Secret World’s Tornquist On F2P, Single-Player Games

By Nathan Grayson on July 6th, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

The Secret World is officially live, and we’ve both locked it in a room with our most dangerous mythical creature, Adam, and hurled questions at creative director Ragnar Tornquist until he cracked – by which I mean “willingly and jovially answered my questions in a highly consensual fashion.” And today, the insane brutality continues. Specifically, we discuss free-to-play, what Tornquist plans on doing next (hint: probably not another MMO), social gaming, whether or not MMO business models hurt fun, and more.

RPS: When you first conceived The Secret World, what were you aiming for it to be? Especially in comparison to what it is now, how did you conceive it? Is it roughly what you hoped to create? Did any particularly ridiculous features end up on the chopping block?

Tornquist: Absolutely. If you’re not willing to sort of kill your babies, if you’re not willing to change as development goes on, then you’re not going to succeed. You need to be able to see, like, “This is shit. We can’t keep this. We thought this was a good idea, but it’s not, so let’s move on and do something else.” But, I mean, The Secret World is remarkably close to the game it was five or six years ago. Tone and mood and atmosphere and story and all those things – it’s the same game.

It hasn’t changed a lot at all. When it comes to mechanics, we have gone through a number of iterations of our combat, our RPG system. We’ve gone for a lot more action, we have the reticule system. We went through a phase where we tested that out and tried not to go in that direction. But it’s always been a game without classes and without levels. It’s always been a game that’s more about free-form progression. I still think it is remarkably close to where it was five years ago. Surprisingly so.

There are some differences in the exact mechanics, and of course there’s a bunch of features that were abandoned or cut along the way and new features that we’ve incorporated. But if I looked at this game through the eyes of someone from five years ago, I would say, yeah, it’s pretty much what it should be. It’s pretty much the game that we wanted to make. And I’m extremely happy about that, because it’s a good idea to stay true to a vision. Even though it’s important to make modifications and to change as you go, it’s also important to stick to your guns and carry through the vision that you had originally, and not waver too much from that. I think we’ve done that, and I’m really proud of it.

RPS: When did investigation missions enter the picture?

Tornquist: Having more adventure gameplay was there from the very beginning. That was our heritage. Keep in mind that the original pre-production team on The Secret World was composed almost entirely of people who worked on Dreamfall. And among the people who worked on Dreamfall, there were a bunch that worked on The Longest Journey as well. So we looked at the heritage of the team and we said, well, we’re going to make an MMO, and we want to make an MMO where we bring in a lot of adventure elements in. The thing is, for a long while we weren’t sure exactly how to do that. We did it with the story. We did it with the ARG that we tied into the storyline, from the Unity gameplay we did outside the game.

But we weren’t exactly sure how to translate that into in-game mechanics until our lead content designer, Joel Bylos, came on board. He came over from Age of Conan. He didn’t really have any experience with The Secret World, he hadn’t worked on the project, but he bought into the vision of it, of being a blend of the MMO with the more investigative or adventure-type game. He came on board and championed that. He basically told us, “Look, this looks great, but let’s bake it into the game a lot more. Let’s create mechanics and do more with this.” So he championed that whole game plan. That was a couple of years back, where we started doing those types of missions.

That informed the whole game. It’s funny, it became more like the original vision. It had sort of strayed away from that – become more traditional – but that’s when we said, “OK, no, we’re going to do this properly, we’re going to make this game require more from players, require players to think. We’re not going to lead them by the hand through everything. We’re going to challenge people, we’re going to take a bit of a risk here.” Joel was the one who championed that, and it made the game a whole lot better. It’s what really makes our game stand out and be unique I think.

RPS: You also had The Secret War running in the lead up to Secret World’s launch. It was a neat idea, but it was also a peerless Facebook wall vandalism machine. So why take that route, especially when a lot of core gamers – a lot of the people who are playing The Secret World – are really vehemently against that kind of social gaming?

Tornquist: It’s going to sound like I’m dismissing The Secret War, but you have to keep in mind that that’s an initiative done by marketing. The production team has been working on The Secret World and making the game. It’s been very successful for our marketing department. It brought a lot of attention to the game, and that’s something we appreciate. But it’s really not something that the production team has worked on or had anything to do with. It’s not something I can really comment on that much.

It’s an interesting new angle when it comes to how we interacted with our players over Facebook. Yes, I mean, there are a lot of core MMO gamers who are really not the Facebook audience. But at the same time, our marketing guys are trying to really branch out and speak to other kinds of gamers as well, who want to enjoy The Secret World. So I think in that sense it was successful. But the Facebook aspect of The Secret War isn’t really meant for those core, core gamers, because they’re already aware of The Secret World and they already want to test it out. It’s more to bring awareness to those people who don’t necessarily know anything about it.

RPS: Are you happy with the kind of exposure that The Secret World has gotten overall, though? I mean, I know a number of people who are extremely excited about it, but I didn’t see it at E3, and mainstream awareness of it – even among “core” players – seems pretty hit-and-miss. Like, my roommate works at IGN, and he didn’t have any idea it existed (SECRET GET IT) until I started discussing my experiences in early access this weekend.

Tornquist: EA and our marketing guys have done a really good job. E3 was something we chose not to do. It’s not the right show for this kind of game. It’s a big and noisy and action-y place. The Secret World is an MMO, and it takes a bit more time to get into. That kind of venue isn’t very well-suited. So we concretely chose not to go there. We prefer to go for more community-driven or PC-driven events, things like PAX or Gamescom or GDC, those are the places where we have the time to show the game and really lead people through a whole presentation on it. Which the game needs, because it’s not the kind of game you pick up and play for three minutes.

I think our guys have done a really good job getting exposure out in general, but it is hard to get attention, especially when you’re dealing with a completely brand-new property. Our previous game was based on, you know, the Conan license. Guild Wars 2 is Guild Wars 2, it’s a sequel to a very successful, very good game. The Old Republic, obviously [is Star Wars]. All of those games have an easy job getting attention.

But I think given the fact that we’re not the biggest company in the world and The Secret World is a brand-new IP, our exposure is pretty good. And I think it’s going to increase a lot this week as the buzz from our early access launch starts to get around. We’ve now, I think, officially launched everywhere. And I think the word of mouth is going to get out there, the press is going to pay attention to it, we’re doing more marketing campaigns this week – stuff is happening. So yeah. I could always wish we did more and could see more exposure, but we’ve gotten a lot of attention and it’s good attention.

RPS: Do you ever plan on going back to single-player games, especially single-player adventure games? I know there’s a fairly large contingent of people who’d love to see you do that, and – with tons of indie adventures finding nice niches and, of course, Double Fine Adventure – it even seems financially feasible.

Tornquist: I think right now I’ve made an MMO, and it’s taken six years of my life. I’m going to stick around and stay with The Secret World for a while, but I would love to do something [single-player again].

MMOs are hard to make. That’s a fact. They’re huge and they’re complicated and you have to deal with servers and clients and lots of people playing together and everything breaks all the time because it’s unpredictable. It’s been a great learning experience, and at times an incredible mess trying to keep everything together. I’m happy to have done it, but I think I would love for my next game to not be an MMO. I’d love to do something that’s more controlled and more about the single-player experience – leading people through a story. So yes, I’d certainly like to go back to that.

