buy to play

‘Buy-to-play’ is a term that refers to games that have box or download fees associated with them but do not incur a mandatory subscription. Some have optional subscriptions and are more properly referred to as hybrid B2P. Most have cash shops and microtransactions.

Destiny 2 takes pity on non-Curse of Osiris owners, challenges players to snowball fights

Those who have elected not to pick up Destiny 2’s first DLC might have felt like they were being shut out of more progression and content than was fair. Bungie agreed with this, and in Patch 1.1.1.1, the team made several changes to accommodate the “have nots” of the playerbase.

Non-owners can now progress to power level 300 without disruption and engage in the Leviathan raid and the standard Trials of the Nine maps. Previously, Curse of Osiris made the trials inaccessible to the base game owners even if the launch maps were featured, which rankled more than one member of the community.

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Global Chat: Something fishy in these MMOs

Fishing in MMOs: You either really get it or you really don’t. Ancient Gaming Noob Wilhelm is among those who enjoys taking every opportunity possible to cast his rod and reel in search of slimy, scaly adventure under the waves — and he’s shared how he assigns an alt the joy and responsibility of fishing in each one of his games.

“If there is fishing in a game, I’ll be there. But fishing really only needs one character,” he writes. “I generally pick somebody to be my fisherman and send them out to fish around the world, following whatever plans the game happens to have for the vocation.”

Oh my cod, you say, this column has already started to flounder. Well, fear not, we have a porpoise for everything we post, and we’re sure that you’ll get hooked on one of these MMO essays and end up trouting its virtues.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMORPG has the best graphical appeal as of 2017?

We don’t give out a formal end-of-the-year award for MMO graphics at Massively OP. It’d be almost impossible to come to a consensus. As we wrote last year, “Where some people aren’t satisfied until games are hyperrealistic, others require fanciful and dreamlike artistic rendering and still others can look at a cutesy retro game and squee. Some people juggle geese.”

But that’s not going to stop us from working through which games deserve nominations. I’ve been entirely enraptured by Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire scenery, but the new A:IR screenshots that came out this week? Yeah, that’s gonna give existing MMOs a run for their money for sure.

If you were going to give out an award for best visual appeal in an MMORPG, new or old, as long as it’s live, which game would walk home with the prize?

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Massively Overthinking: Our favorite MMORPG articles of 2017

For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked the writers to do something most of them hate: brag! We’ve tried to isolate our favorite personal work from the year and talk about why we think it matters, then identify our favorite work from somebody else on the site this year and do the same. I always tell them it’s easy, but it never is!

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Elite Dangerous’ Thargoid aliens are finally fighting back

It turns out that when you mess with the Thargoids long enough, eventually even they get fed up.

Elite Dangerous players have been poking the ethereal aliens with the space equivalent of prodding sticks for months ever since they first started appearing in the game as part of its ongoing plotline. Players were divided over whether to communicate or fight; fighting was initially effective only until the Thargoids appeared to develop resistance to player tactics, and communication proved difficult.

But reports coming from the game today suggest that the Thargoids have had enough of being hassled and are fighting back in earnest, apparently attacking multiple player space stations and provoking emergency evacuation notices for players with ships docked there (you won’t lose your ships, mind you, as they’ll be moved some place more secure unless you intentionally fly back to the besieged station, but it’s some fun flavor).

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Battle Bards Episode 111: Cabal Online 1 and 2

The Battle Bards are always up for a musical bargain, and on today’s episode, they’ll deliver two MMORPGs for the price of one (sitting)! It’s a look at two rather obscure eastern MMOs, Cabal Online and Cabal 2, both of which have some surprisingly good music tucked away. So expand your video game musical horizons with this show!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 111: Cabal Online 1 and 2 (or download it) now:

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Tamriel Infinium: Our 2017 report card for Elder Scrolls Online

All in all, 2017 has been a fabulous year for the Elder Scrolls Online, and although I have been light on talking about the game recently, I have jumped in regularly to explore Vvardenfell and Clockwork City. This year ESO saw its first expansion and dare I say its greatest addition to the game: Morrowind. But that shouldn’t diminish the other great stories in the Horns of the Reach and Clockwork City DLCs. Also, ESO introduced one of the best player housing systems I’ve ever seen with Homestead earlier this year. I really don’t know how ESO is going to top 2017.

Let’s pull apart the accomplishments of ESO this year into my standard for grading MMORPGs: The Bartle Taxonomy. MMORPGs are wonderful because of the breadth of different activities that players can participate in. They draw together many different kinds of players, and Bartle’s Taxonomy breaks these players into four different categories: Socializers, Achievers, Killers, and Explorers.

Most people will be a blend of two or more of these categories. I’m going to measure the merits of the game based each category individually using a scale you’ll often find in American schools: A, B, C, D, and F.

