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Jonas, Author at Armchair Empire - Page 9 of 13

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Overwatch Five Tips to Have a Successful Season Five Placement

Overwatch season five starts today, and I couldn’t be happier. We didn’t even have to wait a week between season four and five, which means I haven’t forgotten all my sweet moves that propelled me to an above average season rank. That said, I always hear/see people asking what they can do in order to get the best season rank (SR) out of their placement matches. You have 10 chances to kick off season five as Grand Master, so let’s go. Here are my five tips on how to start Overwatch season five with the best placement matches.

1. Team up: Find a good partner or two to work with during placement matches. Going solo is risky as you never know what team you will end up with. Is it a super squad or a bunch of people just trying to get through placements and get their rank. At least with one partner you can work together.

2. Communication: Use your mic. Even if you hate doing it, communicating with your squad can be the difference between a W or L.

3. Practice: So the season started, who cares! It’s several months long. You have plenty of time to swing up and down in your season rank. It’s a much tougher battle going from 1500 to 2500 than 2500 to 3000. Work on your aim and player skills.

4. Get on fire: While Overwatch doesn’t really say what all is involved with your season rank, there are three things that matter the most. Winning, Kills, and time on fire. I love Lucio, but I’m going to be looking at Soldier 76 or Roadhog to do my placement matches.

5. Adjust your play: During player selection, find out what your team needs and see if you can fill that void. This is where the microphone comes in handy “I’m a better Zen than Mercy for heals.” Stuck at a choke? Fly over. Getting wrecked by Bastion? Switch to counter. Help yourself by helping your team.

Bonus tip: Have fun! Seriously, don’t be toxic. If you feel tilted because you lost two in a row, stop and do something else. Go crazy with Winston in Total Mayhem arcade mode – So satisfying to go ape and fling people off maps.

Follow these five basic tips and you should be able to have a solid SR placement. Best of luck to everyone in season five!

intel i9 gaming cpu

Intel i9 CPU, a Glimpse at the Future?

“Wow”. That’s all I could think when I heard about the new Intel i9 processor for the first time.

intel i9 gaming cpuJust as we all expected to hear typical “slightly more power, slightly more efficiency” we are served on every new CPU series premiere, Intel surprised us by releasing a completely new, high-end CPU that is at least a few miles ahead of its market competition.

Coming at a whopping price of $1,700, Intel i9 is simply a glimpse into the future of super processors and powerful computing engines with almost no limitations. For the very first time, a commercial chip available to the public offers 18 cores and 36 threads. Yeah, you heard me right. 18 cores.

If you’re unfamiliar with the nerd & technical jargon here’s a short paragraph answering the question “what are these cores are why are they so important”:

Cores are “subunits” of the processor. The more cores your computer has, the more tasks it can do simultaneously. To understand how it affects the quality of your work you should imagine a straight pipeline filled with tasks. Switching to a specific task requires taking out all that stand in front of it and putting them into the back of the pipeline, essentially moving that long virtual queue. Multicore setup uses additional pipelines, enabling the computer to access & cycle tasks easier, essentially making it faster.

Sadly, it doesn’t mean that our games and programs will magically run better once we buy this powerful upgrade. First, they need to support such solutions. This is why the monstrous Intel Core i9 will be no more than a cool gadget, even among the richest gamers (at least for now). PC games simply can’t take advantage of this feature and even the most demanding ones, such as the Witcher, will rarely use more than 4 cores.

Does that mean that Intel released a product that won’t find appeal in any group and we are not ready for such futuristic products yet?

Not really.

But there are a few groups which welcome this new piece of silicone open-armed.

Take programmers for instance. Compiling the code and using extensive virtual machine/server setup uses a lot of resources, often far more than they have. Another group are video editors – these guys, especially the studio professionals, see this CPU as a salvation and a powerful tool, greatly enhancing the quality of their work.

Speaking of videos – casual users who have some spare money, watch a lot of 4k videos and are interested in Virtual Reality and its possibilities are another big audience for this product.

What about gamers?

Well, our group wasn’t completely left alone in the darkness. Those of you who enjoy streaming, have a good internet connection and use the highest settings might see that as a good opportunity to improve their experience for themselves, and their viewers.

