Ranked Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Ranked RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Ranking Every Boss in Dark Souls from Worst to Best https://www.gameskinny.com/v2o95/ranking-every-boss-in-dark-souls-from-worst-to-best https://www.gameskinny.com/v2o95/ranking-every-boss-in-dark-souls-from-worst-to-best Fri, 09 Jun 2017 17:51:30 -0400 glados131

On March 28, the Dark Souls series came to a close with the release of the "Ringed City", the second and final DLC for Dark Souls III. Of course, there's still the possibility we'll get more games like Bloodborne, side games that present new and novel stories but provide similar gameplay elements and mechanics of the Souls series.

However, we're unlikely to see a Dark Souls 4. With that being the case, let's rank from worst to best the iconic bosses of the game that started it all.

26. Bed of Chaos


Image courtesy of Wikidot

When it comes to Souls series bosses, there are perhaps none more reviled than this one. And it earns that reputation. In a series hailed for its challenging but fair combat, so many of the (literal) pitfalls in this fight feel anything but fair.

As the fight progresses, more and more holes open in the floor and Bed of Chaos' large sweeping attacks seem to be designed to push you right in. Especially notorious is the extremely awkward final jump you'll need to make to reach the boss' core. To add insult to injury, this was the in-game representation of the Witch of Izalith, one of the most fascinating and important characters in the game's lore -- and one who deserved a much better fight than this.

25. Pinwheel


Image courtesy of Wikidot

While the Bed of Chaos feels more unfair than anything, Pinwheel is little more than a speed bump. The fight has some interesting mechanics in the boss' ability to duplicate himself -- and it's more challenging if you take him on earlier in the game -- but most players' experience with Pinwheel involves the boss going down in a pitiful amount of hits.

24. Demon Firesage


Image courtesy of Wikia

Your first reaction to this boss was likely a sense of déjà vu -- even more so if you went back to the tutorial near the beginning of the game. And that's because this boss is heavily copied from two other fights in the game, just with some added fire. This wouldn't be the last time the series copied bosses to underwhelming effect, but it was among the first.

23. Moonlight Butterfly


Image courtesy of YouTube

This fight gets some points for atmosphere but is docked heavily for gameplay. For a melee build, in particular, fighting the Butterfly is just boring, especially as you wait for it to finish firing off spells, land, and refuel. Pray your weapon doles high amounts of damage so you can finish the job quickly. If not, you're in for one slog of a fight.

22. Centipede Demon


Image courtesy of Wikia

By the time you reach the Centipede Demon, it's the third boss you've faced in the Demon Ruins, and you've probably been noticing a trend of quantity over quality. This boss has one of the more generic designs out of FromSoftware's repertoire, and it's further bogged down by a frustratingly small arena surrounded by lava.

21. Ceaseless Discharge


Image courtesy of YouTube

The (thankfully) final Demon Ruins boss of this list is the best of the lot, but not by a wide margin. Its sheer size makes it visually imposing, but the fight's actual mechanics are less interesting as you wait for it to slam its fists down so you can hit it. To make matters worse, you can kill it without any resistance whatsoever if you lure it back to the fight's entrance.

20. Stray Demon


Image courtesy of Wikidot

Remember when I mentioned going back to the tutorial area? This is the foe waiting for you if you do, and his low ranking is another product of being a reskin. He's higher than the Firesage thanks to his varied moveset making him feel like a different boss than the Firesage. That, and his endless spam of blast attacks can get pretty annoying.

19. Capra Demon


Image courtesy of Wikidot

Many Dark Souls veterans hate this fight, and that's for two reasons. And both of those reasons are dogs. The fast-moving enemies make the already-tiny arena in which the Capra Demon resides feel even more claustrophobic, giving you little room to maneuver against the aggressive boss. And at this point, with so many demons so low on the list, it's hard not to feel a little extra resentment toward the Witch of Izalith for thinking recreating the First Flame was a good idea. Look at all the good it did.

18. Iron Golem


Image courtesy of Fextralife

At the end of the trap-riddled madness that is Sen's Fortress waits a fight against this massive foe, and it's... okay. The fight doesn't do anything particularly wrong, it just also doesn't do a lot to stand out among Dark Souls' other boss fights. And coming at the end of such a memorable area, it's hard not to want something a bit more unique than a giant suit of armor.

17. Taurus Demon


Image courtesy of Wikia

The second boss of the game is a fairly generic monster. Its moveset isn't much to write home about, either. What saving graces it does have come in the form of a semi-interesting environment that allows for tactically-minded players to use their gained knowledge to their advantage -- for instance, noticing a ladder that can set them up for a nice high-damage plunging attack. 

16. Seath the Scaleless


Image courtesy of Wikia

To be fair, there's a lot of interesting lore surrounding this guy, specifically about his research into alternative forms of immortality because he lacked the immortality-granting stone scales that other ancient dragons possessed. However, the fight itself is somewhat underwhelming. After you shatter the crystal that's healing Seath, it's a simple matter of hugging his weird tentacle-leg things until he dies. Just watch out for the attack where he flails those things around.

15. Crossbreed Priscilla


Image courtesy of Wikidot

Now don't get me wrong, Priscilla's a great character. However, her boss fight basically comes down to the invisibility mechanic. Turning invisible is pretty much her one and only trick, making this more of a gimmick fight than anything else. And to be fair, it's a cool gimmick because it rewards observant players for noticing her footprints in the snow. But if she had more health or attacks to back it up, things might be different.

14. Chaos Witch Quelaag


Image courtesy of Wikidot

This is a boss with a cool design and some interesting moves to back it up. The challenge is learning to balance dealing with both the bottom half's lava-spewing crowd control attacks and the upper half's aggressive firesword swings. It is, however, very possible to stay close to her side and remain in relative safety, so for an experienced player, there are tougher Dark Souls challenges for sure.

13. Gaping Dragon


Image courtesy of Wikia

The Gaping Dragon has a great entrance. What looks like a tiny alligator pops up from the other end of the room -- and then the rest of the massive beast's grotesque body follows, imbuing the boss with an intimidation factor of 10. However, the actual boss isn't too tough because it has plenty of blind spots. As long as you watch out for its walking attack, you should be okay. Regardless, the opening cutscene gives the player a great sense of accomplishment after bringing it down.

12. Dark Sun Gwyndolin


Image courtesy of Wikidot

This is another gimmick boss, but it's a gimmick that I personally enjoy. The endless hallway makes for a really cool setting, and running down it to pursue Gwyndolin makes the fight feel almost like a chase. He does only have three attacks, so things can get a bit repetitive. But the premise makes this bout a memorable one at the very least.

11. Gravelord Nito

 
Image courtesy of Wikidot

Like the Moonlight Butterfly, this is a fight with a ton of atmosphere. Unlike the Butterfly, though, there's actually some fun gameplay to back this fight up. The swarms of skeletons that appear in the area can feel unfair on top of Nito's attacks, but the fight is well-balanced by Nito's large blast attack that is easy to bait him into doing -- temporarily destroying said minions. Or you can bring a divine weapon to try and make sure those skeletons stay dead. Either way, this is one of Dark Souls' better boss fights. 

10. Sanctuary Guardian


Image courtesy of Fextralife

The first fight of the Dark Souls DLC doesn't have much lore behind it, but it makes up for it in gameplay. This creature has a varied moveset consisting of lightning, flight, shockwaves, and more. A large part of the fun is how mobile the beast is, although pinning it down can get annoying. Still, this fight is a great opening to a terrific DLC.

9. Four Kings


Image courtesy of Wikia

The best of the four Lord Soul bosses, the Four Kings are a race against time. You're fighting a series of the same enemy multiple times in a row, but the twist is that this time, it's not enough to learn their moves to just beat them -- you need to learn those moves well enough to beat the Kings quickly before the next one spawns in.

One mistake can build on itself very easily, and before you know it, you could be getting destroyed by two or even more Kings. Be sure to bring your highest damage-dealing weapon for this one.

8. Sif, the Great Grey Wolf 


Image courtesy of Wikidot

The main reason this fight stands out isn't the actual gameplay (though a wolf wielding an enormous sword in its mouth is perfectly ridiculous). Instead, it's the emotion and story behind it. No one wants to kill a dog. And Sif is only guarding the grave of its master, Artorias the Abysswalker, so it's not like it has it out for you.

But this is Dark Soulsand depressing stories are pretty much par for the course, so of course, Sif starts limping at the end of the fight to make you feel even worse. On top of that, if you find and rescue Sif in the DLC, it will recognize you in the opening cutscene of the fight... and then fight you anyway. Prepare to cry, indeed.

7. Asylum Demon


Image courtesy of Wikidot

I know what you're thinking -- but this boss is so simple! It barely has any attacks! And you're right... but that's kind of the point. As the tutorial boss, its simplistic moveset is the perfect learning tool for new players to get a feel for boss fights in the Dark Souls series. It even teaches players how to execute a plunging attack for devastating damage!

Above all, though, it teaches players confidence. Upon seeing the beast's massive frame, a new player's first instinct may be to run -- and it's even the right call here at first -- but the relatively easy fight later demonstrates that in Dark Souls, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

6. Gwyn, Lord of Cinder


Image courtesy of Wikia

We're going directly from the beginning of the first journey to its end. Gwyn is the final boss of the game, and almost every aspect of this fight delivers. His moveset is unrelenting, and his flaming sword acts as the perfect counter to players who like to hide behind shields with high physical defense.

Sword swings aren't his only tricks either. Moves like his kick and grab attacks have gone down in infamy for dealing large amounts of damage. All this is perfectly accompanied by the score, which subverts expectations by not being a rousing orchestral piece like so many other boss themes, but rather a simple, somber piano melody. The only thing keeping this fight from being higher on the list is Gwyn's notorious weakness to parrying -- if you're even half-decent at it, the former Lord of Sunlight goes down way too easily.

5. Bell Gargoyles


Image courtesy of Wikia

This fight and the Asylum Demon are two parts of a series of three bosses that I consider major benchmarks for new-player evolution. The Taurus Demon, as I've discussed, doesn't really bring much new to the table, but this boss is another story. Midway through your fight with one gargoyle, another one joins the fray.

This is extremely alarming to new players, as, at this point, they've probably barely gotten good enough to fight one boss, let alone two. But the fact that the second one waits until the first is at half health means that players can be strategic -- and try to finish that one first. It's essentially a dual boss on training wheels, and one of the series' best.

4. Manus, Father of the Abyss


Image courtesy of Wikidot

That we've come this far and have, until now, only seen one boss fight from the DLC should speak volumes about the quality of its bosses. Many consider Manus to be one of the hardest fights in the entire series, and it's not difficult to see why. He fights less like the human he once was and more like a force of nature, with swing after swing chipping away at your health.

