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    Valorant is Live!

    A 5v5 tactical shooter from Riot Games
    Valorant artwork featuring agents Sova, Phoenix, Viper, Jett, and Cypher

    Load up, Let’s Become Valorant!

    It seems like only a few months ago that Riot teased us with an upcoming shooter, only referred to as “Project A“. Since then Riot has made it a solid entry into the FPS market and dubbed it Valorant. The game is a tactical 5v5 shooter flaunting a good array of playable characters, a variety of play styles, and, in true Riot fashion, a beautiful art style. After a hyped beta season the game is ready for an early launch, worldwide, starting today!

    How to Play the Game

    When you load into Valorant you’ll have a starting group of agents to choose from. Each agent has their own set of abilities that make them unique and provide different advantages in the field. There are 11 total agents currently: Sage, Phoenix, Sova, Jett, Viper, Raze, Brimstone, Breach, Omen, Cypher, and the new addition, Reyna.

    There are four maps: Bind, Split, Haven, and the new addition, Ascent. Each map is unique and gives different ways for the player to use their agents skills. There are a lot of interesting ways to do trick shots or really hinder enemy teams with certain skills in each map.

    Everyone has access to the same equipment: 1 pistol, 1 automatic firearm, and 2 levels of armor. You also begin with your special ability. Everyone starts round 1 with the same amount of credits to purchase abilities and gear. Each round you earn more credits based on performance.

    Each match of Valorant is up to 25 rounds long. You begin on either attackers (bomb planting) or defenders (defusing). The first half is 12 rounds, then you change sides. The first team to reach 13 wins is declared the winner of the match.

    Every round has a 100 second timer in which to plant the bomb. Once the bomb is planted you have 45 seconds to defuse. That means a drawn out match can last close to an hour.

    At the end of the match you’ll get to see a data rundown. Who got MVP, how your team did, and how well you did. You’ll also see what XP you earned and if you completed any daily objectives (extra XP tasks that change every 24 hours).

    New Mode: Spike Rush

    Don’t have time for an hour long game? The new Spike Rush mode speeds things up with added power ups, randomized weapon load-out, and a shorter duration. Be the first team to 4 wins!

    Might just be a great way to get your bearings if you’re new!

    Valorant Phoenix & Jett artwork

    Valorant’s Beta Period

    Instead of following the usual route of emailing players beta invites, Riot pulled a genius move. Valorant beta access was awarded by linking your Riot account to your Twitch account and then watching someone stream the game with drops enabled. This move brought thousands of viewers out to streams and put Valorant on the radar for pretty much everyone on Twitch (of which there are millions).

    I got my access a few days or so into the beta period after hardcore lurking in channels. I’ve been a “Riot Fangirl” since the beta of League of Legends, I’ve played every game they’ve made. So I wasn’t about to miss out on this one – which I’d been eagerly awaiting since “Project A” was revealed.

    I’ve played a fair bit of Counter Strike, beginning with Source and then Global Offensive. Though the past few years I’ve only hopped in to play Arms Race, I enjoy the premise of the bomb plant/defusal mode. I just found it was lacking something to keep my attention.

    Valorant filled the hole by making unique agents with abilities to use in the match. It brings added difficulty and raises the skill level in addition to making the game mode just more interesting. And I’m definitely not alone. Many others say they’ve fallen in love with Valorant way more than they ever liked CS:GO for this exact reason.

    The beta period had several patches as well as a test of the competitive scene. There have been a few small tournaments and Riot’s teaming up with Twitch for a big one after Launch. Riot’s done a good job of breaking ground to lay a solid foundation for years of esports for the game.

    While the game had bugs, like all games do, I had very little issues while playing Valorant. My machine is by no means top of the line (sorry grandpa but you’re 6 years old now), but it handled everything smoothly. I never had issues with lag and rarely any connection issues. Nothing that kept me from having fun with the game, technically at least – we’ll talk about the bad apples later on.

    All in all, I think Valorant had a successful beta. I think they got a lot of feedback, were able to squash a lot of issues and bugs, and built hype for their game. There will be a period where everyone gets to learn the game before competitive opens up, almost like a beta 2.0.

    I wish Riot a wonderful, smooth, server crash free launch!

    Valorant loading screen featuring Brimstone and Sage entering the portal

    Beginner Advice

    For those just learning to play Valorant, I recommend picking up Sage, Phoenix, or Jett. In comparison to other agents, these four are easier to learn and each has skills that can get you out of a bind. Sage is a healer with a wall that can use to block off corridors and save yourself if needed. Phoenix has a blind and if he stands in his fire skills he heals. Jett has a dash skill that can be used to get out of close quarter fights or zoom across a vulnerable opening to gain cover, she also has smoke spheres to take away vision.

