Newbee Guide, or How to Have a Open Leveling Experience in a Secret World


TSW has been streamlined, revamped and relaunched as SWL! This makes for a strange combination sometimes as there is 5 years of experience and development butting up against totally new systems. From a lore, story and mission perspective it is fine to use resources from TSW, as the bulk of these things have not changed drastically. On the mechanics side though there have been extensive changes, and the playerbase doesn’t yet have a firm lock on builds and theory crafting yet.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive guide, there are good ones out there already that cover the mechanics of the game in depth. However a new player will probably run into some questions immediately, and this should explain things and answer oft-repeated worries, especially about “wasting” experience, gear or currency.

For a list of all guides mentioned in this post see here:

Update history

  • Patch – Anniversary Event, edited and clarified some content

  • Patch 2.2.1 – South Africa release

  • Patch 2.2.0 – Added information about anima allocation, agent system, edited content

  • Patch 2.1.2 – Added information about raids, new guides, advice about shards and F2P

  • 2017.07.31 - Guide creation

Thanks to the following people for contributions and suggestions:

/u/Incoherrant, /u/blacksun89, /u/rivvn, /u/Djinngi, /u/Newbieshoes

Leveling (your character)

Don’t worry about picking the wrong class, faction, or leveling the wrong ability

  • The class selection is a bit of a magic trick, as there are not really any traditional classes in SWL. You are not locked in to being a tank or healer based on your starting class, so just pick whatever strikes you as fun, all those starter classes are totally viable to level 50. Still if you want the most frustration free leveling experience and you are not sure, then pick a class with hammer, blade or shotgun, as those weapons have some abilities with strong healing or mitigation.

  • Likewise one faction is not better than the other mechanically, there are no bonus faction skills or anything like that. What currently differs is almost entirely cosmetic: a few sets unlockable uniforms per faction, unique titles, access to the faction base in the faction home city, some content in the segue missions between each major zone, and the after-action flavor texts from each handler when a mission is completed. In TSW, Cabals (guilds) were same-faction only, and PvP teams were split by faction. Currently cabals have no faction restrictions and the devs have stated they do not want to have faction based PvP anymore.

    All that said, even though it is cosmetic people have strong opinions about each faction: some despise the arrogance of the Illuminati handler, some find the Templar handler too bland, some are off-put by the obtuse fortune cookie world salad of the Dragon handler. I recommend Illuminati or Templar for your first character simply because they provide better context for the world overall, that said my main faction has always been Dragon!

  • There is no “server” to select, all players can meet up with all other players. However for lag and atmosphere purposes, mission zones are limited to 15 players per zone. If you want to meet up with friends, right click on their name in chat or in your friends list, and select “meet up.”

  • Think carefully about your character’s gender, hairstyle and physical appearance. A barber and surgeon exist in game, so you can change your appearance afterwards. However, the barber costs 7,000 MoF per use, and the surgeon is 110,000 MoF. For reference, you only earn a max of 10,000 per day. You still are unable to change your character’s gender, and many outfits vary from character to character, so give a little thought to it.

  • Current level cap is level 50. Levels represent major stat increases, the little abilities on the passive skills and the capstones in active skills make for minor stat increases. The bulk of your stats though come from your talismans and weapons, which get discussed down below. In episode 260 of Beyond the Veil podcast, the game director mentioned they plan to increase the level cap in the future.

  • Don’t feel rushed to unlock all the weapons and abilities with Marks of Favor, and don’t feel pressured to buy bonus AP or SP points with Aurum. You will probably not fill out all active and passive skills for your starter picks until Transylvania, which is many hours into the game. If you stick with SWL you will eventually end up buying every skill there is, and with current content difficulty there is no immediate need for extra stats from filling up the passive skills or the active capstones.

  • By the same token if you picked a weapon and it just isn’t working for you, there is no need to reroll your character. Go ahead and unlock a new weapon and its passive tree and start dropping points there. Your experience is not wasted, as the bonus from passive skills (the little +attribute point icons in between the passives for active skills) applies regardless if you have the weapon equipped.

