The Secret World Ditches Subscriptions

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The Secret World Ditches Subscriptions

Funcom offers a memberships fee system for its conspiracies MMO.

"With this recent change there is no reason not to join and take part in The Secret World," claims Joel Bylos, Game Director of Funcom's conspiracies MMO; he and the developer are hoping going free to play will tempt more gamers into the grand conspiracy. Pay Once, Play Forever, claims the latest trailer but, if you really want to, there is a Membership option to speed things along.

The subscription element of the game has been completely removed. You buy it - which will run you about $30 - and get access to all the content, plus the Initiate DLC pack should you buy before December 31st. If that's where you want to stop, no problem; but Funcom's hoping you'll be tempted by the Membership option, which offers faster experience gain, item-of-the-month gifts, and game store discounts to those willing to fork out a monthly fee.

Future developments in The Secret World will come courtesy of DLC packs, the first of which - the Initiate pack - is due in January 2013, and will cost $5 if you didn't take advantage of the December 31st offer. The DLC packs aren't the same thing as patches, which will include free content and updates to the core game. Those will still carry on as normal; the DLC packs are intended as icing on the cake.

There's a FAQ over here if you want to learn more.

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see this sounds like what EA should have done with Star Wars Online, or Cryptic should have done with Star Trek Online, but I do have a concern that these "item-of-the-month" might lead the game to becoming basically freemium.

Unless I misread the article, this is a rather misleading title don't you think? It hasn't gone free to play(F2P), it's gone buy to play(B2P), like Guildwars 2. Free to play would mean you don't have to spend any money to play the base game.

Are people playing? Is it fun? I was intrigued when it came out, it's user score and reviews seem okay on Metacritic*, just was busy with other games and didn't buy into it at the time. I find myself game hopping a lot lately, and figure it would be a good time to give it a try and settle down.

*Before you bash me for Metacritic'ing, I actually read the reviews, and I look at a lot of them, and I look at both sides, good and bad, and to try and pick out trends. AND I take everything with a grain of salt. I use them as a guide to push me one way or another if I am on the fence.

I think most MMO's should go this route, you buy the game and then have access to it for free from then on, you know like normal games, adding things like optional microtransactions helps pay for the servers and the maintainance without taking anything out of the game. It's a win win really :D

Might have to pick this up when I've got a spare 25 floating about.
Was interested in it from the get go, but couldn't justify running three different types of membership at once.

I think what really shows the shift from subs to f2p/b2p is the comments on articles about TSW going b2p - people are showing an interest in trying the game now there's no sub whereas in the past it would be declared the game was a failure. My concern would be paying for more powerful gear or access to skills you couldn't otherwise get - exp boosts aren't really an issue since your power is determined by gear not character levels or skill points. Eventually you can have all skills hence why there is no respec.

Thank you for changing the title into a more suitable one.

charge52:
Unless I misread the article, this is a rather misleading title don't you think? It hasn't gone free to play(F2P), it's gone buy to play(B2P), like Guildwars 2. Free to play would mean you don't have to spend any money to play the base game.

Was about to say the same. All they do is remove the need to pay the monthly subscribtion. It is NOT free to play as you still have to pay 30$ to start in the first place.

Ooooohhh!

There's a very high chance I'll go back to playing this game now! :D

I loved the concept and atmosphere, but it felt too incomplete to pay a monthly subscription for.

This is what it should've done in the first place.

The fact that it required a subscription was a wall for absolutely anyone with even a tinge of curiosity. Hopefully, this means the game will start seeing a bit more success and popularity.

Tohuvabohu:
This is what it should've done in the first place.

The fact that it required a subscription was a wall for absolutely anyone with even a tinge of curiosity. Hopefully, this means the game will start seeing a bit more success and popularity.

Yeah, this mostly.

When one of Funcom's head guys came out a while back and said 'The market just isn't ready for a game like Secret World right now.' I was like 'No, the market isn't ready for the dumbass pricing scheme of buy + sub!'

YES! This is exactly what I was waiting for! The thing that's stopped me from getting into MMOs before was subscriptions, and my lack of funds and time for it to be worth paying the fees, but I was interested in The Secret World right from the off. Now it's going by an F2P model, I'll definitely be picking this up, probably tonight in fact! Now all Funcom need to do to be my joint favourite game developer right now (alongside Valve, Cyan Worlds, and Mojang) is to announce the restarting of development on Dreamfall Chapters. They do that soon, my Christmas will be made...

