30 Nov

Heroes of Newerth Guides for Beginners Series

In an attempt to help make Heroes of Newerth a more attractive game for new players, I decided to start a video series for guides specifically designed for people who are just beginning to play Heroes of Newerth and are not necessarily familiar with other AoS/ARTS/MOBA and their complex mechanics.


Although this is an on-going video series, I thought I might as well post what I have created so far. My first guide, which is a four part video series in and of itself, goes about the task of explaining the Starting Screen and HoN Store in Heroes of Newerth. This is the very first thing you encounter when playing HoN, so I thought it would be a good place to start.

The second most common question I hear from friends who are new to HoN is how to use the monkey courier and what role it plays in the game. My second (or my fifth video, if you’re counting the first as four separate videos) explains the purpose of the monkey courier, how it works and some useful hotkeys for properly managing it without losing track of your hero.

This video covers the topic of consolidating the vast amounts of information needed to play HoN well. A lot of people are turned away from Heroes of Newerth because of the fact that they feel that they need to memorize a lot of information before they can play the game. Although they should be working towards that goal, it doesn’t mean that they can’t start off with a consolidated general understanding of the game and work towards fully understanding the game while playing it.

My latest video covers the history and use of Attack Modifying items in Heroes of Newerth.

Here’s another video about Attributes and their history:

27 Nov

ZiggyD’s Monday Musings: Are Video Games a Waste of Time?

G’day ZiggyD here it’s Monday the 26th november here in Australia and welcome to what is likely to be the last monday musing of this year. Im not planning on cancelling the show or anything but its getting close to christmas and I also have to move houses in December so uploads might be a bit sketchy over the next month. I’ll probably give another update on what will be happening in terms of content over the break in a few days time.

The original video:

So, for today’s Monday Musings I am actually going to be answering a question which I am more than happy to do so feel free to send your own musings to my Youtube inbox. Today’s question, however, comes in the form of a comment from TheTraase, which I believe means TheTomato and that’s awesome.

So the question is:

Ziggy, why do i feel so depressed and like im wasting my life playing video games? i love them but i feel like im wasting my time… what would you do in my situation? – TheTraase

I did respond to this comment briefly at the time but it got me thinking and I wanted to expand upon my answer here today.

Firstly, I know the feeling you are talking about. I have dealt with depression a few times in my life and i have also encountered the feeling like I was wasting time playing video games. I’m actually pretty sure that most gamers will have this feeling at some point for a variety of reasons.

I think the feeling that you are wasting your time gaming usually comes from one of two places, either there is something else that you want to (or have to) do but for some reason put it off, or, the general feeling that games aren’t a legitimate use of your time, which is often an idea supported by other people around you.

So let’s tackle the idea that you do actually feel like you should be doing something else first. It could be as simple as you literally spending too much time gaming and are not fulfilling your other obligations such as study, relationships or other hobbies. I think this is probably the most common issue that most gamers will face because gaming is an easy way to distract ourselves from things that we dont want to do or want to do but are a bit nervous or reluctant get into it. Breaking the non gaming stuff I should be doing into chunks seems to help me a lot. For example, instead of thinking I have to get this whole article done for a client because it’s overdue I just do a paragraph in between farming runs of Diablo 3 and within an hour or two it’s done with no real issue. You can do this with anything too, instead of thinking that you need to spend more time with your friends simply break it into smaller chunks that you can actually take action on like every second afternoon you spend an hour or so with someone. The main point is to not give yourself this massive list of things you should be doing instead of gaming, otherwise you will probably just shut down and not do any of it.
So, that’s all well and good for when you know the other things you want to or need to be doing but what about if you just have the feeling that you want to be doing something else when your gaming but you don’t know what it is. Well I don’t think this is so much a problem with gaming but more a problem with you not having explored your own interests enough. I think a lot of people get into the cycle of just doing what they always do whether it’s working, gaming or watching TV and they don’t spend any time searching for other things that interest them. The first step to breaking this spell of repetition is to start training yourself to make conscious decisions in your life. It could be as simple as driving a different route home to what you normally do. Eventually you can then take this idea further and spend an afternoon doing something you wouldn’t normally do, googling something you haven’t googled before or talking to people you wouldnt normally talk to. Once you start doing this occasionally you start to find these little paths of interests that you can follow to find other cool things you might be keen on doing.

So the final thing I want to touch on is when the idea that gaming is a waste of time is given to you by other people and when it is not actually justified. Firstly, I want to say that gaming is a medium that has a massive amount to offer people ranging from entertainment and escapism to skill building and even character defining experiences. Gaming has definitely shaped who I am in a positive way, they have allowed me to explore ideas and concpets I wouldnt have otherwise, theyve allowed me to enter situations outside the normal world and they have given me both physical and mental challenges to test myself against. Games like Final Fantasy 7, Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 have all had varied and huge impacts on my life. You should definitely allow yourself to recognize the positives of the gaming medium. Sure games can be used as a distraction and a time waste but they can also do a whole lot of good.

So that’s my main answer to TheTraase’s question but I do just want to make one final serious note. Gaming can and has been used as a positive treatment for some forms of depression but excessive gaming has been proven to aggravate serious cases of depression. This is because it is a naturally sedentary activity and lack of exercise is huge issue in depression for many people. If you feel like you may be suffering from depression or anxiety then the best things you can do are to talk to a doctor about it and try and break up your gaming sessions with some more exercise. Sorry to end on a bit of a sombre note but I want to see all you gamers happy and healthy so you can really enjoy your gaming for a long time to come.


