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April 4, 2011 / fcapuno

League of Legends: Discussion – On the terms “Viable”, “Usable” and “Meta Game”

This post is actually spurred by a recent topic on the forums that I’ve read, which of course did get locked before I did get some decent discussion out due to the original poster making a poor example of himself. No hard feelings against the original poster, but you did present yourself poorly there.

Original Topic: http://bit.ly/eyWjyI

Viable i hate that word so much now. Everyone uses it. “Dude our team is totally viable even though we have a feeding Ezreal with smite in mid totally” “I can play AD Kassadin its a viable stat”

No it isn’t don’t do it. If you have to use the word viable to explain away what your doing to your team your not helping anyone.

This is all of the original post that needs to be seen. He does mention picking AD Kassadin and Ashe being “not viable” or in actuality, he’s actually saying they’re “impossible” to use. Why do I say that? The dictionary. Of course, I’m going to end up copying and pasting much of what I’ve already posted on that topic, but I really want to archive this for posterity.

viable
adj.
capable of becoming actual, useful, etc; practicable

There are ways of using the word “viable” and having it be correct. Viability is basically something that is used and has the chance of becoming practical and useful.

There are PLENTY of things in this game that are viable, but do they work? No. That’s when they aren’t viable. The antonym to viable is impossible. Unfortunately, the antonym isn’t applicable in League of Legends since everything works. And MANY things just work poorly.

Though. If you want a more accurate word to describe most players mentality, it’s that they think everything is usable.

usable
adj.
1. available or convenient for use
2. capable of being used

Most things in this game are of the second definition. Everything is usable. I can build an Attack Damage (AD) Sona and I can use it. This does not mean it’s viable because it’s not practical. Sona is an AP Caster Support. By definition it’s not viable to build her with attack damage because it is not practical.

Unfortunately, the antonym of useable –  useless – is actually applicable in this game.

useless
adj.
1. of no use; not serving the purpose or any purpose; unavailing or futile
2. without useful qualities; of no practical good

Again. Second definition. A lot of things in League of Legends don’t have any useful qualities or are not practical to use, such as that AD Kassadin the original poster was talking about. Many champions excel at different things. You have the choice of actually ignoring those or boosting those depending on the meta game.

On the topic of meta gaming: meta gaming is actually the external factors that affect a game. While it’s easier to apply to a game like chess where the rules are the same, by definition, meta gaming actually blankets over any kind of game you play.

The prefix meta- means “beyond” or “after”. This means that “meta game” means “beyond the game”.

Since there’s no “dictionary” definition of meta gaming, it’s harder to explain with concrete details. Basically though, meta gaming is the external decisions that you make. This includes what decisions people outside the game make to make a move such as buying that Banshee’s Veil for Karthus or that Quicksilver Sash for Malzahar to things such as Champion Selection (i.e. Tanky DPS, Ranged Carry etc).

The way meta gaming works for League of Legends is variable depending on the current trends and what is needed for a match, but by no means is there just no meta game. There’s always a meta game. When you play the game, you are meta gaming whether you like it or not by picking Ashe or Caitlyn or picking your build or just thinking about what you are going to do in a game.

What people are referring to when talking about meta game is the trends that affect the meta game as trends influence us to make certain decisions in a game. This include picking Tanky DPS or that flavor of the month Champion. Those trends end up influencing your personal meta game more than you realize.

trend
-n. -adj.
(in general) to move towards a particular direction

Players in any game will tend to move in the direction that benefits them the most. This includes picking Tanky DPS so they won’t die in a game or joining in the AOE (area of effect) team compositions to take advantage of the damage you can do against a whole team instead of just individual champions.

Unfortunately, the person who did talk about the term “meta game” (Buisiness) did make a point:

I don’t argue with you on that point. However, the context in which 90% of the LoL community uses the term “Metagame” is to specifically describe a way of playing that abuses unintended game mechanics. IE tanky dps meta, AoE meta. Its become a buzzword people use so as not to feel like cheesers who are taking advantage of something broken.

