Since the launch of the Augment System and Scenarios I have been running The Hotel, The Mansion, and The Castle as often as cool downs will allow (once a day each, eating up about an hour of time), and since that time there has been all kinds of noise on the official The Secret World Forums about the need to tune the difficulty of them down. I’m not sure that’s absolutely necessary. As I’ve expressed here, and here, I think that expecting a Platinum score in any given Scenario is a bit defeatist. Like pretty much everything in The Secret World, the difficulty of any given encounter, Scenario or not, often comes down to build. With so many skills and abilities, it’s definitely a challenge to find what works for any given fight. I’ve shared my build and I won’t rehash this argument again.
That is not to say that the Scenario system is perfect, because it’s not. However, for me it’s not that sometimes I’ll get lucky on random events and sail through a given Scenario, nor is it that sometimes I will get hit with every conceivable stumbling block and barely squeak out a Bronze score with one, sole survivor standing. Nope. I’m actually fine with all that, as I’ve said. No, for me it’s the fact that the Augmentations (the whole point of the Scenario system to begin with) are random drops.
For the first time today, in all the time I’ve been running Scenarios, I scored a Platinum. And then I quickly followed it up with a second Platinum. As you can see, from the two images above, I got pretty lucky with the events in both Scenarios (though I did get Traitors in one … the little bastards). My first run ended in Gold. But still, this isn’t really my complaint. What had me banging my head against the keyboard was that on that Gold run I didn’t get a single, measly Augmentation. Not one dropped on all three bosses, or any of the waves and waves of Vampires and Werewolves in The Castle.
I’ll keep this short and sweet: with the amount of time we’re expected to invest in these Scenarios, not to mention energy, spastic running back and forth, repair bills, and everything that goes with the frenetic killfest that is a Scenario, to walk away with nothing to show for it, Augmentation wise, is pure bullshit. Each Scenario should have at least one guaranteed Augmentation (which one it is can be random, I’m fine with that). Either make the Augmentation drop rate on the final boss 100%, or have the quest for the Scenario reward a random Augmentation. You listening, Funcom?
Ok, with that off my chest I wanted to cover one final thing. Today Patch 1.8.1 was applied to The Secret World. Along with a host of bug fixes (thank you for making it so the Gear Manager no longer saves Head Accessories, but please fix it so that it saves Damage Augments!) and tuning changes to zones, quests, dungeon bosses, achievements and what have you, a sweet little piece of fluff was added that I have been dying to have in an MMO since I started playing them. Well, what is it, you ask? Greenscreen, bitch.
One of the default backdrops in the Albion Theater is a new Greenscreen. I played around with it a little and I’m getting the sense that, as I’d hoped it would be when I wished for it up on star, the possibilities are quite endless. The ability to seamlessly composite any scene on the stage performed in front of the Greenscreen backdrop and screen captured or recorded, with whatever background you want outside of the game is simply amazing. I don’t know why this sort of thing has taken so long to appear in a game, but I am more than pleased to see it appear in The Secret World.