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The Secret World

2 years ago

Feature: World of Absence

The RPG Scrollbars: In search of urban fantasy

There's a real urban fantasy gap in the gaming industry, and it's never made much sense. We see a thousand Tolkienesque fantasy games a minute (rough napkin calculation) and the future's typically so bright, even the lens flares need shades. Yet when it comes to that line where the mundane meets the magical, mostly what we've had for the last few years is false hope.…

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3 years ago

Feature: In no particular order...

Some Little Things I’ve Loved In RPGs, Vol 1

One of the main reasons I got into RPGs back in the day was that if you bought one, you were getting a lot of game for your money. That was important when there was only one birthday and one Christmas a year, and not much chance that some relative might pop their clogs in sync with Ultima VI coming out. Years later I no…

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Feature: What MOBAs get right about character.

The RPG Scrollbars: Rise Of The MOBA Heroes

Hello there. This week, I'm writing not just as an RPG columnist, but as president of the newly formed League Of Folks Who Don't Really Play MOBAs But Are Bizarrely Hooked On All The Trappings. As far as I can tell, our membership is roughly a billion people and counting. That's what happens when the likes of Blizzard and Riot spend literally tens of dollars…

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Feature: The RPG Scrollbars

What Games Are Running Christmas Events?

HO HO HO. Christmas is practically upon us, and games eveywhere... well, mostly online... are joining the party. Whether they call it Winter Veil or Frostfell, it's a chance to deck the hubs with bonus XP and let everyone from elves to orcs don Santa hats and hand out treats to the good little wizards and barbarians. Here's a few of the events going on…

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4 years ago

Feature: Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!

The RPG Scrollbars: The Lost Magic Of Magic

Given a choice, I almost always play as a mage. Swords? Pah. Divine magic? Save it for Sunday School. Give me control over the elements, the power to reshape the very building blocks of the universe according to my every whim, and if at all possible, a cool hat. It's an easy fantasy to indulge in almost any RPG out there. I just wish it…

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Feature: Dark days were three years ago

The RPG Scrollbars: Back To The Secret World

You know those games that you can never really get into, but you keep dipping back into, time and again? For me, they tend to be MMORPGs, and two in particular - City of Heroes, which I'd often feel the urge to just fire up for a weekend and clobber some stuff, and World of Warcraft, which I always jump into each expansion pack to…

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7 years ago

Feature: Right through the very heart of it

Escape To New York: The Secret World’s First Raid

I've seen the things that are to come in The Secret World, at least some of them, and even though the present is turbulent the future seems bright, or at least as bright as global conflict, the destruction of a metropolis and the spilling over of supernatural horror onto city streets could possibly be. It's a flame-bright future with a great deal of ash, boiling…

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Feature: The Longest Interview, Pt 2

Secret World’s Tornquist On F2P, Single-Player Games

The Secret World is officially live, and we've both locked it in a room with our most dangerous mythical creature, Adam, and hurled questions at creative director Ragnar Tornquist until he cracked - by which I mean "willingly and jovially answered my questions in a highly consensual fashion." And today, the insane brutality continues. Specifically, we discuss free-to-play, what Tornquist plans on doing next (hint:…

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Feature: The Longest Interview, Pt 1

Secret World’s Tornquist On WoW Copycats, What’s Next

Secrets! Everybody has them - even you. Maybe you occasionally take two samples at the grocery store, or talk on your cell phone while driving, putting millions at risk. Or perhaps you're just part of some boring, hum-drum Illuminati that controls the world's every thought and action. The Secret World creative director Ragnar Tornquist used to be like you - except more interesting and with…

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Jig’s Up: Secret World’s Last Beta Weekend Open To All

So let's say - speaking, of course, on entirely hypothetical terms - that there was an Illuminati. And - again, hypothetically - let's say our own John Walker found himself exchanging super-official, deathly serious secret handshakes among their shadowy ranks. In the event that these things happened and weren't ludicrously impossible, you might have found them intriguing - perhaps even scintillating. You might have thought…

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Funcom Illuminatis Slight Secret World Delay

Did John's latest glimpse into The Secret World entice you? Did it make you (skeptically) ponder the possibilities of an MMO with diabolical puzzles and authentic female characters that finally offset the catastrophic damage Tera did to the balance of the universe? Well then, you might want to sit down. Ah, you're already sitting. Well then, I give you permission to eat a cookie or…

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Feature: Be All You Can Bee

What The Secret World Is Getting Right (And Wrong)

As I've progressed further into The Secret World's beta, and have cleared most of New England's enormous territory and swathes of quests, I'm hitting that more difficult place to write about in an MMO preview. That's partly because you obviously don't want to know what's going to happen 30 hours into your game, and I'd be an idiot to say. And it's partly because being…

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Next Secret World Beta Weekend Returns To Kingsmouth

I love weekends. They're rife with potential - for adventure. Granted, that usually means a concert, bar-hopping, or sleeping through both of those things, but I don't live in New England. John, however, is trapped there, and he seems to be having a pleasant enough time "joining the Illuminati," "staving off a demonic invasion," and whatever other crazy slang lingo drips from this apparently endless…

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Temporary Templars: Secret World’s First Beta Weekend

Riddle me this: If everyone knows about it, is it still a secret world? And, if everybody in the entire whole of human existence makes that joke, have we failed as a species? Are our greatest works - from the Great Wall to the Sistine Chapel to Twitter - rendered invalid by a primal attraction to terrible humor? These are the questions we must ask…

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Bleh: Secret World Declares War On Your Facebook Wall

Ugh. I feel dirty. I just took The Secret World's newly launched "social tool" The Secret War for a spin, and it forced me to do some things even a childhood of grisly newfangled murder simulators never prepared me for. It is, in short, everything you hate about Facebook gaming - except that's the whole game. I'm feeling a bit ranty right now, so join…

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Gentlemen Elementalists: The Secret World

Me and John have both probably tried to explain the way The Secret World's classless progression works using nothing more than the power of words but it's much easier to use visual aids as well, so I'll hand you over to Funcom's Martin Bruusgard and Joel Bylos who explain what kind of abilities are available and how they can be combined to make effective characters.…

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The Not So Secret World: 30 Mins From GDC

I've been waiting for a John Walker simulator to arrive, and this is the closest I'll probably ever get. It's the Secret World's GDC presentation, showing off Ragnar-Tørnquist's increasingly-interesting (to me) MMO. You can pretend you're in the room being John Walker, who can be seen here following Ragnar. Toss some water at the screen to simulate the tears that usually flow when John experiences…

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Feature: Interview

Ragnar Tørnquist: The Secret World’s Myths & Mechanics

Last week I sat down to play some The Secret World for the first time. But not before I'd chatted with project lead, Ragnar Tørnquist, in the rather creepy location of a 90th floor bedroom in a vast hotel suite. It's an interview in which he threatens to kill me. We also talk about how people are getting bored of MMOs, why the game has…

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