Pokémon Go Released!

Pokémon Go is out and it’s awesome!

I’ve been loving the game so far. It motivates me to walk more, give me something fun to do with my wife, and its fun to compare my collection with my friends’.

I'm a heretic because a Rattata is in my Top Ten.
I’m a heretic because a Rattata is in my Top Ten.

Chances are if you want to play the game you’ve already downloaded it and tried it out for yourself (or you own a Windows phone).

For those of you that haven’t tried out the game yet, here’s how it works.

The Pokémon Go tracks your location on a stylized version of Google Maps. As you move around in the real world, your little avatar in the game world moves around as well.

Just me in my house with a view of a PokeGym at the local park.
Just me in my house with a view of a PokéGym at the local park.

Occasionally little Pokémon appear on the map. If you tap on the Pokémon you get taken into a little capture game.

What a fearsome pidgeon...
What a fearsome pidgeon…

The Pokémon are captured by swiping the Poké Ball to throw it at the little monster.

There’s a percent chance of catching the Pokémon based on its strength and rarity. You can increase the chance through accuracy, a timing mechanic, throwing curveballs, feeding the Pokémon a fruit before you hit it with a Poké Ball, or using a stronger type of ball like a Great Ball or Ultra Ball.

Poké Balls are slowly used up, but you can get more by clicking and using Poké Stops on the game’s map. Each Poké Stop drops about three items.

Pokémon are also acquired by hatching eggs. Eggs are hatched by placing them in Incubators (you only have one to start) and walking a certain distance, just like in the original video games!

Pokémon are leveled up and evolved by feeding them candies. You get more candies for a particular type of Pokémon by catching more of that type.

Your character in the game has a level as well. Your level goes up by doing pretty much anything in the game but progress slows down at higher levels.

Those are the basics. Now for the avalanche of links and advice for more advanced players!

List of rewards for leveling up: http://www.ign.com/wikis/pokemon-go/Level_Rewards_and_Unlockable_Items

Save evolving Pokémon until you have a Lucky Egg to get double the experience: http://gamerant.com/pokemon-go-guide-how-to-use-lucky-egg-to-level-up/

Don’t bother with powering up your Pokémon until you’re about level ~15. You just won’t be strong enough to handle gyms until then: http://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/274816/how-to-efficiently-use-stardust-in-pokemon-go

There are two sites set up that allow you to search and locate Pokémon without having to wander around your neighborhood to find that rare one you’re looking for: http://pokehuntr.com/ and https://pokevision.com/

Gyms fluctuate super rapidly. I haven’t been able to hold onto two for more than a few minutes. It’s probably a better idea to take over a few gyms and collect a small defender bonus than to try to max out.

Move sets are important but no one really knows what’s best yet. Higher power is good but it also means your attacks are slower. Because move sets change when a Pokémon evolves its best to wait to Power Up your Pokémon until after they’ve evolved. The Power Up will cost the same either way.

Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB) is in Pokémon Go! Having alternate types might be good to surprise other trainers though.

There are particular areas with rare Pokémon in them, but its likely that areas for most of the released Pokémon are close to where you live. No need to travel, especially with the ability to get Pokémon from eggs.

Pay attention to your surroundings when you play, don’t leave trash by Poké Stops, and don’t trespass onto people’s property while playing.

If you have so many Potions and Revives that you can’t get anything else from Poké Stops you can throw items out. It’s better to use the items for taking over gyms, but that’s probably too time-consuming for most players.

There’s no single source for Pokémon Go information at this point. A few Wikis have sprung up. I’ve started adding to the most developed one. You can too if you’d like! Pokémon Go Wiki

Thanks for reading! Now go catch em all!

-GoCorral

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 16

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 15

The wars between the Dwarves and Humans experience a lull in this update. The split between the Empire and Metal Dwarves is solidified when the Metal Dwarves disown their Empire Dwarf relatives in treaties with Humans and Merfolk.

