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.
The biggest negative I’ve heard from others about The Whispering Tide event (minus the bug that made the boss unkillable that first day) is that there is absolutely no context to what’s going on. The original in TSW was quite a long, involved event spanning September 2013 to May 2014 (with an encore right before Tokyo opened). It began with Filth bubbling up all over Agartha as giant winged creatures flew around spitting the gunk on the branches. Players then found the infected portal and worked together to cleanse it; the accompanying side quest helped with the story. After that portal was cleansed, it became an instance that players went into and cleaned even more Filth from Agartha. Again, this was a mission that added context. The culminating act of the eight-month event was the Flappy raid itself.
Unfortunately for those participating in the event for the first time in SWL, the experience now is nowhere near the same. That raid is the only aspect of the event that transferred over to Secret World Legends. TSW veterans may feel slighted, but at least they might know the background; brand-new players are left wondering what the heck is going on. I have to admit that I am really saddened that all the story context for the event is gone. The only thing we had was the blurb in the official announcement; there’s nothing in the game to tell people what’s happening. I understand that the beginning aspects of the event from TSW couldn’t transfer over as is because there are no longer any crafting materials to power the cleansing generators, but couldn’t something else be substituted? I mean, we feed our gear with other gear, so why not feed the generators with some? And I really get that the event couldn’t draw out over multiple months again, but what was wrong with making it last a month or six weeks so that more story and context could be put in? It feels seriously rushed and totally disjointed.
I also think Funcom did its community a serious disservice by making the start of the event coincide with the Steam launch. Now you have brand-new players who have no real context for the game itself scrambling to not miss out by participating in an event that is better understood when much of the other content is completed. Instead of getting a chance to get invested in the story and the game, newbies are thrown into a raid encounter. Is that raid really the main experience we want new players to get from Secret World Legends? I’m pretty sure it would turn me off, especially after all the hype about story! Funcom really should have waited at least two weeks if not a month before starting the event.
Despite the lack-of-story drawback, I’d still encourage everyone to participate in the Flappy raid. It’s the only way to get some of the exclusive loot. It doesn’t matter what level you are in game; you can still participate as entering the raid grants you the equal footing buff so everyone has the power to participate. You also don’t need any group to jump in. However, having the power doesn’t necessarily help if you don’t know what to do with it! So here’s a cheat sheet of what happens once you zone in so you can be more confident in knowing what is going on. Most of the major attack sequences come with a verbal cue as well as visual and written. The cues will be called out by Zubari, that white-haired guy from the intro. You’ll see him standing on a branch off to the side of the upper platform. Here’s a quick rundown of some specific things to look (and listen) for during the fight:
“We must reach the next platform!” Everyone needs to run and jump off the side of the main platform (looking decidedly darker), which teleports you to the top one; if not, you’ll be one-shotted with the Heat Death of the Universe Filth explosion. While on the upper platform, if you are the target of the Filth Exposure attack (a circle centered on you), do not run into all the other players and get them punted off the platform! Run to — or off — the edge yourself.
“Be careful” or “Hurry, we have no time to spare!” A handful of DPS should jump off the main platform to get up top in order to face the enemy that has landed on the upper platform. Those who can fight the creature will be encased in a golden bubble and receive heals from the NPC. Anyone not in one of the eight bubbles should immediately jump off before the Filth kills them. (“Well done!” conversely means the mob up top was dispatched.)
As with all things Filth-related, if it’s black, don’t stand in it! The semi-circular Membranous Tempest attack will often one-shot players, and definitely punts you around. The multiple spokes of Tears of Dis, however, are a bit less deadly. (Note: Whenever Flappy dies he casts the platform-wide Heat Wave insta-death attack, so jump off and go to the top. If you are on top, stay put even if Flappy is dying there!)
Here are a few more helpful hints and tips to get you through the fights.
In general: The raid opens every hour on the hour, and most fights last around 15 minuets; however, Flappy must be dispatched within 30 minutes or the raid closes. Even though the respawn timer gives you a full 120 seconds of boot-free time, be sure to jump back into the fight as quickly as possible as every moment you are out of the fight means it’s a longer ordeal for everyone. One way to get back in quickly after death is to jump off the respawn branch right by the entrance portal — this will teleport you to the top platform and you won’t have to run all the way back. Whatever you do, do not just stand around — you will be AFK booted very quickly!
If you have more adds on you than you can take and no help nearby, jump off the side to lose aggro (especially helpful for pure healers who have no attacks).
Oh, and just one hint while fighting Flappy on the main platform: look up! You don’t want to miss that experience.
