chaos theory

Chaos Theory is a Secret World column by MJ Guthrie. [Follow this column’s RSS feed]

Chaos Theory: Secret World Legends 2018 – new year, new game, new goals

What does Secret World Legends have in store for 2018? For the world, or for me? Either answer includes Season 2 of the story! Of course I anticipate much more exciting stuff as well. I wish I had a crystal ball — or maybe the number crunchers of the Dragon — to know what’s ahead. But this Chaos Theory is not about what the game will be doing this year, rather it’s about what I will be doing in the game!

That’s right: I started this resolutions business last year, and now I am compelled to continue the tradition. It’s a new year and a new game, so it’s time for some new goals. It’s also a great time to look back over 2017 and see how well I did with my first attempt at in-game goal setting.

Read more

Chaos Theory: 2017 was a big year for the Secret World IP

Well, 2017 was interesting. It’s not often that your favorite game starts off as one game at the beginning of the year and then ends as another game — all while still being the same game. Sure, updates and expansions make changes, but major overhauls aren’t as common. And setting aside the original and remaking it even less so! But that happened with The Secret World, which morphed mid-year into Secret World Legends. It’s the same game, but not. Confused? Even if you’ve been following the game(s) semi-regularly, it’s easy to forget or miss a few details. And if you are new to it all, no one would blame you for not being in the know as to what all has transpired.

In 2016’s year-end retrospective, I noted, “Not going anywhere is better than going away!” We didn’t know how prophetic that statement would be for TSW. For 2017, I can follow that up with, “Going where it did is better than going away!” This past year was obviously a big one for the Secret World IP. It’s also been rough, stressful, and ultimately rewarding. Here’s a look back at it.

Read more

Chaos Theory: Guide to Secret World Legends’ first Krampusnacht

While many games go festive for the holiday season, no one does it quite like Secret World Legends. Cutesy doesn’t quite fit here, but creepy sure does! OK, maybe onsie pajamas and a few other seasonal costumes are cuddly; much more of the celebration, however, has teeth. Welcome to Krampusnacht!

Second only to Samhain, Krampusnacht is a the much anticipated winter holiday in the land of conspiracies and secret societies. And although all the elements of Christmases of yore in The Secret World didn’t make the transition (which is understandable and even expected after Halloween), there’s still a good chunk or reveling to partake in. Funcom has also seriously improved a few aspects of the event compared to SWL’s previous ones. There’s still a kink or two to Krampusnacht, but it’s definitely a holiday worth diving into. And here’s your guide to make the most of it before it leaves on January 2nd, 2018.

Read more

Chaos Theory: Exploring Secret World Legend’s anima allocation and other QoL improvements

Remember that big quality-of-life update that Secret World Legends launched mid-November? Chances are your quality of SWL life did indeed improve with a number of those changes. Mine did. Some you may have been enjoying are the new summoned vendor that visits you in the field, or the teleports that allow you to pop instantly back to the three hubs to do your business. Perhaps you’ve gotten one of the new weapon-specific belt talismans (one of the 10 actually works for all weapons) that are mob loot drops. You might even have been having some fun in the Seoul Fight Club with its equal-footing PvP matches. Surely you’ve appreciated the new loot added to dungeons, scenarios, or lairs.

While I certainly benefit from all these other improvements, two of the biggest changes for me have been the anima allocation system and the XP transfer on empowerment. The two are actually tied together, along with the reduced cost to recover glyphs and signets. I wanted to give it some time working with the new system before talking about it. And I’ve concluded that more than just quality of life improvements, these tread a bit into the game-changer category.

Read more

EverChaosing: Counting my EverQuest II and Secret World Legends blessings

Good things come in three’s right? Well this is the third installment of the EverChaosing column, which melds Chaos Theory and EverQuesting together. Why a written equivalent to a Turduckin? Because these are my two favorite games, and just as last year, I can’t choose between the two when it comes time to express gratitude. I am thankful for both EverQuest II  and Secret World Legends! Many things. There are overarching things as well as smaller specifics. Sometimes this gratitude is for something constant, and other times it is for change. While it would take much too long to list everything, in the spirit of the day I count a few of my blessings in SWL and EQII.

Read more

Chaos Theory: Farewell Samhain, hello Secret World Legends Season 2 hype!

Do I love Halloween? Yes, yes I do. And while the season was in full swing, my mind was fully focused there. This season is a great diversion, especially in Secret World Legends. But with the awesomeness that is Halloween winding down and with Samhain now over, my mind can finally settle on other matters. Now I know for some, that means Christmastime and Krampusnacht. (One staffer here even declared/warned us of all out Christmas festivities starting November 1st!)

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*

Read more

Chaos Theory: A guide to Secret World Legends’ first Halloween

Hello Samhain my old friend! It’s so good to see you again. It’s been such a long year, and so much has… wait, where is the rest of you?!

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.

Read more

Chaos Theory: What we want out of the Secret World Legends TV show

Wow. So I had no intention of crafting another Chaos Theory this week. I had plans. Other plans. But then the Secret World Legends announcement hit the airwaves on Monday and all other thoughts left my head as I sat there, stunned. I just couldn’t think of anything else. Could it be real? Was SWL really going to be made into a television series? Holy guacamole, it is! A pipe dream I have wished for five years is actually announced and in the works.

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.

Read more

Chaos Theory: Guide to Secret World Legends’ Whispering Tide event

Have you met Flappy? If you haven’t yet, you might want to do so very soon else you’ll miss your chance. That dirty bird has made its appearance in Secret World Legends as the star of the much-anticipated The Whispering Tide event, but unlike its Secret World counterpart, this event lasts only two weeks. And like any event, it also brings exclusive loot! But with such a condensed time frame to participate, if you want to get your hands on the loot and the lore you’ve got to jump in ASAP. This guide will help you make the most of your time.

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.

Read more

Chaos Theory: To Steam or not to Steam your Secret World Legends account

To Steam or not to Steam, that is the Secret World Legends question — now that the horror game has relaunched on that platform, that is. For those who have never played this game or The Secret World before, that could be an easier question to answer. However, anyone who has a TSW account or who has played SWL already will have to make some decisions as to which platform to utilize going forward. There’s a chance that the choice might also have an time limit on it, though none has been expressly stated, so putting it off too long may become a problem in and of itself.

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.

Read more

Chaos Theory: Are levels good for Secret World Legends?

We’d heard about (and stressed over!) various Secret World Legends changes for a while, but you just can’t know how those changes will affect the game until you experience them. Now we have. We’ve had three and a half weeks to dive in and play around, getting a feel for the Secret World reboot. So how do some of those changes play out in practice? I’ve already noted a few initial pros and cons, but some topics — like levels — needed more time.

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.

Read more

Chaos Theory: Week one impressions of Secret World Legends

It’s been a week since Funcom threw open the doors of Secret World Legends’ headstart to everyone and removed the NDA. That’s seven days of choosing factions, meeting handlers, blasting zombies, dodging traps, upgrading weapons, and learning about the Filth — and getting to share those experiences! And share I shall.

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.

Read more

Chaos Theory: Guide to The Secret World’s Templars faction

It’s Templar Time! After looking at the Illuminati and delving into the Dragon, it’s now time to tie up this trio of guides and talk about the final faction in The Secret World: the Templars. I could fall back on that old adage of “saving the best for last,” but this secret society may not be the best for everyone. That’s the whole reason behind these faction guides — so folks can get a feel for what they may want to play. And with Secret World Legends launching its early access tomorrow, the time to pick is close at hand.

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.

Read more

1 2 3 6