Posts tagged video

Is the Secret World Turning the Corner?

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I was pretty surprised when I saw the posts concerning TSW’s rapidly approaching anniversary as it hardly seems like it has bee a year since it launched.  Many because so much has happened to the game and the company over the year that times has just flown past.  I’m not sure I can think of another game that has had to overcome as much as TSW has, and I’m really hoping this latest batch of news is a positive sign that the team has moved past the turmoil and is stronger because of it.  I’m not going to dwell on the past, although it would probably be plenty of material for a novel, but instead focus on what’s coming up.

Joel kicked off the news batch with his June’s Producer’s letter where he does a bit of a recap of all that TSW has been able to accomplish over this past year.  For me the biggest thing he left off were the amazing ARG events the team has put out, which really are content updates, just in another form factor.  If you think about it that way, Funcom has put out 9 content updates, lost a CEO on launch day due to suspicious circumstances, gone through 2 corporate restructurings, moved the staff half a world away, and switched business models.  That’s an impressive year, but from everything they’ve put out (and they have to be open about their numbers) TSW’s model switch has worked very well and the game is striving.  I don’t care whether you like TSW or not, you have to admit to be able to continue through everything they have and be in the position they are now is quite the accomplishment.

Before I press forward, I have to comment on the two images in his letter.  The first one is the “Cover Art” for this episode and while it does look like a James Bond montage (as it should being the them of the update) I must say I’m a little worried about the teddy bear in the image.  I have a feeling this is going to end up more like the Holy Grail Bunny then a Ted rip-off Smile

Also, the two comic strips at the end tie in that little teddy bear and you just have to wonder if it is an evil bear, or a benevolent one.

If that isn’t creepy enough, well there’s the trailer for you as well:

However, before we get to the goodies of Issue 7, we have to survive the actual game’s anniversary.  I like this idea of building up to the new content which TSW has done an amazing job of in various other patches they’ve done over the year, and I’m excited to see how they do it for this update.  So there will be some nasty and powerful creatures invading the land that will challenge the players, but success sounds like it will grant some sort of cosmetic pet?  Also during the event there will be daily bonuses to things like XP, ability and skill points as well as an across the board 30% discount in the store.  I’m pretty excited about the store sale as I know I have a huge pile of points and I need to use some before they expire.  Which I might add, is quite a smart way to do it as otherwise they’ll be hard pressed to ever get money out of lifers again.  I know my ridiculous stockpile of points in LOTRO will continue to allow me to purchase pieces of Expansions that I want, unless of course they change that model.  There will also be gifts given to the players, but no details on what those gifts are other then there will be something extra for members and Grandmasters.  And finally, the game will be completely free for anyone who has ever played a Funcom title (hint go check out AoC for free if you want to get in that way) will be able to enjoy the event without having to buy the box.

The conclusion of the event is the actual release of the Issue 7 content, which seemed a little weird to me as I thought they already released Issues 7, but then I remembered this was another one of their split patches where the guts of the update go out earlier then the story.

Joel wraps up his article with some teasers for Issue 8, and I have to say I’m probably most excited about the new Scenario and Augmentation systems as they could go horribly wrong, Funcom has done a pretty good job with their system changes as well as taking what others have done and improving on them.  Scenarios could be a HUGE content improvement for TSW in much the same way skirmishes have helped out LOTRO and I think if done well with the right story tie could fill a void in TSW’s content.

All in all, some great stuff coming up for TSW and I’m really hoping this is the start of an even better second year in The Secret World.

 

Joel Bylos talks Secret World Issue 7 Details

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I haven’t seen this posted too many other places, so I thought I’d share this out for folks.  Pretty cool interview by the folks over at MMORPG.com with Joel covering all 3 live games Funcom is maintaining.  My gaming time has changed recently and I don’t hop into TSW nearly as much as I’d like, but it is by far one of my favorites and a game I really want to do well.  I know Issue 6 has been a little rough, but it was all sorts of fun and I’m happy to see news about what’s coming down the pipe for TSW.  Check out the full interview below, and below for my thoughts.

Joel had me with just two words – flamethrower and snowmobile Winking smile  I love what TSW is doing with their auxiliary weapons as each really fits well and has its own story and usage.  I still have work to do to actually use any of them, but that’s not the point as I appreciate having something to work towards.  One of the things many have complained about with TSW is the lack of a mount or quick-travel system so I’ll be curious to see how the snowmobile works, will it be like the train in Issue 6, or something that more closely resembles an open mount we’ve seen in other games?  Joel has since confirmed, that it will be mission specific and not an open mount – but it would appear that we’re getting closer to a mount system.  Not too many more specifics with the Issue, but with everything that company has gone through lately I hope something finally starts turning their way.

