Posted in Gaming, Holidays, IRL, MMORPGs, Secret World Legends

SWL: Happy Halloween!

Wishing you and yours a safe and Happy Halloween… from these weirdos with Tinfoil Hats in Secret World Legends!

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, Guild Wars 2, MMORPGs, Secret World Legends

FFXIV & SWL: Halloween Approaches!

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. So I absolutely adore Halloween events in my MMOs.

I haven’t spent time exploring GW2’s Mad King event, despite the fact that the Labyrinth used to be one of my favorite haunts years back. Also note that gem store mount skins have become a thing really quickly, just like I predicted.

I also haven’t started the Samhain event in SWL aside from logging in to get the free rewards — Tin Foil Hats will probably explore some of that this weekend.

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I knew when I saw the cosmetics that FFXIV was giving out this year for All Sants’ Wake that I needed to get these on all of my characters. Thankfully, the outfit is rewarded after a very short quest, and everything beyond that is optional.

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Though I haven’t visited the haunted mansion yet, I’m glad that it’s making a return this year for those who want to try it. I haven’t looked into it, but I think it rewards tokens (?) for the housing items. I do need some of those for my house and the FC house as well!

Though I don’t see myself wearing the whole wolf outfit, I do like the ears. I was pleased to see the color matches my hair fairly well as default (though the whole outfit can be dyed), so I’m using this as glamour on some of my jobs. Just not my Bard, because Amon’s Hat is still the best.

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Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs, Secret World Legends

SWL: On To the Savage Coast

Before I start this post in earnest, I just want to repost this interesting tidbit:

So.

On Sunday, the Tin Foil Hats got together to progress a bit more in Secret World Legends. While we still have a few random quests left to do in Kingsmouth, the main story was pointing us to the next zone, the Savage Coast. There was some curiosity about the area, so we decided to go forward.

Pretty much all we got done were the quests around the Overlook Motel. That’s because the one investigation mission, Hell and Bach, took us so very long to finish. I’d forgotten all about the quest that sent you across the world to search out seance circles and decipher runes.

A big chunk of the time was spent just finding the locations in the pictures the quest provided. This did allow the newer folks on the team the chance to explore London and New York, since we’d only kinda had touch and go with these zones when trying to meet up in the beginning.

Dance Floor Experience

It’s been a while since I explored London, myself. I’m not sure if the dance floor on the second floor of the Horned God was always there, or always functioned how it did this weekend… but I had an interesting experience!

I noticed there was a dance floor, but it was dark, and no one was dancing there. So, just to be silly, I jumped on the floor and started doing the Thriller Dance.

To my surprise, the lights came on around the floor, and the music turned up a notch. I have no idea if it was because a player was out there interacting… but all of a sudden, one of the NPCs in the club comes walking across the floor. He stops right in front of me, and starts to dance with me.

I wish I had taken a screenshot! I don’t know if it was just luck that I started dancing randomly where the NPC would normally dance… or if the NPC was programmed to dance with players. But it was really trippy. And other NPCs were suddenly coming out to dance, too!

When I did finally think to take a screenshot, I saw that removing the UI caused me to stop dancing, too. But Xaa was up there dancing with me.

The NPC who was dancing with me stopped (since I was no longer dancing), walked over next to Xaa, and started dancing there instead. This couldn’t be coincidence, could it?

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Even creepier… Last night, I logged in to SWL to get my daily login. I was still in London, and was just jogging around outside of Templar headquarters.

One of the guards there randomly said something along the lines of “Didn’t I see you dancing at the Horned God the other night — wait, no…”

I was really taken aback because, yes, I was dancing at the Horned God the other night! Again, I don’t know if this was just random text at the right time or if this game is just playing with me!!

The Museum

One of the locations we had to visit during the quest was the Museum of the Occult. I don’t remember ever being able to go inside there before… so this must be something new. It reminds me a whole lot of the Hall of Monuments in GW1.

