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The Secret World: Reader Round Table

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,585MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Things have been pretty quiet for The Secret World as the team prepares the second beta event. But that certainly doesn't mean people aren't talking about TSW. For today's column, we open up that discussion to our readers. Tell us what you're thinking about The Secret World and what it is that you find so interesting about it.

For many, 2012 is bringing a lot of big reasons to take interest in the MMO genre again. Whether it’s Guild Wars 2 or WoW: Mists of Pandaria or Firefall, the MMO space seems packed with potential.

One of the front runners in the pack is Funcom’s The Secret World. The interest around TSW seems to rise every day and the game has generated a lot of buzz and, for some, equal measures of skepticism.

Head through the jump and add your thoughts to our The Secret World Reader Roundtable discussion.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • rawfoxrawfox HamburgPosts: 647Member Uncommon

    i think that a permanent open PvP Battlefield for over 100 people will be plainly entertaining.

    I think that saveable builds are awesome, together with the fact, that you only need 1 char to learn all the different roles.

    A "One Server" concept will greatly benefit the community, think what you want about FC, but they have the best communities i've seen so far in their games.

    The Dreamworld engine is awesome, can eat A LOT of players and looks outstanding good.

    And i havnt even started to spread my thoughts about the game itself.

    Myth and Conspirathy, im ready to uncover the secrets behind, i am ready to enter Hell.

    Im looking forward to the recent changes, due to a old betaweekend client, they added some Gigabytes more to come.

     

    This game doesnt plays like a standart MMO, more like some exploration sandbox with hidden hints everywhere.

    It has totally dragged me in in only one weekend and   i    c a n t        w a i t !

     

     

     

  • BigCountryBigCountry Charlotte, NCPosts: 478Member

    It's the storyline/PvE content for me. That's why I preordered it. Just felt cool, different, worth 30 days of my time etc.

     

    Everything else I have seen, done. The PvP especially. To be honest, anything outside of sandbox PvP I really do not enjoy for the most part....themepark PvP is just too predictive/calculated. :(

    BigCountry | Head Hunters | www.wefarmpeople.com

  • YalexyYalexy BerlinPosts: 1,053Member Uncommon

    What drives your interest in The Secret World?

    - no levels and classes, but equipment and "freely" choosable skills
    - one character can learn all skills and be everything possible, no twinking
    - modern day setting with good background-story
    - no comic-book graphics, but an attempt to make the world look rather realistic
    - 3 factions and a big persistent battleground

    Conversely, what concerns do you have?

    - that there might not be enough content to play around with
    - that the content is not challenging enough but watered down to cater to the casuals
    - that the cashshop might turn into a P2W-shop

  • fldashfldash Oklahoma City, OKPosts: 227Member

    It's not fantasy based. That's pretty much the reason. It has other pluses, but I hope it can carve out a niche ala Fallen Earth and Eve. I'm disappointed it has a subscription but I will try to play it alongside Guild Wars 2.

    Former xFire user... I only wanted a game tracker and messenger, not a screenshot taker, video recording, broadcasting piece of bloatware.

  • JaedorJaedor Denver, COPosts: 1,140Member Uncommon

    Probably the cleverest marketing scheme I've ever seen is the ARGs rolled out between BWEs. It keeps the community thoroughly engaged and it's both challenging and fun to work on solving the puzzles.

     

    It feels like I'm playing the game when I'm not playing the game, and that's truly unique.

  • cooper85cooper85 Springfield, ILPosts: 386Member

    Incredible customization that harkens back to the days of pen and paper D&D. Being a pvpr this flexibility is a dream come true.  Add in 3 factions and huge persitant wazone holding any from 150-300 people. Pvp made of pure awesome sauce!

