Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Puzzle & Dragons: How to use Cloud from Japan Final Fantasy Collab (Update with another video link)

It turns out the weak base 1.5x multiplier to attack doesn't matter at all for Cloud's team, when used on Descends, as the ideal team will be using an active skill just about every turn. Most of the teams you can find on YouTube now of Cloud leading has a minimum of 3 Clouds including the friend leader Cloud. The basic idea is to loop through the Cloud active skills and always have an active skill up among your subs and Cloud. It looks really strong but you'll need to get at least a few Cloud and max skill them which might be hard for non-IAP players.

Check out Cloud videos by searching YouTube for "クラウドpt" filtering to the latest dates. PAD Sasuke has a video where he clears the current Challenge Dungeon Level 10 but his team is all +297 egged. Update: Kosuke of AppBank using a similar team to Sasuke, from a discussion at subreddit.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Street Fighter Puzzle Spirits Impressions

I found out that the game was out on iOS while updating Puzzle & Dragons and seeing it on the front page of the Japan App Store. I checked out videos on the game back in January before and wasn't impressed but I decided to give it a try anyway.

The additional data download when you first open the app took quite a while but I was using my mobile phone network. During the account setup, I actually tapped too fast and skipped entering my name and the game accepted the "Enter your name" words in Japanese as my name! It would have been much better to leave that field blank so users will not make my kind of mistake. Later, while I was checking out the "friend leaders" that you can select before battle like Puzzle & Dragons, I found at least one more person who has the same name as me on 2 occasions. It was quite hilarious to see that!

I tried to search around settings to see if I could change the name but couldn't find any options so I guess I'm stuck with it. The overall user interface seems more complicated not as intuitive as Puzzle & Dragons so without someone translating, it is easy to get lost. I do manage to play a few games to experience the gameplay. You mainly tap on colour orbs to form matches with it neighbours and the orb will change to a fireball like icon. You then can try to line up 2 neighbouring fireball orbs of the same colour to form a rainbow orb and clearing 2 rainbow orbs that are neighbours will result in a special mode where you can make as many moves as possible within a limited time.

I think there is some strategy involved in trying to get the rainbow orbs to line up and not just mindless clearing of colours but it is IMO not as complicated as the puzzle aspect of Puzzle & Dragons. I am not going to continue further with the game, not because of the funny name bad start, but because I won't have time for another freemium game after Puzzle & Dragons and Hearthstone. If you are a Street Fighter fan or like puzzle games, do give it a try as it is something different.

Only available on the Japan App Store: link

Friday, April 24, 2015

Hearthstone Blackrock Mountain Heroic Modes: An update on my lack of progress

I actually wanted to avoid reading any guides and come up with my own strategies to take down the heroic bosses from the second week onwards but Diablo 3 Season 3 started and I spent most of my time in that game instead! As such, I won't be attempting the heroic bosses from week 2 onwards.

I find that the Class Challenges do offer a clear strategy against 2 of the bosses that they feature. As I played, I realise there do seem to be Epic and Legendary cards that make the bosses easier. They are important to use if you do not want to spend too many tries and time against the bosses. I don't think it is worth the time to challenge this mode with my limited cards but TommyJTheGamer has guides on how to take down the bosses using mostly basic cards on the Hearthstone subreddit.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Puzzle & Dragons: Rerolling and account swapping is going to get harder for non-jailbroken iPhone devices with iOS 8.3

9To5Mac reporting that iOS 8.3 blocks access to file transfer apps like iFunBox, iExplorer, etc

I've just tried it out and couldn't access the folders of Puzzle and Dragons. Thankfully, I've already settled down on one account. Although this change is great for the security of iOS devices, it means you can't reroll a new account quickly (deleting data48 and data56 files using the file transfer programs) or swap around multiple accounts. (again, replacing data48 and data56 files using the file transfer programs)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Puzzle & Dragons: Japan's PAD Academy Rare Egg Machine Cards (Updated with edit about Scholarship Student, Isis)

Update: My 3 rolls were mini Amaterasu, mini Pandora and Discipline committee member Athena(!). I was extremely lucky to get Athena and studying the options for her evolution, I would have preferred for her attacker and healer type to be swapped. The spectacle version is supposed to be the "unique" one and going from a healer to an attacker with high RCV will definitely be more fitting. Green also has tons of attackers with double two-prongs while the support for green healers is definitely not enough. For example, Ultimate Evolution Sun Quan has the healer buff but his main colour blue is off.


