I’ve been on The Secret World beta for a long time, and quite honestly had been thinking about cancelling my pre-order. After an original week or so of playing and providing feedback, the shortcut has been languishing untouched on my desktop – it just hadn’t been fun enough to continue playing, and as normal for very early beta testing, the game was rough.
When Funcom debited my credit card for the pre-order (not pre-purchase, mind you) I was furious. For two people squeaking out a living on very sporadic freelance work, a new game is a huge purchase. It has to be something that you really, really want to play. Double or triple that if it is a subscription game. The Secret World just wasn’t going to be one of those games.
Recently, though, I went back and played during the open beta and the game has greatly changed. The combat system still feels disconnected, and the skill system isn’t very intuitive, but there is a lot of new polish and more content in the game. It feels more like a real world. Although I’m still pissed off at Funcom for prematurely (and possibly illegally) debiting the money, I think it is worth the purchase price. The game is enjoyable now, enough so that I am actually looking forward to launch.
One of the things that they haven’t changed, unfortunately, is the butt-ugly and limited character creation tool. For someone who will twiddle face sliders for ages, that is unfortunate. However, my character does manage to actually retain her hair rather than going bald upon entering the game like my original one, which is a big bonus. More clothing choices would be great. But definitely, definitely, please put some work into character creation! I totally admit that that was one of the reasons why I couldn’t get into LotRO – my character was just so damned ugly.
I haven’t seen much of the overall conspiracy theory plotlines – in the beginning, you mainly kill zombies. Lots and lots of zombies. But I look forward to experiencing the mystery behind the world. And you know what? I am really looking forward to this game.