(You can follow my playthrough of The Secret World on Bio Break’s projects page! WARNING: Spoilers and stories ahead!)
Strangers from a strange land (investigation mission)
- Wow, I’ve been doing so many action missions that I almost forgot what investigation missions were like!
- Red delivers an important piece of backstory. A thousand years ago, invaders from the south (the Mayans) came to the island and tried to awaken the evil that lived under the mountain. The Wabanaki fought back and almost lost if it wasn’t for Vikings coming across the sea with Excalibur. Or somesuch. Anyway, they left and took the sword with them, but apparently they also imbued powerful magic in the stones of the island.
- Red’s map indicates that there are several of these important stones — and that they’re all in Blue Mountain. That’s right, this Savage Coast mission is actually a Blue Mountain one in disguise. Time to zone hop!
- Make no mistake, it’s a lot of running around a zone that, for most people, will be completely new to them when they get this quest. At each rune, two ravens come down and say cryptic things, starting off with “I’m thought, he’s memory. You can have that one for free.”
- Well, they also tell the story of the thousand-year-old war between the Vikings and the worshippers of the dark sun. I guess these are Viking spirits in bird form? TSW needs a study guide.
- After a while, the runestones come with riddles that must be solved (or else trigger a nasty little fight). Fun riddles, Viking-themed, nothing difficult.
- The ravens make mention of Loki being among the good guys, although he tricked them and then headed south to find out more. Geary says that he’s been spotted on the island multiple times since, although the sword is still AFK. This will be important for an upcoming test, class.
- I never noticed before that when you’re in the Ash Forest, your screen picks up flecks of ash around the edges. Neat detail.
- So the first time through the game, the whole storyline of the island being a battleground for this war 1,000 years prior kind of escaped me in a flood of other details.
Dawning of an Endless Night (story mission, tiers 8-11)
- With all of Savage Coast done (yipee!), all that’s left here is to blitz through the main storyline. Zip back to the beginning and go to a mysterious house I’ve been avoiding thus far.
- In the basement is a door that opens on a tunnel with Beaumont standing at the other end. He magically causes a cave-in and summons a filth guardian to fight me. And I’m not doing too bad against it, either, when John Wolf appears, kills it, and patronizes me for trying to fight it. Seriously dude? I HAD IT. Go back to your front porch and leave the real work to the bee people.
- Wolf says that Beaumont is in search of an ancient artifact that’s controlling the fog, the artifact that will control the island. He also suggests I go talk to the folks over at the Academy. Fine with me!
- Annabel, Carter, and Montag admit that the Academy got ahold of this artifact — a weapon — but had no idea how dangerous it was. It got stolen right out from under their noses, and only a top-secret Illuminati vault under the school might have more ideas about how that happened.
- The vault is apparently under one of the other school buildings, so I head on in and retrieve the same eight symbols that I keep finding all over the place. There’s a cleverly hidden trap door, too, that rewards the patient observer.
- Who changes the light bulbs for these top secret underground vaults that not even the headmaster knows about?
- Beaumont shows up again, this time wielding Excalibur. He’s more than a little annoyed with me, but knows that the bees will resurrect me, so he casts a spell to stall me instead.
- Beau, dude, you have the absolute worst taste in clothing. I am not so much afraid of you as I am curious what Salvation Army mumu store you’ve been shopping at.
- The vault is a suitably freaky place to be trapped — it’s filled with dessicated caretakers who love to make bizarre sounds and won’t attack unless attacked (giving me a rare opportunity for up-close screenshots). I love that TSW knows that freaking you out means sometimes not attacking but making you feel that any moment hell might rain down on you.
- Down among the stacks I find a book that looks like the Necronomicon from Evil Dead that talks about Beamont visiting the island in 1881 looking for something in the Blue Mountain mine.
- I escape through a hidden doorway and Kirsten Geary berates me for messing up so bad. It’s not my fault! Blame the cutscene! WHY IS EVERYONE YELLING AT ME THIS IS MY FIRST WEEK ON THE JOB.
Rogue Agent (action mission)
- The Labyrinth calls me up and tells me to come home to NYC for my promotion. Considering that this is tier 1 of 6, I’m guessing it’s going to be more work and less celebration (unless tier 4 is “get punch” and tier 5 is “get jiggy with it”).
