As the events of The Secret World’s fourth anniversary came to an end last month, we sat down and thought about things that might be missing now but would make us happier if they were present in-game. In other words, features we would like to see in The Secret World that would make us enjoy even more our next four years and beyond with the buzzing universe of The Secret World.
As the most recent update before the Anniversary introduced the Museum of the Occult, many started getting excited over this addition being a serious step towards player housing. While being rich in opportunities for new rewards and creating a whole new level of activities for players to engage in, the Museum is still not actual player housing. Its design certainly is impressive, and much more massive than even the devs initially foresaw, but it does not constitute housing as enjoyable as it might be.
Why would The Secret World player housing be such an odd idea, after all? If anything, it would be an immense service to the community’s roleplaying and immersion needs. Every denizen of The Secret World universe needs a space to recuperate and spend some time alone (or not) and there have already been many questions about that part of RP characters’ lives. The “normal”, human remnants of a character’s previous existence surely include some sort of living space.
At the same time player housing is also a fun activity for players simply interested in customizing their space, collecting or building, if the way Museum content is unlocked is any indication of how customizing one’s own space might be put in practice.
I’d even imagine that players not so interested in roleplaying or just hanging around in-game would find this quite appealing in the long term, instead of hanging out in less personal spaces like the faction halls or roaming the city streets, if they have a more solitary play style.
The Secret World player housing could satisfy a lot of needs and give players new reasons to spend time in-game, be it collecting whatever it is needed to improve or decorate it, organizing new roleplaying events or enjoying their own space within the game world while waiting for a queue to pop.
The issue of player hubs being revamped and given more utility is another topic altogether, but there could be many arguments against player housing as a whole because of it taking away resources from other areas needing the attention of the dev team.
One of the main arguments against player housing is that players would much rather have new content and missions, the continuation of the story we put on hold after Tokyo, perhaps even a whole new area.While I do agree all of the above are a priority, at some point it would not be entirely undesirable or without benefits to add a feature simply geared towards more interaction, roleplaying, and/or collection. Many other MMOs have or are introducing housing (see ESO next year, WoW garrisons and order halls), so why not The Secret World too?
This is a feature I barely need to explain to some, since The Secret World roleplayers and Twitterverse participants will have already jumped at their screens in recognition. The Secret World’s community has taken roleplay and community interaction one step further with the Twitterverse experiment, which has been up and running long enough to be considered a very successful one.
Numerous players have re-created their characters on Twitter and are interacting with each other as well as with significant NPCs or organizations on a daily basis. The Twitterverse experiment has even been given credit and attention at GenCon 2016, where Joshua Doetsch, Funcom’s former Lead Writer, presented it during the Video Game Writing panel – this might have just inspired other game devs to follow suit!
— Joshua Alan Doetsch (@JoshuaDoetsch) August 7, 2016
With the extensive use of Twitter by The Secret World players, it is hard not to imagine how useful it would be to have this channel integrated within the game, so that the community may access the feature directly while playing.
The usage of alternative media channels to create a more complete and rewarding game experience is not that new or original in itself, but it is up to each community and development team to decide how they will implement and to what degree or end it will be used.
World of Warcraft integrated Twitter without having the same scope that The Secret World would have. For World of Warcraft, it is a way to share screenshots of achievements or interesting moments. This reason alone is already good enough – the amount of extra steps that posting a screenshot from its folder takes can be heavy and time-consuming; doing it without ever leaving the game saves a lot of effort.
Tweeting in-character from The Secret World can add a layer of depth and satisfaction for players participating in the Twitterverse and establishing a direct connection between the two environments where their roleplaying activities take place. It would be very interesting to see such a feature added to the game and observe if it might increase the appeal that roleplaying has for the entire community, not just those already involved.
Would there be any arguments against? It’s hard to tell, since this looks like a very welcome and positive addition to The Secret World, considering Twitter is a channel that the players embraced for continuing their in-game experience outside the game already. If anything, this addition might help strengthen and enrich the community.