If you are a healer: Healing the tank is a bit more difficult than in TSW if you aren’t in his/her group. Also, the aggro changes often. If your main tanks are well cared for, have a key bound to next player character and run around helping all the DPS. (Control + Tab is the default, but that is an awkward combo and might lead to accidentally using heal potions.) Trust me, they appreciate the lower repair bills! And you’ll need their help when you have adds.
If you are a DPS: If you see anyone hit with webs, slice him out ASAP — those bleeds are vicious, as are the one shots you can’t dodge if you are stuck. If you see a healer run by you with an add, jump on it. So many times I have been saved from death by the DPS around me who snipe the adds and let me continue healing. Also, be sure to go after all the spider and Filth adds in general as they add up and can overwhelm the raid.
If you are a tank: It goes without saying that the tanks are awesome when they disrupt Flappy’s attacks! You might find that your raid has an over abundance of tanks, however, and fewer DPS. In that case, switch on out and go to town with all the power you have. Just don’t forgo all your health bonuses — you’ll need some!
Acquiring loot from the raid is slightly different than Secret World vets are used to: It’s way better! Funcom really scored a home run with this method of event loot dispersal! You do still get a bag for finishing the side mission to defeat Flappy (it’s auto-granted each time you kill the boss unless you are under level 10!), but that’s not where the real loot is. The mission reward bag contains a decent talisman distillate granting 1K or more gear XP, which is good. But the coveted items are mostly the cosmetic loot that is locked away in the daily relics you claim. In order to open the relic you have to successfully complete the raid, which will grant you a nine-minute buff. Be sure to open the relic before the buff expires! And be sure to log in and claim your relic each day: You can only claim one relic a day, but you can open multiple relics in a day. To open more, you just have to kill Flappy again; each kill gives you the buff, and each buff allows you to open one relic.
Loot appeared to follow the most recent TSW boss encounters by giving certain items in order, and Community Manager Andy Benditt confirmed this, giving a detailed list of the drops in their order. The big (and appreciated) difference between this loot and the old TSW boss drops that the desired cosmetics are not interspersed with other random junk. Instead, the cosmetics are guaranteed. Players will be granted the items in order, with the first open relic giving the loot cited as #1 and so forth. In the case of veteran TSW players already having certain items, the loot table will just move to the next number. For instance, I already had the full Carapace of the Immaculate Machine outfit, so the first relic I opened gave me the gas mask and the goggles. Here’s the list:
- #1. Carapace of the Immaculate Machine (boots and gloves)
- #2. Military (gas mask) and green nightvision goggles
- #3. purple glowing eyes and new title: Scout of Gaia
- #4. Military (pants and turtleneck)
- #5. Carapace of the Immaculate Machine (legs and chest)
- #6. Military (boots and gloves)
- #7. Military (chest and head)
- #8. Vitalizing Stride Sprint and new title Protector of Agartha
- #9. Carapace of the Immaculate Machine (head)
- #10. Runic Automaton pet
- #11. Anima shards
- #12. Anima shards
- #13. Anima shards
- #14. Anima shards
Players can also buy special loot at the guardian merchant before jumping to the raid platform. This offers a faction-colored Automaton pet for 50K Marks of Favor as well as a red version of the Carapace of the Immaculate Machine for a total of 100K MoF for all five pieces.
Just participating in the raid also offers rewards. After defeating Flappy once you get the achievement Dread Bird Dead, which grants the title Filth Exterminator. At five kills (as opposed to the 15 before), you get the Blasting the Zero Point Bird achievement, which grants a pet teddy bear along with the chunk of experience. Called Inky, this little black toy does not animate and start following you around (as much as something that creepy would fit in TSW); instead, it just sits there then flops over on its face all heartbroken-like when you get too far away from it. Will there be a 50 kill achievement (Mounting the Wings of Dis with title The Bane of Dis) like before? Thankfully the achievement is there but you only need 10 Flappy kills to get it with its accompanying titles.
Unfortunately, as of publishing no one I know has found any lore for the event except for #6, which happens to sit on the edge of the branch in the raid. As soon as we discover where the other seven are located, we’ll add them in so you know where to find them as well! I’m hoping they didn’t forget to put the rest in the game!
Edit: Today’s patch has made the lore in Agartha visible! So if you haven’t been able to find them and you’d like a hint as to where they are hiding, here you go. if not, enjoy exploring all the branches of the world tree!Click to reveal lore locations!
- #1 406, 322
- #2 567, 229
- #3 584, 368
- #4 305, 333
- #5 546, 291
- #6 226, 202 (End of branch in raid instance)
- #7 489, 433
- #8 521, 183