The Secret World: Postcards From The Edge Of Madness

They sell these in the local inconvenience store.

Recently John went to New England on holiday. We started receiving postcards. It appears he’s stumbled into some sort of… Secret World?

Friday 4th May:

Saturday 5th May:

Sunday 6th May:

Monday 7th May:

Tuesday 8th May:

Wednesday 9th May:

Thursday 10th May:


  1. wodin says:

    Very creative. Round of applause.

  2. westyfield says:

    RPS is based in BA1? Eurgh!

    • John Walker says:

      Actually, no. I’m in BA2 now, and Jim’s in BA978,023.

      • westyfield says:

        Oh, there’s hope for you yet then. :)

      • DrScuttles says:

        BA5 was quite nice when I used to live there. Remote, but pleasant. Couldn’t wait to move away, though.

    • Casimir Effect says:

      Everyone knows all the cool kids are in BA2

    • felisc says:

      Ba1 ? Ba2 ? Huh ?
      Are there some kind of postal code war going on in england ?

      • Casimir Effect says:

        In England you’re at war with your neighbours, who you band together with to declare war on neighbouring-streets, who you ally with against neighbouring postcodes, who you side with against neighbouring towns and cities, whose cause you join against neighbouring counties, all of whom get together to hate London(ers).

      • Shadram says:

        The BA1/BA2 divide in Bath tells you which side of the river you live on. BA2 is the cool side, BA1 is where all the rich people live. So there’s definitely ill will, if not outright warfare. I was BA2 for 10 years.

    • stahlwerk says:

      I feel like the town took up an unnecessary stride towards the silly, after BA4: Modern Barfare.

    • Cian says:

      Maybe this postcode war isn’t true where you live but in my ends…

      E5 4 lyfe.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Bah, BS6 ftw

  3. wodin says:

    Bath or Barth…how posh are you? I’m a northerner so it’s Bath to me.

    • westyfield says:

      It’s a long A, like in grass or half.

      • sonofsanta says:

        But grass and half are pronounced differently! (at least, if you have a proper accent. Ask Adam)

        • wodin says:

          Well said

        • westyfield says:

          That was the joke, yes.

          • sonofsanta says:

            Blame the internet for its failure to impart sarcasm then, seeing as how my wife pronounces both of those words with the same vowel sound.

            Although her opinions on the subject are rendered invalid by her pronouncing “moustache” as “mustosh” but still shortening it to “tash”. Illogical on so many levels.

          • westyfield says:

            Wait, I pronounce those two with the same sound (long A) as well. I thought you meant that in the north they were pronounced differently to in the south, as with Bath, so using it as a comparison was silly. Joke fail, I guess.

            Moustache is also pronounced with a long A, as is (I’m beginning to suspect) every other word out there.

          • StormTec says:

            This sounds like a job for Professor Elemental…

            link to

          • Squiffy says:

            Just ask Tracy Goodwin: link to

            She knows.

      • wodin says:

        @westyfield Your posh, speak properly for godsake. It has one “a” not two or an “a” then an “r” just one “a”.

        It’s Bath not Barf.

        • Phantoon says:

          You say it’s not “barf”, but that’s all I hear out of people that visit.

        • westyfield says:

          > “It’s Bath not Barf.”

          Yes, it is Bath. But Bath is pronounced with a long A! And whilst ‘barf’ has the correct A sound, the intrusive R and bastardisation of the ‘th’ sound are the sort of awful mess one would expect to hear from a Bristolian.

          • RakeShark says:

            So it’s kinda like “b-aw-th”?

          • Sleepymatt says:

            Christ… I think I’ll just have a shower instead… :P

          • westyfield says:

            @ RakeShark

            Yeah, sort of. Just make sure you don’t pronounce the W, it’s more like ‘B-ah-th. Hard to write without using the International Phonetic Alphabet.
            B like ‘bad’, a like ‘father’, th like ‘thigh’. Not the harsher th that you get in ‘the’.

  4. MataDor says:

    Beta weekend starts in 3,5h. I’m leaving work in 2,5h and intend to test it rest of the day :)

    Hope servers don’t crush…. as this is “stress test” to be honest….

    • ineffablebob says:

      Lkewise. I don’t usually like stress test weekends but this game is something I really want to try, so I’ll attempt it.

  5. Senthir says:

    “Reckon I must be all thumbs when it comes to secret handshakes” oh man please tell me that characters can select Rural Southern American as a voice type or something and that isn’t just an NPC. That and evangelical preacher are the most underrepresented vocal stylings in playable characters.

    • Phantoon says:

      I think the only game to feature southern baptist style voice acting was Neverwinter Nights 2, as a character voice option.

  6. stahlwerk says:

    John totally brought the written cards back home and just put them in the post box himself, after repeatedly “forgetting” to ask the locals where one could buy stamps.

  7. Jams O'Donnell says:

    If there is not already a Rule about using script fonts there should be one. Unless John’s handwriting really is just miraculously uniform (and a bit girly).

