Author Archive

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Anubis

17 May 2012 | 2 Comments » | iTZKooPA

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a new column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive back story of lore. From the Greek to Hindi, 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 upcoming MOBA.

Lore: Anubis – Anapa in Egyptian – is the jackal-headed son of Nephthys and is most closely related with the Egyptian process of mummification and thus, the afterlife. The association is strengthened further in hieroglyphics, which sees a jackal, Anubis’ animal form, sitting atop a tomb. In addition to protecting those during their travel to Datu, the underworld, Anubis was the “Guardian of Scales”, weighing the fate of the soul of the deceased.

His parentage is complicated, changing depending on the timeframe and legend of the texts. In the earliest texts, Anubis was of Ra’s seed. Later texts claim the father as Osiris. A near-equal amount attribute his patronage to that of Osiris’ brother, Set. Murkier still, one legend claims that Nephthys used alcohol to seduce Osiris, another that his mother impersonated Isis for the same purpose.

Hit the jump for the rest of Anubis’ lore and how it’s used in-game. Continue Reading

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Ao Kuang (Guang)

15 May 2012 | 20 Comments » | iTZKooPA

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a new column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive back story of lore. From the Greek to Hindi, 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 upcoming MOBA.

Lore: Ao Kuang, usually spelled Ao Guang, is the destructive god known as the Dragon King of the East Sea. During his early years, Ao Guang reigned terror on man through the forces of nature. Droughts, storms and other natural disasters were his weapons of choice and his destruction continued unabated until Nezha, a protective deity, intervenes. After suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of Nezha, Ao Guang seeks vengeance by kidnapping Nezha’s parents.

Hit the jump for the rest of Ao Guang’s story, how he’ll play in-game and further reading. Continue Reading

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained

15 May 2012 | 8 Comments » | iTZKooPA

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a new 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 upcoming MOBA.

SMITE isn’t just another DotA knockoff. The developers at Hi-Rez Studios has put its own massive spin on the genre, aside from cherry picking from earlier legendary lore. The title will be familiar, featuring lane pushing, towers, creeping, item building and personal spell selection. The major change is the camera. The camera will not be presented in the typical isometric view, like most MOBA games, but locked behind your player in a third-person perspective. This allows for complete ganks – no need for weeds to “hide” in – forcing players to keep tabs on blind spots and use them to their advantage.

The full list of characters and their titles are after the jump along with a video interview by iTZKooPA with a more comprehensive introduction to the title from COO Todd Harris.

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TERA’s 2012 Election Season Almost Upon Us

14 May 2012 | 4 Comments » | iTZKooPA

TERA’s political system was not technically delayed shortly before the title’s launch earlier this month, but En Masse Entertainment hasn’t done anything with the system since. Until now, that is. The politicking will begin in earnest this Friday, May 18, for those interested!

The political system is a one-of-a-kind feature enabling high-ranking members to wield untold power over the direction of the realm. For better or worse, the reign of prosperity (or terror) will only last three weeks before another Vanarch is elected. Once elected – more on that in a second – a Vanarch is able to mandate and collect taxes and select which special vendors to open for business. Both the powers of community-elected officials and the process itself are set to mature with the game.

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Tribes: Ascend – One Month Later with Todd Harris (Interview)

11 May 2012 | 7 Comments » | iTZKooPA

On April 12, 2012, Hi-Rez Studios delivered on its promise to rejuvenate the Tribes franchise when it launched the fast-paced, skill-based Tribes: Ascend. Just shy of a month since release, we caught up with Todd  Harris, COO of Hi-Rez Studios, to discuss the launch process, the future of the game and to facilitate a little industry jabbing.

LoreHound: First of all, congratulations on the launch of Tribes: Ascend. Did the team do anything special to celebrate the milestone? Besides praying to the server gods for a smooth launch, that is.

Todd Harris: Team T-shirts, cake and booze!

