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LOG
09-04-2009, 08:05 AM
There is no conspiracy. (http://www.darkdaysarecoming.com)

whistlelock
09-04-2009, 08:08 PM
You know, after Age of Conan and actually playing Anarchy Online, I'm not all that thrilled about a new Funcom game.

Zellie
09-17-2009, 09:05 PM
The trailer owns my soul. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woBJX-KSH_k)

Funcom has issues designing games. I just finished The Longest Journey and it was buggy as hell and while Dreamfall (played it first) was improved it had some issues too but I just love Ragnar Tornquist's stories. Even though his storytelling in TLJ could have benefited from some AW boot camp, the soul of it shines through and I'm addicted. I also appreciate his take on MMOs--his interest in designing them for those of us who have lives and can't devote 10 hours a day.

LOG
09-18-2009, 06:06 PM
You know, after Age of Conan and actually playing Anarchy Online, I'm not all that thrilled about a new Funcom game.
2 Words:
Free Trial.

They usually don't release that sort of thing until all the initial bugs are ironed out.

Romantic Heretic
09-18-2009, 07:45 PM
That trailer was amazing.

LOG
09-20-2009, 08:48 AM
1 more trailer to go, that we know of anyway.
The Japanese girl is the Dragon Trailer, the next one is Templar, last one is Illumanti.

Zoombie
09-20-2009, 09:06 AM
I'd be interested if it wasn't another goddamn MMO where I'd have to interact with annoying dipshits and pay money for a game I already bought.

Also, Ragnar Tornquist should be chained to a desk until TLJ 3 comes out and we can finish the damn story cause i've been hanging in suspense for years and it HURTS CAUSE I WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT GODDAMN IT!

LOG
09-21-2009, 05:00 AM
MMO's are becoming more F2P and Micro-trans.
Still, I don't understand the hate, you're paying that money so that the developer will continue to produce quality replayable content. That's where the true decision lies, if the developer cannot keep producing quality content, then it's a bad MMO. But MMO's like WoW and Runes of Magic(F2P by the way) produce quality content that keeps it worth playing.

Scream at him on his twitter account.

Zoombie
09-21-2009, 11:13 AM
I guess I'm just an old 19 year old crummudgion who hates interacting with other people in my video games.

Zellie
09-21-2009, 09:29 PM
From what I understand, it's being designed so you can play it single or multiplayer. You still need an active internet connection to do it, but you're not required to interact. I'm not sure how well all these plans he's got will work out, they're pretty ambitious but I'm hoping for the best.

I do find the pay as you go thing annoying. I understand the whole continuation of content thing but I'm poor T_T monthly fees = me not playing. As it is, I typically buy games when they're used on ebay for $10 instead of the $50-60 release price but a monthly fee doesn't allow me that option to work with.

Oh well, we'll see and man, if anything is going to be worth a monthly fee, this is it. It's like getting the chance to live in Tornquist's head :D

whistlelock
09-22-2009, 04:25 AM
They usually don't release that sort of thing until all the initial bugs are ironed out.
Have you been a part of many MMO launches?

The Age of Conan launch (also a funcom game) is now a text book case of what not to do.

Warhammer Online didn't have the majority of its PVP system in place at launch, and pvp 80% of that game.

The "common" wisdom for MMO's is that it takes a year for all the bugs and balance issues to shake out of a game.

LOG
09-22-2009, 09:04 AM
Have you been a part of many MMO launches?

The Age of Conan launch (also a funcom game) is now a text book case of what not to do.

Warhammer Online didn't have the majority of its PVP system in place at launch, and pvp 80% of that game.

The "common" wisdom for MMO's is that it takes a year for all the bugs and balance issues to shake out of a game.
I didn't say all, when I say initial I mean all the really serious bugs.
AoC has been pretty much fixed, sub rates on on the rise.
WAR; also part of that launch, system seemed fine to me. WAR launch was actually a very smooth one.
The initial WoW launch period was horribly laggy and there were several other serious issues that had to be resolved.

@Zoombie, most MMO's produced nowadays are designed so that you can reach max level or power through pure solo play. However, the most powerful items(uber loot) almost always requires some form of player cooperation. WoW is a prime example.

LOG
03-02-2010, 04:22 AM
Some (http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/53451/The-Secret-World-Interview?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter) more stuff (http://pc.ign.com/articles/107/1072842p1.html) on the Secret World.

Adam
03-02-2010, 04:58 AM
Also, Ragnar Tornquist should be chained to a desk until TLJ 3 comes out and we can finish the damn story cause i've been hanging in suspense for years and it HURTS CAUSE I WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT GODDAMN IT!


This. A thousand times this.

LOG
03-02-2010, 07:29 AM
Aint you guys heard of Dreamfall Chapters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamfall_Chapters)?

Zoombie
03-02-2010, 08:58 AM
Yes. That does not prevent us from being impatient.

Adam
03-02-2010, 04:47 PM
Yes. That does not prevent us from being impatient.

Indeed.

Zoombie
03-02-2010, 09:51 PM
Though, Dreamfall is an odd game for me. Kian was my favorite character (other than Crow) and his discussions with April about freedom, religion, duty and so on were fucking AMAZING.

...but his chapters also had the most combat. And the combat was like getting a dental drill jammed up your nose.

Adam
03-02-2010, 11:00 PM
Yeah, the combat sucked ass, along with the "stealth" stuff. :(

Crow was awesome. :D

LOG
03-03-2010, 06:00 PM
Nother interview. (http://www.criticalgamer.co.uk/2010/03/01/the-secret-world-interview-with-ragnar-t%C3%B8rnquist/)

LOG
03-24-2010, 06:44 AM
GDC 2010 embargo was lifted (http://www.darkdemonscrygaia.com/showthread.php?t=8635), lotsa sites basically saying the same stuff over and over.
Also, something's happening on the 25th at gametrailers. I think it's supposed to be some form of in-game trailer.

LOG
09-01-2010, 06:09 AM
That in-game trailer (http://g4tv.com/videos/45002/The-Secret-World-In-Game-Trailer/), a bit late, sorry. :S
Now I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I saw a person moving while using an ability in that video. Gives me hope for dynamic combat movements.

London Trailer (http://g4tv.com/videos/48325/The-Secret-World-Starting-Out-In-London-Trailer/#video-45002)
I've been bouncing between Templars and Dragons since day one. Now I'm leaning more toward Templars. I'll probably play both.

LOG
09-23-2010, 07:20 AM
News on character creation. (http://twitter.com/TSWAlerts/status/25258757527)

LOG
03-11-2011, 10:29 PM
GDC 2011 info. (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/03/10/preview-the-secret-world/#more-53600)

The key movement and combat mechanics seem like very much those of any number of MMOs out there, of course, but it was nevertheless it was remarkably dynamic. For example, laying down a field of fire and then luring enemies through it was totally possible for extra fire damage, and enviromental objects caused things to happen in the world – the slightly predictable example of car alarms attracting zombies made the group quest seem a little closer to Left 4 Dead than to World Of Warcraft. It was impressive stuff. Players were thinking about position and movement, and the difference between a melee character and the one standing at the back with a rifle was really clear. Convincing game design went much further than combat, too, with things like the cues for quests being in the world, rather than being the next NPC, or in the next flashing arrow. Tracking one of the monsters entailed finding flocks of ravens and seeing in which direction they flew off. Follow the flight of the birds and you’d encounter the next battle with your sinister target. Neat. Smart.

