Tuesday, November 25, 2014

We're Running a Giveaway Over at GiftsForGamersandGeeks.com

Want a Shot at a Free $20 Amazon Giftcard?


Gifts For Gamers And Geeks is the site where Nev (of Auction House Addict & She Rides Dragons) and I have been writing articles and recommendations about Gifts Ideas for Gamers, Nerds, Geeks, and More.  We've been busy posting articles, compilations, and item reviews and now we are starting to grow the site.

We will be doing more giveaways for Amazon Gift Cards in the near future for other social media sharers, but this first giveaway is for Pinterest users.

It's super easy to enter and you can enter up to 4 times.  Contest runs through Friday December 5th.

If you have a Pinterest account, just follow the Gifts For Gamers & Geeks pin board and share up to 3 of your favorite posts via Pinterest.  It's that simple!

Learn How To Enter The Contest Here:
$20 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway at GiftsforGamersandGeeks.com


Recommended Guides: Secret Gold Guide | Journal of Marcus Ty | Hearthstone Arena Drafting

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How To Earn Gold In Heroes Of The Storm

How To Earn Gold & Unlock Heroes For Free In Blizzard's Heroes Of The Storm

Heroes of the Storm Earning Gold

Heroes of the Storm is Blizzard's newest game currently in the Technical Alpha Stage. This MOBA style game is free to play, but there are additional skins, heroes, and mounts that are able to be purchased with cash or gold in the store's in game shop. Just like you can earn gold in Blizzard's game Hearthstone, you also can earn gold in Heroes of the Storm. Grinding for gold within Heroes of the Storm will allow you to unlock mounts, skins, and heroes without spending any cash. Sure you can eventually unlock many items without spending any real life cash in the game's store, but that would take you quite some time to grind out that much gold.

The items in the cash shop are not cheap; some heroes cost 10k gold for a single hero alone without any new skins. That's just the price for the single hero, so it is going to take a lot of grinding for gold to unlock everything you can obtain in Heroes of the Storm without paying. And by then, there will be even more heroes, mounts, and skins to keep grinding out gold to unlock these new additions. Be Warned - Some items are only available for cash and cannot be purchased for gold.

Let's take a look at all the ways you can earn free gold in Heroes of the Storm as well as some tips for efficient gold grinding to make unlocking the heroes for free much easier.  These numbers are tips are based off of the current build for the Heroes of the Storm Tech Alpha.  Blizzard has stated their will be no more wipes of accounts, so these numbers should be pretty close to the final launch build.

The Ways You Can Earn Free Gold In Heroes Of The Storm:

  • Player Level Rewards - Once per account at each gold award interval.
  • Hero Level Rewards - Once per each individual character.
  • Daily Quests - Repeatable quests that unlock one per day.
  • Game Rewards - Playing matches earns gold.

Earning Gold With Player Level Rewards

As a player you have an overall player level. As your player level increases from playing matches, you unlock various player level rewards at certain levels. Included in these rewards are nice chunks of gold, in addition to unlocking more free characters slots.

Here are the current Player Level Rewards:

  • Level 2 - 1000 Gold
  • Level 4 - 1000 Gold
  • Level 6 - Unlock Daily Quests (Each Rewards Gold)
  • Level 8 - 2000 Gold
  • Level 10 - 2000 Gold
  • Level 12 - Extra Free Hero Rotation Slot
  • Level 15 - Extra Free Hero Rotation Slot

So in addition to unlocking the daily quests, which will award more gold, you can earn a free 6000 gold just by leveling up your player level simply by playing the game.

Earn Gold While Leveling Each Hero

Each hero in Heroes of the Storm has his own level, that raises as you play that hero more. You earn experience from each match that you use that hero. As you level the hero up, you unlock more talent choices, skin and mount options, and a character portrait. What we are most interested in is that for each hero, you are awarded 500 gold once that hero reaches level 5. So you can unlock a free 500 gold for every hero added into the game just by playing each hero to level 5.  At Blizzcon 2014, they've already announced 4 more new heroes that will be added to the game, so that is another free 2k gold you can earn from playing the new heroes to level 5 as well.

Currently there are 32 different heroes in Heroes of the Storm (including the recent Jaina addition), which means you can earn a free 16,000 gold just by leveling all heroes to level 5. Thrall is going to be available on the launch of the closed beta, which adds hero #32 and another chance for a free 500 gold. The new heroes tend to take 5-6 weeks before showing up in the free heroes rotation slot options.

Heroes of the Storm 300x250

Making Gold From Daily Quests

Daily quests in Heroes of the Storm are unlocked once you reach Player Level 6. You will receive a random daily quest each day and these daily quests can award anywhere from 200 to 800 gold each. You only can hold 3 uncompleted daily quests at a time, but let me tell you these daily quests are stupid easy!

Only one of the quests require you to win anything, for most of the Hots daily quests you only have to play!  For example, one quest is "Play 2 games with a Warcraft Hero." It's not Win 2 games, but just Play 2 games. Some require you to use a specific type of character, like "Play 3 games with a Specialist Hero", or "Play 3 games with a Warrior Hero." You also don't have to log in each day to collect the daily quests. As long as you have room in your 3 quest hold bin, you will still get the daily quest added to your queue. This daily quest system is one of the easiest I've ever seen in any Blizzard game.

Playing Matches Awards Gold

You can also earn gold in Heroes of the Storm just from completing matches. Currently you receive gold from completing a match in Cooperative or Versus modes. In Cooperative Mode you get 10 gold for a Win, none for a loss. In Versus Mode you earn 20 gold if you lose. If you Win in Versus Mode you get a 10 gold bonus, which makes the total 30 gold per Versus match won. So playing Versus other players will always be the best option when you are grinding for gold in Heroes of the Storm.

