Chaos Theory: Continuing the Issue #6 journey in The Secret World

Chaos Theory  Continuing the Issue #6 journey in The Secret World
In sharing my thoughts with you last week about The Secret World's newest update, I admitted that I hadn't yet experienced all of it. Even with a head start, there were too few days available to really dig into Issue #6. So unless I wanted to blow through everything like a runaway train without savoring it, there was no way I could pontificate on all aspects of the update at that time.

That was then; this is now. This time around I've had full week to dive in and experience the different aspects of The Last Train to Cairo. Along with finishing up the story (which culminated in boarding the very train the update is named for), I started clawing my way up the PvP ranking ladder, secured my very own whip, and snagged a few veteran rewards. Of course, there is still more to be done; it will be a while before I am up for the challenge of the new raid boss, even with my snazzy new whip. And let's not forget banking up some recruitment bonus points by roping even more friends into The Secret World. Even so, that leaves plenty for us to talk about in today's Chaos Theory.

TSW screenshot
My life as Indy
I'll admit, sometimes I have to actually remind myself that there is more to Issue #6 than just the story line. As much as I enjoy the stories in TSW, this arc is easily my favorite. Not only do I get to act like and dress like the infamous archaeologist himself, but my personal Indy adventures included living some of his most iconic moments from various movies. If you are listening carefully, you can even hear a short strain of his theme song woven in the music when you board the train to Cairo.

TSW screenshotAlthough I was disappointed at first when Creative Director Joel Bylos revealed during our interview that this update would not include an investigation missions, I found the regular story arc to have enough puzzles to keep me entertained. I especially enjoyed the jumping part of the puzzles, not just for their tie-in to Indiana Jones but because I actually really like jumping puzzles. I am secretly hoping more are added to the game!

But good news! Those of you who actually cringe at the idea of puzzles and therefore avoid investigation missions altogether need not feel as if you have to toss out any chance of doing these missions. The puzzles are not as intense and are easier to solve with clues put right in front of you, no research necessary. Even acquiring the new whip auxiliary weapon was much easier than I anticipated.

To wrap up this discussion on the story, I will offer a few hints to help make that long (and oh, it is so very long!) train ride a bit more bearable.
  • Yes you can fall off the train, so there is no need to experiment just to see. To help you avoid finding out for yourself, I suggest turning off sprint or else your jumps are going to miss your mark and you'll be discovering exactly where the anima wells are.
  • The mobs cannot be knocked off the train, no matter how awesome your knockbacks are.
  • There is a lore piece on the train, so missing your jump isn't always a bad thing.
  • Pay extra attention in the tunnel; that's a bad place to go AFK.
  • Unless you are uber-geared, take along a group of friends and be prepared for a long ride.
If you want to see how these hints can aid you as well as catch a hidden tidbit or two, watch Massively TV's Issue #6 tour with Bylos below.



Climbing the PvP rankings
OK, let's be honest here: I'm not so much climbing up the new PvP ranking ladder as I am being a rung for others to use to get higher. I don't mind; I know there are folks who are far more skilled at PvP than I am. Suffice it to say, my ranking is still sporting the roundest of bellies.

While watching chatter, I noticed that some people were quick to complain about having their lowly blue-geared selves thrown in with all purple-geared players. I certainly found this to be true in my own experiences. However, I'm giving the team a bit of leeway here. After all, we were warned! We were told up front that when the ranking system was initiated, everyone would be starting at ground level (and some of us are still there!). It's going to take some time for the system to normalize; all these initial match ups are going to obviously result in those who've been PvPing longer getting more kills until their is level set to where it would have been if the ranking had been available from the get go. After the better PvPers get their kills in and reach the higher ranks, things should level off and help provide more even matches.

What I really hope I don't see is continued match-ups like my last one in Stonehenge. Each of the other factions had a ringer in its midst. One team had a rank 7 while the other had a rank 10 mixed in with the rest of us ranked 0-2. Little surprise that the rank 10 netted 58 kills! With those odds stacked against my team, I'm just proud we managed to hold second place for over half the match.

Rewarding vets
TSW screenshotNext up, veteran rewards! Folks who've been paid members of TSW for any length of time earn veteran points. These points were also awarded retroactively from the game's launch, so once Issue #6 hit servers, players had access to enough points to start shopping. To see how many veteran points your account has, open up the item store from the menu and check up in the left hand corner for the silver star. A lifetime subscriber (Grandmaster) should see 100 points nestled there between the Funcom points and the bonus points.

So what can you get for the rewards? Click on the "social and gear" tab to see all the pets, weapons, and accessories available and click "accessories" for glasses and hats. By default, all veteran items are listed first and are designated by that same silver star.

So far, all items are 10 veteran points, except for pets, which are 20. Be very mindful of which character you are on when you purchase these, however, as all items are one per account. To be honest, I really hate this restriction on the pets, especially since I have too much XP to qualify for using the accompanying buff. I just want the cool critter on more than one character.

Some tasty tidbits
Did you watch the video embedded above of the Issue #6 tour? If not, you missed a few choice tidbits from Joel Bylos himself. I won't give them all away, but I will share with you that he indicated that he was considering putting Nassir's dance in game as an emote for players to do. You know you want that! Bylos also mentioned that something in the background of the final cutscene foreshadows the upcoming Tokyo story. Did you catch it? If not, you might want to watch again!

While you do that, I'm off to re-Indy myself. My mission cooldown timers have reset, so it's back into the desert I go, whip in hand to meet a young Said again. Feel free to join me; there's plenty of room on the train!

Conspiracies, paranoia, secrets, and chaos -- the breakfast of champions! Feast on a bowlful with MJ every Monday as she infiltrates The Secret World to bring you the latest word on the streets of Gaia in Chaos Theory. Heard some juicy whispers or have a few leads you want followed? Send them to mj@massively.com and she'll jump on the case!
This article was originally published on Massively.