• 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

Monday, October 29, 2012

There and Back Again - Returning to Lord of the Rings Online 3 years on

7 comments
Intrigued by some of the good reviews that the latest expansion, Riders of Rohan, has been getting for The Lord of Rings Online I decided to head back to the game and see what's changed. It's a game I played from launch until just after the release of the Siege of Mirkwood in December 2009. Since I left the game it has gone free-to-play, had plenty of free content updates, merged the EU and US servers, and launched a further two expansions, Rise of Isengard and the new Riders of Rohan.


I have always had a lifetime subscription for LoTRO, which means I have been earning 500 Turbine Points (their real cash equivalent) every month since I stopped playing. This was enough for me to purchase both expansions in the game store, effectively getting them for free.
Read More...

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Old Republic - "Free-to-Play" or "Free-to-Not-Play"?

3 comments
I like Star Wars the Old Republic. A lot. I think it's a great MMO that didn't live up to the unbelievable hype that was generated for the game. Hell, I even started this blog primarily to write about my adventures in the game. I played it happily for 8 months, had a great time, then unexpectedly fell in love with The Secret World and had to leave TOR as I can't justify two subscriptions.

A trap indeed...

I always planned to go back to the game when it went free-to-play, in order to play through the Sith Empire storyline which I hadn't done the first time around. However, in light of the recent free-to-play model that has been unveiled now that the ftp version is on the test server I'm afraid to say I won't be heading back there.
Read More...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Declawing the Cat God

Leave a Comment
I've now finished all the main content for The Secret World's Halloween content and it more than lived up to the hype. It was certainly very different to the Halloween content of other games.

Have a wallpaper I made
Read More...

Masks of Nyarlathotep Campaign Journal: Chapter 4 - Expect the Unexpected

3 comments
Sometimes when running a Call of Cthulhu campaign the whole session goes off in some completely unexpected directions. Almost none of this weeks session turned out like I had expected, partly down to some decisions I made as Keeper on the fly, but mainly due to the Investigators not acting like herd-able sheep and doing something unexpected. Good for them!

This week the group does some real investigating inbetween the episodes of mindless violence!
It all lead to a chaotic, but fun session, that leaves the story in some places I hadn't planned for, and way off what's written in the scenario book, but it's going to be fun to see how it all pans out!
Read More...

Friday, October 19, 2012

TSW Halloween Events and the Divining Rod

Leave a Comment
Like many MMOs The Secret World  is celebrating Halloween with a series of events and new content, and the community has also risen to the challenge with quite a few fun community events also being organised.

The official blog post details the new content, as well as revealing the new Halloween video embedded below. There are three new Investigation missions that tell the tale of a new, dark power; the Cat God (I've done the first one already and it is absolutely superb - creepy and with a brilliant story). There are also a load of new costumes, candies, pets and rewards.

Additionally there is a dimension wide competition between the three factions over the duration of the celebrations. The winning faction will receive rewards for all its members as well as a permanent and unique addition to it's faction headquarters.
Read More...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Exploring the City of the Sun God

Leave a Comment
Vinculus has just finished his time in Egypt and is ready to move on to Romania. I found the the City of the Sun God to have a very different feel to the Scorched Desert, despite them both being set in Egypt. It was darker (in atmosphere as well as geography) and with a more epic story that also managed to be more personal at the same time. I loved it, and ended up preferring it to the Scorched Desert.

The Black Pyramid and the black sun of Aten towers over the zone.
My initial impressions were not quite so good. The darker flavour of the zone came as a bit of a jolt after the sun-drenched dunes of the desert and the pale walls of al-Merayah, and at first glance the zone appeared to be much less open, with more tunnelling of content in narrow canyons and high mountainous ledges. I found this to be deceiving though, and ended up finding many shortcuts across the zone by jumping up and across the rock walls. It was however much less open than the other zones I had played in the game so far.
Read More...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Got my Halloween Threads

Leave a Comment
I finally, finally achieved my first deck last night in The Secret World (as you can see on my character's Chronicle page). Up until now I haven't really focused on the decks at all, but rather on getting my survival and tank builds complete. So, even though I have 1,242 ability points earned it has taken me this long to finish a complete deck.

I just find the TSW ability wheel too much fun to play around with, so rather than concentrating on a standard build I've been experimenting and playing with different abilities as I progress. Anyhow, I finally have my first deck complete, the Witch Hunter, and a nice matching outfit just in time for Halloween. I'm going to start work on the Warlock deck next :)

Now where are the witches?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Masks of Nyarlathotep Campaign Journal: Chapter 3 - Revenge of the Doors

1 comment
Ahh... New York, 1925. The most populous city on the planet. The Harlem Renaissance. Prohibition. Flappers dancing the Charleston. Babe Ruth. Charles Lindbergh. Percy Harrison Fawcett. Oh, and murderous African cults worshipping dark and monstrous entities.

This session finally saw the curtain drawn back (quite literally in fact) and the horrors of the Cthulhu mythos revealed to the investigators. But let me start with as question. Which of the following do you think would pose the greatest threat to my players?
  1. A horde of ravenous, lurching zombies intent on feasting on the investigators' flesh
  2. A ancient magical mask that opens it's wearers eyes to the true horrors of the mythos
  3. A wooden door
A scary door - more troublesome than Yog Sothoth or a horde of zombies?

