The Secret World: The Grind May Be Grinding Them Down

WTPhase3Small

By this time, during Phase 1 of The Whispering Tide Event, the canisters were all full, the portal was open, and the battle against the Tendrils of Dis was raging. This morning I was going to take a new screen shot (as I’d planned yesterday morning as well), but there has been no progress since Saturday morning. The shot above was taken two days ago, and things look exactly the same this morning, only there was no one but me standing on the platform.

When this event began, I inwardly marveled at the genius of the mechanics. Over a year into the game’s lifecycle, and with an admittedly lacking crafting system, Funcom found a way to get all those stockpiled high level materials out of players’ banks and into the marketplace. Most of it seemed to get dumped into the event, but a lot of it ended up on the Auction House as well. Once the initial deluge of stored mats was exhausted, players went out into the world to farm more, either to advance the event or line their pockets (no judgements, either is a valid strategy in my opinion … me, I advanced the event; I’m not really strapped for Pax).

When this current phase began, it seemed poised to repeat the same pattern with the new set of mats. However, available evidence seems to suggest that, after that initial offloading of stored Pure Fire and Dust, the community has reigned in their desire to farm more to advance the event. It’s had me thinking, since yesterday, that perhaps the carrot at the end of the stick just doesn’t seem as juicy anymore, especially given that that carrot got more expensive this go around. Further, how will this affect the event overall given that very shortly attention will be pulled away from it towards The Cat God and The Stories From Solomon Island? And finally, is it Funcom‘s intention for this phase to be a very slow burn (we can’t really see progress meters on the canisters, so maybe it’s just taking a lot more to fill them than before)?

I honestly don’t know the answer to any of these questions. I do know that my own personal attention will be pulled away. I missed The Cat God event the first go around, and I’m really excited about getting a chance to do it. The Stories From Solomon Island also sounds like a load of fun; that zone is second only to Transylvania as my favorite. Getting to learn more about all the weirdness going on there is definitely a carrot I’m willing to dig for.

So, it begs the question: will this current phase of The Whispering Tide just trundle along, with the canisters slowly filling as players here and there continue to feed the event while focusing much of their attention elsewhere, or will it reach critical mass and explode into some new, as yet unseen phase (that possibility actually sounds kind of exciting)?

The good news in the end is that there will be no shortage of things to do in game for the foreseeable future. I just really wish that, at the moment, it wasn’t such a grind (and that, as a Panoptic Core, I was earning some damned AP/SP for all this vampire slaying I’ve been doing).


15 Comments

  1. Rowan October 14, 2013 9:33 am  Reply

    I’m kinda glad it was not a flash in the pan event. I haven’t been able to get on at all this week. In fact Scooterz and I popped back in to GW2 last night for the first time in half a year. But I never intended to grind for additional mats, just contribute the ones I have stored up, as I did the last time.

    You should be earning some more XP/AP/SP soon, with the drop opf issue 8 expected this week, the augment system, which requires boocoo AP, will be in place. I do take minor issue with your assessment of a crafting system that for the first time actually has meaning in a game (i.e., Sol Glorificus). You complain about grinding, then belittle the one crafting system I’ve seen that *doesn’t* involve grinding. 😉

    • Tenten October 14, 2013 9:56 am  Reply

      I do agree with you that it is one of the better crafting systems out there, but my problem with it is that it lacks where most do, and in my experience lacks more so in that area than most. That area is useful items you can craft beyond endgame.

      I’ve run exactly 4/5th of one Nightmare dungeon, so I’m far from deep in the endgame pit, but I can’t recall the last time I was able to craft something that was better than anything I’ve gotten in drops thus far. Add to that that there is nothing ‘fun’ you can craft, what so ever, and it feels like the crafting is lacking to me.

      What does make it better and unique is that it is heavily used in all aspects of the game: putting torn notes together, assembling components for a time machine, etc., and that is awesome. As far as feeling like a system that improves my character, however, it falls flat.

      • Ocho October 14, 2013 12:00 pm  Reply

        I was really hoping they would implement a method to upgrade crafting kits. Like, 10 green crafting kits make 1 blue crafting kit. 10 blue make 1 purple. That would make them a lot more useful than they are now when you already have QL10 items. So, then, if it’s possible to make your own purple QL10 items, keep 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, etc. in dungeons.

