Category Archives: TSW

An Alt Army of One

Now that I’m playing The Secret World I’m left with the question of “what is an altoholic to do in such a single-character centric game?” In my first weekend I stumbled upon the answer: decks.

There are many different reasons that people like to play alts such as varied leveling experiences, different RP outlets and other thematic reasons. For me it’s usually the play-styles. Most of the time when I pick up a new alt it’s because I want to play a different class and experience a different play-style. This is also the reason I typically gravitate toward hybrid-type characters. My first max-level character in any MMO was a Druid in WoW and a Rift Cleric is, to-date, the only non-WoW max level character I’ve played. Hybrids offer some of what I’m looking for in alts: varied play-styles.

So what does hybrid classes and alts have to do with a class-less game that encourages character monogamy? Well, I’m dealing with the “main” issue by playing my Templar as an uberhybrid to effectively create and alt army of one. This way I get all the story, lore and exploration *cough* and costume *cough* unlocks of playing one character while getting the game play experience of multiple alts.

I do have a fear of spreading myself too thin, at which point I will create another character, so I’m starting by focusing on three or four weapons while cherry-picking other low-hanging passives and building them into different decks. Currently I’m running with Blade, Blood and Hammer while alternating between a Penetration/Affliction Blade/Blood deck and a Survivability, Impair-focused Hammer/Blade deck. I’m now looking for a more ranged “alt” so I’m considering at adding a ranged weapon into the mix by picking up either a Shotgun or Pistols. Before I go off on too much of a tangent…

This system seems to be working okay for now and holds quite a bit of potential as I unlock more options. Everytime I login I run off to complete a mission or two and then, instead of switching characters, I switch decks and do another chain or two. I’m very satisfied with the experience and pleased to have found an venue for horizontal advancement.

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Thanks Funcom

Wow! I just jumped on The Secret World website to browse the forums durning lunch and noticed the new Item Shop link. Clicked it, signed in and discovered that I got another 1200 bonus points from upgrading to the full game since trying it out over the celebration weekend. Awesome!


Breaking the Funk

Things have been quiet around here, eerily quiet. Has a fog come in and taken me away? Have I been fighting a zombie uprising? Not quite, I’ve just been in a bit of a MMO funk for the past month.

In early July I entered waiting-on-Guild-Wars mode. It might be the hype, I might have been spoiled by the the GW2 beta weekend events (specifically GW2’s action bar/combat system), or it might be something completely different; but I found myself not only bored with SWTOR but also having lost the desire to return to Rift (or any other past MMO).

So what have I been playing? A little bit of World of Tanks: I finished the AMX 40 grind and unlocked the AMX 12t  before the release of  patch 7.5, while reconnecting with my German tier V mediums (I’ve missed you Panzer III/IV). I’ve also played some World of Warplanes beta, but can’t share anything other than it’s really fun but I’m a horrible pilot. Steam summer sale: I finally played Portal 2 and also picked up a copy of Quantum Conundrum.

But then this past weekend I broke the MMO funk. As you may have guessed from the first paragraph, I’ve joined The Secret World. I’ve been interested in TSW for quite some time but was leery for two main reasons: I’m not much of a horror fan and I kept getting flash-backs of the buggy, but fun, mess that was Age of Conan at launch. At first I wanted to take a wait-and-see approach but as more and more positive word-of-mouth crossed my Google Reader I started looked into the game more and became enticed at the thought of playing it. The class-less skill advancement, the deck system, the modern setting, investigative missions. They all called to me.

By the end of July I had decided that I was going to pick up TSW, at some point. I was all ready to buy it but one question held me back. Is it wise to buy a new subscription game only one month before the release of, an already paid-for, Guild Wars 2? I said “no, I’ll wait until that new-game-smell wears off of GW2 before jumping into TSW,” and was satisfied with my decision. That was until Funcom went ahead and threw a free-trial/celebration weekend into the mix.

I installed the client, logged in, created Chester “Cheka” Kasorski, and entered London. My first thought was that the game runs significantly better than I had expected from my experience in one of the beta weekends and AoC. I picked my starting weapon and, taking some “I wish I knew this when I started” advice from the forums, I then grabbed one of each weapon from the Crucible and headed off the Kingsmouth.

TSW has really impressed me. All of the little things that enticed me are there but what really makes the difference is the quest log/system. I enjoy the investigative missions; I didn’t think I’d like googling clues to solve puzzels but it feels very organic and natural. I’ve found that the one story, one dungeon, one active and three side mission quest log encourages exploration and makes you focus more on the mission at hand, which greatly adds to immersion. The mission system is truly new and different, it gives the game a very unique feel and I can’t but to think that this is what MMO vets must have felt when WoW was fresh and new with the great innovation of quest-based gameplay.

I was sold. While it may be a little stupid to pick up a new MMO only weeks before I’ll be starting another one, TSW is offering me a unique enough experience that I feel comfortable being able to get the most out of both TSW and GW2 at the same time. So, with my MMO funk broken, Sunday night I bought a game key and subscribed to The Secret World.

So the question left now is “what is an altoholic to do in such a single-character centric game?” Well, that’s a post for another day.