  • Co-Op Loss - 0 Gold
  • Co-Op Win - 10 Gold
  • Versus Loss - 20 Gold
  • Versus Win - 30 Gold

Tips For Unlocking Free Gold In Heroes of the Storm

  1. Focus On Getting to Player Level 6 To Unlock Daily Quests.
  2. Complete Daily Quests. Or at least never let your daily log get filled where you are missing out on potential gold from quests that you have no room for.
  3. Follow the Daily Quest Hold Bin Strategy for increased gold gains from the daily quests.
  4. Play Each Free Hero Just To Level 5, Then Switch To Another Free Hero.
  5. Mix Up The Hero Types That You Play. If you just played a melee warrior to level 5, don't do another melee warrior next.  If you leveled a Warcraft hero to 5, don't choose another Warcraft hero next. This is because you want to minimize the chances of having to play a character for the daily quests that you've already leveled to 5. If you knock out all of your warriors first, then you don't have a fresh warrior to level to 5 while doing the daily quest for that warrior.
  6. Advance Your Player Level So You Get All Free Rotation Slots Unlocked. More heroes to choose from means more heroes to push to level 5 for free 500 gold each week and helps provide more options for daily quest choices to help minimize leveling characters you've already pushed to level 5.
  7. Play Versus Mode. There is no reason to play Cooperative mode.  Versus awards a lot more experience and much more gold per match.
  8. Always Invite A Party Member To Be Your Friend. Having a friend in your group earns you +50% bonus experience.
  9. Complete the Heroes of the Storm Tutorials - Earn an easy extra 1000 gold.

Friday, October 24, 2014

My Top 5 Horror Movies For Halloween

5 Fandom Fridays: October 24th Topic

My Must See List Of Halloween Movies

This week for 5 Fandom Fridays we are picking our Top 5 Must Watch Halloween Movies. I've hand selected a list of Halloween appropriate movies for the Halloween season. Included in this list we have some favorite horror movies that are just perfect for Halloween movie watching.

My Top 5 Halloween Horror Movies in no particular order are:

  • Trick Or Treat
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes
  • The Thing
  • Saw - The Complete Series
  • House of 1000 Corpses

Trick 'r Treat Halloween Movie

Trick 'r Treat is my absolute favorite Halloween movie ever created. Sam (pictured on the DVD cover) is one of my favorite characters from a fantasy or horror movie. In Trick 'r Treat you see Sam all throughout the movie, but don't find out how awesome he is until the very end of the film. He is so awesome they even made a Sam Funko POP! Figure. I enjoy the directing style of Trick 'r Treat because there are 4 separate story lines that all link together in the end. It really is both my first watch and a must watch movie for the Halloween season.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Don't let this Disney movie fool you! This is one awesome fantasy-horror type movie that takes place right around Halloween, as one of the boys was born a minute before Halloween and the other a minute into Halloween day. Something Wicked This Way Comes was originally a book, written by Ray Bradbury and he also wrote the screenplay for the movie, so it is a very close adaptation. Mr. Dark is another one of my favorite evil characters and the Mr. Dark's Pandemonium Carnival has inspired many of my Cthulhu and Ravenloft gaming adventures. By far the best Disney movie ever made, Something Wicked This Way Comes is another great classic for setting the mood this Halloween season. Why is there no Funko POP! Mr. Dark yet?

The Thing DVD

You can't think of Halloween movies without immediately thinking of the horror genre of movies. Horror movies and Halloween are a close knit link, so of course I have to include the best horror movie ever made in my list of top movies for Halloween. The Thing is one of the best horror movies because of the fear, paranoia, and overall assault of your sanity that comes along when watching this great film. Trapped in an ice station with something infecting and evolving you and your companions one by one. Who will be next?  In most horror movies, the characters do stupid things to get themselves killed.  In John Carpenter's The Thing, the characters choose the actions you would expect a real person to make and still end up in trouble, which makes it that much more realistic and scary. Best horror movie ever! The music from the film is damn creepy too and makes great background music for a Halloween party or trick-or-treat night.

Saw: The Complete Movie Collection DVD

The SAW series of movies was always special for Halloween, as each individual SAW movie was release on Halloween weekend. You may recall all of the previews that ended with "Coming This Halloween." I really enjoyed the entire series of SAW, as there was a ton of foreshadowing in each movie that you didn't realize was there until you've seen the later sequels. The SAW series was great because it turned horror into intellectual torture horror.  Just how many crazy puzzles can Jigsaw come up with? At least they do have a Funko PoP! for Bloody Billy the iconic character in the SAW series,

Rob Zombie - House of 1000 Corpses

Rob Zombie's directorial debut was an instant cult classic. This sick and creepy slaughterfest takes place during Halloween and is packed full of sick and twisted horror and gore filled fun. If you enjoy grindhouse horror, then you simply can't miss the prequel to The Devil's Rejects. It's in House of 1000 Corpses where we first meet Captain Spaulding, Baby, Otis, and the rest of the Firefly clan. The best evil clown around, Captain Spaulding has his own Funko POP!  Be warned, this film isn't for the more easily disturbed. Bring an apron and splash shield because this one gets really messy! Mwahahahah!

What Are Your Top 5 Movies For Halloween?  
Please Share Your Top 5 List In The Comments Section!

Friday, October 17, 2014

5 Best Men's Halloween Costume MorphSuits

Characters I'd Love To Dress Up As For Halloween

Need a simple costume for Halloween? I've never been one to dress up for Halloween as a specific character or ever wanted to make a cos-play outfit, so I'm going with my Top 5 MorphSuit Costumes For Halloween.

