Sombra: Overwatch’s Newest Hacker

Image result for sombra overwatch

Blizzard started tempting us with leaks. Those obsessed deciphers and translators work on other hidden leaks. Now, two days ago, the henchmen at Blizzard released her to the public.

Leaked Sombra Image

Downside, she came with other patch work.The result? Players are now limited to only one character type on each team. It is a race for Sombra in every pick phase. Many players are struggling to play her in a basic game, let alone ranked.

Even though the struggle is real, Sombra has been well received. Many players, like myself, have limited chances to play her. My route… Training center, custom games and Arcade Mode (seriously Blizzard, thank you for the custom game option and Arcade mode).  Sombra is currently a very broken character. I would expect the nerf bat to come within the next couple of patches.

Currently, her strongest abilities is invisibility and hacking, not her EMP Ulti. However, I think that like D.Va’s ultimate, Sombra’s ulitmate doesn’t affect those hiding. That doesn’t make any sense for who she is. Instead, Sombra makes up that power with the individual hacking: health packs and characters. Like Zenyatta and his Discord Orb, hacking the right character can change or turn a team fight.

Hard at work.

I really like the invisibility. It helps her mobility for fighting; allowing her to create the chaos in the back lines of the enemy team. That Mercy  keeping a 15 kill streak McCree alive, no problem. Gone. Also, the part of invisibility causes it to cancel after she gets hit by anything.  This makes it not so broken, maybe? I hope that Blizzard, changes it a little so that the enemy team has a hope of seeing her a little. But, Sombra as a character is designed (look at the video on YouTube- “Infiltration”) to be completely invisible to the human eye.

Some current problems that I foresee is her teleport pad. It throws very oddly. I am not sure how to feel about it. Granted most maps have only two levels — three if you take an elevator, play Widowmaker or Phara), Sombra should easily be able to get up to that third level. However, in the training center, where I have been experimenting with that teleport pad, it has been super hard to get it up there to the third level from the first. On the other hand, it encourages the combo-ing of her invisibility with teleportation. Fun fact, the teleportation pad does not need to be fully landed prior to teleporting. Lob it and go. This can increase that mobility factor for her.

Overall, very popular character. Amazingly fun as well!

¡Adios!

 

Link for “Infiltration”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og5-Pm4HNlI

 

 

Entropy Kindly Wrecks at Fall Brawl

Fall Brawl brought around 160 players together at the Holiday Inn over the weekend.

Team Entropy gathered at the entry of the tournament, all 8 of them. The Montana based team looked everyone kindly in the eyes and said “Kneel!”

Ok. Not really, but the final placements would show the dominance that Team Entropy had at Fall Brawl. With players like Diego “Jinsei” Arias taking home four Top 3 placements out of the five total tournaments played in. Others like Eloy “Eloy” Arias (brother of Jinsei, the gaming genetics are strong with this family), Tanner “Mr. Toast” Johnson, and Adam “AWE” Erskine placed in Top 3 of their individual tournaments.

Full break down of placements

Another and new noteworthy player that placed in Top 5 was Andrew “Todoville” Peacock in Street Fighter V. Todoville was invited to join Team Entropy as he fended off bounty hunters in his fabulous suspenders during Fall Brawl.

Others that placed in Top 5 in their tournaments was Eloy and Jinsei.

Overall, most of the team participated in Super Smash Bros. MeleeProject M, and Street Fighter V tournaments.

The rest of the team fought bravely, but fell into the pile of bodies that lie in despair from failure.

However the survival rate was high as the team left Fall Brawl tired from the fighting, yet energized from their wins and a new team member.

You can see Todoville play in Seattle, WA from November 4 thru 6th for the Red Bull Battle Grounds event for Street Fighter V! Drop in, hi. Or watch and cheer loudly. Either would suit our lovely suspender wearing friend. Good Luck TodoVille!

19 Year Old Smashes at Fall Brawl

One of the larger winning pot games, $1770, Super Smash Bros. Melee proved to be a challenging bracket at the 2016 Fall Brawl.

Team Entropy Eloy “Eloy” Arias

Eloy “Eloy” Arias – a 19 year-old senior from Southern California –  traveled to Bozeman, Montana to face 70 other players in the Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament on behalf of Team Entropy. Eloy took home third place in a tension filled series. Eloy played Fox through the entire bracket.

