Posts Tagged ‘Zones’

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Rift: My Storm Legion Tour – New Zones

October 23, 2012

First of all, I want to thank the Rift team and especially Community Manager James “Elrar” Nichols for the amazing opportunity of being offered a private tour of their upcoming expansion Storm Legion during this beta weekend. This Monday, I was provided with a level 60 character, and along with the masterful Elrar acting as my personal in-game tour guide, we traveled to a variety of locations in the game so he could show me some of the features while allowing me to get in some hands-on time.

I’ve always admired Trion’s dedication to building rapport with their players and their enthusiasm to reach out to bloggers and the gaming community, and I’m really grateful to have been included. I know several have already gotten their write-ups posted, so here’s mine.

The fact is, Rift and I have always enjoyed a genial relationship; I played for many months, leveling my Cleric to 50 and continued to enjoy the game for a long time after that thanks to the flexibility of the soul system and the frequent content updates. I did stop playing around last winter when pretty much all my MMO gaming came to a screeching halt when I gave birth to my daughter, but with the announcement of Storm Legion this summer I knew I was going to be heading back into Rift sometime soon.

I just had no idea how soon. I knew I wanted to play the expansion, but my plan was originally to hold off on it until next year when my current MMO plate isn’t quite so full, but after my tour on Monday I think I’m going to have to reevaluate that plan. It’s probably safe to say that some of the things I saw shifted around my priorities somewhat, and there are more than a few features I’d definitely want to get a jump start on and not wait around for.

Elrar began our tour in Tempest Bay, the massive new cross-faction city on its own island on the map. The mechanical eldritch theme it has going there reflects a long history of its highly-advanced society. I imagine once the expansion goes live and players begin flocking to this city for their everyday in-game needs, it’ll look sufficiently more populated and lived-in. For now, from what I saw Tempest Bay positively radiates the majesty and grandeur of a central capital.

Elrar and his supermod powers ported us to various locations around the world next, exploring some of the new zones. Storm Legion will add two gigantic continents to the game world, Dusken and Brevane. Each of them will be bigger than the original game world, essentially tripling the size of Rift. Level 50s will have access to these areas in the new expansion.

Our first destination, Morban. And yes, the mood of the zone is as baleful and sinister as the name suggests; in the area called the Forest of Flesh, my guide led me by several foreboding structures nestled in a twisted wood. It’s an eerie sight to behold and yet a feast for the eyes. Rift being an original intellectual property, Elrar explained how their artists get a lot of free rein to design and theme the zones. Indeed you can see the full extent of the creativity at work here in the unique lines and forms of the architecture and biodiversity.

Our next stop was Seratos, the next zone over. My guide ported me into an area called the Pus Swamp. Hmm, flesh and pus and hey, I think I’m starting to see a pattern here! I was reminded that we’re in the realm of Regulos now; everything here has pretty much been taken over by the planes. Speaking of which, throughout my tour I was treated to many interesting tidbits of background information and the history of Telara. So, not only has the Rift team been hard at work adding content to their game, they’ve also beefed up the lore big time.

I also had the chance to visit the Kingdom of Pelladane and the Eastern Holdings on the other continent of Brevane. Along the way, I got to see how quests will be treated in the new expansion. Firstly, I was fortunate enough to experience a spontaneous rift event during my tour and was assured that rifts will continue to be a main feature and the driving force behind the game. I was happy to hear that. Of course, there will also still be quest hubs where players can show up and talk to a bunch of NPCs, but Elrar also emphasized a concerted move towards improving the flow of questing and making it feel more like a natural and organic experience.

I was shown a couple of examples of this. In one instance, I was just running around the area when I suddenly stumbled across an item on the ground with a quest indicator floating above it. In another instance, me killing a random mob also triggered a quest. This obviously is a move to encourage more exploration; Rift has always been very good at doing this, what with their artifacts and collection system and such — but now there’s even more reason to go poking your head into every nook and corner, or killing every monster you see.

Storm Legion is going to be chock-full of new features and lots of cool stuff, and there’s definitely no way I can fit all that I saw on Monday into one post. So stick around, I’ll be sure to cover my tour of dungeons and raids, and housing and dimensions in my next couple of updates!

