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The Secret World: Not Another Fantasy MMO

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe CitadelPosts: 22,965MMORPG.COM Staff Epic

In our continuing coverage of this past weekend's beta event for The Secret World, we take a look at the game's modern setting and its refreshing change in an industry packed with fantasy MMOs. See what else we think and then leave us a comment or two.

As an Illuminati player I was instantly transported to the streets of New York City. Since I grew up about twenty minutes outside of New York, it is quite easy to recognize my home turf. One of the great parts in the zone is that they don’t show you the glitz and glam New York, but the underbelly of society. The zone is a mix of seedy back alleys and quiet conversations in corners. Living here for many years, this is everywhere in New York, except maybe Time Square and Broadway now-a-days. Being transported into this world now makes me want to find the Illuminati and figure this place out.

Read more of Garrett Fuller's The Secret World: Not Another Fantasy MMO.




  • AeolronAeolron Ottawa, ONPosts: 648Member
    Great read as usual! I loved every second I spent in the game this weekend, poor Tera didn't even play it at all this weekend, damn you funcom LOL
  • apocolusterapocoluster newport news, VAPosts: 1,326Member Uncommon

        I found it to be an amazigly fun game even in its "unpolished" state. 

    No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  • SoandsosoSoandsoso Richmond Hill, ONPosts: 533Member

    I played this weekend and for the first time in awhile I was looking forward to playing a MMO.

  • Mississauga, ONPosts: 912Member Uncommon

    How did you get to experience the Illuminati when I only got to experience the Templars?

  • umcorianumcorian Boston, MAPosts: 519Member Uncommon

    Eh. Funcom. A company with the unique track record of unleashing not one but two completely unfinished MMOs, to the point where they wouldn't even be in beta testing for a real gaming company. But they always make their entry content polished to convince reviewers/MMO columnists their product is gold instead of the iron pyrite it really is. 

    Not being fooled this time. Let me know how the game is three months after release. ;)

  • MaitraderMaitrader Simi Valley, CAPosts: 389Member
    Great game that goes far outside the box and provides hours of fun!

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Puyallup, WAPosts: 2,198Member

    The only problem I've seen with the story so far is that the player character really doesn't participate in it, he only observes it.  Now when someone gives us a game with the adult themes and plot/setting quality level of TSW in combination with BioWare style character focused story and choice driven narrative, *that* will be a winner.  For now, those of us wanting a strong narrative experience in MMOs are still forced to choose between games that have different sets of glaring flaws.

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

  • KenFisherKenFisher Northwest, INPosts: 5,035Member Uncommon

    One spot where I get stuck in my understanding of TSW is if the design is intended as mainstream or niche.


    To me being a storyline driven quester places it in the mainstream category.  However, the theme, environment, and skill system all sound niche to me.


    I consider niche to mean a game's target market is smaller than a full-on mainstream game, but the game itself does better in catering to the tastes of its own target market.

    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  When I don't understand, I ask.  Such is not intended as criticism.
  • HurricanePipHurricanePip Sommerille, MAPosts: 167Member

    Originally posted by apocoluster

        I found it to be an amazigly fun game even in its "unpolished" state. 

    I wouldn't say unpolished, but there are a few things that need to be addressed.  The impact of combat on enemies being the top of the list.  Technically, the game seemed solid though.  The flexibility of the classless system is amazing too.

    My largest concern is that the zones in the world are very fragmented.  It's one of the things I didn't like about AoC.  It felt too much like a open world hub and instanced spoke system.  Maybe using the real world as the back drop will help bring more context though.  We'll see.

    It'll be interesting to see how successful a MMO with a high learning curve can be in the current market.


    If you don't worry about it, it's not a problem.

  • ZagavaVonnZagavaVonn Toronto, ONPosts: 300Member Uncommon

    Playing in the beta this weekend was great fun, even with the 11+ gig download over my smokingly-slow DSL it was worth the wait.

    The game really feels like Steve Jackson Games' Illuminati: The Conspiracy, albeit in MMO format:

    It is great fun and a nice change from cut-and-dried MMO cash-shop ginder MOB-raid-zerg rush battlefield instanced planets nonsense.Some of The Secret World reads a bit like Alex Jone's InfoWars craziness, but it's all in good fun, and I found it a lot more interesting story-wise then the SWTOR beta (which billed itself as having epic story and voice-acting, which it didn't).

