In our last thrilling episode, our hero had finally made his way to Kingsmouth, via the most curious of travel arrangements, and battled his way through a slight zombie outbreak to the Sheriff’s office.
I first make my way onto the roof of the building, where deputies are keeping the zombies at bay with well-times rifle-shots. Deputy Andy has an action mission, but I figure I ought to check out what’s going on inside the office before I decide what tasks to take next.
I can see a few item missions lying around, but first I want to talk to the person in charge, Sheriff Helen Bannerman. I figure the best thing for me to do first is help Deputy Andy ensure the security of this safe haven.
Part 4 wants me to investigate the source of the zombie attacks, right down the other end of Elm Street. None of the item missions in the office seem to be down Elm Street, but I pick them up anyway. I’ve seen some folks quite annoyed that the Kingsmouth map uses Comic Sans, but they rather missed the point.
The end of Elm Street looks out over the beach, and I realise that the zombies are just a side-effect. Sheriff Bannerman has decided it might be a good idea to hook up some surveilance equipment, so as to get a bit of advanced warning as to when the next zombie assault is going to begin. If I’ve learned anything in my long dealings with the forces of darkness, it is that you should probably not go into the basement.
Fortunately, he’s made the painfully common mistake of using extremely visible red lasers for his trip-wires. Now I know what I need to avoid, it’s not too tricky to make my way around the chamber, with a bit of jumping, to get to the switch which will hopefully turn the security lasers off. I think I’ve found a clever way around it for a moment, only to be blocked by an invisible wall.
I thought I’d try one of the investigation missions that folks have been talking about.
For those who want to get the most out of their Secret World experience we have an optional Membership available. The Grandmaster pack includes all these benefits and gets an additional 10% discount to everything in the in-game store, for a total bonus of 20%. Through the month of December we have a special offer where we give 30% off on the first purchase on the 3, 6 and 12 month Membership plans. Anyhows, for everyone who didn’t buy a life account, this change is a 100% positive no-grumbles thing.
Update from Twitter, where we’ve been having quite a discussion on the topic of lifetime accounts. For me, the decision to get a lifetime sub is based on whether or not I think that’ll get me most value for money. Yes, lifers now get $10 of shop credit a month, but shop items are not what lifers thought they were buying when they signed up. At the very least, customers deserve to be told, at the time of purchase, what their lifetime subscription would be turned into in the event of the game becoming subscriptionless. As I discovered yesterday, being decked out in QL 9 and 10 gear does not render you as invincible on Solomon Island as you might think, and I still managed to get myself killed in the Blue Mountains when I swept back to finish off a mission I’d found too much for me previously.
There was a state of the game letter yesterday, and I was excited to learn that Funcom are planning monthly updates as part of our subscription. The Secret World: A Quick UpdateThe Secret World went into head-start a little over a week ago now, and I have been deep into my investigations of all that is strange and spooky. I’ve not done much with PVP or the group dungeons yet, other than one jaunt into Polaris with a few twitter friends. When we last saw our hero, he was trapped in the Crucible by a particularly unpleasant bug. Stepping into the Temple, I head over to Richard Sonnac’s office, just across the hall. Not only does this scoundrel have glasses with clear lenses, he is also the first person I have met that is not using the standard super-fit body shape. I have encountered a large number of NPCs who feel like they ought to be selling things, but it may well be that I’m still considered to be in the tutorial, and those options have not yet been opened up to me. The platform that I arrive on also has portals to Seoul and New York, though I do not seem to be able to use those, yet at any rate.
I stepped through the portal to Kingsmouth, and at that moment I think I finally arrived in the real game. Sabotage missions are also called Stealth missions, and they also sound fun, with the emphasis being on sneaking around and not being noticed.
For now though, I have an Action mission to take care of, which handily takes me in the direction of town and the Sheriff’s office anyway. This is all for the sake of science, so now we try setting some on fire with some discarded petrol cans. Ugh, I was hoping the spell effect might look a little more sacred, and a little less blood. The Secret World Beta Bonanza Part 6 – The Naked JapeContinuing on from Part 5, where I was last seen trying to decide which weapon skill I should pursue.
I realise, with a sudden sense of loss, that I no longer have my shotgun, nor any of the incredible powers that I so recently possessed. Since The Secret World is such a massive game, Game On decided to split reviewing the game up into several smaller weekly diaries rather than review the whole game based on a few days of play. We briefly discussed The Secret Worlda€™s modern day horror setting in our first game diary, but the world and narrative is the gamea€™s strongest point and thus worth discussing with a bit more depth.