  • For general gameplay nuts and bolts there is no better guide than SWLDB’s Ultimate Beginner Guide

Leveling (your equipment)

Don’t worry about upgrading the wrong thing

Part 1: some background about equipment

  • This is a big one difference from most RPGs but mobs do not drop loot. There are exceptions with special named mobs, and the waist gear that sometimes comes from caches, but the bulk of your loot will come from completing missions. Again, this is not a bug, this is working as intended. Instead of improving your gear with random drops, what you do is level your gear piece by piece.

  • Clothing does not = armor in SWL, unlike the majority of games out there. Clothing is just a cosmetic thing which you can collect, and wearing clothing provides no mechanical bonuses. The “armor” of the game is called talismans.

  • Your weapons and talismans have individual levels, and you level items by feeding similar items to the one you wish to upgrade. There are a bewildering array of choices here - one pip, two pip, three pip, dungeon drop, suffix. See /u/KElderfall ‘s guide for a comprehensive rundown of upgrading and fusing.

  • You unlock the various talisman slots at certain levels, and you won’t see any equipment for that slot drop before that level. Certain missions reward you with what is supposed to be your first piece of that talisman slot.

  • General consensus about upgrading is that due to the rate a player earns the Shards of Anima currency and the ever-increasing costs of leveling equipment at the higher levels, players should try to match like with like to maximise the benefit–ie. feed shotguns into shotguns, feed head talismans into head talismans. Again, because of the way the fusion system works you will end up destroying maxed out green equipment you don’t need in order to improve the equipment you do need. To make a purple item you need to fuse 2 blues together, and to make 2 blues you need to fuse 4 greens, and so on.

  • In addition to straight-up gear, you also get items called “distillates.” Distillates are beefier upgrade fodder for equipment, ranging in hundreds to tens of thousands of XP per distillate for the cost of a single upgrade. Distillates come from dungeons and other endgame activities, as well as from daily login rewards and caches. If you get a large distillate you might consider holding on to as many as you can until you get equipment to the epic (purple) range or higher.

  • Keep in mind that your inventory is going to fill up with equipment fast. If you know you are not keen on a particular weapon, then just vendor the items. If you are sure you don’t like Blood then sell your Blood tomes to a vendor for shards or to the AH for MoF. You might think low-level items don’t sell well, but they do; ultimately every player needs to throw upgrade fodder into their gear. I also highly recommend maxing out your inventory MoF upgrades to make room.

  • Let me suggest again, you should vendor equipment you don’t need. Early on you might not worry about shards much, but once you begin upgrading your equipment to rare (blue) or stronger the cost of upgrades and the cost of traveling the map will cause you to go shard-broke quite often. The simplest way to get more shards is to just vendor the equipment you don’t need. Missions never reward you with unique weapons, and in fact the same level of equipment can be rewarded in the first mission as well as the latest.

Part 2: Some advice on leveling equipment

The quick and carefree method for leveling items is as follows, and the reasoning is below:

  1. buy a full set of regular 3-pip talismans off the auction house, they should be 250-400 MoF per talisman

  2. buy a regular 2 or 3 pip “havoc,” “energy,” or “destruction” suffix weapon for your main weapons off the auction house, again another 250-400 MoF or so.

  3. level those up to level 25 blue, then at that point stop and take a look at what builds and weapons are good for endgame if you want

  • Pips work differently for talismans and weapons. For talismans the extra pip indicates a 10% difference in stats. The story difficulty of the game is structured around 2-pip item stats, so having a 3-pip item is 10% better, and having a 1-pip item is 10% worse stats. For endgame, of course, the baseline is 3-pip as it is the most effective.

    For weapons, it is a little different: the pips only indicate the effectiveness of the suffix. There are cases where you want another suffix, but in general the best ones are havoc (extra crit) energy (more energy which = more damage) and destruction (more damage when mob is at low health). The other suffixes have niche uses or are not as helpful at lower levels.

