Author Archive

SMITE North American Championship in Pictures

22 November 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

IMG_6708It’s not everyday that you’re part of the first of something. This weekend gave us at Lore Hound such an opportunity, the first group of people to attend the SMITE North American Championship. Attending before it’s cool is the only way to turn your nose at something later, so we snapped up the chance, grabbed a ticket and flew to Atlanta. The venue has changed from the Pre-Launch Tournament earlier this year and so has the god-based MOBA. And that change was only for the better.

Six teams are facing off for a chance at two spots in January’s World Championship. If you weren’t able to snag a ticket come join us and live vicariously through our expert photography. Cosplay, environment, staging, Internet famous faces and plenty more resides beyond that humble page cut. Click it to put your peepers on our exclusive SMITE NA Championship slideshow.

Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter for more chances to win a Guan-Yu 2014 Convention skin. Our Twitch channel will be dropping additional codes during MOBA Monday streams. Continue Reading

TOME: Immortal Arena Now Available on Steam with New Mode

21 November 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Colosseum_04TOME: Immortal Arena, perhaps one of the most impressive browser-based game to date and one that impressed us at PAX, is to no longer have that specific designation. Kixeye’s multiplayer online battle arena is now available with hundreds of other titles on the Steam digital distribution platform. The crossover of TOME beefs up the service’s F2P offers further, more so to the MOBA genre. Given the web version still exists, it’s not as if TOME is giving up a distinctive advantage.

Players that have been earning blessings, watching and joining our streams and farming artifacts don’t care right? Not at all. Steam adoption was the icing on the cake for this morning’s launch. The real draw, sorry Steam, is the new game mode, Sanctuary. The new map is home to 5v5 PvP and player vs. bots domination. The first that TOME has seen. Collective accessibility and matches of 10-15 minutes in length remain as Sanctuary expectations.

Oh, and do you recall how hilarious I’ve found the arena announcer in TOME? I just found out why. Bruce Campbell and his sarcastic comedic timing is the man behind the mic. Wonder if he wrote the lines too. Continue Reading

Designing Neverwinter’s Module 5: Rise of Tiamat (Interview)

20 November 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

NW_Tiamat_3DModel_WatermarkedCreating and executing on a large expansion isn’t easy. Doing so while part of a licensing agreement for Dungeons & Dragons, one of the best known properties in all of gamedom, puts extra pressure on any development team. Cryptic Studios, the makers of Neverwinter, being no exception. Especially given how busy the company and its internal teams have been doing this year. But not too busy to give a little love to us here at Lore Hound. Jonathan Nascone, Senior Character Artist, and Michael Edwards, Systems Designer, took a few moments out of their busy schedule to follow up on our pre-launch interview of Rise of Tiamat.

Lore Hound: Thanks for your time. Members of the community believe that Tiamat is to be the culmination of the Season of Dragons. Is her introduction the next chapter or is there some truth to that assumption?

Michael: It is definitely a culmination of the Season of Dragons story arc in Neverwinter. When it comes to dragons, there’s nothing more epic than taking on the Dragon Queen herself.

Tiamat is a staple of the Dungeons & Dragons universes, having been an evil presence since the board game launched back in the 1970s. Was there any trepidation in her introduction to Neverwinter? A fear of backlash for not getting it right, perhaps? Continue Reading

Instance Gratification 13: Warlords of Draenor Servers Are Actually Playable!

19 November 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_bloodmaul_slag_mines_instance_gratification_draenorInstance 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.

*Warning* The odds of me mispronouncing one or a dozen of the names of areas, zones, boss names, etc. of #WarlordsofDraenor is roughly 100%. I can barely pronounce Draenor correctly with any consistency.

Oh yeah, you better believe I took the dive into the Iron Horde along with millions of other players. As I’ve mentioned on previous Instance Gratification episodes I’ve already purchased six months of this expansion. I don’t know if I will get full use of that time but I will definitely be around for the full brunt of the 10-year anniversary celebration, which is only a week away at this point. The evil virus that is the flu (sic) – not to be confused with ebola – won’t keep me away from IG the next two weeks (yay immunity!).

ilvl well above the required level of 500 there’s no doubt that dungeon runs will happen. Ms. Solidsagart is well on her way to 92 as of this post making her credibility as a healer more than if she was level 90. Yeah, I take small victories where I can. Slag Mines, Iron Docks, they’re both in the sights of…well a character that doesn’t personally perform violence but has no qualms with those around her murdering dozens for the sake of phat lewtz.

Come watch me watch others murder many without remorse.

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! Continue Reading

BlizzCon: All You Need to Know About Legacy of the Void (Interview)

18 November 2014 | 1 Comment » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

SCII Legacy of the Void Dark Templar Shakuras Art 02The opening ceremony of BlizzCon 2014 had plenty of surprises. What with the new intellectual property and two expansions. One of those is the culmination of the Starcraft II trilogy, Legacy of the Void. Focused on the powerful Protoss, Legacy of the Void’s part of the opening ceremony had its own surprises, including a two-person PvP mode known as Archon mode after merging Dark Templars. Lead Producer Tim Morten detailed how the mode came to fruition. Apparently, it had nothing to do with the World of Warcraft April Fools joke from a few years back.

