Instance Gratification 19: Guild Wars 2: Acorns & Hearts

Posted by on January 27, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_guild_wars_expansion_instance_gratification_heart-of-thornsInstance Gratification is the return of one of our premiere video outings. Originally featuring the cast of founder bloggers thrashing World of Warcraft dungeons and viewer runs of Dungeon & Dragons Online, the reinvigorated column heads to the realm of the Twitch channel. Come join us every Wednesday for dungeon dives, solo attempts and general loot hoarding in your favorite games.

For whatever reason, that’s what I thought the title of the expansion was the moment of the reveal. To be fair, my head was down in a notebook jotting some thoughts to paper. An expansion for Guild Wars 2 wasn’t unexpected, but PAX South, the fledgling latest edition to the growing ReedPOP franchise, didn’t appear to be the predictable outlet. Caught me by surprise. Digesting that information for a few microseconds and stifling a bit of laughter I decided to look at the screen for confirmation. In actuality the first expansion for GW2 is going to be Heart of Thorns.

Not to be confused with Heart of the Swarm. Similar maybe, but oh so different in actuality. As perusal, the attendance of PAX South has my brain being pulled in all sorts of directions. Mostly away from anything but playing videos games. As such, tonight’s Instance Gratification will feature Guild Wars 2 for the first time! I haven’t played the ArenaNet product since early launch. Truthfully, I didn’t put much time into the MMORPG mostly due to having no immediate friends being a part of the scene. That means I’m going to be on an ancient character that hasn’t been touched since late 2012.

One being played by someone who barely remembers how to play the pudgy beast.

Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and general shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream. The show will kick off around at its new time, 7:00 PM EST, and its new day, Tuesday! Holy crap, what’s going on?! Read more…

MOBA Monday: The Alpha Label Has Been Removed

Posted by on January 26, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_heroes_of_the_storm_moba_monday_founders

MOBA Monday is a weekly showcase of how to perform, eh, let’s go with adequately – we hope – in a massive online battle arena. The streaming squad features the hottest, upcoming or most interesting titles of their and the communities fancy for a few rounds of PvP shenanigans inour weekly Twitch channel staple.

Ahead of this past weekend’s PAX South Blizzard Entertainment broke the seal on its entry into the busy MOBA genre. Heroes of the Storm, combining all universes from Blizzard Entertainment from the Lost Vikings to StarCraft, has shed its Alpha label moving to full beta testing. Players no longer need to wait for the small expansion of alpha tests. In fact, anyone could join the multilayered universe should they be okay with parting ways with some greenbacks. Immediate access runs the community $39.99, including immediate access, 2,500 gold, three heroes with bonus skins and a Golden Cyberwolf mount.

Oddly enough, Blizzard claims that these Founder’s Packs are of the limited variety. Scarcity begetting more immediate and more purchases.

Personally, I’m still torn on this Founder’s Pack. There are a few issues. First off, there’s only a single option. Hardly the norm for the free-to-play genre. Secondly, that single option is oddly lacking. Especially for Blizzard, a company that often makes their bonus packs full of added value from multiple levels (chief among being cross universe items, like banners, portraits and pets). Granted, it’s not at Collector’s Edition pricing, but again, Heroes of the Storm is a F2P title. Lastly, if you total up the cost of three heroes and three skins the collection can approach the cost of this package. Read more…

Instance Gratification 18: The Forgotten Realms Returneth

Posted by on January 21, 2015 - No Comments »

NW_PaladinScreenshot_010715Instance Gratification is the return of one of our premiere video outings. Originally featuring the cast of founder bloggers thrashing World of Warcraft dungeons and viewer runs of Dungeon & Dragons Online, the reinvigorated column heads to the realm of the Twitch channel. Come join us every Wednesday for dungeon dives, solo attempts and general loot hoarding in your favorite games.

Being completely honest with everyone there have only been two MMORPGs that have fully grasped by cerebral cortex and sucked me in for any lengthy time in 2014. And while I’ve documentedplenty of my return to World of Warcraft lately, the other has seen less op-ed attention (but plenty of on-air play, interviews and news pieces). That being the world of Dungeons & Dragons, the Forgotten Realms section specifically and, to be even more specific, Neverwinter.  It certainly doesn’t hurt that Cryptic Studios has been in the news quite a bit lately. What with the upcoming Xbox One version of the action MMORPG and the next module hitting the newswire yesterday.

Neverwinter hasn’t ever been dropped, steadfastly soaking up precious space on my small SSD main drive that La Juega contains. Yes, my computer has a first name. Its action combat is thoroughly enjoyable. The gameplay is perfectly designed for my lizard brain; getting in, getting something done and getting out. Let’s not kid ourselves, Cryptic Studios (and Perfect World Entertainment behind them) know how to keep us hooked. The development studio consistently pushes new content patches or teases the next as soon as the general community begins to hunger. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during the marketing/product meetings as they review metrics and come to those decisions.

At any rate, it’s out with the new Warlords of Draenor and WildStar and in with the old. At least for this week on Instance Gratification.

Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and general shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream. The show will kick off around at its new time, 7:00 PM EST, and continue until approximately 9:00 PM! The floggings will continue until the level has improved! Read more…

MOBA Monday: We’re Heading to a Dead Island, Little Buddy

Posted by on January 19, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_die-weapons_moba_monday_customizationMOBA Monday is a weekly showcase of how to perform, eh, let’s go with adequately – we hope – in a massive online battle arena. The streaming squad features the hottest, upcoming or most interesting titles of their and the communities fancy for a few rounds of PvP shenanigans in our weekly Twitch channel staple.

