As you well know, I adore The Secret World in any of its incarnations and the inventive, narrative-driven quests that it offers. But with all of the effort applied to making increasingly intricate missions with elements that we haven’t experienced before, sometimes the team went a little overboard in making a quest too hard, too frustrating, or too obtuse.
Today, let’s go through my personal list of the six worst quests I’ve experienced in the game to date!
1. Hell and Bach
This one hits players early as a Savage Coast quest at the Overlook Hotel, and it is supremely annoying. You have to interact with no less than four different diagrams across the game world, inputting a specific sequence of symbols for each to progress. Get one wrong, and you start over. And there’s some trial-and-error with these, so that is the pits too.
It just takes a long while and every time I’ve done it, I’ve sworn that this was the last that I was going to bother with it. No more, no thank you.
2. The Castle
I’ve not been shy about voicing my displeasure over the sabotage missions in this game. You can’t brute-force your way through them; you have to stealth and sneak and then enjoy getting caught and starting all over again. The Castle is a lengthy and challenging mission in this regard, although I’m sure repeating it a few dozen times would trivialize it somewhat. I loathed it and am not looking forward to doing it again in the near future. Exploring a vampire castle should be WAY more fun than this.
3. The Bank Heist
Another horrible, stupid sabotage mission that involves moonwalking over pressure plates and figuring out ways past robotic sentries and extremely limited time windows. Do it right, it can be a breeze, but I spent two of the worst hours I’ve ever had in this game banging my head against this mission. It’s incredibly unforgivable.
4. In The Dusty Dark
Sometimes a Secret World mission can be long. Very long. Like, “sit down and read a 500-page novel” long. In The Dusty Dark is one of these, a marathon trek through the interior of a pyramid. While some of the rooms are neat, all require puzzle solving, and the other rooms can take shy of forever to finish. And the big finale is a journey through a labyrinth infested with unkillable monsters and various traps. Words cannot express how much I loathe this mission. I skipped it in SWL, because I’m a grown-up and I can.
5. The Cost of Magic
Yeah, everyone’s favorite mission, right? Well, everyone’s favorite mission to gripe about. It’s like a badge of honor to have finished this quest and then get to whine about it to the internet at large, so consider this mine. For starters, it has multiple stages, each one with its own frustrating mechanic. There are knock-offs from high platforms, disappearing jumping platforms, a deadly toxic swamp, traps to be avoided, and so on. It’s like a perfect storm of terrible quest design that exists to give us all PTSD.
There are a few challenging Tokyo quests, but this relatively new one is a real bear. It’s probably the longest investigation mission in the game (feel free to correct me on that) with lots of stealth, puzzle-solving, hunt-and-click fun, and robotic controls. The story behind it is great, as are some of the creepier parts, but it’s just way too long and at times too tricky for its own good to be enjoyable.