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Jonas, Author at Armchair Empire - Page 4 of 8

All Posts by Jonas

Retiring Set: City Square (60097)

Lego City Square is a fantastic set to build your city around. It contains a handful of separate buildings and vehicles, all of which look great with some excellent visual appeal. The tram and the car showroom are personal favorites here, but everything included will fit right in with your Lego City.  These include Lego Shop, coffee shop, helicopter, scooter, tow truck, tram stop, Lego delivery truck, hot dog stand, and newsstand.  Phew, that’s a lot of content.  This set works as a fun collection of minor additions to an existing Lego city, or as a great base to begin a city.  

City Square Square is currently available on both Amazon and the Lego Shop as of the time of this writing and below MSRP.  We don’t expect this to last very long, however, as once word spreads of a retiring Lego set, especially a high-quality one like this, they tend to sell quickly.

City is one of the oldest lines in Lego’s history.  The sets are constantly being rotated to make room for new ones.  City Square has had over a two-year run after making its initial appearance in May 2015.  While there are constantly new City sets coming out, it is sad to see such a great, wide spanning set like this sent to retirement.  City veterans and those looking to start a new City built on their own would be wise to grab this one before it is gone.

More details on the set from Lego.com:

It’s buzzing with activity at the City Square! Park your bike at the cozy coffee bar, hop aboard the awesome news helicopter and take to the skies for a bird’s-eye view. When you’re done flying, call the LEGO® Store where a new delivery has just arrived. Help the driver unload the boxes, place them on the handcart and wheel them into the store. Then check out the cool cars for sale at the dealership showrooms. Help the mechanic operate the car lift and fit a new set of sporty alloy rims. There’s just time to buy a hotdog and a newspaper for the journey home, but watch out for the pizza deliveryman on his speedy scooter as you head for the tram stop! Load your bike into the bike compartment, take a seat and watch the world go by as you travel through the LEGO City streets. What an exciting day! Includes 12 minifigures with assorted accessories: a tram driver, helicopter pilot, coffee shop saleswoman, pizza deliveryman, car saleswoman, mechanic, tow truck driver, hotdog salesman, LEGO sales person, LEGO delivery driver, a girl and a boy. Also, includes 2 LEGO store statues.

  • Includes 12 minifigures with assorted accessories: a tram driver, helicopter pilot, coffee bar saleswoman, pizza deliveryman, car saleswoman, mechanic, tow truck driver, hotdog salesman, 2 LEGO sales personnel, a girl, and a boy.
  • Features a tram, LEGO Store, LEGO delivery truck, helicopter, car dealership, 3 cars, tow truck, bike, pizza delivery scooter, tram stop, coffee shop, hotdog stand and a news stand
  • Car dealership features 2 showrooms with sliding, transparent doors, 4 alloy wheels and a service center with functioning car lift
  • LEGO Store features 2 statues, streetlamp and a detailed interior with computer station, boxes and shelves
  • Tram features cars with transparent walls, bike car and drivers cab with opening doors
  • LEGO delivery truck features opening doors and a LEGO logo
  • Tow truck features a tilting flatbed and a working winch with hook
  • Accessory elements include a dog, pretzel, 2 sausages, handcart, 4 mugs, hammer wrench, bucket, window cleaning stick and a LEGO bag
  • Operate the car lift
  • Visit the cozy coffee bar
  • Check out the latest sets at the LEGO Store!
  • Ride the awesome tram!
  • Tram measures over 3” (10cm) high, 14” (38cm) long and 1” (5cm) wide
  • Red car measures over 1” (4cm) high, 3” (10cm) long and 1” (4cm) wide
  • Yellow car measures over 1” (4cm) high, 4” (11cm) long and 1” (4cm) wide
  • Black car measures over 1” (5cm) high, 4” (11cm) long and 1” (5cm) wide
  • Flatbed truck measures over 3” (8cm) high, 6” (16cm) long and 2” (7cm) wide
  • LEGO delivery truck measures over 3” (8cm) high, 6” (16cm) long and 2” (7cm) wide
  • Helicopter measures over 3” (8cm) high, 6” (16cm) long and 3” (8cm) wide
  • Car Dealership measures over 5” (15cm) high, 11” (30cm) wide and 5” (13cm) deep
  • LEGO Store measures over 5” (15cm) high, 5” (13cm) wide and 2” (7cm) deep
  • Tram stop measures over 3” (8cm) high, 3” (12cm) wide and 2” (6cm) deep
  • Coffee shop measures over 3” (8cm) high, 5” (13cm) wide and 1” (5cm) deep

