Monday, August 20, 2012

Error Questing: The Casual Dungeoneers

When you're fighting evil, you get your rest whenever and wherever you can.
Dante and I like taking our time in The Secret World. At the time of this writing, we've just finished the first major storyline mission, "Dawning of an Endless Night," which seems to be just the beginning of our journey.

It's not that we haven't been spending significant time on the game; we do, actually. However, we also do a lot of tiny things in the game that take up a significant chunk of our playtime: listening to every single NPCs' lines of dialog; repeating quests for AP/SP; scrutinizing the ability wheel and trying to build the perfect decks for tanking and DPS; chatting with the people on the South East Asian (#SEA) channel; doing dungeon runs with friends and strangers alike; looking for lore in all the wrong places; and being complete tourists, taking screenshots of absolutely everything.

Our play style is very casual, and we like it that way. For us, endgame is still probably months away, and with the monthly updates adding new quests all the time, it looks like we won't be running out of things to do anytime soon.

One thing in the game that we've really enjoyed lately are the dungeons. We've run Polaris, Inferno, and Darkness War a few times each, and every time is a new experience. Polaris is a breeze, as long as your group is appropriately geared and everyone knows what they're doing. Inferno and Darkness War, however, have some incredibly complex boss tactics, especially towards the ends of the dungeons.

In one Darkness War run, our group (Allistaire on heals, Selai, Venestrean and myself on DPS, and Bettaxis as tank, all from SEA) wiped a total of 6 times during the last boss. We were all still learning how to best approach the dungeon. At one point, Allistaire had to switch from AR heals to Blood, and at another, Selai and Bettaxis tried switching roles. One other time, by accident, we all fell off the platform as we were trying to kill the boss. By 'round 5,' we were already making jokes about reaching 'round 121.' We eventually succeeded on our 7th try, armed with better tactics from all the lessons we picked up from our six prior attempts. We were all so relieved that we just had to take a photo:

From left to right: Selai, Allistaire, Xunre, Venestrean, and Bettaxis
Main lesson learned: wiping several times in a row is not so bad (and can even be fun!) when you're grouped with friends and nice, mature, patient people. :D

In our most recent dungeon run, The New Talamasca was once again reunited... IN HELL. Here's our group shot at the Overlook Motel:
From left to right: Kundac, Allistaire, Xunre, Ketamean, and Venastrean
This was my, Ven's, and Ketamean's second run through Inferno, and Kundac's first. The first time I ran this dungeon with Ven, I was initially playing as a tank. Unfortunately for me, our healer at the time was overgeared, and kept stealing aggro. The healer eventually asked me to just DPS while he tanked and healed at the same time. I did, with some disappointment (I really wanted to tank, yo!). It was only much later that we realized that he was likely just showing off. I later checked his stats on the Chronicle, and saw that he was decked in mostly purple QL10+ gear.

This time, I was asked to tank, and since I'd been constantly booted out of tanking duties (too many tanks in #SEA), I was happy to oblige. It was a pretty normal run, until we got to the last boss. You see, since I switched to DPS before the last fight on our first run, I didn't know what it was like to tank for the last boss. I had also died during that previous run, and wasn't feeling very confident I'd survive the second time around. I wasn't alone though, because Ketamean had a similar experience during his first run. Watching from the anima well is cool and all, but also kinda sad.

As we started, I didn't know that I had to pull the boss towards the glowing spot on the floor to break his barrier. Luckily, Ven and I were playing in the same room IRL, so he quickly informed me of the tactic. So: pull boss towards 'glowy spot' - check; avoid AoE attacks - check; avoid red circles on the floor - check. Everything was going smoothly until I realized that there were only three of us left alive: me, Ven, and Allistaire. We still had a good chance at finishing the fight without too much trouble, since all three basic group roles were still represented.

And then Ven died.

The healer and the tank: we were the only ones left. It was getting increasingly difficult to get any damage through to the boss. He kept spamming us with AoE attacks and frequently setting up his barrier. Most of the time, we were just running around trying not to die while fighting desperately to break his barrier and get a few hits in.

The fight felt like an eternity. Ven started reading out our groupmates' cheers from the chat window, as I was too busy trying not to die to check it. When we finally struck the killing blow, the first thing that came to mind was: "OMFG. I'm not a shitty tank!" My excitement was rudely interrupted by the cutscene that followed, but it quickly came back as everyone started congratulating me for a job well done.

I couldn't take all the credit, though, because if it weren't for Allistaire keeping me alive, we'd have likely wiped in that fight. And if it weren't for Ven, Ketamean, and Kundac's DPS, the boss would have been left with so much HP that we wouldn't have been able to finish it even if we tried. All in all, it was a great fight with a great team.

Good times. :)

So, next stop: Egypt! There are still a few quests in Blue Mountain that we need to finish before we go, though, so we'll take care of those first. We're very excited to see what's in the new zone, and eager to see what the next few dungeons have in store for us.


  1. I a sort of tourist player too. I got some fun screenshots (My princess was in another castle? Damn it to hell!) And I can't leave an npc that has quest dialogue without listening to every. single. line. I just love this game :)

    1. The dialogue is really engaging, even out of the cutscenes :D I'm glad to find other people who listen to all the dialogue as well.