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The Secret World: Post-Celebration Hangover

August 6, 2012

Ugh…world…too bright.

What can I say? I had fun in The Secret World “One Month Celebration” weekend. Maybe a little too much fun.

Yep, one month into TSW and still going strong. Pretty big deal for a game I had initially written off as “just something to pass the time.” Like some blind date set up by an obscure yet well-meaning relative, I never expected my stint with TSW to lead anywhere, but it just goes to show again that anything can happen.

As we wind down from the game’s first month celebration, I even find myself suffering a little from “lifetime sub envy”, wistfully contemplating the wisdom of my friends and fellow players who have upgraded to the Grand Master Pack. And let me tell you something: I. Don’t. Do. Lifetime. This is why feeling this way is kind of a shock.

My struggles with the decision of getting my own LTS notwithstanding, I will definitely keep playing into a second month. I see a lot of potential in TSW and I think it’s a quality game, which is why in an age where more and more MMOs are switching over to a free-to-play model, I will still readily and happily pony up the monthly subscription fee to support this Funcom project. Developers of niche and creative games which think outside the box deserve some love.

Plus last month’s State of the Game report about monthly new content doesn’t hurt. We’ve already seen Funcom successfully deliver Update 1.1, which gave us more than half a dozen new missions (oh, “Hell and Bach”, how you tortured me. This mind-bending quest occupied my brain for two nights, but the high I got after completing it on my own is something I have never gotten from any other MMO). When asked if Ragnar Tornquist and Co. can keep up with this ambitious update schedule, their answer was a resounding, “Yes, yes we can.” That remains to be seen, but if time shows they can walk their talk, I may be sticking with TSW for longer than I thought.

I spent the first night of the celebration weekend running through Kingsmouth again doing my 30 missions for my bonus Funcom points (which I ultimately spent on the “Hardcore Punk” clothing set, seen above) and in-game shirt reward. I thought I’d been quite thorough the first time I played KM, but it’s a real testament to the exploration aspect of this game that I still managed to find two side quests I’d never done. The last few days also saw me finishing up the Egypt zones, which means I’ll be heading into Romania (more specifically, Transylvania) very soon and I’m very much looking forward to that.

By all accounts, the celebration weekend was a great success, minus a few hours on Sunday morning where the load got to be too much for the servers to handle, prompting some downtime (which Funcom made up for by extending the event for 6 hours). Did anyone else participate? And if you did and also completed the 30 quests, sorry, the fashionista in me just has to ask: What did you buy/are you going to buy with your points (it better be an outfit!)? Any new players take advantage of the free weekend? What did you think?

27 comments

  1. I got my 30 on Saturday. 1200 pts. the shirt and a heap of XP for the character I played. I purchased the New West Cowboy stuff for my “LoneStarBelle”; though she’s wearing the AR camo jacket, so she looks more like an Idaho Right-Winger than a cowgirl. Thanks to the !0% discount on everything in the store (except a couple 20% off) I also managed to pick up a pair of green fingerless gloves for my Dragon, “Poppyshock.”


    • New West was my second choice, I really wanted the cowboy hat (let’s face it, that’s what makes the look!). In the end though I went with the Hardcore Punk because I liked the look of the top and I figured I can also make some interesting looking outfits around the wristwraps and boots.

      I should see what I can pick up with the remainder of my points!


  2. I’m still sorry I missed talking to some of you :) think the times when we were online were very different (certainly for my timezone). Sunday evening was really lagging hard for me, so I gave up on trying further. it’s certainly an interesting game in many ways, from the little I’ve seen – the quests, audio dialogue and overall atmosphere left me with a good first impression.

