Zone Fatigue

A few weeks ago I noted that one of the advantages to The Secret World’s style of progression was that I was never out-leveling a zone to the point that I no longer received useful rewards (like XP) or became so overpowered that the content proved to be trivial. As a result, I was working my way through zones slowly and completing every mission that I could find (so long as it wasn’t labeled “nightmare”) because there was no reason to rush. That’s still true now— I’ve recently completed The Shadowy Forest and have made headway into the Carpathian Fangs— however I’m noticing a downside to this slower pace, for me at least. I’m starting to experience “zone fatigue.”

Before even beginning the game I was surprised to hear of so many people who owned TSW, enjoyed the title, but had never made it out of the Blue Mountains, the third and final zone for Solomon Island. Once reaching the Blue Mountains myself I was still surprised (at first) because I was enjoying the zone from the quests to the spooky New England forest vibe. However about half way through I started to grow tired of the familiar scenery. Yes, each zone was a little different but the overall look and feel was similar and I was looking forward to Egypt because I knew it would be a completely different experience. Now I can understand how someone might experience the same fatigue leading to a brief intermission from TSW that ultimately becomes a character permanently stuck in the Blue Mountains.

I didn’t enjoy Egypt as much as I did the Solomon Island zones, but I could appreciate the change of scenery and it was still an interesting area and main storyline. However once again, roughly half way through the City of the Sun God, I was ready to move on. Transylvania has been no different. I had high expectations for the zone, perhaps unrealistic ones, and while it hasn’t been what I expected Transylvania is still my second favorite area in TSW with The Shadowy Forest housing some of the most endearing NPCs in the game. Nevertheless I’m tired of the zone.

I think it happened quicker with Transylvania because there are a lot of similarities to the Blue Mountains and Solomon Island in general, but there’s also a bit of “zone fatigue” fatigue at this point and I’m ready to move into the episodic content of the issues. Whereas the individual areas of Solomon Island, Egypt, and Transylvania are a marathon; the issues are more like a three mile jog. Speaking of issues, I did accidentally play through issue 7 a couple of weeks ago and despite still taking place in Transylvania it was the breath of fresh air that I needed. I will probably play through it again once I finish Transylvania and catch up on the issues I missed.

In the mean time I’ve contemplated going back to Kingsmouth and running through some of my favorite missions again or trying the open world lairs in all the Solomon Island zones to see if they can be soloed. I’ve even considered queuing for dungeons in the newly added dungeon finder since I’ve yet to participate in group content, but being so close to the end of Transylvania I think I am going to push through the fatigue and complete the final zone. It’s not that the missions are boring or the stories aren’t capturing my attention; it’s just that the regular change of scenery that I’m use to in other MMOs is moving much more slowly for me in The Secret World and I like my surroundings to change a bit more frequently.

Has anyone else experienced this in TSW or any other game? How long can you stay in a zone before you’re ready to see something new?