Monthly Archives: September 2014

Hearthstone: Buff A’Din

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

After the dismal outcome of Draw A’Din, i scrapped the whole idea and went for another theme. This time, it’s Buff A’Din. I had a much easier time getting wins with Buff A’Din.

2 x Avenge
2 x Blessing of Might
2 x Noble Sacrifice
1 x Equality
2 x Truesilver Champion
2 x Blessing of Kings
2 x Consecration
1 x Avenging Wrath

1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
2 x Echoing Ooze
2 x Haunted Creeper
1 x Ironbeak Owl
2 x Harvest Golem
2 x Shattered Sun Cleric
2 x Dark Iron Dwarf
2 x Defender of Argus
1 x Spellbreaker
1 x Loatheb

The biggest difference between the two decks is that the mana curve has been pushed down, Buff A’Din has more aggro play than Draw A’Din. The highest mana cost minion for Buff A’Din is only 5, Loatheb. The deck is no longer about using card advantage to last to an end game that cannot be won. Instead, it focuses on killing off opponent’s minions while keeping yours alive until you assemble the Echoing Ooze + Blessing of Kings combo.

Echoing_Ooze Blessing_of_Kings

The combo has so much win in it that mulligan strategy actually evolves around them. Always keep Echoing Ooze and Blessing of Kings in your starting hand. And if either of those cards are in hand, then try to keep The Coin, if you have it, for playing the combo. A turn 5 double 5/6 is usually a win. Unless your opponent is a Paladin too, then you might want to play around Equality.

Other than the combo, the deck mostly plays itself. Try not to activate Deathrattle unless you have to. They’re there to act as recovery against opponent’s board control. Also try not to buff minions with Deathrattle, otherwise you would be giving the opponent a chance to kill two birds with one Silence.

Geek Generation out.

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Hearthstone: Draw a’Din

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

Following my last line of thought in Hearthstone, i shuffled up a Draw a Card theme for Paladin and played it on the weekend. Here’s the deck list for Draw a’Din.

2 x Avenge
1 x Equality
2 x Truesilver Champion
1 x Blessing of Kings
2 x Consecration
2 x Hammer of Wrath

1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
1 x Bloodmage Thalnos
1 x Ironbeak Owl
2 x Loot Hoarder
1 x Nat Pagle
1 x Acolyte of Pain
1 x Aldor Peacekeeper
1 x Cult Master
2 x Defender of Argus
2 x Gnomish Inventor
1 x Spellbreaker
2 x Azure Drake
1 x Loatheb
1 x The Black Knight
2 x Guardian of Kings

Somehow, the card draw is not as effective as Draw a Rogue. With Draw a’Din, i still run out of cards very quickly. When i played against another Paladin that didn’t have the card draw theme and i ran out of cards in hand first, that’s when i realize there’s something very wrong with the deck. The deck struggles for wins all the time.

The biggest problem with Paladin decks is that it doesn’t have pure minion removal for huge end game minions. With Rogues, you have Assassinate. With every other cards, there are similar variations of it, Hex, Polymorph, Shadow Word: Death/Mind Control, Poison Seeds, Execute, Hunter’s Mark/Deadly Shot and even Warlocks have Corruption. Though Warlocks tend to be zoo-ish and don’t really get to see end game minions very often.

Equality Hunter's_Mark

Equality is stronger than Hunter’s ‘Hunter’s Mark’, but it is kind of unwieldy. Hunter’s Mark is easily supported by a host of cheap damage dealers like Arcane Shot, Unleash the Hounds, Explosive Trap, and on top of that it doesn’t cost anything itself. Equality on the other hand.. the cheapest damage dealing card Paladin has costs 4 mana. Plus, it’s a rare.

Imo, Paladin fares somewhat poorer than the other classes when dealing with end game minions. Very often, the opponent would play a single card like Ysera, Alextraza, Malygos, Ragnaros etc and there’s very little i could do about the legendary.

