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The Secret Anniversary

Four years… It seems like only yesterday we were all pestering people on Facebook to help us get hold of exclusive in-game items. Wait was that just me? I can’t have been the only one… Right? Ok moving on. The 4th Anniversary Celebrations are well underway and we’ve managed to get a taste of them. Today I’ve finally been forced to move away from the Golems and actually put something together, and I’ll be looking at the whole thing. The good, the bad, and the awesome.

Golems, All the Golems

Like the years before it the Guardians of Gaia will be making a return (including the missing silver Guardian who can be found in Fusang). There is a Guardian for each zone and the loot they drop can be anything from flares and pets (Oh what would an event be without flares?) to shards for your Museum. They also drop shards which can be used in ritual which I’ll go into shortly.

The loot isn’t the only thing to have changed about the golems though. This time around when you approach a golem you will be automatically given a new mission. Participate in the fight against [Insert Name of Golem Here]. Once you have done enough damage or done enough healing the mission will update to Beat [Insert Name of Golem Here]. Personally I like this approach as it means that you won’t be able to fire of one shot and sit on the sidelines anymore. The threshold for the mission to update is amazingly low so as long as you are participating then it shouldn’t take too long for you to get your reward even if your FPS is low. This year they have also introduced a ranking system. Gold, Silver and Bronze which (in theory) affects the type of bag you get and in turn the chances of rarer items. However without any idea of what the criteria are (there is plenty of speculation but as far as I know no official word) it seems pretty hollow.

The Fusang Golem has returned to Fusang which, I can’t put too fine a point on this, is a disaster. The area is not suited to a Player Vs Enviroment style combat to start with, meaning that many players have to adjust decks removing any Area of Effect attacks they may have in order to avoid accidentally killing members of opposing factions. The playfield also seems to struggle with the weight of every player focusing their fire on on a single target in the centre of the arena. It isn’t that Fusang can’t handle the number of players present, it’s more that there are usually numerous smaller battles spread over a large area leading to less trouble for the server. As it is I was getting anything up to 6.4 seconds ping. When the PvP community said they felt left out of events I’m not sure this is what they had in mind.

Update: As of the July 7th the Population cap for Fusang has been lowered to 25 per faction to help reduce lag as well as having the shard drop rate for the golem increased.

Over all the Golems feel about the same as previous years but with new drops and a new tweak on the way missions are issued and rewarded it feels a lot more smoother. And while I’m not a fan of the ranking system the new anti AFK system does seem nice as players are required to do some work.

Meanwhile In Agartha

Of course it wouldn’t be an anniversary without something new to throw into the mix. And this year is no different. Earlier I mentioned that the golems all dropped shards. These shards can be used in a brand new instance in Agartha. They summon a corrupted version of the golem they came from. If you’ve seen the happy feet ritual on the main Agartha platform you’ll have an idea of what happens next but for those who don’t the summoned golems do a dance which calls down the Gatekeeper. This time around though the golems get the upper hand and infect him creating a giant red gatekeeper for us to destroy.

The fight itself is actually quite simple. Although it can take a little a little while to get the hang of and it also largely depends on the group. The Gatekeeper (which has been dubbed the Hatekeeper or HK for short by the community) will attack and will generally go for the two tanks, occasionally sending one of them to the anima well. It’s at this point the second tank becomes useful. Throughout the battle there is lots of dangerous stuff on the floor which it’s best to keep out of. Because nobody likes dangerous stuff on the floor. Occasionally the HK will cast a “buff” on players which while buffing you will also cause you to lose a large portion of of your health if it’s not removed when the countdown hits 0. You can remove it by heading to the corresponding circle on the playfield that matches the colour your screen has gone (red or whiteish). There are also three branches where you will see Automatons slowly wandering along. They mustn’t be allowed to reach the HK. If they do they restore him back to full health and the fight needs to be restarted. I have found that the best tactic when dealing with these is to pick a branch and make sure that nothing on it moves past you.

So what does purging the Gatekeeper of these evil shards get me? Well at the time of writing there is currently a double AP buff so you’ll get an extra AP for every one you earn but the GK also drops purple signet bags, purple tool kits, a faction coloured version of the Dapper Buzz outfit and an elusive red golem.

Buy all the things

There are of course shiny things in the store. There’s no new bag this year with the Bohemian Bag making a return. However for those of you who may be new or who just missed out the first time around all the previous event bags are being made available to buy from the item store until the end of the event. If you’ve wanted some of the dance emotes like Hitman Lean or Zombie Strut now is the time to pick them up.

Bags

So what are you waiting for? Go get some golems and get all the things. Celebrate in style. It’s not every day that we turn four. Get the AP in you need for your museum or just collect all the clothes and pets your heart desires. I’ll be around most days happily hunting down various Guardians and defeating angry Gatekeepeers. See you in the field.

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