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The Secret World - New Modern Day Horror MMO by Funcom - Info and player list in first post!

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I've played on a couple of the beta weekends, and whilst I don't tend to put a lot of time in when I know the servers are about to be wiped I like it enough to pre-purchase and see how it goes for the first month. The modern-era setting and Lovecraftian plot make a nice change of pace from the usual Fantasy stuff - I've been playing Tera for the combat, but have barely skimmed the tedious sub-quest text. In comparison, I found all kinds of fun investigation information lying around in TSW which from a horror fans perspective was well worth a read.

I was quite taken with the investigation quests - one required me to find the code for a key lock outside a church, with a fragment of a message letting me know that it was set to the number of the first hymn from the previous week. After looking around for a Hymn sheet or similar, I eventually noticed the Hymn numbers up on boards at the front of the pews. Quest solved. Of course, as you mention this may just lead to chat being filled with repeated requests for this info but at least Funcom are trying something a bit different.

Incidentally, g2play.net are selling this for £28 with instant delivery of the pre-order/head start key and main key delivery on release day - bought it from them yesterday, got the code and got confirmation of head start access for tomorrow.

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I've completely ignored any and all development for this one. I didn't think it'd be any good. I got an email from Funcom yesterday mentioning preordering and the early start on Friday. I had a quick look at some beta footage on Youtube and thought "Why not?" and preordered. It looks interesting enough to fill in some time while I'm waiting for GW2 anyway. I didn't realise it was levelless and classless though. I'm even more interested now.

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Yeah; if anything, the setting and potential for the storylines are very interesting to me. I'll get it, play through it like a single player if I have to, do the investigations and storylines, then unsub if it's no good as an mmo. I think they're brave releasing it as a subs model rather than free to play, though. If it was launched as F2P I bet it would get a lot more people on board given that it's an untested IP from a dev with a shakey resume...

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It's difficult to find good gameplay videos of this on youtube. Everyone posting them seems to be a bunch of cackhanded idiot mouse clickers who appear to never have played a game in their lives. Much like the feeling I get when I watch a Giant Bomb Quicklook and you want to scream at them the thing that they're oblivous to.

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I downloaded the 15GB (or thereabouts) Beta, played about 10 minutes and gave up.

The controls felt incredibly clunky. I'm surprised it's so close to release from what I tried.

The major factor was GW2 though, I just couldn't be arsed investing time in an MMO beta given I've already pre-purchased GW2.

I also had a spare Beta invite going, which I spouted across Twitter and I couldn't even get rid of that!

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Yes - I mentioned as much in my original post but there just seems to be a complete lack of buzz, hype or media for this. Videos are either ones done by Funcom themselves or, as you say, cackhanded idiot mouse clickers who appear to never have played a game in their lives. It's not like SWTOR where leading up to it there was gameplay videos galore to really give you a feel for the game and how it played. I don't understand how they've done the business case for this: subs mmo of an untested IP in a time where 90% of mmos are already or will soon be F2P, a complete lack of marketing or PR. I mean, I'm thankful they haven't gone the SWTOR/RIFT route of trying to show how unlike WoW they are in order to generate interest, but they seem to have gone too far the other way and put some kind of media blackout on the whole thing. I'd be interested to see what their estimated figures/Return on Investment for it would be, as we all know most MMOs make the biggest chunk of their revenue from release where people are paying the box cost. With the seeming focus on 'dress up however you want!', you think there'd be a ripe F2P model there with cosmetic upgrades available for purchase through some in-game shop but they seem to have completely ignored this.

Odd choices indeed, but we'll see how it goes...

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I downloaded the 15GB (or thereabouts) Beta, played about 10 minutes and gave up.

The controls felt incredibly clunky. I'm surprised it's so close to release from what I tried.

The major factor was GW2 though, I just couldn't be arsed investing time in an MMO beta given I've already pre-purchased GW2.

I also had a spare Beta invite going, which I spouted across Twitter and I couldn't even get rid of that!

Top-cat generously donated a code to me this last weekend but I didn't have time to play at all, sadly.

