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The Secret World

The Secret World 

Beta Reviews & Impressions [ARCHIVED]  » I can't believe I'm writing an optimistic impression for TSW

11 posts found
  User Deleted
 
OP  5/14/12 5:05:37 AM#1

Yes I really do. After all, the past weekend all we got to see, kill, or guess was the equivalent of AOC’s Tortuga in TSW. Being sceptical over Funcom, yet despite it rough edges it had it charms.

Overall state of the game:
First off, I never had a crash, the client was stable, despite extensive ab(use) of the B hotkey for the browser, every quest worked too. There have been some issues, like when someone else was already fighting his spawned encounter and you did use an object to summon yours, nothing happened. It did not matter if you helped to kill the initial monster or just waited. Only moving out and into the proximity after a while (3 minutes) would trigger your event. I can see how for most people this seemed broken (just standing in the area and waiting for a respawn), being a MMO vet I could “fix” it myself. I Agree this behaviour needs to change to what people are used too, but I wouldn’t count on a “fix” for this..kind of “bug”. TSW is that…different....with a lot of game mechanics.

Another example would be the clothing. While I really love the idea of looks being independent of stats, there is still the implementation. During beta there wasn’t much to buy for the looks.
The current system is bloated and strangely implemented. Male and female have independent clothing gear. Instead of a dye system or a colour choice dialogue each model has multiple copies with different colour. Like: blue tight jeans, yellow tight jeans, orange tight jeans…..etc. Which need to be bought separately –

6 vendors with 30 items each, do equal one vendor with 10 items in other games. Bloated...is all I can see about it. The implementation feels that clunky that I would say it’s not well thought off, neither finished nor certainly not ready to be shipped within a month.
This leads me to the shop atop of the monthly sub. Do we really need to buy all our “different” ‘looks’ colour unique? And will be there more meaningful choices than just tank shirt with a different emblem available outside the shop?


Visuals:
First off, let’s talk graphics. Running on a GTX680 I could set everything to maximum (including Tessellation) and even enforce AA through nvidia inspector. My GPU does not represent top of the line (sli I’m looking at you), and neither the average, all I can say is: The DX11 client had no issues, no crashes and did run smooth.

When you log into the game, the first impression is really ‘daunting’. Character detail and especially the background really do not live up to the promises. Part of it, because the DX11 features are not working their shader magic there. Tessellation is only visible and probably implemented on wash drift near the water or on gravel roads. Tessellation implementation felt like a token gift. The gravel roads are that spikey in the result, you would simply impale your feet walking on them.

As for the Templars HQ, well let’s say London does not have any visible tessellation. It feel’s compared to Kingsmouth (the first real area) and partially Tokyo like a much older game almost like a flat western city background. True the superior DX10 (11) Lightning and Shadows as the moving leaves of Trees do play their part, but the low polygon Models of NPCs (Especially the Templar Guards look like out of an unreal 1 shooter) and undetailed textures did destroy much of the feel in London.

The character editor is very limited, despite the promises of more options I don’t know if they did refer to more face options or just more clothes. (I hope more facial options or even body sliders at all) But again the limited choices available have been distinct enough for me to feel and be unique. I never run across a face clone of mine and especially not the clothes. Probably having the only character which didn’t dress like a hooker or some Trinity / Neo wannabe.
A friend of mine summed up the graphics more fitting and strikingly short: Models and Textures of (average – not even near crysis like) 2008, lightning and shadows of 2012 which help to conceal many shortcomings at least under DX11.

Atmosphere:
Well Tokyo feels out of place, it wasn’t really in line with everything following.
Tokyo felt like a high speed zombie road trip full of routine and “Another day slicing up zombie – shadow thingies”. Just to get thrown into London afterwards.
Suddenly you are into a geek out of conspiracy stories. Almost like an adventure mouse click game. And then….*well I won’t spoil you now, let’s just say this layer of the world of TSW really feels like 2012 and is really outstanding different to the whole vibe and setting until now. You will see and use it a lot.

