[Edit: If you’ve found this article by searching for how to get the Cat Ear Headphones, they have been confirmed as random drops from the new Elite Dungeon, the Manufactory. Check out one of my TSW Help links for more info!]
While I was playing with a ferret at work today, other lucky Secret Worlders were tuning in to the 5th episode of The Streaming Ones devstream. I was sorry to miss it, as they were sharing some much appreciated news on Issue 12. Even though the TSW website has an announcement explaining which features will be released, the livestreams always show more details. I’ll be talking about it now that I’ve had a chance to watch, but definitely check it out in full at http://www.twitch.tv/funcomofficial/v/10912032! There’s a lot of information to digest, and I’m sure to miss something.
Tilty, the Lead Designer, and Andrew, the Lead Systems Designer, began the stream by showing us part of the new dungeon. Looks like there will be some new and interesting mechanics involving AEGIS shielding and a new type of giant AEGIS turret. Their play by play pointed out tasks that different members of the group will have to accomplish – it’s definitely a section better viewed than me trying to explain. 😛
Before launching into the fight, we got a peek at something I am SUPER excited about: cat ear headphones!!! I know plenty of folks consider the cat ear thing goofy. That’s ok, I consider plenty of other clothing pieces silly, myself. 😉 The headphones version was mentioned more than once by players as seeming appropriate for Tokyo. Besides, some of us have been hoping for some form of cat ears for a long time now, and it’s awesome to know the team decided to include them.
Challenges will also be coming out in the first part of Issue 12. As promised, they contain a variety of tasks to complete including missions, dungeons, scenarios, and PvP; the daily challenges will also change from day to day. I noticed the PvP challenges included not just wins, but also participation which is very nice. The example they showed instream was completing a sabotage mission in Transylvania, a nice mix of a specific goal that still leaves the player options. I’ve been onboard with the challenges since the beginning, myself – I only dislike dailies that are the same thing every day. Since these daily and weekly challenges are very much NOT that, it’s a neat way to encourage players to try new things. For players like me, I’m excited to be able to rerun older missions for better rewards – I was running some of them anyway for fun, but shinies are always a plus.
Speaking of shinies, I’m still excited about the currency revamp. Being able to get Black Bullion so many ways and purchase so many different things with it hugely opens up the game. I completely understand some folks are upset about the new currency caps, but it seems like a solid plan to balance out how much easier Bullion is to get. (Not only in new ways, but also by taking away the dungeon lockouts.) I am also a huge fan of alternative ways to get Marks of the Pantheon, not just dungeons and raids. A currency that players gain faster if they enjoy dungeons, but other players can still get strikes me as fair to everyone.
The dev team have been going out of their way to do this in the least painful way possible, which I know is much appreciated. The Pax amount players will get if they are still over the Bullion cap once the changeover happens has actually been doubled now. Where it was 200 Pax per new Bullion (2000 per current), it is now 400 Pax (4000). Tilty and Andrew did a great job explaining the reasoning behind their choices too, reminding us they need to take into account how the amounts will affect inflation in the game.
The new Equal Footing buff in PvP is looking great, it will be nice to get back to where players are more evenly matched. I am very happy about the new missions in Fusang. Missions that change every five minutes will help make things feel more hectic, as they should in PvP. It’s also good to know we’ll be able to choose between different complexities in these missions, so both new and veteran players should have something to do. Further thumbs up for the tougher ones awarding Marks of the Pantheon, and for adjusting kills to help the healers get credit. It’s going to be interesting to see what other updates they’ve been planning.
The stream gave us a chance to check out the lair changes, which I’ve also been looking forward to. Swapping the Eidolon to being a regular raid will be much less of a bother than the previous mode of summoning. Plus, with the new Flappy raid it gives our regular raiders that much more to do. Even without that, I have entirely too much fun with world bosses, so linking lairs to being able to summon them sounds fabulous to me. (While I actually don’t mind the Padurii much, the idea of a world boss is still…daunting, though!)
I’m rather amused at the faction colored Panoptic Core suits. Just last night, I was joking with Beyond the Veil that I want one in Illuminati blue, and now it’s a thing that’s happening! I’m curious to know just how they can be acquired, of course. I’m always a sucker for pets, so the Albino Draug Lord Puppy and the Orochi Scorpius-Mini were great to see.
I expect the new Social window will get a lot of use once players get used to it. Other than a great way to search for needed roles for dungeons and missions, this is going to be super helpful for players running events. There’s almost always a dance party going on somewhere; this will help get the word out to players who may not visit the forums. It also gives us exactly what some have wanted for ages – an ingame way to advertise player help chats like Sanctuary and Noobmares.
Tilty said they’re planning on releasing the Issue next week, ideally midweek. That’s going to be a great thing for me, as I’ve found myself putting off doing some things ingame until the update. The Issue 12 comic was also shown on the stream today, but I’m failing at finding a link to it. >_>
[EDIT: Thanks to Katarina1, I can add the comic to the end of this post. Click the images to enlarge. 🙂 ]
On a completely unrelated sidenote, Twitch Plays Dark Souls is still going over at http://www.twitch.tv/twitchplaysdark. While it’s painful to watch, they’ve progressed further than I would have expected, so I give credit for that!