The Secret World - Week IV: A New Hope
The Secret World - Week IV: A New Hope
And here we are boys and girls, the fourth and final installment in my look at The Secret World. You can read the first one here, the second here and the third here. This time around we'll check out the PVP and my final thoughts on the game.
I was disappointed when I first learned that The Secret World would not have PVP servers - all PVP takes place separately from the main game. Intrinsically linked to the story and your character is the struggle between the Dragon, Templar and Illuminati - and yet from the instant you step into Kingsmouth you can team up with people from any faction. Cabals - The Secret World's version of guilds - can only include people from your faction, but if you join a group of random strangers while questing, no restrictions apply.
The lack of PVP is no doubt necessary however, due to The Secret World's single-server-multiple-dimensions approach. When you first boot up a game, you don't choose a server, you choose a dimension to play on - I went with the RP dimension Arcadia to see how RP would play out (everybody ignores it.) Once you are in the game, you can play with people from any dimension - you never have to worry about where your friends built their characters in order to play together.
It's an excellent way of managing things, as it also removes the need for queues to get into the game - if your game is too full or if the dimension goes down, it automatically moves you to another dimension so you can continue playing. PVP likewise draws from all of the available dimensions, meaning wait times are generally non-existent.
All of the PVP for The Secret World takes place in the two Battlefields - Stonehenge and El Dorado - and the one currently released Warzone - Fusang Projects. Battlefields are a fancy name for Arenas pretty much - if you've played PVP on almost any other MMO, you know the score. Stonehenge is a 5v5v5 king of the hill type situation and El Dorado is a 10v10v10 capture the flag type situation. As I have no friends, not even in The Secret World, I only spent a short amount of time in the two Battlefields - with me and various other randoms dying frequently to the properly assembled teams we were up against.
The Fu Sang Projects is a different beast, with support for 'more than 100 players' - in which the three factions duke it out over a huge area for four facilities, attempting to take and then hold all of them. It's also incredibly, unfortunately, obfuscating on why you are there and what you are doing. Jumping in you are presented with map markers for the various facilities and Anima Wells - and nothing else. Here's a tip I learned on my first playthrough - don't run straight for the nearest Facility to try to capture it for your team - you will die.
After coming back to life at one of the Anima Wells held by the Dragon, I spotted several quest markers. Running over and looking at them, they gave me quests to capture the various locations. Facilities, it seems, can only be captured after capturing their associated Anima Wells - otherwise they have a forcefield which will kill you on entry. So I bolted for an Anima Well - and captured it! Not wanting to give up something I'd just won, I hid against a wall, ready to defend it.
A Templar ran up without a care in the world, faced away from me and started capturing it back. Naturally I began attacking immediately - and after a tense half minute she dropped. What an idiot, I thought to myself. I didn't seem to get anything for killing her though - none of the Black Marks which can be used to buy high level gear - and I didn't get anything for defending the point either.
Once I'd healed up, I ran to the next Anima Well, where a fellow Dragon was on the case. I reached him at the same time as an Illuminati, and managed to kill her before she killed my team mate. He captured the well shortly after and I received no Black Marks once again. Nevertheless, with my new friend in tow I ran from the area - into a mass of Illuminati.
At least 20 of them attacked and I dropped in an instant. Re-appearing at the recently captured Anima Well, I only had seconds before I dropped again. Choosing another Anima Well to spawn at, I healed up and tried to take a different well - only to be taken down in two shots by a Templar. This happened in several different locations before I stumbled upon another Dragon and decided to tag along - and realised what was happening. I had been playing it wrong - I was the idiot.
You get Black Marks in FuSang by completing objectives - taking over the objectives. You don't get them for defending, or attacking others, or anything like that - only for taking over the wells and facilities. Naturally, while newcomers like myself will attack various points with abandon, regular PVP players have figured out a much safer and easier way to do it - get everyone from your faction together in a little mob and gang rush an objective. Take it over, rinse repeat.
Your opponents in the other factions will be doing the same to the other points, so all you have to do is stay out of their way while they stay out of yours and you'll both successfully capture the points, getting the marks and moving on. In other words, playing in the FuSang Projects is dull.
Of course, that shouldn't put you off the meat of The Secret World, which lies in the PVE with its excellent, if sometimes broken, quests and story. The latest patch last night updated the game to 1.1, adding the marketplace (which I played with a little this morning - it's currently incredibly broken and littered with trash as most auction houses are when they begin) along with several new quests and content. Excellently, you can play for free this weekend if you're interested in the game - I'd suggest downloading the client as soon as possible given its 14GB size.
After my four weeks with The Secret World, I don't really know how I feel. I still strongly believe that The Secret World, more than any other MMO, needs to ensure all of its quests are bug free due to the puzzles it implicates. Nevertheless, I still love the various settings and occult themes throughout it and its character development is incredibly deep.
The thing is, when I think about the good bits like my favourite missions (The Haunting and A Carnival of Souls in particular) I get a smile on my face and would recommend the game to everyone profusely. When I think about the bad bits however (Something Wicked This Way Comes Iím looking at you), I want to cut myself, or anyone else I can find. But when I really think about it, what did I spend most of my time doing in The Secret World though? Listening to audiobooks and podcasts and grinding. Donít get me wrong - I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks and grinding - I spent 73 hours in Torchlight doing that. I just donít want to pay a monthly fee to do it.
Comments on this Article
Wed 01 Aug 12, 10:55pmt00ts
Posted: Wed 01 Aug 12, 10:55pm
Thu 02 Aug 12, 10:15amlimimi
Posted: Thu 02 Aug 12, 10:15am
Thu 02 Aug 12, 10:57amt00ts
Posted: Thu 02 Aug 12, 10:57am
Thu 02 Aug 12, 10:58amt00ts
Posted: Thu 02 Aug 12, 10:58am
Thu 02 Aug 12, 3:29pmlimimi
Posted: Thu 02 Aug 12, 3:29pm
Post Your Comment
Recent News Entries
Sony announces Australian launch of PlayStation First
Rhode Island putting Kingdoms of Amalur up for sale
Denis Dyack responds to allegations of Silicon Knights mismanagement
The GA Podcast Episode 178 Ė Such Fiscal Beasts
Metal Gear Rising coming to PC, The Legacy Collection coming on July 9th