The Secret World Diversity, Round 3

NOTE: This information was current for The Secret World. Since the conversion over to Secret World Legends, build theory is significantly different; so this likely no longer applies.

A Brief History

In previous posts, I’ve talked about the vast number of skills and combinations (decks) there of which can be used to customize your character’s skill sets. For background on this, I’d refer you to:

New Information

In reviewing some recent comments from developers and players at the PAX East conference, I’ve come across two things that have made me revise my model:

Elite Abilities

Each of the 9 weapons has an Elite Active and Elite Passive ability. However, in your build deck, you are only allowed one of each. I’ve made the assumption (which I feel is safe) that the elite abilities will be strong enough that one will want to have them included in your build deck. This has the following effects on your skill selections:

  • On the active side, since you can only have 2 active weapons, you’re going to be choosing 1 of 2. This has the added effect of reducing the active ability pool for the other 6 actives in your deck by two.
  • On the passive side, there are 9 passive elite abilities which can be chosen independent of your active weapons. Therefore you can choose 1 of 9 and your pool of abilities for the remaining 6 passive abilities is reduced by 9 as well.

Active / Passive Split

I’ve seen a couple of comments which go along these lines:

“There are 9 abilites in each cell of the skill wheel which alternate Active then Passive”

If this holds true, then the split of active to passive skills should be 5 to 4. So I’ve adjusted my respective pools using those numbers for now.

Back to the Math!

With this new information, my calculations break down as follows:

Active Builds

Select 1 of 2 Active Elite abilities, giving you 2 possible Active Elite combinations.

Select 6 of 60 Active Standard abilities, giving you 50,063,860 Active Standard Combinations.

Multiply and get 100,127,720 potential Active Builds

Passive Builds

Select 1 of 9 Passive Elite abilities for 9 possible Passive Elite combinations.

Select 6 of 226 Passive Standard abilities for 168,488,720,400 possible Passive Standard combinations

Multiply to get 1,516,398,483,600 potential Passive Builds

Complete Builds

Multiply the Active Builds and the Passive Builds and you get 151,833,522,774,325,000,000 potential character builds. Using the 1 millionth of 1 percent number that I’ve used to filter for viability, that still represents 1,518,335 potential viable builds!


While each bit of information that we get reduces the raw numbers of builds that we can use, I think it stands to reason that this number is still staggeringly diverse and should allow for an extremely high degree of customization for our TSW characters.

For those of you who wold like to disect my math model, I’ve uploaded my latest version of the spreadsheet as well.

Excel 2007/2010 format: TSW-SkillBuilds-v3

Excel 97-2003 format: TSW-SkillBuilds-v3 (2003)



  1. […] have enough choice. There's actually 151,833,522,774,325,000,000 combinations as it stands… Build combinations __________________ Signatures are too mainstream. I only have one because it's ironic. Playing: […]

  2. […] The Secret World Diversity, Round 3 […]

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