While The Secret World One Year Anniversary Event officially ended on the 8th of July, today marks the end of the Guardians of Gaia spawns and battles. Despite a few early hiccoughs, resulting in the extension of the Guardians of Gaia portion of the Anniversary Event, I’d personally have to say that the overall Anniversary was a rousing success. There were, of course, the issues of Frame Rate and, in a couple of cases, terrible server side lag (not to mention the pretty much complete failure of the Fusang Projects boss), but we’re really talking about a small percentage of the overall event there. The bulk of it was fantastic and that, in no small part, due to the amazing community.
Very early on, community members set up a custom chat channel for tracking the appearance of the Gatekeepers and Guardians. Because of the nature of The Secret World‘s server infrastructure (divided into Dimensions and Instances), the two were pretty much spawning all the time in one place or another. The chat channel allowed the community to coordinate their efforts and, by leveraging the existing Meet Up system in the game, always have a massive group of Bees to bring the Guardians down. The community was so much a part of this event’s success, that Community Managers even awarded particularly helpful players a Resplendent Halo as a thank you for helping organize the community for the event. The community as a whole really deserves a huge round of applause for how well they conducted themselves, despite the small technical issues and the Fusang debacle.
This Fusang Projects thing, however, I think was doomed to fail from the start. Firstly, there is the general nature of a small but vocal minority of players who seem to PvP for the expressed purpose of making other players’ lives difficult. These are the player who, in Fusang Projects, camped the Lore object and murdered anyone who approached it. This I know first hand because I happen to be one of the lucky few who actually managed to get into Fusang during one of the all too brief periods when the queue was actually working. I died several times before the timing was just right for me to grab the lore and bugger off.
While I was in Fusang Projects, this one and only time I managed to get in (despite sitting in the queue for a couple hours each day during the majority of the event), the Gatekeeper spawned and summoned the Guardian. This is where the second failure came into play. Fusang Projects, from every thing I’ve heard, is already notorious for frame rate and lag issues. Now add to it a gigantic boss, whose brothers are causing frame rate and lag issues in every other zone they appear in, and it’s a recipe for disaster. The third failure, with these lag and frame rate issues in mind, was one of the boss’ mechanics.
The Guardian of Lunar Metal had this massive AoE attack that, if you got stuck in it, would one-shot you and heal him. Not by itself a terribly difficult thing, but add to it a frame rate of 1 FPS and a lag of 4.5 seconds (both of which I experienced), and you don’t stand a chance; neither do the other 50 players standing in it with you. Whatever damage had been done to the Guardian since the last such AoE was instantly healed. I tried for about 20 minutes (by itself twice as long as any boss fight, under good, conditions should be), and then gave up and left. As I understand it several die-hard players stuck it out for 4 hours to down that particular Guardian. PvP has never really been my thing and the technical issues surrounding the fight were not worth any possible rewards I might get.
I pretty much wrote off Fusang Projects and concentrated my efforts on getting all the other rewards from the PvE Guardians, which I did manage to do. You’ll note, dear reader, that up there I am also standing next to the Shem of Lunar Metal, the Fusang Projects Guardian Pet reward. That’s because I bought the Genizah of Lunar Metal on the Auction House and got one. The completionist in me felt the 5,000,000 Pax price tag was worth it, especially after Funcom changed the drop rate for the pet from “oh my god I’m never going to get it, how many flares can my bag hold,” to 100%. In truth there really isn’t much else to spend Pax on, and it is frankly very easy to come by in Transylvania.
Which brings up an interesting point: while the rewards themselves were Bind on Pickup, the bags they came in were not. Very early on players were trading bags in hopes of getting a pet they hadn’t been lucky enough to get. These bags also started to appear on the Auction House. So, if there’s a pet you really wanted that just never dropped for you, check the Auction House. Only the Lunar Metal pet has a 100% drop rate, as far as I know, but the others will at least give you another shot at it.
While the failure of Fusang Projects is a sticking point (and I do think the community deserves some sort of “we’re sorry” gift), it is, as I said early on, a small one. In the end the event was loads of fun, engaging, and really brought the community together. For that last one alone, Funcom deserves a massive round of applause. Well done.