I was about a page and a half into writing this article when I realised that all I had written was about The Secret World, an MMORPG released in 2012 by Funcom, when the article is meant to be about Secret World Legends, a re-released and modified version of the aforementioned game.
I had to approach this article in a different manner than what I had initially thought. Instead of explaining all about the old game and then explaining all the differences, I decided the better method would be to have two sections, one aimed at the people who played the old game and one aimed at the new players. This way I don’t need to re-cap all the stuff to those who know it already. And I don’t need to inform all the new players of things that no longer matter with the old game.
For the players of The Secret World –
You might already be aware of the changes, since there were plenty of emails sent out inviting you back and letting you know what was changing, but in case you didn’t see those, here’s the gist of it:
– The game is completely free to play (f2p) now – no purchase of any kind is required to play. However, there are micro-transactions in place. The subscriptions system has been removed and replaced with the Patron system, which is similar but not compulsory. Those who bought the Grand Master pack for the old game have permanent Patron status.
– Patron status grants several perks, such as +10% experience and 15% Anima Shards, one free Argathian Cache key per day, several other types of keys free per day (Dungeon Scenario and Lair), unlimited free travel through Anima Wells, plus more.
– The combat system has been redesigned, but not completely changed. It still uses AP and SP for active skills and passive skills respectively and the weapon groups remain, but there is no wheel as previous. Usable skill slots are limited to Q, E, 1, 2 and left and right mouse buttons, but you can choose which skills to use in which slots. There are also five passive skill slots. The Dodge mechanic is still the same and combat remains very mobile.
– Character levels are now present within the game, though AP and SP are still acquired throughout the level. I believe the level cap is 50.
– Equipment is still the same in terms of type equipped; Head, Neck, Belt, four types of Talismans and two weapons. But instead of replacing gear all the time, one can sacrifice new gear to upgrade existing gear.
– The maps and quests all appear relatively the same. Quality of Life upgrades that were introduced into the old game have been retained, such as being able to instantly teleport between different Anima Wells on the current map. However, this does have a cost.
– There are three types of currency now. Anima Shards are used in the equipment upgrade process and usually acquired through completing quests and killing enemies. Marks of Favour are used to purchase character upgrades (like increased sprint speed and backpack space) and are acquired through completing daily challenges. Aurum is the currency that fuels the micro-transactions and is bought with real world money. There is a conversion system where Marks and Aurum can be converted to each other. Last I looked, the rate was approximately 80 Marks to 1 Aurum.
– People with accounts from the old game can claim certain legacy items in the new game, such as clothing and sprints.
But overall, the general feel of the game is the same. I’ve played through the first two maps completely with a friend, and am now level 26 or so. Both my friend and I have Grand Master packs, so we are both benefiting from the Patron status, which makes things a little easier. The conversion of the game is more about changing the pay model from the subscription to f2p rather than changing the content. What you are used to is still there, though perhaps a little updated and with some of the bugs fixed.
But is it worth it? If you played the old game to death, then there is little new content to bring you back. If – like me – you played some, but didn’t really experience it all, then sure, have a go. It’s free anyway.
To those who have never played the old one: I do recommend having a look at this new version. Secret World Legends, while being similar to other MMOs, has a few elements about it that are significantly different. Sure, the content can get a little same-y in the long run, but at least the first two areas have some really fun and interesting quests that really make you think. The Investigation and Subterfuge quests are the most fun, and the majority of the quests in general – at least in the early sections – are not just ‘collect X of item Y’ or ‘kill x of this particular creature’. Some of that does exist, but there are still a lot more variations from that.
I don’t believe the Patron is really worth it at $13 US a month, but buying some Aurum might be alright.
Does it have its problems? Yes, but every game does in it’s own way.
Do the strengths outweigh the weaknesses? I believe so.
At the end of the day, it’s free. You won’t lose anything – bar some time – if you give it a go.
Secret World Legends is currently available through their Website. A FAQ can also be found on this site that goes into more depth on the differences between the two games.
It will be available on Steam at the end of July, or so the Steam page claims.