Secret World Legends beta leaks show a vastly changed game [Updated]

Funcom has issued a statement about the leaks; we’ve included it in its entirety at the end of this post.

For those assuming that Secret World Legends will be only slightly different from the existing MMO, it may be best to rip off that band-aid early to get used to the truth. While the game is currently under NDA in closed beta, that doesn’t stop information from leaking out that appears to show a vastly changed title in the making.

On the new Secret Worlds Legends subreddit, a beta tester has unloaded a ton of information and screenshots that mostly center on the action-RPG’s combat system. With the understanding that this is beta and all may be changed, the tester claims to shows how the different combat weapons have been streamlined and modified (for example, shotguns now have different types of shells that perform various tasks and assault rifles have grenades). The tester notes that most classes should self-heal now as in most other MMOs. Players will use a reticle system for combat and will need to worry about overheating at least some of their weapons.

Other changes noted include an Agartha that has a lounge area, auction house, and jump pads that take you to different portals. It’s also mentioned that investigation missions have been streamlined somewhat so that using a browser isn’t always necessary to complete them.

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We stress that none of this information has been confirmed as accurate by an official source as indeed it comes from an anonymous leak on Reddit from someone who appears to be breaking his or her NDA to deliver it. We will update when we know more, but for now, treat it all as rumor.

Source: Reddit

Update 1:20 p.m. EDT: Funcom’s Romain Amiel has issued a statement to Massively OP suggesting that not everything in the leak is accurate or permanent and asking that players and press have patience with the studio while it tests and tweaks the very much in-progress game. We’ve included it below in its entirety:

The problem with a leak like this isn’t “people finding out about how the game is going to be”. It’s quite the opposite: it’s still in development, it’s not ready for that kind of scrutiny, and that leads to misunderstandings and misconceptions that are doing nothing but a disservice to the game, the team working on it, and future players.

The Closed Beta is under NDA as we are still doing changes, additions, tweaks, and improvements for what will be in the release version. Nothing is set in stone yet and many of the details here are still in development and were planned to be made ready to test for future beta updates.

There is too much here to address individually, but one example of misinformation is the idea of the investigation missions having changed: they haven’t. We added one investigation mission tutorial. Combat is another thing we’re heavily focused on right now. Only a few weapons are currently available in the beta, to give everyone a chance to give feedback, to make sure each feels fun and balanced. For example, the information released about Blood is invalid, since the weapon isn’t currently available on the beta servers.

We have always made sure press and influencers have access to pre-launch betas so that they can report from our games before they release. We will do the same for Secret World Legends, but need the chance to polish the silverware, put up the lights, and sweep the floors before we lift the NDA and open for everyone to evaluate the game and judge us on what we’re delivering.

I should also mention that we’re doing another edition of our biweekly developer stream tomorrow, April 7, on in case anyone wants to tune in! We’ll be discussing more about Secret World Legends, specifically about the content that we feel is ready to talk about. :)

We’d like to thank Funcom for addressing the leak and quelling some of our readers’ worst fears. We’ll set our Secret World columnist loose in the game just as soon as the flag drops.


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Ashley Walker

Funcom says, “The problem with a leak like this isn’t ‘people finding out about how the game is going to be’.” That’s an outright lie. That’s exactly what they’re afraid of. It doesn’t have to be. If they were actually listening to their beta testers instead of force-feeding them changes that TSW vets and newcomers alike are telling them are bad ideas, then it might be true. But Funcom has said that they’re not willing to remove the biggest issues, and so there’s not really any other recourse but for people to leak. Let’s be clear here. The ONLY people doing a disservice to future players are Funcom.

“One of our biggest goals in relaunching the game has been to reimagine the core gameplay experience in a way befitting a modern-day action RPG. Secret World Legends features combat that feels more natural, deep systems that are more intuitive, better structuring of the early game for new players, and improved mission flow to strengthen the pace of progression for players.” – Scott Junior, Executive Producer

Would that any of that were true. It’s not.

All of the feedback that’s been received on the beta forums is complaining about the dumbing down of the game, the restrictive locking of missions, and the non-intuitiveness of the new powers. When their design choices are questioned, they try to gloss it over with ‘our research tells us that people like this’. They won’t show this research that disagrees with all of the feedback they’re getting, of course, because it doesn’t exist. On the beta forums, threads and posts that contain negative feedback mysteriously disappear, and users are suddenly banned or silenced if they don’t toe the company line.

