After GDC, Kingsmouth is still the prime focus for lore and information. When Funcom finally lifted the cap of the bottle to let us smell the fumes, rotten fish, zombies and ravens tickled my nose hair. But most of all, the broad stench of a “skilled” computer user far out smelled everything else. He found secret forums not listed on Google, and told tales of what mysteries lie beneath Kingsmouth.
“I’m with the Illuminati. I don’t have a badge or anything like that. I’m what you might call a uh… a hobbyist member. I earned it. I did extensive research on the Net. The code words I found led me to forums. Secret forums. Forums that don’t show up on Google. And I’m an avid poster. A valued poster. I know there are paths in Kingsmouth not on any map. The work of the Illuminati is everywhere.” – Henry Hawthorne
With the introduction of investigation missions, a surge of joy ran through me with a flashback from all the ARGs I have been taking part in. This adds a new element of competition between the factions, by giving rewards to whichever faction is the first one to solve the mission, and will likely prove to be a valuable spark to keep the community playing even out of the game. There is still some concern though. Most of the hardcore ARG members of the community might outsmart the general player, just because this is the exact thing that captures their interest. This is not the problem in itself, as we will end up split over the three factions anyway. However, my concern is targeted towards Funcom and the developers of these investigation missions.
Our magnificent community is overwhelmed by posts of members missing out on the ARG puzzles because we straight up solve them too fast. I’m not talking about a whole ARG here, because those can contain a lot of puzzles and be stretched over months and years. Have we just had too many members with excellent skills within this field? Or is it simply a matter of the puzzles being too easy? This is my concern. If the investigation missions become too easy to solve, whoever finds them first will win, and completely ruin why they are there in the first place. Lead Content Designer, Joel Bylos, shared his vision of missions lasting some weeks or even months before being solved. This means missions would either have a lot of tiers, or be genuinely hard to solve. Striking a balance between these is extremely hard to do, so I hope Funcom takes the time to do this right.
It’s obvious that Kingsmouth still hides many mysteries not indexed in any search engine, and all we can do is to keep doing research on the Net, until we find the hidden forums for ourselves. Kingsmouth smells, hopefully we get to have a taste pretty soon…
More “dossiers” will be published, soon™