Scary Clown Skinsuit

There are a lot of people that are creeped out or afraid of clowns. I'd be sure to scare the hell out of them with this Scary Clown MorphSuit. This skinsuit has so many scary clown faces and in the oddest of places. With the trippy patterns and wacky colors, this one would also be the perfect costume for a Halloween rave.

Vampire Bat Skinsuit

This Vampire Bat MorphSuit is another nice costume for a Halloween party or haunted house. This MorphSuit is a bit different than the rest because of the addition of the bat wings, which really add to the presentation of this skinsuit costume.

Zombie Skinsuit

These days, everyone loves zombies, thanks to the major success of The Walking Dead and other cult zombie classics. This Zombie MorphSuit skinsuit costume is an inexpensive Halloween costume and the rotting jaw sets it apart from many of the other zombie costumes out there.

Checkered Trippy Rave skinsuit

How trippy is this Black and White Checker Pattern MorphSuit? This skinsuit costume is another excellent option for anyone attending a Halloween Rave or house party. This checkered skinsuit and the scary clown skinsuit are my two favorites.

Muscle skinsuit - Body Worlds

This cool exposed Muscle MorphSuit skinsuit (or should I say skin-less suit?) reminds me of those traveling Body Worlds exhibits. This MorphSuit costume would be great for a Halloween party costume because I could walk up to people, hold out my open palm, and ask them to "slap me some skin!"  ROFL.

Why wear a traditional Halloween costume when you can wear an awesome trippy Halloween MorphSuit to your next Halloween party, Trick-or-Treat outing, or Halloween rave?  Proper Halloween decorations only make up half the party; the costumes complete the other half of the perfect Halloween event.  Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Gifts For Gamers: Cthulhu Art - Call of Cthulhu Posters

Gifts For Gamers:  Call of Cthulhu Art & Posters

Cthulhu Art & Posters make great gifts for any fan of the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth video game, or the Cthulhu Mythos. The Dark Lord Cthulhu is the iconic symbol of the Cthulhu Myhtos, created by HP Lovecraft.  Any Cthulhu fan would proudly display the Great Old One Cthulhu on their walls in the form of art or posters, so these are great gifts or stocking stuffers.  

Here is a collection of some of the best Call of Cthulhu Posters & Cthulhu Art to help you find a nice inexpensive gifts for a Cthulhu fan.

If You Love Cthulhu Too, Please Share This Post.

Cthulhu Posters & Art From Amazon

Cthulhu Posters & Cthulhu Art From Zazzle

HP Lovecraft Poster
HP Lovecraft Poster by emilycheeseman
Look at more Lovecraft Posters at zazzle
Miskatonic University Poster
Miskatonic University Poster by chesme
Find more Miskatonic Posters at Zazzle
Cthulhu at the Wall Poster
Cthulhu at the Wall Poster by CthulhuCthulhu
Check out other Cthulhu Posters at zazzle.com
Sarcophagus medium posters
Sarcophagus medium posters by silentietc
See other Silenti Posters at zazzle
That which is not posters
That which is not posters by CthulhuCthulhu
Find other designs of Art & Posters at Zazzle.com
Cthulhu London Poster
Cthulhu London Poster by CthulhuCthulhu
Shop for Posters & Prints online at Zazzle.com
Cthulhu Heart poster/print
Cthulhu Heart poster/print by rustyoldtown
Browse anotherPoster template design online at Zazzle
Cthulhu Claus Print
Cthulhu Claus Print by kbilltv
See additional Poster templates & designs online at Zazzle.com
Cthulhu green
Cthulhu green by niceposters
Check out other Horror Posters at zazzle.com

There are so many awesome Call of Cthulhu Posters and Cthulhu Art Prints available for fans of the Cthulhu Mythos.  Some of these Cthulhu Posters from Zazzle are absolutely amazing!  I can't wait to buy some Cthulhu Posters for myself!  Hopefully, this post will also help you identify some gift ideas for the Cthulhu fans that you know.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Get Evolve Big Alpha Access with Evolve Pre-Order!

Pre-Order Evolve Get Big Alpha Access

Get Big Alpha Access To Evolve With Your Evolve Pre-Order!

The game Evolve by Turtle Rock Studios (creators of Left 4 Dead) is one of the highly anticipated games of 2015. The Evolve game has been winning many awards at various gaming conventions and tradeshows. Evolve was the first game in history to win "Best of Show" at both E3 and Gamescon! The game looks pretty nice and polished already and the Evolve Big Alpha event will be starting soon. I know I can't wait!

Pre-Order Evolve GameIt has recently been announced that you can get access to the Evolve Big Alpha, if you pre-order your copy of the Evolve game by October 21st. Currently, Evolve is set to launch Feb 10th, 2015 with the Big Alpha starting on October 30th for Xbox One players and on October 31st for PC and Playstation 4 gamers.

The Evolve game highlights a new 4v1 co-op shooter, where 4 hunter players team up to fight against a player controlled monster.  So there are 5 players in each match, with a huge monster controlled by a player.  The monsters are similar to a raid boss and evolve and grow in power throughout the match.  The hunters must work together to track and kill the monster before he gets too powerful.

