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Author Topic: [PC] The Secret World MMORPG : No Longer Pumped, Just Playing it.  (Read 24408 times)
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Razgon
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« Reply #320 on: December 07, 2012, 07:04:43 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on December 07, 2012, 05:20:42 AM

just picked this up for $5.25 from Green Man Gaming; is there any life still in this?

Depends on what you mean? Its basically a singleplayer game with a few multiplayer dungeons sprinkled in. Its one of the finest singleplayer games out there, though , with strong emphasis on story and exploration.
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« Reply #321 on: December 07, 2012, 03:50:14 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on December 07, 2012, 07:04:43 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on December 07, 2012, 05:20:42 AM

just picked this up for $5.25 from Green Man Gaming; is there any life still in this?

Depends on what you mean? Its basically a singleplayer game with a few multiplayer dungeons sprinkled in. Its one of the finest singleplayer games out there, though , with strong emphasis on story and exploration.

I had ignored TSW, but this description got me pretty intrigued.  After watching a few gameplay videos this morning, I think I'm going to give it a look.
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« Reply #322 on: December 09, 2012, 05:03:20 AM »

Picked this up yesterday, not impressed at all.  For starters, the game took over 7 hours to download and patch (2 hours downloading, 5+ hours patching).  Once it finally finished, I had some sort of password bug that allowed me to log into my account just fine on their website, but the game launcher wouldn't recognize the password.  Finally fixed that after multiple restarts.

Got into the game, only to realize this game looks and runs like absolute shit on my system.  Choppy animations, horrible framerates, significant lag when opening menus or activating items...it's just crappy all around.  On top of that, I hit multiple bugs in the first 2 hours including:

-  Characters whose mouths didn't move during cutscenes
-  Quest items hidden behind quest markers (not really a bug, I suppose...just piss-poor design).  Took me forever to find the book I was looking for because it could only be seen behind the quest marker from a very specific angle.
-  Character wouldn't draw his weapon when entering combat.  His hands looked like he was carrying something and there were plenty of slashing noises when I attacked, but his sword remained hanging from his hip the whole time.
-  Got stuck on scenery twice.

On top of all the technical issues, the very first mission drops you in the middle of a zombie attack.  This is just a personal thing, but I'm absolutely and completely sick of zombies.  If I ever see another zombie in a game for the rest of my life, it will be too soon.  The icing on the crap cake was during a mission where I had to lure 10 zombies into a flame, some asshole kept following me around for 15 minutes picking off every one of them with his rifle before I could lead them to the fire.  Annoying little bastard.

Glad this clicked with some folks, but it's definitely not my thing.  
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« Reply #323 on: December 09, 2012, 12:31:07 PM »

Agh, I would totally grab for that. But don't see how I can get the current list of $29.99 down there. Also interested in whether it is still alive.
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« Reply #324 on: December 09, 2012, 02:36:33 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on December 07, 2012, 05:20:42 AM

just picked this up for $5.25 from Green Man Gaming; is there any life still in this?

I play once in a while. It's still a lot of fun. Just got to Transylvania and was positively surprised again when it turned out to be (at least initially) more like Pan's Labyrinth than Bram Stoker's Dracula.
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« Reply #325 on: December 10, 2012, 08:43:37 PM »

I found TSW to be a good story based single player MMO experience.  I like the combat system, especially having to choose from a wide selection of abilities to fit the limited action bar slots (similar to GW and GW2).  The ability system can be straightfoward, or very complex, especially if you take the time to understand the ability synergies and how to setup different conditions or whatever they were called in game.  They include some templates that sort of teach this, but I had to really dive into the tool tips to start figuring out how to combine abilities and traits effectively (which I liked doing...but I could see it being a turn off for some though).

The stories and zones were mostly interesting, with some memorable villians and npcs.  I'd still be playing if the game didn't cost $15 a month.  My main character was a cool shotgun and pistol wielding Illuminati.  I forgot exactly how I did it, but his pistol and shotgun abilities all worked together to slow, hinder and really mess things up.

