Monthly Archives: February 2014

Hearthstone: Hunter Beast (Update)

Welcome back to Geek Generation.

It’s been awhile since i posted a deck list for hunter. Since then, i’ve played a couple more Arenas, opened a couple more packs, gotten a couple more cards and among them two uniques, Nat Pagle and Bloodmage Thalnos. And since the deck is so much better than the rest of my budget decks, i thought i’ll post an update of the deck.

First off, i feel that the uniques that i do have don’t make the cut for the deck. While they are low mana costed minions with very good abilities, they just don’t seem to fit into the aggro plan that i want in the deck. So here it is, the updated deck list:

1 x Hunter’s Mark
2 x Arcane Shot
1 x Bestial Wrath
1 x Unleash the Hounds
2 x Animal Companion
1 x Eaglehorn Bow
2 x Kill Command
2 x Multi-shot

1 x Stonetusk Boar
2 x Timber Wolf
2 x Dire Wolf Alpha
2 x Ironbeak Owl
2 x River Crocolisk
2 x Scavenging Hyena
2 x Starving Buzzard
1 x Ironfur Grizzly
2 x Houndmaster
2 x Tundra Rhino

There should absolutely be two Unleash the Hounds in the deck. That card is so insane in what it can do. Imagine if your opponent had three creatures, which itself is not an uncommon situation, with only 3 mana, you could swing for six damage (Unleash the Hounds + Timber Wolf). 5 mana lets you deal six damage and draw three cards (Starving Buzzard + Unleash the Hounds + Timber Wolf without even counting the card you can draw off Timber Wolf). Unleash the Hounds is definitely a game changer for the Hunter.

The changes are as follows:
Ironfur Grizzly -> Unleash the Hounds
Stonetusk Boar -> Timber Wolf
Hunter’s Mark -> Ironbeak Owl
Stampeding Kodo -> Eaglehorn Bow
Bloodfen Raptor -> Scavenging Hyena

I replace a Ironfur Grizzly with Unleash the Hounds, but that’s only because i don’t know what to take out. Ideally, i want 2 x Ironfur Grizzly because they work so well with Scavenging Hyenas. With the number of times i get Multi-shot stucked in hand, i’m thinking maybe i could replace one Multi-shot with the Grizly. Which basically means i replaced 1 x Multi-shot with 1 x Unleash the Hounds. The second Unleash the Hounds would probably replace Bestial Wrath.

Timber Wolf is now 2 copies because of it’s synergy with Unleash the Hounds. Plus, as long as you have another beast already in play, it’s almost as if the Timber Wolf had Charge. One Hunter’s Mark is removed in favor of the second Ironbeak Owl. Because the purpose of these cards is usually just to remove a Taunt and with Ironbeak Owl’s Silence, it costs you one less in-play minion to do it. Plus, it gives you an additional beast to feed your Starving Buzzards and enable Kill Commands.

Eaglehorn Bow replaces Stampeding Kodo because all Steampeding Kodo was good for was to kill a creature. Eaglehorn Bow does this much better and twice and with less mana, a definite upgrade.

Scavenging Hyenas are very good and had to replace one of the two drops. Bloodfen Raptor or River Crocolisk.

Bloodfen_Raptor River_Crocolisk

You might be thinking, woah, why am i choosing a 2/3 Crocolisk over the 3/2 Raptor. What about the aggro plan? Wouldn’t the higher power minion be a better fit?

Well, i reason it like this. Bloodfen Raptor simply dies too easily to a random 2/2s or just about any 2 damage burn. Bloodfen Raptor can probably hit once before getting traded with a 2/2 while River Crocolisk can survive a 2/2 as long as it does not get further help from your opponent. As long as your minion lives, it can keep hitting the opponent. Which is why River Crocolisks are actually better.

The only issue with the Crocolisk is that it does badly against a 3/3. With the Raptor, a 3/3 would trade with it, while with Crocolisk, you’re short by 1 damage to kill the 3/3. Fortunately, there aren’t many 3/3s at turn 2 (2 mana). Your opponent could get out a 3/3 by turn 2 via The Coin. Still, you get turn 3 first. Which means you could Eaglehorn Bow to kill off the 3/3. Or Timber Wolf or Dire Wolf Alpha to get that extra damage out to kill off the antagonizing minion.

