Funcom tops Oslo stock exchange, invests heavily in The Secret World

The Secret World granting contest reward to all participating players

(8 hours ago)
Horror, Real life, Contests, Events, in-game, News items, Free-to-play, The Secret World

When Funcom brought The Secret World back online this morning, there was a twist in the announcement of the contest winners on the launchpad: Every player who participated in the End of Days special event will be granted the contest rewards! Instead of the top 1,000 players receiving the unique "Hero of Ages" title and the top 100 getting the Hatchling pet, every character who took part in the event will collect both. Note: The miniature bug pet is delivered to the character and not to the item store claim area.

The devs are taking this route because players found a way to "exploit the mechanics and reach impossible amounts of points which in turn alters the rankings to unrealistic results."

[Source: TSW launcher notes]
More coverage: The Secret World official site
The Secret World working on account-wide shop unlocks and a veteran system

(8 hours ago)
Horror, Real life, Sci-fi, Culture, News items, The Secret World

Cash shops can be the bane of an altoholic, but The Secret World is aiming to ensure that your alts get all of the benefits your main already enjoys. Starting today, pets you unlock via the store will be unlocked for your account rather than one character, with the development team planning to move this functionality to outfits as well. That means that if you buy some cosmetic frippery once, it's yours forever on all your characters.

The game is also going to be putting together a veteran rewards program for subscribers. Each month of subscription provides Veteran Points, awarded at the same time that the subscription awards bonus cash shop points. Veterans can then spend the points on a variety of items, including new consumables, outfits, pets, and training dummies. It's always nice to have some extra benefits to being a long-term fan of a game, so if you're already enjoying deciphering conspiracy, there's extra incentive to keep at it.

[Thanks to Elania for the tip!]

The Secret World has a lot of clothing options

(2 hours ago)
Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, The Secret World, Roleplaying, Buy-to-Play

If you've played The Secret World for more than five minutes, you're probably aware of the fact that it has some of the most extensive outfit options of any MMORPG on the market. If you're not aware of that fact, well, you're the target audience of Funcom's latest dev blog.

It's all about avatar customization, and it details how TSW's stats are kept separate from clothing items in order to satisfy your inner mix-maxer and fashion maven simultaneously. Since the game is set in the modern world, you'll find many authentic styles available to earn in-game or purchase through the cash shop. If you're a fan of the otherworldly, don't fret. There are plenty of sci-fi, steampunk, horror, fantasy, and medieval get-ups as well.

The Secret World's Issue #7 goes 007

(3 hours ago)
Horror, Real-Life, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, The Secret World, Buy-to-Play

April's Game Director letter for The Secret World is hot off the presses, and in it Joel Bylos shared some juicy morsels about the next issue in store for the horror and conspiracy-laced game. He revealed that whereas Issue #6 was spiced with an Indiana Jones flavor, Issue #7 will be sprinkled with a distinct 007 zest. Yes, Bond. James Bond.

Set in Transylvania, Issue #7 directs players to investigate the presence of the werewolves in the area, which ultimately leads them to an Orochi facility secreted away below a glacier in the Carpathian Fangs. Along the way, players get to experience adventures as a secret agent, complete with daring chases (a snowmobile one at that!), dare-devil jumps from exploding bridges, and close shaves with laser beams near sensitive areas. There's also a new auxiliary weapon to brandish -- the flamethrower.

But the new goodies don't stop there. Bylos introduced a new feature that allows for custom streaming of radio stations or playlists directly into the client as well as a some PvP changes including tweaks to the matchmaking system. He concluded with some teasers about Black Ops and Issue #8. For all the details, check out the full letter.

Chaos Theory: Player projects enhance The Secret World experience

(3 hours ago)
Horror, Real-Life, Video, Interviews, Opinion, The Secret World, Chaos Theory, Player-Generated Content, Buy-to-Play

One of The Secret World's most unique elements makes it ripe for producing immersive experiences, even outside of the game. Set in the modern real world (as opposed to the fantasy or even sci-fi themes prevalent in our MMOverse), a game can more easily blur the line between logged in and logged out. Players can, and do, generate ways to be a part of the game while still out and about in the real world. Today, I'm going to shine a spotlight on two of these projects that use very different methods to continue immersion beyond actual gameplay.

In January, one TSW fan ran an Alternate-Reality Game (ARG) for fellow players. Using Twitter, the forums, email, and even in-game characters, this player orchestrated a full-on investigation for participants to work through. And just recently, a new site offering to immerse players more deeply into the game through imagery was beta-launched. Both projects further player involvement in the world of the game -- the stories, the conspiracies, the histories, and the surroundings -- beyond the actual game. Both received support from Funcom in their efforts to expand the fans' experiences. And both are definitely worth checking out, so I sat down with the creators to get the scoop on the why, the how, and the what's next. Continue Reading

The Secret World Game Director's letter dishes more details on Issues 7 & 8

(3 hours ago)
Horror, Real-Life, Patches, News Items, The Secret World, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

We already knew that Issue #7 would bring The Secret World a spy-like experience. And now, thanks to the Game Director's letter for May, we also have the title, snazzy cover art, and a glimpse at the climactic ending. We even get an expected time-frame for release; while an exact date is not given, it appears that it will hit the end of June, according to the cover art, and Director Joel Bylos himself states it will coincide with TSW's first anniversary.

