The Secret World Pledges It’s “Far From Done”

The looming face of Ragnar Tørnquist sits atop a message to The Secret World players, in an effort to calm concerns after what are described as “a turbulent couple of weeks”. The game, which apparently has only around 200,000 players after its first month, has put developers Funcom in a tough financial position, with rumours of as many as half the staff worldwide being laid off, and their share value falling a massive 84% drop. But T(ALT-0248)rnquist is seeking to assure players that things are still good for the game itself.

Explaining that the game has “a bright future”, the project lead goes on to say,

“We’re not about to change. We’re not going to play it safe. We won’t be introducing classes or levels, elves or centaurs, and regardless of the competition, we won’t back down from our original vision. We’re going to keep doing what we’re good at. We’ll continue to push the boundaries, and we’ll keep reinventing the wheel (quite literally). Five years ago, we set out to revolutionise the genre, and the revolution has just begun.”

The piece acknowledges the serious competition Guild Wars 2 is now presenting, and the presumably even more serious challenge WoW’s Mists Of Pandaria will present very soon, but describes his game as “a game that’s truly original, mature and challenging. A game for gamers.”

Funcom plan to stick with the monthly releases of new content, to make sure subscribers are always seeing the game change as they pay (admittedly with a two week delay on the first, after the “restructuring”), as well as responding to feedback, “polishing, fixing and streamlining the game.” There’s also details about a new 10 person raid for New York in October, new weapons, and improvements to character customisation. And there are big plans for Christmas events, hinting at vampiric abilities being added in, as well as confirmation of the plan to add Tokyo in as a whole new adventure zone next Spring. Ragnar concludes,

“And that’s only some of the cool content we have in the pipeline. The Secret World is far from done: in fact, we’re just getting started. (Actually, we’re pretty far along, but you know what I mean.) This game will continue to grow and evolve in the months and years ahead, and I hope to see you all along for the ride!”

Many have suggested that The Secret World’s issues lie in trying to use a subscription model in a free-to-play world, but personally I find that to be a suspicious conclusion. Certain the subscription is far too high at £12 a month – making that a far more agreeable £8 or 9 would I’m sure tempt more people to commit to what we’ve found to be a fantastic game. (And I can’t wait to see all the outlets who slated it for its combat also dishing out the same criticism and low marks for Pandaria when it’s released!)

But far more significant would seem to be the entry fee. At £40, here is where a ludicrously big obstacle appears. And yes, here is where the game’s being in a world where MMOs now tend to be free to begin playing starts to become extremely awkward. The very last thing you want with a game that profits from ongoing play is a massive entrance charge, and for inexplicable reasons, Funcom have opted for the very highest end of PC game prices. Even at £30 it would be a bit of a push, and it bewilders me that a game that’s clearly struggling to get players hasn’t already at least halved its price. (The only reasoning I can think of is the belief that if people have already paid so much just to get in, they’ll want to continue playing to get their money’s worth – but that’s deeply spurious logic.)

Edit: Commenter SuffixTreeMonkey (ho boy) points out that the game is currently half price in an Origin sale.

There is, at least, a three-day free trial now. But it would be good to see Funcom thinking a lot more about how to get new people coming in, alongside keeping those they’ve already got.


  1. trjp says:

    There’s a real and palpable sense of desperation hanging around this game.

    Last week I got a questionaire asking me about my experiences with the game and it almost felt like they were asking me to say

    “It’s too different for me and I demand more combat”

    When what I actually wanted to say was

    “The atmosphere and setting clash so hard with it’s MMO pretensions that it’s like a cake made out of concrete”

    • Cooper says:

      I got the same questionnaire. Some of the Multiple Choice answers seemed to have been cobbled together from what seems to be common criticisms.

      I did by best to convey the same:
      “Everything I love and everything that makes me want to play the game and throw money at you is rendered unpalatable – if not broken – by the kinds of MMO conventions that break any possible immersion in your otherwise lovingly crafted game worlds and narratives.”

    • SuffixTreeMonkey says:

      I think they fully realize that combat is one of their weak points and Investigation one of their strong points. After all, Issue #1 (the first monthly content) added a bunch of investigation missions, and Issue #2 plans to bring new ones as well.

