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[Interview] The Secret World: Joel Bylos - Loving His New Role

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,596MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Funcom recently announced that Joel Bylos would be moving to a new role within the company, that of the overall Creative Director. We managed to catch up to Joel to talk about his new role and his vision for the Funcom titles. See what he has to say before joining the conversation in the comments.

MMORPG.com: Funcom has three solid titles under their belt in the MMO space. Can you give us an idea on what the company has planned for the next year or two?  

Joel Bylos:  Currently the three different divisions of the company are focused on their prospective areas.

The team in Oslo is focused on the LEGO Minifigures project and that project is coming along at a rapid pace. The live services team in North Carolina and focused on updating and supporting Anarchy Online, Age of Conan and The Secret World. The tablet and mobile development team in Montreal are currently developing two new LEGO games as we announced not long ago.

Read more of Garrett Fuller's Joel Bylos - Loving His New Role.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • gwei1984gwei1984 GrazPosts: 373Member Uncommon
    Kudos to Joel, he one of the "good guys" in this genre.

    Hodor!

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,405Member Uncommon

    woaw!

    nice to see this here!!! thank you mmo...

    Joel - 'Kingsmouth'  quest designer???-who knew!!!, can we say the 'John Carpenter' of mmos!!!! by far my fav Zone!!!!-so far!

    :-)

  • CoolitCoolit FalkirkPosts: 468Member Uncommon
    From what I've seen they couldnt have picked a better guy to be the creative director, Joel is exactly what was needed at Funcom.
  • McGamerMcGamer Fairfield Bay, ARPosts: 1,012Member
    TSW needs a crafting and economy revamp more than anything. Unfortunately this new guy doesn't seem to grasp that.
  • MarcelinoMarcelino BlackburnPosts: 116Member Uncommon

    Anarchy Online will always have a place in my heart as my "first" true mmo. The class unbalance really spoiled it for me tho, glad he has mentioned they will be working on classes after the engine. Think I might return to it when the the engine is released :)

    Funcom will always be one of my favourite mmo developers.

     
  • SpanxxxxSpanxxxx Lake in the Hills, ILPosts: 1Member

    "I don't think there is any particular lack of content in Anarchy Online"

     

    Just outdated content. That last real expansion was in 2006. The Xan booster wasnt that impressive since it was only end game. How about something more for the leveling population to do

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,717Member Uncommon
    So, Joel made AoK? That deed alone worths a nice keg of ale at The Sailor's Den, while betting on drunkards beating up each other in the ring :)
  • mistmakermistmaker viennaPosts: 232Member Uncommon
    not outdated for new players, just outdated graphics and animations. my first mmo, great game
  • RadiogirlRadiogirl North Brunswick, NJPosts: 16Member

    I just recently rediscovered Age of Conan and I've been getting into it again. With someone like Joel at the helm (I'm also a TSW loyalist), I'm more confident than ever that this game is worth investing in.

    Also, when I first tried Anarchy Online years ago. I didn't last long because the opening levels were very confusing and I had trouble getting a handle on how to progress as a new player. If they do revamp the new player experience, I'd be willing to give it another try.

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,772Member Uncommon

    Funcom is well known for tweaking their game engines to improve their games. Age of Conan and The Secret World use the same game engine, and now they both are under the same head (Joel Bylos). MMORPG, why didnt you asked Joel if he has any plans to make TSW animations up to par with the excelent animations from AoC? Its a much easier job than being tweaking engines here and there like they always do. And im sure as hell they know it would improve TSW a big deal.

     

    Other than that, keep the good job Funcom. But I'll come back whenever those animations are fixed.

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  • memewmemew ZZbooPosts: 2Member

    Lol. "I don't think there is any particular lack of content in Anarchy Online". Seriously? It's 2013. A bucketload of monsters here and a bucketload of monsters there does not qualify as content. Randomly killing stuff till your fingers bleed is not a fun way of leveling. This game needs quests/questlines, lots  of them.

    Anarchy online is basically a more carebear'ish version of Fallen Earth without FE's missions, with a crappier tradeskill system and with a better monster respawning system. But again, I think FE is the game with the most idiotic respawn system in the world.

