Locked away in a hotel during GDC this year, Funcom, the developer behind Age of Conan, was displaying the very first gameplay footage of their upcoming massively-multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), The Secret World. In the meantime, I really am an irascible git with respect to my gaming patience, to the point that I’m actually spending most of my time reading. It’s somewhat sad that abundant healing enables our characters to achieve so much, yet restricts them so much the more if it is then ever absent. This entry was posted in ddo, guild wars 2, melmoth, mmo and tagged ddo, guild wars 2, melmoth, mmo on August 7, 2012 by Melmoth. This entry was posted in guild wars 2, melmoth, mmo and tagged guild wars 2, melmoth, mmo on August 1, 2012 by Melmoth. The KiaSA Guide to MMOs has this to say on the subject of the heel: Provides a simple yet highly effective method of being able to pivot on the spot, thus ruining most forms of action combat found in MMOs today. Oh sure, I can dodge the preposterously telegraphed attacks, where the enemy spends more time winding-up their strike than I used to spend trying to eke out an extra bit of speed from the Evel Knievel Deluxe Dare Devil Stunt bike.
DDO solved the problem by making casters ludicrously more powerful than melee, and seemingly giving every boss a massive unavoidable AoE knockdown in order to punish anyone daring to get into melee range. It must break a Hague Convention in some perverse way: to breed and cultivate a group of OCD, statistic-snorting, optimisation addicts, and then to start making games which give them the freedom to make mistakes, then correct for those mistakes, while leaving the initial errors in place. This entry was posted in melmoth, mmo, the secret world and tagged melmoth, mmo, tsw on July 26, 2012 by Melmoth. KiaSA presents an easy step-by-step guide on how to check if your pet is really a druid in disguise. This entry was posted in ddo, melmoth, mmo and tagged ddo, melmoth, mmo on July 14, 2012 by Melmoth. The two big issues in TSW for me at the moment are the broken chat system and a not insignificant number of bugged quests. I like to have General, Looking For Group and Mission SpoilersHints turned off, as they are the usual pit of endless quest spoilers, inane self-idolatry, pedantry, passive-aggressive arguments, abuse and drivel. Funcom are aware of the issue but have yet to exorcise the demons from chat, so for the time being I’ve taken to hiding my chat window off the bottom of the screen, where it haunts the edge of my vision and calls to me with a siren song which promises sensible parlance. This entry was posted in melmoth, mmo, the secret world and tagged melmoth, mmo, the secret world on July 12, 2012 by Melmoth. This entry was posted in melmoth, mmo, the secret world and tagged melmoth, mmo, the secret world on July 8, 2012 by Melmoth. The Secret World is a deeply splendid game which brings with it some intriguing game-play elements, but it also remains a little bit buggy in places, as is the Funcom way. Investigation quests are one of the more interesting elements of the game, requiring players to use lateral thinking and powers of deduction to solve a chain of clues and riddles in order to resolve a mystery. But the really fun part comes when, after hours of increasingly more ludicrous attempts at solving the problem, with one’s character hanging upside down from a street lamp by one leg, with underpants on its head, candles in its ears, and its naked body covered in marmalade, one gives up in frustration and looks up the solution online, only to find that the quest is bugged and that the correct solution was, indeed, to simply put the key in the lock. This entry was posted in melmoth, mmo, the secret world and tagged melmoth, mmo, the secret world on July 7, 2012 by Melmoth. Rarely do I attempt to resurrect a game from its magnetised mausoleum, but often I wish myself a Frankenstein of files, able to take a perfect piece from this crypt, some small segment from this other, and thence hammer and hew, stretch sinew and stitch, until my meisterwerk takes form. I dragged another vault to the graveyard of MMOs today: farewell Tera, I have fond memories of what you were, and sad thoughts of what you could have been.
So after my second weekend in the game, as far as your able to go right now, I do like the game. I guess for me, I can live with the unpolished graphics and animations so long as the storyline is there, is interesting, and is plentiful. They have a month to polish, but honestly I would not be terribly surprised if they pushed back the launch a bit.
