Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Legends of the Secret World

Greetings Traveler,

Much like an NPC that just sits in town, I did not go adventuring into Secret World Legends upon its launch a couple months ago. It's hard to tell for sure, but it seems like the core RPers I follow on Twitter have made the transition. No way to know what they actually think without asking directly, which I am reluctant to do for some unknown reason.

I downloaded the game at home before going on a trip last month. But then, it would not start properly. I had to uninstall and reinstall to get it to work. Of course, I was in a hotel at that point, which meant a very slow reinstall from the internet. Then, trying to start my new character was a little frustrating. (a bit NSFW after the break)

The original Samantha Hawthorn
In the end, I could only approximate Dr. Hawthorn's appearance, thanks to the new character creation system.
The new Samantha Hawthorn
After downloading and installing the game  on my trip, I didn't really fire up up SWL for real until last Sunday,. running my new LoneStarBelle through the tutorial. Not an altogether unpleasant experience, but I am struck by the "waste" of it all. I can't say I am going to stick with it for any length of time. My daughter pointed out that, while I claim to love TSW, I spend an awful lot of time complaining about it. Perhaps because I do love it, the flaws I perceive are that much more frustrating.

The new ability system, and least initially, seems OK, if less interesting to tinker with than the Ability Wheel. And the new little mechanics of pistols and shotgun (I chose to be a "Gunslinger") are kind of interesting, if a bit distracting. Using some abilities in pistols causes a sort of roulette of damage buffs for the next few shots, and the shotgun can be reloaded periodically with different shells, including a self-heal series.
But I question whether forcing a specific perspective (the reticle, with a limited camera angle and distance) improves the combat in any way. I guess Scooter and I are in the marked minority in that we both really dislike the reticles. It's what helped us decide to go with WildStar rather than TESO when those two games came out so close together, despite having similar "action combat" mechanics.  The way I typically use my mouse and keyboard are not exactly compatible with moving through a reticle-based point of view. And given how much emphasis Funcom gave to the cosmetic clothing in TSW, it's a shame that it's difficult, if not impossible, to take action screenshots of SWL.

Another frustration was that, initially, very little of my fairly extensive wardrobe made it over in the transfer to the new game. According to the transfer info page, I should have everything except uniforms based on faction rank. I had only a tiny fraction of that, and mostly stuff I purchased in TSW right before executing the transfer. I put in a ticket on Sunday evening and got an autoreply, but never heard from an actual customer service rep. However, upon checking back, it seems most items transferred. I'm missing a couple sunglasses, but I'm beginning to think they were associated with Lumie decks/outfits, and are therefore inaccessible to this new Templar LoneStarBelle.
The TSW TV show news reminds me of "Defiance," that alien invasion game/show that partnered with SyFy. I think Scooter watched the show and found it mildly interesting, but that wasn't enough to generate interest in the game itself, as I recall. The mechanics of the game—reticle-based, designed for game controllers—were certainly a turn-off for us. I mean, I will totally watch The Secret World when it comes out, and it may even rekindle my interest in the game. But it will be a nostalgia for the original, and what could have been.
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  1. I've never been in to shooters, so while I watched Defiance, I never played it. As far as TSW goes, I stopped playing it sometimes during the Tokyo issues. Even bought an issue or 2 that I just never actually played. So I've not installed SWL either, and I guess I don't intend to.

    But I will watch the hell out of an SWL tv show if it comes to fruition.

  2. I have had two longer affairs with TSW, back in 2014 and 2016. The relaunch is a new opportunity, and so far, I like it. Less inventory clutter goes a long way, and I am always a sucker for figuring out new game mechanics. Back then, both times the end game grind was turning me off, as I want story and story-related character progression. The dungeons still have the best mood of all MMORPGs I played, and I can only hope, that this time, story and mood will prevail, and not some AEGIS grindfest. As a plus, I am playing SWL now on a huge VR-screen, and it for sure upps the mood and all the little world details. May it live and prosper happily long and ever (errr, whatever).

    1. I am glad you're enjoying it. A big VR screen would certainly help. Do you have a headset or some other technology? As I said in the post, I think games like this are better with game controllers, but I have never gotten one for my PC. Maybe I should try it out.

      The inventory issue is another thing I hadn't thought about. I eventually turned one of my characters into a mule for raw materials, and I had a ton. And I still had to buy gobs of extra bag space on all my toons.

  3. Glad to see that you had a chance to try out SWL. I think one of the key draws to the game for me remains the social aspect and hanging out in Discord while we run our daily duo scenarios and elite dungeons together.

    1. Yeah, I totally understand the social aspect. Frankly, it's what's kept me involved to the level I am now. ;)