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Press B to see Funcom's game design shortcomings [Potential SPOILERS]

ZyzraZyzra Madison, WIPosts: 354Member

The Secret World often in quest dialog tells you to use "outside sources" to help solve a mystery.  Basically it is saying to press B and look up the hints to get a handle on what to do next.

 

When I use the in game browser to Google hints as the game suggests, the search results are usually filled with walkthroughs and spoilers.  I don't want my hand held on this, but I do want to find the information I am supposed to in order to continue.

 

One quest in particular frustrated me for several hours.  I had figured out what was needed to be searched.  It was a Bible passage that would lead to the numbers needing to be entered into a keypad.  However, because Funcom elected to use Google, I spent hours at a loss as to what to do.  I had, in fact, looked up the exact, correct, biblical passage.  I didn't think I had though, because Google's results lead me to a real world translation of the Bible that was different than the real world translation needed to discover the code for the keypad.  Basically, there was no way to enter "four and a half tons" into a 0-9 keypad.  So I then thought I had done something wrong, or missed a hint somewhere.  In actuality, it was because Funcom was using the Internet where things can be wildly innacurate and change over time instead of including what is needed to solve puzzles in their actual game that had caused me to get stuck.

I had to look up a walkthrough, read that I had the correct passage but wrong translation, and enter the code given to me by the walkthrough.

 

Many people in the general chat are against any sort of spoiler being told there.  They prefer, it would seem, to come upon the mission themselves, and have to Google the spoiler themselves, than have it told to them by other players in the game.

 

Also, I found it incredibly dumb that a mission about clues left by founding fathers of a town hundreds of years ago would lead to a modern keypad.  It doesn't even make sense in the context of the game.  I have a better time believing in Zombies running around than I do some city planner predicting the invention of the microchip.

 

I just think it would have been altogether better to include the ability to find the correct paths and solutions in the game itself, instead of resorting to Google.

Would it have been so hard to have an in-game Bible on the ground?  Or a little book explaining how to read music?  Or even a wall poster explaining Morse code?  Perhaps have the Bible sitting under a church pew, or some music lessons in a general store, or a Morse code poster in the airport.  It could have fit in with the game as it is, and been perfect, instead of a "Just Google the solution" approach to game design.

If you've never even heard of Morse code, it would be incredibly difficult to even figure out what to Google, unless you go straight to searching for the quest name itself and the word Walkthrough.

I've gotten to even thinking when it comes to some missions "Why bother trying to solve it?  It is quicker and more accurate to just look for the walkthrough now rather than later."  It's kinda a result of conditioning based on my experiences with Funcom quest design so far.

 

Some quests even when I did enter the correct answer, such as an emote, in the correct place and order, didn't work.  At this point I literally said out loud "I thought for sure that would be it!"  Turns out I was right, and that was it.  What did I have to do different?  Nothing really.  I just had to keep retrying the section, same as I had twice already, and on the third time it seemingly  randomly worked.  This was of course after I looked up the solution and died many times because I thought I had done it wrong.  Turns out I had done it right, but Funcom's bug brigade struck me down.  So sometimes pressing B is a good first step to make sure you do it right, and so you know when something goes wrong, it's because of a Funcom bug, and not anything you actually did incorrectly.

 

 

Despite several bugs I have encountered so far, including some that have been present since Beta, with dozens of pages on their official forums relating to it and no official response or acknowledgement, and despite the subpar quest design, and despite the performance issues unrelated to end user hardware, and despite rampant swearing and racial slurs in general chat (which is A-OK apparently because the game is rated M so anything is ok), I continue to play the game in the hopes that the Buy to Play transition brings in enough revenue that they can fix some of these problems.

 

[mod note - put spoiler warning in thread titl]

Comments

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,197Member Uncommon
    I've seen people ask that spoilers stay out of general chat and only be posted to the hint channel.  That's on Arcadia.
  • dancingstardancingstar LeedsPosts: 346Member Uncommon

    Simple solution to your first complaint -- postfix all Google searches with

    -TSW -"secret world"

    This should exclude all spoiler sites, walkthroughs, &c.

