Our Monday night Secret World group hit a snag as the third investigation mission from the Sidestories pack bugged out on us pretty severely. We switched over to the fourth mission so as to reset the third, which we’ll attempt once again next week.
So we ended up doing The Abandoned in the Shadowy Forest last night. This one starts with the good ol’ bridge troll Mosul, who is one of the many old world fairy tale-ish characters that exist in Transylvania. I kind of like him: He speaks slow like an Ent yet never lost my attention. With this quest, he’s worried that the stories of the fantastic creatures in the woods are in danger of slipping away and charges me with learning about them and passing that knowledge along.
While I’m totally on board with learning all about fairy tales, the reality of this investigation mission wasn’t so much storytelling as it was translating. Lots and lots and lots of translating. We first had to translate the message on this coin, of which my only contribution was to identify it as Greek. I didn’t take Greek in seminary, because no one told me that one day I’d need it for a video game mission. Who knew?
We had to find apps and virtual Greek keyboards to type in all of this, which pointed us toward a crypt that had something to do with Iele. You see, I just didn’t get much of the story of this mission because the translations were kind of cryptic and the mission itself never stopped to really tell you what was going on outside of little fragments. I enjoyed the trappings of it, but honestly I could not tell you what all of this was about. There’s a tomb and a book and three sisters and some eggshells and a Blanji (the gnome dudes with big buck teeth).
Probably the most interesting part — to me, at least — was getting this picture book and having to track down where it happened in the zone. It’s a simple story about this creepy lady who lures a guy down a river and then rips his heart out and eats it. Good old-time family fun.
When you see it recreated, it’s hard not to be simultaneously charmed and weirded out by her. I like the details that the devs put into her, like her little clapping hands emotes and the fact that she’s dirty and wild and has this shredded dress on.
Later on in the quest we had to throw broken eggshells into a river and follow them down (no, I do not know why). As we walked down the creek, watching our eggshells bob and weave with the current, we were secure in the knowledge that this is probably the only MMO that asked you to do such a thing.
We encountered another bug with the next step, as the Blanji bugged out, so I looked up where we were supposed to go. It involved dying and having ghost Blanjis put the eggshell back together. In a cool closing twist, the final step of the quest asks you to share the story (the egg, which has painted scenes from the quest) to another player.
It wasn’t a hugely challenging quest, past the annoyance of translating things from Greek and Romanian (MMOGC said that her ex-boyfriend was Romanian but she didn’t think he would respond nicely if we called him up asking him to translate stuff from a video game). I really do wish that I grokked more of the story itself, so I may have to do a little research and see what I missed.