That’s the tip of the iceberg of unexpected StarCraft II announcements. Sure, no one would discuss the four other multiplayer units past the return of the Brood Wars Lurker. And there wasn’t a fixed released date to speak of. Morten was happy to discuss the decision behind making Legacy of the Void a standalone, how new players are going to slip into the lore, and the other new mode I learned about from Morten himself, Allied Commanders.

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void culminates the epic story of the Zerg, Terran and Protoss as they all struggle to find a place in the known and unknown universe. Focused on Artanis, Void will wrap up the stories of all our favorite characters no matter their race over the course of 20 or so missions. More than the previous titles. Oh, and it’ll remain at the expansion price set by Heart of the Swarm before it. Continue Reading

SMITE World Championship Digital Ticket

17 November 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Please describe how badass this is in the comments.

Following in the footsteps of BlizzCon, Hi-Rez Studios announced that the upcoming SMITE World Championship in Atlanta, Georgia will be fully available online. If you can’t find your way to Atlanta in mid-January a light $24.99 will get you as close to the event as possible. And fret not, that Jefferson plus will earn you some additional perks, including an ad-free stream (courtesy of the official SMITE Twitch channel), access to subscriber only chat (less trolls! maybe?), the Tyr 2015 Convention skin and SWC Ares and Ward skins.

The SMITE World Championship pool continues to climb thanks to the novel progression system devised by Hi-Rez Studios. The base pool for the January 9-11 event has climbed to over $1.3 million from a start of $500,000. The Odyssey promotion is the driving force of the increase, awarding players with access to new items for the mythological MOBA while simultaneously making the 8-team World Championship that much more exciting.

The final Odyssey item, as voted on by the community, was announced to cap off today’s update of the World Championship details. A super epic Thantos skin that changes during play is the final prize. Featuring four different evolving models, the ‘angelic’ theme to the Greek Hand of Death will be a highly valued skin for any player.

IRL tickets for the event are available now and running out fast! Digital tickets will be made available in December. Don’t forget to put your peepers on our SMITE streams for your chance to win god and skin codes. You’re already too late on today’s giveaway!

MOBA Monday: Let’s SMOTE Some Heroes (Giveaways)

17 November 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_moba_monday_smite_heroes_storm_AoKuangMOBA 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.

How could we not follow up BlizzCon with a little taste of Heroes of the Storm. It’s not everyday that you receive an early taste of what’s to come in a MOBA guided by the art director for the company. Only to have that followed up by an in-depth interview on the overarching philosophy for the multiplayer online battle arena that’s been in development and changed names more than Blizzard likely cares to count. It hasn’t been nearly six weeks – the normal patch iteration for HotS – so Jaina, The Lost Vikings and Thrall aren’t possible. Nor is a romp on Sky Temple. But hey, Muradin is playable this week and that’s more than we can guarantee for World of Warcraft.

The back half of today’s stream will return us to the god-filled world of SMITE. Just as BlizzCon is being followed by its MOBA so is the SMITE Regional Championships being led to by the very game that is the reason for Hi-Rez Studios to organize a large tournament atmosphere in (hopefully sunny) Atlanta, Georgia this weekend. Lore Hound will be there with bells on, but before we show up there’s a definite need to get at least my head back in the game, some wins under my belt and Worshipers in my corner.

MOBA Monday will kick off around 1:00 PM EST. 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, including this week’s SMITE god and skin codes! Continue Reading

BlizzCon: A Random Goblins vs. Gnomes Discussion (Interview)

15 November 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Goblins_vs_Gnomes_LogoEric Dodds is back within shouting distance of iTZKooPA, which can only mean one thing, interrogation time! The shelled one had his time with Eric when Curse of Naxxramas was announced at PAX East, including a little play time on the iPad. Now it’s time for the first expansion for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a massive 120+ card addition to the digital card game.

Dodds isn’t shy about meeting the first impressions of Goblins vs. Gnomes head on. Blizzard understands, even appreciates the conversation surrounding the randomness that the expansion will bring to the game. Coming this December, the design team has already spent countless hours refining the offerings of GvG. Dodds even tipped us off to a major change late in development. Mechs, the new minion type introduced as part of the expansion, were made more desirable by allowing synergistic cards to gain bonus whenever a mech was played, not just a Battlecry.

Numerous players commented on the upcoming Goblins and Gnomes inspired board. Unfinished during BlizzCon Dodds promises that the art team has some very unique ideas coming to fruition. We’re going to go out on a limb here and say explosions, random happenings and hilarity are incoming. That’s just a tip of the iceberg of our latest Hearthstone interview. Check it after the cut. If you’re looking for all 28 of the revealed cards, check out our first impression slideshow. Continue Reading