Archive for April, 2014

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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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Battle Bards Episode 26: Granado Espada

April 29, 2014

Battle Bards

Another new episode is up and ready for your listening pleasure!

This week on the Bickering Ba–I mean, Battle Bards, we’re looking at the music of Grenado Espada, and it is quite possibly the most eclectic MMO soundtrack of all time. So it’s not surprising the bards are going to have some disagreements on some of the songs! Join Syp, Syl and I as we discuss the music!

LISTEN NOW

Grenado Espada

Episode 26 show notes
  • Intro (including “Forzar” and “Old Speckled Reel”)
  • “Main Theme”
  • “Death Book”
  • “Beyond Hope”
  • “Cite de Reboldeux”
  • “Helios”
  • “Endless Battle”
  • “Amanecer”
  • Which one did we like the best?
  • Mail from EverQuest 2’s Margaret “Luperza” Krohn
  • Outro (“Purple Snow”)

 

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Battle Bards Episode 25: The Holidays

April 15, 2014

Battle Bards

A new episode of Battle Bards is up!

Now I know what you’re thinking. It’s a pretty random time to be featuring a theme show about the holidays. But hey, it’s ALWAYS a holiday somewhere in MMO land! Join Syp, Syl and I as we talk about our favorite tunes featured in special events, from Christmas to Brewfest.

LISTEN NOW

winterhome

Episode 25 show notes

  • Intro (including “Wintersday Bell Choir” from Guild Wars 2 and “Lifeday Celebration” from Star Wars Galaxies)
  • “Winter Event” from Star Trek Online
  • “Winter Home” from Lord of the Rings Online
  • “Halloween Wonderland” from Rappelz
  • “Happy Holidays” from Project Copernicus
  • “Brewfest” from World of Warcraft
  • “Starlight Celebration” from Final Fantasy XI
  • “Missing Presumed Death” from RuneScape
  • Which one did we like best?
  • Outro (“Winter Event” from Star Trek Online)

 

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ESO: Storming Spindleclutch

April 14, 2014

whisperer

The first time in a new MMO’s dungeon is always such a learning experience — it not only gives you such insight on the play style of your role or class, but also into the game and its mechanics as well.

On Friday night my husband and I along with guildies Tententacles and Ryan ventured into Spindleclutch (with Musei cheering us on in the sidelines and Pid setting up to go next in round 2), the first instance in The Elder Scrolls Online. I hadn’t gotten the chance to try any group content in beta, so it was all new to me. First of all, four seemed like a curious number for group size, but if it worked for Star Wars: The Old Republic, no reason it shouldn’t for ESO.

spindleclutch2

Thus far I’d been leveling with a sort-of-tank-sort-of-damage build so I wasn’t sure how I would fare, but I was reassured by the fact that most group make-ups can handle the instance without much problem as long as there’s some heals. It took a lot of the pressure off and I saw it as a way to learn the ropes and practice…even if I didn’t have an optimized tank build or abilities.

Let’s just say there was definitely a lot of flailing involved on my part! But it’s so much easier once you know who to target (healer mobs die first!), when to dodge (there’s a lot of that) and for the love of the Nine Divines keep up your stamina and magicka stores for your taunt and evade abilities. Once we got that down, it was all smooth-going. Though, ah, still quite explosive.

spindleclutch3

For a first instance I was surprised to see it was pretty well balanced in terms of difficulty. I’d dreaded being in there for hours and was all prepared for wipe after wipe…but for the amount of time we were in there frustration was minimal and it was very painless. More importantly, I definitely know where my build needs work. Overall a very awesome time!

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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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Battle Bards Episode 24: World Of Warcraft Part II

April 1, 2014

Battle Bards

A new episode of Battle Bards is live!

Can you believe also that our podcast is a year old? This week, we’re returning to Azeroth, because let’s face it, we could be covering the music of World of Warcraft with a show featuring it every year and we’ll still never be able to cover all the amazing music in this game. With soundtracks for the main game and all its expansions plus a couple more besides, that’s a lot of damn songs. We’re here with more of our favorites, and afterwards be sure to stay tuned as Syp, Syl and I recall our most memorable moments from a year of Battle Bards.

LISTEN NOW

illidan

Episode 24 show notes
  • Intro (including “Ebon Hold” and “Garden of Life”)
  • Undercity (from World of Warcraft)
  • Echoes of the Past (from World of Warcraft)
  • Totems of the Grizzlemaw (from Wrath of the Lich King)
  • Curse of the Worgen (from Cataclysm)
  • Forged in Blood (from Wrath of the Lich King)
  • Argent Tournament (from Wrath of the Lich King)
  • Way of the Monk (from Mists of Pandaria)
  • Which one did we like best?
  • Our first anniversary!
  • Outro (Argent Tournament intro)