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The Secret World

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The Secret World 'Chronicle' profile and leaderboard tool


Jul 09
// Dale North
Funcom has launched a new profile and leader board service for new MMO The Secret World today called Chronicle. By logging in here players can view a complete record of their journey through the game, as well as character pro...
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The DTOID Show: Halo, Walking Dead, & Secret World of BJs


Jul 06
// Max Scoville
Hey guys! If you missed today's LIVE Destructoid Show, here's a nice convenient recording of it for you to watch.  For starters, NiGHTS Into Dreams and Dragonball Z Budokai are both getting HD rereleases, and Final ...
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Strange day for Funcom CEO Trond Arne Aas to resign


Jul 02
// Dale North
Wow. One day before the launch of The Secret World, Funcom's latest MMO, CEO Trond Arne Aas resigns. Sounds scary, right? Actually, there's nothing wrong with the game (in fact, it's great) or the company (stock is up), thoug...
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Final beta weekend for The Secret World opens June 22


Jun 19
// Jordan Devore
The fourth beta weekend for The Secret World will run from 9:00am Pacific on June 22 to 11:59pm Pacific on June 24. In addition to being the final event -- the full release of the MMO is set for July 3 -- this one is worth a ...
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Delay: The Secret World to launch on July 3


May 25
// Dale North
The Secret World was supposed to launch in mid-June, but Funcom has pushed it back to July 3rd for market reasons. They say that this adjustment puts the launch date in a more positive window. Here's the real question: what w...
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Friday marks the second beta weekend for The Secret World


May 15
// Jordan Devore
The second beta weekend event for The Secret World is almost here. It'll run from Friday, May 18 at 9:00am Pacific to Sunday, May 20 at 11:59pm Pacific. Those of you who participated in the prior beta can continue to use your...
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Not so secret: One million register for Secret World beta


May 10
// Patrick Hancock
Roughly 1/7000th of the people in the real world are currently registered and anticipating the beta events of The Secret World. This weekend will be the first beta event, open to everyone who pre-ordered the ga...

