The Secret World’s Combat Is Fine

From the very beginning, complaints about combat in The Secret World have been all but omnipresent. It’s virtually impossible to read about it anywhere on the web without someone lamenting that they would have loved the game if not for its awful, awful combat.

MY Dragon uses his ultimate ability, Ophanim of the Celestial, in The Secret WorldI, of course, never agreed. In fact TSW’s combat ranks among my favourite combat systems in any RPG, and none of the arguments against it have ever made sense to me. It was always frustrating, but in time I learned to grit my teeth, ignore the faulty logic eternally present in criticisms of TSW’s combat, and move on.

But now things have come to a head. TSW is being shut down to make way for a new game with different mechanics, and a large part of the reason for this is to allow for a new combat system. I’ve been robbed of my favourite MMO, and while I don’t think that can necessarily be blamed on the combat haters, I don’t think you can entirely separate the two issues, either.

I try to respect other people’s opinions, but I can hold my tongue no longer: The Secret World’s combat is fine, and those who say are otherwise are wrong, period.

The double standard:

The easiest and most obvious argument to make here is to point out that TSW has almost exactly the same combat system as Guild Wars 2, a game where nobody ever seems to take issue with the combat.

There are differences between the two systems, but they’re negligible.

My thief battling the Sons of Svanir in Guild Wars 2Really the only major mechanical difference is that GW2 has more realistic mechanics surrounding projectiles. If I fire at an enemy, and there’s another mob between me and my target, my shots will hit that mob rather than whatever I had targeted. In TSW, my shots will always home straight to their target, as in other tab target games.

But that’s it. It’s exactly the same system otherwise.

Even the tuning isn’t that different. It does take a bit longer to kill mobs in TSW — or at least it did before the global nerf; maybe not now — but not by so much. I haven’t exactly sat down and timed myself with a stopwatch, but having played both games heavily, I never found it to be a drastic difference.

So we have two games with virtually identical combat. One’s combat is beloved, the other is despised. Honestly, that alone should be enough to shoot down criticism of TSW’s combat, but I think it’s worth delving deeper to understand what’s really going on here.

The real issue:

As an ardent TSW fan, it would be very tempting for me to write all the combat criticism off as merely a meme parroted by haters. And I do think that is true in some cases. Funcom seems to have unusually devoted detractors, even for an MMO developer, and I think in some cases “bad combat” is just an easy thing to seize on for people who are looking to trash the game.

My Illuminati does battle in a darkened warehouse in The Secret WorldBut the complaints about combat are too widespread, and they can even come from people who do play and enjoy the game, so as appealing as that narrative is to me personally, I have to grant that this isn’t a purely imaginary issue. There is something going on here.

But I don’t think it’s a problem with the combat. I think the “problem,” if you can even call it that, has to do with the build system.

In most MMOs, you choose a class, and that’s it. The game gives you a pre-designed rotation that works and should hopefully be engaging to play. Worst case scenario you reroll until you find a class you like. It’s easy to hit the ground running.

TSW isn’t like that. You basically have to build your own class from the ground up — you’re almost playing amateur game designer — and it can often take significant trial and error to find a build that works for you.

By that I don’t just mean a build that lets you complete content without dying. I also mean a build that is efficient, that doesn’t make killing enemies into a miserable chore. I also mean a build that feels fun to you personally, a highly subjective affair for which there are no guides. Contrary to popular belief, there are many different playstyles and rotations available to TSW players, but there’s no way to know which one is right for you without trial and error.

My Templar fighting a werewolf in The Secret WorldAnd this period of trial and error can take a long time. It took me until Egypt for my main’s build to start to click for me. I’m still tinkering with Dorothy’s build now and then.

If you haven’t found a build that you like, it would seem as if the game has bad combat.

