Tuesday, December 29, 2009

NBA Season 2008-09: The Balance between Eastern and Western Conference

I just watched a Yahoo Sports interview with Kenny Smith and Marc Spears regarding the top teams in the NBA. To my surprise, what I was supposed to be writing a few months ago was exactly what Kenny Smith has been talking about in the interview. Well, I guess every avid NBA fan knows about it though but I just would like to stress out that what Kenny has been telling us is a fact thru statistics.

In the last regular season of the NBA, teams get to play with their conference opponents 52 games out of a possible 82 games while the 30 games are against opponents outside their conference. Combining these simple statistics with the knowledge of the rosters in the NBA for both conferences, I'd say it's pretty obvious that an NCAA format of tournament rankings should have been implemented instead. Of course if this would be possible, in which I doubt would be happening in the soonest possible time, conference games would be narrowed down. But in reality, it's more than just a mere tweaking of the playoff arrangements. Of course that format will cost way lots of money than the current conference and division set-ups.

Going back, I think the only way we could see the balance between both conferences now would be on the emphasis on the quality of the GMs in their respective conferences and salary cap of course. Taking a look at franchise building, it's amazing how the Portland Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder have delighted us by turning their teams to playoff contenders especially in the Western conference. Kevin Pritchard and Sam Presti have done remarkable jobs at constructing their teams. Sam Presti is deserving to win this year's GM of the Year if not for Daryl Morey's surprisingly better team Houston Rockets riding oft-injured franchise players Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming. Teams from the Eastern Conference, with the emergence and downfall of the Detroit Pistons and the rising of franchise players such as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Joe Johnson and Chris Bosh, have done simply nothing to improve their teams except for the almost effortless Boston Celtics reconstruction. Instead of taking advantage of the predictable decline of the Pistons, Eastern conference GMs were contented with minor tweaks and settling for a subpar record but a playoff opportunity. Chicago Bulls should have been strongly contending, so should the Toronto Raptors and the disappointing Washington Wizards who gave up tons of money for a fake franchise player Gilbert Arenas. And while many people and analysts consider Atlanta Hawks as a powerhouse team, I don't. This team should have also taken care of its homework. With its current roster, it's impossible for them to compete against the Celtics, Magic and the Cavaliers. They are happy to be bullying the Eastern conference with their lineup and beat playoff contenders such as the Miami Heat. This team is supposed to be strong but put it in the Western conference and it's just an eighth-seeded team going into playoffs.

Western conference GMs took the other way around. While the Los Angeles Lakers have been consistently beefing up their roster, other teams took the challenge head on and beefed up their rosters too. After Shaq got traded to the Eastern conference, many would have thought the Texas triumvirate San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets and the Phoenix Suns would have clearly dominated the NBA but things have changed pretty fast when Memphis Grizzlies threw away Pau Gasol for the younger Marc Gasol which is now actually starting to pay off. Denver Nuggets went from first round playoff contenders to a sudden conference finals contenders by acquiring Chauncey Billups and finally a healthy roster. The Spurs are again a team to watch out for after having been acquired Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess. A lot of Western conference GMs took no season to relax their budget by making bold moves in their roster as they attempt to squeeze out the best out of their franchise players during their primes such as Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Brandon Roy, Kevin Durant and an already declining Spurs dynasty.

Having these things been pointed out, Eastern conference powerhouse teams Magic, Celtics and Cavs will have fresher legs come Finals time since their starters are well-rested while developing their bench players as the season goes on. The trend for lower tier Eastern conference teams will still be the same for the years to come unless they start on not relying too much on the NBA draft. They've got LeBron James and Dwayne Wade and have the up and coming Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings but the Western conference still have gotten the better of these recent drafts - Kevin Durant, Brandon Roy, Andrew Bynum and Tyreke Evans.
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Canon Powershot G11

The new top of the line Canon point and shoot camera has been released. The review can be found here.

Here's my two cents about the camera:
1. Trimming down of 14.7MP to 10MP. While an ordinary user may always tend to max out the image size to 14.7MP, users with past experience of using cameras may tend to disagree about it. It's a good idea to focus on the other functions of the camera but the trimming down will lessen its attraction to a newbie to cameras. Ordinary users do not usually go to Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop to post-process their still images. The highest possible megapixel resolution is advised for users who do post-processing and cropping of pictures. Let's face it, while you always have the largest resolution of photos taken, other people won't be able to see it online because photo sharing sites won't allow you to store very large photos unless you have premium accounts or viewers won't always zoom in and take that in-depth look at every photo. So what's left? A thumbnail resolution - trimmed down version of your photo. So for me, it's okay to have the megapixel trim down.

2. Low light mode. I actually haven't used and seen this camera yet but I'm looking forward to using this mode. It's a great thing especially for those users who often take shots at night.

3. Finally, with all the hype surrounding Panasonic LX3 and the arrival of G11 and other high-end point and shoot cameras, if you love to shoot to places where a DLSR is prohibited, compact cameras are the best option and love taking whatever has captured your attention, then go for these cameras.
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Microsoft File Transfer Manager

Just doing a quick post/tip here. Whenever you want to download large files using your MSDN account, it is best to use Internet Explorer. The ActiveX control Microsoft File Transfer Manager will then be prompted for installation. In this way, you will be able to pause and resume your downloads just like any normal file transfer.
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Warcraft Patch 1.24 and the future of DotA

Warcraft patch 1.24 has been released. Every previous version of DotA won't work on the latest patch that's why IceFrog is now preparing for the new version to work on the latest patch. This will be the start of the patch upgrades of all the DotA players as well as the LAN shop owners to the latest patch because the new version will definitely only work on 1.24. In addition to this, the map size limit upgrade from 4mb to 8mb is a huge help for IceFrog since newer heroes and additional gameplay requires additional space on the map.

We've seen a lot of changes recently in the game. Lots of remade skills for old heroes and new heroes were added at the same time. But still, the latest stable map is 6.59d. While many of us have welcomed the recent changes, a few others still play 6.59d. And since this is the latest stable map, this is also the map being used most of the time in official tournaments. With this, I hope that there will be more gameplays and skills added to increase the uniqueness of each hero.
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jump to .NET

Starting on the next month, I'll be fully engaged in .NET projects. It has been four years of development in COBOL, QuickTest Professional and a little bit of C#. I'm looking forward to giving this blog a ramp up in terms of technical articles relating to .NET and other related stuff.

In the meantime, I'll try to write COBOL and CL tutorials in general as a tribute to my work there. It's been fun writing codes for procedural programming and as I move on to OOP, yet again, I'm bringing with me the respect, understanding and great knowledge I gained from legacy languages.
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Sunday, August 2, 2009

How to use Warcraft Version Switcher

Warcraft Version Switcher allows you to have multiple versions of Warcraft without having to install the game multiple times. Why is there a need to do so? Well, there are various reasons on why I think gamers use this but some of the reasons are as follows:

1. Playing in different Garena rooms. Currently in the Philippines, Warcraft patch 1.20, which is probably the oldest most used patch these days, is needed to be able to play in the pubs. So if you want to downgrade to 1.20, you need to use Warcraft Version Switcher.

2. Watching custom map replays. Tournament games are always played with the latest available patch of Warcraft and you won't be able to watch replays of these games if your patch version is older than theirs. Sometimes, when you had a good game in Garena, you also save your own games and watch the replays and chances are it has a different version than that of the tourney games.

3. Avoiding maphacks. With Warcraft patch 1.23 and the upcoming release of 1.24, the majority of the update is on the custom map maphacks. These versions allows the game to detect differences between originally made custom maps and those that are "purposely" modified to inject cheats in the game.

Installation Procedures:

1. Back to the installation, just download and extract Warcraft Version Switcher in any of your folders.

2. Search for zipped files of the Warcraft patches preferably 1.20 to 1.23. You need these zipped files instead of the downloadable executable files because it contains the following files:

Game.dll, Storm.dll, War3.exe and War3Patch.mpq

3. You don't need to extract these patches on your local drive. Just store them in the WVS folder of your Warcraft Version Switcher.

4. Lastly, open the wvs.exe. Click the Switch version and choose the patch you want to use by double-clicking it. Open the Reign of Chaos or Frozen Throne icon on the right part of WVS.

5. After the game launches, verify the patch version on the lower right side of the screen. This is the version of the Warcraft patch you have chosen. Have fun!
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NBA Video Game Ideas Part 1

As much as we all want to have all those detailed information in a video game, chances are only 20% or maybe 5% of the requests come to life. Here is what I have in mind:

1. Jump ball - Well, NBA 2K Sports has already incorporated this for many years now. How come NBA Live hasn't or probably rejected this idea? I know this rarely happens even in actual NBA games but hey it is still supposed to be included.

2. Technical and Flagrant Fouls - I think I've actually seen technical fouls called in the NBA Live series. I just forgot what year that was. Anyway, besides the defensive three and the excessive timeouts, I think these should be put on the game too and not just the players alone but also the staff specially the coaches. I know they're probably taking this feature away because of it may bring some negative aura to the game and more specifically the NBA but hey, like us, they're also humans who can't always control their temper. Maybe they can have a sort of "impatience" meter for each player and staff as well when things don't go their way or simply just got annoyed with the call. It can also affect the flow of the game in both ways - positively or negatively. Also, since player injuries can actually occur in the game, why not add flagrant fouls too. Also, they can also be rescinded or reduced after the game. Also, have the technical accumulations system in the NBA brought in the game as well. For example, a player has already been called 15 technical fouls in the season, he'll automatically get a one-game suspension.

3. Awkward shots, buzzer beaters and the 0.5-second difference - Have you ever watched actual NBA games wherein impossible shots still go in? Plus a foul? Three-point play or even four-point play? It's not that I'm trying to increase the possibilities of these shots happening frequently in a single game but at least it can still happen. Also, the buzzer beaters for both NBA Live and NBA 2K have been limited because they are not allowing the gamers to continue shooting the ball even after the buzzer sounded. Also, in the actual NBA game, there have countless times wherein less than a second is left in the clock and they are still calling plays. However, this isn't a possibility in the video games. Accuracy in stopping the time should have been better in video games instead of the actual game itself since it only computer generated.

4. Summer Leagues and Pre-season games - Off-season is all about developing skills, finding a potential and building chemistry. And gamers would love to have that experience in their game. The season and playoffs games are what the gamers are really looking forward to. But come offseason time, they look forward for more light and casual games like these playing with potential starters, role players and even discovering undrafted players.

5. Fatigue Factor - The fatigue meter has been in the game for a long time now. However, it is only in a per-game basis. How about accumulating fatigue for the entire season and playoffs? In this way, the video game will be able to replicate the actual NBA season wherein superstars play minimal minutes at the end of the season because the coaches try to get them fresh come playoffs time.