I was also fascinated by the character creation process, which is somehow “circular” rather than vertical. Funcom illustrated this with a “skill wheel”, which showed that while you character gets more skills, and is limited by his faction, he is not limited by class. You will need to progress along certain routes to unlock certain types of skills, yes, but the game is ultimately “flat”. You aren’t levelling up to be miles above newbies in power and hit points, you’re simply becoming a more talented and differentiated character... All that feeds into PvP, of course, which is a domination game all its own, with arenas such as Stonehenge making up fantastical stadiums for the three factions to fight – yes – three way battles for control of the world’s mystical resources. Newbies and experienced contenders will all be able to play together, thanks to The Secret World’s experience structure.

the most interesting thing about The Secret World are the investigation quests. These are fascinating, leaky game systems that do more than ask you to collect mystery meats from fallen foes. Funcom showed us a group of players taking such a quest and then looking around in the world for clues. In this case it was a series of symbols on buildings, manhole covers and other elements across a town. Tracking these down allowed them to uncover some secret doorways in one of the towns houses and this led… to Google? Outside the game? Of course! Why not? By being set in the real world, The Secret World is able to draw in real-world elements. To solve the quest in this instance the players needed to actually do their research and find out about the characters – real world characters – who are involved in the conspiracy. These fed back into the game’s fiction, and ultimately to the resolution of the quest.

Not that this stuff is even essential to progress within the game world, either. These quests that require you to do a bit of research and to stretch your imagination beyond the build of your character are simply there for extra colour. You can get along just fine following your own character’s personal story and slaying monsters, if that’s what you want.
Also, GDC trailer. (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/03/10/and-also-the-secret-world-gdc-trailer/#more-53622)

I'm excited all over again. :)

LOG
03-26-2011, 09:21 AM
Site has gotten a serious face-lift and some great new tidbits: notable NPCs, monsters, locations, etc. It's pretty awesomesauce. (http://www.thesecretworld.com/)

P.S. There will be undead dinosaurs at some point, I love Nadia's design to bits, and I still can't decide if I prefer Templar or Dragons...

ElizaFaith13
03-27-2011, 06:21 AM
Hmmmm I wonder if they did the research. If you think about it, Templars are really Masons, and the Illuminati are really high level masons......but I guess it is just a game. They've would've been better off using Eastern Star and made them all Amazon women.

Amadan
03-27-2011, 06:30 AM
I have avoided MMPGs because of time and money and racist/sexist swill-spewing assholes all over the place, but Secret World actually intrigues me. (Okay, it was "Illuminati" that hooked me.)

But I want to know if it's going to be any fun to play without doing PvP combat. I hate PvP. I just plain suck at it, and haven't really the inclination to put in the hours it would take getting good enough to beat some fourteen-year-old from Finland who spends all day p0wning people.

LOG
03-27-2011, 10:50 AM
I have avoided MMPGs because of time and money and racist/sexist swill-spewing assholes all over the place, but Secret World actually intrigues me. (Okay, it was "Illuminati" that hooked me.)

But I want to know if it's going to be any fun to play without doing PvP combat. I hate PvP. I just plain suck at it, and haven't really the inclination to put in the hours it would take getting good enough to beat some fourteen-year-old from Finland who spends all day p0wning people.

So don't PvP.

LOG
03-30-2011, 04:35 PM
Modern Setting: Worries and (word that doesn't make sense) (http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/404/feature/5086/The-Secret-World-The-Modern-Setting.html)

LOG
06-09-2011, 07:10 AM
If you haven't checked recently, there's been a steady release of more info on the Secret World, characters, locations, monsters, etc. Not surprisingly, Kingsmouth/Solomon Island seem to be a real hotbed of eldritch activity.
Still liking it.

Edit: It occurs to me that The Secret World in general and things like London/Ealdwic and Innsmouth Academy especially remind me of dark urban fantasy worlds. In particular, the Nightside series. But other ones too, such as the Dresden Files, Mortal Coils, or Mercedes Thomspon, etc.

Edit 2:
Developer Diary: Story and Missions (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJuEQStDHEI)
Everything is True (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRY2tRU_OAo)

LOG
06-19-2011, 04:41 AM
If you haven't yet, you should check out the blogs (just discovered them myself).

Ragnar Tornquist on the story in The Secret World (http://www.thesecretworld.com/news/blog_update_ragnar_on_the_story_in_the_secret_worl d)

I hope you'll join our thriving community as we put our feet to the spades, pierce the soft ground with the sharp metal, and start shoveling the dark earth over our shoulders as the distant stars above burn bright and cold in the misty October night. Deeper and deeper, down, down, down into the eldritch blackness where the whispers, those piercing, insistent whispers, are strong and clear and tempting...

"Join us... Join us..."Lead writer Dag Scheve talks about characters (http://www.thesecretworld.com/news/blog_lead_writer_dag_scheve_talks_about_the_charac ters_in_the_secret_world)

On your journey through the secret world you will meet characters from all continents and all walks of life. From a Scottish school teacher to an Ethiopian gangster. From a fifteen year old contract killer to a jaded hero of elder times. From a sexy Brazilian diplomat to a three thousand year old mummy in a suit. From a golden child to an ancient villain with a huge chip on his shoulder.

Where characters in other games are often just vehicles for the tasks the designers want their players to undertake, our characters are about giving you the information you need to decide for yourself. Rather than asking the player directly for help, they will talk about events in the world and offer opinions, present scenarios that players can choose to react to, do something to change, or walk away from.

In one of my favourite cinematics, we have a mother and a daughter arguing about the dirty dishes in the face of the apocalypse. In another we have a desperate villain threatening an already dead man with…death. We have characters who sing, characters who dance, characters who blow things up, and characters who deceive.


Creating a world between the cracks in reality (http://www.thesecretworld.com/news/blog_entry_creating_a_world_between_the_cracks_in_ reality)

The Illuminati don’t tell new recruits how to find them, finding them *is* the job interview.

LOG
06-30-2011, 03:21 AM
Blog: Creating the world -- Part 1 (http://www.thesecretworld.com/news/blog_creating_the_world_part_one)

Kingsmouth Lighthouse (http://www.thesecretworld.com/world/locations/lighthouse)

Wendigo (http://www.thesecretworld.com/world/monsters/wendigo)
The Akab (http://www.thesecretworld.com/world/monsters/akab)
Deep Ones (http://www.thesecretworld.com/world/monsters/deepone)

LOG
07-05-2011, 04:05 AM
Q&A (http://www.zam.com/story.html?story=26909&storypage=2)
Hints of some game mechanics that he's not allowed to talk about.

Savage Coast video preview (http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/404/view/videos/play/1989/The-Secret-World-Location-Preview-Video.html)
I like it, though it's nothing special. However, it was kind of sad to see the narrator talking about dark woods while the video shows woods that...aren't. They're kind of gloomy, but not dark.

Bartholomew
07-05-2011, 07:26 AM
Ouch. Something is now competing for my attention with Old Republic.

