Posts Tagged ‘Quests’

h1

Defiance: Time-Limited Episode Missions

April 14, 2013

episode mission

Thanks to catching the tail-end of a twitter conversation a few days ago, I was reminded to complete all the current Episode Missions in Defiance.

Good thing too, since they won’t be around in-game after the 15th. Because of Trion and SyFy’s collaboration on this cross-media project, the timeline content in both the game and show have to mesh and be in sync — so it would follow logically that at least some of the content will be time-limited. The two particular NPCs involved in the current quests, for example, will be gone after the first episode of the show airs Monday night, since it wouldn’t make sense for them to be in the San Francisco Bay area anymore. So, it’s bye bye for now, Nolan and Irisa!

On the one hand, these are exactly the kind of dynamic world changes I would expect to participate in on a cross-media undertaking such as this; part of the draw for me was being able to see events in the show affect the game, and hopefully vice versa. Of course, this will mean working more diligently to keep track of these connections and do content like episode missions on time, but I’m also fairly certain stuff like that won’t be popping up every week, allowing me ample opportunities to catch up. Speaking of which, last night’s polishing off of the episode missions wasn’t bad at all, taking me no more than two hours to complete, especially since I did them in a group with my husband and a guildie.

There are four of this type of quests in all, designated by a star-inside-a-square symbol on the map, and easily accessible to new players as far as I know. All of us had already done A Little Competition earlier in the week, so we hit up the next mission The Searchers, which appeared the first in a chain. This was followed up by The Heist (which contains a solo portion) and The Departed. That these missions are special are obvious right from the start, with longer and more elaborate cutscenes, as well as more challenging enemies and cooler-looking instances. They’re also fun as hell.

So be sure to hit them up; there’s still plenty of time before tomorrow night. You get some decent rewards out of it too, including a couple of outfits and an amazing purple-quality assault rifle. Not only is that my weapon-of-choice, I’m also now proudly sporting a spiffy fur-collared mauve jacket (also known as the official uniform of “We Love Irisa” fan club!)

h1

Screenshot Of The Day: Old Friends, New Business Model (TSW)

December 18, 2012

Another Monday night, another Secret World session. It was our guild’s first TSW night since the game’s big announcement last week, and I must say we had a pretty good showing, considering our modest little cabal.

Being a subscriber, I was able to claim my rewards which included a bunch of Funcom points, so of course the first thing I did was go shopping. And shocker — I didn’t buy new clothes. Instead, I adopted a pet:

Automaton

It’s reaching up to me for a hug! Aww…

Okay, at first I was going to get a dog. But then, I saw this little guy on the front page and it’s like, how the hell can anyone resist? My new Automaton pet jumps around excitedly when he sees me and also follows me around on rocket boots (or a rocket butt, I can’t tell).

We also had enough people last night to split off into a couple groups. Almost all of us are in Transylvania now, and so I took the opportunity to zip back into the Shadowy Forest to turn in several missions that had been sitting in my quest log all this time. Honestly, it’s been so long that I’d forgotten how much faster the experience rolls in once you get into the higher level zones. With my Time Accelerator that increases XP gain, I don’t think it’d be too long before I get enough AP and SP complete my third deck (Warlock) and to finally equip my rocket launcher.

Oh, and something else I forgot now that I’m back in vampire land — how ridiculously, maddeningly, soul-crushingly tough this game can be. TSW is a cruel mistress, but then again, it’s a big part of why I love it.

h1

The Secret World: Sub Gone, Join Usssssss

December 12, 2012

On 12/12/12 12:12 Norway time, Funcom officially did it — flipped the switch on The Secret World making it subscription-free, or in other words buy-to-play. If you were one of the lucky ones who picked up the game a few weeks ago during one of the many crazy video game sales, I’d be feeling pretty damn swell right now.

Those familiar with the game probably already know that everything had been set up for this from the get go, but leave it to TSW developers to tie the whole thing to the end of the world. As for me, it’s pretty much going to be business as usual. I’m already playing at least once a week, so I’m keeping my sub for the perks: an item which doubles XP for one hour each day, a membership gift, and — here’s the biggie — discounts and bonus points to spend each month in the Item Store.

Assuming I don’t need to be shelling out every month for a game update, can you say, new outfits, outfits, OUTFITS, OUTFITS, OUTFITS?!?! That’s right, bring it on, Syp! We all know last week’s post about fashion show competitions was directed at me.

