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Photo: Claire Lower
Happy weekend, everyone, and welcome back to 3-Ingredient Happy Hour, the weekly drink column featuring super simple yet delicious libations. This week we’re making a cocktail to help fuel all those fun political debates you’re sure to have this upcoming Thursday—something I’m calling the “Drunk Cousin.”
Created by Dan Casto of Portland’s Double Dragon (and named after me), this drink is an Old Tom G&T with a little extra seasonal flavor by way of pear brandy. Like me, it’s a little bubbly, a little bitter, and gets along real well with a cheesy casserole. The rounder, more botanical gin compliments the pear brandy, while the tonic reels in the sweetness. (Use a good tonic for this—I like Fever Tree Indian tonic.) To make one for yourself, you will need:1 1/2 ounces Old Tom gin1/2 ounce pear brandyTonic
Combine gin and brandy in a highball or wine glass filled with ice, and give everything a little stir. Top with tonic, garnish with a strip of lemon zest if you like, and get ready to talk politics with your drunkest of uncles, or just hang out in the rec room with your other cool (also drunk) cousins.
Pokémon Let’s Go! Eevee and Pikachu aren’t the most challenging of games, but in order to make the most of it, we have some advice. Here are a few tips for your journey to becoming Pokémon Champion.Give yourself the ability to skip cutscenes
Do this first, since you’re going to see a lot of repeated cutscenes in this game. The ability to skip them is an option hidden in the menus. It’ll spare you from seeing your Eevee or Pikachu high five you for the umpteenth time after you beat a gym leader. Go to your menu by pressing X, then go to Options by pressing Y. Scroll down to “Movie Skipping” and then turn it on. You’ll then be able to skip cutscenes by pressing + or - on the Joy Con.Consider catching Pokémon in handheld mode
The game controls differently if you’re playing it docked on your TV or portably in handheld mode. If you play on your TV, you catch Pokémon by making a throwing motion with a Joy Con or Poké Ball Plus. That has some novelty, but it’s not always the easiest thing to do. To aim, you change the direction and force of where you’re making that throwing motion. It doesn’t have a lot of fidelity, and it’s very easy to throw in the wrong direction, or throw to hard and too far.
Catching in handheld mode is much, much easier. ou aim by moving the actual console around, and throw by hitting a button. It’s a thousand times easier, and also more fun in my opinion.Motion controls in handheld mode are optional
The game is all about players using motion controls, but, actually, in handheld mode, you can aim where you’re throwing your Poké Balls by using the left Joy Con’s joystick. I find it easier to aim by moving the console around, but try each one and see what works for you.Never, ever buy Poké Balls
You’re never going to run low on Poké Balls. When Professor Oak deems you ready to embark to your first gym, he’ll give you 50. Whenever you defeat a trainer, they’ll usually give you three Poké Balls. You’re going to have more Poké Balls than you know what to do with—don’t waste your money on them when you could be buying potions or lures.As soon as you can, take a Pokémon out of its Poké Ball
Your Eevee or Pikachu will always be out of its ball, but you can have an additional Pokémon follow you around as well. It might seem like overkill, but taking a Pokémon out of its ball will make it like you more, which has some benefits in battle. They’ll also sometimes find objects in the nearby surroundings, which is pretty handy.You don’t actually have to battle everyone
You don’t earn much experience by battling, and most of the trainers in the wild only have a couple Pokémon that you’ll probably defeat in one hit. If you just want to motor to the next gym, it’s easy enough to skip most battles. You can walk behind a lot of them to avoid initiating a battle. Some rotate and you can zip past them when they’re not looking. This seems antithetical to how most Pokémon game are played, but it saves time without costing you much experience.Lures make grinding easier
You gain experience through catching Pokémon. When you do, your entire party gains experience, and like Pokémon Go, you can boost that experience by catching multiple of the same monster in a row, catching them on the first throw, or catching a Tiny or Huge Pokémon, which are indicated by the red or blue swirls that surround them on the map. If you want to level up your Pokémon fast, buy a lure. This will make more Pokémon spawn on the map around you, so you don’t have to just run around in the same patch of grass over and over.Send your extra Pokémon to Professor Oak
After a few gyms, you’ll have the option to send the extra Pokémon in your collection box to Professor Oak. This removes them from your game permanently, but you’ll get a little treat for it. Oak will send you Candies in return for Pokémon, and you can feed those candies to your Pokémon to raise their stats. If a particular monster’s speed stat is too low, feed it Quick Candies to make it faster, for instance. If you send a bunch of the same Pokémon to Oak, there’s a chance you’ll also earn a candy named after that monster, which raises all of its stats by one.Use the Favorite system to save your best monsters
