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.

Warframe is rolling out the Revenant Warframe this week

You know how I know Warframe is kicking butt and taking names? Our tipsters are just nuts for this game, and the onslaught of updates just never ends. During this weekend’s devstream, for example, Digital Extremes announced that it’s angling to launch the new Revenant warframe this very week, complete with tie-in quest.

“We hope to release the Revenant next week! With him will come a mysterious mask. You will have to visit Nakak in Cetus to uncover it!” says the studio. “The Revenant Warframe will only be shipping with his shotgun. His melee weapon will follow soon after – it’s caught up with the Melee 3.0!”

Also on the DE’s plate? The hourly elite alert system, the major pass on melee combat, the release of the soundtrack, Nezha’s deluxe design, gore-based warframe Garuda, new customization for for K-Drive, new login rewards, the Nyx rework, and way more.

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RIFT Prime will get the 2012 Storm Legion expansion this fall

Remember way back in 2012 when Storm Legion launched in Trion Worlds’ MMO RIFT? You can remember all over again this fall, at least if you’re playing RIFT’s Prime progression servers, as the expansion is on the way.

“The Storm Legion update for RIFT Prime raises the game’s level cap to 60, while boosting the crafting skill cap to the Grandmaster level. The update also adds two more continents for Prime subscribers to explore: Brevane and Dusken. The island stronghold Tempest Bay has been added as a new city hub, while a host of new dungeons and raids have also been added for players looking to hit the increased level cap. High level RIFT Prime players will also be tasked with taking on Volan, the mighty Empyrean colossus! Set loose from his prison and festooned in adamantine armor, Volan makes his debut on the RIFT Prime server to take on all challengers. Test your mettle against Volan’s metal in a battle for the ages!”

RIFT Prime rolled out last spring to rave reviews; at the time, Trion called it a “rousing success” with “thousands” of players subbing to the game to play it in its first month alone, even setting event records. If you went back for it, are you still playing on Prime?

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Path of Exile has some nifty graphics improvements coming with Delve League

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought of Path of Exile as a particularly ugly game in need of major graphical work – it already looks decent for an isometric MMOARPG. But that’s never stopped Grinding Gear from sprucing up the place, and indeed, shadows and light will get an upgrade later this summer.

“Previously, the game engine didn’t support point light shadows at all, but in Delve league we really wanted to introduce the moving light mechanic of the Crawler which wouldn’t work without them,” GGG says. “This is when we had the idea of using screen space shadows as a very fast way to render shadows for many point lights on screen at the same time. […] This approach ended up even better than we were expecting. The game looks a lot better lit from lower down and it’s faster for many lights than conventional shadows. We plan on using this in the main game a lot more in the future.”

Likewise, if your GPU can handle it, you’ll be able to turn on global illumination too, treating “every pixel on the screen as an individual light source that casts light on everything and receives light from everything.” Shiny.

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Final Fantasy XIV prepares for another return of the Rising

Every year, the residents of Eorzea in Final Fantasy XIV gather up to think back to the end of the world as part of The Rising. It might sound a bit macabre, but it’s also an important landmark for players as the anniversary celebration of the game, and this year’s event promises to bring the usual moments of reliving the Calamity. It’s perhaps the most somber anniversary event possible.

Of course, from a purely player perspective it’s your chance to get new earrings (replicas of earrings otherwise obtainable only during the original version of the game), a new Orchestrion roll, and a new minion of fan favorite Au Ra Cirina. The game is also celebrating its anniversaries in Korea and China, while over in Final Fantasy XI players can spend a month with a chance to pick up the Shadowlord’s sword by fighting him. Celebrating little pieces of history all over.

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Archeage adds new content to its fresh start server

How long is a fresh start server really about a fresh start? You could argue at this point that it’s more of a fresh continuation for ArcheAge players. But perhaps that’s picking unnecessary nits; it just seems relevant as new content arrives on the aforementioned fresh start server, and you probably aren’t going to be visiting Reedwind as the first thing you do when you make a new character. But it’s there now, definitely.

The addition of Reedwind also brings with it the Thunderwing Titan, who can be fought in both Normal and Hard variants depending on gear and skill levels. Delphinad Ghost Ships will also be showing up on the high seas, which give players a chance to earn some new rewards while at the same time pitting them against difficult new opponents. If you’ve been enjoying your time on the game’s fresh start server thus far, you’ve got a bit more content to explore now; if you haven’t started because you were waiting for these additions, well, now is the time.

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One Shots: Supporting characters

When you look for famous characters in your MMO, you may be looking for someone complete different than the rest of the crowd.

Lt. Commander Hikari gives us an example of that with this Star Trek Online pic: “In Star Trek, I’ve always been a fan of Janice Rand. An often underestimated member of the crew (and cast) she’s one of the things that really stood out for me through the series and movies. There are lots of reasons to be a fan of the actress and character that I would encourage people to find on their own. When Agents of Yesterday was released, Grace Lee Whitney had only just passed a year prior. It was lovely to see her with the rest of the crew, where she always belonged.”

