Since Pre-Launch back in the spring 2011 - was it april??
It has quite a hard learning curve in the beginning - but the forums, gamers and fans sites are your friends here http://forums.thesecretworld.com/http://unfair.cohttp://wordpress.tswguides.com/http://dulfy.net/category/tsw/
There's even a thread, where you can list your in-game name for newcomers to add as friends, if they need help playing.
Most newcomers, that post on the forum to say hi, can't believe, they didn't try the game earlier. Says a little about the freshness and quality of the game
Of course it has bugs and whatnot as all new MMO's has - but it's worth mentioning, that Funcom has spewed out a new content EVERY month up til now.
They have in fact enough new content made already for the next 6 months - if not more.
Then there's the Issues (DLC's) - we're up to #5 now already... just awesome....
About the bugs - funcom staff regularly go on the forums and post/reply to stuff people are concerned about. They have even changed a few things, because people were not pleased with stuff.
Subscribers get - among a few free items - 1200 Bonus Points($10) every month to be used for the new Issue/DLC(so you sort of get it for free instead of buying it from the store).
Some thought that was not a big enough incentive to become a subscriber - what did they do?
They declared they would add Veteran Rewards also.. not sure what it is yet - but it shows, they listen
Link about Veteran