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Vanguard throws sixth anniversary giveaway

Fantasy, Contests, Vanguard, Free-to-Play, Giveaways, Anniversaries

Vanguard throws sixth anniversary giveaway
It's Vanguard's sixth birthday today, and if you haven't read our recent dev tour of the game's progress since free-to-play, we're going to have a strong word with your mother. As for SOE's part, the studio is giving away five 'schwag bags' full of awesome Vanguard goodies -- but you'll have to sign up quick to get your chance at winning something.

The prize package contains a signed copy of Vanguard's collector's edition, a backpack, a $15 Station Cash gift card, a mug, a mobile stylus, and a phone case. It's open to everyone 18 and older, but all entries must be in by tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. EST. You can head over to the official contest page for more details and your chance to win.

Funcom wants to feature your music in The Secret World

Horror, Real-Life, Contests, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, The Secret World, Music

Contest could land your music in The Secret World
From suspenseful music to creepy background noises to the crackling of tunes on a radio, sound is a key element in the ambiance of The Secret World. And now, players have the chance to add their own music to the atmosphere of the game thanks to a new competition. Folks can get together with friends or record a piece solo and submit it for consideration to be included in TSW.

Entries to this music contest will be accepted from today until February 19th, 2013. All submissions must be the entrant's own composition or sent with the consent of the creator. Simon Poole, Funcom's audio director, will evaluate all submissions and choose the winners. For full details on how to submit your musical piece, check out the official guidelines.

Firefall blasts its doors open for a beta weekend

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Contests, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Firefall

The monocle makes it clear that while this man is shooting up bugs, he is doing so with the stiffest of upper lips.
Are you ready to strap on some armor, load up a gun, and go shoot things like they've never been shot before? The staff behind Firefall certainly hopes so because the game is opening its gates on Friday, January 25th, for the first of three upcoming beta weekend events. Everyone can log in and play for free starting at 1 p.m. EST, but the developers have also decided to sweeten the pot slightly by adding a contest to the weekend festivities.

The Skillshot Contest will be running during the open event and is available to all participants in the beta, even normal closed testers. Take a video or screenshot of your best moments for a chance to win prize packs including new Razer mice and Firefall gear. In addition, all participants will receive a special decal in-game to place on their battleframes. If you still need a little more convincing, you can check out a new trailer for the weekend just past the break.

[Source: Red 5 Studios press release]

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Check out the D.I.C.E. awards finalists

World of Warcraft, Contests, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Miscellaneous

DICEThe nominees for the 16th annual D.I.C.E. (hint: It's spelled out right in the image) awards have been listed! While Journey is (deservedly) leading the list with 11 nominations, MMOs and not-quite-MMOs have done their genre proud. Diablo III, Torchlight II, and Guild Wars 2 are all in the running for Role-Playing / Massively Multiplayer Game of the Year. Diablo III also got tapped for a shot at Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay, Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design, and Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition. World of Warcraft's Mists of Pandaria expansion is also in the running for the original music composition award.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday, February 7th. There are oodles of other games in the running for oodles of other titles, so be sure to check out the complete listing of nominees.

Wings Over Atreia: PvP tourney produces victory for winner and Aion

Fantasy, Aion, Contests, Events (In-Game), PvP, Free-to-Play, Wings Over Atreia

Wings Over Atreia PvP tourney produces victory for winner and Aion
Well, speak of the devil! No sooner did I get done exploring the topic of whether or not PvP is player-generated-content than I stumbled upon some players generating content based on PvP in Aion. And by "stumbled upon," I mean "noticed on the launcher while loading up for some winged fun." The group Epidemic Gaming was set to host a PvP tournament on the Tiamat server. As an obvious fan of PGC, I immediately made plans to attend.

I'll be the first to admit I am not by any means a master of PvP (so you can quit your laughing over there before your sides split), but both the announcement and the message itself brought a smile to my face and more hope to my heart. Heck, I may even have more spring in my step! Why? I'll tell you why! Join me as we check out this battle royal where the Daevas of Tiamat duke it out until there's only one standing as well as what an event such as this means for Aion.

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The Secret World granting contest reward to all participating players

Horror, Real-Life, Contests, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, The Secret World

The Secret World granting contest reward to all participating players
When Funcom brought The Secret World back online this morning, there was a twist in the announcement of the contest winners on the launchpad: Every player who participated in the End of Days special event will be granted the contest rewards! Instead of the top 1,000 players receiving the unique "Hero of Ages" title and the top 100 getting the Hatchling pet, every character who took part in the event will collect both. Note: The miniature bug pet is delivered to the character and not to the item store claim area.