Speaking of health, Manus also has a ridiculous amount of it, meaning you'll have to withstand his onslaught for a while if you hope to be victorious. Add to that the slew of dark magic attacks he gains midway through the fight, and you should definitely congratulate yourself for coming out on top in this one.

3. Black Dragon Kalameet


Image courtesy of Fextralife

There aren't a lot of proper dragon fights in Dark Souls. The Hellkite Dragon on the bridge in Undead Burg is actually a drake (a lesser dragon), the Gaping Dragon has been twisted into an abomination, and even Seath lacks the scales that made the ancient dragons such formidable foes. Kalameet, on the other hand, is a true dragon, and FromSoftware pulled out all of the stops to make this fight as epic as possible. His ferocity is only matched by his surprising agility, as he darts around the arena spewing black fire at you. Keeping up is an extremely difficult -- but highly rewarding -- challenge.

2. Knight Artorias


Image courtesy of Wikidot

There are few bosses in Dark Souls as iconic as this one. When you find the legendary Abysswalker, he's been corrupted by the very thing he swore to destroy, and it's up to you to give him the heroic death he deserves.

FromSoftware has pulled the "duel between two evenly matched warriors" card a few times, but rarely does it shine as much as it does here. Artorias' moveset is breathtaking, with the knight flipping around the arena to try and land on you. The fight gets even harder when he buffs himself for more damage, but it is possible to interrupt him from doing so, adding balance to the mechanic. This fight undoubtedly earns its amazing reputation.

1. Ornstein & Smough


Image courtesy of Wikidot

I'm sure many saw this coming, but I couldn't justify putting any other boss in the top spot. I mentioned earlier that I consider the Asylum Demon and the Bell Gargoyles to be two pieces of a three-part evolution for a new player, and this is the third and final part of that evolution.

This fight acts as a player's final test on two levels. From a narrative standpoint, it's the last thing a player must overcome to claim the Lordvessel and learn his or her true purpose. And from a game-progression standpoint, once a player beats these two, they should feel ready for anything.

While the gargoyles felt overwhelming, to most new players, this fight at first feels hopeless. The slow-but-devastating Smough is a perfect complement to the quick and relentless Ornstein, and it feels impossible to get in any hits of your own.

And even if you somehow manage to take one out, there's a whole second phase with a powered-up version of the duo. I was so broken by this fight that I didn't touch the game for months afterward. But once I did decide to pick it back up, I didn't stop until I beat them. And defeating this boss fight solo remains one of my favorite moments in any game ever.

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The Dark Souls series has so many memorable bosses. For many, they're the highlight of these fantastic games. And there are few other games that can top or even come close to the adrenaline rush of overcoming the greatest of these fights.

What are your favorite bosses in Dark Souls? What did I get horribly wrong? Let me know in the comments!

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Top 10 Most Played Champions In League of Legends This Month https://www.gameskinny.com/d7k42/top-10-most-played-champions-in-league-of-legends-this-month https://www.gameskinny.com/d7k42/top-10-most-played-champions-in-league-of-legends-this-month Mon, 13 Feb 2017 17:42:39 -0500 Auverin Morrow

With so many champions to pick from in League of Legends, it's hard to chose which ones are the best of the best. But according to the millions of players who have logged on and played ranked matches the last month, there are a few champions that stand out above the rest. 

These are the most played LoL champions in ranked mode for February 2017. Let's take a look at who made the cut, how many games they saw this month, and what their win rates were. (All stats taken from LolKing.)

10. Yasuo
  • Games Played: 751,112
  • Win Rate: 50.0%
9. Morgana
  • Games Played: 751,305
  • Win Rate: 50.9%
8. Lux
  • Games Played: 775,869
  • Win Rate: 49.9%
7. Kha'Zix
  • Games Played: 809,199
  • Win Rate: 48.5%
6. Ezreal
  • Games Played: 982,896
  • Win Rate: 47.4%
5. Vayne
  • Games Played: 1,001,209
  • Win Rate: 48.3%
4. Jhin
  • Games Played: 1,099,808
  • Win Rate: 51.2%
3. Lee Sin
  • Games Played: 1,331,685
  • Win Rate: 47.4%
2. Caitlyn
  • Games Played: 1,339,073
  • Win Rate: 49.6%
1. Thresh
  • Games Played: 1,350,961 
  • Win Rate: 48.0%

The Chain Warden has come out on top this month, seeing nearly 1.4 million games just this month! This Controller's Death Sentences have been dominating the Rift in ranked so far, but only time will tell if he can keep reigning supreme. 

Who are your favorite League of Legends champions for the month? Let me know down in the comments!

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Check out What's Coming in the League of Legends 2017 Season https://www.gameskinny.com/0421r/check-out-whats-coming-in-the-league-of-legends-2017-season https://www.gameskinny.com/0421r/check-out-whats-coming-in-the-league-of-legends-2017-season Wed, 19 Oct 2016 23:40:54 -0400 Kris Cornelisse (Delfeir)

It’s been a tumultuous year at the top for the MOBA giant League of Legends. The decision to change the way ranked queues work and effectively remove solo queue was met with loud disapproval from the player base. Combine this with the release and subsequent massive success of Overwatch, and many started to speculate that the world’s most played video game might be entering a decline.

Nonetheless, Riot Games are in no hurry to let League of Legends decline and have now unveiled their sweeping design plans and new features for the impending 2017 Season update.

Some of these changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Solo/Duo ranked queue reintroduced while still maintaining flexible team queues
  • A full pass of reworks, changes, and balance updates to Assassin-type champions
  • Jungle tweaks that include the consolidation of Smite buffs into plants that can be utilised on the map
  • The long-awaited game client update, which includes both Replays and a Practice mode

For a full list of impending changes with more in-depth details, you can check out Riot’s official season update page.

The 2016 ranked season will be concluding on November 7th, one week after the World Championship Grand Final ends. Many of these changes will be implemented during the pre-season months, with the 2017 ranked season officially starting on December 6th.

What do you think of these changes and the current state of League of Legends? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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PUGs and Ladders: Why the competitive grind is killing your game https://www.gameskinny.com/fpnpx/pugs-and-ladders-why-the-competitive-grind-is-killing-your-game https://www.gameskinny.com/fpnpx/pugs-and-ladders-why-the-competitive-grind-is-killing-your-game Sat, 24 Sep 2016 06:03:29 -0400 Seth Zulinski

If you've played any games competitively (or even noncompetitively), you've probably heard one phrase a lot since you started. You've heard it whenever you started learning an instrument, lifting weights, trying sports, learning a new skill, or generally doing a thing or being around anyone who does. It's almost impossible to avoid having heard it at least once in your life. 

"Practice makes perfect". 

And, for a large part - that's true. Sure, sometimes you're just sort of naturally gifted at something. Sometimes you're a prodigy, and have a massive head start right out of the gates. In order to get better, though, you still have to practice. In order to improve, you train. Every person, every place, every time. In fact, a large part of PowerUP, my series right here on GameSkinny is almost entirely dedicated to helping you practice new and good habits for your climb to the top of the ranked ladder in whichever game you decide to dominate. 

That's the key though, isn't it? It's not practice itself that makes you better, it's practicing good habits and skills. Practicing bad habits is going to make you worse at whatever it is you're doing (or make you better at being bad, however you want to look at it) - and habits don't get much worse than grinding the Ranked/Competitive Ladder. 

I know, I know. The Ranked climb is how you know you're getting better, right? Learn things, practice, skill up, ranked up, shiny new metal for your Rank. The Ranked climb is your single ticket to the top. 

Except it isn't - it's usually a one way trip to the bottom, and here's why: 

They're usually team games - without a team

The end goal of practice is to be better at any given thing - and it's hard to find a more solid image of "better" at a pursuit than the professional scene. For many players, the end goal of practice is the professional scene. So when talking about the merits (or lack thereof) of the Ranked grind, it serves us well to compare it to the professional gaming scene equivalent. 

Take one of the major stars of the eSports world currently - MOBAs. Ranked ladders across most Battle Arenas are solo, duo, or sometimes triple queue - meaning you often can only queue competitively with one, two, or three people in your party. The rest are "pick ups" or "Pugs" (technically PUGs are pick up games, but the term has broadened to the randomly assigned players you find in said games as well). Half of any given game of 5v5 is just praying to whatever will listen, "Please, please let them have any idea what they're doing". 

Often, they do not. Just as often, they do - but even if they do, what they're doing might be on a totally different wavelength than what you're doing. Their skillsets, plans, and style of play are not only totally able to be completely out of sync with yours, but possibly out of sync with the game as a whole.

You know what many successfully professional teams don't have to do every game in their matches on the tournament stage? Deal with any of that. Adapting to the enemy, sure - but not your own team. At least, not after the first few games played together, after which the team will (usually) have gelled. Certainly not every game. 

Is learning how to work together on the fly a valuable skillset to have? Sure, in Ranked matches. Is it an applicable skill to the top tier of competitive play? Not in the slightest. It's like being able to deal with trolls in competitive games - useful skill, but one totally alien to the professional scene. 

The single most obvious and heavily practiced aspect of any current MOBA - quick team building - is nearly never utilized in the professional scene. It doesn't matter how good your Thor is, or if your Mid game might as well be Faker's, because we're given a few minutes to succeed at what professional teams allow themselves weeks or months to achieve. Every. Game.

We are spending hours, and entire games suffering through the learning process and consequences of a skillset that, if we're successful in our dreams of professional play, we will not use. You don't practice drums to get better at guitar - and you shouldn't practice with PUGs for competitive team games. 

Evidently, the professional scene at least somewhat agrees - which is why the professional/semi-pro "in house" community tends to be alive and well across most major competitive games, and team vs. team "scrims" are common to keep skills sharp.

Even single player titles are rarely the same game

This veers dangerously close to "meta" territory, but as team-based competitive ladders force prospective professionals into strange situations not found in the upper tiers, so too do many single player titles. The broken, dangerous "bait and switch" of Hearthstone's competitive ladder vs its professional tournament scene is a prime example of specifically this. 

In the simplest possible terms - Hearthstone's Ranked ladder, the cornerstone of competitive Hearthstone play worldwide and the main avenue of entry into premiere Blizzard tournaments, is not the same game as said tournaments. The "Conquest" style of play, wherein multiple decks are selected for each player, who then bans one of the opponent's decks before shuffling up until one player wins with all of their selections, is not found anywhere in the actual Ranked ladder. It is not available. Players cannot practice Conquest, the default mode of premiere Hearthstone tournaments, at all in their grind to Legend. 

As the ladder itself is best of one (and mostly grinding odds), certain decks are massively over-represented when compared to their tournament appearance - because they suit the ladder, the much different game of the ladder, far better than their Conquest counterparts. 

So, as possible Hearthstone professionals, we have to ask ourselves as we work towards that Rank 1 Legend - what exactly are we practicing? The answer, after you've achieved relative competence at basic game mechanics (which doesn't take long if you're actively attempting to learn), is "not much that's relevant". 