Here’s Our Price Tracker:

Sale
LEGO City Town City Square 60097 Building Toy
  • Build your own City Square, complete with tram, LEGO Store, LEGO delivery truck, car dealership, three cars, tow truck, bike, pizza delivery scooter, tram stop, coffee shop, hot dog stand and news stand!
  • Includes 12 minifigures with accessories
  • LEGO City toys are compatible with all LEGO construction sets for creative building

 

Retiring Set: Arendelle Castle Celebration (41068)

Arendelle Castle Celebration is pulled from Frozen, the insanely popular Disney movie released in 2013.  The set was originally released in December 2015 and has some features from the original movie as well and Frozen Fever, the animated short film released in 2015.  The set includes the most iconic characters from Frozen: Anna, Elsa, and Olaf.  Also included are three Snowgies, a fun name for mini snowmen.  The set has a few fun features fans of the movie will enjoy.

Sale
LEGO Disney Frozen Arendelle Castle Celebration 41068 Disney Toy
  • Build Disney Princess Arendelle's royal castle and recreate Elsa and Anna's magical adventures!
  • Featuring characters and settings from Disney's Frozen
  • Includes Elsa and Anna mini-doll figures, Olaf and three mini snowmen

The set is currently still available on the Lego Shop and Amazon for under MSRP.  The Lego Shop has the set marked as being a “Retiring Soon” set so quantities will be limited on both sites.

Disney products always carry a high demand due to the overwhelming number of Disney fans out there.  Frozen is a relatively new IP so it remains to be seen if collectors will be willing to pay high premiums for Frozen branded products over time.  Regardless, if you are a Frozen fan, the time to purchase this set is now before is disappears from online shops.

More details on the set from Lego.com:

Enter the world of Disney Frozen and for building fun with Elsa, Anna and Olaf. Beautiful Arendelle castle’s enchanting details such as the ice room, Anna’s bedroom and a roof slide give you all the inspiration you need to recreate magical scenes from Disney’s Frozen and Frozen Fever, as well as your very own adventures. Includes Elsa and Anna mini-dolls plus and Olaf and 3 Snowgies.

  • Includes Elsa and Anna mini-doll figures with outfits from Frozen Fever, plus Olaf the snowman and 3 mini snowmen.
  • Arendelle Castle features a living room with fireplace, sofa and a grandfather clock; Anna’s bedroom with vanity and fireplace; and Elsa’s ice room with a lock on the door and slide from the roof.
  • Courtyard party scene from Frozen Fever includes a 2-tiered birthday cake, a table with 2 seats and 2 balloon stands.
  • Help Elsa throw Anna a birthday party to remember.
  • Explore Arendelle Castle and play out scenes from Disney’s Frozen and Frozen Fever.
  • Create new adventures with your favorite Frozen characters.
  • Accessory elements include cupcakes, glasses, ice skates, presents, cup and a party invitation.
  • Arendelle Castle measures over 10” (27cm) high, 8” (22cm) wide and 5” (13cm) deep.
Sale
LEGO Disney Frozen Arendelle Castle Celebration 41068 Disney Toy
  • Build Disney Princess Arendelle's royal castle and recreate Elsa and Anna's magical adventures!
  • Featuring characters and settings from Disney's Frozen
  • Includes Elsa and Anna mini-doll figures, Olaf and three mini snowmen

Buying League of Legends Accounts? Yea its a thing!

