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Roman Amiel on Making Secret World Legends Better Than the Original

William Murphy Posted:
Interviews 0

With today's huge announcement of Secret World Legends, a rebranding and reimagined game, fans are clamoring for more information. We had the chance to send along a few questions to Game Director Roman Amiel that will provide a few of them. It's a great and informative interview so get crackin'!

MMORPG: Whoa… okay, explain the name change? How different from The Secret World is Secret World Legends?

Roman Amiel: Secret World Legends is a re-imagining of The Secret World. Everything we loved about TSW, the story, the settings, the atmosphere are still there, but we made the rest of the game more accessible to everyone.

By focusing on the action RPG elements rather than the multiplayer aspect, we want to invite all players to discover our story, and continue our journey together for the years to come.

MMORPG: So are we talking about a fresh start for servers? Will the TSW run alongside Legends?

RA: You will need to create a new character when you start playing Secret World Legends.  We feel it is important that everyone starts from the same point.  Anyone that owns The Secret World will be able to continue to play it.  Secret World Legends will exist as a separate product so it will have its own account system, installation, server, etc.

MMORPG: Why the shy away from the MMO term to “Shared World RPG”? Is the game still an MMO where you play with thousands of others at once, or is it more “solo” and closed off a la Destiny?

RA: We think one of the strengths of The Secret World was its story and settings.

As a Shared World RPG, we have reduced the maximum amount of players that can enter a playfield. While adventuring, you will still meet a few strangers here and there, but the focus is on you, and your friends if you choose. You are following your character's story, your experience won't be affected by hundreds of other players nearby trying to kill the same monster.

Agartha has been redesigned to be even more of a central hub to the game. You will be able to meet with hundreds of other players and group up before going on your journey.

MMORPG: What sort of improvements are you making to the visuals?

RA: We have made improvements to visuals like character models, character heads, combat effects/animations, lighting in playfields, and we've increased view distance in some playfields. Keep in mind these are improvements, not a generational jump in graphics. We are still using the original graphics engine.

MMORPG: How is progression being altered? It seems one of TSW’s greatest strengths has been its wide open character building.

RA: The progression system has been made more accessible:

As you progress through the game, your character will earn experience, earning levels which will increase your survivability and damage output.

A large part of your power also comes from your equipment. All gear found in the game can be further refined and improved to increase their power and attach powerful effects. We will have more information on this in the coming weeks!

Additionally, every weapon that you master will grant you lasting benefits.

MMORPG: Combat – tell us what’s different this time, and how it will play?

RA: We have expanded on the functionality for the reticule system that was implemented in TSW.  In addition, we have changed how weapons work, added unique elements to each weapon, and updated the active and passive abilities.  Overall combat should feel more action oriented than it was in TSW.

MMORPG: Do the three factions still play into the story and PVP?

RA: Your character still must choose a faction in order to progress through the game. Just like in The Secret World, you will receive flavored Faction Reports from your faction handler with every mission that you complete, and you will still receive special assignments once in a while to earn certain favors from your faction.

Regarding PvP, in SWL we want to incentivize players to have fun rather than focusing too much on the faction tension. At launch we will be including TSW's most successful PvP minigame: Shambala. Based on feedback and demand we will be updating the remaining minigames at a later date.

MMORPG: As a F2P game, will players have access to all the content from TSW? Or will you have to buy packs and issues just like before? Will dungeons, Battleground PVP, and so forth still be present?

RA: All of the content in the game is going to be free, including all the DLC Issues.  We won't be gating access to story content or putting missions behind a paywall.  All future story content releases will also be free.

MMORPG: Will there still be an optional subscription?

RA: We are replacing the Membership Rewards program from The Secret World with the Patron Rewards Program for Secret World Legends.  Being a Patron will give you additional in-game bonuses and extra convenience.  All content in the game will be free for anyone, so the Patron Rewards program is truly optional.

MMORPG: Any hope for that long-wanted console version?

RA: If the relaunch does well we might consider it, but there are no current plans for that.

MMORPG: What other new features and systems are being added to Legends?

RA: Secret World Legends has updates befitting a modern-day action RPG. This includes a redesigned combat system to make action feel more natural, more intuitive-to-use systems, an improved quest flow, an improved early game for new players, and updated visuals.

We have also updated the dressing room, character creation, as well as several other systems.  As we get closer to the launch date of Secret World Legends we will be revealing the post-launch feature roadmap.

MMORPG: When can we expect to play?

RA: Soon, sometime this Spring!  We still have a lot of work to do as we are making some rather significant changes to the game.  We also want to give our Closed Beta players the chance to give us feedback so we can get that implemented before the relaunch.


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.