f2p

‘Free-to-play’ is a term that refers to games that do not have box or download fees associated with them and do not incur a mandatory subscription. Some have optional subscriptions and are more properly referred to as hybrid F2P. Most have cash shops and microtransactions.

Neverwinter shows off the mechanics of the Spellplague Caverns

The next Neverwinter patch will send players into the depths of the Spellplague Caverns, and you can be sure that the denizens therein will not be amenable to friendly conversation. No, you're going to have to fight things, and that means new boss encounters and mechanics to deal with. The developers aren't willing to completely divulge the mechanics of these encounters, but you can at least get an idea of what you'll be dealing with thanks to the latest preview.

Each of the new fights is meant to introduce a different sort of mechanic, including gaze attacks (which can only be avoided by players looking away from the source) and a plane-shifting mechanic on the final boss. You'll have to work together with your teammates to overcome the challenges of the caverns, so make sure to go with your more observant friends for your first few runs. And, you know, close your eyes when appropriate.

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Revelation Online shows off the many paths to wings

You don't want to walk in Revelation Online; you want to fly away. (Just like a dragonfly.) Fortunately, the game gives you wings pretty early on, so you can explore the world from the air as you wish. The most recent preview on the official site shows several of the diverse wings available to players in the game, ensuring that players of all styles can soar through the air with the greatest of ease.

Wings are available from dungeons as drops, but wings can also be crafted by breaking down unwanted sets of wings. You can also earn specific sets by crafting a new set from several reputation items. In short, you needn't worry that you'll suffer from a paucity of wing options, from insect-like dragonfly wings to billowing energy in vague wing shapes. Check out the full dispatch for more information on how to take to the skies.

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The Steam Team: A midday Marvel Heroes in Midtown

It's been much too long since Massively OP's MJ has enjoyed a nice leisurely afternoon stroll through Marvel Heroes. Of course, there isn't any actually strolling when it comes to Midtown Madness; no, it's all about the travel powers and racing from boss to boss to get all the XP and loot! Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. and help MJ decide which hero to level up today.

What: Marvel Heroes
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EST on Monday, February 13th, 2017

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The MOP Up: Hearthstone gets ready to banish dozens of cards (February 19, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from Overwatch, League of LegendsEVE OnlineMabinogi DuelSpace EngineersIngressEternal CrusadeElder Scrolls OnlineFinal BladeHearthstoneGod Eater OnlineDrakensang Online, and EVE Valkyrie, all waiting for you after the break!

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One Shots: I am no man!

The big screenshot challenge last week was to capture action, not just still shots, in MMORPGs. This is tricker than it sounds, because you have to be quick with the screenshot key and manipulate the camera just right to get the perfect picture. It is easier to do this with other characters, obviously, including those in cutscenes.

Borghive gets headlining honors with his "final showdown" between the Witch King and Éowyn from Lord of the Rings Online. She looks a little outmatched, what with being smaller and having an actual head, but I think she's going to come out just fine. After all, she is no man.

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LOTRO Legendarium: Checking out LOTRO's housing improvements

Like probably most of the population of Lord of the Rings Online, I was initially interested in player housing when it first came out, gave it the ol' college try for the first year or so to work within its limitations, and mostly forgot about it after that.

It was a sore point with the community, a subpar housing experience in a game that screamed for a robust feature on par with some of the genre's best. Year after year, a housing revamp was the top most-requested desire from players, and year after year, Turbine either ignored it, delayed it, or promised and then abandoned it.

Yet over the past year we've actually seen some movement on this front with two important changes: the addition of premium housing in Gondor and, most recently, Update 19.3's expansion of housing hook functionality. With these in mind, I turned my attention back to housing for the first time in so very long -- and found myself actually enraptured with creating a new home for myself. It's not the complete overhaul that we want and the game still needs, but it's far better than nothing and has actually revitalized the housing scene somewhat.

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Warframe community rallies for weekend Extra Life stream

The Warframe community has a big streaming weekend in store for fans thanks to what organizers are calling "the largest gathering of Warframe content creators."

"The Warframe 72 Hour Livestream is feature over 30 streamers all doing what they do best, playing Warframe and entertaining the masses! This event will also feature a few member of DE staff throughout the 3 day period, so keep your eye out for them! Of course, no honest-to-goodness streaming event would be complete with a charity to a good cause! All proceeds will go to the Extra Life network of children's hospitals! The event will kick off right after Devstream #88 this Friday, February 17th 2017 at 3:00 PM EST and will run continuously until (roughly) 4:00 PM EST on Monday, Feburary 20th 2017!"

