Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I've been doing really well.  Things are finally as they should be.  I've got lots of time to myself now, perhaps even a bit more than I realize what to do with--taking a bit of time to adjust myself, I guess.  Somehow it's not just the fact that I settled down into my new house, but also, just...the rhythm and tempo of life slowed down, which is amazing.  I have a chance to breathe, and I have my balance now.

I guess there was just always a rush of things going on before.  Between Viennese Ball, visiting the East Coast, Deca rehearsal, finishing up projects, work, getting the apartment set up, MtG draft nights, and everything, I guess I ended up just getting caught up in everything.

Work isn't so stressful now; I think I'm at a good pace with that too.  I know I can't talk about work that much here, but it's going well, I think.  I don't get as much "focus time" nowadays as I used to, for sure, but I think it's not all that bad.  We are definitely writing much higher quality code now than we did for our previous project, which is great.  I'm beginning to feel even more confident about my ability to analyze code architecture and write "nice" code that is aesthetically pleasing.

Had a discussion with a coworker today about his reservations about Theros block so far in MtG--he thinks that it's too one-dimensional, in general, and thinks there should be more ways to interact instead of games being decided by "oh, I have a heroic + bestow so I make a big monster, I win".  I think that's a valid point, actually.  Besides the whole one-drop-into-ordeal-on-the-play issue (which was similar to the madcap skills issue, really, but perhaps even worse!), there's also just stuff like wingsteed rider plus bestow which ends games without any real chance to interact.  I mean, what are you =really= going to do against it if you don't have a magma jet, lightning strike, or pharika's cure on turn 2 or 3?  I guess that's why Akroan Skyguard is considered such a high pick in BTT draft now.  So it seems like being really aggressive and proactive with your gameplan is the way to go now, which is why all the WG WU heroic decks seem so strong.  There's not that many answers to their game-winning threats besides to just get out your own game-winning threat yourself.

I just saw the power of Deepwater Hypnotist in a game yesterday too; I was quite impressed.  Slap an ordeal or any bestow creature onto him and he just keeps swinging in.  Blue is still a great color to be in just because of all the tempo plays, which is important when your whole game plan is basically "build an early threat and beat them to the punch".

I -did- still have success with a mono-black build in BTT draft last time I drafted though, so that's not to say that it's Wx heroic or bust--but that was a pretty pipe-dream-like pool, with double asphyxiate, gray merchant, whip of erebos, agent of fates, etc.

So...basically, white is super solid, green is nice because of solid creatures, and blue is still a great support color.  Red and black are sort of the oddballs...RW aggro is still a thing, I guess, but red in Theros is still not that great.  And black...I dunno what you would really do with.  I'm not convinced that BU control has that good of a matchup against all of the more proactive decks.  I mean, sure, I can voyage's end their wingsteed rider, but it's just going to come back next turn?  I keep on wishing to get good results out of Nullify, but I haven't really seen it in action much yet.  And I still am not of the opinion that Divination is good in this format.  It's basically strictly worse than Read the Bones...and I feel like you can't afford to play it on turn 3 anymore.  I think the tempo you sacrifice is way too valuable.  My coworker brought up a good point that this format is marked by a lack of bomby rares like a more "standard" format would have, which I agree with.  In RTR block, or heck, even Core set, you had rares that would come out and be game-winning threats, but here you have a bunch of crap rares (hero's podium, whims of fate), and instead most of the game-winning threats are made via commons stapled together (bestow/heroic guys).  A lot of the rares that seem bomby (abhorrent overlord, eater of hope, tomokratis) are actually not as playable now because they're too expensive, and you would rather just staple together a staunch-hearted warrior with a nimbus naiad and get a 6/6 flier attacking on turn 5 instead, which is a couple turns faster, not to mention more resilient to removal.  There's less ways to trade with these kinds of threats, which is why tempo is so important here.

Aaaanyways, that's that.  I still think it's a pretty fun draft environment, but it was nice to take a step back and realize just how different it is from other blocks.

I'm even doing weird things with my sleep schedule again, which feels great!  Not always on purpose...last night I had trouble falling asleep, so I took a look into my box of letters instead.  That box is one of my most valued possessions...it contains many, many things that are important to me.

This past weekend I started working on a personal game project...don't really know if that was a mistake or not, because it's probably too large-scale to be reasonable, but I guess I'll just roll with it for now and see what happens.  On the plus side, I'm feeling all of the experience from work pay off, which is a pleasant surprise, and for the first time I actually feel like I have a solid understanding of some game networking concepts.  Woohoo~

I'm always looking back to the past, always.  Even if it's futile, I have to try and bring it back sometimes.  I want to be like I was before sometimes.  Maybe not all the time, but at least sometimes.

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