RPS: On that topic, at the end of the day, an MMO has to keep players around for a long time. Otherwise you’re not making money, which is a problem. Do you feel like that changes the way you design the game, though? Because in a lot of cases, a single-player game would say, “OK, we’re trying to have a point here, so let’s shorten this or that. But with an MMO it seems like you’d say, “Well, maybe we can put a couple of extra missions here just to keep the player occupied longer.” Is that ever a thing you run into? Do you feel like designing with a subscription in mind hurts your pacing?

Tornquist: That’s a really valid question, and it’s a danger to pad out the gameplay in order to keep players around. A lot of single-player games these days are designed to keep players playing for a long time. You have DLC, you have multiplayer modes, you have achievements – you have all these mechanics that are designed in order to keep people playing the game for a long time. Some single-player games keep players occupied for as long a time as MMOs. I mean, look at Skyrim. People are still playing that game. They started playing it the day it came out, and they’re still playing it because the world is huge and there’s so much to do. Is it padding? I don’t think so.

It’s trying to make the game immersive and all-encompassing as possible. Of course we want you to stick with our game, of course we want people to pay us. But it’s never been the driving force behind our mission design, for example. Never have we designed a mission where we said, let’s add three more tiers with killing 20 more zombies because that’ll keep the players playing longer. We always consider the pace of the missions. We want people to sit down and be entertained, finish a mission, and be happy about it. It’s not a goal in itself to keep players occupied as long as possible. It’s a goal to make players enjoy the time they spend and make them feel like it was worth their time.

The way we work towards getting players to stay with the game is to add more content. That’s always been our philosophy, it’s all about having the content, it’s about adding more content. Wherever you go in The Secret World, there’s more content than you need in order to progress. There’s always choices. And there are mechanics in place that will keep some players playing long after the content has run out – like PvP, like the lore, like the achievements, like crafting, like the dungeon runs, doing it over and over again in order to get better gear. And it’s not a cynical move on our part. We also realize that people enjoy this, people enjoy playing games in order to get better at them. People enjoy playing games in order to get better rewards, to get better achievements, to feel they’re improving. That’s what MMOs are all about.

It’s a world where there is enough content to keep you occupied for a very long time, and that’s always been our goal. I don’t think any of us want to just be cynical and create a padded game that just keeps going and going and going. I think players would hate that. I think our game is well-paced. We estimated about 150 to 200 hours to get through the content in the game, which is not an enormous amount. But it’s enough to justify both the price tag and the subscription costs. And beyond that, players are free to engage in any kind of longevity mechanic as they please. Or they can play the new content that’s been released.

RPS: Currently your business model is subscription-based. In light of how many games are going free-to-play right now, why did you decide to go subscription-based with Secret World?

Tornquist: No triple-A, big MMO has launched yet with a free-to-play model. I know that Guild Wars 2 is coming up and is free-to-play, but they’re also launching with a item store and I’m not exactly sure what they’ll be selling there. Our item store is cosmetic only – things that are nice, but not fundamental to gameplay. We wanted to go subscription-based because we think that players are happier paying a steady monthly fee to get new content, to get the service, to get all the benefits of a game that has a growing, living world, than to keep charging them for little things.

That’s important to us. The subscription fee and our business model supports a big, ongoing team. We have content plans for a very long time. We have content that’s going to be coming on a regular, ongoing basis. We have content that’s going to come out pretty soon. It is the only business model that makes sense in terms of giving players this living, breathing world and this constantly upgraded, expanded experience.

Whether or not that’s the business model that’s going to be around in five years, I can’t say. But it wasn’t right for us to come out and be a free-to-play game, because then we would have to find other ways to support the ongoing content. Whether it would be DLC and charging people for that, or an item store and charging people for that, [I can't say]. At any rate, people are going to have to pay more in order to support the ongoing development. I think that at least for me and at least for traditional MMO players, a subscription fee is something they understand. If you subscribe to this game, we’re going to provide you with entertainment – with an experience.

But I mean of course [having Conan go free-to-play] has taught us a lot. Five years from now, ten years from now, will Secret World be free-to-play? I’m sure of it. But that’s a long time. For the time being, we’re committed to this business model, and as long as people are willing to pay us in order to provide them with expanded content and ongoing content, we’ll keep that business model.

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92 Comments »

  1. Beelzebud says:

    I know people think monthly fee games are going away, but I don’t think so. I agree with his assessment. I know personally I’d much rather pay a flat rate each month, than be nickle and dimed in some ‘pay to win’ scheme, which is what most of the f2p MMOs end up being.

    • Bostec says:

      I like MMOs and play them alot. Would of played this one but lets talk about pricing here. £32.99 for the box, £40 for the digital version and the sub, the sub really hits you in the third bollock. £12? No way would I able to shoehorn that in my pittance of a budget. Its seems to me to release the game, squeeze the sub out as much as possible and go straight to Free to Play when it starts dipping. It might be alright for some but not this bulldog. Either go straight to Free to Play or price the sub appropriately.

      • Torgen says:

        I budget approximately $15/month for World of Tanks, which is my “MMO money.” I think what made EQ the first big MMO was tens of thousands of people were pulled into it from hearing people in the office talking about it, so joined. I sold many, many EQ boxes to people who weren’t sure what they were even buying, but were buying it because their friends were playing it. Of course, EQ’s only real competitors were UO and Asheron’s Call.

        WoW was the successor to that, due to being more user friendly and forgiving, in addition to name recognition of the mythos, but I don’t see another MMO ever harnessing that much support. There’s been too much fragmentation with no real innovation, and everyone’s “been there, seen that” by now. Online play doesn’t carry the excitement/newness that it did ten years ago.

      • Vorphalack says:

        In principal I see nothing wrong with the subscription model, but at the same time I can’t name a single game that has ever fully justified its subscription cost. Rift is making a decent attempt, but it still looks a little costly considering we must also factor in the box price.

        A couple of options companies could try include removing the box price, and lowering the subscription cost to something more competitive. No box price and possibly a free week could be a great way to get customers interested.

        • jrodman says:

          Yes! A 5 dollar subscription with no leadin price would likely have me paying for several MMOs, at least for a while. As it is, i’m paying for none.

          Partly because I think the prices are too high, and partly because I’m not willing to talk my internet friends with less income to give it a go. My friends who are students are better off putting their money elsewhere.

          • Turey says:

            The MMO Wakfu has no box price, $5 monthly sub, and a reasonable cash shop (I haven’t bought anything from it.) It also has the benefit of having a small “Free to Play” starter area, so you can try the game out without shelling out any cash, and even if you let your subscription lapse (as I have), you can still log in and talk with friends and the like.

            The only real problem the game had was an abysmal launch after a long beta period. It took them months after release to fix many glaring issues. The game is in a pretty good state now, I just wish I hadn’t wasted $15 on those first three months.

        • Jay says:

          I can see the arguments for and against subscription models, but the reliance on having a box price is another thing entirely.

          I don’t bother with those anymore, and I suspect plenty of others don’t either. It seems little more than an attempt to gouge the early adopters, as they tend to be jettisoned for a “download the client free and just play the flat sub” model at a later date. Which is fine if you’re a big enough deal to sustain massive launch sales, but for the slightly lesser-known MMOs it seems more like crippling your potential userbase right out the gate. By the time you abandon the box price, you’ve lost that initial momentum, the numbers have already dwindled to the point people are scared of jumping in with a monthly sub, as it looks to the outside world like you’re dying a slow death. And nothing seems to scare people off quite like a dying MMO. That’s usually the point they convert to F2P, but surely there’s another way.

