Category Archives: The Secret World

Keeping Up With The Gamers #MMORPG

If you’re one of those gamers who likes to taste a little bit of every game, this has probably been an expensive year for you. Whether you’re only interested in MMOs or if that extends to single player, it doesn’t much matter. There’s a lot of games out there and the costs can add up.

Right now I’m reading everyone’s excited squeals for Neverwinter, the ‘early’ release starts today – for people who decided to buy the $200 package. Needless to say, I simply can’t afford to spend that much on a game that I may or may not enjoy well into the future. At this moment I have been contemplating the $60 package, but I’m still not sure if it’s a game that I truly enjoy more than anything else I already have on my plate (that comes at a lower cost). So what is on my plate?

I did get my $60 out of Guild Wars 2, and even though I’m not actively playing that right this second I know it’s not going anywhere. I’ve dedicated more than $60 worth of hours to the game, and I’ve had a lot of fun. It will still be there when my interest leans that way again.

Wurm Online is $50 a year (until the price goes up in May). You rarely ever get MMOs for that price, and I’ve certainly got a lot of played time on my characters. I think my main is over 100 days played now. Plus you can play Wurm with in-game currency, which I do for my 2nd account. I just purchased a year of game time, wanting to get that settled before the price goes from $5 EU a month to $8 EU.

My EQ account is compensated, as are all of my SOE accounts. This makes them an easy go-to choice for many genres. I’m having a lot of fun in EQ, and I still dip into EQ2 and Vanguard. Me and SOE (the company, not the people) may have had some rocky times, but they’re a solid game choice for me and have been for many, many years.

Rift is active for 30 days. I haven’t poked in yet and I’m not really sure why. I just haven’t felt the urge, even after claiming the latest expansion and a handful of other goodies.

There are loads of other games on my desktop that I could technically pick up and play at any time, and haven’t felt an inkling to do so yet. There’s Wizard 101, Pirate 101, The Secret World, Star Trek Online (I have a life time subscription to that one), and of course EVE which I still have some unused PLEX for. These are just the MMO games. There’s a whole steam library of single player games that I haven’t beaten yet, and a few that have no ‘end’ like The Sims 3.

With such a selection it’s hard for me to justify spending even more money on a game that I know didn’t exactly call to me in the beta – but – so hard to resist because pretty much all of my friends are going to be playing it. I never want to be the one left out of all the fun. So for those who ARE going to be playing today – I look forward to living vicariously through your adventures!

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

2012: Game Year in Review (The Year of the Wurm) #WurmOnline

January: I fell in love with Wurm Online, and my readers dropped to the lowest I’ve ever seen them. Turns out that even though I adore playing this game, very few people like to read about it. Not a big deal, since I write for myself, but it was still an eye opener.

February: My nomadic gamer senses kicked in, and I played some Vanguard along with Wurm Online and Eve. SOE was going through their first phase of ProSiebenSat.1 talks, and it was messy. I took part in the awesome Kyklops killing on Deliverance, which just reinforced how much I love Wurm Online.

March: Guess what! Still playing (and posting about) Wurm Online! A little Vanguard in there too and some Rift when they had a free weekend going on (but it couldn’t pry me away from Wurm).

April: Completely Wurm filled – along with the awesome DAW (Developer Appreciation Week) hosted by Scarybooster. I contemplated trying out the epic servers, but never did.

May: Celebration opens in Wurm Online, and I drift to Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft. Both games much neglected shortly after.

June: Back to my nomadic self. I spend some time doing dungeons in Vanguard (Greystone), play some EQ2 and get an award for the housing hall of fame, and I even manage to start playing some Guild Wars in preparation for GW2. There’s even a little Glitch in there, along with (of course) Wurm.

July: Sims 3 eats up a chunk of the month, along with EVE, and World of Warcraft where I’m counting down to Pandaria. Guild Wars 2 beta is in full swing and I’m slowly becoming addicted.

August: An odd month for me. I dip my toes into The Secret World and enjoy the game quite a bit but find it too dark for my tastes. Most of the month is spent in GW2, GW1, Vanguard, and World of Warcraft. Me? Play too many games? No such thing.

September: The nostalgia bug bites me and I head back to EQ1 to see if the planes of power gods are up. I start a new character, and am still playing GW2 but the novelty is starting to wear off because I’m max level and don’t like to dungeon grind.

October: I pop into GW2 for the Halloween event, and was disappointed. I play a few hours of EQ2 during the weekend, and I join a guild in EQ1 (that doesn’t last long). SOE Live also takes place and there’s all sorts of news and announcements going on.

