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.

Guild Wars 2 removes bleeding caps in Heart of Thorns

One of the routinely stated design goals about Guild Wars 2 is that you should be able to wander out in the world and be happy to see others. Interacting and working with other players should be welcome. But it’s hard to welcome others when you’re playing a build focused around stacking bleeding effects on the target, since in the live game there’s a hard limit to how many stacks of that debuff can be applied, making your bleeding useless past a certain point.

Good news, though: That limit is being removed for Heart of Thorns, allowing players with condition-based damage to work together more comfortably with the expansion launch. Game design lead Jon Peters posted about this on the official forums, stressing that while there was a need for more balancing and testing, it was indeed an intentional change to make group play more satisfying for condition-based players. More information about how this system will work for other conditions and more potential balance changes is incoming, but it’s definitely a step toward making the bleeding cycle feel less exclusionary.

[Source: Official forums via TTH]

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The Stream Team: I am Groot, kind of

March’s Choose My Adventure Sampler Platter Edition continues tonight with a little bit of Marvel Heroes 2015. Join Massively OP’s Mike Foster as he takes Rocket Raccoon (and his trusty companion, Groot) out for a little laser-induced mayhem. The Stream Team action starts at 8:00 p.m. EDT on OPTV.

What: Marvel Heroes
Who: Mike Foster
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Enjoy the show!

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Shifting perspectives in Guild Wars 2

Since my last edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, ArenaNet has released the eagerly anticipated camera patch, and I have been squealing with delight while enjoying the new character-specific perspective these controls have given me. The relatively simple new camera toolset makes me very excited for the future of Guild Wars 2, as familiar areas in Tyria now feel very different depending on which of my characters I play.

Before launching into my rather gushing rambles about the Lock to Character Height and First Person options, however, I should briefly highlight that the patch did cause a number of serious ongoing issues. I had anticipated the odd bug or two when the patch was initially delayed from its original launch date of March 10th; I’m very sympathetic to development delays and the occasional glitch since I work in game development myself (it’s not an MMO) and have been in this boat before. Having said that, this patch caused a surprising number of serious bugs that really should have been squashed before the patch ever was exposed to the masses.

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Choose My Adventure: Torchlight Heroes

Our March sampler-platter edition of Choose My Adventure is quickly coming to a close. There’s only one more vote to take, one more game to play, and one more character to create. Our task this week, as with previous weeks, is two-fold. First, we must talk about Marvel Heroes, (spoiler alert: awesome). Second, we must choose a path for our Torchlight II hero. It’s a big responsibility, but I think we’re up for it.

So join me, CMA-ers, on this last round of OARPG voting. Dungeon time is almost over.

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WildStar outlines pets and wardrobe mechanics

Have you longed for a Rowsdower companion of your very own as you venture about in WildStar? Did you hate the game’s costume system with a passion? Do you just like anything that lets you customize your character more extensively? All three needs are getting addressed in the game’s next major patch, and a new development post on the patch outlines how the minipets will work as well as how the new holo-wardrobe will function.

The patch contains 54 companion pets obtained through a variety of means, from vendors to random drops. Like most games with non-combat pets, WildStar offers no benefit from having your pet at your side, but you can summon it anywhere. The holo-wardrobe, meanwhile, is closer to the system already used in Guild Wars 2, with account-wide appearance unlocks and a revised dye selection menu to make coloring your outfit easier and more intuitive. Take a look at all of the changes on the official post and skim the new pics below.

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Diablo III offers a big boost for the Reaper of Souls anniversary

It’s hard to believe that players have been enjoying the first Diablo III expansion for over a year, isn’t it? Today specifically marks the one-year anniversary of Reaper of Souls, and what with all of the various souls that have been reaped, the folks at Blizzard have gotten sentimental. So they’ve turned on a buff for dedicated players for the next week.

What does the buff get you? A 100% bonus to both experience and gold find, with the added bonus that each of those buffs is multiplicative with other boosts from shrines, Paragon points, and so forth. It’s a great opportunity to level a new character, make some extra money, or just enjoy the game that’s been in play for the last year. You’ll want to get on it quickly, though; the buff expires on March 30th.

[Source: Happy Birthday, Reaper of Souls]

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The Daily Grind: Do you have a love/hate relationship with an MMO?

