Reaping The Whirlwind Released

Here at The Oceanic Gamer we’re unadulterated fans of The Secret World, and today’s announcement of the Season 1 Finale hasn’t given us any reason to change that view. Check the trailer out and then the press release of what you can expect in Reaping The Whirlwind, which is live now (assuming you’ve already got the issue #9 and #10 content updates):

Oslo, Norway – May 6th, 2015 – The Secret World® has just gotten a major content and story update with Issue #11: Reaping the Whirlwind. The game’s deep, dark and unique story has been told from launch and through eleven content updates, and now the first season finale is here!

The players fight their way through the Orochi tower, challenge eternal beings, grasp the ultimate power and will finally reap the consequences of their choices. Everything so far has been building up to this story climax, but it is of course not the end – it is merely the end of the beginning.

Issue #11: Reaping the Whirlwind offers hours of new content as the players can explore twenty-one unique levels of the Orochi tower in Tokyo, as they challenge the world’s largest corporation and its powerful CEO. The players will be rewarded with an Ultimate Ability based on their choices in the main story since launch. They also get a taste of what is to come, and learn that defying eternal beings comes at a heavy price.

Here’s some screen shots from the update:

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And here’s the full rundown on what you get.

Tell us what you think – is this something you’ll be jumping into?


The Island of Stillborn Stars Goes Live in TSW

tsw-raid-newFuncom have released patch 1.6.2 for The Secret World, which contains a new Lair for people to explore: The Island of Stillborn Stars.

Here’s the breathless blurb from the team on what this Lair is about:

The mysterious and brutal Eidolon of the Outer Dark has just made the final connection to our dimension. You can now take on this monstrous challenge in his prison – The Island of Stillborn Stars.

The brand new Lair Raid has gone through final testing on the TestLive servers and has now gone live.

Check out the Issue #6 preview video containing scenes from the new Lair Raid here.

You must first piece together all the pattern pieces from existing Lair bosses before you can take on this terrible new foe.

Gather in groups of ten, find the location of his portal, perform the ritual and enter this new and unexplored dimension where the immense monster awaits.

Though the journey to reach this new challenge is long and arduous, the rewards are powerful and rare. The allure of mighty Signets cannot be denied.

So get out there people and test your metal in this new challenge. It is certainly a trap, but will you bite with jaws of steel?

We’ll have the 1.6.2 patch notes available for you shortly as well.

Flash Point 42: The Secret World / Joel Bylos Interview Special Edition

The Secret World Joel Bylos InterviewThis is a special edition devoted to our interview with The Secret World‘s Game Director, Joel Bylos. Episode 43 will be live tomorrow if TSW isn’t your thing, although it’s worth hearing a senior MMO designer’s ideas all the same. If you are into TSW then you’re in for a treat as Joel covers a lot of areas of the game and gives some hints on the future of the game. A big thanks to Joel for taking some of his valuable Sunday morning at a park with his family to speak to us.

Points of discussion:

– Joel’s journey from Australia to being game director at Funcom
– What being Game Director involves
– Question from The Angry Postman: promoting TSW outside the Alternate Reality Game niche
– Transparency of Funcom/TSW with the struggles over recent months
– Question from Ed Goldstein: scaling between zones
– Question from Belladawna: Does the new position mean Joel can outdrink Ragnar?
– Question from Belladawna: Plans for an official hi-res model viewer?
– Question from Hyperjumpgrandmaster: Making PvP more meaningful, open world PvP an option?
– Question from Voodoo Shark: plans for streamlining skills and mechanics?
– Question from Voodoo Shark: ongoing free trial offers?
– Any other teasers willing to be disclosed? (Yes – including a heavy hint on Issue #4’s auxiliary weapon)
– The impact of layoffs on the team and optimism for the future and bringing some people back
– Can the output of issues be maintained?
– Ability to change body-shape in the future?
– Lessons learnt from Age of Conan?
– Lessons learnt from other MMOs?
– Rift doing panda charity donations (and a lame joke from the host on funding a different type of panda)
– Comparing TSW, GW2 and WoW combat
– What’s a measure of success for TSW over the coming year?

