Our 1 month TSW Update

You guys have been asking me for an update on where we’re at with The Secret World, so here goes.  We have a lot of fun when we play TSW.  There’s a truly unique feel to how the game is experienced, and Funcom — dare I say it — did a good job making the real-world feel carry over into the game.  However, the game has unbelievable issues when it comes to technical performance.

Graev’s computer, admittedly old, runs GW2 flawlessly, but runs TSW so poorly that he does not want to log in.  He knows logging in means waiting at least, no exaggeration, 8 minutes to get in-game.  Zoning anywhere takes five minutes per zone load.  TSW uses a lot of solo instancing to tell their stories, and each one of those is a 10 minute round trip of just zoning alone.  Then there’s the hitching, stuttering, and framerate issues he experiences that make him so frustrated that our time spent playing slowly becomes more of a burden than pleasure.

My computer, newer than his, doesn’t struggle nearly as much with loading.  I average about 20-30 seconds zoning, but I do get the hitching and FPS issues to a lesser degree.  I run GW2 on max settings and get far better mileage.

Our accounts run out on Aug. 1st, and we probably won’t be renewing. That decision, again, has nothing to do with the gameplay.  I could go on solo for another 20 days (until GW2 time) solo, but I think this game is meant to be played with friends.  Looking down the road, I know TSW  is a 3-monther.  The content is finite.  I can see it landing somewhere between DCUO and SWTOR’s longevity — a fun game but not a long-term endeavor.   Funcom is already working to release new content, though, and Graev told me as soon as he has a better comp he wants to return to finish the game and see all the new stuff they add.

So there you go.  That’s our TSW update for you guys.

  • I absolutely love TSW.

    But I have to agree that once I finish the main zones, I think I will be done.

    I have no performance issues, so it isn’t that, it is just that I have no interest in the pvp, or redoing anything. So I will finish the game, then maybe a few months from now come back for a month.

    It might be the game I resub to twice a year just to check out the updates.

  • So… fun, but it turned out to be another 1 month kind of MMO game.
    I refuse to buy those.
    Do have to admit I did like the way the game looked the dark setting and modern feel.


    Read about the Ubisoft DRM exploit?
    Its on many major gamesites.


    Basicly there was a backdoor in the form of a plugin that gets installed into your browsers when you install a game that uses Uplay.
    (They do not mention that plugin install, when you install the game and on internet explorer the plugin is/was even hidden)
    The plugin could open Uplay, but as people discovered also ANYTHING on your pc.
    Just takes 1 line of code on a link someone posts or a website visit.

    (there was a test link posted in forums that could remotely open your calculator.. go figure what else they could do with bad intentions.)

    Ubisoft released a fix that when you use Uplay it updates itself to fix the problem.

    So…. I had uninstalled An Assasin’s creed game on steam like 2 weeks ago.
    Yet Uplay was still installed and those plugins where still in my firefox browser.

    Those that do not play, do not update = no fix and they are still waiting to get hacked.
    So many people at risk.

    Seriously wtf… Makes me very unwilling to buy any Ubisoft game right now.

  • I’m having such a good time playing TSW that the question for me at the moment is will I want to stop when GW2 comes out? Since Mrs Bhagpuss decided it wasn’t her cup of tea (Blue Mountain – does anyone like that place?) I’ve been playing solo apart from the odd pick-up group and I’m having a wonderful time. I’m in Carpathian Mountains now, although that’s with skipping a huge amount of content that I’ll come back to later.

    The longevity of TSW is going to depend quite heavily on how steadily they drip-feed new content but I see it as a game I will come back to indefinitely. I do think the whole concept of playing one MMO all the time for a long time then stopping and starting again in another has had its day, though. I don’t look for any MMO to be “the one”, I’m just interested in whether it’s worth adding it to my rotation and TSW definitely passes that test.

    I’m perpetually puzzled by issues people have with performance, not just in TSW but in general. You were having terrible problems in early GW2 beta when my PC was having no issues at all running the game on high settings. My PC was a low-end gaming machine when I bought it three and a half years ago and I’ve upgraded it so it’s probably low-to-mid-end by current standards. I’ve not had any performance issues with TSW since the first beta, running on close to the highest settings. The load times for zoning can be long sometimes, but long as in 30-45 seconds not five minutes. London does sometimes grind to a halt temporarily when there are hundreds of people milling about. Other than that, it runs as well as any other MMO I’ve played and better than many.

  • TSW isn’t a bad game, but it only lasted me a few weeks before I realized that it was going to be a short game for me. Maybe if it came about about 45 days after SWTOR it might have had some longevity in it, but with GW2 coming up in a month, I see little need to keep playing and spending $15 a month on it. I do agree it was a good launch for Funcom which is amazing in of itself. I have a fairly nice Alienware system and I ran into extended load times that got annoying as well. I too found that GW2 running on highest settings ran as smooth as silk compared to TSW being somewhat sluggish as load times and zoning.

    Overall I commend Funcom, they are heading in the right direction. The main problem TSW suffers overall I believe is the timing of when it came out. It needed more than a couple months to make it worth while to resub before GW2 comes out.

  • I had the same loading issues as Graev did, with zoning taking about 4-5 minutes, and initial startup and login adding several minutes to that. For me, performance inside the game was pretty decent; framerate was steady and the controls were responsive. The load times alone weren’t enough to turn me off, but they certainly didn’t inspire me to play during the beta weekends.


