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The Secret World

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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CEO Ole Schreiner on Funcom's future and that police investigation

Fantasy, Horror, Age of Conan, Business Models, Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, The Secret World, Buy-to-Play

Funcom logo
Funcom CEO Ole Schreiner recently spoke with GamesIndustry.biz in a lengthy interview that covers everything from the performance of The Secret World to the future of the company to the recent Økokrim raid.

The police action has to do with former CEO Trond Arne Aas and accusations of insider trading relating to The Secret World's launch. "What we know is actually very little and the few things we do know, we can't talk about because it's an ongoing case," Schreiner says. "The charges are two-fold. The first is that Funcom, between August 2011 and August 2012, manipulated the market. The other is that we had wrongfully filed insider information."

It's not all gloom-and-doom going forward, though, as Funcom has gotten the Dreamworld tech behind Age of Conan and The Secret World to work on consoles, Android, and iOS devices. "It's not so much about the technology as the knowledge, which we've been building for 13 years," Schreiner explains. "It's a platform -- it has all the elements you need to make, run, and maintain a game from the production tools right down to the customer service and QA tools."

Schreiner is also optimistic about Funcom's future, which is currently focused on LEGO Minifigures Online. "This new strategy is a natural evolution of the company," he states. "We would have taken this path anyway, no matter how The Secret World turned out."

One Shots: Moons over Bajor

Screenshots, EverQuest II, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, The Secret World, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

STO
Outer space: It looks cool whether it's in color or black and white. Case in point? Check out both varieties of today's headlining screenshot, submitted by reader Chris.

"Here is the deep space science vessel USS Aurora passing over one of the moons of Bajor in Star Trek Online," Chris writes.

Personally, I think the light and dark contrast looks so much cooler in black and white. That's of small consolation to the crew of the Aurora who went blind sailing directly into the sun, but hopefully their families will find some solace in my admiration.

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Jukebox Heroes: Top 40 MMO themes, #30-21

Aion, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, The Secret World, Free Realms, Mabinogi, Wizard101, EverQuest Next, Miscellaneous, The Elder Scrolls Online, Jukebox Heroes, Age of Wushu, Music

GW2
We're back with our second part of our Top 40 MMO main themes countdown, this time digging into the middle of the pack. To repeat my self-imposed rules for this list: I limited myself to just one theme from a particular title, even if there were multiple themes in a game. Entries had to be a main theme or the closest equivalent of that; they had to be from MMOs, not from MOBAs; and I had to divorce my weighting of the track itself from the popularity of and my experience with that game. So there were no points added or subtracted based on my love of the game; I'm counting down the best music, period.

If you missed the first part, check out themes #40-31. Otherwise, hit that continue button and get listening already!

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Funcom's financials take a sharp blow

Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, Business Models, MMO Industry, The Secret World, Legal, Miscellaneous

Funcom
The earnings report for Funcom's fourth quarter 2013 is in -- and it doesn't look pretty.

The studio reported that revenues are down both year over year and quarter over quarter due to deferred billings with The Secret World and increased competition. However, Funcom said that a better business model and new marketing programs are resulting in a stronger first quarter for 2014 and that its MMOs are "cash-flow positive and will remain so in the foreseeable future."

Funcom said that it is taking steps to turn around the business with a new strategy to focus on more mid-core online games with smaller budgets and shorter development time. It's also continuing to invest in LEGO Minifigures Online and the Dreamworld technology. The latter is important so that the studio can release games across multiple platforms including Android and iOS tablets. LEGO Minifigures Online is scheduled for open beta testing this summer.

The Økokrim charges regarding possible market manipulation between August 2011 and August 2012 were mentioned. Funcom said that no employees have been charged, and the company is cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation.

Director Joel Bylos on The Secret World's Tokyo and Age of Conan's PvP

Fantasy, Age of Conan, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, The Secret World, Buy-to-Play

All flapping raids, all the flapping time.
It's the end of the month, and that means it's time for The Secret World and Age of Conan's director letters. Director Joel Bylos had plenty to say about both games. Tokyo may have been pushed back slightly for The Secret World, but Bylos stresses that the net result will be a much better area that will really come alive with flavor. He also discusses the controversy around the game's Mystery Boxes, noting that the boxes are not lockboxes; they can be purchased only directly from the item store, and they contain nothing that cannot be earned in-game.

Hyboria, meanwhile, is due for another pass of PvP reward balancing. The Dragon's Spine dungeons and the tradeskill updates are still approaching completion, albeit more slowly than most players would probably like. Daily quests are also on the table for introduction to tie into the new world boss system, which should give adventurers in Age of Conan one more way to enjoy the game.

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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Chaos Theory: Every game needs a Gatekeeper like The Secret World

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

It finally happened. I've been playing The Secret World since launch, wading through lots of lore, wracking my brains on investigations missions, collecting clothes, and soaking up the amazing atmosphere, among other things. But there is one activity that I have successfully dodged participating in that entire time until the moment came when I could no longer justify evading it. I'm talking about the Gatekeeper.

