Finally Boarding The Last Train to Cairo [TSW]

So how behind am I on this? A month? That’s not so bad. The first fully paid content pack for The Secret World was released on March 14th, and only over the past week or so have I been able to check it out. Let’s just say that I still wasn’t ready for it.

My Illuminati character, Ocholivis, finally reached the level where the quest ratings for the expansion turned from “Devastating” to “Normal”. But I think they lied… in playing through the missions, I’ve just had my behind handed to me again and again and again. Quality level 10 items are dropping, fully replacing my current QL 7 items, which I’m happy about, but making my way through the content has been arduous.

So, since the bevy of players have already worked well past this content pack, allow me to give you my belated thoughts on it.

Simply, it’s awesome.

It’s based off of Indiana freaking Jones!

Indiana! Nazi-beating, tomb-spelunking, Ark-opening Indiana! And I don’t mean it’s based like the uber-cheesy way that World of Warcraft sprinkles pop culture in every other sentence. I mean in that you-experience-the-adventure kind of way. Time travel? Check! Infiltration? Check! Fisticuffs? Check! Taking an ancient artifact from an old Egyptian tomb? Check! Stopping a train carrying a bomb set to explode in a major metropolitan area?! Check! Holy hell, even the music during the final mission takes its cue from the movies. The tropes you see in the fantastic Indiana Jones movies (except the last one, which I refuse to acknowledge even exists) become viable in The Secret World’s setting, even down to picking up a whip to use as an auxiliary weapon.

And of course, busting out the classic fedora.

Story, Story, Story, Story, Story

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times, I’m a fan of story. Whether it’s a short 90-minute story found in movies, a long drawn-out story found in novels and serialized TV shows, or an interactive story found in video games and MMOs, story is the driving factor of the medium. There are those who disagree (and with good reasons), but why I play these games is to experience the storylines behind them. Not just small, colorful, localized vignettes, but a full over-arcing complete storyline. I’m not here to be a plain citizen (a really overpowered super-citizen) of a fantasy world, I’m here to experience the story of why my character is heroic and how that changes his or her society.

And The Last Train to Cairo is chock full of delicious, delicious story. From fleshing out Said and the villainous Abdel Daoud to the pop-culture loving Nassir, the first full content package for The Secret World is well worth the $10 pricetag.

Most of the Missions Can Be Played Under-Level (But not the final mission, apparently…)

Now, my progress in The Secret World has been, compared to most players, very slow. So far, I’ve only been to 4 zones in total and haven’t left the Scorched Desert yet. So, seeing as how this content pack is supposed to be for players at “max level”, I entered the missions way below recommendation (not actually true, the mission’s description said I would probably be okay, but the reality was far from the truth… one of the downsides of not having levels, I guess). To that end, the first 5 missions in the 6 mission quest chain are all completely doable with little trouble, and max QL 10 items drop to boot, very quickly boosting your abilities.

However, I have not yet finished the final climactic mission yet as the mobs just whoop me left, right, and sideways. But, maybe with a little tweaking of my build I may be able to push through it. The Secret World is more about flexibility and skill than it is your straight-up level. Similar to Guild Wars 1, it’s about building your character horizontally. The more tools you have to play with, the better off you’ll be.

So, in closing,  the first true paid content pack in The Secret World sets a very high bar for any future updates. Heck, even on top of all the story missions, they even threw in a 10-player raid and a new PvP zone!

All in all, impressive as heck, Funcom, and I can’t wait to see what’s up your sleeve next. … Also, try to keep EA as far away as possible.

// Ocho

P.S. – The Buzzing has pointed, to those that will listen, sweetlings, a couple creative character blogs based on The Secret World. Check them out!

Conduit – Tales from the Other Side of the World

Through a Lens – Facing the World From Behind a Camera

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7 thoughts on “Finally Boarding The Last Train to Cairo [TSW]

  1. Truly looking forward to being able to try out the content beyond Kingsmouth. Part of my issue has been a “restart” of my character now that I better understand how the Skills and Abilities work, Now I am just looking for the right weapon combos, which means going back to the easier content to try my hand at the skill rotations. It’s a very fun and diverse play-style. I am especially enjoying the Investigation missions. My buddy and I have been doing them together with a “NO” Google cheats policy. So far we are doing well! I was especially proud last night when we solved the White Raven riddle(s)!!

    • The Savage Coast is a cool zone. Blue Mountain was alright, and Scorched Desert is alright too. There may not be a huge amount of zones (just 9, maybe, from what I can tell), but they are chock full of stuff. I’ve already spent weeks in Scorched Desert and I’m still not fully done yet. 🙂

      When it comes to Investigation, I’m doing it the same way. The only one that snuck up on me so far was “Signal Effect”, but that was listed as a side-mission. The rest I’ve all done without help. Using Google is still okay (and necessary), but I’ve found it helpful to search with the -“secret world” string, thus removing all direct links to the game or mission in the search results. The worst is when the investigative missions send you down research paths that lead nowhere, though. One mission, I was pulling up translations in Arabic and really didn’t need to!

      You want a real killer brain teaser, though, try Digging Deeper.

      • I thinking I have seen that one, and maybe done it. Either that or it is the second one that the guy at that Church gives. My buddy and I are just finishing up (hopefully) the first one that he gives about finding clues around town. I don’t recall the names of all these quests. I will, however, keep my eye out for that name now! Thanks!

        The only thing that I am pretty uncertain about still is how to know when to move on to the next “zone”. I am trying to do all the quests at each of the main people that show on the map in Kingmouth, and I still have a few left up near the airport. For now, I am assuming that once I have completed the quests from up there, it will be fairly evident if it is time to move on to the next area.

      • Pretty much. My approach has been to do every mission I possibly could in my range in a single area before moving on. Side missions I can skip, but every primary mission gets done first. The over-arcing story mission will go from zone to zone, too, so you will also know it’s time to move on when it starts pushing you there as well. Mob coloration, too, will start to come around as they turn from normal to easy to very easy.

  2. Ha! I don’t think I have seen anything less than “Normal” yet. How does it determine such things? Based on QL of your gear? The amount of Skill/Abilitiy Points you have earned? My buddy and I were talking about how ingrained we are to use “levels” as an indicator, and without them, how lost we feel 🙂

    • I’m really not sure how it’s determined, but I believe it’s a combination of your points in the different armor and weapon categories, and the QL of what you’re wearing. I tend to just go off what the quest log says I can handle. If it says “Devastating” or even “Very Hard” I stay away. Normal tends to be a nice difficulty without being too easy.

  3. Pingback: Tequila the Sunrise, or a Lack Thereof [GW2] | Casual Aggro

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