The Secret World GDC 2012 Preview - Transcribing and Transylvania

Posted Thu, Mar 15, 2012 by Ethec

The Funcom team was on hand at GDC 2012 to demo The Secret World, including a look at the highly salacious Dragon starting experience (with video), clarification on the Ability Wheel and Weapon Abilities, achievements, lore, and a first ever look at transcribing (The Secret World’s crafting system) and the Transylvania region.

Dragon Starting Experience

Suffice it to say that we’ve never had to contemplate putting an intro behind an age gate before. Funcom was the first developer to bare the female breast in a mainstream MMORPG with Age of Conan, and I’ll leave it to you to decide if this goes a step further.

Dragon Starting Experience video (NSFW):

Ten Ton Hammer Video: Click to play.

Tokyo Flashback: Dragon Edition and Egypt

We’ve seen the Tokyo Flashback before but Lead Content Designer Joel Bylos took the opportunity to point out that each faction would approach this event from a different perspective. He also noted the “filth” creeping in everywhere – black, tentacular, moldy material that would become important, he explained, as time went on.

Zombifying filth spreads through the Tokyo Subway.

Martin van Bruusgaard, Lead Designer, whisked us off to Egypt to explain a bit about how ability and skill points are gained in a level-less play experience. Players have an XP bar of sorts running across the bottom of the screen.  The bar is divided into three segments, and completing each segment earns the player an Ability Point. Complete all three and you’ll get a Skill Point.

These points may be spent in the Ability wheel (below), which provides over 500 abilities spread out over 9 weapon types (3 each for ranged, melee, and magic). Abilities come in passive (for example, buffs to damage resistance) and active (e.g. sword attack, sniper shot) varieties. Each small box on the wheel is referred to as a cell, and offers 7 different abilities.  These abilities must be bought sequentially and lead up to an elite ability. Players can equip one elite passive and one elite active at a time plus 6 normal passives and 6 normal actives.

The Secret World's ability wheel holds over 500 unique abilties to mix and match.

The point of all this complexity is that players can build unique combinations of abilities and weapons. Each weapon type has a unique resource, and players can build these resources on themselves or on their party. Building these resources allows for extra effectiveness in the damage dealing capacity of your weapons, but each weapon also has a secondary ability. Shotguns, for example, do area-of-effect damage, and assault rifles leech a portion of the damage you do back to the player as health. Blood magic, on the other hand, does damage over time, but also creates barriers to absorb damage.

Getting more and more exited about this game each time new info is released.
Just thought i would mention that Dragons do not start in Tokyo but rather Seoul.

Does it not scare anyone they are literately showing us areas we have seen already? Minus Transylvania but just giving of us different view points of those area. This is exactly what they did with AoC show starter areas and only areas of the game they feel are polished then the game releases, and you play through a polished area, and then as you go to the areas you have not seen you start getting a buggy game. Funcom has done this on numerous occasions and I hope they can do this game different but from what I'm seeing they are handling this game the same way as AoC, secretive, lots of embargo on reviews, and giving only the areas we have all seen already minus a couple more that are polished now.

dude, we have seen 5 zones; kingsmouth, wounded coast, the one with the CDC camp, 1 in egypt and 1 in transsylvania. plus 3 instances; the polaris, the 1 with the bridge-bossfight and the 1 with the mayans.
If theres anything theyre doing, is showing that they have polished all the game.
dont speak if u dont know

I am looking forward to this games release but am very skeptical as to how there systems are going to play out.


Joel Bylos returns from his hiatus with an update on The Secret World’s development and release of Tokyo.

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