     
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« Reply #326 on: December 10, 2012, 09:02:01 PM »

I should mention that I have a lifetime subscription, so I have no reason to stop playing. smile

My character is Illuminati as well, specialized in assault rifles and blades. He's a total AoE monster, able to take out large amounts of enemies very quickly. He's weak against individual enemies though, so I'm currently looking at a supporting build for those situations, hopefully featuring at least one of my previous specializations. I've also dabbled a bit in hand-to-hand combat for the passives.
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Razgon
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« Reply #327 on: December 11, 2012, 07:20:59 AM »

Seems like it will become subscription less soon, according to their latest video, where the new game director says the game should be without subsription, to let everyone try it out before the world ends.
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« Reply #328 on: December 12, 2012, 11:37:49 AM »

As of today, the game is free to play. As in really free to play, unlike games like The Old Republic. You must purchase the base game, but after that there are no subscription fees, and you can play the entire game (including the first 4 DLC packs that have already been released) without restrictions. Future DLC will cost money, unlike before.

You can still subscribe, which will give you bonus points for use in the in-game store, discounts in said store, a "time accelerator" that gives you 100% increased xp gain from monsters for an hour, usable once every 16 hours, and an "item of the month".

I've got mixed feelings about this since I have a lifetime subscription, but then again, I knew I took a risk when I bought it. From now on I'll receive all benefits of a regular subscription for free, as well as a larger, permanent discount in the in-game store. If I understand the system correctly this probably means I'll essentially get every future piece of DLC for free, so that's something.

Hopefully this should make more people want to try the game, though the biggest issue is that payment is up-front.
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« Reply #329 on: December 12, 2012, 12:10:35 PM »

29.99 is still to much for me..   I might take a peek once it gets under the 9.99 range
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« Reply #330 on: December 12, 2012, 06:58:06 PM »

Sweet!  And their buy to play model is not obnoxious like swtor: http://thesecretworld.com/news/subscription_no_longer_required

I think it's absolutely worth $29.99, but I bet you'll see it in one of the holiday sales in the next couple of weeks.  It has more content than most single player rpgs, with the mmo aspect there if you want it.  If you're into modern day, sci-fi/supernatural settings with a good atmoshpere, and you like a more active combat system with lots of options, TSW is worth a look...especially with out a monthly fee. 

   
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Blackjack
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« Reply #331 on: December 14, 2012, 07:25:15 PM »

This is all interesting, but the Important Question is...

Is Kronovan Still Pumped?  smirk
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« Reply #332 on: December 16, 2012, 01:31:10 AM »

Is there an GT/OO guild?
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« Reply #333 on: December 16, 2012, 03:43:35 PM »

Quote from: Soulchilde on December 12, 2012, 12:10:35 PM

29.99 is still to much for me..   I might take a peek once it gets under the 9.99 range

$14.99 on amazon sale.  Tempting.
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« Reply #334 on: December 17, 2012, 04:19:55 AM »

Quote from: Blackjack on December 14, 2012, 07:25:15 PM

This is all interesting, but the Important Question is...

Is Kronovan Still Pumped?  smirk

at least it's not stuck in beta biggrin
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Razgon
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« Reply #335 on: December 17, 2012, 06:59:05 AM »

Quote from: Teggy on December 16, 2012, 01:31:10 AM

Is there an GT/OO guild?

I doubt it, but one thing to bear in mind, is that it really doesnt matter what server you choose, since chat is cross-server, and you can always team up with other people, even if they are on another server :-)
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« Reply #336 on: December 17, 2012, 07:36:08 AM »

Got myself a chainsaw and rocket launcher this weekend, and purchased the chainsaw skill (35 frigging skill points!) as well as two abilities for it (2 x 50 ability points). Since I'm focused on AoE DPS, this should help me deal with single targets. smile
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« Reply #337 on: January 11, 2013, 03:10:49 AM »

I think I'm going to give this another try.  TSW and I got off to a very rough start:

1.  A login/password snafu that took forever to sort out
2.  A ridiculously long load/patch process
3.  A zombie level (which I was not in the mood for) right off the bat
4.  The pressure of needing to play to justify a monthly sub.
5.  Having a wandering MMO eye (I've messed around with GW2, Rift, LOTRO, Tera, Aion, and even WoW since I last played Secret World)

I think I've got all these things out of my system and can actually give TSW an objective look.  Hopefully we get off to a better start this time around.  smile
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« Reply #338 on: January 12, 2013, 06:41:01 AM »

Spent about 12 or so hours with TSW over the last couple days, and it has finally clicked.  My only real gripe (other than killing zombies, which I find somewhat dull) is how vague some of the quests are...both in finding them and completing them.  I feel like I'm typically just randomly stumbling onto quests, which makes me wonder how many I'm missing as a result.  I have also had to resort to FAQs multiple times to figure out what the hell the game was expecting me to do. 