When you’re catching every monster in sight to send them off to Oak, it can be easy to lose track of the ones you actually want. I like to sort the Pokémon in my box by Combat Power—basically, ones with higher Combat Power have better overall stats than other Pokémon. You can do that by hitting Y in your Pokémon Box. You can also sort them by level, order caught, and a couple other ways. In order to really make sure you don’t accidentally send a really good Pokémon to Professor Oak, you should favorite them. You do that by selecting the Pokémon you want to keep, then scrolling down to “Change Markings,” and then picking the first one, which is Favorite. Pokémon you’ve favorited can’t be sent to Oak, and you’ll get a warning if you select them to be sent by accident. I’ve saved a lot of useful Pokémon from being turned into candy this way.Use all your candies
This will be weird for people who’ve only played the main games, but Pokémon Go players will probably get it. You might think just leveling up your Pokémon is the best way to make them stronger, but you really should use all your candies as well. You won’t be able to take an absolute garbage Pokémon and turn them into a beast, but changing some specific stats can really help you against Gym Leaders. In particular, I found that I earned way more Quick Candies than anything else, and using them to boost my monsters’ speed stats were very helpful. Whichever Pokémon has a higher speed uses their move first, and that can save you a potion if you know your next move will defeat your enemy.Stock up before the Elite Four
Like all Pokémon games, you will have a climactic battle with the Elite Four. You have to beat them all in a row. This means you won’t be able to heal your Pokémon between battles by going to a Pokémon Center. Because the rest of the game is so easy, it’s tempting not to visit the store before you face them. This would be wrong. Do not skip it. These battles aren’t devastating, but they’re harder than the rest of the game. The Elite Four is not afraid of using status effects, and you’ll want to be able to counter. By the end of the game you’ll be able to buy Max Potions, Revives, and Full Heals.
Have tips of your own? Share them in the comments.
Intellectually, we all know that a billion is much more than a million. You know, 1,000 times more. We know that Jeff Bezos is a lot wealthier than Beyoncé for example, and that Bill Gates’ wealth puts the Kardashians to shame.
But do you really know how much more 1 billion is than 1 million? Probably not. That’s because humans have a difficult time conceptualizing the difference in degrees between the two numbers. As Gizmodo reports:
While living and evolving in a so-called state-of-nature, our paleolithic ancestors had no need (i.e. no environmental pressures) to develop such a capacity. Back then, and prior to the advent of a formal numbering system, early humans only really needed to get a basic sense of small batches of quantities, like the number of people in the clan, or how many animals might occupy a certain area.
That’s good news for people like Bezos and Gates, because chances are if you knew how much money they actually have (well, how high their net worth actually is), you probably wouldn’t be too pleased. To help put it in perspective, we’ll compare Bey and Bezos. The pop star had a net worth of $355 million, according to Forbes’ 2018 America’s Richest Self-Made Women list. That’s an almost unfathomably large number. And yet Bezos’s $164 billion net worth, based on Forbes’ 2018 list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, easily surpasses her (Bezos’s net worth fluctuates daily). In fact, it would take more than 462 Beyoncés to get you to Bezos’s net worth. Bey doesn’t even make the 400 list.
Now, what about 1 trillion? We’ll have to save that for another video.
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Photo: Arnel Hasanovic
Some people love their special luggage. Some swear by a certain snack; some go so far as to bring their own coffee grinder on every trip. My must-bring item is my BeatsX wireless earphones, which wall me off from crying babies, subway talkers, and the pilot telling the whole plane how fast we’re going as if we might have feedback. Headphones, my phone, and a paperback will get me through any flight. VC Hunter Walk asked Twitter for the items they love to bring on trips:
We can’t embed the replies because Twitter is stupid, but Jon Evans loves his Utilikey, freia lobo brings a variety pack of tea, Cindy Gallop wears a Sleeper Hoodie, and Hunter himself keeps a first aid kit in his car. Sara Mauskopf likes the Ride Safer travel vest, an alternative to kids’ car seats.
Zach Holman carries a Blockhead, which makes it easier to charge a Mac in a shared outlet. Cap Watkins one-ups Zach with a whole power strip: “When you need an outlet someone is using (at the airport, for instance), this makes you a hero.” What’s your must-have, and what makes it so indispensable?
