Posts Tagged ‘Social’

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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 World: Teamwork

April 29, 2014
Thinking caps ON!

Thinking caps ON!

I know I haven’t written an update for The Secret World in a while, and part of that’s because I’ve been spending so much time playing The Elder Scrolls Online, and another part of it is that truthfully, nothing much is happening in TSW right now. Earlier this month a mission pack of four investigation quests was released and so the dedicated TSW Monday Night crew decided to stretch that content out as far as we can by doing one each week. Hopefully that will get us close to Tokyo.

Seriously, if the Tokyo update doesn’t drop soon, I’m going to go insane. Because by now I think everyone’s a bit sick of Flappy.

Stop teasing us, Funcom.

Stop teasing us, Funcom.

The investigation missions themselves, though, are EXCELLENT. TSW may have its fair share of your usual kill quests or fetch quests, but its crowning glory are these investigation quests. They must take quite a bit of effort on Funcom’s part to create, but they’re absolutely worth it. After almost two years out, the writing and ingenuity of some of these missions still surprise me on a regular basis.

The mission pack Sidestories: Further Analysis includes the quests Immersion, The Animate Clay, The Abandoned and Trials of the Dragon. So far we’ve done the first three and half of the last one before it glitched. Everything’s better when you’re part of a team! Except when you’re in an investigation mission that bugs out when there are multiple people involved, that is…

Friends also don't let friends get killed by padurii!

Friends also don’t let friends get killed by padurii!

My guildie Tententacles has written written some great walkthrough guides so be sure to check them out! Some of the minor bugs notwithstanding, doing them in a group really is a great experience if you can pull it off. Putting your heads together for some of these puzzles, not to mention splitting up responsibilities and pooling your resources to figure stuff out truly is a lot more fun working as a team.

 

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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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TSW Screenshots: New York, New York

February 18, 2014

You’ll have to pardon the wall of pictures, but after fighting Flappy last night our Monday Secret World group decided to jump into the New York raid just for the hell of it. Of course, we were only seven people and knew we had no chance of success, but none of us are against simply poking around and exploring the place.

And I did my exploring, all right…I explored the inner workings of the Inutterable Monster’s gullet. But this may have just become my absolute favorite screenshots of all time:

raid

Anyway, the whole “fight” with him really just involved us running up to him and snapping as many pictures as possible before he roflstomped us.

But still. Funcom has seriously outdone themselves. Gotta love a raid that takes place in an urban setting. The atmosphere down in the subway station was also positively chilling with the survivors trapped on the platforms. Check out the details in this place. And they totally nailed Times Square. Just take the giant tentacled monster out of the equation and you are practically right there.

subway

I missed my stop…

train

A “real” tank:

tanksSome group shots featuring Ochoclivis, Dortmunder, Dex-y, Solaris, Thermic, Chucho:

parking

Hey, we’re on the news!

camera

Holy crap, an explosion of tentacles! I’m blaming Maric for this:

what did you do

On the ground level with the big baddie. Um, yeah, we can totally do this! But Imma letting you go first.

go get him

Fun times!

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TSW: Upstairs! Lobby! Out Back!

February 4, 2014

a little help

My thanks to TenTentacles for the lovely screenshot above, because I was honestly too busy running around the castle like a headless chicken to remember to take any.

A recent update to The Secret World brought some changes to scenarios, and we decided to take a break from Nightmares this week to try them out. When you’re focused on progression, sometimes you can forget there are other great group activities in the game other than dungeons, and once in a while it’s just good to do something more relaxing. Plus, everyone can do with more oreos. I’d like to work on getting the Council of Venice outfit too, since my tank set is currently all purple’d out.

Well anyway, “relaxing” is a relative term. Still, I had a blast. Nothing gets the heart racing like seeing four or five orange lights flash up in your mini map, and then it’s everyone calling out where they’re going to hold the line. “Upstairs!” “At the mausoleum!” “Watch the golem!” “Oops, I’m dead!” But still, we persevered and dominated. Not a surprise, as it’s not even so much our gear, it’s that we’ve come a long since the first day Scenarios launched when no one had a freakin’ clue what we were doing.