Post your thoughts on the interview below – we’ll have a summary of Joel’s responses posted in 24 hours or so but nothing beats listening to the full thing – enjoy.

Please review or rate the podcast on iTunes if you can – it makes a huge difference!

Listen via iTunes or right here:

Funcom to TSW Players: We’re Here For The Long Haul

In case you hadn’t realised, the creators of The Secret Word, Funcom, have been through some hard times lately, including some pretty significant company restructuring.

That’s understandably got a lot of TSW players twitchy, particularly given that the next content update has been delayed to the 11th September.

One of Funcom’s community reps on the TSW forums, has jumped in to put a positive spin on things:


But seriously, I am sorry that there haven’t been as many dev and CM posts as usual. There’s some heavy restructuring going on right now, and we’re all just working to get settled.

I wanted to come in here and assure you that Funcom and it’s teams are incredibly committed to making sure that TSW keeps it’s steady content flow. While I do know that there has been a delay with the implementation of Issue 2 – Digging Deeper, this delay should not affect other Issues with new content or updates/bug fixes from continuing as planned. We hope to continually improve the game by listening to the community’s feedback!

In the words of the Illuminati (which is not to say that Funcom is Lumie-run):

You either do or get done, and we’re not done.

We’re in this fully, and we have no intentions of stopping any time soon.

Like any posts like these, you’re not going to get a lot of insight into the true state of the nation, but at face value it seems there’s a real commitment to keeping things happening. No-one wants that more than me. As I said in my review of the game, there’s a hell of a lot to like about this game – enough for me to fork out for a lifetime subscription.

At the very least it’s worth buying the game with its 30 days of game time and working out for yourself whether it’s a keeper. I know that if this game does go under, it proves that innovation in the MMO sphere isn’t being rewarded like it should. SOme would say the MMO model has been dead for a few years now, but I’m a little more optimistic than that.

What about you?

The Secret World: Oceanic Gamer’s Review

Funcom’s The Secret World has been live for more than a month now. In the lead up to launch and immediately afterwards, I was hearing very polarised opinions about the latest MMO out in the marketplace. All MMOs are polarised, but this one seemed expecially so, with people saying it was terrible whilst others loving every second. My curiosity got the better of me so I paid for the digital download version and for the past two weeks have put in quite a number of hours each evening exploring.

Overall gameplay

Fun. That really does sum it up. I’ve never had an MMO like this where I’ve spent a lot of hours running around a fairly small geographic area (Kingsmouth) and enjoying at least 90% of it. I like the atmospherics, the pacing, the music / sound effects (quite minimalist overall) – in fact pretty much everything.

The reality is that you don’t ‘level-up’ in the same way as other MMOs, and is a big plus. Sure, you still get obsessed about achievement points (for more abilities) and skill points (for buffs to your abilities), but it’s a much more fluid process to gain those points and deciding what to do with them. Believe it or not, a lot of the skill side of things is actually fun to think about, which is something new for me in an MMO. With weapons, you get the chance to try them all out before choosing a skill / ability path to start down, and even then you can easily divert to other weapons if you want to.

Oh and Mac users: this is a Windows only game but it runs a treat on my three year old iMac in Boot Camp.


Like any MMO there are your usual ‘kill 12 of X things’ but I have to say that these were nowhere as frequent as any other MMOs I’ve played. Most of the quests are pretty interesting, particularly the invesitigation and surveillance missions, which require your thinkign skills, not your button mashing skills. There are of course daily quests and the like if you’re on a real XP grind. Oh – and there’s a web browser in-game to make it easier to do online research for some of the quests – a great feature.


Like any MMO there’s the expected social features of group chat, private messages and general chat in each area. Having only got to the end of Kingsmouth I don’t feel qualified to discuss how social people are getting later in the game, but at this stage there’s not reams of toons hanging out in particular locations. One very subjective comment I’d make on general chat is that it’s a bit more civilised than other MMOs I’ve played although that could just be a result of the lower numbers on the server comparatively. That said, a warning: if you are thinking of jumping on general chat to have the brains trust answer the mystery you’re currently trying to solve, then make damn sure you’ve at least tried to research the answer for yourself.

