Are You Playing: Hearthstone

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is an online collectible card game featuring a cornucopia of Warcraft characters, mobs and more. The game launched in 2014, and was followed shortly by the Naxxramas Adventure, the Gnomes & Goblins Expansion, and most recently the Blackrock Mountain Adventure.

It is not a stretch to say that Hearthstone is a pay-to-win game that rewards those with deep pockets or infinite time with wins. The same can be said about Magic: The Gathering, and lord knows I dumped hundreds of dollars into that game. My investment in Hearthstone is probably hovering around a hundred dollars, but that’s only because they introduced the killer ap for me: mobile support.

I had completely quit playing Hearthstone on my desktop quite a while ago. Sure the music is catchy, but I was sandblasting a soup cracker with my gaming rig, and honestly, a couple games moving things around the screen got boring.

Then came Android support, and I finally had a mobile game worth playing.

So, the money started to flow again. The Adventures have a gold cost that is ridiculous so of course I shelled out to open them up. Let me assure you, especially with the latest Blackrock Mountain adventure, that the investment is well worth it. Now that they’ve introduced the Tavern Brawls, it’s just that much more fun.

I’m still enjoying Hearthstone, and my cheap-ass Lockloc deck (AGGRO FOR LYFE) though thanks to the Blackrock adventure, I was able to salvage my mage deck as well.

So how about you, are you playing Hearthstone? If you are, if you aren’t, then why? What’s keeping you coming back? What’s pushing you away? Leave a comment!

eSports, Why Not Chattanooga?

Whilst listening to the Co-Optional Podcast starring TotalBiscuit, Mister Biscuit mentioned that he had founded an eSports team (Axiom), and was considering some desolate wasteland in the Midwest as the best place to house said team.

That got me thinking.

Why isn’t Chattanooga, Tennessee, the premiere city for eSports teams in America?

The primary reason listed for locating in flyover country was that real estate was cheap. However, that seems like a terribly short-sighted strategy. You need to look at the overall living experience! Take a look at this:

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 11.00.25 PM
Source: Nomad List

The first thing you’ll notice is that America’s first two gigabit internet cities are #1 and #2 on that list. Chattanooga’s gigabit is municipal, Kansas City’s is provided by Google, and both cities average internet speeds are reflected here as slower than they should be because of dumb people who refuse to adopt faster, cheaper internet.

That’s right, Chattanooga offers gigabit internet for a measly $70, with no bandwidth cap. Check out this screen cap from our Electric Power Board:

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 11.05.50 PM

Also, don’t worry. The latency is stupid small, so it’s not just throughput. So, fast, cheap internet.

The second thing you’ll notice is that the cost of living in Chattanooga is lower than said desolate Midwest hellscape! I should also mention our lack of a state income tax. You’re running an eSports team, you don’t care that our schools rank near the bottom!

An average per month living expense of $685, in a city surrounded by beautiful mountains, hosting a thriving food and music scene, and and a college full of attractive co-eds! What’s not to love?

Chattanooga is the perfect place to host your eSports team! Come on people! Let’s do this!

Who’s Ready to Get Serious?

Heroes of the Storm has introduced TEAM LEAGUE. So of course, I registered the LITTLE RASCALS! If you’d like to be on the LITTLE RASCALS Heroes of the Storm league, you’ll need to meet the player level 40 requirement to join.

Keep in mind that you can be on up to three teams, and that our roster will fill up once 8 more members join. Whisper me in game if you’d like an invite!

Here’s the patch notes explaining TEAM LEAGUE:

Team League

  • Initial implementation for Team League, the second mode of Ranked play in Heroes of the Storm, has been added to the game! Read on for an overview of the most competitive game mode in Heroes of the Storm, and then check out our recent Team League blog post for a much more in-depth look at the feature.
    • With Team League, players can create named teams with dedicated rosters in order to participate in ranked, competitive Heroes of the Storm matches as a group against other teams of similar skill.
    • In order to participate in Team League, players must meet the following requirements:
      • Reach Level 40.
      • Own 10 or more Heroes (weekly free rotation Heroes do not count toward this requirement.)
      • Create or join a team that has at least five members logged in and ready to play in Team League.

Team Creation and Management

  • Navigate to the Team League Play Screen, click an empty team slot, enter a team name, and pay 1,000 Gold to create a new team.
    • Players may participate in up to 3 teams at any given time.
  • The Team League Screen will display all teams that a player is currently participating in, as well as each team’s current Rank, team name, and Win/Loss record.
    • Using the “Roster” button, a team owner may invite up to 8 other players to join the team’s roster.
    • In order to play Team League matches, five members from the same team must enter the queue together.
      • Use the “Invite” dropdown to invite other players from the roster to queue for Team League matches.
  • A “Ranked Teams” section has been added to the Player Profile.
    • Click on any team to view additional stats for each player on the roster, such as wins, losses, highest rank achieved, and favorite hero.
    • The team owner can also use this screen to add or remove members, as well as disband the team.

Draft Mode

  • Team League matches will use the “First Come, First Served” version of Draft Mode, rather than Hero League’s “Predetermined” Draft Mode.
    • With First Come, First Served Draft Mode, players on each team are free to select Heroes in any order when it is their team’s turn to pick.
    • A coin toss will still precede the draft phase, and teams will still alternate picking Heroes in 1-2-2-2-2-1 format.

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