|5 posts found|
Beautiful night tonight, wouldn''t you agree?
6/15/12 7:22:17 PM#1
Today was the first day I was able to play The Secret World. I have been loosely following this game since it was first announced, and I was fairly excited with this beta weekend. Here are my initial, i repeat, initial, impressions on the game as displayed this beta weekend.
In an attempt to preserve the quality of my impressions, I will not state whether I enjoyed the game or not. I feel that if I include my subjective opinion on the overall product I will be inviting flaming and I would also be compromising the integrity of the write-up. I will however be supplying personal opinion on key features and aspects of the game.
I am writing this as it pops into my head so I will more than likely miss some things and
I apologize for any mistakes I may make concerning the game.
WHAT I DID:
For my first day of game play, i made two characters. I made a Dragon character, and an Illuminati character. I was most drawn to the Dragon lore, and in the case that I would be playing the game at launch I did not want to spoil much of the story, so I stopped playing him after the into area. I continued past the intro and into kingsmouth with my Illuminati character, where I spent a good long while questing and exploring.
The character creation for the facial features was more or less run of the mill MMO; Around 10 or so different choices for each feature (hair, face, nose, etc) . The options for starter clothing were however very healthy. There were many different styles from hoodies to bullet proof vests. One thing that bother me however us that there are no options to change the colors of some of the clothing. Instead of picking say a jacket, and then choosing a color for the jacket, one must pick either a red, blue, or green jacket. For instance, I wanted to have my character wear a green trench coat, however there was no green trench coat available.
While some aspects of the customization may be limited, players should find it relatively easy to make a character look how they want. On a side note, I heard a rumor in game that not all customization options are unlocked for the beta, so there may be more options at launch.
On the technical side of things, I did have an issue with moving the sliders on the facial options menu. The sliders for some of the options were not clickable at times. and overall it was a little wonky. A bit more work is needed to smooth this out.
Before I go into the subject of quests I want to point out one thing. The Secret World Oozes with lore out of every possible orifice. Everywhere you go there are lore objects, references, monologues, atmosphere, and more.
There are a few types of quests, I am still not 100% familiar with the system, but you can have a set amount of certain types of quests (such as 1 sabotage quest, 3 "kill X" quests, etc). Some of the quests are standard MMO quests that involve picking things up or killing a certain number of mobs. Many others are very different. Some will involve investigation, observing your surroundings, weaving past security cameras, and more. Overall, I would say that about 40% of the quests are "Kill X", while the rest are of varying types.
It should also be noted that the quests follow a tier system, where a single quest may advance and have many different objectives. For example: One quest that I did started off as "Defend the Barricades", after successfully defending the quest automatically advanced to "collect body parts and throw them in the bonfire", and then later turned into "Kill varying types of zombies". It is very interesting, and I believe makes the quests more dynamic and enjoyable.
Quests are also found everywhere. They can be found while just walking around, while examining objects, and from talking to NPC's. Most quests from NPC's involve a short monologue. The Voice acting is great at some places, average at most. I have yet to find a "bad" voice actor however, The writing follows the same pattern, sometimes amazing, sometimes just average. (favorite line: "In Soviet Russia, Science make YOU!"). You do not speak in the game, however what the game lacks in dialogue, it makes up for in the sheer amount of information one can extract from each NPC. Some NPC's seem to have upwards of 5 minutes of possible speech recorded.
Overall, it is a quest based MMO. There are no Dynamic Events but the quests are sufficiently "different" enough from other games to distinguish it as not another 'clone' (a word many people like to use a lot)
The elephant in the room for many people is combat. I will not lie, combat is not The Secret Worlds Strong Point. It is however, not terrible.
There is an active dodge, which can be activated by either double tapping a direction, or using shift+direction. I had some problems getting stuck on small pieces of terrain with it, but for the most part it worked pretty well.
The combat is mostly hotkey based, and you can bring 7 active and 7 passive abilities into combat with you. Each ability is unlocked by spending points in the ability wheel. The system of unlocking and using abilities looks very intriguing, and I can see a lot of theory crafters having fun with it.
. You can cast while moving (something that I kept forgetting) and the mobs have a lot of directional/positional attacks. Moving is encouraged to avoid such attacks, as some really hurt.
The weapons I used were recourse based, where instead of mana or energy you build recourses with certain abilities and consume recourses with others.
For the most part the combat felt smooth, the attacks had a nice flow to them, and there were no annoying cooldowns to worry about. If I were to compare the TSW combat to other games, I would place it above WoW's and Rift's combat, yet below GW2's combat.
PERFORMANCE and GRAPHICS:
Graphics wise, TSW is either Hit or Miss. Some things look amazing and really add to the atmosphere, while others are just silly. The character models are decent but not amazing. The animations are pretty bas at many places (such as jumping) and some work should be put into smoothing everything out.
Performance wise, I had very little lag and no crashes. I should note however that some people in chat were remarking about how they were having difficulties with lag. I did have some issues with an NPC's mouth not moving during a cutscene.
Standard beta community. Lots of people in chat attacking the game, and lots of fanboyish type people defending it.
As far as socializing with other people, I did very little of it. I helped a few people with mobs, and they helped me, but I was not forced to group with anyone. There were however many people asking for help with quests in the chat, and people were responding. I was also not able to try out the first dungeon or some of the harder quests in the short time that I played.
This MMO is very similar to WoW, Rift, and so on where you could probably solo to endgame without any difficulty, but the option to group to take down difficult mobs or to do a dungeon run is still there.
I do not want to post my overall personal opinions of this game, and I simply want to remark that these are my first impressions and thoughts on a few aspects of the game. They are likely to change as I continue to play.
Again, I apologize for any mistakes I may have made about the game, and feel free to correct me.
Thank you for reading
6/16/12 4:14:09 AM#2
Thanks, nice write up, well thought out.
I also like that you try to keep it to the impressions and details of it, and not just 'liked this' or 'didn't like this' feature.
6/16/12 4:31:16 AM#3
Great post. Very helpful.
I think I'll give the game a try.
6/16/12 5:34:41 AM#4
Regarding the graphics one can check out this thread: http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/404/view/forums/post/5063917#5063917
Regarding the combat system, I think it's a little unfair to it to compare it to say WoW or GW2 at the early stages of your character. TSW is an MMORPG and with it comes the progression. You start out with fairly simple, but powerful abilities. Later in the game you have more complex abilities working together increasing the complexity and making it bit more skillbased. In the beginning areas most of the combat is easy enough that you don't really have to know the game to not die.
Another thing to note about TSW is that they are actually not showing the whole game. Here are some comments by Ragnar Tørnquist, the Producer and Director of the game: http://forums.thesecretworld.com/showpost.php?p=840364&postcount=6
Thanks for playing and for commenting!
Here is another quote by him:
Joel told you about Exodus? I'll kill that fu--
So, if you are feeling there is something missing with the starting cutscenes and story, it's because they are just that, missing.I will give Funcom huge props for how hands on they are with the community. I don't think I have ever seen so many of the developers on the forums, in streams and wherever not. This is really reflected in the community of TSW which is really good. :)
6/16/12 6:49:49 AM#5
As of now I am already uninstalling TSW. The game is super clunky, the combat is shallow and it feels bulky... Too sad, the atmosphere is pretty good...