- No sooner do I get to NYC does the Labyrinth send me to Seoul to track down a Templar agent who’s stolen something from the Dragons. Y’know, you could have just told me that over the phone earlier.
- In Seoul, the rogue agent spots me and a merry footchase ensues deep into Agartha. It’s pretty bland and very linear, with the very occasional fight against other factions’ agents.
- But the interesting thing is that it finally dumps me out into a completely new area that we only see for this one mission: Shambala in the Himalayan Mountains. The Labyrinth tells me that it’s a place of great and mysterious power, but the Council of Venice kicked the factions out of it for fighting over it so much.
- I get into a scrap with three enemies at once, but by now I’m so dang good that I don’t even break a sweat. Then it’s off to hide the artifact from everyone but the Illuminati’s computer AI, who says that not even my superiors can be trusted with it.
- And that’s it for Savage Coast! Time to hit up Blue Mountain and upgrade my gear!
(You can follow my playthrough of The Secret World on Bio Break’s projects page! WARNING: Spoilers and stories ahead!)
How to get ahead in Kingsmouth (side mission)
- So the name of this mission has me wondering: In the Savage Coast, are we still in Kingsmouth (the town)? Is the entire island also considered Kingsmouth’s territory? Because there is a bit of geographical separation as well as the fact that the first zone is called Kingsmouth.
- Anyway, heads on stakes. Gotta put an end to whoever’s doing that.
- The tracks I follow to the culprit (a headhunter wendigo) are pretty faint and a good example of how TSW puts quest elements out in the open that nobody notices unless they’re on that particular mission.
Army of the Deep (side mission)
- An insanely easy mission, this one has you standing in one place while a few waves of draug come by. Intercept, kill, then on to killing the big bossy. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Through the looking-glass (side mission)
- Well there’s a body on a spit in the middle of the river, and as usual, it’s my job to go check it out. I think I will qualify for the world’s most experienced coroner before I finish this game.
- The body is booby-trapped, as “The Collector” comes to… er, collect me? He and his minions are those sackcloth guys. Nothing tough, even after stepping on a mine or two.
Red’s Tackle (side mission)
- Another breadcrumb quest, this one tasks me with returning a tacklebox to Red. This is perfect, as I was heading there anyway!
Ami Legend (action mission)
- I am a sucker for a good quest name pun.
- I’ve always liked Red’s Bait & Tackle. It’s a warm, friendly place that’s right in the middle of a whole lot of trouble, yet Red doesn’t look too concerned about that. Maybe it’s the protection of the Council of Venice guys right outside, I dunno. Red and his family are the main introduction to the Wabanaki tribe, who will feature much more prominently in the next zone.
- No, Red’s Bait & Tackle does not sell dynamite. According to the sign.
- Anyway, Red talks about how bad things are coming for Ami (the “bait”) — and that I am the finishing line. I love how my character looks behind her when he says this: who me?
- I head out and start killing Ak’abs. Let me tell you, if you like dealing with Ak’abs — and who doesn’t? They’re so delightful — this is the mission for you. Lots and lots of Ak’abs.
- Eventually I end up at a dark, dank cave, where Ami joins me on a stroll through its twisted innards. I actually like having her along, since she provides some companionship and exposition (mostly flavor text, but still). Also, she fights a bit!
- Ami says that the Ak’ab slept “for generations” below the ground, but like cicadas, they’re back.
- I’m really not a fan of this mission. It goes on way, way too long for one thing — the cave is very long, and you have to fight your way all the way into it, guard Ami while she destroys the nest, then fight your way right back out. Plus, all of this fighting is in cramped quarters against the always-dashing Ak’abs. So glad to have finished it.
Another bug hunt (side mission)
- In the cave that we went into in Ami Legend, there’s a dead soldier lying there. It’s up to me to collect his and his buddies’ dog tags, for my scrapbook, I assume! I like being able to do a couple of missions at the same time.
- It’s a little disturbing to me that all of these four soldiers are in their underwear. What… is the story with that?
The Light that Blinds (side mission)
- Why Red and company have been able to survive while surrounded by Ak’abs and draug is given some explanation in a series of wards (now in dreamcatcher form!) placed around the store.
- I assemble my own natural ward with the help of some feathers and sinew from a deep one. The final result not only completes the mission, but gives me a one-shot item that disables Ak’abs. Perfect now that I’m done fighting them!
