The Hive Hits Tokyo – Issue 9 is Live!

plaza

I haven’t been subscribed to The Secret World for months – Whispering Tide kind of killed my enthusiasm for awhile – but the much-anticipated launch of Issue 9 & the first Tokyo zone pulled me right back in. Technically, Issue 9 is still in early access and only available to subscribers for 3 days. I just couldn’t wait, so put down my money for a month. Maybe just this month, maybe more if I really get back into it.

Originally, I only intended to spend an hour or so checking out the new content, but that hour spun into 5. I’ll give some first impressions and try to avoid any big spoilers…

inbega

bow

The new characters I’ve run across so far are excellent. For this first zone, looks like each faction has a particular contact, kind of like a sub-faction colored by Tokyo culture. Samurai for the Templars, Oni demons for the Illuminati, and Yakuza-types for the Dragon. Even as a Templar, I think my favorite so far is Inbega the Oni. Very entertaining dialogue.

Combat encounters can be pretty challenging! Even without the extra effects of the AEGIS system, many of the enemies I’ve run across have FAST AoE attacks and some quick knockdowns. I’ve been wishing for a faster recharge on the dodge ability. One Oni mob in particular has a brutal combo: he goes invisible, then pops back on top of you with an AoE knockdown. If you get hit by that you’re down for a few seconds, giving him plenty of time to hit you with another AoE in a weird fan pattern.

tank

I haven’t revisited my build yet, but I’ve been brainstorming ways to be more effective in Tokyo. The way AEGIS works is you can have 2 types slotted, one corresponding to each weapon. Enemies have shields corresponding to demon, psychic, or cybernetic AEGIS controllers. This means ONLY the weapon with the right AEGIS slotted will damage the shield, and also means aux weapons have no effect on shields. I’m embarrassed to say it took me a while to figure out why my flamethrower kept hitting zeroes on shields.

Out of new enemies, the Oni have the standout design  so far. Nothing else has really jumped out at me, though I’ve been watching general chat and it sounds like there’s some cool stuff left to find.

I’m not sure what to think of AEGIS yet. It definitely adds another element to combat, and I’m looking forward to seeing how different enhancements and controllers change gameplay. But the way you upgrade controllers already looks like a massive grind. When you have controllers equipped in combat, AEGIS enemies have a chance to drop filth samples (or something) that charge up your controllers. They start at 0%, and I think once they hit 100% you can boost their QL level. After a few hours, my most-used controller is at 30%, which isn’t too bad I guess? We’ll see. At least I don’t think it takes AP. I have very little interest in augments thanks to their ridiculous AP cost. I’d rather put that toward completing my wheel!

Tokyo’s cool so far, and I can say without a doubt it’s renewed by interest in TSW. I’ll be spending a lot more time in-game, and I’ll probably have more to say once I’ve gone through the main story and spent more time with AEGIS. I took some video yesterday too, and I’ll try to get some of that online.

If anyone else is exploring Tokyo, let me know so we can meetup. With the increased difficulty, I’d feel a lot better running down Tokyo’s streets with a few friends.

office

Sidenote: Arturo’s office is gorgeous. I didn’t care about housing in TSW until I walked into there (and it’s still not a high priority) but MAN would I love to set up shop in a spot like that…

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