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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.

Chaos Theory: Touring Tokyo with TSW's Joel Bylos

Horror, Real-Life, Patches, Hands-On, The Secret World, First Impressions, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

It's Tokyo time! That's right, an end to the wait is finally upon us. Come Wednesday, everyone who buys Issue #9 The Black Signal for The Secret World and has acquired The Council's Seal will be able to cross the threshold into Tokyo.

Like you, I've been dying to get in and check out this new zone, the first new area introduced to the horror game since launch. Thanks to a special tour with Game Director Joel Bylos and Communications Manager Tor Egil Andersen, I was able to preview the first of the three Tokyo zones so I could share that experience with you. We not only explored the city itself, but we completed one of the new -- and might I add, really spooky -- missions and utilized the new AEGIS system.

So, how is it? Let me just say, it's worth the wait! And not just for the creepy homages to the Illuminati handler, Kirsten Geary.

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Funcom planning to launch TSW's Tokyo this Wednesday

Horror, Real-Life, Expansions, News Items, The Secret World, Buy-to-Play

Grab your passports! The Secret World fans will finally get to step into Tokyo this week. Creative Director Joel Bylos has told Massively that barring any hiccups, plans are to release Issue #9 The Black Signal on Wednesday, June 4th, 2014.

Even with hiccups, the expansion is expected this week.

Tokyo, the first new zone to be introduced to TSW, is so large that it will be spread out over three issues, breaking the city into two parts (Issues #9 and #10) and the Orochi Headquarters building (Issue #11). There are plenty of new mobs, new NPCs, new cut scenes, and new missions throughout the zone. Want to hear more? Keep your eyes peeled for Massively's full hands-on experience in Tokyo.

World of Speed's new trailer blends game, reality

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

World of Speed
Racing MMOs haven't proven very popular, at least with Massively's audience. But you know what? I don't care! I like racing MMOs! So here's another one that I'm going to blog about. It's called World of Speed and it's being built by Slightly Mad Studios.

There's a new video, too, that shows off the game's McLaren 12C setting the streets of Moscow on fire. Slightly Mad has even spliced in some real-world footage of the same track in order to showcase the game's visual fidelity and accurate layouts.

Have a look for yourself after the break!

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The Division delayed to 2015

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

The Division
Remember that rumor where an Ubisoft employee used the word "laughable" to describe the 2014 launch window for The Division?

As it turns out, it was pretty much spot on.

"As you have noticed, The Division is not included into our full-year guidance," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said during today's financial call. "It will now be released in calendar 2015. We will provide more information on this highly anticipated new brand at E3."

Chaos Theory: The Secret World's Whispering Tide and Tokyo

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

Chaos Theory:  The Whispering Tide resurges, Tokyo inches closer
Let's hear it for the encore! If you missed any step of the The Secret World's first long-term (and by long, I mean like The Great Wall of China long) event, you've been granted a second chance. Before The Whispering Tide rolls out for good and Tokyo finally arrives, all phases of the event will be temporarily available for players to experience. Starting last week with the gathering phases and moving to the instanced phases this week, players have the opportunity to snag missing lore and check off achievements, ultimately earning the crowning piece of the bee suit: the helm.

This was definitely a smart move on Funcom's part. With this latest act, the studio shows more consideration for TSW's players and fosters an increase in goodwill, something the company certainly needs after such a long wait for Issue #9 and the more recent April Fools' Day mankini debacle. Sadly, a few easily preventable missteps marred what could have been a purely positive move.

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Auto Club Revolution 2.0 closed beta starts June 16

Betas, Real-Life, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Races

ACR BMW
Auto Club Revolution, a free-to-play motorsport MMO thing developed by Eutechnyx, is gearing up for its 2.0 closed beta that begins on June 16th.

The 2.0 is significant because the game initially launched in 2012. The new version is "nothing less than a full remodeling," according to the latest Eutechnyx press release. Oculus Rift support is also on the way, so if you've ever wanted an MMO featuring Fords, BMWs, and Bentleys instead of casters, healers, and tanks, ACR is probably worth a look.

[Source: Eutechnyx press release]

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First wave of BlizzCon tickets sold out

World of Warcraft, Real-Life, Events (Real-World), Miscellaneous, Diablo III

BlizzCon‚Äč
Tickets for BlizzCon 2014 have sold out! Well, the first round of tickets have, anyway.

It's estimated that this first offering sold out in five to 10 seconds, according to our sister site WoW Insider. Past BlizzCons have seen similar ticket sales, and this year is already showing that Blizzard's still got it.

If you happened to blink at any time yesterday, you can still try for round two this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. PDT (1:00 p.m. EDT).

Chaos Theory: Sidestories lead The Secret World in the right direction

Horror, Real-Life, Business Models, Lore, The Secret World, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

Chaos Theory: Sidestories lead The Secret World in the right direction
Let me just start by saying that the fact that I have not completed all four of The Secret World's new investigation missions in the recently released Sidestories: Further Analysis does not in anyway diminish the awesomeness of the pack. You don't have to do them all -- or even do them at all -- to appreciate this new content. That's because the beauty of these new missions goes beyond the actual investigative content; it's the fact that it is additional content!

If there is one thing that TSW fans have been clamoring for, it's more content, especially content that tosses players deeper into the world and expounds on the story. (The popularity of last Halloween's Spooky Stories of Solomon Island quests sure proved that!) So even those who would rather stab their eye repeatedly with their mouse instead of puzzling out an investigation mission should be fistpumping this new development. With this new type of content release, Funcom has hit on an idea that can satisfy nearly everyone! And that certainly bodes well for the future of the game.

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The Secret World's new ARG opens signups for loyalists [Updated]

Horror, Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, The Secret World, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding

TSW
A newsletter sent yesterday to current and former players of The Secret World invites them to sign up for the game's upcoming Black Watchmen alternate reality game, which is due to officially kick off in September. Here's the hard pill to swallow for those of you used to the B2P nature of TSW: The ARG isn't free. Players who sign up will be funding the game's previously announced Crowdtilt crowdfunding campaign and will receive a year's worth of ARG gameplay and missions and a special in-game outfit for $20 ($10 off the normal fee).

Massively's MJ explored the ARG in detail just a few weeks ago. Enjoy the trailer below!

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip.]

[Update: It turns out that if you're a lifetime member of TSW, this deal is even sweeter: Not only do you pick up the in-game goodies, but you get a free sub to the ARG for a year.]

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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.

Mankinigate.

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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