Increased camera distance
A great commotion has been caused by, and is still ongoing about, max camera distance being decreased in World of Warcraft: Legion and the effects this will have on PvE, be it from an immersion standpoint or a purely practical outlook – raiders especially will be suffering a lot of the side effects of this change. Not to mention players feeling ill because of the zoom and effects. While this is a topic for a different time and place and will probably continue for a while in spite of the recent changes announced by devs, I find it makes a good comparison item for camera distance in The Secret World.
Why am I talking about this feature? I played both games on an almost daily basis, and sometimes logged in The Secret World right after a quick round of raiding in World of Warcraft. My immediate reflex was zooming out for as far as I could scroll, only to remember *that* is where it stops. And that “that”, the point where it’s all I can zoom out, is barely half of what I’d be comfortable with in certain situations.
Does being really close to my character enhance immersion and give a more realistic feeling? It does, in some ways and specific situations. Would I benefit from a little more space when it comes to dodging things and having a better overview of my environment? Definitely. And being someone who focuses a great deal on PvE and enjoys taking screenshots too, I can’t but wish The Secret World camera distance could be pushed just a wee bit further out.
While respecting design choices and the dev team’s idea of what the game should look or feel like, it might be an idea worth considering for the future. The distance at which everyone is comfortable and satisfied with their vision field and angle highly depends on every individual.
This is a rather odd feature to be talking about, you might say – just use add-ons to tweak things. I do have a few installed, even if I’ve never been a fan of completely changing everything on screen, and for end-game content it’s almost mandatory (as ever) to have certain add-ons. Still, as grateful as we are to ElTorqiro and many other creators of fantastic TSW mods, seeing some parts of the original game interface renewed would be a delight to many.
The moment that got me thinking about this topic was when I randomly changed monitor and display settings and everything completely exploded on my screen interface-wise. While it’s nice to be able to move everything anywhere, it might be slightly better if UI elements were anchored to their specific place when the interface was locked.
Aside from that, there are many details that could do with some cleaning-up, like the character details tabs, the Abilty/Skill screens, the inventory and the bank as well as the interaction between the two. Right now a part of those are manageable by means of add-ons, but again, it would be more enjoyable to just have those improvements available “straight out of the box” instead of looking for the right add-on.
This forum thread was collecting a great deal more ideas for a wider-scale interface redesigning add-on. Sadly, that project seems to be on hold, but the ideas and concepts are waiting to be picked up and turned into a proper interface revamp. Who knows, maybe the project will be picked up again in the future and bring various improvements in one place, without needing to install and manage various add-ons.
As the final “feature” on the list, let’s talk about new weapons or specs. The ability tree is pretty balanced and rich as it is. But among the many ideas thrown around among players came up some interesting new specs that might appeal to old and new players alike.
Seeing the specifics of The Secret World universe, keywords such as necromancy, voodoo, exorcism, or telekinesis would be a great starting point for new abilities to complement the existing ones. Necromancy in particular is very appealing for the “evil” side of players – or maybe I’m just completely biased for being so attached to the whole Death Knight fantasy.
And how about some news about those wings? Many players are curious as to whether there might be a follow-up or customization possibilities. We know that devs mentioned at some point that some options would arrive at some point to improve the wings’ base effect but there has been no update about that in a long time. Maybe more will be revealed in part 2 of the story…
Abilities got several fixes and revamps this year, especially Elites, but finding a way to refresh the Wheel without upsetting that balance might make for some newfound enthusiasm among players. In the end, we can’t deny that some new additions, be it even in the form of auxiliaries, would make a great twist. We don’t want to reinvent the Wheel… just to breathe some new life into it!
What would you like to see or not see in The Secret World? Do you agree with the items on the list or do you have ideas of your own? Start a discussion and let us know what you think in the comments below!Related: Article, Funcom, MMORPG, The Secret World