The Secret World Beta Weekend

I went into this beta weekend for “The Secret World” expecting to collect some material about the mechanics of the game. Last time I played I hadn’t touched tradeskills and didn’t pay to much attention to combat and or skills in general, either. Guess what? I didn’t get around to gather more facts. Instead I solved puzzles, listened to voice overs and pushed dialog buttons to take in more and more of the great story this game is telling their players.
Savage Coast

Competing secret societies are meddling in the world’s affairs, fighting each other and common enemies. Powerful mega corporations and powerless and corrupt political organisations are players as well. It’s never really clear if you fight paranormal activities or you are looking at failed experiments of the other involved parties. It isn’t clear if the experiments have failed, either. Chaos is introduced, just to learn how the system reacts. Every conspiracy theory is true, the water supply has been messed with, and they are ready to attach a tracking device to your spine anytime.

That’s what differentiates this game from all other MMO’s. The setting is unique and the story is unique. Do not approach it as a hack and slash game, don’t ask about the endgame. Sit back and enjoy the show, push that dialogue button again a few more times and pay attention. Take copious notes. You may need that information, or it hides yet another conspiracy.

There are more differences to other MMORPG’s. The game doesn’t have any classes nor levels. Only skills and abilities. These will improve over time and more abilities can be added. Your class is determined by the abilities you choose. Of interest is the fact that you are allowed to put only 7 active and 7 passive abilities into your hotbars. Skill levels replace classic levels, but with much more granularity, since those levels exist for almost ever type of equipment, weapons, talismans, belts and rings.

Other reviewers have complained about the quality of combat. I didn’t pay much attention, I just played. There is PVP, but I haven’t checked it myself. I’m just not interested in it. I still need to explore tradeskills. The basic mechanics are there, but what you can do with the items you collect isn’t fully clear, yet.

There will be another beta weekend starting this Friday, lets find out if I’ll collect more facts about the game or get lost in the content.

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