Friday, July 20, 2012

The Secret World: My Beta Weekend #4 Experience (Part Five)

The Secret World - Main MissionThe Secret World - Side Mission
Apart from the storyline mission, which cannot be removed, the quest system in The Secret World is structured in such a way that you can only take on 1 main mission, 1 dungeon mission and 3 side missions at a time.

Whilst I do not know the truth of this, from what I did seem to notice, main missions are most probably of the lengthy multi-part type which often requires the player to wreck their brains and burn off quite some brain cells. Dungeon missions would naturally land the player into some sort of "instanced" dungeon with a boss at the end of it while side missions are normally those that involve plain tasks like delivering mail parcels, hunt so and so monsters or finding so and so.

That being said, I can vaguely remember that a particular player made a post on the forums saying that one should not treat quests in The Secret World like those in other MMOs. Specifically, quests in The Secret World should not be taken in such a way that requires one to run all the way back to a "city" or "town", grab a few quests, run out to complete them and then run back and get some more.

Instead, what he mentioned was that the game was made in such a way that one would often be able to find a new quest lying somewhere close by after finishing one. And indeed, while I was playing in the game, I would oftentimes find some new side missions and whatnot just lying around when I was in the midst of one. And due to the plethora of quests I have found, I would just instinctively, drop an old one just to pick up the new one if I found it to be more interesting.

The Secret World - Missing Persons
Furthermore, the quests are not really that straight-forward. Most of the time, waypoints given in a quest only leads you to a general location instead of the exact position. You will have to walk around and "find" what your looking for. In fact, some of the quests (especially investigative type) would even require that you read and listen closely to whatever the NPCs said or documents found during the quest. Those information provided would then be needed at a later stage in the quest (for example code to unlock a password-protected door).

The quests found in The Secret World, in my opinion, is also part of the main attraction for this game. That is, of course, assuming that the quality of the quests persist beyond Kingsmouth. In order to illustrate my point, I have decided that it is necessary to "spoil" one of the quests so that you can understand what I meant.

The Secret World - Horror Show Retrieve Camera 1The Secret World - Horror Show Retrieve Camera 2
Let us take a look at the "Horror Show" quest. During Tier 1 of this quest, the player is asked to retrieve the contents of the security cameras at various locations. While some of the cameras were easy to retrieve, there were a few that were placed in slightly harder to reach places like that at the Sycoil gas station. In order to retrieve that camera, one would need to "survey" the general area of the gas station and look for a way to reach the camera. After circling the gas station, you would ought to notice that the garbage dump at the back seems to provide a way for you to climb to the top of the roof. Not quite what you would expect from a quest in an MMO game huh?

The Secret World - Horror Show Booby Trap 1The Secret World - Horror Show Booby Trap 2
During Tier 3 of the quest, I was asked to find a way to bypass the booby traps laid in the room. It was a large and dark room and when I tried to run along the corridor, an explosion would trigger blowing me backwards and taking quite a bit of my HP or even killing me. But it was just that. There weren't any other information lying around in the room that is telling me how to avoid the booby traps.

Frankly speaking, at some point I was even frustrated about it until when I suddenly noticed something. Several thin red lines were showing on my screen while I was moving around trying to see if I could find some clues to my predicament. These lines would disappear suddenly and only appear when my camera angle was shifted to a weird position. It was at that moment when I laughed out this was the trigger all along...those tricky people making this game sure made some interesting quests.

The Secret World - Horror Show Booby Trap 3The Secret World - Horror Show Booby Trap 4
From what I have observed, quests in The Secret World generally requires that you inspect your surroundings carefully and have your wits ready at all times. You would need to sift through all the information you have collected and arrive at a logical conclusion or solution. And in this case, knowing what triggers the explosions would mean that there's a way to avoid them. Maybe the triggers were time-based? That would mean that for a brief moment of time I might be able to slip pass the trap. Well, that was what I originally thought, but after standing there watching, the lines do not disappear at all. So the next logical thought for me was to look for a "gap" and true enough I did manage to find a break in the "wall of thin red lines".

