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The Secret World First Impressions

Recently, I’ve been playing The Secret World, Funcom’s new MMO. The game, for those of you who don’t know, is based in a modern world, unlike most MMOs which are set in a fantasy world of unknown period. The three in-game factions you can play as are: The Illuminati, The Dragons, and The Templars. Here are my first impressions to the most frequently asked questions about The Secret World.

How is The Secret World’s launch? Are the servers running smoothly? Are the servers populated with players?

The launch is great. It’s simple, to the point, and everything is where a gamer that’s familiar with MMOs would hope it to be. Under the ‘Notes’ tab, this tab will have information on the servers, and also news on when they will next be performing maintenance. I haven’t noticed any problems with the servers thus far, and the server I chose to play on has a decent population. One thing that did annoy me whilst creating a character, though, was the ‘Nickname’ as it was almost impossible to find a name someone didn’t already have!

What would make a person want to play The Secret World?

The character detail is simply brilliant. One of my favorite things about playing RPGs is the character creation, and The Secret World lets you create a modern day character, sporting jeans and hoodies, and any hair color you want. There are hardly any limitations to creating your character.

Also, The Secret World is easily jumped into by newcomers and MMO veterans alike because there are step-by-step tutorials helping even the newest of MMO players find a grasp on the controls and the way the game works, but there are also MMO characteristics that will make a veteran feel right at home. Much like Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR), The Secret World has voiced dialogue for the conversations you partake in. Much like World of Warcraft (WoW), the quest names are given clever, witty titles. For instance the first quest you’re given as an Illuminati player is called “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn” like the famous Beastie Boys song.

Lastly, one of the biggest allures is the unique theme and mentality of The Secret World. Personally I love the difference this game offers: No one has yet made a modern day MMO quite like this one. The game’s dialogue cut scenes feature a whole load of swearing, which I like in games. To me, it makes character dialogue feel more intense, authentic, and powerful. It also makes this MMO feel much more mature compared to other MMOs like WoW where a lot of the features (Mists of Pandaria to be exact) seem quite childish.

What would make someone want to stay away from The Secret World?

Perhaps what makes this game unique would put off a lot of MMO fans. Many people don’t like the idea of playing a modern day MMO based in the USA. A lot of people enjoy being able to escape into an alternate reality, and with The Secret World, it lacks that sense of an alternate reality somewhat.

As a relentless player of SWTOR, I found maneuvering my character difficult too. The controls seemed a lot less fluid and fast than that on SWTOR which took a lot of adjusting to.

Also, in the chat box, I noticed a lot of system messages saying different facilities were under attack by multiple enemy factions. I have no idea what this is about, and hopefully this will become clearer as the game goes on. As of right now, the game does not do a good job of explaining those game features.

How does the crafting work?

Like many other MMO, The Secret World allows players to craft miscellaneous, otherwise useless materials to create a better object. However, the crafting system is much different to that of any other MMO I have played. In The Secret World, crafting consists of placing materials in a correct pattern. Usually you also need a crafting toolkit to get the process to work. This is called assembly. You can also disassemble products to get the original components back. Everybody can do this since there is no skill or character restriction. However, there are restrictions on which items can be assembled and combined, and which items can be disassembled. If your materials are placed in a correct pattern or sequence then a tool box icon might light up. If it does, then you need to add a specific toolkit.

Being used to SWTOR and Rift before that, I found it hard to grasp this concept, as it seems as though everyone gets the same crafting skills unlike, for instance, having a multitude of crafting skills such as: Armstech, Armormech, Biochem, etc…

How’s the PvP?

I’ve never been a fan of PvP in MMOs. I always tend to stick to the PvE side of things. That said, the PvP in The Secret World is fairly similar to other MMOs. Players can compete in battlefields including: the mysterious Stonehenge, the lost Tibetan city of Shambhala, and the mythic city of gold, El Dorado. However, in The Secret World you also have Warzones and “The Fight Club”. Fight Clubs appear in every major city, and are perfect for testing a new build were there are no rules. You can play a 2v2 match or 10v10 if you want to. This type of freedom in a game is something I think a lot of players will appreciate, and have lots of fun with. The Warzone is a whole different ballgame. It is a persistent PvP zone, which is open 24/7. I would personally compare it to “Outlaw’s Den” on Tattooine or the open RvR in Warhammer Online for instance. In a Warzone you can have hundreds of players from different factions to compete against, making this, in my opinion, probably the most challenging type of PvP in the game.


Since there is no traditional leveling system, how does the game make the player feel like they’re progressing?

Basically, when the game starts, you’re thrown into the world with all the other new recruits, not really having any idea what is going on, and wondering what the hell to do with your power. This game doesn’t actually have a leveling system, as Fun Com felt it restricted players too much and didn’t allow them to do what they wanted in-game.

You feel like you’re progressing because instead of having a traditional leveling system, The Secret World gives players points to spend on different skills. You can dedicate your skills to weapons, which separate into multiple options. Under Melee you can chose from fist, blade, and hammer, under the Ranged option, there is pistol, shotgun and assault rifle, and under the Magic option, you have elemental, blood and chaos. As you assign points to a specific option, you have two choices: “Damage” or “Survivability”. It’s a good system too, because if you get bored of using certain weapons you can just go out and buy another one or find one to use instead.


I look forward to meeting some of you in the game world. Stay tuned to Player Affinity for a full review coming next week!





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