Game Interface & Character Control
As for character control, I feel that its a little bit too focused on the left hand. Almost everything from moving your character, turning it left and right, going forward and backwards and using skills involve the use of your left hand.
There are times when I wish to use my skills and find it hard to maintain the movement of my character. On other times, I find it hard to keep casting my skills to deal damage while I am moving to avoid damage. This is pretty vital especially during player vs player battles where you will need to be quick on the move as well as constantly facing your target. All this while, the right hand holding the mouse practically does nothing apart from clicking and selecting stuff.
After playing for a while, I found that I could alleviate this problem slightly by making some minor changes to the controls.
- First, I changed the bindings for "A" and "D" to "Strafe left" and "Strafe right".
- Then, I changed the bindings for "Q" and "E" to "Use Skill 6" and "Use Skill 7".
So essentially during combat, I will be using "tab" to cycle through enemy targets, "1 - 5, Q & E" for active skills, "WASD" for character movement and finally, holding the right mouse button, I can use the mouse to turn my character swiftly.
Experience Points, Skill Points & Ability Points
And on this experience bar, we can see three markings that divide the bar into three equal portions. Every time we reach one of the markings, we will be awarded with 1 ability point. Whenever we completely fill the experience bar, we will be awarded with 1 skill point. Therefore, if we relate the filling up of the experience bar to a "level up", you can safely say that for every level up, we will gain 1 skill point and 3 ability points.
The only thing that worries me at this point would be whether the amount of experience points needed to fill the bar scales as our character reaches higher "levels". If it doesn't, then we can freely buy and try out all those weapons and abilities available in the game to find our preferences. If it does, then perhaps we will have to worry about gimping our characters with foolish mistakes made earlier in the game.
As you can see in the above pictures, there is a skill rank for every type of equipment found in The Secret World. If you expand one of the skill ranks, for example blade, you can see that there are ten divisions for each of the two categories, Damage and Survivability. (For talismans, there will only be one category instead.)
Each of these ten divisions represent a skill rank and if you maxed all ten divisions in a particular category (either damage or survivability), you will be able to use the highest quality level (QL 10) of that equipment in the game. However, you ought to note that each of the ten divisions are of different lengths. What this means is that you will require more skill points to attain the next skill rank than compared to the previous. For example, you will need only 1 skill point (SP) to reach skill rank 1, 2 SP to reach skill rank 2 and perhaps maybe 5 SP to reach skill rank 3 and so on.
But be warned that for weapons and magic, the game only takes into account the highest skill rank you have (regardless of category) to determine the quality level of equipment you can use. For instance, if you have skill rank 4 in both damage and survivability in blades, you will only be allowed to equip up to QL 4 blades. However if you have skill rank 8 in damage or survivability, you can equip up to QL 8 blades.
Nonetheless, in my opinion, it is still better to pace yourself and not focus purely in damage or survivability in an attempt to unlock the higher QL equipment. You ought to take into account the passive ability that comes with each increasing skill rank in either of the categories in order to fully harness the power of the weapon.
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