Adventure Log: The Secret World’s Amazing Quests

This week’s Adventure Log is all about The Secret World.  We’ve put in over 30 hours and finally finished Kingsmouth and its surrounding area. This week we’re each going to recount for you our favorite moments from the game so far.  Warning: There will be spoilers for side missions from Kingsmouth area.

Funcom has created real websites for you to interact with while trying to figure out clues for quests. Funcom expects you to use the internet and act as you would in real life to figure things out.


Two moments are particularly memorable for me.  The first is during the Men in Black Vans quest.  You have to figure out the password to log into the MiB’ish guy’s computer.  The hint is “my wife.”  We found one of the bodies on the ground and noticed it had an email address:  Greav came up with the idea to see if that was a real website, and if so to look up the employee database.  Sure enough, Funcom went through the trouble to actually make real websites.  The name of this guy’s spouse was in there and we progressed.

The second, and perhaps my favorite moment so far, was during the Dead Air quest.  You have to once again access that site but this time pay attention to the fact that this satellite is made by a subsidiary company.  Go to their website, find the satellite, and look in the details about what is used to repair it; Find those items, repair it, and then decipher a code.  This code you hear is actually Morse code.  Neither of us know Morse Code, so we looked it up on wikipedia (via the in-game browser) and sat there listening to the code, analyzing the sound waves visually as well, and finally came up with the solution.  It was amazing when we followed the clue and realized we had deciphered it properly.


In general solving the quests together is fun.  Having to think about the clues in a context outside of playing a game, and pretend it’s real life and go about solving the clues as I would if I were actually wanting to find the information is cool.  Funcom actually expects you to use the internet to solve riddles. There’s one quest in particular where you have to investigate a jail cell and the prisoner who killed himself in it said you’d have to talk to his ghost.  That required us to die and come back there in anima form.  We then had to follow ghost ravens and listen to their words and interact with them in an order that matched the riddle in the jail cell.

I really like the spooky setting of Solomon Island, especially the Jack O’Lantern.

  • It certainly does. I jumped to the wrong conclusions in beta. The setting turned me off immediately, and I focused on the issues with combat, performance, and polish. I didn’t even get to experience these great quests — if I had, I think more of my friends would be playing right now.

  • It’s quests like these that are giving me strength to go on. Combat is so very very tedious…..

    Seriously though, the later missions (I’m in the Blue Mountains now) seem to rely on “kill X amount of these and these” too much. Mix that with a really mediocre to bad combat system and I think my time in TSW may be coming to a close.

  • i have not had this much fun in a mmo in years. pvp needs lots of work but can be fun. lots of bugged quests only real problem i have had with the game.

    cant wait to see what funcom do with this game. AO and AoC sucked at the start, they made both those games imo really good games over the years.

    can not wait to see what they do with this game.

  • Glad I hit up the Funcom forums. I just made the game fun for myself again.

    A tip to anyone soloing. Do not go to Blue Mountains after The Savage Coast. Go to Egypt instead.

    The Mobs in BM have way more health making the combat take way longer. It was seriously sucking my soul having to spam attacks for up to a minute to kill a regular mob.

  • The main story takes you there but the mobs in the zone take forever to kill unless you happen to have the right weapon combo (from what I read). I’m going for a puritan (shotgun/hammer) and I’m pretty far into the build. It’s definitely not working well in BM. I can kill things and get missions done but the time to kill (TTK) for every single mob in the zone is ridiculously high.

    I went to Egypt and its like night and day. There are harder mobs that have the same TTK as an average mob in BM and there are regular mobs who I can kill in a builder cycle.

    I’m going to try to finish out my build and get some higher level gear before heading back to BM. Since you’re playing with your brother it should be fine though.

    BM isn’t so much hard as it is tedious if you are trying to solo there with the “wrong” build.

  • question for those who are playing, I can’t play yet so will probably wait till maybe they sort out and polish a bit. Will this game be unfun at low levels with lower population after the launch buzz has died down? I know any answer will be speculation

  • @Fresnel: So far I have only played with my brother and my friend. Despite playing with them, the game has been very single-player friendly so far. In fact, story missions are very solo.

    I think all games are less fun with fewer people, though.

  • I’m glad your enjoying the game Keen, I almost didn’t believe it when I heard you had no interest in playing, but then you hadn’t found the investigations yet.

    I’m interested in what you’ll think of the dungeons, I tried Inferno at a lower QL then I probably should have, but all the bosses have interesting mechanics and little to no trash.

    I also think you’ll love the tree fort mission.

  • Fergo I have Puritan build too and things just die. Seems for me you have the wrong setup. First buy the ql 6 blue weapons at the trailer park. If you did the quest from the last 2 zones you should have the coins for it.

    Remember you use “/gearmanager use name” to switch decks.

    Single dmg build:,183,164,318,4,324,305,168,186,5,165,163,159,325,302

    Strike penetration/weaken build with 3 stuns and a block charge. Keep the enemy close for extra dmg.

    Cone minion weaken/crit build,1001,6,164,4,66,74,70,1,1002,3,302,67,1004,69

    You will switch out some of the powers later when you have more points. There are better elite skill out there + you can get more ompf with other skills No Mercy for better aoe dmg ….

    I would agree, the first few quest in BM are so-so but later on, come on. Did you visit the Mansion for the main story quest, the mine? Did you try to break into the orochi camp and solve win win. What about the chainsaw/environmental suit part or try to help one of the soldier camps at night and see absolut nothing in the wood except red eys.

  • @Tricon

    Thanks for the build advice. I used all my coins buying ql 5 gear in savage coast so it’ll be awhile before I can afford anything new. I plan on sticking it out in Egypt until I finish Puritan and, if necessary, until I get the skills for the builds you posted. It works out because I’m getting tired of the dreary Maine coast motif anyway.

