, while expansions will supply considerably more content.

So how many for Curse of Naxxramas? Thirty cards, that’s how many. Some of them are real doozies too, with Deathrattle becoming one of the more prominent card effects for the adventure.

So, here’s some copy-pasta from Icy-Veins:

Bosses will use powerful cards, abiltiies and Hero Powers to challenge players in new and never-before-seen ways! Players will battle in five different wings (mirroring the wings in World of Warcraft’s Naxxramas raid dungeon) which will be released over the course of a month. The Adventure will feature 15 bosses total and will mirror the encounter order found in World of Warcraft:

  • The Arachnid Quarter – Featuring Anub’Rekhan, Grand Widow Faerlina and Maexxna
  • The Plague Quarter – Featuring Noth of Plaguebringer, Heigan the Unclean, Loatheb
  • The Military Quarter – Featuring Instructor Razuvious, Gothik the Harvester and The Four Horsemen
  • The Construct Quarter – Featuring Patchwerk, Grobbulus, Gluth, Thaddius
  • Frostwyrm Lair – Sapphiron, Kel’Thuzad

When a boss is defeated, the player will earn a card. The card rewarded will be fixed per boss and may be a specific card from the boss’ deck. After defeating the final boss of a wing, the player will earn a set Legendary card. In addition, a new wing will now be accessible once released, provided it is unlocked or purchased. Nine more cards will be obtained by class challenges which are class-specific encounters battled with predetermined decks. This leaves one card yet unaccounted for, which may be rewarded by obtaining all other cards.

Blizzard has revealed a total of fifteen cards on both the @PlayHearthstone Twitter and in their original announcement post.