I had a few friends who wanted to know more about TSW. So I picked it up and have been playing for about 2 weeks. I have been playing mmos since UO and have played pretty much every pay to play one since then. I raid, I PVP, I craft, I quest. I didnt want to go into super detail (dissertation). In any case enjoy. Feel free to leave feedback.
Report on The Secret World (TSW) post launch:
TSW opts for an active style of combat, where area of effects are
clearly defined (For you and opponents). Along with this style they
have implemented an active dodge (tapping a direction twice) which has
a cooldown that is clearly defined. When you attack you build combo
points with your weapons which you spend on more powerful abilities,
so active skills can be broken down to point builders, point spenders,
and pointless (usually a longer cooldown). When enemies use aoes
(usually hard hitting attacks, almost all enemies use some form of it)
the area marker will be on the ground with an inner circle. Once that
inner circle reaches the outer circle the effect takes place. So often
times I am in the middle of using a "Frenzy" ability (channeled) and I
have to haul tail to get out, my active dodge might not be enough to
clear the area. You can also gimp yourself with a poor build and die
(in my case a lot).
Going further TSW has no classes or levels (More on this in a bit). It
goes on a skill point system. You have abilities (gain 3 AP (Ability
Points) for every 1 SP (Skill Points) you would acquire. Some
abilities cost more AP than others (1 - 50AP range) as you progress,
certain areas give more xp and you are able to gain AP and SP at a
faster rate (Costs the same amount of XP always). SP is used to
increase damage, tank-ability, or healing in any one specific weapon.
It is also spent so that you can equip better talismans in each slot
(talismans are where you get all your stats, clothing is purely
So with your character, you can equip 2 Weapons at a time. Your 7
active abilities must be comprised entirely from abilities from these
weapon pools. However your 7 passive abilities can come from any
weapon pool (look to build synergy). So if I wanted to create a dot
based character I would choose passives that compliment that. With
that being said, although the game is classless, the trinity is still
alive and strong, just with more styles that can fit into those types
Build your own class
Depth to choices
All styles use combo points for resource
No levels is an illusion, while there is no cap, difficulty is based
on you skill level in each talisman type (Head, Major, and Minor) as
well as weapon skills.
There are 5 Quest types:
Storyline - The main quest, you can have only one active at a time.
These are long standing and might take you weeks to complete one.
Main quest - These are detailed quests that will have you going all
over your current map. Involved and story oriented, each having a
cut scene and involving some combat. You may have only 1 active.
Repeatable after cooldown
Sabotage - These are stealth quests, think metal gear etc. Translates into puzzle solving.
Investigation - These are what will make you use the in game browser
to research or spoil it for yourself when you are stumped. Pay
attention to everything. Someone says "Have you ever seen some on
defecate themselves from "Pink Noise"" you should probably google pink
noise. I now read every quest and talk to every one I see and turn the
volume up when I am being spoken at. This will immerse you. They are
Normal Quests - These are the standard "deliver this package" , "kill
X zombies" sort of deal, 1 shot you complete it it’s done. Repeatable
TSW has FvFvF (F = Faction) PVP. Each of these factions have a
distinct look and story. Even though you will share the same PVE areas
with other factions, the flavor of the quests are unique. For example
playing as a Dragon I take a sabotage mission, I need to blow up some
building. I take the same quest as a Templar and I am investigating an
explosion that has set off zombie activity in that area. As Illuminati
I am covering up why there are zombies there in the first place and
how did someone find out.
The setting is modern day, the voice acting is top notch. The first
area is the town of kingsmouth (Lovecraft's Arkham, they even have a
lovecraft street and poe lane). It feels a bit like Racoon city as
well (resident evil). This town is located in MA, which I have been
and the accents are spot on. The dialogue is adult and witty. A mature
setting for once, I have encountered no barrens chat.
Quests are involved, you will be completing them one at a time
Some quests can be turned in via cell phone/email
Lack of cliches
Knows when to not take itself too seriously, lots of humor if you look
I found some quests to be "How many more steps are left?"
Some times the Investigation quests are very particular, they should
be taken after you have explored the map (gotten the achievement)
Since there are no true classes I will touch lightly on weapons. The
weapon types are as follows.
In the ability wheel, each has 2 Inner trees (a damage tree, and a
support-ish tree (tanking, healing, control. All depends on the
weapon) and then 6 outer trees witch get much more granular. You have
to complete both inner trees for a weapon before you can start
purchasing outer trees.
In each tree there is a mixture of passive and active abilities. At
the end of each tree is an elite ability, you can have only 1 passive
and 1 active elite equipped. Imagine if you could mix and match wow
passive talents from across all classes?
My build is Blades/Blood. I use blades to aoe, blood for heals+damage
shield. with the passives I focused on applying the afflicted status
since one of my blade aoes adds penetration rating (armor ignore) if I
use it on targets that are afflicted. I have another subset that lets
me spam a powerful ability if the target is impaired (stunned).
Wait I lied, They have Funcom chosen pre-constructed "Decks" you can
use to help you into an archetype. If you complete the deck you unlock
a full outfit (Nice and will take you awhile). I have heard the decks
are more mid story then end since it only takes passives from your two
weapons and not every tree.
Each weapon has a unique feel, with blood I can use health instead of
Assault rifles I heal (myself and others) by dealing damage
Never know what you will face in pvp
Never know what you will face in pvp (hard to meta-game)
Trinity is there although loose
No respec, you spend points it is yours to keep (think EVE)
Modern and sleek, it uses hotkeys though (1-7) so wowish by today's
standards. You will never have a screen saturated with buttons, so
your play-style is distilled to those 7 active abilities and how you
used your passives to tie them together.
The skill wheel is sleek. No giant question marks hovering overhead.
Map is as informative as it needs to be, no clutter.
Doesn’t hold your hand, no real tooltips to speak of. Well I lied they
have in game videos
I applaud you for reading this far. This and GW2 are very very
similar. For those who have an issue with subs, they have a life time
subscription for a measly $200. When choosing between the two
(freshest mmos in awhile) it comes down to these factors:
- Art and Animation
GW2: Far more stylized, You have the anime-ish flipping, trailing
brushstroke type effects, the animation and active movement is very
well done. Water colors are cool.
Looks like Street Fighter 4.
TSW: Modern day, Modern Time. You would look foolish jumping around
and doing flips with an assault rifle. The closest thing would be
pistols = equilibrium. Standard 3d graphics, well done. Won’t make your
eyes bleed. Since you have to pay attention to your surroundings
things have to be somewhat clean.
- Subscription/Content model
GW2: $60 for the box. Pay only for the box, large content released in boxed form.
TSW: $50 for the box. $15 monthly, or $200 for lifetime + goodies.
Monthly content updates (new quests, events etc).
GW2: Travel around doing things, Class based system, Free to play =
TSW: Varied quest types, Content always relevant, Lots of "end game"
content. Get to say "Raid wiped against Cthulhu" or "Can’t wait for
GW2: Arena nets bread and butter, expect a good time 3 world combat
TSW: Less meta-game, 3 Faction combat. Hard to get stale.