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Horror

H1Z1's audio is a key part of its immersion

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

h1z1
When done right, you hardly ever consciously acknowledge a game's sound, but when it's missing or done poorly, it can jar a player out of desired immersion. In a dev diary posted today, H1Z1 Technical Architect Greg Spence talks about the sound of the game and demonstrates a few tests.

"So much goes into making these sounds seem realistic beyond just choosing an audio file to play," Spence explains. "Taking into account your surroundings, whether you are inside or outside, what type of ground you are on, time of day, and even weather can play a big part in the final thing you hear."

Spence discusses sound effects, environment sounds, and, of course, music. You can check out the audio test videos after the break!

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Chaos Theory: Exploring the Halloween that almost wasn't in The Secret World

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

Chaos Theory: Exploring the Halloween that almost wasn't in The Secret World
Funcom just about blew it. I have cut The Secret World plenty of slack for hiccups and bumps over the years (and I am willing to do so in the future because it just doesn't have an equal in the MMOverse and it does what it does so well), but this last one can't be brushed off. This latest misstep could have cost TSW dearly in good will, patience, and even players. You don't take the holiday that the game is essentially based on and not celebrate it!

Luckily, TSW's much-anticipated Halloween event did finally show up, albeit 10 days late -- barely in time for the holiday. I am betting that the delay has cost the company some cash. The build-up to this holiday is a huge part of the excitement; the weeks preceding All Hallows' Eve is the perfect time to get people who are in the Halloween mood to return to the game or dive in and try it for the first time> Not to mention it's the time when folks are more apt to buy costumes! Funcom squandered that. And why the delay, anyway? During my Issue #8 tour last year, Creative Director Joel Bylos teased, "Our Halloween next year is going to be amazing! I wrote it for this year, but we didn't get done in enough time." Wasn't 12 more months enough time? We've been waiting with bated breath!

So after all that wait, and then even more, is the event worth it? My answer is...

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The Stream Team: Celebrating Halloween in The Secret World

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

It's finally Halloween! And there's no place better to celebrate this special day than deep in The Secret World. Massively's MJ has been champing at the bit to see what new missions are available for All Hallow's Eve this year, and they have arrived just in the nick of time. As per her yearly tradition, MJ's playing through the holiday content with you. Can the newest story beat the awesomeness of last year's tales? Just how spooky will The Broadcast turn out to be? Join us live at 3:00 p.m. for a dose of tricks and treats as MJ revels in the holiday spirit and gives out goodies in hopes of earning the coveted Thriller dance!

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, October 31st, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Massively's MMO guide to Halloween 2014

Horror, Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Massively Meta, Promotions, Miscellaneous

Defiance
MMORPG fans love to play dress-up. Admit it! We do it every day with our characters, even if we pretend we're just "checking out our stats" when we're rifling through the hundreds of pieces of cosmetic gear in our banks. That's what makes Halloween our magic holiday!

Following what is now epic tradition, we've rounded up all the big MMORPG Halloween events and sales for 2014 as well as a few little ones and some from our favorite MOBAs and OARPGs too. The list isn't exhaustive, so feel free to chime in with any we've missed that you love!

Now, furbish up your pumpkin heads and get in there. That virtual candy isn't gonna eat itself.

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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.

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