Archive for the ‘Other MMOs’ Category

Skipping the Journey in Heart of Thorns

29 October 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_guildwars2_heart_of_thorns_review_delayedYa’ll know that I fancy myself some great lore. A narrative that breadcrumbs you into a growing storyline easily captures me. Bottled story arcs for zones, creatures of the week if you will, are also of interest. If only for the simple gratification of ending their reign of terror. Even single-shot quests or completely discrete, world-spanning quest lines can entertain to the point of emotion. The story to a game is so important to me that I’ll abandon titles for missteps, as I have with Warlords of Draenor. On the other end, I’ll devise an editorial line to focus on those that catch my interest. It’s this very reason that I’m the worst power leveling partner ever. And why I’m skittish to use and less likely to purchase items that’ll break the narrative the game designers spent ostentatious amounts of time devising. The journey needs to be as interesting as the end game. Continue Reading

It’s Erik Nagel: LoreHound Invades SiriusXM

28 October 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern
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Big Kev had to go home early!

We Lore Hounds have been in the video game industry for years. Personally, I have covered the industry in a professional capacity for nearly a decade. Cutting my teeth on my very first site (now available!) and company during the Y2K crisis. Lore Hound itself has existed for over half a decade now. I guess what I’m saying is we’ve been around the block. Our small blogosphere is understood to be an incredibly dedicated bunch. By being around for so long our name has gotten out there. We’ve networked, social mediaed and drank ourselves into numerous meetings, swag and “free” lunches. Last week brought us a completely new opportunity. The chance to be on the gosh darn radio!

We jumped all over it.

During our run of New York Comic Con we were connected by a friend to Erik Nagel, the producer of the Opie with Jim Norton. It was instant nerd bliss. But it was short nerd bliss. To correct that Erik invited us onto the show itself! We graced it momentarily to round out the coverage of NYCC. For heaven’s sake you know we didn’t leave it at that. We couldn’t slink out of the bowels of SiriusXM without an interview. An interview with Geek Stuff’s Big Kev and OG and Erik Nagel himself is exactly what you’ll find after the cut. Continue Reading

Gaming Goals: Do You Have Them?

6 October 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern
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I’d like to point out that one of the two people have a better setup than the other.

If you’re new to the LoreHound community – shame on you! – you may not be aware that I log into games with explicit purposes. It’s plural because it is never a singular goal. I rarely, if ever, login for shenanigans. You’ll recall from MOBA Monday, Instance Gratification and F2P Friday that I consume, critique or conquer a wide variety of games. It’s partly to serve the community. To be honest, it is mostly to serve my ever-increasing gamer itch. I am interested in all genres. Every modification of them. Any way to diversify a product, business model or genre.

This is why I need goals when logging into a title. Frankly, there are so many games installed on my computer that I need an idea of what I hope to accomplish. Do I have an hour, ten minutes, three hours? That’s part of my decision tree. Am I looking for a story, popcorn entertainment or a way to tickle my intelligence? Again, a major decision factor. Perhaps I’m trying to finish a title on hard, hardcore or realistic difficulty. Or simply hoarding Achievement points. Each are accomplishments I strive for.

All I am saying is that I understand we gamers have multiple reasons to play. I’ve described many of mine. Why do you login every night to World of Warcraft? Why do you play League of Legends multiple times a week? What makes you return to DotA 2 every weekend? Is there a reason that first-person shooters see you for tens of hours a week and you never touch third-person shooters?

Inquiring minds want to know.

While you’re contemplating your conundrum you may want to pop a Wheely to clear your mind.

The F2P Monetization That Irks Me the Most

28 September 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_scrooge-mcduck-swimming-in-money_free_to_play_monetizationI’ve written a few items around F2P monetization, from Blizzard’s application to a self aware review of how companies have goaded me into making justified contributions to work I’ve spent many hours in. Thanks to the Pope invading Philadelphia during my travels around the northeast I had a lot of time to think. Canceled trains, closed bridges, unknown returns provided me with ample time to continue the introspection. It led me to realize that I’m really only hung up on two aspects of the model: perceived value and ownership.

Perceived value is fairly obvious. Do I feel that the Founder’s packs are worth their entry fees? Do the items provide the benefit to earn the coin in my pocket? Perhaps most ironically and difficult to pin down, will I play the game long enough to make full use of the purchase? Or in the recent case of Blood Gate, will I even enjoy the game past the first 20 hours? Straightforward idea. Plenty of room for discussion. How do you perceive a purchase’s value in the F2P realm?

More difficult for me is the idea of ownership. I’m a long-time collector of video games having a historical archive dating back before my birth. Some items that’d even make it into the select museums. As such, ownership of what I am paying for remains important to me. You never own anything in a F2P game. You’ve zero claim most of the time, since you haven’t paid anything. Even when you do pay it’s in the Terms of Service that, naturally, you don’t own squat. You become uniquely aware of this issue when a beloved title disappears after you’ve spent time and money with it.

I realize that I own nothing in MMORPGs, F2P or the subscription model of World of Warcraft. That once I unsubscribe I lose all access to my character. I’ve struggled with the notion before. If only in a light passing. I rationalized the memories of the fun as the value.