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The Pet Hunter Diaries: Special Events

October 15, 2012

Dear Diary,

New Acquisitions: 54
Current Total: 363

I have to say seasonal and special events are one of my favorite things about collecting vanity pets in World of Warcraft. Whether it’s midsummer sparks or flying cats in witches’ hats, many of them possess a unique flair and are often available only for a limited time each year and therefore you’ll want to put aside some time to obtain them. Speaking of which, Brewfest has just now come and gone, so I hope all my fellow collectors have grabbed their pink elephants and Wolpertingers if they hadn’t already gotten them in the previous years.

What do people do while waiting for the Wanderer’s Festival to start? Fish, of course!

I also want to mention that Mists of Pandaria has also added a new weekly event called the Wanderer’s Festival to their calendars. Every Sunday night from 9pm-11pm server time, lanterns appear in the water at Turtle Beach in the Krasarang Wilds, and special NPCs and Pandaren loremasters show up to set up bonfires, fireworks and a beer keg for all in attendance. I’d missed the festivities the last few weeks — in fact, I didn’t even know about them until I saw this blog post by Anexxia so I have her to thank for clueing me in.

So last night, a few minutes before midnight my time (I’m on a west coast server) I made the journey to Krasarang Wilds, flying along the strip of beach in order to find the right location. It wasn’t difficult to spot; many players were already there and waiting for the arrival of the wandering pilgrims. Aside from wanting to see the event for the first time, I had another reason for being there. If you guessed pet hunting, you’d be correct. A wild pet, called the Wanderer’s Festival Hatchling, is only available for capture during this event, and I wanted to bag one for myself before the night was out.

Speaking of special events, I feel I have to mention the Darkmoon Faire as well, since this past weekend also marked the end of the week-long carnival. I was able to purchase all the Darkmoon pets available from the vendor, thanks to the new account-wide pet journal feature consolidating pets on all your characters.

Otherwise, the safari continues. I’m still hunting in Cataclysm zones and sometimes in Pandaria, usually between questing sessions and while waiting for instance groups to pop. I’ve had little luck with obtaining some of the harder-to-find pets in Northrend, Outland, or Azeroth even though I’ve gone back on occasion to check for them, though I did do some “night hunts” and managed to add a couple nocturnal pets to my collection.

As usual, happy hunting and until next time,

MMOGC

Latest field notes and recently hunted pets:

Showcasing some of the more unique pets I’ve captured on my travels:

Wanderer’s Festival Hatchling

Wanderer’s Festival Hatchling is…a turtle! Around 9pm server and immediately after everyone got their achievement for witnessing opening ceremonies, these little guys began to pop up all along beach. I grabbed the first one I saw, battled it and caught it. Not sure if more respawn during the two hour event or how often they do, but when I came out of the fight they were ALL gone, snapped up by other pet battlers. My advice, get there early.

Darkmoon Zeppelin

I should hate this pet, I really should, considering how many times it has blown me up in quest Tonk Commander, but it’s just so cool! Flying mechanical pet! Other Darkmoon pets I obtained all at once include Darkmoon Cub, Darkmoon Tonk, Darkmoon Balloon and Darkmoon Turtle, because I already got the monkey. All I had to do was grind dailies every day on a bunch of characters until my eyes bled out. Can’t complain, otherwise at 90 tickets a pop it would have taken my main almost a year to get them all.

Flayer Youngling

One of those hard-to-find pets in Outland. They can only be found high in the strip of bramble forest between Terrokar and Hellfire Peninsula and they don’t seem to spawn very often. Every time I showed up there before there were none and someone was always camping. But one day, during one of my rare flyovers I happened to catch the lone sight of a single spawn! As a bonus, capturing this little guy also completed my Outland Safari achievement.

Restless Shadeling

Interesting pet, as it only spawns early morning in the Master’s Cellar below Karazhan. Ugh, remember that place? “Early morning” apparently means 12am server time. During late night gaming weekend (2am my time, because on my server Deadwind Pass seems to be on Mountain time), I showed up there just to see what would happen and at 12:01am on the dot, these guys just automagically appeared all over my mini-map. It was actually kind of anti-climatic. But again, other hunters started showing up and 2min later they were all gone.

Stone Armadillo

Easy one to get, just show up at night in Desolace and these little guys are literally crawling all over the place! Don’t know why I didn’t get this one earlier, just hardly ever find myself in Kalimdor especially at night. Very cute and actually looks like a hunk of rock. There should be no trouble finding one, though trying to catch uncommon or rare quality will probably be the bigger challenge.

 

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The Pet Hunter Diaries: Azeroth Achieved!