At last, you arrive at Kingsmouth Town (Village). The setting play’s around with the Zombie cliché but at the same time reveals hints of something more sinister, deep. While TSW is not just about the average Survival horror set into an MMO (You can leave anytime to go to your happy shiny headquarters) it catches that feel & look precisely. Of course the novelty wears off after a few hours but Kingsmouth really feels like a dead trap. The only negative I could bring up it tries too much in one place.

Undead Zombie plague, Mysterious rituals of old - with priests, mummies and Norseman warriors?!
Super Mutant monsters and sirens, weaving old sea tales with Resident Evil umbrella cooperation into one place. Once you got around, the zombies flooding the town do not feel like a threat anymore. The initial feel of a Town overrun by Zombies, with a Priest trying to hide the cruel past, a few survivors struggling to well….survive - It all becomes a farce 50 meters away where huge mutants / orochi corp story elements come into play. It’s like you’ve replaced the whole context of the story & area in a flash.

Quests:
But what i really did enjoy, have been the dialogues and story scenes. While many complain about the animations, they did “work” for me. The dialogues have been pretty good voiced, and i always felt involved.

The Quests.... really did not stand out and neither what you had to do. There have been many average kill 10 zombies quests, but well I guess shooting 10 zombies seemed less tiring than slicing 10 goblins. Maybe it was the combinations of a Katana and a Ak-47, but it wasn’t, for me, daunting at all.

Some nice touches have been added as well. At many places the NPCs did respawn at appropriate places. Dearly departed shuffled out of the graves and walked a few steps to their fixed locations rather than just spawning into place. Sadly there are enough common spawns still around.
The Tier nature of Quests made Quest-chains less annoying (you don’t need to return to the questgiver at each step).

Combat:
A sloppy start, mainly because there is too less meaningful choices in the first tier of weapons. Especially the first Weapon you do level will feel blunt. The beauty will start once you get two or three weapon types maxed, like both “Trees” for rifle, both for Pistols and both for Swords. Suddenly you can start to build up meaningful synergies of passive effects and active skills. Making AOE heals, selfheals and high burst damage at once possible if you rotate the point builders right. It’s beautiful having penetration bonus heals while firing healingshots at the same time. Having the ability to outheal yourself even against a bunch of real nasty surprises of Kingsmouth.

I personally didn’t delve into multi weaponing at the beginning. Mainly because there is no benefit in having two weak default attacks. It just makes your skill bar looking less empty.
Too bad we have been locked at the first tier of weapon schools during Beta.

The downside is the visual representation. Past the initial zombies, you will spend yourself always in melee fights. The weapon range is really low (25ish meters) and the lack of enough snares with certain weapon types ends up in a clunky “shooting in your face while being mauled by 20 hands combat. Too many glowing green circlets on the ground or red bubbles floating, altogether it felt like too much “magic” than guns and swords. (No not the magic part, this feels fine). I know, according to lore I can abuse any object as some kind of magic wand, but it really destroys the meaning of using weapons with bullets. I wish they would make guns less magic, but I don’t expect it.

Anyway the overall package worked good enough despite it rough edges. This MMO is certainly not innovative enough to play it for that, neither it's polished enough to be good enough for anyone wandering and seeking a new mmo for the sake of it. I’m personally looking forward to see more till release.

  descreth

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/12
Posts: 22

5/14/12 5:08:52 AM#2

I personally feel it's pretty terrible.

 

Adds absolutely nothing new to the genre aside from the modern style of it. Everything else is basically the same only dressed up to make you think it's different, when it's definitally not as you're doing the same thing you've done in every MMO - Go here, kill that, go there talk to this guy, gain a level spend stat points, go pvp endgame. Same old same old, they never learn with MMOs.

  User Deleted
 
OP  5/14/12 5:13:04 AM#3


Originally posted by descreth
I personally feel it's pretty terrible.
 
Adds absolutely nothing new to the genre aside from the modern style of it. Everything else is basically the same only dressed up to make you think it's different, when it's definitally not as you're doing the same thing you've done in every MMO - Go here, kill that, go there kill that, gain a level spend stat points, go pvp endgame. Same old same old, they never learn with MMOs.

