The online debate still rages over what to do about The Secret World. It's an innovative game that many people find un-fun. Lono of Screaming Monkey thinks we send a bad message to the MMO development community by not supporting innovation where we find it. Kemwer rightly points out that the only reason ever to support an endeavor of this sort is that you enjoy playing. Syl over at Raging Monkeys then expounds on the fact that TSW is not the sort of place one would want to settle down in.
Does TSW deserve our money and time? Tobold's Homo economicus says no. I say H.economicus may not have all the info he needs. I am not talking about the people who have tried the game and not liked it. I am talking about the people who might like TSW, but have not been reached, whether because they misunderstood the marketing, were scared away by negativity, or simply haven't heard of the game. For that, the game needs time, and a better understanding of the target audience. It may need lower barriers to entry (read: F2P). Ultimately, we may decide it does not deserve our time and money, and that's OK. What is fun or is not fun is highly subjective. I don't argue that TSW deserves some kind of charity.
I don't play LOTRO because ultimately it wasn't fun for me, but at least I tried it. I know people who think it's very fun, and blog about it besides. I don't generally go to horror movies because I don't enjoy them. I don't watch contemporary character dramas for the same reason. I do enjoy the time I spend playing TSW though. However, it's not "light reading." I like Guild Wars 2 because it is fun and light. I play both. I have limited resources, like most people; therefore these are the only two games I currently play. Other games might be fun, but not fun enough for me devote time or money to.
I think a lot of people looking for "innovation" don't really know what they want. For example, the setting itself of TSW is innovative. Name another MMO with a similar setting. Whether it's a "good" innovation or not remains to be seen. The Ability Wheel is a great innovation, IMHO. But, like much of the rest of the game, there is a nuance to it that may be a little off-putting to those not interested in studying that detail. (Having the preset Decks does help.) The actual combat? Perhaps not so innovative, but certainly not as cringe-worthy as some have made it out to be. Frankly, I find it on a par with most games I have played, and encourages (forces?) movement while not worrying too much about limited range cones and such.
Is TSW buggy? It has some bugs; most have been fixed from what I can tell. Guild Wars 2 has bugs, too. In fact (and I love the game), I have encountered more bugs in GW2 than in TSW. That people dismiss TSW as bad because it has bugs, but praise GW2 despite its bugs, tells me those people are looking for reasons not to like TSW and simply add the bugs to their list.
As Syp pointed out, The Secret World is tacking into the wind. Funcom was somehow hoping for "Mainstream" numbers when they had produced a niche game. Like Syp, I hope they give it time to develop the niche audience it deserves.