They should have gone with this model from day one. I played the trial about a month back and liked it.. but not enough to shell out $30+ $15 a month. But, no monthly fee? I'm all over it.

How is the combat? Is it like Tera's combat or the more traditional style with a lot of skill bars and what not? I remember watching a few reviews when it first came out and it looked a tad bland but the idea of having to look up things to solve clues or whatever they are called is pretty awesome.

Trivun:
YES! This is exactly what I was waiting for! The thing that's stopped me from getting into MMOs before was subscriptions, and my lack of funds and time for it to be worth paying the fees, but I was interested in The Secret World right from the off. Now it's going by an F2P model, I'll definitely be picking this up, probably tonight in fact! Now all Funcom need to do to be my joint favourite game developer right now (alongside Valve, Cyan Worlds, and Mojang) is to announce the restarting of development on Dreamfall Chapters. They do that soon, my Christmas will be made...

Merry Christmas! (PS, you're awesome for including Cyan in your list.)

OT: Yeah, now we're talking! Assuming they've added some non-creepy faces since beta, at least. Even if they haven't, though, I'll be able to deal with it until I complete the story.

Xannidel:
How is the combat? Is it like Tera's combat or the more traditional style with a lot of skill bars and what not? I remember watching a few reviews when it first came out and it looked a tad bland but the idea of having to look up things to solve clues or whatever they are called is pretty awesome.

For anyone who`s played the game recently, I`d love to know this as well. One of the things (okay, the one thing other than the fact it was a sub fee MMO) that kept me from even giving it a try was the ugly uninspired impactless combat I saw in review and beta play videos. I have always wondered if that was ever fixed or improved upon.

EmperorSubcutaneous:

Trivun:
YES! This is exactly what I was waiting for! The thing that's stopped me from getting into MMOs before was subscriptions, and my lack of funds and time for it to be worth paying the fees, but I was interested in The Secret World right from the off. Now it's going by an F2P model, I'll definitely be picking this up, probably tonight in fact! Now all Funcom need to do to be my joint favourite game developer right now (alongside Valve, Cyan Worlds, and Mojang) is to announce the restarting of development on Dreamfall Chapters. They do that soon, my Christmas will be made...

Merry Christmas! (PS, you're awesome for including Cyan in your list.)

OT: Yeah, now we're talking! Assuming they've added some non-creepy faces since beta, at least. Even if they haven't, though, I'll be able to deal with it until I complete the story.

With a year-and-a-half development time too (April 2014 estimated release) - Not too shabby! Enough time that we're not waiting like we are for HL3, but plenty to iron out any issues as well (and I'm glad to see Ragnar's announced they'll be scrapping the Dreamfall combat system for Chapters - Dreamfall was an amazing game, but the combat sucked. Puzzles, characterisation and storytelling are what make the series so great). And of course I'd include Cyan Worlds as one of my top developers! Myst and Riven were two of the first games I ever played, back as a kid in the late 90s, and got me into the adventure genre in the first place. I just wish they'd continue the Myst mythology beyond Uru and the books, but all good things must end in time, I guess...

Xannidel:
How is the combat? Is it like Tera's combat or the more traditional style with a lot of skill bars and what not? I remember watching a few reviews when it first came out and it looked a tad bland but the idea of having to look up things to solve clues or whatever they are called is pretty awesome.

Combat is pretty positional. It's still the standard hotbar bashing, though it's limited to 7 abilities at a time. But, none of the powers root you when you're using them, so there's a lot of mobility in combat, and that's as important to gameplay as anything else. They have added reticule combat fairly recently, but as with STO, there isn't really a legitimate reason to use it.

I've been saying they should do this since the game was released. How many people are honestly willing to pay for another subscription mmo? Now I might actually bother to get the game.

charge52:
Unless I misread the article, this is a rather misleading title don't you think? It hasn't gone free to play(F2P), it's gone buy to play(B2P), like Guildwars 2. Free to play would mean you don't have to spend any money to play the base game.

Agreed.
My first thought when seeing the title was "Awesome, might have to download it tonight" now it's back in "eh might wait abit".
Now I'm just procrastinating.

PS, lovin your avatar.

Gorramit, just started TOR. Might check this out later though, heard good things.

This is a MUCH BETTER model.

I might actually get it now.

Subscriptions are dead.

