A Simple Question about The Secret World…

The Secret World has a beta test weekend this past weekend.  I have seen a couple of posts up about it.  From them I have learned that there are essentially three weapons disciplines, melee, magic, and firearms.

The game is set in the modern world, so firearms are pretty much a requirement.  But has Funcom gone the SWTOR route?  When two people with firearms face each other, is it a matter of tab-targeting and standing there toe-to-toe blasting away?

Blasting away, two down and I’m barely scratched

Because that pretty much killed SWTOR for me.  Even Star Wars Galaxies was more complex because, even though you stood toe-to-toe, you did have to actually aim your blaster.

Bang! Bang! You’re Dead!

So what is combat with firearms like in TSW?

In the absence of data, my mental model for this is The Matrix Online, and I hated combat in that game.

9 thoughts on “A Simple Question about The Secret World…

  1. Rohan

    Yeah, it’s pretty much that, like SWTOR. The idea though is that you are channelling powers through your weapon (because seriously, healing by shooting a rifle would be a tough sell in a normal setting). Your weapon is (theoretically) more of a focus than an actual weapon.

    As well, you are almost always fighting the supernatural, which usually takes several bullets even in a regular story.


  2. bhagpuss

    I find The Secret World’s combat very satisfying. I’ve been using a shotgun, which is extremely noisy and has a great “feel”. What it’s like when two people with firearms face each other I can’t really say because PvP isn’t until next weekend (there is Fight Club, the TSW equivalent of Arenas, but I didn’t get round to trying that). I didn’t run into many mobs using guns. There were probably a few guards at the airstrip but I can’t recall the fights very clearly.

    As Rohan says, pretty much every mob is supernatural and even in the low-level areas most of them look like it would take a dozen or more shotgun blasts to put them down. They’re a lot chunkier than your average orc or goblin. I don’t think there will be too many issues with “realism” when it comes to pumping a dozen rounds into something to knock it over – you’ll just be happy if it doesn’t get up again afterwards.

    The combat is tab-target (if you use that – I rarely do. I’ve always done most of my targeting with the mouse pointer whether the game has tab targeting or not). It’s far from static, though. You need to do a lot of circling, kiting, jumping and dodging in that quite annoying modern style. I prefer just standing and trading blows myself but that will get you a quick trip to ghostland here.

    Overall I found the combat pretty natural, comfortable and most importantly fun. There were plenty of complaints about in general chat, though, mostly from fans of the active combat style I dislike so I think you can assume it’s on the staid side as these things go.


  3. Boerewors

    Not played the beta but it is an MMO, so yes, no matter what, you will not be able to do “realistic” damage like in a FPS. To be honest, even fantasy MMOs suffer from the “chipping away” effect. Two people standing toe to toe swinging broadswords at each other is not very “realistic” either.
    So a “boss” mob human is going to take a TON of lead before they drop. Stupid? For sure, but par for the course for MMO damage dealing.


  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Boerewors – Well, yes. But classically, from D&D, hit points were meant to represent a range of things allowing the player or NPC to keep fighting in a simple to track stat. That is why it is “hit points” and not a “health bar”… except, of course, when it is a “health bar.”

    In SWTOR, and SWG, they went with the whole “chipping away” thing in a world defined by movies where one shot… by the good guys… more often than not, kills. Hence my reference in the past to Han and Greedo. Neither game made any effort to explain why their world was different, why blasters were suddenly so low power that it took half a dozen shots to kill a guy. Even STO gave us a fig leaf with personal shields.

    TSW has modern weapons. If they are equally as ineffective, they need to provide at least some sort of half-assed explanation as to why this is so. Rohan says that you are not so much using the weapon, but using it to focus your power. Which kind of leads me to, “then why guns at all?” But at least they appear to be trying to rationalize it somehow.


