DevStream #5 – 2017-0602

Hello, and welcome once again to Anima-Nation’s Review of the latest DevStream for Funcom’s Secret World Legends!  Yesterday’s DevStream is available here. (CLICK ME!)  The Stream Audio begins at approximately 1:22.  Content starts at about the 5:00 mark.

Getting as close as we are to the June 26 Release date, They are ‘knee-deep in press tours and releases.  From the sounds of things, there is a LOT of things going on!  Keep it up… You Can Doooo Eeeeet…!!! \o/

This DevStream is a little shorter on content than previous DevStreams, especially since they are revisiting the Beginning Game areas, including Character Creation and the initial Tutorial missions.  HOWEVER, there are plenty of little things that they have improved, and showed other things that can be expanded upon, so a lot of today’s post is my own observations and paraphrasing things they said in the stream.


CHARACTER CREATION:

To start things off, they are going to give us a more in depth look at Character Creation!  This is a HOT topic among a lot of the Veteran players, so let’s see what they’ve done with the changes!

Something that hit the community hard the first time (Only time) we got to look at the character creator on-stream, was the change to Preset Heads.  There was absolutely NO customization to the look of that head other than skin-tone.  And that didn’t sit well with the vast amount of people that were speaking up about the character creator.  Sure, you could change hair styles, and eye color, and give your character different Makeup/Tattoos and minor cosmetic frills, but there were no sliders to adjust facial looks.  Since then it appears we’ve been given a couple steps in the right direction!

Mentioned in the stream by Andy are variants to the Faces based on the given head.  Unfortunately, the icons in the stream don’t show so we can’t tell exactly what we have for options, but looking at the screenshot below, there just might be SOMETHING we can work with.

Facial Adjustments!

Keep in mind that this is STILL in the works, but it is definitely something that will help alleviate a lot of fears the community at large have brought up.  I sincerely hope there will still be more heads added, and more facial adjustments as well.  I know MY favorite head hasn’t been shown yet, and I really, Really, REALLY want to be able to remake my characters in my preferred look.

The second addition is the option to change the shape of your eyebrows!  This SOUNDS like a little thing, but anyone that RP’s will tell you that a Great Deal of your character’s personality and vibe comes from their Eyebrows!  So being able to give them an adjustment means the world to us.  Even characters like mine that usually wear shades 24/7, you see the eyebrows above the shades and is definitely one of the most important keys to the character!

Because in all the world’s infinite diversity, we only have 4 basic shapes for Eyebrows…

A few requests:

  • Number each Hex-Cell for all the options available to us.
  • Place the Skin-tone Colors on a Slider from Light to dark instead of the awkward Hex Pattern shown at the bottom of the choice window.
  • Is there anyway to submit our favorite Heads for review and possible inclusion?
  • Will more than the four Eyebrows shown above be added to the options available? (NOTE: Yes, Romain confirms in the stream that more will be added.)
  • I also haven’t seen my favorite Black hair with Frosted highlights get featured…. will it be back in the game?   Please?

Some explanation that they are (finally) giving us is that the original presets would allow for certain combinations that wouldn’t allow them to do some of ‘the cooler’ clothing things they always wanted to do.  The Nose Bridge wouldn’t always be in the same place, and that made it more difficult for the developers to do certain things for Glasses, and particle effects on earrings where things are moving.

Wait, what..?!  Moving… things…?  Particle effect?  What…?!?!?  Are you talking gravity moving so when your head tilts the earrings point down? Or are you talking actual particle effects for Anima based sparkle effects for things?  UGH!  Something we’ll have to wait for clarification on, or till we see them introduced in the game… *sigh*

But at least this is a bit more communication about WHAT exactly was wrong with our previous heads and why we never heard about the issues they were talking about before.  It was for things they never got to add in the first place!  I just hope that what they have planned turns out to be worth all the heart ache we’ve been having over this!

Build-a-Bee Workshop™! Version 2.5

Something else about the new facial adjustments, although they aren’t the ‘Slider-Based’ adjustments that we were hoping for, depending on what they will allow us to do with them, they may be able to do a lot of what the sliders did for us.  However, I also see this as still very limited, as we will only be able to select one of them at a time, so they can adjust one thing, or a handful of things at once, but we won’t be able to adjust individual things they way WE want to.  Again, we will just have to wait and see, but as I said, this is at least a step in the right direction.


STARTER CLASSES:

Veterans of TSW know that this game is totally about Picking and Choosing  your own ROLE, and to build your own Deck around that Role.  ‘Starter Classes,’ is just SWL’s way to give you your first two weapons.  Gone are the days of trying out each weapon in your Faction’s Training area and getting to pick what you want.  Now you get to look at what each weapon pairing is meant to do, and pick what you think will be the most fun combination and fits your idea of what your character would like to use.