Yarrow:
I think what really shows the shift from subs to f2p/b2p is the comments on articles about TSW going b2p - people are showing an interest in trying the game now there's no sub whereas in the past it would be declared the game was a failure. My concern would be paying for more powerful gear or access to skills you couldn't otherwise get - exp boosts aren't really an issue since your power is determined by gear not character levels or skill points. Eventually you can have all skills hence why there is no respec.

So far, the only "more powerful gear" option ever offered was the blue QL1s, that came with one of the preorder packs. (Functionally they're QL2 or QL3 greens, IIRC). And they're even adding an in game method of obtaining the Screaming Demon Ring... so that's good...

2clueless:
Are people playing? Is it fun?

I haven't played since the last beta (the one with the release product), but have kept an eye on this and IMO:

- The combat is basically your run off the mill WoW clone combat with two exceptions: You can dodge and nothing (AFAIK) has a castime which immobilizes you. Honestly decent and fluid but mhee.

- The questing is your run off the mill WoW vanilla clone, quest hubs, then go and grind them, then go back to the hub, and back to the grind. Terrible. There are some special quest that involved doing new activities, investigation i think they were called, very well made, but few and far between.

- The PvP consisted in a couple of decently made dedicated battlefields. Severely lacking PvP content IMO.

- The atmosphere is AMAZING. Yeah, sure, they send you to kill 10 boars by facerolling your keyboard, but oh boy! Do they know how to sell you that this boars are about to wipe out civilization as we know it!

- The "no leveling" system is just BS. There ARE levels, they just chose not to display it, imagine a Final Fantasy X where you leveled, but gained no static hp nor mp, just sphere levels. As such the system is fine, and it allows you a lot of flexibility, but by golly, there ARE levels.

No reason not to give it a try, I probably will. And there's some people still playing from launch, i know one at least.

My only gripe would be, what is happening with the guys that expended like 10k USD for the ultimate secret world package that included a "for life free of subscription fees". Hope they manage that well.

Man, if my computer could handle this game I would be all over it. This and planetside 2 becoming free and all those games that I got for cheap from the THQ bundle are making me wish I had more money to spend to get a nice gaming rig.
All and all, this does sound like a pretty cool system for an MMO.

I love The Secret World. I think it's a great MMO. Now that there isn't a manditory subscription, I really hope more people check the game out...

so they're basically going to take the road guild wars 2 takes (albeit with some nickel and diming because EA.....) but with a much better model than SWTOR (once again because EA) I figured something like this would eventually happen to the secret world by the end of the year, it probably won't happen to WoW, but that's WoW and they seem to be the exception to a lot of things (though i can imagine the growing number of F2P MMO's has hurt their business in some way)

Now, i hope the other MMO's that are coming take a cue from GW2 and have an up-front cost and no subscriptions (I'm looking at you Elder Scrolls Online)

So in conclusion, all the barriers that have prevented me from getting into MMO's in the last 8 years have come crashing down.

I'm going to ask for Guild Wars 2 for christmas, and i may pick up the secret world in the near future (definitely getting TES Online though, that was a given from the moment i heard about it)

I played this for a couple of months after it launched. I left once I'd cleared all the content, but I was reasonably satisfied and happy with my experience. It's a pretty solid MMO, if a little small.

EDIT: Forgot to mention; the PvP is utter garbage. Even SW:ToR had better PvP. If that's what you're into, get GW2.

I was curious about this title and now I may pay the $30 rather than continuing my EVE subscription.

This is seriously one of the, if not the best MMOs I've ever played in my life.

The only thing holding me back from enjoying this game was the subscription, now I can play it to my heart's content, whenever I want and however I want :D:D:D:D:D:D:D

There are times like this when I wish I had a computer capable of playing MMOs decently.

*Sigh*

Your move, Final Fantasy.

2clueless:

*Before you bash me for Metacritic'ing, I actually read the reviews, and I look at a lot of them, and I look at both sides, good and bad, and to try and pick out trends. AND I take everything with a grain of salt. I use them as a guide to push me one way or another if I am on the fence.

Exactly! Metacritic is great as a library of reviews. Just ignore the actual Metacritic rating.

I just got the email today...all I can say is WOW that was quick

Sweet. Straight up: I only wanted to play this because I vaguely like what little I played of Dreamfall, and also because I know Cthulhu is in it (plus I love conspiracy theories, true or not they are very fun tales). Wasn't enough for me to subscribe, but it's worth 30 bucks. Player 1, buying in.

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