TSW: time to move on?

We played another trio session of The Secret World a few nights ago and have reached the point, after three whole zones, where we’d really like some change of scenery from New England.


The session started with us at the military camp near the start of Blue Mountain, the very first mission from there took us to Sasquatch territory and an a solo instanced area. That was pretty painful to solo as a tank, I still haven’t had the time to work on a solo build for my character yet and given how I play this game it irks me greatly that I even have to – we always play as a duo/trio yet find ourselves forced to solo by poor mission design. There was no reason I can think of why we had to individually slog through a very repetitive infestation of Ak’ab to free Sasquatch when, as a trio, we could have had fun working cooperatively to achieve the same result.


After that unfortunate start we cracked on as a team with the Sasquatch-given missions nearby, which were given without any dialogue. It’s understandable that these creatures, which the game explains speak no human language, would not have a cut-scene of awkward sign-language attempts but in a game with such high quality characterisation of NPCs it still was unusual. The missions were of the ‘kill some Ak’ab and then kill some more’ variety. It was at this point after several trips into the heart of the Ak’ab infested area that we were starting to curse the game’s “one main mission at a time” design. It’s not necessarily the sameness of the creatures that was bothering us the most but rather that every single one of them has knockdown stun attacks. That gets old real fast.


The saving grace for the session was that the last mission was across the zone in a scrapyard invaded by zombies and elementals, the perfect change of scenery to ease our Ak’ab annoyance! Hopefully the next time we play we’ll have geared enough to advance the main storyline mission and progress on past the zone and the area to something new…

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10 Responses to TSW: time to move on?

  1. pkudude99 says:

    I see that you’ve found out why everyone hates ak’abs.

    And you were warned about the stupid solo-only instances. There are always a few sprinkled here and there in every zone, though most are for sabotage missions where you generally don’t fight much, if at all.

    Once you get to Egypt, there’s a buig jump in how much xp you get awarded, so it’s easier to start looking at either adding a lot of skills to your existing build (for a solo build) or even at swapping your build entirely. I started the game using Assault Rfile / Blade combo, but in Egypt changed so a Chaos/Blade combo that took me through to the end of the game (mostly — some monsters, especially the Padurii in Transylvania require completely different build and strategy).

    In the City of the Sun God you’ll run in to your 1st nightmare level mission also. That one requires a gear change, as the mobs are QL10 nightmare mobs and also heal themselves and hurt you if you glance, so you must gear for hit for that mission. That’s a mission I actually went back to do after I was “done” with the main story and QL10 myself.

    FWIW, your build is probably fine for solo instances, but it’s your gear that makes it a slog since tanking gear does low damage. To “instantly convert” to a higher damage build, just use 7 damage talismans glyphed for penetration — no build change required. You’ll still have plenty of HP for solo, plus with the bump to your attack rating and penetration stat you’ll do a lot more damage and find solo to be a lot easier on the occasions when you’re forced to do it.

  2. pkudude99 says:

    I just logged in and sent you a QL5 Head and QL6 everything else (I checked your chronicle for your skill levels) built as mentioned above. I hope it helps!

    • Telwyn says:

      Thanks, that’s really kind! We’ve noticed that the vast majority of gear out in the wild and in dungeons seems to be tank-stated – is that just random luck or some bias in the game’s loot tables? By tank-stated I mean the majority of pre-slotted glyphs seem to be defence or block or the like. We’ve had sessions where literally all the gear is like this…

      • pkudude99 says:

        I don’t know that there’s a loot bias, but I’ve also not really paid attention since making glyphs is simplicity in and of itself and you can drop a new glyph on any talisman you want at any time to get the stats that you want. When I was “leveling” and got the ability to wear the next QL of gear I’d simply go to the auction house and find the cheapest talisman of the type that I wanted (almost invariably attack rating) and then make and drop my own glyph on it.

