TSW: delving into Blue Mountain

As a trio we moved onto the Blue Mountain zone in our last session. Since we’d spent some time doing action-only missions the time before at the Academy, we chose to go on up to the Franklin mansion for a bit more variety. We’d been here when following the main story (light blue) missions some weeks before.

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We did the missions in order starting with a sabotage (yellow) mission set in the nearby mine. This was a solo mission so we ended up playing in “massively solo player RPG” mode for quite a while as it involved a fair amount of exploration in dark mine passages and lots of dodging of tough monsters.

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Then we continued with the action mission that was next in the list and low-and-behold it was another very involved solo mission <sigh>.

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This mission had an interesting story but far too many ‘trash mob’ fights against monsters that were so tough they barely qualify as such. Given that we’re fairly specialised in the holy trinity roles of tank, healer and dps our experiences were varied. Our healer didn’t die once but took a long time on some of the tougher fights.

Both the dps and my character did succumb at least once but that was, one occasion at least, down to using unorthodox tactics. We both came up with the idea at one point of running past all the super-annoying tough monsters back to the key-mission item to click through to the next stage. Sadly you can’t click items if you’re taking much damage so we both died – but the respawn point is in that room so waiting a few seconds as an anima spirit allowed the monsters to all reset back downstairs and we were through. It’s cheating of a sort but in a poorly balanced mission like that I’d say some creative play can be well worth trying!

A rather mixed review of the first mission hub then, I really enjoyed the sabotage mission despite it being solo but the follow-up had no business being solo given the amount of creatures to fight.

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7 Responses to TSW: delving into Blue Mountain

  1. Meznir says:

    Putting aside the difficulty, annoying trash and forced solo – the actual storyline and atmosphere I thought was well done. It was pretty imaginative, with clear characters and (slight spoilers:) each time period was nicely tailored – especially the hippie 60s. I also liked how the secret room of the current period was previously the entrance to the basement (though you’d have thought in present day there would be steps down – maybe they’re hidden behind the bookshelf in there!) and the simple difference of all the furniture that had sheets covering them, being revealed.

    Before someone asks why we don’t have solo builds for our characters (I’m the healer of the trio mentioned) we do – though as we’re so tailored, it only allows building to a certain extent (I use fist and blood damage and keep two shields for utility – but there’s no way it will do as much dps as a pure dps tree) plus as we quest together, we mainly distribute the gear with the appropriate stats – so (for example) there’s still a lot of heal stat on the gear I use for solo / questing. That said though, we all pretty much finished at the same time – though probably as the dps is a little behind on levelling / gearing – I think he’d have been finished a good chunk before us otherwise.

    • Sylow says:

      You very much guessed my primary question on the whole text with the second paragraph. I don’t see why anybody would not have a damage dealing build at hand or quickly create one on the fly. No matter which weapons you use, you can deal good damage. Matter of fact the mathematically strongest DPS builds actually available in the game rely on tank weapons. They see limited use in dungeons due to AoE effects and movement in fights, which reduce the effective damage output a lot. Thus in dungeon groups ranged weapons win the DPS race due to being able to sustain damage when melee weapons are out of range and thus deal no damage. And as a curious sidenote, one of the strongest DPS builds in the game relies on blood. (Due to blood being able to double-drop consumers. )

      Also note that any good build, even healing builds, use passives from several weapons, so it’s adviseable to diversify through the whole skillwheel, and i advise to first get the complete inner wheel before taking more than a little cherry-picking from the outer wheel.

      More understandable is your point that you only have healing equipment. I guess you should upgrade your collection a little there. For the healing role i’d also advise to take a peek at the assault rifle. Due to its leech healing it heals the most when being operated with a good mix of attack rating to heal rating. (While i was in green gear i liked a ratio of 50% to 60% of attack rating vs. 40% to 50% of heal rating. ) Good healing while still dealing damage and having a reason to also carry some offensive talismans, quite a good choice. (And don’t worry that you already invested in other healing weapons, the points are not wasted. You still can and will use some passive abilities. )

      All in all, it is worth to keep some talismans at hand for different jobs, the game wants you to be flexible and adjust, there will be more solo instances in the future. While the ratio of solo instances decreases a lot after Solomon Island and any content which was released after game launch is designed for groups, even if it would make sense to be solo-only, your storyline will still drop you into solo instances, so you better stay prepared.

      • Meznir says:

        Thanks for the tips there. I’ll definitely investigate the passives from other weapons as I get more points and play around with the builds more – that’s one of the fun things about TSW – its versatility (at least until end game I guess).

        I do have two sets of talismans – one for more dps and one for more healing – but as the gear is shared between us, my dps talismans are a bit behind and/or I don’t have items for every slot. Plus I like to keep some healing rating on me for survivability anyway.

        Thanks again.

  2. Aywren says:

    Blue Mountain has been touted as the zone that really starts to test your build and survivability. Despite that, and the frustration of some of the forced-solo quests, it has some pretty awesome story in this area. I find the Franklin Mansion absolute creep-out material – that, and the quest you do there, put me at more unease than anywhere else in the game. I still don’t go upstairs there unless I really have to (those sounds!). The mines are also pretty tense.

    • Sylow says:

      Aye. Complete Solomon Island is kind of a training ground in my eyes. Kingsmouth teaches you about missions and many other basic mechanics, at the Savage Coast you have to learn to move in combat and how to dodge attacks. (While telegraphed attacks already exist in KM, not dodging there just means you need a little more healing. ) Blue Mountains is the first zone which tests he quality of your deck and forces you to adapt and improve.

      • Telwyn says:

        I’d already come to the conclusion that I need to take a serious look at my builds (tanking but also I have a ranged dps/support build for event boss fights) since the synergies with status effects could be stronger.

        After this session it is clear I’ll have to create a dps-focused one as well with a splash of self-healing. I have a nice blue-quality shotgun I haven’t used yet so that’s one possibility.

  3. pkudude99 says:

    I think the “run up and die, then respawn past the mobs” thing is a perfectly valid tactic. There’s a sabotage mission in the Carpathian Fangs lair area where I “get seen” about 50% of the time, and since I can’t solo lair mobs, I just run as close the next part of the mission as I can before dying, then run up in anima form and rez after the mobs have reset. Works very well.

    Same deal for the 1st phase of “The Cost of Magic.” I can usually manage to not die anymore, but if I do die…. just make sure I’m in a “safe spot” for after the mobs reset so I just have to run up in anima form and not lost my progress along the catwalks.

    Plus, sometimes you see pretty cool things in anima form, and sometimes the quests even require you to be dead while you do things. It’s just another phase of existence in this game, not necessarily a bad thing……..

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