Never step outside the builder x5/consumer x2 paradigm, and you’ll probably get bored fast. Neglect self-healing, and you’ll probably get slaughtered. Run around with too much health on your gear, and it will take a miserable amount of time to kill anything (I can’t prove it, but I strongly suspect a large majority of complaints about TSW’s combat come from people who stack too much HP, because that’s the only way the comments I’ve heard make any sense).

Even if you’ve been playing the game a significant amount of time, you still may not have found a build that’s entirely right. I’ve encountered plenty of people suffering through with terrible builds even at endgame, and even if your build is effective, again, it still may not be the right build for you.

There are other issues that could contribute. TSW’s combat has also traditionally been unusually challenging, and not everyone can hack it, even with a good build. I have definite sympathy for such people, especially if they’re being held back by age or physical disability. I’d like to see some solution to help people like that, but I don’t know how to do that without making things too easy for everyone else.

My Templar leech healing in The Secret WorldSome people are honest enough to admit the challenge is an issue for them, but I also suspect some people have let their gamer’s pride get in the way and have fallen back on the “bad combat” meme rather than admit they’re not up to the task. I have less sympathy for that.

A lot of people also like to bring up TSW’s mediocre combat animations. This is the one criticism I can agree with, because they’re definitely not great, but the same is true of nearly every other Western MMO of that era, so I’m not sure why TSW gets singled out for it.

Ultimately, though, I think the build issue is the biggest contributor. Not everyone is willing to put in the time and effort it takes to find a build that works for them.

And here’s the thing: I totally sympathize with that. It is a lot for a video game to ask of someone, and I can’t blame them at all for not wanting to put that level of effort into an entertainment. That’s totally understandable.

But it doesn’t mean the game has bad combat. It just means you weren’t able to find the build that’s right for you. TSW’s combat is actually pretty amazing once you find the build that truly clicks.

And what you have to understand is that for a lot of us, the challenge of the combat and the amount of experimentation it takes to find a good build aren’t bugs; they’re features. I like that I can spend limitless time tinkering with my build. I like feeling overwhelmed by it all.

Hunting a Deep One boss for bestiary lore in The Secret WorldThis is what the people who trash TSW’s combat have never understood. Their complaints cannot be addressed without robbing the game of that which makes it unique.

I’ve never been that big a fan of investigation missions. I find them more frustrating than fun. I’d benefit greatly if they were simplified to let me focus on the story instead of tearing my hair out trying to translate Morse Code or whatever. But I also recognize that investigation missions have fans who are hugely passionate about them, that they are a very unique form of content not found elsewhere, and that the game would lose something very special if they were changed to suit me.

The same is true of the combat/build dilemma. You can’t “fix” it without alienating those of us who do appreciate what Funcom has done, without robbing TSW of that which makes it such a special game.

The no-win scenario:

And now we come to the real heart of the problem.

TSW has always been a very niche game. Everything about it holds back its mainstream appeal in some way. Its gameplay is challenging. Its build system is overwhelming. Its story is almost absurdly complicated. Its setting is bleak. Its subject matter is disturbing.

All of those things can drive people off, but they’re also what makes the game so unique, so special. You can’t change any of it without losing something important, and you can’t change its niche nature without completely erasing the soul of the game.

My Templar showing off some of the many cosmetics I may not have in Secret World LegendsThis is why I am so skeptical of the new game. It’s changing so much that it threatens to drive away the fans TSW did have, but I still don’t think it’s changing enough for it to be a game with truly mainstream appeal. Funcom is tossing aside their loyal fans for people who never have and likely never will take the effort to appreciate what the game truly represents.

19 thoughts on “The Secret World’s Combat Is Fine

  1. I think the comparison between GW2’s combat system and TSW’s is just as unfair and inaccurate as the “TSW’s combat is bad” meme you’re trying to address. Yes, they have superficial similarities – all tab target, hotbar MMOs have combat that looks similar to an outsider – but what they don’t have is any genuine similarity in either “feel” or accessibility.