Tales of the Aggronaut by Belghast is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. There’s an excellent example of an investigation mission early in The Secret World where you need to repair a radio mast.
At this point you have two options: you could jot down the dots and dashes, find the Morse alphabet and manually decode the message, or you could download an app, hold a smartphone up to the speakers and have it do that hard work.
For me the various elements were pitched about spot-on, interesting and diverting without being frustrating. Last night I was investigating one of the new missions added in the latest patch with Kris, and after some fun collaborative puzzle solving on voice chat (“A series of letters and numbers, what could it be?
I got into codes and ciphers early with The KnowHow Book of Spycraft, simple things like pigpen, then later the work at Bletchley Park in World War II was the perfect combination of military and technological history to fire my interest. There is nothing new under the sun, though; Richard Bartle wrote an interesting post looking at some puzzles from MUD1, including a link to an article on the pros and cons from 1985. Unlike many MMOGs that bestow an ever-expanding range of skills, spells and abilities upon players as they frolic and cavort o’er hill and dale The Secret World is more similar to Guild Wars, restricting the player to seven active abilities, chosen from a wider pool, and seven passive abilities. The option to switch weapons, abilities and gear at any point that you’re not actually in a fight makes for great flexibility. Not much to report for Hat News Now Today from The Secret World so far, with a distinct lack of hats in the early part of the game, something of a theme in MMOGs.
Not a bad start, pretty functional, has a pointy end which is generally considered a Good Thing by sword aficionados. Rummaging around the wreck of the Polaris may yield this techno-katana if you’re lucky. Having spent a while both fighting and avoiding other players, your correspondent had earned enough tokens for a Quality Level 6 weapon from the PvP vendors in the society base.
There’s no general world PvP in The Secret World, which is excellent if you want to team up with friends from different societies to tackle daemonic hellspawn, less useful if you want to sneakily kick a Dragon in the nuts and feed them to zombies. The Fusang Project is ingeniously concealed under the PvP section, but is actually a completely different type of warzone, a Player Avoids Player area. If your society is so dominant that it holds all four facilities, or so unpopular that there’s only three of you in the zone, leave at once. Unfortunately I can’t tell you anything about the El Dorado battlefield for two reasons.
In The Secret World Funcom have either ignored the issue entirely, or tackled it head-on, I’m not quite sure. I wonder if Funcom should start a timer running when the end-user license agreement pops up on the patcher for The Secret World.
The nice thing about accepting quests in The Secret World is that the nature of the game encourages you to stay a while and listen. For me, the difference between The Secret World and Star Wars: The Old Republic is that the conversations in TSW seem bigger somehow. This entry was posted in melmoth, mmo, the secret world and tagged melmoth, mmo, the secret world on July 2, 2012 by Melmoth.
Im folgenden lesen Sie unseren im Juli 2012 zum Start von The Secret World veroffentlichten Test. The Secret Worldmussen Sie sich so vorstellen: Denken Sie an ein beliebiges Online-Rollenspiel. Ersetzen Sie diese Konventionen durch ein freies Skillsystem, eine wunderbar abgedrehte »Stephen King trifft Deus Ex«-Geschichte und wirklich anspruchsvolle Quests, und Sie sind The Secret World schon ziemlich nahe.
Es besitzt namlich jeder Flauschehase (nun ja, Zombiehasen kame der Sache eigentlich naher, aber dazu gleich mehr) auch ein Flauschehasenfell. In Kingsmouth wimmelt es von kleinen Story-Details, die den Hintergrund der Zombie-Invasion beleuchten. Weil uns The Secret World so clever durch die Zone leitet, dass wir eigentlich immer was zu tun haben – und weil wir nur in Ausnahmefallen zuruck zum Auftraggeber stapfen mussen, wenn wir eine Quest beendet haben. Jetzt aber zum Kopfchen: Neben den typischen Rollenspiel-Aufgaben durfen wir namlich auch so genannte Untersuchungsmissionen erledigen. In diesen investigativen Missionen verzichtet The Secret World konsequent auf genretypische Losungshilfen; wenn ein Ratsel darin besteht, einen bestimmten Ort zu finden, dann mussen wir den tatsachlich selbst finden – und folgen nicht einfach einer Markierung auf der Karte. Kleine Symbole am Quest-NPC zeigen an, ob es sich um eine normale Mission (rot) oder um eine Investigativ-Mission (gelb) handelt. Beim Erledigen der Hauptmissionen laufen wir immer wieder kurzen Nebenauftragen uber den Weg. Kein Gimmick, sondern bitter notig: Einige Kopfnusse knacken wir nur durch eigenhandige Internet-Recherche im integrierten Browser. Naturlich konnten wir die Losung auch im Chat erfragen (da waren wir ubrigens beileibe nicht die einzigen) oder kurzerhand im angesprochenen Browser nachschlagen – aber wozu die Eile?
