Happy Haiku: Fiora

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Happy Haiku: I try to dabble in writing haiku poems in Japanese.
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Happy Haiku! For Fiora, the Grand Duelist. My favorite champion in all of League of Legends.

Haiku
おフィオラ
フランスの花
美しい

Romaji
(O) Fiora
Furansu no hana
Utsukushii

English Translation
(Honorable) Fiora
French flower
Beautiful

- Nhan “Nhan-Fiction” Pham

Please be sure to like “Nhan-Fiction” on Facebook and follow me on Twitter:)

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MOBA Monday: Maki, the Shrine Maiden

Maki Mug

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MOBA Monday: MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) is my favorite kind of gaming genre in the world.
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Custom Creativity

For my favorite game in the world, League of Legends, a hobby of mine is making elaborate custom champions for fun. Though I don’t consider myself a game designer by any means, I find a lot of enjoyment in making my own characters.

I go all out and try really hard to come up with something cool.

For this concept, I really wanted to create a shrine maiden. I chose the name Maki with the 真希  kanji symbols for “truth” and “rare,” respectively, because I think the name itself is both cute yet meaningful.

As always with my concepts, I try to raise the bar each time in some shape or form. For Maki’s concept, a lot of people got involved to add extra touches that are quite awesome in their own right.

Below you will find original artwork, authentic Japanese translations, voice acting (in the works) and other elements. I love the “team” aspect that I get with working with others on custom champ projects.

Be sure to check out the LoL Wiki version as well.
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Lore
(Written by Mineko Charat Lucky.)

Maki, the shrine maiden serving in an old Ionian shrine of a once prosperous village, now devotes her life to taking revenge on the one woman who has ruined the peace Maki had before.

Years ago, this village Maki lived in was a peaceful community, thanks to her parents who were powerful guardians of the local shrine, with the ability to summon powerful ancestral spirits, using themselves as the medium. With this ability, they were able to fend off any threat who ever tried to lay a finger on their village, especially the Noxians. Maki was still a young shrine maiden-in-training at the time, living happily and striving to become just like her strong parents. Unfortunately, such good moments didn’t last long.

One day, Maki’s father returned home from hunting empty handed, which was rather unusual, considering he would usually at the very least bring back a couple of jungle fowls. Maki’s mother seems concerned, but when she started to ask, he shoved her aside without a single ounce of emotion. Never has her husband been so cold to her, so Maki’s mother asked more questions. Once again, he ignored her, instead asking if he could be left alone in his room. Grudgingly, his wife accepted, thinking he would perhaps tell her in the evening.

Evening was soon to come, but news of a Noxian invasion came. While the villages were forewarned of it as usual, this time the Noxian’s numbers were in the ten thousands, more than ever before, possibly due to how powerful Maki’s parents were. However, there was no sign of Maki’s father at the frontline. Villagers hurried to the shrine, crying at his room’s door for help. But to no avail, there was no answer. In all the haste, they forced open the door, only to find the room empty with the window open. Maki’s father had fled.

Devastated by this finding, many decided to flee for their lives. Maki’s mother however urged everyone not to bow down to the odds and fight till the end. She told Maki to take the divine weapons that were stored in the shrine and give them to Maki’s father who had seemingly fled. Maki obeyed, and set off towards the mountain.

Two hours later, after searching for her father without rest, Maki found her father accompanying a woman among the bushes. This woman had tails and ears, and seemed to be part-fox. Apparently they were embracing each other, kissing with passion. As she hid, Maki was confused, which turned into anger. As she was about to reveal herself, her father’s body fell away from the fox-lady. His body laid on the floor without any sign of life. Absolutely stunned as to what just happened, Maki stood there in place, unable to move. She overheard the fox-lady talking about how simple-minded men were, easily charmed by pretty women, and that he deserved this death. And swiftly, in the next second, she fled. Continue reading

MOBA Monday: Taste Testing Flavor of the Month


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MOBA Monday: MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) is my favorite kind of gaming genre in the world.
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In League of Legends
, a prominent aspect of the game is the nature of “Flavor of the Month” strategies (or FotM for short.) Basically, FotM refers to what’s in style for a given metagame. It could be the champions being selected, an item build being executed throughout a match or anything else for that matter.