    There are guide videos and articles you can use to get an idea of what each agent does but the best way to learn is by getting in a match and actually trying to use their skills. Take your time and stick with other teammates in the game when you’re new.

    You’ll want to learn the layout of each map as well as learn what certain chokepoints are called. You’ll hear a lot of different names for these places that are not what they’re called on the map. Things like “heaven”, “hookah”, “showers”, etc. Over time you’ll start understanding what each is and be able to call out better to your team as well. Communication is key to a game like this. If you aren’t comfortable using your mic in-game, use the chat, or learn the built-in ping commands.

    Another pointer is to pay attention to your econ, or economy – your credit spending on guns and abilities. Don’t just fling out and waste your abilities. And don’t just buy the most expensive gun you can every time or you’ll run out of money fast (unless you’re murdering everyone every round, in which case buy your favorite pew pew). Pay attention to what guns drop on the ground when someone dies. You can pick them up and use them!

    Lastly, find a buddy. It’s pretty obvious, but team games are easier and funner when you’ve got a good team with you. If you don’t have friends to play with, try adding friendly players after a match. You’d be surprised how many people will accept the request and queue up with you!

    See You in Game!

    Valorant is Free-to-Play so there’s no excuse not to try it out! Sign up and download the client at PlayValorant.com.

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    Teamfight Tactics Set 3: Galaxies

    Let’s take this fight to another world
    Set 3 of Teamfight Tactics: Galaxies Theme

    Teamfight Tactics, brought to you by the people at Riot Games, is an auto chess game that gained popularity on release and has fluctuated quite a bit since. Riot is of course known for its hit game, League of Legends, a MOBA game that attracts huge numbers in the esports scene. The lore surrounding the characters (or champions, as we call them) of LoL is massive and has enabled them to make a lot more content based on that world.

    Riot has capitalized on letting their fanbase play different styles of games with the same champions they are familiar with. Each season, called a set, of Teamfight Tactics has a selection of champions with assigned attributes. This week, on March 18th, the newest set releases with the theme of Galaxies.

    WTF is Auto Chess?

    Auto chess, or auto battlers, are games where you choose units, place them, and they automatically fight against another team on a set board. You are one of 8 players, fighting each other in a mini-tournament style, losing points each time you lose a match until a winner emerges. To win against the other teams you’ll need to not only build a solid team but also keep an eye on what everyone else is building plus learn to use your money wisely.

    So if you like strategy and can think quickly, you might enjoy playing any of the auto chess games. And if you like League of Legends you’ll enjoy Teamfight Tactics in particular.

    How to Play Teamfight Tactics

    This week marks the arrival of the next set (or season) of Teamfight Tactics. Each season has brought a new dynamic, changing out what champions are available and what type of items and skills they possess. Every champion has an Origin, a Class, and can carry 3 items or buffs. A champion costs 1 to 7 gold to buy. And each champion can be combined to make a higher tier version – 3 to make a tier 2 champion and 3 tier 2 champions to make a tier 3 (that’s 9 tier 1’s to make a tier 3). Higher tier champions have higher stats and do more damage.

    If you put together champions with the same origin or class, you get extra buffs. Things like increased armor, chance to do more damage, or maybe get mana or spell power. In addition to combining traits, you’ll get items in carousels and PvE rounds that you combine to give your champions extra fighting power.

    A wonderful cheat sheet for the new set by mobalytics

    What’s Special About Set 3?

    Each new set brings new origin set, changes out what champions are present, and even what skins those champions wear to fit their origin/class combo. On top of the usual changes, Set 3 brings some new mechanics to the game. Set 2 introduced “Elements” to the game where each match was either wind (dodge), water (mana), fire (attack speed), or earth (health) and each gave a different buff for champions placed in spaces that contained that element.

    Set 3 introduces a new mechanic where each match will take you to a different Galaxy, with its own set of rules. Some of these are Neekoverse: where everyone starts with two Neeko’s help (an item that clones any champion). Another other is Lilac Nebula: where every champion in the first carousel of the game will have a value of four gold. (Side note: this mechanic will release with patch 10.7 to give players the chance to adjust to the new champion sets first.)

