Sure, you could just phone it in and buy a time card, some cash shop points, a subscription or two, or even a Prima strategy guide if you really hated the person, but a proper MMO gift goes beyond that. For a great gift, you need to put in some effort and actually research the field... or just be lazy and use my following guide. We both know which option you're going to choose.
So while you slowly digest that turkey and moan about having to waddle your butt down to Best Buy at 3:00 a.m., why not allow me to help you with a few shopping suggestions? For this list, I wanted to focus on game-specific merchandise that isn't t-shirts, game cards, or CafePress coffee mugs. I mean, this shirt is the bomb and all, but we can do better!
Considering how obscenely popular WoW is, I'd say it's no surprise that it's been merchandised out of the wahoo. There's World of Warcraft Monopoly, World of Warcraft Mega Bloks sets, and even Murloc action figures. So to narrow a wish list down to just one item is almost impossible.
I present to you the Frostmourne Latex Sword, a premium collector's edition-priced replica of Arthas' legendary sword intended for -- what else? -- live-action roleplaying. Or in my case, live-action stashed-in-my-closet. You have to admit that that would totally beat the socks off of the kid who came to battle with a taped-up cardboad tube.
2. Star Wars: The Old Republic: Razer Gaming Headset ($122.32)
It's a little more pricey than I'd normally like for a headset, but I have to admit that it's got style. I mean, if you're going to buy one SWTOR-themed gaming accessory from Razer, then why not pick the item that kind of makes you look like a pilot in the game? I mean, you have to squint really hard to buy into that illusion, but it's possible.
I do like how it includes a little in-game item as well as a way to change the headset from the Republic logo and color to the Empire logo and color.
No, I'm not quite sure why ArenaNet decided to make the feral Charr the face of Guild Wars 2. Personally, I would've gone with the awesome Asura and called it a day. So while I'm still waiting for other races to get in on the merchandising game here, I have to admit that this plushie is just great. Seriously, I think it should've been included in the collector's edition instead of the statue.
While it's currently sold out, I've heard a rumor that this adorable little furball of destruction should be restocked in time for the holiday season. If you have a gamer friend who's been smitten hard by GW2 this year, then I can think of no better way to make her spaz out in happiness by giving her one of these.
4. Runes of Magic: Little Death plushie ($20.67)
I don't play Runes of Magic, but I know I'd be totally OK with getting one of these come Christmas morning. How cute is that? A widdle iddle scythe! Big glowy eyes! A welcoming expression as if to say, "All who enter my cold embrace will receive cookies!"
I'm not sure whether these can be shipped overseas, but I'm still putting this on the list because it's so cool-looking. As a bonus, it comes with -- count them -- six in-game goodies, many clinging to the "death" theme. I have to applaud, here.
With City of Heroes' shutdown next week, a lot of fans of the game are looking for ways to carry the spirit of the MMO forward. May I suggest snapping up some of the remaining City of Heroes CCG packages floating out there?
That's right: City of Heroes put out a collectible card game that was released in 2006 and discontinued in 2007. Unlike the MMO, however, the card game will be playable long past its expiration date and might make a tender consolation prize to the mourning CoH player in your life.
6. EVE Online: EON magazine subscription ($55.96)
So what do you get for that corporate cutthroat EVE Online family member whom you all fear and shun? A copy of Wall Street, sure. A small baby seal to club; that's a no brainer. But may I suggest a subscription to EON, the official magazine of the game? By all accounts, EON is a quality product, releasing quarterly with no advertising and tons of behind-the-scenes information about the game.
(Note: The official EVE store looks to be down, so the link I provided up there goes to EON's official site instead.)
Researching this list generated a lot of "huh, they MADE that?" moments. Maybe you've heard of this board game, but rest assured I did not. My eyebrows still haven't recovered from the rapid raising that ensued when I found it.
I have many questions for anyone who has purchased this game, not limited to but including: Is partial nudity required? Are there fake blood packets inside for dark rituals and bonus rounds? And do you automatically lose if you start in with an Arnold impersonation?
8. The Realm Online: Finvarra throw pillow ($21.99)
OK, this is CafePress junk, but it's sanctioned by the official site, so I'm going to have to include it so that we can talk about throw pillows. I really have to wonder what the intended market is for this pillow. Granted, it's for a game that has historical significance in the MMO industry, but said game also has about 17 people left playing it. Even if all 17 people purchase at least one throw pillow a year, that's not going to keep any pillow-maker in business.
From the purchaser's standpoint, the only use I can envision for this pillow is to jumpstart very awkward conversations about your hobby and why you feel the need for a barechested digital god to be adorning your living room love seat. It's a good a way to keep the in-laws from visiting as any, I suppose.
When I say the following, believe that I'm being as non-sarcastic as possible: This is a good-looking controller, and if I played FFXIV, I'd probably snag it. It's like a slightly sleeker PlayStation controller with the FFXIV logo stamped on it, and apparently it works on both the PS3 and the PC. I'm intrigued what a dedicated-game controller would be like and how it would handle. I think Eliot should investigate. I'll ask him to buy himself one from me for Christmas.
10. EverQuest: Action figures ($2 to $39)
I guess that back in EverQuest's golden years when it was the king of the MMO hill, SOE managed to squeeze out the licenses to several action figures. I wasn't aware of these until recently, but now I'm kind of bummed because I really would have liked to have seen them in the store and then told my grandchildren about that experience.
There are several you can buy today, including a Dark Elf Magician, a Troll Shadowknight, Vahlai Ka'lzal, a Splitpaw Gnoll, Grenix Mucktail, and a Troll Shaman. Just imagine the delight on your mother's face as she opens up a vintage Mucktail! Wow!
Justin "Syp" Olivetti enjoys counting up to ten, a feat that he considers the apex of his career. If you'd like to learn how to count as well, check out The Perfect Ten. You can contact him via email at email@example.com or through his gaming blog, Bio Break.