For those who aren't familiar with TSW's Gatekeeper, here' the scoop: He's the giant golden golem that stands between you and the PvE endgame. He's the feature that all players who want to participate in the hardest mode of dungeons and acquire the best purple PvE gear must prove themselves against before being allowed to move their play to that next level. Consequently, he prevents those who are completely unprepared for that level of challenge from getting in over their heads and dragging down their groups in the process. Golden boy is a powerful (and merciless) teacher who can humble those not ready for the fight as well as those who are by really testing their knowledge about the game's combat system and forcing all to face up to their inadequacies.

So I finally faced this Agarthan nemesis, and he was all I expected him to be. And yes, I was initially schooled. But I did end up laying the smack down on him, learning a few important things in the process. And one of the top lessons? I think every single game should have a Gatekeeper!

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The Stream Team: The Secret World's First Nightmare (dungeon)

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

The time has come for Massively's MJ to face the nightmares... dungeons that is! After dispatching the Gatekeeper, she's all set to delve into the hardest Secret World dungeons. Luckily for her, she has an experienced team dragging... er, leading her in. Just how different is Nightmare mode compared to Elite? Join us live at 7:00 p.m. to see as MJ visits her first ever Nightmare dungeon, Polaris.

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, February 21st, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Chaos Theory: Why TSW's quest art thrills me to no end

Horror, Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Lore, Opinion, The Secret World, Post-Apocalyptic, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

TSW
Every Secret World fan has his or her own list of reasons why the game feels special and unique. Perhaps it's the investigation missions, the contemporary setting, the flexible character builds, the dark subject matter, the well-done voice acting, the creepy tone, the immense pile of lore, or the sheer fun that is the dressing room. Steadily climbing to the top of my own list is an aspect that I haven't seen mentioned much at all: the quest art.

Is that the best terminology for it? I don't know what else to call it. What I'm talking about here are the images that often pop up through quests, from photographs to journal entries. These pieces of art aren't just sprinkled in here or there; they are so dang prolific that I've devoted an entire screenshot folder to holding them. Once you start really noticing them, it's hard not to marvel at all of the work that was done to put them in the game.

So excuse me this week as I go on about why quest art is seriously terrific and terribly underrated. I may even share a favorite or 27 of them along the way.

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Finish off Flappy and the filth in The Secret World's massive raid event

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

Flappy's time has come! The Secret World fans can now exact some long-overdue payback on the filth-flinging winged nemesis that has been tormenting players throughout The Whispering Tide event. The final phase of the event -- a 40-man raid against Flappy himself -- has now started, and players of all strengths and skill levels can take part in taking this black behemoth down. The instanced raid will open every three hours for 30 minutes, and offers the chance to collect epic raid loot. Once the filth is completely eradicated from Agartha, the portal to Tokyo will open and usher in the long-awaited Issue #9.

[Source: Funcom press release]

Chaos Theory: Controversy swirls around The Secret World's new Mystery Boxes

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

Although neither the most recent recent patch notes nor the January Game Director letter mentions it, something happened in The Secret World recently that might, if you believe the cries of some, portend the beginning of the end for the horror-filled game. What powerful behemoth will be responsible for slaying TSW and grinding it into the ground? No, not the Økokrim; this time, it's the mighty Mystery box.

Players logging in since January 30th have been met with a launchpad announcement heralding the introduction of the new Mystery Box to the item store. And while some players are up in arms about the significance of this addition, I'm going to tell you why it's no big deal.

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One Shots: A nuclear explosion of friendship

Screenshots, City of Heroes, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, The Secret World, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

FFXIV
I'm always so very proud of you readers when you take me up on one of my weekly screenshot challenges, like a proud papa who sees his child take those first few steps to the computer, sit down, and engage in a 40-man raid. So big props today to reader Rhime, who captured an impressive-looking spell effect from Final Fantasy XIV.

"My in-game character on the left center is Kavu," Rhime wrote. "Our free company had a photo night, and I managed to capture a lot of shots of our mucking about on the beach near Costa del Sol. This shot depicts a friend and me posing in combat stance with a couple spells running (fire on the ground and the shiny blue star between us). I hope you like it!"

I do indeed! We've got a great collection of player-submitted game photos for you to see today, so let's not waste any more time hanging out in this paragraph.

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The Stream Team: A second date with TSW's Gatekeeper

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

Although their first date didn't turn out as well as hoped, Massively's MJ and The Secret World's Gatekeeper are having a second! Perhaps this time around things will go more smoothly for Golden Boy and Golden Butt (and by that we mean MJ kicks his keister!). And you all are invited to come along because nothing calms those jitters like an audience, right? Join us live at 7:00 p.m. to see whether MJ wrestles the key to Nightmare dungeons away from the Gatekeeper.

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, February 7th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Secret World's Game Director letter heralds open raid of final phase of Whispering Tide

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

The Secret World fans who have been itching to slaughter Flappy, that annoying flying Filth monster that punts them off the Agartha ledges, will be delighted to hear that their chance to exact revenge is almost at hand! Besides giving an update on the progress of Issues #9 and 10, TSW's January Game Director letter announced that the final phase of The Whispering Tide event will be launching in just a few days.

This last step in clearing the way to Tokyo will involve open 40-man raid instances that are available for 30 minutes every three hours. Any player can simply walk into the lair; when that lair is full, a new instance will open. However, the first group to defeat Flappy during each round will receive a reward bag as well as bonus silvers and fragments. Additionally, the reward bags might contain raid-level items.

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