Goldeneye 007 Facility Challenge with a steering wheel

One gamer attempted a chunk of James Bond action using a steering wheel.

Riven Skill List Announced

Come Tuesday (hopefully) we’ll all get a look at the newest champion to join the League: Riven, the Exile. Riot posted her skill list this weekend, which, as always, gives us a chance to breakdown her potential strengths and weaknesses. Let’s have a look.

Passive – Runic Blade: Riven’s abilities charge her blade, causing her to do bonus damage on her next autoattack. Riven can store up to 3 charges, but only expends one at a time.

Broken Wings: Riven steps forward and lashes out in a series of powerful sword slashes. This ability can be reactivated up to 3 times in a short period.

1st Use/2nd Use: Deals damage to a small area in front of her.
3rd Use: Jumps into the air and slams downward, causing a larger impact nova that deals damage and knocks nearby enemies back.

Ki Shout: Riven damages and stuns nearby enemies.

Valor: Riven dashes forward and gains a shield for a short duration.

Blade of the Exile (Ultimate): Riven’s sword reforms, giving her a percentage multiplier on her total attack damage, extended range on her damaging abilities and basic attacks and the ability to use Wind Slash once.

Wind Slash: While Blade of the Exile is active, Riven can reactivate the ability to emit a large shockwave that deals damage to all units hit based on their missing life.

My first response on seeing her skill list went something like, “wow, that’s a lot of combo abilities.” I’m always a little wary of skill descriptions that read “does X, Y and Z.” Her Ki Shout and Valor both seem to be fairly normal (though I still hate shield abilities and this one is even paired with a dash – why do we need to be able to harass/initiate without risk?). I’ll have to see how Broken Wings plays in game. It will either be a cool combo ability or feel like a clumsy version of Three-Talon Strike. I’m hoping for the first. I’m also guessing the knockback will be something like Maokai’s Arcane Smash – nothing too big but enough to count.

Her ult, on the other hand, sounds like a mess. It’s a steroid plus a missing-health-based nuke. It’s a little unclear what kind of range she gets on the active nuke, but from her pictures it looks like it may be slightly larger than a Talon Rake. I’m not a huge fan of steroid skills because I think they’re pretty tough to balance.

Steroids are also somewhat opaque to opponents. When Vayne ults, it’s not exactly clear that she gains a bunch of attack speed and damage. I know she can turn invisible, and seems to be insanely fast. I know I seem to die more quickly, but it’s difficult to quantify exactly what it’s doing in the moment. By contrast, it’s pretty obvious how hard a Caitlyn ult or a Tibbers or a Karthus ult is going to hit just by taking a quick look at farm.

I’ll hold off on too much judgement, though. I think the combination of a dash, a mini-dash, an AoE stun, and a knockup could be a lot of fun. As I write that out, though, and consider it with a missing-health AoE nuke, I can’t help but think she’ll be a frustrating opponent.

Bullz-Eye game review: Civilization V

Civilization V reviewI’ve done a couple game reviews recently for our parent site, Bullz-Eye.com, so I thought I’d share them while I’m on a bit of a content hiatus. Most recently I had a chance to review Civilization V, which I really enjoyed. I’ve never been much of a Civ fan, so it was nice to find that I could learn to like the game.

Here’s a quick excerpt:

If there’s one thing RTS fans didn’t like about “Civilization,” it was the lack of warfare. In “Civilization V,” though, warfare is probably the most interesting aspect of the game. While building a robust economy can be fun, it’s typically easier to tech ahead of your enemies and rush them with mounted cavalry or rifleman while they’re still researching iron or steel. As I mentioned, the computer doesn’t manage troop movement well, and troops now have high enough mobility to allow for distance campaigns, which were nearly impossible in older versions of the game.

You can check out the full Civilization V review at Bullz-Eye, alongside a smattering of PC game reviews and just about any console title review you might want.

Guide: Playing Nidalee in a post-nerf world

Leopard Nidalee.

Nidalee used to be at the top of my most-hated toon list. She was impossible to run down, near impossible to lane against, and devastating to anyone but the thickest of tanks. She received a string of nerfs that slowly but surely brought her down from the godlike status she once held, but she can still be very strong in the right hands. Eradicator for some advice on playing Nidalee so I thought I’d throw together a quick guide.

Nidalee Basics
Nidalee is one of the more complex toons in that she has four human form skills, one of which makes her a cat, which gives her a new set of three skills. Most players play Nidalee as AP these days in order to capitalize on her abilities in both forms. Nidalee, like many toons, was hit pretty hard by the Sheen/Trinity Force/Lichbane nerf, but she can still perform very well. Her heal scales very well with AP, her trap scales slightly with AP, and her javelin is deadly with even a little bit magic penetration. As with many casters, I like to focus on a magic pen build, and rushing Zhonya’s once you’re in position to do so.

Laning
Laning with Nidalee is pretty simple. Attack, heal, attack some more. She can kill off creep waves very quickly with the attack speed buff from Primal Surge, so use it as often as your mana allows. Primal Surge also gives you the ability to harass and take a few creep hits, heal yourself, and use the attack speed buff to get the minions down. Make sure you take one rank of each skill before six, though, or your cat form will be severely gimped.

