Playing The Secret World, from Funcom. I’m really enjoying it. Before I get started, if you want a taste of the game, let me know. I have ONE buddy pass that will let you play for 24 hours for free. Once that buddy pass is handed out I’m out. If you do want to try it out remember it’s only 24 hours so you’ll only get a taste.
Can you guess the name of my main character? No surprises there, I’m just glad I was able to get my usual ‘name’ for release, in the beta someone already had it. When did ‘Berial’ become a name people used? I could’a sworn I just made it up.
The main is playing as Illuminati on Cerberus, but I’ve also got some alts playing as Dragon and Templar (same server). I’ve gotten to around qlevel 3-4 and faction level 5. In the secret world you don’t really have ‘levels’ the way you do in other MMO’s. You unlock ‘quality levels’ on weapons and talismans. The higher the level you unlock on an item, the higher level item you can use. Quality levels are earned by spending Skill Points (SP). You get one point of SP for every 3 Ability Points (AP) you earn. You earn both from XP as per the usual MMO routine.
You spend your SP so you can use higher ranking weapons and skills. It’s that simple, but it gets confusing from there. SP is spent on Qlevels 1-10 with level 1 costing 1, level 2 costing 2, level 3 costing 3 etc. You cannot skip levels, so to max out an item will cost you 55 SP total, however, weapons have 2 trees to level up. One tree is always damage the other is something else, but will be related to healing, tanking or support. Talismans only have one tree. So to max EVERYTHING will take a long, long, …long time.
You spend your AP on actual weapons skills. The ‘inner circle’ skills are cheap ranging from 1-7 AP each, but the outer ring is expensive ranging from 9-50 AP, EACH. Like the SP trees you cannot skip skills, so you will end up spending a huge amount of AP to buy out all the skills of just one weapon. You can eventually earn enough AP to buy ALL skills for all the weapons, though it’ll take freaking forever(see SP above). To start, you want to focus on 2-3 weapons.
Faction rank is earned by a mixture of XP and completing certain missions. So far it’s been pretty easy to earn my levels. From what I can tell faction levels just let you earn cool outfits and the right to buy some upgrades to things like run speed buffs and such. I really enjoy wearing my junior grade Illuminati outfit(with gas-mask) while running around a New England island fighting off the end of the world. (So far mostly zombies, and other undead creepy-crawlies.)
If you look at my character sheet from above you’ll see that I’ve experimented with several weapons as I’ve leveled. I’ve decided to settle on an Assault Rifle/Blade combo. I soften them up with the AR and finish them off in melee with a sword. The AR has leech healing and the Blade has some tanking skills so I’ve got a nice balance of healing, tanking and DPSing.
I’m really enjoying the story, the game play is similar enough that old hands at MMOs will feel at home, but the skill system is different enough to be something fun to learn. Also I must mention that TSW has included two ‘new’ types of missions; Espionage and Investigation. Espionage missions are what you’d expect. You have to sneak around to complete your mission and fighting is simply not advisable (or possible in some missions). The game includes a built in browser. Why do I bring this up? Because you will NEED Google to complete some of the investigation missions. One mission I had to notice the time on a clock and know it was a clue to a bible verse, which I had to look up and use to open a door’s combination code. These things are HARD, and you must pay really close attention to complete them or I guess you could cheat, Google is good for that too(Not that I would know!). You also get a really nice XP bonus for completing espionage or investigation missions which is nice. You don’t have to complete all quests in an area to progress so you can skill up as fast as you want then come back for the story later. It’s really well made so far. Come and check it out!
Oh, and just because I kinda liked it, enjoy the ‘Launch’ video:
Update: The buddy key has been claimed by Tad. That is all.