What am I supposed to do in this game, really?


Sorry, but it’s a view of high tier endgamer. Why there should not be agent drops at T1-4? You forgot, these agents are dungeons specific. So I don’t see a reason, why people on lower tiers should be excluded and their only chance how to get them would be packs or AH. There is a lot of people who will not go T5 and higher, but they can find T1-4 interesting and entertaining.

The problem with E10 people massacring E1 dungeons is about minimal difference in chances to get agent on higher tiers and lower tiers. The time/reward ratio. And in wider scale it’s not just about agent drops, but how the difficulty of dungeons is currently designed. It’s a very similar problem why a lot of E10 capable people are not running E10 but farming bosses in E8/9.

I will speculate, but I think Funcom is not happy there is dedicated part of game population, which is probably not big, but despite this it has a significant amount of MoFs and they are not spending any real money in game. So that is why FC is still continues in same attitude with *** drop rates. Which has still minimal effect on these people - as they have time, dedication and skills - and only leads to frustration of the more average population. If game population would be bigger, this would not be issue, but I can imagine with lower population it may be a problem.

I am not expert in f2p monetization, but imho FC will never win in war with these highly dedicated people and if they will scale everything according to these people, it would have negative impact on retention effect.


I take it you ave no clue what actually drops where right now. Specifically, you seem wilfully ignorant of the the fact the good pre-SA agents do not drop at all in missions, i.e. the content that’s for the supposed core target audience (basically, people who don’t do elite endgame stuff, as per stuff Tron’s been saying) of the SWL game.

With that in mind, considering the supposed target audience of SWL, limiting good agent drops to E5+ would, in my mind, qualify as irrefutable proof Funcom has been lying about that target audience all along.

As such, and given that New Dawn does seem to have brought an influx of new/returning players (who’re scraping E1 at best), I rather do hope they’ll come up with a more meaningful solution than moving the posts.


You are right - i have no clue what drops because i don’t run missions daily to get them. My source of completing dailies is done through dungeons/scenarios. But there is a problem with the way in which Agents are available in the tiers being across the board - thus adding to the nullity of progression, advancement or replayablity.
It’s just my opinion that i feel certain areas become trivialised by it’s introduction without thought of how it would effect them.
Target audience IMO should be as many sections and portions of a community as possible - not honed to just one.
It’s a tough thing to get design right, even tougher to please everyone.
EDIT: I also did SA just once and haven’t really been back at all much - Story is not why i play or what i play. I know everyone is different - which is why i feel catering to all like it used to is the best way. it doesn’t mean you have to add all of everything to everything just to please.


I agree with you in the outlook on the current state of play.
Are certain agents only available from certain dungeons via tiers or is it THESE agents are available in all dungeons?
Quite possibly, would it be better to have a particular agent in each tier, again adding to the progression or advancement mentioned before - But i have no idea, the agent system seems to only serve as a means to preoccupy any player willing to stay and therefore aiming it at lvl 15 players i feel could be too early - i have never seen an agent drop in any dungeon i have ran and i have ran a hell of a lot of dungeons since Agents were released - spending my own mofs on keys once the initial free keys have ran out. Bearing in mind im not running dungeons for the sole purpose of agents - but for sheer enjoyment of just running the dungeon with a group of people and having fun. My talis are at a gold level and its no biggie that they get into reds anytime soon, for me they are sufficient enough to the content i do.
I have had one from a scenario tho.


Given that you want as many players as possible to participate, you don’t really want to tie Agents to only higher levels/tiers of dungeons (although since they are tradeable, the market would help a small amount).

Game design hinges on carefully choosing what behaviours you want to reward, and which ones you want to offer less incentive for (negative incentives are a bad idea in gaming, but relatively-lower incentives work fairly well).

For instance, if Agents are to be part of the incentive to run dungeons, and you want all tiers to be played, you would set up something like a differential weighting for agent drops. Lets use Thomas Grady, Astrid, and Wicker as examples of Common Useful, Uncommon and Quite Useful, and Rare and Desirable levels of Agents (regardless of what their actual in-game availability is). Then you would set dungeons as, per boss chest drop:

Tier 1-3: Thomas 2%, Astrid 1%, Wicker 0.5%
Tier 4-6: Thomas 3%, Astrid 2%, Wicker 1%
Tier 7-9: Thomas 2%, Astrid 2.5%, Wicker 1.5%
Tier 10: Thomas 1%, Astrid 2%, Wicker 2.5%

At that point, all levels of play are incentivized, higher levels with higher value/things they are more likely to need, lower level with lower value. Everyone has at least some reason to want to advance levels, but overall you aren’t flooding the game with more loot by playing at higher levels, just slightly better loot.