  • DaSpackDaSpack BrightonPosts: 583Member
    Originally posted by rojo6934

    Funcom is well known for tweaking their game engines to improve their games. Age of Conan and The Secret World use the same game engine, and now they both are under the same head (Joel Bylos). MMORPG, why didnt you asked Joel if he has any plans to make TSW animations up to par with the excelent animations from AoC? Its a much easier job than being tweaking engines here and there like they always do. And im sure as hell they know it would improve TSW a big deal.

     

    Other than that, keep the good job Funcom. But I'll come back whenever those animations are fixed.

    First thing you need to ask for when you look for the game with the optimum animations is the number of bones in the body of the characters. AoC have the record high number 218. No other MMO can match that. TSW floats down in the 120 range. TSW can therefore never match AoCs animations. Hell no game can match AoC, till someone start from scratch with same or better motion capture tech with more than 218 bones in the characters.

    TSW is the game for intelectual puzzles, insanely well written stories, the X files feel and other consipiracy stuff. development of your character is special in that you develop skills not levels. Aoc is the game for fast paced gory/violent PvP and PvE battle with insanely good graphics and animations. Still now, in 2013, noone can match Dx10 or Dx11 AoC graphic quality. Love the game (just for the record TSW graphics are also very good, but animationwise it can never match AoC)

    The Ultimate Breakdown

  • ElsaboltsElsabolts Greencastle, INPosts: 2,594Member Uncommon

    Except for the top teir folks the color ive been hearing about is PINK.

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  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,740Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by memew

    Lol. "I don't think there is any particular lack of content in Anarchy Online". Seriously? It's 2013. A bucketload of monsters here and a bucketload of monsters there does not qualify as content. Randomly killing stuff till your fingers bleed is not a fun way of leveling. This game needs quests/questlines, lots  of them.

    Anarchy online is basically a more carebear'ish version of Fallen Earth without FE's missions, with a crappier tradeskill system and with a better monster respawning system. But again, I think FE is the game with the most idiotic respawn system in the world.

     Quests?.....The AO mission system is one of the best quest producers out there...You pick the difficulty, monster type, area, reward, and just about everything else you could want from a quest...Either you didnt play past the tutorial or you were just unaware of how it worked.....There is no reason in AO to go out in the wild and just kill non-stop.

  • J-icepdJ-icepd BergenPosts: 23Member

    Same engine? Maybe AoC and TSW can merge later on. Like a hyper transver with our player.

    Keep up the good job Joel. Funcom will rise again.

  • burmeseburmese Austin, TXPosts: 546Member

    AO is not a Quest-based MMO, never was, and doesn't need all that 'WoW-standard'  stuff.  AO does have a few questlines at various stages, but they are just 1 component of many in the game.  There are ample ways to level, especially with the recent addition of Daily missions.  What AO needs is the engine, some improvements in the Organization structures like org banks and better default org management, better fleshed out housing and new opportunities for crafting/collecting/roleplaying for that flavor of player.  The Tower Land Control system has insured daily PvP for 11+ years, and just needs some tweaks to the value/motivation on lower tier towers.

     

    AO is still Funcom's most rounded MMO (AoC is a 'classic' Theme Park MMO with the best mood and graphics around and TSW is an elaborate adventure game with some grouping mechanics).

    ~\_/~\_O

  • FromHellFromHell NY, NYPosts: 1,311Member

    Joel rocks, exactly the guy I like to see as game director. Good choice FC.

    TSW and AOC are now my favourite MMOs.

    btw when Anarchy Online gets a new engine I'll definitely check it out. Heard a lot of good things about but I'll wait for the new game experience and better graphics until I jump in.

     

    The thing I am most waiting for is TSW's single server tech to arrive in AoC and some group finding and matchmaking tools. And a improved bolstering system for PvP minigames

    Secrets of Dragon?s Spine Trailer.. ! :D
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwT9cFVQCMw

    Best MMOs ever played: Ultima, EvE, SW Galaxies, Age of Conan, The Secret World
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2X_SbZCHpc&t=21s
    .


    .
    The Return of ELITE !
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  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,772Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DaSpack
    Originally posted by rojo6934
     

    First thing you need to ask for when you look for the game with the optimum animations is the number of bones in the body of the characters. AoC have the record high number 218. No other MMO can match that. TSW floats down in the 120 range. TSW can therefore never match AoCs animations. Hell no game can match AoC, till someone start from scratch with same or better motion capture tech with more than 218 bones in the characters.