6. Customization galore - Let's face it. EA should be the one who has a lot of advantage in this area of the game. They have Maxis, the creators of the The Sims franchise. Is it too much to ask for a lot of customization for someone who has long been best at customization in simulation games? Maybe they should adopt some of the technologies used in other games they've developed themselves and be able to incorporate it into NBA Live. In Dynasty mode, after the first season, incoming rookies are called only by their numbers. Why not try to develop some sort of speech mechanism for their surnames to be called when the actual game is played? Also, creating an expansion team would be great. It has been present in the early years of the NBA Live series but they haev scraped off the idea eversince.

I think that's about it for now. I'd like to add a lot more. Hope some of these ideas will be considered by the developers.
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hello Quad Core World

About two months ago, I bought a CPU for myself mainly for development, photography and video editing purposes.

Here are the specifications of the CPU I bought:

Motherboard - [LGA775] Asus P5KPL-AM/PS intel g31 + GbLan
Processor - Intel™Core 2 Quad™ Q8200 2.3 ghz 4mb 1333fsb qdr box (lga775) C2Q
Power Supply - [PSU] HEC 500w Raptor Power
RAM - 2 x Kingston™ 2g ddr2 800
Video Card - 1gb Palit™ GF 9500 GT ddr2 Super (128bit) pcie
Hard disk - 640gb Caviar Green (WD6400ACS) 16mb
Casing - [ATX] HiP (Alien ware-inspired) ATX w/o psu
Writer - [ODD] LG™ 22x dvdrw dual layer sata ls lightscribe

Initially, I had this planned probably because of my addictiveness to Sims 3. I'm planning on doing a triple boot in it to install Windows Vista and Mac OS X to go with my current OS, Windows XP. However, since Microsoft is releasing Windows 7 which is currently in release candidate version, I'm planning to wait for it instead of having Windows Vista. Anyway, the video card is a medium-range one so I think I won't be able to upgrade it for a long time however with the Ion-based video cards that nVidia is advertising right now, if I shift into Adobe CS4, I think I'd go for it. But for now, it's a little too pricey.
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How to run ASP.NET on IIS/ Localhost

1. You need to have IIS installed on your PC to be able to run even classic ASP on your computer.

To do this, go to Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> Add/Remove Windows Components. On the Windows Component Wizard, check the Internet Information Services (IIS) option then click the Next button. You need to insert your Windows XP installer in your CD ROM to install it.

Note: You must at least have Windows XP Professional installed in your PC.

2. Next is to verify if you have successfully installed IIS. On your browser, type http://localhost. It should display the default IIS page of Windows.

3. If upon installation of Microsoft Visual Studio and compiling an ASP.NET source code does not display properly or you get error messages in your browser, go to Start -> Run and key in the following:

.Net 1.1: C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322\aspnet_regiis.exe -i
.Net 2.0: C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe -i

It should allow registration of ASP.NET on IIS.

4. Now, try running your source code in Visual Studio again. Your browser should display the ASP.NET pages properly.

Portions of this article came from these sites:

Hope this helps fellow developers out there.
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Monday, July 20, 2009

NBA Live 10: What to Expect

Mike Wang, a former lead game designer from NBA 2K Sports, is now a cast of what is supposed to be the "redeem team" of the NBA Live franchise. This is a big acquisition on the part of EA to dethrone NBA 2K of its supremacy in basketball video games and finally bring back the glory that NBA Live has been in the late 90s.

With the recent updates from the Inside EA Sports bloggers, we now know that they are finally making a serious effort in coming up with a franchise-changing video game. Although the site never featured a single detail yet from the gameplay point of view, they have been emphasizing that this year they have been building the game from its very core. This is real good that NBA 2K has revived the competitive spirit of EA Sports. And sadly, as the game goes gold, I don't expect any major differences from both games at all now. So far, the NBA Live game is incorporating the details that "should have been there" ever since the game was first developed. More and more gamers are now expecting to see gameplay improved and not only that, as real life avid NBA fans of their respective teams, these gamers want the same look and feel of their favorite teams.

With the way it is turning out to be, NBA Live will be at least at par with NBA 2K. Eventhough the details haven't been released, I am expecting a carbon copy of the same features that NBA 2K has been developing in their own video game to the Live series. This is good in that we have two virtually high quality basketball video games. But if you expect a new feature which will blow you away, save your money and wait for at least two more years for the Live series to become the supposed-to-be the best basketball video game out there.

Think about it. Mike Wang is at his early years in NBA Live and as excited as he is about Live's potential, he knows that this franchise still has a lot of things to go through - rework the fundamentals before proceeding with the intricacies of the game. Secondly, he and the whole development team knows that it will be hard to put all the nooks and crannies of the game in a year. Provided that the game receives positive reviews on their first year together, they will definitely be impressing the gamers someday.

But for now, NBA Live is still a work in progress. And with the hype they are trying to create as usual every year, it is starting to be different from before... on a positive note perhaps.
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Massive Multiplayer Online Game Idea

A lot of ideas here and there may be read across the web regarding online games and some of them thrived and luckily came true in one form or another on various online games nowadays. With online gaming experience probably drawing a lot of attention, perhaps even topping traditional games, there's still a lot of room for improvement.

Thus, I'd like to share to you an idea about taking massive multiplayer game into multiplatforms... and not just multiplatform, it's simultaneous across all platforms. Sure everyone is playing their favorite game via their own console's online feature like PlayStation Network, Wii Shopping Channel and Xbox Live. But how about playing as one where all players across all platforms meet online via PC, mobile, handheld console, home console, laptops, PDA? It's quite a task I should say to create a game like that but with the right implementation on every platform, it's sure to attract the gamers' attention.

Game Exclusivity

Playing on multiple platforms has both pros and cons with the obvious major advantage as accessibility. Want to play at home and play on long hours? Play on your PC or laptop or home console. Want to play on the fly on the way for a short span of time? Bring out that phone or favorite handheld console right out of your bag or pocket and play right there and then.

Of course, as a game designer, you must identify advantages of playing on a certain platform. One example is for the mouse-driven PC, motion-driven Wii and touch-driven DS and iPhone. Since playing the game is a lot easier because of the accuracy of the x and y-coordinates, spells and other techniques which require intricate movements may become a specialty for these devices. For the PS3 and Xbox, an obvious advantage would be the graphics. The game may offer a lot random enemies-generation while not having to sacrifice the game performance. Also, since they are controller-driven, complex combos are easier to implement in them. For other mobile gadgets, a simple easy to access text-based menu will do since the player is expected to play the game for a small amount of time.

Also, I recommend having maps or places in the game exclusively for a certain platform alone like having a battle arena or popularly known as PVP. In this way, if players want to duke it out amongst their co-platform gamers, they know what to expect in them since they have the same platform.

Game Random Map Generation

After months of playing an online game, players get to boredom status after they have finished accomplishing side-quests and earned the highest level of the game. I know this is quite a difficult thing to ask but the idea of random map generation every month would be great for the players and for the game as well. After gathering enough statistics about players, the logic of the game is to create an idea of how a new map should look like through careful analysis of the data coming from the players themselves. Imagine having to invest time in developing logic like this instead of coming up with an idea all by the game designer themselves.

Customization: More than Just Level Ups

When you hear about online games, it’s all about the levels, the HP, the MP, the items and the weapons. What we’d like to see is a lot more side quests. And not just that, we players like to have that uniqueness in our characters. Uniqueness not only on how our character looks like compared to others but also with our entire weaponry, spells, and the other things we do. Why not allow players to create their own spell animation? Furthermore, why not allow them to create their own spells along with its statistical content? I’m pretty sure it’ll be more than interesting to play the game.

I hope somebody from the game development industry would take a look at articles like this and give even the slightest attention to what the players want of these online games.
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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Video Games on YouTube

Our favorite legacy games have come to life thru these YouTube videos. A friend of mine suggested to watch some of these videos. It's nice that people all over the world still pay tribute to these games particulary Japan whose influence in games are as much as that of their influence on animation these days.

Stupid Tetris

Human Bowling

Stupid Crane Game

Human Pacman

Human Tetris

Live Action Mario Brothers

Mario, Pikachu, Princess Peach, Walker Texas Ranger

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Friday, July 10, 2009

New Prince of Tennis Chapters 8 & 9 Recap

New Prince of Tennis Chapters 8 & 9 Recap

It seems that the All-Japan representatives who fought against America in the previous series Prince of Tennis will still be strong candidates in the U17 Selection Camp. The only quite a bit unexpected scenario was the match-up of Yukimura Seichi versus Sanada Genichirou. Although it was pretty obvious that Yukimura will win for the simple fact that we haven't seen much of him as opposed to Sanada, I still think that Sanada's elimination will be reconsidered with a hint on Chapter 9 regarding the coach's reconsideration. I also though Kamio would lose against his former teammate.

Other match-ups are pretty obvious with team captains winning against their former teammates and players who've shown a lot of potential eversince the manga began like Choutarou.

Overall, chapters 8 & 9 took us to a flashback of Rikkai Dai's journey towards becoming two-time champions before losing to Seigaku. Atobe will be the next feature in Chapter 10. I wonder who he will be battling but I think Kabaji Munehiro will be his opponent.

You can read the full chapters here. Enjoy!
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How to add Twitter to your Blog

Just tried this nice widget for all Twitters out there!

How to install Twitter widget

It's a nice simple app that sits anywhere on your blog so that even if you're just posting blogs, people can get updates on your posts.
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Off-season Moves in the NBA

Just three days after the free agency market has opened, a week or so after the NBA draft, and almost a month after the 2008-09 season has finished, top teams have been busy stacking up their rosters with what they believe to as missing pieces for a championship caliber team. Even lower-tier teams are busy adding role players in their roster to help attract big time free agents in the upcoming 2010 class.

Here are my thoughts of the scenarios as of today:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers acquiring Shaq, re-signing Varejao - This, I should say, is a great improvement on the Center spot. Ilgauskas is injury-prone and could never get to match up well with Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett. This acquisition is a reaction to their playoff series loss against Orlando. Putting a body against Howard and Garnett while providing instant offense will help this team. However, if you look deeper into their roster, they are still lacking the right role players. Varejao’s signing signified that the Cavs failure to get top free agents this year is not all because of Danny Ferry’s fault but hugely on Lebron being a free agent next year. Players wanting a championship ring feared his departure could leave them hanging around. Dan Fegan sure has gotten in the way of Varejao's line of thinking. Also, I believe the tandem of Mo Williams and Delonte West is not as good as advertised. They need a lot of offensive explosion from the backcourt and with the way they were eaten up by the defense of Orlando, they'll just continue to outshine a weak Eastern Conference backcourt while continue to rattle over top-tier Eastern Conference teams.

