The Secret World: The game that killed alting for me

rainbowsDouble rainbows in Transylvania!  What does it mean?

I want to give a shout-out today to my Secret World cabal, who more or less dropped their original plans to help me get through a pair of insanely tough Transylvania quests last night.  This was helpful, not just to my game progress but to my general sanity, as I’d been slowly going mad trying to solo a quest that was kicking my butt up and down ten ways from Sunday.  I still don’t understand why TSW needs to be so flipping hard, other than to provide a speed bump to slow down the progress through the missions, but I truly wish it would either cut mob health in half or lower the difficulty by, say, 25%.  Not to make it a cakewalk, just less of a slugfest.

I’m in the process of reworking my build for the umpteenth time.  I think I may just focus on pursuing the Puritan deck to see if Funcom knows better than I do (hey, worst case is that I get a cool new outfit).  Right now I can do okay for myself, with a hefty amount of health and survival skills, some debuffing, and a bit of DPS, but it’s nothing amazing.  I miss the days when I could mow through packs of zombies in a few seconds.

And yet you could not tempt me to go back to Kingsmouth, I think.  As with any MMO, I’ve mused about possibly rolling a new character to try to get it right (or at least better) — chase a different build, don’t waste my AP and SP on frivolous pursuits, see another faction’s perspective.  Unfortunately there’s something about TSW that’s killed the notion of alting for me.

There are several reasons why.  The first is that with the classless system, it’s not like there are other classes for me to try out.  If I want to experience a different build, I just, y’know, do it.  The second reason is that I’ve invested a crapton of time into this character, overcome really tough missions that I’d rather not do again, and still haven’t finished up Transylvania at my pokey-puppy rate.

The final reason is a bit of a cop-out, but I am still creeped out by a lot of Kingsmouth.  It unsettled me in a way that Egypt and Transylvania haven’t quite achieved, and I’d rather not dive back into that pea-soup zombie-fest quite yet. Sometimes I feel like Funcom really splurged 80% of its best ideas and tropes on Solomon Island.  Egypt was hard to make scary, because BRIGHT SUNNY DAYS aren’t as naturally terrifying as haunted amusement parks in the gloomy dusk.  Even Transylvania seems more airy and cheerful (in a bloodsucking kind of way).

I’m not saying never, but just not today.  There’s a new update coming out soon and then the Tokyo zone, so I think my character will have enough to do for the time being.


12 thoughts on “The Secret World: The game that killed alting for me

  1. Rowan May 14, 2013 / 11:39 am

    I got my alts through Solomon together for the most part. The only one I took through *every* Solomon mission (except Tyler Freeborn) was much higher when she got to Egypt than the other two, both because I repeated missions to boost SP, and because I simply did more there. I don’t mind going back there the some do, but then I’m not creeped out as much as you or Sctrz is by the Zombie-fest.

    The decks are a good jumping off point, but I’ve found that it’s good to throw in passive (or active, if feasible) heals for soloing, even when you’re working with a primarily DPS or Tanking deck. Of course, if you’re tanking like I was supposed to be doing last night, it helps to include hate boosters.

  2. pkudude99 May 14, 2013 / 12:04 pm

    Which quest was giving you such fits? Was it the one that the mobs have 2 little helpers that shield the main mob so you have to hinder them and pull the big mob away from them? That one was indeed a bear….. though doable with a hinder build. Still, much easier with a group, that’s for sure.

  3. Tyler F.M. Edwards May 14, 2013 / 12:16 pm

    TSW isn’t really a game that’s meant for alts. I consider myself somewhat deranged for bringing two characters as far as Transylvania. Though a lot of that was just to avoid that damn Dragon jumping puzzle.

    Unfortunately, I’ve taken a few weeks off from the game, so I don’t recall my exact build, but if you’re struggling, I could probably help. Oddly enough, I seem really good at soloing TSW. I’ve successfully soloed every nightmare mission to date, up to and including the infamous “Girl Who Kicked the Vampire’s Nest.”

    I wrote a basic primer for soloing a few weeks back:

    Personally, I love the difficulty of TSW. It’s so refreshing to play an MMO where you can’t just sleepwalk through every quest.

  4. nukethesitefromorbit May 14, 2013 / 1:30 pm

    In my 14 years of MMO gaming TSW is the only game where I have created one character and one character only. Given the ease with which I can earn AP in Kingsmouth in just one evening with my character the idea of actually creating another seems silly to me.

    It also allows me to feed my unhealthy need to complete and collect everything. The day I filled out the inner wheel was a good day… I can not imagine what it will feel like to complete the outer wheel 🙂

  5. Comptess May 14, 2013 / 5:14 pm

    I agree, more than 1 character is all that is required to experience 99% of the content. They are looking at bringing in more faction-specific content so perhaps there will be more reason later to create another.

    I do have a character in each faction; this is so I can group up with fellow cabalists that want to run lower level dungeons (having OP characters in a group is a lame experience for everyone) and the third is for replaying the content much slower than I did originally; the whole in-depth, exploring, immersion experience. It’s great that you are still creeped by Kingsmouth, those screeching zombies just annoy me now.