  5. HarbingerZero

    Bhagpuss has the right of it. You aren’t really fighting everyday normal people, but those mobs close to it go down fairly easily. One pistol shot is not going to drop a zombie, but a couple will, and you have plenty of abilities that loose more than one shot.

    Also, the focus of power is somewhat hard to explain. But to give an example, in one of the pistol powers, you shoot into the air, and as the bullet comes up out of the gun, your power manifests out of the ground doing damage to anyone standing in that area.

    The other interesting things is that since many of the missions are puzzle and stealth based, its a relief from SWTOR where not only did I have to bang that trooper on the head a dozen times with my lightsaber to get him to die, that was the only thing I could actually do to advance the storyline and my power. Even if you do have to pump two clips full of lead in something to get it to go down, at least you don’t have to rinse and repeat that every thirty seconds to get through the game.


  6. Timurids

    Well to answer your question…in short yes. Tab targeting is the new normal in the MMO world.

    I played the last beta weekend, and due to illness I was only able to play about 10 hours.

    I can say its like most MMO’s with tab targeting, but there is more to it then that. From what little I learned so far its almost like making combo moves when fighting. You can equip and use any combo of 2 weapon typed. Then you can use any special moves from either weapon. For example I was using elemental magic and the shot gun. I would load up the targets (5 mob pulls) with a debuff/damage and finish them off with a lightning storm. The storm would do A LOT more damage with the shot gun debuffs on the the target.

    I am still learning how the combat really works, and trying to get the most out of it though. So it is different then tab targeting also.

    Fun Com is really going out on a limb with the combat/skill system. I can not recall a game that has tried this complex of a system to max out damage. It reminds me of old school SWG and how they did it. Except there is not a exp pool for each class of weapon like in SWG.

    If you try it out be warned though. Pick a skill and stay with it. Points become harder to get as you progress. You will get more exp as you progress though.

    On a side note,
    I will be intresting to see your thoughts on the questing system.

    I think TSW nailed it. Its not like any game I can remember.
    Like you I am old school also.


  7. Laniala

    I have a spare beta key I don’t think anyone is going to be using (for the open weekend beta the coming weekend or/and for the closed beta which should be open until the game is released) if you would want to check it out for yourself. =)
    (It’s at 31 GB at the moment so might take some time to download.)

    The fighting you have already gotten some indication as to how works.

    However, what I have liked best so far is that there are two main types of quests (or missions as they call it): Use your weapon and slap the mobs, or use your brain and figure out the sometimes not so obvious clues. And some are a mix of this. Although, those thinking missions are also those that have gotten the most questions and complaints…


  8. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    Lani! You live! And you hadn’t kicked me out of Shades of Twilight the last time I checked!

    Well, the idea was to find out whether the game was worth playing before I downloaded 31 GB of data. And I am not much on beta testing right now. I can wait for launch, and a while after that.

    But yes, I have read some bits about the “thinking” missions. Or at least one of the missions. Everybody seems to mention “Vivaldi.”


  9. Laniala

    =D The mission where you need Vivaldi is in my opinion one of the easier ones. You get three hints, a broken picture with the text “[blahblah] my favourite composer”, and two other hints “seasons” and “1723”.

    There are other missions that are much more trickier, and some even gives hints that can be quite misleading. F.ex. one gives a big picture of a light tower, but it is the text below pointing to “seat of power” (in a small town) that is the real clue.

    And how good are you at decoding morse code played for you at authentic speed? It was quite harder than I had imagined. Personally I had to “cheat” and slow the speed down. =) Or how do you find a password based on “The hands of time point to truths written by kings in the words of God”? Another mission brings up a question you need to solve, and also gets asked a lot: How do you best see a ghost? Luckily none of these missions are actually required for you to do if you don’t want to.

    Personally I like these types of challenges, but it looks like a lot of people don’t, so it will be interesting to see how it works out in the end, and if that part of the game will be toned down or made easier in favour of those that like the old hack’n’slash and brainless “kill 10 mobs” quests, which also are present in the game.


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