2. San Antonio Spurs acquiring Richard Jefferson, Antonio McDyess - Now this is a reaction to the season-ending injury of Manu Ginobli. And while this team has had its way over other Western Conference playoff contenders, they still won't match up well with the Lakers nor the Nuggets and Blazers. This is just an upgrade on their scoring options and while Roger Mason continues to improve, after this season, I think they should start to rebuild this team. I don't think this team has enough tank left in them to push Lakers to its limit and bully upstart playoff contender teams for years to come. The Blazers now have an official playoff experience and will only get better together with the Nuggets. Meanwhile, this is an acknowledgment that they no longer need toughness but instead embrace the fact that they do not have that offense anymore.

3. Orlando Magic acquiring Vince Carter, Brandon Bass, losing Marcin Gortat, Hedo Turkoglu - It’s a wise decision on their part to end hopes of Turkoglu’s reunion with this team. His new contract with the Toronto Raptors suggests that he’s in for the money and not for the opportunity to be in a championship caliber team anymore. Meanwhile, they certainly do hope that Vince Carter has a lot left in his tank to help this team. It may take some time before he can adjust as he isn’t capable of being the second or third option mostly in the teams he’s played for. Losing Gortat left a huge hole on the Center spot. If Howard gets injured, which I hope not but may actually get more chance to this season, who will they go after? Luckily, they brought in Brandon Bass which is a hustle player. Although it still leaves them with Howard in the C spot alone.

4. Boston Celtics acquiring Rasheed Wallace - It's been a very clear theme of this off-season to find cheap and old free-agent players who want to experience or relive the championship run in their NBA career. While it is believed that they won’t sign Leon Powe and is still in the hunt to sign their very own Glenn Davis, Rasheed is a huge pickup since his championship experience will definitely help them. Besides, I read that Rasheed defends well against Dwight Howard. He won’t be getting a starting position but he will take up a lot of playing time as a back-up for Garnett. The only problem for them I think is his eccentricities added to Rajon Rondo’s locker room problems. His triple doubles in their last playoff run didn’t convince Danny Ainge enough to offer him a huge contract. So much so that Ainge wanted to trade him for a chance to get a quality point guard in this year’s draft class.

5. Los Angeles Lakers acquiring Ron Artest losing Trevor Ariza - While we are still awaiting the Laker’s offer to Lamar Odom, losing Ariza and acquiring Artest in return is a double-edge sword for them. Ariza has a lot of upside in his talents and as much as Mitch Kupchak wanted to keep him, his stocks went so high the past playoff run that they decided they wouldn’t gamble taking him on and losing Odom at the same time. Enter Artest. A surprising $18 million contract for 3 years made it clear that he wants to win a championship by also departing with the Rockets with the news of Yao Ming’s foot injury. But beware Lakers fans, Pau Gasol is going to take part of the Euro league this summer. And while we hope he comes back still healthy, it will really make Artest upset if Gasol gets injured. And while he is in his prime, it still is a big gamble on the Lakers part although Yahoo Sports made a nice take away that the Lakers needed him purely because they have to re-learn themselves again to rise up to the occasion again. While many praise Artest’s defense, his shot selection may be one of their biggest headaches on him. Also, I think Kobe Bryant should’ve considered taking a paycut this year instead of earning his usual $23 million. Many superstars often complain and demand a trade if they are not satisfied with their GMs transactions. But they also tend to forget that their salaries are what’s hurting the team’s salary cap by being unable to resign potential supplementary and role players.

6. Dallas Mavericks acquiring Shawn Marion and Marcin Gortat, re-signing Jason Kidd, losing Jerry Stackhouse, Brandon Bass - Finally, Mark Cuban makes his move. A nice getting rid of Stackhouse’s salary and mouth as well and a signal of their admission of failure in their acquiring of Erick Dampier were their greatest off-season moves followed by the acquiring of Shawn Marion. Eventhough he is not a high level player eversince he broke ties with Steve Nash and the run-and-gun Phoenix Suns, he is still a special tweener who could take on multiple positions on court much like Lamar Odom. Marcin Gortat is a pretty nice steal against Houston’s hot pursuit of him. The failure to re-sign Brandon Bass who is a consistent role player and who constantly provides energy on the team will be a big factor that will hurt them when the playoffs come. Re-signing Jason Kidd to a large contract, which I’m also wondering why plenty of teams are still in the hot pursuit eventhough he is quite old to do damage in this league, is a big no-no for this team. This just basically puts them in the map of the Western Conference top four teams expected to at least appear in the playoff semifinals because of four all-star players and one sixth man awardee but that’s just about it for them. The Lakers are just that strong and that versatile to be worn out by teams like the Mavs.
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Monday, June 15, 2009

The Great NBA Coaching Legacy Debate

Okay so here is Phil Jackson topping off Red Auerbach as the greatest coach ever in NBA history winning his tenth championship ring as a coach. Well in terms of quantity, he is the best. However, arguably? Upon this great debate and Wojnarowski's article at Yahoo about proving why Jackson is the best coach in NBA history, I saw one of the comments posted that Coach Auerbach hadn't had that much problem before because he never dealt with free agency problems which is a tough task for coaches nowadays. And to my surprise, it also says that the NBA league during that time comprised of a mere eight teams.

At its infancy stage, the NBA had eight teams when Auerbach coached, drafted Bill Russell and did his wonders. And while Auerbach was loathing that Jackson has only inherited teams with superstars, and indeed this argument is worth noting for, is it not fair if we don't factor in the number of teams during the Auerbach coaching days? According to the Basketball Reference website, it shows that there were only eight to fourteen teams who fought for the championship during those times in the NBA. And while the winning streak as a coach that Red, according to Randy Auerbach, his son, said won't be matched, the truth of the matter is that there's a bigger percentage which is from 7 - 12.5% of winning the title back then rather than winning it today which is a mere 3%. And the fact that with all the superstars demanding trades, free agencies and coaching job security woes occurring nowadays, you won't be actually secure your coaching job before contending as a finals coach or worse even a playoff contender coach.

Take for example what happened to Avery Johnson and his short stint in the Dallas Mavericks as the head coach. After winning the Coach of the Year award, he was fired after a series of unsuccessful Maverick basketball during Nowitzki's prime. Flip Saunders suffered the same fate as Larry Brown during their stint as coaches for the Detroit Pistons when they were fired by Joe Dumars with the team's failure to advance to the Finals and winning the Eastern Conference championship.

And would tenure in a team be a factor? Partly yes and partly no. With all the coaches fired recently, only Jerry Sloan has been put in some sort of tenure over his coaching job. And with 20+ years of being a head coach in Utah Jazz, he's never won the Coach of the Year award and has never won a championship as a coach in the NBA yet.

Also, what amazes me about Jackson is as what other writers have said - the ability to clamp down the superstars he's handling. He bashed them publicly when there is a need to do so. And fewer coaches nowadays fail to do it though. I don't recall any time in particular that the reigning Coach of the Year awardee Mike Brown criticized LeBron James for his character neither for his approach in the game. It's all praises for LeBron when the mere fact that the kid is still just LeBron. The fact that his strength of being an all-around superstar is also his own water loo isn't seen by the entire Cavaliers team or purposely blinding themselves for fear of him leaving thru free agency. Brown never criticized him when he publicly teased the New Yorkers about how exciting the 2010 free agency class would be and when he didn't shook up hands with Dwight and the Magic after their loss in the playoff Eastern finals matchup.

It just goes to show that it isn't just what Jackson hasn't accomplished that Auerbach has that comes into play when the world is debating about the best coach in the NBA history while the Auerbachs are sourgraping over Jackson's greatness. It is all factors combined. It is tenure, luck, character development, talent of the staff and the team, the dedication to win and most of all the respect. When Auerbach started questioning Jackson about his coaching skills, Jackson didn't question back. Instead, he stayed silent and respected the legendary coach. And that's when Auerbach lost himself the security of becoming the greatest coach in the NBA history even several years before Jackson won his tenth championship ring today.
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2009 NBA Champions: Los Angeles Lakers

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Lakers for a well-deserved win over the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals 2009. Congratulations also goes to Kobe Bryant for bringing home his first and well-deserved Finals MVP award together with Phil Jackson reigning over Red Auerbach winning his 10th championship as a coach.

Kudos also goes to the Orlando Magic for giving them quite a scare (well not exactly what anti-Lakers fans expected to be). I hope that Dwight Howard will continue to develop and improve his game more because I see a lot more potential in him. Apart from this, he also needs to develop when to release his own scowl for the game. Even Shaq despite his humorous antics has this game face when pressure settles in. Dwightmare or Superman or whatever you may call him, must be tough enough not only physically but also must be mentally tough and developing more than just hook shots and dunks would become very potent weapons for him.

Anyways, back to the Lakers, this team not only won because of their supposedly natural talent at the offense but also the way they hounded the Magic on defense. It really goes to show that offense wins games and defense wins championships. It will also be worth noting though that in this year's postseason games that the Lakers had, every team that they've fought were just younger in terms of playoffs experience than them. For their first round opponent the Utah Jazz, this team was considered a very tough opponent however they ended the regular season in a downturn and Boozer never really jelled with the team after his injury. He wasn't even thinking of the game, rather he's thinking about his free agency. And for the Houston Rockets, Aaron Brooks had the opportunity to become the starting point guard for the team after Rafer Alston was traded. And yet this was not totally the issue but of course their eternal struggle with the injuries of Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. This is perhaps the toughest team that the Lakers were dealt with in the postseason though. Despite having a depleted lineup, Scola, Artest and Battier are playoff or perhaps pressure-tested players. Unlike the Denver Nuggets who were developed on the fly at the start of the regular season with the acquiring of Chauncey Billups, the Rockets have always been through the toughest times. Carmelo Anthony isn't a leader yet of his team. He needs to take basketball seriously and with the help of Chauncey, he is definitely maturing not only in his game but also in his character. The Nuggets have succumbed into the hands of the Lakers because they were just happy to be there - to go deep and enter the Western Conference finals for the first time. And finally, the Magic finally have fallen and have shown signs of immaturity against a Finals-tested Lakers. Coaching-wise and character-wise, however strong your team is, you'll eventually fall over the hunger mentality as shown by the Lakers.

So that being said, I consider the Lakers as half-tested yet. Having faced Lebron and the Cavs won't do much damage to them as they'll be eaten by Gasol and Bynum inside. But instead, having a finals match-up between the Lakers and Celtics once again would definitely be a case of champion versus champion. A veteran team against a veteran team who won't be pressured, won't get rattled and won't show signs of maturity. It's a test of mentality and hunger. I'm not saying that the Magic aren't well-deserved of their finals appearance but Howard's maturity has grown one notch higher against a Celtics team they were supposed to beat simply because they are Garnett-less. It's just saying that the Lakers will be tested only in the Finals.

