Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Secret World end of world/subscription.

So it is exciting times in the Secret World with the onset of the end of the world and going 'buy to play'. As a life time subscriber I am quite happy with the move. I love my subscription model but we still have the barrier of the box price, so players have to invest something to play the game.

Funcom have also said they expect the points to cover the price of the content they release and on top of that I get cool items each month. When I bought the grand master pack I knew it was a gamble, and I bought it to support the game I love as much as to cover a subscription.

So at the moment I am very positive as I think this will help Funcom continue to create content. It also convinced a few of my friends to try the game now the barrier of subscription is no longer an obstacle. This seems to be mirrored in the charts on Steam and Amazon as the game is selling well.

As for in-game I have completed the elite dungeon runs and managed to complete the gate keeper as a DPS. After listening to guild members on team speak and reading guild chat I was dreading it. For those who do not know its a gear/skill check for nightmare dungeons. The DPS flavour makes sure you can win a DPS race, cleanse abilities all while dodging attacks. The fight is a lot of fun but difficult. I was very please once I managed to complete it and gave myself a high five.

Friday, 2 November 2012

A new end game?

Since reaching the end of the story I have been involved in my own version of the end game. I eventually want to progress into nightmare dungeons, but for now I am happy with doing the following:

  • Picking up quests I missed and running newer quests from issues.
  • Running elite dungeons when I can get a cabal group together.
  • Making builds with and trying out different weapons and roles. This is my primary end-game at the moment. Throwing myself into pugs with different heal and DPS builds and seeing if I can get through them without getting shouted at. As far as healing I am trying the classic monk build and also the leech healing assault rifle builds. With a side order of looking what it takes to be a tank. Issue 4 looks like it will give tanks a wider ranging to experiment, with the changes to exposed planned. Seeing the other roles within the game is also helping me becoming a better DPS player.
  • Running the odd lair.

As a casual player I love the way the Secret World has eliminated daily quests in letting me replay almost any mission. Instead of being stuck to a set of daily quests I can login for an hour and go to any zone and just revisit my favourite places.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Halloween delights

The Halloween content has hit the Secret World and I spent most of Thursday night running through it. It takes you back to Kingsmouth and you get to visit some old friends Madame Rogêt and Deputy Andy. As in all missions in the Secret World the characters are fully fleshed out and they live and breathe on the screen. The play between Rogêt and Andy had me thinking “Oh no she didn’t!!! *finger waving* Sandy is not going to be happy!” We even get back-story on Deputy Andy’s cats!

If I could sum-up the new content it would be flavour and depth. From the cats with thick Mexican accents to hints dropped for future story. I also loved going back to Kingsmouth and travelling across multiple zones. I think Kingsmouth is my favourite zone in any MMO I have played, please keep us going back there for future content.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Secret World Halloween Pub Quiz Sunday 21st October

Sorry, I have been a little busy playing and theory crafting builds to write anything substantial. But the Secret World community is shaping up to be a special one. Check out this thread for details on another up and coming community event.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Secret World Community Event 'The Revolution'

A massive Secret World community event happened this weekend called ‘The Revolution’ and by all accounts it was great success. You can check out the thread here.

There are a few videos from the event too...

I like this phone cam video series as it makes the party look more lifelike.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Reaching the end of the main story line

Last Thursday I finally made it to the end of the main story line and also finished the quests in Transylvania. I enjoyed the journey and left with many questions, but rightly so as we have not reached the end of the first act. Slight spoiler warning, I loved the dragon reaction to the end, as it showed a chink in their scales. Throughout the story they seem so confident in their models and planning.

I am looking forward to see where they take the story and the characters. Which is weird as I think this is the first MMO were what happens to characters in the game, matters as much as what kind of impact my character has on the world. It would be good to see changes in zones and see how existing NPC's within the game react to the on-going story.

So what now? Well as soon as I had finished the main story line I started to go back and tackle the new content from the issues. So I imagine I have multiple nights of investigation missions, writing notes and banging my head against my monitor. In my journey through the game I signed up for dungeons as DPS, I still plan to join groups to do elite dungeons in that role but I also plan to try out the other roles. Otherwise what's the point in having all that flexibility if you don't use it.

