Tuesday, June 14, 2011

LoL: Learning Alistar, Part II

Well, I have learned something.

When you play Alistar, you are expected to tank.

Even if you are a bit of a newb and have been informed that tanking is a rather advanced art/skill/something-I-probably-don't-have yet.

There's nothing for it but to learn how to tank.

So I ended up switching from this build:

to something like this:

It seems to be working a bit better. I'm still trying to iron out some of the kinks, i.e. perhaps I should ditch Shurelia's Reverie to Frozen Heart or Sunfire Cape. Or maybe go for some other item altogether.

Also, I seem to be getting better at certain things...such as headbutting a Katarina away from my fleeing almost-dead lanemate Janna, or flashing in behind Ashe, pulverizing, and then headbutting her into my turret. I think my initiation timing is improving...but seeing as I started with a sense of timing so bad, I've needed to improve just to have a merely bad sense of timing, this may not be saying much. Abyssal Scepter's passive (reducing nearby enemies' MR by 20), plus the MR and AP it adds, seems to work quite well.

For those of you luckless enough to have found this page by googling "alistar build," please note I am a newb at this game. If you have suggestions or comments please feel free to leave them below.

I am linking to LoLReplay files for some of my games. Comments (hopefully constructive) on obvious flaws in my playstyle or things I should watch out for would be appreciated.

Alistar 2nd win
Alistar 5th win
Alistar 6th win

Friday, June 10, 2011

Something Lost

Recently, I was using Stumble! and ran across this cool site that gives 80 journal writing prompts for the writer's blocked writer. I bookmarked it because I figured I could use it to 'grease the wheels' when it comes to writing this blog.

Question 1:
Name something you lost or gave away that can never be replaced.

Well...Where do I start? How does one even begin to answer that sort of question?  What hasn't been lost or grossly mutated in some way as to no longer be recognizable?

'Innocence,'maybe? Or the concept of it? I remember back in the day I used to think people were generally honest and good-hearted and--if they were Christians--did their best to be like Jesus Somewhere in my late teens I started suspecting and came to the realization that most people are inherently selfish and they're just going at it for what they can get out of it. Me included. I don't remember just when this happened, though. Now I've settled on the position that most people have varying degrees of good and evil in them and they tend to be so thoroughly mixed it's impossible to separate them completely.

My childhood? My mom threw out all my toys before I hit 10. Dolls and toy animals were 'graven images' or some such shit. My siblings and I were extremely isolated from other children our age, and even other people. When we were finally in a church setting where there were other children, my sister and I were kept from playing on the grounds that it was 'unladylike.' To this day relationships of all sorts tend to be difficult for me, and I don't know if this is due to my natural levels of antisociality or if because I missed out on all the 'socializing' I should have been getting while growing up.

What haven't I lost?

What have I gained? That might be the better question.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

LoL: Learning Alistar, And the Return to Normal Mode

Ah, conflict and failure. Both are things I shy away from. Both are key components of League of Legends.

It's one thing to battle against a computer--the computer doesn't have feelings that can be hurt (yet) or a self-image that can be damaged by you roflstomping it's ass. Which is why, once Co-op vs. AI mode came out on LoL, that was the only mode I played. From (I think) level 15 to level 22. I played several different champions and learned how to play fairly well...against bots.

But this was starting to seem boring and not challenging enough. I looked at all the pretty champions I owned (46), many of which I've never actually played, and formulated the following plan of action:
  1. I will learn how to play each champion I own. Since I intend to eventually own all of them, this will hopefully mean I will learn how to play every champion with some level of proficiency.
  2. I can only play a maximum of 10 Co-op games with a champion before I must start playing it in Normal games, against real people, on the Summoner's Rift map.
  3. I must have at least 10 wins in Normal mode before I can move on to the next champion. I have not decided if I should also add 10 wins for Twisted Treeline or not.
 I will be proceeding in alphabetical order, which means I start with Alistar, since I don't own Akali. Here is a picture of the purple cow:
Why he is purply-blue, I have no idea.
I ended up dispensing entirely with guides since Alistar has had a recent update and many of the guides have not been updated to reflect this. Some have, but they weren't working for me. So I figured out what my problem was, which was running out of mana, and started from there.

