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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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H1Z1 graphics programmer hints at other weather types

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

h1z1
SOE Graphics Programmer Ryan Favale is the target of a new H1Z1 video. In it, he discusses the games that he's playing, notable bugs, and his role on the upcoming zombie sandbox. Favale said that he's primarily working on the dynamic weather system.

"That's my main job on H1Z1, to bring as many weather conditions and effects and environmental immersion as possible," Favale said. He teased the possibility of hurricanes, tornadoes, and dust storms, but didn't promise that they'd make them into the game.

You can watch the video after the break.

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SOE teases H1Z1's dynamic weather

Horror, Galleries, Screenshots, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, H1Z1

H1Z1
We all know that the most important thing to your MMO immersions when you're neck-deep in zombies and dastardly corpse-looting player-killers is whether you can wear a t-shirt in a blizzard with impunity. Worry not, roleplay fiends, for SOE has today teased its dynamic weather system for upcoming survival MMO H1Z1 via a septet of screenshots that show the effect of changing seasons on the environment. Enjoy!

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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SOE Live player panels include support for military gamers

Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (Real-World), Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Landmark, H1Z1

soe live
SOE Live posted its list of player panels today for its convention, with topics ranging from supporting military gamers to fansite management. The full list is as follows:

Friday, August 15
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm -– EQ2U & Dragon's Armory
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm –- Live Together, Die Alone: Surviving H1Z1 as a Group
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm –- Inter-Outfit Operations in PS2
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm –- Become Your Character: Tricks and Tips for Cosplay
  • 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm –- Military Gamers: Taking Care of Each Other
Saturday, August 16
  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am -– Social Media/Steaming & Fansites
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm -– Effective Guild and League Management
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm –- Improving Your EverQuest
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm –- DCUO – Advanced Raid Tactics
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm –- The New Conglomerate
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm -– Hardcore Decorating in EQII
  • 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm –- EQII Game Macros, ACT Triggers, and You!

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.

DayZ switches over to DirectX 11 and reworked controls

Betas, Horror, Interviews, MMOFPS, Buy-to-Play

dayz
The days of DayZ as we knew it are over; all hail the upcoming changes to everyone's favorite gankfest featuring the occasional zombie!

In an interview this week, DayZ creator Dean Hall outlined six improvements that the team is working on for the standalone version of the game. Right out of the gate is the decision to add an option to toggle DirectX 11 to make everything look a lot better. "Implementing DirectX 10 or 11 will have a dramatic, instant visual difference and quite a significant performance difference," Hall said.

Other changes include new 64-bit server architecture, better hunting mechanics, improved controls, a reworked loot system, and an early game experience fashioned specifically for new players.

H1Z1 working hard on Steam early access prep

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

SOE Technical Director Tom Schenck penned the first dev blog for H1Z1 yesterday, saying that the team is in overdrive preparing the title for its debut on Steam Early Access. However, in regard to a specific date as to when H1Z1 will be publicly available, Schenck wasn't sharing.

Schenck said that the team is strongly focusing on getting the antagonists to look and play the part: "High priority on our Early Access feature list is polishing group behavior and tuning Emergent AI systems to the entire ecosystem. Our AI team is going nuts regulating interactions for all of the NPC characters in the game including zombies, deer, wolves, and more."

Other stated priorities for the team right now include fine tuning melee combat, maxing out performance, and bug hunting.

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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Smedley plays H1Z1 on Steam, talks early access

Betas, Horror, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, H1Z1

John Smedley tells Reddit that he has played H1Z1 on Steam. "It's our first step toward early access launch," he writes, though the date is still up in the air.

"We don't mean to be coy about the date," he says. "We just realized after that initial date it would be smarter to announce it after our feature list was complete. So expect to hear more on the date fairly soon." Smedley also mentions a few features that the dev team is currently working on, including bow crafting, "shooting a deer in the eye with the bow," and more.

[Header image by H1Z1Jane via SOE]

Star Trek Online opens up Hearts and Minds for one day only

Horror, Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Subscription

You'll meet an army of me.
It's Friday the 13th today, the most ominous of all day-and-date combinations. (Tuesday the 21st doesn't have a horror film series named after it.) Star Trek Online is celebrating as a result by giving players access to a special mini-episode, Hearts and Minds, an irregularly visited mission that is available to players only until 9 a.m. EDT on June 14th.

Players who choose to take part in the mission are sent to investigate a Vulcan doctor and see just what happens when some unconventional research goes a bit too far. The mission is short and is meant to be creepy rather than gruesome, a quick vignette for any captains above level 10. You can also get a special reward for taking part, although you might feel a bit... unsettled afterward.

E3 2014: Hands-on with H1Z1

Betas, Horror, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, First Impressions, Events (Massively's Coverage), Sandbox, H1Z1

H1Z1
I'm coughing. My head hurts. I'm tired, hungry, and thirsty. I'm not hearing things anymore, but when I close my eyes for too long, I feel disoriented. And this was before I got my hands on H1Z1! I'm sick at E3, but well enough to see through some spin while looking at a winner. If you're tired of hype, false promises, and pay-to-play alphas, come read between the lines with me as I recount the experience of my H1Z1 demo.

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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.

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