The Secret World dull? How? It has genuinely interesting stories and dialog, which is more than I can say even for SWTOR. Combat is different from other MMOs, even if it's not exactly revolutionary.
One important thing that keeps it interesting, though, is the rate at which you get points for new abilities. You get them very fast ( although you require more and more as you develop your skills more ) so you're constantly advancing. And there's a vast number of abilities to spend them on, which you can then use to tailor a character to your own specific needs. Obviously some combinations will work better than others, but there's way more variety than in games like WoW and SWTOR, where you basically have three builds to choose from.
But the most important thing is, like I've already explained, the variety of the missions. There are no missions, except in the tutorial part of the game, that simply tell you to go somewhere and kill a number of creatures. Some of them can be very difficult, not because of the enemies you meet but because of they're a bit more intelligent. Too much so, at times.
Take this one mission where you have to hack into a laptop. The password hint says the password is the name of the owner's wife. You find the owner's ID card, so you have his name. Now what? You open the in-game browser, find the real website of the fictional company he works for, look him up in the employee registry, and there you find the name of his wife. There's your password. And there are plenty of missions like that - though none of them exactly the same, so it doesn't turn into routine.