Secret World Legends: a rant

posted in: Blog | 0

I’ve been playing the release version Secret World Legends, the reboot of The Secret World, for two weeks now. I come to the game as an old-time player of TSW (from open beta, so close to five years), a Grand Master since late 2015, and a beta player for SWL.

And let me tell you, the more I play SWL, the more I think everything good in it comes from TSW, and all the baffling choices come from the reboot.

Look, I can live with TSW GMs not getting Aurum (the game’s for-real-money currency), but why don’t new monthly subscribers get any? Extra daily keys are shit if you don’t do dungeons or scenarios, extra daily cache key is lost if you can’t login, that’s a shitty sub perk, “I know you give us money but you still gotta play every day to the max if you want it to be worth anything”.

Many F2P choices don’t make me want to spend money, they just make me pissed and less likely to. Why does a 3-pip level 20 item empower as little as a 1-pip level 1? To try and get money. Why is inventory and banking so shitty and mission items are not free? To try and get money. Why do weapons cost so much if you don’t come from TSW? Why is progress so slow for non-subs? Why do we have 17 currencies when even Funcom acknowledged that TSW had too many currencies? Why is the exchange so high that it’s literally more profitable to work an hour freelance than to exchange an hour’s worth of Marks for Aurum? Etc. Etc. You get it.

Plus, the interface is all over the place. You can see the seams where they slapped reticle over a tab interface, and all the places where they had to substitute the original crafting box with inconsistent adaptations. Like, in A Time To Every Purpose, the new crafting box says “put item to disassemble here”… but the items you need to disassemble cannot be put there. You have to right-click them. With the crafting window closed, or it won’t work. (A lot of stuff doesn’t work clearly, and doesn’t give error messages, if you have more than one interface window open.)
I imagine the disassembling box will be used in All Roads Lead To Rome, but the fact that the same mechanic has been implemented in two different ways shows there has been little to no adaptation control.

(Also, SWL, *STOP CLOSING ALL MY WINDOWS AND GOING BACK TO MOUSE MODE EVERY TIME I MOVE*. For Yahvo’s sake, were you all drunk when you decided it should work like that? What good’s a vanity cam if I can’t emote or move around while taking screenshots?)

Let’s talk about the challenges now. They seem a good idea, right? Do stuff, be rewarded for it. Do more stuff, get more rewards. Except they’re skewed. Three main missions take much more time to do than everything else, so if you do any sort of normal gameplay, by the time you unlock the bonus challenges you have already done enough side missions, item empowerments, and monster kills to cover part or all of the bonus challenges.
But all that stuff does not get counted until you unlock the bonus challenges.
That makes it so that there is only one, proper way to play the game if you want to maximize your marks in those 1-2 hours normal people have to play a computer game each day. You want the freedom of doing what you like to do, of having fun playing the game your own way? Well, fuck you. Funcom doesn’t want that.
But you can always buy some Aurum, so you can buy some MoF, amirite?

I’m not touching Agartha. It’s literally a mall now. There’s always so many people there that I have to wait 1-2 minutes for a bank teller to rez and become visible.

The worst thing I’ve seen so far, though, is the reworking of the story missions, especially in Egypt. Adding Last Train to Cairo as part of the main story was cool – in theory. However it came at the expense of wrecking the original narrative in two and removing several repeatable missions (unless they become repeatable when you finish Red Sands, after the whole of CotSG, so a whole map later than relevant). Did I mention that story missions don’t count as main missions? So yeah, you did Fate of al-Merayah and To Oxford With Love but it doesn’t count for the challenges. Sucker.

I’m still playing the game because I want to see season 2, but I’m not having fun doing my favourite part of the game any more, because I literally cannot do the parts of it that I like. That makes me sad more than any other change Funcom has done so far.