This post serves as a transition period from the second age of our Dawn of Worlds game to the third age. We’re not quite there yet, but its coming. The events in the Upper Maw set the tone for things to come. The Dwarves and Najarns fight with each other and occasionally a great figure emerges to tip the scale in one direction, but that figure’s lifespan is not infinite. The status quo takes over once more.

The slow expansion of the Grez continues and people start to get worried, but who has the resources to do anything about it? You can fight the Grez or engage in the wars of dominance for the Upper Maw. Fighting the Grez is optional, but it weakens you city for the conflicts among mortals that happen anyways, so you might as well not fight the Grez. What does it get you now?

There will be new events coming in the other parts of the world. This post is in many ways the calm before the storm.

479 NA: The Metal Dwarves only heard of the later events on the Maw through rumors told by traders and merchants. The crusade failed. The Books made it clear. The Dwarves must excise the Black Prince from this world, but they were not strong enough to overcome the Beast from outside the cycle. The cycle of worlds could forever be altered, but what could they do? The Metal Dwarves sued for peace with the Najar and the Merfolk. The terms were accepted.

494 NA: After nearly two centuries of occupation the Humans in Syluk and Farpoint began to accept their new masters. The only real rebels were religious fanatics or those who snuck into the cities from the outside. The commoners, most of whom did not follow Navillus, built a new society within the Dwarven-Human cities.

512 NA:The Grez expanded their army’s size even further. The rest of the world noticed and ominous feelings were felt in the hearts of every mortal during the winter’s storms.

523 NA: An uneasy peace fell over the Maw. The Merfolk commemorated their victories on the Northern Continent and the Metal Dwarves returned to their Tiers. Small conflicts still plagued the competitive Najaran cities and Syluk still sent token attacks against Najar itself, but nothing on the scale of the rebellions or the original conquest of the Dwarves. The Bwarlor set out to know the world in an age of great exploration. Soon, the first complete world maps were published by Bwarloran captains, with patronage for these explorative voyages provided by Merfolk aristocrats.

525 NA:The Hobgoblins descended into reckless barbarism. A few escaped from their horrid Dwarven fathers and reproduced amongst themselves in the Halusho Forest. They soon learned to stay away from the woods surrounding Crodolan due to the traps and Elven arrows that seemed to shoot from the trees themselves.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 17

New League of Legends Map

So pretty!!!
So pretty!!!

As some of you may have heard, League of Legends is coming out with a new map for next year.

The new map will be replacing Summoner’s Rift. It’s more of a visual update with additional changes to the Jungle that Riot makes every year.

First things first though! I’ve played the map and it is in fact quite pretty even on lower graphics settings.

One of the goals of the new map is to visually differentiate every zone of the map. The two bases should FEEL different.

Blue base uses a lot of straight right angles while red base uses a lot of curves. The blue minions wield hammers while the red minions wield axes.

The jungle quadrants are also differentiated. The whole upper left side now looks corrupted due to the Baron’s vile influence on the terrain. The left blue side is rocky and barren. The top red side is dry and desolate. The right blue side is ancient and mysterious. The bottom red side is lush and green.

At least in theory. My experience was that the top and bottom sides felt noticeably different than each other and different from the blue sides. Unfortunately, the two blue sides did not feel different from each other.

The jungle minions have been changed as well. The four basic old camps consisted of Wraiths, Wolves, Golems, and the Wight. Now those are Birds, Wolves, Golems, and a Big Frog. Riot gave them some madeup names that I probably won’t ever use.

The buffs have also changed. The Blue Golem is now called the Sentinel and the Red Lizard is called the Brambleback. The Sentinel is almost the exact same as the old Blue Golem. His little lizard buddies have been replaced by smaller rock buddies though.

The Brambleback looks quite different. It’s more like an animated thorn bush than a Lizard Shaman. Its little buddies have been similarly changes to little thorn bushes.

Another change was to the walls. Riot made it so the width of a wall is roughly matched by its apparent height to give you a clue on whether you can jump the wall with an ability or Flash. If its too high, you can’t! Pretty simple addition for clarity’s sake. Riot loves clarity.

