Peeking into The Secret World

I spent more time in TSW on the weekend and I am getting better at programming my mind to play this game like a point and click adventure. I mean that in a very positive way. If you find a keypad, chances are there is something nearby that will tell you clues to the code. If not, you can always open your in game internet browser to do research. The prior quests I have stumbled upon has helped teach me along the way and set certain expectations.

Some random thoughts, and looking for help – because I want to enjoy the mechanics of this game as much as I enjoy the story and “backdrop” of the world.

  1. Could the skill wheel be anymore confusing? I figured out how to work towards a pre-built template – but I am stuck! I have 18 AP banked but can’t buy the skills the pre-built template is telling me to buy, and it doesn’t explain to me why. The skill is in the Auto Rifle tree and costs 7AP to unlock, and I have everything unlocked before it. Still no dice. A little more explanation would be nice here. Also, before I get too far (and I am probably already “too far”, or depending on the 4th point below) what is a good spec/build for solo play? I have a feeling most of my time here will be soloing through the story.
  2. Gear – I look exactly the same as when I started. No clothing or anything has dropped, so I have no options. There also haven’t been any boutiques or clothing shops in Kingsmouth (nor should there be I suppose). Free of gear grind is nice in some ways, but getting bored at my look and no clue where or how to change it. My pants are too baggy, I need skinnier jeans. I mean, I am all hip and cool like that. I am surprised you can’t buy named brands. I want a personal shopper.
  3. I know the TTK changes and mob density changes aren’t in yet (right? I hope?) but for some reason it doesn’t feel as bad as it first did. I am just  hoping that is because I have grown in comfort level and not because they are in – because it was still a *bit* tedious but not nearly as bad.
  4. Changing items – with such a confusing skill wheel, how do you reset it? Should be easy, no?
  5. Is ANYONE in BlogNation playing this? If so, how do I find you? It’s a lonely secret world! I know it’s probably not picking up a lot of new players, I just need people to bother and poke while I trudge through. I promise not to bite, or ask for too much help, but just someone I can fire off questions too or participate in some minor chit-chat would be nice!
  6. For such an immersing game in theme and feel, the nature that quests don’t go away drives the completionist side of me crazy. I want the missions to go away when I do them so I know I have done them! Not just a checklist in the corner. I have a feeling they are repeatable (also an immersion breaker) but I suppose that is better than hitting up to content you can’t beat. I suppose there is a toggle to turn them off?

Hopefully some kind soul can direct me to some answers and ideas – my Google-fu tends to be strong but I’d prefer an opinion from the blog world, more trusted and could save me from frustration. I am enjoying my time but those 6 items are nagging me a bit, and I am sure it is more me than the Secret World. I just need some answers and guidance!

17 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Not touching any of the questions on the Skill Wheel and builds – someone with a more technical approach can do that. I will say, though, that if you stick with the game you can eventually have all the skills on that wheel so I wouldn’t worry too much about making mistakes.

    Clothes don’t drop as far as I recall. Well, they do in holiday events but not from ordinary mobs. There’s a store in London where you can buy a vast range of appearance gear. London is effectively the main service hub for the game.

    Apart from the main storyline I think pretty much every mission is replayable. Replaying them is a primary source of AP. I thought it was horribly unimmersive too but I guess no more so than constantly running the same dungeons is.

    The TTK patch definitely has not hit yet. I’m planning to drop in then and check it out but I plan on doing a lot of things MMOwise that never happen so we’ll see. The only blogger on my radar that definitely still plays regularly is Syp. Rowan was playing but his blog has gone quiet recently. Oh, and GamingSF plays still I think. Of course what you want is for the people who actually play to respond, not other people to tell you about them!

    1. I appreciate ANY feedback. I did do some Googling and was reading in places that all the builds on the Interwebs right now are out of date, and to not use them. Things like that that eroded my confidence in any sort of decision making so reached out to our little Blog community for more honest and relevant feedback. Thanks for pointing me in some good leads! The immersion aspect of the game I have moaned about before, but as you mention *something* has to be repeatable or content would disappear completely. Personally, I prefer 5 man content to be repeatable because of fat lewts, amirite?

