When you start playing The Secret World it’s very easy to be overwhelmed by all the options and feel lost so I figured I’d make this short guide to answer the questions I see asked a lot and also cover some basics that are not explained but may carry a lot of consequences later. I hope this will prove useful to someone out there.
Character creation and server
- Servers in the classic MMO sense are now called Dimensions in TSW. What’s important to know at character creation is that it is possible to play with players from other Servers(dimensions) and even go visit there. The in-game lore for this is simply that there’s multiple dimensions that are accessible if you know how and you just happen to know how. What this means for you is that your server choice is a lot less important than in other MMOs. You can still play with friends from other servers and even be guilded with people from other servers.
- Your Society choice however is really important for two reasons besides the obvious lore reasons. First, each faction has access to different Decks which acts as sort of class templates. While you are free to build your character however you want, completing a Deck will provide you with extra buffs and goodies. Since each faction has different Decks, going over to the Society page and looking up the various Decks can be worth your while.
- The other reason is that guilds (Cabals) is restricted to same faction members. This means that if your buddy chose Illuminati and you chose Templar…. well you can’t be in the same guild together. Devs have said there might be cross faction later but right now, it’s not possible. You can still quest with people from other Societies… just not be guilded with them.
Weapons, skills and builds
- TSW is meant to be played using two weapons which includes magic also for a total of 9 weapons. Most valid builds are made from two weapons who have different roles that can complete each other. For example, a ranged weapon with a close combat one, single target and AoE, Tanking and Life leech, Healing and snares, etc…
- The game does use the holy trinity of Tank, Healer and Dps. Decks can help you choose a role without over thinking but you are also free to make your own build.
- To see the available Decks in-game, look for a Decks tab on the left side of the skill wheel.
- Active skills fall into 3 large category. Builders that give you resources for your abilities, abilities that use said resources and the third type is abilities that can be used alone are often situational and/or a cooldown type ability. Good builds features builders for both your resources types, abilities that use said resources and finally one or two situational abilities.
- Passive abilities will either further specialize your build or create synergy between various abilities.
- You are limited to 7 active abilities and 7 passives at any time.
- For more detailed information, I suggest you read this post by Rowan which goes into more detail.
Quests and quest difficulties
- You can drop a main quest and pick it back up later at the same tier you were at by talking again to the NPC who gave you the quest. In essence, you are pausing the current quest while you do another.
- Investigation quests (green icon), require you to solve enigmas and puzzle on your own or by searching on the Internet. There’s an in-game browser you can access by pressing ‘B’ . Also, Funcom has created fake websites for this so don’t hesitate to search around for websites of places and organisations found in-game.
- How the quest difficulty is determined is based more on your gear and current health pool than your skills. So it’s possible for a quest to be tagged as Hard or very Hard and still succeed without much trouble because your skill are more advanced or because you have a few critical pieces of gear. Don’t be turned away by a hard quest until you try it.
And that covers most basic elements. I hope this will help answer some questions you might have.