Games Under November Rain

Been a busy October, and Zubon’s been keeping the fort down well enough. I am grateful that he has such insight on WvW in Guild Wars 2 because I just can’t get in to it. I’ve still been playing a lot of Guild Wars 2 and other games. Carry on, wayward sons and daughters.

Time to Kill

While I am not as tapas-oriented as Syp in my gaming, I do enjoy having small, different bites. I’ve found the number one, absolute top dog reason I won’t bite a game I enjoy is the time to load coupled with time to play.

Looking at my yearly main course, Guild Wars 2 loads up very quickly (except in Lion’s Arch), and I can jump to just about anywhere I want to play in seconds. The only place this doesn’t occur is WvW, which I don’t play. If I want to WvW, I want to WvW. I don’t want to pass the time when it’s the BBQ of enemies I want in that crazy format. Hopefully early next year it will be much different with the WvW overflow map.

The only other MMO I jump in to right now is The Secret World, which has a fairly quick time to load and play. It’s been a lot faster since I found the death express waypoint system XXX LINK. The MMO I want to play is Lord of the Rings Online, but it feels like it takes so long to load. I’ve heard that it might be fixed… something to do with skirmish caching? I don’t know. I know I wouldn’t mind logging in for a few KTR quests and Middle Earth narrative. Continue reading Games Under November Rain

[TSW] The Secret Waypoint

I am sure this is painfully obvious to most players of The Secret World, but it was a new and refreshing mechanic for me. Basically there is a “waypoint” system in The Secret World, but it doesn’t seem like it was really intended to be used that way.

To do so when out of combat type /reset in the console. This will kill you. Then choose the location you want to resurrect to from the map. Like most fast-travel systems you can only go to locations you’ve found. Anyway, at the resurrection point, hit your action button, and choose to resurrect there. This will eat up 10 durability per item, I think, which in a way isn’t much different than paying a waypoint or fast-travel cost in any other MMO. This has saved me so much marathon running along roads or through the much-hated Ak’hab buggies. Continue reading [TSW] The Secret Waypoint

Dungeons, Dragons, and Dagons

I’ve been enjoying the lessened impact of the Guild Wars 2 dungeon week by spreading more game time around. I dipped my toes a little bit back in to Lord of the Rings Online, played through a God of War game, and tromped through Magic’s Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014. Those have been my small bites surrounded by three following larger courses.

Dungeons (13th Age)

One of my non-MMO passions is table-top roleplaying (e.g., Dungeons and Dragons). My gaming group has gotten a bit lazy on the GM end, so we’ve been defaulting to Magic: the Gathering many nights, but we’re mostly a roleplaying group. I was the last active GM, and I learned a new system FATE to run Spirit of the Century with a vast helping of magic (more in the vein of World of Darkness). The campaign is pulp action set in 1933. Continue reading Dungeons, Dragons, and Dagons

[TSW] Narrative Silence

The year of story MMOs: 2012. The three big MMOs that year all had story as a big bulletpoint. Star Wars The Old Republic had a fully voiced monstrosity.  Guild Wars 2 parsed theirs out with the Personal Story. And The Secret World, kind of mentioned it as part of missions and things. Surprisingly, I think The Secret World won as far as narrative delivery of story and lore.

I enjoy the way all three games deliver story content. There are flaws in all three. I don’t like how heavy The Old Republic can feel. I don’t like how disjointed all the arcs and “personal” narration fees in Guild Wars 2. And, I don’t like how the cut scene for a mission in The Secret World can have the barest relation to the forthcoming content at hand. Continue reading [TSW] Narrative Silence

[TSW] Stunned Soliloquies

It doesn’t take long to realize that virtually all missions in The Secret World begin with the NPC mission giver talking to… someone. These are not dialogues where the character is involved. My character, still a noob to this shadow world, just watches in stunned silence. I like the “art” of these NPC soliloquies brushing the canvas of the mission to come. It is the poetry of horror. I like it better that my character (somewhat looking like me, much to my daughters’ delight) seems to have the mixed emotion of “what the flock?” and “tell me more!”