The hunter team is composed of 4 classes with unique abilities and weapons. Each hunter team has one each: Medic, Support, Trapper, & Assault. There are multiple monsters to choose from, currently The Goliath and The Kraken. Each monster has its own unique abilities, skins, and playstyles.  The monster play-style is perfect for anti-social player killer types like myself.  ;)

Pre-Order Evolve Now And Get Into The Big Alpha

Get Bonuses When You Pre-Order The Evolve Game

In addition to getting guaranteed Big Alpha access when you pre-order Evolve, you get additional bonuses! Pre-ordering Evolve will earn you the Monster Expansion Pack and purchasing from Amazon will also award you the Amazon Exclusive Instant Hunter Pack.

The Monster Expansion Pack includes:

  • Savage Goliath skin
  • An exclusive Monster (free download once released)

The Amazon Exclusive Instant Hunter Pack includes:

  • Hyde the Assault
  • Griffin the Trapper
  • Lazarus the Medic
  • Bucket the Support

Pre-Order Evolve & Claim Your Spot In The Big Alpha, The Monster Expansion Pack, And Amazon Hunter Pack!

Friday, October 10, 2014

5 Geeky Clothing Items I Must Own

Geeky Clothing Items I Need In My Closet Immediately

This week's topic for 5 Fandom Fridays has us looking into our favorite geeky items that we would love to buy for ourselves. Of course these would also make great gift ideas for others that have similar interests, but today is all about me and what I would like to own. Here is my list of 5 of the coolest geeky clothing items that I would love to have in my closet.

The Official Knight Hoodie

Hoodie Shaped Like Knight
The Official Knight Hooded Sweatshirt
The Official Knight Hoodie is just plain awesome and is a must have for any fantasy fans. You can't get any geekier than this grey fantasy knight armor based hooded sweatshirt.

It is complete with a knight's face shield, pauldrons, and gauntlets.  If I had the knight's hoodie I would also buy the Broad Sword Umbrella for the complete knightly look.

The Official Knight Hoodie is definitely medieval wear for the modern man. You could fight your way through the cold with this awesome knight hoodie, or slay goblins on your way to class.

League of Legends Volibear T-Shirt

Volibear T Shirt League of Legends LoL

This League of Legends Volibear T-shirt is my favorite of all of the League of Legends shirts. Volibear is my absolute favorite League of Legends champion to play. I like the blue color for the Volibear Tee the best, as it is available in multiple colors.

Of course, I need to get a shirt that represents my favorite League of Legends champion since I've been mainly only playing League these days. It's a lot of fun and very competitive, which suits my gaming needs.  Check out other cool League of Legends Hoodies and Shirts and there are even cool replicas of League of Legends Hats that you can wear.

All Fear Volibear!

Melting Rubik's Cube T-Shirt

Melting Rubik's Cube T Shirt Big Bang Theory

The Melting Rubik's Cube Tee is my favorite shirt that can be seen on The Big Bang Theory TV show.  That's right!  It's one of the many tee shirts worn by Sheldon Cooper, who is one of the best comedy sitcom characters on television.

I like the Melting Rubik's Cube Tee because it looks like the fusion of a Rubik's Cube and a Gelatinous Cube from Dungeon's & Dragons. Or it could be a play on it being an ice cube and therefore it is melting. Be sure to also visit this post on Big Bang Theory gift ideas, if you too are a fan of the show.

Star Cthulhu T-Shirt

The Star Cthulhu T- Shirt combines the Starbucks logo with the iconic Lovecraft created god, Cthulhu.  Who doesn't want to see Cthulhu eating a bunch of white girls ordering cappuccinos and pumpkin spiced lattes? Instead of the iconic Starbucks white girl with long hair, this logo shows Cthulhu with his long tentacles instead. Such an awesome improvement. I stop at Starbucks many times a week on my way to work and I would love to see the look on their faces when I walk in wearing this sweet Cthulhu Starbucks shirt.  This is such a great piece of Call of Cthulhu Art.

Zombie Herd Long Sleeve Shirt

Walking Dead Shirt Zombie Herd

The Long Sleeve Zombie Herd Shirt is pretty sweet and would make a great gift for any zombie lovers or gift ideas for Walking Dead fans. Zombies are all the craze these days with the success of The Walking Dead TV series, but I'm yet to own a zombie shirt.  That needs to change!  I like the colors used in this long sleeve Zombie Herd shirt and I also like how the zombies in the background are shadows, with only the detail on the closest zombie. That helps to portray the message that there are a lot of zombies coming, but this one is right on top of you.

There you have my Top 5 Geeky Gifts that I would like to own.  These are all items that would help to show off what a big geek I am.
Jinx 300x250

Friday, October 3, 2014

5 Fandom Fridays: Fandoms That Helped Me Develop My Inner Nerd

Well, hello again!

It's been a while since I've posted anything with a regular consistency, since I got completely burned out on Warcraft and no longer play the game.  I've written some posts here and there on various games, but have been wanting to get back into a bit more regular blogging.  With winter coming and more down time at work, I've got a bit more available writing time on my hands and have been itching to get the blog posts rolling again.  I've started to get my creative juicing flowing again and have decided to participate in a new community building project.

Gateway Fandoms That Made Me Who I Am Today

The first topic in the 5 Fandom Fridays series is designed to explore the things we love that helped turn us into the geeks and nerds that we have become.  It's sorta hard to narrow it down to 5 things, but the 5 I've chosen have definitely helped shape me into the geeky, nerdy guy that I am today.

5 Fandoms That I Embody:

  1. Gamer
  2. Raver
  3. Foodie
  4. Lovecraft-ian
  5. Philly Sports Fan


I have always had a very competitive nature and gaming has been one of the ways to compete with family, friends, and even strangers for as long as I can remember.  From the earliest of ages, I was the neighborhood kid that gathered the local kids to group up and play sports together, started the local board game groups, gathered friends for my own amateur card game tournaments, started up the neighborhood role-playing group, and so much more.  

