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Tuesday, Dec 26, 2017 Happy Boxing Day & Kwanzaa


On League of Legends Champion Names

A blog post on the League of Legends website discusses how Riot comes up with the names for the champions in their MOBA, poking holes in the popular "spill some Scrabble tiles" theory. Here's an amusing explanation of the dangers of temporary placeholder names:

“We’ll try putting some names into the story sketch just to see how it feels,” says Odin “WAAAARGHbobo” Shafer. “Does it work at all? Or is it just weird?”

Sharing these story sketches with the rest of the team can get tricky: What do you call a champion who doesn’t have a name? One thing writers try to avoid—both in story sketches and beyond—is giving the champion a temporary name because sometimes it becomes permanent. “Temp names have a tendency to take over,” says Ariel “Thermal Kitten” Lawrence. “People will become so attached to it that it becomes impossible for them to let go.”

Some techniques writers use to avoid naming champions too early include:

  • Give them a temp name no one can pronounce: WAAAARGHbobo often uses Aztec names in story sketches because almost nobody on the team can pronounce them. “I’ll use something like Xllih, and people will come up to me like, ‘How do you say this?’ And I’m like, ‘Exactly.’”
  • Give them a god-awful temp name: “I try to create a working name that’s so ridiculous that nobody will want to pick it,” says Matthew “FauxSchizzle” Dunn. “If I do it well, everyone will be like, ‘Please, we really need a new name.’” For example, Aurelion Sol’s was “Heaven’s Coil.”
  • Stick with the name being used for gameplay design: This method can be convenient, but oftentimes that name ends up sticking around. “It has a lot of influence on their personality and frequently turns into their title,” says Thermal Kitten. “For example, I referred to Taliyah as ‘Stoneweaver’ for a long time, and that’s her title now.”

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Into the Black

Destiny 2 Fans Urge Everse Reverse

The Destiny 2 Forums are currently dominated by threads requesting that Bungie remove the Everse from Destiny 2 (thanks MP1ST). There are widespread complaints that the premium items this sells for the first-person shooter are a pay-to-win element layered onto a AAA game. Most of the posts on the front page are on this topic, and almost all are critical of how this is being handled. As one poster put it: "Bungie saw what EA did and said 'hey we can do better than that!! Hold my beer!'"

Free Overwatch Loot Boxes

The Overwatch Twitter account announces that Blizzard is giving all Overwatch players five winter loot boxes for free. Word is all you need to do is collect them before the new year:

Enjoy five Winter Loot Boxes on us!

(Unwrap yours before January 1.)

World of Warcraft Gifts

This post reveals that Blizzard is also giving away gifts to World of Warcraft players. Like the Overwatch giveaway, they say you'll need to cash in on this offer by the end of the year:

Whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year, you’re bound to find a surprise waiting for you from Greatfather Winter! Just visit the Winter Veil tree in Orgrimmar or in Ironforge to collect your gifts! You’ll have until January 1 to get yours before the magic of the holiday dissipates.

Happy holiday!

Dark Age of Camelot F2P Plans

A Dark Age of Camelot producer's letter reminds us that this venerable MMORPG is still in operation in spite of the closure of Mythic Entertainment/EA Mythic since the game changed hands prior to the developer's shutdown. The post recaps 2017 and lays out plans for 2018, which include a free-to-play option called The Endless Conquest coming in the fall (thanks MMOGames via PCGamesN). Here's word:

We’re thrilled to announce a new way for players to experience Dark Age of Camelot’s iconic realm vs realm warfare for free with Dark Age of Camelot: Endless Conquest!

The Endless Conquest will be a new account type that allows players to enjoy Dark Age of Camelot through level 50 (and beyond) for free, without a paid subscription, forever. Endless Conquest players will be able to level all the way to 50 on a limited selection of classes, participate fully in RvR, and earn Master Levels, Champion Levels, and Realm Rank – to a point.

The Endless Conquest is coming Fall 2018 and we couldn’t be more excited. While permanently free, there are limitations involved with the Endless Conquest accounts such as character slots, leveling rates, house ownership, item trade and storage, being limited to Ywain and Gaheris servers only, and more. Please visit our FAQ for the full details we have so far, and please continue to check as new information on this exciting new development will be added as we move into the new year.

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Out of the Blue

Today is the second day of Christmas, so be sure to collect your turtle doves and your second partridge. Hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas, whether or not you were actually celebrating the occasion. Speaking of occasions, today has to be one of the most holiday-filled days of the year, as it is Boxing Day, the first day of Kwanzaa, the commemoration of my namesake saint, and well over a dozen other days of note in various places around the world. Here's a list we cribbed from Wikipedia if you're looking for more excuses to celebrate:

  • Boxing Day
    • Day of Good Will (South Africa and Namibia)
    • Family Day (Vanuatu)
    • Thanksgiving (Solomon Islands)
  • Christian feast day:
    • Abadiu of Antinoe (Coptic Church)
    • Earliest day on which Feast of the Holy Family can fall, celebrated on Sunday after Christmas or 30 if Christmas falls on a Sunday.
    • James the Just (Eastern Orthodox Church)
    • Stephen (Western Church)
    • Synaxis of the Theotokos (Eastern Orthodox Church)
    • December 26 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
  • Independence and Unity Day (Slovenia)
  • Mauro Hamza Day (Houston, Texas)
  • Mummer's Day (Padstow, Cornwall)
  • St. Stephen's Day (public holiday in Alsace, Austria, Catalonia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland), and its related observances:
    • Father's Day (Bulgaria)
  • The first day of Kwanzaa, celebrated until January 1 (United States)
  • The first day of Junkanoo street parade, the second day is on the New Year's Day (The Bahamas)
  • The second day of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
    • Second day of Christmas (public holiday in the Netherlands, and Poland)
  • Wren Day (Ireland and the Isle of Man)

R.I.P.: Johnny Fox, sword swallower and magician, dies at 64. Thanks RedEye9.

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Stories: Not fake news: 'Whatever' tops annoying word list, literally. Thanks Boing Boing.
Decades-Long Friends Learn They're Biological Brothers.
Images: The police will often go to extreme measures to catch a fugitive.
Media: Portal - The Night Before Christmas.
How Fleetwood Mac Makes A Song.
Drug Wakes Up Woman In A Coma After 2 Years.

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