A Severe Lack of Video Games at Dreamforce

Posted by on September 18, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_dreamforce_xbox_one_giantEveryone in the Lore Hound Pound knows that we attend all the major industry events. We hit all the major shows, PAX Prime, PAX East and PAX South. Apparently, there are shows outside of the PAX moniker too, including E3, BlizzCon and NYCC. Those are covered on the regular. We even go international from time to time! What you may not know is that part of the crew has spread its wings, attending various conferences for related topics like technology. It’s this added experience that brought us to today’s headline. For multiple reasons we’re flabbergasted that video games companies, any video game company, don’t appear to attend conferences outside those dominated by the “target demographic.”

I’m writing this from San Francisco, the bed of Dreamforce. A conference that focuses on Salesforce and the cloud. We’re talking about a conference that rivals the size PAX East, one of the largest in the US at ~50,000 (depends on how you count ticketed people vs. vendors, employees, etc.) that completely lacked a single video game company. Video game companies that spend tens of thousands of dollars to be drowned out by dozens of other companies doing the same. Video game companies that have marketing budgets that rival movies, music and the companies at Dreamforce. Video game companies that would love to secure a diverse market segment with high disposal income (and their kids).

Yet, the only presence our keen eyes could locate was a monstrous Xbox One controller displayed in the Expo Hall. For seemingly no reason. No SMITE, no Marvel Heroes, no World of Warcraft. Nothing but the “gamification” buzzword bastardized to new extremes. Read more…

PAX Prime: Vainglory Keeps Rolling, Introduces Unique Hero Skye

Posted by on September 16, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_Skye_paxprime_vaingloryWe’ve caught up with Super Evil Megacorp a few times. Always a pleasant chat with those folks. Shortly ahead of PAX Prime 2015 the developer of Vainglory, the industry’s first great harcore mobile MOBA, announced the details behind Skye. The new hero blends a few abilities from your typical archetypes to create a unique kit that’ll require quite a bit of practice to execute with repeated success. She features a healthy mix of artillery support with incredible bursts of mobility. That bit of “bursts of mobility” is what makes her balanced. It’s unlikely she’ll get away from danger, unless she kills it.

Vainglory is the current League of Legends of mobile MOBAs, but the market leader is always in fear of disruption. Spacetimes Studios is right on its heels, hoping to release the eSports-ready Call of Champions to take a chunk of the Vainglory market. Super Evil Megacorp isn’t resting on its laurels. Patch v1.8 includes Skye in all her uniqueness and lore and numerous quality of life fixes and features. Weeks earlier gave us the reveal of Vainglory Seasons, the expected addition of an eSports league that kicks off in October. A few months earlier, the company released its anticipated Android client.

Wonder if the Rona players out there have figured out the revamp. What am I talking about, of course they have. Learn more from executive director Kristen Segerstrale. If only I could figure out how to stream Vainglory on MOBA Monday. Read more…

PAX Prime: Help Save Humanity in The Repopulation

Posted by on September 16, 2015 - No Comments »

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! Read more…

PAX Prime: Call of Champions Compresses Competition

Posted by on September 13, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_Call-of-Champions_paxprimeWhenever we add a new title to the MOBA Monday rotation there’s one question that immediately comes up, “How long is a match?” It’s guaranteed, and having obviously played whatever game is being streamed, an easy answer. That doesn’t make it any less important. Players were originally conditioned to expect 40+ minute matches. That’s been on a precipitous decline as developers introduce new game modes and new titles look to diversify themselves by being more accessible.

Spacetime Studios is of the later. Dramatically. The former mobile MMOG specialist is bringing its incredible 15 million dollar technology stack to the world of the MOBA genre. But that enables the company to get a leg up, leveraging technology already created and perfected for a new title. That doesn’t necessarily diversify you game. Spacetime Studios is designing Call of Champions the way we consume mobile games. While waiting for our friends at the bar. Killing time on the train to work or the bus to school. Ignoring our parents – kids, you aren’t the only people that do this – or simply procrastinating for a few minutes.

Yeah, less than ten minutes. In fact, you’ll see an entire match spliced into our interview. Read more…

PAX Prime: Troll Your Frenemies in Sword Coast Legends

Posted by on September 12, 2015 - 1 Comment »

lh_paxprime_sword_coast_legendsArriving at the Dungeons & Dragons area in the expanded offsite part of PAX Prime I wasn’t to sure what to expect. Sure, there’d be Dungeons & Dragons, but I hadn’t had time to research the game I’d be playing past the universe and that it’d be some sort of co-op experience. My world view was quickly shattered. I was ushered into the Dungeon Master’s chair. Anxiety, fear, ineptitude, power. These are all feelings that quickly swept over me. I meekly stated that I didn’t think I’d be an interesting DM, having never messed with the game or rarely taken on the role in the fleshy world (I like digesting lore and critiquing. I don’t feel I’m creative in the sense to make new worlds, characters, etc.). A developer assuaged my concerns, letting me know he’d be there holding my hand the whole time.

Nerves settled I began poking around. I quickly learned that the experience is meant to parlay the table-top universe it’s based on as best as possible, but in a digital space. That means Sword Coast Legends isn’t your typical co-op game. It’s not a group of players rolling together. It’s “four with one”. Certainly not, four versus one. Power quickly went to my head. First it was spider eggs. I placed them all over the place after the first pull. The party was swarmed, but I’d used almost all my threat power. Seeing the imbalance I recalled a few minions, enabling the party to struggle through the encounter and save myself power for later. I played around with doors, traps and colors. Really, I kinda let them roll along at this point. I was busy with my master plan. A weak looking goblin that had 4 summons, heals and AE spells galore. He cost only five threat. I grouped them together like fire imps. I watched the mayhem cackling like a made man. On the inside.

I think I’m hooked.    Read more…

PAX Prime: Let’s Get Stuck in the Necropolis

Posted by on September 10, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_paxprime_necropolis_bridge_run_harebrainedschemesYou’ve been following our convention coverage for years, right? That’s good, then you’ll know that our YouTube channel is swarmed around conventions. Every few months we get to nerd out with other like-minded individuals over our favorite digital pastime. And every convention offers at least one surprise. An unexpected announcement, insane eSports moment, breakout surprise, a dud panel or all-consuming distraction.

Sure, we cover all the big PC games, the World of Warcrafts, WildStars and World of Tanks of the world. But we really love spending time finding the gems at the shows. Something that takes a ton of time, because they truly can be diamonds in the rough. The items on the sixth floor, tucked off site or hidden in the crush of humanity around the Indie Megabooth. Heck, some of the gems we’ve found way, way early in their development you’ll recognize, League of Legends, Global Agenda and Orcs Must Die! to name but a few.

Harebrained Schemes isn’t offering its freshman entry with Necropolis but it’s putting the independent company’s pedigree on the map in a big way. Necropolis is being developed as a roguelight/roguelike in the vein of Dark Souls. Expect to die. A lot. Featuring a subtle story that’s, quite frankly, all around you, Necropolis places challenges before you and leaves you to figure it out.  Or attack in another direction. Read more…

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

Posted by on September 9, 2015 - No Comments »


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. Read more…

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

Posted by on September 8, 2015 - No Comments »

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! Read more…