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Funcom | Play Now
MMORPG | Genre:Real Life | Status:Final  (rel 07/03/12)  | Pub:Funcom
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The Secret World Forum » Beta Reviews & Impressions [ARCHIVED] » One more review, trying to be objective

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25 posts found
  ericbelser

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/11/08
Posts: 790

 
OP  6/22/12 12:51:02 PM#1

Okay, some quick background for those who don't remember me...

I've been playing MMOs since the early days of EQ (and muds before that), I've played nearly every western market MMO since then. I was in the open betas for both Anarchy Online and Age of Conan...and made it into the closed beta for The Secret World.

I have made no secret of the fact that I really dislike the management of FunCom; I was a raving fanboi in the AO beta and then spent months being crushed under the astounding ineptitude that marked that launch and first year or more of the game. I then watched FC management make many of the same mistakes launching AoC...and did my "I told you so" dance...I came into TSW prepared to love the genre, story and concept...and be very unhappy with FC's inept handling of it...So with all that out of the way, here goes:

First and foremost, TSW *IS* playable - as remarkable as it is to say that, it is in a much better state in terms of performance and stability than either AO or AoC was pre-launch. It still has significant bugs, but what hasn't at launch? Server side issues and lag will most likely still be a problem for them as FC still seems astoundingly inept at network code/server management but even there is has done better on stress tests than either previous game.  Lower end systems will have problems with it even on the lowest settings - I really think they should have raised their minimum system specs.

Biggest flaw: I can only describe the whole thing as looking and feeling dated. It looks like an MMO that should have been out 5+ years ago. Gfx overall are good but not really cutting edge, character customization sucks and a lot of other little issues with appearance. Gameplay is missing a lot of 'expected' features for a modern MMO and the GUI is pretty horrid. 

Character advancement: It is interesting, but not even close to as free form as advertised. There are 18 basic skill trees which lead to more advanced options...but it is purely linear. You have to buy all the precursor skills to unlock an upper level etc. Similarly, while it doesn't have 'levels'...it really does. You have to level up support skills that determine your gear allowed, attack values and so on all of which combine to be levels by any other name.

Character diversity/builds: Again, this is a mixed bag...there are a LOT more builds than most other games, but not as many as FC and some supporters claim. Because you are limited to 7 active and 7 passive abilities at any one time and there are a lot of functionally duplicate abilities there really aren't the thousands of viable builds that some claim. The ability to load/swap different builds helps this a lot however...if you like swapping roles around a lot.

Combat: Is all basically melee ranged; the 'ranged' attacks top out at 22m...which is just silly. I found it too faced paced, button mashing and circle strafing...I also never really found any 'level appropriate' area difficult aside from the occasional issue caused by bugs.

Crafting: Sucks...just an opinion but I found it annoying and cumbersome (very minecraft like or so I am told) and yet essential...you have to keep your gear properly upgrade to do well and crafting is often the only way.

Social/RP support: I was really unhappy with the lack of housing, good guild support and other elements that would help make the game more social....they may intend all this to be done through facebook and/or the in-game browser.

Questing: The TSW questing system is a relatively minor rework of the standard...there are a couple different kinds of quests but you can only have one of most types going at once. The starter zone has a fairly standard quest hub feel, but it gets better as you progress. This system has been modified a couple of times late in beta and might still be changing...it's not a really big deal to me either way.

Lore/Story atmosphere: This is where the game fails the most for me; learning 'secret' lore about the Illuminati shouldn't be chasing a glowy sign in the air behind a bush to a 'lore clue' and collecting it...there was a lot of this sort of disconnect for me where they couldn't seem to firmly decide between a standard MMO experience and a better rp/puzzle game sort of model for the lore. They flop around between the options badly leaving the overall feel of the game sort of muddled to me. One day you have to know an obscure real world fact and/or do a lot of online research to find a clue to break into a secret hideout...the next you chase some stupid glowy rock on a beach to do the same thing...

The cut scenes and voice overs stop being interesting fast...they aren't that well done (low quality and your character just stands there looking stupid in them)...after the first few times you get killed listening to one, you'll esc out of them. All the zones feel crowded to me, rapidly loosing any sense of horror and becoming the standard MMO target rich environment pretty quick.

