Apparently the April Fool’s patch includes champion changes

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So…the April Fool’s patch seems to be a way for Riot to buy some extra time on a sizeable content patch. I thought the patch would just be a Lee Sin release, but it seems there’s much more coming tomorrow.

From Tamat:

At 11:30 p.m. PST on Thursday, March 31st, we will be bringing all game servers offline for the highly anticipated April 1st update! During this time, you’ll still be able to visit our website and forums. Downtime should take no longer than four hours making our current ETA for service restoration at 4:00 a.m. PST, on Friday, April 1st. Comprehensive patch notes are coming soon, featuring sweeping changes to many Champions of the League. Get ready to celebrate Urf Day and see what — or who — is coming to League of Legends!

I definitely didn’t expect this. I just figured Tuesday was light on content, we’d get Lee Sin tomorrow and then have a sizable patch next week. It seems that content is actually coming in tomorrow. Could it possibly include the Alistar remake?

Are you excited for tomorrow?

I am. I’m pumped that Lee Sin is indeed real, though I don’t understand making us wait a few extra days. It’s also weird that Riot called the Lee Sin spotlight from March 29th the “April Fool’s Spotlight,” when the actual April Fool’s spotlight is the real deal. It’s just a strange situation, one I don’t really get.

I actually think Phreak might not have been lying when he said they weren’t sure about Lee Sin’s power level, even if he was making a joke about the hazy effect on the first spotlight. Honestly, I kind of hope it’s the truth, otherwise the wait makes no sense.

Lee Sin spotlight is funny but worrisome

I almost hesitated to post this because, as I keep saying over and over, I’m still a little worried about what’s going down with Lee Sin. Still, this spotlight is funny, even if the blur will make your eyes go a little crazy. My personal favorite part was Baron Nashor killing himself.

As the patch notes have it, Lee Sin won’t be out until Friday.

Riot announces new skins, leaves out new bundles – uh oh

Well, I’m nervous. Riot posted its usual “new skins” post, but it’s missing a key component: “…and bundles.” The post that showcases skins in the upcoming patches also shows off the skins for the new champion and the bundles available at release.

Thing is, I don’t understand why Riot would do this. By all accounts, Lee Sin is real, unless Riot is pulling a misguided prank. We already have a splash screen. We already have an in-game model, even though it could just barely be seen through the blurry troll spotlight that just posted.

There are some other skins coming out, though, and they actually look pretty good. I’ve been playing a lot of Warwick lately and I like Firefang Warwick better than just about any other Warwick skin out there. Kennen M.D. isn’t bad, though I wish he looked a little different than Doctor Shen. Workshop Shaco looks solid, too.

Tomorrow could be a very good day or a very rough day for Riot. Right now, I’d imagine most players feel like their alcoholic uncle has been making jokes all week about “not drinking” at Christmas this year. If he shows up drunk, everyone’s pissed. If he shows up sober, everyone’s just waiting for him to get drunk so they can play out the anguish they prepared for all week.

FG Minecraft Mondays tonight – 9:30 PM EST

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It’s Monday, and though that hasn’t meant a ton of game time together lately, we are on for tonight. I know we’ve missed League of Legends for a couple weeks in a row, but I think it will be good to settle into a Minecraft schedule as well. We’ll pick back up with LoL next week (hopefully with Lee Sin in the mix).

So tonight, get ready to get your Minecraft on. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m currently playing on a server called DarkTide. You can check out their official website/forums at your leisure, but make sure to get whitelisted on their minecraftforum.net thread.

I’ll be in game as “TheWuggler.” A few friends and I have a protected village known as Landfall and I would be happy to help you find your way out there once you’re online. Hope to see you online tonight.

Bullz-Eye reviews the Nintendo 3DS

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’re well aware of Hollywood’s recent obsession with 3D… only, it’s not just Hollywood that’s obsessed. The video game industry has been eager to embrace this latest fad as well, with the Sony PlayStation 3 already offering several titles that are compatible with 3D-ready TVs. But if there’s been one steady complaint during this whole 3D craze, it’s that in order to take advantage of the technology, you have to wear a pair of clunky (and expensive) shutter glasses. That’s what makes the Nintendo 3DS so appealing, because it’s not only the first handheld device to offer 3D gaming, but also the first to deliver a completely glasses-free experience.

Though the system isn’t without its flaws, I was overall really impressed with what Nintendo has achieved with their latest handheld system. Head over to Bullz-Eye now to read my full review.

Patch preview: Garen, Galio, and Caitlyn buffs

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This week’s patch preview is up, giving us a quick peek at what we can expect on Tuesday. It looks like it’s going to be a pretty slim patch. Phreak did mention that the patch is going to be pretty light on champion changes because there are going to be some larger changes in the following patch to address the tanky problem we’re currently facing. Here’s hoping that stuff will be enough.

In the meantime, it looks like Galio, Garen, and Caitlyn will all be getting buffed. I’m surprised when people complain about viability for Galio and Garen. I saw those toons nonstop for like four months. I might actually be sad if they’re back in the regular rotation.

