Finishing all of the missions in Transylvania left me with a sense of uncertainty as to what to pursue next and how to continue improving my gear. I’m still trying to figure out the latter but I have started down a definite path with the former, although it took me a while to figure it out because the game sends you in a different direction. After completing the final story mission for Transylvania at the Templar headquarters a quick travel to Agartha prompted a new story mission for my character. Part of my confusion as to where to go next was this quest; I didn’t know what purpose it served or where it would lead so I didn’t know if I should complete it before or after tackling Issues 5-8.
The mission led me to a place called the Sunken Library where the council of Venice resides. I was asked by the council to complete a trial (or trials?) before I could move forward working with them. These trials were actually a collection of instanced scenarios that I believe were meant to test whether my gear and build were suitable for Tokyo. I didn’t figure this out until after trying and failing a couple of them, but once I did it was clear that I needed to play through the Issues preceding Tokyo and work on my gear through dungeons or whatever else I need to do to improve it.
One problem I’m having with The Secret World right now are the various systems involved with improving your character’s power. From Kingsmouth to Carpathian Fangs power levels increased by obtaining new pieces of gear with a higher QL and in some cases by adding glyphs to talismans or weapons that don’t already have them. By Transylvania gear included signet slots but with so few signets dropping from mobs or appearing as quest rewards I largely ignored their presence during my time in the area. So increasing power was relatively straight forward throughout Solomon Isle, Egypt, and Transylvania.
However now, I see that there is QL 10.1, 10.2, etc. gear and glyphs and from what I’ve read there are ways to upgrade these things but in game I have yet to come across anything explaining the process and even from the external resources I’ve read I’m still a little foggy on what to do. Additionally, I recently unlocked an augment wheel which modifies the abilities I’m using (from what I understand) but accessing them comes from drops and using them requires a large amount of AP.
Suddenly I have all these new systems to figure out for improving my character’s power level but without adequate in game explanation for the gearing process and not nearly enough AP to start the augments. I still have a large portion of my ability wheel to complete as well as auxiliary weapons (another additional system) that will require a lot of AP to utilize. With how confused I am already with where to begin, it’s no wonder the AEGIS system was not well received. The last thing this game needed was another layer of complexity to deck building and power increases.
For now I went ahead and started up Issue 5 about Tyler Freeborn and so far it’s been quite interesting. The return to Blue Mountains was actually a welcome experience as I’ve been missing the Solomon Isle zones for some time. I’m hoping by the time I work my way through Issue 8 I’ll have a better idea on the gearing process and will be on my way to completing the required scenarios to access Tokyo.
And Speaking of Solomon Isle, I also started a couple of alts this weekend to experience the story from the perspective of the two remaining factions (my main is a Templar). I don’t plan on investing much time into these characters just yet, especially with the amount of AP I’ll need to progress my main character, but on those evenings when I’d like a more casual session revisiting old missions and zones I’ll be playing my new Illuminati and Dragon. I’ve completed the tutorial portion for both of them, and I’ve progressed through Kingsmouth with both enough to have all my account bound items available and the frankenchopper quest completed which grants them the sprint VI speed boost as well. And can I just say how much I’ve enjoyed seeing Sherriff Helen Bannerman again?
So far my reaction to both the Illuminati and the Dragon is that I’m glad my main is a Templar. However of the two I do think playing as an Illuminati will at least be interesting; the Dragon thus far have been bland and cliché with an introduction to the faction that was unnecessarily vulgar. Nevertheless, while I made little forward momentum this weekend in The Secret World I was able to at least determine a direction. My goals now are to finish Issues 5-8 on my main and hopefully come to a better understanding on how to improve my gear and to slowly work my way through Kingsmouth again as an Illuminati.