    • ecat says:

      I took, what is for me the unusual step of replying to their questionnaire, apparently agreeing with both trjp and Cooper.

      Everything was fine while the world was secret, once it became obvious that 500 others shared the same secret, were doing the same quests and we were all killing the same mobs over and over again the game lost all credibility.

    • Dog Pants says:

      Adding another voice to this sentiment. My feedback was very much the same – the great, original ideas which make me want to play, and to want the game to succeed in order to challenge the conventions, are vastly overshadowed by the conventions it doesn’t challenge. Sorry Ragnar.

  2. malkav11 says:

    I still don’t understand why the UK pricing is so disproportionately high. Here in the US it’s a perfectly average $50 for the box and $15 for the monthly subscription, just like every other MMO (except SWTOR, which launched at $60, and of course GW2, which cost $60 but has no sub)..

    And I want to believe Mr. Tornquist. I really do. I adore TSW, and I took the risk of paying for a lifetime subscription. But the low subscription numbers, layoffs, and massive stock price drop don’t really bode well, do they? It was always going to be a niche title, but it doesn’t seem like they budgeted accordingly.

  3. SirKicksalot says:

    A realistic modern setting brings certain combat expectations, especially when guns are involved. From what I’ve seen TSW’s combat just doesn’t *feel* right. It lacks punch and the flow is odd. Fantasy usually gets a free pass, because magic.

    • Cooper says:

      They have the most un-gun-like gunplay. It’s like everything that makes blasters in the old KoTOR games so much less believable than lightsabers but writ large.

  4. Laffles says:

    2nd image looks like de_dust2

  5. Bpy6 says:

    I honestly love The Secret World.

    It’s such a great game, with such an engaging storyline, but it’s still very average MMO.
    A game so good, actually, it’s been a bit painful for me to unsub.

    I wanted and still want this game to stay afloat, to succeed, for Ragnar to execute his vision.
    However, it’s hard to stick with it, because when the story ends, when you had some fun with harder endgame content, you realise that it’s probably one of the most shallow MMOs ever released.

    I managed to get through the story and most of the nightmare dungeons in 2 months and there’s literally no persistent content to play. No incentive, no hook (unless you’re one of those gear progression junkies). And that’s slow paced. Harcore people are probably able to ‘finish the game’ in a week or even less.

    I appreciate the quality of questing content in TSW. It’s, in my opinion, unmatched by any of the MMOs out there, but in a game that’s supposed to last, either quantity should matter, or some incentive in persistent activity should exist. TSW has neither of those, sadly. For now.

  6. Froid says:

    I actually really like this game. It’s great that it actually has a niche market which it obviously is catering for. I hope the game doesn’t go F2P. I’m not saying this just because I played and liked the game, I just feel that it wouldn’t suit it very well. I hope the ‘Guild Wars’ move convinces them to make it a ‘Buy to Play’ title instead. At the moment, since I’m a lowly student, I simply can’t afford to pay and play. If Funcom ever finds it in their hearts to lower the fee, or simply charge just for the client, I’d be the first to jump right back in.

  7. Lars Westergren says:

    I still like the game, and I really hope it will do well. I applaud that they try to create a different MMO, both in setting and that narrative is more important.

    But at the same time I agree with Richard Cobbett’s editorials about “MMO vs Narrative” and “enough of single player MMOs” – the setting is a success, and the level design is very atmospheric. But imagine how much better the mood, the combat, and the narrative could have been if it had been a single player game, with no need to fill the maps to the brim with mini-fedex quests and level-appropriate mobs to harvest?

    • qrter says:

      Not to mention how much more immersive a singleplayer game in that world would be!

      I’d buy a singleplayer TSW game in a heartbeat, but there is absolutely no way that I’ll want to play an MMO version.

      • frightlever says:

        At this stage they have what they have, which is essentially the tools required to make content for their MMO infrastructure. Throwing in the towel and packaging their content into single-player games or game will kill the few subs they have. What’s better, 100k rock-solid subs at $15 per month or perhaps 250k one-time sales (around *TLJ numbers, but the TSW brand is tarnished so who knows if they’d even sell that) at $50?

