A few weeks ago I used the group finder in The Secret World to complete a dungeon for the first time. I did a little reading on the fights for Polaris, the first dungeon in the game, and on the advice of some Twitter friends I queued for the Elite version. The fights were relatively simple and the group was very gracious toward me as a new player and it was an overall pleasant experience. As such I was eager to try again this past weekend.
However I may have been a little too confident after this first endeavor and went ahead and queued for all available Elite dungeons with absolutely no prep work for any of them. I did complete two dungeons this way but that experience went about as well as you would imagine. I died a lot and was carried through several of the fights. Thankfully most of the players I was with were overgeared and knew the fights intimately but it was still stupid of me to think I could hop in like that and not be a detriment to my team. After the second dungeon I decided that going forward I would need to take a new approach.
So starting this week I plan on studying two dungeons at a time, making sure I’ve watched videos and read up on all the bosses. I will then queue for those two dungeons only, running them each several times until I am comfortable with all of the mechanics before selecting the next two dungeons to tackle. There aren’t that many so it shouldn’t take me long to learn them all this way and once I have I can start queuing for completely random dungeons knowing that I will be able to contribute no matter which one is chosen.
There’s also the matter of my build. I’ve been using a melee focused hammer and elementalism build but I have found a shotgun/ elementalism build that is similar but will allow me to fight from range. Sylow gave me this advice in another post and I have to agree that learning the fights as a ranged dps will be much simpler than melee. Eventually I’d like to put together a tanking set of gear as well but for now I need to gain some familiarity with group play in TSW and with the specific dungeons and their bosses.
Speaking of my gear, it’s actually coming along quite well. I only need two more minor talismans to have all purple QL10 gear and I also need to purchase a shotgun so that both of my weapons are purple as well. The two remaining talismans will both be health so that my HP is higher but otherwise I’m feeling pretty good about my stats. Once I have those health talismans I’ll work on upgrading the head talisman and major talismans. Glyphs will be the last thing I worry about; right now I’m using green quality and focusing on hit and penetration. From what Sylow has told me, I will be able to get the kits for making purple glyphs easily in nightmare dungeons, assuming I’m able to complete the dungeons at that difficulty level.
Honestly I am a little concerned about that. In WildStar I ran into a progression wall when I hit the level cap and started running Veteran dungeons. It wasn’t a matter of gear or familiarity, I simply could not keep up with the mechanics no matter how many times I tried. At least in The Secret World there are Elite dungeons and alternate ways to improve my gear. Regardless, I don’t think I will even attempt nightmare difficulty without a Cabal. I’ve put off looking for one after starting to research my options— I was simply paralyzed by the number of choices—but if I’m going to start seriously playing group content with an eye toward nightmare dungeons than I’m going to want a regular group of people to play with.
Now that I’m over the hump that was completing Transylvania, I’m really looking forward to working my way through the rest of The Secret World’s content, upgrading my gear, and getting involved in group play and joining a Cabal. I may even give PvP a try as I’ve read that it’s a good way to earn Black Bullion and I usually like team based PvP on a casual basis. I kind of wish Black Desert wasn’t launching this week as I am finding my groove in TSW and don’t really want to play anything else right now. It’s been a while since I’ve been positioned to enjoy the end game experience of an MMO rather than endlessly leveling new characters and I’m not about to put TSW on the back burner anytime soon.