SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Awilix

Posted by on December 18, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_smite_deities_demigods_gods_maya_Awilix_Default_CardSMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive back story of lore. From the Greek to Hindu, each week we’ll look at two characters from a major pantheon and provide a quick recap of their history and in what capacity their digital incarnation will represent on the field of Hi-Rez Studios’ new MOBA.

Lore: Ahh, another Maya deity with a bit of conflicting origin. Awilix, the moon goddess, is, in some regions of the Maya empire, actually a moon god. Yeah, the sex isn’t entirely set in stone. Most tellings, including those of a large Maya kingdom in Guatemala, revered Awilix enough to erect a large temple in the honor of their patron. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before but academics don’t agree on her early origins. Although it is believed that Awilix spawned from the classic moon goddess tales featuring Xbalanque and Hunahpu.

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Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade Orks F2P

Posted by on December 18, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_green_tide_orks_warhammer_eternal_crusade_f2p

No reason to avoid this version!

There’s no need for a long, drawn out click-bait heavy countdown; Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade is my most anticipated upcoming MMORPG. I mean, come on it features the dark science fiction meets fantasy universe from Games Workshop that’s teased all of gamedom since the genre really broke onto the scene. If the universe is new to you or you’ve been unwilling to take a chance on Behaviour Interactive, a licensed IP happy developer, then you’ll be happy to hear that it won’t cost you anything anymore.

Behaviour Interactive announced a F2P version of Eternal Crusade. There are restrictions though. Chief among them that you have a strong penchant for WAAAGH! as you’ll only be able to travel to Arkhona as the stinky greenskins. Not to miss a beat the company unlocked the Pioneer Pack, a founder’s-style option that boosts the F2P experience with badges, items, RTP, and name reservation. It’s not a bad deal for a paltry $15, the subscription rate for most other titles, but does keep some locks in place, such as the lack of a full game key.

Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade won’t be disappearing from the pages of Lore Hound any time soon. That 2015 release date can’t come soon enough. Get your Founder’s Pack today to join us in game.

WildStar Testing 20-man Raiding Means What?

Posted by on December 15, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_20man_40man_wildstar-raid-datascapeCarbine Studios was never shy about its target demographic. For one, it hoped to engage those of you reading this, the Lore Hounds. Creative director Chad Moore has made this a consistent effort. Expanding the lore in interesting ways, holding back aspects and always, always engaging the community to attempt to understand what sticks, what we’re interested in and to leverage some of our ideas. Another of the four pillars was raiding and that was strictly hardcore. Interview after interview reiterated that dungeons and adventures were introductory, tutorials if you will, to the “true” challenge of old-school raiding.

During my road trip I came across a reminder that Carbine Studios made the hard decision to cut raiding from the incredibly complex and dedicated 40-man affair to a more consumable 20-man outing. At the time it was upcoming with an unplanned release date. Now the 20-man Datascape is live, albeit in the testing phase. When Drop 4 comes next year it’ll mark what could be a dramatic shift for WildStar. And I’m torn.

What attracted me to WildStar was its ideals. Its aspiration to return us to the hardcore. To be World of Warcraft in its The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King mix with ten years of new technology, game design innovation and storytelling bolted on. And there’s no doubt that now it’s being watered down. Those achievements and server firsts of old will mean more but few will realize or care. And clearly this has been necessitated by business needs. Fortunately, in a way, this means I can join the raiding legions of the Nexus. Hence the splicing.

Where do you stand?

Exclusive: WildStar Lore Past & Future with Chad “Pappy” Moore

Posted by on December 9, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_wildstar_pappy_interview_lore_past_future1It’s not every day that the creative director of a AAA studios is made available to you. Carbine Studios has made it appear as a somewhat common occurrence for here at Lore Hound and we’re proud to bring you our latest discussion with Chad “Pappy” Moore. Today’s piece includes questions from our staff in addition to numerous questions sourced directly from the /r/WildStar community.

Lore Hound: Carbine Studios has always pushed lore, but ya’ll have been focusing even more lately with Loremageddon followed by the just-launched Voyage of the Nomad. Why the renewed focus on (expanding) the founding lore for WildStar?

Chad Moore: Having a healthy IP means that you need to continue to develop and expand it both inside the game and out. What’s great about this content is that it can be enjoyed by our existing players, who will see brand new stories such as the Voyage of the Nomad, as well as new players who are just coming to WildStar and are interested in knowing about our lore. I also think that it’s important that we continue to engage our community on multiple levels, and further expanding our universe (sometimes in conjunction with our existing fans, as we did with Loremageddon) is just one of the ways we can do that.

LH:WildStar made news all around the Nexus when it was revealed that quests would be initially consumed in Twitter-sized bites. Do you feel this may have been a misstep? Perhaps leading to many players not fully consuming the rich lore of Nexus and the universe it resides?