          I have no problem paying a sub for a game I enjoy. Just let me try the game and get my foot in the door without paying silly money for the box. It’ll probably work better for everyone in the long run.

          Also, if you’re going full sub, really, really do fuck off with having an item shop as well. I don’t care who else does it, it doesn’t make it any less sleazy.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”Also, if you’re going full sub, really, really do fuck off with having an item shop as well. I don’t care who else does it, it doesn’t make it any less sleazy.”

            Oh yeah. Nothing undermines the principal of a subscription better than additional ”micro”-transactions. If the sub fee is set high enough to keep the game in profit, then the subscriber should be able to access everything in the game at no extra charge.

    • Dowson says:

      I kind of agree because I don’t imagine how I could ever seriously play a modern F2P MMO. It seems like it would end up costing more than it should.

      What I’d rather companies do is to basically replace the patching system with regular expansions or something. Replace subs with a price tag for major patches, hardcore players will probably still be paying less than they would do on a subscription basis, casual players who may previously only subscribe a few months a year could be paying more, but because they’re seeing them as expansions they may not realise it.

      The problem would be balancing what should be free patches and what should be saved for mini expansions, and making sure the expansions are priced at a reasonable price (£10 every 3-4 months)

      • Torgen says:

        Turbine is the best at this, I think, with Dungeons and Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online. (If I go back to a MMO, it’ll probably be DDO.) There are regular FREE updates, you can earn free in-game credits to unlock other classes/races/dungeons at what I think are very reasonable rates (and also of course buy the credits with cash,) and you can switch back and forth from “get it all” subscription to free play without losing anything you’ve purchased with in-game credits.

        If LotRO had allowed you to level purely by crafting, I’d have never left the game, content to live in the Shire and craft and use the in-game music system to play real music for others as a minstrel.

      • malkav11 says:

        That was the Guild Wars model, and I fully expect it to be the Guild Wars 2 model. Tornquist is wrong when he describes Guild Wars 2 as free to play. A game that is actually using the free to play model has a $0 cost of entry (they may charge you for all sorts of things in the game, but you don’t pay just to access it in the first place). Guild Wars 2 has a $60 cost of entry, after which it chooses not to require a paid subscription. There is a fundamental difference between those models.

        I like free to play when done well. I think it is fundamentally a more sane business model to backload the cost of play, especially when games expect you to make the kind of long term play commitment that MMOs do, than it is to charge you a heaping pile of cash up front before you’ve even had a chance to see if you like the game and then expect you to pay regularly for the privilege of maintaining access.

    • Azradesh says:

      I feel the same, I’d rather pay a sub, but why is this an either or thing? Subs and F2P are not mutually exclusive, so why not launch with models? People might dip into the game as F2P users and then if they really like it, just switch to paying a sub because it’s easier and has better £/time value.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I’m a ‘core gamer’ I guess but haven’t got into MMORPG’s because of the grinding and generally not liking people. I was thinking of giving this game a spin because it looked more like a single player game that you can hook up with other people in, and I like the idea of investigation missions. I’d pay the subscription to try it out, but £40 to buy it up front? No way. It’s an odd pricing strategy for someone who says they want to attract more people that aren’t into MMORPG’s.

    • Zepp says:

      His point is completely invalid because of CASH SHOP. If sub is fine why they needed this abomination?

      • Ragnar says:

        Xbox Live has a subscription, and a cash shop where you can buy hats and clothes for your avatar. Would you also complain about how Xbox Live has a cash shop? Of course not, because dressing up your avatar is an optional thing that doesn’t effect everything else. Why is it there? Because Microsoft makes money from those who chose to dress up their avatar with optional things.

        It’s exactly the same for TSW, an optional cash shop where you can purchase additional cosmetic items to dress up your avatar if you’re not happy with the multitude of free cosmetic options.

        At the end of the day, games are made to make money. If they can make more money through an optional cash shop for extra cosmetic items, why not do so?

  2. 7Seas says:

    Really enjoying this game so far.

    I thought I was burnt out on MMOs after playing most of the big ones since EQ, and bouncing off of everything after WoW, but The Secret World just feels fresh and exciting to me. In a way that no recent MMO including SWTOR has.

    Big congrats to Tornquist and his team for making an interesting and exciting new world to explore.

    • chewbaccasdad says:

      That’s exactly the position I find myself in.

      I’ve played every ‘WoW-killer’ in the hopes that something would grab me in the way my first steps in Azeroth did, but everything was just derivative.

      TSW has me lying in bed at night thinking about skill builds and busting to get home from work to play it. I’m just surprised at the lack of marketing.

      • Torgen says:

        My first MMO was Ultima Online. I thought all of them were supposed to be like that going forward, but we’ve really had nothing but theme park MMOs since then. I’ve tried so many MMOs since then, I can’t remember them all.

        What was the one with the three factions and alien world, and you could experiment and customized magic spells? I can see it in my eye, but never quite got into it. The source code was released when the company went bankrupt.

        • Khisanth says:

          Sounds like you are describing Ryzom but that game is still running. It’s F2P(until level 125) now and both the client and server has been open sourced. They also have a tool for player created content.

          …but it has 4 races/factions rather than 3.

    • casshern09 says:

      I was very much looking forward to this game. I tried the beta and am sad to say I thought it was utter garbage. I liked the setting well enough and the story seemed interesting.
      The voice work on the other hand is bloody terrible. I mean really bad, but the thing that just stops me from playing any further was the combat. Really really dull, granted I haven’t played to high level but wow, just really standard very unimaginative MMO combat.
      I know that you can pick any number of abilities to use, but none of the ones I came across were interesting at all.
      It’s a shame really, but, it’s not going to be everyones cup of tea.

      • StarkeRealm says:

        This has actually got me a bit confused, since, with a few exceptions, the voice work in the open betas and the retail version is actually pretty good. I did hear briefly about the early closed beta having placeholder voice over, so I’m a bit curious if that’s what you meant.

  3. NaturalDre says:

    “I know that Guild Wars 2 is coming up and is free-to-play, but they’re also launching with a item store and I’m not exactly sure what they’ll be selling there.” I bet he knows…

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Well, there’s already a question over the definition of “free to play” when a lot of people refer to GW2 as “buy to play” (i.e. the initial box-purchase is where the money initially comes from)

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        It is extremely silly to call GW2 free-to-play when it is quite literally not. It’s a game that you buy like any other game that you buy, except it’s an MMO.

        WoW has an item shop too, y’know. And if GW1 is any guide, they’ll be making a bunch of expansions for continued revenue.

    • Tuor says:

      I think he knows, too. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you! We need to keep digging! The truth is out there…

    • Hobz says:

      Of course he knows, but how could he sound legit otherwise ?

  4. BloodyHoney says:

    Funny, the subscription is the one thing keeping me from trying the game out at all.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      same here, and same thing that stopped me even looking at SWTOR (the other “new Subscription MMOs can still work!”)

      • Slaadfax says:

        Subscriptions are tricky devils. For a lot of people, it’s very difficult in real life to find a lot of time to play video games with jobs and family, school and other stuff. The cost of the subscription isn’t really that much, but for people who very well might not have time to play for three to four weeks in a row, it’s just not a worthwhile investment.