This rare egg machine is really similar to the recent Christmas Gacha last year so it is bound to draw a lot of comparisons. PAD Skyozora has the full information in Chinese, the leader and active skills are the same as their counterparts so the changes to look out for are the awakenings and the stats
which can be seen from the pictures.

I'll jump right into my comments for the cards:

4-stars Silver cards: We get the mini Hero pantheon along with Isis and Amaterasu this time. They are all similar to the mini Chinese Gods (especially the Heroes with the same awakenings) and cap at level 70. Isis and Amaterasu actually have useful awakenings which synergies well with their bind removing active skills so they can be useful subs even though their stats are low. For the Heroes, the only particular useful ones will be Yamato as a low cost leader replacement for Fire Sprite, Parrot red fairy (Edit: I forgot the red fairy's leader skill is different from Yamato's so you'll need a friend mini Yamato for low cost descends) and Pandora as a sub for un-evolved Juggler teams for low cost dungeons like Gaia Descended. (Edit: If you have the regular versions, these can serve as expensive skill-up cards too)

5-stars Gold cards: Regular Heroes and dark Chester. While these are at 3x rates, I think the dark Chester will drop more as it is not part of a God pantheon. It is still 3x the rarity of the cards so don't expect to get the regular Heroes easily. In the Christmas Gacha, I was hoping for a regular Chinese God as it was also 3x but gotten one of the Wizard series girls instead. (Those were also at 3x) Dark Chester do has his use as a skill bind resist sub and this egg machine event will probably be a good time to get him.

6-stars Gold cards: The two remaining mini-s for this event: Mini Chiyome and Red Odin. They both have triple two-prong awakenings and can probably go into red teams like Krishna or Urd teams who are using Red Valkyrie and Awoken Hinokagutsuchi and are already very powerful. I think mini Chiyome definitely has a spot in red teams compared to mini Red Odin who loses 2 skill boost awakenings which is actually an issue IMO as it makes him less useful compared to the regular Red Odin even with the triple two-prongs.

7-stars Gold cards: These all have very nice artwork IMO and will definitely be useful as they are very similar to their regular counterparts. However, I don't think they are must-haves. Isis, as a leader, looks flexible for sub choices but in most descend dungeons, you'll want to focus on one type to gain more from the active skill type boosts. Santa Kirin seems better when compared as Kirin is light type at the very least and has more awakening skills right from the start. Athena's "slight artwork and type change from evolving" feature is really cool though! Edit: Isis is a pretty good sub to deal with binds because she covers dark with her sub colour. You can put her into colour combo leader teams like Light Kali, Yuna, Kenshiro, etc.

In conclusion, the useful cards IMO are the 7-stars all the gold cards (including the regular Hero gods and Chester), especially mini -Chiyome (more so if you have a red team), silver eggs like the mini -Yamato, -Pandora (Edit: If you have an unevolved Juggler), -Amaterasu and -Isis. Getting any of them is probably useful for your box and with the high amount of silver cards among them, this rare egg machine should definitely be worth rolling at least a few times.

Hearthstone: Nomodogan's Grim Patron Warrior

Grim Patron is a really fun card from the 1st wing of Blackrock Mountain and most people try to fit him into Warrior decks. Nomodogan has a list written in the Hearthstone subreddit that got to top 10 legend in the North America server with explanations on his card choices and guide on how to play. I've looked at a few Grim Patron Warrior decks before and he doesn't use some of the cards other people play but it seem to work well for him. This might be the "base" deck for Grim Patron Warrior decks to build around from so it's a great reference!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Hearthstone: Decks I used to beat Blackrock Mountain 1st Wing Blackrock Depths Heroic Mode (Update#5 with more 1st wing Heroic Mode Guides from subreddit)

A discussion on the Heroic mode can be found on the Hearthstone Subreddit where strategies and tips are shared.

