This is the sort of thing that makes The Secret World different from almost any other type of MMO: it is part ARG. Investigation missions in the game are not just missions where your character runs around finishing objectives to mimic an investigation. They are actually missions where you find clues that only hint at what you need to do, and you must figure out what to do based on the clues provided.
The amazing thing is that the clues go far beyond simple riddles like in many games. They come in the form of cryptograms, like the one I mentioned before, or subtle literary or historical references, or morse code, and sometimes more than one of those all at once. This is the reason the game has a built-in web browser: almost none of these can be solved without active research. Wonderfully, it only has to be as hard as you want it to be. I could have looked up all the answers to the mission I was working on yesterday, but I made the choice to work it out myself. It took me nearly two hours to do something that, if I had looked up the answers online, would have probably taken about ten minutes.
Going beyond that, even, you will find mentions of websites of characters in the game. Blogs, YouTube channels, even full-on business web sites. These are actual websites that you can look up on the web. One investigation mission I finished had a video of a character from the game giving a talk to an audience. Another one involved looking through the Orochi Group's website for clues about an employee.
It's not something everyone can enjoy, certainly. Some people are not as fascinated with solving complex puzzles, but for those who do, it is incredibly rewarding. As they appear to be adding more with each monthly installment, it seems likely that we will learn more about the history of the Secret World as well, and I'm looking forward to it. I've enjoyed the game so much that I spent $200 on the Grandmaster Pack to get a lifetime subscription to the game.
Recon Diary: The Secret World Part 3
Blog entry posted by Breefolk, Aug 5, 2012.