        • slerbal says:

          I genuinely want to play this game, but subscription and MMO style combat are holding me back. I am fine with paying for the initial outlay of the game I’m just not able to justify the monthly subscription. I’m not saying their price is wrong, or that they are wrong for charging it – just that I personally cannot justify it. Also there are one to many elements of this game that are aimed at hardcore MMO players – and that is a worry as it shuts out players like me who play lots of games but avoid MMOs like the plague.

          On a purely personal level I love the sound of this game but wish it was a small group co-op experience instead.

          The thing is, I was never a WoW player and actually aside from some brief flings with Neocron and Anarchy Online I’ve not played any MMOs since UO and I really haven’t wanted to. I love playing online with friends (I have had so much fun with Arma2, Borderlands, L4D, Killing Floor for instance), but MMO grinding just isn’t for me.

        • soco says:

          That is where I am at now. A few years ago while in school it was great to just pay your $15 a month and get all the game you could want. I had tons of hours to burn and they could get sucked up by whatever MMO I was interested in.

          Now with work and life and such I find that having a subscription makes me feel like I have to get playing in order to get my value out of it. It keeps me from playing other games and demands my time because if I have an active subscription all the while my brain is going; “Your paying for this, you better use it.”

          I really don’t think I’ll ever go back to a subscription game. Free to play has grown on me in the last year…so long as it stays away from selling power I rather like the idea of being able to pick it up and drop it without having the feeling you aren’t getting the value for your money.

          • Ragnar says:

            That’s exactly right. Subscription games are like an all-you-can-eat buffet, you feel like you need to consume as much as you can in your time there to get the maximum value for your money.

            When WoW came out I had just graduated college, was living alone, and had lots of free time. $15 for 100+ hours of gaming each month was a great value. It was the most economical entertainment budget ever. As a result, WoW was the only game I played for years.

            Now I’m working longer hours and have a family, and my gaming time has been drastically reduced. To get my money’s worth from an MMO, I’d feel like I had to play it all the time, and forsake all other entertainment. If I decide to spend the night watching a movie, or anime, or reading, let alone playing a different game instead, then I’m losing value from my subscription.

    • abandonhope says:

      To date the only MMO I’ve played is Guild Wars, and I didn’t play for long because it was immensely repetitive. I didn’t stick around for the expansions. For the right pay MMO, I’d be willing to do one of two things: pay box price, or pay a subscription–not both. I can’t justify spending $50 on something that I might not like enough to maintain a subscription and then never be able to play again. It’s just too much of an ask when there are so many other options out there.

  5. Babli says:

    I curse the day I started to play The Longest Journey. This waiting for next game in series is just excruciating.

  6. Tuor says:

    I don’t play “free to play” games, because they usually have some sort of item store or way to make money that turns it into a Pay To Win game, and I *despise* those games due to their inherently unfair nature.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I think I let games get away with that sort of thing, especially in games with a PvE element, simply because you can often play them (for free) up until the point where the “to win” element starts becoming a nuisance.

      In the end, you can choose when to walk away because you wont lose any money over it.

      Of course, as soon as you start buying into it with actual money, you become locked into that “to win” arms race.

    • slerbal says:

      I agree with you. It is a bind – I can’t afford subscription games but avoid all free to play/play-to-win. I am however happy to pay for the game and update packs (just not the silly DLCs like clothing or other bling).

      Steam sales have taught me to only buy the games I am actually interested in and weirdly have made me happier to pay a higher price for games/studios that I want. I am happy to pay for quality, but not with a blank cheque :)

    • smg77 says:

      I don’t play F2P games either. I’d much rather play a subscription based game where the developers have to keep the game fun enough to justify my subscription as opposed to a F2P game where the developers have to make the game annoying to play unless you spend money in the cash shop.

      For me, it makes more sense to have developers focusing on fun than nickel and dime mechanics.

    • Sic says:

      I play MTG.

      *sob*

  7. Lambchops says:

    More “The Longest Journey” please Mr Tornquist.

    (someone had to say it!).

    • qrter says:

      Never say never, I guess, but the tone of the interview makes me think we should all just let The Longest Journey go. There’s never going to be a third game.

      I mean, even Tornquist himself doesn’t mention it anymore, when specifically asked whether he’d like to return to making a singleplayer game.

  8. Dana says:

    “Our item store is cosmetic only”

    Given the lack of variety in armor, this is quite an issue. So I read.

    • Shuck says:

      I have a problem with this, given that they’re charging for the game and on a monthly basis, to then charge again for character customization. If you have to pay for even basic character customization, then this is a significant issue for me.

      • malkav11 says:

        There are cosmetic items in the store. There are also a significant number of cosmetic items at character generation and even more for sale for Pax Romana (the fictional game currency) in a boutique in the game’s version of London. They’re also working on substantially expanding character creation options, and while I reserve the right to get annoyed if it turns out most of that ends up in the cash shop, it doesn’t -sound- like that’s what they’re doing.

        • aDemandingPersona says:

          In a blog post they stated that all or most of the new content added to the hub zones wont accept real world currency.

          From the blog post “… and the doctor prefers PAX. Where he buys his arcane supplies, the U.S. dollar holds little sway.”

  9. aliksy says:

    Ew, subscriptions. Gross.

    Also people are really overstating how often free to play becomes pay to win, at least in newer, legitimate free games. It’s usually stuff like “more inventory space” and “new areas”, going by Turbine and Nexon’s newer games.

    • Shuck says:

      It depends a lot on what gamespace you’re looking at. Social and mobile games still primarily rely on mechanics that could easily be called “play to win,” and the huge number of Chinese/Korean games primarily go for “pay to avoid insane grind” (and a dash of “pay to win”). The pay features you’re talking about are unfortunately still in the minority in free-to-play games.

    • smg77 says:

      The sad fact is that there are players out there willing to fork over not-insubstantial amounts of money to get an advantage over other players. I don’t think developers are going to be able to resist tapping into that potential revenue at some point in the future.

    • Khisanth says:

      I find it very strange that you are using Nexon as example here. How new are you talking about here? I’ve stopped playing Dragon Nest because of how they are doing the cash shop there.

      • aliksy says:

        I didnt play Dragon Nest much (decent game, too many loading screens, no free respec) but I don’t remember anything abusive in the cash shop. What are they doing with it now?

        I’ve probably put hundreds of hours into Dungeon Fighter, and the only cash shop complaint I have is that respec is really pricey. The way they used to do avatars was stupid, since you’d get a random one. Avatars that affect stats are kind of awful, but at least those are player tradable.

        I never looked at Vindictus’ cash shop except for when they were giving items away. I think that was a “give ‘em a taste and they’ll buy more” experiment.

        So, I guess they may have some bad practices in their cash shops, but not so bad that I really noticed.

  10. Demiath says:

    As a longtime singleplayer-oriented gamer who hasn’t played any MMOs aside from a bit of TOR and now TSW, it baffles me just how fast the subscription thing has become unfashionable. It’s very much a cognitive dissonance sort of thing for me when the online-savvy players are now making some of the exact same arguments I made back when I chose not to get into World of Warcraft 4-5 years ago.

    With TSW specifically I think the main consideration is that the game is far better at catering to more story-oriented gamers like me than it is to the MMO crowd, so the subscription aspect as such is not a particularly important factor in the long run.

