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[Column] The Secret World: Why Don't More People Play TSW?

SBFordSBFord Former Associate EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 33,129

Go to any forums for MMOs and you will eventually find people bemoaning the fact that every MMO out there is the same. Maybe they use words like “WoW clone” or “copycat” but the idea is always the same, there just isn’t enough variety in MMOs. And yes, the industry is filled with one fantasy game after another. But there are other games that get over looked. Whenever I see someone complaining all MMOs are the same I ask them, “What about The Secret World?”

Read more of Shannon Doyle's The Secret World: Why Don't More People Play TSW?





  • BetaguyBetaguy Member UncommonPosts: 2,629
    "The King and the Pawn return to the same box at the end of the game"

  • TalmienTalmien Member UncommonPosts: 190

    I stopped playing because it really isn't that different. It might be a different setting, but its still a quest hub themepark. That's not to say I have anything against quest hub themeparks, it just the TSW doesn't do it very well. The quest were generic, except for the puzzle ones, and usually those were so challenging it was frustrating rather than fun. Also all the monsters, while wearing different skins, usually fought in the same manner, get in your face and kill you. Making them all feel the same.


    And I have to disagree on the character customization, its more of an extremely limited customization. I kept coming up with builds on characters I wanted to make, but it always went over the limit on the number of skill and passive slots I had. So the character I felt always seemed to be some limited version of what I actually wanted my character to be.


    Also I try to stay away from cash shop games now. I haven't found a one where I can spend just $15 a month and get a satisfying game experience like I can from a subscription game.

  • KhylrionKhylrion Member UncommonPosts: 4

    I actually really like this MMO and I sometimes log in just to experience the special atmosphere.

    Love the investigation quests! This is a special (maybe rough) gem on the MMO constellation imo.

  • MadimorgaMadimorga Member UncommonPosts: 1,920

    I enjoyed the story and NPC interaction of TSW.  The writing was amazing, as was most of the voice acting.  But TTK is too long when soloing and mob density is also an issue.  Sometimes it felt like I was reading a fantastic novel that required hitting my thumb repeatedly with a hammer before I could turn another page.  I highly recommend the game to people who play with friends.  Us loners?  Only the really patient ones.


    Aside from that, I'm tired of MMOs with no housing options.  Decorating my apartments with loot was one of my favorite activities from Anarchy Online, despite how limited it was.  I'll forgive a lot of flaws in a game where I can place a freshly looted lamp just so.


    I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.

    ~Albert Einstein

  • reillanreillan Member UncommonPosts: 247
    I loved the Kingsport area quests... and then I went to egypt and had a "meh" moment extraordinaire...
  • syltmackasyltmacka Member UncommonPosts: 404

    i just started playing this, and having a blast.

    its very difficult tho.

  • VonatarVonatar Member UncommonPosts: 723
    Combat was and remains terrible, at least for me. The animations are clunky and severely outdated, weapons lacked impact (e.g. firing a pistol sounded like a cap gun) and there was no fluidity. I tried a few times to just play and get past it, but combat is a big part of an MMO and I couldn't.
  • d_20d_20 Member RarePosts: 1,878

    I think the concept is great. I love the NPCs and I think it has the best story and voice acting. It's the most original game in terms of those areas, in my opinion.

    Why I don't play:

    1. It's a traditional gear grind. I don't like running instances over and over to get gear. Been there, done that. In that sense, it's not at all original. Lots of elitism as well.

    2. The PvP is horrible. Fusang was terribly imbalanced. It's a real bummer if your faction is not well represented.

    3. The animations and "action" combat are very clunky compared to other games launching around the same time. The way the character strafes is very lame. I would rather play GW2 for action combat.

    4. ESO is coming out soon.

  • aslan132aslan132 Member UncommonPosts: 621

    You pretty much nailed it in the article. Its Funcom, rough launch, terrible combat. Im sorry, but it doesnt matter what the game is like now, you only get one first impression. I actually played TSW in beta, and knew immediately I would never spend a dime on the game. Honestly, I would have played at launch if it were free at the time, just because of the unique setting, lore and quests. 


    But to launch broken and incomplete, and then try to charge a box price and subscription...LMAO.  You only have yourself to blame for its failure and dropping population. If there werent so many better MMOs out there to play, I might consider giving this one another shot, just to immerse myself in the occult setting and beautifully done environments. But unfortuantely, its just not worth the time and effort. MMO companies need to learn, sometimes its better to release a month or two later than expected, if it means keeping players around. Meeting a deadline is never an excuse to launch broken or incomplete.

  • ScalplessScalpless Member UncommonPosts: 1,426

    I don't know about the "they picked up a sword" argument. I picked a shotgun + elementalism. Played up to the Blue Mountain. I thought I'd be a real badass, blasting monsters with my shotty and shooting lighting from my eyes. Nope. I got lots of different shotgun attacks, almost all of which dealt some damage and had near-identical visuals. I got a few elemental powers, most of which were of the "some damage" variety. Most of my combat consisted of 1111123. I think my "elite" ability crippled enemies, allowing me to circle-strafe a bit. It was very bland and boring, especially compared to Guild Wars 1, which had the same deck-building system, but was much better in every way.

    TSW has a great setting and solid writing, but IMO it would've worked better as a single-player action/RPG like The Witcher.

  • PhaserlightPhaserlight Member EpicPosts: 3,074
    I'm not really a fan of the Cthulu mythos or the Illuminati.

