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Chaos Theory: Funcom flubbed it with The Secret World's mankinigate

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

Chaos Theory:  Funcom flubbed it with The Secret World's Mankinigate
I'd rather be focused on the four new investigation missions that just launched in The Secret World, even though I need much more time to complete them all, or yammering on about Tokyo coming next month (did you catch that in the director's letter?). But as the fates would have it, Funcom did something else this past week that has nabbed attention and necessitates a little scrutiny.


Last week during the notable first of April shenanigans, The Secret World poked fun at the fact that female outfits in games (including TSW) are stereotypically skimpy while males get adventuring gear. The item store offered the "Gender Equality" clothing pack: full scuba gear for females and a mankini for males. As hideous as I think the mankini is, I appreciated this obvious jab at stereotypes, not to mention the fact that Funcom listened to players who've requested revealing attire for their male avatars. But then with no real explanation given at the time, the makinis were yanked not only from the store but from players' inventories as well.

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Leaderboard: Are you looking forward to The Crew?

Real-Life, MMO Industry, New Titles, Opinion, Leaderboard

The Crew's MINI Cooper squeeeee
Ubisoft hosted a preview event for The Crew earlier this week, and while I was already excited for the game, seeing some of the press coverage that emerged got me even more hot and bothered. And the fact that I saw a MINI in the latest batch of screenshots didn't hurt, either.

While The Crew may not be an MMO in the massive numbers of players sense, it certainly does feature a massive open world, quests, and plenty of character progression to go along with its sweet, sweet car porn.

How about it, Massively gear heads? Are you looking forward to The Crew? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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World of Speed creative director stresses the game will be completely free

Real-Life, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play

Step 1: Make game.  Step 2: Never charge any money for it ever.  Step 3: jQuery19104890200947207646_1396543829404?  Step 4: Profit!
Perhaps you're looking forward to playing World of Speed but your enthusiasm is tempered slightly by ambiguity regarding the game's business model. Well, the good news is that it's going to be free. No, we didn't say "free-to-play," we said free. According to creative director Andy Tudor, players should be able to reach the highest tiers of the game without ever having to spend any money whatsoever, and there are no plans to sell boost packs or the like.

What the game actually will sell is somewhat more ambiguous, since one assumes that at some point the studio would like to make some money from the game. Only time will tell if the game is embracing a very unique business model or if it's simply trying to shake perceptions of free-to-play games selling power. There are more details about the game's design ethos and overall scope in a recent interview with Tudor.

[Thanks to dengar for the tip!]

The Secret World's first mission pack announced for next week

Horror, Real-Life, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, The Secret World, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

Those thirsting for new content in The Secret World are getting a little something to help tide them over until Tokyo is opened. In his latest Game Director Letter, Joel Bylos announced the game's first ever mission pack. Available in the item store next week, Sidestories: Further Analysis contains four new investigation missions spanning the TSW map and a new undisclosed feature. These missions will delve players deeper into the backstories and lives of various groups and characters like Dr. Aldini and the Draculesti.

Bylos also gives more details on the AEGIS system, explaining that these items will be equipped in new gear slots and how the core of the system, controllers, come in three distinct types. On top of that, he noted that a few PvP fixes in patch 1.9 change the way relics are handled in El Dorado. You can catch all the details of these changes in the March letter.

Chaos Theory: Grand plans for The Secret World's Black Watchmen ARG

Horror, Real-Life, Events (Real-World), Interviews, The Secret World, Miscellaneous, Chaos Theory

Chaos Theory: Interview uncovers big plans for the new TSW-themed Black Watchmen ARG
Last week we revealed that a new persistent alternate reality game is in the works from Human Equation, the studio that brought us the pre-launch and End of Days ARGs for The Secret World. But that little introduction is just a drop in the bucket compared to what the company has planned for the community. Human Equation has bought the license to operate the Black Watchmen IP from Funcom, and that means TSW players, fans, and puzzle-enthusiasts have much more in store for them than they realize.

Although a major premise behind an ARG is figuring out clues and discovering information over time, I sat down and chatted with Andrea Doyon, the chief innovation officer (aka puppet master) for the ARG to bring you the scoop on those very plans. Check out all the details in this exclusive interview, including future job possibilities, and get a peek at two never-before-seen pieces of concept art.

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Obsidian behind new Armored Warfare MMO

Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, War, Free-to-Play

Armored Warfare tank
From the here's-something-you-don't-see-everyday files, Obsidian -- known primarily for its roleplaying games -- is lending its name to a new MMO shooter thing called Armored Warfare. The game's website bills it as "a new free-to-play massively multiplayer online tactical military video game that puts you in control of some of the most incredible, modern destructive machines to grace a battlefield."

Eurogamer speculates that Armored Warfare may be an extension of Obsidian's deal with Russian megapublisher Mail.Ru, which also includes the Skyforge partnership wherein the former company lent its name and its expertise to the Allods Team's latest sci-fantasy MMO project.

In any case, you can watch the World of Tanks-style Armored Warfare announcement trailer after the cut.

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GDC 2014: Ubisoft shows off its Divison-powering Snowdrop engine

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

The Division corridor
Ubisoft Massive showed off a three-minute trailer focused on its Snowdrop game engine at this week's GDC event in San Francisco. The first title powered by the new tech is UM's MMO shooter The Division, which also features heavily in the clip's behind-the-scenes footage.

