Are you ready to party? Because it’s birthday time! The Secret World is celebrating its third year, and you’re invited to a two-week bash that brings back the Guardians of Gaia event introduced the first year as well as the added Tokyo festivities from the second. That means now is the time to catch up on collecting all the lore, pets, and costumes from the earlier anniversaries that you’ve missed! It’s also the perfect time to stock up on gobs of AP from the world bosses, and it’s the only time you can score the newest loot and dance (well, at least until next year!).
The soiree lasts until July 15th, but to help players have an extra good time, Funcom has added some major buffs and bonuses for the first week; until July 8th, players can take advantage of double AP, extra black bullion, and 50% more of all the following: Aureus (the currency you earn in scenarios), Marks of Venice from PvP, and AEGIS research XP from Tokyo.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a guide to help you get the most out of the celebration, from lore locations to tips and tricks to complete your collections.
I’m going to start the guide with my one big disappointment for the anniversary. While I don’t mind the loot bags that have become a staple with new events (I’m very much a proponent of supporting your favorite games financially), I am saddened that the only new aspect of the anniversary appears to be the bags. I don’t mind having to purchase the bag to get some goodies, but I would have liked to have some type of additional content that wasn’t tied to the purchase, be it a temporary mission, new lore, or new clothing in the golem loot bags — even a new golem!
On the plus side, players can buy the individual-sized Bohemian grab bag from a London vendor using tokens earned in game, not just with cash in the item shop. Just visit Flower Child on the stage in Ealdwic Park. The in-game cost per bag is 300,000, 10 Black Bullion, or 15 Black Marks of Venice; the item shop cost (for Grandmasters) is 192 Funcom or Bonus Points for the single bag and 960 for the group party sack. Members’ and non-members’ prices are 10% and 20% higher, respectively.
As for the goodies inside the bags, players can get a variety of hippie-style clothing, a lava lamp consumable, a Littlefoot (get it? It’s not big!) pet, or even a new sprint customization in the form of a tie-dyed motorcycle. Players who open the large bag, the Bohemian party sack, near at least 10 other people will also be rewarded with a new dance, The Hitman Lean.
I don’t know whether this is a cruel joke or what, but one of the July items of the month — besides the flaming 3-emblazoned T-shirt to commemorate this year’s anniversary — is an anniversary flare gun! That thing is so reviled as a loot drop from the bags that I can’t imagine anyone is really going to claim it from the store.
Go for the Guardians
If you haven’t earned your Gaia Rocks T-Shirt yet, here’s your chance. Just down each of the eight Guardian golems found in Solomon Island, Egypt, and Transylvania to complete the auto-granted mission and you’ll get the achievement and the T-shirt.
Harder to get than the T-shirt is a full collection of the mini-guardian pets, called shems. The shems are random drops in the Guardian loot bags — along with various cosmetic items — granted for completing the mission, so it’s the luck of the draw whether you get a pet quickly or it takes tons of tries. The different shems are as follows:
- Earth: Kingsmouth (KM)
- Water: Savage Coast (SC)
- Stone: Blue Mountain (BM)
- Fire: Scorched Desert (SD)
- Sand: City of the Sun God (CotSG)
- Pestilence: Shadowy Forest (SF)
- Ice: Carpathian Fangs (CF)
- The Verdant Guardian: Besieged Farmlands (BF)
- The Patchwork Horror: Kaiden (KD)
The Happy Feet achievement from last year is also available again. To get it, eight players summon a different shem (one from each zone except Tokyo) on the main platform in Agartha. As long as that instance hasn’t had a shem dance in the last couple of hours, the pets will gravitate to a circle and then get down and boogie. Hopefully no one summons Tokyo’s shem as it can disrupt the dance ritual.
Whether you are trying for the pets or you’re just in it for the AP, you’ll want to keep track of which golems you have killed as the mission for each is on a two-hour cool down timer. This really helps if you are jumping from golem to golem. No mission means no loot bag! My personal preference is just keeping track on a notepad, but players can also check the mission timers in their journal by pressing shift + L. With the exception of Besieged Farmlands and Kaidan, the missions are all labeled “Guardian of [insert pet type here].”
To maximize your AP/shem farming, join the the event channel by typing “/chat join event” (without the quotation marks). Be sure you enable #event to show in your chat box, and before you know it you’ll be inundated with golem sightings! One of the best quality of life changes I have seen for TSW is the fact that you no longer need someone on your friends list to meet up; just right click the spotter in chat and select meet up to travel to his/her dimension. The other super sweet change is the icon on the map that indicates the exact location of spawned world bosses! It will also show players at a glance if the dimension they were aiming for was full because no boss will appear on the map.
Now here are a few tips for golem fights. In Tokyo, equip a good chunk of HP and do not fight on the sidewalk unless you want to reset the boss. In Kingsmouth, stay away from AoE unless you want to heal the boss with your own health. And in CotSG, make sure you are fighting right behind and under the golem; stepping away from the Guardian of Sand’s tush is instant death for practically anyone.
If you’ve already gotten all the lore in previous years, you can skip this section. However, since some of the lore can be gathered only in Tokyo, any player who couldn’t enter the zone before was missing an entire set. So here’s a list of where to find all the Guardians of Gaia and the Anomalies of the Filth, The Buzzing sets. Of course you may want to find it all on your own without any hints; if so, don’t click.Guardians of Gaia: Click to reveal spoiler
#2: Savage Coast (20, 565)
#3: Blue Mountain (620, 255)
#4: Scorched Desert (525, 640)
#5: City of the Sun God (760, 890)
#6: Besieged Farmlands (1225, 1260)
#7: Shadowy Forest (445, 545)
#8: Carpathian Fangs (475, 1220)
#9: Agartha (315, 50); Tokyo branch
#2: (253, 416)
#3: (441, 737)
#4: (866, 532)
#5: (415, 636); you must follow the spark after the Tokyo guardian dies, it becomes the lore.
#6: (385, 719)
Unlike the other sets, Anomalies of the Filth, The Black Signal is acquired directly from items that drop from the Tokyo golem. Luckily, those happen to be tradeable, so you don’t have to get into Kaidan to be able to finish that set. The SD cards are numbered 1 – 5, which correspond with the lores #1 – #5.
Another recurring aspect of the anniversary events is a recruit-a-friend bonus. This year is no different: For each new player who buys the game after using one of your referral codes, you’ll receive not only a month of membership for free and the veteran points that come with it but you’ll also nab a Bohemian party sack. Players have been granted 10 extra invite keys to pass along, but to qualify for the recruitment bonus those invites must be sent out by July 15th. Additionally, referred friends have to buy the game within 30 days.