It’s Erik Nagel: LoreHound Invades SiriusXM

Posted by on October 28, 2015 - No Comments »

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Big Kev had to go home early!

We Lore Hounds have been in the video game industry for years. Personally, I have covered the industry in a professional capacity for nearly a decade. Cutting my teeth on my very first site (now available!) and company during the Y2K crisis. Lore Hound itself has existed for over half a decade now. I guess what I’m saying is we’ve been around the block. Our small blogosphere is understood to be an incredibly dedicated bunch. By being around for so long our name has gotten out there. We’ve networked, social mediaed and drank ourselves into numerous meetings, swag and “free” lunches. Last week brought us a completely new opportunity. The chance to be on the gosh darn radio!

We jumped all over it.

During our run of New York Comic Con we were connected by a friend to Erik Nagel, the producer of the Opie with Jim Norton. It was instant nerd bliss. But it was short nerd bliss. To correct that Erik invited us onto the show itself! We graced it momentarily to round out the coverage of NYCC. For heaven’s sake you know we didn’t leave it at that. We couldn’t slink out of the bowels of SiriusXM without an interview. An interview with Geek Stuff’s Big Kev and OG and Erik Nagel himself is exactly what you’ll find after the cut. Read more…

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Sol

Posted by on October 20, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_deities_demigods_gods_smite_sol_Default_CardSMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive backstory of lore. From the Greek to Hindu, each week we’ll look at two characters from a major pantheon and provide a quick recap of their history and in what capacity their digital incarnation will represent on the field of Hi-Rez Studios’ new MOBA.

Lore: Sol, the definition of an astronomical time. The name of a somewhat bland beer. Sun in the Latin tongue. And the name of the Sun god in both Roman and Norse pantheons. Today, we’re focusing on that very final interpretation from the people of northern Europe. As with much of the Norse pantheon our knowledge of Sol is best detailed in the epic poems of Sturluson and those before him. Born of Mundilfari, the children were deemed so glorious that he named them after heavenly bodies. Sol became the sun and her brother, Mani, became the moon. Annoyed at such narcissism the gods put them in the heavens with their namesakes and sicked Fenrir’s children on them to ensure they drag their heavenly bodies across the sky without fail. Read more…

Instance Gratification 39: Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes

Posted by on October 19, 2015 - 2 Comments »

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Image this on your desk on Monday morning?

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 Tuesday for dungeon dives, solo attempts and general loot hoarding in your favorite games.

A particular skillset many uber successful streamers possess is the uncanny to be entertaining while talking incessantly. Many a person can jabber on endlessly but that tandem can be quite difficult over the long run. Trauma and I found a game that helped aid us in that challenge, the just-released indie title Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. The premise is quite simple, one person, in our case Trauma, enters a room. To their horror they find a bomb. With only their friends as resources they’ve to MacGyver it before they become Dexter-inspired wall paint. The key gameplay element though? The helpful friends cannot see the bomb, instead relying on a Bomb Defusal Manual to become the expert and relay it to the doomed compatriot.

Tune in after the cut for the most explosive episode of Instance Gratification to date. How well do you think I and Trauma did? Any guess on the over and under of his great demise? That’s right, I’ll be guiding Trauma to his salvation or gibbing.

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…

The Novel Post: The Witcher: House of Glass Review

Posted by on October 8, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_the_witcher_novel_post_house_of_glass_review_coverThis review of the The Witcher: House of Glass novel by Paul Tobin is of the spoiler-free variety. Be sure to check out The Novel Post for all of our licensed intellectual property reviews.

CD Projekt RED is going for the year of The Witcher. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been the critical darling of RPG fans starved for the gritty, mature world of The Continent since the last entry in 2009. It’s rare that gamers see such a dark fantasy world, one that doesn’t shy away from anything adult oriented. Sexual encounters, recreational drug use, violence, there’s little off limits to Geralt and the people he fraternizes with. In House of Glass, Paul Tobin continues to spread his creativity expanding from his early all ages works to the very mature tellings of Geralt, a lone hunter and his estranged wife.

Tobin opens the story the way most of Geralt’s missions begin, random happenstance. Traveling through the dangerous Black Forest, the Witcher comes across a widowed hunter. A man of the land that offers the mutated stranger dinner, which quickly degrades into drink and trading war stories. Melancholy sets in when personal tragedies are exchanged. The hunter remains in the Black Forest to be near his not-so-dead wife, whom was taken by the Bruxae and turned into one of them. As they meander through the Black Forest Geralt’s magical medallion tingles, alerting him to danger. And his mind to intrigue. Read more…

Gaming Goals: Do You Have Them?

Posted by on October 6, 2015 - No Comments »

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I’d like to point out that one of the two people have a better setup than the other.

If you’re new to the LoreHound community – shame on you! – you may not be aware that I log into games with explicit purposes. It’s plural because it is never a singular goal. I rarely, if ever, login for shenanigans. You’ll recall from MOBA Monday, Instance Gratification and F2P Friday that I consume, critique or conquer a wide variety of games. It’s partly to serve the community. To be honest, it is mostly to serve my ever-increasing gamer itch. I am interested in all genres. Every modification of them. Any way to diversify a product, business model or genre.