Graphics and Music

This is where I became totally sold on TSW as a game I want to play longer term. I’m going to come out and say this is the best quality MMO I’ve played graphics-wise. Add to that the art style and the minimalist music, and it has me hooked. This is the only MMO I’ve ever played where I’ve always kept the sound on. Of course, graphics are a very individual thing so some may totally hate the style but I’m certainly not one of them. The rich colours (particularly in London as I rolled a Templar), are worth noting as well.

For those really interested in the graphics, I’ve created a slideshow of a dozen or so scenes from the game:


I partly covered this in the quest section above, but I wanted to give some more emphasis to how engaging story can be in this game. Star Wars The Old Republic made much of the fact that it’s obsession is story, and they succeeded to a very large extent. I’m here to tell you though, that TSW kicks SWTOR’s butt in relation to story. Mainly because of how well the cut scenes are done, the natural language the NPCs use and the thought that’s gone into developing a story line that keeps you hooked. Both games appear to have done a good job in making people want to have multiple characters in the game.

The other key point to be made here are the stark differences between the Dragon, Illuminati and Templar. Sure, every MMO has its factions, but Funcom have done a great job in emphasising their differences, even though they’re all human. I’m hanging out to get more in-depth with the two other factions besides my Templar.


Aside from the items you can pick up in the game, Funcom also have an item store where you can outfit your character to the style it deserves. You’ll need to buy Funcom points for the privelege – they start at US$5.00 for 600 points, and the gear you can buy ranges from 80 points up to more than 2000 points for the high end stuff.

The Downsides

I actually found it difficult to find significant negatives, but like any MMO they’re certainly there. The main frustrations / concerns for me were:

1. There’s definitely a lag issue at times. Not being interested in PVP, it never toally impacted my experience but there were times I cold see my cast bar lagging behind what I was pressing significantly – sometime to the point my cast bar was a whole action behind.

2. Some quests don’t work well if done out of order. There were a couple of times I’d realise I’d missed a quest involving a character I’d already dealt with and it didn’t complete for me properly. Some of that will be early teething problems too, and I know there’s been some fixes already with some quests.

3. I hate crafting – I just can’t get my head around the need to manually drag things into certain patterns. The approach does fit the wider design of the game but it just annoys the hell out of me. I may be in a minority there though and would appreciate your comments on crafting in the comments.

The Verdict

If you’re a lover of MMO that’s a little burnt out on the usual fare and looking for something different, then you should take a serious look at TSW. Even if you hate the whole monster / zombie schtick, this game is done well enough that you may still find it more than rewarding. If you want a simple hack and slash MMO then TSW may not be for you as you will need to think beyond key mashing and getting out of the fire.

Given the relatively small price of buying the game, which comes with 30 days free playtime, it’s not a big gamble. If you hate it or are indifferent to what it offers, then you’ve had a $60 experiment fail. If you love it, or can see it’s full potential developing in the medium term, then you keep subscribing.

The strongest point I can make on what I think about the game is what I did with my wallet: I bought a lifetime subscription.

Our score: 4.5/5 Greeblies

Now over to you: we’d love our thoughts on the game. Feel free to pick apart any claims we’ve made, point out any gaps or give us the low-down on later content in the game if you’ve got that far.

The Secret World: More Details on New Content

Funcom have sent out the latest player newsletter, and it contains some interesting info on incoming content for the game.

For those that like packing a physical weapon, you’re likely to be excited about the addition of a rocket launcher to the arsenal. You’ll have to work hard to get it, but my guess is we’ll still see plenty of people running around with them. There’s also a bunch of new missions on the way this month as well.

For those at work who can’t access the official site, here’s the full break-down:


Introducing a brand new weapon, featuring seven brand new abilities, wrapped in a brand new auxiliary wheel!


With the addition of a third weapon and eighth ability hot-bar slot, you can now augment your existing decks with the awesome might of the rocket launcher. The rocket launcher that goes ‘Boom!’.


More details will be revealed very soon — and this is just the first of many auxiliary weapons to come! We’re already working on the next one…and The Secret World should prepare for a real Texas-style massacre. Rrrrrreeeennnennennnennnnn!