For now, congratulations to the Lakers. I hope they'd get the chance to bring back Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom for one final chance at a three-peat by Phil Jackson.
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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Eyeshield 21 Chapter 333: Final Down

Eyeshield 21 Chapter 333: Ready, Set, Hut Last Page

Two days ago, I thought of writing an article about the sports manga New Prince of Tennis and now I'm writing another one for another sports manga which came to an end - Eyeshield 21.

Writen by Riichiro Inagaki and illustrated by Yusuke Murata, Eyeshield 21 focuses on one of the most popular sport in America which is the American Football. Sena Kobayakawa who was discovered by Hiruma to have the potential to be the fastest running back was recruited forcefully to join the Deimon Devil Bats during their High School Christmas Bowl journey. Hiruma together with Musashi and Kurita initially had the dream of participating in the Christmas Bowl during their freshmen years. However, the problem is they don't have the pieces to even complete a line-up. This time around, with baseball catching tensai Monta and other role players joining the team, they fought adversity and played through Hiruma's trump cards and plays. Upon winning the Christmas Bowl against Hakushuu Dinosaurs and eliminating Oujou White Knights and Shinryuji Nagas in the process, an All-Japan team was formed to join the High School American Football Cup.

And now Eyeshield 21 came to an end with the final chapter 333 entitled Ready Set Hut depicting the whereabouts of the All-Japan team members. Sena became the team captain of Deimon after the trio of Musashi, Kurita and Hiruma left. MVP Panther joined the NFL as a professional player and Sena was invited to play in Notre Dame wherein the legendary player Eyeshield 21 was born. Sena came back from America and joined Enma University as they easily pass the entrance exam because no one fails the university's exams. Here are some of the line-ups featured in the last chapter:

Enma University:
1. Sena Kobayakawa of Deimon Devil Bats
2. Monta of Deimon Devil Bats
3. Riku of Seibu Wildgunmen
4. Unsui of Shinryuji Nagas
5. Mizumachi
6. Koutarou of Banjo Spiders
7. Kurita of Deimon Devil Bats

Saikyoudai University - the most powerful school in the American Football Sport includes a powerful cast
1. Agon of Shinryuji Nagas
2. Akaba
3. Yamato
4. Taka

Oujou University still has its former high school players led by Shin

Shuuei Medical College
1. Takami from Oujou White Knights
2. Yukimitsu from Deimon Devil Bats

Takekura Construction Babels - rumored worst team from the Semi-Pro League
1. Musashi of Deimon Devil Bats
2. Kid from Seibu Wildgunmen
3. Gaou from Hakushuu Dinosaurs

Takekura Engineering
1. Hiruma of Deimon Devil Bats
2. Ikkyuu of Shinryuji Nagas

Zokuto University was known for Habashira Rui.

The trio of Hiruma, Kurita and Musashi decided to part ways mainly because Musashi can't afford to go the same university as Kurita and Hiruma wants to go to eventhough they all wanted to play with each other. However, Kurita decided not to team up with Hiruma with respect to Musashi.

In the end, everyone mentioned above watched the first performance of Sena Kobakayawa back from Notre Dame who was wearing the popular Eyeshield and jersey number 21 qualify and play in the Rice Bowl.

Overall, I really liked the manga. I haven't watched the anime though. I enjoyed reading it not only because of the underdog players who battled with sheer determination against naturally gifted players but also with the humor and idiocy that Deimon Devil Bats brings to the plot and Hiruma's trick plays against their opponents. It was a great manga and I really hope Inagaki and Murata comes up with another run of the Eyeshield 21: College Edition just like the New Prince of Tennis.
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Friday, June 12, 2009

New Prince of Tennis Manga

Last March 5th, ryColaa scanlated the first issue of New Prince of Tennis which was made available at OneManga.com. I was very delighted to read about the continuation of one of the more popular sports manga/ anime to date because the last OVA episode was just finished just months ago.

This is a great news for sports manga fans as probably the longest running sports manga series Hajime no Ippo will be joined by the New Prince of Tennis as they try to continue on their success.

Just to give you an overview, this time, they're Middle Schoolers battling it out to be chosen in the U-17 team Japanese High School Representation selection camp. Ryoma Echizen just came back from conquering a US Open and as usual the Seigaku team is complete together with other middle school teams like Rikkai Dai, Hyotei and Shitenhouji. The first challenge in the selection camp was to grab a tennis ball in order to qualify as a candidate and our favorite middle schoolers easily did that as opposed to other nobodies bragging about their tennis skills. The second challenge was to pair up and as usual long-time doubles pairs quickly formed their teams but to everyone's surprise, they will be battling their teammate to remain as a candidate in the selections. This challenge is still on-going though with only seven chapters to date of this series continuation.

Some things to note:

1. So far, the selection camp's results of prospective candidates were looking like that of the Japanese representatives in the US vs Japan arc wherein the final battle was between Kevin and Ryoma.

2. I really don't quite dig Eiji winning against Oishi. Eventhough Oishi has been portrayed as more of a doubles player and has been inferior to Eiji in terms of skills when they play one on one, I still don't quite get it why Eiji's name has been popping out as a candidate option. Besides the Kikumaru beam smash and the dopple ganger, there's only the acrobatic technique in which the author can call it Kikumaru's own.

3. What happened to the Fuji vs Tezuka after the National Championship arc? If I remember correctly, Fuji challenged Tezuka to play against him after he won in the finals. And it also seems that Fuji has very few appearances so far in the new series.

4. Akutsu joins part of the U-17 selection camp. It was quite a surprise for me considering he wasn't even interested in playing tournament tennis again though but this is quite a nice new development.

5. No new prodigies on the middle schoolers' ranks. Perhaps the author just wants every Prince of Tennis fan to be happy that their favorite PoT characters are still intact and included in the series. Sad to say though that no new prodigies have come since Ryoma was not around for a long time.

With only seven chapters released, I think the author is still plotting the storyline for the old and new characters alike. I hope it won't turn into a one-sided middle school-filled line up of the U-17. Slam Dunk fans who have lost hope that the series will be revived after a shocking ending in which Shohoku failed to advance to the national championship will be very much delighted at the storyline of Prince of Tennis series. Seigaku unlike Shohoku won the national championship and guess what, the author is continuing the series in the form of the New Prince of Tennis ala Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z. The shift to middle school really is refreshing for manga readers like me who have long been starved of the storyline that Slam Dunk has teased us. Have fun reading the manga!
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Philippine Independence Day!

Happy Philippine Independence Day to all Filipinos out there! Pinoy, Mabuhay ka!

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The Geek Strip Issue 001: Compile Error

Finally finished my first comic strip. Hope you like it!

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Farm Town Tips and Tricks Part 2

Tired of plowing, planting and harvesting? Another tip I'd like to share in Farm Town is when you have around 30,000 to 100,000 coins to spare, purchase any of the following at the Store:

Small House - 70,000 coins
Silo - 30,000 coins
Windmill - 40,000 coins
Barn - 60,000 coins
Wood Shed - 30,000 coins

Purchase and sell them again. Though selling these items won't bring back the coins you've spent on buying them, you'll get lots of experience points a hundred or more so of experience points. Selling them also helps increase planting options since after you've purchased them, it won't be of any use to you in the future in terms of gaining experience points. If you're only thinking of leveling up, try doing this method. Of course a lot of hiring charms in the Market will also help you out.

Also, if you don't have that much money to spare, play around and buy some stuff on Fences and Paths. Buying some items here would let you gain 5 or more experience points. You earn additional 2 more experience points rather than plowing and planting seeds of Grapes though.
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Pet Society Gold Mystery Box 999 Items

For all Pet Society gamers out there, here's a quick list of 999 items found in Gold Mystery Box when sold.

Antique Door
Antique Telephone
Black Rocket Lava Lamp
Checkered Floor Tiles
Chrome Laptop
Chrome Mobile
Floral Hat
Lion Dance Hat (also removed from GMBs)
Lion Dance Shirt (already removed from GMBs)
Loud Speakers
Love Heart Candle
Love Lava Lamp
Lucky Rug
Luxurious Armchair
Nuclear Rug
Pink Fridge
Pink Princess Rug
Playful Fish Hat
Royal Dining Table
Royal Gold Chandelier
Samurai Helmet
Stainless Steel Toilet
Wizard Hat (do not confuse with witch hat)
Wonder Pants
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DotA 6.60 Map

Finally, the day has come after months of anticipation... the new map for Dota made by IceFrog. Here is the changelog copied from getdota.com. Have fun reading it! There's really a whole lot of changes made. Kudos to Icefrog and more power to Dota players!

6.60 Changelog

## Heroes ##

* Added a new hero Batrider to the Scourge [details below]
* Added a new hero Tauren Chieftain to the Sentinel [details below]
* Lightning Revenant: Reworked [details below]
* Medusa: Replaced Chain Lightning with a new ability Mystic Snake [details below]
* Medusa: Replaced Purge with a new ability Stone Gaze [details below]
* Netherdrake: Replaced Frenzy with a new ability Nethertoxin [details below]
* Rogue Knight: Replaced Toughness Aura with a new ability Warcry [details below]
* Slayer: Replaced Ultimate with a new ability Fiery Soul [details below]
* Twin Head Dragon: Replaced Autofire with a new ability Liquid Fire [details below]
* Troll Warlord: Replaced Rampage with a new ability Battle Trance [details below]
* Rogue Knight: Reworked how Stormbolt works [details below]
* Morphling: Reworked how Morphiling's Adaptive Strike works [details below]
* Crystal Maiden: Replaced Frost Nova with a similar new ability Crystal Nova [details below]
* Phantom Assassin: Changed Blink Strike to a new ability Phantom Strike [details below]
* Ogre Magi: Reworked Multicast chance mechanism [details below]
* Sniper: Replaced Scattershot with a new ability Shrapnel [details below]
* Troll Warlord: Replaced Fervor Aura with a new ability Fervor (works like Beastmaster's passive used to)
* Beastmaster: Replaced Beast Rage with a new ability Inner Beast (works like Troll's old attack speed aura)
* Anti-Mage: Reworked Mana Void damage mechanism (now deals equal splash damage to units near the target)
* Silencer: Recoded Last Word to properly detect animation canceling and silence after a spell is casted
* Treant Protector: Reworked Eyes in the Forest [details below]

