State of My Game: June

This is a nutso week for me.  I was gone for three days and came back just in time for my wife to fly out for four days, and then we can have a nice peaceful two days together before I’m gone again another week.

 

So, I don’t have much time to write.  Or play.  But here’s a general rundown on where I am right now:

 

World of Tanks:  Unfortunately between travel and single-parenting, I haven’t gotten much of anywhere lately.  And all our Clan Wars matches have been super early.  And my client crashed on my laptop.  So I upgraded my desktop drivers to the new 320’s.  That worked…for a day.  Then they started crashing again.  I guess I just got a lemon video card.  Oi.   Anyway, so now we are back to laptop play.    I haven’t made any significant progress on my tier 9’s  About the only thing I can say is that I have fallen in love with the SU-100M1.  It is fast, has nice angled armor, insane travserse speed.  And the upgraded gun is super accurate and drills out shots every six seconds or so.   Tier 9’s are sometimes and issue, but the game is so accurate and the tank so fast, that even getting the best of them is not often a difficult prospect.  I can relocate, and on occasion I’ve even circled them to great effect.  Great tank that I will be holding onto as I continue to climb the line.

 

The new camo's are pretty awesome, btw...
The new camo’s are pretty awesome, btw…

 

Star Trek Online:  The new Romulan content is great, but I’m stuck with analysis paralysis.  I really don’t know whether to go KDF or FED.  And so I haven’t done either.  Really, despite the new content, what I would like to do now is go back and play all the KDF missions with my level 50 engineer.  I leveled solely through Duty Officers with him, mostly because the UI was such a RED EYESORE ATTACK.   Now that this has been fixed, I’d like to run the actual content.  Oh, and I think I will be shelling out for at least one of the Romulan refit ships.

 

Hello, gorgeous. I would trade my pointy ears for you.

 

Uncharted Waters Online:  I dinked around a bit last week, but that’s about it.   I really want to go finished the advanced schools and start doing some exploring…

 

Lord of the Rings Online:  I think we finished up the Lone Lands this past weekend.  It has been slow going with my travel, but we are still enjoying ourselves.  We talked about trying one of the 3-person instances soon.  That could be trouble though since I can’t even hold aggro on regular mobs, must less boss monsters.  We will see I guess!

 

The Secret World:  I’m back, and I rolled a Templar.  Surprise!  While I have never really been a self-modeler or self-biographer in my roleplaying, there was one thing the Templars offered that nobody else did that I decided I absolutely couldn’t live without:

 

I can only dream of being this stylish IRL...
I can only dream of being this stylish IRL…

 

Plus it goes with a healer build.  Right up my alley.

 

Anyway, this may be it for the next week and a half.  Game well everyone!

It Was Only A Matter Of Time

We all figured this was coming right?  After the numbers didn’t end up where FunCom wanted them?  For me, I’m a happy camper, I’ve been itching to get back in.  For others, it may not be as welcome a change.

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I can’t see too much to complain about.  FunCom is being more generous than any other developer to date with their benefits, particularly from the perspective of the Lifetime (“Grandmaster”) Members..

  • Time Accelerator (Clickable item which increases experience gain for defeating monsters by 100% for 1 hour, 16 hour cool-down – only usable by Members and Grand Masters)
  • $10 worth of Bonus Points (given out every month)
  • Item-of-the-month gift (given out every month)
  • 20% discount to everything in the in-game store

No word yet on character slots and things like that, but then those were things that were already included in the upgrade packs and from the in game store.  It seems like this game, unlike some others, built themselves from the ground up in anticipation of this transition.

Good for them.

Four Years and Counting…

Yeah, I may as well go ahead and post it since Ysh outed me.  Its been a little over four years since I started this fun little adventure.  If I remember right, there are a couple of others who share similar dates. The stats will be a little off since there is an extra month in there, but what the hay – here ya go:

Quick Stats: 

Total Views:  93,987  (41,363 last year, 21,407 or so the year before)

Best Month:   9350 views in May, 2012  (2,947 last January,  2281 the year before)

Busiest Day:  971 views on  May 2nd, 2012 (602 last year, 270  the year before)

Top 5 Posts:  Tips and Tricks for World of Tanks, Naming Your Ship,  TERA Online Review, How Well Will the SWTOR Launch Go? That Depends on How Tolerant You Are, Naming Your Ship 2

(NEW)
Top 3 Most Popular Tags (By Game):  Star Trek Online, EVE Online, World of Tanks

* Note, views to my home page blow all of those away.  This is the up and down of not requiring you to “jump” after a break in the post.