(Edit: Personally I would recommend only 3-4 tiers per dungeon, Story, Advanced, Elite, Nightmare; just using the current system since that’s what’s in place.)


See - The community always has good ideas.


You say IP200. Yes. Yes, IP200.

The game design, including the new zone('s content so far), is clearly geared towards IP1-200 (or so) players. Higher IP? Well there’s some stuff - like the release of megabosses, and accessibility of elite content. But even higher? Not really - its just a game you hang out in at that point. if you’re not into regular grouping/raiding.

But it doesn’t necessarily need to stay that way. The next zone, if it actually happens this year, may demand at least a bit more. Whatever might have been intended for ‘Dark Agartha’ may have challenged people in other ways. They set up the IP1-1000+ as a basis, one you don’t have to grind your way up.

“outside of group content, raids and elite tiers” - That’s actually quite a bit, but if you mean ‘what is challenging but accessible to a solo player?’, then sure there isn’t much yet. Scenarios are a thing but a neglected one (needs more task variety, maps, refreshing design). Open zone maps/missions don’t have hard but soloable modes. There’s things Funcom COULD do.

But I also don’t see the big deal about waiting for the next event to get some clothes. A shared world (massive or not) is indeed very much a place we can hang out in and not necessarily rush to the most difficult thing as soon as possible.

If Season 2 continues to be a thing though, I imagine more solo activity available to ease the climb up the IP. They also considered upping the character level max with New Dawn but decided against it, yet it may happen later this year/with the next zone. Perhaps they should consider having more content/options available for 2-man/well set up 1-man activity.


Looking at the achievements, I wouldn’t be surprised if later on, the 10 tiers consolidate into 3, with possible 4th at some point (which like the ‘Tier 2’/Nightmare would be more than just a stat bump but a mechanical complexity).

I keep thinking the 10 Tiers is just the milk player progression in the shorter term (2017-2018, 2019?) until more dungeons/raids/scenarios/whatever can actually be released.


Basically, as we all seem to agree, the game isn’t finished.

My point is, for those of us that have progressed to the top tier of this game’s gearing and/or completed the story, there’s a terrific lack of things to do, seemingly by intention.

And throwing up my hands to wait for more content, while easy enough to do, is not anyone’s ideal solution, I hope.


I don’t think SWL is lacking things to do, I think ‘Secret World’ has a lack of things to do, still.

By that I mean its been almost 8 years and they’ve released the amount of gameplay content for 2-3 years in other games, at best - not accounting for the cutscenes many games don’t bother to do, though.

In terms of quantity, SWL releasing at this state would be quite acceptable. Thus the concept of the relaunch. And SWL is clearly geared towards a new churn of players, sorry (including me to an extent) vets!

So they’re focusing on maintaining daily play and/or new churn, while more gradually setting themselves up for more endgame. You know - getting profitable quarters instead of barely scraping by in each year. Subscribers and long term players do provide stable basis (which can be how the game even survived), but new players with naive wallets bring the higher profit. So they release New Dawn with the incentive to pay patron 1+ months for faster daily token grind, instead of re-introducing or developing challenge areas or group content for people who will grind out Marks for everything and directly play free for almost everything anyway. Its not that the latter is a bad thing or won’t happen - its that they must prove that SWL can sustain valuable profit each financial quarter. IMO. Much more mobile game design where they put ‘gacha’, daily logins, and ‘getting around’ to more challenging content, than catering to some strong base of subscribers and regular players that demand consistent challenging updates.

Yes, casualization. But I’m not so dour - its not that they’re done with the stuff, but more that they must make sure many more players even get to the challenge and variety of it. I bet if we saw the stats of this game and most MMOs, we’d (including me with my opinion) be shocked.


I like this the best.

But really even: Story 0.5%, T1-4 1%, T5-9 1.5%, T10(-14 theoretical) 2%.

But again I’m one who thinks Funcom may consolidate the tiers into 3-5 (Story, Elite, Nightmare, Else, New?) instead of current 10-11 (Story, E1…E10). So getting to a ‘mostly just higher chance of better things’ makes more sense in such a design, I think.


I largely agree, but in every game (including this and TSW) that I’ve played, endgame, retained players are a reliable source of subscriptions and small purchases - providing much-needed consistency to the cash flow and the community both.

