AIE Podcast Ep 114

AIE Podcast Episode 114 –  “In my Secret World, I’m a Restro Druid with an assault rifle!”

We’ve got meetups all over the place, we explode into more games. and we talk to Sindrake, Mentus, and Innus about our new big Secret! All that and more coming up right now. THIS is the A-I-E Podcast…


Beefmaster being the crazy person he is, bought AIE a TF2 Mann-versus-Machines mode-capable server for us!

For those that missed our Remembrance Day event in WoW, or would like to relive the magical moment it was, StupidGenius has put together a video of the event. It’s about 30 minutes long and includes all of the remembrances from Scott, Randy, Stigg, and others, ending with the fireworks memorial.

It’s Official, AIE has ventured towards Guild Wars 2! Still in the planning phase, They have a shiny new subforum and are well on their way into settlement phase proper! Not bad for a game that is set to release next week!

In case you haven’t seen it, the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Cinematic Trailer was recently released, and as always, the cinematic production team at Blizzard really knocked it out of the park. It’s just amazing to watch. I can’t wait for them to do a full length movie.

The site is filling up with member meetups! There is another raid on Chino Banditos happening in Phoenix Arizona in a mere two days, and the AIE members of Southern California are meeting up at strategicon on the 31st! And that’s not even mentioning all the AIE fun happening at Dragoncon! Want to stay in the loop? Sign up on our site!

Diablo 3 just had a patch! You remember Diablo 3 right? That game that dominated everyone’s lives at launch! Well Blizzard has added a bunch of new improvements to the game such as increased drop rates, crafting changes, a better auction house, mob and class balancing, and something called paragon levels. Sounds like the whole game got an overhaul! For more info, check the diablo 3 site or the shownotes for the patch notes.

GERP is really gathering steam! And I’m not talking about the wonderful Figurehead of AIE and Frogpants! We have a letter of intent on the forums already working back towards a game which there have been quite a few folks in, but never an official AIE Presence. Lord of the Rings Online!

DragonCon is only 10 days away, and our “Extreme Guild Management” panel is officially on the schedule, however it’s been moved to Saturday at 8:30pm, which has been updated in the pocket program and mobile app. Ignore the big printed guide. We expect to be streaming it live over UStream, if they’ll let us. And we’re also still deciding on an official meetup time, though most of us will be hanging out in the board game room in the Hilton when not at other events. Keep your eyes out for the #aiedc twitter tag for live updates.

And speaking of guild expansions, the Imperium Lūdī section of the forums is hopping! If you want a specific game to be a part of AIE, or want to help with the organization of a new branch of this amazing gaming community, then head on over to the forums and let everyone know. Oh and in case you didn’t know, we all obey henry.

And with that, let’s talk to our “secret” guests…Sindrake, Mantis, and Inuus!


Overview of TSW

  • Unique setting:  Lovecraftian horror, conspiracies.
  • “Everything is true” – Game is filled with real-life folklore and myths.
  • Set in the present, in real world locations…mention pictures some players have taken of New York, London which are nearly identical to their in-game counterparts.
  • Lore, research, etc. Many people compare some elements to an old-school adventure game.
  • Low hype launch.  People new to the game often comment “I didn’t expect much, but I really love this game”.  Funcom has learned from their previous MMOs…TSW is small now, but expect it to grow over time.


Ability Wheel

  • “Builds” are based on selecting 7 active abilities and 7 passive, and a good build will exploit effective synergies between abilities.  This is your deck.
  • Abilities unlocked based on spending points in weapon categories.
  • Think of a deck as your hand in a game of cards.  Play the right card at the right time.
  • Every character can unlock any and every ability in the game.
  • One character can fill any role and do anything, provided they unlock the abilities.
  • All content (other than main story and investigations) is replayable, so no need to play alts unless you want to experience the other factions.

  • Short vertical leveling progression…a character can be “level capped” quickly (2 rank 10 weapon skills, all skills unlocked for complete deck).
  • Further leveling is all about expanding options.  – Unlocked passives can be used with any weapon, possible to create interesting combos.
  • Returning to early zones and dungeons to play with friends who may be new to the game still results in significant gains for the high level player.

