Well, another beta weekend is swinging to an end and I delved into The Secret World again, perhaps because I’m desperate, I don’t know. This time I did some running around the non-combat areas to see what I could see.
There is a building called Tabula Rasa in the London area which, given the name and the general lack of content, appears to have been set aside for socialising. I say socialising rather than role-play because it’s small and a bar. Compared to the original Pocket D in City of Heroes, Tabula Rasa is minute; it’s a handwave to non-combat gaming. I was unable to find anything similar in Seoul or New York. (New York seemed very under-developed in general, nowhere near as detailed as the other cities, though the scenery was kind of good.)
For secret societies of mystic awesomeness, the various factions are pretty damn visible. The Templers occupy a huge area of London with great big flags hung all over the place. That seemed odd. Not very secret. The Secret World seems more like The Appears On the Nightly News World.
The stability seemed better. Better, but by no means perfect. I still had one total machine crash and several freezes in a few hours of playing. On the bright side, I actually managed to die due to my own stupidity this time around. There’s supposed to be a built-in web browser which you can use to research clues on investigative missions. It didn’t work and I had to resort to checking for something on my laptop.
I doubt many people would follow my recommendation on this, but I’d wait for a few patches before jumping into this game. Better yet, wait until they decide to go free-to-play, because they will. The storylines seem engaging, though I get the feeling the execution would bug me after a while. They’ve gone for atmosphere over logic, which is going to work for all the folks who couldn’t care less about the world as long as they get to head-shoot zombies.