Welcome back to Anima-Nation! Today, I bring you my review of the Third DevStream for SWL! This stream was run on Friday, May 5, 2017.
The Stream starts at about :45 seconds this time! Gameplay footage begins at 03:40. And from the sounds of things, Andy might be a little bit loopy! ((Get some sleep there!))
NEW ABILITY BAR: First thing you see is the New Ability Bar!
So here we see that TAB has been added as keybind for what looks like a health potion. They are still using Q-1-2-E for basic attacks, Left/Right Mouse for Main attacks, and the gadget has been moved to ‘C’. Again, not sure who came up with this format, but for me, I’d use 1-2-3-4 for basic attacks, and ‘Q’ for the gadget. But that’s just me… >.>
There is a ‘Helpful Hint’ at the top of this bar to show Shift Key + a direction will dodge in that direction. Or you can be like the rest of us and double tap in a direction to get the $%#& out of there! (Who’s got time to reach for another key with an underused finger anyway?) 😉
And on the far right are your shortcuts. First is your sprint, and then we seem to only get 3 more shortcuts. Not sure why they are cutting back on our shortcuts, but since we can’t use our mouse to click abilities anymore, it would be nice to have MORE, not less!
THE NEW AND IMPROVED KINGSMOUTH: “LOOK! Up in the Sky! It’s Haze! It’s SMOG! No, it’s THE FOG…..!” BAH-BAH-BUM!
This is part of the newly improved Kingsmouth. They’ve added a more ominous fog, improved the draw distances, added vehicle pile-ups like this one above, and added to the dark and gloomy atmosphere at night. When you get here, you’ll feel more what the chaos might have been like when the Zombie Apocalypse hit. There are other things you’ll notice, but I can only comment on the things they show. Speaking of, later in the stream they do show how much further the draw distance will be, so you can get a better look at your environment. (No screenshot because I was lazy.)
ACCOUNT TRANSFERS: Question from the Stream was regarding Account transfers. “When you copy your account status over, you just copy it. You don’t lose anything that you have in the old game… …When you link your accounts, you have it for everything. You’re not losing anything for everything.” At least, that’s the plan!
LEVELS: Andy remembered what the question was that he forgot earlier, “There are now Levels!” It’s one of the things they did for accessibility’s sake, so that things are communicated clearly, so it makes sense to everyone, New players and old players alike. They added a leveling system so it’s very clear what power level you are, in comparison to other classes… (He kinda mumbled here and the word classes doesn’t make much sense. But he’s going on very little sleep, so we can forgive him! Pretty sure the intent was in comparison to creatures, other players, and equipment. But Romain takes over here anyway!)
“One of the intentions with SWL is to make the game more familiar than what we had. TSW had levels in one way or another, there was a progression, the player would go through, you’d get more powerful, you get to a new playfield fine, monsters would get more powerful, so in a way, it always had levels, we just decided to start displaying them…”
“RARE BOSSES”: Someone in the stream noticed the little orange skull on the minimap and asked what it was. It’s a Mini-boss, basically like the Rare bosses that we are used to in TSW. The orange skull will appear on your map and minimap when you get close enough to it, and if you haven’t killed it before. Once you kill it, the orange skull will no longer appear on the maps for you. Killing the Mini-boss will usually give you a green loot bag, and work toward your completion of the zone.
Apologies for the blurred image, it’s the best the stream could offer me. /shrug.
((And, Yes Andy, You are the WORST! And the best, all at once!))
ITEM TRANSFERS: This is definitely a hot topic for all veteran TSW players, is what items will be transferring. They are still working on it, and the latest stat is 4500 items will be transferring. “Thank you for your patience…” as they continue to make sure they get this list ‘Just right.’ they will let us know as soon as they can.
One concern that I have is, we are only being given 1 character slot for SWL, but for those of us who are Alt-aholics will have to buy any further slots, and I’m fine with that as it helps support the servers and what have you, but when we link the accounts and they take that inventory of what we have on TSW and transfer it to SWL, are all the items we have in TSW going to be available across our account in SWL? Or will they be instituting an inventory showing how many of an item we have in TSW and limiting us to that number of items in SWL? (Or if it was purchased to be Account wide vs single item.)
