PAX Prime 2014: World of Warships Balances Simulation & Action Combat (Video)

Posted by on September 15, 2014 - No Comments »

WoWS_Keyart_Id_Block_EngHere’s your motivation: your a giant, thousand plus manned metallic behemoth that somehow, potentially defying the very laws of physics, manages to float on water. Guns of unimaginable power swivels around your deck with the smoothness of a pig in slop. Other similarly designed vessels are cutting through the water simultaneously launching planes bent on your destruction. Defend this island cluster, stay alive and help your allied ships create a few new reefs.

Like World of Tanks and World of Warplanes before it, World of Warships is taking Wargaming.net’s philosophic design of historical simulation and accuracy and looking to blend it with action combat. Featuring the destructive forces of numerous navies, even those with little real-world power, Warships is shaping up to make a splash in the combative trilogy of Wargaming’s portfolio.

Associate Producer Chris Scott details the difficulty of balancing the company’s desire for historical accuracy and fun gameplay, conceits made, new mechanics required by running an entire ship and plenty more in our exclusive interview. Read more…

PAX Prime 2014: H1Z1 “Hard to produce a true sandbox experience” (Video)

Posted by on September 15, 2014 - No Comments »

Catch!

Catch!

Sony Online Entertainment, like many developers of MMOGs, is a rather cagey developer. Par the course tends to be to keep everything close to your chest, design decisions, customization options, story and monetization. This trend is disappearing. It’s partly the drive everything more accessible – see the F2P genre – a touch of diversifying yourself from the crowd and a splash of themepark MMOGs no longer being the favored genre darling – see MOBAs.

H1Z1 is not a themepark MMOG. SOE gives you a living world full of zombies, items, crafting, wildlife and weather. This lets players step into a title more akin to a create your own adventure. Because SOE isn’t attempting to tell you a story, to force some moral or ethical questions or decisions down your throat, the company needs players to test its systems. That’s why Jimmy Whisenhunt was sure to point out that H1Z1 is quite possibly the earliest gamers have seen an SOE title because “It’s so hard to produce a true sandbox experience” without players. Lots of them.

The sandbox title remains in early alpha testing. We’ll be on the lookout for beta access codes for the community. Read more…

MOBA Monday: Something New and Something Old (Giveaway)

Posted by on September 15, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_TOME_immortal_arena_moba_monday_smite_orlonMOBA 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.

You know what I’m not doing right now? Downloading the MOBA that’s going to be one half of today’s presentation. That’s because Kixeye has managed to make a seamless experience in your browser thanks to its ingenuity with the popular Unity engine. TOME: Immortal Arena is one of those rare gems that can take you completely by surprise at a convention. Focusing on accessibility and challenging numerous MOBA tropes, the designers are heading in an interesting, if somewhat uncharted, direction.

And the old, well that’s me going back to farming up Worshippers for Arena play in SMITE. It’s been a few months and unlock TOME, Hi-Rez Studios was not part of the festivities in Seattle the other weekend. That’s not a knock by any means. It’s actually an excuse. I haven’t had any time to play SMITE in that long because of the convention and all the post production it requires. Time’s of the essence.

Oh, and more SMITE god and skin codes to give away!

Today’s MOBA Monday returns to its normal 1:00 PM EST timeslot. 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. This is especially important for TOME: Immortal Arena players as we’ve a nice collection of Diesel Orlon codes that will be given away over the next few weeks. Read more…

F2P Friday: Nosgothian Curse Ending (Giveaway)

Posted by on September 12, 2014 - No Comments »

highres_screenshot_00016_1401361891F2P 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.

Wow, PAX Prime has brought us an absolute ton of new material for F2P Friday. Better yet, we’ve so much loot from the awesome Seattle-based convention that sharing with you shant be a problem at all. You can familiarize yourself with many of the titles from our interviews at the show, such as Nosgoth, TOME, Pokemon TCG Online, and plenty more. Today, we’re going to return to a full dual-game F2P Friday by starting with the former, returning to a world full of vampires and humans that fight rather than be fed upon. That’s right, back into the Blood Omen with Nosgoth.

The back half of today’s stream will, hopefully, feature the third time I’ve assault the final area of Curse of Naxxramas and the second time I’ve come out alive. Sadly, I didn’t down anything back in vanilla WoW, few did, but the second appearence in Wrath of the Lich King saw Kel’Thuzad feel the taste of my poisons. Fear not, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft fans, even if I do end Naxxramas, it won’t be the last adventure in the TCG. Not only do we have over 100 cards upcoming, but I need to start getting serious with my seasonal play and, well, the game is just darn fun and makes for an engaging stream.

Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream, which will be replaced later with the recorded edition of the show. Should my Internet hold up, the stream will appear at its normal time, 1:00 PM EST to about 3:00 PM EST. Read more…

Gabe Heiland on Swordsman’s Differentiation & Future (Interview)

Posted by on September 11, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_swordsman_openbetaThe martial arts themed MMORPG is quite new to audiences in the West. A scant few games have made the transition from overseas. This is naturally relative to how many are currently available there. Fewer still have done it with any resounding success. That’s only one of the reasons Swordsman, from Perfect World Entertainment, stands tall. It’s not only the latest such import, but, according to our reviewer, one that keeps her heading back to hone her wax on, wax off skills. It’s unique – again, to us in the West – angle and game design even has her thinking a little outside the review box. Hence why Pherephassa reached out to PWE for our first interview.

