PVS The Secret World: GDC 2012 Presentation Awesomeness

Last week at GCD 2012, Fun Com & EA reveled more of the upcoming game The Secret World that fans have been waiting for now for over a year. At the presentation, more than a few of the lead writers and designers weighed on various aspects of the game including character creation, starting zones, builds and crafting. The presentation, being just over 30 minutes, leaves everybody wanting more but also gives us a ton of previously unreleased info. Check out the video, then check out our opinions after the jump.

Character Creation: From what was shown of the character creation, it may leave much to be desired. Though we were told there will be more options once the games release as far as physical appearance (such as face, hair, nose, etc), it seems like it will be more of a ‘pick & choose’ system then a detailed scaling system. As long as they give us enough options though, this is fine.

Fun Com also revealed that the player will get to choose what clothing will be available at the beginning, and be able to purchase items as well. What I found admirable is that this is going to be available with in-game currency, drops/crafts as well as micro-transations. Assuming that the micro-transation items don’t become the ‘best items in the game’ I’m fine with marketing decision.

Players (toons) also get to choose a first name, last name, and nickname. I like this feature, it makes it more realistic. Nobody names their kid PwnURFace, but there might be a Percival “PwnURFACE” Smith out there. Realism is good.

Dragon Starting Zone: If you pick a female, you’re forced to have a lesbian experience. That’s the big picture in this. We did get to see some of the environment though of the starting location, and it looks like an actual city. Each city was also said to have an auction house, bank, headquarter (HQ) for each faction, hospital and other normal buildings you’d find in an actual city. This is good news. Personally I’m a big fan of realistic/modern MMORPG such as this. I was big into Second Life and enjoyed The Matrix Online for that reason. Hopefully they can pull this off well.

Achievements: Acheivements were mentioned, but not in too much detail. They did say there will be a ton of them, but that’s about as far as it went. The standard possible in-game rewards seem to apply.

Builds: A strong point of this presentation was the explanation of builds (character trees) and how classes (or lack there of) are going to work. In short: There are no classes but a giant wheel of spells to choose from. In total, there are “over 500” passive and active abilities to choose from. These abilities are divided into types, and sub-types. As the player progresses, they’ll go from having basic abilities to being able to choose the more refined sub-types. A Player will be able to choose 7 passive and 7 active that can be in-use at one time. Saving which ones are in-use will form the player’s build.

What truly interested me was that a player will not be locked into a build once chosen. Players will be able to save a build, then be able to create a completely different one as well. Gamers can then switch builds on the fly to fill whatever position or need they may have. If they need to smash somebody in the face instead of shooting at them, that’s now doable.

Crafting: Super-Layered-Complicated Crafting System (SLCCS) is going to apparently play a big part in The Secret World. You’ll be able to break down items you find, and reassemble them to make stranger items. They’re calling this Transcribing. They give the example of breaking a hammer, then putting it back together in the shape of a hammer on the assembly screen to make it back into a hammer. If you keep it as parts, you can merge it with other parts (to layer them, making them more durable/upgraded) then put it back together. Adding stats is with glyphs, which you make by stacking stat metals. Then assemble the hammer and the stat metal.

I get the idea of this, but to be honest without actually playing the game it seems like it will be a headache. I’m all for pushing involvement and making the players learn the game other than just pew pew and QQ all the time, but this may take some time. I really hope they include some good tutorials when it comes out. Of course, we can always make a cheat sheet as well once we get our hands on it (*Hint Hint Beta Invite Please*)

Story: The designers were kind enough this turn around to give us a little more foundation to the store and lore of The Secret World. We didn’t get any details of what the weird thing called “The Filth’ really is, we just know it’s black and dangerous. We get a nice little voice-over video of a CDC agent talking about what happened to her team, and then are sent on our way to pick up some info. By the looks of it, they’ve really taken the time out to make the lore important to the character development. This is important in MMO I feel since it keeps the player attached to his in-game persona, as it’s missed out by a lot games and players lose interest quickly.The Secret World GDC Nameless Dungeon Boss

We also got a shot of Transylvania, where we’ll get to kill vampires that were modified by Stalin. That’s kind of cool.

Dungeon: The last teaser we got to see was of a dungeon fight. This looked freaking epic! You go back in time (by being put into a trance) and have to help Vikings fend of Mayans from unleashing a beast from within a mountain. Spoiler: You have to fight the giant beast anyway. What impressed me most about the clip was that the boss looked epic. In most games, a regular dungeon boss usually has one or two mechanics and often big, but not huge; Those are usually saved for raid bosses. Fun Com decided that needed to change, and we get to fight raid-worthy bosses in dungeons. This thing looked like it mattered and made me want to fight it. If dungeon bosses are this bad-ass, I can’t wait to see the raid bosses.

This was a pretty great presentation, and undoubtedly made me want to play this game more. I can understand now why they wanted to hold off until June for release though to make it perfect. If this is all they have so far, I can’t wait to see what they can do with another two months.

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