Posts Tagged ‘Milestone’

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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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TSW: Nightmare Mode Unlocked

September 3, 2013

gatekeeper

The Secret World Monday didn’t officially happen this week due to the Labor Day holiday, but I went online for a bit anyway after hearing that Pid got his Gatekeeper achievement unlocked, and I was thus inspired to try and do the same.

I was sooooo scared for it. You wouldn’t believe how much I’d hyped this fight up in my mind.

As it turned out, though, it wasn’t nowhere near as bad as I thought; from the first time I engaged him, ten minutes later I had him defeated. But that’s not to say it was easy! There were a ton of deaths in that short period of time while I repeatedly threw myself at him, tweaking my deck after each failed attempt. Thanks to pkudude99 and his comments last week as well as unfair.co’s guide, I had a good idea what I needed to increase my chances of success: a “healing tank” build, and at least two impair abilities.

nightmare mode unlocked

I love how he’s clapping for me.

There were actually several times I died due to my own dumb mistakes, such as panicking and hitting the wrong button instead of the impair ability when he does his laser thing, resulting in being one-shotted. But after I got the interrupts down, the gatekeeper was a cinch. Of course, when the adds came out I just about cried, because AHHHH WHAT ELSE DOES THIS GAME WANT FROM ME?! It was a close one, as you can see above, because they nearly got me. Here’s a tip: take a health potion with you, because I stupidly didn’t, and having one would have spared me from almost having a heart attack.

This girl is now ready for Nightmare Mode dungeons!

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TSW: The Slaughterhouse Hates Us (And Science)

August 27, 2013

Well, The Slaughterhouse can hate us all it wants, but last night The Secret World Monday crew finally cleared it. The scientists in there though, weren’t so lucky.

scientists

Though, if they were dumb enough to consort with this guy, they probably deserved it.

The mindless extermination of scientists aside, it’s actually not a bad instance, even though it’s given us a terrible time of it in the past. The problem really only lies with the second boss, who is the very definition of a pain in the ass. After he goes down, it’s actually pretty much smooth sailing from there.

Second boss

NKL-107 fight gives a whole new meaning to “sucks” and “tricky”.

Besides obtaining the achievement, there really isn’t as much fanfare as one would expect. After all, this only earns us the privilege of unlocking yet another tough fight, the dreaded Gatekeeper encounter, whose defeat will eventually lead you to Nightmare modes.

last boss

Uh…I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it.

So this finally concludes my elite tour through TSW, with all the game’s dungeons under my belt. My gratitude to the teammates who ran The Slaughterhouse with me last night: (from left) Chucho, Thermic, Piddy-Cent, and PaganRite:

team

As the group’s tank, I had the disastrous task of chasing down half-naked men all night.

Apparently, my guildmates are fervent disciples of the “No shirt, no shoes, no problem” philosophy. Seriously, and they have the gall to accuse MY outfits of being too meager? Please.

And with that, I leave you all with my regular feature, “What I wore for TSW Monday”:

leopard dress

Given last night’s company, I was the very PICTURE of modesty.

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SWTOR: The “Real” Big Ding!

August 19, 2013
The big moment immortalized.

The big moment immortalized.

This weekend saw me hit level 55 on my Bounty Hunter in Star Wars: The Old Republic! YAY!

And I know thus far I have not talked much about the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion, but now that I’ve played through most of it, I have to say it’s pretty well done. The story was good, the questing zones are laid out in a nice, convenient way that actually doesn’t make me want to throw acid in own my face. The planet Makeb is also gorgeous. Honestly, I’m quite impressed with the whole package, considering the state of things when I first took a break from the game.

While I suppose gearing up should be my next step (already started on weeklies), I’m also thinking about taking my Republic character to 55 as well, for the legacy experience and, more importantly, the full expansion content. I’m told the two faction quest lines play off each other and together they form the full Makeb story. I might as well soak it all in.

And, ugh! Of course, I’m also contemplating the idea of starting an alt. I suppose is inevitable given that’s usually my regular pattern after hitting level cap, but the notion is rather appealing considering how we’ve currently revived our Empire guild, and I’ve been itching to play an Imperial Agent since, like, forever! Sexiest class in the game, easy!

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SWTOR: The Sort-Of-Big Ding

August 7, 2013

50BH

I used to take more pride in my collection of levelcapped characters across my many MMOs, but over the last couple of years the time constraints (and real life generally becoming more busy) has made me slack big time. Many games have also seen expansions in that time, raising their levelcap, and I haven’t been very good in keeping up with those either.

