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Posted by jakob187 (22916 posts) -
I prefer this Dante. Deal with that however you must to get some sleep tonight.
I prefer this Dante. Deal with that however you must to get some sleep tonight.

A Trip Through Limbo: Devil May Cry

Personally, I do not hold nearly the level of reverence for the Devil May Cry franchise that many others do. I remember thoroughly enjoying Devil May Cry 3 for its steep difficulty and excellent combo system. The first game is merely a blip in my mind, while the second is a blip in everyone's mind. The fourth game is an interesting thing, as I remember people speaking poorly of it upon release but spouting fonder memories in recent years.

Going into the new Devil May Cry, I did not care whether the new Dante was different from the old Dante, whether Trish was in the game or not, and all this other hoopla that has surrounded the game. The only thing that mattered was that the gameplay was solid, the story was good, and the combo system was rightfully complex but streamlined. All of these bullet points were checked off in my time with the game, and that puts a smile on my face. The one thing I didn't expect was what essentially felt like a complete-180 in terms of political and social commentary in the storytelling. Seeing Alex Garland return to help on the story of a Ninja Theory game (he wrote Enslaved, one of my favorite games of 2010) was a nice surprise. Seeing just how hard this story hits against many things in modern society (soft drinks/energy drinks and their relative unhealthiness, mainstream news stations and how they are controlled by corporations and government, etc) was a breath of fresh air. Sure, it was ham-fisted at points, but as someone who believes in freedom and liberty, it was an interesting twist to see in a popular game from a Japanese publisher.

Overall, it's a game I would highly recommend playing through. I don't typically care for cutscenes and even story, but every once in a while, something grabs me by the left testicle and refuses to let go. DmC has done that rather acutely.

Watching The Evolution of a Game: Warframe

I've spent a myriad of hours playing through the virtual world of Dark Sec...errr...Warframe. Some have pawned it off as being "Mass Effect 3 multiplayer but worse." Personally, I never played Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, so I can't speak one way or the other on that topic. I can say this, however: Warframe has continually delivered an insane evolutionary process in how the game is developing.

The art direction in Warframe is definitely pretty unique in terms of sci-fi games.
The art direction in Warframe is definitely pretty unique in terms of sci-fi games.

When I originally found myself in the beta, the game was nothing more than "run through, shoot things, collect stuff, repeat." There was little skill in all of it - just charge up your sword and slice or shoot your guns. The enemy AI wasn't particularly good either. However, after a number of weeks, the beta feels very different than it did before. Maybe this is because I'm finding myself deep into Saturn (the game progresses by which planet you are going to). It feels like the enemy design, the level design, and what is expected of you has ramped up significantly, to the point that it almost feels like a completely different game than what I was originally playing. It makes me realize that Mercury is, for all intents and purposes, a tutorial planet to get used to the controls and gameplay.

Saturn has been quite a challenge so far, namely because it takes a long time to level up your account and I haven't really been spending any "money" on gear. By "money," I am referring to the in-game currency (credits). I've just been hoarding it all, waiting until it is closer to launch so I can stack up gear and be uber-powerful. There have been regular updates coming out, and it's been marvelous watching this game grow and grow.

Climbing Through The Ranks: League of Legends

Meanwhile, in another free-to-play game that I spend a majority of my time in, the new "league" system for ranked matches in League of Legends has continually proven to be one of the single most frustrating things to deal with in my gaming history. Never have I felt so powerless and incapable as I have trying to make it into the next division or tier. For those who don't understand, League of Legends' ranking system has adopted something more akin to StarCraft II's ranking system. There are six league tiers (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Challenger). Within each of those tiers, there are five divisions. In order to place into a new division, you must work up enough wins to reach 100 points, and once you obtain that, you will be placed into a two-out-of-three qualifying series. If you win two, you advance to the next division. If you lose two, you are dropped back down to 75 points. If you hit zero points and lose a round or two, you drop down a division.

I've found that lower divisions don't seem to know how to stop Zed from dominating a match. Therefore, I'm playing Zed a lot.
I've found that lower divisions don't seem to know how to stop Zed from dominating a match. Therefore, I'm playing Zed a lot.

