A lot changed in The Secret World once I made my way past Transylvania, past Issues 6-8, and into Tokyo. Progression up until that point felt very linear; I used skill points to equip better talismans and weapons and then I used my action points to improve my deck building potential. Talismans and weapons were dropped by mobs frequently enough that I was able to keep gear relevant to the content I was doing most of the time. It broadened quite a bit after Transylvania though when I began collecting custom QL10 gear but now that I’ve reached Tokyo I feel like I’m drowning in a list of things I need to upgrade.
This is where the game really separates the newly arrived from the veterans. I assumed that Tokyo and Issues 9-13 would be similar to the previous issues but instead, along with upgrading my custom gear for nightmare dungeons I also have AEGIS controllers to upgrade that use the same currency. I wasn’t expecting this and so now I’m torn between improving my controllers so that combat in Tokyo gets a little easier (and I’m assuming it’s required to have upgraded AEGIS gear for Tokyo dungeons) and continuing to upgrade my talismans and weapons at least to QL 10.4. And I haven’t even touched the augment system yet.
Compare my situation to that of a veteran, who would have likely entered Tokyo with gear already upgraded much further than my own. In Tokyo they would have still needed to upgrade the AEGIS controllers but it would be the only thing they needed to upgrade. I’m not complaining, nor do I think the answer is some kind of catch up mechanic, it’s just something I’ve thought about once I realized AEGIS was more than just a combat mechanic but a whole new upgrade treadmill. If you were playing the game before Issue 9 was released you’ll have a much different experience stepping into Tokyo than if you started the game for the first time sometime after the introduction of Tokyo. When these systems were introduced, they were designed to be experienced one at a time over a long period of time but as a new player they stack up rather quickly.
When I first reached Tokyo I was under the impression I would get through Issues 9-13 as quickly as I went through 6-8 and would easily be ready for Issue 14 like everyone else when it released. Now I’m thinking Tokyo will be a much slower experience (not a bad thing, mind you) and it may be much longer before I feel “caught up” to the current content. I’m finding the missions themselves to be a little more challenging as well, so much so in fact that I had to recruit some help to get through the first tier of an action mission given by the demon Inbeda. The main storyline has also included quests that are both long and often quite challenging. I will never enter a TSW parking lot again.
Basically I’ve had to reset my expectations for how long Tokyo will take to complete and how long it will be before I am able to play through new content upon its release. I don’t think I’ll be ready by Issue 14 but I’m hoping by the time we start hearing about 15 I’ll have completed Tokyo, finished upgrading my gear, and be well on my way to being (relatively) caught up with the longtime veterans. That is of course nothing to complain about, all it means is that there’s even more content available in this game than I had originally thought.
2 thoughts on “Tokyo and Progress in The Secret World”
On the augments: don’t put too much effort into that. It’s the grinding tool for those who have too much time on their hands. (At it’s introduction it was presented as something to “keep the top end players busy for years”, which is as thin a veil of business speech can be for “grind”. )
The only exception might be the first (green) augment in damage and healing, as they give a fixed bonus on attack rating and heal rating, so they equal a free purple signet. As those signets cost a few millions of pax each, the augments there might be a good investment.
“Compare my situation to that of a veteran, who would have likely entered Tokyo with gear already upgraded much further than my own. ”
I think you overestiamte us old guys. Mind you, BBs flow much faster now than they did in old times. When i entered Tokyo, i had one custom weapon from the storyline, and custom talismans for head and majors. The minor talismans and the second weapon were loot at QL10.2, and even most of my customs were 10.4. After all, for 10.5 you have had to beat the New York raid and win the loot roll for the one most valuable drop there. (I very much prefer the present system, the roll for astral fuse or criterion upgrade gave this small part of the game the bad taste of other raid games out there. )
Also Aegis upgraded harder at that time, you couldn’t just buy it with BBs, you had to farm sequins of sunrise from the missions in Tokyo. One mission meant one sequin, 40 of them needed for one upgrade.
So yes, it was a painful grindwall when it was installed. But it was actually what the community asked for. Both Augments and Aegis were not made “out of fun”, but because the community asked for more “progression systems”, which is just another term for timesinks and grind.
On the positive: you now see the slow grind Tokyo seems to present. But unless you want to do dungeons, you don’t really need that much of upgrading there. Just get one controller up a bit, fill up the empty capacitor slots and you are already in good shape. (I think you already did that. ) And when you then do some missions there, you might find that the containers you get for finishing each and any mission not only can contain pax and research data, but also useful upgrades, BBs and container keys. For the bosses from the container keys, you might be well advised to have a helping hand along at the first time, but doing them is well worth it. In “worst case” you get like 20 BBs, in better cases you might also get some gadgets from them, which you can’t get in any other way.
Outside of technical terms, i really like the storytelling in Tokyo, and i am looking forward how it turns out for you. In a way, i find issue 13 a bit weaker than the others, but that’s probably as it’s mostly a “wrapping up loose ends, leading over to the next part” section. On the other hand, while FC reports that the side missions were discontinued as they sold badly, i really love some of the missions in those, and can only advise to also get them.
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That’s good to know, it sounds like a lot has changed in TSW that I take for granted, like the universal currency, BB. I just assumed that gear would have been just as accessible for players before issue 9 was released and you’d all be in 10.4 or something. Still, I think it’s different to receive the content one issue at a time with opportunity to “grind” in between than it is to have it all piled on at once.
But really, this is the same issue with end game in any MMO. If you start at the beginning of an expansion or content cycle things usually take longer overall but can be accomplished over a long period of time. If you come in late it’s quicker but you’re cramming it in all at once.
I’m still on the fence about the Tokyo story. Kaidan as a zone is in my opinion one of the least interesting in the game, it feels all very similar (granted, it’s also much smaller) and I haven’t liked the characters as much as the other main story NPCs. I am intrigued by the bunny rabbit guy though and just entered the Fear Nothing facility so it is getting better.