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Mycroft Holmes
Mar 26, 2010

To the Moon! For Queen and Country!




Hello, my name is Mycroft Holmes and alongside my co-commentator Falconier111 and editor Pilchenstein, I'll be doing a let's play of Secret World Legends, an occult based MMO.

What is this?
This is Secret World Legends, a reboot of The Secret World as a free-to-play MMO. They made combat in this version not terrible!

What sort of LP is this?
This is an informative LP in which we will be going through all the single-player content of the MMO. This means no dungeons, nor raids, and no lairs.

Spoilers?
Feel free to discuss lore about places we are in or have been to. By the third area, all spoiler restrictions are lifted.

Tutorial
London
Kingsmouth pt 1
Kingsmouth pt2
Kingsmouth pt3

Mycroft Holmes fucked around with this message at 03:39 on Jun 1, 2021

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rastilin
Nov 6, 2010


I'm glad to see this being played. I got as far as the second area in "The Secret World", and tried to get back into it when it turned into "Legends"... but at that point it was grindier and less fun than before so I was never able to get any further. The fact that it tries to be "dark" is a bit of a turn off, though it probably hit a bit differently before the lockdowns started.

The idea is so very clever.. but the execution is a bit lacking.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



I got through the story in the original Secret World, and bounced pretty hard off the group content and endgame. Never played the Tokyo expansion or Legends.

Interested to see where this goes.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

I’m Falconier111, co-commentator and resident lore repository. The Secret World is a game about the occult – not just demons and witches, but the concept in its deepest, etymological sense: that which is hidden. TSW is packed to the gills with legends, secrets, codes, and mysteries, many borrowed from real folklore. Heap in conspiracy theories, magic, and some wild worldbuilding and you get a heady stew that fans have spent the better part of a decade puzzling out.

You can’t get more into the spirit of the game than by trotting out your own stories and theories. As the LP goes on, I’ll elaborate on some of the stuff we bring up during the videos in the thread, writing out loreposts and linking them from here. But one person does not a conspiracy theory make! With the poster’s permission, I’ll also link to any loreposts I see, whether they apply to the game (without spoiling anything) or the real world. Taste and see!

Falconier111 fucked around with this message at 22:36 on May 7, 2021

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




I love the setting for this game (even if its a bit too gloomy at times) but my god do I loathe everything related to mechanics.
I managed to get early into the Tokyo zone, on my second playthrough, before dropping it because the extra mechanics there were a bit of an extra chore over the dire combat mechanics.

And then Secret Worlds became Legends and all my progress got wiped and I tried the combat tutorial and found the revamped mechanics to be not much better I never bothered with it.

Still, the setting is fantastic. Just wish it was attached to a better game.
Sorta like APBs character generation and emblem creation when talking about F2P MMO's that never went anywhere.

MH Knights
Aug 4, 2007



I played TSW way back when but got stuck in the "New England" zone and gave up. The zone went on for way too long for my tastes. I went with the Dragon faction and got a laugh about how my character was uh..."Initiated" into the faction.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Yeah that one is special from what I've heard. I just went with Templars for my first go and then the Illuminati (or similar) for my second, more successful, run.

Also Egypt was a far, far longer drag than New England. Which is a shame since Transylvania is really good. For the most part. But that's getting a bit ahead of things I feel.

Mycroft Holmes
Mar 26, 2010

To the Moon! For Queen and Country!


London

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Speaking of the Stealth missions there were plenty of them. The moment I saw the mines I went "Oh boy" as I recognized that from the gameplay area it references. But yeah, they're always really badly done.

Also yeah, that whole mythos beast fight was definitely new because the previous tutorial was a subway segment featuring the characters in the first loading screen.
Also related to the whole thing in Tokyo that the D.I. mentions in the opening cutscene for the London part.

Also I'm pretty sure I did Shotgun/Elemental back when I played, mostly because I kept hearing how effective it was.

Cooked Auto fucked around with this message at 02:09 on May 8, 2021

MadDogMike
Apr 9, 2008

Can I come out and play?

MH Knights posted:

I played TSW way back when but got stuck in the "New England" zone and gave up. The zone went on for way too long for my tastes. I went with the Dragon faction and got a laugh about how my character was uh..."Initiated" into the faction.

