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Beta Breakdown

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Initial post: Jun 28, 2012 1:38:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 28, 2012 1:43:57 AM PDT
I played the beta of Secret World as Dragon and Templar and, I have to say, this is another Funcom treasure. The game breaks down each faction through various storylines that all begin relatively the same but explain each faction so that you are familiarized well with whom they are and what they're trying to achieve. The game is fluid and easy to understand and the visuals are designed well enough to leave you asking for more as you first progress the Kingsmouth learning about their involvment in this apocalyptic setting.

-- PROS --
1.) There are just too many damn quests and it's fantastic when you get so many options and endless lists of quests with enough voice acting in between to save you from spending too much time reading dialogue. The quests are interactive and come in great abundance.
2.) A unique crafting system similar to Minecraft where you actually map out blueprint designs using various materials to create whatever it is you want to make.
3.) Unique skill tree that enables players to create hundreds of different multiclass characters utilizing different elite skills making even character with the same weapon foundation (shotgun and hammer for example) never 100% the same.
4.) Great stroyline that keeps you delved into the world of SW and always wondering what Funcom's got up their sleeves next as you explore the lore more in depth.
5.) Creatures come in many different forms of fashion for players of all types to enjoy ranging from zombies to undead vikings to dragons.

-- CONS --
1.) Weak character customization which will hopefully be fixed in the full release.
2.) No crafting tutorials, you got to learn everything on your own.
3.) Combat system is weak with a whole lot of button pressing rather than similar action-styles like Age of Conan. I was hoping for something a bit more revolutionary or unique in the combat system.
4.) Questing bugs which will hopefully be fixed based on what the beta testers have pushed to Funcom during the closed beta. I know I sent a couple. Some of these bugs can almost make it impossible to beat the quest.
5.) It's built like a single player game with multiplayer interaction. The quests and features of the game seem more based around a single player experience like Elder Scrolls but you have people around you to talk to and do PVP with. This kind of sucks but there are some instanced areas for groups to "raid."
6.) PVP system is weak and can be unbalanced at times.

Overall the game's going to satisfy a lot of people, I think. It definitely is more direct interest for the people who like to quest and it isn't your standard grindfest MMO which I hate that grinding crap. The storyline is fantastic and deep and there's enough of it to go around to make you want to work your way towards the climax. You may not be happy with the combat or some of the bugs that will happen. I definitely know PVPers won't be 100% happy with what SW has to offer and those of you who like guilds and crap won't be all that satisfied with the route Funcom has gone with the group system but it's an all-together solid game and I think a lot of people will enjoy it.

To bust some of the talk, the game isn't sold on PVP and that's actually probably one of the smaller parts of the game though, let's be honest here, three factions with three different agendas? Yeah, that sounds like a PVP game. For those of you who are worried on this note don't be. I played around for hours in the beta and PVP is something you can almost completely ignore if you want to.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 8:01:28 AM PDT
I was excited when this game was first announced, but now I'm on the fence. Sadly, most MMOs that try to be different seem to fail, so my expectations are not high. People are always saying that they want something different, but, if you think back over the MMOs you've seen come and go, it's the ones that stick pretty closely to the traditional MMO model that seem to succeed.

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 4:34:02 AM PDT
I agree, I think this is because companies are too fearful of doing something original with an MMO simply because they're throwing so much money into production that they're going to want their money back. Look at Aventurine for example, they designed Darkfall which was based around concepts of Elder Scrolls and Ultima Online and they had to launch the game early and unfinished losing a lot of potential fans. It'll take them a few years before they can break even from the million-dollar production they put into the game.

Funcom makes their attempts. Age of Conan was a shot at trying something different but they got scared towards the end and made the same mistake Aventurine did. The problem with Secret World is they have a very strong foundation to work with their overall delivery just isn't making the cut. If you like stories, though, you'll like this game.

Posted on Jul 2, 2012 8:22:42 AM PDT
kpsting says:
I haven't played with prefixes and suffixes yet but from what I saw, crafting could use a bit more variety. To make an item you just need X number of a single kind of ingredient and put it in a correct pattern. Like for instance to make an assault rifle you need to put 7 scraps of same exact pieces of metal in a gun pattern plus a weapon kit and you have it. I'd like if things required more than just one kind of ingredient to make.
There are crafting manuals in game now, though. You can find them in starting areas

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 6:57:06 AM PDT
Actually, from what I learned in the beta, the crafting system does do a little variety. Some of the more advnaced shotguns you make throughout the game actually use 2-3 different types of materials. I do agree, however, it does need a little tweaking. If my internet wasn't so bad out here in Afghanistan I'd be playing this throughout deployment lol

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 11:09:20 PM PDT
Daniel Katz says:
Funny, I am one of those people who like to quest and that was my biggest problem with the game. They put a quest restriction in the game for no other reason than to slow down your progression. (as the devs stated in the closed beta forums). It isn't the normal quest restriction system either, where you can get 20 quests overall, they restrict them by type, so you can have 1 of some types of quests and 3 of others. Either way, you wind up running into people who are asking for your help and trying to send you to the very same place you are going, but when you try to help them, a game breaking box appears on your screen telling you that you need to pause your earlier quest to take this new one (even though they are completed at the same location). So if you want to take the new quest, you pause quest 1, run to the location, finish the new task, then run all the way back to the person who gave you quest 1 to unpause it, then back to the location where you just were to finish the task for person 1. This happens repeatedly throughout the game, so much so that questing immediately becomes a grind, simply because they force you to spend most of your time travelling from place to place.

I also found the story incredibly lacking, given the competition. I played Illuminati and Templar in the beta and found both storylines fairly dull and didn't really care where they went, especially given the time sink and grinding involved in the questing. For single player story in an MMO, SWTOR did a far better job, although their endgame was so bad you got to the end and then were bored to tears within a week or two.

The only thing this game has going for it is the setting, but let's be honest, LOTRO (which I haven't played in months) is far better on most fronts, a better questing system, better storytelling, far better graphics, despite the fact that it is several years old.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2012 8:47:48 AM PDT
C. Strouts says:
Boy, do I disagree with this post. The reason for the 1-main-quest-at-a-time rule is to increase immersion, not to slow you down. Each quest is a mini story, and can lead you all over the map before you complete the quest. Following each quest through to completion really enhances the storytelling. Also, when a quest completes, there is almost always another quest nearby that you can pick up. If you do run across a quest that you can't take right away because you're already working on something, then just add a custom marker to the map (right click on the map at your current location to add any text you want - I wish every game had this feature!). Eventually, the natural flow of questing will bring you back around near that spot, and you can pick up the skipped quest.

I couldn't disagree more about the story. It's really excellent, and the voice acting is superb. I play LOTRO also, and while I like that game, The Secret World has it beat when it comes to story, involving quests, and high end graphics. The Secret World has a very different atmosphere from LOTRO, with a very strong horror vibe that will not appeal to everyone. However, the quests are so creative and immersive, and the dungeons are so excellent (no trash mobs; multiple bosses with challenging mechanics), that I really think even people who aren't big horror fans will enjoy this game.
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Participants:  5
Total posts:  7
Initial post:  Jun 28, 2012
Latest post:  Sep 8, 2012

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The Secret World - PC
The Secret World - PC by Electronic Arts (Windows 7 / Vista / XP)
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