Instance Gratification 18: The Forgotten Realms Returneth

Posted by on January 21, 2015 - No Comments »

NW_PaladinScreenshot_010715Instance 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.

Being completely honest with everyone there have only been two MMORPGs that have fully grasped by cerebral cortex and sucked me in for any lengthy time in 2014. And while I’ve documentedplenty of my return to World of Warcraft lately, the other has seen less op-ed attention (but plenty of on-air play, interviews and news pieces). That being the world of Dungeons & Dragons, the Forgotten Realms section specifically and, to be even more specific, Neverwinter.  It certainly doesn’t hurt that Cryptic Studios has been in the news quite a bit lately. What with the upcoming Xbox One version of the action MMORPG and the next module hitting the newswire yesterday.

Neverwinter hasn’t ever been dropped, steadfastly soaking up precious space on my small SSD main drive that La Juega contains. Yes, my computer has a first name. Its action combat is thoroughly enjoyable. The gameplay is perfectly designed for my lizard brain; getting in, getting something done and getting out. Let’s not kid ourselves, Cryptic Studios (and Perfect World Entertainment behind them) know how to keep us hooked. The development studio consistently pushes new content patches or teases the next as soon as the general community begins to hunger. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during the marketing/product meetings as they review metrics and come to those decisions.

At any rate, it’s out with the new Warlords of Draenor and WildStar and in with the old. At least for this week on Instance Gratification.

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! The floggings will continue until the level has improved! Read more…

MOBA Monday: We’re Heading to a Dead Island, Little Buddy

Posted by on January 19, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_die-weapons_moba_monday_customizationMOBA 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.

In this week’s episode of MOBA Monday we’re going to take you on a little boat ride to Dead Island: Epidemic. The MOBA-style game set in the surprise hit Dead Island universe has been beta labeled for ages despite holding an impressive 9/10 score on Steam with over 16,000 user reviews. That may be due to its unique 4v4v4 PvP mode and an inclusion of PvE missions that enables players to level their characters and craft without the need of a stressful match.

We’ve tackled DI:E in the past. Multiple times in fact. Those previous sessions have one specific aspect in common, they all featured the PvE Scavenger mode the entire time Stunlock Games’ product was on screen. There was a very good reason for that. Up until recently DI:E remained in closed beta. Like TOME: Immortal Arena and Orcs Must Die! Unchained the closed part kept the queues insanely long, even untenable. No longer as Dead Island: Epidemic is fully in open beta testing these days.

That means you’ll get to see me newbing it up in my first 4v4v4 matches as a wiley level 3 (or so) starter character. I’ve a feeling much death with be involved. Mostly my own character doing the dieing.

MOBA Monday will be during the afternnon, kicking off at 2:00 PM EST timeslot, for the final time. Starting next week all shows will be moved to 7:00 PM. 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. Read more…

Smite World Championship: Overview

Posted by on January 17, 2015 - No Comments »

Following the regional championships of North America and European Union, in addition to the more impromptu regional championships of Chinese and Latin American/Brazilian, the first ever Smite World Championship was held in Atlanta, Georgia from January 9-11th of 2015. The best teams from around the world were gathered to determine the best, and the surprise addition of the only recently put together leagues of South America/Brazil and China only fueled the excitement. Cognitive Red and Cognitive Prime from North America,  Titan and SK-Gaming from Europe, Oh My God and DID from China, 404 Name not Found from Latin America and finally We Love Bacon from Brazil!

The crew here at LoreHound being big fans of smite decided to dedicate our time to covering this event for you, our fans, and we have a metric-shit-ton of stuff for you to check out!

Enjoy LoreHounds!

Sincerely,

Your LoreHound Crew

F2P Friday: Marvel Heroes Story Time

Posted by on January 16, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_marvel_heroes_f2p_friday_Xaviers_School_for_Gifted_YoungstersF2P 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 am by no means a dedicated comic book lore junkie. Certainly not a novice. The fact of the matter is that the lore around video games took hold of my interest somewhere in the mid 90s. Partially due to my town losing its only source of sporadic comic books. In my high school years I returned to the far flung worlds of Marvel and rekindled my interest. Large sums of money and a cavalcade of graphic novels later my knowledge is justifiably labeled as “nerd,” “geek” or “dork” by laymans. All of which I wear as a sign of pride.

You may be thinking “why watch the stream if he’s a comic newb.” Funny you should ponder that. I’ve three very good reasons. One: a Mr. Ryan Collins, the community manager and diehard comic book nerd, will be sitting in chat ready to answer any questions you (or I) have regarding Marvel Heroes and Marvel in general. Two: Developer Gazillion Entertainment has provided us with 100 Random Hero Box codes. That’s right, we’ll be giving away some serious loot! Three: There’s me.

