Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Back To Work

I'm back to work in both the real life sense and the blogging sense. A week and a half off, I'm feeling full of piss and vinegar.

So how much Eve Online did I play over the holidays?

None.

Ok, I did log in for skill changes and I logged in every night for managing my PI in the wormhole (which continues to make impressive ISK for me, more on that later) but PvP-wise I was absent. There were three factors to this transgression. Prior to Christmas I was extremely busy helping my wife get ready for the 25th, either watching the kids or helping with the decorating/wrapping/clean up. After Christmas we traveled about Eastern Ontario visiting family. For the few days we were actually home, I found myself free for only a handful of times, and they were taken up by a new game in my life...

"OH NO!" you cry, "Is this the end of Kirith's exploits in Eve Online!?!"

Of course not. World of Tanks1, Star Trek Online, Planetside 2 have all taken my attention for a period over the years, some longer than others, but Eve is always there and I still logged in at least once a week for sweet spaceships and eventually the new fascination pales over time and I'm back to Eve with full attention. I suspect The Secret World will no different.

When the game was in development I remember being very intrigued. I like the setting of modern day with the supernatural lurking in the hidden shadows, and a small number of people fighting to hold back the darkness. I didn't jump in when it was released because I was put off by the idea of a monthly subscription for a game I didn't know if I had the time to get into. When the announcement went out this fall that the game was going free to play (after purchase of game) I quickly added it to my christmas list, and my wife got it for me. When I finally got free time and the game installed I tried it out and found my anticipation rewarded.

Get On The Ride

Make no mistake: this is a classic theme-park game. It may have elements of faction PvP battlegrounds, but the core of the game is missions and running the story. But where I find this game succeeds for me where Star Trek Online (aka STO, the only other theme park MMO I've tried for longer than an hour) failed was in the implementation.

One of my biggest complaints in STO was that the space missions were not very varied, while the "ground" missions looked and felt like shit. I remember complaining that the graphics felt like they were a decade old. Playing TSW I find the graphics very nice and smooth (not quiet Batman Arkham smooth but still good for an MMO) and the missions so far have been extremely diverse and interesting. For example, some missions don't require fighting so much as research and critical/creative thinking to solve riddles and puzzles.

I also like that the game abandoned the outdated leveling system for a skills system in terms of character progression, but I note that items are still tiered for all intents and purposes and that means the item grind still exists. We'll see if that becomes a problem for me later on.

All Rides Come To An End

So yes, the setting is great and the graphics are good and the missions are constructed well, but eventually this ride has and end. Its the problem facing all themeparks, players consume stitic content faster than you can create it.

So for now, I'll be dipping into TSW with both feet and seeing where it takes me. In the long run though, I'll still be in Eve blowing ships up.

1 - Note on World of Tanks - I was tempted to pick it up again this holiday, needed some credits, got in my Tier 7 Jagdpanther and in a Malinovka hill defense round I got 6 kills and was on the winning side. Still lost credits due to cost of my ammo. Fuck you Wargaming.net.

8 comments:

  1. I loved TSW right up until the anemic, grindy, bugged-as-hell endgame. Coming from a wow background, the boss fights were refreshingly varied and complex. Rather than having 20-odd skills to manage you have seven, with a basic rotation of (usually) three. I really mean basic, too - most builds use a builder*5, finisher, finisher rotation, with no energy/mana management. The rotational simplicity frees up a ton of player resources that TSW occupies with boss and fight mechanics, allowing for much more variety across the different zones and fights. Situational awareness, good reactions and teamwork are always the key to being successful in MMOs, but this particular system emphasizes those elements more than many other combat systems I've encountered. The skill system reminds me of eve, in that more advanced characters gain flexibility rather than raw power. I'm certain I'll come back to TSW when the endgame is fleshed out and cleaned up; it really is a fantastic game.

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  2. I've played TSW since launch and all the way up to the endgame to the max gear level and faction level. Though I haven't played it much for a while I'm still subscribed to it as it's an interesting story driven game to play. It has a much more intelligent story and feel for a game that vast majority of games and it does require intelligent story and feels more cerebral than most. The beginning of the game just really helps you to learn how to do stuff but as you go along in the story you can really get caught up in the game and its complex story. TSW isn't perfect and no game is, but the game does get much better the further you get in the game past Kingsmouth and Solomon Island. And Solomon Island is still a fairly big place.

    The skills system can somewhat remind of EVE as you can have varied skills, even that is a bit unique. Learn and watch how you place your skills and use your AP. One thing to realize some skills and weapon combo seem to work better than others for senergy and it all depends on your play style. The word there is to experiment with various weapons and skills to see what works for you. Not everyone prefer's the same things in skills. Abilities can be combo'd to greater effect.

    Since your just starting the game, you will likely have a long way to go before you reach the further zones and harder assignments. Those cell Phone calls will get interesting as well. Just enjoy the game and getting there. As for gear and gear upgrades. Gear is important yes, but the AP Skills is what power those abilities and getting AP makes a huge difference. There is a secret somewhat to replacing gear for upgrade. Been a while but i think if remember its the Major Talismans first and so forth as they pack more power.

    You should really not have to worry about finding gear! Really! If you shoot enough stuff you will easily get enough gear and the harder stuff to kill drops the better gear. I never ever had an issue getting better gear. You can save it later for use when your at the level. As well learning how to break and reassemble gear is a key to always being able to make certain upgrades. Figure out how that's done, yes there is a series of missions that show you how to do that even though it a mission like the others. But once you know, gear is never an issue. Just invest in making your inventory bigger!

    Be like Dr Who, learn to run, literally! That will always save your life, lots! Getting money is not an issue, just save everything or break it and save the dusts for later. Just have fun with the game, more content is being added to the game all the time in series. Will be lots more there if you make it further into the game.

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  3. I too am a TSW player, though lately it's been Rift that's been taking up most of my gaming time. I'm also to the "endgame" point and while I've got some friends playing and it's fun to play with then, and the dungeons are interesting the 1st 5 times or so... eventually it's gotten a little old for me, so when I do log in it's more to try to complete my skill wheel than to worry about running NM's for bullion to gear up.

    I do love the stories and they're actually interesting enough that I actually watch the cutscenes for the missions (1st time, at least, sometimes a few more times) rather than simply "skipping the quest text." That's really something, I think.

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  4. A few questions I forgot to ask:

    How far into the game are you?
    What weapons are you using?
    Are you planning on running dungeons, and if so, in what role?

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  5. You need to use the 88mm on the Jag to make cash unfortunately.
    I tend to only use tier 5/6 for cash farming.

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  6. @Chistopher: Just running missions in Kingsmouth / Solomon island, running a "Gunslinger" with pistols and elemental magic. On Tier 3 of the main storyline mission, but running other side missions to build up the skills and such.

    To be honest, I don't even know what the dungeons are yet LOL, haven't done a lot of homework.

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  7. So you chose Illuminati too? :)

    I hope you've hit the item store. When I took a look I found I had items waiting for me including some nice starter weapons and an item that gives an XP boost for 1 hour with a 16 hour cooldown. Oh, and getting 1200 points for the item store after doing 30 missions was nice too.

    The interesting thing is that the game still lets you buy item slots for in game currency. That's something that you usually have to pay for in a F2P or B2P game.

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  8. Yes, Enlightened, and yeah I found the free items in teh store. Love the initiate jacket :)

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