LOG
07-05-2011, 05:04 PM
Preview on RPS (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/07/05/the-secret-world-preview/)(The grammar needs help)


until a certain moment, I still felt a sense of disconnect as I watched it being played inside Funcom’s Norwegian headquarters.Because my real world isn’t stalked by zombies. Clearly if I’m ever suffering the misfortune of having to go inside ASDA it can feel damned close, but during my general day-to-day life I rarely encounter Draug emerging from the sea. And as much as I want to live in denial of this, I don’t work for a secret society attempting to protect the Earth from knowing of the presence of darknesses. I felt this way right up until we had a chat with a local priest.
He described himself as a “hobbyist” member of the Illuminati, and then added that he knows things that “aren’t on Google.”
And snap!
It’s the real world.

So much of The Secret World’s design seems to be about creating a narrative rationale for the accepted memes of MMOs, and then trying to make that something meaningful and worthwhile. Monsters are everywhere, but every monster is there for a reason, and that seems to go beyond an origin story. A huge part of The Secret World will be figuring out why.

LOG
08-13-2011, 07:19 PM
So, they say that, at GamesCom,:
Behind closed doors, press will be treated to a demonstration of The Secret World's secret society gameplay, including the first-ever reveal of the game's large-scale PvP where over a hundred players compete in massive, persistent battles.
It seems like there will also be smaller-scale PvP as well.


New dev diary. (http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/the-secret-world/video/6327836/the-secret-world--gamespot-exclusive-world--setting-developer-diary-video)
I love the way Agartha (Hollow Earth) looks.

LOG
08-18-2011, 08:04 AM
We have a release period: April 2012 (http://www.thesecretworld.com/news/ship_date_april_2012_the_secret_war_starts_august_ 26)

The Secret War begins soon (~200 hours from the time of this post). Choose your society.

New CG trailer too. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBrZfrrmTbM)
Not worth much IMO.

Droood
08-20-2011, 09:04 PM
I'm a bit fearful of this game. At first Funcom wanted to release this game on the Xbox 360, and then the PS3 came into things. But now they have stated that they will just focus on the PC version for now. This brings back flashbacks of Age of Conan for me.

Funcom also planned to release AoC on the Xbox 360 in their original design, and built the game to suit. It was only shortly before the release date that they cancelled the console idea, and what we were left with was an awkward game that did not fit the PC standards we would expect from an MMO.

Although Funcom have hinted that they are learning from their past mistakes, by stating that a console version of The Secret World would be a far different game to the PC version, I can't help but be wary by the constant juggling act they do with their ideas.

LOG
08-21-2011, 06:19 AM
AoC works perfectly fine on a PC . . .

Besides, while they may have juggled, if they're set on PC, then there's not as much reason to worry since it won't be coming out until April 2012.

LOG
08-23-2011, 04:50 PM
Beta regs start on the 26th.

LOG
08-27-2011, 10:07 PM
New video for the Secret War. (http://www.gametrailers.com/video/exclusive-secret-the-secret/719752)


The timer--and beta sign-ups--seem to be broken (or are they?)
That's the thing with the TSW setting, you never know when it's planned or not . . . I kind of like it.
If it is an ARG, there's a new thread for it here (http://www.darkdemonscrygaia.com/showthread.php?t=20587).




ETA: Payment model will be a traditional subscription model as well as a micro-transaction store for cosmetic stuff.

LOG
08-31-2011, 02:48 AM
The Secret War (and therefore beta reg) are up.
The new test is cool, and it gives me a completely different result from the oold one. Before I would usually get Dragon/Templar. New one gave me Illuminati, never gotten that result before.

ETA: Now I'm flip-flopping between Illuminati and the Templar . . . I don't like the Dragon's belief in destiny/fate.

LOG
10-15-2011, 06:53 AM
Last man standing cleans up. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUWcar0VHSc)


I'm worried that they may be over-hyping it. But if it's everything they say, it will be so awesome.

Starstryder
10-15-2011, 08:06 PM
This has definitely won me over more than the Old Republic by a long shot. :D So glad they are finally releasing more info. Trying to ignore some though otherwise I might lose interest.

LOG
11-23-2011, 09:56 AM
Some more previews and interviews that might interest you Starstryder: http://www.thesecretworld.com/news/the_secret_world_previews_hit_today


I'm definitely preferring TSW over SWToR, it just has more original concepts.

samsevern
12-10-2011, 06:43 PM
Been waiting for this one forever... progress looks pretty good so far, though I wish we'd really see as many revolutionary elements as were promised.

LOG
02-16-2012, 09:48 AM
http://www.gamesradar.com/why-secret-world-is-more-interesting-than-the-real-world/

defcon6000
02-16-2012, 10:59 AM
I'm definitely preferring TSW over SWToR, it just has more original concepts.
Ditto. Lots of Sci-fantasy/SF/high fantasy MMO's, but no urban myth/fantasy. Saw the trailer of Blue Mountain -- creepy! Like something out of a Lovecraft story, which I think they did take some inspiration from.

Crossing my fingers that this isn't a flop.

LOG
02-17-2012, 03:15 AM
Like something out of a Lovecraft story, which I think they did take some inspiration from.

A bit more than some. :)

LOG
02-27-2012, 12:56 AM
Release pushed back to June 19th. (http://www.thesecretworld.com/news/the_secret_world_to_launch_june_19_2012)

LOG
02-27-2012, 05:10 AM
Read a few previews today, here's some notable quotes from them.


There are detectable flaws with the Secret World; firstly, a conspiracy game needs resolutions and they obviously don't want to give them in this, because they want to keep updating it; secondly, the ghost-running body recovery mechanic is surprisingly old-school for such an innovative MMO; finally, it seems weird to make players create three characters to get all three sides of the story, when they'll have the same exact powers for all three sides - why not let them change faction or do some sort of rebirth/amnesia/reincarnation/flashback thing, where they get to start from scratch with their existing powers?
That said, this is genuinely the first MMO for a long time that I want to play, and it's hard not to list its strengths: The underused classless structure, meaning all players can always play together. The superbly scripted story, which is entirely skippable for those who hate stories.
The working puzzle quests which are genuinely taxing. The ambitious dungeon design, halfway to WoW but not afraid to pull in other influences. The levelling system meaning players have a genuine choice as to how they specialise, without ever committing themselves to a path permanently. Finally, they've made a fantasy modern world believable.


Funcom (http://games.ign.com/objects/025/025602.html) ties this all cleverly into The Secret World thanks to a very slick user-interface. Quests and dialogue (all fully voice-acted, and there's quite a lot of it) are all activated with buttons that hover next to NPCs, looking like little smartphone icons. And the Skill Wheel, where you buy and select the tools for your character to use, shrinks and zooms like so many iPad widgets. You can even drag-and-drop mission icons to share with party members. It all feels intuitive and has a natural place in the world, like the game is taking advantage of a tech-savvy audience and implementing clever mechanics in a way that makes sense for the setting.

As somepony who has grown accustomed to the high-fantasy and sci-fi settings that make up 99% of the world's MMOs, The Secret World, with its hip, over-the-top, Tarrantino-style voiced monologues and recognizable locations and style, is incredibly striking and easy to slip into. It helps that many of the quests have surprisingly complex cut-scenes that go with them, too.


