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The Secret World Forum » Beta Reviews & Impressions [ARCHIVED] » TSW Review from a BETA Tester [short]

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75 posts found
  Fadedbomb

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/19/06
Posts: 2149

 
OP  6/24/12 10:54:32 PM#1

So essentially I promised a long & drawn out review of TSW a couple months back after the NDA dropped (which it has), however after reading around the forum since then I've concluded that people have pretty much already made up their minds by now (as with SWTOR, and TERA). So I won't bother with a long-winded approach.

 

Therefore, a short summary:

~~~[Gameplay]~~~ (MMO-Score: 5, SinglePlayer Score: 9)

When TSW is played as a "Single Player game with Online/Coop elements" it really shines, but as an "MMO" it falls flat. I've been in the beta for the past 3 months and I've seen rises & falls up until last week. All I can say here is that, again, the single-player storyline is AMAZING, but when you start trying to team up for everything you see glaring potholes all throughout the journey that simply doesn't work well as an MMO, or quite simply falls on its face. I won't even delve the combat animations, sounds, and effects all of which are sub-par for such a highly funded project.

 

~~~[Skill System]~~~ (MMO-Score: 6SinglePlayer Score: 7)

TSW's take on "classes" is to use an Open-Purchasable skill wheel that allows you to unlock EVERYTHING but only mix & match certain skills. The problem here is that, when you begin, it seems awesome & completely original. However, a month or two in you realize that the developers have already pre-thought out all of the possibly good combinations & only made X number of actual combinations worth doing. This leads you to a sort of "psuedo sick" feeling when you realize its not as open as they claim it is. If you don't believe me you'll understand if you purchase retail & play for about a month or two. Don't say I didn't warn you :).

 

~~~[Leveling]~~~ (MMO-Score: 5SinglePlayer Score: 6)

What can I say here? Very linear by design, and once you leave the first area of Egypt you might start asking yourself "What am I actually doing this for?". I found that I was going back through from BlueMountains all the way to Transylvania rushing missions as fast as possible to get X number of AP an hour on about month 3 as I had already experienced ALL the content from Egypt to Kingsmouth, but at the time Transylvania hadn't been completed (the zones past the first village area). Some more content may have been added but the linear system is still there. Sorry if you disagree, but it's pretty much a more open-ended SWTOR in terms of leveling where you can go back to repeat quests after X amount of time, but that's about as far as it goes. 

Grinding missions, instances, and certain named mobs gets VERY boring after awhile, and I doubt their version of "Massive Battlegrounds" will keep you interested for very long without more linear content to drive you.

 

ps: Linear being Solomon's Isle (3 zones) -> Egypt (2 zones) -> Transylvania''s 3 zones all from easiest to hardest in terms of difficulty & progression. This is how its designed, and demanding others play differently because you refuse to admit to yourself that its almost, if not completely, as linear as SWTOR is a little "off key".

 

~~~[PvP]~~~ (MMO-Score: 4)

I have nothing other than to say more of the same Battlegrounds nonsense. Coming from a UO, DAOC, Shadowbane, EQ-Zek, SWG background I wasn't impressed whatsoever. Flavour of the Month builds are rampant & you see all of the top killers in each area have the same build, more than most. 

 

 

Overall:

MMO: 5

SinglePlayer Game: 7.3 (PVP omitted for obvious reasons)

 

 

I enjoyed the storyline & the quests more than I have in any online game in the past, however if you're going to do such a fantastic job on the Story aspect of an MMO make sure its done in a way that doesn't make you feel like you're playing a SinglePlayer RPG like Mass Effect. 

 

As an MMO, I believe Funcom dropped the ball...again. I'm just not sure why they're in the MMO market when they're clearly more suited towards SinglePlayer RPGs. 

 

 

I brought up similar issues with SWTOR a month or so before its release, and although I gave it a MUCH lower average score than TSW I was told I didn't know what I was talking about or I was just "another hater". Please understand that I give every product I test a fair chance, but in the end I feel I always represent the product for what it IS and what it is NOT. 

 

Thank you for reading :)!

The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  Mage_Francis

Novice Member

Joined: 2/03/12
Posts: 53

6/24/12 11:05:04 PM#2

Were you in the closed beta or the weekend beta's?

  Stx11

Novice Member

Joined: 11/28/09
Posts: 420

6/24/12 11:08:45 PM#3

Oooh, BCBully is going to be all over you...

until he becomes TSW's version of DarkPony >.>

It took me 2 weeks in Beta to come to the same conclusion as you about The Skill Wheel.