Uberhaupt nimmt uns The Secret World nur selten gluckenhaft bei der Hand; aktives Mitdenken und ein bisschen Geduld sind also notig, aber hey, der Maximallevel ist schlie?lich auch morgen noch da. Stinkt gegen GW2 gnadenlos ab,meine Erfahrung aus den zwei Betas.Obwohl mir das Setting von TSW mehr zusagt. Frage mich grade ob ich nicht am Ende ein anderes Betaevent als das von TSW gespielt hatte. It so happened that I reached a point where I could no longer progress without aid: a lever needed to be operated while another person would run through a series of gates. With GW2 I’m hoping to find a freer form of gameplay, although never so free as yee-hawing naked on a bucking golem through the impotent defensive lines of the minions of darkness, I grant you.
My ‘not going to re-roll, sticking to my guns, this is it, final answer, no alts until I hit the level cap’?
That damnable bike, where I’d quickly wind the handle to close to the theoretical maximum speed, then spend the next half an hour oscillating between fractionally faster and fractionally slower speeds as my body alternately lost and regained its coordination, before ultimately tiring to the point where I slipped, mistimed the release, the bike flopping pathetically over onto its side two centimetres away from the ramp, and I knocked myself unconscious on the launch ramp as I fell. The fact that casters need to chain-chug mana pots purchased from the Turbine store in order to maintain their level of power?
Even in TSW, which at least tries to mix things up a little, I’m beginning to tire of the number of problems in the world that can only be solved by going out and slaughtering a *precise* number of tightly clustered creatures. The current format of standing still and playing a game of Farmville on fast-forward (press buttons, in order, based on time-limited resources, eventually win) clearly doesn’t lend itself terribly well to a more dynamic form.
If you place your Action Points (APs) and Skill Points (SPs) into an ability tree which you then find you don’t really like, no problem, just start spending points in a different tree. In my dreams a constellation of orange AP icons swim around my head before diving, in regimented fashion, into a black hole.
It’s like telling Monk that he can leave the tumbled pile of bricks over there, and just start building a new tower over here. The Secret World is definitely not a disaster when it comes to bugs, but I can think of a few MMOs which were more finely honed by the time of their release and yet failed to garner the positive post-launch attention that TSW is receiving. Certain quests are particularly susceptible to bugging-out, quite often when more than one player is trying to activate a step or solve a problem at the same time. Some of the answers to this particular type of quest are really quite obscure, and often require a significant leap of intuition on the part of the player.
An incredibly large and ponderous device, it is the ghostly oil tanker devoid of life, which drifts in an eternal bank of fog, whose hold is filled with an abandoned cargo of games past. Often I must resist exhuming a game, the swelling tide of happy remembrance threatening to breach the weakening resolve of my cynical defence against emotional floods.

Now my Zodiac is loaded with The Secret World and Guild Wars 2, and as I push myself away from that leviathan of expired MMOs, before opening the outboard of my enthusiasm, I bask in the feeling that I won’t have need to return for quite some time. It has a ton of flaws, and I really wish they would push the release date because I do not see the flaws getting fixed very fast once the game is launched. I spent about the same amount of time in the game thus far and the game has left me with both good and bad impressions. Quest rewards offer a couple of options, I’ve picked up the baseball cap for completing missions in Kingsmouth to go with a couple of others acquired in the pre-launch Secret War, but a baseball cap is hardly going to excite the Hat News devotee like a crocodile skull.
