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Author Topic: State of the Game (FunCom official post) (August update on pg2)  (Read 13466 times)
Segoris
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on: July 10, 2012, 12:42:34 PM

Link

TLDR:
Game is doing well as the launch has been smooth except a small amount of bugs that were found and are being worked on
New monthly content for free to subscribers/lifetime pass holders
Mission Packs (which are free) will be added monthly
LFD coming soon
PVP Dungeon
Raids
New Zones
Seasonal Events
New shops (barber as well as more clothing, and new clothing options in Pangea)
UI Improvements and Cabal management systems


 
« Last Edit: September 02, 2012, 06:24:39 PM by Segoris »
Falconeer
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Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 12:49:46 PM

Colour me impressed. And excited.


Quote

* Mission packs on a monthly basis! The first few packs will contain new investigations for every adventure zone in the game -- but we also have more action and sabotage missions planned for the near future. These missions will feature fully voiced cut-scenes and new media pop-ups, and will match the quality of the missions currently in the game. Oh, and like everything else in our monthly updates, these packs are FREE for our subscribers!

EDIT: So let me get this straight: they just promised to do what SWTOR and Bioware promised but blatantly failed to do? If they pull this out... *IF* they manage to pull this out I really hope somebody in a studio in North America will be really ashamed.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 01:07:16 PM by Falconeer »

Nonentity
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Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 01:07:31 PM

Wow, if they actually manage to drop a decent content patch by July 31st, I will definitely be impressed.

And yeah, if Funcom shames Bioware Austin that hard? So great.

But that Captain's salami tray was tight, yo. You plump for the roast pork loin, dogg?

[20:42:41] You are halted on the way to the netherworld by a dark spirit, demanding knowledge.
[20:42:41] The spirit touches you and you feel drained.
Falconeer
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Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 01:08:30 PM

Quote
* New weapons! We will be announcing our first auxiliary weapon soon (one clue: bigger, slower, more explosions) and new auxiliary weapons will be released on a regular basis. Combat in The Secret World will continue to evolve, and it will pay to expand your character in multiple directions!

Means more builds?
Head explodes.

tmp
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Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 01:10:23 PM

EDIT: So let me get this straight: they just promised to do what SWTOR and Bioware promised but blatantly failed to do? If they pull this out... *IF* they manage to pull this out I really hope somebody in a studio in North America will be really ashamed.
:funcom:

they promised engine update to AO, too. oh, and it's only been 6 years since Dreamfall.

edit: i think you realize it yourself, though. As that "pull out" is quite a Freudian slip.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 01:15:29 PM by tmp »
Tyrnan
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Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 01:13:19 PM

That's a fairly ambitious list. I really hope they can pull it off since lack of long-term content is my one worry about the game. I'm slightly skeptical that they can do it, but that just leaves me some room for a pleasant surprise if they do.
trias_e
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Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 01:18:10 PM

The one thing that makes me optimistic is that their style of content is such that they don't have to worry about nearly as much as say SWTOR did.  SWTOR had to worry about recording voice acting from 16 different voice actors for every decision to maintain the level of story telling the players were accustomed to.  Not to mention the vast multitude of companions that people wanted continued storylines with?  Yeah, that's not going to work out long term.  Far too much branching content.  And It's going to be disappointing to the players when all that comes to an end, because that's what they had come to expect.

The style in this game is far simpler and sustainable.  Get a cool voice actor, write a character, write some monologues and go to town on some clever new quests.   If the players like that, then you can keep providing them with it much easier than the SWTOR devs could hope to do.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 01:21:08 PM by trias_e »
Numtini
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Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 01:22:06 PM

If the announcement had been more conservative, I might have bought it, but honestly, I found it kind of farcical given funcom's past performance.

If you can read this, you're on a board populated by misogynist assholes.
Segoris
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Reply #8 on: July 10, 2012, 01:27:08 PM

While this list reads like a wish list, the only things on there that will be challenging are the monthly updates which will be huge if they can do it. I agree with Trias in Funcom doesn't have to cater to nearly as man voice actors and the content lends itself better (I think) for faster content production. Especially if this was the plan from day 0 then they likely have a lot of this content already made and just waiting to be released.

I'm very excited to see if this pans out. I won't hold my breath, but if it does than this will be a game that holds me for a very long time along with GW2. Of course the one thing that may really shatter this entire dream would be :Funcom:

If the announcement had been more conservative, I might have bought it, but honestly, I found it kind of farcical given funcom's past performance.