    What are the red icon weapons and talismans you see? Those are dungeon items, or “extraordinary” items that have been mentioned. You mainly get these extraordinary items from group PvE activities. For talismans, they provide a slight bonus to damage, healing or mitigation. But that bonus is not as strong as the 10% you get from having 3-pip over 2-pip, hence the advice to get a plain 3-pip talisman to start out. As for extraordinary dungeon weapons, well, that is a little more complicated. Extraordinary weapons provide some mechanic-changing effects, and some are even necessary for specific builds.

  • The general idea here is a 2-pip extraordinary weapon is usually better than a 3-pip plain weapon.* That said, a) you will have to play a bit first to see what kind of playstyle you like, b) extraordinary weapons are very expensive and c) extraordinary weapons are not needed for the purpose of leveling your character. For those reasons, I recommend you just get a desirable suffix and roll with that for a bit. Once you have some experience and some MoF under your belt, you can start taking a look at ways to beef up your DPS.

    To be clear, you don’t even need to follow my advice above. There is nothing wrong with leveling the first item that drops into your hands and then using that item as fusion fodder for a good drop or purchase you pick out later, so if you are reading this after leveling a 1-pip blade of warding to purple, don’t go kicking yourself. Just research a bit, get a effective weapon off the AH, and then fuse your old one into it when they are both leveled up.

  • What is the difference between a crude and an intricate glyph? What signets are there? What are all the extraordinary weapon abilities and where do those weapons drop? When you want to get deep into itemization go to see /u/MerlinAesalon 's theorycraft and item guide.

I hit level 15, what are all these new systems?

  • Level 15 is a big moment where a lot of stuff becomes available: anima allocation, agent system, the museum, and caches. Caches will get covered in the currency section, so below I will go over the others.

Anima allocation

Set your damage to 100% and don’t worry about it

  • Anima allocation was added to allow players to adjust their heal, damage and tank stats on the fly. At level 15 you can change your allocation to, say, have 70% damage, 23% mitigation and 7% healing for a solo build, and switch to 100% damage for a dungeon build. Basically allocation allows tanks and healers to do solo content without having to level multiple sets, and players in general can fine tune their health and damage to their build and situation.

    That all said, just starting out you don’t really need to think about allocating stats in the beginning. Open the window, change your base allocation from 90% damage / 10% mitigation to 100% damage, and save. If you ever feel like you are getting killed too quickly, try putting more mitigation back in.

Agent system

Receive 2 free agents and just assign them to missions to get free stuff, auction the dossiers you don’t want

  • The Agent system was added. At faction rank 3 (level 15) players can “recruit” agents and send them on agent-only missions. Agents can be acquired from action and sabotage mission rewards, scenario chests, and last boss dungeon chests. The drop rate is estimated to be 1-2% from these activities. Players can buy and sell dropped agents on the AH. Finally, agents can come from agent bags purchased with Aurum, though the drop rate is not guaranteed, and the agents from bags cannot be sold on the AH. Essentially the agent system is like class hall missions in WoW or companion missions in SWTOR. You can see a spreadsheet filled with Agent information here. Also as always TSWDB has a stellar rundown, detailing the system.

    Agents level up, and at level 25 and 50 can add a boost to your character. Note which agent you have “equipped” can be saved in the gear manager along with your gear, loadout and anima allocation.

    At first all players got 1 free agent, the Faction Recruit. After player feedback about the agent system, Funcom added a second Agent, Lydia Darling, which you receive after completing your first mission with the Faction Recruit.

  • Currently agent dossiers sell for quite a bit of MoF, so if you get one and don’t want it sell it on the AH for some MoF to get something that you do want.

The Museum of the Occult

It provides minor bonuses and cosmetics at the cost of millions of anima shards, so it is functionally an endgame currency sink

  • You will get a text from the museum curator asking to come be a patron of the museum. It is located in London, just down the road from Templar Hall. Inside you pay anima shards to unlock wings of the museum and then pay more anima shards to install pedestals of the various monsters encountered in the wing, with various levels of the unlocks being tied to in-game achievements. No museum is complete without a gift shop, and the one inside this museum sells cosmetic items as well as expendible performance boosts. Also unlocking all of a wing grants a minor damage bonus against the monsters inside the wing.