My initial runes were health quints, followed by flat mana regen seals, cooldown glyphs, and magic penetration reds. I switched to movement speed quints after three Co-op games, because he seemed so slow. I also started building Boots of Swiftness to help with his movement speed. Once I started building normal games, though I would sometimes build Ionian Boots of Lucidity for their cooldown reduction.

I've been starting my games with two Fairy Charms and three health pots. It gives me mana for the spamming, which allows me to use my E constantly once I hit level 2. I then build into two philosopher's stones, which reduces my need to farm so much (I suck at last hitting, especially on melee champions). It gives me a lot of health and mana regen, which also help with the spamming. I try to get an AP item after that, either Deathfire's Grasp or Morello's Evil Tome. Then it's on to Aegis of the Legion, Frozen Heart, and if the game goes on long enough  or I need more armor, Guardian Angel Armor and/or Banshee's Veil.

So far, my games are looking like this:

Right now it's an even 50/50 win-loss ratio, which I find unacceptable. Games either go well or they don't; I either die a lot or I don't. There's nothing for it but to keep playing, I suppose, but I'm going to require some sort of winning streak before I move on to the next champion; winning ten games isn't going to be sufficient if I have to play 20-30 games to get those ten wins. I'm going to have to play this by ear.

Wish me luck! Also, pray to whatever deity you subscribe to that my improvement is rapid, for the sake of my teammates, if nothing else.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

RS: The Fremenik Sagas

Runescape came out with the Fremenik Sagas on Wednesday. I headed over to try them out. Spoilers below.

First, I had to do a real dungeon to find a certain frozen Skaldrun. Since I had all the frozen floors done already I set my dungeon to a Small with a Complexity of 2, and three rooms into it, I found him:

I lit a fire by his feet and soon he was dancing a jig thawed out sufficiently to tell me he was a bit of a storyteller and if I could meet him on the surface, he'd tell me some stories, provided I could find the memories to trigger them.

Once Skaldrun skedaddled out of the dungeon (can't say I blame him--if I had to stare at the same wall for hundreds of years I'd probably have gone nuts too), a white bearskin obligingly appeared in the same room. It whisped to vapor as soon as I touched it. Seeing as I only was in this dungeon for Skaldrun, I exited and went to find his tent.

Skaldrun had set up in one of the nearby camps. I guess it would be significantly warmer than the ice block he'd be used to, but it was still a bit chilly.

I'm guessing centuries without good old UV radiation left him a little white around the skin cells. Anyway, he let me into his story of Three's Company.

Three's Company lets us see some of the fabled Signature Heroes in game for the first time:
Left to right: Ozan, Sir Owen, and Adriane
Ozan was your standard rascally ranger/rouge character; Sir Owen was a stolid, somewhat humorless paladin, and Adriane is a mage. A bright, witty, red/pink haired mage at that. They were busy chasing a criminal known as Carn, who is posing here with several of his pets:
There's always one not looking at the camera.
Our three adventurers stick it to the bad guy and then argue over what to do with the behemoth. I chose Adriane's choice, which was to study the creature and learn how Carn hypnotized it in the first place. I also think she trained it to be a lapdog once the quest was over.

I don't have as many pictures from the next two; I did the required floors to get the memories and then I set out to do Vengeance. First, we watch our irritable, doomed adventurers sniping at each other in the home room:
Front row, left to right: Ican Haz, Kay Thanxby, Lola Wut. Back row: Lotheria Seldorina
Ican Haz only used quickchat, and stole all the food off the tables in the beginning, refusing to share with his team. Lola Wut was snippish in general. They marched into the next room and proceeded to murder a bunch of guards, one of whom survives and sets out to kill all the adventurers one by one for killing her baby brother.

Thok it to 'Em was my favorite of the three sagas. For most of the time, you play a character named Thok who slaughters his way through a dungeon on a quest to find help for his injured older brother. His special attack seems to change every time it's used, and the dungeons are all labeled with how Thok sees them:
Don't mind the edges, its an artifact of fast image processing.
Thok bullies a prayer door into opening without having the prerequisite prayer level, and screams "Chaaaarge!" alot. He defeats a Warped Gulega for the Pretty Lady:

Not pictured: Pretty Lady
They were all enjoyable, and a nice bit of Dungeoneering XP. I decided to do some more dungeons on my own so I can reset my prestige. It's a nice change from doing Barbarian Assault to fill my penance horn for mining.