Speaking of which, I guess now is also the perfect time for me to once again plug our guild’s weekly Monday TSW nights. Depending on who shows up and what needs to be done, on a typical session we help each other through quests, dungeons, and if we have time, watch my character Laeyn dance Gangnam style in her underwear at the Albion Theater:

[SCREENSHOT REDACTED]

Seriously though, if you haven’t had a chance to try this truly amazing and creative MMO, you now have little excuse not to. Given its genre and unique mechanics, I can’t promise the game will be everyone’s cup of tea, but Knights of Mercy will absolutely be happy to welcome any returning or new players on board. I assure you, we loooooove fresh blood!

YUMMY…MUAHAHAHAHA.

h1

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!

h1

TSW Night: Using Our Heads

October 16, 2012

The Council of Venice, a watch-group formed to uphold the rules and ensure that all factions in The Secret World are keeping the peace. Also known as the guys that show up only after we’ve taken care of the mess.

So, another Monday night come and gone, which means another night of shenanigans in The Secret World. And as far as TSW Nights go, I have to say last night’s play session was a rather productive one. Admittedly, last week most of us were rusty and still struggling to remember how to play our characters, but this week we brought our game faces!

First things first; I can now scratch one biggie off my to-do list — “Obtain stolen rocket launcher from forces of evil.” It’s right there on the agenda between “Clean out rain gutters” and “Remember to buy Halloween candy.”

Fortunately, everyone last night was at least Faction Rank 6 or higher and were able to pick up the mission, and two groups were formed to brave the dangers ahead. It worked out well too, because how anyone could have done this quest chain solo at that level is beyond me. Poor Scopique and I were being torn apart by mercenary bullets until I poked my husband in the ribs and got him to switch to heals. Things got easier after that, though snipers trying to shoot at my face still posed an aggravating problem. Staying out of the light was the key, though I found running around like a chicken with its head cut off also kind of helped. In my humble opinion.

Oh, how I wish I had a picture of my character Laeyn and her brand-spanking new rocket launcher to post here right now, complete with an obligatory and ridiculous caption like “Say hello to my little friend!” perhaps, but sadly I don’t even possess the number of skill points required to equip it at the moment since I blew them all last session. I have to accrue 5 more SP, though if the rumors about an upcoming chainsaw auxiliary weapon are true, I may save them for that. After all, when it comes to dealing the zombies, I like to get up close and personal, and chainsaws are much more hands-on, don’t you think?

Afterwards, the remaining Knights of Mercy headed back to Kingsmouth town to see the Reverend Henry Hawthorn in order to pick up “Digging Deeper”, the eponymous investigation quest from Issue 2.

If you play TSW and haven’t done that one yet, do make the time! Major Indiana Jones vibes pouring off this one. It’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had doing an investigation mission, though it probably helped that the format of it was perfect for a group. They say two heads are better than one, so five heads we should be golden, right? Well, for the most part I’d say that’s true, though lucky for those heads none of the puzzles were as unforgiving as the first room in The Last Crusade. The worst we had to contend with for screwing up was a jet of poison, once again sending us all into a flailing panic. I have to say, running around like chickens with their head cut off didn’t work quite so well that time.

Only the penitent man will pass.

Yes, there were mistakes aplenty and a lot of spinning our wheels, but this made for lots of laughs along the way and most importantly, in the end the group effort paid off. When I first heard about TSW nights, this was pretty much what I pictured: people getting together and pooling their knowledge, adding different viewpoints to the problem and brainstorming solutions. Thank goodness someone else was familiar with music theory, for instance; all that knowledge has sadly left me since high school, when studies halted my flute and piano lessons.

All in all, I was amazed at how well things went, with everyone pitching in with suggestions and ideas which ultimately got us through. To me, the kind of quests that make you think and research are definitely one of TSW’s best features. One thing’s for sure — when Funcom gets around to putting in those group investigation quests they have planned, I am so there.

h1

The Secret World: Monday Night Thrill-Seekers

October 9, 2012

Hrrmm, creepy black veins around my screen. What could go wrong?

