TSW Monday: Our Worst Nightmare

October 8, 2013

Our group members performing synchronized headstands for a very complicated and top-secret ritual.

At long last, the Knights of Mercy attempt Nightmare modes in The Secret World! Um, can it really be our worst if it’s our first? Wait, don’t answer that. One of my guildies says he’s had worse nights in Elites, but I don’t know; personally, I can’t remember having so much trouble a dungeon since the early days of this game when were were all in crappy gear and none of had any idea what was going on.

But first, it was pleasure before punishment. A group of us went back to the Savage Coast lair after receiving a tip how to do the final mission there, The Cover-up. Thank you for our commenter who showed us the way! I wish I had known setting off all the bombs at once then running like hell out of there was going to work, I would have tried that sooner! This called for a victory dance:

Victory dance

Judging from our dances, all of us are so behind on the times.

While we were in the area, we also called forth the three lair bosses and proceeded to beat the crap out of them for gear and achievements. Might as well put all those blueprint pieces that have been clogging up our inventory and bank spaces to good use.

lair boss

A screenshot I borrowed from Maric, as usual taking pictures instead of DPSing šŸ˜‰

And finally, the moment I was waiting for, five brave souls who were keyed for Nightmares (including yours truly) decided the time was nigh. As a group, we chose to attempt Polaris first, since it’s the earliest instance in the game and logic says to start there with Nightmares too. But logic, schmogic. Even then, it was major ouchies.

Granted, we did better than expected, seeing as I never thought we’d make it past the first boss. As it turned out, we did. We also blew through the second boss (our only one-shot of the evening) but as a very wise man once said, “Don’t get cocky.” We hit a snag on the third boss, henceforth known as “Mr. Crabs” because he also sure lives up to his name. He wiped the floor with us like 20 times (it was probably less, but it certainly felt like it) until we finally got him down, and even then we just barely squeaked by.

boss 4

And what do you know, it IS over when the fat lady sings.

The fourth boss went down after that, but at this point we were all tired and none of us were up for tackling the container boss. We still occasionally wipe on him in Elite mode, I can only imagine the pain he’ll bring on Nightmare.

So our first Nightmare was in some ways a success, but in others also a reminder that we’re back to starting from scratch. For the most part, the encounters aren’t too different, with the exception of a couple added mechanics that are absolutely UNFORGIVING unless you learn to take care of it, i.e. with interrupts or cleanses. So much was practicing on getting the rhythm down, and the good news is we’re learning.


  1. Nightmares are a rude awakening! I just started tanking them, and I’ve only made it through the first three. There’s very little room for error, especially tanking when there are certain abilities you HAVE to impair.

    • Oh yes, a rude awakening for sure! I’m a tank too, and discovered the importance of interrupts LOL! It’s time-consuming, but it’s fun learning all over again. And so we were all very careful to get the timing just right, definitely little room for error.

      • It was driving me crazy watching the little castbar in the enemy frame to see when I needed to impair, so I downloaded the Castbar Relocator mod. So much easier to keep track and be mobile at the same time!

      • Yeah, I need to start looking into mods for TSW. Tell me about it, I think half my mistakes last night was due to me being too focused on watching the cast bar and accidentally doing dumb things like dodge into an AoE! XD

        Having one of my teammates with an extra ranged hinder on him helped take some of the pressure off, and immediately I did better.

  2. For me, I installed the Curse client and added TSW in as a game. It’s got a catalog of (most of) the TSW mods out there and it installs them for you and keeps them up to date and everything.

    For NM’s my favorite 2 are definitely the Castbar Relocator and Eth’s Buff Bars, and that’s running as DPS and occasionally heals. I haven’t tried tanking a NM at all, but with how small the cast bar is normally, without the reloca

    FWIW, 2 impairs in your tank build are generally considered a “must.” Certain bosses only need 1, and certain you might actually want 3, but in general 2 is sufficient.

