Secret World’s Faction Ranking: To Gate or Not to Gate

Secret World, car park, Into Darkness

Come at me, bro.

At the beginning of August, Funcom re-released some content that had been in The Secret World for Secret World Legends but with a new mechanic. The missions, as they were in The Secret World, were given to the players as off-shoots of the original story, missions to show that the player was making progress within the rank of their faction. What made them unique is that they were a few of a handful of missions that differed depending on which faction you played. This made them an anomaly in the game as only the between-zone missions also did that, with the lion’s share of missions having faction-flavor text only to differentiate them.

Instead of releasing them as one time faction-flavor, they were released in Secret World Legends as repeatable variable-difficulty end-game missions as a way of bolstering the end-game options for players, especially solo players like myself. Awesome. They came with a caveat, though, in that in order to even begin the missions, you had to first hit gear-rating milestones, essentially gating the content. This decision has been met with mixed reactions by the Secret World community, to say the least.

Secret World, Tokyo, Orochi Tower, Fungus

This screenshot has nothing to do with the blog post, I just *love* how great the lighting and atmosphere looks.

The first mission, Into Darkness, has the player delve into a NYC car park and needs an Item Power (IP) of 250 to play. The second, Venetian Missile Crisis, has the player once more wielding the missile launcher and needs an IP of 325. The third, Rogue Agent, I assume involves chasing somebody down. I wouldn’t know as it needs an IP of 450, and my character is still in the early 400 IP range.

And this right here appears to be the main beef that players are having. That 450 IP gate. Most players I have talked to have no problem with the 250 IP gate, as one would generally hit that level during the Tokyo zone. Even the 325 IP gate isn’t so bad as one would hit that in late Tokyo or during the South Africa zone. But 450 IP? There just isn’t the content to support that yet without grinding missions, dungeons, or scenarios. Content that not every player enjoys grinding, let alone even playing.

Secret World, Gatekeeper

Hey there, GK. Ready to rumble?

Now I’m not saying that I feel that the content should be made easier to be more accessible. Quite to the contrary, I really enjoy a good challenge. The new Venetian Missile Crisis, since I was playing it at level took quite a bit of watching pulls, puzzle-like clearing, and a few deaths. It reminded me of playing the original Secret World, where in order to take on certain mobs you had to change up your build, specialize it, and use abilities and tricks that were outside your standard build. They were a puzzle in and of themselves.

That was one of the main themes of The Secret World, though, was the puzzles. Investigation missions were researching and detail puzzles, Sabotage missions were attentive and timing puzzles, and Action missions build and dodging puzzles. As long as you completed previous missions or accomplishments, you were able to proceed, no matter your gear. You beat all the dungeons, you opened up Elite dungeons. You beat all the Elite dungeons, you opened up fighting the Gatekeeper.

Remember the Gatekeeper? The Gatekeeper was the pure test to show that you were ready for Nightmare level dungeons. You beat the Gatekeeper, it showed you were good enough to join the end-game, whether your gear was up to snuff or not. For a lot of players, he was a wall. The Gatekeeper fight was *hard*. You could fight it as a tank, dps, or healer, and the fight changed to suit your role, but each part was still hard.

Secret World, Last Train to Cairo

I threw myself against Last Train to Cairo time and time again to try to beat it, and I don’t consider that a bad thing.

I guess that’s where my main disconnect with the new faction content in Secret World Legends lies. How would I even know if the final 450 IP gate mission is hard to beat or not? I’m not allowed to play it yet. I have to grind dungeons, which I don’t enjoy, or scenarios, which have improved since The Secret World but they’re still not my cup of tea, or just replay the same missions over and over and over again (and if the choice is replay the same content in one game or play new content in another, guess which I choose?).

It’s not like the gate is accomplishment based like The Secret World was, it’s purely gearscore number based. Heck, The Secret World let you play content well above your level all the time! I remember throwing myself time and again against the Last Train to Cairo mission, and I just couldn’t survive the fire section, but I was playing it at the same time I was making my way through the Egypt zone, and it was supposed to be post-Transylvania content.

I could still try it, though! It wasn’t gated just because my gear wasn’t up to par or hit some target yet. Same with the Gatekeeper. Your gear, in any game, is only a fraction of your character. Your own playing skill is the human element that goes along with the numerical gear/levels to round out your character. This is why we love our characters, they’re not just two dimensional, they include a large part of us as well. If we don’t have the gear yet, our own skill can compensate.

Secret World, Hell dungeon

I mean, running dungeons is a lot more fun when you know those around you, but I’m still not the biggest fan of them.

So, I haven’t played the 450 IP Rogue Agent mission yet, and I’m not going to grind to get there. It’s not like I’m going to give up on the game entirely, though, I’ll finally play it when there’s enough Secret World Legends content to support it, which hopefully will be when the next Congo zone is released. This may even be designed this way on purpose. I’m still disappointed, though, that I’m not even allowed to *attempt* the mission as it shows a shift in philosophy from The Secret World, a philosophy that is sadly taking the Player out of the Player Character equation.