October 8, 2012

Dear Diary,

New Acquisitions: 58
Current Total: 309

Believe me when I say you would not want to be one of my World of Warcraft battle pets. I would scream obscenities at you, put you through a grueling workout regime that would make you wish you’d never been born, then force you into violent fights with other pets over and over again until you’re beaten black and blue and unconscious. That’s exactly what I did with my stable of battle pets; I PT’ed those useless maggots (and some of them actually are maggots) until I had myself an elite team of bloodthirsty level 25s.

Only then did I feel ready to take on the bigwigs of the pet battling world. That’s how a few days ago I managed to unlock the pet battle dailies in Azeroth, accomplished by defeating all the battlemasters in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. Getting to that point really wasn’t so difficult at all — especially if you’re actively hunting unique pets at the same time; the experience points roll in, and the levels simply fly by. Soon enough, I was ready to take the fight to Outland and Northrend.

As far as the hunt goes, I’m only missing the really hard-to-find Azerothian wild pets and those that only show up during certain conditions. I’d consider myself a patient person, but I’m still not about to fly to Stranglethorn every half hour to check if it’s raining. Speaking of patience, I’ve also taken to letting the game idle on my machine while I’m busy with my real life obligations during the day, occasionally throwing glances over my shoulder as I’m working around the house to see if a pet I’d been camping has finally decided to respawn. Pet collecting is like the perfect hobby for us compulsive multi-taskers.

Unfortunately, more people are also clueing in on the server reset trick. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who cares about pet battles, but that’s clearly not so. Last time I tried to log out and camp at a pet “hotspot” before a scheduled restart, there were about a dozen or so other people who had the same idea. Hopefully in about a few months things will get better as our group of pet-obsessives get what we need and move on.

I’ve begun to do the pet hunting exclusively on my Mage now, since being able to teleport to every major part of the game world is the only way to travel, especially now that I’m canvassing Outland and Northrend. One interesting thing to note, is that once you hit around level 20-22 with your team of battle pets, it looks like you’d be strong enough to tackle wild pets everywhere, including the Cataclysm zones and even into Pandaria.

Sad to report, Diary, that so far I’ve had very little luck hunting in Outland, and only slightly better luck in Northrend. There’s always one single pet exclusive to each zone there, and they’re almost always nigh impossible to find…

Happy hunting and until next time,

MMOGC

Latest field notes and recently hunted pets:

Once again, showcasing some of the more unique pets I’ve captured on my travels, because quite frankly I’m getting rather sick of all those variations of snakes, spiders, rabbits, squirrels, etc.

Pebble

To get this little guy you must complete achievement Rock Lover which involves doing Lost in the Deeps daily at the throne of Therazane in Deepholm 10 times. The catch is, some of the dailies there are random, changes every time. And whaddya know, apparently random = rare. I’d sat at 9/10 times completed for the past two months because that quest was never up, and I checked every day since I resubbed. No wonder I hardly ever see anyone with Pebble on my server.

Diemetradon Hatchling

Familiar to those who remember questing in Un’Goro Crater, which also happens to where I hunted this pet. They tag alongside the Diemetradon Elders that dwell there; a trick to get hatchlings to spawn if you don’t see them, kill Elders and wait for respawns with these little babies accompanying them. Very cool looking pet!

Sporeling Sprout

Obviously the pet exclusive to Zangarmarsh in Outland, doesn’t seem to be very abundant, but got lucky and bagged this pet as I was flying over Sporeggar and spotted him. Looks like I have graduated from being small-time poacher to Sporeling sprout abductor. I should feel bad, but he happened to be the Humanoid type pet I captured to gain Family Reunion achievement, so I don’t.

Fel Flame

Found in Shadowmoon Valley, it’s a great pity pet for those of us who were never lucky enough to get Searing Scorchling that drops off the ice lord boss that’s part of the Midsummer event, or who can’t be assed to grind more Firelands dailies to buy the caches with Marks of the World Tree for a chance at him.

Clefthoof Runt

Here we go with poaching baby animals from their parents again. Remember these guys from Nagrand? Seems pretty rare, but one day flew over a herd and there happened to be quite a few of these tagging along. A runt he may be, but he is still almost as big as my cat form.

Stunted Shardhorn

Another “runt” pet, one of the first Northrend pet I captured, native to Sholazar Basin. Has tendency to spawn inside trees that annoy me to no end! I had to put two or three out of their misery until I came across one I could battle. Always wanted a baby rhino.