  • cooper85cooper85 Springfield, ILPosts: 386Member

     

     

     
  • cooper85cooper85 Springfield, ILPosts: 386Member
    double post

     

     

     

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    The one server thing isn't an eve type setup. It's simmilar to gw2 theres a single server cluster, but multiple shards. From a players perspective a shard is a server.
  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    It's not really themepark pvp as such. Fusang is like a WvW map or more accurately a daoc frontier.
  • KaazKaaz AccringtonPosts: 18Member

     

     
    What drives your interest in The Secret World?
    What is it about The Secret World that is so compelling to MMO players, to you, these days?
    modern setting, freeform leveling, wander around questing rather than hub to hub, there are hubs in game, but they make sense. OO OO and the PvP
     
    What is it that grabs our collective imaginations so tightly?
    for me its the consiracies and the ARG's that keep popping up, not done any of the puzzles in the BWE's since im saving them for launch
     
    What are you most looking forward to in The Secret World?
    the skill wheel and messing about with passives, actives & synergies
     
    Templar, Dragon or Illuminati and why?
    Illuminati for the guild, Templar in disguise /shiftyeyes
     
    Is it the modern day setting that breathes fresh air into the genre?
    playing the beta, it didnt feel like a typical MMO, maybe it was the wander around questing, or the freeform abilities
     
  • FredomSekerZFredomSekerZ Long Beach, CAPosts: 1,156Member

    I'm more of a sandbox fan myself, but i've been keeping my eye on TSW. I really like most of it's features, the crafting, skill system, setting, story, pvp, etc.

    My favorite aspect has to be the puzzles. Sure, there may not be tons of them (i can't blaim FC on this), but the investigation missions, and possible puzzle raids in the future, is enough to excite me. Also, hopefully more ARG's.

    My main concerns are the combat, bugs, Funcom, lack of content, animations, etc, etc, etc. There'll be FOTM builds, but that's normal.

    However, i disagree about the solo element. There's dungeons, pvp, mob camps for more than 1 person, and most quests have a public quest system fused with them. But my greatest reason for watching over TSW is community. Rift's rifts are group content, yet, while not a bad community in itself, it's not much better than other mmos.

    TSW has a great emphasis on lore and story, myths anmd legends, so i believe it will atract some really interesting people. Also, with a real world setting, theatre, tons of emotes and (hoepfully) chat bubbles, this made may end up atracting a huge RP playerbase. I think this game has the potential to have an awesome, mature, chatty community. If this happens, and the "game" part is good enough, i'll probably move in, despite being a themepark.

  • tawesstawess LkpgPosts: 2,532Member Uncommon

    as a SWG vet i am pretty sure the skill system will be hell to balance, the more freedom you give people to min/max their stuff the worse it turns out. This was in the end the downfall of SWG and it might be downfall of TSW

  • IshkalIshkal Schaumburg, ILPosts: 42Member

    I'm looking forward to everything...I was sooo hooked once I  spent hours on that first presearch quest(cause I refused to ask for help)

    side note swg only had one downfall and that was the NGE lol

  • UsulDaNeriakUsulDaNeriak SindelfingenPosts: 640Member

    Does the open skill system seem too open?

    are you kidding? this skillsystem is far away from a classic open skillsystem. it looks more like an extended trait-system due to the long chains and mix of passive/active and offensive/defensive/uitility-skills in one chain. you are enforced to buy a lot of skills, you may consider pointless for your playstyle. however this just disturbs until you got them all. well, we will see ....

    i dont say the skillsystem is bad, but it isnt open either.

    played: Everquest I (6 years), EVE (3 years)
    months: EQII, Vanguard, Siedler Online, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2
    weeks: WoW, Shaiya, Darkfall, Florensia, Entropia, Aion, Lotro, Fallen Earth, Uncharted Waters
    days: DDO, RoM, FFXIV, STO, Atlantica, PotBS, Maestia, WAR, AoC, Gods&Heroes, Cultures, RIFT, Forsaken World, Allodds

  • UsulDaNeriakUsulDaNeriak SindelfingenPosts: 640Member
    Originally posted by tawess

    as a SWG vet i am pretty sure the skill system will be hell to balance, the more freedom you give people to min/max their stuff the worse it turns out. This was in the end the downfall of SWG and it might be downfall of TSW

