Continuing on from part 7!
In our last thrilling episode, our hero had finally made his way to Kingsmouth, via the most curious of travel arrangements, and battled his way through a slight zombie outbreak to the Sheriff’s office.
I first make my way onto the roof of the building, where deputies are keeping the zombies at bay with well-times rifle-shots. Deputy Andy is up here, and I deliver the ammo that I found on the way here.
When you finish a mission, you get the option to call in to base. There’s no need to go back to the original mission-giver, from what I’ve seen. I’m not sure how Mr Sonnac manages to send me material rewards via my phone, but I’m not going to break that spell by disbelieving it!
Deputy Andy has an action mission, but I figure I ought to check out what’s going on inside the office before I decide what tasks to take next.
The first folks I meet in the office are a couple of rather oddly dressed vendors. Their uniform is vaguely military, with gray suits, but rather odd blue berets. Are they working for the United Nations, maybe? Two of them are selling basic equipment, one is selling kits for making consumables, and one has some truly awesome blue gear that you need to buy using Sequins of Solomon Island. Those are a sort of reward currency you get for completing missions around here. I have 3 so far, and the vendor wants 75, so we shall not be doing business just yet.
I can see a few item missions lying around, but first I want to talk to the person in charge, Sheriff Helen Bannerman.
She’s pleased to see me, I think. Though I think she’d be pleased to see anyone with a gun right now. They’ve got evil fog, a zombie outbreak, weird ravens everywhere, and something going on in the pumpkin patch that she does not even want to know about.
I figure the best thing for me to do first is help Deputy Andy ensure the security of this safe haven. If this falls, everything else is going to become a whole lot trickier to deal with. So, Elm Street Blues: a 5 part action mission. First up, I need to deal with some of the zombies outside.
After that, I am sent to the northern barricade. As I get there, an event begins, and I’m joined by a couple of police officers. It’s just as well, as we are quickly assaulted by several waves of zombies. We do the same at the southern barricade, zombie bits flying all over, as we valiantly defend the wall.
Part 4 wants me to investigate the source of the zombie attacks, right down the other end of Elm Street. Hmm, that sounds a bit on the dangerous side, so maybe I should see what other missions I can pick up that I might be able to work on while I’d over that way.
None of the item missions in the office seem to be down Elm Street, but I pick them up anyway. While I’m in there, I notice that Sheriff Bannerman’s computer is usable. It’s an ancient piece of junk, with glowing green text on black, but I am allowed to access the suspect database. I have a rummage through, but nothing leaps out at me as being of immediate interest.
I’ve seen some folks quite annoyed that the Kingsmouth map uses Comic Sans, but they rather missed the point. The maps, just like everything else, are supposed to be actual items from the area, and this one does a good job of evoking the local atmosphere. I’m the little yellow arrow, and my goal does not look terribly far on the map, but I can assure you that it feels much further when you have to run a gauntlet of zombies.
I make it through a few more waves of zombies. Aha, I think I may have found the problem right here.
Dealing with that rather nasty fellow brings an end to the mission. While checking the details in my mission log, I notice that Elm Street Blues is repeatable on a 24 hour timer. That’s handy, though might make it trickier for me to keep track of everything I’ve done. Hopefully they’ll mark it somehow on the mission giver.
The end of Elm Street looks out over the beach, and I realise that the zombies are just a side-effect. They’re presumably being summoned as cannon-fodder by all the sea monsters that are rampaging around.
I spend some time running around town doing action and item missions. I won’t trouble you with the details, as I’m sure we both want me to get to something I’ve done done yet, but I’ve gotten well past my 100 zombies slain achievement! So, after getting the Sheriff’s supply run action mission done, I’m able to attempt a Sabotage mission, “Horror Show”.
Sheriff Bannerman has decided it might be a good idea to hook up some surveilance equipment, so as to get a bit of advanced warning as to when the next zombie assault is going to begin. She needs me to go grab some of it for her, from businesses likely to have such things. I check the local phonebook.
