• Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity
  • Far Beyond My Capacity

Friday, November 23, 2012

What's in a name? A new ARG for The Secret World?

It could be nothing. It could be just a random scrawl by a bored developer. But this is The Secret World we are talking about. If you've played this game through you will know that nothing happens by accident.

So, when a strange message was seen by an observant participant in the new raid that was patched in this week the denizens of the TSW Lore forum sprang into action. The message appears on one of the scrolling new feeds on the buildings around Times Square, and simply reads:

What's in a name? 1036X88612-1 X=1

Kudos to 13Era for the screengrab


Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Secret World Issue #5 snippets

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Now that the New York city raid has been opened up in The Secret World and all of the Issue #4 content is live the game director, Joel Bylos, has made a new blog post in which he drops some new information about what will be in Issue #5.

Issue #4 has been one of the best single content patches I've seen in an MMO, so I hope they can keep up the rate and quality of the monthly updates. I like Joel's quote that summarises what Issue #4 was all about:
As you can see, there is a little bit of something for everyone - from those who want challenging large group content where they shoot monsters in the face, to those who prefer to shoot each other in the face, to those who prefer to put on a play *about* people shooting each other in the face.
Anyway, there's some nice information about what's coming in Issue #5, though Joel does say there is plenty more in the patch as well as the stuff he's discussed.
  • New ongoing storylines that will have extra missions patched in with each Issue. The first will focus on the disappearance of Tyler Freeborn (you can read Tyler's blog here).
  • A new auxiliary weapon - some kind of quantum magic weapon built by Scrapyard Edgar (does that guy even have a real surname?)
  • All Investigation missions will become repeatable due to player demand, though with a greatly reduced reward on subsequent completions
  • A Christmas event that has nothing to do with Christmas or winter. My guess is it's something to do with the predicted Mayan end-of-the-world event on December 21st 2012.

You can read the full blog post here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fangs for the Memories

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Vinculus has now finished his journey through the Carpathian Fangs, the final PvE zone of The Secret World, and in doing so he has also completed the main storyline of the game. Here are my thoughts on the zone and the story, along with my plans for what I'm going to be up to next.

The zone looks great, unlike anything else in the game and quite different to the other Transylvania zones. It's beautiful mountainous scenery and forests contrast harshly with the old soviet bunkers and factories that line the northern parts of the area, whilst Dracula's castle overlooks the entire region from it's perch.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Masks of Nyarlathotep Campaign Journal: Chapter 7 - Art Attack

Last week's session ended with a cliffhanger as Sebastian, Harry and Willard were confronted with the transformation of dear-old-lady-type Bertha Shipley into an eight foot tall homicidal anthropomorphic lizard. Harry had done the only sensible thing and gone a little crazy, sinking to his knees and searching for insects to eat, whilst the others waited for the inevitable.

This session our investigators find out that some art is bad... (P.S. Can you tell who this is supposed to be?)

The session would prove to be just as deadly to the investigators as I had anticipated, though not in the manner I had thought. As ever they managed to surprise me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Start Spreading the News - TSW Issue #4 Preview Video - Updated

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Start spreading the news
I am leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York

These vagabond shoes

They are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New York

I want to wake up in that city

That doesn't sleep
And find I'm king of the hill
Top of the heap

My little town blues

They are melting away
I gonna make a brand new start of it
In old New York

If I can make it there
I'll make it anywhere
It's up to you
New York, New York

Ahem. Forgive the song lyrics. It's just that I'm starting to get even more excited about The Secret World Issue #4 which is due to launch this month. The reason is a new 7 minute long preview video hosted by game director Joel Bylos. It's embedded below, but it's worth clicking through for the HD version.

The new content looks great and early word from the testlive forums is very positive and that the raid is really tough. I can't wait to give it a go! Of course as well as the raid Issue #4 brings us reticle targeting, new missions, the chainsaw auxilary weapon, the Albion Theatre, new lair missions, pvp enhancements, new starter decks and sitting in chairs.

Update: Funcom have announced that Issue #4 will launch on 15th November - TOMORROW!! The raid will be locked whilst they correct a couple of bugs, but they know what the fixes are and it shouldn't take long.

Additionally I've just found out that Issue #4 contains four new dance emotes - Gangnam Style, Macarena, Samba and Sprinkler.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Masks of Nyarlathotep Campaign Journal: Chapter 6 - Grandma, What Big Teeth You Have!

