Exclusive Interview: Secret World Legends’ story, monetization, membership, Tokyo, and more

Did you get your fill of Secret World Legends answers from the first half of our exclusive interview with Game Director Romain Amiel? Us neither. Luckily, we have the scoop on much more regarding the Secret World reboot. (Hey, we did mention we had lots of questions!) Here, Amiel focuses on the story and the missions, monetization, transferring your favorite cosmetics, content releases, optimization, and more. Keep reading to learn the 411.

Story changes

Don’t panic! Nothing has been taken away from the story. In fact, it has been added to. Amiel described how in some places you move to the next part of the main story mission without even knowing why — you just do. Illustrating with the example of Egypt, he noted that bits have been added to make it clearer why players must move from one place to another The basic story is the same, and the awesome cut scenes are the same, there’s just more. Whew.

Don’t miss the first part of our Romain Amiel interview from yesterday!
How about the other missions? Amiel stated that there was absolutely no change to investigation missions (Yay!). Action missions, however, are another story. He explained that the changes in those involve bringing the action closer, so people were not running all over the map to complete those missions. The idea is to reduce down time of just running around to get to objectives. Since the old system had players ending one mission near the start of another, I asked how this will affect folks finding the scattered missions. Amiel explained that there are many new missions added that lend to exploring the world.

Although many of the missions haven’t changed, how players will access them has. Amiel noted that folks will use a key to talk to NPCs instead of clicking the floating mission icon near NPCs’ heads. Investigating and using all items will also be a key press.

Monetization

We’ve already discussed some forms of monetization (weapon page unlocks), but folks are understandably nervous about being nickle-and-dimed since the story content itself will be forever free. How exactly will Funcom make its money? From the vanity and convenience items as well as subscriptions. But that doesn;t mean players have to spend money to play or get anything in game; Amiel explained that players will absolutely be able to get all the things in game without forking over cash. He said there will be two types of currency — the one you buy for cash and the one you earn for play time in game. Amiel did note that there may be some slight differences to things such as vanity items in the store that can be gotten by the two currencies, but since the currencies are tradeable, players can make deals with one another to get particular items.

But of course, the game keeps running on getting cash, so everyone who wants the game to continue wants some folks to support it financially. You can do that via ala cart purchases or by subscribing.

Membership benefits

Although Amiel said he couldn’t elaborate too much on what the specifics of the patron benefits are (as they are still being worked out), he did emphasize that it was similar to now and that the team was committed to making the membership enticing. Bonuses like players receive in TSW (XP, currency, etc) are pretty much a given. He said to watch for a blog that will appear as soon as it all gets ironed out. Will patrons and grandmasters earn more of the special currency used to buy all the extra goodies in the item store? That is highly likely. Remember, however, that Bonus Points have to be spent in TSW and do not transfer over. You also might want to consider spending them before SWL launches if you want to carry over specific vanity items, since you can only carry over stuff you have unlocked (most likely as of the moment you link the accounts).

You can take it with you

After nearly five years, many players have accumulated a number of items that they certainly don’t want to lose. The good news is that many items will transfer over to the new game. Amiel emphasized that anything bought from the store, gifted to you, obtained in a bag, or earned exclusively will be transferred. That means all those pets and mounts and outfits you worked so hard to acquire will stay with you. The vanity items that won’t transfer are the ones that are earned via missions and possibly from achievements. One reason is that you can earn them again!

It is important at this time to note that for things to transfer, they need to be claimed on your character. If you are like me and haven’t added some pets to your collection (because you couldn’t decide which alt to give them to), you need to get them out of your bag and into your collection in order to transfer. It looks like the system will take a snapshot of what you own — across all characters, not just one — when you link your accounts. So click them and get them out of your bags, or try and quickly sell what you don’t want to give others the chance to enjoy having them. There’s no real benefit to holding on to anything if you plan on playing Secret World Legends and want your goodies there.

Also, lucky coins will not transfer, but anything you buy with them will. So if you want to use them and get items to take with you, you will have to make your purchases before linking your accounts.

Still achievements and lore

Speaking of achievements, I’ll mention that achievements have been reworked, but that there are still many of the same ones. I don’t have any more specific details until I can look at them in the beta — and then I can’t tell you! I also confirmed that lore is still a thing, as is the Museum of the Occult. The lore, however, could have moved (there goes all my work on my bestiary guide!).

When will Tokyo hit?

Since the game is launching without Tokyo, I had to ask how long it would be before we saw that playfield. Although he couldn’t give a time frame, Amiel said it would be very soon after launch. Tokyo is not a part of Secret World Legends’ launch not because it isn’t done but because it will be opened again by The Whispering Tide event. Now don’t panic: Amiel assured that this time the event won’t stretch over multiple months. However, it was a big part of opening Tokyo and a part of the story progression. That’s actually good news for anyone who missed it the first time around.