Review: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680

Mar 22 // Ryan Perez
[embed]224337:43139[/embed] NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680Manufacturer: NVIDIARelease: March 22, 2012MSRP: $499 Important GeForce GTX 680 specs: CUDA Cores: 1,536 (Three times more than the 580) Base Clock: 1006 MHz Boost Clock: 1058 MHz Memory Clock: 6008 MHz Interface: 256-bit Total Memory: 2048MB GDDR5 Total Memory Bandwidth: 192.26 GB/s Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear): 128.8 Giga Texels/sec Connectors: 2 x Dual-Link DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort Recommended Power Supply: 550 Watts Thermal Design Power: 195 Watts (244 Watts for 580) Power Connectors: 2 x 6-pin (One 6-pin and one 8-pin for 580)  My general PC specs: Windows 7 x64 (cards are already compatible with Windows 8) Intel i7 2.80 GHz 8GB DDR3 SDRAM I'm just going to get straight to what most of you want to know: How it handles games. The reason I posted my rig's not-so-uber specs above is actually a way of pointing out that my 680 has been taking a lot of the stress with all of the graphically heavy games I've thrown at it. It's all for the card. Believe me, I would have gladly neglect mentioning my specs, as mentioning your lackluster PC to techies is like showing your four-incher to a porn star. The first game I tested -- and the most obvious -- was Battlefield 3. An important note about its Frostbite 2 engine is that it's very efficiently built to run on an adequately powered rig. My old 560 Ti (always overclocked) could handle ultra settings at around 40 to 50 FPS, minus VSync or anti-aliasing. So it's obvious that a 680 would make short work of this game's demands. However, even on powerful rigs, framerate drops are common during heated battles with an abundance of particle effects (smoke and explosions) and game models crowding the screen. To test this out the best I could, I played through several "Conquest Large" matches on BF3's biggest maps available, all on completely maxed-out settings. Even when a team had only one point captured, and the player focus was centered on that entire area, I didn't witness a single drop in smoothness. I mean I literally kept my eyes on the framrate as the sh*t was hitting the fan, and noticed no fluctuation at all. I then tested the 680 on an engine that isn't very efficiently built. The Witcher 2's RED Engine has turned quite a few heads due to its looks, though it's no secret that maxed-out settings require an overall top-end PC. More specifically, the "Uber Sampling" feature is typically what kills the game's performance, as it renders each scene several times over to provide a smoother image quality. Most people turn this feature off, as the slight visual improvement doesn't justify the hardware demands. On my 560 Ti, you could swear I was playing some game I received from ten years into the future; a whopping 15 FPS was the best I got out of it. With the 680, though, it ran at a very stable 40 to 50 FPS, with almost no drops below that 40 (even during combat). Mainly due to the RED Engine's cumbersome features, The Witcher 2 was one of the most technically demanding games I could test on it. A close equal was Crysis 2 with its DX11 upgrades, which ran surprisingly better than Witcher. Out of all the games I tested on the 680 (others include Skyrim, Rage and Just Cause 2), the most rewarding was undoubtedly Crysis 2. The Frostbite 2 engine looks beautiful because of it versatility, but the CryEngine 3 looks incredible because of its cutting-edge features, and the 680 handles them all brilliantly. Displacement maps, high-quality HDR, real-time reflections, and particle motion blur all look absolutely fantastic. My 560 Ti could barely handle Crysis 2 on max settings at around 30 FPS. My 680 laughs at it, with a strong 60 FPS, only dropping to near 50 during moments of extreme action (lots of explosions and particle effects). After all of this, I can't say I'm surprised that the 680 performed the way it did. Many people may remember the Unreal Engine 3 Samaritan Demo from last year's GDC. Well, that demo, mind-bogglingly beautiful as it was, originally required three GTX 580s and a power supply the size of a small child. When I was first presented the 680 at NVIDIA's Editor's Day event during GDC 2012, the same tech demo was shown ... running on a single 680 and nothing else. NVIDIA wants this card to really mean something to the gaming community, not only by being ultra powerful and providing us with longevity, but also via the cutting-edge features that are idiosyncratic to NVIDIA cards alone. A lot of you might have been wondering how I got such close framerate fluctuation with VSync presumably on (it was). Without getting too technical, a big issue people have with VSync is that it forces the framerate to drop by positive integers, based on your monitor's refresh rate (i.e. a 60Hz monitor dropping by 60FPS, 30, 20, 15, etc.) all for the sake of preventing "screen tearing." We gamers can see the obvious problem with this, as the drastic drop in framerate results in "jittering." To combat this, NVIDIA has developed what's known as "Adaptive VSync," which automatically turns off global VSync whenever the framerate needs to fall to anything below your monitor's max refresh rate. No more jitter and no more screen tearing. As another means of providing a smoother gaming experience, NIVIDA is aspiring to do away with MSAA (Multisample anti-aliasing) by providing their own FXAA, which can be activated within the card alone and be applied to any game. They're also providing the upcoming TXAA, a new film-style AA that is at least 4X more effective than MSAA. The result is a welcome addition, as we've been long overdue for an upgrade in this area. Another great feature that we're all becoming acquainted with is PhysX, NVIDIA's proprietary physics engine. PhysX has been steadily appearing in a lot of high-quality titles, providing great rigid and soft body dynamics, as well as fluid and cloth simulations. At NVIDIA's Editor's Day, Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford showed off Borderlands 2 and how it implemented PhysX. Fluids pooled and flowed in complete real-time, and even reacted to explosions -- splashing about into numerous smaller puddles. Cloth materials reacted accordingly to foreign objects, and could even be torn and shredded when fired at. It was quite incredible how these effects could be handled with such relative ease in real-time, when just five years ago it took me several hours to render them for 3D animations on a high-end PC. The last upgrade I'm going to mention is, in a lot of ways, more of a downgrade, but sold me on the card merely due to my living situation. As stated before, the 680 is a very efficient card, and that applies more than anything to its power consumption. The 680 is so streamlined that it actually draws less power than its predecessor, the 580 (see the specs above). What does this mean for me? Well, as a city that desperately tries to retain some sort of bullsh*t identity, San Francisco is adamant about holding on to their Victorian architecture of the 1920s. This includes the f*cked up power distribution systems that came with them. With that said, I can only have about two appliances on at any one time, before I cause a power surge and my place goes completely dark. When it comes to PC gaming, this presents a problem. I actually used to SLI two 560s, but had to get rid of one if I wanted to game with my heater on -- enduring cold San Francisco nights is definitely not worth an extra 560 Ti. So you can imagine that a card like the 680 fairs well for someone with my situation, if not also for people who dig the environment or like saving money on bills. Not only does it consume less power than the best of last generation, but its TDP is only 25 more than my freakin' 560 Ti. After seeing the Samaritan demo and what it took to run it last year, I don't know how they accomplished what they have with the 680. It's like someone sold their ass to the Devil to make this thing. To really explain every notable change and addition with the GeForce GTX 680 would take so much more time. This new line of graphics cards is leaps and bounds beyond the 500 series. This review alone is obviously not going to convince you to throw down $499 on a new card, but I do hope it drives you to do a little more digging into the fine details of the 680 ... especially if you plan on upgrading. PC gaming is slowly but surely making a comeback, and the GeForce 680 is the card to welcome it with open arms. Several games are in development right now with this very card in mind (others shown at the NVIDIA event were Max Payne 3 and The Secret World). If you yearn for the time when you filled your PC with the best of the best tech in preparation for the hottest-looking games to come, then the time is certain now, and the tech is certainly this card. Oh, and before I go, all of you hardcore NVIDIA fans are probably going to want to watch this: [embed]224337:43138[/embed]
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For some of us, upgrading our PCs with the best hardware and enjoying the most jaw-dropping games in all their glory is a not-so-distant memory. Even though I've consistently owned beefy rigs my whole life, I've spent less an...