  • Replayability is great.  Inherently fun, I never feel like I am “grinding”.

Mission structure

  • Mission breakdown, why this works, immersion, direction of quest flow,etc.
  • Mission types: Story, Action, Sabotage, Investigation (fake websites created by Funcom outside game used for investigation info), Dungeon, Side.
  • All main missions have cutscenes, and contain some of the best story, characters and dialogue I have seen in an MMO.  Better than most single player games.  Very thoughtfully written.
  • Requires thinking…primarily during investigations, but even action missions sometimes require a surprising about of thought for an MMO.
  • Level of detail…great level of attention paid to “the little things”…helps sell the immersion.
  • Subtle humour mixed in…keeps the game from taking itself too seriously.


  • TSW combat, very active…may have to change tactics multiple times in one fight, even while solo questing.  This becomes more apparent the further you get into the game.

(For Mantis to bring up )
(In episode on 112 of the AIE podcast Ghomus brought up how one of things he was bothered by was having to fight through all the trash to get from Mission item A to mission item B a lot. Talk about /reset and the devs talk about a system similar to flight points with the rez spots.)

Dungeons and Raids

  • Fantastic dungeon design, filled with interesting game lore and exciting boss encounters.  Very little “trash”.
  • Previewing first raid at Gamescom


  • Fusang “Constant ongoing PVP” “Rewards similar to Wintergrasp”

  • Stonehenge and El Dorado is there too.  (More like battlegrounds? -Sindrake)
  • Fight Clubs are available in every city and we are planning to have Tournaments in the future.

Achievements, gear, cosmetics

  • Character appearance not tied to stat gear.
  • Customize appearance in “dressing room” based on options gained through achievement unlocks, the clothing store in London, or the in-game cash shop (briefly discuss cash shop).


  • Many useful add-ons already available (Field Agent Locator, Bag Organizer (name?), Crafting, Top Bar).  Supported by Curse Client.

Cross-faction play

  • Everyone gets to play together.  No restrictions on cross-faction grouping, trading, etc.  Only exception is PvP.
  • Single-server – How this works.
  • Benefits: Doesn’t matter what “dimension” you play on, cross-dimension guilds, chat, AH, etc.

How AIE operates in TSW

  • One cabal for each faction
  • AIE chat channel used to tie all cabals together.  We operate as one big cross-faction cabal.  /chat join AIE
  • Contests and events – Talk about The Secret Hunt, announce winner, plans for more events in the future.

Monthly content updates

  • Details on contents of Issue 1 and 2.
  • Issue #1 – Marketplace, 7 new missions added, mostly investigations.
  • Issue #2 – Plastic Surgeon, Barbershop, at least 5 new missions, the first Auxiliary Weapon (Rocket Launcher).

Dev Communication

  • Community interaction has been fantastic so far.  Regular responses on TSW forums from Ragnar, etc.
  • Regular Livestreams (explain)

Why play TSW?

  • Game is greater than the sum of its parts.  TSW is more than a list of features.  It has drawn me in more than any other MMO in years.
  • Engaging like a great single player RPG, but still feels very much like a MMO.
  • Immediate familiarity with the lore.  Some compare to X-Files, Fringe, etc.
  • Level of detail…great level of attention paid to “the little things”…helps sell the immersion.
  • “A good movie is three good scenes and no bad scenes.” – Howard Hawkes  That is TSW…parts of the game are amazing, and there is no boring filler.  Even side missions are fairly engaging.

Final Notes

  • Now available on Steam…includes 3 Steam-exclusive clothing options.
  • Talk about trial, details.


And that’s our show for tonight, We want to thank Sindrake, Mantis, and Innus for joining us! Next week we’ll be talking to the crew from Eve Online!

Stay tuned, as we’ve got some great AIE member segments coming right up, including…
– Ask Miss Mulgra
– Southern Gaming with Bouvi
– Epic Achievements
– Pondera Watch!
– MegaMinute
– Alludra’s pets

But first, if you need to reach us, we can be found at…
– Email:
– Twitter @aiepodcast, @shownotfound @acuzod @alludra_aie
– Guest Twitter: [Guests Twitter]
– New website:

Shoutout to Takemikazuch for coming up with this week’s show title!