Today Funcom released Game Director Joel Bylos’s first “State of the Game” post and it is quite a read.  He starts off with a little about his history with Funcom as well as the various reviews TSW has received.  While I know some think Joel and Ragnar are whining when they talk about these scores, I actually think he has a point when he says that that wide swing means they “hit a nerve” with TSW and people either loved it or hated it.  There’s something to be said for being able to create such passion in your reviews, but at the end of the day people really should look at this game (and any other one) for what it does for them personally.  Some people (like me) really enjoy this game but just like every other game, it isn’t for everyone.

As for actual details, he doesn’t disappoint there either.  Issue 4 is around the corner bringing the first raid to the game taking place in New York.  The raid sounds intriguing as he promises no trash mobs but a story based journey.

Joel does confirm what he teased previously that the chainsaw is the next auxiliary weapon and I’ll be curious what kind of story they weave behind that item.

Another big item coming with Issue 4 is an optional change to the combat system by introducing reticule combat which allows you to shoot where you aim, as opposed to shooting the target you’ve tabbed to.  I also like that they’re making this optional such that you can pick the combat method that works best for you.  I have a feeling I’ll probably use a mix of it (assuming that’s possible) as I think this makes sense for ranged weapons but not as much for melee.  Either way I like that they’re adding ways to make this game seem more realistic.  Joel will be showing this feature off at a livestream on Friday the 12th for those interested.

Looking more long term, as he didn’t put any specific Issue numbers with these items Joel also teased the following:

  • Reworking the Dreamworld engine to create smoother and better character animations
  • Revamp of the abilities and skills systems currently in game as well as potentially new ones
  • Improve the secret society conflict
    • incorporating this conflict into both the PvE and PvP areas
  • A little more detail on the “Puzzle Raids”
    • Answering a ringing phone (think the Matrix) will start a series of puzzles for your group to solve

All sorts of good stuff there and I’m happy that not only is Funcom putting out content regularly but they’re expanding and updating the core systems in the game.  Sure they’ve had issues with bugs (what game doesn’t) but they’ve been able to not only work to fix those bugs but are constantly adding new things to the game as well.  With monthly updates like the 3 they’ve put out and the one on the way, I think this justifies their subscription model.

There is currently a 3 day trial program running and you can extend it another 2 days by completing 30 missions.  However they’ve also indicated there’s some more news on this program probably coming out next week.