Secret World Legends: Bye-bye, AEGIS, don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

Now that I’m back in Tokyo in Secret World Legends, it’s like I never left. Of course, the first time around I was experiencing the zone piecemeal as the devs slowly brought it online, whereas now I have the whole package waiting for a nonstop experience.

There’s certainly a whole lot to do, and I’m going to return to doing both main and secondary missions (I had abandoned side missions for a while in Transylvania there for the purpose of advancement). A good starting point is Gozen’s diner, so I waded back into the Tokyo pool with all of the enthusiasm I could muster.

Gozer… er, Gozen’s introductory quests are fine for what they are. She’s not my favorite NPC of the city, although her relationship with Richard is interesting. Would love to hear more of that backstory.

Definitely the best part of returning to Tokyo, other than feeling *less* behind than I was before, is that AEGIS isn’t being shoved down my throat. In fact, so far I haven’t seen it at all. Mobs are just mobs again without those annoying shields, and combat feels a lot like how it did in previous zones. That’s a GOOD thing, by the way. AEGIS was poison to this game, and I’ll never relent in saying so.

Probably the best quest that I (re)did was the one where I’m chasing an Oni spy in and out of the Hell dimension. Secret World’s Hell is a really fascinating place, kind of an overlay of the real world only more fiery, industrial, and demon-filled. Although the current state of Earth doesn’t put it far behind in the demon department.

I’ve also enjoyed returning to a more urban environment. The modernity of it lies in stark contrast to the “old world” setting in Transylvania and the desert landscape of Egypt. Sleek skyscrapers and modern trappings offer more of a stark contrast to the Filth everywhere and the constructed walls that attempted to keep the apocalypse at bay.

Oh hey, I’m totally sure this billboard has NOTHING to do with where we are heading after Tokyo. Foreshadowing? Nah. Couldn’t be. Not a chance.

While we’re on the subject of the Congo, how do I feel about it as (probably) the next zone? I guess OK. I mean, I’m happy to get *any* new Secret World content at this point, but my feelings on jungle zones are pretty well-known here. Could be visually interesting, could also be a nightmare to navigate. As long as there are a lot of great stories, I’m in.

Is he… compensating for something? Kurt’s another Tokyo NPC that doesn’t exactly get my imagination revving, but at least his missions are straight-forward as can be.

Tokyo’s more complex investigation missions are pretty hit and miss, in my opinion. Some, like Wetwork, are devilishly clever, but the Love and Origami quest that I just did feels half-baked and in need of another pass. I think it’s a great idea to have the player actually do real origami as part of the quest, but it’s not explained or handled very well in execution.

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4 thoughts on “Secret World Legends: Bye-bye, AEGIS, don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

  1. Shintar November 13, 2017 / 2:57 pm

    There is a mission in a sewer where you have to use different coloured turrets to take different coloured shields off the mobs before you can kill them, which I’m guessing was the introduction to the AEGIS system originally, or at least part of it? Haven’t seen anything else like it though.

  2. pkudude99 November 13, 2017 / 6:26 pm

    I’m in complete agreement that AEGIS sucks. In fact, I blame AEGIS as the primary factor as to why I stopped playing TSW. I just couldn’t be arsed to keep playing in Tokyo as it just annoyed me so badly. I ground out the things to make it so that shields generally fell in only 1 or 2 hits anyway, but the facts that I had to check out a mob, make sure I had the right color on my gun, and THEN start combat, rather than simply starting combat was just enough to make me go “blech, why am I playing this?”

  3. Telwyn November 14, 2017 / 9:08 am

    I really disliked Aegis, in a similar way I dislike the shield system added to Divinity Original Sin 2, it just means everything takes longer to kill.

  4. Sylow November 14, 2017 / 11:07 am

    Unlike many others, i never found Aegis to be a problem. Sure it was one more thing to adapt to, but only a few things really changed for me:

    1. Yes, i had to activate the correct Aegis type depending where i went. All the “have to switch before every enemy” statements are untrue. All enemies had a fixed type of shield. All demonic enemies surprisingly had the demonic (red) shield, which was the area around the bathhouse in old Tokyo and the dockyard in the newer zone. All cybernetic enemies had cybernetic (blue) shields and were found around the Orochi HQ in the old zone and along the train tracks in the new part. And all spirit type enemies had the psychic (purple) shields and were found around the graveyard area in the first zone and around the shool/graveyard/shrine area in the new zone.

    So you usually only had to switch Aegis when you changed the area you were in. The only exception were bosses, which were able to field two types of shields and event bosses, which fielded all three types. So really, it took me one tour around the first zone to understand that and never troubled me any more.

