free to play

‘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.

The Stream Team: Lavastorm Heritage Quests in EverQuest II

Massively OP’s MJ has been slowly streaming through all of EverQuest II’s Heritage Quests (slowly, because there are more than you can shake an Iksar at!). The group is finally finishing the level 50s, and that puts them smack dab in the middle of the fires of Lavastorm, and one of the ways to try and save time is by running multiple HQs concurrently.  Currently the crew is Lavastorming, working to finish all three in that molten land. Can they finish one up tonight? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. for some hot adventures.

What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

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Neverwinter’s next update is more than just dino-mania

Chances are that your brain stuttered to a happy halt when you saw that Neverwinter’s upcoming Tomb of Annihilation update is going to feature dinosaurs romping through a jungle. After all, who needs more explanation than that? The inner four-year-old in all of us rest, satisfied.

But believe it or not, there’s more to the story of this update than a pared-down Jurassic World scenario. The team pumped out an article to outline the story behind the module, explaining that the whole situation came about due to a “death curse” that has been plaguing many residents of Neverwinter. To cure it, an expedition has been formed to venture to the primal lands of Chult.

“Once the expedition crew is settled into their new base of operations, there are still many questions that need to be answered,” the team teased. “What is the source of the death curse? Who is their mysterious benefactor who funded the expedition? What further dangers must they face within the wild jungles of Chult?”

Source: Neverwinter

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The Stream Team: An anniversary look at Lineage II

It has been nearly 10 years since Massively OP’s MJ has played Lineage II regularly, but she’s heading back in now in honor of the anniversary. What sights can she see, and what trouble can she get into?  Will she even recognize the game? Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a 13th anniversary look at…

What: Lineage II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

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Global Chat: Secret World Legends edition

Over the past week, many MMO bloggers returned to the conspiracy-laden regions of Secret World Legends to see if they could answer the million-dollar question: Is this reboot and relaunch any good?

Today, we’re going to devote the full column to some of these impressions, starting with Ayren Sojourner, who identifies several problems with the launch of the game as a returning fan.

“I get that they want to walk new players through all the possible side-quest types. But man… I get thrown into a cutscene, then into a graveyard, then into some fragmented raid-something-something that I was familiar with, but would have been extremely confused by if I were a totally new player. Then more cutscenes. Then London. And now that Tokyo scenario that TSW used to start with. I’m still not out of cutscenes,” she wrote.

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Path of Exile optimizes the crap out of its new beta build

Lag spikes and stuttering framerates may be a thing of the past in Path of Exile. The devs announced that with its next beta build for The Fall of Oriath, they are implementing changes that will keep FPS at a playable pace even when players are spamming the heck out of flashy skills.

“In Wave 3 of the Beta, we have significantly improved the speed of creating and destroying objects. This was the primary cause of spikes when using a lot of skills. We can now create thousands of skill effects per second without significantly slowing down the frame rate,” the studio reported. “We have also added a new feature called Dynamic Resolution. This is a feature that allows us to maintain high frame rates even as the amount of particles increase by decreasing the resolution of the 3-D scene temporarily.”

The team also devoted some screen space to sharing behind-the-scenes insights into the expansion’s soundtrack. You can listen to a little of that after the break!

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Marvel Heroes is removing a la carte costumes and making lockboxes easier to get on consoles

If you’re playing Marvel Heroes on console and were hoping for a change in how the game handles lockboxes and individual costumes, the good news is that a change is coming. The bad news, though, is what sort of change is coming. On June 30th, all individual costumes for characters will no longer be available for purchase; instead, they’ll all be part of a rotating set of costumes available within lockboxes, with a chunk of boxes being awarded automatically at certain leveling milestones.

Players are not particularly happy about this change as a whole, since it addresses the problem of “some costumes are only available by random chance” by making all costumes random. A developer response assures players that there will be other means to acquire lockboxes through gameplay, but that doesn’t address the central complaint about removing any control over costume rewards. The developers have also stated that the previous a la carte model simply wasn’t sustainable in the longer term, but that alone is unlikely to mollify players.

Source: Official Site, Reddit (1,2), Twitter; thanks to Eric for the tip!

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The Stream Team: More Marvel Heroes anniversary madness

It’s the final week of the big Marvel Heroes anniversary celebration, and that means all of the events are turned on! Of course, that means that Massively OP’s MJ has to dive in and collect as much cake as possible to get all the goodies. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to join in the festivities.

What: Marvel Heroes
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 26th, 2017

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EVE Evolved: How much trust is too much in EVE Online?

Of all the headlines to come out of EVE Online over the years, the biggest and most far-reaching have been the stories of massive thefts and underhanded scams. The MMO community has grown up hearing these tales, from the embezzlement of EVE‘s first public bank in 2009 and the estimated $45,000 US Titans4U scam in 2011 to the trillion ISK Phaser Inc scandal and beyond. EVE has been embedded with this narrative of mistrust and betrayal for most of its life, the most famous example still being the Guiding Hand Social Club heist from all the way back in 2005.