Issue #7: A Dream to Kill ends with filth infiltrating Agartha itself through the newly discovered Tokyo entrance, and players will continue to fight this threat with group and solo content until Tokyo can finally be entered.

Bylos also reveals information about Issue #8, including the Virtual Training Scenarios and the Augment System. To prove readiness to enter Tokyo to the Council of Venice, players will have to complete training scenarios that will have random elements thrown in, making each experience different. The Augment system is a new advancement system that will allow players to improve their existing abilities by providing customization in the roles of damage, support, healing, and survivability.

The Secret World: Massive Edition Now Out on Steam Anyone yet to try out Funcom's The Secret World will want to check into the Steam promotion called the "Massive Edition". The new package includes the original game and all of the Issues to date, the last t ... Read more...

The Secret World News - Augments and Scenarios, Oh My!

on Oct 31, 2013 | 9 comments in our forums

The Secret World is getting ready for some big changes and exciting new locations to explore when Issue 8: The Venetian Agenda goes live later this fall. We had the opportunity to speak with the team about Issue 8 and have some exclusive information to share. Read on and then leave us your impressions in the comments.
We met Joel and Tor in the Agartha transit system, fully dressed in top-end gear and the new outfits from the most recent content update. Sometimes it pays to be on the dev server, even if just for a little bit. The first thing they guys wanted us to know is that the Council of Venice can be entered at any time by any one... but that doesn’t mean you’ll be ready for its challenges. The Scenarios themselves are intended for folks wielding Quality Level 9 or 10 items, so in this way it’s meant for people more towards the “endgame”. After several issues with stories focused more on lateral progression, Joel and team felt the time was right to add something in that would work as a more vertical progression system to help prepare players for Tokyo’s challenges.
Read more of Bill Murphy's The Secret World: Augments and Scenarios, Oh My!

The Secret World hints at Aegis system with Issue #9

(5 hours ago)
Horror, Sci-Fi, Previews, The Secret World, Post-Apocalyptic, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

With Issue #8 on the way next week for The Secret World, Creative Director Joel Bylos hinted at what lies beyond in his latest game director letter.

While the fans have known that the first part of the long-awaited Tokyo zone would be coming with Issue #9, Bylos dropped a small bombshell that a new system will arrive as well. "We will be introducing the new Aegis system," he said, "which will expand the horizontal progression of The Secret World and provide new mechanics that allow us to build consistent horizontal progression mechanics that will keep content fresh, not only in Tokyo, but also for all new areas in the future."

Bylos reports that "full production is underway" for Issue #9, including work on missions, characters, motion capture, and voice acting. He said that once it's completed, it will be the single largest content update the MMO has seen to date.

[Thanks to Cotic for the tip!]

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The Secret World: Issue 8: The Venetian Agenda Preview Video Arrives

Joel Bylos hosts the latest Secret World video that heralds the arrival of Issue 8: The Venetian Agenda. The update brings special training "scenarios" to the game where players earn certification to enter Tokyo when it arrives in TSW at a later point in time. The augment system also receives attention to give players a heads up on how to fine tune abilities to become more powerful. Check it out!

The Secret World: Spying On The Secret World

The Tourist returns with another jaunt into one of today's hottest games. This week, he takes a trip into The Secret World. See what he discovered before heading to the comments.
Nothing is as it seems. That seems to be the central tenet guiding Funcom’s The Secret World. Everything you see, everything you believe, is a lie concocted to keep you blissfully unaware of the hidden war brewing just under the surface. It is a war between secret societies -- The Dragons, Templars, and Illuminati -- and a war for reality as we know it. Except the balance has shifted. Horrors half viewed from the corner of the eye have slipped into being. Creatures once reserved for storybooks now march on quiet towns and frightened villagers. That’s where you come in, a soldier in one of these armies, and one part of the thin hope our world has left.
Read more of Chris Coke's The Tourist: Spying On The Secret World.
The Secret World offers Golden Weekend for the holiday

(5 hours ago)
Horror, Real-Life, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, News Items, The Secret World, Promotions, Buy-to-Play

If you've got a lot of extra time to game this long holiday weekend, The Secret World has a special event that will keep you busy. Starting Thanksgiving Day and lasting through Monday, December 2nd, players will be able to rack up double Ability Points, collect a 30% bonus on all purchased Funcom Points, and earn a free month's membership for every recruited friend who buys the game.

Additionally, players can once again enjoy the Gilded Rage event complete with the roaming giant golden golem loot pinata and the opportunity to grab the semi-exclusive golden tux at a 90% discount.

