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The Secret World

The Secret World's Christmas Conspiracies event takes the stage

Horror, Real-Life, Events (In-Game), News Items, The Secret World, Buy-to-Play

What's Christmas without a clown and a chainsaw? Nothing -- if you're in The Secret World. The game that excels as conspiracies has turned one into a holiday event for players to unravel. It all starts with attending a show at London's Albion Theater and winds its way through gathering clues and solving Musical "Magic Flute" puzzles, even discovering Old Saint Nick's tomb.

And what's a Christmas without gifts? TSW offers new pets like an undead polar bear, funky hats, and more outfits and costume pieces -- including a carrot nose -- in the Rucksacks of Saturnalian Delights. The bags are rewards for finishing the holiday missions as well as available in the item shop. As during the Halloween event, players who purchase a special bag (this time the Bag of Wassail) in the shop to share with players will be rewarded with an all-new dance.

As in years past, previous holiday events are also live and running. However, the launchpad warns players that the End of Days event is currently experiencing issues and the team is working to resolve them.

The Daily Grind: Do single-player games give you a craving for MMOs?

MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, The Secret World

I made a dent in my Steam backlog this month, and one of the older titles that I finally got around to beating was Alan Wake. This has nothing to do with MMOs, really, except for the fact that the game's creepy atmospherics and its focus on the supernatural made me want to fire up The Secret World.

What about you, Massively readers? Do your single-player adventures ever give you a craving for a particular MMO?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

The Secret World's killer clown is coming to get you

Horror, Business Models, News Items, The Secret World, Promotions, Buy-to-Play

TSW
Some Funcom fans are getting a nice present in their email today: a ticket to play The Secret World for free for a month.

"You will die. Because, hey, that's what happens when you play an MMO where killer clowns are after you. Fight back! Play The Secret World for FREE this Holiday season," reads the promo.

The freebie 30-day codes in the emails are apparently valid if used by January 15th and include experience potions as well as $5 worth of points to spend in the cash shop. It's currently unclear whether the promotion is for former subbers or just everyone who has a Funcom account.

The Stream Team: Tag teaming The Secret World Tokyo story missions

Horror, Real-Life, Video, The Secret World, Livestream, The Stream Team, Buy-to-Play

The Stream Team: Tag teaming The Secret World  Tokyo story missions
Spoiler alert! Massively's MJ and Justin are diving deep into the Tokyo story missions in The Secret World. If you don't want any spoilers, you might want to look away or turn the sound down, but then you'd also miss all the hilarious moments that happen when these two team up together! Decisions, decisions. Justin is looking forward to showing of his new AEGIS build, and MJ is glad to have some extra muscle along. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to see how the pair fares in the streets of Kaiden.

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie & Justin Olivetti
Date: Thursday, December 11th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Secret World nerfs Tokyo mobs and buffs rewards

Horror, Patches, The Secret World, Post-Apocalyptic, Buy-to-Play

tsw
Players struggling to progress through The Secret World's Tokyo zone will now find it a more pleasurable experience, thanks to today's hotfix that makes mobs easier to kill while increasing rewards across the board.

Mobs in Kaidan will now have reduced damage and health, making them easier to kill. Better yet, TSW is increasing AEGIS XP from containers, lowering the cost for memory expansion modules, and giving AEGIS peripherals as part of the Issue 9 and 10 story missions (and will retroactively award these to players who have completed them).

[Thanks to Tyler for the tip!]

Chaos Theory: The best places in town, Secret World style

Horror, Real-Life, Opinion, The Secret World, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

Chaos Theory:  The best places in town, Secret World style
When discussing the best things about The Secret World, I'm almost at a loss for where to start. There really is just so much that's great, so many amazing little details woven into the game, that unless you really narrow it down, you could wear yourself out trying to name it all. And you'd still know you missed too much! That's one reason Chaos Theory has recently focused on a few top five/top ten lists. We've already covered compelling missions, the best NPCs, and even my first favorite moments. As integral as those elements are, however, any real estate agent can tell you that one facet can trump them all -- location, location, location! And it's true. The game's setting has a huge influence on the other aspects of the game: Missions are more meaningful and character personalities are enhanced by their surroundings. So as promised, this time around we'll tour some of the best places TSW has to offer.

