It’s Been Awhile

Greetings again,

It has been a long while since I have updated anything on here. Many thought this was a dead blog. Tis nothing but lies!

Instead, I was focusing my energy on graduation. Graduation involved composing a 20 page thesis. Later, I will be sharing my thesis in parts for you all to read. I am thrilled to be able to share this with many of you.

Another update: I will be moving soon! I will remain in Montana, but will be able to travel to other cities in Montana that host other events for gaming.

Gaming update: Spring Scuffle is coming up! Stay tuned for blog updates on that as well! Thank you Blake for hosting again another epic fighter tournament in Bozeman!



Reflection of Esports Journalism

Well, the past three months been busy with a recent internship of mine. The internship was with a start up called 12up Esports. However, they ended up dropping me a few weeks ago. Ironically, when about a month before hand, I tried to leave to due schedule and time complications maden it difficult to write.

Besides lack of time, the overall time was some what enjoyable. The Skype group chat was filled with interesting individuals, but fitting in was not a thing.

As for the actual writing portion of this internship, it was rigorous and time consuming. The editors wanted perfect articles upon publishing. I understand they have hundreds of articles a day to edit for the site, but everyone writes at a different vocabulary level. Mine is meant for general public. It makes it so everyone can understand what is going on, not just esports fans (because how else is esports supposed to spread when no one can understand the article). That was something I learned in my News and Public Relations course. So, of course it would make sense that I would keep it simple, stupid.

Also, writing within a very small word limit, isn’t quite my style I learned. They wanted hard, fast hitting articles: 150-250 words. I wanted more elaborate and lengthy ones. By lengthy, I mean like 400-600 words. Those kinds of articles is where I feel like news can be properly written. The short ones started to feel like I couldn’t reach out to a larger audience or a general audience. Granted, esports is growing due to the Millennials, but still there are those out there that play the game, but don’t watch the actual esports. Those are the people that require the longer piece, which amazingly is most of the population when you look at the overall numbers of people who play to people who watch the game.

However, there was a lot of learning outcomes for me:

  • Don’t work a full time job, be in school, and have an internship that requires the hours of the prior two.
  • Maintain all of your social media accounts, otherwise you will be spending more time on Google or something trying to figure what’s going on.
  • You must do exactly what they ask, so going against the grain and trying to be innovative is a bad idea.
  • Time management and subject matter mastery is a must. If you don’t have either, you will fail.
  • Journalism will put a strain on all relationships. I hardly answered my phone during this time from parents, other relatives, my best friend, and my significant other. Needless to say, my significant other is happy that I am no longer having a panic attack the minute I get home to get articles done. So, minor relationship victory there.
  • Esports journalism, you might as well be a guy. As a female, your voice is much smaller and most people will be harder on you because of it, judging by the comments on my articles.



Which Fantasy World? Some Writing Advice/Guidance

A friend asked me recently “If you could be in any fantasy universe, which one would it be?”

I find this question particularly puzzling because there are so many factors to consider with in each universe. These factors play a major role in lifestyle, culture, and whether or not you die (I am looking at you Game of Thrones universe). So, I  decided to dig in to some of how I choose to develop setting, regions, and culture in my book that I am writing. However, every game, story, or narrative develops their universe differently.

Here we go:

  1. Landscape: I know this might not be much of a first thought, but knowing the terrain and the plants helps a lot. Looking at fantasy films or stories (Lord of the Rings or Avatar [the one with the Blue people]) the interaction they have with the environment and landscape changes how they act. For example, Frodo in the bog/swamp on the way to Mordor. Most places like that are in forested areas, but this shows the effect of evils on land. This challenges their survival across in terms of food and water (I wouldn’t want to go through that bog/swamp, I avoid putting those in my Dungeons & Dragons campaigns). However, landscapes are not limited to what we know in the world of science; there is no limit on creativity,either. Knowing the landscape and your creativity, you can then create the cultures or races (or both) because then we know what kinds of skills these people/ beings would need to survive.
  2. Culture or Race: Every setting either is mono-racial or poly-racial. When I started by novel I decided that there would be a main race, but there would be “lesser” races (as seen by the main race. So, for examples there are the dwarves, elves, and humans. Humans treat elves and dwarves kindly. However, the dwarves and elves are usually a source of tension in party traveling groups or war. So, keep these racial tensions in mind when writing. However, in stories (or TV shows) like Game of Thrones there are regional beings: The North, The South, and The East. This is then further broken down by Houses or Families. This kind of break down is connected to culture. Culture is not limited to what they eat, dress, religion, and weapons. Yes, weapons I think go under culture due to specific parts of history such as the Japanese Samurai, whose katanas defined who they were in terms of class, which was defined by Japanese culture. However, writing advice for a starting point here is to pick one or the other to start with either before or after you choose the type of story or character you want to write about.
  3. Religion: This changes from place to place and person to person. Each author may choose to create symbols for religions in their narrative. However, it isn’t required, even though it might help you develop different cultural interactions between different levels of society.
  4. Weapons: What is common and uncommon? What metals are rare, common, and exotic? Which weapons are unique to each region, race, culture? Which are for formal use and for used for battle? Are there specific fighting styles for those weapons or races? These are some of the many questions you need to ask when creating a world or universe.