  6. Comptess May 15, 2013 / 2:57 am

    Ek. And by ‘more than 1 character’, I meant ‘ only 1 character’.
    No edit function…

  7. Skro May 15, 2013 / 4:15 am

    I did create two characters in TSW… But the second one is actually a placeholder to reserve a nickname and is very unlikely to be played any day…
    But I must admit I’m not really an alt person (at least before the first character is “finished” – or that I’m happy with what it has become).

  8. Sylow May 15, 2013 / 9:13 am

    I fully agree to your “one character to do it all” point of view. But honestly, i also appreciate that. It means that your one character actually is able to carry your “profile”. No longer do i need to maintain a list of “which player has wich dozen of alts” to maintain social contacts, one character one player, easy going.

    And on the hard missions in Romania, there are two things to be mentioned:

    1. There are actually very few missions which are hard work when doing them solo. With a proper setup, even the infamous “Girl who kicked the vampires nest” is not that hard to do, and the “Cost of magic” becomes extremely easy once you understand that it’s the “Super Mario” mission of the game, means jump and run is the name of the game in that mission.

    When a mission apprears to be impossible to beat, taking a look at the nightmare buffs of your enemies often reveals what is giving you so massive problems and adjusting the setup might help a lot. (For me personally, the lession was learned at some mobs which get significally more powerful when putting a weaken effect on them. I for all of the game used to weaken enemies with debilitation, so they would deal 30% less damage but at the enemies in question, this would still leave them with significally higher damage output than if i wouldn’t debilitate them. )

    2. Having a few really hard missions in game turned out to be a “social dynamo” for me. You did the mission with support of your Cabal, so the missions did their job by strengthening existing social bonds. The alternative to asking your Cabal is the regional general chat, where i still (almost a year after launch, where such communication channels in other games are completely dead) notice people asking for support and groups forming for those few hard missions.

    The missions are fully optional, you don’t need them for your story mission and can progress your character without them. The solo player needs a refined setup and good gear to do them in reasonable time, most solo players are better of doing other missions for better AP per time yield. But when groups come into play, these missions suddenly offer a lot of AP for the time invested, making them very attractive for groups.

    Interestingly enough, i found that social bonds often continue to persist after such missions, quite regularily groups in which i did these missions then went for dungeons together. (If you find that the people work well in the slightly lower challenge environment of hard missions, they usually also can cooperate well in a dungeon. ) Quite a numer of entries in my friends list come from such encounters and while several don’t need missions any more (AP and SP capped), groups for NM dungeons ofter are made by contacting competent people of the friends list.

    Thus the few challenging missions yielded a bigger profit than just AP and SP: contacts to players with who i work together on a regular basis.

    Praise the optional high reward missions, for their benefits are manifold. 🙂

  9. Ald May 15, 2013 / 11:38 am

    This is actually the way i prefer my MMO’s. FFXI was like this and i absolutely loved that i knew who everyone was because they only had 1 character they could level everything on. It gives characters a sense of meaning, instead of just one of a dozen alts running around. I wish every MMO would go to this system.

  10. Malcolm May 16, 2013 / 2:21 pm

    Each region is supposed to evoke certain ‘feelings’, and the DLC reflect that.
    Solomon Island – Vanishing of Tyler Freeborn – creepy, crazy, spooky, otherworldly
    Egypt – Last Train to Cairo – corruption, danger, excitement, exploration, actiony… Indiana Jones
    Transylvania – ? (next Issue or so) – isolation, mystical, supernatural, fairytale, Dreamfall, alien
    Tokyo? – ? (somewhere around Issue 9-10?) – threat, disaster, scope, coverup, etc etc

    I think Solomon Island is going to be the most ‘scary’ area, overall, for a good while. Tokyo may be more about how messed up the world could be if this anti-anima threat spreads, and the rumored South American zone may be more of an extension of what End of Days event hinted at 😉

    As for alts, the game is good for one character, but many make 3, to get all faction stories (and that’s assuming that the story won’t branch off at some point). Some people make more than 3 for RP purposes, or whatever, but they’re a small minority I think. Normally it’s 1-3.

  11. mariano December 28, 2014 / 10:08 pm

    Hmmm if you’re an altholic then you WILL find a way, it’s not like game killed alting for you, it’s that you don’t like alts that much. Me personally what makes me go for an alt in a game like TSW is , for now (because i’m quite new on this game) is :

    -Faction locked outfits (As much as you want, you can’t go with a badass templar outfit if your faction choice was dragon or illuminati)
    -Character Creation It’s not that character creation is THAT good, but i really love to make new characters, either male or female,so i find it kinda cool to make your character fits to the faction of your choice, for example, my Female Dragon toon is all chinese, while my Templar is all refined and good looking while my future iluminati it will be all messy and probly with a long mohawk haircut (because you know, they’re iluminati and they don’t give a shit about anything) .

    So yeah, find your reasons to alt and you will be back to alting in no time that you find that 3 slots isn’t enough.

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