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Perfect Ten: 20 upcoming MMOs to watch in 2018

It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).

This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!

As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like Sea of ThievesThe Crew 2Monster Hunter WorldDayZRed Dead Redemption 2Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.

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Elder Scrolls Online’s winter festival quests send you party-hopping on December 14

So, that Orc… this seems safe, right? Right? Guys?

The Elder Scrolls Online is bringing back the New Life Festival again this Christmas, beginning on Thursday. “In order to join the festivities, acquire the free New Life Festival Scroll from the Crown Store. Use the scroll to find the New Life Herald Breda in a tent just south of Windhelm, Eastmarch,” ZeniMax says. “She will give you the initial quest, ‘The New Life Festival,’ which will unlock a series of nine uniquely festive daily quests.”

Those quests will ask you to travel around the provinces of Tamriel, taking part in the local wintertime festivities for each of the gameworld’s races. BYO trick swallowing-swords for the Orcish race’s Stonetooth Bash, party with the Nords in the totally-safe-sounding Snow Bear Plunge, and enjoy the Altmeri’s cheerful War Orphan’s Sojourn. Your reward for doing them all? Breda’s Bottomless Mead Mug collectible, which grants a nice experience bonus during the festival. It stacks with other experience bonuses, too.

And what Christmas event would be complete without lockboxes? The good news is you can get some themed ones for free by completing the quests. There are some new goodies for direct-sale too, like the 10K-gold New Life Bonfire.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2’s Hall of Chains raid wing first impressions

I promised you at the end of last week’s rundown of Guild Wars 2‘s fourth Living World season’s launch episode that I’d return this week with a first look at the new raid Hall of Chains and I never want to disappoint! While I haven’t stood toe to toe with each of the raid bosses yet, I’ve been glued to boss kill videos and have been gaining a feel for the fights I’m due to face. I’m delighted to explain my take on the new endgame content and I’m hoping that some of you are joining me in trying it out!

In this week’s Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll discuss each of the new raid bosses briefly and will outline the premise of the encounter mechanics. I won’t spend long outlining very detailed tips and tactics at this stage since I haven’t been hands-on with everything myself yet, though I will furnish you with some tactics guides as I get more experience post-holidays if there’s demand for them. Note that there will be spoilers for those who haven’t tried the content themselves yet, so bear that in mind before reading on. I’ll avoid totally spoilerific images and will hide big lore points behind tags.

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Destiny 2 is reversing some of its controversial player lockout DLC design

So, remember when Destiny 2 players without Curse of Osiris were locked out of content that predated that DLC? That was pretty great. Also, it’s still the case right now. The good news is that Bungie is planning to change some of that.

“We’ve heard from the community that both of these plans aren’t working. The Prestige Raid was a novel experience that players value, even if they don’t own Curse of Osiris, and it was a mistake to move that experience out of reach. Throughout the lifetime of the Destiny Franchise, Trials has always required that players owned the latest Expansion. However, for Destiny 2, Trials of The Nine launched as part of the main game, so it’s not right for us to remove access to it. To make matters worse, our team overlooked the fact that both of these mistakes disabled Trophies and Achievements for Destiny 2. This was an unacceptable lapse on our part, and we can understand the frustration it has created.”

The proposed changes generate issues of their since they mean downtuning content that was meant to provide a level-appropriate challenge for the new level cap in Curse of Osiris.

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Guild Wars 2’s Wintersday celebrations are live along with the condition and balance patch

Ahhhhh! What’s that thing up in the sky over Divinity’s Reach, the second-best video game city ever? Oh, don’t worry, it’s just Toymaster Tixx’s enormous golem airship, back to celebrate Wintersday. Nothing to concern yourself with!

Yes, Wintersday has returned to Guild Wars 2 today, bringing with it Tixx’s Infinarium, the Winter Wonderland jumping puzzle, Toypocalypse, the most epic snowball fight ever, and all the other shenanigans ArenaNet has on offer. Expect a revamp to winter achievements and awards clutter (like the old snowflakes) as well.

Today’s patch has more than just holiday hijinks, however, including modifications to the way conditions work in the game.

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The Daily Grind: What was the best new zone added to an MMO in 2017?

Last year, MOP reader Agemyth suggested we debate the best new MMORPG zone added in 2016, so it seemed only fitting to bring the topic back for another go now that another year is mostly behind us. And it’s even harder to answer this year than then, thanks to the plethora of expansions the MMO genre saw this year.

My vote would be torn. I was inclined to grant it to Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind – Vivec, specifically – but then I remembered all the jaw-dropping moments my husband and I had wandering around the Crystal Desert in Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire. “Spectacular” doesn’t even begin to describe it, and that’s before you’ve even left Amnoon.

I’m sure you can think of others. What would you argue was the best new zone or area added to an MMORPG in 2017?

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