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November ’19 Gaming Goals

November ’19 Gaming Goals

September/October Recap

September and October ended up being a bit of a… rough few months this year, much like it was last year. So I haven’t done much gaming for a plethora of reasons, including but not limited to depression, emergency pet health, and my own physical health. As such, I didn’t particularly meet many of my September goals between the two months.

  • Hit CP 150 on Warden (ESO) – As of the end of October, I’m at 190 CP. Which is probably much slower going than many other folks I know, but I’m surprised I’ve gotten this far with as casually as I’ve been playing.
  • Ding level 50 on Conjurer (FFXIV) – For now I’ve cancelled my FFXIV subscription. I logged in twice over the course of September, and not at all during October. I very much want to get back to it, but do not have the mental capacity to handle more than one game right now.
  • Finish Auridon (ESO) – I surprisingly managed to complete this at the start of October. Grahtwood is another story, however.
  • Finish Grahtwood (ESO) – I am nowhere near finishing this. I have barely started it due to not having the capacity to do so. Depression is a bitch.
  • Finish City of the Sun God (SWL) – Once again, I am nowhere near finishing this. I haven’t logged into the game in almost two months.
  • Finish side missions in Blue Mountains (SWL) – I think I’ve finished this one? I’d have to log in to check, so we’ll leave it as unfinished for now.
  • Finish next route in Sweet Fuse (Otome) – I didn’t even open my Vita case the past two months.
  • Figure out a game for #SportSeptember and play it (Community Game-Along) – Again, with a lack of energy to be able to handle even the games I want to play, I did not make it to the Community Game-Along.

November Goals

  • Hit CP 215 on Warden (ESO)
  • Finish Grahtwood (ESO)
  • Finish Witches Festival quest (ESO)
  • Finish next two routes in Sweet Fuse (Otome/Community Game-Along)
This post is a part of IntPiPoMo! You can find out more about IntPiPoMo and find the sign up form at this post. IntPiPoMo Count: 1/50
September ’19 Gaming Goals

September ’19 Gaming Goals

This post is (31/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.

August Recap

Setting up goals as a more focused month-based list rather than, “here’s what I wanna do soon!” has definintely made a difference in how I use my playtime, or how I decide not to game at all. And I think it helped a lot with the way work has been, and looks to be continuing for the remainder of 2019.

  • Complete Vvardenfell Master Angler (ESO) – I had intentions to finish this, but then dinged 50 and got caught up in quests and CP.
  • Ding 42 on Warden (ESO) – I surpassed this! I hit 50! Once I hit 40, I got into the “OMG I’M SO CLOSE MUST DING” mindset, which helped.
  • Hit Revered with The Unshackled (WoW) – About freaking time. UGH. I hate Nazjatar with a passion.
  • Hit Revered with Rustbolt Resistance (WoW) – I’m super close. I should hopefully have it in another day (possibly two if things don’t go my way after daily reset).
  • Ding level 30 on Conjurer (FFXIV) – I didn’t even think I’d hit 30, but I ended up dinging 35!
  • Start re-watching MSQ cutscenes (FFXIV) – I didn’t do any of this, because I mainly logged in for roulettes. I figure once I hit 50, I’ll re-watch them to continue where I’d left off before quitting.
  • Finish a play though of Detroit: Become Human (PS4) – I honestly didn’t touch my PS4 at all for the month, except to watch Detective Pikachu.

September Goals

  • Hit CP 150 on Warden (ESO)
  • Ding level 50 on Conjurer (FFXIV)
  • Finish Auridon (ESO)
  • Finish Grahtwood (ESO)
  • Finish City of the Sun God (SWL)
  • Finish side missions in Blue Mountains (SWL)
  • Finish next route in Sweet Fuse (Otome)
  • Figure out a game for #SportSeptember and play it (Community Game-Along)
What Wildstar Can Learn From The Secret World: Part 1

What Wildstar Can Learn From The Secret World: Part 1

This was originally posted on QueueTimes on 4 March 2016. It is being re-posted here to archive the work I have done in case the original website ever shuts down.

Two of my favorite games are The Secret World and WildStar, in no particular order. The Secret World has been Buy to Play since December 2012, and has a large chunk of time riding the “free to play” wave under its belt. By comparison, WildStar went Free to Play in September 2015. The Secret World recently reworked their membership benefits, and there are quite a few things Carbine could learn from Funcom in this regard.

