Thursday, June 30, 2011

Heretic Mia

Sorry for my long absence and not having either photos or a discussion of melee marine units. I have to say that my hobby energy has been taken up by something else recently. Because I have this wonderful night desk job and have basically no one to talk to for those seven hours, I've been playing a lot of a new-to-me game League of Legends (LoL). Loki and I have both been playing, but being as his job is actually producing something, I have a lot more time to goof around with LoL.

There are some things I really enjoy about LoL (if not it wouldn't be taking up my energy), but there are also some really bad things about it. First off, the basic structure of the game is that you and either two or four other random internet people join up to bash in the skulls of three or five other internet people by killing the and destroying their base. Each player chooses a character before the game, with no two being able to choose the same character as their teammates, and different abilities to go along with that champion. Each champion has its own abilities and unique style of play. During the game each player earns gold for killing various things in game and can spend them to buy items that buff their character in different ways. How each player decides to build their character will affect the game for the rest of the team and how the player should play their character.

Depending on the group you get matched with your game can be abysmal because no one warns you that the other team might be ganging up on you or stellar, if your team can coordinate to gang up on the other team. If you're really lucky you'll get people who play your character also and will be willing to help you learn how to play that character better. If you aren't well you may be accused of having a mental disability. In the end it's all luck of the draw who you get matched up with unless you and some of your friends decide to invite each other to play.

But this isn't a LoL blog, it's a 40k blog and I thank you for enduring that. Some of you know where I'm going with this, so (if of legal age) take a shot whenever you predicted one of my points. Unlike 40k LoL is a co-operative game and you always are helping and being helped by your fellow players in game. With 40k it's just you and your opponent who may only give you advice after the fact if at all. When you can get help with 40k is generally any time you're not in game as there are dozens of websites you can go to if all of your 40k buddies are asleep (like mine are now) or busy. In either case the advice you get can be good or bad (look for Advice Pete memes coming up), but the quality of the advice is only really as important as how much you put it into action.

Before you play you get to choose a character in LoL and an army in 40k, though characters are much less expensive to acquire than armies. But like armies, each character is good at some things and horrible at others and knowing what your can and can't do with your chosen is vital to doing well with them. Also, armies and characters both have very distinct builds (e.g. alpha strike, mechspam & DPS, tank), many of which you can also find on the internet. Like everything on the internet though Your Mileage May Vary with these builds. You've all heard of the units in 40k that are generally derided, but "well they work for me," e.g. vespids, and those that "take no skill" e.g. ... you know these already, moving on. What matters with your choices is not whether it is the consensus, but whether it makes you happier to play than your next best choice.

And that's the crux of the problem I'm having with LoL right now. I very much enjoy taking risks with my little cartoon man and that leads to me dying...a lot. There are people, as with anything on the internet, that take LoL very (even too) seriously. These people get offended when I fail at staying alive and winning, though I do understand that my failing pulls the team down as well. I don't mind people getting upset, but some of these people can get discourteous to the point that their mothers will leave the street corners to slap them. This makes me sad. I'm the kind of person who really enjoys making other people happy, but there is a lack of courtesy and any effort to help others improve in the people I've played with online.

Which brings me to the best aspect of 40k, for me: our local community. Sure we can get mad at each other and the dice sometimes (I've been discourteous myself recently, sorry Zeb), but when the dice come down we spend more time talking about random things than we do playing. I've lost plenty of sleep listening to B go on about hilarious things and I've worried that Chuck would pass out laughing. the game is a lot of fun and what brings us together, but it's a great way to make friends and meet people. That is what I love about 40k and why I am glad to keep playing, especially with you all.


  1. Underground Heretic brings you a very special episode of Lifetime televis... I mean 40k. :P

  2. This is what happens when I write in my sleep.

    The point is there are several games that have similar aspects to 40k. You want to build the best combination to kill your opponent, play magic. You want to think ahead and have a seven-layered strategy, play chess. You want to paint well maid miniatures, play malifaux. 40k loses in those areas to each game. Where it doesn't lose is in having a community of players that is accessible and really fun to game with. Or not game with and just hang with. That's where the appeal of 40k is for me.