Mind Your Cleric

Dungeons in Tree of Savior can be chaotic affairs, or they can be a smooth and efficient way to level. The random group finder does not ensure a tank, healer, and three damage dealers are always present and even if it did, the encounters are not designed to require the traditional trinity set up. Instead, each player must take personal responsibility and demonstrate situational awareness to ensure a quick, enjoyable run. Overall I like this set up. Classes have unique toolkits as a result and rarely is completing a dungeon challenging even if you lack one or more roles so long as everyone works together. In fact, some bring such vital utility as to be overpowered by the standards of most MMOs, which in my opinion only serves to bring value and flavor to each class.

However there is some basic, dungeon delving common sense that seems to be constantly lacking in the groups I’ve played with, especially given the lack of any real trinity. Ideally you work as a group to cluster mobs together and then aoe them all down. WIth only 1 of 80 classes able to taunt, it’s likely you’ll all have to work together to group enemies in one location which makes for quick clears. That’s the goal anyway, but all too often everyone is running in their own direction, chasing their own mobs, or using aoe knockbacks that ruin a neatly clustered pack which ultimately slows down the entire affair.

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As a Cleric/ Dievdirby, this affects my class most of all as nearly all the utility I bring to the fight requires some level of positional awareness. A lot of the problem stems from the newness of the game, I’ve played the Cleric past level 100 but have only reached 20 on the other classes which means my knowledge is primarily limited to one archetype. Assuming the majority of players are in the same situation, it’s understandable why a Swordsman might use an aoe knockback ability right after I drop a statue with a hard hitting frontal cone attack pushing mobs out of the field of damage. Or when an Archer kites a boss away from the statues I’ve dropped that would have otherwise kept his SP regenerating faster and his ability CDs shorter had he stayed within the glowing blue circle.

I can understand the ignorance, because I’m not exactly sure what they’re doing at all times either. Nevertheless, it is still frustrating. I feel useless at times because my single target damaging abilities are weak right now and will continue to be so until I reach level 127 and I’m able to advance to the Monk class. So right now my number one contribution is buffing my party, debuffing the targets, and then placing an  owl statue that does a ton of damage but requires mobs to stay positioned in front of it. Many of these abilities are on longer cooldowns which means once the target is moved out of range, I’m gimped on what I can contribute for a while.

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Thankfully no one has complained about my lack of damage, or blamed me for slowing down the run; the community members I’ve met via the group finder have all been stellar. But if you happen to be playing Tree of Savior and see a character carve a wooden statue that emanates a blue circle, or you see a glowing square placed on the ground with a shield icon in the middle (pro tip; step on it for a temporary damage shield), or an owl spewing forth green fire, try to keep your targets and your character in range. Not only will it make the run go quicker, but it will make your Dievdirby Cleric happy as well. I love playing an MMO with unique and useful utility spells, we just all need a bit more experience and education so that we can work together more effectively.

The Secret World Dungeons and a New Guild

This past week I reached two of the goals I have for The Secret World in March—I finished all 8 of the elite dungeons required before players can challenge the gatekeeper and start running nightmare difficulty content and I purchased the last QL10 purple talisman I needed to have a full set of gear that I can now begin to upgrade. The gear I was fully expecting to complete relatively soon; I only needed one more piece. But the dungeons I expected to take quite a while because of the challenge and my need to learn the fights via internet resources before jumping in with a random group to complete them.

That’s when The Hive Protocol stepped in. HivePro is the guild I joined just this week and during my second night in game after joining the guild I was invited to do a random elite dungeon. “Sure,” I said, and joined the five man group. The player who invited me did so and then actually stepped out of the group so that I could participate. What I didn’t know was that I wasn’t eligible for a random elite having never completed them all individually.

(Side note: this is kind of an odd quirk if you ask me. I can select all eight of the dungeons individually and get in one randomly, but I can’t use the “randomizer” feature for those eight elite dungeons until I’ve completed them all regularly. They are two separate systems but functionally the same.)

Once this was discovered I apologized and offered to bow out but instead the group unanimously decided to run me through the remaining four dungeons that I needed. And it wasn’t just that first group of four people either. No, when one of them had to call it a night someone else from the guild would hop in so that we could continue our progress. Within a couple of hours I had not only finished all four of the dungeons I needed but I was also able to complete the original goal of queueing up for an elite dungeon via the randomizer. This is a daily challenge with extra rewards for players in TSW and now I can do it daily along with everyone else.

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Now I need to defeat the gatekeeper so that I can join with my guild in nightmare dungeons as well, but defeating the gatekeeper is a solo affair; something I’ll need to overcome by myself. Still, it’s nice knowing I have a great group of people to do group content with and I hope to have many opportunities to repay their generosity with some of my own in the future.

 

Tackling Dungeons in The Secret World

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.