Okay, Secret World, you got me. Issue #1: Unleashed came out this week and I couldn’t very well not take a peek. Besides, I can’t let a week at Quarter to Three go by without some gripe about the game. Which I wouldn’t gripe about if I didn’t like it so much. It would be so much easier if I simply didn’t like Secret World.

After the jump, still only in Kingsmouth

The first gripe is something I had been warned about, but was hoping would be fixed when I got there. One of the long-term goals in the game is unlocking “decks”, which are each a set of skills and a corresponding outfit. I finally unlocked the preacher deck, which gives me a bitchin’ black robe kinda thing with a mysterious hood. The problem is that a mysterious hood doesn’t look so mysterious when my hair is clipping through it.

Whatever. It made me look like some half-assed jedi in a Star Wars MMO anyway. I knew I should have gone for the paladin deck.

The second gripe is about the new content in issue #1: Unleashed, which was just released this week. I appreciate that the six new quests are spread throughout the world. The alternative is that they’d be clustered at the end of the game to appease the people who’ve “finished” Secret World’s storyline. But I wish they’d been somehow scaled to provide more of a challenge. I really liked the two quests I did, and they each felt different, folded tidily into familiar locations. In fact, they were both basically puzzles with a dollop of combat on the side. But because I had considerably outleveled their locations — Secret World can’t quite escape many of the usual MMO conventions — I was basically wading through grays for only a minimal reward.

By the way, I did cheat (i.e. use Google instead of transcribe the Morse code myself) to get through one of the quests. But I wonder if it’s safe yet to trust Secret World with some of its more esoteric puzzles. I feel like the healing process has begun.

But these are both minor gripes. The chat system seems tidied up nicely. I couldn’t care less about an auction house, particularly since I don’t understand what the moneysink is, or whether Secret World even has a moneysink. Maybe the auction house is the moneysink! I’m happy to see some of the game’s broken quests seem to be working now. I’m torn about whether to push forward with the storyline, or whether to go back and finish some of the quests I’d skipped because they were broken. And while I was working out the details of “how do I play my character again?”, it was such a relief that the tooltips didn’t break as I tinkered with my character build.

At this point, it looks like it’s almost safe to be an unabashed Secret World fan.