Faithless Is He: Zombie Chronicle
By Jonathan Doyle (Ardua), OnRPG Journalist
Another week, another adventure in Kingsmouth. You would think between the head start and the amount of time I have devoted to The Secret World that things would be a bit further along and to be honest you would be right.
My group and I are currently working our way through the somewhat less zombie infested and somewhat more terrifying Savage Coast as we follow the threads of story woven throughout Solomon Island for our enjoyment. Check back next week and see what lies within room 13 of the Overlook Motel. But first I have much to tell of my group's adventures so far.
It was something touted again and again by Ragnar and Martin, The Secret World has true freedom of progression and I myself am really digging it. In my own personal experience I have gone from wielding a hammer and zapping zombies into the dirt to blasting away with pistols, shotguns and assault rifles. All within a short frame of time. There is no need, as some demand, for a respec function. Early ability points come easily and changing your mind is never punished.
On the lack of a respec option, the design philosophy as touted by Funcom and the team is shown again. Nothing is handed to you here. Nothing is shall we say dumbed down. You have to consider your options, your missions, and your targets. Thought and effort are rewarded, blind flailing are … if not punished then certainly not encouraged.
So in our little adventures across the face of Kingsmouth Town, my group and I had pushed on to the Savage Coast only to find that two of our friends had come along. Redoing content, any content, is not always the most rewarding of experiences. After all you know the answers, you know the plot and you probably know the fastest way to get through anything. Redoing the content in Kingsmouth admittedly was the same content as we had done before, but was still very rewarding in terms of XP and naturally in terms of playing it with friends.
The old barriers to that sort of group play, whether helping friends catch up or trying to bring yourself down to their level, are falling. These torn down barriers aren’t limited to being able to merely replay the content or change your character's ability loads on the fly, they’re coming down where the idea of a server is concerned. If you’re unsure what we are talking about, check out last week where we covered briefly the dimension server technology.
All in all these things add up. I have also heard from friends that the dungeons, which have Elite and Nightmare versions, have a system that ensures that they will remain challenging by reducing the effectiveness of over levelled gear. The idea that I can at any time, join any player, on any dimension and do or re-do anything granted with varying levels of effectiveness is simply liberating.
A Chronicle of Your Adventure
Moving on from Kingsmouth, there is another new feature regarding The Secret World. Specifically Funcom have today launched The Secret World Chronicle. The Chronicle is an armoury feature that allows you to view your character and let others see how you are doing.
Want statistics on how many monsters you’ve killed and how that stacks up against the world totals or simply in your own cabal? You can get those.
Want to check on a friend and see how they are geared and what decks they’ve completed? That’s available too.
The Chronicle system for me is something I have never really paid attention to in other games that offer a similar armoury feature but I can see myself using it quite regularly for The Secret World. It is very enjoyable to have the ability, unless of course someone chooses to set themselves to private, to see how you yourself compare to other players or even just to keep an eye on the progression of friends. I can, at a glance, see what sort of decks my friends are driving towards and potentially plan accordingly.
Both the Chronicle and my weekend misadventures are in the past now. The Chronicle is there for you to enjoy and if ever you feel compelled to peek on my progression, feel free. http://chronicle.thesecretworld.com/character/Sharur
What would any newly launched game be though without news of the future?
You’ll be happy to know that the launch dimensions are filling up fast and Funcom has made some suggestions for new players to join either Grim or Daemon. We will keep you informed of the dimension hopping changes as they occur.
With all the new players, there have also been requests for further customization options for characters and these requests have been heard and responded to here. Ever a bunch to seize an opportunity, it seems the team isn’t going to merely update the creator and give out free tokens for the first use, there’s going to be a story around it. A reason for everything.
News In Brief
It might be a good idea to end this particular instalment of Faithless Is He with some specific tidbits from The Secret World.
First and foremost, the official The Secret World trailer has been released. Enjoy!
Secondly, UKIE chart information is in and The Secret World has come in #2 for top PC titles this week. This, along with the smooth launch, is a definite feather in Funcom's cap.
Finally, I know some of you are looking to have a quick look at The Secret World and you’ll be happy to know that there are buddy keys on offer.
However given that I only have one at the moment, I thought I would steal a little page from Funcom's book.
For a buddy key invitation, you’ll have to get code breaking.
Rotate this thirteen times to win: firstname.lastname@example.org
Catch you next week when the Garage Band of the Apocalypse takes on Hell itself.