If you'd to donate as well as watch, you can do so through the community's Extra Life page, which also lists all the streamers and their timeslots. The streams themselves will be hosted on Twitch.

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Here's what's in Neverwinter's Cloaked Ascendancy lockboxes

One of the many content chunks and upgrades landing in Neverwinter when Cloaked Ascendancy launches next week is... lockboxes. In fact, PWE put out a new dev blog today on the Many-Starred Lockbox landing on February 21st, taking a page out of Star Wars: The Old Republic's dog-eared playbook.

Potentially in the lockbox for those who buy keys? The Arcane Whirlwinds legendary mount, the multi-spell Tome of Ascendance, and a number of packs tailored to mounts, artifact equipment, artifacts, companions, enchantments, and costumes, some of which are shown in the gallery below.

But whom are we kidding -- you're never gonna get these.

Further reading: Andrew's piece on gambling vs. gaming, Larry's ideas for making lockboxes suck less, and this article telling us to get over them.

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The Stream Team: Landmark's last weekend

Time is running out! This is Landmark's last weekend, and there are still too many things Massively OP's MJ wants to enjoy and experience in game. There's simply no way to get to every build, but she has to try; the amazing creativity of this community deserves to be admired, applauded, and archived. So starts a weekend of racing to try to get in all the spooky houses, grand castles, alien ships, and everything else before the world goes dark. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. as MJ visits as many sites as possible. You can even suggest some to see!

What: Landmark
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 17th, 2017

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Path of Exile preps 'ultimate flashback event' with the new legacy league

Did you miss out on one of Path of Exile's more interesting challenge leagues from the past few years? Soon, you'll have the opportunity to make up for that, thanks to the game's "ultimate flashback event."

When Path of Exile's 2.6 patch arrives on March 3rd, the game will go into league overdrive with its Legacy League event. During this period, players will find and equip up to three "leaguestones" at a time that will activate any combination of Path of Exile's previous 17 challenge leagues. That's like... a crazy amount of potential league combinations.

This will be a great opportunity for players to not only experience past league challenges but to pick up unique items that were only available during those runs. Patch 2.6 will also add special reliquary treasure chambers ripe for looting, 40 new challenges, and a solo self-found mode. Don't miss our deep-dive on the all the new content from earlier this week!

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Massively Overthinking: Are MMOs designed for 'low-skill gamers'?

Ages ago on the MMORPG subreddit, a player made a bold statement: MMORPGs are designed for low-skill gamers.

"I remember being dazzled by EverQuest and Ultima as a child," he wrote, reminiscing about his memory of high difficulty old-school games. "I recently loaded up [Star Wars: The Old Republic] again, and I'm shocked. Piss easy. Everything. XP falling from the sky. Mobs dead in one GCD. Brainless. The same reason I quite every MMO. I never meet people, I never feel challenged. I just feel bored. 'Wait till endgame' isn't gonna cut it anymore. I'm over it. I'm done. I feel like I'm just hitting the 'Reward' button again and again and again, solitary and alone, like a stupid little rat in the cage." He then basically blames the perceived shift of the genre on people who don't want games to be "like a job": "The genre just seems to be fueled by mediocre, anti-social "consumers."

I wanted to pull this back out to see whether our staff and writers agree with the claims -- and whether we all have some advice for this fan, who concludes his rant by asking people to change his mind. Howsabout it, Overthinking fans?

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Emily 'Domino' Taylor departs Daybreak and the EverQuest franchise

Emily "Domino" Taylor, long-time EverQuest franchise crafting wizard at SOE and now Daybreak, announced that she's leaving the studio at the end of the month -- just a week after Landmark sunsets, in fact.

"I love SOE/Daybreak & am super sad to leave, but it feels like time to return home to Canada, and remember what shoveling snow is like!" she tweeted. "More news on new job once I start. Fear not, I shall still tweet food and cat photos, and shall lurk around the world of Norrath."

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Old School RuneScape celebrates its fourth birthday

One of RuneScape's better and more popular experiments is celebrating its fourth birthday today. Old School RuneScape, the 2007-era version of the game that started up four years ago to cater to those looking for a more classic experience, has arguably become as popular if not more so than the standard RuneScape client.

To mark this occasion, Jagex is throwing an in-game bash courtesy of Party Pete. Players who participate can snag themselves a Gnome child's hat, a war ship, and a cow outfit. The studio also opened up a dozen new worlds to accommodate the growing demand for Old School RuneScape.

"This year is a double anniversary for Old School RuneScape; not only does the game celebrate its fourth birthday, but it's also the 10th anniversary of the 'snapshot' server we used to bring Old School to life," said Producer Mathew Kemp.

Source: Press release, Old School RuneScape

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