‘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.
With all of the discussion and controversy over MMO lockboxes as of late (you might have seen something), one thing we haven’t talked about much is the actual prizes inside of them. It’s pretty common knowledge that most of the time, you’re going to get really cruddy and disposable rewards (but you’ll be haunted by the possibility of something better, which keeps you coming back).
But, hey, there are always those rare times that you pull out a golden goose rather than a garden variety sparrow from the hat. Have you ever won anything amazing in a lockbox? I can’t recall too many times that this has happened to me, as I only open boxes when I’m given free keys. I did once get a reusable makeup kit from Guild Wars 2 that was pretty handy, and Secret World Legends did toss some 80s-era roller skates my way as a funky “mount.”
What about you?
is trying something new for Guild Wars 2
this season: In addition to its episodic AMAs on Reddit, it’s opened up a temporary Q&A forum on the new content
. It’s certainly a lot easier to read and find replies! Most of the topics since yesterday revolve around lore, and as I’m trying to avoid spoilers myself, I won’t subject you to them, but there are some more general ones that aren’t just AMA repeats that I can draw your attention to.
- Players didn’t make much headway with ArenaNet in the ongoing complaints about the difficulty of the solo story bosses.
- Planning for this episode began in November of 2016, to give you an idea of how long these things percolate.
- The studio agrees some of the instance chaining in this episode goes on for too long. (It was done for story purposes.)
- Will the personal story ever be developed again? “It’s something we consider often,” Jessica Price says, but it’s probably not happening, given the number of races, personalities, and backgrounds would need to be taken into account (1800 combos before personal story choices).
The Crew 2 isn’t as delayed as you might’ve thought: Ubisoft just announced that it’s launching on June 29th, and it’s looking like a simultaneous PC, PS4, and Xbox release.
“The Crew 2 will let players experience the thrill of American motorsports inside a fully redesigned USA. The game’s playground pushes physical boundaries to let driving and open world fans test their skills, solo or with friends, in nonstop competition and exploration. From coast to coast, drivers will explore America and compete to become the greatest motorsports champion, by collecting a wide variety of exotic cars, bikes, boats and planes, and dominating the motorsports scene on the land, on the water and in the air. Players will find challenges and inspiration among four different motorsports families: street racing, off-road, pro racing and freestyle, and will be given a broad set of options among a wide selection of vehicle types.”
MMO players will recall that the sequel to The Crew was originally announced just before E3 of last year, and by summer, it had a release date. That release date would’ve been tomorrow, incidentally. But in December, Ubisoft admitted it needed more time for TC2 and several other games, pushing the date somewhere between spring and fall of this year.
Multiple MMORPG communities are celebrating the life of internationally renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who passed away earlier this week.
In EVE Online, players came together yesterday to “spend a little ozone for one of the brightest minds humanity has ever had” by gathering in the same spot, setting aside personal grievances and ongoing wars, and literally lighting up the game in tribute. Reddit is filled with screenshots of the occasion, but here’s the one CCP retweeted:
Two Destinies for the price of one! For this episode, the Battle Bards are gearing up in their favorite space armor to take on highlights from both of the Destiny soundtracks. From buyer’s regret to confusing the gender of a key character, there is all sorts of on-air therapy happening with this kooky trio!
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 iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 117: Destiny (or download it) now:
Around the time I started working at Massively-that-was, there was an article that I quite liked talking about how four high-profile MMO failures were not necessary. It was a product of its time, but the point was made that these games didn’t have to wind up in the state they were in. The mistakes that were made were not unexpected problems, but entirely predictable ones that anyone could have seen. Heck, some people did see them and pointed them out, but nothing was changed.
I think about that a lot when I think about other MMOs and online games because there are a lot of titles that, even if not entirely failed, are in states they never needed to be in. These stories are, at the very least, stories of some failures where the failure was not an inevitable end state, nor are they messes that had to be made. The writing was on the wall, the warnings were given, and someone just kept on keeping on and ignored all of the signs. And here we are.