So I spent a load more points on assault rifle and fists, swapped my talismans and queued up with the looking for group tool as a healer. I was over geared but the plan is to practise first and find my feet. The whole experience taxed my ageing multi-tasking skills. I got into a group to run Dream of The Darkness War which if you have never run is a very fun instance. Keeping myself mobile in fights, dodging bombs and the turning white marks on the floor cast by the third boss Dark House Sorcerer, while also making sure I keep up group members, who stray into swirly debris AoE damage and make sure I damage the boss to gain leech healing was a wild ride. Like the first time I ran the Polaris dungeon I wanted to go on the ride again but it was already past my bed time. The experience was very far from my days as holy priest in World of Warcraft.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Would you Adam and Eve it? Issue 2: Digging Deeper goes live.

Issue 2 Digging Deeper went live yesterday. I had a fun evening in the barber shop and plastic surgery, but at the moment I am not sure if the my decisions on changing my characters face worked. The light on the table is different from running around the game world. So I may need to go back and it is expensive to change. It's a shame there isn't a cool down timer when you make your purchase so you can go back as many times as you want within an hour.

After changing my character I went and did the mission to get the rocket launcher with a few cabal friends. The mission 'Venetian Missile Crisis' was enjoyable and you had to pick it up from your cabals HQ. The interface for the extra wheel was intuitive but paying for the rocket launcher is not cheap. I had to sink 55 SP's and 50 AP's into it just to use the weapon.

So I am spoilt for choice with regards to progression. I want to improve my blade/elemental build to help with quests for Transylvania, spend points in my assault rifle/fist healer build as I want to start healing in dungeons and now have points to spend to get the rocket jump.

With the new patch we also got improvements to displaying states on mobs. You now get the little state icons below the monster health. This is one of my favourite additions in 1.2, as now I can see who is afflicted very quickly. After 1.2 though I am experiencing some frame rate drops I don't know if it is the patch or the new Nvidia the drivers.

The cockney accents while in the barber shops chair are fun, check out the video below.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Howling at the black helicopters

Complaining about the patch delay or worrying about the staff layoffs as a player is like the werewolfs howling at the black Orochi helicopters.

As a player all I can do constructively is play the game and continue to talk and share positive points about the game.

I have just made it to the second area in Transylvania and you meet a great character called Alina Florea who laments about her decisions in joining the Morning Light. I loved how they fleshed out her character and her odd coloured shoe laces.

On a community note, if you are looking for more podcasts to listen to check out the following:

TSW Society

Beyond the veil

Also check out Fear and Tacos a new video podcast were you get to follow two experienced players playing new characters. Just to howl a little check out the following video, the GW2 reference made me chuckle.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Progress and the Secret World delivering content at Trion speed.

At the moment I am working through the first zone in Transylvania. It is a massive leap in style and theme from Egypt. I have gone from Indiana Jones like relic gathering to ancient feuds between vampire and nature. Transylvania is even different from Solomon Island. They are both dark foreboding places, but instead of zombies in a sea side town you get fantasy like creatures in a great mix of old gypsy like dwellings to carcase urban structures filled with soldier vampires. The quality throughout the game has been great.

I have also just unlocked my first deck 'Ninja' and have been getting used to it. It seems to have come just at the right time too as I was using a Blaze/Affliction build. Rooting monsters which I kited till they died, but a lot of the creatures are becoming immune to hinder and impair in Transylvania. World mobs which are actually challenging are a new thing for me in MMOs, usually the more complex creatures are kept to dungeons and the world mobs just have more hit points or the odd special ability. The classless system allows developers to include more varied creatures as they don’t have to worry if certain classes cannot complete the content.

This week another content patch for the Secret World is out called ‘Digging Deeper’. The patch is getting large as not only does it contain more missions and the ability to change your characters hair and facial features it is going to contain a new weapon with a new auxiliary wheel, changes to lairs (open world group content) and a group finder tool. The Secret World at the moment seems to be able to delivery content very quickly like Trion the makers of Rift.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Fan Trailer - The League of Monster Slayers

In my last post I suggested the Secret World could do with some more focused trailers. The game is huge and if you are trying to attract none MMO players I think you need to bring them in with targeted themes.