  8. Ignorant Texan says:

    Mr Walker,

    Did you see any ghosts? It seems highly likely to me that there might be some.

  9. smeaa mario says:

    I still don’t understand why they would like to add the spice of such a controversial and supposedly living organization as illuminati to this game. Call me a moron and go cynic on me as much as you want but even the effing scenario is like the darn new world order, the disgusting scheme that is also probably living. So, why?

    • MondSemmel says:

      So conspiracy theorists have something to talk about. On this subject: Look at the Wikipedia entry to “New World Order”: link to
      Treat everything called “conspiracy theory” with healthy skepticism: It’s probably wrong unless the amount of evidence in its favor is beyond reasonable doubt.
      EDIT: And whenever you read that “right-wing populists” believe in a conspiracy theory, you can be very sure that said evidence for it does not exist.

      • smeaa mario says:

        Leave the conspiracy aside and explain me the illuminati theme then. Lies and conspiracy or not, this controversy is an ongoing one. I just wonder what the devs motivations are. Are they simply pursuing a nicely exploitable way of arousing curiosity or are they really part of it?

        • John Walker says:

          Haha. You silly billy.

        • Ignorant Texan says:

          It’s more a way to get an amoral America based faction into the game. I would think people would be more up in arms about a faction called the ‘Templars’, after the events of last summer. Especially in Norway.

        • stahlwerk says:

          WHAT DID THEY KNOW?!

          No, seriously, I doubt the devs were approached by a shady, chain smoking, political figure with a manila envelope saying “NWOMMOCOM”.

        • smeaa mario says:

          Well, I knew this comment would end up like this. But whatever… I had the question in my mind since the beginning and just had to write it off. By the way, thanks for the sarcasm John.

          • stahlwerk says:

            Actually I understand the concern, I used to be a bit into the big conspiracy theories myself. One thing that helped with it: If in doubt, try occam’s razor. If further doubts remain, try to recall “Illuminatus!” was written by a couple of (allegedly) acid-tripping hippies (a fun read, nonetheless).

          • stahlwerk says:

            There’s actually a really good explanation for humanities predisposition towards creating and believing conspiracy theories from an evolutionary point: Most of the times a creaking sound in the dark is really just the wind in the trees. Still, in the off-chance it’s your local predatory species, it was healthier to phantasize about lurking evils and getting tfo.

          • John Walker says:

            Laughing and calling you silly isn’t sarcasm!

            It seems very unlikely that the developers at Funcom are promoting the Illuminati.

            It is quite obvious they are all Templar.

          • smeaa mario says:

            Thanks for the direct insult then.

            Edit: And for the sarcasm (hope I am not failing to identify sarcasm once again) that was added later.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Please, John, a Templar splinter faction. Do them the honours of getting the details right!

          • Quine says:


          • Phantoon says:

            All these conspiracies will be revealed, at Mystery, Alaska.

          • DAdvocate says:

            @smeaa mario
            I apologise in advance if this sounds condescending; I would strongly suggest you start reading a quality news weekly (or monthly) such as the Economist. Daily news coverage has little time for analysis or depth leaving many readers at the mercy of whatever partisan spin the publication pushes.

            The more you understand about what is happening in the world, the less you will need to fill in the gaps with conspiracy theories.

          • Arglebargle says:

            A while ago, I ran across a website that had a honking big list of known historical conspiracies. It was quite extensive. The author pointed out that these were not now generally considered conspiracies, because they were the plots that were found out. Hmn…

          • Bremze says:

            I take it that you haven’t played Deus Ex?

            What a shame.

          • El_Emmental says:

            What I found out about conspiracy theories, is that they’re -all- trying to find a “will”, some people making decisions, and this “will” would explain why the current situation is like this.

            It’s desperately saddening and panic-inducing to admit most of our lives are greatly influenced by systemic interactions we don’t have a full control on, not even the most powerful people, that something “else”, is “deciding” where we’re going.

            If you drop the religious explanations and the conspiracies, what’s left to explain what you can’t demonstrate ?

            What’s left to prevent these cold chills, that deep feeling of mortality and fatality when you’re staring into the abyss ? *staring-eyes-tag*

            Illuminati are good material for “secret organization pulling the strings in the shadow”, it’s like a super-glue “Fix Everything” for a shattering background story, that’s why you see it often in the entertainment industry.

          • smeaa mario says:

            thank you el_emmental at least for giving me a proper reply instead of doing your best to instantly oppose and demean me but whatever gives, I still believe that there is some awkward shit going on. just like arglebargle mentioned, you can’t even call some stuff a ‘conspiracy theory’ because they are just revealed plots. still, I had the ‘stoning to death’ coming because I was ‘silly billy’ enough to mention such an idiotic conspiracy theory as the nwo on such a highly educated and intellectual gaming site as rps. because games are games and you can’t presume that they might have some hidden agenda beneath, right?