An Aside on RNG Boxes

First, I’d like to cover something outside of membership benefits that WildStar can take a note on. One of the big things in WildStar right now is the unhappiness with RNG boxes. The Secret World capitalizes on RNG bags and boxes as part of their holidays, and has added a feature, recently, that WildStar would be wise to look into if they plan to keep using these RNG boxes. In The Secret World, when a player purchases a RNG bag with real-life money (via Funcom points, or bonus points), the bag drops a Lucky Coin.

These coins can be turned in at a vendor to purchase some dropped items from these RNG bags if the desired item wasn’t obtained, assuming the player has enough coins. Generally the vendors contain the rarest of the drops, as well as a few recolors of some items. Also of note is the fact that RNG bag drops are not character bound, allowing players to buy or trade the items despite being cash shop items. Many players feel this is a fair system, and utilize the vendor a fair bit. If WildStar would implement something similar, I think it would help to quell some of the anger associated with RNG boxes.

Now, let’s get to the Meat and Potatoes. The Secret World and WildStar are two different games with two different systems. For the sake of comparison, I’m going to be summarizing what each benefit of membership provides to players to try to better form a base for said comparison.

Member Benefits in The Secret World

Membership in The Secret World costs 15 USD monthly, unless you are a Grand Master (someone who purchased the Lifetime Subscription while it was available), and provides the following benefits over buy to play players.

Increase to all experience gained

Experience (EXP) in The Secret World works differently than in other MMOs. EXP is used to give you Ability Points (AP) and Skill Points (SP). These are used to fill in your Ability Wheel, or in layman’s terms, to purchase your weapon spells and proficiencies. Once a player has filled their Ability Wheel to their liking, AP and SP can be applied to purchase and work towards other forms of progression for their character, including: auxiliary weapon skills (a third weapon type, including items such as rocket launchers and whips), Augments (which attach special effects to weapon spells), and AEGIS (a mechanic to penetrate mobs’ shields with specific damage types, and purchased from EXP gained specifically from quests in Tokyo). There are wheels for all of these, and players will always need EXP to fill these in, making EXP extremely important for continued character progression.

Token capacity increase

The cap on tokens members are able to gain have been increased by 20%. Marks of the Pantheon (MoP), an end-game token used to purchase gear, Augments, etc., had the cap raised weekly, and both Black Bullion (BB) and MoP had their total capacity increased by 20% as well.

Reduction to mission cooldowns

Quests in The Secret World are called Missions. Having a reduction from 18 hours to 8 hours makes it easier to pick-and-choose to complete daily instead of running missions that may not be a favorite (stealth and sabotage missions, anybody?). It is even more important when players enter the “endgame” missions in Transylvania and Tokyo which have a default cooldown of close to three days, making the cooldown reduction an extreme benefit for those pursuing endgame.

Reduction to Raid lockouts

Raids used to have a three-day lockout, and have now been reduced to 18 hours. Most games have a week-long lockout, so The Secret World was shorter to begin with. However, this will benefit progression-focused guilds working on Nightmare Kills of the newest raids, as well as gearing up alts and new raiders.

Free Anima Leaps

Anima Wells are spawn points throughout the world used to either fast-travel in a zone, or somewhere your anima spirit releases so you can run back to your corpse (or, interestingly enough, complete various missions in this form).

Increase to all Black Bullion gained

Black Bullion (BB) is one of the currencies in The Secret World gained via completing quests (from the very first quest you complete and every one after) and various objectives in PvP as well as through weekly challenges. It can be used to purchase Quality Level (QL) 10 gear, which is equivalent to end-game starter-blues in other games, as well as upgrade these QL 10 gear and glyphs (slotted bonus stats). It can also be used for fun cosmetic things—such as costumes and titles. Black Bullion is also used to upgrade AEGIS and Augments.

Item Store Discount

Members receive a 10% store discount, while Grand Masters receive a 20% store discount. I think almost anybody would agree that a store discount is a good thing. Especially when…

Bonus Points every 30 days

Members and Grand Masters receive 1200 Bonus Points (a $10 Funcom Point equivalent) every 30 days, which are valid for six months. This is a nice chunk of change to spend monthly just for paying your monthly subscription, especially with the store discount in place.

Two Lockout Timer Reset items every 30 days

These items completely reset the cooldowns on all missions, raids, and scenarios (dungeons). Some people may not use these items at all, whereas other people may use them for progression reasons, or just to be able to help friends run content.