    This new set also introduces a battle pass system that will allow players to earn cosmetics for our characters, called Little Legends. Needless to say, as someone who has a history of buying all the skins, I’m super hyped about this addition.

    Should You Try TFT?

    I’m a huge fan of the universe Riot’s created. I’ve played League of Legends since beta and up until a few years ago, I was one of those people who picked up and learned every new champ that came along (I fell off the bandwagon when I had my first kid). TFT had a lot of hype when it came out and then kinda died off, so I didn’t end up picking it up until Set 2 released. I climbed my way from Iron 1 to Platinum 3 and have definitely fallen in love with it.

    If you like strategy games and are willing to put in the time to learn the mechanics of the game then I definitely think you should give it a go! Prepare yourself for Set 3 with the 10.6 patch notes and make use of great guides found on Mobalytics and LoLchess!


    As a final side note: I’m really excited to see Riot finally branch out, first with Teamfight Tactics and now with Legends of Runeterra – their card game, as well as their upcoming forays into FPS and an animated series. Maybe we’ll even get a Runeterra movie some time, like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy have produced.

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    Rick and Morty Get Schwifty in Merge Dragons!

    Characters From Award-Winning Show Take Over Game in Limited Event Series

    In the game, Rick and Morty are playing Merge Dragons! and hack their way into the game to retrieve the Stone of Reckoning, a powerful item that opens portals to forbidden worlds. This causes the pair to crash-land in Dragonia, the world of Merge Dragons!, where fans can expect plenty of super-scientific mayhem to ensue.

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    Create Your Own Levels with MagiCats Builder!

    The Mommy Gamers Magicats Builder Review

    MagiCats Builder is now available on Steam, Android and iOS, from Dreamz Studio. The newly released game allows players to use their imagination to create levels, characters, objects, and environments. MagiCats Builder is free to play with available microtransactions. If players want to invest in the MagiCats Builder Infinite Pack, it’s a one time fee of $14.99. This pack has all the tools, code and access you need in order to create endless levels. Basically, the levels you can create are just that…infinite!

    MagiCats Builder has several key features that would make most platformer fans excited. The creation of custom levels using a coding tool to help with the movement of items within the build. But don’t worry, the tutorial will help you with how to do all the coding. It’s a matter of playing with it and testing those customizations that is the fun part. Once your level is complete, publish it and put it up for the world to play. In lieu of this concept, players can play other creations from around the world. Another option if you want more fun, bring in friends, up to four (including you) for the multiplayer mode.

    MagiCats Builder Review Screen Shot Trailer

    Platformers typically catch my attention, and so did the art style. The sandbox mode is something that I don’t play too much of, but I took the time and played with the game. At first, it was a struggle to get moving. The tutorial was brief, but once I was able to click buttons and explore, the concept made more sense. I do wish that the tutorial was more in depth with coding and not so vague.

    The creation process allows for platforms to be added and then with the creation tool, one may make it go forward, or backward. You can add elements, like hedgehogs, to jump over or kill. Instead of having day time, players can change it to a rainy day, or night time. If the jump feels too wide, use the tool and make a platform in the middle that sits stationary.

    The Mommy Gamers MagiCats Builders Review Screen Shot

    MagiCats Builder is now available on Steam for free! MagiCats Builder was entertaining and was fun. I give MagiCats Builder a 7 out of 10.

    Overall, I think this game was a little tough at first and I was losing patience because the coding tutorials weren’t in depth. Granted the testing phase is what is fun, I didn’t find the fiddling with numbers or layout to be the most entertaining. I do love platformers, but didn’t like the sandbox piece of it to much. I do think someone who likes customization and creation will love this. Enjoy Minecraft or Disney Infinity Sandbox mode? I think you’ll love this! I personally didn’t love it. I give MagiCats Builder 6 out of 10.

    Episode 129: Embracing The Gray

    Ep129_EmbracingTheGray

    In Episode 129 of The Mommy Gamers Podcast Marcia and Desirai talk about child farts…because farts are funny, synchronistic events, and hidden meanings.  Marcia chats about Tree of Savior, a free massively multiplayer online role playing game now available on Steam. The ladies also discuss some interesting men’s intimate apparel, TV shows coming back for another season and lots more.

    Interested in supporting The Mommy Gamers? Earn exclusive rewards by becoming a patron on Patreon. Remember, you can subscribe to The Mommy Gamers podcast for FREE on iTunes and Stitcher or you can access The Mommy Gamers app through Podcast Box on iTunes or in the Amazon app store for Android. Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter, and Facebook too!

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