     

    i see your point, but i am also convicned that balancing is overrated. first you should strictly separate the skillsets of sPvP and PvE; e.g. in pve you may use a longsword with strong CC skills, but in pvp you are reduced to the shortsword with rather weak CC skills. same with armor and whatever may unbalance sPvP. and some other utility spells simply dont work in sPvP.

    in most modern MMOs balancing leaded to a rather dull PVE-gameplay with less tactical options and a flood of rather weak skills. there is a lesser strong reason for balancing in PvE than in PvP especially sPvP. however, it means more time and effort to make a good game and separate these two worlds.

    the neccessary limitation in TSW is given by the fact that you cant use all your skills at once. we will see, how this works.

    played: Everquest I (6 years), EVE (3 years)
    months: EQII, Vanguard, Siedler Online, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2
    weeks: WoW, Shaiya, Darkfall, Florensia, Entropia, Aion, Lotro, Fallen Earth, Uncharted Waters
    days: DDO, RoM, FFXIV, STO, Atlantica, PotBS, Maestia, WAR, AoC, Gods&Heroes, Cultures, RIFT, Forsaken World, Allodds

  • AeolronAeolron Ottawa, ONPosts: 648Member
    Really looking forward to playing one toon and not having to wait for my wife to catch up lol. The skill wheel is perfect! Being a SWG beta tester and vet this is perfect!
  • YalexyYalexy BerlinPosts: 1,053Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by tawess
    as a SWG vet i am pretty sure the skill system will be hell to balance, the more freedom you give people to min/max their stuff the worse it turns out. This was in the end the downfall of SWG and it might be downfall of TSW

    If there's any OP skills, then balancing them isn'T actually necessary as everyone can learn the exact same skills with every character. So why would you balance it at all... people just need to learn the skills for their characters aswell - problem solved.

  • UsulDaNeriakUsulDaNeriak SindelfingenPosts: 640Member
    Originally posted by Yalexy

     


    Originally posted by tawess
    as a SWG vet i am pretty sure the skill system will be hell to balance, the more freedom you give people to min/max their stuff the worse it turns out. This was in the end the downfall of SWG and it might be downfall of TSW

     

    If there's any OP skills, then balancing them isn'T actually necessary as everyone can learn the exact same skills with every character. So why would you balance it at all... people just need to learn the skills for their characters aswell - problem solved.

    thats not correct. if the hammer skills would rule in PvP so you can beat all others easily and in PVE you could beat bosses solo with the hammer but not with any other weapon, than everybody would use the hammer. this is not intended, so it will not happen, due to balancing.

    played: Everquest I (6 years), EVE (3 years)
    months: EQII, Vanguard, Siedler Online, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2
    weeks: WoW, Shaiya, Darkfall, Florensia, Entropia, Aion, Lotro, Fallen Earth, Uncharted Waters
    days: DDO, RoM, FFXIV, STO, Atlantica, PotBS, Maestia, WAR, AoC, Gods&Heroes, Cultures, RIFT, Forsaken World, Allodds

  • Trol1Trol1 Kissimmee, FLPosts: 175Member

    Well, my issues with TSW come from 2 ends:

    1. poor performance - while managed to get around 20+ FPS in SWTOR and in the non-GPU optimized BWE1 of GW2 (all around the mid-settings section, just shadows off), on the very same laptop TSW with pretty much everything turned that can be turned off/on lowest settings wouldn't go above 4 FPS, no matter if I was running around alone, fighting a horde of returners or being in a gamer crowd.

    Which makes me assume that there are huge performance issues right now... which is a shame because, well, looking at older (Asian) MMOs (like Requiem Online) which obviously feature gruesome, bizarre creatures, well, having seen the same "zombie girl in track suit" texture again and again, they just don't stand out over RO critters... as does the landscape only feel bslightly more "nightmare-ish". So, maybe it a bit of simple "is trying to use the "bestest" engine possible better than giving a wider range of players access to the game?" question...