There’s even a giant version of your character in there:

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Zeb and giant Zeb

Anyhow… this team is really looking forward to the Halloween event in SWL. I’ll be writing more as we continue our play through! I’m looking forward to taking them to the Park and the Black House and the Franklin Mansion…!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, Guild Wars 2, MMORPGs, Secret World Legends

October Gaming Goals

So, September’s mid-month gaming goals were mostly a bust. This was because I couldn’t have foreseen how involved I’d get with the new GW2 expansion or Secret World Legends. As a matter of fact, I even had some luck encouraging Syn and Amoon to log back into their long-lost GW2 accounts last night. We dusted off our old characters and even gave our long-defunct guild a bit of a boost.

This month is going to be iffy for goals, too, since FFXIV Patch 4.1 drops next Tuesday, and I know it’s going to be a doozy. Because of that, I’m trying really hard to make some progress in Path of Fire, hoping to finish up the story line and maybe get some work on my griffon mount underway. It’s been very slow going for me so far, so we’ll see how it turns out!

FFXIV Goals

Aywren (Main)

  • Level Bard (to at least to 65… I’m so behind) ✓
  • Level Crafters ✓

Tai

  • Get Whisper Mount and Yo-Kai minions ✓
  • Unlock Flying in Ruby Sea

Zemi

  • Level to 50 and switch jobs to Samurai✓
  • Finish 2.0 base MSQ✓

GW2 Goals

Zznaf

  • Finish Path of Fire story line ✓
  • Start working on griffon mount ✓
  • Save for griffon mount ✓

I’m not sure if playing so many different games right now (not listed above: SWL) is a good idea, but I’ve been having a lot of fun with a bit of variety. GW2 allows for more quick-paced jump-in-get-something-done play, which I can appreciate. FFXIV takes a little more time investment, and I know after 4.1, it will have my attention again. SWL is something our group does when we want to be involved in a story line and have a few hours to put towards it.

In other words, I’m so happy October is here! This is one of my favorite times of the year — I love the feel of oncoming Fall and Halloween! I have a lot of other personal goals I’m sorting through outside of gaming, and I’m looking forward to this month!

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Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs, Secret World Legends

SWL: Jolly Cooperation (And Tinfoil Hats)

It seems like Secret World Legends has a bit of stickiness with our group, because folks are asking to continue to play it. We’re still bopping around Kingsmouth, doing quests and just figuring things out.

I reached level 10, which ranked me up with Templars and allowed me to create our cabal. Based on group suggestions, I named it “We Wear Tinfoil Hats.”

It’s been so long since I’ve played most of the Kingsmouth quests that I only have the faintest memory of how any of it goes. This is a good thing, because I don’t go around giving away answers to everything to our new folks. Even I have to spend some time figuring quests out.

manhole

Last night, I think the investigation mission The Kingsmouth Code really started to show them exactly what they were getting into with SWL. Again, it’s been so long since I did this quest… I probably just threw up my hands the first time and used the walkthrough to finish it.

But between four of us (Vix was away), we were able to work together and figure it out last night. It went something like this:

  • Syn deduced that we needed to follow the way the manhole covers pointed to find our second location
  • I asked what the Latin on the manhole cover said (because I’ve learned to question everything about the clues give in this game)
  • Amoon knew that it translated to “light conquers all”
  • I figured out the third location based off of clues written on a plaque
  • Amoon figured out which painting we needed to investigate there to progress
  • I figured out that we needed to look at a clock for the “hands of time” clue
  • I found a clock and saw the time was stopped at 10:10
  • Xaa figured out that the clue also referenced a specific book in the Bible
  • It dawned on me that 10:10 could also reference a Bible passage in that book
  • I used the built-in browser to find the Bible passage online and read it to the others
  • We stumbled about until Amoon discovered a secret keypad at the final destination
  • Xaa suggested that Amoon enter a number that’s referenced in the Bible passage as the keypad password (this worked!)
  • Finally, we had to hack a computer in which “light conquers all” was the password hint… which told us to use the Latin we saw on the manhole cover

And it just all worked!