In this week’s episode of MOBA Monday we’re going to take you on a little boat ride to Dead Island: Epidemic. The MOBA-style game set in the surprise hit Dead Island universe has been beta labeled for ages despite holding an impressive 9/10 score on Steam with over 16,000 user reviews. That may be due to its unique 4v4v4 PvP mode and an inclusion of PvE missions that enables players to level their characters and craft without the need of a stressful match.

We’ve tackled DI:E in the past. Multiple times in fact. Those previous sessions have one specific aspect in common, they all featured the PvE Scavenger mode the entire time Stunlock Games’ product was on screen. There was a very good reason for that. Up until recently DI:E remained in closed beta. Like TOME: Immortal Arena and Orcs Must Die! Unchained the closed part kept the queues insanely long, even untenable. No longer as Dead Island: Epidemic is fully in open beta testing these days.

That means you’ll get to see me newbing it up in my first 4v4v4 matches as a wiley level 3 (or so) starter character. I’ve a feeling much death with be involved. Mostly my own character doing the dieing.

MOBA Monday will be during the afternnon, kicking off at 2:00 PM EST timeslot, for the final time. Starting next week all shows will be moved to 7:00 PM. Hit the jump or head directly to the channel page to watch live. Don’t forget to follow for all the updates and giveaway opportunities. Read more…

Smite World Championship: Overview

Posted by on January 17, 2015 - No Comments »

Following the regional championships of North America and European Union, in addition to the more impromptu regional championships of Chinese and Latin American/Brazilian, the first ever Smite World Championship was held in Atlanta, Georgia from January 9-11th of 2015. The best teams from around the world were gathered to determine the best, and the surprise addition of the only recently put together leagues of South America/Brazil and China only fueled the excitement. Cognitive Red and Cognitive Prime from North America,  Titan and SK-Gaming from Europe, Oh My God and DID from China, 404 Name not Found from Latin America and finally We Love Bacon from Brazil!

The crew here at LoreHound being big fans of smite decided to dedicate our time to covering this event for you, our fans, and we have a metric-shit-ton of stuff for you to check out!

Enjoy LoreHounds!

Sincerely,

Your LoreHound Crew

F2P Friday: Marvel Heroes Story Time

Posted by on January 16, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_marvel_heroes_f2p_friday_Xaviers_School_for_Gifted_YoungstersF2P Friday is our weekly showcase of the growing free-to-play market, from MMORPGs to first-person shooters and beyond.The stream team will feature the latest, greatest and just plain fun games that cost you nothing to play. Ever. Granted, you should throw the developer a bone if you enjoy a title, but you don’t have to.

I am by no means a dedicated comic book lore junkie. Certainly not a novice. The fact of the matter is that the lore around video games took hold of my interest somewhere in the mid 90s. Partially due to my town losing its only source of sporadic comic books. In my high school years I returned to the far flung worlds of Marvel and rekindled my interest. Large sums of money and a cavalcade of graphic novels later my knowledge is justifiably labeled as “nerd,” “geek” or “dork” by laymans. All of which I wear as a sign of pride.

You may be thinking “why watch the stream if he’s a comic newb.” Funny you should ponder that. I’ve three very good reasons. One: a Mr. Ryan Collins, the community manager and diehard comic book nerd, will be sitting in chat ready to answer any questions you (or I) have regarding Marvel Heroes and Marvel in general. Two: Developer Gazillion Entertainment has provided us with 100 Random Hero Box codes. That’s right, we’ll be giving away some serious loot! Three: There’s me.

Maybe that’s actually a drawback…

At least I’ll enjoy getting past Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. I hope. Be sure to subscribe tothe channel for all our streams, giveaways and shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream, which is scheduled to kick off at 1:00 PM EST. Read more…

SWC: HiRezKelly on SMITE eSports & Breaking Into Streaming

Posted by on January 15, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_smite_world_championship_SWC_Kelly-LinkHiRezKelly wasn’t always the female face of SMITE eSports. Nope, she joined that crew after having her own successful stream over at HelloKellyLink. A stream that is still plenty alive with over 35,000 followers and a slim margin shy of 1.5M views. This not only means she knows a thing or two about the eSports industry, but streaming as well. Hi-Rez Studios, her current employer and the maker of SMITE, recently had a small shindig that enabled us to hunt down the girl in the little black dress for some Q&A on topics near and dear to the hearts of our community (and us, naturally).

Clocking in at under six minutes, our discussion includes the incredible journey of the prize pool for the SMITE World Championship from a delectable $600,000 to the incredible final sum of $2.6 million plus. But the discussion wasn’t focused on money. Rather, we took a tangential view from Hi-Rez’s recent “breaking into the game industry” video segueing discussion to the bombastic growth of eSports and the associated market of streaming. Most importantly to some will be a frank conversation on the competitive spirit, perhaps even social stigma, that causes some people to overlook eSports as an avenue.

After watching the video we’d love to hear your thoughts on the focus of the last two minutes or so of discussion. Do you find eSports an acceptable professional for any and everyone? Hit the jump to take a gander and leave us your thoughts in the comments. Read more…

SWC: Best of Smite World Championship Cosplay

Posted by on January 15, 2015 - No Comments »

Going to the Smite World Championship in Atlanta to see the professionals kick ass at the game we all love is great however, one of the greater charms at the event was none other than the wonderful cosplayers supporting their love for the game by creating extremely elaborate costumes and dressing up as their favorite characters. We here at LoreHound have recognized how much our viewers enjoy the pictures of cosplay we provide and so we’ve dedicated an entire article and reel of photos to bring you the best of the best down at the World Championship!

Read more…