Since the cheapest damage dealing card for a Paladin is 4 mana, which means if an opponent coins out something like Knife Juggler, that’s usually alot of damage before i could respond. Which means, barring neutral cards, Noble Sacrifice is likely a compulsory inclusion in all Paladin decks.

As a result, in terms of class cards, i feel that Paladin is woefully inadequate with dealing both early game aggro and late game bombs.

Anyway.. here’s an updated Draw a Rogue. Basically i just replaced the Novice Engineers that’s all. They seemed kind of underwhelming.

2 x Backstab
2 x Eviscerate
1 x Fan of Knives
2 x Assassinate

1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
1 x Bloodmage Thalnos
1 x Crazed Alchemist
1 x Ironbeak Owl
2 x Loot Hoarder
1 x Sunfury Protector
2 x Acolyte of Pain
2 x SI:7 Agent
1 x Cult Master
2 x Defender of Argus
2 x Gnomish Inventor
1 x Spellbreaker
2 x Azure Drake
1 x Gadgetzan Auctioneer
1 x Loatheb
1 x The Black Knight
1 x Kel’Thuzad

When i was typing out the update decklist for Draw a Rogue, i realized that Gadgetzan Auctioneer was kind of useless as the deck only has 7 spells. I’m going to have to swap it out. Maybe for Sludge Belcher.

Geek Generation out.

Edit: I mentioned that Draw a’Din had serious problems and then went on to talk about Paladin problems in general. Draw a’Din’s problems was not preparing itself for Paladin problems in general. The lack of Noble Sacrifice, or similar bump stoppers, against early game aggro and the lack of Equality and/or Big Game Hunters for end game minions. And that Equality is a rare card, and Big Game Hunter is an epic neutral card. The rarities can be a limiting factor for players. Even with a full set of Equality, Paladin is ill equipped to take out the reduced health minion.

Coding Luck into a Game

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

In alot of games, there’s usually some randomness, rng component, in it. For some games, rng comes in the form of gacha boxes. Click on the link to the Gashapon wiki to understand what i’m talking about. Basically it’s a box that gives you random loot after opening it. There’s usually some randomness in loot drop when you kill monsters, and we can perceive that as the monster, on death, dropping a gacha loot bag that opens automatically.

Randomness is not limited to opening cash shop (usually) gacha boxes.  In Path of Exile, randomness exists in the use of its currency. When you use an Orb of Alteration on your magic item, the affixes you get are randomly taken from a fixed pool of affixes.

There are usually alot more randomness all over a game. For the purposes of this post, these few mentions should be sufficient to let you know about the existence of randomness in a game and where it can exist. That is, if you don’t already know/understand it.

For alot of players, there seem to be a belief in a property called luck. The belief in luck is not trivial and it resulted in a friend saying to me something like, “I’ll keep this gacha box in the warehouse first and open it when i have good luck.”.

Say if i were a programmer, i could have a line that goes like:

Loot_Index = rand() % 100;

Basically that goes like, give loot index a random number from 0 to 100. So that line of code would probably exist and be compiled into some form of runnable program in either the game client or the game server. If luck is capable of affecting probability, how does it do it? Does luck affect computers?

Say the programmer were extraordinary and is beyond human comprehension and codes luck into the game code, how would it look like then?

Loot_Index = (rand() % 100) * Get_Player_Luck();

Maybe that would work, but it doesn’t. Because what we have is a loot index that lets us point to a location in a loot table. Consider the following loot table.

0 – Garbage
1 – Garbage
2 – Desirable loot
3 – Garbage
4 – Garbage
5 – Garbage
6 – and so on

As you can see, desirable loot could be randomly positioned in a loot table. It should be obvious that the code for producing luck infused loot is alot more than complex that one line of code. It involves knowing which loot in the loot table is desirable to the player, knowing the player’s current luck status (whether good or bad), and then depending on the player’s current luck status, employ a mathematical algorithm to normalize the loot index toward/”away from” the loot table index(es) that has the loot desirable to the player. And that’s not even mentioning how a Get_Player_Luck() can possibly be coded.

