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The Secret World Previews: The Templar Starter Area

By Suzie Ford on May 11, 2012

The Secret World is much less mysterious now, thanks to a few days of press play with articles that will explode across the Internet today. Then add in the fact that the first closed beta event kicks off this weekend with players able to get into the game on a wide basis for the first time. There’s going to be a lot fewer secrets in The Secret World before Monday, that’s for sure.

During this weekend’s CBT, players will be able to take part in the Templar storyline starting with character creation, the Tokyo Flashback cut scene and ultimately ending up at the Templar Headquarters in London before being sent out to Kingsmouth.

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London

Once players have worked their way through Tokyo Flashback and the quests that will give them a bit of information about how to play The Secret World in all its intricacies, they will find themselves in jolly old England and, more specifically, in London itself.

Funcom has done a nice job with London in making it appear alive and of use to the citizens that are walking around. Everything you would expect to find in a thriving metropolitan area is there: Coffee shops, outdoor markets, street evangelists, Bobbies and more. There are people literally walking everywhere. They’re in the coffee shop. They’re sitting at an outdoor bistro. They’re arguing with Bobbies. Quite literally, London is packed with people going about their daily business.

That said, however, there’s not much actually being heard in London. While people are busy with their everyday lives, there is little noise surrounding them. They just are, if that makes sense. At one point too, I saw a woman out of the corner of my eye push a Bobby down….I think. I’m actually not sure if that was what happened or if it was a bug in his pathing that caused him to literally fall straight backwards. I turned around to watch a little while but I didn’t see it happen again so I’m leaning towards the latter explanation.

Anyway, there is value in exploration as you get rewarded with achievements and XP for roaming around Olde London Towne so be sure to before heading to the Templar HQ.

There are lots of little pathways to get to the HQ and, indeed, to anywhere you need to go. Things in The Secret World seldom go in a straight line so even the quest marker indicating your relative distance from your quest zone isn’t infallible. Be sure to utilize your over map to make sure that you’re actually on the right track to where you actually want to go. It can be teeth-grindingly frustrating but it’s that way (or worse!) in real life so work with it.

Templar HQ is gigantic. No, I mean it. It’s huge. Kinda makes you wonder what those Templars are compensating for but that’s a whole ‘nother article.

Not only is the building huge but the rooms that you can access inside are big too. The building is guarded by Templars in the now-traditional red and white that Funcom has made us so accustomed to seeing. Most don’t speak but there are a few well-placed folks who can fill in lore about the Templars or even engage you with a snarky discussion about the riff-raff. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Lady What’s-Your-Name. *frowns*

Agartha

Last on my tour of London is Agartha, the fast travel system for The Secret World. If you don’t know, this is what Agartha is in mythology/legend. Remember, Funcom has taken just about every mystery, every myth, every legendary story they could lay their hands on and incorporated them into The Secret World.

Agartha (sometimes Agartta, Agharti, Agarta or Agarttha) is a legendary city that is said to reside in the earth's core. It is related to the belief in a hollow earth and is a popular subject in esotericism. (LINK)

Agartha is The Secret World’s fast travel system. As players work through the game, they will gain access to a variety of locations throughout the world. To get to them by any traditional means of travel would take literally days in some cases. To defeat the travel demon, Funcom gave us Agartha.


Yeah, I know it's Egypt but it's the entrance to Agartha. So sue me.

On entering Agartha, players are presented with a guide of sorts, and roaming robot-like creatures that can give you further information about the world’s locations. From there, you head to the correct “portal” (for lack of a better word) that will land you squarely where you want to go. It’s pretty cool all in all.

That’s your handy dandy quick travel guide to London and environs. What do you think of London? Let us know!

Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. An avid gamer, Suzie lives in the desert Southwestern US with her own personal minion.

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