November: It’s NaNoWriMo month and my posts show. I get a little Sims 3 time in, get completely bored of WoW, try some EQ2, and then re-discover Wurm after leaving in the summer.

December: I barely write. There’s only 8 whole posts which is my lowest month since I started the site in 2006. A lot of stuff not gaming related went on, most of it not fit for this blog. So. Here’s to 2013, and a better year.

Healing Polaris #TSW #TheSecretWorld

I’m still making my way through Kingsmouth, it feels like I’ve been there forever now. I’ve actually been having issues with the ‘feeling’ of The Secret World, and no I don’t mean the game play but of course once again, the genre. I decided that the best way for me to play it would be to turn off as many sounds as I could, leaving combat on because it’s really difficult (I find) to battle if you can’t hear anything and are used to. Thankfully there are usually visual clues on what you should be doing for each encounter if it requires it.

With most of my gear upgraded to quality 3 (a few pieces still at 2) and a decent supply of AP under my belt, I decided I was ready for my first run through Polaris. Ogur provided me with a pretty handy guide about Fist healing – while I am working towards the Exorcist deck, let me mention that it’s because of the outfit, and not because it’s the ‘greatest heal spec’ or anything like that.

The path I’ve been taking for healing so far was written up by Escalith on the TSW forums, and it’s very clear and easy to follow. The instance itself was a lot of fun and thanks to Ogur having already run it a few times before he was able to explain to the group what was going to happen. Actually I think I was the only person who had not been there before.

[Early Game – 69 Points] – Able to heal Polaris

Actives1. (Fist Tier 1) – Nurture
2. (Fist Tier 2) – Surgical Steel
3. (Fist Tier 2) – Empathy
4 ?
5 ?
6 ?
7 ?

Passives

1. (Fist Tier 1) – Nurturing Gift
2. (Fist Tier 1) – Out of the Woods {E}
3. (Hammer Tier 1) – Brawler
4 ?
5 ?
6 ?
7 ?

Very basic; that’s all you really need to keep your team alive in the first Dungeon.

I still enjoy the game play and the world as much as ever, but just can’t seem to wrap my head around the genre. I suppose being afraid of my own shadow doesn’t exactly help in this case. Because I’m reluctant to give up on a game that I do enjoy (at least the basics of) I’ve been trying this and that to get ‘comfortable’. So far it only works for brief stints. There’s just too much of a heavy feeling to the game for me to feel light and care free as I play it, which is how I tend to play. Turning off the gnashing of zombie teeth and the slurps as they devoured a meal certainly helped briefly, but it doesn’t take away the shadow of “something is out there.. waiting.. FOR YOU!” I understand that it’s the entire point of The Secret World, but I find it hard to see the game as anything but niche because of that fact.

So will I keep playing after my 30 days is up? Undecided. Unless I can find a way to be ‘comfortable’ with the genre, I don’t think I will. I’ve been known to change my mind (many times) before, so we’ll just have to see. After all, I didn’t think I’d even play the game or enjoy it either, and here I am.

On the brighter side of things, Guild Wars 2 does release this week, and MOP is not that far away. I’m also still playing EVE Online, so it’s not like I don’t have a nice round selection of games to choose from. What a great time to be a gamer.

It Takes Two To Tango #TSW #TheSecretWorld

Well, it looks like the fates aligned for me when it came to The Secret World. I had held off purchasing the game and was making my way through the free trial when Amazon put it on sale, 50% off. That dropped the price down to $25 USD. As it would happen, I had $15 in Amazon coupons, left over from a Christmas gift so the entire game cost me roughly $11 total. Unwilling to pass up a deal that was less than even one monthly subscription, I of course purchased it and am now enjoying the 30 days the base game comes with. Enjoying it quite a bit more than I ever thought I would.

I’m still working my way through Kingsmouth, and have managed to get myself geared for Polaris, the first dungeon in the game. I haven’t been there yet but I do hope to some time this weekend. In order to be ‘geared’ for the first dungeon you’ll want to be wearing QL3 in most slots (or at least this is what general channel has told me). I’ve got mostly QL3 and a piece or two of QL4. I purchased some vendor sold gear for little tokens that you get while doing missions which has helped me out a lot.