Past performance sure, but more recent performance has been okay iirc, starting with their turning around of AoC, to producing a pretty decent BLC, all the way to present with what is a surprisingly great MMO in TSW. I'm not saying I trust them entirely, but I'm willing to give them much more of a chance now than I was before they started fixing AoC
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 01:30:08 PM by Segoris »
palmer_eldritch
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Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 02:17:59 PM

Aren't they saying that the monthly update will simply involve adding a couple of new quests to each zone? They're promising new weapons and zones too, but not every month. It doesn't seem that implausible?

Edit: Although the quests in this game must be quite an undertaking to make compared to quests in the average MMO.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 02:22:40 PM by palmer_eldritch »
Segoris
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Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 02:29:49 PM

Yeah, this isn't something like "<Character Name Here>, you are the chosen one go kill X amount of Y-manbearpigs and return to me when your task is done!" making these a bit tougher to come up with. So far, a short list of things I've had to do would be look up Morse code, some basic cryptology, 1700's era composer's, Edgar Alan Poe work, and match dialpad tones to solve quests. Again, that is the short list and I'm only into Transylvania and haven't done all the quests there are.

Those quests, along with voice acted cut scenes, on a monthly basis is why I believe it starts becoming difficult.
Amaron
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Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 02:54:51 PM

I think they'd have far more luck if they'd sell mission packs or something.   People would scream bloody murder but those people are going to just quit when their magical free content patches fail to appear.
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Reply #12 on: July 10, 2012, 03:01:08 PM

My daily grindquest sense is tingling.

Sky
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Reply #13 on: July 10, 2012, 03:35:18 PM

look up Morse code, some basic cryptology, 1700's era composer's, Edgar Alan Poe work, and match dialpad tones to solve quests.
So that takes ten minutes to put together rather than the two seconds of 'fetch 10 rat balls'. The Poe and composer is straight up trivial pursuit. Buy a set of TP cards and there's a millenia of quests.

Ginaz
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Reply #14 on: July 10, 2012, 03:35:48 PM

"We're going to be releasing fresh and tasty new content FREE to our subscribers on a regular, monthly basis."

"Oh, and like everything else in our monthly updates, these packs are FREE for our subscribers!"

Those phrases make me think they have some sort of f2p model in the works.

I'll pre order you SWTOR if you let me put my lightsaber in your sarlaac cave
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Miasma
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Reply #15 on: July 10, 2012, 03:41:13 PM

f2p is assumed to happen at some point and the systems are basically already built into the game.  Even before it released there were offers to buy name reservations and so on.
Segoris
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Reply #16 on: July 10, 2012, 04:05:22 PM

So that takes ten minutes to put together rather than the two seconds of 'fetch 10 rat balls'. The Poe and composer is straight up trivial pursuit. Buy a set of TP cards and there's a millenia of quests.

I know there is mass exaggeration, but I think the ratio of time is still about right for time comparisons of quest development. Also, Trivial Pursuit would be a solid place for them to get quest content from. Especially since a lot of people playing TSW have probably never played it or really studied outside of what was forced upon them, which is probably why a lot of these quests work so well.

"We're going to be releasing fresh and tasty new content FREE to our subscribers on a regular, monthly basis."

"Oh, and like everything else in our monthly updates, these packs are FREE for our subscribers!"

Those phrases make me think they have some sort of f2p model in the works.

I'm not completely sure, but I think those bits were added later. The reason being is that someone started a thread to discuss the State of the Game on the official forums and by page 3-4 there were enough questions about whether or not the new mission packs and other crap was going to be free or cash shop that it seemed even the friendlies of staff was being annoyed at the questioning after answering it the first time. Though, a f2p model could very well be in the works, it is FC and it's not like that hasn't been working as as model lately, afaik.
tmp
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Reply #17 on: July 10, 2012, 06:11:47 PM

Yeah, this isn't something like "<Character Name Here>, you are the chosen one go kill X amount of Y-manbearpigs and return to me when your task is done!" making these a bit tougher to come up with.
Ehh, bulk of questions is pretty much that. "Why don't you kill a few zombies since they are in your way anyway", "Here's 4 locations for you to visit around town to click on various hotspots and return", "Those manfishpigs seem to guard eggs on the coast, they must be important so go and shoot a few of them, won't you", "You are chosen to shoot naked anatomy exhibits until you collect X drops from them, then return when your task is done!"

