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Free for All: An interview with Ever, Jane's Judy Tyrer

Betas, Real-Life, Trailers, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Previews, Casual, Free for All, Crowdfunding, Subscription

Ever Jane screenshot
Ever, Jane caught my eye as soon as I read about it. I wish we had access to more non-combat MMOs, or MMOs that attempt to do something so different that they are hard to categorize. I have to say that I had never read a word of Jane Austen -- the author whose books Ever, Jane is based on -- but I didn't care. If anything, the interesting gameplay described by Judy Tyrer, the creator of the game, made me want to pick up a book or two.

Of course, the game is barely in a playable state at this time and will likely be in development for a time longer. Still, the MMO genre needs games that takes chances, or we'll all find ourselves stuck on some hamster wheel of grind. I asked Judy a few questions and she surprised me with some of her answers. She's been making games for a long time, so hopefully you'll be hearing more from her here on Massively for a while!

Let's get to the interview.

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Chaos Theory: The best of The Secret World in 2013

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

Chaos Theory:  The best of The Secret World, 2013
When December wrapped up, so too did The Secret World's first full calendar year, having debuted the summer prior. Coincidentally, the timing also marked the first year of the buy-to-play business model; the game transitioned in December 2012. Looking back over those 12 months, I wonder what can be said of the horror-themed MMO. Certainly updates and new content didn't come as quickly as players would have preferred (what game can ever deliver that?!), but there was still plenty of activity during that time. We're going to delve into highlights of TSW's year that started with awarding all players a coveted pet to counter an exploit discovered during the 2012 holiday event and ended with Hel on earth.

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The Stream Team: Searching the Savage Coast's Lair in The Secret World

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

The Stream Team:  Searching the Savage Coast's Lair in The Secret World
Apparently Hel was lonely because she kept her vistitors much longer than expected last time! But with no holiday events to distract, Massively's MJ will finally get to venture into another one of The Secret World's Lairs. These overland dungeon runs aren't to be trifled with, and they are a good place for cabals to collect some gear. Will MJ and her team make it through to end and find some great treasure in Savage Coast? Join us live at 5:00 p.m. and watch the action unfold.

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, January 9th, 2014
Time: 5:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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The Secret World's December Game Director letter talks Filth, Tokyo, and beyond

Horror, Real-Life, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, The Secret World, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

With the holidays (and holiday events) over, eyes have turned back to the update that all Secret World fans are looking forward to: Tokyo. And December's Game Director letter assures that Issue #9 will be released within the the first quarter, so players will step into Tokyo before the end of March. Penned by Lead Designer Romain Amiel, the letter also shares that Issue #10 will introduce a new lair and Issue #11 will have a new raid.

But before all that can happen, however, the Filth must be eradicated from Agartha. Amiel offers an update on The Whispering Tide event, and players may be happy to hear that the end is near; the final phase, featuring the 60-man indoor world-boss-style fight against Flappy, will commence as soon as the current gate is cleansed.

Additionally, the team is working on a way to let players stream music directly through the game and player-designed outfits will be available soon.

[Thanks to all who sent in tips.]

Rumor: Ubisoft employee says The Division's 2014 release date 'feels laughable'

Real-Life, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Rumors

The Division
Remember The Division? If not, then let us remember it for you: It's a pretty slick-looking MMOish shooter thing that Ubisoft unveiled at E3 2013. First it was console-only, then the internet cried, then Ubisoft caved and said, OK, we'll make a dedicated PC version, too.

Apparently development on the game isn't that far along, at least according to a source inside Ubisoft Massive. "The game engine works well, it's not done but works well. The actual game development has barely started, however," the source told GameReactor. "The fact that Ubisoft has gone public with a 2014 release date feels laughable to be perfectly honest, we will never be able to release The Division this year. It's a large project, and we have very far to go."

The Stream Team: Wracking our brains in Brain Storm

Betas, Real-Life, Sci-Fi, Video, New Titles, Previews, Opinion, Browser, Hands-On, Casual, MMORTS, Livestream, Miscellaneous, The Stream Team

Brain Storm screenshot
Join us as we explore Brain Storm, an interesting quiz-based, browser-based MMORTS. Yes, it's a real thing and so far looks pretty cool, so join Massively's Beau Hindman in the chat room and ask your curious questions!

Game: Brain Storm
Host: Beau
Date: Monday, January 6th, 2013
Time: 4:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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The Stream Team: Living it up in more Secret World Lairs

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

The Stream Team:  Living it up in The Secret World's Lairs
Last week, Massively's MJ and her team were unable to procure all the body parts necessary to summon the final boss in The Secret World's Egyptian Lair. If all goes well this time around, the plan is to start with a ritual summoning (hey, what's more TSW than that?), then move on to another Lair in a different zone. As a bonus, MJ will start with an extra summoning: Hel in Niflheim. Don't miss out on this summoning and Lair extravaganza and join us live at 5:00 p.m. for a front-row seat.

Game: The Secret World
Host: Mj Guthrie
Date: Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
Time: 5:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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The Stream Team: Causing chaos in World of Tanks

Historical, Real-Life, Video, PvP, War, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Hands-On, World of Tanks, Livestream, The Stream Team

World of Tanks
Wargaming.net recently pushed live World of Tanks update 8.1, which included new maps and new tanks for folks who enjoy heavy machinery. Massively's Mike Foster is no stranger to this heavy-armor universe, and he plans to leap into the new content headlong with his artillery canons blazing. Tune in to find out whether Mike will earn glory among the cherry blossoms or is doomed for the scrap pile. The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Game: World of Tanks
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Wednesday, January 1st, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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Chaos Theory: Cramming your Krampus in before TSW's holidays end

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

Chaos Theory:  Cramming your Krampus in before TSW's holidays end
Christmas 2013 -- it's quite a different experience in The Secret World than in other MMORPGs. Instead of offering some colorful cutesy characters based on the jolliest aspects of the season, TSW's festivities draw on the darkest parts of our lore to bring you a Christmas devil, a demoness, and undead Mayans. The only carol you hear is a twisted Jingle Bells whispered in the hellish Niflheim dimension, though wave after wave of horny Hel jokes fill the air. But even with all the differences, one thing is definitely the same: the stress of running around trying to get things done in time!

