Archive for November, 2014

The world we know has changed so much. With the internet, information has become a big part of our lives. Everyday we watch news on the television, hear from the radio or read it from the paper. Sometimes even the media takes advantage of the situation and every story gives off the feeling of fear.

One incident that happened locally in the city of Zamboanga was the Siege that happened last September 2013 and it’s been a year since those days of paranoia, people directly affected are still recovering from the scars that were left. Those indirectly affected by the crisis, helped out and went on with their daily lives in hopes of something better, There is even a play at the Ateneo de Zamboanga about it and I will watch the play tomorrow with my friends.

There are loads of articles, opinions, even conspiracy theories on the net. Anyone who lives in Zamboanga City has their own stories to tell. My own experience with the crisis was indirect, I live a few kilometers outside the incident radius, but our family still took precautions and hid in the underground area of the house. That, plus saving up food stocks, making emergency plans and building up defenses just like a zombie apocalypse survival scenario.

This blog was even born during the crisis since I had little to do on the computer and had a vision. For those of you new to this blog, Zamboangamer caters to gamers and non-gamers. It advocates video games as a work of art, an educational tool, a career, a hobby, and a way of life. Face it, video games are here to stay. And if you want to know how video games can be useful then reading this blog is a must for you.

Going back to the Zamboanga Siege, it ended in victory of our Armed Forces of the Philippines, through coordinated planning, the invaders were repelled and order was restored. For many though, it was a wake up call that if the same thing happens again, we might not be as ready nor prepared to deal with the what-ifs.

It’s been a long time since I did a gaming review, the many games in the market these days plus the limited time spent on my computer leaves me with little options. But I decided that this game in particular is unique among the many war games that flood the mainstream market.

This War of Mine 2014-11-20 22-35-49-93

This War of Mine is a unique game in a sense that it puts you in the shoes of the civilian who is trapped in a city that is undergoing a war. The capital and the setting are unknown but it may be an allegory to represent the horrors of war experienced in all parts of the world.

This War of Mine 2014-11-20 10-21-14-78

The game begins with a back story of three companions who band together to increase their odds of survival, depending on who you get are the specializations of what they do, the first three buddies I had was an athlete, a cook and a journalist. Each time you start the game, these companions are randomized. I played 3 times to try to get the right mix and combinations since I felt that I wanted a perfect game.

This War of Mine 2014-11-20 10-27-30-03This War of Mine 2014-11-20 10-27-35-54This War of Mine 2014-11-20 10-27-46-81This War of Mine 2014-11-20 10-41-58-16

Having a perfect game is difficult, the game has no tutorial whatsoever, but survival game veterans will already know which needs are to be prioritized. The game plays as a platformer with you controlling any of the 3 people at one time. It’s kind of a mix between Sims and the recent XCom game on a darker and grey scale.

This War of Mine 2014-11-20 12-02-41-06This War of Mine 2014-11-20 10-39-13-21

The first things you would probably do is clean up much of the dilapidated apartment as much as possible. It would have been much faster to clear the debris with a shovel and I learned this later. Resources are scarce as heck and you must plan out every move, the most daunting task is foraging for food. Everyday your people go hungry and you must gather whatever resources you have the previous night.

This War of Mine 2014-11-20 11-10-34-00This War of Mine 2014-11-20 11-11-32-80This War of Mine 2014-11-20 10-24-21-28

The night missions are one of the most tense parts of the game itself, you have the option to bunk up for the night, take shifts in guarding your base from looters and go scavenger hunting. With luck you might find what you need. Companions have a limited bag inventory and you can only go on one mission at a time. I can’t feel but helpless and frustrated when I went to a wrong zone only to come home empty. I am the type that cares for my virtual people and when I can’t then I start over.

And if you thought this game was hard, it’ll get harder with each passing day, as you tune in to the local radio, you can only pray that good news comes, but it doesn’t it gets worse. I’ve been playing for 5 days with 3 replays, other players who’ve gotten more days out of the game have been subjected to sniper fire, hostile looters, and bombings to name a few.