There's some that aren't of course, but you get plenty of standard fare just the same.
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Reply #18 on: July 11, 2012, 05:11:21 AM

So, this from Ragnar. He even took the time to reply to our very own and dearest Numtini:

Quote
Quote
Originally Posted by numtini  
I just hope you realize that if you fail to meet these very ambitious goals in July and August, you've just doomed yourselves.
Well, we wouldn't want that.

We're very confident about delivering on our content plans -- we are ambitious, but that's our nature. Also, sticking with the monthly updates is going to be a lot easier than delivering the full game in the first place -- and we actually managed to do that!


Quote
You're welcome. We live for making your day. We really do.

If you like this, you're going to love what's coming up later this week. We're going to be talking in more detail about some of the content, and we're going to announce the name of these monthly updates on Friday -- and show off the wrapping. I'm excited! Are you excited? I'm very, very excited.

I want to point out something else though. How many major MMORPGs had their Lead Director posting an average of 30 posts a day right after launch and basically working as the Lead Community Manager? He was there in beta too, when lots of criticism was going back and forth, and he's superactive now explaining, clarifying and teasing all day long. It's hard to feel more "listened to" than when you know the Director of the game is the official boards posting for a good part of his day.

I don't know if this was part of their plan or it's just something that came out spontaneously and it's working extremely well, but I have to say that I love it.  Sure, there's a certain amount of generic answers, but at least you know exactly they are coming from the chief, and not from some community manager who is there just to moderate the boards and feed the the pack of wolves with rubber bones.

The fact that all of this is coming from someone who is responsible for some awesome games (in spite of all your "lol funcom") like The Longest Journey and Dreamfall is definitely a bonus, and gives hints of hope. If anything else, he already surprised us all at this point. Who (well.. except me) would have put a dollar on this game two months ago?
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 05:28:40 AM by Falconeer »

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Reply #19 on: July 11, 2012, 05:27:23 AM

More interesting bits from Ragnar Tornquist about developing the updates, doing cutscenes, voiceovers and all.

Quote
We have been preparing for post-launch content for a long, long time -- several years, in fact -- and not only do we have missions ready to roll for the first update, we're also already in production on future updates.

As for recording VO, we have an amazingly optimised process with tons of skilled people. We can go from receiving a new design, to writing dialogue, casting, recording, editing and doing motion capture within a week. A finished cut-scene can be ready -- if needed and we focus our cinematic team on it -- a week after that. I don't think there are a lot of companies in this industry that can say the same, but we have a lot of experience in this area, after doing TLJ, Dreamfall, and now The Secret World -- all games heavy on dialogue and cinematic sequences.

Of course, for the most part, we like to spend a little longer getting everything perfect, but at most, it's about a month from writing the dialogue to having a finished cut-scene in the game -- and we plan ahead. I've already looked at and approved a couple of cinematics for 1.3, which is due in September. So...yeah. We got this covered.

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Reply #20 on: July 11, 2012, 09:17:58 AM

The game is complicated enough that I don't see how they would even have that customer management middle man because he'd half to spend half his day writing up documents and explaining them to the CM person.  If his predictions fall short and he starts getting called out we'll see how much he keeps posting.

The game itself was delayed so I'm not sure why he's so optimistic with his deadlines.  Good luck to them though.  I'd like an auction house.  Agartha is currently like that old school EQ freeport tunnel, just rolling WTB/WTS along with LFG talk.
Segoris
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Reply #21 on: July 11, 2012, 10:49:55 AM

Ehh, bulk of questions is pretty much that. "Why don't you kill a few zombies since they are in your way anyway", "Here's 4 locations for you to visit around town to click on various hotspots and return", "Those manfishpigs seem to guard eggs on the coast, they must be important so go and shoot a few of them, won't you", "You are chosen to shoot naked anatomy exhibits until you collect X drops from them, then return when your task is done!"

There's some that aren't of course, but you get plenty of standard fare just the same.

Yeah, that was in response to Palmer saying making the quests here is more of an undertaking than other MMOs, where I assumed he meant due to cut scenes and voice overs. That is what I was talking about, is how most quests that aren't side quests have cut scenes which will take longer development.

Of course there are still some run of the mill quests with just text/objectives/kill 10-whatevers, but those are more breadcrumb quests, and quests that can be done while doing larger quests and act as complimentary quests, than anything else. The ones that you want to do are red/green/yellow quests which all (that I can remember) are fully voice acted and have a cut scene.