As much as I am grateful that a form of last year's End of Days event has returned (I did ask for it after all), the fact that there are three events -- A Mother of a Season, Ever-Ending Days, and Whispering Tide -- happening simultaneously is a bit overwhelming. Add the whole real-life part of the holiday season to the evil RNG, and I am truly scrambling to complete my holiday wish list of pets, achievements, and apparel. I am even struggling to get the lore. (And you know that makes for a very unhappy MJ!)

Luckily, the holiday events don't end until January 2nd, so I am going to make a push to finish up as much as I can. If you happen to be in the same boat, here are a few hints to help wrap it all up. If, however, you are one of those people who got everything done early, feel free to skip to the end where I have penned a more appropriate take on a holiday favorite in honor of the season. Hopefully it will become a new cherished tradition!

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Infinite money exploit plagues GTA Online

Real-Life, Culture, Economy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Sandbox, Buy-to-Play

GTA V money piles
Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto Online is beset with hackers flooding the game's economy with billions of ill-gotten dollars. Kotaku reports that a networking exploit leads to "infinite amounts of cash," and that dupers have taken to gifting huge windfalls to random players. This is of course problematic since Rockstar flags accounts "holding obscene amounts of money" during its banning sweeps.

The company has yet to offer a comment on or a fix for the issue. Meanwhile, some players have taken to hard resetting their consoles so that the gifted money doesn't save.

The Stream Team: Exploring The Secret World's Lairs

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

Have you ever been to a Lair in The Secret World? You'd know it if you stumbled across one while adventuring solo because you'd be PDD PDQ: Pretty Darn Dead, Pretty Darn Quick. And yes, Massively's MJ found that out the hard way once! But now she's heading back with a friends to exact her revenge on those bunched-up hordes of evil. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. see what awaits the group in these overland challenges.

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, December 26th, 2013
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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The Stream Team: 'Tis the season (for Krampus) in The Secret World

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

This holiday season isn't all about cute little elves and brightly lit packages, especially not if you are a part of The Secret World. Instead of a giant jolly old elf dressed in red velvet, Massively's MJ is on the lookout for a cloven-hoofed beast with horns. Rumor has it he can even open a portal to a realm of frost and ice. A new place to explore... where do we sign up? Join us live at 3:00 p.m. for some holiday shenanigans, and maybe a lair, too.

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, December 19th, 2013
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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DayZ moves 172,000 copies in first 24 hours of early access

Betas, Horror, Real-Life, Launches, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

DayZ
The standalone version of Arma II zombie survival mod DayZ, which stealthily went live via Steam's early access program earlier this week, has generated $5.1 million in its first 24 hours of availability. According to Bohemia Interactive's Maruk Spanel, DayZ moved 172,500 copies on launch day and 142,403 players were online at the time of his last update.

Creator Dean Hall has been celebrating the successful launch with regular tweets on the game's sales and performance, but he took a moment to remind possible buyers that this version of DayZ is still very much a work in progress:
Please do not just buy the game because you heard it was cool. Many streamers are now streaming. Visit this and view the (many) bugs first.
Early access to DayZ will run you $29.99.

Krampus has arrived in The Secret World

Horror, Real-Life, Events (In-Game), PvP, News Items, PvE, The Secret World, Buy-to-Play

Bust out the holiday cheer, Krampus is here! The holidays have officially arrived in The Secret World with the start of the all-new Christmas event, A Mother of a Season. Until the 2nd of January, brave groups of adventures can follow Krampus into the realm of Niflheim to fight even more enemies, and even call forth Hel herself. PvPers can try and become the Lord of Misrule, a five-minute title that grants special abilities during PvP. Of course, there are plenty of themed goodies and loot as well, not to mention the return of the End of Days event.

Today's patch also brought a handy new addition to the game: a pet inventory. Now you can free up your bag space by clicking on all your pets and moving them to the new pet window (shift + p), earning an achievement for each pet collected.

Chaos Theory: A few useful mods for The Secret World

Horror, Real-Life, Game Mechanics, Opinion, The Secret World, Guides, Chaos Theory, Player-Generated Content, Buy-to-Play

Do you use mods in The Secret World? This was a question I have actually asked friends and colleagues as the idea of corralling the best and most useful mods bounced around in my head for a while. The irony in that inquiry is that I, personally, do not use any addons for TSW; in fact, I tend not to use them for most any game. But I do hear people swear by them, so I thought finding the best ones used throughout the community would be a helpful service. And then I set the idea aside.

You know how it is -- other things jump in the way or catch your attention screaming, "Look at me! Look at me!" So helpful mods have been on the back burner, bumped in favor of other more timely matters. And then suddenly it was the timely issue. You see, once I started trying to run scenarios, one of the mods that everyone keeps talking to me about suddenly became very relevant. (If you've ever tried to do a super-quick swap using the gear manager only to find that once you're in combat, one weapon didn't make the switch, leaving you without half of your skills, you can totally understand why).

Once I started thinking about that, it led me to wondering about the other addons out there. And if I am wondering about them, chances are someone else is, too. So that makes now the perfect time to check out the various addpons that players use to make life smoother in TSW.

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