From its launch, I’ve praised The Secret World as the most fun and interesting MMO I’ve played in years, and that I plan on sticking to it for a long time especially if they keep up with their monthly updates. I know there have been some hiccups along the way for Funcom, including some restructuring and staff layoffs, but against all odds they’ve managed to catch up and maintain their update schedule! What is this? How dare they keep their promises! Now where the hell am I going to find the time to play all this new content?! Unforgivable, I tell you…

Yeah, I’ll be the first to admit I’m no good at MMO juggling. Being able to concentrate on one game at a time appeals more to my personality, but I try and try anyway. Thanks to Guild Wars 2 and now World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, I’ve been shelving TSW to play again when things calm down a little, but it doesn’t help that every time I sit down and my computer and see a TSW article, some exciting news about upcoming updates, or even the game icon on my desktop, I get the urge to fire up the game. My addiction to it is still very much in my system.

What I really need is focus, and sometimes a schedule or a little bit of enforced structure does wonders. Which is why I’m so pleased that my multi-gaming guild has decided to put together “The Secret World Nights”.

These static weekly Monday night sessions began yesterday, when a handful of members from Knights of Mercy dove right back into the game and started kicking Egyptian cultist butt. Like all MMOs, the game is so much more fun when playing with other people — not to mention the difficulty level takes a jump once you leave the Solomon Islands and head into Egypt, so the extra manpower really helps. Not only were we able to support our fellow cabal-mates, the quests being repeatable also garnered everyone, even those who have completed them already, much needed AP and SP.

At the end of the night, the remaining brave souls, full of piss and vinegar, even tried to take on super-powerful mobs in a lair. These are a somewhat new feature in the game, which is probably why we were completely unprepared for the good old-fashioned thrashing we received. Originally designed for three players in endgame gear, lairs have been toned down so more casual players can also attempt them, but it was still painfully clear that we had wildly overestimated our own power. Silly us! This is TSW, after all.

KoM will be returning to TSW next Monday night, and every Monday thereafter, hopefully to polish off some of the new quests that have been added in the latest issues. It’s great, even if you’re not the grouping type but would still like the company. Personally, I love it because I know this is a great opportunity for me to keep up with the content.

Speaking of which, by the way, I still need to get my rocket launcher. Oh, and we all know the Halloween content is coming soon…

h1

My Panda Day

September 26, 2012

Happy pandas

Weeks even before World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria was released, I was already thinking about what I should be focusing on when the expansion went live. Should I jump right into pet battles? Should I start on leveling my main to level 90? Or should I roll a Pandaren and play around with a monk? As it turned out, I was able to fit in a bit of everything on the first day.

First things first — Pet. Battle. Trainer. Oh no, it’s all over, folks! All over! Pet battling is even more fun and addicting than I’d imagined! Within an hour I’d managed to add 25+ new pets to my collection, raised four or five different pets to level 6, and beat up several NPC pet battlemasters in the human area. And how do I feel about completely destroying a little girl and her pet rabbits, you ask? Pretty damn good, actually!

Next, I hopped onto my druid main for a couple hours of questing with my husband, heading into the Jade Forest to start on our journey to level 90. It is freakin’ gorgeous. I am also enjoying the MoP quests; so far, they feel a lot more robust than Cataclysm’s, in all sorts of different ways, e.g. story, content, impact, visuals, humor etc. (Socks!!! NOOOOO, SOCKS!)

At the end of the day, the Mercy Gaming guild got together and started Team Panda. I made my female red panda (tail and all) and named her Meilee, which is a bastardized spelling of Chinese pinyin characters for “Pretty” in Mandarin. How any and all variations of that name weren’t taken yet, I can’t imagine.

Together, we quested through the Pandaren starting area, and I finally had to put symbol markers on myself and my guildies to tell them apart from all the other big, fat, black and white pandas running all over the place. It also didn’t help that we were all monks wearing the same quest reward gear. Mint green dots everywhere on the mini-map!

I had myself a great time. While I can’t speak for my friends, I suspect they did too. The zone was visually stunning, the quests were fun and relatively unique. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who might be rolling their own Pandaren one day, but suffice to say I was quite impressed. In the end we chose to join the Horde, and our modest little guild Red Solstice on the server Silvermoon is now up and running.

The nice thing is, after yesterday’s experiences I’ve decided I’m not going to concern myself too much with “focusing” on any one thing in-game anymore. I’m not in any rush, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with sampling a little bit of everything — in fact, I quite liked it.