A Few Questions About the Agent Writing Contest

Since the post announcing the contest doesn’t allow replies, I figured I might as well make a thread for more of an in-depth discussion.

First off, it’s nice to see something new added around here. Is this what the launcher is referring to when mentioning “community events”? Are there any other events like this going on? I was thinking about doing something myself, but I haven’t mentioned anything yet and I doubt anyone at Funcom can read my mind (or would want to).

I like the idea of allowing the community to participate in the creative process, but I would like something cleared up. The announcement mentions that participants will receive the winning agents. That’s cool, but what about everyone else? Will these new agents be offered to the general public for free - through random drops or achievements - or only added to a future booster pack? Personally, I don’t feel right about contributing to any micro-transaction products. Others may feel differently, but I think it’s only fair to let people know about this before they decide whether or not they want to participate.

If anyone else has any questions or concerns feel free to add them here. Maybe someone with more inside knowledge will be able to address them.

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Cunningly hidden in the “Announcements” section of the forum!

There’s also the spooky screenshot contest which is being held across multiple platforms.

@Ceruleana It’s in the Announcements section. It’s a little weird that it didn’t get any more press than that one post. Apparently that post was put up a week ago, but I didn’t even know about it until someone mentioned it in passing on another thread. They really should have put a link to it on the launcher or maybe even a splash screen in-game.

@AWOL Thanks for the link. That’s first I’ve heard about the screenshot contest as I only ever check out the SWL forums. Honestly, I wonder how much Funcom actually wants people to join these contests. The promotion for them is worse than for the games themselves, and that’s saying a lot.

The announcement only went public like 2 days ago…however the post was created privately before that.
Kinda a way to get everything set up before the release date of contests and events.

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I think the question of how much to put on the launcher is a tricky one. Ideally you want enough to drive people to get more info, but not so much that you end up pushing bits off screen. The in-game stuff is also limited, as the primary drive will always be to push us towards the paid stuff, which atm is the Freemason agents and Epic Cache Keys. Given that there’s normally an influx of returning players for the event, they’ll want to keep those front and center to maximise the number of people buying.

I’ve seen stuff about the agent competition on reddit, discord, the forums, facebook and twitter, though the spooky screenshot stuff was only prominently mentioned on facebook and twitter. I can understand avoiding spam in-game because of the ol’ immersion-breaking argument, but it’s interesting to see that the community has gotten worse at shouting about the interesting stuff - it’s been days! :stuck_out_tongue:

I asked on stream and it seems it is at the current time still undetermined…not the answer one expects&wants but the best answer we probably get/can pry from their hands

Considering Mallgartha, for SWL, that argument holds noticeably less water than a sieve. It would be a fun something to actually post on the daily spam because we can pop-up…

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I don’t really see how Mallgartha breaks immersion tbh. If there were such a place as agartha then it’d make sense to have traders there - it’s the global hub. It makes sense to have locations that see heavy traffic actually reflect that. It also makes more sense to have some of the more unusual vendors (like Blajini & Caligari) in agartha, as it’s a properly secure hidden location. The Haitian market in London always seemed a bit of a crazy - get past some disinterested police officers and BOOM nothing secret about this place!

The biggest immersion breaker is the lack of a Starbucks in agartha!

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@Ceruleana An in-game board would be a slight improvement, but would people actively check it all that often considering how much time passes between updates? Unless something popped up on-screen saying there were new posts, I doubt it would have much more of an effect than posting something in these forums.

@Leogrim So, in other words, they will probably be paid-only content but Funcom isn’t brave/stupid enough to announce it before people put effort into designing stuff for them to sell. Though to be fair, I’m not even sure it’s really all that bad. It’s not a whole lot different than suggesting cosmetics that can be sold for Aurum, but it just doesn’t sit right with me.

Oh, and speaking of community events, I haven’t seen anything yet about another Scavenger Hunt. Any news on whether or not it’s happening again this Samhain? It’s the only thing I was looking forward to.

@AWOL I wonder what percentage of the playerbase actually pay attention to these forums or any of those other places you saw the agent competition referenced. I imagine it’s pretty small. But then again, maybe contests like these only appeal to the level of fans of the game who are already invested enough to be following external sources.

It’s kind of cynical, but I do understand the reasoning behind prioritizing paid content. SWL has always been more about making money than having fun. Of course, the same can be said for just about any game these days. As for immersion, if that were a concern the first thing you’re greated with when you log-in wouldn’t be an advertisement for something that can only be bought with currency that exists behind the fourth wall. And I imagine people who are really invested in the RP aspect of the game tend to ignore General chat in Agartha where the conversation tends to be less than immersive.

Yup, I’d be surprised if it’s a large percentage. On the other hand, unless the aim is to make community competitions a major part of the game, it’s probably working roughly as intended. (Though the discord server has over a thousand people subbed to it, which is way more than we’d actually see in game!)

