Saturday, July 14, 2012

Let Me At 'Em! : The Secret World

The Secret World passes two key tests for a new MMO: it's my first choice to play right now and I want to play it more than I want to blog about it. Even as I type I feel the pull to stop writing, log in and carry on from where I left off last night. Late last night.

The third, most important test will be whether I'm still playing this time next year and of course it's far, far too early yet to say. It's a safe bet that I won't be playing TSW with this intensity in July 2013, but will it still be in the mix?

If there's some kind of Free-to-Play option, then absolutely. No question at all. If Funcom still want me to pony up a subscription fee? Hmm. Well, let's think about that.

I'm just back from holiday and with the current very favorable exchange rate a week in France worked out at somewhere around £75 each per day. An annual subscription to The Secret World costs £116. A year of investigating conspiracies and fragging zombies for the price of a day and a half strolling around castles and villages.

Sounds like a great deal. Probably won't take it.

... or this?
Chances are I'll cancel when GW2 launches and then re-subscribe when the shine wears off. By which time TSW may have some kind of F2P option or extended trial. Even more likely, as an ex-subscriber I'll get a nice "Please Come Back" sweetener deal if I re-up.

Either way, my strong feeling at this very early stage is that one way or another I will still be waving the Templar flag a year from now, if only as a part-time auxiliary. The Secret World really is something fresh and different and the recently-announced plans for both monthly content updates and changes to the world that have real and lasting impact suggest that Funcom mean to lock that freshness in.

Whatever happens down the line, right now I just want to play. That's a very good feeling and one I plan to indulge as long as it lasts.


  1. There's an interview on RockPaperShotgun where Ragnar Tornquist pretty much states that TSW *will* go F2P after a period of time - and they're preapred for it, with the item shop - so my guess is that this time next year, you'll be able to play without the sub.

    It's actually, incidentally, a really good business plan: grab the sub income while the initial interest is there, then go back (go to?) a F2P model when the triallists have moved on and only those really interested remain.

  2. I figured that would be their plan, given it's how they went with both AO and AOC. Suits me fine!

  3. Judging from Funcom's other F2P titles (mainly AoC), at the later stages the game will be anything but free.

    In AoC, if you want to do anything meaningful at level 80 (i.e. most raids, the expansion content, AA etc.) you will need to pony up for a sub, or at least buy the limited-time passes for the areas.

    I expect to see more of the same for TSW when/if it goes "free". It'll probably have Transylvania + any future content completely locked, weapons restricted unless unlocked in the store etc. So in a sense, unless you want to be a glorified tourist, you'll probably have to shell out hard cash.

  4. If I found myself playing TSW the majority of the time then of course I'd want to subscribe. If it's a case of dipping in and out, though, access to high-level content isn't likely to be much of an issue. For example, I find Rift Lite meets most of my "I feel like playing Rift for a while" needs.


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