        *TLJ sold about half a million but over a very long time-frame. Time is not necessarily what Funcom has in abundance.

        • qrter says:

          I’m not saying it’s anywhere near realistic to expect them to retool the game towards a non-MMO game.

          I am saying that it was a big mistake to develop this game as a MMO in the first place.

  8. Jorum says:

    I really liked TSW, but cancelled my sub last week as simply can’t play it frequently or for long enough sessions to justify a subscription.

    It’s a real shame. The setting, writing and background are great, and quests for the most part interesting.
    And the London area is brilliant – one of the most atmospheric and enchanting environments I’ve seen in a game in a long time.

  9. SuffixTreeMonkey says:

    Why do you mention the price but not mention that it’s half off, for £20, on Origin? Do you want the readers not to buy it? DO YOU?

    (This post may contain references to previous RPS posts about The Secret World.)

  10. MidoriChaos says:

    I love the game’s setting/lore, and I was having a blast with Nightmare mode dungeons…but there are far too many exploits not being patched in a timely manner to bother anymore.

    There was an exploit for ages that allowed you to rejoin fights in dungeons after you died during boss combat, making fights trivial as people paid no attention and just died over and over. I don’t think people got banned as it seemed most everyone was using it. I could not even complete one of the two NM dungeons they released with Issue #1 because I don’t have a pre-set group of 5 people (I was running with 2 people I met in the game) and pick up members insisted on exploiting a bug to skip a particularly hard boss. Other exploits exist, I have no idea how you perform any of them but it seems most of the community is aware. That combined with the fact there were other games coming out made me unsub. It’s no longer fun when you get abuse from PUGs for not exploiting.

    That said, if you like the setting the game is worth it at least for the first month to see the missions and main story. I will resub in a month or two to see the new missions, and I really, REALLY hope they can pull through and continue the main story, but I can’t justify a monthly sub when my gameplay consists of people ditching our group after the second wipe (which they cause) because they got so used to exploiting things they’re unable to play properly..

  11. videogone says:

    “T(ALT-0248)rnquist is seeking to assure players that things are still good for the game itself”
    Ho there!

    • John Walker says:

      Yes, it would have been pretty tricky to have typoed that by accident.

    • Faxmachinen says:

      If only there was a keyboard layout that had those pesky Æs, Øs and Ås in it!
      (Ironically enough, it is impossible to type angle brackets on a US keyboard with that layout. The more you know!)

  12. Shockeh says:

    It’s one of the more interesting, different settings for an MMO, and the game mechanics really tempt me. Then they tell me I have to buy it up front at a higher than average rate, and pay above average per month to play it.

    Even in a quiet market, I’d struggle to justify it to myself. With Guild Wars 2 out, Planetside looming, DOTA taking up time? It doesn’t stand a chance of even making it into my consciousness of an evening.

  13. Atic Atac says:

    I have to say that I do enjoy the setting and the atmosphere. Where this revolution in gameplay is?… I haven’t seen it yet! Quests are needlessly obtuse and sometimes just broken. Pixel hunting was old 20 years ago and running around trying to find an obscure item lying wherever is just lazy quest design. Same goes for “Kill 6 pink zombies” quests which then evolve into “Kill 6 red zombies”.

    Kudos for the setting and the atmosphere, plus the leveling is interesting. It’s a shame it’s wrapped around in extremely uninteresting and unvaried combat and absolutely broken servers with terrible ping that ruin the game for me personally. If it weren’t for the server lag I would probably play more for the exploration and atmosphere…but I feel like my money has been stolen essentially and I should get my money back, not unlike early Diablo III. The new player experience is just not good enough. In the first 3-5 hours I had to go multiple times to youtube or wikis to find an obscure item…or to just find out how to craft, which was explained horribly.

    Verdict: Absolutely stay away now but absolutely test it when it’s fixed, playable and F2P. The atmosphere and setting are cool. The rest is currently just a mess.

