The Secret World will reportedly have a unique gameplay style that excludes massive amounts of grinding.
Funcom has been ramping up the PR for its upcoming MMORPG The Secret World lately, which from the very beginning has been billed as something that would stand out from the current MMOG crowd. In a recent interview with Gamasutra, Funcom's Ragnar Tornquist, producer and director for the game, has revealed that grinding may be mostly absent in The Secret World.
The concept of grinding, repeatedly killing the same set of enemies over and over for experience and/or loot, is now an MMOG staple, though it is found in other games such as Dragon Quest. Everquest has it, World of Warcraft has it, and if you name nearly any other MMOG it probably requires grinding for some form of character advancement.
Tornquist says that Funcom is creating its own unique RPG and combat systems for The Secret World, and that it will play very differently from the company's previous release Age of Conan. Based on the fact that Tornquist often plays many characters in other MMOGs up to level 20 or 30 and then gets bored, he wanted to make The Secret World "fun from the get-go."
"You don't have to spend 100 hours grinding to be able to join everybody else and actually play the game," he reveals. "The philosophy is you sit down and you play. You have cool powers, cool weapons, and cool monsters from the very beginning ... If you manage to get a bunch of abilities and powers for your character, you can join a team with some people who have been playing it for months and years, and still have fun playing together with those guys."
This kind of philosopy is "central" to The Secret World, according to Tornquist. Casual players should be able to excel at a gameplay element "pretty quickly." Not that loot and equipment won't be important, as the game is still "item-heavy," but Funcom is at least attempting to remove some of the pain inflicted by other grind-heavy titles.
Everything about The Secret World, from its unique setting to its now hopefully different gameplay style, has been pretty appealing. Regardless, all of this is still PR or developer talk, so we'll have to wait for direct impressions to see if Funcom can pull it off.