I just found this article on the Secret World, I was going to post a piece on the Dragon (one of the three factions being featured this week) but to be honest that’s a bit “blurb” all words and nothing particularly beyond useful. However, the video at the bottom of this article features some gameplay from the beginning of the game (after some cgi trailers) which is quite interesting if rather poor quality unfortunately. The guy narrating could do with talking less during the footage as it was difficult to hear what the game characters were saying but as he was supposed to be narrating actual live gameplay rather than pre recorded I’ll give him a break on that.

Later on there is a Q&A session which has some questions from the fans on the game which are worth listening to. I’m primarily attracted to this game by the 7 active & 7 passive skill system and the fact clothing is aesthetic fashion rather than stat based (presumably your passive skills accommodate your stat bonuses). I wonder how engaging a maximum of 7 abilities could be, it makes me question how many abilities I could do without in other games and still enjoy playing without getting repetitive.

I know when I tried Age Of Conan, (Funcoms previous mmo), I was given far too many abilities, there were 80 levels and by level 20 I had more abilities than I had buttons I could shortcut in easy to reach keys…something like 20, including the 5 action moves you used to complete combos which you needed for all the other abilities.

The idea of chaos magic was quite intriguing too, mentioned during the Q&A session. I find the idea of receiving weapon abilities based on the weapon you equip quite nice too, instead of learning skills and being tied to that weapon type it seems you could pick up a shotgun and get shotgun abilities, or drop that and pick up a sword and get melee abilities instead. It allows you to vary your gameplay without going down a set path and I find that refreshing.

I’m not sold on the “no levels” statement yet, I think acquiring new abilities and skills will essentially be levels by another name. You still need to “unlock” greater power by working through a form of progression. Nevertheless, The Secret World has a lot of potentially ground breaking changes to the traditional mmo style of gameplay and if they can pull them off it will be very interesting indeed.

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