One of the best perks of my job at Massively OP is that every so often I get to interview MMO developers directly and ask them any old thing that pops into my mind (I do prep beforehand, of course). For an MMO player, it’s a treat to have this direct line to a developer, even if for a short period of time.
You might have seen that last week I had the opportunity to sit down with two of the guys in charge of The Secret World and ask them some point-blank questions about the game’s transition to Secret World Legends. Ever since the announcement was first made, I found myself waving my arms and sputtering in frustration and anxiety over all of this. I didn’t find Funcom’s initial round of interviews satisfying, so it was great to have this chance to dig into this decision. When you genuinely care about a game, you are concerned about its future and want honest answers instead of fluff. That’s what I was after.
You can tell me how well it all came off. I didn’t get to every question I had and there were a few topics that the team danced around (such as how they’re going to make money with F2P, which wasn’t answered to my satisfaction in retrospect). But at least it was good to hear about the process behind this decision, the rationale for the move, and the thought that was going into some of these decisions. I may not agree with all of them — I think the reticle combat is a dumb idea that nobody was asking for — but I appreciated the responses. TSW just wasn’t making money and the studio feels that this is the only way to avoid shuttering it and to keep the stories coming. It’s a weird pill to swallow.
And the question for me is, will I swallow it? As I told them, I’m a weird mixture of anxiety and excitement over this relaunch, but the anxiety is definitely winning. I’m seriously worried about all of this, about how this decision affects their core playerbase and how the new game will handle. If it doesn’t work, then this will be the end of Secret World in any incarnation; Funcom isn’t going to pay for Season 2.
But excitement? Sure, there’s a bit. It’ll be nice to see a spotlight back on this game (although the timing is terrible, as June is already packed with big MMO expansion releases). If the game looks, performs, and plays better, then wonderful. And I was pretty geeked to hear that we will be seeing a development roadmap soon for post-launch plans, including an AEGIS rework (yay) and the next chapter of the game’s saga.
I’ll play it, I know I will, but there’s part of me that is intimately familiar with the mountain of content that I’ve gone through — twice — and quails at thinking of having to do it all over again, build up a whole new character, just to get back to where I was. It’s the price that all TSW vets are going to have to pay to see what comes next, and I’m sure for some, it’s a dealbreaker.
Then again, I’m Mr. Altoholic, so maybe I can get into a mental space to think of this as just another one of my alts. I miss my shotgun build, so I’ll definitely be going back to that and the Templars, and maybe I’ll start shopping for a cabal come June. There’s some time left, after all.
Oh, and I also want to hear some details about what subscribers/grandmasters are going to be getting, since I have a $150 package invested into this game. Hard to walk away from that, too.