NIHAO! From China!

It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve been here and I’ve been stuck working so much, this is the first chance I’ve had to even THINK about making a post here!

So how is it here? HOT! And Humid AF!  And in case you hadn’t guessed yet, my work hours are like 12 hour days, 6 days a week. Last week, counting 19.5 hours travel time, I had 92 hours for the week.  At least my paycheck showed it!

But that isn’t to say that I’m having a terrible time or anything like that. I’m just busy busy busy…! The people here are really friendly and the food… oh lordy…. the food is Soooooo good! Fuck that shit you get back in the states..! This is GOOD Stuff!!

My first night, I had a driver pick me up from the airport and take me to the Hong Kong Sheraton.  And as you can see, from the pics below, it’s a pretty nice hotel!


But I only got to spend one night there.  Then it was off to the Pullman in Dongguan.  And this is even nicer!  A Breakfast Buffet is included in the cost of the room, and there’s buffets for every meal that I can charge back to the room.  Saturday nights they do a Brazillian BBQ, and I’m running out of Superlatives to describe how good certain things are out here!  But damn… look at these pics…

Chinese water torture…
So… much… torture…

So yeah, it’s been busy as hell, and to top it off, we had been planning a trip to Macau today, but as it turns out we had not one, but TWO Typhoons come through here since Friday!  And the second one passed directly over Macau today, so we had to cancel that trip.  We’ll try again next week though.

The difference between a Hurricane, a Typhoon, and a Cyclone is where in the world they are located:

  • Hurricanes form in the Atlantic.
  • Typhoons form in the Pacific.
  • Cyclones form in the Indian Ocean.

So yeah, all the Hurricane Florence stuff you’ve been hearing about in the Carolinas and east coast, is pretty much what we had out here.  Just… twice.  I don’t think either was quite as strong as Florence was though.  In any case, I got it easy here in the hotel.  We are located far enough away from the storm that we just had some strong winds and rain.  So don’t worry about me.  I’m safe.

Hong Kong had it much stronger and I’m sure other areas were hit pretty hard.  *Fingers Crossed* Here’s hoping no one was affected by either typhoon much, and my heart goes out to anyone affected by Florence and/or these storms as well.

I think that should cover this post for now.  I’ll see if I can post some random pics of the area/hotel later on.  I at least wanted to get a post out here saying I’m here, and I’m doing well, and don’t worry!  I’ll be back before you know it!

Thanks for stopping by!  Catch ya later!

I’m Leaving…. On A Jet Plane…!

Tomorrow is the big day…. Leaving on a 777 from SeaTac and flying into Hong Kong… 13+ hours in a little aluminum can. Ok… maybe a 777 isn’t so little, but yeah.  It’s going to be a long flight in an enclosed space, and I don’t typically sleep well in a plane.  BUT… I’ve got a TON of Manga downloaded and the new Jack Ryan series came out today on Amazon Prime, so I’ll have plenty of media to keep me entertained. I was looking at getting a guitar while i was out there to practice, but looking at prices online, they are even more expensive there, than they are here!  At least at their online stores.  Maybe there are smaller shops I can find one when I get there?  We’ll see.  in the mean time, again, i have plenty of Manga downloaded onto my phone, and I’ll bring sketchbooks too.  Maybe I’ll get a chance to try drawing again? Few of you know that I play(ed) Ingress.  as it turns out, a couple weeks ago, one of my friends from my local Ingress group just moved to China, so I’ll be trying to connect with them while I’m out there.  If we meet up, there will be pictures! Speaking of pictures, I currently have like 5 VPN’s installed on my phone right now… and with any luck, one of them works in China so I should have some kind of twitter access while I’m there.  But this Blog doesn’t appear on the Great Firewall of China’s radar, so I should be able to post here from there as well. Ugh… there is so much going on in my head right now… Things to pack.  Things to tidy up before I go.  Things I need to finish.  Notes to give my boss.  Times I need to be where…  And what to do about Dinner tonight as well.  It’s a big thing to leave the country on it’s own, but even more so when you have to plan for 5 weeks! In case you missed the dates, I’m leaving Sept 1st, and returning Oct 6th. I don’t want to think that something will happen, but in the event something does, then Funcom can take this as my approval to make Jordan walk around London and occasionally dance in the park! Her favorite Dances are ‘HipHop’ and ‘Freestyle.’  Not that they would do that for me anyway, but it’s a thought! Speaking of Funcom, in case you missed my tweet, I did get a chance to meet with Andy the Wednesday before PAX!  Was great meeting him for the first time!  I gave him a set of the Buttons I’ve designed!  And we sat around and talked things about the game.  FYI – Our feelings about reticle are mutual!  ((Character creator too.))  But there were things that had to happen decided upon by people well outside our paygrades, so they are what they are.  BUT… When I get back, I’ll be working on a comprehensive list of all the things I’ve found wrong in the Dressing Room.  And more little videos/screenshots of things wrong in the world.  He will pass things along to the appropriate people and with any luck, we can get some things improved!  So yeah… I kinda have tacit marching orders to help me feel somewhat productive with Anima-Nation. That’s another thing, I know i haven’t been very active there lately.  It’s something that weighs on me a lot.  the longer I go without content, the harder it is for me to do something there.  Part of why I started this blog… give me another outlet for creative writing so I CAN get back to there and do things! Granted I have this trip to China to deal with, but when I get back, I do plan to pick things up again! And Andy, my son, and a few others of you out there have given me some pokes and prods in that direction, so I will do that!  And I do thank you all for the encouragement!  It is very much appreciated!  I just need to come back in 5 weeks and hope this spark of creativity keeps itself going! Anyway, I’m at my last day of work and have a teleconference in 15 minutes that I’m probably not as well prepared for as I should be.  Thank you all for reading!  Hope I’m not too rambling here… just so much to do and not much time left to do it in… Be good!  Don’t have too much fun without me!  And if you do, make sure to send pics! ^_~ I’ll be back soon!  And when I do return, I hope to see you in the Secret World!