Whilst I'm really looking forward to GW2 and all the innovations it promises (whether it delivers remains to be seen, obviously), the setting and style of Secret World are far more interesting to me than yet another fantasy themed MMO. I've never been one for traditional fantasy, really, but it just happens that all the better MMOs follow that formula so you're kind of stuck with it and then, when something innovative comes out (APB, Hellgate and to a lesser extent, SWTOR), it's usually complete shite.

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I tried the open beta at the weekend. I played Conan briefly and enjoyed it (a year or 2 after release so it was mostly fixed), it looked good and played pretty well so I thought this might be ok. Unfortunately it looked terrible (probably low res textures for beta but that doesn't really explain how bad it looks) and played even worse. I tried out a couple of characters but didn't get very far with either before stopping because I wasn't have any fun.

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They've gone for an odd skill/class system which probably doesn't help people when starting off. After the tutorial (skipable) you're forced to pick a weapon which forms the basis for your initial skill selection, but it doesn't do much of a job of telling you how each weapon will affect your eventual role - it's much more like a sandbox MMO in that way, but the game itself still relies on the usual questing structure. Once I got out of London and into Innsmouth Kingsmouth and earned a few skill points things started to become both a bit clearer and more interesting.

The engine definitely felt it need of some optimisation, but as I'm playing under Boot Camp I don't really expect the graphics performance of a decent gaming PC.

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I quite enjoyed it - the first zone in the beta (after the tutorial) felt like it was a zombie movie - a town under seige with barricades and zombies attacking the defenders, and the main quest was focused on investigating the cause of the outbreak. The quest system is designed to encourage people to wander off since there are (iirc) 3 types of quests, and you can only ever have one of each type. Quite a few quest hand ins occurred outside of the town (or main quest hub) and often you'd see quests as you're exploring so it wasn't like WoW where you'd pick up ten or so quests from a new town and then wait until you'd finished them all before handing in.

It's a bit annoying not being able to pick up more than one type of quest purely beacuse theres often more than one available, but once you get over that it works very well. I much preferred it to Guild Wars 2s system as TSW actually has much more of a story and the cutscenes made you feel much more involved. GW2 decended into just opening up the map and running towards the next heart with no motivation behind it other than "xp!".

You have skill points which you can spend to improve your abilitiy with a specific weapon (pistols, rifles, shotguns, swords, fists, etc) and you earn ability points (which I think have a fancy name) that you use to buy new abilities, some of which are passive. Like GW2 though there is some PR bullshit (in the same way that GW2 still has the holy trinity despite them claiming it doesnt) because TSW does sort of have levels, you still get experience from mobs and you still "ding" but how it works is that every third of a level you get either an SP or AP (can't remember which), so you can make progress much more quickly. What's different actually is that I think it's possible once you've played for 30 hours to go back to the starter zone, equip crap gear and level up new weapon skills and as far as I know it will be just as challenging as the first time you did it. Every quest I believe can be repeated the next day and I don't think your max health goes up when you "level", so in theory it would be like starting a new character.

Anyway, I quite enjoyed it and would definitely have bought it if I had the time. Having said that, when I played it a month or so ago it didn't feel like it was ready to launch yet and I'm not sure that a month is long enough to improve it. It was a bit clunky and needed to be optimized a bit more.

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Loved it. Tried it the first BWE and gave up due to constant crashes, bad performance, GW2 hype and just generally not liking it at all. Missed BWE2 out and then redownloaded it for the third BWE and just clicked with it. THe tutorial is bad, like really really shit. The game doesn't give you hardly any help or explains pretty much anything at all, but if you can stick with it it gets really, really rewarding IMO.

Running around with a fire axe (hammer wep) and a sawn off shotgun, battering the fuck out of zombies, Deep Ones and all manner of spectres and spooks and lumbering and burlap bag masked scarecrows carrying childrens dolls and chainsaws.

There are some genuinely nice touches with it and most of the VA is top notch. As are the graphics in DX11 (an MMO with tessalation!) but some of the animations/textures are a bit ropey.