    • Grygus says:

      Cognitive dissonance? It’s a simple value judgment, and therefore will change depending on who you ask, how much free time and money they have, and which product you are discussing. Almost nobody is really against subscriptions on principle, but some gamers will feel that a given game isn’t going to be worth the total cost when you add up payments. A few will make this their default position, but even those guys are most likely secretly open to paying a subscription if a game and circumstances are right (though the required game and circumstances may not be reasonable, depending on the person.)

      The people you were arguing against in 2004 thought WoW was worth it, and you didn’t. Now you think TSW is worth it, and they don’t. There are no mental gymnastics required, and all the rationalizing and self-justification that goes on is just that.

      • Ragnar says:

        Exactly. Whether subscriptions are worth it or not depends on your situation. Just look at Neftlix or Hulu Plus for comparison. If you rarely watch movies or shows, the subscription is hardly worth it as you could just rent a movie for less. But if you watch movies and shows often, Netflix is much cheaper than constantly renting or buying everything, and Hulu Plus is much cheaper than paying for Cable TV.

        If you have lots of free time and enjoy the MMO, $15 a month is a pittance for the amount of entertainment you’ll get. If you have limited gaming time, a huge game backlog, and don’t particularly like the MMO game design / mechanics, then the subscription is tough to justify.

  11. D3xter says:

    What he’s saying is that they decided to milk the people that are willing to pay for a game box and subscription for the first 3-5 months (not saying no to free money), after which they’ll turn it Free2Play, no other reason why they would introduce an item shop in a game people are already paying to get and paying a subscription for aside from obviously getting ready for Free2Play…

    On top of that they are also already offering “additional content packs” and one can buy “character slots”, “experience potions”, “quicktravel options” and similar, so on that front the game is worse than a lot of “Free2Play” games I’ve played lately (like DC Universe Online, Tribes: Ascend, League of Legends etc.) and I’m not exactly sure what he’s “bragging about”, I’d feel cheated if I’d be willing to pay for this in the first: https://register.thesecretworld.com/signup/ctrl/register/tsw/TSW-PREORDER

    • Jay says:

      Wait, what?

      I’ve been trying some F2P games lately, and I’m struggling to see much of a difference between what companies like Nexon and Turbine are doing and this. The prices are at best no better. Except TSW is charging a sub and a box price on top of that. What.

    • malkav11 says:

      Quicktravel options? No such thing is available in The Secret World at all, much less via real money transaction, other than the Agartha conduit (which sends you back to the hub dimension on a 30m cooldown). Those packs are overpriced, but you get cosmetic items, game time, character slot(s) you won’t need because there’s really no reason to run more than the three character slots you get initially, rapidly outdated equipment, and ten 20% experience potions across the full account that you can never replace. (And, at $200, a lifetime subscription.) If they put stuff like that in the cash store, then yes, it’ll be a problem. But right now you’re looking at a mild smoothing of the first few hours of the game.

    • Ergonomic Cat says:

      Maybe I’m just old, but paying $50 for a month of game play seems about right. Typically don’t play my games for too much longer than that, unless it’s a multiplayer shooter, which is a whole other category (and basically requires yearly purchases). Then, after that, if I like the game and the updates, I pay another $15 for another month. Which is a great deal, compared to $50 I’d pay for a new game otherwise. I don’t feel “milked” paying the cost of a game to play for a month. I feel like, assuming the game is good, I bought and played a game.

      Every month, I have the option to pay $15 for another month of gameplay. And considering that MMOs often rack up hundreds of hours, the cost/hr to play is pretty darn low.

      All of the “sod the boxed copy” comments seem to be applicable to every game out there. I didn’t get a month to try Mass Effect 3 before I decided if I wanted to buy it – I read reviews, played the demo, and then picked it up. I guess I don’t see MMOs as this completely other world.

      And for the cash shop – it’s generally XP boosts, and special cosmetic items – I bought a pair of fingerless gloves from the cash shop for about $1.50. There were a plethora of other gloves available for in game cash, but I prefered the ones in the store. Again, though, I’m old. $1.50 is not a significant amount to me. Perhaps that colors my judgement.

      • TariqOne says:

        Seconded. I get a lot of mileage out of this hobby for what is a comparatively small amount of dollars. I don’t begrudge good games their profitability and am happy to pay for a quality product that keeps me entertained.

  12. Dawngreeter says:

    This is bullshit. Now I know that the guy’s obviously not going to say anything against the game he’s promoting and he does get points for being a great game designer but still… this is bullshit. The Secret World is, I feel, going to beat TOR to being the title people point at ten years from now when they talk about the game that best represents the idiocy of subscription MMOs.

    This are literally the worst priced product I have ever seen. Worse than Hellgate: London. They have a price tag on the box, they have monthly subscription and they have the cash shop. All of this. Together. At the same time. AND shitty combat mechanics, but let’s not go there this time.

    And it had so much potential. It saddens me when I think how awesome it could have been.

    • Tyrain says:

      Sorry you feel this way. TSW is hands down the best MMO I’ve ever played. I know it’s not for everyone, but it has some of the most refreshing game systems I’ve seen and it breaks off many MMO shackles.

      I actually enjoy the combat in TSW more than Tera. I felt like the active dodge they recently added was a more poignant and rewarding version of the action combat Tera offers. Not as fluid or beautiful, but more decisive in usage and results. Add in all the ways to build skill sets that have synergy both for yourself and your team and I find myself stopping to shoot almost every zombie I see, for fun and exp.

      Every time I play, I find something new to marvel at. Whether it’s atmosphere, awesome choices, great characters, or subtle things like their fine attention to every detail in the world.

      It has rough edges that will definitely bounce many players, but I hope people will eventually come to recognize it as the fantastic – if niche – game that it truly is.

  13. MugiMugi says:

    Dreamfall/The Longest Journey sequel when?

    You promised a sequel AGES ago for this titles ><. Go make it now!

  14. wodin says:

    Even games I love over the years I’d have never paid monthly for them period. very few keep me interested long enough and very few I’d think would be worth paying for every month. Give me a boxed game and future expansions DLC. Simple. Even charge abit more for the boxed game and expansions than usual, but don’t make me pay for a game then pay monthly ontop of that just for the privilege of possibly playing it that month. I’ve been playing computer games since the BBC B micro in ’83, and as I said not one single game would I have paid a monthly sub for.

    • SPG says:

      You have missed out on a great deal of fun. As for the doom sayers who want F2P a great deal of people dont. Simple reason that 90& of reviews and arguments miss is the community goes to shit. Ask for a hint in TSW for a quest and you will get no replys on how to do, just even more cryptic clues. This is gaming for adults and as adults most of us have a job and can afford £15 a month on a game.

      BBC kids were always the spoilt kids at school anyway.

      Commodore Vic20 FTW

      (i had a ZX80 that i built with dad but that was shit)

  15. Hobz says:

    Subscription had a reason to be when server bandwidth was expensive, it’s not the case anymore.

    The argument of “We need your money every month to keep adding new content” is utter BS too; They’ll never provide 12£ worth of content every month, especially if you don’t take in consideration things like balancing (witch every online game dose, regardless of the model) or expansion packs.

    Beside, their cash shop seems to be already pretty aggressive with exclusive paid weapons and armor.