    One of these Mondays I’m going to make it on and join up with y’all. One of these days. . . . . .

    • Yeah, I think what I’ll end up doing is run with the build I used to fight the Gatekeeper, which included two impairs. I figure there’s a reason why his fight is the way it is to prepare you for nightmares šŸ™‚

      • Most bosses have 1 attack you *must* impair and a 2nd attack that you *should* impair and they cast them about 20-25 seconds apart. This allows you to swap back and forth between your 2 impairs — 1 goes on CD, the 2nd gets used, the 1st comes back of CD, etc. NM mobs actually have a counter and if they get impaired too often the counter goes too high and they turn immune, so that’s why generally only the tank slots impairs, in case you wonder.

        Whiplash with the Jones in the Fast Lane passive gives you an impair with a 22.5 second cooldown, FYI. I’ve heard some people say that how it works is a little odd, though. I’ve not tried it myself, but I see a lot of tank builds using it, so take that with whatever fistful of salt you like.

        Beyond that — stack block so you don’t take penetrating hits and then stack hit so your impairs don’t glance or get evaded. And voila! You’re tanking NM’s like a champ.

      • I mostly agree with what pkdude99 says, i only disagree on the priority of the stats he states. I would advise to keep both hit and block at good levels from the start and if you have access to a good geared fist healer, might even want to emphasize more on hit first.

        After all, any interrupt you miss quite likely kills you, while one or another penetrating hit can be survived if the healer can pour in enough healing.

        In the longer run, when hit is high enough (depending which tank you ask, you’ll get numbers around 700 to 800 hit rating), you might not only want to have high hit rating but also good defense, so you both reduce the chance to get penetrating and critical hits. But pkude99 is completely right, block and thus reduction of penetrating hits has priority.

      • Addendum: if you too often miss the enemy, take a look at the passive “fever pitch”. It is made to mostly compensate or the problem of lower gear and thus limited hit rating.

      • Thanks for the tips guys! Yeah, we like to go into new dungeons blind at least the first time to keep things fresh, look up strats only when we can’t figure it out. Getting hit with Mjolnir’s Echo was not fun the first time, figured it out pretty quickly that was one we HAD to interrupt, lol. Then yeah, we impair the Electric Hack or whatever it is when we can, but for the most part our healer can handle it in case it happens to get through.

        And yes, hit’s been pretty high priority for me. My aggro sometimes suffers so hit is definitely something I’m chasing. I’ve gotten some new pieces of gear so it’s time to hit the AH or beg my guildies for some glyphs and signets, sigh.

      • Ooh, thank you for that tidbit about Fever Pitch!

      • Heh. I can see how my wording would give the impression that I meant stack block 1st, then hit. I’m totally with Sylow that you need both and that Hit should have a slight priority until you get it up to the 650-800 range. This is why I don’t tank NM’s – I only have random drop gear for tanking and my stats are pretty random as a result. After I eventually finish off my dps gear I’ll look into my tanking set, but… that’s a looong way off.

        FWIW, this guide on the forums encapsulates the current thinking on what is “best practice” for tanking. It doesn’t give specific builds, but shows what skills do what, and then you make your own tanking build based on what you think is best for your playstyle and preferred weapons.

      • Addendum: When you do start getting your custom gear, your glyphs are *far* more important to upgrade than the talismans themselves for a tank. It’s suggested that you only upgrade glyphs until they’re maxed out before worrying about upgrading your talismans at all.

  3. So tempted to give you a strat on the Primordial Dweller that can make life so much happier, but I’ll hold off for now since you like to go in blind. It’s not a very intuitive strat, but it makes it much easier. I was only told it recently.

    • Keep that thought! While we may like to go in blind and experiment for ourselves the first go around, we don’t mind taking in other strats! Especially if they’ll make our lives easier and happier…lol.

  4. […] Helper – A lair boss helper. I used UltimateCrafter during our last Lair run, to great success, but that was before I had this […]

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