Posts Tagged ‘Grouping’

h1

TSW: Tanking…It’s A Love-Hate Thing

January 14, 2014

bunny slippers

Ah, tanking. It’s really a role I fell into, not just in The Secret World, but in a lot of other “holy-trinity” type MMOs as well. After all, you can’t get nowhere without a meatshield. Since my husband and I always play as a healer-tank team anyway, and I’m typically the one who enjoys running around with bigass swords, the threat-magnet duties naturally always fall to me.

For the most part, I love it! A lot of people will tell you that tanking is a pretty thankless job, but I find that even making a simple healthy lifestyle choice such as staying away from toxic PuGs will cut down on 90% of the stress and anxiety. The other 10% for me is mostly personal, because I know I’m hard on myself. Even when I’m playing with a group of friends and guildies who I know are casual and cool, I still can’t help beating myself up feeling responsible whenever a wipe happens. Some might joke that I take the role of “guardian” or “protector” (or in the case of World of Warcraft, “druid mama bear”) too seriously, but really, they’re not that far off!

Anyway, not that a lot of wipes have been happening in TSW; I think weeks of running Elites and working to get everyone Gatekeeper-ready has made most of the fights feel like old hat. I think in some ways it’s this complacency which has made the transition to Nightmares such a…well, nightmare. It’s like slacking on your workout regime during the holidays and having to pick it up again after the new year. It’s like, all of a sudden, strategy and rotations are a big deal again!

Practice makes perfect. Right now at this early stage it’s starting to really sink in that everything pretty much has to go down flawlessly during a boss fight. I find now it’s especially true for the tank, and with my hit rating where it is still, I really can’t afford to head into a NM dungeon with less than three interrupts. It’s like adding a whole other layer of complex micro-management into the mix, one involving things like minding cast bars and saving cooldowns, or in general watching the timing for everything. That’s on top of that whole maintaining aggro business.

Mind you, this isn’t really a “complain” post. In many ways I love how an MMO is challenging me again, and this is like going back to the old school days of experimenting, trial and error, and the hurling-our-dead-bodies-over-and-over-at-the-boss-until-he-dies style learning that I’ve come to embrace again in recent days. Even though I might not feel it at the time, heh, looking back, I guess there is a such a thing as a fun side to that. Like I said on Twitter though, there are times when I simply love to tank, while at others I’d rather have maggots chew out my eyes and brain. Some days, NM dungeons seriously make me feel like the latter.

h1

SWTOR: I Can’t Shake Him!

December 6, 2013
can't shake him

Going down?

Galactic Starfighter went live on Star Wars: The Old Republic this week, and it has been…quite interesting. I was invited into the beta but didn’t really get the chance to check it out, so for all intents and purposes this was really my first exposure.

I got to play a little bit of the content Tuesday, but it wasn’t until last night that I finally started to get a handle on the controls. Let’s face it; I just don’t have the piloting instincts of a Skywalker. I spent most of the first night flying around like a drunk chicken with a broken wing, though I have no one to blame but myself for skipping the tutorial (because instruction manuals are for chumps!) and as a result did most of my learning through trial and error.

sideways

And the world goes sideways…

Needless to say, starfighter battles are a lot more fun when you know what you’re doing. That’s why I haven’t written off the expansion yet, because without a doubt, things improve as you gain more experience and a handle on flying these damn things. Last night for our guild’s SWTOR Thursday session we went into battles as a team, and I have to say the increased interaction and strategic planning that comes with playing in a group greatly improves the experience.

win

Victory!

h1

TSW Monday: Elite Night

November 26, 2013

boss

You guys, I think I’m over my fear of The Ankh! Now I can focus my energies on working on getting over my fears of The Slaughterhouse! Yeaaaah.

