Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make Me a Map!

Apologies for not posting anything on here in a month; lately I have been rather busy with a few side projects I have been involved with lately.  Wait, side projects?  You read that correctly, I’ve been working some new content for Frantic Talks that we’ll be premiering shortly.  Speaking of Frantic Talks, let me get the obligatory self-promoting out of the way.  We have our own Twitter account now, so you should totally give that a follow over there.  You can find us as @Frantic_Talks, we also have a new-ish YouTube channel.  It goes by the same name, but we won’t get our own custom URL until we hit 100 subscribers…so you should go do that also.  So, keep an eye out over there for the one side project I’ve been working on for a few weeks as I’m really anxious for it to go up.

Now that I’ve probably lost your attention with the self-promoting (deal with it), what is this other project I’ve been involved in you ask?  I’ve talked about using Forge in the past Halo games a lot on here.  Whether it be my failed attempts at creating an actual map, or just simply messing around and creating some weirdly functioning tennis map I have had a few run ins with Forge.  My most recent foray into the world of map making was with someone I’ve mentioned quite a bit recently, someone by the name of Mr Freakshow187.  A couple weeks ago (when the Hammer Storm update for Halo 5 came out specifically) he asked me if I wanted to create a Grifball court.  I said yes, and a few days went by without anything else coming of it.  One of the next times I was playing with him I asked when we were going to start work on it.  I think it took him by surprise that I actually wanted to make one, so there’s that.  I have to admit though, I’ve always wanted to build a court but never knew where to start.  I knew that there were templates to help get the general size and layout down but that’s all.  Luckily the newer templates have all of the bomb spawns and plant points in them already so even that was taken care.


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Clever Title Goes Here

This is normally where I mention the fact it has been a really long time since my last post.  Well, that’s true, it has been since September since my last post…  Despite that length of time between posts, there isn’t a whole lot new really.  I’ve been busy with a bunch of real-life stuff and as a result, have had to cut down on my gaming time a little bit.  Though at times it doesn’t seem like it…for example; as I’m typing this, I’m playing some Madden 15…

Speaking of Madden 15, The Kickoff sure lasted a long time didn’t it?  I plan to address that by simply making it return later in the season when more people pretend to actually care about the NFL and sports in general.  Playoffs.  I will bring the series back during the NFL playoff games such as the Wild Card games,  divisional playoffs and even the Super Bowl.  I will also, available time permitting, be bringing back my personal favorite series of Bowl Bound.  This will be my third year of doing the series…also meaning I’ll be using like four year old data from the game.  Should be interesting!  Maybe I can find some sort of roster or something that’s a little more up to date, we’ll find out.

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Methodical…Sort Of

Not much has changed since my last time of posting here.  I’m still playing a lot of Destiny, we’re only about a week out from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and The Walking Dead comes back this weekend even.  I did write up some of my thoughts on Destiny couple weeks ago for Frantic Talks, if you’d like to see what I think of the game then drop by here.  In short, there’s a lot I like of the game but some stuff I wish was different.

I think the main reason I enjoy Destiny compared to some people I know that don’t care much for it is the fact I went into the game with almost zero expectations.  While I was excited to play the game and had played part of it during the beta I was still going to let Bungie surprise me.  I’ve learned in my years gaming that it’s not the best thing to start following a game and then expect the final product to be everything you want it to; because if you do, the majority of the time you will be disappointed.  The only thing that I had high expectations for with Destiny was the story.  I felt it would be an epic tale of who the Traveler is and suck me into the universe with all kinds of backstory.  Sadly I did not feel this way after completing it, the rest of the game is good but the story felt a little lacking in my opinion.

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I know what you’re thinking…well, probably not but still you’re thinking why am I saying hello again but for the first time technically?  #SpaceMagic, that’s why.  Alright so it’s not actually #SpaceMagic but I used to have my blog over at Blogger (Blargger) and it has been giving me many problems lately and after using WordPress for IVG and the IGL I have really grown to like it so I decided to make the jump here.  This also allowed me to change the name of my blog as I never really talked about Halo only.  I know I could have simply changed the name of it to reflect the new “era” of my blog, but then we go back to that whole Blogger giving me problems thing again.  This in turn brought on the creation of StoredGrunt’s Gaming Lounge.