    Once you have completed the story, leveled up your equipment a bit and are wondering what to do next, that is the time to start considering the museum. You notice that the museum requires you to use the same anima shards that you need to level your equipment. The expensive cost of opening and filling wings and massive number of monster kills tied to most of the achivements clearly marks this as an endgame activity, and not something to worry about at level 15.

  • One more thing to note though is that you will occasionally see monsters drop items after they die. The item will contain the text “but there are some who thinks this belongs in a museum.” These are items that are needed to unlock certain pedestals. Vendor these items for shards when you get them, or sell them on the AH. In the process of killing mobs to unlock the highe levels of a wing you will certainly earn enough of these special museum items and more. At a low level, just sell the ones you get for a nice boost in shards.


Type /chat join sanctuary to join the main chatroom of players and find help, join a cabal when you can , the launcher lists all the official communication outlets.

  • Previously the Funcom-managed subreddit was the primary place for information, but now there are official Funcom forums. Also consider joining the SWL Discord as a lot of the community and developers go there. Finally there is also a player run forum at

  • Like most current online RPGs, SWL has an automated matchmaker for dungeon and raid queues. However you can also gather up a party and queue together as well, which you might need to do if you want to do a story dungeon past its recommended level range. Finding people to play with in Agartha and Sanctuary chat is pretty simple, and there is also an underused but quite functional group finder for people who are looking for specific activities. Currently the mega bosses from lairs are fought in Deep Agartha, so keeping an eye out on Agartha chat will usually alert you to when a group is summoning a megaboss.

Dungeons and other non-solo content

Hit Shift + V to bring up the menu and queue for group content

  • Each form of endgame content is earmarked with certain rewards: Scenarios provide glyphs and glyph distillates, Lairs provide signets and signet distillates, Dungeons provide unique gear and gear distillates, Raids provide further unique gear and gear distillates, and PvP provides shards and regular gear. All activities provide shards. Tokyo is unique due to its side missions sometimes rewarding container keys. You can use those keys to open Orochi containers on the Tokyo docks and fight a soloable mob for gear, distillates, shards and clothes.

  • Note that like most activities in SWL there is a limit to the amount of free loot you can get. Whenever you complete one of these endgame activities a chest appears, and you use a key (regenerated daily) to open the chest. You get 3 keys for Lairs, 2 for Scenarios. With dungeons you only get 10 dungeon keys per day; while this doesn’t prevent you from running a dungeon when you run out of keys, it does mean you can only open up to 10 equipment chests. With scenarios and raids there is not much strategy here, you only get one reward per instance so you have to take it or leave it. However with lairs and dungeons, note you can skip unlocking the equipment chests. If you have time to run multiple dungeons or lairs you can, say, skip all the chests that do not have a special blue light which indicates better loot, or skip all chests but the last boss, and squeeze out a bit more value per key at a loss of time. As of patch 2.2.0 Elite 1 dungeons are being run quite frequently for their agent dossier drops. You can also buy more loot keys on the spot with some MoF. Raids do not have a key or hard lockout, but you get reduced rewards after the first loot each week.

  • Dungeons have six bosses, unique dungeon lore, and item chests which give equipment boosting items or special dungeon equipment upon beating a boss. /u/amnesiasoft has a list of the special dungeon equipment and where it drops from. Boss strategies are mostly the same as TSW but there are some differences. You can queue for dungeons from level 10 with the shift + v group finder window.

  • Until level 50 you can only run “story” difficulty of a dungeon, past level 50 you get granular levels of Elite difficulty. In old TSW terms, Elite 1 is the previous Elite, Elite 5 is the previous Nightmare. According to /u/Glaucon the rewards increment with the Elite difficulty. Anecdotally, it is easiest to find groups for Elite 1 (easiest difficulty) and Elite 4 (same mechanics as Elite 1 but better rewards), but harder past Elite 5 due to the significant jump in difficulty. Some players feel that Elite 5+ is not worth the increased difficulty. Other players frequently call out for people to join specific elite dungeons, but groups tend to fill up fast. Again the easiest way to find people to do harder content with is to join a cabal that does endgame dungeons.

