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Chaos Theory: The value of The Secret World's DLCs

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

Chaos Theory: The value of The Secret World's DLCs
This question was posed to me recently by a few different readers and stream viewers: Are The Secret World's DLCs a good value? As I pondered the question, I decided that instead of answering each query personally, it would be a good topic to explore here in Chaos Theory. Besides, the answer is definitely not a short one! (It can't even fit in a single column!)

So why can't I just fire off a simple yes or no to this question? The biggest problem is trying to provide an objective answer to a very subjective situation. While the meaning of value itself is clearly defined, said definition emphasizes that the judgment is individual to whoever is involved. How each player defines value is very personal, so I can't really answer for anyone except myself. What I can do, however, is provide as much of the objective information that I can so you can make your own subjective judgment on the value. Are TSW's issues and sidestories packs worth it? Let's look at the value from various viewpoints and you decide!

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RuneFest 2014 dated for October 11

Fantasy, Real-Life, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

RuneFest
Jagex has announced the date and a few key details on this year's RuneScape-flavored real-life event, RuneFest.

On Saturday, October 11, Jagex will be returning to London's Tobacco Dock for the largest RuneScape event of the year. This year will feature panels and parties that promise to be bigger and better than ever before. While more details are still forthcoming, we do know that the cost will be £99 for a full One-Day Pass. You can keep an eye on any further RuneFest news by watching the event's Facebook and Twitter pages.

APB shames cheaters, talks usage and purchasing stats

Real-Life, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Dev Diaries

APB Reloaded's latest dev blog post details the implementation of cheat detector FairFight into the MMO shooter. The update also reveals some pretty interesting stats related to cheaters as well as the game's overall performance. "The number of cheaters who log in to the game stayed pretty constant around 1.2 percent of all players (some of which were re-rolls)," wrote GamersFirst's Bjorn Book-Larsson.

Surprisingly, 60 percent of those cheaters were paying players. Book-Larsson says that only about 10 percent of APB's monthly unique players make new purchases in a given month, while 30 percent of players have made a purchase at some point during their account history.

Book-Larsson goes on to say that APB is the 19th most-played game in the history of Steam, just ahead of Borderlands 2 and just behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Finally, GamersFirst has publicized a list of banned cheaters for the month of July, complete with player and clan names and various other account statistics.

The Crew's PC closed beta starts July 21

Betas, Real-Life, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items

Shelby GT500
Ubisoft's open-world racer The Crew kicks off its PC closed beta on July 21st. The firm has posted a news blurb on its website stating that the first test phase will run through July 25th, which is earlier than previously announced.

Players will be able to "explore the entire United States with no loading screen" including all missions and skill challenges in the Midwest, all skill challenges on the East Coast, and free roaming in the South, Mountain State, and West Coast regions.

The Crew launches on November 11th.

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World of Speed zips through Moscow in a new trailer

Betas, Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Previews, News Items, Miscellaneous

World of Speed
Vroooooooooom!

World of Speed today unveils its latest trailer, this one featuring what the devs are calling a "Dream Drive" through Moscow. The game is currently accepting applications for its upcoming closed beta test; you can sign up on the official site. Enjoy the video below!

[Source: Slightly Mad Studios press release]

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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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Star Wars Galaxies lead designer passes away

Real-Life, MMO Industry, Miscellaneous

SWG
Massively is saddened by the news that veteran MMO designer Ben Hanson has passed away, according to a recent tweet by friend and fellow designer Raph Koster.

Koster and Hanson worked together on Star Wars Galaxies's Jump to Lightspeed expansion, on which Hanson was the lead content designer. In addition to working at SOE, Hanson worked with Simutronics, Origin, ArenaNet, and Digital Anvil during his long career.

Our deepest condolences go out to Ben Hanson's family and friends.

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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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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Here's a purty World of Speed gallery

Real-Life, Galleries, Screenshots, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play

Need some auto-related eye candy to shake those Monday blahs? We've got just the thing, courtesy of a new World of Speed screenshot gallery. We could write some more words, but really all you need to know is that there's a link below.

See it? No, no, the green text. Just a little lower... there you go. Enjoy!

The Crew dev blog talks Raid, Circuit, and Perf spec cars

Real-Life, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Races

Ubisoft's latest dev blog for open world racer The Crew is worth a read if you're partial to cars, MMO-style groups, and boss fights. It describes a takedown challenge mission called A Little Nudge that "wouldn't be out of place in a Driver game."

