Massively Overthinking: It’s the end of The Secret World as we know it

I think I can speak for most of our staff in saying that in November when Funcom first promised a “major upgrade to both retention and acquisition mechanics and content of the game to counter the declining revenues” in The Secret World, no one expected this.

Ditto in February, when Funcom said it was going “relaunch to broaden the appeal of the game through [a] redesigned new player experience, major improvements to gameplay including combat, [the] introduction of new retention systems such as daily rewards, [and] adjustments to the business model, including allowing access to the story content for free” — people murmured “NGE,” but no one even considered that the studio would dump MMO players overboard in pursuit of ARPG fans.

But in retrospect, the cagey language and lack of actual updates in the game were right there all along, as was the casual maintenance-moding of Anarchy Online and Age of Conan.

For this week’s Overthinking, I’ve asked our staff to consider Funcom’s plans here — not the rumors and leaks but the set-in-stone plans — and reflect on what they say about the studio, the game, and the genre on the whole. What do you think about Secret World Legends?

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): To me, it says Funcom believes in the Secret World IP. There’s a lot of change going on, and trying to avoid one genre for another really shows they’re invested in that world.

That being said, it also means Funcom may be trying to avoid MMOs. Like with Turbine, maintenance mode of old IPs without new titles withing the genre should be warning #1. I’d say making new games with the same IP but different genre should be warning #2, but Funcom’s already done that with Secret World’s “The Park” spin-off. Oh, and Conan Exiles.

As for the genre, it just shows that we’re well past the World of Warcraft bubble. Companies have (hopefully) learned that not every new game needs to be an MMO. Just having a Multiplayer Online portion of the game can be fun and engaging. Full blown MMOs really need a lot of work that few companies are willing to deal with, which Raph Koster was driving home repeatedly to AR/VR devs during GDC 2017. The “massively” part of MMOs isn’t a number IMO, but an indication that you’ve built a world, not just a game, and like any world, you’re going to need to police it. Ignoring either the game or social aspects within the genre is a huge mistake.

I liked a lot of the Secret World’s concepts, but as a game (especially in terms of combat), it didn’t do anything for me. Focusing on the non-combat aspects of the game might have helped prolong the game, but, let’s be honest: Combat and gear grinds are generally easier to develop. They’re cost efficient, and for a company that’s had financial issues, I can see why they’d take this path.

More “retention and acquisition mechanics” largely reads as dailies, something I have a strong love/hate relationship with. I’m not sure how that fits in with being an AR game or why that’d appeal to that genre more, but it seems like an MMO staple and makes me wonder if Funcom’s simply trying to pull from other genres while trying to refine its MMO strengths, like immersion and world building.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): As I said on the podcast, I don’t really have a personal interest in The Secret World — I haven’t touched it in years, so it languished on my Steam account and now I guess is gone. But as someone who cares a lot about the MMORPG genre as a fan and as a journalist, I am deeply concerned to see one of the founding companies of the genre unceremoniously toss its only three MMORPGs into maintenance mode in the span of a month with barely a whisper of apology or gratitude to its long-time supporters and players. It seems a cruel and frankly foolish thing to do to the people who have been paying for Funcom’s games for the last 16 years, especially while bragging about how successful Conan Exiles is. Alienating your existing fanbase in the pursuit of a new and bigger fanbase almost never works in gaming.

The difficult bit is that as a gamer, I’m significantly more interested in The Secret World now that some of its MMORPG bits are being dismantled and mutated into Secret World Legends, not because I’ve fallen out of love with MMOs but because I suspect this particular game will be more appealing to me on a smaller scale and also with combat that isn’t garbage. (The same cannot be said of most MMOs, so let’s not make this a trend.)

I’m also irked at the idea that this move may be interpreted by mainstream watchers or analysts as a black mark on the MMO genre, when in reality, these three games have been poorly supported over the past few years as Funcom has struggled with funding and spent its resources on the Conan franchise. We all know that online games that don’t get updates, especially buy-to-play games whose incomes rely on selling content and cosmetics, do not make money. This isn’t a stain on MMOs or even on The Secret World’s potential for revenue, only on Funcom’s inability to invest in it to make it work.