So what's the winning play?

The winning play in games with broken ladder systems (read: nearly all current offerings) is the same as any broken contest - don't play. Now, I don't mean don't play the game, mind you. If your goal is to become a top tier professional team or player in League of LegendsSMITE, CS:GO, Duelyst....anything, really, then by all means practice that game. Practice it until your hands go numb and eyes bleed from the glare of your computer monitor (note: please do not actually play until body parts go numb or bleed). Practice it so much you can play it blindfolded and drunk. 

Mostly importantly, make sure what you're studying is what's actually going to be on the test. If you're practicing in a 5v5 MOBA, get a team of 5 together and play against other teams as often as possible. Work on eliminating as much of the "out of game" elements as possible, letting you (and your teammates) focus on improving your mechanics and teamwork much more effectively. 

If you're playing a single player game, make sure that your practice experience matches that of the tournaments you'll be attending. If you're going to try to grind Conquest tournaments of Hearthstone, make sure to actually practice Conquest

In general, improving your odds at tournament performance and success can be achieved by following these three rules - 

1. If at all possible, practice with those who are better (preferably much better) than you are as often as you can. 

2. Recreate tournament conditions of play as accurate as possible. 

3. Isolate variables that need improvement as much as possible - practicing six things at once is going to leave your mental gains lacking compared to only practicing a thing or two consistently until you have it down. 

Now, ask yourself - 

Does your competitive ladder follow these rules? Does MMR calibrated to find players of around your skill level meet rule one? Do the constant format changes and PUG games meet rule two? Does the mad mess of ranked trolls, "testing" players, bought accounts, and complete lack of communication and teamwork meet rule three?

I'm willing to wager not. 

There's no bright light at the top of the Ranked climb - just an endless abyss of wasted time and salt at the bottom. We're going to need to practice smarter, not harder. We're going to have to think laterally if we want to bring our game to new heights. 

We're going to have to get off the ladder, and go play games that matter. 

 

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Community unhappy with current state of Overwatch's Competitive Mode https://www.gameskinny.com/k8q2a/community-unhappy-with-current-state-of-overwatchs-competitive-mode https://www.gameskinny.com/k8q2a/community-unhappy-with-current-state-of-overwatchs-competitive-mode Tue, 05 Jul 2016 09:55:12 -0400 Kevin Malkiewicz

*UPDATE 07/08/2016*

This update is a two parter.

Blizzard Community Manager, Lylirra, posted a response detailing their fix for leavers in competitive matchmaking. The post, that can be found here, outlined how the previous MMR was calculated both before and after a player left a match in progress.

The post also outlined other/further changes and fixes:

  • Looking to add a "time bank" system to Escort and Hybrid maps
  • Coin Flip being removed for Season 2
  • Sudden Death duration tweaks
  • Control map skill rating fix
  • Disconnect and reconnect issues fixed
  • Experimenting with Overtime changes

After the fix was deployed, players still complained about rating gains and losses which led to Lylirra making another post, which can be found here, stating that they are looking into the continuing issues to determine if another fix needs to be implemented.

*UPDATE 07/05/2016*

Game Director, Jeff Kaplan, commented on the recent problems with "leavers" in competitive matches. The post, which can be found here, states that there is a fix and update that will be released this week, and that more fixes are on the way. 

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Overwatch has released its much-requested Competitive Mode on all platforms, but the reception from the community has been lukewarm. The Overwatch subreddit and official forum have been flooded with posts ranging from matchmaking concerns to personal rating problems.

Players have been experiencing random disconnects that leave them unable to rejoin the match, causing an almost guaranteed loss for their teams. Some players have reported being able to rejoin matches, but receiving a loss of rating regardless of match outcome. Even if the team was able to pull out a miraculous victory with one man down, the rating received is a fraction of what would have been earned with a full squad. Additionally, the team without a disconnect or rage quit is penalized with a reduced rating amount upon victory, yet still is credited with a full loss upon failure.

Disconnects and “Rage Quits” are only the tip of the iceberg. There are a host of other problems -- such as support characters earning less rating with wins and losing more rating with losses, the “Coin Flip” Sudden Death being a temporary fix for ties, and the majority of the player base being squeezed between 40 and 60 skill rating has made this first season of competitive play feeling like the beta test for future seasons.

While Blizzard has addressed some of the issues in forum posts, they have stated that applying changes mid-season would result in inconsistent play. This leaves players with a flawed system for several months until this season ends and changes can be implemented.

The current status of Ranked play is not what Blizzard had in mind for its finished product. They have departed from the systems that were in place during beta which may mean that further iterations of Ranked play may be in store for Overwatch before everything is said and done.

What are your thoughts about the current status of Overwatch’s Competitive Mode? Leave any critiques or possible solutions you may have in the comments below.

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Ranked Overwatch is available NOW! https://www.gameskinny.com/j07no/ranked-overwatch-is-available-now https://www.gameskinny.com/j07no/ranked-overwatch-is-available-now Wed, 29 Jun 2016 01:56:21 -0400 Joey Marrazzo

Since its release at the end of May, fans of Overwatch have been asking Blizzard when ranked play would be available. That day has finally arrived. Overwatch's most recent update has added ranked competition to the game.

When you select Play Now, you will see that Competitive Play is a new option.

Once selected, you will go into the normal process for finding a game. Here's how it works.

To start off, you need to be at least level 25 to play in a competitive match. All maps and characters from normal play are available for the competitive matches.

Unlike regular Overwatch matches, ranked matches use a point system to determine the winner instead of simply completing the objective.

Payload: In this game type, your team will get a point for each checkpoint you reach. Both teams get a chance to push the payload. Whichever team has the most points at the end of both rounds wins the match. If both teams are able to push the payload all the way, the match will then to go sudden death.

Assault: Each team has ten minutes to win the round. If your team manages to capture both points, you win! If you capture one point, and fail to secure the second point, you switch sides and play one more round. In the final match, you have to capture the points with the time remaining from the first round.

Since the matches are ten minutes long, any extra time you have from your first victory carries over into your second round. For example, if you took both control points in four minutes, you will have six minutes in the final round to capture both objectives.

If both teams are able to take both control points in their remaining time, the game will go into Sudden Death.

Control: Control is pretty much the same from regular play. The only difference is that instead of playing three rounds, you will play five in competitive play. The first team to win three rounds wins the game.

Sudden Death: In the event of a tie, there is an automated coin flip. If your team wins the coin flip, you will have two minutes to capture one point. If you can't, the other team takes the victory. 

This version of Sudden Death has been met with negative feedback from fans that believe a coin flip system isn't fair. Game director Jeff Kaplan said in a recent blog post that this system will stay for the first season, and they will look for new ways to improve Sudden Death in future seasons. Season One will run until August 18th.

To get into the big leagues, you need to complete ten matches. After the preliminary rounds, your stats will determine which tier you would be in. Winning matches helps your stats, so try and do that as often as you can. 

At the end of each match, your Skill Rank will increase or decrease based on your stats. If you get below average in most of your skill categories, your Skill Rank will go down. 

Each season will be three months. Due to Season 1 starting at the end of June, Season 1 will be shorter than the rest. At the end of season 1, your rank will be reset so you can start off fresh for Season 2. 

Now for the loot. After you complete your ten placement games, you will receive a player icon and spray exclusive to this season. After that, you will receive Ranked Coins for each match you win. The golden guns are worth 300 Ranked Coins so it will take quite a few games to earn.

Now that you know all about Ranked Overwatch, get out on the battlefield and show no mercy (pun intended)! 

 

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Lego Dimensions Year 2 Legos Packs Ranked https://www.gameskinny.com/9tqkv/lego-dimensions-year-2-legos-packs-ranked https://www.gameskinny.com/9tqkv/lego-dimensions-year-2-legos-packs-ranked Thu, 16 Jun 2016 10:25:22 -0400 Austin Katz

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Check out this video to see the new gameplay features of Dimensions.

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What do you think of the new characters and our rankings of them? Let me know in the comments. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-afdda.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-afdda.jpg","type":"slide","id":"122603","description":"
Finn and Jake (Adventure Time)
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Come on -- did you really think my top choice wasn't going to be Adventure Time? The smash hit Cartoon Network show has been dying to be turned into a Lego video game. While the show has had several games already, they never quite captured the feel of the show. In Lego Dimensions Finn and Jake look awesome, and seem like they popped out directly from the show. The team really nailed the art style with the battle mode too, plus Jake's stretchy powers will come in handy while solving puzzles and fighting enemies.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/j/i/pjimage-7ea2a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/j/i/pjimage-7ea2a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"122619","description":"
All Wizards (Harry Potter Franchise)
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Because wizards.

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I couldn't really choose a favorite here because I like them all so much, so I put it as a tie. But oh man, so many to choose from: Harry, Voldemort, Newt, etc. And there's so many possibilities, such as flying around the map, and having magic battles with everyone. So cool.

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The reason this is not number one is because we have had the chance to experience the magic in previous Lego games, so I thought a newcomer should take that spot.

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Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic series)
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So much potential here. Green Zone Hill level packs? Tails and Knuckles figures? Sonic will fit in with these characters easily with his lightning fast speed and quick wit. Plus it's about time Sonic was in good games....

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Gotta go fast.

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Beast Boy (Teen Titans Go!)
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While I am not a fan of Go!, I am a fan of the original Teen Titans. Beast Boy will be able to shift into any animal, making him a difficult opponent to fight. He could potentially turn into a flying animal, and make puzzle solving a whole lot easier. Hopefully, he will be able to turn into different animals from different franchises and give Kirby a run for his money. 

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Gizmo/Stripe (Gremlins)
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I feel it is a bit strange how there is a theme of 80s movies being added to Dimensions, but I digress. With Gizmo, there is a lot of potential here. He could play like the hulk where he could splash himself with water, and turn into Stripe. This could then double his stats for a period of time. Plus, I really like the emphasis they put in the contrast between Stripe and Gizmo in the character design.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/l/e/g/lego-dimensions-31ebc.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/l/e/g/lego-dimensions-31ebc.png","type":"slide","id":"122553","description":"
E.T. (E.T.)
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Another 80s movie -- what a surprise.

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E.T. can be a interesting character, if implemented properly. He could use his alien powers to levitate objects and fly. Hopefully, he will be able to shoot Reese's Pieces as projectiles.

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B.A. Baracus (The A-Team) and Ethan Hunt (Mission: Impossible)
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Eh.

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It's not about if you can add a character, it's more about should you add a character. These two don't seem like they will add much to the world of Dimensions and are just there to represent different franchises.

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Also, are we sure kids would know who either of these characters are?

