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The Secret World Dev Journals: Deck Templates

By Guest Writer on February 09, 2012

The Secret World does away with classes and levels to let players develop any combination of abilities they choose. They can learn any out of the five hundred found in the Ability Wheel, to create exactly the type of character they want.

This system offers great freedom and depth, but may initially seem be a bit daunting for some. For those who may want a little guidance, we have developed the deck template system.

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Each deck contains seven active and seven passive abilities, which together make a coherent and effective build.  Each deck has a unique flare and playstyle.

Players can choose to follow the decks, and learn the abilities they describe, or just draw inspiration from them to create cool decks of their own.

Here are three examples of decks we plan to include in The Secret World:

Witch Hunter (Templar)

With the help of his trusted pair of pistols and a big hammer, the Witch Hunter is in the business of exorcising evil, one demon or vampire at a time.

Focusing on big damage spikes through critical hits, the Witch Hunter is a single target killing machine, shooting his enemies with pistols from range and smashing them in the face with a big hammer when up close.

Sample abilities:

Actives

  • (Pistols) Shoot to Kill – A short channel Focus pistol attack that deals damage every 0.25s for 1s. Generates 1 Pistol Focus.
  • (Pistols) Gun Ho – A three second channelled pistol attack that deals damage every 0.3s. The first three ticks deal normal damage, the next three do double damage, the next three do double damage in an AoE, and the last tick does big damage to the initial target.
  • (Pistols) Call Your Shots – A team-wide critical hit aura.
  • (Hammers) No Quarter – A Blast-category hammer attack that consumes all Hammer Momentum for big damage. If this ability is used after killing an opponent, it is guaranteed to score a critically hit.

Passives

  • (Pistols) Give and Take – Whenever you critically hit an enemy you gain a HoT.
  • (Elementalism) Critical Spark – All your critical hits add to a counter. When the counter reaches 4, your next ability fires an additional hit for high damage.
  • (Pistols) Twofer – Every time you critically hit your target, you deal an extra hit.
  • (Pistols) Stack ‘em High – Critical hits stack a critical hit buff. 
  • (Pistols) Focused Assault – All your Focus-category attacks have a 5% increased critical hit chance.

Key features

  • The Witch Hunter pulls his enemies in with pistol shots, and fights with a big hammer up close.
  • The deck is built around abilities whose synergies greatly increase the chance of scoring critical hits.
  • Whenever the Witch Hunter does a critical, tons of extra damage and bonuses are applied.
  • The build is most effective when it shifts attacks quickly between targets to keep buffs up.
  •  This deck is able to deal very high burst damage.

Warlord (Dragon)

The Warlord is a graceful blade fighter. With pure technique and strict discipline, she cuts across the battlefield like a hot knife through butter.

Specialising in fighting groups of enemies with a blade as her primary weapon, the Warlord uses speed, balance and penetrating cuts in great synergy to bleed and slice multiple enemies at the same time.

Sample abilities:

Actives

  • (Blades) Blade Rush – A spin-dash-spin blade attack that deals a point blank AoE at both the start and finishing points, and hits all enemies in a column in between.
  • (Blades) Drawing of Blades – A point blank AoE blade attack. Generates Blade Momentum.
  • (Blades) Dancing Blades – A blade finisher that consumes all Blade Momentum to deal damage in a point blank AoE.
  • (Blades) Absolute Zero – Creates a big force field around you. Within this field you deal increased damage, move faster and are immune to hinder effects.

Passives

  • (Assault Rifles) Ripping Frenzy – All your Frenzy-category attack also apply a DoT.
  • (Assault Rifles) Bloodbath - All your Frenzy-category attacks grant you a buff to all leech effects.
  • (Blood Magic) Contagion – All your attacks that penetrate also deal damage to nearby enemies.
  • (Blades) Serrated Blades – Every time one of your attacks penetrate, they also apply a DoT.
  • (Blades) Final Cut – Every time you attack, you add to a counter. When the counter reaches 5, you deal a large amount of damage and apply a DoT to all nearby targets.

Key features

  • The Warlord dashes into combat and whirls around to do damage to large groups of enemies.
  • The deck is built around augmenting sword attacks, so they apply a myriad of stacking bonuses to do massive damage
  •  The synergy between abilities let the sword attacks penetrate easier, apply damage over time and buff leech effects which heal the Warlord.
  • The smart combinations of abilities in this build makes the Warlord an awesome sight to behold – seeing torrents of effects applied to enemies as she dances through combat.

Thaumaturgist (Illuminati)

A thoroughly modern gunmage, the Thaumaturgist bends science to invoke elemental demons and mechanical turrets.

Wielding the unbound powers of elementalism, the Thaumaturgist controls the battlefield for himself and his companions down the barrels of a shotgun.

Sample abilities:

Actives

  • (Elementalism) Fire, Walk with Me - A single target elemental attack that summons a fire demon that will attack the nearest target. Costs 2 Elemental Charges.
  • (Elementalism) – Hell Freezes Over – A single target elemental attack that roots the target and summons an ice demon that pulses a 0.25s root ever 3s for 9s.
  • (Elementalism) Shortcircuit – A 1s cast that summons a lightning demon that fires a Chain-category attack at nearby targets. Deals extra damage to any hindered targets. Costs 2 Elemental Charges.
  • (Shotguns) Mechanical Trigger – Places a mechanical rail-gun turret that shoots at the nearest single target within 12 meters. Enemies damaged by the turret are snared.

Passives

  • (Elementalism) Summoning Shock - Whenever you summon a demon or a mechanical support ability, you deal additional damage at the summon location.
  • (Pistols) Machine Gunner - Whenever you deploy a mechanical- or other support ability, you get a stacking critical rating buff.
  • (Elementalism) Targeting Flare – All your attacks against hindered targets give your team a stacking critical rating buff.
  • (Elementalism) Prey on the Weak – Critical hits against hindered targets deal extra damage.
  • (Elementalism) Chains of Agony – All your Chain-category attacks also apply a DoT.

Key features

  • The Thaumaturgist summons a host of elemental demons or mechanical turrets to aide him and his team in combat.
  • The deck gives excellent team support through all the summons and the effects they apply.
  • The Thaumaturgist is a master controller of the battlefield. He hinders and roots his enemies, so they are easy prey. 
  • All the synergies between the different abilities in the deck give great buffs and stack damage effects against hindered monsters.

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