Eloy has been playing Fox for about a year. Fox is his main. Considering he is in high school, Eloy is talented at Fox. His secondary character is Sheik.

“There’s lots of timing when you play Fox,” says Eloy after his final match against Eikleman, “That’s where I went wrong with some things.”

Sheik was never a real option for Eloy during the tournament due to his prime comfort pick of Fox.

Image result for fox smash bros melee
Master Fox.

Not only was tension up during each of the games, a melting pot of emotions was alive during the last four matches of the bracket. “It was very intimidating because you are not used to the environment of the tournament,” describes Eloy, “Since there are so few tournaments far and wide.”

Eloy went undefeated until the winner’s semi-finals to face Eikleman. The round ended 3-2. Eloy was moving on to face Ka-Master in the winner’s finals.  With the last few games rotating between three players, Eloy was defeated by Eikleman in the looser’s final 0-3.

At the end of the tournament, Eloy was respectful. Eloy describes the victor of Smash Bros. Melee, Ka-Master, as “insanely good” and “a player that punishes very well.”

Team Entropy had seven top three wins out of the 8 major game events at Fall Brawl. Jinsei took home four of these spots.

For further information on the rest of Team Entropy placements, check out their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/EntropyGG

Assassin’s Creed: The Language of the People

In the game Assassin’s Creed III, we see a lot of different forms of rhetoric ranging from spoken and visual. What makes Assassin’s Creed III unique from the rest of the series is that the protagonist, Connor, is half-Native and half-British. The rest of the primary assassins are from the setting of which the story is set in. Due to Connor’s half-blood background, Ubisoft can create a unique rhetorical script for him.

Historical Rhetoric Background

To understand the larger image that is represented in a small portion of the game, we must look at the overall conflict between the British and colonists. Billy Smith, a professor at Montana State University, worked with multiple historians and Ubisoft to ensure the accuracy of the British colonies and people. The primary vision of the British had was of a split public. “Parliament couldn’t understand why there were problems in the colonies. The British were taxing their people back home significantly more than Image result for proclamation of 1763those in the colonies” per Billy. The misunderstandings lead to deeper division between the British and the colonists that was influenced by colonial decisions. However, the Crown’s persuasive rhetoric claimed that “the British troops were protecting the colonists from the Natives along the Proclamation of 1763” towards the colonists. However, the rhetoric changed over time towards both natives and between each other. The British and Colonial rhetorics was fear based. The British rhetoric changed heavily towards the Natives when the Revolutionary War broke out. Both sides were calling each of them savages according to Billy Smith.

Native American Back Story

Let’s skip the rhetorical background of the Native Americans for right now. An understanding of the tribal history plays a large role in the war and the rhetoric that surrounds it in the game.

The Mohawk tribe –Connor is part of—is a part of a larger tribe known as the Iroquois or Iroquois nation. The war caused a split between the Iroquois nation. Some sided with the British and some with the Americans. This was the first time in about 400 years that the Iroquois Nation split up. The Mohawk tribe allied with the British, which is why we see the interactions between multiple natives and British, rather than Americans.

Image result for Connor Assassin's Creed 3I understand that Connor sided with the Americans, which is accurate. Not all tribal members sided with one or the other. Thus, showing the generational differences between each of the tribes. Also, each tribe had smaller units, such as the village where Connor was from. So, although the tribal alignments are see in a very metaphorical way, there were other layers to the conflict which causes Connor to be such a detailed character.

The detail of these war time alliances is seen through the time that is spent between Connor and Haytham. Including social tensions between the two nations. The natives in the game only sided with the British because they were in fear of losing their land, but the British still caused problems for them, as we see with the relation between Haytham and Connor.

Native American Rhetoric: Survivance

Through these problems, there is an overall theme to Connor’s actions, visual rhetoric, and vocal rhetoric — a need for survival: survivance. We see this need almost immediately with the interactions between Haytham and Connor’s mother. Which is continued after the mother’s death with Connor and the village Elder. Beyond these simple conversation, we start to see a gendered rhetoric of survivance within the tribe. We see the division between tribal members during the war as well. The image below is between Connor and the Elder. Connor, who is fighting for his tribe, knows what Charles Lee wants: the land. Yet, tribal members have chosen to join him due to the understanding that they will get to keep what is theirs.

