The following post will probably be met with a chorus of boos and hisses. Or at least the internet equivalent. See with no new news (at time of typing) I’ve decided to take a look at AEGIS in SWL and how it’s removal or change, has affected the Tokyo playfield.
If you’re not familiar with AEGIS it was a mechanic that was added to The Secret World for both story and progression reasons. Back then, by the time Tokyo was released many players had already progressed their gear to max level and made quite a headway on their Augment wheels. They were at a loss as to what to do and so we were presented with AEGIS. The mechanic was actually quite simple. Match your weapon’s shield to that of your enemies. However, a lot of players found it very frustrating. It required a new approach and (sadly) a lot of grinding.
Now we have new Tokyo. It contains little to no AEGIS (certainly none in the current downtown playfield). Does the removal of the mechanic make it better? From a purely personal perspective. No. In fact, for me It’s removal detracts from Tokyo. With no increase in level cap and no new mechanics introduced the enemies we face feel underwhelming. They are no longer a challenge and players are able to mow their way through them with no real thought or tactics.
I know AEGIS was not perfect. It was grindy. You were stuck at level 2.0 unless you did dungeons and were lucky enough to get the drops. However, it added a challenge. In the previous zones, I always felt like I was facing something new when entering a new area. Now when I enter Tokyo I feel like I’m facing the same old enemy with a slightly different skin.
I’ve always been a big supporter of AEGIS. For the longest time, I didn’t even have a mod to switch and preferred to do it manually. It gave players a new challenge and made Tokyo feel different. But we don’t like change on the internet. Now we are stuck fighting level 50 mobs while we are also level 50 and we will complain that it’s too easy. Before we complained that it was too hard.
I have often heard the argument that AEGIS was just another grind on top of a number of existing grinds. Sadly there is some truth to that. First, there was the gear grind (or the monetary grind to buy new gear and level it up), then came the Augment grind followed by AEGIS and topped off with the Museum. Now we just have one super grind that is concentrated into our gear and punishes people who want to play multiple roles (seriously the idea of levelling up Tank, DPS and Healer gear to Mythic is terrifying).
If I had been in charge of “new” Tokyo I would have reduced the number of AEGIS enemies in the earlier areas. There would still be some (mostly mission based) allowing people to get used to the idea and system while also getting used to the new mobs. The grind would be reduced by lowering the earlier level requirements for AEGIS levels and 2.1 and above would no longer be restricted to dungeon drops. In the second part of Tokyo (once you have gone past the wall) the number of enemies with shields would increase. By that point, you should be familiar enough with the mechanic. By the final act, you’d be more than prepared for all the AEGIS that the Tower has to throw at you.
Many people will be satisfied with the removal of AEGIS, sadly I’m not one of those people. Still, there is more of Tokyo to be unveiled and we don’t have all the information about how AEGIS will appear in the later areas. We have been promised it will appear in “a form that will make everyone happy” but not in the general playfield. Until then we’ll have to wait and see.
Kle used to write for The Secret Podcast. Then he broke it. Now he’s been given a space to vent. People may regret it. You can find him in SWL as Kle or on Twitter as @Kle_Sanctaury.