I will admit, I didn’t pay too much attention to the changes coming for subscribers as I was a lifer (purchased the GM pack prior to launch) but I’m pretty pleased with what Funcom has done for TSW with regards to their subscriptions. I LOVE that xp is now just a flat bonus to everything, and not a clicky for mob kills. I’m still working on finishing up my ability wheel so that bonus on top of Quest xp is really nice. There are also some fun cosmetics (along with the continued promise of more) and the same (I think) stipend of points, so no real change there. The free anima well leaps are a nice bonus but nothing game breaking. The Hoverboard is just flat out fun as there’s some added animations added when jumping, etc. that are a nice added touch. Here are a couple shots of the new stuff:
The travelling bank is actually pretty darn handy, or perhaps I’m just lazy, but the ability to plop one down whenever I want (on a 1-hour timer) is nice to dump out or swap out items. I haven’t checked to see if others can use it as that would just be doubly useful. Other than that, the extra Agartha port could be handy but I’m not sure how useful it will really be. The weapon mould’s aren’t all that exciting to me, but I like the idea and concept they’re bringing as I love cosmetic weapons!
After all the playing around with my new toys, I ended up running a couple of quests just to try and get my Cyber Aegis up to 1.4, which didn’t take all that long despite getting more cargo keys and not Aegis xp. I just did some repeats as their cooldowns had expired (much shorter now) and there are a couple I can do pretty darn quickly. Once I did that, I went in and finished off the Dream Palace story quest. I had done much of it previously but just wasn’t able to handle any of the boss fights since I just couldn’t rip down the shields quick enough. Freddy Beaumont was probably the easiest of the boss fights, but they were all challenging (perhaps I just forgot them or was rusty) and yet still quite fun. I ended up dying a couple times to each of them, until I figured out what stupid mistake I was making and then was able to proceed. It was a fun quest and certainly one that kept me on my toes as I kept waiting for something else to happen. I’m pretty excited to get into the Orachi Tower and see where this twisted story leads.
I’m enjoying TSW so far and having a blast in Tokyo but also realize I will probably run out of stuff to do (other than grind) before new content comes out. And that’s fine with me as it does allow me to play at a reasonable pace. And who knows, maybe I’ll get some chances to do group content at some point.
My last adventures through Tokyo in TSW highlighted the fact that I needed some work on my Aegis items in order to progress. I was originally thinking I might be able to focus on the story missions and not have to do too much outside of that if I didn’t want to – but that is just not possible. What was also very evident was that I needed to do some tweaking on my build in order to not only kill stuff but survive.
For my build, I had been spec’d Blade and Assault Rifle focusing mainly on afflictions and penetration to generate self heals and leaches. While that worked well in many places, leaches just don’t work well at all when ripping down Aegis shields and recovering from that initial beating with little heals becomes a rough mountain to climb. I also didn’t feel like I had enough interrupts to counter not only all nasty special attacks out there but the shield regeneration abilities certain mobs have. I toyed with making a switch back to Blades and Blood for a bit more healing and shields but chose to try just tweaking my abilities with my current weapons. Here’s a snapshot of my current deck:
I’m basically set up such that every time I hit I not only afflict mobs, but set of a 3 second explosive timer and a Heal over time (HoT). Then each time I hit an afflicted mob with my Blade Consumer I have a 40% chance to penetrate which then kick off another HoT and a barrier. I also then have 2 interrupts with one of them being an AoE which can be quite handy when multiple mobs want to do special attacks. Finally I have 3 active Rifle skills that will trigger heals if I find myself getting low on health. I would like to find another Rifle consumer to do a little more damage, but so far the damage and heal has been handy.
As for the quests, I am enjoying them even though they certainly are a step up in difficulty and I find myself dead quite often. For the most part, I do at least make an attempt at figuring out the quest but I will admit that for some of them (Love and Oragami for example) I am not shy about blatantly cheating. It also does depend on my mood, although I do try to vary the quests if I’m not in the mood to think, as opposed to just walking through someone elses footsteps. I’ve made it through probably half of the quests so far and haven’t done too much repeating (probably a quest or 2) and have my Cyber Aegis (the ones that are blocking progress in the Story quest) up to level 1.3, so I am l mildly pleased with my progress. I’m using the Sidequests from the Bathhouse (kill various named dudes) as a measuring stick to see how I’m progressing. They’re still really tough and in some cases I end up retreating as they become a stalemate. Once I get to a point where I can finish those more easily, I’ll make another run at the Story quest. On other system built into TSW that I’m finally making use of is the customizable map as I’m making notes of quest locations such that on replays I’m able to move through quicker.
Getting back to the Aegis system itself, I do like the concept and the idea of it. Especially when you get into fights against multiple shields and regeneration plus restoration tossed in there. The grind while probably frustrating for many, has been reduced as I understand it, and probably isn’t as bad as it could be. The only thing I could see that would make it “better” would be if all kills rewarded Aegis experience such that other content would be rewarding and not just Tokyo. There’s still a whole other system (Augments) that I really haven’t even gotten into yet because of the high Ability Point grind as I’m still working on completing the rest of my skill wheel and Auxiliary weapons. I’m not sure how much of a benefit that system would have for me in Tokyo, but right now that’s 3rd on my list of things to do behind the Aegis items and my ability wheel.
Like I mentioned before, I’m still playing TSW as a single player game with periodic times as a duo co-op but it does seem like there are some new things being added to make grouping a bit easier and more enjoyable. At some point, I would like to at least see some of the dungeons and such but I’m in no rush to get there.
It seems like all I needed to do was write about my lack of actually playing MMOs to be able to carve out some game time and convince a friend to join me for some fun in The Secret World.
I was actually able to get my friend addicted to this game, so I will take blame (credit) for that, but now he’s surpassed me in progressing in the game and many times he’s there to help me run through quests or when I get stuck.
So last night we set out on the goal of trying to work on some of the story line in Tokyo. I had last left off mid-way through the “One Kill Ahead” quest chain so we finished off that and did a good chunk of “Nightmare in the Dream Palace” before my lack of Aegis power stalled my progress. This combined story is the kind of material that makes The Secret World (TSW) the game that it is. It sprinkled in enough challenge to make it hard and thought provoking, but yet not too hard that I wanted to quit. There were enough things that I had to piece together to force me to pay attention to what was going on. And while there was some jumping involved, it wasn’t overly complex, touchy, or unforgiving.
I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t done it, but the dream sequence is some really good stuff and especially if you’re playing with headphones it gets downright creepy. I’m pretty sure I did jump a couple times in my seat, and if I wasn’t conscious of the fact that I was on skype, I might have blurted it some other things too. Mixed in is one of the best (if not the best) implementation of being drunk in a game that not only blurs your vision but screws up your controls.
There was a portion of the chain that is solo only and while I don’t normally like group un-friendly quests, I think this actually helped my enjoyment of the quest and worked well. Not only would I have continued in my “follow the leader” mode, but the additional person really would’ve impeded my immersion.
Overall I think this quest line is probably my favorite in the game, right up there with the Tyler Freeborn line from a few episodes ago. Granted it is also quite long, with some areas not quit “pausible” but it is well worth it. Needless to say, that time spent questing has sparked my interest in TSW and is making me better understand that whole Aegis thing. But I’ll continue that in another post.
My only regret was that I didn’t take any screenshots as I was paying too much attention to what was going on – but certainly you can google the quest name and find more about it. But that’s something I plan to work on as I get back into the swing of things.