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One Shots: Cult worship

Screenshots, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, The Secret World, Humor, RIFT, Miscellaneous, WildStar

tsw
Have you ever been running along in an MMO and come screeching to a halt because other players are doing something inexplicably weird? Then perhaps you'd sympathize with reader Tyler in this situation.

"There are times in games -- especially games like The Secret World -- when one stumbles across something they simply can't explain," he submitted. "But nothing I have seen is as surreal as the sight that greeted me when I stepped into Agartha during the recent Halloween event: a circle of Atenists worshipping a girl in a bikini whilst chanting "ATEN! ATEN! ATEN!' I asked around in general. No one had any explanation for what in God's name was happening. It is a mystery for the ages."

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The Stream Team: Prowling the streets of Tokyo in TSW's Issue #10

Horror, Real-Life, Video, Expansions, The Secret World, Livestream, The Stream Team, Buy-to-Play

Surprise! The Secret World's Issue #10 out, and while it's true that Massively's MJ got a sneak peek, she's itching to explore the new area on her own. If you're hoping to avoid story mission spoilers, don't worry: This trip is all about scouting out the lay of the land. (And quite possibly just to find as much lore as possible!) Besides the infamous Love Hotel, what new sights are there to behold? What death lurks behind which corner? Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to see!

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, December 4th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Chaos Theory: Hands-on with TSW's Issue #10 before today's release

Horror, Real-Life, Expansions, Hands-On, The Secret World, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

Chaos Theory:  A hands-on with TSW's Issue #10 before today's release
Yes, you read that right. When we told you earlier this week that The Secret World's second Tokyo expansion was coming soon, we bet you didn't think it'd be today, did you? Well, neither did we! But that's exactly what Director Joel Bylos shared with me while we we zipping around the newest area of Tokyo during a hands-on tour of Issue #10 Nightmares in the Dream Palace. If all goes according to plan, fans will be able to dig into the new content today -- much sooner than anticipated. And what's awaiting them? That's what this week's Chaos Theory reveals. Don't worry; I promise to warn you of any major spoilers.

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The Secret World's nightmarish Issue #10 coming 'in next couple weeks'

Horror, Real-Life, Events (In-Game), Expansions, The Secret World, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

Content-loving The Secret World fans will be happy to hear that the next issue is just a couple weeks away. Joel Bylos' November Game Director letter has announced that Issue #10 Nightmares in the Dream Palace will go live "in the first half of December." That means more Tokyo locations, a new mission chain, new AEGIS shields, and more interesting characters will soon be available to enjoy. Want to wander the docks and the shipyards? How about prowl around an abandoned quarantine camp or the Orochi tenements? Those locations and more will be available for exploration. Can't wait to hear and see more? Keep your eyes peeled for Massively's hands-on with issue #10 this week!

Not all the goodies are dependent on owning the issue, either. The accompanying patch brings quality-of-life improvements including bug fixes, a UI editing mode, and an updated con system to help newer players. And what's TSW without a great holiday event? The letter also introduces this year's new Christmas event, which will run from the middle of the month until just after the new year. Called The Christmas Conspiracy, it begins with an invitation to see a performance of "The Magic Flute" at the Albion Theatre and entails working to stop the Phoenicians from stealing the very heart of Christmas itself. Previous Christmas events will also return.

Chaos Theory: Five fantastic NPCs in The Secret World

Horror, Real-Life, Lore, Opinion, The Secret World, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

Before I was sidetracked by Sidestories and totally engrossed in the Halloween event, I talked about quests that I felt were top notch in The Secret World. At that time I also promised to give the NPCs of the game their due with their own spot. And here it is!