That gripe aside, I'm really digging the story.  You can definitely tell the TLG/Dreamfall influences, which is a very good thing, IMO.  The voice work is outstanding, and it's refreshing to not be doing the same old "collect 20 widgets" over and over again.  I haven't really figured out the crafting system yet, but that's typically pretty low on the totem pole for me in MMOs. 

A few quick questions:

1. Is there a bank or storage where I can dump some of this stuff?  I'm carrying around a ton of junk, but don't just want to throw it away.
2.  Can you respec skills, or are you stuck with what you choose the first time around?
3.  Is there an AH anywhere?
4.  Seems totally random as to whether or not a piece of equipment can be salvaged.  Is there an indicator for dissassemble-able items that I'm somehow missing?
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« Reply #339 on: January 12, 2013, 08:29:23 AM »

There is no need to ever respec your character in any way - this is the beauty of the system. Its pretty fast to get enough AP to try out other skill areas - its much faster than starting over, at least, since your character is better now than a beginning character.

I don't think there is an AH of any kind, nor a bank although the last thing I can't remember.

I think it depends on the level of the item whether you can dissemble it or not.
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« Reply #340 on: January 12, 2013, 09:54:11 AM »

Quote from: Razgon on January 12, 2013, 08:29:23 AM

I don't think there is an AH of any kind, nor a bank although the last thing I can't remember.

Yes there is. The bank and the AH are the same place in London.
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« Reply #341 on: January 12, 2013, 05:01:34 PM »

As Tilt said, the bank and AH are one and the same, although there are now two locations, both in London - the Bank (across from the clothes store), and the Post Office (near the Tube Station/Agartha entrance). Your bank will start at 50 slots and is expandable with PAX, much like your bag space.

As for the ability to disassemble items, there are a few items at QL0 and QL1 that don't break down into components, but after that pretty much every item can be.
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« Reply #342 on: January 13, 2013, 06:44:19 AM »

Back to square one again with TSW...frustration.  I've completed every "Normal" mission I can find in Kingstown at this point.  The only other missions available range from "Hard" to "Devastating".  I've tried 5-6 of the Hard ones, and they end up with me chasing down my dead body within a couple minutes.  The main story mission has me headed out to the airport to look for information, but the only way in (at least that I can find) is guarded by a dude who can literally kill me in 2 hits.  So, I'm basically at the point where I can't really advance unless I team up with someone, and I've had zero success doing that.  I'm going to try out the AH and see if I can get some better equipment...maybe that will help.  If not, it may be time to shelve this one again.  At least I can say I gave it an honest shot.

I tried messing around with the crafting system, which got me nowhere.  For the life of me, I can't figure out why none of my equipment will disassemble into components.  Every guide I've read says that's the first step, but whenever I put a weapon or item (QL2 or higher) into the "Disassemble" box in the crafting window, it doesn't let me do anything (the "disassemble" box is greyed out).  I have a ton of base-level components, which I've tried to assemble Minecraft-style into weapons, but I always get a message telling me my components are too low level to craft.  Looked for better components at the AH, but couldn't figure out where they're listed.  I give up.

One other quick question.  I've been focusing most of my skills on shotgun, but I also have a "Chaos Focus" equipped in the other weapon slot.  I thought this "Focus" was just a support item, but it dawned on me tonight that maybe it's a secondary weapon I can switch to (ala Guild Wars 2).  Am I right in thinking I can switch?  If so...um...how?

Feel like there's a ton of stuff I probably should have figured out by now, but I'm still fumbling around.   retard
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« Reply #343 on: January 13, 2013, 09:59:31 AM »

Okay, you clearly didn't do your homework before playing this game. slywink

Quote from: Gratch on January 13, 2013, 06:44:19 AM

Back to square one again with TSW...frustration.  I've completed every "Normal" mission I can find in Kingstown at this point.  The only other missions available range from "Hard" to "Devastating".  I've tried 5-6 of the Hard ones, and they end up with me chasing down my dead body within a couple minutes.  The main story mission has me headed out to the airport to look for information, but the only way in (at least that I can find) is guarded by a dude who can literally kill me in 2 hits.  So, I'm basically at the point where I can't really advance unless I team up with someone, and I've had zero success doing that.  I'm going to try out the AH and see if I can get some better equipment...maybe that will help.  If not, it may be time to shelve this one again.  At least I can say I gave it an honest shot.

