It’s no secret that there are a lot of games out there I fell for on my first try (Final Fantasy XI, World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, Star Trek Online), but you know what game I couldn’t stand when I first played it? City of Heroes. I played, thought it totally missed what would have made a superhero MMO fun, and left it behind with a sense of bitter disappointment. It was several months before I gave it another shot; when I did, it was lover at second sight.
This is not entirely foreign to me; my first impression of The Elder Scrolls Online was definitely negative, but going back to it produced much warmer feelings. Then again, there are games which I don’t care for much on my first try that later do nothing to change my mind. What about you, dear readers? Have you ever fallen for an MMO after giving it a second chance? And if so, have you found it has more to do with changes to the game or with yourself?
I would like to start this article by saying that there are a lot of things to like about Secret World Legends, but for me, those good things — despite their being some of my favorite things about RPGs and MMOs — make it hard to overlook what I consider the flaws of the game.
Although there were always weird bits to The Secret World’s storytelling, like the silent protagonist, I’ve long considered it to be some of the best storytelling in MMORPGs. With the launch of Secret World Legends, that has not changed. In fact, I would say that as an introduction to the game, it’s improved. The weak point to the game has always been the combat. There were some very confusing things about it, which have been fixed, and there were some aesthetic issues, which have not been fixed.
I am very torn about how to approach my impressions of the game. I want to come at it as someone who hasn’t played it before because it’s being sold as something new. But at the same time, I have played the game, and I know exactly why I never played it for more than a week at a time. I approached the game from two different perspectives: Would this impress someone who has never played it, and will returning players who didn’t stick with it over the last couple of years be interested enough in the changes to come back?