Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Power of the Passive

This week in The Secret World I’ve focused on getting some of the passives I thought would strengthen my character. Since the last article I’ve focused entirely on my DPS Chaos/Sword deck. I changed all my gear to critical hit chance and penetration. In Secret World the better the gear you have, from green to blue to purple the more specialized it becomes, so that a fully DPS decked character might actually have less HP than when he first started with all greens. It means playing smarter and insuring that the solo or team deck you have has a lot of DPS, because it’s killed or be killed and your margin of error is practically nil.

My deck is a mix of single target high damage skills with a couple of AOE skills with a damage plus skill and the green selfheal not tied to my healing rating. It’s a solo build designed to have a high rate of critical damage hits, penetrations, and debuffs that can clean up trash mobs and give me a real HP level that is approximately 1/3 more than I actually have, and it works pretty well in truth. Much ado has been made about the combat in Secret World, and how much it resembles every other game. In all fairness I would say the combat is somewhere between World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2, but quite obviously not to the standards of Tera Online. 

 In Secret World, Critical hit can only be glanced or evaded, glanced is the same thing as the near miss in other games. Penetration is as it sounds and is how much damage you can get by the magical and physical protection and defense rating the mob/player has up. I’ve always enjoyed passives, especially in Secret World. While actives have to be for the two weapons you use at any one time, passives can be used with any weapon combination. I’ve focused on counters. Counters are just what they sound like a counting counter that counts things like my hits, crits, and penetrations. I’ve been working steadily and am far from done but I have managed to compile a passive deck that has my hits causing crits and penetration and my crits and penetrations causing hit rating to go up which causes it to become harder to glance my crits, not only that I have an impaired and afflicted passive as well. Impaired stuns the mob for three seconds and my afflicted has a three second damage over time.

One of the best things about playing Secret World is finishing a deck build that you have been putting together for days and finding it works as you intended, nay better even and there are still things to be done. As I was playing today I noticed that with one switch of a passive, I could completely throw out my two AOE skills and still have the ability to throw out AOE damage. I will likely throw in two hard hitting single target skills that can be used independently. In all honesty I believe that there will be players who have maxed out the ability wheel or nearly so by the end of July, but in the Secret World getting the skills is only half the battle; it’s finding the right synergy and using it and adapting it to not only your play style but the situations you find yourself getting into that makes all the difference. In the end the game that Secret World reminds me most of, is Magic the Gathering. Secret World plays like I imagine most of the people who played that game would describe Magic; simple to understand but difficult to master.

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