I have yet to suffer the latter half. Unfortunately, what Riot didn't tell us is that matches played before the start of Season 3 counted towards placement matches. I trolled those matches...because they didn't matter. In turn, I ended up in Bronze Division V - the lowest bracket. Okay, okay...I deserved it...probably...maybe. However, I know I'm at least a Silver Tier player, possibly low Gold at the moment. Nonetheless, I am sitting in Bronze Division III, fighting my way to get into Silver...and it just seems so goddamn impossible. I hate to sound like that rage-filled monstrosity that you find in many matches, but people are fucking stupid. This is a solid fact, irrefutable. People generally seem to make this game harder than it actually is. Maybe it's because I've played at higher levels of competition in the game and understand many more intricacies of the gameplay, but I think it's common knowledge among many players at this point. The level of frustration that I have with people in matches has become nearly toxic. I spew venom like the people I hate in the game. Don't get me wrong: I'm typically offering solid advice to people...written in all caps... Here are a couple of examples:


I'm quite friendly in League of Legends...until someone pisses me off with their ineptitude. Yes, I'm told to calm down quite a bit...but it's difficult. It honestly is. I know that attitudes like this are what drive people away from the game, but this presents a problem that Riot has in their game: there are no comprehensive tutorials in League of Legends to explain terminology to players, no honest place to get advice on general strategy within a game, and no worthwhile masterclass available to teach one the finer points of the game. Sure, you can go to SoloMid and watch pro streams all goddamn day, but they are pros...and you are not. It means that they have done this day in, day out for twelve hours a day. You play for maybe two hours or so and do not have the time or care enough to learn this minutia that can turn a game around in a flash. I've played no less than four matches in my last ten where my team was under by so much that it seemed impossible to win, but I was able to carry my team out of the gloom and we would win...and I was told that I was horrible and a bad player because I refused to surrender and move on. Instead of being thanked for the wins, I was lambasted and told I would be reported to "pushing the match further than it needed to go."

In essence, here's what I'm saying: don't play League of Legends. It really is a game made purely for masochists that hate themselves.

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#1 Edited by colonelpopcorn (1984 posts) -

Have you ever pm'ed your advice to players after a match? It might help more than screaming at them for not being up to your level.

Also, people.

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#2 Posted by pr1mus (4158 posts) -

I also like the new Dante a lot more than the old one and will continue to sleep poorly for entirely different reasons!

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#3 Posted by jakob187 (22916 posts) -

Have you ever pm'ed your advice to players after a match? It might help more than screaming at them for not being up to your level.

Also, people.

I've learned over the last two years of playing League that no matter how you approach a situation, the opposite effect will always be applied by someone else. For instance, I used to try and be as helpful and tolerant as possible, pointing out many things in calm tones and helpful, suggestive advice. I was met with "STFU" and "let me play my champ noob."

Much of the community does not want advice. League is a game where you as the player are empowered, despite whether you are being stomped or not. You identify with one or two particular champs, and those are YOUR champs. No one is better at those champs than you (in your mind, of course). When you lose, it obviously cannot be you. It's the other teammates.

Personally, if I'm screwing up (which rarely happens), I'll flat out tell people "hey, I'm sorry that I'm sucking shit this round." I have no problem owning up to my faults, but many others do. It's the massive fault in the game that causes it to be frowned upon: there's a community full of people who could care less about learning better tactics, people who have no interest in being friendly towards each other and working as a team, and people that want to be the hypercarry and never be the support. There's so much bickering and arguing that it never turns out well.

With that said, you may ask "why play a game like that," and the answer is "because when you win, it feels so fucking good."

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#4 Posted by ArbitraryWater (14560 posts) -

You kind of make me want to reinstall LoL, for as much as the idea of learning all of the new champions and items (and re-learning all of the old champions and items) intimidates me, having not played since the summer. I seem to recall you saying you liked playing Sejuani, is she still a good jungler? Is Varus still the only AD carry I can play with any level of competence? Have they nerfed Vladimir again?

Also, I feel the need to mention that I played all of DmC with the "Classic Dante" skin. Dunno what that says about me, other than that I will take advantage of weird pre-order bonuses.