* Admiral: Lowered Agility (18->14) and Agility Per Level (1.7->1.3)
* Axe: Lowered Base Armor by 1 point (2.8->1.8)
* Bane Elemental: Improved cast range on Enfeeble (800->1000)
* Bristleback: Improved Base Intelligence growth by 0.6
* Bristleback: Improved side angles on Bristleback (90->110)
* Bristleback: Returned the Bristleback passive Quill Spray release cap back (300->250)
* Broodmother: Changed spiderling's armor type from medium to normal and now take damage from first towers (50->100 %)
* Crystal Maiden: Lowered Brilliance Aura (0.75/1.5/2.25/3->0.5/1/1.5/2)
* Dark Seer: Improved Vacuum cast range (600->800)
* Dark Seer: Lowered Ion Shell cooldown (15->7 cd)
* Dark Seer: Vacuum no longer goes through magic immunity
* Dark Seer: Vacuum now drags the units in over 0.3 seconds rather than instantly
* Death Prophet: Witchcraft no longer gives movement speed bonus
* Geomancer: Changed Poof damage (60/80/100/120->50/80/110/140)
* Geomancer: Lowered Poof cooldown (20/18/16/14->16/14/12/10 cd)
* Invoker: Improved Alacrity duration (6->8)
* Keeper of the Light: Changed Mana Leak stun into a slow (2 seconds, 60 %)
* Keeper of the Light: You no longer lose control of your hero when knocked back with Blinding Light
* Lifestealer: Removed the initial stun effect from Open Wounds
* Lion: Voodoo duration reduced from 1/2/3/4 to 1.25/2/2.75/3.5 seconds
* Lone Druid: Added Battle Cry to all level of True Form and scaled the bonus damage/armor (20/2->20/2, 40/4, 60/6) and lowered duration (10->8 seconds)
* Lone Druid: Changed Spirit Bear's ability progression (Lv1->Adds Inventory, Lv2->Adds Return, Lv3->Adds Entangle, Lv4->Adds Demolish and Spell Damage Reduction)
* Lone Druid: Improved True Form's melee attack range (100->150)
* Lone Druid: Rabid now goes on both the Spirit Bear and Lone Druid when casted instead of requiring a target
* Lone Druid: Removed One from True Form
* Lone Druid: Spells now last the same duration on Spirit Bear as they do on heroes
* Lord of Avernus: Lowered Death Coil cooldown (7->6 seconds)
* Lord of Avernus: Gets the Mark of the Abyss buff on his first attack instead of on his second attack
* Luna: Increased Lunar Blessing aura range (300->900)
* Magnataur: Lowered Reverse Polarity cooldown (120->120/110/100 seconds)
* Magnataur: Improved attack animation time
* Magina: Undid recent buffs to base strength (21->16)
* Naga Siren: Reduced collision size (24->8)
* Naga Siren: Lowered Mirror Image cast time
* Naga Siren: Lowered Mirror Image cooldown (50->40 seconds) and manacost (85/105/130/150 to 70/80/90/100)
* Necrolyte: Rebalanced Heartstopper Aura from 0.5/0.75/1/1.25% to 0.4/0.6/0.8/1% and range from 700/800/900/1000 to 1000
* Necrolyte: Lowered Strength per level (2.0->1.5)
* Obsidian Destroyer: Lowered Astral Imprisonment cooldown (20->18/16/14/12 seconds)
* Pandaren Brewmaster: Improved Fire Panda's Immolation (10/10/30->15/30/45)
* Pugna: Life Drain max range improved by 50 and its cast range is now equal to its max range
* Rhasta: Voodoo duration reduced from 1/2/3/4 to 1.25/2/2.75/3.5 seconds
* Rogue Knight: Improved Great Cleave damage (10/20/30/40->20/30/40/50 %)
* Sacred Warrior: Removed the cap on Burning Spears
* Shadow Fiend: Improved Presence of the Dark Lord armor reduction (1/2/3/4->2/3/4/5)
* Shadow Priest: Lowered Shallow Grave cooldown (80/60/40/20->54/40/26/12 cd)
* Silencer: Lowered Last Word duration (1/2/3/4->0.75/1.5/2.25/3)
* Slardar: Slithereen Crush damage type is now Physical type
* Spectre: Restored some vision back to Spectral Dagger path
* Spirit Breaker: Improved AOE on Empowering Haste and added 2% more movement speed bonus
* Stone Giant: Craggy Exterior now gives armor bonus (3/4/5/6)
* Stone Giant: Craggy Exterior now triggers off of units with 300 range rather than just based on melee classification
* Templar Assassin: Changed Refraction duration/cooldown (20/23->17/17)
* Templar Assassin: Changed Psi Blades spill range (80/160/240/320->320) and attack range bonus (50/100/150/200->40/100/160/220)
* Templar Assassin: Refraction is now an instant cast ability
* Terrorblade: Now gets a movement speed bonus during Metamorphosis (+20)
* Tinker: Restricted Black King Bar from refreshing
* Troll Warlord: Rebalanced Blind. Miss from 15/24/33/42 -> 20/28/36/44% and Cooldown from 8 -> 15/12/9/6 seconds
* Twin Head Dragon: Rescaled Ice Path (0.5/1/1.5/2->0.8/1.2/1.6/2 seconds)
* Undying: Lowered Base Armor by 3 points (6->3)
* Undying: Tombstone no longer spawns zombies to attack fogged units
* Ursa Warrior: Rescaled Overpower from 100/200/300/400% IAS with 5 attack count to a constant 400% IAS with 3/4/5/6 attacks
* Vengeful Spirit: Improved Strength Per Level by 0.5
* Vengeful Spirit: Improved Command Aura range (450->900)
* Vengeful Spirit: Improved Wave of Terror a little and added some minor damage (25/50/75/100). Lowered AOE slightly (350->300)
* Vengeful Spirit: Now has normal Base Attack Time (1.77->1.7)
* Windrunner: Lowered Base Attack Time (1.6->1.5)
* Zeus: Arc Lightning becomes available for casting immediately after cooldown rather than wait for the Lightning to finish traveling. Cooldown increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds.

## Items ##

* Added a new basic item Ghost Scepter [details below]
* Added a new basic item Quelling Blade [details below]
* Added a new basic item Talisman of Evasion [details below]
* Added a new recipe item Poor Man's Shield [details below]
* Added a new recipe item Force Staff [details below]
* Added a new recipe item Khadgar's Pipe of Insight [details below]
* Added a new recipe item Magic Wand [details below]

* Aghanim's Scepter: New Recipe [details below]
* Manta Style: Reworked [details below]
* Diffusal Blade: Can be upgraded once. Original stats adjusted [details below]
* Maelstrom: Recipe and stats adjusted [details below]
* Linken Sphere: Rewrote parts of the following abilities to be compatible with Linken Sphere: Shackleshot, Brain Sap, Spirit Lance, Test of Faith, Malefice, Poison Touch, Shadow Word, Astral Imprisonment, Life Break, X Marks The Spot, Battle Hunger, Open Wounds, Electric Vortex, Paralyzing Casks, Multicast, Adaptive Strike Strength>Agility, Nether Swap, Rupture, Stifling Dagger, Sprout, Lightning Bolt, Lion's Impale, Nerubian Assassin's Impale, Ravage, Burrow Strike, Unstable Concoction, Mana Leak, Sven's Storm Bolt, Reaper's Scythe, Nether Strike, Gush.

* Assault Cuirass: Lowered recipe cost (2000->1500 gold)
* Assault Cuirass: Positive and negative armor auras now work on structures
* Blademail: Returns pure damage type
* Bloodstone: Lowered regeneration per charge (2->1.5) and passive regeneration (200->150 %)
* Cranium Basher: Uses Belt of Giant Strength along with a slight increase to stun duration (1.1->1.4 seconds). Total cost is unchanged.
* Divine Rapier: Improved damage (200->250 dmg)
* Eul's Scepter of Divinity: Can be used to target yourself
* Eye of Skadi: Lowered recipe cost (1250->750 gold)
* Gem of True Sight: Lowered item cost (750->700 gold)
* Headress of Rejuvination: Lowered recipe cost (225->200 gold)
* Linken Sphere: No longer interrupts your teleportation when it blocks a spell
* Lothar's Edge: Added 125 backstab damage
* Lothar's Edge: Lowered cooldown by 2 seconds (20->18 cd)
* Lothar's Edge: Requires Claymore instead of Mithril Hammer
* Magic Stick: Added a 25 second cooldown (it now has a buildup)
* Manta Style: Can now be disassembled
* Manta Style: Increased cooldown (40->50 cd)
* Mask of Madness: Lowered recipe cost (1050->1000 gold)
* Mithril Hammer: Lowered item cost (1610->1600 gold)
* Monkey King Bar: Now has an extra new passive ability True Strike that can be toggled on and off [details below]
* Phase Boots: Changed the duration/cooldown (5/10->6/12 seconds)
* Phase Boots: Lowered armor bonus (7->5 armor)
* Planeswalker's Cloak: Lowered item cost (650->400 gold)
* Radiance: Removed the 8% evasion and improved burn damage (35->40), AOE (550->650 AOE), and recipe cost (1525->1350 g)
* Refresher Orb: Mana regen is now the total sum of its components (150->200%)
* Ring of Regeneration: Lowered item cost (375->350 gold)
* Sange and Yasha: Removed the recipe requirements
* Satanic: Changed Unholy Rage active (+15% lifesteal and +30 damage for 20 seconds -> +150% lifesteal for 3.5 seconds)
* Satanic: Now retains the bonus damage from Helm of the Dominator
* Stout Shield: Changed damage block system [see details below]
* Stout Shield: Lowered item cost (300->250 gold)
* The Butterfly: Now requires Talisman of Evasion instead of a recipe
* Vanguard: Improved block chances (65->70%)
* Vanguard: Improved health regeneration (5->6 hp)

* Heroes that use scepter now have the information about the upgrades they would get on their ultimate tooltips.