Crustacean curse (side mission)
- Hey, you know what would be a great activity to do while wandering around in a draug-infested bay? Check lobster traps! Boy this game is wonky some times.
The player, not the piece (action mission)
- Red is playing chess with Ami’s daughter Kyra and having a conversation with her about winning. It’s laden with meta references to playing TSW as a whole — with mentions of the endgame, not fighting every battle, being the player instead of the piece. At least, I want to think that it’s meta.
- With the double AP event going on, I’m gaining enough to buy my way into the second-tier skills. I’m trying to shore up my current build (which is already terrific). I swap out Thor’s Hammer for Electrical Manifestation (due to the latter’s purge ability. Unfortunately, it’s also on a long timer, keeping it from being in every fight). I also add Critical Control to jack up my crit rating even further when I’m attacking hindered targets. Ideally I want to work up to Ice Manifestation, since its hinder works well into several of my synergies.
- Your enjoyment of this mission will largely be dependent on whether or not you like staking up corpses. If you do, you’re in for a treat and I really do not want you to be my friend. Essentially, I work my way up the draug chain of command by burning and staking the bodies of the underlings, then killing and staking the little boss that comes after me for doing that, then the same with a bigger boss, then a much bigger boss, and then C’thulu himself. It’s messy, weird work.
Breakfast of Champignons (action mission)
- Ami indicates that the Wabanaki are at a disadvantage in this supernatural takeover because of some division that happened several years back. Still, there might be a chance to harness the island’s strength and have it fight back.
- To do this, of course, I’m going to have to run around and collect mushrooms from all over the zone. Why? I am not sure why. Sometimes — many times — The Secret World doesn’t really explain what’s going on in a mission. It trusts that you’re smart enough to figure it out from context and clues, or it’s just jerking you around. That’s the first rule of The Secret World: It loves to jerk you around.
- The second rule is: This game hates you. It’s OK to hate it back sometimes.
- So I do my dutiful chores and pick mushrooms, which is made joyful by the fact that all of the mushrooms poison me, damage me, or summon every Ak’ab within the tri-state area to pay me a house call. I actually die to a mushroom, believe it or not.
- I did bump into one sackclocth creature that had a rather chilling name: His Daughter’s Keepers. Brrrrr…
- Mushrooms acquired, I mix up a recipe, eat it, and get high on shrooms. This somehow warns me that there’s a large pod about to give birth and that I need to destroy it within five minutes. See rule number one of The Secret World (above). I will say that the color palette change is actually kind of cool for this part.
(You can follow my playthrough of The Secret World on Bio Break’s projects page! WARNING: Spoilers and stories ahead!)
Extracurricular Activities (side mission)
- A dropped notebook from Montag talks about a powerful lady named Ami who might be the target of a wendigo. Time to go save her, maybe? If she’s not already dog food.
- Time to go wendigo hunting! Nothing too tricky, and this breadcrumb quest eventually leads me to Ami’s current residence at Red’s Bait and Tackle. As I’m not quite ready to go there yet, I finish up the mission, wave hello, and port back to the academy.
Blue Fires Burning (side mission)
- All it took was a little fog to call out all of the freaks on this island, because now we have death cultists doing campfire singalongs within a stone’s throw from the main road. Well, that ain’t going to happen on my watch, no sirree!
- Kill six death cultists, done with quest. Wow, that was simple.
The Rec Center Cannot Hold (action mission)
- So this isn’t part of the mission, but doing the dialogue options with Carter reveals some important clues about the rest of the game. In particular, she mentions having visions of other super-powered kids in a colorful place, wearing sailor outfits — including a small kid who is terribly smart. She’s talking about all of the kids in Tokyo, something I didn’t catch the first time through.
- Anyway, the situation at Innsmouth is bad with all of the familiars and spirits going bonkers, so time to make things a little saner. Montag recommends I not use a fire axe, as it can bounce off the vertebre. He’s awesome.
- One thing I haven’t talked a lot about with The Secret World is its subtle weather and daylight effects. There is a day/night cycle as well as the occasional weather pattern, and in this mission I am dealing with a dusky atmosphere with some fog. It’s incredibly moody and I love it.
- This mission has killing and a LOT of it. It takes me the better part of 20 minutes to wade through waves of mobs, dying a few times when I get overrun.
