Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Marvel Avengers Alliance: Pre-Season ALPHA (the twist)

I'll be straight to the point - a few days ago, Marvel Avengers Alliance had an update for a new concept in PVP. They called it Pre-Season ALPHA which introduces the new matchmaking system which is fitting/ fair to all players. If you guys haven't seen it, then just click the link below:

If I remembered it right, I started playing Marvel Avengers Alliance last May just to kill time. I had fun until this new PVP system happened. I then tried visiting their FB page and was amazed that there were others (A LOT!!) having the same concern.

Just to quote from their announcement - “The first pre-season, which we’re calling pre-season Alpha, will introduce a new matchmaking system that’s going to make matchmaking feel a lot [fairer] and then pre-season Beta which comes shortly after that will actually be introducing our long announced level cap tournament system. That’ll give us an opportunity to see how the level cap tournaments are working and make any tweaks that we need to make before the real season 17 begins.”

The changes to PVP come about as part of the “Avengers Alliance” teams ongoing commitment to making every aspect of the game more fun as well as friendly to players, taking their feedback into account.

So here's the reason why I made this post since you can't post a picture/ screen shot on their FB page. I would just like to share to them my experience to their so called "new matchmaking system"

Best Matchmaking Evah!! LOL

Well, at first look on the HP will tell you right away that this crap matchmaking. This didn't happen just once, I had 26 matches against these guys who have 5-digit HPs or 5-digit damage.

The only way for me to get that Sim Data Chip and as well as the bonus spin after completing/ winning 5 PVP battles is to make sure I stay on the Silver League or spend a number of Battle/ Challenge Points (if not, wait for it to regenerate).

I just hope Playdom will look into this issue. As for me, this aspect of the game ISN'T FUN at all!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hot Toys Iron Man Mark 2: Repair (Part 1)

I was never really attracted with the Iron Man Armors until the release of the Iron Man Movie. I was just amazed with how they give much focus/ attention with the details and that's when I decided to grab a figure or two. I guess I was trying to be a completist back then and luckily, I was able to grab hot toys figures - iron man armors mark 1, mark 2, mark 2 unleashed, marked 3, marked 3 battle damage, mark 4, mark 4 secret project, mark 5, mark 6, war machine, war machine "milk", and the iron monger.

I never anticipated the third Iron Man movie to feature a number... or should I say ALOT of Iron Man armors. This made me put a hold on the collection since I just don't have enough funds to get all of them.

If you check the pictures on top, you can really see a number of recycled designs. There's also a possibility of them "milking" or releasing another version of those that has already been released such as Mark 1 having a version 2 armor, the unleashed Mark 2, battle damage versions, etc. This made me realize that completing the Iron Man armors is a dream and unnecessary. So I started selling some possible duplicates - Mark 3 (since I already have the battle damage version) and Mark 2 (since I have the unleashed version as well).

It took some time for me to open the Iron Man figures (due to house repairs/ construction). When I finally got the chance to open them, I was able to witness the problem most IM collector has faced - battery leakage. I sold my Mark 3 fig but still had my Mark 2 in mint condition waiting for the moment that someone would buy it. It was just last week that I decided to open it up due to the fear of what the battery leak can do to the figure... and when I opened it up, the back part was just awful!! That's when my friend, Setsuna Shuryu, and I decided to repair the figure and repaint it.

(unfortunately I was unable to take a pic of the damage the battery leak caused at the back of the IM armor)

I've been doing some research and browsed IM Armor's color scheme online and found these:

What caught my attention was Magnuz's color scheme posted in Sideshow Forums - which will also be the basis of my color scheme after the repair...

We then put the plan into action and started dismantling the iron man mark 2 figure and we were surprised with what we saw...

(this is when I told myself "don't judge a book by its cover" and "looks can be deceiving")

The plastic was SO brittle. If you look at the chest pics, you'll find out how crappy it is. If you're from Cebu (Philippines), then I can tell you that the plastic used is similar to the toys being sold in Carbon! As a Gundam kit collector, I can say that the plastic used by Bandai is way better than this one! Just look at the rough surface on the inside. For a figure priced at 14,000 pesos or more, I am expecting good/ better quality. This might not be a big thing to some as they won't be dismantling the figure into this extent. Some collectors are satisfied with just displaying their figures on a shelf. But for those who would want to get his/her money's worth, I can't recommend the Iron Man Hot Toys figures. With that money, you can buy a statue already... This really made me change my mind with pursuing any Hot Toys collectible, especially with the Iron Man line. Come on Hot Toys!!

