Gamers Gonna Game

It’s a little known fact.  As fun as League can be at times, it can also be infinitely more frustrating.  So as gamers, I’m sure we all have other games that we turn to when we’ve been trolled enough to last for a lifetime (or at least the week).  With this in mind, I figured it might be a good idea to do a weekly post on games other than League, just to keep you Summoners interested.  There’s a whole world of MMO’s, hardcore and casual RPG’s, and RTS’s out there and I sure as hell wouldn’t mind discovering what each has to offer.

So that brings me to the topic of this week’s post, Diablo 3.  If you’ve played it, you know how graphically intensive the game itself is.  Therefore, I wasn’t exactly surprised when I found out that my old POS computer couldn’t even shake a finger at it, let alone run it on the game’s lowest settings.  Thus my motivation for building a new computer.  I wanted something that could play this game, because I knew if it did it would play all the other games I wanted it to as well.

Now that my new computer has been built and I’ve played Diablo III with all the video settings maxed out for quite a few hours at a time, let’s just say that my old computer didn’t exist in comparison.  The animations are crisp, the spell effects are beautiful, the action is intense and the cut scenes seem straight out of a blockbuster film.  If you haven’t played Diablo III yet, I highly urge you to at least try the now free Starter Edition, which is essentially a demo that you no longer need a friend’s code to play.

You probably need more proof that this game is awesome besides me salivating over its graphics.  Well, it’s also extremely fun to play.  If you’ve ever played Diablo II, you’ll recognize the style of game play from the outset.  You can choose between five different predefined classes.  The demon hunter takes advantage of  range and maneuverability, the monk focuses on hand to hand combat and speed to stay ahead of their enemies, the barbarian uses brute force and survivability to outlast foes, the wizard commands the elements to deal insane amounts of damage, and the witch doctor calls upon the dead and plagues enemies with curses and diseases to gain an advantage.  Each character is so unique that I bet every play through will feel like an entirely new experience.  I can’t wait to play the classes I’ve yet to touch.

Demon Hunters attack their enemies from afar and use their maneuverability to remain one step ahead.

I’ve only played a monk and a demon hunter so far, but I’m definitely enjoying my time with them.  My monk currently holds most of my attention, but I’ve only leveled her to 26 (work doesn’t allow me to play much during the week), but it’s been a fun 26 levels!  I’m so engrossed in the story and building this one character, that my urges to try out the other classes have been kicked to the curb.  This is probably the best compliment I can give the game, because in any other case I’d have five character right now, if only to test the other classes out.  The monk is so well made and so much fun to play (the Demon Hunter is as well, but I started a monk so I could be the same level as a friend), that I know all the other classes will be, too.

My monk’s name is Lanora, and she’s a force to be reckoned with.

The over worlds feel just as expansive as they were in Diablo II and the fact that they spawn randomly makes revisiting them less of a nuisance.  The dungeons are crawling with enemies, swarms of weaker monsters and larger, boss type monstrosities to boot.  Being able to play with Ashling (or anyone else I know with the game) is only a plus, because it makes the experience that much more fun.  With the introduction of the new Paragon system, I’m sure the Diablo III will be just as rewarding once I reach max level…if I ever do, at this rate.

Friday’s Featured Fan Art – Week 1

This is the first installment of our now weekly fan art feature. Because of this, we will be limiting the people/art we feature to only one or two per week, depending on the magnitude of their work. If you have something you’d like us to take a look at, feel free to shoot an email to and we’ll be sure to consider it!

Now, without further ado, I’d like to reintroduce the feature of this week: Hannah Botts. For those of you who don’t remember, Hannah crafts hand sewn fleece hats modeled after some of our favorite champions. You can see her previous feature here, and browse her Etsy shop here.

Hannah has had some major success as of late. Two of her hats were featured in the most recent Summoner’s Showcase and a week before that Nikasaur wore one of Hannah’s hats. Watch the video below and see for yourself how awesome her work is.  Riot must like them considering she’s sold hats to some of the people who work there.

If I haven’t persuaded you yet, let me show you some more of her work.

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Knowing the Objectives

Wait what? There are objectives to Summoner’s Rift?