This War of Mine 2014-11-20 22-35-38-91This War of Mine 2014-11-20 10-28-18-83   This War of Mine 2014-11-20 11-03-37-71   This War of Mine 2014-11-20 12-22-34-29 This War of Mine 2014-11-20 12-25-08-79 This War of Mine 2014-11-20 12-32-56-54 This War of Mine 2014-11-20 12-37-44-93 This War of Mine 2014-11-20 12-46-12-37

I have a love-hate relationship with this game, I love how it tells the story through the eyes of the average people being in the middle of a war. The psychological impact of how a person without appropriate training is subjected to stress. Don’t take this the wrong way, I’m a pro-peace guy, but in my opinion there are too many games that put you in combat boots with a rifle.

This War of Mine is a testament to many people afflicted by wars. Many think that wars are noble or awesome but in truth, war is a bloody mess. Modern wars are even messier (refer to image with the Ernest Hemmingway quote), “Wars are delightful to those who have no experience of it” – Erasmus is another quote that will make you think twice.

I dislike how the game presents itself with no tutorial, the learning curve depends on the player who will be responsible for every decision you make in-game. I have no clue how the game ends as of this writing, but I do hope that it ends and all three of your characters make it out safely. Time for the verdict

Graphics:

I love the sketched out art style of this game, there is even an option to bring the pencil sketches vibrantly. The mixes of grey,black and other dark colors sets the war-torn mood like a graphic novel. Graphic requirements are not hard on the computers either, I’m running the game on a ten year old Quad-core processor with a NVidia 210 graphics card.

Sound:

The dark tones make the game feel harsher and hopeless. Aside from the classical music station on the radio, the music is somber. Sounds will also play a vital role in the scavenging missions as sneaking will alert less attention. Sound effects like creaks, wind, rain, thunder, etc are realistic with headphones giving you those chilling reminder that the war is still going on.

Gameplay:

The game runs as a simulation/stealth/strategy/platform/rpg. The mixing of these genres serves the game well. If you want a perfect game where you have the knowledge of everything then multiple replays are required. There is still a chunk of the game I have not figured out like the story and its ending.

Overall:

This War of Mine gets a 9/10 for being a one-of-a-kind game in spite of so many other blockbuster contenders, the simplicity and difficulty this game gives you will keep you playing for hours on end. After this review I hope not to spoil myself with walkthroughs due to the game’s mysterious and random nature with events or circumstances.

Lessons

In this part, we nitpick the morals and values we can learn from this game. There are so many of them and I can’t cover everything in one article, this is why we will limit most of the lessons to just 5.

1.Preparation – War takes its toll on resources, and even though you might not live in a dangerous area, you still have to prepare for the worst.Doomsday Preppers on Nat Geo can give you a good idea.

2.Purpose – In war, the civilian’s purpose is to support the state and the army with resources, that includes taxes, supplies,information and even lives. When the war gets close to home however, the purpose of the civilian becomes a liability unless you have a skill. Having skills such as cooking, martial arts, tailoring, medicine, etc. Will increase the odds of you and your family’s survival.

3.Pro-peace – Mother Teresa once said that, if you would be for peace then don’t invite me to an anti-war rally. “All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal” – John Steinbeck.War is a man made catastrophe that can be avoided if only the leaders of each country would agree to what benefits everyone. Even with the United Nations, countries keep stockpiling and researching weapons. How I want to see the day when the prophetic Bible verse found in Isaiah 2:4 will be fulfilled “And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war”.

4.Think Different – Big Hero 6 stuck on me as one of my favorite movies, the time Takashi challenged his brother Heero into making a plan unique was a lesson that moved me to inspiration too. This War of Mine took the steam market by storm and has had positive reviews for being different than all the other shoot-em-ups or battle-hardened games out there. If you are making something like a game, think different 🙂

5.Win the War – As the game title suggests a metaphor, the war could also be within us. We might struggle with our decisions, or conscience (IKR?!) Sun Tzu’s most famous quote summarized is “To know”, if you know what you are capable off, if you know how to conquer the obstacles, if you know whether to ask help or do it on your own will determine victory, not just in game but in real life.

