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One Shots: Black sheep, black sheep

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, Mabinogi, Mortal Online, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

What in-game pet means the most to you? To reader Derrick, it's a special black sheep in Mabinogi that's snuggled its way into his heart.

"I'm an Aries in real life and always liked the symbolism of rams in culture, so my first pet after my mount was a black sheep named Tanngrisnir," Derrick submitted. "It's now no longer available in the store and is a bit of a rarity. Over the years playing, I managed to find a black sheep balloon, puppet, and a pair of ram horns to complete the look, along with a black sheep title (not shown). It's helped out not just by providing my wool for tailoring; in my early days, Tanngrisnir was always willing to take a hit or two to distract enemies."

Yes sir, yes sir, three bags of loot full. Sorry, couldn't help myself. I'll be better after the break!

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One Shots: Mutant masochists

Screenshots, Guild Wars, Culture, One Shots, Mabinogi, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

auto assault
One of the quickest ways to my heart -- and to the top of a weekly One Shots column -- is to send me in something that I haven't seen before or an MMO that hardly ever makes it to my inbox. That's why I'm kicking off with this submission from Zulika featuring Auto Assault, the post-apocalyptic vehicle game that lived but for a brief time.

"Notice the faint quest marker above the head of the lady suspended by chains and hooks. If I remember correctly, this was taken in some quest hub full of mutant masochists. Even though it was just in a game, it still felt odd," wrote Zulika.

Odd in most situations, true, but for MMO players it's just the latest in a long calvacade of weirdness that we witness every day. Let's get this parade going!

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One Shots: A horse and his girl

Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, Mabinogi, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar

I have a strong suspicion that ArcheAge is about to become one of the most screenshotted games when it launches in the West. Until that fateful day on which my inbox will explode with pics, here's reader Balsbigbrother to tease a little of what is to come.

"Here's a quick screen shot of my character Celosia and her faithful horsey companion Chapp taken during the first closed beta weekend," Balsbigbrother writes. "It's a really gorgeous-looking game, and I also really appreciate the fact that the female characters have sensible, functional-looking armour for the most part rather than the usual bikini armour nonsense."

But what about bikini horse armor? For shame, that beast is practically nude! For more shocking and lurid photos, click on the button below and make sure your mom isn't standing over your shoulder.

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One Shots: To the rescue!

Screenshots, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Mabinogi, Champions Online, Miscellaneous

spiral knights
There's nothing quite like the feeling of coming to the rescue of a friend, virtual or not. I've tried rescuing people in real life, but I've found that not every granny wants to be given a piggy-back ride across streets and not every depressed teen is waiting for a well-choreographed dance routine to turn his or her life around. I guess I'll take a cue from reader Mary, who found her inner hero in Spiral Knights.

"In McVillain to the Rescue, my buddy Astro has been hemmed in by baddies by our friend's freezy bomb during a particularly rough arena," Mary explained. "Toward the top right corner, I'm coming to save him, weapon charged and at the ready."

What other thrilling rescues lie ahead in this column? If nothing else, it'll be a rescue from boredom, so let us give you that emotional piggy-back ride you desperately need!

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Jukebox Heroes: Top 40 MMO themes, #30-21

Aion, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, The Secret World, Free Realms, Mabinogi, Wizard101, EverQuest Next, Miscellaneous, The Elder Scrolls Online, Jukebox Heroes, Age of Wushu, Music

We're back with our second part of our Top 40 MMO main themes countdown, this time digging into the middle of the pack. To repeat my self-imposed rules for this list: I limited myself to just one theme from a particular title, even if there were multiple themes in a game. Entries had to be a main theme or the closest equivalent of that; they had to be from MMOs, not from MOBAs; and I had to divorce my weighting of the track itself from the popularity of and my experience with that game. So there were no points added or subtracted based on my love of the game; I'm counting down the best music, period.

If you missed the first part, check out themes #40-31. Otherwise, hit that continue button and get listening already!

