Net Cafe and Karaoke

Well today  marks the beginning of another clump of action in my life, which I guess I am glad for. Today our group went out to the city for gaming at a net cafe and also karaoke,: 3 hours and 2 hours respectively. Though it does seem we did little, it took a lot of time to do.

 

Okay without much delay let’s jump into behind-the-scenes on the train in the morning. Can’t believe Kelvin wanted to drag us all to the city at 10am, which means I have to wake up early, but I guess I have no regrets for net cafe, it was fun today. Anyway one thing nobody saw on the train was this incident: I was on the train and there was this Asian chick perhaps in her early 20’s sitting in front of me (the important thing was that I could see where she was sitting really). Anyway a few stations later 4 Curries got on, 3 men and 1 woman. One guy sat next to the afore mentioned Asian chick, another sat in the same row on the other side, another in front of the first guy and  another not too far. Anyway the Asian chick decided to take a nap on the train and the Curry’s saw this as an opportunity for some major perversion. Particularly for the Curry guy sitting next to the Asian chick, they all kept looking at here once a while, just looking up and down her in that sick way that made me feel like shouting “F*** off you f***ing Curry perverts!” which they clearly were. Seriously, you hate to stick to stereotypes but an educated guess can conclude that a number of Currys are sick f***s who can’t be trusted, which is a shame in this world that there iss o much distrust. The Currys got off at Redfern while the Asian chick stayed on. Was my guess about them wrong?

 

Now for some gaming commentary. I have headings this time so please feel free to skip if you don’t want to read about it.

 

DotA

First of before I start, we decided to go back to that stupid City Hunter place because there arguably do have the better computers in the vicinity. But this time I decided to up my resolve and make sure we didn’t go over time. And luckily today we didn’t encounter any such problem. We only played one match of Dota, and then many other things.

 

Mode: All Pick/Easy Mode

 

Sentinel

Me (captain): Invoker
Charlie: Viper
Chris: Clockwerk Goblin

 

Scourge

Kelvin (captain): Admiral
Nick: Ursa Warrior
Joseph: Shadow Feind

 

To begin, let me introduce my “captain” thing. I suppose for DotA or any sort of team game, all players end up looking up towards their strongest player, one with more experience and who should play better on the whole. It would therefore be the captain’s responsibility to look after their teammates and make decisions that involve a team effort. In the case of DotA this would include team ganking and team pushing as well as lane management and scouting.

 

Okay, well let’s no worry too much about team line up at the moment. I was farming against Joseph in middle lane. Now I’m only a novice Invoker player at the moment so I used this opportunity to practice; still need a bit more work though. I failed to kill Joseph at any point in the early game but Joseph also managed to hold his own ground most of the time. His Shadow Raze was fairly accurate, not that I was afraid because he only kept it at lvl 1, a mere 75 damage which I can recover in a few seconds. But due to Joseph’s novice play he failed to farm well and obviously he let me work up my income and exp.

 

Meanwhile over in top lane was Chris against Nick. Now let me stress that when you have equally skilled players playing against each other, “Ursa > Clockwerk”. In fact most of the time “Ursa > a lot of things” so it was particularly surprising to find that Chris as Clockwerk scores First Blood against Nick as Ursa. In fact not only then but Chris scored maybe two more kills on Nick after that. I never had a chance to see how it happened though, although I do suspect that Nick only died because of a failed attempt to kill.

 

And finally in bottom lane Charlie took on Kelvin and I actually found it impressive that Charlie didn’t die early against Kelvin. But thisis fair. Although Admiral is a fiesty hero, Viper has such annoying dps (damage per second) that it should also annoy a lot of heroes. But I suppose neither player actually plays offensively so it’s fair to understand that neither of them died till a bit later, after Chris’ 2-3 kills haha!

 

Anyway I wasn’t much of the lead player for a long part of the game because let’s face it, Invoker isn’t one of those “kill on their own” heroes. If it ever came down to a 3v3 showdown then of course my help would net some of the kills. But until then I stayed passive and just moved around farming and harassing whenever I got the chance.

 

Chris and Charlie started working together without me saying and the two of them kept exchanging blows with Kelvin, Joseph and Nick. Chris started dying occasionally, Charlie got up to killing spree while everyone else had their share of deaths. I guess I could’ve prevented Chris from dying if I had been there rather than on the other side of the map happily jungling. Charlie lived because of several unsuccessful attempts by Kelvin to kill him. In my eyes in was kind of funny; both players deserved to fail: Charlie in his escaping and Kelvin in his chasing. First off Charlie was clearly farming in dangerous territory. As a general hint, crossing the river in the middle without knowing where your opponents are is extremely dangerous and asking to get ganked. So as expected along comes Kelvin to deliver the kill. Unfortunately he fails to finish Charlie off on account of being unable to chase him down, which can happen but shouldn’t be likely. One factor of this may have been because Charlie was going for Sange & Yasha, which as a rule is off limits to any hero that has an orb skill, it’s just stupid. But somehow it served to help Charlie from dying out of misjudgement several times, wow.

