With all of the discussion and controversy over MMO lockboxes as of late (you might have seen something), one thing we haven’t talked about much is the actual prizes inside of them. It’s pretty common knowledge that most of the time, you’re going to get really cruddy and disposable rewards (but you’ll be haunted by the possibility of something better, which keeps you coming back).
But, hey, there are always those rare times that you pull out a golden goose rather than a garden variety sparrow from the hat. Have you ever won anything amazing in a lockbox? I can’t recall too many times that this has happened to me, as I only open boxes when I’m given free keys. I did once get a reusable makeup kit from Guild Wars 2 that was pretty handy, and Secret World Legends did toss some 80s-era roller skates my way as a funky “mount.”
What about you?
Around the time I started working at Massively-that-was, there was an article that I quite liked talking about how four high-profile MMO failures were not necessary. It was a product of its time, but the point was made that these games didn’t have to wind up in the state they were in. The mistakes that were made were not unexpected problems, but entirely predictable ones that anyone could have seen. Heck, some people did see them and pointed them out, but nothing was changed.
I think about that a lot when I think about other MMOs and online games because there are a lot of titles that, even if not entirely failed, are in states they never needed to be in. These stories are, at the very least, stories of some failures where the failure was not an inevitable end state, nor are they messes that had to be made. The writing was on the wall, the warnings were given, and someone just kept on keeping on and ignored all of the signs. And here we are.
No, it turns out that the Congo
was never the intent of Funcom after all for Secret World Legends’
next jaunt, but South Africa instead. The studio announced today that it will be rolling out the first part of Season Two of the storyline next month on April 4th.
Called Dawn of the Morninglight, the update marks the first piece of truly new story content that Secret World Legends has produced since the game’s reboot from The Secret World last year. The free update will take players to South Africa where they will infiltrate a Morninglight compound called New Dawn and attempt to rise up from within the ranks. Along the way they’ll encounter beasts “inspired by South African folklore” and learn a few new truths about this sinister cult.
“This is it, this is the next chapter every Secret World player have been waiting for,” says Producer Josh Mills. “Ever since we left off in Tokyo before going free-to-play, players have been wanting to know what happens next. The whole team is really excited to finally be able to provide some answers to that and taking the story into a location such as South Africa has been an absolute blast. This is Secret World Legends unlike you’ve ever seen it before.”
The first adventure zone in Secret World Legends will not be in the Congo
. Funcom’s got a teaser thread
ticking off all the possibilities, where the studio is slowly crossing off all the places we will not
be going… or at least, not going yet. Maybe in the future we’ll head to the Congo, but not now. It’s all part of the ongoing sequence of eliminating countries to serve as the game’s next destination.
With the elimination of the Congo, there are only 14 remaining countries on the face of the planet that might hold the next destination for intrepid players. Speculate all you wish about which of the remaining countries might host the adventure zone; there’s already eager discussion in the thread about the possibilities, from Uganda to South Africa.
After listening to fans’ concerns about agent scarcity, Funcom announced during the livestream today that players will be getting another free agent in Secret World Legends
this month. Although the specifics are not completely ironed out, it will likely be an achievement reward early on in using the system, such as completing your first non-tutorial mission. The brand-new agent is already sussed out: Her name is Lydia Darling, and she’s a 19 year-old rum-loving witch who is apparently possessed by her late grandmother. Lydia will grant blood magic passives.
Other QOL improvements are planned for the agent system, including integrating the agent passives into the build manager, adding the agent system to the top bar menu, and tying the system into the weekend events. Devs did mention player requests for letting folks browse missions even when agents are out (they are looking into doing this) and adding the hidden fatigue stat to the agent UI that a mod already has (not necessarily looking into doing that).
As every stream includes lots of clamor for Season 2 information (and because Game Director Romain Amiel loves to give teasers), Amiel played a short audio snippet of a very angry Kirsten Geary from the upcoming content. Hear it all for yourself in the stream below.