Inside an abandoned abattoir in the bowels of Brooklyn, the infamous Dr Anton Aldini (Peter Stormare) has set up his paraplastic surgery — the Modern Prometheus — and on August 28th, his practice will be open for business.


With the Modern Prometheus, we’re introducing new heads and new facial features, allowing players to completely alter the way their characters look. The first visit is free, but subsequent nips and tucks will cost PAX. Coupons will also be made available in the item store for those players who are short on in-game cash.




Unhappy with your hairstyle? With your beard or moustache? Your makeup? At Ockham’s Razor in London, you can change them all!


Doubling the number of available hairstyles, players can use in-game cash (PAX) or coupons purchased in the item store to alter their ‘do, facial hair or makeup.




Mission Pack #2 — part of August’s issue — adds new investigation missions, the auxiliary weapon mission, and lair action missions to the game:


  • ‘Digging Deeper’ continues the story that began with The Kingsmouth Code, and sends players back to Pastor Henry Hawthorne at the Kingsmouth Congregational to dig deeper into the town’s secret history and Illuminati legacy
  • In ‘Death and Axes’, players learn more about Sophie’s close connection with the spirit world. In Transylvania’s Besieged Farmlands, the dead are restless, and Sophie is increasingly sensitive to their pain — causing Cern some concern for her well-being, and sending players on an investigation into the terrible events that have transpired here
  • ‘Strangers from a Strange Land’ introduces players to the ancient history of Solomon Island, going back to when the island was visited by Norsemen in their longboats, a thousand years ago. This investigation begins with Red (of Red’s Bait & Tackle) and introduces players to a pair of famous talking ravens from Norse mythology…
  • In Transylvania, Iele — the guardian of the Shadowy Forest — needs the player’s help in order to revive her ‘Singing Stones’ and fight the growing infection that threatens this delicate magical sanctuary
  • Acquiring the first auxiliary weapon — the rocket launcher — won’t be a cakewalk. In the first of a series of exciting auxiliary weapon missions, players will work with the Council of Venice to retrieve a highjacked shipment of rocket launchers. During the course of this mission, players face powerful new Orochi technology, travel to a brand new location, and come face to face with the two-faced Phoenicians


And these are just some of the missions that will be made available as part of Mission Pack #2!




Two additional dungeons are receiving Nightmare modes in issue #2: The Facility and Hell Eternal.


Further testing the extreme limits of the players’ abilities, these new additions bring new challenges and new rewards to The Secret World.

The Secret World: Help Guide

One of the coolest things about The Secret World is the investigation missions. They require brains instead of finger-mashing, which is why the game has a built in web browser for research. Which is probably what has brought you here. The below answers are ones I found out myself – I’d suggest you do the same but if you want the easy way out, read on:

(this help guide will grow as I progress through the game – bear with me!)

Men in Black Vans: what is the laptop password?

Answer: (non-spoiler) – go to the URL shown on the black suited bodies lying near the van and look up Kitsune’s wife at that URL. (spoiler) ‘sally’ is the password.

Men in Black Vans: where is the tracker I need to use?

Answer: right next to the laptop, adjust your camera angle and you’ll see it just to the left of the laptop in the back of the van. I didn’t see it for ages because I had my camera angle too low.

Men in Black Vans: how do I disassemble the tracker?

Answer: (non-spoiler) there’s a combination you need to do in the right order. If you get it wring you’ll see the component fizzle and hear a noise. It’ll also attract a bigger monster out of the sea so head back up the beach unless you want a fight. (spoiler) Select the component on the East side of the unit (facing the sea), then the South side and then West side. That’s what worked for me anyway.

I Phone Home: how do I give the tablet to Danny?

Answer: just left click on him once. Believe it or not took me a while to work this out.

ATC: how do I use the security keypad to get in to disable the EMP generator?

Answer: (non-spoiler) Kill the draug in the area and just near where he was standing you’ll find your answer. (spoiler) Passcode is 739241. And don’t forget to put on your Orochi uniform from your inventory (it is looted automatically from the body you examine – although you may need to examine both bodies to get one to fit).

Dawn of an Endless Night: what is the password on Dr Bannerman’s computer?