Why Do People Buy League Of Legends Accounts?

If you’ve played League of Legends for long enough, then you’ve probably come across people who buy LoL accounts at some point. Unknown to many players, these smurf accounts can be purchased online from a range of different websites and are extremely popular.

But with League of Legends accounts being free to create, why do people buy League of Legends accounts in the first place? We spoke to UnrankedSmurfs.com to find out the top reasons why.

To Practice New Champions and Tactics

One of the most common reason players buy League of Legends accounts is to help them practice and learn new champions. Players take the ranked ladder very seriously and will do anything they can to give themselves a competitive edge. If a new champion gets released or there is a major rework of an old champion, competitive players will be looking to take advantage of it in their gameplay. However, instead of risking their current MMR to learn a new champion or strategy, they will instead use a secondary account.

Although there is always the option to play regular unranked games, the experience is never the same. Unranked games are often full of amateur players who go AFK and are there to have fun, not to win. Instead, players use their secondary account to practice champions in ranked games without affecting their current rating. This means if they lose MMR while practicing, it won’t affect their actual rank on their primary account.

To Play On Multiple Regions 

Another reason people buy League of Legends accounts is that it allows them to play on multiple regions with ease. Currently, you can only play on one region with an account. This means if you signed up for an NA account, you’re limited to the NA region only. Of course, it is possible to transfer your account to another region such as EUW, but at 2600 RP for a one-way transfer, it’s not cheap.

If you convert 2600RP into USD then it comes out at around $18 for a transfer. For a one off fee, it might be justifiable. However, what if you want to play on both EUW and NA regularly? Then you need another account.

Leveling an account takes time, and not everyone has the time (or patience) to do it. If you think back to how long it took you to reach level 30, would you really want to experience that again? Instead, many players opt to speed things up by buying a second League of Legends account to play on. For around the same price as the server transfer fee, players can get another account which they can use at any time. This means they can freely choose between playing games on NA and EUW without having to buy a transfer every time. As you can see, it’s much cheaper in the long term.

To Play With Their New Friends

League of Legends is a very social game with a large following and big community of fans. Players often play with their friends in order to make the games more fun and enjoyable. While many players also introduce their friends and family to the game for the first time to show them what they’re missing out on.

If an experienced player is trying to teach a new player how to play then it can be very tricky. An experienced player will have considerably higher MMR points than the new player. This means if they group up and play some games together, the players whom they are put up against will also have high MMR. As you can tell, it’s not the best idea when you’re trying to teach someone how to play the game for the first time.

To solve this, many players often buy brand new unranked smurf accounts which have never been played on. By purchasing a new account, players can play with their friends against other new players which make the games a lot easier, especially for new players.

To Destroy Noobs

Playing competitive League of Legends games at a high skill level can often be challenging and frustrating, especially when you’re on a losing streak. For some players, there’s nothing better than destroying some noobs to help them unwind. In order to play against low skilled players, you need a new account with a low MMR rating. Also known as smurfing, the term refers to an experienced player who plays on a different account to play with low skilled players.

If you imagine a Diamond player against a team of Bronze 5 players, you can imagine how much of a noob stomp it would be. Although it is often frowned upon by many players, it’s still a popular reason why people buy League of Legends accounts.

To Get Rare Skins

The final and most popular reason people buy League of Legends accounts are to add exclusive content to their LoL collection. Throughout the history of LoL there have been numerous releases of rare champion skins and ward skins. These rare skins are highly sought after with some players even willing to pay hundreds of dollars for rare skins such as PAX Twisted Fate and Black Alistar.

Back in 2014, Riot disabled the ability for players to redeem skin code in the game. Prior to this, there was a huge market of players selling skin codes for hundreds of dollars. Nowadays the only way to get these rare skins is to buy an account with them already redeemed.

