YMMV / The Secret World

  • Breather Level: Tier 16 of the Solomon Island plot's mission is probably one of the most interesting quests if you consider the ration between the required effort and the reward. You just have to enter a cave (shown on the map), watch a cutscene, then get a lot of experience (as much as the amount earned for finishing the last part tier of the quest). To make things even easier, the previous tier ends on the same map, and, if you already went in the vicinity and enabled it, there is an Anima Well next to the cave entrance.
  • Complete Monster: The Bogeyman. One of the more prominent monsters of Solomon Island, he's one of the few who's managed to maintain his intelligence, and one of the few who doesn't have some kind of sympathetic backstory: whereas entities like Jack O'Lantern and the Black House were victimized and tortured into becoming villains, the Bogeyman set out to become a monster almost from the very beginning. As a human, Nathaniel Winter wanted to attain magical power and immortality by any means necessary, and was willing to use Atlantic Island Park as the perfect method of achieving it - even if it meant allowing dozens upon dozens of workers to die in accidents, or allowing others to be driven mad and twisted into murderers by the Park's influence. Plus, he abandoned his family in order to claim the harvested power, including his favourite son Nicholas. The Park expands on his villainy even further: one note found in the game reveals that once the most common source of power dried up, the Bogeyman was happy to harvest it directly from children he captured, killing them in the process; when Lorraine entered in search of Callum, he set out to Mind Rape her for the next two hours straight - before manipulating her into stabbing Callum to death.
  • Demonic Spiders: Ak'ab: Giant moth-monsters that, while they do little damage, have lots of health, move around a lot during the fight (increasing the odds you bump into more of 'em), spawn thick on the ground, patrol over wide areas, constantly knock you down and generally combine all the worst parts of every MMO enemy into one.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Dame Julia Beatrix Tyburn. This old lady is somewhat uptight, but it's hard to not laugh of the stuff she says, and how she says it. Even more, she does seem to have some respect for people even though they are not from some family of "blood", like the traditions of the Templars would rather have in their ranks.
    • The Pyramidion, one of the highest of the Illuminati's high-ups. The 'All-Seeing Eye' speaks only half the time in lines of relevant dialogue. The other half alternates between bizarre P.A. announcements (if you're in The Labyrinth) or context-relevant memes... like a boss.
    • Interestingly, the Council of Venice is well-liked among the game's RP community. Some roleplayers even choose to portray themselves as Venetian agents regardless of their actual IG affiliations.
    • Of the Egypt NPCs, there is Säid, an Ancient Egyptian mummy who's reinvented himself as a yuppie, and Nassir, the Marya demolitions expert with a fondness for American action films. Both of these characters have gotten Funcom-sponsored Facebook pages and twitter accounts, and both got more screentime during the "Last Train to Cairo" Issue - complete with the two interacting with each other (quite hilariously) in several scenes during the final mission.
  • Gameplay Derailment: The '/reset' command was intended to allow players to by-pass bugged missions and instances by respawning them. Instead, it's been commandeered for 'suicide teleportation': fast-travelling across the area by dying in one place, and respawning at the Anima Well closest to where they intend to go. This was later replaced with a fast travel system, and changing the /reset command to automatically revive at the nearest anima well.
  • Genius Bonus: Good luck catching all the references in the "Everything Is True" trailer.
  • Iron Woobie: Most of the civilians in Solomon Island and Transylvania. They've had to deal with attacks from zombies, Draugr, vampires, ghouls, werewolves, and all manner of other horrors lurching out of the darkness to kill them, but they're still weathering the storm. Sheriff Bannerman of Kingsmouth is positively upbeat about the whole situation.
    • The Innsmouth equivalent of a group of kids playing at being monster hunters hunt down and kill real monsters because there are so many of them.
      • Fridge Horror kicks in big-time when you get to their hideout and take a look at their book of monsters. You might think these were just kids having a fun club, since Solomon Island was only recently overrun. Then you find out they have notes on most of the monsters you've faced and a few you haven't, meaning they've been fighting the same stuff you have, in limited numbers, and survived.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Daimon Kiyota and John / the Black Signal. The latter essentially tricked you into overcoming his greatest fear and helping him truly free himself from Tokyo, and the former turns out to have been in control of the situation the entire time. Small wonder Daimon was promoted to becoming the Voice of the Dragon.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Later, Gator."