Chad: I don’t think that short quest text was a misstep at all. Really good storytelling doesn’t require walls of text in order to be compelling. And I still very much believe in the philosophy of allowing our players to choose when they want to dig deeper into our lore, and our current system does a great job of doing that. Read more…

The LoreCation Begins December 4 (Giveaways)

Posted by on December 4, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_lorecation_giveawayTimeAfter a hard year’s work it’s only fair to receive a little bonus, rest and relaxation, right? I hope you agree because we here at Lore Hound have decided to throw the bonus your way. All month we will be giving away an insane amount of prizes that we’ve collected over the year. The codes you’ll see on our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages will cover the gauntlet of games. We’re talking MMORPG, MOBA, F2P, subscription, FPS, the works. And this is simply in addition to our everyday giveaway love that’s provided on our right panel.

I’ll be honest. It’s not all out of the goodness of our hearts. Many of us have various functions we need to attend to. Others have children to watch. Some are roaming across the country in an automobile. That last one will be me. You can take part in the “extravagance” on my personal Twitter or my Instagram. I can’t guarantee that those accounts won’t be full of cats. But hey, at least she’s named after an X-men.

Now, don’t mistake this as “December is going to be a post void.” Oh, no, we shant leave your mind unattended. New, current, and returning writers will continue pushing out the goods and I’ll be doing my best to get items online during my expedition, including the promised lore interview with WildStar creative director Chad Moore. Unfortunately, the LoreCation will cause a ruckus on our Twitch channel.

Instance Gratification 14: Maintenance is Over for Warlords of Draenor…?

Posted by on December 3, 2014 - No Comments »

I'm fighting for this?!

I’m fighting for this?!

Instance 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.

Blizzard Entertainment put the World of Warcraft servers to task yesterday. The game was fairly stable after the extended maintenance, but authentication servers remained bunked well into prime time for the east coast of these United States of America. I remain well on my way to getting into that retuned level 100 Molten Core eking my way past the level 94 mark on Mr. Solidsagart just recently. The trusty rogue is slumming it back at level 90. Naturally, that means we’ll be running on her holiness later today. It’s unlikely that I will make break that level 95 barrier to head to my first taste of Auchindoun but anything is possible with rested experience and two hours at my disposal.

This may leave the fourteenth edition of Instance Gratification cataloging me collecting weeds, skinning birds (somehow) and repeating last week’s dungeons. That means that if Auchindoun  doesn’t come to pass you’ll be stuck being entertained by my lack of wit, nails-on-a-chalkboard voice, a face for radio and an encyclopedia of knowledge on all things Warcraft a solid three pages deep. That’s inclusive of the copyright page and the introduction. Making matters still worse, #Psylockethecat won’t even be making an appearance! You’ve been warned.

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 1:00 PM EST and continue until approximately 3:00 PM! The floggings will continue until the ilvl has improved!
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The Golden Saucer: Exploring the Possibilities of Casinos in Final Fantasy XIV

Posted by on December 2, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_contributed_ffvII_Gold_Saucer_outsideIt’s been a little over a year since Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was released, and developers constantly impress their players with new content. But isn’t it about time we saw something like FFVII’s Golden Saucer? Well, we might not have to wait much longer for that, as word from the producers reveals that one is in the making! What could this mean for FFXIV: ARR?

While it still doesn’t have a solid release date yet, Gold Saucer’s development for FFXIV: ARR is already underway. In an interview with Final Fantasy Dream, the game’s director Naoki Yoshida said that the team is working hard to recreate Golden Saucer and wants to make sure that everything is ready before releasing it.

“The designs and all the contents are almost ready, but we want to make sure there’s a huge volume and contents to the Gold Saucer when it’s released, otherwise the players won’t consider it,” said Yoshida. “So when it will be out, I’m sure you’ll be happy, so please wait for it.”

Gold Saucer is expected to be released along with patch 2.5. Final Fantasy VII’s iconic Chocobo Racing and VIII’s addicting Triple Triad card game will both be included in the first batch of Gold Saucer’s playable games. Read more…

SMITE NA Championship: Learning from Partnerships (Interview)

Posted by on December 1, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_na_championship_smite_todd_harris_not_bob_sagat_hi-rez_studiosSet in the backdrop of the SMITE North American Championship we caught up with Todd Harris. Our earlier interview with the COO focused on how Hi-Rez Studios, an Atlanta-based independent game developer and self publisher, has gone from a small company with one ambitious product to one with over 150 employees, three games and a sequel for Global Agenda, its freshman entry, in the works. It’s early products had only a handful of partnerships, be they technology integrations to expanding the community through localization support. That all changed when SMITE blew up.

SMITE started small. It was on the radar due to positive critical reception of Tribes Ascend. But it was in a genre that was, and remains, all the rage at the time: multiplayer online battle arena. The war between god-based pantheons past and current and a third-person perspective gave the title its unique features. Hi-Rez continued building it and a community followed. Then came the partnerships, from Twitch and Curse integration to international arrangements for Latin America and China.

But how does all this happen? What does it entail? Which company is reaching out to which? Why’s the sky blue and where have all the cowboys gone? Perhaps, like me, you’re more interested in how the non-obvious partnerships can positively impact the community. More players is great, as it begets more money for additional development, but we gamers want details on a direct impact. Our short interview with Todd Harris after the cut has the answers. Read more…