I have always been interested in games of all types, including but not limited to: board games, role-playing games, trading card games, table-top card games, miniatures games, mobile gaming, video games, and PC gaming.  Hell, I've been involved in damn near every type of gaming there is except for LARPing. Those guys are real nerds! ROFL

  • I play games almost daily.
  • I write a blog about gaming:  Cold's Gold Factory
  • I co-host a variety gaming podcast:  The Eviscerated Gaming Podcast (NSFW)
  • I've been ranked as high as #17 in the world in Magic the Gathering (Old School Type 1)
  • I placed 5th at the MageKnight Nationals at Origins.
  • I've made millions in gold in World of Warcraft.
  • I own a bunch of gaming inspired clothing.
I am a Gaming Nerd!


My passion for electronic music surges through my blood and ears almost daily.  Ever since I heard my first 4 on the floor beat, I have been addicted to House Music.  I've danced my nights away for 9-10 hours straight at plenty of old school raves and warehouse parties.  I've collected a massive amount of dance music for many years.  Having also been trained musically in school, I was a quick learner when it came to stepping up a notch and becoming a DJ myself.  

Having originally started working with Technics and Vinyl as a French House DJ, lately I've transferred over to DJing digitally with my trusty Traktor S2 and a slew of the hottest, freshest tracks I can find.  My favorite genre to mix is Complextro, which is a sub-genre of house music, but I spin almost every genre on my sets on the Eviscerated Gaming Podcast.  Each week we close the podcast episodes with a recorded set that I mix live and the genres vary from week to week as I explore all types of electronic dance music.  The segment on EGP is called Electronic Education and I also have a stand alone Electronic Education Podcast where I focus on Electro House, Progressive House, and Complextro in addition to featuring other DJ guest mixes.  Both EGP and EEP can be found on iTunes and Stitcher Radio.

If you are into electronic music as well, then I am always linking my mixes out on my personal/gaming twitter account (@SSmith0911) and my music account (@ElectronicEDM).

  • I am a DJ.
  • I listen to dance music almost daily.
  • I was an old-skool raver.
  • Even at 40 years old, I still go to clubs to dance and hear touring DJs.
  • I record music mixes weekly.
  • I spin on live shows, live streams, and record weekly mixes for EGP.
  • I spend more on new dance music than I do on clothing.
  • I carry the Circle of 5ths with me everywhere I go.
  • I have no fewer than 20 of my own mixes on my phone at a time.
  • I'm happy staring into a blinking light, if dance music is playing.
The Raver In Me Will Never Die!


I've always had a great love for trying new foods, reading food labels, experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes, and exploring in the grocery store, deli, or import market.  I enjoyed food and the sciences involved with food and nutrition so much that I majored in Food & Nutrition / Clinical Dietetics.  I know more about food and nutrition than most people.  I hold both a Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Dietetics.

Having grown up in a very meat and potatoes and American Food only type of home, I quickly became curious about all of the other styles of food.  As a result, I developed a desire to see and try all kinds of new foods and restaurants, since I wasn't allowed to growing up.  I am always on the hunt for new restaurants opening up here in St. Louis and I love to try out food festivals and tasting events.
I talk way too passionately about food and restaurants and I am the guy who scopes out all the new places and then tells everyone else about the great places or dishes I find.

If I'm not talking about gaming or dance music, I'm talking about food.

Nom Nom Nom.


My favorite author is H.P. Lovecraft, creator of The Cthulu Mythos.  The short stories and books by HP Lovecraft are some of my favorite books I've ever read.  The twisted, dark, macabre stories of demonic creatures and creepy settings have always been great reads, especially if read by candle light on a stormy night!  I have spawned many other Lovecraft fans through lending my literature and teaching others about the Cthulhu Mythos.  

(24x36) Cthulhu Creature Print PosterBeing a gamer as well, the Call of Cthulhu gaming system has always been one of my favorite role-playing games.  What I find awesome about Call of Cthulhu was the fact that the average life expectancy of a character was half a gaming session, which allowed for a lot of sick and twisted fun for the Keeper (CoC equivalent of Dungeons & Dragons' Dungeon Master).  Contrary to other types of role-playing games the best characters were not the biggest, baddest, strongest, toughest characters you could make.  The strongest and best characters where actually the ones with the highest speed and danger sense as running away from unspeakable evils is almost always better than trying to fight or going insane from the unspeakable madness.  Mwahahahahah!  So yeah, I owe a lot of my being a sick and twisted individual to HP Lovecraft and The Cthulhu Mythos.  I still need to grab myself some of these sweet Cthulhu Posters and Art Prints.

The nightmare corpse-city of R'lyeh…was built in measureless eons behind history by the vast, loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars. There lay great Cthulhu and his hordes, hidden in green slimy vaults.

—H. P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu" (1928)
All Hail The Almighty Cthulhu! 


I'm what they refer to in Philadelphia as a "4 for 4 Guy", which means I'm a fan of all 4 of the major Philadelphia sports teams.  I love the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and Sixers.  The crazy thing is that I picked what teams I liked when I was a child before I could read and the decisions on which teams would be my teams were based on either my favorite players at the time and/or the teams uniforms and colors.  It just so happened that all the teams I liked with the cool uniforms or players turned out to all be teams from Philly!  And I've been a 4 for 4 guy ever since.  Go Philly!

I had never actually been to Philadelphia until this year (2014), when my girlfriend took me to the Eagles home opener for my 40th birthday weekend.  We had an absolute blast and I've grown to love the city and the Philly teams even more.  

Philly Rocks!