Let me know what you think, like, subscribe, comment, discuss, and support Zamboangamer. Thanks guys and keep on gamin’ 🙂

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In ancient times, the first armies were individualistic in nature. Men would form lines only to break them up as they charged the battlefields and die mindlessly.

I have seen a lot of MobA games, and so many losses could have been prevented if only each team member would do their role or plan. Some even get lost in-game…

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Before we get started though for first time readers, I am Zamboangamer and this blog is dedicated to advocate video games as a learning tool and a self-improvement blog. In particular, this series focuses on the MoBa games and the tricks and secrets to give you the razor’s edge, and win more games.

https://zamboangagamer.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/what-you-can-learn-from-mobas-series-lesson-1-the-traits-of-a-mature-gamer/

Lesson 1 covers what you need to know on how the pros think like in the game, with the need for better gameplay and wins.

https://zamboangagamer.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/what-you-can-learn-from-mobas-series-lesson-2-know-your-role/

Lesson 2 covers how to maximize your role as a hero in-game. A team that effectively uses the hero’s role makes better games and more chances of victories.

https://zamboangagamer.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/what-you-can-learn-from-mobas-series-lesson-3-chatting-your-way-to-victory/

Lesson 3 covers team communication, a bit of player psychology and how you can rally your team to victory. Encouraging and good communication is the way to raise team morale, win games and make friends. 

https://zamboangagamer.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/what-you-can-learn-from-mobas-series-lesson-4-coping-up-with-defeat/

Lesson 4 deals with a better way to cope with those pesky defeats which creep up to you and ruins your day. It’s a must read.

And now we move on to the fifth lesson in the series which has taken a lot of research and study to compile and write. It’s also become a personal favorite of mine because since then, I have won more games than usual.

Ever wonder why you are always hit by Mirana’s or Ashe’s skill shot? Or how you could have avoided those AoE (Area-of-Effect) skills? Want to know the perfect way to catch the enemy off guard and make it off alive or with the enemy team wiped out?

This is why this post caters to formations. It is a secret to mastering warfare and why pro-gamers have the best plays that make you spam that replay button.

“When the victorious get their people to go to battle as if they were directing a massive flood of water into a deep canyon, this is a matter of formation.” -Sun Tzu

Formations have decided how armies would win the field. As a general your overview of how the battlefield works will determine victory or defeat. Of all the ancient armies that I have studied (HISTORY FTW!) it’s The Roman Legion that does the it the best. A lot of this generation look up to the Spartans with their recent movie 300. It is a movie that deals with the battle of Thermopylae and how the Spartans courageously fought even though they were outnumbered, while heroic in the eyes of many, military generals and scholars have seen easily seen the weaknesses and this is why the once glorified spartan armies have been conquered by an advanced foe. The Romans.

The Roman Legion was in my opinion the best army in ancient history, it expanded its empire through most of europe, north africa and the middle east. It’s armies were constantly improving and has become the basis for most modern-day armies today.

The key strengths that the Legion has is its disciple, flexibility and innovation. The army consisted of ranks that the Spartans did not have. They used every weapon from sword,spear,bow,siege engine and every man to his designated role. The generals studied their enemies and exploited every weakness they had. It was through the valiant effort of the Legion did the empire extend and lasted long. It’s legacy is even longer. To give you a glimpse of how the legion operates the YouTube clip below will give you a good idea. It was based on the movie Gladiator and a favorite childhood movie of mine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPxryaAPuV8

Are you as pumped up then? Now comes the discussion part, try experimenting these formations with your team and see how it will better help you win.

These formations will cater to every MobA game and can be used in several situations. These are but a few examples and there are more.

OFFENSIVE FORMATIONS

wedge formation

This is a typical wedge formation some also call it the arrowhead. It is an ideal formation for pushing the lane. Ideally the tanks are the first to the frontline while other hero roles support it. Take note that this formation has weaknesses on both the sides and can be flanked.