Answer: (non-spoiler) Dr Bannerman likes classical music based on the photo you examine. (spoiler) Google ‘Four Seasons Classical’ and you’ll get your answer.

Dawn of an Endless Night: how do I find the trail left by Beaumont?

Answer: (non-spoiler) You need to search around the airport based on the picture you’re shown. (spoiler) Go to the shed/shack that’s at the furthest west of the airport (just above the scrapyard). It has the same scenic flight sign as in the picture.

Dawn of an Endless Night: how do I unlock the door to the Illuminati tunnel?

Answer: (non-spoiler) Collect the items around the room, read the book on the desk near the door, which gives you the hints. (spoiler) In order, insert the Yin and Yang, Skull, Phoenix, Pyramid and The Eye, then the door will open.

Dawn of an Endless Night: Where is the Illuminati vault?

Answer: (non-spoiler) Find the Order of Great Works book just inside the entrance of the instance. Collect the items from each of the rooms (both levels) and then search for the vault. (spoiler) Find the loose floorboards in the northern end room on the ground floor. Jump down and you’ll come to a door. Same deal as the previous tunnel door – insert (in order) the Star of David, Masonic Symbol, The Eye, skull and finally the Templar Cross.

They Never Stop Coming: where are the Slow and Dry Zombies?

Answer:(non-spoiler) Go to the North West of the main township. (Spoiler) It’s zombies like the Charred Remains and Witch Trial Victims that fit into this category.

They Never Stop Coming: where are the Zombie Cultists?

Answer: (non-spoiler) Have a good wander around the back areas of Kingsmouth and you’ll find them. (Spoiler) Behind Norma’s house.

Tomb Raider: where is Eric and Mindy’s Grave?

Answer: (non-spoiler) Work your way around the graveyard and it’s there, but not in the easiest areas. (Spoiler) With your back to the church, it’s in the second back row on the right half near the fence.

Into Darkness: how do I get to New York?

Answer: via Agartha – I stupidly kept going to the record shop because there was a yellow cross there….

Into Darkness: where is the rendezvous point?

Answer: (non-spoiler) near a truck with flashing lights in a lower level of the parking garage. (Spoiler) Walk right up to the corpses in the corner on the lowest level.

Horror Show: where is the camera at the mining museum?

Answer: (non-spoiler) it’s in the top half of the building. (Spoiler) You climb the ladder on the building behind the mining museum, jump across to the museum and you’ll find the camera at the front of the musuem on the little overhang.

The League of Monster Slayers: what is the order of initiation?

Answer: here’s the map – click on it for the full-size version:










The League of Monster Slayers: where is the body I need to poke?

Answer: (non-spoiler) Look around the immediate area after you discover Dead Man’s Canyon. (spoiler) There;s a small dark head poking out of the ground. Mouse over that and it’ll be labelled as ‘The Body’ – right click to poke it.

Science And The Arts: where are the blueprints in the headmaster’s office?

Answer: (non-spoiler) Don’t make the mistake like I did of thinking the headmaster’s office is where you talk to him. (spoiler) The blueprints are on the wall in the headmaster’s office which is directly on the floor above where you talk to him.

Play The Secret World Free In August

So many MMOs, not enough time! Believe it or not it’s been a month since A Secret World launched, and to celebrate Funcom are offering some free play time coming up in early August (From Friday, August 3rd at 4pm GMT until Monday, August 6th at 7am GMT).

That means from 2am Saturday morning the 4th August to 5pm on Monday 6th August at 5pm AEST. Here’s the full details:

We want to share the joy with as many people as possible! Any player, who has any type of The Secret World account, may join us over the weekend to celebrate our first month! Early Access, Inactive Accounts, and Beta Accounts may all join in! If you do not currently have an account for The Secret World, you may register to participate starting today, Friday, July 27th, to have open access to this special celebration weekend! You can find the celebration event registration on the right side of the official website! You may download the game here.

So if you’ve got an inactive account, now might be the time to jump back in. Or like me, you might want to give the game a go for the first time.

While we’re talking TSW, if you’re a dedicated player that would like to write about the game, why not join our team?