So there you have it, the top 5 fandoms that influenced me to be the geek that I am today. I look forward to sharing more of these 5 Fandom Fridays posts with you as I get back into writing again more frequently.  

What 5 Famdoms Influenced You The Most?  
Let us all see your Top 5 list in the comments.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Eviscerated Gaming Podcast #100 - Livestream

The Eviscerated Gaming Podcast - Episode #100
Live Show Video Footage Is Available

On July 13th, The Eviscerated Gaming Podcast celebrated the milestone Episode #100 with a live show on Twitch TV.  The live show recording is now available on iTunes & Stitcher Radio in the normal audio formats, but the recording of the actual live streaming footage is also available on YouTube here:  EGP #100 Live Show Recording or in the embedded window below.

We had a lot of fun recording the show live and hanging out in the chat interacting with listeners.  I performed an Electronic Education segment live, but the recording cut out about 25 minutes into the mix.  So you can hear the beginning of the house music set in the video, but those listeners who stayed in the chat got to enjoy the entire full hour after party.  Thanks to those of you stayed for the entire experience.  No one else will be able to hear what you guys and gals got to hear or see all the dancing Nonmail was doing grooving to the tunes.  Hell, this episode Ungnome does a special stand-up comedy bit too!

Congrats to Dilvish Damned who won a copy of Fluxx and congrats to Winget who won a copy of Lunch Money.  Happy to give away a couple of my favorite tabletop card games.  Enjoy guys!

Episode 100 Show Notes, Discussion Topics, & Links:

Enjoy the show!

Recommended Guides: Secret Gold Guide | Journal of Marcus Ty | Hearthstone Arena

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hearthstone: Maximizing Your Match Experience

How To Get More Experience In Your Hearthstone Games

Hearthstone XP Grinding

Earning experience in Hearthstone is important to newer Hearthstone players because leveling your decks is how you unlock the free basic cards.  For the more experienced Hearthstone player, experience is required to unlock the golden versions of the class cards, as well as golden versions of some of the neutral minion cards in the game.  How do you earn more experience so that you can unlock your golden cards faster and get that deck to level 60?  Well, there are 4 main elements that figure into how much experience you earn in a real game of Hearthstone.  I say a real match, because joining a match where one player concedes before round 3 doesn't award nearly as much experience.  Here are the 4 primary factors that contribute to how much experience you will earn.

4 Key Elements in Earning More Experience In Hearthstone Matches:

  1. Playing Versus Human Opponents Awards More Experience (Past Level 10)
  2. Winning A Match Awards More Experience Than Losing
  3. The More Cards You Play, The More Experience You Earn
  4. You Get More Experience The More Enemy Minions You Kill

Playing Against Humans Awards More Experience Than Playing AI

You earn less experience against the AI, than against human opponents.  Once you reach level 10 with a deck, you will get nerfed experience if you continue to play versus the AI.  It's perfectly ok to play versus the AI up until level 10, then switch over to playing humans.  Up until level 10 the experience award is the same versus bots or versus humans.  The bots are more easily exploited to earn maximum experience from the other key elements below.  After Level 10, Play Against Humans.


Winning Awards More Experience Than Losing

Ok, this should be a no-brainer.  No matter what game mode you are playing in Hearthstone, you will always see a bigger experience award for a win.  If you are losing and you are trying to maximize your experience earned in your Hearthstone matches, then You Should Never Concede because of the next 2 key elements.


The More Cards You Play, The More Experience You Earn

You earn extra experience for every card you play in your Hearthstone games (and again if re-casting a minion returned to your hand). That's one reason why you shouldn't concede.  Even if you are losing, you should try to play as many minions and cast as many spells as you can before the match ends in order to earn the most experience possible.  It doesn't matter what cards you play, because they are all worth the same amount of experience.  So if the match is over and you are just waiting to lose, Play As Many Cards As You Can before your death.

The same holds true if you are winning!  Even if you already can kill the opponent on this turn, playing more cards before you deliver the lethal blow, will earn you more experience for the match victory.  Always Dump Your Hand Before Giving The Lethal Blow.


The More Minions You Kill, The More Experience You Will Receive

Killing enemy minions awards experience for every enemy killed, including totems and other token creatures.  (Token creature: A minion originally created by a Hero Power or summoned from a Battlecry or Deathrattle effect.)  Every minion you destroy awards the same amount of experience, so it doesn't matter which ones you choose to destroy.  This is another reason for not conceding too early.  Even if the match is lost, you can earn more experience be killing some of his minions before the end of your turn.  So if you are completely dead next turn, don't concede and don't just attack the player.  Use your minions and spells to destroy some of the enemy minions to maximize how much experience your losing match will award you.

If you are winning, instead of just immediately dealing lethal damage to the opposing player, wipe out more of his minions before delivering that final blow so that you too can earn more experience for your Hearthstone victory.  So remember whether you are winning or losing, Kill More Minions Before The Match Ends.


Hearthstone Beginner Tips
More Kills, More Hearthstone XP

End of Match Trolling Versus Experience Farming In Hearthstone

One of the common misconceptions that new players have is that their opponent is trolling them when they should just go ahead and kill the new player off and end the match.  Many times you know you are dead, the opponent has lethal damage on the board, yet he continues to cast spells and play more minions when he doesn't even need to because we think he's just showing off, gloating, or trolling us.

"I'm already dead, you wanker! Just kill me!"  We've all been there and thought it.  Just put us out of our misery so we can move on to the next game, right?  Wrong!  Think about those 4 Key Elements In How Hearthstone Experience Is Earned that we just covered.