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Abby Yates (Ghostbusters)
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Look I have nothing against the new Ghostbusters reboot -- in fact, I openly respect it. However, the reason Abby is so low on this list is because of the fact that she looks like she will play the same way as the previous Ghostbusters, without any new style of play nor weapons. I could be wrong, but from what I see so far, she doesn't look like she will add anything new to the game.

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Sloth (The Goonies)
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Umm...

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I am speechless on this one. I not sure who thought this would be a good idea. Sure, the thought of having Sloth interact with his idol Superman is a good sentiment in theory, but...why?

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The Goonies is a pretty famous movie, but I don't think it was famous enough to be included in Lego Dimensions -- let alone with only the embodiment of parental neglect and torture. If anything, where is the rest of the gang?

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Surely they could have chosen a better movie. Where is Indiana Jones? I would rather play as members of the Breakfast Club than this. (There's your next big idea for new characters, Lego?)

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With the recent announcement of new Lego Dimensions characters, packs, and modes being added to the game, it might be getting a little difficult to keep track of them all. So I've listed (and ranked) them instead so you don't have to!

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These rankings are based upon a character's uniqueness, how fun each character looks to play, as well as the relative fame of each character. With that being said, let's dive right in.  

"}]]]>
Is Heroes of the Storm's new ranked system really the best choice for the game's future? https://www.gameskinny.com/3qlf5/is-heroes-of-the-storms-new-ranked-system-really-the-best-choice-for-the-games-future https://www.gameskinny.com/3qlf5/is-heroes-of-the-storms-new-ranked-system-really-the-best-choice-for-the-games-future Sun, 08 May 2016 08:51:49 -0400 Joshua Potter

Blizzard's MOBA game Heroes of the Storm is getting a revamp to its ranked system involving a complete rework of tiers, new rewards, and a league system instead of the current ladder system. The changes will involve several ranks for players to level through on both an individual and team level. Once players have reached the final rank, a newer tier that Blizzard is calling the "Master & Grand Master Leagues" will be available for the dedicated few.

Heroes of the Storm, while being a successful game in it's own right, has quite a lot of powerful contenders to compete against. With Steam's DotA 2 and Riot's infamous League of Legends offering steep competition for the MOBA gamer. This new system seems reminiscent of League of Legends' current system for advancement, but is it the right choice for Heroes of the Storm?

There are some very appealing additions to this update, such as a skill-level queue restriction that intends to pair players with other people of similar talent. There will also be encouragement of players being able to communicate by removing "silenced players" which is Blizzard's way of stopping the toxic community from even being able to queue into this game type. For people who believe that this may be taken advantage of, don't worry. Blizzard has recently made a compelling show of force to indicate they investigate these accounts just to make sure the system isn't being taken advantage of.

There are also some rather unappealing aspects for any players who may be trying to get into the series for the first time. Most noticeably the badges as pictured in the header for this article. 

The designs are gorgeous, and definitely something to lust over if you prize digital accomplishment, but they also act as labels. MOBAs such as Hi-Rez Studios' Smite and the aforementioned League of Legends use similar systems such as visual portrait identifiers that allow your allies to recognize your rank, which is great for when you're on the top of your game, but makes you a mark among the MOBA community when you are not.

These identifiers are typically used as a means of separating the "good" and "bad" players simply by merit of having them, and being separated makes it all the harder to achieve them. Add on to this the additional incentives granted to higher ranked players such as exclusive mounts and character portraits that will only be available by season, and you add a layer of stress to succeed that invites frustration among your player base.

Now I'm not saying players shouldn't be rewarded for doing well, this game is, after all, a competition. Personally I'm a casual Heroes of the Storm player, and while I know I'm not the target audience for these rewards, I would still like to have at least some chance of attaining them. Perhaps making them available for cash after the season ends?

I would much prefer being able to play the game for fun as opposed to for whatever glory a rank 10-6 (because lets face it, once I get the mounts I'm going to stop) player would achieve among the hundreds of thousands of others out there sharing or exceeding my rank. Bear in mind, there are 50 ranks to power through. That seems like quite an investment of time, even if you are doing well.

I'm a huge Blizzard fan and why would they want to divide me so heavily between their own franchises? You already own most of my time with Overwatch and Hearthstone's latest expansion, can't I catch a break? I would like to imagine that maybe this is only my own personal gripes with the situation, but I can't be the only person who dances between these games on the launcher. Nothing turns me off of a game quicker than when I see completely unattainable items in it.

I suppose this has always been a theme for Blizzard though, with Hearthstone's monthly card backs and World of Warcraft's promotional material. In the cases of both of these games though, Hearthstone's only limitation to receiving the reward comes from reaching rank 20, a level achievable even to the newest of players, and World of Warcraft often re-releases its content with minor changes to make accessible to all players. Well, most of the time anyway.

So between labeling the player base on a skill level that primarily reflects time allotted into the game, and locking rewards for players who don't stay true to the season until the end, the additions do not entirely appeal to a casual player such as myself. However, I am completely at peace with the fact that I, and players like me, are most likely not the target audience for these improvements. I would actually be quite happy to see Heroes of the Storm start to build a larger community and make larger steps in competitive gaming. I just hope they don't forget about us little guys who enjoy the game too.

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SMITE: Tips for Getting Started in Ranked Play https://www.gameskinny.com/00g40/smite-tips-for-getting-started-in-ranked-play https://www.gameskinny.com/00g40/smite-tips-for-getting-started-in-ranked-play Wed, 09 Mar 2016 03:30:34 -0500 Taranis8

Many level 30 players in SMITE see the ranked tab open up for them. Often times, as long as they have 16 gods mastered, they hop right in -- not realizing that the level and god requirement is just the bare minimum to play. They also don't realize that their first 50 or so games play the biggest role in where they will rank.

But don't worry. You don't have to be one of those players. This guide to getting started in ranked can't guarantee wins, but it should get you off to a stronger start.

These are not tips for brand new SMITE and Conquest players.  I assume you know the basics of warding, what each role is, etc., if you're looking to enter ranked play.

 The pre-league checklist

1.  At least 2/3 of the gods you have mastered should include the top picked and banned gods. 

In ranked, only gods that you have mastered can be picked and traded. This plays a major role in ranked.  If your team wants a specific god that is of high priority and you are picking, they may ask you to pick that god for them.  Without having it mastered, you force yourself to pick a different god and possibly give that highly coveted god to the other team on their turn.  Coming into ranked with the bare minimum of 16 gods is going to leave you with few options.

2. Learn at least 3 different roles.

In ranked, you want to learn a few different roles so you have something to fall back on if your preferred role is taken. You don't want to hop into a game and have 3 teammates who want to play the same role and can't do anything else. That is a setup for failure before the match even starts.  

You will have one role you prefer, but having some backup roles will help you and your team out greatly.  The more diverse you are, the more valuable you are to the team.

3. Use Curse voice

Curse voice is the voice program that 99% of SMITE players use.  Even if you do not have a mic and can't talk, just listening will go a long way.  In my personal experience, the teams I am on that have all 5 of us in Curse talking seem to have a higher win percentage than those teams where nobody is in voice chat.  

With this, I will also say that it's helpful to know a decent amount of the VGS commands. Knowing them to help those who can't join Curse will also help.

4. Be comfortable in casual conquest

Many people ask how many casual games they should play before getting into ranked. There's not a set number, but you should be extremely comfortable in casuals -- to the point you win most of your lanes.  There is a big difference between casual and ranked, and it is one of the first things you will notice when you make the jump.  

In casuals, people try new things and builds out of the meta, and many times they get punished for it.  It is only very rarely in ranked that you see people playing outside the meta. Everyone is playing to move up the ladder so they tend to take it seriously.

The Banning Phase

1. Calling roles

Unlike in casuals, calling a role does not make it your role.  Usually, the team banner gets his choice of a role, as he has the highest Elo (SMITE's internal rank).  After that, it usually goes in call order, but if someone is above you in picks, they may choose to take your role.  When you enter a match, usually you call your role such as "ADC pref".  This lets the team know you prefer ADC.  It does not entitle you to that role, it just states your preference.

2. Banning and picking

To the right, you see how the picks and bans work. The order side will always get first pick and first ban. This follows with Chaos side getting 2 picks. Ban phase 2 has actually been upgraded to now allow each team to ban 2 gods, not just one.  The order is still the same.

There are usually two types of banning strategies:

  1. The team bans out the top Gods and pick from there.
  2. The team will ban less powerful gods in hopes to secure a top god for themselves.  

Both strategies have their benefits.  If you happen to be the banner and are going for option 2, make sure someone can and is willing to play the top god you left open.  Sometimes you will get someone who does not favor that god like you may, and then you may end up leaving it open for the other team.

In the actual game

So you made it into the game and now it is just time to pwn some noobs and laugh your way to victory!!! Here are a few tips I have for the actual match.

1. Stay POSITIVE

Not only is this one of the hardest tips to follow, it is also one of the most beneficial. You will get people who bad-mouth and trash talk if they feel something went wrong. Don't engage back with it. Everyone thinks they are better than what they are. Truth be told, if everyone was that good, they wouldn't be in that match with you. They would be in a higher ranking match.  

With that said, be open to constructive criticism and positive help.  You will come across many people who will try to break down a bad situation so it does not happen again, which is a good thing.  Try to do this yourself as well. 

2. Watch your games later and see what you can improve

Replays in Smite now are far and few between.  If you record or stream yourself gaming though, you can do this.  Go back and see what YOU could have done different or better.  Don't worry about the others in the match. Worry about what you can control and that is your gameplay.

 

3. Know the builds

Know a build that works for every role/god you may play in a match.  Ranked is not the time to test something out.  Testing and trying new things should be saved for casuals.  I am not telling you to go with a cookie cutter build you see some pro running. If you want to that is great, but find something that is effective and works for you.  As you get more comfortable you will find yourself counter building your enemy, and it will be natural.  

Have fun and enjoy the game!  Good luck in your matches!

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Heroes of the Storm further adjusts Hero League placement and ranking system https://www.gameskinny.com/c48ht/heroes-of-the-storm-further-adjusts-hero-league-placement-and-ranking-system https://www.gameskinny.com/c48ht/heroes-of-the-storm-further-adjusts-hero-league-placement-and-ranking-system Mon, 31 Aug 2015 06:19:53 -0400 Khadija Dukes

Heroes of the Storm has updated its ranking system by implementing a placement system that requires gamers to complete 20 ranked games before being placed into the system. 

In order to improve the alignment between a player's rank and matchmaking rating (MMR), all players must complete 20 ranked games. However, players who have completed their placement matches and received a ranking in a previous season will not need to play 20 games when ranks are reset in future seasons. 

Veteran players will only need to play a couple of games to determine their rank and, when ranks reset, matchmaking rating (MMR) will remain unchanged. 

Initial placement into the new system will be determined by a player's MMR, plus or minus the rating received from the placement games. Due to possible rank inflation, players will be ranked conservatively. For those with low to mid rankings, their initial placement will be improved. 