All of which is kind of a shame, because the writing is generally well done and interesting.

So for the TL;DR summary:

It will be mostly playable on launch

It has some good points, many people will be happy with it

But it is not really anything that new or amazing, doesn't live up to what I wanted it to be

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  BioNut

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/14/08
Posts: 427

6/22/12 12:54:12 PM#2

 

"The cut scenes and voice overs stop being interesting fast...they aren't that well done (low quality and your character just stands there looking stupid in them)...after the first few times you get killed listening to one, you'll esc out of them. All the zones feel crowded to me, rapidly loosing any sense of horror and becoming the standard MMO target rich environment pretty quick.

All of which is kind of a shame, because the writing is generally well done and interesting."

 

 

This is a contradiciton.  The cut scenes are made up of the generally well done and interesting writing.  

 

 

lol

 

"I have made no secret of the fact that I really dislike the management of FunCom"

 

 

That alone make it impossible for you to look at a game objectively.

Playing: Tera, BF3, ME3

Waiting on: Guild Wars 2

  User Deleted
6/22/12 12:54:53 PM#3

Dated graphics?  The game makes use of the most modern graphical effects and even had a team of nvidia engineers working on it.  Were you not in DX11 or on a system that required lowering the settings?

  BioNut

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/14/08
Posts: 427

6/22/12 12:56:26 PM#4
Originally posted by Crunchy221

Dated graphics?  The game makes use of the most modern graphical effects and even had a team of nvidia engineers working on it.  Were you not in DX11 or on a system that required lowering the settings?

I have found the tesselation and Ambient Occlusion to be quite good.

 

I still hate FXAA, wish it was MLAA. 

 

That said the gameworld is stunning and atmospheric. The character models are a bit lacking though...

Playing: Tera, BF3, ME3

Waiting on: Guild Wars 2

  ericbelser

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/11/08
Posts: 790

 
OP  6/22/12 12:57:00 PM#5
Originally posted by BioNut

 

"The cut scenes and voice overs stop being interesting fast...they aren't that well done (low quality and your character just stands there looking stupid in them)...after the first few times you get killed listening to one, you'll esc out of them. All the zones feel crowded to me, rapidly loosing any sense of horror and becoming the standard MMO target rich environment pretty quick.

All of which is kind of a shame, because the writing is generally well done and interesting."

 

 

This is a contradiciton.  The cut scenes are made up of the generally well done and interesting writing.  

 

 

lol

Actually it's not; the animation in the cutscnes is wooden and stilted the GFX sucks frankly and isn't even always properly synched with the voice over.

The voice over themselves often have badly done accents or pacing problems.

What they say is fine; how they say it and how they look saying it is terribly done

  Aerowyn

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 7969

6/22/12 1:00:47 PM#6
Originally posted by BioNut
Originally posted by Crunchy221

Dated graphics?  The game makes use of the most modern graphical effects and even had a team of nvidia engineers working on it.  Were you not in DX11 or on a system that required lowering the settings?

I have found the tesselation and Ambient Occlusion to be quite good.

 

I still hate FXAA, wish it was MLAA. 

 

That said the gameworld is stunning and atmospheric. The character models are a bit lacking though...

they said for launch you will be able to force other forms of AA through your respective graphics card control panels so you aren't stuck with just FXAA, I agree just FXAA in this game blows for AA

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  BioNut

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/14/08
Posts: 427

6/22/12 1:00:55 PM#7
Originally posted by ericbelser
Originally posted by BioNut

 

"The cut scenes and voice overs stop being interesting fast...they aren't that well done (low quality and your character just stands there looking stupid in them)...after the first few times you get killed listening to one, you'll esc out of them. All the zones feel crowded to me, rapidly loosing any sense of horror and becoming the standard MMO target rich environment pretty quick.

All of which is kind of a shame, because the writing is generally well done and interesting."

 

 

This is a contradiciton.  The cut scenes are made up of the generally well done and interesting writing.  

 

 

lol

Actually it's not; the animation in the cutscnes is wooden and stilted the GFX sucks frankly and isn't even always properly synched with the voice over.