Note the ring that allows you to clip your house keys on there, perfect for the forgetful adventurer.
For 30 Sequins of Solomon Island you can buy a kit from the Council of Venice that, when combined with a weapon, produces another kit (destroying the original weapon in the process). When you first enter the zone you should see a terminal with three available missions: Capture a Facility, Capture an Anima Well and Kill 10 Players. The Stonehenge battlefield in The Secret World is an implementation of the summer solstice at the actual site.
Clues and hints, as well as atmospheric snippets of lore, are contained in the dialogue, and although the pertinent quest text is always included in the player’s journal, there are often still very useful titbits to be had by listening to the whole story from the NPC quest-giver.
Most quests (outside of the main story) in SWTOR seemed no more than idle incidental background to excuse getting the player to kill ten womprats, whereas every quest dialogue in TSW seems to be part of a greater whole—part of a connected universe. Denken Sie sich anschlie?end nahezu jede Genre-Konvention weg: Erfahrungsstufen, Quest-Hubs, das sture Abarbeiten einer Skill-Rotation und prall gefullte Auftragsbucher, in denen Sie detailliert nachlesen konnen, wie viele Flauschhasenfelle (viele) und Zaunkoniglebern (noch mehr) das Spiel von Ihnen eingesammelt haben will. Diese Mission hat Funcom mit dem Update 1.1 wenige Wochen nach dem Spielstart noch nachgeliefert. Die meiste Zeit allerdings verbringen wir ohnehin mit den mehrstufigen Hauptmissionen, und die erfordern tatsachlich Kopfchen. Was in den ersten Spielminuten befremdlich wirkt, weil wir wie ein pawlowscher Hund zu jedem NPC rennen und samtliche Aufgaben einsammeln wollen, entwickelt schnell eine beinahe organische Dynamik. Stattdessen holen wir uns die Belohnung bequem per Handy ab und finden keine 50 Meter weiter den nachsten NPC oder die nachste Nebenquest. Es ist viel befriedigender, diese teils schwierigen Kopfnusse selbst zu knacken; auch wenn wir in manchen Fallen tatsachlich einen kleinen Tipp gebraucht haben.
Hab 2 Betawochenenden gespielt und muss sagen dass mir das Setting gefallt - mal was anderes als generisches Fantasysetting. Soon the engines of anticipation will build to full power, the excitement and tension palpable, the thrumming power of that passion, held in check, causing the cabin of the community to vibrate.
Having come quite far, I decided to purchase a hireling and complete my otherwise solo sortie with a little help.
I was suddenly pulling whole groups of skeletons, pulling additional groups of skeletons, pulling the sisters of those groups of skeletons. GW2 certainly seems to have less emphasis on healing, and the downed mechanic makes death less of a certainty once that health bar has dropped to zero. In the meantime, my enemy stands on the spot and spins around slowly, punching me all the while. You can go back and repeat quests to earn plenty of AP and SP, and a quick dash through the PvP gauntlet in Fusang Project when you know the correct tactics will also grant you swift gains.
A long twisting line of blue SP icons waddle along on their lower edges like parallelogram penguins, before hopping one after the other into a furnace.
Of course there is an option to turn off auto-subscribing to channels, which, when used, does indeed stop these channels from being added to my chat window – along with all the channels that I do wish to see.
The swift and nimble Zodiacs I use for the day-to-day traversing of the great gaming sea are both small and light, and thus carry only the bare MMO necessities—those few games which I currently play.
Usually I can content myself with browsing through old screenshots, as perfect as the day I took them – our picture albums no longer fade along with our memories. Look, I'm not much of a comic book fan, but at least Spider-Man's beginnings were a little more dignified than digesting arachnids in the night. This new kit, when combined with a second weapon, applies the appearance of the first weapon to the second. Under no circumstances pick up the latter mission, it’s a trap, take only the first two.
Each is guarded by an automated turret and forcefield outside the main gates, and a big old Guardian Type Monster thing inside.
The Fusang Project is a cunning allegory, demonstrating that if we all just work together and seize the means of production from faceless entities we’ll be showered with rewards, but if we turn upon each other and fight then everything just bogs down in pointless slaughter, and nobody gets cake and medals.
