TSW: financial news and content musings

Via Massively’s post I read that Funcom have hinted at a new content update for 2017 as part of their latest quarterly financial report. There’s just one bullet point of interest to me, as a player of The Secret World:

Major upgrade to both retention and acquisition mechanics and content of the game.

That’s slated for the first half of 2017, so a rather large potential window at present, more info was promised in the first quarter of 2017 on this so, presumably, the actual update is more likely in the second quarter. It will be most welcome to have new content for the game, but it is too far away and too nebulous for me to get excited about it now. An old and rather vague schedule of issues hinted that the next zone after Tokyo would be tied to the events of Tokyo and to exploring the background of “one of the most notorious factions” in-game.

That made me think immediately of the Phoenicians in-game as one of the prominent, non-player, factions messing with politics and dark, dark secrets in the TSW game world. Although I wouldn’t have thought we’d find the Phoenicians main base this early in the game’s life, there is at least one location linked to the historical Phoenician culture that I hope might be the obvious go to location for a future issue – Carthage, the largest of the Phoenician city-states of old and a fascinating mix of a modern North African city and impressive ancient Roman ruins. I suppose another possibility would be Alexandria or Cairo – Egypt already has two zones in the game, of course, but these are desert zones, not city-based. Issue 6 had us travelling on the Last Train to Cairo but we didn’t reach the city during that mission, so it is still untouched.


Ideally I’d like somewhere totally new for the next zones, the Aztec-parts of Mexico would be my personal wish; but I can see the logic behind the next zones being evolutionary rather than revolutionary given the recent financial constraints Funcom has experienced. The game has plenty of art asserts for Egyptian landscapes, buildings, flora and fauna. So a zone set in the North of Egypt, or in another North African city like Carthage, would be less effort to put out.


Where do you think we’ll go next? Where would you want to go next?

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7 Responses to TSW: financial news and content musings

  1. Shintar says:

    It seems everyone is reading something different into that sentence. Most MassivelyOP commenters seemed to think that it will mean a change to the combat system. I would expect it to be a large overhaul similar to that big all-around nerf they had previously if they expect it to make a big difference to both player acquisition and retention.

  2. It’s hard to say exactly what the update will be, based on so little info. It sounds like a full expansion pack phrased like that, but surely that’s too much to hope for. I’d be happy with a new zone, though I’m not sure how that helps to acquire new players.

    As for where the next zone will be, people on the official forums have been doing a lot of sleuthing for a while now, and we’re all pretty convinced the next zone will be either Antarctica or the Congo, with most people thinking the latter more likely. There are a lot of hints around the Congo in Tokyo, and it has some significance for the Morninglight faction.

    Funcom has said they’ll probably never do another city zone. It just takes too much resources.

    • Sylow says:

      I would very much enjoy the Congo. It would be something very different to what we have, and if done halfway correctly, would also be very different from any other “jungle and done” zone in any other MMO.

      For Antarctica, i just fear there’s not enough “substance” to it. Mind you, there’s plenty of substance in terms of ice and geography, but those don’t really work too well for storytelling. So unless that place suddenly turns into a crowded area, TSW just can’t play to its strengths in Antarctica.

      • See, I feel the opposite. Congo doesn’t appeal to me much at all, but I think Antarctica would be excellent. The cold and the isolation lend itself well to horror (think The Thing), and it already has a lot of significance to the TSW lore. Granted, the Congo does now too, but we’ve learned the significance of the Congo much more recently, so it doesn’t hold quite the same gravitas.

        Granted, I much prefer snow zones to jungles, so I may be biased.

  3. DDOCentral says:

    Antarctica or the Congo.

  4. Karinshastha says:

    I’d be fine with an another Egyptian excursion. It would make every location a trio. They would also have a chance to atone for the City of the Sun God’s thematic disconnect.

    Kingsmouth set the standard for dark isolation. A snowy zone would make me feel isolated from the major themes of the title more than anything. When I think of the Carpathian Fangs, I think of Icecrown and Storm Peaks, places with no soul. Even the zombie apocalypse needs a touch of humanity if you want humans to warm up to your ice-hearted story.

  5. Sean Smith says:

    would love the Congo, because that was the zone that was cut during development (and why the story points there), but Romain Amiel said, when he took over, that there wouldn’t be any new full-size playfields, and explicitly that Congo wouldn’t go ahead. Next best choice would be Antartica: would be lighter on art assets and more would be reusable, and indoors would be small and contained (likely – assuming there’s a camp), and would also further the story where it was going.

    However, given how Tokyo basically broke the company (Joel Bylos listed ‘going ahead with Tokyo’ as his main regret as lead designer), I can’t see any large playfield coming – unless all the training on new engines has shown them how to make playfields faster.

    My guess will be engine update: hopefully to Dreamworld 3.0, although Unreal would be even better (it’s what they’re making their spinoffs in, after all).

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