    2. Character background - now the reason I got interested in TSW was because I'm a fan of the Dark Matter p&p RPG (and by extension the early seasons of X Files).

    What made things for me so "convincing" was that you were the (right/wrong) man at wrong place at the wrong time who just happened to catch a glimps behind the veil of the secret world  and did see the little old man fight with the monsters under the bed there. Your reality was shattered, now you had to deal with it... or more likely were dealt with.

    But before all of this happened you were someone "normal"... which completely fails in TSW: you swallow a bug, bang, you are a wizard, bang you are in a secret order...  my guy (or girl) has no background I can relate to...  and shouldn't that be what matters in a MMORPG: relating to your character?

    And yes, having a background, having a profession could prove to be of advantage for gameplay, a nurse being able to provide non-magical help or better magical help, a soldier being better with the assualt rifle while a steal worker is better with the hammer, a solo character being doomed because he can't drive cars but will make it with some buddy who can, etc. 

    It just makes the character (and in turn the game) more!

  • hardiconhardicon jackson, MSPosts: 358Member

    what draws me to it is the modern setting.  ive gotten a bit tired of fantasy so modern setting is a nice change of pace, plus its semi horror/mystery nature appeals to me.  The no level/no class system is probably what originally caught my interest and after the beta weekend the skill system really impressed me.  I am going to be illuminati, mainly because my guild wants to, im more of a templar person myself so I will have a templar alt. 

    Im sure some people will put out their idea of a best build, but I just dont see cookie cutter builds in this game.  there are different skills depending on what you want to do, I didnt see one particular skill that says pick me, I am awesome.  I made a hammer, blades dude that focused on aoe and defense with some minor self healing and it worked very well at taking down lots of low level minions at one time.  the tougher mobs i would blow my defensive cooldowns and use a energy drink if necessary to replenish health and would normally win that way.  so many things you can do with the skill system I dont see too many cookie cutter builds.  I see the opposite, people making alot of bad builds because of how many skills it is, but hey play your toon the way you want. 

    overall i enjoyed the game, no real concerns simply because I havent played it that much but the game was alot of fun to me and i guess that is all that counts.

     

  • ariestearieste toronto, ONPosts: 3,308Member Common

     

    What drives your interest in The Secret World?

     

    Funcom.  Out of the all the developers out there, Funcom has consistently showed the desire to innovate and go in directions new and different.  They have as much baggage as anyone else in terms of delivering, but at least they are trying new and different things.

     

    The second factor is of course the setting.  It is different from what’s been explored before and quite compelling.   

     

    What is it about The Secret World that is so compelling to MMO players, to you, these days?

     

    The world, the well-written story and dialogue.  Also, the open-ended skill system.

     

    Templar, Dragon or Illuminati and why?

     

    Dragon.  Because of the complex and unique philosophy not often seen.  This faction is a mystery and in game that’s all about mysteries, who wouldn’t want to be on?

     

    Is it the modern day setting that breathes fresh air into the genre?

     

    That and the adult approach to it.  Unlike other recent story-based games (e.g. TOR), characters tend to speak as I expect them to speak and the world tends to make sense around my character.   This brings an added layer of immersion.

     

    Conversely, what concerns do you have?

     

    Does the open skill system seem too open?

    It’s not the open system that bothers me.  It’s the limitation of abilities to 7.  Regardless of how you play it, 7 abilities results in the use of the same ones over and over and over again, usually in the same sequence.   Coming from games with a multitude of skills for different situations, I miss having more choices and think that it leaves combat simplistic.  So complex setup pre-combat thanks to the elaborate skill system, but simple combat when it comes down to actually fighting.

     

    What about flavor of the week builds? Will they happen?

    I couldn’t care less.  Balance is a stupid notion driven mostly by the PvP part of the game that only a subset of the population enjoys.  I don’t need to be equal to everyone else.  As long as there are lots of different and fun abilities to use, I’ll figure out how to make builds work.  A more important concern is about how FC will address things that they find unbalanced – I’m not at all a fan of the “nerf everything” approach.  I’d much rather they take extra time and improve the less used skills.