Water Waveling

Quite a few of these at the water fields in Zul’Drak. Now I can run around and pretend to be a frost mage with my very own pet water elemental.

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Back To Queensdale

September 6, 2012

I think I’ve mentioned in an earlier post that out of all the starting areas I experienced in Guild Wars 2, my favorite was Queensdale. Well, I’m very happy to be back there now, working my way through the map and enjoying its bucolic picturesque landscapes.

No, I haven’t started playing on an alt. In fact, I’ve pretty much lost all motivation for alting in this game, for two reasons — 1) because if I’m on an alt that means my husband isn’t around to be playing together on our mains, and I’ve discovered that unlike other MMOs, I just can’t seem to enjoy GW2 when I’m by my lonesome. And 2) that my alting time is usually limited to during the day when the in-game population is low, and as some of my friends on Twitter have already noticed and pointed out, it becomes nigh impossible to do some of the better and bigger group events when there aren’t enough people around.

So I’m actually back in Queensdale on my main, Kilioe the Sylvari Guardian. I admit I was first lured there by copper. I need tons and tons of it for crafting! Not to mention some lower level gems. I don’t usually craft when leveling up in an MMO (it’s not my favorite thing to do), but GW2 has been different — the experience you gain for doing it is significant enough that I actually feel compelled to. I’m so ambivalent towards this aspect in games that I don’t think I’ll ever decide to craft for crafting’s sake, but I have to say that GW2’s crafting has done more to appeal to me than any other game, even if crafting is still bleh and I and am being solely motivated by the experience gain alone! It’s something, right?

And that’s not all — I love that I can go back to lower level zones for whatever reason — gathering starter crafting materials, in this case — and still feel like I’m accomplishing something, because my level is adjusted and doing the hearts, dynamic events, farming gathering nodes, etc. all give me experience, plus I’m also working towards completing the map. What is that, like, two, three, four birds with one stone?

So that’s what I’ve been up to in GW2 lately. We’re into September now, when gaming life is starting to get a little crazy. While I’m usually terrible at juggling games, I have to say GW2 is working out very nicely as a casual and fun diversion, just as I’d intended. Having no subscription fee, I certainly don’t feel pressured to play it as much as I can, but at the same time I’m also playing more than I expected, despite not having that sense of that “urgency” tickling at the back of my mind.

Just the other day, in fact, I discovered I’m not going as slow as I thought I was. In a guild discussion about organizing runs for Ascalon Catacombs, I could have sworn my character was barely high enough, hovering in the high 20s. To my surprise and embarrassment, I logged in and discovered I was actually level 31! Methinks the scaling down of levels has been screwing with my mind.

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Weekend MMOing

August 20, 2012

The Secret World

Last week I began reining in my playtime for The Secret World, but mind you, not because of a waning interest. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; by Friday night my character had made enough progress to enter The Shadowy Forest for the very first time, which is the second zone in Transylvania.

I’m slowing down now, because every step brings me closer to finishing the story line and I’m dreading the day I will reach the end. Quite simply, the story and writing in this game has blown away. I’d thought Star Wars: The Old Republic was the height of MMO storytelling, but TSW can give it a run for its money. I’m basically trying to savor it while I can, and make the experience last.

So far, the most memorable moment for me was probably immediately right after I completed the quest Virgula Divina. If you play TSW and haven’t done it, 1) you’re in for a treat, and 2) when you do receive this mission, do yourself a favor and don’t attempt it alone at night or right before sleeping. If you don’t play TSW and/or don’t care about spoilers, look up any number of YouTube walkthroughs for this quest chain and you’ll understand why I feel this is the most disturbing, creepiest, most twisted quest I have ever done in an MMO (and also why my thoughts alternated between “Funcom, you guys are so @#%&ed up” and “OMG this is the best quest ever!” while playing it.)

A part of me hopes that spreading myself out a bit better now will allow the monthly content to catch up, as well as most of the cabal who are behind me at the moment. I like doing group content in this game, and have been running Darkness War as well as The Ankh which I did for the first time last week when I went back to tackle it with my friends, many of whom are still questing in Egypt.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

I finally ended my continuous-since-launch SWTOR sub earlier this month, in order to free me up to pick up World of Warcraft again. There’s still some time before it lapses though, and it just so happened the game kicked off the Grand Acquisitions Race last week, a world event involving an interstellar scavenger hunt.

