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The Secret World

Chaos Theory: Five fantastic NPCs in The Secret World

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

Before I was sidetracked by Sidestories and totally engrossed in the Halloween event, I talked about quests that I felt were top notch in The Secret World. At that time I also promised to give the NPCs of the game their due with their own spot. And here it is!

Why would I devote an entire column to singing the praises of Non-Player Characters? Because it is the characters within the story that make the game so compelling! The characters' lives, their mannerisms -- they really bring TSW to life. From deep and perfectly quirky personalities to the top-notch voice acting, it's the NPCs that tie everything together and make missions so memorable. And while all of the characters play vital roles (even those who just pop in for brief appearance as supporting cast), these five stars steal the show.

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Global Chat: Why we blog

World of Warcraft, Culture, Opinion, The Secret World, RIFT, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar

tsw
Why an MMO player decides that he or she needs to take up an additional hobby of writing about these games isn't much of a mystery. We may all blog about a huge variety of topics, but the impetus behind it tends to be very common: We have so many thoughts about and so much love for these games that we can't hold it in.

To blog is to open up and share experiences, observations, and hopes. It's to connect with others and to perhaps give another layer of meaning to the time that we spend in-game. We don't blog because we have to; we blog because we simply could not not blog.

So let's see a few examples of what MMO bloggers couldn't keep inside of them! From spooky stories to rapturous tales of exploration, it's a testament to the power of words and goofy rejoinders.

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The Secret World's Issue 10 characters, locations, and shield upgrades

Horror, Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, The Secret World, Post-Apocalyptic, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

tsw
First things first: Funcom's Joel Bylos is still not revealing the release date of The Secret World's Issue 10, so don't get your hopes up when you read through today's October game director letter.

However, if you can get past that disappointment, you'll find a treasure trove of information about Issue 10 details, such as the descriptions of four key NPCs that players will meet and four fascinating locations that players will explore (love palace, anyone?). Bylos also discusses how players will be able to wield AEGIS technology to create protective shields of their own.

The Secret World's Halloween event will continue through November 13th and be followed by a scenario bonus weekend.

One Shots: Jolly pumpkins

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, City of Heroes, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, The Secret World, Humor, Miscellaneous

wow
Halloween may be over, but its spirit remains alive in MMOs! Alive, that is, as long as there are spooky locales to explore and a population that's more than willing to dress up in costume and face down the terrors that slip between the shadows.

Our friend David here may be taking Halloween at face value in World of Warcraft, but can you really blame him? He and his demonic minion look to be having a heck of a time. Plus, there's a whole-hearted embrace of a pumpkin motif that will be all but extict come December. Enjoy it while it lasts!

The rest of this week's player-submitted screenshots may not be creepy in the least, but they do all share the same jolly attitude that exists in this moment. In a world that brought back One Shots, really anything is possible!

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Chaos Theory: Exploring the Halloween that almost wasn't in The Secret World

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

Chaos Theory: Exploring the Halloween that almost wasn't in The Secret World
Funcom just about blew it. I have cut The Secret World plenty of slack for hiccups and bumps over the years (and I am willing to do so in the future because it just doesn't have an equal in the MMOverse and it does what it does so well), but this last one can't be brushed off. This latest misstep could have cost TSW dearly in good will, patience, and even players. You don't take the holiday that the game is essentially based on and not celebrate it!

Luckily, TSW's much-anticipated Halloween event did finally show up, albeit 10 days late -- barely in time for the holiday. I am betting that the delay has cost the company some cash. The build-up to this holiday is a huge part of the excitement; the weeks preceding All Hallows' Eve is the perfect time to get people who are in the Halloween mood to return to the game or dive in and try it for the first time> Not to mention it's the time when folks are more apt to buy costumes! Funcom squandered that. And why the delay, anyway? During my Issue #8 tour last year, Creative Director Joel Bylos teased, "Our Halloween next year is going to be amazing! I wrote it for this year, but we didn't get done in enough time." Wasn't 12 more months enough time? We've been waiting with bated breath!

So after all that wait, and then even more, is the event worth it? My answer is...

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The Stream Team: Celebrating Halloween in The Secret World

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

It's finally Halloween! And there's no place better to celebrate this special day than deep in The Secret World. Massively's MJ has been champing at the bit to see what new missions are available for All Hallow's Eve this year, and they have arrived just in the nick of time. As per her yearly tradition, MJ's playing through the holiday content with you. Can the newest story beat the awesomeness of last year's tales? Just how spooky will The Broadcast turn out to be? Join us live at 3:00 p.m. for a dose of tricks and treats as MJ revels in the holiday spirit and gives out goodies in hopes of earning the coveted Thriller dance!

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, October 31st, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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One Shots: Foot-in-Chest disease

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, The Secret World, Humor, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

tsw
I don't think a lot of us fantasize about the way that we're going to die. My philosophy is, if it must happen, it should be as cool as possible. I think that getting kicked off of the top of a speeding train after a penultimate boss fight would fit the bill. Of course, I'd probably rather be the one kicking than being kicked, especially if the kickee is a supernatural terrorist like this jerk.

Reader Jonathan shares our first screenshot of the week: "This is from the cutscene as I was finishing the Last Train to Cairo in The Secret World. I think it's a great action shot, even if you can't see my character's face."

Don't forget to do a proper Wilhelm scream, my friend! So what other gruesome fates await us in this collection of deadly images?

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This weekend's golden in The Secret World

Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, The Secret World, Promotions

Got MMO plans for your weekend yet? If not, you might want to check in with The Secret World, since Funcom is hosting what it calls a Golden Weekend with "massive bonuses" and a "gilded rage event."