Like most massively multiplayer online games, The Secret World is a pastiche of the tropes of its genre.
This also extends into the design of The Secret World's different zones, with each area of the game expanding the gamea€™s scope of references while bringing a new spin on the horrific universe youa€™re inhabiting. As you venture out to the edges of the town, however, the sphere of thematic influences expands in a pretty fantastic way.
While this does mean that players who come into the Secret World late will never be able to experience the game as it exists right now, Secret Worlda€™s developers seem more excited than scared by this possibility.
Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores.
PCWorld helps you navigate the PC ecosystem to find the products you want and the advice you need to get the job done. Hmm, that sounds a bit on the dangerous side, so maybe I should see what other missions I can pick up that I might be able to work on while I’d over that way. The maps, just like everything else, are supposed to be actual items from the area, and this one does a good job of evoking the local atmosphere. While checking the details in my mission log, I notice that Elm Street Blues is repeatable on a 24 hour timer.
They’re presumably being summoned as cannon-fodder by all the sea monsters that are rampaging around. Sabotage missions are supposed to involve some sneaking around, but it might be a while til we get to that. I shall not be defeated by a janitor armed with a thousand laser pointers and some dynamite!

At one point you have to do something so counter to everything you’ve ever learned in an MMO (or indeed in real life, come to think of it) that it did not occur to me, and I had to go seek help. I don’t want to spoil things too much for myself when the game launches on the 19th of June. The Secret World, inspired no doubt by the success of Guild Wars 2, is going subscription free. In these times where games go F2P or subless within a year of launch, Lifetime subs are a terrible idea. At least it is so long as it attracts enough new players to compensate for all of the folks, myself included, who will now cancel our subscriptions, and simply buy the updates when they come along. Vampires to the left of you, werewolves to the right, and it hardly ever stops raining, a lot like the weather in Norwich at the moment.
The first will be on the 31st of July, and will mostly involve adding more investigation missions throughout the zones. I am very proud that I have so far managed to solve them all myself, and they are, alongside the story, what makes Secret World so compelling for me. It looks to me that none of the group content will not be soloable regardless of how powerful I get, so I shall have to bite the bullet and potter along on further excursions.
The stories and content are fantastic, but I am not sure there is sufficient quantity for the long-term, though that depends on how quickly you devour it, and your tolerance for repeating missions.
Once again, Templar are the only playable faction, but some extra content has been unlocked in New England, though the chances of me reaching it, at the rate I do these things, is quite minimal. I am happy to report that he was able to get back into the Temple without difficulty this time, though there are people still experiencing the problem on the forum. The Templar Club seems an interesting place, with a few conversable NPCs (which don’t all seem to be working quite right yet).
I’m about to turn away when I realise that I have 10 million coins, presumably to assist in my beta testing. I am consumed with wrath and jealousy that he has taken such amazing gifts, and then chosen to wear such a horrible suit with it. I’ve found 12 of the 15 Templar lore items, and I suspect the others are hiding here somewhere if I continue searching.
Within it I found the entrance to the Fight Club, where you can reportedly engage in PvP with other folks in an arena-like manner. I’ve just been playing too much Guild Wars, and have forgotten how to think in terms of jumping.
I have spent just enough time resisting the order to travel to Solomon Island that I feel sufficiently rebellious for now. There are bees, which makes me immediately mistrustful, but my orders are to step into it, so here we go. Apparently we Secret Worlders do not bother ourselves with such things as trains and aircraft. Regardless of whoever else might be using the facilities, I am proud to say that it is under the stewardship of that most reliable of beings, a Victorian-era British Stationmaster, and he is pleased to explain to me many of the most fascinating details about his charge.
It’s basically Call of Cthulhu set in the Old West, and I played it with great glee for several years. The distinction is important, because you can only have one of any given type of mission on the go at a time. Of those, I am particularly looking forward to investigation missions, which, I’m told, require a fair amount of puzzle solving.
It seems he was sent out to get more ammunition for the Sheriff’s office, but never quite made it. Oddly, they’ve been carrying PAX, which is the strange currency used by us secret world types. All the weapon skills seem quite decent, though something with a bit of range might prove to be most useful for me at this point. This week wea€™ll be discussing the gamea€™s story and how ita€™s unique take on questing adds to and detracts from it.
