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Still Not Sure If You Should Pick Up The Secret World?
Funcom’s latest MMO, The Secret World, has taken players by storm and to be quite honest it has taken me, as well. I played in the beta for the supernatural MMO and found myself enjoying it. I thought it was pretty interesting with a great questing system to back it up. I didn’t try out everything and so when I broke down and bought the released version off of Origin, I was pleasantly surprised by many aspects of the game.
When I sat down and played the beta, I honestly just ran through what I could to get a feel for the game. You can’t do that in The Secret World. You have to take your time and learn. That doesn’t mean the game is by any means slow. It just needs that there is a learning curve. It may look and feel like a traditional MMO to most but it is far from it. For one, there are no levels. There are also no classes. You build your character in any way you want to. Of course, there are certain builds that work better than others and work off of something called synergies.
This took me a bit to get used to. I had went through four rerolled characters until I finally settles on Shotgun/Hammer as my weapon combo and build. Before then, I had tried out Elementalist/Blood, Assault Rifle/Claws, etc. As you can see, there are plenty of ways to structure your character. You get to pick two different weapons and mix and match 14 skills (7 active, 7 passive). As I mentioned before, some builds (or “decks”) are better than others but the game is designed to allow you to test them all out and obtain all starter skills for every weapon. This allows you to really get a feel for what you want to do, what works, and where you should spend points to get more advanced skills.
This aspect of the game is great. Originally I spent all of Kingsmouth, the starting area, with Shotgun and Hammer. It worked very well but I wanted to test out new waters. It was pretty easy to switch Hammer out for Blade.The Secret World is all about character choice. While you don’t get to influence your story quite like The old Republic, the customization with your character’s skills and look go a far way. The rest of the game is built up on the supernatural storyline involving monsters, hell creatures, ghosts, and secret agencies from around the world. Think Call of Cthulhu, minus the sanity meter, in an MMO. That is basically what The Secret World is.
Interested but not yet sold? I understand, getting into a new MMO is a risk. You really don’t know if you’re going to like it or see it through to the end game. Also, you never know how long these games will last. It is always nice to see the dev team come out relatively close to launch and talk about their upcoming plans. You don’t see that very often. Most devs as quiet for the first month aside the first week sales remark and perhaps an announcement about a game-breaking bug or server woes. Thankfully, The Secret World team isn’t being quiet.
In a very early State of the Game address, Ragnar (Producer/Director) talked about what will be coming up in The Secret World as well as monthly plans. What I mean by monthly plans is that every month, Funcom will be releasing new mission packs which are free. These mission packs contain:
- Fully voiced missions to continue the story of The Secret World.
- New weapons. The team wants combat to continually feel fresh and so new weapons will be added frequently.
- The first raid is coming soon and will be featured in a monthly mission pack. The first one will be held in New York City.
- New in-game clothing stores for the three cities: New York, London, and Seoul.
- More rewarded clothing for achievements and questlines.
- More updates to Chronicle, the web-based diary for The Secret World players (now in beta).
- PvP content including a PvP Dungeon which is currently being made.
- New tools such as the Dungeon Finder which they are working on now.
- Seasonal events such as Halloween and the Winter Solstice, which are dipping in occult lore, will be added.
- Complete, new areas that add new monsters, items, gears, lore, dungeons, and much more to the game.
- Improved Cabal (guild) features and functionality.
- More social features.
- More pets and features for pet owners.
- Finally, combat and game tweaks and improvements to make The Secret World feel and play better.
If you would like to read a bit more about the monthly mission packs, check out the State of the Game address.
Also, if you need a little more incentive, you can still purchase upgrade packs for your account such as the Initiate, Master, and Grandmaster packs. The Initial pack runs $14.99 and comes with faction vests, weapons to get your started in Kingsmouth, and a pet raven. The Master pack is $59.99 and includes an extra 30 days of game time, an extra character slot, a set of Talismans to get your started in Kingsmouth, experience potions, and a 10% discount on items featured in the in-game item store (real money store). Finally, the Grandmaster pack is a $199 pack featuring all of the Master pack, an exclusive Snakeskin jacket, and a lifetime subscription to The Secret World. Please note, the Master and Grandmaster packs do not include the Initiate pack’s features, though you can buy that as well if you opt to buy one of the two more expensive options.
Funcom has laid out everything in an attempt to allude more players into The Secret World, keep current players happy, and ensure people don’t leave after their 30 days. Honestly, the free monthly mission packs was enough to make me think about a lifetime sub. I’ve never bought one of those before but with how I am enjoying the game right now and with that kind of dedication from the dev team, it may be worth it. Still, I’m an MMO enthusiast so that decision isn’t for everyone.
I’m very much having fun in The Secret World and thanks to the State of the Game and wonderful character progression and questing systems, I will be staying there for quite some time. Look forward to our review coming soon.