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 MOP Up: Black Desert shows pet love (August 20, 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!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from NeverwinterElder Scrolls LegendsElite DangerousSWTORMapleStoryHyper UniverseSMITETravian OnlineDiablo IIIFigureheadsPokemon GoHeroes and GeneralsRappelzUltima OnlineSoulworker OnlineBlack Desert, and Gigantic, all waiting for you after the break!

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Here’s your quick guide to SWTOR’s Crisis on Umbara

With Star Wars: The Old Republic Update 5.4 coming out on August 22nd, you may be champing at the bit to get into the new content and earn that awesome moving train stronghold for your very own. But how will you get on board with the Crisis on Umbara flashpoint?

That’s where this short and handy guide from the dev team comes into play. There are a couple of requirements before you can jump into the flashpoint depending on the difficulty mode chosen. Story and master modes can only be run by level 70 players, while you can access the veteran mode as early as level 15.

The huge reward dangling before players for this flashpoint is, of course, the Umbara mobile base stronghold. To earn the key for the house, players have to reap alliance recon data by running the flashpoint (over and over and over). After that, they should head over to their Alliance HQ to purchase the actual stronghold for credits or cartel coins. Data can also be used to buy other rewards, such as a new armor set and mounts.

Source: SWTOR

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Wurm Online adds a new highway system to the game

Roads! You use them to get from place to place. The same is true in Wurm Online, where the latest patch has added a whole new highways system to the game on PvE servers. Players can use the highways to link multiple locations with paved tiles that cannot be destroyed, ensuring that you can travel hither and yon freely rather than wandering in the wilderness and getting eaten by a bear.

So this is good news for everyone other than the bear. Bears are probably less happy about this.

The patch also adds in new fences and parapets and a new crate rack feature, along with some new creature movement fixes for avoiding water (which may or may not mollify the bear contingent). There are also the usual bug fixes and client improvements, so that’s all good even if you have an ethical opposition to highways. The new system should make highways easier to craft and use, though, so go ahead and make your highway and call yourself Eisenhower.

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One Shots: Hugs not drugs

This week’s edition of One Shots is brought to you by the National Hugs and Fistbumps Council, which recommends that everyone enjoy at least five full embraces every day, preferably without something creepy whispered in the ear. “I can feel your tummy gurgling against my tummy.” That sort of thing.

It’s also brought to you by Kawaii Five-O, who’s having some fun in Final Fantasy XIV. “I’m enjoying the Moonfire Faire festivities with a special someone,” she said. “While not an unplayable race, I do wish the Au Ra (females in particular) more closely resembled their early concept art that depicted them as being much more demonic and imposing looking and less of a cutesy human with horns and a spattering of scales.”

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LOTRO Legendarium: A trip back through LOTRO’s expansions

Now that we’re in the thick of Lord of the Rings Online: Mordor (which I’m still enjoying very much), my mind has taken a turn back to look over 10 years of gameplay updates and expansions.

It’s bizarre to think back to a time when the entirety of the game was merely eight or nine zones crammed up in Eregion. While there’s still plenty of Middle-earth to uncover and explore, the ensuing decade vastly opened up the game world and took us on a journey that spanned from Bag End to Barad-dûr.

It all starts to blur together after a while, particularly after alternative leveling regions were added, the epic story was changed to be more solo accessible, and the studio experimented with different forms of content delivery. I felt like taking a quick trip through the expansions that brought us to where we are today. Because… why not, really?

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The Daily Grind: What’s a rite of passage in your MMO?

Lately I’ve been playing a new Hobbit Hunter in Lord of the Rings Online, which has the added benefit of bringing me back to the Shire and all of its silly and frivolous quests. Of course, it also means that I’ve got to do the whole pie running chain again.

If you’re not familiar with that, there comes a point where a particular Hobbit tasks you with retrieving 12 pies from all over the zone. You have to get them and then run them back (on foot, no less) without being spotted by “hungry Hobbits.” It’s lengthy and kind of annoying, which has made this quest a rite of passage for players over the years. Plus, it gives everyone something in common about which to complain.

So I’m curious: What’s a rite of passage in your MMO? What must everyone go through sooner or later that’s a bit odious but ends up being a weird point of pride when completed?

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Chaos Theory: What we want out of the Secret World Legends TV show

Wow. So I had no intention of crafting another Chaos Theory this week. I had plans. Other plans. But then the Secret World Legends announcement hit the airwaves on Monday and all other thoughts left my head as I sat there, stunned. I just couldn’t think of anything else. Could it be real? Was SWL really going to be made into a television series? Holy guacamole, it is! A pipe dream I have wished for five years is actually announced and in the works.

I’ve been pretty vocal about how much I want more story from SWL. Story is what this game does so right, and I just can’t get enough. I’ll probably never get enough! There are so many characters I want to know more about, so much history in locations that I’d love to delve deeper into, and so many fascinating events that we know only know the aftermath of that I’d love to witness firsthand. The IP is so rich with possibilities. I knew that the game would never, ever be able to sate my appetite for more, so I had wished long and hard that other avenues might present themselves: short stories, graphic novels, movies, and yes, television series. I can’t even describe how excited I am for the development of more story from this world. Is there risk? Yes, I get that. But the possibility of so much greatness is there! I seriously can’t wait. Imagine it, 30 to 50 minute cut scenes!