    I was majorly disappointed in the combat though; while guns are cool, auto-shoot and auto-aim are very off-putting, not to say unrealistic when you still hit stuff from 90° angles away. I understand they want to appeal to the classic MMO playstyle, but for this theme in particular and the overall weapon choices I think at least arcade shooter mode would’ve been a wiser choice. In any case my partner quit the game running and screaming in terror after 5 minutes because of this. :P

    The graphics hmmm….I took me some time to get used to the Sims look, heh. Do you actually get more char customization choices when you buy the game? As for sub worries; I have a feeling TSW will be free-to-play soon enough. I give them 2-3 more months maximum with the current business model. ;)


    • I’m sorry you missed us, too.

      The problem would be mixing the gun realism with the magic. (Oh also realize that the guns are magic, too.) While I know a lot of poepl would like more “realism” with regard to aiming the guns, and the 90° stuff does look odd. I chalk it up to MMORPGs being inheritors of the dice rolling playstyle of tabletop RPGs. You never had to worry about aiming in those (other than a dice roll, perhaps.) Some games to a better job of at least orienting the avatars properly.

      As far as the character customization, no it’s currently pretty limited. But after listening(!) to the players, the devs have stepped up further customization development, which was promised arounf the end of August, I believe. I noticed a “Coming Soon” banner for the “plastic surgeon” in Brooklyn yesterday.


      • TSW combat, it’s your MMO/RPG combat with a bit more active movement, dodging (as seems to be the current fashion), and a lot of the internal grognard-y dice-y bits ramped up to 11, what with all those passive powers where every time you do attack type A, you build a counter of resource B, which when reaching threshold C, has a 50% chance to unleash effect Q on every second tick of attack P, Which then causes your followup attack X to unleash the rubber chickens of DOOM every time you hit the pinata for the next 3.142 seconds, because someone else your team has impaired it with effect Y from power Z.

        I exaggerate, slightly.

        I completely love it, but it really *really* doesn’t seem to be what the people jonesing for ‘Next generation MMO combat’ had in mind.

        At all. Not one little bit.

        It’s at this point I realise that I haven’t extenisvely played a full blown FPS since Dark Forces….which would have been all the way back in 1995. I’m so used to the RPG level of combat abstraction it doesn’t even register with me that it *is* abstraction.


      • That is almost not an exaggeration. ><

        This is only my own perspective, but if I wanted to play an FPS I would. Positional combat is also of limited appeal, it's one reason I didn't really get into AoC, though the limited weapons range fans of STO's space combat were interesting. I am perfectly happy with the (to me) reasonable requiirement of the target being in the forward 180° arc. I usually turn my avatar to face the hostile anyway.


      • LOL, loved the description of the TSW combat. Rowan’s right, it’s almost not an exaggeration. It is still mind boggling to me sometimes how frantic combat gets especially in instances.


    • Yeah, I’m sorry to have missed you too! With the baby I have to constantly step away from the computer, especially since she hates to nap and keeps waking up. You must have whispered me one of those times and I just didn’t see :(

      Like Rowan said, the character customization (barber shop and plastic surgeon) are coming up in an update later this month. It’s supposedly a pretty big update, bigger than the last one. I’m glad, because right now the character creator choices are pretty lacking, and I know the devs are aware that it’s one of the biggest complaints.


  3. Bought and currently rocking the steampunk outfit with my celebration points.


    • I don’t remember that one, or is it the industrial revolution one? I really liked the goggles for the women in that set.


      • Yeah, that’s the one.


      • Nice! As much as I like the female version of that outfit, I have to admit the male version is even better. I mean, a long coat and a vest and tie?! Sexy…though I’ve heard people say that they’ve seen everyone and their uncles run around in that outfit. It’s wildly popular, but I can totally see why!


  4. To be honest, while I was aware of TSW dropping, it managed to do so in such a way as to be under my radar. I don’t know why, but I’m just not interested in it and I’ve never even looked at the website. Maybe because I’ve got enough MMOs on my computer right now. Saturday evening I played some LOTRO with friends as a posse of hobbits curb-stomping everything that got in our way. Yesterday I spent the whole day (nearly) playing a new Commando in SWTOR and I had SO MUCH FUN. There were only two points yesterday where I got genuinely pissed and they were caused by other players ninja-ing my objectives just as I got to them. Of course, there was almost 100 people on Taris when I was there yesterday, so that was bound to happen.

