Posted Thu, Mar 15, 2012 by Ethec
Egypt looked great, with ancient stone ruins and rolling sands – almost a page out of Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer’s playbook. Martin’s character arrived at a boss fight, and he noted that players could avoid a lot of damage by reading the animated tells of the bosses – another carryover from AoC. But Martin’s character wasn’t equipped to tank. Switching from an assault rifle and shotgun build to a hammer and blood magic build, he pointed out that every character can have different pre-set builds for different situations and that players can switch on the fly.
Maryanne Chen is the lone CDC survivor from the zombifying “Phase Seven” of Filth exposure from the bogs near Blue Mountain, and as we went through the intro dialogue, it’s clear she could use a hug. Joel Bylos revealed one of The Secret World’s minigames next, the “Ghost” hacking program that he used to hack the CDC laptops laying around. We found a secure webpage listing names of infected personnel (full HTML quest dialogue was a nice touch).
Maryanne Chen of the CDC is having a pretty bad day.
Though Chen advised against it (Joel noted that the game employs a number of “anti-“ quest givers – direction will be clear, but not everyone will be pushing you forward), we went down into the swamp to take down the infected CDC team. Upon defeating one of the team members, we got the “Got Filth?” achievement for killing 10 filthy humans, and Joel explained that achievements earn players exclusive clothing pieces, additional experience, lore, and other items.
Achievements came arranged in dozens of categories, from PvP to ranged to dungeon and many more, and next to the achievements tab was a Lore tab, where the narrative of the game is filled in as players explore and gather information.
Creative Director Ragnar Tørnquist described Transylvania as one of the biggest regions in the game, and while you will run into the vampire coalition (mutated thanks to Stalin era experimentation), don’t expect medieval castles and pitchfork mobs. Instead we were transported into a Soviet era village that looked half bombed-out. From here the story would take us through a mysterious forest and up into the Carpathian Mountains, but instead Ragnar and Martin introduced us to the Transcribing system.
Transcribing, he explained, is the process of taking an item, breaking it down, learning from it, and rebuilding it in the shape of what you want. Literally. Using a Minecraft-style grid, Martin broke down his Brutal Hammer into Sacred Metal, refined the components into Pure Metal, then (using other Pure Metal in his inventory) placed the Pure Metal into the shape of a hammer to create a hammer.
In addition to the base stats, prefixes and suffixes add additional effects to weapons much like a socket or slot system you find in many MMORPGs. The Minecraft take on crafting is novel among MMORPGs, however, though clicking and dragging stacked components might become a chore for dedicated crafters.
Our thanks to Funcom’s Ragnar Tørnquist, Martin van Bruusgaard, and Joel Bylos for their time at GDC 2012 as they move towards a June 19th release date for The Secret World.In the meantime, be sure to sign up for beta.