Secret World Legends: Plans for a do-over

Being a pretty die-hard Secret World player, you’d probably expect that I did nothing but jump head-first into the rebooted Secret World Legends all weekend and come out with some sort of first impressions piece for today. This is not what happened.

In actuality, right now I’m on our youth group’s summer mission trip, which ended up being bad timing in relation to the headstart for SWL, so I’m going to have to miss the debut weekend. I’m OK with that, I guess. Look at the mess that happened with FFXIV: Stormblood’s head start, and I can only imagine what issues Funcom’s going to have here with this reboot that, frankly, had too little testing and is clearly being pushed out the door quickly and just scant seconds ahead of an NDA drop. I’m happy to give it a few days to calm down before I get to it.

But that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about what I’m going to do when I do get into SWL, so here’s a few things to expect from me:

1. I won’t be doing a mission-by-mission commentary

Been there, done that, literally got the in-game t-shirt. I don’t think you all want to hear me rehashing the same missions I did a couple of years ago anyway, so I’ll probably do more observations and daily adventure pieces while commenting on what (if anything) has changed.

2. I’m going to recreate Yeti

Yeti was my TSW main, and as much as possible, I’m going to bring her back to life for the reboot. I have already reserved her name, and since she’s got a lot of cosmetics porting over, I can probably dress her up in her customary ’80s garb. That also means I’m rolling Templar. As entertaining as Illuminati is — and it is, really — I’m a Templar at heart.

3. I’ll be getting an impressions piece on the big changes to you soon

This includes the combat, revamped Agartha, and smaller populated playing fields. The “feel” of the game is important to me and that’s what I’ll be paying the most attention to, for sure.

4. I’ll try to enjoy the quests anew

Thinking about the “big picture” of how many quests have to be done to get to where I left off in Tokyo is massively daunting and will definitely ruin my fun. Instead, I’ll just take one quest at a time, screenshot like crazy as I always do in this game, and hopefully glean a few new facts and story beats along the way. I’ll also try to do every quest in each zone before moving on, although I’m not entirely sure how this’ll work with the modified quest flow.

5. I’m going to try one old and one new weapon

I have to go shotgun with Yeti — that’s practically her signature weapon. But chaos magic, which I haven’t even touched in TSW, looks pretty appealing. I like the randomness and the clones, so I’m going to mix that with shotgun and see how that works.

6. I’ll be reading up on Secret World Legends like crazy

I wasn’t a part of the beta, but I am curious to read about those who were and to see their thoughts and reactions as they went into the deeper game. There are also new builds to be researched and other changes to discover. And if Funcom ever gets off its duff to deliver a road map, I’ll read that too.

7. I’ll try to stay on top of the content flow

Initially I think we’ll have the game through Transylvania, with Tokyo to follow at a later date, and then the launch of the second season (fingers crossed). So I don’t want to be TOO behind on all of that, because it would just rankle to have new missions come out that I couldn’t play yet. So if the game launches as a stable and playable product, I won’t be dawdling. I will do my best to not violate #4 there, but at the same time, I’m not going to do a single mission every night and call it a day, either.

7 thoughts on “Secret World Legends: Plans for a do-over

  1. Athie June 26, 2017 / 9:28 am

    From what I saw this weekend:

    1) The quest flow isn’t hugely different. There are changes, but they seem mostly neutral. The addition of explicit levels makes things feel more hemmed in, but that seems to be by far the biggest change in quest flow.

    2) The combat is different, but less different than I expected. You have one or two fewer buttons to push, and it seems to lean much harder on your build’s primary weapon. The aiming isn’t much different, really — basically it’s tab target but you sometimes accidentally cancel the targeting. The new weapon gimmicks are simultaneously shallow and annoying, though, and passives are radically less interesting than before. But some attack animations are better.

    3) To my surprise, by far the biggest and most consequential change involves gear. Gear in general seems far rarer than in original TSW. The math of the upgrade system implies a truly epic grind to prepare for Tokyo and other future content — a grind that can be cut in half or less with cash shop catalysts. People are already complaining about how this system works with dungeons, and it also means that most mobs only drop cash-shop lockboxes. This means, it seems, that the only reliable gameplay ways to progress gear are (a) a small trickle of progress from daily dungeons, and (b) grinding quests. For option (b), patron status is hugely beneficial. Patrons have quests come off cooldown in 8 hours, while non-patrons wait 68 hours.

    So, basically, it’s mostly just running a new character but with a significantly worse gear system. I predict that people’s ability to make peace with gear progression will be the make-or-break factor for SWL.

  2. Katriana June 26, 2017 / 9:45 am

    I rather like how they’ve done gear in the new game. Upgrading is easy and the quests you’re going to be doing as you level and work through the zones give lots of pieces to crunch into your gear to upgrade it. I have not seen any lockbox drops so far, and indeed the only mobs that seem to drop anything now are the named rare mobs (which aren’t all that rare from what I’ve seen, at least in Kingsmouth). I will be interested to see what you think when you get into it Syp.

  3. Athie June 26, 2017 / 10:07 am

    Katriana, the lockboxes don’t drop at all until you are level 15. Then they drop a lot.

    Upgrading is fast at first. But the math implies that getting endgame gear will require millions of upgrades per slot.

  4. Sylow June 26, 2017 / 10:55 am

    Wish you fun with your project. I still mourn for TSW. I tried the new thing during the closed beta. I gave it another chance this weekend. Yesterday evening i uninstalled.

    I am very sorry for my girl and her radio show. I met her in TSW, we always were on the stage together in TSW. But this new one feels so bad. The combat just feels clunky and uncomfortable to me, so very much that i decided that i won’t force myself to endure it any longer. I very much like good reticule combat, with DCU being the best of them all in my book. (I also enjoy ESO for example. ) But this one, whenever i spent some time in SWL and its combat, my mood got worse and worse, as it just feels so utterly wrong to me.

    So for the best of either of us, i got rid of this game.

    As a sidenote: FC also lied to us. In one of the older interviews they stated that everything you spent money for is being transfered. So where are my weapon skins? (And, are my dances there? Is there still a way to synchronize dancing, which we paid money for?I doubt it, but i have to admit that i haven’t checked. )

    I put the fix on my Installation of TSW, so it doesn’t self-destruct when launching it. (If you don’t apply that, it patches over to SWL. ) Of course, even before this weekend there were few people there, now it’s completely empty. But it’s the only version where i find playing enjoyable. 😦

  5. Bhag June 26, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    I just posted my First impressions. I largely agree with Sylow. People who never liked TSW may well enjoy SWL more but it’s hard to imagine anyone who loved TSW not being at least disappointed by what Funcom have done.

    The real issue isn’t the mechanics but the feels. This isn’t the same game, not even close. I’ll be surprised if you take to it.

  6. Tyler F.M. Edwards June 26, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    I’m still taking a wait and see approach, and so far nothing I’m hearing has dispelled my pessimism. Sylow’s comments in particular are worrying. Historically, I’ve agreed with them on almost everything related to TSW, so if they don’t like it, that doesn’t bode well for me.

  7. Minimalistway June 26, 2017 / 7:42 pm

    So far the game feels like the old one, a bit easier to kill mobs, and so far i’m getting one mission at the time, maybe more missions open later? as for upgrades and cash-shop, i’ll leave this for another time, i don’t mind spending some money on the game, but how much? i’ll see.

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