Secret World Legends adding new South Africa and faction rank missions soon

    
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The anniversary event has kept Secret World Legends players’ attention pretty rapt for the past month, but that distraction ending tomorrow. What will fans do then? Well they won’t get auxiliary weapons (bummer), but they will get to look forward to new missions coming soon. Funcom revealed that these free mission additions will not all be in South Africa but spread out: One will be in the newest zone while the other three will be new faction ranking ones. (Sorry folks, still no auxiliary weapons in the forecast.)

In South Africa, the new one with its accompanying achievement Land of the Dawn will be an action mission in South Africa. Titled Public Enemy Number One, it focuses on that mysterious assailant that hounds you in the Morninglight compound. The faction ranking missions bring Into Darkness, Venetian Missle Crisis, and Rogue Agent! back, all redesigned for SWL with scaling difficulties. Unlocking at level 50, these will increase faction ranks from level 11 through 13 and include rewards of faction uniforms, a faction specific agent, an additional agent slot, and faction-specific cosmetics. It doesn’t stop there: New legends to collect and new achievements to obtain are also included.

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Greaterdivinity

Also, unrelated to this specifically, but apparently they’re talking about adding scaling into the game so that low level zones are “relevant” again.

Oh…oh the sweet irony…this feels like Destiny 2 now, where SWL took a number of large, unnecessary steps backwards from TSW and now we’re waiting a year or more for Funcom to fix the screwups : (

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Sorenthaz

Scaling seems to be like the bandaid solution to any game that has to deal with earlier content becoming too irrelevant. Originally it was a neat idea and all in games that first did it (i.e. Rift) as an option but mandatory scaling (where it doesn’t make sense) sucks. ESO for example it makes sense-ish to have scaling, since it allows you to go wherever whenever which was a big draw of the ES games. WoW.. has its tradeoffs I guess. It’s kind of nice to no longer cruise through a zone and be able to focus on the whole zone storyline and such, but it sucks when you’re at max level and everything you’ve been fighting in the latest expansion’s zone is still as strong as when you first went through the area (until you get super buffed from having a ridiculously high iLvl).

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Somewhat Eclectic

So I read a developer interview the other day where they mentioned scaling zones, and maybe I either misread it or they’ve been talking about it elsewhere, but I seem to recall that question being posed as a, “What would you magically implement if you could,” sort of thing and not something seriously under consideration. They also said they didn’t have the tech for it.

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firelily

Oh god not scaling like ESO please.

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UpayaBlossom

This is actually the thing that might save SW. They have so much amazing, voice acted and scripted content that is locked away in irrelevance because of the stupid linear progression. If my gf and I could legit choose to do *any of the other content* other than SA and Kaidan we wouldn’t get bored after a month of grinding the exact same missions over and over while legions of cool stuff is rightfully deemed worthless of attention.

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styopa

Does that mean we’ll finally get “Faction Vault Access” that we’ve been breathlessly awaiting?

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Malcolm Swoboda

Not with this update, but they’ve been more vocal about it being a priority though, so maybe, uh, god its Funcom so I won’t say this year, but next?

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Malcolm Swoboda

I’ll take it, but just as with any SWL update, its about 2/3 what I hoped for. Would be nice to get more New Dawn, and more restored content (dungeons? pvp?) Sept-Oct latest.

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Hikari Kenzaki

I worry at this a bit. Okay, more than a bit, but it’s about what I expected. When they said ‘1 mission in SA’ earlier this month, I figured anything else would be reworked missions.

The thing that that has me worried is the fact that the three missions will be Elite level with the required gear components. I’m hoping that all 3 will be variable between E1-10 but the way they describe it seems to be more of a progression from mission to mission.

Still, it’s not really enough coming off so much hype from the anniversary. Not that they really had a way of knowing the anniversary would be such a success.

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Malcolm Swoboda

At least considering how everything else has been tuned, I imagine the lowest (‘Story’) difficulty will be something like IP 100/E1, easily obtainable for anyone that takes any time to play anything like endgame or not even endgame.

Basically, they want Blues? This makes sense if they intend Faction activities to be a generalized endgame.

There’s a chance they’ll do similarly with missions throughout the game, albeit with more leveling/Green difficulty as the still basis. I can see them going zone by zone turning action and the sabotage missions that require fighting, into ones with endgame options with more endgamey rewards (chance of blue gear, definite blue gear, distillates).