Search  Terms that Make You Go Hmmm:

minecraft hotel lobby  (if you build it, they will come…)

hot jedi  (we’re not that kind of site really)

вестибюль гостиницы (Russian for hotel lobby…apparently I am source zero for hotel lobby information)

otel lobİlerİ (Turkish that time…)

tera character nude (Also about six variations of “tera online sexy” – are people this desperate for porn?)

star wars the old republic nude (I’m seeing a trend here…)

real world controversy (We have that in spades…)

Referrals and Referees:

Top 3 Bloggers Who Helped Me With Traffic:  Nil’s Blog, Bio Break, Stonee’s EQOA Blog

Top 3 Bloggers I Helped With Traffic: GCTAGN, Rowan

Again, theres much bigger numbers in the former than the latter…

Thoughts and Goals:

At this time last year I was still looking for my first level cap.    I got that not long thereafter!  And then once more in April when I did the same in Star Trek Online,  a month after I hit 30.  And STO may be the first game for a multi-cap as well – my Klingon character is a day away from the same Captain milestone.   I have been blessed to have a regular playgroup for a long while.  Starting last June and continuing straight on until this past July, when my little playing group folded its tents in TOR and took a little enforced break while one of the members prepares to head off to basic training, and when my beloved TOR guild shut its doors.  These days I am mostly guild oriented, chatting amiable with my 12th Fleet and Knights of Mercy friends, or some of that old Beskar crew in World of Tanks.  Sadly though – guild oriented does not always equal group oriented.

My vision this year is tilted backwards.  The only MMO I am looking forward to is ArcheAge, and there is little evidence that it will land here in the next year.  And my Beta stuff has slowed down – only one I’m actively involved in at the moment is MechWarrior Online, and for my two cents, once you take people’s money for the game, its not a Beta anymore, no matter what you want to classify it as.

That said, there are several games I want to revisit this year – EVE Online, and Vanguard.  Pirates of the Burning Sea and maybe a stint in Everquest, since I never could bring myself to log in and say goodbye to EQOA.

Games:

MMO’s: Rift (3 months), TOR (7 months), The Secret World (2 months), TERA Online (1 month), GW2 (1 month), STO (7 months), Istaria (1 month)

Other Online:  WoT (12 months), WoWP (2 months), MWO (1 month), Stronghold Online (1 month)

Alphas/Betas:  Dawntide, Heroes and Generals, MWO, WoWP

Table Top/RPG:  Call of Cthulhu, Mansions of Madness, Anima: The Card Game, Anima RPG, Hellas RPG, Houses of the Blooded RPG

Thanks!

Thanks to the Casualties of War crew for keeping the wheels turning all these years, especially Genda’s hard work, though I do miss his blogging (poke, poke).   Thanks also to my wonderful – dare I say – online family in Beskar, who made the last two years so fun.  And thank you to KoM and 12th Fleet for taking me in – here’s to the future.    And a big thank you, and congratulations to my brother and his then-fiance-now wife, for helping me make so many of my gaming dreams come true in the last year.  Big ups playa.

Failcom is Alive and Well: No Secret World For Me (Update 7/9)

ETA:  As noted in the comments, Funcom eventually extended the grace period to a full week, a move I very much applaud, and also have dropped several notes to the community to assure them they are working on the glitch I encountered.  So perhaps Failcom has learned well from its past mistakes after all!

 

While TSW’s launch has, for most, been a pretty solid affair (no server drops, mostly minor glitches), I seem to have had a serious run of what could be termed bad luck.

It all started a couple of days after launch with an odd glitch.  First my chat box went down.  I couldn’t type in group chat.  I finally realized that the game had unsubbed me from the group channel, an odd “option” in and of itself.   But not long after that, the entire chat box went down.  No Say, no Tell, no General.  Nothing.  After some back and forth via text with my brother and another friend – we realized that not only could I not chat, the game did not believe my character existed.  I could send and receive group invites, but that was about it.  Try to add me to your friends list?  Nope, character doesn’t exist.  Try to “Meet me” – zone in to where the group was.  Nope, doesn’t exist (I could still zone to you, not that it matter).

I sent out a support ticket, but an hour later, with no response and time getting late, I logged off.  I checked every day after that – no response.  I did check the forums and saw a Dev post that this was a “known problem” and that they were working on it and hoped to have it fixed “in the next update or two.”  Awesome.   So I started another character, but…I was pretty set on what I wanted to do, and I wasn’t keen on duplicating missions I had literally just done the previous day.

Cue phase two of the disaster: Amazon.

You see, I opted not to pay for release day shipping, because I’ve never had a problem with it .  But my copy of TSW just, as of about 15 minutes ago, started the long journey from a warehouse in the bowels of Amazon’s digital empire to my doorstep.   It won’t be here until the middle of next week.

Meanwhile, Funcom has decided that the grace period for getting your copy of the game would apparently be 48 hours.  Because I am, as of right now, locked out of my account.   Now, allow me to be frank:  that is utter bullshit.  I have never been a part of a launch (and I have seen more than my fair share at this point) that did not give a week for a grace period.  Add onto that that one of the grace period days was a national holiday, where there was no shipping going on, and you have a royal fail.

You can get the game right (and I think they did), but the game is only half the battle.  I had hoped that some things had changed, but I guess not.  We are still dealing with the same old Failcom.