I always cheered her appearance in Star Trek VI, myself!

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Age of Conan goes triple bonus on your tanned hide

While a typical summer vacation might involve hanging out at a beach and enjoying a tasty barbeque, in Age of Conan’s world that beach is littered with crushed skulls and that barbeque is… well, you probably don’t want to know. And you definitely do not want to eat it without a strong masking agent.

That doesn’t stop the denizens of Hyboria from celebrating, even so! The summer PvP event is now running in the fantasy MMO, bringing three weeks of hefty bonuses. This means triple AA, triple PvP tokens (if you’re subbed), double XP, and double PvP XP.

Funcom teased some sort of surprise that’s coming in the near future, so keep an eye out for that. And if you played on the Saga of Zath server and haven’t, for some reason, claimed your rewards, you’ll want to do so before the end of this event period.

Source: Age of Conan. Thanks, DDO Central!

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The Stream Team: Trying Warframe’s Frame Fighter minigame

Massively OP’s MJ seems to be all about games within games lately! Now, Warframe has a fighter minigame available on PC. She’s never played one of these types of fighters, but she’s willing to dive into Frame Fighter. Maybe she can even slip in a round of Happy Zephyr. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to face off against MJ.

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

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Age of Wushu celebrates seven years of sandbox shenanigans in China

Has it really been seven years since martial arts MMO Age of Wushu first descended on an MMORPG genre that had almost forgotten what a real sandbox looked like? Indeed it has. As MMO Culture noted today, Snail Games is currently celebrating the game’s seventh birthday since launching China with an update introducing the game’s final martial arts school and a brand-new story trailer to boot.

We agree with Cinderboy that it’s unlikely the update will ever make its way westward; the subreddit is all but dead and the western version of the game has seen little more than bonus events for many months since the North American and European games merged back under Snail’s control. Die-hard fans of the game just biding time for more news on the upcoming sequel Age of Wushu 2.

Still, happy birthday to what Massively-that-was once justly called “the greatest sandbox you’ll never play.”

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Star Trek Online encourages players to make Foundry missions for a free Tier 6 ship

The Foundry in Star Trek Online allows you to make almost any sort of mission you can conceive of, but most of those missions have a pretty specific set of assumptions. After all, the players writing these tales are probably going to assume that the players are taking the role of a standard Starfleet captain rather than assuming that the mission will be experienced by a Jem’Hadar warrior. But why not flip that on its ear? And why not do so when being bribed by the promise of a free tier 6 ship?

Yes, the developers are teaming up with the Foundry Roundtable podcast, and for this month’s competition players are being tasked with making a mission based around either a Cardassian captain or a Jem’Hadar captain. The winner gets a free pick of several tier 6 ships, so there’s plenty of motivation to think about what it would be like to make an adventure just for these two races. And if you already play one of them, hey, there’s some extra reward in it for you.

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Champions Online challenges you to a race

Looking for some superheroic fun to occupy your time this weekend? Champions Online has brought back its Circus Malvanum event with its vehicle theme. There’s even a new reward this time around, as players can earn a set of lion shoulders to show off their… pride? Sorry. It’s hard to resist the dad puns sometimes.

“For this week only, help Jo perfect her engine-making craft and you’ll receive the event-exclusive Steam Bike vehicle and enter to fly in the Circus Malvanum Sky Race,” Cryptic posted. “Come back every day for the next week and seek out Sapphire above the Ren Center for a Sky Race daily quest and receive a race prize pack!”

The event will conclude on August 30th.

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A brand-new minigame and a bunch of rocks enter Warframe this week

Did you know that Warframe has minigames buried inside its code? That is indeed a thing, and in fact a new hidden minigame has been added to the world of Warframe with this week’s update as Frame Fighter joins existing games Wyrmius and Happy Zephyr.

“Challenge your friends to a side by side duel — Frame Fighter has arrived!” Digital Extremes says. “Inspired by long-time Warframe Fan LocoCrazy_, this no-frills arcade minigame will transform your Orbiter into a battleground! No quarters required! Visit Simaris and acquire the Ludoplex — a new home for all of Warframe’s minigames — through Standing. Choose from Excalibur, Volt and Mag, each with their unique Ability. Unlock additional Frame Fighter characters by discovering Fragments throughout the game. If the scanned Warframe’s Prime is in your Inventory, you can toggle to the Prime version of the acquired character.”

The patch also adds some new amp bits and… rocks and plants. No really, there are new flora pieces available as decorations for clan bases. Nifty! Not coincidentally, we’ll be streaming Warframe tonight; join us on OPTV at 9 p.m. EDT to see the some of the new content up close!

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The Stream Team: Secret World Legends Immersion Game must go on

The Game must go on! Massively OP’s MJ only made it through v2.0 of the text-based game in Secret World Legends, but there are still three more versions to go. And the third one is pretty fun. Can MJ solve it all? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. as MJ dives deeper into Immersion as the Game v3.0 takes her Seoul.

What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, August 16th, 2018

Enjoy the show!

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