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  1. Developer: FLINT Publisher: GAMEVIL Global Version Release Date: 5/12/15 Free to Download On: iOS Google Play Redeem Code DBUSTRAILER2015 for 4 Premium Summons, 50k Gold, 1 Premium Weapon To redeem codes, go to GM News on the left middle button in the tavern and scroll down to the bottom. If you don't see the prizes in your inbox, then you need to log out and log back in again! Use "XCressidaX" as a friend reference to get 50 premium currency when you hit level 20! (Please tell me when this name reaches max referrals, and I'll change it to another.) FAQs: What is It? It's a new F2P game made by a developer called FLINT, published by GAMEVIL. It's a gacha style game, but unlike most gacha game, there is a main character chosen at the start of the game that the player will use 100% of the time, and is customizable with loot by a full range of gear slots, and is the only character a player will use when playing co-op online with friends. The gacha units are only used as AI allies that fight alongside the player in the story mode, PvP, and other such modes. Uh-oh.. He Said F2P... Sure, this game has a stamina system and an assortment of currency of the premium and standard types, but this game is especially generous compared to most games, giving out free stamina and premium currency like candy on a daily and weekly basis through log-in bonuses, very generous weekly event rewards, and for earning countless achievements. How's It Play? This game is largely an auto-battle game, only allowing the player to control their main character, with the option of choosing which of their three special moves they use and when, as well as giving their allies a target to focus on. This is the type of game in which you can play through entirely without ever taking off Auto mode, provided you're doing a good job (with good luck) in putting together a killer team. How Do Teams Work? Much like other gacha RPGs, your team is comprised of your main character and four AI allies, along with a friend's main character that you can summon once per battle for 60 seconds before they tag out, so use them wisely! As far as unit rarity, there are C, B, A, S, SS, and SSS units. C and B units are very common, rather undesirable, and can be recruited in story mode and through friend summons. A and S units are the lowest ranked units obtainable through premium summons. They are good enough to scrape by with, but you're going to want SS and SSS units ASAP to replace them. SS and SSS units have incredibly low rates to pull from premium summons, but don't despair, there is a combining system in this game, which allows you to combine two units of the same rank together to create a random unit from the next tier up at a cost to your in-game gold and your time. It's easy to combine B units to get an A, but when you're working on combining two S units to get a SS, it's going to take a lot of time and gold, but is so worth it in the end. Is This Game Made by Vanillaware? You've probably asked yourself this question upon looking at any screenshot. As much as this looks similar to many of Vanillaware's beautiful titles, they had nothing to do with the making of this game, short of the obvious inspiration their work had on this games publisher, FLINT. The visuals in this game are beautiful, and very well optimized to run well on just about any piece of semi-recent Android or iOS hardware from the last few years. The characters and environments are gorgeous to behold, and very well animated. This is a high quality game. So, I Get to Choose a Character? Yes! Much like an MMO, there are tanks, healers, mages, archers, and rogues, and they perform exactly how you'd expect them to. You are allowed to make 3 different character slots, and are able to spend premium currency to unlock 2 more so that you can have a slot for each class. When changing characters, you have access to all your allies shared between them. You also have a storage area to transfer loot between your characters. What Is There to Do? A lot. Beyond the story mode, there's a raid mode that lets you invite friends or matches you up with strangers if you don't have any friends to speak of. These are challenging boss fights that yield excellent gear to outfit your characters with. There's also a PvP arena with in-depth leader boards. There are excellent rewards for placing in the top ten, top 1%, 5%, 10% and 20%, and as of now it's not hard to get into the top 5% with a decent team after a few days with minimal effort, and the rewards are fantastic. The boards wipe every Tuesday, making it very easy for players to obtain healthy amounts of free premium currency and gold on a weekly basis. There's also a survival-based Labyrinth mode that awards a healthy amount of premium currency on a weekly basis, as well. This is definitely the most generous F2P games I've played; there are very little reasons to ever pay for anything if you've got even half-decent self-control and patience. Did I Hear You Mention Guilds? Yes! This game has multiple types of chat channels and social options, the most impressive one being the guild system. Guilds have experience bars that, when filled by earned experience by all the players aggregated, open up new features, buffs for all members, increased guild capacity, and even guild battles! So, there it is! This game is by far and away the most expansive and impressive F2P gacha games I've ever played, and is tearing me away from my long-time addiction to Brave Frontier effortlessly. So I'm not usually one to post about Mobile games but a lot of people seem to be enjoying this one and I figured I'd see if anyone on here was playing it or had thought about playing it.
  2. Nintendo had previously revealed plans to experiment with a free-to-play (aka F2P) structure for some of its future games, and today's Nintendo Direct showed us the first two games we can expect to see utilize the format, both of which are 3DS titles. The first that was announced is Steel Diver: Sub Wars, a sequel to the 3DS launch game of the same name (er, minus the subtitle). Dubbed as a strategic first-person shooter, players will have to navigate the waters as a submarine and stay ahead of their enemies. It will feature four-on-four local sub battles as well as online play. The free section of the game includes two basic submarines, the beginning of the single-player mission mode, and multiplayer mode. You'll also have the opportunity to upgrade to the premium edition of the game (which unlocks everything) for $9.99. Rusty's Real Deal Baseball is the second F2P title coming, and it stars an ex-baseball player dog named Rusty who runs a sports shack that hosts a variety of baseball-themed minigames. The free section here includes part of the first mini-game. Additional mini-games will be sold for $4 apiece, but in an interesting twist, players will have the option of haggling with Rusty by giving him items or listening to his problems which may drop the real-world price of the mini-game for you. It'll be interesting to watch how both of these titles fare, as Nintendo will either jump further aboard the F2P train if they do well or put less focus on it if it doesn't. Steel Diver: Sub Wars is available right now on the 3DS eShop while Rusty's real Deal Baseball is expected to land on the eShop in April. Source: /Press Release What do you think of Nintendo's F2P efforts so far?
  3. Blazeknyt

