Funcom’s Joel Bylos and Dag Scheve recently sat down with MMORPG.com to talk about the upcoming The Secret World. Funcom has been pitching this MMO as nothing like any other, with an absence of linear progression and an emphasis on personal story development. Here are just a few items Bylos and Scheve discussed in the interview.
On storyline progression:
Story missions are more of an “umbrella” mission. For example, one of the early goals in the story mission is “Investigate events in Kingsmouth”. Through exploration and completing other missions in the area, the player will come upon the trigger which updates that goal in their own time – we don’t tell them where to go or what to do.
The Story Mission has a nice mix of these open-ended moments and also tightly scripted linear sequences. This encourages good flow and allows people breathing space between big revelations.
On cross-faction questing:
The story mission is keyed to the individual player. You cannot share the story mission, though you may share similar goals sometimes with someone in another society. So yes there are times when banding together for a common purpose is possible…just don’t ever trust anybody from another secret society!
Bylos and Scheve also indicate that with no “levels”, improving character strength comes in the form of diversification and new gear. While interesting, it’s going to be a tough sell to get players to unlearn the cookie-cutter linear progression concept, and embrace a world where, as Bylos puts it, “is all endgame”.
If you want to learn more, check out the developer’s video diary here.