All-in-all Intel has presented a great CPU of the future, however, for now, its use will be limited to hobbyists, professional editors & programmers as the unexceptionally high price and limited usage are likely to scare many PC users off.

Overwatch Heroes get Updates. Hanzo Buff, Soldier Nerf?

General

Recoil Recovery Aim Compensation can now be disabled for Ana, McCree, and Widowmaker. The option can be found under the “Control” tab in the “Options” menu. Simply select the appropriate hero under the dropdown menu and look for the “Hero” section

Developer Comments: By default, weapon recoil recovery is overruled by downward crosshair movement. This means that downward movement during the weapon’s recoil recovery phase will override the weapon’s natural recoil recovery. This option allows you to remove this functionality, meaning a weapon’s natural recoil recovery movement acts independently from downward crosshair movement. In practice, this will make your crosshair move faster if you aim downward during the recoil recovery window.

Character Specific

Genji

Removed the attack delay from Genji’s wall climbing ability, allowing him to engage with enemies immediately after he finishes climbing

Developer Comments: This is a quality of life change to make wall climbing feel better.

Hanzo

Removed the attack cooldown from Hanzo’s wall climbing ability, allowing him to engage with enemies immediately after he finishes climbing

Storm Bow Increase charge speed by 10% Charged arrows now maintain their charge after climbing a wall, provided the button is continuously held

Developer Comments: Decreasing Hanzo’s draw time gives him more overall DPS, while also letting him fully charge an arrow and more quickly return to full movement speed when needed. And, like the change to Genji’s wall climbing, this is a quality of life change that will make climbing feel better.

Orisa

Fusion Driver Damage reduced by 9%

Protective Barrier Cooldown reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds

Developer Comments: To help Orisa maintain the front line for her team, we’re reducing the cooldown of her Protective Barrier. This change also helps her reposition the barrier more easily when needed. To compensate for this new defensive strength, we’re reducing her Fusion Driver’s damage, as it felt too high.

Reaper

Wraith Form Ammo is now entirely refilled when Wraith Form is used

Developer Comments: Wraith Form is typically used as an escape ability after firing. This change gives Reaper a fighting chance if an enemy chases him down as he uses it.

Reinhardt

Earthshatter Effective height has been lowered from 3 meters to 2 meters The height threshold of objects that Earthshatter can “climb” has been lowered from 3 meters to 2 meters, making Earthshatter less likely to climb tall objects as it moves along the ground.

Developer Comments: Earthshatter tended to climb unexpectedly high, frequently hitting targets that were significantly above the ground. These changes help the ability stay more grounded.

Soldier: 76

Heavy Pulse Rifle Bullet damage decreased from 20 to 19

Developer Comments: Soldier: 76 is in a much better place lately, but his damage output was making him a must pick, compared to similar roles.

Overwatch: How to play as Zarya

Zarya is one of the strongest characters in the game but so often used improperly and that renders her nearly useless. We put together a few tips on how to play Zarya but frankly the biggest point to make is PING YOUR ULT STATUS. Zarya has one of the best ults in the game but it is without a doubt the most critical so use in combination with another ult say Genji, Soldier or someone else with serious killing power. There is not much that is more frustrating in OW than watching Zarya solo-ult only to get a single kill or just see the enemy team floating around behind a Reinhardt shield.
So here we go, our top tips for playing Zarya.

Zarya Tips:

  • Her beam is far stronger than the explosive charge. Explosive charge requires direct hits to be most effective. You have to use your particle barrier to increase the weapon’s damage. At 100% charge, she is deadly.
  • Particle Barrier for you: engage only after you are being shot. This will increase your cannon strength. Shield only lasts for 2 seconds and has a 10-second cooldown. Use wisely
  • Use the projected barrier to shield your team! A barrier on a teammate from a charging Reinhardt can save their life and increase your charge.
  • Best uses for projected barrier – flanking ally, ally’s caught in an ultimate, ally who is in the middle of the fight (think Winston), when ally is using their ult (McCree, Pharah)
  • Use explosive charge at a distance or in face to face battles.
  • Shoot the Graviton surge at enemy feet to avoid it being
  • Call out your ultimate! Ping your status!
  • Combos great with following ultimates – Reaper, D.VA, Junkrat, Tracer, Pharah, Hanzo, Soldier, Genji
  • Use your explosive charge during the ultimate as they should all be direct hits.
  • Zarya is a good counter to: Winston (absorbs his cannon easily), Genji (deflect does not work on beam), Mei (Particle barrier stops freezing)
  • Zarya is weak against: Pharah (Hard to hit), Widowmaker (too far away), Bastion (Sentry form destroys her quickly).
  • Although a tank, try and keep your distance until you have 50% charge or higher to be more effective.
  • Need to move in and out of battle, build your charge and barrier allies.
  • Use your microphone and team up your ultimate with an ally!!!

