F2P Friday: Come with Me to Brawlhalla, Bring a Controller

Posted by on June 5, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_metadev_orion_brawlhalla_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.

I’m generally an excitable person. I don’t really know why. The topic doesn’t even matter. I could be, say, reading a piece on the evolution of statistics. A wild assortment of topics grasp my interest. I’m sure there’s some psychological reason. Something to do with being a middle child and needing attention maybe? I don’t know, but it’s who I am. The other core tenant of my personality is that I’m a loud person. Always a loud person. Why does this matter to you, a dear Lore Hound? Simple, I’m playing Brawlhalla again tonight. Those two personality traits will mix into a super saturation emotional state tonight.

Let’s set expectations. We’ll be heading back into the frantic brawler for some free-for-all battle. I’ll lose a good amount. I’ll win some here and there. I’ll scream. I’ll miss throws. I’ll get some lucky hits and clutch dodges. I’ll scream. I’ll try new characters. I’ll work on honing my skills with some old favorites. I’ll attempt my first Ranked 1v1 matches. I’ll scream. I’ll give away some beta codes and if we get there, maybe even our last Diesel Orlon skin code.
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 around 7:00 PM EST. Read more…

Balancing Solo & Pre-Made Queuers in Heroes of the Storm

Posted by on June 5, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_heroes_of_the_storm_matchmaking_solo_pre-made_group_queueIt is fundamental that any matchmaking system be balanced to perfection in order for both new and experienced individual players to enjoy the competitive landscape. The focus today is on Heroes of the Storm, the upcoming MOBA from Blizzard Entertainment. Based upon its popularity and ingenuity, the matchmaking system has received mixed reactions from players necessitating changes to be made, fast. After all, the title leaves open beta testing and enters the realm of launch on June 2, 2015. Have no idea about what Heroes of the Storm is all about? Take a moment to understand how you’ll be paired against foes before proceeding further.

Last week, we analyzed what issues Blizzard has tackled and will need to continue to address. This week we’re focusing on the gotchas of most matchmaking systems. That is how will Blizzard’s first MOBA handle pre-mades and solo queuers? Read more…

The Eternal Crusade Community Lets Me Know What’s Up

Posted by on June 4, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_eternal_crusade_Skarblitz_orks_dakkaLast week behaviour Entertainment released the latest newsletter for Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade. The newsletter was, well, a bit shy on details relative to what we’ve seen in the past. It made me realize, at least at the moment, that it wasn’t an outlier, an anomaly, a white dwarf. It had become a trend. I hadn’t seen newsletter with much meat. The website wasn’t being updated with tantalizing details to in-game story, gameplay or faction reveals as it was for so long.

Fairly, much of the easy marketing pieces have been revealed. The company has to dig a bit further to get us as excited as we were with the first screenshots and videos, then new tech, faction reveals and details on environments we’ll be roaming. Writing last week’s post I called out to the community. I realized that perhaps it wasn’t the amount of detail coming out that had slowed but the importance. Or that items were drowned out in an odd torrent of spring game news. Whatever the reason I figured the hardcore zealots of 40k could help out. While some members of the community were concerned as well. I believed in them. I dug around. They tried. Read more…

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Osiris

Posted by on June 2, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_smite_deities_demigods_gods_explained_Osiris_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’ upcoming MOBA.

Lore: Osiris, along with sisters Isis and Set, remain some of the most famous gods in the Egyptian pantheon. He’s a complicated individual more so than many other gods of his time. Coming to fruition in the earlier dynasties of Egypt, Osiris was linked to realms common to the religions of the world. The realm of the death, resurrection, life and the afterlife were under his control simultaneously or at various times in Egyptian history. As his role in the supernatural world morphed oft did his name melding with local cultures or lesser-known gods. Despite the varying etymology, the largest merger made him Ptah-Seker-Osiris adding Creator God to the aforementioned realms. Read more…

Instance Gratification 31: Epic Level Ups Ahead

Posted by on June 2, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_instance_gratification_witcher_epic_ding

An epic ding sequence. Link to gifv in the article.

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 Tuesday for dungeon dives, solo attempts and general loot hoarding in your favorite games.

Last week was a solid week. I played, and streamed, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt not only for Instance Gratification, but randomly on Thursday as well. I’m enjoying the game that much is all. Which is awesome, since I still plan on playing the game entirely via stream. That’s right, every newb move, every awkward misclick sending me down a question trajectory I didn’t anticipate, every herb picked (so many herbs!), each ding triggered will be documented for the world to ignore. I mean enjoy!

