GAME DIRECTOR LETTER – AUGUST 2014
The entire team enjoyed their summer break and I am happy to report that there were no polar bear related casualties. Which means there have been no polar bear related fatalities in the history of The Secret World. That’s some kind of record.
But I digress. Let’s talk about what the team has been up to since we got back to work at the start of August.
Firstly, Sidestories: The Last Pagan, will be arriving in the next couple of weeks. This is a new mission pack in Tokyo featuring 6 missions – including two new investigations missions and a new sabotage mission. Here is a brief overview:
- The Bank Heist – Daimon Kiyota needs something. Something locked away in the vault of Faust Capital. An unlikely bank heist is the only possible solution.
- The Pagans – Meet Ricky Pagan, the man beneath the pompadour. Ricky and his gang used to spread the word of rockabilly to the masses, but now they are scattered and lost in the streets of Tokyo. Only the power of rock can reunite the gang.
- A Wake of Filth – Something stirs in the waters of Tokyo Harbor. Ricky Pagan doesn’t know what it is, but he knows the only way to stop it is with the help of the holy trinity: Gaia, Amaterasu and Elvis.
- Fierce Competition – Inbeda is tired of his contracts being contested – especially when the assassin always seems to be two steps ahead of him. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so he sends out the Spirit of Kan’ami to investigate what is really going on.
- All Alone Together – When the Tokyo incident occurred, Harumi and Yuichi had been living most of their lives online. Since the incident, they have been living all of their lives online. And their online circle of friends has gone missing.
- The All Seeing Kawaii – Harumi, hacker extraordinaire, has managed to tap into CCTV camera feeds all across Tokyo. But someone or something is removing her cameras, restricting her access to certain parts of the city.
In addition to the six missions, completing The Last Pagan will provide access to an experimental Orochi teleportation (wormhole creation if you want to get technical) device, known as the Lorenzian Fabricator. Currently this device will allow teleportation directly to Tokyo from anywhere in the world – just don’t look too closely at the exotic matter that the Orochi are using to power it…
With the accompanying code update that will release with The Last Pagan, we are also releasing several new quality of life features.
Firstly, since the launch of the AEGIS system we have been overwhelmed with feedback on tweaks and changes we can make to improve the system. We’ve taken the feedback and digested it and made a few improvements that we think the majority of the community will be happy with. We’ve added two new AEGIS related skills – Proficiency and Efficiency. Proficiency allows you to improve your base damage to AEGIS conversion, increasing your damage % while using any controller. Efficiency will allow you to reduce the cooldown on switching between your AEGIS controllers. You can get and improve both skills by using your Skill Points.
The second new feature we have added is the notification system, which builds upon the same style of onscreen notification used for Lore, Achievements and Tutorials. This means that we can now trigger events from notifications, as well as allowing characters in the world to send messages to the player – providing more information or exposition.
Ever missed a phone-call from your faction because you were busy fighting something or just too busy with another mission? The notification system should improve this experience, allowing you to review the messages later and act upon them in your own time. The first iteration of this system will release with The Last Pagan and we hope to add more functionality as we move forward.
We’ve also nailed down the functionality for making emotes, hairstyles and makeup individual unlocks – that means we can now add them as rewards and purchasable items in the store. You’ll see the first examples of this appearing in the sabotage mission in The Last Pagan – complete the mission without being seen once and you’ll receive a new dance emote!
Moving beyond The Last Pagan, the team is now fully focused on Issue #10. I have been at the US office for the past week, working with the team to plan out our schedule for the rest of the year – including planning the raid and dungeon for Issue #11.
Complementing the Issues, we are also planning to revamp several older features and add additional features that we feel will improve the overall game experience. I’ll provide more information about each of these features as they grower closer to completion.
We’d also like to take the time to unify the three scattered raids that we have in the game thus far (Flappy, Lair Raid and New York) into a single experience so that we can create raiding “tiers” – somewhat similar to the raiding experience in Age of Conan. The Tokyo dungeon and raid would become the second tier. We’d love to have this done in time for the release of Issue #11.
There are also two seasonal events coming up in the second half of the year; Halloween and Christmas. We have big plans for both of them! I’ll go into detail about the Halloween event in the next GD letter.
Thanks for listening,