Supernova: A MOBA with An Army

I haven’t posted anything in over a month, and yes, I only blame myself for that. I guess you could say that nothing was really coming to mind on what to write about. Recently, though, I have some awesome news.

I heard about a new sci-fi MOBA that’s currently under development and I decided to look further into it. The game is called Supernova, and it is being developed by Primal Game Studios with Bandai Namco as publisher. The game just launched their second closed beta on Monday this week, and I just got invited to play a couple days ago. So far, I’m enjoying it more than League of Legends by Riot Games. Truth be told, I haven’t had this much fun since I played Infinite Crisis by Turbine, Inc. (which, by the way, is still my top favorite MOBA and I miss playing it).

Imagine, if you will, a MOBA where you not only play as one of several characters (dubbed Commanders in the game), but you’re also assigned a lane to which your squad will spawn and advance. Each lane begins with two units of basic troops, but periodically you gain resources with which to upgrade and build your army. There are two factions to use, Cyborgs and Humans (I’m using the latter faction), each with their own unique units. Supply is capped at forty (40) to begin with, but your resource usage doesn’t stop there. As you level up with one or both factions, you can unlock more and more stuff to use in the game, such as more upgrade tiers for your army, better tech with which to equip your unit types, or even an automatic increase to your supply cap (goes up to forty-five [45] at level ten). Each game also gives you randomly generated resources that you can use to craft better equipment for your Commander’s loadout prior to locking in before each match. It’s a great blend of MOBA with RTS. Not only do you build your army in the lane, you can also adapt to your opponent’s army by selling off units and adjusting accordingly.

The recall feature is pretty cool, as well. When using the human faction, a personal dropship flies to an area that you mark and picks up your Commander before flying them back to base to heal. While in base or on the dropship, you can use attribute and proficiency points to upgrade your Commander, similar to items in other games like League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, and Defense of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2). Each player also can use a deployment feature that works opposite to evacuation (sort of like a Homecoming Stone/Town Portal Scroll, or the Teleport Summoner Spell) except deployment is a global ability, provided that the area has been revealed first. Your dropship flies you to the area you mark anywhere on the map. I haven’t used the Cyborg faction yet, so I don’t know what that entails but from what I’ve seen, their version involves personal teleportation.

Supernova is a great MOBA-RTS that I recommend playing. Sign up for the beta here and I may see you on the battlefield. After I explore the game some more, be on the lookout for an official preview down the road. Slither on, readers.

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Infinite Crisis: A Eulogy of Sorts

Well, it finally happened right out of the blue. My favorite MOBA, Infinite Crisis, is closing down in two and a half months. August 14th, to be exact. I’d rant and bitch about how I don’t think this is happening, but let me tell you that I’ve already gone through the stages of death yesterday.

I jumped on Facebook yesterday morning as part of my usual morning routine when I got the news from my Infinite Crisis Facebook group: the game has officially announced that it is closing. I read the posts by the developers and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This couldn’t happen! Infinite Crisis was fun! I loved it more than League of Legends! It can’t be closing down now! Try as I might to deny it, the truth was still there. I’d like to give a “eulogy” about the game (even though the servers won’t be closed until August).

I first heard about the game when it was announced on Facebook roughly three years ago. I immediately loved the idea of being able to slug it out with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern…everybody I could imagine out of DC comics! I kept careful watch on the game, like when it would be available to play. In fact, I could still remember the excitement I felt when Turbine, Inc. announced that the game would be going to closed beta in May of 2013. By this point I had already signed up for a beta key to get in.

The first week went by and a full round of keys were sent out. I felt a little bummed that I didn’t get one, but I was still hopeful that I would get in. The second week rolled around and I decided to check my email for any major updates. Imagine my surprise when I discovered an email from Turbine…with a beta key! I got in! I submitted my code and got into the game. I still remember how pumped up I was back then. I met several players and immediately the popular guys started emerging on the forums, keeping in almost constant contact with the developers on behalf of the rest of us.