I mean, we stumbled around a lot more than I made it sound here, but when that number in the Bible passage actually worked to open the keypad, I was just in awe for a moment. It took all of us thinking and exploring, but we were able to finish this.

swlpainting

I think this mission earned some respect, as Xaa kept talking about how deep it went. I know that things just get deeper from here, and I suspect this group will really enjoy some future missions if everyone keeps playing!

So far, I’ve been having a really good time. I’m glad that I had this chance and inspiration to play SWL again in a different way — playing with friends really does improve the experience so much.

I’ve also noticed how much this game has been streamlined and how much work has gone into trying to make it more accessible for new players. I’m not sure how well the game is doing, but consider me a supporter. I’m sure there will be plenty of time to plug it as it gets nearer to Halloween.

Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs, Secret World Legends, Uncategorized

SWL: New Templars in Town

I actually had quite a varied weekend of gameplay — everything from GW2‘s new expansion to 7D2D to Secret World Legends. I still have a lot to digest about GW2 Path of Fire, so I want to play that some more before I jump into my thoughts on it (so far, I’m having a fun time).

In FFXIV, I’ve been focusing on leveling Zemi and getting him through the MSQ. I’ve had a few Expert Roulettes on the side, but most my time has gone into alts. Not a lot of exciting things to talk about there, but we’ve got a new patch and a Live Letter on the horizon.

So, back to SWL.

I’m not sure how we got on the topic of Secret World with Amoon. Maybe it’s because around Halloween, we tend to get the itch to poke our heads back into Kingsmouth. But one thing led to another, and after mentioning SWL during our Saturday 7D2D zombie run, suddenly everyone was downloading the game on Sunday.

So yesterday, Syn and I coached the team through the tutorial bits and got them all to Kingsmouth. Though I encouraged them to pick their own faction, somehow we all still ended up Templars.

We haven’t gotten too far, and we’re way overpowered as a group of five. But it’s been fun — at least, I hope they’re also having fun. I’m not sure how long we’ll entice this group to stick around, but seeing that the game is F2P and a number of them are into creepy stories and modern horror, it might be enough to keep us playing a few times a week.

Since transfers of content were re-opened for a second time to those of us who already transferred stuff, I went back to TSW to see if I missed anything cosmetic-wise. I actually had — I’d forgotten to claim a couple sprint styles (a bike and hover board). I also saw that I had a bunch of credits on my account again, despite having spent most of them last time I logged in.

So I indulged in a bunch of grab bags and actually ended up with some pretty nice things — like this faction racehorse sprint and police dog pet.

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All the new stuff transferred over quite nicely, so I’m happy to have a second chance at that.

I’m still trying to figure out all the changes to this game. Interestingly, I’m considered a subscriber due to coming in with a lifetime Grandmaster account from TSW. So, I have plans to create our own little cabal eventually (which I’ve never done before).

Maybe with a full group of folks, we can also try some content, like lairs, that I’ve never attempted. Might be fun!

Posted in Gaming

Secret World Legends: Got My Stuff!

So, in my previous post about SWL, I was specifically frustrated and concerned about two things: 1) The performance of the game, and 2) I couldn’t find all the stuff I transferred from my original Secret World account. Both of these have been addressed.

Performance Fixed!

UltrViolet suggested that I try switching the client from DirectX 11 to DirectX 9 to see if that addressed the sluggish performance that made the game almost unplayable to me. It was one of the few things I didn’t try previously, and when I did switch it down to DX 9, sure enough, this fixed the issue.

This is really interesting considering this video card is no push-over and has been able to run just about everything else I throw at it without issue. Even FFXIV on high quality with DirectX 11 has never caused an issue like this.

Anyhow, the game plays a LOT better. I’m getting some lag and hitching in cutscenes, but at least I can play.

Tutorials Continue!

I learned real quick if you’re not watching the tiny little quest text on the sidebar, you will get stopped in your tracks in the tutorials. They liked interrupting the original Tokyo Subway intro with things like “Equip your secondary weapon.” “Buy your first skill.” and that kind of stuff.