Loyalty Rewards

The way The Secret World handles Loyalty Rewards is unique. Rewards are provided at 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 180 days, and every 180 days after that. However, the rewards are handed out based upon how much subscription time has been paid for upfront. Grand Masters receive all the rewards immediately. If someone purchases a 90 day subscription up front, they will receive up through the 90 day rewards. The rewards also never go away if a subscription is canceled, and when re-subbing, members pick up where they left off for rewards and subscription time towards them.

All in all, The Secret World’s system is competitive, fair, and has lots of benefits to all types of players, whether they be focused on end-game content, are new players, like to play casually, enjoy various competitive levels of PvP, or are hardcore raiders. Next time, we’ll take a look at what WildStar offers, and how they stack up.

August 2019 Note: This post is (24/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.
TSW Revamps Member Benefits

TSW Revamps Member Benefits

This was originally posted on QueueTimes on 9 February 2016. It is being re-posted here to archive the work I have done in case the original website ever shuts down.

Today, Funcom’s The Secret World implemented their re-worked membership benefits. These new benefits include:

  • Loyalty rewards based on days purchased
  • 30% increase to all Experience earned
  • 50% bonus to all Black Bullions gained
  • 8-hour Mission cooldowns (down from 18-hours)
  • 2 Lockout Timer Reset items every 30 days (resetting all active cooldowns for Missions/Raids/Scenarios)
  • 1200 Bonus Points every 30 days ($10 equivalent, valid for 6 months)
  • 10% Item Store discount (20% for Grand Masters)
  • 20% token capacity increase
  • 18-hour Raid lockouts (down from 3-days)
  • Free Anima Leaps

So far, players seem overall excited and happy with the membership changes, which previously included just the store discount and bonus points (of two different types). The second type of bonus point, Veteran Points (VP), are being phased out. The Veteran store is still available to those with VP left to spend, but will disappear once that VP has been spent. There is no word, yet, on if items will be reskinned (or not) and released in the Item Store, though Community Manager Andy “Odonoptera” Benditt, has asked players to reach out to him with any questions they may have about the new system.

Funcom also released their Valentine’s Event today, ending on February 23. New bags and items are available at various vendors, including a new mount and pet. Bags purchased through the item store will award Lucky Coins. Two bags may be purchased from a vendor daily throughout the event, but will not provide Lucky Coins upon opening.

August 2019 Note: This post is (23/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.
The Secret World Christmas 2015

The Secret World Christmas 2015

This was originally posted on MMO Games on 29 December 2015. It is being re-posted here to archive the work I have done in case the original website ever shuts down.

The Secret World launched its Christmas event for 2015 on Thursday, December 17th. The event will run approximately two and a half weeks; until January 4th, 2016. With Christmas hot on the heels of the release of Issue 13, there are no new Christmas missions available, but the developers have provided the players with a plethora of new items from two new bags including, but not limited to: a snowboard mount, new costumes, and two new companion pets–mini-Hel and Krampus.

While some fans are disappointed that there will not be any new content for this years’ Holiday season, there are still three events from prior years to go back to, and for newer players to devour.

The End of Days

In 2012, the world was going to end, according to the Mayan calendar–or at least our interpretation of it. Who wouldn’t decide to capitalize on such an event? Luckily, The Secret World did just that.

While the current version of “End of Days” is a series of quests, there are stories of various events that took place during 2012: hoards of undead shambling about and three giant harbingers of destruction that roamed the world. Now, players get a trail of quests to lead them to the final boss–Bolon Yokte’ K’uh, along with in-depth lore, and a tinfoil hat.

Completing these for the first time was exciting but a tad difficult. The quest location isn’t made obvious by a starting breadcrumb, and each consecutive step was slightly irksome to figure out. Amongst the group of new players I’m a part of, the consensus was that while the final boss is fun, and a tad difficult, the overall design of the missions and their lack of information definitely show how much the game has improved in both providing breadcrumbs and leaving enough open space to allow for exploration and puzzle solving.

Meet the Krampus

In 2013, The Secret World introduced a new event titled “A Mother of a Season,” which most players lovingly refer to as “the Krampus event”. The Secret World excels at taking real-world events, and mythology, and turning them into something new within the world the game inhabits. In this instance, they combined Krampusnacht with Niflheim and Hel.