So over the weekend I put together a trailer focused around one of my favourite missions The League of Monster Slayers. For me it felt like a traditional American horror mixed in with a little bit of the Gonnies.

Except for capturing the footage all the tools I used are free software. To clip footage and spit video and sound I use VirtualDub. To clip and edit the sound I used Audacity and to arrange I used Blender.

Hope you like it.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Secret World: State of the game and new content.

So the Secret World state of the game has been posted. It iterates what the core loyal player base probably already knows, that the game offers something unique in the MMO genre. It was reassuring to once again be reminded that the development team are still on track to produce monthly content.

My favourite points are the hints to vampiric abilities and the Halloween event. But the most important factor is they expect Issue 3 to be released on time!

October could be a good time to re-push the game focusing on genres it straddles. Produce separate trailers aiming at zombie, investigation and vampire genres. Then take these and post them in the Walking Dead, Twilight tweet feeds. Maybe even post them as adverts while programs like these are shown.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Issue 2 of The Secret World

Details have been released for Issue 2 of The Secret World. I am loving the new ideas with regards to auxiliary weapons. A separate wheel is a good idea to prevent overcrowding the main wheel too early on. As time goes on the amount you can customize your character will be a great separator from other games on the market. I am wondering if they will appear on your character like the flame thrower.

Just a note I have not even tackled the missions in the first issue yet as I was leaving them till I finished the release content and I am still only in the Valley of the Sun God, I better get a move on.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Can the Secret World survive a Summer Holiday?

So my holiday in the sun is fast approaching and this is a big test for the game. In the past there have been two major reasons why I have moved on to another game. The first is a long holiday away from the game. By the time I get back and boot up the game the holiday has taken me out of the gaming routine and I have logged back in and seen dozens of half finished quests and tool bars with racks of skills and you need to spend the next few play sessions getting back into the flow, Rift fell afoul of this and since then I have only been back in small monthly time frames.

The next is a new game and delayed content. Age of Conan promised a player versus player focused game but when it released it mainly focused on PvE. Unfortunately 4 months later just as the PvP patch was due to be released, Warhammer Online was released. War let you play and level too cap by just killing other players in RvR and scenarios. It took 2 years plus of subscriptions from me and I still miss her.

Star Wars, The Old Republic was another game which bit the bullet to a newer release. I had hit max level on my bounty hunter and was in the early 20’s of my marauder. I loved the class story and some of the planet wide quests were interesting. The rest of the game fell into the standard MMO quests though which got me speeding through content just to see more story. The game also asked me to do daily quests once I hit max level, something I didn’t like in World of Warcraft. Then to cap it all off the advanced class system made the journey to level cap to similar for me to want to repeat.

There have been games like Dungeon and Dragons Online, Eve online and Warhammer Online which survived other games and holidays.

DDO like War did something new for me. Both games made the levelling process and the end game the same experience. DDO content was built around the dungeon crawl, no quests in an open world but focused group content built on what I think is the core of D&D. I also joined an amazing role-playing guild which liked to take the content slowly even if they had done it before. This has some of my best MMO memories.

So can the Secret World survive the holiday?

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Enochian Frequency a podckast with a k

When I play a new MMO I like to bathe in the lore of the game. It is sort of a quick fix when I can not get near the computer. When I played Eve I read plenty of science fiction and read a lot of Eve's great short stories. I picked up Robert E. Howard's books on Conan for Age of Conan and read a lot of Warhammer novels when I played War.

The Secret World is a whole different ball game, as the amount of real world myths and references to the occult seems a little daunting. I could just pick up some Lovecraft but that would only cover a small part of the setting. This is one of the main reasons the Enochian Frequency has become my favourite podcast.

Enochian Frequency does an excellent job of taking information from the game and guiding you through historical, literal and occult references.

The hosts Petter Mårtensson, Rodney Orpheus and Paul Baker, come across very knowledgeable about the subjects and rightly so when I did a little research. They also deliver the podcast with an easy nature and bring a balanced view of the game even though the subject matter almost seems made for them.