  • Scenarios (fight waves of monsters solo or duo) and PvP (currently only Shambala, a 10v10 no respawn deathmatch) are also available from the group finder window. PvP is available from 10 along with the first story dungeons, while Scenarios are available at 50 along with Elite dungeons.

  • Lairs are the dark burned in areas on the zone maps, 1 lair per zone. They require a raid of 10 players to complete. There is no group finder for them, so you need to join a group being advertized or put together your own. Due to the cap of 15 players per zone, sometimes all 10 players can’t get logged into the same instance; when that happens have everyone meetup on another player’s instance.

  • The only raid content in game at the moment is the New York raid, with the same scaling difficulties as dungeons. This raid is for 10 players, and while there is a queue people have reported waiting hours as a dps member on levels above Story difficulty. It is safe to say you are better off trying to get a group for Elite 1, 5 or 10 together rather than attempt it randomly. As mentioned above you can do the raid as many times as you want, however you get reduced rewards after the first loot per week. /u/Tipsui has a wonderful guide for the fight.

  • If you want to know more about the current–well, as of this writing current–endgame stat and role meta please see the dps, grouping, tanking, healing, and end game stats by /u/MerlinAesalon


MoF mainly available from dailies, Shards mainly available from missions, Aurum mainly available from credit card

name acquired from used to buy
Anima shards mission completion, killing mobs, vendoring loot, vendoring loot caches, Tokyo container keys and bosses, PvP upgrade equipment, travel, pay death penalty, upgrading Museum
Marks of Favor daily challenge completion, selling items on AH, selling Aurum on AH items on the AH, unlocks for weapon and skill pages, first levels of inventory and sprint upgrades, most items sold by vendors, some clothing, Aurum from AH, dungeon keys
Aurum direct purchase for money from Funcom, buying with MoF on AH bonus AP and SP on skill and weapon pages, high level sprint, high level personal and bank inventory upgrade, MoF from AH, extra character slots, most clothing, pets and other cosmetics
Third Age Fragments Loot cache Cosmetics, pets, special sprints, 2-pip purple equipment
Cache Key Aurum, 1/day for Patron status sub Open the loot caches dropped by mobs
Hexcoin From selling agents dossiers and agent gear that were bought with Aurum Agent resources, gear and dossiers. A mitigation currency for people who spent Aurum but didn’t get what they wanted out of an agent bag
  • Very roughly speaking MoF ends up being more of a neck at the starting levels, anima shards the neck at higher levels, and then MoF again if you are trying to buy the best weapons and talismans off the AH. The idea is that players who want to open more weapon pages faster or buy the best items off the AH will buy Aurum and sell it for MoF. Players who want to play for free but still want access to some of the paid experience will sell their MoF for Aurum (currently at a 201 MoF : 1 Aurum ratio as of this writing). Since launch Aurum has very slowly but steadily increased in value.

    The main method of getting MoF is doing the daily challenges, though at higher levels you can get much more from selling good dungeon drops. There is currently no way to trade or directly purchase more Anima Shards, however you can still get shards outside of missions by vendoring loot (typically 250-500 shards per item, not affected by level or pips on the item) or (if you are desperate for some reason) by purchasing items off AH to vendor. If you want to quickly upgrade equipment and are willing to pay Aurum, however, Funcom is happy to provide you one-use items to upgrade directly from the upgrade window.

  • As you have likely gathered Aurum is the premium currency of this F2P model. While there is an item store, most of the spending options are baked in to the interface in the form of that little + button. Want to purchase more AP? Click on that + in the passive / active ability page. Want to purchase more sprints? Click on the + in your sprint window. Inventory space? + in the inventory. Item upgrades? + in the item upgrade window. You buy Aurum itself from + on the gold bar in the upper left of your UI. With Steam it is expected there will be fewer issues, but FYI people had problems using Hipay in the regular SWL client. Whether or not you use Aurum to boost your experience is up to you.