Cole Haan 30% Off Sitewide Image: Zach Custer (Cole Haan)
Cole Haan makes some seriously great shoes, but the price tags can often make you turn your heels. So when they kick off their Black Friday (ahem, Grand Giving) sale, it’s the perfect time to act.
For a limited time, you get 30% off sitewide, including shoes, apparel, and yes, even already-discounted sale items. Their Semi-Annual sales are also 30%, but are only valid on full-price items, so you can step into some huge bargains if you play your cards right.
How’s the bench press challenge going? Hopefully you’ve managed to lift something, whether that’s a traditional barbell, or dumbbells or weights of any size. Today we’re looking at another challenge that you might face if you don’t have a fully equipped gym: how to bench press without a bench.Floor presses
First, you can always get down on the floor. The video below shows how you can do floor presses with a regular rack and barbell setup; a bar that allows for a neutral grip is preferred, if you can find one. You can also do this exercise with a pair of dumbbells; again, hold them with a neutral or hammer grip (with the handle running parallel to your body).
A floor press uses less range of motion than a bench press, since you can’t get your elbows below your body and that means you can’t get the bar all the way to your chest. If you have shoulder injuries in your past, you may prefer this to a bench press.Exercise Ball Presses
Grab light dumbbells for this one: you can sit on an exercise ball, and then roll your body downward until your upper back is the only thing resting on the ball. Press a pair of dumbbells the same way you would on a bench, and enjoy the extra workout that comes from having something unstable underneath you.
This is not a good setup for lifting super heavy. If you screw up, and the ball slips out from underneath you, bad things could happen.Other Alternatives
Don’t forget the good old fashioned push-up. (Remember our push-up challenge?) It’s a similar movement as the bench press—you’re just doing it upside down. If regular bodyweight push-ups are too easy, stretch a resistance band over your back (hold it in your hands), or ask a friend to add weight to your back. Or just do more reps.
Most gyms have a variety of machines that mimic a bench press, whether you’re lying on a bench and pressing up, sitting in a chair and pushing forward, or standing at a cable machine and pressing away from the machine. It might not technically be a bench press, but your muscles will be happy anyway.
Photo: rawpixel (Pexels)
Great news for people who hate doing dishes: if you have a dishwasher, washing your dishes by hand is a colossal waste of water, energy, time, and money, and you can prove it with math.
Most people drastically underestimate how much water their taps put out. Energy Star-certified dishwashers must use less than 270 kWh per year and 3.5 gallons per cycle, but most kitchen faucets move one to two gallons a minute. In other words, running the tap for just four or five minutes can use more water than an entire dishwasher cycle. Older dishwashers do use more water, but it’s still probably less than you think; unless yours is more than 10 years old (and somehow still working), there’s a good chance that it’s more efficient than hand-washing a sink full of dishes. The exact amount of water and energy you can save depends on a number of factors, so whoever pays the utilities should probably look up the usage stats for your dishwasher and faucet to see what they’re working with. What they find might just be the push they need to finally spring for a new dishwasher.
Switching over to a fully-automated dishwashing lifestyle may take a load off your energy bills—not to mention your feet, back, and cuticles—but it won’t save the world. Certain items will always need a hand wash, and anyway, your shower and washing machine use more water than anything in the kitchen. Still, it’s an easy way to save water with basically zero drawbacks. I think they call that a “win-win.”
Kaeo Milker (L) and Findlay Milker (R)Photo: Kaeo Milker
Kaeo Milker has enjoyed a long and eye-opening career at Blizzard Entertainment: QA, facilities management, recruiting and, now, heading up the company’s big MOBA franchise, Heroes of the Storm. You’re probably more likely to follow his advice than follow him down a lane, though; although he’s the captain of the Heroes ship, he’s quick to admit that you won’t find him at the top of the game’s leaderboards. We caught up with Kaeo at this year’s BlizzCon, and he gave some excellent advice about how to manage what you think you should do as a career versus what you’d love to do as a career.
Name: Kaeo MilkerLocation: Irvine, CaliforniaCurrent gig: Production Director, Heroes of the StormCurrent computer: a “Blizzard-specced machine”One word that best describes how you work: TriageBlizzard has a pretty liberal “Bring your pet to work” policy, which includes both dogs *and* cats.Photo: Kaeo Milker
First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.
