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Posts posted by Entriech

  1. Should be able to get joined to the league tomorrow morning, spent the day downloading Dota 2 on my netbook via hotel internet.  I'll be around a bit on Saturday morning, but will probably have to drop out around 11:30am Central.

  2. Currently vacationing in the US without access to Dota 2, but I'll be back the evening of the 18th and will join the fantasy league at that point.  Don't give up my spot!

  3. Ran into the Pursuer last night, clearly much later than I was intended to face him.  It always surprises me when you run into a boss out of sequence how easy/difficult it can feel versus when you're supposed to encounter them.


    Unfortunately what I thought was going to be a new path to take dead-ended shortly thereafter, and now I'm not sure where to go again.  Guess it's time to go exploring in areas I haven't been to for a while!

  4. I think I've figured out my play style though so I can do a little reading. I'm more likely to control. As in Id rather take out minions and set myself up for a final big push, than to chip away at my enemy's HP constantly.


    This is almost always the best way to play in Arena, IMO.  It's a lot easier to build decks around the idea of efficient trades at various cost-points, rather than trying to force the deck into a particular shape if the cards don't support it.  Less minions on the battlefield reduces the odds your opponent can surprise you or use a card effect to get a better trade of their own.

  5. Started up an arena run last night, and actually had to quit and go to bed before I'd lost 3 times.  Currently 10 - 2, eager to get back and finish it off tonight.  A really great Shaman draft deck.  3 Fire Elementals, a Forked Lightning, a Lightning Storm, and a semi-situational Black Knight.  Plus a host of just plain old good cards like Chillwind Yeti, and Ooze.  Oh, and a Mana Tide totem.  One game that sucker was up something like 9 turns, the card advantage was glorious.  My best run yet.

  6. I actually like equip load contribution from your secondary and tertiary slots.  I feel like it fits into the Dark Souls design ethos of everything having a tradeoff.  Being able to swap which melee weapon I'm using to account for tight quarters mid-fight has definitely been an asset.  But I'm also not trying to use an ultra-greatsword, or anything.  I can see how it is also annoying, though.

  7. Rat King details:


    When you join the covenant, you receive a ring. Wearing that ring in one of the two Rat areas (Grave of Spirits? And Doors of Pharos) pulls unaffiliated people into your world to be punished. There's a lot of opportunities to manipulate the environment using stones of Pharos, and the NPCs are all on your side.

    Killing the person grants you a rat tail and a Pharos' lockstone. If they make it through to the end of the area, they're rewarded with a Pharos' lockstone.

    So far I've killed 9 people or so, ranging from easy to pitched battles. It's a ton of fun. For me. No idea what it looks like on their side, I didn't get pulled into another world when I came through that area.


    I've just reached the Gutter for the first time, and managed to go a different route and missed the first bonfire there, so I've got a looong walk back.

  8. I know that the important number for level 1 cards is 6, and for level 2 cards I think it's 11.  Which is to say, the majority of cards you'll come across don't sport more than that amount of health at that level.  I've used that knowledge when drafting to preferentially pick cards that will have a better chance of trading, which some success.  I'm not sure what the number is for level 3.  16 maybe.


    I'd encourage you to try playing against some folks online, even using one of the starter decks.  Their matchmaking is pretty good so the fights should end up fair in a short period of time, and seeing the sorts of combinations that people use can help provide some of that information.


    By way of illustration, the deck I'm using right now is a Black/Green mix, with a focus on overwhelming with numbers of creatures.  To explain some of how it works, I'll refer to some individual cards.


    Tarsus Deathweaver is a 5/6 | 9/10 | 15/16 critter, whose additional ability is granting a +attack / +health bonus to any creature played that didn't come from your hand.  So he's fairly beefy, he avoids certain types of removal by having an attack lower than his health, and he's got a good buff.


    You can pair him up with a number of cards that provide creatures not from your hand.  For example:


    Phytobomb - Places a 1/1 | 3/3 | 5/5 in each empty spot for both players.  Except yours get buffed, while your opponent's don't.

    Echowisp, Etherhounds, Hunting Pack - All cards that place extra copies of themselves into lanes.

    Branchweaver Druid/Sower - More cards that introduce additional creatures when played, or when spells are played.


    Then, because you're playing more than the usual number of creatures, you can combo that up with Spring Dryad, which receives +attack / +health for each creature played.


    Then maybe because you have a surfeit of creatures maybe you add in some of the cards that require you to sacrifice a creature to use.  Or you add in some supporting cards like Botanimate to help you remove troublesome stuff the opponent plays.


    Anyways, that's just one sort of card combination that I've found works well, there are countless others, but the best way is to go see one of them run against you.  Plus, winning a game against a player nets you an event ticket every day, and drafting is an excellent way to build your collection.

  9. Entire credit to the Giant Bomb crew on hearing about this novel iOS game.  Bounden is being developed by Game Oven and the Dutch National Ballet.  Two people grasp an iOS device, with a thumb on the screen.  They then rotate, pirouette and lean to line up a crosshair with a series of circles, choreographed to music.