I’m hoping very much to get another Unleash the Hounds and another Eaglehorn Bow. Hoping i get lucky with the next few packs i open. Geek Generation out.

An encounter with AFK

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

A week ago, i made a post regarding PUG, Pick Up Groups. One of the reasons i posted something about pugs was due to an encounter in a Guild Wars 2 dungeon run. More on this later.

One of the significant difference between Pugs and guild parties that is most noticeable is when members become AFK, Away From Keyboard, during the course of playing the game. Becoming AFK is a kind of necessary thing for living in real life. There would always be things that draws our immediate attention from the game and going away from the keyboard. It could to answer the phone or the door, it could be the dog or the cat, it could be the baby crying, it could be to grab a sandwich or drink, turn off the stove or simply a visit to the bathroom.

Generally, proper gaming etiquette insists that a player inform the party members prior to going AFK. But sometimes this doesn’t happen and the player simply stops reacting in the game. When a player goes AFK but fails to inform the party members, the party members can wait for the AFK player to return, which happens rather often in guild parties, or they can boot the AFK player from the party, presumably to find a substitute, which happens rather often in pugs.

So the other day, in Guild Wars 2, i was in a dungeon run with a pug. The dungeon could be roughly divided into three segments. One of the players played through the first segment but went AFK for the second segment without informing anyone. So at the third segment, the other players decided to boot the AFK player to get a new pug member. Which sounds just right if the third segment was difficult content that require a full party in attendance. Except that the third segment wasn’t particularly difficult.

So i was left thinking, the amount of effort the new pug member had to put in to get the end of dungeon reward was 1/3, which would have been equal to the afk player’s effort.

Until next time, if you need to AFK, remember to say BRB (Be Right Back). GGO, Geek Generation out.

Guild Wars 2: Escape from Lion’s Arch

Geek Generation here, hello everybody.

The events from Edge of the Mists culminates into a massive attack on Lion’s Arch by Scarlet Briar. Everything in Lion’s Arch was destroyed. Including the fountain that was rebuilt from when the Mad King destroyed it. What !! The Asuran portals are out of commission, Mystic Forge is gone, banks, tradepost and every other financial institution in Lion’s Arch is obliterated. But fear not, you can still continue to craft your ascended armor.

As to whether any services remain operational in Lion’s Arch, i’m not sure. The place has become a warzone, and i think it’ll be quite annoying if you were to make a hammer and suddenly a dozen Scarlet’s meanies pop up to murder you. Alot, if not all, of the services that you’re used to getting from Lion’s Arch can be found elsewhere.

To access crafting services, head on to your home borderland in WvW. Mystic Forge can be found in the home borderland’s garrison (the keep in the middle, south of the spawn point). Trade post is also found in WvW home borderland. As to laurel vendors, i think i remember seeing them in the various race’s capital city.

Rox and Braham (not sure where’s Taimi) are outside Lion’s Arch in Gendarren Fields making a foray into the city every hour to rescue the citizens. The more citizens you rescue in the event, the better the rewards. The reward tiers are as follows: 100, 300, 600, 1000, 1500. Got that from the map chat, and the one’s saying it probably got the information from better guide sites like Dulfy.

I tried to find Kajory, prolly the favorite pair of everyone playing Guild Wars 2’s Living Story. The Dead End seems to be closed. Which makes sense since i would expect Kajory to be helping out in the events unfurling in Lion’s Arch. I didn’t exactly go all around to look for them, i’ll do that later.

So far, this bit of Living Story seems pretty fun. The only problem with the whole thing was the cyphers. The chests are all gone with no warning or grace period. Did Scarlet come back to take back all her chests before the attack? *blehz* A foray into the forums and you can find people saying “Lair still there but chests gone.”.

Like it or not, the cyphers are a form of in-game currency and should be treated as appropriately. To Anet: like phasing out Glory, give some warning and grace period when you decide cyphers should become utterly useless.

Another thing to take note of is the spinal back item recipe fragments thingy whatever it is called. You need to create a set of four pieces to transform into a recipe for crafting using the mystic forge that was destroyed (use the one in WvW home borderland keep). As with all limited items, collect as many of these as possible and trade it away months, or even weeks, later for a profit.

Geek Generation out.

What is PUG?

Hello everybody, this is Geek Generation.