Those are all cosmetic changes. Maybe they changed the buffs that Nunu gets from minions as well, but I don’t know yet. The true gameplay changes come at Baron and Dragon.

They both fight a lot differently. If you played Ascension then you already got a glimpse of where Riot hopes to take boss fights. The Ascendant Xerath had attacks with zones you could dodge out of with good reflexes. The same is true for Dragon and Baron.

Plus, both have a knockback now which will make it harder to sneak these objectives over the wall. They’ll knock you into the river at some point and the opposing sides wards will see you there if they weren’t granting vision of the pit.

Overall, the map was a great visual upgrade with very few gameplay changes. There are more gameplay changes coming, but right now those are restricted to the PBE. We’ll have to wait and see on those! Or you can check out videos on Youtube like I have.

I’m excited for the new map and I hope you are too!

-Mister Ed

Mapping Methods

Room 2 of the Lich Shade dungeon drawn using graph paper with notes on it.
Room 2 of the Lich Shade dungeon drawn using graph paper with notes on it.

There a lot of different styles of DMing in D&D and other roleplaying games.

You can wing it and come to each session with very little prepared.

You can come up with the adventure for each session in the week before.

You can also do what I do, make up the entire campaign before starting it.

Between each session I have almost no creative work to do for D&D. My campaign has been running for close to three years now and I’ve only had to design one adventure out of about a dozen since then.

It’s nice. I don’t need to spend extra time on the game for me and my friends to have a lot of fun.

I have started to run into a few issues though.

When I wrote the campaign I imagined my group would still manage to meet in person.

That proved to be horribly wrong. We have in person sessions about once a year now.

When I drew all my maps they looked like the one pictured above. I’d make them on a piece of yellow-green graph paper.

When they reached a room I’d draw with a wet-erase marker on a battle mat I brought to each session.

When the players defeated the monsters in one room I’d erase and draw the next room.

Dry erasing was easy, but creating good maps in our current system is a little difficult.

My group now plays over the internet using an internet browser program called Roll20.

Roll20 is really great. It has everything a tabletop has. You can even turn on a feature to see your dice roll across the table.

However, I can’t just grab a pen and draw on my monitor as easily as I draw on the battle mat used previously.

I suppose I could do that if I was used to creating digital images, but I’m not.

Instead I’ve taken to making lame looking maps or using a cool mapping software piece called GridMapper.

The second room of the Lich Shade dungeon made using GridMapper.
The second room of the Lich Shade dungeon made using GridMapper.

GridMapper is extremely simple. You pretty much just click to change stuff.

I can easily build maps in GridMapper. They don’t look amazing because it doesn’t come with preset images like trees and stuff, but they’re functional just like my dry erase mat.

GridMapper has one issue, it has a maximum image size. Easy to get around though, I just make two images and glue them together for really big rooms.

I’m slowly converting all my old pencil maps into GridMapper maps for Roll20 now.

That’s it for now!

-Mister Ed

An Overview of Gurutama Part 1

The map I made of Gurutama using Campaign Cartographer.
The map I made of Gurutama using Campaign Cartographer.

Starting off the posts on Gurutama will contain information my D&D group has already written.

After we’ve covered that background information I plan to post more indepth descriptions of places or cultural aspects. Religion, art, holidays, monuments, military, civil administration, all these things were touched on but not explicitly described in our Dawn of Worlds game. I’ll do what I can to get those ideas fleshed out here.

So first up, what are these continents we’re looking at on the map? There are four continents on Gurutama, Glacierstone, Hearthland, Rontu-Aru, and the Maw.

The Maw is split up into four sub continents, the Upper Maw, the Eastern Maw, the Lower Maw, and the central islands (islands aren’t really a continent, but inner oceans are still defined by tectonic plates).

Rontu-Aru, the southern continent, is inhabited mostly by bird people called Avians.