True enough, i won't argue that. But for what it's worth, some things don't need to be different to work. For me, the setting is enough even without much innovation. My only fear is the quality of content to which i have to say, Kingsmouth was pretty good.

That's why i'm optimistic (and shocked about it). Especially if you add Funcom into the mix.
Part of it, because the quests haven't been streamlined into hubs with chore repeated killings of monsters for different drops. I think, context is what gives the basic old quest design in TSW meaning again. Especially with the small riddle stages.

Finding a sewered hand and searchign for a way how it connects is rather more interesting than a blant "use item X on quest tracker 50 meters away" all while you have 50 more quests in your log.

  Caldrin

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 4118

5/14/12 5:19:56 AM#4
Originally posted by descreth

I personally feel it's pretty terrible.

 

Adds absolutely nothing new to the genre aside from the modern style of it. Everything else is basically the same only dressed up to make you think it's different, when it's definitally not as you're doing the same thing you've done in every MMO - Go here, kill that, go there talk to this guy, gain a level spend stat points, go pvp endgame. Same old same old, they never learn with MMOs.

Thats the same with all modern day themepark games even GW2.. They are all the same type of game just with their own little twists.

I enjoyed TSW quite a bit, sure it had some issues that do need to be sorted but overall it was pretty good fun. I really enjoyed some of the stealth quests and the puzzle type quests.. its somthing I have not seen before in an MMORPG.

My 3D models
http://dragon3d.webs.com/

  User Deleted
5/14/12 11:46:27 AM#5
Originally posted by descreth

I personally feel it's pretty terrible.

 

Adds absolutely nothing new to the genre aside from the modern style of it. Everything else is basically the same only dressed up to make you think it's different, when it's definitally not as you're doing the same thing you've done in every MMO - Go here, kill that, go there talk to this guy, gain a level spend stat points, go pvp endgame. Same old same old, they never learn with MMOs.

Two words in reply to this:

Kingsmouth Code.

  User Deleted
5/14/12 12:16:40 PM#6
Originally posted by jdnyc
Originally posted by descreth

I personally feel it's pretty terrible.

 

Adds absolutely nothing new to the genre aside from the modern style of it. Everything else is basically the same only dressed up to make you think it's different, when it's definitally not as you're doing the same thing you've done in every MMO - Go here, kill that, go there talk to this guy, gain a level spend stat points, go pvp endgame. Same old same old, they never learn with MMOs.

Two words in reply to this:

Kingsmouth Code.

Agreed.  TSW, more than any MMO I've played, made the quests feel like adventures which I'm pretty sure is how quests originated.  They were always supposed to be little stories with kill X amount of Y and then return to the quest giver. and they were supposed to be engaging and fun.

 

TSW breaks that mold right away.  There generally is no returning to the quest giver, you just send in your report.  The quests seem like adventures all tied to the main story line.  Kingsmouth Code is an example of a great puzzle/adventure quest and there are many others.  I found very few go get X number of Y quests in this game and when there are, they are disguised pretty well. 

 

I'm thinking of several of the very few quests.  Sure you have to kill Zombies, what did you expect?  But you have to specifically kill them with ignited gas cans?  You have to kill them specificall by setting off car alarms?  You have to kill them by drawing them inside the Church?  Small details that make the game interesting.

 

  udon

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/23/07
Posts: 1607

5/14/12 12:29:36 PM#7
Originally posted by HeavyTraffic
Originally posted by jdnyc
Originally posted by descreth

I personally feel it's pretty terrible.

 

Adds absolutely nothing new to the genre aside from the modern style of it. Everything else is basically the same only dressed up to make you think it's different, when it's definitally not as you're doing the same thing you've done in every MMO - Go here, kill that, go there talk to this guy, gain a level spend stat points, go pvp endgame. Same old same old, they never learn with MMOs.

Two words in reply to this:

Kingsmouth Code.

Agreed.  TSW, more than any MMO I've played, made the quests feel like adventures which I'm pretty sure is how quests originated.  They were always supposed to be little stories with kill X amount of Y and then return to the quest giver. and they were supposed to be engaging and fun.

