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The Secret World

Chaos Theory: These are a few of my favorite Secret World things

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

Chaos Theory:  These are a few of my favorite Secret World things
There's a lot about The Secret World to like. So much so, in fact, that you just can't name it all in once place! I've had to split talking about the best parts of this conspiracy-laden masterpiece into a number of different Chaos Theorys, from my favorite first moments to amazing NPCs to fabulous places to favorite missions. Even Massively's Justin Olivetti chimed in with his favorite characters. But not even that can cover it all. That means today I'll tackle another topic: my favorite things. TSW has a plethora of little gems scattered throughout the game that enhance the play experience and attest to the level of detail put into development. And I'll totally go all Julie Andrews and sing their praises, hilltop or not. I only have so much room, however, so these are my top choices; be sure to add your own in the comments below!

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One Shots: Shroud of the Santa

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, The Secret World, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, Shroud of the Avatar

sota
Well, this pleases me like punch: One Shots' very first Shroud of the Avatar screenshot submission! I recall thinking that this indie MMO looked so much better than I previously thought when I got my hands on it last August, so I'm glad to see Massively readers going on a photo safari in it.

Reader JohnD is responsible for this unusual sight: "Here is a shot of Johanis Lolar, who is busy adventuring. I'm not sure his Santa cap helps him blend, but he's doing his best."

I always like to assume that Santa spends his off-season lurking in weeds and ambushing stray travelers with presents, so this picture plays into that fantasy. What? I'm normal; my parents had me tested.

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One Shots: Haiku edition

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, The Secret World, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, Elite: Dangerous

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Believe it or not, I have been listening to you guys in the comments, and I know that there's been an ongoing desire for One Shots to provide the full-size pictures that are otherwise shrunk by our size limitations. So I'm happy to announce that starting this week, I'm including a gallery at the end of the column that will allow you to pull up larger screenshots if so desired.

A few weeks ago I issued a screenshot challenge for folks to send in a haiku poem in addition to their picture. A select few of you did, starting with this striking pose from Final Fantasy XIV by reader Wolfyseyes:

Facing this challenge
One thought repeats in my mind:
Please, please, please don't suck

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Chaos Theory: Opening up Tokyo and why else I'm a Secret World fan for life

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

Chaos Theory:  Opening Tokyo and other reasons why I'm a Secret World fan for life
I may be a lifetime member of The Secret World, but more than that, I am a lifetime fan! Why? It's not because I live and breathe the game; I don't need to play daily for hours on end to truly appreciate its qualities and what it brings to the MMOverse. But there are plenty of reasons that TSW has earned my loyalty, not the least of which is demonstrated in Joel Bylos' recent game director letter. Tucked in between talk of the 2014 content and the upcoming improved new player experience is this little gem: The team intends to open Tokyo up to all players! Beyond the story and the events, it is how the team constantly focuses on bringing customers a genuine experience that remains true to the spirit of the game. Is everything about The Secret World perfect? Not at all. There's plenty of room for improvement and added content. But I feel confident in the direction, and the following reasons are why I will continue to champion this gem.

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Funcom announces Anima Well Wednesdays for TSW

Fantasy, Horror, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, News Items, The Secret World

Funcom has announced a new Secret World event series called Anima Well Wednesday. What does it entail? It sounds like the content will vary. Community manager Gray "Tomium" Hogan says players can challenge Funcom reps in the fight club, "train 400 mobs to us," or kick back and ask questions of various unnamed guests.

To join, send a meet up request to Tomium or Sezmra every Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

The Secret World's Bylos on 2015, Tokyo, and more

Fantasy, Horror, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, The Secret World, Dev Diaries

The Secret World game director Joel Bylos has penned an end-of-the-year/beginning-of-the-year producer's letter. The first half of his post serves as a tidy summary of TSW's content releases in 2014, while the second half focuses on how Funcom will complete the Tokyo storyline, improve the new player experience, and release new multiplayer content over the course of 2015.

"There is a significant backlog of planned Tokyo content that we need to evaluate," Bylos explains. "We have material for a few more side stories as well as a new scenario map, auxiliary weapon, and lair content."

The Stream Team: Christmas and conspiracies in The Secret World

Horror, Real-Life, Video, Events (In-Game), The Secret World, Livestream, The Stream Team, Buy-to-Play

The Stream Team: Christmas and conspiracies in The Secret World
You might think of Halloween as the holiday in The Secret World, but Christmas is pretty awesome, too! And this year's event is a Christmas Conspiracy that brings together all the familiar elements of the season in the way only TSW can -- with Krampuses and Mayans to boot. Massively's MJ has received gift tickets to a performance of The Magic Flute at the Albion Theatre, and she's inviting you along to watch the show and see where this conspiracy leads. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. for the special Christmas night performance. Warning: Spoilers are guaranteed!

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, December 25th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Chaos Theory: A guide to TSW's Christmas Conspiracies event

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

Silver bells, Krampus and Hel,
It's Christmas time in
The Secret World
Ring a ling, hear them scream,
Soon you will see a Christmas play!


Ahh, it's the holidays. A time when other games pull out the stops on cute and cuddly, flinging festive colors and joviality about like Christmas confetti to make a joyous celebration. Then you have The Secret World. In TSW, the season is dark, twisted, and fiendish; nightmares are brought to life, and conspiracies worm their ways throughout even the most revered of traditions. And we wouldn't have it any other way!

I always wonder how on earth the devs are going to top themselves each new event, and this season's Christmas Conspiracies definitely does not disappoint! From the story to the puzzles, this mission chain fits right in. It even incorporated my favorite new element introduced this year -- music -- and literally makes you play for your reward. Want to experience it? You've got until January 5th to thwart the conspiracy and collect all the treasure you can. (Of course, even if you have done the two previous Christmas' events, you'll want to do them again just to get the special goodie bags!)

Here's a not-quite-a-guide to help nudge you through. As always, I won't offer a direct step-by-step walkthrough but instead will just drop hints (in italics) to help you along. That said, here's your warning: There will be spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk! If, however, you want even more spoilers, watch Massively TV tonight, December 25th, at 9:00 p.m. for a Stream Team walkthrough special.

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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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