Why would I devote an entire column to singing the praises of Non-Player Characters? Because it is the characters within the story that make the game so compelling! The characters' lives, their mannerisms -- they really bring TSW to life. From deep and perfectly quirky personalities to the top-notch voice acting, it's the NPCs that tie everything together and make missions so memorable. And while all of the characters play vital roles (even those who just pop in for brief appearance as supporting cast), these five stars steal the show.

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Global Chat: Why we blog

World of Warcraft, Culture, Opinion, The Secret World, RIFT, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar

tsw
Why an MMO player decides that he or she needs to take up an additional hobby of writing about these games isn't much of a mystery. We may all blog about a huge variety of topics, but the impetus behind it tends to be very common: We have so many thoughts about and so much love for these games that we can't hold it in.

To blog is to open up and share experiences, observations, and hopes. It's to connect with others and to perhaps give another layer of meaning to the time that we spend in-game. We don't blog because we have to; we blog because we simply could not not blog.

So let's see a few examples of what MMO bloggers couldn't keep inside of them! From spooky stories to rapturous tales of exploration, it's a testament to the power of words and goofy rejoinders.

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The Secret World's Issue 10 characters, locations, and shield upgrades

Horror, Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, The Secret World, Post-Apocalyptic, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

tsw
First things first: Funcom's Joel Bylos is still not revealing the release date of The Secret World's Issue 10, so don't get your hopes up when you read through today's October game director letter.

However, if you can get past that disappointment, you'll find a treasure trove of information about Issue 10 details, such as the descriptions of four key NPCs that players will meet and four fascinating locations that players will explore (love palace, anyone?). Bylos also discusses how players will be able to wield AEGIS technology to create protective shields of their own.

The Secret World's Halloween event will continue through November 13th and be followed by a scenario bonus weekend.

One Shots: Jolly pumpkins

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, City of Heroes, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, The Secret World, Humor, Miscellaneous

wow
Halloween may be over, but its spirit remains alive in MMOs! Alive, that is, as long as there are spooky locales to explore and a population that's more than willing to dress up in costume and face down the terrors that slip between the shadows.

Our friend David here may be taking Halloween at face value in World of Warcraft, but can you really blame him? He and his demonic minion look to be having a heck of a time. Plus, there's a whole-hearted embrace of a pumpkin motif that will be all but extict come December. Enjoy it while it lasts!

The rest of this week's player-submitted screenshots may not be creepy in the least, but they do all share the same jolly attitude that exists in this moment. In a world that brought back One Shots, really anything is possible!

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Chaos Theory: Exploring the Halloween that almost wasn't in The Secret World

Horror, Real-Life, Events (In-Game), The Secret World, Guides, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

Chaos Theory: Exploring the Halloween that almost wasn't in The Secret World
Funcom just about blew it. I have cut The Secret World plenty of slack for hiccups and bumps over the years (and I am willing to do so in the future because it just doesn't have an equal in the MMOverse and it does what it does so well), but this last one can't be brushed off. This latest misstep could have cost TSW dearly in good will, patience, and even players. You don't take the holiday that the game is essentially based on and not celebrate it!

Luckily, TSW's much-anticipated Halloween event did finally show up, albeit 10 days late -- barely in time for the holiday. I am betting that the delay has cost the company some cash. The build-up to this holiday is a huge part of the excitement; the weeks preceding All Hallows' Eve is the perfect time to get people who are in the Halloween mood to return to the game or dive in and try it for the first time> Not to mention it's the time when folks are more apt to buy costumes! Funcom squandered that. And why the delay, anyway? During my Issue #8 tour last year, Creative Director Joel Bylos teased, "Our Halloween next year is going to be amazing! I wrote it for this year, but we didn't get done in enough time." Wasn't 12 more months enough time? We've been waiting with bated breath!

So after all that wait, and then even more, is the event worth it? My answer is...

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