Posts Tagged ‘hardcore’

How WildStar is a New Frontier for MMORPGs (Video)

27 May 2014 | No Comments » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

The Head Start program for WildStar begins this Saturday, May 31. In our recent Open Beta livestream interview with Chad Moore we gave your numerous reasons as to why WildStar may be the exact adventure you’ve been craving. Hardcore raids, dungeons, PvP, Warplots, a unique story complete with zanny humor were all discussed. And now it’s almost upon us.

But not before one more amazing cinematic from the team at Carbine Studios.

In today’s Feature video, likely the final trailer before the early June launch, the marketing team focused on exploring everything unique the game has to offer. You’ve still time to secure Head Start access for weekend gaming. Grab the Standard or Digital Deluxe edition now to be prepared for June 3! Continue Reading

PAX Prime 2013 Exclusive: WildStar’s Hardcore Slant & Dark Humor (Video)

9 September 2013 | 1 Comment » | Patrick "iTZKooPA" Mulhern

We’ve been covering WildStar for quite some time here at Lore Hound. From the odd revelation of Twitter-sized quest text to the final two races and interesting business model selection we’ve kept a close eye. The game is slowly approaching its early 2014 release date forcing developer Carbine Studios to begin pinning down its feature set with hard numbers and laying out gamer expectations before us.

At PAX Prime 2013, the company showcased some early content, including the Chua starting zone, and detailed what to expect from dungeons and raids. Design Producer Stephan Frost unleashed a horde of details surrounding PvE content. If you have a pulse, the general quests are for you because, according to Frost, despite the clear indicators of incoming damage, the difficulty really ramps up when you move towards instanced dungeons and raids.

In our exclusive interview Frost elaborates on the company’s definition of hardcore, how the Chua came to fruition as “angry squirrels,” the stopgap material of ‘Adventures’ and exactly how much of that instance combat we can expect at launch. Whenever that may be. Continue Reading

SMITE – The Addiction That’s Turning Me Hardcore and “Pro”

11 December 2012 | 3 Comments » | Mordil

I really think it has something to do with Loki, and all the new changes that HiRez is doing to SMITE to bring a faster, better MOBA experience.

I’ve found myself playing several matches a day, at the behest of my wife thinking I need an intervention.

With the latest changes made to matchmaking, and the overall queuing process itself – being invites come out at a set interval – I’ve made the happily casual leap from Normal Conquest, into regular Ranked Conquest match queues.

The result? Pretty happy rank climbing, and enjoyable gameplay that I before felt I wouldn’t achieve.

My experience has been that players in Ranked tend to be a lot more friendly than in normal, which is quite surprising and refreshing. It seems overall the community would rather be helpful to their teammembers in a match to win that current game, than to tear down the weakest link, and hope they don’t get queued with them again (by blocking).

I honestly wasn’t expecting that, and I’m curious as to what has fostered that response. Hit the jump to hear more. Continue Reading

First Impression: Dungeon Overlord, the HARDCORE Facebook Strategy MMO

4 October 2011 | 1 Comment » | Mordil

You read that right. Night Owl Games has made a game it proclaims to be the first hardcore Facebook game to date. Frankly, after playing it since PAX Prime this year, I have to agree. Not only is Dungeon Overlord substantially more intense than say, Farmville, it has Mrs. Mordil and I logging in daily to check up on our dungeons and strategize together.

The first thing I have to comment on for Night Owl was the quality of the graphics the company offers for the game. Dungeon Overlord is a 2D game, but all the models and objects have great detail due to them first creating everything as a 3D model, then converting it to 2D. Making DO a perfect blend of 2D and 3D models.

After noticing that, and jumping into the meat of the gameplay, I felt right at home due to my playing of Tribal Wars all that time ago. The gameplay is very similar, in the fact that time is the handicap; with different “rooms” as the buildings from Tribal Wars.

However, there are so many more resources you need to gather to create things – and upgrade, of course – that the game constantly has you strategizing to earn the needed rewards. Taking it a step further, not every dungeon offers the same resource nodes, or the same number of nodes, forcing players to explore and conquer new lands out of necessity. From simple gold and iron, the quicksilver and diamonds, you need a plethora of resources to support your dungeon empire.

Also a different feature one must notice: all you have to start out with in a new dungeon is the “Vault” which holds all your gold. It’ll take some time to get it to Scrooge McDuck levels.

After the jump is the introduction video created by Night Owl Games. Read on for my last first comments, and gameplay footage. Continue Reading

Wiping With the Ones You Love (To Hate)

17 February 2011 | 2 Comments » | iTZKooPA

Small, tight-knit guilds are fantastic. They’ve become my preferred guild of choice and I’m glad that Blizzard made them a viable structure to raiding in Wrath of the Lich King. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my mega-hardcore guild in vanilla, but the sheer mass and competition for spots sapped my ability to make personal connections. The atmosphere of my current guild, Bonus Lizard, couldn’t be more different.