The impression I get with SWL is that they still can’t produce content faster or maybe even as fast as earlier TSW, but what they can do is an increased frequency and involvement of events, and various activities and grind with existing content. Some of this I don’t mind. I can appreciate a, say, faction mission that feels more taxing than originally, or a Kingsmouth that might be tougher than any time in TSW, but also give relatively higher rewards by the end of its ‘progression’. Add in some achievements with rewards for completing higher tiers, and I’m in.

This may also explain Funcom’s relative reluctance to get keep into releasing/re-releasing dungeons. If they already intend to increase mission difficulties to the point where having 1-4 other players is much more useful or even nearly necessary, that’s group content with rewards. They can still bring the dungeons after or over time, and consolidate the Elite tiers into 3 instead of 10 (like how early RIFT had 2 Expert tiers turned into 1).

I don’t think we’ll necessarily be able to enter faction missions as soon as Lv 50 (unless really well geared setup for the time of hitting that level?), but maybe by end of Transylvania and certainly not long after that. There’s no indication from Funcom that they desire players to grind AT ALL to be able to access story – only maybe complete previously established story first. They (at least partially) took out the faction missions in order to not disrupt the regional flow, but once you’re done the basic story, and/or waiting for new story, well, things can be much more free.

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ogged451

Venetian Missile Crisis

But thar’s the old Rocket Launcher aux weapon mission !?

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Malcolm Swoboda

Which has been reworked to use a rocket launcher as a temporary ability, as done in New Dawn zone.

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ogged451

It used to be Into Darkness – Rogue Agent – London Underground. VMC is basically a Council mission and that this advances you in your home faction is rather nonsensical. Also, the calls from Arturo in the original version make little sense at this point, with Kaidan long behind you. They would have to rewrite his whole narrative.

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Malcolm Swoboda

I understand. We’ll have to see. Isn’t the bigger gist of the mission about problems with the Phoenicians? I dunno.

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Malcolm Swoboda

update: I believe I just saw on Discord that there were story tweaks, but I don’t know to what extent. SWL is technically, in Funcom’s views, a new story.

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Jeffery Witman

I’m so confused by their development priorities.

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A Dad Supreme

1. Conan Exiles
2. Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
3. Dinner with mother-in-law
4. Tax season
5. Appointment for dog at groomer
6. Change batteries in smoke detector
7. Oil change
8. Oil change on wife’s car
9. 2020 Olympic reservations
10. Secret World new content timetable

Probably something like that.

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Jeffery Witman

For Funcom, definitely. For the SWL development team, however, I’m still perplexed. The lack of a roadmap or any kind of transparency just makes it hard to have realistic expectations for the game. Because they are so hobbled by Funcom I’m left with comparing them to other games in the same tier like Neverwinter. That comparison is not good for SWL.

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Malcolm Swoboda

While they don’t have a clear roadmap, their plan for 2018-2019 seems the following:
-wrap up New Dawn (may still be in progress after this update) and move onto the Congo as soon as possible (may not be this year)
-return the faction missions and elaborate the faction system (much progress with this update)
-analyze the demand for PvP; worst case the player run events die out and PvP never really happens, best case Funcom returns at least one instance this year, no new areas for now
-analyze the demand for PvE; worst case no things return for a while, best case dungeon(s) return(s) by end of the year, no new areas for now
-prioritize repeatable content; many have indeed asked for higher difficulty zones, and Funcom may compromise by adapting missions to higher difficulty (higher than ever, options?) starting with the returned faction missions
-return the event content incrementally, depending on resources (I don’t expect all of Halloween and Winter to return this year, but hopefully more than 1 year’s worth, and ideally always with *something* new or new-ish)

I terms of totally new stuff, based on Funcom’s words so far, I’d only expect further elaboration of New Dawn and Agents this year, except maybe one of the things that was supposed to come but have something story with it, ‘Dark Agartha’ – endgame activity that includes cutscenes but isn’t a mission zone? I dunno.

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firelily

Makes complete sense that AoC is not even on the list xD

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Malcolm Swoboda

It seems pretty clear to me? I think? A) Create story, the biggest demand in the game but something they can never make fast ‘enough’. 2) Design with the importance of player retention – which isn’t necessarily player number boosts – and microtransaction baits, to bring more consistent revenue per quarter instead of droughts.

