I have played through most of the missions in the Scorched Desert zone in The Secret World now; in this zone there are three different investigation missions:
- The Big Terrible Picture
- Angels & Demons
- Unburnt Bush
I am not going to go into details about the puzzles in these missions; I do not want to spoil anything for anyone that has not played them. At least not in clear text, there are some comments in bullet points below, but you have to crack the puzzle of decoding them if you want to read them.
The order in which I played these missions were in the order they are listed above. I did figure out the way to solve the puzzles in all three of the missions, but there was an increasing about of frustration with these missions, from no frustration with The Big Terrible Picture to a fair amount of frustration with Unburnt Bush. In the last mission it part of the frustration came from a technical issue so to speak.
The mission The Big Terrible Picture takes place in some Egyptian ruins, which happens to be inside one of the Lair areas in the game. Fortunately if you are not at an appropriate QL to handle the mobs in there you can still do the mission without running into any of these enemies. Just do not stray off the path that is given to you by the mission. There is a spot near the second puzzle that will get you close to some enemies in the area; just watch your step and you should be ok.
The second mission, Angels & Demons, takes place in and near the town of al-Merayah and is the one with the fewest tiers. It was interesting also because it added some pieces to the puzzle of the overall story around the area; although perhaps it raised more questions than it answered from that point of view – but in a good way.
The third mission takes place in various places in the zone; this one I ended up looking up on tier 2 after quite a while – I was quite sure I had a proper solution, but was not able to progress. It turned out that my solution was correct, but there may have been an issue where I was standing perhaps that caused problems. Moving a bit resolved the problem – that was frustrating because it had nothing to with the puzzle itself. Once I managed past that point the rest was quicker to do.
A good thing about these investigation missions is that you may learn something; in two of the missions I learned some new things and in the remaining mission I dusted off some old knowledge revisiting some texts that I had not read in decades.
Despite some of the frustrations I very much enjoyed playing these missions; it was enjoyable in the end. I put a few comments and hints below, although the text below has 1-2 levels of obfuscation. For most of you there are two levels to deal with; these have also been inspired by the missions themselves.
- Xbzznaqbg ‘/cenl’ xna inen alggvtg. Uåyy xbyy cå ine qrg svaaf ywhf bpxfå
- Naiäaq xelcgrevatzrgbqra fbz svaaf v Cbr’f irex
- Unaf rsgreanza äe unaf yöfrabeq
- Uroervfxn bpu nenovfxn naiäaqf. Rsgre gvre 1 sbxhfren cå uroervfxn grkgra bpu bztviavatnean.
- Xunyvq bpu Zbfrf une ra qry trzrafnzg