The other big news this week that had us all atwitter is the impending arrival of the next and final stage of The Whispering Tides event. Flappy, you’re going down. We’re one step closer to Tokyo!

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TSW: Nightmare Darkness War

January 31, 2014

nm dw 2

Wait, what’s this? A Secret World post on a Friday? Surprise!

Yesterday, a few of my guildies and I put together an impromptu TSW night, to try our hand at another Nightmare. Thanks to the tips and advice from helpful commenters in my last post, we had a better idea of which dungeon to do. Seems to me the overall consensus is that Darkness War is the best entry level NM, so that is exactly what we did. Sometimes I have to remind myself that TSW is a whole different beast than other MMOs, that typical assumptions — such as, the first chronological dungeon in a game is always the easiest — are not always the case!

Polaris, for example, is apparently quite the toughie on NM mode. Now I actually feel a lot better about getting as far as we did, for a group just starting out. And to have almost beat the last boss too. It didn’t occur to me that most groups do the first five bosses in the various dungeons first, getting more adequately geared up in epics before tackling the sixth bosses. It just sounds so contrary to intuition especially if you’re used to playing other MMOs, but in TSW actually makes a lot of sense. And like I said, TSW is not like other MMOs.

nm dw

So how did we do in Darkness War? Quite well, to be honest. Was it actually easier? Well, compared to some of the bosses in Polaris? Yes. I don’t think we would have made it as far as we did (killed the first give bosses and left the last boss, as per the plan) if it wasn’t. So folks who commented were absolutely right about that. Still, compared to dungeons I’ve run in other games, it was still a bitch.

Again, this is TSW after all. Sometimes I do feel this game is pure evil, pretty much leaving you zero room for mistakes. But after much trial and error, practice and persistence, the feeling you get when you finally kill a boss for the first time is very rewarding. Case in point, it felt so satisfying to finally bring down the Unbound Ak’ab (to tell the truth, bringing down any Ak’ab is satisfying). Ironically, this boss is a cakewalk when it comes to normal and Elite modes, but on NM he gave us a lot of trouble.

mayan battle mage

The fifth boss, the Mayan Battle Mage, wasn’t much better, though his fight is all about knowing when to run away from bad stuff on the ground. The fact that even one misstep can kill the unsuspecting healer or DPS was the problem. In the end, I think he finally had it with us and just decided to bug out in one place, throw all his adds out at once, and keel over dead. Hey, I don’t care if we beat him by default, a win is a win! And we would have gotten him on our next try anyway *wink*

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TSW: Nightmare Progression

January 28, 2014
facepalm

Speedos…this is why the bosses kill us.

Our Secret World Monday group has reached a milestone, with all of us having gotten attuned for Nightmare dungeons…which means that now everyone can experience the pleasure of getting their clocks cleaned again and again by the sea monsters in Polaris.

After a couple weeks break, I wish I could report that we finally cleared the dungeon, but the place is still getting the better of us. The truth is, there’s definitely no shortcut to success, and I can kind of see now how casual players will have trouble getting far in this game. Especially when so much of it is about practice, practice, practice.

Case in point, I can’t tell you how many times the Varangian has wiped the floor with us, but all those times we failed have been learning experiences. I think I know all his tricks now, and sure enough this time when we went in, we got him down in one shot. Going in with heavy DPS is also how we finally managed to take down the Primordial Dweller, but even that took a bunch of wipes to understand the best way to control the fight. This was actually the first time I’ve beaten him though, so there’s that personal victory at least.

dead in the water

Dead in the water…

The Ur-Draug though, was a beast. Literally. That guy hits like a Mack truck on Elite, and on NM he’s upgraded to freight train. We came close once to defeating him, but that was one time in a dozen tries. It tells me we’re definitely capable of bringing him down, but simply put, we just haven’t done the fight enough to know how to push his buttons.

Still, this is the farthest I’ve ever gotten in NM Polaris. At least I know now it’s just this one last pesky boss.

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