Avian culture is loosely based off of Aztec, Mayan, and Inca cultures. Avians build ziggurats like the Aztecs and Mayans did. They live high in the mountains like the Inca did. They sacrifice intelligent beings like the Aztecs and Mayans did. I avoided the term human sacrifice, because in there are more races than humans in our fantasy world.

The Avians came into contact with the Merfolk early in our world’s history. The Merfolk are fish people that live around the islands in the central sea of the Maw.

This map shows the Avian continent of Rontu-Aru and the central islands of the Merfolk.
This map shows the Avian continent of Rontu-Aru and the central islands of the Merfolk.

The Merfolk wished to make trade easier with the southern sea, The Neck. They prayed to their god, Drolfo, to open up a quick path to the Neck.

Drolfo summoned a giant octopus named Selcatnet which dug a trench through the mountain range on the northern edge of the Lower Maw. This trench became the Great Canal that separates the Lower Maw from the Eastern Maw.

The Merfolk came down to Rontu-Aru and set up trading outposts with the Avians.

The Avians were resistant to the outsiders. Eventually a prophet rose up and formed an army to attack the Merfolk.

War raged for many years and eventually the Merfolk won. The fish people enslaved the bird people. Now intelligent beings are exported along with goods from the jungles and marshes of Rontu-Aru.

The Merfolk are in an excellent position for trade at the physical center of Gurutama. They trade with all the civilized races of our world, humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, and the Rana. Rana are frog people that live in the Eastern Maw.

There’s more to get into, but that feels like enough for one blog post. That’s all for now!

-Mister Ed

Next: An Overview of Gurutama Part 2

League of Legends Map Part 2

https://i2.wp.com/img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20131205125131/leagueoflegends/images/4/49/Summoner%27s_Rift_jungle_map_with_monsters.png

League of Legends Map Part 1

Today the focus will be on a specific part of the League of Legends map, the Jungle.

The Jungle is the space between the lanes and the river. There are four different sections of the Jungle formed by the X that the River and the middle (mid) lane create.

Each of the four sections contains three monster camps. Each section has a few names in the game. The top section is called purple top because it is close to purple’s top lane. The right section is called purple bottom (bot) Jungle for the same reason. The bottom section is called blue bot and the left section is called blue top.

The sections have other names that are used more often that refer to the specific monsters within them, so lets take a look at those.

Purple top and blue bot are mirrored and contain the same three monster camps in identical places. The central camp is the Lizard Elder and his two Lizard buddies. The Elder attacks with his nasty sword while the little Lizards shoot fire from their staves.

When a player kills the Lizard Elder they get a buff that lets them deal a little bit of extra damage every time they hit a minion, monster, or another player. This buff has a visual effect of red runes circling the player who has it. This red effect is why the section of the Jungle with the Lizard Elder is sometimes called the red Jungle. The two different red Jungles are differentiated by calling them “their red side Jungle” or “our red side Jungle.”

The other two monster camps around the Lizard Elder are the Golems and the Wraiths.

The Golems are two big rocky brothers. One is an older brother and is thus bigger than his younger brother.  The Golems attack you by smashing you with their rock hands.

The Wraiths are four ghostly looking things. One of the Wraiths is bigger than the other three. The Wraiths attack by shooting out little ghost lights from their hands.

The purple bot and blue top Jungle sections are dominated by the Ancient Golem at the center who also has two Lizard buddies. The Ancient Golem is the huge father version of the two Golem brothers in the red side Jungle. The Lizard buddies are just like the two that hang out with the Lizard Elder.

When a player kills the Ancient Golem he receives a buff, just like with the Lizard Elder. The Ancient Golem’s buff has blue runes instead of red runes. The player with the blue buff can use more of their special abilities and can use them faster. The blue buff gives these sections of the Jungle their name, blue side Jungle. Just like with the red side Jungle, the two sections are differentiated by which side of the river they are on, our side or their side.

The two monster camps around the Ancient Golem are the Wight and the Wolves.

The Wight is a recent addition to the Jungle. The company that makes League of Legends, Riot Games, updates the game all the time with significant updates at the beginning of every year. 2014 saw the addition of the Wight to the Jungle along with a few other things.

