Posts Tagged ‘Gameplay’

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TSW: Love And Origami

July 16, 2014

Heart

So, updates for The Secret World, which is pretty much the only MMO I’ve been playing these days. It’s been a pretty hectic summer, and gaming time is at a premium! Regular Secret Mondays are still going on, even though thanks to a severe thunderstorm earlier this week my power went out and we had to reschedule TSW night for Tuesday. Hence, this post.

Oh man, I was so excited. In this newest “Side Stories” content update is an investigation quest involving origami. Naturally, I broke out all my origami paper in preparation. But really, I’m horrible at origami. My husband’s actually the origami nerd in the family, which is why we have all these books and packs of pretty paper just sitting around.

If you’ve read my fellow Secret Monday-er Syp’s post, you’ll see that questgiver Gozen’s reasons for sending us on this wild origami goose chase around filth-infested Tokyo are pretty questionable. But hey, chalk it up to her being sentimental and a romantic.

My husband and I along with our TSW regulars Syp and Tententacles went around solving these origami riddles, while Ocho — who had already done this quest — oversaw us all, prepared to jump in to save us if we happened to get stuck. Luckily, that wasn’t necessary. We completed the quest without any major snags, though it was mainly due to sheer dumb luck more than anything.

I gotta admit, the quest was a bit anti-climatic. And we didn’t get to do as much origami as I was led to believe. I think the quest technically calls for it, making you recreate the writing on the paper from the game and folding it into figure it required to read the full message. But if you ask me, doing so would be making it ten times more complicated and less efficient for yourself. What we mostly ended up doing was punching the Kanji characters into Google translate, pulling out keywords and running with it. Hey, whatever works.

I was with Syp on this though — there was no way I was going to end the night without doing origami, dammit! Secret Monday momentarily became Arts & Crafts Monday as we took to the in-game origami book with all the instructions for making various origami figures.

Behold, my sad attempts. My butterfly wings ended up a bit lopsided, and there’s a gaping rip at the bottom of my tulip (artfully hidden in the photo). Well, at least my kid will take great delight in playing with them while destroying them in the process.

origami

 

 

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The Secret Wednesday: Postcards From Tokyo

June 5, 2014

1 A Sailor Suit for Tokyo

For The Secret World players, the day has finally arrived – we are Tokyo bound!

Issue 9: The Black Signal is now live, adding content beyond the current quest line. It became available today to purchase with points for subscribers, though free players will have to wait a few days longer to hit up Japan. So rest assured, I won’t be posting a detailed summary of my impromptu night in TSW, in case of spoilers for those who haven’t done it yet.

But I will say this, it’s already pretty tough. I probably wouldn’t want to traverse the city alone, at least in the beginning. First though, we had to get through some pre-quests…

6 first the prequest before tokyo

Grab a friend (or two!) since it can be completed as a group. The more the merrier, and a lot easier too! And you might need someone to steady you when you recognize someone familiar from your past…dun dun DUN!

2 You're going to recognize someone from your past

Ah, here we go, sakura and skyscrapers. This must be it! Wish me luck now…

3 Ah, here we go...

D’oh! Not another pre-quest! But we gotta learn how to use the new Aegis System. Or rather, they just sort of vaguely show you how it works and you’re supposed to stumble around and figure it out for yourself. In other words, business as usual in TSW.

4 Doh! Another prequest

The Secret World sure loves its subways…

11 The Secret World loves subways

Finally! This is for real now. Tokyo, I am in you! And yes, signs of Orochi are everywhere…

5 finally, hello tokyo...and yes signs of orochi are everywhere

Er, look, I’m making a great first impression on the locals already. Please don’t kill me!

8 making a great first impression on the locals...please don't kill me

The new headquarters…nice looking digs.

10 The new headquarters

Hmm, I kinda feel like a dragon roll. But I don’t think this is that kinda bar.

7 I feel like a sushi roll

Chucho, Thermic and Laeyn, surveying the new place!

9 surveying the new place

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Updates From Tamriel

May 22, 2014

knight of the dawn

It’s been a while since my last Elder Scrolls Online update, and I figured there’s no better time to do it than the one-month mark.

