Chaos Theory: The rosy side of the Secret World Legends’ less-than-ideal scenario situation


Do you know that feeling of anticipation? That’s what I’d felt when I was given the heads-up at DragonCon that Secret World Legends was finally adding not just a new scenario but a new type! That may not be cartwheel-inducing news like more story would be, but it’s good nonetheless. Long we’d waited on that promised blessing in TSW, and now it would finally be a reality. And then… it was a reality.

I’m sad to say that as much as there are some really great things about it, the scenario is less than ideal. Granted, you’d pretty much expect there to be some pros and cons with stuff (after all, you can’t please everyone), but in fact some aspects are downright maddening — especially in regard to the limited-time Envoys of Avalon Equinox event and its related lore. The good news is I do believe that could be changed; those negatives could be mitigated to make it an all-around positive experience. The bad news is we won’t discuss any of that just yet. I am going to discuss the good and the bad and in this two-part look at Occult Defense, our favorite horror and conspiracy world’s newest scenario, so you’ll need to tune in for two parts. First, let’s look at the good.

New and never-ending

The scenario is a brand-new style: defense. So it’s time to hold your ground, agent. Gone are the (sometimes stupid) survivors you continually risked your life for as you ping-pong back and forth across the map dealing with the enemy onslaught. Now, the enemies are all bent on destroying Stonehenge’s Hagstone and heading right toward that spot unless you deter them. People who get a thrill out of the increasing challenge of wave after wave after wave of ever-stronger enemies are going to be giddy about protecting this ancient artifact at the center.

Another positive is that besides a new objective, it’s also an all-new style. The fun need never stop! Funcom tells us that this scenario is made to scale infinitely. I had heard folks talk of it going up to 30 waves, but no, the announcement says infinite. (I made it only to round three on my first go, so I obviously have a long, long way to climb!) You can just keep testing yourself, upping the difficulty each time you succeed. I can see “# waves cleared” becoming a badge of pride. So far it is known to have at least 35 levels (there is an achievement available at that level that a few players have earned).

Never-ending doesn’t have to be totally repetitive drudgery for those who can go far, either. Even better than just scaling infinitely is this little gem in those same notes:

“High-powered agents may also be happy to hear that you may start the scenario at a danger level where they left off, so you don’t have to start at level 1 every single time.”

The idea of not having to start from the beginning over and over and over — especially if you reach like level 25 or 50 — is intensely awesome! Who wants to use/waste that much time going over and over the piddly stuff you’ve more than mastered? There would definitely be no challenge in that for you.

So where can you start? High-powered is defined as your IP (Item Power) or having completed an even numbered wave. So using the drop down on the activity finder, you can select starting at wave three  if you have completed state two OR you have IP 175. Even though I have only completed wave two successfully myself, since I have an IP higher than 250 I can actually start the scenario on wave five right now. (Not that I am going to!) So far, this only shows starting at level 28 as the highest possible, which looks to correspond with the max IP in game.

With this next one I am not totally positive from a personal perspective, but I think there might be some new mechanics in with the new enemies players face within the waves. I’ll be testing that theory out a bit more. Sure, some critters and creatures are well-known, but I definitely did like facing new foes I hadn’t seen before, especially those robed Deathless Friars. Hint: No matter who they are, keep all the mobs out of the center ring! Damage to the Hagstone happens by proximity, not just direct attacks.

Loot for all!

What’s better than loot? (Well, maybe lores, but that’s the next section!) And the great news here is you get the loot, pass or fail! I heard tell that the initial idea was that folks who chose to leave after a successful wave would get loot but those who failed wouldn’t. Yeah, I could see this being totally infuriating. You spend forever beating your way through things and one tiny slip and you leave empty-handed. Ack, no way. I get that it’s a gamble, but the amount of time players put into doing an especially large number of waves deserves compensation. And who would push themselves if they’d find all their work was a waste?

Thankfully, you get your loot box after your last successful wave when you leave or when you fail and it ends. Either way, you get the goodies. As each wave is successively harder, I anticipate that each loot box has better  and/or more loot, so it makes sense that if you fail one wave you get the loot you earned from the wave before. For example, when I failed wave three, the loot I left with was for successfully beating wave two (I think). I am not sure this is how it is decided, but it makes sense. The point being you can push yourself — and perhaps really surprise yourself! — without fear of losing everything you worked for and earned already.

Smidgen of story

We can’t overlook that the scenario has a smidgen one of my favorite game elements involved: story. It may not be in-depth, but there’s at least a bit/tease of story behind the introduction of this scenario. And with that, there’s the possibility of more coming our way over time. I can never be sad about the thought of more story. I’m certainly intrigued to learn more about these Druids of Avalon that have appeared and asked to train us via simulation. Please don’t let me down Funcom and let us learn more as time progresses. Perhaps more every equinox even?

Equinox event lore locations

Although some things about the Envoys of Avalon Equinox event are frustrating (we’ll discuss that in more detail in part two, such as needing to be max level and endgame-ready to participate), it’s important to get this — all right, I’ll use the current name — legends guide out ASAP because the event is time-sensitive. It ends in just two weeks! If you are a lore junkie like me, you don’t want to miss out on getting all you can. And there are two event sets to discover and collect: The Druids of Avalon and Stonehenge Simulation.

Here’s a look at finding all those lores before they disappear for another six months. Thankfully, if you do miss out, we’re told the Equinox event will return every spring and fall equinox, so you’ll have a chance again. (Note: I’ll update the list as soon as I find them all! If you have more info, let us know to add in!)

Click to reveal The Druids of Avalon locations
  • #1 Agartha (532, 209)
  • #2 Agartha (565, 193)
  • #3 (Arartha (605, 183)
  • #4 Sunken Library (229, 319)
  • #5 Complete Equinox event quest
  • #6 London (168, 290)
Click to reveal Stonehenge Simulation locations
  • #1 Stonehenge scenario (215, 202)
  • #2 Stonehenge scenario (273, 272)
  • #3 Stonehenge scenario (244, 250; after successful first wave)
  • #4 Sunken Library (256, 311)
  • #5 Stonehenge scenario (237, 243; upon random boss kill)
  • #6 Stonehenge scenario (after 3 successful waves in a row)
  • #7 Stonehenge scenario (260, 261; upon failure)

Be sure to grab lore quickly that drops in the scenario as it disappears fairly quickly. If you’ve already missed it, it will spawn again after your next successful wave.

And now for the bad…

OK, maybe not now now, but next time! Why? because I had some ranting to say and it took up quite a bit of space on its own, so we had to split in two. The bad is having to wait, but you won’t have to wait a whole week for part two; just stay tuned and watch for our next Chaos Theory this weekend.

Is it real? In Secret World Legends, rarely is it not. Conspiracies, ancient legends, paranoia, secret societies, chaos — they all swirl together in a cacophony of reality. In Chaos Theory, MJ Guthrie infiltrates this secret world, exposing the truths that lurk beneath the surface. The big question is, can you handle the truth?
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