DevStream #4 – 2017-0519

Welcome back to Anima-Nation’s Coverage of the Secret World Legends Dev Stream series!  In case you missed it, the Twitch Stream is located  here.  The sound starts at about 1:15 and the game play starts around 4:20. (I can imagine the 420 jokes already…>.> )

Today’s stream will be focusing on City of the Sun God changes and the latest weapon to get into the beta: Blades!


NEW NAME PLATES

“Doesn’t this break the NDA for those players?” 😉

They do talk about these at a couple different points near the beginning of the stream.  What you see is pretty much what they have planned for them.  They wanted to make them a little sleeker, and able to work better with the new UI.  And they tried to make sure that it was easier to read and to differentiate between friend and foe.

A Question that came up was “Will you be able to see a Friendly’s Faction and Faction rank?” ANSWER – That will be part of the Inspection System.


NEW RETICLE  OPTIONS

A few additions to customizing the Reticle

As you can see from here, you can now change the reticle from the big circle over your head to a dot, AND the check box above that will also allow for over the shoulder camera!

By Popular Demand…

More customizations coming to this will be a Cross-hair, square, and per previous DevStreams, Faction logos!  So stay tuned for more when they announce them!


BLADES

Using the Assassin Class which uses Blades and Elementalism.

“Use the force, Romain…”

As you fight, you will have a 50/50 chance of adding to your CHI. Once you fill your Chi, you can consume it to create a Spirit Blade. This will add an extra hit for each of your attacks.  The idea with Spirit Blade is that if you are good, you’ll be able to maintain the Spirit Blade.  As you use it, you will generate more Chi, which will help you keep it active for as long as possible!

If you do NOT get to use your 5 Chi, they will automatically be consumed after a while, Healing you instead!  So no matter what happens, it’s good for your character!


MUSEUM

Playable in the latest Phase of the Beta.  The Rewards have been completely revamped and so have some of the requirements.

The Idea with the Museum is that you are trying to help rebuild it, and as you kill monsters in the world, and learn more things about them and gather Lore/Legends, you’ll be able to display a history as you progress in the game.  Some of the rewards will be new gadgets that  are ‘Really cool!”


NEW ABILITY BAR

It’s more Evolution, than Revolution.

Minor changes to the Ability bar is that it is darker so it’s easier to see.  They’ve also added a little bit of spacing between the abilities, and a bigger space between the Main Abilities (Located on the mouse buttons), and the rest of the abilities.  Potions and Gadgets are a little smaller to help add to the differences in what icon means what.


DUNGEONS

Another question was if the Dungeons were changing at all.  ANSWER – The Dungeons Content will still be the same as you knew in TSW, however the formatting of the starting dungeons, being 3-man, is the only thing that will really change about them.  Keep in mind that there will be harder difficulties of dungeons that will scale with you, and eventually be harder than NM’s are now!  (I am NOT looking forward to Machine Tyrant in these harder modes!)

Another Question was “Will Dungeons be solo-able?” ANSWER – The three-man ones will definitely be solo-able once you reach a certain level of gear, but the level 50 dungeons you will have a REALLY hard time until you start getting the REAL GOOD gear!  But Prove the man wrong!  By all means!

And they do mention again later that the Dungeons will scale along with you and become WAY more difficult than the NM dungeons are now!


MAX LEVEL IS 50

’nuff said.


END GAME PROGRESSION

Weapon Pages:

Blades – 

Elementalism – 

The Weapon Pages are your first step to End game.  The more weapons pages you complete, the more powerful you will become. (Note: I will provide detailed reviews of each weapon once the NDA lifts and that information becomes available.)

Bottom Level tends to be more abilities you’ll use in groups.  Top line abilities tend to be more towards soloing content.  And the middle line tends to focus on the specializations of the weapon and take advantage of some of the effects.

Once you have completed getting all the skills on the main page, it will unlock your ability to buy what they re calling Cap Stones.  (See the Elemental Page above.)  Capstones give your character permanent boosts.  And once you buy it, that’s not all!  You can further boost your Cap Stones even more!  BUT, you’ll need to unlock other weapons in order to do that.

The incentive they are giving you is that the more weapons you learn and finish, each of the Capstones will be able to give you “Really Crazy Power!”  This will be your first main focus at End game in terms of Combat progression.

Passives – 

Passives, they touched on in previous DevStreams, but they are giving us a better look at the Blade passive window this time.  The Small Round Passives will be permanent bonuses that you will  keep with you forever just by unlocking them.  As you can see there are many icons covering Attack Power, and I would guess Crit Power/Rating, Protective/Defensive stats, And I see some that have HP on them, so that would be health.  What I don’t seem to see is an icon that I would associate with Penetration.  Will have to look deeper into this as they reveal more.

The other, Purple Passives,  will either modify something related to the weapon specialization, or modify a specific ability within that specialization.

