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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Thoughts of an (Almost) Casual

I read a few posts on this blog before writing this one.  It made me think about how much free time I had back then and how much less time I have now.  (Translation: Just because I'm writing this post does not mean that I will be active on this blog again.)

Also, the comments.  The majority of them are from spam bots.  Most of the genuine comments are from people playing Aurum Blade.  I'm sorry, but I can't help you with Siren.  I had (had) Aurum Blade on my Android phone around last year.  Then my mom took it away (yes, I am still a minor).  So I forgot almost everything.  I still remember Siren was a b*tch (excuse my language) to defeat.  Good luck, have fun, don't ragequit.

So where has the time gone, and what have I done with mine in the past year?  I'll try my best to cover this.

In my final post of last year, I cited YouTube as a reason why I was stopping my posts.  My last YouTube video was published in June, not too long after April/May.  So that didn't really go anywhere.  By then, I had grown sick and tired and tired and sick of the monstrosity that was EpicDuel Omega.  The purpose of Varium was near nerfed into the ground (that is, it provided no advantage other than getting gear more quickly).  I was a semi-free player, and prior to Omega, I enjoyed my spot between the people who bought a promo pack of Varium every month and the hardcore free-to-players.  Both were still a good challenge to defeat, though.  I'm pretty sure the true reason why I left, however, was because of the FUCKING STAT REVAMP.  I liked it better when all weapons had a set amount of stats and damage that could not be changed.  And when cores were an idea posted only in the ED Suggestion Forums.  Maybe I was just too used to the old ways.  So I left. I expressed no regret- after all, I had been playing the game for almost three years and had probably outgrown little Flash games.  Time to move on to bigger and better things.
No, this is not me.  I googled "fate".  Never knew Steam sold Fate, though.  Go buy the game or pirate it like I did.   Go play it.

At this point in time (beginning of summer 2013) I had only one computer game I played consistently and on a regular basis: Minecraft (oh, and I also bought legit premium shortly before my last post here.  I believe I played almost exclusively on Hypixel's Server.  (I also remember playing quite a bit of Fate- the original Fate.)

During the summer, however, most of the time I was away from the computer (summer school and whatnot).  So I turned to my phone.  I eventually found a mobile TCG called Spellstorm.  It's a husk of its former self from a year ago- don't play it.  But back then, it was in the prime of its life.  New content updates on a regular basis, a thriving playerbase, and probably the best forums you could ever ask for.  There were almost exclusively adults on there.  As a result, the forums were always civilized.  I spent a lot of time playing Spellstorm, and even more time on its forums.  Eventually, I became a moderator there, but that's not important.  What is important is that I played Spellstorm almost every day (phone app= more accessibility) until about October/November.  Then, my mom stepped in and took away my phone.  This was the base for my stopping of playing Spellstorm (yes, that is grammatically correct).  I fell behind new stuff, and eventually, I got bored with the app.  Just in time, too.

The Spellstorm team seemed to be falling apart.  The content updates were obvious rehashes of old stuff, the new pieces of content were money grabs, and it became apparent that the game was a huge clickfest.  Plus, the bugs, which had always been prevalent in the app, almost ran amok now.  That is, I'm pretty sure the programmers got up and left.  Many times, these bugs made the app unplayable.  And the app's customer service was sadder than shit (lack of people, not skill- those who did man Customer Service were extremely nice and well-known on the forums).  It was obvious that Spellstorm's developers under the helm of TinyCo had almost ceased work on the app.  Which really, really sucked, especially since Spellstorm was the only one with potential on the app market (and half-decent graphics).

But I must go back a bit.  During late summer of that year, I had found an SNES emulator for my phone (SNESDroid).  It opened up a whole new world of games (thanks, CoolRom) to me.  I downloaded three SNES games: Final Fantasy VI, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Chrono Trigger.

But wait: I must go back even further (yeah sorry, I know, fuck chronological order).  Prior to summer, a classmate at school had introduced me to The Sandbox (you should check it out if you don't already know what it is).  It was fun- very fun.  But that's not my point.  There was (and probably still is) a user gallery.  In one of the top rated works, I found a Sandbox version of "Chrono Trigger 600 AD" (using "Note" pixels one can create tunes in The Sandbox).  I listened to the song and I liked it (this was back when I still though Chrono Trigger involved a gun).  I liked it enough to go looking for Chrono Trigger.  That brings me to the previous paragraph.

