So is The Secret World any good?

#1 Edited by Sonti (17 posts) -

I know it was getting a bit bashed during beta but I've been reading how they improved stuff based on the feedback from beta. Anyone playing the full game and can share their opinions so far?

I loved Anarchy Online and love the universes created by Ragnar Tornquist's (Anarchy Online, The Longest Journey, Dreamfall). Does TSW have any similarities to these games?

Just thought I'd ask while waiting for Jeff's opinion.

#2 Posted by L44 (510 posts) -

A part of me hopes it's pretty good.

#3 Edited by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

I just played it, friend convinced me to buy it, and so far, it's pretty terrible.

It feels like a 90s game. Your character is constantly talked at and just stands there like an asshole. You don't interact with anything. All of the characters talk for way too long, it just goes on and on about nonsense, trying to be zany and conspiracyish, but it's just obnoxious. The animation is fucking godawful, the customization is barely there, and the combat is just every other MMO but without feeling as tight. While the skill tree and weapons seem interesting at first, that's only until you realize they're basically all the same. The game may claim to have 800 abilities, but really it's more like 5.

It also looks terrible and runs poorly.

It's a pretty not-good game.

#4 Posted by L44 (510 posts) -

damn.

#5 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

The best thing about it is the setting, and to a lesser extent the writing. The combat is pretty dull, the UI is really bad, and the controls are not fun to use.

Really love that setting. Hopefully the World of Darkness MMO that CCP is making actually comes out.

#6 Posted by Beld (42 posts) -

My problem with it is that they launched with both a subscription and a cash shop. It pretty much screams that they fully intend to go free-to-play after getting what ever they can out of subscribers.

It's kinda of a shame that they decided to go the MMO route. The setting is pretty cool. But I don't see them coming out too well launching this close to Guild Wars.

#7 Posted by Davvyk (686 posts) -

I totally wrote TSW off, then i played the beta and i REALLY wrote TSW off. For some reason though i still bought it and i have to say, im enjoying it a hugely.

Its certainly unique within its space.

#8 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -
@Beld Well they would've got capital f Fucked if they launched after.
#9 Posted by Jams (2956 posts) -

Gamespot had a live stream that I watched a bit of. It convinced me to buy the game yesterday. I had high hopes before they really released any info about it. Then I thought it was going to be terrible by everything they DID release. So far I think the game is pretty damn good. It's at least 100x better than what I expected it to be. Then again, I'm only about an hour in. The quests seems really good if you pay attention to them and supposedly the missions are unique too.

The interface is pretty good, once you get used to it. It's different

The graphics I guess are average for an mmo. They're on par with say Alpha Protocol.

The story is the best part of the game so far. I've never been one to notice cheesy lines and bad voice acting though, so that helps. Like the guy on the livestream said, they don't talk like people normally do, but like a stylize novelization of talking that kind of fits the world.

The combat is pretty boring so far, and from what I understand is the weakest point of the game. But hell, I used to play Everquest where the most exciting combat move I had was kick.

I'll have to play more of the game to form a better opinion though. But I've had a lot of experience with mmo's. I've played them all from UO, EQ, DAoC, AO, SWG, etc. etc. etc. and I believe the quality of MMORPGS went downhill since WoW came out. MMORPG's hit rock bottom in terms of fun when TOR came out.

#10 Posted by Pazy (2553 posts) -

Ive watched about 16 hours of the Gamespot live stream and from what I can see all the "MMO" parts of the game, combat, dungeons and basic quests, are average but what seems really cool is the atmosphere, story and some of the diffrent Adventure/Puzzle kind of quests.

#11 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Beld said:

My problem with it is that they launched with both a subscription and a cash shop. It pretty much screams that they fully intend to go free-to-play after getting what ever they can out of subscribers.

To be fair they already had a cash shop in place of AO and AOC.

That said, I beta tested the game twice (played in more than two sittings of course) and it's really bad.

Combat is dire - feels like a very rudimentary, under developed system.

Levelling is a grind despite supposedly having no levels.

Enemies patrol, stand around or are spawned for quests and that's it.

