Hi everyone and welcome to my personal blog! Despite the huge Yugioh banner above this text, I post about other things too, specifically video games. Leave comments wherever you like and check me out on Facebook and Twitter @Veedotme.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas everyone!
I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season. Sorry I haven't been posting much, but do believe I am still playing games an yugioh when I find the time. Hopefully, now that the holiday is gone, my schedule can be a little more structured. Then, I will be able to visit again :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Another computer upgrade?

In the house, most of our "gaming consoles" are in the same place. Both PC's are next to each other, behind us is the TV with the PS3 and Wii connected. It is a very simple layout, with no fancy contraptions besides the HD PVR leading from the PS3 to my tower. This setup actually lasted for quite a while; until recently that is. You see, Chelsea (my SO) recently discovered the magic and challenge of creating perfect towns in Animal Crossing: City Folk. I, have recently started Disgaea 4. Between Item Worlds, MOAR Story, fruit picking, and tree chopping, it is easy to see that sharing the television has become more and more difficult.

Getting a 2nd television was out of the question. So what else can you do in 2012? Play console games on your computer monitor!

The first step is deciding which monitor to get. Since I watch a lot of MLG and "pro gaming", those programs often advertise the monitors of which they are sponsored. After asking a few of my real and internet "pro gaming" buddies, I settled on the ASUS VH236 LCD Monitor. Ebay had a few good deals on used ASUS monitors (probably won by gamers or cast aside because of bigger purchases) and I decided to go that route. Yugioh (and the other random items I have sold) essentially paid for this monitor.

Of course, I didn't really think about the size of the screen whatsoever.... My original eMachines (BestBuy Quality) monitor was 17 inches. Chelsea's Touchsmart is 20 inches. I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by this:

Which then became this:
You can barely make out the dinky eMachines monitor on the far right. I'm not sure how I forgot to check the size of the monitor before I bought it. The 23" screen is a pretty noticeable improvement over my 17". In comparison to the 20" Touchsmart, you can really see the 1080p/16:9 difference. that isn't to say the the Touchsmart has a bad screen, because it definitely does not. The Asus monitor just has a more accurately native resolution (if such a thing is possible).

In any case, for a used monitor, this thing  runs very well. I doubt I will notice a difference in latency with games like Disgaea 4, but I can say that the refresh rate(?) has really improved the "blur" that occurs during fast movement.  The PS3 is plugged in via HDMI, the desktop is in DVI, and switching between the two is only a matter of pressing a button on the monitor. For recording video, I will still need to play on the television because of the Hauppauge HD PVR's component av requirements. Obviously, the PS3 can switch on the XMB, so long as I am not already playing a game (PS3 limitations).

I'm pretty sure that, in the last time I posted about upgrading my PC, I said I would upgrade the cooling fan, processor and RAM. While it is true that my system is running in the "red zone" according to Speccy and GameBooster, I have managed to play this way for a while. Priority for the next systems upgrade should go towards the HP Touchsmart. While an excellent desktop pc, which plays most online games very well, it struggles on the majority of boxed, highly intensive retail games (such as FFXIV and Tera). The system isn't really old, it just isn't meeting our expectations as games become bigger and better. With luck, I can get a premade gaming rig, which often tends to cost less than building your own (unless you get some Black Friday deals). HOPEFULLY the next time I talk about computer upgrades, it won't be for myself.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