The theme for The Secret World Monday this week was clearly “Elite Night”. Our group knocked out two more dungeons for the folks who needed them, first rampaging through Darkness War for Rowanblaze and then hopping into The Ankh (in which Doctor Klein still gave us the most trouble, as pesky mad scientists are wont to do) for Ocho before finishing off the night with Scenarios on Duo Elite difficulty to farm the cookie tokens. I’m filling out my tank deck meanwhile also trying to build a decent DPS deck so anything I can get helps.

As always, the AP keeps pouring in while we’re doing these scenarios, but while everyone seems to be putting their points into augments already, I’m somehow still fixated on completing my Templar decks. Seriously, what’s wrong with me? It’s my obsessive compulsiveness coming through again perhaps, but it’s like I can’t rest until I get them all.

There was also some discussion on the “stunningly ridiculous” grind that came with last patch, but it was agreed that Funcom probably made it this way so that they won’t have to worry about players complaining about having nothing to do with their AP/SP again for a good long while. Which probably means I won’t have to concern myself too much with not getting into the augmentation system yet, as it looks like it’s going to be quite the time sink for everyone across the board.

h1

TSW Monday: The Night In Pictures

November 19, 2013

Last night’s session of The Secret World Monday was another mixed-bag for the Knights of Mercy. For the second week in a row, we had a large showing and was able to put together two groups for some scenario running and Aureus/Oreo farming. One twist, though — we thought we might be able to slip into a harder version of a solo scenario for some extra rewards. Unfortunately, our attempts to entire a Nightmare solo scenario with a group of 5 were ultimately cockblocked, to say nothing of our plans of entering a scenario with a raid…which didn’t work either, obviously! But hey, nothing ventured nothing gained, right?

TSW7

If nothing else, it was an interesting experiment. That, my friends, is a picture of the simulation leaving half our raid behind. The suckers in our group were thus transported to a Elite Group scenario, of which we promptly got the hell out.

TSW6

Please disregard the dead vampire. And awkward horse is awkward.

We are ever so eager to be in a raid group, aren’t we? And with the numbers that are consistently showing up for Secret Mondays, we definitely have enough to fill a full group. But even if we wanted to enter a raid dungeon for shits and giggles we wouldn’t be able to, not until we have everyone past the Gatekeeper. And as such, we will continue to run Elites until we do.

TSW5

Which explains how we found ourselves in The Facility last night. Honestly, I remembered this dungeon as being a lot more fun. And it really wasn’t so bad, until like the dozenth time we were handed our butts by the computer core boss. Quite possibly the worst boss in the entire game, because so much is dependent on luck and being quick enough on your feet to not get balled or lasered. I still hate The Facility less than The Slaughterhouse though, by a wide margin.TSW2

But as ever, persistence pays off. The Facility was conquered in the late hours, and a couple more guildies are closer to completing their achievement. Now time to goof off…

TSW1

I think we earned it.

And the other highlight of the night: I completed another deck, the Templar Magus. Two more decks to go and I can start working on the Panoptic Core. It’s always been slow going for me, playing TSW only once or twice a week, and it’s going to be even slower now with the new augmentation system added to eat up my AP. But on the bright side, there will always be something for me to do.

TSW4

Showing off my new Magus outfit, as Sctrz looks on in awed admiration!

h1

TSW Monday: 3 Scenarios, 2 Teams, 1 Great Night

November 12, 2013

beam

Activities for our Monday night sessions of The Secret World have varied for the past several weeks, but last night everyone had the same plan: to tackle the new scenarios added with the release of Issue 8: The Venetian Agenda.

We had enough people show up for two groups, made up of folks who ranged from being very familiar with the scenarios to those who were just doing them for the first time. I’ve been puttering around the game the last few days myself, though I’m still in the process of tweaking my deck to find the most ideal build.

For once, being a tank appears to be working to my advantage (because we meat shields never seem to get a break otherwise)! But so far, a modified version of my current build seems to be doing the trick, with a couple impairs thrown in and replacing a few abilities with better AoE. The self-heals I’ve always relied upon have been a godsend, and being able to keep my aggro building abilities to pull mobs to me quickly has been very useful in keeping my enemies from pounding my survivors to a pulp.