Once you hit six you should be farming very quickly. Try to get a lane against a squishier toon if you can. It will make it that much easier for you to trap, Pounce, and Swipe the caster minions for quick gold and then finish off the melee and push. Remember, as a healer you can afford to stand and attack towers with your opponent attacking you so long as you don’t have tower aggro. Heal through their damage and keep pushing. A lot of players make the mistake of burning through mana to harass Nidalee when she can just heal right through it. Let them. When you’re on their tower they’ll have nothing left.

Ganking
Nidalee’s passive allows her to traverse the map very quickly (though not as quickly as a certain champion). Use the brush for a little speed bump to get you to the next lane for a gank. I roll Flash/Ghost in most cases to maximize my mobility. If your ganking partner has a snare, let them snare, toss a javelin from as far as you can reliably land it (you’ll want to get good at this), Cougar Form and run in, making sure to land your pounce on your target. Swipe -> Take down and your target should either be dead or very close to it. If he flashes away, Human Form -> Javelin Toss. Nidalee’s greatest weakness in a ganking situation is her lack of CC. For this reason, positioning is everything. Make sure you strafe your opponents from the side whenever possible to maximize the amount of time you can deal damage to them. Ganking with a stun/snare partner makes your life much easier.

Teamfighting
Nidalee is best suited to taking down carries/squishies. Group with teammates before a fight and focus on harassing with Javelin Toss before the fight starts. You can easily hit an enemy carry for 20-30 percent of his HP with just a little bit of magic pen. Land two of those and that carry has to go heal or risk dying very quickly in the upcoming fight.

When the fight starts, get to the carries by whatever means necessary. Seriously. Flash to them, ghost into the mix and Pounce. It is your sole responsibility to burn the carries and get out before the tanks can get on top of you. With the current CC/high-HP DPS metagame, this has become much harder. Nidalee is a good toon, but only in the right comp. She’s a poor choice as a first, second, or even third pick in my opinion. You need to see that your enemy has a shortage of CC. If they have 4-5 stuns/slows, pick a different toon. If there’s a squishy or two and one to two hard CC characters, you should be fine. Remember, your heals scale incredibly well with AP, so don’t be afraid to get a little low in order to bring down that Ashe/Ezreal. Heal up, and loop back around to support your teammates.

Make try to drop traps in the line of an impending team fight when possible. The magic resist/armor reduction can make the difference between a dead enemy tank and one that lives to fight. It’s a very strong skill, and if you have Rylai’s, it puts a slow on the trapped target, too. Speaking of traps, use them as often as possible. Most players ward in very common places – the little brush about a quarter of the way from middle to a side lane is almost always warded – giving you the chance to counter them. Trap their wards, Primal Surge and burn it down. Killing the enemy vision gives your team the chance to set up ganks deep in enemy territory.

Build
My skill build is based on the following priority with the simple exception that you take one rank of your Pounce/Trap skill before six. After that, it’s the last skill you rank.

Cougar Form -> Primal Surge -> Takedown -> Trap

As for items, I’d recommend Sorc Boots, Haunting Guise, Zhonya’s, Rylai’s, Abyssal and Lichbane as solid items. Use your discretion on Lichbane, though. The nerf really did hurt the damage it provides a lot of characters, especially someone as spammy as Nidalee. Basically, you won’t want to spend all your time in cougar like you might be used to. Get out of form, use your heals/javelins to support your team. Nidalee is still a strong support character, but she is a far cry from the carry she used to be. Don’t forget that.

Hopefully this helps you understand Nidalee’s position in a team and her strengths against enemy teams. Remember, Nidalee cannot be forced into any team comp, but when the mix is right, she can be a lot of fun.

The importance of a solo mid

Veigar.

I caught a game late this afternoon with a four-man premade. Everything looked good except that our fifth picked Yi. I asked him to switch and he went to Veigar. Not a great swap, but that stun is still better than Yi’s nothing.

This guy also wanted to solo. When I’m premading I try to make sure that one of us is always in mid because solo is so important. I decided that as TF I should probably take mid over Veigar. That was all well and good until I went to gank top, as TF is prone to do, and Veigar came middle. When I came back to resume solo farming, he wouldn’t leave. This stranded our Shen bottom alone and while I was top, my opponent’s mid, Annie, stayed and farmed. I was a level and a half behind her, but nothing I couldn’t fix by farming solo. Even after many requests Veigar wouldn’t leave. By the time Annie hit ten, he had just hit level six and proceeded to feed her two kills.

Things went downhill from there. With solo experience and three kills (sadly I died to Annie once early because I fell for a very nice cleanse bait on her part) Annie was hugely ahead. Veigar wouldn’t leave middle so I was falling behind and our bottom lane was losing traction. By the 14-minute mark we had lost five towers and were on the way to losing our sixth.

Nearly all of this could have been avoided had Veigar let me solo. The importance of a solo is not just easy farming. It’s about evening out the level advantage the other team gains with their solo. That’s the reason junglers are so strong – they create a level advantage in two lanes. By leeching XP mid, Veigar stole our level advantage and gave the other team a 2v1 opportunity to push a lane against our Shen.

This isn’t to say a 2v1 mid is a bad idea – it can work, but it needs to be done from the beginning of the game so that your own lane facing a 2v1 can get level gapped. If he’s given a 2v1 too late, it’s just a 2v1 and h’s probably going to get pushed.

Whenever you can avoid it, try not to lane juggle your mid. You need that level gap.

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