The Secret World dev explains PvP changes in Last Train to Cairo update

The Secret World developer Funcom is expanding the player-versus-player combat system in the game's upcoming sixth content update, "The Last Train to Cairo," the studio said in a new development blog post.

Players wanted direct rewards for PvP combat and ways to show off their PvP prowess to other users, said system designer Tim Donks. So Funcom is adding a new feature called Battle Rank. PvP kills now provide experience points that are shared among group members, and the XP goes into each player's Battle Rank.

Leveling up Battle Rank offers currency that can be used to purchase PvP rewards that are separate from power increases, so new players won't be at a disadvantage against experienced users — PvP combat will still be skill-based. PvP rewards include special uniforms that can be donned on or off the battlefield.

Funcom is also tweaking matchmaking in The Secret World in an effort to encourage more players to enter PvP Battlegrounds (small instanced PvP matches) and Warzones (larger-scale battles). In Issue 6, players will be able to sign up for multiple Battlegrounds at once, even if they're already in the queue for one. The game will also track player skill through win-loss record, so users will be matched with other players on the same level. Funcom is hoping to get that feature in by the time Issue 6 launches this month, but the studio may have to patch it in later.

"The Last Train to Cairo" will be Funcom's sixth major "issue," or content update, since the studio launched The Secret World in July 2012. In December of that year, the company dropped the game's monthly fee.

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