    @ bhagpuss: I’m in a similar position as you, no longer really looking for a single game to be *the one* for the next year or two. Maybe it’s just a matter of getting older, but mostly I’m unwilling to pass up all the fascinating games being developed these days.

    It’s too bad. I count TSW on the list of games that are worth dipping into for their uniqueness, but I bounced off the combat (mostly the amount of it, but also the style; the quality is fine, just not what I like) so badly that I couldn’t get motivated to buy the game. Its business model wasn’t helping, as I’ve spent a lot on other games lately, and simply don’t have enough disposable income to work up the will to pay the initial $50 knowing I’d need to sub to keep playing.

    If it ever goes F2P, I will definitely play it to experience the questing; especially the investigations, which sound fascinating.

  • To be honest i like the secret world better then Swtor, there might be less zones but I have yet to come across an entire zone where i just dreaded grinding through the whole thing. There are parts of zones, but never an entire zone like swtor had.

    DCUO had really fun combat though.

  • I like the skill system alot! Its awesome! One of the things about other recent mmo’s is, that every1 is the same. Warriors are 98% alike, with every other warrior. Well not in TSW. Allso, the setting is awesome.

    Combat is a bit generic, but I dont find it worse than other mmo’s.

  • Oh sorry! And just today they patched alot of new stuff in. I’m not totally sure what, but it was a 1gb patch so, it must be something. I hope thats a sign for how they are gonna do it in the furture

  • If you dont play 24/7 I think TSW has enough content to last 3 month. Fun 3 months. But it is of course finite game . It world and story are way better than SWTOR imho and its worth playing it just for being a good game. GW2 will have better longevity due to having WWW and decent sPvP for me. But it does not have better world and has horrid story (in comparison to tsw)

  • The scary thing to me is that everyone of those issues was in Age of Conan at launch, the load times were so bad I didn’t want to play and I had a brand new pc that was built with top end hardware when it launched.

  • @Mark: Heh, that’s something I didn’t even think about. I was thinking about how awesome it was for Funcom that they made a game worth playing from the gameplay side, but totally forgot that (once again) their game runs like garbage for a lot of people.

    @Bhagpuss: No two PC’s are exactly alike. Even PC’s made on a line using the same parts, with the same drivers, from the same lot. Imagine how many hardware configurations are out there from different MB’s to ram to HD’s to GPUs to CPUs and you have near infinite combinations among players.

    It’s a wonder anything runs well. Many developers abandoned PC games some years ago when this became a big issue. Developing on consoles becomes so much easier than ensuring you cover all your bases with people’s hardware specs.

    Long story short, my comp can be “better” than yours but struggle running a game you have no problem running, then tomorrow a game might release and we have a totally reverse situation.

  • You also have to take into account on man’s “fine” is another man’s “unplayable”. I’m used to playing games sub 30 FPS because I play console games. Someone with an uber computer may think anything under 60 fps is horrible. That’s not the case here but you have to take that into account when you are reading online impressions.

    Going back to TSW, I’m done with the game. I appreciate what they are trying to do and the fact they have a new setting but the actual gameplay is so dismal I just stopped playing. Mix that with the gear grind and the fact I don’t enjoy exploring the world and I can’t play more the 10 minutes when I log in. Not a bad game, just not a game for me. I wish Funcom success though, they deserve it for trying something new and having a solid launch.

  • My specs are:
    C2D E8400 3Ghz
    Radeon HD 6850 1Gb RAM
    4 Gb RAM DDR2

    Rest is not that important. While those specs are definatelly not up to date, I consider them quite decent for modern gaming. I don’t have issues with any other game, heck, I can run Crysis (the ultimate benchmark) on Ultra and it plays fine.

    But I struggle in TSW. 10 minute load times are no exaggeration. I was able to prepare myself somethning to eat and drink while the zone was loading, and after coming back I still couldn’t play. Horrendous.

    And when I actually tried to play… Stuttter. Stutter. Stutter. I have never EVER played a game with such crappy optimization. (Admitelly, I didn’t play AoC at launch, but ATM AoC plays superly on my rig.) Such a shame, because I loved the premise, the story, the atmosphere, enjoyed the gameplay. I still hope Funcom will otpimize the engine – probably later than sooner, but still – because I want to play it, but I refuse to upgrade a rig that’s perfectly suitable for any other game. Period. Heck, I can even play RIFT with full anti-aliasing!

  • I think the fact that I know this game is not gonna last forever, have made me enjoy it more. You know? I slow down, and enjoy everything more. Some mmo’s in the past (most recent SWTOR and Rift) I thought would last forever so I blew through everything in a race to get to max level. Well not this time, and I think I like it more

  • Quick update on the issue: I’m tried TSW again during the free weekend and it’s a lot better, playing without any major issues on high details with Anti-Aliasing. Still longish load times, but not as bad as before.

  • Buy a cheap SSD and run TSW off the solid state drive. Zone times will come down to ~5 secs..

  • I knew I would be playing TSW three years ago. So I had the luxury of saving my pennies and building a computer to spec. I regularly run sub 25ms and 55+fps. Just lucky I guess

    Funcom has made a ton of headway and largely fixed the early problems I encountered in beta and right after release. Additionally the developers have continued being active and involved with the player base. Finally the second content update is due the day after tomorrow. This will alter some PVP problems that have been identified and add a half dozen or more juicy investigation missions.

    First 10 player raid due out in October, new world zone in Q1-Q2 2013.

    Happy with my lifetime sub.