The Secret World: Going for the gold

goldWith our first official Monday night Secret World group meeting following the release of Issue 8, the question loomed in our minds: Would scenarios get better?

I’d been logging on about once a day since they released to give them a go, with mixed results.  I managed to get a bronze for a Hotel solo, wiped a bunch of other times, retuned and retuned my build, and had some very bad luck with pugs.  You just need too much communication with scenarios to rely on the chat window, especially with TSW’s wonky chat.

So I’ve been a little down in the dumps — I want to like scenarios, I just maintained that they are too difficult, especially on solo mode when you have two or three camps being attacked simultaneously.  I don’t care how good your gear or build is, it’s impossible for one person to be in more than one place.

Apparently Joel Bylos agrees, as he popped in the forums to respond to criticism about the scenarios, saying fun things like:

“A normal solo green player who is of average skill and deck building ability can achieve a bronze or silver medal.”

and

“A part of the problem is that people are used to the progression of difficulty being that solo is easier than group because that is how things work in most games.  However, I would argue that solo scenarios are the most difficult and indeed nightmare solo is the hardest of the content we have released with Issue #8.”

The former I call BS on, and the latter just makes me cross-eyed.  Solo is supposed to be the most difficult?  Why is this a good design decision?  Is this now The Bizarro World?

Anyway, our cabal broke up into two groups of five and decided to run all three scenarios on normal difficulty, duo mode.  I think this was a good decision, since all six runs completed (ours got two silver and one gold).  The duo setting felt adequate for a group — challenging but not overwhelmingly so.  I only then realized that you do get a token or two per boss kill, so that made me feel better about failing a scenario, since you could still walk away with a couple tokens and the AP/SP earned.

We had fun getting a feel for the maps, often splitting up into two groups and keeping our baby birds alive.  I really would love to see a different scenario type in the near future, as protecting mostly helpless NPCs is right up there with “escort missions” as potentially frustrating content.

So I’m feeling a little better about it all, although there’s no way I’m going to subject myself to more soloing.  I’d love to be going back to running standard missions, to be honest, but scenario rewards — augments, the Tokyo certification, cosmetics, purple gear — are too good to ignore.

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6 thoughts on “The Secret World: Going for the gold

  1. My 1st attempt at the Hotel I got a bronze and felt a bit frustrated by the random seed that I got with the Wandering Juggernaut and his huge AE’s and also the Filth Bomb that hindered me so horribly. But I also recognized that I really didn’t know what I was doing, and overall I got 9 “oreos” and 3 augments, so it was actually a fairly big success.

    My 2nd attempt at the Hotel went considerably better. But I also got a much easier random seed. The traitors were easy to deal with — by the time I got to the 3rd group the one with the gun had managed to kill all but 1 anyway, and my other event was simply a supply drop. I also was using a different build I’d gotten off the forums that was in many ways similar to my standard build, but was a bit more tanky and had the option for some decent self heals as well, if necessary.

    FWIW, the mobs do not spawn simultaneously that I’ve seen. If you have multiple spawns attacking different groups it’s due to killing to slowly. But then, I’ve only got 2 scenarios under my belt either, so maybe different random seeds do spawn simultaneously, and you’ve just been unlucky on the seeds? I’ve also not done the Castle or the Mansion yet either, so I have no idea how they seed out either.

    As you say though. . . .I’m not really sure I want to. So far the augments haven’t been any big deal, and they don’t save in the gear manager, so after you change a build you still have to manually re-add your augments anyway. Frankly, I think I’ll just do the Mansion and the Castle a couple of times to learn them, get my 80 Aurei for Tokyo certification and then call it done. Buy my augments whenever I feel the need for them, if I ever do.

    Of course when they add in additional types of scenarios instead of just “defend 2 or 3 spots” then I may give them a look again, but for now — 2 times and I’m already done.

  2. This update has been a bit of a head-scratcher for myself and my duo partner in TSW. Scenarios are very challenging, while neither of us are uber geared, we’re both pretty competent MMO players and quite comfortable doing the requisite number crunching to build successful skill decks. I’ve managed to do a couple scenarios solo, but have failed MANY more times. Things just move in too quickly to be able to handle and if you trait DPS you get swarmed with just too much incoming damage. One thing I really appreciate is the ability to run as a duo in a solo space as that really helps you learn the fights, mechanics, and locations in these spaces.

