Archive for July 23rd, 2012

Your Daily McMaster: Game for Cats

, | Features

I usually handle the editorial content around my house, but in some cases, I have to call in an expert like Murray. Although he’s orange and adorable, he’s also a professional mouse killer. This is his review of Game for Cats for the iPad.

Secret World: good-bye, cruel World

, | Game diaries

I’ve been playing Secret World steadily for three weeks, hoping Funcom and Electronic Arts will fix it “any day now”. Today, I’m done. Over the weekend, three things convinced me to throw in the towel.

1) A quest called The Black House is still bugged and I can’t complete it. It’s not the only bugged quest, but it’s the one I care about most. I consider it a barometer for the state of the game given where it’s located (along a major thoroughfare), how simple the fix should be (an item doesn’t appear at the third stage of the quest), and how much I like it (a lot). That it remains broken after three weeks is unconscionable.

2) As of the latest patch, the chat system is broken in an entirely new way from how it’s been broken since release. I’ve previously used a custom chat channel to talk with friends on different servers, who are members of a different faction. Now custom chat channels don’t work. The chat system has had plenty of minor issues, but this latest issue is one step forward, one fifty foot plummet back.

3) Where other games might have a level cap, Secret World has a system of combat builds using different abilities. It’s an intricate bit of statistics wrangling wonkery that I am more than happy to engage in. Except that for the last three weeks, Secret World routinely decides I want to see simplified information for many of the skills. In other words, it will randomly close the statistics I’m supposed to wrangle, leaving me with vague text descriptions. This has been the case for three weeks, so if I want to create and manage character builds — in other words, if I want to play the game as it’s designed — I have to frequently log out and log back in to fix the tooltips. How is it that one of the many patches hasn’t fixed such a serious interface issue?

All of this is an example of how not to release an MMO. So I’m done for the time being. There are plenty of games that work correctly. I’d just as soon spend my time playing them instead.

After the jump, the things I’ll miss. Continue reading →