I still can’t get over how fast this current playthrough of Secret World Legends is turning out to be. But looking back, it makes sense. The first time I went through TSW, I was figuring everything out and playing content as it (slowly) released. The the second time was artificially slowed, what with screenshotting and documenting the adventures for my blog series.
Now it’s like the constraints have been lifted, the time-to-kill lowered, and I’ve taken off at a sprint. Really, it’s just about as fast as I’d play any normal MMORPG, but TSW always felt tougher, harder, and slower than “normal” MMOs.
I’m finding that I’m going through six or so quests and (yes) side quests every night, in addition to killing any world bosses and taking advantage of pop-up kill quests along the way. Blue Mountain is crumbling before my continued assault, with only Franklin Manor and the main storyline to go. I’m actually getting addicted to the speed, so that’s probably a sign I should slow down a wee bit to do more poking around and taking pictures. But then there’s that voice in my head that keeps prodding me on to “catch back up” with myself where I was before.
I do try to finish up the main five daily challenges every night, since you get a chunk of Marks of Favor with those, and I’m saving up for some much-needed inventory space.
So with all of the quests and such, I’m racking up a great amount of loot bags. I’ve got to say that with all of the big changes of the reboot, the one that I’m finding that I like the least is how loot and gear function.
Honestly, it wasn’t like loot was terribly exciting before. Maybe it’s Secret World’s somewhat generic loot icons that don’t seem as interesting as ones you’d get in other games, but it’s been quite rare to ever get that interested in looting items.
SWL’s changes are a little odd for a few different reasons. First is that your standard mobs just never drop loot. Like, ever. Unless it’s a lockbox, of course, in which case they fart those out regularly. So your primary source of loot is from quests and the one-time rare mobs. But you don’t get specific loot; you get random loot bags that hold just a type of loot (talisman, weapon, glyph, etc.). They do stack nicely, but apart from that, they’re not that thrilling to get or open them. Mostly you hope for a blue or a three-pip item with the stats that you desire, then you hang on to those for dear life.
I was initially in favor of how SWL allows you to use unwanted gear to “feed” and level up your desired gear to higher levels, stats, and rarity. In theory, this is great. In practice… it’s getting old, really quick. I must spend about five or ten minutes every play session doing nothing but leveling up items, leveling up spares for fusion, and then fusing them together. With all of the spares and bags and whatnot, I keep running out of inventory terrifically fast.
Again, the concept is decent and I like just sticking with the gear you want and gradually making it better. But the process is onerous and repetitive, and I can’t help but wonder if there was a more streamlined or elegant way that this could be done. Plus, I keep thinking that one day I’m probably going to toss this gear I’ve been painstakingly leveling once I get into an elite dungeon and have some awesome purple drop or something.
As for what I’m wearing, I’m going for mostly attack gear with the headslot devoted to healing stats and one other talisman devoted to protection. Not super-specialized, but a little more rounded to give my character survivability.