very brief thoughts, which I may or may not fill in later:
- I wish the main PC had voice over and dialog choices like in SWtOR (or Mass Effect)… or maybe just dialog choices… or maybe just choices that affected dialog and mission results while still staying the silent one.
- I wish there was follow-up with more NPCs rather than leaving them wondering if you acted upon their information by not returning to them after you report in to your home faction.
- I wish there were fewer assholes in chat. That’s not unique to TSW though…
- I wish there were more instances for investigative missions, so we didn’t have to constantly compete with other players who were working on the same puzzle missions. I think a lot of bugs people are reporting are actually because other players are messing up with their solutions midway.
- I wish chat wasn’t broken. Often the group channel or whispers won’t go through, which is pretty annoying when you’re trying to group with someone.
- I love the Lovecraft influences in Solomon Island.
- I like how characters can dynamically adjust their build for more dps, more heals, more hate generation, etc. depending on situation and group composition.
- And I like how individual abilities aren’t actually more powerful than others, just that you get more of them unlocked as you go, and it’s the combination of them (you pick 7 active and 7 passive abilities; the rest are just idle) that makes for interesting synergies.
- I love the puzzle missions that have me breaking coded messages, thinking outside the game sometimes, looking stuff up on Wikipedia, reading Poe, brushing up on art history, etc.
I tried out the open beta weekend for The Secret World (TSW) last weekend and preordered it. (Join me on the RP server. I’m Mcdanger.) And this week I’ve been playing the 7-day free trial of TERA.
Some things I liked about TSW:
- less emphasis on leveling. There’s still a progression but much of it is in the abilities that get unlocked and the range of things a player can do rather than a sheer numbers-based power curve.
- non-linear (tho still tree based) ability unlocks, and later abilities are not necessarily better than earlier abilities. It’s how a player combines and chains them together that matter.
- emphasis on story. Each NPC is voiced like The Old Republic (TOR). Unlike TOR, it’s not always in a camera-limited dialog event. This is both good and bad. You can leave the NPC mid-sentence, which may be good, but there’s much less animation during their spiels, making you kind of want to leave… The dialog can be hilarious, though, as with two federal agents bantering about popular sci-fi and superhero cliches (eg. Is it a “flight” of super heroes or a “fray” of super heroes?). The fact that it takes place in modern day makes this possible… lots of nods to popular culture.
- first zone is Lovecraft based. Awesome.
- players from the three different factions can group up. So I hear… I didn’t group with anyone while I was trying out the game. There’s no open warfare between the factions.
- monsters sometimes charge up or ready attacks and the game provides an on-ground indicator of where the cone or AoE will land, giving players a chance to dodge out of the way. I like this. It makes the fights more active.
Some things I didn’t like about TSW:
Continue reading The Secret World and TERA