Coming Soon to… CHINA….?!?!?!

Yes, it’s official.  I’m going to China for work related activities on the First of September, and am scheduled to return on or about Oct 5.  There is the possibility that I’ll need to extend my stay a week or so, but at this point the 5th looks like it’s the day I return.

So yeah… I won’t have my gaming laptop with me, as I’d rather not lose it while I’m out there.  I’ll have an older laptop that I’ve upgraded with an SSD that I’ll use primarily as a Movies Server.  It looks like VuDu and Crunchyroll are not blocked so maybe I won’t have to Download a bunch of movies..?  I’ll still DL my VuDu library as much as I can just to be on the safe side.

I have a OnePlus 6 phone, which has Dual Sim built into it.  So when I get there, that will be one of the first things I need to get is a second SIM card.  Also, I plan to setup a VPN service for myself before I get there so I can try to stay in touch with people via twitter and such.

This website does not appear to be blocked by the Great Firewall of China, so I should be able to update here some blog posts and pics about what I see/do while I’m out there.

I also want to get a cheap guitar while I’m there, so I can maybe practice a bit.  And I want to do some drawing while I’m out there too.

This is shaping up to be a personal improvement trip for myself when I’m not working!  But that’s not such a bad thing.

I’ll be in the Guangdong area, and will look up places to visit later, but does anyone have ideas of what to do out there?  Advice on what to do/NOT do?

Thanks for reading!  Catch you all later!

Looking for a New Game…

As much as I love TSW/SWL, it can’t be the everything of my gaming life.  I NEED something else. Some Variety to help spice things up.   (That and the gear grind is sooooooo monotonous… Ugh… kill me now!)

Cyberpunk 2077 is obviously my next game that I’m REALLY looking forward to, but it doesn’t have a release date yet.  Could be out next year… or more than likely 2020.  So that’s out of the running.  What else is there?

I’ve been playing Closers for a while, and it’s good mindless button-mashing fun, but the higher end levels and end-game content tends to have a steep learning curve and makes it hard to enjoy when all of a sudden you are getting your face stomped.  Also it gets lonely playing solo all the time…

I picked up The Witcher III, but it hasn’t really hooked me yet.  And I don’t really like Fantasy as much as I used to.  (I blame a decade of WoW…)

Neir: Automata seems like a fun game and I hear SO MANY good things about it…. but I can’t get past the first boss.  I COULD…. maybe, but the save point is AFTER the first boss, so if you die, you have to start all over from the beginning.  And THAT just isn’t happening.  Why would someone come up with this mechanic?  The game play is fun!  I’ll give it that much.  From what I’ve seen of it.  But again, not being able to save until AFTER the Boss with a mechanic that I can’t learn because if I make a mistake, I die and end up starting all over.  (Yes, even on Easy.)  And starting all over from the beginning tends to break my mindset of “What did I just try? And what can I do different?”  And that’s a shame.  I WANT to hear more of that story line.  I WANT to experience the dialog between 2B and 9S. I WANT to see what the deal is with A2.  But to gate the game with a crappy save system that stymies players ability to progress…?  That’s just bad design.

