Monthly Archives: April 2014

Hearthstone: Wild Growth (what to do at 10 mana?)

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.


As the title says, are cards like Wild Growth in late game when the player has already accumulated 10 mana crystals? Apparently not! Wild Growth, if cast when the player already has 10 mana crystals will give the player Excess Mana card which can be used to draw a card at the cost of zero mana.


Some of you might know this already, but this alternative ability of Wild Growth is not immediately obvious, and certainly not something anyone can glean from the card text alone. I never knew this at all and many times when playing Malfurion, i would keep Wild Growth as the last card in the hand thinking that it won’t do anything if i cast it.


A similar effect happens for Sense Demons if a player casts it with no more demons left in the library. The result is 1/1 Useless Demons. At this point of time, i’m assuming this replacement alternative is a characteristic of all other cards that search the library, like the search a pirate card.

Geek Generation out.


Guild Wars 2: Mega Server

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

Initially, Anet said that the Mega Server system would be implemented only in the starter maps and would be fully rolled out in December. But it appears that most of the maps already are in Mega Server build. It truly is good news for new players since it increases the population in the player’s map by a significant amount. Maps no longer appear like dead zones which tend to happen in games that has moved on to end game content.

However, the Mega Server system poses a problem for guilds doing guild missions. Before i talk about the problems, i have to talk about the cap (the maximum amount of players allowed on a map) system in Guild Wars 2. The cap system is divided into soft cap and hard cap with the former being a lower number than the later. When soft cap is reached, only players who are party members with a player that’s already in the map can join it. When the hard cap is reached, a player can only join a map only if an existing player in the map leaves.

This soft cap allowance creates a unique work-around for large numbers of people who need to be in the same map, namely guilds doing guild missions. Guilds would have to form taxi parties to ferry guild members into the same map when the soft cap limit has managed to cut the guild in half. Which needless to say, is utterly immersion breaking.

In the guild mission that my guild was doing, the map was already hosting players from several other guilds. The first few members from the guild entering the map pushed the map population into soft cap limit causing the entire guild to be split into two instances of the map. The end result was alot of the ferrying of guild members via taxi parties.

Here i propose a possible solution to this splitting of the guild doing guild missions.

In the guild missions screen, the ui (user interface) should have a button to allow guild members to join once the guild mission is started. All members who joined would have the same priorities, as if they were all in a party, for the map-instance allocation system. This would prevent the soft cap causing guild members to end up in different instances of the same map.

In addition to that, if there were such a “join mission” system in place, the map-instance allocation system would have advance information on the amount of players, as a guild, coming in for guild missions. This would then allow the system to place the incoming guild into a a wholly new instance if the incoming guild was large enough to breach the soft cap and hit the hard cap of the existing instances.

Ok so much for now. Hope Anet takes this suggestion into consideration. Geek Generation out.

Short Update

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

This is a short update to talk about the two games that i’ve been talking about on this blog, Hearthstone and Guild Wars 2.

First of all, Hearthstone’s announced that it’s going to have an expansion, adding new cards and all new single player pve mode. With the expansion, the player would be able to play against AI opponents in a sort of campaign mode to earn the new cards. The new expansion is going to be called Curse of Naxxramus.

Curse of Naxxramus is going to be divided into several wings with the first wing being free to play and subsequent wings pay to play. Though Blizzard is going to allow free to play players to unlock the subsequent wings with in-game gold, with each wing rewarding a new legendary card coupled with the maximum amount a player can hoard is 20k gold, things does not look optimistic for free to play players.

Next Guild Wars 2. Anet has always marketed the living story as something that will change the face of Tyria. I’ve always thought that there was much hype in that branding and called it, living story would change the face of Tyria, but only skin deep. The reason i said that was that Anet, with Lion’s Arch destroyed, would be rebuilt to look exactly the same as the old Lion’s Arch. My reasoning was that they couldn’t possibly change Lion’s Arch too much or new players would find the Lion Arch is story instances looking completely different.

A discordant Lion’s Arch would utterly break immersion and as such, Lion’s Arch would return to exactly as it was before Scarlet Briar destroyed it, hence changes can only go skin deep.

And boy could i not be more wrong. I rerolled my necromancer recently and played the story quest right into Lion’s Arch. It turns out that the Lion’s Arch in the story line’s instance was exactly the same as the one in world map; destroyed. Apparently the Lion’s Arch in the story line’s instance takes it’s blueprints from the actual Lion’s Arch in world map. I’m floored. Utterly impressed.