 

As the game progressed on further I actually died once because I was roaming too freely and tried to kill at the wrong time; bad judgement on my behalf about Invoker’s strength. Although actually I could’ve killed Kelvin, I was running away for like 10 seconds while my two lava spawns were hitting him. I just missed out after I died and Kelvin got away on a sliver of health; he would’ve died ages ago had I made the resolve to get a kill and die, rather than simply run for it. This happened several times more where Kelvin got away on a sliver of health. I always kept playing to stay alive, rather than try for a kill really, it’s my conservative play I guess which I use for heroes that I’m not too confident with.

 

But on Invoker’s play style, I find that he’s rather versatile if you’re willing to put in the finger work. For example: Quas offers 0.75 hp regeneration per level per instance. So early on if you were farming and were on middle health, you could toggle all three instances to Quas for health regeneration. Wex is 1% IMS (increased move speed) and 2% IAS (increased attack speed) per level per instance. What I’m interested here is the move speed bonus. A number of times when I was running away after seeing that I’m losing a fight, I’d quickly toggle my three instances to Wex and start running and you find the bonus is rather helpful, I escaped easily many times just by bothering to toggle to “escape mode”. Finally Exort is 3 damage per level per instance and is the primary setting most players have, more damage is better on the offensive play. But of course to fully utilize Invoker you should be willing to toggle between the other two skills whenever you deem necessary. And that’s a general overview of how to use Invoker and how I’m learning to play him as.

 

Eventually my hard farming paid off in the form of massive items, again though just testing item builds and seeing which items would suit Invoker. Eventually I started picking up the pace and ended up having the largest score at 9-1, a fair score considering I’m not the “carrier” hero in the team. But now we go onto line up. Invoker is a great support hero so that’s why I realized I couldn’t kill anyone with say 4-5 hits, it’d take a bit more. But Kelvin’s heor is a carrier, Nick’s Ursa is considered a tank more-so but sometimes a carrier if the item build is right. And of Joseph’s Shadow Fiend is a deadly hero as well. Team-wise, they had the advantage. But whatever, without much detail needed we eventually won and that was the match.

 

 

Starcraft

After playing DotA we moved onto one match of StarCraft. More of us were novice at this game, compared to the numbers in DotA, but okay we’re still willing to play. I’m not sure how professionally we played because there seemed to be a lack of action for a long part of the game.All I can say is that I am nowhere near good enough at this game; still have time before StarCraft II comes out I guess.

 

The teams were me (Protoss), Charlie (Terran) and Joseph (Zerg). The other team was Nick (Zerg), Kelvin (Protoss), Chris (Terran). Wasn’t really watching Charlie, but I did notice that Joseph just massed zerglings, which I think is not recommended in a single 1v1 match but in a team game it’s kind of okay. I’ve watched a number of games so I thought I’d just go and rush Dark Templars. But I guess that’s not as effective against Nick, since he had so many overlords patrolling his base. Kelvin made a fool of himself when he built his pylons together in a clump. After I had reached Dark Templars the game fell apart for me and I forgot to continue teching to cruisers. Whatever, I don’t even know the tech tree and I was lucky to have guessed right for dark templars.

 

Nick made the first attack and ransacked Joseph’s base which had no defense against Nick’s mutalisks. Good job to Joseph for never considering an air assault. But after a while Charlie’s came in and cleaned up that messed and then we moved in to finish off Nick’s base which kind of spelt “good game” for their team. Something happened to Kelvin already and he in capacitated. So all was left was Chris. But yeah we didn’t bother to play that far, we knew it was over.

 

 

Unreal Tournament

With about 1 and a half hours left before we were due, we started playing Unreal Tournament (2004 edition). I think we found a balanced game for everyone to play because we were all roughly at the same skill level so the game was very even and kept us all at even lengths with each other. There were many hilarious kills during the game; I remember many times when I’d nuke Kelvin without him noticing and other times when he did the same. Of course most hilarious I remember was in the second game where I rounded a corner just as Kelvin came in the opposite direction. We both met at point blank and I fired my flak cannon into him…”what the?!” totally unpredictable haha!