Maybe that’s actually a drawback…

At least I’ll enjoy getting past Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. I hope. 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…

SWC: HiRezKelly on SMITE eSports & Breaking Into Streaming

Posted by on January 15, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_smite_world_championship_SWC_Kelly-LinkHiRezKelly wasn’t always the female face of SMITE eSports. Nope, she joined that crew after having her own successful stream over at HelloKellyLink. A stream that is still plenty alive with over 35,000 followers and a slim margin shy of 1.5M views. This not only means she knows a thing or two about the eSports industry, but streaming as well. Hi-Rez Studios, her current employer and the maker of SMITE, recently had a small shindig that enabled us to hunt down the girl in the little black dress for some Q&A on topics near and dear to the hearts of our community (and us, naturally).

Clocking in at under six minutes, our discussion includes the incredible journey of the prize pool for the SMITE World Championship from a delectable $600,000 to the incredible final sum of $2.6 million plus. But the discussion wasn’t focused on money. Rather, we took a tangential view from Hi-Rez’s recent “breaking into the game industry” video segueing discussion to the bombastic growth of eSports and the associated market of streaming. Most importantly to some will be a frank conversation on the competitive spirit, perhaps even social stigma, that causes some people to overlook eSports as an avenue.

After watching the video we’d love to hear your thoughts on the focus of the last two minutes or so of discussion. Do you find eSports an acceptable professional for any and everyone? Hit the jump to take a gander and leave us your thoughts in the comments. Read more…

SWC: Best of Smite World Championship Cosplay

Posted by on January 15, 2015 - No Comments »

Going to the Smite World Championship in Atlanta to see the professionals kick ass at the game we all love is great however, one of the greater charms at the event was none other than the wonderful cosplayers supporting their love for the game by creating extremely elaborate costumes and dressing up as their favorite characters. We here at LoreHound have recognized how much our viewers enjoy the pictures of cosplay we provide and so we’ve dedicated an entire article and reel of photos to bring you the best of the best down at the World Championship!

Read more…

SWC: Season 2 of SMITE as Told By Todd Harris

Posted by on January 15, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_na_championship_smite_todd_harris_not_bob_sagat_hi-rez_studiosYes, there was a $2.6M prize pool at the SMITE World Championship, tons of action, cosplay and a first hands-on with the Xbox One edition of SMITE. For many of us all these activities only made us more excited. I mean, the company has spent countless dollars on promoting SMITE eSports domestically and abroad. Quite simply we wondered what else the company has been working on (besides Global Agenda 2).

Reading our minds the company spent a few commercial breaks detailing what Season 2 will bring to the community. First and foremost was the reveal of a new Conquest map. Altered to increase visual queues, form a tighter immersion with players and soak up a ton of the art team’s time, the upcoming Conquest map looks amazing. But there’s no way in Hel we’re going to let COO Todd Harris get away with a few softball questions about a map change. We query the man with a plan on numerous issue pertaining to Season 2 from the removal of Domination to increased competition. Even reactions from the PC SMITE community to the Xbox One version of the title are discussed, including the “marketing muscle” from Microsoft.

You may call the interview a spiritual successor to the Partnerships and Business interview from the SMITE NA Championship in November. Hit the jump for the six minute discussion. Read more…

WildStar & ESO: 2014 AAA MMOGs with Big News Today

Posted by on January 15, 2015 - No Comments »

WS_2015-01_Looking_Ahead_02One bit of news is official, the other is unofficial and certainly rumor. We’ll go with the rumor from an unsubstantiated source first and that is this; The Elder Scrolls Online is no longer investigating a free-to-play transition, but fully preparing to make the business model change. Reports from retail sources across the globe are seeing boxed copies of TESO removed from shelves. In late 2014, Bethesda removed long-term subscription options under the guise that players haven’t opted for them. On the other hand, the company gave out hundreds, maybe thousands of copies for free during QuakeCon 2014.

The official information for WildStar gives new light to the MMORPG’s future after a series of layoffs and departures that have put some, including this blogger, on eggshells. Not to worry, says game director Mike Donatelli in a new community update. The post details three pillars of focus for the first half of 2015.

  1. Listen to player feedback to make gameplay more fun and “less grindy”
  2. Support a multitude of play styles, not just the hardcore or solo, newbs or end game
  3. “Invest in, enhance and grow [the] game”

Read more…