Months ago I "beat" the game as I see it, having finished all of the missions and main storyline. That left me feeling off-kilter because I didn't know what to do next. I still am feeling less focused than I had been while leveling because the core of TSW to me is the excellent missions and the stories tied to these zones, and I simply wanted more of them. Even with the generally excellent issues from 2013, I'm still endlessly pining for Tokyo, and if that doesn't get here in February, then I'm going to start developing long-distance telepathic powers to make it get done.
So I've been chewing on what to do now. It's not as though TSW lacks options; it's just that they're either quite different from the game that I've played up to this point; they're repetitive or group-dependent or require some self-motivation to go after them. I made a list to help focus my future efforts and thought I'd share that with you today.
The most obvious path for the recently finished is to hop right on board that dungeon treadmill and begin jogging for all your worth. It's the biggest path to those coveted QL10.X purples and is what everyone seems to be doing. They're fun enough, especially with a large group, but once you've seen what story each of these instances has to offer, the narrative quickly takes a backseat to group tactics, fine-tuning builds, and the drive to beat all normal and elite modes as well as the Gatekeeper so that you can run nightmares.
For me, this is a path that's best pursued in small doses. I enjoy dungeon running with my cabal, but it's not what The Secret World is to me. If there were a better way to secure the gear I needed, then rest assured I'd be doing that.
As a non-fan of PvP in any incarnation, I admit that my experience with TSW's version is limited to two runs way back when AP used to rain from the sky in these. Still, it's an option, and for some I imagine that it's a staple of a play session.
3. Achievement hunting for fun and fashion
The Secret World doesn't seem to push achievements as much as some MMOs, but they certainly are present. My interest with them began and ended with filling out the ones that would grant me clothing items, although there's no reason that others would have to stop there. It's definitely an area that the devs could beef up to add more play options, that's for sure.
One activity that I've seen friends do is to pursue achievements given for hunting down the many rare mobs in the game.
4. Repeat missions
Another way TSW differs from most other MMOs is that most all of its standard and side missions are repeatable (although on a cooldown timer), allowing you to go back and re-run missions to get more rewards and see if you can complete them more efficiently than before. Right now one of my projects is to use checklists to go back and find all of the side missions I missed to complete them.
Doing full runs of issues can be a blast too, especially with a partner or two. There are also plenty of threads devoted to folks who have figured out efficient mission chains to give you a good chunk of AP while minimizing unnecessary travel time. Targeting missions that reward you with precious signets is also worth mentioning.
For solo players and fashionistas, Ca' d'Oro dailies cannot be ignored. There are several missions in both Egypt and Transylvania that can be run regularly to gather these Council of Venice credits, and it's certainly worth doing so. There are many great-looking outfit pieces (including the Indiana Jones set) in addition to signet bags, titles, and upgradable purple talismans. The four missions that the Envoy in Transylvania gives can be done really, really quickly (as in around 10 minutes), netting some extra AP on the side in addition to eight credits per run.
Even though scenarios quickly lost their flavor for me, I cannot deny that (a) they're a valid option, (b) they offer flexibility on group size and difficulty, and (c) the rewards are incredibly tempting. Augments and "oreos" for purple gear and other goodies are terrific ways to beef up your endgame character in preparation for the next step.
7. Community events
Every time a community event comes around, I gladly drop everything to participate for nights on end. They might be mostly mindless mob fights against a big boss, but the energy and coordination of the community is infectious, and the rewards can be quite good.
8. Participate in the roleplay community
Does TSW have a bouncing RP community? Honestly, I have no idea. All I know is that the Albion Theater is spoken of highly among friends and that kicking back there to watch a show is always a valid option when there's nothing else to do.
The long-term goal of completing your entire skill wheel, augment wheel, and auxiliary weapon wheel (not to mention the SP page) is something that practically any activity contributes to doing. I still have many decks that I want to finish up so that I can get those outfits, but I also need to keep investing in augments so that I can equip them when I find them.
10. Collect lore
Are you a lore collector? Does the sight of one of those honeycomb icons fill you with glee? Then you're probably not me, but good for you anyway. Oh, I'll pick up lore if it's not out of the way, but I haven't gone as nuts to collect it as some people I know. There is a big achievement for getting all of them in the game that gives a very dorky Oxford outfit, but I'm pretty cool letting that pass.
11. Get all of the auxiliary weapons
It's entirely possible to get through the game while still not having picked up all five auxiliary weapons (whip, chainsaw, rocket launcher, flamethrower, and quantum brace). That should be a to-do on everyone's list, if only to gain access to more skill options for the future. Chainsaw shield for the win!
You know what I end up doing a lot? I go exploring. TSW has so many locations and great details that I'm still discovering (and screenshotting) them all of the time. Doing a random jog through a zone without any greater purpose in mind allows one to really notice one's environment. The three city hubs have a ton to see, especially if you go inside all of the buildings and look for out-of-the-way passages.
Conspiracies, paranoia, secrets, and chaos -- the breakfast of champions! Feast on a bowlful with MJ and Justin every Monday as they infiltrate The Secret World to bring you the latest word on the streets of Gaia in Chaos Theory. Heard some juicy whispers or have a few leads you want followed? Send them to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and they'll jump on the case!