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Horror

F.E.A.R. Online comes to S.T.E.A.M.

Horror, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Promotions

fear
As we all know, your games are incapable of being scary if they're not powered by the hatred of a forsaken child. That's why you need a jolt of F.E.A.R. Online this Halloween, an experience that is easier than ever to procure now that it's on Steam. You'll also be happy to know that the Desert Storm M4A1 DLC is currently on sale at 10% off, bringing it down from $0.99 to $0.89.

This online free-to-play horror-themed shooter features both a co-op and PvP mode, the latter of which can turn players into literal beasts. F.E.A.R. also has a Soul King mode that allows players to "possess" enemy mobs in order to attack fellow players from any direction.

This weekend's golden in The Secret World

Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, The Secret World, Promotions

Got MMO plans for your weekend yet? If not, you might want to check in with The Secret World, since Funcom is hosting what it calls a Golden Weekend with "massive bonuses" and a "gilded rage event."

Yes, you can hunt down that rampaging golden Guardian of Gaia, and you can also enjoy double AP as well as 30 percent extra Funcom points on every purchase. Get all the event details via the links below!

H1Z1's senior designer on item degradation, crafting, and more

Horror, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crafting, H1Z1

SOE has released a new H1Z1 dev spotlight video. The dev in question is one Paul Carrico, senior game designer on the open world survival sandbox.

Carrico spends the vid's four-minute running time fielding fan-generated questions, one of which pertains to crafting. "Crafting can get really deep," he says, before giving an example of makeshift weapon fabrication. Carrico also mentions ammo variation, though he says that flaming, exploding, and poison-tipped arrows will have to wait until after H1Z1's early access goes live.

Finally, Carrico talks about item degradation, which will affect everything from weapons to structures to tools. Click past the cut to watch the full clip.

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How 'feel' trumps realism in H1Z1's weapon design

Horror, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, H1Z1

H1Z1
H1Z1 Senior Game Designer Jimmy Whisenhunt has penned another dev blog about SOE's inbound survival sandbox, this one aimed at weapon design, starting with the modeling and rigging process. Animation design in particular, he says, is critical. "A huge part of the tuning process that is commonly overlooked in FPS game development is how a weapon reacts to in-game actions," Whisenhunt explains. "Design and Animation have to be in lock-step for a successful feel in combat; we need to have the same vision to ensure a solid experience for the player."

He also discusses recoil and shooting mechanics and how "feel" can trump realism.
"We've mentioned in the past that we want to avoid tuning and creating things simply because they 'that's the way it is in real life,' which means I get to take to take a realistic ballistic and weapon recoil feel and make it feel satisfying and fun. Typically the gravity of projectiles in real life doesn't fit the intended play experience we seek out. After all, the weapon feel and functionality has to fit our world design as well as Zombie and Player combat."
The full dev blog is on the official site. We took a look at H1Z1's art and lighting effects last week.

How graphics will help H1Z1 set a creepy mood

Historical, Horror, Trailers, Video, Interviews, Previews, PvP, News Items, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, H1Z1

H1Z1
Do you care a whole lot about graphical fidelity when you're running away from shooting zombies in the face with a sawed-off shotgun? Fabulous; we have just the video for you. SOE has just posted a Q&A video featuring H1Z1 Art Director Bill Yeatts, who fields player-submitted questions about the upcoming zombie-survival-sandbox's graphics. Yeatts explains how SOE chose H1Z1's art style, how that art style will evolve as early access approaches, and just how he plans to make the game look and feel really scary (obviously, a zombie plague isn't terrifying enough).

Enjoy the dev spotlight below.

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Chaos Theory: New Sidestories show The Secret World's innovative side

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

When I talked about 10 of the most compelling missions in The Secret World last time, I purposefully left out the new Sidestories mission packs. One reason is that I've already spoken a bit about Further Analysis; the other is that the third and latest pack was slated to arrive soon and I intended to talk about all of them together. As it turns out, it actually released the same day that Chaos Theory did! Since then, I've had the chance to dive in and experience some of those missions. As usual, I was not disappointed. Besides providing the expected interesting new characters and great stories, The Last Pagan highlighted something else: TSW continues to be innovative!

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Exclusive: Zombies Monsters Robots launches T-Rekt update tomorrow [Updated]

Horror, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, MMOFPS, Humor, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively

Zombies Monsters Robots
En Masse's not-so-massive co-op online shooter Zombies Monsters Robots heard you liked dinosaurs, so it's launching a dino-themed update tomorrow. In the aptly named T-Rekt patch, "players will find themselves battling for survival against some of the most terrifying, prehistoric beasts that walked the Earth, including a T-Rex with a rocket launcher strapped to its back" because of course it's a T-Rex with a rocket launcher strapped to its back; the game is called Zombies Monsters Robots for skies' sake.