  14. WhatKateDoes says:

    Was unaware of there being BOOB-POWER in the game, if the first screenshot is anything to go by….

  15. SuffixTreeMonkey says:

    My recommendation for potential TSW players: try the 3 day trial, if you fancy the game (do 30 missions, one evening of play if you like it), you will get 2 more days (and 1200 free points in the real-money store), that means 5 days of free game play. If you want to experience the whole story, then invest for the 30 dollar/30 euro/ 20 quid game with one-month subscription paid. In that month you’ll likely experience most of the story.

    Here comes the ironic part, however. After that one month, you’ll find out that you’ve experienced it all.

    Not even the three factions contain anything distinctive other than facade. Even the faction missions (the ones you do for your own group, regardless of the story) are almost always the same, only one time you’re catching a Templar thief as a Templar, the other time the same Templar thief as an Illuminati. Big difference, is it not?

    To be honest, this game feels a teensy bit hollow after a while, since you see there is very little content. I guess they realized this problem very early on and tried to salvage that with the monthly updates, but the one they did is not enough. The story is brilliant and intriguing, as are the characters, but the factions themselves have very little to offer, so in the end you’re either in the storyline, you like the arcane and rather stale MMO concepts (L4G DPS 6/6 HF NM) or you’ll be bored.

    So it is perfect for the 50% off discount and for one month and 5 days of gameplay. After that, not so much. I really hoped to be engulfed in the faction, with multitude of missions I could do instead of the main plot, with a hierarchy of secrets that get unraveled as I try to kiss the behind of both higher-rank players and higher-rank NPCs… but no, that’s not there.

    • Hypocee says:

      Even the faction missions (the ones you do for your own group, regardless of the story) are almost always the same, only one time you’re catching a Templar thief as a Templar, the other time the same Templar thief as an Illuminati. Big difference, is it not?

      …wow. Captain, I have an anomaly on the parsec scanner. I don’t…it appears to be…a pair of balls?

  16. asshibbitty says:

    The looming øface

  17. Tuor says:

    Based on the numbers and the comments I’ve seen on this thread, it would seem that TSW is *not* “far from done.” It may already be circling the drain — the death spiral of: subs > money > employees > content > subs.

    I think that the MMO market is pretty saturated right now. I don’t think that there is a lot of new blood coming into it, but rather one MMO takes from another. Despite all this “reaching out” stuff in the form of, say, The Old Republic, which logically should have drawn in tons of Star Wars fans, I’d guess that much of their sub base came from people who are MMO vets, and that by this point, most of the non-vets have already left and gone back to doing whatever it was they did before SWTOR came out.

    TSW is therefore not drawing in new faces, but competing more or less directly with other MMOs. If TSW had instead been a single player game, it might’ve done better and made them more money, though perhaps not for a long period of time the way a successful MMO can accomplish. I think *that* is the driving force behind many of these companies (not necessarily the guys actually making the games): the vision of making money over a *long* period of time.

    At any rate, TSW might still make it, but I think it’s a longshot. I think at best it will be marginally successful from a financial viewpoint. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  18. Bobtree says:

    I noticed TSW and GW2 have almost the same Metacritic user scores (83 and 85, both with 900 ratings). They seem to be serving different audiences.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      The only thing more absurd than putting weight in Metacritic scores is putting weight in Metacritic user scores.

  19. Bahoxu says:

    Utterly depressing. A mmo for adults comes along, with solid story-based gameplay and a skillsystem that requires a little bit of thought.

    And almost no one wants to play it. Faith in humanity dropping…

    • Lemming says:

      adults (in the UK at least) are generally smart enough to know if something isn’t value for money when the subscription is more for half the content of its competitors. They must be the only MMO makers in the world that thought adding VAT to a monthly sub was a good idea.

    • Tyraa Rane says:

      Speaking as an adult, I would really like to try The Secret World. Unfortunately I’m also quite busy, which limits my gaming time, and not exactly flush with extra cash to fling at games every month. So a $50 entry fee + monthly subscription for a game I may or may not be playing every month (due to time and backlog) is a no fly zone for me. Especially since I already have an MMO, Lord of the Rings Online, that I already play off and on and which happens to be free.