Owning these skins in the game not only makes players look like a true LoL veteran, but players also love to show off to their friends. Having a rare skin in the game that you can’t get anymore gives you ultimate bragging rights and will make all of your teammates envious.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why people buy League of Legends accounts, and most of them are not as bizarre as you would think.

Lego Boost Available for Pre-order

Lego has opened pre-orders on their children's programmable set, Boost.  Boost is aimed at younger children than its other programmable line, Mindstorms.  The base Boost set contains the blocks and instructions to build five different models.  The models are programmed via a kid-friendly icon based interface which can be downloaded to a tablet of your choice.

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Overwatch Five Tips to Have a Successful Season Five Placement

Overwatch season five starts today, and I couldn’t be happier. We didn’t even have to wait a week between season four and five, which means I haven’t forgotten all my sweet moves that propelled me to an above average season rank. That said, I always hear/see people asking what they can do in order to get the best season rank (SR) out of their placement matches. You have 10 chances to kick off season five as Grand Master, so let’s go. Here are my five tips on how to start Overwatch season five with the best placement matches.

1. Team up: Find a good partner or two to work with during placement matches. Going solo is risky as you never know what team you will end up with. Is it a super squad or a bunch of people just trying to get through placements and get their rank. At least with one partner you can work together.

2. Communication: Use your mic. Even if you hate doing it, communicating with your squad can be the difference between a W or L.

3. Practice: So the season started, who cares! It’s several months long. You have plenty of time to swing up and down in your season rank. It’s a much tougher battle going from 1500 to 2500 than 2500 to 3000. Work on your aim and player skills.

4. Get on fire: While Overwatch doesn’t really say what all is involved with your season rank, there are three things that matter the most. Winning, Kills, and time on fire. I love Lucio, but I’m going to be looking at Soldier 76 or Roadhog to do my placement matches.

5. Adjust your play: During player selection, find out what your team needs and see if you can fill that void. This is where the microphone comes in handy “I’m a better Zen than Mercy for heals.” Stuck at a choke? Fly over. Getting wrecked by Bastion? Switch to counter. Help yourself by helping your team.

Bonus tip: Have fun! Seriously, don’t be toxic. If you feel tilted because you lost two in a row, stop and do something else. Go crazy with Winston in Total Mayhem arcade mode – So satisfying to go ape and fling people off maps.

Follow these five basic tips and you should be able to have a solid SR placement. Best of luck to everyone in season five!

intel i9 gaming cpu

Intel i9 CPU, a Glimpse at the Future?

“Wow”. That’s all I could think when I heard about the new Intel i9 processor for the first time.

intel i9 gaming cpuJust as we all expected to hear typical “slightly more power, slightly more efficiency” we are served on every new CPU series premiere, Intel surprised us by releasing a completely new, high-end CPU that is at least a few miles ahead of its market competition.

Coming at a whopping price of $1,700, Intel i9 is simply a glimpse into the future of super processors and powerful computing engines with almost no limitations. For the very first time, a commercial chip available to the public offers 18 cores and 36 threads. Yeah, you heard me right. 18 cores.

If you’re unfamiliar with the nerd & technical jargon here’s a short paragraph answering the question “what are these cores are why are they so important”:

Cores are “subunits” of the processor. The more cores your computer has, the more tasks it can do simultaneously. To understand how it affects the quality of your work you should imagine a straight pipeline filled with tasks. Switching to a specific task requires taking out all that stand in front of it and putting them into the back of the pipeline, essentially moving that long virtual queue. Multicore setup uses additional pipelines, enabling the computer to access & cycle tasks easier, essentially making it faster.

Sadly, it doesn’t mean that our games and programs will magically run better once we buy this powerful upgrade. First, they need to support such solutions. This is why the monstrous Intel Core i9 will be no more than a cool gadget, even among the richest gamers (at least for now). PC games simply can’t take advantage of this feature and even the most demanding ones, such as the Witcher, will rarely use more than 4 cores.