The Wight  is all by it’s lonesome in the Jungle. It is bigger than all the other Jungle monsters except for the Ancient Golem and the Lizard Elder. The Wight looks a lot like the Wraiths and attacks in the same way they do which is why the Wight is sometimes called the Big Wraith. I find this a little confusing because there already is a big Wraith in the Wraith camp itself. I’ll keep calling it the Wight and hoping that everyone else changes.

The Wolf camp has three Wolves, a mama Wolf and two baby Wolves. You can call the baby Wolves Romulus and Remus if you want. The Wolves attack by biting (obviously).

The monsters are a lot like minions, but different in key ways.

Minions walk down the lanes, but if attacked will follow the attacking player out of the lanes. The monsters don’t leave their camps. If you hit them and lead them away from their camp, the monsters will head back to the camp and quickly return to full health.

Minions spawn every thirty seconds. The monster camps only respawn if all the monsters in them are killed. The respawn times are 50 seconds for the Golems, Wolves, Wraiths and Wight, and 5 minutes for the Ancient Golem and Lizard Elder.

The monster camps do not respawn until all the monsters in them are killed. This allows a clever player to kill the Ancient Golem or Lizard Elder on their opponent’s side and waltz away with the buff, leaving the Lizard buddy scraps for the other team to have.

There are two more monsters on the map above, Baron Nashor and the Dragon. Those two are different than the other monster camps, so I will describe them another time.

There’s a lot more to tell you about how the map is played, so I hope you keep reading to learn it all!

If reading this has gotten you interested in League of Legends you can click this link to download the game for free. Doing so also gives me a little boost in game, so we’re both winners! League of Legends Signup Link

-Mister Ed

League of Legends Map Part 3

League of Legends Map Part 1

This is a map of League of Legends. I figured I’d bring it up to show you a few things about the game to help understand future posts.

The League of Legends map is split into two halves. The middle line is referred to as the River because in the actual game shallow water divides the map. This dividing line goes from the top left to the bottom right.

The two sides, bottom left and top right, are color coded in League of Legends. You can see the little icons on the map above are blue for bottom left and purple for top right. Because of these colors the two sides are always called blue side and purple side.

Each side has a corner deep in its territory where the base of that side is. To win the game your team must break into the opposing base and destroy the giant crystal there called the Nexus. The Nexus is represented on the map by the six pointed star thing.

The map is further defined by the three lanes. The three lanes are top lane, middle lane, and bottom lane. The lanes are marked by those helmet looking things you can see on the map.

Top lane runs the perimeter of the map from bottom left, to the top left, and then to the top right. Bottom lane runs the opposite perimeter from bottom left, to bottom right, and then to the top right. Middle lane runs on a diagonal across the map from bottom left to top right.

Every thirty seconds three groups of computer controlled minions spawn at each Nexus. One group goes down each lane. The minions of each side meet at the River and fight each other to a standstill. The actions of the people playing the game will tip the balance in favor of one side or another.

The goal of the game is to destroy the Nexus, but all those helmet looking things, called towers or turrets, protect the Nexus.

Each turret has to be destroyed in succession. An outer turret in one lane must be destroyed before an inner turret can be dealt any damage.

So why not just walk up to a turret and blow it up? Because it shoots lasers at you! That’s why!

The turrets prioritize their laser targets in a predictable way though. Taking advantage of this prioritization allows the turrets to be destroyed.

The first target of turret is always a player on the opposing team if that player is attacking a player on the turret’s team. The secondary targets are minions. If no minions are in range the turret will fire its lasers at any enemy players that come within range.

So the turrets are approached and destroyed by having minions going first and ignoring any opposing players that may be under the turret. This can be quite dangerous so a certain amount of strategy is required to accomplish it.

I’ll talk about those strategies in a different post though!

If you’d like to give League of Legends a try you can click this link and give me a little boost in game. League of Legends Signup Link

-Mister Ed

League of Legends Map Part 2