Returning to The Secret World

The last couple of days have seen me try my hand a both Archeage and The Secret World. As I mentioned before, I have played The Secret World a little, perhaps the first 15-20 hours or so, but finally decided to bite the bullet and really give it a fair crack of the whip. So without further ado, please welcome my newest character ‘Lucy “Lucks” Linguine”’, of the order of the Templars.

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I really like TSWs representation of London, and it is obvious that they’ve made an effort to get the look and feel right. Little details like the uniforms of the police, the shape of the cars, and the markings on the roads, feel quite authentic, and you even hear some familiar British colloquialisms whilst chatting to NPCs here. I’ve yet to pick a faction other than Templars in this game, so maybe I should try another sometime just to see the other home cities.

The Secret World is one of those games I’d categorise as having slightly awkward ideal play sessions. You see, I have this notion that some games benefit from longer play sessions than others. Take Guild Wars 2 for example, in that game I feel I can legitimately play for half an hour and accomplish something, without feeling like I lose anything from the overall experience. In TSW however, I believe I enjoy it more if I can play for a couple of hours at a time. Such is my inclination with most heavily story driven games. Remembering characters and details is harder if your playtime is too short, or the length of time between sessions too long.

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I took some care when picking my characters weapons and when spending my first Anima Points, aided in part by some sound advice from Crow at Looking for Playtime. I opted for blades and blood magic as my two primary weapons, hoping to utilise synergies around the impaired state and penetration buffs.

My first couple of hours in game only saw me complete a few missions in Kingsmouth, but they were memorable and I had a lot of fun, overall I’m glad I made the decision to give the game another try.

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11 thoughts on “Returning to The Secret World

  1. Fantastic! I think you’ll find Sword/Blood to serve you well throughout the story. Here’s a little tip that could be fun: The passive Bloodsport makes every hit a little DoT… and there are plenty of things that proc off of DoTs. One of the more surefire ways to get procs.

    Best of luck! Hope it’s going well.

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  2. In the beginning you look at some abilities and say “That’s not worth it”. But when you start seeing the lines between status effects and procs and synergies it becomes about more than just a base-buff and reaches into how it interacts with other, often more powerful, abilities.

    Really sounds like you have a good start here. Stick with Blade/Blood as much as you can.

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  3. I love the Secret World, the skill system is so much fun, working out build and use powers that work together.

    If you want to have a look at the other starting cities, goto Agartha and there are entrances to each area, you can find lore in them too.

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    • I didn’t know that was possible. That’s a great tip, thanks.

      I’m always a big fan of free form character building. It just allows for so much more depth and experimentation, even if it is possible to create a bad build, it’s nothing that can’t be corrected through grinding.

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      • That’s the right attitude to have. Remember that it’s less of a “Any build you want” and more of a “You need to use specific builds for specific challenges”. It’s common to hit a wall and need to grind out more AP/SP to pass a challenge. Best advice there is the standard “Don’t slam your face against a wall, go do something else”. Sometimes you can even skip to the next zone if you’re having difficulties with a specific fight. I did just that at the end of Egypt and had zero issue with Transylvania which allowed me to farm AP/SP and go back to finish my storyline.

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  4. I should get back into TSW, I had a blast playing it but the endgame left me cold. They’ve since added a ton of content, so it won’t be stuck running the same handful of dungeons for incremental upgrades.

    I absolutely love the skill system. Talarian had a good post about depth vs complexity, and I think TSW really got it right. Most skill setups are built around very simple rotations (usually builder*3, finisher 1, finisher 2) with lots of synergistic interplay between passives. The simple rotations free up a ton of player focus so the fights can be packed full of complex movement and effects. Compare this system to wow, where the rotations are very complex, necessitating simpler fights, and TSW’s system really shines. The end result is more variety in encounters and more flexible characters, without overtaxing the players’ mental resources.

    I also like the flexible gear system. You can really focus on the best stats for your build or a for particular fight. You can run very minimal HP and maximize damage if your connection and reflexes are good, or lose some output to increase survivability. Some fights with predictable AOE even reward players who stack enough HP to just eat the damage and stay on target the whole fight.

    It’s a great game, and I think I’m going to have to reinstall it. Thanks for the great post!

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    • I’m a little worried about how much it would hold me if I got to the end game as well. Think I’ve got quite a was to go before I have to worry about it yet though.

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