This is why I need goals when logging into a title. Frankly, there are so many games installed on my computer that I need an idea of what I hope to accomplish. Do I have an hour, ten minutes, three hours? That’s part of my decision tree. Am I looking for a story, popcorn entertainment or a way to tickle my intelligence? Again, a major decision factor. Perhaps I’m trying to finish a title on hard, hardcore or realistic difficulty. Or simply hoarding Achievement points. Each are accomplishments I strive for.

All I am saying is that I understand we gamers have multiple reasons to play. I’ve described many of mine. Why do you login every night to World of Warcraft? Why do you play League of Legends multiple times a week? What makes you return to DotA 2 every weekend? Is there a reason that first-person shooters see you for tens of hours a week and you never touch third-person shooters?

Inquiring minds want to know.

While you’re contemplating your conundrum you may want to pop a Wheely to clear your mind.

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained – Xing Tian

Posted by on October 1, 2015 - No Comments »

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Why not use a Monty Python reference for a Chinese deity?

SMITE: Demigods, Deities and Gods Explained is a column dedicated to introducing prospective players of SMITE to its massive backstory of lore. From the Greek to Hindu, each week we’ll look at two characters from a major pantheon and provide a quick recap of their history and in what capacity their digital incarnation will represent on the field of Hi-Rez Studios’ new MOBA.

Lore: What do you do if you’ve just been bested. No, more than bested. You were decapitated. You die, right? But let’s say you’re immortal. You don’t necessarily die die. You’d probably admit defeat, move on to something new. Perhaps someone is looking for a sort of gorey bird bath.  Any deity, demigod or god that has the chutzpah to continue his modus operandi after such a loss deserves the title of The Relentless. Xian Tian, a mere deity, earned it exactly that way.

Living purely for the purpose of fighting the Supreme Divinity, Xing Ting eventually succumbed when he lost his head. Dude stood up, was all Monty Python and bellowed out “Tis a flesh wound.” That bellowing didn’t come from his new bowling ball. No, it came from his belly button, which he, through sheer will, morphed into a fully functional mouth. For eyes he put use into male nipples. His head became so pointless, such a vestigial distraction that he allowed it to remain buried underneath the Changyang Mountain. Read more…

The F2P Monetization That Irks Me the Most

Posted by on September 28, 2015 - No Comments »

lh_scrooge-mcduck-swimming-in-money_free_to_play_monetizationI’ve written a few items around F2P monetization, from Blizzard’s application to a self aware review of how companies have goaded me into making justified contributions to work I’ve spent many hours in. Thanks to the Pope invading Philadelphia during my travels around the northeast I had a lot of time to think. Canceled trains, closed bridges, unknown returns provided me with ample time to continue the introspection. It led me to realize that I’m really only hung up on two aspects of the model: perceived value and ownership.

Perceived value is fairly obvious. Do I feel that the Founder’s packs are worth their entry fees? Do the items provide the benefit to earn the coin in my pocket? Perhaps most ironically and difficult to pin down, will I play the game long enough to make full use of the purchase? Or in the recent case of Blood Gate, will I even enjoy the game past the first 20 hours? Straightforward idea. Plenty of room for discussion. How do you perceive a purchase’s value in the F2P realm?

More difficult for me is the idea of ownership. I’m a long-time collector of video games having a historical archive dating back before my birth. Some items that’d even make it into the select museums. As such, ownership of what I am paying for remains important to me. You never own anything in a F2P game. You’ve zero claim most of the time, since you haven’t paid anything. Even when you do pay it’s in the Terms of Service that, naturally, you don’t own squat. You become uniquely aware of this issue when a beloved title disappears after you’ve spent time and money with it.

I realize that I own nothing in MMORPGs, F2P or the subscription model of World of Warcraft. That once I unsubscribe I lose all access to my character. I’ve struggled with the notion before. If only in a light passing. I rationalized the memories of the fun as the value.

Is this ownership concern a generational gap? Nope. I couldn’t care less about owning my music or movies. What about you?

Instance Gratification 38: Welcome Trauma & 20XX!

Posted by on September 23, 2015 - No Comments »

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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 Tuesday for dungeon dives, solo attempts and general loot hoarding in your favorite games.

Wow, what a summer. We hit so many conventions, through up so many YouTube videos, tossed up so many 140 character thoughts and took so many pictures that I don’t know where all the time went. Frankly, I think a few of us need a vacation from the summer vacation. Too bad, because it’s back to school season! As any quality raid leader knows that means progression attempts are on the docket. Heck, they’re all that matters!

We’ve a real treat for you this InstaGrat though. We’re pleased to introduce Trauma, a man that many of you know from our most popular QuakeCon video. Ever! Shh, don’t tell him that it was our second QuakeCon. Nor that we’ve never promoted a video so strongly. Or had such high production values (nice work, Jeremy!).

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. Here’s the introduction and the first 20XX run with Trauma! Read more…