(this is an old post from 7/12/17, this article does not reflect the current changes to the game) If you look through this blog you will find plenty of posts about video games, a hobby and interest I have had for as long as I can remember. It started with the NES and developed into Genesis and then on and on after that. All of that being said, I have a tendency to get into games, as of late mainly pc games. One of those games being a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), League of Legends. This post has little to do with the game design, mechanics etc. but more to do with the environment and community.
with any online games, you’re not alone in this world, you share it
with other human beings. With this variable, you will more than likely
clash with some personality’s and get along just fine with others. But
one of the things about competitive games, is an attraction from ego’s
and hot heads, a short number this game has not.
I first started playing League of Legends, I would only play “bot
games” (a game where you and human players fight against computer
players), this nearly eliminated the verbal diarrhea, although in this
it was mostly people complaining about “kill steals”. Overall a
semi-peaceful environment. After a 100 or more bot games, you begin to
develop a learning curve and these games get boring to play. At the time
I never really started playing against many human players, I found the
experience to be a little overwhelming and just quit playing the game
completely. I cannot say for sure the date when I started playing and
when I had a hiatus, but it’s been several years, no doubt.
pointless history pt. 2
wasn’t until late last year that I installed the game again, and jumped
head first into what I call “human games”. I had a group of friends I
grew up with who play as well, and we would play regularly after work
during the week. It was a lot of fun, but I was far from having any idea
of what I was doing. But it was a helluva good time. Of course
throughout this experience I started to see more and more angry and
hostile players bitching about other people. I am the type of person who
knows and understands that I suck at the game, I have no idea what I am
doing for the most part. But I know the only way to get better is
through practice and playing. That being said, I would take a lot of
what these other players would say to heart. I did consider quitting
playing the game all together. But like I said, I knew I was relatively
new and I wouldn’t get anywhere without practice.
learning the game
fast forward to present day, and I have now easily over 1000’s of
matches and have only ranked as high as bronze 2 in this game (this game
has a ranking system, bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond and
challenger), it’s pitiful but I am slowly learning the nature and
behavior of how this all plays out in the game itself. To me this game
has many different aspects to take into consideration while trying to
get wins and be a better overall player. The first and most crucial and
elementary thing to learn is a champion. Learn its skills, its
weaknesses, what equipment is good, runes and masteries, the list goes
on and on. The next thing is learning objectives, taking out towers,
“farming” (killing minions), and finally killing the bosses in the map
(dragon and baron/rift herald). Throughout the playing process you will
no doubt learn the layout of the map and that is also a crucial part of
playing. Once I got my head around this, and started exclusively playing
one champion I started to feel like I was getting a little better.
Though I am a below average player.
assholes and idiots
the game was probably the easiest part of the whole process of getting
into this. The hardest and most difficult area to deal with, is the
player base. Getting into a game and seeing yourself doing ok, and then
out of nowhere somebody will spout out of their mouth something like,
“you fucking idiot! what are you doing?!”. This will instantly tilt me a
little, and then again it will reverberate and echo throughout the
match. The next thing I know, I cannot focus on playing but instead am
focused on this person talking about god knows what. And I see this
countless times over. We will being doing well in the game, and then
somebody has to complain about somebody else on the team, and then like
clockwork we start losing towers or we will start getting pecked off
left and right.
the mute button
where I learned the utopia of this game, a kind of holy grail. That
being the mute button, yes you have the option to mute particular
players, or mute everyone all together. Though this will not guarantee
victory, it will at least give you an opportunity to focus on the game
better. This does come with a kind of blindfold from players who are
genuinely trying to see your team succeed, but the game does have pings
(An indicator to be in a specific spot, or to let teammates know an
enemy is out of position and could be wandering to potential attack,
there also indications of assistance and danger to stay back), you can
mute these as well. All very helpful, but when used simply to attract
attention, they become useless and more of an annoyance than anything
kills killing and killing yourself
about egos and competitive play, is that you get people who get into
these games and there one priority and goal is to get kills. They could
literally care less about anything else other than kills. This is great
and probably one of the most crucial parts about a victory screen. But
when you get more concerned about kills, you begin to make mistakes and
die a lot yourself. A good strategy is to play it safe and focus on
objectives. Through this process you will no doubt get yourself some
kills, but will also help yourself and team actually win.