I’m working towards my first deck which is the exorcist deck I believe (I may have the name wrong, I’m not in game and I’m not looking right at it) which is a blood magic / fist healer deck. Combat and skill sets and gear is pretty easy for me to understand, so I have been able to simply enjoy the game which I really like. I also love how minimal the UI is, I basically only need my offensive target, defensive target, and instead of having 6-9 hotbars jam packed with crap I have 7 buttons + a small bag with consumables to use. The game really makes you pick and choose which skills you want on those 7 hotkeys, and it’s just refreshing not to have to worry about which skill out of 50 I want to use during a fight.

So far I’ve loved every single NPC interaction I’ve come across. The cut scenes are fantastic, each character has a story and a history and it’s just amazing how much I feel a ‘part’ of it. Though I am wondering, if the church is ‘free’ of zombie ghouls, why doesn’t everyone just hole up there. I suppose those who are incredibly opposed to religion may not want to even if it’s safe from zombies. I’ve also noticed pretty much everyone in the town has blue eyes. In fact one NPC I was speaking to at the airport had orange eyes and it caught my attention – until I spoke to them in the next clip and they had blue eyes too. Weird. Probably some sort of graphic glitch but I still noticed it.

I’m not sure what my favorite parts have been so far. I really liked helping out at the Scrapyard and the Airport. I’ve gotten used to marking my map filled with little “Q” icons, for quests I find that I don’t have time / space to pick up when I run by so that I can return later. I haven’t done any stealth quests yet but that will be my goal for today I think, to attempt at least one.

I’m STILL not a giant fan of the genre. I have to take a break every so often because I find it very dark, and playing while I’m alone at home in the dark is just not fun. So long as I’m with friends, or my house isn’t empty, or it’s day time, it’s not so bad. For $11 you sure won’t find me complaining at all.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Welcome to Kingsmouth #TSW #TheSecretWorld

Ah, Kingsmouth, home of.. well, these days many zombies. Dead people, screaming people, loud sirens, and zombies. So many zombies.

That’s right, I’ve found myself smack dab in Funcom’s The Secret World. Completely unintentionally, as I really didn’t have any huge interest to play this game when it released – strictly because of the genre. I’m really not a fan of anything spooky or scary, or anything that will give me nightmares or involves masses of screaming people. Or blood. I definitely don’t like blood. So how was it that I found myself right in the middle of all of those exact things?

Well. First I blame my incredible friends on twitter and G+. I’ve been following their tweets, blog posts, and comments about this game since before it came out. I managed to hold off on the hype pretty well, talking myself out of the purchase because it “just wasn’t for me”. Then I found out there was a trial, except at the time I believe it was only 24h and I wasn’t interested in trying to cram in as much gaming as I could in that little time. So once again I passed it up. The celebration weekend came and went and I was unable to download the game due to being at the far end of my internet cap for the month – shew, once more, I was saved.

Then I was told that the trial was three days long. Not only that but if I completed 30 missions in those three days, I’d be given two extra days and a few other bonuses. Really? Hmm. I wavered. I found my fingers tracing the download button and before I knew it I was watching the 4mb/s download whiz by and watching the introduction videos to the three factions.

I decided to go with Templar for my first character, which I know is a pretty popular choice. I created on Arcadia (I think?) and was instantly swept up in the story. I actually love the fact that my character doesn’t speak despite the fact that everyone else in the world I interact with does. Number one, I want my characters to sound how they sound in my head. Number two, I don’t want to have to think about why my character XYZ sounds exactly like my other character ZYX. Or that character over there, YZX. I have a great imagination and I can fill in the blanks just fine, thanks.

Maybe it’s because I’ve played such a wide variety of games before, but I had very little trouble picking up on the ‘basics’ as far as game play goes. Except for the fact that the screen shot button is F11 and not print screen. Must also remember to re-name my screen shot folder every so often as it will only save up to 1,000 images (thanks again twitter friends). I immediately chose blood magic, and paired it with fist weapons. I’m playing a healer, in other words. I’ve teamed up with ‘Ogur’ who has a ‘tank’ spec, as much as one can spec anything in this game at least.

Crafting is neat, almost exactly like crafting in minecraft. You lay out images of what you want to make in a little panel of squares and press a button. You need kits to craft + supplies, and the quality level of items must match up. QL is basically how you ‘level’ in TSW, since there are no traditional levels. You just earn points to increase your ability to use better gear and better weapons (and unlock better spells, of course).

The game is by far one of the most beautiful I’ve ever played before, whether I am interested in the genre or not. It looks amazing. In fact I’ve already taken over 100 screen shots in the hours I played today. Exploration is exciting and I really have no complaints at all EXCEPT that the genre is not one that I’m especially fond of. We’ll see how much I can over look that in the next few days of the trial.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!