FML part II the F'iest

Believe it or not, I am still playing League of Legends. Why? Is it really that fun? Well, take a look at these and maybe you can decide if League seems like fun:
I have 2 account in League of Legends right now. My level 30 account "Ealdnarche" is in the 550 win range. I don't play ranked games, so these are all classic normal matches. Eald has lots of fun champs, skins, runes, rune pages, and even reserve IP for impulse purchases. Though I have no immediate plans for ranked play, I enjoy being able to play against 800-1500win players in normal matches. Most people take those matches seriously, so your only losses are due to misplays and connection issues. Then we have "Basaimah." Basaimah is currently level 23, which is subpar for the amount of time I have been grinding matches. For those who do not know, League of legends has "runes" that you buy outside of matches. You equip up to 30 runes on 1 page before a match; during the match you will have the increased stats that you have equipped. However, LoL has 3 tiers of runes. They are based on level, and the highest tier is only available at level 20, and provides too much advantage to make lower tier runes viable. This means that most knowledgeable players will NOT buy runes until level 20. The extremely knowledgeable players may even save ALL of their IP to go toward level 20 runes. It cost me 15,000+ IP to pay for 2 pages worth of runes. I accumulated around 19,000 IP from the grind to level 2...And what a grind it was. Even with ~4000 bonus IP, I only bought 3 champions: Annie (for stale AP mid weeks), Janna (for stale support weeks), and Evelyn (as a personal challenge for myself). That entire grind to 20(and beyond!) was with free week champs; after using the same champs for nearly 1000 games, FUN Champs, I am restricted to the lamest abd ugliest champions Riot wants to offer during free week. Then you have mirror matches, which is just as bad. In fact, I won't even play free week champions (like Irelia) knowing that the chance to play in a mirror is too high. So you are basically playing champs you may not necessarily like, with no form of runes to support certain champions. You may think this limits the game to a test of skill. However, when you are among the skill-less, you may not have the ability to carry the worst players in the game. This is where those above pictures become relevant. You can definitely play super-carries in every game: AP Tristana, Olaf, etc, but you also have to take into account your opponents. You could very well be the team that has no competency compared to a team with average players. Your super carry then has to fight every fed champion on the other team. Super carries win because their items far succeed anything else the other team can afford. If you don't roam 24/7 or push your lane to the inhibitor, then your allies will feed the other team items to match you.
Even against bots, I would lose matches all the way up to level 10! Bots are only tough because they can push towers and do skills when most players wouldn't (such as Soraka Bot and starfall). But it is sooooooo easy to not die to bots. It's even easy to not die to low level human players. One can almost say that an afk player is better than one that feeds, but that is wholly dependent on the enemy team. Basaimah is fun to play now, but my goodness was it hair-pulling for 80% of my playtime. I am also a player that tends to lock in last. I usually fill whatever gap in roles I see: support, ad carry, mid, top, jungle, etc. Yes I know that roles are not always important in low level gameplay; but I like to believe that every role can "carry" in its own way. Champs like Sona and Lulu can turn the worst AD carry into a sub-par one. Maoki and Sejuani can force your team to fight when you know it will be advantageous. Of course, this only works if your team actually follows your directions. Be it language barriers or IQ barriers, some people just don't want to win....There is no other way to explain it.
There is one thing to not know how to play a MoBA; it's another thing to be unfamiliar with PVP PC games; it's ANOTHER thing to just play to lose. I'd rather hear that the player is botting the game with a computer program. It got bad enough that you really hope that no human is behind the monitor..as the decisions they make cannot possibly have been "good" in anyone's mind.

As I am typing this, Basaimah is almost level 24, and will probably level up tonight. Much of the victory issues have subsided, and super carrying is still (perhaps even more) possible. Of course, I'm not smart or talented enough to first pick champs in solo queue; I still try to fill missing roles. The whole point of leveling up Basaimah was to learn new champions without fear of losing. "Learning" a few like Karthus and Xerath went terribly. I've had my fair share of games where I fed or just could not contribute. Heck, I even played Urgot once and didn't know how to use his Lock-on. That's pretty bad. But hey, getting carried is pretty fun too. It's not like I fail so badly that the game is unplayable.

Basaimah is up to 8000+IP, and can buy any champ in the game. Diana and Zyra both look promising. I will try my best to not buy anything...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I had intent to make this post a long, long time ago. I would have conveyed my surging rage on the internet about some of the games I had been playing at that time. League of Legends and Dark Souls are the key components of the post, but the rage has surprising quelled! First off, I can say that I finished my first playthrough of Dark Souls, which I almost never expected to complete.
Dark Souls
In this post of the best games ever, I was really excited about Dark Souls. I bought the game shortly after release, thanks to a sale, and let it sit in my Gaming Ottoman for a while. I believe I was playing Uncharted 3 at that time. At least a month later, I finally decided to pull out the game..and I was in for a (un)pleasant surprise.

Now, don't assume that I didn't like the game, because I definitely did. The game may have been a little overwhelming for me, as I did terribly at first. Eight hours into my character, I realized that I needed to start over. I NEVER "reroll" characters in games, but Hiryo was so far behind and had wasted so many hours, that I created a new character. In that same 8 hours, I traveled twice as far and had much better equipment and bank. Another oddity, I had built a Boy-weilding character, which is arguably one of the worst builds in all of Dark Souls. Despite that, my campaign was going well. The first boss of the game gave me little trouble with Basaimah and I began to finally build a real-life skillset to play this game successfully.