    For a casual player GW2’s combat is literally the most fluid and intuitive I’ve ever seen, which is nice, but much more importantly it requires virtually no skill at all to use effectively and takes just seconds to learn. Not to play well, you understand – that takes as long in GW2 as in any other MMO – but to play successfully. The game starts everyone off with just one button to press and pressing that button kills whatever you need to kill at that point. GW2 has combat that a very small child could grasp in moments and you can play for years without ever needing to develop skills that go much beyond “press 1”..

    TSW, by contrast, requires you to make a very large number of choices all the time and, having made them, to learn and practice their most efficient usage. When I played, the combat section of the tutorial itself was almost entirely about making choices. TSW is a thinking person’s game at every level, not least the combat: GW2 absolutely is not. Combat in GW2, famously, is “Press 1”. Auto-attack will carry you from character creation to end game if you want it to (and if you play a pet class you could probably not even bother with that).

    I never thought TSW’s combat was “bad”. I personally didn’t even find it that hard to understand. What I did and do find it, however, is difficult. It requires thought, attention and judgment all the time (unless you are heavily overgeared) and often even that is just not enough. The reason I stopped playing TSW in the end was that I came across a single-player instance that I simply could not complete. In GW2, when that happens, the developers have always included an attritional option that allows you to blunt force your way through, even if it means taking an hour. In TSW, if you aren’t skilled enough you aren’t skilled enough and that is that. Game Over.

    Outside of raiding, I don’t believe that MMOs in general attract a critical mass of players who enjoy difficulty. It’s a genre for people looking to kill time and kick back, not to be challenged. TSW is trying to offer a much more complex experience on every level than the genre finds common and that just hasn’t proved to be commercially viable long term.

    Ragging on the combat may well be shorthand for “this game is too hard” but the upshot is the game *is* too hard, at least for an MMO crowd. I think the real issue isn’t that the combat is too difficult – it’s that *all* the game is too difficult. Very few people are going to find they are good at all of it but it’s structured in such a way that you pretty much have to be good at all of it or you get stuck somewhere, be that in fights, investigation missions, stealth missions or whatever.

    Very successful MMOs either compartmentalize their difficulty more or provide back-doors or get-out clauses people can take to avoid the bits they don’t like or can’t do. TSW is a very dense, integrated MMO, whose parts are not easily separated and it’s never really had the development to create large enough sub-spaces for different interest groups to carve out their homes the way, for example, Decorators do in EQ2 or pet battlers might in WoW.

    TSW’s failure to appeal to a big enough audience is very definitely not entirely down to having “bad” combat but the way that combat is perceived as being “bad” says a lot about why the game has struggled to climb out of its niche.

    • Maybe things have changed since I played, but it was definitely not my experience in GW2 that you get by with auto-attack and nothing else. While still a bit easier than TSW on average, I found it significantly more challenging than the average MMO. In some specific ways it could be harder than TSW, as it tends to be more punishing. If I had a nickel for every time I got randomly one-shot by a world boss by an attack I couldn’t even see coming, the game would have paid for itself. Plus it tends to have longer corpse runs and higher repair costs than TSW.

      Now, granted, it probably depends on the class. I do recall my warrior could pretty much just faceroll everything with little to no effort. But then again you can beat about 90% of TSW’s solo content by binding every key to Anima Shot and bashing buttons at random, so…

      I’m not sure I agree that you need to be good at everything in TSW, either. The leveling curve is *very* forgiving in that game, so you can skip quite a lot if you want. If you don’t like stealth missions, for instance, you can just not do them. You’re not going to cripple your character or otherwise miss out on something essential by not doing them.

      If you get stuck on something in the main storyline, that’s a little more problematic, as the story is kind of the whole point of the game (although very little content is actually gated behind it). Again, it would be nice if there was a way around that for people who can’t hack it, but I’m not sure how to do so without trivializing the challenge or otherwise damaging the game.

