The Secret World’s a Year Old!
I’ve always loved the Secret World. I knew from the first trailer and earliest discussions of mechanics that I came across that I would enjoy the game, and I did, immensely. I can keep an objective perspective and acknowledge it’s many shortcomings, but over all, it’s undoubtedly my favorite MMO, and probably the second best MMO that’s been made, after WoW. I keep WoW first both due to its accessibility and it’s massive dominance of the market, despite the fact that I haven’t played it in months.
The summer event for TSW started this week, and to be frank, I have been so far underwhelmed. Nine bosses will be released over five days that are essentially server-wide zergs that take between five and ten minutes of relatively mindless button-pushing. I’m a bit disappointed because after the wonderfully detailed and incredibly devious quests designed for TSW, a rotation-heavy zerg-fest leaves a lot to be desired.
I missed both Samhain and The end of Days events, much to my regret. I heard both were excellent and that the second was a nice conclusion to an in-game story line that was mysterious and engaging. Both seemed almost to be like separate “Issues” that TSW has released. This one seems like less, but since I’ve been repeatedly told that Issue #6 was excellent and #7 is about to launch, perhaps they were too invested in getting those done. I don’t know.
In the end, the event seems to be a cycle of killing 8 or 9 bosses every 2 hours without much other story. You can get pet drops, flares, and various other currencies, but for the most part, it feels much more simplistic – much more like what I’d expect from a different MMO – than what I’d hoped for. Perhaps there’s a surprise in store, though. We’ll see.
Despite the underwhelming nature of the event, I still maintain that TSW didn’t get the response it deserved from the community. I understand how backwards a statement like that seems; clearly the community decides about games on their merit, but, perhaps, I held the community in too high a regard. It’s a common fallacy to assume others think like oneself, and when TSW was met with such skepticism and disdain, I was shocked.
Sure, I found some problems with the game too, but the design of it, both mechanical and artistic, I thought was beautiful. The fluidity of combat changed the way I thought about fights in MMOs. The art changed what I thought about the horror genre. The NPCs changed (and somewhat ruined) my expectations of NPCs in other games. The quests, particularly the investigations, changed what I considered possible from MMOs. I’m still reeling a little from its “failure” (though I wonder whether in the end it made money or not).
Regardless, it’s been a lot of fun to come back and play the new content, and I suspect I’ll give in and break my “No DLC” oath on Issue #6. Everyone I’ve spoken to has given it high regards. I think I may have to see for myself.
Stubborn (and killing Gaia defenders)