TSW: Polaris

Our Secret World group recently delved into the first of the dungeons, we’re a trio not a full five person group but going in we thought we had just enough of a gear edge (mostly QL 4 and 5) to make up for it.


As we have come to expect from this game, the instance oozes atmosphere from the offset. The use of visuals, sound and the excellent zone design all come together nicely to give a sense of building dread.


There are more boss fights than I am used to in other MMOs and consequently less packs of ‘trash’ monsters in between. That was certainly refreshing as it gave us the impression of faster progress through the instance.


Some of the later fights did get close to one of our characters dying. The difficulty of the fights is hard to judge with this group of characters but it seemed perfectly possible to learn the fights without spoilers by just trying and being observant and coordinated as a group. I certainly had no issues with keeping aggro on monsters as the group’s tank.


We’d started this dungeon run very late one evening and didn’t really expect to complete the whole instance. When we got to this fight we actually were rather optimistic that we’d finish at an ok time. But there’s a twist in the tail of this instance (I won’t post any further details of this). Annoyingly this last encounter includes a mechanic that acts as an effective dps-check, not an actual timer but effectively it has one. We wiped three times unable as a trio to put out enough damage to finish the fight in time.

That did end the run on a frustrating note as we aren’t likely to go back there at least until we’re ready for the ‘Nightmare’ mode version of the same instance (at end-game). We’re only playing once or twice a week and there is so much open world content still to see that none of us want to waste precious time grinding the same dungeon for gear or achievements. Still it was worth seeing it once at least and we’ll be back sometime in the future perhaps to take it on once more.

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9 Responses to TSW: Polaris

  1. pkudude99 says:

    To unlock the Gatekeeper fight which allows you access to the Nightmare dungeons you need to complete all the dungeons on the Elite difficulty as well, so you may not go back before Elites, but you’ll certainly go back before Nightmares……

    And yeah, even a full group of 5 can have trouble with Ur-Draug and his blue phase. Sure, it’s a sort of dps check, but you can also simply hide behind the stone pillars until blue ends and then go after him again. You get a shorter amount of time before the next blue though. and then he starts making the pillars blow up so you start losing places to hide……..

    • Telwyn says:

      Didn’t realise there was elite and nightmare, so yes elite would be the next time. Yes, we were going so slowly all the pillars were blowing up and we wiped due to no place to hide – when you have one dps instead of three that’s a big issue.

  2. I think it’s fairly impressive that you were able to get as far as you did with only three players. Even the beginning dungeons in TSW aren’t cakewalks, and it sounds like you weren’t over-gearing it by much. Kudos.

    That probably won’t work for any later dungeons, unless you’re outgearing them by a lot. The difficulty ramps up quickly. You’ll probably be better off waiting until you’re ready for elites to do any other dungeons, since groups rarely form for normals. It’s a shame there are so few systems in place to making getting groups easier in TSW, because the dungeon content is really quite excellent.

    • pkudude99 says:

      The Sanctuary chat channel is generally good for asking for normal dungeon groups. Downside is that it’s usually highly geared people willing to jump in and help so the dungeons become cakewalks, but at least one gets to see the content before elites and NM’s.

      /chat join sanctuary

      • I’m always confused by that, because I remember when Sanctuary first formed, they were actively discouraging people from using it to look for dungeon groups. I take it that changed at some point?

        I don’t follow Sanctuary myself, so I’m never quite sure what is and isn’t an acceptable use for it.

      • pkudude99 says:

        Lately on the forums people’ve been saying it’s a good place to “ask for help” for the normal dungeons (not elites or NM’s though — that’s what Agartha’s zone chat and noobmares are for).

        I’ve never actually joined sanctuary myself, so I dunno from personal experience, I’m just repeating what I saw in the noobie section of the forums yesterday in a couple of threads there.

      • Sylow says:

        Next to Sanctuary, if you really like to help new players i found it a good idea to just hang round in Kingsmouth sometimes. There’s still new players around who don’t know of Sanctuary and thus ask for help (advise and support) in the general chat in Kingsmouth.

        And on joining dungeon groups in Sanctuary, it’s true that the original vision was to only provide information on how to do things, but this guideline broke down pretty quickly. Anyway, i don’t mind that people ask for support there, although i also lately notice that stuff which should be in the Noobmares channel starts to turn up in Sanctuary, which i find contraproductive.

      • Telwyn says:

        We’ll have to follow the suggestions and give the dungeons a go with random extra people just for the experience of playing through them – the only snag is time. We don’t always have that long when we sit down to play…

      • Sylow says:

        If time is an issue, TSWs dungeons are more friendly than in most MMOs. The almost complete absence of thrash mobs also removes one of the biggest timesinks of dungeons in other games. Experienced groups can finish dungeons on nightmare difficulty in less than 20 minutes.

        So even if you don’t bring deep knowledge of a dungeon and don’t drastically overgear it, your goal is normal mode and even if you only have an hour at hand, a dungeon should be manageable.

        The greatest “risk” you run is that the support you get is extremely overgeared, perhaps even able to solo the dungeon, and you’re just along for the ride without having to do much for yourself. Second thing you have to be aware of is that you’ll almost certainly get teammates who know the content and are just too eager to explain everything to you. Really figuring out a dungeon by yourself is only possible if you make sure that everybody who you pick up is really new and has no knowledge of the places yet. (So, somebody from general chat in the region, not the sanctuary channel. )

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