Whatever happened to Secret World Legends, The Realm reboot, and Shadow’s Kiss?

    
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Whatever happened to Secret World Legends, The Realm reboot, and Shadow’s Kiss?

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!

Shadow’s Kiss

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.

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Grimalkin
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Grimalkin

Revert to original The Secret World version – this is probably the most viable option they have at this point.

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Ben Stone

Its still running, and they are both getting about the same amount of new content at this point. Noone is coming rushing back for TSW Legacy either. At least the game is still there if you enjoy it as is.

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cptSm0llett

Wouldnt really be surprised if TSW online is actually higher now than that of SWL’s after trying get back in there and try to do group content in both TSW and SWL, and well, situation isnt pretty for both, and also I mostly saw 4 situations happening with people from TSW: 1) Installed game, saw destroyed wheel, saw not so thoroughly thought out change to controls (I wont even get started about PVP part), saw “gimme money, more money” from everywhere they go, then leave it for TSW or just leave for good;
2)Going through the content, through all the added layers of grind and paywall, get bored with it, then ending of 1st;
3)Finishing SWL, occasionally log in there and in TSW;
4)Starting to play SWL and enjoying it without returning to TSW;
P.S. I really liked some parts of SWL, but I would prefer something between TSW and SWL, even though its extremely unlikely they’ll make another restart

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cptSm0llett

Yeah, so much this, especially since the “Yet after re-adding everything from TSW” part is a huge lie, as there is TONS of cut content from TSW, and honestly? I’ve had easier time finding group for vanilla TSW than for SWL (1 hour in group finder as a tank during EU evening before giving up? Really?)

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Kevin Troope

Being stuck at home got me binge watching The Curse of Oak Island from History Channel. It gave me a hankering to play TSW again so I fired it back up.

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Fisty

Those guys ever find anything?

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Kickstarter Donor
Brazen Bondar

I’ll just pile on and say what FUNCOM did to TSW is one of the saddest mismanagement of an IP stories in recent MMO history. And on top of that I firmly believe the way they rolled out SWL was a deceptive business practice that should have been investigated. Yeah… there’s nothing anyone can say to me that will redeem FUNCOM as a reputable company.

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psytic

I loved everything about TSW except the character creator was worse than Age of Conan. I couldn’t make a non ugly charceter. The combat was builders to build a resource with a finishing move to spend it, boring. If all the moves could stand on their own feet like Guild Wars 1 or ESO and they had AoCs creator they would have had a hit in my eyes.

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Matt Redding

I deleted an alt and rolled a new character just about 2 months ago. I was real excited because I thought he looked great. When I got into the game he looked NOTHING like he did in the character creator, in fact he looked like a clone of my actual main character. That’s when I remembered that their chargen and in-game engines are apparently NOT the same thing and the faces look WILDLY different. (One time I re-rolled the same character 5 times with screenshots to document how radical the differences were between CG and live… this is a complaint some white knights kept shutting down in the official forums when it was brought up…)

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cptSm0llett

For me, the most interesting part about combat in TSW, was tinkering with synergies. And after latest balance patches you could make a viable build for dungeons or solo content with any weapon, that would do great (after you learn the basics of course) and with abilities you like (with some exceptions, of course).

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Kickstarter Donor
Sargonnax

TSW is a fantastic IP and a very intelligent game that just never attracted enough people to be very successful and Funcom never supported it enough for players to stay interested. I enjoyed playing an MMO that was different than the usual fantasy/sci-fi.

TSW Legends was a big waste of time. They made everyone start over in basically the same exact game for no reason and then didn’t support this game any more than first one.

I went back to play figuring I would try out Legends and gave up in Egypt. I couldn’t force myself to play through the exact same game again for no reason.

I would go back to play if they really supported it with some regular content, but I highly doubt that will ever happen.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Phubarrh

Without the likes of Ragnar Tørnquist, Martin Bruusgaard and Joel Bylos around, I have few expectations for the game in the future.

Reader
Matt Redding

Ragnar really screwed up the game to begin with. Great story, but bad MMO design. The game was fundamentally mis-designed for being an MMO, it was created like a single player adventure game with limited grouping capability. Not a solo-able like FFXIV, but one that actively punished group play. It actively split people into solo instances (which was complained about). It actively prevented anyone from progressing through the main storyline if they didn’t want to run around in a soloing mode because of those instances and personal fights. While many people were fine with that on the other hand I know some people (like, real life couples) who ALWAYS play as duos with one healer/support and one tank/dps. An MMO where you cannot party? An MMO where the world state breaks if someone tries to do a puzzle at the same time? This is out of the gate bad design and a big part of the reason why the game never took off. Personally I enjoyed the game a lot and finished the original story line, but I totally see why it was off-putting to so many.

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Skor

They royally f’d up SWL. All they needed to do was overhaul the aegis system or get rid of it. Instead they messed up everything else about the game that was so loved. Such a simple fix and they turned it into a shit show.

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Ben Stone

The original skill and combat system was terrible. They needed to fix it. SWL did not make it better, so it was kind of pointless.

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Bruno Brito

My biggest issue with the entire SWL debacle is that…it was completely unecessary. Instead of trying to F2P what TSW already was, and having the content to go with it, they do this entirely gutted linear experience that ended up being a drag to do. The wheel system, while imbalanced, would be enough to keep players on for a while.

SWL is uninteresting because TSW was already a game that had not much holding people in it. The fact you could mix and match builds, Fusang and have a non-linear experience was what kept people going, and they took that off.

Take that off, and you’re left with whatever hellish garbage SWL is.

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Kanbe

SWL, I always have a pang of disappointment every time I see it even mentioned. It took a game I loved, wiped everything, made the game worse, and then dropped it like a hot potato.

I’ll probably be 80 and still lamenting TSW.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

The secret world legends is the definition of a cash grab. They wiped out the mtx and other purchases of the original game, made some superficial changes, sold the same mtx for a second time, and walked away.

That’s what it always was and meant to be, a final milking of the loyal playerbase. They never had any intention of having massive content updates, and any indication of such was simply a ploy. There were red flags all over the place that consumers chose to ignore.

Reader
Matt Redding

I knew the game was doomed when they hired a new producer and Tilty was showing him the game FOR THE FIRST TIME in a livestream and he was playing it and you could see … he didn’t like it.

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Kickstarter Donor
Ailsa Nordstrom

You pretty much nailed it, Pepperzine. And for what it’s worth, I would have been fine if they had followed through with the promise of converting leftover currency into whatever the new currency was but they didn’t. That was when I knew I was done. It makes me sad because some of the missions in that game are the most imaginitive and original gameplay I’ve ever seen in an MMO. But I can’t forgive what Funcom did and I won’t be buying another game from them ever again.