    I think the more interesting decision is the shear amount of grind required for anything released with Issue 8 couple with the “failure lockout.” I used to think LOTRO’s LI system was the king of grinds, but this implementation by far takes the cake.

  3. Not to ignore the bulk of the post but why shouldn’t solo content be difficult, even the most difficult in the game? As long as there is scaling, preferably very aggressive, as you move up the difficulty ranks it seems like a good fit, especially for a classless game like TSW.

    After about a decade in MMO-land I think that (other than very specific mechanics) the most difficult part of group content is social. Once you organize the group/raid, get everyone to the correct place at the correct time with the correct gear, and squash the personality conflicts running the actual content feels like a relief. Which is why I don’t so it anymore.

    This sounds like one heck of a carrot, maybe enough to get back into TSW.

  4. To echo what was said above me, what’s wrong with solo content being hard? I’d rather solo be the harder option. Social content is for chilling with friends. I hate it when one unskilled player drags an entire group down — especially if I am that player.

    I’d rather face a challenge alone. That way no one has to suffer for my mistakes, nor do I have to worry about someone else screwing me up.

    I think people tend to forget two important things about scenarios:

    1: They’re still very new. We don’t have a lot of guides or builds already made for them. People are still learning to what works and what doesn’t. Scenarios might well take a very different kind of build from the rest of the game’s content. For instance, I’ve been finding CC to be extremely useful in scenarios, whereas it tends to be pretty worthless in other high end PvE.

    2: Scenarios were never meant to be easy. They’re intended to be something for the hardcore players to grind ad nauseam, and Funcom wants them to have a lot of longevity, so they need to be hard now so they don’t become trivial as the playerbase slowly grows in power.

    I’m surprised people are having so much trouble. I’m not a great player by any stretch of the imagination, and my gear is far from the best, but I’ve been consistently getting gold or silver on solo normal.

  5. I think it is too hard….for a casual player. I have not done more than 2 instances…I have all blues with 2 epics 10.0. I am about 75% done with the wheel. I can do all the quests solo with the Fata Padruii (sp?) being extremely hard that I did enlist help cause it was taking forever.

    I bought issue #8 as soon as I got home – rushed in to try it out. Got my quest – touched the table – Normal – Solo – Hotel. I finished it and got a silver. Popped out and got 6 tokens. Then I looked at what the tokens could buy. 80 to finish the quest….200-300 for epics. Right there I was a bit bummed….I had to run this 13 more times?? Just to complete the quest and then like 42 times for each epic I might want… Right then I knew this part of the issue was NOT meant for me – I will not farm something that much.

    SO I waited for my son to get on so we could Father/son bond in duo scenarios…might be more fun. We could not finish ANY of them…they destroyed us. I have since gone back and failed the mansion solo and the castle solo. We did complete the castle on solo with 2 people though!

    I’m sure people with 10.4 epics can handle the normal stuff better. I was reading someone advice on how to handle them…by changing your build each wave depending on what random event happens. That’s a bit beyond what I want to do in a game…I don’t want to have to preplan 20 different builds to complete how I want to play. If I am going out to farm some nightmare type mobs in the open world…yes – I will change my build depending on their resistances.

    The we have the Augment system…which we get this nice video showing how we just pull them from the side and drop them into our skills! SO simple! I have yet to find any loot to do with the augment system after running 10-12 scenarios (fails and successes) I see some items I can buy with the new coins/tokens you get from completing the near impossible runs.

    And that’s IT??? Nothing more to the issue…this time I really feel like I wasted $10. While the idea was cool, and the first time you rez into your first scenario felt awesome….it ended right after I got out that first time. I’m not in an active guild…that died long ago…and I am positive that the people spamming “exp +18 NM HE Filth DPS4.5 XYZPDQ” don’t want anything to do with me in their groups :)

  6. Azzura — when you log in type “/chat join noobmares” without the quotes, and you can get into nightmare runs where absolutely no one cares about your stats — in fact, if you post your stats when asking for a group, people will tell you to stop, and just say “DPS LFG POL” or “Tank LFG 18′s” or whatever.

    Last night I was in a “24′s” group and we had plenty of wipes through out the night, but we just kept plugging away. Machine Tyrant took us 9 tries. But no one got mad, no one ragequit, we just kept on playing. Fun was had by all. Aand hey, I got 45 bullion out of the deal. Worth a lot more to me than “oreos.” I’ll eventually get the 80 I need to unlock Tokyo, but beyond that. . . meh.

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