DUNGEON LOOT: Dungeon loot has not yet been finalized.
GIMMICKS MECHANICS: Someone asked about the ‘Pink Conch things’ on screen. These are the Weapon Mechanic Displays™ for Elementalism (aka – Thermotics bar) and the right side is your Paradox Bar for Chaos weapons.
Elementalism is Heat/Cold based. Certain abilities that you use will raise your heat, and others can be used to lower your heat. As you gain heat, you also gain damage, but too much heat can silence you until you cool down. And by silence, I mean that you will not be able to use any of your heat abilities, but you can still use ones that will cool you down. It also does not silence your other weapon’s abilities, just to be clear.
Chaos is one of the simpler weapon proficiencies to get into. As you use a chaos ability, “…divisible by 8, because Chaos…” you will gain a ‘Paradox’. Once you gain 8 Paradox, it will trigger a special effect, and the effect will be random, because, once again, CHAOS! Your passives will allow you to have more control over this. ((My guess on the ‘Divisable by 8’ means that you have a 1 in 8 chance of gaining a paradox when you use a chaos ability. This would be a base value, because as stated above, your passives will help you control things.))
They do plan to do a more in depth look at each of the weapon proficiencies in the coming weeks. They can’t go into full detail right now because not all of them are done, but they will definitely be giving us a close look at each weapon and how combat works.
To upgrade your gear, first you find something that has a proc on it that you like. You will find MANY of these low level gear items as you progress through the game. Once you find something that you like, you will ‘level it up’ and keep it with you into the endgame.
To level your gear item, you will ‘assemble’ other items you acquire in the upgrade window to the item you want to keep. Any Talisman can be used to give ‘experience’ into your talismans, and any weapon can be used to level your weapons as well. But the closer a match to the current item it is, the more experience your item will gain.
Now what they showed was them using the Waist talisman, and the three neck items that didn’t exactly match his neck talisman. Each item used only granted 100 exp each. If he used that other health Talisman, it would give 250 exp since it is of the same type. But how they explained it was the neck items should have given more exp since they were neck items as well, but that’s not how it actually worked out. If anyone from FunCom reads this, I’d love to get an explanation for the discrepancy, or if that is something they missed or what have you. ((I’ll post this on the Beta Forums as well, but unfortunately, I won’t be able to post their reply due to the NDA.))
So, by the same token, if they used the shotgun to level the elemental focus or the chaos focus, it would only give 100 exp, but if they use the chaos focus in his inventory on his equipped chaos focus, it would give more exp toward leveling the item.
Something to note, since it was covered previously, is if you decide you like something else more than your currently equipped item, and you decide to use your current item to level up the new item, you do not gain all the levels the current item already has earned. You only gain the exp for the item as if it were a brand new item that you had just picked up. I’d recommend holding onto the old item that has levels on it already, and leveling it up separately. I can’t fully explain why just yet, but suffice to say, that item can still come in handy later!
I’m sure they will go more in depth on this feature, including how to get blue and purple weapons at a future date.
The Map Markers now show the missions FOR YOUR LEVEL! If you pass the level recommendation, they will still show (for completionists’ sake!) But if you are still too low a level, they will not show up yet. This is their way of trying to guide you to what is available to you ‘Right Now’.
You will also notice smaller markers on the map showing missions that you’ve already done. So you can still go back and help friends, or try to get a specific reward of something.
They are still working on this, but there will be brand new Vanity Items for completing each of the Play Fields! They will talk about this more soon™. ((“maybe…”)) But they will be each inspired by some of the monsters! More incentive to try and do everything!
The Skill pages have been redone, as you can tell. Along the left side are tabs for each of the weapon specialties, and at the top are tabs for Active and Passive abilities. This particular page is the Active Chaos page and you’ll notice that the abilities along the top row are all abilities that this character has purchased. The second row has a slightly dimmed ability signifying it is available to purchase, and the rest of the row is dark showing that you still need to purchase the ability before it before it is available. So you gotta buy from left to right, in order.
The icons should look fairly familiar to you, but you will notice the names are completely different. (To protect the innocent?) ((They do select a number of abilities in this stream but I don’t want to get bogged down with the details of each ability in this post, but I will definitely have more posts on each weapon, so stay tuned for more information as it becomes available!))