So what will I talk about on here?  Same thing I did on the other blog (Blargger, heh).  I’ll try to post about any new videos I upload to my YouTube channel or if I grab a bunch of screenshots I’ll share them here.  Maybe we’ll even see some of my old series of posts I did *cough*BowlBound*cough* return when the time is appropriate.  I will also post my thoughts on various gaming related topics and maybe some not-so-gaming related topics.  Nothing political though; I’m sure we get enough of that in our daily lives and besides, this is my escape from that.
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Some Thoughts…

It has been a while since I’ve done any sort of ranting post on here.  While I won’t completely rage like I did in some posts I made on here in the beginning; I needed a place where I can speak my mind in more than 140 characters.  This post won’t be completely rage induced either, I’ll talk about some stuff I have in mind to do in the future.

A couple weeks ago I went down to Peoria, IL to see The Pretty Reckless, Adelita’s Way, Alter Bridge and Five Finger Death Punch in concert.  It was a really sick show to see, all of the groups that performed were amazing.  During the 5FDP set they introduced the next song they were going to play as “Burn MF” off of one of their newer albums.  When doing so Ivan Moody (the lead vocalist for 5FDP) mentioned that some of us may be familiar with the news going around about the band performing this song live.  At that time I didn’t know what he was talking about, so I paid no attention to it; it wasn’t until a few days later when I was listening to the radio and a radio DJ said what the whole deal was about.  When they perform the song, they bring several kids on stage to sing the chorus.  Apparently at one of the earlier tour dates some parent got all bent out of shape that they do that and started complaining.

I have this to say about it.  You knew exactly who you were going to see when you bought the tickets.  If you know anything about Death Punch you know they don’t sing happy go lucky lyrics, so you cannot complain about your children being exposed to that.  You most likely bought the album for them when they asked for it and if you didn’t stop and think “Hey, should I maybe be a parent and find out if my child should really be listening to this?” after seeing the albums title (Wrong Side of Heaven, Righteous Side of Hell) you should probably rethink of your definition of parenting.  I understand a parent not wanting their kids to swear up a storm every time they speak as my parents raised me to not do that.

This brings me to the last thing I want to say about it.  It’s a concert.  It’ll only last a few hours and then everyone will go back to living their lives the way they did before.  You should be hoping to have fun and enjoy the concert.  I highly doubt a few hours of you, or your child saying a few swear words is going to tarnish them for the rest of their life.  If you’re worried about them starting a habit out of it, be a parent and talk to them about it.  If you don’t like them doing it period, here’s a thought.  Be a parent.  With all of that said, I fully support Five Finger Death Punch in doing so during their concerts.  Besides, you never know if these kids could be the future of our music.

Now that I have probably lost your interest in continuing to read further I will now talk about some gaming related stuff.  A really long time ago I had posted some screenshots from my Minecraft world I have.  Tomorrow a new Halo mash-up pack comes out for Minecraft on the 360 and I’m thinking of downloading it; it looks neat and it’s something Halo.  This would also be the perfect chance for me to hook up my capture card and grab some more screenshots to show what has changed in my world.  Which isn’t a whole lot honestly…

A couple months ago I also broke down and bought GTA V.  I had second thoughts on buying it as the premise of the GTA series has never really interested me.  Oh boy, I get to play as a criminal…sounds like fun….  I have yet to finish the story for the game as there way too much extra stuff to do and I get distracted.  I’ll admit I’m enjoying the game a lot more than I initially thought I would, especially the online part of the game.  I’ve played it quite a bit with ProAceJoker and XeroZebra and it has been a blast.  Some time here soon I hope to capture something from that game and upload it to my YouTube channel plus grab some screenshots maybe.

In the world of Grifball, not too much interesting stuff has happened.  The AGLA season ended (and is starting up again soon) and Hyperdrive went 5-19 last season.  Yep…that’s a thing.  On the up-side to it though, I got to know some really awesome people during my time on that team.  Though some of them won’t be returning next season I hope to have the chance to play with Frantic, Raede, and kndkid again soon.

We did close out our season on a somewhat high note however.  Some of the other teams that were out of playoff contention decided to hold what they called a “Second Chance Cup”.  Basically, the bottom teams in the AGLA’s ammy division had their own sort of playoff series to see who was the “best of the worst” as I liked to call it for some reason.  Luckily for Hyperdrive, we got our act together and swept our first round series against Defiance.  Which was somehow a rival team for us, no idea how that happened but whatever.  After that we moved on to the “SCC” championship match against Affinity.  We took that series in two games, both 7-2 and in the first game I had a couple of very sweet interceptions that were taken right in for a score.  After that though, I thought I would give the AGLA another try so I signed up for the upcoming season.  Amateur league bidding started last night and as of now I’m sitting at 70 credits…  Totally different from last seasons 10 credits.  I’m pretty sure I know who has the bid on me, but we’ll find out for sure tonight…hopefully.

