GAME DIRECTOR LETTER – SEPTEMBER 2013
September, what a month! So much going on, so little time to absorb it before moving on to the next thing. Events, Missions, Tokyo, Halloween, Scenarios, Augments, Voice Recording sessions… I’ll try to break this madness down into semi coherent chunks for your benefit.
The Gilded Rage
As most of you know, we ran the Gilded Rage event early in the month. During the event we went golden, theming our rewards around a double AP weekend and providing a new challenge in the form of Samsu Nasiru.
We served up helpings of solid gold destruction and you came in droves to take part, earning the Shem of Solar Metal and a plethora of golden rewards as well. We also offered a golden tuxedo as a part of our shop offering during the weekend to really let our players bring the bling to The Secret World.
Thanks to everybody who took part, it was a great success and in the wake of it we have triggered our next event, The Whispering Tide.
The Whispering Tide
The Whispering Tide is going on *right now* so once you’ve finished reading this, jump in and start doing your part!
Filth has invaded Agartha, and is slowly spreading along the branches from the Tokyo portal. An ancient emergency protocol (put in place for exactly this situation) has gone into effect and the Custodians of Agartha require upgrades to be able to cleanse the portals.
By providing pure materials, you can upgrade the Custodians, who will then open pathways into the depths of the filth infected areas of Agartha, where you will find yourself going toe to toe against the creatures which spawn from the filth.
This is a long term event, which will last right up until we release the Tokyo area of the game in Issue #9, so expect to see many more exciting phases as the tide of filth in Agartha rises!
Stories from Solomon Island
For Halloween this year we are re-enabling the Cat God event from last year, as well as adding an additional mission series called Stories from Solomon Island.
In these missions, you will be reading a series of scary stories from residents across the island – it will be up to you to investigate their legitimacy and complete the book of Urban Legends that the League of Monster Slayers had begun working on.
Did Tyler Freeborn really die because he failed to forward *that* email to 15 friends? What really happened to the Groundskeeper at Innsmouth Academy? Who is the Lantern Man, and what does he really want? Return to Solomon Island to become reacquainted with old friends and new terrors during Halloween this year.
Scenarios and Augments
Work on Issue #8 is going well. The brand new Scenarios, our random event driven simulations, are now in their testing and feedback phase internally. All of the technology is in place and we are now balancing for Solo, Duo and Group sized versions, as well as a Nightmare difficulty for all group sizes.
Some adjustments we have recently made:
- The solo version has a soft cap, which means that you can bring a group with you. This provides a decent option for less geared players to be able to start running scenarios earlier, as long as they can bring a friend or two.
- The duo version is proving to be the most popular during testing – the feeling of spreading out to defend areas and then band back together to face random bosses and challenges is truly unique (and less stressful) when playing with a good friend.
- The nightmare solo version might prove to be the most difficult challenge in the game so for those of you who consider yourselves the best of the best, this might turn out to be the true testing ground. Imagine Master Planner, but without a group and with random elements thrown in. Not for the faint of heart!
Finally, the difficulty of the Scenario has a direct effect on the lighting within – normal difficulty takes place at mid afternoon, Nightmare difficulty takes place at midnight.
The Augment system is also in place, with all of the items and UI completed and implemented. I spoke about this last month, so I won’t go into more detail other than to say that you can expect to see an article explaining Augments in depth on the website soon(tm).
Tokyo, Venice and Voice-Recording
Finally Tokyo is slowly becoming a fully fledged Secret World area and every day the city gains more missions, characters and life. I’ve recently been doing a bit of mission testing in the city and I have to say,* nothing* captures the essence of The Secret World like fighting a demonic entity trapped inside a pentagram on the roof of a building while surrounded by the Tokyo skyline. These are the moments, which for me, summarize the experience.
Of course, on the puzzle solving side, we have also been working on investigation missions. Practice your origami is all I am going to say about that.
In addition to mission making and testing, we’ve done a lot of voice recording recently, with incredibly talented actors coming into the studio to help us flesh out and expand the world.
Kari Wahlgren returns as the unflappable Kirsten Geary, Leigh-Allyn Baker as the mysterious Bong Cha and of course, a few other characters that you’ll meet along the way. Jimmy Akinbola is coming in to reprise his role as Richard Sonnac and we recorded the impressive Stuart Organ in the role of Arturo Casiglione, your contact at the Council of Venice Headquarters.
You will visit Venice in Issue #8 and, resuming the Story Mission for the first time since launch, you will work together with Arturo to earn your Field Agent Certification. Issue #8 is coming soon, with Issue #9 to follow in the coming months.
Thank you all for listening, see you in The Secret World
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