Beyond the story content, most of the mobs are new. There are new variants of Filth, drones, the giant rat demon-like Oni, and even creepier surprises awaiting. The team also wondered what else it could do to add to the challenge and variety. Since Tokyo as a zone is content for players that have completed the main story and likely have trusted builds, some new strategic possibilities emerged in the AEGIS system.
The system is a way to harness damage and to obtain bonuses as well as extra stats. For example, a person that reaches Tokyo might be able to do about 10,000 damage with their build. Once they start being able to slot Aegis and gain points to upgrade them (using Filth Samples, which are mostly loot drops), extra damage bonuses of 5% here and there might not sound like much, but if a player is able to obtain some of the strongest gear, bonus damage output might reach 100%. Aegis comes in three different types: Demonic (red), Psychic (purple), and Cybernetic (blue). Many of the Filth you’ll encounter will have Aegis shields to take down. Some have more than one, and can regenerate them, so you’ll need to switch and be quick. There is a 4-second cooldown when switching Aegis before your abilities will work again, so you’ll have to time it right. For easy reference, you’ll see what you’re sing by the colorful rings on your arms.
You’ll have two Aegis weapon slots - main hand and off hand - and six Enhancers for your body. These work like elemental properties, and matching them to the type of creature you’re fighting will help you out a lot. Each type has different forms with varying stats, and even bear different corporate logos to show their origins. For example, both of the Demonic ones I had granted the same 5% type damage bonus, but one had a chance to heal me and the other had a chance to deal extra damage. When you slot one, they begin at 1.0, and you can upgrade them up to 1.3. AEGIS will be expanded in Issue 10 and again in Issue 11..
The devs made a decision to include Aegis in the UI, since the previous iteration required switching from inventory. That was deemed too bothersome and the new system was born. You can switch one or both right on the screen. Due to this easy access, the use of Aegis in PvP is now a real possibility.
Returning to the mission, we completed one as a group to get a taste of what players can expect. In a local bathhouse headed by one of the main leaders, we talked to a demon, an Oni with some unusual tastes. He tells of a missing squad of Oni and their leader out on a mission. Sounds like this will have a happy ending, right? We head over to investigate a car park, going down layer by layer, Oni corpses along the way. Suddenly, we find their leader impaled on a sword inside a car, mumbling about something called Gaki, who are “hungry” and “here” before dying. After battling some reanimated Oni, we met the Gaki - creepy little ghostly girls who should not be underestimated. Not only will they one-shot kill you if you look away or get too close as you work your way up. Also up there? The way out. There is more to this mission, and the rest, but you’ll have to see for yourself.
Getting Tokyo out there so that people can finally play it also leaves room for what might be next. The team really wants to go in and breathe new life into the game’s PvP. The systems currently in place haven’t changed much since launch, and those that hope for improvements will be happy to know that there are some plans coming along for after Tokyo wraps up. Potential changes in the works might also include mini game reward changes, and an upgrade path for gear, as well as the ability to upgrade from 10.4 gear to 10.5 through PvP.
The Secret World Issue 9: The Black Signal launches today and will be available as a three day member exclusive before being in the shop for all. There’s also collector’s edition with a new title, the Japanese school outfit, and the Mask of Zelani, Orochi Damage Inhibitor, and epic trinket bonus items.
Christina Gonzalez / Christina is a freelancer and contributor to MMORPG.com, where she writes the community-focused Social Hub column. You will also find her contributions at RTSGuru. Follow her on Twitter: @c_gonzalez