No matter how you slice it, FotM among the League of Legends community has tremendous influence as to what players do for periods of time.

A highly respected player popularizes the new, slick way of using a certain champion.

A trend develops.

Continue reading

MOBA Monday: Prepping for the Fourth LoL Season


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MOBA Monday: MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) is my favorite kind of gaming genre in the world.
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Season’s Greetings
League of Legends has started its fourth season of ranked play, and I am quite frankly a bit terrified and reluctant to jump on board the rank train … at least just yet.

The beginning of any League season is tricky because everyone is just trying to wedge through the perpetual gate all at the same time, overly eager to get a head start into a high rating. However, what this means is a lot of unpredictable chaos in itself.

You are going to get a lot of mediocre-or-worse players mucking up game quality while the decent-and-up ones try to power their way through the madness. In other words, you aren’t going to know what you’re going to get the moment you queue up for a ranked game at this point.

Your first 10 games, the ones deemed as “match placement,” are also incredibly important. They determine where you will start this season (Silver, Gold and so forth). It is paramount to do well in these games and try to come out the victor in most of them.

If you perform decently, the highest you can end up in is Platinum I. Then again, I have a few Diamond friends who have already found themselves sitting in Gold because of their erratic placement matches that sent them below Platinum level for the season’s start.

Nonetheless, I think they will probably be fine. They’re good enough of players to climb up. But for my sake, I want to make sure I can build up my own rating within a reasonable of time with fewer headaches and less nights where I want to go cry in the corner because of “Elo Hell.”

After all, my goal is to call myself a legitimate Diamond player. I came a little short last season, but I only had myself to blame myself because I went against my own strategies.

This season, I plan on being more disciplined. Continue reading

MOBA Monday: Fantastic 15 (Season Four)


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MOBA Monday: MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) is my favorite kind of gaming genre in the world.
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The fourth season is basically underway for League of Legends, so I felt it was about time I updated my Fantastic 15.

The same concept still applies: I pick three champs for each given role. Each champ is someone I count as a “main” of mine. As in, if I were to pick any of these champs in any match, I would expect myself to be competent with them. Continue reading

MOBA Monday: A Change of Heart

Note: MOBA stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena.

I have had a change of heart many times when it comes to League of Legends, particularly when it comes to my viewpoints on certain champions.

I often “hate” some champs for a long time for whatever reason. I don’t like their look, their gameplay design, their voice … Whatever it may be, I am stubborn about my stance on champs until I finally give them a genuine shot to win my affection.

In many cases, I am pleasantly surprised as to how incredible some characters are. Below are five random champs who started off in my “I think you’re a stupid champ” category before naturally moving on up to the “You’re an awesome character!” distinction.
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1. Wukong, the Monkey King

Initial Impression: I honestly thought Wukong was a boring design in terms of style and flair. It also did not help Wukong’s case that Heroes of Newerth’s own Monkey King was released around the same time as well (I really hate HoN, but at the time I thought HoN’s Monkey King was totally more interesting.)

Upon release, Wukong was actually leaning toward the underpowered side, with his skills being a tad weak. Not to mention, the clone he created from Decoy was buggy and did not “deceive” anyone properly.

Current Impression: Wukong rocks! There is no monkeying around when you utilize his skills properly. His ultimate, Cyclone, is super underrated. Not only does it do a lot of damage, its effect of knocking everyone up for a second is quite disruptive because not many things can handle displacement crowd control.

Wukong is just a crafty and fun champ to play.

Continue reading

Random Kanji Knowledge: Kawaii

Random Kanji Knowledge time!

Today’s kanji is 可愛い, which is read as kawaii (ka-why-e).

可愛い means “cute/adorable.” If there is a Japanese word to pick up, it’s this one. It is used all the time. However, you shouldn’t get it confused with 怖い (kowai) for scary.

可 means “passable.”