        • Tenten October 14, 2013 12:37 pm  Reply

          I definitely agree with you there: some way to upgrade tool kits would rock!

          • Tenten October 15, 2013 9:16 am 

            Oh, wow! I had no idea those even existed!

          • Ocho October 15, 2013 1:47 pm 

            You just seriously made my day. I had no idea they existed, either. Thank you. It makes sense, now, those sequins end up being pretty useless. This definitely gives the sequins a purpose. 🙂

    • Tenten October 14, 2013 10:03 am  Reply

      Also, you are right. The crafting system, until now, required little or no grind. But that has certainly changed with this event. I’ve lost count of the Accursed Ice I’ve killed, and I only just discovered them as a mat source. Before I was killing vampires in Besieged Farmlands … and I have, quite literally, killed thousands of them. If that’s not a grind, I don’t know what is.

      • Rowan October 14, 2013 11:11 am  Reply

        But you’re not really grinding for mats. You’re grinding for slivers, by way of Ice monsters, and mats. That’s not the same as grinding your way to “max level” crafting. I hear ye though with the no crafting for endgame. I’m surprised there aren’t purple kits. But then, I’ll bet they didn’t anticipate the Endgamers might be strong crafters. Much as I love this game, the Devs often seem to lack foresight.

        • Tenten October 14, 2013 11:19 am  Reply

          For sure, you’re right, though ultimately it’s a matter of semantics, ie, I’m grinding ice monsters for mats which give me currency and advance an event that currently involves the only worthwhile use of the crafting system. And granted, this is from my current perspective. Early on the crafting system was quite useful.

          As you said, augments are on the way and that will use the crafting system heavily. I suspect it’ll also be a grind, but at least then I’ll be earning XP/AP/SP as well.

          Ultimately my complaint was about endgame crafting. And frankly I’d be happy with the occasional ‘fun’ pattern that let me craft some clothes, or an accessory, or hell, a little flying disk that just moved at Sprint III speed, but let me look cool doing it.

          I’m easy to please. 😀

  2. seth October 14, 2013 10:48 am  Reply

    I’m still grinding for mats, in between running Nightmares and hunting rare spawns, but I can only do it for a little while at a time. The one upshot to the event’s grindy nature is that, it turns out, PVP is a quick way to earn mats since you can buy potions with marks and then disassemble them. It’s pulled me into trying PVP, which I’ve never really been into, and I’ve been having a good time with it.

    • Tenten October 14, 2013 11:30 am  Reply

      I generally avoid PvP like the plague; it’s just not a game type that flips my bits. For now grinding Accursed Ice in Carpathian Fangs seems to be giving me a great return on time invested.

      I think I’d have to get pretty bored to turn to PvP. But, that is totally just me. I’ve never been into PvP in all the years I’ve played MMOs. It is definitely cool though that that option is there for those players who rather not endlessly bash away at the same mob. 😀

      • Rowan October 14, 2013 11:47 am  Reply

        The only PvP I’ve actually enjoyed enough to just play without some other motive is the sPvP of GW2, but that is because it’s much more “gamelike” vs. “warlike.” Everyone is on an even playing field, stats wise, as opposed to, say, WoW, where success is heavily gear- and level-dependent. But I’ve never tried TSW PvP.

      • seth October 14, 2013 1:37 pm  Reply

        I’ve never been into PVP either! TSW is the probably the one I’ve liked most, but still not great. I wish the matches were shorter, they seem like they tend to drag on a little too long.

  3. Ocho October 14, 2013 11:54 am  Reply

    The carrot at the end of the stick this time around is not as significant. A) They probably increased the total amount needed, to match their timeframes, and B) They increased prices of vendor goods. This I don’t think matters as much as the value of the rewards compared to the first round.

    Think about it, how many slivers did you get the first time around? A whole bunch, right? Some people got enough slivers to buy everything in the store (around 800 something slivers)… well, this event is offering… ummm… more slivers, which people already have. Since these people are filled up on slivers and don’t need any more of them, they’re putting their mats on the AH to make a quick buck on them instead. When the slivers become useless, you might as well get PAX for them. Now, if there was a method to get fragments from slivers, I think we’d see it start moving faster again.

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