4. It’s an inconvenient world
It’s actually easy to get lost and feel lost in The Secret World. The game isn’t very helpful about this, either. Much of what you do in TSW is a little new and a little different than other MMOs. Sure, it’s the same old gather quests and kill mobs formula, but the way you pick up your quests is dependent on how much exploring you do. In other MMOs you can usually pull up the map and see there are a few quests in the vicinity. If you pull up the map in TSW, it doesn’t show you where quests are that you haven’t found.
That’s okay; it adds to the feeling of exploration, but there really needs to be some explanation about this. Especially since you might miss some important quests early on, if you’re just focusing on your story quests.
For instance, there’s a “side” quest – Zen and the Art of Shotgun Maintenance – that teaches you crafting. It’s a critical quest if you want to learn how to craft, but you could walk right by it without even picking it up. In fact, since you only have a limit of 3 side quests you can have open at any one time, your quest log might be too full and you might decide you don’t need to do it.
That’s the problem with a lot of TSW – it leaves too much for the player to discover. It doesn’t even tell you how to get your mail, which is at the bank for some strange reason. Or that the vendors are at the Chemist’s. There are some basic things in MMOs that need to be pointed out to new players and TSW doesn’t do this.
It’s also hard to get around. You can use the Agartha Conduit to take you to different zones, but once you’re in a zone, you have to run, everywhere. You have super powers, but evidently teleporting isn’t one of them. Often you’ll find yourself on the outskirts of a zone and you’ll have to run all the way back to the other side. It’s a tad tiresome.
The game also launched without any convenience tools gamers are starting to expect in MMOs. There’s no group finder. You do that the old-fashioned way, by advertising in the “Looking for Group” channel. There’s no guild finder, so you’ll have to post and hunt through the forums or spam general chat if you’re trying to find one. There are no companions nor pets, though you do get familiars, so maybe that counts.
And there are “features” that are simply aggravating. Your inventory is very large, too large, probably, and it’s not organized. After a while, it fills up with all your crafting stuff and random drops and it quickly gets hard to find things. Plus you have to use your bag as a side panel. Evidently, the UI doesn’t support more slots for potions, so you have to make a new bag and drag your pots over to the bag. Then you leave that bag open on your screen and you have to click on the pot you need when you’re in combat. All very primitive.
The Secret World takes the whole secret thing a tad too far. Too much is left for the player to figure out, so it’s easy for players to get lost. It’s a bit difficult to get around and there aren’t any convenience tools that make the gaming experience easier, so players can focus on gaming. And some “features” make the game unnecessarily more difficult.
It’s a very inconvenient world.
Reason 5, tomorrow.