      If TSW were F2P I would have already tried the game out by now and, if I liked it, paid some money towards it via whatever sort of store method they’d have. But I don’t do subscriptions to games, and a 3-day trial isn’t a long enough judgement period for me anyway.

      I really think they alienated a good chunk of potential players by relying on the subscription model. Throw in GW2’s recent release and, well. I don’t see this ending well.

  20. jalf says:

    I think people tend to lose perspective a bit. 200k subs is a lot of people paying a lot of money every month.

    CCP ran Eve profitably with that amount of subs for years (I have no idea how many subs they have today), and I see no reason why Funcom, who can share a lot of infrastructure with their *two* other MMO’s couldn’t cut costs even further.

    So no, it didn’t become a WoW-killer, but I’d be surprised if they couldn’t run the game with a profit with the amount of subs it has today, even including the cost of further development. It might proceed at a slower pace than if they’d reached the numbers they hoped for, but 200k isn’t exactly “halt all development and start selling off surplus servers”-time either.

    • malkav11 says:

      200k first month subs, though. MMOs typically fall off dramatically in subscribers after that first free month runs out, especially if people are already exhausting the existing content in that month as is apparently the case for some with TSW. (Certainly not for me, I’ve done all of two zones out of nine and none of the dungeons.)

      I mean, it’s possible that they could hang on, and they’ve got a fair number of lifetime subscribers anecdotally, so that’d be an early cash boost, but it’s a bit scary. :(

  21. Buemba says:

    Just cancelled my sub and, frankly, unless the combat system gets a substantial overhaul I don’t see myself returning.

    Seems like I’m part of the consensus – Great setting, great writing, great characters and great investigation missions, all buried deep inside a game where 95% of the time you’re either engaged in frustratingly boring combat or being forced to run long distances playing courier while a line of monsters run after you.

    The game also needs some serious environment variety. In the 40+ hours I played I moved from Kingsmouth to Savage Coast and then Blue Mountain and they all looked virtually the same. And to be able to move to Egypt I’d have to complete a mission that required me to stand in the same spot for quite some time while waves of enemies attacked me, and every time I died I had to do it all again from the start. And the best part is that once I completed that I found out I had to do the exact same thing 2 more times.

    If TSW destroys Funcom before Tornquist releases Dreamfall Chapters I’m gonna kill someone.

    • lexoneir says:

      If you die a lot during quests…theres something seriously wrong with your build.

    • rapier17 says:

      “The game also needs some serious environment variety. In the 40+ hours I played I moved from Kingsmouth to Savage Coast and then Blue Mountain and they all looked virtually the same.”

      Perhaps because it’s one small island off of America? It isn’t Azeroth with it’s ridiculous desert next to jungle next to lush woodland next to dusty rocky terrain. Terrain rarely changes that quickly over such a small, concentrated area, especially as those three zones form a sort of triangle in shape – you can pass to the other two zones from each one.

      I’m not arguing that TSW doesn’t need more zones, it really does, but they are coming. There’s to be zone(s) set in Japan and a ‘raid’ in the New York zone, as well as an expansion of both New York & Seoul in future (and maybe more to London too). The style of combat does hold it back heavily but at least it isn’t a ’30 icons on the screen at once’ type combat system – being limited to just 7 active skills (and 7 passives) makes it more of a challenge to have the right tools for any one point, and picking from long lists of skills is not easy.

      It’s such a shame they went so far with some mechanics & not with others. Feels half-baked at times, especially with the combat system, and the stealth side of things could do with a look-at, like some actual stealth ‘skills’, such as perhaps rocks to throw as distractions for guards and a sneaky-type crouch walking thing to make it harder to be spotted (i.e. reduced aggression areas on mobs). The investigation side of things is awesome though.

      “I’d have to complete a mission that required me to stand in the same spot for quite some time while waves of enemies attacked me, and every time I died I had to do it all again from the start.”

