Age of Conan Dev's New MMOG Dumps Levels

Age of Conan Dev's New MMOG Dumps Levels

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Designed by Ragnar Tornquist of Dreamfall and The Longest Journey fame, Funcom's new PC/360 MMOG, The Secret World, sounds like one of the least conventional MMOGs in some time.

"The Secret World begins where other MMOs end," Tornquist told Eurogamer in a lengthy interview. "There's no grind to get to a preconceived place." Plenty of MMOGs have made the lofty claim of doing away with the grind-heavy nature that seems intrinsic to the genre, but The Secret World is taking that pursuit to its most drastic end: it doesn't have experience levels or classes.

Combat, too, will take an unconventional approach with an "action-adventure" feel that's "fast and reactive." Same goes for character building - since there are no classes, customizing your character is completely up to your discretion. "If you want to be a character that has some magic power and ranged combat, you can use a shotgun and a voodoo doll and you can kick some serious ass using just your fists and your feet; you can do that," Tornquist said. Your abilities, in turn, will influence which content you can solo and which you'll need a group to beat.

Of course, the big pull for anyone who's ever played an MMOG is loot. In The Secret World, you can customize your appearance however you like, which means there's no armor to collect. So, The Secret World has no loot in the sense of pining over armor sets and hoping for gear to drop. Loot, as it were, exists in the form of weapons and special abilities: "[It] will definitely be the weapons and the powers you have, the cool special effects that you have, there will be ways to really see and differentiate - yeah, that guy's been playing this game a long time, and you can tell."

Outside of the actual mechanics, The Secret World also deviates from the fantasy setting of most MMOGs by taking place in a contemporary, real life world. Instead of visiting medieval cities and barren wastelands, you'll be going to places like London, Soeul, and uh, New England (the real Boston is bad enough, why do we need a virtual one). It's not just straight realism, though - details are scarce, but the game looks to mix in occult and mythology, with Vertigo comics, Neil Gaiman and Buffy the Vampire Slayer as reference points.

"We are building a game that mixes modern day Earth with terrifying monsters, dark and occult magic, cool weapons and awesome powers - and it's unlike anything you have ever seen before in an MMO," Tornquist said.

Sounds like Tornquist and Funcom are going to be trying some pretty ballsy stuff, a gamble in the sometimes conservative world of MMOGs where World of Warcraft is the primary template for success. Here's hoping they pull it off.

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It sounds intresting and I will have to at least check into it but the guy contradicts himself. He says

"but The Secret World is taking that pursuit to its most drastic end: it doesn't have experience levels or quests."

"Your abilities, in turn, will determine which quests you can solo and which need you to go into groups."

So it has quests but it doesn't?

Hah. The cutscene video they have at the full article is kinda cool.

Wonder what fee structure they're going to use?

That sounds suprisingly intresting. I'm however slighty worried that after Age of Conans 'economical letdown' they lack the cash to pull off anything grand.

But as you said, here's hoping they pull it off.

Ps, it looks strangely like the BloodRayne MMO I had pictured in my own, isolated mind.

Ralackk:
It sounds intresting and I will have to at least check into it but the guy contradicts himself. He says

"but The Secret World is taking that pursuit to its most drastic end: it doesn't have experience levels or quests."

"Your abilities, in turn, will determine which quests you can solo and which need you to go into groups."

So it has quests but it doesn't?

Gah, meant classes the first time around. The game has "missions," so it'll probably have quests, but it's not totally clear.

Although the Secret World sounds totally awesome, I really wish they would get working on Dreamfall: Chapters already!

Either they're really good at mincing words to generate hype, or I'm genuinely interested in this MMOG

I've tried a few MMO's and disliked them all for their boring grindtastic-ness. This seems like an MMO I can stand behind! I'm keeping an ear open to hear more!

I love WoW, but this is the MMO for which I have been waiting. Classless, grindless, urban fantasy? Win, win, and win.

Or *potential* win, win, and win.

Interesting. But I always had thought myself that the fun of MMO was the 'just one more' mechanic. Be interesting to see if a game that is priding itself in abolishing a lot of the traditional addictiveness of the MMO genre will keep an audience for long.

Keane Ng:

"We are building a game that mixes modern day Earth with terrifying monsters, dark and occult magic, cool weapons and awesome powers - and it's unlike anything you have ever seen before in an MMO," Tornquist said.

