Secret World Legends – Ongoing Review
It’s nearly been a month since Secret World Legends went live. The relaunch of The Secret World MMORPG by Funcom is turning out smoothly. I’ve been spending quite a chunk in SWL, replaying the stories that I’ve come to love.
What’s more interesting is seeing how players are reacting to everything. The changes to combat for example, on top of the free to play systems in place. Secret World Legends is doing it’s best to adapt in the F2P space, and seeing the amount of players in Agartha is a good sign. It nearly did not turn out so. A week into launch, and the official Reddit was blowing up with complaints, negative feedback and criticism. So how did SWL calm the storm and steer the ship clear?
Funcom Are Listening Well
As mentioned earlier, problems were rising and rising fast in week one. Besides an exploit to the Exchange which was out of their hands, there were other issues. Players felt the value of the Patron was poor. Dungeon loot was disheartening at best, and no one wanted to drop money using a untrustworthy payment vendor. Overall quality of life was also rocky, especially for the new free player.
Within a week, all feedback was acknowledged by Funcom and done so in a public setting on stream. Even better, the changes rolled out the following Wednesday, fixing most if not all of the major concerns. Patrons now get a ton of value, free players finally get to trade, and PayPal has been added for secure payments.
The one key takeaway from this is that when the developer acknowledges, listens and fixes in a short amount of time, they win over the customers.
No One Is Talking About Combat
However, perhaps the most refreshing thing for me about SWL is the combat system. Not just the actual implementation. It’s the fact that no one is talking about it. No whining, no moaning, nothing in Agartha general chat, nothing in Sanctuary chat. That is such a dramatic outcome. Only months ago, The Secret World’s combat system was talked about as the one calamity that prevented players from staying.
The massive overhaul in my opinion, has made the combat more engaging. The reticule mode is responsive and have already become second nature to myself and other players. It’s implementation means that the combat system is now seen as normal. Acceptable even, in MMORPG standards. So much so that it now no longer warrants discussion. That in itself, is a huge achievement and a step in the right direction for Secret World Legends.
The Story Must Go On
Every one associated with Funcom, from developers to loyal players knows this. It is the fact that this is a story-driven game and the future isn’t in game play mechanics or flashy new graphics. It’s the continuation of the main story, beyond Tokyo into Season 2. With TSW slowing down over the past year, player retention dropped. This is largely due to the fact that there was nothing to do story-wise. And without revenue, Funcom cannot create the continuation. Having seen how cohesive the story experience is now, I believe they can make it better. The updates are coming thick and fast, and we are already promised Season 2 by early 2018.
SWL absolutely needs to push out more story content sooner, to do a better job at retaining players. At the same time, they need to be inclusive of end-game players and PvPers as well. Can they pull it off? With the Steam launch fast approaching, we have our fingers crossed.