Faithless Is He: Unleashed
By Jonathan Doyle (Ardua), OnRPG Journalist
A few things happened this weekend and I’ll see if I can tie them all together for you.
-My group and I have been strolling around in Blue Mountain
-Ragnar and co. had their first Twitch.Tv chat.
-The Secret World: Unleashed was announced.
-The cast of Firefly had a ten year reunion at Comic Con.
One of those things is clearly unlike the others on the face of it but you’ll see why it was added in a moment.
We’ll deal with the best and most exciting bit of news first.
Issue 1: Unleashed is the first monthly content update for The Secret World. Announced just before the weekend, these Issues represent an ongoing unfolding narrative in The Secret World that is free for subscribers. No one has to worry about possibly being charged for the monthly new missions, new stories and other updates.
Unleashed, styled as a comic book issue, brings new missions to characters across the world. Special attention this time is given to the character of Carter from Innsmouth Academy on The Savage Coast. Players will know her as the sweet, incredibly powerful, girl who just wants to be normal … and who always seems to get the short end of the stick in Mr Montags motivational speeches. Previously a character that merely had some dialogue and a supporting role in the cut scenes for the other action missions in the Academy, Carter will be getting her own set of tasks for people.
Other characters scattered around Solomon Island will also be getting more missions this month making the first zones any new player goes through just that bit more enjoyable. These little updates however aren’t just focused on the first major occult outbreak you deal with, Egypt and the Carpathian Fangs also get some attention as do the dungeons. New Nightmare modes will be available for both The Ankh and Hell Fallen for those who want to pit themselves against the evils of the world.
Future updates promise even more to come with little details being given out to fans and press alike for now. Later in August we will finally learn more about Issue 2 and auxiliary weapons. All I can tell you for now is that characters are going to end up with even more bang for their pax romana.
If you missed out on the first Funcom Developer Twitch TV you should be both saddened and relieved. Yes there were some choice questions asked and answers given… but for the most part it was three great guys sitting around a table with pizza and beer playing The Secret World and chatting.
Personally, as a European and having watched other such interactions, this is proof that Europe has more fun, or the marketing team had passed out earlier that day.
Little bits that came out during the Live stream:
-Funcom will be at Gamescom this August in Cologne.
-There will be some southern hemisphere “loving” coming in the future.
-Housing is something they would love to do but do not plan to any time soon as they would want to take the time and do it right.
-“From the very beginning we wrote Argartha to be expandable”@RagnarTornquist
-“Are we continuing to improve combat? Absolutely yes we are” – Joel
-Time travel may come up in the future.
And most importantly “Revealing too much is No” – @RagnarTornquist
Honestly. I loved watching them.
One of These Is Not Like The Others..
Of the four things that came up over the weekend, one didn’t quite fit. Or does it?
Firefly aired ten years ago. Thirteen episodes spawned such a fan base that upon its cancellation they managed to get it brought back as a fully featured movie. No other show to my knowledge has managed quite the same feat. What does that have to do with anything?
Well it’s all to do with the characters. After all, thirteen episodes? That’s half a season by any other standard except British Sci-Fi. That’s barely enough time to blow the dust off of some ideas and start to present them. Ideas yes, characters no. It was the characters that won people’s hearts, that drove the fans to demand more and the characters are the reason why ten years on there was a panel of actors who have all moved onto other projects long since.
It’s that secret blend of humour, darkness and being genre savvy that has made me fall in love with these characters. Funcom and Ragnar have hit on whatever dark and terrible power it is that Joss Whedon commands. It is that dark and terrible power that ultimately keeps me coming back night after night; to say nothing of the lifetime I am subscribed for.
Unleashed, as covered above, is quite a nice bonus. In my other games I am used to waiting months in between large content updates, or shorter periods for small events and missions somewhat thrown together to keep people quiet and happy.
A monthly update is great, it really is. What makes it more than a mere update for me is the fact that the story is moving. NPCs that I fall in love with today (I’m looking at you Hayden Montag) may not be there next month. There exists not just the possibility for stories to grow and change but also to end. The characters that have drawn me into the game are now vitally important to me, more so than my own character. My character cannot die, they can. They can take their story and their quirkiness and humour and darkness away and … it makes me want to savour every moment.
Thirteen episodes are all it took for one man and a handful of actors to win hearts around the globe and hold onto them for ten years and counting. We haven’t even gotten to our first issue and I can already feel the tugging of my heartstrings under skilled Norwegian fingers.