    Free to Play, Free to Exploit?

    There has been a recent article on IGN, as well as a video discussion about the free to play model. Feel free to read it here. As my last post was about DLC, I have decided to talk about something that is related yet different from DLC, the free to play model. The free to play model (or F2P, as many abbreviate it to) is simple. The game itself is free, but in order to gain certain perks and items, you must pay real money. Many MMOs do this, such as my favorite, Dungeon Fighter Online (DFO). I personally never spent money on it, but I could have spent $5 in order to have unlimited weight in my storage chest, and much more space. There are also certain avatar items that allow you to change the appearance of your character and give certain stat increases, thus making dungeons a bit easier to get through. Customizing a character in DFO The distrust of the free to play model does not stem from not the fact that the free to play model exists, but how it is implemented, and what is offered. In DFO, you had to find what you needed, and decide if it was worth it. Are those 3 items worth the critical hit boost that complement your skills? They just might be worth the $10. If you bought the items, then the game gets a bit easier for you. If you didn“t buy the items, it“s not like the game took anything away from you. You can still play the game as much as you please, and how you please. You were not restricted in any other way. The items compliment your abilities and skill. If the items have a substantial effect in making the player better, then some players may call the game a “pay to win†scenario. Pay for all these super cool items, and you can kick butt everywhere you go. This type of scenario basically allows for the players to have less skill in the game. Think of it as getting the best product money can buy, and then becoming famous because you have the item, not your skill in using the item. On the other hand, distrust can stem from limiting content or playtime. Certain Zynga games have come under fire for limiting playtime. As much as I love Tekken Revolution, the fact that you are only allowed 5 online tokens at startup makes the game go that much faster. Before I know it, I“ve used my tokens and have to wait it out. I am limited to those 5 until 1 is replenished every 20 minutes or so. The cost of that is the fact that I don“t have to pay for the game at all, and it perfectly emulates the arcade experience. Strangers challenge you, and you duke it out. Now just imagine paying 50 cents for every fight that you take, much like in a real arcade. Maybe there should be a tweak where after winning 3 matches in a row, the winner gets a token back, because in the a real arcade scenario, the winner keeps on fighting and doesn“t pay again. The author of the IGN article uses trust as the basis of his article, and it is true, that is what this is about. One does not want to destroy the trust of the fans and then lose out on the game that one worked so hard to put out to the public. But it is also a tough business decision on the makers of the game, because the platform on which the game is released can determine which business model will work best. Are there any favorite games that could benefit from the free to play model? What if a certain game that you loved used the free to play model?
  4. The Vita may not be full of killer triple A titles just yet, but it does have a pretty big indie presence. As such, it seems that the Vita is a handheld that targets a very specific, and possibly “hardcore”, subset of gamers. With that being the case, a free-to-play social game should be completely ignored on it. After all, these types of players don“t care for rudimentary click-fests, right? Maybe this isn“t actually the case. When Toro“s Friend Network launched on Vita it was met with a great deal of skepticism. First, there were those who considered it to be a confusing version of the 3DS“s own StreetPass