    Unfortunately TSWsearch.com (basically a frontend to a search engine that did this for you) no longer exists.

    EDITED TO ADD: Your character has a smartphone with a web browser, while in the TSW universe spoiler sites about the game obviously don't exist, online Bibles, Wikipedia, Google, &c. do (though obviously being manipulated by Orochi and / or the Illuminati).

    Kingsmouth wasn't just founded by the Illuminati, they pretty much owned the town up until the fog rolled in, even if their base of operations shifted to NY after Priest and Fletcher died. The preacher who gives you the Kingsmouth Code mission is a fanboy or wannabee. The clocks all being stopped at the same time, the manhole covers pointing a specific way, even the computer terminal in the basement -- of coure these are modern things.

    Your comments about general chat, all I can say is that does not reflect my general experience on Arcadia -- in the first four months of the game I think I blocked less than 5 trolls and one gold-spammer.

  • ideainsanity12ideainsanity12 Land O'' Lakes, FLPosts: 6Member
    I mainly play on Arcadia. Boy you can see amatuers begging for spoilers. It's actually against the rules in TSW to ask for spoilers on quests. I always reply to those answers "Use the Browser (B) built in to the game. It will help." I always see people spoiling the fun, too. I can see that many of the players don't really pay attention in school and don't memorize certain things that help. That's the diamond of TSW. It confuses you in a hard puzzle and not ment to be told in Public. I hate beggars/spoilers.

    ~Been Gaming since I was born~

  • SoulStainSoulStain Tampa, FLPosts: 202Member
    I'm sure the keypad could have been a combination lock in the past and at some point it was upgraded to a more modern security device. I love imagination.
  • OrtwigOrtwig Cambridge, MAPosts: 1,159Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ideainsanity12
    I mainly play on Arcadia. Boy you can see amatuers begging for spoilers. It's actually against the rules in TSW to ask for spoilers on quests. I always reply to those answers "Use the Browser (B) built in to the game. It will help." I always see people spoiling the fun, too. I can see that many of the players don't really pay attention in school and don't memorize certain things that help. That's the diamond of TSW. It confuses you in a hard puzzle and not ment to be told in Public. I hate beggars/spoilers.

    It's okay to ask for hints in the Mission Hints channel -- just not cool to blurt out spoilers in General Chat.  Most TSWers prefer to give real hints as opposed to outright answers.  For those who just want the answer, best thing to do is go to a spoiler site -- some of the better ones have hints there as well.  Most MMO players aren't used to investigations, simply because they've never been added before.  Plenty of single player games have had them (remember Myst?), so it's not really new -- just new to MMOs.  It's nice to see people who really want to solve them -- it's an awesome feeling when you figure it out.

     

  • BlueLanternBlueLantern hempstead, NYPosts: 96Member
    lol, be glad the chat even works now.

    image
    image

  • ZyzraZyzra Madison, WIPosts: 354Member
    Originally posted by Ortwig
    Originally posted by ideainsanity12
    I mainly play on Arcadia. Boy you can see amatuers begging for spoilers. It's actually against the rules in TSW to ask for spoilers on quests. I always reply to those answers "Use the Browser (B) built in to the game. It will help." I always see people spoiling the fun, too. I can see that many of the players don't really pay attention in school and don't memorize certain things that help. That's the diamond of TSW. It confuses you in a hard puzzle and not ment to be told in Public. I hate beggars/spoilers.

    It's okay to ask for hints in the Mission Hints channel -- just not cool to blurt out spoilers in General Chat.  Most TSWer prefer to give real hints as opposed to outright answers.  For those who just want the answer, best thing to do is go to a spoiler site -- some of the better ones have hints there as well.  Most MMO players aren't used to investigations, simply because they've never made it in before.  Plenty of single player games have had them (remember Myst?), so it's not really new -- just new to MMOs.  It's nice to see people who really want to solve them -- it's an awesome feeling when you figure it out.

