So, in my previous post about SWL, I was specifically frustrated and concerned about two things: 1) The performance of the game, and 2) I couldn’t find all the stuff I transferred from my original Secret World account. Both of these have been addressed.
UltrViolet suggested that I try switching the client from DirectX 11 to DirectX 9 to see if that addressed the sluggish performance that made the game almost unplayable to me. It was one of the few things I didn’t try previously, and when I did switch it down to DX 9, sure enough, this fixed the issue.
This is really interesting considering this video card is no push-over and has been able to run just about everything else I throw at it without issue. Even FFXIV on high quality with DirectX 11 has never caused an issue like this.
Anyhow, the game plays a LOT better. I’m getting some lag and hitching in cutscenes, but at least I can play.
I learned real quick if you’re not watching the tiny little quest text on the sidebar, you will get stopped in your tracks in the tutorials. They liked interrupting the original Tokyo Subway intro with things like “Equip your secondary weapon.” “Buy your first skill.” and that kind of stuff.
This isn’t terrible for players to learn, but it did interrupt the flow of the sequence. There were a few times I was trying to click on NPCs to interact or running around wondering why nothing was triggering… only to look over at the quest text and see it wanted me to buy a skill or something.
Once the subway instance finally got under way and let me play, I enjoyed it. I usually play a Blades character with Pistol on the side (back in the day, it unlocked the Paladin deck for Templars, and I had to have that!). That combo wasn’t available when I first rolled, so I had to go with Blades and Elemental.
The battle system isn’t terrible, though I’m not a fan of games that lock your mouse down until you press the Alt key. I’m also not a fan of the new dodging. However, I actually found the target system pretty intuitive for chucking fireballs at the enemies. I was especially amused when my character threw two at a time and they did this neat twisty display.
The only thing is, both my weapons have forced cooldowns — so I’m forced to stop swinging my blade or stop throwing magic based on depleting sword energy or overheating my magic meter. This reminds me of the gauges that FFXIV just released in Stormblood, except these seemed wedged in there to force you to have to alternate between weapons. More or less, this just meant switch from clicking the right mouse button to the left mouse button. :p
Once I left my companions behind in the Subway scenario, I was back to London where I went to play nice with Sonnac. I was happy to see that all the cats that the Templars “won” from the first Secret World Halloween event still hang around his office. Templars FTW!
Then, the game sent me once again into another tutorial-type zone in the form of the weapons room. Seems all the weapons I equipped during the tutorials were gone now. Kinda confusing why…
However, this tutorial was actually useful in that it taught me how to combine unwanted weapons with my current weapon to empower it. That’s a pretty cool system, actually.
On to Agartha!
Finally, I’m unloosed upon the world… and am sent to Kingsmouth via Agartha. I forgot how morally ambiguous the Templars could be though until Sonnac stressed, “Hey, we’re here to save all of mankind. So don’t sweat the small stuff and think that you can save all the little people in Kingsmouth.”
Basically, don’t pretend to be a hero. Templar are willing to sacrifice a few for the greater good. The “few” being an entire island…
Yeah. Nothing is black and white in Secret World.
Agartha! How you have changed!
I’m on the fence about this. On one hand, I agree with Syp, who likes the idea of Agartha being fleshed out as a real hub area. On the other hand, I also agree with Bhagpuss who feels like throwing shops, a dance floor and an auction house in the World Tree kinda takes the mystique away from it all.
It is what it is, I guess. And what it is is LAG CITY for me. 😦
I didn’t stick around long because the big thing for me was really… I wanted to check to make sure my STUFF transferred from TSW. Bhagpuss, Pete, and UltrViolet all left comments (thank you!) to confirm that if I was patient, I’d get my stuff probably about the point I got to Kingsmouth. So I not-so-patiently rushed to the portal out of there.
I did note that now all the ports for Solomon Isle are grouped together, so no more running down long platforms to get from one zone to the next. Thanks!
Kingsmouth = MY STUFF!
Finally. So I started getting these pop-ups about daily login rewards and stuff I don’t understand, right as I got to the portal to Kingsmouth. Kinda pulls you out of the story, but whatever. This led me to opening the claim window, and sure enough, the magic Claim TSW Vanity button was there. So I did.
Doing this did transfer my pets, sprints, wardrobe and such, and it also seemed to unlock the ability to use all the weapons. So that was pretty important.
I’m so happy to have my horse mount, crazy rainbow shirt and glowing purple sneakers again. I don’t know if everything transferred, but I’m not worried about it. The things I really wanted were all there.
And so, with Stormblood calling me away, I left Wren “Aywren” Sojourner at the start of a Kingsmouth adventure. Will I continue to play? Probably so, here and there. I’ve heard folks complain about pay walls for dungeon access and things… but seeing I never once entered a dungeon in TSW and really didn’t ever care to, that’s probably not going to bother me that much.
I’m keeping my eye on the thoughts of the community, however, and it’s always interesting to see the response. Already, people are leaving feedback on Steam, where, apparently, they replaced the original The Secret World with Secret World Legends… but left all the original ratings and feedback from the old game… uh… what?