        Of course I also tended to break down almost all the gear I received, so I had glyph materials coming out my ears too. The glyph toolkits drop often enough that I always had plenty on hand.

        Since the game’s “matured” now, the mid-level talismans aren’t necessarily that cheap anymore — it actually cost me nearly 100K Pax to buy that set of 7 for you (though most of that was a single one for 50K), but it’s still pretty cheap overall, especially compared to the millions I’ve spent on clothes in Pangaea or on signets. . . . .

  3. Sylow says:

    I don’t know your build, so i can’t confirm what pkdude99 says about just switching gear. If your tanky setup also includes some way of regenerating health, even if it was just some cheap passives, then his assessment probably is right, just mix and match your talismans accordingly. (My personal advise when in green gear: one major and one minor healing talisman, the rest attack rating. You’ll have more than enough health to not be spiked down, have good enough regeneration and quite some punch. )

    And also, yea, Ak’abs. We love to hate them for a good reason, but i still think that they are the right thing for that area. They teach players to dodge. An interesting aspect there was when in my old cabal people were talking about Blue Mountains. We had several people who advised to do the same as they did, to get higher QL gear (either from the auction house or forward to scorched desert to gear up and return to BM later) as the zone then is much easier to handle.

    In contrast, those people who i considered the best people in NM dungeons, who among other things had good survival rates against ground targeted attacks, almost always stated that they the zones in order and didn’t buy gear. There is no definite way to tell if those two things are connected, after all this includes personal experience and evaluation and it as well can be attributed to the fact that some of our “correct order” people were very disciplined and worked hard on their abilities. Still, without being able to back it up by solid facts, i do believe that people who spent enoug Ak’ab time often do better in dungeons, too. 😀

    • pkudude99 says:

      I don’t know that’s it’s just the need to dodge — the draugr in Kingsmouth have telegraphs to dodge after all. I think it’s more that they seem to be aggro linked with each other as most other mobs aren’t (including mobs that are out of line-of-sight), so you end up with 3-4 on you at a time and all doing their telegraphs at once, and if you aren’t careful with your dodging you’ll get too close to another one and then it calls its friends……. And then it’s a chain reaction and you’re fighting the whole damn forest full of them.

      FWIW, here’s his chronicle link: http://chronicle.thesecretworld.com/character/Ebrayn Seems decent enough as an early solo build, though while playing solo perhaps dropping Agitator for something else to boost self-heals (Lick Your wounds and/or Immortal Spirit perhaps?) or to increase damage (pistol damage passive?) might be more useful. Even so, it doesn’t look like a bad solo build as-is for the solo instances in BM, I don’t think.

      • Sylow says:

        On the draugr also having telegraphed attacks: true, just as a few other enemies. (e.g. zombie firemen. ) But it seems like they are not annoying enough. I know some people who just never bothered to dodge out of the stuff, but rather just relied on some more healing. The Ak’ab and their knockdown are way more annoying and thus a much bigger incentive to dodge.

        Still you also are right, their density and agro behaviour also plays into this a lot. In many other zones you can just kite and roll around at leisure during a fight, when fighting the Ak’abs you have to be fully aware of where the other beasts are so you don’t agro more of them and suddenly get overwhelmed by a whole army of them. But i dare to say, this again supports my point of view, that those beasts teach the players: they learn to dodge, not just randomly into any direction, but dodge properly to avoid getting into more trouble. (Which again supports my NM point of view: the good player does not just dodge anywhere, so from one bomb into the other, but actually usually dodges out of trouble. )

      • pkudude99 says:

        Yeah, the importance of proper dodging is a big thing in NM’s and in the new areas of Tokyo too. Mob density is rather high, so it’s hard enough to just circle-strafe without adding the next group of mobs……

  4. Sylow says:

    And on the build, i would replace both tipped scales and agitator for healing regeneration passives. The rest, personal taste, but i guess it works. 🙂

  5. Pingback: TSW: story, how it should be done | GamingSF

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