It’s another week, so of course it’s time to abandon the last game and switch to another! This time we’ve landed on Secret World Legends in the Great MMORPG Weekly Roulette Wheel. (RIFT Prime and EverQuest were the previous winners.)
I started SWL with everyone else when it launched, and made a character very similar to my old The Secret World character-a shotgun/hammer Illuminati guy. (The shotgun/hammer build was required for me to stay alive after Blue Mountain in TSW.) I wasn’t impressed by the game at first (mainly because it’s essentially the same game that I’ve already played), but I plodded along in Kingsmouth for a while. At least until I hit the point where you can’t continue the main quest before you reach level 14 (which occurs around level 12, when you’re supposed to follow Joe Slater into the sewer). That’s when I completely stalled out of the game and stopped playing, because it felt like a tedious slog to get just two levels.
The news that Funcom would be launching the long-awaited continuation of the Secret World story, post-Tokyo, on April 4 inspired me to log in again.
This time, I made a brand new Templar and picked the “Assassin” class, which uses a Blade and Elementalism. I could never make these work in The Old Secret World, but it feels incredibly easy-mode and overpowered in SWL. I don’t know if it’s the class or some other changes they’ve made to make SWL faster and easier to level, but suddenly the game feels a whole lot more fun than it did at launch. Too much combat in SWL (and definitely in The Old Secret World) tends to drag the game down to the point of severe annoyance, and with this class now I feel like I’m just flying through the combat effortlessly, so I can focus all of my attention on what really matters about this game-watching the cut scenes, listening to the voice acting, and reading the Mission Report text from R. Sonnac in a fake UK accent.
The cut scenes in SWL are fascinating to me. I love the fact that the little vignette that plays out at the start of every mission often has nothing whatsoever to do with your quest objectives. The NPC usually never asks you to do anything. They just tell you a little story. Sometimes it makes sense and sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s almost always funny and/or interesting, and I almost always end up wanting to know more about the NPC (instead of wanting to traipse off to do the quest). Deputy Andy is one of the early textbook examples in the game. “Oh it’s just a normal town and everything’s fine around here. My dad drowned some kittens once. How are you?”
I am finding it a little hard to follow the Dawning of an Endless Night story as I get into Blue Mountain, though. I don’t remember if it was like that in The Old Secret World or not. The basic gist is that we’re Following A Guy. It seems like that should be straightforward, but the trail right now (at level 26) is taking us in seemingly unrelated directions (Blue Mountain mine, Eleanor Franklin’s husband, Sasquatch Glade, etc.). It doesn’t seem like there should be that many detours when you’re just Following A Guy.
Alas, my dreams of zipping quickly through the entire MMORPG in a few hours have died completely, so I’m not going to be ready for Dawn of the Morninglight. Never neglect your favorite MMORPGs, kids!* Anyway, it’s interesting to view the Dawning of an Endless Night story with the knowledge of where the game is going.
* Actually, it’s fine to neglect any MMORPG.