Yeah, that scene was an... interesting choice, though talking with that professor guy was kind of interesting in the Dragon intro. But yeah, combat was terrible (not just being bad at it, but having literally no way to even understand it before getting dumped into the game and getting mauled a bunch by basic mooks), so my one attempt died very early. When I can't even tell HOW to play your game you've got issues. Too bad, the lore seemed kind of intriguing, although I got the general impression no matter what factions you worked for you were with the bad guys (against the even worse guys, admittedly).

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Then there was also the thing that combat lacked any kind of feedback to it, and always felt stiff and joyless. It had a certain rhythm to it based on whatever powers and abilities you had, but for the most part it was just that you pressed a button and something happened with some semi-flashy effect to it.
Something that hasn't really changed with the revamp, it lacks something to make it look or feel fun.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

Cooked Auto posted:

Then there was also the thing that combat lacked any kind of feedback to it, and always felt stiff and joyless. It had a certain rhythm to it based on whatever powers and abilities you had, but for the most part it was just that you pressed a button and something happened with some semi-flashy effect to it.
Something that hasn't really changed with the revamp, it lacks something to make it look or feel fun.

Supposedly the selling point is positional combat; the game throws out area of effect attacks all the time and you can move around them without having to stop to use abilities. It's… Arguable how much of an impact that actually makes.

Also, in the first video I called Revenants “English vampires”, and while from a folklore perspective that’s a reasonable thing to say, from a modern pop culture perspective that’s complete nonsense. So, let’s take a look at that.

Pretty much every culture has myths about the vengeful dead. They vary in details from place to place and some versions get pretty wild – Penanggalans lift their heads off their bodies and go hunting for babies, flying through the night with their shriveled organs trailing behind them – but they usually have a few things in common:
  • Well, uh, they’re dead. Usually recently and/or traumatically dead, otherwise they’d have moved on already.
  • Something that happened to them upon their death gave them unnatural and disturbing features and abilities. If they look pretty, it’s a disguise.
  • They make things around them less. This can mean just killing their victims, but usually they do something that either damages their victims (consume a specific body part, taint or steal their soul, take their sanity away) or the natural world in general.
  • They’re both malevolent and proactive – they’ll seek out victims on their own initiative and without provocation. Even those bound to places or buildings attack anyone that swings by.
  • They’re mostly active during the night. They may be vulnerable to sunlight, or they may just like to hide. If they can go out during the day, they’re probably unusually powerful.
  • They’re associated with a specific place, community, or group of people important to them; some target specific individuals or travel around, but even those tend to stick to people or places they knew. Sometimes they’re bound to buildings or the sites of major events; usually, though, they’re bound to a group of people, generally whatever community they belonged to while alive.
  • Though they might be borderline invulnerable to anyone who doesn’t know how to deal with them, they can be foiled or killed without outside authorities getting involved. Like, maybe they’ll have to call in somebody to deal with a curse or something, but any individual monster is vulnerable to the kinds of tools and techniques an ordinary peasant could use.
Many vengeful dead break one criteria or even two (especially given how details change from story to story), but for the most part those rules hold together no matter what region or era you’re talking about. The English revenant is a dead member of a community that torments its former neighbors at night with violence, noise, and disease; it can be killed by hacking the corpse apart in the day with a shovel. The Indian bhoot often haunts specific places and targets former family members (they like to go after their exes apparently), contaminates milk with its essence, and shapeshifts, with only its backwards feet, nasal voice, and habit of floating giving it away; you can ward it off with iron or salt and exorcise it with a modified funeral ritual. The Greek vrykolakas eats the livers of its neighbors and swells like a balloon from all the flesh it consumes until someone cuts it apart. The modern Western ghost haunts a place where it died (usually suddenly and tragically), breaking interlopers mentally or physically by warping reality around them. Even pop-culture zombies apply. Dead? Yep. Disturbing features and abilities? They’re walking corpses that never tire and take frightening amounts of punishment. Symbolically defile their victims? They eat their brains and spread the curse. Malevolent and proactive? They hunt. Active during the night? They’re active during the day, too, but since they never sleep the protagonists always have to hide after sunset and hope they don’t find them. Killable? You gotta shoot them in the head. Hell, even though they might seem to target everyone and everywhere indiscriminately, look at how writers structure stories around them: what’s going on out of sight rarely matters to the story unless it directly affects the protagonists. They fit the bill.

