WARNING - POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD. PROCEED WITH CAUTION!
Issue 11 is ready to be unleashed on The Secret World later today for members and on Saturday for everyone else (thanks, Po_gg) and is something that is going to be very special for players. This is the story finale of the Tokyo storyline as well as the conclusion the first major story arc since launch. In fact, Lead Designer Romain Amiel and Tor Egil Andersen called it the end of “Season 1” of The Secret World, an incredibly long season that has lasted since launch in June of 2012. Everything from the first moments since creating a character and first hearing the voices and seeing the bomb going off in Tokyo will be wrapped up in Issue 11.
In Issue 10, players found some familiar characters along the way. They met up with Sarah again and ended up in Tokyo in the bomb’s aftermath. Players also ran into “John”, the person who was brainwashed to set off a bomb the Metro. He is no longer quite human and has become the black signal. He communicated with players through anything electronic. He spoke via radio, made lights flicker in the streets, etc. At first players thought him one of the “bad ones” but, in actuality, once he understood that player characters had had their own run in with Lilith and he gained respect for the character.
During the interim between Issues 10 and 11, John has worked to keep Lilith imprisoned in the Orochi Tower believing players can defeat her. He stands ready to open the gates for to the Tower when he can figure out how.
So ended Issue 10.
With Issue 11, many things will be resolved. Players will see the tangible consequence of their decisions throughout the game at end of each region. All choices have been dynamically recorded and the impact of those choices will see a personal benefit at the conclusion of Issue 11. Funcom has other things planned for later where choices really matter that could end up with game changing effects.
Players Reaping the Whirlwind in the Orochi village near the tower where many of the workers once lived. Knowing it is the tower that needs to be accessed, it’s necessary to access the subway tunnels where subfactions have already started the fight and are there to help move players forward through the tunnel.
Don’t think that these tunnels are a smooth ride either. They are filled with traps that require mechanics and careful navigation and a lot of thought to complete. The mechanics of the puzzles and traps will challenge even the most astute player.
By the end of the tunnels, essentially the first mission, the Tower opens for players to enter. On arrival, the sub-factions are primed to unite around a common foe. Players will be treated to a great cinematic featuring Daimon Kiyota, Leader of the Korinto Kai, Gozen, Leader of the Jingu Clan, and Inbeda, Leader of the House in Exile.
Once the lobby is secure, players are sent on a mission to reach the top of the tower.
“We spent a lot of time on Orochi to make a lot of floors. All of Orochi’s sub-companies are represented and all eight of them are present throughout all floors in the tower. In fact, each company “owns” two to three floors, with twenty one total floors to work through to get to the Boardroom and the Penthouse."
All twenty one floors are not required for access. To complete the mission and arrive at the end of the Issue, players will need to finish any three levels, one each Alpha, Beta and Omega, before reaching the top. Alpha floors come first and will yield a key to the Beta floors. Beta keys allow access to the Omega floors that ultimately rewards players with the key to the Boardroom.
Each company has its own elevator that takes the party to the associated alpha floor. There is unique lore for every company and on each floor. Each first floor adds a unique piece of lore, with the rest of the lore present on each of the remaining floors of the same company.
All levels have a similar layout, something like a spiral. Each also has its own story and its own unique feel. Some may be populated with happy workers, some where all are dead, some are abandoned, while still others are simply darkened with workers gone for the day. Alphas are combat floors, with 15 encounters or so and will take ten to fifteen minutes to complete. Beta floors are considered "anything goes" and might require sabotage, puzzles or other things. Omegas are a mash up of the other two that ultimately ends in a boss fight.
Each floor is purposely designed to be unique so players don’t get bored. Each has its own palettes, different activities and mechanics to give it its own unique feel. There are allusions to past events, places and items….and other things, like a throwback to a classic game or…something. Thematically, players will find locations that are centered around horror or humor or any one of a number of other genres.