the secret world

Official Site: The Secret World
Studio: Funcom
Launch Date: July 3, 2012
Genre: Modern Horror Hybrid Themepark
Business Model: Hybrid B2P (Optional Sub, Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

The Stream Team: Skating through The Secret World's new challenge

If there is one thing Massively OP's MJ has wanted in The Secret World, it's roller skates. Well, that and a penguin onesie. And thanks to the new challenge, she's finally got a real chance at getting one of them! MJ is heading in to complete challenges in order to earn a pair of gravity skates. They may not be the cool retro ones, but these in-line skates are still pretty spiffy. Better yet, they don't rely on RNG! Join us live at 9:00 p.m. and get in on the challenge grind. There may be scenarios and dungeons involved (and that means Death Counter!).

What: The Secret World
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 16th, 2017

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Chaos Theory: The Secret World predictions 2016 vs 2017

It's no secret that The Secret World had a rough year in 2016. I just really wish I could say differently. And it's especially sad because I had such hopes for my favorite game. Granted, I knew it wasn't going to miraculously get the funding and staff to give me all the story and things my heart so desired, but I did anticipate a bit more than what we actually got. When 2016 dawned, I pieced together our available clues to try and draw a map of where the year was going. A cartographer I apparently am not, and Google maps won't be hiring me anytime soon. Perhaps for this year I shall consult with the Magic Eight ball? Here's a look at the scorecard for my 2016 predictions, and a modest list of 2017 hopes, dreams, and predicted happenings. (We'll just have to wait to see how those ultimately pan out!).

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Love and skates: The Secret World offers Valentine goodies and new challenge

Love is in the air! And according to The Secret World, it's more of a plague. But players may actually be interested in catching what's going around; throughout the rest of February, there are various Valentine's Day-themed apparel and goodies to collects, including corsages and jewelry, stuffed bears, and even a red scooter. Satchels of Amorous Delights, filled with these cosmetics and consumables, are available from both the Merchant of Eros in the city hubs (for Black Bullion or Pax) and the item store (for Funcom or bonus points). Players can also grab a pair of heart pajamas from the item store as well as a Bag of Saint Valentinus to share.

Speaking of love, if you'd love a pair of roller skates but weren't lucky enough to get one from the RGN bags before, you can earn yourself a pair now. Funcom has introduced a new challenge (remember the Doomboard?), the completion of which nets a spiffy pair of gravity skates. This time you have over a month to complete just 35 challenges. With six different challenges offered each day and eight each week, you could be zipping along on your very own pair before the weekend is out. However, if this week is already busy with *ahem* other stuff, you've still got until March 19th before the challenge ends and your chance to get the skates skitters away.

Source: Valentine's goodies, gravity skate challenge. Thanks to John and Crow for the tips!

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Massively Overthinking: Unholy MMORPG hybrids

Massively OP reader and frequent tipster Gibbins wants us to play match-maker.

"I love the wonderful world that Bethesda created with the Fallout franchise, not too bleak but very post apocalypse with a very kitsch '50s feel from the time of duck and cover educational films, but I wish it were multiplayer. The huge volume of mods for Fallout is also is a massive bonus, giving the game great variety and replayability. On the other hand, I also love the satirical in your face style of GTA Online and its no-holds-barred multiplayer experience, but I wish there were more to the story and more support for mods. Both games offer so much, and I would love to see how each studio would add to the other's game. Which two development teams would you like to see married... and which game would be their love child?"

Let's complicate Gibbins' request and say that the love child game must be an MMO! I've posed his question to the team for this week's Massively Overthinking.

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One Shots: A purrrfect sunset

What makes a good sunset even better? When you get to curl up with your favorite pet and share a Hallmark moment together.

UpayaCrow kicks us off today with our display of community screenshots with this luscious view from Black Desert: "I love the pets in BDO because they've spent a lot of effort on animations and behaviors. Your pets have personalities and will perch on your shoulder or ride along side you when you're driving a wagon. And, well, they're so adorable! Here we are lounging in Valencia, looking out at the sun setting over Altinova."

Watch out though: Cats are known for waiting until the opportune moment to trip their owner over the side of a cliff and then walk away into a new life.

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Massively Overthinking: Death and dying in MMORPGs

In March of last year, MOP's Justin wrote a detailed guide to the most common death penalties in MMORPGs. Last September, Gamasutra pulled seven game developers together to discuss the most effective gaming "fail states," several of which involve death. Both articles came rushing back to me this week when Crowfall revisited the subject of its own death penalty, which involves a brief ghost period and a fast-track trip to the temple for resurrection.

