BlizzCon: Goblins vs. Gnomes First Impression

Posted by on November 10, 2014 - No Comments »

Goblins_vs_Gnomes_LogoHoly crap! Goblins vs. Gnomes, the first full-fledged expansion for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, is quite simply going to break any deck you have and eradicate the current meta for the digital card game. Warcraft players likely know why. It’s the very nature of the inventions that these tinkering races create. The creations tend to have an inherent flaw, they don’t always work to design. This will put players ever more at the feet of the random number generator (RNG) god.

This reaction is something Blizzard anticipated, even revels in. All of their literature for the GvG reveal admits to “interesting interactions” inherent to the first expansion. Quite simply the company selected the warring races of technical ingenuity in Warcraft to provide a “fun common theme” similar to what Curse of Naxxramas brought to Adventure Play. I’m sure you’ll eventually see me pulling out my hair after my Madder Bomber deals damage to the “wrong” target on the stream, but the risk of the play will assuredly become part of the fun.

Hit the jump for our full first impression, scan through all 28 revealed cards and don’t forget to return tomorrow for our interview with game director Eric Dodds. Read more…

BlizzCon: Top 10 Burning Overwatch Questions Answered

Posted by on November 8, 2014 - No Comments »

Overwatch_Poster_FinalIf you’re here then you’ll already aware that Blizzard Entertainment has revealed its first new intellectual property in 17 years. The glory goes to Overwatch, a first person squad-based shooter featuring former heroes of Earth turning to the darkside of the military, being mercenaries. The speculation for a reveal of some kind was huge, everything from a new WoW expansion to a Diablo expansion to a console game, and yes, even a new IP was possible. Some thought this BlizzCon would be boring. That’s certainly been proven incorrect.

Chris Metzen and Jeff Kaplan only had a few moments to showcase Overwatch. The first panel, which filled in that mysterious gap in the Main Stage after the opening ceremony, raised more still. Yeah, it provided us with expanded gameplay, a discussion of the game design and a breakdown of the heroes and expected roles. This naturally led to more questions. Here are the top 10 from the community.

What’s the story behind Overwatch? Who are these people and why do I care?

Overwatch is set in a very fictionalized future of Earth. According to Metzen, we’re sixty years removed from the present day. Technology must keep advancing at an insane pace to perfect mutant gorillas, blinking, force fields and such. Thirty years prior to this a great robot threat threatened Earth life. The response was the Overwatch, an institution of fighters large and small, powerful and agile from all over came together with a singular purpose of defending that way of life. After fending off this threat, which we believe will be detailed later, the institution struggled to remain relevant. Roughly five years before the game begins it collapsed and the heroes became private, independent contractors. Mercenaries.

How long has Blizzard been working on Overwatch?

Blizzard would not comment on this directly initially, often sidestepping the question by focusing on it being the first new intellectual property in 17 years. This has led many to believe that Overwatch is what was formerly known as Project Titan, an original IP set to be an MMO in a new universe. Overwatch indeed rose out of the ashes of Project Titan. This means that it’s been in development roughly forever. No wonder it’s so far along!

What’s the business model, single purchase, F2P or something else?

Blizzard steadfastly refused to address the issue. The current expectation is that it won’t be free-to-play. This assumption is mainly based on the lack of customization for characters, including skins and abilities, that would normally drive such a model. Blizzard specifically said that while they saw the potential for a male Tracer, etc., it was not a path Overwatch was currently entertaining. Read more…

A Genre A Long Time Ago: Trashing What I Love

Posted by on November 7, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_genre_long_time_ago_tor_TatooineHaving 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 game play 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.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to post. My apologies, Gamergate really slowed me down seeing as how my pro Slave-girl Leia stance was seen as misogynistic, and the phony feminists at decided to delete my original article all about the best topless cantinas in TOR.

I’ve decided to press on regardless. You are in for a real treat today because I’m going to vent. You won’t see much of this but I was bored of the endless praise I’ve had for this game so far, and I won’t feel like a true MMO gamer until I take some high-horsed cynical stance and trash what I love just a little bit. Get ready for a little old fashioned fanboy bitching.

My first gripe comes courtesy of the worlds themselves. Why create planets that mean nothing to the fans, and didn’t exist in the Star Wars universe until this game? Taris is a great example of the shoe-horning done to just push more Star-Warsy shit in my face. I’d rather have the game devs give me places that already exist in the EU like Adumar or Thyferra and go from there. Do I digress? No. Read more…

BlizzCon 2014: Let the Fun Commence

Posted by on November 6, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_blizzcon_2014_loot_goodie_bagFirst off, let me start with a resounding “FOR THE ALLIANCE!” Now that roll call is out of the way we can get on with this joke of a post. I mean, let’s be honest, the only reason people post unboxings and such is to gloat, right? It’s an opportunity to show off. Something they’ve got that you envy, couldn’t get yourself or didn’t make the decision soon enough. Whatever it may be, we’ve the BlizzCon 2014 goodie bag for you.

