The Secret World Legends reboot dropped the “Massively” from the MMORPG acronym as Funcom has turned it into a “shared world” experience. Inquisitr got to talk with Game Director Romain Amiel during a hands-on tour of the free-to-play PC game recently where he explained what the change means for playable zones, Agartha, and the World Raid Boss activity.
A shared Secret World
Secret World Legends currently limits the number of players allowed in a zone instance to 10, with the Agartha social zone as the exception. We’ll get to that exception in a bit, but the decision to move to a Shared World experience was to allow players to focus on their experience either by themselves or with friends.
It’s extremely common in MMOs for players to take on missions that ask them to go to a location and kill a boss or group of enemies. The “massively” part usually ends up with the player finding someone else just killed the boss and now they must wait for it to respawn. The worst possibility is there’s a crowd of players fighting over the chance to kill the same enemies.
Funcom elected to go with 10 players per zone instance for Secret World Legends with priority given to friends of players and groups. Players who spend most of their time solo will find other solo players in the same zone.
“We are trying to find a sweet spot because we also don’t want the players to be completely alone and never see another living soul,” Amiel explained when asked about the player limit in zones. The implication is this may still change as the beta continues and through the launch of Secret World Legends on June 26 and then July 31 on Steam.
What’s happening with Agartha in Secret World Legends
London originally played home to The Secret World’s social zone where players hang out, trade, and buy stuff from vendors. However, Funcom later saw Agartha as the more natural spot, as the hub world was the transit point between the different zones located around the world.
Agartha has been completely redesigned for Secret World Legends to support its social zone function. The branches players traveled along were complicated on purpose and some players would try for shortcuts by dropping from one branch to another, which didn’t always work. Those branches have been removed as floating platforms have been arranged around the World Tree in the center of the zone.
Jump pads are located on the central platform and the surrounding platforms so players can move back and forth. For example, one platform leads to all the New England areas, another to the Egypt areas, etc.
The exception, for now, is the Tokyo zone. It will not be available until sometime after launch to allow the player population time to level up for the Whispering Tide end-game event that leads into the zone. For now, the jump pad for the Tokyo zone simply shows a malfunction.
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The central tree in Agartha hosts vendors selling potions, weapons, gear, and vanity items. It also plays home to the auction house, which is accessible at any time from the menu or a shortcut as well.
Funcom also added two large areas in the tree for role-players. A dance floor complete with a DJ booth is on the main floor. Players will be able to stream music from radio stations through the DJ booth and even boogie on the dance floor with NPCs, according to Amiel. Meanwhile, a large restaurant area with a piano is located on the second floor. Its special hook has not been revealed yet.
Agartha serves as a World Raid Boss hub
With playable zones only holding 10 players, Agartha also serves the important function of hosting World Raid Boss events. The social zone can allow in up to 500 players per instance to find friends to take on missions, raids, dungeons, and other in-game experiences.
World Boss Raids took place in the playable zones before, but the end-game activity is now completed from Agartha. Players have a chance to receive a key when they kill a monster in a Lair from a play zone. Using this key will summon a named monster, which also may drop a key to summon a World Raid Boss.
Players will need to return to Agartha to summon the World Raid Boss, which will send out a notification to all players in the social zone that the big event is coming. Meanwhile, a raid specific platform will change shape and take the theme of the monster summoned with a portal to the battle.
The World Raid Boss battle is first come, first serve with priority given to the guild of the player who summoned the boss. Funcom hasn’t set a number in stone yet, but the fight against the World Bosses is intended for around 40 players. Random players can fill out the roster once all available guild members have joined the fight.
[Featured Image by Secret World Legends/Funcom]