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The Secret World

The Secret World 

Reviews & Impressions  » Yet another TSW review

16 posts found
  aSynchro

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/13/11
Posts: 154

 
OP  8/30/12 5:49:39 AM#1

First a little words about myself: i currently only play WoW but i'm totaly aware of its huge limitations. In fact i play it more as a social tool and mainly because leading a guild is a fun challenge. I plan to buy GW2 in a few weeks, once the launch storm calm down and enjoy it in a casual way. But in fact i'm a sandbox lover: looking forward to ArcheAge, The Repopulation and especially World of Darkness. I really think MMORPG should be about a world to live in.

Anyhow, lets talk about TSW. I won't repeat what others said here before about the gameplay, but i'd like to focus on the themepark/sandbox concept.

 

This game setting is awesome: Lovecraft, X-Files, the Illuminaties, dark secrets and conspiracy... who wouldn't love that ? Plus it's totaly original so it could have been a good niche game for the spooky kind.

But... sadly the theme is not enought, you need to have a WORLD for people to enjoy. And Funcom failed at not only delivered, but understand that. Like Bioware and others before, they look at WoW and forgot what an MMORPG was. Like most of the game released those past 5 years, they created a swallow themepark, a single-player ride-once experience.

And that's alone is totaly amazing. I can understand big guys in suit looking at WoW and dreaming of big $. But game designers and project managers should know better: they should know the difference between a game that you play once and one that you'll play for years everyday. I don't get how they create games like TSW (or SWTOR), games that cost years and millions to dev, and don't realize 95% of the players will experience all the content in a couple of months and then never come back.

I mean: it seems *so* obvious to me ^^

_ If you spend 5 years creating 2000 quests, people will do them in 2 months and go away. Because you tell the players to do so: from the start you tell them "do this quest, then this one, then this one". and when they finish them all, there's nothing else beside some dungeon/battleground.

_ If you spend 5 years creating a WORLD with *interractions* between players (ie: deep economy, diplomacy, pvp, roleplay, crafting, housing/frontier that evolve etc.), people will stay for years. Because you tell them at the start "here's the world, explore and have fun!". That's what EVE did, that's maybe what GW2 will do (i know it's not a sandbox, but it this non-grinding, non-solo mentaly).

Somehow, when i read that Funcom expected 1 millions boxes sale and 500 000 subs, i can't say if they were serious or if they just lie to investors so they could get the cash to make the game they wanted. Because even if you like TSW, there's no way more than 100k people will ever sub to it, and even with (expensive) changes, it will never works. That's the themepark curse and only one in a million survive (ie: WoW).

 

I kinda unhappy writting this because Ragnar Tørnquist seems like a nice guys with cool ideas. but at the same time it bother me so much that they screw this...

  dumbo11

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/03/05
Posts: 134

8/30/12 6:59:19 AM#2
Originally posted by aSynchro

Somehow, when i read that Funcom expected 1 millions boxes sale and 500 000 subs, i can't say if they were serious or if they just lie to investors so they could get the cash to make the game they wanted. Because even if you like TSW, there's no way more than 100k people will ever sub to it, and even with (expensive) changes, it will never works. That's the themepark curse and only one in a million survive (ie: WoW).

I kinda unhappy writting this because Ragnar Tørnquist seems like a nice guys with cool ideas. but at the same time it bother me so much that they screw this...

IMHO it would be better to have a global 'sandbox vs themepark' forum somewhere on the site, as these debates simply clutter up forums.

- TSW is a themepark game.  It's been built, it's not going to change into a true sandbox, there's no point debating this.

- Themepark games are some of the most successful MMOs in the market.

- TSW being a themepark is not the problem (the retention ratio is 'good', the problem is that people didn't buy it in the first place, which has nothing to do with themepark vs sandbox).

The dev forum/general forum are a better place to have these debates. (the SWTOR/GW2 forums also fill up with these pointless arguments)

Funcom *could* create a meta-sandbox, with user created missions (and I would encourage Funcom to look at whether that is possible - as it looks a good use of the niche...), but it is not going to be a sandbox MMO.

  Thorqemada

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/30/04
Posts: 1227

8/30/12 7:03:03 AM#3

One single Themepark game is the biggest success a MMO ever was.
All others struggle ahead.

"Torquemada... do not implore him for compassion. Torquemada... do not beg him for forgiveness. Torquemada... do not ask him for mercy. Let's face it, you can't Torquemada anything!"

MWO Music Video - What does the Mech say: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF6HYNqCDLI
MWO Community Warfare - BETA Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yipq9vOTt-k

  dumbo11

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/03/05
Posts: 134

8/30/12 7:16:58 AM#4
Originally posted by Thorqemada

One single Themepark game is the biggest success a MMO ever was.
All others struggle ahead.

Rift certainly made a profit.

AFAIK Aion, Tera, gw1, gw2, city of heroes/villains, daoc, lotro, ffxi, free realms etc are all profitable. [EQ I guess is also a themepark? ditto EQ2...]

AFAIK most of the F2P/asian themeparks are extremely profitable.

Wow is an extreme example of success, and there have been several extreme failures (vanguard/cryptic titles/aoc)... Success/failure has little to do with the 'sandbox/themepark' label.

  MagikrorriM

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/14/10
Posts: 174

8/30/12 10:10:28 AM#5
Originally posted by dumbo11
Originally posted by aSynchro

Somehow, when i read that Funcom expected 1 millions boxes sale and 500 000 subs, i can't say if they were serious or if they just lie to investors so they could get the cash to make the game they wanted. Because even if you like TSW, there's no way more than 100k people will ever sub to it, and even with (expensive) changes, it will never works. That's the themepark curse and only one in a million survive (ie: WoW).

I kinda unhappy writting this because Ragnar Tørnquist seems like a nice guys with cool ideas. but at the same time it bother me so much that they screw this...

IMHO it would be better to have a global 'sandbox vs themepark' forum somewhere on the site, as these debates simply clutter up forums.

- TSW is a themepark game.  It's been built, it's not going to change into a true sandbox, there's no point debating this.

- Themepark games are some of the most successful MMOs in the market.

- TSW being a themepark is not the problem (the retention ratio is 'good', the problem is that people didn't buy it in the first place, which has nothing to do with themepark vs sandbox).

The dev forum/general forum are a better place to have these debates. (the SWTOR/GW2 forums also fill up with these pointless arguments)

Funcom *could* create a meta-sandbox, with user created missions (and I would encourage Funcom to look at whether that is possible - as it looks a good use of the niche...), but it is not going to be a sandbox MMO.

 There is a sandbox in TSW, but it isn't obvious to those who haven't spent much time in the game. Anyone who has 50% of the wheel will tell you the sandbox is in the ability wheel itself. A theorycrafter's paradise of spending countless hours creating new builds. It's a hard sandbox to avoid, when you realize you have devoted an hour or two making a build.

 

  I think it's biggest problem was in marketing the game, which was very low key. User-created missions is something they are looking into and discussing, as well as dynamic content.  TSW has began with a solid foundation, and attempting to please it's player base, believe it or not suggestions aren't falling on deaf ears, how the game will be in 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, remains to be seen. But as a long time mmo gamer, I see it's one worth sticking around for years.

 

.

  Magiknight

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/10/09
Posts: 752

9/02/12 2:11:25 PM#6
I feel the same way and agree.  I've only played the game for a few hours but wow, it is exactly like the first few hours of every MMO I have played since WoW.  MMORPGs all fail to create a community for the sake of "customization," being able to "play how you want," instances, etc.  Every new development in the genre has only been detrimental to creating a community with some permanence.  I wont be playing after my 30 days are up.
  smh_alot

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/10/12
Posts: 990

9/02/12 2:42:27 PM#7
The OP kinda bugs me. The main reason is I think that this is yet another post where the poster overlays his own desires upon how the world really is. Here's someone desperately craving for sandbox features bc apparently he himself seems unable to enjoy themepark type MMO's.

In order to make his case, explaining why he can't enjoy those games, he feels the need to make it big, makes a statement that NOBODY (bc apparently if he can't enjoy those MMO's, no one really can) wants and enjoys those MMO's and rewrites history in the process. It's especially telling when he dismisses WoW as being 1 in the million themepark MMO's that is successful, in short as the exception, and then talks about EVE, ignoring the fact that EVE is its own exception as well, since no other sandbox really has that kind of success. Double standards.