As for Ragnar's community involvement, I'm with Falc in thinking that is fantastic. I honestly look for FC staff posts in threads and read them before realizing it was Ragnar, yet again, answering questions regularly. It's pretty nice.
Numtini
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Reply #22 on: July 11, 2012, 11:08:34 AM

Funcom always had great participation and communication. Also a sincere and real dedication to story. It was the followthrough that was lacking.

If you can read this, you're on a board populated by misogynist assholes.
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Reply #23 on: July 11, 2012, 11:37:40 AM

As for Ragnar's community involvement, I'm with Falc in thinking that is fantastic. I honestly look for FC staff posts in threads and read them before realizing it was Ragnar, yet again, answering questions regularly. It's pretty nice.

Mark Jacobs sort of did that for Warhammer (though it was here and on other boards as opposed to official boards because they refused to have any) until everyone realized the game was empty shit after rank 2 and started asspounding him anytime he popped his head up like he was the bonus mole on a game of Whack-A-Mole.

However, since Ragnar has already been through 2 rounds of asspounding from Anarchy Online and Conan, I'd imagine his ass is pretty immune and he'll stay around.

Segoris
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Reply #24 on: July 11, 2012, 01:53:06 PM

While it's true that MJ was around, and is a great example, it was an entirely different feeling. Ragnar is answering more and tougher questions faster and better than I ever remember MJ doing, while at the same time doing so in a much more relaxed and casual fashion when able. Ex:


Quote
Quote
Originally Posted by Filiecs

Ragnar...
 HAVE MY BABIES!!!

Sure!
 
Wait...what? I can't have babies. I just can't. I'm not built that way, I don't have a uterus.
 
See, now I'm just sad.


While I can't remember anyone wanting MJ to have their babies, I also can't remember a time when MJ was that at ease with his customers to joke like this. I think that is the major difference on why I appreciate Ragnar more than MJ
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Reply #25 on: July 11, 2012, 02:23:02 PM

Well, like I said, it ain't like Ragnar hasn't been absolutely raped before over the Anarchy Online fuckups. He's probably a lot more comfortable than Jacobs ever could have been, not the least of which because Funcom has always had official forums and Mythic was adamant about not doing so.

Numtini
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Reply #26 on: July 11, 2012, 02:32:35 PM

Anarchy Online and Age of Conan were broken in very different ways. AO's servers were a mess, Conan's were fine as far as I remember, but the game just wasn't finished and people were finding invisible bugs like stats not affecting things.

Part of what really got Jacobs nailed was it seemed like the same old Mythic making the same old mistakes. When I saw a response in War that they were "waiting for metrics" I laughed and cancelled. I'd heard that before.

If you can read this, you're on a board populated by misogynist assholes.
Segoris
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Reply #27 on: July 11, 2012, 03:04:57 PM

What Num said

Also, even if Ragnar has been beat down more times than MJ by the community, I'd think he'd be more cautious and professional and no where near as laid back and relaxed as he appears to be. I'm not necessarily disagreeing, but I would just be surprised if previous beatings caused him to be more casual as it seems the opposite of what I'd think would happen

As for official forums, assbeatings aside, they really don't come into play in this imo. Forums are forums, the difference is that Ragnar has mod tools while MJ did not, but both were recognized for their respective positions regardless of who owned the forums being used.
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Reply #28 on: July 11, 2012, 03:28:45 PM

No, it really does make a difference. Despite Mark and Sanya's opinion, as a major MMO not hosting your own forums just makes you look completely unprofessional. Farming them out to VNBoards/IGN doubles down on that. Etc.

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Segoris
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Reply #29 on: July 11, 2012, 04:15:50 PM

No, it really doesn't make a difference to the subject being discussed. What you're responding to with about official forums was regarding comfort level with interfacing with the community and the playerbase from a high position of power in a game's chain of command, not how professional a company makes themselves appear.

