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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.

E3 2014: SOE's evil ways on display in this H1Z1 teaser

Horror, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, H1Z1

How original
SOE has taken the wraps off "My Evil Ways," a new trailer for zombie sandbox H1Z1. The clip is comprised of gameplay footage and seems to endorse the kill-or-be-killed mentality that typically permeates apocalyptic fiction.

View it in full after the break!

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The Stream Team: Time for Tokyo in The Secret World

Horror, Real-Life, Video, Expansions, The Secret World, First Impressions, Livestream, The Stream Team, Buy-to-Play

Yeehaw! It's time for the Yank to spend some quality time in The Secret World's Tokyo expansion. Massively's MJ is taking her Illuminati to the Land of the Rising Sun now that Issue #9 The Black Signal has released. There are tons of new cut scenes to watch and new lore to scoop up. Come join us live at 12:00 p.m. EDT to check out the sights, sounds, and screams available in TSW's first new zone!

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Saturday, June 7th, 2014
Time: 12:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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World of Darkness apparently reached alpha three different times

Horror, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, World of Darkness, Sandbox

Press E to seduce
Former CCP employees have revealed to The Guardian that the studio's World of Darkness MMO reached an alpha state on three separate occasions before it was cancelled earlier this year.

"I tested it myself on two different occasions out of those three," said former dev Nick Blood (yes, really). "With the first playtest, I was amazed at how little of the core game was there -- at this point the game had been in development for over half a decade. I mean, there was just nothing, literally nothing, for someone like me, a complete outsider to the WOD IP, to appreciate."

Blood goes on to reveal that the game had some sort of Assassin's Creed-style movement system, though he calls it "very basic in comparison."

Issue 9 of The Secret World is live

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

It's coming down.
Tokyo has been squatting like a gargoyle on the horizon of The Secret World since its launch nearly two years ago. Now, it's time for players to get into it. Issue 9 has just gone live, bringing with it the addition of the Tokyo playfield along with new missions, new monsters, and new revelations for the overarching story. But really, would you expect any less from the source of the Filth infestation?

Players will explore Tokyo starting at the same subway junction that set off the game's story, moving from there into the city proper. Once in the city, they'll be dealing with Orochi, Filth zombies, an oni infestation, and plenty of ghosts clustering about. If you want to know a little more about the content before you jump in, you can check out our tour of Tokyo from yesterday.

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