TSW: progress well earned

Last night, on a whim, we decided to try to get past our impasse on the Nightmare in the Dream Palace story mission in The Secret World. We’ve been stuck on this for a rather long time, although we haven’t tried it again recently. Filling in some gaps in various zones and repeating some older content over the last few weeks did give me a chance to practice the game again after quite a hiatus, and also an opportunity to try out some new builds and skills. Since I always try to avoid spoilers I’ll not dwell too much on details in this post but if you haven’t yet done the Tokyo content don’t pay too much attention to the pictures!

I had saved progress part way through the story mission but was stuck on the second of a series of challenging fights. It took a couple of tries and some support skill swaps but I managed to kill my opponent and move on through to the next fight. This proved the easiest of the three for me to complete and on I moved.




The final big boss fight was touch and go however, the balance between my damage output and self-healing still isn’t probably what it needs to be. I died probably 5-6 times, either to the avoidable damage abilities or to not dealing with adds quickly enough. I did win through in the end and have passed that big hurdle finally!

I think the key abilities swaps that made the difference were to include the pistol skill Semi-auto and to swap Anima Shot back in. Semi-auto is a chain attack, it’s a multi-target damage attack that doesn’t require as much precison aiming as the cone- or targetted-area skills that I’ve been using in the past. Anima Shot is an old favourite that I’ve always considered a bit weak. I’d read on forums that it’s actually rather overpowered if you gear well – you can spam it as a builder and heal yourself at a decent rate; the only downside is that it doesn’t build pistol resources but for this build I only had the one pistol skill slotted.


Prior to this session I’d also spent precious bullion on buying two purple quality weapons (assault rifle and pistols) for this dps/leech healing build and they made a lot of difference to the build’s effectiveness. Having QL3/4 AE Capacitors may have tipped the scales in my favour as well (I probably had a QL 2 and 3 mix last time) plus having bought two points of the Aegis Efficiency skill (now up to 4) wil have increased my Aegis damage output too.


Both the husband and I made it through the mission that evening, so finally we’re all ready to look at purchasing Issue 13 or 14 to try some new content. I’m more tempted to buy Issue 14 first since it sounds more interesting and isn’t connected to the Tokyo story arc anyway. I wonder is there likely to be a bundle for the most recent issues anytime soon?


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5 Responses to TSW: progress well earned

  1. Yes, Anima Shot is one of the game’s best abilities for soloing. Equip one or two minor talismans with heal rating, devote the rest attack rating, and you can pretty much beat the entire game doing nothing but Anima Shot spam. Not the most exciting way to play, of course, but it works.

    If you have to choose, I would take issue 14 over 13. It’s a lot more fun, and while both are largely standalone stories with tangential (at best) relationships to the main story, issue 14 does seem to have a little more significance to the ongoing plot. If nothing else, it provides some interesting insights into the backstory and overall mythology of the Secret World universe.

  2. Sylow says:

    On Amia Shot, you can also consider Anima Burst. As both by now have a cast time and as casting an ability doesn’t slow you down any more, they are very similar in use. Their main differences are the sound (burst instead of single shot), a slightly different “sweet spot” and different synergies.

    For the last, for example i use anima burst in my leech healing setup, as it’s the only builder there and nicely can stack up ferocity.

    Both in my leeching setup and for solo play i actually have Transfuse Anima in my setup. Sure it is a consumer, so you can’t spam it, but it hits like a truck and heals for a lot at the same time. I generally tend to build five ressources with an AoE melee attack, then use Transfuse Anima to both heal myself (or a group member) and do plenty of damage. (Being a single target ability, it hits my selected target harder than my AoE consumer. ) After this i use an AoE melee consumer. If there are still enemies alive, i tab to the next of them, which still has five assault rifle ressources on him and hit him with my rifles high explosive grenade. As then all consumers are on cooldown, i return to my builders.