And, of course, so do the vampires of Eastern Europe. You can find whole books on the subject elsewhere, but basically there was a massive vampire craze that swept Eastern Europe in the early-to-mid-1700s, and English-speaking writers started producing fiction inspired by them at the tail end of that period. Romantic and Gothic writers got their hands on them and played their condition for tragedy because that’s kind of what they did, and that mixed with a reputation for hypnotizing their victims and fetishizing people who look like corpses to turn them from nightmare monsters to romantic villains. Add in time, shifting social norms, mass media, and bondage, and you get our familiar sexful fuckpires, largely unmoored from their origins. It’s a part of why everything vampire story needs to spend screen time establishing weaknesses – they’ve gone through so many stages of evolution you need to pin down where your versions fall along that line. When I called Revenants English vampires, I was aiming more towards the original folklore than this modern pop-culture version.

Instead, I implied the evil crow man we blasted off a steeple really fucks

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Falconier111 posted:

Supposedly the selling point is positional combat; the game throws out area of effect attacks all the time and you can move around them without having to stop to use abilities. It's… Arguable how much of an impact that actually makes.

I will admit combat in TSW was a bit more mobile than others MMO's I've played. Mostly because there are, as you say, being far more AOE's being thrown around by pretty much every mob you fight.
But at the same time that doesn't do much when combat lacks impact. From what I can remember the hit sounds were weak or barely there and the mobs just kept on attacking until they died and didn't really react to anything you did.

One fun thing to note about Eastern European vampires is that people who were werewolves usually turned into vampires after death.
Which would've had some interesting implications a zone we'll (hopefully) see much later.

Regallion
Nov 11, 2012



I would recommend an amendment to the rules - while elite dungeons, elite raids and all of the lairs are irrelevant to the nature of this LP, several dungeons follow up or close certain storylines, so they would otherwise abruptly stop.
As for raids, a casual raid does have a bit of a story to it, so it might be worth showing off.

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."


Ah, The Secret World, the only MMO that ever came close to being as enjoyable as City of Heroes for me. I played the original version back when it was buy-to-play, so I can't speak to how Legends works, but I recall the old combat system being fairly similar to Guild Wars (you stuck a bunch of abilities on your hotbar and the general goal was to synergize effects and make a loop of Click Buttons). It wasn't good, but it also wasn't what I was there for. I had a ton of fun with the writing (also the dress-up, TSW has a ton of clothes without needing to spend a dime and I'm a sucker for robust dress-up options), and enjoyed the puzzle missions where you actually needed real-world knowledge to solve them. Wasn't a fan of the platforming/stealth missions because, like most MMOs, the movement controls were not as precise as one might like for that kind of content, and there often weren't clear indications of the line between "safe area" and "instant death area".

That said I had a great time in the original zones and the first few expansions, but Tokyo was where Funcom caved in to the "hardcore gamers" and ramped up the difficulty of the combat significantly (not trying to start a debate, but I was personally not a fan), and it's like, why? The whole selling point of The Secret World is that it has a stronger emphasis on non-combat gameplay, and then they go and actively try to push away players to whom that would appeal. So, I stopped playing, but, maybe I'll give Legends a try sometime, if they really revamped the combat to be better. Then again, I can't say I love the idea of having to start over, since it looks like, aside from transferring some cosmetic items, you otherwise lose everything about your old characters since it's new servers and such (I suppose since the quests don't look like they line up 1:1, they couldn't really make character transfers work).

Pilchenstein
May 17, 2012

So your plan is for half of us to die?



Hot Rope Guy

EclecticTastes posted:

Tokyo was where Funcom caved in to the "hardcore gamers" and ramped up the difficulty of the combat significantly (not trying to start a debate, but I was personally not a fan), and it's like, why?
I think the horseshit combat in Tokyo was entirely to try and slow players down so the devs could catch up with content production, kind of like how the previous update wanted you to run a thousand lovely scenarios to earn the "certification" required to be allowed to visit Tokyo (which they started basically giving away once Tokyo went live lol). Anyway the AEGIS system didn't survive the relaunch, to almost universal rejoicing from the playerbase

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Oh thank gently caress for that since I did not like it at all and just found it an extra bother on top of an already clunky system.

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."