愛 is the symbol for “love/affection/favorite.”

So of course, when you see something that melts your heart, you say KAWAII!

The stroke order for 可愛い is shown below. Continue reading

A Very Darling Duelist

Fiora is my favorite champion in all of “League of Legends.” Lately, I have been thinking I need to showcase my love for this champion.

I will start by using more Fiora-related images for my avatars and whatnot, starting with this awesome chibi drawn by Hyldenia.

Fiora by Hyldenia

Isn’t it just darling? The drawing is so darn cute! :)

But seriously, please check out Hyldenia’s page. It’s awesome.

FIORA FOREVER! ♥

Happy Haiku: Winter



Happy Haiku!

Haiku
白い雪
ワンダーランド
寒い冬

Romaji
Shiroi yuki
Wandaalando
Samui fuyu

English Translation
White snow
Wonderland
Cold winter

- Nhan “Nhan-Fiction” Pham

Please be sure to like “Nhan-Fiction” on Facebook and follow me on Twitter:)

The Play-Setter and Playmaker Part 5

Branching Out
League of Legends” has tons of champions these days, so there are plenty of choices to make as to who to play. To find new inspiration in a champion you once despised for whatever reason is always an enlightening experience.

Maokai, the Twisted Treant, was a champion I once deemed “stupid” and trashy, but then I found myself really getting into Maokai near the end of Season 3.

I attribute the sudden interest to watching the Pro Player Pick vid below.

Continue reading

Diamond Dreams

Dreaming of Diamond
So the end of Season 3 happened last evening for “League of Legends.”

Unfortunately, I was unable to hit Diamond as I had hope for, but I did manage to reach high-Platinum territory. My Matchmaking Rating (MMR) was occasionally putting me in games with a few low-Diamond players, which tells me that Diamond is definitely within my grasp for Season 4.

It was frustrating because I am 100 percent certain I have Diamond-caliber skills for particular aspects of my game (i.e. jungling), but I tanked my MMR for a long time to the point where climbing up in Elo was difficult and extremely annoying.

Gaining less League Points for each win while losing a chunk of LP for every loss meant I was always at a disadvantage. I would make progress with a few wins, but then I would suffer a huge setback with even a single defeat.

In other words, I would make one step forward, but I found myself falling two+ steps behind again with each loss. Needless to say, it took too long to repair my MMR back into OK territory. And by then, the season was already concluding.

I actually figured out that it would take me at least 20+ games for me to hit Diamond near the final days, and this was assuming I managed to come out victorious in every single match. Not necessarily impossible per se, but even the best of the best lose a game here and there in Solo Queue.

And of course, the late-season terrors in ranked popped up in full abundance. There were so many trolls, low-skilled players, Elo-boosted players and everything else under the rainbow that meant every Solo Queue game hinged heavily on luck. Did your team have the high-Elo smurf or did your team get the guy who decided to play again after a five-month hiatus?

Overall, it was an unpleasant experience trying to make a late push toward my Elo goals. The thought of hacking away at the ranking system deflated a lot of fun about of my matches, plus I found myself raging a lot because it was always ONE THING or another.

Then again, I only have myself to blame for not sticking to my original system and strategies for ranking up. Had I stayed disciplined to carry out my game plan, I probably would have hit Diamond a long time ago with way less matches played, a lot more personal satisfaction and a huge absence of excessive stress from painful, mentally taxing matches. Continue reading

Late-season Terrors in Ranked

The end of the third season for “League of Legends” is about two weeks away. Of course, this means the ranked ladder at this point is going to be overrun with a lot more players than usual.

Unfortunately, this also entails dealing with the “riff-raff” of the community as everyone is trying to make the last-second push toward their rank goals. It is incredibly mean to call these individuals the “riff-raff,” but believe me – they will put a damper on your progress.

Regardless of the division you are aiming for (Gold, Platinum and so forth), the LoL community’s worst offenders are running rampant in ranked at the moment.

Below are five random examples of the players who have been causing me so many problems in ranked. In no particular order of significance. Continue reading