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#5 Posted by Ducksworth (671 posts) -

Somebody should start a "lets all be friends in League of Legends" group where everyone acts polite and mature.

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#6 Posted by colonelpopcorn (1984 posts) -
@jakob187 said:

@c0l0nelp0c0rn1 said:

Have you ever pm'ed your advice to players after a match? It might help more than screaming at them for not being up to your level.

Also, people.

there's a community full of people who could care less about learning better tactics, people who have no interest in being friendly towards each other and working as a team, and people that want to be the hypercarry and never be the support.

What is hypercarry? It's the other players insistence that I know my role before even booting up the application that ticks me off. How am I supposed to learn any other way than by playing? I really want to enjoy MOBA's. They are awesome and provide a lot of entertainment for not a lot of dollar, but so many other players frown upon learning by doing that it becomes impossible for new players to break into it. Even in DOTA 2 matches against AI I get people yelling insane jargon at me without explaining it. They treat it likes it's common knowledge, but it's not common knowledge and a simple link to some more information would do wonders for the entire community. Nobody ever wants to do poorly, but we can't get better if the rest of the player base is unwilling to offer constructive criticism POST-MATCH. You're less likely to receive a caustic response when they're not in the middle of ripping the other team a new one (or getting ripped a new one as the case may be).

At the end of the day I get why MOBA's are awesome. I get why you need to invest time learning about the game and the various strategies that come with each champion. I don't get why players insist on offering advice mid-game as they're not in a position to provide info to new players, and new players are not in a position to receive that info anyway.

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#7 Posted by jakob187 (22916 posts) -

@c0l0nelp0c0rn1: I should point out that I'm playing in ranked. I rarely play normals. Therefore, my rage holds a certain level of necessity to it. These are people who do not understand the finer intricacies of the game...coming into ranked gameplay...and then fucking everything up for an entire team.

In normals, I could give a shit less if someone fucks up. My ranking is not dependent on anything in those games. That's just playing for the sake of playing.

Also, a "hypercarry" is someone who has gotten fed enough early on that they cannot be stopped without anything less than a miracle. For instance, when Vayne gets six kills in the first 10 minutes or so, your team should type /ff at the 20 minute mark because it's just going to be more nails in coffins from that point forward with no end in sight.

If you want good advice, I would suggest going to www.solomid.net and checking out their guides. That is the official site of TSM (the pro team), and they write a lot of informative guides on there. They also only approve guides that are good as well. NEVER use LeagueCraft or MOBAFire for anything more than their build generator. I would also suggest using www.lolcounter.com, which will tell you what champs counter who in any given lane.

@arbitrarywater: I refuse to ever believe that Sejuani is bad...even if they ARE currently working on a complete gameplay rework for her. O____O Vlad has always been junk IMO. He's too easy to counter and weak in late game. His one trick is "HEY YOU CAN'T TARGET ME AND I'M GOING TO RUN AWAY NOW BECAUSE I'M A PUSSY BITCH VAMPIRE." Varus is still strong, but ranged ADs all around got a huge buff with Season 3 thanks to a lot of new items (Static Shiv, Blade of the Ruined King, etc) to offer more diversity in builds beyond just "Zerk boots/IE/PD/LW/GA/insert useless sixth item here." It's worked out quite well, although the new champ Quinn is not too great at the moment. She needs a little extra work.

Honestly, Season 3 has been one of the most diverse seasons so far. They just nerfed AP Trynd because he was stomping everyone in high ELO play. AP Tristana and AP Varus have become a huge thing now. Cho'gath mid is big. Annie top is becoming a thing. HotShotGG, Voyboy, TheOddOne, and a lot of Korean teams are trying to change up the meta. Recently, early health rather than armor/MR became a thing, and it caused attack speed to be added to Blade of the Ruined King in order to have good health shred (because penetration wasn't cutting it).

Ya know...it's LoL. There has just been a shift of power all around, but the champs are still basically the same. It's more just about learning the new items and having a better awareness of the champ you are playing and what their counters are.

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#8 Posted by ArbitraryWater (14560 posts) -

@jakob187: Well, these all sound like changes that I will no doubt have to pour over MOBAfire to understand the full implications of. Personally, I either got wrecked as Vlad earlygame or held on long enough to get like 23 kills in a match, but I wouldn't have called him my main mid (that would have been Ziggs or Ahri). Eh, either way I've started installing the client again, so if you want to yell at me for being rusty as hell, you can probably guess my username.