After reading through, I managed to beat the Grim Guzzler by abusing his hero power, using the Mage class. The basic strategy is pack your deck with a lot of spells and high mana cost taunt minions and Mage class happens to have a lot of useful spells. It's probably do-able with other class too. The deck that I put together from whatever cards I have, had 17 spells and 13 minions:

The Grim Guzzler Heroic Mode Mage Deck
2x Mirror Image
2x Flamecannon
2x Frostbolt
2x Frost Nova
2x Ice Barrier
2x Mirror Entity
1x Cone of Cold
2x Fireball
2x Polymorph
1x Fen Creeper
2x Sludge Belcher
1x Emperor Thaurissan
2x Lord of the Arena
1x Piloted Sky Golem
2x Sunwalker
2x Stormwind Champion
1x Force-Tank MAX
1x Kel'Thuzad

The first heroic mode boss isn't difficult at all once you figure out the deck to use. I've still no idea how to beat the other 2 though...

Update#1Hearthpwn with the Heroic Mode guide, not a lot of budget options though.

Update#2: I managed to beat Dark Iron Arena with another Mage deck. I recalled ever used a version of the Echo of Medivh Mage deck with the existing cards I had which was very defensive and thought I'll give it a try. (Edit: It is especially effective as the boss plays a ton of legendary minions and has accelerated mana) I cleared the boss on the first try and here's the decklist:

Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain Pre-purchase ends when first wing is released (Edited)

Edit: I went ahead and pre-ordered in time before the first wing opening. I guess I really enjoy the single player games in the adventure mode during Naxxaramas. I read that the heroic mode will not be as frustrating so that'll be good.


No free first wing this time round unlike Naxxramas but still, if you ever want to spend money on the game, I think it is more worth it to spend on buying the adventure expansion over packs. An individual wing cost USD$6.99 or 700 gold or the equivalent of 7 packs and 7 packs in turn, cost USD$9.99.

The other reason for me personally will be that spending all the money on buying packs does not guarantee a good "return", easily leading to buyer remorse, whereas the expansion is fixed in the sense that you know what cards you will be getting. It is definitely possible to buy 60 packs and not get a single legendary due to the randomness as this is unlike TCG like Magic or Yu-gi-oh where you buy a box and is guaranteed a fixed amount of "Super Rare-s".

There is most likely no doubt that this adventure expansion will be important for all players who want to stay competitive. Ben Brode, the senior game designer of Hearthstone, already stated that each class will get cards that cause huge shift in the meta. (Source: Hearthpwn article) There should definitely be some cards that are relevant and may become staples for some decks as this has always been the case with card games and their card expansion to encourage people to buy them. I am hardly playing Hearthstone nowadays so I will most likely skip the pre-order, forgoing that exclusive cardback and maybe buying the bundle with cash in the future if I get back into the game more.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain a needed boost for Hearthstone?

Article by Nydra over at Gosu Gamers

There is actually a lot of focus on the randomness of the card effects but what I definitely agree with are these quotes:

"GvG didn't give us more deckbuilding options. It only gave us more auto-includes."

Firebat brought up about the prevalence of Piloted Shredder, Loatheb, Sludge Belcher and Dr. Boom and you can just check out the recent Viagame House Cup #2's card stats to find out more. (It includes decklists used too) Those cards all have above 55% appearances in decks which is huge. I don't know how Blackrock Mountain can improve that aspect of the game as any new and powerful card will simply replace the previous card in the same mana cost slots and we are back to square one again.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Puzzle & Dragons: Interview with producer Daisuke Yamamoto

Source: Play 4 Real article

The secret behind the Rare Egg Machine.

Update: In case any of you are wondering, the above article is not real. I thought it will be cool to share it on April Fool's Day and share a good laugh!