This week, I've asked the MOP writers to consider MMOs and non-MMOs and propose their own favorite death penalty. Is it an old one, a new one, or one no one's done at all? What's the best way to implement death in a modern MMORPG?

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The Daily Grind: Is there MMO content you dread repeating on alts?

As a habitual and lifelong altoholic, I am quite used to walking a new generation of characters in the footsteps of their forefathers and foremothers. Part of the fun for me is seeing how much better I can do things a second or third time around, now that I presumably know what I am doing.

However, one of the downsides of alts is that sooner or later I know that I am going to hit content that I dread. Recently, my Lore-master in Lord of the Rings Online finally came to Helm's Deep, and I knew that I would have to suck it up and go through those dull, tedious epic battles once more. Having that sort of content ahead does rob me of steam, so I find it best to try to ignore thinking about it and just get it done in one or two sessions. There's something to be said for the ignorance that you once had going through the game on your original toon.

When you bring up alts, is there any MMO content that you dread repeating? The Secret World fans, how about Cost of Magic? World of Warcraft players, what about starting up another garrison?

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Chaos Theory: My Secret World 2017 goals

When the year-end Massively Overthinking asked about game resolutions, I honestly answered that I don't really make any because I hadn't ever done that and didn't expect to start. Many of the goals I make as I play throughout the year are pretty specific to what is happening at that time and what I feel inclined to do right then. But the topic stuck with me, and I began thinking about what goals I did have in The Secret World.

Once I started thinking about it in concrete terms, I was able to pinpoint a few more things I'd really like to accomplish this year. It turns out there are some that are more overarching than just an in-the-moment whim. So here they are: my 2017 TSW goals. At the close of this year, you can help me gauge how well I did. (Ironically, since this column was usurped by other topics hogging the spotlight for a couple of weeks, my first goal has already been achieved. Go me!) And please, add any goals you have in the comments!

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Perfect Ten: The MMOs with the most unclear futures in 2017

A little while back, I took a look at the healthiest games in the MMO space at this time. That was a nice, uplifting list, wasn't it? And all of those titles continue to do just fine, even if one or two might have had a few bits of shocking news along the way.

Unfortunately, this is not an industry in which health is assured. Games can be high-quality and beloved, but they can still be shut down by outside forces. And that's not counting games that just come out in the wrong time period or launch in an unrecoverable state.

That may sound grim, but we're already staring at the first two shutdowns of 2017 in the near future, and both of the titles being killed are surprises. One of them might have wound up on this list if it weren't being shut down, but at this point, it is. So let's look at the MMOs with the most unclear futures and start hoping for the best.

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Global Chat: Elder Scrolls Online renaissance

As I peruse a hundred or so community blog posts every day, it's fascinating to me to see what games the MMO blogosphere as a whole is playing and discussing. We sometimes end up flocking to certain titles based on recent announcements or because others are talking them up pretty heavily.

One game that's been getting a lot of mentions on blogs lately is Elder Scrolls Online, with players generally enthusiastic about how it's shaped up into a pretty decent MMO. "It's a really solid game that’s much better than the game that launched," writes Occasional Hero. "Visually, I would probably rank it second behind Black Desert Online for the best-looking MMORPG out there," touts Endgame Variable.

Elder Scrolls Online not your thing? No worries; we have articles covering The Secret World, LOTRO, RIFT, and more in today's community blog roundup!

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The Daily Grind: Are contemporary settings underutilized in MMOs?

We all know that fantasy is by far the most popular setting for MMORPGs -- but what is the least? While not completely unrepresented in the genre, the contemporary setting seems to be on the low end.

Maybe it is because we want to be transported to a far-away world, not invited to a place that's practically next door. Perhaps it's just more difficult to figure out how to meld MMO mechanics with cell phones, the internet, and drive-thru Starbucks. But it can and has been done, most notably in The Secret World and now in the upcoming Identity.

What do you think? Are contemporary settings underutilized in MMOs? Could they bring something new and interesting to the table? What would get you to play in such a game world?

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Massively Overthinking: Tab-target vs. action combat in MMORPGs

Massively OP patron Duane is kicking the new year off right: with a brawl over combat types in MMOs.

"Tab-target, action, or hybrid combat, for many MMO gamers the combat system, regardless of whether it is a well-made, is a deal maker or breaker," he writes -- I like to imagine he wrote it with a mischievous glint in his eye. "What is the superior combat system, and why is it superior (please give examples)? Let the battle-lines be drawn!"

I posed his question to the MOP writers for this week's Overthinking. Here we go!

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Massively Overthinking: Hopes and wishes for MMORPGs in the new year

One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It's way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.

But all the same, for tonight's Massively Overthinking, we'd like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2017 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.

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