Anniversary atmosphere disappointment

I’m going to be blunt: SWL is a horror game. It’s got a great lovecraftian style story arc with monsters, demons, and abominations that trascened human understanding.

Yet the anniversary is… a party. With balloons, pinatas, cute pets and clothing. It reminds me more of a kid’s birthday party than surviving the horrors of death cults and filth creatures for a year. The “hatekeeper” is about the only thing of note that fits with the game’s theme and even that’s flimsy.

I understand it’s a celebration and a happy time but maybe something more appropriate to surviving a literal war for survival of our very souls?

Does anyone else agree? Or am I alone in this?

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It’s a party once a year… And a limited time event. If the new zone were birthday party themed, I might be concerned. It’s ok to take a break from horror for a little bit every once in a while.


I disagree.
Even the most horrid of stories needs some levity. Some cheer. Or else things just get boring.
Variety is the spice of life, after all.


I feel like parties and such pleasures of life are what keep our characters sane.
We as players look diffrent at it since we have some distance to the happenings ingame, it’s always behind the screen. The fourth wall intact…
We have been thrown in being immortal supersoldiers, who are part of abusive secret societies who moves us as pawns against mythological and horror creatures. I mean we fight the closest thing to cthulu in zone one, golem out of human flesh in zone two, kick a gods ■■■. You need a strong drink from time to time and nerves out of steel to stay halfway mentally normal and not join Daimon in the Lunie club.

So asking if a party fits is I think the wrong question to ask. The question should be why we aren’t having more parties and a serious alcohol problem.


Also, one might argue that for the more violently inclined, there’s no better way to get rid of some stress then to grab a bat and go to town on a Pinata.


With the exception of the filth-covered portal (and the raid portal when it was filthy during the Flappy event), Agartha is a pretty chill place (it even has a club with an upbeat tempo playing) so why wouldn’t there be banners, balloons, and pinatas during a celebration so people can relax for a bit (beating the hell out of a pinata counts as relaxing)? There are decorations for other holidays, too, in case you’re not aware; not sure how long you’ve played. Samhain has banners, pumpkins, and other Halloween decorations (and accompanying cosmetics). Yule has lights, trees, piles of snow, piles of presents, Santa sleds, and whatever else I may be forgetting (and we get cosmetics to dress up as elves). Agartha is our relatively safe place to relax and recuperate in-between missions of saving the world.


It’s comic relief. If it bothers, you, don’t participate.

Okay, I’m gonna say it: nothing that goes down in Mallgartha can possibly be any more Lovecraftian horror immersion breaking than the bloody Mallgartha thing as and of itself.

That said, big nasties running amok all over the world certainly had more actual flair than big nasties running amok in the middle of nowhere in particular somewhere in Agartha behind some weird portal that opens every hour, one past the hour.


I’m with Leogrim on this. I have no idea how our characters have a shred of sanity left if they aren’t using all sorts of coping methods, healthy and otherwise. I mean, it’s sort of left up to the player how much foreknowledge your character has of the secret world, so the answer could very easily be ‘none’ when they abruptly swallow a bee in their sleep, have some deeply unsettling dreams, and get thrown headlong into this mess in an ungentle fashion.

They learn, in a VERY short period of time, that magic is real. Secret societies are real. Zombies are real. All the monsters from myth and legend are real. Gods are real. That this might be the end of the world. Again. Except for real this time.

And oh yeah. They can’t die. Not really. Not permanently. Doesn’t matter if they get eaten by zombies, shot in the head, lost in time, poisoned, drowned, burned, buried alive, etc. They get. Back. Up. Whether they want to or not. Because it’s expected of them. Because they have a job to do. A job they probably didn’t ask for. A job no one else can do.

But just because you’re damn near unkillable doesn’t mean you don’t suffer the trauma of everything you’ve seen, learned, done, and experienced. You carry that trauma with you. You think your character is ever going to forget their first encounter with a monster that their parents told them wasn’t real? Their first encounter with the Filth? Their first death? You think they’re going to sleep well ever again after meeting a certain redhead?

