Ladies and germs, take a bow. You’ve bombarded us with stories ranging from pleas for free stuff to anniversary present ideas and even an unusual bathroom tale. We’ve been entertained with more emotions than one could reasonably expect from an incredibly short story, and for that we thank you. We’d also like to thank everyone who mentioned the contest, whether you have the audience of Tokyopop’s newsletter or a handful of Twitter followers. Your relentless spamming was well worth it.
The finalists and their stories are listed in chronological order (earliest entries first) below the jump. We’ve trimmed the list down to a quantity easily absorbed due to the abundance of tales.
Read over the stories and vote for your favorite one in the poll at the bottom! Voting will close on Friday, May 28 at midnight eastern time, and we’ll announce the final results on Saturday. Good luck to all the finalists, and spread the word so we can have lots of voters!
I’m sure most WoW players have at least heard of Defense of the Ancients (DotA), if not dabbled in it themselves. The Warcraft 3 mod is a popular post- and pre-raid activity for many guilds. The popularity of the mod, combined with the limitations of the WCIII engine lead numerous companies to create their own DotA clones. League of Legends is the current champion of the bunch (Heroes of Newerth just released), wooing critics and fans alike. Now that we have the pre-cursor information complete, we can jump into the true discussion. Playing the game versus how you’re supposed to play the game.
Any game that attracts a ravenous community is plagued by this issue. Players become so entranced by the depth that each and every detail is scrutinized. StarCraft players build their bases to the pixel, fighting game champions know when to counter at the exact frame between animations, and WoW players reverse-engineer the mathematical formulas that drive characters. These players, to put it mildly, take gaming to the extreme. The problem arises when these “facts” become the standard, neigh, the required way to play in the eyes of the community.
The design of LoL incorporates randomness into play through item choice, the timing of the items created, ability builds and summoner specialization (a spec tree that’s persistent). This is why Riot Games labels characters with multiple build adjectives. Taric can be an effective tank, Ashe can be a carry toon (useless until late game), Udyr can be DPS, a tank or a carry. Any character created in any of the labeled variables can be effective on the field of battle. It all depends on how they’re built, which items are chosen and who they are facing.
Perhaps more important than that short list is team synergy. The ability for a team to work together. I don’t mean well-timed ganks and sticking close late game. I am referring to a combination of champions that are built with the specific purpose of complimenting each other to the fullest. For instance, if playing on a tank-heavy team, then Ashe as straight DPS is recommended. However, if the arrow queen is on a DPS-centric team, then she should be specced in her carry build for the added benefit of stun spamming. Keeping everyone on the same page, with the same expectations is crucial, making communication a key component to team synergy.
Don’t get me wrong, each character has its optimum build, but League of Legends, and games like it, are far closer to fighting games than the franchise they spawned from. Optimum does not lead one to a victory. Players cannot rely on the template they read online and expect their win column to climb. The randomness means we need to learn on the fly. We have to react to the situation. Refinements need to be made throughout the match, from the loading screen and the discovery of the opponents to late lane pushes. Victory is a string of choices. Focus on making them smart. Don’t worry if “You’re doing it wrong.”
Above all else, play whatever way makes League of Legends enjoyable.
Atari has released a brand new trailer for Champions Online: Serpent Lantern Adventure Pack. The Serpent Lantern Adventure pack will take Champions Online players on an epic adventure for the magical artifact, capable of granting unimaginable powers to its possessor through the skyscrapers of Millennium City to the jungles of Africa. You just need a character who’s level is above 11 and some free time on your hands. The trailer is available for watching here.
Sony Online Entertainment has announced that FreeRealms is getting hoverboards. That’s right, the Ride every kid has wanted since 1989, debuts today in the family-friendly virtual world of Free Realms™! Players will look cool cruising around Free Realms at 150 percent of their character’s normal walking speed and showing off with board trick animations. The Precursor Tech Hoverboard is currently available in a brown and blue version and a brown and orange version, each for 550 Station Cash in the Marketplace. More information about FreeRealms can be found here.
Dungeon Fighter Online is Launching on June 9th. The game is developed by Nexon’s Neople studio and is a 2D Side-Scrolling Hack and Slash MMO in which layers fight their way through dungeons, either on their own or in a party with up to three other players. Advanced players can also take part in intense player-versus-player competition, where each opponent can mean a wholly unique fighting challenge. Dungeon Fighter Online will of course be completely free to play for all you beat ’em up junkies out there.
After a short break from loot whoring, I mean, *ahem* hoarding, I’m back at it again for a new two-part episode of For the Hoard. This time, join me for a guild run through Oculus as we try to get a Blue Drake for a few party members who still haven’t seen one drop.
In this first video highlighting a Starcraft II UMS, I’ll take a look at the AC130 Escort custom map. In it you can take on the role of an AC130 gunner, defending a caravan of Terran against waves of Zerg.
You can download the map at Curse or SC2Mapster. If you have any maps that you think deserve a feature or are looking for a particularly good UMS of a certain genre, drop a line in the comments.