If the enemy sneaks behind the tank must turn his attention behind the formation, never get squeezed between a tower and enemy heroes like the pincer formation (discussed later). When retreating it is best to break up or go together in one general direction, usually to the safest one.

Overall, this is the first of many offensive formations, a good hero selection including items will ensure your victory.

spearhead formation

This picture is the first prototype I made using paint, refer to the lower pictures for an improved diagram on what the roman numerals mean.

The spearhead formation is an offensive formation and can be perfectly used for attacking the enemy lanes. Tanks should be the tip of the spear followed by hitters and support. Either you are close enough to support each other or spare some distance between each hero is up to you, but the main point of this formation is to do as much damage as you can before making a run for it.

The weaknesses of this formation lies with the back area or sides. Enemies can easily exploit these areas and flank you so ward of the areas behind and have the map awareness to look out for them. When the enemy does flank you, turn the “tip of the spear” of the tank to the enemies, guide your team to an ambush spot or make a full retreat back to base.

Overall, Speed is your ally in this formation, make as much damage as you can in the lane and teleport or segway to other lanes. The tip of the spear must never be too far ahead otherwise team members can’t support directly.

 

Line Foramtion

The Line formation is similar to the arrowhead or spearhead but varies in the distance of the heroes and the direction on where your heroes are going to. This formation is inspired by the phalanx formation used by ancient Greeks to gain an advantage over their enemies.

Similar weaknesses also lie the said formations above, your best course of action when flanked by the enemy is to break off to every direction in hopes of gaining less attention from enemy heroes and teleport back to base or stand and fight. Sometimes sacrificing a hero while the others run back to the fountain is an ideal strategy, just make sure that every teammate understands the word sacrifice.

GANKING MANUEVERS/FORMATIONS

 

pincer formation

 

The Pincer formation is the ideal formation for clashing. It involves luring the enemy either at the lanes or jungles or the river that runes through the map.  Pincer formations are risky though. To enumerate the risks are:

1.Distance between you and your team

2.Coordination

3.Enemy status (never try this formation if the enemy is too strong)

4.The hunter is now the hunted (this means that you are trapped)

5.The right skills (heroes need to have the right set of skills)

This formation’s weakness is a gamble. It requires precise planning and timing to pull it off. No wonder the best games are mostly streamed on video sites. These clashes are always fun to see, but in-game its the most mind-numbing, some get even lost due to the multiple spell casting. The tank or the ones in the middle of the clash are the most

Overall, your teamwork is tested with this maneuver, but the good thing here is the escape points indicated to arrows moving away from the clash area, your losses can be minimized simply by having the map awareness to the direction of retreat and attack.

 

 

Star Formation

The Star Formation is similar to the Pincer but different in terms of the number of enemies, one or two enemies can easily be outnumbered if you close in and finish them off quickly. It is a sure-clash formation but might also leave you vulnerable. The strength of this formation lies in every teammate contributing a skill to earn that nice bounty.

The weaknesses of the star formation is not every member of your team has equivalent stats, skills or items. It also make you vulnerable on all sides. Your main counter will be to stand and fight as one just like the Avengers in that awesome camera shot where they are circled by the enemy.Publicity photo from the film "The Avengers"

Overall, the Star Formation is good for closing in on weaker enemies but is risky if the tables are turned. Retreating can either be a coördinated smart move or a panicked messy one. Again team coördination is necessary.

 

 

DEFENSIVE MANEUVERS/FORMATIONS

 

 

tower defense

 

The Tower Formation

Using the towers in all stages of the game is a good defensive maneuver. The tower contributes the biggest damage early game, supports lane control in the middle game and annoys enemies during the late game (although they give out less damage).

The weaknesses lie in enumerated items below:

1.Tower’s limited attack range

2.Tower is stationary and its hit-points are low

3.Tower is vulnerable at late game stages due to enemy hero level and damage output

4.No allies to defend the tower or backdooring (damn that BD)

5.Allied Team is flanked and dead.