     

    It is awesome to figure it out for yourself yes.  I try and avoid general chat spoilers by not reading it much.

    But when I use the exact, correct, /command to solve a puzzle and it does not work for no apparent reason, but does later when I tried it again, that's frustrating.

    Also is there a searchable Bible in game?  Because there are several different translations online for them, and this caused me to suffer a multiple hour delay in figuring out a part of a quest.

  • OrtwigOrtwig Cambridge, MAPosts: 1,159Member Uncommon

    I can sort of understand where the OP is coming from, but it does also make a lot of sense in that the game is set in the modern day and the character would no doubt have access to a browser.  It would be nice if the in-game search automatically added  the   -tsw and -The Secret World" and I'm wondering if that will be making its way back in.

    It sounds thought like the mechanics of standing in the right place, or clicking on something in the right sequence is that part that was frustrating.  And I also tend to agree that it would be nice if you could pick up an item to refer to it, though I think having the entire Bible in game might be a bit heavy code wise.  The thing they are trying to do is push people to think out of the box and sometimes abstractly to put 2 and 2 together.  In these cases, if the hints were placed in game, it might be a bit too leading.

    It'd be interesting to hear Ragnar's take on this sort of thing.

  • ZyzraZyzra Madison, WIPosts: 354Member
    Originally posted by Ortwig

    I can sort of understand where the OP is coming from, but it does also make a lot of sense in that the game is set in the modern day and the character would no doubt have access to a browser.  It would be nice if the in-game search automatically added  the   -tsw and -The Secret World" and I'm wondering if that will be making its way back in.

    It sounds thought like the mechanics of standing in the right place, or clicking on something in the right sequence is that part that was frustrating.  And I also tend to agree that it would be nice if you could pick up an item to refer to it, though I think having the entire Bible in game might be a bit heavy code wise.  The thing they are trying to do is push people to think out of the box and sometimes abstractly to put 2 and 2 together.  In these cases, if the hints were placed in game, it might be a bit too leading.

    It'd be interesting to hear Ragnar's take on this sort of thing.

    I mean, a Bible is a book.  Mostly just text, so it'd be a large .txt file which really isn't saying much in terms of a 40 Gig game.  There also is a Church in the same town the Bible passage was needed in.  I don't think it'd be odd for a Bible to be laying around in a church.

     

    If they did want to have a modern browser type thing, perhaps have it link to their own designed websites.  Instead of searching the internet, just search a pseudo-net.  They did create some websites for the purpose of this game after all already.

     

    But I think it would have been best to have things needed to be found, be able to be found in the game.

     

    As far as too leading, well if there were books and lore and items related to the locations they were in all over the place, you'd still have to know what you are looking for, to pick which one to find.  I wouldn't go looking for a Bible verse in a Morse Code instructional poster for example.

  • CasualMakerCasualMaker Somerset, NJPosts: 870Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zyzra

    The Secret World often in quest dialog tells you to use "outside sources" to help solve a mystery.  Basically it is saying to press B and look up the hints to get a handle on what to do next.

    One quest in particular frustrated me for several hours.  I had figured out what was needed to be searched.  It was a Bible passage that would lead to the numbers needing to be entered into a keypad.  However, because Funcom elected to use Google, I spent hours at a loss as to what to do.  I had, in fact, looked up the exact, correct, biblical passage.  I didn't think I had though, because Google's results lead me to a real world translation of the Bible that was different than the real world translation needed to discover the code for the keypad.  Basically, there was no way to enter "four and a half tons" into a 0-9 keypad.  So I then thought I had done something wrong, or missed a hint somewhere.  In actuality, it was because Funcom was using the Internet where things can be wildly innacurate and change over time instead of including what is needed to solve puzzles in their actual game that had caused me to get stuck.

    Oh, come on. The browser sends you straight into Google search, and one of the first 2-3 items I saw was a parallel translation of the scripture passage in question. When you consider that the clues were set in the 17th or 18th century, if should have been obvious that King James Version measurements were the appropriate ones.

