Funcom’s The Secret World MMO recently announced that the $14.99 subscription fee would be made optional. Unlike some other MMO’s, Funcom chose not to restrict players in terms of character slots, bank balance/slots or game completions for everything in the game as of the end of December 2012.
Making this decision was an excellent move, as players can now check out all the content that originally shipped with the game, plus the added content through 2012. While players can still opt to pay a subscription fee and get points every month to apply towards new content, even return players have a blend of new content in the form of quests, a New York raid, and new weaponry to keep them busy.
Since our review here at Gamematics.net, Funcom has been hard at work with fixes for original content, and new additions like plastic surgery for character makeovers and a barber shop for hairstyle changes. In fact, players were even given a token to use, so that those who were not happy with their avatar image after character creation could change it at least once at no cost to them. In addition, these new features also allow players to pay for alterations with the in-game currency pax romana rather than tokens if they choose.
There is still an item shop with a vast array of customization options that players can use their Funcom points for, or use real money to buy what they wish. With the subscription option, a monthly allotment of Funcom points are given to players to purchase from the shop or use on upcoming DLC.
The Secret World has been receiving monthly content updates as promised which include new adventures and even new auxiliary weapons to add to your avatar’s already impressive skill loadout. While this contemporary horror-themed MMO has no levels in the traditional sense, it has players earn points with which to invest in their abilities eventually ramping up to elite abilities. Each character has active and passive abilities that can come from two skill sets. With the addition of auxiliary weapons, each weapon allows players to use their points in these as well and buy their way up the tree to get the most potent abilities
at the end of each.
Getting the new auxiliary weapon takes the player through a quest line for each. Choices include the rocket launcher, the chainsaw, and the quantum bracer. While the rocket launcher helps with ranged combat and the chainsaw helps with melee encounters, the quantum bracer also allows for different loadouts depending on the skill the player slots before each engagement. The bracer is multifunctional in that it also heals if the right skills have been acquired.
The new quests in the game are tiered like the rest of the content in The Secret World. A quest might start at tier ⅙ and enable progression throughout, very seldom strapping gamers into the tediousness of kill X amount of monsters. One of the strongest points in this MMO is the variety of quests a player has available to them. While there are kill quests, there are also investigation quests where a player has to deduce the next step from the clues provided. Alleviating frustration and adding to the fun here are handy dropdowns in the questlog that enable the player to Mike KierHello Brad, I have to admit that I have become very skeptical of all the detox diets and fitness hype I have found on the Internet. reexamine the quest clues at any given time. A handy in-game browser means no alt-tabbing in and out of your game to pursue that next hint. On many quests a report can be submitted by cell phone and there’s no running back to the quest giver that can get all too tiring in other titles.
Strong cinematics with professional actors bridge the stages between the quests and the new ones are no different. Without spoiling too much, just know that some of the best characters in the game will make a return with new quips and one liners that take players back to their first days of adventuring here. The new quests span across most every zone, so that new players and veterans will have plenty to do, and never run out of evil doers to vanquish.
With the addition of update 1.5, players can now repeat all investigation missions, and bind hotkeys to inventory items for easy use in battle. The new questline the Vanishing of Tyler Freeborn is one of the best quests in the game and offers a nice end reward for those who take the time to finish. For returning players who need a jumpstart to some of the new quests, contact Tanis to experience a new sabotage mission in the Scorched Desert. Get to the bottom of what the Phoenicians are up to and what the undead weapons dealer Said has to do with it all. Or you can head over to the Shadowy Forest and speak with Alina. She offers a new Investigation mission, where you help her break free of her Morninglight past.
Despite controversy abounds on the removal of the subscription requirement, there’s not a lot that could have made this MMO better, but not having to pay on a monthly basis has gone and done just that.
The Secret World is an even better title now, giving players more options and letting them pay for what they wish to pay for. The swarms of population to the servers recently has confirmed what a smart decision it was. If you were ever thinking of checking out The Secret World but were held back by the monthly subscription cost, there’s never been a better time than now to give it a try.