Look at that! Back when I used to run Call of Cthulhu, I’d have been terribly pleased with myself if I’d come up with a prop or player handout like that.
First up, I have to go grab the security camera from the gas station. Sabotage missions are supposed to involve some sneaking around, but it might be a while til we get to that. Taking the camera from the gas station, and then the bank is as simple as just grabbing them from the outside walls. The mining museum is a little more interesting. I’ve not visited here yet, and some of the displays look as if they might hold some clues.
Oh wait, the camera is outside! Harrumph. I clamber up a ladder, but what is this? There is a note stuck to the camera, telling some unknown workman that this is the camera that needs changing. Wouldn’t it have been more sensible to leave the note downstairs? Well, at any rate, there are more cameras in…. the basement.
If I’ve learned anything in my long dealings with the forces of darkness, it is that you should probably not go into the basement. Or the attic. I’m unhappy at this turn of events, but I head back inside to find the way down.
Oh. The basement door is going to take me to an instance. This is the first example of instancing I’ve encountered in Kingsmouth so far. It does not bode well for me.
The janitor, too, should have heeded my advice. He went into the cellar, and has gone all odd. He’s got the same head tentacles going on that the zombies I encountered in that strange Tokyo dream, but is still capable of speech. He uses that gift to tell me to go away. It appears he’s also capable of setting up a gauntlet of booby-traps to reinforce the message. This would be why it’s a sabotage mission then!
Fortunately, he’s made the painfully common mistake of using extremely visible red lasers for his trip-wires. A little dexterous jumping should get me closer to him.
In front of the total wall of red lasers is a door into another area. I don’t see any lasers in here, so I cautiously make my way in. What’s that beeping?
And BOOM. My world explodes, and I suffer my first death of the game. Turns out that you really need to avoid any of the pools of light in there. Luckily I’m just back at the entrance to the basement.
Now I know what I need to avoid, it’s not too tricky to make my way around the chamber, with a bit of jumping, to get to the switch which will hopefully turn the security lasers off.
It has, but he’s retreated behind even more of the darn things! I shall not be defeated by a janitor armed with a thousand laser pointers and some dynamite! He has yet further ticks up his sleeve though, and in the next chamber, the pools of light (which turn out to be spotlights from the security cameras) are moving. This will require timing, which is not my strong suit.
I think I’ve found a clever way around it for a moment, only to be blocked by an invisible wall. Curses!! But I persist, and find my way around. With his defences dealt with, the janitor springs at me, head-tentacles a-waving, but I put him down. Well, that was a slightly confusing business, and I can see some people hating sabotage missions if that was just an easy one, but I quite enjoyed the attempt at a different sort of MMO quest. Not only that, but I have been rewarded with a lore object at the back of the room.
I thought I’d try one of the investigation missions that folks have been talking about. Rather than the Kingsmouth Code, which seems to be the main one, I gave “Something Wicked” a try. I don’t want to go into great detail, as the whole point of investigation missions is to solve puzzles, and pretty much anything I say could spoil it for someone.
Something Wicked was wicked hard. At one point you have to do something so counter to everything you’ve ever learned in an MMO (or indeed in real life, come to think of it) that it did not occur to me, and I had to go seek help. I was rather annoyed with myself for giving in, and I’m going to do my darnedest to not do that again. You get precious little guidance, no map markers, and only the vaguest of clues. You will either find investigation missions to be incredibly engrossing, or utterly frustrating. Most likely both. I’m sure there’ll be well written guides for them all before terribly long, either way.
I think I’d best draw my beta-run to a close. I don’t want to spoil things too much for myself when the game launches on the 19th of June. I’ll finish things off with a final post summing up my thoughts on the game, some time this week. Thanks to everyone who’s been hitting the refresh button to see how I’ve been getting on! If there’s something you wanted me to discuss that I didn’t get to, let me know, and I’ll add it in.