The abilities do get stronger the further to the right you are able to purchase. And I *THINK* the weapon Mastery at the end will open up once you have completed buying all the other skills within that page.
There are 4 types of abilities, and the colors of the names help you understand what type each ability is.
- BASIC ABILITIES (White in color) – These abilities are your filler abilities, and do not use energy, but are generally less powerful than your main abilities. But you can always use them. (Unless your heat level is too high in the case of Thermotics. Then you can only use cooling abilities, or abilities from your other weapon.) But these abilities are very spammable!
- POWER ABILITIES (Red in color) – These are stronger and do consume energy. These are the abilities you should be using most of the time, and will be your main attacks on your left/right mouse buttons. These will be the abilities that consume your energy throughout the game.
- SPECIAL ABILITIES (Purple in color) – These are your abilities that will have cooldowns applied to them. They are powerful and do consume energy. These are the abilities that are meant to get you out of trouble, or work within your normal rotation to maximize your DPS.
- ELITE ABILITIES (Yellow/gold in color) – These will also consume energy, and have a cooldown applied to them, but they are even more powerful and ‘look cool’! And as usual, you can only have one Elite Ability on your bars at a time.
Each Row is a different Focus within that weapon proficiency. The top row (at least for Chaos) is focused more on abilities you can use while soloing content. The Second row is focused more on specific abilities that give this weapon it’s flavor. And the last line is stronger abilities that will be used more in groups. But these are just suggestions, and you are free to mix and match as you please!
EXPERTISE LEVEL: Look at the top of the page, right underneath the Active/Passive tabs, and you’ll see a progress bar with some stats itemized above it. This is your expertise level. This will increase as you use a weapon more often, and the stats will increase accordingly. “The more you use it, the better you get at using it.”
There are 3 types of passives:
“PASSIVE PASSIVES” – (Someone later suggests ‘Global Passives’.) These are the small round passives shown on screen. These passives will stay with you forever. (Like luggage.) They will constantly improve your character. And kinda like Pokemon, “Gotta catch them all!” All of these stack and improve your characters. NOTE: You do not have to have the weapon equipped that you buy these from in order to receive the benefit of these passives!
ACTIVE MODIFIER PASSIVES – These will modify the Active abilities. Sometimes drastically.
GIMMICK MECHANIC MODIFIER PASSIVES – These will help modify the playstyle to something that you really want. (They didn’t go into detail on HOW these work, but I imagine we will get a chance to look deeper at these as time goes by.)
You also see at the bottom of the screen, the actual passives that are equipped on his character. We seem to be limited to 5 passives, instead of the 7 we are used to in TSW. I think I DO need to sic the paperboy on them now…
Actually, they did state later in the stream that since we get all sorts of Permanent Passives that will constantly be active on us, they felt we only needed 5 passives. I guess I can let that slide…. maybe.
ABILITY BAR REVISITED: Apparently, the Ability bar that I so painstakingly screen capped and described above, is going to get redone YET AGAIN in the next Beta Phase. They want to put more focus on the abilities you have. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it shows they are still looking at improving upon the things they’ve already implemented.
GADGETS: These are going to play a bigger role in your character’s progression and how you play your character in SWL than what they were in TSW. As shown above, these are shown in the middle of your character screen and get added to your ability bar. You will find more gadgets as you progress, and they will act as another cooldown to further improve and personalize your character.
NEW ICONS: This is something they are working on at the moment still, but they seem to be happy with how the new Icons look, and help describe what the abilities are. An example they give is it will be easier to differentiate between the heat generating abilities and the cooling abilities for Elementalism.
They do like the original icons, as they are kinda sleek, but they will be adding a bit of flair to the icons “…so they will look nice on your screen at all times…” They do hope to start showing them Pretty Soon™.
VANITY CAMERA: First Look at the Vanity Camera! To activate it, hit your V key, and the camera will automatically spin around to view your character from the front, remove the reticle from your screen, and allow you to zoom in and out. Something to note, this zoom level will persist once you exit this mode if you want to have a different zoom distance while in the field.