     

    Combat? Can it be improved over that which has been seen already?

    I’ve not seen the most recent closed beta build which supposedly has these improvements (only what’s been in open beta).  Isn’t this still under NDA?   In any case, the combat is problematic, but I’ll get over it.  The recent trend (Rift, TOR, etc.) to make games with a “global cooldown” on abilities makes combat choppy and disjointed for someone like me who is used to older games that did not have this.  Even if it’s only for a second, I hate sitting there and watching all my skills greyed out for no reason while the GCD refreshes.  

     

    Expanding to at least a few more active abilities at a time would also go a long way to making combat more interesting.  Funcom made a fantastic combat system in AoC, but dumbed it down through beta since some people found it too complex.   It seems to me that with TSW they over-compensated and made an extremely simplistic system that never gets any more interesting.  I would love to see the game expand to 1 extra active ability for each of the ability wheel circles breached, to a total of at least 10, if not more.

     

    Dependence on problem solving?

    There is no “dependence” on problem solving.  Only one in every twenty quests is a problem solving quest.  Those that don’t enjoy doing them can look up the answers in various walkthroughs the same way they do it for other MMOs.  Or they can simply choose to not do those quests.  They didn’t seem to be required for anything.    I don’t see how this can be called “dependence” or even be a concern at all.  

     

    What about that in-game browser?

    I still prefer alt+tab, but to each their own.

     

    Is TSW too likely to encourage players to work alone?

    This is a major concern for all the story-driven MMOs out there. FC has done some wonderful community-building pre-release events (I mean the mystery ones, not the facebook game) and they need to incorporate that sort of thing into the game.  The war between the societies should also be incorporated in creating community.  I just hope they can manage to do it in ways other than just PvP.

     

     

    Other thoughts:

     

    Ultimately, one must understand that TSW is a themepark game and all the expectations that come with it.  I also found that approaching it like a single-player RPG makes more sense than approaching it as an MMO.  Playing the beta, it felt to me more like I was playing Fallout 3 than anything else.  Meaning that I actually WANTED to explore the entire town, that I actually wanted to hear what NPCs had to say, that I actually wanted to wander around, etc.   This was a very different experience from a game like Rift or TOR where I was basically driven through a series of mind-numbingly generic NPC camps and where my experience consisted of collecting 20 quests and then finding red dots on a map to finish them. 

     

    On the flipside, when I was done exploring and learning and all that good stuff, the game felt lacking – at least in the limited first area.  I got to the point where I wanted to do some more difficult stuff with some other people, but there wasn’t anything.   The lack of raids at launch is also a concern to me as I enjoy my MMOs for the biggest PvE challenges they bring and encounters designed for lots of people are usually great fun and challenging.

    "I’d rather work on something with great potential than on fulfilling a promise of mediocrity."

    - Raph Koster

    Tried: AO,EQ,EQ2,DAoC,SWG,AA,SB,HZ,CoX,PS,GA,TR,IV,GnH,EVE, PP,DnL,WAR,MxO,SWG,FE,VG,AoC,DDO,LoTRO,Rift,TOR,Aion,Tera,TSW,GW2,DCUO,CO,STO
    Favourites: AO,SWG,EVE,TR,LoTRO,TSW,EQ2
    Currently Playing: EQ2, Firefall

  • MuratReisMuratReis Seattle, WAPosts: 73Member
    Originally posted by arieste

     approaching it like a single-player RPG makes more sense than approaching it as an MMO.  

     

    This is what worries me about "story-driven" MMOs -- they're all about single-player content and not about multi-player, open-ended interactions...The only game that got the MM part of MMORPG right to me was SWG and the person behind that doesn't make MMOs anymore; read Arieste's signature if you want to know why :)

  • rav500rav500 FrankfurtPosts: 46Member

    I find the skill-system interesting, and the setting and the story is my main reason for buying the grand-master bonus.

    I think everyone who wants to enjoy the story in peace and no stress should do the same :) 

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