  • apocolusterapocoluster newport news, VAPosts: 1,321Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BlueLantern
    lol, be glad the chat even works now.

    lol still taking shots I see

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

  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member
    Originally posted by BlueLantern
    lol, be glad the chat even works now.

    Is it really?  Because I'm still having problems with channels disappearing.

    You make me like charity

  • ZyzraZyzra Madison, WIPosts: 354Member
    Originally posted by CasualMaker

    Oh, come on. The browser sends you straight into Google search, and one of the first 2-3 items I saw was a parallel translation of the scripture passage in question. When you consider that the clues were set in the 17th or 18th century, if should have been obvious that King James Version measurements were the appropriate ones.

    I can't be the only person who doesn't have the history of when Bibles were translated into which versions memorized.

     

    I mean yes, the answers are out there.  My question is, why are they out there, and not in here?

    Would it have been so hard for there to be a clickable object shaped like a book with a cross symbol on it inside the area's church?  Could adding a searchbar to such an object, or even some options to click chapters to go quickly to the area you think to search be so difficult?

     

    Is there any advantage to a player from a gameplay standpoint to having to search google for answers instead of having to search the game world and lore in the game?

  • HluillHluill Lovingston, VAPosts: 105Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zyzra

     

    Would it have been so hard for there to be a clickable object shaped like a book with a cross symbol on it inside the area's church?  Could adding a searchbar to such an object, or even some options to click chapters to go quickly to the area you think to search be so difficult?

     

    Is there any advantage to a player from a gameplay standpoint to having to search google for answers instead of having to search the game world and lore in the game?

    You definitely make some good points.  I too searched all over the church for a bible.  Other missions made me dig through filing cabinets or look in the phone book.  One mission even required me to die in order to read some graffiti.  There's all the place the symbols in an order dictated by the ingame poetry.  It would be nice to see more in game sources.

    I also like the idea of the in game browser being modified so it doesn't automatically go to sites like unfair.co. I tip my hate to those guys because they have certainly done their homework and saved me from much frustration. 

    Hluill, a barbarian rogue, and his Warrior-daughter, Leyek
    Playing/Subscribing: TSW, LotRO, EQ2, and SWTOR
    Played: GW2, V:SoH, Neverwinter, ArchAge, EQ, UO, DAoC, WAR, DDO, AoC, MO

  • CasualMakerCasualMaker Somerset, NJPosts: 870Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Hluill

    You definitely make some good points.  I too searched all over the church for a bible.  Other missions made me dig through filing cabinets or look in the phone book.  One mission even required me to die in order to read some graffiti.  There's all the place the symbols in an order dictated by the ingame poetry.  It would be nice to see more in game sources.

    I also like the idea of the in game browser being modified so it doesn't automatically go to sites like unfair.co. I tip my hate to those guys because they have certainly done their homework and saved me from much frustration. 

    +1 on unfair.co relieving much frustation. I had no idea that finding a bit of sheet music online could be so hard (every time I clicked on a sheet music graphic, all the sites tried to sell it to me instead of displaying it larger). And then there was the issue of finding a variant piece that started the same, but the next notes were different!

  • ZyzraZyzra Madison, WIPosts: 354Member

    Yeah the sheet music... ugh lol.  I had my game crash entirely because one place I did find the correct piece for free was in a PDF

    On the in game browser being modified - the developers for The Secret World did go so far as to create real websites for the purpose of being used in conjunction with the game.  If they were set on using a browser, then perhaps they could have the browser link to a fake internet, with a variety of sites related to the game world, not the real world.  They could even have an online Bible "for these troubling times" that people in the game world might refer to, and have the correct passages to get the right clues.

    Overall I think investigation missions are a neat concept, but I would have preferred to keep the investigations in the world needing things investigated.

