I posted this in a thread about TSW being the current number 1 MMO on the site and didn't want my opinion to fade into obscurity:
Going to throw my two cents in here.
First off I cannot even begin to understand why or how this game is #1 for released games right now. I'll give some examples of why it shouldn't even be part of the top 5. Before I begin I will say that I beta tested, preordered, and played this game putting in several months and reaching rank 10 gear/skills before I became absolutely bored as tits and left. I'm also a huge fan of the urban horror genre and it takes a lot to make me sick of a game in that genre.
Going to list some reasons in numbered points with explanations:
1) Character creation is just bad. As a fan of character customization and uniqueness I was sorely disappointed with TSW's character creation system. It didn't even come close to Age of Conan's which featured enough customization to, for the most part, create a unique looking character. It boggles my brain why both games run on the same engine yet TSW, the newer game, has far inferior character creation going almost as far as making WoW's chargen look better by comparison. In a battle between presets and actual sliders the presets always lose, especially for a roleplayer.
2) Combat is plain and boring and worse than button mashing. Again, it's got a dramatically downgraded combat system compared to Funcom's Age of Conan which in my opinion has the best combat system out of any MMO that isn't twitch-based. There is no skill required and sitting there hitting 1-3 abilities over and over again doing dick all damage to the mobs is quite frankly more boring than LotRO's sorry excuse for combat. This is by far the biggest fail of TSW.
3) Small zones which purposely encourage developer laziness and a poor excuse for no mounts. The zones are so small that there is no way we will ever see mounts in the game. You'd think with a slick ubran horror game with all it's touted features it'd have larger zones, even adding 10-30% more landmass to each zone would make vehicles/riding animals viable. Nope, Funcom decided against one of the biggest staples of MMOs. Some may disagree but walking and running is boring and the lack of mounts takes away an important layer of gameplay.
4) A themepark MMO wrapped in a psuedo-sandbox skin. The game mechanics were designed, in my opinion, for a much larger world with some sandbox elements yet for whatever reason (likely laziness, lack of funds, creative drive) Funcom decided to turn it into a cleverly packaged themepark. Looking at the amazing investigation missions, the only part of the game requiring skill, you'd think they'd fit better in a sandbox.
5) Small population. Population always felt small. Never saw many players running around and getting groups for missions and dungeons was difficult at best. Even if you did manage to get a full group for something it seemed that almost ever tank I ever found was improperly decked or geared. The deck system favors certain builds and many of them were DPS. It was very difficult to find player-made builds that worked well to rank 10 and coupled with the lack of players it made group play a rare but disappointing feat.
6) Informed players spoke, nobody listened. As a result the game goes B2P with paid DLC. The players who would have otherwise kept TSW from going that route left because of some of the stuff I've stated above. People would have been willing to pay a monthly sub and continue playing if we didn't have to pay for DLC or waste time with a cash shop. I'm sure 80% of TSW's original supporters would have stayed if Funcom had made the game a little more vast, a little more open and a little more sandboxy as well.
My biggest gripes with TSW are points 1 to 4. 6 isn't so bad, but I will likely never play the game again or pay for DLC. A game with these flaws doesn't deserve to be #1 nor a top 5 candidate. Out of the total amount of MMOs on the market today I'd say TSW should fall between the #10-#20 range. Pretty graphics and a decent fully-voiced storyline do not compensate for the failures I've listed. Sorry fanboys. Sorry Funcom. You fail.