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

    
15

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.

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Hikari Kenzaki

There is also some new dialogue from the NPCs around the London Lore.

Worth listening to.

Reader
Patreon Donor
ghostlight

I always loved when the one girl in the Cloven Hoof calls the guy ‘blood’. :)

Reader
dm_jim80

Remember when this was TSW ‘done right?’ Took a lot less time to get to maintenance mode this time around, so I guess there’s that accomplishment.

Oh well. On the bright side, if Anarchy Online is any indication, SWL will be around forever. Little to nothing will be done with it, but it WILL be around.

Reader
Hirku

I thought the same thing too, I just included a few more colorful words after “done right.”

xpsync
Reader
xpsync

Heck even TSW is still around.

Reader
sophiskiai

The other Druid lore locations:

here be spoilers
#3 Agartha (balcony above the central area, behind some crates)
#4 Sunken Library (one of the simulation chambers)
#5 Completing the first Equinox event mission

It does feel like it’s minimum effort content, the instance is from the Cat God fight at Hallowe’en and all the enemies and almost all the mechanics are reused from elsewhere in the game. They didn’t even give Fearghas Abernathy any conversation options.

The initial event mission requires you to beat 10 waves (across any number of attempts) and isn’t repeatable, after that you can do a repeatable version which only requires you to beat 5 waves but gives reduced rewards. I don’t know about Patrons, but as a non-Patron it has an 18 hour cooldown.

Soloing at IP450 I’ve managed to beat 5 waves in a row, and have (barely) managed to beat wave 7 on its own, and it looks to me like the rewards you get are just based on the last wave you beat and not on how many extra waves you beat during the run?

I do like that you can get Fearghas as an Agent. Also, this patch apparently introduced a new “Conquistador” storyline as an Agent mission chain? I find the Agent mission chains a great idea in theory but very annoying in practice due to the RNG involved.

xpsync
Reader
xpsync

That scenario sounds so much better than the others i grinded away at, so much better.

The game is great for anyone unfamiliar with it, i can highly recommend it still.

You may read me ranting about it, and others and it’s a storied history of the game itself, not going to get into it.

So if you ask yourself should you check it out, people aren’t that vocal about it because it sucked, they are that vocal because they are upset more isn’t being done to grow such an amazing game.

So yes you should check it out, just don’t over invest in it, be it time and or money.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
ogged451

Meh, it’s a whack-a-mole game which doesn’t even attempt to be fair. One wave is a smooth ride, the next wave is impossible because the game decided to spawn a commander (which continuously spawn groups of mobs in addition to the regular spawns) on one side while from the opposite side of the map groups of mobs with the healing aura arrive. Then, after you killed the commander, you run back and find 16 mobs swarming the objective of which 14 cannot be killed and the two you need to kill first are borderline impossible to target with the shitty reticle.

Yeah, it’s easier to deal with these things as a duo, but the whole thing still reeks of male cattle manure.

xpsync
Reader
xpsync

I can’t speak for it as i doubt i’ll be trying it anytime soon, bottom line it’s weak content addition for the amount of people playing this only a year ago.

hollowhill
Reader
hollowhill

Here is the bad. This game is in maintenence mode and won’t ever see a serious content update again. Yes, I’m aware I’m writing this on an article talking about new content but it’s all reused assets and in line with the funcom investor report that stated Secret World content would be based around small repeatable events.

There won’t be a season 2, there won’t be new zones and there won’t be a continuation of all the things I loved about this game.

The sad thing is I had somewhat resigned myself to this after the last big update to old TSW, but when the game relaunched I got my hopes up again. They generated a lot of interest and even though I personally liked the old version of the game it seemed like the relaunch had paid off. Unfortunately the massive lack of content updates until SA finally came out in April seemed to lose that momentum.

It’s sad but that’s the truth and believe me when I say I get no pleasure from it. I still remember how excited I was for the monthly issues promised before launch, that London would keep expanding each update and even that the weapons would be getting different sound assets. I probably spent an obscene amount of money on the game over the years too.

My last irritation is that Funcom seem to be killing the IP. They have a fair few games in development but those seem to largely be focused around the Conan and Co IPs they picked up a little while ago. I truly believed something like Life is Strange or The Council could have been a moderate success focusing on the lore of the secret world IP and building on the investigations that everyone loved. Alas, it seems The Secret World has had it’s day.

xpsync
Reader
xpsync

I was warned, and warned, and warned again this would probably happen, i sunk a ton of time into this game and they were right Funcom dropped the ball again. Just over a year ago this game was the hottest thing, literally on fire, really can’t help feel that SWL funds piped directly into AoC funding.

Reader
Koshelkin

I’m pretty sure you mean Conan Exiles funding. AoC = Age of Conan.

xpsync
Reader
xpsync

Yes, lol, Thx :)

Reader
sophiskiai

Oh gods yes, a Life is Strange type game with you as a new agent discovering the Secret World would be seven kinds of awesome!

Or a game even more like LiS where you’re a new student at Innsmouth Academy :)

But if they don’t even give us the Congo in SWL after the setup they did in South Africa I will be so annoyed…

Reader
Patreon Donor
ghostlight

Agreed, I always thought the Congo would be a natural for Secret World. I mean, the writers could go to town with a setting like that.