Beta Weekend Date: #2: May 18 – 21, 2012 Kingsmouth Calling pt2
Hi guys. Last week I promised an updated recap or progress report on The Secret World if I was able to be involved in the second beta testing. Well, I was, and so, here it is.
I’m not going to go into detail about the game. I’ve done that already. What I am going to do is highlight how it has improved and where it still needs improvement. What the second beta opened up was more quests within the initial open area: Kingsmouth. Fortunately, you kept your previous character so you could just continue with them.
The first thing I noticed was that it still defaulted to ‘windowed’ as opposed to ‘full screen’ when you opened the game. Minor frustration; easily changed. The next thing I noticed was that I couldn’t progress with the main storyline or with my ability wheel section. I had to start another just to use the points up. I was so confused at first, wondering if there was something wrong with my account and what the new content was, but I found it when I realised the previously locked quests were now available. Something I did forget to mention last week was that there were no in game beta surveys. But I guess that follows on from making the player do things for themselves rather than handing everything to them.
I still had quite a few issues with glitches and other gaming hiccups. Nothing quite as bad as last time, bar two exceptions. In general, I just had really bad lag and it would freeze up every now and then. This was most annoying during combat, as it would often lead to me finding out I had died while being frozen. I still crashed, badly, but only once this time. That was the first thing that was as bad as before. The second was the fact that I played most of the night with no character visuals. She was invisible to me, but not to the enemy and not to gravity, thus it was rather difficult navigating tight areas when searching for hidden lore or judging how close you were to something. If you ever come across that, enable self-targeting and press ‘Alt’ every now and then. The targeting brings up a green circle around where your feet should be. I would also often get stuck in a loop when at the edge of the map. To get around this I very tediously tapped ‘w’ briefly but in slow succession.
Using the browser in game was handy, in theory. In practice it was too slow and didn’t work very well. I couldn’t get it to go back and had to exit it and restart to continue looking for information. It is a good idea though for the style of integrated quests with research, but for now I think I’ll stick with keeping my tablet on hand. The ‘/’ key still didn’t open the chat window for commands. I wonder if this has been left out on purpose and to what end. I find myself often using it out of habit and typing away, then having a million windows open up on my HUD. I guess there is a grey area between what is considered copying and what is considered a given. Gamers tend to be rather habitual, so it could be considered a gamble to challenge that. We’ll see if that pays off. It didn’t for Kid Icarus: Uprising.
Overall, I found many of the issues I’d had previously still present. Some are intentional and some are glitches, but I was less frustrated by them as they were less severe. I found the story to be more interesting with some of the unlocked side quests involving other factions, but I’m finding it tedious to play. I want to know the story but I’m constantly and annoyingly being sent back and forth from one end of the map to the other. It also seems a little unbalanced as some enemy types are harder to beat than bosses, and some quest starters are in no way along a commonly taken path. You really need to take your time and think with this game, which is good and bad. I like having to think, but I prefer relaxing when I play games. I feel it is a double edged sword and will deter as many people as it will lure, but it is in no way a detriment to the game.
Previous Scores New Scores
Story so far 5 6
Graphics 7 6
Audio 6 6
Game Play 6 5
Ease of Play 7 6
Enjoyment 7 5
Overall 6 6