As cool as Krampusnacht is, my mind has turned instead to Season 2. Without my favorite holiday to distract me, I am keen on embracing the big awesome that we’ve all been waiting a long, long time for. New content! New stories! All new zone! Yes, Season 2, I am waiting for you. And the latest little teases coming from Funcom give me hope that we can get it sooner rather than later; the devs’ flaunting it more openly and allowing us to focus on it really has revved up my hype train. It’s almost like there is nothing else in the way and this is their complete focus. Oh yeah! *insert Kool-Aid Man here*
Break out your pumpkin masks and vampire fangs: Samhain has started! My favorite time of the year has arrived in my favorite game. It’s a bit of a mixed good news/bad news thing, however. With the conversion to Secret World Legends, I didn’t doubt that the Halloween festival would take place this year, but I was unsure whether we could get new content for the holiday. After all, much had to be reworked for the relaunch, and some things would likely need to be (and were!) reworked on the various Samhain missions. What I didn’t quite expect was not getting all the previous content!
Still, it is Samhain, so amid my disappointment over what is missing, I am glad over what we do have. I am happy new folks can get a small taste of Halloween in SWL (even as I mourn what a tiny taste it is). And I can definitely appreciate that this taste was made more readily available to everyone in game, allowing all the chance to fully participate. And participate you should! Samhain is here for only a limited time, so jump in and enjoy it before it poofs into the night on October 31st. Without getting too spoiler-y with step-by-step instructions, I hereby present a look at this year’s event, the first ever for SWL.
I’ve been pretty vocal about how much I want more story from SWL. Story is what this game does so right, and I just can’t get enough. I’ll probably never get enough! There are so many characters I want to know more about, so much history in locations that I’d love to delve deeper into, and so many fascinating events that we know only know the aftermath of that I’d love to witness firsthand. The IP is so rich with possibilities. I knew that the game would never, ever be able to sate my appetite for more, so I had wished long and hard that other avenues might present themselves: short stories, graphic novels, movies, and yes, television series. I can’t even describe how excited I am for the development of more story from this world. Is there risk? Yes, I get that. But the possibility of so much greatness is there! I seriously can’t wait. Imagine it, 30 to 50 minute cut scenes!
With so many possibilities, what could/should the TV show focus on? I have my opinions. Here are some specifics I’d love to see developed further for our viewing pleasure.
What is The Whispering Tide, and why does it matter? More than just an excuse to get goodies, the appearance of Flappy — technically named Bird of the Zero-Point Pathogen — heralds the imminent opening of the Tokyo portal in Agartha. And sometime after Tokyo comes the next season of story! Veterans of the previous event will be familiar with the Flappy raid, but folks who’ve never played The Secret World are at a disadvantage in knowing what is going on. Even those who’ve participated in the original will find that there are some significant changes to The Whispering Tide. Some of these changes, most notably how the loot is dispersed, are much improved from the TSW version; some aspects, unfortunately, are not.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of each choice, and what is the process to switch if desired? We’ve got some answers right here to help you untangle that web. Speaking of the Steam launch, how has that gone? We’ll discuss that here along with our Secret World Legends Steam/No Steam guide.
Moving to a level-based system was one of the changes I was personally most unsure about with this reboot. I have never been a fan of levels, preferring skill-based systems. Luckily, the ability to personalize your build with the weapon skill trees was retained. And I get that levels are more universally recognized. But after nearly a month, I have found that although levels do have some benefits, as currently implemented they are causing issues within Secret World Legends that are affecting gameplay — but mostly only for patrons! The good news is there is a fix.
So what do I think of the “new” game after a week of non-testing play added atop my beta adventures? Knowing that I am quite the fan of the original, some folks might expect me to sing unending praises of everything. For that same reason, others might expect me to decry that this version has obliterated what I held dear. In truth, this Chaos Theory will be neither extreme (sorry if that disappoints!). In Secret World Legends, there are some things I really like, some things I will tolerate for the good of the game, and then there are those things I do not like.
How would I answer the burning questions on many folks’ minds: How much has the game changed, are those changes actually worth it, and is SWL worth playing (again)? My short answer is that’s a very personal decision depending on your personal tastes. But since the game is free-to-play, why not give it a go? I think it is definitely worth it.
As much as I have been tempted to roll a different faction for SWL, it’s going to be very hard to pass up being a Templar. I can’t deny that it has been my my favorite faction; the philosophy jells better with me, I prefer the deck costumes, and I enjoy the wit of Richard Sonnac’s messages. But what really cemented this society’s place at the top was the final story mission, Virgula Divina. Doing the Illuminati story mission felt like a let down by comparison! If you’ve never visited the playroom, you are truly missing out. Could this become your favorite faction, too? Let’s take a (spoiler-free) look-see at what it has to offer.
Unlike the Templars and the Illuminati, who are quite present in the real world, the Dragons were specifically developed for TSW. (Or maybe they do exist and are much better at being a secret society!) My very first character I made and played was actually a Dragon. Unfortunately, I found the faction less interesting to me than the others, and I abandoned her to play a Templar, then livestream a Lumie. Now that I have delved deeper into the intricacies of the Dragon, however, I realized I may have ducked out too soon and I am seriously contemplating rolling one in Secret World Legends!
On top of accessibility, we take a long look at the new Agartha as well as touch on lairs, scenarios, open beta and launch. Grab a conduit and join us for the second half of the highlights of my tour and talk with Amiel.
Even though the game isn’t finished, my first impressions are definitely favorable. As a five-year veteran and ardent supporter of the original Secret World, I do think this version is more accessible, both in gameplay and in entry (well, once it leaves closed beta at least). Here is the first half of the highlights of my tour and talk with Amiel.
After laying out the gist of factions last week, I’m shifting my efforts to looking at each one individually. Today we’ll peek behind the curtains of the Illuminati so you can get a look at the inner workings. Don’t worry: I promise to make this as spoiler-free as absolutely possible.
Why would faction choice matter? Although Creative Director Romain Amiel told me in our interview that faction PvP is something the new game was hoping to move away from, factions are still a thing. Beyond determining the hue of faction-colored armor (if that ends up being a thing in SWL as well), factions really flavor a good chunk of your game experience. So picking the right one for you could affect your level of enjoyment. If you played The Secret World, you have already faced the quandary that new players will face: which one? You might already have a favorite faction that you will automatically choose. However, maybe you are interested in experiencing the story from a slightly different perspective. The question then becomes which secret society should you pledge to this time? If you’ve never played before and will be starting fresh in Secret World Legends, you may not know anything about the differences in the three organizations. So how do you choose?