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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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Flameseeker Chronicles: Crafting up a storm in Guild Wars 2

Game Mechanics, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Crafting, Buy-to-Play

Happy Batursday! Oh, wrong holiday. Wow, I'm sorry. This is why nobody invites me to the nice parties.
Merry Wintersday! Guild Wars 2's non-denominational twinkly winter celebration is in full swing. Despite earlier reports from ArenaNet that we'd get pure repeats of both Halloween and Wintersday, this year has added some new quests and a thematically appropriate relocation to Divinity's Reach. I was wrong last week about the sad Dickensian atmosphere of ruined Lion's Arch decorated with snowflakes, but there are still plenty of unfortunate children, so it all evens out.

As your resident Scrooge, I'm going to skirt around the topic of candy canes and jumping puzzles to talk about a game feature that's much closer to my heart: crafting. However, I come to lob snowballs at GW2's crafting system, not to praise it.

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Shroud of the Avatar drops Release 13 for the holidays

Betas, Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Patches, News Items, Shroud of the Avatar, Buy-to-Play

WE SMASH YOU A MERRY CRUSHMAS, WE SMASH YOU A MERRY CRUSHMAS, WE SMASH YOU A MERRY CRUSHMAS, AND WE ARE MAKE YOU PASTE.
The team behind Shroud of the Avatar has headed home for the holidays until December 28th, but a little present has been left behind for fans just the same. The latest update for the game is live on the servers, and it allows you to pick up a seasonal Yule Hat just for stopping in and checking out the new content. Also there is a whole lot of new stuff to play through, so a hat is probably not your primary incentive here, but the point is that the hat exists just the same.

To be fair, stopping in and checking out the content requires going through the game's Grand Tour quest, which will lead players through all of the new bits added in this update. That includes new crafting, new creatures, new skills, and new areas. Check out the full update for patch notes, details on how to clear out the Grand Tour, and upcoming community events.

Star Citizen releases Arena Commander 1.0

Betas, Sci-Fi, Patches, Sandbox, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

star citizen
Pilots, start your engines, for Star Citizen's Arena Commander 1.0 is here! Arena Commander is the next significant milestone for the modularly developed space sim. With AC 1.0, pilots can take their ships out for dogfighting or just to experience flight among the stars.

Arena Commander 1.0 also has the effect of growing Star Citizen's feature list. The team's tripled the number of flyable ships with 14 new vessels. Missiles were improved, while the game added a lobby system, a friends list, a ship signature system, a thruster power system, and a lateral g-force system. The team also improved many of the visuals, animations, and audio effects.

[Thanks to Chrysillis for the tip!]

Win part of a $50,000 pool at Guild Wars 2's PAX East tournament

Fantasy, Contests, Events (Real-World), Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

gw2
Fancy yourself a not-half-bad PvP player? Are you keen on the notion of winning enough money to avoid work or school for a year so that you can concentrate on MMO gaming? Then step right up to Guild Wars 2's World Tournament Series Championship at PAX East next spring, where the winners will dip into a $50,000 prize pool.

The tournament will take place on March 7th, 2015, at the gaming convention in Boston. Players from several countries are welcome to face off against each other, although teams will have to compete and win in earlier qualifiers to make it to the championship. You'll have to be at least 18 and from the US, Canada, Mexico, or the EU to participate. A cool perk of making it to the championship is that ArenaNet will foot the bill for teams' airfare, hotel, and a per diem.

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 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.

Elite: Dangerous offers cash prizes in the race to 'Elite'

Sci-Fi, Contests, Game Mechanics, New Titles, News Items, Promotions, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Elite
Why launch a space MMO when you can launch a space MMO and a giant competition for cash money? That's exactly what Elite: Dangerous is up to just a day after its formal launch. Frontier is offering several huge cash prizes for players who reach the "Elite" rank in various gameplay categories.
Entrants must start from a fresh save on the release version of Elite: Dangerous, starting with the Sidewinder and 1,000 CR, and use 'Open Play' multiplayer mode only. They can use the slight advantage of the Eagle starship offered as part of Elite: Dangerous' Mercenary Edition, but otherwise it should be a level playing field. If in Frontier's sole opinion, there has been any cheating, then an entry may be disallowed. This is a skill-based competition with the following prizes for the first person to reach:
1. Elite in combat - £1,000 or $1,500 or €1,200*
2. Elite in exploration - £1,000 or $1,500 or €1,200*
3. Elite in trading - £1,000 or $1,500 or €1,200*
4. Elite in all three - £10,000 or $15,000 or €12,000*
(* currency as applicable)
Participants must clear their saves, start their journey post-release, and play entirely in open play mode. Anyone out there going for it?

Guild Wars 2 kicks off Wintersday events

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Patches, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

gw2
The event avalanche of Guild Wars 2's Wintersday has gotten up to full speed and is currently roaring down upon the game's population.

