30 Days in The Secret World: First Play Since Beta — The MMO Gamer

30 Days in The Secret World: First Play Since Beta

30days-TSW

This week saw the launch of Funcom’s latest contribution to the MMO genre, The Secret World. The game has seen quite a bit of attention from the gaming community, and there are plenty of folks who have been anxiously waiting to venture into a game where myths, legends, and magic exist in a version of our own modern world. This unique setting gives The Secret World an immediate attention-grabbing advantage over the large majority of fantasy MMO’s that dominate the market, and creates a compelling world for players to take-part in.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the changes that were made since the beta closed, and the good and bad of what is currently available in The Secret World.

Early access began last Friday, with world-wide launch coming this past Tuesday, and I downloaded and logged in for the first time with all the common folk on Tuesday morning.

You can go back and read my beta impressions if you’d like, but to sum it up, The Secret World has some unique questing and settings, but also had its fair share of bugs and things that just weren’t up to par in a game that was supposed to be a AAA title. Beta is beta however, and if you’re going to have problems or aspects of your game players don’t like, beta testing is the place you want to find out. So the main question would become, will these issues be taken care of for launch.

Initial log-in on launch day went smoothly, which is something games can and have struggled with on launch day. There’s is nothing more aggrevating than dealing with the account issues boss before you even get into a game. Character creation was about where it was at the end of beta, which is to say that it was more expansive than it was at the beginning of beta, but still pretty limited for a game that allows players complete control of their aesthetics, with stat gear being non-appearance items like trinkets and pendants. There are a few options to choose from, and there is the infamous cash shop from which to buy more items, but I really expect more from character creation in a game that you have to pay an intial purchase price for, and then a monthly sub as well. Funcom is never shy about letting its players know that they want more of your money, and the lack of an extensive character creation sure does hang a big neon sign over the cash shop outfits with the giant words “spend more money” glowing brightly in your eyes.

Now, before some of you get too bent out of shape, you should know that there is way more about the live version of The Secret World that I like than dislike. The good does out weigh the bad here, and that may come as a surprise to many, as it did to me.

After character creation, there is a lot of cut scenes to watch as the story of your power acqusition is told. There have been a few additional scenes added, which help to dress up what was really a pretty drab few minutes. Your character is still a non-responsive mute when it comes to interacting with others in these scenes, but the story is laid out a little better than before. Quest progression is pretty much the same as it was, so I made my way through the starting area pretty quickly, and ported out to Solomon Island, where I would finally get a chance to test out the one thing that almost everybody talked negatively about, including myself. Combat. If you’re completly honest with yourself, you know that combat was pretty bad in beta. The animations were terrible, the mechanics clunky, and they combined to create a very lack-luster fighting experience. While the animations that allow you to run and cast at the same time can still leave your character looking disjointed at the waist in the current version of the game, the overall combat experience has been vastly improved upon. Combat animations are much smoother and flow nicely from cast to cast or swing to swing. The particle effects of spells and abilities have been tweaked and improved, and even the the animations of the enemy mobs seem a step above where they were at any point in beta. Combat in The Secret World no longer makes me cringe everytime I press a hotkey, and has been turned into a much more pleasurable experience. Don’t get me wrong, combat isn’t up to par with something like Tera, or Guild Wars 2, but it is more than adequate for a game whose major draw is the setting and mysteries of questing and exploration, and not slaughtering foes by the hundreds. Although you will definitely get your chance to slaughter foes by the hundreds. My zombie kill count is nearing Left 4 Dead proportions.

So far I have only gotten to do quests that I’ve done several times throughout the beta, so hopefully for next week’s article I can have some insight on some things I’ve never seen or done before. Overall, the developers have done what they needed to in order to show me that they really wanted to make this game the best it could be. Many of my gripes have been addressed in some way, if not completely resolved, and the client has run very well, with zero noticable lag or performance issues. The client has only crashed once, and I was streaming at the time, so it may not have even been the game that was the problem. For a game that kept me on the fence from the moment it was announced until the day it launched, the only thing I can really say is that I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

Next week we will continue ’30 Days in The Secret World’ with a look at the skills and abilities, as well as the first dungeon in the game, The Polaris.

I will continue streaming The Secret World throughout this 30 Day period, and you can follow along on Twitch.tv/TheInnerGeekZone

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