Indeed, have faith in the living story’s capacity to change the face of Tyria.

Ok so much for now, Geek Generation out.

Guild Wars 2: April (December?) Feature Pack (Mega Server)

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

The blog news for the April Feature Pack is complete. The last bit of teaser was about the Mega Server system. Before talking about the mega server, i’ll have to explain a little about what overflow maps are.

Guild Wars 2 players are divided into servers which not only is a grouping for world versus world (WvW) content, is also a segregation of players for pve content. Each server has it own persistent world maps that is populated by players from the same server. However, there is a limit on the number of players a map can host. Players trying to enter maps that has reached its player limit would be placed into another instance of the same map, called overflow by Guild Wars 2.

I’m not sure if overflow maps are created on the fly or there are just instances of maps that’s already running and waiting to be populated.

To make a long story short, the mega server would turn all maps into a form of overflow map. The map’s identity is no longer tied to any particular server. While this means players from different servers can now play together, though not of their own volition. That means, if for some reason a player wanted to play with players from a particular server (maybe he/she wanted to go to a server’s town hub to talk to players he/she been competing with in WvW), it’s not a choice the player can make with the mega server in place.

While the mega server would make maps more populated, it’s not without its cons. With the mega server in place, players can no longer play in some maps while monitoring whether a dungeon is contested or not in another map.

More importantly, websites like will no longer work. As maps would no longer be tied to any identity, it would be impossible to map out gathering nodes. When the mega server kicks in in December for the higher level maps, expect the price of gathered high level materials like Orichalcum Ore, Ancient Wood, Omomberries etc to rise as gathering them would become so much harder.

Also, when cross server guilds organize for events like Tequatl and Triple Trouble, non-guild members would find it much harder to join and play with these guilds.

All in all, i don’t really like this mega server thingy.

Anyway, there’s a really simple way to increase the perception of higher population in pve maps. That’s to simply show green dots of other players on the mini map like how it’s done in WvW maps. Seeing the green dots help people to gravitate toward each other. Even if the green dots do not gravitate toward each other, it is additional information that helps feed the perception that there’s some other people out there. As it is right now, players can be in adjacent zones but not know the other is there.

Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Tracking

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

Just drafted a really aggressive Hunter deck for the Arena. The score was just an average 4 wins for me (4 is the average for me). The deck’s highest casting cost was 3 and there was only 1 Kill Command for end game play. The real end game for such a deck came down to casting Steady Shot repeatably, which of course is in no way an end game play against Warrior or Priests.

Tracking SenseiDiviningTop

Anyway, i wanted to talk about the card Tracking today. For those who have played Magic the Gathering before, you might be familiar with the Sensei’s Divining Top. The Sensei’s Divining Top was a really good card, to the extent that there are decks that uses Trinket Mages to search the library for it. Tracking is almost similar to Sensei’s Divining Top. The first difference is that Tracking is a one use card. The second, not so readily apparent, difference is that the cards that you did not choose with Tracking goes to the graveyard instead of getting shuffled back into the library.

This came into play in one of the games for said draft. I was playing against Jaina and had played 2 copies of Unleash the Hounds to feed a Starving Buzzard, drawing nearly a third of my entire deck. When i drew into Tracking, i played it without thinking about it. The end result was that i peeled all the remaining cards to look at leaving me with an empty library. Both the burn from library death and the loss of important cards made me lose the race. Jaina was down to all but the last point of health *sigh*

That is not to say Tracking is a bad card. While it is not as powerful as Sensei’s Divining Top was in Magic the Gathering, Tracking has its roles to play. It helps alot in smoothing or even strengthening a tempo deck to search for that important Shattered Sun Cleric or Eaglehorn Bow, without which the tempo might possibly be broken and the initiative lost. The lost of two cards is negated by the strengthening your game by letting you dig three cards deeper.

Plus, most Hunters do not plan to reach such a late game stage where the lost of 4 cards from the library would start to matter.

I would say that Tracking is actually such a good card that as long as your mana curve is not exceedingly skewed in anyway. Every Hunter should always play 2 copies of it in their Hunter deck. Which of course brings me back to my own Hunter Beast Aggro deck. What do i remove to put the cards in? The deck is always so full to the brim..

Ok so much for now, Geek Generation Out.