The Dragons represent a bunch of new-age hippies, anarchists and similar types trying to get to the stones for some sort of festival that probably involves joss sticks and falafel.
Wir erhalten einen (teils sehr kryptischen) Hinweis und mussen uns die Losung selbst erarbeiten – zum Beispiel, indem wir im integrierten Internet-Browser die fingierte Mitarbeiter-Datenbank der fiktiven Orochi-Gruppe durchstobern.
Die Story ist das Endgame und danach hei?t es Game Over.Auch gestort haben mich die Animationen, das Charakterdesign und das Kampfsystem. Auch wenn die Quest hier angepriesen werden, muss ich sagen dass, das nur auf einen kleinen Teil zutrifft. Being a melee sort, I decided to grab a cleric hireling, and that’s when I was reminded by just how much healing changes the game. Still, Tera was one of the few MMOs where I actively sought combat, rather than trying to avoid it all costs unless directed to do so by a quest. What’s more, if I manage to get them working at all, the channels that I do want to view are then unsubscribed by the chat system at every seeming opportunity. Could the best of what has come before be combined in a such a way that it still formed a whole, one which was greater even than the sum of these mighty parts? I like the story and atmosphere but the bugs and over all lack of polish scare me more than the creatures in game currently.
Pretty soon a representative of your chosen faction arrives to offer you a place in their ranks. Alternatively, for another 10 or 20 Sequins, you could just buy a QL5 or QL6 sword from the Council that doesn’t look so bloody stupid. When you arrive at the Facility everyone should stand near the turret and mash random keys until it’s dead, then run inside and mash random keys until the Guardian is dead, then someone clicks on a thing, you claim the facility, and get stacks of XP and PvP tokens from the mission.
The Templars are law and order, representing the police who want to stop them, and dish out a beating to some crusties while they’re at it.
Bei den Quest gibts verschiedene Kategorien: Von dummes Rumgegrinde (Rote "Laufquests") bis zu kniffligen Untersuchungsquest mit spannenden Ratzeln.
A roar of exultation follows, our craft swiftly gathering momentum in its eager urgency, then with a swell and a sigh we launch, soaring onward to the peregrine climes of Tyria.
And the night terrors continue, of course, but perhaps it’s all part of my rehabilitation from altitus. What players are really looking for is a game world and game experience which offers hooks which are sufficiently compelling – do this, and players will forgive you an awful lot. Perhaps Vanguard’s quiet lonely lumbering at the edge of MMO society has already answered this. The Illuminati are the press, ostensibly there to observe but really trying to engineer a fight for some good pictures, and as they simultaneously represent both The Daily Mail and The Guardian, they’re equally hated by both the other groups. Auf der anderen die miese Asthetik, das schlechte Kampfsystem und der geringe Umfang.Ich denke hier wurde eine ganze Menge Potential verschenkt. Meiner Erfahrung nach werden die guten Quests von den 0815- Farm- und Laufquests (von denen man sogar nur eine gleichzeitig aktiv haben kann) uberschattet. World of Warcraft was horrendous at launch, I mean truly unplayable twenty-second-wait-to-loot-a-corpse awful, but it was forgiven that and more, because it offered an accessible and compelling gaming experience like no other before. Ein weiterer Nachteil ist, dass gerne mal die guten Quest im Chat oder bei Google sofort gespoilert werden (und ja man muss manchmal Goggle fur die Quest benutzen). Their technique for this, at least in part, is to give each quest a certain amount of significance, by delivering it through an in-game cinematic.
It's a choice between power, tradition and chaos that affects your starting location, the sporadic faction quests you receive, PvP, and not a whole lot else. Is it the worry that overconfidence and inexperience may lead the novice to adjust their headgear to an angle of inappropriate jauntiness, such as would cut a fine dash when strolling through a peaceful capital city, but resulting in a restriction of vision that could prove fatal in an ambush situation? Ich hoffe nur, dass das Game vor Release von GW2 f2p wird konnte nen anstandiger Luckenfuller sein. Da gibt es weitaus schlechtere Singleplayer RPGs die mehr Geld kosten und deutlich schlechter sind.