Pilchenstein posted:

I think the horseshit combat in Tokyo was entirely to try and slow players down so the devs could catch up with content production, kind of like how the previous update wanted you to run a thousand lovely scenarios to earn the "certification" required to be allowed to visit Tokyo (which they started basically giving away once Tokyo went live lol). Anyway the AEGIS system didn't survive the relaunch, to almost universal rejoicing from the playerbase

That is very welcome news, the aegis system seemed interesting on the surface, but quickly proved tedious and lovely. I actually just got done logging into Original Secret World and selling literally everything my character possessed to buy a final handful of clothing items. I'd bought out literally the entire stock at Pangaea back when I was actively playing (the "main" clothing shop in terms of visibility, though actually the least expensive), as well as a healthy portion of the clothes sold in the train station, so my dressing room will be nice and full when I start up SWL (plus, I'd used leftover points from buying expansions to get a few bits of Real Money Clothes that I'll be happy to see again). Actually, I only just today learned there's a clothing shop in the Haitian market I never even noticed, so I'll likely buy them out before I resume acquiring everything from the absolute thieves in Ealdwich Station.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




There was? poo poo, I only knew about the main ones that I bought most of the interesting stuff from.
And nabbed a few things from the real money store with e-money I got from something or when I bought the upgrade pack to get all the expansions. It's been a while since I played it. I know I did the transfer but I honestly have no idea how much of that survived.


This was like the last outfit, out of many, that I had before I stopped playing. I was very good at taking screenshots while playing this because I always end up doing that whenever I enjoy the writing.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



To chime in on the lore, I also like that TSW - bearing in mind I only played the original - started with zombies. Now, I've come to loathe zombies as enemies in games, but in this case I think TSW makes them work really well for reasons I suspect the next video will show. Everyone knows what zombies are, and if you're into urban fantasy you probably figure you know what's going on here. Not... quite.

That feeling of "Not... quite" with TSW's story and lore was something I loved about the original, as an assault rifle/blood magic main, even if I wound up bouncing pretty hard off the endgame and dropped out before the Tokyo expansion.

I can also confirm that that big monster in Manhattan was in the original - in the first raid released for the game, Manhattan Exclusion Zone.


Edit: I did like that if you dug into the lore of the Illuminati, they're currently based in America but the group was started and originally based in Egypt, until the Templars kicked them out. And when they were exiled to the New World, they picked up a lot of know-how and magic from various Native American (including Central and South American) cultures.

Cythereal fucked around with this message at 01:37 on May 10, 2021

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."


Cooked Auto posted:

There was? poo poo, I only knew about the main ones that I bought most of the interesting stuff from.
And nabbed a few things from the real money store with e-money I got from something or when I bought the upgrade pack to get all the expansions. It's been a while since I played it. I know I did the transfer but I honestly have no idea how much of that survived.

I'm not even sure the transfer tool even works so far. I'm still getting the game set up, but on the website, the "confirm" button is just greyed out after I click it, with no real acknowledgement that it did what it was supposed to. Once I've gotten a character going, I'll have to check and see if I need to file a support ticket.

Pilchenstein
May 17, 2012

So your plan is for half of us to die?



Hot Rope Guy

As far as I know the transfer still works but you don't get the stuff until you reach Agartha.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Didn't realize you could apparently still do the transfer, even this late. I did it back when they first announced. Then I did part of the combat tutorial, was very unimpressed and noped out of the game.

Pilchenstein
May 17, 2012

So your plan is for half of us to die?



Hot Rope Guy

Cooked Auto posted:

Didn't realize you could apparently still do the transfer, even this late. I did it back when they first announced.
I think it was initially meant to be a time limited thing but there were posts about it working on the official forums last year when people started playing during lockdown.

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."


Pilchenstein posted:

As far as I know the transfer still works but you don't get the stuff until you reach Agartha.

The website is extremely finicky about your browser, I actually had to download Firefox and that was what finally got the transfer to go through. That said, I'm actually pretty disappointed by what I found when I got into the game. For one thing, it doesn't look like anyone is actually playing aside from Mycroft, I think I encountered maybe five other players while I was scouring the hub areas for lore honeycombs instead of following the story. It's a drat good thing I transferred over all my clothes, too, because now basically everything costs some nonsense currency you only get drip-fed through daily missions (one of like twelve friggin' currencies, only one of which even involves real money, I thought they unified the bullshit currencies in the original TSW to solve this kind of problem). Also, the combat changes are kind of a wash, it's just a different kind of lovely now. Oh, and all the interesting, if kind of hard to find, shops and vendors were replaced with basically a single extremely contrived-feeling mall in the middle of Agartha, making the game feel that much less immersive and more artificial. Maybe it'll improve as I go, but so far it just seems like it's kind of worse in every way compared to the original incarnation (Tokyo notwithstanding).

