To All The Players I've Loved Before

Originally posted Posted May 5, 2022. I am planning to add to this with other sections eventually, but putting the original posts down as a place-holder.

To All the Players I’ve Loved Before (yes I borrowed the title)

I was talking with Vomher and was reminded about this being not just the 5th year for SWL, but also the 10 year anniversary of The Secret World. It’s crazy to think I’ve been a part of this community and this experience for basically that long (started about a month after launch), but then I also vividly remember so many experiences I had in this game setting and in this community.

Some of this will probably be rehash, but it’s how I wrote it so I’m leaving it! When I first started playing, I had never played a MMO and I hadn’t played many games at all for the better part of a decade, especially PC games. It was a very new and confusing experience for me. I aggroed literally everything I passed. I just could not seem to manage to work my way around it, so I constantly had mobs chasing after me everywhere I ran ingame.

I first played with my husband, one of our friends, and one of his friends. They were all way better than me at basically every aspect of the game–except actually solving the puzzles. My friend and I did most of the legwork on that, and I loved the challenge.

I remember learning about screenshots and basically taking hundreds upon hundreds immediately. Whatever we were doing ingame, we’d have to pause for some silliness, commemorating each occasion with silly outfits and emotes. I would pose Medrina sitting on everything she could, or laying on people/things. I still have a shot somewhere of her sleeping on the girl at Red’s Bait & Tackle. It was silly, simple amusement.

When I finally branched into the roleplay scene, it was many months later around March of 2013 and everything felt big and overwhelming. I dipped my toe in on Rye, but then ultimately pushed Medrina into it, starting on the outskirts of one of Notes’ shows and slowly working through my nerves to get brave enough to really interact. That was the start of so many fun and cherished experiences.

I’m going to break this up into several posts over the next few days, depending on how long it gets. I actually started in a different direction than it’s going so I’m just letting the words come out as they do. <3


DJs & More

I know the DJs got a lot of flack for the shows at one point, for taking up valuable time/space with SO MANY SHOWS, etc. but really they were the lifeblood of the community for so many. The DJs’ shows were such a comfortable, easy way to interact, and I think they were (and continue to be, to some degree) a door for many people into the Secret World’s roleplay scene.

I KNOW I am going to miss some names in this, and I promise that doesn’t mean I didn’t like those DJs. I think it’s hard to randomly come up with a proper list on the fly so I’m going to do my best to touch on some of these and my apologies to anybody I had experiences with that I’m not thinking of at the moment!

As I mentioned, my first DJ show was Notes’ show by the bus down in Darkside. She was my absolute favorite DJ for her presence and her interaction with her crowd. Plus I loved 99% of what she played. Besides her, I quickly fell in love with “Queen Lilith’s” mansion parties, and would try to attend as many as I could. I remember going to so many other shows, from DJ Leoone and DJ Sir’s back to back Sunday EDM/dance shows, to Quantum’s shows, which is the first place I EVER heard the Fighting Trousers song, or anything else by Professor Elemental. I eventually found my way to some other shows, including Zenocide’s punk show at the fight club, or Ashval’s crazy-long shows. I have lost the names of some of these DJs but I had so many great early experiences just interacting and socializing and having fun at these ingame parties.

And I continued to be blessed with them as more DJs came around, awesome people like Lucid with her killer electronic and industrial sets out in Kingsmouth, Ashval’s IC alt Trevalin who became a huge crowd fave, Lia, Stevie/Nicksa, Daydreaming, my boy Reaper and his shenanigans… And of course DJ Chemic. His shows were small and he was part of a weird, lesser known station but the second I stumbled upon one of his shows I fell in love with so much of what he played–especially the chill sets. I would pop onto Alice so she and Chemic could wax philosophical every chance I got while the player and I talked music, roleplay, and more.

We were talking tonight (last night?) about the amount of music the DJs expose people to and I for sure learned about so many new artists from all these people. I still listen to and play so many of the artists and bands I heard during other DJs’ shows. Music really is a way to bond and come together. I miss not just the DJs and the music from the shows, but just the experiences that were had at them. Every single night was something new and unique, some random fun roleplay, an inside joke, a bit of silliness, a serious moment. There was always something happening and the experiences helped round out all the characters involved and create a story for so many people. There were even times we’d have random people show up and create entire mini plots in a night after arriving at a show. I remember Lilith doing several different plot-related show events, too.