    • Shuck says:

      It never had that much to do with server bandwidth – it was because MMOs are very expensive to make and have ongoing costs. Initial sales almost never pay off the initial dev costs, much less subsequent maintenance costs (which can, in some cases, be substantial.) Subscriptions reduce the risks by allowing for a constant revenue stream, though the specific price-point of the subscription fee was designed to drive off enough players to reduce bandwidth costs but also pay for the services and eventually recover initial development costs.
      Adding a cash shop to a subscription-based game does seem rather mad, though. Either they expect the audience to be small enough that they need to extract extra money from them to stay afloat, or they’re testing out their free-to-play elements at the expense of current players.

      • Droniac says:

        Actually, you’re kind of forgetting about Guild Wars here. It launched as a box-purchase only MMO and has never had an in-game shop or subscription fee. Meanwhile it received numerous major content updates, new areas and PvE content and storylines, entire class overhauls, massive global tournaments with big prize money and LAN finals, and frequent events. And on top of that the servers have been far more stable and reliable than those of most subscription-based MMOs.

        Granted, it’s been abnormally successful, with 7+ million sales for the franchise (GW campaigns + expansion) as of February this year. And I suppose GW isn’t trying to retain players like subscription-based MMOs do, it’s a lot less grind-oriented than other MMOs (although I can only see that as a good thing). So there are fewer players sticking around for the long term and the load on the servers should be significantly reduced… and the quality of the game is far better for it. Still, you’re looking at a (by now) old MMO that’s survived exclusively on box sales and the same service fees that practically every subscription MMO charges (character slots and makeovers and the like). To the point where they’re making a sequel!

        Also, there are several MMOs that have thrived on far lower subscription fees. See RuneScape (to which only a small portion of the – ENORMOUS – player base actually subscribes), Shattered Galaxy, DOFUS, etc.

        And before you hammer on Funcom about this cosmetics shop in the game, please do realize that most major subscription-based MMOs are already doing similar things. WoW does it with mounts, Aion does the same thing, EVE with monocles and other cosmetic crap for walking in stations, RIFT with bonus item packs, etc. Everyone is doing this, and apparently a lot of people are all too willing to pay. Funcom just makes it a little more accessible than most by making it accessible in-game.

        • zhivik says:

          Actually, server stability in Guild Wars is due to the fact that the game is almost entirely instanced. Every time you go to do a quest, you get an instanced areas, for up to 8 players, which is quite more forgiving for an online game than having to maintain a server with thousands of players logged in. Thus, Guild Wars is more accurately described as co-operative RPG, rather than a true MMO. I mean, if you look at the Diablo III model, it is not that much different.

          Of course, I am not saying that Guild Wars is not a successful game, and box sales speak for themselves. If you ask me, I like their traditional pricing model, because this way you have a guarantee they will have large updates frequently, in order to generate additional revenue. Besides, it caters to people that don’t have that much spare time to play, which is a big draw factor.

          Anyways, on the topic of TSW – indeed, the combination of a box price, subscription fee and a cash shop (even if only cosmetic) is a little bit too much. I understand that the game is more different than most out there, and I liked the investigative missions and atmosphere in the beta. However, pricing is a little bit steep, even more so for me, as I live in Europe, where once again the approach of “1 US dollar = 1 euro” is used. I am fed up with regional price discrimination, so I even no longer use Steam because of it. Therefore, even though I may be potentially interested in TSW, as I play mostly adventure game, I refuse to support such a large discrepancy in prices.

  16. MistyMike says:

    Hey Mr Tornquist!! You ended Dreamfall by having April stabbed and drowned in a river! Let us know how that story will end!!

  17. Pantzed says:

    In my personal experience attempting to get friends to join me in playing specific games the trouble is much more often convincing them of the initial buy-in than it is talking them into a subscription. Trying a game out for free and then tossing $15 at it once one is hooked is a much smaller hill to climb than $60 (or even $50) to decide whether or not you like it.

    Cash shops in games that do not have a “Free to Play” option are simply unacceptable. I believe that LOTRO & STO (as well as many others I have not played) circumvented this issue for those with subscriptions by providing a certain amount of in-game cash each month, which did certainly help.

    However, a game demanding $$ for the box up front, requiring a monthly subscription fee *and* dangling goodies behind a cash shop is a game I cannot justify supporting.

  18. TehK says:

    I was very sceptical about this game and I didn’t expect much. After playing the beta, I thought… well, I’ll give it a try. Worst case, I’ll have 2 weeks of mediocre fun.

    But oh my god… I’m so blown away by this game. Not only did they adress (and adjust) quite some issues from the beta (including the combat which now feels rather more “meaty” as if it had more impact), but the setting, the athmosphere and the characters are just amazing. I just finished the first dungeon and even that did again surprise me completely.

    Well and as for the investigation missions… I’m sorry, but go and do “Something Wicked”, “Men in Black Vans”, “Dead Air” and most of all “The Kingsmouth Code” – it speaks volumes that I even can remember the quest names. This is just brilliant.

    Still…. I absolutely don’t like the subscription + item shop model. That’s just too much and really looks like money grabbing of the worst kind (althoug at least they really only have vanity stuff in the shop – for now, I guess). And I also have some other points worth criticising. Of course it’s not perfect, but getting in there with no expections at all, this is to me the best MMORPG since ages. If they manage to keep up that pace, that athmosphere and those amazing and satisfying investigation missions, I won’t even care about Guild Wars.

    (sorry if some expressions seem awkward – it’s a German posting ;) )

  19. Dizzard says:

    Guild Wars 2 is making me extremely extremely sceptical of p2p games.

    I’ve played in the Guild Wars 2 beta weekends and of course it’s not the best idea to base this off a beta but I’m very happy with the experience I have gotten from the game so far. Why would I pay a subscription to get an experience of a similar quality?

    It’s just something I can’t justify in my mind.

    On the other hand I have played many free 2 play and pay to win mmos that only ended up as minor distractions before moving on to the next one. Like getting ready for a big meal and being presented with a celery stick on your plate.

    B2P seems to me like the perfect middle ground.

  20. Kuroko says:

    Not all free 2 play are pay 2 win.

    For instance, its said that Planetside 2 which is a triple A quality game, will have a purely cosmetic online shop. No fees, and no entry price. So It’ll have the best of all worlds

    Path of Exile is also looking great and follows the same business model.

    So, please, stop kissing GW2 ass, its not doing anything they didn’t do before in GW1 from the business model perspective (which had FULL PRICED expansions except the last one), but unlike GW2, at least GW1 was fun to play. Now is just another theme park but with a much more chaotic, confusing, and dumbed down approach.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      The GW1 ‘expansions’ were standalone, so there were actually 3 full games. That’s why they were full priced. The only expansion was Eye of the North.

  21. malkav11 says:

    It really makes me sad to see all these people writing off a unique, beautiful and enjoyable game, not because they’ve played it and it didn’t work for them, not because they can’t afford the asking price, not because it’s implementing things that will damage games as a medium, but because that game offers the completely optional functionality of buying virtual clothing for real world money. You never need to so much as open the cash shop window, much less buy anything there.

    • sellswordassasin says:

      The point is the box price and the sub is more than enough to keep this game going strong. The ingame cash shop is crazy! So now somebody who pays every month looks like a hobo because he refuses to pay even more money to play dress up barbie!

