So today’s big ‘ol gaming news announcement comes by way of The Secret World Legends, which is the official name of the Secret World revamp discussed during Funcom’s fourth quarter earnings report. To say the information offered came as a bit of a shock to me is a slight understatement, but now that I’ve had a bit more time to process the whole reveal, I’d like to offer up my opinion.
TSW is an MMO that I keep finding my way back into on a very sporadic basis, yet I still find myself deeply enamored with the game. Or at least the idea of the game. While a lot of the story of its world is absolutely engrossing and the NPCs in the world are some of the best in any video game, it’s hard to ignore the faults of the game for me. Combat feels soft, the progressions systems are a bit too complicated, and the game just plain looks underwhelming graphically.
With that all said, Secret Worlds Legends seems like a solution that isn’t doing a great job of communicating its intent too well, which makes me feel a tiny bit worried.
Most of those feelings come by way of the Producer’s Letter regarding the announcement. It refers to the new-look TSW as ” a shared-world action RPG” and touts ” the opportunity to update the game in ways befitting a modern-day action RPG”. It’s filled with the sort of PR speak that would make KG get off.
Mercifully, the game’s CM Andy Benditt has provided a bit more clarity on some of the questions I was struck with via his Twitter. “Shared action RPG” is shorthand for “reduced maximum of players that can enter a playfield”, but will still allow larger player limits in social areas such as Agartha. The game will continue to use the Dreamworld engine in spite of talking about enhanced visuals, and they’re eyeing up a release this Spring.
All of those are great pieces of information, but they do leave open a few more concerns I have.
First off, a Spring release doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to a lot of testing, unless they’ve been working on this thing for a while or “Spring” here means “more like early Summer”. Second, I would really like to know how big those population limits for playfields are in order to understand if we’re going Destiny or Guild Wars 1 or somewhere in-between. Either option isn’t a real dealbreaker for me if I’m honest, but it would be heartening to know.
Finally, I can’t say I’m not more than a little concerned about the sustainability of Funcom keeping TSW and Legends both online at the same time. Since Legends is a wholly new release instead of a retooling of TSW, they’re basically making two MMOs stay live in a moment when I’m not sure they’re financially able to do so. Unless, of course, Conan Exiles is raking in way juicier bank than I expect.
Logistically speaking, the move to Legends appears to be the most figured out piece of the puzzle: I’m a Grandmaster and so will have that benefit carry over to Legends, and I’m also liking the idea of making the game free-to-play fully content-wise.
I suppose most of my concerns are based on the mechanics of the whole thing, which will hopefully be assuaged as more information is released over the next several weeks. Personally speaking, I desperately hope the Dreamworld engine doesn’t hamstring the visuals and animations of the game, especially as they relate to combat. I also REALLY hope that the game’s writing and questing are just as brilliant as ever.
Also, I will ugly cry so hard if they eliminate Investigation Missions. Seriously, guys. Don’t kill those off.
I’ll likely revisit this topic again once more information has been provided. Or if I get a chance to dig into the game’s closed beta. In either case, it’s way too soon to really call Legends one thing or the other, be it nail in the coffin of all things TSW or a new chance at life.
I’m willing to give it a shot, and I’ve literally got nothing to lose in taking a peek. I just hope that most of my worries, and the worries of other players, are touched on sooner rather than later.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s high time I get reacquainted with my Dragon.