TSW: foreshadowing of Tokyo?

We played another “filling in the gaps” session last night in The Secret World. We were able to finish off the last three or four missions we’d never completed in the City of the Sun God zone. While running those missions I noticed a couple of little hints at what would be  future content at the time the zone was released.

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Amir, the Jinn mission-giver, mentions in a cut scene about the Jinn and the Oni being exiles. It only stood out to me because we’d already completed the Tokyo content first and met plenty of Oni, I presume this was a little hint of deliberate foreshadowing for what would come in Issue 9 (which added Kaidan to the game).

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Also we completed another mission, the Dark Places, which also features a familiar creature if you’ve spent any time in Tokyo…

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It’s only a brief encounter at this time but because we’d done Tokyo beforehand it freaked us out slightly how this creature is introduced and that it has a guest ‘appearance’ this much earlier in the game. If these are deliberate foreshadowing of what is to come then it only reinforces the layered quality of the writing in this MMO!

Posted in Gaming, TSW | 2 Comments

Weekend gaming fun, both expected and unexpected

This weekend I had an unusual amount of solo gaming time so I had some good gaming sessions in several games. SWTOR is on the backburner since I’m waiting on the Dark vs Light event to start. In LOTRO I played some more of the epic story, inching closer to both the cap (now level 102 of 105!) and the newer content.

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I ended up back in Everquest 2 as well wondering what I could do to break past the levelling barrier I was feeling. It so happened that my guild started up a High Keep group so I joined and two or so hours later my Shadowknight had dinged his way from 97 to 100! I finally have a capped character in this game; DBG better not go and raise the cap again anytime soon…

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Finally in Wildstar I took the final weekly Starfall quest and ran one of the two dungeons for that achievement (I was a bit dungeoned-out after such an epic High Keep session).

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I queued for Protostar Games, one of the two dungeons I’ve actually tried in this MMO. The run went well through to the last boss, the usual PUG fare of silent but mostly ok-coordination. Then it all fell apart a bit on the final boss Wrathbone, we wiped four times and each time we were pretty close to killing the boss. I asked what mechanic we were missing and the only response I got was the two medics decided to switch roles (healer / dps).

I think I’d really need a guild to be happy playing group content in Wildstar, like WoW or any other MMO with a “group finder” equivalent I’m just not happy with the “play in silence” mentality of so many PUGs. It was good to get some group practice in again regardless and I even managed to give DiminisherBot a go, swapping my BruiserBot out in favour of something more group-friendly.

Posted in EQ2, Gaming, LotRO, Wildstar | Leave a comment

SWTOR: Dark vs Light dilemma

So from the 28th June there’s the Dark vs Light event in SWTOR. This requires players to create a new character and to level said character during the event in order to get various rewards at different level breaks (level 25 is the first tier goal). Dulfy’s guide has all the details. The dilemma I have is what character to play for this? I’m lucky in that I still haven’t completed many of the character stories, so I won’t have to repeat one just for the event. It is a good motivation to get on with one of the ones I haven’t seen yet!

So far I have levelled a Consular and Trooper through their full class story and beyond. I also have a Bounty Hunter parked just shy of the end of his story. Recently I have brought my Jedi Knight up to Voss, so he’s closing in on his story completion also.

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Of the classes I haven’t yet finished (i.e done all three chapters of the original class story), Imperial Agent has been my priority on the odd occasion when I have the time to play him. I really like his character model and am not really in the mood to ‘rush’ levelling him for a limited time event.

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The second highest priority, of those class stories I haven’t yet played much, would be for my Smuggler. Again, I really like his design so I’d be very reluctant to start a new Smuggler.

So what other class should I use for the event? I do have a really old Sorceror that I’m not that attached to. Finally I never rolled a Sith Warrior on live – that was the first class I played in the late Open Beta and I haven’t played it since.

One aspect to the event is that Light/Dark side choices will have an additional effect in so far as they will add to a cumulative global count of each for the event as a whole. My natural affiliation is with the Light side/Republic. So it may actually be time for me to play a character against type (e.g. Light side Sith). I’ve not tried this before so it could be rather interesting to see how that works in practice.