Players will earn "bonus" MMR points for winning when their current rank is below their MMR. This will help players to quickly improve their rank ratings to where they belong. 

For those ranked 40 - 50 range, they will still not lose points when losing games before reaching rank 40. 

Bonus points will also be added back to the upper ranks so that those in the top five can more easily rank-up.

What do you think of the many changes to Heroes of the Storm?

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Banned League of Legends players won't be getting end of season rewards https://www.gameskinny.com/rxb60/banned-league-of-legends-players-wont-be-getting-end-of-season-rewards https://www.gameskinny.com/rxb60/banned-league-of-legends-players-wont-be-getting-end-of-season-rewards Fri, 21 Aug 2015 08:51:56 -0400 David Fisher

League of Legends lead game designer Jeffrey Lin caused Reddit to bubble over today after announcing that players will likely not be receiving end of season rewards if they have been banned or restricted in any way. The official ask.fm post reads as follows:

We are still working on the details for the 2015 Season, but the current plan is that players who have been Chat Restricted, Ranked Restricted or Game Banned during the 2015 Season will not receive Season Rewards in Ranked. Players who have had Low Priority Queues won't be affected unless they have had 20 min Low Priority Queues. Emails and Player Support sites will be updated with this new info when we finalize the details. -Jeffrey Lin @RiotLyte

The news has caused the League of Legends subreddit to (figuratively) burst into flames. Players have been slamming the change nonstop since this morning, and moderators trying to combine the threads into one megathread as the posts spiral out of control.

The subreddit drama thread found here seems to welcome the change, and has found amusement in the self-lampooning League of Legends players. Many of the redditors in this thread believe that many of the League of Legends players who are distraught by this news are the ones who are proving Riot's need for the system. One such user by the name of Mr_Tulip mocked the angry players in the following quote:

"F*** these as******, I'm leaving and never playing their sh**** game ever again!"

Oh good, looks like everything is working as intended.

While this seems like an unfair judgement of the LoL players who are upset by this change, it is in reality quite accurate. Many of these comments are being taken down by either moderators, Riot, or the redditors themselves as they are inappropriate or crude. However, I did manage to salvage some of the highest-upvoted quotes before they were removed.

"It's like he [Jeffrey Lin] actually wants me to quit the game, amazing." -luciellia

"This is actually b******t. It's like you get fined for something and months later the government comes and takes your house even if you payed the fine (serving your ban or chat restriction). Riot is f***ing retarded" -niqqerslayer

While there are some redditors who are welcoming the change, and pointing out the flaws in the arguments of people against the change, an overwhelming number of players seem to be upset. Even players who have never been banned themselves are worried that the strict policy will include people who have received chat restrictions. This has incited a completely different wave of drama as they believe it to be unfair that chat restrictions get the same punishment as someone who pays to have someone boost their account level.

This isn't the first time that an online multiplayer game has rewarded players who play fair and avoid getting banned. Valve's Team Fortress 2 rewarded players for not using idling tools or achievement hacks during their first release of items in 2009, providing players with the in-game item the "Cheater's Lament". Valve received similar backlash from Team Fortress 2 players, but in the end it helped make the game a better experience - at least somewhat.

 While not the most glorious item in the world, the "Cheaters Lament" was a nice gift from Valve to upstanding players in the community

What do you think? Will this change be enough to get League of Legends trolls to change their ways? Do you think this might be unfair for people who get unjustly banned? Does everyone who gets banned deserve to miss out on the rewards? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

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The simple Dos and Don'ts of Splatoon ranked battles https://www.gameskinny.com/ury5w/the-simple-dos-and-donts-of-splatoon-ranked-battles https://www.gameskinny.com/ury5w/the-simple-dos-and-donts-of-splatoon-ranked-battles Wed, 19 Aug 2015 07:42:32 -0400 David Fisher

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And that's all folks! With these simple dos and don'ts, you can expect to get yourself all the way to Splatoon's S-rank without much difficulty. Just remember, even if your team isn't the best, you being that much better can make a difference between losing horribly and barely scraping together a win.

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What about the readers? Are there any Ranked Battle tips that you'd like to share with your fellow inklings? Leave your ideas in the comments section below!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/c/5/8c531185ee94e7dad53115c03738df19.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/c/5/tiny_8c531185ee94e7dad53115c03738df19.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79966","description":"

Tower Control: Don't

\n

Unlike rollers, chargers can be useful for splatting enemies on the tower from a distance while still being reasonably ink-onomical. However, you should never stand on the tower itself while using a charger. Since chargers have to... well... charge, you are putting yourself in danger every second you spend on that little platform.

\n

Instead, use chargers to stand on ledges where you are either above or beside the oncoming tower. That way you can hit enemies even if they're hiding behind the central column.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/4/5/545e85aac3ba384d18ab5dd1f1f72447.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/4/5/tiny_545e85aac3ba384d18ab5dd1f1f72447.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79965","description":"

Tower Control: Do

\n

Take advantage of your secondary weapons. Splash Walls are useful for preventing enemy fire, and Ink Mines are equally useful for preventing enemies from jumping onto the platform. Weapons that have the Killer Wail special ability are also useful for clearing out narrow corridors, so take advantage of them whenever possible.

\n

Be warned... Inkstrikes and Sprinklers are just about useless on Tower Control maps, since the tower - and the enemy - is constantly moving. Don't use them unless you really have to.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/8/e/d8eb175c27e445cc50feb64702358b44.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/8/e/tiny_d8eb175c27e445cc50feb64702358b44.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79963","description":"

Tower Control: Don't

\n

While Nintendo's official screenshots show some inklings using rollers on a Tower Control map, don't do it. I'm serious. There is virtually no reason to use a roller on a Tower Control map unless you are never going to stand on the tower itself.

\n

The only practical use of the roller is to splash people with a wave of ink in order to free the tower for other players. However, the roller itself uses way too much ink for this to be effective, and using the roller means your team will have one less person to stand on the point. If you really want to take up the role of splashing players, use the bucket instead.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/3/7/63751c5eb0deccf433ca0925722bb92e.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/3/7/tiny_63751c5eb0deccf433ca0925722bb92e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79964","description":"

Tower Control: Do

\n

Stand behind the crystal-like object on the platform. Doing so will stop most attacks from hitting you. While it may seem counter-intuitive since it means that you can't hit the enemy, your job isn't to kill the enemy. It's not your job to capture enemy territory as well. Your job is to stand on the point. That's all there is to it.

\n

Also, remember that while the tower does move faster with multiple people, it doesn't go that much faster once two people are already standing on it. As such, leave only one or two people standing on the tower at any given time. Unless you like getting team-wiped, then go right ahead.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/2/6/026a1cc913a8b4a0b97b0caf1f2c7f57.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/2/6/tiny_026a1cc913a8b4a0b97b0caf1f2c7f57.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79959","description":"

Splat Zones: Don't

\n

Don't go on a road trip. Unlike the Rainmaker mode, splat zones aren't about going into the enemy base. As such, every inkling that's not fighting in the splat zones is an inkling that is losing you the game. While you can't stop everyone from thinking this is Turf War mode, you can at least not be part of the problem yourself.

\n

Seriously... don't be that guy. You know who you are.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/8/7/d87354a440e40afaaaadf91f0ee6339a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/8/7/tiny_d87354a440e40afaaaadf91f0ee6339a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79960","description":"

Splat Zones: Do

\n

Remember that some maps have two splat zones instead of just one. If the map has multiple splat zones, try to find somewhere that you can rather watch both zones, or split up into two groups to ensure that at least one person is defending the zone closest to your base. While this seems like a boring job, I've lost many games where a member of the enemy team sneaked behind our front lines and captured the zone closest to us while we were away.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/4/a/24a12742a0c158f2b1d6301c53b29abe.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/4/a/tiny_24a12742a0c158f2b1d6301c53b29abe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79956","description":"

Splat Zones: Don't

\n

Stand around behind or in the splat zone after you have captured it. Even though the splat zone is yours now, the enemy will do their best to steal it back. That means that you are in the crossfire once more! Also, if you're standing on the opposite side of the splat zone - like in the picture above - you're not helping keep the enemy away from the zone. This can lead to splat zone battles becoming a tug-o-war instead of a surefire victory, so get in there!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/8/0/9803f5cec0229b480f579c326861b15e.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/8/0/tiny_9803f5cec0229b480f579c326861b15e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79951","description":"

Splat Zones: Do

\n

In Splat Zones your job is to capture the marked zone for as long as you can. However, you can't do that if you get splatted! Standing in the middle of a splat zone is a guaranteed death, so get out of there as fast as you can. Since everyone is trying to ink the splat zone, try your best to avoid using rollers as it will only put you in the crossfire.

\n

If rollers are your style try using one that has a sprinkler, bomb rush, or inkstrike ability. That way you can still help with inking the splat zone while you're out trying to keep the enemy from approaching. The best way to do this is to cut off their ink lines so that they will be forced to re-ink the area on their way back to the splat zone from spawn.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/2/7/3278b1af85bfc7112a84c9ba1d7854bf.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/2/7/tiny_3278b1af85bfc7112a84c9ba1d7854bf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79949","description":"

Rainmaker mode: Don't

\n

Don't stand near the Rainmaker's shield if it's getting really big and is the enemy's color. That means that the Rainmaker's shield is about to burst, and when it does it will ink the entire area in the enemy's color. Being too close to the Rainmaker's shield is a guaranteed death unless your team has the upper hand.

\n

Also, remember that the Rainmaker bearer is your number one priority, regardless of what team currently has it. If your team does, protect them with your life. If the enemy does, STRIKE WITH GREAT VENGEANCE!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/b/8/9b81d4b41e47fa9468eedfa5852bc698.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/b/8/tiny_9b81d4b41e47fa9468eedfa5852bc698.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79946","description":"

Rainmaker Mode: Do

\n

Make a path for your Rainmaker bearer to follow. Even if you aren't there to help protect the Rainmaker bearer, ink the area leading toward the enemy base so that he or she will be able to get there that much faster. If possible, make the path outside of the main area, that way they can sneak behind the enemy lines and reach the goal!

\n

Remember, the Rainmaker is heavy, and so being submerged in ink is vital if the bearer is going to make it to the goal quickly.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/e/c/8ec64d492d1d36dd986b78b3225bb3d3.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/e/c/tiny_8ec64d492d1d36dd986b78b3225bb3d3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79945","description":"

Rainmaker Mode: Don't

\n

Stand in the crossfire. As the Rainmaker bearer, your job is to escort the Rainmaker to the enemy base (don't make me count how many people have taken it to our base instead). You can't escort the Rainmaker if you're dead, so make sure that you aren't putting your life at risk unless you are making that final mad dash for the goal (as seen above).

