With my new computer allowing me to ace that jumping puzzle, I returned to my Dragon in The Secret World and went for broke to finally complete Transylvania and the main story mission.
I had to repeat some of what I’d done on my Templar, but it allowed me to refresh my memory of the plot to date, and I skipped some of the less interesting side missions, so I was able to get into the final zone, the Carpathian Fangs, in no time.
Naturally, I loved the Carpathian Fangs. It’s the first wintery zone in the game so far, and winter is my favourite time of year. With the new graphics, the moonlight reflecting off the snow was just gorgeous, and the subtle glow of the Breach on the horizon added to the spookiness.
It had a good mix of missions, too. The normal and nightmare missions were evenly spaced, so I didn’t find myself getting burnt out by difficulty or bored by easiness. It might have been a little heavy on the action missions, but the two stealth missions were doozies, and the one investigation mission was one of the coolest in the game to date. I’m totally not biased by my interest in ancient mythology…
I’m not sure if my Dragon’s build is better than I remember or if it’s the gear upgrades I’ve gotten, but the game was easier than I remember it. Even nightmare missions barely gave me any trouble.
And, as always, it had plenty of memorable characters. I especially enjoyed the blind werewolf elder, and Rada just plain broke my heart.
My feelings on the Transylvania storyline are about the same. That is, it’s good, but not as good as the Solomon Island story.
My main problem with the Transylvania arc is that it’s really slow in getting started, and that makes it feel a little disjointed. Not nearly as disjointed as the Egypt storyline, which almost felt like two disconnected plots smashed together. But too much time was spent on Dracula and the Romany, and too little time on Mara and the setup for the final events. It felt a little lopsided.
I’m having trouble judging the game’s ending. It feels a bit too inconclusive, but I keep reminding myself it’s not actually the game’s ending, so that’s to be expected.
This ties into how The Secret World is just not your typical MMO. Most of the time, it’s more like a single-player RPG with a few MMO aspects tacked on. So I find myself judging the conclusion of the story mission as I would the end of a single-player game, but that’s not really fair or accurate.
This is not the end of the game. This isn’t even the end of act one of the story. That, we have been repeatedly told, will occur within the Tokyo Exclusion Zone.
Hopefully issue #7, whose DLC arc will take place in the Carpathian Fangs, will wrap up some of the loose ends. I’d like to know Emma’s ultimate fate, and I’m going to be sorely disappointed if I don’t get the opportunity to feed Adrian Zorlescu into a woodchipper at some point.
The other night, I actually stumbled across a four page thread on the official forums full of people begging for a mission where we get to kill Adrian. Seems no one in the game has engendered quite the same visceral hatred he has.
But I digress…
I’m not sure what I’ll do in the game now. The endgame is admittedly pretty limited, especially if you don’t have the social connections to run dungeons and lairs regularly. I might repeat some nightmare missions for XP and fill out my ability wheel a bit. I might finish the story on my Templar. I might explore the world for lore honeycombs and item missions I missed.
Which is exactly why I welcome the era of subscription-less MMOs. But I guess that’s a topic that I’ve covered enough.