Email announcement of Event

For those of you looking to flex your mental muscles, there’s no reason not to pop over and check into this event.  There will be tie-ins to the game, but you don’t have to play the game to participate.  They announced it a couple days ago and have since released some more pieces of the overall puzzle.  It is still yet to be determined if the event has actually started or if this is just the pre-event buildup.  I followed some of the pre-launch ARG events, but I am seriously following this one and am actually trying to figure some of the pieces out.  The ability of the Funcom team to tie real-world events and technologies into this event (like the others), as well as hook into the actual game, is highly addictive.  I wanted to toss up a quick post to not only explain what’s going on but give people a feel for what kinds of things Funcom is capable of in these events, as these same kinds of things are also in-game.  I’m not going to do too much speculation here, as there’s already 1000+ posts on this subject on the forums :)

The event started with a video that was later determined to be a Spanish reading of a traditional Christian prayer.  Luckily the TSW community is world-wide so there were a number of people who quickly were able to recognize and translate the prayer.  Then the speculation began as to what this prayer means and how it ties in to not only the December 21st date (announced event start) but also the game itself.  There are already lots of ties to all sorts of religions in TSW so it really isn’t a surprise that it started in this fashion.  This was a bit of a community softball at least to figure out the message, but they only get tougher.

When you signed up for the event, you had the option to provide an email address, twitter account, and a phone number.  I thought about giving them all three, thinking that might improve my chances for something good – but I’m now happy I didn’t supply my number.  After the video was released, a series of phone calls have gone out to a bunch of people.  Some were during the day, but the first batch was a creepy child voice that came out relatively late at night.  I tweeted this earlier, but if I received this call late at night it would totally freak me out and I would have some serious issues sleeping, even once I realized what was going on.  This is also where the ARG events really start to shine, in my opinion.  A whole host of things have to happen in order to understand the meaning of these calls:

  • What is the “person” actually saying?
    • We still don’t have agreement on what any of these calls are actually saying, and depending on how you hear them, your interpretation can be QUITE different.
  • What (if anything) does the nature of the person mean?
    • The first two were “children” with the later ones male voices.  Are the male voices historical in nature, or just random Funcom employees?
  • Are there noises in the background?
    • And if so, what do they mean?  One of the calls has a series of clicks in it – is it Morse Code, which has already been used in-game for a mission, or is it just a red-herring?
  • Where is the call coming from?
    • These calls do show up on caller ID, so people can do reverse look-ups to figure out where they came from
    • This then leads down another path trying to figure out what’s near these locations and what that might mean.

If you want to catch up, here are some links for you:

I think the really cool part of these events is the diversity of the skillset needed to figure things out.  There are all sorts of ways to help out with some specific skillset you might have and no piece of the puzzle is small.  If you’re not a religious expert, no worries you might be really good at finding things in audio or image files.  You may walk by said location in New York (where the calls originated from) every day and know something specific about the surroundings.  There’s so much depth in these events that its impossible for one person to figure everything out, it is quite the community event.

The last thing I wanted to point out about this event, all these kinds of details and twists and turns can also be found in the game’s Investigation missions.  I have never played any game that has made me think as much as TSW has.  Nor have I experienced such personal reward for finishing those quests or hurdles.  No doubt about it, TSW is a challenging game not only mentally, but in gameplay and game strategy.  This aspect of the game certainly turns some people off but it has proven to be an incredibly addictive aspect as well.  And these ARG puzzles are HARD, the in-game missions are not quite as hard and since they’ve already been solved, there are ways to get hints IF you want them.  If you haven’t looked at TSW for whatever reason, check out the ARG thread and see if puzzles or challenges like that would be appealing to you.   If so, you might want to give TSW a shot.