If you have a question you would like to send for a future Monday Musings then you can send it to me via my YouTube Inbox, which can be found here, on my channel page.

24 Nov

Diablo 3: Alkaizer Run Efficiency Tips and Tricks for Efficiency

Ever since the release of patch 1.0.5 I have been Paragon levelling in Diablo 3. Although I am a huge fan of Act 1 this lead me to start doing the popular Alkaizer run in Act 3 and luckily I found that I quite enjoyed doing them and trying to improve my XP per hour. In this pursuit of efficiency I have discovered a good number of tips and tricks that I’ll  be sharing with you today.

Prefer to watch/listen or prefer to read? Don’t worry, I have you covered either way.


General Tips

  • Having a predefined list of the names and types of gear you plan on picking up will take the decision making out of your runs and increase your overall speed. What is on your list is up to you but remember some gear slots and types have more potential value than others and the smaller your list is the faster your runs are going to be. I explained what I pick up in patch 1.0.5 and why in this recent video.
  • Always try to be moving forward and avoid backtracking as much as possible. If you find yourself kiting to stay alive then you may need to adjust your build, gear or the monster power you are playing on. Ranged classes can stutter step fire forwards through their run to increase overall run speed.
  • You should play on a fairly low Monster Power if you are farming for experience and gear, even if you can handle higher. The time to kill mobs scales exponentially higher as you move through the levels and this quickly outweigh the magic find and experience bonuses. The rule of thumb for whether you should farm a higher monster power is if you spend less than 10% of your time fighting elites in your current monster power. However, even this rule can be quite subjective and the only real way to find out the most efficient monster power for you is to work out your experience per hour on each setting.

Read More »

18 Nov

Free to Play – PC versus Console Gaming

Free to Play has become a hot topic of discussion within the video game community within the last four years with many good arguments to support each side. After being on a MarkeeDragon live show on youtube on the subject of free to play, I have a few important questions to ask.


Of course F2P is beneficial for most companies, as it brings in new players and attention, but it is not without its negative side-effects. My main problem with the Free to Play movement is that it encourages players to expect games for free without ever giving any money to the game developers. No other entertainment medium is expected to give away entertainment content for free without any expectation for compensation. You don’t go to a movie theater, watch a movie for free and then decide not to pay for the ticket once the movie is over. You don’t go to a bookstore, read a book in it’s entirety and put it back on the shelf without paying a dime. In fact, it is only PC gamers that expect games to be given away for free. Console gamers have been paying a large amount of money for their games for a long time now. Paying $60 every month is not uncommon for a console gamer, as a lot of good games come out over a year and almost all console games are $60 USD on release and rarely are reduced in prices until many months later.

What makes PC gaming any different? Nothing, except for the attitude of the community. Although Free to Play is an interesting payment model, it is a very socialist system, in which a few players pay for the enjoyment of many, as it is the players that pay for things in Free to Play games that keep them economically viable. Now, that isn’t necessarily a problem, as it is a mutually beneficial system, in which paying players pay for the games development and free to play players give the paying players someone to play with, but it isn’t a necessarily fair and balanced system. If you like a game, pay for it. Not paying for games is possibly the worst thing you can do for the video game industry, especially if you enjoy it, as it halts development and influences development trends towards models that are more economically viable.

Now, PC gamers have been arguably paying less than console gamers on the whole for games for a long time now, especially thanks to the growing popularity of digital distribution networks like Steam, so having them complain about paying for video games seems very backwards. For instance, Dark Souls released for $60 on PS3 and X-Box 360 about a year ago and a few months ago Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition was released on Steam for $40, which included the DLC that console gamers had to pay for separately. Plenty of PC gamers are released for under $20 USD, which is very rare for non-PSN or XBLA releases on console.

Free to Play has it’s benefits, but all of those benefits are fulfilled by simply having trials for players to test games before purchasing them. No company should have to give away their games for free to gain the attention of the mass market. Game developers work too damn hard and put too much damn time into their games for the gaming community to demand their games for free. Get off your couch, get a job and pay for your video games.

Here’s a video on Free to Play that I, I hope, better explains my position on F2P

11 Nov

The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Diablo 3 Players

A Case Study into What Separates the Multi-Billion Gold, Paragon 100 Players from the Average Ones (Like Myself)

And no, it isn’t just that they play all day every day…

Over the past few weeks I have been compiling notes from forum posts, Reddit, streams and YouTube trying to figure out what all of the successful players had in common. Fortunately for me I came up with seven total themes or habits that the majority of players I looked at seem to exhibit. I say fortunately for me because I could use that clever title up there.

Prefer to watch/listen instead of read? Why not check out the video version instead:

#7 – A Focus on Paragon Levels

Nearly all of the wealthy and influential players I looked into seemed to agree that a high Paragon level was the key to long term success. It makes sense since the benefits of Magic Find, Gold Find and Main stats really add up once you start getting beyond P-Level 50.

A few players I talked to recommended:

  • Getting the best Ruby you can afford for your helmet.
  • Getting 2 decent Hellfire Rings (one for your follower)
  • Getting 1-2 Leoric’s signets.

With this combination you can reach level 50 or higher in pretty short order and the bonuses you will get for this will make a significant difference in your drops. Read More »

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