    You can find the developer site here: http://playbounden.com/

    Giant Bomb has an Unfinished video of it here: http://www.giantbomb.com/videos/unfinished-bounden-04-24-2014/2300-8795/


    Looks like a fun, interesting experience.

  10. I'm surprised at the competitive level of decks you can put together even with just the free base and class cards.  I've pretty much cruised from rank 25 to 19 on the strength of free Mage and Rogue decks listed on Icy Veins.  Normally I hate net decking, but I feel like there's aspects of Hearthstone's deck composition strategy that aren't apparent until you directly see how cards in = difference in play.


    Like River Crocolisk.  Holy crap, a 2/3 for 2 mana?  Such a great creature.  You can drop that bad boy on turn 2, and be confident that it'll still be there on turn 3, or that you'll have cost your opponent valuable time and cards removing him.  Chillwind Yeti? Enormous staying power.


    I do dislike how little weapon nullification is readily accessible in the game.  So far any deck I make has to have Acidic Oozes in it, because you just can't risk not having a way to get rid of some of those bigger weapon cards.

  11. I know that most of the news you hear these days is about that other free to play CCG, but just because it's the most popular, doesn't make it the best one out there.


    Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to a little game called SolForge.


    What is SolForge?

    You create a deck of 30 cards from your own collection, with no more than 3 copies of the same card, and play against either the AI or other people online.  Both players start at 100 health, with the objective being to reduce your opponent to 0 or lower.  Players take alternating turns, receiving a hand of 5 cards from their deck and choosing 2 to play.  Playing cards either summons creatures into one of the five lanes between the two players, or causes other direct damage or effects on players or creatures.


    Each card that is played is leveled and discarded, and the cards you didn't play that turn are discarded at their current level.  Every four turns you gain a rank of power, your discard is shuffled back into your deck, and play proceeds.  All cards can reach level 3, and some rare ones can reach level 4.  When cards level up, they summon stronger creatures, or have different effects depending on the card.


    There's a good primer on how exactly play proceeds on the site (http://solforgegame.com/game/how-to-play/).  But as you can imagine, the way that cards level can have a drastic impact on how you build your deck, and which cards you choose to play on a turn.  To give some examples of how the leveling mechanic can impact play:

    • Some creatures are weaker at level 1, but scale well, becoming more and more powerful.
    • Some creatures are strong at level 1, but scale poorly
    • Some cards forfeit playing a creature, or play a weak creature to level up more than 2 cards per turn
    • Some cards are powerful at the level they are played, but are removed when you gain a rank

    Free to play?

    SolForge is available through both an iOS app and through Steam on the PC.  It utilizes two currencies, an earned currency (Silver), and a purchased currency (Gold).  Purchased currency is only required for cosmetic features such as alternate card art, or packs of cards with a higher rarity card in them.  Cards are broken down into four rarities, but while Legendary cards are powerful, they also tend to be situational, and the common and rare cards that make up the majority of the card set are amply able to deal with them.


    Creating an account nets you two starter decks and the cards used to make them.  There are daily rewards for each account as follows:


    Logging in each day - 2000ish Silver and a card, booster pack, or event ticket

    First win of the day - 2000ish Silver and a card, booster pack, or event ticket

    First win against a player of the day - an event ticket

    Third win of the day - 2000ish Silver and a card, booster pack, or event ticket


    Any card in the game can be purchased for Silver (ranging from 150 to 150k depending on rarity), and copies of cards in excess of 3 can be sold for Silver.  Regarding event tickets, SolForge offers to kinds of competitive tournament.  Entering a Constructed Tournament costs 4 event tickets, and nets you 4 games using one of your own built decks.  Number of wins determines your rewards, which are never less than a booster pack (for 0 wins), and generally include some # of event tickets and packs as you win more during your 4 game run.  Winning 3 out of 4 games always nets you enough tickets to immediately enter again.


    SolForge also offers a draft tournament for 7 tickets.  Every draft starts with a pack of six cards of the 2nd highest rarity, and it continues to open packs and you choose cards til you reach a deck of 30.  You then play 4 games as in Constructed.  As a nice bonus, you get to keep the cards that you draft, so running a draft tournament once a week is a great way to build your collection.


    Who made it?

    Stone Blade Entertainment, the people behind the deck building game Ascension and also Richard Garfield, the creator of Magic: The Gathering.



    Having now put almost 70 hours into SolForge, it's fair to say that I'm a fan.  The game's got a good tutorial, and really doesn't require you to invest any money in the game to have fun.  The starter decks you're granted are competitive, and the matchmaking algorithm they use seems to work well.  The games I play feel routinely challenging, and I rarely feel like my opponent has "bought" their victory by stacking better cards than I have.


    The varied nature of the cards is part of what I enjoy the most about the game.  There's lots of opportunities to create interesting combinations, and it's very satisfying to see your deck playing out the way you intended.  Complexity really ranges all over the place, so you can still make simple, powerful decks if you find some of the more complicated cards overwhelming.


    If anyone else out there plays, or is interested in playing, feel free to find me on Steam as Entriech.  Cheers!