Tell us how you really feel (Episodes 31, and Specials GW2, and TSW)
This is the block to throw off my counter, since despite Special Episodes not being part of my normal episode counter, they are still episodes, and will be included in the list when I reach them chronologically. I can’t believe I actually did two of those in a row. Oh, I get to shit on Guild Wars 2 now? This is going to turn out great.
Episode 31: Tribes Ascend
Oh Hi-Rez, you’re an “eggs in one basket” sort of company, aren’t you? Yep, this is the game that left Global Agenda to rot before Hi-Rez did the exact same thing to Tribes Ascend when SMITE gained popularity. It was a pretty OMG U NEED TO PLAY DIS title when in it’s heyday, and I arrived admittedly late to the party. There was no new maps or features being made to the game, so on the plus side, I don’t ever have to backtrack this game. I really did like it though, and was frighteningly good at it.. at least until it started putting me into higher tier matches. I think it’s still under my “Favorites” list in Steam despite the fact I haven’t played it in years. If you have a good group to go in with, play it by all means. It’s flashy fun action, but I’m pretty sure it’s a ghost town ever since Hi-Rez announced they were pulling active development on the game.
Special Episode: Guild Wars 2
I really do not like this game. I do not like its dumb hype train. I think it’s rather weak and lame. I really do NOT like this game.
Personal gripes aside I can see the merits and appeal to the game but so much about GW2 irks me, from the frothing fanbase that seriously can’t understand why someone would have a problem with this game, to the developer reliance on being SO DIFFERENT that it makes nonsensical decisions, like removing the long established “holy MMO Trinity” of “Tank, Healer, and DPS” and replacing it with… oh hey look over there! Isn’t this game pretty?!
Or choosing established fantasy classes and giving them non-traditional weaponry like Rangers starting with throwing axes when being labeled “masters of the bow”, making 2-handed hammers a ranged weapon, or removing traditional quests with a system that relies entirely on waiting for Dynamic events to happen, because LOOK HOW DIFFERENT WE ARE.
The whole game irks me like no other, because despite it’s desperate attempts to be different, it’s really, REALLY not. The combat is standard Target and Click. The platforming is nonsensical and downright unfair, tossing invisible walls at you when the devs decide that route would be “too easy” and pixel sized jumping precision in a game where the slightest bit of lag can toss you to the ground and force you to start a 10 minute trek all over. The world is artificially scaled to an unrealistic size to give this feeling of vastness, when all it accomplishes is making everything feel so dead and empty. The community would actively defend horrific immersion-breaking and game-breaking bugs, like the worst infestation of botters I’d ever seen in a title, and that completely broken and spastic camera, just so they didn’t have to admit there was something wrong with it. Something that could have been easily fixed. Something that wasn’t even present in the beta. I really, really don’t like this game.
I remember the day I stop playing, too. I always had the game on my hard drive, and updated it occasionally. I had that feeling that someday I would go back to it. I remember logging in one day and thinking, “God this game is really nice looking. I wonder why I stopped playing it. I got into the field, walked several steps into what felt like nothingness, felt the emptiness and boredom hit me all at once like a truck, and went, “NOPE.” then logged out immediately, and uninstalled it right afterward. There fanboys. NOW you can get mad at me for what I said about this stupid overhyped thing.
Special Episode: The Secret World
It is NO secret that I love the shit out of this game. I have an Illuminati symbol on my car, a custom made flask, and glass and I even created and wore TWO separate Illuminati Deck outfits (Slayer and Bodyguard). It’s unquestionably my favorite game out there. I love the atmosphere, the story, the characters, as even basic NPCs, have personalities, memes, and stories attached to them, and you care about every single person you meet. It’s simply amazing to behold. The themes of the game are some of the most dark and unsettling things I’ve seen in any game ever, like finding an off-shoot of a cult group that’s actively recruiting and manipulating autistic and socially outcast children to be used as weapons of war.
I greatly look forward to every new content patch that comes out and will play the game for days at a time until I’ve had my fill, and need to wait for the next update.
If someone says to me, “What’s your favorite MMO?” the answer is “The Secret World”. Enough said.
…that out of the way, I know that in this case people accuse me of bias, and trying to upsell the game. I do not. As much as I love this game, I know there are plenty of things wrong with it. So much so, that for the sake of turning this whole thing on its head, I’m going to list off several really big problems I have with the game, just to show fanatics you can hate the things you love, and don’t have to blindly accept their garbage. Ready? Let’s do this.
- Broken and buggy
This game was built on a broken engine that was on its way out. As a result, there’s plenty they just CAN’T do to fix the game, and it’s one of the most poorly optimized, laggy and crash-happy MMOs out there. I’ve bugged out quests just by clicking on something too fast. Being too far away from a party member when obtaining an item, rendered the rest of the quest unplayable for anyone left in the party. We once crashed the server by having 12+ people run the snowmobile quest in Issue 7. The game gives me a crashed error message… when I shut it off. It’s a game on a very unstable platform, and is easily the biggest frustration.