I still suck
I am still trying to learn and develop is CS (creep score, more or less
killing the minions that group into your lane), utilizing active skills
within items, faster item buying and overall layout of shop, wards and
warding in general, faster reaction and screen movement (especially
during combat), skills and auto attacking, what I might call combos.
There is an endless amount of things that I cannot even begin to process
in my brain. The pros all have the ability to move around and perform
quickly without flinching. I am not one of those players.
I still, still suck
the game is fun, and it does give me the enjoyment I got from playing
games like Starcraft, Age of Empires, Quake 3 Arena and Counter Strike.
It has a certain attractive simplicity about it, but also a hugely
complexity. To me not quite as complex as a game like Starcraft or as
fast paced and daunting as Quake 3 Arena, but it incorporates aspects
over many different genres of games.
Well I hope this
was semi helpful to new players, and might encourage you to keep
playing. My only goal out of this game is to maybe get silver, and then
gold and so on. Right now I feel like I am placed well. That’s the
beauty of this game, you will always play with people in your own skill
level. Although a whole other can of worms, is smurf accounts, and the
detriment that have to your games.
“this tree stands lonely here in the mountains; it grew high above man and beast . And if it wanted to speak it would have nobody who could understand it, so high has it grown. Now it waits and waits-for what is it waiting? It dwells too near the seat of the clouds: surely it waits for the first lightning.” –
Is this not what man has achieved? a lonely expression, abandoned by all civilization merely waiting until its end.
Sorry for the depressing pretext. It is merely an illustration, a metaphor for loneliness? maybe my interpretation is all wrong. I do accept dialogue and constructive criticism.
Remember when you had a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)? Oh, come on, we all know you did. A good ninety percent of gamers had them, so don’t try to weasel yourself out claiming you just had a Master System. I did back in the very late eighties and early nineties and one out of three American households did. Even so, the Master System featured some awesome games such as the first Phantasy Star game, the Alex Kidd series, and awesome arcade ports. Now, let’s move on to the brainchild of Sega.
The Master System or, in Japan, SG-1000 Mark III was the last of the
SG-1000 product series, and the only devoted video game console out of
the three systems. While the SG-1000 and SC-3000 enjoyed a moderate
success, the Master System was set out to combat Nintendo‘s ultimate
weapon. 1985 marked the release of the Mark III in Japan and was
visually identical to the Mark II. However, this system held hardware
enhancements. The processor was speedy in its time with a Zilog Z80 3.6
MHz CPU. Graphics were also improved with a meager, but slightly
significant upgrade in on screen sprites; now 64 instead of 32. Perhaps
the most noteworthy addition is was a PCM sound synthesizer chip,
creating six audio channels. This eradicated the beeps of previous
consoles with something that could be considered music.
This console also marked two “firsts”. First off, it toyed with
virtual reality. Using supped up 3D movie glasses, each lens would
briskly toggle among opaque and clear. While this was happening,
on-screen graphics would have to be consistent with the glasses, thus
creating a nearly seamless semi-virtual environment. Crude, but still
effective to this day. Secondly, it was the first system to use two
formats for gaming. The eight bit standard cartridges were used, but a
cheaper, market friendly four bit “game card” was created. These games
tended to be smaller due to obvious size and memory limitations, but
subsequently, much cheaper. This provided a great way for us gamers with
almost no cash buy games for their beloved system.
When the NES hit (or literally tackled) the market, Sega found
itself in a steep declining of sales. With great games and a cheap price
no one could hate, the NES fiercely ripped the gaming market from Sega,
and any other competitor for that matter, and took it as its own. Sega
had to alter their game plan, and so they gave life to the Master
System, aka Mark III (Read above) using some of the most advanced
hardware available in the current 8-bit technology. This marked the
first of any console to be widely distributed in the US, but that didn’t
stop Nintendo’s reign over the gaming market. On launch, an approximate
of 175,000 consoles were sold on its first market quarter (Three
months) with each system costing 200 dollars.
CEO of Sega, Hayao Nakayama, had a distaste of a 16 to 1 ratio of
system sales when compared to Nintendo’s. Figuring he better hand out
the marketing and such to Tonka, an American toy company, official
preparations were made and carried out in 1988. This turned out to be
the idiot’s move as Tonka had no idea on marketing of video games. While
everyone knew about the cool, awesome, super-duper NES, most people
would scratch their heads at the mention of the Master System. Why?