Krampusnacht, also known as Krampus Night, is the night before the Feast of St. Nicholas when a wicked devil appears in the streets to cart away evil children to either drown them, eat them, or drag them off to Hell. There are variations to the tale and the way Krampus looks, but he is always a devil with cloven hooves, horns, and black or brown hair.

Throughout the world, players will find Krampus wandering about. After attacking them, the Krampus will attempt to run away back to Niflheim–an icy dimension of Hell within the game. In Norse Mythology, Niflheim is one of two primordial realms, the second being Muspelheim, a dimension of fire. Within Niflheim, players need to destroy multiple Krampus to discover the secrets to summoning Hel herself, whom in Norse mythology is a daughter of the trickster god, Loki.

These missions, as before, are lacking in breadcrumbs. It was difficult to figure out what to do first, especially considering there aren’t many missions outside of completing Niflheim and summoning Hel. The group consensus within the new players group was that it was too difficult to complete coming in with an average QL of 7.5 among us. After multiple tries, the group decided to go back to completing missions unrelated to the Holidays at hand, to possibly come back to later with some help from Sanctuary to complete as two groups instead of one.

A Magical Flute

Upon logging in, one receives a text message to head to the London theatre to partake in a viewing of Mozart’s opera, The Magic Flute. Things go awry, however, and players are sent to Venice to discover clues within Saint Nicholas’ masonic tomb to stop an evil plot that is afoot.

This mission from 2014 capitalizes on what The Secret World is best at–connecting real-world objects to those within The Secret World. The opera in question, The Magic Flute, was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and premiered in September of 1791 in Vienna. The plot revolves around a young man, Tamino, who is given a magical flute by the Queen of Night who turns sorrow into joy. The Queen’s servants send Tamino on a mission to rescue the Queen’s daughter, Pamina, from capture. Tamino and Pamina must then undergo various trials and challenges before they are able to escape and to bring about a new age of brotherhood to man.

The opera itself has ties to the Freemasons, Mozart himself being one. The opera is also influenced by the Enlightenment philosophy of liberty, progress, reason, tolerance, and fraternity, with large allegorical inferences within the smaller plot details. These influences scream to be used within an environment such as one developed in The Secret World.

This quest is not for the faint of heart, or those of lower QL gear. This warning has kept the rest of the newer players away from the Holiday event, knowing that if Hel was difficult, the Flute would be even more so.

Final Thoughts

As a newer player to The Secret World, there is still so much I am discovering in the game, and I am always excited to learn more of the lore. As I have mentioned before, the biggest selling point that brought me back to the game is the story-driven content that the game excels at. Knowing that I have all of the prior Holiday events available to me is an appealing thing, however, it is also sad that Christmas events don’t seem to hit a stride like the Halloween events do until the Magic Flute.

I can understand gating content, however, I would love to see these missions be adjusted to be a tad more new-player friendly. Whether it be lowering the QL level required to be more in-line with the QL 6-7 available in The Blue Mountains or making content more desirable. It feels as though something should be done to make things more accessible.

While the Halloween events were by no-means easy, they were something a group of newer players were able to complete without trouble, aside from being content-gated by not having started Kaidan. The Secret World can learn from itself by taking a look at its Halloween events, emulating what makes these great for new and old players alike, and then copying this formula into their Winter Holiday events.

August 2019 Note: This post is (21/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.
The Secret World Halloween 2015

The Secret World Halloween 2015

This was originally posted on MMO Games on 31 October 2015. It is being re-posted here to archive the work I have done in case the original website ever shuts down.

Here Comes Halloween

The Secret World launched their Halloween event for 2015 on Tuesday October 27th. The event will run three weeks; until November 17th, 2015. There are new quests, and all of the Halloween content from previous years is being reactivated so that players can experience it if they never have before, as well as repeat specific content they may have enjoyed previously. There is also a new dance and new bags available, and players will be able to purchase last year’s bags from the Item Shop for the dance and items contained within.

There are two new bags–one called Haunted Sundries which is available from participating in the event, as well as for purchase in the Item Store, and the Sack of Samhain Revels, available only from the store. They contain new outfits, masks, and other items, including the new Ghost Rider inspired motorcycle Romain “Tilty” Amiel showed off and gave away during “The Streaming Ones” on Friday October 23rd, called the Geist Rider Bike. It is worthy of any Ghost Rider fan, and is a rare item that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

This year’s event is called “The Seven Silences”, which focuses on a piece of lore and turns it completely on its head. It is impossible for Secretworlders to die, (some may call them immortal) and it seems that one has been able to commit suicide. It was also noted during the stream that there will be at least one tie-in mission to Funcom’s newest game also released Tuesday: The Park. There are already tie-ins from Solomon Island that link The Park to The Secret World, and this will be one more nugget for all the lore-fiends to devour.