Following the last rather sedate session (by our standards at least), things got back to normal this time with the usual mix of mirth, madness and murderousness!

The mysterious paintings of Miles Shipley had certainly aroused the investigators' suspicions last time, and they were determined to immediately follow up on things. They decided that Harry and Tso would explore the back garden of the Shipley house and see if they could get inside that way, whilst Mr Yoo tried to distract Miles and Bertha.

How not to sneak into someone's back garden...

Mr Yoo used the excuse that he had lost his wallet and must have dropped it in the house whilst purchasing the painting, and Bertha Shipley duly took him back up to the garret to look for it. Meanwhile Tso scaled the wall to the back garden and let Harry in through the gate. The pair duly began to explore the small garden, failing their spot hiddens and missing the few lizard scales that were present on the deck chair. Tso also failed his sneak roll very badly, and ended up tripping over a metal stool, which fell onto the path with a loud clang. The bad die rolls were a sign of things to come...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Beneath the Roots - The Shadowy Forest

It only seems like the other day I was writing about my experiences in the Besieged Farmlands. Well, that's because it was only the other day. I seem to have flown through the content in The Shadowy Forest, the second Transylvania zone of The Secret World, in record time. I was planning to alternate my gaming sessions between TSW and LoTRO, but I have got so caught up in the story and been enjoying my time in The Secret World so much that I've done nothing else but play it.

The Shadowy Forest does seem like a natural continuation of the environment seen in the Besieged Farmlands. It is the home of the Romany and the Drăculeşti, and in the ramshackle caravan camp the fate of the war with the vampire army of Mara will be decided.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Secret World Issue #4: Big Trouble in the Big Apple - Updated

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The cover for Issue #4 has arrived courtesy of a new article on mmorpg.com which contains some exclusive background to the game's first raid, due to arrive with the update. The cover confirms a release date for this month.

I can't wait for Issue #4, which will be the biggest free monthly update so far. As well as the new raid it will include the Albion Theatre (possibly one of the best roleplay features ever), a new auxiliary weapon (chainsaw), new Investigation missions, a new height slider for character creation (also available at the plastic surgeon in game), a massive revamp of the world PvP zone, the new reticle targeting system, PvE ability balances (chaos will no longer be required for endgame tanks), the ability to /sit in most chairs, and 9 new starter decks. That's a lot of new content!

Update: There is another new dev diary up at mmorpg.com that goes into detail on how the Albion Theatre will work. It sounds amazing and is well worth a read.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Horror of the Besieged Farmlands

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After leaving the hot and dusty deserts of Egypt, Vinculus has now travelled to Romania, specifically Transylvania, during his adventures through The Secret World.

That means he has entered a world of eastern European folklore, Romanies battling a vampire army in the ruins of Soviet villages, villagers fighting the curse of the werewolf, and encounters with forest gods and Blajini. It's like all the best bits from the early Hammer horror films put together. This is the world of Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman.

It's also the endgame as far as the PvE content goes. The three large zones that make up Transylvania are all geared for endgame progression, and even in the first zone, The Besieged Farmlands, I am already running QL10 gear and starting to collect blue equipment and hone my builds for endgame. The Ability Points come thick and fast in this zone, and I've got two new builds almost finished as a result (I promise to update my builds page soon - honest!)

Monday, November 05, 2012

Masks of Nyarlathotep Campaign Journal: Chapter 5 - Old London Town

Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
― Samuel Johnson, The Life of Samuel Johnson LL.D. Vol. III

Well, we managed a first in the latest session of my Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign - an entire play session without any real combat. That's not to say there weren't any deaths of course. After all, these are my players we're talking about!

It was also the first session that saw the players move out of North America, as they travelled to London town, leaving dangers unchecked behind, and more to be discovered ahead.

Grab yerself some new desktop wallpapers

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I just wanted to give everyone a quick heads up to the absolutely stunning screenshots from The Secret World that are currently up at deadendthrills.com. These shots are taken using the highest possible quality and resolution. They use the retail code of the game with a custom field-of-view to give 4k renderings, and the colours and detail are amazing.

Head on over to the site to see the full package (including top quality shots from other games too). Here are a couple of my favourites.