I took a very long and windy road to get here. My undergrad, I went to school to be a veterinarian. That was my path that I was going down. I was an animal science major in college and... it’s a very different path where I am now. I love video games, though, and I love Blizzard.
Blizzard was the pinnacle for me. I lived in Southern California and I found out they were hiring for game testers for Warcraft 3, and I basically quit another career and came into Blizzard to try to get my foot in the door and see what it was all about. I had no idea what video game development was. There were not a lot of resources then; there weren’t really things you could study in school, necessarily, that would take you down the path of game development, because it was still pretty young industry at that point.
I loved it. I wanted to see what it is. I wanted to be a part of it. And I basically did anything. They were just testing games, and that parlayed into a bizarre role of recruiting-slash-facilities management. Every opportunity given to me, I just was trying to do the best job I could—be kind and collaborative to everybody that I came across, and make sure that people knew me as just a hard-working, nice person that they wanted to be around.
As opportunities unfolded—as the company grew—there were more and more things that I was getting responsibility for. And I did my best not to screw all those things up along the way. And I think I continue to get rewarded with more responsibility over time, for just proving myself as a valuable person in this organization.Take us through a recent workday.
A typical Monday: First thing, I have a director’s meeting with the leadership team of my game itself. So I sit down with that group of people and we basically just talk about everything that’s on our mind coming back from the weekend. We play the game a lot, so we talk about the game itself; we talk about our challenges from the week before. We start aligning on the things we want to make sure we’re all conscious of as we move into the work weekend—all the crazy things that are going on with our game and its development.
That’s a very collaborative process. While I’m the senior-most developer on the team, I rely heavily on a technical director, the lead of engineering team, an art director, and two design leads. We all work really closely together to keep track of the game and make sure we’re all staying on the right things at any moment in time.I get a lot of mail; I’m copied on a lot of things. So I had not just a lot of rules, like, literally, thousands of rules, I had 17 years worth of rules, because I never clean them out. They basically just accumulated. But I got to a place where my rules started interacting in a really bad way, and I was losing things, and I actually killed every single rule I had.
That goes into a leadership meeting for Blizzard that I go to. I step out of the Heroes portion of it, and it’s a bunch of leaders from across the game teams and across Blizzard having a similar conversation that I just had about my Heroes team, but now we’re talking about Blizzard as a whole. I get a lot of perspectives and insights and input from them, and have the opportunity for me to raise challenges and questions and also listen to the things that they’re bringing up. So it’s, again, a very collaborative, very supportive environment with a lot of people who genuinely care about not just the work that we’re doing on our individual games, but what the collective work of the company is at any given moment.
And then I go into a series of meetings—a lot of meetings. Actually, we fight against meetings. We want meetings to be short and effective, and we don’t want any more meetings than what we need to have, but I am getting kicked into a lot of them. Some of them are informational, where I’m a fly on the wall, just trying to pay attention and hear what everybody’s talking about.
A lot of meetings involve challenges of creative things or prioritization calls that we’re trying to make across the game. A lot of interaction with external teams, too, so I might bounce from a design meeting where I’m focused on Heroes, the game, to a meeting with our our web and mobile team, or talking about our new forums that are going to roll out, and then go into a lot of one-on-ones. I have a lot of direct reports—people who work with me—but I also want to talk to everybody on our team.
It’s really important to me to stay in contact with them. I’ll hear their perspectives on the game, on the way we’re running the team in the game, so that we can all align to do the best work possible. This is a creative environment and Blizzard is fueled by people’s passions. It’s really important that people are motivated and excited. And that’s the only way that we’re all able to do this magic that is game development, where you’re kind of just making stuff out of the ether.
And that leads into my lunches, which usually are one-on-one lunches as well. I’ll go to lunch with someone and we’ll talk about career development, the games, or a big challenge that we’re dealing with at that moment in time. That’s a lot of digging deep into the problem of the moment. And production is a lot of problem-solving: just working a problem, focusing on the right thing, and making our way through it.
We have play test every day. So a chunk of my day will be getting involved in a test, either with the design group, or it could be with our UI team, just getting a snapshot of something tangible that I can check out and give feedback on to make sure that it feels like we’re aligned to the right things.
And then I do a lot of strategic work with outside leaders as well, talking about the overarching course of the game and all the content that we’re aligning to. There’s a lot of meetings with PR, and marketing, and publishing about how we’ve done all this great work with the game, now how do we want to talk about it. What are the moments that we want to be shouting from the rooftops and where do we want to create that anticipation for the next thing that we’re building toward?I don’t know what we just did, but it’s kind of beautiful and kind of scary at the same time.What apps, gadgets, or tools can’t you live without?
