John Michael Kane is a professional writer and avid gamer working from his home with his beautiful wife, daughter, dog, and three cats.
Secret World: Legends is Funcom's newest iteration of their horror-based MMORPG, The Secret World, a game that has, for the most part, flown under the radar of the gaming community at large since its launch in 2012. Since then the game has been the domain of a select, closely knit community who have stuck with the property up until this last year, when the game was relaunched and marketed as a "Free-to-Play shared world adventure game" rather than an MMORPG as it had in previous years.
With this change in marketing strategy has come an entire revamping of the games mechanics, something that had been a point of contention for many potential players who found the original mechanics of combat in the game too different from other games for their liking. This along with a major change in the crafting system and the way characters in the game level up has give the franchise a whole new lease on life, one that will hopefully see the game continue to thrive in years to come.
Dark Days Are Here
The premise of Secret World: Legends is a simple one: Everything Is True. Every myth, every urban legend, all of them are real, and they're very, very angry.
When the game begins you're just some Joe or Jane Schmoe, sleeping peacefully in your apartment while your radio drones on about a "terrorist attack" on a subway in Tokyo. This, however, isn't even the most interesting part about your introductory cut-scene into the game; no, the most interesting thing in your apartment, other than yourself, is a bee.
While you're sleeping, this bee, trailing with spectral golden energy, buzzes into your apartment through an open window, flies around, and then lands on your mouth, and crawls inside.
Yes. You just ate a bee.
What ensues upon your midnight snack of insect is probably the weirdest dream you'll ever have. You are in an alien landscape, dead stars hanging overhead, while two figures speak to you about the end of days and your role in the coming conflict between good and evil and how you have the choice of what side you'll be on in the end. Like I said, it's a weird dream.
When you wake up, you're back in bed like you never left—except for the fact that you suddenly have superpowers, of course. You spend the next week in a montage learning to control your new bee-induced magical abilities, until you get a knock on your door and meet your faction's recruiter.
There are three playable factions in Secret World: Legends, the Templar, the Illuminati, and the Dragon. Before you even begin play you must choose one of these three to join, a choice that will affect your character's story, as well as unlock unique playable missions specifically for your faction.
You've heard of the Knights Templar, the holy order of warriors dating back to the first crusade, the ones who, if legends are true found the Holy Grail. These are not them.
The Templar are major players in the paranormal world, and are the only ones to ever operate out in the open. Headquartered in the fictional Ealdwich neighborhood of London, the Templars operate out of the rather ostentatious Templar Hall, a massive walled building with guards—both mystical and mundane—posted at all hours of the day.
These Templars, unlike their mundane namesake, trace their heritage all the way back to the Tower of Babel, along with their hated enemies, the Illuminati. The watch words of the Templars are order, vigilance, and victory at all costs.
Yes, those Illuminati.
The Illuminati are an ancient order bent on making sure that no matter the situation, they wind up on top of the heap when the dust settles. They orchestrate assassinations of world leaders, political intrigue, stock market crashes, and hostile take-overs. To them, people are just pieces on a board which they move from their home base deep beneath the streets of Brooklyn, New York.
The wealthy and powerful are major players in the Illuminati's plots and schemes, some of which even their own people aren't even aware of.
Chaos is the way of the Dragon. At least, in a sense.
According to the Dragon, nothing is truly random. They believe that with the right calculations, the right people, and the right timing, they can predict the outcome of any situation. For the Dragon chaos isn't simply a concept, it's a way of life, and they intend to use it to create a world in their image.
The Dragon could be mistaken easily for some ordinary East-Asian crime syndicate at first glance, but their operation based in Seoul, Korea, hides more than just Triad thugs and illicit gambling dens.
Character Creation In "Secret World: Legends"
Now that you've joined one of the most story-driven online multiplayer games in the world, its time to create your character, who will be your avatar on this journey of horror, magic, and conspiracies.
There are three distinct "roles" in Secret World: Legends, Tank, Healer, and DPS (damage per-second), which all correspond to the various weapons within the game. Each of these weapons are eventually equippable by your character as your level up through completing missions and gaining experience points, allowing you to find new combinations to utilize and unlock to create a unique combat style that suits you.
When you begin a new character, you will be presented the option of choosing between nine "classes" who each specialize in a specific role and wield combination of two different weapons. Once your character begins to level up, you'll have the ability to invest Skill Points (SP) gained at each level to unlock different weapons and create different combinations to find a combat style that suits you.
The Starting Classes and Their Roles
Tank-style classes include the Trickster, the Punisher, and the Demolisher, all of whom focus on survivability in combat and generating Hate (also known as Aggro in common gaming parlance) from the enemies around them to keep their fellow players alive. Another important function of tanks is their ability to inflict the "impair" condition on enemies to interrupt high-damage area-of-effect attacks, especially while in Dungeons. Chaos Magic, Hammers, and Shotguns, are weapons associated with this role.
