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The Secret World

Funcom's revenues decrease in Q2

Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, MMO Industry, News Items, The Secret World, Miscellaneous

It's still a better business model than Orochi.
Funcom has released its second-quarter financial results for the year, and it's not a glowing success story. Revenue dropped roughly $600,000 compared to Q1, a drop attributed to weaker in-game item sales over the quarter. Despite this, the report indicates that the company remains on-track as a whole, with the overall pattern of expenses not significantly changed. All of the major MMOs in the studio's portfolio are stated to be cash-flow positive, which is good news for fans.

While the company launched several marketing attempts to draw more players into its titles, The Secret World was the most successful at bringing in more players via its most recent major update. The company projects good results for LEGO Minifigures Online when it releases in October. Interested players can look at the full report, which is less overwhelmingly positive than might be ideal but hardly paints a picture of doom.

One Shots: [Epic Pants]

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, The Secret World, Miscellaneous, WildStar, Firefall

firefall
If you've never truly appreciated a good pair of pants, then you've never been a video gamer who's had a character in severe want of some. Today, we're able to bring you a story that will make you tear up when you hear about one player who got what we've all wanted.

"After downloading the massive pre-launch Firefall update, I logged in to find that my Engineer looked different somehow: more self assured, more confident," reader Ralph the Wonder Llama wrote. "You see, all through beta my engineer had been getting by with just one 'pant.' While the other players used to run around looking all comfy in their full pair of pants, my poor Engineer had to make do wearing just one. But no more! No more sleepless nights wondering where her other pant had gone! No more Chosen snickering at her for showing up to battle half-dressed! My Engineer can finally hold her head high! She has... PANTS!"

Pass me a hankie, that was beautiful. To see the pants in their full-color glory, all you need to do is stop sobbing for a minute to click that button.

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Chaos Theory: The value of The Secret World's DLCs, part 2

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

Last week we began our exploration of the value of The Secret World's DLCs by looking at the cost of the additional content relative to those who subscribe, those who don't, and those who are lifetime member grandmasters. But money isn't everything to everyone. As noted previously, value is a subjective judgment determined by whatever factors are most important to the individual making the assessment. So making the call on value will depend on which category/categories are used in the judging process.

With that in mind, this week we're going to delve into the content aspect of the various DLCs. Specifically, we'll look at quantity, quality, and type of content in each issue and sidestories pack. Other key factors that are of equal -- if not paramount -- importance to some players are whether or not the additional pack is necessary to further TSW's story (who wants to miss some important tidbit?) and how fun playing through it actually is.

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Chaos Theory: The value of The Secret World's DLCs

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

Chaos Theory: The value of The Secret World's DLCs
This question was posed to me recently by a few different readers and stream viewers: Are The Secret World's DLCs a good value? As I pondered the question, I decided that instead of answering each query personally, it would be a good topic to explore here in Chaos Theory. Besides, the answer is definitely not a short one! (It can't even fit in a single column!)

So why can't I just fire off a simple yes or no to this question? The biggest problem is trying to provide an objective answer to a very subjective situation. While the meaning of value itself is clearly defined, said definition emphasizes that the judgment is individual to whoever is involved. How each player defines value is very personal, so I can't really answer for anyone except myself. What I can do, however, is provide as much of the objective information that I can so you can make your own subjective judgment on the value. Are TSW's issues and sidestories packs worth it? Let's look at the value from various viewpoints and you decide!

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The Daily Grind: What's your favorite Secret World deck outfit?

Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, The Secret World, Buy-to-Play

Before I get to the traditional question that powers the Daily Grind, I'd like to give a pre-emptive heads-up to any Massively newbs in the audience. Yes, it was a slow news day when this piece was published (8:00 a.m. EDT). Yes, this is pure fluff meant for fun and perhaps discussion over a cup of coffee.

With that out of the way, let's talk The Secret World. More specifically, let's talk about the game's spiffy deck-based outfits. I just finished collecting all of them on my Templar. Some of them are truly butt-ugly, but a handful of them make my character look even more badass than he actually is (which is pretty badass, don't get me wrong). Anyway, which deck outfit is your favorite?

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 Daily Grind: How much time do you spend on irritating quests?

Fantasy, Horror, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, The Secret World

Yesterday I spent an hour and a half doing this stupid jumping puzzle in The Secret World. It was the fifth tier of a six-tier sabotage quest in Transylvania, and I absolutely hated every minute of it! I kept at, though, inventing a few new curse words along the way, and I finally finished the quest.

What about you, Massively readers? How much time do you spend trying to complete frustrating or irritating quests?

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 Stream Team: Teaming up for The Secret World's newest Sidestories

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

It's The Secret World's anniversary, and as part of the celebration, there are even more quests to do in Tokyo! Unlike the anniversary festivities, however, these missions are not temporary; the second installment of Sidestories has released. Titled Love & Loathing, this pack has four action missions and one investigation, and Massively's MJ and Justin are teaming up to tear through them. Which will they choose? Join them live at 9 p.m. and see!

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie & Justin Olivetti
Date: Saturday, July 12th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Chaos Theory: The Secret World anniversary celebration, take two!

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

Chaos Theory:  The Secret World anniversary celebration, take two!
It's that time of year again: time to celebrate another anniversary in The Secret World! And that means taking on world bosses, soaking up oodles of AP, and collecting lore, clothes, and (the best part) pets. Yep, definitely sounds like a party. The birthday bash lasts through July 17th, but the double AP portion of it ends on the 11th, so if you have new builds you want to test and you like the feel of all that AP popping up every few steps, now is the time to get into the game.