Also, due to the 'one server' system they're using, it won't matter what dimension any mukkers pick, as long as we know each others names we can team up and do the grp stuff :)

It's not WoW though; it really, really isnt. Stay away if that's your ideal MMO.

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Good impressions both, thanks. I'm going to buy it and if it's shit cancel after the first month, just in time for Guild Wars 2 release (28th August guys!)

I personally don't want another wow-clone. I've got wow for that. I want something totally different but in the trappings of an MMO and this sounds right up my dark alley filled with creeps, monsters and a faint aroma of piss, so count me in!

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Well I've done one dungeon (Polaris - an abandoned cargo ship washed up along with the fog that's plaguing Kingsmouth) and it was great, maybe a touch on the short side but a good introduction to the dungeons. The second one is supposed to be hard (set in Hell) so I think that part of the game will be fine. I like the combat as it's a bit slower, but no auto attacking, casting while moving and active dodge make it enough of a change to not be a problem for me. Storyline and settings are all good and the PvP was good (didn't try the arenas but Fusan Projects which is the persistant three faction battleground was good so again, that isn't an area that I'm worried about.

Bottom line for me, is that Funcom will only screw this up by either putting P2W stuff in the cash shop (promised they won't), being slow to release content (say they have 7 years of stuff lined but have heard it all before from Bioware) or the population plummets and it dies within months.

I'm actually a bit gutted that I've already paid for GW2 TBH. :mellow:

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Incidentally, g2play.net are selling this for £28 with instant delivery of the pre-order/head start key and main key delivery on release day - bought it from them yesterday, got the code and got confirmation of head start access for tomorrow.

Are g2play.net reliable? I've never heard of them, but I'm interested in that price since it's £35+ everywhere else...

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Also, while the game is kinda 'classless' Funcom have put up some build suggestions called Decks on the skill wheel. Basically, if you're like me and totally bewildered by glancing, weakened, impaired, penetrated ( :eyebrows:) and all the other effects and how they marry up together, then these decks can either substitute as a class for the less adventurous, or be used to modify your own build. You're under no obligation to use anything pre-defined if you don't want to but seeing as you can effectively have a full tank, dps, support, heal and solo build as long as you have the AP to buy the skills and can switch between them on a whim, you might find they're helpful to stop you getting totally overwhelmed by all the options.

Oh, and they're faction specific and award you with the outfit of said deck when you complete it.

Personally, I'm totally rocking the Illuminate Merc :)

http://yokaiblog.wik...s:faction-decks

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Can Illuminati/Templars/Dragon team up or are you bound to your own faction?

Cus I totally want to be a Templar Paladin...

Yep, able to everything together bar faction quests and PvP :)

It's not a tank though! You'll be breaking the mould of a lifetime ;)

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People with block,avoidance and aggro generating skills/gear. Let's be honest, there aren't defined classes as such, but however you try and spin it (the same is true for GW2) you still need someone to stop the people trying to stop others from dying by boosting their health (see how vague I'm being? ;)) getting wailed on by monsters, and you still need people to whittle down said monsters health as quickly as possible.

It's all a lot more nebulous than the normal defined roles in 99% of other MMO's but roles do need to be taken still in groups/organised PvP; in fact, Funcom themselves have stated that on elite mode dungeons and such, you'll need several builds saved to switch between as the - one tank, one healer, three dps - approach won't work. How much is mechanics and how much is PR bluster remains to be seen.

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I've been watching some vids and I'm kinda hoping the animations have been beefed up a bit - everything lacks weight and I saw a character get knocked on their ass and then just spring back to their feet with no intervening animation - it looks terrible. Please tell me shit like that has been fixed already?!?

I mean, you watch vids like this one below and it doesn't look like anything is hitting anything else! The spells, the melee, the monsters...none of them seem to have any interaction with each other. No flinching, no sign of being smacked by a weird 18ft tall creature, no sign of said creature being lit on fire or reacting to lightning...

[media=]

Shit like that totally ruins games for me. :(

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Combat animations have been one of the major causes for concern on the official boards too. I know that zombies can be set on fire for instance, but whether this means all normal mobs can I don't know.

