With the move to put The Secret World in maintenance mode and shift focus to the rebooted Secret World Legends, one MMO blogger decided that it was time to say goodbye to his stable of characters by logging each of them out in meaningful locations.
“It is now clear that The Secret World’s days are numbered,” Tyler of Superior Realities writes. “I have decided to say goodbye to the game while I still can, conducting a final tour of some of my favourite parts of the game and finding thematically appropriate ways to retire my many characters. And taking an unhealthy number of screenshots.”
I’ve seen others do this sort of thing, especially when an MMO ends, and it almost never fails to be touching and profound. These games meant something to us, and when we say farewell, it can be an emotion-laden funeral for time well spent.
Join us today as we tour around other essays from the MMO blogosphere, including an examination of class customization, musings on SWTOR’s road map, and a balloon ride in World of Warcraft.
The latest Secret World Legends dev stream dished out another serving of information as closed beta continues through the fourth phase. Along with showing off UI changes and combat with the blade, the team offered a number of other tidbits related to City of the Sun God, levels, dungeons, and more.
The UI had many adjustments, including simplifying player nameplates by removing faction, rank, and such (they are a part of the inspect system now). Folks who don’t like the obtrusive reticle will be happy to know that it can be changed to a dot as well as be moved to an over-the-shoulder view. More customization is in the works, including an option to make it disappear completely. First-person view has likewise been added.
Funcom also demonstrated combat using the blade with its specialization, spirit blade. On a related topic, players will also unlock a special capstone ability upon unlocking all weapon abilities; this capstone will increase in level for each additional weapon capstone that is unlocked.
“I can’t help but think that I’d rather see a single-player adaptation of The Secret World than to lose it forever if Funcom truly does collapse,” MOP’s Justin Olivetti wrote way back in 2015, when the studio was dealing with financial turmoil. Little did he know that eventually The Secret World MMORPG would be turned upside down and rebooted as Secret World Legends. It’s not a single-player title, but it’s arguably a bit less an MMORPG than it used to be, to the point that even Funcom is hedging its bets by calling it a “shared world action RPG” (but also not admitting it has given up on MMORPGs).
Immediately after the announcement in March, almost half of the readers we polled said they were former TSW players who’d try the reboot come relaunch. But since then, we’ve learned much more about what’s coming for the game, including the sobering reality that TSW players won’t get to keep their characters and will instead have to reroll, in spite of the fact that the studio told us it “could have made [character ports from TSW] work given enough resources and time.”
And that brings me back to Justin, who earlier this week questioned whether he has the energy to do it all again — to start from scratch in a gameworld he already knows by heart. “I’m sure for some, it’s a dealbreaker,” he says, sorting through his anxiety, excitement, and frustration. How about you? Now that you know more about what TSW’s relaunch entails, are you still planning on coming back, even though you’ll have to start anew?
With all of the hullabaloo going on concerning Ashes of Creation and its Kickstarter campaign, a few bloggers are asking themselves whether or not this is an MMO worth backing, especially if they’ve been burned before by grand promises and poor execution.
“All of this adds up to an enticing package and ought to spark the embers of hope that maybe there will be something new under the sun when it comes to the fantasy MMORPG genre,” The Ancient Gaming Noob wrote. “So why am I not excited about this? Why isn’t this helping me shake off the MMO malaise?”
“I’m not on the hype train by a long shot. Not that I see anything particularly wrong with the game, it’s just way, way too early to even think about commenting on it,” Endgame Viable said.
“Am I going to pony up? Mmmm. Maybe,” mulls Inventory Full. “I’m still thinking about it, although, after reading the Kickstarter page, I’m actually less interested in the game than I was.”
Kind of a weird and fascinating week for MMOs, as an expansion has a legal showdown with a charity, a western MMO is announced, and Vvardenfell decided to come to us two weeks early. Is the industry shaping up for the most explosive June on record? It might just be!
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Conan Exiles performed beautifully for Funcom, at least during the first part of this year, the company’s investor report for the first quarter revealed today. The survival sandbox’s early access launch in February helped propel Funcom’s once-beleaguered revenues to five times their state this time last year, making it the “most profitable quarter ever” in the history of the studio. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 releases are on track for Q3 2017 and Q1 2018, respectively.
The company reiterates that the reboot of The Secret World as Secret World Legends will make its recently announced June 26th debut, but the Steam launch will be delayed until July 31st as a result of “crowded market conditions with multiple MMO releases in May/June on Steam” — those being Black Desert’s Steam launch, Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind launch, and Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood. Seriously, nobody else should even try launching that month.
“The Company expects the majority of players after launch to be newcomers to the game, but is also working to make it worthwhile for as many veterans of The Secret World as possible to continue playing Secret World Legends. Due to the high uncertainty regarding a Free to Play business models the Company expects the development team to need to tweak the monetization mechanisms of the game in the months following launch. Paid User Acquisition will gradually be tested and introduced in tandem with the monitoring and tweaking of the game’s monetization KPIs.”
Everyone who predicted Secret World Legends would miss its original spring target date gets a cookie. Turns out the game is launching soon, but not quite in the spring with a release date of June 26th. Whether or not you’re still looking forward to the title after all of the words spilled on it is another matter; we had our own interview on the development recently.
Otherwise, lots of stuff was happening in the test world. We lost track of all of it, but we’ve done our best to sum things up for you here:
- You can try out Shroud of the Avatar for free for most of May, so if you have the time and the curiosity, hey, give it a shot. Of course, it’s really a test of a great deal of what will make the game run under stress, but you don’t need to worry about that; the price is right.
