Hands-on with Secret World Legends: A second chance for a first impression

I would like to start this article by saying that there are a lot of things to like about Secret World Legends, but for me, those good things — despite their being some of my favorite things about RPGs and MMOs — make it hard to overlook what I consider the flaws of the game.

Although there were always weird bits to The Secret World’s storytelling, like the silent protagonist, I’ve long considered it to be some of the best storytelling in MMORPGs. With the launch of Secret World Legends, that has not changed. In fact, I would say that as an introduction to the game, it’s improved. The weak point to the game has always been the combat. There were some very confusing things about it, which have been fixed, and there were some aesthetic issues, which have not been fixed.

I am very torn about how to approach my impressions of the game. I want to come at it as someone who hasn’t played it before because it’s being sold as something new. But at the same time, I have played the game, and I know exactly why I never played it for more than a week at a time. I approached the game from two different perspectives: Would this impress someone who has never played it, and will returning players who didn’t stick with it over the last couple of years be interested enough in the changes to come back?

A brief overview

Secret World Legends asks this core question: What if all conspiracy theories and supernatural phenomena were real? It sets what could be deemed a fantasy RPG in the modern era with guns, swords, and magic all interacting in the same universe. By far, it is the most interesting MMORPG concept to date, and although it was dreamed up over half a decade ago, there really hasn’t been another MMORPG that has embraced that kind of world — if you are looking for an MMORPG set in the modern world at all, you are going to be hard-pressed to find one, and you certainly will not find one better.

Secret World Legends takes some of the great things about older RPGs that had limited combat and melds it with a more modern combat system and enemy AI. During character creation, you are given the choice between different sets of primary and secondary weapons. You are given examples of abilities, the premise for the weapons, the role that those combined weapons are intended to play, and the general difficulty of that class. There are nine different weapon combinations, which is more than enough variety for players to find one that they like.

As story content, the introduction to the game is all over the place. You appear to be jumping back and forth between a dream and the real world. In the real world, you swallow a bee and gain special powers. In your dreams, you are traveling through time and space, fighting everything from zombies in a graveyard to Cthulu in Tokyo. Despite the off-the-wall storytelling, you do learn a lot about the game. By the time you step into the primary zone for your faction, you should have a good grasp of how combat works and how puzzles and mysteries drive the game forward.

New players

If you’ve never played The Secret World before, then it will take awhile for this game to impress you. In fact, I would venture to say that it will be difficult to really understand how this game is different and fun until you leave Kingsmouth. That’s not to say that you won’t have an understanding of what the game is about, just that there is a lot of hand-holding up to that point. However, if you play the game as I did, it will be quite a few hours of gameplay before SWL lets go of your hand enough to make the adventure your own.

New players, if you haven’t played a video game since 2008, then you will probably not be fazed by the blocky polygons, featureless textures, and stiff animation. However, if you are like the rest of us who have played games after Fallout 3, then you will notice a distinct difference between the player character and practically every other NPC in the game. Your character has pores in his skin and tighter adhesion between his skin and the mesh. In fact, in the Dragon introduction right before the woman in red awkwardly goes down on you, you can clearly see the triangles that make up her wireframe.

I would also like to point out to new players that despite the mouse turning, which I think is a marked improvement over the standard tab targeting of an MMORPG, this is not an action RPG. I have tried to avoid the marketing of this revamp so that when I did jump in for my re-impressions I would not be tainted by the hype. Don’t be fooled. It’s just a different way to tab target. I like to call it active tab-targeting, where you have to hover you mouse over the target instead of actually to make sure the target is in your damage zone. That means that if you’re an active place like me and constantly moving around, your bullets will curve most of the time.

Returning players

Despite having watched The Secret Word superfans like The Hive Leader and our very own TSW columnist and streamer MJ Guthrie play through the game in later levels, I had personally not stepped into the game for about five years. I’ve loosely kept track of the game because it was an MMO and those are my bread and butter, and I’m always looking for innovation in the genre. The Secret World always had a way to turn my head, but it never impressed me enough to make me want to jump back in.

As I hinted about previously, the combat always seemed off to me. It was never the complexity of the combat that was the issue. I actually thought that was interesting, but I understand the complaints about certain weapons being useless and many of the abilities serving no real purpose other than being a stepping stone to better abilities. My issue was that I found combat to be poorly animated. The projectile weapons had zero impact on the target or the player, and melee weapons were cutting through warm butter. Unfortunately, I cannot say that the weapons have changed aesthetically. Chaos felt the most visceral to me. I used that weapon in the Trickster class, and I like it well enough, but the pistols as a secondary just didn’t work. I guess I could have just never used pistols, but why even have a secondary weapon if I am never going to use it?

I think the biggest thing that returning players will notice is that very little has changed. Sure, there have been quality-of-life changes, and a lot of small things have been moved around. Agartha is finally the hub that it should have been in the first place. I enjoy it when small things change in the games that I love. They help me feel that the developers understand the current playerbase, but if you haven’t played for years, these minor changes will only make you question why they weren’t there in the first place.

The takeaway

If you’ve never played The Secret World and if you can look past the aesthetic issues of the game, then you will find the game deep, interesting, and most of all, fun. The puzzles and the story of Secret World Legends are far deeper than any other MMORPG out there. As a multiplayer RPG, it will be interesting for you to explore and solve the mysteries of the secret world, though returning players will surely be unenthusiastic about losing their progress from the last five years when forced to reroll.

If combat, animation, or general aesthetics are important to you as a gamer, then you will wonder why this game is even being re-released without a much more expansive graphics overhaul. You will wonder why you ever took this trip to the uncanny valley and want to get out as soon as you can.

If you are me, then you will quickly find that there is not enough changed or added to the game to play through it again. I admire Funcom for its desire to make things better for the game, but it’s my impression that it fixed things that didn’t need fixing while avoiding some of the real problems with the game.

Massively Overpowered skips scored reviews; they’re outdated in a genre whose games evolve daily. Instead, our veteran reporters immerse themselves in MMOs to present their experiences as hands-on articles, impressions pieces, and previews of games yet to come. First impressions matter, but MMOs change, so why shouldn’t our opinions?
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

121 Comments on "Hands-on with Secret World Legends: A second chance for a first impression"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
xpsync
Reader
xpsync

This was unexpected, SWL is now my main and ESO to complete the combo. I officially have made it past Blue Mountain, never really dented BM in TSW in all the times i came back to it.
Landed in with a really good guild too, forgot how much this can make an mmo so much better.

I hit EQ2 Fallen Gate sever and after a 10 hour run i finally hit level ten for the reward and in this experience a couple things i noticed. There are allot of amazing peeps still playing EQ2. I did a couple Black Burrow runs, i have to say how impressed i was with the skills people still have in that game.

Everyone knew their toons very well, and damn was it so good to feel that rush of synergy in a group again. On regular servers it’s a laugh, aggro it all and kill. I couldn’t have asked for a better nostalgic return to the glory of that game.

However unfortunately it also made me realize just how done i am with that game, when it runs as it was designed to as in the FG server, it’s at it’s best, but as much as i miss those days, reliving them has made me aware that I’m not that into it anymore. I love SWL, ESO and can really appreciate modern changes so much more.

I always envied those players that can stick with an mmo for so long, through thick and thin, good and the bad, they are the real hard core players. Judging with my return to FG, well, you would have thought EQ2 was the only mmo running, it was so packed and alive, and chat was full of so many vets, DB would be crazy not to make an EQ3.

Dunno for me it was really cool to see how many truly dedicated players that game has.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Rottenrotny

Hit level 26 last night and I’m enjoying it.
I do agree that they didn’t change much as to warrant a re-release.
I find the F2P cash shop distasteful though. The argatha crates etc.

Reader

I’ve been trying this game again and still it just doesn’t click. I hit level 10 today and the combat is still lack luster. Jagged, sloppy, repetitive animations. Also entirely to easy. I am mowing down groups of 10+ mobs that are the same level as I am. Without any fear to my well being and I am just smashing the same button over and over again.

Maybe its the setting and story that grabs people, but once again. I am just not feeling it. I will endevour to push ahead and get to at least 20 before I give it my final judgemet.

I am done for today though. I hit up the Secret World Legends Reddit to ask about the Patron bonuses and what they do. All I got was spiteful comments and disdain. Great community.

Weilan
Reader
Weilan

I can’t say the combat is anything special, originally I was concerned that the 21st century setting might make me leave the game prematurely, but I approached everything with patience and understanding and the story with the cutscenes and all really got me hooked, I chose Assassin, because I usually play a swordsman in most MMOs (aside from Vanilla WoW where I only play hunter), the though of using a sword in the 21st century is kinda cheesy, but I’d rather ignore RP and enjoy the kind of class I like.

All in all I only see myself playing one character as Dragon and seeing the story once, when I reach the level cap and finish all the story, I will stop and wait for a new story content to come back. It’s not this game, I’m just tired of MMOs, but this one is too good to miss out on.

Reader
serenityinaz12

I guess if you’ve already done all this content it wouldn’t be as enticing as someone new like myself. I disagree highly with this article stating that there is nothing to grab a new player until you leave Kingsmouth. A few investigation missions alone was enough to grab me. Liking it a lot this game.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Paul Hurtado

I think the bottom line here is, if you were a fan of TSW before, and could overlook it’s warts, then you’ll probably be a fan of Legends. The only question that you have to ask yourself then is if you’re willing to run through the content again… Honestly the only thing that has changed in any significant way is the combat, and I don’t necessarily know if I’d call it an improvement.

For myself, I’m in…

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Jeffrey Meade

I was playing this evening. Overall Ive always like The Secret World, but Legends doesn’t feel different enough for me to want to play through the same content all over again. I am willing to give it a shot, but I don’t see this new launch being very successful without a decent amount of actual new content that comes sometime soon.

hurbster
Reader
hurbster

Relogged today and i now have 3 character slots, nice.

Reader
Bryan H

Are there details on what exactly is transferred when using legacy transfer?

How are item store points handled?
Have quite a few accrued from sub this year.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Josh Whipkey

One HUGE issue is – as a returning player, who played the original game to “completion” – I KNOW parts of the game that I HATED but ultimately got past to spend more time playing parts that I enjoyed.

A lot of what I hated was the stuff required by the main story quest. I am not looking forward to doing ANY stealth quests for example – they are awful.

The attraction of this game was it’s backdrops and story. Best lore of any game…ever.

The parts that sucked before:

1. Combat
2. “Sabotage” Missions
3. Dungeons
4. Skill Grind

Guess what – THEY STILL SUCK!

Not sure what the point of this “upgrade” was.

Reader
AvelWorldCreator

I love the stealth quests. :p
Only skill grind is a pain, but that’s common to a lot of games. The combat did need some work though. It was inconsistent in some places I think, but that might be just how I’ve built my current character.

Reader
Malcolm Swoboda

Huh, I kinda like Sabotage (I think they made main story Sabotage easier, even past Kingsmouth? Maybe), and I love the dungeons. Skill grind is whatever.

Reader
Caec the Warrior

I’m confused as to the point of this reboot. Is there any actual new content? If not…then why not just keep the current game, make it F2P, and patch in the combat changes?

If you’re someone who finished the story ages ago…all this reboot does is make you play through it all again?

#confused

Coolit
Reader
Coolit

Something that has crossed my mind is that by making a new game they are able to get around the legalities and make everyone pay $ as they no longer have GM’s sitting there getting game currency every month.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Ailsa Nordstrom

There were dramatic changes to active/passive skills, talisman & weapon upgrades, and currencies in addition to the combat changes. I’m sure they investigated the feasibility of making the changes to TSW before making the decision to do this relaunch. When I first heard what they were planning I wasn’t happy. But now that I’ve given SWL a chance I am enjoying it!

apridise
Reader
apridise

I think these are things that could have been done to the main game, by launching a second that is close enough to be a clone you end up splitting the community and usually one of the games ends up dying anyways.

Reader
Russell Hunt

Typically enjoy your reviews but this one is fail. You should spend much, much more time in the game before coming to conclusions as you have here.

Reader
Frank White

I’ll return to the game when and if there’s some substantial content added: more stories, more dungeons, bigger and more content-rich hub cities, etc. Until then, I’m afraid some changed mechanics aren’t going to be enough to lure me back.

Reader
Wendigo Runner

I can’t sign in. :-/ I’ve reset my password but even the password that THEY send me doesn’t work. Funcom pls. FailFish

funcompls.png
Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

Interesting, I had no problems. I decided to download the game last night while I slept and do the legacy transfer just to cover my ass incase I did decide to later play. This way I could keep my names saved and get the cosmetics transferred over within their deadline.

Anyhow, started up the SWL, signed in with my TSW info, no problems. Noted I had one character slot (blank) and decided I’d better check out the account info. It had me as a non subscriber. So I logged out, went to the Funcom page and signed in and found the Legacy transfer area under my account and did the transfer.

Checked out the SWL information and it now had me marked as a Lifetime Patron. Unfortunately when you click on the name reservation button to “go” there is nothing in the next panel to fill out though it instructs you to. lol. See the two pictures below.

Not sure why a PW reset didn’t work or for that matter why your TSW PW didn’t work. :( Unfortunately this is pretty normal business as usual Funcom. They tend be rather fubar’d as a standard operating routine. G’luck on getting your issues corrected. I think it might take them a while to respond if you open a ticket. I’m basing this on past new game opening experiences that they’ve done.

