I became a stoner this week… a Hearthstoner, that is.

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I’m not entirely sure how it came up in the mm1 Slack, but between whatever we were discussing and the fact that World of Warcraft will be adopting a PLEX-lke currency for game-time in the coming months, I figured I would go ahead and give the Battle.net client an install.

Hearthstone appealed to me on a time-waster level, but not as something I could just sit there and play for hours on end. I mean, if I did, I’d probably have to be multitasking. Since I don’t think that Blizzard will allow multi-tabling to come to Hearthstone, I would imagine that I’d probably end up playing poker or something at the same time if I really wanted to commit time to the game. However, if I’m not taking the game super seriously and I treat it expressly as a time-waster, I think I’d get the most out of it at that point.

It’s the same sort of attitude that I’ve been giving a couple of other casual mobile games from a certain developer called Supercell. Clash of Clans and Boom Beach are freemium timer-based-tactics titles. The’s a timer for nearly every aspect of the game. Want to upgrade a type of unit in Clash of Clans? Pay thousands upon thousands of Elixir and then be prepared to wait two days for your upgrade to finish. Want to expand your Radar coverage in Boom Beach? Get ready to wait for days to gather the stone needed, and then wait twelve hours to perform the upgrade. The way to escape this particular cycle is to use the gem/diamond currency that can only be used to speed up production/timers.

However, being able to play these games without giving into the need to spend real currency to skip a timer just a handful of times isn’t worth it to me. It’s not that I expect to eventually turn into a pro gamer at either game, but I just don’t want to feel beholden to the game going forward. I want the fun that I’ll have fighting other bases with my armies to be genuine and not something I feel like I just have to get used to—like the feeling I get sometimes when it comes to Destiny and paying for that season pass.

And in that way I could definitely see myself passing random bits of time playing Hearthstone and trying to make as many coins so that I could unlock all of the cards without spending money. However, Xûr’s in the bar near the hangar, and I have some strange coins to earn, then spend.

RVANews is doing a thing to talk about #RVA. You should be there.

Do you live or work in or around Richmond? Do you care about the direction that Richmond is heading in? Do you have this Wednesday evening free? Do you have twenty dollars for the ticket? Optionally, do you have extra cash for secondary drink ticket purchases?

THE POWER OF ROSS COMPELS YOU TO BE AT RVANEWS LIVE #002

I attended the first RVANews Live event which was pretty awesome. At the time, it was thought of as more of a proof of concept test, but I’m pretty sure the fact that RVANews could bring together such a high quality of the three panels of local activists, celebrities, and entrepreneurs meant that this could happen.

The three panel format gives attendees a chance to meet each other and ensures that panelists don’t run out of things to talk about. It’s pretty awesome to be in a relatively close-in setting to be able to shoot the breeze with a panelist before they take the stage.

If getting the commitments of three panels worth of busy people isn’t simple enough, finding a space in the city to host the audience for the event seems just as complex. It’s good to hear that the folks over at the good-ship USS RVANews are continuing the series at GatherRVA’s meeting room, because it was just the right size to accommodate everyone in attendance.

Finally, what’s even better than being able to hear everything a panel says? Being able to fire questions back at them probably tops the list. What’s better than that? The panelist asking a question to the audience and the audience becoming the panel for a brief moment. The feel of the panels at the last event felt more like a large group conversation more than the stage speaking at an audience. I hope that the rotating set of moderators allow this kind of fluid-ish format to continue at Wednesday evening’s event.

If you’re in town on Wednesday and want to hear what folks are doing to make Richmond (and in some cases, Virginia as a state) less shitty and generally better, buy a ticket and come on down to GatherRVA. After you buy a ticket, you’ll want to RSVP via Facebook.

I guess I can’t really get away from Destiny.

Last night, I watched my housemates try to clear the “Eye of a Gatelord” mission in Destiny on their PS4s. They couldn’t. Maybe they’re just not good at shooters in general. Maybe I’m just too good at the game.

The PS4 controller is certainly an improvement on the PS3 controller for two reasons:

  1. I don’t feel like I’m going to break the damn thing while using it and,
  2. the thumbsticks on those things is a vast improvement over the previous generation.

But, I picked it up and without too much fuss–or dropping the boss battle for that matter, and cleared it no problem. It’s amazing what you can do when you can circle-strafe.

So, when I woke up this morning to a bit of a snow day, I pushed a change for a client and then fired up the Xbox One… to play some Destiny.

I played through the Heroic Daily on “The Black Garden” at 30 and the Heroic Weekly on “Valus Tu’arc” at 30.

And that was it.

I suppose I could’ve gone on to play my other two characters, but there’s a point where the addiction and compulsion would return and I’m not quite sure I’m ready to return to that level of constant disappointment.

Yet.

Ugh. I’m screwed to repeat this whole Destiny thing, aren’t I?

Sid Meier’s Starships is only $15? Seems like quite the steal.

A turn-based spaceship tactics simulator that draws on Beyond Earth’s improvements to the Civilization series while taking some mechanics clues of XCOM’s tactics? Certainly seems worth it, just based on the preview from Shacknews.

I wonder how the Starships connects to Beyond Earth, though. I might have to give both of these games a chance if the connection between them is strong enough.

The Mittani writer Ryan Vincent even compared the game’s development to Ace Patrol’s? I love that iOS title. Hopefully it keeps getting nice new updates for awhile after the initial release like Ace Patrol does.

#EVO2015 #HYPE #confirmed.

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Well, I’m going to Vegas in the middle of July to attend EVO 2015. That’s for sure. As for everything else, who knows? It’ll be my first time in Vegas. I’m sure it’ll be a fun time as the bad fighting-game player amongst the FGC masses. Maybe I’ll relax while I’m out of town.

Riot president’s presumed reaction to criticism over SpectateFaker in comic form makes for great commentary.

This SpectateFaker news will not stop blowing up. With personalities like Destiny using TwitLonger to host a rant and Richard Lewis’ soapbox speech posted to YouTube, it seems like we’re at the point where we should be looking to a Riot spokesperson for some sort of statement about the whole matter.

And then, I saw this:

How on the precisely on the nose does this cartoon hit? I’m not sure if you could hit any more of a bullseye than this!

There’s only two things that Riot’s PR team can be doing at a time like this: kicking themselves for allowing their out-of-touch president to address the situation without the most basic knowledge of the debacle and full-on, duck-and-cover panicking.