So last night, the ten of us split up into two groups with a good balance of experienced mixed with first-timers, and each group ran all three scenarios on “normal duo” mode to get the hang of things. I’m not new to the scenarios, but I’m definitely not experienced either, with much tweaking of my build in between runs. I also can’t imagine what a bigger pain in the ass these scenarios would be if I were doing these without communication; being able to received constant reports and call-outs from my group members over Teamspeak made all the difference.

Anyway, that was pretty much my third night doing Scenarios, and only my first or second time for completing some of them. It’s amazing how much variation I’m seeing already, even now. I for one did not know that some of the survivors could turn traitor and kill their own! That was pretty damn evil when it happened — but at least the simulation compensated for replacing the lost. Still learning interesting things along the way every day!

h1

TSW: Venice Is Going Down…And So Are We

November 8, 2013
venetian agenda

Venice is sinking…but we’ll all party like it’s 1999.

The Secret World Issue #8: The Venetian Agenda is live! Last night, a few of us logged in to help JayeDub get his rocket launcher in the Venetian Missile Crisis quest (it was a night for all sorts of Venetian-related shenanigans, it seems) so we also decided to check out the new content while we were at it. Hey, when in Venice…

The first thing we tried were the new scenarios. I’m sure much of this is due to growing pains, this being just-released content and all, but we were certainly presented a challenge.

simulation

Beaming up…

For our maiden voyage, we chose to do the hotel, and after getting our asses handed to us in group mode, we decided to aim lower and clear it on an easier setting first. It proved much more doable, and now at least I’m aware of what to expect. I also know what I’ll be doing if ever I’m in need of AP. Doing this one scenario with my time accelerator active, I finished off the night much closer to completing my next deck.

survivors

Protecting the useless cowering survivors.

To wrap things up, we did a few more runs of Nightmare Mode Cat God…because with the Halloween events coming to a close this weekend, there aren’t too many more chances left if you still need a weapon drop!

h1

The Secret World Monday: Mixed Bag

November 5, 2013

golem

I’ll be honest; with the flurry of running around in The Secret World, scouring Solomon Islands for stories, Cat God farming, Super Jack hunting, and just in general trying to pick up the last of the new clothing drops I still need from the Halloween update, I’ve completely forgotten that The Whispering Tide was still going on, and that people still need to run the filth portals to unlock the next stage in the event.

Thus, Secret Monday last night didn’t really have a theme. It was a night of ticking off things on our to-do lists. First, getting in some Nightmare runs of Cat God, because some people still need weapon upgrades and his QL 10.1 drops are too good to pass up. Not to mention there’s always a chance at the Amethyst Mouser, which I don’t know if I’m lucky or not, but I’ve seen drop more than half a dozen times. Of course, now that TenTentacles has finally gotten his purple kitty, it won’t be as fun to taunt him with it anymore.

Next up was running Elite Ankh for guildies who still need to finish the achievement in order to hit up the Gatekeeper. It’s definitely good to get as many people as possible Nightmare-mode ready, even though I wept at the prospect of heading into that dungeon. I’ve made it no secret that it’s not my favorite, though I have to admit after having gone through the hell that is The Slaughterhouse and The Facility, it’s hard to hate the Ankh all that much anymore.

In any case, last night’s run was the best and least painless one I’ve ever experienced. Oh all right, I’ll admit it, it was a blast! A lot of that credit goes to Rowanblaze, who was on healing duty and did an amazing job taking care of me.

And finally, into the filth portal five brave adventurers went…which was not me, because I sat out to get some extra words in for my NaNoWriMo. From the wails of pain I heard from Teamspeak though, it seems the dev’s increasing of the difficulty on NM mode can most definitely be felt. And for all that pain and suffering, you get to earn yourself ONE WHOLE EXTRA event token! Thanks, Funcom, as ever we grovel at your feet in thanks for your benevolence and boons!

All snark aside, we were all over the place last night…but ended up getting a lot done.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,304 other followers