Author Archive

The Walking Dead Board Game – Don’t be Afraid of Death

22 April 2012 | 6 Comments » | iTZKooPA

The Penny Arcade Expo is a celebration of all things gamer (and nerd). From music to video games to board and card games, there’s something for everyone. That’s as long as you’re one of those people who enjoys FUN.

iTZKooPA trudged over to the Cryptozoic booth to see what the growing analog company had on offer this pass. It didn’t take long before he sucked AnnaMaria into a demo session of The Walking Dead, getting all the details, strategy and gameplay mechanics locked down.

It sounds like he’s preparing to troll his first game by sacrificing to become a zombie to undo the rest of the group. What a jerk!

Hit the jump for the full interview.

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Torchlight II: So Close It Hurts; Max Schaefer’s “Last PAX East”

20 April 2012 | 1 Comment » | iTZKooPA

In the non-MMOG space, we had one goal; get a release date out of Runic Games for Torchlight II. Once upon a time, Max Schaefer, Runic’s CEO, jokingly said Torchlight III – that’d be a game that technically isn’t announced yet – would be released before Diablo III. Since the statement, Runic has turtled its own development for final polish. Lots of it.

A release date of “Soon TM” has been applied to the title since. However, that doesn’t stop our correspondent and community from wanting answer to difficult questions, including the presence of DirextX 11 support, system requirements and coverage, co-op play, including quest sharing, and access to the source code.

Hit the jump for the full disclosure.

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Exclusive: Lord of the Rings Online’s 5th Anniversary Festival with Aaron Campbell

20 April 2012 | 2 Comments » | iTZKooPA

In the only embargoed interview of the year to date, iTZKooPA stood up with Aaron Campbell, Senior Producer of LotRO, to discuss the title’s unprecedented festival. Created to celebrate the MMORPG’s amazing five-year anniversary, the gather is the largest celebration in LotRO’s history. Developer Turbine Entertainment took the issue to heart and created the largest event for an anniversary in its history.

Fireworks, unique mounts and costumes are just some of the additions. Most interesting is the veteran’s reward system, granting those that have been in it for the long haul much more grandiose rewards than a player that joined when the title went free-to-play.

Festival gifts, activities, rewards and more are discussed and shown below the cut.

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Champions Online Game Systems Overhaul Begins

17 April 2012 | No Comments » | iTZKooPA

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Champions Online. The second attempt at a superhero MMORPG by Cryptic Studios drew me in with numerous features, advanced customization to the point of full uniqueness, a fast-paced combat style and quirky comic-inspired quests and missions. I considered it a popcorn MMORPG, a guilty pleasure that would be a great compliment to other, more fleshed out experiences I was playing.

Yet it was a full cost title that lacked content, identity and overall direction. For every aspect I enjoyed of the title, I found two that annoyed me. I ragged on the offering so hardly because I wanted to like it. I left shortly before my six month purchase ran its course. It’s F2P return perked my interest, only to send me fleeing due to losing my main character to the freemium cutoff.

After Atari abandoned Cryptic Studios, allowing Perfect World Entertainment to grab the developer at an assumed bargain price, hope returned. PWE had been looking to break into the western market the appropriate way, ie not porting Eastern titles alone, and this was a great first step. A massive development effort would be needed, but we’re seeing the fruits of that labor with On Alert.

The latest content patch adds a few new systems to the game in addition to the expected content and bug fixes. A reputation system lets gamers accumulate prestige over time, opening up new travel power options and gear. The Modification and Fusion System returns customization to the hands of players, even allowing more damage dealing stats.

Mind you, the changes put the game back on my radar. Not my plate. It’s just a step in the right direction. I need a few of these, or a giant leap.

Hit the jump for a batch of stills from the patch. Continue Reading

LoreHound Exclusive: PAX East 2012 – Neverwinter First Playable Look

12 April 2012 | 4 Comments » | iTZKooPA

Enter the Forgotten Realms by way of Neverwinter during PAX East 2012. Lead Producer Andy Velasquez discusses how Cryptic Studios is adapting the product’s shift from a co-op RPG to a full-fledged MMORPG, the competition in the F2P – and D&D market – and how Neverwinter will make a name for itself.

