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WRUP: Let's class this place back up edition

Eliot Lefebvre

I'm very sorry that last week's power-related antics resulted in the absence of my usual intro in your weekly installment of WRUP. But this week, we're bringing back the awesome. We're going to kick things up again. We've got some explosions going on up there, and they've got nothing to do with anything, and maybe later in this feature I'll start talking about something arbitrary and Dadaist. And we'll respectfully decline comment on the agendas of the squat and minute races of the world from last week.

Where was I? Oh, right, WRUP. It's time for that again, and this week, just like always, we're going to talk about what the Massively staff will be playing over the week. But let's still class it up with some nice new headers, hmm? And let's talk about the available content in free-to-play games, while we're at it. And just to make it super-classy, we'll even invite you to leave your own weekend plans in the comments. Classy!

Beau Hindman, F2P and Mobile Columnist and Contributing Editor
@Beau_Hindman: I will be moving on to Crystal Saga, a browser-based MMO that looks awesome. I'll probably try to poke my nose into the new Wurm Online server, and I'll be working on articles. I'm excited for some of the ideas I have coming up!

Most of the free-to-play games I play, and most of the free-to-play games in existence, do not sell content piecemeal (although some do). So most of the time when I am playing a free-to-play, I have access to all of the content and can use the cash shop to move a bit faster or to look a little better. In some cases I can even use the cash shop to kick a little more butt, which is one of my favorite things to do.

Brandon Felczer, Star Trek Online Columnist
@bfelczer: This weekend I actually have Saturday and Sunday off! WHOO HOO! Most of my time will actually be spent off the computer and out with family, but I will be going to my local game store on Saturday for the Magic: The Gathering celebration day! There, we will get free cards and get to compete for free booster packs and other prizes. I will also be livestreaming for Massively on Sunday as we continue our journey through Magic: The Gathering Online. Of course I will have to sneak in some time for Star Trek Online and hang out with some friends.

I can't really comment on the bonus question, unfortunately, because I have not played a F2P game before! I am thinking about trying out League of Legends, so I will let you all know at a future time!

Bree Royce, Senior Editor
@nbrianna: I'm fussing around in Star Wars Galaxies a bit this weekend and trying to make a dent in my to-do list! I've also been trying to shovel my remaining food stores into the auction hall in Lord of the Rings Online before it all becomes obsolete in a few more weeks.

For me, it's all about which F2P game we're talking about. There are F2P games with so much free content that I could easily play forever without paying anything. There are others that blockade so much content behind a paywall that they seem designed to frustrate (not entice) the player into paying. Subscription games that call themselves F2P but are mostly unplayable in that form annoy me, not because of the cost but because of the bait-and-switch.

Eliot Lefebvre, Columnist Extraordinaire and Contributing Editor
Now that I have a full weekend when I can expect to have power, I'm going to alternate between bouts of Final Fantasy XIV, bouts of playing games that I've already purchased on my PSP, and probably reading. And, you know, enjoying running water.

I honestly haven't ever taken a full-on dive into a free-to-play game to see if the content there could actually stand up to extended play, but I haven't seen any that look skimpy from my (admittedly cursory) examination. Heck, if you're counting Guild Wars among free-to-play titles, my problem with the game has never involved a lack of content.

Jef Reahard, Columnist Extraordinaire and Contributing Editor
I'm taking a bit of a hiatus from MMOs in order to make a dent in my ever-expanding pile of single-player games. Catherine and Witcher 2 seem more interesting than most of the massively multiplayer stuff on offer right now. I'm also playing Global Agenda quite heavily, but I waffle back and forth as to whether or not it's an MMO.

Most F2P titles don't hold my interest for more than a couple of weeks, not because of the lack of truly free content but because they're simply not the kind of feature-rich virtual worlds that I expect from an MMO.

Jeremy Stratton, Runes of Magic Columnist
@Jeremy_Stratton: It's a hefty homework weekend for me. If I do sneak anything in, it'll be Runes of Magic and maybe some EverQuest II.

It's hard to answer this week's question. For me, as it stands, I guess I could say yes. I'd definitely say yes in RoM. Ultimately, though, much of the genre nowadays doesn't have enough content for me. I want lots to do, in a big virtual world that I and the other players can affect (usually through an EVE Online-like economy). No, I'm not asking for a sandbox. I'm asking for an MMORPG.

Justin Olivetti, Columnist Extraordinaire and Contributing Editor
@Sypster: My plans for this weekend are fairly narrow: working up my reputation in LotRO for the Grey Company (I wants the horsie, oh yes I does!) and continuing my trek through the beginner towns in Fallen Earth. I've also recently downloaded an intriguing iPhone game called King of Dragon Pass, which is a delightful blend of Civilization and Choose Your Own Adventure that I highly recommend.

My momma told me never to look a gift horse in the mouth and that beggars can't be choosers. She loved her proverbs, indeed. But when it comes to free-to-play, honestly, I'm usually happy with the free offerings and don't complain about the restrictions. After all, if the game wins me over, I'll probably end up dropping some money on it, but the F2P approach means that it has to work for it, not take my subscription dollars for granted.

Patrick Mackey, Champions Online Columnist
@mackeypb: This weekend, I'm planning on socializing a bit with some new-ish friends. I also want to put in some time in World of Tanks, as I've been floundering in Tier 3 for a while now. I also finally started Mass Effect 2, having beaten ME1 on a new character just to import him.

I don't generally play most games long enough to be bothered by what is free and what is not, but it really does depend on the game. If the stuff behind the paywall is tradable, that's always going to be better than stuff that can't. I tend to become a tycoon in whatever game I play, so being able to access stuff for ingame money makes a big difference to me. As Bree said, though, some games have so much free stuff that I'll never realistically cover all of it.

Shawn Schuster, Editor-in-Chief
This weekend is my birthday, so I plan to celebrate my 19th year (by Mars reckoning) on this Earth with some Fallout: New Vegas and Fallen Earth. My wife and I are looking for a new free game to play together, and we'll probably either go for Allods Online or give Lord of the Rings Online another shot.

As for free content, I actually pride myself on finding the cheapest way to do everything, so free content is usually always enough for me. If it gets too restrictive, I move on to another game.

At the start of every weekend, we catch up with the Massively staff members and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" (Otherwise known as: WRUP!) Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game -- and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!

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