I’ve been re-introducing myself to The Secret World since their Issue 6 update. I have been burning through the Savage Coast with righteous fury following some build I didn’t understand. Understanding builds are critical in The Secret World because the game is difficult enough that it will punish players with slapdash loadouts.
I personally hate making builds in any game. I don’t mind tweaking them, but I am just not of the build-making mentality. So after feeling that I liked blood magic in the pick-a-weapon area, I found what I thought was a decent build for that based on affliction/penetration. It sucks. It doesn’t feel right, and I did more digging and…
Wouldn’t you know? The Secret World had ready-made decks in the game. This was a major head-smacking moment for me. Perhaps I would’ve found a build more to my liking if I had noticed these. It is partly my fault since I did not watch all the tutorials. I actually wish that I had been forced to “choose” a deck or at least “none”.
I am starting to drop blood skills, just finding it too weak for my liking, and I am heading to a sword/chaos build. I might not have that much more DPS, but at least I will be more survivable. I should be able to tank in dungeons as well, which should help me find groups.
I am starting to pay a lot more attention to these types of details since I have been helping Mrs. Ravious learn Guild Wars 2. She is starting a square one for learning MMOs, and honestly, she hasn’t played any movement-based video games in a long time. It is a personal eye opener for so many mechanics I just take for granted.
Targeting, facing, skill cooldown, and healing are still lessons of the day. Camera controls remains a large issue. Who knows when we will touch things like upgrading and inventory. I see whole systems in new light. I can’t even imagine someone picking up an MMO without a mentor to help them along. Active video game experience seems required.
She constantly asks me “what am I supposed to do?” I just assumed it was obvious. I meekly answer, “don’t you want to unlock things, get to the next area, fill that heart?” It took her awhile to even get that. When she did, I sat back and watched her complete to hearts without much commentary by me. I don’t think she is hooked, but I see her start to incorporate many things that are so deeply burned in to my muscle memory / knowledge-base that I can barely put them in to words.
My daughters continue to mostly play Guild Wars 2 as a toy, although my eldest is getting interested in pushing the personal story along a little. She is determined to stay in Queensdale for the foreseeable future, regardless. They have a new game now that resulted in my making 120 Ruminant Tonics from last month. One turns into a moose in the Bandithaunt Caverns and the other has to lead the moose out safely. Many, many giggles ensue.
I honestly haven’t taught my daughters that much about the game, but they apparently don’t need to know much to have fun. I’m pretty sure youth + neuroplasticity + osmosis is the best combination for playing any games, video or not. I wonder if deeper understanding of the designed fun and hidden mechanics will erode that glee. At least their rudimentary appreciation for levels has not had any appreciable effect.
My favorite games are all MMOs, but it seems like the more I play, the harder it is to understand how complicated these games are. Sometimes I have to experience my favorite MMOs through another’s eyes to get that understanding.