Keep it coming, Funcom.


MMO Skill Levels

I’ve been re-introducing myself to The Secret World since their Issue 6 update. I have been burning through the Savage Coast with righteous fury following some build I didn’t understand. Understanding builds are critical in The Secret World because the game is difficult enough that it will punish players with slapdash loadouts.

I personally hate making builds in any game. I don’t mind tweaking them, but I am just not of the build-making mentality. So after feeling that I liked blood magic in the pick-a-weapon area, I found what I thought was a decent build for that based on affliction/penetration. It sucks. It doesn’t feel right, and I did more digging and… Continue reading MMO Skill Levels

[TSW] Good Business in Cairo

The Secret World is my backburner MMO. When I need a refreshing change of pace in MMOs, it’s where I head. I’ll be honest; it took me by surprise that I became really excited for their newest update: The Last Train to Cairo. I haven’t even been to Egypt yet in the game. But, I really hope Funcom continues to be able to drop updates this way.

The buy-the-box / buy-the-content model is just so good. Funcom presents their episodic updates available for purchase perfectly. Members get early access, a bunch of free stuff, and hey enough free points to buy the entire Issue. I think this is a great move. Players can go the bargain route and carefully apportion out their points, or go the easy route and become a member for the month. I like that. It’s smart. I like when MMO devs offer smart options on ways for me to give them money. Continue reading [TSW] Good Business in Cairo

The Mayans Invaded and All I Got Was This Lousy Bug

I had a long post written as an intro to The Secret World, which I picked up as a gaming present for myself this past December (and because Amazon had it marked down to $15), but since that was covered already, I figured I’d write about the recent event TSW had. Considering the impact on the game, it’s well worth a post.

As you may be aware, assuming you have spoken to at least other upright mammal in the past month, the Mayan calendar recently finished a cycle. This cycle lasted nearly 6000 years. Of course, any logical person would point out that due to the many changes to both calendar and timekeeping methods over the years, pinning an exact date out on a 6000 year old calendar would be inaccurate, as well as pointing out that every other cycle on the Mayan calendar repeats, but why get in the way of a good panic? In any case, a rather poor movie and any number of disaster speculations have been made about the end of the world that was supposed to happen in December of 2012. If you’re still reading this, it didn’t happen. However, TSW is a game allegedly set in the shadows of our own world – almost a “what went wrong” version, if you will. If any game out currently had a perfect real-world setup for an in-game event, this is it. And the folks at Funcom knew it. Unfortunately, Casey was at the bat.
Continue reading The Mayans Invaded and All I Got Was This Lousy Bug

[TSW] First Impressions

The Secret World is my first MMO I bought intending to play the game as a “play to finish” MMO. Unlike even Wizard 101, which I did intend in the beginning to lightly play forever, The Secret World is the first MMO I’ve bought fully intending to be a tourist. And, I feel elated. The game might even be better, in my view, for it.

There are two parts to my impressions: content and systems. They are like twin serpents winding up a staff in The Secret World. Sometimes they intertwine perfectly. In other places they wreathe and gnash at one another. Either way I have found the game to be very entertaining. Buying The Secret World was totally worth it. Continue reading [TSW] First Impressions

Yearly Contemplations and Prognostications

2012 was a good gaming year for me. There were some nice surprises. I am looking forward to what 2013 has to bring. Here’s what I thunk and think as we cross the yearly threshold.

Play to Finish MMO Paradigm

With all credit to this term going to SynCaine, this simple concept has been in my rock tumbler since it opened my eyes. It is also very pertinent because arguably my favorite MMO relies on the concept. A “play-to-finish” MMO is one where players get to some end of their choosing, such as a storyline, max level, or something clearly designed as an end point. Then the bulk of the experience has been played. Players that do stick around do so in a fashion similar to single-player gamers doing game achievement unlocks. This is an oversimplification, but this is where I want most MMOs to head. Continue reading Yearly Contemplations and Prognostications