• Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Meet Nathaniel Vinculus Hawksmoor

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So, here he is, my main character for The Secret World. Nathaniel Hawksmoor, called Nat by his friends, or "Vinculus" by less generous associates, he's a new member of The Templars. I'll be describing his adventures as he journeys into the mysteries of The Secret World, but for now he is just a chancer with a few tricks up his sleeve looking for answers.

Hi, I'm Nat.

I picked the nickname "Vinculus" from Susanna Clarke's brilliant alternative history novel "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell" which tells the tale of the restoration of English magic through the 19th Century. I liked the sound of the name, and I found the character interesting, and it also means "bond" or "chain" in Latin, which I'll probably tie into his backstory somehow.

I'm playing on the Arcadia roleplay dimension, and will be keeping an eye out for a guild. I have a couple in mind already, but want to wait a little to see how things pan out. If you know of any decent EU-timezone guilds on the server who are light-to-medium RP and understand that family commitments may effect my play times then let me know!
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Friday, June 29, 2012

Endings and Beginnings

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So, Bioware released the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut dlc this week, and I've finally had time to have a play around with it. It seems that Bioware have done exactly what they said they would do. The new endings clarify events and resolve some of the plot holes I discussed in my original review, but the main story remains the same. If you didn't care for the main direction of the ending and choices offered there is little in the Extended Cut that will change your mind. It's an edit, not a wholesale revision.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Busy Week

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It's going to be a busy week in the Merecraft household this week. Patch 1.3, Allies, has launched on the SWTOR servers, bringing with it the first iterations of the dungeon finder, ranked warzones, legacy character perks, augment system and adaptive social clothing. The patch notes are absolutely massive and you can find them here. I'll be looking at updating my Gunslinger build following the class changes in the next week or so.

At the same time Bioware have released the Extended Cut of Mass Effect 3, a free 1.9GB download that extends, clarifies and changes the original ending of the game following feedback from the fans.

Finally, early access for The Secret World begins this Friday... and I still haven't decided on an initial character build yet. That's a topic for discussion at some other time. Not that I'm going to have any time this week with all that lot to explore... I'd best get started...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Further thoughts on The Secret World

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I managed to spend some more time with The Secret World this weekend as part of the final weekend beta test. It has pretty much confirmed all my earlier thoughts, and consequently I've gone ahead and pre-ordered.

It's still rough and clunky in places but the more I play the more I can appreciate the potential of the game. It's far tougher than most modern MMOs, both in terms of combat, character set-up and questing, which I like. It's a thinking-person's game, and I can see many MMO players really not getting to grips with it.

London calling

I like the fact it is a niche game, though I fear the level of creativity and thought required to play it may harm subscription numbers. At least the entry barriers (slightly clunky, limited character customisation, and amount of effort, time and thought required to proceed) may weed out some of the more childish members of the MMO gaming community.
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Blog Design Complete

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I've finally got round to finishing the new design on the blog. I hope you like it and there aren't too many bugs! Please let me know if you find any.

I apologise to readers using the Internet Explorer browser if you find an issues. I think I've managed to squash them all but designing CSS for Internet Explorer is like bashing your head against a rock - pointless and painful. It has horrible legacy requirements and should be consigned to the recycle bin.

Now that's out the way I can resume my normal blogging service!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Secret World's Secrets

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Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

- Robert Frost

Another week, another beta test. This weekend I got to sit down with Funcom's new MMO, The Secret World, for the first time. It's a game I have been following a little over the last year or so, mainly due to what I find an interesting concept behind the game's lore, so I was pleased to get hold of a key for this weekend's test. I approached the game with some interest, though with no real plan to purchase on release (it would have to be really great to shift my focus away from The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2, especially with it being a subscription-based MMO).

Zombie-bashin' time...
The game is due to launch in the next few weeks (on 3rd July), so I was keen to see how close to "finished" (or as finished as a launch MMO will ever get) the game was. There is one more weekend of testing to go before launch, and that will open up the PvP game for testing (sadly it wasn't available this weekend).
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Monday, June 11, 2012

Guild Wars 2 - First Beta Impressions

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Well, I found E3 to be particularly underwhelming this year. Very few games grabbed my attention (Planetside 2 and Assassin's Creed 3 were the only two that made me sit up and take notice) and most just seemed to be more FPS games and console ports. Consequently, I won't be writing up my thoughts on E3 as promised, but will be giving you my initial impressions on the Guild Wars 2 beta instead.

Welcome to Tyria

The usual caveats before I get into the meat of the matter. I have already pre-ordered the game (before I got to play the beta) based on the fact there is no subscription and most of my guild, Convergence, will be playing. However, before playing in this weekend's beta test event (for which there is no NDA, so I'm free to write what I want) I knew little about the game and felt pretty ambivalent about it.
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Tuesday, June 05, 2012

New SWTOR Content Announced at E3

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It's E3 time again and Bioware have announced a load of new content that we'll be seeing for The Old Republic later this year. There is no official word on whether this will be as part of an expansion or as a free download, though there are rumours, due to a leaked survey, that it could be a paid expansion.

The main content announced was an increase of the level cap, a new planet (Makeb) with new class story content, a new companion (players of the original Knights of the Old Republic game will be overjoyed to hear it is a HK-51 assassin droid), a new Operation, a new Warzone, new class abilities and a new playable species (Cathar).

An official trailer for the new content was released which you can see below. I'll be posting later in the week about any other news from E3 that caught my eye this year.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Sentinel Prime

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Loman-Kai, my Jedi Knight Sentinel, has now reached level 20. I'm really enjoying the combat style of the class, it is so very different to my Smuggler.

Ugh, Taris... here we go again!

I managed to skip most of Taris (my least favourite planet) by doing all of the Coruscant quests, along with Hammer Station. After doing my class quest and collecting the datacrons on Taris I was level 20 already, which meant I could skip straight to Nar Shaddaa without having to do any of the Taris world quests. It probably helped that I'd run a few warzones along the way too (they give pretty good xp, especially at lower levels).
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