So I played Chrono Trigger- my first SNES game.  I loved it.  Until I got to a certain point in 2300 AD (for those retro gamers, it's when you enter 2300 AD for the first time).  I had to enter a certain combination of buttons to go further by pressing the buttons all at once.  I couldn't.  The emulator didn't accept multi-input.  I did my homework and found that other emulators did, as did the original SNES (duh).  Well, crap.  I was stuck there.

I eventually gave up on Chrono Trigger and moved on to Final Fantasy VI.  I think I got stuck somewhere very early on (before Narshe, for those who played the game).  I gave up on it as well, and was considering deleting it (luckily, I didn't).  So I moved on, this time to A Link to the Past.

I went somewhere with that game.  It was fun, and the dungeons challenging.  In order to beat the first boss, I spent almost an hour circling him around a table in order to avoid his extremely damaging ranged attack.  Often was the day where I would have SNESDroid and Firefox open on my phone.  Thank you, StrategyWiki.  I loved the game, and all of the extra things in it that one didn't necessarily have to find.  I ended up with only one more dungeon to go.  Unfortunately, I had had enough of Link by then, so I got bored.  Then I gave Final Fantasy VI a second chance.

It worked out this time.  I loved the traditional RPG style game it was and the huge (14!) character cast.  I loved the storyline and the monsters and bosses.  I ended up just one dungeon away from the final boss (what a coincidence).  I was steamrolling over the game and ready to beat it.  Then my mom took my phone away (keep in mind that at this point in time, I was playing these SNES games as well as Spellstorm).  So, too bad.  I didn't get to hand Kefka's ass to him.  Oh well.

So the school year started up again.  I started playing Minecraft again.  However, this time I found a nice new server (PlayMindcrack) with its own textures, sound packs, and minigames.  It was a smaller server, but still, I loved it (and its level up system!).  That's pretty much all I did for the first half of the 2013-2014 Minecraft/school year: Hypixel and PMC (not to be confused with Planet Minecraft).  Then I found Hearthstone.

Hearthstone had been in closed beta for quite a while, but one of my friends told me about the game one day at school.  Intrigued, I tried it out.  I was a scrub and lost a crapton at the beginning, but I loved the game and stuck with it.  Hearthstone is a CCG (not quite TCG, but I'll take it) that really introduced me to real cardplaying games and strategy (I would rather not rant about how most if not all- including Spellstorm- TCGs on the mobile market have crappy automated random-ass battle systems).  I owned some MTG cards, but I never really tried to play the game (mostly because no one in my physical area wanted to play MTG.  Also, I tried Magic 2014, but much of the app is locked to all but those who shell out ten dollars.  Hell no.)  Hearthstone was the perfect F2P card game I was (not really) looking for.  I took a liking to it and stuck with it.

Now, time for a bit of bragging (depends on your point of view, actually).  I created my account and installed Hearthstone somewhere in mid-December 2013.  December was Hearthstone's first Closed Beta ranked season, but I didn't rank at all (Angry Chicken please).  R25 scrub, woohoo.  The second season, January, I did slightly better.  Rank 16.  And on it goes.
Season 3: R14
Season 4: R14
Season 5: R14 (pattern much)
However, this season, May, I am rather happy to have finally broken that invisible wall and continue onto rank 13!  I probably could have gone further, but I will explain why I didn't.

Actually, wait a sec.  I must go backward a few months first.  Just a note.  I pretty much stopped playing Minecraft in February.  I know, too bad, no more Island of Doom videos.  (Well, the hard drive on which the world is on is screwed up, anyway.)

Okay.  Back to May of this year.  In early May, one of my friends told me about Smite (a MOBA, like League- another game I voluntarily don't play, but all of my friends do).  I downloaded Smite.  Was hooked fairly quickly.  (I swear, the smartest decision the game devs have made was making Smite a third-person viewpoint game.  Gets all the MMO(RPG) players.)  So now I play Smite pretty much every day.  (Case in point- I played about ten hours today).  I still play Hearthstone some, but not a whole lot.

A very, very, simplified history of my gaming life since April 2013.  Goodbye all, and I hope I get around to posting here again.  But for now, I need to complete a history project and get my ass off this toilet already.


PS: I am also an avid Twitch watcher (of Hearthstone and Smite.  I also watched the original Twitch Plays Pokemon).  Also, some nice FFVI fanart.  As you probably expected, I can name everyone here.

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