      1. In the “leveling time” the dungeons drop blue gear and that can be a decent boost over green. That said, green gear is perfectly sufficient to get you all the way through Transylvania, and I even beat the Gatekeeper tank-mode fight in green gear once, so blues are nice, but not “required.”

        In the nightmare dungeons, there are purple drops which go up to a “10.2” rating as maximum, but the real thing you want in NM’s is the black bullion currency that is dropped by the bosses. You use that to buy “customized” weapons that you can take up to a maximum 10.4 rating. And then there’s the raid, where items drop that you can use to upgrade a 10.4 to a 10.5.

        So while yes, you get
        “phat lewt” in the dungeons, and it is *very* good, it’s actually the tokens that are more valuable in the long run.

        1. I am not going to reply to all of your comments (I usually try to) but really, the answer here is a great big huge THANK YOU for taking the time to explain so much. This does help a lot and I have a lot to consider and figure out – but thankfully now I have a bit more background and knowledge with which to sort it out. The big one was the weapon synergies and resource building. I’ll get to playing and definitely will post screenshots and more questions a they come up – but I already feel miles ahead of where I was =)

  2. Some achievements give clothing options, and as Bhagpuss said, the Pangaea store in London has all sorts of clothes. Plus there are clothing vendors in Ealdwic Station too right as you come out of Agartha, but they tend to be a lot more expensive. And of course there are clothes in the cash shop too…..

    To equip/change clothes, you hit C for character, and it’s one of the options down the left. There’s no real quick way to change them, but there are add-ons for wardrobe changes where you can set outfits and change them more easily. I’ve never bothered with them, since I don’t really change my clothes too much, but I know they’re out there.

    There are quite a few good starter builds. Do you have a weapon preference that you’d like to stick to? I’m assuming rifle is one, but which secondary weapon? I put together a pretty cheap rifle/hammer build for a friend the other day and he’s been working toward it and tells me it’s doing well for him:

    It’s definitely a beginner build, but it’s a decent place to start, IMO. You can also find a listing of beginner builds at

    As to why you can’t buy that 7 point skill when you’ve “unlocked” everything before it…. that I don’t know without being able to see your screen, but at a guess, you probably have not actually purchased the prior skills, simply unlocked them — they have to be bought, though, not just unlocked. That’d be my guess, anyway.

    As noted above, there’s no reset of the skill wheel, just the need to play more and get more AP to buy the new skills. You eventually fill the wheel, so nothing it ever truly “wasted” — it just might take you a bit longer the get what you want if you make a bad decision or misclick or whatever.

    1. Thanks pkdude99 – I’ll check out if I just unlocked vs buy. I didn’t even realize that was a possibility. It’s not an easy system to acclimatize to either – I mean, I have all these currencies and rewards and no clue when or where to use them. I am assuming that is because of the cash shop and I suppose I should just be thankful they aren’t pushing it on me (or perhaps I would better understand!) With the internet full of so much information on the game its hard to sort what is ‘current’ versus outdated. Cool you can grind out the whole wheel, I suppose that provides a lot of neat options later on!

      1. It provides a lot of options, but something to keep in mind is that skills in the outer wheel aren’t necessarily any “better” than inner wheel skills. As an example, my chronicle currently shows me in the bog-standard “pistol/shotgun NM dps” build — 2 of my attack skills are inner ring, and the other 2 are both 1st boxes on the outer ring, so only 9 points each. The 2 buff skills are both inner ring as well, so out of the 7 active slots, 4 are inner ring….. So yeah, don’t think that you “must” get the outer ring skills asap. Inner has plenty for you. Granted, the passives in the build are mostly outer ring (5 out of the 7), but hey… that’s life for you 😉

  3. I actually feel like playing again lately so if you need a partner somewhere, and I’m online I can jump in.

    The other questions seemed answered well enough, take the portal to London and the clothes shop is somewhere around there. Certain quests give items and completing a section of the wheel does as well.

