I had played this game at launch, back in 2000-something and since I missed on much of the content because of bugs and because didn't play for long, I figured I would give it another try, since I remembered the story being great.
Here is a recount of my adventures in the Secret World this time around(so far)
The biggest handicap I have for any online activity is my limited download speed, not something I am able to fix, so I have to cope with a meager 2.0 Mbit/sec download. Knowing this I downloaded the launcher one night before going to sleep and left it downloading until the next day. I was looking forward to play the game but apparently I could not.
Once you start the .exe file of the launcher the game is set to be downloaded as "minimum" client: roughly 5 GB. This is probably the way of things nowadays and if you have 100 MB/sec download speed you can probably afford to download whatever resources the game needs on the fly. For me I couldn't even get past the character creation, because I wanted to watch the trailers for the three factions. Once in game, before playing a cut-scene it would have me wait 5 minutes, so I decided to postpone my adventures and do something else that day.
After leaving the launcher downloading the, this time, full version (an option you have to tick in the launcher that apparently new players are supposed to know right away, before even downloading the game) I could finally get in and enjoy the story.
Or so I thought. Apparently the "full" client is full only in name, because even though I have no option to keep downloading data, the client is missing most of it. The result is that, with my meager bandwidth, every mission I do that involves looking at some picture or other type of detail (90% of the missions I would add) leaves me hanging in there while the client downloads the resources: I interact with the object in game and I enter "cursor mode" with nothing on the screen to click on, having to wait for this picture to pop up, it usually takes 15-20 seconds. I could just hit ESC and move on, but since I am playing this for the story and immersion, moving on means just un-installing.
I also had the idea of creating a new character since not even the introductory mission I did on the minimum client (the day I couldn't even watch the trailers) was enjoyable and I wanted to see the cut-scenes without having to wait minutes before each.
Buying an extra character slot costs money and I am perfectly fine with it, especially since you can technically earn it by just playing the game, however me being a new account with no high level characters my only option was to buy the slot. Or maybe let me google it, "who knows" I though, "maybe later in the story you get an extra slot for free?". Turns out that players who migrated their accounts from TSW received 2 free character slots. "Perfect" I though. I did the migration process, claimed the items in game (I couldn't see what I claimed because of the downloading issue, opening this "claim rewards" window was empty, but apparently I DID claim two items, a pre-purchase T-shirt and MMORPG.com T-shirt). The extra slots weren't there though.
I then joined a live-chat with support who explained to me that the promotion ended sometime in September and now migrating the account only worked for vanity items. My bad probably, must have skipped the instructions trusting what I read on google.
A couple hours into the game I started getting really annoyed: I really wanted (and want still) to enjoy the story but the constant "buffering" of the client makes it really unbearable. I tried asking for tips on reddit and here is one reply: "My client folder was at 40gb+ before I removed it the other day. Reinstalled a fresh copy off the 'new' steam client and now it's slowing increasing as I play again."
My client is sitting at 15 GB right now so there is no hope there. At least no hope to have no more downloading until the main story is done.
Figured I would hop on the official forums to search, or ask, what the developers' stance was on this matter but, to my amazement, there are no official forums. The community tab on their site just says: follow us on twitter to have this pet, like us on facebook for this costume, and so on.
This actually is the "improved" version of a game. When I first played it in 2013 it was playable for me (bugs aside). I am not sure about the cash shop, but at first glance it seems fine, since you can get the currency by playing, but of course it might be too early to tell.
The part that really blows my mind is having no forums so they don't need to spend money on community managers (probably what CCP is going for) or hear the customers complain.
Is this the future of gaming? Rhetorical question of course. The rant was meant to be on their forums, and not be a rant at all, but more of a recount of how frustrating my first few hours were and why I won't spend a dime on this Digital-disappointment.