- Eventually I head to the gym, where a giant flesh blob is hunkered down on the middle of the court. A little gasoline and a match wakes it up, and from then on it’s a bullet hell frenzy to put it down.
- So what was that thing? According to Kirsten Geary, it’s the love child of too many constructs that decided to “bump uglies.” Wow. Good to know. Actually, I could have gone without knowing that.
Carter Unleashed (action mission)
- I’ve only done this quest once before, and that was back when the issue released with it. I’ve always been fascinated by Carter, the lone surviving student of Innsmouth Academy, and not just because she’s splattered with blood. Apparently she also has nuclear-type powers that makes her the most dangerous person on the campus, and she wants me to chaperone her to the basement to clear out the rest of the familiars.
- Montag’s notebook actually lists her powers as “intense thaumonuclear devastation.” This is going to be awesome.
- After assembling a protective shield kit thingie, I head down into the basement. It’s suitably creepy, with familiars hanging off of hooks and all manner of creaking and ominous tones. What it isn’t, however, is difficult — this is a basic escort mission in which Carter helps out with the fights.
- The fun part comes when a ton of familiars gang up and then Carter goes into explodey mode. It’s fun to watch her wipe out an entire room (I want that power!) but the first time I played this I did not understand that I needed to activate my shield; I kept trying to run out of the room to dodge the blast and died every time.
- Once we beat down a giant flesh abomination, it’s over and Carter is pleased to have tested her powers beyond what she’s done in the past. You go girl.
The Strange Boat House in the Mist (action mission)
- We’re about done with Innsmouth, just one more main mission to go. Annabel says that a bunch of the faculty tried to make a break for the river when the fog rolled in but something got them. This “something” is perhaps related to the live and work of a farmer-slash-magus named Henderson.
- Part of Henderson’s legacy are all of the animated sackcloth golems around the island (I’m assuming here based on context). They come in three varieties: shotgun, chainsaw, and baby doll (the last one is a magic focus). Terrifically designed mobs, I must say.
- The quest itself is gruesome, as I stumbled over mangled corpse after mangled corpse, collecting IDs and learning just a bit (from names, faces, and occupation) about who used to work at the academy.
- However, it turns out that the main culprit of the killings was a gigantic draug, so Henderson might be off the hook for this one.
- As a bonus to the mission rewards, I got enough AP to earn my beloved “turn the tides” skill. This is a flat-out great ability that delivers a chunky heal — kind of like a rechargable timer. I love having it on hand in case of emergencies.
Survival of the Dead (side mission)
- A note in a bottle teases the possibility of survivors in the nearby cottages, but I will never be that lucky. No, it’s a lot of undead and a lot of draug and a lot of bullets. Let’s do this.
- And it’s quickly done. Want to buy more story with this one, please.
(You can follow my playthrough of The Secret World on Bio Break’s projects page! WARNING: This post comes with lots of story and mission spoilers.)
The Breakfast Cult (action mission)
- That mission title always gets a chuckle out of me.
- So here we are at Innsmouth Academy, the least-secretive Illuminati front in the world. It’s rich with missions and just so happens to be one of my all-time favorite locations in the game if you include the NPCs. The place was an X-Men mansion of sorts, training specials to be part of the Illuminati effort, but it got overrun by the fog just the same as anywhere else on the island. Even worse, many of the students’ familiars (animated fabric golems) have now turned on us because of course they have.
- Even better, let’s meet one of the three survivors: headmaster Hayden Montag. Voiced by horror veteran Jeffrey Combs, he’s academic to the extreme with no sense of humor or sarcasm. He hints at a terrible backstory (he accidentally issued a death curse when he was younger which killed his mom and others) and he always wears blue gloves for reasons not explained. But hey, Firefly reference.
- Montag says that the wards that normally protected the school have been violated, and guess who’s the repairman? Not him; he’s going to stay in one of the few truly safe areas on the island (the office is warded so that anything non-human dies at the door).
- Going to run this mission with yet another new build, this one pistol/elem. I had to do a little creative structuring to get some heals in there, so for circulation to work I have to bump up my crit chance, then critically hit, which triggers affliction, which then triggers a heal over time. We’ll see how that works.
- Very straightfoward action mission — set up wards, defend one spot for a long while. It’s a perfect mission to test a new build, and I am pleased to say that what I came up with is performing admirably. Lots of single-target DPS, lots of crit bumps, lots of self-heals, and even two AoE “grenades” to throw down for crowds. Plus, it’s very satisfying running around with dual pistols after playing so long with a shotgun/hammer.
