TSW: Nightmare Darkness War

January 31, 2014

nm dw 2

Wait, what’s this? A Secret World post on a Friday? Surprise!

Yesterday, a few of my guildies and I put together an impromptu TSW night, to try our hand at another Nightmare. Thanks to the tips and advice from helpful commenters in my last post, we had a better idea of which dungeon to do. Seems to me the overall consensus is that Darkness War is the best entry level NM, so that is exactly what we did. Sometimes I have to remind myself that TSW is a whole different beast than other MMOs, that typical assumptions — such as, the first chronological dungeon in a game is always the easiest — are not always the case!

Polaris, for example, is apparently quite the toughie on NM mode. Now I actually feel a lot better about getting as far as we did, for a group just starting out. And to have almost beat the last boss too. It didn’t occur to me that most groups do the first five bosses in the various dungeons first, getting more adequately geared up in epics before tackling the sixth bosses. It just sounds so contrary to intuition especially if you’re used to playing other MMOs, but in TSW actually makes a lot of sense. And like I said, TSW is not like other MMOs.

nm dw

So how did we do in Darkness War? Quite well, to be honest. Was it actually easier? Well, compared to some of the bosses in Polaris? Yes. I don’t think we would have made it as far as we did (killed the first give bosses and left the last boss, as per the plan) if it wasn’t. So folks who commented were absolutely right about that. Still, compared to dungeons I’ve run in other games, it was still a bitch.

Again, this is TSW after all. Sometimes I do feel this game is pure evil, pretty much leaving you zero room for mistakes. But after much trial and error, practice and persistence, the feeling you get when you finally kill a boss for the first time is very rewarding. Case in point, it felt so satisfying to finally bring down the Unbound Ak’ab (to tell the truth, bringing down any Ak’ab is satisfying). Ironically, this boss is a cakewalk when it comes to normal and Elite modes, but on NM he gave us a lot of trouble.

mayan battle mage

The fifth boss, the Mayan Battle Mage, wasn’t much better, though his fight is all about knowing when to run away from bad stuff on the ground. The fact that even one misstep can kill the unsuspecting healer or DPS was the problem. In the end, I think he finally had it with us and just decided to bug out in one place, throw all his adds out at once, and keel over dead. Hey, I don’t care if we beat him by default, a win is a win! And we would have gotten him on our next try anyway *wink*


  1. Funny thing about the dungeons in TSW is the way that each one has its own them, if you will. Theme of DW is “AE DPS for adds, avoid ground crap.” Theme of HR is “DPS race.” Polaris is changing up tactics as the fights progress since the boss changes what it does. And so on with the other dungeons.

    I’m looking forward to when you are not only completing the dungeons but also getting your Master Planner achievements!

    • Hehe, to me, Polaris’ theme feels like INTERRUPT, INTERRUPT, INTERRUPT! 😉

      • Well, you’re the tank, so you’ll feel the same in HR too 😉

  2. The trick for the battle mage when he carpet bombs is to stand right outside the middle strip of bombs. Then you barely have to move to avoid the next round. That said the real challenge is the bomb adds: dps has to kill the slow-walking adds ASAP from range.

    Congrats on the successful 5/6 run!

    • Yeah, I find staying in the middle, then running towards where he dropped his first bombs to be a pretty good strategy. The exploding adds are a pain though!

      • Exploding adds are not your job, though. If they really pose a problem, tell your AR or Ele DD to bring an AoE consumer or two and you’re good to go.

      • LOL because of all my health they actually don’t kill me when they explode so it’s actually no big deal to me. It’s the poor DPS who sometimes get caught off guard 😉

      • True, the tank can take one or another explosion. But it knocks you down and thus you are unable to act for a little. A disabled tank is not what a group ever wants to have, especially if one ranged DD can easily solve the problem.

  3. Cheers and Congrats on an awesome group ownage.

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