I’ve been in Tokyo for about a week now, but I have only been able to complete a handful of missions due a lot of group content with my new guild and time spent in other games like Black Desert and Blade and Soul. Nevertheless, that’s been long enough for me to get a taste of the dreaded AEGIS system and I’ve got to say… I kind of like it.
For those unfamiliar with the additional combat mechanic introduced with Issue #9, the AEGIS system provides the player with color coded controllers that attach to each weapon; red, blue, and purple. Mobs in Tokyo have the expected health bar but each one also has an AEGIS shield that must be damaged first before dps will affect the targets regular health pool. The colored controllers on your weapons must match the color of the shield on the mob and some mobs have layers of shields, each a different color and all of which must be destroyed and in order.
Practically speaking this means each of your weapons will have a red, blue, and purple controller (you are only given enough for one weapon at the start but receive the others as mission rewards later on) with a hot key that allows you to cycle through them independently for each weapon. When you encounter a mob you’ll have to match your weapon color to their shield color and deplete the HP of the shield followed by the HP of the mob. Not only that, but so far I’ve found the mobs in Tokyo to be much more demanding than previous areas of the game, meaning there is a lot of strafing and dodging to stay out of telegraphs while chipping away at AEGIS shields and switching to the correct color on mobs with multiple shields.
I can understand why some people aren’t fans, I mean it does increase the time to kill and it is one more thing to fuddle with during combat. Perhaps over time I’ll start to feel the same way, but for now it’s upped the challenge of combat in TSW to a point where I’m eagerly looking to pick a fight. Not too much of a fight mind you; at this point with my build and gear I can handle two mobs, maybe three but any more than that and I’m toast.
But that’s one of the things I like about The Secret World. The missions are already longer affairs than the average MMO quest and as such I just have the mindset of hunkering down for the long haul once I start. It’s not unusual for me to die during a mission, often several times. Overcoming a challenge, whether it is a stealth based sabotage mission or a tough fight, that’s just what I expect from the game. In a way, Tokyo and the AEGIS system have brought the difficulty of combat back up on par with the challenges you face with investigation and sabotage missions, something I haven’t really felt since Solomon Isle.