features. Others figured it was something a little too weird for their tastes and avoided it entirely. Those who did play... well, some of them have found themselves entrenched in a Toro-branded hell. That“s not to say the game is bad. No, it is so simple and addicting that it can cause users to obsessively turn the app on multiple times throughout the day in order to organize their meaningless tasks. But we“re getting ahead of ourselves. First, let“s say what the game has to offer players. You begin as a little character who has made friends with Sony“s Japanese mascot Toro. The adorable cat wants 100 friends and so it is your task to get them. Along the way, you also have to tend to your various rooms by assigning friends to work on cultivating the landscape/objects in each room. When a friend is assigned to a task, they take anywhere from a few minutes to hours to complete it. Of course, you have to do this repetitively to level a part up more and more. There is also a component which has you and two other friends enter a dungeon. Even this part has a time-restricted component wherein you can only use one friend every 24 hours. That means you can“t continue to reuse your strongest friends time and time again. Leveling up occurs when you make friends or do any tasks in the game which contribute to adding to your XP. Of course, currency is also procured although, as with many F2P games, there is more than one form of money. Although it is incredibly meaningless, Toro“s Friend Network really compels you to expand your rooms and level them up. After all, getting your friends to work on it aids them as well as you with rewards of money and experience. And, as players force themselves into believing, you need that stuff! Unfortunately, it is as players become obsessed with the game that more insidious design features become apparent. First, there is the whole thing about adding 100 friends. These friends are not specific to the game but directly associated with PSN accounts. Any friends who you have currently in your friends list who aren“t playing Toro also don“t count. Instead, you have to jump into a random room filled with strangers and send out friend requests to them for the sole benefit of Toro. It“s possible real friends may first meet through the game, but mostly everyone is in it to help themselves along. This causes some real trouble once you get closer and closer to the fabled 100 friends. Did you know that PSN only allows you to have 100 friends? That means if you already have real friends on your list then players usually choose to either convert them to Toro-holics or oust them for other players. Are your real friends worth pushing aside only to see what Toro does when you reach his goal? Maybe, maybe not, but it“s a poor design choice. Why would Sony wish you to spread the word about their social game? As a F2P title there are obviously paid items in the game. And, like some other games of the category, these yield unfair advantages. Players can buy items to help them with the dungeon in the form of potions, outfits, and fancy name cards. Outfits are not necessarily important but in the dungeon they offer various boosts to the player wearing them. The same is true of name cards and stickers that can be placed over them. The stickers, which can only be purchased with real money, add a distinct edge for those players which is not attainable by players who never spend any funds. The game is certainly playable without ever spending money, but you“ll likely feel left out in comparison to the “friends” on your list who seem to surpass you. Or, it may already seem like a lost cause with incredibly leveled up players being the main ones still playing. Playing Toro“s Friend Network starts fun, turns into a part-time job, and then either you flush the game from your palette or work towards becoming one of the top players. But with little truly compelling play to offer, the app is probably better left uninstalled.
  5. Marcus Estrada