    • The much abused smile emote
    • "Hiya, chuck."
    • "Pick up the Lore!" note 
    • Parking Garages note 
  • Most Annoying Sound: The citizenry of Harababureşti and their excessive greetings as you walk past. Salut!
    • The woman outside the post office in London. That obnoxious laughter.
  • Narm: With all the other portentous lines in the trailer, it can be a little hard to take "The Bees Are Returning" with the kind of seriousness and gravitas that was intended.
  • Player Punch:
    • "The Vanishing of Tyler Freeborn." It turns out that the Fog is an airborne strain of the Filth; anybody who breathed it in is infected- meaning that the entire surviving population of Solomon Island is effectively doomed, and nothing you do to help them will change that. Just to drive the point home, the same mission also forces you to fight and kill Filth-Infected replicas of Helen Bannerman, Deputy Andy (including pet kittens), Scrapyard Edgar, Headmaster Montag... and all of them carry on reciting lines appropriate to their characters as they try to kill you.
    • Meeting Sarah in Tokyo can be one of these. In the Tokyo flashback sequence, you relive her memory of the damage control team's response to the Tokyo incident. In the original sequence, it is implied that you are simply experiencing a memory, or going back mentally in time to live the experience. It turns out in Tokyo that Sarah relives the memory every time a player character does, and has almost been driven mad by reliving the memory over and over.
  • Stoic Woobie: Hayden Montag. As a child, his studies in magic accidentally killed his mother and eleven other innocent bystanders- crimes for which Hayden turned himself in. As an adult, he's headmaster of Innsmouth Academy... and by the time you meet him, most of his faculty and students have been murdered by the monsters that have invaded Solomon Island, leaving him and two others to keep vigil over a school overrun with monsters. And, beyond a few absent-minded mutterings, he weathers the storm calmly and analytically.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • There are two Investigation missions that require the player to transcribe Morse code. The first one is in audio form, and is played at normal speed, making it almost impossible for someone not educated in it to follow.note  The second one is in blinking light form, and while slower than the first one, still takes quite a bit of trial and error to transcribe correctly, and you also have to figure out for yourself that you're looking at a Morse Code sequence in the first place.
    • "Thatíll Leave a Mark" is an Escort Mission located not very far from the entrance of the first area of the game (minus the hubs and Agartha). It requires to free a man from a Bear Trap, then escort him to the sheriff's office (about 200 meters away). Though the man himself is decently resilient and armed, he moves slowly (justified by his wounds), and likes better shooting the zombies rather than following the player character. When he is following, there are regular spawns of a specific kind of zombie which is way stronger and tougher than the standard mooks of the area. But the biggest issue of the quest is that it's a timed mission, and the escortee goes back to his bear trap if the timer expires. Even if it happens inside the barricade surrounding the sheriff's office.
      • This quest, thankfully, has a Good Bad Bug associated with it: if you move way out of range of the injured man, he'll stop moving at a crawl and run to catch up. Just take care that you don't get so far that you can't save him from the waves of zombies.
    • Third tier (out of four) of the Egypt main mission "A Modest Proposal" should have been quite tame, but turns very frustrating thanks to flawed mechaniscs which makes the sequence impossible to complete unless performing a specific series of counter-intuitive actions. In theory, you must reach an Orochi tent inside a canyon, then blow its content with explosives found right there, and run to safety; the tent is protected by a turret that you must blow with an EMP grenade looted on one of the mutated Orochi wandering not far. What actually happens:
      • The grenade has a shorter range than what the target colour code seems to indicate, and trying to toss it from too far removes it form the inventory without any other effect.
      • Selecting the grenade but not using it removes it from the inventory when you cancel the action.
      • It's impossible to toss the grenade above the knee-high sandbag wall surrounding the turret, forcing you to move behind the turret while it fires longer (of course, the sandbags doesn't prevent it to open fire on you...).
