F2P Friday: Marvel Heroes Community Play & Giveaway

Posted by on March 12, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_f2p_friday_marvel_heroes_zergidF2P 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.

After a short hiatus to deal with the double dose of the new Penny Arcade Expo 2015 season we’re back for F2P Friday. We’re not limping back into this. Not by any means. We want you, yes, the person reading this to join in on the festivities. To facilitate such a potential public livestream disasters we’re privileged to have access to an upcoming feature from the new gaming social media app known as ZergID. Head on over to the site if you’re not familiar with it yet, but the basic idea is it’ll allow gamers to reconnect and return to our social ways. Especially great for facilitating and reconnecting to guildies from games past.

What game shall be ushering in such a dramatic return to Friday streaming? None other than our favorite (bribable) community that keeps the lights on at Gazillion Entertainment. Yeah, that’s right, I’ll be tackling the final story areas of Marvel Heroes and giving away Random Hero Box codes during the event. Be sure to sign up for the Public Event over on ZergID, friend me in game (iTZKooPA, of course) and be prepared for me to have no ideas what’s going on!

I’ll be the guy throwing knives at anything that moves.

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…

PAX East 2015: Guild Wars 2 Reddit Community Gets Their Questions Answered (Interview)

Posted by on March 12, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_pax_east_guild_wars_2_Heart-of-ThornsFresh off the PAX South announcement of  Heart of Thorns ArenaNet offered the Lore Hound crew an opportunity for an old-school text-based interview. The team instantly began tossing ideas and leveraging our best Guild Wars 2 experts, which is most assuredly not me. Partially because of my lack of follow through I felt the need to reach out to the larger, far more dedicated GW2 community for assistance in formulating questions and inquiries. After all the first expansion was announced with numerous unanswered questions lingering. Boy, oh, boy did they ever humble the hell out of this blogger.

In a scant few days we blasted past 100 comments. Numerous users responded to others with new information or dug up old details to address the original query. As the editor and person responsible for delivering the question to the developer I condensed and pruned the massive list, ran it by our expert and delivered to the team. They were taken aback, quickly asking for more time due to the depth of some of these questions.

Ultimately, a few more days and some mulling over internally lead to ArenaNet opting to delay the response until PAX East. Where we’d be able to sit down for an extensive live demo of Heart of Thorns before standing up with live developers to query them on the remaining lines of questioning. Check out the worthy questions and answers fielded by Isaiah Cartwright and Matt Wuerffel after the cut.

Don’t forget to watch our full behind-the-scenes demo! Read more…

A Genre A Long Time Ago: Finding Your Voice, Getting Social in TOR

Posted by on March 11, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_swtor_star_wars_social_newbHaving recently celebrated Star Wars Day, and getting caught up in the recent barrage of updates and rumors on Star Wars Episode 7, we’re bringing you a new column focused on one of the biggest sci-fi franchise. We all had to start somewhere, and our resident Star Wars fan-boy Wedgeantilles began his MMOG experience with Star Wars: The Old Republic.  He’ll be giving an outsider’s look on what it’s like to play your first MMOG, along with providing gameplay insight and helping those of you not as familiar with the platform to not feel so intimidated or alone in vastness of the galaxy that makes up SWTOR. Enjoy.

I have finally begun to figure out group play. It has taken me a while to dig in since I doubt my abilities and experience; I don’t like being the person holding everyone back. However, having jumped off at a couple group flash points, I find that my worries were completely unfounded. There has been no reason for me to get that noobie anxiety. Although other players certainly have more XP and a mastery of the game I doubt I’ll ever have, once paired with a group you’ll realize that most players are just looking to kick a bit of galactic ass. Whether grouping up for heroics or just finding a few players to complete missions with, the group flashpoints are a great place to gain XP and learn new ins and outs from either veteran players or fellow noobs. To make grouping up even easier, there is a group queue icon located on the top left side of the mini map that works the same as the Galactic Starfighter queue; click the icon, continue playing, and when the group quota is filled, you’re off. The realization of how to use this feature turned me into a social butterfly of sorts, and I even ended up being invited into a guild. Read more…

PAX East 2015: Reenter Blackrock Mountain in a Solo Hearthstone Adventure (Interview)

Posted by on March 10, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_blackrock_mountain_woo_pax_eastA few weeks ago, Shaktaji and I spent some quality Valentine’s Day time arguing, cheering and cheersing over Hearthstone: Goblins vs. Gnomes. The two hour F2P Friday stream featured an insane amount of legendaries, a succulent selection of epics and a pungent bouquet of rares. Naturally, neither of us could wait to see what Blizzard Entertainment had up its sleeve after the great Blackrock Mountain datamining of a scant week and change ago.