* Aghanim's Scepter: Upgraded Chain Frost doesn't improve bounce count, only damage
* Aghanim's Scepter: Upgraded Eclipse cooldown no longer improves, only the Lucent Beam count gets upgraded
* Aghanim's Scepter: Upgraded Laguna Blade level 3 damage reduced by 100
* Aghanim's Scepter: Upgraded Life Drain cooldown removed and damage reduced (170/200/300->150/200/250)
* Aghanim's Scepter: Upgraded Mass Serpent Wards bonus count nerfed (12->10)
* Aghanim's Scepter: Upgraded Sonic Wave cooldown reduced from 120/100/75 to 110 (Still improves from original 135 cd and via damage)
* Aghanim's Scepter: Removed from Ogre Magi (Might return it later after the rework has time to settle in first)

* Added Bane Elemental to Aghanim's Scepter. Deals more damage
* Added Butcher to Aghanim's Scepter. Deals damage based on his strength and aborbs that to heal himself. Damage from a constant 75/125/175 per second to 75/125/175 + 0.75 x Strength per second
* Added Clockwerk Goblin to Aghanim's Scepter. Allows latching onto allies and reduces cooldown from 80/60/40 to 20 seconds
* Added Faceless Void to Aghanim's Scepter. Lasts 1 second longer and slightly less cooldown
* Added Holy Knight to Aghanim's Scepter. Dramatically reduces cooldown from 120 to 30
* Added Invoker to Aghanim's Scepter. Improves Cooldown and Manacost (30/25/12/5-> 16/8/4/2 cd, 20/50/80/110->0 manacost)
* Added Juggernaut to Aghanim's Scepter. Improves Slash Count and Cooldown (+2 slashes, -20 cd)
* Added Lord of Avernus to Aghanim's Scepter. Increased duration by 2 seconds
* Added Nightstalker to Aghanim's Scepter. Gives unobstructed vision at night
* Added Pandaren Brewmaster to Aghanim's Scepter. Improves the power of the Pandas and adds more duration
* Added Sacred Warrior to Aghanim's Scepter. Improves Damage and cooldown (50->65% damage, 45/30/15->24/16/8 Seconds)
* Added Sand King to Aghanim's Scepter. Adds an extra pulse and lowers cooldown (+1 Pulse, -20 cd)
* Added Shadow Priest to Aghanim's Scepter. Increased Weave duration by 6 seconds. Added 200 AOE
* Added Spiritbreaker to Aghanim's Scepter. Dramatically reduces cooldown from 75 to 20 seconds
* Added Techies to Aghanim's Scepter. Improves Damage and Cast Range (300/450/600->450/600/750 damage and 500->900 range cast range)
* Added Twin Head Dragon to Aghanim's Scepter. Improves spawn time and damage (75/125/175->125/175/225 dmg)
* Added Vengeful Spirit to Aghanim's Scepter. Improves Cooldown (45->10 cd)
* Added Windrunner to Aghanim's Scepter. Does not reduce damage from secondary item effects. Cooldown from 60 to 15.

* Summary of heroes that now make use of Scepter: Lord of Avernus, Bane Elemental, Holy Knight, Clockwerk Goblin, Shadow Priest, Sacred Warrior, Invoker, Juggernaut, Tormented Soul, Slayer, Demon Witch, Moon Rider, Necrolyte, Nightstalker, Pandaren Brewmaster, Butcher, Oblivion, Queen of Pain, Shadow Shaman, Crystal Maiden, Spiritbreaker, Sand King, Twin Head Dragon, Vengeful Spirit, Venomancer, Faceless Void, Windrunner, Witch Doctor, Lord of Olympia.

## Misc Highlight ##

* Reorganized heroes into taverns based on hero class. There are now 3 taverns per class, the "good" tavern has the heroes that are easier to recognize as "good", the evil tavern has the heroes that are easier to recognize as "evil" and the mix as the ones that are in between. In each tavern the heroes are organized inside of it by alphabet. The Taverns are colored according to the class. For example, the good Intelligence tavern is Blue with the color darkening as it goes to the evil side.

* Side shops are now organized independent from their item slot in their original stores. This also fixes hotkey conflict issues.
* Reworked the side shop item layouts. There are now two shops there, a Goblin Laboratory and a Goblin Merchant. New items have been added to these shops. Here is the complete listing of the items in there:
Goblin Laboratory: Scroll of Town Portal, Magic Stick, Sobi Mask, Stout Shield, Ring of Regeneration, Ring of Health, Cloak, Helm of Iron Will, Mask of Death
Goblin Merchant: Slippers of Agility, Boots of Elvenskin, Belt of Giant Strength, Robe of the Mage, Quelling Blade, Gloves of Haste, Blades of Attack, Quarterstaff, Talisman of Evasion, Kelen's Dagger, Ultimate Orb
* Reorganized all the recipe shops. The goals are both to make room for the recently added items and more importantly to organize them in a manner that makes guessing correctly where an item is an easy task for both existing and new players. I know none of us like to relearn item layouts, but this is a good thing to do for the long run.
- There are 6 recipe shops now in the following order:
Gateway Relics: Misc items that are primarily early game upgrades
Supportive Vestments: Various support style items that you get for your team
Arcane Sanctum: Castable or spell heavy themed items
Protectorate: Has mainly defensive/survival style items
Enchanted Artificats: Mostly orb effect items (with the exception of Yasha)
Ancient Weaponry: All other weapon items.

Note: I'm aware that Aegis is no longer needed in the shops, but I'm keeping it there until we need the space to help new users be aware of its existance through Roshan.

## Modes & Commands ##

* Added a new game mode -cd (-CaptainsDraft) [details below]
* Added a new game mode -rs (-randomside) to randomize which side your team starts in. This does not shuffle the players. It just places a team randomly as either Sentinel or Scourge.
* Added -random Intelligence/Strength/Agility. It gives you 100 less bonus gold than the 250 bonus gold the regular -random gives you.

* Added a new -tips system.If you enter the command, the game will give you 5 pointers (at various stages in the game) that are unique to each hero to help you get the basics down. These are not intended to imply guideliens on how to play a hero, but rather as simple tips if you are new with that hero. These are a work in progress.
* Added -water random
* -water now supports any color combinations using -water r g b format

* You can now change the terrain using -terrain snow on a per user basis. It is no longer a game mode. The "-terrain" or "-terrain default" command reverts the terrain to its normal state. Some of the other terrain modes you guys have emailed me about are still being worked on. I disabled them from this version because of some glitches they cause that haven't been fixed yet. I will work on them more in the future if you guys want them.

* Added -disablehelp to Force Staff
* Added a command to display bonus gold received from Goblins Greed (-gg)
* Added -aa (Arrow Accuracy) for Elune's Arrow hit percentages
* -disablehelp now prevents items from being picked up by non-owners from the fountain area
* -oi is turned on by default in observer games. Using -oi will disable it instead.
* Added a sub command to -om that disables neutral spawns
* Added a player only command "rollhero" or "-rh" to randomly display a heroname. This has no actual functional effect in the game, just a small easy command that some players wanted for their play groups.
* AFK detection no longer considers a player to be AFK during the drafting phases of some game modes

* Switch is disabled by default. Added a new temporary game mode -switchon (-so). Haven't developed a new replacement system for switch yet. There are a few ideas I experimented with but nothing final yet. Based on the feedback I've gotten, I think the best thing to do is to disable it by default and allow a mode for it until a more suitable usage of it can be implemented.
* Improved the text presentation of -switch a little bit so the text is less intrusive

## Gameplay & Performance ##

* Added a few new terrain paths. Here are the rough areas that a change has been done in:
- To the right of the Sentinel Secret Shop above the ramp
- Above the Sentinel Goblin Shop
- Between the forest and the top Scourge lane
- Right side of sent jungle
- To the right of the second top Sentinel tower
- Added a new tree to the Scourge jungle
- In the area between the pair of Scourge neutrals near the powerup

* Range rax no longer has extra regeneration
* Added a new regeneration armor mechanism for towers and rax.
- The "regen armor" is stripped away whenever there are nearby creeps (or corpses). It gets restored once 15 seconds elapse without a nearby unit.
- If a tower or rax takes damage without the regen armor, that life lost can never be naturally regenerated. If it does have the regen armor, then it will regenerate at a rate of 40hp/seconds and take only 25% damage from illusions.
- Flagged areas are 1) All places considered in or near base 2) second Top Tower 3) second Mid Tower 4) second Bot Tower.

* Increased the non-splitting portion of the xp/gold from 8/level xp & 40 gold to 12*level xp & 30+5*level
* The non-splitting xp/gold bonuses are now doubled for EM like the rest of the xp/bounty system is

* Changed the damage type of the first tower to be Siege like the rest of the towers. Adjusted the damage table to keep the damage creeps take in the laning phase unchanged.
* Tower does not regenerate from allied damage (when trying to deny)

## Cosmetic & Misc ##

* Added two new hero kill sounds for 4x and 5x kills
* Added hero and creep stats to the scoreboard title by default
* Deny visual effect is shown by default now. -cson/off toggles it on and off. -di functionalities (and some extras) are now enabled by default.
* The upgrade mechanism of courier has been changed. You no longer lose the hotkey bindings you have when it is upgraded to crow.
* Many passive icons have been replaced with proper passive borders (will do the remaining in the near future)
* Improved color/text presentation for runes
* Adaptive Strike now displays the stun duration as overhead
* Added a joke name to Dragon Knight
* Added a new ability on couriers "Return Home" that sends your courier back to base
* Added a new ability on couriers "Transfer Items" that transfers your items to your hero directly
* Added a new visual effect for Death Pulse
* Added a new visual effect for Last Word
* Added a new visual effect for Mana Void
* Added a warning message when an old unsafe version of Warcraft is detected
* Added a player only sound effect and a text message when your hero respawns
* Added allied-only text message when an ally bottles or picks up a rune
* Added Armor Aura to Neutral Creep Enraged Wildkin
* Added joke name to Axe
* Added text for observers to show what abilities heroes are leveling
* Added the "Allied hero has fallen" sounds
* Added the music that plays in single player when typing "TenthLevelTaurenChieftain" to "-music special"
* Adjusted neutral creep active abilities to all be on the bottom left most spot
* Blackhole now uses an AOE targetting interface
* Bottled Runes now show color coded icons
* Changed Bottle and Captured Rune Icons
* Changed Magic Stick Icon
* Reduced maximum AFK time from 10 to 5 minutes
* Changed Omnislash hotkey from N to E
* Changed the cosmetics on Razor's attack
* Improved the Cooldown animation so it is much easier to tell when a long cooldown spell is available
* Lothars windwalk icon is now the same as the item
* Lycan's attack while in Wolf Form now properly plays an attack sound
* Normal mode can now pick from their team's heroes plus neutral heroes
* Removed Furion teleportation restriction into enemy base (no need because of the new regen system)
* Rot no longer triggers Last Word
* Rune of Regeneration now expires once it you reach max hp and mp
* Silencer Intelligence stealing is now displayed as green for the +1 and red for the -1
* Splitshot no longer automatically turns off when you get disabled
* Stout Shield has a new icon now. Poor Man's Shield uses stout's old icon.
* Terrain snow now morphs regular trees into special snow trees.
* Updated Illusion Rune tooltip
* Updated Morph's tooltip to reflect the recent attributes bonus added to it
* You no longer lose vision if an ally or yourself that is targeted with Astral Prison
* Improved icon for Soul Steal (172705)
* Added a new icon for Sunder (172705)
* Added a new icon for Tombstone (263561)
* Added a new icon for Lycan's Feral Heart (180452)
* Changed the icon for Ring of Protection
* Decreased model size of Spirit Bear and True Form slightly
* Added a new visual effect to God's Strength
* Enigma returns to the Scourge alliance
* Linken Sphere now plays a sound when the cooldown is ready and its active on you

