Nightwatch Gear & Glyph Guide

August 17, 2012 - 1:12 pm 1 Comment

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There’s already a lot of good information out there on the Internets about gear, glyphs, and how to acquire it. Most of the posts about it are highly technical, throw a lot of numbers around, and generally don’t tell you exactly what to do and how to do it. With that in mind, this guide will consolidate and reference much of that data and spell out the details in simple English so everyone from casual to hardcore can get the most out of their nightmare dungeon runs.

To summarize it quickly, the very best gear you can get as of patch 1.1 is found on the Nightwatch vendors in your faction headquarters coupled with a Nightwatch glyph. Read on for the explanation of why and how obtain and maximize the gear.

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Assault Rifle Decks V4

August 14, 2012 - 9:23 am No Comments

assault-rifles

Here’s the latest update to my Assault Rifle decks. The Pen Shooter deck is my newest addition. I have focused on bringing my hit and penetration stats up to 600 to eliminate (mostly) blocked and glanced hits, and at this point I am now penetrating close to 40% of the time. The Pen Shooter deck is still in flux – I’ve overloaded it with penetration increasing passives until I determine how much diminishing returns are affecting it. I removed Molecular Explosion from Hip Shooter and Full Auto in favor of Iron Maiden to increase penetration rate as it is a far better return in dps.

I will have another update to my support decks soon. I’ve collected every support ability available on the wheel so I’ll be putting together some more support builds to incorporate them. As made apparent in Ankh and the Hells, having cleanses, healing buffs, and temporary damage buffs for group burst damage is starting to become very important.

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Assault Rifle Decks – AR Soloist

August 2, 2012 - 10:31 pm 18 Comments

ar-soloist

I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about my AR Soloist deck; while it’s a fairly simple build from the start, some folks have asked how to build it up from the first ability point. I’m happy to oblige. This deck starts to do its job right out of the gate, making it excellent for newbies just getting started as well as experienced players looking to turn the harder missions easy. In any case, read through the cut for the essential guide to building the AR Soloist deck.

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Playing With the Interface

July 30, 2012 - 9:59 pm 1 Comment

It’s pretty common knowledge that I love to play with the interface in these games. As far back as Everquest when it upgraded to the XML ui, I have almost as much fun playing a game as I do modding it’s interface. My touch in Vanguard still exists as my old DroxyCore still remains popular. I had a portal back for LotRO. And let’s not forget my 200+ folders in my WoW addon folder (and dual-screen setup). Obviously, I love to tinker with the ui.

With The Secret World, most of the modification of the user interface is done with Flash editor. Unfortunately, I don’t have Flash editor (I know, a web designer without Flash, how can it be?!). But that doesn’t mean I can’t load my game up with the other awesome mods that authors are dropping like crazy. There are already names starting to spring up in the forums that are becoming synonymous with the TSW ui; names Catagorical, Viper, and… Dave? Yes, Dave. Read through the cut for details and screenshots on my latest ui changes!

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First Month Celebration

July 27, 2012 - 12:47 pm No Comments

The first month of The Secret World is coming to a close, and Funcom is celebrating. It’s always nice to see the developers bring entertaining events that get players involved with one another. From Funcom’s official post:

Everyone can join in

We want to share the joy with as many people as possible! Any player, who has any type of The Secret World account, may join us over the weekend to celebrate our first month! Early Access, Inactive Accounts, and Beta Accounts may all join in! If you do not currently have an account for The Secret World, you may register to participate starting today, Friday, July 27th, to have open access to this special celebration weekend! You may download the game here.

So there’s no excuse to come check out TSW. FREE WEEKEND!

Assault Rifle Decks – Utility

July 25, 2012 - 10:49 am No Comments

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After completing each of the eight dungeons on the Elite difficulty, it came to my attention that there is more to life than just blowing stuff up. Crazy, I know. So in the interest of preparing for Nightmare modes, I thought it would be wise to invest in a few utility builds. While there are barely a handful of situations in the Elites where utility is useful (but not necessarily required), I know from the Looking for Group channel that they are more or less required for safe passage through a Nightmare dungeon.

