The Secret World Beta Bonanza Part 5 – Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner.

Continuing on from Part 4.

23:32 pm GMT, 12th of May

I awaken back in London’s Ealdwic district. That crazy puppeteer is still chattering away on the stage, and I still have my wallet. I’m helped to my feet by a friendly fellow Templar. Actually, I think *everyone* in Ealdwic is a Templar, or at least related to them in some way or another.

What an odd thing to say.

I realise, with a sudden sense of loss, that I no longer have my shotgun, nor any of the incredible powers that I so recently possessed. Of course, why on earth would I? It was just a foolish dream, perhaps brought on by stress, or the quarter-pound of mature cheddar that I consumed last night, and I’m sure it will have no bearing on anything going forward.

She told me to seek out Richard Sonnac at the Temple Hall, so off I trot. My heart sinks as I anticipate being at the receiving end of another monologue, but perks back up again when I remember I’m back in London and that chippy is still open.

00:09 am GMT, 13th of May

As I stroll up Redcrosse Circus to the Temple, now might be a good a time to take a peek at the map.

London's Ealdwic district in The Secret World

Quite a nice map, and I can see my contact marked in blue at the entrance to the Temple.

The Temple is huge, and ever so slightly ominous, with uniformed Templar standing watch outside. They seem happy to let me waltz on in though, so I climb the steps, make a right, and find myself in Mr Sonnac’s office. He speaks of history, he speaks of the darkness that is coming, but most notably he speaks of me being a soldier for the Templar. I was not aware I had signed anything yet!

I resist the urge to move his desk and chair slightly to the right.

He feels I need to learn how to use my powers with restraint, and as luck would have it, they have a training area set up for exactly that. He’ll meet me there presently.

Oooh. Is it like the Danger Room? I hope it's like the Danger Room.

I turn to walk away, but then I notice something fascinating. Mr Sonnac has a little red button floating next to his head. Clicking it reveals a cornucopia of wonders! It turns out he is the first NPC I can actually talk to about things, and the red speech bubble reveals a list of topics I can speak to him about. You can select the same topic multiple times for different responses, and when you have heard them all, it becomes marked with a tick. All fully voiced, too.

Mr Sonnac is a mine of information, and I'm going to take my pick.

I sup liberally from the fountain of knowledge that is my new best friend. I suppose I had better go meet him in the training room, mysteriously known as “The Crucible.”

01:17 am GMT, 13th of May

I know an old lady who swallowed a bee.
So had to join a society.
Same happened to me.
– Arkenor Oakshadow

I’m feeling a little railroaded here, and slightly suspicious as to how these people turned up so quickly after I involuntarily acquired my mysterious powers. As I said at the beginning, were it up to me, I would not join any of these factions. In Funcom’s previous game, Anarchy Online, that was an option, but that does not seem to be the case here. I have been told that there are a great many smaller cabals, and perhaps within them is one that is more concentrated on knowledge and protecting the innocent than world domination. I may seek them out at a later date, but at the moment I seem to have little choice than to go along with whatever these Templar want.

01:53 am GMT, 13th of May

The Crucible is not what I expected. It seems to be a cross between a gentleman’s club, and a school gymnasium. At least there’s a bar and some comfy seats. A chap called Brigadier Lethe is waiting for me in the gym section. That sense of doom is upon me again, as I realise that this is probably going to involve both exercise and being shouted at.

Oh dear, I was right. He’s quite horrible. “You’re part of an army, our army, and you’ll do what you’re told.”. I want to go home. To make matters worse, I have to test a variety of weapons, and for target dummies, they’re using chained up beings! OK, he says they’re demons, that they can’t feel pain, and that they’re undeserving of mercy, but this does not feel right at all!

There are 9 weapon types in all. Pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, blades, hammers, and knucklespikes are clear enough, but there are also 3 sorts of magical focus. Elemental magic is a long range sort of affair. Chaos Magic, on the other hand is a sort of close-range magical kung-fu. The Blood magic focus appears to be broken, and will not let me test it.

Whichever one you finally pick, you get a few points in its skill tree, so the decision is mildly important. Here’s a picture of me trying out a spot of Elemental magic on a defenceless prisoner.

And so began my journey to the Dark Side.

Continued in Part 6!

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