    No resets either, hence the repeatable quests to grind ap.

    When I was playing the op levelling build was sword rifle, great survivability and damage that just involves spinning to win

    1. You still working on that free time J3w3l? =) I appreciate the offer and I tend to only play on weekends right now, weeks are pretty busy. Funny, I don’t even recall my in game name (heh) so I’ll dig that out next time I am at home and post it here for anyone that has the patience to have me peck at them. Also – are there even servers? Isn’t this silly I have to ask this? I don’t remember picking one at any point…

  4. I don’t know whether I’ve missed something or not, but I found that melee weapons tend to have way better TTK than ranged, because you start a fight with full resources and can front-load your damage with a consumer to start. Plus the resources recharge for free out of combat. Ranged weapons start empty and you have to build resources before you can use the consumers, which meant that when I was using pistol/blood, I took a lot of damage from packs because I couldn’t thin out their numbers early enough.

    I’m using a hammer/pistol build now which made me so much more capable.

    1. OK very good differentiation and I didn’t know that was the difference in resources. DO the ranged weapons build as you are using your melee attacks or are resources tracked independently? (IE – start with 5 on sword, as I expend those, does the rifle build up or NOT until I start using the rifle?) I know this is mechanics 101 here, but I am just learning this now. Great learning…

      1. Melee weapons (blade, hammer, fist) start full and recharge out of combat. All other build up from zero, though there are some skills that you can take to grant resources. Lock-n-load in rifle, lock, stock, and barrel in shotgun both come to mind. Don’t recall if there are others, but I remember those, at least. You can also buy “ambrosia” clickies that grant 5 resources as well.

        All builder skills except healing will give resources on both weapons — healing builders only give resources on the healing weapon. Of course, if you’ve got a full hammer resource bar and start shooting a rifle, since the hammer’s already full it won’t build bigger, but the rifle will still build until you use a consumer instead.

        There are also some passives that grant extra resources on builders, so those can be helpful in some situations too. For example the passive “Finish the Movement” grants a 2nd resource when you use a “Focus” attack, and fist has something in it that grants extra as well, so you only need 3 builders to get a full bar instead of 5. I’ve never really played fist except as a healer, so I don’t recall it off the top of my head, but I remember it’s there.

  5. I play the game on and off when I get the itch, and have loved it for years. I think folks above tried to explain some of your questions, but I just want to throw this out there for you…

    As you noted, TSW will be redoing the new player experience soon. I’d suggest to any flustered new player, wait until this comes out, because it sounds like the kind of changes we really need in the game. Even I’ve put my game on hold (I’m currently in the last two zones, but haven’t hit Tokyo yet), because the changes will add in a legendary weapon as part of the main storyline rewards. So, no point in finishing that now.

    Annnd because I’m discovering my build isn’t too viable at end game. So I need to spend time totally reworking that. One day.

    1. I am tempted to wait as you suggest but at the same time obviously I have a LOT to learn, so I will still pick away at it until such point I am not a complete and utter noobie. I do EVERY quest I pick up and I think in Kingstmouth I am only 2/18 of the main storyline – so in essence, it feels like I could be here for a long, long time. That is a bit different than what I am used to in zones as well – typically in new MMOs you tear through zones as you progress and this is much different. Good, mind you, just different!

      1. This is a game where you really have to sit back and take in every little detail. In fact, if you don’t, there’s some missions you just won’t complete.

        Being able to redo quests may seem annoying at first (they get a little symbol to let you know you’ve done them once already), but this also a good way to stock up on your skill points and expand your build. Just consider all non-main-storyline quests as repeatables that provide you a choice.

        If you ever get stuck up against a difficulty wall (which does happen), you’ll be glad to be able to go back and work through quests to strengthen your builds. Points start to come faster as you get into later areas, of course, so don’t be discouraged by what you earn in Kingsmouth.

        One thing the future update is bringing is better build suggestions for new people. This is really, really needed, because some of the decks suggested… well… I really wouldn’t try to use them without heavy modification! ^^;

        Oh, speaking of Kingsmouth, make sure you stop by their official website!

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