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Secret World Legends' Dawn of the Morninglight expansion released

Be prepared

Nine months after its free-to-play reboot as Secret World Legends, Funcom's globe-trotting MMO of modern myth and magic finally has a second new location to explore. For those who have finished the main story and are hungry for more, you've got a new assignment out in South Africa, and giant glowing hyenas are probably the lesser evil out there compared to the Morninglight cult.

The Dawn of the Morninglight expansion is a linear continuation of the main story arc, so you'll have to have gotten through the three original acts, plus the massive vertical cyber-dungeon crawl that was Orochi Tower in Tokyo. This time you're back on the trail of the Morninglight cult; outwardly halfway between Scientologists and hippies but clearly hiding their fair share of dark secrets. You first crossed paths with Morninglight way back at the start of the game in their magically warded camp in the woods of New England, but they've got a big new operation going on in South Africa that you're going to infiltrate.

Recent updates to the game have also brought some pleasant new changes and systems. While your gear will eventually determine your role once you start getting into late-game specializations, you can use the new Anima Allocation menu to assign your basic stats between Damage, Toughness and Healing at any point once you hit level 20, allowing you to adapt your character on the fly for group or solo quests without having to respec everything. A feature I'd like to see more MMOs borrow, honestly.

Most recently they also added the Agent Network system. A little minigame letting you build a stable of expendable minions and send them off on little side-adventures that reward you with experience and money and (in the long-term) buffs bestowed upon your character by high-level agents. It's extraneous fluff, really, but it gives you a little something extra to do in-between hiking between locations not linked by convenient fast-travel points. Quite a few other MMOs have similar systems, but more little snippets of story are always appreciated, even if they're purely text-based.

I'm still sadly quite early on in Secret World Legends, with most of my MMO time being poured into catching up on Final Fantasy XIV. I'm sure some of you are avid Secret World fans - what do you have to say about this new expansion? Does it have much meat on its bones, or does it feel like a relatively slight episodic update? Plus, the most important questions of all for anything Secret World related: How do you feel the writing and puzzle design stacks up now that Funcom has replaced much of their original writing staff?

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The Secret World

Xbox 360, PC

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Dominic Tarason