Archive for April, 2013

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Our TSW Family Is Growing

April 9, 2013

Gladiatrix

Another month, another deposit of bonus Funcom points in my account when I logged in to The Secret World last night. I used them to buy the outfit shown above, the new Gladiatrix armor, so I can finally look like a tank (and so my guildies can’t claim that I only do all my tanking in skimpy clothes, at least until the next time I decided to buy a new mini-skirt).

There appears to be an increase of interest in the game lately, and as always it gets me giddy to see TSW getting attention because there really is no other MMO out there right now quite like it. Our Monday night TSW sessions continue to thrive as we get new people joining us some nights and current members experimenting with new decks and roles. We’re a pretty casual group, mostly splitting up individually or in groups while hanging out in cabal chat or teamspeak.

Anyway, in light of this I thought I’d plug our guild some more as well as provide some info to common questions I often see about TSW. Yep, it’s buy-to-play now, which means you pay for the game and play for free, and these days you can often find it at retail on sale or for pretty dirt cheap. As far as I know, it also comes with a month in which they treat you as a full subscriber and you get the perks like the XP booster drink and free in-game gift.

My character’s name is Tamerlaine “Laeyn” Berard; your nickname in the middle is what everyone in the game goes by. Feel free to add me to your friends lists or ask me any questions. The Mercy Gaming Knights TSW branch are the Knight of Mercy. We’re Templar guild, though your faction only matters for cabals and cabal features; when in game, members of the Illuminati, Dragons or Templars can group together to do quests or instances no problem. Aside from the intro as well as your faction quests, everyone pretty much experiences the same content, though each faction has its own unique flavor and you’ll see differences in things like quest completion text, etc.

Server also doesn’t really matter unless you want to PvP with others on your home realm. No matter where you end up you can still play with anyone in this game, though most of KoM are on Arcadia, the RP server. So you see while it’s not completely restriction-free, I still think the degree of flexibility is one of the best things about the game.

A lot of people have said that TSW has a rather steep learning curve, and this is probably true especially towards the beginning. I remember it took me a couple hours to really get into it. The good news is, once you get the mechanics down, the the drive to create and experiment with new ability decks gets pretty addictive. Still, the game being so niche, some never really get into it or are turned off by the horror themes, which is totally understandable too. Even now I still frequently run across features that make me want to tear my hair out, and personally there are certain quests I really wish I hadn’t done at night. In the dark. All by myself.

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First Days Of Defiance

April 5, 2013

Arkfall4

Ever since Defiance officially went live on Tuesday, I’ve been playing Trion’s new MMO third-person shooter every night for approximately 1-2 hours each session. Granted, that’s probably optimal for me, given my hopes that this game can become a fun and casual pastime on the side. Still, I’m sure I’ll need a lot more time with it before I’m comfortable with forming more solid opinions.

However, I’m happy to say that so far all my experiences have generally been positive. Even spending just mere minutes with the live version erased a lot of my previous misgivings, given that I was in the alpha and the beta…and let’s just say it hasn’t always been pretty. In light of some of the more persisting issues, I even occasionally had my doubts about my pre-order.

For one thing, I’ve always wondered to myself, “Can you imagine how stupidly fun this game would be when grouping with friends?” I envisioned a lot of running together as a squad with my guild, but alas I was never able to get the friend and group invite working for me properly during testing. So you can imagine my excitement and relief when I fired up the live client on Tuesday night to find the grouping system working flawlessly.

That one thing probably increased my love for Defiance tenfold. I mean, how surprising that a broken grouping system in an online multiplayer game can completely cripple your enjoyment! Who’d have thunk it, right?! 

Sure, you don’t absolutely need to group in Defiance, but I definitely experienced a whole different layer of gameplay dynamics after a few hours running with my husband. There’s an added immersion you just don’t get when playing alone or out-of-communication with others; playing the game is so much more interactive when I find myself planning out attacks with someone else, whether it’s splitting up the work during missions or laying down cover fire when the other player is interacting with a quest object (or running like hell for his life).

Last night, I even had the chance to participate in one of those big Arkfall events. Now, ain’t that a whole different kind of animal. It’s very similar to the rift events in Rift that happen very randomly and without warning. One moment, a small group of us were just la-di-da shooting away, and then all of a sudden you’re swept up in a massive crowd like a wave and flaming hellcrabs are jumping at you trying to eat your face and your poor mouse is just gripped in your sweaty shaking hand while you’re desperately firing that assault rifle like it’s nobody’s business and…it’s just one big mess. The good kind of big mess.

That’s the thing. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about Defiance, other than it’s rather fun and addicting. But if there’s one aspect that really surprised me about the game, it’s how quickly I took to it. I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of shooters, I honestly never thought I would get into a game like this. That I did and got hooked onto it so quickly speaks volumes about it, I think.

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Introducing The “Battle Bards” Podcast

April 3, 2013

Battle Bards

Long-time readers may be aware that I frequently like to feature or talk about MMO soundtracks on my twitter or blog; for me, the music has always been such a significant part of the gaming experience.

That’s why I was thrilled when Syp of Biobreak approached me one day and asked if I would be interested in being involved with an idea he’d been hatching for a while: a gaming podcast entirely dedicated to the music of MMOs. I would be joining him and fellow MMO music lovers Syl of MMO Gypsy and Merric AKA Dodge of A Casual Stroll to Mordor as hosts on Battle Bards! The podcast would be an avenue for us to talk about our enthusiasm for MMO music and share our thoughts with others who are equally as passionate about the subject. I know y’all are out there, somewhere!

Without further ado, I’m excited to announce that our first episode is up and ready for your listening pleasure.

The topic of the show is all about our favorite main themes, brought to you by Syp, Syl and myself since Dodge was out of town. You can also view more information about it on the show page here. Also, like our “Epic Lute” banner? Credit for that awesome image and design goes to the very talented Tesh of Tish Tosh Tesh.

Anyway, this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this, and despite having a mild case of the jitters I really enjoyed myself. I hope you’ll have as much fun listening as we did recording.

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TSW: Plundering The Ankh

April 2, 2013

Ankh

The Ankh is The Secret World’s fourth instance, located in The Scorched Desert. Deep beneath the sands, Orochi agents have discovered an ancient and subterranean Egyptian temple. Of course, it’s also damp, dark, spooky and completely infested with the Filth. As if any of us needed more proof that everything the Orochi Group touches inevitably turns into a giant cock-up.

Last night, a group of brave adventurers from the Knights of Mercy took it upon themselves to investigate the dig site during this week’s session of TSW Monday. First off, I want to say that there is no such thing as a bad instance in TSW…just that some are better than others.

I can’t say The Ankh is one of my favorites. Visually, it’s not as stunning as the others, and the bosses aren’t as memorable. And like I said, it’s full of Filth. I mean, it’s tentacle-ly and disgusting. Pretty sure as well that having been pummeled to death in that dungeon way too many times to count have not warmed me towards it. But someone’s gotta take care of the dirty work, right? And sometimes even dirty work can be fun when you’re doing it with friends.

Also, as any self-respecting TSW player will tell you, it’s of the utmost important to dress the part no matter what you do. The Filth of the Ankh learned last night that two can play at the tentacle game. So, there.

tentacles