I think that the immersion vs advertising ratio is actually pretty good in SWL. We get the “news” page when we log in, but it’s not shoved down our throats again. Having something in-game which directly refers to the real world (rather than the game world) would be completely new. In terms of the currency existing behind the 4th wall, everything’s priced in Aurum, which limits the (for want of a better word) exposure.

I think, and that now is speculation, that at this point they don’t know really how successful the contest will be or were the agents would fit&what type of agents they get. Mostly due to it spawning from a communityside idea winning the necessary support for it than an inhouse one long term plan.

Doesn’t mean that they won’t sell it for money later but it could be the reverse. It’s a wait and see. Personally wouldn’t hold back an entry just for the theoretical fear of it getting monetized but people really can decide that on their own. And I suspect it’s a wait and see for Funcom too. Successful events get repeats when possible (Scavenge hunt happened twice…I definitly look if we can’t make it more times) and I would love seeing more agents the community can get invested in and be like: Hey, I did that or XY, I know, did that and that show how freaking amazing creative our community is.

P.S.: Scavenge hunt is lets say Highly Unlikely this Samhaim but who knows about future events…christmas and such

It’s fun activity and I was the one who asked for more contests. :expressionless: Reversing it to “make people doing their work” is uhhhh…


Woot!!! Agent Andy


Use this image, for the Andy agent. Your welcome.


Nicole’s image should be dinosauriffic!!!

Allie Brosh Dinosaur would be perfect!



@AWOL It seems to me that community contests are about the only new content we’re likely to see in this game anymore. It’s the only thing that’s been added to any of the events so far. I’d say the two biggest selling points for SWL are the story and the community. The story isn’t likely to be added to in a meaningful way, so they really should push the community thing a lot more.

My joke about the 4th wall was a reference to the 12 month patron bundle, which is not purchasable with Aurum. But yeah, I will say that, overall, the game isn’t nearly as egregious as many other free-to-play games out there when it comes to pushing micro-transactions.

@Leogrim Well, that makes me feel a bit better knowing the initial idea came from the community. Definitely less of a chance that it’s all a sinister scheme to milk a few extra dollars out of the remaining whales. Though I don’t know why I didn’t immediately jump to the conclusion it was a fan-inspired idea to begin with. All the other events like this that have happened during SWL have been initiated by the community. It would be nice to see more stuff like this come from the people who are being paid to produce the game, but I’m sure they’ve got more pressing concerns.

I guess there’s not really much of a market for another set of agents anyway, unless they’re overpowered. Probably anyone who cares about collecting agents just for the sake of having them all would be the type of person to join a contest like this.

That’s disappointing about the Scavenger Hunt not happening, but I can understand. I’m sure it’s a lot more work than people realize, and most of it was probably done by certain members of the community (yourself included). Well, with this news and nothing new available in-game, I’m probably not going to bother jumping back into SWL for now. I was going to do one of my own little contests, but I’ll hold off 'til Christmas, if the game is still going by then. It just seems that, for supposedly being the biggest event of the year, this one seems like such a let-down compared to the Megaversary.

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I think that community contests are a nice way to keep people engaged and interacting, but I doubt they’d be a particularly good selling point for new players. We’re lucky with the SWL community that the majority are friendly and positive, but that can turn on a dime (sadly).

It’s also not something which funcom can control without serious risk of backlash. There are people whose opinion of the game has changed from one extreme to the other, without any easily identified trigger. That means that it’s unlikely to be something which any service provider would want to make a key feature, it’s more likely that they’d just thank their lucky stars and let the community (and reviews) promote that aspect themselves.

It’s hard to say whether fan-inspired or official competitions work better. Given the cross title-ness of the Spooky Screenshots, I’d guess that’s something from funcom themselves, but I could say for sure! I think part of it is that it’s easier to come up with ideas in the community, because you can suggest something and then watch everyone pile in with input, but if you’re in a small team then there’s just fewer people to bounce ideas off.

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I think, too often… about a secret universe. An over the top comedy mmorpg with some lovecraftian elements thrown in. Same characters. The plot is simple… In order to stop us immortals from ruining his dastardly plan, Marquard blows up earth. We all end up back in a new Agartha… eventually. One where earth isn’t an option any longer… except through time travel. Maybe.

To blend in… since (we are now space wayfarers) humanity is gone. We must pick a class. Angel, Demon, Grey, Lizard, Sasquatch, Jinn, Vampire, Unicorn, Rabbit or Robot… mostly humanoid.

All that filth? Was just blown into the cosmos… Space Zombies. Space Vampires. Space Cthulhu. All with fish bowl helmets and Cosmic power additives. It’s our job to clean it up.

Anyway, there’s my pitch. I need to stop wasting my time with these thoughts.

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