Teamwork makes the dreamwork.  Your system has a microphone, use it!

february releases header

Bringing back the Dead: HotS 2.0

Many of us got hyped when Blizzard announced changes into their MOBA – Heroes of the Storm. Overhauled progression system, improved interface, a new map and A LOT of freebies. The last one is especially exciting – All who log into HotS before 22nd of May get to claim a 20 hero bundle for free.

Buying these heroes with real money would cost you at least 80$, making this a perfect deal for both new players, wanting to try different heroes without spending countless hours grinding gems, the in-game currency, and old veterans who want to complete their collections or try something fresh. For now, you can choose between four bundles – Assasin, Flex, Support & Specialist and Tank & Bruiser bundle. Even if you don’t plan to play HotS a lot, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. You never know when you will use them.

Coming straight out of Overwatch, loot boxes are now a part of Heroes of the Storm. As you level up your heroes, you will open loot boxes containing random new emojis, booster packs, skins and even heroes!

With this system loss streaks and bad games are now much more bearable, as even if you happen to be on a losing spree, the game still rewards you for playing. Duplicate items are broken down, adding shards (used to buy more chests or heroes) to your account.

It is not hard to notice that this is a desperate effort to bring dying HotS back to life. Despite being pushed and promoted almost everywhere, HotS did not become a hit Blizzard wanted to. Seen as a “dumbed down” MOBA by both League and Dota players, it never managed to build a huge player base. Even today, one of the biggest group of HotS players are those who play a game or two in-between other MOBAs to calm down and relax after hard & demanding matches. Seeing declining player base of the game they have so heavily invested in, Blizzard will do anything to avoid the grim end.

It wasn’t supposed to end up like that.

In Blizzard’s original idea, Heroes of the Storm was supposed to be a game changer. A MOBA without a steep learning curve and toxic community, yet complex and enjoyable for the viewers. By removing mechanics common in other games of the genre, such as last hitting or denying, the game hopes to resolve the issue of having less mechanically skilled players drag the team down after tough early game. Focus on team fights and brawling was supposed to give these players a chance to shine and be relevant while improving everyone’s experience. All while keeping a high skill ceiling, allowing the game to grow into a successful eSport.

Perhaps Blizzard overlooked the fact things they call “issues” are actually what makes these games interesting?

The Uprising has fallen

It was fun while it lasted!

As the 1st of May passes, Blizzard sticks to their promise and removes the Uprising event from Overwatch.


For those of you who happened to be on holiday from 11th of April till today a few words of introduction. Uprising was a seasonal event, in which players could for the very first time dive into the lore of Overwatch.

The world of Overwatch is beyond the shadow of a doubt one of the best-written universes in gaming. Sadly, many people don’t know anything related to it as the game does not ram it in your face by any means. For them, Overwatch is all about fun & shooting, with some lore-related flavor texts here and there. But by no means is that wrong! They bought a game, a quick, fast-paced shooter to kill the boredom during these pesky winter evenings! If they wanted to experience a deep and touching storytelling, they would have chosen Planescape: Torment (can you think of a more classical example of a top-notch narrative in a game?) right away and wouldn’t bother with Overwatch at all.

Until the Uprising, the lore was accessible only through comics, stories, and animations (the quality of which, by the way, matches Pixar movies). There was no actual way of replaying the events that have shaped the Overwatch’s world.

The Uprising scenario allowed players to replay Tracer’s first mission. In this story, Torbjörn, Reinhardt, and Mercy had to defend King’s Row from swarms of attacking omnics. In a Left 4 Dead-style PvE Brawl, the players could finally take part in canon events and become heroes of the Overwatch lore.

To keep it fun, Blizzard enabled an all-hero mode allowing to use all characters. The event rewarded participants with seasonal loot boxes containing unique content, unobtainable elsewhere.

