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The Secret World Beta Weekend

Posted by on Jun 18, 2012 in Blog, Featured, Guides, The Secret World | 0 comments

I went into this beta weekend for “The Secret World” expecting to collect some material about the mechanics of the game. Last time I played I hadn’t touched tradeskills and didn’t pay to much attention to combat and or skills in general, either. Guess what? I didn’t get around to gather more facts. Instead I solved puzzles, listened to voice overs and pushed dialog buttons to take in more and more of the great story this game is telling their players.
Savage Coast

Competing secret societies are meddling in the world’s affairs, fighting each other and common enemies. Powerful mega corporations and powerless and corrupt political organisations are players as well. It’s never really clear if you fight paranormal activities or you are looking at failed experiments of the other involved parties. It isn’t clear if the experiments have failed, either. Chaos is introduced, just to learn how the system reacts. Every conspiracy theory is true, the water supply has been messed with, and they are ready to attach a tracking device to your spine anytime.

That’s what differentiates this game from all other MMO’s. The setting is unique and the story is unique. Do not approach it as a hack and slash game, don’t ask about the endgame. Sit back and enjoy the show, push that dialogue button again a few more times and pay attention. Take copious notes. You may need that information, or it hides yet another conspiracy.

There are more differences to other MMORPG’s. The game doesn’t have any classes nor levels. Only skills and abilities. These will improve over time and more abilities can be added. Your class is determined by the abilities you choose. Of interest is the fact that you are allowed to put only 7 active and 7 passive abilities into your hotbars. Skill levels replace classic levels, but with much more granularity, since those levels exist for almost ever type of equipment, weapons, talismans, belts and rings.

Other reviewers have complained about the quality of combat. I didn’t pay much attention, I just played. There is PVP, but I haven’t checked it myself. I’m just not interested in it. I still need to explore tradeskills. The basic mechanics are there, but what you can do with the items you collect isn’t fully clear, yet.

There will be another beta weekend starting this Friday, lets find out if I’ll collect more facts about the game or get lost in the content.

© Disclaimer: The Secret World
"The Secret World" is a registered trademark of Funcom GmbH. All logos, images and names are intellectual properties of Funcom GmBH unless otherwise noted. This site is not endorsed by or affiliated with Funcom GmbH.

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Something Wicked [Spoiler]

Posted by on Jun 17, 2012 in Guides, The Secret World | 2 comments

Something WickedI just finished one of the more difficult investigation missions in “The Secret World”. It made me pause a couple of times and lead to a good deal of head scratching. And using the game’s secret sauce “Google”. The Secret World has a built in browser and they expect you to use it, even to look up their puzzles directly, or just to research some of the riddles.

Norma Creed has seen plenty of strange things these days as well as in the past. And she’s dealt with it well. She recalls a series of murders in Kingsmouth a few years back in 2002. It looked like ravens were involved in it. Five steps will solve the mystery:

Tier 1.
Find more information about the murder, perhaps in a newspaper.


There’s an archive at City Hall.
Tier 2.
The sheriff’s office held back more information on the case.


Check the computer at the sheriff’s station.
Tier 3.
The suspect killed himself in his cell. Find a way to get inside the cell and examine it.


No key, no keypad, no saw or cutting torch. Go kill yourself. Find the message on the wall.
Tier 4.
There’s a message inside the cell, find out its meaning.

Hint 1

Follow the white raven while still in anima form. It will lead to a group of ravens reciting a nursery rime. Release four of them in the order given by the message in the cell.

Hint 2

Golden Girls, Sorrows Secret (6317)
Watch out when trying to do the final step in sequence. You share the quest area with others. If other players click things in different places, your sequence gets messed up. Coordinate with other players in the area.
Tier 5.
Find Jack.


But don’t kill him

And this sets the atmosphere of the secret world. Somebody mentioned in chat: “There are no puzzles in MMO’s”. Not until now, not in this form and not that many of them. I know Dungeons & Dragons Online has some and you might even call the platform jumping in SWTOR a puzzle. By myself, I’m not the greatest puzzle solver, but I just like the whole ambiance of the game. I could have left the Kingsmouth area for the next zone a good while ago, but those investigations will keep me here.

© Disclaimer: The Secret World
"The Secret World" is a registered trademark of Funcom GmbH. All logos, images and names are intellectual properties of Funcom GmBH unless otherwise noted. This site is not endorsed by or affiliated with Funcom GmbH.

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Zombie Survival Tip: Outsmart them

Posted by on Jun 12, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Zombie Survival Tips

Photo by: Sahlgoode

One of the biggest advantages you’ll have over your new found Zombie problem besides coordination and speed is the ability to plan your next move and have a contingency plan if things go wrong. Use these to your advantage. A simple start is always knowing your exits, quick climb areas and safe rest areas. Remember nowhere is safe, just “safer” and higher up is always better then hiding on the ground. A zombie might not see you hiding in the cupboard taking a nap, but he might stumble upon a tasty, napping treat.