    2. I had to migrate my survivability from a leech based setup to a regeneration based one.

    That one killed many players when Tokyo first was opened. Crowds of people poured into Kaidan with their setups optimized around leeching frenzy, as that was THE go-to passive for dealing high damage and turning that into survivability. Crowds of people didn’t understand that already in the old game hitting a shild did not yield them any healing as leeching frenzy healed you based on the damage you do to the enemy, and not on the damage you do to their shields, so crowds of people died around every corner, as their setup didn’t sustain them any more.

    I migrated back to a setup with first healing included on the first day of Kaidan and later replaced it with a variant of the old Wolverine setup. (Named after the Comic character, as it also provided a lot of regeneration as long as you were fighting. )

    3.Once i fully adapted, my killing speed was much higher in Tokyo than it ever was anywhere else.

    That’s a bit binary. The first days i also had to slowly scratch enemies to death and i agree that it felt terrible. But already after a week some fixes were in, essential QL0/1 loot became available and it was easily possible to get your damage output to adequate levels.

    I mean, less than a month after Tokyo was opened, there was the first golem-event which included the tripple-shielded golem in Tokyo. And yes, there was much crying on the zone chat, but it also was very easy to silence it: several times i told people to just go to the auction house and buy four QL0/1 items there. They alone increased your damage from 6% of your damage base damage to 34% of your base damage. That was almost +500% damage output.

    Sure in the first month each of those items cost like 200k pax on the AH, but that still meant that a full set was cheaper than a runspeed upgrade. A few months later, the same item was on the AH for below 5000 pax, so less than you paid for equipment repair after a death.

    The first two weeks all of this didn’t help much, as the new mastery lines were not active yet and some enemies indeed had insane shield values. (The enemies health always was much lower than of similar enemies in the old zones, but the high shields were an issue. ) But within about two weeks these things were fixed and once you reached about 30% of your weapons damage being dealt as Aegis damage, you were able to kill stuff at “normal” speed.

    So yes, the first two weeks were hell, a lot of things went wrong when Aegis was introduced, but in the end things mostly turned out well. The only remaining issue was that if you wanted to fully level it, it was a terrible grind. Mind you, leveling it was not necessary for any of the normal content, where just a full set of QL0/1 controllers and capacitors were fully sufficient. (Which after a while required you to once do the tower defence mission and spend 20k of Pax in the AH and you were good to go. ) Where you really had upgrade was when you wanted to do the Tokyo dungeons in nightmare difficulty. Those required your capacitors to be over QL10, which meant that you had to farm upgrade kits from elite difficulty dungeons. This indeed means that the Tokyo dungeons were the only content in the game which i didn’t complete in nightmare difficulty, as i also decided to avoid that mind-numbing grind.

    But for all but the most dedicated dungeon-dwellers, upgrading Aegis was not really that important. Even in dungeons we didn’t find a few percent more or less of damage to be that relevant, we focused on upgrading the shields, as some boss mechanics required good shields. At the same time i dare to say that Aegis added some boss mechanics (and role distributions) which were unseen in any other MMO, due to the unique nature of Aegis.

    The huge remaining problem was that the game failed to communicate to the players, that upgrading Aegis was fully optional. You really only needed to do that for dungeons, for any other a change of your characters setup and a few cheap capacitors, be it loot of from the AH, did the job perfectly well. But i think that was of the two the biggest problem throughout all of old TSW: it had a lot of great parts and awesome mechanics, but failed to properly inform the player about it. A lot of game mechanics required as much investigation and analysis as their Investigation missions, which indeed easily turned into a showstopper for all but the most dedicated players.

    Sidenote on the second big problem, combat:
    As long as you were on the lucky side with your hardware the combat also was perfectly fine and actually in my eyes even superior to many other MMOs out there. But it was a gamble, TWS was terribly optimized and i was one of the cases where the old and outdated computer ran the game perfectly well, but when that one broke down and i replaced it, i for the first time experienced the sluggish and thus a bit unresponsive combat. Turns out that the game ran better on old processors with higher single-thread performance, while actually bogging itself down and running worse on a newer processor with more cores.

    That of course understandably resulted in a lot of negative feedback from people who actually had newer and better hardware, where TSW unlike any other game ran worse than on old hardware.

    But that all being said, i remain at my point: Aegis itself in terms of game mechanic only was a problem in the first two weeks after Toyko launched. After that the biggest issues were eliminated and the rest was fixed in the following patches. The real failure was in communicating to the many players how to properly work with it. Once you got that down it was no real factor any more outside of dungeons and provided some interesting boss mechanics in them, but figuring that out indeed required time and dedication.

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