It’s no secret that The Secret World had a rough year in 2016. I just really wish I could say differently. And it’s especially sad because I had such hopes for my favorite game. Granted, I knew it wasn’t going to miraculously get the funding and staff to give me all the story and things my heart so desired, but I did anticipate a bit more than what we actually got. When 2016 dawned, I pieced together our available clues to try and draw a map of where the year was going. A cartographer I apparently am not, and Google maps won’t be hiring me anytime soon. Perhaps for this year I shall consult with the Magic Eight ball? Here’s a look at the scorecard for my 2016 predictions, and a modest list of 2017 hopes, dreams, and predicted happenings. (We’ll just have to wait to see how those ultimately pan out!).
My first swing and my first miss. Because of the track record from all previous years, I fully expected the usual three additional issues to release in 2016; heck, I ventured to say maybe even more! That certainly wasn’t the case as we had only the one real issue, Issue #14 Call of the Nameless. Of course, numerically we also got Issue #15 The Sleuth’s Gallery, but many fans are hard-pressed to acknowledge this one because it is comprised of already-released sidestories. So even if we count it, that makes only two issues. In all 12 months. Prediction fail.
As for the where these issues would take place, I ventured to say that either #14 or 15 would focus on Savage Coast. Nope. The former was in Egypt and the latter was just spread all over the map. I mean, some of the missions have some Savage Coast components, but that’s stretching it a bit too far. The clues we had haven’t lead anywhere yet; we still haven’t heard anything more about Carter’s friend nor her family. There’s always this year?
I also dared to say a new zone would be opening it. It just looks like I missed the year it would happen. We still know it will happen, 2016 just wasn’t the year. Let’s hope for 2017! If we had the right amount of issues, I am sure this one would have come to pass.
Another swing, and another miss. This time, the focus was on scenarios. I blew it on predicting a new scenario mode or locale — we got neither. Maybe this one falls under the category of my hopes more than a prediction per se. I just felt this feature really needed something to pull more people into it; it has been languishing, feeling mostly neglected for some time. To that end, we actually did get something that brought more focus to the scenarios, it just wasn’t new scenario content. The Autumn’s challenge (which I’ll discuss in more detail in a moment) definitely had more people doing scenarios for a time. It’s still on the list of things we were told would happen, so hopefully this comes about sometime.
My final prediction fail involved TSW’s events. Specifically, I said, “I expect Samhain 2016 to include an amazing new mission chain.” We know that didn’t happen. We did get an interesting all-new type of event with the community investigation, but no story mission chain.
In the events I get one right
Speaking of events, that brings me to my first success. It may have been near the end of my predictions, but I finally got a hit! Events — with all their goodies and cosmetics — are a staple in TSW, and I envisioned us getting a new one. Ta-da! One Doomboard challenge came up. While I might have initially considered the event to be a recurring themed event like the holidays and such, I am pleased we got something new. Admittedly, it was a bit rough to pull of succeeding (at least for me), but it was doable. And the challenge really did get folks participating in aspects of the games that they may not have tried before or hadn’t bothered with in a long time. And the event appears to be recurring, at least in a fashion: We have the new gravity skate challenge.
I am obviously more in tuned with the event side of things as I also declared, “A new Christmas event will also be a necessity since there wasn’t one in 2015.” This, however, only feels like a half win since I was hoping for a new Christmas story mission chain that did not materialize. I technically still won the point though because the snowball minigame was a new event, even if it wasn’t what I anticipated.
Ding! I may have blown in on the Halloween mission, but my other Halloween prediction was spot on. I said we’d see another Halloween spin-off and we did! OK, so the game wasn’t quite what I was envisioning; I was thinking another single-player scary experience. But let’s be fair: One of the charms of The Secret World is when you are thrown a curve ball and the result is different than what you expected. The 1v1 of Hide and Shriek is definitely all about scaring, so that was right on the money. And almost worth another half point is the fact that with the lore, the game did tie into the Innsmouth Academy. We all just wish there was more!
My next successful prediction was actually half right and half wrong. I said that there was no way housing would make it into the picture in 2016. And I was right: The amazing housing systems that devs had described to me did not make it in last year. That said, a housing-like feature was actually introduced when the Museum of the Occult opened up. Since I specifically said, “2017 might be the year we see something develop in the player housing area.” I will have to deduct half a point; something in the housing area did develop in 2016.
2016 tally: 3.5 of 9. Will 2017 be better?
Apparently I really need to brush up on my real-world investigation skills because I did not bat a great average with my predictions. But this wasn’t just me getting things wrong; with all the lack of content delivered in 2016, it’s no wonder many of my predictions missed the mark. Maybe with the content slow down, things were just pushed back a year. I’m hopeful 2017 sees a marked increase in content and those things we looked forward to last year. The key here is hopeful. I do have my hopes and dreams, and we definitely have some hints. But I am not sure I feel up to predicting what this year will bring. One prediction already came to pass before I could get this Chaos Theory out — we got another challenge! However, for anything more, I think this time around maybe we should just consult the Magic 8 Ball.
- Will we see a new zone? Signs point to yes.
- Will scenarios see any love with new content? Concentrate and ask again.
- Will at least three issues release? Most likely.
- Will we finally learn more about Carter and Innsmouth Academy? Don’t count on it.
- Will there still be a focus on event bags? It is decidedly so.
- Will we get one new unexpected feature? As I see it, yes.
- Will fans want more story? It is certain.
- Will we delve deeper into a familiar character? You may rely on it.
- Will the housing idea come to pass? Better not tell you now.
- Will we get a Magic 8 Ball in game we can use? Reply hazy try again.
Well, there we have it. The Magic 8 Ball has spoken. We’ll just have to see if it is in tune with the universe come December. it could be pretty accurate, unless the Orochi designed it. What questions would you add to the list? Add yours below.