On Friday, July 13th, The Secret World's Creative Director and Senior Producer Ragnar TÃ¸rnquist and Lead Content Designer Joel Bylos hosted a live stream event to demo the Dragon faction's starting experience, provide insight into the game's development process, and answer fan questions. We sat in to see what new information we could learn about what's happening and what's coming up in The Secret World so we could bring you the highlights.
What changes are coming to character creation?
"The first thing we're going to do is introduce The Modern Prometheus and Ockhams Razor in New York," said TÃ¸rnquist, "and all players are going to get a free coupon to go and alter their look and their hairstyle. There will be more head choices than before."
Upcoming changes to character customization are detailed in an official site news post about post-launch character customization.
Why doesn't my character talk during cut scenes?
"It's a challenge to have the player be in the scene," said TÃ¸rnquist, "It's a lot easier to write a dialogue between characters than a monologue, so every time we have a character talking--just a single NPC--it's hard to make that interesting."
He stated that how well cut scenes play out in The Secret World is a testament to the game's voice acting talent, and that actors had expressed how difficult it was to carry a scene that was a one-way monologue.
"We did this for a very specific reason. We debated for a long time whether we wanted to wanted to give the player a voice. In the end, I think we made the right choice by having the character remain silent for a number of reasons," said TÃ¸rnquist. "First of all, as a player, I don't like for my character to have a voice that doesn't sound, to me, like what I'd sound like. At the same time, it's also difficult to get an idea of what you would say in the game. It's not just the sound of your voice but the choices you make in terms of what you say. In order to [voice player characters] right, and we are discussing whether we want to do it, in order for it to be viable we'd have to have different options; it wouldn't just be cosmetic. It would have to be something that had substance."
TÃ¸rnquist added that, at least in the early part of the game, it made sense for the player character not to talk. "The player has just entered this world. Whatever the player has to say at this point might not be all that interesting. 'Huh? What?' The player is going through a learning experience where listening is better than talking."
Will there be in-game events for holidays and other occasions?
"The answer is yes," Bylos said. "Keep an eye on Halloween."
Will my character be able to interact with furniture like chairs?
"That is part of the plan," said Bylos, "and we'll be adding them shortly. I won't give a timeline, but 'soon (tm)' is a comfortable term."
Are there plans to add new decks?
After a fan stated that players were "going through the current decks quickly" Bylos corrected: "Some players are going through the quickly; definitely not all." But he indicated that the team had plans to add some new weapons soon.
A fan commented that he or she would like to see starter decks added to the game.
"There are sort of hidden decks for the starter weapons--you get a clothing item when you fill out your weapon skills on the inner wheel," said TÃ¸rnquist, "but starter decks, yes. I actually put that on a list today, and starter decks is one to definitely build out. Of course, I haven't talked to the team about this," he added with a chuckle, "But yes, it's definitely something we want to do."
Will Funcom add subtitles to the Dragon faction messages?
Nope, said the team. The fact that the messages from the Dragon are in Korean is fully intended. "Find somebody who speaks Korean," joked Bylos.
"It's not random, though," said TÃ¸rnquist. "And it's important."
Anything interesting happening with lore?
"For me," said TÃ¸rnquist, "there's a lot of puzzle pieces that are not in the game yet. I'm really looking forward to getting those pieces in place and having people starting to explore the vast universe and backstory we've created. We're going to be doing a lot more with the lore. We're going to be doing some really exciting things. And what we're going to reveal, through the voice of the lore is..."
"No! Don't spoil it!" Bylos interrupted.
"I'm not spoiling, I'm teasing," said TÃ¸rnquist. "There's a difference. So, anyhow, pay attention to the lore...it's important."
Will The Secret World add player housing?
"Hopefully," said TÃ¸rnquist. "That's something we want to do. I mean, yes we can do it, and yes it's on the list of things we'd like to do, but whether or not it's going to be a huge priority right now or soon...I'm not sure. It's a big feature and we want to do it right. We just don't want to throw in player housing without having something built around it."
Will Rome, Florence or Venice be locations?
"Yes!" TÃ¸rnquist said. "I can answer that one of those locations will be extremely important in The Secret World."