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Mabinogi update introduces Doki Doki Island, Valentine's Day events

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mabinogi

Mabinogi -- Doki Doki Island banner
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Nexon America has announced a new update to its free-to-play title Mabinogi that will add the romantic Doki Doki Island to the game. The new area will also introduce the Soulmate system, which makes romance more of a game than it already is. On the island, players can "create a profile" by talking to the Matchmaker, who will then match them with their "soulmate." Side-by-side, players and their soulmates can "explore charming landmarks such as the Harmony Torch in the town square and participate in events to accumulate Romantic Points." When enough Romantic Points have been earned, soulmates gain the ability to fly, presumably through the power of love or something equally inspirational.

Aside from hanging out with their hopefully-not-axe-murderer soulmates, players can also take part in a variety of new minigames and daily quests centered around Doki Doki Island or scour the beaches for cat's eye gems that can be exchanged for items such as an exclusive armor set. To top it all off, beginning on February 26th players will be able to celebrate their newfound powers of flight by taking part in the Seize the Skies event, which will allow players to test their aeronautical prowess against one another in competitions for prizes and bragging rights. If this romantic getaway sounds up your alley, you can join the fun over at Mabinogi's official site.

[Source: Nexon America press release]

One Shots: Over the moon and back

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Warhammer Online, One Shots, Humor, Mabinogi, RIFT, Miscellaneous

Welcome back to One Shots! I've missed you! I've missed you so much! It's been so long -- how long has it been, really? A week? That's far too long. Let's catch up: What have you been up to? Me? Well, I've been collecting the very best player-submitted screenshots for all to enjoy. But I guess binging on Breaking Bad is a valid use for your time too.

Reader Derrick sent in our first picture of the day from Mabinogi, and this might well be one of my favorites. Just looking at it makes me want to live a better life so that one day I might be invited to sit up there with them. "Here I am sitting in my personal homestead on Ladeca, one of the two moons of Erinn," Derrick explains.

It only gets more whimsical from here, folks! Join us as we swing on a star and see what our fellow gamers are up to in MMOs.

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Mabinogi II: Arena stops development

Betas, Fantasy, MapleStory, MMO Industry, Mabinogi

Mabinogi II
Hope that Mabinogi II: Arena wasn't on your "most wanted in 2014" list, because Nsquare has announced that it's ceased development on the MMO.

The love child of Nexon and NCsoft, Mabinogi II was to be an action MMO arena with spectators watching teams crawl through countless dungeons. The Nsquare team said that the market didn't look ripe for Mabinogi II, although it did say that it would take another look at the project in the future. For now, Nsquare is moving on to work on MapleStory 2 and other titles.

Free for All: Ten of my favorite in-game items

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Ryzom, Opinion, Ultima Online, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Casual, Mabinogi, Allods Online, Free for All, Battlestar Galactica Online, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Subscription

RuneScape inventory screenshot
I love things. Truly I do. Only specific things, though. Over the last year I have doubled my efforts to catalog most of the best things in my life, from pictures and artwork to writings and songs I have played on. It's a sort of meta-hobby. As part of the effort I want to organize many of my favorite MMO in-game items, simply because I have played MMOs for so long and they are such a part of my life. I have a lot of favorite items, but some tend to stick out in my memory like a favorite smell or place.

After I finished an initial list of MMO items (it was well over 50 items in the beginning), I was surprised at how much variety there was in the items and in the games I listed. I think it reflects my character a lot, but also shows that I am a sentimental plod most of the time. I cut the list down to these 10, but I am sure I will wish to adjust the list again in the future. Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments section!

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Massive Mabinogi update introduces Merlin's magic

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mabinogi

Massive Mabinogi update introduces Merlin's magic
The magic of Merlin joined the world of Mabinogi yesterday in a large update that also included new character cards, a Hero Support System, a dressing room update, and in-game events. With the new Merlin content, players can now wield that magical power by utilizing the new Druid talent and accessing new advanced skills. The Hero Support System allows players to make progress on multiple characters simultaneously. The in-game beauty shop experienced some remodeling, adding a new UI and the ability to track and preview gear across all characters on the account.

In conjunction with the dressing room update, Mabinogi is having a Fashion Bingonogi event, where players can spin the roulette wheel in hopes of snagging some new gear, including the Snowflake and Ranger outfits. Additionally, players who log in anytime during November 16th will automatically receive a non-tradable Shyllien Mana Knuckles magic weapon courtesy of the Magic Weapon Giveaway event.