Does that mean that Intel released a product that won’t find appeal in any group and we are not ready for such futuristic products yet?

Not really.

But there are a few groups which welcome this new piece of silicone open-armed.

Take programmers for instance. Compiling the code and using extensive virtual machine/server setup uses a lot of resources, often far more than they have. Another group are video editors – these guys, especially the studio professionals, see this CPU as a salvation and a powerful tool, greatly enhancing the quality of their work.

Speaking of videos – casual users who have some spare money, watch a lot of 4k videos and are interested in Virtual Reality and its possibilities are another big audience for this product.

What about gamers?

Well, our group wasn’t completely left alone in the darkness. Those of you who enjoy streaming, have a good internet connection and use the highest settings might see that as a good opportunity to improve their experience for themselves, and their viewers.

All-in-all Intel has presented a great CPU of the future, however, for now, its use will be limited to hobbyists, professional editors & programmers as the unexceptionally high price and limited usage are likely to scare many PC users off.

Overwatch Heroes get Updates. Hanzo Buff, Soldier Nerf?

General

Recoil Recovery Aim Compensation can now be disabled for Ana, McCree, and Widowmaker. The option can be found under the “Control” tab in the “Options” menu. Simply select the appropriate hero under the dropdown menu and look for the “Hero” section

Developer Comments: By default, weapon recoil recovery is overruled by downward crosshair movement. This means that downward movement during the weapon’s recoil recovery phase will override the weapon’s natural recoil recovery. This option allows you to remove this functionality, meaning a weapon’s natural recoil recovery movement acts independently from downward crosshair movement. In practice, this will make your crosshair move faster if you aim downward during the recoil recovery window.

Character Specific

Genji

Removed the attack delay from Genji’s wall climbing ability, allowing him to engage with enemies immediately after he finishes climbing

Developer Comments: This is a quality of life change to make wall climbing feel better.

Hanzo

Removed the attack cooldown from Hanzo’s wall climbing ability, allowing him to engage with enemies immediately after he finishes climbing

Storm Bow Increase charge speed by 10% Charged arrows now maintain their charge after climbing a wall, provided the button is continuously held

Developer Comments: Decreasing Hanzo’s draw time gives him more overall DPS, while also letting him fully charge an arrow and more quickly return to full movement speed when needed. And, like the change to Genji’s wall climbing, this is a quality of life change that will make climbing feel better.

Orisa

Fusion Driver Damage reduced by 9%

Protective Barrier Cooldown reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds

Developer Comments: To help Orisa maintain the front line for her team, we’re reducing the cooldown of her Protective Barrier. This change also helps her reposition the barrier more easily when needed. To compensate for this new defensive strength, we’re reducing her Fusion Driver’s damage, as it felt too high.

Reaper

Wraith Form Ammo is now entirely refilled when Wraith Form is used

Developer Comments: Wraith Form is typically used as an escape ability after firing. This change gives Reaper a fighting chance if an enemy chases him down as he uses it.

Reinhardt

Earthshatter Effective height has been lowered from 3 meters to 2 meters The height threshold of objects that Earthshatter can “climb” has been lowered from 3 meters to 2 meters, making Earthshatter less likely to climb tall objects as it moves along the ground.

Developer Comments: Earthshatter tended to climb unexpectedly high, frequently hitting targets that were significantly above the ground. These changes help the ability stay more grounded.

Soldier: 76

Heavy Pulse Rifle Bullet damage decreased from 20 to 19

Developer Comments: Soldier: 76 is in a much better place lately, but his damage output was making him a must pick, compared to similar roles.

Overwatch: How to play as Zarya

Zarya is one of the strongest characters in the game but so often used improperly and that renders her nearly useless. We put together a few tips on how to play Zarya but frankly the biggest point to make is PING YOUR ULT STATUS. Zarya has one of the best ults in the game but it is without a doubt the most critical so use in combination with another ult say Genji, Soldier or someone else with serious killing power. There is not much that is more frustrating in OW than watching Zarya solo-ult only to get a single kill or just see the enemy team floating around behind a Reinhardt shield.
So here we go, our top tips for playing Zarya.