Utility in The Secret World is much the same as it is in every MMOG: stuns, purges, cleanses, and debuffs. Each of these abilities is usually narrowed into the scope of one or two different weapon choices. This means no single person can be the jack-of-all-trades, making group composition important. By building a few decks each with one or two specific utilities, you can ensure that you will be an asset to any group.

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Illuminati Diaries: Entry 3

July 21, 2012 - 10:07 am 1 Comment

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After 163 hours and change played, I’ve finished every mission the game has to offer, reached rank 13 with the Illuminati, completed two (almost three) skill decks, and cleared five of the eight elite dungeons. Let’s call 23 of those 163 hours idle time, making it around a 140 hour trek to solo your way through all the mission content and experience every dungeon along the way (except Hell Eternal and Slaughterhouse – too many people just skip the normal versions of those and jump straight to elites, in my opinion).

So now what? After reaching the pinnacle of content in just 163 hours of played time, spanning over approximately 23 days (that’s just over 7 hours a day, for the math challenged), what then does TSW have to offer. Well, TSW really doesn’t stray from the same model every MMOG uses: grind. Fortunately, there TSW varies the grind by allowing players to replay nearly every mission, not just a set quantity of daily quests. And this opens a lot of opportunities for gamers, along with dungeons, to really enjoy all the game has to offer. Read through the cut for details on the current “end-game” of TSW and a review of my research into a penetration-focused build for assault rifles.

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Assault Rifle Decks V3

July 19, 2012 - 8:56 am No Comments

Version 3 – Updated 19 July 2012

The Assault Rifle Decks Guide has been updated to version 3. Just some minor changes to tweak HPS and DPS and narrowed the focus of the DPS decks (with alternatives listed). After some good feedback in the forums, I’ve narrowed down these decks and branched some of them into dual-weapon decks, favoring Blood Magic.

A quick summary: Call Your Shots was a mistaken carry over from version 1 and has been correctly replaced with Sharp Shooter. It does the exact same thing except the latter ability doesn’t drop on glance. Bloodshot, from the Blood Magic tree, replaced Anima Vessel in the Hip Shooter and Full Auto decks, making them focused DPS builds using two weapon resources. Finally, the AR Soloist deck dropped Post-op in favor of Leech Therapy after I realized it did indeed affect the player and not just the group. As usual, click the link to read the details!

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Assault Rifle Decks V2

July 15, 2012 - 8:58 pm 2 Comments

assault-rifles

Today I spent some time with the Combat Holograms in the Illuminati HQ, New York. It felt good to be back to the old business of smashing abilities against a dummy and tracking the data on ACT. Wanna do it yourself? Check out this thread. Needless to say, after few hours of killing (yes, actually killing the dummies), I’ve got a much better grasp on assault rifle abilities. And the payoff is this post.

A quick summary: Safety Off is in fact better damage per second than both Anima Shot and Hip Shooter. However, Hip Shooter is a mere 25 or so dps short of Safety Off, while Anima Shot lags just 10 dps less further. The tradeoffs around using each ability for the primary point builder is fairly obvious, with each making a compelling reason for use. Read through the cut for the details on these point builders and an all new deck for raw dps.

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Assault Rifle Decks

July 14, 2012 - 2:38 pm 8 Comments

illuminati-diaries ar

Update: version 2 of these decks and more can be found in the next post – just click here!

The last two days in The Secret World have had several tests of patience and no small amount of frustration. While TSW has been a success at launch, there is a whole lot of fine-tuning, polish, and basic bug fixing that needs to be done. With Ragnar’s ambitious State of the Game plan, Funcom has a full plate – and by plate I mean platter buffet to feed an African country. Honestly, I have my doubts on whether Funcom can deliver; they plan to deliver more content, faster than even Trion does with RIFT. If they pull it off, The Secret World will be a strong competitor for years to come.

Now to the important part of the blog today: Assault Rifle builds. Keeping in mind the Mercenary deck, I followed the build up until I started getting into the harder content in Kingsmouth, realizing the build simply wasn’t meant to solo. Any good solo build requires some amount of healing. So I went off the reservation and started building my own decks, with the consideration that I wanted a viable tanking build to swing with if grouping became a problem. Read through the cut for details on my Assault Rifle damage and support builds.

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