Secret World is a tough beast to wrestle, its open and welcoming skill system doesn’t hinder you or your progress when you start the game but as you progress the underlying system becomes apparent and your choices are almost funnelled towards a cookie cutter skills and builds.
This is frustrating as the skill system is a big selling point of the game and it does offer a lot of tweaking that can extend your powers in additional ways, such as more splash damage, extended chain attacks, healing boosts, inflicting conditions on enemies.
In our weekly group everyone has more or less finished the Blue Mountain area and has a build that they find comfortable playing in the group, even my healing build has a little damage output now as the team’s gear and skills are working well together.
However last night we took the plunge and pushed into the 3rd dungeon, this is where the choices made months ago at the start of your character really can hinder your options as the trinity role are needed and if you’re fun build isn’t quite right you’ll know about it.
The hike in trash mob toughness was the first thing that was noticeable. In the other 2 dungeons the trash mobs were nothing to write home about. In The Darkness War we soon found that we all needed to tweak our builds to counter the new threats. For me this was still well within normal operational parameters of a dungeon run.
- We falter on the first hurdle as on the first wave hitting us @VanHemlock discovers his taunt isn’t in the ability bar, regardless of this we manage to reduce Batab Crusher’s health down before getting swamped with adds
- A quick amendment to skill bars and we are off to the 2nd boss, only a “trash” mob aggros from the side of the path and the team take a nasty beating as we were very unprepared
- We proceed to the next boss, Xibalban Bloodhound, a new mechanic is experienced but we find that a lack of DPS means that boss consumes more Mayans than we’d like. We defeat the boss on the second attempt, by this time it’s very clear that the dungeon isn’t very forgiving on the tank and by proxy the healers.
- A quick respite and we are onto the 3rd boss Dark House Sorcerer, he hits hard but also has a lot of attacks that need the players to move a lot. We complete this first time with only the faint sound of the magic roundabout in our ears
- Then we hit the wall with the Unbound Ak’ab boss, we took 1 run to learn the mechanics and adjust our builds.
The 2nd run we attempted to draw the Ak’ab Hatchlings towards the edges but this didn’t end well.
The Final runs we attempted to keep the boss and Ak’ab Hatchlings taunted in a group to one side, this wasn’t too bad other than keeping up the tanks health up, we didn’t lucky with some of the Ak’ab Hatchlings and they exploded near the support group and started chasing them.
- At this point the set toppled and we wiped for the final time.
The biggest issue is that in TSW there is no respec, you can just earn more points, however that takes time and doesn’t undo the fact you spent 40 points on Chaos Magic only to never use it again.
This is fine for players who want to spend extra time grinding more ability points but for a static group with players that pop on 1 or 2 times a week this isn’t really a good place to be in.
In the future we shall run it again, with everyone in the right gear and with the skills needed to win, then we shall wonder why last time it hurt so much.
here is the final deck build that I was using on the last attempt [TSW Builder]