Image result for connor meeting with the tribe elder assassin's creed III
“Boiling Water. The one called Charles Lee. He took Kanen’to:kon and a few others with him.”

Not only do we see how they speak between each other, we see a gendered rhetoric within the tribe. Now, most of everywhere else in the world is a patriarchy, the Native American tribe kindly ignored that and is a matriarchy, as we see above in the conversation with the female elder holds the power over everyone else. She is also the one who sent Connor off to Achilles, too.

Gender typically equates to conflict along the lines at some point. There is more than just conflict it is just about everything related to gender. For example, Haytham and Connor’s mother’s relationship brings light to her Native survivance and Haytham’s desire to win the war and continue the survival of the British Empire, which brings a visual representation of the overall relation between the Native Americans and the British at the beginning prior to the war breaking out: tension filled evolving to a forced fear of losing their land.

In the .gifs below, we see the Battle of Bunker Hill. Connor is questioning the motives of the Americans. He has started to see the fading hope of freedom for his tribe. So with all of the promises, Connor wants to know who is going to survive the war, who will get their freedom, who will get their desires at the end of all this fighting? If we ignore the fact that Connor is being extremely stupid and charging the firing squad, which doesn’t promise survival, the thought process shows that he simply wants peace.

gaming video games assassins creed assassin connor

gaming video games assassins creed assassin connor

 

 

 

gaming video games assassins creed assassin connor

gaming video games assassins creed assassin connor

 

 

 

 

 

Survivance is predominately seen in Connor’s speech as well. For example, the scene below embodies the social tension between both the Colonists and British, and the Natives and the British. We see the tension of the Natives and British from “when [they] first met — what stayed your hand?” is a great image for the lack of eradication of the tribes upon the first successful colony, along with the desire to keep his tribe alive–his motivation for fighting in the war. Although Haytham’s response is not typical, it should be expected because the British had no clue of who these people were. I mean look at the movie Pocahontas.  Skip the Templar part, but in that conversation, we see the difference in perspectives between how the British views the colonies and how some of the natives viewed the revolution. Also, Haytham’s wonderful and colorful opinion of the founding fathers was very much accurate at the time coming from the British. In pieces by Peter Oliver, a British that was in close ties with British Royalty and was heavily involved with colonial politics, there is so much hatred and disapproval towards men like Samuel Adams; who today is viewed almost as a hero.

Fading Rhetorics?

There is a large influence of western rhetorics on Connor during his time with Acheiles. But wouldn’t you then see the fading of Connor’s survivance rhetorics from when he was a child? No. Ubisoft made sure to remind us that he was fighting for his tribe’s rights to their land and culture. Start the video blow at 1:38. Such as the hatchet tradition during war is shown in the cut scene. The scene has Connor putting his tribe first, making sure that they are cared for and still have their lands. At the same time, we start to see the greed developed by both the British and the colonist.

These small visual reminders are key to the native survivance rhetoric. Unlike looking at a museum or articles, Ubisoft has ensured that Connor and the social/ war tensions are accurate as possible, increasing the impact of the visual native rhetorics, especially in the genre of survivance rhetorics. We see this reminder through Connor’s interactions with the Founding Fathers and Haytham.

Where Everything Falls

So how does these video game rhetorics line up with the historical rhetorics and what impact does this have on our understanding of Native American Rhetorics? Well, it changes a lot of things. Modern day studies of this game focus on historical accuracy. However, the role of visual rhetorics and surviance plays a huge role in Connor’s character development. Growing from a simple tribal boy to one that seeks to protect his tribe as the growing tensions between the colonists and the British grow into a war. Surviance is further explored through the historical knowledge of the Iroquois Nation splitting because each side of the war promised through fear mongering that the tribes that aligned with them would be able to keep their lands and culture.

Do We See Survivance in the Other Games?

Survivance is a Native American rhetorical term. So, by that definition, no we wouldn’t see survivance in the other Assassin’s Creed games. However, the British and the colonists had their own form of survivance: fear rhetorics. Each game then probably has its’ own form of survivance within the game because each has a similar historical point: warfare and social inequality in some shape or form.