Tonka had no initiative. Due partly with their lack of any know-how, but
also what I believe: a little with laziness. After all, they had
millions. Why take the time to take video game marketing 101 when they
could blindly stumble and hope to succeed? At any rate, Tonka managed to
snag two third party developers, the now well know Activision, and
Parker Brothers, the board game company. It was probably not too much
their fault on that blunder as Nintendo was a pre-Microsoft. That’s
right, monopolizing any third party developer they could into an
agreement basically saying they were developing for the NES, and only
the NES. This severely damaged the system status and chance of
succeeding. Sega, Activision, and Parker Brothers couldn’t possibly keep
up with the sheer games coming out for the NES, and ultimately had a
smaller library of games in the end… or at least in the US. Let’s take
a trip down to Europe.
Amazingly, there was some areas where the NES and its power
didn’t penetrate. One of the main one locales was Europe. Never had been
introduced to a gaming system, or even the NES, Europeans jumped on the
Master System when it was released in the fall of 1987. Also, instead
of two developers, Europe received fourteen. These are Absolute,
Activision, Acclaim, Codemasters, Core, Domark, Flying Edge, Image
Works, Sony Imagesoft, TecMagik, Tengen, U.S. Gold, and Virgin. Nintendo
was never able to retrieve the Europe market for Sega, one Master
System victory. This particular victory lasted until 1996 despite the
fact better consoles were out there.
Tec Toy, a small company, released their version of the Master System, the Master System Three in the late eighty’s. With minor aesthetic changes, the revised console only featured built-in games as a new incentive. However, some games were re-created with more familiar Brazilian characters, and translated into Portuguese. Later on Game Gear game ports were created for the Master System, such as the notable Sonic games. Perhaps most unique of all is the only licensed 8-bit port of Capcom’s popular Street Fighter 2.
Despite wooing Europe over, Sega still had loss the 8 bit race, and wasn’t quite sure what to do. Tonka had screwed up any chance for the US Master System to succeed, the smaller, sleek Master System II released in 1988 died quickly, but suddenly Sega had a revelation. They thought with the utter success of the black and white color portable Game Boy system from Nintendo, they could make use with the Master System. Sega’s plan? Cram a Master System (With a few improvements) into likewise portable package, except much bigger length wise with a wide area for your hands. Released in 1990, it sported an awesome color screen, and graphics far surpassing the Game Boy’s, it also drained batteries like crazy. This turned off most casual gamers, and most went with the Game Boy’s and Nintendo’s recognition by name. After all, Little Billy didn’t want to spend money on six more double A batteries for every six or so hours of game play on the Game Gear when he could squeeze 10 to 12 hours of gaming with only four batteries on the Game Boy.
If Nintendo owning 90% the gaming market shocked you, it should
of. It was plainly illegal. Binding third party developers to an
exclusive contract with just Nintendo was wrong, and by the time of
1992, the Japanese and American governments were starting to get angry,
and Nintendo toned down. All ready too late for the Master System for it
was gone except in Brazil and Europe.
Now that we’ve gone over the system that should’ve of started it all, but didn’t, we can come to appreciate really good business tactics: Who knows, what if Sega won the 8 bit war? We’d probably see the same cunning tactics on future systems (Sega CD, Sega 32X, etc.) and maybe a future filled with Sega consoles. But, for now, pick up a Master System just for the heck of it, and live in Sega’s past.
– Zilog Z80 CPU running at 3.58 MHz
– Texas Instruments SN-76596 PCM audio processor (6 channel sound)
– Yamaha YM-2413 OPL-3 FM synthesizer (FM module for Sega Mark III only)
– Texas Instruments TMS9929A VDP
– 64K VRAM
– 16-color palette with 16 intensities each (64 colors from a 256-color palette)
– Support for 256×192 (SC-3000) and 240×226 (native) graphics display modes
– 32×28 character text display mode
– 1 MB system ROM
– 64 K system RAM
– 1 expansion slot (unused)
– 1 cartridge port
– 1 Game Card slot
– 2 joystick ports
– Commodore-style A/V port and internal RF adapter
Storage – SG-1000 style videogame cartridges (supports ROM sizes from 128K to 4 MB) – Sega Game Cards (supports ROM sizes from 32K to 256K)
CREDIT… Anthony and (now defunct) “Sega Base”, web site.