  • The caches are the random lootbox of the game. The Agarthan cache, Infernal cache, Future-Tech cache, Haunted cache, Winter cache, and the Tribal Cache no longer drop.

    Currently the Anniversary Cache is dropping. If you want to know more about caches and what they contain see the TSWDB guide.

    Around level 15 you will start seeing mobs drop these purple lockboxes, which you can only open with a key that you buy with either Aurum or you get 1/day as a Patron. Opening them gives you a special currency called Third Age Fragments along with a chance at some equipment upgrading items, special weapons and special cosmetics. If you do not plan on dropping money or becoming a patron, you can: sell the cache on the AH for MoF, vendor the cache for 50 Anima Shards, or hold on to it for later because it might sell for more MoF or you might change your mind. Caches stack quite high so keeping them around is feasible. Interestingly, drop rate is apparently based on usage, so if you open the caches you will see more caches drop. Currently we have seen caches rotate out at roughly once every 2 months.

    Sometimes the caches will drop an extraordinary waist talisman instead of a cache. These talismans can be used for upgrades, upgraded, vendored or AHed as usual.

F2P, or how to spend your money

Since this is a F2P game, let’s talk a little bit about money. Ultimately its your money and your time and your fun, so play in a way that makes sense to you.

Patron status, is it worth it?

If you are going to spend any real money on the game you should start here

  • Patron status list

  • There are enough perks in the Patron system that the value of it really depends on who you ask. Extra AP/SP helps you unlock skills faster, extra MoF helps you unlock things faster, extra XP levels you up faster which makes leveling content easier, extra Anima shards and free teleports and leaps help with item upgrades. One big point of contention here is while being patron gives you more Scenario, Lair and Dungeon keys per day, those keys do not roll over and do not accumulate, meaning if you don’t login for the day then you get no benefit from the extra keys that day. Also, Cache key bonus only gets counted if you claim your login bonus after logging in, but if you do login and claim them, the loot cache keys do accumulate. Basically, Patron status is worth anything only if you log in often.

Effect F2P Patron
Marks of Favor 100% 120%
Anima Shards 100% 115%
Ability / Skill points x1 x2
XP 100% 110%
Anima leap / Teleport 100-1000 per Teleport, 100-500 per Leap Free
Scenario key 2 3
Dungeon key 10 18
Lair key 3 6
Cache key 0 1
Healing potions 3 6
Healing potion cost 200 MoF 100 MoF
Mission cooldown 68 hours 8 hours
AH remote delivery None Free
  • Is it worth it? The biggest monetary value here is the daily loot cache key; the Patron cost of $12.99 is far less than the cost of buying 30 $1.50 keys separately, so long as you plan to login frequently. Also the keys stack, unlike all the other perks which are very much “use it or lose it.”

    Arguably the most useful benefit is the reduced mission cooldown - with an 8 hour cooldown you can do the highest reward missions (or the easiest ones for quick Daily Challenge clears) once a day instead of once every 3 days. Or if you are so inclined you can do the same mission almost 3 times per day! This means extra container keys in Tokyo, extra currency from the Africa missions, extra chances at agents–basically extra anima shards, experience and MoF all around. The other stuff is all just perks, nice to have and certainly helpful at speeding the grind up but not necessary. If the thought of spending any money towards lockboxes is abhorrent to you then Patron is not worth it. If you are starting out, you play 15 levels and are enjoying the game and have some money to burn, consider picking up Patron because it will help get you leveled up and provide some nice perks. If you are not Patron you still get the same game playing F2P.

  • One thing that is not quite clear at first is how much easier Patron is on your anima shard currency. The cost of teleporting and leaping in and out of maps grows with every zone, and is a significant drain on shards if used regularly. Opening caches reward the player with a variety of zero-cost distillates which also go a long way to upgrading epic (purple) and higher items. While it is certainly possible to stockpile shards (see /u/keita00 ‘s Scorched Desert run guide or /u/Descendant’s mission route guide), nevertheless Patron represents a significant convenience and shard savings as well.