There’s all kinds. We use Confluence a lot for many things at Blizzard. Whether it’s meeting notes, or setting up the stage for a big conversation we want to have directly with people, or exposing things for our entire team they can weigh in on—whether it’s art, or design, our scheduling—everything’s built into [Confluence] so that we can share information and have a mechanism to track and comment on it.
We have a lot of internally developed tools that we use as well. One of the big ones is something called Play Tester, which is a way for the design team to basically create a list of all the things in a given build that they want people to check out and play—focusing the people’s attention on certain areas of the game.
That tool not only gives us that information, but it allows us to quickly download and play the correct build on the correct correct environment so that we can actually jump in, play the game, and check out those things.What’s your workspace setup like?
I do a billion things in Excel, even when I have bigger tools at my disposal. My actual workspace is an office with a whole bunch of chairs in it. Usually if I’m in my office, and not on the way to a meeting, it’s an unending stream of people. My door is usually open and people will just come in and talk to me about random things.
We do have white boards, and they are pretty crazy. There’s a lot of stuff on my whiteboard right now that I didn’t erase because it was so chaotic. I was like, “I don’t know what we just did, but it’s kind of beautiful and kind of scary at the same time.”
My job overlaps with the production of the game, so I use Excel for a lot of tracking and visualizing things, but my job also intersects with the business of the game, too, so I’m doing a lot of data analysis of things that come from Tableau, like data on the game itself, or data on the business of the game. For my own curiosity, or to answer questions that I have at any given moment, I’m doing a lot of number crunching, and Excel is usually might go-to tool for for doing thatPhoto: Kaeo MilkerWhat’s your best shortcut or life hack?
My world is very chaotic, and there’s a lot of things, so it’s going back to a very basic to-do list. When I say triage, it’s about sitting down and prioritizing. There are many things that are going to give in a day for me, and it’s critical for me to identify the things that I don’t want to give on, so that I’m making conscious choices of what I’m letting go of and I’m focusing on the things that are most critical for me to actually accomplish today.
So, something as simple as just a basic to-do list—and this is the one thing I write on paper physically, too. Everything else is digital except for this to-do list, so that I’m going back to something tangible and physical that is ultimately guiding me on ensuring that if I do nothing else today, I have to do these things.What’s your best email hack?
For a very long time, I was driven by rules. I get a lot of mail; I’m copied on a lot of things. So I had not just a lot of rules, like, literally, thousands of rules, I had 17 years worth of rules, because I never clean them out. They basically just accumulated. But I got to a place where my rules started interacting in a really bad way, and I was losing things, and I actually killed every single rule I had.
Now, even though I get literally thousands of emails, I am filtering my mail manually again. It was a weird thing to go back to, but it’s been better in the end, and it’s also made me a lot more disciplined about what I’m responding to, what I’m reading, and the things that I want push aside—that I’m making a conscious choice to push them aside instead of some rule from 2003 that did it.Take us through an interesting, unusual, or finicky process you have in place at work.
Heroes makes patches and releases constantly. At any moment, there might be three or four or five releases in simultaneous parallel development, and we get to the point where we want to lock those things down as we approach actually launching them to the public. To do that, we start closing gates off.
Many developers do this stuff, but for us, we used to have a thing called “silver ticket,” which was the path to “golden ticket.” Once you get to golden ticket, nothing changes without an approval. Like, “I got a golden ticket, I can change this now.” We had to extend that, though, because we weren’t very disciplined about sticking to golden ticket—so we created silver ticket.Photo: Kaeo Milker
Today, that process is very, very curated. At any moment, we’re stampeding towards locking down a built so that we can release it. And because we don’t change our dates on anything here—basically, the game patches on a regular cadence—the question is “What’s going to be in the patch? Did all the things that we wanted to do make it? Or did we yank a whole bunch of them out because we didn’t have time for them?” The game’s still going to patch, it’s just a question of what’s inside of that patch.
This process by which we arrive at our final release candidate, which is a version of the build that’s actually going to go out to the public, is insane. It’s just so much wrangling from a lot of people to to make sure that we lock ourselves out and close off every spigot of stuff that pours into that in time to release it.
It never ends. We do that process today, and we’re starting into golden ticket mode on the next one immediately because Heroes releases are so close together. Our Live Operations team lives in perpetual state of release finalization. For anybody who finalizes releases, that’s not a fun state to live in, but they’re mastering it and are really, really good at it.Who are the people who help you get things done, and how do you rely on them?
