The latest Game Director Letter for The Secret World has details on how Issues 8 and 9 are progressing, with some news on the Scenario system and Tokyo.
Issue 8 focuses on players trying to earn their Field Agent certification from the Council of Venice before they’re allowed to venture into Tokyo, and the tests for this come in the form of the wonderful-sounding Scenario system. Scenarios are instances (either for solo or group play) that have randomised elements, to keep things fresh and unexpected.
For instance: in the letter, Joel Bylos (the game director, in case you hadn’t worked that out) narrates two of his experiences when trying to herd survivors into the Hotel Wahid. Once, a sandstorm blew in, reducing visibility and forcing him to take cover to avoid damage… but the survivors weren’t so lucky. On another occasion, half of the survivors he was trying to protect turned out to be cultists, who began murdering the rest of the survivors. Which sounds fantastic.
Oh, and Scenarios will be available in Normal, Elite, and Nightmare difficulties, the latter of which are built for players with the highest level of gear in the game. Good luck with that.
Completing Scenarios earns you Base Augments, which you can turn into Augment Items. These can then be consumed (along with a huge amount of AP) to learn or upgrade an Augment skill. Augments can be attached to any of the abilities on your hotbar, and provide a variety of bonuses; some might offer a general buff to your character, while others might just improve whatever skill it’s slotted into, and learning Augments boosts the amount of AP you can store at any given time. There are 200 of the buggers, so good luck getting all of them.
So that’s Issue 8. Issue 9, on the other hand, focuses on Tokyo itself, with new monsters (requiring knowledge and tactics, regardless of gear), new mechanics, new quests, “mindbending investigations” based on Japanese custom, myth, and legends… and, obviously, new characters. Like Inbeda, an Oni mercenary wearing a leopardskin bathrobe, or Ricky Pagan, a rockabilly who decided to hang around during the apocalyptic events in Tokyo to defend his favourite cherry tree. Yeaaaaah.
And we’re still not done. Besides all of that, there’ll be a new Event running for two weeks starting this weekend – The Gilded Rage – which will task players with hunting down another of Gaia’s defence mechanisms that’s gone on a rampage through the available regions of the world. And there’s a competition for you to submit your own costume designs, too; Funcom will be picking their ten favourites and then the community can vote on which will be added into the game. You can read up on the submission process for that here.
Whew. And I think that’s everything. Busy times ahead for The Secret World, clearly.