Now that I’ve made some of you wince so hard from reading the title that your eyelashes have become hopelessly entangled and you’ll have to see for the rest of your life through a straw… let’s talk irony.
I log in this morning to WordPress and see the following comment left by Skro on yesterday’s TSW post: “More generally, this game is much much better when played in group.”
It made me laugh to read that, because last night I did just that. I log in to The Secret World, determined to make headway in the final chapters of Solomon Island, and run back to the Indian camp to get the last two quests done there. The first is a pretty standard “go kill these guys, then these guys, then these guys, and when you’re done, turn yourself into the police because you’re a mass murderer” type quest. The only problem was that the first stage was to kill 13 zombies — and it was timed. I don’t know why it was timed, but I started to panic because it was taking me a little less than a minute to kill a mob, and I had just 10 minutes on the clock. I was frantically running from zombie to zombie, trying to keep the kill streak going while healing myself whenever my skills popped.
Three minutes to go, I had six mobs left and a sinking feeling that I’d be redoing all of this very soon. It was right then that another player ran up to me and invited me into a group, and everything changed.
When one became two, the mobs fell to us like butter in the heat of a July sun. Suddenly, six mobs was no big deal, and we agreed to stick it out together for the rest of the quest. When that quest was done, we did the next. And the next. And the next. After some light talk and an hour of questing together, we traded friends links and logged out.
As some of you have pointed out, grouping is such a game-changer for TSW, almost more so than other titles on the market. Now I don’t mind grouping for quests, but what I hate is having to spam general chat looking for people on the same tier of the same quest as I am — and this problem is compounded by the limited number of quests you can have at any given time.
In one of the loading screens, Funcom encourages grouping up by “asking in LFG chat.” OK, devs, it’s 2012 — we shouldn’t have to do your job for you. If TSW is greatly enhanced by grouping and devs specifically encourage it, there need to be tools to facilitate it past running in circles screaming in the hopes that someone will come along. Relying on a random player to run up and happen to be on the same quest chain that I am is equally flimsy.
LFG tools, Funcom. Get on it. And not just for dungeons, you hear?