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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]