    Glad to hear the quests pick up later in BM. The first bunch in the burnt out mansion/Sasquatch area/trailer park were making me worry.

  • I love ‘The Secret World’ and the Quest-System behind it ^^
    Really like, that you have to think and not just go from point a to point b and back~
    also the fact, that you can take new quests or finish quests with your phone is amazing 😉
    first I only bough a beta key at mmoga, because I wasn’t really in it, but now it’s one of my favourite games ^^

  • Hopefully this type of interactive and immersive questing will find its way into future MMO’s and help to counter the de-evolutionary trends set by many of the failed MMO’s of recent memory.

  • While I played for a good while on Friday night I didn’t get to play any on Saturday and just for about 20 minutes on Sunday before storms kicked me offline. That said I have to say that I really got into the game on Friday night. I know that technically you can’t screw up a character but I got my Templar on Cerberus messed up enough that I didn’t feel like grinding to get AP for him to adjust the character on Friday night. I ended up rolling another character and went with Swords and Assault Rifles and I am enjoying her a lot. She kicks ass and takes names.

    So far my favorite quest is no doubt the one with the Siren’s Song. I love the music with that quest.

  • I did play a bit of one of the PvP battlegrounds (can’t recall what they are called in game) and had fun but they were lacking something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

  • The battlefields lack downtime. The objectives pretty much lend themselves to full out offense at all times

    I enjoy Fusang, the persistent pvp area, but Stonehenge is decent at best and I don’t enjoy El Dorado. In other games, Arathi Basin/ nordenwatch style maps have always been my favorite, they seem hesitant to attempt one with 3 factions however.

    If I were to make a pvp for the game, it would be in the Arathi Basin style with 7 bases. 1 not to far from each faction’s starting spawn (3 total). 1 between each combination of the two factions. (Up to 6 total, now making either a triangle or a circle.) And one in the middle. (7 total). Each base gets it’s own graveyard, the middle is NOT worth more points, it’s value comes from spawning in the middle with easy access to each other point.

    I suppose the downside would be that unlike in 2 faction games, it would be incredibly unlikely that one team could hold every base at once, but personally I would be alright with that.

  • I’ve always thought this aspect of TSW (the investigation/puzzle/adventure quests) looked amazing. I just wish there was a way that I could play a true investigator character.

    I want my skill bar to impact how I investigate and gather info. I want to be able to choose to outsmart enemies rather than club them to death just like everyone else. I don’t want to be forced to kill 10 zombies + 10 more zombies + an elite zombie and his zombie retinue just to get to the next investigation mission.

    Unfortunately for me and TSW, there are too many other games that don’t force me to do stuff that bores me to tears in order to get to the stuff I like, and I’m just not willing to suffer through the miserable combat in order to experience the investigations.

  • Graev and I just did Polaris (first dungeon) and it was fun. Very little trash, interesting boss mechanics.

  • Keen,

    Whats the population like? Packed, dead, full servers etc? Queues to login? How is connection and tech been(ie dc’s, lag etc) What has been chatter in game, positive or blah blah Wow is better etc.. Do you feel momentum is building in game pop or will be a ghost town in month?

    i want to try it and i always liked Funcom’s ingenuity in their games but I don’t want to join another sinking ship if you get me…

  • Cerberus is constantly full of people, but I do not think TSW has a queue system. Lots of people around me.

    Little lag. In fact the first time I had a problem was this afternoon when the server crashed.

    Chatter is all positive, supporting community, enjoying the game’s content.

  • It’s all one server, Cerberus is the group of instancing you belong to. Every time you zone, you are defaulted to an instance with others from Cerberus.

    Even though I’m on Arcadia, we can chat, join the same cabal and even party. It’ll ask if one of us would like to move to the other. So I would move from Arcadia to Cerberus until our group disbanded, at which point the next time I zoned I would be back on Arcadia.

    It will also be a single auction house for the game once implemented. The main reasons for doing this, was oddly enough for community building. Arcadia is the RP dimension, so by default I am by other RPers without limiting myself from playing with others. Likewise, those who play on dimensions listed under a different language, will all be around each other, without limiting their ability to play with us.

    The only activity you can’t do cross dimension is Fusang, the persistent pvp zone, as that’s per dimension.

  • I haven’t gotten to play as much since Friday as I would have liked but so far I am enjoying the game more and more every time I play. I am tending to repeat the same quest and add a few new ones each time I play. Right now I am working to grind out a good deal of SP/AP before I move from the starter zone. Speaking of starter zones, TSW has got to have the largest single starter zone I can think of.

  • I wouldn’t call it the started zone myself. To me, the started zone was the subway flashback tutorial, and the dojo where you got to experiment with the weapons.

    After the first mission from Boon, they very quickly start letting go of your hand.

  • You know, for all the speculation that the general public hates questing that ‘makes you think’, I keep hearing overwhelmingly positive reviews about TSW investigation quests. There must be more of a market for thinking quests than I ever expected.

    Here’s a question: are there any large-scale puzzles? I’m curious with the emphasis on puzzle/investigation mechanics if there are any ‘public puzzles’ that people have to discuss on forums to solve as a whole? Of all games, TSW seems appropriate to have such an Alternate Reality Game attached.

  • They held a giant ARG for multiple years during production, those who were dedicated on the forums and banded together to solve it did in the end get rewarded for their efforts, though the specifics to it aren’t know to the public.

    At one point they did say there would be giant investigations in the game where the societies as a whole would compete to finish it first, but this was also back when the forums had society only sections that weren’t even readable to outsiders.

    It’s possible they may try it again