Hey folks, its been a long time, but finally got a few mins to post an update for you, and given the length of time its been, it’s likely to be a wall of text whopper I’m afraid…
Soooo shortly before Xmas last year we had the release of SW:TOR which was for a while a highly engrossing game and a great deal of fun.
For the first play through.
Then the cracks started to shine through quite painfully, as the game became torturously repetative in every respect. Playing my existing, now maxed Smuggler I had to resort to endless raiding or PvPing, which for someone who isnt overly competative turned out to be pretty lame.
Starting a new character on the other hand, was possibly even worse. Whilst the story lines differred (slightly) from each other for each class, the game was ostensibly the same from one character to the next. Unfortunately bioware promised us the ability to play a completely different story on each play through… what they delivered was a little ways behind that and so I found that on each of the characters I attempted to play, my enthusiasm waned exponentially with each planet, level and eventually every line of dialogue.
Around this time contact with my son had developed to the point where we were regularly meeting up online to play “Bin Weevils” with each other, and my picking up a martial arts class meant that a good 2-3 evenings of potential game time were lost, and the death knell for me was the release of Mass Effect 3 which saw me dropping all other games in favour of taking Shepard for a jaunt around the galaxy one last time.
Don’t worry I won’t complain about the ending much here, although I will note it sucked. After spending around 150+ hours in the game universe, the ending, for me, felt rushed. i feel like the writers trapped themselves in a corner and couldn’t figure out an ending for the series, so borrowed one from Deus Ex: Human Revolution instead. The whole god-child thing was a slap in the fact like a wet “it was all a dream” fish and was ultimately unfullfilling.
Asides from that, it was another compelling ride at the helm of the Normandy, although I felt that some of their best characters were pushed far too far into obscurity whilst others possibly got far more attention than they deserved. A few final new aquaintances were made, and a couple of goodbyes, including what I am sure will become a near legendary swan song by one of the main cast which reduced many players, myself included, to tears.
As you can see from the video on the right hand side of the site, I’ve also been enjoying a bit of Mass Effects new multiplayer mode when I need the odd bit of stress relieving lead farming. For those that are interested, I run a live stream now when I’m gaming at http://www.twitch.tv/DrNoesis – although I should point out, I don’t currently stick to any specific schedule.. unfortunately life is too busy to really manage it at the moment.
Streams I’m particularly proud of (or to be more honest about it, the ones I remember to archive) get archived to Youtube for posterity, http://www.youtube.com/user/DrNoesis
After ME 3, I was given a copy of Kingdoms of Amalur as a leaving present after I changed jobs recently, and I found it to be an interesting fusion between a couple of mmo’s, the fable series, and with a story arc similar to ME. I’ve yet to complete it, but it remains on my list of games to get back to, rather than the ones I’ve tried and tired of.
Amalur was superceded for the time being, by beta testing Guild Wars 2, which seems promising at the moment and (after reclaiming my account… finally) playing Guild Wars 1 again to build up the list of rewards I’ll be eligable for on release of 2.
Guild Wars 2 pulled me out of my offline single player/team based multi player funk and dragged me back into the MMO circuit long enough to bump into Tera online.
Tera is a typical fantasy based mmo with all the usual stuff to pull you in, crafting, grinding, quests, etc. It even has flying mounts.
Unfortunately, for every good point about Tera, there’s something wrong with it. It is possibly the most beautifully rendered, graphically and environmentally stunning game you’ll ever see. But its visual porn in every sense of the word. There’s a class and race to meet the requirements of almost any player. But those classes and races have been designed as fap fodder for hormone turbocharged teenagers of any persuasion… and I mean any, male models with more muscles than actual atoms in their bodies, hypersexualised sword wielding and practically naked vamps, furries (yes, really) and even worse, a race of similarly over sexed childlike creatures that really give you the impression you’re going to get arrested for having paedo porn on your pc at any moment.
Factor in that your characters armour gets more and more revealing as it improves and well, you can kind of see what the dev’s were aiming to use to encourage people to stick around.
Authenticators for logging in? This one should come with a box of kleenex and some hand moisturiser.
Its actually quite sad, the interface needs a little tweaking, and the content could do with a fair bit of work, but the visuals, themselves, are stunning. Provided you can get past the all the wobbly bits.
Which kind of brings me to a point I’d like to mention really… Its about pointy bits… As you’ll see from all of the image’s I’ve embedded on this article, 2012 really has been the gaming year of the boob.
The experience we had a few years ago of playing Lineage 2 and feeling like you were surrounded by dark elves (because people wanted to look at their asses) is back, and back en masse, in pretty much every game you look at.
Don’t get me wrong, I like boobs. There’s millions of years of evolution thats gone into producing a male like me, who is pre-conditioned to be an avid fan of them, but I’m kind of feeling like the games industry is all of a sudden acting like a newly pubescent boy thats suddenly obsessed with the bloody things. Yes, theyre great, but seriously, theres only so many you can look at, before they become pretty boring. Put them away. Wrap them up, its cold outside and no one wants to look at lifeless black frost bitten tit flesh.
And bloody deflate them a little. I mean christ I get the big sword thing, big guns too, but some of those women shouldnt be able to stand or even breathe… and not all men like katey price slapper-likes anyway. Christ..
So anyway, after all that I got bored, got invited to test The Secret World, and have been hooked since.
The secret world is a lovecraft/gaiman inspired horror fest of an mmo, designed to appeal to the kind of gamer that likes a little cthulhu with their zombies, and a little to exercise their brains as well as their trigger fingers.
Whilst there are plenty of grind missions to keep you occupied, TSW also introduces the idea of “investigations”. Like virtual ARG’s these missions will see you conducting actual real life research into a myriad of subjects, ranging from biblical texts, renaissance artists and even learning morse code, to complete a range of far more cerebral missions in order to progress.
TSW is a truely “freeform” world. There are no levels to grind, no classes to limit your experience, theres just 500+ skills to learn to use over with one of 9 (currently) weapons which you can switch between at whim.
It launched just a few days ago now, with barely a hiccup, and promises (provided the devs can maintain the service levels they have achieved so far) to be a long lived and exceptional change to the mmo, and suffers only in that it is kind of a niche interest, and a lot of… shall we say less cerebral, players find some of the thought required to complete some of the missions (which are for the most part, optional and repeatable) is beyond them..
Anyhoos that’s all I have time for at the moment. Catch me on TSW as Pyrotessa or Combat Arms EU as Cytheria over the next few days and I’ll be back sooooon….