[Source: Nexon press release]

Nexon puts millions into Rumble Games

MapleStory, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, MMOFPS, Mabinogi, Miscellaneous, MMORPG

Rumble Games, founded by former BioWare/Pandemic CEO Greg Richardson, has just received a nice cash boost from Nexon and its investment partners. Rumble announced today that Nexon, Google Ventures, and TriplePoint Capital have invested $17.5 million in the studio, which intends to use the funds to expand its markets and further support its stable of free-to-play and mobile titles.

Nexon, the Tokyo-based producer of online games like Mabinogi, Combat Arms, and MapleStory, apparently sees something it likes in Rumble's games, which include KingsRoad, Ballistic, and Nightmare Guardians.

One Shots: Oh, wow

Screenshots, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, The Secret World, Mabinogi, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter

One Shots Oh, wow
Have you ever experienced an MMO before and after a major computer upgrade? Reader Tyler has, and he's floored by it.

"Up until recently, I had a very low-end computer that struggled to run The Secret World at even the lowest settings," he wrote. "The game looked terrible, and I lagged so badly it was almost unplayable, so I finally got fed and up and begged, borrowed, and stole enough for a proper gaming computer. I can now run the game smoothly at max settings, and my God, it's beautiful. My first five minutes were spent repeating the phrase, 'Oh, wow' and spamming the screenshot key. This shot is my favourite. If you look closely, you can see a slight pattern of shadow on my Templar's chest. This is the moonlight shining through her hair. Amazing."

Will you be saying, "Oh, wow!" after seeing the rest of the pictures from this week's player submissions? I think you might!

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Free for All: Recapping the vastness of Mabinogi's Saga Iria

Fantasy, Video, Events (In-Game), PvE, Free-to-Play, Roleplaying, Mabinogi, Free for All, Livestream, Sandbox

Mabinogi artwork
My summer has been filled with a massive, 10-part adventure called The Saga Iria. It's an event that happened inside the world of Mabinogi, one of my favorite free-to-play sandbox MMOs. Once a week Nexon released a new chapter, and each time I streamed my first few steps into it, often resulting in my immediate and embarrassing death. Actually, make that deaths. I died a lot.

My companion for this wild ride was Mabinogi Community Manager Sabina. Sabina is a "fashionogi" (as they call it in-game), someone who enjoys customizing her characters more than sending them into battle. Mabinogi allows for almost any style of play, from combat mastery to roleplay to fashion obsession.

The community showed up during my livestreams to give me plenty of advice during my hard times in combat because the game is known for its challenge level. It's time to recap some of my favorite moments of those times and discuss what I liked... and didn't like.

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Massively Exclusive: Episode 10 of Mabinogi the Saga: Iria

Fantasy, Video, Lore, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mabinogi

Massively Exclusive Episode 10 of Mabinogi the Saga Iria
It all started with a demonic attack on a small village in Episode One, then wove through twists and turns, betrayals and reveals, in the next eight episodes. Now it's time for the thrilling conclusion of the Mabinogi miniseries, the Iria Saga. In Episode 10, titled Divine Fury: The Advent, the destruction of Lia Fail releases an uncontrollable demonic force that draws a goddess to Iria -- one who wants to cleanse the world by wiping everything out. Will everyone band together to save the world? Watch the battle play out in the video after the cut, then catch a live play-though on Massively TV Wednesday, September 3rd @ 9:00 p.m. EDT.

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Massively Exclusive: Episode 9 of Mabinogi the Saga: Iria

Fantasy, Video, Lore, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mabinogi

Massively Exclusive Episode 9 of Mabinogi the Saga Iria
What time is it? It's Monday Mabinogi time! (Not to confused with Howdy Doody.) That means it's time for another installment of the epic tale of the Iria Saga. If you've fallen behind, don't worry -- we've got a recap of the latest episodes to bring you up to speed.

This week's chapter of the story, dubbed Fate's Design: The Stand, finds the Human/Giant/Elf alliance going strong and making attack plans to help out Shamala, Akule, and the player with diversionary tactics. There's also shape-shifting, revelations, and the destruction of the Lia Fail artifact.

Watch the continuation of the saga after the break, and then join in the Massively play-through on Tuesday, August 27th @ 5:00 p.m. EDT on Massively TV.

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