Ever pause during your day and find yourself wondering, “Whatever happened to that game?” With hundreds upon hundreds of online titles these days, it’s surprisingly easy for MMOs to fall through the cracks and become buried as more aggressive or active games take the spotlight.
Well, every so often we too find ourselves curious what has transpired with certain MMOs that we haven’t heard from in quite a while. Have we missed the action and notices? Has the game gone into stealth maintenance mode? What’s the deal? What has it been up to lately? That’s when we put on our detective hats and go sleuthing!
In this week’s edition, we’ll be catching up with three MMOs that you might not have thought about in a while. So what’s been going on with Secret World Legends, the reboot of The Realm, and the vampiric Shadow’s Kiss?
Secret World Legends
Summer of 2017. That’s when Funcom relaunched The Secret World as the free-to-play Secret World Legends. Initially there was a lot of hope both from the studio and the playerbase that this (unnecessary) move would result in a huge influx of new players and generate money for more development.
Yet after re-adding everything from TSW into this relaunch, Funcom has done remarkably little to further the storyline or content offerings of SWL. To be fair, there has been some, including events and the South African questing area back in Spring 2018. However, since then, it’s been very quiet over in conspiracy land — so quiet that you would be forgiven for assuming that Secret World Legends is in maintenance mode.
There certainly hasn’t been much going on in Legends from Funcom other than occasional small patches and regurgitated events. The Moons of Madness solo spin-off was the big news of last fall (and the console release the big news of the spring), and players have kept busy with the Envoys of Avalon and Dark Agartha. We did get a new investigation mission this year… for Valentine’s Day. But really, that’s it. And that’s the kind of activity we’re seeing from the studio over the last two years.
So, yeah, maintenance mode, more or less.
The Realm Online reboot
You might recall that back in June 2018, a Realm Online emulator team was given the official game’s blessing to offer a full reboot. Back then, I thought it was pretty cool to see fans take up the cause of this mid-1990s MMO and inject actual development and community into it.
So what’s been going on since then? We do know that last October, this volunteer dev team put out a meaty Avalon Awoken patch that offered “a new open world area called Crystal Caverns, a new archaeology-themed dungeon known as The Dig, and some much needed quality of life improvements, plus a new prestige level, fixes for the Adventurer class, and a balancing pass on spell damage.” That’s pretty nice!
Since then, the team’s added a new game launcher, celebrated holiday festivities, added a “silvers” currency to help reduce dependence on RNG for desired loot, and a made a requested change to world bosses. Also, there’s this: “We’re excited to celebrate the two year anniversary of Finvarra’s Fortress launch. We have some brand new collectible and cosmetic items to share with players and will be running bonus experience and loot rates for a short time as a token of appreciation to our players.”
In short: The Realm Online may be old, but it’s still a pretty hopping place to be!
For a while there, we were following Shadow’s Kiss pretty closely after the cancellation of the World of Darkness MMO, as this seemed like the next best hope to getting a mature horror-themed game on the market. But it’s kind of fallen off our radar, so why don’t we check back in with it?
So the long and the short of it is that this project’s still very slowly winding its way through the twisty, turny corridors of development. And I want to stress the word “slowly,” because at this pace we might get this game by the time I’m collecting social security checks. There was a huge gap of any new information coming out from last July to this March, but recently the team’s been putting out small videos showing some small aspect of the game, such as a casino lair or an animation of raising a corpse from the dead.
Over on Facebook, the team posted that it’s getting ready for an Alpha 2 release and has been putting some small patches up on the test server in the meanwhile. “Major game progression work is now back in progress, hopefully releasing in the next couple of weeks!” the team said back on May 31st.