LH: Overall, the transition from beta to live has seemed relatively smooth. Yet many developers tend to have issues between last-minute patches and server stability. How did Hi-Rez prepare for the changeover?

TH: The long beta was helpful in flushing out most of the major bugs and polishing gameplay before launch.  In terms of servers, the programming team built a great technology platform that allows us to add servers very easily.  So, even with the huge influx of players we’ve generally able to add servers fast enough to keep up.

LH: Fans want to know: What happened to the Lance?

TH: We’ll see.  We’ve been doing updates every 2-3 weeks so we need to save some cool weapon ideas for consideration in future updates.

LH: A large draw to earlier franchise installments was user-created maps. Is there anything in the works on that front?

TH: Nothing in the works right now.  As you know we just rolled out Custom Servers with a bunch of user-managed gameplay settings and admin features.  So we are currently monitoring how players are using Custom Servers and want to make sure they work well for different communities. Continue Reading

What’s Behind Star Wars: The Old Republic’s Decline?

7 May 2012 | 15 Comments » | iTZKooPA

Pew, pew, pew. Now only 1.3 million to deal with!

Earlier today, Electronic Arts had its stuffy quarterly report. The number, fact, and strategy filled report was of little interest to most MMO gamers until the mention of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Following the recent trend of LoreHound coverage, the mention wasn’t good. According to the publisher, TOR lost 24% of its subscribers, shedding 400,000 paying customers from the peak of 1.7 million a quarter earlier (during the included free month).

That places the second Star Wars-based MMORPG over the million subscriber mark, at 1.3 million, but still showing a decline as troubling as the current, yet declining, kind of World of Warcraft. This is roughly on target with the estimate made by an analyst group in mid April.

This has left many players scratching their heads. TOR was easily one of, if not the most, anticipated MMOG releases of 2011. Sure, there’s the just released action-oriented TERA, or a flood of F2P games available and coming, but is there one core aspect that has drained TOR’s base?

Conspiracy theories will abound as analysts and players attempt to isolate the trend. Hit the jump for our perspective reasons.

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TERA Live Today! LoreHound Has You Covered.

1 May 2012 | No Comments » | iTZKooPA

Party vs Gula - BAM

We Lore Hounds have been following TERA closely. It’s not a pet project or personal interest, it’s the community and a handful of writers that have been following the conversion of the hardcore action-oriented MMORPG from its Korean launch to the western audience.

For years, we have been sniffing out various tidbits of information, challenging producers, digesting marketing fluff and pooping the details out to you. Yeap, TERA has gone through our entire digestive tract. And it’s come out exactly as you’d expect; a shiny nugget for gamers to play with.

There’s a chance that metaphor ran its course a few thoughts ago. Moving on.

Like Mike, I’m incredibly excited for TERA, but for a different reason. It’s main draw for me has been it action-oriented PvE, which reminds me of the hardcore vanilla WoW days; my fondest MMOG memories.

Below you’ll find a summary of TERA information to review as your download and install commences. Here’s to hoping for flawless server performance, limited bottlenecking and seamless installs.

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LoreHound Exclusive: Christina Sims Demos Penny Arcade Rumble in R’lyeh

23 April 2012 | No Comments » | iTZKooPA

Penny Arcade has entered the general pop culture realm of popularity and overall success. The mainstream may not be entirely aware of it yet, but it’s the truth. The formerly small following of video game nerds has exploded to cover all sorts of geeky media, from card to board and casual games. The two-man operation is now one of the most powerful, pervasive and certainly the most accessible in the industry.

It’s become so omnipresent that the comic has spawned its own line of entertainment products, encompassing video games and board games. iTZKooPA got to check out the latest from Cryptozoic, Penny Arcade: The Game – Rumble in R’lyeh. Christina Sims showed off the basic deck-building gameplay, explained what R’lyeh, a stand-alone expansion, adds to the franchise and a few of her personal favorite comic strips that have become cards.

Nipplecrabs. Need we say more?

Hit the jump for the full dose of ridiculousness. Continue Reading