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Sarcan and I host our guides and FAQs for The Secret World here because it's really tedious to write and maintain long guides and FAQs inside of forums. Also, this wiki engine offers a built-in Google Translate feature for every page, which can be helpful for TSW's wide international audience. Also, most of the bigger game wikis and guide sites are full of annoying advertising spam, and the wikis can be especially hostile to posting guidance and advice. Here, we can keep everything updated nicely, no one can revert or delete our stuff, and one link from forums will always point to the latest and greatest. Also, this wiki engine renders nicely iPad-friendly websites.

So enjoy what you find under our two respective Guides/FAQs menus, and keep checking this home page regularly for notices about new updates and changes.

BTW, the traffic to this site is not monetized in any way, and you are not subjected to any advertising. This information resource is just a labor of love.

Update notices

Yokai - Small correction to my FAQ section about SP buffs - 22 Aug 2012 14:38

Tags: updates

It turns out that my original FAQ section about whether SP buffs (one of the skill lines for a particular weapon) applied all the time or not was slightly incorrect. In general, applicable buffs are applied for both of your equipped weapons whether you're actually using a weapon (for an active ability) or not. See the updated Stats section of my FAQ for the full details. - Comments: 0

Yokai - Physical Protection might be more important than my FAQ would imply - 03 Aug 2012 15:39

Tags: tanking updates

The stronger theorycrafters and number crunchers are now starting to ply their craft on the empirical data coming out of Nightmare dungeon runs, and the results so far are making Physical Protection seem much more valuable to main tanks than a simple perusal of my FAQ would imply. Bottom line is that diminishing returns on the damage mitigated per second by each point spent on Protection is conceptually misleading, because the very complex math behind mitigation has shown in other games like WoW that even with these types of easily measurable diminishing returns, the underlying formulas might make it so that there is NO diminishing returns on the "time to live" conferred by Protection. In other words, if we discover that X Protection = Y additional time to live, then 2X Protection = 2Y additional time to live even when you clearly see diminishing returns on the damage mitigated per second by each addtional point you spend on Protection.

For more information on these concepts (and a peek at the hairy math behind them), check out this article by Satrina written for WoW tanks back in the day: http://evilempireguild.org/guides/diminishmath.php

Basically, there are Nightmare-mode tanks here in TSW now asserting that what they observe about Protection so far seems to follow the same basic formula as that used in WoW (for armor mitigation), but perhaps with the constant being derived differently.

What does all this mean in "plain words"? Physical Protection might be very good to prioritize over Defense/Block/Evade. To the point of as much as 1000 total Physical Protection being a "sweet spot" to shoot for (still under debate), with remaining Glyph stat points being spent primarily in Defense, with Block/Evade coming in last and used mainly to ensure a desired number of Block- or Evade-reactive procs (either from abilities or for bosses that are adversely affected when you proc a Block or Evade against them). And remember, you get 249 Physical Protection "for free" from having Skill 10 in Minor Talismans, so that means only +750 Physical Protection needed on your gear glyphs to hit that asserted "sweet spot".

My advice? Keep your eye on the following thread on the official forums. Once the dust settles, I'll be revising my FAQ somewhat based on the results. http://forums.thesecretworld.com/showthread.php?t=51071 - Comments: 0

Yokai - FAQ update and Talisman Mechanics update - 30 Jul 2012 20:07

Tags: updates

I've updated the answer for Are multi-hit abilities better than single-hit abilities in the Combat Mechanics section of my FAQ to be more clear about the relative strengths and weaknesses of multi-hit versus single-hit attack subtypes. I also explain how to calculate exactly the increased chance of proccing an on-hit passive with a multi-hit attack. To summarize, it's not clear-cut that multi-hit is better, even if you are building around juicy on-hit passives like Live Wire from Elementalism. Yes, something like a 4-tick-per-second focus attack will increase your chance per second of proccing Live Wire significantly, but this is counterbalanced by some outright bugginess of the queueing behavior for various multi-hit attacks (especially the 1-second focus attacks like Hair Trigger), and also by decreased mobility that many multi-hit abilities cause.

