March gaming, week 4 – getting kicked around & wrapping it all up

tsw the secret world

Wait, it’s almost Easter? It doesn’t look like that around here, considering the fact that we still have snow and a biting cold at night. Oh well, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that March is almost over, and so is my time with The Secret World. My final week in Funcom’s little gem was all about getting my pretty butt handed to me in PvP, and looking back at my time in this monster-infested world. So, read on to find out my final verdict of this game (or check out the previous weeks)!

Big in Japan…ehh, China
Before I start, let me tell you that I suck in PvP. My personal theory is that I have some Canadian blood in my veins, making me too polite to slaughter people mercilessly. If any MMO would ever reward me for being a nice guy and offering my fellow players cups of tea and excuses, I would win so hard. Sadly, TSW’s PvP is all about three-way matches between the factions, which are all about slaughter and mayhem, and not love and respect.

PvP can be done on three maps: the two warzones of El Dorado and Stonehenge, and the persistent PvP map of Fusang Projects. For some reason, I just didn’t get into El Dorado, so the experiences I’m about to describe are about Stonehenge and Fusang. The warzones are similar to WoW’s battlegrounds: instanced, short and intense PvP battles with different objectives. My Stonehenge matches never lasted longer than fifteen minutes. Short, action-packed battles are something I really enjoy, since I can do a few every night before going to bed.

tsw the secret world fusang projects

Unlike El Dorado and Stonehenge, Fusang Projects is a persistent PvP map, where the factions fight for control of an abandoned Chinese city. The map is pretty big, but you’re never far from the action. The game gets kind of boring when one faction dominates the map, but due to some nifty mechanics, the underdogs always have a chance to shine and make a comeback. In the last week, I’ve seen control of the map change hands pretty often, which is good in my opinion.

One thing that makes PvP in TSW stand out is the fact that three instead of two factions are involved. This makes combat somewhat more dynamic, since you could be hacking away at the health of a Dragon player together with an Illuminati, just to be killed by the Illuminati as soon as your common enemy is down. Especially in Fusang, the fact that it’s three factions fighting for control makes the battles really unpredictable, as the third faction might grab some land while the other two are fighting over some landmark. Three-faction action is the future of MMORPG PvP, and TSW shows you why!

All in all, PvP in this game is pretty cool, no matter how often I get killed by the cool kids. Hey, the bees make sure I can come back with a vengeance!

So, after a month of playing TSW intensively, what is there to say for and against it? Well, for starters, I am convinced that The Secret World has the best and most original setting you will find. The perfect blend between elements of the real and mythical world is fantastic, and the atmosphere is superb. Furthermore, NPC’s are unique and entertaining. You will start to love, hate and adore the different persons you meet along your journey. Really, I would love to have a beer or two with Said or Cassandra…

That being said, TSW has a lot of issues. The animation feels awkward from time to time, and the actual gameplay is fairly standard. Even though the Ability Wheel and freeform character building gives you a lot of freedom, the game still clinges to the old trinity. While the dungeons and PvP are fun, they are nothing new on a mechanical level. SW dares to try something new with the setting, but it remains really traditional when it comes to the actual gameplay.

Still, I will certainly keep an eye on this game, while continuing my journey on my character as well. I’m not sure yet which game will be my choice for April Gaming, but if you have any suggestions, hit me up on Twitter or leave a comment!

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