Just as World of Warcraft mashes up a number of fantasy settings into ita€™s own unique universe, Secret World takes influences from seemingly every part of the horror genre and mashes them together. For example, the town of Kingsmouth proper is very much a Lovecraftian pastiche: a small New England town that brought something back from the depths of the sea that has cursed their normally quiet town with the living dead and with unholy and disgusting mermen creatures. You start learning that Kingsmouth has a long occult history that predates this latest outbreak of horror and includes numerous atrocities by the towna€™s elders (shades of Steven King), and you start running into more of the gamea€™s conspiracy theory angle as you combat men in black and meet the gamea€™s major non-player characters (including one that is a shockingly [and wonderfully] thinly-veiled pastiche of Steven King himself). Since higher-level quests award more experience and therefore more points to unlock your skill wheel (discussed in our last diary) youa€™ll want to quest in those areas as much as possible. Instead of content patches, the developers of The Secret World is hoping to put out monthly a€?issuesa€? which add to the storyline of not just the maximum level zones, but earlier ones as well. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. I’m not sure how Mr Sonnac manages to send me material rewards via my phone, but I’m not going to break that spell by disbelieving it!
They’ve got evil fog, a zombie outbreak, weird ravens everywhere, and something going on in the pumpkin patch that she does not even want to know about. It’s an ancient piece of junk, with glowing green text on black, but I am allowed to access the suspect database.
I’m the little yellow arrow, and my goal does not look terribly far on the map, but I can assure you that it feels much further when you have to run a gauntlet of zombies. Taking the camera from the gas station, and then the bank is as simple as just grabbing them from the outside walls. He’s got the same head tentacles going on that the zombies I encountered in that strange Tokyo dream, but is still capable of speech. He has yet further ticks up his sleeve though, and in the next chamber, the pools of light (which turn out to be spotlights from the security cameras) are moving. I don’t want to go into great detail, as the whole point of investigation missions is to solve puzzles, and pretty much anything I say could spoil it for someone. I was rather annoyed with myself for giving in, and I’m going to do my darnedest to not do that again. I’ll finish things off with a final post summing up my thoughts on the game, some time this week. Like GW2 you still need to buy the game, but beyond that, you can play without further costs if you so choose. You get the full game without limitations, with none of the punitive nonsense you get in some F2P games (Looking at YOU, SWTOR). It turns out that all they really got for that was the opportunity to lose the choice of whether to play for free or not. That sounds like that’ll work out a lot cheaper, and will free my limited gaming funds for keeping an eye on an extra MMO. You shrug your shoulders and move on, and that is certainly very healthy for the temper, but it is not a good way of encouraging companies to play fair with us.
That’s a good thing, as it means that the lower tier zones can still be interesting, at least from a challenge perspective, though the gear you might find there on your return would be destined only for recycling. While I understand that artist time is finite, the ghul of Arabia, and the vampire-related ghouls of the Carpathians are drawn from somewhat different mythologies, and I think would be good for them to be two different sorts of creature within The Secret World, for the sake of variety as much as anything else.
For now, I’m just glad to get away from New England to somewhere sunnier and less filled with zombies and draug.

Be that as it may, I can definitely recommend coming along for a visit, as what there is is quite excellent. Also, I was still unable to choose blood magic as my initial skillset, but I am told I can access it once I get my hands on a focus for it. Forget that I’ve only been here for about 20 minutes, it’s off to America with me! I find no lore objects, though Mr Gladstone is happy to provide me with a great deal of knowledge, not to mention advice on the hallucinogenic properties of common household items. There’s a wide range of gear on offer, but I am unable to find any suitably academic-looking spectacles. However, I’ve also heard that people going in there are having trouble getting out again, so I decided it might be better not to think about Fight Club for now. Why would we, when we can simply travel to the World Tree, and follow its branches to our destination, ignoring any of those bothersome details of space and time. He also provides me with an Agartha Conduit, which will permit me to travel back to the platform at any time. He’s got a job to do, he quite enjoys it, and he does it to the best of his capabilities. He’s being pestered by zombies, and would like me to cut their numbers down, and maybe figure out where those pesky varmints are coming from. It takes a few shots to take them down, but luckily they don’t dish out much damage, even though they tend to come in groups. First you simply have to kill a few zombies, then you need to see if you can attract some more by setting car alarms off. This is an Item mission, where I simply grab the ammunition case from the back of the nearby pickup truck, and will need to hand it in at the office, where I’m already headed.
I’ve upgraded my starting shotgun to a green-named one, and found a couple of other talismans and other weapons.
You can equip 2 weapons at once, so later on I’ll be able to have a close range and a long range weapon, but I can only have one for now. It was just a foolish dream, perhaps brought on by stress, or the quarter-pound of mature cheddar that I consumed last night, and I’m sure it will have no bearing on anything going forward. This blending produces some surprisingly interesting results as it creates one cohesive narrative out of the works of Steven King, H.P. Since quests unlock again each day you can often find yourself a€?farminga€? in a zone youa€™re able to handle easily while you sort out any issues with your build to progress forward, and even at max level therea€™s nothing new to break up the monotony of doing the same stories every day. As each new issue comes out new quests will be added and, eventually, others will be removed as they stop making sense.
More than any MMO Ia€™ve played The Secret World feels like a game world that would have real and lasting consequences to actions. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements. Two of them are selling basic equipment, one is selling kits for making consumables, and one has some truly awesome blue gear that you need to buy using Sequins of Solomon Island.
We do the same at the southern barricade, zombie bits flying all over, as we valiantly defend the wall. There is a note stuck to the camera, telling some unknown workman that this is the camera that needs changing.
With his defences dealt with, the janitor springs at me, head-tentacles a-waving, but I put him down.
Thanks to everyone who’s been hitting the refresh button to see how I’ve been getting on!
The place might be infested with cultists, but at least it was usually sunny during the day. Of course it is inevitable that models and monsters are going to be re-used in different zones in MMOs, but those are the two cases that just feel a little odd to me, especially if you’re trying to evoke the feeling of different places and cultures.
In a classless game there does not feel like too much purpose in creating an alt, and I doubt I will, as the differences in playthrough experience between factions are slight. Maybe I’ll find the final lore items that continue to elude me in the lower tier zones.
Solomon Island is experiencing some sort of supernatural difficulties, and I’m to go investigate.
There are a wide range of sunglasses, but they do not seem to be a particularly intelligent choice of eyewear, given how much time I am likely to be spending rooting around in dark places. As luck would have it, I find the final Templar lore piece in the tunnel down, getting me another achievement, and about a quarter of a level.
He was also refreshingly polite, compared with all the folks topside who have been competing as to which of them could be the edgiest. Elementalism feels a bit too fantasy wizard, and Chaos magic only seems appropriate for people who want to play Kung-Fu Sorcerer (which I certainly will, given how awesome that is, but not on this character). Actually, I think *everyone* in Ealdwic is a Templar, or at least related to them in some way or another. Lovecraft, and other fiction writers along with real-world conspiracy theories (considering that you can play as the Illuminati or the Knights Templar I think ita€™s good the game has done its homework in this regard). You might some day come to Kingsmouth to find the towna€™s zombie infestation has ended (to be replaced by some other eldritch horror certainly) and many of its characters have died or moved to new locations. If a new questline killed off a major character and upset what little balance nature has in The Secret World then that just makes the stories more meaningful. I’ve not visited here yet, and some of the displays look as if they might hold some clues. It appears he’s also capable of setting up a gauntlet of booby-traps to reinforce the message. Well, that was a slightly confusing business, and I can see some people hating sabotage missions if that was just an easy one, but I quite enjoyed the attempt at a different sort of MMO quest. You will either find investigation missions to be incredibly engrossing, or utterly frustrating. I have $150 more than I would have done if I’d gotten a lifetime account, which I can use for other goods and services. If they keep to their monthly intentions, it just might inspire me to stay subscribed full-time.
From what I know about the number of zones in the game, it would seem I’m just over halfway through, as I just arrived in the City of the Sun, the second Egyptian zone. Mysteriously, he tells me that the Stationmaster of Ealdwic undergound station will see to my travel arrangements. The blood magic option at the Crucible was broken, but I can now put some points into it if I feel like it, and I do.
Blood magic is the nearest to the sort of Hermetic magic that would feel appropriate for a Templar, but it seems to be taking the blood side of it rather literally.
The real question is if monthly changes to the gamea€™s content will be enough to keep players paying The Secret Worlda€™s monthly fee.
Certain parts of Transylvania make you feel like you just stepped into Greater Faydark, Silverwood, or Teldrassil, and Cucuvea’s home is a lovely warm place for any adventurer who needs to get out of the rain.

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