free to play

February 23, 2013

Free to Play: A List of On-Line Sites Where You can Play for FREE!

First off I’m not going to prattle on about free to play vs full price games micro transactions and pay to win games. I just thought it would be cool to give the TGB readers a list of a few sites that you can play some great games while trying to save your pennies for the next WOW dlc or major game title that screams for your cash…

Steam  of course Steam has some of the most iconic games for your paying pleasure but they also have a great list of Free to Plays as well, the top of which is none other than the always fun (although watch out for spawn camping douche-baggery) Team-Fortress 2! Steam also has Everquest Free to Play, DC Universe, Planetside 2, Gotham City Impostors  Lord of the Rings online, and many more!!

EA Games I know EA actually has Free to Play games AND they’re pretty good too! EA isn’t known for the generosity but they are proof that free to Play can make you some money. Just look at some of the games they offer: Star Wars: The Old Republic, This game had a strong beginning but the momentum has slowed enough for them to make it free! The fact that it’s free is most definitely a good reason to visit a Galaxy Far, Far Away! They also carry Warhammer Online, RISK: Factions, Battlefield Heroes (EAs’ answer to Team Fortress 2) and more so EA may be evil but hey they can’t be all that bad offering games for free!

Amazon Hey why not Amazon sells everything so why not give us something for free! I’ll admit I’m an Amazon shopper I’m always finding good deals with free shipping so much so that I can’t help myself! So it’s nice to see them offering some Free to Plays as well while the titles they offer may not be as well know as some of the other sites, what the heck free is free, right? They have games like: Battlestar Galactica Online, Super Monday Night Combat (yet another TF2 clone but fun none the less), Runescape, FreeFall Tournament and many more

Classic Games Arcade.com If you’re looking for something a little more “classic” then this site may have what you’re looking for. With classic games like Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Contra, Megaman X, even Super Mario World and Metal Slug! There are tons more so stop by and see how your parents passed the time in the days of Arcades and 8-bit glory!

Free to Play games aren’t only for the PC the consoles are entering the Free to Play game with titles like the Play Station network offering DC Universe for free, and the upcoming Dust 514. Xbox live has the strangely additive Happy Wars and the upcoming Ascend: New Gods. I’m sure that Nintendo has free games as well but at the time I was writing this I found it a little hard to track down any titles so I’ll have to check with CABXYZ to get more news on that! This year will reveal some interesting competition is the console world that will offer a myriad of free to Play options like Steam’s upcoming console or the Ouya console so check back at TGB in the coming months.

 

So I hope this list helps you find some fun when cash is low but your gaming urge is high. Leave your comments below and hey if you know of any other games or sites that have/are Free to Play don’t be stingy, share with the rest of us…In any case have fun.

 

 

June 25, 2012

Where No One Has Gone Before… Back to STO

“Become part of Star Trek. Adventure in the Final Frontier. You are the Captain.”

 

Rallying words indeed and with Destination Star Trek London coming up in October 2012, what better way to get into the spirit of Trek than to whip out a pair of Spock ears and delve into some Star Trek Online (STO). Challenge number one was trying to remember the account name and password I registered back in 2009! Unless I have missed something totally obvious I cannot find one link which allows you to retrieve any of this information; if there is a reason for that I would love to hear it. Anyway, after realising it was going to be a rather long drawn out process to retrieve this information, I opted instead for creating a brand new account. Now the game is happy to let me in and is busy patching itself, 41% and counting.

 

Back in 2009 I was so excited about this game and couldn’t wait to get into it, so I am quite ashamed to say that this will be my first time actually playing it all these years later, better late than never though right. I’m wondering what the game will be like now since back in 2009 when it was released I remember that it took quite a bashing, as quickly as people were joining the STO community they would also be leaving. I think by the time I was ready to get going, all my friends had quit. Since I already had a WOW subscription running I wasn’t sure I wanted to subscribe to a second MMO, especially one with so much negative feedback; I now regret basing my decision on what other people thought of the game and I try not to do that anymore. But in January 2012 STO moved to a free-to-play model and jumping into the game has never been so easy, instead of charging to play or to download the game they use other means to generate revenue, such as charging for certain in-game items from the Cryptic Store (C-Store).

 

The game is a Cryptic Studios creation and is set in the 25th century and in the Star Trek timeline occurs after Star Trek Nemesis and I’m expecting numerous nods to famous Star Trek storylines and characters from the TV series. It follows the general pattern for MMOs including: player customisation; character advancement; crafting; player rewards and grouping – both into fleets, the same as guilds in WOW, or as usual, grouping with other players within the game to achieve goals or perform Fleet Actions (Raids). You can choose to play as either the Federation or the Klingon Empire, and there are certain races attached to each of these factions.

 

Over the past three years the game has been updated 6 times, into what are termed Seasons. I’ve included some of the highlights below, you can find more information on the <a href=”http://sto.perfectworld.com/”>Star Trek Online</a> website.

 

  • Season 1: Common Ground (Skills and PVP Updates, New Missions and Ships…)
  • Season 2: Ancient Enemies (Level-Cap Increase, New Klingon Episodes…)
  • Season 3: Genesis (Episode Replay, Sector Space Revamp…)
  • Season 4: Crossfire (Shooter Mode, Klingon Updates…)
  • Season 5: Call to Arms (37 Skills, Mission and Economy…)
  • Season 6: Under Siege (Fleet Advancement System, New Max-Level Content…)

 

With all these seasons added STO should be a totally different game to the one which was released in 2009. I would be really interested to hear from other gamers who have played STO, or are still playing STO, but right now the only thing to do now is wait for the patch to finish and then decide which race I’m going to play – the important part, obviously.

June 26, 2011

Subscriptions VS Microtransactions

 

With advancements in gaming come new ways for the industry to get our money. However with EA giving way to the “online pass” codes trend we see gaming heading in a new direction. Now we see free to play, pay to play, and all thats in between popping up all over.

Subscriptions – Ahh the familiar feelings. Pay for a month? Three months? A year? Two years? Hopefully this game lasts that long. Subscription based games rode the MMO wagon to become a standard for a lot of games and gaming services. I am sure the first guy to see a pay to play game said, “Ha! That will never work.” Now that same guy does his best to scrape together enough money to get another month of WoW access like a crackhead getting his fix. Success in the MMO world led Micrsoft to charge a subscription for its Xbox Live content. Even Playstation Network finally  jumped on the bus when they saw how successful it was. More and more we are starting to see new games released with pass codes or codes for add-ons. Now whispers are being heard of possibly charging a flat subscription fee and getting access to all the new content as it comes. Will you want to pay for Xbox Live, a new game, and a subscription for playing that game? Seems a bit much to me.

Microtransactions – The other side of the coin. Microtransactions are the newest fad in the gaming world but they actually aren’t as new as you think. Xbox Live charges microtransactions everytime a user buys Microsoft points. What is newer is the way these transactions are presented. They are wrapped secretly in a “free to play” game. A perfect example is League of Legends, a top down action real time strategy tower defense game. It is absolutely free to download and play. Everything can be unlocked in game by simply putting in time to the game. However for a few dollars here and there you can speed up the process to get ahead. The success this in PC games like League of Legends has gotten Steams attention. Steam announced a new direction of free to play games using the microtransaction method. Even Xbox is rumored to be getting new games as well.

As with everything it all has to do with money. How much can they get from us and how much are we willing to pay? Some like the idea some don’t. Prices will be the biggest issue. If I have to pay for a game, pay for a service to play it, or pay for in game content to be able to contend in game, what will that cost me?

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