This isn’t terrible for players to learn, but it did interrupt the flow of the sequence. There were a few times I was trying to click on NPCs to interact or running around wondering why nothing was triggering… only to look over at the quest text and see it wanted me to buy a skill or something.

Once the subway instance finally got under way and let me play, I enjoyed it. I usually play a Blades character with Pistol on the side (back in the day, it unlocked the Paladin deck for Templars, and I had to have that!). That combo wasn’t available when I first rolled, so I had to go with Blades and Elemental.

The battle system isn’t terrible, though I’m not a fan of games that lock your mouse down until you press the Alt key. I’m also not a fan of the new dodging. However, I actually found the target system pretty intuitive for chucking fireballs at the enemies. I was especially amused when my character threw two at a time and they did this neat twisty display.

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The only thing is, both my weapons have forced cooldowns — so I’m forced to stop swinging my blade or stop throwing magic based on depleting sword energy or overheating my magic meter. This reminds me of the gauges that FFXIV just released in Stormblood, except these seemed wedged in there to force you to have to alternate between weapons. More or less, this just meant switch from clicking the right mouse button to the left mouse button. :p

Once I left my companions behind in the Subway scenario, I was back to London where I went to play nice with Sonnac. I was happy to see that all the cats that the Templars “won” from the first Secret World Halloween event still hang around his office. Templars FTW!

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Then, the game sent me once again into another tutorial-type zone in the form of the weapons room. Seems all the weapons I equipped during the tutorials were gone now. Kinda confusing why…

However, this tutorial was actually useful in that it taught me how to combine unwanted weapons with my current weapon to empower it. That’s a pretty cool system, actually.

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On to Agartha!

Finally, I’m unloosed upon the world… and am sent to Kingsmouth via Agartha. I forgot how morally ambiguous the Templars could be though until Sonnac stressed, “Hey, we’re here to save all of mankind. So don’t sweat the small stuff and think that you can save all the little people in Kingsmouth.”

Basically, don’t pretend to be a hero. Templar are willing to sacrifice a few for the greater good. The “few” being an entire island…

Yeah. Nothing is black and white in Secret World.

Anyhow…

Agartha! How you have changed!

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I’m on the fence about this. On one hand, I agree with Syp, who likes the idea of Agartha being fleshed out as a real hub area. On the other hand, I also agree with Bhagpuss who feels like throwing shops, a dance floor and an auction house in the World Tree kinda takes the mystique away from it all.

It is what it is, I guess. And what it is is LAG CITY for me. 😦

I didn’t stick around long because the big thing for me was really… I wanted to check to make sure my STUFF transferred from TSW. Bhagpuss, Pete, and UltrViolet all left comments (thank you!) to confirm that if I was patient, I’d get my stuff probably about the point I got to Kingsmouth. So I not-so-patiently rushed to the portal out of there.

I did note that now all the ports for Solomon Isle are grouped together, so no more running down long platforms to get from one zone to the next. Thanks!

Kingsmouth = MY STUFF!

Finally. So I started getting these pop-ups about daily login rewards and stuff I don’t understand, right as I got to the portal to Kingsmouth. Kinda pulls you out of the story, but whatever. This led me to opening the claim window, and sure enough, the magic Claim TSW Vanity button was there. So I did.

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Doing this did transfer my pets, sprints, wardrobe and such, and it also seemed to unlock the ability to use all the weapons. So that was pretty important.

I’m so happy to have my horse mount, crazy rainbow shirt and glowing purple sneakers again. I don’t know if everything transferred, but I’m not worried about it. The things I really wanted were all there.

And so, with Stormblood calling me away, I left Wren “Aywren” Sojourner at the start of a Kingsmouth adventure. Will I continue to play? Probably so, here and there. I’ve heard folks complain about pay walls for dungeon access and things… but seeing I never once entered a dungeon in TSW and really didn’t ever care to, that’s probably not going to bother me that much.

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I’m keeping my eye on the thoughts of the community, however, and it’s always interesting to see the response. Already, people are leaving feedback on Steam, where, apparently, they replaced the original The Secret World with Secret World Legends… but left all the original ratings and feedback from the old game… uh… what?