Now now now…!  Just wait just a moment, this does NOT change things for you, because as soon as you step into Kingsmouth on your first mission, It’s all you, from that point on!  And you can decide to go a completely different direction that you originally chose.  You just have to unlock the weapons pages of the alternate weapons that you want to use.  And if you ARE a TSW Veteran, then you’ll get all the weapon pages unlocked for you already!

This change is being done to help acclimate new players to SWL and the new Weapon Pages.  The tutorial walks you through how to buy skills, and how Passives can be used to help make your character stronger.  Same thing with how your ability bars are laid out and what abilities are allowed to be placed where.

As they state here and in previous DevStreams, some of the problem that new players had in TSW was how open the skill progression was to your tweaks and changes.  You COULD make a completely broken build in TSW if you honestly didn’t know what you were doing.  So they had to create a system that was still open to tweaking, and yet was ‘idiot proof’. Or as idiot proof as any game system can be.  I’m sure if you TRIED you can still break this system, but to someone who’s brand new to the game, this new system should keep them from breaking things so far that they couldn’t use it.

With that being said, let’s move on to see what they actually showed in the stream.


CLASSES:

Here I’ll show you screen caps of the different classes they showed in the stream.

Secret World… Classes… WHA…?!?!

There are 9 different Starter Classes in SWL, of which, they only clicked on 6 of them, so these are the ones I can give you information on.  ((Please keep in mind that these are the best quality captures the stream could give me. I promise better quality images once the NDA lifts!))

RAVAGER:

Ravager

Ravagers are a Healing class that uses Fists/Blood.  As noted in the description above, they ‘Tear into their enemies using their fists, and then use their Blood abilities to protect and heal.  And each weapon has Damage dealing abilities so this class can be used as the basis of a very sturdy Soloing Build.

The number of Skulls on the bottom indicate that this is an above average difficulty class to master.

ASSASSIN:

Assassin

Assassins are a DPS Class that uses Blades and Elementalism.  The Blade being the Primary weapon would be used up close and personal, and then you can use your Elementalism to add to the fray, or pull individual mobs from range.

This is a ‘Normal’ difficulty class.

PUNISHER:

Punisher

Punishers are a Tanking class, that use multiple types of ammunition from their shotguns to attack at range, and then finish them off with their Hammer.

This class is rated as HARD to master.

MAGUS:

Magus

The Magus is a DPS Class that uses Elementalism and Chaos.  Elementalism has a great wide variety of abilities that can be used at range against single targets as well as large groups.  Chaos has a lot of up close and personal ways of taking down your foes!

This class is rated as HARD to master!

DEMOLISHER:

Demolisher

The Demolisher is a Tanking class that uses the Hammer and Blade to DEMOLISH their enemies!  Always a good combination for tanks in TSW, I’m sure this class will see plenty of use in SWL as people look to be able to survive while in the field.

This class is Easier than average to use.

TRICKSTER:

Trickster – Also, Shiny new icon!

The Trickster is a Tanking class that uses Chaos and Pistols to leave their enemies behind in ruin!

This is an Easy class to master!

Unfortunately this was all the classes they showed out of the entire list.  Once the NDA is lifted, we will do our best to give you a more in-depth look at all of them!


SPECIALTY SPOTLIGHTS:

The didn’t mention this by name, but they did mention the video series they have started releasing this past week.  They’ve released 3 of these in the past week, (And I’ve got reviews for them already!)  so that leaves another 6 to go!

The reason these came up was so they could talk a little about weapon complexity and how easy/hard they were to master at the beginning of the game.  Pistols, was one of the weapons they brought up as a case in point, is designed to be easy for a new player to get into the game and just use.  The mechanic happens totally on it’s own and is not something that a new player will have to worry about.  Later on, once you can start adding passives into the mix, that’s when you can start doing your theory-crafting and min/maxing.  The Passives will help you control the Gimmick Mechanic to some extent.

Compare that to Elementalism, where you have to control your heat levels and make sure you don’t overheat and be ready to use a cooling ability, as well as watch your energy levels, this ends up being a more complicated weapon to use for someone that is brand new to the game.


A comment from the stream was on RNG based weapons.

Specialties like Chaos seem to be very RNG dependent.  There will be Abilities and even items that you can get that will help take the RNG out of it.  Even Pistols seem very RNG, but there will be things that help give you better control.  (This could probably be said about all the weapon specialties.)

This was a design choice so that some weapons would be more difficult than others at the start, but all of the weapons have depth, sot hat no matter the player, you should find something that will give you what you are looking for.


Another thing they took note of in comments from TSW’s character intro, was you spent a good long time doing introduction cut-scenes, and then everyone was forced to use a shotgun in the Tokyo Subway.  Apparently there were a lot of people that didn’t WANT to use a shotgun.  So the character introduction was redesigned to be more tailor-made for each of the new weapons that you chose.