"Working with the engine is kind of like solving a puzzle," explains environment artist Jill Jarlestam. "The elements are already there so it's just a matter of how you combine them together."

You can watch the full video by clicking past the cut.

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The Secret World fans get a persistent ARG

Horror, Real-Life, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, The Secret World, Buy-to-Play

If you've wanted to get in on the ground floor of an Alternate Reality Game tied to The Secret World, the time is now! A brand-new ARG developed by Human Equation has just entered the scene.

Focusing on the Black Watchmen, this ARG differs in that it will be a persistent, complete game with features (such as a class system and NPCs) designed in partnership with Funcom. However, players will have plenty of real-world and online puzzles to work through as well. Check out the official site now to start on the first mission; the second mission unlocks tomorrow, March 20th. Then stay tuned to Chaos Theory for an upcoming interview with the creators for even more details about this new game and what they have in store for this IP.

[Source: Human Equation press release]

Ubisoft Massive releases new concept art for The Division

Real-Life, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items

The Division concept art
Ubisoft Massive has released a new piece of concept art for its Division shooter. MP1st speculates that it may depict some sort of social hub, but the devs behind the Tom Clancy-inspired game haven't said one way or the other.

The Division was first announced at E3 2013. Earlier this year, rumors circulated relating to the title's proposed 2014 release date and whether or not it can actually be achieved.

Chaos Theory: A guide to finishing off the Filth in TSW's Whispering Tide event

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

Chaos Theory:  A guide to finishing off the Filth in TSW's Whispering Tide event
When The Secret World puts on a long-term event, it certainly doesn't skimp on the long part! The Whispering Tide commenced way back in September 2013 and just last month moved into the final phase. During that time, players have unlocked portals, collected lore, and fought the Filth, all with the ultimate goal of opening Tokyo at the end. And while the time of Issue #9 is is almost at hand, it isn't yet here. The best way to hurry it along is to see this event through to completion and eradicate the Filth in this final stage.

If you've missed any of the preceding phases, now is the perfect time to jump in and add your efforts to the cause -- not just for speeding up the release of Tokyo but for collecting all the loot and goodies for yourself as well! With this phase players have the chance to rake in all the slivers and fragments needed to purchase the available event loot (sadly, the past lore pieces are one thing that cannot be gotten). Even if you are just starting now, there are still numerous tendrils protruding from the portal, giving you plenty of time to get in on the action. And this guide is going to walk you through it.

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War Thunder Golden Battles event starts March 9

Historical, Real-Life, Video, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Player-Generated Content

War Thunder Golden Battles banner
If you haven't played Gaijin's War Thunder World War II combat simulator in a while, it's a good time to return and check out some of the changes implemented over the last couple of months. Beginning Sunday, March 9th, players may receive up to 600 pieces of premium in-game currency per day as part of the Golden Battles promotion.

Your second, fifth, and seventh victory over opposing players will each count for 100 golden eagles, and the event takes place twice per day. Gaijin has also released its plans for the next update, including a huge upgrade to the game's player generated content capabilities.

If you're new to War Thunder, click past the cut to view a video detailing the game's 1.37 update.

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Ubisoft teases more screenshots for The Division

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

Ubisoft teases more screenshots for Tom Clancy's The Division
News about the MMO shooter Tom Clancy's The Division hasn't exactly been prolific in recent days. In fact, we haven't heard a peep of official news since December.

But thanks to MP1st, we have two new screenshots to to remind us that the game is in development -- and that it looks pretty good. Ubisoft released the latest shot of a soldier hunkered down on a New York City rooftop earlier today; the other shot gives us a glimpse of possible underground adventures. Check them both out beyond the break.

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Get down with free World of Tanks and World of Warplanes soundtracks

Historical, Real-Life, MMO Industry, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, World of Tanks, World of Warplanes, Music

Music sets the mood, and now you can get in a World of Tanks or World of Warplanes mood wherever and whenever you want. Wargaming.net has released the original soundtrack for both games, and fans can download a free copy for their favorite devices from the official sites, Google Music, or the iTunes store. To grab yours and start jamming out, visit one of the following links:

For WoT: For WoWP: [Source: Wargaming press release]

The Stream Team: Finally fighting Flappy in The Secret World

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

For months the nefarious flying nemesis of The Whispering Tide has been flinging Filth at everyone during The Secret World. Now that players finally have a chance exact some sweet revenge, Massively's MJ is front and center on that firing line! She's taking advantage of every opportunity to fight the four-winged Flappy (and consequently soak up the sliver and fragment rewards) and is inviting you along on TSW's first-ever instanced 40-man raid. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for your chance to flip Flappy the bird.

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, February 27th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Grab your rod and reel: It's open season in World Tour Fishing's open beta

Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items

Why chance seasickness and sunburn while trying to haul in the biggest catch from the world's open waters when you can kick back in your chair and fish from the comfort of your own computer? World Tour Fishing invites players to hop on board and experience the thrill of nabbing a prize catch in its open beta that started today. Of course, there's sure to be plenty of opportunities for some impressive the-one-that-got-away stories as well. Try your hand at various open beta events, like synchronized fishing and hide and seek. Intrigued? If you haven't seen it before, settle back and let World Tour Fishing's original CG trailer below reel you in!

[Thanks to Snap for the tip!]

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