 

I won the first game: 25 kills while 2ndplace was Nick at 20 kills. In the second game Nick won but I came oh so close at 24 kills. In fact I had 10 seconds to hunt my final kill but Nick got there faster. So damn close haha! Afterwards we played a few rounds of capture the flag, 3v3 is sort of good arrangements yeah? The first round it was like Me, Charlie and Nick versus Kelvin, Nick and Joseph. We won that one 3-1. But the game was hectic nonetheless. Chris was very accurate in sniping and kept us from pushing. And then you’d have Joseph somehow sneaking from the side and taking our flag; he’s a fairly good player I’ll have to admit. Kelvin took it in himself to defend the flag but that didn’t suit him well so he resumed an offensive stance.

 

Second game, Nick and Chris switched sides and we won that 2-1 with a timeout. The map was a cool Chinese versus Japanese landscape, with two large castles of the Chinese and the Japanese. There was one point in this match where both teams had each other’s flags. It was me and Joseph and both of us went into hiding and it was up to our teammates to find the flag bearer; that took a good 5 minutes nearly but eventually Joseph was found and our flag returned so I immediately scored for our team.

 

In the last match we didn’t play to the end because time was out but yeah roughly the same thing happened and the score was at 1-1. Net cafe was rather fun this time round and luckily thanks to my care, we didn’t go overtime and have that stupid , selfish jerk try to charge us for going overtime by like one minute.

 

 

Lunchtime

Humph, I’ll keep this short but I had some rather pathetic ramen in Market City; far out that place was a rip off. A small bowl of ramen was $8.50 and it didn’t taste anything special. Now the place back in Hornsby, Tokyo Ramen, they charge you like $2 extra at about $10.50 for a bowl of quality ramen with great soup and nearly twice the the size of what I had today. Perhaps there is no better place for ramen than Hornsby. There’s still one other place I’m meant to try but I can’t remember where but then again, chances are they’re still no match for Hornsby. Everyone else had Chinese food while Kelvin went for unhealthy fish and chips; unhealthy far out, I guess it’s okay to have them say once a month but unhealthy food stacks up if you eat a variety of them.

 

 

Karaoke

Went to K Squared for karaoke; I heard it was a good place through advice from uni friends at church. I guess they’re right if your aim is Chinese music. It kept everyone very happy for the two hours we spent there. And for the first time I was clueless at what they were singing and all, but that’s probably the same view they have when I sing Jap music. Speaking of which there was barely any Japanese music that I knew there. After much assessment I realized they were outdated by 8 years which is so not cool. I know some music from that many years back but nowadays I’m into what’s recent. I think I’m good for most music from 2006 onwards. So for this afternoon I didn’t get much of my share in songs, by that I had wanted more Jap songs to sing; only had 1 that I suppose I was sort of willing to sing, there were a few others I knew but they\re so old and overdone there’s no point in singing them anymore.

 

K Squared is an okay place I guess, $12 for 2 hours and a drink isn’t bad. Although I had kind of wished they had songbooks for us to look at, rather than a digital interface; which I have to admit is the smarter thing to do because it’s easy to update but then it’s harder to see all your choices on a computer screen than on a piece of paper I reckon; well actually my English tutor Carol taught me that. Besides, I had so much trouble reading the Japanese names of artists that I just gave up; probably too old anyway.

 

They had a poor karaoke system; wasn’t even like SingStar where you get scored. Basically, it was just them slapping together an instrumental track onto the video clip and then adding rather shotty lyrics on screen because they were timed so poorly. The video clips were very poor quality; wink wink I know where they get them from duh. There was no scoring, just sing along to the video clip for fun. Ha!I could do that too if I bothered to properly learn to add karaoke subtitles to a video clip, and if I had the time to make them. Oh well; it’s a shame.

 

I was confined to mostly English songs, just the ones my friends picked. Even chucked in a High School Musical song for the sake of it; just pretend they’re Disney music and it’s all fine. I picked “Breaking Free” and was surprised as we entered the room initially to find a Mandarin version of the song playing in the background. I downloaded that song now; it’s weird.

 

Just to name one other song I wanted to do, it was that “Piece of Me” song by Britney Spears, it’s strangely addicting in my opinion, most of her songs are. But in particular for this one, I got attached to it because comedian duo Hamish & Andy did their own versions of the song; they had to create like 30+ seconds of the song using only their mouths, so all the beats and the bass rhythm, everything, it was hilarious so that’s why I like the song now.

 

Tim was trying to cheat the place by playing a Wong Lee Hung medley at the very end of our 2 hours. It lasts 12 minutes long so in a  way we could actually get an additional 12 minutes in the room. But we sort of mistimed it and when we were 30 seconds into the song one of the staff came into tell us to go out. And we tried to say: “Umm…after this song…” He gave us a dirty look and Tim reckoned that he realized we were doing that 12-minute song. So out of guilt we left a minute later haha!

 

But yeah overall it was a long and fun-filled day; something to clear our boredom which was good. Tomorrow is next gen ‘09 and I’ll be away for 5 days. That just means a huge blog post to follow after camp haha! See you all later!

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