To cut to the chase, I’m still kicking around Tamriel on my Dragonknight, since I’d paid for a three month sub up front — ESO just feels like the kind of game I’d like to take my time in; I knew I was going to need at least that much time, and I think for the most part my instincts were correct. Granted, I’d like to throw myself into the game, but things have just been crazy this month. Thankfully I’ve been able to play here and there as time allows.

forge

But already though, I can see and feel the effects of the post-1-month flight. Most nights, I don’t see as many people in the guild anymore, and some of the barrow instances where I used to see tons of other players going through to get skyshards — I never even used to have to fight, everything was always already dead! — well, they’re like ghost towns now. I think we’ve seen enough MMO launches to expect this cycle; it’s a pattern that has established itself since time eternal, but its effects are still very noticeable.

On a more positive note, I’m still enjoying my time playing. The quest writing in this game really is phenomenal. My Dragonknight is currently sitting at level 28, making my way through the content in Rivenspire, which probably puts me in the middle of the pack. It’s still a long way until 50, but I do plan on getting there, even if it takes me longer than the three months.

gargoyle

Right now I’m still sitting on the fence regarding WildStar. That I’ll be playing WS is probably a foregone conclusion, the only question is when. I’ve long given up being a game juggler, and if I’m to have any chance of seeing level cap in ESO, I’m going to have to simply not commit myself to another game until that happens, and stick to that plan no matter how tempting it might be to cave. It’s not looking like I’ll be able to play WS on day one, but I’m just crossing my fingers by the time I do get to buy the game and jump in, a lot of my friends will still be very active in it.

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ESO: Storming Spindleclutch

April 14, 2014

whisperer

The first time in a new MMO’s dungeon is always such a learning experience — it not only gives you such insight on the play style of your role or class, but also into the game and its mechanics as well.

On Friday night my husband and I along with guildies Tententacles and Ryan ventured into Spindleclutch (with Musei cheering us on in the sidelines and Pid setting up to go next in round 2), the first instance in The Elder Scrolls Online. I hadn’t gotten the chance to try any group content in beta, so it was all new to me. First of all, four seemed like a curious number for group size, but if it worked for Star Wars: The Old Republic, no reason it shouldn’t for ESO.

spindleclutch2

Thus far I’d been leveling with a sort-of-tank-sort-of-damage build so I wasn’t sure how I would fare, but I was reassured by the fact that most group make-ups can handle the instance without much problem as long as there’s some heals. It took a lot of the pressure off and I saw it as a way to learn the ropes and practice…even if I didn’t have an optimized tank build or abilities.

Let’s just say there was definitely a lot of flailing involved on my part! But it’s so much easier once you know who to target (healer mobs die first!), when to dodge (there’s a lot of that) and for the love of the Nine Divines keep up your stamina and magicka stores for your taunt and evade abilities. Once we got that down, it was all smooth-going. Though, ah, still quite explosive.

spindleclutch3

For a first instance I was surprised to see it was pretty well balanced in terms of difficulty. I’d dreaded being in there for hours and was all prepared for wipe after wipe…but for the amount of time we were in there frustration was minimal and it was very painless. More importantly, I definitely know where my build needs work. Overall a very awesome time!

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ESO: Happy Launch Day

April 4, 2014

launch

While those who preordered have been playing in headstart, today is the official launch day of Elder Scrolls Online for PC. If you’re already in the game, I hope you’ve been enjoying the experience as much as I have.

Despite some server down times which is to be expected, the game has nevertheless been always up during prime time evenings and nights which is when I usually game. I wouldn’t say launch has been perfect; there were a couple instances of major quests bugging out, but thus far ESO has been one of the smoothest launches I’ve personally experienced. Maybe it’s because it’s high time we’ve had another major MMO launch again, or the fact I refrained from going anywhere near beta in the weeks leading up to the release date, but starting out in ESO these past few days felt fresh, exciting, and even more fun than I anticipated.

