Choose My Adventure  The Secret World takes the stage
O MJ, MJ, wherefore art thou going MJ? The secret is out... er, in. I am off to the land of conspiracies. And no, I don't mean high school.

Going into this vote, many a Massively staffer thought that one game was a shoe-in and would have a decisive win. Well, we were partially right: The win was definitely decisive, but if we were putting money on it, we would have empty pockets right now! With a resounding shout that nearly leveled a section of al-Merah, you have declared that The Secret World will take center stage during this Choose My Adventure series. It just goes to show that you can't necessarily predict things, especially when a passionate fanbase rallies together.

Although this game choice is admitted unexpected, I am very excited to play this out with you. Many of you already know I really enjoy playing TSW. In fact, a few have expressed concern over this. Let me ease your thoughts a bit. Am I familiar with things about The Secret World? Yes, I am, but so are many of you. Do I love parts of it? Certainly! Do I know or have I experienced all there is to the game? Not in the slightest. And besides, remember that I won't be playing as I would play; Choose My Adventure is all about you telling me how to play your way. Trust me when I say we'll explore things in a whole new way because you will be directing each scene. So what's my first line?

TSW factions
Why do I know that we can dive into this game with a new and different perspective? Because you are playing through me, which will be a totally different experience from the way I usually play. Remember, I am the ultimate in casual when it comes to playing; I do not really bother delving into the mechanics much, and I have literally just been coasting on the story-line feature of this game. Not to mention, I haven't even gotten very far! And don't forget that an all-new monthly patch is coming out, adding even more to the list of what-MJ-hasn't-done. You've also proven that you can surprise me and send me in unexpected directions. Together, these facts make me confident this will be an eye-opening experience for me and a fresh one for you. So let's get down to it.

Getting in character

The first choice we must face when loading up the game is which faction we will be. Unlike games with multiple race and class choices that must be determined up front, TSW provides us only three possibilities here. There are the London-based Templars, the Seoul-based Dragons, and the New York City-based Illuminati. You can pick by which city you like, which deck or PvP outfits are cooler, or which philosophy you'd rather ascribe to -- righteous warrior (Templar), purveyor of chaos (Dragon), or master manipulator (Illuminati).

I will admit that I am more familiar with the Templar story, but because I haven't progressed terribly far, I will not exclude it from the list. So which role will I take in the grand conspiracy scheme?
CMA: How do you flavor your conspiracy?
Dragon699 (33.4%)
Illuminati878 (41.9%)
Templar517 (24.7%)

TSW screenshotMake-up!

We already know that I am partial to female characters (maybe someday I will throw caution to the wind and let you vote on gender), but that doesn't mean you can't have a say in how she looks. The Secret World doesn't have any variation of height and weight, but facial features can be adjusted along with hair color and styles. However, choices for appearance are not terribly conducive to polls, so the choice is down to just hair color. I suppose I could include freckles or no freckles, but you'll have to toss those kinds of suggestions into the comments at the end.
CMA: You've got the look
I'm having a blonde moment.173 (8.8%)
Red-heads have all the fun!659 (33.6%)
Elvira black is where it's at.428 (21.8%)
Nothing beats a brunette.272 (13.9%)
Cotton candy on my head -- pick something wild or multicolored.430 (21.9%)

Props

Except for mimes, actors takes the stage with appropriate props for the story. I am not a mime. Now's your chance to choose which props I will be wielding during our production. There are three different categories of weapons to choose from: guns, magic, and melee. There are three weapons in each of those categories as well as a new weapon being introduced in the Digging Deeper content update scheduled for tomorrow. Most weapons are pretty self-explanatory, but one weapon in each of the three categories also has healing abilities attached: Assault Rifle, Blood Magic, and Fists.

You might notice that shotgun is absent from the choices. That is by design; since that is the one weapon I know well (and love), I am leaving it out so that I have the chance to experience new things I wouldn't necessarily normally try. In the interest of full disclosure, I am slightly familiar with rifles and fists as well, but I actually know little about them except that I was grabbing a few healing abilities. And let's not even talk about the abilities I grabbed only to get a deck outfit. I don't even have a clue about them! Whatever you guys choose, though, I am going to study and learn well so we can pick good abilities.

Just a note: If you don't particularly like the weapons that win this time around, don't despair! This choice will actually be fluid throughout the CMA experience thanks to the way skills work in TSW. We just need something to get us started. So what will it be?
CMA: Gimme some skillz!
Assault Rifle354 (17.6%)
Pistols290 (14.4%)
Elementalism248 (12.3%)
Chaos186 (9.2%)
Blood Magic180 (8.9%)
Fists159 (7.9%)
Hammers157 (7.8%)
Blades335 (16.6%)
Rocket Launcher106 (5.3%)

Oh wait! Did I forget to mention that we get to equip two different weapons at once? In fact, it's not as much of a can as a should. So now, after that agonizing decision, you have to decide what my second method of inflicting death will be. (In the case that the same weapon wins this poll, I'll choose the runner-up.)
CMA: Moar skillz!
Assault Rifle180 (9.1%)
Pistols257 (13.0%)
Elementalism294 (14.8%)
Chaos262 (13.2%)
Blood Magic272 (13.7%)
Fists152 (7.7%)
Hammers140 (7.1%)
Blades301 (15.2%)
Rocket Launcher126 (6.4%)
TSW screenshot
The lights dim...

Well, that's it, folks. Pull up a chair and get comfortable; as soon as all of the votes are in, we'll get this show started! If you want a say in things, be sure to make your picks by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, September 16th. Then the curtain will raise and we'll start Act I. Want to catch a televised version of the performance? Keep an eye on the MV Guide for show times!

Strap yourself in for the ride of (six weeks of) your life! Where are you going? Well, that's entirely up to you, the Massively readers, to decide -- the where, the what, and the how are all directed by you. The who is MJ Guthrie! For the duration of Choose My Adventure, her virtual life is in your hands! Join MJ in-game, on-site, and live on Massively TV to be a part of the adventure and watch the story unfold.

This article was originally published on Massively.