Some say the atmosphere is great. I personally think it's bland and derivative, maybe not of MMOs per se, but certainly of every other medium from TV (X Files, Milennium, Buffy, Angel, Dark Angel), Movies (Romero, of course, but also anything else from Sci Fi to fantasy and even the Manchurian Candidate) to comics (Constantine - who they literally rip the fuck off from in a main story NPC who is John Constantine in every aspect but name, Secret Wars and well, anything Lovecraftian or Conspiracy derived as well as, of course, The Walking Dead) and books (HP Lovecraft gets all but raped here with almost no respect for the material, much like the aforementioned John Constantine - they have a store in the first area called "HP Love Arts and Crafts" ugh). FunCom seem to more thrilled with what they might have achieved with the stuff they cribbed from rather what they did to mash it all together. It's not awful, story wise, but it often feels disjointed and smushed together. There's some over arching idea that a war is coming and that's not bad, but it's also completely unoriginal.

There is a detective element where clues are given and items have to be found, but the navigation of the world is so poor (you can't jump some fences for completely arbitrary reasons while others you can and they'll both be the same height and sometimes even the same model) and the lighting so bland and flat (even with the world having a day night cycle) AND the items are often small that it becomes a chore far more quickly than it should.

NPCs give out quests in simple chains, pushing you further away from then untll you are forced to confront a boss at which point you go back to the same NPC spot and talk to another NPC for another chain of quests until you are told to move on. There is some variety to that formula but not much, so it's rinse repeat questing for the most part.

The powersets and levelling mechanic are weird and not fun to use. By weird I mean that they hide how similar all powersets are behind needless levelling complexity and then when you level whatever powers you want you can only select a small number for use on your bar. Now, if this was an action game it would make sense, but it's not an action game. It's WoW style game and so powers being limited in such a fashion means that gameplay always feels limited and they carrot and stick with the idea that the next tier of powers you'll unlock will be interesting. They're not.

I feel I shouldn't go on because there are people who seem excited to play this. I wish them well. I wouldn't play this even if it was free.

#12 Edited by Funkydupe (3293 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

The best thing about it is the setting, and to a lesser extent the writing. The combat is pretty dull, the UI is really bad, and the controls are not fun to use. Really love that setting. Hopefully the World of Darkness MMO that CCP is making actually comes out.

I hope so too. I read somewhere they had financial issues and had to nerf the development team of valuable talent but I hope it is still going to happen. If they allow the game some depth and add the EVE character creator it'll be a must-buy title for me.

#13 Posted by Funkydupe (3293 posts) -

@Beld said:

My problem with it is that they launched with both a subscription and a cash shop. It pretty much screams that they fully intend to go free-to-play after getting what ever they can out of subscribers.

It's kinda of a shame that they decided to go the MMO route. The setting is pretty cool. But I don't see them coming out too well launching this close to Guild Wars.

World of Warcraft has had that model for years and nobody complained.

#14 Posted by Addfwyn (1914 posts) -

I wish I could tell you, I attempted to buy it on launch day, and my purchase info has been 'pending' since. Went into their live chat, was told to file a ticket. Filed a ticket, still have got zero response.

Really, when my problem is "Hey, I'd like to give you this big wad of cash, but you won't seem to take it" and they ignore me...it's hard to justify trying too much harder.

I did enjoy the setting in the beta though?

#15 Posted by Beld (42 posts) -

@Funkydupe: Well there's quite a bit of difference between adding a cash shop to an already viable game and launching with one. I just think it was a mistake for them to launch with a subscription model and it isn't going to be sustainable.

#16 Posted by TruthTellah (7671 posts) -
#17 Posted by sgjackson (527 posts) -

I've played it a pretty decent amount (over 30 hours) and messed around with most aspects of the game. I'm really enjoying it and think it's kind of an amazing response to a lot of things that were starting to bore me about MMOs, but it has a lot of issues which prevents me recommending it to everyone. I'll give you a rundown:

The good:

-The skill tree system is really neat and makes character progression feel unique and in your control in ways other MMOs really don't. It's hard to dive into, but once you wrap your mind around it you'll see how much it has to offer and how much fun it is tweaking your loadout for different situations. In the event that you're not the kind of person who enjoys messing with this kind of thing, there are pre-made decks which you can build towards that will be "good enough" ways to play the game, or bases which you can tweak, depending on how much you want to get into the skill tree.

-Questing is actually fun. While I think the writing is a little strange (everyone sounds like a character in Twin Peaks or some shit and speaks in weird metaphors at you, a silent protagonist, which you'll either love or hate), it does a pretty solid job of drawing you into a crazy as fuck story and making you give a shit about what you're doing. Investigation quests are the highlight - they require solving riddles which are based on real life facts and events, which will require going to Google. Resist the temptation to spoil these for yourself, because figuring them out on your own is intensely satisfying.