Apparently the results of the cumulative Light side/Dark side choices will be felt in “the Fall” so sometime in Autumn, maybe September or October, the event will end. That’s a good amount of time for me to casually level a new character.

Does anyone have any strictly non-spoiler thoughts on Light side Sorceror vs Light side Warrior, is one more fun than the other?

Posted in Gaming, SWTOR | 5 Comments

Cumulative-effort events in MMORPGs

Some time ago a new server type was mentioned by an EQ2 Producer’s Letter, an ‘Event’ server. Details are scarce still, but there’s more about the EQ1 Event server called Quarm – I imagine it’ll be a similar deal. On Quarm you start with a character at a set starting level (51) and have a specific world event to work towards; once the event is complete the server is reset to a new world event but it seems you’ll get to keep account-level titles or other rewards for your characters on normal servers.

I’ve no experience of this type of  server setup, but I have played world events before and rather enjoyed them. Back in 2013 (that long already!?), before the launch of the Helm’s Deep expansion, LOTRO had the Bounder’s Bounty event running on all servers. This simple event involved players handing in tokens that dropped from normal monsters – a cumulative total for each server kept track of progress towards the construction of a new statue in the town of Michel Delving. Servers were ranked on how quickly they completed the total of 1,750,000 tokens and individually there were some new deeds attached for per character achievements and spare tokens could be handed in for useful items.

Work on a statue is ongoing.

A cumulative effort

Another similar world event that springs to mind was the Isle of Thunder in the Mists of Pandaria expansion for WoW. There the War Effort, seen from either an Alliance or Horde perspective, opened up the island gradually as players cumulatively contributed towards unlocking each of six stages to the isle’s content. It was a pretty nice mix of daily quests and spaced content.

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I enjoyed the shared progression of this type of system, something that all players could contribute to without necessarily needing the best gear or specific raid progression.

So I’ll probably give the EQ2 Event server a look when it launches, at least if there’s something for non-raiders to do in whatever event they chose to start with. From the scant details that I’ve seen, I’m not sure if this take on world events will just be of the “1st to beat the raid” type or whether there’ll be some cumulative/cooperative element as well?

Update: with typical timing, hours after posting this I read news of the Dark vs Light event in SWTOR coming on June 28th. Although most of the rewards seem to be personal down to how far you level a new character with either Dark or Light side aligned choices, the overall totals for participants in the event will somehow be totalled to give a game-wide Dark vs Light element to this event.

Posted in EQ2, Gaming, LotRO, SWTOR, WoW | 2 Comments

My type of characters

I was contemplating old characters from various games recently and whether I have a “type” of character that I prefer to play. I have a lot of characters in a lot of MMOs now, too many to list or think about but I think there’s some commonalities between most of them.

Non-human race/species
Most of my cherished characters are non-human. I play MMORPGs, in part, for escapism and selecting a non-human race or species is part of that.

Sarnaks are awesome

Sarnaks are awesome

Tall or small
In games where there’s a taller than average race I’ve often chosen that. I guess it’s linked to the above. I’m average height in real life so I don’t think there’s any deep meaning to this. I have occasionally chosen small characters but only if the race is insufferably cute without being merely a “mini human”.

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Pint-sized but deadly

Ranged DPS or caster DPS
For years in WoW and other games I always preferred to play ranged characters. I didn’t like tanking and wasn’t keen on playing stealth/rogue characters either. I’ve always loved playing healers though and have healers in most of the games I’ve played for any length of time.

Caster DPS was my MMO style

Caster DPS was my MMO style

So here’s the list of characters by game (games sorted alphabetically). I’ve listed the characters I’ve played the most – not necessarily the highest level but those that I’ve spent the most time actively playing.

Everquest 2 – Sarnak Shadowknight, Human Inquisitor
Guild Wars 2 – Asura Mesmer, Charr Necromancer
Lord of the Rings Online – Human Champion, Elven Minstrel
Neverwinter – Elven Wizard, Dwarven Cleric
Rift – Kelari (Elven) Cleric, Bahmi Warrior
Star Trek Online – Klingon Tactical Officer
SWTOR – Togruta Shadow, Mirialan Sage
Tera – Baraka Priest
The Secret World – Human Blade/Hammer
Wildstar – Mordesh Engineer, Chua Spellslinger
World of Warcraft – Draenei Shaman, Night Elf Druid

So I do play the occasional Human character (LOTRO and EQ2) but usually that is because of F2P race restrictions (EQ2 when F2P launched) or lack of other choices (TSW – humans only).