Previous Years’ Events

In 2012, the first event, Samhain, included various missions (quests), achievements, and lore based around The Cat God. The mission chain began with an investigation mission, arguably some of the best quest content-type in the game, forcing you to search the web and build upon your knowledge of the world in-game, as well as outside of it. Kingsmouth residents have lost their cats, and in this world, it can’t just be that they ran away. Your role is to investigate what is going on, and from there, you’ll need to locate a portal so you can stop the summoning ritual and save Kingsmouth. For the moment, anyway.

In 2013, the Halloween event build upon the previous year’s events with a total of ten more missions to expand the story in Kingsmouth. So much for saving them last year! These missions deepen the stories of the characters within Kingsmouth, and delve into their past, and their present. The missions give us more of a window into the relationships amongst the inhabitants of Kingsmouth, and they are very interesting to complete.

Last year introduced a brand new Halloween event called The Broadcast, which focused around conspiracy theories related to numbers stations. Numbers stations are an odd duck with a cult following–they are radio broadcasts that utilize synthesized voices to read out strings of numbers, or incomprehensible coded messages that loop. Number station conspiracy theories have been referenced throughout pop-culture, including: Lost, Fringe, Welcome to Night Vale, and even Call of Duty: Black Ops. It would be only natural for The Secret World to join the following and create an entire story revolving around the conspiracy.

Why I’m Excited

As a newer player to The Secret World, I am excited to learn more of the lore in the game. One of the big selling points that brought me back to the game is the story-driven content, which the Developers of the game excel at. Knowing that I can complete all of the Halloween-related events from the beginning is a very appealing thing, especially since some of the past years’ content builds upon itself, and upon the general lore of the game.

There’s so much to enjoy about the game in general, one of my favorites being Investigation-type missions, where you must take the time outside of the game to complete research, and find tools (for instance a Morse Code reader) to help you on your journey within the world. There are no holds barred, and that makes the game extremely immersive and in-line with our day-to-day lives. The Secret World feels as if it could actually exist.

The developers don’t hold back when it comes to creating story in The Secret World, and they often re-use characters and locations to deepen the story and create, a deep and interesting world. There is a broad story behind these characters and missions, and these stories extend past the zones they are located in. The cadre of characters aren’t just named NPCs with fluff stories, but instead have a rich history behind them and their abilities, as well as how they came to be in the ever-darkening world that is The Secret World.

Why It’s The Bee’s Knees

The Secret World is a world full of intrigue, the occult, secret societies, and mysteries galore. It is steeped in horror and dramatic anticipation in many modes via storytelling, music, video and investigation. Every day there are ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night from a plethora of locales and sub-cultures–it’s Halloween every day in The Secret World.

While there are many games that create events inspired by Halloween, in many different fashions, The Secret World is the game that does it right, and does it best. The missions are full of depth, and not justa repeat of dailies and instances–there is a story worthy of any horror junkie out there. One could argue that if it’s Halloween every day in The Secret World, the game’s Halloween events themselves must be like Christmas.

August 2019 Note: This post is (20/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.
The Streaming Ones: Issue #12

The Streaming Ones: Issue #12

This was originally posted on QueueTimes on 15 July 2015. It is being re-posted here to archive the work I have done in case the original website ever shuts down.

For those not in-the-know, the Developers over at The Secret World have started putting together DevStreams(called The Streaming Ones) every so often, and talk about things like past content and how they designed it, as well as upcoming content. As it is a new LiveStream over at Funcom’s official Twitch channel, it’s still sussing out its format. Regardless, it is always entertaining and informative.

On Friday, July 10th, Lead Designer Romain Amiel and Lead Systems Designer Andrew Ryker got together and did a big reveal on the next issue release for The Secret World–Issue #12–entitled To The Dark Tower Below. The issue will be released in two parts–the first part coming mid-August, and the second part a “few weeks later”. The Issue itself will be focused around the Orochi company and what’s beneath the tower.

Dungeons

There will be two dungeons released in this Issue in two parts. The first dungeon is called the Manufactory, and we will encounter three bosses there. We got glimpses of the first two bosses (a tank, and Orochi balls), but we don’t know who the third one is. Just that we have met them before, and they are not happy with us at all.