And a reminder that the more you use a weapon, the better your expertise with that weapon will become!  As you increase your Expertise, you will gain bonuses for that proficiency, and it is tracked on the yellow bar up above on the weapon pages.

There was a suggestion in the stream that wasn’t mentioned by our hosts that I agree with, the Small round passives need to have a better way to differentiate them once they’ve been purchased.  Going from a light gray color to white is hard to tell what’s been purchased and what hasn’t been.  It could just be how it’s displayed in the stream since the image quality isn’t that great, but it’s still something that the Dev Team should track.  I’ve pointed out other icons that should have a better contrast as well.  This seems to be a running theme as we continue looking at the new UI.


MORE ITEMIZATIONS

Looking at the Character sheet they have onscreen, some of the items have a Red/Pink background.  These are “Named” items and tend to be rare, and they have a Special Proc that goes with them!  These are the items we REALLY want to get and level up with in the game!  “Hunting the Perfect Base” is what they called it in the stream.

((Side Note: Back in DevStream 2, when they ran through Polaris, remember when they were talking about the chest on the last boss turning Red?  That’s what you want to keep running those dungeons looking for!  Okay, back to the current stream…!))

Pay attention to the entire title each item has.  Looking at that sword he has, it’s a “Mk III” which is the best you can get!  Whereas his Elemental focus is only a “Mk II”.  So the Bonus Proc it gets isn’t quite as good as the Bonus Proc that the Blade gets.

Talismans that you’ll acquire also have a gauge in their naming to help you identify how good that item is:

  • Faded – This is the most basic type of Talisman
  • Luminous is the second grade of item that you’ll be able to get
  • Radiant will be the best type

So pay attention to what items you start upgrading!  The radiant is the one you want to keep, if you can’t get a Red item!

Glyphs apparently also have a similar naming scheme. Buuuuut, they didn’t go over those names, so I don’t know what they are off hand!  However, they do mention that there will be a ‘PIP’ system that will be implemented on all gear items so you can see exactly what quality of item you have.  If it has 1 pip, you know it’s low, 2 or 3 you know are better.

They do stress that even if you don’t find that perfect base, to go ahead and level it anyway, as you can still FUSION the items together so you don’t waste any time.

((THIS is something that I missed during the DevStream or I would have amended one of the questions I asked near the end.))


ITEM IMPROVEMENT IMPROVEMENTS!

Something added to the improvement window is the visual queue showing that you have an item that will give bonus Exp into the current item you are empowering.  Also if you look to the left of the item you are sacrificing, you’ll see a “RULES” window.  It shows that if you have an item that is of Like Type, in this case a second Blade, it will grant 2.5x exp!  And other weapons do not get a bonus.

There is also a flashing PLUS sign icon on your sacrificial item to indicate this item will be granting extra Exp.


WEAPON MOLDS

Question from the stream is “Will Weapon Molds still be a thing?”  Unfortunately, Romain is not ready to talk about them today.  They do have plans for this, but since it is part of a bigger system, he wants to save this for a future stream topic.  It may come in the next iteration of the Beta, or perhaps the one after that.


CITY OF THE SUN GOD CHANGES

They really want to make this feel like it really is a Lost City, that’s only just now been rediscovered.  They want to make it feel like you EARN yourself access to CotSG.

Some of the changes will be unearthing some of the Third Age devices like Jump pads throughout the zone.

“Jump! Jump! You should know, you should know that ah, ‘Romain’ isn’t having anything today…!”

Some of the Topography has changed, but there should always be a Jump pad in the area that will allow you to gain access to the next area over without having to run all around the zone!  (THANK YOU!)


LAUNCH DATE CONFIRMATION

Yes, the 26th of June is still the Launch Date!  It will be released through Funcom’s Channels first, and then sometime after that will be the Steam release.


GEAR IMPROVEMENT – REVISITED

Question from the stream was if you can upgrade Green gear to Blue Gear, and so on…

Yes.  If you have 2 green items that are for the same slot/same weapon, and they are fully leveled up to 20, you can FUSION them together in order to make a single Level 1 Blue item.  Same thing to go from Blue to Purple, and they do tease that there are further quality items higher than Purple!  There is a shortcut to this, but requires you to purchase an item using the Marks of Favor that you earn in game, or I’m sure you can purchase what you need from the Cash shop.


GLYPHS

First Look at Glyphs…!

The Glyph system has been redesigned and simplified.  there are less glyphs as well, so they will be easier to keep track of and tell what ones will be best for your build.


RECOVER BUTTON

Someone with sharper eyes than me asked about the Recover Button in the new Assembly window.

“What’s this button do? oops…”

This button, and the one above it that says Destroy Glyph are for your Glyphs that you have installed on your item.  If you want to recover the glyph off something before you use it to empower another item, click this button and pay the amount of Marks indicated on the button (In this case it’s 20K Marks) to recover the glyph.  Otherwise, you can destroy the glyph by clicking the button above it.

