Funcom recently (and seemingly quietly around BlogNation) dropped their Enhanced Player Experience in The Secret World. As a recent purchaser (November 2014) who struggled with some of the well documented issues of the early game (mob density and time to kill) and I even spoke about it in my first blog post about the experience.
The good is what was expected (story), the bad is how silly ranged weapons fit into the game (and MMOs in general). Having to empty 40 bullets into a zombie to kill it isn’t right. I am going to stick with it because I want to see how the story progresses but this is one of those examples where the game play gets in the way of the point of the game.
Truth be told I didn’t really stick with it – the beginning part of the combat aspects was a huge detractor to the questing and story based aspects. I was excited to revisit it with the presumed improvements. And let me be the first to tell you, they are simply Amazing. Amazing! The game is 1000 times better. That is a scientific number, I assure you.
I am way more likely to play this seriously now because it is such a more enjoyable experience. I made a brand new character to fully dig into the changes, and went Blade / Fist (you get two starter weapons now) and revisited the new and improved Kingsmouth. The entire experience was so much smoother and fun. Combat felt like part of the experience now, steps between investigations, not the barrier slowing you down.
Now, all it needs is PC controller support.
I am Chris ‘Braack’ Fontaine on the Leviathan (RP) server if you are playing. I am looking forward to further exploring what The Secret World has to offer. If you have friends who were on the fence about this game but always had a bit of interest now is the time to reintroduce it to them. It’s a night and day experience compared to when I started back in November. With the hype long gone about this game I am not entirely sure what they hope to do with this patch – I suspect a big marketing push will follow – and hopefully the word gets out. Interestingly enough there were more people in Kingsmouth on that Saturday afternoon than I had seen in the previous days I had put into the game. I hope it was actually new people or new people returning so my trek to Tokyo isn’t as lonely as I was first prepared for.
The only detractor for me with TSW is the same complaint I have with GW2 – weapon swapping mid fight. It looks a bit silly when I have a 2.5 foot sword out that during an epic battle I sheathe it instantly, punch a zombie in the face, and then the sword is magically back out instantly for the next attack. I love the idea of having weapons attached to skills so you can level up in different ways and have a differentiation – I just wish that the weapons were more integrated OR separated – one or the other, instead of mashed into each other. It suspends the fluidity. For example, You can be more integrated by using my example of Blade/Fist – I swing my sword with one attack, and the next I punch the zombie in the face – but my sword is still out (or use the offhand). It would be a bit less silly. I know they can’t separate them completely at this point (a la FFXIV). Some may think that is a silly complaint but those little things can add up to detract from a game. It’s something that takes away from the experience for me anyhow. I am going to try and pair a magic skill with blades instead to see if that works better thematically. Blades is definitely the right fit for me.
The ability wheel still scares me and I am sitting at 8 SP and over 20 AP because of the aforementioned decision to want to get away from Fists as my secondary. I find having two openers is great for up front burst but then there is a bunch of waiting in between. This could also be because I have only fully updated the inner wheel of offensive blade and haven’t touched fist yet. Still, I will be Google-fu-ing some nice synergies to go with blade. I played again for a couple hours last night and what an amazing experience again.
Now is a good time to go back if you have been gone for a while to see the changes, and if you never did get into TSW it’s the probably the best time for you now if you are looking for a greatly improved experience.