      Whenever a player buys an MMO he is making an investment into the idea that this game will continue. However, almost every MMO that has come out with a sub has went F2P and washed out those investors. So the fact that Funcom who has yet to prove themselves as being able to provide a game worthy of a sub, already has F2P written all over there game with the cash shop.

      • malkav11 says:

        There are plenty of in-game clothing options, and styling threads are not exactly the point of this supernatural horror investigation game. I agree that the cash shop is overkill. My point is that it can safely be ignored, while the game shouldn’t be.

        • sellswordassasin says:

          Well I would agree with you then to some extent. The game should not be ignored and I would love to play it. Even more so now that the devs had seen their combat in beta was horrible and have gone in and done some work. While it would be easy to avoid the CS for some I do tend to enjoy playing “dress up barbie” and if there are better textured outfits in the CS then in a game I am suppose to have full access then theres a problem. But the only way I know how to say no to paying a sub and a CS is to ignore the game itself.

      • zerosociety says:

        Izzit crazy for someone to understand that a sub-set of the market is okay with buying $3 fuzzy slippers for their monster fighting game and offering that as a service that in no way affects anything?

        It’s free money. Lying there. If people don’t want to buy in, then there is a whole game full of vanity clothes and items. If they do want to buy in, then hey look, they have a few dozen items for sale!

        • Jay says:

          It’s bottom feeding. Just because you know you can take advantage of someone’s bad habits doesn’t mean you should.

          It’s all a matter of degrees, of course. I just feel that doing it in addition to a subscription is unacceptable, and not something I can support.

          • Tyrain says:

            How is it bottom feeding to offer additional clothing options for people who want to spend extra money solely for appearances? Is Funcom rolling in so much money that you can’t respect them for trying to earn money from people who are happy spending it? Is buying clothing really some unavoidable addiction or irresistibly bad habit that it’s immoral to offer clothing for real money?

            The item shop is not remotely required. I’ve unlocked a number of costume pieces for free, just by completing quest segments and unlocking sets of abilities. I haven’t bought clothing with in-game cash and I already have a dozen meaningful options beyond my starting selection – a few of which I find pretty awesome.

            Personally, if I enjoy a game, I want that developer to make as much money as possible. The more they succeed, the more potential there is to stay in business and continue producing something interesting. Beyond that, all that matters to me is whether I am getting my own personal money’s worth in game enjoyment.

            I don’t understand why the bottom line is not something like “I’m spending X and getting Y enjoyment, if that’s satisfying and/or competitive with my other choices, then I’ll continue paying”.

            What big principle are you standing on? How do you know 15/mo will actually pay the bills, recoup the initial investment and sustain a full time Dev team for additional content? What if the optional item shop brings in the needed income to sustain a game that you end up loving… and sustain it in a way that costs you nothing extra?

            What’s wrong with giving players who enjoy a game more ways to invest in the game if it isn’t hurting players who choose to pay the minimum? Are players somehow incapable of being mature with their money?

  22. mcwill says:

    It’s a niche game, and it knows it’s a niche game, so it’s designed to extract as much value from its niche players as possible. As long as it holds up its part of the bargain and keeps providing content for that niche, then all is good. All the butthurt on here is by people who won’t play it long-term anyway.

    • Jay says:

      I’ll buy a copy tomorrow with a lifetime subscription if someone can promise me I never have to hear the term “butthurt” ever again.

  23. Runs With Foxes says:

    Five years from now, ten years from now, will Secret World be free-to-play? I’m sure of it.

    I can’t imagine the PR dudes are happy about this quote given how many people have said “I’ll wait for F2P.”

    The Secret World won’t last five years with anything but a scattering of players. I doubt it’ll last one.

  24. zerosociety says:

    I’ve never seen so many lifetime subscriptions. The tell-tale snakeskin jackets are everywhere.

    And honestly, I’m kind of over people whining about subscriptions. If they actually produce the promised content, then I’m fine with subs. Most people pay a lot more for cable they barely use or to rent the stack of Netflix DVDs they forgot to return.

    I buy a box. It recoups initial development losses. I pay a sub, they give me new stuff on a regular basis.

    Now if they don’t follow through (see also: DC Online before it went F2P) that’s a different kettle of squamous maggots.

  25. nighthawk999 says:

    Whatever model this game adopts to attract money it doesn’t change the fact that this is Emperors New Clothes in terms of the game.

    The ‘you can play any class’ is a misnomer, or else the chat channels wouldn’t be full of LFG Healer, LFG Tank, LFG DPS etc etc and the gear check thing is still in there so instead of iLevels in WoW we now have QL levels in TSW.

    The Skill system is just a method to prolong each areas quest chains, and whilst the questing is fun this could so easily of been just a single player game.

    The combat is so dull it’s frightening, press one button to build stuff up another button to use it….zzzz

    This is the same gaming mechanics we’ve been playing since WoW reared it’s ugly head, just spun around a little to make it look ‘new’. There is absolutely nothing new about TSW aside from perhaps the investigative missions.

    The setting is new but then reskinning WoW has been done ad infintum but this time it’s just in a ‘horror theme’. It IS atmospheric you have to give it that, that part they’ve done very well but lets face it the level cap will be reached shortly and the usual forum outcry of ‘what do we do now’ will ensue coupled with the usual ‘you shouldn’t of raced through the game you should enjoy every moment’….

    I yearn for the day someone goes back to the EQ model and remakes that epicness again. Hell EQ1 nowadays (logged in for a bit last few months) has more players in the central hub than I’ve ever seen in SWOTR or TWS running around and that game is 16 years old.

    Bring back proper MMOs and stop fobbing us off with these pretend ones.

    • aepervius says:

      “The ‘you can play any class’ is a misnomer, or else the chat channels wouldn’t be full of LFG Healer, LFG Tank, LFG DPS etc etc and the gear check thing is still in there so instead of iLevels in WoW we now have QL levels in TSW.”

      That is because in instanced dungeon you will need somebody which can heal and tank. But otherwise outside of dungeon, you can indeed be anything. And I even question the reality of *needing* a tank/healer/dps trinity, beside a people habit of asking for such roles, at least the first instance polaris, we did it with 5 DPS. Sure we did wipe twice on different boss, but that was because we were moron and let the ADDS overwhelm us. But in the very end we finished the instance as 5 DPS.

      “The Skill system is just a method to prolong each areas quest chains, and whilst the questing is fun this could so easily of been just a single player game.”

      I have no idea what you mean with that. So far I have had 2 area quest chains going for a 3rd and the skill system has had no bearing in which order I did the area quests.

      “The combat is so dull it’s frightening, press one button to build stuff up another button to use it….zzzz”

      Do we participate in the same game ? I have to move to avoid mobs attack, in fact for big attacks I can go away, or use the special dodge. Depending on the situation I also use different skills and even different setup. Compared to many other MMO out there is SWTOR or WOW, the combat is very much active. To which MMO existing today you think this combat system is less active ? I mean so far as I can see only Tera beat it in the activity region, so are you complaining on something which did not exists up to now ?

      “This is the same gaming mechanics we’ve been playing since WoW reared it’s ugly head, just spun around a little to make it look ‘new’. There is absolutely nothing new about TSW aside from perhaps the investigative missions.”

      It is an hybrid mechanic with part avoiding actively mobs attack, and aprt being auto targeted. Maybe you are burned out on that mechanic ? Try FPS ? And go play Tera/GW2 ? But it certainly feels not like WOW. WOW it did not matter I could stay put and fight a mob or kite it. No way I could avoid attacks from mobs in WOW, beside a few bosses obvious “don’t stand in fire”.