As so many people put it in our comments last week, we’re not fatigued by MMOs — we’re sick of bad MMOs, of abandonware, and yes, of being taken for granted.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): On the one hand, I’m really excited by the prospect of a version of The Secret World without the atrocious combat and sometimes beyond irritating quests that required a lengthy Wikipedia trawl (or looking up the walkthrough). There’s a lot of imagination on display throughout the game, and the fact of the matter is that my first instinct is to be nearly overjoyed that the game is getting massive improvements to bring it up to par…

But the problem is, I’m not actually the target audience, am I? Or at least I shouldn’t be. I’m not currently playing the game, and so trying to court me is an odd choice when there are a large number of people who are playing the game. That’s one of those things that always strikes me as a little odd, and in this case even more so. I entirely understand that the problem may be that the current audience of the game is insufficient, but courting people like me at the cost of people who are already in the game doesn’t seem like the most stable possible move.

More to the point, it feels like some of the changes being made are, well… not necessary changes. Better combat? Definitely more than worthwhile. Resettng story progress? That’s… all right, it’s not necessary, but maybe changes are being made to the story, I can see that. Crippling the MMO aspects of the game? How does that make things better? Why is that supposed to entice more people to play?

I’m still rather looking forward to the game, if for no reason beyond the fact that a version of The Secret World without one of its major weaknesses is a positive thing. But I do find myself wondering why the game is also going out of its way to introduce a number of new additional weaknesses into the mix.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): I deeply love this game and am gravely concerned about its future. Secret World Legends is a major all-or-bust gambit for Funcom, and while I’m happy that the studio sees some future potential in this IP, I would have much rather had seen a renovation within the current game than this off-shoot that will fracture the community and force us veteran players to reroll just to see more story.

In many ways, The Secret World has been the cult hit of the MMORPG genre. It never racked up millions of subs, but it always had a fervent following and a great amount of respect among both players and onlookers for its storytelling and world building prowess. There’s just nothing else quite like this game out there, and I don’t want to see it die. Yet this spring, it’s kind of like Funcom is both killing it and resurrecting it as a kissing cousin of its former self. Maybe the changes will be good — we have yet to see and hear about a lot of them, and I hope the studio keeps communicating through this transition. But if not, it could spell the real end of this game.

That Funcom felt it necessary to go to such extremes for a reboot tells me that the studio saw no future path for the current incarnation of TSW. Considering how little effort Funcom put into the game in 2016 (and 2017 thus far), this truly angers me. You can’t starve a game of new content and then blame the game for not selling better. What did you have to sell, really?

If. If the reboot draws in a big enough crowd to compensate for those who are leaving over this mess and grow the brand, if Legends starts generating a nice amount of revenue (I’m still not seeing how that’s going to happen in a free-to-play format), if the changes like the new combat system and improved quest flow are well-received, and if the game leverages this publicity as a big “redo,” then maybe we’ll be treated to a new season of content and make peace with the parts of the game we dislike. For me, I’m feeling a little weary and anxious over starting all over again, but I am barely willing to give the devs the benefit of the doubt that they’re making good choices with the changes for the necessity and future of the game.

Your turn!

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76 Comments on "Massively Overthinking: It’s the end of The Secret World as we know it"

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John Mynard

SWL is an “Online RPG”, that is to say an RPG with a coherent story and online elements, in the same way that, for all intents and purposes, SWTOR is a Online RPG.

WoW is an MMO because the story, while decent, is incidental to the gameplay. Blizzard has realized this and that is why Overwatch, which has a gorgeous style and very interesting setting, has no story within the game itself, all the narrative being presented in exceptionally well done short films, webcomics and short stories.

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Nico Nolden

I am a huge admirer of the step FunCom has done forward in storytelling with MMOs. I love the setting and the world they’ve built. It ist so cool – still after all these years – to visit a contemporary setting with all myths, legends and real historical findings coming to life. Awsome.

There are so many good ideas, but they didn’t manage to create a new form of collective mission design that really would’ve pulled players together by the stories. For me, it seemed from the beginning, as they had produced two different games. An MMO-styled game mechanics with an cryptic talent wheel and floppy combat on the one hand, and an enormous amount of narratives interwoven by typical quest-like systems for a rich interactive story. Until today I don’t feel that they managed any connections between those two parts well. As if there were to companies developing two different games, and then after a merger mixed one single product together. But The Secret World has been a wonderful experience for me… and it still is.

Therefore I appreciate that the developers are looking for a pathway out of the declining player base, the lack of content and the misfit of the two-game-chimera. Change is the only way to go for a new future. I accept that.

But: As FunCom always had flaws in management, marketing and customers service they are heading again for some heavy faults in my opinion.

1) No transfer of veteran’s lore and achievments.
It’s not acceptable if veterans only get to use all the weapons from the start. What about the lore, the bestiarium, our achievements? Does FunCom really think we would start all over again to search them all again? No, most of us won’t.

2) Resetting the Story:
Not to transfer the story progress is a jumpkick into veteran’s faces. I love this world, and I like to jump in different areas of it to repeat cool quests. But I won’t do all the progress again. If they deliver season 2 some time after the relaunch, I won’t reach it, because I simply don’t have the spare time to grind all the quests all over again. Do they really know how much time I spent already? I have a more-than-full-time-job and a familiy.

3) Not selling the story.
Well, The Secret World was always about intriguing stories. Especially if they turn the game into an F2P-game only, I am asking myself since March: What do they want to sell? Selling booster, weapon skins, funny hats and customizers doesn’t really rock anymore anywhere in the market. If they want to continue the story on a stylish and atmospheric level like before with historical based stories, filled with popular culture, inventive mission solutions, FunCom needs our funds. And I am willing to pay for good story content. Especially if you develop missions that really need cooperation within the narratives.

If you don’t want to bust your relaunch, FunCom, you have to solve these crucial factors .

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John Mynard

I dunno, Cryptic seems to be doing ok with their “everything is free” game model. So is Digital Extremes with Warframe. Granted these are outliers. But still, they are proof that if you provide a good product, which TSW certainly is, people will support it.

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Oleg Chebeneev

I think they made a mistake with how they did it.
They shouldnt make it separate game screwing over veterans and leaving original TSW to just die (and it WILL die, who will play it when there are no updates and no fresh blood?). They had to add improvements to original game and if they wanted real relaunch, they had to put in much more effort then they did.

Also I have no clue what “cripple game out of MMO aspects” means when speaking about TSW. It was never a real MMO, it was more like singleplayer game with dungeons and main hub (Agartha). Their shrinking of player amount in zones will have ZERO impact on gameplay. So it is silly to say that it is some drastic change

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Roger Melly

For me the NGE started a couple of months back when the game was made quite a lot easier . I assume it was meant to attract more players but it led to the couple of friends I played it with and I leaving the game . Having experience such things in games before its always makes me think things are in decline in terms of either quality or player retention .

I am not sure what SWL will be like . In some ways it interests me to give it another try and maybe play through the issues I have missed but at the same time I also wonder if there will be further reduction in challenge .

I just wonder what people who have spent a lot of time and money in the game feel like . I hope they offer a lot of perks to those that brought a lifetime subscription .

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James Crow

why people so angry when funcom said its not an mmo but there going to be 10 ppl in map.
as TSW vet, the game played more like coop than real mmo.

i want to see one player who saw more then 10 players in the map zones (not include boss events).
always said to new players that the real “MMO” in tsw is when they get to the end game and start raids and nm dungeons.

i can say im not full in favor the ReStart as a player who got alots of things over the years and bought new slots.

the only thing can make me not try the game is if i don’t going to get my bonus point in the store cuz that was the real reason why i bought GM (after spending money on all the dlcs and UE)

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Jeff

Exactly folks in my family play secret world I never ever seen anyone else…so nothing has changed for me.

possum440 .
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possum440 .

TSW was never on my list as it never interested me, but then no game that has people that judges others for not grouping, attacks others for getting loot differently than a group, getting the same loot as a group in solo mode, and telling people to leave games or be grateful you can play at all in our “social only” game, never interested me.

A good portion of the comments on this thread back up what I say.

Developers have ruined nearly two generations of gamer’s and trained them into thinking they have the right to tell other gamer’s how they will play a game and how they will act in that game. That’s sad.

Used to be waaay back in the day MMO meant a bunch of people online doing whatever they wanted, how they wanted. Try that today with today’s programmed in the head gamer’s and you get crucified at the stake for thinking and playing differently and not being social.

“Go play a different game”……thanks, I will.

MJ Guthrie
Staff
MJ Guthrie

Having played this game from day 1, I don’t see what you are complaining about at all. Don’t know who you’ve been hanging out with but I’d avoid them. Plenty of others out there who aren’t anything like what you describe.

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rafael12104

Hmm. So much angst over things that are hardly new or even different.

It’s less of an MMORPG because Funcom chooses not to call it an MMORPG? But in practice if you look at it in comparison to other MMORPGs it isn’t very different.

There will be instances, many solo sure but not all. There will be areas where players gather. There will be group content. So… .

TSWL is a theme park with a great story and that is what TSW is or was. Lol. The difference is combat. The streamlining of systems needed to be done for the game to survive regardless.

As for the rest? I don’t think this is another assault on MMORPGs. The assaulting already happened with the “dumbing” down of the genre from what it was. And let’s be honest, it needed to happen as Wildstar proved with their launch.

No. TSW needed to evolve to survive and it morphed into TSWL. This is much preferred to the Wildstar scenario where devs buried their head in the sand and almost killed the game.

And btw, I don’t care how you wish to catagorize it. Is it an MMORPG? How do you define the term? Is it universal? The questions answer themselves really when you look at the variety of responses. It’s trivial. Forget it. I’m going to call it a Donut. Who doesn’t like donuts?

wandris
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wandris

AS much as I like Funcoms MMO’s, there is usually never enough time to play them as much as I would like. It seems as much as many people like it the game does not get the time it deserves and as a result has only stalled. So I can’t really blame them for deciding to make a radical change. In the end it may be a very good thing if this can spur on a much more successful path forward and the continuation of the game even if it is in a different format. They have done a great job with the Conan and TSW world and story, and I don’t think those games being an MMO was what made them great. What I would like to hear is some assurance that even in maintenance mode the MMO’s will be around for a long time ahead. I really will find it hard to put time or money into a game with the sword of damocles hanging over it.

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Denice J. Cook

This reminds me of Daybreak’s similar about-face with MMORPGs: They shuttered most of their MMOs altogether, cancelled Everquest Next, shut down Landmark only months after launch, and have been proclaiming H1Z1 to be their flagship franchise since its early access began.

It’s funny how Turbine has also recently made a similar move, shoveling LoTRO and DDO off to Standing Stone, closing down the Asheron’s Calls permanently, and doing an about face into mobile gaming.

I guess all these devs and publishers are sick of going broke. Hopefully all the players demanding unrestricted F2P MMOs will take note here.

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Manastu Utakata

Pretty much what Bree, Eliot and Justin had to say. But this point stuck out the most, when Mr. Eliot stated…

“Crippling the MMO aspects of the game? How does that make things better? Why is that supposed to entice more people to play?”

This is the thing that bothers me the most about this transition. That is, the game grew a solid community and now is taking that away. And from what I understand, is only allowing you to play with folks you know. I want to be in game where the world doesn’t look lonely and one that isn’t exclusive only to friends. The reason why I stay away from RPG’s, as I have no interest in conversing with scripted NPC’s. I want to see real people, real community. And Funcom seems to be quashing that with this reboot in the name of padding their bottom line.

I wish them the best of luck though. But I have no interest playing a RPG with lobby friend options. That sucks the life right out of the gaming metaverse I’ve grown up in and learn to love, IMO. /bleh

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Leiloni

They’ve stated before clearly that you will run into random people while out in the play zones. It’s not a coop game. From what I can tell it’s still like TSW with regular zones, just – again like TSW – fewer people in the zones. Not sure why people have other ideas.

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Manastu Utakata

To be clear, it’s what I understand of the “reboot”. As I get the gist of what is being reported that this game is no longer a MMO. Now we could find a new acronym for Not-So-Massively Multiplayer Online…but as it stands, the MMO is gone from the SWL. What replaces it, I guess is up for debate.

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strangesands

You’re over-reacting.

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Manastu Utakata

Lodging a hate filled diatribe over this would be over reacting. It’s more likely you’re are just being silly. /shrug

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Oleg Chebeneev

He is right, you’re over-reacting. Is there 60 players in zone or 10 doesnt matter at all and I believe them cutting the number will only be good for the game. In TSW other players in quest zones were nothing but distraction

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Manastu Utakata

And you’re being silly too, as I fail to see how my position is unreasonable. As well as your counter seems more like an opinion opposed to an actual explanation. Either provide me with the evidence that I am over-reacting or simply stop with the nonsense.

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Denice J. Cook

Honestly, that stood out to me, too, and I instantly thought,

“They’re just using this revamp as an excuse to pare down the long-term overhead costs of TSW.” Well, everybody’s got to eat!

It’s funny how the general consensus amongst Massively staff seems to be that TSW has “enough players,” when obviously Funcom knows that they do not.

It should also be noted that Funcom clearly neglected TSW for the year because they were working on Conan: Exiles, and plotting TSW’s demise/rebirth, of course! It’s not like they’re a Blizzard-sized team.

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Nathan Aldana

the thing is. paring down the costs only works if then the incoming profit makes it worth it. And frankly I aint seeing any compelling reason non-tsw players have to play this over more modern offerings.

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Maggie May

As this was “the fish that got away” for me I have mixed feelings. I only played it on a free weekend at the beginning, and didn’t continue for various reasons, choppy gameplay, odd ui and unintuitive combat. (And a bad puter). But I loved the story, it was different …
So I am watching with interest and may jump in. I do have doubts though; the amount of personal time investment one needs for a mmo (and what will this game change to be now?) makes me think that if I had kept playing And had invested all that time only to be told I’d need to restart my toons I’d be pissed.
But I do play eso and am fine with the combat etc. (So we’ll see … but I still think I would be pissed f I had played and been a long time player. )
As someone who loves mmo’s and am seeing so many changes and sunsets, I can only hope that we won’t lose the very the thing that made us all love it.

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strangesands

The thing to remember is that at one time Elder Scrolls Online and Destiny were shunning the MMORPG moniker, even though the games had many of the hallmarks of an MMO. We really have a tendency to get caught up in these categories and definitions. My sense is that SWJ will have more in common with an MMORPG than not, and that this is all semantics and marketing speak.

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rafael12104

Agreed as well. It is bullshit. They choose not to call themselves and MMORPG, not because the genre is dead but because they want to differentiate themselves and offer something new. Lol. Which of course, it is not.

They can call themselves whatever they want.

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kidwithknife

Heh, or when Zenimax called the ESO expansion a “chapter”, and people actually thought that meant something other than an expansion by another name. I don’t care if marketing insists that they’re selling me a ham sandwich, if it plays like an MMORPG then it’s an MMORPG.

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Leiloni

I agree and I’ve been saying this since the day they announced.

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life_isnt_just_dank_memes

Once we get to the place where companies start giving the theme park treatment to Survival Sandboxes that will signal a few years more lull to MMOs. We are almost there but not yet.

I have beeen saying it on this site for years but I really want an Elder Scrolls game that is 1-10 players in a persistent chunk of Tamriel. Me and all my friends can have multiple characters in a world. All your characters can live in the same house or separate houses. Don’t feel like playing your Vampire Necromancer that lives in a cave? Play your Marksman or Warrior that share a homestead in the wilderness. It’s got all the quests and story and can be played solo as well.

I really hope that the server parts of the survival sandboxes make their way into the single player space but add multi-player. I think the first game that will be a great example of this is the new Red Dead coming out this year.

ceder
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ceder

For me, the pattern to their decisions makes it a bit of a concern that this is going no differently than much else they’ve done.

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Witches

I expect SWL to be slightly less popular than TSW is right now, it’s not a new game, no one that wasn’t interested in TSW will be interested in SWL.

Nothing announced so far will do anything to improve acquisition and i seriously doubt it will avoid a drop in retention.

When Funcom was in financial trouble, TSW was profitable enough for it’s future to be more assured than that of Funcom itself, the only problem with TSW is it didn’t see any updates for over 1 year, there isn’t gameplay fun enough to make up for a long content drought.

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Steven Johnson

Lots of people who weren’t interested in Secret World due to it’s poor UI and combat WILL be interested in SWL I don’t doubt that these changes will most likely grow it’s player base by hundreds of thousands or more. Easily tripling its player base.

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Sally Bowls

TSW was profitable enough for it’s future to be more assured than that of Funcom itself,

IDK, did many besides the “profitability ensures immortality” folks here believe that?

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MesaSage

I don’t care. I love MMO’s and play (and spend) lots. TSW is never on my radar, no matter what they do. Maybe they should be concerned about that.

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Koshelkin

Not every game is for everyone. I might or might not like some games you spend most of your time on. Should the studios in question be concerned about that? Probably not.

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Jeff

The WoWesque MMO is dead, I’m sorry it’s true. Most people would rather hook up with a couple friends and do something Cooperatively than deal with 2 million jerks they don’t know all trying to stand out by acting like idiots.

I know that’s harsh but it’s true, Conan Exiles was meant to be survivor games, I know a lot of people that have either started servers with the Survivor elements turned down or off and the MMO elements turned up or they play on them. More people seemed interested in Crowfalls Instanced areas than they do anything else, and WoW the mac daddy of all MMO’s is down to what maybe 3 mil world wide?

The MMo’s that are successful ESO, FFXIV, GW2 are soloable and you can pretty much ignore everyone else but your little group of friends. Now lets look at games like The Division Ghost Recon Wildlands and the Destiny series. they chucked the MMo concept for the open world Co-op game and they all did well financially.

MMO’s might make a comeback, but they won’t look anything like EQ Or WoW.

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Drewzle

Funcom is the company that got me into MMOs with Anarchy Online and I have had a love/hate relationship ever since the launch of AO. I have played all of their games (except Conan Exiles) and have enjoyed them all for different reasons. They have always had awesome ideas, great storytelling, and then so-so follow through. The Secret World has the best story and quests out there bar none, but something to me felt disconnected with the animations, combat style, and gearing. I am looking forward to trying out SWL when it launches.

And then probably trying it out again on my XB1 after the Open Beta that SWL on PC will actually become. They have to be thinking console with this redesign to try and grab that market.

I also really hope they do not abandon the Anarchy Online universe. That would be so awesome with an actual updated unreal graphics engine.

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kidwithknife

I don’t get it. What exactly is changing, aside from the wording in Funcom press releases, that makes this less of an MMORPG than the original TSW? Near as I can tell the only difference in terms of MMO-ness is the smaller number of players per zone, which strikes me as a real non-problem. TSW’s overworld zones were never crowded anyway outside of Kingsmouth and world boss events, and some of them suffered from being designed for far more simultaneous players than ever really showed up at one time. That’s pretty small potatoes. The fuss over it “losing” it’s MMORPG status really strikes me as a made up problem.

miol
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miol

That’s because Funcom refuses to be more clear on they’re planning to do!

And if they only use the term “modern-day action RPG” as the sole reference point with not many other details, this still doesn’t mean you can handle it, like the term “P2W”, which has lost any meaning, as everyone has another opinion what it actually means!

We all still know what “modern-day action RPG” differentiates from an “MMO”.

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kidwithknife

But we do know what it means. Instanced dungeons, which the old game already had, smaller playfields, and action combat. It seems to me they’ve been pretty clear about it. Quests are changing, sure, but I can’t imagine how they could change questing so radically that it would change the game’s MMORPG status.

