Overcoming The Cost of Magic

I’ve read Justin over at BioBreak enough to know he does not like sabotage missions in The Secret World. For the uninitiated, sabotage missions require you to use stealth and timing rather than brute force to overcome whatever challenge the mission provides. However personally I have enjoyed them. The first one you encounter is difficult simply because it’s unfamiliar but after that you gain the necessary experience with some of the common mechanics that show up in other missions to make them a little easier.

The Cost of Magic changed all that. This is a mission in the Besieged Farmlands that started innocently enough but ended with me almost rage quitting the game, at least for that night. This particular sabotage mission had several jumping puzzles, two of which would lead to your character’s death and another that required a lot of precision and at least enough speed to complete it before the platforms disappeared. Yes, that’s right. The platforms you needed to jump on were on a timer. To make matters worse, there were three separate series of platforms and falling off of any of them resulted in your character falling to the ground and having to start from the beginning all over again.

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These circular symbols continue to wrap around a central pillar of rock.

And oh yes, did I mention the lore? TSW has these lore bits that look like yellow squares of honeycomb that you find throughout the world and have to pick up to add to your collection. This mission had a piece of lore to pick up which was after the first two platforming steps but on a separate track from the third one required to complete the mission. For me that meant falling (again) and starting all over to reach the top where I could get the lore. Thankfully once I reached the part where the platforms branched out I was able to collect the lore in one try but that was after several more attempts to get to the top.

This mission is a rite of passage, transferring the player from adolescence into Secret World adulthood. I am now officially a member of the community and can look all other TSW players straight in the eye, give them a firm handshake, and share a knowing nod. It was worth the pain.

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The final set of platforms at the top of the pillar. Well, unless you count the OTHER set of platforms for obtaining the lore.

 

At least that’s what I tell myself when the reoccurring nightmares return.

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10 thoughts on “Overcoming The Cost of Magic

  1. Congratulations to your success. If your skill wheel is not full yet, this mission can also be a very easy way to earn a lot of XP and thus AP. Keep in mind that the the fastest time I saw somebody finish this mission in is only seven minutes. (That’s beyond my skill, though. I never managed faster than 9 minutes and that was clearly “as good as it will ever get” for me, usually I took several minutes longer. )

    Anyway, my congratulations are honest, I know plenty of people who gave up on this mission, never completed it and never will. Completing it the first time is not only a test of ability, but also a test of willpower and endurance, which you passed. 🙂

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    • Thank you, and also for the tips below. I wanted to just drop it but I’ve completed every mission in every zone so far (that wasn’t nightmare difficulty or requiring a group, I’ll go back for those later) and I didn’t want this one to be the exception.

      Eventually I had a good system which is why I was able to go back for the lore more quickly than the first time around and I think I was jumping similar to how you’ve described below but it’s helpful to see the mechanics behind it, it will make it easier to replicate if I do it again. And I may try it for XP, I have the wheel 44% full so I could use the XP if it’s quick.

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  2. PS: On the jumping part, it’s not as hard as people make it out to be. As you succeeded, you probably have learned it, but this info could be helpful for anybody still struggling with the jumping part of this mission or also some other jumping challenges in the game.

    Many people try to jump in MMOs like it was RL physics, while things work differently in most MMOs, with TSW beign one of them. In game characters accelerate to full speed in a fraction of a second, despite animations not indicating that. (The animations “lag” a fraction of a second behind for a more natural look. ) So while you need to build up speed in RL for a jump of maximum range, MMO characters jump at maximum range already a fraction of a second after starting to move. At the same time, you can’t steer characters in air in TSW. (This is different in a few MMOs, but they are the exception. )

    Thus for a most precise jump, you turn your character towards your destination with the mouse, take the right hand of the mouse, hit forward and jump on the keyboard in quick succession and then while the character is in air also take the left hand of the keyboard. One of the most frequent mistakes actually is that people hold forward in air, then when landing at the next platform the character runs forward and off the platform, as the movement key is still pressed.

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    • It took me so many attempts I lost count. For probably 15-20 minutes I couldn’t make it further than 3-4 platforms in to the longest stretch that takes you to the top of the rock pillar. But once I started to get it, I could do it pretty consistently and at that point I was over it. I’m glad I finished though, I felt very accomplished in the end.

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  3. Oh man. I REMEMBER this quest. Syn and I were so ANNOYED at the fact they dropped a jump puzzle in the middle of what was a long and interesting quest. I never got far beyond the first platform before I fell over and over. It’s not like TSW is a game that allows for a lot of precise coordination.

    Needless to say, we both quit the quest after several failed attempts, but were pretty sour about it. I don’t think we’ve played much since then, either.

    Congrats on sticking it out.

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    • Read above. Contrary to what most people believe, the game does allow very precise jumping. But as already described, the problem results from a massive difference between real physics and MMO physics. (Most MMOs behave the very same way as TSW in terms of jumping. ) Thus any jumping challenge is extremely counter-intuitive and really hard for somebody who never took a closer look on jumping mechanics in MMOs before.

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      • Addendum for honesty: like many in many (but not all) MMOs, TSWs jumping suffers with latency. Once your ping-time exceeds 300 ms, even the method i described above can become unreliable.

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  4. I never minded that quest, but I never really cared for it either. The jumping puzzle oddly neough gave me no problem the 1st time I ever did the thing, but on later run-throughs I had some issues. I’ve still done it probably a dozen times.

    Peronsally, when I want a quick million or 1.2 million xp, I just run the Castle. That one’s a pain the 1st time, but then gets really easy once you know the layout of the place.

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    • Yea, the Castle is the other “plenty of XP in no time” mission, which I ran often when I really wanted to complete the skillwheel. Mind you, at the current state of the game this doesn’t make as much sense any more, but at that time i just wanted to do that.

      On why it doesn’t make that much sense any more: by now we have more content after Transylvania. I’d just repeat those missions a few times in case I’d lack key abilities for the new challenges in Kaidan, but then I’d rather spend more time there if i wanted to complete my skill wheel. The small containers you get for completing each and any mission there just make the difference.

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      • I actually haven’t played TSW in a while, but as I recall it, the Kaiden missions give xp awards in the 300K range, vs 1.2 million for the Castle, so it was still worth it to me even after Kaiden was released. Of course, I have my Tron Suit now, so.. I don’t run anything for xp anymore…. And tbh, that’s why I drifted off from TSW. Full wheel made me feel like I’d “won” even though I’ve still got more story to do. I plan to eventually come back and finish out Orochi Tower. Someday….

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