Guildies Are The Best

Posted by on January 5, 2015 - 1 Comment »

lh_guildies_wow_draenorUnfortunately, I didn’t make it to level 100 as I had hoped during Instance Gratification. It wasn’t the end of the world that I missed the mark. I resolved to return to the Twitch channel for the epic culmination of Solidsagart’s leveling and that’s exactly what happened on Saturday afternoon. I was excited to hammer out the last few bubbles to unlock all the level 100 dungeons and begin farming them for heroic preparedness and, obviously, raiding. That didn’t come to fruition thanks to an ilvl gaffe leading me to have a pathetic 593 instead of the required 595 for the latest dungeons.

That’s when I scrambled. I dug through quest logs trying to find a piece of gear I could quickly earn to get those two points to return the stream to dungeon runs. There was nothing. I had already cleared out the easy wins. Thankfully, my small, close knit guild was right at hand. Hitting the ‘J’ key and swapping the tab to Roster I saw one member online, an alt of one of our most dedicated members. I was quickly informed that Ashran was the place to go grab a quick 600+ ilvl item. PvP not being my jam I was reserved. I knew I’d be rather terrible with no experience, or, to be completely honest, no interest in actually participating.

I bit the bullet, waited out the twenty minute queue and joined the struggle versus the dirty horde. Thirty minutes later I had not one, but two pieces of the Ashran gear putting me well above the normal level 100 dungeon requirement. In fact, those items replaced two of my lowest pieces dramatically increasing my ilvl. Nearly ready for heroics after a very short amount of work.

Thanks for the tip, educated guildie!

MOBA Monday: Time to Giveaway Those Artemis Skins!

Posted by on January 5, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_moba_monday_Artemis_Convention_CardMOBA Monday is a weekly showcase of how to perform, eh, let’s go with adequately – we hope – in a massive 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 inour weekly Twitch channel staple.

Weeks on weeks we’ve been touting a major Lore Hound giveaway. Not one, but the shot at two super ultra rare Artemis 2012 Convention skins. This isn’t some ridiculous mark of rarity that’s routinely perpetrated on the eBay masses. Oh no. This is straight up unicorn’s with rainbow tails that fart cinnamon buns kind of rarity. You see Artemis was one of the original gods for SMITE, a game that’s had some sort of beta nomenclature attached to it for ages. The semantics may have changed but that hasn’t made this throwing-knife wielding Goddess of the Hunt any less sought after.

The Lore Hound community stepped up, with an assist from the SmiteCentral community to expand the Twitch stream over the 750 follower threshold. Dozens extra ensured the number would hold through the new year earning all followers a shot at the very first Convention skin from Hi-Rez Studios. Yes folks, that’ll be two skins given away during the stream!

Naturally, there are some rules and stipulations to concern yourself with. First and foremost is that the first skin will be given away live during the stream. To enter that roll you must be a follower. The second will be given away to a random follower. Both will be messaged via Twitch to the winners. The stipulation? The codes will be shot out to our Facebook and Twitter communities 48 hours after the giveaway to prevent eBaying of the codes. Use it quick or lose it!

MOBA Monday will return to its famed 1:00 PM EST timeslot. Hit the jump or headdirectly to the channel page to watch live. Don’t forget to follow for all the updates and giveaway opportunities. Read more…

F2P Friday: I’m Opening 40+ Expert Packs for Hearthstone

Posted by on January 2, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_f2p_friday_hearthstone_gvg_twitch_legendaryF2P 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.

Ladies and gentleman. Boys and girls. Children of all ages. Step right up and gaze at one of the rarest sights in nature. A man with such restraint, such steadfast determination, such lack of  concern for his own progress that he’s hoarded the precious Au that is the bloodlife of the game of champions, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, not once but twice. Now through a court order from the state he is required by law to break from the self-imposed tradition opening the coffers to return the 79th element to its creator.

To date I have opened less than 20 expert packs, yet have been able to accumulate almost 250 wins, including plenty of ranked play. Again, purely a self-imposed disadvantage. But today, things will change. Today marks the first time that I will truly make a run for rares, epics and legendaries. And that run will encompass some 30+ expert packs opened and discussed live on the air during the return of F2P Friday after my recent road trip. Come join me as I assuredly redeem multiple purples and oranges and attempt to deduce which class will utilize them best and how to optimize the Goblins versus Gnomes cards into my paltry decks.

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 at 1:00 PM EST. Read more…

Instance Gratification 16: Here’s to New Internet in the New Year (and Level 100 Before it!)

Posted by on December 31, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_instance_gratification_wow_warlords_barman_shanker_molten_core

Remember when you could enchant weapons with glows?

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.

The Tenth Anniversary of World of Warcraft is, in all honesty, what really drew me back into WoW this year. Sure, Warlords of Draenor has some new additions, multiverse, garrihousing and time paradox storytelling but they’re nothing compared to Molten Corgis and a Level 100 version of Molten Core. I don’t care about the idea of rose-colored glasses and how painful it actually was to farm fire resilience (or be sat) or tracking multiple timers to ensure we sneak around or end trash before it pops back up wiping us. Ahh, those were the days, kids. Up hill in the snow, 60 mile an hour winds and the reflecting sun burning your retinas. Both ways!

Sadly, I’m behind the leveling eight ball. Again. This means that tomorrow, heck, the rest of the week, will have a major focus on finally hitting level 100 on Solidsagart and gearing up said holy priest to enter the depths of Ragnaros’ lair. I mean, heck, it should be good practice for Highmaul, right? Or it’ll send me into a tailspin of depression and I’ll take all that advice from select community members and simply uninstall. Either way, it makes for some good Twitch viewing!

Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and general shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream. The show will kick off around 1:00 PM EST and continue until approximately 3:00 PM! The floggings will continue until the ilvl has improved! Read more…

How Does WoW Still Have Such an Archaic Mobile App?

Posted by on December 29, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_warcraft_wow_mobile_armoryWorld of Warcraft is over ten years old. All sorts of industry luminaries, analysts and critics have raved about, targeted or joined the mobile crazy. Heck, even Nintendo is beginning to address the mobile market to take its slice of the new and dramatically growing pie. Yet the mobile app for World of Warcraft remains in the dark ages. The WoW Armory hasn’t seen an all-new feature essentially since release. At which point it was already topped by products from numerous smaller titles, such as the Fallen Earth premium app or the more recent and impressive Neverwinter app.

Early on I didn’t mind that World of Warcraft didn’t have any robust mobile access simply because Blizzard Entertainment had a hard enough time getting content out in an acceptable timeframe and little experience in mobile development. Both of those issues are rather moot now thanks to a handful of expansions offer gobs of development experience and a little game called Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. What’s holding back a fresh look at expanding the feature list for Warlords of Draenor?

The most obvious addition is to enable players to interact with their garrisons, collecting resources and sending followers out on new missions. This can easily be expanded to numerous non-social housekeeping issues that the designers have continued to add to the biggest MMORPG in the world WoD’s feature list aside. Transmogrification, socketing, etc. The list can go on for awhile.

Sadly, I don’t think we’ll ever see a returned focus to the mobile app since it became free in late 2012. And yet competitors offer better apps even for F2P titles.

MOBA Monday: Guess Who’s Playing Conquest Again?! (Giveaway)

Posted by on December 22, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_smite_conquest_giveaway_swcMOBA Monday is a weekly showcase of how to perform, eh, let’s go with adequately – we hope – in a massive 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.

Well, there’s something off my 2014 List of Things To Do. I finally, after dozens of MOBA Mondays, hundreds, possibly thousands of kills and quite a few four letter words, have earned enough Worshipers in SMITE to enter into ranked Conquest mode. Sadly, I haven’t been earning them in that actual mode instead preferring the faster games of Arena. As such, I fully expect to be a bit out of touch running around the map later today. Ever the thoughtful teammate I plan on sucking it up and playing a large amount of non-ranked matches before joining Season 2.

Naturally, this is all to get even more pumped up for the upcoming SMITE World Championship in mid January. That plan could go horribly sideways if I am so out of touch that my K:D ratio ends up being an improper fraction or my tanking becomes completely ineffective with horrendous initiations all over the place. Oh, there’s at least one other item that can ruin my return to Conquest, Comcast continuing to maul my Internet service. Hopefully the upgrade to 150/20 Mbps will correct the recent lag issues. Ya know, since it costs like 2x as much…

MOBA Monday will return to its famed 1:00 PM EST time slot. Hit the jump or head directly to the channel page to watch live. Don’t forget to follow for all the updates and giveaway opportunities. This is a double dip week. We’ll have skin codes for SMITE today! Read more…

Another One Bites The Dust: Transformers Universe Closing Before Launch

Posted by on December 21, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_canceled_refund_moba_Transformers-Universe-hammerIt’s unfortunate thatAnother One Bites The Dust exists, but necessary. This column chronicles the fateful announcements ahead of an MMOGs’ downfall, a company closure or, in some truly sad cases, both. Grab your Big Gulp and let some hit the floor for the fallen.

Way, way back in late 2011 we did an interview of a little covered gameTransformers Universe. Licensing the popular Transformer intellectual property developer Jagex was hoping to lay another hit on the online gaming universe akin to its flagship Runescape F2P MMORPG. Over a year after the early tease, of which the global PR manager Laura West expertly dodged most questions pertaining to gameplay, the game saw a radical switch from an MMORPG to the new hotness of the multiplayer online battle arena slant.

The same week the development 180 was announced the game went into closed beta testing. That was in late 2012. Jagex and Hasbro jointly announced that closed beta was as far as the title would go. Just over two years from the switch the companies jointly announced that Transformers Universe has been canceled, account creation has been closed, refunds will be issues and servers will be culled on January 31.

Jagex didn’t much of an explanation for the closure; both companies realigning “their plans and focuses for 2015” being the closest. I’d put my money on slow adoption/little interest due to the highly competitive MOBA market and a title with few discerning features or innovative ideas. Read more…

F2P Friday: Over 3k Gold is Burning a Hole in My Hearthstone Board

Posted by on December 19, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_f2p_friday_MEKGINEER-THERMAPLUGG_hearthstone_goblins_gnomesF2P 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.

I began hoarding gold in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft way, way back when Curse of Naxxramas, the first Solo Adventure, was announced. Saving up 700 Gold for each wing (except the first one since it was free at launch) meant that I had to forgo many, many classic expert packs. That self-imposed challenge has put me at a clear disadvantage when attempting to throw around my skills in Ranked play. No matter how you slice it this free-to-play title is very much one that requires those expert packs to truly compete at any kind of high level.

To date I have opened less than 20 expert packs. Again, purely a self-imposed disadvantage. But today, things will change. Today marks the first time that I will truly make a run for rares, epics and legendaries. And that run will encompass some 30+ expert packs opened and discussed live on the air during the return of F2P Friday after my recent road trip. Come join me as I assuredly redeem multiple purples and oranges and attempt to deduce which class will utilize them best and how to optimize the Goblins versus Gnomes cards into my paltry decks.

Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream, which is scheduled to kick off between 3:00 and 4:00 PM EST. Read more…