[Source: Funcom newsletter]
TSW official site
Krampus has arrived in The Secret World

(1 hour ago)
Horror, Real-Life, Events (In-Game), PvP, News Items, PvE, The Secret World, Buy-to-Play

Bust out the holiday cheer, Krampus is here! The holidays have officially arrived in The Secret World with the start of the all-new Christmas event, A Mother of a Season. Until the 2nd of January, brave groups of adventures can follow Krampus into the realm of Niflheim to fight even more enemies, and even call forth Hel herself. PvPers can try and become the Lord of Misrule, a five-minute title that grants special abilities during PvP. Of course, there are plenty of themed goodies and loot as well, not to mention the return of the End of Days event.

Today's patch also brought a handy new addition to the game: a pet inventory. Now you can free up your bag space by clicking on all your pets and moving them to the new pet window (shift + p), earning an achievement for each pet collected.
Source:Christmas eventTSW official site
The Secret World: 2014 Means Tokyo According to Latest Director's Letter

The Secret World's site has been updated with the latest Game Director's Letter. This time, however, the letter wasn't actually penned by Joel Bylos but by Lead Designer Romain Amiel. In it, Romain talks about what the team has most recently accomplished and goes on to the exciting news that this year will mark the arrival of Tokyo!
As for the rest of 2014, let's see. As soon as you are done cleansing the current gate of its Filth for the Whispering Tide, the next and final phase of the event will occur. You will finally get to fight "Flappy". After months of having him knocking you off branches in Agartha it's time for pay back.
You can take on "Flappy" in an massive 60-man indoor raid fight, but whether you join the battle alone or with a team you will be rewarded as long as you participate. This fight will be available until Agartha has been fully reclaimed and the way to the Tokyo branch has been discovered.
Issue #9 will be released within the first quarter of 2014, and as you already know it will allow each faction to continue following the main story, as well as discovering new characters that will offer a host of new missions. It will also introduce another progression system, the AEGIS, that Joel described in his last letter. Issue #9willbe our biggest content update to date by far.
Issue #10 and #11 should follow soon(tm) after, each allowing you to discover new areas and challenges in Tokyo. For the high end players, issue #10 will also add a new Lair, and issue #11 a new raid.

The Secret World : Mankini-gate and More

Posted Apr 08, 2014 by Suzie Ford

When I was considering the various topics I could cover for this week’s The Secret World column I was faced with so many options I really didn’t know where to start. First Joel announces new content, then there was Mankini-gate, and finally there has been ARG activity. How could I pick just one? I couldn’t. So we’re breaking it down into four parts.
Read more of Shannon Doyle's The Secret World: Mankini-gate and More.

Permalink | 3 comments



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

(2 hours ago)
Fantasy, Horror, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, The Secret World, Buy-to-Play

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.


The Secret World : Paying Tribute to the Redshirts

Posted Jun 04, 2014

As we enter the final stretch before Tokyo I’d like to pause for a moment to pay tribute to our favorite Redshirts, the Orochi. We will be heading straight to the heart of Orochi headquarters to find out what exactly happened. There is no doubt that we will meet many Orochi along the way. And maybe, just maybe one will survive. But we aren’t going to hold our breath. The Orochi have, for as long as The Secret World has been a thing been the redshirts, the dispensable, nameless men who are more often than not are dead or die. And yet there seems to be an endless supply of them. Orochi must have a great recruitment team.
Read more of Shannon Doyle's The Secret World: Paying Tribut to the Redshirts.

As we enter the final stretch before Tokyo I’d like to pause for a moment to pay tribute to our favorite Redshirts, the Orochi. We will be heading straight to the heart of Orochi headquarters to find out what exactly happened. There is no doubt that we will meet many Orochi along the way. And maybe, just maybe one will survive. But we aren’t going to hold our breath. The Orochi have, for as long as The Secret World has been a thing been the redshirts, the dispensable, nameless men who are more often than not are dead or die. And yet there seems to be an endless supply of them. Orochi must have a great recruitment team.

We first met the Orochi in Kingsmouth. They block the only bridge out of town and have instated a quarantine which is keeping anyone from leaving. The head Orochi there is Harrison Blake, voiced by none other than Star Trek veteran Tim Russ. It was that moment that I first realized who and what the Orochi were going to be in The Secret World. They are the redshirts. Those sad extras in Star Trek who go on away missions with the main cast just so the writers can kill someone without it impacting the show. They often don’t even get names, and yes, more often than not they are wearing a red uniform. Though Orochi prefers a more modern and sophisticated black uniform there is no doubt that they are the redshirts of TSW.
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As you continue your journey through The Secret World you’re constantly coming across the very questionable actions of Orochi who seem to love to play with fire as they experiment on Filth, children, and just about anything else in between. They appear to have a lust for power and insist on being in control of every situation. But as much as they seem like an evil giant corporation you can’t help but love them.
But all of that may change after Tokyo. We’ve known since very early on that something terrible was going to happen in Tokyo. The flashback at the beginning of the game is really only the start of Tokyo’s troubles. And now those troubles are finally coming to light.
We did learn just last week thanks to a rather disturbing video that the threat isn’t over. Citizens of Tokyo are being advised to stay indoors, avoid crowds, and most of all avoid certain areas which are of course infected with Filth. The video, if you haven’t already seen it is sure to raise a few hairs on the back of your neck. And you can watch it right here, if you dare.


