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.

The Stream Team: Star Trek Online’ Victory is Life story through Jem’Hadar eyes

Massively OP’s MJ made a Gamma Recruit Jem’Hadar last week, and now that he is out of the intro, she’s ready to take him into the Victory is Life story arc. How will it all unfold from a Dominion point of view?  Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to watch.

What: Star Trek Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

Enjoy the show!

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Perfect Ten: Endless dungeons in MMOs

Most MMO dungeons are normal songs. You start out and you have a pretty clear picture of the beginning, middle, and end; they don’t really change up much. But the endless dungeon is like improvisational jazz. Sure, there’s a beginning and often a fairly reliable end, but the space in the middle can be filled with all sorts of things. You don’t even know what’s going to be there until you’re already in the thick of it. It could be filled with creme! (Probably not, but hey, life is weird sometimes.)

Our reader Arsin asked us a while back about MMOs with endless dungeon modes of some sort, and well, we do our best to find these things out. The goal here is to have an online-only game with randomly generated content between the start and end. Arguably some of these might not fit your personal criteria, but that’s all right; there’s plenty of variety here!

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Dungeons and Dragons Online tells tales of the White Plume Mountain

Whether you’re chaotic evil or lawful good, there is always more adventure ahead of you in Dungeons and Dragons Online! Game Update 39 has gone live for the long-running MMO, adding an adventure pack that takes players through a variety of dungeons around the White Plume Mountain.

The adventure pack “includes five new dungeons, including the classic module White Plume Mountain, plus four additional all-new tales of mad Wizards and their works. The five quests are not part of a narrative arc, but instead tie thematically around Wizards run amok.”

The patch includes the new Falconry universal enhancement tree and preps for an updated Treasure of Crystal Cove event. There are also many class changes (when are there not?), so make sure to read the full patch notes so as not to be surprised.

Source: Patch notes. Thanks DDO Central!

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The Daily Grind: How should MMO studios handle game reboots?

Over the past several years, we have witnessed several MMOs being rebooted and relaunched, including Final Fantasy XIV, Secret World Legends, and, most recently, Defiance 2050. There are various reasons why studios would want to do this, including addressing key flaws in the original game, switching over to different business models, and benefiting from a new round of publicity and review ratings.

Looking at the above titles as case studies (and more if you can pull up examples), we see both positives and negatives of these experiences arise. Not many players are keen on starting over in MMOs after investing dozens or even hundreds of hours on their characters, and because of this, there is a heavy price to be paid if the relaunch isn’t significantly different and improved from the original.

How should MMO studios handle game reboots? What would you recommend be the steps that studios should take in handling existing accounts, upgrading the game, and starting everything all over again?

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The Stream Team: Taking puppy for a Warframe walk

Massively OP’s MJ has a cute little throat-ripping puppy in Warframe, and it’s all grown up and ready to play! So MJ is going to take the Fluffinator out for a nice walk for some fresh… air? Meat? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. and join the adventure. (Isn’t walking a puppy always an adventure?)

What: Warframe
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 178: #womenarecosmetic

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin mull over how necessary it is to actually provide MMOs with those icky, wonderful girlie-types. They deliberately deliver a light-hearted episode after last week, full of funky fresh frivolity. Will gaming ever be fun again? It has to be!

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:

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Champions Online puts its lifetime subscription on sale for the price of its freeform slots

We still don’t know exactly what the plan is with Champions Online’s subscription. The plan to take subscriptions off the table entirely was postponed due to how subscriptions interact with freeform archetypes, but freeform archetypes are now cheaper. And now the lifetime subscription is on sale for a cool $120, which still sounds like a lot under the circumstances but is a 60% discount. As MOP readers Stez and Nicholas have pointed out, this morning’s update did indeed disable subscriptions, and the freemium pack is now for sale, though Cryptic does now allow unused freeform slots to apply to existing characters.

For those of you doing the math at home, that evens out to being six characters slots with freeform options for $120, the same as individually buying six freeform slots (it’s $60 for three), plus a whole bunch of other goodies on top as well as a monthly stipend in perpetuity. Is it worth it? That depends on you; it’s certainly an open question how much cool stuff you can expect to be added to the game in the future, if anything. But in terms of dollar-for-dollar value, it’s competitive with other things you can buy from the game.