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/8/b/88b94280b15b063a796967a287e20e89.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/8/b/tiny_88b94280b15b063a796967a287e20e89.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79944","description":"

Rainmaker Mode: Do

\n

In Rainmaker Mode, always use the Rainmaker to your advantage. The Rainmaker is a lot like the Inkzooka special weapon in that its tornados travel over any objects in its way. This can make it very useful for hitting enemies over walls or behind objects, and since the Rainmaker doesn't use ink don't be afraid to spam it!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/7/a/57a094f663205a4e83cafc565412ba0f.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/7/a/tiny_57a094f663205a4e83cafc565412ba0f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79943","description":"

Splatoon has been out for a couple of months now, and the splatting community is as vibrant as ever! While we've had some great guides published in the past, Splatoon has added a bunch of new weapons and ranked battle modes since then. Since it's been a while since the ink has settled after the rainmaker patch, let's look at some of the dos and don'ts of Splatoon!

"}]]]>
The Major Key of LoL Ranked Play: Don't Surrender Away Your Free LP https://www.gameskinny.com/xubb0/the-major-key-of-lol-ranked-play-dont-surrender-away-your-free-lp https://www.gameskinny.com/xubb0/the-major-key-of-lol-ranked-play-dont-surrender-away-your-free-lp Tue, 07 Apr 2015 11:35:15 -0400 Victor Ren

Okay, so you read all the articles on getting to Diamond, and watched all the guides on becoming a better player in League of Legends. This season you absolutely know that there is no one stopping you from reaching your goals. This season is the season where you finally get over that hump in your League of Legends ranked career because you know every single part of the map. You now know how to place your wards strategically, you have mastered new champions, and you have even learned how to counterjungle effectively.

But, you're still stuck in Silver II, shouting profanities at your monitor, and complaining to your friends about how the promotion series is rigged.

The "Perfect" Game is Rare, at Best

After playing through four seasons of LoL, grinding from Bronze V into Gold IV, and all the while weeping as I sat through a countless number of demotions, I have a bitter truth for everyone to take in: You are not going to win every game. League of Legends is not set up that way, or else everyone would be waiting on their turn to be an eSports champion, instead of raging in Bronze. 

You are not going to win every game.

Also, I know that's horrible advice, saying "you're not going to win every game" is like telling someone to lose....

But it is a fact. Even the best sports teams do not win every game, and even world champions have to settle for imperfection. Though that word right there, "imperfection" is an idea we all have to grasp and use to our advantage. When we play, we are all so invested in the idea of a perfect climb to Diamond, that we cannot even endure a minute of the all-to painful idea of imperfection. 

Never Surrender - You Never Know What Might Happen

After playing through some games, I want to touch upon an idea that is very important for all summoners to remember. That is, STOP SPAMMING /FF. No one is a perfect player, and too many people are caught up in the idea of wanting to be one. We have to remember our broader goal when climbing the ranked ladder: become a better player.

One night will not get you into Diamond.

That said, every game has its own story to it, and every game is too precious to waste. It's not worth giving up when your only 20 minutes into a match, because in a game of LoL, anything can happen.

I am writing this after the most imperfect game I have ever played in League of Legends. I called jungle in champion select, as someone took my prefered mid lane. I picked Amumu, one of my favorite champions. Once the game started, I proceeded to feed the other team like I was an all-you-can-eat buffet out in the middle of a town full of savages. This was not exactly "Plan A."

Seriously, it was ugly. I was 0/5 in the first 12 minutes, and I had never taken a buff the entire game until the 26th minute. Our team was down an average of 12-15 kills starting from the ten minute mark, and we still ended the game having 2 less kills then the enemy team. But, in the end, we won. In fact, the other team had surrendered. It left us a bit shell-shocked, but I have never been more proud of some random teammates, especially in the aftermath of such a win.

One fight turned the whole game around for us. Sejuani and her team got cocky, and thinking they could fight us 4v5, she ulted me just as my Banshee's Veil came up. As I shielded the rest of my team from the stun, I then flash-ulti'd into four of their players which secured our Vayne a triple kill. After that fight, we proceeded to win some more small skirmishes, and then we even won larger team fights. This eventually led to the enemy team surrendering, telling us in all-chat to report one another.

This was not a one time thing either. Three days ago, I played Anivia mid, and even though I won lane, the other team still had the better of us. After the first initial ten minutes, Vi and Ezreal started to get at each other's throats. They tried to blame each other for the unfortunate amount of deaths that were on our side. Twenty minutes later a surrender vote failed 3-2, and seeing that the other team already had two of our inhibitors, I persuaded my teammates into just going in on full blown teamfights, as we had nothing to lose.

And my team did just that. We had gotten a quadra kill the first time, and took Baron with the advantage we had created. Then, as we won another teamfight under our own Nexus towers, we pushed to take the Dragon as our inhibitors respawned. After winning a couple of more teamfights we pushed to end the game, and then once again, another unbelievable comeback happened. 

One aspect of the game that really helped push us to our win was the death counter. The enemy's death counters were so long throughout the late game, that after each team fight, we had an immense amount of time to push for objectives and to prepare for the next battle.

Not only did those two games prove that I am the ultimate carry (just kidding, I'm not), those two games are living proof that anything can happen throughout the duration of a match. There are so many little things that go into the final outcome of a game, whether it be a teamfight, Baron, Dragon, or even plain luck, any little detail could tilt the game in your direction.

Keep Your Mindset Right

Is that not the fun in playing a game like League of Legends? Who wants to play a game that is constantly one-sided, in which one play would determine the whole game. There are so many possibilities throughout a game of LoL that a "let's surrender" attitude should never be your first train of thought.

Maybe even a puzzle-solving attitude could help your resolve your current situation. "Okay, so we lost lane here. Well let's focus on other parts of the game. Our jungler is doing really well, and so is our top lane. Hm, well their bot lane is pushed, so I'm going to go try and gank down there, in hopes of getting a kill or an assist to keep myself in the game."

Or for the late-game carries, "I'm playing Nasus right now, and I thrive in the late game. I might be behind on a few stacks and down on CS, but I know I can carry this later. Our bot lane is the only lane that is doing well, maybe if they could buy me some time, I can get myself going. For now let me talk to our Maokai and see if he can lend me a gank."

Don't Allow Yourself to Tilt

I know that sometimes rage does get the better of us, but we have to keep in mind that enjoyment of the game is the key to not ony LoL, but any game in general.

We have to like playing, and like getting better at this game. If we are going to put ourselves through so many ranked matches, we have to not want to kill ourselves after a bad match. For me, I enjoy being in situation where I am the underdog. I come into it with the mindset of "Alright we are down, and we are in a losing situation. Let's see what we can pull off here. Piece by piece we can pull the ultimate comeback."

For some others though, enjoyment may come from just plain getting better at the game. Even when your team is at a disadvantage, the ADC is still able to practice their positioning and kiting in teamfights. Also when you're down, you can sometimes utilize your favorite champion as the ultimate split-pusher. You want to try to create as much pressure as possible on one side of the map, relieving your teamates from the enemy's choking grip.

There are so many options to explore in LoL, and so many ways to avoid losses, that every game should be a valuable experience for those who want to get better.

You Will Win More Games

After I changed my mindset to this, Never Surrender kind of idea, I won a lot more games then I should have. Please remember that there are so many possibilities in a game of League of Legends that surrendering would mean closing the door to all of them. When you are playing ranked games, remember that surrendering is the only sure way to lose all the points you worked hard for carrying the game before.

When you change your mindset, you will not only get better as a player, but you'll also make the people around you better. Instead of flaming your teammates, you could be the motivating spirit that every team needs for that insane comeback. Hopefully, we are all able to keep that idea in mind and be excited for our next few games during our journey, because when we don't surrender, we are opening the doors and letting in the craziest games we could ever play in our lives.

And if you need any more belief in the idea of a comeback, watch some of CLG.eu's older games.

]]>
Splatoon: What We Know and What to Expect https://www.gameskinny.com/tu9s4/splatoon-what-we-know-and-what-to-expect https://www.gameskinny.com/tu9s4/splatoon-what-we-know-and-what-to-expect Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:16:14 -0400 Thomas M Gumbel

Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo America is touting the upcoming Splatoon as a “major new IP”.  Didn’t he say the same thing about Code Name S.T.E.A.M.?  Which was kinda really underwhelming?  Well, unlike the relatively quiet release of CNS, Nintendo’s being more vocal (and visual) about their goals for Splatoon.  Reggie says they’re aiming to “do for action shooters [with Splatoon] what Mario Kart did for kart racing.”  Nintendo wants Splatoon to be “fun for all skill levels,” so don’t expect it to be all about the kills.

What We’ve Seen: Multiplayer

  • A world hub/lobby acts as the main menu, similar to DragonBall Xenoverse.
  • Splatoon’s main multiplayer mode is called “Turf War”. We first got a glimpse of this mode at last year’s E3. Opposing teams of four have to paint as much of the arena as they can before time runs out. The team whose color covers the most surface area wins.
  • The maps are organized almost like those you see in a MOBA; starting points at opposite ends of the field, immediately afforded branching paths, lanes, etc. 
  • Lots of weapons! Many of them are family-friendly stand-ins for shooter staples like pistols and snipers, but we’ve seen some goofier, more creative ones like a giant paint roller.
  • Players can teleport to their allies at any time by tapping their icons on the gamepad map.

What We’ve Seen: Campaign

  • Though still an action-shooter at the core, the single-player adventure borrows heavily from 3D platformers; mostly in the way the maps are laid out and how the game teaches the mechanics.

What to Expect…

  • …Or what not to.  Like voice chat.  Sorry, I know you’ll all miss the screaming, caffeine-hopped eleven-year-olds.
  • A focus on multiplayer; so don’t expect a super lengthy campaign.
  • Miiverse functionality
  • Ranked Battles!  But not until post-launch.
  • A May release
]]>
League of Legends Patch 5.1 Competitive Tier List https://www.gameskinny.com/zlkl6/league-of-legends-patch-51-competitive-tier-list https://www.gameskinny.com/zlkl6/league-of-legends-patch-51-competitive-tier-list Fri, 23 Jan 2015 05:30:54 -0500 TheCasualGamer

This is the second tier list GameSkinny is bringing you and the first for League of Legends Season 5. You can read the patch 4.21 tier list right here, and see all the changes in the last month!

For the purposes of people who have never seen a tier list before I'm going to go through each different tier with a small explanation.

S-Tier: S-Tier champions are currently regarded as the strongest in their role. Being prepared to play as or against these champions is key. Pick or ban.

A-Tier: Just below S-Tier, A-Tier champions are seen as the next most viable picks when the previous tier has been all banned or picked.

B-Tier: This tier is where player specific comfort picks come into play. Still strong in the right hands, B-Tier champions can still influence a game heavily.

C-Tier: These champions should be a last resort in solo queue, picked into specific team compositions or as direct counterpicks to champions higher on the list.

