Author Archives: Age

Impactful Overwatch Hero Changes In January 2017

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Overwatch released it’s first major balance patch for the year of 2017 including big changes to D.Va and Roadhog. I’ll be going over each of the changes and how impactful they are. I’ll also go over how other heroes are affected by these changes.

Ana

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Biotic Grenade is now less potent as the effect duration went down from 5 to 4 and the healing boost to allies has been decreased by 50%.
It seems that the Biotic Grenade change brought Ana more in line with the other healers. However, Ana is still a good single target healer. Lucio will still probably be the “meta healer” used in most compositions for the speed utility. It will be interesting to see if Ana retains that title as well. The healing nerf might be enough to allow more of Mercy or Zenyatta as the second healer for the revive or discord utility.

D.Va

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D.Va is one hero that got some changes that really affects current play. Her health and armor got changed from 200 health and 400 armor to 400 health and 200 armor. Since armor absorbs more damage than health, this makes D.Va more vulnerable to damage so she can no longer dive an entire team without consequence. D.Va’s guns also got a bit of a nerf. The bullet damage has been decreased from 3 to 2 and the number of bullets per shot has been increased from 8 to 11. So each shot from D.Va’s gun does overall 22 damage from 24 damage.
The health and armor changes are the bigger parts of how D.Va is played now. D.Va was very hard to burn down unless she was focus fired which could provide difficult given her Defense Matrix could soak up projectiles. The health and armor changes to D.Va allows spread shot characters like Reaper back into play. Before the patch, D.Va could 1v1 a Reaper quite easily.
D.Va will probably see less play in exchange for a DPS or another tank. So there may be more 2 Tank, 2 DPS, 2 Healer compositions again. This, in turn, would allow flankers like Genji and Tracer to come back. D.Va is still decent to play but requires a lot more reserved play.

Lucio

There is now an option to allow Lucio to perform backward wall riding. I’m not sure of the full potential of this option but this could provide interesting ways to kite while keeping sight on enemies. Also, it’s super fun to do.

Roadhog

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Roadhog received a change that caused a lot of talk: his hook. Chain Hook now pulls enemies directly in front of Roadhog (unless turning drastically) and hooked targets are released if they break line of sight before being pulled. Line of sight hooks are now determined by Roadhog’s position rather than the hook’s position.
What this all means is that Roadhog can no longer hook enemies from around walls or corners when an enemy gets hooked but successfully break out of Roadhog’s sight. This does mean that Chain Hook is now more reliable. Enemies will always be pulled to the same location so Roadhog can followup with the headshot melee combo to guarantee kills on 200 HP heroes.
I believe Roadhog is still viable but will require more skill to land hooks. It will probably be harder to hook heroes like Tracer who can blink behind a corner as you land a hook.

Sombra

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Sombra received a buff to her Hack skill. The cooldown has gone from 12 seconds to 8 and the time to hack a target has gone down from 1 to 0.8 seconds.
The improvements to Hack was very helpful to Sombra as it helps synergize more with her other skills and obviously allows her to hack health packs and enemies more. Given the improvement, Sombra still requires some help as the main reason you take Sombra is not necessarily for her damage or pick potential but for her EMP; using it to disable the enemy team and as a go signal for your team to dive.
Overall, we will probably see more variation in picks in the coming weeks. Less D.Va for another tank to keep triple tank with Roadhog or another DPS option. There will be probably more variation in the second healer pick other than almost always Ana. It’ll be interesting to see how things pan out.

Sombra Revealed At BlizzCon!

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Finally! After months of teasing her, Blizzard has unveiled Sombra! It all started at the Opening Ceremony at BlizzCon 2016 with a video showing the behind the scenes with the launch of Overwatch. The video started to get corrupted and pixelated which led into the animated short featuring Sombra called Infiltration:

A Bit of Background

Sombra is a person who has been virtually infiltrating organizations, governments, and politicians since childhood with her superior hacking skills. One day she was compromised as someone found out about her. She was forced to delete any and all traces of her. She adopted the identity of Sombra when she came out of hiding; and geared with integrated new tech to boot. Before disappearing and becoming Sombra, she worked with Mexico’s Los Muertos gang. Currently, Sombra works with the terrorist organization Talon.

Weapons & Skills

Sombra is equipped with an SMG that has a short range spread.

