The Secret World is seeking to inject some amazing ideas into the MMO genre. There are a lot of great features in the game and the three faction system has battle lines already being drawn. One of the things that still remains open for discussion is the endless amount of weapon combinations you will have in the game. When I was a kid I often remember playing D&D with my brother and our first sentence was always: “What Weapons?” Well it looks like The Secret World will be giving quite an answer to that very question in the near future.
Forget about game mechanics for a second and ask yourself what type of weapon would you use? Many people love the dual pistols, or the katana, even magic is on the menu. The options seem endless. While I always started out as a solid straight fighter in most games in recent years I have found myself really digging the hybrid combos lately. Weapons and spells combined make for some great character builds and I am hoping something in the game allows for a healer-DPS hybrid. Sure the skills are untlimited but when it comes to a character’s arsenal I am now drawn to being totally self sufficient as a player. I can heal myself and beat you up? Done.
If I don’t choose this route the other combo I really enjoy is the ranged and melee damage dealer. So in The Secret World you will have all sorts of ranged guns and spells. Great tools for combat, however, when things get close and the melee starts getting dished out, give me a big giant axe to get the job done. I call this weapon combo: my Zombie Apocalypse build. Of course I would want a rifle no question asked. But, a kickass melee weapon like dual machetes or a sweet battle axe is always great to carry. The beauty of The Secret World is that these weapon combos look to be part of the character building process and not just gear you hunt down for "what's best".
On to the idea of magic as a weapon in the game, my gamer friend always 100% plays a mage if the class is available. In The Secret World it looks like some great magic spells will be on offer for characters. At NYCC we saw the players running around blasting fire at zombies in the subway. This is always fun and magic should be a great way to spec a character. I love the idea of Templar Mages running around in an extermination style group. Purging everything unnatural in their path, that is how fire magic should be used. Also, I think the Dragon faction would rock with some cool spells for players. Somehow the Illuminati does not scream magic to me. Still, and this is my take and I am just theory-crafting here: Templars' specialty could be healing and ward style magic, Dragons could be fire and protection, and the Illuminati could be necromacy and black magic.
Please don’t quote me on this, remember it is an open skill system so you can choose any style you want. In my mind that is just how I see it playing out in terms of theme and setting. If I were to make an Illuminati I would likely look for magic that reflects the tone of the faction. The best part in all of this is the variety that you will have at your finger tips... literally.
So again when choosing weapons with such an open system for players, ask yourself what style best suits you? In the modern world setting there seems to be a lot of great things, even martial arts. I guess when the world grows to that point and all the different cultures begin to collide (like our own world now) it opens up a realm of possibilities in gaming to really see sides of your arsenal. Something to keep in mind when using an open skill tree is that hopefully the skills work out so you can spec the way you want and no one build becomes the norm. Sadly, this happened ages ago in Ultima Online when the player-base all started using the same skills in PvP. Now granted that was a long time ago, but it looks like The Secret World will hopefully match your skills to your taste and style without forcing you down any one path. This would be great. I can see the chainsaw wielding, fire throwing, berserker style Templar right now… wait that doesn’t go together you say?
See, for a game with the multitude of choices like The Secret World, your favorite weapon will be whatever you choose. That's the beauty.