I contemplated skipping it, and almost did until it occurred that with my game time ending soon, I might as well finish off my last days in SWTOR by having some fun in it. A week long world event seemed like the perfect opportunity with just the right amount of that for-the-heck-of-it vibe to draw me in, plus BioWare had to go and say the magic words: pet rewards.

After catching wind of issues related to the crowds, I sought to avoid them by waiting until this weekend to complete the event objectives. For the most part, it paid off, though smuggler crates were still plenty scarce.

Having really no alts in this game also kind of came back to haunt me. Most of the rewards you can buy with Tokens of Enrichment during this event are bind on legacy, favoring those who can do this event on multiple characters to increase and pool their token haul. Having only two characters that are high enough for Nar Shaddaa meant that even after doing the quests on my Jedi Guardian and Bounty Hunter, I was still quite a bit shy from the 250 tokens needed for the damn Lobelot pet. Thus it came down to collecting smuggler crates for me, which like most farming stints proved to be quite a pain in the behind.

That was probably the only disappointing thing about this event, because on the whole, it wasn’t bad at all. After the bad month SWTOR has had with its restructuring and layoffs, and despite it being painfully obvious that my character did not speak or have any voiced interaction at all, they still managed to do a decent job. It’d be nice if the event would last a little longer, but a week is still much preferable to month-long MMO events that require tedious daily quest grinding. A scavenger hunt was not only quite unique, I also found it enjoyable…up until the smuggler crates. I feel that world events should inherently be about the fun; you should do them because you want to, without the element of feeling rushed or forced to grind.

In the end, I did manage to get my Hagnoffarl pet for completing the scavenger hunt, as well as the Lobelot. I even debated collecting more tokens for the mount. At that point, however, I had to stop myself and ask if that was truly what I wanted to do with my time. I shouldn’t be doing it if I’m not having fun, and sometimes I just have to step back and snap myself out of it.

World of Warcraft

WoW kept me quite busy this weekend; if I wasn’t on my main, then I was on my baby Mage, leveling with a bunch of people from my TSW/SWTOR guilds who have all started lowbie alts to play together.

On the Mage, I’ve been tearing through Azeroth with Paganrites, who started over with a brand new account with the Recruit-a-Friend invitation that I sent him. I’ve always heard from others about the ridiculous rate of experience gain that veteran and recruit get from the bonus when leveling together, but I am finally seeing this for myself. It’s actually quite disgusting how quickly we’re blowing through the levels.

I’ve given up doing heroics on my 85 at this point, with the pre-expansion patch coming in about a week and Mists of Panderia arriving in about a month. Instead, I’ve been working on dailies.

I know I’ve expressed my loathing of daily quests in the past, but surprisingly, these aren’t so bad for a couple reasons. First of all, it’s been a while since I’ve done WoW dailies so they still feel somewhat fresh, but also there are a crap ton that actually are completely new to me. For instance, I have never done the ones out on Tol Barad Peninsula until a few days ago, and I also just unlocked the Firelands dailies by doing the quest chain last week. It was one big confusing mess, but I finally managed to figure out how many of those quests I should be getting.

The other reason why I haven’t found doing WoW dailies all that terrible: there are just so damn many of them that I don’t have to choose the same ones to do every day. One day I might decide to do the ones out in Deepholme, work up some Therazane reputation. Another day I might mix it up with some cooking or fishing dailies. Sometimes I go out to Uldum to bomb some troops or bash some thieving pluckers. I have so many goals — gaining exalted rep with factions, daily achievements for rewards, getting my guild rep up, just to name a few — that pretty much anything I do will be counting towards something.

Most of these also include a pet reward of some kind at the end (Rustberg gull, dark phoenix hatchling, Pebble, etc.), so that’s extra motivation. Really looking forward to the pet battles in MoP, so I’m putting in extra effort to build up my “menagerie arsenal”.

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What Do You Consider Content?

July 25, 2012

Yesterday, while browsing for some news on MMOs I must have suffered some sort of brain fart, because I don’t know how else to explain how I ended up in The Secret World forums. While there, a particular thread caught my eye — someone new to MMOs was expressing concern over the several “lack of content” complaint threads that were starting to crop up, and they were wondering just how well TSW holds up in this area compared to other games at launch. Oh dear. To be a newcomer and to find themselves in the general discussion section of an MMO forum. But anyway, I digress.