No no no, you're doing it wrong! The airport contains a zone filled with overpowered enemies meant for those who have reached the end game. You need to think harder. Is your quest listed as a Sabotage quest? If it is, that means you're probably not going to be able to solve it with direct violence. Perhaps you can sneak in? Perhaps you can impersonate one of the people who are allowed to pass? Only for regular missions can you approach this game in the same way as you would a normal MMO. For other missions you need to stop and think.

The difficulty of a mission is determined by your skill levels, btw. Your basic skill in a weapon is the highest of its two sub-skills. Make sure you're not improving Healing if you're focusing on Damage, for example. It's a waste of points early on and will leave you underpowered. You need to keep improving your skill in both primary weapons (we'll get back to that) and the different types of amulets and protective gear.

Quote
I tried messing around with the crafting system, which got me nowhere.  For the life of me, I can't figure out why none of my equipment will disassemble into components.  Every guide I've read says that's the first step, but whenever I put a weapon or item (QL2 or higher) into the "Disassemble" box in the crafting window, it doesn't let me do anything (the "disassemble" box is greyed out).  I have a ton of base-level components, which I've tried to assemble Minecraft-style into weapons, but I always get a message telling me my components are too low level to craft.  Looked for better components at the AH, but couldn't figure out where they're listed.  I give up.

I think you want to look up a crafting guide on the internet. Here's one. I strongly suspect you're doing something wrong, either by placing the item in the assembly box instead of the disassembly box, putting too many items in the box, or something else. Look at the guide and it should become obvious to you.

Quote
One other quick question.  I've been focusing most of my skills on shotgun, but I also have a "Chaos Focus" equipped in the other weapon slot.  I thought this "Focus" was just a support item, but it dawned on me tonight that maybe it's a secondary weapon I can switch to (ala Guild Wars 2).  Am I right in thinking I can switch?  If so...um...how?

You don't switch. You can (and should) always have two primary weapons equipped. By slotting abilities from their respective parts of the ability circle, these weapons will be automatically used whenever needed. If you activate a shotgun ability, your character will shoot with the shotgun. If you activate a chaos ability, he'll use chaos magic. This allows you to combine two weapon types and create the awesome combos the game eventually expects you to come up with. By just focusing on one weapon you're hindering yourself. Take a look at your shotgun abilities, then try to figure out a weapon type you'd like to use along with it. Start learning abilities and skills for that weapon, and get one to equip. This might be one of the reasons the game lists some quests as hard for you. It sees that you haven't improved both your weapons skills to the levels it expects. Skill (ie. the highest of the two, as mentioned earlier) is the closest you'll get to traditional levels in this game.

Quote
Feel like there's a ton of stuff I probably should have figured out by now, but I'm still fumbling around.   retard

I find that when playing a new MMO, it's always good to play around with it for a few hours, turn it off, then spend a little time reading online guides explaining the core concepts. MMOs are rarely very good at explaining for themselves, and typically seem to expect you to do research on your own.
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« Reply #344 on: January 14, 2013, 05:25:53 PM »

That section of the airport is a bit confusing.  Most of the junkyard and skatepark missions are good.  You just have to bypass some of the baddies around and near the airport fenceline.  I'm not sure why they put that higher level group area there. 

I know Tilt already mentioned most of these, but I'll just reinforce what really helped me:
- There are no true character levels in the game.  Everything is based on your weapon/skill level...including quest difficulty.  That's why it's so important that you focus on leveling up 2 weapons, and using both of their skills the best you can.  Another way to say it, you will notice quest difficulty level go down as you raise your weapon skill levels. 

- If you're not comfortable trying to pick the best active and passive skill combos, try going with one of the starter templates.  The template will help you pick active and passive skills that work well together.  Almost all of the templates will teach you how to use 2 weapon skills together to trigger effects.  Once you get a feel for how the different weapon abilities work together, you can start swapping out what you want (or working towards something you want).  The beauty of it is that you never need to respec.  You can start working on a different weapon anytime you want.

