SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Medusa

Posted by on April 14, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_deities_demigods_gods_smite_medusa_build_Default_CardSMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a 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’ new MOBA.

Lore: After a recent romp through some lesser known godly beings – to some circles, of course – we’ve returned to the core group from the Greek pantheon with none other than Medusa, the snake-headed gazer. The defining being of the race of Gorgon, Medusa has a storied history with a few origin stories. One of three snake-haired sisters, it matters little if she began her terror as a fair maiden raped by Poseidon then beset by Athena or the horrific being we’ve taken from antiquity. The squabbles of Greek historians is beside the point. What is important, perhaps most important, is that she was the sole mortal of the triplets. Despite the immortality received by Stheno and Euryale pale in historical comparison. And it may be exactly because they could not perish. Read more…

Instance Gratification 25: Rogueing it up in Draenor

Posted by on April 14, 2015 - No Comments »

I love this helm and spaulders set.

I love this helm and spaulders set.

Instance Gratification is the return of one of our premiere video outings. Originally featuring the cast of founder bloggers thrashing World of Warcraft dungeons and viewer runs of Dungeon & Dragons Online, the reinvigorated column heads to the realm of the Twitch channel. Come join us every Wednesday for dungeon dives, solo attempts and general loot hoarding in your favorite games.

I haven’t returned to the struggle against the time-altered Warlords of Draenor in weeks. In fact, it was way back in our Tuesday stream annals of history, Instance Gratification 22. Alright, you got me, that’s only like a month of shows ago, but we’re talking World of Warcraft here. That old time sink of an elephant in the MMORPG genre. Still, it has been long enough to warrant a quick peak at my patch readiness – patched, thanks Blizzard Launcher – and my subscriptions status – paid for, thanks autobilling!

I was concerned at the time of that day’s writing that WoW may finally be losing me. I gave any number of potential reasons, and, to be fair, couldn’t come up with a front runner. At the time, it made sense to peg it on a collection. A compounding mix of competition, genre shifts, design choices and life adding up to less and less time for Azeroth. Monday quarterbacking it, the truth was I was supremely bored with my priest and her playstyle. Perhaps I should roll her to a discipline priest to see if that’s more enjoyable.

That realization hit me like a piano from the sky. Hard. It wouldn’t have happened had I not returned to my original main, a little rogue by the name of Solidsamm. So thoroughly I enjoyed his Stabbiness that I seriously expected to have him at level cap by the next time WoW came up on the Instance Gratification rotation. That hasn’t happened but tomorrow will be spent heading in that direction.

Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and general shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream, which is scheduled to kick off by 7:30 PM EST and run for an eventful two hours. Oh, and don’t forget that BlizzCon tickets go on sale this Wednesday. Good luck, you’ll need it!

[Update] The stream is delayed until an 8:15 PM EST kick off time. Thanks, Obama. Read more…

Eternal Crusade Eldar, Orks Announcements with Q&A Tomorrow

Posted by on April 9, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_eternal_crusade_warhammer_40k_stream_orks_eldarClearly, this is more of a PSA to our community than our original deep coverage. Behavious Interactive shot out an email earlier today alerting news outlets to the upcoming Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade stream kicking off tomorrow at 2:00 PM EST. The developer behind the for-the-love-of-god-won’t-it-come-out-already MMORPG from the beloved Games Workshop intellectual property is teasing “big announcements” for the stream.

Naturally, we don’t know the specifics, but we do know the 5th Eldar subfaction will be revealed. The 5th subfaction for Orks will begin its voting. And in a double dose of Orks – or orkiepoos as I call them – information we will finally meet an Ork leader. Like they actually have any true leader when the WAAAGH! begins. Giveaways and Q&A will be in the mix as well.

Slam the Read More button for the embedded Twitch or follow the Eternal Crusade channel directly. Read more…

Instance Gratification 24: Crossing Community Streams with MMOReporter

Posted by on April 6, 2015 - No Comments »

Go for the eyes!

Go for the eyes!

Instance Gratification is the return of one of our premiere video outings. Originally featuring the cast of founder bloggers thrashing World of Warcraft dungeons and viewer runs of Dungeon & Dragons Online, the reinvigorated column heads to the realm of the Twitch channel. Come join us every Wednesday for dungeon dives, solo attempts and general loot hoarding in your favorite games.

When you travel in the same circles for long enough you’ll begin to remember faces from the crowd. What may have been a casual glance and subtle “how do I know that guy” can quickly turn into “holy crap, that guy is totally stalking me!” That’s exactly what has happened between Lore Hound and MMOReporter, a Canuck based MMOG blog. Focusing on the same genre, one that, despite the money being made by some, remains rather small means we’ve crossed paths for years.

It’s become comical in recent years. We’ve not only run into each other in halls between interviews or after hours parties, but we’ve been booked for the same demo session. Repeatedly. In a row. Unbeknownst to us we’d shake hands and say “Have a good rest of the show” only to meet each other at the next appointment down the hall. Absurd. Hilariously absurd.

Maybe it’s because the market that we follow continuing to contract. Maybe the companies book us together because we’re both dedicated blogs with repeated followers. Maybe it is fate. It could be all of those, but to us it’s far more simple. We’ve the same passion and we’re dedicated. It was bound to see us repeatedly come together. Now, for the first time, we’ll be bringing the communities together for an epic Neverwinter stream.

Oh, and giveaways are totally in the works. Here’s to seeing Cryptic pull through with some codes or any type of Neverwinter goodie to get us psyched for Elemental Evil.

Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and general shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream. This super special show will kick off at a special late time of 11:00 PM EST. Yes, that means it’ll run to 1:00 AM EST on Wednesday. Sorry to our European viewers! Read more…

MOBA Monday: Blizzards May be Done, but We’re Not Done With Them

Posted by on April 6, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_heroes_of_the_storm_moba_monday_founders

MOBA Monday is a weekly showcase of how to perform, eh, let’s go with adequately – we hope – in a multiplayer online battle arena. The streaming squad features the hottest, upcoming or most interesting titles of their and the communities fancy for a few rounds of PvP shenanigans in our weekly Twitch channel staple.

It took a few weeks extra but it appears that we’re finally out of the woods. Winter is no longer coming. It is, in fact, quite over. And while that means I can get to gardening, outdoor activities and beer gardens it doesn’t mean that I’m done with Blizzard by any means. I’m of course referring to the game developer. That one behind World of Warcraft, StarCraft and such. The and such is of particular interest for this piece. Heroes of the Storm is on rotation for today’s MOBA Monday.

The game is coming along. New heroes being added here and there, new maps keeping everyone on their toes and ranked play heating up. Sylvanas will certainly liven things up and Tomb of the Spider Queen adds its own diverse bit of lore to the multiverse of Blizzard. By the way, there’s that whole Founder’s Pack thing still happening. I’m not sold on its importance or relevance, but it’s going away soon. Guess that limited label was no joke.

Of course, this could also mean that launch is approaching. Since, you know, Founder’s Packs are only available pre launch usually.

Don’t forget that all Lore Hound Twitch shows have been moved to their new time at 7:00 PM EST. We still have the same great line up, the same shenanigans and the same daily dose of awesome. Hit the jump or head directly to the channel page to watch live. Follow for all the updates and giveaway opportunities. Read more…

F2P Friday: Let’s Play a Fighting Game (Giveaway)

Posted by on April 3, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_metadev_orion_brawlhalla_pax_east_f2p_fridayF2P Friday is our weekly showcase of the growing free-to-play market, from MMORPGs to first-person shooters and beyond.The stream team will feature the latest, greatest and just plain fun games that cost you nothing to play. Ever. Granted, you should throw the developer a bone if you enjoy a title, but you don’t have to.

It’s time to break out my wired, yes, wired, Xbox 360 controller, blow off the dust, and get the thumbs warmed up because we’re diving into the frenetic world of Brawlhalla this week. Modeled after the ridiculous fun that is the Super Smash Bros. gameplay the Blue Mammoth Games title spawned not from simply a lack of such options on the PC but the company’s original game, Dungeon Blitz.

You’ll recall that we were introduced to Brawlhalla by Zeke Sparkes as part of our PAX East coverage. Since then we’ve given away hundreds of beta keys, some exclusive skin codes but haven’t returned to the weapon-based fighting title. That’s all changing in a scant few hours. We’ll be providing additional beta keys for those that’d like to join us in some viewer match fun. And even some more Oren skins. But I’ve gotta keep one of those for myself of course.

Despite lurking on the Brawlhalla subreddit for the past week or so I don’t have high expectations for my upcoming performance. Something tells me that my opponents won’t mind kicking my ass for two hours. Come watch my humiliation!

Be sure to subscribe tothe channel for all our streams, giveaways and shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream, which is scheduled to kick off around 7:00 PM EST. Read more…

Seeing the Trees Through the Forest or Picking a Game to Play

Posted by on April 1, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_honey_trees_through_the_forest

It’s a metaphor.

There are numerous options for gamers these days. The list of devices with exclusive, either permanent or temporary, titles alone is daunting. Let alone how many titles are coming out for each. Let’s not forget the exploding indie scene either. Being in the industry over the years in a variety of ways – journalist, blogger, marketer and PR – I’ve dedicated obscene amounts of time to this hobby/job. Building an impressive rolodex of contacts over the years has earned me early access and other perks. But it’s also put me on plenty of lists I’d never expected (or wanted) to be on. Genres I’ve never covered, devices I don’t own, and so on. The amount of material I’ve to trudge through daily is obscene.

And necessary. After all there’s income involved. That isn’t the case for the average gamer. The one that’s looking for an entertainment. Attempting to bond with other like-minded individual or simply escape their current predicament to join a sci-fi/fantasy/superhero quest. Or puzzle. Or sandbox. Character adventure, simulator, sports franchise. The list goes on. My point is simple. We all have options. In fact, I firmly believe that every single person has a game – video or otherwise – that would addict them. The issue at hand is finding it in the noise. It doesn’t matter if you label yourself as a gamer or not. Read more…

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Bellona

Posted by on March 31, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_deities_demigods_gods_explained_Bellona_Default_CardSMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a 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’ new MOBA.

Lore: Here we go again. Another test of your Roman versus Greek mythological knowledge. Bellona is the undoubtable a god of war, but which people worshiped her as such? Yes, you’re correct it was the ancient Romans. Tied with her brother Mars, also a god of war, Bellona was earlier known as Duellona. Named so for being associated with the term “battle.” The designation and divinity was so far reaching, so important to Roman culture and conquest that the Roman Senate met in the Templum of Bellonae when discoursing of matters of military strategy pertaining to foreign war.

Given the penchant for outright cribbing of Greek creativity Bellona has few distinctions from her counterpart. No, not Athena, but Enyo. Both were sisters of the male god of war. The pair being born of the same parents, yet often described as wed to one another. In Bellona’s case the holy matrimony is less ironclad. Nerio, a personification of valor, may hold that honor. She does stand out in the contemporary art of the time. Seen with breastplate, shield, sword and other weapons of battle she was seldom unadorned by her military helmet no matter how much the rest of her may have been exposed. Read more…