Postscript edit: Nice work Funcom, you’ve made it so I can’t access The Secret World now that I downloaded and accessed SWL. Wow. Can’t log into TSW to view my characters. So typical. SNAFU = Funcom

TSW character save area blank.JPG
TSW Account info.JPG
Reader
Wendigo Runner

The same thing was happening on the main TSW website as well. Took around 8 attempts for them to send me a password that worked. O_o no idea if I can get into the Legends website yet. edit: Nope.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

Ugh. :(

Reader
Wendigo Runner

First world problems, I suppose. Ugh indeed. Looks like I won’t be getting into Legends. Thanks for the response though. o/

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

Heh, thanks for the chuckle with “first world problems”. Soo true. heh. Have a good one.

Reader
Buchi Buci

This just reminded me why i left in the first place.
Back to ESO or FFXIV i guess.

Reader
Koshelkin

I’m having so much fun with it. <.<

xpsync
Reader
xpsync

Agreed! Kudos Funcom!
I’m a little surprised at how hooked i am tbh. I haven’t had a decent combo since SWG and EQ2 (early years obviously).
Wresting between SWL and ESO and loving every minute of it, hitting SWL pretty hard atm for sure.
Take note other mmo’s like EQ2, revamp to more modern concepts, i know this wont be popular with some peeps but streamline isn’t a bad thing nowadays. SWL makes so much more f’ing sense now, yea i liked it before, but now i love it, i think I’m going to finally make it past Blue Mountain, always burned out there.
LoL two subs running again!

Reader
Sleepy

Me too, really enjoying it.

hurbster
Reader
hurbster

I guess I thought this ‘reboot’ would be more different than what we got. The engine looks no better, the NPC’s look worse next to your avatar, you can’t even interact with the NPC’s in hubs any more, you used to be able to click on them and get a comment.

I was expecting more changes to be honest. And I have to go through the amazing city of the suck god again.

Also, using the Q key in reticule combat is just awkward.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
wild-abyss

Q key, omg yes. First thing I re-mapped.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

Agreed. Hitting the “Q” key accidently which I do often would drive me nuts. Re-mapping is a must.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Blaaznar

If they continue improving the game with the same pace as during the beta – they have a chance.
If not they are doomed.

Reader
Malcolm Swoboda

Have to agree there. If there’s substantial updates every 1-2 months (returning old stuff better, but also new stuff), through rest of 2017, with hope present for 2018, then sure.

Reader
Jiro

Huge disappointment. I found nothing enjoyable in Secret World Legends.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

Egad man, your avatar is disturbing! Well done! Not surprised that you’re finding SWL a huge disappointment. It’s clear it’s just taking the quests, stories, factions and porting them over to another game engine and tweaking the combat mechanics a bit. :(

tommyinthewell
Reader
tommyinthewell

Correction: not even a different engine. They just slightly improved some aspects of the original engine, but it’s still woefully poor.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

lol! I’d swear that I read that they were going to use the Unreal Engine or something instead of the Dreamworld because it was too clunky anymore. Maybe I’m confusing it with the new Conan?

tommyinthewell
Reader
tommyinthewell

I wish they’d used U4. Unfortunately it’s likely they didn’t have the funds to keep the studio afloat through a full engine switch.

hurbster
Reader
hurbster

And why do I have to start as one of the archetypes ? Why can’t I choose blade/chaos from the start ?

Reader
Brown Jenkin

Gotta say this is super-sad to read. While I still plan to play SWL and hope to enjoy it at least somewher, my biggest worry was that the combat system wouldn’t be substantially improved. All of the complaints highlighted here were things I recognized as garbage even back when TSW first released. I understand it may have been unrealistic to expect, given the constraints of the engine (isn’t that what folks say? I have no idea) or something like that, but putting effort into revamping this game without improving combat animations and play just seems like a massive missed opportunity.

When the first videos started coming out, I remember thinking “…this is not action combat” sad to see I wasn’t mistaken.

hurbster
Reader
hurbster

mmmm, the NPC’s do not look great. And I have to admit I miss the old combat.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
wild-abyss

So you know how in TSW you would collect a piece of lore and it would hover as an icon on your screen so you could access it quickly and read it? Is that just gone now? Do I really have to unlock the mouse and go to Achievements/Legends and read it there? Because I don’t like that. >.>

hurbster
Reader
hurbster

Think you can just press l to get to the lore menu, not nearly as convenient though.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
wild-abyss

When I do that, it only brings up the last lore or achievement entry I looked at, not the one I just got. Is that how it was in beta? I can’t FIND whatever I just collected or earned without getting somewhere safe and going through the catalogue. I feel like I’m missing out on an essential part of Secret World.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

Combat still sucks :( Also kind of annoyed then when I bought Secret World I had 3 character slots, they give me free secret world legends and now I have 1… kind of shi**y, those who bought the game should have access to a least what they had before.

