Archive for July 2, 2012

First Weekend Down in The Secret World

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I’ve been pretty quiet on this game for a number of reasons but with my pre-order and my GM pack order finally going through I was all primed and ready for the head start weekend.  Until that is I realized I had deleted the game in my last massive hard-drive clean-up – so I spent the better part of Friday watching the patcher do its magic.  I’ve also had some performance issues with TSW so I was really hoping the live client and the various testing changes would result in a smoother gameplay for me.  I was more or less pleased, although I’ll get to that later.

I haven’t made it all that far, but I’ve done more so far then I managed to do during any of the open or closed beta events.  Part of that was intentional as I really wanted to keep the game fresh and not spoil too much of it, but also as you all know I really haven’t been gaming too much.

So far in game I’m mainly just messing around, taking it slow, and enjoying the setting.  I rolled over on the Huldra “server” at the recommendation of @MyLOTROGamer but I was VERY happy when I realized there’s really only one server for PvE content.  The PvP persistent warzones are split up based on the “servers” but that’s primarily as there’s a size cap on them and they wanted everyone to have a chance to enjoy them.  No more worries about what server your friends are on or being on a “slow” server, which was exactly what I was hoping Funcom would do.  I’ve settled into a spec using Blades and Pistols not from a functionality choice but I just think they look cooler.  A combination of ranged (although pistols are mid-range weapons) and melee seems to work out really well as I get some nice damage, buffing, healing and AoEs from that combination.

While there are parts of this that are “traditional MMO” there are a couple key things that have really stuck out to me.  With the modern setting, I LOVE the quest turn-in process as you essentially email your status and get the loot automagically.  This by far can be one of the most annoying MMO processes and I really like the way Funcom addressed this technically and aesthetically.

The other big aspect that smacks you pretty early is the diversity of the quests and the challenges they pose.    There are some “kill 10 rats” quests but so far it has been just phase one of a mission that builds up to something else.  And to be honest, kill quests don’t bug me as long as everything isn’t a kill quest Smile  I’ve also already run into 2 quests that I’ll admit I googled, which while sad to admit (they really weren’t that hard) means that I need to play this game differently then other MMOS, which is a VERY good thing.  I’m sure you can very successfully play this game without reading or paying attention, but there’s so much depth and intrigue built in that I’m going to want to pay more attention to make sure I don’t miss out on things.

Circling back to my performance issues, they seem sporadic and almost cyclical so I’m thinking possibly some background process that I haven’t squashed might be causing the issue.  But for the most part, I can just sit in the corner for a few seconds and it will pass so it isn’t a deal breaker.  However, I was quite frustrated that one quest (Horror Show) more or less requires you to play on at least medium settings.  That was the second quest I googled and once you can actually see stuff it becomes quite clear.

Like I said up front, I haven’t played too much but so far I’m very impressed with things.  I’ll be curious to see how the server does tomorrow (official launch) but so far things seem to have gone pretty well for Funcom.  The next couple of things I’m working on are:

  • Seeing if I can find some better cosmetic options
  • Try to figure out crafting a bit
  • Find somewhere to store my crap Smile

I know lots of folks are playing TSW, what are your impressions so far?

 

First Season Finished in FM2012

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This season didn’t go quite as I planned (here’s my initial hopes post), but there were some parts that pleasantly surprised me and others that were downright frustrating – but I guess that’s life in Football :)

To start off the season, I didn’t go all that heavy into the transfer market and didn’t add too much during the year either.  I was only able to loan players out and not get full transfers for Tony Hibbert, Victor Anichebe, and Joao Silvia but I was able to get some decent up-front money for them as well as covering for their wages.  I ended up brining in Right Back Vegar Eggen Hedenstad who quickly became a fixture there for a modest $1.9 million and also added Arne Friedrich as a free transfer mid-year who helped add extra depth for me.  I then picked up an attacking midfielder Ravel Morrison in the January period for $1.9 million but he promptly got hurt and spent much of the year with the training staff :(  Despite not making too many moves, I was able to hold my own with the big boys (Chelsea, Man City, Man. U., etc) but what sunk me in the Premier league was my performances in games I should win.  Losses to folks like Blackburn, Wigan, Swansea, and the like made the ties and losses to the big clubs absolute killers.  I had originally hoped I could sneak into 4th place if I could hold my own against the big boys and win the games I should, but I lost just a couple too many games and wound up in 6th place.  However, the struggles I had on the league side were tempered by the success I had in tournaments as I was able to win not only the League Cup but the FA cup as well.  However, I think that is as much due to luck in teams losing as it was my good play.

English Premier Division Final StandingsEverton Team StatsMatch History Season StartMatch History Season Finish

After a more or less successful season of not only on the field progress but pretty tight control of the finances I was allowed to spend a decent amount of money during the offseason.  Given a budget of roughly $25 million, I set my eyes upon a striker since during the previous year Rodwell was my leading scorer with 14 goals, and Baines was tied for second with 9.  I zeroed in on my new-found favorite player Andre Shurrle but although I could afford him he had no interest in joining the squad.  After my initial heartbreak I started looking around and set my eyes on the glut of strikers over at Manchester United and was able to pry Welbeck away for just under $25 million.  Welbeck fits in very well as he’s young, fast, and English :)  In addition I also picked up another young English talent James McCarthy who will be a nice utility midfielder for me.  To offset these transfers, try to clean up my jam packed roster, and dump the overpaid and/or unhappy folks I unloaded a number of players either on free transfers or actual full transfers.  By getting rid of Seamus Coleman, Joseph Yobo, Jan Mucha, Victor Anichebe, Tony Hibbert, and Joao Silva I was able to bring in $32 million which covered completely the 2 stars I brought in.

One of the problems I was running into towards the end of the year were just too many people competing for too many spots.  And with the talent I have on my youth squad as well as the good prospects coming in, the older guys are just too darn costly to keep around, especially when they expect to start over clearly better players.

The only other big change I’ve made this year in the hopes of more offense, and since my side is changing slightly, is to install a 4-1-2-1-2 formation.  I still have my previous 4-3-3′s training as well but I think having 2 strikers up top playing off each other will work better then the pseudo wingers I was trying to force in there.

As for expectations, I really don’t think I’ll be able to have the same tournament run as I did last year but hopefully I’ll get somewhat far in the League and FA cups.  I really want to do well in the Euro Cup and am going to push VERY hard for a top 4 finish in the premier league.  That should then set me up very well for a strong Champions league run the following year as I should be able to attract some big time players and pay for them as well :)

 
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