Well, enough of my ranting. Will give you guys an update on the project we are doing. We already have the figure in pieces (literally). Next step is to figure out the possible wiring since we are getting rid of the batteries, we will be closing the seams line which are very visible on most HT Iron Man figure, making use of the red LED, and then hopefully by next week, start the painting sessions as we have the paints ready.

Thank you for visiting!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Playdom's new browser game - Marvel Avengers Alliance: Tactics

I came across Playdom's new "Marvel Avengers Alliance Tactics" while I was browsing new games on Facebook... I guess I was trying to get a break from Skyrim and as well as South Park's "Stick of Truth" and decided to look for mini-games on Facebook to kill some time. What really caught my attention was their cover photo and the official trailer released on Youtube and decided to give it a try.

Playdom's MAAT cover photo

Marvel: Avengers Alliance Tactics Official Trailer
Marvel: Avengers Alliance Tactics is a 3D turn-based tactical RPG with a world map that allows you to invade other players for certain rewards such as silver and ISO-8.

I started playing the game around the third week of June where I was still able to enjoy a few days in beta before they made it live/ available for everyone to play. I find the game very interesting at first, but the game gets boring as you proceed... or maybe it's just me saying since I really don't have friends who play the game. I was able to invite a few (around ten, maybe??), but I guess they just decided to check it out and then stopped playing the game. I'm also not fond of adding people to my Facebook account just for the sake of these games though..

Currently, I'm at level 82 and here's how the base looks like:

As you'll notice, the game has a number of currencies:

1. Silver - used to buy and upgrade the abilities of your heroes and agents, buy and upgrade your structures/ buildings, and as well as to train your heroes and agents. You can earn silver from completing assignments/ missions, do flight deck missions, and as well as attack other player's structures such as: training centers, command centers, shield vaults, flight control, and quinjet hangars.
2. Shield Points - used to buy and upgrade the abilities of your heroes and agents, upgrade your structures/ buildings, and to train your heroes and agents. You earn shield points from your friends which refreshes daily (it is limited only to 1 SP per friend per day), from gifts, and as well as from the roulette when you totally wipe out an enemy base.
3. Gold - can be converted to other currencies. It is used to buy abilities for your heroes and agents, buy a protective shield which prevents PVP for a period of time, speed up training, building construction/ upgrade, and as well as quinjet ETA. As of now, gold can only be earned when you level up or when you use cash ($$$).
4. Refined ISO-8 - used to buy and upgrade the abilities of your heroes and agents, upgrade your structures/ buildings, or buy ISO-8 chips that you can attach to your agent's/ heroes' uniforms. You can earn this from your Refinery or when you destroy structures such as: barracks, shield vaults, quinjet hangars, ISO-8 workshops and refineries.
5. Command Points - used to buy heroes. You can earn them when completing certain assignments/ missions (defeating the boss) or from the roulette.

You also have your base buildings:

  • Command Center: upgrade to unlock upgrades for other buildings
  • Barracks: upgrade to increase capacity for heroes and agents
  • SHIELD Vault: upgrade to hold more Silver and ISO-8 currencies
  • Flight Control: upgrade to run more simultaneous Flight Deck missions for passive silver
  • Quinjet Hangar: upgrade to unlock more Quinjets (World Map vehicles)
  • Refinery: upgrade to generate more passive Refined Iso-8 currency
  • Training Center: upgrade to let heroes and agents train to higher levels
  • Iso-8 Workshop: unlock new ISO-8 upgrades

You'll also see similar features from Marvel Avengers Alliance, such as:
Hero Classes:

  • Blaster - Strong against Bruiser, weak against Tacticians
  • Bruiser - Strong against Scrappers, weak against Blasters
  • Scrapper - Strong against Infiltrator, weak against Bruisers
  • Infiltrator -Strong against Tactician, weak against Scrappers
  • Tactician - Strong against Blasters, weak against Infiltrator
  • Generalist - No strength or weakness to any class

Max Levels:

  • Heroes: 15
  • Agents: 15
  • Base buildings: 12
  • Commander: 300
There are 21 playable heroes, 6 of which are locked ones. The frustrating part is when you get to know the CP changes made last May 17... and if you'll do the math, you're getting around 215 CP increase just to recruit those heroes. Check the pictures below: (reference:

This is the CP cost of the heroes during closed beta.

This is the CP cost of the heroes after May 17.