Yet when a player recently stole three extremely rare ships using social engineering, the victims expressed only disappointment that they had lost a friendship they valued. The question for players and the wider MMO community today is simple: How much trust is too much to give someone in an MMO? To what degree should the game mechanics automatically protect your assets and privacy, and how much of that protection should you be able or expected to give up in order to make progress or join a group?

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Riders of Icarus offers players the chance to pre-create a new Trickster

The next class for Riders of Icarus is arriving with the launch of the Rise of the Trickster update, the appropriately named Trickster class. If you’ve longed to defeat your enemies with the power of what appears to be a seven-year-old girl, you’ve found your class. And while the class isn’t actually arriving until the update launches on July 6th, you can pre-create your Trickster right now in advance of the launch.

Keep in mind that you are still limited to a maximum of six character slots on a given server, so if you already have six characters you won’t be able to make a Trickster. (The game will erroneously tell you to purchase another character slot, which will not work.) You can also still register your pre-launch pack until June 30th if you want to nab some extra doodads, so make sure to take care of your business as necessary before the Tricksters rise.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Vergest for the tip!

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Watch Secret World Legends’ official launch trailer

If you’re a The Secret World fan who hadn’t already given Secret Worlds Legends a shot — and given this weekend’s exploits and downtime, we wouldn’t blame you — today is your day to get in there, as the first of the game’s two planned formal launches begins today. (The second, on Steam, is later this summer on July 31st.) Do note that this version of the game is indeed free-to-play.

Funcom has released a new trailer to go with the launch; we’ve tucked that down below. If you’re still on the fence, consider both Larry’s and MJ’s very different first impressions of the game to push you over.

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Funcom is working on a ‘tactical turn-based strategy’ game

Funcom is apparently keeping itself busy with a new partnership and game. The company’s investor relations site has a brief press release with the announcement:

“Funcom N.V. has entered into an agreement with Bearded Dragon International LTD regarding the development and publishing of a new game. The game is in the ‘tactical turn-based strategy’ genre and is planned to be released during 2018. Initial platform will be PC, with consoles to be evaluated after the PC launch. More information about the game will be revealed when PR and Marketing activities are initiated prior to release. This activity is part of Funcom’s strategy of releasing multiple game titles per year, providing significant activities more often and building a larger portfolio of products.”

Funcom is best known to MMO players for its long-running The Secret World, Age of Conan, and Anarchy Online, as well as sunsetted MMO LEGO Minifigures Online and early access survival sandbox Conan Exiles. AOC and AO were seemingly maintenance-moded earlier this year, while The Secret World has been back-burnered in favor of Secret World Legends, which has formally launched today.

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Lord of the Rings Online’s Mordor patch is now in testing – check out the new regions

Mordor comes at you fast, or so it seems with Lord of the Rings Online’s next massive update. Standing Stone Games has followed up its streamed preview of the patch with preliminary patch notes and instructions. The studio is currently asking testers on Bullroarer to test the leveling curve past the new level cap bump, the new crafting tier, the improved barber UI, the allegiance system, the gear recycling system, and the early stages of the Mordor questing area, which I can’t believe I just typed.

Udun, the entryway that holds great forges, quarries, and parade grounds of Mordor.
Dor Amarth, the rocky plain holding the broken bones of Barad-dur
Talath Urui, located south of Mount Doom, home to key fortresses, prisons, and military establishments.
Lhingris, west of the Morgai ridge, home to Cirith Ungol.
Agarnaith, a valley southeast of Barad-dur with a dense, pestilent, and bloody swampland.

LOTRO Players has collected a bunch of preview videos of the five regions new to the game when the update launches; we’ve included them all below.

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Secret World Legends bans weekend currency exploiters

Yesterday’s Secret World Legends downtime turns out to have been a serious one indeed. Players began noticing that the price of Aurum on the Exchange was fluctuating oddly over the weekend, and Funcom confirmed the issue last night and indeed rolled back everyone’s Aurum totals.

“We discovered an error that caused the Exchange to break which made quite an impact on the game,” Funcom writes. “When you log in you will find that your character’s Aurum has been reverted to the amount it was at before this occurred. Any valid purchase of Aurum made after this point will also be applied. Marks of Favour / Cache Keys will be also be reset for some players that used the Exchange after it was broken.”

Don’t think you’re getting off easy if you exploited the crap out of this one.

“We have also banned a large number of players that took advantage of the broken Exchange. The Auction House and the Exchange are temporarily disabled to give us more time to test the fixes to them. We hope to have both features back and working very soon!”

Compensation is planned for those affected by the downtime, though the details aren’t clear just yet.

Source: Official site. Thanks, TheDonDude!

 

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