The Risk of Playing Early Access

Posted by on April 7, 2016 - No Comments »

Ironic I'm using a beta screenshot, isn't it?

Ironic I’m using a beta screenshot, isn’t it?

I’ve written about this subject in the past, but, as you can imagine searching for “beta”, “alpha”, or “early access” in our archive comes up with a few hits. What we’re discussing today is do you opt into early access of games? And if so, do you tend to stick around to play it after launch as well?

It will not surprise you that my email inbox has been flooded recently. PAX East, which we’ll be covering of course, being a scant few weekends away. What may surprise you is that many of the emails promise early access to the warez they’re hawking. Everything from various CCGs to console games to soda-drinking simulators wants us to take their new build, beta expansion or alpha demo for a spin. I’ve always been very cautious continuing down the rabbit hole outside of these conventions engagements. There are plenty of reasons why I should. Everything from reaping the free fun for paid-for games to being a part of an early adopting crowd. To me there are far more drawbacks. Read more…

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Skadi

Posted by on April 4, 2016 - No Comments »

lh_deities_demigods_god_explained_skadi_Default_CardSMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive backstory 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: Skadi holds a unique position in the Norse pantheon. A jotunn married to Njoror, a Vanir of the sea, she shed the typical antagonistic portrayal of the giants. Rather than harass those in the opposing worlds of Norse cosmology, Skadi lived for the winter, its activities and bowhunting. The last being closely aligned with Artemis. Soothing the relationships wasn’t particularly easy for Skadi, or her marriage. The matrimony ended with all the fanfare of a Hollywood couple. “Irreconcilable differences” defined by Skadi’s mountaintop home being too cold and dreary for sea-loving Njoror and the beach being too noisy for the solitude-seeking giantess. Rumor has it that the All-Father Odin was her rebound. Read more…

The Novel Post: World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 Review

Posted by on March 22, 2016 - No Comments »

lh_wow_chronicle_vol1_loreThis review of the World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 by Chris Metzen et al. is of the spoiler-free variety. Check out the entire Blizzard catalog in our Extensive Extended Universe post.

Chronicling the world of Warcraft is no short order. Lore Hound was, effectively, founded for that express purpose. Diving into the myriad of lore spread across Azeroth, Draenor the various dimensions and planes of existence for the most interesting morsels to feed our insatiable appetite for the community was our prime directive. The glacial pace of Blizzard’s game development led us to explore other arenas over time, but with each tie in, new expansion or spin off, we’ve returned to the fount that piqued our interest enough to formally create Lore Hound in the first place. The battle between Orcs and Humans began in our world two decades ago, but as the massive extended universe has been fleshed out, the real story is tens of thousands of years old.   Read more…

Neverwinter: What’s This Maze Engine Thing?

Posted by on March 21, 2016 - No Comments »

NW_TME_KeyArt

Welcome to the Dungeons and Dragons universe, a world that is entirely based on your roll of the dice… and your “evil” best friend that controls all the mishaps that may happen to you and your imaginary level five Paladin. It is a fair world…until he totally decided to make up a monster that you swear wasn’t in the version you were playing, which then led to you picking up your notebook and pen, and your family sized bag of Cheetos Puffs, and walking out the door in anger because he only reads the rules that apply to him and his character. What else can you do? It’s only you two playing and he always insists on being DM. If only there was a way that you could play D and D, and not have to deal with cheating friends or other people… oh and did I mention there is lots of fire and real demons and real undead things and giant beholders that want to totally rip your face off just because you have one?! YEAH, I WISH THERE WAS A GAME LIKE THAT! WITH THE FIRE AND STUFF! Read more…

Hearthstone: The WoW Gateway Drug

Posted by on March 17, 2016 - 1 Comment »

lh_hearthstone_gateway_drug_lady_liadrin

Many fans of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft know very little about the universe that spawned it. Many probably don’t care. Others are interested in the background to this tavern game. Players of Warcraft or World of Warcraft shouldn’t fault these newcomers either way. After all, numerous hardcore raiders can’t tell their Watcher from an Elemental Lord or an Old God from a Hindu God. That’s fine too. Not everyone needs to be a lore junky. That’s our job. Read more…

Hearthstone: Who Are These Old Gods & Why Do They Whisper?

Posted by on March 11, 2016 - No Comments »

lh_hearthstone_whispers_of_the_old_gods_cthulhu

Cthulhu, where it all began.

Earlier this week, Blizzard Entertainment dropped another notice on the Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft community. The next set of cards is entitled the Whispers of the Old Gods. For players introduced to Warcraft from Hearthstone itself there are likely numerous questions. Who are these Old Gods? Why are their whispers of such interest? Of such power? How many Old Gods are there? How many Old Gods were there?

The world of Azeroth has been around for countless millenia. The early days of the planet were besieged by chaos, destruction and havoc from the beings known as Old Gods. The collection of unfathomable evil came from the greater Material Plane (as opposed to the demonic plane of the Twisting Nether). Their individual power was unmatched. Races and civilizations were built around their bodies to serve their will. Their own organic matter gave rise to others, simply to serve. Lesser Elementals were bent to their will. Until the four Elemental Lords put aside their infinite differences, overcame their individual corruptions and rose against the greater evils nothing challenged the Old Gods but each other. Read more…

DDO Nostalgia: Tips for a 2016 Newbie

Posted by on March 10, 2016 - No Comments »

ScreenShot00102Another week off due to health concerns, but here I am again so let’s get this party rolling! Now that I have regaled you all with tales of things like my old garish fondness for neon greens and oranges and waxed enthusiasm about how much fun I’ve been having,  it’s time to actually dig into the real point of my being here and talk about the game! I’ve found that current information is very difficult to acquire if you’re not already current – isn’t that always the case with matured games as writers come and go but nothing ever leaves the internet – so the best place to begin is at the beginning! Read more…

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Raijin

Posted by on March 8, 2016 - No Comments »

lh_deities_demigods_gods_smite_raijin_Default_CardSMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive backstory 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: Raijin, known more popularly in Western culture as Raiden, is the god responsible for the beating rhythm of a thunderous sky. The Japanese Master of Thunder produces his cacophony of booming bass tones through a myriad of drums he carries around. Raijin came to being after the creation of his homeland, Japan, by the divine pair Izanami and Izanagi. Read more…