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Is the Secret World Worth Playing?

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Is The Secret World Worth Playing? Consider It One Of The Best MMOs Available

from http://www.leviathyn.com



Posted by Ron H. on Jan 12, 2013






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It’s tough choosing an MMO to play, especially when so many of
them are becoming easier to play. There are a bunch of premium online
games switching over to the free-to-play realm. Recently we saw Star
Wars: The Old Republic, The Secret World, and TERA Online decide to make
the switch. Just a bit ago we also had Guild Wars 2 release which is
also free-to-play. Couple these titles with Star Trek Online, DC
Universe Online, and Planetside 2 and you got yourself a hell of a list
there.


The problem is that all of those titles offer something different and
each has their own bullet point reasons for you to play them. The
choice is difficult to make but I think I can help you out here with the
following statement:


I cannot recommend Funcom’s The Secret World more enough. In fact, it may be the best free-to-play option out there.


Why, though? Let’s delve into the reasons.


 


Your destiny is yours…

In The Secret World you really only need one character. One of the
coolest features of this MMO is how it handles skills and abilities.
Instead of giving you a choice of eight or so classes and making your
character progress the same trip you may have taken in hundreds of MMOs
already, you’re given the Skill Wheel.


The Skill Wheel houses all of the options you can take for every
weapon in the game, including Auxiliary Weapons and gear “allowances” .


That’s right, you get access to every weapon, skill, and tier of
gear. Eventually. This all takes time and if you want to be a full
access walking armory you’re going to be sinking some hours into The
Secret World. However, having the ability to pick and choose how your
character plays at any given time is quite a feature. This ensures that
every choice you make will bring you one step further to becoming a
smaller Metal Gear.


You’ll get Skill Points and Ability Points as you level and complete
missions. Skill points are what you spend into weapons. The more you
dump into a weapon, the more abilities you get for that weapon. Ability
Points are put into your character’s skill with a weapon itself. You
need to have Ability Points put into a weapon in order to equip better
better.


 


the-secret-world-skill-wheel.jpg


 


For example: if you have 3 Ability Points into Shotgun, you can equip
a Quality Level 4 Shotgun. Having a better shotgun means more damage
for your shotgun abilities that you unlocked with your Skill Points.


It really isn’t too much to grasp but in case it is, for you, then
Funcom has you covered. The devs have created sets of “decks” that
feature two weapons and a a chain of skills and abilities to ensure you
can do “something”. What “something” is depends on the deck you choose.
You can be a straight up DPS – single target or multi, you can be a tank
who works off of self healing or pure damage mitigation, or you can be a
healer thanks to healing spells or spilling the blood of your enemies
to put life force back into your party members. Whatever you feel like
playing, there is a deck for you.


You can either make up your destiny as you go through the game or you
can have a deck ensure you’ll reach a pre-defined character goal. The
option is yours and that’s a rare thing to say about an MMO.


 


the-secret-world-1.jpg


 


The darkness and you: an MMO inspired by Lovecraft…

While Lovecraft isn’t the only inspiration for the tale you uncover
during your time in The Secret World, it sure is a big one. One of the
best aspects of this game is its story – both main one and even the side
quests.


You are essentially battling a darkness that is trying to devour the
world. The world releases a power called Anima and calls on humans to
take the power and defend it. You are one of the chosen and you are
approached by three secret societies who each have their own agenda but
are all fighting the darkness.


You have the choice of joining either:


  • The Templars who wish to abolish evil completely.
  • The Dragons who wish to manipulate the darkness.
  • The Illuminati who wish to control the darkness.


the-secret-world-2.jpg


All three choices come with their own city hub, questlines,
characters, and perks. No matter your choice, you’ll be thrown into a
different world with each society as they all vie for something. Either
way, the faction storylines are extremely well crafted and will keep you
interested in your progression.


Even the quests that don’t have anything to do with
your allegiance prove to be exciting and worth looking into. Everything
in The Secret World deals with the hidden, mythical, and magical. You’ll
face demonic creatures and you’ll face fanatics. You’ll travel all over
the world to stop the darkness from spreading and even try and fight
back the Mayan prophecy of the end of the world from happening.


Needless to say, this is one MMO that keeps you wanting to play
purely because of the story and the tales you come across. Questing
through a small town that was rocked to its core when the townspeople
began to disappear and creatures came from the ocean brings plenty of
things into perspective. You talk to the townsfolk and you see the
devastation that has turned these fishermen and normal citizens into
gritty survivors or just corpses.


The questing in The Secret World houses some of the coolest quests
I’ve ever done in an MMO and as you uncover the horrors it keeps you
coming back for more. The suspense and evil nature of the darkness made
me excited throughout my experience.


 


Eradicating evil with friends and strangers…

I already said how building your character is your own choice and
eventually you could become a be-all, end-all hybrid. As you progress
towards that goal, you’ll find plenty of party content to experience the
game with other people.


Partying up for dungeons is a blast. While combat may not break the
mold in The Secret World, going through a tough dungeon with your custom
designed character is a great experience. While combat can technically
feel like a tab-targeter it is still important to move and the game
makes that easy to do. You don’t need to remain still for anything in
The Secret World. Attacks hits targets by proximity and direction. Your
shotgun blast is going to spread wherever the barrel is facing. Your
sword will strike at whoever is in its way. Things like that make The
Secret World a constantly mobile game. You’ll need to use your
environment to your advantage and forget the sticky combat that you may
be used to.


 


the-secret-world-3.jpg


 


Aside from killing things you’ll find plenty of secrets hidden around
dungeons. The game already is littered with lore objects that tell you
more about what’s going on and you’ll find the same things in dungeons
and raids. You’ll even find locked canisters, boxes, etc. If you somehow
open them you’ll be rewarded.


Ultimately you’re looking for better quality gear. There are no
levels in The Secret World. The only way to ensure you’re powerful
enough for the next area is to have the right Quality Levels on your
gear. You’ll begin at QL0 but to be effective in the Blue Mountain
(third zone) you’ll need at least QL5, maybe some good 4′s. That’s how
the game determines how strong you are. The better quality you have, the
stronger you are. No level numbers needed.


 


So is it worth playing?

I find The Secret World to be incredibly unique among the
competition. The Skill Wheel, Quality Level gearing, dark story, and the
aspect of my own custom character without a linear class restriction
makes the game extremely fun to play.


It may not have the best animations but it does have plenty of
content to keep you busy, even at the beginning. The first zone can last
you a long time if you stick around to complete everything. Most zones
are like that and when you’re traversing a haunted house, an abandoned
carnival, a half sunken ship, graveyards, and other disturbing placed
you’ll find yourself wanting more and more.


That’s the one thing I have to give The Secret World. It doesn’t feel
like anything I’ve played before in an MMO and manages to keep me
coming back. Now with the subscription gone, the game has shot right up
my MMO list as the one to play.


I’m not a hardcore horror fan nor have I read Lovecraft past the
Calling of Cthulhu but I found this game to be engrossing, intriguing,
and simply fun.


You owe it to yourself as either an MMO veteran or a newcomer to
check out The Secret World. It certainly shakes things up and in a world
that’s covered from head to toe in stand-your-ground cliche MMOs,
that’s a great thing to see.


You won’t regret the time you spend downloading and installing the game to give it a test run.


 


The Secret World’s Official Website


A nice FAQ for new players: Yokai’s TSW FAQ

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