 

// Ocho

Advertisements

The Defeat of the Gatekeeper #TSW

Secret World, Gatekeeper, Emmy

So, yeah, I beat the Gatekeeper in The Secret World and can now start doing Nightmare level dungeons.

I know, right?! I mean, this is me we’re talking about here. A soloer extraordinaire, a known noob, not only completing every Elite dungeon, but then taking on the Golden Gearcheck itself and prevailing.

I, of course, was far from alone in this process. With the help of the Knights of Mercy over the past couple months of Mondays, we have taken down one dungeon after another, for whoever still needed to complete them. So systematically, with their help, I finally completed the last dungeon I needed, Hell Eternal, and then the only thing standing in my way was Big ol’ Goldy. Like a walking Emmy that hits like a truck, I had heard tales of his difficulty, of how it had taken some people days or weeks to take him down.

Secret World, Hell Eternal

TenTentacles offered up videos and strategies he used, but I politely declined them.  I have a thing when it comes to games, and for some reason I think this train of thought is becoming less and less common, I like to experience and try to figure out the content on my own first before I look up guides and walkthroughs. You know, give it a real good try, and then only use online solutions if I really can’t figure it out. Now, I’ve only had to resort to this in The Secret World on maybe three occasions. Some of those investigative missions are just dastardly.

So, not to make this post entirely just a “Hey Look How Awesome I Am” post, for anyone looking to go at the Gatekeeper without assistance, just a fair warning: SPOILERS AHEAD. Just skip past the next section if you don’t want to hear about how it is done.

Eblis, Hell, Hell Eternal, Secret World

=== How To Kill The Gatekeeper in DPS Mode ===

So I went in with my only knowledge being remembering others talking about an insta-kill attack. I did a little rearranging of my skills, and went at him… I lasted about 9 seconds. You see, I chose the DPS route, which means that if you are hit once, just once, you die. Every hit he delivers is for around 1 Million health, which is a little outrageous, considering the max health while wearing all DPS gear is 1970 health. 500x max health is a little excessive. So, simply, don’t get hit.

Not getting hit isn’t easy, though, you have to dodge multiple AoE ground targets. Be like Ali. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Going clockwise, and sticking close, I hit and backed up between circles, then move to the next open lane, backed up and kept hitting. When he starts to do a massive attack, he stops shooting ground AoEs. At this time, smack him with a purge. He starts sending AoE’s at you again. Bob and weave through them, damaging all the while. As DPS, you have about 5 minutes to take him down, which is plenty of time, so you don’t need to keep hitting him continuously. Just try not to get hit yourself.

When he got down to about 30% health, he stopped and summoned an add. If that add came anywhere near you, it is instant death.  So, run. If you see the little guy coming, turn away from the Gatekeeper and run for it. I’ve heard he despawns eventually, and that gives you time to beat on GK some more, but, honestly, I didn’t get that far. When the little guy started coming, I placed a few AoE’s of my own on GK and bolted, and the AoEs finished the job for me.

With that, after only about 30 minutes, the Gatekeeper was defeated and now I can move onto Nightmare difficulty.

Here is the build that I used, please use it if it will help you:

Pistol / Elementalism Gatekeeper Build

Weapons: Pistol/Elementalism.

Active Abilities: Hair Trigger, Shootout, Anima Charge, Blaze, Lightning Manifestation, Fire Manifestation, Hard Reset (Elite), Cremate (Flamethrower)

Passive Abilities: Lightning in a Bottle, Mad Skills, Molecular Exploitation, Running Circles, Bloodsport, Aidelon, Live Wire (Elite), Assiduous Burn (Flamethrower)

This build has a lot of strengths going for it. Every hit afflicts and deals extra damage (Bloodsport + Molecular Exploitation). Every crit builds more crit (Mad Skills), which triggers extra damage (Live Wire) and causes you to move faster (Running Circles). You will need to move faster to avoid the add. Lightning Manifestation not only deals no-look damage to the stationary GK, but also purges his big attack (Lightning in a Bottle). Anima Charge enables an extra Blaze to be thrown in, which has about a 50/50 shot of critting (Aidelon). Hard Reset has a 60-second cooldown, but it deals a huge purge as well, in case Lightning Manifestation is on cooldown. Cremate is a simple DoT that lasts a little longer (Assiduous Burn). Finally Hair Trigger, Shootout, and Fire Manifestation are all multi-hit abilities taking advantage of Molecular Exploitation and Bloodsport.

Secret World, Hell Eternal

All said, the Gatekeeper was downed in about 1 minute 20 seconds, well before the 5 minute timer had lapsed. Of course, the purple 10.1’s from the latest Issues and a couple augments from the Scenarios helped, but what really helped is all the people who helped get me through all of the Elites to get here.

They helped take this known soloer, this anti-grouper and anti-dungeon runner, a noob-king among noobs, and helped make it possible for him to take down one of the biggest baddies in the game.

So, to you all, and you know who you are. Thank you.

Now let’s get the rest of the team to the same level and start taking down these Nightmares!

// Ocho