During your journey into MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), you might come across the word Pug, which is sometimes uttered with such derision that you’d wonder if Pug is a name for something very much contemptible.

Pugs is an acronym for Pick Up Groups. Pugs arise from games that have party finder systems, where individual players (or groups of players that do not have enough players to make up a full group) could use the system to find other players to group up to play some game content that is not solo-able. Or atleast not cost effective to solo.

The opposite of a Pug is a guild party. Or clan or family or company or whatever the game calls the collection of players that have banded together. Some guilds are so huge that they span across games.

The advantage of Pugs is of course convenience. You don’t have to wait for all your friends to be online to be able to do anything. You can even begin playing team oriented game content even if all your friends are busy and you’re playing alone.

The reason why alot of people dislike Pugs is due to the perception that pick up groups are somewhat random in nature and players can be grouped up with poorly skilled players or uncooperative players or players who might be skilled in other aspects of the game but are new to that particular content and simply don’t know what to do.

However, in my opinion, this perception of Pugs has grown into a rather unhelpful stereotype. I’ve seen guild parties eschew Pugs to the extent that they spend several minutes just waiting for the party to become full.

Not only is the Pug stereotype unhelpful, i find that it is just as often wrong. I’ve been in many Pugs and while some of them are terrible, there are also Pugs with players that are pretty skilled or mature toward play the game.

The thing is, bad players, new players, trolls, exists both inside and outside of guilds. It’s just that players tend to be more forgiving toward guild members than Pugs. Often, they’ll instruct guild members on how to approach new content but when it comes to Pugs, somehow, they’re more critical and less helpful.

Some people may feel that being part of their guild makes them the elite and somehow they have the right to be rude to other players. Of course, no one can really fault them if that’s how they feel, no one can tell them how to play their game. But such attitudes create a community that is ultimately unfriendly toward new players.

Why should any player care about new players? Because if a game cannot attract new players to stay, then the game is also likely to have come to the end of its shelf life. Players who care about continuing to play the game should care about new players.

So the next time you’re in a Pug, practice a little patience, teach the know-hows to players who don’t have the know-hows. They in turn could pay it forward and teach it to others. And Pugs, you’d find, too can be a rather pleasant gaming experience.

Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Druid big minions control

Hello everybody, this is Geek Generation.

I recently opened a Nat Pagle. So yay for me. Now i’m trying to include the fisherman in as many decks as i can.

I’m not sure if i mentioned this before, but i find that Druid decks need to have the Choice cards to have any chance at a decent game. So when you have gotten a couple of Choice cards to put into your Druid deck, deck building for Druids would become much easier.

Why play druid?

Swipe

Swipe with even just one point of spell power is extremely strong. With spell power, dealing five to the opponent while dealing two to his board can easily be a game changer.

Swipe the reason why i want to play Druid. Swipe together with Starfire is a total of 18 points of damage to the opponent. In terms of dealing direct damage, without rare cards like Pyroblast, a Mage could do worse than a Druid, and that’s pretty awesome.

Here’s the Druid deck that i’m running:
2 x Innervate
2 x Mark of Wild
2 x Mark of Nature
2 x Swipe
2 x Starfire

1 x Bloodmage Thalnos
1 x Nat Pagle
1 x Sunfury Protector
1 x Earthen Ring Farseer
2 x Harvest Golem
2 x Chillwind Yeti
1 x Defender of Argus
2 x Keeper of Grove
2 x Sen’jin Shieldmasta
2 x Spellbreaker
2 x Azure Drake
1 x Druide of the Claw
2 x Ironbark Protector

When playing this deck, try to use Harvest Golems to bait out Silence minions so when you buff your minions, they can remain buffed. With a full set of Mark of Wild and Mark of Nature together with the Taunt granting minions, the deck has no shortage of Taunting minions. The basic strategy of the deck is to last to late game and swing with your big minions and burn with Swipe and Starfall with an occasional game of turn two Chillwind Yeti or turn six Ironbark Protector.

Speaking of Innervate, when playing this deck, refrain from using it to play a turn two anything that isn’t a Chillwind Yeti. If it isn’t a Chillwind Yeti, keep Innervate for later. Cards like Ironbark Protector, Starfire and Swipe + Azure Drake doesn’t hurt to have a mana boost.