If we stopped to rest but briefly, I would imagine I was calmly sitting in the camp fire, stirring the embers with my feet and watching my health bar drop and rise, drop and rise.
From my experience, TSW’s chat system is currently the most mind-warpingly malign monster in the game. Yeah, it's hard to tell if these are limitations on the graphics engine or an admirable commitment to accuracy.
The small-scale touches are impressive; the attention to detail with which shops are kitted out, or the architecture and layout which feel in keeping with the city. But the larger picture is one you have to squint to make out.The first taste of combat comes after my character passes out in the street, shifting into the body of a Tokyo operative dealing with a subway breakout of black manga tentacles.
It's a clever trick for breaking up the otherwise slow, exploratory starting section, but dear lord is it a mess of a tutorial.
Abilities are laid on with barely any introduction, and most of the section is spent mashing number keys in an effort to figure out what everything does.The combat section ends, I head off to the Templar HQ to meet my handler, who is very clear that WE ARE NOT DAN BROWN STYLE TEMPLARS!
I quite like that the characters aren't afraid to reference real-world fiction; something that most games and films set in the modern day do their best to ignore. Although, given that the game seems to include practically every conspiracy and horror trope it can think of, turning a blind-eye would leave the world in a pop-culture vacuum.With introductions made, we're heading to our first assignment in Kingsmouth. Something had swept through the town and slain the majority of Kingsmouth's population, and that same thing was causing the dead to rise as zombies, driven for whatever reason to kill the few that survived the initial wave of deaths. Killing zombies seemed to be easy for the townsfolk, but keeping them dead was another matter entirely, for they rise again only hours later. There are quest givers marked all over the map, each with two or three sometimes extremely involved missions to undertake, and sidequests can be stumbled upon throughout the map.
This armed individual near the truck asked the player to seek, and attempt to destroy, a number of zombies, in the hopes of finding a way to keep the dead dead. Typically, my first quest is "Kill X zombies".Killing mobs and completing quests both generate XP. Instead of levelling up, you gain ability points (AP) and skill points (SP) at regular intervals along the XP bar. AP comes thick and fast, and is used to buy both attack abilities and passive bonuses for your weapons. Seven of each can be equipped at any one time to create a sort of custom deck to fit your style. Skill points relate to both weapons and equipment, and provide stat increases to damage attributes, or health, magic and armour boosts.

The trick to this is that AP and SP both generate at the same rate throughout the game, so you can naturally respec your character by simply picking a new path to work through.The ability wheel also has preset decks you can work towards, usually a selection of higher level skills (which cost more AP) that should combine into a recommended build. The passive abilities play a large part in determining what kind of role you'll play in a group, as these are the kinds of abilities that alter the amount of damage you take or deal, and give special tweaks to your active abilities to make them a great deal more potent. I'm aiming to complete the Paladin deck, mostly because the first two weapons I picked up were pistols and a sword, and that was the preset that supported the both of them. A spell that might normally heal a person could be enhanced to also raise them from the dead, for example.
Abilities are also "state based", meaning certain abilities will check for an enemy's (or ally's) status, and may act differently depending on what it finds.
Zombies have a natural tendency to charge at you, so ranged combat is pretty much out.All that said, I'm not really feeling the combat. A caster-type character dealt a fire attack that set a group of zombies alight, while the healer-type character used an ability that dealt damage over time on one of those same zombies. The last MMO I played was TERA which, for all its problems, had some really kinetic and tactile battles. If this damage-over-time ability kills an enemy that is on fire, it causes that enemy to explode for large damage. Here I've settled into a tried and tested combo: hitting an enemy with a triple-strike from my Dancing Blade, then main blade and pistol attacks to build up my focus to activate the Shootout pistol damage attack, then repeat with area-of-effect attacks inserted in case of multiple mobs. There have deaths along the way, but mostly as a result of attracting the attention of too many big-hitters at once.Kingsmouth's zombie troubles seem to be related to the thick fog that's covered the town. How very convenient for your slightly disappointing draw distances, Kingsmouth.I'm enjoying the cutscenes that play before each of the main missions. The characters are drawn with broad strokes - the hobbyist Illuminati priest, the shotgun-wielding granny, the philosophising cowboy - but the writing's pacey and it's not afraid to have some fun with the archetypes. Much of what we were shown involved this character running backwards as he kited zombies into his spell-radius. In his team were two others, a healing female character, and a male "tank" style character, built for withstanding damage while keeping the enemy focused on him. Interestingly, the tank was equipped with a shotgun – traditionally, tanks are close-range. At one point someone offered her an outstretched palm, and she just stood there, blank expression on her face. We have to admit that the combat seemed a little confusing and overly chaotic, but the game is still pre-alpha (meaning it hasn't even really undergone internal testing) and has a long way to go before it's even close to being complete.