The devs are taking this route because players found a way to "exploit the mechanics and reach impossible amounts of points which in turn alters the rankings to unrealistic results."

[Source: TSW launcher notes]

Free for All: The second annual Frindie Awards

Real-Life, Sci-Fi, Asheron's Call, Contests, Culture, PvP, Ryzom, The Matrix Online, Wurm Online, PvE, Opinion, Second Life, Vanguard, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Mobile, Casual, Virtual Worlds, Mabinogi, Kids, Alganon, Free for All, Family, Miscellaneous, Enter at Your Own Rift, Sandbox

Frindie Awards logo
It's time once again for the Frindie Awards, my attempt to shine some light on the best indie, browser-based, free-to-play, and unusual MMOs that are all-too-often ignored by press -- and players. This one is for the little guys! Well, mostly. It's also for those games that seem to have passed under the collective radar of Massively readers or that seem to be very misunderstood.

Picking the winners this year is just as hard as it was last year, maybe even harder. 2012 was an incredible year for MMOs, so I would rather have just put together an article that highlights every single favorite. In the end, it's more helpful to make myself pick out a winner. It's a rare thing for some of these games to even receive a nod on a major website, something I still can't figure out. Either way, it's best to think of all of the MMOs on this list as my favorites from 2012.

Anyway, let's get to the awards!

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Design a weapon for Aion's new Bard class

Fantasy, Aion, Contests, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Free-to-Play

Aion offers chance to design a Bard weapon
Immortalize yourself in Aion!

Previously, NCsoft gave players the chance to make their mark in Aion by designing a unique weapon for the Gunner class in the upcoming 4.0 update; now, it's the Bard's turn. So instead of guns, get those creative juices flowing for musically themed creations.

Like the previous run, players should note that it is not actually a contest -- no prizes will be awarded either inside game or out. However, if your submission is chosen, you will not only get official recognition that your artwork will be incorporated in game, but you will also be able to participate in the naming process of your weapon.

The non-contest is open to everyone and runs from now until January 3, 2013. To participate, designers need to submit an original work, either hand-drawn or computer-generated, along with an explanation of the concept and intent behind the design. For full details, read the official rules.

Name this Elder Scrolls Online Dunmer

Fantasy, Contests, Lore, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Promotions, The Elder Scrolls Online

Name this Elder Scrolls Online Dunmer
See this strapping Dunmer lad? He's got it all. Youth. Power. Insider status with the Mage's Guild. And of course his handsome mug plastered all over the official Elder Scrolls Online website. One thing he doesn't have is a name, and that's where you come in (provided you've got a lore-appropriate imagination, that is).

Yep, ZeniMax wants you to christen this particular NPC so that he can more properly assist adventurers in Tamriel when the fantasy title goes live sometime that isn't today. The naming contest starts on November 13th and runs through November 21st. Read all the entry details via the links below.

EVE Online readies $10,000 tournament

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Contests, Events (In-Game), Dev Diaries, Sandbox

EVE Online readies $10,000 tournament
EVE Online is ramping up for its New Eden Open, a six-day tournament with a prize pot totaling $10,000. Currently, 524 players are registered to participate in 27 teams, although CCP admits that the tournament didn't fill up to the 32 teams it had hoped. The studio has, however, closed the door to any further registrations.

A dev blog illuminates some of the nitty-gritty details leading up to the tournament, including where and when teams can practice and how the absence of a full roster will affect the elimination brackets.

Of most interest, however, is the schedule for the tournament. CCP breaks the event down day by day as the New Eden Open proceeds from November 17th through December 2nd. The studio also announced that it will host contests and giveaways for viewers during the tournament, although details on these are still forthcoming.

For more information on the New Eden Open, check out our EVE Evolved column on the event.

APB: Reloaded previews new map for Halloween festivities

Contests, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries

APB Reloaded previews new map for Halloween festivities
Like in most virtual worlds, APB: Reloaded's San Paro is preparing for Halloween. In honor of the occasion, a new map will be brought out for two weeks of celebration. The appropriately themed Asylum map will be used to host a Fright Club, which will replace the regular Fight Club starting today.

