TSW — 1st impressions after 3 weeks
So 3 weeks ago I let my SWTOR sub go (as you can see in the post below 😛 ) and started playing The Secret World. I’m not a fan of any kind of horror genre, but the idea of a free-form skill wheel appeals to me, plus I’ve got a friend playing, so those things conspired to get me started. And I’m very glad I did. So far as genre goes, it plays out as a tightly focused fantasy still. I fight Zombies, Wendigos, Demons, and tentacle-faced abominations in EQ2 and DDO, after all, so how is it really that different that I’m fighting them in a modern setting instead of a fantasy setting?
Admittedly, the combat can be a bit repetitive — you only have 7 active skills to use, after all, and most “good” builds make use of a resource builder (maybe 2 — 1 single-target, and 1 AE) and 2 consumers, so combat is a matter of “spam the builder 5 times, hit each consumer, and repeat” but that’s where the different weapon sets and passive skills come into play. For example, in my solo build I’ll be hitting my highest damage attacks as quickly as possible, but it’s my passive skills that let the build succeed — every 5th hit I passively do a large AE attack, damage is increased, my attacks debuff the enemy, buff myself, and heal me while they’re at it. Rather a lot of good stuff going on over and above a basic attack. In fact, I tried starting an alt in a different faction and right as I start out and am again reduced to just the basic attacks with no passives yet. . . it’s downright hard!
Or I can swap to my support build for a group — damage is merely “ok” but my attacks debuff the mobs so that they do less damage while simultaneously increasing the damage mitigation of my group so that we take less damage, making the healer’s life easier and letting the tank slot in some damage passives instead of debuffing passives that they might normally do.
And of course I can just go as a pure dps character and shoot rifles and toss fireballs and lightning and watch the big numbers go flying up. I don’t have a whole lot of points spent toward healing skills yet, but I was still able to heal the 1st dungeon in a pinch the other night.
All in all, I’m quite enjoying my time playing. The story is better than anything in SWTOR either. I’ll admit I’ve been bad about watching the cutscenes for quests, but I did watch the entire storyline, at least, and it was most excellent. Some of the quests seem a bit annoying — especially the “sabotage-type” ones, but after you finish them there’s a definite feeling of accomplishment.
My TL;DR verdict: A big 2 thumbs up from me!