    FunCom gets a bit 'Hi-5' from me for this beta, thank-you FunCom...!


  • Mors.MagneMors.Magne LondonPosts: 1,544Member Uncommon

    * deleted by Mors.Magne *


  • MardukkMardukk Posts: 2,059Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by nttajira

    btw the age of conan first town and part you played in the beta was amazing too ! that just when you finish it and enter the real game you can see that age of conan was not ready and full of bugs, just saying , have fun in the secret world everyone !

    let make it look we forget age of conan releases ( the last from funcom ) and buy it first day , pre order , stuft like that ! .



    Closed beta testers are saying that this game is not another AoC, but thanks for your concern.

  • xZeRGzxZeRGz Campbellsville, KYPosts: 118Member

    I must have been playing a different game o_0

  • Heinz130Heinz130 sao pauloPosts: 227Member
    I play this whole weekend no stop,ill play this game for sure
    For a themepark game its entertained more than i was expecting
    lets see how long it can be enjoyable,for long i hope

    WoW 4ys,EVE 4ys,EU 4ys
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  • AeolronAeolron Ottawa, ONPosts: 648Member
    Played TSW non stop all weekend completed I think almost every single mission save the main story which we could only get to tier 8 lived every second of it! Keep up the great work funcom!!
  • grimfallgrimfall Missouri City, TXPosts: 1,153Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by ActionMMORPG

    One spot where I get stuck in my understanding of TSW is if the design is intended as mainstream or niche.
    To me being a storyline driven quester places it in the mainstream category.  However, the theme, environment, and skill system all sound niche to me.
    I consider niche to mean a game's target market is smaller than a full-on mainstream game, but the game itself does better in catering to the tastes of its own target market.


    Head on over to wikipedia or a talk to a friend with a marketing degree to get a good handle on the concept of "niche" products.  World of Warcraft is a niche product.

  • UnitAkiraUnitAkira AucklandPosts: 24Member

    i was a little weary at first but what i found had myself happily hooked for the weekend .. what a refreshing bag of fun it was .. hell i dare say i thought i was in a off spring of silent hill and res evil but with an active world of players aound me, and i say that in the most praising way .. love the way random players would help save ur ass as they ran pass on their way somewhere... had fun fun fun very interested to see how it all turns out . the only thing i didnt like was the characters/your player very clone like, all same build same height etc yes i know its beta and they will change/add. i do hope this includes some body adjustments cause my char looks like he is a tad overly buff from the gym and a steady diet of junk foods, a bit to beefy for my liking ..picky i know :P

  • dubyahitedubyahite Lincoln, NEPosts: 2,483Member Common
    Innovative, fun, and beautiful game.

    I had severe reservations about this game, but I think they have all been washed away.

    Funcom has really got something here

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  • Shadows59Shadows59 Frazer, MTPosts: 47Member

    ok, how did you play Illuminati when the rest of us were templars on solomon island? Maybe I missed something?

  • eskelaeskela SzczecinPosts: 39Member

    It was probably "press beta preview", my friend was attending such too.

  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,505Member Uncommon

    I really enjoyed the open beta weekend and i totally agree with this aticle.. I cant wait to get to test out the other factions.. Tho we get templars again this weekend :)


  • RohnRohn Saint Peters, MOPosts: 3,729Member Uncommon
    Good read. The long term appeal of the game is always a question with games of this type, but I think it does a very good job capturing the right mood. Really enjoyed the quests too, much more so than most themeparks.

    Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.

  • BereKinBereKin SplitPosts: 287Member

    The game is interesting and its step away from classic fantasy based mmos is a good twist. Its still little bit unpolished, but I hope they will fix all glitchis and bugs before release. It got potential and future, so it would be a shame to fail in the end. Anyway, good article, cant wait for next beta.

  • NakaweNakawe Perry, MEPosts: 14Member

    I did see some flaws but overall gameplay was solid.  I am looking forward to other beta weekends....

  • DrWookieDrWookie Portland, ORPosts: 261Member Uncommon

    Correction from the article:


    The game DOES NOT allow you "total freedom". Please stop advertising it as such. Take one look at the skill tree and you realize there is not "total freedom"...there are linear trees spread out throughout 9 weapon skills. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, I'm just pointing out it is NOT a "free" skill tree where you can take what you want when you want it. 

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