Instead of getting upset that your opponent is trolling you or just showing off instead of dealing you lethal damage, let's assume that she's trying to maximize her own experience earned in her Hearthstone match.  Or we could assume that she's working on completing her daily quests so that she can maximize her gold earned while playing Hearthstone.  Most likely, she's probably working on her daily quests and trying to earn more experience at the same time.  So try to give your opponent the benefit of the doubt.  They are working on unlocking their decks and golden cards too.

And you should be doing the same thing to maximize your experience earned in each Hearthstone match.  Don't concede too early.  Play your cards and take out as many minions as you can before you lose.  And even if you are winning, dumping your hand and killing as many minions as you can will earn you more experience and shorten your grind to 60.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

League of Legends - Player Behavior & The "It's Just Bots" Fallacy

The "It's Just Bots" Fallacy in Riot's MOBA: League of Legends

League of Legends Basics

League of Legends is a MOBA (Multi-Player Online Battle Arena) that I have been playing as my main game for the last few months.  League of Legends is an absolute blast and the game really tailors to my competitive nature as it can be highly competitive, especially within ranked play.  Before you can even think about trying out Ranked Play Mode in League of Legends, you must first get your Summoner (this is what they call player accounts in LoL) level to 30 and only then does the option of beginning to start competitive ranked play become an option on your game selection screen.

Prior to reaching level 30, you must continue to play the various game modes and accumulate experience for your summoner, unlocking Runes and Mastery skill points along the way.  This grind to 30 is best used as a learning experience for newer players to figure out the game mechanics, start to understand the meta-game involved with competitive play, and serve as times to help identify which Champions (the characters you select to play in a given League of Legends match) best fit your own play-style, as well as which roles you prefer to play on your team.  You see, League of Legends is a team game, or team sport.  So you must work together as a team in order to achieve victory.

Random Teammates in League of Legends Aren't Always Friendly

Problems start to arise within all the forms of the games due to the inclusion of all types of players into these same matchmaking queues.  League of Legends has been known for having a horrible community of players, probably because of the mixing of very competitive players and brand new fresh players, both of which can be paired in the same non-ranked matches.  Add in the ability to queue up with your brand new friend, and you've got a mixture of all types of skill levels within the same non-ranked games and tempers can flare when someone is holding the team back, or worse, feeding the opposing team and making them stronger.

Luckily I haven't seen much in the ways of the horrible nature of insults that such a "toxic gaming player base" is known to spew out at other players (probably because I'm still grinding to level 30), but I have seen my fair share of whining, bitching, nagging, and attacking other players for their Champion choice, play style, or inexperience in playing League of Legends properly.  While I tend to try to be one of the team leaders and more helpful players for those that appear inexperienced, I do try hard not to get frustrated with new players who don't seem to understand exactly how to play League of Legends properly.  New players don't frustrate me nearly as much as the more experienced players who think they are some special snowflake that got stuck playing with us inexperienced losers.

Learning Through AI Bot Matches in League of Legends

As stated before, I tend to try and help out new players that I get matched with on my team while playing un-ranked games in League of Legends.  We were all new at one point in time.  Many of us resorted to learning the game on our own through trial and error.  When trial and error wasn't good enough we turned to the internet, online champion builds, and strategy articles to try and get a better grasp on the game mechanics because the in game tutorial can only teach you the absolute basics of the game and most other players aren't helpful or aren't teaching new players how to properly play League of Legends during matches.

Within most game modes, you have the option of playing versus humans (PvP) or playing vs bots (AI).  It is best to start learning how to play LoL in the matches versus Basic level bots and then work your way up to Intermediate bots, before advancing on to the hardcore PvP mode versus other players.  The bot options are there for new players to learn the game, for any player to learn a new Champion, a new lane, a new play style, or test out a new item build.  Bot games are practice modes within 2 levels of difficulty designed for teaching and learning.  The biggest problem with teaching and learning in the AI bot games is other experienced players and the commonly thrown out statement "It's Just Bots!"

The "It's Just Bots!" Fallacy in League of Legends

Bot games are for learning the game or learning a new champion.  Bot games are for teaching your newly installed friend how to play.  Bot games are for teaching team make up, how to last kill, proper phases of the game, knowing your role, learning to team fight, and advancing your skills.  Bot games are where you take that new recruit you signed up so they can learn before being exposure to PvP mode.  For some though, bot games are for farming IP (the currency you get from matches that is used to purchase Champions, Runes, and other items in the League of Legends shop.  And for other more experienced veterans, bot games are just a faceroll where you can't possibly lose, or so they believe.  Then when things get ugly and the team gets behind because not everyone is as proficient as the snobby veteran player, the fangs can come out and the bitching, whining, nagging, and harassing starts.

There are many players that understand that the AI bot games are for learning, teaching, and improving your skills.  There are also many players that commonly spout out "It's Just Bots!" anytime someone asks a question, asks for help, or questions someones choice of Champion to be added to the team.  "It's Just Bots!" is not a statement that helps anyone.  There are plenty of matches that my team has got their ass handed to us by an AI bot team.  Bots aren't a pushover.  Bots aren't always easy, especially if fed.  Bots definitely aren't an easy faceroll to a newer player.  There are plenty of times that Mr Badass hasn't been able to carry the team, even when facing ""just bots", so stop with the damn "It's Just Bots!" attitudes please!

When teaching or helping newer players learn the game, the best results will come from teach them the proper ways to play, which includes what team makeup is expected on your team.

