[TEASER NOTE: Full interview with Ragnar on this stuff to follow later this week!]
The Secret World's off to a strong start, but we live in a world of short attention spans and even shorter tolerances for subscription fees. So then, how does a heavily story-and-puzzle-solving-focused MMO keep players from scattering to the winds like fickle, fickle fall leaves or SWTOR's userbase? Well, by giving them more of those things. Constantly. Every month. Sorry, Funcom employees. Please don't haunt me when you all become fatally sleep-deprived ghosts.
Director Ragnar Tornquist outlined his company's insanely ambitious plans in an inaugural State Of The Game post.
"We're going to be releasing fresh and tasty new content FREE to our subscribers on a regular, monthly basis. The first update is due on Tuesday, July 31st, and we will be releasing more details about that particular update later this week -- including a couple of fun surprises."
"The first few packs will contain new investigations for every adventure zone in the game -- but we also have more action and sabotage missions planned for the near future. These missions will feature fully voiced cut-scenes and new media pop-ups, and will match the quality of the missions currently in the game... We will be announcing our first auxiliary weapon soon (one clue: bigger, slower, more explosions) and new auxiliary weapons will be released on a regular basis. Combat in The Secret World will continue to evolve, and it will pay to expand your character in multiple directions!"
In addition to missions and weapons, a raid featuring New York in some way or another, a PVP dungeon, two entire new zones that kick off the story's second act, combat tweaks, and, of course, a dungeon-finder are all on the way in the near-ish future.
So basically, it sounds like The Secret World's trying incredibly hard to justify its subscription, which is extremely admirable. I mean, most of this content sounds like it's more cut out for an expansion pack, but instead, it's joining the secret societies of tiny people that live inside our hard drives free of charge. And I really hope it succeeds - not because I'm in love with subscriptions or anything, but because The Secret World's the first MMO I've legitimately enjoyed in ages. That, by the way, is another reason to not haunt me - OK, inevitable Funcom ghosts?