Secret World dev says Wii U 'perfect' for MMOs

MMO developer Funcom says the Wii U's controller could allow easy access for a hotbar, making it a "perfect" fit for the genre.

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The Wii U is set to launch this year, and developers are starting to think about what they can do with its touch-screen controller. Funcom, the studio behind the upcoming MMO Secret World, suggests the system would make a perfect fit for the MMO genre.

"Wii U could be the first real console on which running an MMORPG without compromise is plausible," Funcom's Joel Bylos told Official Nintendo Magazine. "The controller is perfect for lining up those rows of hotbars that are essential in most MMOs. A customizable touchscreen interface combined with the 3D spatial movement of a console controller could be a winner."

It makes sense, but this doesn't necessarily mean we'll see any Funcom MMOs like Secret World on the console. His comments seem more speculative about possible applications than a commitment of development effort. First Nintendo will have to develop a wide enough user-base to support an MMO, not to mention a solid online foundation. Nintendo has struggled with the latter in the past, so hopefully the Wii U is the system to turn it around.

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  • reply
    April 3, 2012 11:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Secret World dev says Wii U 'perfect' for MMOs.

    MMO developer Funcom says the Wii U's controller could allow easy access for a hotbar, making it a "perfect" fit for the genre.

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      April 3, 2012 11:37 AM

      LOL ok... I can see that for the spells and hud elements to a point(do you really want to look down while you are fighting?) Good luck running a Funcom graphics engine on a Wii U their engines even tax my system(well I have not tried my new build) but you get the point.

      I really want to see the white paper specs of the Wii U, that is if they release it. I bet it will be like the Wii where they do not actually disclose the Wii hardware specs on their web site, Wii manual or the Wii box.

      We shall see at E3. I would love to here what Funcom say about porting their engines to Wii U? Secret World on a Wii U LOL sure :)

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        April 3, 2012 12:17 PM

        Maybe they are trying to trick other people into doing it.

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        April 3, 2012 12:42 PM

        It will likely require some sacrifices in the matter of visual FX, but targeting a specific hardware allows you to get an insane increase in potential performance. I wouldn't doubt its capabilities just yet.

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          April 3, 2012 4:20 PM

          Targeting specific hardware has nothing to do with performance optimizations / all consoles are closed systems and all feature bypassing of the API / which is called programming directly to the metal. This is something PCs don-t have - how unfortunate. PC developers cannot bypass APIs on PC graphics hardware, not because the platfor is open but because the access is simply prohibited / its all OS and gpu drivers, what devs want is to write their own gpu drivers and bypass the cumberstone directx / one company is unable to suffice the whole gaming industry.

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      April 3, 2012 12:33 PM

      A lot of these ideas don't seem very well thought out, similar to a lot of the applications being talked about with the Wiimote and Kinect.

      Let's look at this example. In a MMO the hotbar is obviously the most used item in these types of games. Since it a touchscreen you will have to look down at the tablet constantly to make sure you are using the right skill. Might as well just make the main game a text adventure if you are going to have your users looking at the tablet most of the time rather than the main screen.

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        April 3, 2012 12:40 PM

        Do you not look down at the keyboard to hit a variety of keys while you play an MMO? Presumably, the 'main' skills would be mapped to buttons/triggers anyway.

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          April 3, 2012 12:52 PM

          I do not. I've long since memorized my keyboard layout and keyboards offer tactile feedback to give you reference to where your fingers are. Touchscreens do not offer this so you will always be looking down at it to use a function.

          I have to really wonder what Nintendo is planning here. They seem to try to be emulating the DS dual screen functionality but haven't realized that people aren't going to sit in way at home that will have both their TV and this touchpad in view at all times.

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          April 3, 2012 2:32 PM

          This explains why so many people die in the fire.

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        April 3, 2012 12:43 PM

        exactly. Everything about the wii U is stupid. People can't look at two screens at once, yet somehow nintendo thought this was a good idea.