In total 114 new items were made available. Needless to say, newer players will look jealously upon veterans equipped with them. Special mention goes to Blackwatch McCree and Combat Medic Ziegler Mercy – these two skins look so well that it will be hard for Blizzard to release something better (these outfits come with Legendary quality; there are 6 other Legendary skins and 2 Epic outfits).

Blizzard stated that more lore-related events are to come, however, as of yet there are no plans to introduce a story mode into the game.

I find this quite sad.

There is so much story that needs to be told.

The biggest upset in recent eSport raises a question on the format of tournaments.

Many fans watched in silence as SG Gaming, a relatively unknown Brazilian stack, knocked Team Secret off the 3000000$ price pool Kiev Major. Long will this match linger in our memories as one of the greatest upsets in the history of eSports.

This event sparked a fierce discussion in the eSport community regarding the single-elimination format of the tournament. No wonder, seeing that next round showed that while SG Gaming is a good team that can put up a fight, they are simply one level below other teams. Given a chance to climb the lower bracket, Secret would have had a good shot at changing the outcome of the entire tournament.

Supporters of the double-elimination format bring up a strong argument that if a tournament is to crown the current champions among all teams, independently of things between particular ones. Almost every team has their favorite scrimmage partners who know them like the backs of their hands. Skills showed in matches between such teams are not the accurate reflection of their power level because understanding your opponents style is important in all eSports. In such situations (ex. unlucky seeding), a better team, who would have stomped the tournament otherwise, might end up knocked out by their scrim partners.
It is also relevant in games where “cheese” tactics exist. A team or player may use a surprising strategy to win one match but still lose in the long run. Tournaments should reward masters, not one-trick ponies.
Not everyone agrees with that stance.
Some people say that tournaments should encourage these high-risk high-rewards plays as they are what allows us to see mesmerizing underdog stories. They point out that it is leagues’ and general rankings’ role to show the most consistent teams and tournaments are all about the feeling of the moment and glorious victories. In their opinion, a champion should withstand all obstacles and cheeses. Should a team overlook an issue, they shall pay the price. Like in war, there are no second chances. That’s a pretty good point when you consider the fact that it was Secret’s pride and cockiness that cost them a shot for 1000000$.

Apart from that, there’s an issue of time & money – tournaments played with double-elimination format take essentially double the time of single-elimination ones.
It may seem pretty good for the viewers for they wouldn’t just watch more games but also sometimes get a second chance to root for their beloved team as they would struggle to fight through the lower bracket, however, it is disastrous for organizers. It’s already common to see games dragging out for hours. Doubling that would mean either additional costs (and these events are already quite costly) or cutting down the number of teams. The latter means that while some may be happy to see their team for the second time, others may not get to see theirs at all (and that means fewer viewers, fewer tickets sold and smaller tournaments).

There is no straightforward answer to the question about the formats. The only thing we can be sure is that now Team Secret will think twice before underestimating their opponents.

What do you think about it? Should there be a standard format or should it be up to individual tournaments? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

Full Broadcast Recap

E-Sports Team

Taking A Look At An E-Sports Team

Imagine for a moment if your life consisted of living in the same house with a group of friends playing video games and making money. With very little exaggeration that is exactly what some E-sports teams do. They live in the same house, practice the video games that they play, and promote brands that have chosen to sponsor them.

Optic Gaming is a popular E-Sports team with a lot of influence in their field. They are doing well enough that they have purchased a seven-bedroom house in the suburbs of Chicago. This home looks like something that would be owned by a high powered official but is instead occupied by video game playing twenty-somethings.

The image of video game players as slobs and unable to make money is something that certainly does not apply to those who are part of this team. They have found a way to make what they love to do work for them. The types of games that they play are “Call of Duty“, “Halo”, “Gears Of War”, and others. The one thing that you will find in common with all of these games is that they are team efforts.

Gaming House

The member of Optic Gaming has all of the latest technology to make team play possible and to make it possible for them to do very well with the games they play. They always have to be able to communicate with one another about strategy and what they are doing in the game at any given moment.

The CEO of Optic Gaming is a 37-year-old named Hector Rodriguez. He has worked to promote the team and has made them very popular. However, popularity is not the only point of doing this. He is hoping to draw in corporate sponsors who will put in the big bucks to make it worthwhile to keep playing. He has not had much trouble on that front. He has even managed to draw the eyes of companies as large as PepsiCo.