Caitlyn occupies sort of a strange space right now. I have a lot of really good games with her, but the bad ones I have are usually catastrophic failures. I think a big part of that is the slow cast time on her escape skill. That slight delay before she fires backward and the ensuing slow motion reverse dash make her pretty easy to catch up to. Compare that to Corki’s Valkyrie and I think you can see where she’s lacking.

My biggest concern is that the changes will make her even more frustrating to play against. She already ruins a lot of champions in lane. What will it be like with more attack speed and an extra trap for warding or lane control? I’d imagine things will get pretty messy around her.

All the same, I’m glad to see Riot buffing a ranged champion. I miss the days of the ranged carry.

Can you name the champions by their passives/titles?

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A couple community members put together a pair of enjoyable quizzes to test your League of Legends knowledge. The quizzes ask you to fill in the name of each champion by matching it with a given passive or title, depending on the quiz. I did well with the champion title quiz, hitting 64 out of 72 answers, but fairly mediocre on the passives quiz, getting just 50 of 72 correct (though that still puts me in the 90th percentile).

Each quiz also has stats for what the quizzed folks missed most. Apparently not many people remember that Shen is the Eye of Twilight or that Veigar’s passive is called Equilibrium. Take the passives quiz and the titles quiz and let me know how you fared.

Does Riot underestimate the tanky DPS problem?

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I can’t think of another metagame that has been quite as contentious as the current tanky DPS game, and for good reason. Tanky DPS is infuriating to play against, even more so than the old poke/heal or R->win of days gone by. It lengthens games to a ridiculous degree. It encourages tower humping. It slows teamfights to a crawl. And, unfortunately, I think Riot underestimates just how bad it is.

Just check this noncommittal post from Guinsoo. He talks about all sorts of testing that’s going on, but in his final paragraph says that it may or may not pan out, may or may not release, may or may not do any of the things they’re supposed to do. Add to that the fact that Riot seems to be trying anything to shorten games except significantly nerfing the bruisers and it seems that tanky DPS is here to stay, at least in the meantime.

I’m actually fine with the idea of a consistent metagame. It gives players a chance to settle into a routine, which isn’t such a terrible thing, especially for a competitive game. In the case of tanky DPS, though, the metagame makes the game a lot less enjoyable. I’m pretty comfortable saying that my average level of fun has decreased dramatically in League of Legends over the last couple months. Games are so long these days that I’ll get one, maybe two games in before I’m so worn out that I don’t have much interest in playing further. I think that can be mostly attributed to the prevalence of tanky characters. Tower diving doesn’t work. There’s too much health on the board to bother taking risks. It just isn’t fun.

I’m hoping the game takes a serious shift some time soon. Several of the designers have mentioned items that directly counter the tanky meta, but when will we see those? I’m guessing 6-8 weeks. Until those items release, tanky DPS will reign supreme.

Lee Sin abilities announced

It’s looking more and more like Lee Sin might be the real deal, not just an April Fool’s Joke. Riot has announced his official skill list, which includes in game screenshots. It would be an awful lot of work, not to mention a PR nightmare that Riot doesn’t need, to put all of this together just to strip it from under our feet.

Let’s take a look at that ability list.

Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike:
Sonic Wave: Lee Sin projects a discordant wave of sound to locate his enemies, dealing physical damage to the first enemy it encounters. If Sonic Wave hits, Lee Sin can cast Resonating Strike for the next 3 seconds.

Resonating Strike: Lee Sin dashes to the enemy hit by Sonic Wave, dealing physical damage plus 10% of their missing health.

Safeguard / Iron Will
Safeguard: Lee Sin rushes towards a target ally, shielding them both from damage. If a shield is broken, half the energy cost is returned. After using Safeguard, Lee Sin can cast Iron Will for the next 3 seconds.

Iron Will: Lee Sin’s intense training allows him to thrive in battle. For 5 seconds, Lee Sin gains lifesteal, spell vamp, and armor.

Tempest / Cripple
Tempest: Lee Sin smashes the ground sending out a shockwave that deals magic damage and reveals enemy units hit. If Tempest hits an enemy, Lee Sin can cast cripple for the next 3 seconds.

Cripple: Lee Sin cripples nearby enemies revealed by Tempest, reducing their Movement and Attack Speed for 4 seconds. Movement and Attack Speed recover gradually over the duration.

Dragon’s Rage (Ultimate)
Lee Sin performs a powerful roundhouse kick launching his target back, dealing physical damage to the target and any enemies they collide with. Enemies the target collides with are knocked into the air for a short duration.

Flurry (Passive)
After Lee Sin uses an ability, his next 2 basic attacks gain 50% Attack Speed and return 10 energy each.

I haven’t had a ton of time to think through his skillset, but I will say I don’t usually like skills getting complicated with bonus effects, especially if the secondary use requires some action first. I know it’s designed to work as a skill ceiling, but the way Lee Sin’s passive works, any miss will multiply the feeling of penalty.

I’ll wait to say more until I’ve seen the skills in action. For now, I’m just happy the Blind Monk is real.

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