30 Days In The Secret World: Oh No, Here it Comes — The MMO Gamer

30 Days In The Secret World: Oh No, Here it Comes

30days-TSW

I don’t like being the guy who sits around waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. But from the moment that The Secret World was introduced into my conciousness, I’ve been worried. There are, of course, fans of Funcom who love the games they make, and there is nothing wrong with that. For many gamers, however, there is always a question of quality and consistency when it comes to some of their titles. For many this small shred of doubt originated with Age of Conan. With plenty of hype and excitement, AoC launced to the cheers of MMO fans. Sadly, it wasn’t long before players began to cry foul at constant bugs, performance issues, and what appeared to be an unfinished game. Your opinion may vary, and that’s fine as well. That doesn’t change the fact that a Funcom game can make some of us a bit nervous.

The last two weeks have seen a pretty hefty amount of coverage for The Secret World, with reviews and gameplays consuming bandwidth in every corner of the internet. The MMO Gamer has no less than two writers currently playing and writing impressions of the game. The overall feeling I get from the gaming community so far has been overwhelmingly positive towards this game. I too have written a pair of positive pieces for the game in the form of the first two ’30 Days In The Secret World’ articles. The first few hours of the game were quite enjoyable, and the level of fun being had heavily outweighed any small issues there might have been. At this point you probably know where this is going. Here comes that other shoe.

Oddly enough, The Secret World really began to wear on me beginning Friday the 13th. The day before that I had made may way through the first first few quests in The Savage Coast area, then made my way back to run the Polaris instance, which I enjoyed a great deal, as it did its job in being an introductory dungeon for the game, giving players a chance to see some simple fight mechanics and work out their own ability set-ups and rotations. So I logged in last Friday ready to continue my adventures, and looking forward to making my way through a new zone.

It wasn’t a game bug, or client performance issues, or even the poor combat that began rubbing me the wrong way that Friday.  It was the quests I was picking up. After the initial investigation of the Overlook Motel, there began what seemed a never ending cycle of what can only be described as ‘kill ten rats’ quests. Whether that was all that was available, or through some streak of bad luck picking up quests, my play time turned into hours of grinding out monster kills. Tier after tier of quests were having me kill 10 of those. Kill 8 of that. Now kill 15 more of the exact same mob with a different name floating above its head. It came so suddenly and unexpectedly that I ended up logging out with a migraine. I had just spent hours playing every MMO ever, after spending two weeks playing something that felt so different quest-wise, that I didn’t even care if the combat was terrible.

After having played The Secret World every single day during the week, I left it untouched over the weekend, giving myself a chance to recharge, and come back Monday refreshed and ready to move past this horrific incident.

Now let me clear this up right now. I know The Secret World is an MMO, and I know that all MMO’s are going to contain grind quests, but during the entire Kingsmouth zone the devs did such a great job of either not including, or disguising these quests in such a way that off the top of my head, I can’t remember a single quest in Kingsmouth where I thought, “Oh, here’s a kill ten rats quest”. It just wasn’t an issue. Now suddenly I’m in the Savage Coast, and the vast majority of the questing consists of grindy kill quests, and this is why I referenced Age of Conan in the beginning. Anyone who has played AoC can tell you that after the initial area of Tortage, AoC is nearly a totally different game. My week in the Savage Coast has me currently drawing the same conclusions about The Secret World. Kingmouth seems to have been polished to a nice shiny finish, and loaded down with great quests and interesting characters. After you leave this first zone however, things seem to be heading towards the same ol’, same ol’ of every other game out there.

The problem is exaserbated by the fact that more and more bugs are becoming prevelant as I venture further into the game, and the game client now crashes at least once for every couple of hours I spend in-game. When lone creatures are attacked, suddenly two more appear out of thin air. When I pull a large group, another group randomly aggroes from across the map. Fights with more difficult monsters reset themselves with more and more regularity, suddenly bringing both myself and my target back to full health, but now the mob evades or blocks a large portion of incoming damage, leaving me with yet another corpse run due to game problems. I’ve had several monsters reach zero health points, at which point instead of dying, they become unkillable while at the same time every ability on my bar fails to activate, leaving me to run across the entire zone trying to reset the mob, only to die and have yet another corpse run.

To say that these issues are aggravating would be a pretty severe understatement. In just a few days I’ve gone from enjoying my time in game, to wondering what ridiculous situation is going to leave me at nerd rage code red as I try to make my why through these lack-luster quests and game performance issues just hoping that something better is waiting for me on the other side of this dark place I am in.

This is me RUNNING AWAY from a monster with zero health.

Another major issue right now is the gear management system. While problems with game clients and enemy mobs can effect some players more than others, the gear management system has been a broken mess that seems to have caused frustration with a very large portion of the player population. Switching between gear sets can cause items to end up in your inventory instead of equipped, the wrong items to get equipped, and some have reported gear just flat out dissapearing when using the system. The ability builds also seem to randomly change themselves when switching between saved gear sets, and there is often no telling what combination of abilities you will end up with on your action bars after a few swaps, or which abilities you will have to go find and put back on your bar.

This week hasn’t been a good one for me in The Secret World, but I’m not going to let that hold me back. This is the third article of a four article series, and the first two were pretty positive, so I’m willing to suck it up and work my way through this rut I seem to have found myself in and try to find my way back to The Secret World that I was having fun with. Hopefully it is still out there, and all I have to do is find it. I have to admit, however, that I was very happy to leave The Secret World unplayed this past weekend, and get away from all the issues that I have encountered lately. Here’s hoping that this week is better, and that The Secret World can win me back.

If you want to follow along with this week’s adventures head over to Twitch.tv/TheInnerGeekZone Mon-Fri at 2pm CST.

Comments

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