The meat of the gameplay is Missions. Jef Reahard at Massively summarized the mission system rather well back in beta and I don't think too much has changed since then. There are seven kinds of missions on offer but you only get six Journal slots, three of which are for Side missions. PvP missions overlap. Confused yet?
|Strange? You don't know strange 'til you've met this woman.|
Confusing to read but very straightforward in practice. Here's the weird part. You can repeat all but the Story and Investigation missions ad infinitum, once per day. In other words, the majority of missions are dailies. Given that almost all these missions, despite not being flagged as "Story" are in fact stories, this creates a contextual disconnect verging on the psychotic.
|Psychotic? You say that like it's a bad thing.|
But wait, there's more. The Secret World takes a decidedly odd approach to experience. XP, that is. In an apparent attempt to dissuade players from the heinous sin of powerlevelling, missions reward xp thus:
Normal or easier - 100% experience
Hard - 95% of Normal
Very Hard - 85% of Normal
Devastating - 35% of Normal
This means that far from encouraging or rewarding exploration, enterprise and endeavour, the Templar, Illuminati and Dragon authorities appear positively to discourage it. No wonder the Phoenicians and Orochi get to all the good stuff first!
|I probably shouldn't be here...|
Some of those missions didn't require any fighting. Some did and guess what? I could kill what I was asked to kill. On my own. Who knows how far an under-geared, under-leveled group could get? Not to mention that some Kingsmouth missions are flagged "Devastating" when you first acquire them, bee-fresh out the tunnel. Someone really hasn't thought this through.
|Kingsmouth's back the other way, lady.|
Although, come to think of it, maybe Kingsmouth is trapped in a perpetual Groundhog Day. It's already living another movie, after all.