Meh, kind of moot anyway with the combat still being god awful its not likely to get played again.

styopa
Reader
styopa

Curiously, I just tried to launch TSW (old one) and it updated the old launcher…then kicked into the SWL launcher and continued my download. WTF?

Digging into my file directory, from what I can see, SWL has installed to the (custom) directory I told it to….AAAND installed itself to program files (x86) Secret World directory where TSW was installed. My TSW exe’s and data do NOT seem to be there any more?

Hm.

flatline4400
Reader
flatline4400

Same thing here. I had installed the launcher for TSWL elsewhere, then decided to pause the patcher to log back into TSW classic and make sure I had everything claimed and whatnot there. Loaded up the TSW patcher, and without so much as a by-your-leave, it downloaded the TSWL patcher and overwrote the original TSW files, and patched those over to TSWL. Now my original TSW client is hosed and I can no longer access that game.

I thought they weren’t closing it down? It’s effectively gone for me now, anyways. Not a great start.

styopa
Reader
styopa

If you go to funcom, your TSW account page, there’s still a ‘download’ button on the page….so at least for the moment it seems you can still download it.
The point, I think, is not to run the patcher (which is what the default game-launch icon does) but the tsw exe directly. Not like there’s ever going to be a patch again.
I hope that would work?

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

Crap, just ran into the same thing. I can’t start up TSW to go log in and check on my character names. So that I could create them in SWL since SWL didn’t port them over. :( Funcom, so typical.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

“I think the biggest thing that returning players will notice is that very little has changed. Sure, there have been quality-of-life changes, and a lot of small things have been moved around. ”
-Larry Everett

Right, why would be want to come over to play an mmo that’s basically small tweaks to the same content that we’ve already done with characters we’ve already spent a lot of time on improving? We wouldn’t.

Good write up Larry.

Reader
IgnisGray

I wish I could like TSW more, but I just don’t. I’m a combat guy, and the combat in TSW is just abysmal. It’s not fun — nothing you do ever feels satisfying.

Some developers really grasp the whole concept of combat satisfaction being a result of audio-visual design. And some devs really, really don’t.

FFXIV combat is this weird limbo where the animations are great but the sound is all treble and no bass. Your characters’ flips and kicks are fluid and graceful, but the actual sound effects are harsh, biting, and grating. Whoever works at Square Enix shoved the higher frequencies up to max and forgot about the others.

Reader
Koshelkin

Never played a recent MMO with worse combat than FFXIV. That 2min gcd takes any fluidity out of combat and except for bossfights it’s terribly static. Cool animations and effects but the rest of the system drags it down.

As a developer I’d take it as an insult if FFXIV’s combat would be cited as superior. That’s like the lowest grade mark one can give for MMO combat.

tommyinthewell
Reader
tommyinthewell

And then you play SWL…

Minimalistway
Reader
Minimalistway

The only reason i stopped playing TSW was my computer, or the game itself performance, it makes my computer heat up like no other game, so SWL changed the business model and the combat system, i hope they upgraded the graphic system, i have a good gaming laptop, it should not sound like jet engine when i play the game, other games don’t do that.

I’ll wait few days before downloading the game, i think people are rushing now, better to wait :-)

Reader
Malcolm Swoboda

SWL runs significantly (though not perfectly) better for me now. Still room for improvement and some are still having issues. My biggest problem is putting on/forcing in V-sync. Come on Funcom!

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

Sounds like you have an AMD/ATI gpu. A lot of folks were having issues with that around the time of the launch. I had issues with that with a higher end system, replaced the AMD gpu with a Nvidia gpu and that particular issue vanished.

Line
Reader
Line

As a player from one beta to another… it’s better.
For one, I just hated the combat in TSW, along other elements like the progression which was just crap – no levels but spend your skill points for the right to equip better gear? Yeah that can fuck off.
Now it’s a much more common MMO… but at least it kept the good parts, the puzzles and exploration are still great, much better if you’re interested in hunting rare monsters (which are nolonger on days long timers).

There are some differences in gameplay, the sound design is quite a bit better for some weapons (kinda less so for others). By changing the early skills and having more interesting abilities instead of builder>spender, every weapon does feel a bit more complete and the unlocks are quite a bit more meaningful. You clearly know what’s “good” for single target or AoE, survival or control.
Less skills yes, but less duplicates and straight upgrades is not really a bad thing.