The second dungeon delves into the bowels of the Tower and explores the experimentation that Orochi had been performing, such as Vampires and Lycanthropes. We got a taste of some concept art from both dungeons, and a “dungeon delve” of the Manufactory.

Both dungeons will also be available in both Elite and Nightmare (aside from Normal), and the Elite version will include new weapon skins, as well as QL 10.5 Blue gear to help get folks ready for the new content.

Raids and Lairs
There will be three free raids available with Issue 12 to everyone who owns the base game. There were also a bunch of exploit fixes, reward updates, and difficulty updates. The New York raid will remain unchanged, and the Eidolon raid will no longer need the puzzle pieces to unlock it. The Flappy raid will be returning as ten-man raid content (which had the viewers excited beyond belief)! The Nightmare versions of these three raids will be specifically available to those that purchase Issue 12.

Lairs are going to now provide extra bags and rewards for all participants to get more players involved. Those with the Lair keys will be able to summon an extra boss and personally receive more items from said bosses. The Devs are doing this in an effort to get more people interested in obtaining the keys.

Currencies
The TL;DR is: All current currencies (excluding PAX) will be turning into Black Bullion. The Devs want to streamline what players do, (whether it be raids, revisiting old content, etc.) and help encourage the “play how you want to play” attitude.

They will, however, be adding in one new currency called the Mark of the Pantheon for endgame content, which will be the “new Black Bullion”. They will also be enstating currency caps both weekly and overall (total). All excess currency past the caps will be converted into packs, though no information yet on what those packs will entail.

Progression Cap
Gear will be getting a boost as well! The cap will no longer be 10.5, but will instead increase to QL 10.7 in the first half of the Issue, and from 10.7 to QL 11 in the second half of the Issue with Nightmares. Glyphs, however, will remain at current QL and are not upgradeable.

PvP Updates
Various PvP updates were also mentioned that will set the stage for Issue 13 where there will be more PvP updates. There will be an increase in powers in Equal Footing, putting players at approximately QL 11. To provide more interactivity and participation in PvP, there will no longer be passive boosts from holding objectives, and instead be approximately five-minute refreshes with different Missions to complete in Fusang. This, in turn, helps combat the AFK-PvP phenomenon. Updates to Venice (purple) gear were also covered, with changes turning it into customizable dungeon gear, putting everyone on the same level gear-wise.

New and Updated Features
There were a plethora of new and updated features introduced during the DevStream. These features will be free for everyone, and improve the quality of life for players.

First, the Social and Looking For Group (LFG) windows will be getting improvements, mainly so players begin to use them. You will be able to add specificly what you are looking for by using comments (e.g.: 10.5 LF18/18). It can be used for dungeons, cabal (guild) recruitment, parties, RP events, etc.

There will be a Dungeon Finder added in during the second half of Issue #12, allowing you to queue specifically for the roles you would like to fill, and the dungeons (and difficulty levels) you would like to complete.

The Devs are also removing dungeon lockouts for Nightmare dungeons to allow people to “play the way you want to play”. Want to grind out your Black Bullion up to the cap? Go for it! Have only one or two days available to play and want to do as much as you can during that time? It’s all yours to pursue!

A new feature, called Challenges are also going to be added in Issue #12. They will encourage people to do certain acts over others–sort of like rotating dailies, or the contract system in WildStar. The rewards from these Challenges will be tied to Pantheon Marks and Black Bullion.

Apparently, Tilty just doesn’t dance. No matter how hard other Devs try…

The build for Issue #12 will be coming to Test Live soon, and the devs would like to hear your feedback on all the new and updated features–especially all of the balancing that has gone into reworking the raids, dungeons, and PvP. So be sure to check it out and provide feedback!

August 2019 Note: This post is (17/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.
30 Video Game Answers, Part 3

30 Video Game Answers, Part 3

This post is (8/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.

The other day I decided to turn a post from 2017 into some prompts for folks. Part two’s prompts can be found here. It comes to an end with this post, part three of three!

(Unrelated: I know I’m “behind” on posts, and while depression may have gotten the best of me for the past few days, I’m going to try to post an extra post or two every so often to try and catch up on the 31 posts. I may not hit 31, but I very much want to try.)