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The Secret World : A Hands On Visit to Tokyo & What’s to Come

Posted Jun 04, 2014

As you might be aware, The Secret World recently underwent some transition and the team became a smaller one. Yet the dedication to the promised content prevailed, and it is finally ready. We got a peek into the new content with Game Director Joel Bylos this week, who took us through what players can expect when they finally enter Tokyo.
Read on for our full preview: A Hands On Visit to Tokyo & What’s to Come

If you play The Secret World, then the arrival of the release of Issue 9: The Black Signal and the arrival of Tokyo into the game have been a long time coming. Originally conceived and initial work started on this area even as the game was launching. Part of the original team was dedicated to this content from the start. And that was part of the problem in getting the Tokyo content shaped, polished, and finally, ready for release. As you might be aware, the game underwent some transition and the team became a smaller one. Yet the dedication to the promised content prevailed, and it is finally ready. We got a peek into the new content with Game Director Joel Bylos this week, who took us through what players can expect when they finally enter Tokyo.

In several ways, Tokyo is a return to the very beginning for high level players. The first mission there is even called “Back to the Beginning”. Since the content opens up at a point after the main storyline is done, the war is, for the most part, over, with some very distinct reminders that all is not quite back to normal. Far from it, in fact. That first mission takes place in a location that should be familiar -- Kaidan Station. The very same station where the game’s tutorial level takes place. Where then, you were there as a projection into the body of Sarah, now you find Sarah, alone and with troubled mind. The voices she channels should also be familiar to players from the intro mission. She manages to seize a few moments of clarity and joins you while you all make your way through the station, having your intro to some of the new Filth variations you’ll face. Eventually, out into Tokyo through the subway you arrive.
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You’ll notice a few things immediately. If you look up, the imposing Orochi tower stands as a landmark in the area. You’ll have to wait for issue 11 to actually get in there, however, but it will be the site of the climax of the arc, which also brings both a new dungeon and raid version of that dungeon, as well as another Auxiliary weapon, and more.
The city as we enter it is rather deserted, with most people presumably trying to keep safe somewhere hidden. There are some large tanks sitting around (including one with a paranoid quest giver inside) and scarred streets. Watching Filth stalk through the streets or even crawl across buildings (make sure to look up in this area!) is nicely unsettling. The design here is consistent with the creepy factor, no doubt.
A cutscene plays with information from a government official (who players will later get to meet and work with) on the quarantine in place. With the streets still crawling with Filth, that quarantine wall keeping people in and out isn’t working very well. Looking at the map, the bottom portion was covered with some huge tentacles and corruption. The initially open area represents about ? of what we’ll see, with that last third of the map opening up in issue 10, along with some new areas. Two Sidestories packs will be available after issue 9, with another one becoming available after issue 10. These will include all mission types. Issue 10 will also deliver a new magical Auxiliary weapon and a new Scenario map. Tokyo will also include a Lair, with a revamp of the Lair system in 10 or 11.
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There are three main mission lines in Tokyo, as well as other available missions and surprises. The three leaders are trying to go about with their business in the middle of the not quite resolved situation. While each leader has leanings toward one particular faction, all of the missions are, in fact, faction blind. You will be able to do them all in this area, with any faction differences on your part mainly being in some of the rewards you obtain. Also, for the first time, story missions will be repeatable. One of the new features tied to the story is the introduction of Black Lore. While The Buzzing is still present, with the usual lore to find in the area, the titular Black Signal will deliver another side of lore with this new feature.


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The Secret World (TSW)

Funcom | Play Now
MMORPG | Genre:Real Life | Status:Final (rel 07/03/12) | Pub:Funcom
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download,Retail | Retail Price:$30.00 | Pay Type:Hybrid | Monthly Fee:n/a

The Secret World Column: Investigate This

on June 24, 2014

I recently had the most meta experience of my entire gaming life. There I was, relaxing after the insanity of E3 and ready to settle into The Secret World’s Tokyo. Then I learned, you need to earn access to get there. It makes sense, they don’t want any noob to just wander in. So I started doing a bit of research. I had two options. The first and possibly most popular was to do scenarios. They aren’t really my thing though, so I opted for the second way. It was to complete one of the missions that was in the Sidestories: Further Analysis pack. It was an investigation mission which started in Egypt but ended up taking me all over the world.

