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Chaos Theory: A few useful mods for The Secret World

MJ Guthrie

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Do you use mods in The Secret World? This was a question I have actually asked friends and colleagues as the idea of corralling the best and most useful mods bounced around in my head for a while. The irony in that inquiry is that I, personally, do not use any addons for TSW; in fact, I tend not to use them for most any game. But I do hear people swear by them, so I thought finding the best ones used throughout the community would be a helpful service. And then I set the idea aside.

You know how it is -- other things jump in the way or catch your attention screaming, "Look at me! Look at me!" So helpful mods have been on the back burner, bumped in favor of other more timely matters. And then suddenly it was the timely issue. You see, once I started trying to run scenarios, one of the mods that everyone keeps talking to me about suddenly became very relevant. (If you've ever tried to do a super-quick swap using the gear manager only to find that once you're in combat, one weapon didn't make the switch, leaving you without half of your skills, you can totally understand why).

Once I started thinking about that, it led me to wondering about the other addons out there. And if I am wondering about them, chances are someone else is, too. So that makes now the perfect time to check out the various addpons that players use to make life smoother in TSW.

First off, I want to be clear that by addons and mods, I am focusing only on those legitimate ones that do not provide unfair advantages. Sometimes when people talk about addons in games, that's exactly what they mean -- cheats. But that's not the case here. These are just helpful additions created by fellow players passionate about the game and looking to make virtual life a little better.
Modding is not even something that players have to do on the sly in TSW; Funcom actually supports and encourages the practice, as seen by the Interface & Mods section on the official forums. There, players are welcomed to the board with the message:
This is the place to discuss and ask about tuning the interface to your liking or find possible modifications someone might have worked on and made available to the community. Anyone who has created a custom UI and wants to provide it for other players can post a download link including a description and start discussions about it.
If you want to customize the UI more to your liking, then you have Funcom's blessing. But the mods don't stop at just UI enhancements; others focus on working around the things that don't quite work in TSW, like the gear manager (yeah, we keep hoping it gets all the kinks worked out, but that time is not yet here). While these are far from an all-encompassing list, here are a few things that have come to my attention that I personally am considering.

Info at a glance

The first friend to give me an answer to my initial inquiry pointed me to the Topbar Information Overload addon by Viper. This one utilizes that black strip at the top of your game window to display such things as the amount of PAX and Black Bullion you have, inventory slots, friends and cabal members online, a 12-hour clock, and more. Though not necessarily combat related, this addon exemplifies convenience; with this you can literally see in a glance all the information that I otherwise have to open multiple windows to get.

Dealing with a full deck

As the situation that finally got me really delving into the world of TSW mods was yet another glitch when trying to use the gear manager, the first mods I investigated involved gear and deck management. That, and my dungeon groupmates keep asking me whether I have gotten the mod yet! No, I haven't, but after reading up on it, I just might.

Deck Manager comes to us from Viper and offers a way to save multiple (and by that I mean unlimited!) different decks, allowing players to really fine-tune abilities to situations. Need an almost identical set up with only a different passive or two? This is the addon for you. Deck Manager only saves active and passive ability combinations, so it does not totally supersede the game's official gear manager system, which allows for full talisman and weapon saves.

Another gear manager mod, called Fixed Gear Manager, looks to basically give players the same gear manager from the game but actually work as intended reliably. Unlike Deck Manager, this addon includes weapons and talismans. The author of this bit of coding work-around? Eth.

Mission, mission, who's got the mission?

If you are one of those folks (you know, the ones who actually play alts!), you might want to keep track of when missions become available again for all your many characters without logging on and off of everyone. Enter Misjah's Mission Timers. As an added bonus, this addon also actually auto-equips the CDC respirator whenever you enter fog and takes it back off when leaving.

Dressed to kill

As it turns out, a feature that I wish the game actually had is possible with a player-made addon. Valyrie created Fasionista, an addon that saves and stores outfits (not gear) for quick and easy changes. No more hunting through every category for all the right pieces to complete a look; just click and strut your stuff in style.

Best friends (lists)

Another issue that came up more than once when people talked about mods was a more functional friends list. Other than online/offline, the standard friends list offers little useful information (faction and dimension, which often isn't even accurate, are not exactly vital). Player-made enhancements, though, include such things as custom columns, places to add notes and indicate players' preferred roles, and more. Valyrie made one such addon called Friends Enhanced.

Man's best friends

While it definitely doesn't address a game-breaking kind of issue, this next addon appealed to the pet lover in me. Valyrie created one that would automatically call out your favorite pet (or a random pet) after dying, zoning, etc., so you can keep your faithful companion next to you without digging through your bags every time. You can see why this one caught my attention!

Saying it with style

If you are someone who needs to disseminate information quickly, this next addon may be just the thing for you: Misjah's Script Builder. If you have participated in any of the recent events like Gilded Rage, you've probably already seen the helpful links in chat channels that open up windows full of everything you need to know, from lore locations to ways to improve frame rate.

Obviously, this is not an extensive list (I only have so much room, ya know!). I tried to add the ones that caught my eye and that I might use myself, but there are oodles more, from crafting mods to buff bars to damage meters. You name it, there might actually be a mod for it already. Besides the official forum, you can visit SecretUI for a wide variety to choose from.

Will I start personally using some of these? Chances are looking better. And if so, I can't wait to report on them. Do you have other mods that you just can't live without? Share what you love about them in the comments below! And if you have built a mod, please, tell us all about it.

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 or and they'll jump on the case!

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