On a different note, I've also updated my Talisman Mechanics guide to clarify that in the Live environment, the actual percentage ratio of stats conferred by your talismans is actually 21/16/10 and not 25/15/10. Details in the guide. I also took this opportunity to add two sections on Tips for farming up a starting set of blue talismans and Tips for farming up a set of purple talismans. - Comments: 0

Yokai - Current state of Hit/Pen/Crit - 18 Jul 2012 16:33

Tags: updates

I'm throwing this here just as a placeholder until I can find more time to update my FAQ and (still in-progress) Tanking guide to match. This info comes courtesy of poster KodiakX on the TestLive forums:

Once you reach enough Penetrate rating you reduce the chance that your attacks will be blocked down to such a negligible rating it should never happen. The DPS numbers from ACT collaborate this theory as with 0-200 Pen rating a Straw Dummy will block 13-15% of the time. At 300 Pen rating it will only block around 8-10% of the time. At 400 Pen rating you are down to 5% block. At 950 Pen rating you're not only at 0% blocks but you're also at a whopping 40% odd Pen chance with skills like Iron Maiden can easily push you into the 50% range entirely reliably (against a Straw Dummy).

Naturally as the difficulty of your encounters goes up so does the base Block %. For example tonight in Nightmares with 499 Pen Rating I was at a 5% block rate over all on average. This only furthers the problem described where you need ever increasing amounts of Penetrate and Hit Rating to mitigate factors like Glancing and Block.

If I was a betting man I'd wager that you need around 600 Pen and 600 Hit Rating to never get Glanced or Blocked. Eyeballing Glyph Kit amounts that'd mean out of roughly 1900 odd stat points (280 Head, 280 Weapon, 250 Major x3, 200 Minor x3 as rough estimates based on upgrades so far towards 10.4 glyphs) you could go 600 hit, 600 pen, and then have 700ish odd stats to play around with. You could dump that into Crit, but then you'd have no Crit Power to back it up. If you go with more Pen that'll leave you with about 300-400 of extra stats with nothing to do with them. Probably would put it into Crit still (roughly 20% crit total) enough to handle buffs/debuffs like in Darkness War's protection.

This still leads to the same invariable scenario where basically Crit is just garbage as a stat compared to Pen. - Comments: 3

Yokai and Sarcan thank you all - 16 Jul 2012 15:37

Tags: traffic updates

We'd like to take a moment to thank all the readers who have made use of this information resource in just the first two weeks since The Secret World officially launched. We both appreciate that a large percentage of players seem to find our hard work useful.

One number not shown in the screenshot below is the number of link-thrus coming from the official forums, which is 17,426. This means a lot to us because for some unknown reason, Funcom forum moderators are refusing to provide an "uber guide to all guides" thread that compiles all the great guides and FAQs and guide sites into one convenient sticky post in the General forums there. They seem to be pointedly ignoring all the good external websites such as this one and also Aela's and Rhyal's very fine TSW Guides site, even though both of our guide sites are non-commercial (no monetization or ads at all) and pure labors of love for the community.


Anyway, thank you to everyone, and please keep helping other players by pointing them to this site (and the tswguides) site when you know we've got answers to a pain point or question that somebody is asking/complaining about on the forums. We all want to help TSW succeed because Funcom has really created something truly new in the MMO genre, and we'd love to see it be a big enough financial success to entice other development shops to take similar risks and improve/expand this genre we all love so much.

Yokai and Sarcan salute you! - Comments: 1

Yokai - updates to FAQ sections dealing with Hit Rating and glance rate - 12 Jul 2012 16:07

Tags: updates

Some of my original FAQ sections that deal with stats, hit roll order during combat, Hit Rating, and glance rates were drafted back during closed beta, and some UI changes and new information called for some revisions to make these sections more clear and accurate. Specific sections in the FAQ that changed are:

  • What is the hit roll order? What hit types are mutually exclusive?
  • Which hit type is the strongest to build around?
  • How does Hit Rating differ from Attack Rating?

