Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

First Time Chills: The Broadcast

I intended to write this up with a day or so of running the Broadcast mission in The Secret World. But this week has been very busy, and others have beaten me to the punch. Much like waiting for G.R.R.M. to crank out another book in the Song of Ice and Fire, it can be frustrating to experience Funcom's glacial pace of updates. But then, when content does break out into the wild, all is forgiven. Because damn! It's just that good.
As my buddy Xander from Beyond the Veil is fond of pointing out, Halloween in the The Secret World is like Christmas in almost every other MMO. The place screams Halloween the whole year round. But the season itself turns it up to eleven. Even though we had to wait until just before the holiday itself, the new mission reminds us what we come here for.
I don't know how much detail I want to go into. Suffice it to say, Dave Screed, the Illumati's pet conspiracy theorist, has stumbled upon something even he's too creeped out to investigate further, and he needs the help of the Bees.
The guy at the end bears an uncanny resemblance to the Bogeyman, maybe they're cousins? Interestingly, just last week, Syp mentioned that the devs made the Bogeyman a unique model and then never used the model again. There is plenty of reuse—both models and locales—in this mission, but that does not stop it from being top-notch.
The old radio programs you encounter throughout the mission are really great, I found myself stopping just to listen to what was going in the programs themselves. But what happens when you (somewhat inevitably) shuffle off your mortal coil is when it really gets interesting.
My compatriots who play TSW all have a moment (perhaps several) where they are quite simply freaked out by the game. Whether it's some dark parking garage housing a Wendigo, or a pitchblack mine with Filth Creeps lurking about, or some Tokyo office with Ghosts hiding just around the corner, TSW has plenty of hot and cold running chills. But none of that affected me until I stood listening to numbers stations with a crowd of fellow spirits.
I am telling you, all the hairs on my body stood on end. I've read read up on the general consensus on the rather mundane origins of numbers stations, but that doesn't stop them from being creepy as hell. So congratulations to Nusquam and Scrivnomancer. You finally got to this fearlessly jaded blogger.
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  1. The Broadcast was truly excellent, even by TSW standards.

    I think what I found most chilling was Screed's monologue at the end, and more importantly the ideas it outlines. The concept of immortality through radio waves being more than a metaphor, of the thoughts and ideas of our media gaining a life of their own, is beautiful, fascinating, and more than a little terrifying.

    1. I was thinking about that as well, though it didn't creep me out. Old photos, sound recordings (like those radio shows) and movies all evoke that slight feeling of spooky to me, and I find them fascinating. Do you remember the scene in the movie "Contact" where they piece together the signal and realize it's a picture of Hitler from the first major TV broadcast?

    2. Yeah, I do. That was the other creepy thing about the end of the Broadcast -- the idea that something out there might be listening. Now, in reality, I like to believe that extra-terrestrial life forms might be a bit nicer than us, but in the context of TSW, the idea puts me more in the mind of planet-eating squids.