-I've ran the first four five mans (Polaris, Inferno, Darkness War, and The Ankh) and encounter design is pretty fantastic and feels like it's in a really healthy place between faceroll WoW five-mans and kick you in the nuts raids. You'll have to pay attention to mechanics, but the game does a very good job at indicating them to you, and the atmosphere in all of them is off the wall in pretty fantastic ways.

-I'm really fucking tired of swords and sorcery, and the modern-day horror setting is a breath of fresh air. Plus I heal by shooting shit with assault rifles. If you didn't smile at that, you're a monster.

The bad:

-The game is quite unpolished right now. Crafting is almost impossible because of a bug on how items disassemble giving you too much of a certain type, and I've come across around a half dozen quests or so which are bugged in one form or another, some of which being nearly impossible to complete as a result. I've also seen crazier shit like people's inventories disappearing. I imagine these sorts of obvious issues will be fixed very quickly, but in the mean time, if the idea of not having a totally polished experience turns you off, I'd stay away.

-Speaking of crafting, it's a little disappointing. I love that there's no arbitrary crafting skill you have to level, but the whole pair materials together in Minecraft-esque shapes feels rather clunky and probably needs a better UI.

-Combat can feel a little bland if you spec certain ways. Right now I'm into assault rifles and leeching, so I've been putting most of my points into that. This strategy doesn't have much synergy with other weapons in a solo environment, though, so I'm basically nigh-unkillable, but do so very slowly, only really using two attacks and a situational cooldown or two. Once I get more points this will be a non-issue, but in the meantime it's a little boring.

-The skill tree is really dense and hard to dive into, and is explained poorly for how complicated it is. Expect to have to do some research on the Internet to figure it out.

-This is definitely an MMO ass MMO, so if you're over this genre I doubt you'll find anything here to change your mind, unless the setting really draws you in.

Basically, I put up with the bugs and a few rough edges because I love the setting, skill tree, and encounter design. I can definitely see this game being very divisive with quite a few people vehemently hating it, but I think it's fantastic, bugs and all.

#18 Posted by Sonti (17 posts) -

> Same as you I am also a bit tired of swords and sorcery and I do miss a game with a bit of modern fantasy vibe or sci fi. I loved Anarchy Online and loved Ragnars other works such as The Longest Journey and Dreamfall, so if I can get that vibe that's good enough. I can tell graphics are a bit mediocre but that doesn't really bother me.

#19 Posted by Jams (2956 posts) -

@sgjackson: I back your review 100%. Probably the best review I've read for the game so far.

#20 Posted by Funkydupe (3293 posts) -

@Beld: But everything in that store is just clothing and other vanity items, how can that be the downfall of the entire game?

#21 Posted by Glitterbomber (11 posts) -

I love it, personally, the setting and combat and skill system more than make up for typical MMO first month problems.

Things like investigation missions, sabotage missions, the ability to easily play any role you want, and generally finally having an MMO where puzzles and such are an actual factor rather than just a vestigial side aspect is such a wonderful breath of fresh air.

#22 Posted by Funkydupe (3293 posts) -

I think they understood that the whole game couldn't consist of solving tough puzzles. There are lots of people who can't solve the few puzzles there are in the game even now, and the first thing they do is to take their frustration out on others.

Some of the "Investigation" type missions in the game aren't obligatory by any means, so if you don't like puzzles you can simply do other sorts of missions. Most mission types -except- the Investigation ones can be repeated once cooled down by a timer.

#23 Posted by Funkydupe (3293 posts) -

@Glitterbomber said:

I love it, personally, the setting and combat and skill system more than make up for typical MMO first month problems.

Things like investigation missions, sabotage missions, the ability to easily play any role you want, and generally finally having an MMO where puzzles and such are an actual factor rather than just a vestigial side aspect is such a wonderful breath of fresh air.

You can play any role you want using just the one character as well, that I think is the interesting part. If you enjoy you character you can really extend the usefulness of that character beyond just DPS or just healing. You can have solo builds, pvp builds, dps/tank/heal/cc builds etc. Its all about finding the synergies among the passive abilities and composing potent decks of abilities.

#24 Edited by BlindRapture (106 posts) -

@Pinworm45 said:

I just played it, friend convinced me to buy it, and so far, it's pretty terrible.

It feels like a 90s game. Your character is constantly talked at and just stands there like an asshole. You don't interact with anything. All of the characters talk for way too long, it just goes on and on about nonsense, trying to be zany and conspiracyish, but it's just obnoxious. The animation is fucking godawful, the customization is barely there, and the combat is just every other MMO but without feeling as tight. While the skill tree and weapons seem interesting at first, that's only until you realize they're basically all the same. The game may claim to have 800 abilities, but really it's more like 5.