Good luck with writing such a code, no pun intended.

I have more to say regarding luck, but this is getting too long, i’ll break it up into more than one post. Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Paladin Almost Highlander

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I mentioned last post that i wanted to play Haunted Creeper together with Avenge and Blessing of Kings, so this is the deck list i came up with.

2 x Avenge
1 x Blessing of Might
1 x Noble Sacrifice
1 x Redemption
1 x Repentance
1 x Equality
2 x Truesilver Champion
1 x Blessing of Kings
2 x Consecration
1 x Hammer of Wrath
1 x Avenging Wrath

1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
2 x Echoing Ooze
2 x Haunted Creeper
1 x Ironbeak Owl
1 x Mad Scientist
1 x Aldor Peacekeeper
1 x Harvest Golem
1 x Defender of Argus
1 x Spellbreaker
1 x Loatheb
1 x Stampeding Kodo
1 x The Black Knight
1 x Guardian of Kings
1 x Kel Thuzad

Somewhere along the way, i lost the plot as evidenced by having only 1 Blessing of Kings in the deck. I discovered that i had a deck building problem with paladin, the same one i had when i tried to fiddle with priest. There’s just too much class cards that i want to play making the deck unsuitable for customization if i were to play all of them.

I went for the same temporary fix i used for priest, and that was to play highlander mode so i can have every card that i like. Well.. almost highlander mode. No paladin decks should ever do without double Consecrations and Truesilver Champions.

The deck isn’t very strong and i was struggling alot to squeeze for wins on rank 14. One thing that’s no good in the deck is Avenging Wrath. Whenever you want to cast it, the opponent would have boat loads of tough minions. Avenging Wrath is definitely a better fit for aggro paladins; i should’ve played Lay on Hands instead.

There’s so much things to do with paladins. Echoing Ooze paladins, Crazed Alchemist paladins etc.. of only i can give up the greed for all the class cards, then i can begin with deck construction.

One thing i did notice about the deck was that i tend to run out of cards way quicker than my opponents. Maybe i should try porting Draw a Rogue into paladin. Draw a Paladin maybe.

Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Sayonara Starving Buzzard

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

Today’s Tuesday, which is maintenance day for lots of games. Settlers Online, Hearthstone, and if i remember correctly, it should be all Blizzard games. Tuesday is worse than Mondays for a gamer with irrelevant work commitments.

Can’t log in to Hearthstone, but there’s patch notes on the launcher and it’s goodbye to Starving Buzzard. Well.. Starving Buzzard will still be played, it’s after all still a very strong draw engine for Hunter. It’s just that Hunters are less likely to have 2/1 puppies and overweight hyenas after the obscene amount of cards drawn.

But if what i read is correct, that Hunters dominate 70% of the top tables in pro tournaments, then Starving Buzzard is indeed a welcomed nerf.

Anyway, my Arena scores are usually from 1 wins to 4 wins. But i scored a 9 win record with a Paladin yesterday, which kind of surprised myself. I didn’t think i had a strong deck; i didn’t have any Equality, only 1 Truesilver Champion and 1 Consecration. But i had quite a number of secrets in the form of Avenge and Noble Sacrifice.

Avenge Haunted_Creeper

Avenge is amazing with Haunted Creeper which i only had 1. Haunted Creeper is also amazing with Blessing of Kings, simply because it usually stays alive long enough to be enchanted. I should make a deck like this when i can log in : D

Geek Generation out.

Path of Exile: Rampage League (Level 67)

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I played quite abit of Path of Exile this week and managed to push Rainie Ying to level 67. Just 3 more levels and the experience penalty for playing in Docks is going to start kicking in. Probably, it’s going to be kinda hard to level uo Rainie. after level 72. So that’s like only 5 skill points left for me to make sure Rainie is strong enough to farm the Library.

Unfortunately, i need all 5 of those points for 8% more mana reservation and +30 more Dex. So there’s not going to be more life or more damage from the passive tree *sigh*

You can see the skill tree here. I refunded the odd +10 Dex that puts me within range of Mind Over Matter should i decide to refund Iron Reflexes. I placed the point into +30 Dex node instead.

Rainie’s skills list:
Arctic Armour
Conversion Trap
Reduced Mana – Clarity – Discipline
Cast on Damage Taken (level 7) – Decoy Totem – Enduring Cry – Molten Shell
Herald of Ash
Rain of Arrows – Added Fire Damage – Life Gain on Hit – Increased Critical Strikes
Burning Arrow – Vaal Burning Arrow – Added Fire Damage – Life Leech

I stopped using Ambu’s Charge and am using a 5 link full Evasion armor. I’m rather tired of casting Flammability before attacking, and really prefer a one skill fighting style. So i’m hoping to link Rain of Arrows – Added Fire Damage – Life Gain on Hit – Curse on Hit – Flammability. But i’ve burned through a couple stacks of Chromatic Orbs and couldn’t get the colors i want. Plus, i do not have Curse on Hit gem.

I have a Murauder that’s in the beginning of Act 3 in Rampage league. Maybe i’ll use that to get Curse on Hit gem from the library quest for Rainie. And run another character, Rogue maybe, for Herald of Ice. Hmm..

I’m thinking of putting one more Reduced Mana to Herald of Ash. And hopefully link Herald of Ice and Elemental Proliferation in. But that seems to be pretty mana intensive. I’ll have to do some calculations later.

Geek Generation out.

ArcheAge: Level 8

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I played ArcheAge a little more today and leveled Lizziepeia to level 8. To summarize my experience with the game; not impressed.

After some time, i noticed that everyone except me had a mount. Which can only mean that i missed my mount quest. Or if there’s even such a quest. So i decided to backtrack to find my free mount.

I noticed that i had a book of teleportation in my bag. I activated it to create a world gate back to the start point. All good except that i couldn’t interact with it at all. A couple more failed attempts and i finally realized that the book of teleportation consumes some sort of currency in my bag.

Frustration peaking.

For a game that boasts about seamless travel in the game world, a simple lag brings out a loading screen ><

Having Mana Stars as a skill, the description of which says something like “Hold down the key to shoot continuously”; i tried both tapping the key and holding it, they appeared to both shoot in bursts of 4 shots. What happened to continuously?

Last but definitely not least is the mob tagging system. Kills are not shared. No even for quests that involves killing semi boss monsters. There’s no reward for joining in a fight and no benefit for helping out another person in a fight.

What a bleh.

Geek Generation out.

ArcheAge: Character Customization

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I spent most of last night, downloading, installing, unpacking, verifying, patching and what not. Finally i got to play today. When logging in, i’m told that i can create 2 characters across the servers and up to 4 more character for servers.. I have absolutely no idea what all that was about. So i randomly picked a server that said “Up”.

Next was character creation and the name.. omg the name.. is a Chinese name. You can’t get a second capital letter in the name, even after a space. You can have Ziyi, but you can’t have full names like Zhang Ziyi. I don’t know about other people, but it’s a big deal for me. It means Rainie Ying would turn into Rainie ying. No way i was going to defile Rainie like that.

Character customization was kind of limited. I can’t make my toon taller. Or if i could, it wasn’t obvious that i could. Maybe all Harani have to be short. I couldn’t get a black skinned toon either. The darkest skin i could get was olive. Oh well..

