I've been playing The Secret World off and on since it officially opened up, and so far it's been a lot of fun. It has it's faults, though. Every time my friend Barry comes over, I have a brief moment of fear that he'll ask to play the game with me. Lately he's been picking Star Wars: The Old Republic, which I don't currently have installed and have informed him of this fact last three times he's been over.
I'll get to SWTOR again in the future. Right now my plate is already piled high with my friends' latest surge into LOTRO, trying to find solace in that sweet bosom before the closure of City of Heroes. Have I told you yet how Ran-san (aka "Namiru" in earlier posts) pledged to never play LOTRO? Have I mentioned that he just bought the Riders of Rohan expansion and is currently marching his way through the Lone Lands on a level 30 toon? Of course, Matt, Sarah, and I have been there with him.
But to get back on topic, it's not that Barry is a bad gamer. He's saved my skin quite a few times. It's not that TSW is a bad game; I've been enjoying myself. It's just that certain teams of people work better in certain games. Barry and I work pretty well together in Champions and City of Heroes. However, get us to try to work together on even the most straight forward of TSW's missions and we're usually slaughtered at least once. Usually from some misinformation gleaned from a website, or faulty memory. When I teamed with Matt and Eric, I didn't die once.
What I enjoy most about this game is the immersion. It sounds silly, but I'm the kind of person who loves to approach random NPC's and see what they have to say, read their back stories, watch practically every cutscene, and follow every dialog tree I can for them. I want to know the whole story, explore the entire city without leaving any trace of fog of war, gather all the exploration badges, and do as many side missions as possible to unlock further information about the world I'm playing in. It comes down to a love of miniature things. I used to love collecting dollhouse furniture and stuff like the original Polly Pocket and Littlest Pet Shop toys. Maybe it's a craving for control over something. Maybe it's a creative outlet for building my own character's backstory. Either way, TSW satisfies this curiosity in a way that CoH, AO, and even LOTRO haven't. The illusion always seems to wear thin in those games, but not so much in TSW.