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The Secret World Column: The Top 5 Secret World Secrets

By William Murphy on April 27, 2011

I want to do a special edition of The List for this week’s Secret World column.  It makes perfect sense that a game which touts itself to be all about secrets and puzzles and mystery should have a certain sense of intrigue surrounding its systems and its story.  It’s actually a little refreshing to know so little about a game at this stage of development.  By now we usually have information on pretty much every little facet of a game.  Some of us even know our favorite class’ talent trees by heart, in preparation for the big Launch Day fanfare.  But something tells me that The Secret World is going to be a bit different.  I don’t think Funcom wants to spoil the intrigue of their game until we get much closer to launch.  This has its benefits: namely, if you don’t over-share on the way your game works, you won’t have to come back later and explain to players why one feature or another is not shipping on Launch.  But either way, we’re gamers here at MMORPG.com.  We want to know everything about a title; we want to see what’s behind the curtain and get amped for what the game’s going to bring on release.  Here then are a few things I want to know about when it comes to The Secret World.  I don’t want to spoil the game for myself, but I would love more info on any of the following. 

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5.) The Combat

We see the videos, we know there’s a lot of powers to be used and weapons to kill things with, but we don’t know as of yet just how it all is going to work.  Will it be something akin to Age of Conan: a combination of hotkeys and button-combos, or will it be more action-oriented than even that?  For a game that focuses a lot on guns, as well as katanas and the like, I certainly hope Funcom doesn’t shy away from being different in the combat as well as everything else they’re doing that’s not the norm.

4.) The Factions

There’s a huge amount of detail apparently going into each faction’s story.  So much so that Ragnar tells interviewers that playing one faction will feel distinctly different than the rest.  And sure we know a little about each back story, but I’m curious to see how each faction’s lore and modus operandi will factor into the overall gameplay of TSW.  In most games “Faction” means basically “the side you fight for”.  But in TSW, I expect that with each side having their own designs on what the world should be like, I should hope there’s more to it than just different armor and NPCs.

3.) The Secrets

I don’t want them spoiled for me.  I want the sense of wonder to be there when I first log in.  But I’m really curious and cautious to see just how Funcom is going to weave stories and ARGs into their next MMO, and if they can keep the beast that is the Internet from ruining the fun for everyone with search engines.  It’s going to take some truly herculean puzzle-building to do so.

2.) The Skills

No levels?  Awesome.  Five hundred different skills?  Awesomer.  But what I want to know is the kinds of skills we’re talking about.  Will 250 of the skills be essentially Rifle 1/2/3 and so forth, or will Funcom be able to come through on their promise that each skill will feel unique from the next.  Additionally, I’m curious to see how their “frameworks” system will work for those who don’t want total freedom and would rather follow some set guidelines for their build-out. 

1.) The PvP

I may have mentioned this once or twice before, but the aspect I’m most curious about in TSW is the potential for three-faction warfare.  We already know that there’s an equivalent to battlegrounds/scenarios/warfronts in the game.  But what we haven’t heard much about in a long while is the persistent open world segment of the PvP.  The Hollow Earth as it was initially announced is being reworked, and it’s the type of feature that could make or break The Secret World for me, so I’m very anxious to see what it ends up being all about.

William Murphy / Bill is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He''s been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.

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