Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Secret Monday: Just What Are These Venetians Up To?

Ermagerd, 500th Post!!
Fezzik said people in masks can't be trusted.
Because of busy weekend activities, Scooter and I didn't get around to running the new Scenarios until last night. As it was, even though normally we're online quite a bit earlier than the rest of the Knights of Mercy, it didn't work out that way last night, and we basically only had time to organize/empty out inventories before starting the big event. The usual suspects trickled on and we formed like Voltron. Able team consisted of Tenten, Syp, Ocho, Scooter, and me. Baker team was headed up by Mogsy, with Grace, Pagan, Pid, and Mr.Mogsy in tow. LOL We have such awesome Matrix names. We seem to have divided up this way a lot lately, I think Able works well together, and I appreciate them putting up with my occasional noobishness. (Noobality? Noobosity?)
Let's just go with idiocy.
In any event, Able ran through the normal duo version of each Scenario. In case you haven't done them yet, they are roughly the same Scenario in different locales, find and protect two or three groups of survivors from several waves of nasties, at either the Hotel Wahid, the Franklin Mansion or the Castle Dracula. We did OK, getting Silver for the first two, and Gold for the Castle, once we had a better handle on how things flow. As Tenten said last night, "Any Scenario you can walk away from is a success." But considering we were running a group of five through a Scenario supposedly tuned for two, saying the scenarios are difficult is an understatement.

Needless to say, the Scenarios require yet another re-analysis of one's deck and talismans. DPS used to "all attack all the time" in Elites and Nightmares will find their health woefully inadequate, since normal group mechanics don't apply. Tanks won't have too much problem, but may need to up the DPS ante and grab a few self heals. This is definitely where a hybrid "Unity" build will be handy. Healers probably already know they need to switch it up.

But even with that understanding, the Scenarios are difficult. So much so that the forums have blown up with criticism of the design that Joel Bylos himself has seen the need to respond. Unfortunately, his response was tantamount to "L2P nubs," which the playerbase didn't take kindly to. I pondered it a bit after having run through last night, and here's my thought: these Scenarios are supposed to prepare us for Tokyo. Much like Elites, the Gatekeeper, and Nightmares, players will not be able to stroll in and Pwn the content the first time through. Where would be the fun in that? The gear (Augments) and skills necessary to excel in the Scenarios is contained in the scenarios themselves. Purple 10.4 gear would probably help, too. Perhaps a fully augmented team with plenty of experience will have not trouble with it, but folks going through for the first or the tenth time will not be so fortunate. Nor should they be.
I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts!
Not that I don't have issues with the Scenarios. The whole thing reminds me of The Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland, a ride touted as a grand new thing with random variable elements that meant no two trips through would be the same. Except that all the random elements were dressing, and some were so complicated that the ride frequently broke down and remained closed for hours and even days. Eventually, the variables were pared down. Not that it's not a fun ride; I go aboard whenever I visit Disneyland. But from a rider's perspective, I don't think it was that innovative, and Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion are still my two favorites.

So far, we only have one basic Scenario: Round up survivors and protect them from the angry hordes. The scenery changes and there are other variables, but it's all the same ride. I have to assume there are more waiting in the wings, because even with random weather and other variables, I can't imagine this holding anyone's interest for long before it turns into an unpleasant—yet unavoidable—grindfest.
Guarding the survivors . .  in STYLE!
For those of us who have not completed the Ability Wheel or the Skill Table, the Scenarios and Augment system present a dilemma: where to devote SP and AP. If my theory of the scenarios requiring Augments for major pwnage is correct, I don't know if it would be better to perfect and Augment a Scenario Deck or continue plugging away at the Wheel. One hundred ten AP can go a long way around. I also have yet to find out if the augments are permanently tied to individual abilities, or if they As Magson elucidates in the comments below, Augments can be swapped in and out like talismans, weapons, and abilities themselves. Of course I prefer the latter case, because 110 AP is also a lot of points to waste on an accidental misapplication.

All in all, though, I think the Scenarios are a great addition to the available activities in The Secret World. I just hope that Funcom quickly builds on this momentum. Again as Tenten has said, "Welcome to Venice, bitches."


  1. Augments are not permanent -- you swap them in and out of your build like any other skill.

    I agree that unless they get more scenario types in that they'll get old fast. I commented over on Syp's blog that I've only done 2 scenarios so far and I'm already bored with them, in spite of getting a platinum score on my 2nd run. As it is, I'll give the Castle and the Mansion a try, grind enough to get my 80 for the Tokyo certification and then. . . yeah, back to dungeon running to gear up for me.

    FWIW, the low level augments I've see so far are very very very minor in their boosts. 50 health, 30 Attack Rating, or 30 Heal Rating. Maybe up at QL5 they're worth more, but as greens. . . they're pretty meh and not even noticeable when you slot them.

    1. And expensive to boot. I think I'd rather fill out my Wheel and Aux weapons. Thanks for the info.

    2. I was also a little disappointed to see that they're not "flashy," like extra damage, hate, or heal procs or something. Or more versatile, like a heal proc on a damage ability. I guess I was expecting something a little like WoW's glyph system or even the signets. They could have just made improved glyphs with far less effort on their part for all the good the augments seem to be. As you said though, there aren't many high end Augments out there yet. Maybe they're not so mundane.

    3. Yeah, I was hoping for things like heal on strike or something, but it's very much in the "damage augments go on damage skills, survivability augments go on survivability skills" and so on. Of course, some skills fall into multiple categories so you can put a different augment on them depending on how your build is and what you want to augment. Even so, 1.5% damage boosts and 50 AR points really aren't a big deal. Signets do more for less cost.

    4. And they have some pizazz. The mod on my Quantum Brace procs an AoE heal, regardless of the ability I use. Maybe not always necessary, but it never hurts.

    5. http://www.lomsglobal.com/index.php?threads/augments-info.694/

      That link has what all the augments do when maxed out. Some aren't bad, but that's still an awful lot of grinding to get them. . . .