Although I can’t play much at the moment (and really didn’t want to play too much before launch) I decided to update Guild Wars 2 and take a peek anyway. I have known since way back when that I wanted to play Asura, I guess it goes with the territory of hobbits and gnomes and all things small and cute :P.
Now we’re talking!
Instant love! Bring on August 28 … now!
Yes, real life gets in the way, and this was the subject of a couple of posts I read yesterday, namely The Decline of Hardcore, a guest post on BioBreak, and On “The Decline of Hardcore” from I Have Touched the Sky. Of course they were talking about hardcore gamers, but really it was about growing up, getting a life, and not having as much time to play games any more (even though there are plenty of versions of ‘us’ from 10 or more years ago filling in those slots I’m sure).
I’ve never been a hardcore gamer if you go by the majority definition, no 6 night a week raiding or anything like that, but I do consider myself a hardcore gamer in that I spend a ‘significant’ number of hours every week playing games. Mostly MMO’s, but also plenty of Steam games and iPad games (and I’m about to lose many tens of hours in Fieldrunners 2!).
I love Fieldrunners, and now it’s even better!
Although gaming blogs are about gaming, it’s nice to get to know the people behind the posts, and Rakuno’s was great to read, inspired by Ambermist’s July challenge :).
So here’s a bit about me:
- I’m an Aussie from way back, at least 4 generations that I know of. Before then I think it’s mostly England, Scotland, France.
- My husband and I are a mini Brady Bunch (without Alice unfortunately), 4 teenagers between us, all of them gamers … naturally :D
- We are busy packing to move :(, so gaming time is limited at the moment, one of the down sides to renting is that there’s no guarantee that you can stay in one house for more than a year or so. Melbourne and Sydney houses are incredibly expensive to buy, and why buy a massive house when most of the kids will be out of home in a few short years … maybe :P
- Leelu comes from the movie The Fifth Element, I love Gary Oldman movies, Dracula from back in 1992 being my favourite.
- I was very sad when, after pre-ordering The Secret World and being able to put a name aside, that Leelu was already taken. My current character is Leeftea instead, after re-rolling to Templar from Dragon so that our little wandering guild could all get together in a Cabal. I will miss the butterflies.
- I’ve been playing games since … well, a long time. My first memory of playing games was on the Merlin, I thought it was ace, then came the Commodore 64 which meant more games, and coding :D.
- My collection of Steam Games is down right embarrassing. How dare they do such tempting sales.
- I work in what little is left of the gaming industry here, and for that I am extremely grateful!
Whenever I log into The Secret World I have a good time. So why do I have to stop myself from thinking about logging into LotRO or Aion or something altogether different instead? Why am I craving for GW2? Is it simply me being my usual butterfly self, or a case of the Better the Devil You Know? Maybe I’m limiting myself too much and should follow Syp’s Plan and juggle a few MMO’s. I have trouble focusing on multiple MMO’s however, they’re big games that require a lot of attention and time is precious.
Of course I haven’t had any huge play sessions yet. I haven’t managed to even finish the first area, Kingsmouth completely yet, unlike MMO Gamer Chick. While I’ve been under the weather I’ve been making use of my DS and VITA, playing ChronoTrigger, FFIV, some timeless and terrific old RPG’s :D and then logging into Secret World for an hour or two here or there.
Maybe the best way to analyse my thoughts is to write down the tried and tested like / dislike list:
- Variety of quests. I love that they’re tiered and that most of them make you think at least a little.
- Ambience. This is one scary scary world.
- Decks. They are a good guide for beginners as to where to put your Skill Points and Action Points. I could write a whole post on this, maybe that’s next.
- Grouping. Even when you separate to do solo instances for quests you remained grouped at the other end.
- Cross-server grouping. This is truly great, no more regretting what faction / server you rolled on.
- Bags. Wow, bags in TSW are awesome. You start with 50 slots (pay in-game currency to add more), and these slots can be divided up into player named bags. You can even have one or more of them allocated to show permanently on the screen.
- Clothes, wear what looks good, create an entire wardrobe! No more fugly gear while you’re levelling. There’s even a toolkit for changing how your weapon looks based on another weapon.
The inventory system is very flexible, it’s great!
- Crafting. Good and bad. More tutorials please. More toolkits dropping please. For those after a tutorial, TenTonHammer has an excellent one up on their website, but with a crafting system so different to the norm you’d think that Funcom would put more effort into teaching you how it works.
- No levels. I know that we have Skill Points, Action Points, Decks etc but I miss my levels. I guess I’m just so used to levels after ever RPG since time began has had them. Maybe I’ll feel better about this after more time in-game.
- Not many friends playing. This is where GW2 will win win win!
- Bugs. This is good and bad. There are a few horrendous quest bugs, but you can change instances (group with a player on another dimension / shard) and find one that works.
- Missing features. No AH yet. This would be good for more toolkits!
- No ‘follow’. C’mon, when we’re making each other cups of tea and running to a quest area, ‘follow’ is a nice thing to have.
- No custom decks.
Hmmm, looks like TSW is worth at least the remaining 2 months until GW2 comes out :)
Been a bad few days on painkillers, so I’ve pretty much slept for the last 2 1/2 days straight (on the mend fast now, so all good :)). At least today I’ve finally been awake enough to try out The Secret World and know that my character will still be around tomorrow :)
My character, Leeftea “Leelue” Brown (a Dragon) is so far a hammer wielding force to be reckoned with :P
I’ve only played for a few hours so far, but I’m looking forward to playing more. Crafting will take a while to get used to, but I think it will be fun down the track. Crafting basically works by crafting different items with the same materials simply based on the shape that the components make. It would be nice to have a crafting book to refer to with recipes you’ve already learnt, but I guess after time you’ll know the shapes of the recipes that you use on a regular basis.
So far I’m not finding the lack of levels a bad thing like I thought I might. You become so engrossed in the quests that the hours disappear and before you know it, you have a few AP (Ability Points) and SP (Skill Points) to allocate. I already have 7 active and 7 passive skills which means from now I’ll be having to choose which skills to put on my hotbars. That part of the game reminds me of the original Guild Wars, but with more freedom given that you’re not limited to skills of a particular class (of course, you still have to learn all of the weapons and skills that you can choose from). Switching your skills in and out of the hotbar or passive bar is very simple and fast.
The quests are great, and the puzzle ones really get you thinking. My husband and I were worried that all the answers to the puzzle quests would be available in general chat, but for the most part people playing are very reluctant to give out anything except vague clues. Hopefully that’s a sign of a generally more mature audience. I’m glad we have 2 heads to think things through though, some of the quests are seriously tricky!
More thoughts when I get to play some more after work this week :)
Don’t hold back on the gore
150 years into Crusader Kings, and with Secret World out now, it might be a ‘while’ before I finish the epic 400 years journey :P