- I had to use a crafting guide to figure out the different crafting shapes.  Unless something has changed, breaking down loot was straightforward.  I would just check out a guide and see if that helps.   
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« Reply #345 on: January 15, 2013, 06:11:03 PM »

Also keep in mind that if you want more skill points for whatever reason (just short of getting something cool and you want it now before progressing forward), you can redo missions you've already completed (after 24 hours I think of last doing it).
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« Reply #346 on: January 15, 2013, 06:23:14 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on January 15, 2013, 06:11:03 PM

Also keep in mind that if you want more skill points for whatever reason (just short of getting something cool and you want it now before progressing forward), you can redo missions you've already completed (after 24 hours I think of last doing it).

I don't really see the point in redoing missions until you reach the end of the game, since there's way more missions than you need in this game (for once. I wish other MMOs did this). You can do less than half the quests in a zone and still be more than strong enough to proceed to the next area if you want. Repeating missions just produces a grind, unless you really enjoyed that mission.
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« Reply #347 on: January 15, 2013, 09:24:46 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on January 15, 2013, 06:23:14 PM

Quote from: Destructor on January 15, 2013, 06:11:03 PM

Also keep in mind that if you want more skill points for whatever reason (just short of getting something cool and you want it now before progressing forward), you can redo missions you've already completed (after 24 hours I think of last doing it).
I don't really see the point in redoing missions until you reach the end of the game, since there's way more missions than you need in this game (for once. I wish other MMOs did this). You can do less than half the quests in a zone and still be more than strong enough to proceed to the next area if you want. Repeating missions just produces a grind, unless you really enjoyed that mission.

Oh, I totally agree. I love how many missions there are all over the place in TSW. So much of the world seems to be 'optional' that way, as there's just so much to do in each zone.
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« Reply #348 on: January 31, 2013, 02:37:06 AM »

I'm tempted to pick this up when Amazon has it at $13 on sale.  would be my first MMORPG in several years. 
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« Reply #349 on: September 29, 2013, 06:20:20 PM »

I tried to initially play this when I got into the beta, but it was unplayable on my lower spec'd gaming rig. I could run it nicely on my son's PC, but as I don't like tying up his machine he ended up playing my account until it went live. As my son didn't care for it, mostly because of the simplistic character builds, I never bothered getting the retail box. Well...since I got a new gaming rigs this past Spring I decided to pull the trigger in the latest Steam sale. I have to say I'm quite impressed - the lore and look of the world are impressive and I'm really enjoying the quality of the stories.

I do share my son's criticism of character builds, as the relatively limited Skill and Ability matrix seems too minimalistic. I'm noticing as my toon levels up his jump and run isn't improving and that makes me wish characters had an attribute matrix too, even if was limited to 4 or 5 attributes. I suspect I can improve those with equipped items, but I'd rather control it through the character build. I also think it would be more interesting and challenging if skills were linked to attributes. For something purely skills based, I have to say I prefer Anarchy Online's skills system to this and Shin Megami Tensei Online's skill system IMO would be a match made in Heaven for this. All that aside I can easily see myself playing this to the end game, as it definitely has the Funcom stamp of quality on it for setting and story.
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« Reply #350 on: September 30, 2013, 02:51:29 AM »

Quote from: kronovan on September 29, 2013, 06:20:20 PM

I do share my son's criticism of character builds, as the relatively limited Skill and Ability matrix seems too minimalistic.

You get 7 active and 7 passive skills you can load out based on two different equipped weapons from 9 different choices with 8 skill trees per equipped weapon for a total of 16 skill trees. There are 3 alternate non-weapon related skills trees you can chose skills from as well and a grand total of 560 skills you can potentially unlock. On top of that each weapon has two more trees you can unlock using ability points. While the active skills must come from one of the two equipped weapons you can chose your passives from any skill you have unlocked. I am a bit curious why you feel the character development is minimalistic?  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #351 on: September 30, 2013, 02:54:09 AM »

Don't think there is an improved jump skill, but you can purchase faster run speeds around your class trainer area off one of the merchants there.
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« Reply #352 on: September 30, 2013, 06:21:47 AM »

Quote from: Abaddon on September 30, 2013, 02:51:29 AM

I am a bit curious why you feel the character development is minimalistic?  icon_biggrin

