Posts Tagged ‘Social’

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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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Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me

January 8, 2014

4 bday

Holy crap, as of yesterday this blog is four years old! Time really flies, doesn’t it? It feels more like three, though that might be because I completely forgot my blogiversary last year. Would have forgotten this year too, truth be told, if Rowan (who will be celebrating his own blogiversary very soon as well) hadn’t reminded me. I am just bad with birthdays.

Anyway, since my blog’s anniversary is in January, technically this post could also serve as a look back at 2013. Once again, this blog didn’t see as much activity in the last year as I would have liked. In my defense though, it was a busy year in terms of real life, and quite honestly, it was a pretty tame one for MMOs. Tame…but definitely not lame.

I only participated in the launches of mainly two games — Defiance and Neverwinter — and both released during the first part of the year (though in the latter’s case, an um, open-beta-that-really-wasn’t-a-beta).

nw

Instead, I spent the last year revisiting a lot of old favorites. World of Warcraft, of course, is as ever the dependable standby. I would play a couple months, take another couple months off, then do it all over again. I know I can always count on it being there whenever I feel like a romp through Azeroth.

panda

Star Trek Online saw some play too because of their new expansion. I rolled a Romulan, got to have some fun with the duty officer mini-game, and got roped into doing dailies for their summer event. This was the year I truly came to develop an appreciation for a free-to-play STO.

romulan

A few months ago, I also surprised myself by resubbing to Star Wars: The Old Republic. This was thanks to the revitalization of our guild, which included a faction change to refocus our efforts on the Empire side. SWTOR saw an expansion too, and I’m still hopping in now and then getting in my Galactic Starfighter battles. They’re a lot more fun once you get a hang of the controls and start upgrading your ship.

ops

And finally, there’s The Secret World. TSW Mondays are still going strong, and in terms of social events, it’s probably Mercy Gaming’s greatest success. I don’t think anyone would have believed it a year and a half ago, but it’s true that our weekly group has steadily grown since Secret Mondays first started. To the usual gang, thanks for making this such a great year in TSW.

headstand

Other highlights of the year that aren’t really related to gaming (and in fact, they actually took away from my gaming time, but I wouldn’t change that for the world!) include some of my new hobbies:

1) Pathfinder! I have reason to look forward to Sunday nights now that my friends and I hold weekly games over Fantasy Grounds 2 and Teamspeak.

2) Miniature painting! I’ve always wanted to get into this, and this year I finally took the plunge!

3) Podcasting! Recording Battle Bards with my co-hosts Syp and Syl has been such fun this year.

4) Book blogging! I’ve always read voraciously, and this year I went one step further and started a book blog with a couple of my friends. It has been amazing.

And of course, nothing beats spending time with my family. My little girl is almost two now, and every day she fills my life with surprises and delight. My husband and I don’t get to play video games as much anymore, spending a couple hours a night in our MMOs only after we’ve put the baby to bed. When she’s awake, we don’t want to miss a moment with her!

Finally, to my readers, I want to thank you for another fantastic year. 2014 looks to be another great one with a couple big MMOs on the horizon. I haven’t mentioned these games a lot on my blog the past year, mostly because I’ve resolved to keep my excitement in check going forward, but I’d like to go on record to say that I am very much looking forward to BOTH Wildstar and The Elder Scrolls Online.

wildstar

ESO

I have no doubt I’ll be gracing this blog with my thoughts on both sometime in the future. And perhaps more! Thanks again, and I’m definitely looking forward to another year of blogging. Ciao!

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The Secret World: Krampusnacht And End Of Days

January 2, 2014
Lighting Hel up for the holidays.

Lighting Hel up for the holidays.

Happy new year, from your friendly neighborhood MMOGC! Hope everyone’s holiday season was filled with much love and joy and gaming.

The last few weeks have been conspicuously devoid of posts about The Secret World Mondays, though I have indeed kept playing even through the craziness of the holidays. In fact, out of all the MMOs that had their Christmas events, I probably spent the most time doing TSW’s, even though I did dabble some in Guild Wars 2 and their Tixx’s Infinirarium dungeon.

Heh, now that’s some insane juxtaposition right there: creepy Krampusnacht of the former versus the whimical Wintersday of the latter. True to form, Funcom puts a horror twist on everything, even for Christmas.

krampus mask

And nothing says “horror” quite like an ugly holiday sweater from your great aunt Agnes.

As a bonus, the End of Days came back as well, which made me very happy because I was out of town when they had that event last year and I thought it was a one-time thing that I’d missed forever.

xibalba

Sigh…this would have been such a cool screenshot if I hadn’t ruined it by wearing my granny panties.

xibalba2

And this screenshot says so much about us as a guild.

Anyway, it all wrapped up today and my friend TenTentacles’ round-up post inspired me to do one of my own. And like TenTen, I thought it was great, but also that it’s high time Funcom comes up with something other than, in his words, the whole “Big Bad Monster Tromping Around the World thing”. It’s a lot of fun, but he’s right in that it’s also getting a little old. Or heck, maybe I’m just feeling bitter because I must have participated in more than two dozen fights of Super Hel and never got my horns. Seriously, everything else dropped for me BUT the damn crown.

behind me

“That two-faced mother…er, she’s standing right behind me, isn’t she?”

On the bright side, I still maintain that these types of events bring out the best of the TSW community. I wouldn’t even have gotten to battle the big two-faced Norse goddess if not for the efforts of the different cabals and the numerous other volunteers pooling up their resources to chain summon her for the rest of us who need the achievement or need her drops. Everyone is always so eager to help others in this game, and I hope that aspect never goes away!

hel train

People all over The Secret World, join hands! Start a Hel train, Hel train!

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