I love that feeling when you’ve just been trudging along in a game, making very slow progress, and one day everything clicks and you’re just flying. Usually that involves crossing a threshold (level, skill, zone) and finally achieving some goals that makes gameplay a lot more enjoyable.
I’m now flying in TSW. I am in heaven.
I’ve chewed on my build frustration on this blog before. TSW’s open-ended skill building system offers remarkable flexibility and synergy potential, but it also means the devs have designed the game for those running builds that work pretty darn well and not the rest of us who are going around with mis-matched, underpowered, or non-theory-crafted setups. My old build could take down a mob in an ice age or two, and I got sick of dying due to not killing that I just started stacking health gear like a tank without the tanky skills.
Anyway, a few days ago I said “Fudge this!” (fudge is not a substitution word; I like to throw imaginary fudge on my problems) and dedicated a login session to making something that, y’know, worked. I didn’t want to just hop on board someone else’s build because I needed to figure this out for myself, plus I wanted something that catered to my playstyle and skills I liked best. I also swapped out some of my health gear for +attack to get that DPS back up.
The end result is a shotgun/blades build that is fundamentally different than anything I’ve tried before, and it works so beautifully. It’s not uber-DPS, but it’s respectable DPS coupled with incredible survivability. I focused my build around two concepts: single-target strike damage and penetration. I used to rely on blast (multi-target) skills, but they’re so horrible in taking down individual mobs that I should’ve given them up a long time ago.
The whole build concept hinges upon penetrating foes and then triggering all sorts of passive proc effects from that. There’s boosted damage, an AOE added effect, lowering the DPS of the enemy, and so on. There are so many penetration synergy passives that it’s agonizing to pick between them. I threw in a +10% shotgun damage and +7.5% strike penetration chance, and I have an active skill that increases penetration chances by 40% for 8 seconds, which goes so well with the five-quick-shot Shotgun Wedding skill.
Survivability is even better with this build. I kind of have gone overboard, but I love it all and really love not dying. My chainsaw gives me a damage-reflecting shield, for starters. Then I have a straight-up health skill and an evade while it throws a HOT on me skill. Finally, there’s a passive elite called Forged in Fire that heals me up 40% when my health dips below 50% (75 second recharge). All in all, I’m chewing through mobs while they’re having a hard time getting my health down below 75% even as a pack. It’s lovely.
On top of the new build, I finally entered the Carpathian Fangs, the final Transylvania zone, and it’s as great as people have said. The missions so far have been easy and rewarding, the mobs not too tricky, and the landscape lovely. Plus, there’s a magical teddy bear or something. I spent three hours on Saturday doing nothing but plowing through mission after mission here, taking note of a few that would make excellent repeats to stock up on AP.
The final wind in my sails is the fact that I finally got my first non-basic deck build outfit, the Puritan. I could’ve gotten one of these outfits a long time ago if I hadn’t been constantly switching weapons and ideas, but it’s nice to get one and start on my second.
I’m pretty darn excited for the upcoming Issue #7, which takes place where I am. I might even sub up for a month to get a few extra perks while affording the DLC.