"We're not about to change," The Secret World creative director Ragnar Tørnquist has said as developer Funcom dusts itself off and gets back to work following layoffs and a launch less successful than it'd hoped for. Funcom's plan is to make no drastic changes but simply keep releasing content updates while making the supernatural MMORPG friendlier to new players, Tørnquist explained.
"This is never fun, but it's the way of things: we need to scale down from a full development team to a more cost-efficient live team." he said of the layoffs in his August State of the Game update.
Swiping at the plethora of fantasy MMORPGs, poking at Guild Wars 2 and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria specifically, he boasted, "I can safely say that no other game offers what The Secret World offers." So, unsurprisingly, they're sticking to the core points of no levels, no classes, real-world-ish supernatural shenanigans, and lots of lovely writing.
Though the Issue 2 content update has been pushed back by two weeks to September 11 as Funcom restructures following the layoffs, future releases should be back to monthly. Stuff in the pipeline includes Halloween-y stuff in Issue 3, a ten-person New York raid "not like any raid you've ever played before," auxiliary weapons, character customization improvements, a "huge" new zone in spring, and other gubbins.
Then there's the other prong of Funcom's development efforts--making it easier to get into.
"We'll be polishing, fixing and streamlining the game based on feedback from our community, in order to make The Secret World even more inviting to new players," Tørnquist said. "We won't mess with the core game, but we will continue to improve the experience--visually and mechanically--and this will certainly benefit players both new and old."
If you fancy trying The Secret World as it is now, you can sign up for a three-day trial in the sidebar of the official site, which is extended to five days if you complete enough missions.
As with most modern subscription-based MMORPGs, a move to free-to-play seems inevitable.