Those recent outings saw me clean up the area around White Orchard and progress the main storyline oh so slightly. There’s a griffin around – I’m not sure which way CD Projekt Red spells it – and it needs some dieing. Thing is, I’m still getting my combat legs underneath me. Not to mention the fact that my Gwent skills are a far cry from my Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft abilities. Then there’s the severe lack of supplies, money, epic dings and equipment that I didn’t come with installing the game from GOG Galaxy.

At least I seem to have gotten general combat under my belt. Not only have I been dodging, sidestepping and countering well, my general awareness of Geralt’s movements and range have dramatically improved. This is crucial when playing on hard mode. I can only imagine how unforgiving the game is on hardcore, but that’s for the second play through.

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 7:00 PM EST and run for an eventful two hours.

Read more…

Heroes of the Storm Now Live! LoreHound Has You Covered

Posted by on June 2, 2015 - No Comments »

heroes_ofthe_storm_launch_release_sky-templeThere’s nothing quite like a following the development of a Blizzard Entertainment product. The endless waiting. The ironic ™ dropping at the end of any item of interest, be it news or what a community manager will have for breakfast. The years of reporting, press releases and hands-ons. StarCraft took over a decade to see a proper sequel. World of Warcraft expansions drop well after content droughts make California look like a flood plain. Or that Warcraft IV may come to fruition. But Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has been reseting these expectations. Heroes of the Storm has to, but only in that incarnation.

After all, Heroes of the Storm, the first mixing of all the Blizzard universesseriously, all of them – is the third crack at a Blizzard multiplayer online battle arena. A genre its seminal WarCraft III inspired. First announced as part of that StarCraft II arcade maker thingy, the game quickly outgrew its free mod status getting spun off into a standalone product dubbed Blizzard Heroes. That’s after Blizzard filed a lawsuit over the use of DotA2 by Valve.

After years in development the alpha label was dropped earlier this year. A Founder’s Pack purchase, of dubious value, enabled players to flood into the closed beta. Albeit temporarily. Shortly thereafter closed became open last month and here we are at launch on June 2, 2015. In less than six months the game went from the end of technical alpha to launch. Bravo, Blizzard. Bravo!

Bonus, the company is having a sale and pushing 25% more experience during this week!

Hit the jump to gander at our trove of HotS content, click for The Calling and take part in the launch livestream. Read more…

MOBA Monday: Ah Puch! Gesundheit. Thanks, Here’s a Giveaway!

Posted by on June 1, 2015 - No Comments »

moba_monday_God_A_Ah_Puch_smiteMOBA 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.

Ah Puch, a peculiar selection from the Maya pantheon, is the latest god to join the Battleground of the Gods. I haven’t been able to take him for a spin quite yet, but have had to deal with his kit, a mix of incredible area of effect damage and debuffs. It’s a bit agonizing depending who you’ve selected. Why is he a peculiar addition to the growing MOBA? Simply because he’s the loosest adaptation of a pantheon to date. Not because, like Kukulkan, the historical lore is shady. Nope, Ah Puch is, effectively, entirely made up.

That’s not entirely fair. It’s not that Hi-Rez Studios made up the Horrific God of Death simply to kit out another magical mage. There’s plenty, nearly endless options in the pantheons of Earth religions past, present and future. It’s more that early western studies of the kingdom and historians conflated mentions of Ah Puch and death gods as one and the same. In reality, scholars of the Maya universe recognize only two death gods, One-Death and Seven-Death, which are considered to be a single God; Death.

Now that you’ve been updated on the lore join me in destroying others or destroying those selecting the fakish Maya god. Giveaways are simply another perk to hearing my nails-on-chalkboard voice!

Don’t forget that all Lore Hound Twitch shows have been moved to their new time at 7:00 PM EST. Hit the jump or head directly to the channel page to watch live. Follow for all the updates and giveaway opportunities. Read more…

The Hard Knocks of Matchmaking in Heroes of the Storm

Posted by on May 29, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_heroes_of_the_storm_matchmaking_complaints_all_heroesIt is fundamental that any matchmaking system be balanced to perfection in order for both new and experienced individual players to enjoy the competitive landscape. The focus today is on Heroes of the Storm, the upcoming MOBA from Blizzard Entertainment. Based upon its popularity and ingenuity, the matchmaking system has received mixed reactions from players necessitating changes to be made, fast. After all, the title leaves open beta testing and enters the realm of launch on June 2, 2015. Have no idea about what Heroes of the Storm is all about? Take a moment to understand how you’ll be paired against foes before proceeding further.

Last week, we removed the fog of war around Heroes of the Storm matchmaking. This week we’re not pulling any punches, discussing what’s wrong with the system and how it hampers the explosive potential of Blizzard’s first MOBA. Read more…