It also looks terrible and runs poorly.

It's a pretty not-good game.

I agree 110% (Wait, you can't beat 100%!) It's such a shame too because I followed the game's production for years and REALLY REALLY wanted it to be good. But no matter how hard I try I can't get past the outer shell to find the goodness lying within.

@Jams said:

I've never been one to notice cheesy lines and bad voice acting though, so that helps.

The Illuminati dialogue is mind-numbingly terrible.

"It's like X-Box except everything is way more hardcore" That's an actual line from the game. From the leader of the Illuminati no-less. I hit alt+f4 right after I heard that.

#25 Posted by Jams (2956 posts) -

@BlindRapture said:

@Jams said:

I've never been one to notice cheesy lines and bad voice acting though, so that helps.

The Illuminati dialogue is mind-numbingly terrible.

"It's like X-Box except everything is way more hardcore" That's an actual line from the game. From the leader of the Illuminati no-less. I hit alt+f4 right after I heard that.

ahh come on, that was funny and you know it! It's funny because it's true!

#26 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Jams said:

@BlindRapture said:

@Jams said:

I've never been one to notice cheesy lines and bad voice acting though, so that helps.

The Illuminati dialogue is mind-numbingly terrible.

"It's like X-Box except everything is way more hardcore" That's an actual line from the game. From the leader of the Illuminati no-less. I hit alt+f4 right after I heard that.

ahh come on, that was funny and you know it! It's funny because it's true!

Yes, it's truly indicative of when development stopped on this game, sometime in 2004.

#27 Posted by Funkydupe (3293 posts) -

Yes, they try to make weird/funny/out-there NPCs. You meet plenty of those. That's the direction they've chosen. Just listen to the two Orochi agents in the bridge barricade in Kingsmouth for example.

#28 Posted by Eujin (1293 posts) -

Characters are caricatures of normal people, as I'd bet no one is normal in the Secret Societies, nor anyone in a blighted place like Solomon Island. That being said, there are some funny lines of dialogue, such as when you're sent off on a mission (as a Templar) by one of the old guard Templar ladies, who goes on about how in her day, they didn't have "The internets", and such.

Some skill trees have very fun types of combat (Chaos Magic and Pistol come to mind). Others are a bit more bland.

The storyline is interesting. The investigation missions are fun (if you try to avoid what Jeff's falling into by just looking for the forum post with the answer).

I'd say I enjoy the setting the most, but I'd still put the gameplay as more interesting than SWTOR or Rifts.

#29 Posted by Addfwyn (1914 posts) -

Things I really like:

Story-telling: Some really interesting story elements, at least up through the first town. Curious if they can keep it up.

Quest Design: I know that 90% of the people probably won't solve things like the Investigation quests on their own, but for those of us that do...it's really a breath of fresh air. I love how the game actually expects you to ...you know, read the quest dialogue and figure out what to do. Not just skip past everything and follow your minimal.

Setting: Anything that isn't Fantasy Game #5320 or space sim full of jerks is a plus for me.

Dialogue: Sure, some of it's campy. But it's campy in a pretty self-aware sort of way. At least on the Illuminati side, there's a lot of hilarious lines. Even if they don't quite fit the organization.

The Launch: Possible the cleanest launch I've seen outside of the bugged Something Wicked quest chain.

Things that could use polish:

Combat: Probably a major part of any MMO, and it isn't BAD here. It's just not the focus, like it was in say TERA.

UI: I've gotten used to it, but I like modding my UI (heavily) in MMOs. Once I can do that, I'm keen.

#30 Posted by zaldar (92 posts) -

@Pinworm45 said:

I just played it, friend convinced me to buy it, and so far, it's pretty terrible.

It feels like a 90s game. Your character is constantly talked at and just stands there like an asshole. You don't interact with anything. All of the characters talk for way too long, it just goes on and on about nonsense, trying to be zany and conspiracyish, but it's just obnoxious. The animation is fucking godawful, the customization is barely there, and the combat is just every other MMO but without feeling as tight. While the skill tree and weapons seem interesting at first, that's only until you realize they're basically all the same. The game may claim to have 800 abilities, but really it's more like 5.

It also looks terrible and runs poorly.

It's a pretty not-good game.

you know some of us actually want STORY in our games...if you want more than simplying running into an area picking up every quest and then going out to do them all without ever thinking about what you are doing or caring then no this isn't the game for you..if you are looking for a game with an actual story and world you will care about...and fun adventure gaming elements..than this is the one for you.

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