      And the settings is VERY important. Some of us play game for the settings, not only for the mechanic. In fact I would rather play a good setting with average mechanic, rather than a dull setting with good mechanic. That is why GW2 seen as the “innovator” and “Tera” I find much much more dull than TSW. That said all MMO *pale* compared to single player game but there is a good reason for that, and it would be downright stupid to expect single player game quality story with MMo infrastructure for the same price budget…

      “The setting is new but then reskinning WoW has been done ad infintum but this time it’s just in a ‘horror theme’. It IS atmospheric you have to give it that, that part they’ve done very well but lets face it the level cap will be reached shortly and the usual forum outcry of ‘what do we do now’ will ensue coupled with the usual ‘you shouldn’t of raced through the game you should enjoy every moment’….”

      That’s an MMO illness , and a player generated problem. No matter which MMO you always have people like that. Even single player game (look at D3 the rush to bet it in hardcore inferno) IMHO it is not something a MMO can really fight.

      What I DO see as a weakness OTOH is that faction all play in the same area with the same mission, with only the story mission being slightly different. So 95% of the game being identical from faction to faction I see people getting fed up much quicker.

      “I yearn for the day someone goes back to the EQ model and remakes that epicness again. Hell EQ1 nowadays (logged in for a bit last few months) has more players in the central hub than I’ve ever seen in SWOTR or TWS running around and that game is 16 years old.”

      I am ROFL on that one. You complain about the tired mechanic of WOW…. To yearn for a MMO which has grand fathered that same mechanic in. ironic

      “Bring back proper MMOs and stop fobbing us off with these pretend ones.”

      Please. Go play EQ1 you can still do. http://everquest.station.sony.com/

      • nighthawk999 says:

        “That is because in instanced dungeon you will need somebody which can heal and tank. But otherwise outside of dungeon, you can indeed be anything. And I even question the reality of *needing* a tank/healer/dps trinity, beside a people habit of asking for such roles, at least the first instance polaris, we did it with 5 DPS. Sure we did wipe twice on different boss, but that was because we were moron and let the ADDS overwhelm us. But in the very end we finished the instance as 5 DPS.”

        That’s encouraging then, I haven’t done any instances. You’re missing my point though, I can’t be ‘anything’ outside of a dungeon without re-rolling or investing epic amounts of time to generate enough AP/SP to re-skill not to mention the re-gearing etc. So it’s not that straightforward is it?

        “I have no idea what you mean with that. So far I have had 2 area quest chains going for a 3rd and the skill system has had no bearing in which order I did the area quests.”

        What I mean is that there’s certain parts of each zone you can’t tackle without having the correct gear (gear check) and to be able to wear that gear you have to have the correct SP to enable it.

        “Do we participate in the same game ? I have to move to avoid mobs attack, in fact for big attacks I can go away, or use the special dodge.”

        You have to move out the way of massively telegraphed moves, giant white circles or rectangles on the ground. And moving blithely around a mob is not really active. I tested this, the Black Goat mobs which have ‘big attacks’. I just stood there and whacked them and they died. /shrug (I am Blood/Fists)

        ” Depending on the situation I also use different skills and even different setup. Compared to many other MMO out there is SWTOR or WOW, the combat is very much active. To which MMO existing today you think this combat system is less active ? I mean so far as I can see only Tera beat it in the activity region, so are you complaining on something which did not exists up to now ?”

        All I’m saying is it’s not much of a departure of the standing there and whacking something, I mean even in WoW you wouldn’t stand in fire (big attacks) so I’m barely seeing much of a difference other than each mob now has a ‘big attack’ rather than limited to ‘boss encounters’. I don’t doubt that there are limited ways to achieve this, but there seems to be very little progression in the genre and a lot of regression in some respects.

        “It is an hybrid mechanic with part avoiding actively mobs attack, and aprt being auto targeted. Maybe you are burned out on that mechanic ? Try FPS ? And go play Tera/GW2 ? But it certainly feels not like WOW. WOW it did not matter I could stay put and fight a mob or kite it. No way I could avoid attacks from mobs in WOW, beside a few bosses obvious “don’t stand in fire”.”

        I’m playing Tera and betaing GW2 both are refreshing though Tera is just a very very slick WoW essentially, tons to do, tons of content, pretty cool combat and healing mechanic. And I play BF3/TF2 for FPS kicks but I’m not a great FPS player. I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you I’m just questioning what’s happened to the ‘massive’ in these games which are essential single player games with other people who happen to be there.

        “And the settings is VERY important. Some of us play game for the settings, not only for the mechanic. In fact I would rather play a good setting with average mechanic, rather than a dull setting with good mechanic. That is why GW2 seen as the “innovator” and “Tera” I find much much more dull than TSW. That said all MMO *pale* compared to single player game but there is a good reason for that, and it would be downright stupid to expect single player game quality story with MMo infrastructure for the same price budget…”

        That’s what I mean though, it’s not an MMO infrastructure is it? I know I can wade right through to the ‘end’, and despite what anyone says there’ll be an end (the endcap will be gear level), solo. I don’t need to interact with anyone. I won’t do that I’m a social animal that’s why I play MMO but that element seems to of been ripped out of MMO’s since WoW onwards. Why?

        “That’s an MMO illness , and a player generated problem. No matter which MMO you always have people like that. Even single player game (look at D3 the rush to bet it in hardcore inferno) IMHO it is not something a MMO can really fight.”

        Agreed

        “What I DO see as a weakness OTOH is that faction all play in the same area with the same mission, with only the story mission being slightly different. So 95% of the game being identical from faction to faction I see people getting fed up much quicker.”

        Not even thought about that tbh, I guess that’s similar to SWTOR in some respects with only the core story being the differentiator.


        I am ROFL on that one. You complain about the tired mechanic of WOW…. To yearn for a MMO which has grand fathered that same mechanic in. ironic”

        I don’t yearn for the mechanic, I yearn for the epic-ness that was EQ, the sheer size (or perceived size) the fact that everything wasn’t handed to you on a plate. You could die if you were stupid/not paying attention. The vastness of content, the open dungeons to just roam around in and explore, true epic quests that were epic and required the assistance of tons of people. The forced social environment (which you can argue the counter..) where soloing past lvl 10 was painful and grouping for dungeons was a must. The mechanics were clunky for sure, even archaic now, it’s more the foundations and social aspect I miss that seems far removed now from MMO’s due to the way they’ve been developed.

        “Bring back proper MMOs and stop fobbing us off with these pretend ones.”

        Please. Go play EQ1 you can still do. http://everquest.station.sony.com/

        —- Heh I have been on and off, it’s very much a rose tinted specs experience though, rather like going back and plugging in your BBC Micro and loading up Revs and wondering where all those super fast formula one cars are :P

        • pantognost says:

          I read both your posts.
          You don’t like this game.
          You had the time of your life in EQ, tried WoW got bored and jaded.
          There is no MMO that will make you happy anymore.
          I won’t bother arguing your points. They are all personal views covered in objective-like jargon (just an example, I have been in two areas of the game already and still haven’t experienced your mentioned “gear check”).
          I sincerely hope you find an MMO to like.
          I think that you won’t.
          You’ll just keep bashing them in order to make others jaded too.
          In some it will work.