Rather than see this better done as a Single Player game, I wish they had made it a SP-CoOp Game closer to GW1 (not GW2, not talking about that here :P). I think both TSW and SWTOR would've worked much better in that format - less "farming mobs" with more focus on challenging encounters, investigation/stealth missions, and the cool idea of either working through the story solo or with a small team of "Investigators" (i.e. your friends/groupmates). They could've even kept PvP as it is and it would work fine.

The story and setting is really cool - but as an MMO... I'm just not feeling it :P 

  heartless

Novice Member

Joined: 1/05/04
Posts: 5057

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. -Carl Sagan

6/24/12 11:44:40 PM#4
Originally posted by Stx11

Oooh, BCBully is going to be all over you...

until he becomes TSW's version of DarkPony >.>

It took me 2 weeks in Beta to come to the same conclusion as you about The Skill Wheel.

Rather than see this better done as a Single Player game, I wish they had made it a SP-CoOp Game closer to GW1 (not GW2, not talking about that here :P). I think both TSW and SWTOR would've worked much better in that format - less "farming mobs" with more focus on challenging encounters, investigation/stealth missions, and the cool idea of either working through the story solo or with a small team of "Investigators" (i.e. your friends/groupmates). They could've even kept PvP as it is and it would work fine.

The story and setting is really cool - but as an MMO... I'm just not feeling it :P 

Agreed completely. The game could've been much better with more emphasis on investigation rather than combat and when it came time to fight, the fights should have been hard and rewarding. Instead, we're mowing down zombies and other nasty critters by the hundreds. It cheapens the feel of the game, in my opinion.

The game doesn't really work well as an MMO but would be great as a coop game like GW1 and Diablo.

With that said, I did pre-order, mostly because the lore intrigued me. Ragnar really does know his stuff when it comes to creating interesting stories. Also, if the game provides me with enough content to last the free month, I would consider it a good purchase, especially since it only cost me $30.

  xmenty

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/22/10
Posts: 691

6/24/12 11:59:31 PM#5

Or it would be cool if they make the gameplay like "Supernatural" tv show.

No damn mage, just firepower or melee and if you have to use magic you have to find a book and

recite it to banish the demon or evil.

PVP = COD / MW lol. 

Also it would be cool if you could play a demon if you want choose to join Evil factions like ( Alien, marines and predator )?

Pardon my English as it is not my 1st language :)

  Rollcage8

Novice Member

Joined: 3/29/12
Posts: 62

6/25/12 12:09:49 AM#6

Thanks for the write up. 

Having only tested the beta weekends and nothing long term it was a nice quick read.

As far as the ability wheel having limited options, this doesnt bother me as classes are still far more limiting and create a system of "alts" in order to change playstyle. So to me the benefit is having 1 character with everything unlocked and completely adaptable to the task on the fly, the amount of builds there may possibly be doesn't really impact this at all. 

  Synthetick

Guru

Joined: 2/03/07
Posts: 997

6/25/12 12:14:21 AM#7
Originally posted by xmenty

Or it would be cool if they make the gameplay like "Supernatural" tv show.

No damn mage, just firepower or melee and if you have to use magic you have to find a book and

recite it to banish the demon or evil.

PVP = COD / MW lol. 

Also it would be cool if you could play a demon if you want choose to join Evil factions like ( Alien, marines and predator )?

You must be forgetting where Sam and a bunch of other people had WTFMAGIC going on all over the place. Remember Yelloweyes and the season one storyline!?

 

Also, with the statements about the class combinations, it is quite disappointing if what you say is true, which it probably is, because I have yet to play an MMO that boasts classless or open-ended character development and them not have cookie-cutter builds that min/maxed your character. It's just how long it takes everyone to figure out what those FOTM specs/builds/setups/decks/insertgameterminologyhere.

Still, I do enjoy having flexibility, tho. Regardless of whether there is a cap on the flexibility and the depth involved. If it takes two months to really start feeling it, they did two months better than most titles.

  Kuppa

Novice Member

Joined: 9/24/10
Posts: 3443

The problem with censorship is ********

6/25/12 12:15:41 AM#8

You take on the skill system was probably the most interesting thing. I wonder how it will work out on release, what I do know is that very soon your gonna get some harsh words directed your way.....


  fervor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/13/07
Posts: 145

6/25/12 12:30:19 AM#9

I just started playing this weekend, and I can definitely see where the OP is coming from with his assessment of the game.

