Some Like It Hot

June had some uncomfortably hot days, a couple of surprises and a whole lot of Secret World.

The Unseen balaclava reward from The Secret World

Summer made an appearance with a heatwave. A room with no air conditioning during hot weather with a PC pumping out heat isn’t a great gaming environment. But fortunately things have cooled down and are now more comfortable.

June was mostly about The Secret World and its successor, Secret World Legends. It was about saying goodbye to the old game and preparing for the new one. Along the way, I also managed to win something during a dev stream, get an unexpected gift from EA and get obsessed with the “Arrowverse”.

Multiplexed

I was a part of the closed beta test for Secret World Legends, for quite a long time, but I couldn’t say anything about it due to the non-disclosure agreement it had in place. I was surprised that this NDA wasn’t dropped until the day the game “launched” for real with early access opening on 23 June 2017.

I used the beta as an opportunity to check out the changes to the game compared to its predecessor, The Secret World, and as a test run so that any mistakes I could make would be on a disposable beta character and not on a real character on the live server. Just simple things like figuring out how the gear improvement system worked, and which things would be best to upgrade first for maximum efficiency.

It was interesting to see people coming back to check out the new version of Secret World, but so far from what I’ve seen the reaction is quite “meh”. There’s not really any new content – all of it is a repeat of things people have played before in The Secret World, but with the frustration of having to use a new combat system and being confronted with monetisation pay walls designed to inconvenience you.

If you can look beyond that, it’s a great opportunity to relive the storyline and possibly notice a few things you never noticed the first time.

Even though the game has now launched, I haven’t yet fully completed the transition by initiating the legacy transfer of my old cosmetic items from The Secret World to Secret World Legends. Once it was announced that most of the clothing your character had would copy over, it was hilarious to see crowds of people logging into TSW and hanging out at the clothing vendors buying out the entire store. I also purged all of my remaining veteran and bonus points grabbing any cosmetics I most liked from the in-game item store.

I also had to think about which special achievement clothing I had to grab while I could in TSW. This mainly involved completing the Unseen achievement, something which I have been putting off until now. It involves completing a set of sabotage missions without being seen or triggering traps – something quite tricky to do if you’re not used to the sometimes buggy line of sight and poor jumping mechanics in the game. Some of them were easier than I thought they’d be and got them first try.

The reward for completing the Unseen achievement in TSW is a black balaclava, which as far as I can tell is exclusive and not available in Secret World Legends unless you unlock it in TSW and copy it over as part of the one-time only legacy transfer system.

Exclusive blue cat earphones in The Secret World

I was most surprised when I won a pair of exclusive blue cat earphones during one of the Funcom dev streams before the launch of Secret World Legends. They asked a trivia question and somehow I was the fastest one to answer correctly.

Aside from anything Secret World related, I’ve also been playing The Elder Scrolls Online. Early in the month, I finished all of the quests and the main storyline in the Morrowind expansion. I’ll have to decide now whether I want to progress my new Warden character on to starting the base game’s main storyline, or switch back to my main character and complete the areas of Tamriel I’ve never been before.

I also got a taste of the 12-person group trials for the first time, which are harder than I thought they’d be. I either need to keep improving my character’s damage output or perhaps it’s just a case of learning the mechanics of the trial bosses?

Singularity

In The Sims 4, I decided to get the brand new Parenthood game pack. The new features it added for sim families seemed to be worthwhile, however, the amount of new bugs it added to the core game was quite frustrating. It seems like whenever the game developers push a new patch, it breaks something else in another part of the game.

Townies wearing random clothing in The Sims 4

For some reason after the latest patch, all of the non-player townies in the game started wearing completely random clothing accessories, such as guys wearing fishnet stockings and crazy hats.

I’ve frequently visited the bug reporting forums for The Sims 4 over the last couple of months, hoping to provide enough information for the developers to actually make some fixes.

Unexpectedly, I was gifted a free copy of the brand new Fitness Stuff pack (which released this month) by EA for being active on the bug report forums. That was pretty awesome, as I was quite interested in getting it, but don’t usually impulse buy DLC packs unless they go on sale.

This month there was also a Triple Boost Week event, with the special non-player character Jasmine Holiday returning to give out boosts for satisfaction point gain or need decay reduction.

Flixation

While the weather became too hot to play games, I started binge watching Arrow and The Flash. For some reason I’d resisted getting into both of these superhero TV shows until now, possibly because I was so invested in Smallville back in the day and didn’t really want to get into another series featuring The Green Arrow.

My first taste of the “Arrowverse” was watching DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, which is a spin-off show set in the same universe as Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl. So I had seen some of the characters before in cross-over episodes. It was great to finally get the full picture by watching everything, and I found that I really enjoyed all of it.

I started with the pilot of Arrow, and then after Season two, I started watching The Flash concurrently, replicating the original order in which the shows were shown on TV. It was extremely cool to see episodes of Arrow and The Flash cross over with each other – for example, in The Flash, you’d see him visit the Green Arrow, and then in the next episode of Arrow you’d see the same scene from the other perspective.

Summer holiday

At the moment, it seems like summer has retreated and it’s actually quite cool again. But with July and August still to come, I probably haven’t seen the last of sudden heatwaves. I’d better get as much gaming done while I can enjoy a comfortable temperature room.

With the Steam summer sale going, there may also be some new games to try out. What’s on your Steam wish list?

Comment on this