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#9 Edited by SirOptimusPrime (2043 posts) -

I've played about 3 or so hours of Warframe, and I think it's pretty great at the moment. I hit a wall where it's obvious that just spending money would expedite everything a thousand times over, and got kind of bummed out by that. And I can only play it at hours when most of my friends are in a class or when it's stupid early in the morning so that's unfortunate.

Also, you are literally the reason why I can only play bot matches in Dota 2 right now. I'm reading up, watching videos, but I know that someone will erupt into a fury because I just started the game and, according to them, no one ever just starts playing a game. Everyone always comes into it having all the knowledge ever. I can't do that - I need to play games to get experience with heroes and with the systems and not just theoryfart my way to the top. It sucks for guys like me that don't know what some of the unique acronyms mean. I can get by on a few from WCIII knowledge and having basic common sense, but many of them are totally foreign to me and there's no concrete way for me to hook up with people that are starting from the bottom like I am. I just have to accept the barrage of typing in chat and hope I can puzzle out what they're saying before the match begins.

Unfortunately, I have the same problems playing that with friends as I do with Warframe and I know playing with randos is not a good idea at all. I'll be exposed hardcore and experience the worst part of the MOBA community. But I want to like it. I want to love it so hard.

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#10 Edited by jakob187 (22916 posts) -

@siroptimusprime: Again, I erupt in fury when I am playing ranked matches. There are also normal matches, and in those, I'm far more relaxed and just generally "whatever" about it. That is where you go to fuck around and have stupid fun. Yeah, there will be idiots, but it doesn't count towards anything that generally matters. Ranked play has way more stakes this season, as pro teams are picking up people that break into Diamond and Challenger tier. There's also the fact that Riot gives out limited edition skins to anyone above a particular tier at the end of every season. I've missed out on amazing Jarvan and Janna skins. I do NOT want to miss out on the next one.

When someone is joining up for ranked, they should be going in with a mindset of "I can play all roles, I have to play with my team, I have to be very aware of all things, I have to know how to last hit/position properly/combo skills well/good build orders." Unfortunately, that doesn't happen. It's incredibly frustrating to see people jumping into ranked thinking they are going to do well, but all it does it drag people down that are capable of a lot more. Because of this, Riot's ranking system for League is still relatively broken. I know I can play well, but because of other people, I'm held back and it's frustrating as fuck.

Mind you, I could just get a 5s team of my friends together, but our work and social schedules never give us much time to actually pull that off. Because of that, we rarely get a chance to go above Gold tier. That's honestly all we need, but in order to get it done, we have to grind through walls and walls of uninformed and lesser skilled players. I have a handful of buddies that were Gold tier last season, and they are Bronze 3 right now because of this stuff.

So you can hopefully understand where my frustration comes from.

Rule #1 of League of Legends should be "if you aren't ready for ranked, do not queue for ranked." Unfortunately, that's too fascist for some and therefore will never be implemented. = (

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#11 Edited by SirOptimusPrime (2043 posts) -

@jakob187: All right, I can dig. Especially after venturing into the dark, dark world of Dota pubs for the first time a few days ago. I barely know anything and it's really annoying when people rush stupid items, skip boots, or just have the worst skill build ever. I have a slight benefit since I actually like playing support, so the four hard carries (because why not) can go yell at each other because I can stay on top of rune-calls, courier, and wards without exploding. I try to help them though, and I generally don't care about my wins or losses so I guess that might be the difference.

I'm talking from the Dota side where the real "competition" is certainly not in public games, so I think it's a bit fucked that people get furious in them when they could just tell the bad players exactly how they are fucking up. It's not worth getting angry about, in my opinion, unless you're on a dedicated team with them. I just try and be as friendly as possible even with total dorks, but I could see why an especially bad support could make you want to scratch your eyes out. It's also terrible in Dota when you get a bunch of guys who jump into an English server with absolutely 0% English. Like, how are we supposed to be an at least competent team with no communication?

Oh well. Good luck on the grinding.