Switching Builds #TSW

So, these new Issue #8 scenarios, they are something else, huh?

On the day of release, I, like a great number of my Secret World brethren entered the next step of the game’s evolution. And, like a great many other players, got my virtual behind handed to me in a sling. The first night I played the only scenario, Seek and Preserve, and the only one I didn’t fail was the Hotel, with only one survivor left. Despite going in with my all blue, QL 10 DPS, elite-level gear. I couldn’t keep the mobs from rushing the survivor groups and I couldn’t keep myself alive long enough to stop them, but my gear was of high enough quality to do so. So, it was me. Totally me.

Something needed to change, and that change was an entirely new build. A build that would allow me to survive longer, be able to heal myself, and grab the mobs attention quicker.

Here is the build that I was using, a very fun DPS Elementalism/Pistol build, a build that didn’t need a lot of survivability as mobs would fall quicker. Only one health talisman was necessary to stay comfortably alive:

Active: Hair Trigger, Shootout, Anima Charge, Blaze, Lightning Manifestation, Ice Manifestation, Overload (Elite), and Dragon’s Breath (Flamethrower)

Passive: High Voltage, Increased Focus, Mad Skills, Elemental Precision, Mind Over Matter, Aidelon, Big Bang (Elite), and Searing Magnesium

This is a fun build that piles on the critical hits, and is good for groups and single targets. For single targets, the high damage from Shootout, mixed with the high critical chance of Blaze, caused them to not last long. For groups, Ice Manifestation and Overload cause hinder, which keeps the mobs out of arm’s length, and then Lightning Manifestation and Big Bang bring them low very quick. But it’s a terrible build for these scenarios.

So, I started with TenTentacles advice, and then took a look at the Illuminati Goon tank deck (Blade/Hammer) that I already had unlocked. I find that, in this game, you should at least unlock a build of each style, DPS/Tank/Healer, as you never know when those would come in handy. It worked, it had the survivability, and mobs jumped off the groups easier, but it’s AoE damage output just wasn’t up to snuff. I could do better. So, I switched out the Hammer and replaced it with Elementalism, something I already enjoy and have experience with, and started rolling with this Blade / Elementalism build:

Active: Forking Paths, Steel Palace, Lightning Manifestation, Fire Manifestation, Martial Discipline, Point of Harmony, Silver Streak (Elite), and Dragon’s Breath (Flamethrower)

Passive: Perseverance, Enervate, Regeneration, Agitator, Riposte, Chain Reaction, Sixth Sense (Elite), and Assiduous Burn

This build has a lot of defense in damage reduction and glancing, and then punishes the attacker for glancing as well. It draws AoE damage with Lightning Manifestation, Steel Palace, and Forking Paths, with the Fire Manifestation adding a bit of burst on single targets. Every attack heals, and Point of Harmony gives a dedicated self-heal, too.

So far, my success with this build, with 4 damage talismans, 2 health, and 1 heal, has given me a Gold rating in both the Hotel and Mansion scenarios, and a Silver in the Castle scenario. Booyah. It also has started allowing me to crank out these Hard missions in Transylvania I’ve been avoiding, too. I’m still not a fan of using the Sword (personal preference), but boy does it work.

So my big suggestion is if you are having trouble, take a tank deck of your choice, and then tweak it to your liking. It’ll work wonders, at least for the first Seek and Preserve scenario. I’m sure the other scenarios are going to require different tactics, though.

As you can see, this is one of The Secret World’s strengths. If you want to only use one character and tank, heal or deal damage, you can. And that’s awesome. But with the ridiculous grind necessary to create these new augments that drop in the scenarios, having multiple characters and making progress on all of them is quite a tall order.

Rowan… I don’t know how you do it.

// Ocho

P.S. – Have any fun builds you designed yourself? Go ahead and post them! Share! (I really think there should be a way to view and vote on builds INSIDE the game, as any reason to check a wiki or look outside the game can be better designed, but I don’t think that’ll happen anytime soon).


7 thoughts on “Switching Builds #TSW

  1. The build I used for my 1st attempt is in Chucho’s post here (with 1 minor change he made).

    The build I used for my 2nd attempt can be found on the forums, and was posted up by Ciritty. Using that (and a luckily easy random event seed, methinks) I managed to get a platinum run on my 2nd attempt. I can think of some tweaks for that build myself, as I found I wasn’t actually using the assault rifle, but I haven’t tried anything yet. And I just bought the full issue today, but haven’t yet tried the Mansion or the Castle either, so…… i’ll get to them this week and see how I do.

    • Gratz on Platinum! So far, I’ve only managed Gold, but I’m happy with that. I saw the build posted on the forums from your link, and it sounds like complete gibberish, if only because I’m really not familiar with any lines beside Pistol and Ele. Pretty far from having all of those abilities unlocked, too. Sitting at around 55-60% wheel completion. Good luck on the other two. I found the build that works in Hotel should work with the other two as well, but the Castle is overall more difficult, just from harder-hitting mobs.

  2. Great, another retooling of my builds. I have a love-hate relationship with that aspect of TSW. I get into an awesome groove with a particular build only to need a retool when I move to a new zone or activity. I also wish I were further along in my wheel completion, but that’s the price I pay for the Spousal Leveling Contract.

    • Haha all those alts of yours, yeah, I think retooling builds is pretty much how TSW is going to roll from here on out. My money is on Tokyo being a lot of that. If they don’t start giving everyone QL11 or QL12 stuff, then difficulty will be more on finding better builds to face more specific foes.

      • TSW’s always been about retooling though — that’s why in NM dungeons you get an achievement if you *don’t* retool, since that’s hard to do. I started out the game using Blade/AR, switched to Blade/Chaos in Egypt through Transylvania, and current solo with Blade/Shotgun. Kept my blade all the way through, at least. . . . . But even so, I’ve also had to make non-afflict builds for some fights, hinder builds for others, and heck, my current Blade/SG build is an outgrowth from a badly failed idea for a hinder build that I was trying to use in the demon-spawn NM area of the Shadowy Forest (where you have to hinder the mobs to remove a 50% damage buff that they have).

        My Viper’s Deck Manager add-on had over 30 builds in it for various situations. I say “had” becuz over the weekend in an attempt to fix graphics I had to delete the UI folder, and that got rid of my add-ons too. But I’ve already got 14 builds rebuilt, plus 8 in the Gear Manager as well, so…. yeah. I’m all about the options when it comes to TSW.

        I just wish Augments saved into builds 😦 It’s annoying to swap a build and then still have to redo the augments each time.

      • @pku: I agree. There is a saying in the Army, “That which authorized is required.” You want versatility? You’d better be versatile. You want to be able to move while casting, you’d better be prepared to move while casting. A major reason I like TSW is also a major source of frustration: It’s often a challenge to play. I’d been depending on the regular gear manager, but it’s very buggy, and I think I need more, I’ll be checking into the Viper one. Sorry to hear about your loss of data.

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