In just a few episodes it has covered the origins of the factions and how the Illuminati and Templar's are linked, which is hinted within the early stages of the game.

Delved into occult magic and introduced me at least, into a world I never knew existed. The podcast mirrors the game giving you a glimpse into a much larger world.

My Kindle is currently brimming with new books on the Illuminati, Chaos magic, more Sci-fi and old H.P. Lovecraft which I re-bought just to have them in place ready for my holiday in the sun. Although I have not been able to get Masks of the Illuminati on Kindle from the UK, conspiracy? So I had to buy the paper-back which is currently being shipped from the states.

Researching the lore and the podcast has been my own mini investigation mission, not as difficult but still equally rewarding, I have even a new band to listen too Rodney's The Cassandra Complex. I can not believe I have not found them before as they fit nicely in my Goth Punk industrial new wave collection.

A really great podcast and I hope they stick around for a long time in The Secret World. If not I'll just have to stalk them in other podcasts.

Friday, 27 July 2012

I like my subscription.

I just wanted to get a few things of my chest.

I like my MMO to have a subscription model. I like the comfort in going where I like in the game and not having to check if I have already purchased the content. I like the fact I have to make a commitment to purchase the game and pay each month. This means the people around me had to do the same, so like me are invested and want to see the game evolve.

Also I like that I can stop paying the subscription when the game stops being fun, like a miniature protest.

I like to watch the game introduced smaller patches of content in an effort to keep their customer base. Then when the game has matured add paid expansions to further enhance the world.

I actually like that Funcom have also added a cosmetic cash shop to TSW. To me it just gives me choice. I don't have to spend money, but if they produce clothing which entices me enough I am happy to spend it.

What would be cool if I could buy real clothing and get the equivalent item in game as an extra.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Latest Secret World Screenshots

TheSecretWorldDX11 2012-05-11 17-21-23-23Jeniveve_picture261Jeniveve_picture260Jeniveve_picture250Jeniveve_picture247Jeniveve_picture245
Secret World, a set on Flickr.
I try to take plenty of screen shots as I play and post my favourites to flickr.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

The Savage Coast

If I had to describe the Savage Coast it would be a ball of your favourite chewing gum you have saved over time. Slowly collecting flavours and sticking them in one hardened clump.

Kingsmouth felt more cohesive, but I enjoyed the collection of stories in Savage Coast. A town with a haunted house, the occupants all keep a dark guilty secret. An amusement park with possessed rides and scarecrow clown (although real clowns are more frightening). An academy, holds terrifying creatures and 3 charismatic NPC’s. The league of monster slayers is a classic kids and creatures that go bump in the night story that oozed charm.

The north of the map with the native Indian’s felt a little out of place, but I loved the relationship between Kyra and her uncle.

One of my favourite areas was the light house. The fog and the atmosphere took me back to Fang Rock, an episode of Doctor Who call ‘The Horror of Fang Rock’ with Tom Baker. Inside a writer with a Steven King resemblance seems to tie all the individual stories throughout area up, as if you just ran through a set of his novels.

There was plenty to do throughout the zone but I couldn't quite shake the feeling there were a lot more stories to be told.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Secret World Podcasts

As I have an hours commute to work I listen to plenty of podcasts. I have been a long time listener to the Uncovered Podcast and over the past few weeks we have two new Secret World related casts to listen too.

Check out the links below:

Friday, 13 July 2012

Blogger's guide to The Secret World

Here is the scenario, you have around 3 hours to play ‘The Secret World’ and you want to form an opinion to tell your friends and write about the game. It is easy to get lost in the world and find your time fly out the window. Only to return with school boy comments about clunky combat and kill ten rat issues. So here is where this blog fits, advice on where to visit in a short amount of time.

The start is cut scene heavy, but they set the tone of the game so I would not recommend skipping them. The first area you find yourself in depends on your faction. These areas are not massive but you can waste a lot of time in them, soaking in the atmosphere. I would recommend for our 3 hours you move through this area quickly.