I think the answer depends. Firstly, I believe anyone should be able to play a game however they want without being crapped on for it. Whether you prefer to chisel away at the content slowly versus holding marathon gaming sessions is no one’s business but your own. But those gaming habits will determine your experience. If a game has 200 hours of content, someone playing 2-3 hours will probably never lack for things to do, as opposed to someone who plays 10 hours a day who will probably tap out that content in about three weeks. Players run all over the spectrum and there will always be some at both extremes, so these “There is not enough content!” threads at MMO launches are nothing new.

But I think the more important question is, what do people consider as content? Is it just quests and dungeons? Or is it more?

It occurred to me that what I may consider content, some people don’t. Speaking for myself, I consider “content” as generally anything I would actively need to put aside time to do. Last night, I calculated my /played to come up to about 105 hours and I’m only about halfway through the Scorched Desert in Egypt. That works out to about 30 hours per zone. It seems like quite a lot, but I’m afraid it might lead people to believe there is an abundance of missions or quests to do in TSW.

The thing to keep in mind is, I tend to try and do everything before moving on to the next zone. “Everything” includes missions, both main and side quests, but also activities like exploration, lore hunting, achievements, the whole shebang. It could mean running instances to PvPing to simply standing around “doing nothing” but cycling through each NPC’s dialogue options.

On the other hand, some players who are ambivalent towards things collecting lore items or talking to NPCs and who partake in those activities casually or only when they come across them incidentally, can argue that stuff like that adds flavor, not true content. Fair enough. Others will point out that repetitive activities don’t count, like dailies or dungeon grinds, and there I might even have to agree.

In the end, it comes down to the kind of gamer you are. Granted, I’m nowhere near the end of the game so I don’t know for sure, but I’d say if the number of zones plus the quests and instances they contain are all you’re willing to consider content, then TSW probably does not have as much as other MMOs like World of Warcraft, or Rift, or Star Wars: The Old Republic at release. That said, TSW isn’t for everyone. The more I play the game, the more I get a “niche” vibe pouring off of it.

So if on the other hand you’re the type of gamer who likes to poke their nose into everything, there will be lore items to find and read, NPC monologues to listen to, rare mobs to hunt down, outfits to collect, achievements to complete, nooks and crannies to explore, weapons and talismans to craft, and the list goes on. I’m aware that not everyone will agree, but that’s all content to me. TSW is about more than just a quest and dungeon grind and there’s really no reason to rush to a “cap”; I believe they made it so every aspect of the game is meant to be savored, a special treat for those who enjoy delving completely into unexplored worlds.

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Kingsmouth Hits All The Right Buttons

July 2, 2012

I believe I’ve mentioned before that one of the things that impressed me about The Secret War is its atmosphere. Funcom pays tribute to the masters of horror fiction and media while deftly utilizing elements defined by pop culture to play to our fears. The whole game oozes a dark, creepy vibe, and the town of Kingsmouth illustrates this nicely.

Stalked by Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.

TSW has perfectly captured a tiny slice of life in this beautiful, once peaceful seaside New England town that has been completely overrun by the forces of undead.

Playing in a dim environment with headphones on, it’s easy to become entirely immersed in the world without realizing that you’ve unwittingly ignored general and cabal chat for the last half hour (so I hope my guildies will forgive me for being anti-social).

It’s not just the quests that have grabbed a Kung Fu death grip hold on my attention, even though the investigation quests do tend to require a lot of concentration. It’s the sights and sounds that really do it for me — sudden loud noises like raid sirens ringing through the mist, the dozens of carrion crows perched disconcertingly over the devastation, or the innocent-looking corpses that suddenly animate as soon as you get close.

I also get a kick out of talking to the survivors of Kingsmouth and the flavor that they bring. I feel the script as well as the voice work are well done, though my husband, a native of Massachusetts, claims that Sheriff Helen Bannerman’s accent makes even the Pepperidge Farm guy sound authentic, so I guess what the hell do I know.

While I was playing yesterday, it occurred to me that seeing other player characters zip back and forth across my field of vision as we all run around actually, well, kind of works in this game. If anything, it plays to the confusion of waking up one day to find yourself sucked into the grips of a zombie apocalypse.

Funny thing is, I also always get this sudden urge to jump in and help another player fight whenever I come cross them in the middle of fending off zombies. Running past them or around them just feels…wrong? After all, humanity has to stick together to survive, and all that jazz. I think I watch too many zombie movies. A lifetime of that has conditioned me never to abandon a fellow human being to the undead.

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