The Aces were my original home when I first started playing in the GGL; then after they decided to go on a hiatus Sarge’s Squad took me in for this past season.  About halfway through the season, Demise came to me and asked if I would be willing to leave Sarge’s Squad and take over their affiliate team, Shotgun Squad.  Their original captain had bailed on them as did a few of the players, but after thinking about it for a bit I said yes.  We felt that I would be better off helping Shotgun Squad get their games played and since I’ve been around a little longer than some on that team I could maybe give them a few tips and help the get better.  I don’t know how well the latter half of that statement has worked, but we’ve made it into the playoffs at least!

I’ve always tried to think of myself as a team player; doing whatever is needed to help the team.  So if leaving one team to take over another and keep them from falling apart mid-season is better for the team; then I guess I’ll do it.  With all that said, I appreciate you taking the time to read this and hopefully I can have some more interesting stuff to talk about next time.  Maybe even a few videos or screenshots to share.

This One Goes to 135

I’m getting creative with titles for these posts aren’t I?  No?  I didn’t think so, but it has only taken me three or four years to (eventually) publish 135 posts of random musings.  A lot of stuff has been happening with me lately; mainly in the terms of Grifball, but still.

The GGL season is over mostly (minus the championship game I think) but on the upside, the Aces made it into the playoffs again despite a very…weird season for us.  We got eliminated in our first game, which it was a sad way to end the season really.  Especially since a few days beforehand Joker announced that the Aces would not be returning next season.  It was a tough season for us this time around as we had to use subs in all of the games we played, and most of the games we ended up forfeiting to begin with because we could not field enough players.

After Joker told us what was going to happen to the Aces once this season had ended, I had no idea what I was going to do.  I knew I was going to play another season in the GGL at least, albeit on a new team if I could find one.  I thought of a couple captains of others team I could go to and see if they’d be looking for new players after this season was over, but I was going to wait until the season was officially over.  Before the playoffs had started though, one person took the initiative to ask me if I wanted to join their team for next season.  Perfect Demise had asked me over Twitter if I would like to join Sarge’s Squad for the next GGL season as they would be looking for some more players.  Not exactly knowing if I’d play for a team next season I instantly said yes.  So next season I shall be the punching bag for Sarge’s Squad.

I’m going to miss playing with everyone on the Aces.  No more bonk betraying Joker right as he is about to score…not that I did that or anything.  They were a fun group of people to hang out with, and I really have to thank Zebra and Joker for letting me play on the team in the first place.  Without them hounding me to join, I know I would not have played on a team at all.  I’m pretty sure he’ll never read this, but I also to have give elves shame a shout out as he took me under his proverbial wing and gave me tips to improve on my tanking game.  I know they have helped as I have found what works best for my “style” of tanking.  I’ve never gotten to play with brocklegomaster outside of one playoff game as he first joined the team last year.  But I’m sure it would have been a blast regardless, and who knows; maybe we’ll be on the same team again in the future.  Lastly, what can I say about Ross?  At least we got you into a game!  I honestly think if you’d find another team, you would be a good player with some time.  Adieu Aces, it was fun and hopefully we’ll be reunited under the same name soon.

While the Aces will always hold a special place with me, I am looking forward to playing on a new team.  Granted I already know most of the people that are already on the team, but I don’t know how they play.  Not to mention, it will be interesting to see how well I do with a new set of teammates.  I’ve already forewarned them of the impending betrayals, because #MoreBetrayalsThanKills.

A few months ago I decided to sign up for a one night tournament that was being hosted by the International Grifball League (IGL) where those who had signed up as captains could draft others who had signed up for the event.  I figured playing in this one event wouldn’t hurt and it’d be a lot of fun.  Since I was late getting online for the event, I was picked second to last and landed myself on Perfect Demise’s team.  At that time though, I did not know that Demise was captaining a team within the IGL.  I did fairly well in the event when I was put in to play a game, and after the tournament had ended Demise wanted to know if I would be interested in joining his team for the remained of the IGL season. 

I thought about it for a bit, still being new to the Grifball world but I made up my mind and said sure.  They had roughly about three games left in the regular season, plus playoffs later on.  I played in a couple of their last regular season games; one of which was an amazing comeback being down 4-1 to win 5-4.  After the regular season was finished the IGL rolled out some awards for people to vote on and I was nominated for WL14 US Rookie of the Season.  I thought that was pretty cool to be nominated for it, especially for joining halfway through the season and only playing two games.  Once voting finished a week later the winners were announced and there I found my name next to the Rookie of the Season award…despite only playing three games.  Almost a rookie by true definition.