And this is where the meta comes in. I was at one point sitting at my computer playing my character Penny who was standing in Red’s Bait and Tackle playing a text game on a tablet about being in Seoul where she has to play something similar to Guitar Hero to gain entry into the internet café. So I was in fact playing a game, within a game, within a game. Mind. Blown. I have never in my life experienced something like this. The closest thing I ever got wasn’t a construct of the game I was playing but instead a player run experience. A few friends of mine decided to roll up new characters in City of Heroes, but with a twist. They weren’t being played by us. They were being played by our characters. So I had to play my character how another one of my characters would have played her. Ahhh, roleplayers.
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This got me thinking about investigation missions. They are in my humble opinion the absolute highlight of The Secret World. They make you think outside the box, inside the box, and even about the box itself. One of the earliest was Dead Air, it took place at the Kingsmouth airport. This one I completed with three of my friends and we all had different approaches to it. There was a message, in Morse code. Now, I don’t know about anyone else but my Morse code is a bit rusty. So I started searching for ways to translate it. Without even speaking to each other except in character another broke out a piece of paper and pen to start scribbling the dots and dashes down while another broke out his phone and installed an app. All of this happened in real life mind you, not just in the game. But being roleplayers we did do it in character too. We all had a great laugh because it was the stuffy old Templar who thought to use technology, not the two Dragons and Illuminati. It was that moment, if I hadn’t been already that I was completely sold on The Secret World.
Investigation missions have been in the news a bit recently as discussion on whether or not they should be replayable has come up. There seem to be two major opposing thoughts on this. The first says that you should be able to play them again. Everything else in the game can be played over and over, so why exclude them. It gives a less complete experience for those who go back and play through all the content again. This is, amazingly something that people do. And then there are those on the other side who are against it. They argue that it is vital to the experience that you only do them once. Consider the Morse code scene I just described. The surprise is gone. We know now that Morse code is coming so we will be prepared. Some people, not me, might even be able to remember what was being said without having to translate it again. At that point you’re just going through the motions. It basically becomes a grindfest.
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I am on the fence about the idea of repeating investigation missions. I have been considering going back to the start in Kingsmouth with Penny and playing it all again. If I did that I know I would miss the investigation missions. And thankfully I have poor enough memory that I couldn’t just skip the investigation part and have the answers. On the other hand The Secret World is all about the environment and something as simple as knowing the right website to visit without having to think about it does lessen, not ruin, but lessen the experience. I shouldn’t know wandering into Kingsmouth that I need an app to translate Morse code. But the temptation would be there, the knowledge would be there. And that for me is too much. So while I would love to be able to play investigation missions again, I don’t want to be able to play them again. And this has me stuck in the middle.
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Now that I’ve done some Sidestory: Further Analysis missions I regret not doing them sooner. And in fact I still have some left to do. I was stretching them out, making them last in between doing other things. I see now that I want to devour them all. And share that experience with you. But! This isn’t the time for that. Now Tokyo is out, there are new investigation missions to uncover, Filth to be grossed out by, and mad men to meet. There is always a mad man. If you came hoping to read about Tokyo you can check out Christina’s hands on experience with Tokyoand learn a bit about what the future holds for The Secret World. Meanwhile I’m going to continue to wonder why I got a tattoo in my game within a game while I play Tokyo. Seriously though, why did I do that?


The Secret World releases new Love & Loathing mission pack

(3 hours ago)
Horror, Sci-Fi, Lore, Patches, The Secret World, Crime, Anniversaries

A new mission pack has hit the item store in The Secret World and you're all invited to check it out. Sidestories: Love & Loathing is now available for 960 Funcom points. This mission pack arrives just in time for The Secret World's second anniversary today and it features five missions that dive deeper into the story of Kaidan.

Speaking of that anniversary, Funcom is gifting players with double AP and various other bonuses through July 11th!

Take note that you'll need to own Issue #9: The Black Signal and have access to Tokyo to play the Sidestories: Love & Loathing content.


The Secret World : Two Years of TSW

Posted Jul 08, 2014

Two years of The Secret World. It hardly seems true. Though it is still a baby next to its Funcom brothers Age of Conan and Anarchy Online The Secret World has certainly had an exciting life so far. We’ve faced the end of the world while cowering in our basement, there has been controversy, there has been terror, there has been joy, and artists have been given freedom to run wild. All of this happening while the MMO is still learning to walk.
Read more of Shannon Doyle's The Secret World: Two Years of TSW.

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The Secret World : Starting Over

Posted Sep 09, 2014 by

Now that convention season is coming to an end MMORPG is slowly getting back to the normal routine. This means we’re back to our every other week schedule! And just in case you missed it I got to interview Joel Bylos about all things related to The Secret World. This of course happened before he released his August Game Director’s letter which came out at the end of last week.
Read more of Shannon Doyle's The Secret World: Starting Over.
Now that convention season is coming to an end MMORPG is slowly getting back to the normal routine. This means we’re back to our every other week schedule! And just in case you missed it I got to interview Joel Bylos about all things related to The Secret World. This of course happened before he released his August Game Director’s letter which came out at the end of last week.