The voice over themselves often have badly done accents or pacing problems.

What they say is fine; how they say it and how they look saying it is terribly done

 

News flash: You can turn off voices and just read what they are saying!

 

I don't disagree with the poor character models though. They over normal mapped them and used rather low poly models (I am guessing by the obvious traingles visable that these models are around 5k traingles.)

For reference, Dom in Gears of War 3 was 18k triangles (9k polygons).

GW2 models seem to be in the 8-10k triangle range. 

Playing: Tera, BF3, ME3

Waiting on: Guild Wars 2

  Candomble

Novice Member

Joined: 7/15/11
Posts: 167

6/22/12 1:04:31 PM#8

Another boring wall of text... my real question is: is there one single person capable of reading this so-called reviews? 

To anyone interested, if you want to know more about TSW, test it and create your own opinion.

  User Deleted
6/22/12 1:06:11 PM#9
Originally posted by BioNut
Originally posted by Crunchy221

Dated graphics?  The game makes use of the most modern graphical effects and even had a team of nvidia engineers working on it.  Were you not in DX11 or on a system that required lowering the settings?

I have found the tesselation and Ambient Occlusion to be quite good.

 

I still hate FXAA, wish it was MLAA. 

 

That said the gameworld is stunning and atmospheric. The character models are a bit lacking though...

 

I was commenting on the OP review saying the game looks like it should have come out 5 years ago...which is crazy.

  BioNut

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/14/08
Posts: 427

6/22/12 1:11:15 PM#10
Originally posted by Crunchy221
Originally posted by BioNut
Originally posted by Crunchy221

Dated graphics?  The game makes use of the most modern graphical effects and even had a team of nvidia engineers working on it.  Were you not in DX11 or on a system that required lowering the settings?

I have found the tesselation and Ambient Occlusion to be quite good.

 

I still hate FXAA, wish it was MLAA. 

 

That said the gameworld is stunning and atmospheric. The character models are a bit lacking though...

 

I was commenting on the OP review saying the game looks like it should have come out 5 years ago...which is crazy.

 

I was adding to what you said, not arguing with you :P . 

Playing: Tera, BF3, ME3

Waiting on: Guild Wars 2

  User Deleted
6/22/12 1:19:21 PM#11
Originally posted by BioNut
Originally posted by Crunchy221
Originally posted by BioNut
Originally posted by Crunchy221

Dated graphics?  The game makes use of the most modern graphical effects and even had a team of nvidia engineers working on it.  Were you not in DX11 or on a system that required lowering the settings?

I have found the tesselation and Ambient Occlusion to be quite good.

 

I still hate FXAA, wish it was MLAA. 

 

That said the gameworld is stunning and atmospheric. The character models are a bit lacking though...

 

I was commenting on the OP review saying the game looks like it should have come out 5 years ago...which is crazy.

 

I was adding to what you said, not arguing with you :P . 

 

c'mon lets argue...

 

your no fun...

  NorseGod

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/28/12
Posts: 573

6/22/12 1:23:55 PM#12

Not a reply to the OP, but generaly speaking:

 

It's a themepark for a very niche crowd, that isn't trying to compete with other games or appeal to most people.

I think PvE is fun.

The quests are different in an interesting way.

Not sure if I like the crafting.

PVP is the same waiting on a que which magically warps you to a BG where you cap nodes.

 

 

  User Deleted
6/22/12 1:33:54 PM#13
Originally posted by NorseGod

Not a reply to the OP, but generaly speaking:

 

It's a themepark for a very niche crowd, that isn't trying to compete with other games or appeal to most people.

I think PvE is fun.

The quests are different in an interesting way.

Not sure if I like the crafting.

PVP is the same waiting on a que which magically warps you to a BG where you cap nodes.

 

 

You know crafting kind of put me off at first.

Untill i learned i was able to upgrade current weapons, i did have to look up patterns...which i thought was something off the chart diffrent in terms of crafting...just arrange the mats into a diffrent basic shape and bam something diffrent...did take some time to realize i had to look those shapes up or at a minimum remember the shape of the item i was disassembling.

