Oh how I long for the LoL Mac client

Apple.A few months back, Riot announced that it was developing a Mac OS X client for League of Legends. Why don’t we have it yet?

This isn’t a, “why are you ruining my life, Riot?” post, but rather a “please, please, please make this a reality,” post. I committed to avoid buying a gaming laptop some time ago, mostly because it isn’t truly a laptop. I don’t want a 17-inch screen, I don’t want it to weigh 11 pounds. I want portability and functionality without egregious size. That said, LoL isn’t exactly a taxing game, and it would be nice to log in when the night is winding down and try to pick up a quick game with the new champions and features when I’m not at my home machine.

I’m guessing it will come some time in late fall, though it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see it pushed to the holiday season.

Riot offers leaver forgiveness

I’m on the road to NYC today so this post will be short (typing on a phone in the back of a car isn’t the easiest thing). It looks like Riot wants to offer clemency to those of us who picked up a leave or two due to technical issues surrounding the Season One launch. As such, leave counts have been reset to their end of pre-season values. Here’s the official word from Riot:

Summoners!

As many of you are aware, some of the criteria surrounding leaves have changed since the launch of Season One. Due to player confusion around what resulted in a leave, as well as to compensate those players who may have been a victim of technical difficulties, with the latest patch we reset all players’ leave totals back to the value they were at the launch of Season One. Just remember, now that we’re all on the same page, the gloves are off! So no more shenanigans! Happy hunting!

Xbox LIVE Summer of Arcade Review: Hydro Thunder Hurricane

hydro_thunder-title

It’s been ten years since Midway’s powerboat racer, “Hydro Thunder,” became a staple in arcades all across the world, and if you’ve been inside a Dave & Buster’s since then, you’ll find that it’s just as popular as ever. This undoubtedly played a major role in Microsoft’s decision to develop a sequel for Xbox LIVE Arcade, but while “Hydro Thunder Hurricane” is definitely similar in spirit, it loses some of its appeal with a regular controller. The game still consists of racing, boosting and jumping your way through a series of themed water courses while riding tricked-out powerboats, but since that alone isn’t worth the $15 price tag, the game has been outfitted with a few extra modes.

Along with the basic Race option, there’s also a frustrating slalom mode (Ring Master), a time trial mode littered with exploding barrels (Gauntlet), and multi-event tournaments combining all three. Additionally, you can play with up to four players locally or eight players online, and there’s even a multiplayer-only event called Rubber Ducky that pits two teams against one another in a race to push their rubber duck across the finish line first. Though the single-player mode offers enough to keep you busy for an afternoon or two, it’s in multiplayer where the game really shines. Not only do the races feel faster, but you can also rack up points (used to unlock new tracks, difficulties, boats and skins) a heck of a lot easier. It’s still not an incredibly deep racer, but you get what you pay for.

Want more Summer of Arcade? Be sure to come back every Wednesday through August 18th for a first-hand look at Microsoft’s newest XBLA exclusive. Next week: break out your whip, stakes and holy water when Dracula returns in Konami’s “Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.”

Are you free on Monday nights?

I’ve been taking a look at my schedule for the fall and thought it might be nice to run a couple practice games with all the wonderful people who read this blog. If nothing else, it gives us all a great reason to avoid the frustrations of matchmaking and have a little fun.

So, how free are your Monday nights? Right now that’s looking best but it’s not set in stone. I’d probably just make a post with a game name and password the day of and we’ll work off a first-come first serve until it grows to the point that we can run multiple games.

If you would be interested – post here! Hope to see you guys around.

Vladimir champion spotlight impressions

Well, servers are down. Suprised? I’m not. In the meantime, I figure I’ll post some impressions regarding Vladimir. As I’ve said in every post since seeing his skillset, I’m pretty worried about how broken he appears. Take a look at the spotlight.

I think his skill set looks pretty cool, but consider what Phreak says about him.

“Vladimir excels at controlling the lane…At 500 health Sivir will die to Tides of Blood, Hemoplague, and Transfusion, even though I have nothing but a Doran’s Shield and runes (remember, health runes – not damage runes) for bonus damage.” Okay. That’s fine if he’s a caster with caster stats. But he gets health from his AP and vice versa, making him highly durable and highly threatening – bad mix.

“Gragas, Garen, and Sivir all try to kill me.” If you watch that point in the video (2:02), Phreak is way out of position, but he gets away easily because of Sanguine Pool. So far we have highly durable, highly damaging, excels at lane control, and has an escape mechanism. Got it?

“The invulnerability from the turret also makes diving a breeze.” Turret invulnerability…add it to the list.

“Vladimir really shines in team fights,” and, “My extreme damage output allows me to chop up Sivir very quickly,” and “Then as I take turret aggro, I use Sanguine Pool to dodge Sion’s Cryptic Gaze just before it hits me, allowing me to escape the turret.”

So here’s my question – where is Vladimir weak? He seems like the strongest 1v1 champion in the game, the best turret diver, a great farmer, probably a decent jungler, an absolute monster in team fights, and can escape anything you throw at him with a skill that is 1000 times better than Cleanse on a 20 second cooldown, you know, just in case you overextend.

This really makes me wonder how Riot selects an ability set for a champion. Is there some sort of matrix of skills/mechanics? If not, why not? If so, how did this guy get past the first stage of design without someone, anyone, saying “now hold on, guys, this is absurd.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to play him, but I’m just as unexcited about playing against him, and that’s not a good thing.

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