The studio also promises three new co-op maps, three new competitive maps, and new gear in the patch.

We've got the launch trailer as well as some fresh screenshots below. Enjoy!

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The Stream Team: Solving new Sidestories in The Secret World

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

It's back to Tokyo for The Secret World's newest Sidestories! Massively's MJ and Justin are excited to dive into this latest mission pack boasting six new missions, including two investigations. With a title like The Last Pagan, this pack promises that special TSW feel that you know and love. How many missions can they knock out in one hour's time, and which ones will they choose? That all depends on if you come on the adventure with them, so join them live at 9:00 p.m. and get in on the newest content.

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie & Justin Olivetti
Date: Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Game Archaeologist: How Hellgate survived being Flagshipped

Horror, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, The Game Archaeologist, Post-Apocalyptic

hellgate
It seems that it really wasn't too long ago that I was filling in the time between night classes by boning up on video game news. I was drinking up all of the hot up-and-comers, such as Age of Conan and Warhammer Online, when I caught word that the maker of Diablo was trying to do the same thing again, only more online, in 3-D, and with a cool modern-day/futuristic/horror vibe.

There's no better way to put it than to say that from the start, Hellgate: London looked all kinds of cool. Oh sure, you can scoff now with your perfect 20/20 hindsight, but I'm betting that more than a few of you thought the same with me around that time. Diablo but with guns and an online persistence -- how could we not be intrigued? One of my most vivid memories was being torn between the idea of buying a lifetime subscription deal for $150 (again, this was before the free-to-play era, but also before the era of us spending the same money on alpha access. I'm just saying that you can't judge me.).

I didn't buy the lifetime sub, if you were wondering, but I did play. I even enjoyed Hellgate: London for a month or so, although something about it never quite clicked with me. It was only after I bailed that I watched with horror that one of the most infamous chapters of video game disasters took place. It's kind of like when you look at pictures of an earthquake and say to anyone near, "I was just standing there a week ago..."

From its giddy heights of pre-launch hype to the crash simply known as being "Flagshipped" to its subsequent resurrections (yes, plural), Hellgate is a fascinating tale of a good idea, a terrible launch, corporate scapegoating, and improbable survival.

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Chaos Theory: Ten compelling Secret World missions

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

Chaos Theory:  The Secret World's missions are steeped in awesomesauce
One thing that The Secret World does extremely well is story. Few would argue that point: It's compelling, surprising, even chill-inducing, packing enough emotional punches to leave you stunned on occasion but always eager for more, which is what makes doing missions in TSW so much more enjoyable than many other MMOs. And it isn't just the overarching main story line, either. All the missions spread throughout the zones, from investigation to sabotage to even the piddliest of little side missions, tie into the story in some fashion. So missing a mission means you might miss some tantalizing tidbit. Fortunately, you needn't be a completionist to have a drive to seek out and experience every single mission. Instead of being faced with the usual desire to just move on ahead once you've "out-leveled" a zone, you literally scour to make sure you don't leave any task undone lest you miss out on any of the story.

Now that said, there are some missions that are just jaw-dropping for one reason or another, ones that stop your heart or tear at it. All missions have merit, but some are just so amazing you wish you could do them for the first time over and over. There's even a grieving period when you know you can never relive that initial rush! Here are just a few of the missions that I'd personally recommend that all players experience (with as few spoilers as possible).

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The Secret World adds a new set of side missions

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

Police cops.
Are you ready for more Tokyo action in The Secret World? A sextet of side missions is now available for owners of the Issue #9 content, kicking off with a bank heist and moving on to handle rockabilly gangs, surveillance cameras, and a Flappy nest. It's a full dose of sabotage, investigation, and the usual joy of finding supernatural creatures and beating them down with your own supernatural powers.

So what do you get for all of these antics? A free Deep Mystery Box, which is nice, but you also get the Lorenzian Fabricator, which allows you to move to Tokyo from anywhere in the world. That's quite useful if you've got places to be and problems to solve elsewhere. This update also allows players access to the new Efficiency and Proficiency skills to improve AEGIS mastery, so owners of the game's most recent major update will want to hop on board and start exploring the new missions.

H1Z1 takes out starting axe based on player feedback

Betas, Horror, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, H1Z1

h1xz1
This past month's conventions and player hands-on have been influential to the development of H1Z1, according to a new post today by Senior Game Designer Jimmy Whisenhunt.