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        April 3, 2012 9:28 PM

        Uhh.. you guys seem to be forgetting something. The screen can stream what's on your TV screen. You could look down and you'd see all your macros AND the gameplay at the same time. Like you do on your moniter with every MMO you play right now. A DERPITY DERPITY DERPLETON.

        Not to mention, you seem to forget you have kinaesthetic sense; you know where your hand is. There are DS games that require you to look at the top screen while operating the bottom screen, and it's fine. You will learn where your macros are the same way you can play a piano or a drumkit or a guitar while looking up. Once you're good at these things it's not a case of really quickly counting how many times you slide your finger down the guitar neck and how many strings up, you just know when you move your hand down x cm the fret'll be there.

        And, finally, even if they don't want to clutter the controller screen, they can always make it so a little light on the main screen like the fairy cursor in the Zelda wii games shows you exactly where you're currently pressing, so even if you lose your mental calibration of where you're at you can still see it on the screen.

        You guys just love to invent problems.

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          April 3, 2012 9:37 PM

          Yes great idea. I'm going to be able to actually see the main game on a 6 inch screen with a huge overlay on it. Or were you expecting the controls to be tiny things on the controller so you could actually see anything else but the touch controls?

          The two DS screens are small enough and close enough that they are in your same field of view. This is not the case with a 40+ inch TV 10 feet away and a hand held controller.

          And a positional cursor on screen to give you a reference point won't work because the TV screen and the controller screen are not the same resolution. They may not even be the same aspect ratio complicating these even more.

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            April 4, 2012 12:27 PM

            The positional cursor would work fractionally. Determine the height and width in pixels of the screen and the controller screen and then it's literally a bogstandard linear relationship on each axis from the central point.

            I'd imagine the size of the interface would be adjustable. But there you said it, if you're having a huge overlay on it, it's not going to be hard to kinaesthetically know where your fingers are. When you type you don't brush your finger over every key and count how many you moved over; you just know where to put your finger next.

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      April 3, 2012 12:40 PM

      I'm surprised Nintendo hasn't put up a Pokemon MMO yet. Have it compatible for 3DS and Wii-U and Nintendo will have a winning combination.

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        April 3, 2012 12:42 PM

        They really want to get handheld to console connectivity going so I could really see this. ANY real Pokemon on a console would be nice too.

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        April 3, 2012 1:17 PM

        man a Pokemon DOTA game needs to be made

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          April 3, 2012 2:41 PM

          This is so genius

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          April 3, 2012 2:44 PM

          You just blew my mind

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          April 3, 2012 5:07 PM

          I would buy it.

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          April 3, 2012 6:29 PM

          If there is any justice in the world a warhammer DOTA game needs to be made first.

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            April 3, 2012 9:39 PM

            one is already being made by EA it's called warhammer online: wrath of heros

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              April 3, 2012 10:43 PM

              ok i just tried it out and jk i lied, it's basically just WoW PvP battlegrounds. lame as fuck

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          April 3, 2012 6:35 PM

          this would be worth several hundred trillion dollars

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          April 3, 2012 7:10 PM

          Pikachu I choose yoSHUT UP AND UNINSTALL NOOB!!

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          April 3, 2012 9:31 PM

          OH MY GOD Ratatas could be the mobs. Get UBER mobs, spawn Raticates.

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          April 3, 2012 10:09 PM

          Holy. Shit.

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          April 5, 2012 7:42 AM

          Yeah, that's actually a great idea.. and a perfect fit!

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      April 3, 2012 2:36 PM

      I kind of really feel the story here is: Microsoft so hostile to MMOs on Xbox that developer looks wistfully at Wii U.

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      April 3, 2012 6:17 PM

      Having played a MMO on the iPad (Order and Chaos by Gameloft which had/has serious security and hacking issues including server side which gameloft made no serious attempt to solve) I can see an MMO working pretty well with the Wii U. I for one however will be staying away from any MMO FOREVER!

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      April 3, 2012 6:50 PM

      screw fuckcom and their dopey games

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      April 3, 2012 9:20 PM

      POKEMON MMO

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