In total the team actually owns two houses and has a total of 22 players on it. Some are there solely to make content and put out videos of the team onto their various social media accounts. Other people are there to actually play the games. Either way, the group is a powerful one with a lot of reasons to keep an eye on them. They are becoming a force all by themselves. One member said that he went from being just a fan of the team to now being a member himself with nearly 3 million subscribers on his YouTube channel that follow his every move.

The group has become so popular that almost any video they put up is sure to get millions of people to view it. They do not have to be actively playing against another team in order for people to be interested, they just need to put something out there and people will start watching.

This is the hidden industry that many people do not even realize exists, but it continues to grow by the day.

Ultimate Gaming Experience

Creating the Ultimate Gaming Experience

With all of the newest advancements in technology, gaming has the ability to be more captivating than ever. Greater quality consoles with enhanced graphics and gameplay continue to emerge in the market. Furthermore, gaming companies continue to brainstorm ways in which the gaming experience can be improved. From online interaction to hands-free gameplay, gaming companies continue to push the boundaries on what is possible. With the recent rise in gaming popularity, many people are interested in making a customized gaming space for themselves. Here are a few tips to help you create the ultimate gaming experience.

1. Choose Your Console Wisely

Perhaps the most important component to a gaming atmosphere is the game console itself. While there are countless brands and models of gaming consoles, there are only a few that have remained consistently popular throughout the years. The Xbox by Microsoft, the Play Station by Sony and the PC are all forms of consoles that have stood the test of time. There is an ongoing debate surrounding which gaming console is the best. You will find passionate gamers on all sides of the discussion. Generally, the Xbox and Play Station offer an unbeatable gaming experience. Both consoles pack amazing graphics, a large selection of games, comfortable controllers and online gameplay. Additionally, they are quite affordable when compared to the cost of a gaming PC. However, many gamers are beginning to turn towards gaming PC’s because of the freedom and customizability they offer. Unlike standard consoles, PC’s can be created and customized to the personal preference of the gamer. However, this is also the reason that gaming PC’s cost more than consoles.

Both consoles pack amazing graphics, a large selection of games, comfortable controllers and online gameplay. Additionally, they are quite affordable when compared to the cost of a gaming PC. However, many gamers are beginning to turn towards gaming PC’s because of the freedom and customizability they offer. Unlike standard consoles, PC’s can be created and customized to the personal preference of the gamer. However, this is also the reason that gaming PC’s cost more than consoles.

2. Purchase a Gaming Chair

Those who are new to the gaming culture may be surprised to realize that there are chairs designed especially for this activity. Generally, these gaming chairs look similar to a large massage chair. They are designed to remain comfortable during long periods of gameplay. Some people may question the necessity of purchasing a chair just for gaming. However, there is nothing more frustrating than sitting in an uncomfortable chair for long durations of gaming. In order to create the ultimate gaming experience, comfortable chairs are a necessity. These gaming chairs can be purchased online and even at some local electronic stores.

Some people may question the necessity of purchasing a chair just for gaming. However, there is nothing more frustrating than sitting in an uncomfortable chair for long durations of gaming. In order to create the ultimate gaming experience, comfortable chairs are a necessity. These gaming chairs can be purchased online and even at some local electronic stores.

3. Invest in a Quality TV

Another critical component to creating the ultimate gaming experience is investing in a quality TV. Playing games on the appropriate screen can mean the difference between feeling immersed in the game or having trouble seeing the game. No matter how powerful a console may be, its full potential cannot be realized without a top-of-the-line television. While there are hundreds of models and brands to choose from, a standard high-definition flat screen will do the trick. They are lightweight, compact and can be surprisingly affordable. Another important factor to consider is the compatibility between the console and the TV. Gamers must be certain that all necessary chords leading from the console can be plugged into the TV. This ensures that all visual and audio components can be successfully transferred from the console and displayed on the screen.

They are lightweight, compact and can be surprisingly affordable. Another important factor to consider is the compatibility between the console and the TV. Gamers must be certain that all necessary chords leading from the console can be plugged into the TV. This ensures that all visual and audio components can be successfully transferred from the console and displayed on the screen.

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