It takes village to make a game. I rely on everybody, from my leadership team, to other directors on my team, to every producer. Again, as as the Production Director, I’m ultimately overseeing the pipelines for the game, our structure and strategy of the way we’re actually developing it. I have a team of producers at every level, going from associate producers to lead producers, that I trust to carry forth the timelines while also maintaining something very special to Blizzard. We don’t ship things until they’re ready.
Heroes moves very fast, so we have to this weird alchemy of how do we maintain Blizzard quality at the same time we’re moving incredibly quickly and releasing all the time. And it was a very different thing for us. We had to change our mentality and our workflow and our tools, everything had to change around that notion. And the production team is really the glue that holds it all together and keeps people honest,
Production at Blizzard is not like this authority that comes in and says, “You must do this and you must do it now.” I kind of call us “opportunistic enablers.” It’s about looking for those moments that we can help, that we can speed things up, that we can remove the roadblocks, that we can unblock people on, facilitate communication, everything we can do to keep the machine moving. And so production is the biggest part of that.Blizzcon 2018Photo: David MurphyWhat’s your favorite side project?
It’s not really a side project, But for me, it’s like a real shifting gears: Blizzcon.
We create these moments where we want to talk about a lot of things for our game, and it’s a celebration to me, really, because we work on all this stuff, and there’s a couple of times a year that we get the biggest platforms possible that we can speak to them.
Now we’re physically here at Blizzcon on a Friday, and that’s the magical time where we get to meet the players, and we get to talk to the journalists, and watch the esports, and all these things become real to us. It’s not the work anymore, it’s the result of all that work and it’s a really special time to celebrateWhat’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I grew up with parents who were really passionate about their jobs. Their jobs weren’t about money, it was about something that they were excited to get up every morning and go to.
My veterinary path was me trying to go, “Well, I need to be professional. So this is professional, and I love animals, and it’s good, it’s all going to work out.” But there was this moment where I had this turning point of, “Should I go down this path of video games or continue down that?”
I talked to them, and they reiterated to me, “You need to follow your passions. That’s what we’ve always done, and we would encourage you to do that as well.” And I had to make some difficult life choices at that moment to change my path. I started from nothing, and there were no guarantees that this was all going to go anywhere at all. But having that support to just go, “You have to go for these things, this is important”—it transformed me.In Heroes, one of the best things you can do to be a better player is to stop dying.What’s a problem you’re still trying to solve?
There’s nothing that we do that I ever say, “Cool. We’re done with that. Check that box, we’re done, and let’s move on to something else.” It’s always a question of, “What if we try that?”
I love that. That part of it is exciting work. I’d get really bored, I think, if I mastered game development. That challenge never goes away. On one hand, you never get some permanent sense of satisfaction, like, “I mastered it! I did it!” But that quest to get better, and see the constant improvements, is so satisfying.How are your skills as a Heroes of the Storm gamer, and do you feel you have to maintain those because you kind of run the ship?
As a producer, it’s not like I’m a balance designer and that my job is to competitively balance the game. I lean into that a little bit, because I am not by any means the best Heroes player in the world. I do play a lot of Heroes of the Storm; I’ve played, like, 7,000 games. I play pretty much every night for a couple hours. I sacrifice sleep to play Heroes. I genuinely enjoy the game and have a lot of fun with it, but I’m a very average player.
I had an experience at Gamescom, just in August, where they put me on stage with Team Liquid, a pro team, and members of Dignitas, another pro team. And there I was, and it was atrocious. I was so apologetic to them, and they’re like, “No, it’s cool, we’ll play with you,”and I’m like, “Oh, don’t do this to me ever again.”
I think there’s this thing of like, “Hey, you’re not good at the game, so how can you make it,” but for most of the things I’m making calls on, how good I am has no bearing on it. It’s more about me looking at the big picture of the game and thinking about what’s important and hearing the feedback from players.Do you have a favorite Heroes of the Storm character?
We released a character named Blaze in January. Usually I’ll play a new hero until the next hero comes out, and I’ll bounce around. I’ve been playing Blaze almost nonstop since January, which is kind of insane. I just fell in love his his kit, the way his abilities interact. He also has a lot of sustain and escapes and things so he doesn’t die a lot. In Heroes, one of the best things you can do to be a better player is to stop dying.