I’ve rolled a Dragonknight, because for all the flexibility in the classes available in game, I always have a soft spot for the warrior archetype. Imperial race, Daggerfall faction. Perhaps not surprisingly, I’ve tentatively decided on a tanky-type route when it comes to leveling and allotting my points. At this time, House Stalwart the new guild I’ve joined is almost 90 members strong and it’s been kickin’ every night!

dragonknight

Things I’ve been enjoying so far: questing and exploring — now that the game is live, I’m taking my time to poke around in every nook and cranny, loot every crate or barrel, talk to every NPC. Barging into people’s houses and stealing all their crap has always been one of my favorite things to do in Elder Scrolls games (oh god, you should have seen the way I hoarded in Skyrim) and I won’t even go into how often I get distracted in my adventuring by a lone trunk or urn sitting by the side of the road that I just have to stop and check out. Even if all it holds is thin broth, pathetic drippings or a bunch of stupid grapes.

And another thing I love: CRAFTING! Who would have thought? ME! The person who has always thought crafting in games was a pain in the ass, who always leaves it until level cap because before that it’s just a hindrance to questing and progressing. I don’t know why, but there’s just something about the crafting in ESO that appeals to me. It’s so layered and complex, but not so challenging either that I couldn’t be bothered to gather materials and actually try my hand at all the professions.

I love that expression...

I love that expression…

So, those are my opening thoughts. If you’re playing, how have you been feeling about it so far? I hope to get more time into the game later this month; because of my lack of time and my dawdling, I haven’t gotten very far yet. Currently my Dragonknight is at level 8 but I’m hoping to share more of my experiences as I progress further into the game and see more of its world.

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Making Landfall In Landmark

March 27, 2014

landmark

My closed beta email for Landmark finally arrived late last night, so it wasn’t until this morning that I got to jump into the game to check things out for myself.

So you might still pretty unsure about what Landmark really is, given its attachment to the name Everquest Next. What it is actually is a branch of the game, but also a game in itself. In a nutshell, building and creating is central to Landmark, involving the gathering and crafting of materials, then building your flag and staking your claim in the open world so you can start constructing your dream project. Some people have likened it to Minecraft on steroids, and from others’ experiences that I’ve seen, that sounds like a fairly accurate description.

As of this afternoon, I have not even staked a claim yet; most of my time has been dedicated to running around gathering materials. A couple setbacks have slowed me down, the first being that my stuff for the Founder’s Pack never did show up. I’m hoping that when I log in later today I will miraculously find those items in my bag, because a Founder’s Pickaxe should speed things along, not to mention letting me have access to higher tier resources.

landmark2

Showing that tree who’s boss.

The second setback was due to my own neglect; having found a nice copper vein in the side of a mountain, I set my mind to a-mining, and I sort of let myself get carried away with it. Long story short, I literally dug myself into a hole, but instead of using the Safe Evac option, I chose to dig myself out instead. In the face of obstacles like tight spaces and the horrific things they do to the camera, I finally managed to escape and came away with a ton of copper to boot.

landmark3

I’m okay, I think I see sky!

Despite only having scratched the surface (though that gigantic hole in the ground I made might say otherwise!) I’m finding the game very interesting so far! Can’t wait until I can make my flag, stake a claim and start my first project.

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Elder Scrolls Online Impressions: Characters

February 26, 2014

Inspired by some of the comments on my last Elder Scrolls Online post, I’ve decided to talk about my experiences with different classes in the game. I think I’ve mentioned before how I wasn’t initially that impressed by the game in this regard, though that definitely changed as I progressed through beta and leveled more characters.

The gameplay was by far the biggest surprise, I think. I liked being able to make my own class the way I liked, so that it fit my playstyle. It wasn’t like that at the beginning, when admittedly I was still stuck in the mindset that my Nightblade had to be more of a traditional-style dual wield rogue, or that my Templar had to be a heavy armored sword-and-board tanky type character. That was my mistake.

It turns out the classes are a lot more flexible than I could have ever imagined. What I discovered is that there is a lot more customization with classes, as well as weapons, armor, enchantments, and of course skill points and talents. There’s really no set-in-stone way to play your character. I learned that I could go in and make my class the way I wanted and play the way I most prefer.  And the moment I started to branch away from convention I started being able to dominate more fights, being able to survive better. More importantly, I started having more fun.

Now as promised, here’s a showcase of some of my characters from the different weekend betas and the test server beta, and the way they looked:

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ESO2

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ESO3

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