Recently The Secret World joined the massive hordes of MMO’s that have switched over to a F2P model. For 30 bucks, I figured it was worth checking out, so I spent a day downloading and started myself a new character. While I can say that there are many minor annoyances which I will get into later, TSW definitely lives up to the fun, and I can only say: I wish I’d picked it up sooner.
Since I got to shoot a handy assault rifle in my introduction to the game, I figured I’d stick to that, and set myself up a Templar gunslinger and started exploring. There’s a ton to explore, and I really enjoy stumbling across pieces of lore as I roam across the landscape. With plenty of main quests, side quests, and the dungeon or two under my belt, I thought I was flying pretty fancy. Until I discovered that I didn’t exactly have a game-plan for my skills, and absolutely no idea what the hell I was doing.
You see, you get these fancy scroll wheels which are awesome. You can have up to 7 active and 7 passive abilities, and through expert management and some luck you can create a powerhouse for anything imaginable.
Unless you suck yourself into a survivability build which can’t damage a kitten, but isn’t exactly a healer either. And you never take the repeated hints from the loading screens to equip a secondary weapon. Oops.
So I rolled a new character thinking I could give myself some much needed time to re-evaluate. And when I did I discovered this *cough, cough* completely hidden panel on the left of my ability screen with all kinds of nifty starter builds to get me started. This time, I’m not finding myself sucked into some metaphorical jackrabbit hole of possibilities because I’m choosing to pace myself. Stick to the main build until I’ve firmly mastered enough other skills to create myself a complete (and hopefully) effective build. And if not, I can just load my starter deck back up. Yay!
I’ll admit, I still haven’t found a use for a shop yet except as a repair depot, but hopefully that knowledge will come to me one day. Until then, I’m currently working on mastering the crafting system, an on-the-road do-it-yourself creation shop that can be done in the comfort of any glade that you’ve cleared of the minions of shadow.
My only major gripe is the amount of time I spend criss-crossing various locales as I pick up new main quests while completing side quests, and really…isn’t there a way to coordinate these?! I’m also a little spastic in my fear that I’ll overlook some vitally awesome quest that happens to be lying in the mud somewhere, or buried under a decaying carcass, but I’m busy enough thus far not to be too anal-retentive and actually find a quest database to cross reference my completed list with all the possibilities.
The other thing I’m having a bit of trouble with is the numerous (and male-oriented) quest scenes. While I think it’s cute that so many women desperately want to make me lose focus through sultry inneundo (good luck with that ladies), it does get old after awhile. Why isn’t that cute cowboy trying to give me an affectionate shoulder squeeze and suggesting after all this mess is cleared up we can start a nice ranch somewhere, huh?
All in all, it’s a really enjoyable game so far, and has a wonderfully gritty, modern feel. While I can’t say I’m home, it’s definitely a step in the right direction!