      There are a couple like this, where you may have the wrong build for the job, I personally go with my one-size-fits-all Shotgun/Assault Rifle one to minimize the risks, but there are also missions where to do the mission you have to die to solve it from the ‘spirit world’ type thing – quite clever really. Anyhow, if you are finding it tricky just do a few more other missions & get more SP & AP and unlock a couple more skills or up your proficiency with your weapon, spend some tokens at the Republic of Venice vendors for better weapons – there’re one or two kicking around.

  22. tumbleworld says:

    I love TSW. Absolutely adore it.

    I just decided to throw in the towel and get GW2.

    TSW’s world-building is great. The writing is usually fantastic, the acting often utterly perfect. Many quests have engaging, clever and entertaining. I love the idea of the weapon system and skill wheel.

    The actual game-play is horrendous. I alternate between being enthralled (poking around exploring, chatting to NPCs, reading the lore, fitting it all together) and frustrated to the point of misery (the combat system, the hideous way levels are divided up into tiny discrete funnels, stupid hubbing and quest ordering, bugs, ludicrously broken quests, yadda yadda).

    It’s almost exactly like being stuck in an abusive relationship (yes, I have been).

    Plus, this latest announcement sounds a _lot_ like the Prime Minister declaring that he’s standing 100% behind some embattled cabinet member — ie, the kiss of death.

    I’m really sorry, Ragnar. I wanted to love your baby. But you just _had_ to WOW it up.

  23. Radiant says:

    What’s wrong with 100k subs?
    How is that a low number?
    What are Eve’s numbers?

    Dear devs.
    Manage your expectations please.

  24. rohsiph says:

    I really want to play TSW–but as a single-player game, not an MMO. I can’t stomach MMOs anymore. I have virtually no desire to play games “socially” (I have 2 friends from college I sometimes play co-op with, but we almost never play anything competitive) and absolutely no desire to pay a monthly sub when I have over a hundred games just in my Steam backlog.

    Yet I adore the writing in TLJ so much that I still really want to play everything out of Funcom–if only they’d give up on the whole MMO thing. Shame, such a shame. I might pick it up if the retail box ever drops below $10, but otherwise it’s another I’ll skip. I tried Age of Conan when they offered a free month, then never payed a subscription–I had enough after a week. I’m the kind of gamer who tends to go ‘all in’ with a game, rather than puttering around skipping from this to that or playing one for just an hour here or there . . . unless it’s an open-world racing game apparently, as those are nice to just chill with after work for a bit.

    Ragnar, make me another single player game and I’ll pay for it full price! Really, I will! But fie on these MMO doo-wops.

  25. mrMog says:

    I agree with most people who have played the game: Amazing world but horrendous combat, particularly towards the final zones where the game throws multiple normal-strength mobs with ridiculous effects (such as having a healer by you at all times, or take 50% more damage /requiring an entire enemy group to be hindered before they can be attacked) and avoiding AoE attacks, which the game’s camera and movement just isn’t cut out for. It’s mouse-chucking stuff.

    There’s also the fact the story included on release doesn’t have a very satisfying ending. It ends suddenly, gives more questions than answers and doesn’t make you feel like all that work you put into the game was worth it. And the worst part is that we won’t get the continuation until early/mid 2013.

    Hopefully the monthly updates are as meaty as Issue 1. I’m subbed until November and if all there is to do is still the carrot on the stick type of stuff (pvp/nm dungeons) then I won’t be coming back.

    Also: If some dev could make a game with all the cool social stuff of GW2 in a world worth giving a crap about like TSW, I would love you forever.

    • lexoneir says:

      Did you just bash the game for being challenging and requiring cooperation in questing? Never heard that before.

      • mrMog says:

        I think if the game had encouraged group play from the beginning, I wouldn’t have been so sour towards it (nobody finds hitting a dead end fun, nor having to wait 5 or 10 minutes in the hope that somebody comes along that’s doing the exact same tier as you).

  26. lexoneir says:

    I agree. I think the biggest problem is the ‘box’ cost. Its a little ridiculous at this point.
    The game is good, I think. I’m surprised at it. The PvP is questionable..but I’m hoping the promised changes in the next patch with alleviate some of the problems.