Lizziepeia01

Hence Lizziepeia was born into the world of Archeage in server-i-don’t-remember-the-name. Played her to level 3. Monsters didn’t seem to drop loot. Got a skill point, but didn’t know what to do with it. The skill i wanted said i needed level 10 Occultism. Do i kill monsters or spam skills or spam skills to kill monsters to level up the skill set? I guess i’ll find out when i play more on the weekend.

Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Draw A Rogue

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

NoviceEngineerb4Nerf

So i was thinking a little about the upcoming Starving Buzzard nerf. Then i recalled there was another card that was nerfed way earlier. Novice Engineer, “Battlecry: Draw a Card.” was nerfed from 1/2 to 1/1.

My thought processes began going like, Blizzard sure doesn’t like these “Draw a card” cards. But then again, to be fair, Novice Engineer was nerfed not because Blizzard doesn’t like “Draw a card” cards. It’s because players know how useful it is and as a result, it was played in almost every deck.

When you make card games, and you see this kind of thing happening (card being played in every deck), then you know there’s something wrong somewhere and nerfs and changes need to be implemented.

In any case, i decided to try a “Draw a card” deck. My daily quest needed 5 wins from Druid or Rogue, and i didn’t want to dismantle my Druid deck, so i went with Rogue.

2 x Backstab
2 x Eviscerate
1 x Fan of Knives
2 x Assassinate

1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
1 x Bloodmage Thalnos
1 x Ironbeak Owl
2 x Loot Hoarder
2 x Novice Engineer
2 x Acolyte of Pain
2 x SI:7 Agent
2 x Cult Master
1 x Defender of Argus
2 x Gnomish Inventor
1 x Spellbreaker
2 x Azure Drake
1 x Gadgetzen Auctioneer
1 x Loatheb
1 x The Black Knight
1 x Kel’Thuzad

Deck building was simple. I scrolled through all my neutral cards, plugging in every card that i have can help me draw a card. I only had 1 Gadgetzen Auctioneer.

Sometimes it plays like Miracle Rogue, except that it isn’t. There’s no combo to help you score 18 damage or more in a turn. The deck needs to perform beat down the regular way while hoping that the insane card advantage will let you outlast your opponent.

Originally i had Sprint. But most of the time, i would easily have 7 cards in hand and by the time i’ve both reduced the cards in hand and the board presents itself as a good timing to cast Sprint, i would have so little cards left in the library that it’s simply not worth casting.

So i swapped Sprint out for Kel’Thuzad instead.

The deck does really bad against aggro Priests. I think it’s called Tempo Priest or Priest Tempo somewhere. I was at rank 14, didn’t win enough to get to rank 13, but didn’t lose enough to go down to 15 either.

So much for now, Geek Generation out.

Hearthstone: Upcoming Balance Changes for 22 Sep 2014

Hello everybody, Geek Generation here.

I’ve just read the news on the upcoming balance changes for next week.

There’s going to be 2 changes, the first is Leeroy Jenkins. The mana cost for Leeroy Jenkins is going to be increased to 5 mana, up from 4 mana. I find this to be a welcome change because playing against decks like Miracle Rogue is kind of frustrating.

Board control does little against Miracle Rogue, minions find it hard to stay on the board against the deck; mostly, the game is just waiting for Miracle Rogue to accumulate mana and dig for combo cards while hitting you for a little damage along the way.

Winning against decks like Miracle Rogue usually doesn’t depend on you playing well; it depends on your opponent playing badly.

NerfedStarvingBuzzard Cult_Master

The other upcoming change is a Starving Buzzard nerf. Starving Buzzard get +1/+1 but will cost 5 mana instead. Which is a ridiculously harsh nerf against it. Starving Buzzard + Unleash the Hounds is going to cost 8 mana. + Timber Wolf at 9 mana.

Who would ever play Starving Buzzard over Cult Master? And class cards are supposed to be stronger than similar neutral cards. And Cult Master is not even rare. In my opinion, a more reasonable mana cost would have been 4 mana for 3/2.

Geek Generation out.