These are just starting points for how to develop the setting and characters for your short story, novel, or who knows what else! I hope these help you get some ideas brewing for your next piece!


Symmetra Rework Incomming

Today, Blizzard released a Developer Update video. Symmetra is no longer going to be a situational pick! Well, hopefully. 

All of the changes will be hitting the PTR (Public Test Region) soon according to the video. The primary goal: make her fun and improving the quality of life.

There are 4 MAJOR changes coming to her. Plus, a small change to her weapon’s primary ability.

  1. Her Ultimate: Originally, a player would build a nest with turrets and place the teleporter within the turret nest. The teleporter wasn’t taken away. Instead, Symmetra now has 2 versions of her ultimate. The teleporter and now a Shield Generator. YES! A Shield Generator! So, no more giving people shields! Anyways, according to the video the Shield Generator does a couple of things.  It creates a substantial shield to those with in its large radius, ignoring all line of site. The Shield Generator will result in a a focus from the enemy team to seek and destroy the generator.
  2. Teleporter now has more health, part of which is just shield. The evil days of your teleporter health decreasing slowly from the attacks is now over. The survivability of the teleporter increases as the shield regenerates between attacks. So, that whole nest thing, its great now.

    Teleporter will still have 6 uses
  3. That whole giving shields at the beginning of the match chaos is now over! (Praise the lord!) You still have a shield to use, but creativity is encouraged now. The shield’s new name is “Photon Barrier.”This shield is similar to Winston’s kind of. So, Symmetra can now use the shield that moves along a projected track of movement. This enables teams with tanks without shields to have a moving shield to get them past that Bastion or Torbjörn turret in the corner doing lawn mower things to your team.
  4. The turrets. So, along with the stress originally from putting shields on team and placing 3 of 6 turrets in the minute before the game starts is basically gone. Now, Symmetra will start with 6 instead of 3 turrets. Turrets will also stack up to 6 instead of three. The cooldown in 10 seconds instead of 12. The changes to the turrets will encourage a change towards flexibility in Symmetra play along with the ability to disengage in a team fight to put more turrets up or change the turret placement.
  5. This is more of the minor change. Her weapon. The primary ability’s distance was increased a bit. She is still considered a short range character.

What does Blizzard want?

Current Symmetra mains to tell them yes, Great! or no, and here’s why? when it gets launched on PTR.

Occasional Symmetra players: Same thing as current mains, but whether or not you think the changes will increase your play time as her.

The WTF is Symmetra players: Try her out on regular game play and then compare it to the PTR, let Blizzard general thoughts!

Good Luck Symmetra players!


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!




1 v 1 Me Bro

This weekend at Montana State University, MSU Hivemind  hosted their first local area network (LAN) event and one versus one tournament. The one versus one tournament was on Saturday, September 17th.

The tournament had about 20 different MSU students participating. The victor of the tournament was Jake “dubbajakeX” Welch. He is a double majoring in Computer Science and Computer Engineering.  As someone who is not good at math, Welch responded to my confusion of “why”, with “the two overlap very closely.” Well, he is still crazy for wanting to do so much math, but more power to him.

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Jake “dubbajakex” Welch

“dubbajakex” has been playing League of Legends for about 6 years now. He has had some times where he plays on and off. However, he has played the jungler role for about 4 years followed up with a couple of years of the ADC role. Although Welch is active in the MSU Hivemind LAN scene, he primarily plays with his friends he says.

His friends are also who got him to start playing.  Now from where he started his pc is “pretty buffed up” or as I described it as a server tower of which a small child could play in.

Overall, Welch seemed to be pleased with the tournament results. “Everyone else began to target ban me” after his first few wins, according to Welch. His main four target bans were Caitlyn, Jhin, Graves, and Illaoi. “If you couldn’t find a way to ban all four, I always got one,” dubbajakex described the banning situation. There were a total of three bans on each side of the tournament.

He and I shared a mutual agreement towards players who picked Caitlyn counters. If you can play Caitlyn well, you can play her against just about every thing in a 1 v 1 tournament style bracket.

However, even though in the light of his win, Welch says  that “if we had more people than just people a part of the school, it would have been a different result.”

His winnings were the typical Riot Games sponsored event winnings: skins, RP, and bragging rights.

GL at the MSU Hivemind’s LAN event on October 22 in SUB 233-s35 starting at noon!