Hero Listing:

Black Widow: 16 CP
Cyclops: 16 CP
Captain America: 40 CP - 90 CP (+50 CP after May 17)
Captain Marvel: 16 CP
Doctor Doom: 90 CP (available after completing Chap 1 Assignment 6)
Hawkeye: 25 CP - 48 CP (+23 CP after May 17)
Hulk: 100 CP - 90 CP (-10 CP after May 17)
Iron Fist: 16 CP
Klaw: 16 CP - 48 CP (+32 CP after May 17, available after completing Chap 1 Assignment 2)
Loki: 90 CP (available after completing Chap 2 Assignment 12)
Omega Sentinel: 48 CP (available after completing Chap 2 Assignment 10)
Ronan the Accuser: 48 CP (available after completing Chap 2 Assignment 8)
She-Hulk: 16 CP
Sif: 25 CP - 48 CP (+23 CP after May 17)
Scarlet Witch: 40 CP - 48 CP (+8 CP after May 17)
Spider-Man: 64 CP - 90 CP (+26 CP after May 17)
Taskmaster: 25 CP - 48 CP (+23 CP after May 17available after completing Chap 1 Assignment 4)
Thor: 40 CP - 90 CP (+50 CP after May 17)
Wolverine: 100 CP - 90 CP (-10 CP after May 17)

Anyways, here's my progress in terms of hero recruitment and development:

As of writing, I have 16 heroes and as well as 16 agents:

7 Shield Agents at level 2
9 Shield Agents at level 1
Black Panther at level 7
Black Widow at level 7
Captain America at level 3 (newly acquired)
Captain Marvel at level 8 (currently undergoing training for level 9)
Cyclops at level 7
Dr. Doom at level 10
Hulk at level 10
Iron Fist at level 7
Iron Man at level 7
Omega Sentinel at level 4
Ronan the Accuser at level 5
Scarlet Witch at level 2
She-Hulk at level 5
Sif at level 4
Taskmaster at level 4
Wolverine at level 10

It's pretty obvious that my priority is to complete/ recruit all heroes (just 5 more heroes left) and the development of my structures that is why even at level 82, I just have 3 heroes at level 10. I was so spending a lot of shield points in the process due to the upgrade of my heroes abilities and as well as construction. Since I had a lot of heroes, I wasn't able to prioritize the distribution of SP which made it longer for me to train important heroes. What was I thinking? LOL (I know.. I was just aiming for everyone to reach at least level 7 and wasted a lot of SP in the process.) When Chapter 2 came out, I realized how mediocre it was for me to settle my heroes at level 7 each- that was the only time I feel the need to focus on the important ones and start raising them to level 10 (at least!)

When dealing with heroes, I guess the common questions players have are:
1. Which hero should I buy for a start?
2. Which is hero is the best? (for each class)
3. Which hero is just a waste of CP?

Well, you'll start the game with Iron Man and eventually Black Panther joins you (for free). Then as you press on the story, you'll eventually be given the option to pick 1 other hero for free. You can even visit this link for advice.

Iron Man is useful together with Black Panther since their attacks have status effect which could be damaging when facing stronger foes and as well as facing Modok in the epic battle for Chap 1. Iron Man can cause burning status while Black Panther causes bleeding. From the picture above, most of the heroes deal serious damage except for Black Widow.

As to my line-up, I would recommend heroes such as Dr. Doom, Hulk, and Wolverine. Yes, these heroes are at 90 CP each but it's worth it. All three have area attacks. The downside I'm getting with Dr. Doom is with recovery after taking an action, but the good side is that he really deals serious damage. As per Hulk, I consider him as a good tank especially since he has high HP and Defense. He also has the gamma rage skill in which he takes a free attack on anyone who ends their turn adjacent to him. All I need to do is send Hulk smashing to the crowd hoping that he'll be the getting everyone's attention while the rest of my heroes just do a "free hit". :P Wolverine is the key player on my line-up as I consider him the best tank and as well as someone who deals serious damage. His attack attribute is high and also causes bleeding status. What makes him even more special is his regen skills especially if you equip him with his primal rage ability. I'm just waiting for Captain Marvel to get to level 10 and then I'll put the focus on Black Panther, Iron Man, Sif, and Iron Fist.

I was really having high expectations with the game especially that it was called "tactics". I was expecting things such as:

1. Bonus damage when attacking an enemy from behind.
2. Decreased "evasion" on the part of the enemy who has been attacked from behind.
3. Raise in the difficulty when invading/ attacking building/ structures as it gets upgraded.

I know there's still a lot but my mind isn't working right now as I'm a bit sleepy. :P 

They've also made some recent changes such as increasing the time in PVP battle from 4 minutes to 11 minutes and the energy cooldown has been increased making it similar to MAA. I noticed only "one" positive thing after the recent changes- and that is the current upgrade on your structures won't reset after getting destroyed from PVP.