In discussing updates, Amiel shared that the team has very aggressive release plans after launch. Throughout the interview he spoke many times about how much the team wants to continue the story, and the focus is the story, so hopefully we won’t have to wait terribly long to get to the next big chapter of season 2!

Playing both games

This may not affect many people, but it affects a couple friends and I. If you have any unredeemed Steam keys for the game, you will want to make sure they are redeemed before the launch of Secret World Legends. At that time you will not longer be able to redeem the codes and will have wasted any money you spent. Once you have redeemed them, however, you will be able to download TSW from the official site and play it from there without having to buy any other copy, just follow the sintructions on the site. Amiel did note that the sale of The Secret World would possibly cease completely, so once SWL is out there will be no way for anyone to try the original unless they already own it. It is also likely that no DLCs will be available anymore either. However, this is not a sure thing, but I wouldn’t count against it.

Better optimization!

I just had to throw this one out there. Amiel stated that a whole bunch of optimization has been done, so the game can run better. The new system requirements have not been detailed, but if you could run TSW before, you can run SWL; it should even run better.

It will also likely run better because only about 10 people will be allowed on each playfield. That is significantly less than the 60 or so from before. This also means that you are less likely to run across strangers in your adventuring (which can be a boon if you’d ever had to deal with people coming and messing up certain missions by clicking items out of order).

But wait, what about those big event world bosses we needed a huge crowd in order to down? Will we still have anniversary golems and golden weeks? Amiel said not to worry, the world bosses — and all their loot — are not going away. Instead, the large fights will be in special playfields built for large groups, much like the Flappy raid from The Whispering Tide in Agartha.

Speaking of areas for large groups and Agartha, Amiel also said that Agartha was revamped. It will be easier to navigate and will have special sections designed for folks to congregate, from raiders to roleplayers. I have to admit, I am really curious to see that latter one!

THE SECRET WORLD LEGENDS SAGA
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100 Comments on "Exclusive Interview: Secret World Legends’ story, monetization, membership, Tokyo, and more"

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Feyd Darkholme

CRAFTING?

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Sleepy

“only about 10 people will be allowed on each playfield.”

And…I’m out. Sod that :(

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James Crow

playing this game for years and be honest expect agartha, groups and end game modes, you usual not see 10 ppl in story maps.

now they going to have “one” server so i my guess its going to be like this:
every 10 ppl zone they open new “sub server” with 10 ppl and again and again.

in this case, you always have 10 ppl in your zone and not like we have now with big server – > sub servers by name -> sub instance in each server and not depending on the players cap per instance.

so when it be f2p you going to see more ppl.
also TSW story always was more of a sologroup gameplay than real mmo.

i always saw TSW as GW1 successor – coop game with full of skills and builds.
i hope they make some money and gave us season 2 in 2018 (lets be real its not going to be in 2017 or ever if they didnt get the income.

also hope to see fusung and stone pvp modes later.
right now i dont think they didnt put it because what they said (the faction things).
i think its more related to how the new combat system work.

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Tanek

I often wonder, how many players actually interacted with more than 9 other people on a regular basis while doing the normal missions? In my experience, with the exception of party members, most other people were background noise at best and, at worst, roadblocks to completing a mission (Cost of Magic, anyone?).

I think the lower population limits will be perfectly fine, especially since it looks like they make allowances for higher numbers in hubs and event areas.

Crow
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Crow

At the end of the day there’s no reason for there to be a site about MMORPGs when their playerbase doesn’t even want to play them.

This just sucks. Widespread, misplaced desires to make everything into a MMORPG to get that sweet WoW money have driven more people from MMORPGs than bad design ever could.

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Tanek

So you agree that the changes in SWL could be a good thing. Great! And here I thought you were always trying to bring people down. Turns out you are a ray of sunshine after all. :)

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Jack Pipsam

“sale of The Secret World would possibly cease completely”

That is terrible, like actually terrible. I used to have some respect for Funcom, but now I just don’t know anymore.

7BitBrian
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7BitBrian

When company’s relaunch a game or switch it to F2P sale of the old game usually stops. They dont sell copies of the original FF14 anymore and they dont sell copies of SWTOR anymore. How is this something to complain about?

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Jack Pipsam

SWToR is still the same characters, same servers, same friends lists, same guilds, same progress completion.
The relaunch didn’t wipe your progress, didn’t wipe your friends, didn’t wipe your characters, didn’t ask you to redo everything, didn’t want you to redownload a brand new client, didn’t advertise itself as a whole new replacement product to co-exist with the old game.

This is different. The old game will remain a separate thing and still online running side by side.

FF14 is close, but the only difference is I suppose they totally killed off that game in the progress, so there was nothing left, while here the old game remains active, even in a maintenance mode. So I count that as different.

