TSW – New Player Guide

The Secret World

TSW – New Player Guide

Norma Creed

…Cookies, Dear?


As of this week, TSW has now gone “Buy to Play” (B2P).  Because of this, we have seen a great influx of new players to the world, both true newbies and returning gamers.   Because of this, I wanted to take some time to update my New Player Guide I posted back at release.  While this guide is not all inclusive, it does directly address many of the things that  new players often find problematic.  
First, it is important to realize that TSW is a different type of game then other MMOs.   While you will see many of the same mechanics played out, there are specific differences.   

Additionally, most of these differences will often impact your overall enjoyment of the game.   

New Player Guide – Questing

Quests are not the typical “Quest hub” style you are used to seeing in the modern MMO.  Instead of offering you quest hubs that you continually return to every time you finish “collecting 10 rat pelts” to pick up 10 more quests for a small area, TSW limits the number of quests you can have active at any given time. 

You are allowed only 1 “red” (action), “green” (investigation), or “yellow” (infiltration) quests at once (these quests share a single slot in your journal and will over-write each other if you take a new one when you have one active).   In addition to these three quests, are you allowed to have upto 3 “grey” (item) quests at once.   You also have the “story” quest line, which is unique to the zone you are in.  (Note:  if you wish to “cancel” a quest, just replace it with a new one.  The old quest will ‘pause’ and you can pick it back up from the quest NPC and start where you left off)

When questing in TSW, you should choose one quest (Red/Green/Yellow) and follow it from the start to the end.   As you move through the area, you will pass by the “item” (grey) quests.  You should take these out when you are in the area, as they will “Breadcrumb” you to the next questing area. 

Most quest NPCs in TSW have between 1-2 quest lines.  (a few have three)  when you finish one quest line, you will often have the breadcrumb sending you to the next quest NPC.  It is upto you if you wish to return to the previous NPC and see what else he/she wanted from you, or if you wish to continue to the next location. 

In general (but not always) the red quests in TSW are fairly easy to decipher.   You won’t need too much extra help to complete these quest lines.  However, while doing the investigation (specifically), as well as the infiltration (specifically, if you wish to work to the “stealth achievement”) missions, you might find yourself either (1) stuck, or (2) bugged.  In some cases the quests in TSW can bug (though most of the previous quest bugs have been squashed), however most of the time you are just stuck on a clue and don’t realize it.   

If this is the case, you might find that you need to ask someone for advice.   You have a couple options.  TSW offers a “Mission Help” channel where you can ask questions, as well as a number of websites offer quest help to get you past a tough step.   While a number of players will obviously ask questions in /general, I would advise keeping spoilers out of general chat when at all possible.    It is best, if you find yourself stuck on a step, to first look it up online (TSWGuides.com — for example offers spoiler safe text for all investigation and infiltration missions, as well as the main story line in our Quest  Database),  and if you find you are still having problems, ask the community of players in chat. 

Finally, realize that all NPCs have their quest dialogue, as well as their “general story” dialogue.   If you are interested in hearing more about the NPC, speak with them about any topics they offer to you, and realize, as you click each one, they will continue to offer more information to you until the box gains a green “check mark” thus triggering to you that they have given you all the story over that specific content.  

New Player Guide  - Builds

A second way that TSW is significantly different than other MMOs is in their Ability system.   By offering a wide varity of options for the starting player it is often easy to (1) feel overwhelmed, or (2) build something that ends up causing you headaches as you progress.   While it is true that “any build” will work, some builds are clearly better than others.  Spending your first few points wisely can mean the difference between moving forward at Q2/3 into the next zone smoothly, and needing to go back and repeat content.  In general, I would say making your own mistakes can be good for you, it is also important to keep in mind that it is easy to get yourself stuck in a point there you are too frustrated to continue with the game.  It is critical that you have an opportunity to enjoy as much of the game as possible, at a rate that you enjoy.  Unless you wish to repeat content, you might want to consider thinking thorough your build and decide what direction you wish to take before pushing too far into Kingsmouth. 

It is because of this that I recommend to players that they come into the game with a build in mind of where they want to go.  Of course, however, it is clear that as new players it is next to impossible to know where to spend points when you first log in.  From this point, I suggest that you visit TSWGuides’ Build Page.  On this page we offer a series of builds we call “My first 60”, which focus on specific roles for the first 60 Ability Points you gain. (60 ability points is Q2/3 and is attainable in Kingsmouth).   By using one of these builds you can decide to (1) build a main tank for your team that is successful in the entry level dungeons, (2) Build a healer that can heal that tank, (3) Build a DPS character, or most often (4) build what we title a “survival” character.   The survival character is the soloist built in such a way that they will be successful questing through a balance of smart rotations, self-heals, and AOE dps.   We have a number of “My first 60” survival builds, and many of them pair well with other roles later in the game.  You may wish to become a tank, therefore you chose to use one of the Sword builds.  Or if you wish to be a claw healer for your group, you may choose to build up one of the my first 60s that offer claw as a weapon option.
Our “My first 60” builds are not the only options for success out of the gates, not even close, however each one does well to allow the player to reach their chosen role, and have fun doing it—and that is what this weekend should be all about.