- Planet Nomads is hitting early access on May 25th after a delay. The good news? That delay has meant more features and fun stuff for players, so that’s a good thing.
- It’s been a week of Crowfall previews, or more accurately teasers about previews. Yeah, it’s been a long week.
- Worlds Adrift has hit a slight delay, but you can check out some player-made islands which will debut with its beta. Again, it’s hopefully worth the wait.
- The dwarves of Dark and Light have been previewed with a promise that the game will be in early access later this year. When? Later. It’s a secret to everybody.
- If you can’t wait for The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind to launch properly, you can start into the new landscape as early as May 22nd. That’s less of an early access week and more of just an early launch, but hey.
- The beta test for Diablo III’s Necromancer class has awoken from its brief sleep. It was just pining for the fjords, really.
- Last but not least, The Imperial Realm: Miranda is now in early access. It’s a labor of love by one guy which is pretty awesome on its own.
Wow. Lots of stuff in there, and we haven’t even skipped down below to the list. Yes, there’s a list down below. There’s always a list. Let us know if something skipped test phases without us knowing in the comments, hmm?
Kirsten Geary. That is almost all you have to say when talking about the Illuminati faction in The Secret World. That’s because the infamous KG (as she signs her memos) is practically the personality of the organization — at least as far as players are concerned. As the player handler, she is the main contact point for everyone putting on the blue. However, there is more to the faction than her. Lots more! Not that I can tell you all of it; that would spoil the game! But I can tell you some, in case you are considering rolling one when Secret World Legends hits the scene.
After laying out the gist of factions last week, I’m shifting my efforts to looking at each one individually. Today we’ll peek behind the curtains of the Illuminati so you can get a look at the inner workings. Don’t worry: I promise to make this as spoiler-free as absolutely possible.
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.
When Funcom told everyone a few weeks ago that Secret World Legends was still on track for spring, MMO gamers were skeptical. Technically, they were right to be: Funcom has this morning announced that the game will launch on June 26th, a few days after the summer solstice.
As we’ve previously reported, the game is a “shared-world role-playing game” reboot-like “reimagination” of MMORPG The Secret World, which will be maintenance moded in its wake. The new game, which has been in beta this spring, is still under NDA.
“Secret World Legends features a revamped combat system, newly designed progression system, updated visuals, and more. You can choose to explore and uncover the story by yourself, or you can team up with other players. In the game’s central hub, Agartha, you can meet and socialize with hundreds of other players, while player population in the adventure areas beyond will be tightly controlled to make sure that the experience is as immersive as possible and that the focus remains on you and your journey.”
Stay tuned for more, as we’ll be chatting with the studio this afternoon, and check out the new trailer and images down below.
Fans are eager to see and learn more about Secret World Legends, and devs complied with a new livestream. While they couldn’t answer all the questions being hurled at them through chat (noting that some things aren’t done yet), the devs did show off a bit more combat, the new ability windows, map changes, and upgrading gear.
A big point of interest was the look at the combat abilities. The stream highlighted the new gimmicks — the special weapon abilities — as well as the active and passive ability windows. The 16 active abilities on each weapon come in four distinct types designated by colored names. The builders and consumers system was replaced with energy that regenerates over time.
- White: Basic abilities with no energy cost so they can be spammed.
- Red: Power abilities that consume energy and are used most of the time.
- Purple: Specials that consume more energy but are stronger and have a cooldown.
- Yellow: Elite ability, of which players can only have one active at a time.
Over the past couple of months, the MMORPG community has worked its way through massive leaks of top-secret info: first for Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind, then for The Secret World’s morph into Secret World Legends, and most recently for Guild Wars 2’s upcoming expansion. The latter two events in particular provoked long discussions among our staff and commenters about when and whether to cover leaks that are already in the wild and how to approach news we’ve never agreed to withhold. And with The Secret World and Guild Wars 2, at least, the studios’ excessive secrecy and elitist invitation-only testing helped propel a masochistic community desire to see leaks manifest, leading to a perfect storm.
And now it’s ruined for everybody… or at least for people who couldn’t resist clicking past the spoiler warnings. I’m bummed that we’re going to miss out on the fun of unwrapping all those presents one at a time, in Guild Wars 2’s case anyway – it’s more fun and better hits to get to roll out a little at a time. But I’m also hopeful the studios might take alpha tester NDA betrayal as a sign to be more communicative and transparent too and not keep everyone in the dark as long as has gone on here. (Or maybe even just stick to paid testers from the start and give no regular player any temptations.)
How do you feel about MMORPG leaks personally — do you seek them out and click on them, or do you stay away?
While a spring launch of Secret World Legends is not a guarantee it’s still a hope, so it’s not too soon to be thinking about creating your character. Anyone who is remotely like me could use as much lead time as possible to make important decisions! And one of those decisions is what faction to play when the game releases.
Why would faction choice matter? Although Creative Director Romain Amiel told me in our interview that faction PvP is something the new game was hoping to move away from, factions are still a thing. Beyond determining the hue of faction-colored armor (if that ends up being a thing in SWL as well), factions really flavor a good chunk of your game experience. So picking the right one for you could affect your level of enjoyment. If you played The Secret World, you have already faced the quandary that new players will face: which one? You might already have a favorite faction that you will automatically choose. However, maybe you are interested in experiencing the story from a slightly different perspective. The question then becomes which secret society should you pledge to this time? If you’ve never played before and will be starting fresh in Secret World Legends, you may not know anything about the differences in the three organizations. So how do you choose?