  • Hack – Sombra’s secondary. Hack allows her to temporarily stop heroes from using their abilities. She can disable Torbjorn’s turret and she can disable health relics for enemies while augmenting them for allies.
  • Thermoptic Camo – Sombra can become fully invisible and gains increased movement speed for a short duration. Attacking, using abilities or taking damage removes this effect.
  • Translocator – Sombra can throw a translocator beacon projectile to a location that lasts for a short duration. When activated, Sombra instantly teleports to the beacon’s position (including if the beacon is in mid flight).
  • EMP – Sombra’s ultimate. This skill sends out a large electromagnetic pulse in an area that disables enemy barriers and shields and applies Hack to any enemy caught in the blast.
  • Opportunist – this is a passive where any enemy under 50% health can be seen through walls by Sombra

Of course, a demonstration of the skills would be helpful so here you go:

I can see Sombra being constantly in the back line taking down or disrupting targets. I think the combination of her camo and translocator will make her insanely mobile horizontally and vertically. She’ll also have a great way to get in, burst and get out. Her ability to hack health relics will also be helpful in deterring enemies from extended fights. I’m not sure about what you can and can’t stop with the EMP but as players learn that you’ll be able to play her to great potential. Also the collapsing of shields and barriers will make Sombra a pain for heroes that depend on shields for damage mitigation such as Reinhardt, Zarya, & Winston. Right now, I think of Sombra as a utility Genji.

Sombra is a character that will definitely shake up how the game is played. As a person who like the concept of hacking and stealth/rogue classes, I can’t wait to get my hands on her. Blizzard said that Sombra would be available on PTR as soon as BlizzCon is over. So you can pretty much look forward to trying her out at next week.

Thoughts On League Of Legends Season 6 Summer LCS Week 5-9

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Alright so the summer split is over, the results are in. North America having some predictable results but Europe being Europe has some interesting results to go over.

Europe Week 5-9

G2 Esports claimed 1st and H2K claimed 3rd. However, in a surprising twist, Splyce shook up the standings and grabbed 2nd place. I did see potential in this team but I didn’t expect a 2nd place finish which is very impressive. Another impressive showing was Giants, they found their stride and came out the remaining weeks with a lot of ties and victories dropping only 2 sets.

3 teams slumped a bit in the remaining weeks: FC, Fnatic and Vitality. These teams ended up getting mostly ties and a loses than wins. Fnatic, doing the best out of these three teams, managed a 5th place spot which is a bit surprising given that they started the split fairly well.

North America Week 5-9

The rest of the NA split pretty much went as expected in terms of match ups. There was one crazy upset of Phoenix1 beating TSM in week 8 which was TSM’s only lost all split. NRG did pull of a win off Team Envy who has declined slightly since week 4. Apex had a few strong showings beating Liquid and CLG. There was quite a few expectations concerning CLG but it seems they couldn’t pull off their performance from last split and ended up in 4th which isn’t too bad as they can still have a chance to get to Worlds.

In the end my predictions turn out correct about TSM, Immortals and Cloud 9 taking the top 3 spots. Cloud 9 always seem to claw it back somehow but this split is a much better showing.

Playoff Predictions

For EU I expect G2 Esports but the rest is really hard to say. Fnatic & H2K has a good chance to finish top three as they usually show up at playoffs. Splyce has been doing well and Giants could pull off the upset as they have been declining split after split till now. Unicorns will be the underdog though.

For NA I expect TSM and Immortals to finish top three. the 3rd team in that mix will either be Cloud 9 or CLG but Liquid has upset potential. Envy I feel has a bit more growing to do.

Out of the Shadows: The Return of the White Mantle

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Warning: this post WILL have spoilers for Living Story Season 3 Episode 1. You have been warned

Ok, so I finally get the chance to talk a bit about the story episode that came out last month. This episode is mostly about resolving some loose ends or to following up on hints ArenaNet has put out such as the notes from Rata Novus. Let’s start at the beginning.

We start by going to Eir’s home for a wake; basically hanging out with friends in remembrance of Eir, telling stories and the like. There’s not a lot going on with this episode to push the story but it is a nice thing that ArenaNet added for Eir. We find out that Braham was not present but is out on his own at the moment in the Shiverpeaks. We’ll probably meet up with him in episode 2 or 3. Taimi send us mail about wanting to meet up about her discoveries in Rata Novus. We invite Rytlock who was at the wake to join us.

So Taimi has been up to some research keeping any and all but us out of the Dragon Research lab. Especially Plunt. Once Taimi, Rytlock and yourself enter the research room, Taimi goes over the ley line map and the organ she harvested from a chak that she put in Mordrem bile (yea, we all know that’s not going to end well). The ley line map does show signs that Glint’s egg has been “activated” in a sense. what this’ll mean will probably affect us in later episodes for the enemies we’re facing in this season. Or might be another problem, who know? There’s also signs of activity in the north so that’s where we decide to head. I’d like to point out one thing that ArenaNet did and that’s give Taimi independence. She was alone doing the research and even fought off chak that got attracted to the lab by herself. Glad she has gotten to prove she can hold her own just fine.