- Empty promises
Hey guys? Remember how great it was to have monthly content patches when the game was subscription based? Remember not having to wait nearly a year between Issues 9 and 10? The awesome extra scenario modes for Issue 8? That amazing auxiliary weapon released in Issue 10? That super cool Sidestories quest in Happy Smiles Kindergarten?
In case you can’t tell, none of those things happened, but all of them were toted or heavily hinted at in developer updates, and all but vanished from subsequent ones. It’s quite often that the devs give us hints, clues and even announcements of upcoming content, but months will go by without a thing, followed by an update that feels a lot… lighter than previously promised. It’s worrisome and disheartening.
- Funcom hates it
This is really more of a speculative theory of ours, but a few of us get the feeling that Funcom, at least those in the high up seats, really don’t like this game. We feel they outright resent it. When the devs had fun with their former backlash to sexy female outfits by including a “mankini” as an April Fools Joke, it was immediately removed from the game by the publishers who claimed it didn’t fit with the serious feel of the game. A game where you can wear dirty underwear and a horsehead mask if that’s your prerogative. I can’t help but feel they really wanted Age of Conan to be their flagship, go-to MMO, and seeing their ridiculous lack of marketing for TSW, they’ve yet to prove to me otherwise. Hell, the game’s director has been changed TWICE, and both times point to it not entirely being the choice of the current game director. It ties in heavily with the above point.
- Combat is repetitive
I’ll give this to ya, as long as someone doesn’t try to claim that GW2’s combat is “so much better” since they are fundamentally the same thing. While I like the more reactionary nature of the combat, and avoiding damage fields is pretty much the crux of it, and the rest is making sure you have a good synergy of your abilities, so you can spam simple rotations (builder, builder, builder, builder, builder, consumer, repeat). More interesting than WoW, but far less interesting than… so many other things.
- Horrible newbie experience
In the way that GW2 tries too hard to make the same look different, TSW tries too hard to make different look the same. This just MURDERS the starting experience for MMO players.
“Do I pick up two weapons? Wouldn’t it be better to focus on just one?” In any other game, yes, but in TSW, NO.
“Can’t I just nab up all the quests to be sure I have the max experience returns while I’m out questing?” In any other game, yes, but in TSW, NO.
“Can’t I just skip these cutscenes? It’s not like they’re going to carry any important quest information!” In any other game, yes, but in TSW, NO.
So many times running around Kingsmouth you’ll find players who swear their quest is bugged, when they simply just don’t understand the nuances to completing them… and the first time a new player runs across an investigation mission without understanding what they are… god help us all. This is a game that cannot be approached in a normal fashion, and the reason so many people try so hard to tell people how to play when they start out, is because so many others have tried to play this game in traditional MMO fashion, gotten frustrated and left. The tutorial is pretty much crap at introducing you to how the game really works, so you either figure it out on your own, have the playerbase help you, or give up in frustration because you just can’t bother with trying to make sense of it. It’s a serious barrier for people.
TSW is the very definition of “tacked-on” PvP. It doesn’t need to be in here, and it’s clearly only there because…
“MMOs need PvP” -Some Jackass
If there’s any game that doesn’t need it, it’s this one. Factions are cosmetic. All of them can work together. All of them NEED to work together because the shit going down pales in comparison to what factions’ feelings are hurt this week. The competition angle should be handled more like a sports rivalry, and less like three countries at constant war. It’s likely this oddball reason that Cabals are faction specific, making the guild system utterly pointless as well.
- Endgame activities are all a grind
Welcome to Venice! I hope you like playing horde mode instances over and over for months on end to gain bits you use to purchase items that only marginally augment your skills, and are completely irrelevant to the next area. Welcome to Tokyo! I hope you don’t mind gearing up a whole separate set of armor and skills so you can fight enemies that act exactly like every other enemy except they have a bullshit shield that renders them invincible unless you play the color matching game with them! How do you do that? By killing them to collect research points, so you can upgrade your AEGIS to 100%! What happens when you reach 100%? You get to spend hard earned quest tokens to upgrade them to the next level so you get to do that ALL OVER AGAIN! How many times do you have to do that? Oh, just about NINE TIMES PER AEGIS SYSTEM. How many AEGIS systems do you have? Oh, only 6 of them. Oh wait, they added shields in Issue 10! Now you have NINE AEGIS SYSTEMS TOO! This means you only have to upgrade an AEGIS system 81 times in order to max them all out! Does the fun ever start?!
Rant over, you can see the game isn’t flawless, it’s not even well-made on all accounts, but I love the shit out of it and wouldn’t trade it for anything. There WILL be a backtrack incoming and there will definitely be a lot to talk about and cover.
Recommended?: If you’re willing to put up with it, FUCK YES.