The Secret World: In the Dusty Dark

lab1

Creeeeeak went the dusty doors, sliding open to reveal a fresh new hell for me to explore — or a very ancient one, if you’re being literal.

This I pushed onward in my exploration of Issue 14’s story arc as I went down in the dusty dark. The doors here lead underneath the Black Pyramid, where the prison of the mighty Jinn — the Unbound — awaits. I didn’t know if I should have been pleased or disturbed to see torches flickering even without a caretaker going around to maintain them. Maybe it’s the mummy’s job?

In the Dusty Dark is an investigation mission, when meant that I had to strap in for a full afternoon of puzzle-solving — and this time in the eerie corridors and rooms below the surface of the desert. And let me tell you, this mission is no pushover. It’s room after room of increasingly difficult challenges, including walking across a pit on twisty — and invisible! — path and spending way too much time zipping across a room trying to activate jump platforms. Some of the rooms felt far more fair than others, and any one of them could have been a mission in their own right.

lab2

And then there was the time when a giant boulder came smashing out of the ceiling to flatten me as I whipped the camera around to take this screenshot. I guess Funcom loved this Indiana Jones move so much the first time around that it wanted to bring it back for an encore.

lab3

I know I’m glossing over a lot of the progression through this mission, so trust me when I say that it’s quite long and that by the time you get to this room and see a labyrinth awaiting your footsteps, you simply wish that there was a Funcom employee in your eyesight so that you could stare daggers at them.

Shifting walls? Unstoppable mummies? Poison daggers of death? All this an more awaits you, my friends!

Actually, the labyrinth wasn’t nearly as bad as the jumping platforms, in my opinion. And at least there was this at the end:

lab4

The walls cracking open to reveal a brightly lit room — the prison of the Unbound. Good thing I’m charging in there!

I had a heart-stopping moment of terror at the end of this mission, because the game totally bugged on me. The screen went black and I couldn’t access my UI other than to log out. Eventually I had to do just that, imagining that I would need to do this entire cursed mission all over again. Fortunately, it just sent me ahead to the next mission, although I fear I missed a cutscene.

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5 thoughts on “The Secret World: In the Dusty Dark

  1. Sylow June 29, 2016 / 12:37 pm

    On the whole labyrinth, for me the worst part was the room with the invisible floor. Not because it’s hard in any way, but I found no pointers on the path anywhere, so I had to map it all by trial and error.

    That’s not hard, but it’s boring and tedious, something I am not used to from TSW.

    On the flickering torches: yes, I also noticed that. It might be unlogical to the extreme. Or it might just be a nod and reference to all the movies before this game, where the same phenomenon was to be observed. Same thing for the rolling boulder, if I’d actually have to build the defense of such a place and I have tools like “never ending dart shooters” and the likes along, I wouldn’t resort to a one-shot trap like the boulder. Once triggered, it never works again, seems like a waste on something built for eternity, so it has to fend of an intruder every century or so… 😀

    The jumping platforms, though, I don’t see what’s so bad about them. They are two different riddles, but both are fair and logical. Only the fact that you sometimes have to try a pad, how it performs before and how it works after being switches can be bothering, especially for the one “now I shoot you to the wall, so you can add to the blood spot there” might feel a bit unfair. But what’s just one more death for a bee?

    So all in all, I liked almost all of this labyrinth. Sure there are some not completely logical parts, but all in all, it’s more coherent than it’s movie predecessors and sources. Only the “map by falling and running up again” invisible walkway gets rated badly by me… unless somebody can give me some pointers on what I have missed. If there is something I didn’t see and thus didn’t understand how to map that more easily, then of course the blame is on me and not this room.

  2. Ocho June 30, 2016 / 2:14 pm

    I got that same bug, too. Protip: when you encounter a bug in TSW, at first try to type /reloadui, even if you can’t see the chatbox. It most times still picks up that you’re typing. But… no, I don’t think you did miss a cutscene. Or if you did, only seconds of it, as the final click just leads you straight into the final Unbound fight.

    And Sylow… yes, there is a catch to that puzzle. [Spoilers, of course, to anyone who hasn’t done it yet] At the bottom of the pit there is a scroll or something from a previous unlucky adventurer that has symbols on it that correspond with the symbols along the wall (I think it’s basically which symbol you should be moving towards on the far side of the wall).

  3. Ocho June 30, 2016 / 2:16 pm

    Also, sidenote: /reloadui also works well when TSW’s memory leaks get too hefty and your framerate starts taking a nosedive. Logging does the same effect, but /reloadui is quicker.

  4. Sylow July 4, 2016 / 8:17 am

    Thanks for the pointer. I didn’t notice that scroll.

    On the topic of memory leaks and framerate drops: you still have those? I know that formerly I did reloadui in any dungeon and every few zone changes. (Also note, CTRl-Shift-F1 does the same. ) But they patched some stuff a few months ago, now i can go a complete evening without needing to reload. Thus i am curious if this still works for you.

    Where it indeed sometimes still is necessary is the rare time when the game is stuck on a black screen. There I find the key combination to me most useful, as it doesn’t rely on the chatbox still being responsive.

  5. Sylow July 4, 2016 / 8:18 am

    “to be most useful”. Typing for beginners.

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