The Tower formation when used properly can pick off enemy heroes and aid you to launch an offensive counterattack, this tactic is known in the MobA game but is rarely acknowledged. Treat the tower as your sixth-man instead of a commodity and the tower’s full potential is unleashed.

Use these formations and discover new ones, Let me know what you think of these, comments, suggestions,likes,support,criticisms and discussions are welcome below. Keep on’ gamin 🙂

Update Stuff

Posted: November 19, 2014 in Update Board

For some time, I have been thinking of how to do the next MobA post while hanging out at Southern Card Capital, a shop that caters to every card game known in the Philippines.

I have decided that I will do the images via paint and then discuss those strategies and how you can implement them.

On cosplay, my costumes have just recently started in its production phase, and I was taught by a local propmaker (you know who you are) to make basic patterns.

Also Zamboangamer will receive an update on its own site by Thursday, I’m super excited.

But the main thing that will prove a challenge is the job. Recently on the months of Sept and Oct, I was busy looking for a job and applied at KCC which is a mall based on General Santos City but is expanding its operations here in Zamboanga City. I applied for a position, passed the tests and interviews. Only one step remains and waiting the hardest part.

peon_must_work__by_typhonart-d6zwv8e

To work is to earn money to maintain the site and make sure that our advocacy remains true. If I am called then it will be 6-9 months of training, that means I might not be as active blogging in those times but I have also found 2 other people who are willing to blog about other stuff like anime and cosplay, thus this advocacy is expanding to other mediums of pop culture relevant to this generation.

Thanks once again for supporting my blog everyone, keep on gamin’ 🙂

Our own Site!

Posted: November 10, 2014 in Update Board

Congratulations! We will be owning our own site. With contract negotiations underway we will shift from this wordpress site to our own domain….but still using wordpress and a custom designed theme:)

Here’s part of the contract signed:

contract

And within 20 working days we will finally move this site to the next. I kinda miss writing on this blog already :’) Stay tuned for the Next MoBa article in the series 🙂

Currently this post was delayed for some time, I struggled with my schedules and the topic of formations in the works, it would probably be shifted to the 5th lesson in the series. And if you did not know, This blog caters to learning about video games and responsible gaming with fun. It started a year ago and now we are particular in focusing our attention on the MoBa which covers all kinds of games like DotA, LoL, HoN, Strife and even that evil EA LoL clone that is Dawngate (shutting down in 90 days.)…I never played Dawngate XD

Other posts in this series include:

https://zamboangagamer.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/what-you-can-learn-from-mobas-series-lesson-1-the-traits-of-a-mature-gamer/

Lesson 1 covers what you need to know on how the pros think like in the game, with the need for better gameplay and wins.

https://zamboangagamer.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/what-you-can-learn-from-mobas-series-lesson-2-know-your-role/

Lesson 2 covers how to maximize your role as a hero in-game. A team that effectively uses the hero’s role makes better games and more chances of victories.

https://zamboangagamer.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/what-you-can-learn-from-mobas-series-lesson-3-chatting-your-way-to-victory/

Lesson 3 covers team communication, a bit of player psychology and how you can rally your team to victory. Encouraging and good communication is the way to raise team morale, win games and make friends. 

Moving on, in this post we talk about DEFEAT!

570_screenshots_2013-12-14_00001    League of Legends 2010-06-12 16-14-44-53

Surely every MoBa player fears,loathes, and despises this word for it puts them on a curse of humiliation, rank down, etc. And these funny memes show what most players think about their team and the enemy’s

enemy-team-vs-my-team

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Surely I have acquired a number of defeats. I also get frustrated and irritated when I lose games, but recently I have come to think on the consequences of defeat and researched the psychology of losing. To summarize, players who lose, tend to do everything negative. defense mechanisms take place to vent out the stress, that could mean verbally cursing, throwing stuff, punching something and even crying. The worst part is they would play another round in hopes of winning, this is risky because when they lose again the negativity is doubled.