No matter what faction you select everyone goes through the Tokyo flash back. This will give your character some background on the world you inhabit, but can be left for a future character, as you don’t gain experience and it is quite standard as regards to linear story driven scenes. Once in Tokyo you can skip the area by going up the staircase.

At some point you will come across a training area. The idea is to play with the weapons and select your starting one. This too can take a lot of time, so to fast track I would recommend pressing ‘N’ then on the right hand side select the decks tab. Scroll through the decks and read each summary and pick a weapon from a deck you like. You will leave the room with a builder and finisher ability as well as a weapon. Playing around, you will quickly realise you build up points with one and do large amounts of damage with the other.

You should now be able to leave your home city and head to Kingsmouth, the meat of the starting game. The first character you meet is Jack, once you finish the first cut scene don’t forget to pickup his quest ‘A fist full of Zombies’.

At this point you might inwardly sigh (10 years of MMO’s and I am still killing 10 things). Do the short series of quests and think about what just happened. Yes you had to kill groups of zombies, but the real lesson here is what you had to do to complete the tasks. Jump on cars, drag them through fire and fight the miniature zombie boss with an area of attack ability which gave you chalk lined clues. This is a small taster of how the environment can alter missions and combat, as the game progresses this gets even more diverse and important.

Also don’t spend your AP or SP points yet, wait till you reach the sheriff’s office. By this time you should have enough spare points to purchase a builder and finisher for your second weapon. Also select your second weapon from the list of weapons you get given from completing the quests once you reach the office. This means very early on you will have 4 active abilities, 2 from each weapon you carry. Also notice as you activate any of your two weapons, points build on both finisher abilities, this will increases your DPS.

To keep things moving quickly I recommend selecting 'Supply Run' from sheriff Bannerman. This is a combat quest and will introduce you to the area and is needed to unlock 'Horror Show'.

Once back at the sheriff’s office the sabotage mission should be unlocked. Sabotage missions usually consist of sneaking around and this one is no different and takes about 15 minutes.

Our last stop is an investigation quest indicated by a green laptop icon. You have two possible choices which are close by. ‘Something Wicked’ situated here or ‘Kingsmouth Code’ at the church. I have left these till last, as they could possible take the most time. Personally I found ‘Something Wicked’ the easier out of the two.

After the investigation mission if you have some spare time I would do 'Draugnet' from deputy Andy on the roof of the sheriff’s office. This takes you to the beach and shows off how creatures in the game can be linked in a miniature mob life cycle. I also found it fun to complete this area as part of a group.

Another quick quest is from Sandy and he gives you a brief introduction to crafting.

Finally if you have flown through the content and now feel like a puzzle god you should be able to take a look at the main quest line called 'Dawning of an Endless Night'. Interestingly this series is an amalgamation of all types of quests and will have you solving puzzles, sneaking and fighting in one glorious series of dark tasks.

There you have it ‘The Secret World’ in a few hours. You can clap your hands together in the safe knowledge you have gotten at least a glimpse of what the game has to offer.

Friday, 6 July 2012

The Secret World: First Week

It has been a great few days for The Secret World. The launch has gone very smooth, and the reviews by the gaming press are very positive. Twitter #TSW, has been bouncing with excited players enjoying the game.

I have managed to get in a few 3 hour play sessions and I am coming to the end of Kingsmouth. My character Jeniveve, a dragon initiate, is using an element/blade build. Because I have enjoyed the past few days so much it is quite hard to capture it all in a blog post. So I’ll just cover my favourite point up to now.


The Polaris is a beached cargo ship. Its containers litter the shore like massive metal slabs. Shambling around the structures are Draug, think zombie and Invasion of the Body Snatchers rolled into one.  The player’s purpose is to explore and uncover the secrets around the metal carcass.
The dungeon holds true to Funcom’s design view, to minimize trash, and instead provide interesting boss fights. Each fight teaches you something about the end boss encounter and the whole dungeon feels real and natural. Well a far as plant like sea zombies can.

The last boss fight caught my imagination the most.  Not to give too much of the story away the players find themselves in a rocky enclosure. Knee deep water with monolithic stone structures dotted around the pool and at the centre a massive Cthulhu like dragon.