What about buying other stuff?

  • Aurum is purchasable from Funcom at $1 per 100 Aurum, with discounts for buying more at once. A lot of Aurum / money usage past Patron status comes down to personal preference. Do you desperately need to catch up with friends and fight the same content as them? Do you never have enough bank space? Do you want a faster run speed? More characters? Is there that one weapon you just have to get off the AH? You can solve all these issues by either logging in regularly and spending a lot of time working at them, or you can just purchase answers outright and get to the enjoyment faster. You can always save up MoF and use it to buy Aurum, granting you access to those paid features like more bank space and the fastest run speed. There is no special badge in game for staying strictly F2P, nor is there one for gambling hundreds of dollars a month on caches. Ultimately do whatever you feel comfortable with, whatever has the best value:time ratio for you.

  • Just a word of caution to people considering purchasing agent bags, keep in mind a few things. One, you are not guaranteed an agent drop from a purchased bag. RoseQuix sacrificed part of her wallet to get some numbers and they aren’t terribly encouraging: 17.5% chance for an agent from a purchased bag, with a lot of duplicates. Two, as mentioed in the agent network section, agents and agent gear from purchased bags cannot be sold on the AH. The only thing you can do is sell them to the agent vendor for Hexcoins. You can then use Hexcoins to buy another agent bag, but there is no protection about getting another duplicate from this bag as well. In short, if you want to spend money to get agents, the smartest way might well be to just buy aurum, sell it for MoF, and then pick up the agents you want off the AH.

  • Finally, don’t let people tell you how to have fun. If you want top DPS but the idea of grinding 8 hours a day for a month just to get a single weapon to Legendary strikes you as worth $25, by all means buy the Mythic to Legendary upgrade. If there is an outfit you just love, don’t feel bad about buying it. If you only want to try the story and have no interest in pushing yourself to the top of the endgame, please go to it and enjoy the game at your own pace. Ignore the judgement of others about your spending habits or playtime, it is your fun.

What is the point of the game?

Soak in the Lovecraftian Horror, 160 or so hours of great story, unique seasonal events, and usual RPG endgame stuff - no PvP yet though.

  • Enjoy the story: there is roughly 160 hours of solo mission and main story content to enjoy. The story, writing and atmosphere of the game is often lauded and for good reason. The long-promised Season 2 content release was indeed finally added on April 4th, 2018, to favorable reviews.

  • Endgame content: after you hit level 50 which is the current max content, what is left to you is the usual RPG grind. Improve your items and skills through PvE content like scenarios, dungeons, lairs and raids, in turn letting you challenge higher levels of difficulty. There is also the museum to unlock, which gives you bonus damage against monsters as well as unique cosmetics, as well as achievement and Lore hunting.

  • World Events: Like most online games there are special events that happen throughout the year. The 1st anniversary event just finished, and it was a bash! 15+ official player run events, like the first ever motorcycle races, a dance-off, a fashion show, 24-hours of nonstop PVP, a story reading, and of course hundreds if not thousands of megabosses down. In 2017 we saw Halloween and Christmas as well. Seasonal events in TSW included seasonally locked mission content as well as special bosses, new mobs on the world map, and season-only cosmetics.

  • PvP: Currently the only PvP option is Shambala which is a 10 v 10 deathmatch, however in TSW there were 3 other PvP battlegrounds which may yet make an appearance.

  • RP: There is a very rich world of player-run RP, both in game in RP cabals and out of game on forums and in-character Twitter accounts. You might scoff at the idea of RPing but a focused RPer has a totally different outlook and use of the game from a focused PvEer. Try it sometime, if for nothing else you will learn a few things about the game you never considered!

What changed? A quick rundown of SWL updates for returning players
Is this the same as The Secret World?
First Playthrough

Lots and lots of good advice here, but this bit isn’t quite accurate - starting in Transylvania, through Tokyo (and presumably in South Africa, although I haven’t seen any yet) mission loot bags have a chance (albeit a very low one) to drop extraordinary/dungeon gear. Most of it will end up being vendored for Shards or used for empowerment, but check the AH first - it might be valuable.