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Bruno Brito

The thing i care the most now is the character customization.

I’ve been trying for ages to make my character look like a Strigoi, without success, since the customization is so limited ç_ç

I WANNA BE A SAVAGE COMMIE VAMPIRE! >:C

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John Mclain

I couldn’t put up with the original combat system long enough to even make it to the infamous blue mountain. So I’m really looking forward to playing this new version’s storyline but with hopefully enjoyable combat.

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Cypher

Same! tried like three times…

Crow
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Crow

So I know this was “April Fools” but how is this even an interview? There is nowhere anyone is quoted aside from the author. Who let Funcom do an “interview” where nothing can be attributed to the rep of the game being profiled?

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Ysayle was right

This has always been the preferred way for this site to publish interviews, simply based on whether the author has time to do it, going back to the old site. I know, I wrote for the old site. There’s no conspiracy here, it’s just so the author gets paid for a full article. Putting up a transcription pays less, even if it ends up longer, because it’s not the same effort.

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Greaterdivinity

It’s no a directly transcribed interview, no. Not all interviews are. It’s not uncommon to use information from an interview to write a more informational pieces pulling from the interviewees responses.

Have you never seen this before?

Crow
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Crow

Have you never seen this before?

I’ve seen this so many times before. When devs claim they’ll tell us stuff and nothing can be traced back.

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Greaterdivinity

Everything MJ wrote can be attributed to the person she interviewed. If she makes an authoritative claim, it’s because she’s paraphrasing his words.

Seriously, have you like, never read an interview written like this? This is pretty fucking common, bro.

Crow
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Crow

This is very common to do when you don’t want to be actually quoted.

That, and the general secretiveness, make me really worried because you’re not secretive without a reason. Funcom has zero faith in this, which is my worst fear.

Funcom chose if Tilty could be quoted here, not Tilty. I feel seriously sorry for the guy who has gotten zero of the good and all of the bad for TSW’s very understandable market issues.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Funcom had absolutely no say whatsoever in whether we had MJ transcribe the interview or write it as a long-form piece. GD and Ysayle are right. Written interviews are usually copypasta, but I can’t pay a writer to transcribe three hours of verbal interview (ain’t nobody got time for that), plus summaries read better and pay better, so we prefer that format.

Also worth pointing out that neither directly quoting nor paraphrasing devs has proven effective for stopping those rare studios so inclined from claiming they never said a thing, which is why we encourage our writers to record and store their verbal interviews. There have been a handful of stinks over the years where a dev swears she/he didn’t say a thing to his PR manager right up until we produce the audio.

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John Mclain

QUOTE: “That, and the general secretiveness, make me really worried because you’re not secretive without a reason.”

Well it is “The Secret World”. Ba-dum-tsh. (I’ll let myself out.)

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Greaterdivinity

Alright, you’re clearly just going to be obtuse about this, so I’ll let you be. Enjoy whatever fantasy you’ve created for this.

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Lord Zorvan

Focus is on story and season 2 is coming, yet the lead writer quit and hasn’t been replaced. LOL.

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Alex

they probably already have some plans and vision so they can prepare assets (models, textures, animations, locations) without “lead writer”

Crow
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Crow

They’re recycling existing content and playing chicken with a writer. They retracted their posting for the job, even.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Maybe they found a writer and you dont know

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Nathan Aldana

That sounds like the same insanity people say every time theres an obviously shitty design idea coming and someone wants to defend the devs.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Yea, after they posted job offer and then removed it, presuming that they filled that job definetly makes me insane.

Crow
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Crow

They confirmed they pulled the ad without hiring a writer. They’re contracting with Scriv currently which is expensive.

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Stefan

As a Grandmaster owner that never really got round to finishing the game main story line i look forward to a different gameplay approach. Look forward to seeing more details, i do hope this works out well for Funcom for all the risks they took from AO to now something should finally pay out well, Conan Exiles seem to be getting a good reception here’s to hoping this follows!

Somewhat Eclectic
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Somewhat Eclectic

shit doesn’t go down like this ever.

It’s entirely possible. I don’t work in the game industry. I know in other industries people get hired for jobs that don’t start until certain dates or get hired but can’t start immediately due to the time it’ll take to relocate. Every situation is different though right.

Crow
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Crow

It happens when companies are ready to fold. I have sincerely bad feelings about all this if not for CE being a success.

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BalsBigBrother

Oh hey I recognise one on the people in the screenshots. Um you seem to have forgotten to send me my appearance fee. You know the SWL beta access email, so that makes me a little grumpy but I am sure it is just an oversight and you will get right on that, right? :p

Nice info again. I do hope that there is a continual flow of details about the plans for the future and more specifics about the actual mechanics involved.

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