If you know my players the answer may not be all that surprising...
Read More...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Issue #4 Just Sounds Better and Better

Leave a Comment
Joel Bylos, Game Director for The Secret World, has expanded on the state of the game letter he released yesterday in a great interview with mmorpg.com. He's gone into a bit more detail about the new content, specifically the new reticle combat system and the new Albion theatre for roleplayers, and both sound even better than I first imagined...
Read More...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Reticle Targetting coming to The Secret World!

Leave a Comment
In an incredibly honest and forthright new blog post, Game Director Joel Bylos, has revealed what the TSW team is currently working on and his plans and stragetgy for the future of the game. It's a great read that I encourage everyone to look over.

Of course we all new that Issue #4: Big Trouble in the Big Apple would contain the game's first raid, as well as the second auxiliary weapon (now confirmed to be the chainsaw), but Joel also reveals that a new reticle targetting system is coming to the game with Issue #4!

This is a huge surprise, and a major change to the combat system. It is also entirely optional, so you can still use the traditional tab targetting if you like, but I really think this will massively increase the immersion when fighting with ranged weapons. This has the potential to really change the way combat in the game feels to a much more action-oriented vibe.
Read More...

Friday, October 05, 2012

The Scorched Desert

2 comments
When you rise you stir [everyone] for the King,
Every leg is on the move since you founded the earth.
You rouse them for your son who came from your body.
The King who lives by Maat, the Lord of the Two Lands,
Neferkheprure, Sole-one-of-Re,
The Son of Re who lives by Maat. the Lord of crowns,
Akhenatrn, great in his lifetime;
And) the great Queen whom he loves, the Lady of the Two Lands,
Nefer-nefru-Aten Nefertiti, living forever.

- The Great Hymn to the Aten, translated by Miriam Lichtheim


When I first ventured into the Scorched Desert, the first Egyptian zone in The Secret World, I admit to being a little worried that it wasn't going to live up to what had gone before.  There were two reasons for this. First of all, one of the reasons I so loved Solomon Island was because of my enjoyment of all things Lovecraftian - the fog, characters, story and atmosphere of Solomon Island matched my tastes perfectly, and the myriad Lovecraft references were fun to spot. Secondly, towards the end of The Blue Mountain, the final Solomon Island zone, I felt that the quests had got a little grindy and showed less of the inventiveness and imagination of earlier quests.

I really needn't have worried. If anything I found The Scorched Desert to be even more fun.
Read More...

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Masks of Nyarlathotep Campaign Journal: Chapter 2 - Run Away!

3 comments
Last night saw the second play session of my Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign, and this time things did not go the players way. We used the Fantasy Grounds system again, but started to have a few connection issues, and one of my players had to re-write his notes five times due to his client crashing. I'll do a bit of digging and see if there are any reported problems and work arounds for the next session.

Regardless, this session was a lot of fun, and saw the investigators rapidly getting in way over their heads, barely escaping with their lives, and finally starting to uncover some of the barest outlines of the plot. Here's a summary of what happened, and you can read Chapter 1 of the campaign here.

At the first sign of cult activity: Run Away!



Read More...

Monday, October 01, 2012

Good News for The Secret World at Last?

Leave a Comment
Oceanicgamer.com have a great new podcast up with new lead game designer of The Secret World, Joel Bylos up here. As I've mentioned before I've always found Joel to be refreshingly honest (sometimes too honest!) and he continues that trend here. He addresses all of the recent issues openly, admitting where Funcom and the developers made mistakes and offering some insight into how they will be addressing them.

Time to start believing again?

Joel also revealed that the game's userbase is increasing, and that the company have already started to rehire some of the staff they had to let go a couple of months ago.

  • There were some really interesting bits of information in the podcast, including:
  • Issue 4 will see the New York raid
  • Issue 4 will also see the second auxiliary weapon (and Joel dropped hints that it may be a chainsaw)
  • The Halloween event is not your typical MMO holiday event, and will involve digging into old Irish lore
  • "Puzzle raids" are being developed - like Investigation missions for groups
  • Issue 4 will include new starter decks based on the inner circle of the ability wheel
  • Future content will not be based on gear progression (they see QL10 remaining the highest quality level), but rather on horizontal forms of progression
  • There will be big changes to the trial system to encourage more new players, and an announcement will be forthcoming in a couple of weeks
  • Funcom will be doing wider marketing of the game
  • Joel discussed the difficulty of the game and admitted that Kingsmouth and The Savage Coast were, if anything, too easy, so that the step up to Blue Mountain was too severe for some

As well as all that Joel revealed a lot about is background, some of the hidden rules in the game's development "bible" (e.g. you cannot kill any normal human NPCs in the game), how tight the TSW dev team is with the Trion Rift dev team, lessons learned from Age of Conan, what other developers think of the game, and why Norwegians can't hold their drink!

It's great to hear such an optimistic future for the game after all the recent problems, and that Funcom are looking to retain and expand on what makes the game so special.