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Chaos Theory: Four more essential Secret World tips

Jef Reahard

Welcome back to Chaos Theory, my anima-powered friends. I think it's time to dust off the pro tips portion of the column that we began a while back.

As you're probably aware, The Secret World is a pretty deep game, and some of its niftier features and functionality aren't always apparent to the newb or the novice. Heck, one of my MMO veteran colleagues has been playing since launch and was recently surprised to learn of the ability to save builds via the gear manager!

Read on for a few handy tips. Yes, even you, mister know-it-all smartypants.

The Secret World - zombie pimpDeath
Let's talk about death. I know, it's not the most pleasant of subjects even in an MMO. Fortunately, though, The Secret World's version of the afterlife is pretty painless. It can also be used to your advantage more often than not.

First off, corpse-runs are optional. When you give up the ghost, you'll see a popup resurrection window that allows you to select any of the current zone's anima wells as a respawn point (provided you've discovered them, of course). Once you spawn into the netherworld, you can either run back to the scene of your demise to finish your resurrection (and your mission) or click on the anima well itself and recover right then and there.

If you're feeling a bit suicidal or are just looking for TSW's equivalent of fast travel, type /reset in your chat box. Once you're dead, you can select an anima well that's closer to your desired destination as mentioned above. It's also worth noting that a few of the game's missions can only be advanced while you're in anima form.

Ability wheel search
OK, ordinarily I don't like to expose my own derpitude, but earlier this week I learned something about The Secret World that made me simultaneously facepalm and weep with joy.

So, the ability wheel is a pretty huge and complex beast, right? There are literally hundreds of skills subdivided into passives and actives and sorted according to weapon types and the equivalent of skill tree branches. Finding a skill in this mess can be quite like searching for a needle in a haystack.

The key word there is search, though, and I used to wonder why Funcom never bothered to make the ability wheel searchable. Well, as I said, derp. That long vertical bar on the right side of the ability wheel window (the one that says Ability Search) is my new best friend. Looking up potential builds and seeing which abilities I already have and which I need to acquire is now faster by several orders of magnitude, and the search window features handy refinement drop-downs that make things even quicker.

Let's talk about bag space. It's a long-standing MMO pet peeve of mine (looking at you, Age of Conan and Lord of the Inadequate Inventory System Online), but happily The Secret World handles it pretty well.

First of all, your bag space is easily upgradeable, though you may not realize it right off the bat. Surprisingly, it's even upgradeable via in-game means instead of the cash shop. Simply open your main inventory window and look toward the bottom right. Above the Tokens button is a tiny bit of white text that says Expand Size Limit. Click it and you can increase your inventory slots in increments of 10.

It costs a bit of Pax Romana, but it's not too bad. I'm currently able to tote 120 items on my main character, and upgrading that to 130 will set me back 106,000 Pax (sadly I don't know the upper limit yet, so if anyone has actually maxed it out, clue us all in via the comment section below). Your bank inventory may be expanded in similar fashion.

The Secret World also features a nice stacking system, and the inventory is based on item slots rather than the total number of items. If you have a dozen wheel runes lounging about in your bag and taking up 12 valuable spaces, drag and drop them into a single stack. You'll still have your runes and you'll have an additional 11 slots.

You can also make extra bags if you like being organized. Just click the plus button at the top right of the main inventory window. Keep in mind that these are still space-limited based on your total carry capacity, though.

Odds and ends
Are you wondering how your guildmates link their gear in cabal chat? Afraid to ask them for fear of being labeled a newb? Simply activate the cursor in your chat box via a mouse click, then control-right-click the inventory or character sheet item you'd like to link. Voila.

Finally, if you're curious about The Secret World's framerate performance and you're not running a third-party tool like Fraps, a simple key combo will do the trick. It's control-alt-F, and the output should show up in orange near the top left of your screen (it's tiny, need moar font-scaling please and thank you).

And that's all I've got for now. Hopefully you found something of use in here, and if you didn't, why not share your vast Secret World knowledge in the comments?

The Secret World - zombie pimp redux
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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