What changed? A quick rundown of SWL updates for returning players


Welcome back to SWL! In light of the long-awaited release of Season 2 (April 4th, 2018) and the new zone of South Africa, I wrote this guide for returning players to help get back into the game. Whether you played for a month in June 2017 and never came back, or just took a break after the last seasonal event, this guide will get you caught up on major changes in SWL since you last played.

Note if you have not played SWL at all and are a brand new player please see TSWDB or ahem my guide for new players. Thanks to Tipsu for suggesting I host here.

##Haven’t played since relaunch (Jun. 2017)

  • The NY raid was added. 10 people square off vs. Chuthulu’s step-child in Times Square. If you’ve never been, queue up for Story mode and take a look. It has a week-long lockout timer and high-level distillate rewards, even at Story mode level. You can queue for the available modes from the activity finder window, however for anything of the Elite modes, it is recommended to try to form a group in Agartha instead of trying to blind queue.

  • Tokyo was released in 3 steps. Because the AEGIS system was scrapped, some of the main missions have been reworked; a semi-new mission called Bustin’ was added for Kurt (same cutscene, different content). Some side area missions were also moved from previous locations. At the time of release contained keys were a guarantee drop from side missions, and Tokyo containers dropped a lot of shards, so container farming was a big endgame activity for a while. Orochi Tower was also revamped, and the random floor mechanics of TSW were changed to a linear climb up the tower.

  • Kantoku Temple, the Tokyo lair, was released. It has new enemy models with new mechanics, and is the only source of wrist signets drops. A guide to the temple is here

  • Wrist signets were added. While they mainly drop from the Tokyo lair chests, apparently they can also drop from any signet-giving activity (thanks /u/Aralicia). These signets improve the ultimate ability and are Signet of Condensed Anima (increases rate of ultimate ability recharge) and Overwhelming Power (increases damage and healing of ultimate ability).

  • The much-requested QoL feature of the Mission Inventory was added. Mission items, scenario items, and some random things like ofuda go into a separate inventory from the main inventory, freeing up bag space.

##Haven’t played since Tokyo release (Nov. 2017):

  • Anima allocation was added to allow players to adjust their heal, damage and tank stats on the fly. At level 15 you can change your allocation to, say, have 70% damage, 23% mitigation and 7% healing for a solo build, and switch to 100% damage for a dungeon do build. Basically tanks and healers can do solo content without having to level multiple sets, and players in general can fine tune their health and damage to their build and situation.

    Note only base talisman stats are affected, so glyphs, signets and extraordinary gear benefits stay the same. This means that if you want the best possible endgame healer or tank or damage set you still need to level up those other pieces of gear. If you don’t know what to do with it, just set your damage to 100%, play for a bit, and then add in some mitigation until you feel comfortable.

  • As a result of anima allocation, base talismans were standardized. This means three types of talismans no longer drop for each slot, just one. In other words, there are no more [Faded Amulet] or [Faded Charm], just [Faded Medallion]. When you upgrade a talisman you only need to match the slot to get +250 xp. Again, extraordinary gear effects, signets and glyphs are unaffected by the change, so you still need to level seperate gear if you are going for the best stats possible in a role. Note that extraordinary gear still is +250 xp as long as the slot matches, even if its effect is a healing, tanking or dps effect.

  • Extraordinary waist talismans drop instead of caches sometimes now. See the Weapon Talismans sheet on this file for details.

  • New generalist signets added for weapon-agnostic damage boosts. They are Signet of the Neophyte (finger slot, boosts all basic attacks), Journeyman (neck, boosts all power attacks), Paragon (head, boosts all elite attacks) and Ascendant (head, reduces all elite cooldowns).

  • Tokyo container rewards were nerfed. Using a corrupted key no longer provides a guaranteed container key, instead it sometimes turns into 750 shards. Also shard rewards from container bosses were reduced, and instead spread out to the other endgame activities. Tron from the dev team explains the reasoning here.

##Haven’t played since around Christmas 2017:

  • The Agent system was added. At faction rank 3 (level 15) players can “recruit” agents and send them on agent-only missions. Agents can be acquired from action and sabotage mission rewards, scenario chests, and last boss dungeon chests. The drop rate is estimated to be 1-2% from these activities. Players can buy and sell dropped agents on the AH. Finally, agents can come from agent bags purchased with Aurum, though the drop rate is not guaranteed, and the agents from bags cannot be sold on the AH. Essentially the agent system is like class hall missions in WoW or companion missions in SWTOR. You can see a spreadsheet filled with Agent information here. Also as always TSWDB has a stellar rundown, detailing the system.

    Agents level up, and at level 25 and 50 can add a boost to your character. Note which agent you have “equipped” can be saved in the gear manager along with your gear, loadout and anima allocation. At first all players got 1 free agent, the Faction Recruit. After player feedback about the agent system, Funcom added a second Agent, Lydia Darling, which you receive after completing your first mission with the Faction Recruit.