I think that they'll be changing stuff of the stuff because you're right, there is a lack of weight in the attacks and I'm surprised about that because AoC was great in that regard.

Part of the reason I told you to try the BWE before -pre-ordering ;)

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Are g2play.net reliable? I've never heard of them, but I'm interested in that price since it's £35+ everywhere else...

I've bought from them a couple of times and never had any problems - I've had a couple of Steam keys in the past, and then bought this yesterday. After I'd sent payment I was able to download a .zip with the headstart key (registerd on my account with no problems), and then they'll send a scan of the box key when the game is released.

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Alright, pre-ordered and got my code and in the process of downloading the early access client. Reserved the name Kelsten, as always, so shout me tomorrow when you guys are on. Sadly tomorrow will be the only chance I get to play as we have company all weekend and my wife's birthday early next week, so Wednesday will be the first day I actually get to sit down and spend some quality time with it, but what with no levels etc, I don't have to worry about being left behind, right? ;)

One question; does the game have real money transactions at all?

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Alright, pre-ordered and got my code and in the process of downloading the early access client. Reserved the name Kelsten, as always, so shout me tomorrow when you guys are on. Sadly tomorrow will be the only chance I get to play as we have company all weekend and my wife's birthday early next week, so Wednesday will be the first day I actually get to sit down and spend some quality time with it, but what with no levels etc, I don't have to worry about being left behind, right? ;)

One question; does the game have real money transactions at all?

No, if anyone does get passed you zone wise, they can always come back and re-run dungeons etc with you with a new set of weapons and they'll be at your level; in fact, it's an ideal way to level up multiple skills without impinging or outleveling your current spec.

Yes. There are vanity pets, xp potions (1hr ones, you know the drill) clothes and possibly extra character slots (not sure if that's an in game one) to buy with cash money. There are however, clothes stores in game that take the in game currency (pax romana).

You get four character slots and given there are three factions and you can eventually have every skill with every weapon and five (I think) slots to switch between, I've no idea why anyone would need to buy additional slots, but I guess some folks will.

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Just read early access is based on when you registered your code. Bummer. Guess I'll see you all Wednesday, then!

Up for sorting out some kind of Muk guild for us all to group in and do dungeons/quests together etc.

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Nah. If you pre-ordered the game they've said that you'll get in on Friday.

The Secret World will launch on July 3rd. Everyone who has pre-ordered the game will however get access four days earlier on June 29th. Anyone with a pre-order will be able to get into the game at 16:00 GMT (18:00 CEST, noon EDT, 9am PDT). Players who placed their pre-orders early and anyone with the Grand Master Pack will get access on June 29th even earlier.

Every account eligible for Early Access will receive an e-mail at the time when the account is opened up for access so make sure you check your e-mails frequently on June 29th.

And a MUK cabal sounds good to me :)

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At the risk of stating the obvious, I'm going to write down a few things for the people who are playing for the first time, that I wish I'd known.

'V' is area loot

The only time you can see and hear certain things, is when you're dead. So eyes and ears open.

At the Kingsmouth Police Station, there is a biker guy with a broken shotgun on the table. Do this quest as it explains (in very basic terms) how to craft. It is the only thing that does other than going on the forums/asking in chat.

After you've been to your faction armoury and done all nine of the weapon quests to get the 2AP and 2SP points, you get to chose your starter weapon. Go see your faction handler and then go back to the armoury to get your second wep.

It's already been mentioned, but there are no quests hubs. You're supposed to be running all over the map and back again so don't dwell in one area.

All faction hubs are open to all factions and AFAIK, London is the only one with a bank, so don't bother looking too hard in New York or Seoul for one.

Try and get a skill that build resources for both your weapons and have a consumer from each type on your skill bar.

'Dry zombies' (you'll understand if you visit Norma) are the departed dead in the church graveyard. Not a spoiler, but other than the church code it was the most frequently asked question in chat in both BWE I did.

Dr. Shark is going to hatehatehate the CC. You can't change the height or weight or your character, and it's just a selection of pre-sets (bad ones at that) so you're not going to be making a facsimile of yourself this time dude :P

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