And no, in this context we don’t know what differentiates a “modern-day action RPG” from an “MMO”, other than some new lingo to try to sell the game to the non-MMORPG crowd. You can’t have your cake and eat it too on this, if you don’t know what Funcom has planned for this game then you can’t also know just what they mean by “modern-day action RPG”. You either know or you don’t.

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Reht

REM pun? nice….

FVerret
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FVerret

I don’t see it as Funcom believing in the Secret World IP, but as the least amount of effort it would take Funcom to release a finished product people will pour money into. They already have this game in their portfolio, so why not take the assets wholesale, tweak how it works a little bit, and repackage it as a whole new game? This is just a money grab, to my eyes, and while one might argue that the free-to-play part works against that, I would say it is only meant to be the lowest barrier of entry possible so that a large number of people will play it and spend money in the cash shop.

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Koshelkin

I’m positively hopeful regarding SWL’s future.

finyar
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finyar

First Secret World Legends gameplay: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/134039027

They use the same awful animations :/

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Brother Maynard

It’s not just changing animations – they would need to significantly update their DreamWorld engine, which is not happening.

It’s the same old engine, with its host of problems with modern hardware (often running better on slower, old machines than on new ones). It’s the same old engine that has problems with any screen resolution beyond full HD. It’s the same old engine that hates its own UI system designed in flash, slapped on top of the graphics engine and bugging out all the time, causing performance issues and graphical / world interaction glitches.

(Not to mention the incredible amount of little bugs and glitches in the game itself, accumulated over the years, and I honestly would be shocked if Funcom fixed even 10% of them after all this time.)

There are so many issues with it that even if they created brand new top-notch animations for every action in the game, it wouldn’t help much. Without dramatic updates of the game engine, any hopes of successfully converting TSW into an action game will be short lived.

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Hirku

And the “action combat” that everybody is getting all excited about is the exact same reticule mode that already exists in the game, only with an intrusive ugly-ass bullseye that you can’t turn off.

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Leiloni

I asked about that and I believe at some point they did answer and say they were still working on animations. I think they said they had new ones for the running sideways in combat animations and some other things, but they were still working on them internally and would be implementing into a future beta test.

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Hirku

Yes, it’s a beta. And the beta is an old build, the current one is much better. And they’re still working on the facial animations. And there’ll be a day one patch that’ll fix everything. And the check is in the mail.

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Geoffrey Smith

I’ll believe it when i see it.

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BalsBigBrother

Actual non character creator non cut scene game plays starts at about the 16 minute mark if folks are interested

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Geoffrey Smith

Yeah, that made me weep. For the love of God if you are going to do this much work changing the underlying mechanics, change the damn animations too!!

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Wolfyseyes

There are too many “if’s” for me to really form a full opinion about SWL without getting into the game, but Funcom’s chase of the survival sandbox and avoidance of the MMO term overall is most certainly cause for concern.

If SWL is enough like TSW at the core level, then I suppose my life will go on. But whatever SWL actually is, Funcom most definitely need to communicate frequently about this game before more fans blow bridges apart.

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Koshelkin

I don’t see how SWL should lose the core of what made TSW special. The changes only pertain gameplay and progression, not worldbuilding/lore or storytelling.

My only question atm is if SWL will still allow the same amount of customization for it’s builds as TSW did.

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Leiloni

I honestly think there’s been plenty of communication thus far in a number of places with a ton of questions answered. The problem is fans want to freak out at anything and aren’t willing to chill out and read/watch what’s being shared with them.

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Leiloni

Also I think existing TSW players should be excited, not disappointed or scared. Think about it this way – they could just let TSW sit in maintenance mode and focus their time and money elsewhere. But they love this game as much as you do and see it’s potential. So instead of maintenance mode, they’re making an entirely new game out of it. You’ll get a much better version of the game you love, more people to play it with, and an active and excited community with that new game buzz that’s so much fun. Isn’t this honestly, a best case scenario?

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Geoffrey Smith

At this point I am just tired of the kvetching and want to play the new game to see what I can make of it.