      In regards to difficulty as a broader topic in the MMO genre, I think that’s far too complex and thorny an issue to tackle in a single comment, for reasons including but not limited to the fact that the large majority of the MMO community (both players and developers) seems to misunderstand the fundamental concept of challenge in gameplay.

      • I still actively play GW2 and i still spend time in TSW. I was very active there till SWL was announced, now things already are breaking down in the game and my motivation also suffers.

        And i very much agree with the analysis that in many aspects GW2 plays the very same as TSW. Sure weapon switching is a bit different, by now GW2 has a lot more handholding in specs and traits, etc… but in most aspects the two games are the very same.

        And while there’s no 100% way to compare monsters in different MMOs, i feel that when fighting mobs of similar “rating” in either game, my character in TSW actually gets through fights a bit faster. Of course, it took me some optimisation to get there, but considering how long it took me to get my GW2 character to all ascended equipment and so on, i think the effort in TSW was not higher.

        The only thing which is true: very easy content in GW2 you can indeed defeat braindead with auto-attack. But hey, just spamming a builder in TSW does that, too.

        I even dare to say that the whole difficulty statement is a ruse. My girl managed to do all of the story of TSW by herself. (She was there before we met inside the game. ) In contrast, there were fights in GW2s storyline, both in the base storyline (the mission where you travel around with the airship and defeat the dragon) as well as some fight in one of the living story, which she wasn’t able to do alone and which i also considered much harder to do solo than anything i encountered in TSWs storyline.

        Some fights in GW2 are very unforgiving in terms of dodging, even without mentioning that some attacks there are telegraphed very badly. The telegraphing system in TSW is clearer. (Or at least it was, in the stream for SWL they showed that they broke their own design principles with the new telegraphed attack from the Revenant. So now the game also becomes the incoherent mess some other games are. 😦 )

        So actually for somebody who’s not as fast on the keyboard, TSW is easier than GW2, as long as you run a good build which works for you. And this is where i have to agree: the game treats you as an adult and poses a challenge. It expects you to investigate your options and make good choices. For the casual crowd, John Doe and his dog, both drunk, the game indeed is too hard.

        So that’s the only positive i see about SWL: they make people pick a deck from the start and only let them go outside of it once they completed it. So you can’t gimp and destroy yourself right away by making bad choices. This is one thing which TSW should have implemented a long time ago, but was not done. After all, there sitll was the hope that players are sentient beings…

      • You know, for what it’s worth, one of the reasons I stopped playing GW2 is that I got roadblocked in the personal story by a boss I just couldn’t beat (Eye of Zhaitan, Mouth of Zhaitan, Toe of Zhaitan, something like that). I imagine if I beat my head against the wall long enough I might have brute-forced my way through, but it was just way too frustrating, so I give up. I’ve not had that happen in TSW. Some fights that were frustrating, but nothing that made me just throw up my hands and give up.

      • Mouth most likely. That one is somewhat tricky. The fight against the eye i remember to be not that bad. Also, it can be worn down. The mouth, if you make a mistake, regenerates, so you can’t wear it down. Combine that with, hmm, let’s say “mediocrely telegraphed” attacks and (at least when i did it) some glitch on the ramp, which sometimes stopped dodges.

        Despite all of that, this one still is on par with some fights in TSW, where i also had to watch what i was doing and was able to shape up, unlike the other mentioned missions, which were much harder and more frustrating, far worse than anything i experienced in TSW.

    • “The reason I stopped playing TSW in the end was that I came across a single-player instance that I simply could not complete.”

      Just out of curiosity: i guess it was the fight against the black pharaoh in the pyramid? Because indeed that one, if you don’t win at first try, sometimes glitches in a bad way and it becomes extremely hard, close to impossible, to win afterwards. (It’s about the broken bridges, which sometimes are restored in a faulty way and have invisible steps, where you have to jump at the right position or you get slowed down and can’t get out of the effect. )

      Unfortunately as far as i know, this problem exist since launch but still is not fixed. 😦

  2. Well, the original is going into maintenance mode, unless by “shutting down” you are assuming that this move is ultimately a death knell for the game. I’d give it a bit more time – I predicted that WildStar would be shanked last year and I was wrong.

