Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Beta Weekend 2 - Sabotage, Synergy, Search Oh my

For the return to Kingsmouth for ‘The Secret World’s’ second beta weekend I thought I would look past the setting and have a play with the combat and try sabotage missions.

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Abilities and weapon synergy

In a previous blog entry I came across the developers forum post about combat and their discussion on weapons and synergy. I also found a rather nifty post on the forums showing this synergy.

You still have the tab targeting and abilities in TSW, but you can move while you cast abilities. There are no classes so the active abilities in the system are linked to a weapon. As you put more points into the weapon type it becomes more focused in a role. But in the first tier all weapons have single, aoe and dot abilities so they are functional early in the game.

As it is good to have weapons which have synergy, I chose the hammer and shotgun. As both use the 'Weakened mechanic'.

Synergy of Abilities 2

As you progress, you get to purchase abilities from the skill wheel. I really liked the wheel interface. It was easy to see what abilities I had equipped. Abilities had simple consistent text describing what they did. The interface also let you search for keywords. So it was easy to find abilities which shared states and damage types.

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The system works on resources, a bit like wow's rogues. But both your equipped weapons build resources so you can build your resources with your shotgun and use your hammer and shotgun finishers.

The synergy worked well and the jump between weapons is just the button click for the ability. This is probably something I just need to practice but having decent access to 7 mapped abilities on the keyboard and moving and focusing on the fight is still slightly out of my grasp. I had a play with using a game controller but I might make a separate post about controllers.

Sabotage Missions

I tried two sabotage missions. One I had to find surveillance cameras and the second I had to escort a girl into a base. These were a break from the normal MMO quest. You had to evade cameras jump over security beams and pull levers to open doors and solve small puzzles. These look promising and show the potential of a lot of different mechanics for future quests. My only complaint would be they are still all just placed in one flat plane. Dungeons and Dragons online quests seemed to be more 3 dimensional with ladders to other levels and tunnels without the need for a loading screen. To have a look at the meat of the sabotage mission skip to 15 minutes in the video below (posted by someone else).

Investigation Missions

Though I tried to just do the above I could not help myself and had to try another investigation mission. This time I tried ‘Something Wicked’. Again it made the game shine and highlighted the high points with interesting puzzles and even a trip into the ghostly realm.

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