I used the wrong term and really should have said "simplistic." IMO a character build system that consists of only skills and abilities is pretty damn bare bones. Sheer total number of skills or abilities, or any aspect of a character matrix for that matter, doesn't have much to do with the depth or complexity of it. For sure this is fine and dandy for those who don't want to invest a lot of time or thought in their characters, but for players like my son and I who like our RPGs to be more robust, it's just a disappointment. That said, I do think this is better than 80% of the MMORPGs out their for a character build system.
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Razgon
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« Reply #353 on: September 30, 2013, 06:45:54 AM »

Can I ask what 20 percent of MMO's have better character creation systems? :-)
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kronovan
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« Reply #354 on: September 30, 2013, 07:17:05 AM »

Quote from: Razgon on September 30, 2013, 06:45:54 AM

Can I ask what 20 percent of MMO's have better character creation systems? :-)

Of course you can, but since I was only speaking figuratively you won't get any real answer except that I did accidentally press the [8] key instead of the [9]. slywink  As to MMORPG's I thought had a better character build system, I'd definitely put Anarchy Online, Shin Megami Tensei online and D&D Online over this - I include the latter despite not being a fan of class based/restricted RPGs.

I'd be the 1st to admit that my son and I want MMO character build systems that go against the common grain, but the way I see it the casual approach isn't exactly working anymore. I think WoW did an excellent job of convincing a majority of players and an ever greater percentage of publisher/dev studios that the simplistic model is the only way to go, but I also see player communities leaving games now about as fast as they embrace them. All the games I listed, despite being way behind the curve in MMO tech, are for me still enjoyable because the depth of the character builds. I think at this point a truly wise dev studio would include a basic character system for the WoW-nutured hordes with the option to toggle on a more advanced model for the players that might actually stick around for a year or 2.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 07:45:07 AM by kronovan » Logged
Abaddon
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« Reply #355 on: September 30, 2013, 09:18:12 AM »

I agree that Blizzard has taken a tact in the development of their games that leans toward simplification, one which personally I don't agree with. I liked the old WoW talent system and while the new pared down system is acceptable it's not what I would prefer. Diablo 3 IMHO was developed with this same paradigm and I took personal affront when the dev's intimated that this was good for the player base as it prevents them from having to think too much or make mistakes.

That being said I believe either you may be missing a significant part of TSW, which may just be that you have not delved deep enough into the game just yet, or I am still not quite understanding your point. I am not trying to be argumentative I am genuinely curious as to why you feel the game is too simplistic. Personally when I was playing the game regularly a few months back I spent more hours on character creation and builds then I did actually in game.

It seems to me you are looking for a level of complexity akin to old school PnP RPG where you had a stat/skill/roll for nearly every action or even the old Sir-Tech Realms of Arkania games where your party could die from catching colds smile. These mechanics, particularly in PnP RPG's, work well within the context of their respective genre's but I don't think would translate too well to modern CRPG's and definitely not to MMO's. First off it would be, I think, extremely hard to code for every skill nuance and second I think it would bog down the progression of the game. I am familiar with the Shin Megami title but never played the game but both AO and DDO I have played. AO, which by the way I actually re-installed and played again for awhile last year, is in my opinion on the opposite end of the spectrum from Blizzard in that it has an incredibly deep character development system to the point I found it cumbersome. DDO I feel does a better job of moderating both extremes but only if you play a rogue (sneaking, lock-picking, trap detection etc.) type character. Fighters (except Monks) and mages tend to be less elaborate. Yes there are a lot of ancillary skills but most classes focus on one or two, of course it's been awhile since I played so my memory may be fuzzy.
 
TSW definitely has it's flaws and can be an extremely frustrating game at times but I think it likewise does an excellent job of bridging the divide between "dumbed down" and needing an engineering background to play the game. The game definitely throws a lot of skills at you but I feel it goes much further beyond that with the ability choices, skill synergies (one of my favorite aspects), multiple builds and swapping the right configuration for the particular situation, interactive combat and the whole gear/equipment planning is incredibly involved. Do you want more DPS or more protection? Are you going to go for Crit chance, Crit bonus or penetration to increase DPS? Too much DPS and not enough Hit isn't good either. On the defensive side there's more pure HP or you can go for evade or damage mitigation. Tanking, healing, DPS'ing, questing builds, survival builds, dungeon builds, there's quite a bit going on under the hood.