If we're talking professionalism and 3rd party forum vs 1st party forum, then I absolutely agree that it currently would make someone look unprofessional. I only say currently because I honestly did not mind vnboards being the main forums back in 2001, but that is ancient history in internet time.
tmp
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Reply #30 on: July 11, 2012, 07:59:32 PM

Yeah, that was in response to Palmer saying making the quests here is more of an undertaking than other MMOs, where I assumed he meant due to cut scenes and voice overs. That is what I was talking about, is how most quests that aren't side quests have cut scenes which will take longer development.
Ahh, think i misread it then -- got impression you're saying that the TSW quests would likely take longer to create than ones in "typical" MMO because they involve atypical story/setup/whatever to them. So that's why i mentioned regular ones; in the sense they'd likely make a part (if not bulk) of these "monthly updates" and as such, the impact of more complicated writing etc on their ability to deliver would be probably lesser than expected.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 08:01:47 PM by tmp »
Falconeer
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Reply #31 on: July 12, 2012, 07:50:15 AM

More Ragnar:

Quote
ARGH CAN'T REALLY ANSWER WILL GET IN TROUBLE

So the upcoming adventure zones will not be as massive as all of Solomon Island combined, but more like the size of Kingsmouth -- big enough for 20-30 hours of gameplay, plus instances and...surprises. Lots and lots of surprises.

The weapons are not going to be standard weapons. We're calling them auxiliary weapons -- or maybe ancillary weapons is a better term? -- for a reason.

SAID TOO MUCH TROUBLE INCOMING GAH

And:

Quote
Top hats will happen. Scout's honour.

(Yeah, I was a Boy Scout back in the day, deal with it.)


On shirtless men:

Quote
Agreed. We'll look into this as soon as possible.

We are not, unfortunately, allowed to do the same with female characters. This has nothing to do with prudishness on our part (believe me! We are Norwegian and Canadian, we embrace nudity! Literally!) and everything to do with the ratings boards in both Europe and North America. Female nipples are verboten. Everyone knows that seeing a female nipple can cause weaker men to go berserk.

But yeah, topless males, gotcha.

Quote
Quote
Originally Posted by Rhazes 
So why is female demons, statues and corpses allowed to have bare jiggling breasts and nipples in the same game where female player characters are not?

Because of silly, arcane rules imposed by the different ratings boards. Non-player characters can have bare nipples; player characters cannot  (I fuckin hate bigots and very stupid people). At some point, we can choose to resubmit the game to the ratings board WITH bare nipples -- but that won't happen any time soon. Hey, we don't make the rules! We just have to follow them or get fined. And those fines are not small.

Regardless, I'm not sure we'd ever let female characters run around the world bare-chested. It is a bit immersion-breaking, to be honest. Never mind the fact that you can make lightning bolts fire from your fingertips -- it'd still be odd to speak with Andy Gardener while wearing absolutely nothing at all.


On Gear Manager being terribly bugged:

Quote
Yup, we are aware of issues with the gear manager. It's not affecting everyone, and it's not consistent, but we have tasks on this -- it's being looked at as soon as possible. I'll double-check tomorrow and see what the status on. I agree, this is annoying and it IS high on our to-do list. (Which is not really a to-do list but a task management system called Jira which contains every single task and bug and issue for the entire team, so it's MASSIVE, but everything is prioritised and assigned and it's all very neat and organised, so yeah. TMI?)

EDIT: Oh, and I know that both our lead programmer and CTO read and post on these forums, so maybe, hopefully, one of those guys can fill in a bit more information at some point.




On being on the boards too much:

Quote
Quote
Originally Posted by VenomX 
Ragnar shouldn't you go to sleep .. isn't it 01.25 over there?

Nope. It's 01:42. So tired. And it shows.


« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 08:09:25 AM by Falconeer »

Sky
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Reply #32 on: July 12, 2012, 10:17:24 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these the dudes who made this game:


Lantyssa
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Reply #33 on: July 12, 2012, 10:35:56 AM

Yes, but they're probably going for a higher rating than AoC.

Hahahaha!  I'm really good at this!
trias_e
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Reply #34 on: July 12, 2012, 12:33:09 PM

RPS article on the July update:  http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/07/12/a-sneaky-glimpse-at-the-secret-worlds-july-update/

Looks like we're getting more of Sam Krieg in the form of an investigation mission, and Carter (girl in the academy).   Have to admit it sounds pretty sweet.  Regarding the new investigation mission with Krieg:  

Quote
The first allows the player to explore more of ornery writer Sam Krieg’s character and history by tracing the journey of a devoted fan. More than anything I’ve seen in the game so far, this investigation plays up the ARG aspects of The Secret World, not just happy to co-exist with our version of the modern world but increasingly reaching its tendrils across, creating blogs, bibliographies and books. All of this isn’t just background reading either, with elements of the mission tying directly into details found far from the mission description in the game. Expect less ‘goal markers’ than ever.

I doubt I will be able to have exhausted all the content by July 31st anyways, but I'll be heading back to the savage coast right when this update hits.
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