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Neverwinter Loremaster Randy Mosiondz Talks Season of Dragons (Interview)

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

NW_Vellosk_Screenshot_WatermarkedNeverwinter has expanded four times already. Developer Cryptic Studios is hard at work on Module 5, which will see the rise of one of Dungeons & Dragons’ original protagonists the multiheaded Tiamat. Ahead of this epic addition to the action-oriented MMORPG we dive into the tomes of lore with Randy Mosiondz, a senior content designer on Neverwinter, discuss game design and what keeps him up at night.

LoreHound: Before we get start who are you and what’s task in the world of Neverwinter?

Randy Mosiondz: My name is Randy Mosiondz, and I’m a senior content designer at Cryptic Studios. I’ve been with Cryptic for nearly ten years now. I got started working on City of Heroes, then moved on to be lead designer for Champions Online. A few years back I came on to work on Neverwinter where I became Lead Content Designer. After taking a break from work, I came back to focus on content implementation and am currently known as the “Loremaster” on Neverwinter. I’m the go-to person when someone needs to know the latest and most accurate information on how things work in Dungeons & Dragons and the Forgotten Realms. I also make sure the whole team gets regular updates on how the story is developing in the game.

LH: Cryptic Studios has kept tight ties between Neverwinter and the latest in Dungeons & Dragons, the boardgame the title is based on. How closely does Cryptic work with Wizards of the Coast? Does Wizards award any sort of leeway or input?

RM: We’ve got a great working relationship with Wizards of the Coast. We talk with them on a weekly basis, and we have a pretty quick turn-around back and forth when we need approvals on things. At Cryptic we try to stick pretty close with the established D&D/Forgotten Realms lore, so we mainly need updates from Wizards to ensure that any content we’re building still fits with the evolving canon of the Realms. We’ve been thrilled to help develop new canon for the Realms. Continue Reading

MOBA Monday: Orcs Must Die! Unchained & Time for TOME (Giveaway)

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

moba_monday_omd_unchained_halloween_tomeMOBA 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.

Robot Entertainment put down a massive patch for its upcoming tower defense meets MOBA Orcs Must Die! Unchained. The third-person team-based shooter dealie introduced a new hero, and all-new map and a “newish map” with numerous other goodies jammed inside Patch 1.6. This definitely includes a reskin of a previous map to celebrate the “collective end-of-October-beginning-of-November holidays.” And, of course, that also brings us new vanity skins for the same exact celebration of the dead, things to die and harvest festivals et. al.

The back half of MOBA Monday will see TOME return for the thirdtime this month. The F2P MOBA from Kixeye continues to draw me in with its quick matches and deep meta system. The flip side to Robot Entertainment’s aggressive patching and largely transparent development, Kixeye has remained largely quiet since we were introduced to the game at PAX Prime 2014. Sure, there have been minor correspondences and patches, but even a major update like v7.1 to 8.0 yielded minor changes, mostly dealing with your typical balance modifications. At least these updates are coming fast and furious.

MOBA Monday will return to its famed 1:00 PM EST time slot. 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. This is a double dip week. TOME gameplay will come complete with Diesel Orlon skin codes, so be sure to make your account now! Continue Reading

F2P Friday: We’re In the New Gazillion Offices!

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

lh_marvel_heroes_f2p_friday_new_officeF2P 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.

We’re not in their base, killing their mans, but we will be in their base. For some reason or another Gazillion Entertainment has invited us to check out their new offices. We wouldn’t dare missing out on an opportunity to chat with David Brevik or geek out with community manager Ryan Collins. We honestly don’t know who we’ll be discussing Marvel Heroes 2015 with, but we know it’ll be a good time.

To boot, we’ll do our best to get some of those highly sought after Random Costume Box codes for later consumption. I’ll simply demand that the Gazillion team give them away during the livestream interview, fat chewing, or powwow. Whatever you want to call it. If you’ve additional questions, concerns or demands then leave them in the comments section and we’ll do our best to get to them. Otherwise, feel free to ask them live!

Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream, which is scheduled to kick off at 3:00 PM EST and run until around 5:00 PM EST. Continue Reading

NYCC 2014: What Are You Trying to Be?

16 October 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_NYCC-Catbug-I-Love-NY_reedpopReedPOP, the company behind New York Comic Con, seems to be confused with how to position the east coast’s biggest comic convention. Unlike it’s west coast (unaffiliated) rival San Diego Comic Con, NYCC has mutated over the past few years. And not for the good. Yes, it’s continued to grow, now, believe it or not, larger than SDCC, but it appears listless, even directionless in its execution.

My first introduction to NYCC was a pleasant ordeal. I was introduced to comics. Pop culture icons roamed the floor, manned numerous booths and spoke. Tabletop games had a presence, as did video games, albeit in a relatively small scale. Most importantly, everything was a mix of new, old and upcoming. Golden Age comics mingled with artists and writers hawking upcoming graphic novels. Games, like those that PAX attendees would enjoy, were strategically distributed across the Javits Center.

This past weekend was, sadly, confusing. NYCC 2014 was simply dominated by vendors. I’m not referring to the core of nerddom. More like tertiary vendors hawking wares based upon popular franchises. Video games, which, let’s not forget a share a fair common market, were almost entirely absent outside a small Capcom booth. In brutal honesty, I felt at times to be walking around a large mall on the decline. Third tier stores filling in the gaps between a few main draws.

NYCC could be a staple of pop culture for the east coast in the fall. ReedPOP already has a successful formula by way of PAX East. Focus NYCC more on the core comic culture rather than video games, a flip of the PAX East design, and you’re good.

NYCC 2014: What is Earthman Jack vs. the Ghost Planet (Interview)

14 October 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

Earthman-Jack-Book-CoverBeing a dedicated Lore Hound reader you’re likely well aware of my penchant for reading. I consume the written word, reading a variety of topics from business or world news to science fiction and video game op eds. Given the increasing popularity of video games it was only a matter of time before they received their own original novel like Star Wars or Star Trek. This is why we created The Novel Post, a column dedicated to video game novels, shorts and comics.

Titles like Ready Player One have interceded into a fine niche between video game universes and novels through pop culture, Easter eggs and even game design. After speaking with Matt Kadish it appears his Earthman Jack is taking it to the next level. Planned as a seven-part young adult epic tale, Earthman Jack is introduced through Earthman Jack vs the Ghost Planet. A tome of a tale itself Kadish laces pop culture more subtly than the aforementioned Ready Player One focusing on the space tale instead.

Our full interview after the cut will introduce you to Kadish, give some of his gamer credibility, including World of Warcraft and WildStar, and entice you towards that single purchase in a fledgling Harry Potter-sized series.

We’ll have a full review of the book up once I can put it down. By the way, for a limited time you can snag the e-reader version of first book for free! Continue Reading

NYCC 2014: The Wonderful Cosplay That Baffles Locals

13 October 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

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Instance Gratification 9: A Wicked Weekday WildStar Wrangling

8 October 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern
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I shall heal all!

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.

We’ve given numerous titles their just desserts on Instance Gratification, from the Solo Adventures of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to the dungeons of Neverwinter and streets of Marvel Heroes Manhattan. WildStar has actually had more face time than you may realize. That’s because it’s had a lot of Chad Moore attached to it thanks to not one, but two livestream interviews backed by yours truly messing around with Solidsagart, my DPS healer.

Frost may have recently decided to leave Carbine Studios, but he still has us stoked to play the game. Sure, the Journey to Omni-core 1 release date is still unsolidified. It’s release casually pinned down as 2014. Yet with little to no information on the Megadrop since PAX Prime could that window be in jeopardy? Irregardless, WildStar is coming to the stream.

Hey, I gotta get her out of her pathetic level 15 slump somehow. I mean all that sexy content is many, many levels away at this point!

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 I feel I’ve been productive. Continue Reading

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Sylvanus

7 October 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_dieties_demigods_gods_explained_smite_Sylvanus_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: Sylvanus – not to be confused with Sylvanas – may very well be the first true tutelary deity to make the cut for SMITE. He’s not a born bloodthirsty warrior or a hungry demon. Sylvanus was a protector of nature and what it offers humanity. Lording over his realm, the woods and fields, Sylvanus ensured that his followers could provide for those. The woodland deity kept livestock safe, healthy and procreating while warding off hungry packs of wolves.

It’s said that Sylvanus, an old wise man, began the craft of demarking the boundaries of fields. This lead to his legend continuing to modern times; three stones mark various points of entry into estates. Fond of music, the Keeper of the Woods and Fields was often depicted with his sacred syrinx. The only object he doted on more was Cyparissus. Continue Reading