Questioning Andy Benditt

This week I thought I’d try something a little different. I pestered and hounded Community Manager Andy Benditt until he agreed to answer a few questions. I also got the chance to throw in some questions submitted via the Sanctuary Discord too. So let’s get straight to it.

DarkInsanities: Can you tell us a bit about what you and Nicole get up to. We mostly see you dressed in silly outfits or playing about on stream. What does your role involve?

Andy: Our primary role is engaging with players through the management of our respective social channels, which includes twitter, facebook, reddit, discord, the Steam forums, and when we can, in-game chat. We then take the feedback we receive and give it to the people it’s directed to. The streams are part of that, as well.

We write and publish almost all the messages you see across our games’ front pages and social accounts and, in my case, the SWL email messages you may get. I also handle some graphic design elements for SWL.

DI: There was a meet and greet at games con recently. What did you enjoy the most about engaging with fans?

A: Simply getting to meet people and being able to put a face to their names is a lot of fun. Meeting people in real life who get enjoyment out of something you put a lot of work into is incredibly rewarding, plus I get to hear feedback face-to-face, which is a great way to get heard. Besides, who doesn’t like beer & partying? 🙂

DI: What are you most looking forward to players experiencing in Tokyo? What do you think people will notice the most?

A: Immediately, players will notice the different environment and architecture featured in Tokyo vs. the three previous regions, a slight increase in difficulty from Transylvania, and of course, the continuation of the story leading off from the end of Transylvania. Tokyo’s overall barrier to entry was lowered significantly since the original game, allowing way more people to get there and actually experience the content.

DI: If you could transfer one thing from TSW to SWL what would it be?

A: I think at this point, all I feel like that’s really missing from SWL is the barber/plastic surgeon. I still have no ETA to give but it’s still something we’d like to do for the future.

DI: How does it feel to have your own CM Tee in SWL?

A: Feels good, man.

DI: The roadmap hints at new features coming Soon™, do you have any clues to offer?

A: I really can’t offer more information about upcoming features beyond what’s been officially released. Sorry!

DI: If you could incorporate one fan made project into SWL what would it be?

A: I feel like I can’t fairly answer this one without excluding some other awesome project I hadn’t seen (or didn’t mention) or seeming like I’m showing favouritism for one over the other. If you’re making stuff for Secret World Legends you’re all awesome in my book.

After pestering Andy for a while it only seemed fair to give the community a chance to get your questions answered too. There were a lot of questions submitted and unfortunately there wasn’t time to cover them all (some have also been omitted as they had already been answered earlier).

Brand Name Hero: Will we see Ansel get enabled, or is that a strictly DX12 technology?

A: No plans for Ansel support

ダンジ: Are we still on track to getting to the end of the Update Roadmap by early 2018 at least?

A: Yes

Infohound: What plans are in place for future weapons and is there going to be an item category higher than legendary?

A: We are going to release new Extraordinary weapons and talismans with new effects as time goes on. The current “max” color is red, but if there is a need to expand itemization further, that’s very possible.

ChocolateWaffle: A TV series based on The Secret World was recently announced, how involved is the dev team creatively?

A: I can’t really offer more commentary on the TV show. This has been something we’ve been working on since 2012 so we’ve definitely been involved for a while.

Evelyn: Will there be more goth clothes? What about longer hair? Or darker makeup?

A: Adding new cosmetic options and types is always possible, depending on demand. Hair longer than what we already have available may not be an option due to technical limitations (clipping, etc)

Balthasar Ockel: Will the “Secret War” (FB games) clothing, and other currently TSW exclusive cosmetics ever be made available in SWL?

A: We currently do not have plans to make the Facebook game cosmetics available again, and there are some items we intend to keep as TSW exclusives that cannot be newly-obtained in SWL.

Frici: Since we know SWL will not get exclusives will we get them as STEAM paid bundles?

A: I am not aware of plans to make the Secret War cosmetics available in a DLC bundle in the future.

Blackleaf: Any chance of more androgynous clothing (suits for women for instance), or potentially removing the gender restrictions on some pieces of clothing?

A: Gendered clothing is strictly a technical limitation of how clothing is handled on character models. Going back and re-doing every single piece of gender model-exclusive clothing for both model types would be quite an undertaking and not feasible with our current resources.

Infohound: Are there any plans to increase the zone population cap so cabals do not have to spend half an hour playing the meet up game to try and get everyone in the same instance to raid?

A: We’re aware of the concerns about organizing raids in outdoor playfields and it’s a discussion we’re having internally. I don’t have any answers yet, but you’re not alone here.

Chizka: Is there any plans to expand the choices available to Character Customization once the barber/surgeon hit? New hairstyles or hair colors (still waiting for clear blonde hair and a decent ponytail) and obviously new faces?
Additionally: would you be considering making make-ups, hairstyles and hair colors (and anything else actually) unlockable in the Dressing Room and swappable at any time?

A: I don’t have information available on any possible plans for future character customization options at this time.

Chizka: 64 bits client when? Will the time limits before being able to votekick/retreat in dungeons be reconsidered? Getting randomly disconnected due to Network issues gives a 30mins Leaver Penalty, getting vote-kicked for having a behaviour detrimental to the Team doesn’t, could that be re-evaluated?

A: The x64 Client is still a WIP and is coming along. I don’t have an ETA at this time. We are evaluating feedback on the group finder and how it handles groups and will make changes as needed.

Chizka: Any word on the 3 missing Elite dungeons?

A: We would like to fill out the rest of the dungeons for the Elite system, but I don’t have an ETA on that. We’re focused on sticking to our development roadmap.

Chizka: Issues 7 to 11 had comic-book pages being released with them, could these be made available again since the old TSW website is no longer accessible? Will new comic pages be made for newer content?

A: It’s possible we can release them again. I do not have information on plans on how we intend to present future content.

Peloprata: Does the time limit on legacy transfer apply to the account side (FC website) only, or does it also apply to the vanity claim button in-game? The end of the world comes, create your alts now, buzz buzz?

A: I think the service will no longer be available but the Claim TSW Vanity button will remain

Chizka: Are basic character animations going to receive further tweaks? I see some improvements from TSW, but also one big regression (the hiccup when your character stops is horrendous and looks even worse on other players) and it didn’t really address the biggest issue (broken back when shooting and walking sideways)

A: We can always make improvements as needed based on feedback.

Ian: Will there be a way to get the cosmetics they gave in the streams for those of us who were at work and/or can’t do those? Raffles, twitter stuff?

A: Not out of the realm of possibility, we’ll try to make future events as accessible as possible but we can’t give everything away to everybody as that goes against the concept of rewards.

Aldn: Any chances to see new merch in the TSW/SWL store, especially posters, t-shirts, and hoodies?

A: Possible, yes.

Infohound: Grandmasters used to get 1200 bonus points per month to spend on stuff, are they getting any stipend in TSWL?

A: Lifetime members from TSW get the full benefits of Patronage at no additional cost, including cache keys every day forever.

Thanks to Andy for taking time out of his schedule to answer our questions. We’re sorry if yours wasn’t answered but there were a lot of questions to go through. If you’d like us to poke another member of the Secret World Legends team let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to arrange a Q&A with them.

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