Two years of The Secret World. It hardly seems true. Though it is still a baby next to its Funcom brothers Age of Conan and Anarchy Online The Secret World has certainly had an exciting life so far. We’ve faced the end of the world while cowering in our basement, there has been controversy, there has been terror, there has been joy, and artists have been given freedom to run wild. All of this happening while the MMO is still learning to walk.
In the pantheon of Geek Gods sits Hugo Weaving for films, Gene Roddenberry for Star Trek though more generally television, Isaac Asimov for books, and Ragnar Tørnquist for games. Though I will admit I had no idea who he was when The Secret World was first announced I very quickly did some research and discovered that he is well deserving of his seat in the pantheon. His name added to the hype and excitement that the community had for the launch of the game.
A Rough Start
No MMO ever has an easy launch. Unfortunately this seems to be something that people very quickly forget. So when things didn’t go right for The Secret World at the start many declared the game a failure before they even gave it a chance. And I will admit, even I stopped playing for a couple of weeks while they fixed the chat bugs. But I loved the idea of the game so much that the moment the bugs were fixed I was back and ready to kick ass. And you know what? I’m glad I did. Not only do I get to write this awesome column but I also get to play an amazing game and I got to meet the awesome developers. But all of that aside, The Secret World has some of the cleanest updates that I have ever seen in an MMO and that is coming from someone who has been playing them for the last 15 years.
It’s the End of the World As We Know It…
On December 21st 2012 the world ended. Or at least it was supposed to. Many people believed that because the Mayan calendar ended on that day that this somehow mean’t the world was going to end. As someone who studied Anthropology in college I was both amused by the silly idea and entertained. I had, my entire life been declaring that I would see the end of the world while partying. Unfortunately REM wasn’t writing about me, I didn’t feel fine so I missed out on the party. Someone else who missed out on the partying was The Secret World Game Director Joel Bylos. He made a series of video logs back in 2012 documenting his journey through the end of days. It revealed the inner workings of Funcom and their evil plans to profit off the end of the world. Of course in reality the game made the transition to buy to play during that time. And the world survived. Unless of course we’re all just part of Joel’s imagination and he’s still stuck in that bunker surviving on beans and beer…poor Joel.
Not only was this a great way to announce to the world that The Secret World was going buy to play but it was genre appropriate and amusing. And to me at least it was better than all the ARGs, and website banners put together. In the game we faced zombies. Not your average zombie of course, they were Mayan zombies, because who else would they be? Because of all of these things this was my favorite event in The Secret World.
Okay, this is where I admit that The Secret World has flaws. Its ok though, we aren’t perfect and things aren’t always easy. The big controversy recently was of course Mankini-gate. Something which I think unfortunately will live on in the memories of gamers and feminists for some time. And there was the investigation into Funcom surrounding the events of the launch of The Secret World. I had nearly forgotten about that one myself already. These are those little black eyes babies get when they hit the corner of the coffee table when they’re learning to walk. They’re a little awkward to explain while they’re visible but they’re also soon forgotten as awesome things happen.
Everything is Awesome!
And all of that brings us back to present day. The second anniversary of The Secret World has officially come and gone but the in game event is still running. I logged in over the weekend to take part in it myself and was completely overwhelmed by the number of people who came out to fight the giant golems attacking the world. The event channel was going insane with people alerting others about where the attacks were taking place, one very helpful person kept posting information with the coordinates of where the boss fights take place and where to find the lore. I have a feeling I’ll be spending my spare time running around gathering that sweet, sweet lore this week.
Highlight of My Life
Now, I’m not about to say that The Secret World is the highlight of my life. That honor goes to my husband. But there has been a highlight in my TSW life. The sad thing is, I don’t remember all the details. But here is what I do know.
We were in Kingsmouth way back in the early days investigating something. I don’t even know what anymore. What I do remember though was that for that one moment I shined. I was the person who knew the answer. I may have even blogged about it. If only I could remember the name of my in character blog. Who knows, maybe as a TSW anniversary resolution I’ll start writing in it again. When I remember what I called it. But that was my shining moment. A moment in Kingsmouth when I had the answer, when for once I wasn’t there just to mash buttons. It’s pretty safe to say I haven’t had another moment like that since. But that was the highlight of my TSW life.
The Secret World has entered the terrible twos stage now. Hopefully it won’t throw any tantrums, though I would pay money to see Joel do it. We already know a bit about what to expect this year, more Tokyo, more side story packs. We’ve had a fantastic two years so far with The Secret World. And I hope for many more. And in honor of the anniversary of this great game I ask you, dear reader, what has been the highlight of your career in The Secret World? The first person who mentions foot rubs gets banned, from life.