The Secret World begins its epic forum game with a plea for help

A new forum game is afoot over at The Secret World, as one of the in-game characters, the Stationmaster, posted a cry for help with a mysterious MP3 attachment.

“This message came through today,” he wrote. “Garbled. Can’t make much sense of it. There was a number attached: 122635. Put on your best pondering hats. Give us a help. Yes?”

Funcom announced last week that it had been preparing an epic forum game for its fans. The community is already hard at work trying to figure out the meaning behind the number and the sound file. Listen to the message after the break and see if you can lend a hand!

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The Stream Team: Testing out TSW’s Enhanced Player Experience

With The Secret World’s Enhanced Player Experience out, MassivelyOP’s MJ and Justin are tossing aside their higher-powered characters and facing Solomon Island on a couple of relative newbs. Want to test out just how the mobs — especially those pesky Ak’ab — have been affected by the rebalancing? Maybe you’d like to check out the new quest rewards? Or perhaps you just want to all the new bells and whistles? Then tune in live at 9:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s dynamic duo brings you…

What: The Secret World
Who: MJ Guthrie and Justin Olivetti
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Enjoy the show!

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Chaos Theory: The Secret World’s enhanced player experience

Amazing story, awesome cutscenes, phenomenal atmosphere, compelling missions, incredible NPCs… The Secret World definitely has a lot of good things going for it. It is an MMO in a class by itself, unlike so many of the MMOs we’re all used to. But that last positive is also a negative: There are some former players who never got far enough into the game to really experience all it has to offer. Some of the unfamiliar aspects of the game were too unfamiliar to get used to, and some things were just plain difficult (Ak’abs, anyone?). The learning curve was steep enough to put many players off, players who might otherwise have loved the setting and uniqueness of the world.

That’s where the newly released “Enhanced Player Experience” comes to the rescue. I sat down with Lead Designer Romain Amiel and Communications Manager Tor Egil Andersen to talk about these quality-of-life improvements and get a few behind-the-scenes details about this patch. Of course, you know I had to ask about Issue #11 and beyond as well!

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The Secret World publishes enhanced player experience patch

If you’ve ever felt frustrated by The Secret World’s high level of combat difficulty, you might want to see what the team has done with today’s 1.11 patch.

It’s a massive quality-of-life update that focuses on what Funcom is calling the “enhanced player experience.” Basically, all pre-Tokyo mobs will be easier to kill (and won’t be as deadly), players will be able to fast-travel between anima wells, better gear is given from story missions, the tutorial has been improved, and many elite abilities have been upgraded. Additionally, players who have yet to buy Issue 9 can now go into Tokyo and experience a select few missions.

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Age of Conan plans blockbuster year while Bylos teases ‘super exciting’ project

Age of Conan players, don’t feel left out; you got a meaty game director letter too. Joel Bylos appeared for his last time in that role to promote all of the goods that players have to look forward to in 2015.

The next update for AoC will include more achievements, more panoramas, a hidden treasure system revamp, and additional instance challenges to spice up dungeon runs. Past that, the team is prepping the arena (which includes pet fighting) and preparing an additional endgame progression system that will allow classes to use a wider variety of weapons.

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The Secret World’s Bylos moving on, details 2015 plans

The Secret World game director Joel Bylos has posted a new update letter in which he says that the original name for the game’s upcoming Enhanced Player Experience was Enhanced Player Elite Enjoyment Nirvana, or EPEEN. Though Funcom’s higher-ups had other naming plans, the update is now live on the test servers.

Bylos then mentions ongoing work on Issue 11’s Orochi tower and the final chapter of the Tokyo storyline. The letter contains a blurb or two about Funcom’s 2015 TSW plans including “more issues in new locations,” a scenario update, more dungeons, and “even a bit of PvP.” Finally, Bylos mentions that he has “moved to a new initiative within the company,” and as such he has been slowly “handing off responsibilities to other members of the team.”

Bylos doesn’t give specifics on his new role, but he does say that the game director letter format will change and will henceforth be handled by Funcom’s senior community manager.

[Source: Dev letter; thanks Nordavind!]