"After much discussion and some debate, we decided to make several targeted and deliberate changes to how the player will be dropped into our world," Whisenhunt wrote. "One of the biggest changes we've made is to the starting equipment your character spawns into our apocalypse ridden world with. Being a massive sandbox MMO without XP patting you on the back, progression mechanics have to feel solid and early game combat needed to be more challenging."

The biggest change revolves around the removal of the starting axe in order to get players more involved in crafting, exploration, and combat paths. Instead, players will fight with their fists, which can actually trigger combos if done right. Another significant change is the decision to spawn weapons on top of counters and crafting items inside of objects so that finding weapons on the fly is easier to do.

The Secret World announces Sidestories: The Last Pagan mission pack

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

tsw
The summer content drought for The Secret World is almost at an end, as Game Director Joel Bylos announced today that the game will be releasing a new mission pack "in the next couple of weeks."

Sidestories: The Last Pagan will contain six additional missions to the game, including two investigation quests. These missions will all be located in or around Tokyo, and when all six are completed, they will reward the players with a teleport to Tokyo from anywhere else in the game.

Bylos said that the team is also making improvements to the AEGIS system with two new skills and installing an on-screen notifications system to facilitate communication between the game and the player. It also looks as though TSW will be selling emotes, hairstyles, and makeup unlocks in the store as well as adding them as mission rewards.

Past the sidestories pack will be Issues #10 and #11, the latter of which will contain a unification of the raiding experience.

PAX Prime 2014: Going on a deer hunt in H1Z1

Betas, Horror, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Humor, Events (Massively's Coverage), H1Z1

h1z1
The time was just before dawn, with colors muted by the limited light. I silently roamed through fog banks, looking for a quarry in the woods and finding none. It was my first time playing H1Z1, and I had no other purpose than to find something living (or unliving) and end it with my hefty axe.

Suddenly I spotted it: the flash of a white tail as a deer sprinted away from me through the brush. I pressed down the sprint button and went after it, chewing through my stamina and cursing my lack of four legs or gasoline-powered wheels.

The deer led me on a grim chase through the mostly silent woodland. At one point, a wolf appeared out from behind a tree and sprinted after the doe as well, although it couldn't catch up and eventually became disheartened (or glitched out). Yes, I felt both gruesome and silly spending my moments at the demo booth trying to kill Bambi, but I needed to know if I would be able to survive in this environment.

One wrong move and I was upon the prey, bringing it down with a sickening thud. Continuing to hack away at the carcass with my axe found me rewarded with more crafting materials and a dented conscience. Stricken, I wandered away and roamed up a hill, only to encounter a strange solitary sign with a skull on it.

"That marks the border of the game," a nearby developer told me while another dev professed amazement that he had never seen such signs before. "If you go past here, you'll die," the first dev cautioned.

Maybe I deserve to die. If chopping through a tender critter is what it takes to survive in this new world, is that worth the cost? I put down the controls and walked away, innocent no longer.

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PAX Prime 2014: H1Z1's bears will end you

Betas, Horror, Interviews, Previews, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage), H1Z1

h1z1
In most MMOs, bears are chunky cannon fodder: good for lowbie XP and a sad scrap of a pelt as loot. In H1Z1, bears are possibly more terrifying than zombies and gankers combined. At PAX Prime this weekend, Senior Game Designer Jimmy Whisenhunt explained that in this game, a bear attacked will run you down as fast as it does in nature and make a plaything of your skull. It's a good thing that they're relatively rare and give a warning roar before charging, otherwise the zombies would be coming to you for help.

Expanding the role of nature is essential to the immersion of H1Z1's survival aspect. Wolves, deer, and bear roam the countryside, getting into the occasional tiff with each other and the undead. They're useful if you can take them down quickly, since the harsh elements (such as rain and snow) will soon be programmed to degrade your well-being and those animal pelts could be made into clothes.

Whisenhunt walked us through the four essential stats to staying alive in this world. Stamina is for sprinting and attacks, and while it regenerates quickly, neglecting it will ensure your body will draw from your hydration and energy levels instead. Your health is also constantly ticking down and replenished by the food and water you drink, meaning that you'll always need to be looking for more to scarf up and quaff in your journeys. Stashing your food in your backpack is a good option, although the team is still tinkering with the style of inventory to make the limited storage another survival factor.

When H1Z1 goes into early access later this year, there will be one "vanilla" server on which no punches will be pulled (this is doubly true as all players will start with only their fists as weapons). Other types of servers, such as player-only or PvE rulesets, are possibilities once the team assesses how players are engaging the game in beta.

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