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News & Features Discussion  » [Dev Journal] The Secret World: Joel Bylos’ Game Director’s Letter

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Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 16291

OP  12/19/12 6:41:46 PM#1 and Funcom have teamed up to bring our readers the first view of The Secret World Game Director Joel Bylos' latest letter to the community. As he sits huddled in his bunker, Joel hopes development of TSW will continue past December 21st and he's got lots of news to share if it does! Read on and get excited! Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

One of the great strengths with The Secret World is our ambitious post-launch update plan. So far we’ve released five strong updates, called Issues, chock full of content, storylines, features and improvements. Having something new to play around with, something that keeps the game fresh and alive is important for us and we remain fully committed to releasing regular Issues. As part of the move away from required subscription, there will be some components of these issues that are free, while the other components will be paid DLC content. Though it will most likely differ from update to update, content such as new storylines and new locations will usually be part of the paid DLC.

Read more of Joel Bylos’ Game Director’s Letter.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/13/10
Posts: 184

12/20/12 7:07:51 AM#2




A writer and gamer from the Philippines. Loves his mom dearly. :)

Can also be found on


Novice Member

Joined: 9/04/09
Posts: 241

12/20/12 7:37:35 AM#3
Joel is like my favourite dude on the interwebs these days. I love his articles and interviews. I actually lol too.

Novice Member

Joined: 11/10/12
Posts: 1338

12/20/12 8:07:35 AM#4
This is getting better and better, can't wait for the event!! Loving the ARG too! thanks

Secrets of Dragon´s Spine Trailer.. ! :D

Best MMOs ever played: Ultima, EvE, SW Galaxies, Age of Conan, The Secret World

The Return of ELITE !


Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/07
Posts: 13

12/20/12 9:05:05 AM#5
See you in another life and another (secret) world!

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 2676

12/20/12 9:06:17 AM#6

Since for me the world / the content is the core in TSW, my favourite part in the letter was:

"I think that it puts the responsibility on us to deliver high quality, consistent content that is worth paying for. ...  We've moved away from the "shotgun" approach to missions, that is, rather than spreading all of our missions across the entire game, each update will target a specific storyline.

This means that we can create long and compelling experiences that are diverse and offer something different every month."

I can't wait the upcoming Issues :)


Novice Member

Joined: 12/24/05
Posts: 2197

12/20/12 9:08:37 AM#7
sounds promising.

"There are at least two kinds of games.
One could be called finite, the other infinite.
A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/11/06
Posts: 84

12/20/12 9:24:29 AM#8
Its a Fab game, overshadowed by the PR Behemoth that was Guild Wars 2 and WoW:MoP.. In my view a game for the adults, whilst the kiddies get to play in Tyria and Azeroth.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/20/11
Posts: 367

12/20/12 10:05:54 AM#9

Aside from its querky issues.. GW 2 and MOP did over shadow the TSW. on top of that, they didn't follow the trend and have a hybrid payment plan...

Also there is the tendency in the mmo space where fantasy beats all others, with sci-fi getting a boost recently, so TSW always was going to have it cut out for them.

Funcom, can take some positive out of this as TSW is there best effort yet..

Also others here have been stressing innovation, but too much innovation and you move away from the norm and you risk alienating yourself to death..

I think art style, originality and presentation is what will continue to drive mmo, but even that have risk..

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/08/05
Posts: 3079

Stand up for what you believe; Even if you stand alone.
SHH, my COMMON SENSE is tingling!

12/20/12 10:21:30 AM#10

The Secret World has HANDS DOWN the best writing and quest design of ANY MMORPG I've ever played. Hands down - no competition.


The quests are well written, voice acted and so many of them are SO creative!


The atmosphere of the game is amazing - the sounds, the artistic style, etc.


The Combat is pretty MEH to be honest - it's not something I consider very fun (using Shotgun/Hammer combo atm... perhaps another combo would be more fun.)


Overall, I'd strongly recommend this MMORPG to anyone who doesn't mind excercising their mind - anyone who wants to do more than mindlessly drool and grind.

Why do I write, create, fantasize, dream and daydream about other worlds? Because I hate what humanity does with this one.

BOYCOTTING EA / ORIGIN going forward.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/11/10
Posts: 81

12/20/12 11:06:52 AM#11
I cannot WAIT to play Tyler Freeborn, as my new main is in the middle of Savage Coast right now and has to wait :), but I heard (aside from the initial bugs..) great things about this mission-line. Like he wasn't exaggerating about it being SP Adventure Game worthy.