Each faction will have its own unique, scripted, and voice-acted storyline, and this was one of my biggest, happiest surprises in my time with the game. The writing is top-notch, filled with surreal irony, with more cinematic cutscenes than Star Wars: The Old Republic (http://www.g4tv.com/games/pc/61502/star-wars-the-old-republic/). While the character model graphics currently leave something to be desired, the bright, vibrant personalities shine through. Because, I'm sorry, but in what other game does a 2,000 year old mummy with a posh British accent give you quests while dressed in a white tux?

You may have heard by now that The Secret World utilizes a class-less, level-less system of character progression. How this works is that the game breaks your character's progression into three brackets on a wheel. One bracket is melee weapons, such as hammers and katanas. Another bracket is magic, such as lightning bolts and blood magic. The final bracket is firearms, such as assault rifles, shotguns, and pistols. As you defeat enemies, you'll earn Skill Points and Ability Points. You'll use these points at your discretion.
. . .

“But Sophie,” you must be thinking. “What is this madness?! No classes? No levels? Only one hotbar with just seven abilities? Blasphemy!” But hold on there, cowboys and fillies, I'm about to blow your minds again: There's no gear or vendors (meaning no vendor trash), either.

If you've just flipped over your table in protest of The Secret World spurning every MMO convention, I'll wait for you to pick up the pieces so we can continue. Good? All set? Awesome.



While in-game currency, vendors and loot drops may come into play later, they weren’t present in our demo. As for the gear, that's a definite no. No beefy shoulder pauldrons, no earrings of +4 Dex. Instead, your character will absorb and utilize various Chakras. This isn't to say your character is stuck looking however you made them at character creation, however. Specialized uniforms are worn in PvP to help differentiate the factions, and Funcom showed us a glimpse of another outfit; something that may be unlocked by completing a tier of the ability wheel. But what bonuses these will provide (if any) was unclear.

So here's the question lurking in the shadows: Why quest? Why bring a group together and face down the challenges of a dungeon if you can't show off your ultra-rare pants?

I'll tell you why. Because it's just plain fun. The locations and enemies I saw during our time with the game were some of the most varied, interesting, and visually arresting I’ve seen in a long time.

The Old Republic recently tried its hand at making a survival-horror dungeon with its Rise of the Rakghouls path, and I just about yawned my whole way through it. This, on the other hand, is downright scary—reminding me of the subway portion of Left 4 Dead’s No Mercy campaign. Funcom’s artists are downright brilliant at creating environments that match the “this is the world you live in, but everything has gone absolutely crazy in it” theme. Giant black, oily tentacles break through the ceiling and grasp frantically at anything near them, pillars are shattered and subway trains are infested—the entire place gives me the creeps.
And man is it dark! TOR’s dungeon dimmed the lights a bit, but The Secret World smashes the nightlight and makes you cry for mommy. On one occassion, I was forced into a pitch-black corridor leading into a destroyed escalator system. It was so dark I could barely make out my character’s silhouette, when suddenly a mob of people rushed up the escalator past me. Some were civilians, but there were definitely monsters mixed in there. Their cries and shrieks kick the audio into a frenzy as I panic—I can’t make out friend from foe in the chaos of total darkness. I just start firing my shotgun wildly. At this point, I’m content to take the good with the bad, just to move onto someplace where there’s light.
. . .

And after I battle my way through this horrifying, incredibly detailed shattered world of corrupting evil, I find myself walking around in the Illuminati HQ, which might be the most boring capital city I’ve ever seen. The walls are plain grey with no texture worth mentioning and no set pieces or differentiating elements for huge lengths at a time. Only a few modern art-style pieces and about 20 NPCs break up the endless flat, grey surfaces that make up this ghost town. The whole place reminds me of an old Quake prison map I used to play.
It’s this inconsistency in quality that worries me about The Secret World—I went straight from what might be the most atmospheric area I’ve ever seen in an MMO to one of the least inspired. To be fair, after playing for a full day, the ratio of awesome areas to lame ones was probably 9:1 (in favor of awesome), but we’ve seen so little of the game’s content so far that that 10% is still troubling.


The first thing that strikes me around the face like a boxer at a press conference is the different tone, in terms of characters and narrative. Where Solomon Island is quaffing Lovecraft, Poe and American folklore, Egypt is becoming Biblical, with a sense of high camp thrown in that reminds me of Indiana Jones and Universal’s horror era. Once again, it’s clear how much pop culture has been crammed into this game but it’s also becoming more obvious how it will be partitioned sensibly, with each hub borrowing and reimagining specific complementary portions of the many inspirations.
. . .
In fact, the Illuminati seem fairly dismissive of everypony. Where the Templars are proud of their past and have a certain twisted honour, despite their willingness to look at the bigger picture and sacrifice innocents for the cause, the Illuminati, and particularly your deliciously uberhip handler, seem to quite enjoy being involved in The Secret World. They’re soaking in the glamour and delight of knowing what other ponies don’t know – you’ve almost definitely not heard of their favourite band, not because it only ever released one EP on limited edition cassette, but because it’s probably not even from this dimension.

The Templars seem to have a grave sense of responsibility; the Illuminati have a great sense of fashion. They’re also in on the cultural references that inform the game itself, riffing off computer games and films with the sly and intelligent humour that is one of the game’s hallmarks.
. . .

as before, the things that you are asked to do are varied and continue to avoid fetch quests. There are a few stumbling blocks where the instructions provided aren’t entirely clear, which led to gangs of hungover writers traipsing back and forth through sand dunes, being attacked by giant scorpions and cultists while occasionally turning to one another, their faces crumpled with anguish. Partly, that’s because The Secret World is trying to do things that haven’t been done in this type of game, at this scale. There are times when it feels more like a team-based adventure, with combat a distraction rather than a focus, as a group tries to think through a problem.
It reminds me of Mansions of Madness (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite.asp?eidm=136), the heavily themed horror boardgame in which players have to solve actual puzzles in the middle of a session, constructed randomly out of counters and card. It’s not something that they expect and it doesn’t come naturally at first. The same is true, I think, of teaming up in an MMORPG and reading mission text where every word matters, where exploration matters and where the answer is often in the details rather than in the grossly inconsistent inventory of a deranged rodent.
Then there’s the combat, which I enjoy far more in the dungeons than in the world itself. Partly that’s because the dungeons are linear so monsters are obstacles to pass rather than features of the landscape, respawning and pestering, but it’s also because dungeons are constructed to teach you new ways of fighting. Each new miniboss requires a different technique, usually involving teamwork, and the final boss brings all those techniques together, demanding communication, preparation, and sometimes a degree of patience.
It’s in the dungeons and the clashes at the end of a mission that a character’s skills really matter and there are nearly 600 of the sodding things so it’s not easy to pick and choose. I particularly enjoyed being able to make my hammer wielding lady grow to about ten hooves tall and drag monsters toward her with magical chains while my puny little companions blasted away at them. The user interface is much improved since my last visit though and it’s now possible to build a deck of skills for a specific situation, and even to drag and drop that build on a team mate, allowing them to peruse it, learn from it and then use it if they have the requisite abilities.

. . .
What else did I learn? To help with the investigation missions, Funcom have added an ingame internet browser. It’s something that had been hinted at and it makes perfect sense, both fitting with the interface and allowing for missions that encourage the seeking of outside knowledge. I also asked everypony that seemed even vaguely aware of the game’s existence if they could absolutely definitely clarify that the in-game shop would only allow for the purchase of cosmetic items. They all said ‘yes, that is the case’ and eventually started to look at me like I was insane.



