The Secret World and New Player Experience

There have been a lot of changes incoming for The secret World that were outlined among the the recent blog, chief among those the Enhanced Player Experience, aka a nerf bat raining down upon the lands. There has been a bit of criticism around this decision as well, TSW is about the difficulty in a way. It’s about learning the skills and creating the right kinds of builds. It is a process most people are meant to go through.

The mmo player in me that’s prone to hardcore bouts of grind and utter devotion from time to time balks at such a thing. Having a certain amount of challenge in these mmo’s is a point of pride. it gives that sense of achievement for me and, it’s one of the primary things within these games that makes me strive for better. Without this element and mmo loses a great amount of appeal, or at least the average mmo does.

For TSW, I’m not so sure. This is the one game I could go casual for, and want to go casual for but there is so much getting in the way. TSW is just not a game I think you can devote yourself too entirely, their just isn’t enough interesting, and engaging content and mechanics to keep your time and with how much they update it never will be. That’s not a bad thing though as what they have their is good enough to make me want to repeatedly come back to try and enjoy but not enough to get through some of the other elements.

The difficulty has never been it’s strong point, in fact, it’s often a point of frustration. I can get by just fine within the game, I enjoy the skill building aspects but all those elements of difficulty and complexity get in the way of the game I want to play. I really don’t care about the combat in the slightest, it is rather average and is rather boring. No, what I enjoy within TSW is the story. It is by far the strongest part of the experience so why they wouldn’t want to create a greater ease around this aspect is beyond me.

In my mind there efforts to balance the game a bit more in regards to skills, time to kill and difficulty of the combat elements is a very good thing. I believe it will bring a lot of people back in who hit that difficulty wall before rather early in the game and then gave up. This way it gives people a chance to get hooked on the narrative first, to get immersed and involved with it. To give enough time and space to learn about the skills, passives and the inherent complexity there without being overtly punished. The difficulty is still there for end game content too but if you have gotten there your probably invested enough to continue at that stage.

TSW has been struggling for some time, Funcom has been struggling, you can see it in their financial reports each time. They are working on a razor thin margin their for running their games and hopefully this will bring people back to the game and keep Funcom going with creating this wonderful title.

Investment and an Interest in Difficulty

I’ve been trying to get back into Hearthstone lately and am having  a hard time. I went through the new pvp wings on easy, log on for a few dailies, and still try getting my Shaman deck up on the arena ladder but there just isn’t much motivation anymore to do much else, and even most of that.

It’s usually a few matches of whatever before I lose interest and then log out when before, I would go for hours playing. I spent even more time fiddling with my decks and looking at cards and even read a number of posts on deck building and strategy. I thought trying the new hard mode boss fight would get me back and interested but even that has failed. I’ve tried, logged in for them occasionally but no concentrated effort on beating them.

Now usually I love facing off against a certain challenge or at least getting to the point where I have tried a lot and done a bit of my best. I optimise my decks to a points, a read forums and posts about it and spend a fair bit of time practicing. Now that’s nowhere near as much as some people but enough effort that I can achieve my own personal goals. That’s usually how I play and it ends up so I don’t play that many games but I do tend to get a bit deeper into the ones I do. Once I lose interest in a title though that’s pretty much it, I move on to the next and if I do play it’s nowhere near as serious.
Continue reading