TSW Thoughts and Following Breadcrumbs

Randomessa pretty much said everything I wanted to about The Secret World, so I’ll send you over there to read her excellent insight and musings.  As for me, before I get the lovers or the haters, let me fade the public for a moment:

Things I liked about TSW that most people didn’t:

  • I don’t care about graphics.  I’m happy with the way they stand now, with the exception of the glitches that need to be fixed.
  • I like the fact that I have to go outside the game to get answers for the Investigation quests.  Bring it on!
  • I don’t mind the fact that my character doesn’t speak.  The honest truth is that TOR was an RPG firmly in the Eastern tradition (Final Fantasy, et al), while I am firmly in the pocket of the Western tradition (Ultima, Wizardry, Might&Magic).   I want a less firmly defined character so I can put *my* stamp on them.  I don’t want your preconceived voices, your god-awfully long cutscenes, your vision of how I should play my character.  So I’m glad TSW doesn’t force that crap on me.

Things I didn’t like that most people did:

  • The Anima/Gaia rhetoric.  Quite frankly, I wanted Conspiracy Theory, not New Age Mysticism.  I wanted Ancient Aliens, Forbidden Technology, Psychic Powers, and Weird Science.   Instead I got a different brand of superheroes/mutants, who all operate based on the same awakened mechanic of being able to manipulate a hidden energy source tied to the earth.  Blah.  Quite honestly, I was hoping that everything the introductory Illuminati character was saying was true.  So far its just been a bunch of hooey.

But enough of that.  TAGN also challenged us all to enjoy a fun game of Blogroll Breadcrumbs.   I decided to have fun, I would go with 4’s (fourth name on every list, etc.).  Here’s my journey out:

Harbinger Zero >

1) Casual Is As Casual Does >

2) Ardwulf’s Lair > Deadend.  Ardwulf apparently has no blogroll?  So I picked the 4th most recent comment >

3) Inventory Full >

4) Fluff Factor > Deadend.  Again, no blogroll. All the comments were nonlinked or broken links.  Same with pingbacks, so finally I found a post on other gaming blogs.  4th one was broken, and the 5th was…>

5) Epic Slant >

6) Malchome’s Mind  >

7) Mana Obscura >

8) Psychochild’s Blog >4th link I had already visited (Epic Slant), so I went down one to the 5th >

9)  Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins >

And that’s about as far as I got before running into spam comments and the non-mmo, non-gaming portion of the internet (again no blogroll).  A fascinating voyage through TSW, GW2, Diablo III, and Mists of Pandara posts.

For the return journey, I started with Psychochild’s Blog, since Confessions was a bit of a dead end…and that was easy, because I just had to click on Ysharros‘ blog, wher I’m linked, to find my way home again!

Good stuff!

The Secret World Serves Up a New Conspiracy…

As in, what happened to the Collector’s Edition?  Turns out, that instead of that whole onerous name and label, you can instead choose optional upgrade packs (and even go ahead and buy more character slots – because you only get 3!) that range from an extra $15 to an extra $200!!!

 

Initiate Pack ($15):

  • Blood Raven – social flying pet
  • Faction Leather Jacket – three color sets, one for each type of society
  • Set of Weaponry – better quality beginning weapons of every type

Master Pack ($60)

  • Game Time – one additional month of game time
  • One Extra Character Slot
  • One additional Name Reservation
  • Set of Talismans – one high end beginner talisman for “every slot” (7 apparently) – this makes you “better”
  • 10 XP Boost potions
  • 10% lifetime discount on purchases from the social clothing store

Grand Master Pack ($200)

  • Everything in the Master Pack
  • Lifetime Sub
  • Exclusive Snakeskin Jacket

 

Click for full size...

No word on whether the Master Pack also includes the Initiate Pack, though I assume not.  Oh, and additional slots and name reservations are $10 each…

 

The pre-order process itself just smacks of “incomplete”: an in game t-shirt that will have some kind of unknown monster design on it, a ring that will boost XP for the “earlier parts of the game”, and a “powerful combat pet” (one of which is a cat…not like a mountain cat, like a house cat…).   Plus I don’t think any of us really believed the game would be launching this soon.

 

On the other hand, maybe I’m just biased that I’ve been following the game since day one, and, like with TOR, have nothing to show for it.

 

Unanswered mysteries, conspiracy bias, and myths aside, its apparently for real.  So go get yours now…if you dare.

The Secret World Needs Friends

So I got the email many of you I’m sure have gotten as well, that The Secret War (TM?) has begun.  And gosh, while we got your registration for the Beta, you know we can’t guarantee anything, but hey, if you sign up for this new phase of the process, including linking us on Facebook, you could play our many games and maybe earn yourself Guaranteed Beta Access (TM?)!

So now I’m trying to decide if its worth it or not.  As time has gone on, I have been less and less impressed withe what (little) I’ve seen from TSW releases.  Partner that with the problems that faced Age of Conan (including some questionable design decisions) and I’m both more and less anxious to follow the game.  More because I want to see if Funcom has improved their proverbial “game” any (pun intended, and I think they may have) and less because I’m just not really into using Facebook for games.  I know its like, a billion dollar industry now, but…I think the games are hideous and they bore me greatly.  So there is that stigma to overcome as well.

Anyway, if any of you decide to sign up and give a run, let me know.  I’m interested to see how it works and I’m at least open to the idea.  But I’m also a little irked at the suggestion that my beta access sign up is worth less because I’ve been following the game longer.   But hey, that’s apparently a common trend in the MMO industry right now.