I really want someone to slap her and point out she's only here because she swallowed a bee.MondayIn places, The Secret World has some of the best mission design I've seen in an MMO.
It's a fair assumption that combat will be the focus of much polish before the launch draws near. There's still plenty of fetch quests, and more than enough kill X of Y objectives, but there's also a lot of experimentation. Action tend to involve going to a place to kill some enemies, defending a barricade, or tracking down some big nasty and methodically slashing away at his giant health bar. It's the other two that provide some neat tricks.The only sabotage mission I've tried, for instance, involved breaking into a warehouse and avoiding security cameras and lasers. It didn't quite work, especially as the cameras are implemented awkwardly, and had a nasty tendency to see through the crates I was hidden behind.
At times they stray into Adventure Game Logic, with some particularly bizarre mental leaps required. I won't spoil the main trick of the mission Something Wicked, except to say I resorted to Googling for something along the lines of "how the cocking hell do you do this thing?!" Then, during the next section, it turned out the mission was bugged anyway.When they work, though, the investigation missions are really satisfying to solve.
Also it's a great way to encourage people to group without just throwing hard-as-nails enemies at you. Tossing ideas around between friends really builds the atmosphere and mystery in a really natural way. I spent possibly the most involved investigation, The Kingsmouth Code, receiving a mixture of patronising encouragement and smug emoticons.The grouping system is so refreshing for its ease of use.
Each faction is in an uneasy truce, and each server is just an instance of a single main server. Basically, if you have a friend in the game, you can play with them without having to worry about their initial set-up choices.Grouping also shows the benefits of the ability wheel.
When paired with a ranged healer, I could equip movement debilitating attacks to keep the pressure off them, as well as group beneficial active abilities that increased both our accuracy. Back solo, I can return to my default deck by switching out a couple of skills.I've now cleaned up most of the quests on the town's west island.
One thing I'm not wild about is that you can only have one main mission and three sidequests active at any one time.
I understand the point is to prevent the mission gobbling fugue state you can descend into when MMO questing, but it seems such an artificial and restrictive way to slow progress.Tuesday MorningWhile there's no levelling for your character, there is a faction rank that slowly increases as you gain XP. A trip back to the grey fog of London led to a mission in a car park underneath the grey fog of the Illuminati stronghold of New York.
The art design of each location is recognisably that place, but when the clearest skies in my vicinity are in the Manchester outside my window, there's definitely a problem.Back in Kingsmouth.
My plan today is to progress with the Story mission, which is the overarching eighteen part quest that is the purpose of your visit to the town.
I'm pretty sure the next place I need to be is the airfield, which inevitable leads to me picking up some more investigation quests.
There seems to be a problem that if multiple people are trying to use the same object, the entire thing breaks down. I know the sequence, but every time I try to enter it, some other burk starts randomly hitting parts, and the attractor starts doing its thing - attracting the occult.I quit that mission - pausing it at that stage until everyone just clears off.
Now I just need to find out how to use them.Still, while I was back in London I bought a new coat.
So whatever happens, the day can't help but be a success.First Few Hours Mini ReviewI'd estimate I've played around 12-16 hours so far. In that time the ability points have been steadily rolling in, and while I'm saving them for higher powers along my current path, it's gratifying to know that I can pick up an alternative weapon and have a good reserve of points to spend on it should I need to. Even with no real healing ability, as long as I'm careful about how many mobs I aggro, I'm rarely being challenged.