I was lucky enough to come into the GSP family for a while. I was terrified to DJ at first, but Ashval and others (like Shiggy!) gave me a lot of encouragement. I remember Medrina’s very first DJ show had 66 people attend. That number is insane to me now, especially considering how much the overall community crowd has dwindled, but it was insane to me then to have that many people give me a chance. I remember how much fun the GSP dancers were, too, always adding some flair to the shows. I felt so much love and support from not just Gridstream, but the community at large, and continue to throughout my DJing experience (despite the really bad anxiety moments!), and I’m lucky for all the guidance I’ve had.

Life has had many ups and downs and I’ve had pauses in my DJing, and even an entire station switch. I always find myself wanting to come back to it, though, even when I think I’ll stop. I kind of took over the leadership for Happy Tentacle Radio with Chemic’s ebbs and flows, and have tried to keep things as “us” as possible, keeping with the unique, sometimes silly voice of the station. We’ve had some great DJs come and go from here, too, including Sayeh with her goth flair (and more!), Laila, Varic, Atavez with his blend of electronic music and hardcore beats, Grimstar bringing the sexy synthwave, all with their own unique sounds and styles. Stevie came to hang with us for a while, and brought along her awesome “robot DJ” dude for some fun shows. Even my husband briefly hopped into the proverbial DJ booth, bringing some much-needed rap & hip hop with “Da Bess DJ,” Gil. Special shoutout to Hikari who’s been there for so many HTR events taking the most amazing screenshots of all of it. Also to the Nine Swords people for bringing Drina on to DJ so many of their special events. We’ve done a lot of random attempts at skirting the norm with HTR, with our Halloween “Evil Tentacle Radio” shtick, to the Jules & Dray “Stick With Sticks” campaign. We even tried a talk show, with the help of Darius and Jules. I miss [REDACTED] all the time, and we only ever put out a handful of shows, but I remember the hilarity of them fondly!

The HTR family has grown and diminished over time, but I feel lucky to have so many memories from so many shows and so many people. And we are continuing to make new memories! Reaper and Aly both have their own fun style of shows that just work really well. And the players are amazing people, too, which obviously makes things even better. We have a lot of fun, and I’ve definitely found some important friends through all this. And there are still so many great DJs in this community, bringing fun to everybody’s lives. Thank you to all the QSR people, too–Malak, Suri, Lucid, and anybody helping behind the scenes–for keeping things going and enriching the RP experience. And thank you to everybody still supporting the shows, whether in person, or listening from afar, or just showing the DJs some love.

To all the DJs I’ve loved before, and the ones I only knew a little bit, and all the amazing people affiliated with these events we’ve all gotten to enjoy, thank you for the experiences you have helped bring to not just me, but to the entire community!


One of the most important things to me for my characters is their friendships. I feel like having those sorts of connections, and having a “best friend,” is a great way to ground and develop a character more completely. In the Secret World, I’ve been lucky enough to have found some awesome people along the way, though many are no longer with the community. This will probably be a messy list and it will likely end up missing SO MANY PEOPLE because I’m trying to recall stuff over 9 years. They’ve had MANY more friends than this. I’m mostly just focusing on their best friends. If I leave anybody off, I’m sorry! All of this is very rushed, off the top of my head writing with literally zero double checking or digging. Mostly I just want to show some love.

Alice - Everybody who knew Alice knew her “Best,” as they simply called each other, was a character named Dawn. Dawn was snarky and insightful, fun and playful, moody and intriguing, and I adored the player and our RP so much that we ended up with a lot of character overlap before they moved on from the setting. Dawn and Alice together were, in my opinion, a force to be reckoned with, and the sassiest pair of teens in the community. They spent many a day/night hanging out behind the Horned God having random conversations, or else they’d be getting high together wherever, chastising creeps every time they found them, or getting drunk and playing Two Truths and a Lie with their other friends up in the little hobo den in Darkside. They were ride or die, straight down to the time Alice slapped a prominent community character in the middle of an altercation, and Dawn hosed them down. They were brats in the best sense of the word, and never shied away from fun or drama. I had so many amazing hours of roleplay with the character, and I still miss the player all the time.

Rye - Rye has really had two best friends in the course of playing her that I recall. One was a sweet young Templar who happened to be dating one of her cabal mates: dear, kind Tashi. Tashi was witchy and fun, curious and supportive. She was her confidante and the first non-Blue character Rye trusted. I think the bulk of their time was spent at the Crusades back then, chilling with the Host members and usually goofing off. Tashi definitely brought out Rye’s fun side. Then there was Alex, or Alexandra Rest, who quickly became a staple in Rye’s life. The pair were roommates and opposites in so many ways. Rye was a forensics agent working on secret world crimes and murders, and Alex was a trained assassin creating even more crimes to be solved. Rye was reserved and gave off an air of modesty, and Alex was a little on the kinkier side. They were both addicts, though, and often leaned on each other to get out of dark places. They were inseparable for quite a stretch, Alex was her go-to when her heart was broken. She was hard on the outside with a bite as bad as her bark, but she was loyal and kind to Rye. Along the way there was also the fascinating and stylish Rose, who bonded with Rye many times over shopping, and of course her wild child sister Claire, who became a trusted part of Rye’s inner circle. I also can’t talk shopping buddies without mentioning Rovena, who Rye absolutely adores and respects, and envies every look she comes up with.

