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The Secret World

Meet The Secret World's Tokyo cast

Sci-Fi, Lore, Previews, The Secret World, Post-Apocalyptic, Buy-to-Play

TSW
Tokyo is coming -- no, really! -- to The Secret World later this month, and Funcom is fueling fans' anticipation by introducing to them several of the primary NPCs who will be in the new zone.

These characters include Sarah, a Council of Venice occult investigator; Gozen, a samurai leader who protects Japanese leadership from demons; Inbeda, an Oni demon mercenary; Daimon Kiyota, a leader of the Yakuza occult branch; and Kurt 'Buster' Kuszczak, an Orochi tank commander who is having a very bad day.

Interestingly enough, players have already met Sarah. She was the character through whom players explored the tutorial; we saw the aftermath of the Tokyo disaster through her eyes.

[Thanks to Cotic for the tip!]

Perfect Ten: Great MMO time travel adventures

World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, EverQuest II, Final Fantasy XI, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, Opinion, Star Trek Online, RuneScape, The Secret World, RIFT, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

BTTF
Writers and geeks alike can't seem to get enough of time travel, although the ratio of horribly crafted time travel tales to fun and smart ones is pretty lopsided. I've come to realize that MMOs are positively littered with ways that players are invited to jump around the internal timeline of the game, and I wanted to share a few of them in this week's countdown.

When you think about it, the proliferation of time travel quests makes a lot of sense from a developer viewpoint. There is a ton of lore that goes into each one of these virtual worlds, but for the most part the players are affixed to a very specific (and unmoving) point in time. Hopping about in time is a great way to experience other eras and actually see history instead of just reading it in a quest box. Plus, if done right, these quests can be quite memorable.

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The Secret World's Tokyo story missions will be replayable

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

TSW
The Secret World's Issue #9: The Black Signal is coming this month (when, Funcom, when?), and in today's newsletter, the studio announced that all of the main storyline missions for Tokyo will be replayable for the first time in the game.

Funcom posted a three-page comic for the issue and promised that it will be talking about Tokyo quite a bit in the coming weeks. "With Issue #9, we will be releasing the first part of the zone, the first chapter in the continuation of the main story, several side missions, and of course, the AEGIS system," the studio summed up.

To fill the weeks between now and then, Funcom is triggering a repeat of all of the stages of the Whispering Tide event. This encore event will begin on May 7th and end on May 21st.

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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The Secret World's Joel Bylos takes on mankinigate

Horror, Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, The Secret World, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

The Secret World's Lead Content Designer Joel Bylos has just posted an explanation for last week's mankinigate episode. As we reported on April 4th, a mankini outfit for male characters was added to the game's cash shop as part of the April Fools' Day patch but was later removed from that shop and from those who had purchased it, with no reason given. Today, Bylos told forumgoers that the mankini wearables were always intended to be a limited-availability April Fools joke and that players were meant to keep them. But...
Funcom management feels strongly that the Mankini outfit goes against what The Secret World intellectual property (IP) is all about and they did not want this item to stay in the game permanently. We all agree on the fact that The Secret World should be the best urban contemporary horror MMO out there, and they want to make sure that everything we bring into the game stays true to the setting and the atmosphere we have created – however it is safe to say that there is sometimes disagreement on nuance. For that reason, Management made the decision to pull it from the game entirely.
While he disagrees with purging the gear from those who bought it, he stresses that it was "pulled due to concerns over the integrity of the IP, not because of the gender or skimpiness of the outfit." The female wetsuit has also been removed from the store but will remain wearable by those who purchased it.

[With thanks to tipster Snurx! We've included Bylos' entire post after the cut.]

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The Secret World's Sidestories: Further Analysis is now live

Fantasy, Horror, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, The Secret World, Buy-to-Play

TSW Sidestories: Further Analysis
Funcom's latest Secret World DLC is now available for purchase. Sidestories: Further Analysis marks a departure from the regular issue-based release structure and features four new investigation missions designed to test your puzzle-solving skills and deliver "four fresh stories spread throughout the game world."

The DLC is available in the game's item store. It costs 960 Funcom points if you have a F2P account, with discounted rates applying to subscribers and lifetime members.

Funcom yanks mankini costume from The Secret World

Horror, Sci-Fi, The Secret World, Humor, Buy-to-Play

TSW
Players who logged in this week to The Secret World might have noticed that there was a new male costume option in the game store: a neon green mankini that covered very, very little. However, those who purchased said mankini discovered the costume gone today, as Funcom pulled the April Fools' Day outfits from characters' dressing rooms, refunded the points spent on them, and gave each previous owner a free mystery box.

While there was no explanation as to why the outfit was removed, Funcom apologized for the handling of the joke on the forums: "You may or may not be aware, but the mankini was removed. Anyone that purchased the item has been refunded points and has received a mystery box for the inconvenience. However, if you had purchased points in order to buy the mankini, you can contact customer service for a refund of those points. We're terribly sorry for the trouble, folks. Our CS staff will be happy to help."

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.

One Shots: The kiddie pool

Screenshots, Guild Wars, Culture, One Shots, The Secret World, Miscellaneous, WildStar

WildStar
What does an insane kinetic interstellar critter do on his or her day off? Why, soak in an outdoor pool and try not to think about why the water suddenly got warmer, of course!

Reader Crazyrabbit63 (probably not his real name) sent in this WildStar picture to kickstart our fun this week: "This is my Chua, BuzzCracker, sitting in his kiddie pool and relaxing after a long day of hunting Exiles across Nexus. After a few minutes in the water, BuzzCracker realized he had too many Spicy Jabbits for lunch!"

If diminutive pools aren't your thing, we've got the excitement of both Hell and singing mushrooms after the break!

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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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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]

The Secret World's Scenario Weekend starts March 14th

Fantasy, Horror, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, The Secret World, Dungeons, Buy-to-Play

The Secret World's Scenario Weekend
From Friday, March 14th, until Tuesday, March 18th, The Secret World will be hosting a little something that Funcom calls a Scenario Weekend. Players can take advantage of a 50 percent Aureu boost both when looting scenario loot tokens and when receiving Aureu as an end-of-scenario reward.

The firm is also gifting five scenario cooldown removers to everyone who logs in over the weekend. Finally, TSW's cash shop features 30% extra Funcom points with every purchase.

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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