BUT

It doesn't bother me.

Just for the setting, storyline and the fun of figuring out the skill wheel, it's worth the $40 to me.  If I get a month or two of gameplay, it's totally worth it.

If the game is better than I expect and I find a home there, that's even better.  But ya, I have to admit that I'm approaching TSW as more of a single player adventure game.

The similarities with SWTOR are pretty obvious (heavy focus on story, which limits replayability and makes it hard to create new content).  Many people will probably stop playing after a month or few.

  Draemos

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/10
Posts: 1459

6/25/12 12:35:15 AM#10

As a closed beta tester myself, this is an accurate review.

  Cetra

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/05/04
Posts: 371

6/25/12 12:50:12 AM#11

TSW is fun for one playthrough for the story and setting. Thats about it. There are no alt to roll to experience the game on a new class. You just keep grinding for points. I hate how you have to "LEVEL" your weapon and gear. Its frustrating when you just want to try out some new weapons for fun and distraction. You got a shiny new talisman but cant use it because of rank. I barely have enough points just to keep up my weapons. Lack of interesting spells or abilities. Every skills is apply this, apply tat when this is applied.

PVP is a huge disappointment. All maps are boring dull bland. Fusang is actually just a glorifiy node capture battlefield with persistent mode"on". Nothing close to the scale and depth of daoc/war rvr or gw2 wvw. Stonehenge and Eldorado is mediocre.

  mbd1968

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/21/07
Posts: 1926

6/25/12 1:03:06 AM#12

I only did the OB this weekend and felt very meh... I think I will come back in 3 months to see if it's improved. For me, the only thing it offers is a modern setting, the skill wheel is an alternative to just picking your class and leveling it, just done in a different way.

  Zuvielify

Novice Member

Joined: 12/07/11
Posts: 170

6/25/12 1:03:50 AM#13

I gave TSW an honest try this weekend. I thought this game looked interesting enough to try.

However, after about 1 hour I uninstalled. Combat is so old school. I just can't do it anymore. Even swtor has more interesting combat. I got mobbed by about 5 zombies and then stood there systematically killing them. It was just boring. 

Otherwise, the story looked interesting, but I just can't get past the combat

  SlavojZizek

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/18/12
Posts: 50

6/25/12 1:07:15 AM#14

 

 

Absolutely, the Beta 4 was awesome. The best ever Beta experience I have had. TSW shows much promise and is already well on its way to being the most innovative and creative MMO for a decade or more.

  SlavojZizek

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/18/12
Posts: 50

6/25/12 1:09:21 AM#15
Originally posted by Fadedbomb

 

~~~[Leveling]~~~ (MMO-Score: 5SinglePlayer Score: 6)

What can I say here? Very linear by design, and once you leave the first area of Egypt you might start asking yourself "What am I actually doing this for?".

 

 

He didn't play it because the zones he talks about Egypt are not open for Beta 4 weekend. And Egypt is not the first zone, its Kingsmouth. [mod edit]

  Connmacart

Novice Member

Joined: 2/24/12
Posts: 693

6/25/12 1:18:42 AM#16
Originally posted by SlavojZizek
Originally posted by Fadedbomb

 

~~~[Leveling]~~~ (MMO-Score: 5SinglePlayer Score: 6)

What can I say here? Very linear by design, and once you leave the first area of Egypt you might start asking yourself "What am I actually doing this for?".

 

 

He didn't play it because the zones he talks about Egypt are not open for Beta 4 weekend. And Egypt is not the first zone, its Kingsmouth. 

[mod edit]

[mod edit]. He's not saying the first area is in egypt, but I know reading can be difficult. He's saying after you have done the first area in Egypt you might start questioning why.

People have been invited into closed beta left and right by Funcom. You know where most of the testing is done. Think before you post next time.

  thePREdiger

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/03
Posts: 152

6/25/12 1:20:21 AM#17

I was happy to see a MMO having a 3-side RvR modell. DAoC had it and it was awesome (imo best pvp experience ever).

TSW looked pomising and the factions inviting but my expectations were utterly destroyed with 15 mins in the game (beta weekend).

the gameplay felt as something is missing and the char animations werent really great. UI is looking like someone put

some icons together and was happy with the 1st version.