Signets will also work in this fashion.


NEW CURRENCIES

Marks of Favor – These are earned everyday just by doing specific tasks like completing X amount of Side Missions, or so many gear upgrades… things that you’ll be doing in game anyway.

Anima Shards – New Currency related to completing Missions, killing monsters, and so forth.  So instead of earning Pax, we are now earning Anima Shards.  It is sued for gear improvements, Teleporting, or anything that requires power.

They did not touch upon the third currency shown on screen, so we’ll have to ask about that in the future.


BETA PHASES

So far all play fields that are being released have been opened up on the Beta except Carpathian Fangs.  So that should be opened up in the next Beta Phase.

The last Dungeon, Slaughter House, should also release in the next beta phase.

And it sounds like they will hold off one more Beta phase beyond that to add the final weapon, Fists!

 


CHANGES TO MISSION STRUCTURE

Another question from the stream was if there were any changes to the Mission Structures?  For the most part, the Main story missions will be unchanged, but there may be slightly different objectives here and there.  And there will be some requirements to be a certain level before you can progress, but the core elements should be almost exactly the same.


PAUSING MISSIONS

“Is it Live? Or is it Memorex?”

Instead of having to pick up another mission in order to pause a current one, you can now just go into your quest log and hit the pause button.  I personally never had a problem with the old way, and don’t know why I’d want to pause a mission intentionally without picking up another mission to take it’s place.  But if this helps others, then by all means, add a Quality of Life function!


INVESTIGATION MISSION TRACKING

“This isn’t your father’s Mission Tracker anymore…”

Due to the nature of investigation mission, where you may have to think on them for a while, they have split the Investigation Mission tracker from Action/Sabotage Missions so now you can have an Investigation Mission AND a Action/Sabotage Mission active at the same time!


MY QUESTIONS:

“Answer Me these Questions Three…”

I was actually able to get three questions answered during the stream!  And no, none of them had anything to do with the airspeed of an Unladen Swallow.

1 – 56:25 – Regarding Itemization: Will Glyphs scale along with the item you are upgrading? Short Answer is No.  BUT… They will scale up as you ALSO UPGRADE YOUR GLYPHS!  Using the same assembly window, you will place your item that has a glyph on it into the upper segment, and then add glyphs down below in the area you are sacrificing and empower your glyphs that way!

Someone else asked as a followup if Signets are upgradeable in the same way?  Yes.

Romain explains since they did away with the Augment system, that meant they had a lot more budget they could do for other things so everything you can do to improve your character will be significant.

2 – 1:00:15 – Also. was asking about similar but not matching talismans. Like upgrading a DPS Neck with a healing neck. Should we receive 2.5x exp with those, or is it supposed to be only 1x exp?

“Reading is Fundamental..!”

As you place an item in the upper window to be upgraded and then you place your Sacrificial items in the lower window, the Contextual Help window to the left will show that if you add a DPS neck, you will get a 2.5x Bonus to the exp you are giving that item.  So, in other words, Yes, the items have to be for the same specialization and the same slot in order to get the bonus exp.

3 – 1:03:30 –  Will higher level items give more Exp than a Level 1 item when using them for Empowerment?  No.  They talked about whether they wanted items to do this, but they are trying to encourage players to hold on to them and use them for future Fusion opportunities.

I’m not a big fan of this, myself, but I need some time to think about this before I post my thoughts on it .  Stay tuned and I’ll have a post on it soon™!


BUFFS

Another question at the end here was regarding Buffs.  Will there be any improvement to how the Buffs are communicated to the players.  With the new system, that has no cursor onscreen in the middle of battle, having to hit the alt key and then try to mouse over something that only lasts a few seconds is problematic at best!  And when you are constantly moving all over the place, changes in your direction will cancel the cursor mode , so checking buffs/debuffs int he middle of combat will be damn near impossible!

Something they are doing is showing LESS buffs, but they are still working in the background.  They want to focus on the more important effects.  As you enter a dungeon, you end up with a bunch of buffs/debuffs, but really you only care about a few of them at a time.  We’ll have abilities that do certain things and you know about them already, and you have Procs that happen, and equipped passives, you don’t necessarily need to display them all, so they trimmed down the number of buffs that will show up on your screen at any given time.  I imagine this will help with how much lag we get on our systems during boss encounters.


FIRST PERSON MODE

They fixed some of the issues they had with the camera, so now if you so desire, may now zoom in using your vanity camera so you can play in First Person mode!


And THAT is the end of that!

Thank you all for coming!  Are you excited about the new game?  Are you looking forward to the new game with trepidation?  Are you going to be one of those that stays behind in TSW?  Do you think there is still too much for them to fix before launch?  Let me know your thoughts on the DevStream and SWL in general below.

Thanks again, and I hope to see you in The Secret World!

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