I had always assumed, after learning firsthand the darkness this game puts your character through, that the whole ‘party hard’ vibe of the Illuminati was partly due to needing SOMETHING, ANYTHING to help cope with this horror show. Drugs, alcohol, tail, and obscene amounts of money are pretty standard go-to distractions when you just want to forget what happened in Maine. Or Egypt. Or Transylvania.

This is why the idea of a party doesn’t bother me a lick. I’m an adult, and I still celebrate my birthday every year, even though it shouldn’t be ‘important’ like it is for a kid, because now? Every year I survive with my health, finances, relationships, and sanity intact is like a freaking accomplishment, and I will absolutely acknowledge that. I wouldn’t begrudge our characters that same acknowledgement:

"Hey look. You’ve been through absolute and literal hell of various flavors, all of them tinged with diet cola. You’ve seen and done and suffered things that should never have to be asked of anyone, and because of that, we might have a glimmer of a shot at survival. You’ve made it a year. That’s an accomplishment. Here’s a party. It’s not grim. It’s not serious. The fate of the world does not, for this brief time, rest on your shoulders.

Have some candy. Break a pinata. Have a drink at the bar. Watch some little golems do a funny dance. REST for a little while. Because resting is just as important as the work you’re doing. If you burn out, you’ll lose your marbles, or give up the fight as hopeless, or even… turn to the dark side.

So rest. Party. Recover a little. Because if you don’t, Gaia may fall.

No pressure, sweetling. It’s just a party."


“And oh, right…those shards? Yeah, Gaia wants to give you some fun, some toys to play with sweetling, but She’s breaking down. The toys are going to kill you and Her if you don’t do something about them.”

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I do enjoy darker themed events too, which is why I look forward to Samhain.
Whilst Anniversary is important, Samhain is arguably Secret Worlds most important event.
Every good horror story needs its lighter moments to contrast when the rainbows and happy puppies are corrupted and slaughtered. Just to provide a false sense of normality before pulling the rug.

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Tangent: Assumptions made in this thread: that Gaia didn’t improve our minds as well as our bodies. I think she did.

Carry on.


I’d argue that we don’t, in character.

If we assume that character’s actions are all “in-character” so to speak, from a human perspective we all appear to be absolute lunatics.

If someone has a severe trauma related to a near death experience, even the thought of repeating it can be crippling. PTSD is a serious problem that can turn the most benign sounds and smells into a flashback that can bring a grown man to the ground sobbing. Instead, we get eaten alive by horrifying monsters and it’s a minor annoyance at best. Just a “Sorry about the wipe guys, I thought I was out of the way” and the whole gang is ready to jump back into the fight. Even as early as Kingsmouth, when it looks like we can’t get any answers in the living world, the solution is to just commit suicide and poke around the Sheriff’s office as a ghost. Prior to TSW implementing Anima Leap, that was the main form of fast-travel. Don’t feel like walking some place? Just bite off your tongue, choke on your own blood, and poof away to an anima well that’s slightly closer to where you need to be. But don’t forget to unequip your gear first, because otherwise after you die you’ll have to pay repair costs, and nobody likes those. Alternatively, chug a delicious True Oblivion. The new and improved recipe has even more almond flavor, because some customers complained that they couldn’t taste the cyanide well enough.

Moreover, we basically don’t even act like humans when we aren’t acting like murderous robots with no real self-preservation. Our characters canonically like tacos and bingo, but we don’t actually stop to eat, we just shove the food in our mouths and continue on disemboweling ghouls and burning zombie corpses. Jung’s quest establishes that our characters very well can have family and friends that we just disappeared from their lives without warning or explanation, and never bothered to contact ever again. We don’t even have actual apartments or beds until the Morninglight gives us ones (Admittedly this is more because Funcom doesn’t think they’d be able to make money selling furniture and decorations for cabal buildings and apartments, because presumably they’re aliens who have only heard of human behavior through secondhand sources).

