Goodbye The Secret World, hello Secret World Legends

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.

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10 thoughts on “Goodbye The Secret World, hello Secret World Legends

  1. wolfyseyes June 9, 2017 / 12:09 pm

    Their avenues for messaging is….boggling, to say the least. I really hope it doesn’t alienate folks, hecause Secret World in any form is a game that I want to see keeping on.

  2. Geldarion June 9, 2017 / 12:27 pm

    I’m most concerned with how their character specialization will play out. The main thing I loved about TSW was its incredible build variety and complexity. Sure it was tricky, but that was what the decks were for. There were no classes, just an amazingly intricate system.

    With their shift to classes, I’m afraid yet another one of my favorite games is going to simplify their character specialization to the point where it is too easy and cookie-cutter.

    Their main problem with their old system was lack of information about all of the skills. Does this HoT stack with that one? Does this passive have an internal cooldown? These things were important, and they never did have the documentation to back up the complexity. That was all they needed to do, not completely scrap and restart the game.

    This reminds me of musician playing a difficult piece of music making a few mistakes and so starts the whole piece over. I’ve told my students not to do this, but you know, developers have different ideas.

    Definitely worried about my all-time favorite MMO here.

  3. Bhagpuss June 9, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    Let’s be honest, the whole rebranding project’s in freefall. The “new” game would face an uphill struggle for market share even if Funcom was promoting it with the full force of, y’know, a new game but with the current drizzle of sputtering news-squibs and that Giant Warning Sign of an NDA the chances of this ending well seem vanishing slim.

    At this point I’d say the best hope for a valid and meaningful ongoing existence for TSW will be somewhere in the emulator scene. If any game has an audience capable of stepping up to that mark it surely has to be this one.

  4. Ocho June 9, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    “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.”

    Yeah, this is the same conclusion I’ve been coming to as well. They’re calling the 26th the launch, but since it’s not hitting Steam until July 31st, and that’s where most of the traffic will be coming from, that considering the 26th (or 23rd) onward as a pseudo stress-test beta seems like the plan.

    I don’t think they’re ready, but I also don’t think they can hold out any longer. I mean, TSW, for all intents, is a dead game. With no reason to log in, they’re losing eyeballs by the day.

    Overall, I’m worried about the health of SWL after release, and if the game is good enough to convince players to essentially play it all over again, this time with more F2P trappings. I left TSW with my character at 10.4-10.5 gear. Who knows if I’ll ever want to get back to that point again. New players… I think new players will enjoy it. But dismantling your base just to build up a new one is risky, to say the least.

  5. Isey June 9, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    I really want this to work. I’ve made that pretty clear.

    Sadly the reality is more likely Bhagpuss’s view. With dazzling, beautiful graphics and new quests and stories to explore it might be something interesting. Essentially getting your fans to reply the game from start to finish with a more simpler weapon system won’t draw in new masses of people, or dollars.

    If it was TSW:2 with a new story it might be something. It’s not.

    (I still plan on playing it, but cautiously pessimistic….)

  6. Tyler F.M. Edwards June 9, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    I’ve been pretty pessimistic about the reboot from the start, but if anything it’s shaping up even worse than expected. They seem to be making all the same mistakes they did with the first launch, but worse.

  7. Sylow June 12, 2017 / 5:07 am

    There’s a lot of worries here. Most of them are well founded.That being said, the most important, perhaps the very one really deciding question for any game is: is it fun?

    As the NDA still is in place, i just can say that the best reticule based combat i know is in DCU. It’s the only MMO where i sometimes log in just for the fun of the combat system, just to then leave again after a mission or two due to how punishing the progression system is and how much i’d have to grind to get further.

    So i see my future in ESO. For TSW i am still sad. I’ll miss the community. My girl still will try to soldier on with her radio show, where setting up the stage in the Albion and everything was my task. The 10k Pax a week for renting the stage was of no significance for me in TSW, but i don’t see me earning that in SWL. ūüė¶

  8. Faer June 12, 2017 / 4:45 pm

    Hi, long time reader, first time poster. I just have to ask about those two different launch dates. Is the Steam release NOT set for this month? I want to financially back this game but through steam so where do I go to find out?

  9. DDOCentral June 13, 2017 / 11:14 pm

    There is a Friday June 23rd launch after the June 19th beta wipe for current TSW players and also beta testers. After that, there will be an official Steam launch probably on July 31st.

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