"We actually have a reverse leveling curve" said Joel Bayloss, Lead Content Designer at Funcom, "players will actually gain AP and SP faster as they progress to harder content and harder mobs. At the same time though, the farther you go up the scale of skills and the deeper you go into the ability wheel, the more expensive the skills and abilities are."
There are seven active and seven passive abilities that can be equipped at any time, and the strategy here is to equip passive abilities that will support the active ones. There are also seven levels in the series of abilities in any segment of the wheel, and the 7th is an active elite skill that you have to build up combat focus to use. This can be intimidating to the new player so the game will provide a number of templates or “decks” with suggested abilities that players take if they like to play certain roles such as Ninja, Assassin, Elementalist, Blade Dancer, Tank and etc.
. . .
“We really encourage players to switch out builds a lot,” said Joel, “The decks are starting points and as players get comfortable with the ability system, we expect there will be a lot of experimentation and discussion on the forums, especially in regards to which passive ability does better at supporting which active ability.”
Players will have to weigh the advantages between better crits or improved damage for example, and build their abilities accordingly. The UI and search functions to assist players is being reiterated and polished at this time, and promises some excellent filters to help players make those difficult choices.

defcon6000
02-27-2012, 05:40 AM
Release pushed back to June 19th. (http://www.thesecretworld.com/news/the_secret_world_to_launch_june_19_2012)
At least they're not rushing it. I'd hate to see such a cool and unique MMO be flawed at the running gate because it was pushed out the door too soon, as has happened to other potentially great games in the past.

Still have my fingers crossed.



“But Sophie,” you must be thinking. “What is this madness?! No classes? No levels? Only one hotbar with just seven abilities? Blasphemy!” But hold on there, cowboys and fillies, I'm about to blow your minds again: There's no gear or vendors (meaning no vendor trash), either.Squee!!! That was the one thing I couldn't stand in WoW was all the grinding for gear, only to have to replace it a few month down the road.

Anjasa
02-27-2012, 06:35 AM
I lost all interest in this when I found out it was using a subscription AND a microtransaction system. One or the other, please :<

LOG
02-27-2012, 07:38 AM
I lost all interest in this when I found out it was using a subscription AND a microtransaction system. One or the other, please :<
The microtansaction isn't like DDO or LOTRO; it's more like GW's, everything in it is pure convenience, so it's just an item shop, not something you need to play successfully.

Anjasa
02-27-2012, 03:18 PM
The microtansaction isn't like DDO or LOTRO; it's more like GW's, everything in it is pure convenience, so it's just an item shop, not something you need to play successfully.

It's the same as in WoW. I just really don't like that. I don't like, for instance, being a pet collector and having new pets released - for people willing to pay real money for it.

It just makes it seem like a cash grab, and when some developer's time is being pulled from putting in fun cosmetic stuff in for free, in order to put fun cosmetic stuff in for a price, it makes me uncomfortable.

I think that's what a subscription fee is for.

Aion did it as well, selling cosmetic stuff with a subscription fee, and I just really dislike the system, which is unfortunate as Secret World seemed awesome. I just can't justify even paying a subscription fee to most games, and I don't want the best cosmetic things to be extra money. I'm a roleplayer, cosmetic stuff is what I spent a lot of time in games trying to get!

LOG
03-25-2012, 03:20 AM
If this game doesn't get an M rating then I'll eat a sock. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBSUgKbKaWs)
(Warning: NSFW, and incredibly awkward at times.)

Starstryder
03-25-2012, 04:14 PM
I don't often go for pre-orders of games (only bought Fallout 3 and New Vegas this way) but I so wish there was a pre-order up already...

defcon6000
03-26-2012, 06:23 AM
If this game doesn't get an M rating then I'll eat a sock. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBSUgKbKaWs)
(Warning: NSFW, and incredibly awkward at times.)
Ha! I didn't think it was that bad, though funny how they decided to show that particular start. My guess is the horny fan boys will all be Green Dragons. :D (I'm sticking with Illuminati, myself.) Anyone else think the big tattoo guy looked like he was wearing a diaper?

And we'll have to adjust an age old saying from WoW: "Don't stand in the Filth!"

LOG
03-26-2012, 04:43 PM
Ha! I didn't think it was that bad, though funny how they decided to show that particular start. My guess is the horny fan boys will all be Green Dragons. :D (I'm sticking with Illuminati, myself.) Anyone else think the big tattoo guy looked like he was wearing a diaper?

And we'll have to adjust an age old saying from WoW: "Don't stand in the Filth!"
Illuminati here too.

Also, it's a fundoshi (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundoshi)--it's a type of loincloth.

defcon6000
03-26-2012, 11:55 PM
Also, it's a fundoshi (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundoshi)--it's a type of loincloth.
Is that what it was? It was way too shiny in the demo to come across as cloth. Changing the color would help a lot.

LOG
03-27-2012, 01:34 AM
I thought it was a fundoshi at least . . . or w/e the Korean name is for one.

Anyways, there have been some articles and video on explaining character development, but this blog (http://www.thesecretworld.com/news/blog_lead_designer_martin_bruusgaard_explains_char acter_development) by a developer is without a doubt the most in-depth and informative.

Starstryder
04-04-2012, 12:50 PM
Oh yay, did the basic pre-order yesterday. :) LOL it has been a long time since I have been so excited for a game.

Anyone else pre-order?

efkelley
04-04-2012, 11:19 PM
I've not pre-ordered, but I'm interested in this one. I'll have to see a bit more before putting down some cash on it.

defcon6000
04-04-2012, 11:40 PM
I'm VERY interested as well. But I never do pre-orders (I'm not so preemptive), looking forward to it, tho.

Mharvey
04-05-2012, 10:58 AM
2 Words:
Free Trial.

They usually don't release that sort of thing until all the initial bugs are ironed out.

Is this free trial something like: the first part of the game for free? Because if so, I suspect it may be Tortage all over again from Age of Conan, where the first 1-20 levels were where 70% of their effort went, and the rest of the content was barely even functional (and a times, not even).

While Funcom has brought on some heavy hitters for Secret World, I think I'm going to wait to see what people say 3 months after release for this one. Funcom got me good once already.

LOG
04-05-2012, 05:04 PM
Wut?

No, I'm referring to the free trials MMOs often release of their games after a while.

Mharvey
04-05-2012, 10:58 PM
Wut?

No, I'm referring to the free trials MMOs often release of their games after a while.

Ah, all right. I misunderstood. I thought you were saying Secret World was launching with a free trial... which I'd find a dubious comfort at best, given Funcom's track record for front-stacking their MMOs with amazingly polished early game content, then complete neglect of everything beyond that. "Release first, grab money, patch later."

defcon6000
04-05-2012, 11:48 PM
Well apparently, if you pre-order the game (http://www.thesecretworld.com/buy/), you'll get to join a "beta weekends." But no freebies. :(

LOG
04-06-2012, 12:17 AM
Ah, all right. I misunderstood. I thought you were saying Secret World was launching with a free trial... which I'd find a dubious comfort at best, given Funcom's track record for front-stacking their MMOs with amazingly polished early game content, then complete neglect of everything beyond that. "Release first, grab money, patch later."
One game = record?
Also, what about Anarchy Online?