These websites may not change your opinion of the game but I feel definitely provide more insights into some of the complexities;

http://wordpress.tswguides.com/category/tsw-guides/builds/level/my-first-60/
http://www.badomens.net  (has both build and gear calculators)
http://crygaia.com/raithwoods-crafting-guide-release-version/
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kronovan
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« Reply #356 on: September 30, 2013, 05:09:33 PM »

Good, thoughtful post Abbadon. I should comment that although I find TSW's character system somewhat simplistic, I do think the skill and ability system are very well implemented.

I don't consider it good RPG design to make items an inseparable part of a character matrix for any game - PnP or MMO. Items are where I think the majority of dev studios have got it wrong, as most use them in MMORPGs as fundamental aspect of the whole character build. You're right about Diablo 3, and I actually lay the blame for over focusing on items on the original Diablo, due to it being a block buster hit that focused so much on item-hunting style play. I also think F2P may have worsened the situation, in that for any MMORPG that places an inflated important on items, specialized items sell well as microtransactions. The biggest looser of the over-integrated item approach IMO is the customizable attribute stat block, which most devs forgo now not willing to introduce a tier to the character build after making items an inseparable tier.

To me the biggest victim of the elimination of the stat block is in-game social conflict. I've played through about 5 missions with this game now and not once have I encountered a single situation that required negotiation, bartering, intimidating, etc. No I'm not surprised by that, but for once I'd really like to see it in a MMORPG. Back in the day this was a deliberate part of the design of MMORPGs, as some devs figured players would be getting that itch scratched via real-world social skills required for participating in parties/groups and guilds. Guess what - very few players play that way any more and just about any new MMORPG has a strong focus on solo play. I don't think that social conflict has to involve the traditional social skills approach either. To me that's where Vanguard Saga of Heroes reallly shines - they've intro'd social conflict via a well designed card game that even has the element of questing to it. In a sense those cards are items, but the player still has to use their gray cells to play the mini-game. The questing is optional, but a player choosing to forgo it will likely eventually disadvantage themselves by not having that really useful card that one time they're in a real challenging debate.  Which in a way leads me to my next criticism...

The other big missing ingredient -  quirks. Just about every PnP RPG, other than the D&D based or inspired, now have this aspect in them. I'd like nothing more than an MMORPG that actually allowed a true character build with the ability to intro somme shortcomings to accompany all those perks just about every game doles out from the moment a PC sets foot in their world. If said game then reinforced the quirks via in-game play such as social conflicts, that'd be a much deeper play experience. This whole aspect of the game is that much more lacking with the elimination of the stat block, as players no longer have to contend with the consequences of having a PC that has a weak stat.

Anyhow, quirks and social conflicts are admittedly a bit of wishful thinking in the era of F2P and an over saturated and over competitive market. The lack of a customizable stat block however, is inexcusable IMO and more about lazy or poor design than anything else. PnP RPG publishers have been producing variations of RPGs that divorce the stat block for years. For some examples just look at Wizard of the Coasts D&D Miniatures (D&D 3.5 simplified) or their more recent D&D adventure game series (D&D 4e simplified.) Going the other direction is about as difficult - meaning not very.  Heck, I've homebrewed lite versions of exiting RPG's sans stat blocks using spreadsheets or VB.NET that took me all of about a weekend worth of time to program - and that by a novice a best. IMO there's no reason why devs can't do the same for a MMORPG, allowing those that want a simpler game the ability to toggle off the stat block, but having it there for those that want a deeper character experience.

Sure, I'm well aware I'd be most happy sticking to the PnPs I play, but surely there's some market for those who want a deeper play experience. It seems to me every dev keeps aiming to steal WoW's slice of the pie, but none of them ever succeeds. Anyhoo...I don't want to sidetrack this thread too much. I still think Funcom has an edge in providing a good play experience, but I'm let down a bit that they've retreated a bit towards the WoW camp.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 05:24:01 PM by kronovan » Logged
Razgon
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« Reply #357 on: October 01, 2013, 06:33:05 AM »

Funcom took a HUGE risk with this game, and they most certainly did not move towards the WoW camp. The Secret World is probably the most progressive and innovative MMO anyone has released lately, even if you don't like the direction they've taken. First off,the setting is something not seen much before - A modern day horror story? Not many MMO's like that. They actually also diverged a bit in the loot area, even if it wasn't all intentional. Secondly, the skill wheel and the way it works, is something not seen before. Basically, it lets you focus on doing what you want, but also give you the option (After some time) to switch at random to other skills. Thirdly - the questing is way different that any WoW clone out there. The investigation quests are the greatest thing I've ever seen in an MMO since Warhammer Online's Tome of Knowledge. Quests without ANY kind of handholding? How you look is another awesome thing - instead of taking the usual route of letting your characters look be dictated by level and available armor, you can look like you want.

