The adventures continues in The Secret World, as well as in Real Life – have not left much time for actual blogging lately, so I am trying to squeeze in a bit here with various bits and pieces. This is reflected in the title of the post…
To Transylvania with love
In the past 3 weeks (I think) I have been roaming around in Transylvania, after leaving Eqypt for greener pastures – literally. Transylvania looks like a quite nice place, lush forests and farmlands and picturesque villages. At least if it had not been for various ghouls, ghosts, werewolves and of course – vampires.
The first thing you run into are ghouls, pretty much the same as one sees in Egypt, around the Black Pyramid in The City of the Sun God. Soon afterwards though you end up with a bit of different flavour, forest guardians and gods, and faeries folks – which to some extent are on your side. Except the corrupted ones – there is always Filth and corruption. When I was playing though a number of the missions in the first Transylvanian zone, The Besieged Farmlands, I was wondering when I would meet the vampires. I had actually already ran into them, but did not realize that. It was not until a bit later that what I thought was some kind of cultists, also were the vampires.
When I realized it then, there “cultists” made a lot more sense – how they were dressed and how they behaved. Vampires in a modern setting, adapting to the conditions. I loved it. I also loved that the story sort turns upside down with Bram Stoker’s version of Dracula – he is not a big bad vampire, but rather a hero it seems. It is interesting and I am curious to see where this story is taken.
There is also an element of former Soviet experiments in the area; covered by some missions and possibly expanded on by the local dungeon in the zone. I have not done that one yet, but probably will be doing that later when I am a bit more geared up.
At this time I am geared up with QL 10 green items and various blue items in QL8-10 range, the latter loot from a few dungeon runs. Most of the missions are ok to do solo, although some could certainly be tough. In the Shadowy Forest zone there are some missions with “nightmare” enemies – tougher than the normal enemies found. These were quite challenging in comparison and I have not completed any of these yet – would be easier in a team for sure. However, the toughness can be reduced with certain builds, so this is also an exercise in trying out adapted builds. They are not necessary for the story line it seems, so I will return to them a bit later.
The Quantum Bracer
As can be seen in the picture above (at the right wrist), I have picked up a Quantum Bracer auxiliary weapon. This seemed to be the weapon that from a visual perspective suited my character the most, with Chaos/Fist being the primary choice of weapons. The mission for this starts out in Kingsmouth, from Moose outside the police station. The mission itself was fairly straightforward and fun I think. At the time I completed this one I had a mix of QL8-10 gear. The fights were manageable, but would have been tougher to do at lower QLs likely.
After you have unlocked the weapon, you get a green QL10 Quantum Bracer. This cannot be used right away, one needs to spend 35 SP first and after that also 50 AP to get the first ability – one can equip one active and one passive ability. The auxiliary weapons have their own ability wheel. All the abilities for a weapon cost 50 AP each. Luckily, the XP flows pretty good in Transylvania it seems and it did not take too long to get enough to equip and use it – using the Time Accelerator also helped a bit
While I only use the Quantum Bracer so far, I also unlocked the Rocket Launcher. It was unintentional; I picked up the mission in Seoul and I thought it might be another faction mission. It was not until a bit into the mission that I realized what it was. This mission was a bit tougher, in the sense that I died a number of times – did not happen with the Quantum Bracer mission. It was a mix of straight fighting as well as a stealth mission, sort of. The stealthy parts were the ones that caused most deaths for me until I figured out where to move.
Overall the mission took much longer time to play though; I would probably have enjoyed it a bit more if I did not get a bit stressed & tired at the end because it was getting too late in the evening/night. At some point I will pick-up the Chainsaw mission also, although no rush with that – not quite the style I am going for. The weapon that is going to be introduced in the next issue though is another matter – The Whip. I am looking forward to that one.
At 50 %
This weekend I kind of reached a milestone – I have unlocked more than 50% of the ability wheel (50,1% to be exact). I have some points in in pretty much all weapons – the inner wheel is filled and there are bits and pieces in most outer wheel areas – elemental and blades do not have much at all though. The remaining 49,9% is going to cost more AP of course, but that is a goal I am happy to pursue. A nice bonus is that it also unlocks a number of costumes on the way, which also helps with motivation here.
Going green in dungeons and lairs
In our cabal we have two dungeon days per week, with a bit of time during a weekend aimed for various dungeon runs. In addition to this I am also part of a semi-static cabal team which do dungeons once peer week. The latter team is aimed at taking things slow, learn the areas and also allow people to try out new and different builds, if they are familiar with a dungeon in one particular role.
Lately I have tried out a different role than I initially played in the team, that as a healer. This was when our original healer wanted to do a bit of tanking instead, so I thought it could be good practice to try it out. While I had already made a healer build some time before this, I had never actually played it. It is a Blood/Fist build, with a couple of heals from Fist, combined with a little bit of Blood shields.
Our first dungeon run where I played healer was Ankh. That was a bit challenging; I barely knew where which ability was in the hotbar initially, plus one needs to move around and and handle the targeting at the same time. The abilities were a bit revised during the run; my initial build was lacking, but I had some spare AP and a bit of roaming around in the abilities worked out a bit better set-up. It was good to have understanding and helpful co-players; it was quite encouraging and one thing that is key to great experiences in MMOs – great people to play with.
After a while I started to get a hang of it, a bit at least. The next dungeon we did, Hell Fallen, worked out much better. One single wipe, which was due to me getting caught between lava and a wall. This was my second run in Hell Fallen; I quite like this dungeon. One thing I like about healing in The Secret World is that one has to move around and think about positions and where everyone is. This makes it more interesting that just standing in one spot and spamming heals. To be fair, healing is spammy. But you have to be aware of what is happening around you and not just look at health bars – I very much appreciate that.
Our last scheduled run did not do a regular dungeon, we were one man short and had planned to do an elite dungeon. Since people at this time mainly were in green QL10:ish gear, we decided to try out a lair instead – the lair in Kingsmouth. The lair enemies are quite tough, we could pretty much only handle one at a time, with four people. These enemies had high defense and were also healed if a hit on them glanced. So if people glanced too much the enemies healed back up again. We were looking at abilities to reduce glancing and since I use Fist as a healer, I put Pack Leader in my hotbar. Whenever this was active, the health of the enemy was reduced considerably.
For a long time we only had one Pack Leader though, so it was a bit slow. Out tank switch out one of his weapon to get fist instead; this made him lose some defense abilities. This made it a bit harder to keep up with the heals and shields, but also reduced time to defeat the enemies – they were defeated before our tank’s health dropped to zero.
The lair run did not have the same considerations for the environment that the dungeons had, so this was a more traditional healing situation. In the end we had a good time, but when it comes to healing I do prefer the dungeon runs.