Sounds just like Vampire the Masquerade. Now that would be a great MMO.

Coming from the same company that massively failed AoC, doubt they will have enough funds to pull a solid MMO...

This sounds very much like a copy of DDO. You can multi-class (earn one level in a bunch of classes or concentrate) and it is twitch-happy...if you dodge an attack in game it means that you physically moved out of the way.

I just have this unnerving feeling that despite its grandiose attempts at something new and fresh, it's going to fall short. Heres to hoping though... and hoping that someone in the MMOG field finally gets the gaming community back into outer space again.

One has to be suspicious at the very least. Hyping is what Funcom can do best. AoC left me severely scarred in terms of buying highly anticipated games on release. "Never again"... except Dragon Age. >_>

sounds pretty f*ckin' awesome.

The cinematic is pretty cool. It's definitely worth a look. As to the game, I regard the news of any new MMO release with a heartfelt sigh. How many companies are going to throw themselves at the fortress Blizzard made before they just give up?

Hey, Boston is an awesome city!

But yes, I must looksie at this.

Moormur:
This sounds very much like a copy of DDO. You can multi-class (earn one level in a bunch of classes or concentrate) and it is twitch-happy...if you dodge an attack in game it means that you physically moved out of the way.

Lies. This sounds vaguely similar to DDO, since DDO is HEAVILY mission/quest based, most definitely has a class/experience system (which isn't really that great, by the way), and does have a grind, although not in the traditional sense.

Doing the same dungeon four times to gain a level counts as a grind.

that cinematic definitely put the game on my 'must find out more about' and 'pay attention to' list.

An MMO without levels and classes? And an Urban Fantasy MMO as well?

My interest is officially piqued.

Here are the only films on the subject right now.

Trailer
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/47572.html?type=flv

Some Interview
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/47697.html

What I find interesting (besides the hot girl with the awesome tats) is thats a Shamshir, not a katana, nicely avoiding the cliche.

countrysteaksauce:

Keane Ng:

"We are building a game that mixes modern day Earth with terrifying monsters, dark and occult magic, cool weapons and awesome powers - and it's unlike anything you have ever seen before in an MMO," Tornquist said.

Sounds just like Vampire the Masquerade. Now that would be a great MMO.

For that, you would have to look at CCP--developers of Eve Online and now owners of White Wolf. They are currently working on a World of Darkness mmo.

I...I am considering buying this strongly.
We shall have to see...

sound like the least conventional mmo ever, if theres no phat lewtz, theres no reason to play. if there aren't bragging rights with 'ima higher level faster than you' theres no reson to play. if you could choose what ever the fuck you wanted you could just go for the most powerful stuff, leaving balance behind

but as for a simple fun game, it could work. if it wasn't directed solely as an mmo with a difference it might work.

Even if this does fail i think the ideas created here could eventually lead to something brilliant. Idea sounds brilliant, its all in the implimentation as to whether it fails or not.

Sounds interesting... and not like WoW, heh, which means this one might actually have a chance of showing something new and different to attract players. Still, I wonder what they'll do with AoC given it seems to be failing fast.

Zeeky_Santos:
sound like the least conventional mmo ever, if theres no phat lewtz, theres no reason to play. if there aren't bragging rights with 'ima higher level faster than you' theres no reson to play. if you could choose what ever the fuck you wanted you could just go for the most powerful stuff, leaving balance behind

but as for a simple fun game, it could work. if it wasn't directed solely as an mmo with a difference it might work.

There is 'phat lewtz', I think he said.

savandicus:
Even if this does fail i think the ideas created here could eventually lead to something brilliant. Idea sounds brilliant, its all in the implimentation as to whether it fails or not.

Yup.

I just gotta say that Age of Conan did not fail in story, music, graphic, and atmosphere-wise. So it was an enjoyable game to grind the first levels in, unlike many other mmos. It seems that with dreamfall and Age of conan, Funcom has a bit of a problem nailing the "depht" and "gameplay" aspects, but still has an incredible score, atmosphere, story, etc. They also did the mmo anarcy online, which they didnt fail at (like the longest journey).

Heres hoping that they release the game on the xbox 360, at the same time as the PC version, else Im going to have to upgrade.

 

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