Dark Days Are Here…

London in The Secret WorldOnce again demonstrating my total lack of impulse control, I picked up The Secret World during Steam’s latest sale. This game has stuck with me since my trial ended, and despite misgivings, I decided I wanted to continue with it.

I did this despite the fact my computer can barely run it (as you can probably tell from my screenshots), despite its subscription fee (which is a business model I grow more disdainful of with each passing day), and despite an endgame that holds very little appeal to me. That I even considered buying this game despite those issues shows there’s something special about it.

I’ll still play Guild Wars 2 on the side. It’s fun a game, but after a while, it gets a little… thin. It’s not a meal, so to speak. I’ll elaborate on this in a future post.

The Secret World's introductory mission in the Tokyo subwaySo I uploaded my game key, and after many wipes on the account reactivation boss (Seriously, Funcom, did you get your puzzle team to design the account management?), I hurled myself back into the dark mysteries of The Secret World.


I don’t see a lot of point to alts in The Secret World. There are no extra races or classes to try, and there’s very little faction-specific content, but TSW is a bit more challenging than your average MMO, and I’m out of practice, so I rolled myself a Templar alt to get back into the swing of things.

Commence Diablo III jokes.

The Templars aren’t quite as colourful as the Dragon, but they do have some swanky outfits, and I appreciate their old world style.

My Templar alt meeting with Richard Sonnac in The Secret WorldThis is also a good opportunity to experiment with new weapons and builds without wasting AP on my main. I’m trying swords and chaos magic right now. Turns out that chaos is melee magic, which is an archetype I’ve always enjoyed. Now I’m tying my brain in knots to figure out how to add chaos to my main’s build…

I haven’t had much time to play so far, but these are my early impressions on returning to the game:

I forgot how awesome the audio in TSW is. The music is deliciously creepy, and the sound effects are absolutely stellar. All the little sounds in the background make it very immersive.

I also forgot how much my computer struggles with this game. I can practically hear my CPU grunting and panting through every lengthy load screen.

My Templar alt at her faction's headquarters in The Secret WorldEither they’ve expanded the options for starting clothes, or females get a much better choice than male characters. My Templar looks snazzy right out of the gate, even if she doesn’t have one of those sweet Templar uniforms yet.

Why on Earth do people say that combat is TSW’s weak point? I’ve never played an MMO with combat so thoroughly and immediately satisfying. People say the combat is clunky, but what’s clunky about it? The speed at which you can churn out your finishing moves? The fact you can almost always move while casting? The diversity of enemies that keeps you on your toes and using your whole toolkit?

I don’t get it. My Templar lady has completed a grand total of two missions (not counting the intro in London), and already, I find fighting on her at least as satisfying as on my thief in GW2 or most of my WoW characters.

Everything is true:

My Dragon character showing off his faction uniform in The Secret WorldOnce I’ve gotten reacquainted with the game a bit, I suspect I’ll go back to my main, finish off the Savage Coast missions, and move on to Blue Mountain and eventually the rest of the game.

I doubt I’ll bother with dungeons or the new Manhattan raid — with my computer in the state it’s in, I’d probably just be a liability to groups anyway.

The general consensus is that The Secret World’s quest design and writing is of such high quality that it’s worth the price of admission even if you just treat it like a single-player RPG and never bother with the MMO aspects, so that’s pretty much what I intend to do.

And now, I must return to chopping up zombies in New England.

New article:

My latest WhatMMO article is 5 In-Game Memorials. I must admit, even the cold depths of my black heart warmed a bit upon researching some of these stories.

5 thoughts on “Dark Days Are Here…

  1. I have recently decided its time to move on from WoW, and looking for something different. I really appreciate your take on this game. This one intrigues me quite a bit.

  2. Glad to see you’re enjoying it! My girlfriend and I have been playing since closed beta, and we’ve dabbled with other MMOs such as GW2 since release, but NOTHING we’ve played has compared.

    We’re absolutely in love with The Secret World’s atmosphere, story and characters. You’re in for a real treat after Solomon Island, because the environments and story just get bigger and better!

    If you like chaos, considering pairing it with blades! I play as a tank, and this combo is fantastic for PvE.

    • I find it hard to believe anything could be cooler than Solomon Island, but we’ll see.

      Chaos/blade is what I’m using on my Templar. It’s fun, but the two feel a little redundant with each other. Both tanky, AoE-heavy weapons. I like combos that have synergy but not total overlap, like my main’s fists/blood combo.

      If I continue with that toon, I think I’ll drop blades for something else. I was considering doing something completely crazy like chaos/pistol (Matrix build) or chaos/elemental, but I’ll probably just go with one of the new starter decks.

  3. Thanks for the post. Not one for starting new MMOs with my insane schedule but I have to say, this has my curiosity piqued. I’ll have to check this out when I get a better computer (which hopefully will be soon), hopefully during the holidays.

    As a side note, the whatMMO post was very touching and when I got to the Everquest story I cried. With all the nastiness one hears about its nice to see that the gaming community has shown it has a heart of gold from time to time. Its almost like the wonderful WOW community I remember starting the game in.

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