romain amiel

Chaos Theory: A changing of the guard in the Secret World Legends

As a fan of the wonderful world that Secret World brought us, do you cringe or grin with excitement when Secret World Legends news pops up? Do you waffle between tell me more and no news is good news? I’ve been on both sides. Who can blame us? We’ve weathered everything from financial woes and the corresponding closure concerns to a complete reboot. And now, we’re experiencing yet another changing of the guard. The Creative Director position that has migrated from Ragnar Tornquist to Joel Bylos to Romain Amiel has been vacated, and a new lead designer is taking over; Amiel left Funcom last month to pursue different endeavors, leaving Chris “Nirvelle” Meredith in charge.

You can’t have a big change like this without people worrying that something will happen to their favorite conspiracy-laden game; it’s inevitable, like the sass of Kirsten Geary. The big question is, will this latest development in the structure of developers ultimately fall on the fear or cheer side of the fence? Will the recent momentum be lost? Is this just one step on the continued track of new content, or will the train be totally derailed?

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Romain ‘Tilty’ Amiel departs Funcom and Secret World Legends

Secret World Legends players are in for a shock: Game Director Romain Amiel is moving on from Funcom. MMO vets will recall he’s been a fixture at the studio for 11 years, but he says he’s “decided to follow up on other opportunities.”

“My top priorities over the last few months [were] always to ensure the proper release and quality of Dawn of the Morninglight,” he tells players, referring to the SWL story update that just launched. “It seems that you’ve all been enjoying the new content (even if it felt a bit short… I know!). […] I’m proud to say that we’ve pushed the boundaries of what the MMO genre has done in terms of story-telling and immersion (rainbow unicorn masks aside maybe?).”

No need to panic, however: Chris “Nirvelle” Meredith will be taking over the helm of Secret World, Tilty says. Coincidentally, MOP’s MJ Guthrie will be streaming the game tonight on OPTV at 9 p.m. EDT, so you can join her in freaking out then and there.

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Secret World Legends patron benefits revealed

Folks have been waiting a while for the lowdown on the Secret World Legends patron benefits, and Creative Director Romain Amiel just shared some tidbits with us. The benefits for subscribing to the reboot include some items The Secret World players are familiar with (bonuses to earning currency, free anima leaps, reduced mission cool down timers, and bonus XP) as well as some new additions that are specific to SWL (increased healing potion capacity, free auction house delivery, the ability to trade directly other patrons, a free daily cache key, and daily bonus keys for dungeons, scenarios, and lairs). There’s also a 50% discount for buying healing potions.

For those who purchased the Grandmaster lifetime account, that will guarantee that you’ll be a patron for life in SWL. However, there will be no way for any players — new or old — to purchase this going forward. As for the price on patron, we don’t have particulars yet, but we’ll share those details as soon as we get them.

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Massively OP Exclusive: Hard questions about Secret World Legends

Now that the official countdown is on leading to Secret World Legends’ launch date, questions about this reboot of The Secret World seem more relevant than ever. Massively OP sat down with Romain Amiel and Scott Junior to ask them several point-blank questions about the transition and the studio’s decisions behind the whole process.

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The Secret World tie in to Hide and Shriek confirmed cosmetic only

Although The Secret World fans were hoping for even more details about the upcoming Halloween event, Game Directer Romain Amiel did offer up one very welcome bit of news; that the reward item that TSW players will get for purchasing Hide and Shriek will definitely be a cosmetic item. Amiel noted that the team learned its lesson from the Woodcutters best-in-slot necklace from last year’s The Park. Additionally, he revealed that the tie in will go both ways: TSW players will have something to help them when playine Hide and Shriek.

As for the 2016 Samhain event, Amiel said that it will have big monsters, brand-new rewards just for the holiday, and it will be investigation based. “Big investigations,” he said. “Think community-wide.” It will be “Easter eggs within Easter eggs within Easter eggs,” with many things to figure out and many paths to follow.

In other teasing, Community Manager Andy Benditt also showed off a small Draug Lord statue and told the audience that TSW had merchandise incoming that players could collect. He also revealed that the official site is price-matching Bundle Star’s sale price of 66% off for The Secret World right now. Unlike Steam or any other site, however, Funcom offers the complete edition, which contains the entire game and all issues. That means you get all the way through Issue #15 for just $23.79, just in time for the Halloween event! Additionally, the games purchased from the official site are not region locked like those on Steam.


Chaos Theory: Hide and Shriek in The Park of The Secret World

October is finally here. That means Halloween is this month! I can’t even describe how excited that makes me. I know I’m not alone in having been waiting with bated breath for any word about The Secret World’s Samhain holiday event. So when Romain “Titly” Amiel, game director, started teasing chunks of an image, many of us thought it would an announcement about the best Halloween celebration ever. It turns out it wasn’t, but maybe it was. The announcement is related to TSW. However, it might also be a tease for what will actually await us in TSW as well. It’s all about a new Secret World spin-off game.

Can Funcom’s upcoming Halloween title Hide and Shriek top last year’s The Park? Does it even need to? And what will it have to do with The Secret World? If these questions are floating around in your head, you’ve come to the right place for answers. They are:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Good stuff

OK, so maybe you’d like a few more details than that. Can do! Of course, we mainly have speculation at the point, but following the path that the past has laid out brings us to these very answers.

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The Secret World’s seasons two and three are ‘completely written’

In a new interviewFuncom Game Director Romain Amiel said that while the devs are in the middle of development for Season 2 for The Secret World, it’s going to take some time to do things right with a smaller team.

