Now that we’re reaching the 30 day mark for The Secret World being live, I figured it was time to give the final analysis of the number of potential character builds based on the current ability wheel in-game.
A Brief History of Builds
I’ve made several posts over the last months in regards to why I think that TSW’s build system is unique and offers some challenges and opportunities for those of us who like to crunch numbers. Here is the history of those posts…
- Balance, Diversity, and The Secret World
- The Secret World Character Builds
- The Secret World Diversity, Round 3
The Real Deal Wheel
On the live wheel, there are 9 weapons and 3 “general” ability segments. These are:
- Blood Magic
- Chaos Magic
- Elemental Magic
- Assault Rifles
The weapons each have 24 Active and 24 Passive abilities plus 5 Elite Active and 3 Elite Passive abilities as well. The general ability segment each have 3 Active, 3 Passive, and 1 Elite Active ability in their segment.
Selecting the Building Blocks
As mentioned previously, a build in TSW consists of 7 active and 7 passive abilities. You’re allowed to have 1 Elite ability in each Active and Passive parts of the deck. For Active abilities, you’re further restricted that they have to be either tied to one of the 2 weapons you’re allowed to equip or part of the general segment of the ability wheel. Passive abilities can be equipped no matter what weapons you’re using.
With 2 weapons, and 3 general segments, there are 13 potential Elite Active abilities. There is also a pool of 57 normal active abilities from which you can build your deck. Assuming that you want to use 1 Elite ability if it is available, that leaves 6 active abilities to be selected from the pool of 57. The math works out as follows:
1 Elite Active out of a pool of 13 = 13 combinations
6 normal actives out of a pool of 56 = 36,288,252 combinations
13 x 36,288,252 = 471,747,276 combinations for each weapon pair
Since there are 36 ways that you can select 2 weapons out of a pool of 9 options…
36 weapon pairs x 471,747,276 active combinations per pair = 16,982,901,936 possible ways to select your 7 active abilities at the end game.
Passives are a bit easier since they aren’t dependent on weapon selections. There are a total of 27 Elite Passive abilities and a pool of 225 normal passive abilities to select from when creating your build.
1 Elite Passive out of a pool of 27 = 27 combinations
6 normal passives out of a pool of 225 = 168,488,720,400 combinations
27 x 168,488,720,400 = 4,549,195,450,800 possible ways to select your 7 passive abilities
Builds and Viability
So with 16,982,901,936 different ways to select Active abilities and 4,549,195,450,800 ways to select passive abilities, you end up with …
16,982,901,936 x 4,549,195,450,800 = 77,258,540,228,633,700,000,000 potential builds
If, once again, we use 1 millionth of 1 percent as our viability estimator, we still end up with 772,585,402 potential ways to build your character.
With over 772 million possible builds, I’m pretty sure that balance should end up being a non issue.
Once again I’ve uploaded my spreadsheet that I used to come to these conclusions. One number you could play with is the “synergistic sets”. For raw number purposes, I assumed that all 36 weapon combinations could potentially work. You could look at it and decide that only 10 of those weapon choices are actually likely to work together. But if you do that, I’d recommend you adjust the Viabilty factor as well.