On top of that, he ignores other themepark MMO's that may not have had the same degree of success as WoW, yet still managed to keep over 100-200k players happy for various years. Aion made hundreds of millions of dollars revenues for 3 consecutive years, that's a hell of a lot more than as good as all MMO's even the pre-WoW ones did, just to name an example.

And if you want to mention GW2, sure, go ahead. Just remember that it's at its core just as much a themepark MMO by design, with even less sandbox typical features than even TSW. Themepark designed MMO's can offer a virtual world players can immerse themselves in as much as sandbox type MMO's can, only it's maybe not the kind of virtual world that sandbox fans are looking for. Acknowledging that, now that'd be real honesty in my eyes.
  Keltik

Novice Member

Joined: 8/10/04
Posts: 89

"Yes, I really do have a bullet hole in me"

9/13/12 5:11:31 PM#8
Originally posted by MagikrorriM
Originally posted by dumbo11
Originally posted by aSynchro

Somehow, when i read that Funcom expected 1 millions boxes sale and 500 000 subs, i can't say if they were serious or if they just lie to investors so they could get the cash to make the game they wanted. Because even if you like TSW, there's no way more than 100k people will ever sub to it, and even with (expensive) changes, it will never works. That's the themepark curse and only one in a million survive (ie: WoW).

I kinda unhappy writting this because Ragnar Tørnquist seems like a nice guys with cool ideas. but at the same time it bother me so much that they screw this...

IMHO it would be better to have a global 'sandbox vs themepark' forum somewhere on the site, as these debates simply clutter up forums.

- TSW is a themepark game.  It's been built, it's not going to change into a true sandbox, there's no point debating this.

- Themepark games are some of the most successful MMOs in the market.

- TSW being a themepark is not the problem (the retention ratio is 'good', the problem is that people didn't buy it in the first place, which has nothing to do with themepark vs sandbox).

The dev forum/general forum are a better place to have these debates. (the SWTOR/GW2 forums also fill up with these pointless arguments)

Funcom *could* create a meta-sandbox, with user created missions (and I would encourage Funcom to look at whether that is possible - as it looks a good use of the niche...), but it is not going to be a sandbox MMO.

 There is a sandbox in TSW, but it isn't obvious to those who haven't spent much time in the game. Anyone who has 50% of the wheel will tell you the sandbox is in the ability wheel itself. A theorycrafter's paradise of spending countless hours creating new builds. It's a hard sandbox to avoid, when you realize you have devoted an hour or two making a build.

 

  I think it's biggest problem was in marketing the game, which was very low key. User-created missions is something they are looking into and discussing, as well as dynamic content.  TSW has began with a solid foundation, and attempting to please it's player base, believe it or not suggestions aren't falling on deaf ears, how the game will be in 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, remains to be seen. But as a long time mmo gamer, I see it's one worth sticking around for years.

 

.

That is an awfull analogy: my char has the skill wheel at 100%, as do a whole host of people. Its definately not a sandbox when (if you actually want to do NM content) you pretty much have the choice of 3 builds end game.

 

Its biggest problem, is the end game itself, its the same as SWTOR: a fantastic story driven experience, followed by a gear grind and nothing else.

  eddieg50

Elite Member

Joined: 6/22/05
Posts: 1547

9/13/12 5:20:55 PM#9
   This is a fantastic game for people like myself, I am a more casual player ( I play about 10 hours a week) ,  I like to play an mmo for about 2 or 3 months , move on to another mmo and eventually come back.  If I really like an mmo (Shadowbane, City of heroes when it first came out, AC2) I may stay for 4 or 5 months.  The quests are great on TSW and because of that I really feel immersed into the story line
  DaezAster

Novice Member

Joined: 6/18/12
Posts: 801

9/13/12 5:40:40 PM#10
Imo the game just needs more. Something to do when your not in the mood to quest/combat. They need to flush out the crafting system which is great but just not enough useful/cool stuff to make. Maybe add more puzzles ala resident evil that arent so investigation/google research dependant. Some cool minigames, they do have arcade machines in london atleast, maybe make those actual games to play. 
  J-icepd

