Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs, The Secret World

Halloween 2014: The Secret World Brings Awesome Back

 

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The Secret World is currently 66% off on Steam! That’s $10.19 for a buy to play, no subscription MMO. You have nothing to lose if you’ve never tried this game before!

 Existing Players! 

Get three free t-shirts for your characters! Go to this URL and enter these three codes:

  • HALLOWEEN2014TEE
  • TSWCSICONTSHIRT
  • TSWBUFFEDTSHIRT

Okay. All announcements aside, Halloween just wouldn’t be right without creepy events from The Secret World. Being that it’s a horror MMO, Halloween is like TSW’s Christmas in terms of content release. And that’s the way we like it.

The Tricks

This year, we saw all content from the previous two years return – The Cat God is back and Spooky Stories abound on Solomon’s Isle. Super Jack is back, along with Incognito and all the creepies from the previous years. We also get a brand new event called The Broadcast, which centers around mysteries of old-timey number stations and short wave radios.

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Jack is back!

I won’t say anything to spoil it for folks who haven’t played yet – I’ve yet to complete the event myself. But the amount of stylized voice acting that went into this event is mind blowing. It seems there’s a shortwave radio in each zone, and I believe each one is playing its own broadcast. Think radio shows like War of the Worlds and you’ll get what I mean.

These broadcasts sound exactly like what you’d expect something from the 1940s to be like. Syn and I hovered around one for a while just to hear the whole of the story. I’m going to assume that each one has its own strange or spooky broadcast to tell, and there is one located in every zone (or so the accomplishment says). When I talk about radio show, I mean a full-on 10-15 show, too.

Last year, we had a lot of great stories to read. This year TSW tells us the stories — if we’re willing to sit by the radio and listen. I know that we weren’t the only ones standing around to hear the tales…

Get in on the event chat channel by typing /chat join event   For even more information about the event, see this great webpage!

The Treats

While Vets got the neat skeleton jumpsuits, there’s a ton of cosmetic fun to be had this year. From new makeups, to hats, to outfits, and even new pets – you have a chance to earn them from the bags given at the end of quests or from boss fights. The nice thing about the cosmetics this year are that they are all tradeable, which means you can sell them, or trade them for other cosmetics you want if you get a duplicate.

You can also purchase bags in the in-game store, which is actually what I did to get my cosmetics this year. Purchasing the Party Bag and opening it around a group of other people will award up to 20 folks holiday gifts, and give you an achievement that unlocks the new Thriller Dance. Seeing that as a lifetime member I have more FC points than I ever know what to do with, I popped a Party Bag in the crowd at Agartha. It was very satisfying to get thanks from unsuspecting folks just standing by, and I also got the Bloody Wolf pet, and the dance, out of the deal!

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New Wolf Pet

The basic store-only cosmetics (wings and hats) are all pretty cheaply priced, too. Overall, it seems like folks are having a great time opening bags and working on event quests.

If you’ve never tried out TSW, I highly recommend it! You can’t beat the current sale — the value of the stories and quests in this game are well over the $10 admission price. 

Posted in Bragtoberfest, Gaming, MMORPGs, The Secret World

Bragtoberfest: Progress in The Secret World

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Last week marked another accomplishment for me: After two years, I have finally finished the Egypt zones in The Secret World. 

What took me so long?

Well… I picked up TSW at launch (I’m a lifetimer), and really fell in love with everything it does well. This game, its world, its blend of real-world lore, its stories… these are things that have to be savored. Not something you can just rush through. It’s also something I have to be in the right mood to play. Fall, with Halloween on the way, tends to put me in that mood.

A little over a month after TSW launch, Guild Wars 2 released. I was sucked up into GW2 until about November/December that year, though I did visit in on TSW’s Halloween events because… well… the Cat King! I think I was finishing up Blue Mountain about that time, maaaybe just starting on the first Egypt area.

When the Buy 2 Play conversion happened later that year, I hooked my sister and Syn up with a copy of the game. We all started playing for a while, so naturally, I returned to replay all of Solomon’s Island with them as they worked through the story and missions. Somewhere during this time, I ended up maxing out my Templar status, even though I’d never seen the later reaches of the game. I still have a lot of work to do on filling out my skill wheel, but I’ve made good progress in playing the early stages all over again.

We put the game down for a while, and picked it up around Halloween last year. Did some leveling through golden weekend and such. All that time, my progress was still stalled in Egypt.

Finally, Syn caught up to me, and we started making progress through Egypt. Again, we put the game down for a while, and only returned to it recently. Last week, we finally finished up The City of the Sun God, officially passing me on to Transylvania for the first time!

I love the moral choices you're prodded to make in these between-the-zones scenarios.
I love the moral choices you’re prodded to make in these between-the-zones scenarios.

We’re continuing to have a good time watching the lore and story of this zone unfold, though it seems the challenge is ramping up for us. I really need to find a better build with my blades. Suggestions are welcome!