## Bugs ##

* Diffusal Blade automatically fixes itself to burn properly on images when it reaches 0 charges (you used to have to drop and pick it up)
* Fixed a bug with manavoid damage (it dealt less damage than it should at higher levels)
* Fixed a rare bug with Open Wounds allied lifesteal
* Fixed a bug with Open Wounds and Infest
* Fixed a Moonlight Shadow not working on allied magic immune units
* Fixed a rare suicide bug with Terrorblade
* Fixed a recently introduced bug with Ursa's Enrage not properly triggering fury swipes
* Fixed -hhn to not get reset when a new hero enters the map
* Fixed some bugs with Last Word when Silencer was dead
* Fixed Illusions created from Bottle not showing bottle in inventory
* Fixed Meat Hook not interrupting channeling if the target is fogged
* Fixed Open Wounds heal not working properly with some custom spells
* Fixed Replicate not removing the image when it errors due to backdooring
* Fixed some minor potential bugs with Ion Shell
* Fixed some -switch issues when combined with -ah
* Fixed some very minor inconsistencies between Sentinel and Scourge buildings
* Fixed spells like Laser and Brainsap to work with Decrepify
* Fixed spells like Zeus's Wrath of God from reseting the AFK counter
* Fixed the attachment effects on Invoker, Lina, Lich and Chaos Knight from disappearing and reapearing 1 second later after attack actions.
* Fixed the creep upgrade timer to be in sync with the recent game start time for modes
* Fixed Tiny's Illusions appearing small

# Languages #

The game is now available in 9 languages (5 new ones). English, Russian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, French, Czech, German, and Brazilian Portuguese.

# Details #

Captains Draft:
24 Heroes are randomly allocated in a circle (like RD). The 24 consist of 8 random Intelligence/Agility/Strength heroes, sorted in that order along the circle.

Each team has a total time bank of 2.5 minutes. Blue/Pink draft the heroes for their entire team.

Blue and Pink start off by alternating 1/1/1/1 ban picks.
It then goes into a 1/2/2/2/2/1 hero draft.

Once a hero picks/bans a hero, it immediately switches to the other player to act.
Your timer is shown in read when it is your turn to act.

I am considering implementing a new order for the bans for this mode in the future. The bans would not all happen before the pick process, it would be in between picks. I decided to keep it the traditional way for now and get some feedback on alternatives.

Quelling Blade:
+36% bonus damage to non-hero units (12% for ranged heroes)
Tree Chop
- Kills a Tree
- 40 Cooldown
Cost: 250
Has no sell price
Available at the Goblin Merchant

Can only carry one

Talisman of Evasion:
+25% Evasion
Cost: 1800

250 Gold
+60% to block 20 (10 for ranged)

Note: It has the same statistical value as before for melee.

Poor Man's Shield:
(250) Stout Shield
(300) 2x Slippers of Agility

+60% to block 20 non-hero damage (10 for ranged)
+100% to block 20 hero damage (10 for ranged)
+6 Agility

Force Staff:
(900) Quarterstaff
(1000) Staff of Wizardry
(300) Recipe
Total: 2200

+10 Intelligence
+10 Damage
+10 Attack Speed
Force (active)
Cooldown: 30
Manacost: 100
Castrange: 800
Mechanic: Pushes a unit (enemy, allied or self) 500 units in the direction that unit is facing.

This does not interrupt channeling spells

Khadgar's Pipe of Insight:
(2050) Hood of Defiance
(909) Natherzim Buckler
(800) Recipe

A powerful artifact of mysterious origin, this pipe gives the bearer the insight to summon fields of null energy which envelop nearby allies, protecting them from 400 spell damage. Buff lasts 8 seconds.

+30% Magic Resistance
+8 HP Regeneration
+5 Armor
Barrier (Active)
Cooldown: 60
Manacost: 100
AOE: 700
Mechanic: Provides a 400 damage magic damage shield on nearby allied units. Affects Heroes and non-player creeps. If a unit already has this buff when another barrier is casted, it will override the buff with the new one instead of stacking additively. Buff lasts 8 seconds

Note: The 400 damage is before any magic reductions, not after. So a 300 damage spell removes 300 life from the shield, and not the 225 basic spell resistance. It is taken off the shield before it hits you, thus before any magic resistance is taken into effect.

Ghost Scepter:
1500 Gold
Ghost Form (Active)
+7 All Attributes

Ghost Form: You change form for 4 seconds, taking 44% bonus damage from spells but being immune to physical attacks.
Duration: 4
Cooldown: 25

Monkey King Bar's True Strike:
Makes your attacks never miss.

True Strike Does not stack properly with orb or chance abilities like Frost Arrows, Headshot, etc.

True Strike can be toggled on and off.

Note: MKB still has proc effect

Magic Wand:
(159) 3x Ironwood Branch
(200) Magic Stick
(125) Recipe
Total: 474

+3 All Stats
Energy Charge (15 Charges)

Aghanim's Scepter:
(2000) 2 of any of Blade of Alacrity, Ogre Axe or Staff of Wizardry
(1200) Point Booster
(1200) Recipe
Total: 4400

+10 All Attributes
+200 HP
+150 MP
Improves Ultimates (see list of ultimates in log or on the ultimate tooltips for the heroes it improves)

Diffusal Blade:
(2000) 2x Blades of Alacrity
(450) Robe of the Magi
(850) Diffusal Blade Recipe
Total: 3300

22 Agility
6 Intelligence
Feedback (20 mana)
Purge 8 charges

Diffusal Blade Level 2:
(3300) Diffusal Blade
(850) Diffusal Blade Recipe
Total: 4150

26 Agility
10 Intelligence
Feedback (36 mana)
Purge 8 charges (upgrading to level 2 restocks your charges back to 8)

Note: You cannot restock charges by buying the recipe again. It only upgrades once.

Old Maelstrom:
1400 Claymore
1400 Recipe
450 Boots of Elvenskin
Total: 3250

+25 Damage
+6 Agility
Chain Lightning

1600 Mithril Hammer
900 Recipe
500 Gloves of Haste
Total: 3000

+24 Damage
+15 Attack Speed
Chain Lightning

Manta Style:
2250 Yasha
2100 Ultimate Orb
500 Recipe

+26 Agility
+10 Strength
+10 Intelligence
+15 Attack Speed
+10% Movement Speed
+Mirror Image (same as old one)
Images deal 33% (previously 40%)
Images take 350% (previously 300%)

Fires a ball full of shrapnel into the air. which promptly explodes, showering the target area. Enemy units that walk in this area get damaged and slowed. Deals 30% damage to buildings. Shrapnel lasts for 10 seconds.

AOE: 450
Slow: 15/20/25/30
Slow Duration: 2
DPS: 10/20/30/40

Cast Range: 900
Cooldown: 15
Manacost: 120

Crystal Nova:
AOE Damage: 80/130/180/230
AOE: 400
Slow Duration: 5
Attack Speed Reduction: 20%
Movement Speed Reduction: 30%

Cast Range: 700
Cooldown: 15
Manacost: 100/120/140/160

Adaptive Strike:
It now always stuns and damages.
The amount of the damage and stun varies depending on how much of each attribute you have relative to the other one.

If you have 50% more agility than strength, it deals the maximum of the damage and the minimum of the stun
If you have 50% more strength than agility, it deals the maximum of the stun and the minimum of the damage

Everything in between the two is a smooth transition from one to the other

Damage(lvl1): Min: 0.25x Agility Max: 0.75xAgi
Damage(lvl2): Min: 0.25x Agility Max: 1.5xAgi
Damage(lvl3): Min: 0.25x Agility Max: 2.25xAgi
Damage(lvl4): Min: 0.25x Agility Max: 3.0xAgi

Stun(lvl1): Min: 0.25 Max: 0.75
Stun(lvl2): Min: 0.25 Max: 1.5
Stun(lvl3): Min: 0.25 Max: 2.25
Stun(lvl4): Min: 0.25 Max: 3.0

Min Knockback distance is 100, Max is 300

Storm Bolt:
Targets an area around an enemy unit and releases a magical hammer dealing damage and stunning enemy units.

Damage: 100/175/250/325
Stun Duration: 2
AOE: 250
CD: 14
Manacost: 140
Cast Range: 600


With the righteous anger of one wielding justice, Sven lets loose a mighty Warcry, heartening his allies for battle. Sven and nearby allies gain movespeed and increased armor.

Movement Speed: 12%
Armor: 3/6/9/12
AOE: 350
Duration: 6
Cooldown: 36/30/24/18

Battle Trance:
Jah'rakal unconsciously uses dormant magic to awaken the savagery of every warrior on the battlefield. Greatly increases attack speed for a short duration, and lasts an additional 4 seconds on Jah'rakal.

Attack Speed Bonus: 60/80/100
Duration: 4 seconds
Cooldown: 20
Manacost: 75

Note: This is a global spell.

Liquid Fire:
Straight from the belly of the beast, Jakiro slowly harnesses Liquid Fire when he attacks to burn his victims (175 AOE), and slow their attacks.

Damage Per Second: 10/15/20/25
Attack Speed Reduction: 20/30/40/50
AOE: 175
Duration: 5 seconds
Cooldown: 20/15/10/5

Note: Works on buildings

Fiery Soul:
Whenever she casts a spell, she will gain temporary movement and attack speed bonus.

Duration: 5 seconds
Attack Speed Bonus: 20/30/40/50%
Movement Speed Bonus: 2/3/4/5%
Stacks with itself

Phantom Strike:
Teleports to a unit and attacks it. Gains 100% attack speed for 3 seconds while attacking that same target. Maximum of 4 attacks.

Cooldown: 30/20/10/5
Manacost: 50

Old Multicast:
lvl 1 - 20% for 2. [Scepter: 30% for 3]
lvl 2 - 20% for 3. [Scepter: 30% for 4]
lvl 3 - 20% for 4. [Scepter: 30% for 5]

New Multicast:
lvl 1 - 30% for 2.
lvl 2 - 45% for 2 or 22.5% for 3
lvl 3 - 60% for 2 or 30% for 3 or 15% for 4.

No scepter upgrades

Example: Level 2 has 50% chance for at least 2x and a 25% for 3.

This displays overhead showing which multiplier of multicast was achieved.

Eyes In The Forest:
Creates an enchanted tree at a target point, allowing Rooftrellen to see the tree's surrounding area at all times. Vision improves slightly per level.