The full Neverwinter interview and game footage can seen after the jump.

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LoreHound Exclusive: PAX East 2012 – Christina Sims as Vanessa VanCleef

11 April 2012 | No Comments » | iTZKooPA

Christina Sims shows off her latest astounding costume from the Blizzard universe, Vanessa VanCleef, at Pax East 2012 and reveals her plans for a future BlizzCon. Whenever that may be.

Check out the cosplay video with Christina below. You can also check out Christina’s costume from PAX East 2011 here. Be sure to stop by her official cosplay page for more.

April Fool’s Day: Blizzard Focuses On Edutainment Market with Blizzard Kidzz

1 April 2012 | No Comments » | iTZKooPA

Blizzard is at it again, dedicating an entire mini-site to its annual April Fool’s Day prank. This year’s project is set to shake up the Edutainment video game genre. A blend of education and entertainment – a complex and  little invested design challenge – the market has never grown like its strict entertainment cousin. Blizzard is not your average developer.

The upcoming lineup includes a demo of Zergling Teaches Typing, a frustrating game with far too many Zs and seemingly no end. But hey, it’s beta. If your skills at slamming the keyboard to produce incoherent gibberish for those of  non-hiveminds, Reader Ravager may be more to your liking. Reader Ravager teaches children that reading isn’t just fun, but also delicious. Turbo Science Vessel informs those under 10 years old the basics to modern science as they travel through the Koprulu Sector. Warp drive, supernovas and the daily activity of scanning colonists for deadly diseases are ingrained in the junior scientist’s brain. Strat Blaster with Edmund Duke trains children 12 and up the finer points of warfare.

The crown jewels of the are Where in Sanctuary is Deckard Cain and The Westfall Trail. Two aspects to know about these titles; you’ll never be good enough at Rated M for Mature puzzles and everyone gets dysentery.

Check out screenshots from each of the games after the jump.

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Two of My Favorite RPG Past Times Finally Coming To Rift (Patch v1.8)

30 March 2012 | No Comments » | iTZKooPA

I’ve been a sucker for fishing and cooking, or survival as its known in Rift, two new optional tradeskills being added in Patch v1.8, for as long as I could remember. Even in the single-player RPG days, I’d pick-up a fishing pole or cook a prize-winning dish for my party. They’re skills I’ve employed in real life, but digitally, they’ve offered something to do while there was nothing to do. The distraction while waiting for a raid, dungeon or PvP match to start made the downtime that much more tolerable. An occasional perk that a catch-of-the-day fish or perfectly plated smorgasbord offers were just that, a perk.

The min-maxer in me continues to enjoy the added bonuses. Yet, a streak of vanity, of wanting to stick  out from the crowd by maxing out two often-ignored professions of many games, is just as much as a driving force. And now I can add it to Solidkieron‘s Rift repertoire!

Trion Worlds will be allowing all players to pick up a pole, apply a lure and fish out a variety of aquatic life and the occasional treasure. Survival is another new tradeskill that compliments fishing. The secondary tradeskills will teach players how to cook your daily catch into buff-inducing dishes for all. Furthermore, players will be able to construct portable camps, offering rest XP buffs, and other gear.

Sadly, Ascended can catch new companion pets while fishing. There goes the next few weekends…

Fishing: Cast your line and reel in the riches of Telara’s rivers, lakes, and oceans.

  • Catch fish, artifacts, and even new companion pets.
  • Explore Telara for the best chance at a rare catch!
  • Craft fishing poles and lures to catch the most elusive creatures of the deep.

Survival: Cook and craft items to rough it in Telara’s wilderness.

  • Prepare delicious meals that provide in-game buffs when consumed.
  • Take to the wild by crafting tents, bedrolls, and other utility items.