Chaos Theory: The Secret World introduces Issue #12: To the Dark Tower Below
We’ve known for quite some time that The Secret World’s next issue would be dungeon-based. We also knew it would take place under the Orochi Tower. Today, the devs shared much more information during a livestream, everything from unveiling the Issue #12 cover to discussing the ins and outs of the dungeon, raid, and lair changes. Lead Designer Romain Amiel and Lead Systems Designer Andrew Ryker also revealed that the issue will be split into two separate releases so players can delve in sooner — as early as mid-August. It’s important to note that the cost for the issue will be a one-time thing for both parts; once you buy it you’ll have access to both halves regardless of the time between releases.
What all is in store for us TSW fans? Check out this highlight of the incoming features. And if you missed the livestream but still want to watch it for yourself, we’ve embedded it for your convenience.
Every TSW issue has a theme, and #12’s is all about the Orochi and their infamous tower. Or more precisely, underneath the tower. Entitled To the Dark Tower Below, the major components of this issue are the two dungeons that will both be below the Orochi Tower in Kaidan that opened up in Issue #11. Both will have story missions to lead players there where they will face three bosses and three mini-bosses. The two will also be available in Elite and Nightmare mode versions. The Elite version offers non-upgradeable blue 10.5 QL gear to help those players still progressing through the game still. Ryker said this loot will “help [players] bridge the gap between where blue gear ends now and where purple gear starts.” The devs also noted that the Elite version is geared toward players with AEGIS controllers and capacitors at QL 5. On the fun side, this version also has the new weapon skins. In contrast, the Nightmare mode will have better loot (purples!) and be ramped up in difficulty.
What’s first on the docket? Players may have already noticed the elevator in the tower’s lobby labeled The Factory. Before, nothing happened upon entering (I know, I tried!). However, once the first half of Issue #12 is released, those who’ve purchased the issue will be able to use that elevator to descend into the basement where this first dungeon awaits, filled with plenty of Orochi enemies to fight against. Amiel also hinted that players will find a few familiar faces in the mix. The devs showed off a variety of concept art and screenshots of this dungeon; as you’d expect from the Orochi and all their technological toys, The Factory has a very clean technological look and feel complete with consoles and conveyor belts. There’s also a tank boss. One thing Amiel emphasized is that the dungeon is not complete in these images or the video fly-though; the lighting especially is still a work-in-progress.
A few weeks after The Factory is released, the second dungeon will open up. Also underneath the tower, this one is less about facing Orochi and more about facing their experimental handiwork. Amiel showed concept art of one of the bosses, a cybernetic-enhanced werewolf.
Oh, and here’s a little dungeon-related tidbit that the devs slipped in: the removal of dungeon lock-out timers! All dungeons throughout the game will allow players to enter regardless of when they last ran it, helping players to fill groups when members drops.
Issue #12 will bring a new raid as well as a revamp to existing ones. The key requirement for Eidelon of the Outer Dark will be removed, so it will no longer be tied to the overland Lairs (don’t worry, there’s a plan for those keys!). Like the New York Raid, it will now have a three-day cool-down timer. Devs also noted that the rewards were upgrades and the exploits fixed. The New York Raid, on the other hand, won’t have any changes.
Have you missed Flappy? A new raid featuring the filth-bombing bird is getting introduced for all TSW players, not just those who purchase issue #12. Based on the giant 40-man Whispering Tide event raid, this version has been scaled down to 10-man. Amiel said this version, however, will be more difficult, and will even exceed the difficulty of the New York Raid. Even if you weren’t a fan of this boss before, facing Flappy this time around can net players some new rewards and new vanity items.
Speaking of raids, there are also Nightmare versions of all the raids coming out, although those wont be available until the second half of issue #12’s release. Additionally, the Nightmare modes will only be available to those who have purchased the issue.
So what happens to those keys that are no longer needed to summon The Lurker in the Eidelon raid? Don’t throw them away! The keys will now summon world bosses, not unlike the golems players are familiar with from the anniversary celebrations. These monsters are powerful: Amiel noted that these bosses will require an entire zone of players to defeat. As an incentive to jump in and help, everyone who participates in the battle will receive a bag reward once the boss is killed. As a bonus, the group that summons the boss will get a special reward on top of that. Players do not need Issue #12 to participate in Lairs; they are free to everyone who owns the game.
Currency changes and more
Although the new dungeons and raids are the heart of the issue, they aren’t the only changes coming with To the Dark Tower Below. The following are features that all players will have access to.
First up: currency revamp. Anyone who has played through a few zones knows that the currency wallet is chock full of various sequins, PvP tokens, scenario tokens, and such. What’s happening is that all of these are being unified into just black bullion. This will allow players to embark on the same progress path and receive the rewards to acquire gear regardless of which play style they prefer, be it scenarios, nightmare dungeons, missions, or what have you. The one exception to that will be a new currency called Marks of the Pantheon. These are basically the new black bullion; players will earn these for participating in end-game activities (raids and Nightmare dungeons).
In addition to all these changes, there will be a cap as to how many marks and bullion a player can have at one time as well as a cap on how many marks can be obtained in a week. Because of this, the passive rewards in Fusang are going away; instead, there will be rotating missions at the anima wells to take and complete. Say bye-bye to AFK PvP rewards! When the patch happens, any excess will be converted to PAX, so Ryker encouraged players who want to get their full value of all earned currency now to spend it down.
Another change is an increase in the progression cap. Weapons and talismans will be upgradeable to 10.7 when the first dungeon releases, as opposed to the current 10.5. Glyphs, however, will remain at Ql 10.5. Speaking of quality levels, in PvP the equal footing buff will increase power to QL 11. Additionally, all Venice gear is converting to custom gear that can be upgraded up to 10.7.
The devs admit that the group finder tool is pretty underutilized, so some changes are coming to it. One is to allow players to players to write in a comment field to add more details as to what they are looking for. It will also be expanded beyond just end-game activities and let people advertise for help in missions, looking for a cabal, and even social events like parties.
Not sure what you want to do when you log in? The devs have just the thing for you: daily challenges! Players will get a heads-up to complete certain scenarios, dungeons, missions (including PvP ones) to earn rewards. On top of that, there will be weekly challenges to participate in. Those who complete challenges will earn Marks of the Pantheon.
Wait, what if you can’t get a group to complete a dungeon for your daily/weekly challenge? Don’t worry, the devs are addressing that as well. When the second half of the issue releases, players will have access to a dungeon finder tool that will create groups automatically.