The Lizard is incredibly small, maybe 20 core members, obviously making personal connections far easier. Voices are easily identified, alt character names are mapped to their mains’ name without a struggle, etc. I’ve even been able to learn real names, something I am notoriously bad at. All the camaraderie means the bank is fairly open, members share resources and even though the membership level is anemic, someone is always there to lend a hand in heroics or to deal with the damn dirty horde.

The diminutive membership number does have its drawbacks. The major one occurring on raid nights. Should just one or two core raiding members be unavailable, there’s a chance that the raid could be outright canceled. So far, we’ve had fair warning during Cataclysm raiding, allowing us to continue our raiding schedule with a little bit of guilt tripping or even a PUG or two. The replacements are not necessarily any worse, just inexperienced and out of tune with the rest of the guild. This has inevitably caused poor pulls, bad coordination, and wasted time. In short, wiping. But, you know what? I don’t give a Valiona’s tale.

I treat these rare off nights with much less vigor and passion than I normally reserve for raiding. We’re still out to get the purpalz, but the guild, seemingly as a whole, relaxes during these raids. We joke more, difficult given how much we joke normally, with seldom heard voices chiming in. Raid and guild chat aren’t dark, unused channels and I get to bring my horribly undergeared rogue to soak up loot. Win-win. It’s these times that additional bonding happens. Wipes are shrugged off – “Eh, we’re not full strength” – and we regroup to try again.

Now if this were a full PUG run or even my vanilla WoW guild, I may be running for the exit or have a “Comcastic issue.” But when you’re dieing with friends, it’s so much easier to see the light.

Blizzard Mocks Gear Ratings (for April Fool’s Day)

1 April 2010 | 4 Comments » | pixiestixy

An e-peen meter, or a reference to the growing popularity of GearScore-like addons?

As we heard earlier today from Juggynaut, Blizzard has been up to its usual April Fool’s Day shenanigans, giving us all a laugh in the process. But one of their jokes hit on a topic that may be a sore spot for some – the GearScore add-on that’s been growing in popularity, especially since the rollout of ICC content.

Here’s how Blizzard described its “Equipment Potency Equivalence Number” :

With this new system, you’ll no longer have to wonder about your perceived or actual worth as a player. Your Equipment Potency EquivalencE Number, automatically derived from the quality of the gear you currently possess, will be placed on your character sheet and in the Armory, and also displayed over your character’s head in-game as an easy-to-read bar-like object that steadily grows as you acquire loot. Thanks to this new system, no one will be able to ignore the fruits of your long, hard journey toward gear perfection.

Here’s how it will work: With every new piece of gear you obtain, your number will grow; if you attain a high enough number, you’ll graduate to the next tier (more on that below) and gain access to exclusive rewards. If you’re looking to boost your number even more, activities such as earning raid and Arena achievements or realm-first titles will help you get it up, and you’ll also begin receiving in-game mail with exciting offers for additional ways to enhance it.

Sound familiar? Now I know, it’s not just Gear Score that attempts to do something similar to this fake Blizzard rollout. WoW Heroes and IMBA perform similar gear checks via a web interface. But with more than 1.4 million downloads (I’ll admit, I’m one of them), Gear Score probably is the most prolific in-game occurrence of measuring gear.

Continue Reading

CrunchReview: MMO Civilization-game Ikariam

3 June 2008 | 19 Comments » | LHStaff

A few weeks ago I stumbled across one of the most delightful MMO browser games. In fact, I was so enamored by it that I actual convinced three of my other friends to play it with me in a world populated by… well at least a few hundred other would-be kings. The main reason why I was so enamored by it, and I am assuming you’ll be able to make the distinction as well, is due to it’s inherent familiarity with long-time famed series: Civilization. Let’s take a closer look at Ikariam, a massively multiplayer online strategic browser game.

Despite its instant familiarities with Civilization, the gameplay is actually quite different, but don’t be too quick to give up hope. Where Ikariam is different than Civilization is also why Ikariam is such a fun game. Some key differences include:

  • This game is time based, not turn based.
  • You won’t ever get to different eras of technology. You’ll primarily be hanging out with Caesar and crew in this game.
  • The entire world is divided up into hundreds of islands with a specific amount of space available on each for newcomers and colonies.

Now that I have dashed away the key differences let’s continue on to the actual review of the game which, like I have stated before, is still quite good.

You’ll start your new-found civilization on a random island, most likely already populated by other players. Depending on where you start off you could start on a relatively young island or an island already teaming with huge civilizations. For example, when I started I was placed on an island where the highest level city was only 5 (out of 24), where as, one of my friends started out on an island where the highest level was level 18. Needless to say, he was in a much heavier situation than I was. Naturally you’ll start your city with nothing but a town hall that is level one and from there you’ll build all your buildings in designated plots of land.