I still prefer MAA to their tactics version. It's just like MAA though you are given the freedom to move your character and really see it in action. I won't give any final verdict to it though as it is just on its early stages. I just hope Playdom can make some serious changes to it.

Is this thing still even active??

Some of my friends often ask me if this blog is still active... and I just give them an honest reply - No. You guys might be wondering as to why but I was never a serious blogger. You can be witnesses to that since as you can see, what I'm doing is just giving you a brief description of some notable modelers and then flood you with pictures, if not, give you a post of what my hauls are or what not.

I really never expected people to contact me and ask me about stuff that I have featured in my blog (such as toy stores) or any advice I could share to them as they start their collection. Maybe I never see my blog as such. 

Some of you might ask, why update it now? Well, there are three reasons:

1. I had a push from a friend who wanted assistance in advertising his new business.
2. A scout from a TV show contacted me and showed interest on the hobby as well as a few who wanted directions to a store that I previously featured. (which just means that people still do visit the page/ blog)
3. Due to the recent changes/ development in life, I'd like this blog to keep me in check with my goals... (since I feel so unaccomplished over the past years)

The blog as you have noticed, has a new look to it. I'm just trying to put more effort to it... rather than just set up a blog and then post something. You might notice this picture which was the logo i used before:

So I've decided to get rid of that, and put some effort into making a new logo, and I thank since I don't have Photoshop installed on my new laptop. Along with getting rid of the old logo, I've also deleted some posts and pages, as well as cleared some of the widgets just to keep it simple and appear somehow professional. LOL

With the new look/ arrangement, I'm also hoping to give you a new style of blogging where there's sense to each post- this time, I'm not limiting it to just Toy Collection, but also places that I've been to, restaurants/ cafes, possible reviews or just my opinion on games and stuff.. and a lot more. I can also make review or just feature toy stores to help those few who have reached me seeking advice as to where to buy their stuff (speaking of which, I may need to update the post on Next Star since I keep getting questions as to where is it located and as to the kind of stuff they're selling). I just do hope I can find the time to do so since right now I'm still looking for ways to improve how my blog appears on the web.

With that said, I'm working my ass trying to get more info for the next things to feature... and to name a few:

Tomo Cafe (credits to Deby Marianae Gilos for the picture)

Hobby Shaft (I think I'll do a short post about this)

My recent Banaue experience

I'm also looking forward to visit these places again so I can share to you the wonderful experience as well:




Tacloban (It's sad what disaster Typhoon Haiyan brought to this place)


I'm not getting any younger so I really wanted to live life to the fullest (explore places and the like).. I've made the first step this year where I spent a week in Banaue and hopefully everything will go well with the upcoming trip to Hong Kong (this will be the first time I'll be travelling alone... and outside the country).

I'm also looking forward to some "extreme" activities such as:

 The "Plunge" - Danao ECO Park - Bohol

So what about the hobby? Well, I'm still into the "toy collection" thing although I've made a shift after the release of "bootleg kits". I also think that there is no return of investment when it comes to buying Gundam kits since they regularly reproduce those, if not reissue them. I'm not really buying Gundam kits for the sake of selling them in the future, but there are just times wherein you have to sacrifice and let go of your precious collection to fund something important. I think it's getting worse with the rise of bootlegs.

So to give you a quick tour with my collection, here it is:

When I was still sharing the room with my sister (year 2007 or so)

This is how it looked like when I found myself a pad (year 2008)

 After a few months, I've managed to have them displayed on a glass cabinet..

What really surprised me was when a friend of mine sent a screenshot of a guy posting his collection on one of the Gundam groups in facebook using this photo:

I had mixed emotions back then since I was happy that someone actually appreciated my collection, and knowing that he is getting a number of "likes" and as well as a bit mad since you don't get the credit for it. Anyways, I didn't get into this hobby just to be appreciated or what.. this hobby gives me a sense of fulfillment or achievement. Also, there's really no point to be mad or hold a grudge on a person who's having his time just enjoying the picture.. I still have the real figures though.. unless he steals the actual figures, then that would be a different case.

Moving forward, did you even notice the change as time passes? If you'll check, I was into gashapons, then Marvels, some action figures, then transformers, and then Gundams. The cabinets and how they were displayed changed too. Now, here's the new change in the line-up as well as the display cabinet:

I'm hoping I'll be able to keep this up. See you guys soon and that'll be all for now. :) Seig Zeon!!