    Toro's Friend Network Screenshot 3

    From the album: Marcus's Album

  6. Marcus Estrada

    Toro's Friend Network Screenshot 2

    From the album: Marcus's Album

  7. Marcus Estrada

    Toro's Friend Network Screenshot 1

    From the album: Marcus's Album

  8. Tribes: Ascend is a fast-paced futuristic shooter that came out of open beta in April of last year. The free-to-play game generated a lot of interest and currently has a fairly sized userbase. Hi-Rez Studios is hoping to get even more players into the game with the impending release of a GOTY edition. This is definitely not standard procedure for F2P games, but actually doesn't sound awful. You see, the Tribes: Ascend GOTY Edition unlocks every paid item currently in the game. That grants players access to some hundred weapons, twenty one perks, and all nine of the character classes. Basically, everything from the past ten expansions is available to GOTY purchases immediately. In this age of monteization, this seems like the next logical step. Tribes: Ascend GOTY Edition launches tomorrow and will be available on Steam, as it is only sold digitally. If you buy during launch then it is discounted to $30. However, those already paying a Tribes: Ascend VIP subscription can buy at the discount of $20.
  9. Back at the end of July, we were greeted with the news that Star Wars: The Old Republic was finally adding in a free-to-play option. This was predicted by most any gamers paying attention to the struggling MMO, and was noted as coming in the fall. Today, a subscription versus F2P comparison chart has gone live on the MMO's official site. Obviously, if you're a subscriber then nothing is restricted. However, the F2P option has restrictions that should be expected, as well as a few that might be a bit odd. Here is the list of features F2P players will have limited access to/do without: Story content (Can play from level 1-50 only) Limited character creation options Operations require Weekly pass purchase Limited to three Warzones per week (can purchase Weekly pass) Rewards from three Flashpoints per week (can purchase Weekly pass) Three Space Missions per week (can purchase Weekly pass) Purchase and spend Cartel Coins to gain access to/expand Cargo Hold Spend Cartel Coins to expand Inventory Limited to one Crew Skill unless you spend Cartel Coins Longer Quick Travel cooldown time (purchase authorization to lower cooldown) No Emergency Fleet Pass (purchase authorization to unlock) Revive five times at Med Center (spend Cartel Coins to get more Field Revives) No priority status at Login Queue Most purple items are unequippable (can purchase license) Cartel Coins are given at times to paying members but F2P players will be buying those if they want to unlock any of the listed features. If F2P users make a purchase in game, they will gain "preferred status". This means that they will be able to sprint starting at level 1, have increased login queue priority, Cargo Hold access, and Secure Trading. Do these restrictions sound comparable to other F2P MMOs?
  10. Out of nowhere, just like Phantom R, it appears that Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure will be ported to iOS sometime this winter. The announcement comes from Sega's Japanese website under the upcoming releases section. This iOS port of Rhythm Thief will apparently be free-to-play (which is a pretty much a steal, considering how good it is). However, according to the website for the game, there will be some unknown parts of the game that will require microtransactions. Also mentioned are new unknown modes and social features, no doubt to cater to the smartphone gaming crowd. While this iOS release of Rhythm Thief is Japanese-only so far, there's no doubt Sega will want to bring it to North American shores as well. We'll see! Would you play this free-to-play version of Rhythm Thief?
  11. This is the inevitable moment we've all been waiting for, folks. EA finally gave in and they're making Star Wars: The Old Republic free-to-play. The change will happen sometime this fall and the F2P version will give players the option of choosing from any of the eight Star Wars character storylines up to level 50. Individual purchases and subscriptions will be available for those who want an unlimited game experience and exclusive content. Here's what GM of BioWare Austin, Matthew Bromberg, had to say about this massive jump: "Players want flexibility and choice. The subscription-only model presented a major barrier for a lot of people who wanted to become part of The Old Republicâ„¢ universe." Executive Producer of Star Wars: The Old Republic, Jeff Hickman, also added this: “Since launch, we“ve been listening to feedback from our fans and adding new content and refining The Old Republic at a breakneck pace. We believe we are in a position to help improve the service even more, not only by continuing to add new content, but also by expanding the game to many more Star Wars fans, increasing the populations on worlds and the vibrancy of the community.†Star Wars: The Old Republic will also go on sale sometime this August for $15 and includes a complimentary one-month subscription. What are your thoughts on Star Wars: The Old Republic going free-to-play? Do you think it was the best decision? Will you be playing the MMORPG now, if you haven't already?
  12. Phantasy Star Online 2 just finally launched in Japan and with that out of the way Sega was finally able to announce the game for other regions. Today via their official blog Sega announced the game will be coming to North America and Europe. For us NA folk, we should expect to see the game in early 2013 and as a free-to-play title, just like in Japan. In PSO2 you'll still have the ability to choose the classes you're familiar with but now there's a very fleshed out character creator too. With it, you can change body size, facial structure, and basically the general things you expect from a modern character creator. Beyond that you can add multiple layers of accessories so feasibly you could have cat ears on top of cat ears. Why you would want to do that isn't known, but hey, you have the freedom to! As was mentioned earlier, the game is going to be a F2P title. What does this mean, exactly? Unfortunately Sega are currently not ready to discuss the specifics of this. However, it's probably a safe bet that the model will work out about the same as it does in other MMOs. So far this announcement is only for the PC version of the game. Japan also received a Vita version but so far Sega has said nothing about this. Hopefully we will also receive that version as it would fuel PSO addictions heavily if it could be played on the go.