Healer classes include the Warlock, the Mercenary, and the Ravager. These classes and their abilities are focused on providing buffs (beneficial bonuses, such as extra health or "shields") and healing other players. Much like in other multiplayer online games, the healer is typically tasked with ensuring the tank's survival in combat. Fists, Assault Rifles, and Blood Magic are all weapons associated with the Healer role.
The role of DPS classes, such as the Assassin, Magus, and Gunslinger is to deal as much damage as possible, usually to a single enemy at a time. It's their job to strike the enemy as hard as they can, all while avoiding drawing Hate from their opponent. DPS characters have a tendency to be high on damage output but low on defensive abilities or health, making them what might be called "glass cannons." Avoiding direct contact with enemies is key to staying alive as a DPS charcter, and will save your healer from taking time away from keeping the tank alive to save you, which could mean life and death for you and the rest of the players in your group. Weapons like Pistols, Elementalism Magic, and Blades are specialized for DPS builds.
Character Attributes and Items
Every character in Secret World: Legends has a set of attributes, or stats, that describe in numerical form how good your character is at something. Your stats include Hit Points, Combat Power, Healing Power, and Protection. The numbers associated with each of these attributes is derived from different factors based partial on character level, the most important of which are your talismans.
Talismans are items in the game that can be equipped by your character, providing you with significant bonuses to your characters attributes. You can have a total of seven talismans equipped at a time, each in a different "slot" on your character. Different talismans posses bonuses to different attibutes, allowing character to mix and match them, changing out older talismans for better ones as you acquire later on.
Talismans are coded by color, allowing players to easily identify talismans of a significantly higher or lower rating. Green talismans are "common," blue are "uncommon," and purple are "epic" talismans, which can only be found in later stages of the game and in Dungeons. Orange (Legendary) and red (Mythic) tier items also exist, and are only available through Raids found within the game. These same color codes also apply to weapons.
Remember to Feed Your Items
Another new and interesting addition to Secret World: Legends from its predecessor is the new capability to upgrade your character's weapons and talismans by "feeding" it other items. Each item you sacrifice to another allows it to accumulate more and more power, essentially allowing your items to level up with you as you play. You can theoretically keep the "same" item from the beginning of the game all the way to the end by feeding it, allowing it to even grow into a higher tier item from where it began.
|Item Color||Maximum Level|
Missions in "Secret World: Legends"
Your main method of gaining experience in Secret World: Legends will be completing missions that you find throughout the various zones in the game. There are nine different types of missions that can be taken, Story Missions, Dungeon Missions, Raid Missions, Scenario Missions, Action Missions, Sabotage Missions, Investigation Missions, Side Missions, and PvP Missions. You my only have a certain number of those missions active at any one time, seven total, each of varying varieties.
Secret World: Legends has a rich and intriguing main plot, that unites all of its various Zones. Your character will be sent across the world in search of who or what is behind the mysterious incursion of the Filth, and fight epic creatures along the way.
Each Story mission will progress you through the game's central plot, and as such only one Story Mission is available for your character to be on at a time (though you are able to replay different Story Missions after a certain mount of time has past).
Dungeon, Raid, and Scenario Missions
Dungeon, Raid, and Scenario Missions (which are available after completing the third of the game's zones, Transylvania), are difficult missions set within an "instance" or a portion of the game completely separate from the rest of the game world. In these instances you will be tasked to face difficult enemies as well as a number of "bosses" throughout various stages. These missions provide the player with high level gear that can only be obtained via these methods, and usually require multiple players in order to be beaten. Each zone will have multiple dungeons flavored to their respective area.
Only one of these three mission may be "active" for the player at any given time.
Action and Sabotage Missions
Action missions are missions that rely mainly on combat, including missions to destroy a certain number of a specific enemy, or even finding a unique monster to kill.
Sabotage missions rely on stealth and puzzle solving within the game, often ending in a failed mission or even death should the player be spotted or set off a security alarm. These can be some of the most difficult missions to complete due to failure due to positioning within the game world or a mistake made while using the keyboard or mouse.
Only one of these mission types may be "active" at any one time.
Research missions are a combination of exploration and puzzle missions that can take you to different areas of the map, sometimes even involving the game's in-game browser in order to look of different clues and references, or even websites connected directly to the game itself.
Only one of these missions can be active at one time.
Side Missions and PvP Missions
Side missions are quests that can be found throughout the world, often associated with points of interest found during exploration. Anything from a discarded cell phone to an open box of calamari on the ground can be a trigger for a side quest, and can often lead players to interesting places or characters within the game.
PvP (Player vs Player) missions are only available during PvP instances in the game. These missions often take the form of completing objectives to aid your team in winning the match or killing a certain number of players over the course of the match itself.
You may have up to three of these missions types active at any one time.
Throughout the game world you will often notice small golden honeycomb icons floating in various spots. These icons provide you with "Lore" or bits of backstory about the game, and give you access to some of the most beautiful writing within the game, as the Bees themselves inform you about the Secret World and all the monsters and factions within it.