Zarya Tips:

  • Her beam is far stronger than the explosive charge. Explosive charge requires direct hits to be most effective. You have to use your particle barrier to increase the weapon’s damage. At 100% charge, she is deadly.
  • Particle Barrier for you: engage only after you are being shot. This will increase your cannon strength. Shield only lasts for 2 seconds and has a 10-second cooldown. Use wisely
  • Use the projected barrier to shield your team! A barrier on a teammate from a charging Reinhardt can save their life and increase your charge.
  • Best uses for projected barrier – flanking ally, ally’s caught in an ultimate, ally who is in the middle of the fight (think Winston), when ally is using their ult (McCree, Pharah)
  • Use explosive charge at a distance or in face to face battles.
  • Shoot the Graviton surge at enemy feet to avoid it being
  • Call out your ultimate! Ping your status!
  • Combos great with following ultimates – Reaper, D.VA, Junkrat, Tracer, Pharah, Hanzo, Soldier, Genji
  • Use your explosive charge during the ultimate as they should all be direct hits.
  • Zarya is a good counter to: Winston (absorbs his cannon easily), Genji (deflect does not work on beam), Mei (Particle barrier stops freezing)
  • Zarya is weak against: Pharah (Hard to hit), Widowmaker (too far away), Bastion (Sentry form destroys her quickly).
  • Although a tank, try and keep your distance until you have 50% charge or higher to be more effective.
  • Need to move in and out of battle, build your charge and barrier allies.
  • Use your microphone and team up your ultimate with an ally!!!

Teamwork makes the dreamwork.  Your system has a microphone, use it!

february releases header

Bringing back the Dead: HotS 2.0

Many of us got hyped when Blizzard announced changes into their MOBA – Heroes of the Storm. Overhauled progression system, improved interface, a new map and A LOT of freebies. The last one is especially exciting – All who log into HotS before 22nd of May get to claim a 20 hero bundle for free.

Buying these heroes with real money would cost you at least 80$, making this a perfect deal for both new players, wanting to try different heroes without spending countless hours grinding gems, the in-game currency, and old veterans who want to complete their collections or try something fresh. For now, you can choose between four bundles – Assasin, Flex, Support & Specialist and Tank & Bruiser bundle. Even if you don’t plan to play HotS a lot, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. You never know when you will use them.

Coming straight out of Overwatch, loot boxes are now a part of Heroes of the Storm. As you level up your heroes, you will open loot boxes containing random new emojis, booster packs, skins and even heroes!

With this system loss streaks and bad games are now much more bearable, as even if you happen to be on a losing spree, the game still rewards you for playing. Duplicate items are broken down, adding shards (used to buy more chests or heroes) to your account.

It is not hard to notice that this is a desperate effort to bring dying HotS back to life. Despite being pushed and promoted almost everywhere, HotS did not become a hit Blizzard wanted to. Seen as a “dumbed down” MOBA by both League and Dota players, it never managed to build a huge player base. Even today, one of the biggest group of HotS players are those who play a game or two in-between other MOBAs to calm down and relax after hard & demanding matches. Seeing declining player base of the game they have so heavily invested in, Blizzard will do anything to avoid the grim end.

It wasn’t supposed to end up like that.

In Blizzard’s original idea, Heroes of the Storm was supposed to be a game changer. A MOBA without a steep learning curve and toxic community, yet complex and enjoyable for the viewers. By removing mechanics common in other games of the genre, such as last hitting or denying, the game hopes to resolve the issue of having less mechanically skilled players drag the team down after tough early game. Focus on team fights and brawling was supposed to give these players a chance to shine and be relevant while improving everyone’s experience. All while keeping a high skill ceiling, allowing the game to grow into a successful eSport.

Perhaps Blizzard overlooked the fact things they call “issues” are actually what makes these games interesting?