Science and the Arts (action mission)
- Montag begins with a pseudo-lecture to Annabel and Carter about how high he holds the sciences and how, yup, bodies were bricked into the foundations of the school to help harness anima or somesuch. Well, now that’s backfiring (surprised?), so I need to head out and seal the breeches.
- “You’re like the world’s revenge on sarcasm, do you know that?” heh.
- Another straight-forward mission with lots and lots of spook killing (and anima leak repairing… which I do with, what? Spackle?). So happy with my build — and the recent mob nerf. Fighting’s actually fun now.
- The mission does give hints to a much darker backstory of the academy, what with drownings in pools and an official “Academy Wraith” that I fight at the end. I’d love to read a novel set in this place, like a sinister Hogwarts.
The Faculty (action mission)
- Next up on Montag’s to do list is to figure out who is reanimating the ex-faculty corpses and to what purposes. A war golem from the 1600s is mentioned.
- “So… you’re saying that this could get worse before it gets better?” “Oh no, I shouldn’t think it’s going to get better.” WHY IS THIS GUY NOT IN EVERY MISSION OF THIS GAME?
- Hey, that ghost lady’s head is on upside-down! Thought her mouth looked particularly freaky.
- This time around, I’m clearing out classrooms full of spectral professors. Eventually, it leads me to the summoning lab, where the war golem appears to have escaped. I follow his tracks up into the attic, past “Byblos, the Zombie Janitor,” and out onto the roof.
- Actually, that’s not what happened, because I tabbed out to write the above, and as I was doing that, another player went out onto the roof and apparently killed the golem. Even though I was inside, I still got credit and as a result the mission ended, I couldn’t go onto the roof, and no golem.
- Well, poo.
To Sir, With Love (action mission)
- We’re on to the last Montag mission, this one bouncing off a previous mission in which I discovered the wraith haunting the academy. This troubles Montag deeply, for he sees it as his responsibility — and he’s willing to die as part of a ritual to exorcise it. Annabel and Carter aren’t as keen on the idea, so I guess it’s up to me to find another way.
- “Another way” involves taking some of Montag’s blood, then performing a ritual involving said wraith and a whole lot of mirrors. Seems the goober likes to jump back into a mirror when it’s near death, so I have to smash the mirrors afterward and slowly but surely cut off its avenues of escape.
- Eventually I trick it into jumping into a slide projector instead of a mirror, trapping it. Good for me, good for Montag.
(With Update 1.11, I’m eager to see how the play experience in TSW has improved in the lower levels, so here we go again! You can follow my playthrough of The Secret World on Bio Break’s projects page!)
A Reasonable Man (action mission)
- We’re back with not-so-lovable curmudgeon Sam Krieg on top of his lighthouse. Guess he blows off steam by sniping zombies below. How long is he planning to stay here, by the way?
- “Do you ever do that? Keep going it serves absolutely no purpose?” Aren’t you the peppy optimist!
- LOVING the new map changes, by the way. Being able to see all of the quests/side quests is great, as is the ability to leap to an anima well (the anima-tion is pretty neat too!).
- Went to Darkside, bought myself a new blouse, and got back to work.
- First step? Grab some flares and light up zombies so Krieg can pick them off. That’s pretty normal compared to the next stage, where I am instructed to “collect half-eaten corpses.”
- Question: Why?
- Question: No, seriously, why?
- Question: Where am I storing said half-eaten corpses, my fanny pack?
- Question: Ew.
- OK, I guess the corpses are for… impaling them on stakes on a cliffside so that other zombies will see it and think, I don’t know, “Gee Howard, that looks AWESOME!” and then run off the cliff to their death. The logic in this quest does not make a lot of sense, but it is kind of funny to watch zombies jump eagerly off a cliff, so I’ll call it a wash.
- From there it’s pretty straight-forward: kill big zombies, kill boss zombie, then roll rock to plug hole leaking Filth. Oh, I’m sure that’ll hold. It’s a ROCK.
Shooting Filth in a Barrel (side mission)
- Brief time-out to rejigger a new build, this one using pistols/blood magic. As useful as blades are, I had the sound, animation, and melee focus. Plus, some healing might be useful!