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The Survivalist: Using Conan Exiles for a virtual tabletop campaign

So I’ve been thinking. (A dangerous pastime, I know!) And I have actually been formulating an idea. And that is using a survival game like Conan Exiles to run a guided player campaign. You see, way back when as I was first playing D&D and other tabletop campaigns, I dreamed of the ability to play them in virtual reality. Can you imagine it? Instead of saying, “I cast a fireball,” you actually just do it! It is still a dream; a VR experience is not quite possible yet, but when I found MMORPGs I felt it was one step closer. I could see my actions play out in an adventure. However, for the most part it was an already scripted adventure according to the game devs. In some cases there were tools for players to make their own adventures (and boy, have I celebrated those!), but there were still more like story vignettes in a larger world out of the game master’s control. To  really have a fully-crafted experience, you need greater control than what the MMORPGs afforded.

And then came survival games. Now there is a whole world you can take control of and run a story campaign. Granted, they aren’t perfect, but survival games offer more tools for creating a robust visual player campaign a la tabletops. And that’s exactly what I am planning in Conan Exiles.

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Check out all of the Warframe’s TennoCon 2018 videos

If you missed out on the glory of TennoCon 2018, you can take in most of the Warframe experience thanks to the cache of videos of the event Digital Extremes posted last night. Probably the most important bits are the Railjack and Fortuna previews, but there are several other vids, including the art and sound panels and the cosplay contest.

Massively OP’s MJ Guthrie was on-site for the event; if you’re not into lengthy videos, check out her written coverage and interviews!

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The Stream Team: Walking that Path of Exile journey

There is a path. For Exiles. And Massively OP’s MJ is an exile traveling that path. Where will it lead her today? Into danger! Isn’t that always where it leads? She’s charging through the lands in Path of Exile, prepping temples, hunting masters, and being a general baddy with her bow. Come be a part of that: Join us live at 9:00 p.m.

What: Path of Exile
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 16th, 2018

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Secret World Legends adding new South Africa and faction rank missions soon

The anniversary event has kept Secret World Legends players’ attention pretty rapt for the past month, but that distraction ending tomorrow. What will fans do then? Well they won’t get auxiliary weapons (bummer), but they will get to look forward to new missions coming soon. Funcom revealed that these free mission additions will not all be in South Africa but spread out: One will be in the newest zone while the other three will be new faction ranking ones. (Sorry folks, still no auxiliary weapons in the forecast.)

In South Africa, the new one with its accompanying achievement Land of the Dawn will be an action mission in South Africa. Titled Public Enemy Number One, it focuses on that mysterious assailant that hounds you in the Morninglight compound. The faction ranking missions bring Into Darkness, Venetian Missle Crisis, and Rogue Agent! back, all redesigned for SWL with scaling difficulties. Unlocking at level 50, these will increase faction ranks from level 11 through 13 and include rewards of faction uniforms, a faction specific agent, an additional agent slot, and faction-specific cosmetics. It doesn’t stop there: New legends to collect and new achievements to obtain are also included.

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Defiance 2050 performs better than its predecessor but hasn’t won the community over

With last week’s launch of the revamped and rebooted Defiance 2050, Trion Worlds was betting on players flocking back to the sci-fi MMO shooter now that it’s seen improvements and adopted a free-to-play model. However, it doesn’t seem as though the community is giving its approval for the latest version of this game, at least according to Steam, where Defiance 2050 is weathering “mostly negative” reviews.

One common complaint is that the relaunched MMO isn’t really that much different or better than the old game — yet players have to start over from scratch (in an eerily similar situation to last year’s Secret World Legends reboot). Other frequent criticisms include the proliferation of lockboxes, server instability, old bugs that haven’t been fixed, and not enough recognition or extras for players coming from the original game.

Site Kitguru ran Defiance 2050 through a series of benchmarks and compared it to the original game, stating that it “improves upon its predecessor with a more detailed experience.” It was also noted that there was a choppier frame rate on larger resoutions, better AI, and no apparent reason for the reboot on PC.

Source: Steam, Kitguru

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The MOP Up: Star Trek Online’s DS9 expansion gets a console release date (July 14, 2018)

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 ElswordEVE OnlineSoulworker OnlineLeague of LegendsRealm RoyaleSurvived ByEverQuest IIProsperous UniverseBlack Desert Mobile, and Star Trek Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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