 

After my experiences with AoC and FUNCOM I can gladly skip this one. Sadly there is no MMO coming soon that sparks

interest. GW2 is just another AION without wings (same as TERA) - unless you like korean style.

 

  Deathofsage

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/11/11
Posts: 1010

Honestly:
FFXI Fanboy
RIFT hater.
Stop rewarding wow-clones.

6/25/12 1:20:27 AM#18
Originally posted by Fadedbomb

~~~[Gameplay]~~~ (MMO-Score: 5, SinglePlayer Score: 9)

When TSW is played as a "Single Player game with Online/Coop elements" it really shines, but as an "MMO" it falls flat. I've been in the beta for the past 3 months and I've seen rises & falls up until last week. All I can say here is that, again, the single-player storyline is AMAZING, but when you start trying to team up for everything you see glaring potholes all throughout the journey that simply doesn't work well as an MMO, or quite simply falls on its face. I won't even delve the combat animations, sounds, and effects all of which are sub-par for such a highly funded project.

Would you agree that the problem is the silly solo instances?

Those solo instances are often long (I believe Franklin Mansion's time traveling quest is a solo instance, but so is that Sasquatch quest). There are many solo quests. In past experiences, impromptu "Hey^^, we're on the same qline, team up?" groups dissolve when the group is forced into those instances.

I didn't enjoy the combat at all soloing, so I invited a friend to CB and as we both like tanking, but I've already tried tanking in TSW, he went hammer/chaos and I went shotgun chaos. I bleed out AOE and everything dies quickly.

We come up on some of these solo instances though, and they take considerably longer for him to finish.

Now, I can only imagine what it would be like if our combo was healer/dps. 

Fans of the skill system will say he can just switch his deck, but he's spent all his points in his two weapons, as I have. For someone to be strong enough for their current zone, and have multiple weapons skilled (3+), early in the game, there's going to be a lot of repeating quests.

But ok, it's not terrible for him to have to solo things.. but again.. for a healer.. it would be nastier.

TL;DR: They could entirely sidestep this issue by dumping solo instances and allowing multiple people in. It would be more than acceptable if the instances scaled in difficulty. The two of us are plenty stronger than twice either one's strength. He keeps threat and doesn't die. I lay waste to many faces.

Yes, I spend some time hating on TSW. I was a fan, and really enjoy the questing but the combat killed the fun. All that is true (for me), but I still honestly have no idea what the deal with the solo content is. It certainly doesn't teach you how to play your class, as any hard feat will be done in groups anyway, and all it does is break the MM off MMORPG.

edit: Sorry I said "class".. how about "chosen skillset".

Spec'ing properly is a gateway drug.
12 Million People have been meter spammed in heroics.
Placing bets Blizzard's "Titan" will be a wow-clone.

  nilden

Novice Member

Joined: 4/26/05
Posts: 886

6/25/12 1:54:38 AM#19

It says a lot when your including a single player score. None of which is good. Just like breaking up groups for solo instances.

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LoveMinecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer

  aesperus

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 4749

6/25/12 2:17:14 AM#20
Originally posted by nilden

It says a lot when your including a single player score. None of which is good. Just like breaking up groups for solo instances.

True, he does have a very good point, and I think this is one of the most objective reviews of TSW we've seen so far.

-----

The game is indeed amazing when you approach it like a single player game. It reminders me a lot of Dreamfall, but maybe a bit less clunky. The story is intriguing (which is one of the reasons I really want to like this game), but if you look at it at an MMO, in any way, it's shortcomings start to become glaring.

Perhaps the most dissapointing thing is the OP projects it'll take people roughly a month to realize this. I think it'll actually take most people less time. It's summer, a lot of people have more free time than usual, plus most people have already played through 20% of the game already.

And sadly, I've already started seeing a lot of cookie cutter builds in the public beta as well. It's amazing how many blade / chaos, or ele / blood builds I ran into. Also a ton of AR builds, but almost always the same exact skills. The only thing that seemed to separate my build (ele / blood nuker) from others I found was I dropped Thor's Hammer for Blaze, and I equipped a CC breaker which many people seemed to forget was there.

If this game was single player co-op I'd buy it in a heart beat. Hell I really enjoy games like that. Left 4 dead was a ton of fun. So was Guild Wars 1. But as an MMO, with a sub, there's just too many issues. Still has a LOT of annoying bugs (omg trying to change loadouts in PvP is still frustrating as all hell), the story is something I only want to play through once, and the PvP is already getting stale for me.

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