Lore Hound: Who are you and what are your duties in regards to Swordsman?

Gabe: I’m Gabrielle (Gabe) Heiland, the Product Manager for Swordsman. I oversee our version of the game and serve as the main point of communication between our audience and our developers.

How would you describe Swordsman? How does it stand out from other martial arts themed games?

I’d describe Swordsman as an epic playable martial arts movie. The movement and combat is very fluid, giving you a sense of the power of a martial artist from the comfort of your computer chair, while also delivering a great story, told through cut scenes, of love, loss, and betrayal.

What excites you the most about the game?

For me the appeal is mainly in the movement. Swordsman is a very responsive game. Your combat effectiveness is tied directly to your skill as a player and knowledge of the game, rather than set skill rotations or gear. You can triple jump, glide, air dodge, and block at the press of a button, making your reactions an integral part of gameplay. It’s very satisfying to pull out a win in our arena because you blocked at the correct time, dodged under your enemy’s attack, then came crashing down on them in a vertical charge. Read more…

PAX Prime 2014: TOME: Immortal Arena – A MOBA in a Browser (Video)

Posted by on September 10, 2014 - No Comments »

TOME Immortal Arena - LogoCan’t say I saw this one coming. Developer Kixeye is bringing the MOBA genre to a browser near you. Sticking to the free-to-play – pay for cosmetic or faster progression only – mantra that’s become so popular, all you need to do is load the website to play. That’s right, no download. Kixeye is taking accessibility, one of the game design’s core tenets, to a whole new level in TOME: Immortal Arena.

We received our first taste of TOME as part of the Twitch booth. Creative Director Shawn Carnes took me through a session of the only map currently available, a quick 3v3 battle. Unfortunately, it was only bots, so the competition wasn’t exactly up to snuff, but the ease of victory allowed Carnes to explain the various systems. Many of these systems, from blessings to tower ammo turn some of the MOBA tropes on their head. Others, well, they’re exactly as you’d expect and that’s a good thing.

Check out the full interview below for my first impressions, how Kixeye pulled off a browser-based MOBA that plays seamlessly and more on the systems that diversify the title from the ever-encroaching pack of MOBAs. Read more…

Instance Gratification 6: WildStar Livestream Interview with Chad ‘Pappy’ Moore

Posted by on September 10, 2014 - No Comments »

lh_PAX_omnicore_instance_gratification_papi_avatarInstance 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.

Today’s going to be one of those special days, Lore Hounds. We’ve got Chad ‘Pappy’ Moore, the creative director of WildStar, joining us for the play session! Pappy couldn’t make the days events at PAX Prime, and while our interview with Stephan Frost was stellar, it’s a bit different hearing about the upcoming lore from the creative director himself. Chad, beamed in via the wonders of Skype, will be addressing our prepared questions on the goings on of Nexus and you’re live questions, so be sure to tune in. If you can’t make it but still have a burning question, then leave it in this thread or shout it to our Twitter and we’ll do our best to get it in.

To prevent us from being two boring talking heads, I’ll be running around WildStar on my streaming character, the much ballyhooed SolidSagart, healbot and quester extraordinaire. Try not to make fun of her too much. She’s sensitive, but very ecstatic at having recently picked up her first professions!

Be sure to subscribe to the channel for all our streams, giveaways and general shenanigans. Hit the jump for the livestream, which will be replaced later with the recorded edition of the interview. The show will kick off around 1:00 PM EST and continue until Chad Moore has to go back to work. See you there! Read more…

PAX Prime 2014: Nosgoth Returns to the Kain’s Legacy in PvP Combat (Video)

Posted by on September 10, 2014 - No Comments »

highres_screenshot_00029_1401361893Are you a gamer that’s old enough, or interested enough in the past, to remember Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, a action-adventure title that kicked off back in 1996? In the original title, players took the role of Kain, a vampire set upon avenging his death that begins to accept and feel empowered by his new found abilities. Set in a dark fantasy setting and employing top quality writing and voice acting for the fledgling PlayStation, the title launched a critically acclaimed franchise that spanned multiple platforms and generations.

These generations aren’t simply gaming generations. There are hundreds of years in the world that was left without a hero. It’s in these times that Nosgoth, an upcoming F2P multiplayer action game from Pssyonix, is firmly nestled. Sans hero, the world of Nosgoth is torn between the armies of vampires and the ranks of humans. The humans players take hold of don’t cower in fear, they fight back with their own impressive arsenal in this multiplayer-only title.

Not a MOBA, not your typical third-person shooter, Eric Majka of Pssyonix – who is freakishly tall – had no issues explaining the core tenants of the upcoming title. Currently in closed beta, Majka details the highly asymmetrical combat, how balancing such unique abilities and skills is possible, the current world of Nosgoth and much more in the below interview.

Oh, and we’ve some closed beta keys to boot. Be sure to follow our Twitch channel as F2P Friday is a perfect venue for the free-to-play third-person action title. Read more…