TOP LANE

 

S-Tier

Lissandra (No Change): Lissandra stays on top for the second patch in a row. Her continued strength as a flex pick between mid and top lanes is the largest contributing factor to her dominance.

While stronger in the top lane than mid, Korean teams have developed a very high priority on hiding lane assignments until they have no choice left.

The high impact of Frozen Tomb can also not be understated in a time when mobile AD carries are prevalent.

Gnar (Up 1): This adorable little yordle has proven very troublesome and has continued to receive nerfs since his debut on the rift. Even still, he has risen to the forefront of top lane picks.

Gnar also has an extremely high impact ultimate and the ability to bully lane opponents to no end. With a large variety of build paths Gnar can spike in power during different times of the game to fit any team composition.

A-Tier

Rumble (Down 1)
Renekton (New)
Dr. Mundo (Up 1)

B-Tier

Irelia (Down 1)
Lulu (New)
Kassadin (No Change)
Maokai (Down 1)

C-Tier

Sion (No Change)
Kayle (No Change)
Jarvan IV (Down 1)

JUNGLE

 

S-Tier

Jarvan IV (No Change): Jarvan stays on top for another patch. Without any large changes to the champion or the jungle he can continue to use his crowd control to single-handedly win games.

Jarvan's biggest weakness is jungle clear speed, but with the addition of stacking smites he can spend more time ganking lanes and less time in the jungle smiting buffs.

Rek'Sai (New): The Void Lady shocked no one by being extremely powerful on release. Riot seems to have a tendency to overtune champions on release and balance by lowering numbers or removing utility.

Insane clear speeds combined with a global ultimate means Rek'Sai is almost always ahead in gold when compared to an enemy jungler.

A-Tier

Elise (No Change)
Rengar (No Change)

Lee Sin (Down 1)
Evelynn (Up 2)

B-Tier

Kha'zix (No Change)
Nocturne (No Change)

C-Tier

Nunu (Down 2)
Xin Zhao (No Change)
Kayle (No Change)
Warwick

MIDDLE LANE

 

S-Tier 

Azir (Up 2): The Bridman is up two tiers this patch as people are finally starting to recognize his strength and zone control. Fighting in choke points against an Azir is more deadly than the time I ate two big box meals at Taco Bell. Not only do the sand soldiers deal ridiculous amounts of damage, if you ever get through them he can throw up Emperor's Divide to push you right back into them and away from his team.

If you haven't already figured it out, zoning and large amounts of crowd control have become a focal point in denouncing the good champions from the bad.

Leblanc (No Change): Leblanc stays on top this season because she still does everything you want a mage to do without any glaring downsides.

100-0 Burst ☑
Crowd Control ☑
High Mobility ☑

Leblanc also has few to no counter matchups making her incredibly safe to pick blindly into an opposing mid laner and why she is valued so highly in the competitive scene.

A-Tier

Orianna (No Change)
Lissandra (No Change)
Syndra (Up 1)
Ahri (Up 1)

B-Tier

Xerath (Down 2)
Zed (Down 1)
Jayce (Down 2)

C-Tier

Kassadin (No Change)
Ziggs (No Change)
Twisted Fate (New)

AD CARRY

 

S-Tier

Sivir (Up 1): Sivir is back boys and girls. Sivir was popular back in Season 3 because of her ability to favorably reposition her team with the help of On The Hunt

She has returned for the same reason. As previously stated, positioning has once again become paramount and Sivir helps in a way most AD carries can only dream of.

Sivir also saw some small quality of life improvements to her kit, most notably Boomerang Blade,  to make her slightly more practical.

Graves (Up 2): Graves has replaced Lucian as the #1 AD caster in the carry role. Higher burst potential across multiple targets seems to be the key to his recent resurgence.

He also provides vision control with Smokescreen and with a buff to Collateral Damage a few patches back he has leapfrogged some other champions in the space.

A-Tier

Corki (Down 1)
Tristana (New)
Lucian (Down 1)
Kalista (New)

B-Tier

Jinx (No Change)
Vayne (No Change)
Caitlyn (Down 1)

C-Tier

Draven (No Change)
Ezreal (Down 2)

SUPPORT

 

S-Tier

Janna (No Change): The trend of zone control champions continues in Season 5 League of Legends with Janna remaining atop the Support hierarchy.

Janna offers too much of everything to not pick her up in champion select. With a move speed boost, slow, knock up, knock back, a shield (augmented with bonus AD) and ease of play, Janna is a powerhouse support pick for anyone looking to play the role.

Thresh (No Change): As I mentioned in the 4.21 tier list Thresh is kept in the top tier of supports almost indefinitely thanks to his kit. Thresh didn't change in patch 5.1 and usually pairs well with any AD carry because of his ability to play offensively and defensively.

Thresh barely hangs on over Morgana for the second S-tier champion on patch 5.1.

A-Tier

Morgana (No Change)
Lulu (New)

Braum (No Change)
Nami (No Change)

B-Tier

Alistar (No Change)
Leona (No Change)
Annie (No Change)

C-Tier

Sona (No Change)
Soraka (Down 3)

]]>
League of Legends Patch 4.21 Competitive Tier List https://www.gameskinny.com/dpegd/league-of-legends-patch-421-competitive-tier-list https://www.gameskinny.com/dpegd/league-of-legends-patch-421-competitive-tier-list Mon, 15 Dec 2014 20:07:33 -0500 TheCasualGamer

As an added bonus to preseason coverage, this week GameSkinny is bringing you a competitive tier list for patch 4.21. We're going to help you get the most out of champion select and make sure your picks are strong enough to help you #getdatLP.

For the purposes of people who have never seen a tier list before I'm going to go through each different tier with a small explanation.

S-Tier: S-Tier champions are currently regarded as the strongest in their role. Being prepared to play as or against these champions is key.

A-Tier: Just below S-Tier, A-Tier champions are seen as the next most viable picks when the previous tier has been all banned or picked.

B-Tier: This tier is where player specific comfort picks come into play. Still strong in the right hands, B-Tier champions can still influence a game heavily.

C-Tier: These champions should be a last resort in solo queue, picked into specific team compositions or as direct counterpicks to champions higher on the list.

TOP LANE

S-Tier

Lissandra: With double AP compositions emerging, Lissandra becomes an attractive pick in both the top and middle lane. This allows you to play mind games with your opponent during champion select and potentially end up with a favourable matchup.

The current meta-game also favours poke heavy compositions and Lissandra's spammable Q spell Ice Shard is a great poke tool.

Additional bugfixes to Frozen Tomb along with her great survivability and chase potential make her a great fit in any team.

Rumble: With Dragon becoming a much more highly contested objective in the early game due to the importance of the first Dragon Slayer buff, Rumble's level six power spike and early item thresholds have thrust him into the spotlight again.

Rumble's main weakness is dealing with tanky champions in lane and with the revival of carry picks in the top lane Rumble has a much easier time in lane. Highlighting The Equalizer power spike again it is important that Rumble can't get bullied out of lane early and having favourable matchups against many current meta top laners accomplishes this.

A-Tier

Irelia
Gnar
Maokai
Jayce

B-Tier

Dr. Mundo
Jarvan IV
Kassadin

C-Tier

Sion
Kayle
Poppy

JUNGLE

S-Tier

Jarvan IV: With Jarvan seeing play in the top lane the theme of champion select trickery continues. The new jungle has prompted two separate reactions, hyper aggressive junglers or hyper passive junglers.

Jarvan as always been seen as one of the most aggressive picks possible in the jungle. His ability to gank at level two with a high degree of success means the enemy team can never feel completely safe even extremely early in the game.

Lee Sin: Regardless of what the jungle looks like, Lee Sin always seems to be at the top of any jungle tier list. His kit's mobility, pick potential, sustainability, and game-changing ultimate make it hard to ignore him as a top pick.

Pantheon: Pantheon fits the hyper aggressive moniker. Like Jarvan, Pantheon also the ability to gank well at level two, and a nearly guaranteed kill at level six make him a strong contender for top jungler on 4.21.

With the new rules in for junglers being take less damage and gank more often; his passive Aegis Protection means he takes marginally less damage in the jungle and is free to gank more often at higher health.

All three junglers seem counter-intuitive to a poke heavy metagame based on their hard engage tools. However note that it is important for poke compositions to get ahead early and these exceptional gankers help accomplish that.

A-Tier

Elise
Rengar
Warwick
Nunu

B-Tier

Kha'zix
Nocturne
Fiddlesticks

C-Tier

Evelynn
Xin Zhao
Kayle

MIDDLE LANE

S-Tier

Xerath: Xerath is the embodiment of the poke metagame. With long-range skillshots galore it is obvious to see why he has become a strong pick in the middle lane.

Xerath has the added ability of being useful even when playing from behind. His kit includes a skillshot stun and an AOE slow that make him extremely potent at chasing down enemies. The added waveclear in his kit is also important to prevent enemy poke compositions from setting up an extended siege.

Jayce: Jayce is the longest range AD caster in League of Legends.Shock Blast / Acceleration Gate combination can hit a target up to 15 Teemos away. Acceleration Gate is also an exceptional tool when chasing down enemies. On top of his amazing poke potential he also has the ability to deal 390% of his attack damage in just over one second when Hyper Charge is at max rank.

Long Range: ☑
Chasing Ability: ☑
High Burst: ☑

Leblanc: Leblanc's popularity is contrary to every other champion in the middle lane now. Due to the prevalence of skillshots, Leblanc's mobility, thanks to Distortion, allows her to dodge a large chunk of damage while trading.

Skillshot crowd control and arguably the highest burst damage of any mage in the early game allow her to find continued success despite the silence being revomed from her kit.

A-Tier

Orianna
Lissandra
Ezreal
Zed

B-Tier

Syndra
Ahri
Azir

C-Tier

Kassadin
Ziggs
Lux

AD CARRY

S-Tier

Lucian: This guy has been on top of the AD carry tier list for long enough that he has set up a tent and made s'mores. Even during a time when hyper carries like Tristana, Vayne, Kog'Maw, and Caitlyn were extremely popular due to their tank slaying potential, Lucian is still considered pick or ban worthy in nearly 75% of games.

His mobility allows him to stay incredibly safe with the increase of gank-dependent junglers and his skillset allows him to be a strong part of any current poke composition. Additionally, his varied build paths allow him to spike during different points of a game depending on what the team requires.

Corki: With the changes to Magic Resistance, Corki has found his way back to the top of the AD carry food chain. Corki deals the most consistent magic damage of any AD carry while still being able to dump out as much physical damage as any other carry.

The ability to spilt the enemy team's itemization requirements has always been key to winning a game and Corki allows for an attack damage focused middle lane without the ability for the enemy team to only stack armor. This opens up picks like Jayce, Ezreal, and Zed.