There is a word of truth in that, and at the same time there is a counter argument against that where you are able to abuse any game mechanic you desire. It always depends on what mechanic you want to abuse.

(Joke) TL;DR: LRN2DICTIONARY

/joke.

Seriously though, even if I give people all this information to state my case, here’s the bottom line. Even if given the context how these terms are used commonly in the community, it won’t stop people from using them in a somewhat uneducated manner, unless there’s some widespread phenomenon that the community will change their use of the terminology overnight or change them quickly. Those things take time and it takes quite a number of people to change how these terms are used. The way these terms are used are also a type of trend, and as long as people lean toward their incorrect use, it will stay that way.

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April 4, 2011 / fcapuno

New Headset

Been poking around awhile and I sadly have to say I desperately need a new headset. It’s starting to get ridiculous how much you can hear with my Samson CO3U. And yes. I do use a USB Condenser Mic for voice work.

Good news, it picks up what it needs to, which is incidentally, everything, just like a condenser would. Unfortunately, that isn’t exactly going to fly when I’m trying to game. There are two flavors it comes in. Too quiet (microphone itself), and too loud (microphone plus my grating voice that I hate).

At the very least, I want to eliminate the background noise it picks up. No. Condensers aren’t designed to cancel noise. And that’s actually starting to be a problem. People can hear my clicking and typing as well as my piano from 3 rooms over when my door is open. It’s insane. This also means people are able to hear my family when they give me stern lectures. Oh man. Is that a doozy.

Either way, I really just need to rectify the situation. Hopefully, I can find a headset that works similarly to my old ones. Those were nice.

March 28, 2011 / fcapuno

League of Legends: Discussion – On Smart-Casting, Self-Casting and Regular Casting

This is actually a highly opinionated entry, and by no means am I right or wrong. This just seems to be a hot topic among people who bring it up and I wanted to drop in my two cents in as well.

I’ve heard a lot about Smart-Casting and have used it a couple of times. It’s a good concept to be able to cast spells without clicking. How is this done? In the NA version, this is typically bound to:

  • Smart-Casting: Shift-(Q, W, E or R)
  • Self-Casting: Alt-(Q, W, E or R)

How it actually works is similar to any kind of automated skill, almost like Flash. The skill will shoot in the direction your cursor is in. Simple. Effective.

Of course, everyone tends to immediately go to the conclusion that you should and/or absolutely need to bind Smart-Casting to your regular keys (QWER) and use them all the time. Should you? I’m going to say: No.

You don’t really gain any skill from it. And too often do I find people become idiots who spam skills all day and miss when this happens.

The psychology of people who do this astounds me and I often get criticized for it. You can tell me you can memorize skills all you want, but does that make you any more accurate? Not really. You tend to be the same if not worse than before when you had a reticule to aim skills. At the very least, with the reticules or skill shot lines, you had some form of accurate prediction. No one can memorize the skills, their channeling times, ranges and effects of all the champions they have. And when you Smart-Cast, fun fact, it’s actually aiming slightly off your cursor. Sounds fun to be a hair off your target.

Yes. Practice will shoo away the inaccuracy, but not all the time and certainly not fast enough.

How should you use Smart-Casting? In combination with any other kind of casting you have in your arsenal.

The kind of casting you use is highly dependent on the situation. If you know you won’t miss and/or you need to get out skills in a pinch, then Smart-Cast it.  Nothing wrong with that. But it’s not to be relied on.

Same goes for Regular Casting, where you need the half-second to click a second time to shoot the skill, along with the traveling time or the channeling time depending on the skill. You need to have some skill in movement prediction as well to land skills with Regular Casting.

Should you use both? Yes.

Should you only use one or the other? No.

On Self-Casting: definitely learn how this works. Especially if you’re a character that can self-cast shields and healing on themselves (i.e. Karma, Janna, Nidalee, Mordekaiser, etc.). This prevents you making a mistake in casting especially in teamfights if you need to use a skill on yourself.

Basically, you automatically cast whatever skill on yourself by using Self-Casting. Thus, it’s name. Self-Casting.

I believe you are able to use it to cast a skill on an allied champion by targetting them with F1-F4, but I haven’t tried this to give any accurate information on it.

Again, the casting method used is highly situational and it is dependent on your playing style. But my advice is to simply use a mix of everything. If you want to bind it, bind it somewhere close to your regular keys like ASDF or even ZXCV. But don’t bind it to QWER if you’re going to spam QWERQWERQWER. Smart-Casting is a tool and tools are meant to be used but it’s not a crutch for you to rely on.

March 28, 2011 / fcapuno

On Haircuts

A few days ago I decided to get my hair cut, and to a much shorter length than I was used to. But I was already greatly tired of maintaining it on top of all these other things I had. It didn’t matter if I kept up my appearance any more anyway.

I’ve never had my hair cut past a certain length before though. I took quite a bit of pride in it as it was the only portion I was willing to maintain to some level if I even remotely wanted to feel better about myself. It was almost horrifying to see the large snippets of my hair just fall to the floor.

I’m not cute or anything like that though, so why did it matter? And why am I making such a big deal about it? I don’t know…

March 23, 2011 / fcapuno

Thinking too much?

Who knows what I’m thinking anymore… New picture though. Unfortunately, it ended up being this character.

Violet Subrisi

Who is this? Violet Subrisi, the Muse of Heaven. She’s a Homestuck fan character in a sense.

In a way, I tend to use even fan characters as a reflection of my own feelings. Violet already being a pretty depressing character and a fairly pessimistic one at that. She strives for just that little bit of hope only to be knocked down again. Though, that’s only her character. Yet, at the same time, I somewhat feel like that. At least considering what’s been going on around me, yet I only seem to allude horrible things in these entries. I’m seriously just danging food in front of a hungry dog with this.

Am I hurt? Yes. I feel absolutely terrible and loathe waking and going to sleep. Both are equally undesirable… It’s agonizing to think that I can’t find solace in my own subconscious but unfortunately, it’s been plagued by numerous nightmares as of late.

Will I live? Of course. It’s not like the end of the world came raining on my parade. Sure I’ll feel a bit down here and there but I’ll get over stuff eventually.

Can I actually deal with it right now? Not really… Which is why I ended up writing about all this. Truthfully? I’m absolutely miserable.

Ways out? I’ve thought of several. One of which include leaving the country, something I never even wanted to fathom before, but there’s nothing for me here now. I dug my own grave and I’m almost out of time. There isn’t enough time to change anything at all. I might as well just duck out and disappear…

Will it happen? In spite of all this, only time will tell…

March 18, 2011 / fcapuno

Why do these things bother me?

I will admittedly say I have a case of eczema. No doubt about it. You can see it if you ever take a good look at my face. It’s a very uncomfortable skin condition, I might add. There’s no real sure fire cure for it, just ways to prevent it which involve heavy skin hydration through creams, lotions and petroleum jelly as well as medicated ointments among other things.

Lately it’s been reappearing on my legs and arms, which it hasn’t since I was a child and needless to say, it’s very troublesome. It’s gotten to the point where I’m forcing myself to wrap my knees so I don’t involuntarily scratch them when I’m asleep.

Stupid Eczema is stupid

The problem being that it’s on both my knees and we only have one set of wrappings… As if I already had a hard time sleeping with my numerous nightmares and it being chilly in general, I don’t need this to inhibit my sleeping even more…

March 18, 2011 / fcapuno

Last Chance Qualifier for the North America Premier League

News Post: http://bit.ly/dJP8qy

Looks like the teams from the recent NESL tourney are returning and a couple of other teams with some popular players look to be in the running for those last four slots. Notably one being Guardsman Bob as part of WHALE.

It’s just too bad my friends and I never made it to qualifying. None of us are level 30.  Oh well. Maybe next time.