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2:03pm on Monday, 12th May, 2014:
I finally got my Karma Curio in The Secret World yesterday.
So, The Secret World has a set of 8 instances it calls dungeons. You need to complete all of them in elite mode to be able to take on an NPC called the Gatekeeper; once you beat him, you can do the dungeons in nightmare mode. If you do them all, you get a Karma Curio as a reward. You want a Karma Curio as a reward as it lets you restore 2,000 hit points once every 2 minutes (this in a game where most dps run at 1,970 hit points).
Completing most of the dungeons is easy enough. Each dungeon has 6 bosses, and most people will try to run 18s (the dungeons of Polaris, the Darkness War and Hell Raised) or 24s (18s plus Hell Eternal) fairly regularly. The next two hardest are the Slaughterhouse and the Ankh. After that comes the Facility, which has a couple of extremely tough boss fights but is otherwise easy if you learn the dances (but that's hard if you can never get a run to learn them). Finally there's Hell Fallen, which has one let's-quit-after-two-hours fight midway through then a final boss fight that's the hardest in the game. It's bad enough for the tank and DPS who have to impair individual enemies with exceptional frequency; it's exceptionally bad for the healer, who has to have top-rated gear and the skills to use it or the tank won't stay up during the onslaught.
I had done all of these dungeons in nightmare mode except Hell Fallen. Also, I play as a healer.
The problem with Hell Fallen is that it's so difficult to complete that most people only want to run it to get their Karma Curio. They grow to hate it as they fail time and time again. Once they have it, they never want to run it again. It's very rare that anyone creates a group to run it, and when they do they get requests mainly from inexperienced players who want their Karma Curio; this results in wipe after wipe after wipe. Because of this, I couldn't get a Hell Fallen group. I've spent several hours at a time trying to set one up myself and had little luck, and when I did manage it — or managed to fill a PUG spot in another group — it failed either at the midway point or at the end. I did have one last year in which the tank was an absolute miracle, but two of the DPS were weak and we couldn't kill the boss. If the tank hadn't been as good as he was, I couldn't have healed the fight either.
Yesterday, I finished a couple of solo scenarios and was about to start a third when I thought I'd go to Agartha (which is like TSW's Grand Central Station without the snack bars) to see if there were any HF groups starting. This had never worked in the past, but I can be optimistic. Amazingly, I arrived just as someone asked for a healer and a DPS for their group. What's more, the person asking was a tank whose name I recognised from hundreds of Flappy runs. I signed up as healer. An hour later, I had my Karma Curio.
Healing it wasn't hard as I have top of the line gear now and the fresh-in-the-memory experience of having spent several hours on the last boss about three weeks ago. One of the DPS was flaky, which was a concern because the tank is one of those who doesn't like unprofessional behaviour and I was worried he'd drop if there were too many incidents. Fortunately, there weren't.
So, now I don't have to run Hell Fallen ever again. I think I might, though, if only because other people also need their Karma Curio and I feel their pain. That's until Wildstar launches, anyway...
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