Medrina - It’s harder to pin down just one or two close friends for Medrina, oddly enough. Medrina’s roommate and favorite person to get high with would be her first TSW BFF: Bastian, my longtime friend’s mage character. Early on, she became fast friends with the fun and fashionable Saki and was quickly invited into her circle. Sulwen played to her wild side and always made her feel like a part of things. Then there was Elania, who was wild and silly and also keen and intuitive. There was Andjela, who was one of Medrina’s most trusted Dragon associates and a dear friend with a unique perspective, then Salem, who reminded her of a different sort of life while also being a favorite goofball, and of course Aaron, who Medrina spent hours talking with and pouring pieces of her soul into. I also can’t forget Draysek, who was basically like a brother to Medrina, a silly, airheaded at times, hilarious brother. There was also Antu, who was chaos incarnate, and loved to torture Medrina while loving her fiercely. I have a list in my head of dozens of other mentions for Medrina, so please stab me if you feel forgotten as a bestie or close friend. I nearly forgot him but there was also everybody’s favorite time-traveler son of a serial killer/cannibal: Henry. He was a longtime trusted friend and companion for Medrina, even though his father was, for a stretch, absolutely her sworn enemy.

Sia - I had a lot of trouble establishing Sia as a character, and finding her “people.” I don’t know if her age deterred people or what it was about her, but nobody seemed to really want to give her a chance when she first came to be. Then there was a party, completely implied, and along came Cate Lin, the feisty tech girl from the Host, and soon the two were inseparable. Sia relied on her to help navigate her new normal, and helped Cate come out of her more reserved shell. The two flourished together. Then there was Marsyas, a crush turned BFF, who Sia often pestered about boy drama. They also got to bond over a really creepy ghost encounter in the middle of the woods. I also couldn’t possibly leave off Sia’s favorite redheaded Santa Claus, Hakon (and Floki!), who is and was a long-cherished, loved, and respected close friend to Sia, who always treated her as an equal and welcomed her warmly from the moment they interacted. Honorable mentions go to the ‘big brother’ sort of people in Sia’s life: Ianto, her most haunting friend before she befriended and fell for an actual ghost, Lucca, Eiric, even Gabe, though it was maybe not the role he intended, and Dray again! Because I loved the dude so much I forced as many of my characters on him as I could! Btw her REAL brother will be mentioned in another post, although Jo is definitely one of her best friends.

Benja’s longtime “best friend” in the Secret World is also his current partner, the adorbs lil deer known as Frankie. They spent years just being kind of brother/sister/buddies and relying on each other for stability in moments of craziness before finally giving in to those crushes after years of other stuff. Aside from Frankie, he’s never really had a “best friend” character that wasn’t his partner (future shout out to come!), but he did have buddies he hung out with, played pool with, drank with, so maybe they all count. A couple of times, they were my RP partners, too… haha. So thank you to Darius and Eiric for that , and also Dray & Terence. I don’t know if Jules and Benja would ever publicly consider each other friends, but I mean… their long-established twitter history is, at this point, the stuff of legend, so huge shout out to that amazing combo that I will never get tired of.

Last, but not least: Alana! Alana came onto the scene early in 2020, right before the world shut down, and initially I wasn’t sure if she’d stay. But it was fun to RP the pandemic and the secret world through her eyes. She bonded pretty quickly with a hazy wizard named Nikhil, though, and then the jumpy, witchy, tender Kailech. Through them she made other connections, too, and was fortunate to quickly establish a circle of friends, though many are gone now. An obviously one-sided crush turned into one of her closest friendships, and even though I am the flakiest person to do a scene with, I am so grateful for the bond Alana and Theo have. I love their conversations and their encouragement of each other.

To all the best friends my characters have loved before, and the amazing players behind them, thank you for letting my babies be a part of your stories!

Addendum: Naturally I forgot Craft Ramsay for Alice, who was basically a friend and confidante, and also her team leader for a decent amount of time. He’s someone she could trust and rely on for everything, from hospitality to humor. Much love!

And Runi! HOW could I leave Runi off Rye’s list? This character and Rye became fast friends and shared pretty much their souls with each other through many, many deep conversations and special times. I forever cherish their friendship and that roleplay. <3