NEW HAIR COLORS:
Apparently, they’ve re-added the Blue hair color, and a number of other ones! We’ll show you more when this comes off the NDA, or they show them on another stream!
FIRST HEALING WEAPONS IN GAME – ASSAULT RIFLE/BLOOD:
Long rumored to be coming Soon™, it looks like we have confirmation that Assault Rifles, at least, are in the game! I do believe it was mentioned in the previous streams that the combination was to be Blood/Assault Rifles, and someone seems to be rockin’ an AR in the stream! Can’t wait to be able to give you a review of this class!
ABILITY RELATIONSHIPS: Question from the stream was “What is the relationship between Basic abilities and your other abilities? Can Basic Abilities build energy? What is the intended use?”
TSW had Builders and Consumers. Use a Builder, and depending on how many combo points you built up, your consumer would do an appropriate amount of damage, or effect. That is NOT the case in SWL.
SWL has energy, that will be used for your main attacks, and will automatically replenish over time. Your Main Weapon energy will recharge twice as fast as your Secondary Weapon energy. Basic Abilities do NOT consume energy, so if you are running energy starved, you can use your basic abilities to fill in the time it takes to regain energy so you can use your main abilities again. The goal of the game is to Balance the energy consumption of your Main attacks and the regeneration of that energy during a given fight.
In addition to this mechanic, is your weapon ‘Gimmick’. each weapon has it’s own flavor of Gimmick, and they have differing levels of complexity. Chaos being one of the easier ones, and Shotguns being one of the hardest ones to master. There will be more on these Soon™.
PRIMARY/SECONDARY WEAPON CHOICE: Another question from the stream was if you can choose which weapon is your primary and which is your secondary? Yes. As in TSW, the weapon on your Left, is your Primary, and weapon on the Right is your Secondary. All you have to do is swap which weapon goes where and you are good to go!
ANDY’S MENTAL STATE:
Yes, If you aren’t crazy to begin with when you start working at FunCom, you soon will be! Especially if you go without sleep as they three have!
Colors of the missions will tell you how difficult they are in relation to your current level. If the color coding is White, Yellow or Blue, you should be good, but if it’s Red, come back Soon™.
NEXT BETA PHASE: To be adding Transylvania and the respective dungeons! Blade Weapons coming too! First iteration of the Dressing Room! (Plan for the next phase or maybe the one after.) All this Coming Soon™!
STORY MISSIONS: Story Missions will NOT be repeatable, until you reach Tokyo. It is something that they want to do, but in order to do that, they would almost have to rebuild the game from scratch.
ISSUES: Question from the stream had to do with how Issues were being handled. All Issues are going to be baked into the game. They are still intended to be followed in order. But they will be weaved into the storyline in a way that makes more sense in terms of continuity and chronologically.
This sounds like as you complete the zone these missions are focused on, you will be able to run the issues. Tyler Free Born (issue 5) was in Blue Mountain. After that, Last Train to Cairo (issue 6) was in Scorched Desert. And A Dream to Kill (Issue 7) was in Transylvania. That does seem to follow along with your progression in the game. Let’s see if I’m right about this!
LAST WORD: Those of you that are in the Beta, Please Leave Feedback on the Beta Forums! Even if it’s something you think they already know, tell them. They see us in Global Chat saying things like “Yeah, they’re working on that…” and really they aren’t! They didn’t know it was a thing!
And not just negatives as well, but things that you do like! Usually the negatives will be more vocal, so they will go to fix it, but not realize it’s something that others actually like! So make sure you tell them EVERYTHING! Something that I like to say is, “The one time you don’t say something, is the one time you needed to!”
LAST LAST WORD: If you got a Beta Key, Make sure you register it on your account by Monday morning! Or they will go dead! This is something they do to avoid the issues of people selling Beta Keys on Ebay or something.
ANDY’S BIRTHDAY!: Andy’s Birthday was Saturday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You look great for being over 200 years old…!
And that’s it for this week’s stream! A lot of things that were covered in previous streams, but good to touch upon once again. Some new things, somethings that were incidental notices. In any case, there’s some good information to be had!
Thank you for stopping by, and I hope to see you in The Secret World!0