In it Joel outlines some of the things that are coming up soon. The most exciting news for the moment is that a new Sidelines mission pack is coming in the new couple of weeks. It includes a couple of investigation quests, a bank heist, and a bit more fun. All of it takes place in Tokyo which is a bit unfortunate for me as I am about to roll up a new character. More on that in a little bit though.

The Orochi have developed wormhole based teleportation to help players get to and from Tokyo from anywhere in the world. While it sounds awesome, I think I’ll let a few more redshirts be the guinea pigs before I try using one. There’s just something about them I don’t trust. Not with my own life at least.
While they’re putting in the mission pack and new wormhole technology Funcom will also be putting in a few Quality of Life changes. AEGIS system changes will be expected, but perhaps most excitingly there will be a new notification system. This will allow events to big triggered by notifications, NPCs will be able to send messages to the players, and I imagine there will be many more uses for the system in the future.
And finally, there was the big news that made roleplayers squee in glee. They’ve now made it so emotes, hairstyles, and makeup can be individually unlocked. That means you can get them as rewards for completing content. Which hopefully will also mean that we’re going to see a ton of new stuff coming out for it. The first of which has already been announced. A new dance! Of course Joel finished his letter off with a tease, reminding us that the holiday season is coming. Only 106 days until Christmas guys! (Please don’t hate me.)
So now that I’ve talked a bit about Joel’s letter, pimped my interview with him and eluded to a top secret project I’m working on…oh…I haven’t done that last one yet. Um…forget I said anything. Moving on!

Starting Over
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about this project. I’m starting over. I love my main character Penny, I do, but I feel like starting TSW all over again. I’m going to roll up a new character. I’m sort of leaning towards Illuminati at the moment. Maybe go with Shotgun. Why am I doing this? I’ll be completely honest with you, it has been two years since I last started a character. I’ve forgotten a lot of the early story. Plus with all the new things that have been added in…well, I’m ready to see how all the newly added things play in to the story if you’re starting from the beginning as anyone new to the game would. Yes, this means I’m missing out on Tokyo which is the big thing at the moment but I’m ok with that. I like to think that by doing this I’ll have a better appreciation for Tokyo when I do get there.
Most excitingly of all I would like to invite all of you to join me! I’m a roleplayer and I walk everywhere but you don’t have to! I’ll create a Cabal for all of us, which again you don’t have to join. And you can’t join if you want to roll up a different faction. Or even if you just want to hang out while I explore the world again I’m game. I guess what I’m saying is, lets get a weekly play group going.

I’ll document our adventures in the column from time to time, you just have to show up and be your totally awesome selves. Here are the details on it all as they stand right now:

  • Kingsmouth to Tokyo
    • Date and Time: Every Saturday at 8PM London time, 3PM New York, 4AM Seoul (Real life times not in game, sorry Seoul.)
    • Faction: To Be Announced
    • Server: Arcadia
    • Begins: October 4th, 2014
If you plan on playing with us, or even if you have a favorite faction, let me know in the comments below! I need help deciding what to play. I’ll also be starting an in character blog once I get some details worked out. By the time the next column goes live the blog will be going and I’ll have a presence on Twitter as well.
I’m really looking forward to doing this, and I hope you all enjoy it as well. Until the launch of the event I’ll be discussing details of it in the article comments below. So join in the conversation! In two weeks I’ll have all the details smoothed out on the project and, with luck I can tell you a bit more about that top secret thing I’m working on. If you don’t hear from me again, well…you can assume the Black Watchmen got me. Good luck out there my friends, see you in Agartha.
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The Secret World : Murphy's Lawbreakers

Posted Oct 07, 2014 by Suzie Ford

This weekend saw the first meeting of Murphy’s Lawbreakers, the official MMORPG Illuminati cabal. We had a fantastic turnout that had all of Kingsmouth talking. The first twenty minutes of the meetup were spent getting to know each other and inviting people to the cabal. By the end there were 17 of us, which had a few consequences that hadn’t been considered when the whole idea was thought up.
Read more of Shannon Doyle's The Secret World: Murphy's Lawbreakers.
We gathered just inside Kingsmouth at the camp of Jack Boone, I don’t think he’s had so many guests at his camp at once in a long time. The beans ran out quickly but we stuck around for the friendly banter. Once we were sure the last of us had made the trip from New York we were on our way. And that’s where the trouble started. Zombies we expected, zombies are fine. The problem came when the zone didn’t scale to give us more enemies. So imagine if you will all 17 of us trying to go after the same lumps of mobs with three or four zombies in them. We went in without teams. Which resulted in people not getting credit for kills. Trying to organize teams once we were already out of the gate? Not really possible. I managed to get myself a good team plus one who followed us for most of the rest of our play session.