Once we exited the lab Almorra Soulkeeper was there to offer us the Marshal position aka the desk job. Of course we decline but another interesting thing that happened is that Soulkeeper handed Rytlock a message from the Black Citadel. Which he crumpled and threw away in an instant. It makes me wonder if there are some questions the Citadel want answers for that Rytlock doesn’t have, or doesn’t want to answer. Keep in mind that we still don’t know what happened to Rytlock in the Mists. Another encounter we have is with Canach as he’s in pursuit to “save” Caudecus from kidnappers. However, if the situation seems that Caudecus is deemed a threat, Canach has the right to handle him. Fortunately he is heading in the same direction as us so he tags along in the airship ride north.

Moving onto Bloodstone Fen. As we get closer to the area, a huge explosion followed by an implosion, which is important to note, occurred. This explosion and implosion was caused by a ritual the White Mantle were performing. Lazarus a Mursaat absorbed the energy of the explosion. This ties in a bit with raids as the Forsaken Thicket raid is all about going in deeper and essentially stopping a White Mantle ritual from taking place although we didn’t know why the rituals were taking place till near the end of the wing.

So before we find out about Lazarus, we do investigate Bloodstone Fen to see what caused the explosion. Turns out Caithe was investigating as well. She and your character survey the area where a ritual had taken place. Caithe also brings up what she’s done in the Living Story Season 2 & the HoT story apologizing for not trusting us and asking for forgiveness. Interesting no? We don’t give an answer right away but I wonder how that dynamic will pan out. If we do forgive her, there will definitely be some discord with some of our group members, especially Marjory.

During our investigation, Canach was able to track down Caudecus in Bloodstone Fen. We meet up with Rytlock and Marjory (who’s rocking some awesome armor) to take down the corrupted Minister who, if you haven’t figured it out by now, is the current leader of the White Mantle. We head into a bit of a bad bind as we get surrounded but in come Lazarus. He declares to everyone in the area that he should be worshiped as the White Mantle’s leader/god. The unbelievers would burn. And he did just that; Lazarus called down fire and torched a lot of the White Mantle. Caudecus was able to get away and Lazarus disappeared after asserting his dominance. So we have an escaped Minister who’s proven without a doubt he’s leading the White Mantle. A powerful Mursaat on the loose who is probably amassing his devoted followers. To make things worse, Taimi calls us up and declares that Primordius is awake. Yay.

Now we have a lot of issues to deal with Caudecus, Lazarus and Primordius. I feel the White Mantle will be more of the issue this season and Primordius will be used for the next big bad for the next expansion. What’s cool is that we might see the return of the dwarves or even more Tengu as they have some loose ties concerning Primordius. Of course there’s still the issues within our group that need resolution or answers so we might get some of that in next episode.

As I’ve said, this episode seems to lay out a good foundation for story in terms of where it can go. I’m very intrigued how the story will play out.

Age’s Site Update For August 2016

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Greetings friends! Here’s the monthly post for August!

Guild Wars 2 posts will start rolling out soon. First one should be about Living Story Season 3 Ep 1. Lots of pathways to discuss with that one.

League of Legends LCS summary post will also be next week along with playoff predictions. Some surprising results I must say. As for the LoL Seasonal guide, I decided I won’t do one this season. I postponed it time after time due to life stuff but it’s gotten to the point of not mattering if I started it now. Sorry if you were looking forward to it.

You might see less writing from me in the near future due to the plethora of things I’m doing: streaming, videos, podcasts. Factoring in extreme exhaustion from work and hanging out with friends and family to make sure they understand you aren’t ignoring them, it doesn’t leave much room for writing these days. I have been slacking a lot though so I’ll try to make an effort to get some good rest and try to get back on the writing horse again.

Speaking of content, I’ve started doing Let’s Play streams and upload them to my YouTube channel. Pretty fun to do. I started with Life is Strange (the image above is from a cut scene from the game) which is a fantastic game. The first episode is free on Steam I highly suggest you try it out.

For games of this month, Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 1 – Realm of Shadows is out and looks interesting. No Man’s Sky should be coming out on August 9th for PS4 and PC. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Xbox One, PS4, PC) comes out August 23. Finally, Attack on Titan (Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Vita, PC) & World of Warcraft: Legion releases on August 30th.

Think that covers things, catch ya soon!

– Age