Preview: Reinventing the MMO with The Secret World

Mar 15 // Daniel Starkey
The Secret World (PC)Developer: FuncomPublisher: Electronic ArtsRelease: June 19, 2012 Like World of Warcraft and The Old Republic, The Secret World is based on interfactional warfare. There are the Templars based out of London who want to restore and maintain order, the Dragons based out of Seoul who are the embodiment of chaos, and the Illuminati based out of New York who are comparatively moderate. Each of these factions is contending with transdimensional foes, and there are a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of figures vying for power. Everyone will have a recruitment mission to get them set up with one of the groups, but there is no typical class selection here. Funcom has decided upon Skyrim-style class selection -- pick what you want, do what you want, and find a role for yourself. There are more than 500 abilities and nine classes of weapons (though some of those are magic), and as you gain experience, you get skill points to distribute into any category to shape your character however you want. Each player is also limited to seven active abilities and seven passive abilities, so careful selection and strategy plays into deciding what you use. It's a really intriguing system that is elegantly implemented with a stunningly beautiful, semi-minimal interface. Taking cues from TOR, the majority of the game is voiced, though the player character is a silent protagonist. It's a much more engaging way of conveying stories and doling out quests, and it represents another area where Blizzard is starting to fall behind. Quests themselves are more organic than in other MMOs, and the story is told more through the perspective of gathering information and lore to piece together what is going on rather than through the traditional fetch quest. "Quest givers," if they can be called that, will often actively mislead you either intentionally or unintentionally, and they represent an interesting break with the established tropes of the genre. I had a good 30 minutes to play the game after a presentation by Funcom staff showing off some new content. I wasn't able to get too far into the real meat of the game, but I got to pick up a few weapons, tool around with some basic abilities, and run around London for a bit. The overworld is rich and lively, and for once, there's a game which does not seem to have the utterly impractical architecture of other MMOs (i.e. buildings that are so utterly gargantuan as to be ridiculous). Combat is smooth, and everything takes place in real time. The player can move while casting, charging, shooting, etc., so battles feel more like an action RPG than anything else -- faster and more frantic without ever losing complete control. It's a fun and refreshing mix that I can't say I have seen replicated anywhere else. The Secret World is due out June 19th, which is good because I've been looking forward to this since I first saw it at PAX '09. I'm still a bit concerned as to the longevity of the title, but a lot of work has gone into "reinventing the wheel," as it were, and it definitely shows.
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The MMO space has been steadily filling up since people realized just how much money Blizzard is actually making. Many have tried to break into that space, but most have failed. Funcom has a pretty consistent history of bring...