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What I Learned from the Newbie Blogger Initiative

Posted by on Jun 4, 2012 in Blog | 2 comments

Newbie Blogger InitativeAbout a month ago Syp started the Newbie Blogger Initiative on his Biobreak Blog.  Since then about 100 sponsor blogs and 100 newbie blogs have joined the initiative.  Probably more than 5000 blog posts (my halftime count was 2540) have been produced by them in the month of May. I am a bit late for the NBI conclusion party, since I’ve been traveling for a week, but here’s a list of changes and ideas inspired by a month of community building among MMORPG bloggers.

  • Added 120 blogs to my RSS reader. This count isn’t final, since there some blogs that joined late. I will have to cut back that number, since I just can’t handle the volume.
  • Followed about 120 IDs more on twitter, effectively changing my plan for its use.  Initially, I thought to tweet only new articles, follow gaming companies and some key people in the industry. It would allow me to keep track of news, but to keep out the chatter. But in the end, that’s not the way it works. In order to be a member of the community, you have to interact with the community. Just linking new blog posts will be seen as pure noise and ignored. It did help that I found tdash and hootsuite as  Twitter readers helps me to manage the noise levels.
  • Aggronaut’s article about  the Google Reader Blogroll helped me managing my own blogroll and the MMONBI newbie and sponsor lists art the World’s End Tavern helped me keeping it up to date.
  • Changed the WP permalink structure, without yyyy/mm. It sounds innocent, but having dated links as a result of a Google search decreases the chance of being read. Until recently it WordPress advised against it for performance reasons, but those problems have been resolved since the most recent WordPress versions.
  • I decided against using livefyre in favor of commentluv. In the end livefyre will just collect to much data about me and my visitors. And it’s missing the commentluv functionality, most importantly the link back to a commenters recent post
  • Due to this post at TL-DR, I’ve become more diligent in tagging my posts, not necessarily the visible tags, but the Meta keywords, which are usually only visble to search engine spiders
  • I am using Photodropper now for stock photography. It allows me to insert creative commons licensed pictures into my through a pretty simple search in Flickr. This was mentioned in some discussion on the NBI headquarters forum
  • From Hawtpants of the Republic the headquarters forum comes advice about RSS footer, a plugin to add a copyright notice into the RSS feed. Unfortunately this has become necessary, since eventually you will find your content on some scrapers website.

There are more items on my To Do list because of the Newbie Blogger Initiative. It’s all a matter of getting myself organized again.

And here’s the big link dump to all newbie and sponsor articles, originally posted at Biobreak.

New blogs to check out:

Sponsor advice posts:

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Zombie Survival Tip

Posted by on Jun 3, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Zombie Apocalypse
There are numerous forms of viral transmission and no one can predict where the infection will come from. If CDC has yet to declare its transmission type remember the basics. Do not come in contact with any fluids from a zombie. Make sure to cover ALL mucus and salivary ducts while handling a zombie threat. A clean finishing blow on the last zombie can really be a downer if even the slightest drop of their blood gets in your eye. If you can’t get your hands on any military grade equipment, paint ball masks and basic gardening (or rubber wash gloves) make for a much safer kill.

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Name’s Eastwood, Frodo Eastwood

Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

I don’t like guns in fantasy MMO’s. I just can’t wrap my head around it. Here’s why:

Imagine Lord of the Rings without Pippin and Merry. Why? Because they had been shot by Farmer Bolger on one of their mushroom heists. Or at least shell shocked and unable to help Frodo and Sam.

Imagine Bree and The Prancing Pony. The ring wraiths / desperados are stepping into the bar wearing a full cowboy outfit, each of them with a pair of six shooters made by Samwise Colt. Doesn’t matter if they’d get the hobbits or not, it’s just mind boggling.

Now to Rivendell where the ring is presented to the future fellowship. Gimli pulls his revolver, shoots at the ring and sends it in a high arc off into the waterfall. End of story.

Given to Frodo by BilboOf course Bilbo will hand Frodo his mithril shirt and his pair of duel pistols with ebony grips named Right and Left.

Moria! They’d never escape Moria. The goblins would be armed to their teeth with muskets and perhaps a cannon or two and no need for cave trolls. Those brittle walls would have crumbled to dust from all the cannon balls and all the ricocheting bullets.

Lothlórien would be filled with elven sharpshooters and their spotters camouflaged in the bushes. Forget the notion of a quiet enchanted forest. The noise from the shooting range alone would be deafening.

Eomer's Cavalry was equipped with Gatling Guns How about Helm’s Deep being defended by musketeers? It would probably work, until some fire arrows hit the building where the powder is stored. No need to send the bomb into the gully. The day will be saved by Éomer’s cavalry coming down the hill, revealing a battery of Gatling guns once the canvas are pulled off their wagons.

There are more occasions where things can go wrong when using fire arms in Middle Earth. Likely scenarios include the main characters getting killed in the crossfire someplace. You can get some comic relief from Merry and Pippin having used their single shot pistols and starting to use them to bash their opponent’s heads. Tragedy can be introduced by Samwise being unable to load his pistol, being way to nervous with his beloved Frodo under attack. It ends with him emptying his powder horn in one clumsy move and again a pistol being used as a club.

And finally at theMountainofDoom, how would you like an ending with Frodo  shooting Gollum in the back after his finger got bitten off. Good thing it wasn’t his trigger finger. But now Frodo has to live with shooting a man in the back. What a hero.

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