Now, TSW has some issues of course, but please remember it is the farthest thing you can probably get these days from a WoW clone.

As for your excellent suggestions on what should be in an MMO - I doubt that will ever happen. MMO's are unfortunately based on lowest common denominator, since its supposed to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. The trend these days is unfortuantely also towards less complex games with simpler systems. Its probably because again, widest possible audience in general and kids these days have very limited attention span when it comes to entertainment (I have two of them, so I know). That, combined with the fact that something like quirks would increase the complexity of the world building makes it sadly something I doubt we will see.

I do wish TSW would have been a lot more succesful but they had too many errors and things that just didn't work right from the start, driving costumers away.

oh - while I remember - what MMO's had negotiation? I mean, the ultimate design principle behind MMO's has always been that your players cannot be allowed to fail (Die yes, but thats something else)
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 06:36:00 AM by Razgon » Logged

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kronovan
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« Reply #358 on: October 01, 2013, 04:31:03 PM »

I was only speaking in a broad sense in regards to retreating to the WoW camp; meaning moving in the direction of simplification. Funcom had an excellent skills-based system in Anarchy Online that I think could have worked very well for this game, but that system was for sure more complex. Otherwise I'm a 100% in agreement that setting-wise there's no movement in that direction by Funcom - kudos to them.

Quote from: Razgon on October 01, 2013, 06:33:05 AM

Secondly, the skill wheel and the way it works, is something not seen before. Basically, it lets you focus on doing what you want, but also give you the option (After some time) to switch at random to other skills.
It's seems funny to me that everyone refers to the Ability wheel as skills - it's not. The skills system is a dual track of linear progressions with each skill group having a Damage track and a 2nd track that aids the PC; i.e. Healing, Survivability or Support. So you get the Blades Skill with its 2 tracks of Damage and Survivability, the Pistol skill with its Damage and Support, Blood magic with its Damage and Healing, etc. The ability wheel is more of a specialization or focus of those skills and for the magically skilled PC's more akin to supernatural powers/spells in other RPGs. The Ability system could be considered skill specializations or focuses, but they're clearly not primary skills.

One of my big gripes with the TSW system is the Talisman skills. Without an attribute stat block, Funcom went with forcing the player to spend skill points on what should be free, derived stats. I'd much rather have my Magic stat be determined by a customizable Intelligence of Magic attribute, my Health derived from a Vitality or Constitution stat and my Physical defence defined by a Body or Strength stat. By eliminating attribute stats, they've forced the player to unnecessarily waste skill points.  But hey guess what, tying  those to Talismans also ties them to equipped items - kaching!  For sure the last sentence is an unfair criticism of the game in its current state, but if this ever becomes F2P, how much do you want to bet a player will be able to buy nice talismans via microtransactions.  slywink

Quote
oh - while I remember - what MMO's had negotiation? I mean, the ultimate design principle behind MMO's has always been that your players cannot be allowed to fail (Die yes, but thats something else)

Vanguard SoH is the only MMO I know of and the beauty of it is that it's completely optional. IMO a player does miss out on a lot of the game if they don't master it. The consequences of failing in that system is never worse than not being able to proceed in a specific quest. The other very interesting thing about it is that PC's in an area can gain perks/buffs depending on how well other PCs in their faction are performing with their social skills. Sadly Vanguard is wracked with lag issues, that despite the team recently overhauling the network code still persists; albeit to a lesser extent.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 04:59:12 PM by kronovan » Logged
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« Reply #359 on: October 08, 2013, 09:03:05 PM »

Is there anyway to get Black and White Venice Marks without doing PvP? Other than the 21 I got free for buying the game, I haven't found any other source for these other than those that are handed out at the PvP arenas. I'm not particularly interested in PvP, especially since I'm building to a deck that's fairly squishy at the lower tiers. I've been told by 3 players now that the arenas are the only way, which seems like one heckuva big oversight in the design of this. Surely there has to be another way.
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