Continuing to restate the obvious, Corki has the ability to reposition effectively in teamfights and to avoid ganks while also having one of the most reliable poke tools from the AD carry position: Missle Barrage.

A-Tier

Ezreal
Caitlyn
Sivir

B-Tier

Jinx
Vayne
Graves

C-Tier

Draven
Twitch

SUPPORT

S-Tier

Janna: What do you not want to do with a poke composition? Engage in a full 5v5 teamfight is the correct answer. Who has the best disengage mechanics in the game? Janna is the correct answer!

Janna can be paired with any AD carry without much difficulty in the laning phase and can add bonus attack damage to the AD carry or caster late game with her Eye of the Storm shield, thus supplementing the poke.

Thresh: Thresh's kit makes him much like Lee Sin, because of his versatile kit he will never fall out of favour. The Box offers great disengage in the event the enemy team decides to go all in. Dark Passage and Death Sentence are such unique mechanics that are powerful enough by themselves that adding them both to the same champion means we will likely see Thresh played until long after he is nerfed into the dust.

Soraka: Everybody's favourite unicorn has made her way back to the highest tier of play around the world. Her ability to spam heal gives an unmatched level of trading for her AD carry during laning phase and later allows for extended sieges by keeping her teammates very healthy.

An AOE silence/root and slow gives her great zone control in teamfights and just when the enemy thinks they have secured that kill across the map Soraka is always able to Wish them back to life.

A-Tier

Morgana
Braum
Nami

B-Tier

Alistar
Leona
Annie

C-Tier

Zilean
Sona

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Finding A Champion That Works for You is Important to Climbing Rank in League of Legends https://www.gameskinny.com/0p8m2/finding-a-champion-that-works-for-you-is-important-to-climbing-rank-in-league-of-legends https://www.gameskinny.com/0p8m2/finding-a-champion-that-works-for-you-is-important-to-climbing-rank-in-league-of-legends Sun, 02 Nov 2014 03:54:18 -0500 The Shanus

Before I get started, I would like to note that this is not a definitive means of climbing rank, yet has proved incredibly successful for me, and I think it is overlooked often as just coincidence. )If you are looking for general gameplay tips to getting better at League of Legends, I can refer you to another post I have written: How To Climb Out Of Bronze/Silver.)

Now, that might seem obvious, but let me tell you, I have played this game for a long time, and I have climbed rank best when I find a champion that I seem to win my lane with during every game, and carry many games on. It's not a champion that I played for hours to master, I just picked them up and did well in a couple games. Then I kept going, and realized I had a ridiculous win rate with them. If you find that champion for yourself and keep running it out, you will climb rank quickly.

You might not believe me, but let me prove it:

In Season 3, I played alot of Ahri.

I learned how she worked and I was decent on her, I even developed the sort of "connection" I'm talking about. After about 300 ranked games, I made it to Gold from Silver. Hell, I almost made it to Platinum - hit the promos once. I didn't think spamming the same champ was such a great move, but it was insisted upon me by a friend who was heading for Diamond.

Season 4 starts, I decide to play Pantheon.

My first 9 games go 7-2 win-loss. I also play Rammus at the same time, also going 7-2. However, I could feel that my Pantheon play was more natural, and winning seemed to be coming more easily.

I stopped playing for a while and decayed to Gold 3 again.

Once I had settled back into the gist of the game, I had fallen to Gold 5 and back to Gold 3 a few times; I decided to stick to just playing Pantheon where I could, rather than trying to pick what I thought was going to win me that particular game.

Within 3 weeks, I went from Gold 3 to Platinum 3.

Now at Platinum 3, I could tell that Pantheon just wasn't doing the same for me as he was before that. I fell down to Platinum 5 again, and bounced up and down, trying to find my feet. Then, back in Platinum 3, I picked up Katarina - and with my first 30 or so games, almost achieved a 90% win rate, which took me more or less straight to my Diamond promotions. Again, here, she fell off, but I still managed to grind through other random champions till I made it into Diamond.

My greatest climbing success has definitely come from single champions, with whom I win the vast majority of my games in a short period of time.

The only disadvantages I find are twofold:

  • Eventually you will reach a plateau with that champion. (Although you can still consider it a comfort pick)
  • It gets boring.

Getting boring is my main downfall I believe; I just can't stand to keep playing the same champion so much! But if you can soldier through, do it,. It'll get you places.

The champions I played may not necessarily work for you, and my build paths for them tend to be unconventional. (So don't waltz into a game as Pantheon and expect to win!) Everyone is different, and there are a lot of champions to go through - don't count any out. (Even Urgot, yes!)

Good luck in Solo Queue friends, and if you would like to ask me any questions, or just see who I am, follow me on Twitch. Cheers!

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League of Legends Patch 4.17 Soraka's New Groove https://www.gameskinny.com/06frd/league-of-legends-patch-417-sorakas-new-groove https://www.gameskinny.com/06frd/league-of-legends-patch-417-sorakas-new-groove Wed, 24 Sep 2014 16:04:24 -0400 Ryan Mayle

Riot has just announced its list of changes for patch 4.17 for League of Legends. This new patch brings a lot of balance changes and tweaks to the champions, and also the game itself. One of the biggest in my opinion is that ranked players in Bronze, Silver, and Gold will no longer suffer from Ranked Decay. Meaning that if you are in these leagues and stop playing for an extended period of time, you will no longer slowly fall down the ladder, losing your rank.

Soraka also has seen a complete overhaul

In the past, Soraka has been seen as the lazy man's support. Soraka was just a walking potion dispenser, as she never had any form of hard crowd control and her Q (Starcall) never did that much damage. Riot games is looking to change this, by giving her a different, yet similar toolkit.

Passive

Soraka gains significant movement speed when she moves towards heavily wounded allies.

This change is huge, before Soraka's passive simply applied a stack bonus to her heal and mana restoring abilities. This change provides a much more entertaining buff, as you can actually see it and it isn't just a boost in numbers.

Q: Starcall

Soraka calls down a meteor at a target location, damaging all enemies caught by the explosion and dealing extra damage and a slow to enemies directly under the impact.

Soraka's Starcall has always just been a filler move, now it is something to be wary of. This spell now has to be aimed and finally gives Soraka the much needed movement control that she lacked. 

W: Astral Infusion

Passive: Soraka heals herself whenever she hits an enemy champion with Starcall.

Active: Soraka sacrifices her own health to heal a nearby ally.

This change to Soraka's heal is big, it's no longer just a heal that is thrown out at the expense of mana. Now you will have to actively think if healing your ally is worth the cost of your health if you are already low. Also the passive gives Soraka more motivation to poke with Starcall. Not only will she slow her target, she will also help give herself a quick heal, without putting Astral Infusion on cooldown, allowing her to pass the healing benefits directly to her ally.

E: Equinox

Soraka briefly conjures a celestial zone at a target location. Enemies standing above the zone are silenced until they leave, while if they're standing above equinox when it collapses, they're briefly rooted.

Soraka needed a movement stopping ability and this is it. It is going to hurt losing the long silence that this ability had before, but forcing multiple enemies to move out of position, or possible rooting them to the ground is a very good trade for Soraka.

R: Wish

Soraka summons a global heal for all allied champions. Heavily wounded allies gain extra health.

This ability is mostly unchanged. It has always been a game-wide heal for all allies. It's still too early to see if the multiplier for low health will be enough to notice a difference, but it looks like it could change things up, especially if you have an ally being attacked when you aren't in range.

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Hearthstone Starts Season 6, Plundering Pirates! https://www.gameskinny.com/a77fr/hearthstone-starts-season-6-plundering-pirates https://www.gameskinny.com/a77fr/hearthstone-starts-season-6-plundering-pirates Wed, 03 Sep 2014 14:49:24 -0400 Ryan Mayle

If you've been playing ranked in Hearthstone and just got your Icecrown card back, it's time to get right back to the ranked grind. Blizzard has anounced Hearthstone season 6, "Plundering Pirates". If you manage to get a higher rank than 20 this month, you will be a pround new owner of the new Pirate card back.

You're probably asking yourself, "Why pirates, why this season?" Blizzard has been a fan of putting pirates in its Warcraft universe. Even World of Warcraft has entire towns based around pirates, ships, and gold. However, this month is special. September 19th, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Now you can get in on the action at work, in World of Warcraft, and Hearthstone!

If you're still new to the game or haven't started playing yet, have no fear. You don't have to win very many games against other players in ranked to hit level 20 and there are a plethora of guides to help you become the best card player you can be. If you have never played Hearthstone before, check out these guides that will get you right into the action here. If you are looking to dive a little deeper into deck building, look no further than this guide.

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League of Legends: Summoner School Workshop https://www.gameskinny.com/ulwif/league-of-legends-summoner-school-workshop https://www.gameskinny.com/ulwif/league-of-legends-summoner-school-workshop Fri, 14 Mar 2014 09:02:32 -0400 GabrielKross

The Summoner School Workshop is a program started by Reddit user Wolf87. It's set up for two games a week, one each for Bronze and Silver players. These games put players of similar skill up against each other for practice. While they are playing, Platinum and higher players spectate the game, making note of what the players are doing.

After each match, the players all come together to discuss what took place. The Platinum+ players break down the events of the game, detailing what each player did right and wrong. Watching the recordings of previous weeks, it's a really down-to-earth atmosphere. No one uses condescending attitudes or belittles anyone's efforts, they just genuinely want to help.

Here's the week five Silver game with Dunebogey shoutcasting.

After looking into the program a bit and watching previous recordings, I reached out to Wolf87. I asked him if there was anything he wanted to share about the Workshop: how it started, what the goal was, and how players can get involved. He gave me three very detailed responses.

  1. This program was originally SNSS, (Saturday Night Scrim Series) which was just a community run scrim series ran out of our sub. The program passed from organizer to organizer and degraded pretty significantly. It had a pretty bad rep, lots of trolls. SNSS had not been running for a few months so, as a mod of the sub I decided I should take control over the program but relaunch it with new ideas and a better focus.

  2. The ultimate goal is pretty simple, to provide some feedback on improvement for players of bronze and silver ELO. Or to at least inspire them to seek out more help. I have some more ideas on how to expand on this program to do that, but for now I want to make sure the base is in good condition.

  3. Getting involved is pretty simple, I post a weekly event information and sign-up sheet every Sunday and it runs till that Wednesday. We are looking for players to actually play the games, as well as platinum+ level players looking to teach others.

    If people are interested in contributing in other ways, as an example, we have a long time redditor named Dunebogey who wanted to shoutcast from his stream... so he does that and I've been uploading his videos to our YouTube. His content is very casual and they mostly just mess around, but it is something.

As you can see, his main focus is to help. It's programs like these that the community needs to counteract all the negativity that we see and hear about. If you're interested in this program, unfortunately this week's teams were already selected, but check in at /r/summonerschool and watch for the notice post for next week's sign ups.

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