LoL: Adaptive play

Annie nuking Nunu.I woke up this morning and decided to fire off a few solo queue matches to get the day started. I’ve been playing a lot of Shaco lately, mostly crit damage builds, and I’ve been pretty successful. For the most part I’d say my success has come as a result of other players’ negligence – standing in lane at half health with a crit shaco is guaranteed death for most champions. This morning was different. I lost four matches in a row.

I’m not the type to place blame where it’s not due, but I think it’s fair to say that my team was failing to adapt. In my third matchup we were playing against all magic dealers. They had an AP Shaco, a Morgana, a Karthus, and two others I can’t recall. First thing I said to my team was “Magic resist guys.” It’s a simple solution to a burst damage team. Sure, they’re probably going to knock down a tower or two before your resists can catch up to the damage, but by the 25 minute mark, you should be able to fight back fairly easily.

That didn’t happen. While everyone agreed on getting resists, my four teammates rushed their favorite item build. Tanks were building for armor, our Ashe was rushing Inifinity, and so on and so on. You can imagine how well it went. Along with the strong pushing power, my team was dying…a LOT. We surrendered at 25.

Obviously solo queue is part of the problem, but there’s also the simple fact that people don’t adapt enough. They read a new build online and think every game is the appropriate place to try it out. You should be ready and willing to change your plans from the very first item. Waiting till you get that Zeal or Soulstealer could easily be the difference between a win and a loss. That 1200g is a major setback, particularly if you won’t make much use of it. Instead, get yourself a Negatron cloak and build for something like a Banshee’s. That extra survivability will allow you to stay in lane longer, giving you better farm and the defense to keep your turrets alive.

Sony sees iPad as a gateway to the PSP

iPad gaming.Someone needs to sit down with John Koller, Sony’s hardware marketing manager, and give him a quick lesson on cause and effect. He seems to think the iPad, as with the iPod Touch and iPhone, will drive PSP sales for customers looking for “deeper, richer console.” Personally, I think he’s nuts.

The numbers look good – the PSP and PSP Go have tripled in combined sales since the launch of the iPhone. But that doesn’t make the two related. My guess is the price of the PSP has gone down so much and the units have been hacked so many times that it’s become accessible enough to encourage a lot of gamers to buy.

I talk a lot on Gadget Teaser about the death of dedicated devices and the future of the all-in-wonder. I think handheld gaming is following the trend toward multi-purpose machines. Apple has simply put together a better system for supporting that kind of platform. If Sony doesn’t make some changes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see PSP sales plateau in the next 2 years.

Source: WSJ

LoL: Learning the tanks

Alistar base pic.In my opinion there are very few pure tanks in League of Legends. A lot of characters can tank, but that doesn’t make them the best for the position. Tanking is also a bit of a strange concept in LoL because there isn’t an aggro mechanic forcing players to attack the thickest guy on the team. Tanks do pose significant threat to a team, though, not because of their damage output but because of their control skills.

Take Alistar, for instance. If the opposing team is rushing your inhibitor turret with Alistar at the forefront, do you try to focus him down while the rest of the team is out of range, or do you let him beat on the tower and focus the weaker targets, hoping he won’t land a crucial headbutt combo? As negligible as his damage may seem, he can quickly put you in a bad situation.

When I see a tank played well it makes me want to tank. Since I’ve been seeing a lot of solid Alistar players lately, I decided to give him a shot. In my first game I had a lot of trouble. I was blowing through mana, despite my manipulator and a few regen runes. What it all came down to was an overuse of skills, particularly for the item build.

Playing a tank is all about picking the situation. Despite your thick exterior, smart play and attentive farming still works best. With Alistar I focus on last hitting exclusively until level 5 or so, stepping in and out of the brush to keep control of the lane. From there it’s just lending support to your carries. Keep building toward survivability until you’re meaty enough to take a solid beating from a couple opponents. When you’re headed for towers, don’t be afraid to rush in and smack the tower while your teammates handle your opponent. That’s the paradox a tank presents to an opponent. Do they deal with you, in which case you can blow your mitigation skills and back up to prep for some control, or do they let you continue to beat down the tower and try to deal with your opponents.

As with all things in this game, discretion is best. If you’re picking your fights wisely, using lane position and teammates to your advantage, and saving your mitigation skills for moments you truly need them, you should be just fine. From there, it’s all about experience.

Win $1,000,000 for pitching a perfect game

A perfect game is one of those once-in-a-lifetime achievements most pitchers dream of but will never fulfill. Supposedly the same goes for MLB 2K buffs, who find it just about as difficult, though admittedly less physically demanding (as in not at all) than the real thing. To honor the first perfect pitcher for its newest game, 2K Sports is offering up $1,000,000 in prize money. Yes, $1,000,000 if you can pitch a perfect virtual game.
MLB 2K10 perfect pitch.
If that’s not a surefire way to get people to crackhead your game, I don’t know what is. It’s not like they have testing centers either. All you have to do is pitch the perfect game and send in proof. Upon verification you’ll get your million bucks. The only limitation is that it has to be done before May 2nd. After that, the offer’s gone.

Source: 2K Sports

LoL Guide: Twisted Fate

Twisted Fate: The Cardmaster.This week’s free rotation includes Twisted Fate, a character I cut my teeth on, so it seemed appropriate to throw together a quick guide for anyone interested in giving him a shot. Fate has one of the best skill sets in the game and is capable of completely dominating a lane and eventually a team. In the right hands, he can easily swing a game himself.

MasteriesRunes
There are a lot of different ways you can go with this. I would recommend CD reduction and mana regen or CD reduction and ability power. With 9% CD reduction from masteries, a mere 6% in your runes means you have capped CD reduction with golem buff. It is very easy to get golem with TF, so I don’t rune for more than 6%. I would avoid spell penetration if only because it’s so easy to break people down without the extra help. Having more mana is never a bad thing, though.

Playstyle
Twisted Fate’s strength comes in his ability to instantly outnumber the opponent. His third skill, Gate, when cast with his ultimate, Destiny, becomes a 1.5 second teleport to any location on the map. Your focus at every stage of the game should be unbalancing the other team, creating highly undesirable situations from what would normally have been an even fight.

If you haven’t yet mastered the Pick a Card skill, create a practice game, sit at fountain and practice. You should be able to hit a Gold Card 100% of the time during practice, which will greatly increase your chances in the middle of a fight. By the end of the game, a crit Gold Card can hit for as much as 50% of your opponent’s life, so get used to picking it. Read the rest of this entry »

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