    People seem to be complaining about the combat quite a bit. But I never had a problem with that at all. The combat was refreshing. You can change your build around. The variety of moves depends on what you do. The combat is a little difficult though, perhaps. You have to dodge, and move, and think about what your build is and what it does. You can easily, easily have a terrible build.

  27. Jerakal says:

    Gotta love those easy jabs at MoP. Especially when referring to how it’s combat is just as bad as TSW’s is, which is false. Honestly TSW’s slow as hell combat and somewhat obtuse upgrade system is what prevented me from being able to get a lot of my friends into the game.

    They all thought the concept was cool, but in a game that is roughly 50% puzzles and 50% biffing dudes, if the biffing just isn’t growing on you then that’s half the game you’re unhappy with.

  28. Ritashi says:

    I seriously cannot understand why WoW gets referenced every time MMO combat comes up as an example of terrible combat. And especially I don’t understand why the implication is made that if TSW has bad combat then so does WoW, when from everything I’ve seen (have not actually played TSW, but I’ve seen videos) they are different combat systems. World of Warcraft has a lot of people (formerly me among them) who pay $15 a month for what basically boils to down to just the combat. A little bit of socialization in guilds, a little bit of AH playing and crafting, but mostly just for the endgame combat. Because it is *actually pretty good*. It’s not necessarily just the combat mechanics, but also the other (oft ignored) half of the equation, which is the enemies. Bosses in WoW are cleverly designed, often have unique mechanics, and require great coordination and focus to defeat. The only reason I left WoW was that it refused to let me get on with the boss slaying, and instead insisted that I spend week after week logging on daily to grind boring as shit quests to get the gear I needed to actually get to the fun stuff. The combat itself (in groups, which is what it was designed for; I’ll admit that solo combat could be dull, although some classes have extremely high skill caps in solo play *cough*hunters*cough*) was the best I’ve ever played in a team-based multiplayer game.

    This from someone who is playing GW2 and loving it to death, but who cries a little inside whenever I step in a dungeon that was designed by people who obviously have no understanding of why people actually like things like raiding. Pro tip: it’s the same reason people like sPvP.

    • Rilgon says:

      If WoW has “pretty good combat” (which I am not disagreeing), then TSW has “pretty good combat” as well, given that they are almost identical. Given TSW’s samesuch 1.5s GCD, off-GCD abilities, the ability to cast on the move, active dodging, and the like, I’m not sure how the comparison isn’t amazingly apt. Furthermore, I’ve had way more fun with the 5-man bosses I’ve done in TSW so far than most stuff I did in WoW pre-Wrath (I will admit that T8+ had some great raid boss designs, but TSW’s first raid isn’t even out yet, so trying to argue on those merits is super-disingenuous).

      Couple that with TSW’s flexibility (you don’t end up in situations where you’re worthless because your class and preferred spec is “garbage” – *cough*Hunters in T13H*cough* – because your abilities can be modified at ANY TIME), the (IMHO) better setting, and Tornquist’s/Funcom’s openness and transparency (I don’t think Blizzard understand the meaning of “transparency” anymore), and it makes the “gaming press’s” constant admonishment of TSW followed in the same breath by glowing praise for Mists absolute hypocrisy. At least RPS is calling it somewhat straight.

  29. jrodman says:

    Hello Funcom! I am a potential customer. I liked what I saw of your game, except that combat part. Would you please remove it? Then I can proceed to send you spanish doubloons via W.A.S.T.E.

  30. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    I did their little survey they sent me via email, and I made sure to put in “Subscription fee means I’m not buying” in every field. Stop being greedy, funcom. It will be the death of you.

    In the meantime, I’ll be over here playing Guild Wars 2 forever.

  31. Muzman says:

    I’m still kind of surprised a fairly high-concept developer like Funcom would want to get into the overcrowded MMO cesspit today in the first place. I know they’re following on from Anarchy and that makes some sense. But it still seemed like this was a weird project from those old experimental days before WoW and a few bazillion weird Korean ones. I guess they were banking on something a bit left field being a fresh change. It still always had a feel of “…you sure you want to do this?” *winces* to me, speaking as a distant observer.
    I hope it doesn’t kill them.