I don't imagine it's easy being a subscription fee in this free-to-play world of ours. At best, you're viewed as an anachronism. At worst, a pariah. You walk into places of commerce, only to find people talking about you as though you died years ago. And others... well, others aren't so kind. They all-too-willingly bring out pitchforks and torches, which is among the more enthusiastic ways to communicate the message "Please go away." I mean, just look at The Secret World. Funcom's throwing a giant party next weekend, and TSW's subscription fee isn't even invited!
Funcom's billing the big bash as a celebration of a successful first month for TSW. In addition to giving everyone a chance to try out the first "Issue" of new content, there'll also be a contest to complete the most missions, "special prizes," and even fireworks (!!!). Here, however, is the part most of you will care about:
"We want to share the joy with as many people as possible! Any player, who has any type of The Secret World account, may join us over the weekend to celebrate our first month! Early Access, Inactive Accounts, and Beta Accounts may all join in! If you do not currently have an account for The Secret World, you may register to participate starting today, Friday, July 27th, to have open access to this special celebration weekend! You can find the celebration event registration on the right side of the official website!"
Speaking personally, I recommend you give it a shot if you've been on the fence up until now. Funcom's ode to all things supernatural certainly has its issues - ho-hum combat, a skill system that's not as versatile as advertised, general clunkiness - but it's such a fantastic place with so much character and personality. I mean, I've taken missions from a shotgun-toting grandmother and a Stephen King parody. I've battled Cthulhu through dimensions and lived to tell the tale. And then there are the investigation missions, which will chew up and spit out your brain until it looks like silly putty.
On the downside, Funcom's sort of front-loaded TSW with its best content, but if you're trying it for the first time, that's pretty much perfect. So go! Claim your free weekend! And if you see any subscription fees glaring in throw the window - face pressed enviously against the glass - don't feel bad. They're not people like us.