As the months went by, more heroes and villains were added to the game. Of course, no game is perfect, and Infinite Crisis showed early signs of struggle, since most everybody was (and still is, more or less) addicted to League of Legends like a friggin’ drug. During one particular period in the summer of 2014, Turbine announced that they would cease production on new characters while they sorted out balancing. To be honest, I believe this might have started the road to its demise. A lot of long-time players, many of who were there since the start, jumped ship. At this point for me, the updates to game made it practically unplayable on my laptop (the very same from which I’ve written all of my posts so far), whereas in the beginning I could run the game with fairly high graphics. Thus, I couldn’t actively play the game, but I could still keep up with updates and changes. After the September update, I could finally run the game decently, although the graphics weren’t running as clean as they were before. More champions were coming out and it really seemed like the game was taking off. With the full release of the game coming up in March, I was really getting into the game, pulling more and more away from League of Legends. Thus, Infinite Crisis became my go-to MOBA.

In March of this year, the game went full release, after the closed and open beta stages. I even had invested $100 into the game for the Elite Founder pack, which came with exclusive stuff and early access to Gotham Divided at the time. I even went through the stage when Coast City Marina was disabled while Gotham Divided and Heights were the main maps to play on. With the relaunch of Coast City after the full release, players were coming back. For a while, it seemed like Infinite Crisis would really take off. Ranked queues were even included in May, allowing the player base to start racing each other up the ladder. The only thing was, by this time there was only one map to regularly play on: Coast City Marina. Sure you could still play on the Gotham Maps but it had to be a custom-made game. Understandably, the relatively small player base made it so that queue times would be cut down to allow more games to happen.

Unfortunately, this also was the time that a lot of new players were coming over from League of Legends. Now, League is currently infamous for its community and anyone who’s played a PvP game knows just how toxic that community in general is. Needless to say, the player base for Infinite Crisis was dwindling, unbeknownst to many people. I think its largely because people weren’t seeing the characters they wanted to be released (such as Deadshot, Deathstroke, and others) and, throwing hissy fits on Facebook, ended up walking away.

With the announcement yesterday morning, the final nail was hammered into the coffin. I had made so many memories with Infinite Crisis, almost all of them good. I simply couldn’t bring myself to log into the game again to continue playing, as, personally, it would’ve been too painful. It was just like City of Heroes/Villains all over again: a game I was really into was going down within a few months. I couldn’t go through the emotional pain again like I did with CoX. With a heavy heart, I made the decision to remove Infinite Crisis from my Steam library. In essence, I buried the game on my end.

All in all, I don’t think any MOBA will give me quite the enjoyment that Infinite Crisis did. It also helped me find some new friends along the way via the Facebook group. Here I could geek out with other comic book fans who were just as into the game as I was, but I digress.

From The Scaly Burrow, this is AdderTude, the Serpent of Cyberspace. Infinite Crisis, I salute thee.

“It’s not over yet!” – Atomic Green Lantern

Why League of Legends Has Gotten Worse

Since I’ve started playing League of Legends, I’ve noticed that there have been many changes come and gone over the last few years. At that start of this fifth season, however, I cannot say with confidence that the game has gotten any better. In fact, I think the Game’s age is starting to show, and not necessarily in a good way. Sure, Riot Games has put out many graphical updates since they launched the game, but this doesn’t necessarily improve the mechanics of the game

First, League of Legends has the largest roster of characters of any MOBA out there with the number approaching 150. You’d think that the Game would be due for an increase in draft bans by this point, right? Nope! The Game still remains with three bans per side, which leaves a heap of champions that can wreck house too easily. Seriously, there would be more planning and actual counter-play involved if the bans were extended to five bans per side. You can even see it in the ban window! The size of the portraits screams “five bans is possible.” But no, the Game still wants only six bans total to allow the popular champions to grace the field no matter which others are sent off.

The community is not much better. You can come across a handful of genuinely nice players, but the rest is really what brings the game down. The second you want to do something unorthodox, immediately there are trigger-happy people with their finger on the report button, even if you do well. In my honest opinion, the community has steadily gotten worse with every year. The professionals are treated like gods and their words as holy scripture not to be deviated from. It’s like a new form of religious fanaticism!

Balancing isn’t anything to hoot about, either. As per the aforementioned lack of more bans due to the size of the roster, the changes to the champions always throws the balancing out one way or another. While it’s virtually impossible to have a perfectly balanced roster, there should be changes to champions that bring them in line with everyone else. The only problem with this is that the change seemingly are made solely at the consensual word of the professionals. The Game seemingly caters mainly to the pro players, which leaves the overwhelming majority of us out of luck when certain changes need to be made. Which brings me to another point in regards to balancing.

I’ve said it time and time again in-game, there are only two ways that the winning team of a match is decided. First, the winning team that has the most tanks is almost guaranteed a win. In all the matches I’ve ever played, I can count how many times I’ve beaten a team of tanks on only one hand. Second, the winning team also has the most bullsh– champions on the team. And by bullsh– I mean champions that can snowball the easiest.

I don’t really know why I keep playing the Game at this point. It might be because I use a laptop that’s a few years old and while it has decent graphics, other games that are graphic-intensive tax my machine too much (CONSORTIUM and Saints Row 2 being examples of this). If I had a better computer, rest assured I’d be on Infinite Crisis and Heroes of the Storm much more often. For the reasons of a worsening community, a character roster that’s outgrown the number of bans necessary for more balanced play, and the sole focus on snowballs and tanks, I believe League of Legends is making itself worse as time goes on, not better as many people will say.

New Year, New Semester

I’m about to head off to school in several hours. I actually haven’t finished packing everything yet, as I wanted to take care of some last few things before turning off my laptop. This past year has been alright. A lot of titles, both great and crappy, came out and I got to play some of them. I figured I wanted to share my thoughts about the stuff I play so I created this blog back in July about gaming and other crap that I have in my head at the time I make a new post.

In the end, I’m glad I started this because it gives me something to do as kind of a new hobby while I’m pursuing my degree in Communication (with a Theater Arts minor). I wish you, reader(s), all the best in this coming year of 2015 and keep gaming. And if you encounter me online, feel free to comment about my blog, or just simply add me as a friend. I can be found in the following:

– League of Legends

– SMITE

– Heroes of Newerth

– Defense of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2 to the rest of you)

– Diablo III (Battle.net ID is NorseNinja)

Infinite Crisis

Thanks for reading.

UPDATE: Infinite Crisis had its plug pulled. Servers close on August 14th.

Most Popular Game…At What Cost?

League of Legends is arguably the most popular online game in the world, and a lot of you would be right about that.  A DotA-like strategy game that’s been made as simple as possible would be something that people everywhere would love.  Every game, though, has its share of problems.

Most recently, I got hit with a Leaver status after they apparently decided to run live maintenance while tens hundreds of thousands of players are in live matches.  This morning at approximately 10:05 and 11:05 AM, respectively, their very poorly timed live maintenance dropped me from both matches that I was in at both times of the day.  I got disconnected entirely from the match, as the dreaded “Attempting to Reconnect” window lingered on my screen.  At the time, I thought it was my wi-fi connection, so I manually reset my connection to the network.  Both times, I tried returning to the match and both times, I got informed that the match was over.  What was even worse was that the second time, I manually pressed “Reconnect to chat” on the main lobby window only to fail to reconnect again and again and again.

And then it kicked me out the client entirely.

I understand that sometimes Riot Games and other developers of MMOs need to run maintenance on the servers, but at least for Riot, they ought to have regularly scheduled downtime on their servers for that instead of leaving their Leaver Buster system in place while they screw a lot of players over for interrupted service.  It would annoy a lot of players but at least nobody would suffer in a similar manner that I did by getting kicked off of a match!  I already responded with a support ticket explaining the situation and how their live maintenance was the cause of my supposed “leaving,” but I’m not really expecting much to come from this.  I’ve been annoyed with them before, but this is inexcusable.  I’ve almost had it with the Rioters and unless I get my Leaver status removed, I will be utterly dissatisfied with their “service” and will begin leaving bad rating across the sites I review on (Metacritic and MMORPG, to name a couple).  You done goofed, Riot, and you goofed really bad.