LoL: Kennen officially announced

Kennen bg.Curse got an exclusive announcement from Riot earlier today. It looks like we’ll be seeing Kennen, the next in the supposed trinity of ninja champions, very soon.

Kennen appears to be the caster of ninja trio, bringing an array of nukes with which to dispatch his opponents. From the description of his skills it seems he has a skill shot, a short range AOE nuke, a charge that includes a damage component, and a larger AOE nuke as his ult. His passive also grants a stun for every third ability hit on enemy targets. It does sound like he could potentially stun an entire team at once. Take a look at the ability list:

Thundering Shuriken: Kennen throws a lightning shuriken to a target location, dealing damage and adding a Mark of the Storm debuff to the first enemy it hits.

Electrical Surge: Passive: Kennen’s weapon becomes charged every few attacks, dealing extra damage and adding a Mark of the Storm debuff on his next attack.

Active: Kennen deals damage and adds another Mark of the Storm to all nearby enemies who currently have a Mark of the Storm debuff on them.

Lightning Rush: Kennen turns into a pulsating ball of lightning for several seconds, moving incredibly fast and gaining the ability to pass through units. Any enemy unit he touches in this form is dealt damage and receives a Mark of the Storm.

Slicing Maelstrom (ultimate): Kennen creates a storm of shurikens and lightning around himself, summoning down a powerful energy bolt to a nearby enemy champion every half of a second, dealing damage and adding a Mark of the Storm with each strike.

Mark of the Storm (passive): Kennen’s abilities add a Mark of the Storm debuff to enemies. Upon reaching 3 stacks of the Mark of the Storm debuff, the enemy is stunned and Kennen receives an energy boost.

Charge champions are obviously popular on Twisted Treeline and will likely continue to be because of mobility. Ignoring walls is just too sweet to pass up. I’ll be interested to see how the stun mechanic plays out. More news when he hits the TR.


LoL: Should TT have a separate ELO system?

Twisted Treeline.I’ve spent all of my game time over the past two days getting to know Twisted Treeline. It’s a very different playstyle, different enough that I don’t feel like I’m even close to mastering it. I’ve been playing with the same friends I played with on Summoner’s Rift, and while some of them have been successful, others have struggled to learn the map and the new game.

A red post on the forums answered the question most people have been asking: will Treeline have a separate ELO? The answer is no. The two maps will share the same ranking system. For now, I can’t say this makes sense. I’m not saying we should start back at ground zero – the first few months would be a total mess. Instead, why not take the current 5v5 ELO and apply it to Treeline and let it update independently of the 5v5 system.

From what I’ve seen, some people will pick up Treeline very quickly. Others are going to take a very long time. I’ve seen so many ridiculous comps it makes me wonder how we’re at the same ELO. Granted, I solo queue a ton, but I’m more than 60 games above .500. The best explanation I see is that the game is completely different in a 3v3 setting. People who quickly migrate between those systems shouldn’t be matched against players that think Fiddle/Gang/Anivia is a strong comp.


LoL: 3v3 impressions

Twisted Treeline action.I haven’t had a ton of time to spend on Twisted Treeline so I’m just going to give you my initial impressions. Treeline is a very different experience from Summoner’s Rift. It’s much faster, much more combative, and for me, a lot more fun. It does have its setbacks, though. The list of potentially successful champions is pretty short and certain team comps just don’t stand a chance.

For now, the strategy on TT seems to be buff control at the two major buff locations, lizard and dragon. The buffs provide large amounts of gold to the controlling team and some welcome DPS boosts for all of the early game ganking. When building your composition, be sure you have the ability to rip down those neutrals fairly quickly. I played a game today against an Annie/Kayle/Ryze comp. They struggled, to say the least.

Other than that you need your basic CC along with early killing power. Mundo does extremely well, especially if he gets enough regen. Sion is another great choice, as is Ryze, Shaco, Jax, and Gragas. Early game burst is key to your gold generation and helps you free up the map for pushing. Towers have much lower health in TT so they’re easily pushed. You need to be aware of a team’s pushing potential and try to defend. Leaving your inhibitor turrets undefended for even a short period of time can be the difference between a win and a loss.

Really, TT is all about teamwork. That Annie/Kayle/Ryze comp was brutal at level 6. We’d open up on a target, Kayle would ult, and we would almost always die instantly. As the game progressed, though, we had enough MR to withstand the initial burst and they didn’t have much left. It was just a matter of time before we aced them repeatedly and pushed straight to the nexus.


LoL: 3v3 Matchmaking goes live!

Twisted Treeline.I got a nice surprise when I logged in for a quick game over lunch – 3v3 matchmaking is LIVE! Yes, the long awaited Twisted Treeline has finally entered live play. It’s going to be a strange new world in the tiny map. This really does change the dynamic of the game in a big way.

If you haven’t played on Treeline, you’re in for a bit of a surprise. Melee toons do very well, to the point that most think Mundo and Mordekaiser are severely OP. It’s really a matter of selecting a team that’s durable enough to withstand some damage and still dish out enough to wipe three people.

3v3 is where you’ll find me for the next couple weeks, testing out different characters and comps. First project – Heimerdinger.


Xbox 360 flash drives are still crazy expensive

Xbox 360 hard drive money.There was a lot of noise a few weeks back about the coming support for USB hard drives for the Xbox 360. It’s definitely great news, despite the artificial size limits, but it doesn’t mean Microsoft is ready to get out of the storage business. Quite the opposite, in fact. According to a few items listed at GameStop, Redmond is just getting started in the gaming storage business.

GameStop recently listed two different flash drives for use with the 360 – 8GB and 16GB. As is the case with most Microsoft storage, these drives are ridiculously expensive – $40 and $70, respectively. That’s basically double what you’d normally pay for a flash drive of those capacities.

Granted, there’s no official announcement from Microsoft for the peripherals, so this could be fabrication. I’m willing to bet it’s real, though. There’s nothing Microsoft loves quite like banking off over priced periphs.


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