Favorite Protagonist

Just like with the antagonist question in part 2, I’m not particularly sure how to answer this one. There’s lots of characters I like, but there’s no real single protagonist I can pull out and say, “Yes! This is my favorite!”. I attribute this to playing mostly MMOs. I think I’d have a better answer to this if I had played more RPGs when I first started gaming, or if I played more now.

Game You Think Had the Best Graphics/Art Style

WildStar. I know it’s still not everybody’s cup of tea with the art style, but how can you go wrong? I loved it so much. It made me so happy with how unique it was.

Favorite Classic Game

What defines something as a “classic” game? To be fair, I really only played a few handheld games until we got an N64 in the house, but I never really had any other consoles until I purchased a PS2 in college. So I never really played a lot of “classic” games (if I’m thinking of what might actually classify as “classics”).

A Game You Plan on Playing

As I mentioned last week, Them’s Fightin’ Herds is on my most recent to play list!

Best Voice Acting

I unashamedly adore the voice acting in Secret World. It helps that I love that Jeff Combs and Armin Shimerman do various voices throughout the game. But overall, the voice acting and character development are what make me keep going back even if the combat makes me twitch.

Most Epic Scene Ever

What defines a “scene”? A cutscene? I think one of the ones that has stuck with me the most is the reveal of Drusera’s connection to the Entity we saw in Blighthaven in WildStar.

Favorite Game Developer

I’m going to leave details for Developer Appreciation Week, but I really dig Aksys Games. I’m sure it helps that they’ve pushed to localize a lot of otome. By extension, I suppose Idea Factory (and their Otomate brand) is probably one I adore, since those are the games getting localized. Though favorite… I don’t know if I could claim a favorite. I loved Carbine for WildStar. I love Funcom for Secret World… This would be like picking your favorite child.

A Game You Thought You Wouldn’t Like, but Ended Up Loving

To be brutally honest? WildStar. “What, Chestnut? YOU? Not like WILDSTAR?!” I know, I know. But when I played in the beta, while I was intrigued, it didn’t quite grab me. And I thought come launch that I just… wouldn’t like it. But I’d play it because that’s what my Ex and his friend wanted to play. In the end, I loved the game more than they did, and it still makes me sad that it’s gone (even if I wasn’t playing much at the end).

Your Favorite Game of All Time

This isn’t a fair question. This is, once again, like asking to pick a favorite child. Of all time? This could change the moment I play another game, and something gets replaced. Does it require that it is something I could pick up and play again at a moment’s notice and have fun with it? Is it something I can leave as one-and-done? Could I count an MMO for this? I honestly just don’t know. There are so many games that I could list for this as an answer (WildStar, Secret World, EVE, Hatoful Boyfriend, Skyrim, Code Realize), but none of them feel completely “right” as the most favored.

30 Video Game Answers, Part 2

30 Video Game Answers, Part 2

This post is (7/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.

The other day I decided to turn a post from 2017 into some prompts for folks. I’m continuing it with this post, part two of three!

Gaming System of Choice

I know it’s cliche, but it really is the computer. When it comes down to it, I do love my handhelds and PS4, but I just have a larger collection on the computer than anything else.

A Game Everyone Should Play

My top four suggestions are not everybody’s cup of tea, but they include: Secret World Legends (for the story), The Park, Hatoful Boyfriend, and Code: Realize.

A Game You’ve Played More Than Five Times

Pretty much any of the dating sims I’ve played could fall into this category. I have to (aka like to) 100% the game for all the CGs and story!

Current or Most Recent Gaming Wallpaper

Uh, so it’s one of the CGs from Code: Realize of Saint Germain, but I don’t feel right posting it on this blog because it could very much be construed as if it were NSFW, even though he’s pretty much trying to murder the MC.

Post a Screenshot from the Game You’re Playing Right Now

Game with the Best Cutscenes

I honestly don’t know if I could choose. Especially since some games, like Detroit: Become Human, are changing the way that cutscenes work.

Favorite Antagonist

Another one that I honestly don’t know the answer to. I don’t play many games that have memorable antagonists, or ones I’ve connected with on any particular level.

Picture of a Game Setting You Wished You Lived In

Favorite Genre

I could say “visual novels”, or “dating sims”, or in particular, “otome”. But it really just comes down to a game with a story that I find captivating.

Game with the Best Story

Right now I’d really have to say it’s a toss up between Elder Scrolls Online and Secret World Legends for me.

A Game Sequel Which Disappointed You

I don’t do many sequels. The only game sequel I even own is the second Code: Realize, and I have yet to play it, so I don’t have an answer to this one, I suppose.