Cast Range: 100
Cooldown: 300/225/150/75
Manacost: 100/75/50/25

Note: Creates a regular tree if cast on the Sentinel side and a dead tree if cast on the Scourge side. The trees are slightly brighter when they are enchanted.

Passive. Adds bonus damage to your attacks based on how low the target enemy is.

Level 1: 80-100=>2 60-80=>4 40-60=>8 20-40=>16 0-20=>32
Level 2: 80-100=>4 60-80=>8 40-60=>16 20-40=>32 0-20=>64
Level 3: 80-100=>6 60-80=>12 40-60=>24 20-40=>48 0-20=>96
Level 4: 80-100=>8 60-80=>16 40-60=>32 20-40=>64 0-20=>128

The equation is rather simple, it starts off with 2/4/6/8 bonus damage, and doubles each 20% missing hp.

For example, if this is level 3 and the target has 30% health, then you have 48 bonus attack damage.
If this is level 4 and the target has 15% health, then you have 128 bonus attack damage.

Gives half the bonus against creeps and buildings.

Mystic Snake:
A mystic snake made of energy jumps from target to target dealing damage and stealing some energy. After it reaches its last target, it jumps back to Medusa to replenish her mana. The snake deals more damage and steals more mana per jump.

Jumps: 3/4/5/6
Damage: 60/100/140/180 + 20% each successful damage jump
Mana: 20/30/40/50 + 20% each successful mana drain jump

Target A: Unit with mana
Target B: Unit with no mana
Target C: Unit with mana
Target D: Unit with no mana
Target E: Unit with mana

At level 4:
Target A takes 180 damage and loses 50 mana
Target B takes 216 damage and loses 0 mana
Target C takes 252 damage and loses 60 mana
Target D takes 288 damage and loses 0 mana
Target E takes 324 damage and loses 70 mana

In this example, at level 4 cast spell, with a ranged creep and 2 heros both getting hit by it, you regenerate 50+60+70=180 mana

Manacost: 140/150/160/170
Cooldown: 12
Jump AOE: 475
Cast Range: 700

Stone Gaze:
Any enemy units staring at the Gorgon will slowly turn to stone, removing status buffs and slowing all speed properties.

Gaze Duration: 5
AOE: 800
Speed Factor: 2/3/5
Damage to summoned units: 600/800/1000
Cooldown: 70
Manacost: 100/50/0

Doesn't affect units that are not able to see Medusa directly (if medusa is fogged or invisible, then enemy can't see her).

Direct line of sight is required.

# Razor #

Strength: 17 +1.9
Agility: 22 +2.5
Intelligence: 19 + 2.2

Attack Range: 475
Movement Speed: 295

Plasma Field:
Razor releases a wave energetic plasma which grows in power as it extends outwards. Deals damage to units both on expansion and on contraction. The further the plasma is from razor the more energy it has.

Minimum Charge Damage: 40/60/80/100
Max Charge Damage:70/105/140/175
Speed: 800
AOE: 600

Cooldown: 16
Manacost: 125

Note: This can hit a unit once going out and once coming back in. Charge increases to max going outwards, then decreases to min coming inwards. This is a full circle AOE effect, a radius of small electrical effects travel outwards. It spawns from where you are and moves out with you.

Unstable Current:
Passive. Increases the movement speed and reflects a static charge whenever targeted, dealing damage and purging the unit briefly.

Movement Bonus: 3/6/9/12%
Damage: 40/60/80/100
Purge Duration: 0.3/0.6/0.9/1.2

Note: Does not trigger on attack orbs like Poison Attack or Frost Arrows

Static Link:
Taps into the energy of a target hero, creating a charged link between Razor and his foe. As long as this link is maintained, Razor will continue to steal damage from the target and adds it to his own.

Attack damage stolen per second: 5/10/15/20
Max link time: 10
Stolen duration: 13 seconds from link break.

Cast Range: 600
Break Range: 700

Manacost: 20/30/40/50
Cooldown: 45/40/35/30

Note: If you target a point on the ground, it will move in that path and lock onto the first hero it reaches. You have vision over the link itself.

Eye of the Storm:
The Lightning Revenant calls upon a powerful storm of crackling energy, which strikes weakened enemies with deadly bolts of lightning. The storm is charged with Razor's malevolent will, and will seek out only the most injured targets for its armor shattering blasts.

Damage: 37.5/50/62.5
Interval: 0.85/0.75/0.6
AOE: 500
Armor reduction per hit: 1 (stacks)

Duration: 20/25/30
Manacost: 100
Cooldown: 80/70/60

Damage dealt is physical. Only targets units in your vision.
This storm stops if Razor dies. Targets the lowest HP unit in the area.

# Batrider #

Strength: 23 + 2.5
Agility: 15 + 1.5
Intelligence: 24 + 2.5

Attack Range: 375
Movement Speed: 290

Cast Point 0.3
Attack Point 0.5
Hero Class: Intelligence

Sticky Napalm:
Targets an area and drenches it in oil. Slows the movement speed and turn rate of units in that area. Extra casts of this on the same targets stacks.

Any fire damage from batrider will ignite the napalm, dealing damage for each stack.

Fire damage is any regular batrider attack, flamebreak or firefly

AOE: 375
Damage: 10/15/20/25
Slow: 3/5/7/9%
Turn rate reduction: 30%

Lasts 7 seconds (refreshes on hit)
Stack max: 10

Cast Range: 700
Manacost: 15
Cooldown: 3

Hurls a highly explosive cocktail of dangerous chemicals at the target position. Upon impacting with an enemy the missile explodes, dealing damage and knocking all nearby foes away from the impact. Any unit who has been Napalmed will take additional damage from the blast.

Knocks back all units in the explosion area proportionally to how far they were from the center

Damage: 75/150/225/300
Max knockback: 400
Explosion AOE: 375
Detection AOE: 100
Damage: 75/150/225/300
Travel Distance: 1600

Manacost: 80/100/120/140
Cooldown: 11

Flies high leaving a burning trail behind. Enemies who dare follow will get burned by the fiery napalm. Nothing can take the skies from him.

Trees in your path are killed by the fire.
Gives you flying pathing

Damage: 20/40/60/80 per second
AOE: 200
Spell Duration: 15
Pathing: Flying

CD: 40
Manacost: 100

Flaming Lasso:
Snags a target with a constricting lasso, allowing the Batrider to drag them behind him as he moves.

Does not drag units over cliffs or impassable terrain.

If you TP or blink away or get ported away, the lasso breaks.

Cast Range: 175
Bind Range: 300
Manacost: 150
Cooldown: 130/90/50
Duration: 3/3.5/4

# Tauren Chieftain #

Strength: 24 + 2.7
Agility: 14 + 1.5
Intelligence: 23 + 1.6

Attack Range: 150
Movement Speed: 300

Cast Point 0.4
Attack Point 0.35
Hero Class: Strength

Since ancient times it has been prophesized by the Tauren elders that a Chieftain will come, strong as the mightiest warriors and wise as the eldest shamans. After many years of wandering the sacred lands, seeking wisdom from his forefathers, Cairne Bloodhoof has proven himself as the long awaited hero. Cairne carries with him the spirit of his mightiest ancestor, and now the ground shakes with the combined strength of the Chieftain and his guardian spirit. No physical nor magical barrier can reduce the power of his enchanted halberd, the weapon used by his guardian in ancient times. Such is the power of this axe that it can split the very earth itself. Seeking revenge for the ravaging of his homeland, Cairne will soon bring his wrath upon the Scourge.

Echo Stomp:
Calls upon the spirit of his ancestors to join him in an earth-shattering echo, rendering nearby foes unconcious. The spirit and Tauren Chieftain both deal 80 damage in the area, the Spirit dealing magical damage and the physical form dealing physical damage. Unconscious enemies will wake if they get hit. If the spirit is seperated from you, it will still perform its part of the spell.

If you damage a knocked out unit, it no longer becomes knocked out/immobile.

There is a spirit version of you doing the stomp animation with you at the same time (you can see it as well). You deal physical damage and it deals magical damage.

Physical Damage: 80
Magical Damage: 80
Channel Time: 1.4 seconds
AOE: 500
Knockout duration: 2/3/4/5 seconds
Manacost: 100/115/130/145
Cooldown: 15

Only player based damage can wake heroes. Damage dealt during a brief period after the stomp will not awaken heroes (0.65)

Ancestral Spirit:
The Tauren Chieftain sends forth his guardian ancestor to bring ruin upon his foes. While seperate from the Chieftain, the spirit will mimic his movement and damage any unit it passes through. When it rejoins the Chieftain, it grants him bonus damage and movement speed for each enemy it has struck.

Magical Damage: 120/160/200/240
AOE: 275

Damage per creep: 3/6/9/12
movement speed per creep: 1%
Danage per hero: 10/20/30/40
movement speed per hero: 5%

Cooldown: 19
Manacost: 110
Max Charge Time: 8

If the spirit has not rejoined with you before that period, it will charge towards you to move back into you and enchant you.

Enchanted Time: 9 (The duration you have the buffs after the joining of the ancestral spirit)

Natural Order:

The Tauren Chieftain uses wisdom gathered throughout the ages to reduce everything to its most basic level. Removes base Magic and Physical resistance.

AOE: 250
Percentage nullification: 25%/50%/75%/100%

Note: This exists on the spirit as well.

Ultimate - Earth Splitter:
Using his mighty axe, the Tauren Chieften rends the very earth itself, sending a jagged crack under the feet of his enemies. After several seconds the earth implodes, sending his foes tumbling inwards. Any unit caught in the implosion will take damage based on their maximum life and have their speed slowed for a short time. Implodes after 3 seconds. Deals 35% of a unit's maximum HP.

Cast Range: 1600
Travel speed: 600 ms
Delay after maturity: 0.5 seconds
AOE: 350
Damage: 35% of each unit's maximum HP (half magical, half physical)
Slow Amount: 30/40/50%
Slow Duration: 3/4/5

Cooldown: 90/75/60
Manacost: 175

Example: You target a point, from where you are towards 1200 in the angle you click on, the split starts growing.
The split grows at 600 ms, so it takes 2 seconds to reach the end.
After it reaches the end, it plays an animation preparing for the implosion for 0.5 seconds and then it pulls everyone in and does the dmg/maim.

## Notes ##

Thanks to everyone that helped test this version and to all the players that have sent their feedback and requests in. There are many changes in this patch, some depend on the other one, so you'll need to play it a bit to get a good idea for how things play out in practice. That being said, don't hesitate to give me your first impressions and your overall feelings towards the update. There will probably be a 6.60b or a 6.61 to follow this one, so let me know any mistakes you find or any suggestions for stuff to change.
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