Mharvey
04-06-2012, 08:45 AM
One game = record?
Also, what about Anarchy Online?

Well, considering just after launch, Funcom pleaded with reviewers not to review AO until they patched it after the first month, I'm going to have to say having AO on their record probably hurts more than helps when talking about an upcoming release.

Look, I'm not saying the game isn't going to be good... but, yes, given Funcom's record, I'm not exactly going to be preordering this one. Tell me 3 months after release it's the best MMO you've ever played, and I'll give it a whirl.

defcon6000
04-22-2012, 12:27 AM
So I was browsing the site aaaand, saw they had upgrade packs. Apparently they think someone will pay $200 for a snake-skin leather jacket. (I know a life-time subscription is included, but seems absurd to pay that much without even trying the game.)

I dislike this "paying for an advantage" in the game. Won't that imbalance things? And only 3 character slots??? Oh, but you can buy more for $10 each. Ugh.

Ahh, and I had such high hopes for this game.

LOG
04-22-2012, 02:46 AM
So I was browsing the site aaaand, saw they had upgrade packs. Apparently they think someone will pay $200 for a snake-skin leather jacket. (I know a life-time subscription is included, but seems absurd to pay that much without even trying the game.)

I dislike this "paying for an advantage" in the game. Won't that imbalance things? And only 3 character slots??? Oh, but you can buy more for $10 each. Ugh.

Ahh, and I had such high hopes for this game.
-What advantage? The in-game items offered are simply exclusives and jump-start items. Only the initiate pack offers any weapons, and those are still beginner stuff, though high-end.
-3 characters slots for 3 factions, what's the problem?
-Grandmaster/Master are gambles, like all such offers--you risk the upfront high cost and hope that the game is good enough that you'll play it enough to pay off your investment in unpaid subscriptions fees.

defcon6000
04-22-2012, 03:43 AM
-What advantage? The in-game items offered are simply exclusives and jump-start items. Only the initiate pack offers any weapons, and those are still beginner stuff, though high-end.
-3 characters slots for 3 factions, what's the problem?
-Grandmaster/Master are gambles, like all such offers--you risk the upfront high cost and hope that the game is good enough that you'll play it enough to pay off your investment in unpaid subscriptions fees.
-The Master pack also contains high-end talismans. And it is a bit of an advantage if you can buy gear, beginner or not. What's to stop them from selling high-end gear to advanced players, too?
-Compared to WoW which allowed 9 slots per server, plus, with 525 abilities, you have the potential to make A LOT more than three deck builds. The idea of limiting slots is to drive you to buy the "extra" ones.
-I never liked gambling. And no, no game is worth an extra 200 bucks, no matter how good.

LOG
04-22-2012, 05:11 AM
-Compared to WoW which allowed 9 slots per server, plus, with 525 abilities, you have the potential to make A LOT more than three deck builds. The idea of limiting slots is to drive you to buy the "extra" ones.

But remember that you aren't limited to only a single build, you can switch out entire playstyles at will, there are no classes, so what would be the need for more than 3?



-I never liked gambling. And no, no game is worth an extra 200 bucks, no matter how good.
I'm not saying it is, that's just the practice.

Mharvey
04-25-2012, 08:10 PM
I'm with defcon. If you have a monthly subscription, your cash shop really better be tiny (like WoW tiny - pets/mounts at most). If you're going to charge me extra in order for me to get the look I want for my character, I'm going to resent it... but it's not nessecarily a deal breaker. The deal breaker is adding gear as well (I assume those are what talismans are) - that's a huge mistake.

Monthly Subscription + Big Cash Shop + Items that give your character a mechanical advantage in-game = Recipe for Disaster.

Leave it to Funcom to combine all three of those. Has that even been done before?

I had a wait and see attitude toward this game before. Now, I don't think I'll be waiting or seeing.

defcon6000
04-25-2012, 11:53 PM
I don't believe it's Funcom's fault. This is the work of EA's greed. Instead of including the gear in the game, like a quest reward or something, they figure you'll be lazy/desperate and purchase it.

I still want to like this game because it looks neat, and I've been wanting to play an RPG that isn't high fantasy, but I'm disappointed in EA's money grubbing tactics.

Mharvey
04-26-2012, 05:10 AM
I don't believe it's Funcom's fault. This is the work of EA's greed. Instead of including the gear in the game, like a quest reward or something, they figure you'll be lazy/desperate and purchase it.

I still want to like this game because it looks neat, and I've been wanting to play an RPG that isn't high fantasy, but I'm disappointed in EA's money grubbing tactics.

AH, of course... now this makes total sense. I wasn't aware EA and Funcom had partnered up or something.

I actually made a YouTube clip that was featured on the Consumerist that was basically taken from a stockholder's meeting by EA CEO John Riccitiello, in which he talks about how effective microtransactions are at getting money from gamers.

*sigh*

Gaming industry. What's happening to you?

LOG
04-26-2012, 05:57 AM
Monthly Subscription + Big Cash Shop + Items that give your character a mechanical advantage in-game = Recipe for Disaster.

Well there's still no evidence of a "big cash shop" or that the items offered in the packages will offer any significant advantage. Even if they did, they may be the only example of their kind.


AH, of course... now this makes total sense. I wasn't aware EA and Funcom had partnered up or something.

They haven't AFAIK.
Funcom is a totally independent company.

Mharvey
04-26-2012, 06:40 AM
From what I now understand, EA and Funcom are "co-releasing" Secret World. (http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2011/01/10/ea-to-co-publish-funcom-s-the-secret-world-mmo.aspx)

There's rumors of a potential merge in Q3 2012, but right now, they're just working together on the title.

Regardless, I'm not very excited about this.

LOG
04-26-2012, 07:00 AM
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

I . . . I don't think I can buy it.
I promised that EA wouldn't get another cent from me until it changed . . . *whimper*
Now it won't even matter whether The Secret World is good or not.

contrariwise
04-26-2012, 09:48 AM
What has EA done that pissed everyone off?

Mharvey
04-26-2012, 10:38 AM
What has EA done that pissed everyone off?

EA has gotten a bad rep lately for, well, generally putting profits over quality... IE: Being a company. The problem is, how flagrantly they do it. DLCs, Microtransactions.

Then you got the CEO basically rubbing his hands together, saying stuff like this to his shareholders:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR6-u8OIJTE

I don't personally hate EA, but - well - lately there's been a real drought of quality games. I hated Kingdoms of Amalur. Apparently everyone hates the ME3 ending. I didn't even bother getting the game. SWTOR was so mediocre that it made me cry. It just seems they've lost touch with what makes a game great... if they ever had it. I personally can't remember the last EA game I thought was great. ME2, maybe? Though Bioware may have still be independent then.

contrariwise
04-26-2012, 11:14 AM
Ouch. Nice background music. That does seem pretty evil.

LOG
04-26-2012, 05:27 PM
It's not even just the recent stuff, that was just what pushed me over the edge, but they've been pulling crap for years.

efkelley
04-27-2012, 05:38 AM
They're being a corporation and trying to maximize profits. All well and good. All corps do.