This endemic dishonesty shouldn’t be surprising. Funcom as a company is growing more and more dishonest. They promised new content right up until they announced the relaunch, which has been in the works for over a year, meaning that while they were promising new content, they knew that there wouldn’t be any. On Steam, instead of listing the game as a new game, which it is, they reused the listing from the previous game, making the average review stay positive for longer so that there won’t be an accurate representation of the game.

If you’re coming from TSW and didn’t like the combat, reticle combat might seem like a good fix. And it would have been if anyone but Funcom had done it. Unfortunately, the result is a combat structure for the player that’s been changed, but with no actual changes to the mobs. Did you like your ranged classes? Sorry, you can’t range anymore, other than for a couple seconds right at the beginning of a fight. Oh, you used to run and gun, shooting at an angle? Nope. You’re going to be surrounded while you slowly backpedal, shooting things in melee. Did you like the synergy, or the ability to mix and match powers to find the best build for your playstyle? That’s gone too. None of the new powers have synergy at all, and every weapon plays exactly the same. They’ve all got their own ‘unique’ mechanic of course, but that uniqueness is mostly limited to the name. The mechanics are all sadly identical.

In other areas, the character creation is even worse than it was before, and it was only barely useful to begin with. A far cry from AoC, another game built on an older version of the same engine, TSW always lacked the sliders that let you create a character that didn’t look slightly bored (or worse, like the face belonged on the head of someone who’d just been mauled by a mother school bus protecting her cubs). But now, even what little customisation there was is gone, replaced by presets because it’s easier to revamp the entire system than it is to fix a couple meshes for hats and sunglasses so they don’t clip. They could have paid someone who designed clothes in Second Life back in 2007 a hundred dollars to fix that problem for them.

The worst part is, it didn’t have to be this way. Funcom has known for five years what the biggest problems were with the game: The bugs; the badly optimised graphics; the stale-feeling combat where your hits didn’t seem to register. They’ve refused to fix those real problems in Legends, and instead have opted to invent new ones to ‘fix’, giving us a game that has slow, repetitive combat and uneven progression. Unless you’re dead set on this specific niche genre, and are willing to overlook massive problems that they still pretend don’t exist, then you might enjoy the investigative missions. They’re pretty fun, usually. If you don’t like the sound of that, you can always go and play Continent of the Ninth, or Runes of Magic, or some other third-string Korean MMO. You’ll be playing a better game.

Kevin McCaughey

I have to say I am really looking forward to this. I like Funcom as a company and have a long history of gaming with them going right back to their superb point and click adventures.

I am really hoping it works out for them – they are some of the good guys in gaming. I will definitely be playing SWL on release. I only got as far as the Blue Mountains before, mostly due to the combat system, which just always felt really disconnected. Here’s hoping they made good changes. I loved the mysteries/quests.

Bango on Laurelin

This is why closed betas that are publicly announced don’t work.

Anthony Clark

Ooooo Looks good.

I want in this beta bad!

CloakingDonkey .

well if that bit about the investigation missions is true, then that’s that for me. That’s literally the only innovative bit in the whole game. I’m not interested in yet another shitty action MMO… there’s already too many of them and they all suck.


I think I might be the target audience for this. Back in the day I never got past Blue Mountain – the combat was just above my general skill level and never as interesting to me as the story. I’d always thought I’d prefer the game as a single-player RPG.


Aye i think im in that general audience as well. I love the game and the lore, but the combat system and the skills were/are just well above me. I just wanted to play the story as a singleplayer RPG, but honestly i wish most MMO’s were like that…im not a very social gamer.

Kevin McCaughey

Yes I think I am the same demographic. Also quit at blue mountains and could never get my head round the combat.


The combat system is so going to make or break this game for good this time. They need to come up with something amazing and so far in Funcoms history they always screw this up.

Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor

No matter what happens, I’m going to play it. It just doesn’t matter much to me what happens between now and then. I’ll just think about something else.


You thought they were your friends and you still believe season 2 is coming for SWL.

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Roger Melly

I doubt it will happen but I have been wondering given this will no longer be an mmo if it will have different difficulty settings . I loved the game before they streamlined it a couple of years ago but after that I just couldn’t get into it again .