The key is to get a Pair of Ducks…!

Chaos was meant to be very RNG based since it is all about Chaos!  So all your passives and abilities are meant to help you give control to the chaos.  Once you fill your Paradox bar you will gain any one of a number of powerful abilities.  Some of the abilities mentioned were:

  • Create Areas around you that will damage the enemies around you.
  • Create Doppelgangers of yourself that will fight for you for a short period of time.
  • There is even a buff that can be placed on your enemies, and if you kill that enemy while that buff is active, you’ll buff your entire group for a short time!

 


BASIC ABILITIES

Another question from the stream was regarding basic abilities. There are 4 Basic Abilities per weapon, so you will get a good choice of what you may want to use depending on your weapon choices.


Something they wanted to show off, and I believe has been mentioned in the past, is they have split the Investigation Mission off so that you no longer have to Pause it in order to pick up another Main mission in the mean time, and then have to go back to the Quest giver to continue where you left off.


Observation: The original Voice for the ‘Dream Architect’ was one of the designers in the office!  (Mentioned in an earlier DevStream.)  They have since replaced the temporary Voice work with a professional Voice actress.  I do like the changes to the dialog that was brought with it!  Nice job!


Guess what…? It’s Baaaaaack!

Return of the Infamous MANKINI! I don’t think we’ll be able to look at Phil the same way again!


New icons!

This isn’t as much of a look at them as i was hoping for, but it is apparent that they are still working on them.  Here’s a short glance at what the new icons in the game will look like.

it will take some getting used to, but I think they look pretty cool!


OH SNAP!

Something said at about 46:25 – “So we have the 9 weapons from TSW.  We are planning to add more to that in the future…”

STOP THE PRESSES!  HOLY… Are you serious?!?!  I know there have been requests for more auxiliary weapons in the past and we had open spot on the wheel for them so we figured more were planned, but ACTUAL WEAPONS?!  This changes a few things…! This can give us Bows/Crossbows, which i know have been on certain people’s wishlists for a VERY long time! What OTHER weapons do you think we’ll see?

Bows would add to the Physical Ranged weapons.  So if they wanted to keep things balanced, there could be another school of magic, and then another Melee weapon?  More than this?  I guess this explains why there is so much room for more tabs on the left side of the weapon pages.?

Whatever they do, this will be something I’ll be keeping an ear out for new information for a long time to come!


CAPSTONES:

Something that had always bothered Romain, was once you finished buying all the abilities from the skill wheel, you get the Panoptic Core outfit, but nothing that really made you stronger.  So to change things up, they added what are called CAPSTONE abilities.  Once you finish buying all 15 abilities on a weapon page, this unlocks what is called a Capstone, which will give you permanent bonus effects for your character.

Chaos Master 1 Capstone: +15 Health, +10 Attack Rating, +10 Heal Rating, and +1….. uh… Boss? What’s missing here?

Each time you complete a new Weapon Page, your capstones will gain a new level cap.  These stats will accumulate and be permanent additions to your character’s stats.


WEAPON PAGES NOTE:

Unlocking each weapon page will cost a currency that you do not buy, rather you earn this currency just by logging in and performing missions and doing everyday things.

Once again, if you already own TSW, once you link your accounts, you will get all weapon unlocks for free!

This currency is trade-able with other players, but it is stressed that you CAN play this game entirely for free.  there will be no progression, no content hidden behind any kind of pay-gate.


Passive Abilities are talked about again, but it was nothing new, that hasn’t been covered in previous DevStreams.  However, there is a third level of Progression that Romain didn’t have anything to show for, but still wanted to talk about.  Items that you find in the world that will have Passive effects or procs that will modify or enhance how you play your character.

Example given was if you were an Elementalist, you can find an item that would have an effect that whenever you use a cooling ability, instead of your heat level going down, it would freeze it in place!  This will allow you to use your BIG Heat generating abilities without a fear of overheating!

Other items you can find can change your cold abilities to cause you to do MORE damage.  So this can work like a buff for you to do more damage.


Last minute Questions from the stream:

  • Yes, there will be healing in the game!   😛
  • Not all weapons will have healing effects, but the ones you’d expect will.
  • Dressing room is still being worked on.  They will talk about it more later.
  • Next stream will be the last before launch.
  • Something else said, “Hopefully we won’t be breaking NDA…” for that!  I don’t know about you, but to me that SCREAMS Open Beta soon?!?! O_O

One can only Hope!

Dressing Room Preview

And that’s it!  Just over 3000 words for this edition of DevStream Review!  What do you think about all these news items?  What excites you the most? What have they NOT covered that you desperately want to hear about?  Let me know in the comments below or tweet them to me @Anima_Nation!

Thank you all for coming!  And I hope to see you soon in The Secret World!

Andy Getting Healed by Romain’s Fist!
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