Hey there, and welcome back to my newest descent into The Secret World!
As you may recall, my experiments so far were not really successful as I did not manage to find a duo of weapons that I would truly enjoy and use on the long term. That is why I turned to the build guides of The Secret World Database, and browsing a bit gave me a few ideas what to try next. Turns out, there are a few “favorites” that clearly win for end-game, but most of them didn’t really sound exciting for me, until I read about “leeching.”
Leeching in The Secret World refers to the healing done via Assault Rifle abilities. It is a viable option for all types of content and functions by converting a percentage of the damage done by certain abilities into healing transferred to the defensive target.
I have been a healer occasionally, more often than I have been a tank anyway, so the prospect was a bit less alien. However, being in charge of keeping the whole group alive is a pretty big responsibility and I hadn’t exactly been active on that front in a while. The only thing stopping me was my occasional clumsiness and maybe response time. But the fun part is that you get to hit things while being useful to the group. And so was born my third character in The Secret World noob adventures: the leecher.
But what second weapon to pick? I was quite set on going ranged again, so I needed to take either a second gun or magic. Blood was quite nice on my first attempt and seemed to perform well, so I picked it again. Especially in this context, it made more sense as I was actually going to heal so certain abilities from Blood had a lot of use. The solo content went really well with the combination of Assault Rifle and Blood magic. I found several rotations that worked great for questing, although I was using more of the Assault Rifle abilities. Fast forwarding quite a few levels and areas later, I was able to finish the first part of the story mission quite painlessly.
There were a few times when I got a little overwhelmed and my AoE was not enough to kill larger groups quickly. But overall it was a pretty smooth experience and even stunning and killing the mobs separately worked excellently because I could kite them around and take them down easily while leech-healing myself. That made up for the occasional lack of damage. I think my low damage or healing numbers were mostly related to the level of my gear and the low scores I had on Hit and Penetration, which are two major factors influencing both the damage and healing of leeching. Obviously, it is difficult to heal yourself when missing your target.
The leech healing solo spec also worked out great for grouping up. i didn’t really have to change all of my rotations because the person pulling was not taking an enormous amount of damage or had some healing abilities of their own. However, in further content such as Transylvania, some challenges were more difficult so I adopted more of a supporting role.
Running dungeons was a different thing. The first few times I queued as a healer didn’t go so well, and this was probably because of the gear issue I was talking about earlier. The party was not very happy about it though and I guess we were all relieved when it was over. No one died but I kept missing certain heals. For example I wasn’t very familiar with boss abilities damaging the entire party, and sometimes the DPS also damaged themselves more or less willingly. Not just by standing in things, but Blood magic for instance can be powered by your own health when lacking resources. I had a bit of trouble with group healing because I had not unlocked the relevant abilities yet, and so I had to switch between characters quite a lot.
Then I decided to try DPSing while off-healing, which was a bit more simple, and somewhat helpful as sometimes the main healer struggled as well. Because of the supporting function, the trade off was not doing as spectacular damage as the others. I noticed after a while that I got much better abilities and passives, and I was able to output a bit more damage eventually. What I really wasn’t pleased with was when the tank pretty much wiped out everything before I could shoot a few times while simply questing, but I noticed that both assault rifles and blood magic response times are a little bit slower than the other ranged weapons available.
I also tried this combination in PvP with somewhat mixed results. Sometimes it worked better to take initiative and advance more, stun and damage down people from afar, and sometimes it was better to off-heal a tanky character who was able to charge right into the opponents. But I definitely had the freedom to choose and adapt. Most PvP matches in Shambhala, the smallest map, are really fast and there’s not a lot of time to react if the opponents have a few really powerful players. Leeching does not particularly do a lot of burst damage, so I wasn’t extremely impressed with my contribution, but I started using some impairing abilities to stun those opponents and make them easier to gun down. Leeching did save me a few times when other players attacked me, especially if my impairs were available.
Overall, I’d say that leeching was a really good experience although I’m a bit conflicted about my exact role. I’d like to be less concerned with healing and rather DPS, but on the other hand with the right gear this could be a really enjoyable spec. I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Claretta for this leeching guide on the TSW Database forums. It helped a lot to understand more about stats, gear and numbers in general, while giving a lot of advice on being more versatile and not just healing.
So what is next? I am going to choose a character between Hammer/Blade and Assault Rifle/Blood to level up further and prepare for the more difficult end-game content. I’d like to be clear on which character becomes my main and perhaps tackle even more complicated challenges. I’d love to see a raid and go to Tokyo, which are a bit out of reach right now, but perhaps I’ll make it there soon.
See you next week!Related: A Noob's Tale, Column, Funcom, MMORPG, The Secret World