For most teams in PvP mode, you will expect to find:

  • 1 Top Lane Fighter/Tank type
  • 1 Jungler
  • 1 Mid Lane Mage / AP Carry
  • 1 Bot Lane ADC Marksman
  • 1 Bot Lane Support
So when your team queues up as 4 Fighters and 1 Tank (happened just the other night), don't be surprised when the match goes poorly (we lost).  Of course, what was the response during the team building phase when I asked, "Is anyone going to play an ADC, Support, or a Mage?"  Yup, you guessed it.  "It's Just Bots!"  Well, those bots just kicked our ass and you've contributed to wasting all of our time.

Stop With The "It's Just Bots!"

The "It's Just Bots!" excuses need to stop.  You can't expect players to perform up to your standards in PvP, if you are constantly reinforcing poor choices and bad behaviors in the bot training matches.  I'm willing to bet that the "It's Just Bots!" crowd is part of the same crowd that bitches and whines when players aren't performing properly in PvP and Intermediate bot games.  You people are part of the problem!  You continually allow poor team construction and improper Champion lane placement and then bitch and whine when that same player continues to do what they've been allowed to do in the games they've played so far.  You can't just flip a magical switch and say "Ok, forget all of the bad habits we taught you in bot matches and start to play correctly now that we are in PvP matches".  It just doesn't work.  You send mixed messages and those lead to new player frustration and in turn, more frustration for experienced players when matched with improperly taught newer players.

So let's stop with the "It's Just Bots!" mentality and instead focus on teaching newer players the proper way of playing from the start.  The entire community experience and player skill level will improve as a whole and new players can more quickly become quality contributing members of any team.  Teach them properly and you too will reap the rewards.  If you continue to shrug off those "just bots", then the new players will continue to learn poor habits and the experienced player base will continue to be frustrated with the new players joining the ranks in the of League of Legends.

Teach a new player how to play the game properly.  They may be the guy responsible for saving your ass or winning the game, as opposed to feeding the enemy and costing us all the match.  It's not "just bots", it's a tool for teaching how to play the game properly.

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

10,000 Gold Per Hour BWL Magic Farm

Farming Runecloth in BWL
Today's feature is a guest post from WoWNewsTeam.com.  I am still accepting guest posts, if you too would like to reach a larger audience than your normal blog.  Just contact me for details.

In this farm entry, I’m bringing back one of the oldies. If you haven’t heard of it, the BWL (Blackwing Lair) magic farm is by far the best place to snag up as much runecloth as your little bags can handle. It’s easy and only takes a few minutes to get the hang of it. Plus, as a bonus, you’ll likely walk away with more than enough transmog pieces to keep the auctioneers busy for weeks.

But enough hyperbole, let’s get into the basics.

The BWL Magic Farm and You: How It’s Done 

This farm takes place in the crimson laboratories in BWL. Skip to 2:59 to cut out all the YouTube chatter. The strategy is simple, your goal is to kill the Blackwing Technicians, all the while, keeping the Blackwing Spellbinders alive. Which is easy, because the blackwing spellbinders are immune to magic.

But Why Not Kill the Spellbinders?

Meaning if you only kill the blackwing technicians, and then drop combat, the technicians will instantly respawn. The goal is to not harm any of the spellbinders. The respawns work kind of like how a raid boss’s adds will respawn after a wipe. Except this time instead of wiping we’ll intentionally drop combat so we can start the encounter over. If done correctly, you can farm the technicians indefinitely. Their respawn rate is only limited by your ability to drop combat.

Learning The Pull: The Biggest Obstacle. 

All farms have obstacles, no matter how small or insignificant. For this farm, the most difficult part is learning the pulls (second to finding the loot of course). For the most part, the general pulling strategy starts at the entrance of the room and ends at the stairwell corner. Your job is to agro both floors of engineers and bring them back to the corner cut-off. That way, you can LOS them until their all gathered up for your AOE. (For assistance refer to 3:39 in the video)

Where to Farm Runecloth
Farming Runecloth in Blackwing Lair

Also, feel free to aggro the bosses, but refrain from killing them. Yes, they may do some nasty damage, but overall, the bosses help you pull faster as you drag them between both floors. Also, if your health drops too low, start killing the goblins as you pull them back to the stairway. Doing so will relieve some pressure, and you can always just go back and loot them the next run.

Getting The Right Classes: The Only Drawback. 

One major drawback here. Not everyone can do this. You do need to have a character that can drop combat multiple times in a small session. That limits eligible characters to:

  • Night Elf Priests (Shadowmeld) / Spectral Guise 
  • All Priests (Spectral Guise) 
  • Night Elf Druids (Shadowmeld) 
  • Hunters (Feign Death) 
  • Mages (Invisibility) 

The other characters that may have combat-dropping abilities, lack the magic damage needed to avoid the spellbinders. And while it’s not impossible to micro-manage your targeting, it does make this farm much less efficient.

Exploring The Loot Tables, Drops and Runecloth 

So as for the rewards...

You can expect around 1700 pieces of runecloth in an hour, and about 9,000g worth of mogging goods if your lucky. The other miscellaneous goods consist of elementium ingots, pristine blackrock diamonds, and a very small chance to get your hands on a skull-flame shield.

But as for the excess runecloth, and all the other things you could do to squeeze gold outta this farm.. I think it’s best if I let Cold give you the details from previous posts or you can stop by my website and let me teach it to ya at: WoWNewsTeam.com

Either way, It’s all in good fun.

Thanks for the guest post on the great Runecloth Farming spot Steve!  I really don't like to ever use gold per hour numbers and especially don't use them on farming spots, mainly because you can't quantify the value of random drops.  So take this for what it is worth:  A great spot for farming runecloth with chances at transmog gear and other goodies.  Your actually gold per hour may vary. -Cold