Just the fact our characters act like the game avatars that they are shows how unhinged the Buzzing has made us.

We’re all just deeply broken immortals who try on silly outfits, have snowball fights, smash pinatas, and dance like nobody’s watching, just so that we can pretend a little while longer that everything’s okay and that we’re still human, even as we step over mutilated corpses, take the long run back to our bodies after they’ve been stitched back together, and stare blankly at terrified survivors who are spilling their entire life story to us, just so that someone will remember them when they’re dead.

We’ve become so much more when we were blessed by Gaia, but in return, we’ve also become so much less.


I’d actually argue that Mallgartha makes sense.

I mean, the one of the factions that has access to it is the bloody illuminati.
You can’t tell me that the Illuminati in their current incarnation wouldn’t at least install a vending machine there.
And then the Templars would complain to the Council of Venice trying to take the high ground of ‘That’s sacrilege!’ but the Council rightly translates it as ‘We want our own corner, too!’, which they get because even in their current state the Council of Venice realizes there’s more important stuff to argue about. And then the Dragon poke their head in with some schematics with THEIR ideas for Agartha.
One thing leads to another and before you know it, there’s a dance club.

That made more sense in my head.

Hang on, maybe an apt song lyric helps;
‘They paved Paradise and put up a Parking Lot’ comes to mind.
People have the tendency to take something natural beautiful and strip everything away for convenience. It’s actually pretty realistic from a certain perspective.
Sad, but realistic.

I am reminded of the IC dungeons I used to host in TSW. This is not at all how it went when roleplayers wiped on a fight :slight_smile:

You absolutely have to expand on that now, of course. :slight_smile:

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Ha, OK. Well, we roleplayed them, of course. The groups I went in to NM dungeons with were competent NM PvE players also, so we didn’t actually wipe that often.

The most memorable wipefest we had was in the Ankh, vs. Klein’s Dreaming Shroud. Healer wasn’t managing the timing that day. Anyhow, my character was the tank, and he got up after it, but he started mumbling about the death that comes after death, about ink and tentacles. The group did give it another try, but Dreaming Shroud was again too much. My character didn’t get up after that; much too traumatized by the manner of dying, he had to be carried out of the Ankh, and he is now deathly afraid of purple lights in the dark.


Brilliant! You just know that’s got to be a possibility. Or the chance of a bee entering an insane person. Think of the Angel episode “Damage”.

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Although played ingame, I don’t really view the Anniversary as part of the game. There isn’t a connection as my character’s not celebrating anything in particular, and frankly it would be hard to have a ‘hey we kicked the filths butt’ party for everyone at the same time.

Samhain and Krampusnacht have reasons for being tied to SWL. The flappy fight had a reason to be an event. Even back in TSW the mayans end of days had a reason. All worked within the secret world framework.

As for the Anniversary itself. I’m glad FC is doing something, but the number of “oops, sorry we didn’t get that in game or it’s not working correctly” has been a record even for FC. That’s annoying.

Talos fights. I don’t find standing around Mallgartha on the hour to do the golem fights fun (following the golden guy and using the event channel to call people to take out a golem in the world was fun, imho). Personally don’t care for Mallgartha - it was more interesting, used more of the game assets - that are now ghost towns - going to the faction hubs. I always felt MORE stuff should be located in each faction hubs to give people reasons to go there (and spread out the lag!).

Hatekeeper, not very inspiring, and getting the correct shard drop to actually participate for many has been a PiA.

The Beehemoth pinata’s are fun, if only they were often while the talos fights are going on…

No complaints on the rewards, it’s free stuff so yeah.

Nice RP story Starsmith! :heart_eyes:

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The first and second ages apparently left Agartha untouched.

The third age guys apparently installed jump pads that made all those floating portal islands accessible.

Hairless apes tore a hole in the tree and buiilt a mall.

I’m with Amir, those hairlesss apes really should be fiery obliterated…