    The combat is very much a thinking person’s game: the outcome of a timed PvP engagement, for example, is determined almost entirely before one ever sets foot on the battlefield. And when you do, it might have been better to have computer-controlled opponents fight each other what with the relentless builder and crowd control spam. Shambala was fun in small doses; tanking relics in El Dorado and the Stonehenge mosh pit with its immortal healers are some of the most mind-numbing combat sequences I have ever taken part in.

    This is coming from someone who loves the game and doesn’t mind the combat. Not in love with it, but doesn’t mind it.

    I liked it well enough to spend dozens of hours coming up with PvE tanking builds for Nightmare dungeons and Elite raids – I had a different tanking build for every boss in Nightmare Facility, for example. This was a level of difficulty that I had selected and agreed to. It required much trial, error, and experimentation.

    Progress though the main story missions requires the same sort of careful thought and deliberation that might be more enjoyable when applied to the substance of the Secret World’s cosmology and Game of Factions. Theorizing on the nature of one’s role in the grand scheme of things is generally more attractive than submitting a treatise on combat to a dissertation committee of vampires and hoping that one will not be blood-sucked dry for having committed an unknown cardinal sin.

    In short, I think it’s very possible to make combat more accessible by providing a lower skill floor without compromising the narrative’s artistic and epistemic vision. I hope Funcom pulls it off.

    • Let’s be real here: They want to kill TSW. With no way to acquire new players and no new content to keep veterans around, it’s going to die pretty fast. I would be impressed if the servers stay online for much more than a year from now.

      So yes, it is effectively shutting down. The fact they haven’t pulled the plug already is just a half-assed attempt to deflect the negative PR that would come from immediately deleting all of our characters, but in reality it’s just a brief stay of execution.

      Even with immense love for the game and no particular desire to play Legends, I’m not going to be spending much more time in TSW. There’s just no point. I’ll do a few more missions to say goodbye to my characters, and then that will probably be it.

      • When I wrote my post on SWL I spent about half an hour on Google searching for a definitive statement that confirmed it would be impossible to make new accounts on the existing servers after the changeover. I couldn’t find anything. Do you have a link to something Funcom have said to that effect?

        For a while at least people will want to make new accounts. There are certainly unused gamecodes out there – Amazon still has boxes and there are some key sellers with keys, plus people will be sitting on unused ones. Are Funcom going to block those competely?

        All the old “Buy TSW” links now go to SWL though so the intent is clear. What happens if SLW tanks even worse than TSW though? What if six months from launch there are more people playing on the old servers than the new? Stranger things have happened.

      • I’m not sure if Funcom has made a definitive statement. If they did it was probably in some livestream and thus not easily linkable. What is known, however, is that it is no longer possible to buy TSW through any normal means. AFAIK if you can find an old box copy, you can still activate the code, but otherwise it’s not possible to make a new account. A buy to play game you can’t buy is effectively dead, I’d say.

      • Exactly that. No other way to get an account any more than buying an old box from some obscure sources and hope the code is not used yet.

        That and the fact that there won’t ever be an update makes it a quickly sinking ship. I mean, just enter the game now and sign up for dungeons. Before SWL was announced i was able to get a dungeon group in a minute. Now i can sign up as tank, heal and DPS, so any role, and sit in the queue for half an hour. And the new game isn’t even out yet, so you can guess what happens when it is.

  3. I agree with the posting very much. I also feel the very same, combat in GW2 and TSW in most aspects is the very same. The difference is in very small details which most players don’t even notice.

    On the whole “TSWs combat is bad” thing, i dare to again note one other thing: player psychology. One of the games biggest problems was that GW2 waited with their launch for one month after TSW. GW2s launch date was announced mere days after TSW announced theirs, and it “by pure coicidence” was almost exactly one month later.