The exception to said strategy is when playing against Priests. With Priests, because of the devastating nature of Mind Control, you’ll want to rush them as quickly as possible while keeping Silences for the potential 20/20 Lightspawn. As far as possible Mark of Wild should also be reserved for later. If and when your opponent Mind Control’s your minion, with Mark of Wild, there’s a chance you might have a surviving bigger (than the one that was Mind Controlled) minion.

So much for now. Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: You can Hex your own minion

Welcome back to Geek Generation.

I was playing Arena awhile ago. Drafted a Priest and my first match was against a Paladin. I was doing fine until he attacked with his Ravenholdt Assassin into one of my minions, bringing his Assassin to one health. But the Assassin remained in stealth and i couldn’t attack it with my minion. Then on his turn he plays Defender of Argus boosting his Assassin’s health to two, which forces me to play my own Defender of Argus in a bad position. Which i wouldn’t have if the Assassin’s stealth hadn’t glitched and let it stayed a turn longer than it would have. Not to mention the seven extra damage it did to me.

Humph.

Angry.

Anyway, in an earlier game, I drafted a Shaman and was paired with another Shaman in one of the matches. We were racing each other, him more successfully, bringing me down to a low enough health that would die to single attack from a Stranglethorn Tiger (5/5, Stealth.), which he did play. There were no minions with Taunt anywhere on my side of the board or in my hand. Summoned a totem, which gave nothing useful. At this point, he starts to do a “Well played” emote. And since i still had much mana open, it was kind of snarky, like he was so confident the game was done. Except that there was a single Hex in my hand.

I couldn’t Hex his Tiger because it had stealth. So i Hexed one of my crappy minions hoping to buy enough time to race him. To be fair, it wasn’t a strong move, but a pretty awesome play in my opinion, Hexing my own minion. It was also the only play i had left to stay in the game. There were so many answers he could’ve drawn for the win and fortunately he didn’t. He did have a string of other hexes, to throw at my stronger minions, giving me more and more sacrificial Frogs.

So yeah, remember you can Hex your own minions if you absolutely need the Taunt.

Hex

Geek Generation out.

Guild Wars 2: Edge of the Mists (Raiders of the Lost Parts)

Geek Generation here.

It turns out that Raiders of the Lost Parts is also a relatively simple achievement.

Taimi’s golem was damaged and is missing some parts. To complete the achievement, simply pick up the lost golem part and return it to her.

RaidersoftheLostParts2

The lost golem part is located in the center of the map, The Juncture. There are several paths into the area containing the lost golem part. The picture’s path shows me coming from Tytone Perch Reactor and entering the chamber from the north via a ramp/stairs. The southwest bridge shown in the picture is another path in to the chamber.

RaidersoftheLostParts1

This picture is me looking into the chamber on top of the north ramp/stairs.The lost golem part is located between two energy probes. You can’t see it in this picture because i’ve already picked it up before returning to this place to make a screenshot. When approaching the lost golem part, beware of the energy probes. Do not go near it. Going near it will bounce you off the island resulting in instant death.

Ok, that’s it for pve element of Edge of the Mist. Geek Generation out.

Guild Wars 2: Edge of the Mists (Delaqua Investigator and Live on the Edge)

Welcome back to Geek Generation everybody.

Guild Wars 2 has a new patch, Edge of the Mists. The patch features a new WvW map. Haven’t tried running around in it, not sure how it works. With the patch there are three new achievements with two of them hardly requiring any effort.

DelaquaInvestigator

The achivement Delaqua Investigator requires travelling to the Dead End’s Tavern (or something like that) in the human city, Divinity’s Reach. It’s somewhat to the right of the entrance into the city. The most notable thing about the encounter would be when Kasmeer Meade said she wanted for the decorations, curtains and i don’t remember what else, fluffy pink bears maybe. Which Marjory Delaqua says no to, but in the same breath concede that curtains were ok, but only if they were black curtains.

Why’s it notable? Coz it gives us a better insight into the personalities of these two protagonists. Since i missed whatever was before the toxin part of the Living Story, i didn’t know much about these two characters before this. From the interaction, we can see who among the couple makes the decisions and who’s the doormat : D

If i were a story writer, this only goes one way. Toward the end, one of them would die. How’s that for a tragedy?