      • The grenade being a quest item, it is impossible to carry more than one at a given time.
      • One you found explosives and planted five bombs in the area's objective, a timer starts and you have exactly 2 minutes to reach safety, the relevant area being not shown on the map. Said area is the small rocky corridor that you initially entered to reach the tent, and which stands near to the explosives. Trying to hide in a crevice on the other side of the area doesn't work, neither teleporting away from the area.
    • The mission 'Hell and Bach' involves clicking on runes in a particular order within a 'wheel'. There are three problems with this. First, you're not given the full alphabet, making it necessary to use Trial-and-Error Gameplay to resolve which ones are which. Second, the runes themselves are very touchy, and clicking on the wrong one by mistake is practically guaranteed for the first couple times. Third, the runes are for whatever reason on a timer, and if you're too slow figuring out which of the runes to click next, it resets. And as if all that wasn't bad enough, woe to the low end gamer-at lower resolutions, the runes are so similar that it becomes impossible to tell some of them apart.
    • The mission 'The Cost of Magic' was one of the first missions given this distinction, with incongruous Floating Platforms that had only appeared in then-late game. The dodgy Jump Physics did not help.
    • 'The Bank Heist' is a Nintendo Hard stealth mission with optional Hard Mode Perks, no way to save progress on the map, Trial-and-Error Gameplay, Nigh Invulnerable security drones that can take you down in one hit, and several bugs that can allow mobs to catch players regardless of precautions or force players to start anew (without the option to get the achievement until the quest's timer resets).
    • In Issue 11's Orochi Tower, the beta levels have an achievement for completing all of them without suffering damage. Two of them, Manticore and Plethron Beta, are filled with environmental threats, and frequently have surprisingly large damage areas. Unlike the other beta levels, Manticore and Plethron have no unique mechanics, and present essentially identical dangers. Averted with Faust beta level, however, which is a Breather Level whose only "challenge" is finding where the MacGuffin spawned amid a bunch of keyboard jockeys who don't notice some of their colleagues have died in their chairs, despite still counting toward the achievement.
    • The Red Thread in Transylvania starts easy, but can end a nightmare. Finding the right library and book, changing the candles, even following the lyre to the next area is no problem. It gets a little more challenging when you realize you need to play out the lyre's exact song sequence using four objects in the room. That's when the clues stop and you're forced to guess what order to arrange four objects in. When that's done, you have to fight through to a whole different area to a shallow pool filled with stars, where you have to activate these tiny objects to glow and form a constellation, which would be difficult enough. Which constellation out of the many in the sky? You'll just have to guess, and you'll have to hope you're standing in the right direction for your point of view, also by guesswork.
  • The Woobie:
    • Marianne Chen; last surviving member of a CDC team sent to investigate the emergence of the Filth in Solomon Island, she's had to watch the rest of the team die horribly- either from the arrival of the Fog or direct exposure to the Filth. Effectively abandoned by her superiors and left all alone in a badly-defended base camp overlooking the swamp where her teammates died, she now lives in daily terror of something crawling up the hill and murdering her in her sleep- or being infected, hence the reason why she hasn't taken off her Hazmat suit since the Fog first swept in. The player is literally the only human contact she's had in the last few weeks, and it really shows in her dialogue.
      Marianne Chen: Frankly, if it didn't violate protocol, I could really use a hug.
    • Carter, Innsmouth Academy's star pupil. Having possessed magical powers since birth, she's ended up accidentally destroying most of the houses she's lived in over the years, forcing her parents to move near-constantly just to avoid attention from the police; eventually, they had to hand her over to the Innsmouth Faculty at age twelve, if only because they were more capable of helping her control her abilities. As such, she's the poster child for I Just Want to Be Normal... and it's only gotten worse since she's had to deal with the arrival of the Fog.
  • Uncanny Valley: The intro for a Dragon character has been criticized for running right into this during the blowjob scene, though many still find it effective.
    • What blowjob? I just got the best foot massage of my life!
    • It's pretty obvious that Tibor and Luminita are both children, but based on their proportions, one could be forgiven for believing they are supposed to be midgets.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheSecretWorld