• 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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reaching the Summit

Leave a Comment
It's time to say farewell to Solomon Island, for the time being at least. Vinculus has finished up in The Blue Mountain, the final zone on the Island, and will soon be heading to much sunnier climes in Egypt.

The first thing I noticed about The Blue Mountain was that there was a step up in the difficulty of combat. Mobs were packed closer together, meaning I had to be more aware of my surroundings, they made more use of self-buffs and debuffs on my character, and the time-to-kill increased. I had to completely rethink my build and shifted from the tanking build that had seen me through Kingsmouth and The Savage Coast to a survival dps/self-healing hybrid build.

Welcome!
 One of the great features of the skill system and crafting system in TSW is that I was able to make myself a new QL5 fist weapon and start putting AP and SP into a new build pretty much straight away. Within a couple of hours I had a workable build that I continued to refine as I travelled through the zone.

There are a few minor spoilers ahead. Any major spoilers are in hidden sections.
Read More...

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Blue Mountain Survival Build

1 comment
Things get tough once you reach The Blue Mountain in The Secret World. The game is far from easy before then (certainly when compared to most MMOs), but there is a definite step up in difficulty when you reach the game's third progression zone. You have to start paying a lot more attention to your surroundings and to mob buffs and debuffs, as well as being much more mobile in combat.

I found my original tanking build just wasn't cutting it any more. I could survive most fights, but my health was dropping alarmingly against some mobs, and the time-to-kill them went way up. So, I started on a new build, based on on Blade and Fist (the blade because I already had a good grounding in Blade from my prior build, and the Fist for a mix of dps and self-healing).
Read More...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Worries (and Hopes) for The Secret World

2 comments
A large number of staff layoffs were confirmed late last night by The Secret World developer Funcom, following poorer than expected sales of the game and a slump in the company's share price. Obviously this raises concern about the future of the game, but right now my primary thoughts are with the staff who have sadly lost their jobs.

If you believe the various sensationalist reports on the news the game is either a failure or going to be announcing a free-to-play offer in the very near future. However you only have to scratch a little to find out the truth. Whilst sad news, large layoffs are not uncommon following MMO launches, and in fact Funcom did exactly the same thing after the launch of Age of Conan four years ago.
Read More...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Who the hell is Cassandra King?

4 comments
"Ich schlief, ich schlief -
Aus teifem Traum bin ich erwacht:
Das Welt ist tief,
Und teiefer als der Tag gedacht."

"I've slept my sleep -
 From deepest dream I've woke and plead:
The world is deep,
And deeper than the day could read."

- Friedrich Nietzsche

One of the things I love about The Secret World is learning about the game world through exploration. The game doesn't infodump very often, but rather you learn about the world, events and characters through newspapers, NPC background conversations, overheard radio chatter, posters and books through the course of playing. Seemingly insignificant things can give clues as to what is really going on.

Sometimes you'll see or hear something that makes you think. Something that suggests a deeper mystery (and with this game it often turns out to be one). I was playing through The Pick Up last week (one of the new quests added in the Issue 1 update), and it totally transformed what I thought about one of the incidental NPCs I'd previously encountered. Minor spoilers ahead if you haven't yet done The Pick Up.
Read More...

The Secret World at Gamescom

Leave a Comment
Funcom have been detailing some of the upcoming content for The Secret World at Gamescom in Cologne this week. Their big reveal is the new raid that is set to debut in September or October. The first iteration is for 10 players and will see the raid battling through the sewers of New York City before taking on a giant, tentacled beast in the middle of Times Square. The screenshots of the raid released so far look stunning (see below - it's worth clicking through to the large versions).


Read More...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Issue 2: Digging Deeper

Leave a Comment
The Secret World has just announced it's second major content patch to the game will be released this month and it's called "Digging Deeper". So far Funcom are keeping to their "one update per month" promise, though it's still early days.

Issue 2 is accompanied by another superbly creepy comic-book cover
Issue 2 seems to have more content than Issue 1 did, with new game features as well as new quest content. There will be new customisation options through a plastic surgeon in New York and a barbershop in London, the first new auxiliary weapon (a rocket launcher), and more Investigation missions.

Get the full details here.

Operation Sandstorm

1 comment
Scarlet & Cross Institute, my roleplay cabal in The Secret World have started their first major roleplay event, and whilst it's early days it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. The event started with a meeting called by the Lord Nyles Montgomery at which he highlighted a growing threat in Egypt that needs to be countered (the Black Pharoah).

The SCI gathers in the Temple Club library. Vinculus lurks at the back
Read More...

Monday, August 13, 2012

More Pages from Vinculus' Notebook

Leave a Comment
After finishing in Kingsmouth I posted up some scans of the notebook I've been keeping whilst playing The Secret World. As well as my workings out, I find it necessary to keep notes as clues to some quests can crop up anywhere, so whilst many of them do nothing more than paint a fuller picture of the world some of them do indeed help solve the missions. It's also fun to look back over, and they serve to remind me of some of the fun I had in each area.

The following scans are the notes I've made during my time in The Savage Coast (i.e. the second zone of the game) and may contain spoilers for those who haven't played yet. Click the images for larger, readable versions.
Read More...

Thursday, August 09, 2012

The Coast is Clear

2 comments
After his time helping to clear the terrorised streets of Kingsmouth, Vinculus moved on to exploring the majestic scenery of The Savage Coast, venturing further into the mysteries of Solomon Island.

Let's hope he doesn't have a sniper rifle... oh, wait...

Whilst ostensibly part of the same island on which Kingsmouth sits, The Savage Coast feels very different. The fog that plagued Kingsmouth is only feint this far out, and the scenery along the coastline is magnificent, especially when seen from the top of the lighthouse. Read on for my thoughts on The Savage Coast (along with a few minor spoilers).
Read More...

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Topic Du Jour - MMO Subscription Models

Leave a Comment
Well it's been a few days now since the announcement that Star Wars: The Old Republic is embracing the free-to-play model, and the dust has started to settle. There has been a lot of guff written across the web about whether this means the death of subscription MMOs (it doesn't) and which game will be next to go free-to-play.


My thoughts about The Old Republic moving to a free-to-play model are mixed. It's a far better game than it's generally given credit for. Sure, it's not perfect, but it does what it tries to do very well and certainly doesn't deserve the vitriol that much of the gaming community seems to spit at it. I think in a way the game was doomed to this turn of events from even before it launched, such was the negative word of mouth.
Read More...