    So gamers were in the bad situation: they for years had big mouths on how great fans they were and that they’d play for years to come. Now suddenly they had one game, but also wanted to try the one which was one month newer. But of course, they wouldn’t ever switch, as they’d loose face. Unless of course, the game had fatal flaws, like “not impactful combat”, which forced them to switch, despite them absolutely not wanting to do so…

    And that’s where the meme of TSWs bad combat was born. That being said, i actually see more aspects here:
    as already mentioned, people who didn’t invest brainpower all too often ended up with terrible setups which made things really hard. In first instance that’s a case of “problem exists between keyboard and chair”, but it can also be blamed on the game: it made the mistake of treating players as sentient beings, which obviously many are not. It should have had more handholding and force-fed information. The new “you have to pick a deck from the start” system is not a bad idea and would’ve helped the original game a lot, too.

    The other thing on bad combat: i actually since i got my new CPU also experience some negative impact on combat.The game actually runs worse on a new CPU than it did on my old one. TWS refuses to use more than one core, so newer CPUs which are optimized for multi core use actually fare worse than old CPUs which were built for single-core applications. As a result i also since i have the new CPU feel that combat in TSW is not as “snappy” and “accurate” any more as before, making doding out of telegraphed effects a bit harder.

    So i guess that part, too good hardware for the game, actually can be a contributing factor for some problems with how the games combat is perceived. Unfortunately SWL uses the very same engine and will thus have the very same problems. Nothing fixed here. 😦

    Then another thing on the combat animations: actually the animations themselves are better than most in GW2.Only GW2 drops in so many particle effects that most players never see the flaws and problems. Next to that, people often want more different animations. But look at what we have. I mean, the character already shoots the shotgun from the shoulder and from the hip and also from the outstretched arm in Terminator-style. For the elites there are a few more animations, some of which already go into the territory of goofiness. A similar picture exists for pistols or assault rifles. There’s only so many ways you can fire those weapons and all reasonable and semi-reasonable ways are covered in the game. What remains are goofy and stupid animations, which the game doesn’t need.

    Or as another reference: people claim that the sword animations are bad and unrealistic. Now, i myself am not an expert, but i know that many games animations, where swords are handled as if they were 25 pound axes and the shield arm is moved behind the back during an attack is definitely not good or realistic, but it’s “game standard”. In contrast, a friend of mine saw the game a little after launch when he was at my place and considered the sword animations to be realistic. Considering that he did Karate and Kendo during our university time, by now is into HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) and is into anything where melee weapons are swung around, i think he has some expertise there. He looked at the animations of the sword abilities i already had (mostly inner wheel) and told me that they were pretty close to some base moves of some martial arts style. Unfortunately while he mentioned what it was, i don’t remember any more what he found it to resemble.

    But if somebody who’s a freak and deep into martial arts consider them to be one of the few times that a games animation looks just similar to actual martial arts moves, then i dare to say that they can’t be utternly bad. They just might be too realistic for the crowd, who’s used to all ludicurous combat moves.

    And yes, i also don’t see much merit in the new system. I watched the stream. I saw no significant advantages in the new combat system. I saw that they broke some basic design principles without even being aware of it. (It shows that the original designers and developers are not on the project any more, they would’ve spotted the flaws right away. ) I very painfully saw that they made a new, very generic “zombies in a graveyard” tutorial. I wonder what they’ll do with the original combat tutorial, which unlike the new one, also was part of the storyline and showed the Tokyo incident.

    I already see in game that the community of the current game is breaking apart quickly and i very much feel that the change forcefully drives away a big part of the existing playerbase, while having only marginal chances to attract a new playerbase. Funcom must be really back to the wall to go for this desperate move. 😦

    • For my part, I did prefer GW2’s animations — I don’t agree it’s just the particle effects; even without the extra FX my thief’s animations were gorgeous. However, I do prefer TSW’s current animations to those of, say, SW:TOR, Rift, or pre-Legion WoW, so they’re definitely not that bad in the greater scheme of things. I love the feral intensity of the fist animations, and the pistol elites look fantastic, too.