  • The barber (changes hairstyle and makeup) and surgeon (changes body and face properties) became available. Visit London for the barber and New York for the surgeon. Barber costs 7,000 MoF per use, while the surgeon is 110,000 MoF (thanks /u/tftm11). Sadly, the surgeon’s old missions have not been added.

  • SWL started having “bonus” weekends roughly once per month, with events like free PvE activity keys, bonus AP, and bonus Agent XP for a whole weekend.

  • For people who love forums and forum byproducts, the official Funcom forums were created.

##Dawn of Morninglight release (Apr. 2018):

  • The long-awaited “season 2” content of SWL arrived! The agents finally stop laying low in the limelight and go to South Africa to infiltrate the Morninglight. Patch 2.2.1 was a content update, adding the new area, mission chain, new cache and various other cosmetics. If you want to know how to beat a mission or where a certain lore is, visit the general disccusion section of the official forum and look around.

  • Game director Tilty left Funcom, and Nirvelle stepped up as the new game director.

##Haven’t played since Dawn of Morninglight release (Apr. 2018):

  • The first anniversary of the game event happened! Game-wise there was a special anniversary cache, related lore, bosses, the Hatekeeper, even new sitting emotes. The true fun though was in the companion player-run Megaversary event. The Megaversary had a song contest, megaboss summon marathons, story nights, the first-ever bike race through London, a yearbook retrospective, a 24-hour pvp battle, special edition of The Buzzing fashion magazine and more–all dreamed up and run by SWL players. Truly a highlight of the game.

  • Daily login rewards for events became claimable on all characters on an account. Previously, only 1 character per account could claim rewards during events, which made it hard to players with alts to chose which character got the goodies.

  • Refer a friend was added.

  • The Agartha Cache was re-introduced, making it the first time a cache was re-introduced into the game, indicating that perhaps all previous caches and limited-time weapons and cosmetics might someday see rerelease. Previously Agartha Caches had commanded the highest prices on the AH due to the power of their weapon drops as well as their rarity.

  • Faction missions were introduced. These are 3 faction-themed, IP gated, scalable solo missions. First time clears reward unique clothing, a faction specific agent dossier, and an extra slot for agents. Repeated clears give rewards comparable to like-level Search and Protect scenarios, which makes the missions a great way to level glyphs. These missions were seen before in TSW, though they have been reworked for SWL.

  • A mission was added to South Africa, allowing players to complete all achievements in the SA zone.

##Haven’t played since faction missions were introduced (Aug. 2018):

  • A new scenario, Occult Defense, was released, along with a bi-annual related event. Players defend a central point against waves of enemies in a tight, face-paced battle. Each wave lasts roughly 4 minutes (depending on gear level and skill loadout) and each 2 waves represent an increase in elite level (ie. wave 10 is equal to E5).

  • Various long-requested tweaks were done. For example: raising enrage timer on Machine Tyrant to 5 minutes, agent mission rewards being improved, and agent bags bought with hexcoins no longer give duplicates.

  • Samhaim event returned, along with the return of the Broadcast seasonal mission.

##Haven’t played since Occult Defense was introduced (Oct. 2018):

  • Dark Agartha was introduced. There is no jump pad to the zone as it represents a crazy rift into an alternate dark future where Gaia and all the Bees are dead. Mechanically, DA is a timed, randomized boss rush that takes AP and SP to open, has the usual scalable elite mechanics, and rewards an item to make 3 pip glyphs into 4 pip glyphs. The bosses require the use of a few different skills and very strong situational awareness to survive, and feel noticeably harder than the equivalent elite level according to many players.

    Fun fact: Dark Agartha was hinted at in the initial roadmap for the SWL relaunch, but the game director had previously mentioned that DA was scrapped, so its release here was a surprise.

  • The winter event Krampusnacht came again, with a twist: a new investigation mission!

  • Group Occult Defense was released with patch 2.3.1. Up to five players can now queue for OD. Group OD has some different enemies and challenges suited for group play, as well as numerous new achievements. Perhaps most importantly a new AoE damage boosting wrist signet, the Signet of Nemain, now drops from OD.

  • Whenever Patrons receive an AH, one of the AH drones flies out to them no matter where they are–now that’s service!

  • A limited-time reduced price 12 month patron bundle was introduced.

  • Leaderboards were (re)introduced. Good news for people who remember the old TSW Chronicle–these new leaderboards are not run by a third party but by Funcom directly, so the rankings should actually stay updated regularly.

  • Regular SWL streams were reinstated.

  • There was a Valentine’s Day contest which featured player-created cards sent to NPCs in game. If nothing else check the 3 category winners for their incredible work. Kirsten Geary looks to be the most loved NPC, receiving 5 out of 53 entries.

As always, if I got something wrong or if I missed something please let me know and I will update the guide.

Thanks to the following players for helping with the guide:

/u/Aralicia, /u/tftm11, /u/Tipsu, /u/DumbOx, and Trichelieu


Returning after a long long long time away
Fell in love once again
Consolidated list of Gameplay Guides