    "The simple is the seal of the true and beauty is the splendor of truth" -Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
    Authored 139 missions in Vendetta Online and 6 tracks in Distance

  • gwei1984gwei1984 Member UncommonPosts: 413

    TSW will always have a nice warm place in my heart. Great quests, great dungeons, great storytelling. But if youre through with all this stuff, there isn really much more to do except running nightmares.

    I will always take a look when something new releases in TSW and hop back in just to see the extraordinary story go on.


    High quality game!


  • TaotavTaotav Member UncommonPosts: 14
    Great game. I still play it everyday.
  • VaultFairyVaultFairy Member UncommonPosts: 566
    I like the deck building but when i get in to combat.. Well it is terrible, i really dislike tab target combat nowadays.
  • NetspookNetspook Member UncommonPosts: 1,583
    Originally posted by Talmien

    I stopped playing because it really isn't that different. It might be a different setting, but its still a quest hub themepark. That's not to say I have anything against quest hub themeparks, it just the TSW doesn't do it very well. 


    Combined with Betaguy's comment: "it feels clunky" --> sums it up pretty well for me.

    Played the game a couple of days, haven't touched it since.

  • Path4Path4 Member Posts: 35
    Originally posted by Betaguy

    Yeah this and the combat is so boring, and lets face it that's what mmo's are about for the most part.  It may have a story and other unique elements, but I can't get past the boring combat.  I played for a few hours and I was bored.  Not my type of game, but I only spent $15 so no biggie.

  • evilastroevilastro Member Posts: 4,270

    Three main reasons:

    1) The quests are great the first time you do them. Endgame replayability? Almost non-existant.  This changed a bit with the recent augment grind, but by that stage it was a little bit too late.  My second point also hinders replayability at endgame.

    2) The combat is fairly poor.  Its better than it used to be, but its still pretty bad.

    3) The character models and outfits are fairly ugly.  On a game which could draw inspiration from so many eras, mythology and genres, it really doesn't dig very deep for ideas.


    It really is surprising, because Age of Conan has great armour and combat.  If they could merge the two games, they might just have the perfect MMO.

    The deck building, quests and story of TSW with the combat and armour / style of AoC.  That would be heaven.

  • niteflynitefly Member Posts: 340

    I found the game entertaining due to its stories and the environments. As stated in the article, the NPCs are done expertly and more than a few of them are so memorable I actually looked forward to getting back to them again when I finished one quest or another.

    I also feel that the idea of "Buy the Box, play forever" is really good in these very storydriven games. It means you can play them every once i a while and not feel shafted by a high subscription price.

    Personally I'm very much a number cruncher and for that kind of player the character creation/customization is very good. I do feel however that the massive possibilities in the character creator isn't backed up by enough interesting variety when it comes to animations, sounds, and visuals, leaving the actual combat rather lack-lustre. I still play it with a core group of friends and will propably keep playing it as long as the storywriting remains at the current quality level.


  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,855
  • centkincentkin Member RarePosts: 1,527

    I said this when Tera and The Secret World released. 

    If you had the combat of Tera with the story of The Secret World then you would have a winner.  Each game had what the other game lacked. 

    Tera is Chocolate -- TSW was peanut butter.  Together you get a candy bar.

  • Mors.MagneMors.Magne Member UncommonPosts: 1,549

    Because ALL TSW combat on YouTube is shit - even the very best setups.


    It's clunky, unrealistic, unexciting and takes AGES.


    There are no exceptions to this rule whatsoever.

  • PsyMike3dPsyMike3d Member UncommonPosts: 388
    Because the combat system sucks! The moves, the animations,the skills feels hmmm... something is wrong....
  • orbitxoorbitxo Member RarePosts: 1,956

    still my #1 mmo.

    no issues with it, just kinda funny all the negative reviews some players have about it- just shows me i probably have no interest on their current game they are playing.

    TSW- does go above and beyond!-accelerating how far an mmo can go with creativity!

  • NitthNitth Member UncommonPosts: 3,904

    Is a great game. Played it for about 8 months (beta+live).
    But i just wore it out, i played it so much.

    At the top its a gear grind yes but its bearable in the sense that you can be so flexible with you equipment farming instances and raids to make those items that really complement you abilities.

    But that wasn't enough to make me stay, Watching your stats go up to farm more gear really doesn't do it for me anymore.

    In regards to animations, It really is an RPG at heart and i think people really want shooter type game play after playing in kings-mouth. there is an emphasis on movement but it's a tab target game. (don't forget reticule mode)

    TSW - AoC - Aion - WOW - EVE - Fallen Earth - Co - Rift - || XNA C# Java Development

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Member CommonPosts: 10,910

    I play every once in awhile.  It definitely has stories, puzzles and environments that are pretty cool.  They need to improve a couple of things though.


    1. The combat.  Whether a player is using a sword or not, the combat is kind of clunky.  I don't know if they've over complicated it, under buffed it or what, but it just feels clunky.

    2. Loading screens.  I'm sure this could be alleviated by having a faster hard drive, but I play plenty of other games and MMORPGs without having to wait so long to actually play the game.

    3. Be a little clearer on the gear, that you really need the better gear to get into newer areas.  There may not be levels, but the content is gated and if you don't have the better gear, you are not going to have a lot of fun.  The gated content isn't bad, just don't make the need for it such a mystery.

    But that's about it.  I think if the game itself just wasn't so clunky with the loading screens and when a bunch of people were on the screen at the same time, it would be a much easier game to sell.


    As to why more people don't play it?  It has a weird, niche market.  Think book-ish people who also want to play video games.  Kind of like how many video games are for television watchers who also want to play video games.  I think that's it.  There just aren't that many literary minded people who want to go out and play video games because they are already doing what they want, which is read books.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

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