    I’m glad to hear you had a great time this weekend and that the folks at Funcom are doing right by the players so far. I hope for only the best for TSW and maybe one day I’ll get around to kicking the tires. :D


    • I know what you mean. I was always aware this game was on the horizon and I’d kept up with the news, but when it came it did so relatively quietly. I’m sure there was some pre-release hype, but it must have slipped by me completely.

      I like that, in a way. Sometimes the less you know about the MMO, the more potential it has to surprise you. That’s actually a pretty good way to describe how TSW has snuck up on me.


  5. I haven’t decided what to buy yet!


    • Well, you have until Sept 30 to decide! Just spend them by then, because apparently they do expire!


  6. I bought the Silver Bullet costume on my Shotgun/Hammer Templar alt so she can rock the waistcoat+scarf and shoes with either her punk jacket or the Templar initiate jacket.

    …she needs to save up some more pax romana for the leather pants I think she need to make the ensemble. The jeans she has at the moment just aren’t cutting it :)


    • Very nice, I like that one, since it was a female exclusive set. I like the skirt that comes with it.

      And I hear ya about the pax. If it weren’t for saving up for the sprint upgrades, I’d spend it all on clothes :P


  7. Haha the lifetime sub really is a tempting offer right now and I am a well known commitment-phobe when it comes to subscriptions, the most I have ever done is 3 months and that isn’t very often.

    And it was the Wickansta outfit for me, love that fluffy coat. Getting a puppy now is looking mighty tempting.


    • I’m quite the commitment-phobe too with regards to LTSs so I know what you mean. My time in an MMO averages around 8months to a year, but that’s still a little shy of the cost of a lifetime to make it a no brainer.

      Oh and I love the fluffy coat! A guildie of mine has the Wiccanista set and I’m jealous of her socialite look.


  8. I’m very jealous of your Hardcore Punk gear. I was a bit sniffy about it when I looked at it in the Item Store, but it’s a lot more ‘Rollerball’ than I thought it would be. Nice choice!

    I bought boots. Lots and lots of tasselled boots in different colours. My Dragon is Imelda Marcos/A centipede. But stylish footwear is so important don’t you think? And I’m crossing my fingers for some new season fashions in the update today.

    Hey Funcom! Have my money!


    • Ha, you’re jealous of me? I just got done talking about how jealous I am of your Wiccanista furry coat. Next time we go to a party in London, I’m going to steal it from you when you step away to go to the restroom! Muahahahaha.


  9. Didn’t quite get to 30 (managed 28) but liked what I saw so much I bought the game and GM pack (even though I can’t really afford it :| ). Creepy, atmospheric, surprising, intriguing. Whatever the future holds for TSW I really want to support Funcom because the MMO genre needs more of this kind of quality and innovation. Congrats all you happy prize winners!!!


    • HAHAHA, YEEESSS, join us! Join the ranks of the TSW addicted!

      In all seriousness, I’m really glad you liked the game. I know it’s not for everyone, and a lot of people I know who tried it didn’t see its appeal, so it’s so nice whenever I see someone who actually clicked with it.


  10. I like it! That blind date analogy had me chuckling. :D

    Glad to hear you’re having a great time!

    I’ll get around to TSW eventually, I think. Soon as I’ve moved on from my current stint, however long that takes!


    • Yeah, I know what you mean. Just last night I was talking to some of my guildies about what a crazy year this has been for MMOs and gaming in general. I’m actually kinda glad that after this fall there’s not much I’m interested in on the horizon, I need some time to catch up.


  11. […] GC over at MMOGamerChick, also a guildie, does a great write up about her post celebration “hangover”.  Great read, because really the weekend was so much fun it was draining. […]



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