In addition to your build choice, you should also keep in mind:

  • You should always use two different weapon types.  When building with DPS attacks you will gain resources on both weapons you have equipped.  Once the resource pool is full, you should use a closer from each weapon.  By opting out of one weapon, you are forgoing a large portion of your dps (or healing) power. 
  • While Active weapons require a specific weapon equipped, passives do not.  You can use passive abilities from any tree.   If you look at one of our more popular starter builds, the 60 point Blade/Fist survival build, for example, you can see that we use a combination of passives from Fist, Blade, and Blood trees. 
  • The “con” of the mob or quest to you is relative to the combined score on your gear (talisman as well as weapons) and your Skill Points in your gear.  If you find you are “glancing” a lot of your attacks, you might find it useful to increase your weapon skill in your weapon.  At lower levels you should always use your SP as you acquire new gear to use, or if you find that you are not hitting often enough.  A few weeks ago, Ryahl wrote up a series of editorials on gearing in TSW that you can find on our Editorial page.  All our Editorials are fairly lengthy; however all offer information that is useful for new and veteran players.
  • Tailsman optimization can be difficult and confusing.  To start, remember that your head tailsman is worth ~25% of your overall stats.  The Major Tailsman (Finger/Neck/Wrist) are ~15% each, and the Lesser  Tailsman (Luck/Belt/Occult) are each worth ~10%.  (These numbers are not exact, however give you a general idea of the values) This means while you may choose to mix/match your talisman  keep in mind that not all gear slots have equal stats.   As a claw healer that groups you might chose healing gear for most slots, with 20% of your total gear going to Tank gear (2 lesser OR 1 major talisman).   While at the same time you might find using a survival build requires a 40ATK/40Heal/20Tank breakdown.  (keep in mind, green gear is different and will often have a mix of stats.  You might give up a piece of green gear WITH HPs to goto full blue ATK gear with NO HPs.  Thus requiring a swap of one minor piece into “tank” gear to raise your HPs).
  • Funcom has implemented a number of “starter” decks (many directly influenced by our “My first 60″ builds).  The implementation of these has limited some of the confusion on lower level deck building, however there are still a number of issues at play with these new builds, and while they are viable options (unlike the higher level decks), they are not optimal builds (and lack many of the necessary pieces for tank/healing).

Third – Dungeons

Finally, the third way that TSW is unique is their dungeon content.  Dungeon content offers the players raid type mechanics in a small group setting.  Currently there is one raid in TSW, and this raid is focused as end-game material.  Much of the mechanics present in the raid are similar to the mechanics within the dungeons. 

All dungeons in TSW are top-notch design.  While they are mechanically heavy (“stay outta the goo”), they also limit the amount of “trash” mobs in the dungeon to give fewer “lulls” in the action.  Additionally, the mechanics of fights in TSW are done in such a way that you are not required to “play the interface” to react to casting and effects of boss fights.  While TSW offers a traditional cast bar, they also offer a white particle effect (often a circle) that shows the player both the effect radius, as well as the casting bar for the ability; when the inner ring reaches the outer ring, the ability fires.  
Polaris is the first dungeon in TSW, and can be found on the outskirts of Kingsmouth  (Savage Coast and Blue Mountain each have their own dungeons as well) and is accessible (and do-able) at Q2/3.  You can find dungeon guides and information about Polaris (as well as later dungeons) at our DungeonGuide page.  Each dungeon offers an introduction to the zone, as well as mechanics for each boss.  Additionally, Ryahl has completed a number of very thorough video guides that detail out specifics of boss fights that can be found many boss pages.
My final thought on dungeons in TSW is this:  Dungeons are one of the better executed content in TSW.  I highly recommend you find time
before you leave Kingsmouth for a run through Polaris. 
In closing I want to welcome you to TSW, and I hope you founds this New Player Guide useful.  Have a great time in The Secret World, and please feel free to respond if you have any questions or comments.
Edit:  I also wanted to add, if you find you are still having issues you should check out another one of my editorials: Why Can’t I…?
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2 Responses to TSW – New Player Guide

  1. Greg heuberger says:

    thanks for the advise, can’t wait to get in and play.

  2. Justin says:

    I really appreciate this guide, it has straightened a lot of questions. This is the best MMO on the market currently and a breath of fresh air compared to WoW

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