      Really the only animations that ever bothered me in TSW are the idle poses for the magic weapons. Those never looked quite right. But that’s hardly a major problem.

      • You have to add the race to the class. And yes, some race and class abilities are pretty, while others are quite broken.

        And on SW:TOR, that’s a great example for really bad animations. I mean i still remember, i launched the game, saw how my trooper moved and was astonished… they managed to make it move more like a battlemech than mechwarrior online.

        I am not even joking there. The split of torso and legs was more visible in SW:TOR than in MWO, not to mention that mechs in MWO actually move the hip (in doubt, look up an animation video of the Atlas mech) when walking, while characters in SW:TOR only move the legs. But that’s going off topic.

        Anyway, i think we got a bit different points of view here. Your focus is on “pretty”. And yes, a number of animations in GW2 are pretty. But very often TSW was critizized for it’s “unrealistic” animations. My point there simply is that somebody who actually does swordfighting considered TSWs animations to have some resemblance to some basic swordfighting moves. For any other MMO (and most computer games), he usually freaks out when he sees the animations, as they are absolutely insane. (Like mentioned, in most MMOs and many other games, the swordsman puts his shield behind his back when attacking… because clearly when you close in on the enemy, you don’t want protection… )

        That being said, my friend also went nuts when seeing the only attack i had in chaos at that time. Spinning around your axis all the time… when practicing that, you’d go dizzy and have to vomit, in actual combat you wouldn’t have to suffer from that, you’d be stabbed in the back way before… but for all “real weapons” despicted in the game at that time, all abilities i had unlocked already he considered reasonable, which is far better than most games. So i guess the claim of “unrealistic animations” is based on people not having any idea what they are talking about. (Mind you, i also wouldn’t, if i didn’t have such a martial arts freak as friend. )

      • SW:TOR animations were all kinds of messed up back in the day. They’re a little better now, but still pretty bad.

        The sword animations in TSW might be realistic (I know a little about swordsmanship, but not enough to be anything resembling an authority), but conversely I do know a lot of the gun animations are very impractical and unrealistic.

        But that doesn’t really bother me personally. It’s a game about how sentient blackholes are trying to eat our dreams because we’re made of star stuff. I’m not fussed that Dorothy doesn’t hold her gun quite right.

  4. Pingback: The Secret World’s combat is not fine — and it probably won’t be, either – Bio Break

  5. I do not like combat in TSW. I love the wheel and rich options, but I do not like the flow and pattern of it. I found a few builds I could stomach playing through but in the end, I did not enjoy it and quit half way through Egypt. You are in combat 90% of the time in the game, it better feel good. i love every other aspect of TSW, but could never get over that combat hurdle.

    I also do not like combat in GW2 and also quit that game around level 40. I tried many different things and combos there as well. I loved the lore and world less in GW2 than TSW, but I am not one of your first mentioned people who complain about TSW while praising GW2. I dislike them both =)

    I wish I could put my finger on it better, chances are I may not like the combat in TSWL as well – but I am really, really hoping I do, because I’d love to experience the rest of what that world has to offer.

  6. FWIW I gave up on both TSW & GW2 pretty quickly, and a significant part of the reason was that both combat systems involve spamming a small set of skills over and over, which I find boring.

    GW2 combat was more enjoyable (or less unenjoyable) because the boring bits were over more quickly as things died faster, and I seldom died at all. Dying in TSW was quite a pain because it meant you had to go through the boring combat over and over in order to progress.

    Btw I read up much more on TSW than I did on GW2. The latter I just installed and started playing, whereas TSW I read build guides and the like.

    However I don’t see the changes that seem to be coming to TSW as likely to make things much different, and personally I don’t like ARPGs.

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