Details on Funcom’s rebooting of The Secret World came a little more into focus Tuesday. The developer announced a June 26 release date and touched on changes that make the MMORPG a little more like titles such as Phantasy Star Online, Destiny, or Warframe.
The Secret World Legends is currently in closed beta and scheduled to launch Monday, June 26. Funcom is making significant changes to the format of the game and is moving away from the pay-to-play MMORPG model to a free-to-play shared-world role-playing game model, as previously covered by the Inquisitr.
The developer’s reasons behind this are to put a greater focus on the “player’s experience and the story” as they make their way through the game world. What this means for the player is the addition of a large hub world called Agartha. Players will be able to “meet and socialize with hundreds of other players, while player population in the adventure areas beyond will be tightly controlled to make sure that the experience is as immersive as possible and that the focus remains on you and your journey.”
It is also possible to meet up with other players in the adventure areas from all over the world. These areas can be set in cities like London, Tokyo, and New York, or places like Egypt, Maine, and Transylvania. Meeting other players can simply be friendly, or you can join together to complete the current story.
Character creation is also more straightforward. Based on the trailer accompanying the announcement, players will be able to choose from classes such as Gunslinger, Warlock, Magus, Demolisher, Punisher, and Trickster to start. From there, players will be able to customize their character’s look at the start and later in the game. Since this is a free-to-play title, spending money on different costumes and customization items will be a major source of revenue for Funcom.
Not answered by Funcom yet is what this means for the three major in-game factions – the Illuminati, the Templars, and the Dragon. These were central to the story in the original release of The Secret World, so it will be interesting to see what changes happen with them going forward and how PVP will be handled. Only PVE has been mentioned so far.
Changes to combat were lightly touched on by Funcom in the released video. The developers mentioned moving to a reticle-based combat system but didn’t elaborate beyond that. Unfortunately, the video did not show this in action, so it is unclear if the hotkey combat system with multiple active and passive abilities remains at this time.
For those unfamiliar with the story, The Secret World features a modern-day real-world setting that integrates myths, urban legends, and dark fantasy. There are influences throughout from various authors such as H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe plus works from Bram Stoker’s Dracula to Egyptian mythology.
The Secret World is coming up on its fifth anniversary in July, so some graphical updates are in order. However, the character models and animations look pretty much the same, so do not expect a complete overhaul of the game’s looks.
Existing Secret World players can continue playing the game as it is today, as executive producer Scott Junior explained in a letter to fans at the end of March. The Secret World Legends will operate on its own servers apart from the original game. Existing players will be able to transfer over their characters, progress, membership, and items to the new game.
Funcom is attempting to reinvigorate The Secret World and draw in new players. This will allow the developer to continue the “more than seven years of content” they had planned. How well this works, and if there are any plans to expand the action RPG Legends to consoles, remains to be seen.
[Featured Image by Funcom]