However, what his talk at the shareholder's meeting told me is that they intend to deliberately withhold content and gameplay from a title. They'll keep it hostage. When he says 'we're not gouging anyone' that's incorrect. I'm paying for a full game, but getting an interactive storefront. Charging even one more penny for what should be a full title is extremely unethical.

If EA has something to do with this title, I'm out. It looks interesting, but I don't care to get invested and then pay to reload my clip in the middle of a boss fight.

LOG
05-07-2012, 11:13 PM
Got into the beta, it opens again this Tuesday.

I'll leave what impressions I can here.

efkelley
05-08-2012, 11:50 AM
Sounds good, LOG. I look forward to it.

LOG
05-09-2012, 08:12 AM
So, impressions after about 30 minutes of play:
The character customization doesn't seem to be implemented yet, and the initial clothing options are limited, but that's fine because there seems to be a good variety of clothing available shortly after start, although it seems to require a good bit of in-game cash.

The opening animations seemed rather jerky, but that might be a fault on my end--I'm running a 2009 multimedia laptop, not even a gaming laptop. At the lowest settings I can keep it going smooth for the most part, although it's not really a smooth experience. Even on the lowest settings though it looks pretty good. I should be back on my desktop by next week though, and that thing is a powerhouse, so it should be able to handle the game much better.

The games does have some long load times, at least initially. Like GW the load times seem to become better after the first time.

The aesthetic and environments seems to be very well done and detailed. The character models, at least for NPCs, look quite realistic and varied.

Some subtitles are missing, even in the beginning scenes, which is a bit annoying, but hopefully those will be fixed eventually.

Now for the two big points: questing and combat.
So far I've only had to actually accept a single quest, and after that it's just been updating itself as I move through the game. Not completely immersive, but better than having to stop and talk to someone for every stage.

Combat is a definite improvement over the traditional form. Not having played TERA or GW2, I'm not sure how it compares.
Some abilities are true-action, you can use them at your own discretion regardless of targets or targeting, such as the shotgun's basic attack. Other abilities still require targeting, but so far I haven't had to do much in the way of targeting, the system takes care of a lot on its own.
Some attacks can be dodged, but as far as I can tell, the game lacks any sort of dodge feature, which leaves strafing as the main form of dodge. That on its own isn't too bad, but it means you need to have some quick fingers to dance between moving and attacking, which is skill-based in a sense I guess.
So from what I've heard of GW and TERA, TSW isn't as advanced in terms of true combat, but it's definitely better than the old model of sitting in place, which in TSW will get you killed.
The AI is actually fairly intelligent, even low-level mobs know enough to surround their enemy (you), which requires the player to keep moving to keep them in front of in the combat tutorial so that you can keeps the hordes of enemies in your shotgun's area of damage. There was a point in the tutorial where a group of enemies had spread out across a room, which made the shotgun rather inefficient. Just having to kill them one a time nearly resulted in my own death because they were all flinging bolts of filth at me--painful things. Was down to 30 of my 1500 HP before the last went down.

contrariwise
05-09-2012, 01:56 PM
Interesting. It sounds like it's more of an action game than an RPG.

LOG
05-09-2012, 04:39 PM
Interesting. It sounds like it's more of an action game than an RPG.
In a way, but a lot of MMOs seem to be moving in that direction--they don't use statistics to represent things like dodge or crit, etc anymore, instead the player just has to dodge on their own. More skill, less numbers.
The traditional RPG system used in video games (like WoW) was there because of the limits of technology, but as TERA and GW2 show, those limits are breaking down.

defcon6000
05-09-2012, 07:55 PM
Doesn't sound too bad, but I'll wait for the more in-depth review. Still don't know if I want it or not. *grumbles* Stupid EA.

btw, how did you get into the beta? I signed up in the hopes of getting in.

contrariwise
05-09-2012, 08:23 PM
btw, how did you get into the beta? I signed up in the hopes of getting in.
Wow, really? I thought they said that everyone who pre-orders gets beta access. I'm glad I didn't pre-order now, since that was the only reason I was going to.

LOG
05-09-2012, 10:23 PM
I didn't pre-order, I signed up for beta access . . . yeesh, possibly years ago. It was way back when they first opened up beta applications.

contrariwise
05-09-2012, 10:36 PM
Oh I see. Everyone I know signed up for beta access back then and no one ever heard anything, so I assumed that was just smoke and mirrors. I thought the only way to get in was with a pre-order.

Mharvey
05-09-2012, 11:25 PM
Yeah, good thoughts LOG.

I'm gonna approach this the same way I have TERA. Three months in, people are still talking about it and the game is growing rather than dying, I'll put my chips on the table. Otherwise, I'll assume "close enough to par", in which point I know I'll play about a month, two at most, then quit... having felt the majority of the time wasted.

LOG
05-18-2012, 03:55 AM
I gotta say, the investigative missions can be really fun.
The first notable one most players will probably meet is in Kingsmouth.
The first stage is pretty easy, but the 2nd and 3rd tiers have both required some internet browsing and puzzle-solving brain-muscles.
When I completed tier 3 (took me like, 15 minutes to figure out a certain part) I just got such a rush from being able to figure it out on my own.
I'd explain just how awesome I am, but that would spoil the game for anyone else. :P

The rush I got from working on this single mission is already better than any feeling I ever got defeating raid bosses, although it does lack replayability . . .

defcon6000
06-26-2012, 06:51 AM
I got to join in on beta weekend #4 and did a wee review (http://defconcanwrite.blogspot.com/2012/06/entering-secret-world.html) of it on my blog. Have to say it's some of the most fun I've had on an MMO.

Mharvey
06-28-2012, 03:32 AM
I got to join in on beta weekend #4 and did a wee review (http://defconcanwrite.blogspot.com/2012/06/entering-secret-world.html) of it on my blog. Have to say it's some of the most fun I've had on an MMO.

Interesting read. I think I'm still going to hold fast to my "3 months and see" approach. It worked very well with TERA - I couldn't even stomach an hour of that game. Played the free trial when it came out. Have to hand it to them, they took a bold approach: give a bunch of abilities I have no idea how to use, leaving me floundering for 45 minutes. Then, once I got the hang of it, THEY TAKE THEM ALL AWAY. Fought my first enemy afterward... mouse clicking boredly until it died... said "screw this" and uninstalled. Never seen a more jarring, terrible approach. "So, I just played an hour and successfully deleveled my character 19 levels? Isn't this kinda the opposite way MMOs are supposed to work, idiot?"

Besides, with GW2 probably being released at roughly the same time and the potential for MoP (as much as we like to mock it, lots of folks are going to give it a shot, albeit reluctantly) to come out randomly, with only a month or two notice, TSW is going to have *ridiculous* competition. Slap on two gaming companies whose reputations are dubious at best (EA and Funcom), and all the signs point to 'wait and see'.

efkelley
06-28-2012, 03:49 AM
Totally with you on TERA, Mharvey. That was utterly ridiculous.

defcon6000
06-29-2012, 04:47 AM
Slap on two gaming companies whose reputations are dubious at best (EA and Funcom), and all the signs point to 'wait and see'.
But... EA isn't a gaming company. They're publisher.

From what I played in the beta, I didn't feel there was any EA meddling; just a few buggy missions. However, there could be problems down the road. But the gameplay felt solid, wonderful worldbuilding and storyline, and seemed like they took just about every annoying aspect that other MMO's have had and fixed them.