- Oof, that was not a good idea. I kept getting curb-stomped with this build… AOE is now much weaker than it was pre-1.11 and even with DoTs and HoTs, I’m getting overrun by packs too easily. Maybe pistol/elementalism? Gonna be out of SP soon at this rate.
- Anyway, this mission is pretty much blowing up filth barrels that some idiot put all over the place. Because when you find a world-devouring substance, bottling it up for the natives is always a good idea.
Crime and Punishment (investigation mission)
- For our last mission with Sam Krieg, the writer opens up about not liking people… but finding their actions fascinating. He also pronounces the people of Solomon Island “evil” — something that I cannot deny, knowing what I do. Although I would counter that we’ve seen signs of good, of hope, of those not content to look the other way.
- We’re going to look into the case of one of the people whose actions Sam finds interesting, but for that we’re going to need to reverse engineer his trip to the lighthouse. A letter nearby tells of Sam’s car left abandoned nearby and a GPS that tried to kill him.
- This part is pretty clever. After I find the car’s GPS, I have to figure out where Sam came from by listening to the instructions, arranging them backward, and then tracing a route on the map to that point. It leads me to the town’s gas station.
- And it gets better! A photo in a trash can there shows Sam being hugged by a local blogger (the dour expression on Sam’s face is priceless) who scribbled the website address for his blog. And to there we go, because we need to get a security code for his house!
- The blog, Sam Krieg Sightings, has two clues. The first is that the blogger says his security codes come from Sam’s books. The second is that when you click on the covers on the blog, it shows the ISBNs. The Resident Horror is the one for us.
- As a side note, the blog makes for a quick and funny read!
- I go into the blogger’s “mancave,” which is devoid of said blogger but full of Sam Krieg books. One more password, onto his computer this time, and the mission completes while letting me peruse a few interesting files. Apparently the blogger — one of the game’s many Johns — fled the island. Somehow.
- It would be REALLY interesting if this was the Tokyo John, but I doubt it. I don’t think his leaving the island would give him enough time to do all of the things that Tokyo John is shown doing.
Wisped Away / Property of Innsmouth Academy (side missions)
- Both of these missions are near to each other and are very similar, involving killing wisps and breadcrumbing it to Innsmouth Academy. That suits my purposes, as I was heading there anyway!
Last night I patched TSW up to 1.11 to check out the “enhanced player experience” — quality of life improvements, in other words. There’s a LOT of angry debate on the forums over this patch (dumbing down for the filthy casuals, etc.), but I have to say that my early impressions are quite positive.
For starters, how about that new map? Not only can you now just click on an anima well to port there (a la Guild Wars 2’s waypoints), but the map has a ton more icons for side missions and whatnot. I am LOVING this. It’ll make zone completion so much easier.
Combat *seems* to be a bit easier, although that’s hard to say right now as I’m tinkering with a new build and trying to get a balance of AoE vs. single-target skills going on. The landscape seems less packed with mobs, so there’s more room to maneuver in fights.
I also checked out the new clothing vendors in London’s Darkside, which supposedly will change their wares on a daily basis. Bought myself a neat new blouse to celebrate.
But the best thing is seeing former and new players who were intimidated and/or turned off by the steep combat difficulty and tedious time-to-kill eagerly come back for the story. Combat isn’t TSW’s strong suit, the story and world is. More people need to experience that, and 1.11 will hopefully give them that chance.
So yes, I’m working on my play-every-mission project again, so expect a new post on that front soon!
OK, this has been bugging me for a while now: Why is The Secret World’s client so dang big?
Look at that up there — it’s nearly twice the size of SWTOR and the rest of my current roster. I mean, LOTRO? That’s five expansions, right there, and still under 20 gig. SWTOR has (or had) the world record for biggest voice recording project in a video game, and still it clocks in at well under 30 gigs. But TSW is a Godzilla of a client, stomping around at 44.5 gigs.
What’s the deal? There’s a lot of voice acting, sure, but nowhere near as much as SWTOR (or GW2, for that matter). Maybe it’s that SWTOR uses a lot of automated cutscene tricks whereas each one of TSW’s is hand-directed.
Is it just a much more detailed world? Because the world size is still fairly small, even four major zones (and a few minor ones) later.
Any idea? I’m just always somewhat aghast at this beast of a client size sitting on my hard drive.