October 2017

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Every gamer knows the feeling you get when a bit of nostalgia pulls at your heartstrings. Whether it’s replaying classic titles like Super Mario Brothers 2, or just revisiting one of your favorite childhood games, the kind you used to hop onto right as you got home from school or finished with your chores/homework. They might even be some casual game you played with friends for a little bit when it was released, often going to each others houses and hooking up some LAN cords to play together.

For this week, me and my friends decided to set up our own Minecraft server. I told myself I’d focus more on the creative aspects of Minecraft if I ever played again since all the previous times I’ve played with others, we’ve played the game out as much as possible, even trying to casually speedrun to the ender dragon in a larger group. So after a 2 year hiatus, here I am again, playing Minecraft with a focus on catharsis and relaxation. Instead of having a longer post detailing what we did, I’m just going to edit a spectator video later and add some pictures now for this post so you guys can see a water house I made for yourselves. Cheers!

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Game Knowledge refers to the mental interactions and experiences between the player and the game. Knowing cooldowns, what items to buy, where to go, your role, what everything does, etc. is game knowledge. Intuition refers to the utilization and practice of game knowledge in gaining an advantage, usually predicting an opponents move, knowing their power spikes and strengths or weaknesses. Intuition allows players to make plays without necessarily having the skill to pull them off by analyzing patterns and coming up with a strategic plan. It might refer to having a point and click(low skill/interaction), but extremely powerful ability that must be timed appropriately in a fight, but otherwise be useless if used incorrectly.

Skill (often called ‘mechanics’) refers to the physical interactions and experiences between the player and the game. Being able to aim correctly, react to/dodge opponents moves, land certain abilities, and quickly outplay opponents are all parts of skill. Read the rest of this entry »

The world of Massively Multiplayer Online Games(MMOs) is often one of excess. It seems like a new MMO pops up every few weeks, and most of them never garnish a player base large enough to keep it alive for very long. On top of that, every MMO is compared to World of Warcraft, which is majorly unfair for newer contenders. Along the same lines, most MMOs primarily come from eastern markets, many originating in Korea(and their bootleg spawns in China, but that’s a separate topic). The massive amount of structure an MMO needs to have at launch, and the continual extension of that content is a very large undertaking. Oftentimes, people will use Final Fantasy XIV’s disastrous launch and buggy release as an example when talking about this topic. While they’ve certainly cleaned up their act and made an entirely new game in the background, while also updating their buggy copy to retain their fan base, it’ll still take some time for their reputation to recover. Most other MMOs aren’t lucky enough to be backed by huge gaming companies that can cover their losses in such a way, and many are starting to switch to mobile games rather than full releases on PC.

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Part 1, Communication basics here.

Just like with traditional sports, eSports are played on a specific playing field that players are confined to. Some maps do this with invisible/impassable walls, and others with cliffs or insta-death locations. Games have very defined out of bounds areas due to the nature of video games, which means there’s no need for out of bounds rules that traditional sports like soccer or American football utilize. If players find a way to exit out of these zones, more often than not, they’ll fall through the map eternally, resulting in many games using a death floor in order to prevent infinite falls/loops.  Competitive games are usually in a state of “perpetual beta” much like internet browsers are, constantly evolving and changing to meet the needs of the fan base.

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My friend group and I are gamers by heart, and the majority of us know each other in real life. Oftentimes, when we can’t find time to hang out together, we’ll play online games in order to bridge the gap. As you can imagine, multiplayer and cooperative games are heavily valued in our group, and we often try to find new games to play with one another if certain members aren’t up to play one of our usual picks like League of Legends(LoL), Counterstrike : Global Offensive(CS:GO), or PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds(PUBG). This usually stems from our competitive nature, from when we played smash bros at each others houses back in high school, however, cooperative games with a challenge are just as good.

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Part 2: Knowing your playing field here.

Unfortunately for the introverts out there, communication is an absolute must in team oriented competitive games(which are often the biggest eSports due to the dynamism provided from having multiple players working in conjunction). While there are certainly games that don’t require having a partner/teammates such as real time strategy(RTS) games like Starcraft, fighting games like Street Fighter/SSB Melee, or even speed-running, most big eSports titles will involve communication in some way. Most professional teams in eSports are starting to adopt coaches to make communication as efficient as it can be. South Korea has a leg up on the rest of the world in this regard. Their background in eSports from the Starcraft era, along with their infrastructure and cultural appeal for eSports, has come to fruition in the modern day.

So what is communication?

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