Bright light and heat — two things that Massively OP’s MJ dislikes intensely. And Secret World Legends’
Egypt zones are full of both. (OK, so it is virtual heat, but it still makes her think of the icky stuff.) Because of this, even with fun story and some awesome characters, the desert zones are less enjoyable to her than the others. But missions are still awaiting MJ, so she’s off to slog through more desert sands. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to tick more off the to-do list.
What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 8th, 2018
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin cruise into a wild week jam-packed with updates and a full-fledged MMO reboot on top of everything else. It’s all they can do to hang on to the bucking bronco of news without being flung off into side topics, but they’ll do their best!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
Admit it: Ever since your faction handler in Secret World Legends
started sending you off on jobs, you’ve wanted your own underlings to boss around. Am I right? Well thanks to the conspiracy game’s latest feature, now you do get your very own minions to send scurrying off on little assignments. Called the Agent Network, this new system was just deployed this week. And while it’s neither a massive story feature nor a hefty progression feature, it does have a bit of both.
Go ahead, dive on in and start ordering your minions around! With this guide, you’ll have all the info you need to be running your very own agent network.
Who doesn’t want her own lackey to do her grunt work? Secret World Legends
introduced its new agent network this week, and Massively OP’s MJ is eager to get in and test it out. She’s going to show off the system and walk you through getting going for yourself. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. as MJ delves into the world of bossing around agents!
What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 1st, 2018
Funcom’s had a big week, am I right? A whopper of a financial report, a brand-new game reveal, a patch that went haywire in Secret World Legends… OK, maybe let’s put that last one to the side for now and just talk about Conan Exiles. The game is prepping for a real launch in May, but in the meantime, Funcom says in its latest newsletter, the teams are working on the combat system (which is on the test server now), plus the feats UI, better cinematics, culturally themed NPC drops, new NPC populations and bosses, creature animations, and the new type of thralls that basically serve as “item carriers” for the player.
“You’ll find them in camps, just like regular thralls. Once broken they’ll have a much greater inventory space than other thralls, based on their tier level, letting you take a lot of extra stuff with you for when you go out on expeditions! This was another reason to have mounts and we have found an alternative by implementing carrier thralls.”
With significantly higher revenue and sales coming in 2017, Funcom announced to its investors that it just came off the most profitable year in the studio’s history. The studio made $23.2M in revenue and $6.64M in profit during the period, a massive increase over 2016, during which it only made $7.3M in revenue. Even better, Funcom said that it has significantly reduced its debt and strengthened its position.
As for its games, Funcom said that Secret World Legends’ new story content is coming in the first quarter and is expected to bring back players and push user acquisition. Conan Exiles’ May launch is a source of particular excitement, and Funcom is planning on several marketing initiatives to push sales. Anarchy Online and Age of Conan were not mentioned in the report.
Of course, the studio is particularly excited about today’s announcement of its publishing Mutant Year Zero.
Managing other people in Secret World Legends
: A life’s goal for members of the Illuminati and probably a living hell for the Dragons. (Templars have mixed feelings.) But you’ll be taking part in exactly that with the Agent system, which is now live in the game. It’s not exactly new content, but it is a new system to play with as you explore old content.
We’ve talked about the system as it has been previewed, and yes, the short version is that you’ll send out NPCs on missions, collect the rewards from same, and be treated to accolades as you successfully do so. (We don’t need to compare it to similar systems in other games, you can handle that on your own.) No more waiting around for, it’s here now. Hopefully we’ll learn more about the game’s next frontier in actual content soon, since tomorrow we’re learning about something else entirely.
Secret World nomads rejoice, for you finally have a new home outside of the game. Funcom finally opened up the official forums
for Secret World Legends
(along with ones for its other titles), giving players a place to chat and find information straight from the developers’ mouths.
Speaking of info, last week’s hour-long dev stream went into greater detail about the upcoming agent system. The online/offline agent system unlocks at level 15 and contains six types of missions to send your roster of minions to complete. Players can collect up to 40 agents in all. There are some complicated mission chains, and subscribers will get one extra mission spot. Funcom said that it will be delivering story content shortly after the agent system comes to the game.
Secret World Legends players and other Funcom fans are eagerly looking forward to Wednesday and a big reveal of the studio’s latest game.