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Chaos Theory: Four essential Secret World tips

Jef Reahard

So you've been playing The Secret World for a couple of weeks now, possibly longer. Maybe you're well into Blue Mountain, or heck, possibly even Transylvania if you're a really efficient type. On the other hand, maybe you just picked up the game last weekend and are overwhelmed with ability points, decks, and investigation missions.

Whatever your comfort level with Funcom's new MMO, there's always room for a few off-the-wall tips, wouldn't you agree? Join me after a break for a few things I wish I'd known earlier.

The Secret World - road kill
Quickened anima
My first few nights in the Fusang Projects persistent PvP zone were a lot of fun. There's XP galore, plenty of eye-candy, and the opportunity to show off your individual skills as well as zerg around with 74 of your mates. Sure, it can get repetitive after a while, but it's a nice break from TSW's PvE with a very low entry barrier.

One thing I wondered initially is why all of my faction mates were blowing by me like some crazy-fast hybridization of Carl Lewis, Speedy Gonzalez, and the Road Runner. Seriously, I'd be running to the next objective, and the entire Templar zerg (yes, I made a Templar to go along with my Dragon, did I mention that?) would lap me with alarming regularity. I finally figured out that these folks had gotten their hands on an anima-powered speed buff. You can too courtesy of the mobility and tactics trainer specific to your faction.

For the Templars, I found one located among the many vendors in London's Temple Hall location. You're looking for the quickened anima items, of which there are three. They increase your sprint speed by 62.5%, 75%, and 100%, and they'll set you back 100,000, 500,000, or a million pax romana. They don't stack, and you'll also need to buy each one as you attain the required faction rank. Once you buy one, it's automatically applied to your character whenever you hit the sprint key (X by default). There's nothing to equip or click in your inventory.

Waypoint toggle
Here's a handy little tip for any immersionists in the audience. If you're interested in taking your time with TSW's missions and thoroughly exploring the game world without the crutch of onscreen waypoints, you have two options. First, you can do investigation missions. When you run out of those, you can actually turn off on-screen waypoints for all mission types via a console command.

Why the heck would you ever want to do such a crazy thing? Well, most of you probably won't (and to be completely honest I don't do it very often myself). It is fun as a roleplay assist, though, particularly if you're questing with like-minded mates. Instead of zerging to the next yellow arrow, you can actually take the time to puzzle over NPC dialogue and suss out clues from the environment in terms of where to go next.

It's quite enjoyable in small doses, and it makes The Secret World's divergent questing experience even more divergent. To check it out, copy/paste the following directly into your chat box: /option screen_waypoints 0. Leave off the ending period, of course. To turn waypoints back on, the command is /option screen_waypoints 1 (again, sans the ending punctuation).

Conning basics
Here's some vital info for any true newbs reading this week's piece. The Secret World's mobs can be pretty difficult in spots, and when coupled with an abnormal gear and skill-based progression system, they can frustrate you when you're trying to determine what you're capable of handling. Fortunately the game's con system is a pretty standard color-based affair.

The range looks like this: green < blue < white < yellow < orange < red. White is a baseline roughly equal to your avatar's power.

You'll also want to pay attention to the conning symbols as well as the colors. To the left of each targeted mob's name you'll find one of three symbols. Three dots means a swarm mob (attack it and it will bring friends). One large dot means a solo mob. Skulls are TSW equivalent of elites (and more skulls means a tougher elite). Crowns indicate unique named mobs. Finally, flag symbols are crowned uniques that also happen to be the quest objective for your current tier.

Weapon reskins
Did you know that you can reskin your weapons in The Secret World? I didn't either until a couple of days ago. Here's how it works. Find a Council of Venice envoy NPC (pro tip: there's one just outside Red's bait shop in The Savage Coast). He'll sell you a casting toolkit for 30 tokens, which is kind of an ouch because these are the same tokens you're presumably saving to gear up.

What price vanity, though, amirite?

Put your casting kit in the tool slot of the crafting window and put your desired visual weapon in the assembly window. Be sure this is a disposable weapon, as it will be consumed. You'll end up with some sort of weapon visual mould in your inventory after you press the assemble button. In my case, I made a shotgun mould because the Cryogenian Destroyer I got as a drop has great stats but looks like something you'd buy for 10 bucks at Toys "R" Us. I dropped the Destroyer and a newly created shotgun mold in the assembly window and voila: good stats and something that actually looks like a lean, mean double-barreled zombie-killing machine.

And that's about all she wrote for this week's Chaos Theory. If you've got any tips to make life in The Secret World easier, more efficient, or more fun, feel free to post them below.

Chaos Theory
Yes, Jef Reahard is paid to play The Secret World. But he's not paid by Funcom; Massively leaves the bribes and the bad grammar to its imitators (it's a conspiracy!). Chaos Theory comes your way every Thursday, bringing you Gaia's latest news, guides, and commentary.

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