Posted Sun, Aug 19, 2012 by Ethec
Funcom has committed to adding new content to The Secret World monthly, and with Issue #1 they delivered two new dungeons and a new marketplace. For the game's Issue #2, players will get barber shops and plastic surgeons to customize hair and appearance, along with a spate of new hairstyle options. But, in addition to the allowance of an 8th active and passive ability, the capstone feature is the introduction of auxiliary weapons.
Auxiliary weapons are a third weapon that can remain equipped at all times - swapping in these weapons appears instantaneous, just like the primary and secondary weapons. Aux weapons have their own ability wheel and Funcom will add up to six auxiliary weapons over time. But the first (and only one they're revealing at gamescom) is the rocket launcher. Described by Martin Bruusgaard as a weapon viable for all builds, we were able to see three new active abilities for the rocket launcher: the Big Red Button (an area of effect damage ability with an amazing mini-nuke visual), the Cluster Bomb (which fires into the air like a Javelin and explodes at its zenith, raining exploding death onto enemies), and Rocket Jump (a charge-like ability where the player points the weapon downward and blitzes toward an enemy). It seems clear that the rocket launcher is at its best when dealing with large groups, which should make it a welcome option for dealing with the rampant mob spawns advanced players encounter when moving across zones.
Martin explained that the rocket launcher must be earned, not bought, via an elder game faction quest that has the player recover a prototype. Perhaps the coolest thing about the rocket launcher (other than the Big Red Button) is that players will earn skins that customize the appearance of the weapon by completing dungeons on the nightmare difficulty setting. We were able to glimpse the Transylvania skin (a Soviet style RPG) and the Hell skin (a twisted, fiery, infernal look) and both looked extremely cool - look for pics soon here at Ten Ton Hammer and elsewhere.
Issue #2 will arrive in a couple of weeks, according to Funcom's Joel Bylos.
Players will return to Tokyo for the game's first entirely new play field. "I like to talk about the play fields in terms of the theme," Joel Bylos explained. "On Solomon Island, we have the Lovecraft / Stephen King kind of thing. Egypt is like Indiana Jones meets King Solomon's Mines. Then you have Transylvania, which is kind of like Dracula meets Frankenstein. So, with Ground Zero, it's more like Escape from New York meets Outbreak."
Your experiences in the tutorial - a massive occult event and the first sighting of the filth - will add extra significance to Ground Zero."You'll get to play through the same instance in reverse, from a completely different perspective. [Ground Zero will offer] new gameplay experiences - investigation missions, sabotage missions, action missions. We're talking about doing some events in Tokyo as well."
Joel explained that Funcom thinks of content more episodically, more like a television series than a traditional game story, with Ground Zero wrapping up Act I and kicking off Act II. Diving deeper into Tokyo allows Funcom to tap the breadth and variety of Japanese myth and pop culture, which seems to disproportionately revolve around demonically possessed little girls... we only report what we see, folks - and some pretty awesome new monsters.
The Orochi corporation, which players might have run into at the Kingsmouth Municipal Airpor, is headquarted in a huge, black, monolithic skyscraper in Tokyo and figures prominently in Ground Zero's storyline. As you might expect, robots figure prominently in Orochi's arsenal, and Funcom was especially happy to show off concepts of white drones lit up with a blue happy face (if they're friendly) or a sad and angry face (if they're not). Expect Ground Zero in early 2013.
For their final content reveal. Funcom demoed a bit of the "New York Raid" (a working title, obviously) scheduled to arrive in October. This content marks TSW's first raid, of course, and has a limit of 10 players - Funcom believes that more than that throws off group dynamics. Getting back to Joel's movie themes, he noted that this one channels Cloverfield, in that it centers on Times Square and the Secret War seems to be going public in a big way.
Climbing upward from the subway running beneath QBL - Orochi's puppet news network - attack helicopters swirl and fire at massive alien looking flyers. Tanks roll past with infantry in tight formation, and Joel explained that the army, navy, and air force have been called out to deal with the invaders. Joel noted that they really want players to feel the tension of what's going on here - that all your efforts that have heretofore been behind the scenes or underground or deep in quarantined or backwater areas - seems to be going public fast. As with TSW's other dungeons, this one contains next to no trash mobs.
The final scene featured us interrupting a QBL reporter in a decidedly unfashionable red velvet suit as his newscast was apparently cut off. In the background, the largest boss we'd ever seen in The Secret World (and that's saying something) appeared in the background, covering the length of a full city block. It should make a fitting conclusion to The Secret World's toughest content yet.
Expect the New York Raid to arrive in October, and our thanks to Funcom for sharing the future of The Secret World with us at gamescom 2012.