Posts Tagged ‘Dailies’

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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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SWTOR: The Care And Feeding Of Level 50s

February 6, 2012

About a year ago, I made myself a promise that with any subscription MMO to which I commit myself, I will not quit or be distracted by other online games until I hit the level cap. As it were, it was one way for me to give the game a chance to show me the goods, but ultimately it also became a pretty effective way to deal with my case of altitis and gamer ADD.

Anyway, the point: I hit level 50 in Star Wars: The Old Republic around a week back, making my Jedi Knight the latest addition to my stable of level-capped MMO characters. So, at least I’ve accomplished one of my goals.

Where did I go from there? Well, in this strange universe where BioWare is apparently biased against Jedi and makes random decisions to make their lives miserable, I had to finish my class storyline before even having any ability to make a decision for myself. It was something I planned on doing anyway, but I was a little baffled as to why Jedi Knights and Consulars had to do this first in order to even open up the Belsavis dailies, whereas my Trooper guildies were already off and doing them without having to conclude their storyline and well before hitting level 50! And yes, I was a bit annoyed too, as I am whenever choice is taken from me, but I suppose Jedi are held to a higher standard?

Oh and speaking of dailies, long time readers will know how I feel about those. I already do enough real-life chores in my day, and it’s ironic to hop online in my spare time and have to do virtual chores as well. And yet, I’m PvE focused, so when the level progression stops it’s time to work on gear progression, and that’s the way SWTOR works as well. About two hours to hit up and do the Belsavis and Ilum quests, earn daily commendations, buy gear and mods with said commendations, work at it until you are geared enough to do hard mode flashpoints.

Already I’m seeing players in general chat LFM for these hard modes, more often than not calling for those interested to have so-and-so amount of health along with a sundry list of requirements. This is probably the most disconcerting thing of all (though I admit this is a bit of a moot point, since you’d have to lobotomize me before I agree to PuG a hard mode at this stage).

Mind you, that we’ve come all this way to do the same old dance is less of a complaint, and more of my own personal observation. I understand that end game is hard to shake up, and there’s probably no safer route than to go with player expectations and what they’re familiar with. I’m going through the steps myself. This is life at 50.

But hey, there’s always alts — and SWTOR has the advantage of seven other storylines to experience, and at least now I can start a new character guilt-free.

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Vanity Insanity

May 10, 2011

Gritty Kitty

I have a confession to make — I really dislike dailies. I don’t like the tedious, repetitive nature of them, and most of the time they drive me bonkers. So why, then, did I so diligently do the Rift “prelude to the Spoils of War” dailies every single night for the last week without fail?

Because of the rewards. And not just any kind of reward. They got me with the only thing that would make me give a crap — the promise of rare artifacts, and a shot at a new companion pet (which I still haven’t had any luck with so far, I might add). I swear, any kind of fluff or collectible but especially the vanity items like pets, they get me every single time. It’s getting a little embarrassing.

Still, this aspect of an MMO is like a side game that gives me a different kind of satisfaction. In World of Warcraft, I liked collecting vanity pets because of the wide variety of them in game as well as the achievements for obtaining them. In Lord of the Rings Online, I fell in love with all the pretty cosmetic outfits. In Rift, I like how finding artifacts, picking them up and slotting them into your collections feels like filling in the empty spaces in your display case. I suppose I have the Pokemon syndrome; whether it takes hours or days of farming, spending ridiculous amounts of gold on the auction house, jumping through the hoops, or yes, doing a bunch of pain-in-the-ass dailies, I just can’t fight the urge to collect “worthless” junk.

The way I see it, just because it’s fluff doesn’t make it less valuable than say, a fancy sword or a rare helm off some raid boss. If it takes me time and effort to obtain and item, then that item has value to me, simple as that. Sometimes I find that the collectibles are even more dear to me; the sentimental value is there because more often than not, these items are things I went out of my way to get, and not just an incidental reward or a means to an end. Things like vanity pets, for instance, also stay in my character’s record and don’t go away, and the meaning of the collection never changes from patch to patch, or expansion to expansion, even as I’ve gone through gear sets many times over. Oh, and they’re cute. Mustn’t forget that.

I know some people just don’t see a point, and that’s fair. But to me, there’s more to playing an MMO than simply doing things that will benefit your character directly. I like gear drops and loot too, but sometimes I like the fluff stuff even more — thus explaining my current motivations for getting off my butt and actually doing the dailies in Rift. The moral of the story is, I could care less about grinding for special badges or fancy stat-ridden epics, but offer me collectibles and vanity items and, Trion, I’m putty in your hands.

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Rift: Prelude To Riches

May 5, 2011

Yesterday marked the beginning of Rift’s minievent which will last until May 9th, heralding the Spoils of War 1.2 patch expected to drop on the 10th. My anticipation levels are officially through the roof as I await the arrival of new features like Appearance Slots, Crafting Rifts, as well as the addition of a new type of event called “slivers” which are entrances into alternate time streams. I plan on checking all that out regardless, but this prelude event is nonetheless a welcome diversion to tide me over, injecting some fresh lore into the world and allowing me an excuse to spend more time on my Cleric and giving me some activities to do in the meantime.

Corrupted coin! I knew it was too good to be true…

There are four new daily quests available; one requires you to gather up coins found around the city, the other three asks you to collect Ancient Golden Dragon Egg Shells that drop from creatures of the fire and earth planes. In other words, nothing really all that special. Okay, so I’m not exactly the biggest fan of dailies, that much is true…but to me, the grind for shells also makes these quests an even bigger pain in the ass than the ones from the first phase of River of Souls.

But the rewards? Oh, dagnabbit, they actually are quite nice. Considering how this thing is only going to be on for a few more days, and completing all the quests took just a little less than an hour and a half, I conceded to myself they are probably worth doing. Yep, these “gifts of burning greed” have decayed my usual sensibilities indeed.