If you attended last year's Guardians of Gaia celebration, you're no doubt familiar with the set up of the event; you may have even completed everything. If not, you now have the chance to catch up on everything, including collecting all the lore and pets. On top of that, there are new goodies to collect this time around. There's even a new achievement involving all the pets! Here are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of TSW's second anniversary celebration.

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The Secret World releases new Love & Loathing mission pack

Horror, Sci-Fi, Lore, Patches, The Secret World, Crime, Anniversaries

TSW
A new mission pack has hit the item store in The Secret World and you're all invited to check it out. Sidestories: Love & Loathing is now available for 960 Funcom points. This mission pack arrives just in time for The Secret World's second anniversary today and it features five missions that dive deeper into the story of Kaidan.

Speaking of that anniversary, Funcom is gifting players with double AP and various other bonuses through July 11th!

Take note that you'll need to own Issue #9: The Black Signal and have access to Tokyo to play the Sidestories: Love & Loathing content.

Chaos Theory: The Secret World's Tokyo barrier

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

Chaos Theory: The Tokyo barrier
Blue Mountain: On the road through The Secret World adventures, this was the zone that would make or break many players. It's the point when you had to really start crafting your decks more carefully and applying synergies. Not all who felt the blow of this particular skill check powered through, making it a barrier to continuing on to Egypt and Transylvania as well as completing the story mission.

Well, now there's a new barrier in town: Tokyo.

As much as I had looked forward to the Issue #9 content, and as much as I am enjoying the content now that it is here, I have to admit that Tokyo is the granddaddy of barriers. Not only are there barriers to getting to the content, but there are some to enjoying it once you get there too. And any one of them might cause players to give up on Tokyo and The Secret World before experiencing the whole update. So to help folks avoid smashing into any barriers unexpectedly and leaving bruises, let me give you the scoop on what lies ahead.

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One Shots: Child's play

Screenshots, EverQuest, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, One Shots, The Secret World, RIFT, Miscellaneous

TSW
Today, my friends, you are going to be disturbed by this column -- disturbed and delighted, puzzled and tantalized. But I'm afraid that we're going to have to begin with a sight that is quite unsettling, so if there are any small children in the room, get them to hold your hand because there's no way you are brave enough to witness this.

"I recently returned to The Secret World and have been having a blast, but I think this is the scariest scene I have come across whilst playing," reader Balsbigbrother. "OK, so it's a little gory with the meat cleaver in the head but those dolls and the shadows they make on the walls, eeek! The game atmosphere kind of builds up to a point where your own imagination takes over. So while I was in that room, I kept thinking if all those dolls suddenly turned around to face me, I would seriously lose it and maybe need psychiatric counseling for several months afterwards."

You're not alone, man. The Nursery was one of the most terrifying places I've ever visited in a video game. Let's see who dares to see the whole tableau after the break!

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The Secret World ARG fails to fund

Horror, Culture, The Secret World, Virtual Worlds, Post-Apocalyptic, Crowdfunding

TSW
The Secret World's spin-off alternate reality game, The Black Watchmen, failed to meet its crowdfunding goal of $100,000 this week. As a result, all donations will be refunded and the team will hand out in-game outfits for its supporters.

The team hasn't said die yet, stating: "We are working hard to find alternative solutions for funding this great project and we hope we will be able to count on you in our future endeavours."

Currently, the team is doing a post-mortem and considering its next steps. Some of the possible options for future funding that the team is looking at include a Kickstarter campaign and a publisher. The Black Watchman was intended to be a long-running persistent ARG based in The Secret World universe.

The Stream Team: Time for Tokyo in The Secret World

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

Yeehaw! It's time for the Yank to spend some quality time in The Secret World's Tokyo expansion. Massively's MJ is taking her Illuminati to the Land of the Rising Sun now that Issue #9 The Black Signal has released. There are tons of new cut scenes to watch and new lore to scoop up. Come join us live at 12:00 p.m. EDT to check out the sights, sounds, and screams available in TSW's first new zone!

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, June 7th, 2014
Time: 12:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Issue 9 of The Secret World is live

Horror, Real-Life, Sci-Fi, Lore, Patches, News Items, The Secret World, Buy-to-Play

It's coming down.
Tokyo has been squatting like a gargoyle on the horizon of The Secret World since its launch nearly two years ago. Now, it's time for players to get into it. Issue 9 has just gone live, bringing with it the addition of the Tokyo playfield along with new missions, new monsters, and new revelations for the overarching story. But really, would you expect any less from the source of the Filth infestation?

Players will explore Tokyo starting at the same subway junction that set off the game's story, moving from there into the city proper. Once in the city, they'll be dealing with Orochi, Filth zombies, an oni infestation, and plenty of ghosts clustering about. If you want to know a little more about the content before you jump in, you can check out our tour of Tokyo from yesterday.

Chaos Theory: Touring Tokyo with TSW's Joel Bylos

Horror, Real-Life, Patches, Hands-On, The Secret World, First Impressions, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

It's Tokyo time! That's right, an end to the wait is finally upon us. Come Wednesday, everyone who buys Issue #9 The Black Signal for The Secret World and has acquired The Council's Seal will be able to cross the threshold into Tokyo.

Like you, I've been dying to get in and check out this new zone, the first new area introduced to the horror game since launch. Thanks to a special tour with Game Director Joel Bylos and Communications Manager Tor Egil Andersen, I was able to preview the first of the three Tokyo zones so I could share that experience with you. We not only explored the city itself, but we completed one of the new -- and might I add, really spooky -- missions and utilized the new AEGIS system.

So, how is it? Let me just say, it's worth the wait! And not just for the creepy homages to the Illuminati handler, Kirsten Geary.

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