Yes, you can hunt down that rampaging golden Guardian of Gaia, and you can also enjoy double AP as well as 30 percent extra Funcom points on every purchase. Get all the event details via the links below!

The Secret World adds new mission for the Halloween season [Updated]

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Previews, The Secret World, Post-Apocalyptic, Buy-to-Play

tsw
The Secret World's Halloween offerings are expanding this year with a new mission chain called The Broadcast on October 20th that sends players to investigate mysterious radio signals affecting the dead. Funcom said that it will also be offering "a new loot setup" for the holiday as well as the return of the Cat God and Spooky Stories missions.

Today's newsletter also announced a special double AP golden weekend starting on October 9th that will feature the encore of the golden guardian fight.

Producer Joel Bylos spent some time in the letter discussing Issue #10, of which he said that the team is working on a nightmare monster section for Tokyo, postponing the release of the new auxiliary weapon, and allowing players more freedom to customize their user interfaces.

[Update: Funcom has delayed the Halloween events but expects them to go live before Halloween itself.]

Global Chat: Through a monitor, darkly

Culture, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, The Secret World, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

tsw
No matter who you are, and even if you are independently rich and can game all day, it's impossible to get around to playing all of the MMOs out there -- even all of the major ones. This is why I love MMO blogs, since they allow me to vicariously visit many of the games that I lack time to play. Even if they're silly observations or dutiful reporting on last night's activities, these posts are my window into a universe of virtual worlds.

In today's edition of Global Chat, we'll hear from a gamer visiting an older MMO for the first time, a rant about Guild Wars 2's new player experience, a tribute to the late Rusty Hearts, and why "entitlement" is overused as an attack in our community.

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Chaos Theory: New Sidestories show The Secret World's innovative side

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

When I talked about 10 of the most compelling missions in The Secret World last time, I purposefully left out the new Sidestories mission packs. One reason is that I've already spoken a bit about Further Analysis; the other is that the third and latest pack was slated to arrive soon and I intended to talk about all of them together. As it turns out, it actually released the same day that Chaos Theory did! Since then, I've had the chance to dive in and experience some of those missions. As usual, I was not disappointed. Besides providing the expected interesting new characters and great stories, The Last Pagan highlighted something else: TSW continues to be innovative!

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The Stream Team: Solving new Sidestories in The Secret World

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

It's back to Tokyo for The Secret World's newest Sidestories! Massively's MJ and Justin are excited to dive into this latest mission pack boasting six new missions, including two investigations. With a title like The Last Pagan, this pack promises that special TSW feel that you know and love. How many missions can they knock out in one hour's time, and which ones will they choose? That all depends on if you come on the adventure with them, so join them live at 9:00 p.m. and get in on the newest content.

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie & Justin Olivetti
Date: Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Chaos Theory: Ten compelling Secret World missions

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

Chaos Theory:  The Secret World's missions are steeped in awesomesauce
One thing that The Secret World does extremely well is story. Few would argue that point: It's compelling, surprising, even chill-inducing, packing enough emotional punches to leave you stunned on occasion but always eager for more, which is what makes doing missions in TSW so much more enjoyable than many other MMOs. And it isn't just the overarching main story line, either. All the missions spread throughout the zones, from investigation to sabotage to even the piddliest of little side missions, tie into the story in some fashion. So missing a mission means you might miss some tantalizing tidbit. Fortunately, you needn't be a completionist to have a drive to seek out and experience every single mission. Instead of being faced with the usual desire to just move on ahead once you've "out-leveled" a zone, you literally scour to make sure you don't leave any task undone lest you miss out on any of the story.

Now that said, there are some missions that are just jaw-dropping for one reason or another, ones that stop your heart or tear at it. All missions have merit, but some are just so amazing you wish you could do them for the first time over and over. There's even a grieving period when you know you can never relive that initial rush! Here are just a few of the missions that I'd personally recommend that all players experience (with as few spoilers as possible).

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The Secret World adds a new set of side missions

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

Police cops.
Are you ready for more Tokyo action in The Secret World? A sextet of side missions is now available for owners of the Issue #9 content, kicking off with a bank heist and moving on to handle rockabilly gangs, surveillance cameras, and a Flappy nest. It's a full dose of sabotage, investigation, and the usual joy of finding supernatural creatures and beating them down with your own supernatural powers.

So what do you get for all of these antics? A free Deep Mystery Box, which is nice, but you also get the Lorenzian Fabricator, which allows you to move to Tokyo from anywhere in the world. That's quite useful if you've got places to be and problems to solve elsewhere. This update also allows players access to the new Efficiency and Proficiency skills to improve AEGIS mastery, so owners of the game's most recent major update will want to hop on board and start exploring the new missions.

Perfect Ten: MMOs that deserve another chance

Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest II, Opinion, Star Trek Online, RuneScape, Marvel Heroes, The Secret World, DC Universe Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter

ddo
First impressions matter. First impressions count. First impressions are lasting. These commonly cited maxims are true, but I would like to add one more: "First impressions can be deceiving." Due to our nature of making snap judgments, experiencing something at the wrong time or being impatient, we can rush to a conclusion that could rob us of something we could truly love.

There are few things that frustrate me more than seeing MMO gamers adopt the gospel of the first impressions and refuse to ever return to a game afterward. We keep treating MMOs as disposable, one-shot entertainment that must be plundered quickly right out of the gate instead of seeing them as reusable fun that gets better with time.

So the next time you feel bored waiting for the next MMO to launch so that you can make a two-month first impression and then leave forever, why not give an older title a second try? In this week's countdown, I'm going to make a case for 10 MMOs that deserve another chance even if you wrote them off long ago.

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