I have seen my far share of end dungeon encounters and this is one of the few, were I actually felt a little frightened. The beast goes into a trance like state in parts of the fight, and fog descends limiting your view distance. Its eyes glow and if you don’t hide from its gaze you will quickly die. So that is what the group has to do, use the pillars around the pool to hide from the monster as it lumbers around the location the whole scene feels eerie. You can hear the watery clump of its massive claws and occasionally catch a glimpse of it wings.

Throughout the fight this happened a few times. It also sent monsters out to look for you so you end up having to fight them and stay hidden. Then comes the awful moment it starts to tear down the pillar you are using to hide from it.

It was one of the few dungeons once I had finished I immediately want to go back and try again.

Monday, 2 July 2012

The Secret World Early Access Positivity

I love it when players are positive about a game. I noticed a surprising amount of positive posts on Twitter regarding the Secret World early access. So I picked a lot (not all) of them and put them in one image.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

A special little bee.

This is the post from Funcom that I have been waiting to read since I heard about one server technology. I have included a few snippets below, but go and read the post.

So what does it mean that The Secret World is based on a single server. It boils down to that there are no boundaries between you and anyone else playing the game. You can play with anyone you want! 
You can finally play with your buddies in the US, or your family in Europe, without worrying about creating a new account bound to that region. 
Being on a single server means you, with your home dimension which may be Kobold, can team up with your buddy in the Huldra dimension and sign up for a match, and fight side by side. It also means that all matchmaking will be between all dimensions, so queues will be very short.

In the Secret World you are not special. You are not the saviour of mankind, you are a drone in an army. An ant part of a factional mass of ants, driving back the filth. Usually with MMO's (with the exception of Eve Online) you are the same. An ant in a copy of lots of worlds being you, in your small little world/server.

As a player in the Secret World you are more like a special little bee, a bee with a unique name in the world, you have the potential to be 'the' special little bee. As you get to play with everyone.

You can be that tank known by everyone, who could hold aggro of the entire server if you wanted too. You could be 'the' player who always has the new fashionable build. Before it is even in fashion. You could be part of 'the' group that is feared world wide in battle grounds, players disconnect from the internet and throw their keyboards out the window when they see your name role up in Stonehenge. Your cabal can be known across the seas for world firsts.

Not only this, but the Secret World is not a game geared towards many characters. The skill system means your character can evolve to cover all of the roles within the game, so you could potentially play the same character throughout the entire life time of the game.

This may all sound somewhat dramatic, but, like in Eve, there is the potential to be that special little bee known, maybe even feared, by the entire population of the game. Can you tell I am excited? Now all we need is our own Eve-fest so we can visit the hive.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Secret World Around the Blogosphere

Early access is within touching distance and if you are anything like me you are desperatly looking around the web for things to read about 'The Secret World'. So here is a list of blog's I have found so far.


Worlds End Tavern

Kill ten rats


Stylish Corpse


Monday, 25 June 2012

The Secret World PvP Weekend

Beta weekend 4 has come and gone and we are less than a week from early access. I pre-ordered the game but this weekend was the tilting board helping me to decide if I start to grab the money together for a life time sub.

I was always very PvE focussed in MMO's until I wet my whistle in ‘EvE Online’ and small ship guerrilla warfare jumping from gate to gate.

Then I waited for ‘Age of Conan’ which promised PvP with siege warfare and battle formations. Early on it ended up being mainly PvE, though I loved the lore and combat system. I waited for the PvP patch which just hit as ‘Warhammer Online’ released.

War completely sucked me in with accessible PvP and RvR. Numerous times it was called a WoW clone, but for me at its core it was a different animal from WoW.

I didn't spend my time running quests and raids. As soon as I created an alt I was running PvP scenarios then after level 10 I spent most of my time in the RvR zones. I’d probably be still playing War if they would have kept funding it and gave us a paid expansion.

So how ‘The Secret World’ handles their PvP is a big selling point for me. I am reserving judgment on their decision not to have persistent war zones from earlier in the game and just having battle grounds and the fight club.

Over the weekend I had a longer play session on Friday and a few short stints on Saturday and Sunday.