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The End

Fall Brawl 2016

Coming to the end of October, many prepare for Halloween. But for one man named Blake Mickatavage, it is more than Halloween. For him,  it is helping set up, prepare and host one of Montana’s largest fighting game community (FGC) tournament — Fall Brawl.

Fall Brawl is a weekend event from October 29th thru October 30th. The event will be hosted at the Holiday Inn on Baxter Ln in Bozeman, MT.

There is currently open registration online through Fall Brawl 2016’s Facebook Page. Along with other information on special deals and pricing from the Holiday Inn for players who are coming in from outside of Bozeman.

According to the Facebook page, there are now larger winning pots for popular games such as Super Smash Bros. Melee and Street Fighter V. Super Smash Bros. Melee and Street Fighter V have pots totaling up to one thousand dollars each. There are three other games with winning pots:

  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U – $300
  • Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3- $450
  • Guilty Gear XRD: Revelator: $50

The payouts are going to be based on how large the brackets are for each game. So, the winnings will vary.

Those that want to come and watch are able to enter for free. If you can’t make it there will be two streaming channels available on Twitch.tv as follows:

According to Mickatavage, only about a third of the players register online. So, it is highly recommended that players arrive on time. The doors open at 10am on the 29th. Mickatavage says that those who are paying the door are recommended to show up an hour early prior to their event.

For further information and schedule of events check out the Facebook page at:

https://www.facebook.com/events/167839973643415/

 

 

Assassin’s Creed III: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This is not what one may think, I am not going to be looking at the game Assassins’s Creed III as a whole, but rather the language or rhetoric used in the game. I am taking a previous piece I completed for a rhetorics course at Montana State, and turn it in to a piece that can change the views on the influence and impact of having an assassin like Connor during this time, rather than an European/ Revolutionary white assassin. Because what have we had since then or before this game, Assassin’s that are from where the game starts.

Although the role of assassin is considered an outside role, what if you made an outside/exclude race the assassin? What impact does this make? Where can we see the good in this choice made by Ubisoft? Is there a down side to choosing this kind of race?  Of does just every one hate Connor?

I will be posting updates on this large project as I go along! Probably related to images.

Have Fun!

Magic the Gathering: Kladesh Pre-Release

This past weekend, I attended my first pre-release event.

At Rook’s Comic and Games, on Saturday at 1 p.m, was the start of the Two Headed Giant. I wanted to go with Brian because I didn’t know what I was doing and had very little experience with deck building. Prior to this event, I only had my Gravebourne deck, which I used the list from Wizards website.

Overall Experience

I enjoyed the overall event. However, the downside is that there are people who understand how to build two decks that can play off of each other, rather than just two separate decks. Brian and I both built our own differently because of the cards we opened. The cards we got limited our ability to create decks that could play off each other. On the flip side we got some decent cards that allowed us to build up our decks from the event from 40 card to 60 card.

The event play through was good. We ended 2-2 in best of one for four rounds, which for our first time together at an event like this, I want to say, is fairly good.

The Cards

Some one opened a Chandra, and another opened a shiny Chandra (I don’t know the actual term, so pokemon references it is!). So there was a lot of excitement there.  Brian and I opened two gearhulks, black and red. We also got Angel of Invention. Those three cards lead us to run a Black White deck (mine) and a Red White (Brian) deck.

Beyond what we got from the opening, the art on the cards were beautifully done and contained lots of fine details. So, most of what I needed was Servo’s. My favorite of the Servo art was the following because of the sizing reference. You see a man in the back. Showing us how really small these little Servo units can be. The fact that Wizards took the time to factor this in was amazing. Also, how bright the blue is in the top of the little Servo unit.

 

Where I Plan to Go After Block Releases

I really liked the elves in this block, but then I really like elves. So, one of the secondary decks I made from the Shadow over Inistrad block and the Kladesh pre-release cards, I made a Blue Green Elves themed deck. This is my first non-black deck, so it felt good to finally branch out from my normal. However, unlike the primary focus of the block (to build and gain energy and use artifacts to create ships or vehicles), I am going the exact opposite direction. I am using more artifact creatures than I have in the past however.

I am excited to share what I pull from the box and fat pack I buy later this week!

Cheers!