Now before I continue on, I think it’s important to explain briefly the mechanics that make Ikariam work. I mentioned above that the game is time based, not turn based. This means that every building you make (only one at a time per city) will take a certain amount of time and resources to make. So provided you have the amount of wood and ore required to upgrade, let’s say, your town hall it still means you’ll have to wait until it’s actually built. These times depend on the level you are upgrading your building too and range anywhere from 10 minutes to 12 hours and beyond. The same holds true for troops, trading, transporting, and warfare. Everything is time based and, while that may seem like a turn-off, the system works surprisingly well.

Continuing on now that we’ve explained the logistics of the game a bit more, you’ll find near everything in Ikariam that you’d expect from Civilization, only smaller and more suitable for a “play for 15 minutes” type style. Barracks allow you to build troops, academies allow you to invest in research towards one of four fields (seafaring, military, economy, science), hideouts allow you to train thieves, trading ports allow you to build cargo fleets, and shipyards allow you to build military fleets. All the same fun stuff you’d expect from a Civilization-esque game.

In order to recruit troops, research certain things, and build and upgrade buildings, however, you’ll need the resources to back them up and sometimes, those aren’t very easy to come by. In fact, this is probably one of the few annoying things about the game. When you start on your island you’ll have two resources available, wood and one of the other four resources. Each island has a different resource and depending on which you land on you could end up with marble, sulfur, crystal, or grapes. Each has their own uses and you’ll notice that each becomes extremely important in the later parts of the game, especially grapes. Early on, however, the most important resource you’ll need will be marble, and if you have no instant access to that material you had better start asking some of your neighboring islands that do to cut you a deal or else your expansion has ground to a halt. It’s a slow process and an even slower fix as it could take weeks to secure some marble. When all is said and done though, you should be back on your path to civilization greatness.

Of course, what would a good review be without a look at the battle system? Yes, worry not, those troops that you plan on amassing will be put to good use. Ikariam offers two direct ways to utilize your military; pillaging and occupation. They do exactly what they sound like. Should you decide to pillage your neighbor and succeed you’ll get an amount of their resources/gold (depending on how fast your troops can load up your ships). If you decide to actually occupy a city and succeed you’ll get full use of that city until such times as you decide to withdraw. The actual battles are a bit mundane and offer no graphics, but it’s still satisfying knowing that your troops are returning with a bounty of treasure.

So that’s basically it. There is a lot to do in Ikariam and if I really wanted to I could probably explain on and on about all the minute details that make Ikariam so much fun. However, as I am sure this block of text has already fulfilled your review quota for the day, I’ll just tell you to go out there and give the game a try! It’s 100% free and while they do offer a RMT system I haven’t noticed anything that they offer to give any players a noticeable advantage. For those who wish to look me up here is my information:

  • Server: Iota
  • Username: Dmitry
  • Island location: 2, 32

Hope to see you there!

Ikariam.org

Mythos: Another Look

7 January 2008 | No Comments » | LHStaff

I was recently asked what I was playing since I had recently posted that I was contemplating giving LOTRO another shot. I’m glad to announce that I did not give in to LOTRO. Thankfully a friendly visitor of MMOCrunch sent me an invite to the Mythos beta which I have been playing in most of my free time. Geoff did a early Mythos preview about 2 weeks ago up to level 10, so I’ll just skip over the list of features the game offers and get right to my opinion of the game.

When I say this is a Diablo 2 clone, it really is almost exactly the same game, but with a 3D engine, different storyline and obviously being a MMO. The fact that it was so similar to Diablo 2 was something that I actually didn’t like when I first started playing. I mean D2 is nearly 8 yrs old, so for this game to come out with only a few new features is a big disappointment. I know its not D3, but considering that a few ex-blizzard developers are working on this I was expecting more. We’ll I can’t be that harsh, after all it’s still in beta so who knows, maybe they are still planning on adding more features.

Aside from being almost the same game as D2, the game is fun. D2 was hugely popular because it was fun and addictive and Mythos tries to capitalize on this by turning this type of game play into a MMO. Will they succeed? Honestly I don’t think so, there just isn’t enough new things in the game to separate it from Diablo 2. However I can see this game easily becoming my backup MMO if it takes the route of becoming a F2P MMO. I also think they need to add PvP in the game, forget hardcore mode and perm death, harcore mode should be free range PvP. Seriously, I’d rather get killed 10 times in a row by some prick then watch my lev 78 mage die a permanent death because the game lagged for 3 sec.

Thankfully the game is still in beta so this is not the last you’ll hear of Mythos from us. Hopefully they’ll continue to enhance the game and improve on what it already there. Go PVP!!

Btw, my character is a lev 15 fire mage, w00t!