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…

Das Tal: Live Stream Sunday

Posted by on May 29, 2015 - No Comments »

Frame2We’ve got some Das Tal fun coming up! I reached out to Fairytale Distillery, and they responded with an enthusiasm that I love to see in game designers! On Sunday, May 31st, starting by 3PM PST, iTZKooPA will be streaming a portion of the upcoming Das Tal playtest preview on the LoreHound Twitch channel. I’m hoping to join him, although it’s still up in the air as to whether I’ll be able to swing it or not. But if not, I’ll be looking forward to watching the replay of his time in game!

Since Das Tal has several features that are pretty unique, I will extend this Livestream announcement with a description of several things that make this game so intriguing. Hopefully I will have the chance to tag in for an actual first hand play experience, but for now, click the little button below to see what has me watching this game with such interest! Read more…

Latest Eternal Crusade Newsletter Light on Details

Posted by on May 28, 2015 - 1 Comment »

lh_news_updates_eternal_crusade_AbbadonRecently, we expressed some concern over the on-going development of Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade. The history of 40k MMORPG attempts is bad enough. More recently we saw the developer, behaviour Interactive, go a bit quiet on development updates. That’s easily explained by a large development change or major milestone forcing everyone to keep their heads down. Most disconcerting was that their has been some lost some brain power in key roles.

The Founder’s packs have been confusing, but that’s largely settled now. Previously, all facets of development were spout from the official newsletter and website. Retweeted, Facebooked, etc. out the wazoo. After some reassurances that has since tailored off. True, the livestreams have been dishing out details, but it’s been largely minor. Decisions made by committee, by community, such as the recent reveal of Abaddon, the leader of the Chaos Space Marines. With so much, albeit small bits of, concern my trepidation is returning.

Please, by all means, help me dig up details to the contrary. Help me set myself at ease. I’ve waited for this title for, I don’t know, over a decade let’s say. I don’t want it to be in a tailspin. I don’t want this week’s small fry newsletter to be a sign. I’d rather focus on the two new great short stories. The increasing reveals of Arkhona and the dark, gritty, combative universe it’s going to bring to life. Hopefully. And hopefully soon.

Instance Gratification 30: The Culling of Wargs & Wolves in White Orchard

Posted by on May 26, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_the-witcher-3-wild-hunt-alchemy_instance_gratification_wargs_wolves_white_orchardInstance 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.

We’re heading back to the Continent of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. This evening, delayed until 9:00 PM EST, I’ll be bring the pain to the animal life that’s become a bit, how do you say, aggressive to the local folk. Sure, there are plenty of contracts I could be wrapping up rather than acquire a few dozens pelts. But those lupines deserve it. They attacked my Roach, my trusty stead! Consequences and repercussions must be levied out!

Not only that but those pack hunters have been absolutely impeding on my progress. Collectively, they’ve downed me at least half a dozen times during last week’s escapades. That is also a perfect example of why I need to farm; to practice combat against lower mobs before heading towards heavy-hitting contracts. Obvious experience to gain, if slowly, while I farm up more materials for the all important potion crafting. And no, I won’t be leveraging the recently discovered cowhide exploit. I mean, come on, no bovine ever hurt me.

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 9:00 PM EST and run for an eventful two hours. Read more…

Das Tal Adds New Kickstarter Tier: The Sentinel

Posted by on May 26, 2015 - No Comments »

4_buildingLast week, I discussed the kickstarter for upcoming PvP sandbox game Das Tal. The game itself looks pretty interesting, and I have to say, in terms of kickstarter campaigns that I’ve seen, the guys behind it are some of the most community responsive. They didn’t simply launch their campaign, they did prep work first to determine what their community wanted to see in backer tiers, what they didn’t want to see, and when they wanted to see it. The result is the current Das Tal Kickstarter campaign.

But they didn’t stop there. Read more…

Pulling Back the Mystery Around Heroes of the Storm Matchmaking

Posted by on May 22, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_heroes_of_the_storm_matchmaking

It 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.

Heroes of the Storm

In this particular game, there are currently three modes that you can play. First, there is a Practice mode, which is aimed at training players to enter the other two modes, Versus and Cooperative. In each case styles differ and who you play against varies. The techniques of a practice mode are a far cry from certain victory against real life opponents, but the core elements of the game are anchored on strategies. Just like any online game, if you have a better strategy in place chances are that you will emerge the victor. Read more…

Das Tal Kicks Off Its Kickstarter Campaign!

Posted by on May 21, 2015 - No Comments »

EnvironmentCompostion01What better way to celebrate a departure from the sickbed than an upcoming sandbox announcement? You know I love sandbox MMORPGs..

Das Tal has begun its kickstarter campaign.  It is self described as the love child of a sandbox MMORPG and a fast-paced PvP arena. Sounds interesting to me – I love sandbox games, and I love pvp games – so long as pvp is a core part of the design. So many times pvp and pve are separate entities, leaving a difficult balancing act that seems to always result in one side or the other feeling like the proverbial red-headed stepchild.

One of the features of Das Tal that I find particularly interesting is what they call the time-boxed worlds. Each server runs for a limited time, ending with a climatic event, and then begins anew – with the players deciding which features the new campaign will have.  Read more…

Instance Gratification 29: Into the world of The Continent or Geralt of Rivia

Posted by on May 19, 2015 - No Comments »

instance_gratification_29_geralt_witcher_wild_huntInstance 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.

I’ll be the first to admit that The Witcher III: Wild Hunt isn’t the most applicable game for this livestream show. I mean, it’s not even in our extensive MMO Game List and that’s because it lacks any online component to speak of. That being said the entirety of the game resides on a single instance; my PC. So single-player RPGs are the most instance-based dungeon adventures possible. Right? Well, that’s the case I made to the team when I pitched Geralt’s first foray into Lore Hound during this week’s Instance Gratification.

The fact of the matter is that The Witcher, the entire franchise, is one of the greatest RPGs of recent years. That’s not an opinion, scores and reviews back it up. An opinion would be more akin to one of the greatest RPGs of all time. Based in fact, but far less rigid. Having read the first compilation of short stories that launched the Polish fantasy franchise and the first novelization I was easily drawn when CD Projekt Red, a company I was already a fan of, adapted it years back.

New to the universe of Geralt of Rivia? Don’t remember where it left off? Or, perhaps more importantly, which choices you selected in The Witcher II? Fear not, not only can you reselect these, if you, like me, can’t find your save file, but you can opt to change them. Gamespot has an excellent summation to address all of these concerns.

Branching stories, monster hunting, mature content – yes, that includes sexual content – combat choices, beautiful graphics, replayability and a deep bestiary keep me coming back for more. The only hang up has actually been locating the game – a physical purchase includes a copy of an all-new graphic novel – rather than heading to the excellent Good Old Games or better known Steam for a digital copy. This conundrum simply means that’ll I’ll be running home to initiate the download in hopes of kicking off our fantasy foray in time for the 7:00 PM EST start time. Wish me luck.

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…