There's been no evidence of combat being any different from a typical, and decidedly average, hotbar-based MMO, and I've already fallen into the pattern of carefully weaving between the enemies trigger distance to avoid fights I can't be bothered with.
Despite this, I'm enjoying myself, largely thanks to involving missions and enjoyable writing.Tuesday Afternoon - Discovering The Savage CoastReservations aside, I am definitely enjoying myself.
Here's the proof: it was gone 3pm this afternoon before I remembered that man can't live off coffee alone. The atmosphere of a world just recognisable enough to be in the here and now is compelling, despite the technical compromises.I've just wandered into an area by the airfield, where the zombie type "Weekend Warriors" have - I'll not mince words - annihilated me.
Across the road are giant roaming mud beasts that make for a tough fight, but fall well before my health bottoms out.
Coordinate tracking is a slightly clunky matter of spamming F9 while running around the town.
Still, my persistance pays off, and after a couple of instances of running into monsters because I wasn't paying attention to where I was going, I find the location and the purple mercenaries guarding it.A cutscene has raised the question of what the collective noun for superheroes might be. My guess would be a hive.I'm about done with Kingsmouth, but first I want to try the area's dungeon.
Crafting is a simple, if unnecessarily awkward process of disassembling unwanted weapons for metal, upgrading rubbish base metal into imperfect metal, then combining it with a toolkit of the quality you want by arranging the pieces in a vague recreation of the weapon shape you're after. The game's swarming with decks that can be broadly classed as DPS, and as a result I'm having a hard time of getting into a group.So instead, I've decided to head straight to the next area, coming back when there are more people looking for players. My plan immediately goes wrong when, instead of jumping over a skip, I get caught in mid-jump, becoming permanently stuck in the corner.
That's it folks, this review is over, my character damned to an eternity of slowly rotating in the air. It would be nice if that teleport extended to places within Kingsmouth itself, or that some form of transport existed. I've just added the Martial Discipline defensive skill, which makes me harder to hit for a set time. I've also swapped in a passive ability that heals me while it's active, massively boosting my survivability amongst the tougher mobs.But while the fights are harder, the enemies just haven't got any more interesting. My attack chain remains the same - punctuated by the occasional bit of movement to dodge an area of effect - it's just taking longer for the baddies to go down.I've hit a stumbling block in a mission. I'm supposed to kill a thing called Shadowrunner, but when I go to the marked location, he doesn't appear. A big problem at the moment is it can be hard to tell if a quest is bugged, or if there's some clever solution you're supposed to be figuring out.The quest givers in this area seem less interesting, but boy do they make up for it with some of the location designs. You know, sometimes I see console folk getting upset over an install that takes up 5 GB, and can only think "aww, how adorable."Tuesday Night - Dungeon RunWhile alt-tabbed out to update the last section, my character somehow died. You can resurrect at specific points on the map, sending you into an ethereal other dimension. From here you can either shift straight back into the regular map, or go and find your body, resurrecting when you get near it. All told it's an effective system, letting you skip past monsters you've already battled (albeit with the natural time penalty of having to trek back to the location), or to instantly get back in the game and try something else.I'd hoped to try out the PvP tonight, which isn't open-world (sorry gankers), but instead takes place in separate battlefields and warzones.
My PM list explodes.Dungeons are another great example of the flexibility offered by the ability wheel.
When one of our healers drops out, we're able to compensate by switching up our move sets to relieve the medical void. When our tank drops out we're in slightly more trouble.Second attempt with a new, hopefully more committed group. You're exploring a shipwreck, and the standing water is occasionally mixed with electricity generating mobs.
It's effective, because for once there's a movement concern besides where the enemy is looking.
In the first boss encounter, we're restricted to using freight containers as a gangway, while also avoiding a giant smashy crab thing.Or there's the final boss of the quest.
He shifts dimensions, forcing you to hide away behind rock pillars to avoid attracting his gaze. I recklessly attempt to grab a screenshot of him during a shift and discover why you shouldn't: he holds you in place and pummels you to death.

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