I wanted to try the battlegrounds first so wasted hour and a half in queues before I switched to the persistent PvP in ‘The Fusang Project’. After about 10 minutes I was in.

It took me a while to find out what I had to do. But once I found the crowds the game started to flow. A few large groups floated around the zone and mini skirmish’s happened all around the center of the map.

I can only guess at numbers but the horizon was filled with friends and enemies and the game rarely lagged. While I was me running at maxed graphics and running FRAPS.

The map seemed well designed with choke points and multiple levels of terrain. All this and the views were stunning and varied, from the industrial landscapes to picturesque gardens. Multiple times I found myself just looking about the scenery when I should have been fighting.

For PvP the abilities fired when I wanted them to and the movement in combat as well as the dodging made it fluid. 1 on 1 combat wasn't over to quickly and I can see some pretty cool prolonged fights on the way.

The time I spent in ‘The Fusang Project’ was enjoyable and running with a cabal will be a lot of fun. If I had any suggestions I’d like to see at least 2 more of these zones and for them to be somehow linked.

I did not get enough time in battlegrounds. This left me with one requirement. Information while queuing. I would like to see more information on the amount of people in a queue for each battleground.

I am prepared to wait in a queue if I know the reason for the wait. Estimated time to queue or even just high/med/low levels by faction waiting in line would be enough.

So I remain on the PvP fence and guess I'll wait to see how the first month goes before I commit to a life time subscription.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Let's get it on - Beta Weekend 3

Beta weekend 3 for 'The Secret World' starts on Friday. It is easy to take part as multiple sites are handing out keys willy-nilly.

If you are new to TSW there is a good guide of at If you do only 1 thing I'd recommend running an investigation mission or two.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Beta Weekend 2 - Sabotage, Synergy, Search Oh my

For the return to Kingsmouth for ‘The Secret World’s’ second beta weekend I thought I would look past the setting and have a play with the combat and try sabotage missions.

TheSecretWorldDX11 2012-05-19 08-58-34-03

Abilities and weapon synergy

In a previous blog entry I came across the developers forum post about combat and their discussion on weapons and synergy. I also found a rather nifty post on the forums showing this synergy.

You still have the tab targeting and abilities in TSW, but you can move while you cast abilities. There are no classes so the active abilities in the system are linked to a weapon. As you put more points into the weapon type it becomes more focused in a role. But in the first tier all weapons have single, aoe and dot abilities so they are functional early in the game.

As it is good to have weapons which have synergy, I chose the hammer and shotgun. As both use the 'Weakened mechanic'.

Synergy of Abilities 2

As you progress, you get to purchase abilities from the skill wheel. I really liked the wheel interface. It was easy to see what abilities I had equipped. Abilities had simple consistent text describing what they did. The interface also let you search for keywords. So it was easy to find abilities which shared states and damage types.

TheSecretWorldDX11 2012-05-19 20-38-38-59

The system works on resources, a bit like wow's rogues. But both your equipped weapons build resources so you can build your resources with your shotgun and use your hammer and shotgun finishers.

The synergy worked well and the jump between weapons is just the button click for the ability. This is probably something I just need to practice but having decent access to 7 mapped abilities on the keyboard and moving and focusing on the fight is still slightly out of my grasp. I had a play with using a game controller but I might make a separate post about controllers.

Sabotage Missions

I tried two sabotage missions. One I had to find surveillance cameras and the second I had to escort a girl into a base. These were a break from the normal MMO quest. You had to evade cameras jump over security beams and pull levers to open doors and solve small puzzles. These look promising and show the potential of a lot of different mechanics for future quests. My only complaint would be they are still all just placed in one flat plane. Dungeons and Dragons online quests seemed to be more 3 dimensional with ladders to other levels and tunnels without the need for a loading screen. To have a look at the meat of the sabotage mission skip to 15 minutes in the video below (posted by someone else).

Investigation Missions

Though I tried to just do the above I could not help myself and had to try another investigation mission. This time I tried ‘Something Wicked’. Again it made the game shine and highlighted the high points with interesting puzzles and even a trip into the ghostly realm.