Is LoL approaching a ‘balanced’ state?

Shyvana.

This week we’ll see the release of Shyvana, which also means a patch with some balance changes. The change lists on recent patches have been fairly light, which surprises me. For a while there it seemed like we would see significant changes to a wide range of champions. Lately, though, we’ve had tweaks to very few champions at a time. The most obvious reason would be that Riot is settling into what they feel is a balanced state of the game. It could also be that Riot saw that they were adding too many changes to the game along with frequent champion releases and wanted to scale back the effect of each patch. I’m betting on the first, though, at least for the time being.

I’m a little bummed out that the solution to current balance issues is an increase in HP and scaling for the underpowered characters. The health creep in League of Legends is a phenomenon I don’t really understand. It used to be unusual to see characters with 4000 HP but I see that all the time now, often more than once per game. I’m tired of Trinity Force. I’m tired of Warmog’s + Atma’s. I do think we have some hope, though, even if it’s a long shot.

For now, I’m hoping that once all of the melee looks the same, Riot will come through with a nice new kit of items or some serious mechanic change that makes the current bruiser build slightly less attractive. I would also like to see some more viable strategies come forward in the near future. One of the things I first liked about League was that it was less push-oriented than DotA. In DotA a lot of my games would come down to the team with the better push comp. In LoL, at least at this point, push comps don’t really exist. In fact, I haven’t seen a comp other than the standard objective-taking rig in a long time. The game has slowly morphed into a giant farm calculator, which was fun for a while but could really use a tune-up.

Summoner’s Rift needs new life – new strategies, new playstyles, new champions with interesting, game-changing mechanics. Even if the game could be perfectly balanced as it currently is, I would still be writing this post. I didn’t fall in love with MOBAs because they’re perfectly balanced tests of skill. I fell in love with this genre because it was all about adaptability. The game was about using one skillset against another, very different skillset and attempting to be successful, whether that meant pushing or teamfighting or controlling the map. I think LoL has lost some of that magic. Here’s hoping Riot can bring it back.

FG LoL Monday is on – 9:30PM EST

FG LoL Mondays

We’re on for Fearless Gamer Monday Night tonight, folks. If you’d like to log on and play some games with the other readers from this fine blog, join the chat channel “Fearless Gamer” in your PvP.net client around 9:15 EST or so this evening.

I’ll be there, of course, playing under “The Wiggin Boy.” If you can’t join the chat room for some reason, feel free to add me and send a message so we can get you invites. Hope to see you online tonight!

Choosing sites for online bingo

In corners of smoky dingy bingo halls of the 1960s to the glitz and glamor of the modern experience, playing bingo is part of our culture in Britain. Today, the game is still going strong, it is undeniable that most of the players have left the bingo halls and are playing in the comfort of their own home. With hundreds of sites like Bingo Port and others emerging every day, playing online bingo is quickly becoming the most popular way to make friends, have fun and win prizes.

If you have never played online bingo before, it is very simple to start.

Choosing the Right Site

Take a look at the wide range of sites that are available and see which one catches your eye. A simple internet search will throw up hundreds of potential sites, to avoid confusion, you can use a bingo comparison site to see who has the best deal and most active community. Sites often offer sign up bonuses, where your initial deposit may be doubled or even tripled to give you more to play with.

Once you have decided which bingo site to try, registering could not be easier. Choose yourself a user name and password that you can remember, and you’re ready to play. Some sites require you to validate your e-mail address in order to combat fraud and a fake sign ups, and most will ask you to include at least the credit card, even if you’re not going to make a deposit immediately. If you want to have a try without investing a penny, some sites sometimes offer free games so that you can try before you buy.

Playing Online

When you’re ready to play have a look in the “lobby” of the game. You will be able to see how many tickets for each game, so it’s a good idea to start playing low stakes and build yourself up once you are in the swing of it. When the game starts, you will see your tickets before you, and will be able to check the numbers as they are called. If you think you get behind and fully enjoy the online bingo games with ‘auto daub’, marking your numbers for you.