I love The Secret World, but the reality is it’s current incarnation was simply not going to generate the revenue needed to continue it’s existence going forward. I can’t see the logical sense that existed to try to make new content for a game where it’s major down point (it’s actual gameplay!) was such a hindrance.

It’s all well and good to be worried about lost progress, about the years invested, about starting over, and things like that. But it’s not really enough of an excuse to justify just leaving the game in it’s current state and doing nothing. As I have said in other threads, this sort of thing is the kind of bold move we constantly deride companies for NOT doing. In a genre awash in copypasta games that have led it to rot we are now mad at a company taking an entirely different approach? I am baffled.

Also, I simply can’t get into the “abandoning the MMO” conceit either. What actually makes an MMO? Does it have to be an open world? For how many? The game still SEEMS like an MMO even if they won’t call it one. I just view this as another iteration it what seems like this current transition period for the genre.

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Oyjord Hansen

I’m scared.

‘Nuff said.

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BalsBigBrother

I watched the Funcom TS:L stream earlier. Oh god that reticle I really hope that is a place holder or they have other options for how it looks because that is going to be a big turn off right from the get go for me.

Beyond that I am not willing to commit as to what I think until I play it, words and promises from Funcom are all well and good but I need to see the whole package for myself before I decide if they are making the right move or not.

Also +1 to everything Justin said :-)

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Koshelkin

I wish they exchanged that reticule just with a simple dot. That would be the least intrusive option and serve the same purpose.

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Geoffrey Smith

I just wanna hide the damn thing. I never use them in games like this.

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Leiloni

From everything I’ve seen and read so far SWL looks to be quite a lot like TSW, just with some improvements and changes. I don’t think it’s going to be this massively different game so I think people need to tone down the rhetoric just a bit. There’s nothing to be so afraid of if you really try to take the emotion out of it and look at what we know so far.

Also on the MMO aspect of it, from everything I can tell so far it seems exactly as MMO as TSW is right now. Crowded central hubs, group content, and limited amounts of random players in play zones. That’s what we have with TSW and what we’ll have with SWL. Let’s be honest, TSW was never as massive as other MMO’s but it was always an MMO. People should know enough by now to realize that marketing speak is just to get people in the door but doesn’t mean a game will literally only be exactly what they’ve said. Again, take a step back and look at the big picture of what information we have thus far.

All in all I think it’ll be a fun revamp of the game. I think making people start over in a new game was necessary for a lot of reasons and is definitely the best decision in terms of future success as well.

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wratts

Agree that it doesn’t seem massively different. In fact, it seems so similar that I’m not understanding why the existing playerbase should lose all investment in their characters and have to repeat a 50 hour story they’ve already completed. Nothing I’ve seen so far obviously justifies scrapping the existing platform

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Paragon Lost

Final nail in the coffin that is Funcom, for me at least. Too many years of bugs, bad UI, broken promises, abandonment with both Age of Conan and now The Secret World. Also I don’t want an aiming reticle or to play an ARPG. My wife, myself and two of my adult kids didn’t sign up for that either.

We were drawn to the well designed and immersive game world. Though there were problems apparently Funcom didn’t agree their being problems. Otherwise they’d have corrected these issues.

Funcom fails to design the whole mmorpg experience, they do some things so very well. Better than anyone else, but what they fail at they fail at badly. :( I’m done as I said, I refuse to give them anymore money and I know the rest of my family pretty much feels the same way. So much potential wasted.

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Xijit

I understand the “why” of it … But I still think this is a huge mistake: Funcom should have started working on a whole new TSW title instead of giving the exiesting game this NGE workover.

But I guess I can give them props for leaving the old version up and running.

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Geoffrey Smith

That is the interesting part of it. If they simply made a whole new game, to be “Season 2” fans would scream that they would need to get a new game in order to advance the story. If the made ANOTHER side game a la The Park or Hide and Shriek, it would be a waste of time.

Still though, I can’t argue against the idea of making another TSW title instead.

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Xijit

I would love the shit out of another “park” game … The format is viable, i mean it is what prompted Capcom to go FPS and return to slow exploration with RE7, and there will always be whiners.

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