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The Secret World Column: Bee Yourself

By Shannon Doyle on July 22, 2014

While doing my regular forum browse on the official forums for The Secret World I came across someone who was looking for a roleplaying group. They laid out their character concept and called it boring. But I don’t think it is boring, in fact I think it could possibly be one of the most interesting ideas out there. You see, his character is himself.

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I’ve done something like this myself more than once. The first time was back in the golden era of City of Heroes. I lead a Supergroup which the entire idea of was that you were yourself, but with super powers. So of course you got to play one of Facebook’s favorite games and work out what kind of super powers you would want to have and then you made yourself in the game. As it turned out a lot of people had trouble with the concept. Gamers aren’t exactly known for their physical prowess and I suppose the imagination can only go so far. Or maybe they just imagined themselves in spandex. I’m pretty sure that would have killed it for me too. Needless to say the group didn’t live long and my poor character, whatever her name was, soon got deleted to fuel my alt addiction.

My second attempt at this concept is actually my main character in The Secret World. Oddly though I never intended for her to be me. And she isn’t exactly me; she’s more of an idealized version of me. Originally from California, dating an Irish guy, and a gamer (all me). But also works as a game developer and is blonde (I wish). While my Irish partner in crime(fighting) ended up doing something quite similar and made an idealized version of himself. If you’ve read this column before chances are you’ve seen him. He’s the handsome Templar who features in many of the screenshots I include for these articles. Of course in real life I don’t have huge claws to tear people to shreds with and I seem to have left my magic healing chaos powers in my fantasy pants. I’m not even sure those would be the abilities I would want to have if I had the misfortune of living in The Secret World. I say misfortune because that is one messed up, crazy world. And my Templar partner would almost certainly get more than just a few looks if he walked down the street with a giant hammer strapped to his back.

The Secret World is perhaps the best MMO there has ever been to be yourself in. Though you could also give an honorable mention to The Matrix Online. Why is it so perfect? The Secret World is now. Not only is it now it isn’t a huge stretch from reality. Though I don’t recommend swallowing bees. There are people who roleplay their characters on Twitter, Facebook, and even keep blogs. This isn’t even taking into account the Twitter accounts for famous NPCs like Nassir, Richard Sonnac, and even The Buzzing. Basically, it isn’t a huge stretch of the imagination to get yourself into The Secret World. Grab some weapons, pretend you’ve swallowed a magic power granting bee and join the first secret society that knocks on your door.

Ah, if only it were that easy. There is of course the problem of what weapons to pick! Penny (TSW me) uses claws and a chaos focus. I picked those when I first started the game back at launch and I’ve stuck with them. Though I will be changing that up as the pair don’t need the heals the same way we did when there were more of us playing. But I’m willing to admit it, I wouldn’t get within biting range of zombies. Oh no, if I were in The Secret World I would have started off ranged. Most likely an assault rifle or pistols. Maybe Elemental as a fall back. The thing is, I know myself, and I’m a chicken. I would be the person climbing trees to hide out in while other people ran into the fight. But I’d also be the sniper on the roof watching your back and getting out those headshots. You know, I might try that combo out and let Penny be me for a while.

On a side note completely unrelated but totally worthy of mention. It seems back in early 2013 Nassir hosted a dance party. They even went so far as to teach him how to dance Gangnam Style. You can find an hour long video of the entire event on youtube. But that is a whole lot of dancing to watch. We need to make Nassir Dance Party 2014 happen. Developers, you may be on vacation but I am coming after you to make this a reality! Check out one of the photos taken at last year’s event! Oh how I wish I had been there. Who doesn’t want to dance with Nassir?

But, back on to the topic at hand, there is another question that must be answered. If you were in The Secret World, which faction would you belong to? Back before the game launched there was a quiz that would tell you which faction you belonged in. It told me I was a Dragon so when I rolled up Penny she was a Dragon. As it turns out they’re really not a good match for me. I might be better suited for the Illuminati. Which is a strange sentence to type out. (As an added bonus I’d like to say that Illuminati isn’t a recognized word on Microsoft Word, conspiracy anyone?)

So I’m going to finish out this week’s column by asking the question, do you play yourself in The Secret World? And even if you don’t, what weapons would you use if you did? What faction would you belong to? Don’t be afraid to be a chicken. Being a chicken means you stay alive. Remember folks, sleep with your mouth closed and don’t accept rides from strangers.

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