The Novel Post: World of Warcraft: Stormrage Review

Posted by on April 23, 2010 - 3 Comments »

This review of World of Warcraft: Stormage is of the spoiler-free variety.  We’ll discuss the deeper meaning of the book in a follow-up post(s).

It’s no secret that Richard A. Knaak is not my favorite writer in the extended universe of Warcraft.  The man has penned numerous books for Blizzard, across all their franchises, and has had characters he created become integral parts of World of Warcraft.  I’ve enjoyed his story arcs, but balked at his dialog, characters and — here’s the clincher — his lack of understanding the universe he’s contributing to.

When I found out that he’d be tackling World of Warcraft: Stormrage, a book about Malfurion Stormrage (the most famous druid in the universe), I was excited and terrified.  On the one hand, it’d be difficult for Knaak to bring in his pet characters to a book about Malfurion Stormrage.  But on the other, he could turn Malfurion into an annoying twit just as easily.  With much trepidation, I cracked open the second hardcover WoW novelization and dove in.

Hit the jump to see how my swim went. Read more…

Lore Hound WoWcast: Episode 4

Posted by on April 23, 2010 - 1 Comment »

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Check out this week’s episode of our WoWcast! This week we’re chatting about the Arena Tournament Realm opening for registration, the Twitter Dev Chat, and even more heroic Lich King kills.

Also, check out Paragon’s how to kill Heroic Lich King guide.

Click the player above to listen, download the podcast, subscribe via RSS or iTunes

Also, we want to get you listeners involved! E-mail us at podcast@lorehound.comor leave us a voicemail using the button below or simply call us at (304) 884-LORE. We look forward to hearing from you guys.

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for a chance to win a Celestial Steed mount!

New Fallen Earth Developers Named; Blood Sports Patch Dated

Posted by on April 23, 2010 - No Comments »

The new mutation of Graboids! Find a rock!

It’s taken the company a few weeks, but Fallen Earth finally has a replacement in line for the departing Lee Hammock.  My main gripe of Fallen Earth’s most recent State of the Game address was that the company didn’t layout any restructuring plans.  It was just a goodbye, brush-it-under-the-table, nothing-to-see-here mention.  Now players can finally rest easy knowing that someone (actually, it seems like two people) will replace the Lead Game Designer.

Fallen Earth announced not one, but four position changes for the development stuff.  All of which come from within the company and have been a part of it for at least three years.  Basically, they know the game as well as anyone.

  • Wes Platt – Director of Content Development
  • Marie Croall – Senior Game Designer (closest replacement for Hammock)
  • Greg Roth – Senior Systems Designer
  • Josh Peery – Content Team Lead (the backup)

Marie and Wes will be available for a little one-on-many dev chat next Tuesday, April 29, at 3:00 PM EST via Twitter.

During the creation of this very post I received an e-mail from Fallen Earth with more exciting news.  The Blood Sports patch, v1.4 which we previewed during PAX East, will be going live on May 7.  It’ll include four PvP areas, 500+ achievements, the Clan Wars system, a huge new sub-sector called Deadfall and the Blight Wolf Mount.

Check out the preview for the full details on Patch v1.4.

Preorder Starcraft 2, Get a Beta Key!

Posted by on April 23, 2010 - No Comments »

Starcraft 2 Box Art

OMG Box art!

In case the title itself wasn’t descriptive enough to you, allow me to elaborate:

For as cheap as $5 from Gamestop, you too can have a Starcraft 2 beta key! If you haven’t snagged one from the Facebook page, Twitter, or other psuedo-random selection but are a die-hard Starcraft fan, this might be the route for you.

To my knowledge, this is the first time Blizzard has ever used this model to distribute beta keys. It seems to be jumpstarting their sales; as of the time of this writing, the regular version is the #1 seller in video games (and the collector’s edition is #3) on Amazon.com. Its a great system that has been used a lot in the past few years, and its great to see Blizzard on the gravy-train while giving customers what they want.

On the flip side, if the purpose of the beta is to actually test the game for bugs and balance to prepare it for release, selecting testers by a buy-in program may not seem like the optimal way to find people. Performance in other games, like sending invites to anyone on a Starcraft or Warcraft III ladder, or even top WoW players, seems like the best way to find the people who will find minute issues with your game. In the future, I think we will likely see a system like this more streamlined with universal Battle.net profiles.

Much how the very long WoW beta built up hype for the game, it seems pretty clear that this has become the marketing stage of the beta. The ability to essentially buy into playing the game early allows players who are excited about the game to play it now without the promise of a finished product.

How many copies did you buy?

For the Hoard 1.5: Whistle of the Venomhide Ravasaur

Posted by on April 23, 2010 - 1 Comment »

It’s been a long, 20-day grind. But after killing dinos, stealing feathers, stabbing bugs and gathering eggs, it finally is time to trade in my Venomhide hatchling for a full-fledged, rideable Ravasaur mount. Join me as I gather together all my missing quest items and journey back to Un Goro Crater one last time to finally experience the glory of the Venomhide Ravasaur.

Runes of Magic: Chapter 3 Begins

Posted by on April 23, 2010 - No Comments »

The first slice of the new Runes of Magic update, Chapter 3: The Elder Kingdoms, is now up on the official server. The update(3.0.0), titled “King’s Call” introduces a small portion of the continent of Zandorya. The update also adds a series of new items, quests, and new features. Players can now select the difficulty of instances like “Hall of Survivors” and “Heart of the Ocean.” There’s also a new function that lets players save their current progress in a dungeon or during a raid and return later(praise Jesus).

Updates to the monster card system are also present, cards which drop off monsters will now provide attribute bonuses. Guilds also have new things to play with. Chapter 3 brings with it three new guild drill grounds, six new guild quests, and stone fortifications to expand guild castles. Finally, slight balance changes have been made to keep gameplay as fair as possible.

Grand Chase Updates to Season 3

Posted by on April 23, 2010 - No Comments »

Grand Chase, the popular brawler MMO from Ntreev, has announced that it’s launching into its third season. Season 3 will be launched in two parts: Act 1 this month, and Act 2 in May.

Grand Chase: Season 3 will introduce a few major updates to the game, including revised missions, items, user interfaces, along with new dungeons and lands. Alcrubra, a new desert area, will appear beyond Silver Land and will include a serious amount of dungeons: the Goblin Work Site, Underpass of Lost Hope, Kungji Village, and Sands of Illusion. Another new area will be Archimedia along with the dungeon Hammer’s Reach. Equipment and items will receive an overhaul, making them easier due to stat normalization. The interface will also be receiving a facelift, missions will receive a reward scaling system and there will be a few technical updates as well.

Dragon Oath Giving Away Dragon Turtle Mount

Posted by on April 23, 2010 - 14 Comments »

Dragon Oath, the martial arts free-to-play MMORPG by ChangYou has recently gotten a new manager Community Manager (Lucy Song), and to celebrate, she’s giving away a Dragon Turtle Mount. The Dragon Turtle is a unique and powerful mount that boosts speed by 70% and can carry a passenger along. To win a Dragon Turtle mount, all you have to do is make a forum post about why you love the game in this here topic. That’s it, now hurry!