However the biggest change I only realized by literally seeing the two side by side:
The targeting is not complete shit in SWL. Because yes, it is simply awful in TSW. Not only are hitboxes shoddy and gigantic (very helpful for your mouse…), but even the holy tab key just doesn’t quite work. The game never really knows if you want to target this enemy or that other one, and it shows. I tried fighting a few packs in TSW, and it’s a big joke how unreliable and unresponsive everything is.
In SWL, it works more or less. Certainly not action combat, but you have your reticle on a mob, you can hit it. And you can hit the ones near it too. The gameplay not shitting itself every five seconds is a big deal.

Now the game has issues. I’m sure that the gear system will just be super boring themepark as usual.
And it’s ugly.
But now that the solo gameplay is actually playable and not a constant struggle, it’s a game. You can play games. TSW was a broken prototype.

Reader
Malcolm Swoboda

By ugly do you just mean player models and ability effects? If so, I may kinda agree. If you mean enemies and zones, In violently (lol) disagree. I LOVE the zones and enemies, its beautiful and semi-timeless to me. I want more more more.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

The good parts that you’ve already done. They’ve tweaked the mechanics, changed to a newer engine and that’s it. Oh and you get the bonus of the character(s) that you’ve already worked on being tossed to the side for the chance to repeat that same game material.

To me it’s like those procedurals on TV. Once you’ve seen one NCI or Law and Order you’ve seen them all, it’s the same stuff repeated with a different cast. This is what Funcom’s done, they’re simply moved the same material over to a new game engine and gave it some simplification tweaks and RNG. :(

Line
Reader
Line

Thing is, I never got very far in TSW (I reached Egypt years ago and never managed to come back).
So I do have plenty to do, including all the DLC, with an improved experience.

And I’m pretty that’s what they targeting for: new and lapsed players looking for an adventure game.
I do intend to play for a while at least, and I have friends that are interested in a F2P game where we can play together too.

If you’re a veteran, I certainly can see why you would not be too happy.
But frankly, that’s the last chance for the game to make some money and continue making new content that you may play later… it’s already a miracle that it’s getting a second chance.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Tobasco da Gama

but at least it kept the good parts, the puzzles and exploration are still great

In fact! Investigation missions now take up a separate slot than Main/Sabotage missions, which is fantastic. Not being blocked from progressing other stuff while working on an Investigation will help stave off the urge to consult Unfair.co a little bit longer. ;P

MJ Guthrie
Staff
MJ Guthrie

This was seriously one of my favorite changes!! =D

Reader
life_isnt_just_dank_memes

thanks larry. we feel almost identically about this game. i understand the draw for some players, but the issues i have with the game are too much for the parts i like to overshadow them.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
ogged451

My take on SWL :
– horrible UI, the constant switching between mouse look and cursor is distracting
– combat pace is just about the same, but I think TTK might be slightly longer (hurray for “action” combat, eh ?)
– the reticle. it’s ok for me, but kiting never looked worse.
– the combat paradigm “use energy and wait for it to automagically refill” instead of !build & consume” – meh, not my thing. I didn’t find a good rhythm for it in four weeks of playing the beta.
– itemization feels horrible. for years, the TSW players complained about “too much RNG” for things like golem events and the bags and now randomness oozes in every aspect of your items, especially the quality and the properties you want. Also, the combining is a mega-grind unless you pay for lockbox keys or other leveling shortcuts.
– progression. gated by 10k MoF/day and 68h mission cooldowns if you’re a F2P player. I couldn’t enjoy that. Subscription feels mandatory
– business model. screw you Funcom. You want to double dip as much as possible (sub & direct purchases) and your greed shows.

So, after 5 years of playing TSW I’m giving SWL a pass. I’m even not going to bother to link the accounts and do this TIME LIMITED transfer. Once TSW shuts down, bye bye Funcom.

Reader
John Mynard

Their “greed” is based in attempting to remain viable as a company. It’s self preservation. And just because the particular item you want costs more than you are willing to pay for it doesn’t make them greedy. People deserve to get paid for their work.

hurbster
Reader
hurbster

Thought I’d already paid them buy purchasing The Secret World and it’s dlcs.

Reader
Malcolm Swoboda

And they’re still working.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

Horrible UI “is” the standard of Funcom, they’ve always been terrible with those and it continues in SWL. Anyhow just wanted to point that out, same bugs usually to with the UI. lol. Agree with your other points as well.

Reader
Malcolm Swoboda

The design of TSW UI I actually really like. I get a little confused at the hate it gets sometimes.

