The Secret World to be 'more inviting' to new players, dev promises

"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 real-world-ish supernatural RPG friendlier to new players.

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"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.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 4, 2012 12:45 PM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, The Secret World to be 'more inviting' to new players, dev promises.

    "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 real-world-ish supernatural RPG friendlier to new players.

    • reply
      September 4, 2012 1:50 PM

      to this day i have never seen this game advertised anywhere.

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        September 5, 2012 4:43 AM

        Except banner ads... which essentially means I've also never seen this game advertised anywhere.

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      September 4, 2012 2:02 PM

      We're unsuccessful but "We're not about to change." Mmkay.

      • reply
        September 5, 2012 3:54 AM

        They're unsuccessful because no one picked up the game in the first place, not necessarily because of the game itself. If you read all their investor notes retention is quite high, the problem is they only sold through about 200K copies to begin with. That's not good for any game, let alone one that's supported through subscription fees.

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          September 5, 2012 5:03 AM

          The problem is Funcom, just saying.

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      September 4, 2012 8:56 PM

      People need to stop screaming F2P. It's annoying and detrimental to any game that goes this way. Fact is, if you get an F2P game out of the box, there is a 99% chance that it blows big brown chunky noodles. I hope it never goes F2P, as this will FSU. This game has been a lot of fun so far, its been a while since i felt like im playing something other then a WoW clone, anyone who hasn't tried it should give it a shot. Have they said anything about a console version of this? I can see this progressing into a good console mmo (kind of an oxymoron, but it could be a first).

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        September 4, 2012 9:25 PM

        Oh, hey, has the auction house actually started delivering the shit you buy yet?

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        September 4, 2012 11:44 PM

        I've usually thought the same thing but I gotta say that Planetside 2 , Tribes Vengeance, Firefall and League of Legends have all been great so far in my opinion. I can see where this model works great with some games.

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          September 5, 2012 4:14 AM

          I think it works better with non-MMOs. A good MMO needs so much content that I think starting from a F2P standpoint makes it hard to justify making enough quality content to draw people in.

          I think more MMOs should embrace the GW2 philosophy (which I'm totally comfortable with), where you still buy a full-priced game in a box (or download), but that after that there's no fees save for additional content purchases, and silly cosmetic things (which apparently sell very well).

          Which is to say, Secret World without the monthly fee would be something I'd play. With it, I just can't justify it.

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      September 4, 2012 9:06 PM

      Why is it listed as being an Xbox 360 title at the bottom of the article? I thought that portion of the project was canned long ago.

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        September 5, 2012 1:59 AM

        Because our game database is a temperamental little pain in the arse.

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      September 5, 2012 5:28 AM

      I really enjoyed the game so its kind of sad to see it not sell as well. It really was refreshing in terms of MMOs, it tried a lot of new things and is very fun.

      That said, the two things that stick out in my mind are 1) group play features and 2) lack of promotion seemed to hurt it a bit. Its a great game but it doesn't push group play as much as it should.

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        September 5, 2012 5:46 AM

        That's because lots of missions don't work well with groups. And there are enough ridiculous solo instance tiers to make the game irritating.

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      September 5, 2012 6:58 AM

      if they had turned it into a 4player action coopy thing, I would have bought it 4 times.

      Played the free weekedn, cried my eyes out at all the attention to detail lost in a run-of-the-mill MMO game setting ;_;

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      September 5, 2012 8:47 AM

      I feel bad for them but at the same time, the game is not that good...

      Now before you go all out saying how wrong i am, please hear me out. I agree, the story and the creatures and the world it self is great, but... great quest is great in text when you are playing alone, when you have more people, noone will spend time reading everything... so no more interesting story for you... no lvl? not having a number next to your name doesn't mean they have no lvl, you still need to lvl and grind to get your skills...
      And the worst thing of all is combat and movement.... GOD how do you even create a game that is that bad with combat and movement... you say it is not like WoW bot how did they get it to feel worse than WoW... movement is dull, all the atacks look the same and have no impact on your enemy, all you get is some sound....

      Over all i think it is not worth paying for it, not only the subscription, but even the $60 box...

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