Thank you, I added a section about the extraordinary drops.


Having now run a fair few missions in South Africa, I can confirm that you can get extraordinary drops from mission bags there, having gotten a few.


I mostly read this for info about the museum (in particular I wondered myself what to do with trophies once I got them), because even though tech. I’m not a ‘new’ player, because of many of the changes I’m still learning things as I go along. There’s not that many people who post about the museum in general. But, you explained it fairly well, it seems a bit silly to hold on to the trophies if you can’t actually turn them in as soon as you get them. I agree with what one person said that there needs to be maybe a separate bag for museum item loots, or some sort of storage inside the museum–tech that wouldn’t be additional bag space since inventory & museum stuff should not be considered the same (one would think the curator could hold onto these items for safe keeper, after all that is what a curator does right? But silly me LOL).

I admit, one of the newbish things I did awhile back was buy a few trophy items and didn’t realize I didn’t have the achievements yet and that it would actually take awhile for that to happen. Luckily it wasn’t that many, but I stored them in my bank (and I don’t have much space unlocked yet). On the old SW game I did buy many expansions, so it’s not like I didn’t invest in those. I don’t really like the idea of buying bank space, but it’s either make my own cabal or buy additional space (but even to make a cabal I’d have to get patron level, which I guess if I had more money wouldn’t be that bad; as the cache keys are certainly worth it). I wasn’t sure if you make a cabal, are a patron for a month, but say the next month you go back to free level, do you still keep your cabal or is it inactive? Like, to me bank space is important. I don’t like hoarding useless items, but some of the trophies & special effect weapons are a little important to horde.

Anyway, this was an informative guide overall for all the basic stuff that can confuse new players. I didn’t realize museum stuff was more for in-game (shard sinkage for lack of a better term, I only unlocked 2 or 3 wings, but back when I was lv 15 or 20 I probably needed to save those shards for weapons). Since, most of the museum requires lore from specific mob kills or # of kills, it takes awhile to get those, though I think I have enough to fill out most of the zombie stuff by now, so it might be good to complete that wing if most of that is ready to be assembled. I just don’t want to be without at least 2 or 3 K, I try not to get down below 1K on my shards if I can help it (I do like the idea of free transport with patron level, so that is perhaps another advantage, it feels like such a waste every time I use it I think this could be powering up my weapons).

Anyway, you have plenty of overall knowledge, but at least you covered the basics of museum stuff, but glad you covered weapons, builds and different zones. Great for those starting people or maybe people a few zones in like me but perhaps stuff that is easy to overlook. I actually starred this myself, if I need to refer back, so great researching.


Glad the guide came in handy for you! If you have any questions or suggestions please let me know, I am happy to add more information.


[quote=“ligeareborn, post:5, topic:2000”]
I didn’t realize museum stuff was more for in-game (shard sinkage for lack of a better term, I only unlocked 2 or 3 wings, but back when I was lv 15 or 20 I probably needed to save those shards for weapons).
The museum is set so you can start it at level 15, but getting it past green, is ridiculous prior to at least Egypt when the shards start coming quicker/drops that can be sold, etc. I opened up a section or two, once I got over 10K shards in the Sol Isles, until all wings were open. Now that I’m working on completing the ‘purple’ parts I don’t go near my museum unless I’m over 300K!

What you can do is focus on your kill count requirement for the museum. Combine the ‘daily’ kill requirement and kill those creatures, especially for the 100. Very easy to do with the ‘grouped’ mobs. It does chip away at them. Fortunately you only need 1-2K kills vs TSW’s 10K, but it helps.

The Badgers is a great group for helping with kill count (and the best places to farm some of them). I don’t know if they’re still running weekend mob farms, but check their site.

As for the dropped items - most are relatively cheap so not worth wasting the storage. A few of the rarer dungeon ones I’d check the AH price before selling as the MoF could be a better return.