It’s the holidays, and in the spirit of giving, I am going I’m going to give you ideas — for gifts! Instead of waxing poetic about the awesomeness of The Secret World or explaining the amazing things about it to folks who may not have tried it (yet), I’ll be highlighting awesome and amazing things you can get for your friends and family who already love the game! That’s right, today is a special gift guide edition of Chaos Theory, where discerning shoppers — or those who just need to be hit with the +10 sword of inspiration — can search for that perfect something that says I get you.
But I won’t stop at just TSW: Funcom has other titles that also have dedicated fans. I’ll share a few gifts that might please the Age of Conan and Anarchy Online devotees in your life. And don’t think just because there is no more LEGO Minifigures Online to play that I have forgotten about those fans. Besides, we are talking LEGOs!
This one is a no-brainer. If your friend already has The Secret World, you can’t really get him that. But, you can get him the amazing TSW experience that is The Park! I’ve spoken at length about why you should get it for yourself (and even shown you), so why wouldn’t you share it with the other Secret Worlders in your life? Better yet, get this game for all your friends who aren’t into TSW yet and try and get them all hooked! You know you want to.
2. Innsmouth academy apparel
If you missed out on getting an Innsmouth Academy hoodie, well — you missed out. (And trust me, no one is crying about it more than I am!) Sadly, the entire Secret World product line from WeLoveFine is gone — all the bags, t-shirts, hoodies… everything. Luckily, there is somewhere else to get something for your TSW-loving friends to show their school spirit! Whether or not your friend is truly athletic or just runs sprints when the Ak’ab are chasing her, there’s the Innsmouth Academy Track and Field shirt in multiple styles and colors. Cafepress also offers a shirt that mirrors the in-game two-year anniversary shirt with the logos of all factions on the back.
When folks talk about TSW, they often reference the Lovecraftian theme. So what’s more Secret World-y than an an audio retelling of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow over Innsmouth? Once you get one, it may be hard to stop, so make it a double with The Call of Cthulhu. Dark Adventure Radio Theater put out some old-time radio adventures of the stories, and it’s basically giving your friends a chance to live one of TSW’s greatest missions, Halloween’s The Broadcast… minus the spirits rising from your radio and knocking you around.
Speaking of listening, for only $1 you can gift your friend the creepiest lullaby ever that was featured in a very important part of TSW: Sleepless Lullaby by Bright September. For $5, you can introduce your friend to more of the group’s work by purchasing the full digital album that the song was released on.
Back on the Lovecraft theme, you can also get your friend (or yourself) something you both can enjoy together. Break out the snacks, dim your lights, and play the board game, Arkham Horror, along with its accompanying Innsmouth Horror expansion.
4. Faction bling
Thanks to the real-world aspects of TSW, you don’t have to seek out specifically licensed TSW merchandise to have it be TSW-related. For instance, the Templars and the Illuminati have plenty of items to fit in, espicially in the jewelry department. Just search Templar or Illuminai on Amazon or Etsy and scroll through the waves of gift ideas. This Knights Templar necklace really caught my eye. Of the myriad Illuminati choices, I was drawn to the ornate stylings of this necklace as well as this Egyptian necklace and earring combo. Both Templar and IIluminati also have some snazzy rings.
Unfortunately, if your friend adores the Dragons, there isn’t much you can do; it isn’t quite as easy to find something that matches, and you can’t just grab any old oriental dragon to make do. That’s OK — no one really plays as Dragon, right?
Also falling into the accessory realm are a two pieces that any cosplaying Templar friend will want added to their wardrobe: These gloves and this hat might be the best gift they receive all year. However, if your are looking more for desk or phone accessories, my favorites are the a color changing “keep calm and blame the lag” mug and the Inssmouth Academy mug. Phone cases cater mostly to the Templar crowd; the other two factions are pretty well sliced out of the picture. Except even the Templars are dissed, as most covers chop off her face in order to have the necessary window for the camera! The only cover that gives a decent representation of the three faction models is for the iPad Air2.
And the best accessory of all? No matter what their faction, Ricky Pagan fans would squeal with delight if you bought them a replica of his motorcycle.
There may not be as much merchandise out and about for the Anarchy Online fans on your list, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have any recourse. There are three copies of the special edition on Amazon that will net your friend a map, a novel, music, and concept art. That’s a pretty decent haul if they don’t have those things already. If you dig enough, you can also find a game guide and a battlemat mousepad.
Age of Conan fans, however, make out a little better. It helps that they have a major IP to fall back on! Although the few copies of the collectors edition of the game don’t seem too worthwhile, there’s a soundtrack, a poster print, and a strategy guide. OK, maybe the guide won’t help the AoC fans much in-game, but it is a collectible piece of literature they can thumb through or put on their shelf. If you’ve got some dough burning a hole in your pocket (or you really owe your friend big for passing on that epic loot), you can also bid on some of the original Conan stories written by Robert E. Howard and published in the pulp fiction magazine Weird Tales. Sadly, you can’t be guaranteed to find the entirety of a series, as with the novellas The People of the Black Circle and Beyond the Black River.
6. For the last minute shoppers: In-game goodies
Back to TSW, here’s a gift idea that might really appeal to those who really like to wait until the last minute; you can’t even take advantage of it yet, but you can soon. If you also have a Secret World account, starting sometime this month you will be able to gift in-game items from the item store to your friends. Introduced to us back at the second half of Issue #12, this feature is launching with Issue #13. If there is a particular outfit, mount, or other item that your friends have been clamoring for, you can have it sent directly to them and just sit back whole they lavish their appreciation on you. Sorry, but gift wrapping is not available for these purchases.
Who doesn’t love LEGOs? If you answer affirmatively there, you might as well end your reading now. Because this next part is just going to talk about LEGOs, LEGOs, and more LEGOs! Those little building blocks are so awesome, I don’t care how old you are. In fact, I still have a box filled with old ones (you know, back when you had to make people out of windows and round pegs?) that my grandmother used to keep at her house for my brothers and me to play with. So you just can’t go wrong with LEGOs.
But what LEGOs do you get? There are so many sets out there that I can’t possibly list even a minute fraction, and there is sure to be something that fits whatever interests your friend has. But if your friend is particularly in love with the minifigures themselves, there are oodles of packs that you can get. Of course, you can also gift a DVD of The Lego Movie. Or for something a bit more unique, surprise them with a Bad Cop alarm clock. And for any younger fans, there’s a pretty swell Everything is Awesome shirt.