You’ve read the hands-on previews; now it’s time to learn the things you need to know before you get your own hands on The Secret World beta this weekend.
Ten Ton Hammer has been racking up the zombie (and other assorted bad guy) body count on the Secret World press server, and we’re here to share our experience and get you on your way to kicking ass and taking names in Kingsmouth.
- When you create your character, you’ll be asked to provide a first name, nickname, and last name. Be aware that your nickname is the one that displays in the game. In other words, if you name a character Guy “Effin” Smiley...you’ll be running around the world with the rather uncool name Effin over your head. (Yeah. One of us learned that from experience.)
- Take some time to familiarize yourself with the default keymapping when you first begin playing. The full list can be found in the main Options menu, and can save you a bit of frustration once you know things like Shift+F opens the social window.
- Vendors for basic weapons and consumables can be found in the sheriff's station in Kingsmouth. You'll want to make frequent trips to sell loot you don't need, and you can also make repairs to damaged gear by clicking on the Repair tab in the vendor window.
- Not happy with the clothing items you selected during character creation? Once you've earned a little extra Pax Romana (the main currency in TSW) head to one of the main faction cities where you can find vendors selling gender-specific clothing items for a modest fee.
- When out of combat, pressing the X key will activate your Sprint ability. This can greatly reduce the time it takes to traverse larger portions of the map.
- The tilde key [~] holsters your weapon.
- The scenery in Kingsmouth is grisly but cool. If you want to take a screenshot, you’ll need to know that the F11 takes a screenshot and ALT + F11 takes a jpg screenshot. Screens are found in your program file folder under Funcom.
- Holding down the right mouse button while moving with your directional keys allows you to strafe in whatever direction you’re moving, which is handy for avoiding monster attacks.
- Monsters have “tells,” letting you know when they’re going to launch a big attack. Early on, the game will point them out by putting markers on the ground showing you the radius of the attack and warning you to get out of the way. Pay attention! These markers are used as a learning tool, but later in the game you’ll only have visual cues to let you know when a monster is about to lay the smack down.
- During combat, the environment can be both your friend and your enemy. Sometimes you’ll find useful items to help you fight (such as gas cans--handy for igniting and blowing up hordes of zombies). But monsters can create harmful environmental effects by doing things like laying down lingering fields of toxic gas or electrifying the water. You’ve been warned!
- Take advantage of “states” when you’re working in groups. Your partners can use abilities to put an enemy into a certain state (example: knocked down) that your abilities may be able to exploit. Know what you can do, and figure out creative ways to work together.
- There are surprises around every corner. Expect to die as a result, and don’t take it too personally. Remember that grouping is not only more fun, but also your friend. The Secret World is one MMO that seems to reward group play.
- Explore your environment. Look around and try to think outside the box.
- Missions in The Secret World aren’t as obvious and easy to find as they are in other MMOs. The game encourages exploration, so rather than gathering a bunch of missions at a quest hub and then setting out, you’re going to have to find things to do all around Kingsmouth. Visit the junkyard and the skate park and other unlikely places. Interact with objects, too. (They have a red outline around them.) You never know what you’ll find.
- When attempting to solve puzzles, be sure to check your immediate surroundings for additional clues. Listen to what NPCs have to say, and remain observant. It really helps if you can get yourself into the mindset of an agent--stay sharp and keep your eyes and ears open.
- Many missions can be repeated after a certain amount of time passes so don’t hesitate to revisit some of your favorite NPCs.
- Some missions require you to go somewhere to activate the next part of the mission. You’ll have to have that mission active in order for the quest log to recognize when you're in the right spot.
- You'll start the game with a single weapon, but can ultimately equip two. To get a better feel for how you can combine active and passive skills for two weapons, to better fit a character concept you're aiming for, be sure to open the Decks panel. This displays as a vertical tab option on the ability screen [N key], and includes some premade deck examples that help illustrate various build concepts.
- Early on, you'll want to carefully consider where you spend your skill points. For example, to equip higher grades of Talismans, you'll need to spend points in the Head, Major, or Minor Talisman lines. So if you spent all of your available points in your weapon lines, it will take a lot longer to start equipping new talismans that drop towards the end of Kingsmouth and heading into Savage Coast.
- Damage and Healing weapon skill lines are fairly obvious, but if you're looking to fulfill more of a traditional tanking role, select weapons and lines labeled as Survivability.
Have you found additional tips and tricks for other beta testers taking on The Secret World this weekend? Share them in the comments below!