There’s an unusual amount of flyer type things featuring what boils down to advertisements (with discounts) of products hawking the Blizzard license. We’ve captured all the important bits in the above image. The real story of the day are the BlizzCon pins, which are only available for attendees and are seemingly going to replace the old quest objective. I fully expect people to go nuts for the pins sets. Blizzard had the collectors once they made some of them rare. Oh, and the requirement to have a ton of them to unlock a further unique pin.

Sorry Mur’ghoul, but you don’t hold a candle to collectible pins.

Personally, I’m more pumped for Blizzard pushing, a Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft initiative to have players meet in real life. Sure, they ripped off good ole’ Teddy Roosevelt with this one (or simply adapted the idea of BarCraft to the digital card game) but I’ll forgive them because it’ll be a fun way to discuss strategies like you used to before the Internet. Freaking technology ruined everything.

Instance Gratification 12: Guess Who’s (Hopefully) Ready for That UBRS Thing?

Posted by on November 5, 2014 - No Comments »



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.

Struck by the epidemic known as “playing with kids shortly after school season began” I have been covered in a grotesque mix of germs, sticky tissues and an endless flow of liquid. To be clear, that’s liquid I am trying to drink, but since I don’t want to lift my head up I tend to spill it all over me. Why am I oversharing? Why to set expectations. My goal is to be completely prepared to run the pre Warlords of Draenor Upper Blackrock Spire instance on my priest for your enjoyment later today. As I write this my ilvl is lacking by a little over a dozen points. That means I will be grinding as long as my eyelids can fight back any medicines I decide to ingest to ensure a comfortable rest.

Should all of that come to pass and the wipes stay to a minimum, it’ll be time for good ole Solidsamm to share the limelight with his sisterly priest. My OG character hasn’t seen much love lately, but I figured the least I could do for him is earn the pre WoD achievement. Even if it is quite a bit of a let down lorewise. Kinda sets one up for the blah direction of WoD lore in general, doesn’t it?

Hot damn I feel like crap. Hope the post, and the stream later, will be coherent…

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…

ArcheAge: Auroria Now Live!

Posted by on November 4, 2014 - No Comments »

ScreenShot0250The title says it all! The much awaited end game expansion for ArcheAge, Auroria is now live!

New vehicles! New gliders! New monsters! New dungeon! New lands to claim! Guild warfare! Castles! So much goodness, all ready to be explored. The question is – will I finally get a house?

I’d really like to write a long detailed post about it, but a neck injury is preventing me from staying at the computer for too long. So hopefully I can satisfy simply by linking to the patch notes, the official release blog,  and noting for those having difficulty logging in – for many, a restart of your computer will fix log in problems. That didn’t solve my issues, however flushing my dns did. For those willing to try it: simply open up cmd, and type ipconfig /flushdns.

To the right is a screenshot of the madness currently happening in Auroria. There are mass battles going on as guilds are banded together to try and claim land. I don’t think I’m going to get my farmhouse!

WildStar Details Mystery of Genesis Prime (Video)

Posted by on November 4, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_wildstar_genesis_prime_omni-core-1_carbinePart of our extensive PAX Prime coverage included a video interview with Stephan Frost on the Journey to OMNI-core 1. That single-player experience was only half the major features Carbine Studios has in store for the largest WildStar content patch to date. Chad Moore joined a recent Instance Gratification to discuss the upcoming Journey further.

The other half, which was kept embargoed until today, is the Mystery of Genesis Prime. Teased earlier, the company has thrown back the covers on this high-level area detailing multiple features and providing an all new teaser trailer, which you can find after the cut. The Mystery of Genesis Prime features an all-new level 50 area called The Defile chock full of new quests, lore and unlocks. The zone returns to the title’s current main antagonist The Strain with a side of The Entity to make sure your belt will struggle. Read more…

MOBA Monday: Titillating TOME & Superb SMITE (Giveaways)

Posted by on November 3, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_moba_monday_smite_regional_championshipMOBA 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.

Put away that install client, because we’re jumping back into the browser-based world of TOME: Immortal Arena. Yeah, we’re just as excited as the rest of the community after last week’s announcement of a November 21 Steam release, complete with a 5v5 map. It came out a little later that Kixeye is also working on a genre first, a 7v7 map, for release after the Steam launch. As I patiently wait I’m going to farm up some more experience for blessings. Not to mention run around as a flaming, rainbow pooping Diesel Orlon.

I decided that I am sick of simply farming Worshipers in SMITE, so it’s time to over commit and bum rush the suckers. As such, today’s stream will be the beginning of that dedicated effort to finally, finally get enough Worshipers to cross into actual ranked play. And yes, I’ll still be focusing my attention on Arena because it’d rather play a handful of games instead of just one. Maybe I’ll get back into Conquest after this goal is met. After all, there is the upcoming North American Regional that Lore Hound will be attending in late November. Need to have some Conquest chops if I’m to play the part.

MOBA Monday will kick off around 1:00 PM EST. 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, including this week’s SMITE god and skin codes and Diesel Orlon skin codes! Read more…