That doesn't mean it'll be great, but for me, it gives the game a major leg up. I don't plan on going back to WoW--not unless they give me free character transfers to a sever with an actual population--and I'm not into the GW franchise. So I think TSW will fit the niche group of gamers who want something "fresh," and not the same old gear-chasing, fantasy realm with two generic factions and backstory you don't give a shit about.

Mharvey
06-29-2012, 07:25 AM
I feel either name (EA or Funcom) is sorta company nongratta. I've made this point before, so apologies for getting repetitious... but even if EA wasn't writing checks and assuming they aren't interfering, Funcom itself still has a terrible track record for rushing incomplete MMOs out the door.

I just can't see something published by EA and made by Funcom ever filling that "fresh" role. After all, Age of Conan looked *fantastic* for the first 20 levels. Turns out, that's where 80% of their design went. By the time you were at 50, it was a miracle if your level 50 story quest actually worked.

But, for what it's worth, I hope you're right. I'd love a fresh MMO. I won't be buying launch day, but sing its praises a couple of months down the line and I'll probably jump in the pool.

defcon6000
06-29-2012, 08:43 AM
I don't blame you for waiting; I'm debating with myself if I want to jump in or stay back and see how it turns out. I had a lot of fun playing the beta, and after he first night of the beta weekend, they did shut down for a couple of hours to fix any bugs addressed, so they seem to be on top of things. But... there's always room for doubt. Plus, MMO's are so time-consuming. :tongue

efkelley
06-29-2012, 09:39 AM
I think I said it earlier, that the non-fantasy setting was intriguing. Pretty much anything that isn't sword&sorcery gets a look from me these days. But the EA connection makes it a wash, especially at launch.

I'm with you guys. I'll give it a few months, wait for the reviews, and decide based on that. Totally not paying anything near launch price though.

LOG
06-29-2012, 11:30 AM
Well EA is only publishing the physical version, you can buy the digital version from Funcom and EA won't get a dime (directly from you anyways)/

efkelley
06-29-2012, 03:09 PM
Hmm. You make a good point, Sir Log of Logistania. Hmm.. Well, I'll give it a bit. Folks are kind of 'eh' on it at the moment. Let's see what happens in three months. Lots of things popping in the next couple of months. I'm not so tired of the current batch as to need something right now.
(Liar!)
(Quiet, you.)

Mharvey
07-03-2012, 07:19 AM
Funcom CEO Resigns Position 24 Hours Before Secret World Launch. (http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/07/02/funcoms-ceo-steps-down-on-the-day-of-the-secret-worlds-launch/)

While he didn't quit the company, I don't care what kind of spin they put on that... that's a bad freaking sign.

LOG
07-03-2012, 07:54 AM
Funcom CEO Resigns Position 24 Hours Before Secret World Launch. (http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/07/02/funcoms-ceo-steps-down-on-the-day-of-the-secret-worlds-launch/)

While he didn't quit the company, I don't care what kind of spin they put on that... that's a bad freaking sign.
That's possible, or it could just really be that he wants to go work on other projects.

Mharvey
07-03-2012, 08:20 AM
That's possible, or it could just really be that he wants to go work on other projects.

I guess, but if that was the case, he couldn't have waited until two weeks after release - or even two days? This announcement can only negatively effect initial sales.

IMHO: he just pulled an Alan Smithee on TSW.

defcon6000
07-03-2012, 09:00 AM
I'm going with what LOG said. It doesn't mean "bad news" that the CEO stepped down, only that he wanted to end his position on a high note. It's not like all the game developers up and quit, hanging their heads in shame.

Wiskel
07-09-2012, 07:17 PM
This is surprisingly good so far.

I caved on firday night and bought a digital download. i resisted any of the optional extras.

I'm playing a templar (I'm english) and they haven't kicked me out for not having as bad a cockney accent as theirs yet. I'm still low level so haven't ventured past the first quest area. I had a bit of a go at healer but backtracked and went for the mage as it's easier to learn the game when I have a couple of spells to kill monsters with, as the skill and ability levelling system took a few advancements to get my head around.

It's got better as I've understood it more, and the first questing area is great. I feel suitably powerful, (and badass) wearing a hoodie and setting zombies on fire in a moody seaside town that wouldn't look out of place in Silent Hill. The missions are all pretty good storywise, although it's a bit wierd I can't load up on 30 and go blitz the town. It has a strange system for getting you to concentrate on one major mission at a time but that helps the story. So far, not one mission I haven't enjoyed.

There's still a few parts of the game i'm clueless on, like crafting, and i haven't fully understood the powers system, but this morning the game recomended I get my mage a shotgun with the promise of a new, better hoodie if i did, and what's not to like about that?

Funniest thing was watching a stream of people ask over general chat if the game really expected them to learn morse code for one of the quests and watching people reply that it did. I think i'm going to like quests like that.

Can't comment on anything beyond the opening few hours, but it's a lot better than i expected.

Craig

defcon6000
08-03-2012, 10:55 PM
Free weekend to play (http://www.thesecretworld.com/news/celebrate_the_first_live_month_of_the_secret_world )!!! In honor of their one month anniversary. Also, they'll be fireworks. ;)

efkelley
08-04-2012, 06:37 AM
Thanks for the heads up! Was just looking for something to do. :)

efkelley
08-04-2012, 10:51 AM
So, I went Templar and this writing isn't bad! Sonnac is quite the character. I'll have to do characters for the other two organizations and run through their tutorials just to see what they're like.

OC-138
08-04-2012, 10:55 AM
I wont say no to a free game. Will have to check it out :)

defcon6000
08-04-2012, 10:56 PM
It really is a great game. It's less of a grind and more about exploring the world, discovering weird mysteries. Right now I'm playing Dragons on server Grim (couldn't resist the name :D), trying out a hammer/shotgun build.

efkelley
08-05-2012, 09:20 PM
Liking a Templar Magus build the most at the moment. I gather that the decks are just to give us ideas to work towards so that you don't gimp yourself while gathering up points. I'd guess that in the later game we'd have multiple builds constructed to face different critters and do different challenges.

The crafting needs a FAR more comprehensive tutorial than what's in game. I found a devblog on it, and it makes a lot more sense now. It's always funny to find everything perfectly explained out there on the web. I want to tap the devs on the shoulder and say 'You see that? Those words right there should be in the game.'

defcon6000
09-22-2012, 09:40 AM
Now with rocket launchers! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8k1r-A3UAE)

(When I get through all my other games, and assuming I don't fall pray to sims3, I'll probably sink my teeth in this.)

WritingIsHard
03-04-2013, 11:02 AM
I just bought it a week ago and I'm having a blast with it. The world looks very cool, the ability point system is very interesting, and I love the quests. Even the ones that do turn out to be "kill X monsters of Y type" (I only found one so far, and I'm almost through the starting location) give you a good reason for it. Also the monsters are sufficiently challenging without being too hard. You can always run away if you're out of your depth... And as you get too cool for some of the mobs it's still very satisfying to cut down several of them in two great sweeps :D

Is anyone from AW still playing?

LOG
03-04-2013, 12:35 PM
I have it on my desktop, but my time is oriented more towards GW 1 and 2 ATM.