I had been putting it off.
I knew that I needed to log back into The Secret World at least one more time before Secret Worlds Legends launched, if only to spend the rest of my Funcom points and snag outfits before those points got wasted. Seeing as how these (but not all) cosmetics are going to be just about the only thing other than reserved names to make the transfer to the new game, I might as well, right?
Yet I was pretty reluctant to do so. I didn’t want to say goodbye to this game that I love and appreciate on a different level than most other MMORPGs. Logging in would make me confront the fact that, yes, this was pretty much it for TSW, and yes, all of the progress, achievements, and material accumulations are about to be erased in a gigantic do-over.
When I did the interview with Funcom’s devs a month or so ago, I remember them asking if I still played TSW following the announcement — and my incredulous reply of, “Of course not. What’s the point?” My persistent world is no longer persistent when it gets maintenance moded in favor of some sort of quickly revised reboot. TSW will linger on, but everyone’s seen the writing on the wall. It’s time to leave.
Thus, I logged in. Bought two outfits to flesh out my collection, plus a couple of retro bags. I think I got some acid-washed jeans I never had before. And I positioned both of my characters to say goodbye.
For Yeti, it was definitely a bitter and sad moment. I’d had this Templar ever since I started the game, five years ago now, and she’d been through pretty much every adventure there was. She’d been the one who I had kept at the edge of content, all of the way through Tokyo. She was the toon I took into dungeons with our guild. She was my J-pop, blue-haired, 80s-loving girl, and I loved her. I put her in an oddly lit doorway in London and logged out, determined to recreate her if at all possible in SWL. At least I still have her name.
And then there was Syppi, my Illuminati alt I created back in 2014 with the intent of replaying and documenting every non-dungeon quest in the game. She was representative of a huge project that got the axe for me, and now that there’s no point of continuing, I sat her down at the campfire in the Shadowy Forest, staring into the flames and thinking of all of the accomplishments and obstacles that lay behind her.
Oh, and I used a snowblower to have some fun with the locals, because you can’t be a TSW player and not be prone to goofy black humor now and then.
With that session out of the way, my attention turns forward to Secret World Legends. Folks, I’m not going to lie — I am worried. Deeply worried. At this point we’re only a few weeks away from the non-Steam PC launch, and Funcom is giving every appearance of being way in over its head on this. The NDA is still up, because if that’s not a sign of no-confidence I don’t know what is. From several sources I keep hearing that the game just isn’t ready yet, and my gut agrees. My gut also thinks that the studio is really eyeing the July Steam launch for its real audience and might be willing to consider the June crowd collateral damage and free beta testing.
Funcom’s messaging has been scattered-to-nonexistent. This is a major project for them, but the SWL website has been abnormally quiet since its debut in March, with three articles that month, NONE in April, two in May, and one in June so far. The new weapon specialties and mechanics don’t even warrant a developer diary but are instead treated to 15-second Twitter videos.
And then let’s talk about yesterday, because I was banging my forehead on my desk SO HARD over all of us. First, Funcom abruptly tweets that there will be a headstart for launch on June 23rd for those who have supported the game. Is this for everyone, AKA an open beta? Just TSW owners? What’s all this about? Instead of posting a real article about this, which you would think would be done, players were left scratching their heads and waiting for the devs to answer these questions on the Twitter thread. Following that, Funcom tweets that TSW owners are all going to get into the beta today, but hey, NDA is still up (unless the studio changes that by the time of this posting). Again, very few initial details and a lack of information ANYWHERE ELSE than Twitter. Seeing as how Funcom controls the SWL Reddit and they have this shiny new website, you’d think the team would be putting this there too. But no. Let’s be vague, abrupt, and confusing, because that’s the way to settle down our anxious playerbase.
So yeah, I’m worried. I’ll still roll up a character, I’ll still play, and I’ll still cross my fingers and hope for the best. But I am seriously worried that this is a project that’s being cobbled together with an unreasonably small budget, a tiny team, and under pressure to release at a certain date instead of when it’s ready. Prove me wrong, Funcom, but so far you’re giving me no cause to get excited.