The bugs of it, however, yeah….

Reader
Jeremy

Delay Delay. Bad preparation, bad planning. That’s the Funcom we all know and love. Remember guys, you never get a 3rd chance to make a 2nd impression!…?

Reader
Castagere Shaikura

pushed back to 4 pm est now.

Reader
Travis Beaty

*watches as his launcher download speed tanks and spanks spikes* Going between 5 and 17 hours, so we’ll call it 11 hours to go.

Reader
Tithian

Download speed will tank when there are literally thousands of tiny files for download. And then it will spike back up for larger files.

Why this happens, your guess is as good as mine.

Reader

Strange. I am currently humming along at almost 2MB/s.

Reader
Denice J. Cook

I’m at 146kb per second, with 100/100 FIOS. ;) Just sayin’.

Oh well, I don’t get home from work til late tonight anyway. I’ll leave my PC on for the duration and check back then.

Reader
Travis Beaty

I’ve got up as high as 5MB/s on occasion. And down to near a dead stop. It is really all over the place at the moment. Did some checking, and I really don’t think it’s on my end. *shrug* Not upset or anything, just thought it was sort of amusing is all. :D

Reader
Matthew Yetter

My own speed has bounced between a peak of almost 2.5 MB/s and a protracted low of less than 5 KB/s. I even saw points of 0.5 KB/s. Horrible! A few minutes ago I switched to the minimum download and have consistently run in the 1+ MB/s range. But I’m really not holding out much hope that I’ll get to even log in before I leave for a weekend trip.

Reader
Travis Beaty

Well hell. I made the mistake of re-starting the launcher. Now stuck at “Downloading Patch Information …”

Reader

Strange. Wonder how many patching servers they have and where they are located? Is it using peer to peer tech?

64a80769311b60d9e662cdde5cfb26d5.png
Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

Per my past experiences with AoC and TSW, not enough. They always fall drastically short on servers they need to do this part of a launch. :( They always act surprised too.

Reader
Tithian

If they had gone with pure Exiles-esque combat the veterans would be rightfully raging. Wasting a grenade or a proc, or even a heal, on an ability fired at the ground, would cause most people to say “fuck this shit”.

The combat, for those wondering, has changed significantly, just not drastically. Think
Elder Scrolls Online , and you’ll get how combat plays out. If this is good or bad, that’s for you to decide.

tommyinthewell
Reader
tommyinthewell

It’s like ESO if all of the weight was deflated.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Tobasco da Gama

ESO is an extremely close comparison, I think.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

So… we are left with a “New and Improved” sticker on the box of detergent, and that’s basically it?

giphy.gif
Reader
Hirku

Unlike the detergent, there actually is some improvement. Just not as much as you want or expect.

Reader
Malcolm Swoboda

Bingo, Hirku. I’d say it turned a 3/5 situation for me (as in the parts I love I really love but it was held back by the crap) turn into a 4/5 situation (held back more by datedness, lack of content release flow, and not reaching for the quality of changes that I think should really happen).

Its enough for me to return and play, that’s for sure. Beyond this summer, year? Dunno.

Reader
Hirku

As a vet who liked TSW just the way it was, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the SWL beta. So I guess that means this game is screwed, but I’ll play it anyway even if it’s just a farewell tour.

Reader
Malcolm Swoboda

I want them to have cash influx and get through the old content this year and release a (smaller?) zone by end of year and another zone next year and console version 2018-2019 and continue into an conclude Chapter 2 story in 2020+ as things head into a Chapter 3/sequel.

Yes, I really do want that (console).

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Tobasco da Gama

I feel overall more positively than you do, I think, but nonetheless this seems like a pretty fair assessment.

Perhaps because I spent more time playing TSW, the weapon changes really stand out to me a lot more. There is a LOT more variation in builds and rotations now than there ever was in TSW. Combat is also over a lot quicker, at least in Kingsmouth, so the overall impression I got is that there’s just less stuff in the way of you and the story parts and what is there plays a lot smoother.

Reader
Malcolm Swoboda

Agreed with all of this. And this combat I can actually imagine grinding endgame with (only stopped at Elites and pre-Tokyo Issue DLC in TSW).

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

So, for anyone here who’s had a chance to log in or was in the beta (not that the NDA is dropped)…any word on the details of sub/GM rewards? Still curious about that and haven’t been able to turn anything up : (

I think the biggest thing that returning players will notice is that very little has changed.