I’m surprised my laughter the entire road into Kingsmouth didn’t attract more unwanted, undead attention. But we took things slowish and made sure to kill every mob twice, double tap. One thing we didn’t do that really made a huge difference to me was walk. I have only ever played The Secret World walking. It slows everything down and perhaps more importantly makes the town of Kingsmouth feel bigger. Kingsmouth felt different this time around. Not only did I already know everything, which admittedly does damage the replayability of the game, it also went a lot faster. All because I didn’t have walk turned on. This makes me wonder how quickly we’ll be finishing Kingsmouth.
In just one short two hour play session my team accomplished quite a lot. We made it to the Sheriff’s office and defended it from an onslaught of ravenous zombies before making our way down towards the bay where the foes took on a slightly different appearance. Along the way I grabbed some undelivered mail and carried it with me through the bay while searching for the King of the vile creatures. He was an ugly beast who I can only imagine smelled of salt and rotting fish. After seeing him we stopped off at a small yard sale. The owner wasn’t too helpful but we did get a recipe for zombie powder. There we smelled smoke and followed the smell to a huge bonfire being watched by a nice, though slightly mad woman named Norma. While helping Norma take care of the zombie problem in the town we searched for survivors. There wasn’t much good news in that hunt. And we got the sheriff some supplies. After that my team split up to finish up some loose ends. I still had that package to drop off, others still had survivors to find. I’m going to spend a few days with Madame Roget, it was her package I dropped off and the Raven’s Knock seems like a safe place to stay for now.

Another thing that may have contributed to how fast it felt like we were going was the fact that I bought an AP injection of 110 AP at the suggestion of @Scopique, who I also have to thank for all the images in today’s column. So right from the start I had a tray full of options. No stopping to get something new, no suffering with only one or two abilities. Did it actually contribute to the fast pace I felt? Maybe, maybe not. I certainly don’t regret the purchase though. Not only did I spend some of my points, which was a topic of concern in the last column, I also got to have a variety of options for shooting the undead. And when you’re dealing with zombies you really do want options.

It seemed like once the cabal got to the Sheriff’s office they all scattered. With so many different quest options right there in the one spot it was easy to do. Unfortunately it didn’t do much for the whole community as one idea I had originally envisioned but the road to Kingsmouth taught us a valuable lesson. The main parts of the world in The Secret World are meant to be enjoyed in small groups. What this tells me is that we need to form groups within the cabal. Maybe it will be a new group every time, or maybe we will make it so you always group with the same people. I don’t know yet. I suppose we’ll find out more when we meet up again this Saturday. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to convince my group to walk this time. It really does make an incredible difference to the way the game plays. Next time you log in to TSW hit walk and see if you can feel the difference too.
We still have a long way to go in Kingsmouth and yet it feels like we’ve already accomplished much more than I had intended for us to. But that doesn’t mean that it’s too late to join us! We’ll be meeting up at the Sheriff’s office on Saturday at 4PM New York time (that’s the Eastern timezone in the real world) for more fun zombie filled excitement. More than likely we will end up finishing the main part of Kingsmouth town and head out to the outer parts. Who knows, we may end up meeting good ol’ Edgar who to this day is still my favorite NPC in The Secret World, even above Jeffrey Combs’ characters. I hope to see you all there. Keep an eye open for any of Murphy’s Lawbreakers or anyone wearing an MMORPG shirt.
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The Secret World : Golden Weekend Announced

Posted Oct 10, 2014

Funcom has announced that this upcoming weekend is a special one for The Secret World players. Called the "Golden Weekend", players will be able to take part in the Gilded Rage event, take advantage of double ability points, get some great deals on Funcom Points and more.
We invite you to take part in a Golden Weekend in The Secret World! Play now to enjoy all these great bonuses and take part in a special Gilded Rage event. The Golden Weekend starts now and lasts until Monday the 13th of October. Read more about the event here.
Double Ability Points! – Every time you earn an Ability Point during the event you also get an additional one as a bonus.
Gilded Rage Event – Gather together in groups and hunt down a golden rampaging Guardian of Gaia.
Great Deal on Funcom Points! – During the Golden Weekend you get 30% extra Bonus Points every time you purchase Funcom Points!
Extra Heavy Metal – Now you can get your hands on a fresh golden outfit! The all new Extra Heavy Metal and Style and Gilt outfits are 90% off during the Golden Weekend!
Free Membership Months for Recruiting! – For every new player you recruit this weekend you get a free month of Membership in addition to the Veteran Points you normally get.
Find out more on The Secret World site.
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The Secret World : The Broadcast

Posted Nov 04, 2014

Last night I sat down at my computer to finally get my chance to dive into the Halloween story. Nevermind that it’s past Halloween now, it’s always Halloween in The Secret World. Or at least it feels that way. So I logged Penny in and hit the button to get it started. Wow do I regret that.
Read more of Shannon Doyle's The Secret World: The Broadcast.
Before you start getting the wrong idea let me be clear. I started playing late at night, wind was blowing some of the construction material from next door around making some creepy sounds in the dark. A cat found its way into our yard, yes it was black though I’m not sure that matters. And from time to time we have birds come up and tap on our windows. So, why do I regret starting The Broadcast? That first phone call. Oh man, can we say creepy? Yeah, I just turned the game off after that. Noooo way I was going to tackle that in the dark. Not even with all the lights on in the house and my husband sitting next to me. Nope! Just nope. All of the nope even. Call me a wimp if you want, but I’m glad I didn’t go through with it.

