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The Secret World: Community Building & Paper Worshipping

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe CitadelPosts: 23,307MMORPG.COM Staff Epic

One of Funcom's most laudable goals with The Secret World is to keep players engaged both in and out of game as the recent ARG (Alternative Reality Game) event showed. We've got an interesting take on the ARG that is worth the read so hop through the jump to see what it's all about.

Let's start at the beginning. The Secret War was a somewhat underwhelming Facebook game that scored the people taking part access to the beta weekends and some pretty cool in-game items. However as it drew to a close we received a link to a strange console like interface. From this humble beginning that took all of twenty minutes or so to solve we started an odyssey that would see puzzles spanning days and therapist bills in the thousands.

Read more of Peter Kerr's The Secret World: Community Building & Paper Worshipping.



  • BigCountryBigCountry Charlotte, NCPosts: 478Member

    Great read Peter.



    BigCountry | Head Hunters |

  • Sameer1979Sameer1979 ParisPosts: 362Member

    I love puzzles and mysteries...who doesn't? ;) like mentioned in article being a part of TSW community i once again feel being part of an adult community which i missed since days of SWG.

  • Xstatic912Xstatic912 New York, NYPosts: 365Member
    @ Sameer1979

    true, but will it keep enough subs to stay p2p, I feel TSW appeals to a niche market and as such it shouldn't need a high sub count to stay open..

    If it goes F2P, I don't expecT person who try it to stay long either, because this game takes a bit of thinking on sum quests and its style might not appeal to the masses.
  • DakirnDakirn Kansas City, MOPosts: 374Member Uncommon

    I enjoyed this article and I agree with it. The ARGs were a simply amazing work of puzzles that was unapologetic about making you feel stupid.  Strange as it is I've missed that feeling in my games.

    It's one of the reasons why TSW appeals to me.  The missions and difficultly remind me that I'm not as smart as I think I am.. and then laughs at me while I'm crying in the corner sucking my thumb holding my blanky.

    And all I can say is moar plz.

  • RobbgobbRobbgobb Dallas, TXPosts: 495Member Uncommon

    I loved the ARGs though I had issues (car wreck and vacation) that meant I was not able to stay on top of the puzzles as I wanted but I was actually participating. I even found some of the answers after someone else did first or discarded answers that were not the current answer but was for the next part (did that a few times and feel really stupid over those). 

    Enjoyed the closed beta and glad to have bought Grandmaster Pack. If they keep this up then I will be around for a long time even if not constantly playing.

  • AbangyarudoAbangyarudo Prescott Valley, AZPosts: 156Member

    All Hail The Wall.A4!!!


    -Felicia of the Church of Paper :D

  • jbombardjbombard SapporoPosts: 580Member Uncommon

    While I love the concept, true puzzles and riddles have disappeared from games not only because of the developer's attitude towards the customer but the simple fact that answers are a  google search away.

    One off events are awesome, but will this type of thing be possible in the actual game on an ongoing basis?  Hard to imagine so.  If they are not one off time limited, then answers become readily available over time, if they are one off time limited then developers have to constantly develop new content and the only players that get to see it are people who can play during the alotted time(low bang for dev. buck).

    So in short, A WoWHead-esque TSWHead type of site pretty much neutralizes the longevity provided by these puzzles.  So I guess, I hope we don't see any such sites right away because I do love the concept of a game that requires thinking in this day and age.

  • HerXHerX CPGPosts: 22Member

    Seriously, why does every new mmo comments end up as: "oh this game is gonna end up f2p".

    Who cares, if it ends up it ends up, until then I'm paying, if you don't like it, go play Hello Kitty Island Adventure, as that's more age appropriate for you.

  • NenyaNenya FerndownPosts: 5Member

    I had a great time working on the puzzle along with everyone else!

    I am also enjoying very much the way the game has turned out too.

    Live for today and let tomorrow look after itself!

  • ChilliesauceChilliesauce MelbournePosts: 559Member

    A MMO for grown ups, i love it;) been so long since i have been a part of adult community. Might be coincdince but everyone i met in game and my cabal so far are all 30 to 40 years of age.


  • ZionAvantisZionAvantis LillePosts: 1Member

    Praise the paper ! Paper wall will be forever in our hearts ! A4!

  • EffiEffi LondonPosts: 1Member

    A4 brothers and sisters!

  • BHWolfBHWolf SurreyPosts: 10Member Uncommon

    The link included gave me a 404 error, etc.

    Anyone else have that result?


  • badgerAlumbadgerAlum Madison, WIPosts: 27Member

    I still say it was a peach

  • RadiogirlRadiogirl North Brunswick, NJPosts: 16Member Common

    This ARG was a lot of fun, even tho I, probably like most participants, mainly watched as others far smarter than I figured out most of the clues.

    What was really best about the ARG wasn't even the sitting there for hours on end trying to figure it out, but how it facilitated the bonding process of a gaming community that when it started was made up of probably mostly people who hadn't even had a chance to log into the actual game yet. As I remarked on the TSW forums at the time, I've never before gotten so involved with a game that I hadn't had a chance to actually play yet. We found that a bunch of people who didn't know each other spread across multiple continents could get to know each other and work together to solve a common problem successfully...and have a hell of a lot of fun in the process.

    I believe the ARGs are an inspired idea by Funcom and likely a key factor in helping to insure a loyal TSW community and a successful launch.

    What was even better was at the end players were faced with a choice, a vote to either open a vault door and see what was on the other side at the cost of a character's life we had come to know through the ARG or vote to keep the door closed and save her life. On this issue, anyone could play on a level playing field and good arguments were made on both sides to get players to vote a certain way.

    And hey, I even won an in-game hoodie (just barely...I came in 192 out of 200 in the most active participants)!

    Excellent experience, and one that helps TSW really stand out from the pack.

  • ademandsademands gainesville, FLPosts: 2Member

    I really like that, even though I didn't come up with any of the answers, by being active on the forums and throwing out ideas and criticisms, I was considered to be among the top 25 active ARGers on the forums. The satisfaction from that was pretty awesome.

  • DesertIcicleDesertIcicle Internet, AZPosts: 1Member

    In light of the Wall, even when dim, and quite, we found the guiding light with Paper. A4

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