Novice Member

Joined: 9/11/10
Posts: 81

12/20/12 11:13:25 AM#12
Oh and about combat - at least for most players, the inital solo stuff just doesn't make full use of the system. Once into dungeons and later content, many (but not all) players get into experimenting, making full hybrid builds, and making what's fun for them, instead of just a x+y weapon combo with the basic builders and finishers. Your feeling might not change, but for some others it at least did.

Novice Member

Joined: 1/24/11
Posts: 171

Fools fear nothing yet claim to know everything. Bravery is knowing everything yet fearing nothing.

12/20/12 12:30:57 PM#13
make the combat more accessible not requireing me to have 3 hands or plug in a 360 controller and i might give it another try. i enjoyed most everything i saw about the game (except the british accents i COULD NOT understand AT ALL and of course there was no subtitles during cutscenes only during actual gameplay and even that i wasn't always able to catch in time) but my god the combat was above and beyond what i am capable of doing with W,A,S,D and a mouse. i realize that most modern mmo gamers have giant hands with a thousand fingers of varying lengths tha can essentially use an entire keyboard and number pad and 2 mice at once, but i am no such person and trying to run around, dodge, use abilities 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and a mouse ALLL at once was neither comfortable or reliable for me (i lost my place on the keyboard repeatedly and would be pressing E,S,D,F or some such completely screwing up. cause i suck at these controls. i need to plug in a controller. but if that's what it takes when no other mmo does, i just can't be bothered. shame too, cause i found the world itself and lore very entertaining.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/11/10
Posts: 81

12/20/12 12:46:15 PM#14
Ian, wtf, haha. There's subtitles for everything, and you just need WASD and num 1-6 to do everything. Like most MMOs.

Age of Conan Correspondent

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 274

War is won by inches, not by miles...

12/20/12 12:49:32 PM#15

Will see you in the Fifth Age, Joel.  We, of the Dragon, do NOT intend to let the world end.  We will maintain balance until the end...


Drakkenfel Xfire Miniprofile

Novice Member

Joined: 11/10/12
Posts: 1338

12/20/12 2:27:22 PM#16

I remember when I started the game back on release, liked it within the first couple of hours. After 10 hours I was in love with it.

When I played this one mission, where I found a crashed car, got to listen to the navigation device voice of the route the car took and had to backtrack that route by looking at the map to find out from which address the car departed to reach the next tier I yelled "Awesome!!" at the screen several times. In TSW one can find the finest mission design ever done in the MMO genre. This level of quality content, I hope they are able to keep up

Secrets of Dragon´s Spine Trailer.. ! :D

Best MMOs ever played: Ultima, EvE, SW Galaxies, Age of Conan, The Secret World

The Return of ELITE !


Novice Member

Joined: 9/09/12
Posts: 1

12/20/12 4:30:24 PM#17
Server Down-time for another HOTFIX... No.. we're not playing Issue 5!

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1168

12/20/12 5:33:29 PM#18
Originally posted by SwobyJ
Oh and about combat - at least for most players, the inital solo stuff just doesn't make full use of the system. Once into dungeons and later content, many (but not all) players get into experimenting, making full hybrid builds, and making what's fun for them, instead of just a x+y weapon combo with the basic builders and finishers. Your feeling might not change, but for some others it at least did.

Yep, it pays to sit down a bit with the ability wheel to understand how it works -- some very nice builds to be had with some experimentation and study.  Here's a really good primer:


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/07/04
Posts: 827

Gamer Forums, where "First World Problems" are our specialty!

12/20/12 5:37:49 PM#19
I love seeing the rekindled interest in The Secret World.  I've been back at school with no free time to play for the past several months, but this new pay model and the new content updates seem to have a positive effect on a game worthy of more exposure.  I hope the newcomers enjoy it.

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/17/12
Posts: 23

12/20/12 6:08:02 PM#20

I just started playing TSW, having alot of fun with it. I had avoided it because I was already into several other mmos and it got some bad feedback from clanmates who played it on launch. Playing now there is alot of great things in it I like. I am sick to death of fantasy games and have been slowly trying to stop playing them completely(still play gw2/wow/darkfall a bit). TSW is a great blend of paranormal/sci-fi/conspiracy stuff.  From the few missions I have completed I think they actually made a game with difficult and clever puzzles.

Buy to play is really awesome and well done, so far as good or better than what is in GW2 and better than all the F2P crap I have seen over the past few years. This is a game I will not mind investing some cash into for vanity/dlc content when the time comes, somethin Ive only done for GW2 bag slots.


End of days ARG is pretty sweet too, alot harder than I expected :P

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