That is, until I ran into the the Capra Demon of Lower Undead Burg...The worst feeling in a game like this is to be stuck on "beginner monster," and the Capra Demon definitely fills that role. In hindsight, every boss of Dark Souls isn't very difficult. Of course, the difficult is only evident when you actually fight the monster, and this is where I had so much trouble.

Imagine if you will, an alley. There is a set of stairs on one side that don't lead anywhere, they are just stairs and a drop back into the alley. Your enemy charges each of his attacks and leaps to strike you, fairly easy to avoid. To hold you in place, there are 2 minions that stagger you upon hitting(and they have a fast attack speed). They have low HP, but their run speed and attack speed give you minimal chances to get in damage.

I was so bad at killing this thing, that I left the area completely to try my luck at other bosses. In Dark Souls, the world is fairly open, so you do have the ability to set monsters aside for a later time. However, the difference between this and Demons Soul is that avoiding 1 difficult monster just leads you to another. If you cannot kill the ones you are currently facing (at least strategy-wise), there isn't much sense in skipping it. This was my problem: I had positioned myself between a rock and a hard place with the game.
A) Fight the Capra Demon.
B) Travel through the Catacombs and find a way to deal with reviving skeletons.
C) Make my way through Blighttown and not get lost.
D) Find a way past the Hydra.

I rarely use guides in any game, but not using one in Dark Souls is just torture. You don't have to follow it as a strict map for finishing the game. What you can do, and what I finally did after months of not playing the game, is figure out what you're missing that may actually give you an advantage on these difficult fights. To be quite honest, we assume that the developers of Dark Souls expect you to find these items and shortcuts designed to make life easier. And, even with my terrible bow character, I created my own roadmap that led me to finishing the game!
1) Travel through New Londo Ruins to obtain the composite bow.
2) Return to Undead Asylum to get the Rusty ring.
3) Use the souls found on the Crest of Artorias and find Pharis's Black Bow.
4) Use the new-found items to roam Blighttown and clear all the shortcuts.
5) Kill the Capra Demon, then clear the rest of the Undead area.
6) Kill the Hydra with the new items and make your way to the other end of Artorias's map.
7) Enter Sen's Fortress.
8) Enter Anor Londo
9) ???
10) Beat the game!

And trust me, I still rage every time I die in this game, but the difference here is the level of "impossibility." As the game progress and your confidence increases, the "impossibility" rating of monsters and areas begins to decrease. Situations that seemed completely unreasonable, sudden become..possible.

League on the other hand gets FMLs daily, and there isn't much to do about it. The rage that I had for this will have to wait for next time, as I don't want you guys to have to read a novel 1 on post. What I can give you are a few hints to my frustration:
1) I'm leveling "smurf" account from 1 to level 30.
2) I am NOT playing with friends.
3) I am buying as little champs as possible, mostly filling roles for weeks that I do not approve of.
4) I am avoiding the use of RP on this account. (maybe I'll buy a few skins).
Please do not feel sorry for me.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hasbro's My 1st Yugioh Sealed Tourney

What, Yugioh sealed? Isn't that just offering Giant Soldiers of Stone as tribute for Summoned Skull?

Dave at Diehard Games held his first Yugioh sealed tourney last Saturday. It had a modest turnout of around 12 people, a mixture between non-regulars(irregulars?) and "event" players. Battle packs have been sold out at our locals for a while, so the top prize of "more battle packs" was highly sought after. And rightfully so, as Tour Guide, Fiendish Chain, Forbidden Chalice, and a number of staple cards litter the card list. I and a few others actually pulled Tour Guides from our initial packs! Of course, most of us didn't get to keep ours. Setting up the tournament gives you an idea why:

1) Everyone pays to join the tourney.

2) Everyone is given 10 packs and a spreadsheet with every card listed.

3) Upon opening each pack, you mark every card that you found on the spreadsheet, registering them.

4) Once everyone registers all the available cards, you then turn in your cards and the list to the tournament organizer.

5) He then randomly distributes each "package" to each player. You have a 1/Xparticipants chance to get the cards you opened.

6) Finally you build a deck out of the cards you received.