Otherwise you just get the rotating suckers willing to shell out decent amounts of money quickly before leaving, and that straight up dooms your game to a lifespan of a handful of years as poor reviews pile up and fewer suckers come in blind. It would be a travesty to doom SWL to a churn 'n burn grave.


One thing I think Funcom should really do is ensure there’s something that feels valuable to attain even if you play literally 24/7 with some mutant condition of not requiring sleep.

This doesn’t necessarily need to be direct Marks or (current) item loot, but certainly not as ‘useless’ (arguable) as anima shards.

Just something that gets players to go “Yes! I got X/enough of Y!” consistently. Which does happen more in sub based MMOs due to loot, of course!


I do think they have a longer term plan. Its just unknown if that plan is enough, or even proper for them to do.

As I suggested earlier, I think the E1-10 is just to milk payers-for-progression in a meantime. What happens after (later 2018? 2019?)? Well at worst, there’s again nothing there and the game undergoes another slow or a quick slowdown or shutdown.

But at best, it buys Funcom developers time to prepare more content and features (and reinstatement of old content, blah!), and reactive systems design, to build a further endgame. E1-10 can be consolidated into a couple/few tiers again and by this point there can be added things for more people to do, and new players can feel a longer but more fair progression for a while (blue things become pretty easily accessible, purple becomes somewhat more accessible, yellow becomes more available).

But they can’t get to this point without the profits from initial adopters and systems that encourage more profitable churn (instead of someone buying TSW on a heavy sale of low $10s if that, and checking it out and leaving, there can be more players that try it out free and blow $10s-$100s on shop systems, at least). The longer term retention becomes less important, until it becomes more important. Ideally. Just as F2P MMOs can do, they sometimes just keep squeezing existing players and provide a slow drip of content to the point of failure. But the better ones know to keep up the content and variety, even if heavier monetization exists in it all. Just 2018 is partially to prove to us that Secret World CAN do story again, in a bigger way, in a shorter term (1-1.5 years instead of Tokyo 2-2.5 madness?).


For me TSW never really felt boring like SWL has become for me. However, I was quite well rounded in the content I enjoyed in TSW and there was enough of this content to keep me entertained. I had 340 days played on my main in TSW and there were times when I got burnt out on the raids and dungeons but then I fell in love with the PvP and the constantly evolving builds and challenges that it offered. PvP kept me playing TSW for years longer then I would have without it. Then when the nm raids and Tokyo dungeons came out later I was finally able to return to the PvE side of things. This well rounded content was enough to keep myself even as someone who played a lot consistently having something to look forward to when I log in. SWL on the other hand doesn’t offer that.


More likely incentivizing players to run the hardest content they can might work better for their pay model (since around yellow tier progress takes a nosedive without the aid of caches) by making them more likely to drop from higher tiers. This also keeps Johnny Overgear from jumping into content he massively outgears and possibly ruining a content appropiate tank’s day by making aggro an impossibility.


My 2 cents. You’re supposed to either play for the story (and buy the CE items that are issued with them) and go away until the next story release; or you’re supposed to really enjoy end game or RP so much that you subscribe and/or spend real $ to buy Aurum.

I think this concept is completely borked, but hey, maybe I’m just an idiot and missing a really big piece of the puzzle.

I always try to look from Funcom’s business perspective. I started with costs and revenue streams to get to an answer to your question.

Simplified Costs:

  • Recurring: devs to fix things and keep things running (no cost if nothing is being fixed)
  • Recurring: servers to rent and run (more online gamers = more rent costs)
  • “One-time”: investments for each major update or release, including temporary server space if needed.

Simplified Revenue:

  • Monthly subscriptions (catering seemingly to end-gamers, completionists or fashionistas)
  • One-time purchases of CE packages with a major release
  • Random purchases of Aurum
  • Purchase of Aurum tied to sales or special events

So. If you (Funcom) want to drive recurring costs down to nil, you want as few concurrent gamers online as possible. You make it really annoying to actually stay online and hog their bandwidth. And if gamers still want that…then… you try to make them pay actual $ for it, like the monthly subscriptions.

You hope instead most gamers go away and come back for each major release and buy the CE packages in droves. You “pre-pay” each content release so that you don’t release any content that you haven’t already gotten money for. So Season 2 was paid for by the SWL launch, which in turn was paid for by the lack of TSW development for years.

Like I said, I think this way of doing business is so faulty to me. But I think if you want to know how Funcom expects you to play the game, then that’s how based on their business model.



No vords!


My sides has departed! :rofl:


Well, given the lack of a login event for the New Dawn release, Funcom seems to have given up on trying to pad daily login numbers. So… that may actually be the plan now :frowning: