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So. What’s The Worst Thing About The Secret World?

Posted by Stropp on September 4, 2012

I’ve been playing TSW for about a month now, mainly on weekends, and I’m finding that I am enjoying the game.

The atmosphere is suitable creepy, but not too much so. Darkness all the time can be annoying and a good horror story knows when to break and provide some levity. It’s not like an action flick where it’s okay to be non-stop sensory overload for the entire time. Unrelenting horror can just get tiresome. The Secret World isn’t like that with a bit of humor and pop culture references providing respite.

There are some negatives at the moment though.

There are some bugs. I encountered one mission, the last of the Solomon Island story missions that just overwhelmed at the end of the boss fight several times in a row. After doing some in-game browsing (great idea by the way) it turned out that logging out solved the problem and I was able to finish without being mugged by thousands of wolves.

But the bugs while annoying arent the worst thing about TSW. A new release is bound to have some, and TSW is a glowing example of polish compared to Funcoms earlier releases. And from what I hear, substantially more stable than GW2.

No the most annoying thing is the user interface.

Specifically the inventory window. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a poorer design for inventory.

  • It grows when it fills up with loot and gear. This means that if you have lots of items in your inventory it can quite easily exceed the screen height.
  • You can’t  resize it down unless you have space. Everything you have is always visible even if parts of the window is offscreen. Funcom haven’t you heard of scroll bars?
  • The additional bags you can add are handy but cannot be individually opened or closed. Even if you have one bags for crafting mats, another for primary gear, and another for vendor trash, your entire inventory is always on screen or closed.

As I mentioned on my last Secret World post there are other negatives about the UI too. It isn’t always responsive, I find myself clicking on a close button occassionally to find nothing happens, and I always need to position the mouse a little to the right of any control before a mouse click registyers. Perhaps this is due to using low res settings, but really no one has found this yet?

It would also be nice to be able to minimise windows like the browser, or be able to have an extra hotbar for potions and consumables, although these are minor compared to the Inventory problems, and in fact exacerbated to some extent.

Having said all that, I do love this game. It’s a lot of what I want in a MMORPG. A break from the standard fantasy format. A decent story. Not too linear, as there is plenty to do in each area. (Still needs more though.) Better crafting than nearly every other MMORPG. I hope Funcom can get it together and see this game last.


  1. anon4ec Said,

    Main problems:

    Not enough hotbar abilities and types, e.g. most weapons lack dots, resource drainers, no stat debuffs/buffs, cast time increasers. Types of abilities (e.g. leech/hot) are limited exclusively to weapons destroying “classless” idea.

    Very simple resource system. Dps rotation in dungeons is just builder/builder/builder/weapon 1 consumer/weapon 2 consumer repeat ad infintum. Compare class mechanics of other MMOs which have many different flavours – e.g. rage, pet classes, stances/auras, combo systems.

    MMOs are supposed to be easy to learn, difficult to master, but this game has no depth and hence no longevity with the limited number of abilities and resource mechanics.

  2. LordYanni Said,

    You can actually keep individual bags open. You click the lock button up at the top left, and that bag will remain open at all times. So, I stuff all my consumables in one bag, put it near the hot bars, and lock it so it’s always open. Serves as a poor-man’s hotbar for the consumables. Totally agree that the inventory system is poorly implemented, but that one issue can be worked around.

  3. Stropp Said,

    @LordYanni thanks for the tip. I will find that most useful.

    @anon4ec – As for hotbar abilities, yes it can be a pain, but it does make you choose. You can’t be DPS/Tanking/Heal all at once. Meaningful choices…

    I’m not convinced that any game can be classless as such. Even in a completely skill based game like AC characters will still role based, the roles however were far more flexible and player determined.

    I’ll agree there is some lack of depth there, I’m hoping that will change as new weapons are added, the game is updated, and I think that existing weapon roles will be modified too.

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