Posted on July 10, 2012 AT 05:56pm
In order to compete with the ageing behemoth that is World of Warcraft, MMOs need several things to be able to survive and thrive in the long term. They need interesting content first and foremost, both story based and end-game with high replayability, they need frequent updates, and they need to have some interesting mechanics, if an MMO lacks any of these the game is pretty much destined to lose its subscriber base or go Free to Play. Thankfully, Funcom seems to have learned this from their time working on Age of Conan and has a solid plan to go forward with on their new modern day MMO, The Secret World. The problem with Age of Conan was a lack of mid-to-end-game content; players would run through the early levels and have a blast while doing so and then hit a wall of boredom once the entry level content was completed. Over time Funcom fixed that problem but it still caused a significant decline in their player-base and was one of the key factors in them going Free to Play.
Monthly updates with new content, storylines, missions, seasonal events, gameplay enhancements, and even a few new world regions are Funcom’s solution to several of Conan’s issues. The first of these updates are coming on the 31st of July and more details are promised to come in the next week or so as to their content. On top of the new content, a brand new dimension was added to the game which is essentially Secret World’s version of a server.
So far The Secret World is looking pretty interesting with its hands-off style of questing and modern-day apocalypse setting, I really hope it does well but it has a lot of work to do if it wants to maintain a fanbase. Storytelling is a good hook to bring people in but the problem with it is that once a person has completed the story once, what reason do they have to go back and do it again on another character? Consistent high quality content updates are a step in the right direction but in order to survive, The Secret World needs to ensure the end-game content is there and has a decent replay factor to survive in this post-WoW time.
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