“We are evaluating which things need to be done so we can create Season 2 in the best way possible,” Amiel said. “Season 2 is already completely written. The next as well. There are a lot of projects for the future of TSW. But we have this unique chance to be in between two seasons and we want to use it at the maximum to give ourselves a chance to have a good future for the game and to make the next seasons as great as Season 1.”

Amiel spent a portion of the interview looking at how the team structured past releases and what it learned from the successes and mistakes of those. He also reiterated his dream of player housing, which is only a design at this point: “I’d love to implement a real housing system where players could really have their own space to personalize by changing the color of the walls, placing furniture, an entrance to the sewer to a secret lair, etc.”

Source: Jeux Online via Holosuitemedia. Thanks Crow!


Chaos Theory: Happy handstands for Funcom’s funding

Things are looking up! I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly feeling more relief– and not just a little extra excitement — when I consider the future. Even though I have always had an optimistic outlook for The Secret World, there was no denying those clouds of troubles that would creep in and try to overshadow things. A bit of uncertainty would tug at me here and there as I pondered the fate of my favorite game. The one cloud that tried its darndest to encroach on my hopes was the whole financial troubles ordeal at Funcom. So I can’t even express how happy I was to hear that the studio secured some major funding! (I might or might not have flipped a few happy handstands in celebration! No, there’s no video.) I see the game flourishing in the months ahead. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be some misses, but I truly think the future’s so bright, I’ve gotta wear shades.

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Chaos Theory: An exclusive look at The Secret World’s Museum of the Occult opening June 15

When Game Director Romain Amiel first revealed the Museum of the Occult for The Secret World, you better believe I was excited. I wanted mounts, and the game gave me mounts; I wanted housing, and now the game is giving me housing of sorts on June 15th. Now it may not quite be the typical idea of housing, but when is anything this game does typical? In true TSW style, both of these systems have a unique twist that is fitting for the world, and I am pretty happy with the results. With the museum, I get a personal space I can hang out in, decorate and personalize, and share with friends — and it keeps in the theme of the game. What more could I want? Well… how about a personal tour before the doors open to the public?

I was given my own set of (temporary) keys to check out the museum in person with Amiel and Community Manager Andy Benditt. I heard more about this fantastic feature while I poked around, opened doors to new wings, built a centerpiece, visited the gift shop, and reveled in the atmosphere. I seriously can’t wait for this to go live and move myself in permanently!

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Chaos Theory: Tomb-raiding The Secret World’s Issue #14 with Funcom

Remember that Indiana Jones-inspired outfit from The Secret World’s Issue #6? Today is a great day to dust it off and slip it on because Issue #14’s release returns us to the tomb-raiding life, complete with temples and doom!

Called Call of the Nameless, this newest adventure not only returns to Egypt but returns to the epic self-contained story line style found in Issues #5 through 7. There is little argument that those issues are some of the best storytelling in TSW and encapsulate the heart of the game, and it is precisely this that Game Director Romain Amiel wanted to return to.

So how does Call of the Nameless measure up to to the likes of The Vanishing of Tyler Freeborn? Is it dark? Oh, yes — it is quite literally dark. Does it have story? Yes — it even has a literal story. Although I haven’t experienced the full thing (that’s saved for my OPTV stream series starting tonight at 9:00 p.m. EDT!), I did get a decent taste of the story, the atmosphere, and the mechanics during yesterday’s tour with Amiel and Community Manager Andy Benditt. And yes, I am hungry for more. Read on for my impressions of Issue #14 before it launches today, sans significant spoilers.

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The Secret World’s new membership rewards launch tomorrow

Game Director Romain “Tilty” Amiel has just informed MassivelyOP that The Secret World’s new membership reward system will be launching tomorrow, February 9th. That means that subscribed players will receive their reward goodies depending on which tier of membership they’ve paid for, from 30 days all the way to Grand Master. Those who are still debating on whether or not they want to purchase the GM pack (and get all the goodies up to the one year tier delivered immediately) have only until tomorrow to decide before the pack disappears forever.

Amiel also announced that the Valentine’s Day item store update will also launch at the same time, so if you are in the mood for love — or you just want that dance that you missed last year — you’ll have that chance.

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The Secret World increases membership rewards

Today’s Streaming Ones dev livestream announced a big change coming to The Secret World’s membership benefits in February. Game Director Romain “Tilty” Amiel emphasized that it’s all about making membership a better value. To that end, the team developed a two-prong reward system. First, subscribers will enjoy a host of special bonuses that will last for as long as the membership is active. These include an XP bonus, 50% more Black Bullion (rounded up), significantly lower cool-down timers (on all raids, dungeons, and missions), and free anima well travel. That is all added on top of the existing item store discounts, bonus points, and token cap increase.

The second change involves an overhaul of the loyalty program. Instead of Items of the Month that players can get only if subscribed that particular month and veteran points, the system rewards will now be based on the culmination of membership time. Special rewards will be given at certain intervals of time:

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Chaos Theory: Figuring out The Secret World in 2016

Behind you, it’s totally dark and the way has closed off. There’s simply no going back. Up ahead, everything is in shadows. You creep forward. If only you could see what’s up around the corner; if only you knew what was there, awaiting The Secret World in 2016.

If the answer as to what to expect were as easy and obvious as poking your head around a corner, it wouldn’t be The Secret World, now would it? In a game steeped in mystery, discovery, and revelations, answers are never just handed to you. Knowing exactly what is going to happen in the next 12 months is about as likely as making it through The Cost of Magic perfectly the very first time. But we do have clues! And those clues point us in certain directions. It’s just a matter of piecing them together and solving them. And that, my friends, is very Secret World-y
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