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Ragnar Tørnquist on the Future of The Secret World

Posted Mon, Sep 03, 2012 by Martuk

It’s been a rough couple of weeks at Funcom. Following a mass of layoffs (mostly said to be temporary), The Secret World’s (TSW) development team, as with other Funcom projects, has been scaled back. Luckily, this hasn’t dampened Tørnquist’s spirit, and he remains optimistic that TSW offers something that none of the alternative games do.

That last one is an easy one: of course it does! The Secret World has a bright future ahead of it and the team remains dedicated to delivering monthly content updates.

Okay, look, we all know there are a lot of alternatives out there -- from warring guilds to kung-fu-fighting pandas -- but I can safely say that no other game offers what The Secret World offers. Freedom from classes and levels; a modern-day setting with real world locations; a critically acclaimed storyline and an atmosphere second to none; fully voiced characters that you can empathise with and believe in; a deep and unique character progression system, with boundless opportunities for experimentation and character development.

While it’s been a rough go for Funcom of late, Tørnquist remains committed to the dedicated playerbase that makes up TSW and he isn’t about to start playing it safe with content now.

The list goes on and on. I think it's fair to say that TSW is an original and ground-breaking game, and our players agree. Our ratings remain incredibly high -- in fact, with an 8.4 Metacritic user score, we're amongst the highest rated MMOs of the past decade -- and our community is vocal, positive and growing.

And that's why we're not about to change. We're not going to play it safe. We won't be introducing classes or levels, elves or dwarves, and regardless of the competition, we won't back down from our original vision. We're going to keep doing what we're good at. We'll continue to push the boundaries, and we'll keep reinventing the wheel (quite literally). Five years ago, we set out to revolutionise the genre, and the revolution has just begun.

So what can players expect in the coming months? More refinements to the game and better optimization, a new ten-player raid in October, more auxiliary weapons, additional character customization, a huge new secret feature for Christmas and more.

Be sure to read the full State of the Game for all the details.

Source: TSW State of the Game

TSW is sinking! You know it and we know it. Who are you trying to deceive? Warring guilds and kung fu pandas? Seriously? The first revolutionized the genre (no it wasn't TSW that did this, sorry) and the second is the No1 MMO for the last decade.

So when the developer of a game that managed to appeal only to a handfull of ppl, demands a monthly sub AND has a RM store, a game that beggs for new players offering FTP weekend only a month after its release etc etc, talks about his product like it's the best thing ever happened to humanity, that makes me despise it even more. I m sorry but reading this article, I felt like Mr Tørnquist is trying to persuade us, the consumers, to play his game (and pay for it ofc), implying that it's by far superior than the "alternatives" or should I say "substitutes" to his game.

But who will judge this Mr Tørnquist? You, EA or the gamers? And statements like the one that the game failed to impress because of the Metacritic score sound like lame excuses to me. Imho, being honest with your potential customers is most of the times the best way to follow. But ofc who am I to judge this...?

Mr Tørnquist is an idiot. He is a mouth peice for a failing game.

This is a niche game and to expect it to sell like Gw2 or even AOC did is absurd.That on top of the fact they released the game less than 2 mo's before GW2,it's sales were killed by that fact alone.

The game is however very good and does some thing's differently.Gw2 is no more innovative then TSW from playing both.I don't see TSW going anywhere,I mean AOC is still running as is plenty of other games with subs under 200k.

To say TSW is a failed game is not understanding what audience the game was aimed at.A true niche imo.

I have to point out that Mr Tørnquist did not say that his game was better. He said it was different from everything else. For me that is how it should be. Why have a genre full of duplicate, same old same old unrefreshing games? It would get old fast and only one would really survive that kind of lack of competition anyway, or none would.
Actually, I think the two comments I have seen so far represent only people that somehow have been offended by Mr Tørnquist or Funcom or EA and are here only to vent their hatred and frustration, not to give them a chance to do better or improve, nor to find out what's coming from Funcom and The Secret World.
So much vitriol and spite coming from people that likely don't and probably never will even try the game. I admit that I am a Blizzard fan and I love both the games he implied, but that's not going to stop me from getting The Secret World and giving it a try. Nothing I've seen so far has made me think there's something wrong with the game or that the developers don't care about their fan-base. So I will be playing it when I get the chance. I've seen what happened with AoC and I think they did what they needed to to respond to player complaints, even if it took a while longer than it should have. Too many of us spend all or most of our time complaining and none of it just enjoying life. Look for things to compliment others on rather than something to complain about and life will be a lot more enjoyable.

I bought it, I payed for it and I played it. I feel I wasted my money but that's totally personal, I don't want to persuade anyone about anything. I just feel that Fcom is desperately trying to attract more players using sly methods. That's the impression I get from what I read and if I m too harsh then I apologize.

Still, imho, if they had gone FtP from the begining, if they tried to keep a low profile and attract players with their actions not with words, then everything would be better for both sides. RIOT did that with LoL and they managed to get to the top with the biggest playerbase in gaming history.

As someone who played about two months than cancelled, I'd still say they have an excellent game, and probably will go back once it's free to play. I think one of the mistakes they made however was, the skills you get as you get more points, don't feel much better than the skills you had from the 1st tier. They may do an extra trick or more damage if your opponent is in a particular state, but doesn't feel like the effort to get them is worth it.

Where the real advancement in game comes from is your gear, and the really good gear comes from running hard-mode instances or grinding 100's of hours in meainingless pvp.

Maybe they should add ranks in pvp to help.

Long time MMO player here, EQ, Wow, UO, LOTRO, SWG, SWTOR,DC, lots and lots. I love, and I mean LOVE The Secret World. I've never had an MMO make me figure out ciphers or spend a couple of hours deciphering morse code. It's awesome-these puzzles are amazing. Sadly, a lot of gamers seem to blow by this content in a rush to get to the same old PvP crap-just looking up the answers in the WIKI and moving on. For an "every pixel explored" kind of guy, this is the ultimate MMO.

Some of these quests are hard, hard, hard. Love it. It's about time.

As for the pricing model: I love that too. Charging for the game, and charging a monthly fee keeps the riff-raff out. The Free To Play model means that MMOs are overrun with profanity and racism spewing little kids. None of that at all in TSW. Nobody is blabbing spoilers in general chat, no one is trolling, and I haven't had anyone ninja anything from me, in fact everyone is helping each other. You get what you pay for.

Really? I love MMO's and have been playing them for a dozen years after playing single player games from the days of 8086 PC's. I play for content and story and enjoy a challenging puzzle, but a "couple of hours deciphering Morse code" sounds anything BUT awesome.

Sounds like a job. A boring JOB.

I think it is funny, all the conspiracies around TSW, when it is a game about conspiracies. The game won't fail, Funcom has a history of turning a "failing" game profitable. They always have rocky launches, but they get a niche fan base and continue to run and improve the games they have since they are good at making them profitable.

Clarifying: "a couple of hours" on morse code because I completely suck at it. It wasn't THAT bad of a puzzle- I'm definitely exaggerating. A "couple of hours" would be the "Room13" quest, which is so awesome you don't mind.

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