In any case, after the interaction, you’ll get another in game mail asking you to return to the tavern to complete more interactions and complete the Delaqua Investigator achievement.

LiveontheEdge1

Live on the Edge achievement is even simpler. What i did was head out to Bloodtide Coast and looked at the map to find the portal. You can see the portal as a purple whirl on the map. Travel to the purple whirl, enter the portal and the Live on the Edge achievement will be completed.

LiveontheEdge2
How the unstable mist portal looks like.

Will be back later after i explore the WvW portion of the patch. For now, Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: February card of the month (February)

Welcome back to Geek Generation.

It’s only been around a week, but since it’s February already, i’ll pin up a new card of the month. Card of the month for February is:

Northshire_Cleric_B

What’s up with that card you ask? That was the same question i was asking. I played against two Paladins and played that on turn one and they conceded right after i played the card. It’s funny, except that i was trying to complete the quest that says: Play 40 minions that cost 5 or more ><

It’s not like Paladins do not have cards to deal with the cleric.

On a tangential note, if your opponent plays:

Starving_Buzzard Dire_Wolf_Alpha Bloodfen_Raptor

If you can only kill one of the minions, which do you kill? Starving Buzzard or Dire Wolf Alpha. The analysis is actually quite simple. Killing Starving Buzzard reduces the total damage by three, killing Dire Wolf Alpha reduces the damage by four. Unless that extra one point of damage is going to kill you, you always kill Starving Buzzard. If you’re experienced in matters of CCG, this might seem obvious to you, but there’ve been many games where players simply ignores the Starving Buzzard even when they have the means to kill it.

Though one might reason that if the Dire Wolf Alpha lives, and the opponent has in his/her hand Thundra Rhino and a host of other meanie Beasts, it’ll devastate you. But let’s face it, barring a few rare and exceptional scenarios, with that kind of hand and a Starving Buzzard alive, your opponent is going to gain the upper hand anyway. A stronger upper hand, since there’ll likely be more meanie Beasts drawn off the Starving Buzzard.

Tundra_Rhino

This is Geek Generation, til the next time, kill all Northshire Clerics and Starving Buzzards on sight. And don’t give up so easily when your opponent plays Northshire Cleric on turn one.

Hearthstone: Understanding the Warrior

Geek Generation here. In this post, i’ll talk about the Warrior class of Hearthstone.

In my some of my earliest posts, i talked about card advantage and how important the concept was towards winning games. Since every minion on the board can be roughly translated into cards, minions on the board providing board-advantage/initiative, is also in a way contributing to your card advantage. Your opponent needs to use minions/cards or hero abilities to either deal with your minions or to race with you.

As such, hero abilities, help generate card advantage, by affecting the board or in the case of Warlock, directly puts cards into your hand. Except the Warrior class. The Warrior class is the odd one out in that it does not really generate advantage by itself.

Druid, Mage, Rogue all can directly affect the board by dealing damage to minions. Hunters deal damage directly to the opponent, which is similar to getting to cast a weaker Sinister Strike, but every turn. Paladin and Shamans contribute to card advantage by putting a creature into play, Warlocks work as mentioned. Even Priests that do no damage directly with their abilities contribute to the board by keeping the minions alive.

Steady_Shot Sinister_Strike

Only the Warrior alone, has an ability that has utterly no effect on the board or card advantage. While Hunters do not affect the board, they can win the game by playing the hero ability 15 times. To be fair, the Warrior can win by playing its ability for 35 turns and try to outlast the opponent through library death. But.. seriously?

The thing about armor is that it works exactly like health. There are neither cards that remove armor nor any form of damage that can bypass it. In fact, armor is a superior form of health since it can counter Water Elemental’s freeze.

Water_Elemental

Hence, in my opinion, the best Warriors are those that can find something to do with the extra health. And the easiest way to do it is to equip weapons and hit opponent minions with the weapons. Hence, good warrior decks should always have a plethora of weapons in their deck so that they can transform some of those extra health into board advantage.

So much for now, Geek Generation out.

Edit: I often see Warriors armor up before hitting a minion. As long as the game remains such that no cards can remove armor and no damage can bypass it, the correct play would be to always armor after the hitting the minion, as long as the minion does not kill you. This gives you a chance to stack armor to protect against Water Elemental’s freeze or to represent Shield Slam.

Shield_Slam