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Oh yeah, I had forgotten about the currency thing, and then I think there was a loyalty thing too. Or maybe that was for the original game they added later, can't remember.
But yeah, that's F2P MMO's in a nutshell I feel in that they need various drip feed mechanics to keep people playing or shelling out money for it to keep it going.
Frankly they should've kept it at the Guild Wars model and just slashed the price by like half.

Mycroft Holmes
Mar 26, 2010

To the Moon! For Queen and Country!


EclecticTastes posted:

The website is extremely finicky about your browser, I actually had to download Firefox and that was what finally got the transfer to go through. That said, I'm actually pretty disappointed by what I found when I got into the game. For one thing, it doesn't look like anyone is actually playing aside from Mycroft, I think I encountered maybe five other players while I was scouring the hub areas for lore honeycombs instead of following the story. It's a drat good thing I transferred over all my clothes, too, because now basically everything costs some nonsense currency you only get drip-fed through daily missions (one of like twelve friggin' currencies, only one of which even involves real money, I thought they unified the bullshit currencies in the original TSW to solve this kind of problem). Also, the combat changes are kind of a wash, it's just a different kind of lovely now. Oh, and all the interesting, if kind of hard to find, shops and vendors were replaced with basically a single extremely contrived-feeling mall in the middle of Agartha, making the game feel that much less immersive and more artificial. Maybe it'll improve as I go, but so far it just seems like it's kind of worse in every way compared to the original incarnation (Tokyo notwithstanding).

There's an official goon guild, just check the MMO HMO.

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."


Mycroft Holmes posted:

There's an official goon guild, just check the MMO HMO.

Ehh, I think I'll stick to just watching the LP and talking about all the stuff I actually liked as it comes up (seeing as the writing, at least, is pretty much just copy/pasted), rather than subjecting myself to a less fun version of stuff I did nearly a decade ago.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



EclecticTastes posted:

Ehh, I think I'll stick to just watching the LP and talking about all the stuff I actually liked as it comes up (seeing as the writing, at least, is pretty much just copy/pasted), rather than subjecting myself to a less fun version of stuff I did nearly a decade ago.

This is where I'm at, too.

Though the original did have one of my favorite boss sequences in an MMO, in The Ankh.

Such a pretty, evocative game with an interesting story and great world building that was such a pain to actually play.

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."


Cythereal posted:

This is where I'm at, too.

Though the original did have one of my favorite boss sequences in an MMO, in The Ankh.

Such a pretty, evocative game with an interesting story and great world building that was such a pain to actually play.

Also, to be honest, the lack of people isn't so much a "I have nobody to play with" problem as it is a "this MMO feels like one of those dying malls where half the stores are closed and someone's using the space where Dillard's used to be to sell used books" problem. I tend to prefer soloing, but the other players were an important part of the backdrop, and it's kinda depressing to wander around what I distinctly remember were fairly crowded zones and find exactly zero people in them.

Pilchenstein
May 17, 2012

So your plan is for half of us to die?



Hot Rope Guy

I believe the instancing tries to keep zone population low, for atmospheric reasons and/or to stop people queuing up for mission objectives. There's definitely a hard cap of 13 players per zone (outside of Agartha/hub cities). I haven't logged in for ages though, so I've no idea what the population is actually like nowadays - a lot of people only log in when there's an event or a patch though

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

Pilchenstein posted:

I believe the instancing tries to keep zone population low, for atmospheric reasons and/or to stop people queuing up for mission objectives. There's definitely a hard cap of 13 players per zone (outside of Agartha/hub cities). I haven't logged in for ages though, so I've no idea what the population is actually like nowadays - a lot of people only log in when there's an event or a patch though

FWIW the number of people I saw in Agartha in the second video was directly comparable to what I saw when I last played it. I can’t even say for sure that it was lower, though I’m pretty sure it was. They may just be spacing players out more. Hard to focus on your conspiracies and mysteries when you’re camping a spawn trot a chance at a rare item before another player steals it or watching somebody teabag an eldritch monstrosity.

Mycroft Holmes
Mar 26, 2010

To the Moon! For Queen and Country!


Kingsmouth pt 1

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!





London is/was pretty much the Ironforge of Secret World, everyone hung out there from what I remembered and just avoided NY and Seoul as much as possible.
Also from what I can remember, you got thrown out if you tried to enter the other factions headquarters.

Also you probably should edit out the various clicks and other side noises in he commentary. They're a bit distracting.