If this was a teaser for what to expect in future quests, it shouldn't be wrong to conclude that the "quests" actually forms an integral part of the allure of this game called The Secret World.

The Secret World - PVP Map Selection 1The Secret World - PVP Map Selection 2
The PVP map selection can be accessed by either pressing "P" (if I'm not wrong) or by clicking on the "clashing swords" icon found right below the mini-map. At the current moment, there are only three maps available for selection, two battlefields map (El Dorado & Stonehenge) and one persistent warzone (Fusang Projects).

Due to time constraints, I could only choose to try out the persistent warzone, Fusang Projects. And from what I've encountered, there were a few noteworthy points regarding how the developers implemented the PVP in The Secret World.

The Secret World - PVP Map Selection 3The Secret World - High Powered Weaponry Uniform
Right before entering the warzone, one is able to choose which type of "uniform" to wear. The type of uniform you choose to wear would determine your role in the warzone and this should coincide with how you've built your character (so that you can maximize your potential within the warzone).

There are three types of uniforms, High-Powered Weaponry, Reinforced Armour and Integrated Anima Conduits. Each of these uniforms have their own appearances, bonus effects as well as penalties.

  • High-Powered Weaponry
    Damage done increased by 5%.
    Critical chance increased by 3%.
    Penetration chance increased by 3%.
    Chance to perform glancing hits reduced by 2%.
    Healing, barrier and leech effects reduced by 5%.
    Health increased by 5%.
    Damage reduction increased by 2%.
    The high-powered weaponry faction outfit is specialized towards dealing damage.
  • Reinforced Armour
    Health increased by 15%.
    Block chance increased by 5%.
    Evade chance increased by 4%.
    Chance of enemies glancing you increased by 2%.
    Healing, barrier and leech effects reduced by 5%.
    Damage done reduced by 5%.
    Damage reduction increased by 5%.
    The reinforced armour faction outfit is specialized towards protection against damage.
  • Integrated Anima Conduits
    Healing, barrier and leech effects increased by 8%.
    Critical healing chance increased by 6%.
    Critical power increased by 20%.
    Health increased by 5%.
    Damage done reduced by 4%.
    Damage reduction increased by 2%.
    The integrated anima conduits faction outfit is specialized towards increasing your healing, barrier and leech efficiency.

The Secret World - Equal Footing Buff
The next thing that I liked about was this "Equal Footing" buff. I'm not really sure how the developers had done it, but it was amazing to realize that even though I've just started the game for a few hours, had only a few active and passive abilities (not even the full 7 active and 7 passives yet) and also was using at best QL 1 equips...I was able to withstand as well as deal decent damage.

I'm pretty sure most of us as gamers have met circumstances where there's always a bunch of high level players who keep bulldozing over the regular casual people in PVP. That certainly wasn't a nice feeling huh? At the most we will just be grumbling..."Bah...just a bunch of no-lifers with a high level character and fancy equipments. If I had as much time as he does, I bet I won't lose to the likes of him. Not in terms of skills." So in my opinion, this buff is like a "godsend" which effectively rids us of the unfair advantage (perhaps not totally, but at least I feel like I wasn't too weak compared to the others).

The Secret World - Fusang ProjectsThe Secret World - Fusang Projects Map
Additionally, I also like the feature whereby we can see where all the "actions" are currently happening on the map. This, in my opinion, saves me the trouble of running around trying to look for a fight.

All in all, my experience of PVP in The Secret World wasn't too bad, but its hard to tell how it will develop in the future (from just a few hours of playing). And so, my verdict still stands. You should try out the game for a month or two to see whether this game suits you rather than jumping straight in for a grandmaster lifetime subscription.

Previous: The Secret World (Part Four)