Trick and Treat, the respective Halloween Contacts for Criminals and Enforcers, will be chilling in the Asylum with missions to hand out. Players will be able to go through six levels of holiday missions. In addition, players will be able to smash pumpkins -- and smashing pumpkins unlocks titles! Not only will players unlock the Pumpkin Chaser, Murderer, Assassin, and Terminator titles unlocked at various numbers of pumpkins smashed, but the top player in each world for pumpkin smashing will unlock the title of Pumpkin King or Queen.

Two contests will round out the festivities: the Headless Gunman Pumpkin Head Contest and the Halloween District Parade Costume Contest. Check out the official contest forums for all the details on that heap o' goodness.

Not So Massively: MOBA development, LoL tournament cheating, and D3's Monster Power

Contests, Culture, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Lore, New Titles, Patches, PvP, Endgame, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III

Not So Massively title image
The League of Legends $2,000,000 World Championship was rocked by controversy this week as several teams were caught cheating. Despite being fined, Korean Team Azubu Frost was allowed to continue in the competition and made it all the way to the grand final to face Taiwanese favourite Taipei Assassins. Dota 2 launched a new art contest this week that asks players to design and sell virtual items, and Heroes of Newerth delved into the lore and design decisions surrounding its newest item: Lightbrand.

Guardians of Middle-earth announced its release date this week and revealed new heroes Beregond and Felgrom. SMITE started a new video series looking into the stories behind each of its gods and how the development team matched that god's abilities to the lore. Finally, Diablo III revealed the hard facts and figures on its upcoming Monster Power system, which lets players increase the game's difficulty in exchange for higher rewards.

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Not So Massively: LoL World Championship, HoN Tour, and D3 patch 1.0.5

Betas, Contests, Culture, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, New Titles, Patches, PvP, Endgame, News Items, PvE, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III

Not So Massively title image
Diablo III's endgame woes may soon be a thing of the past as patch 1.0.5 hit the test realm this week with some awesome new endgame content and much-needed magic-find buffs. Upcoming action RPG Path of Exile had no trouble keeping its beta players engaged, with this week's Turbo Hardcore league event giving players the ultimate challenge.

North America's hopes of winning the League of Legends World Championship were dashed this week as all three US teams were knocked out of the competition along with Dota 2 world champions Invictus Gaming. Heroes of Newerth fought back with its new competitive HoN Tour event, which aims to give hundreds of cash prizes away to players of all skill levels.

Dota 2 released classic hero Magnus this week, SMITE revealed its newest god Ares, and Guardians of Middle-earth showed off its two newest additions: Nori and Wulfrun. Finally, Russian MOBA success Prime World revealed some details on its PvEvP Dragonwald game mode ahead of the release of its North American and European beta tests.

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Get crafty for the Guild Wars 2 Halloween contest [Updated]

Fantasy, Contests, Events (Real-World), News Items, Guild Wars 2

Get crafty for the Guild Wars 2 Halloween contest
Do you like Guild Wars 2? Do you like Halloween? Do you like chances to win graphics cards and other goodies? That's an incredibly convenient set of likes you've got there because it means that the Guild Wars 2 Halloween contest is pretty perfect for you. That is, it's perfect if you like making dioramas. You like dioramas, don't you? We knew you did.

Contest dates and other bits of information of that nature haven't been announced yet, but the ArenaNet team wants you thinking of what sort of Guild Wars 2sy, Halloween-y scene you'd like to bring to life. Hit up the contest teaser page, and get those spooky and creative juices flowing!

[Update] ArenaNet has now posted the official rules for the contest! Contestants have until 3:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, October 22nd, to enter. Read the official rules for further information.

CCP announces new tournament with a prize pool of $10,000

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Contests, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

CCP announces new tournament with a prize of $10,000
EVE Online is getting its first cash tournament. After the tremendous success of the Alliance Tournament X in July, own3D began talking about possibilities for a new tournament with the fine folks at CCP.

Rather than focusing on Alliances as all previous EVE tournaments have done, this tournament will be team-based. Each team will have between eight and 24 players, and there will be a total of 32 teams in the tournament. Teams will have to be created on the official signup page (which will open October 12th) and enter through an online auction. Players may only belong to one team, regardless of how many accounts they own. A team may accept multiple characters from one person, but that person joining multiple teams is prohibited.

If you're interested in joining, be sure to read the full blog post for information about ship bans, tournament rules, and the modified double-elimination system.

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