I have plenty of tall/big characters – both characters in WoW, my Bahmi Warrior in Rift, my Baraka in Tera, my Sarnak in EQ2, the various Elves that I’ve played. The two most notable small characters are my Chua in Wildstar and my Asura in GW2.  Sometimes there isn’t a tall or small option; in TSW all characters are pretty average height-wise.

The ranged/caster DPS bias was an older play style that I seem to have broken out of. My LOTRO Champ was my first ever main character that was melee in any MMO. I just went for a character that the forums suggested as an easy intro to the game’s combat and I’ve stuck with it throughout 101 levels. I’ve since learned to love playing tankish characters like the Shadowknight in EQ2, my Blade/Hammer character in TSW and most recently a Shadow tank in SWTOR.

Do you have a certain characteristics common among your MMO characters?

Posted in EQ2, Gaming, Guild Wars, LotRO, Neverwinter, Rift, STO, SWTOR, Tera, TSW, Wildstar, WoW | 4 Comments

Wildstar: Dominion early zones

I’ve mostly played as an Exile in Wildstar but spent another session on our Chua duo yesterday. So I’m seeing the Auroria zone for the first time (level 14-22) and drinking in some backstory to the Dominion and their peoples.

Listening to traitorous comms chatter...

Listening to traitorous comms chatter…

The zone does a good job early on in giving some character to the Dominion and some of its enemies, both without and within. The Exiles are naturally painted as being a dangerous threat to peace and stability on Nexus – but the presence of the Mordesh and their cruel chemical experiments makes it believable that this is more than just propaganda!

Only the day before, we’d spent a quick session in The Secret World exploring the new Museum of the Occult feature – with the entrance dominated by a bizarrely narcissistic statue of your character. Now here in Auroria my Chua finds himself honoured with a giant holo-statue of his mighty self!

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I rather like the design and architecture of this zone although I’m not sure how I’d describe it in a simple phrase: “Gothic Future Frontier Town”, perhaps?

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Digging into a completely new zone, even a very low-level one, is always fun – and there’s certainly some exploring to be done here. Even as we completed the first major quest chain I stumbled across a rather obvious ‘feature’ of the landscape hinting at a secret I was itching to go explore further. All zones in Wildstar seem to have the linear ‘breadcrumb’ quests to lead you around the zone and its story in a sensible order, but it can be so tempting to go off track and just look at features when you first spot them…

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My main goal in Wildstar remains getting my Exile main character to 50 and seeing what the end-game zones are like but I can’t help the odd side-jaunt on this alt to see life on the other side of that faction-divide.

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SWTOR: do you swap companions for dialogues?

I was playing SWTOR last night with my husband and I was in a bit of a dilemma over which companion to have out. Our Jedi pair (my Knight and his Consular) are now bravely fighting for the Republic on the planet Voss. Quick spoiler warning: I’ll mention a later companion and some vague class story stuff below so stop reading if you haven’t played a Jedi Knight yet, but intend to do so!

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While playing through my class missions thus far (just done the Shrine of Healing area), I was contemplating whether I’d be better to have Lord Scourge out instead of my usual choice of Teeseven. Since we’re dealing on the planet with certain Sith opponents, I do wonder whether I’ll miss out on some random comments from Scourge if I stick to my usual droid.

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I had Lord Scourge out for most of Belsavis, our previous planet, and he made quite a few remarks both when entering areas and during cut-scene conversations. I could probably imagine situations where other companions might also say something interesting but the storyline here is so tied up with Sith-stuff that he seems the obvious companion to have out. But when I use him I miss Teeseven’s bright optimism so I usually give in and re-summon the little droid.

Dreamscape droid

Dreamscape droid

Do you stick to favoured companions or do you mix and match according to the zone or conversation at hand?

Posted in Gaming, SWTOR | 4 Comments