Friday, 11 May 2012

5 reasons why I am looking for to The Secret World

I thought I’d make a post of what I am looking forward to in ‘The Secret World’ before I get my hands on the game so I can see how my views change.

At the moment I am at the peak of expectation for a new MMO release. Sucked in by developer promises and excited from video gameplay releases. So here goes a list of things on why I am looking forward to Funcom’s ‘The Secret World’.

Theme and Lore

I am a roleplayer at heart and one of my favourite systems is White Wolf’s ‘World of Darkness’. There are a lot of similarities between ‘The Secret World’ and the ‘World of Darkness’. In both worlds, all the supernatural myths are true.

That old house at the end of the street just doesn’t have squatters in it. It is haunted by the father who massacred his family then committed suicide and now protects their bones buried in the backyard. The old man who runs an antique store is not so helpless and knows mystical ceremonies to raise the old gods.

Funcom's vision to take the modern world and shift it slightly sideways into darkness, will make the game stand out in a market filled with mainly sword and sorcery MMO’s.

Skill Wheel

The main reason I liked Rift so much was the flexibility of the soul system. If I was getting a little bored fighting mob’s the same way I could try another build.

This was the same in instances. I didn’t have to play a tank all the time. I could just join an instance and play as a DPS when I didn’t want the responsibility of holding aggro. The secret world skill wheel takes this idea even further.

The holy trinity exists but your team can swap roles at points in the world and play the way you want. It looks like a large part of the game will be making builds to suit your play style and using them in the dynamic environment with dynamic mobs.

I also like the way it is limited to 7 active abilities and 7 passive abilities. I have found in MMO’s previously you end up with not of abilities which are situational or do similar things just filling up your toolbars. I am hoping the streamlined abilities will move my eye away from the toolbar and into the action.

No Levels and stat independent cloths

There are no levels in the traditional sense, but there is still progression in the form of skill points. I am hoping this makes the content flatter with regards to the power of your character, and where you can explore or play with your friends.

Cloths do not affect your stat’s, which means your look can be individual. Expressing your characters personality.

I am actually looking forward to the cash shop as well. In the past when I have become fully engrossed in an MMO and it consumes my life I look for things to spend you RL money on. As they plan to have the cash shop based on cosmetic items this is excellent for me.

Monster ecology / Dynamic environments

This video link from GDC 2011 (Jump to 7 mins) shows how the monsters within a given area are linked and have a miniature life cycle.

Dynamic effects in the environment displayed in the following link Pax 2011 (Jump to 2 mins) showing how they use lights to add atmosphere and effect game-play. The video also shows how each faction play in the same area doing different quests to develop conflict between them. 

This following link shows a dungeon play-through (Jump to 5 mins) teaching the user how the monsters affect the environment. Electrical creatures using the water to damage the players. There are other videos showing players interacting with car alarms to bring more zombies then use fire to damage the zombies.

The aim to try and make a different type of MMO.

A quote from the following link for 'IGDA-Montreal Apr12 Secret World' struck a chord with me around 48 minutes into it was “We know MMO players are super impatient. The whole philosophy of the design of this game is for you not to be rushing to reach the end of the game. I think a problem with the design of content in a lot of MMO’s is not playing the game to have fun.”

Whether they achieve this, marks the success of the game for me.

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