Updated Tue, Oct 18, 2011 by Ethec
Next, similar to Guild Wars 2, a player’s seven abilities are determined by the two weapons he or she equips. Players can learn new abilities in the course of the game – Zubari taught a basic heal during the Tokyo Flashback - and can swap out up to seven of these weapon based abilities. But unlike Guild Wars 2, given enough time a player can master everything.
Ragnar also summed up the nine different categories of weapons as follows:
Ragnar also handled several questions in reference to the game’s level-free, class-free nature. To how players will know their role in a ground absent clear-cut classes, Ragnar noted that players will have a variety of abilities to choose from and can self-select into roles to fill the group’s needs. As for how players will “feel” like their progressing through the game without levels to guide them, Ragnar explained that The Secret World will use a robust item progression “similar to Borderlands or Diablo.”
We know the The Secret World models a mythicized real world – In addition to real world locations Funcom has already revealed – detailed if not street-level versions of London, Seoul, New York, the town of Sullivan in Maine, Egypt, and Transylvania. What we didn’t know is that out-of-the-way real world locations that anyone can visit will work as fronts for faction headquarters. “We’re taking photos of the Illuminati spot in Brooklyn tomorrow,” Ragnar quipped.
Dozens of "wild card factions" add to the depth of storytelling in The Secret World.
In response to another question about factions, Ragnar related that the game will play host to “dozens” of wild card factions beyond the big three. In addition to the Council of Venice, the “UN” of the playable factions “in good ways and bad”, factions such as the Phoenicians will work to help (or stymie) the work of the Illuminati, Dragons, and Templars. And while players chose that faction allegiance early in the game’s Facebook prologue, Ragnar noted that phase two is coming “very soon.”
One particular quote of Ragnar’s was particularly refreshing to me, especially as overt pop culture references, over-mainstreaming, and general plot confusion abounds in the market leader: “We take story seriously; we have fun with it, we don’t make fun of it.” As the stock of cohesive storyline rises in the next generation of MMOs (beginning with Star Wars: The Old Republic) The Secret World seems well suited to take advantage when the game goes live next April. Our thanks to Funcom and panel sponsors MMORPG.com for their presentation at NY Comic Con 2011.