It also mentions the Raid spec, and that's not "raid" in the typical MMO sense of the word but "raid" as in a car class designed to "tear through the hills, valleys, and backroads" of Yosemite and survive plenty of "high-speed brutality."

In addition to Raid, Circuit, and Perf specs, The Crew also features 20 upgrade slots per car, which Ubisoft says will please gearheads and gamers alike.

Symantec's COO credits his WoW credentials with boosting his resume

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Real-Life, Culture

Stephen Gillett
Symantec COO Stephen Gillett is proud of his past accomplishments, including high-ranking positions at Starbucks, CNET, and Best Buy. But it may be his level 70 Paladin and Priest in World of Warcraft that got him in the door and up that ladder.

Gillett believes that adding his World of Warcraft guild leadership stats to his resume has helped him land these tops jobs. "Here's my guild. Here's my ranking. Here's my biggest online achievement," Gillett said in a CNN interview. "Some people look at it and say, 'What the hell is this?' And others will be like, 'That's exactly what I'm looking for.'"

"I think gamification and the way of thinking about it is applicable to any industry," Gillett continued. "Right now we get really good information on malware -- what it does, how it acts. But we have no telemetry on the human part of it -- what people were doing, thinking and believing when they encountered that particular threat."

Riding High might be the horse-riding MMO you've been waiting for

Real-Life, News Items, Miscellaneous

If you legitimately claim that there's no game out there to suit your niche interest, you are demonstrably incorrect.
So how would you rate the horse situation in the games that you've played to date? Abysmal? Deplorable? Have you longed for the day when you could finally have your dream game that allowed you to take on the role of a horse in a third-person cover-based online experience? Riding High promises to let you do just that. Except for the third-person cover-based part. You won't be shooting anything here; you'll just be owning a virtual horse.

While the official site is a little bare, the game's Facebook page has recently posted answers to a number of questions, confirming, for example, that the game will feature distinct personalities for each horse and that players will be able to engage in PvP activities. (Probably not horse fights.) If this really is all you ever wanted from online gaming, you can register for the future beta test on the official site.

[Thanks to Zenaphex for the tip!]

E3 2014: The Division recaps its demo

Real-Life, Events (Real-World), Previews, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous

It's going to be better than The Multiplication, sure, but maybe not as good as the Differential Calculus.
Eager to hear more about The Division in the wake of the E3 media blitz? For those of you not on the ground during the convention, the latest development blog recaps the fine points on display in the game's E3 demo. As the blog explains, the core conceit of The Division is that you're not accepting the collapse of civilization but pushing back against it, chiefly by shooting the heck out of bandits and creeps until they're not a problem any longer.

As described by the blog post, the game utilizes a complex AI for enemies -- sniping a bandit but not his friends results in the others running back for reinforcements, leading to a pitched firefight and a chance to use special unlocked abilities. The demo also showed off using the support app to take control of a drone, allowing you to see around walls and provide important data to allies even without being directly in the game. Check out the full recap for a thorough breakdown of where the game is right now in terms of game mechanics.

Massively's on the ground in Los Angeles during the week of June 10-12, bringing you all the best news from E3 2014. We're covering everything from WildStar and Landmark to Skyforge and H1Z1, so stay tuned!

Crowdfunded EVE Online documentary premieres July 11

Real-Life, Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, MMO Industry, Sandbox, Crowdfunding

Sorgenfri Productions
The crowdfunded indie documentary that takes a behind-the-scenes look at EVE Online's community is set to premiere on July 11, 2014. A Tale of Internet Spaceships was filmed during 2013's EVE Fanfest and aims to show what makes the sci-fi MMO so special to its players.

"This candid exploration of a video game community investigates the sometimes complicated relationship between EVE's dedicated player base and the game's developers, CCP Games," a press release from Sorgenfri Productions states. "It also documents one of the most tumultuous times in the game's lifespan -- the release of the Incarna expansion -- which turned out to be one of the most important moments in the history of online roleplaying games."

Thanks to a successful $3000 Indiegogo campaign, the documentary will be published for free on YouTube and Vimeo right after its premiere at 8pm on July 11th. A teaser trailer is provided after the cut below.

[Source: Sorgenfri Productions press release]

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