With so many possibilities, what could/should the TV show focus on? I have my opinions. Here are some specifics I’d love to see developed further for our viewing pleasure.

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Path of Exile preps for Xbox One, adjusts Harbinger challenge league

Even if you’ve spent all summer preparing to launch a major expansion, there’s no rest for the weary over at Grinding Gear Games. The Path of Exiles team published its first post-Fall of Oriath patch this week that was mostly aimed at shoring up the new Harbinger league while also adding new supporter packs to the game.

The patch delivers more stacks of currency shards to players and increases the frequency of Harbinger appearances across the game maps. Harbinger minions are also a lot tougher than they were previously, so beware!

Other things to expect from Patch 3.0.1 include a fix to charged dash, free bandit respecs in Act 2, and a wider variety of monsters on the Beachhead map. Head over to the patch notes to see what else you might be missing.

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Secret World Legends allows players to convert Funcom points into Aurum

If you were sitting on a Scrooge McDuck pile of Funcom Points back when The Secret World announced its switchover to Secret World Legends and were steamed at all of that wasted money, don’t fret. As of today, you’ll be able to convert the premium currency from TSW into SWL.

By using the Aurum exchange, players can make a one-time conversion of Funcom Points into Aurum at a 12:10 ratio. Yes, it’s summer, so let the website handle all of that math for you.

Naturally, there are all sorts of restrictions and requirements, one of the biggest of which is that “bonus” points — the ones given to subscribers every month — aren’t eligible to be carried over to the newer game.

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Trove’s subclassing system launches with Eclipse next week

A total solar eclipse isn’t a common event — the continental US hasn’t seen one in almost 40 years. So it makes a lot of sense for games to take advantage of the occasion, and that’s exactly what Trion is doing with Trove next week with its Eclipse update.

The highlight of that update isn’t eclipse glasses, although perhaps it should be: It’s actually the subclassing system that we’ve been stoked about for months. It’s probably going to remind you more of Marvel Heroes than of Guild Wars, as each of the existing classes, when taken as a subclass on a character, will provide a specific passive bonus — but it’s based on your power level in that other class. So since my mains are a Tomb Raiser and Candy Barb, I could take Candy Barb as the subclass on my Tomb Raiser for this bonus:

“Provides extra Stability and has a chance to drop candy when damaging an enemy. The candy increases attack and either movement speed or healing.”

Which I will do because candy. But the exciting bit is that it provides people a reason to play multiple classes and benefits those with a deep bench on their account. Check out the whole list of bonuses on the official site — spot any obvious synergies?

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The Daily Grind: What MMO would you like to see dump its branding or IP?

On Tuesday, Daybreak formally announced that the neglected PvE half of H1Z1, Just Survive, would be shedding its H1Z1 branding once and for all. The reveal couldn’t help but remind me of the way Daybreak did the same thing for Landmark, deleting the “EverQuest Next” and then the EverQuest IP altogether from the title and marketing before ultimately scrapping the entire game not long after launch.

I don’t think Just Survive is necessarily doomed without the branding, however. In fact, I can think of several MMOs that I wish could have dumped their IPs or changed their names to rid themselves of the proverbial albatross ’round their necks. Star Wars Galaxies leaps immediately to mind.

What MMO would you like to see dump its branding or IP?

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Massively Overthinking: Alone together vs. forced grouping in MMORPGs

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that everyone has at some point seen the xkcd called Isolation, but if not, there it is. No matter what the age and era, someone’s always preaching that people were more sociable in the long long ago. In this comic, however, Randall Munroe isn’t even contesting that. His point is basically no duh and so what. Yes, we become less sociable with random people in our immediate vicinity as we gain more and more access to ideas, entertainment, and people not in our immediate vicinity thanks to technology. Ultimately, replacing impromptu stranger interaction with the amusements of our choice appears to be what a lot of people wanted all along.

MMORPG players surely see where I’m going with this because we have the same eternal struggle when it comes to in-game socializing, grouping, community, and stickiness, the tug-of-war between the people who want to play alone together and the people who think that forced grouping is the only true path to enlightenment.

For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked our staff to reflect on the alone together vs. forced grouping spectrum, to talk about where they stand on it, whether that position’s changed through the years, which games are addressing the divide the best, and how the two sides can move forward in a dynamic MMO genre.

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Revelation Online outlines the lore-hunting Scene Chronicle feature

Are you fascinated by the lore of the various locations in Revelation Online? In the event that you don’t care about that at all, are you a big fan of getting to pick up valuable items and fame just by filling in some check marks? The Scene Chronicle feature caters to both sorts of players, giving you a chance to look behind the scenes of the game’s area lore while also giving you plenty of fame and potential other rewards along the way.

The feature allows you to select from the various cities to pick out both the best spots of treasure hunting and the most interesting locales, while those not yet unlocked will require you to interact with NPCs (and the guide will helpfully point you in the right direction). Successfully filling in entries will award fame for the respective region as well as things like leaderboards and possible items. So go head on your quests, whether you want to learn more about the realm or just pick up some easy fame. We won’t judge either way.

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