 

TSW breaks that mold right away.  There generally is no returning to the quest giver, you just send in your report.  The quests seem like adventures all tied to the main story line.  Kingsmouth Code is an example of a great puzzle/adventure quest and there are many others.  I found very few go get X number of Y quests in this game and when there are, they are disguised pretty well. 

 

I'm thinking of several of the very few quests.  Sure you have to kill Zombies, what did you expect?  But you have to specifically kill them with ignited gas cans?  You have to kill them specificall by setting off car alarms?  You have to kill them by drawing them inside the Church?  Small details that make the game interesting.

 

 

I won't disagre that there are some interesting quest however the vast majority of them are fetch/kill of one form or another. Be it go jump on cars to summon zombies to kill, go fetch supplies from around town guarded by zombies, kill a number of each kind of zombie for parts, to follow a blood trail to a miny boss to kill they all are the same old song and dance. Everyone is doing the same things for a indivual update and I just couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if the quests had been more organic and centered around things that happening in the world? As it is we are questing in a fixed moment in time and no matter how long you stay in the area nothing changes. The fact that's how other MMOs work does not make it right.
  FC-Famine

Funcom Community Manager

Joined: 10/17/06
Posts: 278

5/14/12 12:30:00 PM#8

Thanks for the constructive post on what you thought about the game. Although we won't be able to please everyone, it will be interesting to see what you think when more content becomes available.

Glen ''Famine'' Swan
Senior Assistant Community Manager - Funcom

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10579

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

5/14/12 12:53:55 PM#9


Originally posted by udon

I won't disagre that there are some interesting quest however the vast majority of them are fetch/kill of one form or another. Be it go jump on cars to summon zombies to kill, go fetch supplies from around town guarded by zombies, kill a number of each kind of zombie for parts, to follow a blood trail to a miny boss to kill they all are the same old song and dance.

Everyone is doing the same things for a indivual update and I just couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if the quests had been more organic and centered around things that happening in the world? As it is we are questing in a fixed moment in time and no matter how long you stay in the area nothing changes.

The fact that's how other MMOs work does not make it right.




It's not "wrong". Having many people in the same place either means a static environment, or an unscripted environment. One or the other. The nature of the game requires a scripted environment, which means static. So, for future reference, if the game has a story, it will have a static environment. At least until there's some kind of huge leap in AI development that makes it both intelligent and cost effective.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  udon

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/23/07
Posts: 1607

5/15/12 11:26:38 PM#10
Originally posted by lizardbones


Originally posted by udon

I won't disagre that there are some interesting quest however the vast majority of them are fetch/kill of one form or another. Be it go jump on cars to summon zombies to kill, go fetch supplies from around town guarded by zombies, kill a number of each kind of zombie for parts, to follow a blood trail to a miny boss to kill they all are the same old song and dance.

Everyone is doing the same things for a indivual update and I just couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if the quests had been more organic and centered around things that happening in the world? As it is we are questing in a fixed moment in time and no matter how long you stay in the area nothing changes.

The fact that's how other MMOs work does not make it right.




It's not "wrong". Having many people in the same place either means a static environment, or an unscripted environment. One or the other. The nature of the game requires a scripted environment, which means static. So, for future reference, if the game has a story, it will have a static environment. At least until there's some kind of huge leap in AI development that makes it both intelligent and cost effective.

 

Many years ago even before wow we had WW2Online were two sides fought over a dynamic ever changing map of Europe until one side won and the map reset. Now I know that's PVP not PVE content but I can not help but think it has to be possible to introduce that kind of large scale looping dynamic content into PVE content as well. It would be miles above questing in a single fixed point in time. I guess GW2 is at least a step forward in that regard.
  User Deleted
 
OP  5/16/12 3:49:42 AM#11

Personally i think public quests like in WAR or Rifts in well...RIFT and GW2's dynamic Quests are a step into that direction. Would be amazing having a zombie count and some big nasty monster spawning when it's reached, or some night / day spawns. Or more dynamic spawns when you progress to tier X in your sotry, like Sykrim's pestering Dragons.

But even without such a system the Quests and varity in Kingsmouth was diverse enough to not bore you with a feeling of a TODO Questgrind list.