Chaos Theory: Secret World is getting new story content, but it’s not in Secret World Legends


That feeling when something is so close yet misses the mark — in a painful, how-on-earth-can-you-miss-that-giant-glowing-target way. The good news is that a Secret World-themed Halloween spinoff game is happening this year! I have missed those, and they are a highlight in my favorite season. Yay! The bad news is that so far, there is still no new story content on the horizon for Secret World Legends. None. Not a word. And yeah, that seriously sucks.

It is possible to be happy to see the Secret World IP expand with new adventures and still frustrated that the main game is ignored. (To be precise, I should say second main game as TSW is beyond forgotten, it is shoved in a closet and doomed to be forever purposefully ignored.) As excited as I am for the newly announced spinoff Moons of Madness, I am equally disappointed that my favorite game is still languishing with no end of the story drought in sight. Is SWL joining its older sibling?

Come on, Funcom. At this point you just need to officially change it to Frustratingcom. You know you can make both content for the game and other games in the IP, right? And that you’d have a happy fanbase? It would be the best of both worlds if you just put a little forethought into these things, things like not rubbing the lack of SWL development in the faces of your remaining players.

Over the Moon(s of Madness)

Have you ever wondered what goes through an Orochi’s mind — you know, before it gets blasted, smashed, or otherwise turned to pulp? Assuming it isn’t removed or ingested, that is. What is life like, and what are they thinking — especially those moments when it all starts to go to pot? Heck, even in SWL we are mostly exposed to the aftermath of events. And boy, oh boy, we’ve seen plenty of Orochi aftermath (has anyone actually counted the dead bodies strewn through Secret World Legends?), but not much of the actual Orochi. And those live office zombies in Kaidan’s tower don’t count! Moons Over Madness, bless its interstellar heart, is going to give us a nice slice of Orochi life as we play through technician Shane Newehart’s life on a Mars outpost.

Yes, this excites me. What I am most eager for is that this story is something that will be tantalizingly familiar yet is still completely unknown! I have the chance to experience something completely fresh and for the first time; that’s not a luxury I have with anything else in The Secret World world anymore. Not that I wouldn’t loooove to have that opportunity there again in SWL, but chances for that are getting slimmer and slimmer. Even I, the eternal optimist, have trouble keeping any hope alive now.

Show me some post-South Africa scenery

The whole reason I was able to get on board with the big revamp and rebrand of my beloved The Secret World to Secret World Legends is that it was the only way the story could continue. OK, fine. I want the story so much I will restart; I will re-experience the old (which sadly never has an impact like when new) in order to be able to finally continue the story. I’d even be patient and wait. And apparently wait. And wait some more.

Patience gets you only so far.

Although I was not initially so worried about having story (Remember, this is story we’ve already been told existed on more than one occasion – story that was already mapped out for many years to come? Also, popular writer Joshua Alan Doetsch was back writing for the game.) I should have been more worried about ultimately getting that story! Maybe I should have been less hopeful and more harp-ful/harping? It looks like those nagging concerns that the loss of Romain Amiel as creative director would further derail plans was more spot on than I’d ever wanted. He’s gone, and so appears to be hope of getting more story content as well.

Here we are almost two years into this reboot and we have received exactly one small addition to the story. And we aren’t even counting the long story drought that was in TSW itself here; that adds two more years. (Let’s not even delve into the absence of many still-missing elements from the original game.) South Africa didn’t hit the scene until April 2018, almost a full year after the reboot launched. And to make matters worse, we haven’t even received the whole of it yet! Yes, the main story mission line is complete (inasmuch as a cliffhanger can be), but those additional missions and story flavor elements from the other NPCs around the compound we were promised have still not materialized. Things, mind you, Amiel told us were already well into development. So, where are these? Where is the rest of South Africa? And where is what comes after South Africa?

Perhaps we will see more this spring, yet another year after our last story content. (Not that I am holding my breath at all.) If this industry-familiar yearly expansion cadence is what Funcom is trying to go with… it first actually needs an expansion! The studio sure as Hades can’t expect that piddly amount of content we received to represent an actual expansion. I mean, it was all right, but it was much better when it was presented as just the beginning of the content drop. Season 2 can barely qualify as a full episode so far let alone a season.

Funcom: Make some amends before it’s too late

I can’t blame SWL players feeling shafted. Because they really are: A new title promising content they’ve been waiting so very long for is coming out separately instead of in their game. That’s a pretty blatant slap in the face. Feel devalued and unappreciated? You have reason to. I certainly can’t blame if some players are throwing in the towel now. A poor decision on Funcom’s part is going to have lasting consequences within its community. I hope Funcom at least still cares about that, about its community, because this doesn’t lend to that feeling at all.

You know what would have been worlds better? Funcom should have had a story content announcement for Secret World Legends before Moons of Madness was announced. The studio should have shown its customers that the live game is getting some development attention. How many of us wonder if it is getting any at all now?

At the very, very least, Funcom should have announced an expected content tie-in to SWL, even if it wasn’t coming until Halloween time when Moons of Madness does. This would have headed off the internal wars of anger and disappointment on one hand and (guilty?) anticipation on the other.

Secret World Legends needs a story content announcement and it needs it stat. Then it needs that content delivered. I have said it before and I will say it again: We can be satisfied (appeased? placated? Less likely to riot with pitchforks?) with smaller story content drops if they are quicker and more regular. However, a year+ between them is definitely not quick, and hardly regular either! Please, for the love of all that is holy and unholy, Lovecraftian and Filth-infested, please, please deliver more story in Secret World Legends.

Is it real? In Secret World Legends, rarely is it not. Conspiracies, ancient legends, paranoia, secret societies, chaos — they all swirl together in a cacophony of reality. In Chaos Theory, MJ Guthrie infiltrates this secret world, exposing the truths that lurk beneath the surface. The big question is, can you handle the truth?
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