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Riot Points Price Adjustment in Canada (and EU)

Do you play League of Legends? Statistically speaking, you probably do.

The game itself is free to play, but any cosmetic changes for your champions require Riot Points (RP), which means spending actual money. Some skins even change sounds and animations for your champion, and those cost more. Lots of ink was spilled over the new Sona skin: DJ Sona. Three skins in one and your teammates can choose to listen to Sona’s tune from her current state instead of the usual in-game music. It’s very cool, but I’m still all about Arcade Sona, thankyouverymuch. Probably buying that eventually.

Arcade Sona

Current — for the rest of the day — Riot Point prices are on the unofficial wikia. Here are the official posts regarding the change:

http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/riot-official/nWyb57Ti-rp-price-adjustment-in-canada

Here are the new amounts of RP you will receive as of 3/20/2015 for all payment methods:

5 CAD: 520 RP
10 CAD: 1100 RP
20 CAD: 2250 RP
25 CAD (prepaid cards only): 2800 RP
35 CAD: 4000 RP
50 CAD: 5775 RP
100 CAD: 12000 RP

http://euw.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/riot-games/announcements/rp-price-adjustment-europe

Uh, go ahead and click through for your region since it’s more complicated than Canada’s situation.

Yesterday I remembered that this was happening and decided to drop $25 on a prepaid card from a local store. I have learned the hard way that giving any gaming company my credit card leads to overspending or other bad things. For my $25 I got 3250 RP in return. Much better than the upcoming 2800 RP. That can buy a whole other champion if I didn’t want to grind out Influence Points (IP) for it.

And, hey, if you are thinking of getting into LoL and want to play with a clueless noob like me, feel free to use my Refer-A-Friend code since I like free stuff:

http://signup.leagueoflegends.com/?ref=4ad8055c0068f

Summoner Name: LadyGuardian (NA servers).

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Katowice Hype Weekend

After, um, a rough couple of months to start off 2015 — seriously, not sure I can take another funeral — I’m finally starting to feel like things are getting better. This weekend was really fantastic and now I’m pumped for the week. I slept well. More than once. Miracles!!

I tried to watch as much of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major as possible. ESL One Katowice really put on a fantastic event. As with all esports events across all of time and history, there are always delays and pauses, but probably a record low this weekend. Thanks to all the staff that probably didn’t sleep much through all the prep and live events. I certainly hope everyone bought them drinks afterwards, at least. It’s hard to pick out amazing moments from a tournament full of them. The finals between Fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas were so close and full of tense moments. The last thirty minutes had the crowd just roaring and I was gripping my tablet as if that was gonna help anything.

I do want to highlight this moment from earlier in the tournament:

DAT KNIFE. For non CS players, the AWP (sniper rifle) has an extremely long reload time, and his CZ75-Auto (pistol) had only 2 bullets left after that second kill. This is why most of us are not pro. No panic from f0rest, he just whips out his knife and stabs the third guy in the face. Oh, then he AWPs the guy coming long for his fourth kill of the round. Just another day at a Major.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go weep for my own weak skills for a bit while watching the Intel Women in eSports panel that I missed since it was the same time as other games.

And, from reddit, showing off the other end of the CS spectrum, I love this Silver Hostage Extraction video. I don’t even care if it’s fake. <3.

Remember, you’ve only got until the end of the month to finish off your Operation Vanguard missions! Gotta get those extremely valuable Vanguard cases :(

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Club Nintendo Program Discontinuation

On January 20th, 2015, Nintendo sent out this notice to all Club Nintendo Members.

Dear Club Nintendo Members,

Thank you for your continued loyalty to Nintendo.

We launched Club Nintendo 6 years ago in North America, and we’re grateful for all of the feedback that our members have provided on your experiences with our products.

In order to focus on planning for a new customer loyalty program for our fans, we’ve decided to wind-down the Club Nintendo program. We are deeply thankful to our members for being a part of Club Nintendo for all of these years.

We will share details about our new program at a later date. For now, please see the schedule below for information on the discontinuation timeframe for Club Nintendo.

All Coins will be deleted when Club Nintendo accounts are closed on July 1, 2015. As a result, to give our members the best opportunity to use their Coins, we will add dozens of downloadable games and a limited quantity of exclusive reward items to the rewards catalog in February. In addition, as a small token of appreciation for your loyalty, all Club Nintendo members will receive a free download code for Flipnote Studio 3D in February 2015.

The hardest part about the Club Nintendo closure is just logging in these days. Even though the announcement was almost a month ago, it still takes me multiple tries to login successfully.
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Nostalgic Flash(cartoon)backs

While hanging out with my brother this weekend, we reminisced varying recollections of some “old school” flash animations. Fair warning, none of these movies make any sense whatsoever and watching them will probably cost you IQ.