30 Video Game Answers, Part 1

30 Video Game Answers, Part 1

This post is (6/31) of the Blaugust 2019 event! You can find out more about Blaugust over at Belghast’s blog. I (Chestnut) created a Twitter list of all participants. UltrViolet created an OPML file of all the bloggers to import into your feed reader.

Brain Weasels

This is a post that has been sitting in my backlog since 2017. It’s one of those evergreen pieces I mentioned it is a good practice to have around for bad days. And today was a bad head day. It wasn’t as difficult to get out of bed this morning as it has been the past few weeks, which is a plus, but it has been a very difficult day for concentration, focus, and parsing of feelings and thoughts (not exceptionally brain weasely, per se, but they’re there in the background). I even took a nap when I got home from work because I didn’t feel like I could reasonably function for the remainder of the day if I didn’t.

I really didn’t want to miss a day of Blaugust, but figuring out what to write about, despite plenty of half-written posts and ideas was difficult. I went through seven or eight different posts now in various states of done-ness, and nothing felt exactly… right. There was lots of over-thinking and self-doubt. So I figured something a little more light-hearted and fun was a good idea. Plus, I figured I’d split it into 3 parts, and people could also use it for prompts since it is Topic Brainstorming Week this week for Blaugust!

The Questions

I pulled this idea from Wolfy back in 2017. At the time there was one of those, “here’s a picture with questions, I’ll answer a question for every like!” things going around the gaming/blogging Twitter. I’m terrible at keeping up with those, the majority of the time, but had really wanted to participate in it. I saw that Wolfy had co-opted in a blog post format and thought it would be much more fun to do it that way as well… since you were still limited to 140 characters at the time!

Your First Video Game

I honestly can’t remember. I think it was something like Megaman or the Mario Bros. game where you jump around dodging stuff Kong throws at you to try and rescue Peach. I know it was something handheld that was on the original Gameboy. The first real one I remember is playing Paperboy after our grandmother gave my brother and me a Nintendo 64. That game was terrible but also so much fun.

Your Favorite Character

For those that know me well, this comes as no surprise. (I always end up loving the [SPOILER] murder-husbandos in dating sims, somehow…)

A Game That is Underrated

There’s a lot of games that could fit this, and choosing one out of all of them is a difficult task. But honestly, I think it’s going to have to be The Park. A lot of people don’t think they’d be interested in it because it’s, “just a walking sim”, but the depth of the story was pretty incredible for a few hours of gameplay. I do think it seems to resonate more with folks that live with mental illness compared with those that don’t, as well. Regardless, it’s a game I wish more folks would try (if horror is your thing). It’s also made by Funcom, and considered canon to Secret World, so that also works a little bit in its favor for me.

Your Guilty Pleasure Game

I could swear I’ve written about how much I love this game previously (but can’t find the post), but it is Monster Rancher Advance (1 and 2), hands down.

Game Character You Feel You Are Most Like

I don’t ever particuarly identify with video game characters. I suppose the closest would be any MC in an otome. While they’re their own characters, I always end up picking what I would want or do rather than what I think the character would want or do.

Most Annoying Character

SUN-IN-FREAKING-SHADOW.

Favorite Game Couple

This is a difficult one for me. The only games I’ve truly played that had a focus on a love story of some sort have been dating sims, and while I have favorite pairings there, I don’t feel they fully apply, because it’s the fact that I like the character I pick as the MC, rather than the MC as a couple with the chosen character.

Best Soundtrack

Bless Jeff Kurtenacker. He’s also looking for questions any of you fellow WildStar fans may have about the music for the game to bolster his YouTube channel, so be sure to reply to him on Twitter!!

Saddest Game Scene

I’m honestly not sure. I have cried at a handful of video games, but I couldn’t, off the top of my head, tell you which one has been the saddest for me. Or even remember which ones I specifically cried over. So I’m going to tweak this prompt: Most Memorable Time a Game Made You Sad/Cry. And that, honestly, would have to be when WildStar shut down.

Best Gameplay

Heck, I honestly don’t know. I don’t really pay attention to gameplay within a game unless it annoys me or truly makes the game unplayable for me. I do have to admit that I enjoy telegraphs and slightly more active combat, especially in MMOs. So as far as MMOs go, I’d list WildStar, and ESO. Secret World could almost make it on the list if certain aspects of movement weren’t so dang clunky.