    TSW is the game for intelectual puzzles, insanely well written stories, the X files feel and other consipiracy stuff. development of your character is special in that you develop skills not levels. Aoc is the game for fast paced gory/violent PvP and PvE battle with insanely good graphics and animations. Still now, in 2013, noone can match Dx10 or Dx11 AoC graphic quality. Love the game (just for the record TSW graphics are also very good, but animationwise it can never match AoC)

    didnt know that about the bones. Its understandable and i agree with everything else you said about both games, but there could be a way to improve big time TSW character animations even if they cant be as good as AoC's, they still need a lot of work. I dont think its harder than updating an entire engine (they did that to AoC once and did it very well). I like everything else in TSW, but the animations kill it for me (specially after playing a sesion of AoC).

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  • hehenephehenep Charlottesville, VAPosts: 221Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Czanrei
    TSW needs a crafting and economy revamp more than anything. Unfortunately this new guy doesn't seem to grasp that.

    Um ... Joel's been the TSW creative director since somewhere around early fall I think.  So 'this new guy' is the old guy.

     

    Just on the off chance you didn't read the article (or any other interview with him about TSW from the past half year or so) and know that already.

  • OrtwigOrtwig Cambridge, MAPosts: 1,159Member Uncommon

    Been playing a bit of AoC recently and liking Tortage; soundtrack is nice; be interesting to see how the game syncs with the new movie!  

    AO looks interesting -- that graphics update has been a long time coming it seems -- knocking on wood and hope it makes it live soon.  Thanks Joel.

  • memewmemew ZZbooPosts: 2Member
    Originally posted by Theocritus
     Quests?.....The AO mission system is one of the best quest producers out there...You pick the difficulty, monster type, area, reward, and just about everything else you could want from a quest...Either you didnt play past the tutorial or you were just unaware of how it worked.....There is no reason in AO to go out in the wild and just kill non-stop.

    You conveniently forgot to mention that you need to let a 3rd party tool click for anything between 15 min to hours if you want to actually pick the reward you want. God forbid you also select the area you want, you'll need to wait between months and decades to get the item you want. Also you forgot to mention all the weapons/pieces of armour you can get as reward are less than garbage. Or that you get no xp at all if you're 201+, even if you run a lvl250 mission. Unless you're doing a sl mission whose reward can't be picked using the said 3rd party tool. Because it has no reward except xp.

    Insert coin, try again.

    Originally posted by burmese

    AO is not a Quest-based MMO, never was, and doesn't need all that 'WoW-standard'  stuff.  AO does have a few questlines at various stages, but they are just 1 component of many in the game.  There are ample ways to level, especially with the recent addition of Daily missions.

    It does need all that. WoW changed the scene forever. Look at any generic quest based korean mmorpg's playerbase. Look at AO's playerbase. This is one of the reasons 10-100 times more people play some random korean game. Average Joe expects doing more stuff than bashing monsters in a mmorpg.

    As for those ample ways of leveling, you are joking, right? You have dailies and you have killing some metric tonnes of monsters. Or are you counting afk'ing at kite hill as another leveling method? Or are you talking about AO's missions? Aren't those basically just "kill everything inside"?

  • WillyMMORPGWillyMMORPG Texarkana, TXPosts: 78Member

    Loving TSW and hope it only gets better (and creepier and scarier) under Joel's watch.

     

    As others have stated, he's one of the few "good guys" in MMO game development. After living under the opressive regime of Smedley with Everquest 1 and Star Wars Galaxies; the evil empire of Blizzard with World of Warcraft and the cluelessness of dstahl of Star Trek Online, Joel is a breath of fresh air (drifting out of some just opened tomb with who knows what horrors lurking inside).

     

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,762Member Uncommon
    How such an original MMO did not make more of a splash is a puzzle. Yes it was squeezed between SWTOR and GW2, but still.
  • XV999XV999 jenkins TWN, ALPosts: 36Member
    AO needs rebalance as soon as possible its the only game you will ever play where only 4 classes are considered viable in any area of the game. The game does have  content the problem is its never been updated to modern standards with no effort put in. Blizzard goes back and fixes and updates old content all the time making it new interesting and with new goodies while ao still has the same loot tables it did in 2001. If you ever played it I will tell you kin of tarasque nanos still drop by the thousands during missions. Its so much lost potential.

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  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    AO needs to get rid of the required implant twinking. Basically being required to cheat/buff yourself to make your effective lvl 10-20 levels higher than what you actually are is just a very poor game design.

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