The Secret World will also feature clothing that is not based on stats at all, allowing you to look however you'd like in a system that's separate from stat-based items. Jewelry, tattoos and even the passive powers are used to buff your character's stats, instead.
But let's say you actually enjoy having that special outfit to show off the fact that you killed a high-end boss, and you want everyone to know about it. Luckily, TSW supports that, as well. We're told that items can play a large part in the game, combining with the powers to create multiple tiers of powerful weapons, and you can choose to show these off or stick with your hotpants and tank top (as Ragnar admits is his favorite).
Guilds in The Secret World are called cabals, which was no secret in itself, but what is news to us is how important these cabals will be in the game. There will be an achievement system in the cabals centered around guild rating which will involve rank in PvE, PvP and even crafting.
There will also be hub cities in the game where players can congregate for social activities and "tiny games" that Ragnar says they have not yet announced.
"We like to blur the lines between fiction and reality. If that's something we're already doing, we will definitely be doing it more and more."
Martin and Ragnar also pointed out that the main storyline will eventually conclude in the version set for launch, but they are working on a 2-year plan ahead of what's scheduled to be released, always staying on top of how that story will evolve and grow. As the game stands right now, we're already over seven years into its creation, so you can bet that we'll get quite a bit to keep us busy.
But when we reach that fabled "endgame", the Funcom guys say there are certain mechanics that will kick start for your character. Of course they aren't allowed to spill the beans just yet, but they spoke of PvP between the three factions based on occupying and holding resources for the magical energy in the game.
A vast achievement system is also mentioned as a possibility for endgame, although it is included throughout the entire game. So even if you've reached what you feel is enough of the story, there's still plenty to keep you busy.
Some other tidbits of info that I found interesting from our Q&A after the demo:
- The game is being developed for the PC exclusively. An Xbox 360 version has been announced for the future, but there will not be Mac support.
- The fact that characters can literally shoot fire from their hands is addressed in the storyline.
- Missions are timed at around 35-45 minutes, making it ideal for those without a lot of time. Of course, dungeons and boss fights may take longer.
- The ESRB rating has not yet been established, but Ragnar hinted at a direction, based on the amount of blood and corpses in the game.
- This isn't a scary horror game. There are elements of atmospheric horror (zombies, etc), but it's not based around scare tactics. Ragnar jokes that Silent Hill Online would not make a good MMO because you'd be so exhausted and always tense. The Secret World, although action-based, is not about twitch gameplay.
- The world will be persistent, but there will also be instances in dungeons and mini dungeons. Many of the regular storyline quests will be completely solo-able, while the instances are more for your 4-man party.
- When asked if the Alternate Reality Game websites will continue after the game's release, Ragnar joked, "What ARG websites? We like to blur the lines between fiction and reality. If that's something we're already doing, we will definitely be doing it more and more. We love metagame."
We'd like to thank the Funcom team for the wonderful demo and we look forward to much more out of them in 2010.