Of course, if you liked what you pulled, you are more than welcome to drop from the tournament and go home with those cards. From what I understand, the general consensus is that you should only drop if you pull multiple tour guides. Though I did get a Tour Guide and Starfoil Lance out of my packs, I was more interested in playing the game than getting loot, so I happily gave my cards away. In return, I got a really, really lackluster stack of cards to make a deck with lol.

If you look at the FAQs for Sealed play, most games are done with a 20 or 30 card minimum deck. Keeping it low makes things a bit more consistent, but it may give you less answers to your opponent's plays. On Saturday, everyone played with FORTY cards (Casual Variant #2). That is 80% of all the cards you had in your pool. This meant that most of us played with a complete mishmash of cards, with very little coherence. I do have to admit, playing with 40 cards was probably more fun than it would have been to use twenty. With 20 card decks, the real fun comes from deck-building. With 40, you are probably running 1 copy of 90% of your cards, so each draw is as random as possible. Keeping a good hand and field is extremely important, as your next card has a high chance of being useless. Some call this aspect "skill" and perhaps that is what makes Sealed fun.

My 40 card deck was probably the worst one out of all attendees. Though I made it to top 4, I can't say that my deck was any good:


x1 Fortress Warrior *
x1 Twin Headed Behemoth ***
x1 Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite *****
x1 Vortex Trooper **
x1 Naturia Strawberry ***
x1 Abyssal Kingshark **
x1 Cyber Jar *****
x1 Treeborn Frog *****
x1 Cyber Dragon *****
x1 Dark Resonator ***
x1 The Tricky ****
x1 Dark Magician of Chaos *****
x1 Des Mosquito ***
x1 Beast King Barbaros ****
x1 Jinzo *****
x1 Ancient Gear Knight **
x1 Big Shield Gardna ***
x1 Greenkappa ***
x1 Stealth Bird ****
x1 Injection Fairy Lily **
x1 Blue Thunder T-45 ***
x1 Chainsaw Insect ***
x1 Toon Gemini Elf ***
x1 Luster Dragon ****
x1 Old Vindictive Magician ****
x1 Psi Blocker ****

Spells: 7 Traps: 7

x1 Soul Exchange ****
x1 Axe of Despair ****
x1 Darkworld Shackles ****
x1 Forbidden Chalice ****
x1 Premature Burial *****
x1 Pot of Duality *****
x1 Fighting Spirit ***
x1 Interdimensional Matter Transporter ***
x1 Inverse Universe **
x1 Liberty at Last! ****
x2 Pixie Ring **
x1 Blast with Chain ***
x1 Half or Nothing **

The star ratings on these cards are actually pretty generous. Though you may not agree with me on a few of them, I am really comparing them to cards I could gotten instead such as Fortress Warrior vs Hedge Guard. As you can see, I only had 3 Forbidden cards in my deck. Two of which very good cards, but not the best I could have gotten. One of them, Cyber Jar, is particularly nasty, especially in a higher monster, lower tribute count deck. On the flip-side, most of my losses came from drawing monsters that are simply too weak to take on Archfiend Skull of Lightning or Zaborg.

Gameplay is thought of as a slugfest by most. Play monsters and get in damage whenever you can, and just go back and forth until someone runs out of options. Rare cards like Ring of Destruction, Raigeki, and Xyz monsters make it slightly more difficult, as aggressive play can be countered. Defensive play isn't always reliable either, as Shield Crush, Drillroid, and Gaap the Divine Soldier can flip over your strategy completely. There are also whole strategies you can try to pull off if you are lucky enough. James Fox had Machina Fortress and other machines to support it. You can run Goblin Attack Force monsters alongside Gaap for some serious pain. Burden of the Mighty and King Tiger Wanghu are a no-brainer.

My deck really had no combos, but playing conservatively helped me win. Though there are less and less responses to summons, or excessive backrow, Greenkappa, Harpie's Feather Duster, Torrential and Raigeki all exist. There is also Snatch Steal, Change of Heart, Creature Swap, and Premature Burial that can make rob you of your excessive field. In the end, Sealed play has a bit more thought process than you may have imagined.

I highly recommend playing Seal play whenever possible. It is easy, affordable, and gets you great cards with a lot of longevity (inb4 Tour Guide limited in September).And don't forget that more Battle Packs are sure to come in the future, so you may as well figure out how to play now.

Thanks for reading.