This is both kinda a damning admission of how little work went into meaningful improvements over TSW despite promises from Funcom, and a good thing in that most vets didn’t want too much to change. I’m really hoping I wont’ fall into the category of being turned off by the lack of changes, especially considering it’s been years since I played through the first like, 3/4ths of the game (and only did so once).

After months of excitement (and this week of disappointment), I’m really hoping this doesn’t end up being a disappointment. If it is I’ll be quite sad, but at the same time it will sure as hell free up a lot of my time for other games/projects and more or less seal the deal in terms of my continued financial support of Funcom. I’ve been happy to throw money at them for TSW and some of their quirky projects like The Park, but if they screw this up it’s going to be hard to justify spending more money supporting their games.

Reader
Malcolm Swoboda

I would not use the words ‘very little’, personally. I’d use the word ‘some’. Like TSW attempted a ‘NGE’ but just in case of audience reception, they separated the client. A ‘NGE’ isn’t a remake, a new game, or even exactly worthy of a X.0 code, but its substantial and affecting, yet potentially divisive.

I’d have wished for more for a thing like this, but not that much more. Yes, animations, etc.

I’m liking it more. I think Funcom should do even more to make it up to vet players.

Reader
Geoffrey Smith

-> http://massivelyop.com/2017/06/23/secret-world-legends-headstart-launches-today/#comment-434480 <-

Here you go, I posted this over on the head start thread as to how the Patron status looked in beta.

And for the record, I disagree with the idea that very little has changed. Sure, it is the same art, graphics, and storyline, but those things were all positives for TSW I would argue. The actual gameplay itself feels quite different.

(Edited by mod, trying to make the link go just to your comment.)

Reader
Geoffrey Smith

I am not really sure I follow what you are saying about the combat, especially in that last paragraph in the new players section.

I mean, yes, you can’t just like… shoot into the ground with a button press, you do need a target to use skills, but you are still targeting directly with the mouse, and this changes combat feel dramatically from what it was.

The problem with combat in TSW wasn’t just the tab targeting, it was also a matter of how the combat functioned. It had a lot of superfluous abilities that were not needed, relied on some weird mechanics (the hinder and weakened stuff for example), and changed mid stream with the AEGIS system. All of those were improved in my time in SWL.

I will certainly agree though that I would prefer to have changes to combat animations. I HATE the sword combat stance with an undying passion.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

I mean, yes, you can’t just like… shoot into the ground with a button press, you do need a target to use skills, but you are still targeting directly with the mouse, and this changes combat feel dramatically from what it was.

Is it really that much different than the free-aim combat option from TSW? Because I always felt that was a largely pointless “cosmetic” option, as it provided no meaningful difference in the combat experience compared to tab-target in terms of combat mechanics.

Reader
Geoffrey Smith

I never used that option in TSW, so I can’t compare it. But I can say that it felt very smooth in the beta.

Part of what really changed combat for me was that they also really revamped abilities. AoE is now a common component in all of the weapons, so you are never really forced into specific types in the early parts.

I would really recommend just trying it out. I found combat to be a far more streamlined process in SWL.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Oh, I plan on it. I’m just trying to make sure my expectations are set going in so I’m not expecting too much and come out underwhelmed.

Reader
Hirku

I already have, I was in the last beta phase. Functionally they felt the same (good thing), but SWL’s looks better and less intrusive (at least after FC gave us options to replace the awful “big circle floating over your head” default).

Reader
Hirku

For me it made the difference between quitting the game in the first week and playing for 3+ years. Not cosmetic at all.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
thickenergy

“…bed and butter.”

Kinky, Larry. So kinky.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
BalsBigBrother

Thank you for your article it was an interesting view point. Kind of hard for me to comment any more than that until I have tried things out for myself. Depending on how that does it may be sometime before I come up for air all being well :-)

rakkbot
Reader
rakkbot

I would like to see a follow up to this article with perspectives from the FC side. It seems to me that some of the issues raised here were addressed in the devstreams already. They mentioned updating the animations once Legends was up and running. They’ve also said going into it that they weren’t entirely reinventing the wheel on the front end but rather integrating the issues into the main story and the roadmap for seasons 2 and 3 would come later post-relaunch.

Reader
Travis Beaty

I think you meant Kingsmouth, not Portsmouth.

BitKicker
Reader
BitKicker

Or was it Innsmouth? :)

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
BalsBigBrother

Also “bed and butter” = “bread and butter” in the paragraph under Returning Players, unless you really do butter your bed which is entirely up to you but EWWWWW! :p

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

I don’t know, that sounds like Paula Deans dream.

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

Oh crap! The red tide is in both towns now?

I …. I think I hear music….someone singing…. I should….follow….

wpDiscuz