Playing bingo online is becoming a community. Sites like Bingoport are active in the community and a lot of friendly banter go on in the room where games are played. You can see the chat window when you’re in the game, but if you do not want to interfere it’s OK. You can find some of the language and terminology is confusing at first, but you will soon pick it up. Do not be afraid to ask other players what they mean when they write abbreviations such as “wdw” or “BRB” … all of which were new to the game again!

Rewards for Playing

Many sites will run games or special promotions for their members on a regular basis.

For sites free bingo games are a way to reward their regular players and encourage new players to get involved. Be aware that the free bingo games, as with many other places, the game is very popular and tickets will sell out fast, so make sure you pre-buy if you can and enter the lobby with plenty of time to ensure your place.

Because playing bingo online is so easy and fun it is easy to attract more than just the blue rinse brigade these days.

Men and women, young and old join in the fun with every day of the week. There is no doubt that if you are interested in participating in a fun, exciting game, that is social and affordable, then online bingo may be something for you.

Image: anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Shyvana preview includes Shaco buffs, Graves nerfs

jester_splash_1

Riot posted the Shyvana patch preview, which includes a preview of the upcoming buffs and nerfs to League of Legends’ champions. The buffs seem to be targeted at bringing some of the melee fighters up to speed with other Tanky DPS and thankfully nerfing Graves.

I’m most excited for the changes to Shaco. I’ve been enjoying my games with Shaco recently and the upcoming buffs can only help that. Jack in the Box is getting a range increase and a decrease to the time before the trap is ‘armed.’ The range increase should allow Shaco players to utilize the crit bonus on Deceive while still making use of JitB for positioning opponents.

Olaf’s ultimate is getting a buff that makes him much more interesting. Now Olaf can use Ragnarok to break out of crowd control skills. This actually makes Olaf a lot more appealing to me. I had somewhat enjoyed him in the past, but his ultimate felt weak unless he was way ahead. Using it early was like putting up a beacon reminding people not to try to CC you, which is actually exactly what you want. You want the enemy to burn a couple CC spells on Olaf. With the buff he can take the spell and immediately break free, forcing the enemy to waste a stun or snare and allowing him to continue dealing damage. I might be giving Olaf a serious look after this patch.

Wukong is getting some usability buffs that are designed to bring him in line with other Tanky DPS. I’m not thrilled about this – good Wukong players are pretty hard to deal with as it is. More importantly, who needs another strong melee DPS? I don’t.

Lastly, we’re going to see some Graves nerfs. I think everyone saw this one coming. I’m a little worried it won’t quite be enough, but at least we’ll someone other than Caitlyn in our games. His passive is getting a slight resistance nerf and the damage on Buckshot’s multiple shell proc is getting reduced as well. I still think an 80% attack speed buff that can have 100% uptime is a little silly, and the fact that Buckshot can hit multiple times seems like overkill, but I’ll wait to pass judgement until the patch.

Are you looking forward to any of the champion changes? Thinking about picking up a new champ or two thanks to this patch? Let me know in the comments.

Champ of the Week returns next week

Good News.

I’ve got some good news and some bad news regarding the Champ of the Week series. First, the good news. It’s coming back next week! I know I owe everyone a Talon video and a long overdue Veigar video, but that’s where the bad news comes in. All of the recordings I have from those games is buried somewhere on a corrupt and now very dead hard drive. I’ve since replaced that drive, but I lost my LoL Replay data along with all of my video footage from those games. Yes, it sucks very much.

Back to some good news, though – I should be able to get a game or two in over the next few days with both Talon and Veigar so I can at least upload a replay for those of you using LoL replays. If I have the time, I might even do a quick and dirty video, but that seems unlikely at the moment.

So, check back at the beginning of next week for the return of the champ of the week series. If you have suggestions for a character you’d like to see next week, let me know in the comments.

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