TSW: game director letter

Funcom’s Director for The Secret World has posted a letter online stating the plans for the game going forwards. In summary the highlights are:

  • Revamp of the tutorial
  • Smoothing the difficulty curve in pre-Tokyo levelling zones by reducing the time to kill of mobs and thinning their numbers
  • Revamp of mission loot including better quality weapons at key points
  • Improving rare boss-mob loot drops (guaranteed blue quality)

It’ll be interesting to see these changes, especially as we’re a lot closer to the issues mentioned (Ak’abs!) than most veteran players. It does mean we’ll never experience the later zones at the original difficulty, but we play as a trio so that’s not as relevant to us as it would be to a new player levelling solo.

The danger if the ‘nerfs’ go too far is that, for us as a trio, the game will become super-easy and lose some of its attraction. We enjoy the odd challenging fight as we follow the game’s excellent storytelling!

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3 Responses to TSW: game director letter

  1. Sylow says:

    I agree with many of the changes they mentioned, only the “smoothing of the difficulty curve” is something i actually don’t see the need for. The reason for that, in short (the extremely long version you can read as comment of me here: https://biobreak.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/tsw-funcom-starts-to-listen-to-reason/ ) is that i never experienced that “now it gets that hard” in BM.

    What i actually experienced is that i had to adjust my setup when going there, but as i already before tried to build a good setup and understood how it works, it was not that hard. On the other hand, i know that information on how to build a good setup are provided by the game in a very unattractive way (tutorial videos, tooltips ) which many players tend to skip. Just watch some of the “new to tsw” videos on youtube, where they don’t bother for getting any info, then run with only one weapon and don’t understand builder and consumer and then express frustration when the fights are “too long and boring”.

    Thus i think, what the game really needs is the mentioned improvement of the tutorial. If players have some understanding of the game, even if the understanding had to be force-fed to them, i think they won’t run into the problems some of them mention so much.

  2. bhagpuss says:

    The problem, as is generally the case in these discussions, is with the word “difficulty”. Having played through almost to the end of Transylvania my opinion is that gameplay doesn’t get any more “difficult” in the sense of requiring higher levels of skill. What does happen is that it gets slower and more tedious.

    I am not at all a fan of fast time-to-kill. I thoroughly enjoyed soloing a druid in EQ, where the gameplay mostly consisted of rooting a mob and piling on several dots then sitting and watching as its health bar depleted. TTK at level 30 used to run around 4-5 minutes.

    The difference was that I didn’t need to kill 10-12 mobs at 4-5 minutes each before getting to the mob I was actually interested in. TTK in TSW is waaaay shorter than that but to get just about anything done from mid-Blue Mountain onwards requires killing what feels like scores of mobs just to move from one place to another.

    In a game which isn’t really about grinding mobs for xp that doesn’t feel like a great way to spend time. Reducing the TTK and thinning out mob density in the overland areas should make a big difference to enjoyability as players travel around to experience the part of the game that really shines – the missions and the storytelling.

  3. Most of the changes outlined seemed positive. Better tutorials and revamped fast travel are long overdue.

    I’m a little wary of the difficulty nerfs. The difficulty was actually a pretty smooth curve already if you were using a good build and appropriate gear. Because the new player experience didn’t do much to teach people, they ran into problems, but once the tutorials are improved, it shouldn’t be an issue. Difficulty nerfs on top of that seem like a bit of overkill.

    But I’ll see how it pans out. If it’s a minor adjustment like the Tokyo nerfs, it shouldn’t be too bad.

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