Posts made in August, 2012

The Secret World – Departing Kingsmouth

Posted by on Aug 13, 2012 in Games/Video/Board | 0 comments

It took about three dedicated days of playing, but I’m finally departing Kingsmouth for the Savage Coast (south of Kingsmouth) on my Dragon character. I’m playing swords/chaos currently.

The voice acting is great. The storyline is great. I have not run into any fights or any puzzles that have been too difficult for me to complete solo. So that’s great.

The UI leaves a bit to be desired, but that’s to be expected given that this is a new game, etc. It is my understanding they are providing the ability for third-party developers to write UI mods, so I’m sure lots of improvements are coming soon.

The limitation of the quest log (limited to 6 quests total) drove me crazy initially, but after a while I got used to remembering where I’d seen random quests and what I’d done so far. I think this limitation lends itself to paying more attention to the game world and storyline in general.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed meeting additional organizations (Orochi Group), learning secrets about quest-giving NPCs, and even going back to my faction’s home town (in this case, Seoul) to explore more and level up my run skill.

Now I’m off to the Savage Coast for what I hope will be more awesome stories and maybe a change from constant zombies and Draug and other wet things creeping up from the harbor? Maybe? Here’s hoping!

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The Secret World, Day 1

Posted by on Aug 9, 2012 in Games/Video/Board | 0 comments

Today was my first day playing The Secret World, the new MMO from Funcom/NVIDIA/EA.

My background with MMORPGs stretches back quite a way. I think my first one was Asheron’s Call, and I played through various and many before sticking like glue to World of Warcraft for nearly 7 years. During that time, I dallied with other games but they never held my attention. I broke my Warcraft addiction in the Spring of 2011, and didn’t return to MMO gaming until Star Wars: The Old Republic came out. I had high hopes for the game, but it only held my attention for six months.

Now, The Secret World has come out. The premise is non-fantasy, which suits me fine as I’m kind of burned out on fantasy. It reminds me a lot of the Shadowrun world from the table-top rpg. It’s all about the three “shadow organizations” that run the world – the Illuminati, the Templars, and the Dragon (Asian chaos faction). I think the Gnomes of Zurich would have been hilarious to include as a faction, but that’s just me.

Character creation is pretty smooth. The amount of options you have to customize your character are decent – not as many as Skyrim but more than Lord of the Rings Online. And it’s neat that the game has no “armor” per se – all of your stat boosters come from your weapon and various trinkets/jewelry your character wears. After all, the point is to look like an average person so there is a lot of street fashion and “regular clothing” in the game that does nothing other than make your character look unique.

The server technology is great – sharding servers was one of the biggest mistakes SWTOR made with its implementation. If a server is full in Secret World, you just select a different server and your character gets moved over there seamlessly. Zero queuing or wait times to play.

I’m still getting used to the interface. It’s been a while since I played an MMO that requires me to click on things to see what they are (vs. nameplates), and expects me to remember keyboard hotkeys to bring up menus which are otherwise inaccessible in the interface.

There are no levels, and no classes. Everything is skill based and how your character plays is determined by the combination of two primary abilities that you select out of the following list: blades, hammers, fist weapons, pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, blood magic, chaos magic and elemental magic. I like the fighting style of a lot of the various choices – and you get to try them all out shortly after you first create your character when deciding what you might like to play.

There’s a nice mix of standard “boar snout” questing and puzzle-solving questing which all meshes nicely into the overarching storyline. I have yet to feel like I was doing something for an NPC in the game without it making sense in the larger context.

The initial area (after you get out of your faction-specific area) is called Kingsmouth and is pulled completely from the pages of H.P. Lovecraft. It feels like every time I turn around there’s a Lovecraft reference, or I’m fighting something out of the water that’s very Lovecraftian. The story so far is highly enjoyable, especially if you have the literary background from which to draw.

I’ll write more about the game over the next few days as I delve deeper and deeper into it. But after one day, I’m having a great time!

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The Nerdist on BBCAmerica

Posted by on Aug 8, 2012 in Movies/Music/TV | 0 comments

Chris Hardwick has a show called “The Nerdist” which is in its 2nd season on BBC America. I just discovered this, and it’s frustrating that none of the episodes are available on the Internet. You can stream the first season from Amazon Streaming for $3 a show. I like Chris Hardwick and all, but not enough to merit that price. The bits of clips I’ve seen on the BBC America site are clever though. There is an episode this Saturday featuring “A Tribute to Nerd Girls”. If you get BBC America, I recommend checking it out!

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Stan Lee, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye (not together)

Posted by on Aug 7, 2012 in Geek Culture, Movies/Music/TV, Web Shows | 0 comments

Today there is a new episode of DIY Geek. It features Jenna Busch who, unbeknownst to me, is hosting another YouTube show called “Cocktails with Stan“. The show features Ms. Busch, Stan Lee and a random celebrity sitting down for a chat. It’s apparently 13 episodes in so I’ve got a lot of watching to do!

Last week while I was away, the Nerdist Channel showed a video of Bill Nye (the Science Guy) teaching Chris Hardwick how to tie a bow tie. Everyone involved is awesome. Enjoy! (Bill Nye has a show coming to the Nerdist Channel – more news when I get it!)

 

Also, I discovered that someone has written a theme song for Neil DeGrasse Tyson, possibly the most fantastic Man of Science around today.

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Dispatches From the Last Two Weeks

Posted by on Aug 6, 2012 in Games/Video/Board, Geek Culture, Web Shows | 0 comments

Spent the day getting caught up on the Web Show side of things. There’s a lot of good stuff that was posted in the last two weeks.

On last week’s The Flog, Felicia Day recommended a Mac-only application called¬†Skitch. It allows you to take a screenshot of, edit, and post online any picture that you come across. I’m pretty jazzed about it and I hope it will lead to more images being posted here.

On today’s The Flog, Felicia recommended a new MMO called Secret World. I have a friend playing this and he speaks highly of it to me, so I may check it out soon. It’s set in an alternate modern-day and involves conspiracies, puzzles, and lots of Lovecraftian mythos! Look for updates here about my experiences with the game.

Also, The Flog from today had me in hysterics. Just watch for the dog eating a cupcake and tell me if you don’t laugh yourself silly every time he appears.

Today there was also a new episode of Speakeasy, featuring part 2 of the interview with Zach Galifianakis.

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Serenity and Legos??

Posted by on Aug 6, 2012 in Geek Culture, Movies/Music/TV | 0 comments

Someone built an amazing 7-foot long model of Serenity out of LEGOs. It is to scale to work with a Firefly minifig crew. And it has interiors of the bridge, the sleeping quarters, the dining hall, and the cargo bay. And a detachable shuttle!

Here’s my question – where do you get the Firefly minifig crew? Did this guy build them himself?

Regardless, this is a-frakking-mazing.

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