Revival dev: ‘It is like literally being on a live TV show’

The creators of Star Citizen’s FPS module, Illfonic, are also hard at work on their horror MMO Revival. A new interview with Creative Director Kedhrin Gonzalez looks into the title’s stage-based rollout, its business model, its live storytelling scene, and its slavery system.

Yup, you read that right.

Currently, Revival is in its first stage, where the devs are selling and releasing offline housing with which to tinker. It isn’t scheduled to go online until stage three as the team develops the game “slowly and carefully.” Gonzalez said that, despite the common perception, selling the houses will not constitute the entire game’s revenue: “We are financing Revival on our own, additional money gained on the way helps us get there faster but we are not relying on it.”

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The Secret World is planning an ‘epic’ forum game

The next big thing coming for The Secret World won’t be in the game itself — it’ll be in the forums.

Funcom, which has had a long record of doing out-of-the-box activities for TSW, has been hinting that it’s preparing an “epic contest” for March. The studio’s already put out a call for cabals to contribute a prize package to the proceedings.

Massively OP reader Nordavind passed along a note from one of the game’s community managers about the event, who said, “This is not going to be a one-day event. This will not be in-game. This will only be in our forums. We even have super-secret forums already set up for this! When we say that every facet of TSW is represented in our contest, we’re talking about: PvP, RP, cosplay, audiophiles, fashionistas, social gamers, handcrafters, and even videographers!”

[Source: Official forums. Thanks to Nordavind for the tip!]


H1Z1 video goes behind-the-scenes with motion capture pros

Daybreak released a new behind-the-scenes video focused on H1Z1’s motion capture this week. If you like seeing dudes in skin-tight lycra suits with little blue velcro things all over them, this is your vid. Senior artist and animator Dave Carter is your host, while motion capture artist — and former Clemson University football player — Christopher Robbins takes you through a physically demanding day in his shoes.

Click past the cut to see the full clip!

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The Secret World Q&A covers mission design secrets

Do you ever wonder just what goes into making one of The Secret World’s hand-crafted missions? The dev team opened up about the process in a community Q&A today and included many interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits.

The Q&A goes through topics such as mission difficulty (which Funcom says “is rarely a concern” when designing), side missions, and the devs’ stance on mission guides (“I’m in favor of them.”).

The team also opened up on feeling unsatisfied with the end result of the Black House mission, although the Q&A does note something cool: “Not all of the events that occur in the Black House are visible to everyone. The locked bathroom and the smoke, for instance. When a player enters, the door slams shut and the room reverts back to it’s pre-fire appearances… then the smoke begins to flood the room. However, if two or more players enter, only one will experience the hallucination (though the door slamming shut is not hallucinatory).”

[Source: Official forums]


The Stream Team: Teaming up for The Secret World’s amusement park

There’s much to love about The Secret World, as MassivelyOP’s MJ and Justin will both tell you. But why settle for just telling when they can also show you? This duo is teaming up once again to show off one of the best places in game: Savage Coast’s amusement park.

Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to play in the park as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you…

What: The Secret World
Who: MJ Guthrie and Justin Olivetti
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Enjoy the show!

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H1Z1 devs make fun of cheaters in new vid

Have you been banned for cheating in H1Z1? Did you write an angry email to Daybreak expressing your remorse and/or incredulity? If so, you might be featured on a new three-minute video wherein H1Z1 devs have a bit of fun by highlighting some of the recently banned ne’er-do-wells.

If you’re among the innocent who’d never cheat at anything, even your taxes, then it’ll be a fun time for you, as you’re about to be treated to a litany of all those cheaters who swear they aren’t cheaters so often that they seem to have forgotten they really did cheat. And then there are the sob stories whipped up by the folks who’ve already taken a guilty plea with the studio. Darnit people, maybe just stop being cheaters, or find a game you don’t suck at?

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H1Z1’s Hizzy Awards showcase player achievements

Now that the Oscars are over, where will award show junkies go to get their fix? Never fear: Daybreak has you covered with the Hizzy Awards, a show that serves to highlight some of the interesting achievements from H1Z1’s alpha testing thus far.

“After we did the first server and player wipe, we came away with a lot of awesome stats. Things like, who crafted the most arrows? Who was the first person to die to a zombie? Who killed the most people using a vehicle?” the team teased.

You can watch the full award ceremony after the break.

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