     

    Also, in EVE there is an in-world news company type thing.  Like, events happening in the game, or even player driven, are covered by "reporters" that relate them using in-game terms.  So it would seem like a story a person living in the world would read without feeling like there was a glitch in the matrix.

    In The Secret World, with its modern setting, sure there can be interent access.  But why would people in the game be reading things on an internet not from their world?

    I hope I'm getting it across ok hehe

  • OrtwigOrtwig Cambridge, MAPosts: 1,159Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zyzra

    Yeah the sheet music... ugh lol.  I had my game crash entirely because one place I did find the correct piece for free was in a PDF

    On the in game browser being modified - the developers for The Secret World did go so far as to create real websites for the purpose of being used in conjunction with the game.  If they were set on using a browser, then perhaps they could have the browser link to a fake internet, with a variety of sites related to the game world, not the real world.  They could even have an online Bible "for these troubling times" that people in the game world might refer to, and have the correct passages to get the right clues.

    Overall I think investigation missions are a neat concept, but I would have preferred to keep the investigations in the world needing things investigated.

     

    Also, in EVE there is an in-world news company type thing.  Like, events happening in the game, or even player driven, are covered by "reporters" that relate them using in-game terms.  So it would seem like a story a person living in the world would read without feeling like there was a glitch in the matrix.

    In The Secret World, with its modern setting, sure there can be interent access.  But why would people in the game be reading things on an internet not from their world?

    I hope I'm getting it across ok hehe

    I think the point's well taken, and I agree there's places where a well-placed  item would make sense -- they do already have notes and other things that show up in game as graphical elements.  That said, the browser is going to become even more important, as the home page will be changing soon from Google to your chronicle page (http://chronicle.thesecretworld.com), with, I believe an in-game calendar where in-game events can be posted.  Great place to see what's happening in-game and a good use of the browser in this case.

  • CryseydeCryseyde LA baby!, CAPosts: 70Member

    A few suggestions: If there is a wikipedia entry always look there first. That's been the most reliable method of finding correct phrases, translations, etc. when there's dissention among websites. Sometimes adding search terms like TSW is helpful, but sometimes that just muddies things. The trick is in good use of keywords.

     

    Second, yes, general chat should not have spoilers. Neither should Mission Hints, really. A spoiler is the answer to a puzzle, which is not the same as a hint. If someone asks for the answer to something, just click their name and send them a tell. So many people end up turning off their general and MH channels because of spoilers, and then people wonder later why there's no one to ask when Mr. Freezie spawned last, or why Sherriff Bannerman stays married to a philandering prick. Or why Dr. Bannerman would ever cheat on a woman who owned guns, for that matter. Basically, just don't ruin other people's fun, that's all we ask. And if you do, and you have no one to group with because everyone has channels off, don't blame them.

     

    Third, the browser is changing to chronicle? I disbelieve. The . (period) brings up chronicle already, so I don't know why they'd make this change. It seems pointless.

  • RaysheRayshe London, ONPosts: 1,284Member

    Another method is how you search.

     

    Aka in the story investigation i didn't put in "Quest Mission Title" i put in "Clue 1" " Clue 2" which led me to Answer 1.

    Because i can.
    I'm Hopeful For Every Game, Until the Fan Boys Attack My Games. Then the Knives Come Out.
    Logic every gamers worst enemy.

  • OrtwigOrtwig Cambridge, MAPosts: 1,159Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cryseyde

    Third, the browser is changing to chronicle? I disbelieve. The . (period) brings up chronicle already, so I don't know why they'd make this change. It seems pointless.

    Hmm, I thought I had seen something about the chronicle, but I might be mistaken.  The event calendar and new home page is definitely real tho:

    http://forums.thesecretworld.com/showthread.php?t=63114#post1481036

  • OrtwigOrtwig Cambridge, MAPosts: 1,159Member Uncommon
    Looks like the home page change is live -- news page comes up first as the default now, and a handy Google search that has a "Search Secret World" option that appears to auto-screen the spoiler sites.  Nice.
  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    I think the whole point was trying to bring the game into the real world a bit.

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