 

Mounted Combat in LOTRO Purely a Gimmic?

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Don’t get me wrong, I actually really enjoy mounted combat and like the way it was implemented.  I was holding out hope that we would see the system grow and evolve over time as an integral system to the game, like Skirmishes and Legendary Items.  However, according to Aaron “Rowan” Campbell that might be quite a stretch for what they have planned for the system.

In an interview released by the folks over at LOTRO Reporter:

they get a preview of two of the three man instances.  If you don’t want spoilers on the instances themselves you can watch the first little bit and then the Q&A session starts at around the 48 minute mark.

The first question revolves around Mounted Combat instances and Aaron’s answer is:

“It is something we’re thinking about, but is not in our current plans”

So there you have it, mounted combat instances will happen around the same time we see a new PvMP map.  Now while you may suggest that this just means near-term, Aaron also states later on that they have very detailed and lengthy plans for the game’s future development.  I realize that this is fine for many of you, but it really puts a bit of a sour note on the whole Rohan expansion for me.  When looking at the expansion now, you really can’t consider MC (Mounted Combat) to be a new system, it is purely a side game to keep people occupied and have them learn something else.  These mounts really won’t grow with us, nor will they be integral to our character progression at all, unlike systems introduced in other expansions.

Not to mention the shear lunacy of the cosmetic pricing of the war-steeds, coupled with the high cost of the expansion, and one could argue that this was Turbine looking for another way to earn money without having to solve some of the more complicated problems.  They probably realize that cosmetics are a huge revenue stream for them, so why not put in a new kind of horse and charge people per character to do any customization on it.  And unlike their other cosmetics which can be stored in an account wardrobe, everything we do to our horses must be done for every character.  I think many people would have been quite content with mounts 3.0 that allowed you to obtain account bound (or store in a wardrobe) cosmetics that you could wear around on mounts that would behave like the existing horses.

One of the main reasons I’m frustrated by this is that I just don’t feel LOTRO is evolving as it ages.  Sure we get little things here and there, but there’s not much of an actual progression.  The only progression we have is the story (which I do enjoy) with everything else seemingly becoming more grind-tastic.  If you look at this expansion as we know it now, all it really brought was more story and landscape, with some underlying mechanical changes.  The way we actually play the game and what our characters can do hasn’t changed at all.  I was really hoping that Mounted Combat would be that new mechanic that allowed you to really customize how your character played and have that actually matter.  The reason why I tied this systems to Instances is that Instances are the only reason they’d need to make changes to the system to make it less of a DPS race.  If you don’t have instances, there’s no reason to worry about things like agro and healing.  Like I’ve said before, even the raid war-band can be solo’d and that along with this announcement show me that they have no intention of improving the system beyond what it is now.  I was looking for Mounted Combat to provide a broader gameplay experience like other systems that have been implemented since launch.  While you may argue about the utility of it, you can actually do a significant amount of tweaking using the Legendary Item and Skirmish systems to customize how your character plays.  And while it is technically true that you don’t need to skirmish to play the game, it is a pretty significant portion of the end-game content.

Sadly it looks like I’ll add one more horse to my ever growing stable of horses I’ll rarely ride.

 

LOTRO Update 9 Coming to Bullroarer Next Week

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Very few details in this video but some good house-keeping work from Sapience on a number of items.  Quite a bit around the Extra Life Marathon events, but the big teaser was for Update 9.  It will be coming to the open test server Bullroarer next week, so it is possible we could see it early in December.  The only thing he hints at are:

  • Instance Cluster
  • XP Disabler
  • Open tapping changes coming to more of Middle-Earth

Here’s the full video for your enjoyment!

 

Visual Tour of The Secret World’s Issue 4 Update

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Joel Bylos shares a nice almost 7 minute long video with a tour of all the new goodies coming with Issue 4 – Big Trouble in the Big Apple.  The only thing missing from the video is an expected launch date, but they’ve mentioned they’re putting the finishing touches on the QA process.  And based on prior releases, we know they take that part pretty seriously.

Joel does a good job of commentating as we’re shown the new aspects of this update including:

  • Of course, the new raid which takes place in Times Square
    • One thing I’m curious about is that it doesn’t look too melee friendly?
  • The Chainsaw
    • I like the concept of a damage return shield
  • PvP Changes
  • The Albion Theatre
  • New Missions
  • And of course reticule combat

Always good to hear from the team, but it is really helpful with these kinds of videos that actually show what they’re talking about.

This certainly does have the look of a pretty sizeable and impressive update, I can’t wait for it to hit live!

 
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