Everything indicates to me that they accept that this will likely always be a small MMO, at least as long as they don’t release on console, but they want the game to be better able to draw in fans (story), and keep them doing things (retention), and make more consistent money when they want to make that money (F2P; lockboxes; P2Wish).

Other systems are left more by the wayside, only to come in surprise ‘yes, we’ve cared about you X types of players!’ occasions. Dungeons, PvP, RP (ish). The biggest MMO spenders are not even exactly the P2W elite whales, but those that just stick around their chosen game and always do repeatable content and spend a LOT of money on fluffy things. SWL is all for that and I imagine it could be making a lot more money with the similar number of players to before.

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Tobasco da Gama

I think that the transition from Roman to the new game director probably slowed down whatever their original content schedule was, on top of everything else. This set of missions is probably all stuff that was already started before that shake-up.

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Malcolm Swoboda

If we take Funcom word for it, it was previously the plan to more totally emphasize new content over old (that is, finish ND over adding old missions or, we’ll see, dungeons and PvP), but player feedback flipped that. So the new missions are still intended, but more spread out, with the relative plus being a supposedly faster release (maybe every 2 months instead of 3-4? can’t say). I imagine they may make it important to bring something new with anything old though, with this patch as an example.

Basically, I’m not so sure they prioritized releasing the faction missions with Roman. He sounded more secure about pushing new story out, probably affected by it being the very highest demand at the time (2016-2017).

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Koshelkin

One mission is a bit thin. Tbh, I rather take that than nothing, though. As much as I wish the game would thrive and prosper, that it is alive and getting some new content is good enough for me. Obviously I won’t dedicate much of my gaming time that way.

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UpayaBlossom

I’m with you. When DotM was released my gf and I went hardcore like the old days, grinding out Kaidan and S.Africa almost daily for almost two months, I think? But we’re both burnt out and would just love to do some different content but nothing rewards as well for the HUGE gear grind as Tokyo/S. Africa. Really some piss poor design choices, tbh. If we even had like… 3 *new* missions this would look very different. This is one new mission. It is next to nothing.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Heh yeah for SWL I have spates of up to 1-2 months (which would be good for a subscription, I admit.. at least its not spans of only 1-2 weeks) where I grind a lot, though casually through this time. Its taken me to a Purple and growing Orange gear, ~400 IP, good enough for me. Then I would basically quit and feel good with that. New story content has definitely drawn me and some of my money, and new seasonal events have drawn me in and maybe a bit of my money. The boost events don’t hit me because I feel I’m too occupied with IRL concerns to return to a game just to get things at the level I would have if it wasn’t in F2P-grind design anyway.

This update is actually more than I recently expected. At first I expected a few new ND missions, true, but then I adapted to the idea of 1 ND mission and some barely-missions scattered in the world, new but shoddy. I’ll take my middle ground of 1 ND mission and the return of Faction missions with a test of an Elite Mission system (or whatever to call it) and the more reasonable push of Agents. Sure. I just hope that more ND is Sept-Oct latest, not lamely Nov-Dec or pathetically (and very badly ‘TSW’ of them) next year. I do not want to see anything ND next year unless its maybe some added on themed Lair instance, or scenario map, or (probably just 1) dungeon, or a housing system that includes a New Dawn off-camp home lol.

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Hirku

And here I was all worried about missing out on all the amazing new content. I think I’m actually getting more new stuff (for me) by going back to the old game.

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Greaterdivinity

I’m underwhelmed. Sounds like only one proper new mission in SA, and the rest are just the faction missions returning after nearly a year. Nice that their return is introducing scaling tech (which amuses me because SWL specifically moved away from level-less design like that and towards hard-power curves), but it really feels like SWL is already back to the back burner for Funcom. Sure, it’s getting more love than AO/AoC, but that’s not saying much : /

Eyyy, it’ll be a reason to log in for a day or two though. At least to see Dame Julia again, because she’s fucking fabulous.

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BalsBigBrother

There was a time this type of announcement would have made me excited but no anymore. Yeah I think me and the Secret World are about done as I don’t care for the drip feed content anymore. Good luck to those who are still having fun I hope you continue to do so.