    • wodin says:

      Is that the New World Order where everyone who has power in the world worships Satan? Aren’t we supposed to be waiting on some announcement that we all should worship Satan or some such. Blue beam project thats it.

      yeah right.

  10. Maldomel says:

    Looks like it was a nice trip. So many things to do…

  11. Radiant says:

    ok so we now know it takes seven postcards before walker is compelled to draw a cock on one.

    Personally speaking my P2C number is three.

  12. brat-sampson says:

    I’m in for the Beta and looking forward to trying out an MMO for the first time ever. The scenario sounds interesting and I know I like the developers for TLJ and Dreamfall so I figured for free I’d give it a shot.

  13. Runs With Foxes says:

    Hate to be a downer, but as a preview this doesn’t say much about the game, and reads like something I’d expect to find on a Secret World promo website.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Not to be disagreeable, but this gives a much better flavor of what to expect than John saying, “I killed X number of Zombies using a Y build”, and “Delivered a package to Z by way of V“. The postcards actually do say a lot about what to expect one will be doing in TSW. And, I think John’s postcards do a fine job of conveying the flavor of the game.

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        Wouldn’t you like to know how the game creates this ‘flavor’? Some criticism and explanation, in other words? That’s kind of the difference between a preview and an advertisement, though granted the two are usually synonymous in games coverage.

        • kastanok says:

          Check the other articles under The Secret World tag – there’s several which go into detail on mechanics and structure.

        • Ignorant Texan says:

          Runs With Foxes,

          I apologize if I seem to be cryptic, but I am under a NDA.

          With that said, here’s one example –

          “I know this doesn’t sound entirely realistic, but I just found a buried treasure by using the lengths of More than a Feelin’ and Safety Dance as coordinates.”

          I’ll also guarantee that the quest chain didn’t begin with “Use the lengths of More than a Feelin’ and Safety Dance to discover buried treasure”.

          • DK says:

            “I’ll also guarantee that the quest chain didn’t begin with “Use the lengths of More than a Feelin’ and Safety Dance to discover buried treasure”.”

            It does. It literally does that. It specifically says “I buried my treasure at a secret location, using the lenghts of my favorite two songs, More than a Feeling and Saftey Dance as coordinates”.

            Don’t expect any originality or subtlety in The Secret Worlds quest design. The single good thing about it, is the NPC dialogue. Which fuckin’ Tornquist could have delivered better in a goddamn DREAMFALL SEQUEL.

        • dysphemism says:

          As kastanok mentions, there’s been plenty of straight-laced coverage on the game via interviews and previews, and they have more info of that variety forthcoming. Please don’t moan about it when the writers have a bit of fun and express excitement about something they’re playing (and presumably working on a more extensive write-up on, obviously).
          Also: *sigh* I hope that isn’t another veiled accusation of writers being in the pockets of advertisers.

    • kastanok says:

      It’s a bit of fun, for writer and reader.

      Besides, this article gives a great impression off what TSW – or at least this are of it – feels like to play. At least, what it felt like to play for John.

  14. Hoaxfish says:

    I swear, I’ve never seen so many drunk people anywhere

    I thought RPS was based in England? Do you just hide inside on the weekend?

  15. Love Albatross says:

    What are the combat mechanics in The Secret World? The usual hotkey stuff or something more interesting?

    • otaku4225 says:

      I had to sign an NDA for the closed, but yes it is hotkey. Although not just generic. No ‘levels’ just specialization of character builds and greater equipment/armor. I’m having a fucking blast. Great dialogue, good enemy variation, and although a bit buggy it is very enjoyable. Also makes you think for some of the missions. I have been waiting for this game for a year and it does not disappoint. Too bad I’m too cheap to buy MMO’s, but this might be the one to change that.

    • DK says:

      It’s standard generic hotbar combat. The abilities you get are bland, and though there’s technically several hundred of them, there’s really only about 20 different ones with dozens of carbon copies for the various weapon trees.

      Incidentally, the “no levels” thing is blatant lie. Just because they don’t paste a number next to your characters name doesn’t mean there’s no levels. You have an XP bar. You ding and get skill points, which make your character statistically better. That’s the definition of levels.

  16. Sarkhan Lol says:

    Those puzzle quests sound awesome but I suspect are going to lose their shine once every google hit on the first page of any involved term is for a Secret World spoiler site

  17. Lucas Says says:

    You’ve just sold me a video game. YOU HEAR ME, FUNCOM? Give them their cut!

    (Yes, I realize there’s no cut to give.)

    All you had to say was that you found treasure based off the lengths of two songs. That’s it. My willpower was nothing.

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  19. Morte66 says:

    Should have been a singleplayer RPG. Or maybe three singleplayer RPGs. Or something.

  20. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    Lets be honest here, no one is going to buy this game. Cancel it and give the rest of the money to hungry kids. You might be excited by the idea of the game, but the execution of it is most likely ARSE.