Yeah yeah yeah… maybe I should “git gud” right?  Sorry, but good game design allows for accessibility.  It would take into account that people are different and need options to be incorporated for their varying needs and abilities.

No, I’m NOT in the Game industry, but I’m also not in the Pizza industry.  But I know what I like about my pizza.  Know what I’m saying? Ok…. moving right along…

So what else is there?  What do I have that I could play?  What do I WANT in a new game?

I have a World of Tanks account, but I think I’m at a point where I’d rather be playing WITH someone, but don’t know anyone that would take enough interest in playing to be able to do it regularly.  I COULD look for a new Clan, but really, I like playing with people I KNOW. I’d rather not play with Rando-Clan #5 and end up with toxic players.  Been there, done that before. and I don’t have the spoons to do more Clan Auditions.

Diablo III – I got this when it first came out, even went so far as to track down a collector’s edition when I bought it!  But try as I might, I couldn’t get my wife’s interest in it.  So I played through it all… and then lost interest in it myself.  Then her friends got interested in it and dragged her into it.  And now she plays it more often than I did.  So it’s kinda a sore spot for me and I can’t bring myself to even open it. (Sorry for the info dump.)

The Rebooted Tomb Raider games are fun.  I am looking forward to Shadow of the Tomb Raider, but I just don’t see the replayability in the first two.  I’ve beaten them, and got the story.  And there aren’t any real decision making points that could give me a different experience in another play through. Maybe later down the line I’ll just feel like playing them again, but for now they are just taking up hard drive space.  >.>

The Division – I’m a HUGE Tom Clancy Fan..!  When this game was announced, it was immediately on my short list of games to get!  But the Bullet Sponge mechanics really took away from the game experience for me.  It became something that DEMANDED you play with a small group in order to progress the story.  And like a lot of gamers, I find it hard to find a group to play with like that.  (Yes, I am very much an Introvert.  Probably why I can’t bring myself to stream often.)

Then there’s Destiny 2 – THIS seems like a fun game in comparison to The Division.  I finally picked it up when Humble Bundle had it if you subscribed for $12/month.  And then I got the expansions for another $18 a couple weeks later.  Full game experience for $30.. not bad!  My son REALLY wanted me to play this with him, and I tried… but he’s so much further ahead of me…. You know that feeling, right?  So I end up just playing occasionally in a half-assed attempt to catch up.  Someday….. maybe.

Warframe – Another game my son wanted me to play.  And I’ll admit, it is kinda fun!  Problem is, it auto adjusts the skill based on your party make up, and again, he’s so far ahead of me, I’m pretty much useless.  And the default group setting when you are trying to do missions is open so anyone can join you.  And when they do, they zip ahead so fast, by the time I get there, everything is dead and I’m just trying to keep up.  So I learned to turn off the grouping feature so I can get used to playing the game on my own and not hold anyone up.  I prefer to take it slow and steady, and play stealthy.  But now I’m at a point in the story line and game where I have a mission to hold 4 control points and it’s literally impossible to do solo.  And not being able to pass this mission, I can’t progress the story line or game.  Guess I’m going to live on Mars.

Soul Worker/Burning Soul Worker – Those are two separate links there.   Soul Worker is the Steam Release here in the US, and Burning Soul Worker is a fan release (I think) that does it a little better than the official release.   No matter the version you play, it’s still an Anime styled MMO with some pretty cool abilities.  The combat is smooth, the combos are sweet! And you feel like you are in the middle of your own Anime show!  Who wouldn’t like that, right?  The problem is that some of the mechanics tend to ramp up in difficulty REALLY quick, and you’ll die to boss mechanics without knowing what it was that got you.  Maybe I’m just spoiled by the TSW/SWL Telegraph mechanics?  It’s still fun, but I haven’t made it very far yet.  And I REALLY wish there was more character customization.

Then there’s always more Mass Effect.  Original Trilogy and Andromeda.  I just wish there was a Co-Op version.  Play through the entire storyline WITH a friend.  Mass Effect, the MMO… THAT would ROCK!  I guess the next best thing would be to stream it, but I’d have to build my characters ahead of time or you’d get like 2 hours of me trying to build a decent Character model on air!

So what to do?  I’m out of ideas of games to play, and it’s almost to the point of me having to start thinking of what do I WANT out of a game and see if I can design my own.  Problem is, my art and modelling abilities are crap. So All I can do is think of mechanics and story.  But even if I had mad art skills and could work in a game engine like Unity or UE4, it would take YEARS to get it to come to life.

BUT I WANT TO PLAY NOW…!  And that seems to be the problem.  What do I Play NOW?

So what would I want to play?  Well, an Engaging and Epic storyline for sure!  That’s a given.  I’m not much of a Fantasy/Swords/Sorcery kind of person, at least not anymore.  Like I said, WoW kinda killed that for me over the course of a decade.

I could MAYBE go back to that kind of thing if the game play was more engaging and the story was good.  To be honest, Wow’s game play was fine.  Until they had to keep changing things up every time they had a major patch.  And I REALLY hate having to relearn my classes every couple years.

As for story… well, WoW had some really epic quest lines, but the overall story arc left a lot to be desired.  And I don’t even want to get into some of their character arcs… >.>

So vaguely Modern day or not so far in the future timeline is what I’m drawn to at the moment.  I love Cyberpunk things, and I love Anime things.  Fast paced action is a good thing too.  And it just so happens that these are all things that go together pretty well!

Does it HAVE to be anime based?  No, but if it can have that feeling, then that’s an added bonus!

Does it HAVE to be Cyberpunk based?  Again, no, but if it has that feel, that’s an added bonus!

I would like Multi-player/Co-op ability though!  Something that I could play with a few close friends.  I PREFER Tab-Targeting, but can deal with the new ‘Action-RPG’ driven systems that are springing up all over.  And depending on the game, First Person can be fine if needed.

Classes are fine.  I like having different roles. I like specializations that add to the playability of a class.  I like being able to learn how a specific class plays whatever role they choose.  And being able to use those classes with a small group of friends to lay waste to the enemies in the game!  But of course that would mean it’s a multi-player game.

Single Player games are fine, but again, they get lonely.  I KNOW Cyberpunk is a single player and I’ll deal with it, hell, I’ll probably stream it!  At least I might get some interaction with my audience, so that’s something.

Same thing with Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

So I guess the question comes down to what games would you recommend for me?  What are you looking forward to?  What are you playing right now?  What looks like a good fit?

Ok, so that’s four questions.  Oops.

Let me know what you can recommend in the comments, or tweet at me.  Thanks for reading this! Take care, and I’ll catch ya later!




Hi! And Welcome to my Personal Blog!

Hello!  Most of you will know that I’m the person behind, which is my Blog for All things Secret World related.  So why do I need a personal blog?  Because frankly, there are a lot of things that I want to post that are NOT TSW/SWL related, or even if they are, are better suited to something that’s not geared toward the game and events in the game.

So what do I plan to post here?  Probably Other Games things… CyberPunk 2077 for sure will be covered once it’s released! Anime that I happen to follow. Maybe Manga too. Perhaps I’ll do some Writing or other Art things too? Pretty much burn these bridges when I get to them and post whatever I feel like!

So here we are!  NetRaven’s Knock!

Yeah, I kinda ‘borrowed’ and re-appropriated the image from Kingsmouth…  How could I not?

So anyway, I’m sure a lot of you are wondering why I haven’t been active lately.  No new posts in… forever… and with the 1 year anniversary past us now, that would have been a PERFECT time to post more.  I still want to post a 1 year retrospective, and still might.  I just need time.  And that is where the issue lies.  Or the main bulk of it.  Lack of time.

I work a full time job, and lately, it’s been kicking my arse and eating my soul.  I get home after Over Time, have to cook dinner for the family… and I barely have the spoons to log into game to get a daily key most of the time.

Things are EXTREMELY busy at work, and on top of that, I’m going to be getting sent to China for a few weeks in September for work.  But before that happens, I NEED to get things completed for these projects so the trip isn’t a waste.  So… since the job is what keeps bills paid, that’s what I need to keep focused on.  And the Blog ends up suffering as a result.  

There are things I want to do for the blog still, like:

  • Posting builds that I find useful.
  • Posting Lore and Mission information.
  • More Art that I’d like to turn into buttons.
  • Even post some RP Back stories that I have for my characters.

And probably a few other things that cross my mind.  But again… Time is the limiting factor.  Eventually, I hope things will get better for me, but for now I just have to weather this storm.

I appreciate your patience and your continued support.  I’ll get back to it soon-ish!

Anyways, I don’t plan on advertising much on this blog, so feel free to come and go as you please.  I just wanted to have a space to be able to post pretty much any random thing I wanted here.

Thanks again!  Stay safe, and I’ll catch you later!

~ Net-Raven