The fun part is that the whole Illuminati as a global conspiracy is actually very young, relatively speaking, because it can be traced back to Operation Mindfuck and the The Illuminatus! trilogy.

Cooked Auto fucked around with this message at 00:41 on May 11, 2021

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."


Cooked Auto posted:

London is/was pretty much the Ironforge of Secret World, everyone hung out there from what I remembered and just avoided NY and Seoul as much as possible.
Also from what I can remember, you got thrown out if you tried to enter the other factions headquarters.

Well, it all comes down to amenities. Before they changed Agartha to include the MMO Outlet Mall, London was the place where everything was. You had the barber, the auction house, basically all the clothing vendors, multiple forms of side content (Tabula Rasa, the Albion Ballroom, the British Museum of the Occult, etc.), the taco vendor (which is relevant because there's an achievement that unlocks a special hat if you eat a fuckton of them), even the obligatory MMO Nightclub (which can be entered freely in Legends but actually required collectible tickets in the original). Hell, there's even a faction-agnostic investigation mission in London. It's also the largest and most detailed of the three hub areas. This, I think, kind of reflects the Templars. They're the closest of the three secret societies to being public, they're generally the most focused on protecting the world (not always through ideal means), and are close as one can get to being "heroic" for whatever value the word has in The Secret World, so they have a hub zone that's useful to more than just their own faction.

New York, in comparison, only has the plastic surgeon as an exclusive public amenity, as well as the Manhattan Exclusion Zone as the first/only official raid (everything else is high-difficulty dungeons and world bosses), which is fitting for the Illuminati, since they prefer to work in the background and both of those things are visited only rarely, but having the hands-down most expensive service and largest-scale content in their backyard fits their image as high-rollers. As for Seoul, there's literally nothing there for non-Dragons aside from the Lore honeycombs (they don't even have a Morninglight kiosk), which is also fitting, because the Dragon is far and away the most secretive and "in the background" of the three groups. In fact, you may notice that both London and New York have lore honeycombs for things other than their controlling factions, while Seoul only has the Dragon lore (technically also the first three pieces of The Buzzing if you're playing as a Dragon, but those are always faction-specific), further emphasizing that the Dragon prefers that nobody visit Seoul.

Hypocrisy
Oct 4, 2006
Lord of Sarcasm



Man I really loved this game. Shame that there's very little chance of the story continuing past the already miraculous last expansion Legends pulled off.

Regallion
Nov 11, 2012



EclecticTastes posted:

further emphasizing that the Dragon prefers that nobody visit Seoul.

That one is even more notable if you walk around their hub a bunch - while both NY and London hubs have blocked-off exits (via police cordons and whatnot, we crossed one in a cutscene), Seoul literally has no exit whatsoever and is completely walled in.

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."


Regallion posted:

That one is even more notable if you walk around their hub a bunch - while both NY and London hubs have blocked-off exits (via police cordons and whatnot, we crossed one in a cutscene), Seoul literally has no exit whatsoever and is completely walled in.

I play Dragon, how did I never notice this? Actually, even the choice of location within the city says a lot about each faction. The Iluminati base is right under one of the most well-known landmarks in New York City (once again juxtaposing "hidden" with "but we own all the cool poo poo"), the Templars are drat near open to the public in the middle of London (there's a literal branch of the British Museum on their campus, even), but the Dragon are in a nondescript suburb whose only noteworthy feature is the dojang, nowhere near the bustling city center. I'm kinda curious how much of this was intentional on Funcom's part, and how much is just incidental and we're just reading into it. Like, it's obvious they intended a lot of it, but it could be that some of the details just coincidentally line up.

StoryTime
Feb 26, 2010

Now listen to me children and I'll tell you of the legend of the Ninja

Hey wow did they actually make this better? I remember trying this out back in the day, but while the setting was really cool and they had good quest ideas, the combat and everything else was just extremely MMO in a very bad way.

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Pilchenstein
May 17, 2012

So your plan is for half of us to die?



Hot Rope Guy

StoryTime posted:

Hey wow did they actually make this better?
YMMV. I got on alright with the combat in the original but I definitely think the new, simpler combat is an improvement if only for how much more accessible it makes the game. The new gear system is shite but it also doesn't really matter at all unless you're concerned with getting the highest dps score in high tier dungeons.

If all anyone wants to do is play through and enjoy the story the relaunch is definitely a winner in my opinion - even the raid has a story mode (which still "requires" a group but is almost impossible to fail).

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