This was originally posted on QueueTimes on 15 July 2015. It is being re-posted here to archive the work I have done in case the original website ever shuts down.
For those not in-the-know, the Developers over at The Secret World have started putting together DevStreams(called The Streaming Ones) every so often, and talk about things like past content and how they designed it, as well as upcoming content. As it is a new LiveStream over at Funcom’s official Twitch channel, it’s still sussing out its format. Regardless, it is always entertaining and informative.
On Friday, July 10th, Lead Designer Romain Amiel and Lead Systems Designer Andrew Ryker got together and did a big reveal on the next issue release for The Secret World–Issue #12–entitled To The Dark Tower Below. The issue will be released in two parts–the first part coming mid-August, and the second part a “few weeks later”. The Issue itself will be focused around the Orochi company and what’s beneath the tower.
There will be two dungeons released in this Issue in two parts. The first dungeon is called the Manufactory, and we will encounter three bosses there. We got glimpses of the first two bosses (a tank, and Orochi balls), but we don’t know who the third one is. Just that we have met them before, and they are not happy with us at all.
The second dungeon delves into the bowels of the Tower and explores the experimentation that Orochi had been performing, such as Vampires and Lycanthropes. We got a taste of some concept art from both dungeons, and a “dungeon delve” of the Manufactory.
Both dungeons will also be available in both Elite and Nightmare (aside from Normal), and the Elite version will include new weapon skins, as well as QL 10.5 Blue gear to help get folks ready for the new content.
Raids and Lairs
There will be three free raids available with Issue 12 to everyone who owns the base game. There were also a bunch of exploit fixes, reward updates, and difficulty updates. The New York raid will remain unchanged, and the Eidolon raid will no longer need the puzzle pieces to unlock it. The Flappy raid will be returning as ten-man raid content (which had the viewers excited beyond belief)! The Nightmare versions of these three raids will be specifically available to those that purchase Issue 12.
Lairs are going to now provide extra bags and rewards for all participants to get more players involved. Those with the Lair keys will be able to summon an extra boss and personally receive more items from said bosses. The Devs are doing this in an effort to get more people interested in obtaining the keys.
The TL;DR is: All current currencies (excluding PAX) will be turning into Black Bullion. The Devs want to streamline what players do, (whether it be raids, revisiting old content, etc.) and help encourage the “play how you want to play” attitude.
They will, however, be adding in one new currency called the Mark of the Pantheon for endgame content, which will be the “new Black Bullion”. They will also be enstating currency caps both weekly and overall (total). All excess currency past the caps will be converted into packs, though no information yet on what those packs will entail.
Gear will be getting a boost as well! The cap will no longer be 10.5, but will instead increase to QL 10.7 in the first half of the Issue, and from 10.7 to QL 11 in the second half of the Issue with Nightmares. Glyphs, however, will remain at current QL and are not upgradeable.
Various PvP updates were also mentioned that will set the stage for Issue 13 where there will be more PvP updates. There will be an increase in powers in Equal Footing, putting players at approximately QL 11. To provide more interactivity and participation in PvP, there will no longer be passive boosts from holding objectives, and instead be approximately five-minute refreshes with different Missions to complete in Fusang. This, in turn, helps combat the AFK-PvP phenomenon. Updates to Venice (purple) gear were also covered, with changes turning it into customizable dungeon gear, putting everyone on the same level gear-wise.
New and Updated Features
There were a plethora of new and updated features introduced during the DevStream. These features will be free for everyone, and improve the quality of life for players.
First, the Social and Looking For Group (LFG) windows will be getting improvements, mainly so players begin to use them. You will be able to add specificly what you are looking for by using comments (e.g.: 10.5 LF18/18). It can be used for dungeons, cabal (guild) recruitment, parties, RP events, etc.
There will be a Dungeon Finder added in during the second half of Issue #12, allowing you to queue specifically for the roles you would like to fill, and the dungeons (and difficulty levels) you would like to complete.
The Devs are also removing dungeon lockouts for Nightmare dungeons to allow people to “play the way you want to play”. Want to grind out your Black Bullion up to the cap? Go for it! Have only one or two days available to play and want to do as much as you can during that time? It’s all yours to pursue!
A new feature, called Challenges are also going to be added in Issue #12. They will encourage people to do certain acts over others–sort of like rotating dailies, or the contract system in WildStar. The rewards from these Challenges will be tied to Pantheon Marks and Black Bullion.
The build for Issue #12 will be coming to Test Live soon, and the devs would like to hear your feedback on all the new and updated features–especially all of the balancing that has gone into reworking the raids, dungeons, and PvP. So be sure to check it out and provide feedback!