I have played many MMOs in the past but for some reason I could never find one that really seemed to fit. I spent years weaving and crafting while the world collapsed around me. Not to mention that I alone was (more often than not) the only one who could save man/dwarf/elfkind. It just didn’t feel right.
But then The Secret World came into the scene. From the start it fascinated me. The idea that a MMO could take place not just in the present but in places that we actually knew. Iconic places like London and Tokyo all layered with an undertone of horror. It excited me in a way that I had never been excited before. Then I learned how we would fight the darkness. Any weapon could be used by any player. There would no longer be any re-specing (which had been the bane of my life), everything would eventually be available to me. I wouldn’t find myself stuck in a particular role or unable to progress a quest because I was a healer and I didn’t have the power to kill an enemy. I just needed to change my weapons, swap abilities and I had a whole new play style. It was fascinating.
In the build up to launch I discovered The Secret War and with it I discovered a whole new side to the factions. A passion that saw all Agent’s attempting to gain control of the map, not only for the shiny things that they would get in-game but for the pride of the faction. I’d love to see that brought back again.
I was lucky to gain access to all four beta weekends and I don’t regret playing them for a moment. Sure there were bugs (it was a beta for goodness sake) but finally getting the chance to explore Kingsmouth and meet its inhabitants was amazing. They felt real. Each one had a whole back story and every person I met left me wanting to find out more about them. I pre-ordered as soon as I had finished the first day of the first beta.
But there is more to TSW than it’s story and it’s gameplay (and believe me they are pretty big parts). TSW did something to me that no game has ever done before. As early as beta I found myself intrigued about my character. Who he was, where he had come from and how he felt about the people he was meeting. I wanted to discover more about this person I had created. No matter how hard I have tried in most games have generally left me feeling neutral about my avatar at best. I’ve never wanted to find out who was behind the weapons before. Kyle was by no means special character. The characters and lore I encountered along my journey made a point of telling me that. But he was special to me.
But where to start? I had no history in Role Playing and what I was planning was verging on RP. Well it turns out that TSW has another trick up its sleeve. It has a community like no other. They were more than happy to help me create a story for Kyle. Some even went as far as helping create a mini RP storyline on Twitter to help him discover his history so that his sudden back story didn’t seem odd. They helped me create Kyle and they watched as he and I grew. The community has found many ways to help new players, from dungeon runs in noobmares to the Sanctuary chat channel where almost any question is answered. I’m proud to be a part of that.
It’s not fair to say #IAMTSW a better hashtag would be #WEARETSW because TSW is more than a game. It is the developers who actively participate with the community. It is the community managers who work hard to make sure that everyone has a voice and it is the players who help make the game the place it is.