Blizzard’s PAX East panel did not disappoint in revealing the worst kept secret since the Apple Watch. Not only were we given a taste of the incoming Blackrock horde, but another fast-paced release date. That’s right, Blackrock Mountain is heading to a mobile platform near you in a scant few weeks making it Blizzard’s third major addition to the award-winning card game in less than a year. Complete with five more wings, 20+ cards to collect and seventeen unique boss fights!

Senior Producer Yong Woo discusses timing, the Solo Adventure’s upcoming mechanics and a host of additional juicy information during Blizzard’s PAX East after party where we played a demo against Coren Direbrew and his heroic tooling. Now exactly how Nefarian settles his difference with you using a Ragnaros card against him remains to be seen. Breaking the fourth wall much?

It’s all after the cut. Read more…

PAX East 2015: Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns (Exclusive Walkthrough)

Posted by on March 8, 2015 - No Comments »

Guild Wars 2 Heart of ThornsHave we got a scoop for you, Guild Wars 2 fans. An excellent exclusive walkthrough of upcoming content straight from the horse’s mouth. Yeah, we’re talking about a two-man squad of ArenaNet game design leads discussing what’s coming to Guild Wars 2 by way of its first expansion, Heart of Thorns. Hot on the heels of a recent GW2 Instance Gratification comes an intimate walkthrough of raiding, gliders, lore and a whole bunch more. Far more informative than my rambling, unskilled (re)discovery of how the mechanics in Guild Wars 2 works.

Our chat isn’t an over-the-shoulder, jerky and grainy mess. This is the bee’s knees in camerawork. It’s like it’s fed directly from the rendering computer into your eyeballs. Because it is (in an existential sense)! Your eyeballs will impress your brain with what they’ve seen. But your ears will seal the deal with the exciting details from Jon and Peter. We’re talking a solid 10 minutes of unbridled Guild Wars information of the highest quality.

Absorb it all after the cut.

Read more…

Ascent – The Space Game: Interview With James Hicks

Posted by on March 6, 2015 - No Comments »

louie2I’ve been going gaga over Ascent lately,  so I am super excited to have had the chance to fire a few questions at James Hicks, Galactic Overlord. He is the Lead Programmer and Lead Designer of Fluffy Kitten Studios, so is more than qualified to interpret for Louie, the fluffy  kitten himself. A sandbox space game designed around the actual Milky Way, Ascent allows players to take to the stars and explore, colonize and exploit the resources of the galaxy.

After speaking with him, I have the urge to run out, buy a Unicorn and paint my ship hot pink. So if you see a hot pink Unicorn zipping around this weekend, feel free to say hello!

Read more…

Ascent – The Space Game: First Impressions

Posted by on March 4, 2015 - No Comments »

2015-03-02_00001Last Friday, Ascent – The Space Game hit early access on Steam. A space game modeled on the actual milky way – how cool is that? Trading, exploration, colonization, mining, research… its list of features just goes on and they’re not even done yet. How cool is that, too?? So I sat down to give the game a little try despite being horribly sick with the flu … I’ve only been playing it for a day or two, so there is no way I could write a fully comprehensive review yet, and I’m sure as I play more I’m going to have to come back and say – oh wait! I was wrong when I said [insert statement here]! – but I wanted to toss up  a first impressions because I do so love my space sandbox games.

I’ve blown up a couple of space pirates, ferried around countless colonists, delivered packages, started building a grain farm on a habitable planet, purchased a combat ship, learned how to mine from asteroids, and harvested gases from gas giants. Seems like a fair list of things to talk about, even though I haven’t yet left the starter system.  Read more…

Instance Gratification 22: Technology Woes Meet Gameplay Woes

Posted by on March 3, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_instance_gratification_disenfranchised-world_of_warcraft_dungeons_garrisonInstance 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.

This week’s technology battle had nothing to do with my arch nemesis. Nope, Comcast deserve none of the credit for hampering my gameplay, for driving me nuts with random crashes, freezes and the unpleasant mid-game lock up. That, my fine readers, goes unequivocally to dust. Yeah, a nasty collection of human skin, human hair and Psylocke fur created a massive superstructure inside my AMD Radeon HD card’s fan cooling system. Of course the realization came after much time was spent looking at the software side.

Being able to play tonight unlocks a gameplay woe. That being my continued disenfranchisement with World of Warcraft, the game that crystallized my addiction to the MMORPG genre which has never let up. It’s not any one feature or lack thereof or replacement that’s caused me to slowly detract from WoW. Rather it’s a collection of game design decisions, competition, industry innovation – or at least, industry shift – and naturally, real life. Blizzard Entertainment has altered the direction of WoW a few times. Sometimes for the better, Wrath of the Lich King, and sometimes for the worse, Mists of Pandaria. Neverwinter has eaten into my quick fix for dungeons. MOBAs indoctrinated not just myself, but millions upon millions of competitive gamers. And, well, life.

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 at its new time, 7:00 PM EST, and continue until approximately 9:00 PM! Read more…