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Location trailer for The Secret World sets the spooky


Jan 26
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
I've found over the years that lots of MMORPGs release with a good artistic style while at the same time missing out on offering an engrossing atmosphere. Funcom's The Secret World is one that definitely takes an intere...
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The Illuminati revealed in The Secret World


Jan 13
// Alasdair Duncan
Earlier this week, Funcom teased the reveal of the Illuminati, one of the three playable factions in its upcoming MMORPG, The Secret World. Revealed as the manipulators and schemers in the shadows, the Illuminati look to be t...
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Funcom shares the secrets of the Illuminati this week


Jan 09
// Jason Cabral
It seems the gears of Funcom's PR machine are turning for it's next MMO project The Secret World. They have devoted this week to shedding some light on The Secret World's resident puppet-masters and occult-yuppies, the Illumi...
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The Secret World beta has over 500,000 registered users


Oct 25
// Alasdair Duncan
In MMO land, the immenent release of Star Wars The Old Republic certainly casts a big shadow but that doesn't mean it's the only show in MMO town. Funcom's The Secret World is looking like it could provide something different...

The Secret World is like Dragon Age with assault rifles

Aug 31 // Jim Sterling
The Secret World is set on an Earth where every myth, conspiracy theory, and ghost story is true. Familiar legends, lost cities and shadowy organizations are everywhere, and players get to choose between three factions -- The Dragon, The Templars and The Illuminati. Although players from any faction team up for story missions, they are also taking part in a "Secret War" to control the world.  Despite the original dressing, the game's mission structure and combat betray The Secret World's MMORPG roots, as players team up, get missions, travel to dungeons, partake in click-heavy combat, and make off with the loot. However, there's quite a bit of speed to the combat, with an engaging pace and intensity that reminds me quite a bit of Dragon Age.  Characters get a variety of melee weapons, magical spells and special abilities, and since this is the modern day, firearms such as assault rifles are also in play. No matter your weapon, combat is still automatic and quasi-turn-based, so you cannot simply turn Secret World into a third-person shooter.  The Secret War makes for some pretty damn interesting stuff and looks set to be the most compelling feature. Despite publicly working together, there are various missions in which the game's three factions work against each other. These story missions are unique to each faction and often play against each other. For example, one faction might end up turning a previously safe area into a ghost-littered hell factory, and another faction's mission may take place in the terrifying aftermath.  The game's world contains various important landmarks based on mythological locations such as Atlantis and Eldorado, and these places set the scene for The Secret World's PvP mode. Every special location confers a variety of gameplay bonuses to whichever faction controls it, bonuses that affect every player on the server. Other factions can mount offensives to wrest control of the location, however, and huge three-way battles are on the cards. We were shown footage of one of these fights in action, and it looks absolutely chaotic, with players running around from all corners of the map, swords and fireballs at the ready.  What really jumps out at me, however, is the legitimate horror atmosphere that the game is able to pull off. One mission, set in a dimly lit parking lot full of screaming, charging specters, is particularly eerie and could legitimately terrify players. Add to that, the fact that monsters look legitimately grotesque and carry more than a little bit of a Lovecraftian influence, and you've got a game that has some serious fright potential.  The Secret World looks promising, especially as far as MMOs go. While the idea of the genre has always interested me, the dull gameplay and predictable mission progression always puts me off. I'm hoping that The Secret World brings a little more action and a lot more fun to the MMOs. It has an absolutely terrific sense of atmosphere and some great visual flair, so here's keeping our fingers crossed that it's not been squandered on just another MMORPG.
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Funcom's The Secret World is distinguished by the fact it's an MMO that I actually care about. I was drawn to the title as soon as the early trailers rolled out, intrigued by the modern day setting and enthralled by...

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That's So MMO!: Super Secret Edition


Aug 27
// David Moore
Hail and well met my MMO brethren! PAX Prime is underway and exciting reveals are sure to arrive at any moment. The week leading up to the event, however, has been fairly quiet. Still, there are a few stories worth mentioning--so, let’s take a look!
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New trailer for The Secret World goes to the men's room


Jul 07
// Alasdair Duncan
Just a day after showing the trailer for The Savage Coast, Funcom has released a new CGI trailer and a batch of fresh screenshots for its upcoming MMO, The Secret World.  The trailer depicts a John Constantine-esque gen...
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New Secret World trailer takes us to the Savage Coast


Jul 06
// Jim Sterling
I'm not a big fan of MMO games, but I've had my eye on The Secret World for a very long time. The premise of a universe where every crackpot conspiracy theory and urban legend is true intrigues me no-end, and the brash horro...

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