First up: MARIO TWINS.

I slightly prefer Super Mario Blitz, made to accompany the OCRemix track: Dirty Mix by A Scholar & A Physician, but I admit Mario Twins can be catchy, too. Dirty Mix can be accused of being overproduced and I doubt I’d like the track solo as much without having seen the video first. Basically, there’s no accounting for taste and I’m impressed anyone is reading this.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the online crap we watch in the wee hours of the morning, but I do want to share / remind you all of one more thing: The Demented Cartoon Movie! by Brian Kendall.

Yes, that is thirty minutes long. Yes, this took ages to load on our ancient dial up connection at the time it was released. This short film enjoys playing with expectations, repetition, and showing off mad MS Paint skills. I still like it as much now as I did while younger. HMMMMMMMMMM. I will concede that it’s probably funnier at 4am after a drive to and from downtown in bonkers wind with two drunk athletes and bonus McDs breakfast. Either way, the sound effects rock.

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Old Rental Scam Finds New Life

DISCLAIMER: I don't usually need one of these for my own blog, but this is a special case. I have permission from the friends mentioned to reproduce all the emails and images below. Also, the more this scam gets written about, the more people will be able to find it in search engines and the more people will hopefully be able to avoid this kind of nonsense without losing money! Woo all around. Don't forget to follow basic scam protections guidelines when looking for a place to rent.

tl;dr version: you can jump ahead to the CBC article about this type of scam, originally posted on February 4th, 2015

Are you old enough to remember when escrow scams were a big scary thing on eBay, which pretty much the only online marketplace at the time? Err, me neither. You might also not be familiar with common rental scams, now making a “comeback”. Please read those “airquotes” as “this has been happening non-stop since forever but it only makes the news once in a while when there’s a twist”.

A friend is shopping around for a new apartment. My brother and I have found some great places through kijiji in the past, you just have to wade through the crap to find something good. Looking to rent is never fun since there’s no point in getting an agent and it’s a lot of hours flipping through ads like “hellhole, crap, too expensive, dump, someone was clearly murdered there, if I live there I will get murdered” and “hey, that’s not bad” before you can even book a viewing. Then you call the nice lady and find out she rented out the place ages ago and never took down the ad. Arghlebargle. NOW IT’S STORY TIME!
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CSGO Operation Vanguard

Operation Vanguard Extended

In a completely unsurprising move, Valve announced that Operation Vanguard will be extended from the original end date of February 10th, 2015 until the end of March. The Operation pass is now also half-price, not that the Operation’s page reflects that yet. Now a pass costs $2.99 USD / $3.79 CAD (from $5.99 USD / $7.49 CAD), though don’t forget to check the Steam Market for the occasional person dumping their spare ticket for a good deal. If you buy the pass now, you will have access to the full backlog of available missions, so you’ll have more than enough available to get a gold coin if you’re willing to put in the time for it.

How to tell if a Counter-Strike Operation will be extended:

» every previous Operation (except for Breakout) was extended at least a week

» no word from Valve to map makers to ensure their next submissions are in

» no blog post from Valve until late on the original scheduled end date

My CS:GO Operation Vanguard Gold Coin

My CS:GO Operation Vanguard Gold Coin

Even though I was pretty darn certain that Operation Vanguard was not ending, last night I still logged in to cram a few more missions for the paltry drops. Vanguard allowed us access to just a few missions at a time, with more unlocked as we beat them and after a timer. One mission unlocked for every four days. If you bought the extra mission packs available within Vanguard — Maghreb and Eurasia Theater — then you’d unlock an extra mission per four day period per extra pack. That sounds more complicated than it should be, I know.

I wasn’t constantly running up against the mission limit since I bought the pass back in November and immediately forgot about it for a while. I did the same thing with my Operation Bravo pass back in August of 2013, and that led to me not buying Operation Breakout or Phoenix at all. Oops. My Bronze Operation Bravo coin continues to taunt me with “Operation Time Logged: 14 Minutes”. At least it’s right next to my 5 Year Veteran Coin so I feel slightly better about myself. And 5 years? Where’s my “Pre 1.6 coin” Valve?!?!? ps: bring back riot shields, mwa ha ha.

I had grand plans to keep track of which gun I received from which mission and how much money I made selling the crap and the cases to see if the pass was able to pay for itself in a literally dollars and cents way. Regardless, I feel that I got my money’s worth from the random fun I had trying the new maps — I love Season — and playing modes I usually ignore (looking at you, Demolition). I did the missions, but I did not keep track of anything at all. Next time!