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin roll up their sleeves and take on projects left and right. It’s a look at the announcement of Project C and the imminent early access launch of Project Gorgon, among many other exciting developments this week!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
Welcome along to Guild Chat
, the column through which we examine all things guild-related and solve problems faced by fellow members of the Massively Overpowered community. This edition is rather different, however: I had the opportunity to interview the key players in a Guild Wars 2 guild named POOF
that featured in ArenaNet’s Friend/Ships campaign
, which you may have read a little bit about in Flameseeker Chronicles
. Friendships have been at the forefront of ArenaNet
‘s minds for the last month or so and POOF’s guild story is one that was featured within the campaign (the video is below for those who haven’t seen it). I asked them about how they organise their guild, what makes POOF so special, and how they support their members, and I’m delighted to share their insights with you in a special edition of Guild Chat.
Do you have any burning questions about Guild Wars? No, not Guild Wars 2 — the original, the one that has long fallen out of the public eye? ArenaNet Studio Tech Director Stephen Clarke-Willson, who goes by SCW on the forums, posted an open AMA on Reddit for those still curious about the old game.
And before you ask, no, the studio isn’t going to be making any content changes to this maintenance mode title. “It’s hard work just to get the art tools up and running, so making content changes are pretty unlikely,” he told one player. There are also no plans for an HD version.
He does go into a lot of the details of the server structure, the creation of the technology behind the game, and how ArenaNet streamlined the title to make it accessible and low cost.
Albion Online’s Lancelot update, its third major release since launch, is officially live this morning. The star of the update, as we’ve previously covered, is the new fishing system. “Cast a line into Albion’s rivers, lakes and oceans to gather fish, then cook them into meals, enhance other foods, or sell them in the Marketplace,” Sandbox Interactive says. “Different biomes and settings offer different types of fish, as do freshwater and saltwater. Explore an all-new Destiny Board path and discover new fishing gear. Seek out rare fish that offer increased bonuses and hunt for sunken treasures all across Albion.”
The update also includes a big overhall for the guild UI and other quality-of-life guild features, new hellgates, new artifact armor, combat tweaks, improved game performance, roaming mobs, a new expedition, and the launch of the second GvG season.
Current and lapsed players will be happy to know that logging in between now and March 19th will nab you seven free days of premium sub time, so go have a looksee.
With Guild Wars 2’s
latest living story episode
out of the gate, ArenaNet’s devs sat for another Reddit AMA
. They don’t talk much future content, but there are some useful nuggets within. We’ve summed it all up below – just beware, there are spoilers for the episode here and there!
- The map was apparently a “challenge” because the devs wanted to show off the big central structure from as many views as possible. “Unfortunately, this meant that we had to compromise later in development by going through and marking certain objects to cull at specific distances, so that FPS wouldn’t drop to extremely low levels on moderately powerful machines.”
- They are working on the API support again.
- “We’re not working on GvG as a full supported game mode. We are working on some various features to support groups who engage in large scale team fights, such as an eventual custom arena map that is designed for for larger groups. But I’d never call it a fully supported new game mode.”
You currently cannot play Diablo III on as many different platforms as you can play, say, Skyrim. But it looks like the number of available platforms will go up soon; Gamespot is reporting that anonymous sources indicate the title is indeed coming to the Nintendo Switch. Those sources have nothing to say on the topic of whether or not the game’s expansions will be included, but one can certainly assume that will be the case.
So why the silence after an earlier tease for exactly this? Well, it may be because Nintendo seems to prefer to remain tight-lipped about these ports until they’re closer to release, or it may be that the current testing is more about seeing if it’s doable than specifically making it happen. Or it could just be willful obtrusiveness, or the anonymous sources are wrong. You get to decide!
Fishing has become a hot topic in MMOs this week, thanks to the likes of RuneScape and Albion Online. The latter will see the implementation of fishing in next week’s Lancelot update.
“With the new fishing system, Sandbox Interactive hopes to achieve three major goals: to add a fun new activity for all players, to integrate this activity into Albion’s economy and create interesting economic choices, [and] to implement a relatively simple feature which nonetheless adds depth for players,” the studio’s PR explains. “For example, there is a new Destiny Board path available for fishing, a fishing journal is available for the player’s house, and adventurers can even defeat a massive boss fish and craft it into a trophy.”
In Albion’s latest dev video, Game Director Robin Henkys calls the system the game’s “first major economic addition” since its launch last summer. It’s basically a wind-down mechanic for when you’re retiring from a hard day’s work wrecking faces, as one does, but the idea was to make it engrossing enough to stand on its own too. You can listen to his whole talk in the video below.