For the most part, my MMO gaming world is pretty black and white. If I enjoy a game, then I’m playing it. If I’m not playing it, either it doesn’t interest me or I have negative feelings toward it.

But then there’s the weird case of Guild Wars 2, an MMO that I simultaneously love and hate. It’s a weird mixture born from being delighted by what the game does so well and frustrated by the many things at which it fails. I have a hard time talking about it in a purely positive light without letting criticism seep in, and I don’t know how healthy that it for my ongoing journey with it.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with an MMO? If so, what is it?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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You can now try The Crew for free on consoles

If you’re still curious about Ubisoft’s online racer The Crew, I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is that if you’re a PC gamer, you’re out of luck. The good news is that if you fancy playing the game on a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One, you can now do so at no charge thanks to the new free trial.

You get two hours of free time, and any progress you make will carry over to the full game should you decide that it’s worth a purchase.

[Source: Free trial; thanks Dengar!]

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Frontier crowns its Race to Elite winners

Appropriately, the winner of Frontier’s Triple Elite competition is a Commander by the name of Onepercent. He played for 1,029 hours between December 18th and February 15th, and being the first Elite: Dangerous player to reach elite status in combat, trading, and exploration has netted him £10,000.

Eurogamer has published some insane numbers from this particular player, including 10,342 unique star systems visited, 9,032 kills, and 835,410 tons of goods traded. Onepercent does have a job, though it’s “casual” and it enabled him to devote 12 to 16 hours per day to E:D for a three-month period. You can watch David Braben’s announcement video after the cut.

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The Secret World extends its multi-issue sale to veterans, throws week-long event

Nobody likes getting cut out of a good deal. When The Secret World announced that it was selling a generously discounted “enhanced player experience” pack for new players this week, veterans felt rankled that they got the short end of the sale stick.

Fortunately, Funcom’s extended the sale so that it includes all players, including both newbies and vets. For current players who already have the core game, the E.P.E. pack sale bundles Issues #5 through 8 for $20. You can access it under “special offers and upgrades” on your account page. The sale ends on March 31st.

The Secret World is also holding a new golden week event through April 1st with double AP, the golden golem world boss, and various discounts.

[Source: Official forums. Thanks to Crow, Nordavind, and Derrick for the tip!]

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Elder Scrolls Online console preorders are now open

Having relaunched The Elder Scrolls Online as a buy-to-play, sub-optional PC game last week, ZeniMax has now announced pre-orders for the console versions of the game. The game will officially launch on the PS4 and Xbox One on June 9th of this year.

The studio will offer two editions for each platform: The standard edition grants a minipet and bonus treasure maps plus the ability to roll any race in any alliance, while the Imperial edition includes the requisite physical map, 12″ statue, 224-page illustrated book, an extra minipet, duoing rings, a horse mount, and the chance to roll up an Imperial character.

Still thinking about picking up the game on PC? Of course you are. You’re an MMO player. Check out YouTuber Elloa’s tips video below before you do.

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Frontier turns Elite bug into community event

Frontier has turned an Elite: Dangerous bug into a canonical community event that is still ongoing through March 26th. A player purportedly fired on a Farragut-class capital ship, prompting a return attack, which hit the nearby Hudson Dock space station.

The station returned fire and wiped out over 75 percent of the Farragut’s hull strength — and gave it a 72,000-credit bounty — before the devs fixed the bug. Players may now sell metals at Hudson Dock, which will go toward repair efforts. Participants will be rewarded according to “individual and community efforts,” according to PC Gamer.

[Via: PC Gamer; Source: GalNet; thanks Colin!]

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Factions: Origins of Malu’s early access launch and interview

Origins of Malu has certainly had a long, bumpy road to launch. Showing up on our radar back in August 2011, this title has weathered two engine changes (each necessitating starting over), unsuccessful cowdfunding ventures, and even a name change as the design changed to offer the battlegrounds first. And this past Friday, at the very last minute, the team learned that the launch would be further delayed because of something beyond its control on Steam’s end. But that’s behind the game now, and the first iteration of the game with battlegrounds is live today.

Throughout the whole process, the team has been dedicated to bringing this game to life, going so far as to keep funding it out of pocket throughout the journey. We sat down with founder Michael Dunham to talk about why the additional wait was needed, what players can expect now, and when the full MMO is coming out.

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