Surprise, surprise. There are. I’ve played my fair share of games in which my team had too much fun melting the enemy that they lost sight of our ultimate goal. Killing isn’t the objective. In Summoner’s rift, it is the destruction of the Nexus. Kills don’t win games. Turrets do. You can easily be ahead in total kills and still end up losing. It’s happened many times before.

There are other several other mini-objectives that help your team if you keep them in the back of your mind. Knowing how to handle something as simple as Baron or Dragon can mean the difference between victory and defeat. There are teams who forget all about them and focus on the fight down mid.

Dragon is essential since it gives gold to your team. More gold means more items. There’s no disputing this. Try to get this often. Warding the river by it helps prevent the enemy from getting it as well. It’s important to use wards to your advantage. There’s no point having one there if your team is going to sit and watch them kill dragon.

Likewise this applies to Baron. Ward there soon after the fifteen minute mark. This helps you prevent the team from sneaking a Baron fight. It can happen at any time. All they need is enough damage output or a tank to absorb the damage. A Baron buff can easily mean defeat.

It’s important to use these objectives strategically. Just because you can get Baron doesn’t mean you should. There are other factors to consider. Always assume they have wards. Don’t initiate a fight if they’re all up and you don’t have eyes on them. Consider initiating a fight at Baron. There’s nothing wrong with pretending to take Baron to force them to come to you.

Accountability is everything. If someone on your team wants Baron and your gut tells you it’s a bad idea. Don’t do it. A miscalculated fight can cost you the game. Don’t let the enemy catch you off guard.  Tell your teammates what you think and pray they see sense before it’s too late.

The jungle is your friend. Fighting in mid and overextending creates a repetitive atmosphere. They know what direction you’re coming in and can prepare for a defense with a potential counter. Sneak through the jungle. Steal their buffs. But don’t get greedy. Catch them by surprise.

If your team can handle a 4v5 allow your ADC or top to sneak away and push turrets. You can rack up all the kills you want, that doesn’t mean you’ll win the game. Any little turret damage helps. IF this causes someone to counter the push allow your team to travel together to punish them. Do this if you see someone  pushing alone as well.

There’s one word to describe the main objective in League. Your team needs to be capable of showing dominance. Know when to push, when to fight, when to get Baron and Dragon. Strategy is your best offense. Always have a battle plan ready.

Computer Building for Dumbies, Day One

The Story

I needed a new computer, this much was certain. The desktop I used to play League of Legends before I left for California cost me fifty dollars from my university’s surplus computer shop.  Who knows, but it easily could have been used solely as a library catalog in its past life, which doesn’t speak very highly of its capabilities.  That being said, it really couldn’t do much more than play League, browse the internet and run a word processor. Games as graphically intensive as Diablo 3 were foreign objects to it. I’m not even sure if it knew what to do with them. But I still wanted to play these games, even if my sorry excuse for a computer refused to cooperate.

So, I started looking into buying a rig that was built for gaming, because I figured if it could run something like Diablo 3 it would do everything else I needed it to do as well.  But even before I started shopping online for something to meet my needs, I asked for my roommate’s opinion on the matter.  She works in our university’s computer repair shop and knows far more about this stuff than I did, so I planned on taking her advice very seriously.

The first thing she told me?  “Don’t buy a computer. Build one.”

Of course I asked why, and the reasons she gave me made sense.  It’s usually cheaper than buying a pre-built rig, since the parts tend to cost less in total.  You can build it to meet your exact needs-you won’t have to settle for something you don’t want.  It’ll be easier to upgrade down the line, since you’ll know the exact specifications of every piece used to build it and they’re generally easier to manage.  It’s fun and rewarding.  She knew, because she’d just built her own earlier in the year.

So, it was decided.  I would build my own computer.  The only question that remained was simple…what the heck did I need to buy?

Computer Case

A little taste of what’s in store for next week!

(Next week look forward to me outlining the parts necessary for building a computer, what I decided to get, and why.)

Understanding Synergy

Have you ever noticed matches where one team seems to have a clear advantage over the other? One in which every team fight seems to end in the complete annihilation of one team and the survival of another? And no matter how much you try, how perfectly you set up ganks, how well you’re communicating with your own team, you can never come out on top? The three of us know the feeling, because we’ve experienced it quite a few times competing in Summoner’s Rift. Now, not all of these instances boil down the topic of this post, but I’d bet that the majority of them do.

And that, my fellow summoners, is Synergy.

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