Can’t wait for Halloween in TSW! They always put on a good show.

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It’s that time of year again!
Posted in 7 Days to Die, Gaming, MMORPGs, Sims 4, The Secret World

Game Deluge! Sims 4, The Secret World & 7 Days to Die

If I’ve been silent here on the blog, that means one thing — I’ve been busy playing games! I’ve been heavy into Sims 4, and dabbling in TSW and 7D2D. Today is the ArcheAge launch, which I’m going to attempt to join casually, and next Tuesday sees the launch of the new Gauntlet, which my gaming group has already pre-purchased.

It’s a game deluge!

Sims 4

Want some Final fantasy shirts? Click the picture above!

I continue to enjoy my time with Sims 4, watching the amount of mods and custom content slowly growing. I’m plotting up a full storyline for my Sygnus Sims. I’ve also experimented with modding hair colors and making my own geeky line of custom content clothes.

I’m planning what CC I’m going to make to give away for Simblrween — the Halloween celebration for Sims players on Tumblr. I’ve clocked in over 50 hours in this game, and I don’t see myself putting it down any time soon.

I’ve been pleased with how the development team for the Sims 4 has handled the concerns and often biting comments from the gaming community. I may not agree with all their choices, but working in the software industry myself, I understand that sometimes sacrifices have to be made in order to put the product out the door on time, or in favor of a completely different feature. But that’s a discussion for another time and place.

The Secret World – City of the Sun God

Syn and I picked up TSW for the first time in many months. I don’t know what it is about the oncoming change of seasons that always makes me get the urge to play this game. Maybe I associate TSW with Halloween, or maybe I associate it with late summer and early fall since that was when I first played the game the year it launched.

Despite picking up the game at launch, and playing only one character, I’m still only in Egypt. I can happily say, however, I’ve graduated from the Scorched Desert to the City of the Sun God now! I’ve been somewhat stalled in the Scorched Desert for over two years now. Part of this was due to helping other folks through the earlier content rather than pushing ahead through the story. Seeing this is one game I’ve never rushed, I always have just as much fun going back through old missions with friends as I do seeing new content.

Rocking the City of the Sun God
Rocking the City of the Sun God with Hemitneter and my Kellas Kitty

I heard a lot of rough things about the City of the the Sun God – how it had a poor, claustrophobic layout with far too dense an enemy spawn. How most people just want to get in and out of that area… or they skip it and head to Transylvania instead. So I was kinda balking the idea when I realized we’d finished all our quests in the previous area, and were being ushered head-first into the city. Especially so, since we haven’t played in forever and were quite rusty.

Instead, I found we were caught up in some of the most enjoyable and cohesive storylines that I’ve experienced since Kingsmouth. Here we have the lost city of Amarna, the site of the prison for the Black Pharaoh, Akhenaten, who seeks to restore his dark god, Aten. Note all those links head off to Wikipedia, since all this “lore” is in fact based on real historical events of our own world. This always delights me… so often we feel like we have to delve into a fantasy world for amazing stories. Our own world has so much “lore” we don’t even know about! TSW always open doors to our amazing history for me.

What is most gripping to me about this area is that the vizier Ptahmose and his children (some who were/are literally just children) act as your allies. For all this time, they have watched over this city, sealing the darkness and kept it secret away from the world. The vizier’s children, the first of the Marya, are young spirits sealed within statues placed throughout the city. They now act as eternal Sentiles who struggle to maintain their watch and keep the darkness sealed away.

As we came to learn about each statue, they took on lives of their own, with their own personalities and well-acted voice-overs. All of them were young, some only children, who never knew a life outside of this eternal servitude, and it shows through their character and the quests you carry out for them. Some have grown weary of their tasks, some impatient, while others carry their burden without complaint.

These stories connect the zone as a whole in a way that’s pleasing to a story lover. This is no old city of dust, stone and mere statues once you understand the plight of this family and invest in their emotions.

The Secret World never disappoints when it comes to holding my imagination through powerful writing and characters. I’m looking forward to making more progress through this zone.

7 Days to Die – Patch 9.3

Checking the Damage After the Feral Horde
Checking the Damage After the Feral Horde

When our group is in the mood for zombies, we’ve been playing and testing through the newest patch in 7D2D. Update 9 brought the amazing randomly generated worlds. Patches after have done a lot to address bugs, balance spawning, fix issues with farming, and overall make the game even more amazing to play.

The other night, our team finally played long enough to experience our first Day 7 Feral Night Horde. Yes, that’s in caps. It needs to be in caps. Our little bunker build held out really well against the massive swarm of zombies. They came from everywhere and they were relentless! We had a few player fatalities, but overall, defending our base was a lot of fun!

With over 200 hours sunk into this game since July, I highly recommend this to zombie survivalists who enjoy their zombies with a side of building. I’ve got more than my money’s worth out of this game, for certain.

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Bonus Picture! Dead zombie with a stake through the butt. You know you needed that! 🙂