Is this ownership concern a generational gap? Nope. I couldn’t care less about owning my music or movies. What about you?

PAX Prime: Help Save Humanity in The Repopulation

16 September 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

lh_therepopulation_paxprimePherephassa really should be introducing the LoreHound community to The Repopulation. After all, she already has, repeatedly. Simply not in the video interview format we’re about to present to you. She’s the queen of sandbox MMORPG coverage, of which the indie title The Repopulation is most certainly a part of. Developed by Above and Beyond Technologies thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, the MMORPG is set in a postapocalyptic scifi universe. One that’s designed as a throwback to the original run of sandbox successes. The Star Wars Galaxies and Ultima Onlines of the world.

A player’s choice is the driving theme of the world. Not a theme park MMORPG. In The Repopulation players are reacting to their decisions, good and bad. Blending RPG, third- and first-person shooter mechanics delivers incredible possibilities for one’s avatar. Are you looking to focus on being a bad guy? No, not a toxic player, but a villain that’s actually of interest to the universe of players. That’s entirely possible. In fact, it’s a fairly popular choice in the early access stage of TR. Toxic players, as Jennifer Chesnes describes in our interview, deals with their own kind of justice in The Repopulation.

Chesnes has plenty more to chew on. Everything from the incredible support of the community, the Kickstarter campaign and the indie house itself. Catch up on the postapocalyptic scifi universe after the cut. After all, you know it’s good since Pherephassa generated all of the questions! Continue Reading

PAX Prime 2015: How the Community Altered World of Warships’ Design

9 September 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern
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We’re going to need a bigger boat pun list.

We’ve been tracking the development of World of Warships for what seems like ages. Long enough for it to have a mid-life crisis! This past week brought the exciting news that open beta testing has come to a close. In a scant few days World of Warships will be live in the wild. Will it follow in the successful footsteps of World of Tanks and World of Warplanes? Time will tell, but as senior producer Jake Neri articulates, two million registered during beta testing is certainly a good start. You know, before the game actually launches on September 17. While we found out that Wargaming.net is diversifying its offerings, even expanding its wings with WG Labs, the core group is sticking to its guns. I know, punny! This is not simply through the general game design behind war machines, but also the core aspects of gameplay, customer service, support and how Warships will be monetized moving forward. First and foremost, it’s the one core tenet that interests our community. That Wargaming.net has even sacrificed some of its famous historical accuracy to ensure an enjoyable, competitive and challenging experience. Continue Reading

PAX Prime 2015: WildStar Delivering More Than a New Business Model

8 September 2015 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

WS_2015-09_FTP_Launch_Date_11Carbine Studios steadfastly designed WildStar to be supported a subscription model. Many, myself included, felt that the decision to stick with a seemingly archaic business model was odd by the time the title was launched in 2014. Convinced they had the goods the squad stuck to their guns. Two-hands of months plus and that proved incorrect. NCSoft and Carbine Studios through in the towel announcing, to incredible fan excitement, myself included, that WildStar would be joining the free-to-play conversion crowd. Months later and we’re finally seeing the fruits of that announcement.

F2P WildStar will be launching September 29, 2015!

PAX Prime gave us another opportunity to check in with creative director Chad “Pappy” Moore. A man we’ve interviewed a few times. Naturally, we kicked it off with those hard questions, how Carbine has retooled not only the current game, but future game design to fit the free-to-play mold. We took it a step further, inquiring as to how the community may need to be remolded due to these changes. Then we head towards the mind-boggling amount of currency juggling players new and old will have to undertake. This and plenty more on the incoming content, refresh and redesign of WildStar behind the cut! Continue Reading

Hearthstone’s Increasing Card Count a Cause for Concern?

4 September 2015 | 1 Comment » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern
About to blast you with 10 hours of theorycrafting.

About to blast you with 10 hours of theorycrafting.

Blizzard Entertainment isn’t known for making content quickly. It has never been able to keep World of Warcraft stocked with fresh content. The StarCraft community was starved for 12 years. Diablo III’s been a bit better, but again, a huge wait between games/expansions. Those were all AAA core franchises. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm have been pleasant surprises. These more accessible titles have seen repeated rounds of content, such as two Hearthstone expansions and Solo Adventures, and the Eternal Conflict event in HotS. To name but a few. But, and pardon the “they can’t win either way” thought, is Blizzard making content for Hearthstone too fast?

Shaktaji, who is thoroughly an addict, and I, a player who has waning interest for various reasons, were discussing this concern over dinner recently. The obvious node of contention is potential current player burnout. Will players eventually get sick of learning 200+ new cards, how they interact and how they should be used every year? We put that aside quickly since, for many, it’s an expected and addicting part of the game. Then a less obvious point came up. Would the continued increase make the game less accessible over time? As more and more cards are released it becomes more and more difficult for new players to be competitive (a concern for its sister title in the MOBA genre too). Sure, those newbies should be paired up against other newbies but they’ll constantly be playing against cards they haven’t seen before. Will this freak them out or will the freshness interest them until they moved to a level of play with more strategy and thus, more homogeneous decks? Continue Reading