After a while it great, i just disassemble what i dont want to sell, stock pile the mats, refine, then when i have enough i can upgrade...no buying skills, or methodically pumping out crap to skill up my crafts...no being locked out of a certain craft type...no having to stand at a forge for hours ect...just refine the mats and make..dropped enchants help make better ect.

I almost would have preferd the Anarchy crafting system, but that involed a whole lot of random mob drops...and the quality level vaired so much between drops from the same mob...and you could only stack of the same QL type..and you needed the recipebot it was so complex...

 

 

  L0C0Man

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/30/09
Posts: 919

6/22/12 1:36:07 PM#14
Originally posted by BioNut

 

"The cut scenes and voice overs stop being interesting fast...they aren't that well done (low quality and your character just stands there looking stupid in them)...after the first few times you get killed listening to one, you'll esc out of them. All the zones feel crowded to me, rapidly loosing any sense of horror and becoming the standard MMO target rich environment pretty quick.

All of which is kind of a shame, because the writing is generally well done and interesting."

 

 

This is a contradiciton.  The cut scenes are made up of the generally well done and interesting writing.  

 

 

lol

 

"I have made no secret of the fact that I really dislike the management of FunCom"

 

 

That alone make it impossible for you to look at a game objectively.

Still I understand what he means there because I do agree with him, except with the part of them not being well done and interesting, I do believe they are very well done even if my character looks awkward just standing there staring without saying a thing (actually I do remember someone in kingmouth that comments on that... "you're not much of a talker, eh?"). However, after the 4th time going trough kingsmouth (once for each beta weekend, twice for two characters in closed beta) I did find a point where I was just going trough the motions without thinking because I had done it all before.

Also, I don't see a problem about disliking the management of a company and liking a game made by them. Personally the fact that was Funcom was (for me) one point against getting this game on release, coming from Age of Conan, but after playing the closed beta and beta weekends I do believe the game is going to be released in a relatively polished state.

What can men do against such reckless hate?

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

6/22/12 1:41:26 PM#15
Lol pvp isn't all mini games.

Fusang is like a WvW map without the pve mobs.
  NorseGod

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/28/12
Posts: 573

6/22/12 1:42:20 PM#16

Yeah, that's basically my experience as well. I don't know what my opinion of it is yet.

  Aerowyn

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 7969

6/22/12 1:47:18 PM#17
Originally posted by ShakyMo
Lol pvp isn't all mini games.

Fusang is like a WvW map without the pve mobs.

there are PVE mobs big giant ass ones

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  gwei1984

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/22/12
Posts: 349

6/22/12 2:30:31 PM#18
Omg. What a nice trolling wall of text. Are you so afraid, that this good game could have more subscribers than you thought? Pathetic.

Hodor!

  ericbelser

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/11/08
Posts: 790

 
OP  6/22/12 3:46:13 PM#19
Originally posted by gwei1984
Omg. What a nice trolling wall of text. Are you so afraid, that this good game could have more subscribers than you thought? Pathetic.

This part of it is also predictable and the same as both previous funcom releases...say anything less than glowing about the game and you might as well have the flame suit on first. (It's as inevitable as the rumors of a 'secret build' that FC has in internal testing that fixes everything)

I actually hope the game does well; it is a 'non traditional' MMO in that it is well outside the standard fantasy box and I'd like it do well on that basis alone.  I was reluctantly forced to give it much better marks on performance than I was expecting. I actually think the launch will be significantly smoother than I was expecting and that reflects a significant improvement for FunCom.

If you don't want a wall of text, only read reviews of Pong...any MMO had better be complex enough to deserve more than a token few comments.

 

 

 

  MMO_REVIEWER

Novice Member

Joined: 8/20/09
Posts: 374

MMO's are the ark of the gaming world. let it take us in new directions

6/22/12 3:48:52 PM#20

I liked the game a lot, but I was just put off by a few things. I think while I was in that first area It felt more like a zombie shoot-em-up than anything. I agree with the comments about the cutscenes. The dialogue is very well written, but the delivery is lacking in some areas. And the fact that your character has no voice and just mindlessly listens to whatever verbal abuse is thrown at them is uninspiring.

MMO's are the ark of the gaming world. Let it take us in new directions.

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