Today's update activates the previous years' Wintersday content as well as a few new additions. There's the Wondrous Workshop to explore, jumping puzzles, bell choir minigames, the Snowball Mayhem battle royale, and a quest to track down Grawnk to get a Wintersday tree for home instances.

The patch also activates a couple of PvP events, new Wintersday-themed cash shop cosmetics, the daily login rewards, and the latest overhaul of the daily achievement system.

WildStar's next big update and holiday surprise

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, Endgame, News Items, WildStar, Dungeons, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Now if you'd jut say that Glory is available from shiphands, we'd be moving somewhere!
The first major WildStar update of 2015 is available on the test servers now. Yes, there's a little time before it actually goes live for everyone. Creative Director Chad Moore took the opportunity today to explain to the community everything contained within the new update, starting with the addition of two new dungeons (the Protostar Academy and the Ultimate Protogames), a new Shiphand mission, and the addition of veteran-level Shiphand missions that can still be cleared solo or in a group as you'd like.

This update also includes new housing options, cosmetic options for characters (including the ability to edit your appearance post-character creation), and the addition of the new Glory currency for completing dungeons and raids, which can be exchanged for high-end equipment. Last but not least, it's the update that includes the long-discussed drop of the Datascape raid down to 20 players, making it less of a challenge to assemble a roster for this content. While it remains to be seen how well the update actually plays, it looks to be filled with a number of positive changes for the game.

In other WildStar news today, the studio is running holiday promotion during December. "Carbine wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holiday and spread some cheer by giving out 12 Days of Boom Boxes," wrote Community Manager Tony Rey yesterday. "Everyone that has logged into WildStar during the month of December (12/1-12/15) will receive these sweet little bundles of potential."

Elite: Dangerous' launch-day roundup

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Business Models, Launches, New Titles, News Items, Massively Meta, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Elite
Successfully Kickstarted just over two years ago, David Braben's space MMO Elite: Dangerous formally launched early this morning, a rare buy-to-play entry in the MMO market and one of the most high-profile Kickstarter MMOs to actually reach launch to date. If you're heading to the comments right now to inform us that Elite isn't an MMO because of its single-player mode, know that the tide's against you; even Frontier, in the midst of controversy over the cancelation of its originally promised offline mode, justified that decision because Elite is an MMO and "technically [...] always has been."

Elite: Dangerous won Massively's Most Underrated MMO of the year by a hair just last week. Check out the launch trailer and our roundup of the best Elite news, streams, and hands-on articles by the Massively staff below!

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Zombie sandbox MMO Immune enters early access on Steam

Betas, Horror, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, News Items, Promotions, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Buy-to-Play

Immune
If you can't wait for H1Z1 and want to slay some zombies this Christmas, perhaps isometric post-apoc sandbox Immune will suffice. Billed by developer Vidiludi Games & Entertainment as an MMORPG, Immune launches into early access today and is pushing for Steam greenlighting.
"Immune is a humorous early access sandbox survival MMORPG with PVP and PVE, in which you scavenge, hunt, and even grow your own food to survive. Inspired by classics such as DayZ, Rust, and Stalker, Immune takes place in a post-apocalyptic world following an outbreak of a devastating pandemic leaving only a handful of survivors. But beware of the gasmask wearing NPCs doing everything in their power to avoid the infection by shooting everyone sick or immune in the face!"
The game is currently $10 US on the developer's website, half off as a holiday promotion.

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Guild Wars 2 celebrates the holidays with a player murder spree

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), PvP, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

gw2
Don't get too comfy and cozy with that hot cocoa and crackling fire; Guild Wars 2 is calling all fighters to arms for epic PvP conflict over the next month. Today, the team posted details for the game's two upcoming PvP events, both starting tomorrow and ending on January 13th.

The fun and casualties begin with the WvW Sneak Attack event, which will change some of the established rules for this setting to make it harder to see who is attacking what and give a bonus to experience and rewards earned. Then the team is testing out a PvP ladder season, with prizes such as mini llamas and glorious hero's armor pieces to those who kick and claw their way up the rankings.

Elite: Dangerous has no offline mode for story reasons

Betas, Sci-Fi, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

These just keep going, huh.
Frontier Developments head honcho David Braben has been working overtime to defend the 11th-hour revelation that Elite: Dangerous will have no offline play option. A recent video interview with Braben includes his response to these issues; he states that it's not off the table, but it's incompatible with the way that the game handles storytelling. The game world is meant to change over time based on player actions, and it wasn't as functional without players being affected by each another.

Braben explains that the game's missions are generated in part by aggregates of player activity; if a majority of players choose to support a rebel faction on a given planet, for example, then that faction becomes more powerful, and the nature of missions related to those rebels changes. Keeping the game online ensures that these changes can be reflected in gameplay, making the experience more dynamic and engaging. The full interview also covers the details of beta testing and control setups, if you're not as interested in the fine details of staying online while playing in single-player mode.

Elite: Dangerous formally launches tomorrow.

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