Anyway, Level 50 may be the old cap for Star Wars: The Old Republic before they released Rise of the Hutt Cartel, but it was still a big deal for me when my Bounty Hunter hit this milestone last night. It was a journey that only took, oh, I don’t know…almost two friggin’ years?!

I have a Jedi Guardian on the Republic side that has reached endgame, and because of this, I had let my Imperial character languish at 42 and gather dust. With the revival of my guild The Imperial Mercenary Corps and our Thursday “TORsday” nights, I picked her up again and made the push to 50, finally reaching my goal after about two weeks of casual play. Now I suppose my next move will be to pick up RotHC. Next stop, 55 (the new TRUE big ding)!

One interesting thing I did note — SWTOR may very well become the first MMO in which I’ll have a levelcapped character in each of the playable factions. That’s not something I’ve done in any game, not even World of Warcraft where I’m sitting on a stable of level 90 toons (which are all Alliance). I’m just not in the regular habit of alting, and as such if I do, I tend also to stay loyal to one faction.

If my guild hadn’t chosen to reboot IMC, I can’t say with great certainty that I would have dusted off my BH on my own. I’m sort of glad it turned out this way, because apparently I’d been missing out on a lot of great Imperial content.

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Happy Birthday TSW!

July 3, 2013
This calls for rainbows.

This calls for rainbows.

An MMO making it to its first year anniversary? That’s a big deal.

An MMO making it to its first year anniversary and I find I’ve stayed with it for all this time and it still interests me enough to play it regularly? That’s an even bigger deal in my books.

God knows I jump from game to game like the virtual world nomad that I am, so when an MMO actually sticks, let alone motivates me to pay a sub every month for something that’s essentially gone free-to-play, I know I’ve found something special.

And The Secret World is certainly special. You’ll definitely find me participating in the celebrations this week, and also be sure to check out what else fans like Rowan and the Beyond the Veil gang have in store for TSW’s first birthday bash.

To the game and its indomitable team, congratulations on your first year and here’s to many more!

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The Secret World: Post-Celebration Hangover

August 6, 2012

Ugh…world…too bright.

What can I say? I had fun in The Secret World “One Month Celebration” weekend. Maybe a little too much fun.

Yep, one month into TSW and still going strong. Pretty big deal for a game I had initially written off as “just something to pass the time.” Like some blind date set up by an obscure yet well-meaning relative, I never expected my stint with TSW to lead anywhere, but it just goes to show again that anything can happen.

As we wind down from the game’s first month celebration, I even find myself suffering a little from “lifetime sub envy”, wistfully contemplating the wisdom of my friends and fellow players who have upgraded to the Grand Master Pack. And let me tell you something: I. Don’t. Do. Lifetime. This is why feeling this way is kind of a shock.

My struggles with the decision of getting my own LTS notwithstanding, I will definitely keep playing into a second month. I see a lot of potential in TSW and I think it’s a quality game, which is why in an age where more and more MMOs are switching over to a free-to-play model, I will still readily and happily pony up the monthly subscription fee to support this Funcom project. Developers of niche and creative games which think outside the box deserve some love.

Plus last month’s State of the Game report about monthly new content doesn’t hurt. We’ve already seen Funcom successfully deliver Update 1.1, which gave us more than half a dozen new missions (oh, “Hell and Bach”, how you tortured me. This mind-bending quest occupied my brain for two nights, but the high I got after completing it on my own is something I have never gotten from any other MMO). When asked if Ragnar Tornquist and Co. can keep up with this ambitious update schedule, their answer was a resounding, “Yes, yes we can.” That remains to be seen, but if time shows they can walk their talk, I may be sticking with TSW for longer than I thought.

I spent the first night of the celebration weekend running through Kingsmouth again doing my 30 missions for my bonus Funcom points (which I ultimately spent on the “Hardcore Punk” clothing set, seen above) and in-game shirt reward. I thought I’d been quite thorough the first time I played KM, but it’s a real testament to the exploration aspect of this game that I still managed to find two side quests I’d never done. The last few days also saw me finishing up the Egypt zones, which means I’ll be heading into Romania (more specifically, Transylvania) very soon and I’m very much looking forward to that.

By all accounts, the celebration weekend was a great success, minus a few hours on Sunday morning where the load got to be too much for the servers to handle, prompting some downtime (which Funcom made up for by extending the event for 6 hours). Did anyone else participate? And if you did and also completed the 30 quests, sorry, the fashionista in me just has to ask: What did you buy/are you going to buy with your points (it better be an outfit!)? Any new players take advantage of the free weekend? What did you think?