For those unaware of what this can do for your psychological and mental health, its obvious that losing is negative,it can hurt your relationships with others as well. but it doesn’t mean that we can cope. For the mature player, defeat is like tripping on something, the first thing to do is recover and stand back again. Let me give you an example,

Dad practices Judo, as I have observed. Their training is unlike other martial arts which emphasize offensive moves like kicking,punching or defensive moves like countering,evading and blocking. In Judo, every beginner or white belt practices “FALLING”.

JudoMethods

I asked dad how it was different from other martial arts. Dad told me that “…to be trained to fall is to know how to get back up”. Meditating on this philosophy has given me good insight on how losing can work to an advantage when playing the game. The secret is to “let it go” (not that damned song) To let go means to let the negativity away, don’t even “block” that negativity because it requires a lot of mental energy. In other words, when you lose, just promise yourself to do better next time.

Other tips I can give you to let go of that negativity is:

1. When you lose a game, don’t immediately play another.

Me and my buddies would frequent two games, if we lose both games then we stop and call it a night. I play other games: Borderlands the Pre-sequel, The Sims 4 and etc. These games are passive in its pacing, not requiring intense competition to play.

2. Do not play pub games

Pub games means that you play with strangers of whom you do not know of what skill levels they are. Pub games account for most of game defeats, stay away if you do not want to risk defeat.

3. Consider playing with a team

Playing with friends you know can lessen that negativity but be warned if you are the fault for why your team losing the match. Friends are a two-sided coin, they will either sympathize with your loss or insult you further.

4.Play Practice Matches

Sometimes, it’s good to get back to the basics. Whether it’s how to last hit or do denials or test out that new hero, practicing often can improve your skills and hopefully win you more games.

5.Use the heroes that you know

Sometimes, using heroes that you are familiar with improves the chances of winning games. Just make sure to do number 4 (above) as well.

6.When you lose, just stop playing and do other activities.

Sometimes, when I lose,writing, watching anime, dancing, gardening or other activities takes me out of that negative energy and refocuses that energy on something productive. Find what you love to do and have fun with it

7.Play it differently.

That means applying different tactics or things that you could have done to make you win the last game. Tactics and strategies apply. Think on it and apply new ones to help win the next games.

Losing a game does not automatically make you a loser in life. “Winners never quit and quitters never Win” is an overly used maxim but think on it on a deeper level. If you can’t think deep enough let me try to explain it better with my realization and example.

To quit is to not experience life’s pleasures, to quit is not to know about yourself because you stopped, to quit is to make you static and ordinary, which is boring.to quit is to be a spectator to people who are succeeding in all aspects of life.  To win however is different which is good. To win means to practice the talents that God has given you even if it means that you have to stumble over and over and continuously fail. The important thing is to get back up again.

I believe the best quote that gives me the goosebumps which relates to gaming is Robin Hood’s “Rise and Rise till Lambs become Lions.” This quote inspires me to always get back in the game to fight and win. Losses just means I have to apply myself in a different or unique way, ever since that realization losing in video games has not been a big issue to me because that is the essence of a video game. It’s supposed to make you learn, remember that there is no game over. A death just means a respawn at the home base.

Sorry Readers

Posted: November 1, 2014 in Update Board

To people that have been on this page, I am sorry if my writing has not been updated for awhile. Busy days have been interfering my creative juices. My girlfriend got sick with Dengue and I have to take care of her.

I have also been busy with thinking up stuff to get this blog set up on its own. Many of the old posts will have to be resurrected again and categorized into specific genres (this is due to the theme change).

My real focus this time though is to get the Cosplay book up and this blog to the new site. You are all welcome to search my old posts. I am always happy to hear comments,opinions, suggestions and even criticisms. I haven’t had a hater yet hahahaha.

I’m doing my best to earn some capital and money too, and these really take a large chunk of my time, to the point where I ask God to give me more than 24 hours a day to get everything done.

So thanks for understanding and keep on gamin 🙂