Novice Member

Joined: 7/12/12
Posts: 23

10/11/12 1:27:03 PM#11
End game, end game, end game. Why always this. The most of the players are not done with all. The pvp is great, the doungens is even more great. Pve is the best. The game is not perfect, but it will be better every path. I am a great fan. Hope Joel lift the game and the servers get full of players as the start.
  Duranu

Novice Member

Joined: 8/23/12
Posts: 21

10/11/12 2:03:15 PM#12

It's not a game for those that like to power through to the very end, as fast as they can,  to get the best loot in order to strut around like peacocks with the best equipment.  What it does do, the storyline/setting, I think they're doing very well with.  Of course it's not without it's issues, considering especially that it's not even a year old.  They're listening to players, adapting, and adjusting as they move on.  

The endgame is definitely lacking (which is something they've noted and are working on).  If you rush through to the end though, you miss a lot of the background, story, and details which flesh out the world.  The investigation missions are, imo, excellent!  Having to delve into 'real world' information in order to figure things out, actually investigate, and make my brain work is leaps and bounds better than having to farm 20 elf ears or bear spleens (which strangely enough, some seem to go around without any) repeatedly.

PVP is also lacking (which again, they're addressing).  If you're into some hardcore PVP, you'll probably want to skip out on it (go GW2).  For me, I enjoy PVP now and then, it's a thing I like to do when I've had a bad day at work.  While there's much better PVP content in other games, I've definitely seen worse.  

The voice acting and cutscenes are very well done and, I feel, really help to immerse the player, even going so far as to make jokes at itself as well as a lot of little quips about other things that had me laughing in my chair (youtube comments, lol).  

This is what draws me into TSW and why I enjoy playing it so much.  I've been looking for a MMORPG that has real depth to it's background and this definitely delivers in that respect. 

  Rayshe

Novice Member

Joined: 11/30/11
Posts: 1295

10/11/12 2:11:42 PM#13
The only reason that there is 3 builds at the end of the game is because no one has tried to make any more. Im currently working on a support build that has very low DPS but kicks everyone elses DPS though the roof.

Because i can.
I'm Hopeful For Every Game, Until the Fan Boys Attack My Games. Then the Knives Come Out.
Logic every gamers worst enemy.

  Betaguy

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 2653

Some folks are like Slinkies, totally useless but great fun to watch when pushed down stairs

10/11/12 2:13:52 PM#14
I was so excited when I first heard about this game. I followed it forever... then it released.  I played it, I really disliked it... now I am a sad panda face. True story. I hope they turn the game around, if they do I will come back, otherwise it is another going to collect dust on my shelf.

  AMOlson

Novice Member

Joined: 3/13/12
Posts: 2

10/23/12 4:08:56 AM#15

Hmmmm, the problem TSW has is the same one EvE has ... it's not a game for everyone. Ok, and yes, AO as well. For the same reasons, because none of them are aimed at the 'generic gamer'. 

I like complex puzzles, challenges and the occasional LMAO moment. Not everyone is into MMORPGs for those things. Some people are into 'winning'. Some are into raiding. Some like PvP or getting the purples or ... However, I've never had an MMORPGlite get me so involved I squawked when my character got jumped in the dark the way TSW has or made my heart pound the way EvE did when my ship got blown up by my own stupidity.  (Or made me laugh anything like when I tripped over Marvin in AO.)

It's like single malt scotch. Sure it's not perfect, no single malt is, but they're all unique and complex and there's a place for them in the market. Hopefully, TSW will survive its 'teething pains' and stay alive for those of us who want something with a bit more bite and character than your generic blended whiskey. No single malt is as smooth or polished as a blended whiskey, but you sure aren't going to mistake Glenlivet for Crown Royal. 

And yes, I've played GW2, WoW, Rift, TOR, EQ2, DR, AO, EvE and going back, the Wizardry series, the early Ultimas, Rogue, Zork and even the PDP11 Adventure. Let's hear it for XYZZY! Enjoyed them all and still occasionally play some of those ancient games. Rogue sure wasn't polished or pretty, but boy I've wasted a lot of time over the years with that stupid little game.

AM Olson

  Ortwig

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1071

10/29/12 3:09:40 PM#16