    On the issues, i liked Issue 13 although it was not as powerful as Issue 11. Considering that Issue 11 was the big finale, Issue 13 “wraps up” some loose end and Issue 14 supposedly starts setting up the stage for the next season, it’s obvious that they can’t have the power of Issue 11. (Issue 12 is a very different thing, if you like to go to dungeons with friends, it’s a must-have. If you don’t visit dungeons, you won’t ever miss it. )

    If Issue 13 or 14 is better i couldn’t tell, i know i enjoyed the Issue 13, i started Issue 14 with my girl and found it amusing. But i can’t give final judgement as we only did the first two missions yet. (But i can say that my girl found the first mission to be very annoying at a certain step. We died there a lot, not understanding what the game expected us to do there. And while i like the challenge, she was quite fed up. )

    Anyway, despite not having finished Issue 14 yet, i feel that neither Issue 13 nor Issue 14 has any chance to live up to the level of Issue 11, but that’s in the very nature of storytelling and how the arc of suspension has to be constructed. That being said, i wouldn’t skip Issue 13. Not only does hit have more of Ricky Pagan (who is awesome as ever) i’m also curious on your interpretation of Security Five. There’ve been several interpretation who or what that one is. πŸ™‚

  3. Sylow says:

    PS: The dungeons in Issue 12 are hard. Not only do you need to bring a good setup and well developed Aegis gear (from what you describe you might be at the bare minimum what you should have there) , the fights also have new and interesting mechanics which kept us busy and challenged for quite a while. And that was in Elite difficulty, which means that some of the people I usually go for dungeons with (my girl included) up to now refuse to take a look at the nightmare version. That being said, the fights are hard but not unfair. They are a nice and enjoyable challenge, although i also wonder how our group will handle the nightmare version, considering how much we struggled with the elite variant.

    Despite all of this, the two dungeons also carry on the story, without them a small piece of information in issue 13 can seem odd.

  4. Sylow says:

    An update on Issue 14: This issue is awesome. Based on your point of view on Issue 11, there’s a small chance that you will hate it, though.

    I won’t tell much about it, to avoid spoilers, but i dare to say that it again has a strong Indiana Jones vibe. (Yes, TSW gives many nods to all three of the Indiana Jones movies in Egypt.* ) It has some nice puzzles and yesterday was the very first time that i drew a kind of “map” (not exactly a map, but something along those lines) to solve a problem in TSW.

    Also it’s the very first mission classified as investigation mission where i see a point in repeating it. After all, while it’s riddle-based, the way they are implemented gives a new and interesting vibe to them. The principle of most of those riddles is known to all of us since ages, from former TSW missions and other games, but having to solve them while being chased by slow moving mummies which stun and kill you when they reach you adds a new layer of excitement. πŸ™‚

    What I think that it might be not your taste is the very last fight: While I found it highly enjoyable, it might not be your cup of tea.

    Sure, i died a few times till i knew what to interrupt, what to cleanse, where to hide and so on. But basically it was a clever combination of mechanics used in the facility (nightmare), scenarios, the Uta fight (any version) in the penthouse and the fight against the bird in the penthouse mini-dungeon, along with a new element which i won’t mention as it would be massive spoilering. For a frequent dungeon runner like me this last fight was awesome. I several times had the “now I have the fight down” feeling, just to have the boss pull out a new trick from his bag a few seconds later. I enjoyed that a lot.

    The only problem I see: a number of different mechanics, which you previously only encounter either in a few specific fights or even only in higher difficulty versions of dungeons, were rolled together into one prolonged boss fight. If you don’t already know those mechanics from somewhere else, you will die a few times till you learned how to handle them. Since there are several of them in the same fight, I fear that this might strain the patience of the casual player. On the positive: you don’t have to handle all of that yourself. Everything in Issue 14 can be done in group. (I was there with my girl, she used her dungeon DPS setup, i stuck to my solo setup with a wild mix of utility. )

    So this fight can also be done in a full five player dungeon setup, which probably trivializes it and should also bring it down to a manageable level of difficulty for your usual three player group.

    Another detail I dislike: there’s one reward which drops in a loot bag, so no matter how big the group, there’s one item dropped which you have to roll for. I dislike this mechanic and really prefer tokens and a vendor for any content done in group. No matter if i win or loose a need/greed roll, it always gives me either the “i lost” or the “i should not have rolled need, somebody else might have needed it more than i do” feeling for me. But despite this grain of salt, Issue 14 is great fun.

    So while Issue 13 wraps up loose ends in Tokyo and i enjoyed them a lot, i also agree that Issue 14 is superior. If you can only afford one of the two, Issue 14 is the way to go.

    *: There are THREE Indiana Jones movies. If somebody claims that there is a fourth, call him a liar. πŸ˜€

    • Telwyn says:

      Thanks for the detailed comments. Still waiting to find the time for us to buy and play this content. Will come back to this when we’ve played through it πŸ™‚

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