Gather around, friends, for you are about to witness one of the rarest events in nature. Tyler is going to say something negative about The Secret World.
The general idea of the museum is to study the game’s many and sundry monsters by fighting them and collecting lore related to them. Kills are tracked retroactively, and some of the game’s pre-existing lore is used by the museum, but a lot of the lore you need is new (more on that later). There’s also a fairly substantive ability point cost to setting up an exhibit. Despite repeated claims from Funcom that the museum is “for everyone,” the AP costs ensure it’s only relevant to people with full ability wheels, and maybe not even then.
Displaying a particular monster in its most basic form isn’t too hard, but completing a wing, upgrading a wing, and completing the museum as a whole will all add up to pretty big grinds pretty fast.
To be fair, I screwed up. I went to the trouble of unlocking every wing in the museum before I went to the gift shop to see what the rewards are. In the process, I spent several million pax, losing about two thirds of the wealth I’ve accumulated over the past few years.
And then I checked the rewards vendors.
The main rewards for building your museum are mnemonic guardians, consumables that give you a chance to randomly summon certain monsters to briefly assist you in combat.
I also discovered that each guardian type requires you to complete an entire wing. Which is not a huge hurdle, but it’s not nothing, either.
Worst of all, though, guardians cost black bullion to purchase.
There is absolutely, positively no way I am ever going to spend bullion on a consumable. Even with how much easier bullion is to earn these days, I am not spending it on something that can be used up when I could use it for permanent upgrades.
So I bankrupted myself for nothing. Pax is easy to make, but six million will take me a while to earn that back. So needless to say I’m not very happy.
As it stands now I can’t see myself putting any further effort toward the museum. Or even going back there. The upside is, like a lot of things in TSW, it seems like you can pretty much ignore the museum if you’re not interested in it. It won’t harm your gameplay.
It’s not all bad this update, though. A massive amount of new lore has been added for basically every monster type in the game. Over two hundred and fifty new lore entries in total.
It’s a bittersweet parting gift from our dear Scrivnomancer, who is sadly stepping down as the lead writer for the game.
While the lore is required for the museum, I don’t believe the museum is required to collect any of the lore. So even if you’re not interested in the museum (like me), there’s still something new to entice you.
Personally I’m very excited to start delving into the lore of some of the more enigmatic of TSW’s creatures. I’ve always wanted to know more about revenants, ghouls, and Jinn, since there was so little information about them in the game.
I’ve only found a fraction of the new lore so far, but there’s definitely some good stuff here. It’s not just minor flavour; the bestiary lore is doing a lot to fill in the blanks of the story throughout the game. I especially like that we’re finally getting a clear picture of Archibald Henderson and his story. We’ve seen lots of little hints of it over the years, but never a clear and coherent image of it all.
I could have done without the heavy Shadow Over Innsmouth references in the Deep One lore, given that story was basically just written as racist propaganda, but I suppose at this point it’s an inextricable part of the Lovecraft mythos from which TSW draws its inspiration.
Despite ominous statements that the new lore would be harder to earn than past lore, so far I haven’t had much trouble. Most of it is just scattered around the world as per normal, or drops from mobs at a fairly high rate.
I have heard of a handful of cases where the bestiary lore is a bit harder to acquire. I know some of it only drops from group bosses, which is a bit of a drag for mainly solo players like me, and there’s one piece that can only be found in a raid. This is worrying precedent because up until now Funcom has done a pretty good job of making raids totally optional from a story perspective.
But it is only one piece, at least.
And some of the new challenges for lore are pretty clever. For example, there’s one piece that only appears if you can track down a rare mob who only appears at midnight on the in-game clock. That’s the creativity we all love TSW for.