Around the same time voting for the end-of-season awards started, they had also put out applications for some new admins and staff to help out.  I saw this and instantly thought “Sweet, this is my time to step up in the Grifball community.”  As I started to look at the application however, one question got me to rethink my decision of wanting to apply.  “What do you think you can bring to the table to help improve the league?”  That question had me stumped, all I could think of to offer is the fact I could write articles and nothing more.  After talking with a few people I knew they said I should go for it either way, so I did.  After waiting another week for applications to close the decision on who the next admins would be was quickly made.  So I’m excited to say I’ll be an admin for the IGL SL14 season, and hopefully a few more after that.

I know in my last post I made on here I said I would probably never do anything like that due to the fact of not having enough time to dedicate myself towards something like that.  Lately though, a few people have been stepping out of their comfort zones and it has paid off for them.  I’m extremely happy for them as it’s about time some good things happened to them.  You know who you are.  They have been telling me to do the same, I took their advice and it paid off for me this time.

To end this semi-lengthy post, I’ll leave you with another Highlight Frenzy that I may or may not have been featured in.  Twice.

And also not an amazing stop I get on my future teammate BaconFadays.  Sorry Bacon…still.

Wait, I Can Explain!

Strange title, I know.  Lately I’ve been obsessed with Grifball (as always really) and that has been making me think as to why do I enjoy it so much?  Is it the fact that it is one of the few custom created gametypes in the Halo franchise I truly enjoy?  Is it the fact I’m good at it?  Perhaps the community that surrounds this largely popular game mode?

In part, it is a combination of all of this…well minus the part I mentioned that I’m good at it.  I’m still bad on my own.  When I first played Grifball back in 2008 (I think that’s when it was) I was hooked almost instantly.  I had my reservations about it at first; the fact I was constantly getting betrayed by my teammates was rather annoying and I always wanted to score, so when I didn’t score I got annoyed at that as well.  As the first few years of playing it went by I started to realize that scoring wasn’t everything and betrayals were going to happen.  Betrayals still frustrated me, but only for the reason that they happened when we needed a carrier kill at our plant…and I easily would have had the kill.

Outside of these small things it was a blast to play, especially if you had some friends to play with who knew how to play.  Which back then I only had a few and when we would lose a game they’d want to play something else.  At this time in my “Halo life” I was still really only wanting to play CTF and SWAT.  Yeah I know, SWAT who plays that?  I just couldn’t “let go” of regular shooty Halo until Grifball came along in one of the double XP weekends and it was the only thing I played that weekend.  After some amazing games during that time, I was hooked from there on out.  I still played other gametypes after the double XP weekends had ended but I was really looking forward to when Grifball would come back.

Shortly after the release of Reach I discovered this place called GrifballHub which was a community revolving around this strangely addicting gametype.  They also hosted their own league for teams to sign up and compete against each other.  When I had first found out about the GGL I was instantly thinking “I must sign up for this!!!!”  I decided against signing up as I was just unsure if I would have the time to dedicate to a team.  Skip ahead to last year and I try to form my own team…that didn’t go too well so I figured I was not meant to play in the league.  But alas my stubbornness continued and I thought this past Spring I would try to look for a team for that season.  After a quick conversation with some good friends over Twitter….I somehow landed myself on the Aces.  Currently I am in my third season on the Aces and I really have no plans of leaving anytime soon.

Enough about my history with Grifball though, the community that surrounds this sport (yes I called it a sport) is by far what has kept my interest in the multiplayer side of Halo.  I’ve tried to be a part of other Halo communities focused on multiplayer aspects of the game and quite frankly, since I lack a super competitive personality I never exactly “fit in” at these other sites.  Sure they were friendly and had “recreational” goals, but I never really felt that it was a truly laid back environment.  In my three seasons of playing in the GGL I have never had as much fun in other communities.

Since I have enjoyed being in this community so much it got me to thinking “hey it would be cool to help out a little in this community”.  I still would like to do that…somehow, but quite frankly I still know very little about Grifball in general.  Plus my time is starting to dwindle as the rest of my life carries on and I don’t know how much I could dedicate myself to do anything extra.  Perhaps at some point I’ll step up and see how helpful of a community member I can become; but for now, I am happy just being a player on a team.

On a quick closing note, I’d like to drop a mention to the old GrifballHUB Highlight Frenzy.  Remember those?  Where you’d see league players pulling crazy awesome moves on a group of randomly matched matchmaking players.  I remember when I thought it would be cool to do stuff like that and eventually make my way into one of those Frenzies.  I bet you can tell where this is going can’t you?