To complete the “Gold Aplenty”, “Heroic Spoils”, and “Hunting for Riches” dailies, I needed to gather 80 shells in all. Collecting the coins already gave me 10, so I struck out into the world and murdered me some planar creatures to get me the rest.

Sticking together...

As a level 50, I hit Shimmersand and found that the best thing to do, if you’re lucky, is to join up with the first raid group you see and go rift hopping across the zone for fire and earth incursions. Traveling with this convoy made up of both Guardians and Defiants ranging from the mid-30s to 50, I was able to get all my shells within 90 minutes, at 4-6 shells at each rift depending on whether or not there are also invasions present. People were very cooperative.

As for my rewards for the first night, I managed to rake in a pile of platinum, a couple ultra rare artifacts, and best of all, a dozen Artisan’s Marks for crafting. Unfortunately, no “Gritty Kitty” companion pet in my plunder…yet. Cross my fingers for another day.

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Rift: River Of Souls

April 4, 2011

Last week, Rift saw the release of Patch 1.1 and the start of their first world event:

* The Endless Court invades Telara! This worldwide event for all present-day Telara zones and level ranges culminates in the opening of the River of Souls raid zone.
* Events and rewards are available for characters of all levels!
* The new World Event UI keeps you up-to-date on current and future event progress. Check it out to see where your server stands in the fight against the Plane of Death.
* Quest starters in Meridian and Sanctum offer currency rewards for special vendors, including limited-time items only available during this event.

For the last few nights, I’ve been participating in it, trying to mix it up a little by questing and fighting Alsbeth’s forces at the same time. At first, I loved it — it brought new lore to the game which is always a welcome addition, the raids were a blast, and most importantly, I appreciated the inclusiveness of the event. There’s something for everyone.

Yet, after the first couple of days, things started to feel like a chore. In Rift’s defense, it’s just a matter of time anything involving doing dailies will start to feel like that for me. I also realize that this is only Phase 1, and things may still be in the process of “ramping up”. Currently, all zones can open death rifts and spawn invasions related to the event. In subsequent phases, however, I’ve heard that things get a little more crazy and interesting — massive incursions and boss attacks on cities, etc. The next phase begins later this week, so I’m looking forward to that.

Still, I must have the most rotten luck or something! Of the four daily quests that are currently active, there’s two that always give me a hard time — “Harbinger of Sorrows” and “Exorcising Evil”. Sealing three death rifts of my own level for the former is more challenging than I expected, though perhaps not surprising since everyone and their mothers are jumping into them as soon as they spawn. My new routine has become questing in one area for about 2 hours in the evening, which is what I would normally do anyway, but now I’m also keeping my eyes peeled for death rifts along the way and crossing my fingers that I’ll hit three before the night is over. Sometimes I get lucky, sometimes not.

For “Exorcising Evil”, the problem of course is finding a death invasion — of any level, really. Last night it took me over an hour of bouncing around Telara to finally find one. Death rifts are usually sealed within minutes of their existence, usually before they have the chance to spawn any invasions at all. A quick patch over the weekend showed that spawn rate of River of Souls rifts, invasions and zone-wide events have increased, but I haven’t noticed a big difference personally. But like I said, I may just be having horrid luck with this.

No matter! So far, I only have two main goals — those who know me shouldn’t be surprised that I have my eye on the vanity pet rewards on the special vendors, and if all goes well I should rack up enough Otherworldly Sourcestones to afford them all, if not by the end of this phase then surely by the end of the entire event. That shadehound is cuuuuuute.

My second goal is to get to level 50! Phase 3 will undoubtedly require players to be of a higher level to participate; I figure it would be nice if I could be a part of that. Seeing as I’m currently sitting at halfway to 45, I think I have an excellent shot!

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A Little Skirmish Will Do You Good

July 22, 2010

Sigh, will I ever get to Moria? I know I make progress in Lord of the Rings Online every time I log in, but I think I’ve only managed to gain a couple levels in the last few weeks. Granted, I have been pretty busy with real life, but I try my best to give this game the attention it deserves. I find that two to three hours every other day isn’t really enough to make any real advancement though, especially since so much of that time is given over to in-game traveling. Those lazy and inconsiderate quest givers sure make you run around a lot.

Hiding behind Candaith. The torches have gone out and my warrior is probably off somewhere, busy lying in a pool of his own blood.

So this week, I finally caved in to the temptation of quick XP and participated in my very first skirmish, solo. It was a bit rough (okay, really rough), especially since my tenderfoot Warrior soldier was about as useful as a one-armed juggler. But it was worth it because, damn, people weren’t kidding about the XP gain. In about 20-30 minutes (not counting the first couple of failed attempts as I bumbled around trying to find my groove), I managed to rake in enough experience to get me almost a quarter of the way through a level. It almost feels criminal.

I’ve seen this system likened to the World of Warcraft dungeon finder, but it also reminds me of the daily villa quests I used to do in Age of Conan while I was leveling up. These were up to five solo instances in the noble district I could do each day to supplement my XP gain from regular quests, and I usually did them when I was a level or two shy of moving on to the next zone, or when I couldn’t find people to do my group quests. In my opinion, the skirmish dailies in LOTRO are better designed and are much more relevant to the story, but I can see myself doing them for very much the same reasons.

I think I’ve found the answer. If I wanted to, I think I could take the average of 1-1.5 hours that I spend in LOTRO each day, use them to do daily skirmishes, and I’d skyrocket up the ranks in no time…but then I would also be missing a lot from the rest of the game. Since this is the first character I’ve ever played in LOTRO, I don’t want to rely on skirmishes too much, but it’s so nice to know that they are there.