It really is that sort of thing that keeps me coming back. My computer doesn’t exactly run the game the best, in fact it’s likely easy to see that I’m on the lowest graphics settings possible. But oh the stories. I’m not a fan of horror, again that much should be obvious by my wimpy nature. But the story almost demands to be played. I have to know what’s going to happen. I also have to wait until it’s daylight and I can safely walk through my house.

So that’s what I did. I finished listening to that first phone call. It would be rude to do otherwise. And then, almost as if they were waiting a small horde of zombies jumped out at me. I may have screamed like a little girl…maybe. Fast forward to a less socially acceptable hour to get scared out of your pants and I was on my way.
The Secret World has ruined me for other voice acting in MMOs. They’ve set a standard so high I don’t think any can match it. This really shines through in The Broadcast. Dave Screed is voiced by André Sogliuzzo who amazingly also voices Moose, and many others. The voice acting in The Broadcast is perhaps some of the best in the entire game. You can feel the terror in his voice. You believe for a moment that there really is someone out there on the other end of the phone. Someone who is calling you in a panic and needs your help. This is also a fantastic opportunity for players to meet Dave Screed. You only really get to know him if you roll up an Illuminati which of course many of us at MMORPG has done recently for Murphy’s Lawbreakers.

I won’t go into any of the details of The Broadcast, just in case anyone hasn’t had a chance to play it. It was released rather late for a Halloween event. But it was completely worth the wait. And the good news is they’re keeping it around longer to make up for it being delayed. With The Broadcast stretching half way into November it will make it seem like Christmas is here even faster this year. Nevermind the fact that I’ve been seeing Christmas things in stores for over a month already.
Halloween in The Secret World is not something that should be missed. Of course if you do miss it you don’t have to worry too much. Funcom is awesome enough to make sure everyone will get the chance to play it by bringing the event back again the next year. This means that every year the event grows with only a small bit of new content added. It also means if you’re sick one year or too busy with work or other games…not that I recommend other games, the content will still be there. This is something that surprisingly not many MMOs do. To me it just seems like common sense. You put a lot of work into making something? Get the most bang for your buck and keep bringing it back.

There’s also lots of things available in the Item Store this Halloween. The most controversial of which are two of the three Halloween Loot Bags. These loot bags are required for achievements which has caused a bit of a discussion on the forums. Though it looks like Funcom may have seen that it may not be a popular choice so it will be getting changed. I’ve not yet sat down to read the 17 pages of discussion on the topic yet but I plan to just after this. There are also a variety of items you can buy in the store, including a pretty awesome hat. And just in case you forgot be sure to apply the code HALLOWEEN2014TEE to your account for a free t-shirt that quite adorably says “When you solo, nobody can hear you scream.” Maybe this needs to become my new motto.

Before you know it the Halloween event in The Secret World will be over and all our thoughts will move on to other things. So be sure to grab all that lore you missed from years gone by. And get all the achievements for running this year’s event. Find yourself a buddy who will laugh at you while you scream in terror, just make sure they won’t laugh too hard. The Broadcast is out there, playing right now, waiting. Waiting for you.
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The Secret World's Issue 10 characters, locations, and shield upgrades

(2 hours ago)
Horror, Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, The Secret World, Post-Apocalyptic, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

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.


General : Issue 10 Nightmares in the Dream Palace Coming Soon

Posted Dec 01, 2014

The latest Secret World Producer's Letter has been published. Of most notable interest is the announcement that Issue 10 - Nightmares in the Dream Palace is expected to go live in the first half of December. Nightmare will bring a new area to explore and will also feature some quality of life improvements. With Issue 10's arrival, players will be able to customize the UI. New players will also see a new monster difficulty panel to assist in battle.
With Issue #10 launching, there’s no way we could be doing anything for Christmas right? Wrong. I am happy to say that we are running our Christmas events again this year – including the End of Days, Krampus and Hel, and our brand new event – The Christmas Conspiracy.
The Christmas Conspiracy begins with an invitation to a showing of “The Magic Flute” at the Albion Theatre. From there you’ll find yourself drawn into a conspiracy that touches the lives of several famous historical figures and find yourself exploring catacombs untouched for hundreds of years as you race against time to stop the Phoenicians from stealing the very heart of Christmas itself.
Everything in this mission chain has a basis in fact and the entire foundation of the story rests firmly on events that played out over a thousand years ago.
Sometimes, reality truly is stranger than fiction.
Read the full letter on The Secret World site.

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