To summarize the essential new/changed info for those of you already familiar with the preceding FAQ details:

  • For better clarity, what I formerly referred to as Glancing Chance I am now calling Enemy Glance Chance, because the hit roll mechanics are identical to Enemy Evade Chance, and because Funcom probably just wasn't careful with their naming conventions in the Closed Beta Character Sheet when Glancing Chance was still listed there. (It really should have been Enemy Glance Chance all along.)
  • There are no longer any stats related to Glance Chance or Enemy Glance Chance in the live Character Sheet. So these are conceptual stats that we know only from glimpses in CB and statements by devs in CB and by some more recent testing by several dedicated players.
    • Your (hidden) base Glance Chance is 10% at 0 Defense Rating. Increasing Defense Rating to a positive value will also increase Glance Chance to a positive percentage value.
    • Your (hidden) Enemy Glance Chance is 0% at 0 Hit Rating. Increasing Hit Rating to a positive value will also increase Enemy Glance Chance.
    • During the "glance roll" portion of combat, the attacker's Enemy Glance Chance is subtracted from the defender's Glance Chance. The resulting percentage is the chance of the attackers hit to glance.
  • Since it's apparent now that Evade rolls and Glance rolls work in identical ways with identical underlying "Chance" percentages, I think it's safe to extrapolate those same details to the Block and Penetration Rolls too. So I've expanded on the details of those two rolls in the What is the hit roll order section. - Comments: 0

Yokai - Important update to FAQ description about passive triggering by multi-hit versus single-hit - 10 Jul 2012 15:41

Tags: updates

Apparently, I missed an 11th hour decision by the devs late in Closed Beta about how they were fixing the inherent problem with multi-hit abilities. (For most of beta, most multi-hit abilities could trigger far more passive reactions than single-hit abilities, which was clearly imbalanced in PvP.) The last statement I saw/verified from devs near the end of closed beta was that they were changing all passives to trigger only once per activation of an active ability. Apparently they later clarified or changed their mind as follows. (Paraphrasing) "all passives now have an internal cooldown of one second, so that we don't screw over people who use long channels".

I've therefore revised the Why aren't multi-hit abilities inherently better than single-hit abilities? answer in my FAQ, in the Combat Mechanics section. - Comments: 0

Yokai - third try's the charm - 05 Jul 2012 14:58

Tags: updates

I've adjusted my "easter egg" page yet again to fix the omission of Bloodsport from yesterday's revision. Lost it in a copy-paste error and didn't notice the omission until several of you kindly pointed it out in comments to my last update post. I think this version is golden now.

BTW, in case some of you wonder whether I play it too "fast and loose" with my builds:

  • By design, build mechanics are very fluid and flexible. There are core "themes" that make any build work, but there are always one or two passives that are "least important" and can be situationally swapped out with any other passive to suit the encounter or the type of gameplay you're aiming for. This applies specifically to my 5 decks in the "easter egg" page in that the core "heal engine" can be stronger or weaker as needed to make room for other passives, and the core "penetration stacker engine" can likewise be made stronger or weaker as needed to make room. Specifically: Leech Therapy is the passive that can be removed from the "heal engine" as needed, and Dark Potency is the passive that can be removed from the "penetration stacker engine".
  • It's tough to communicate these nuances and decisions in written form without a lot of successive revisions to the page, which takes time. And I've been too busy playing the game since early-access to spend much time here doing wiki updates. ^.^
  • The Post-Op nerf threw me for a loop and I needed to find a couple hours on TestLive to really hone in on a suitable alternative. I previously preferred Anima Shot over Anima Burst because Anima Shot puts out more damage per attack, and because Post-Op and Leech Therapy both made Anima Shot heal essentially on par with Anima Burst and Healing Sparks. - Comments: 5

Yokai - I've adjusted my "easter egg" page to account for nerf to Post-Op - 05 Jul 2012 03:14

Tags: updates

If you had previously found my "easter egg" page showing you the starting builds that I'm using for my first vertical progression, be aware that what I had before is now out of date due to the nerf to Post-Op. I've adjusted all the builds to use a different arrangement for the healing side of things. Tested the new healing "core" of all the decks and it works a peach. I can equal the healing output of the 6x best hots that you can stack with Fist healing. I tested both the Fist core and the Rifle core while letting swarms of werewolves chew on me in Beseiged Farmlands. Both the healing cores put out pretty much the same total healing mitigation while I just stood there and did nothing but heal myself through the onslaught. - Comments: 13

Yokai - Post-Op nerfed, not bugged - 04 Jul 2012 20:06

Tags: nerfs updates

Got definitive word from a dev over on TestLive forums. Post-Op was indeed nerfed just before pre-release launch and is working as intended.

The Post-Op ability is intended to work with Leech abilities which apply a buff. Abilities such as Anima Shot which trigger a heal based on the damage dealt will not trigger the heal from the Post-Op ability.

- Comments: 0

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