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Events (In-Game)

War Thunder's Steel Generals expansion beta is live

Betas, Historical, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS

War Thunder
War Thunder, Gaijin Entertainment's WWII-flavored MMO, updated with its Steel Generals patch this week, just ahead of the holidays. It includes new vehicles, tow cable mechanics, retooled artillery strikes, and new damage modeling. Gamers can also jump into three new maps: White Stone Fortress for air and ground battles, an Eastern Europe map with "varied open ground and urban terrain features," and the massive air-combat Battle for Moscow, which reconstructs the city during the Winter Campaign of 1941-1942. The Steel Generals content, however, "steals" the show:
The biggest addition to War Thunder with this update is the beta of the Steel Generals expansion, which includes the first six American tanks available now. By the end of Q1 2015, more than 30 US WWII tanks will be available. This release schedule allows Gaijin Entertainment to test each of the tanks to ensure that they are ready for battle when commercially launched. In honor of the update launch, special packages are available for purchase that contain premium US tanks and other bonuses alongside closed beta access. Players can participate in the Steel Generals beta by entering into contests and in-game events in War Thunder.
Check out the new screenshots and walkthrough video below.

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EVE Online and DUST 514 celebrate the holiday season

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, DUST 514, Sandbox, Subscription

It's usually hard to find a way to mention a good year and DUST 514 in the same space.
The year is wrapping up and EVE Online players are getting presents to celebrate. CCP Games has posted a short recap of the past year and an announcement of the holiday gifts players can expect to receive as a paid subscriber. That includes snowballs, fireworks, jackets, and a set of trinkets to commemorate the past year. Players can also look forward to 20 free days of multiple character training as a final additional gift. All of these promotions are available until January 11th.

Meanwhile, for those of you who prefer to explore this particular universe via a console shooter, DUST 514 is having a holiday event with its 12 Days of DUST. Starting on December 25th, each day will bring a new reward to players who finish three daily missions, so you'll have to keep playing through January 5th to unlock all the rewards. A special reward is awaiting those who clear everything, so get strapped in and ready to shoot if you want to celebrate the holidays that way.

The Secret World's Christmas Conspiracies event takes the stage

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

What's Christmas without a clown and a chainsaw? Nothing -- if you're in The Secret World. The game that excels as conspiracies has turned one into a holiday event for players to unravel. It all starts with attending a show at London's Albion Theater and winds its way through gathering clues and solving Musical "Magic Flute" puzzles, even discovering Old Saint Nick's tomb.

And what's a Christmas without gifts? TSW offers new pets like an undead polar bear, funky hats, and more outfits and costume pieces -- including a carrot nose -- in the Rucksacks of Saturnalian Delights. The bags are rewards for finishing the holiday missions as well as available in the item shop. As during the Halloween event, players who purchase a special bag (this time the Bag of Wassail) in the shop to share with players will be rewarded with an all-new dance.

As in years past, previous holiday events are also live and running. However, the launchpad warns players that the End of Days event is currently experiencing issues and the team is working to resolve them.

Shroud of the Avatar's Richard Garriott and Starr Long on MMO community

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Events (In-Game), Interviews, Opinion, Some Assembly Required, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content, Shroud of the Avatar

Some Assembly Required:  Garriott and Long interview shows Shroud of the Avatar wins at community
If you've been making a list of sandbox features and checking it twice, chances are you'll find many of those items in Shroud of the Avatar. And if player-generated content and a great community are near the top of that list, then this crowdfunded title might very well be the present you want to get yourself! While still under development, this sandbox has already grown exponentially from its humble beginnings of a chicken in a room to a current state that includes a bevy of features -- with more arriving like clockwork every monthly update. And plenty of those features are tools and systems that allow players to make the game a personalized experience for themselves and others.

What about Shroud of the Avatar makes it so great for player-generated content? What makes the community great? And how has Steam affected the game? I sat down with Portalarium's Richard Garriott and Starr Long to talk about the move to Steam, updates, PGC, and the amazing community that's supporting the game. These guys had so much to share that this is only part one!

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The holidays have arrived in SOE's MMORPGs

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Business Models, Culture, Events (In-Game), Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Dragon's Prophet, Landmark

EQ2
If you're a fan of SOE's MMOs and also a fan of Christmas, good news! SOE's MMOs also have Christmas! The studio posted a roundup of its holiday festivities earlier today:
  • EverQuest II: The Frostfell Wonderland Village returns this year along with a brand-new quest called The Great Candy (Cane) Chase.
  • DC Universe Online: Players will confront Larfleeze's Orange Lantern Corp. Old feats and rewards are back, as are "new base items, styles, a feat, and collection."
  • PlanetSide 2: It's Auraximas, which means it's time to murder snowmen. Special camo will also be on sale in the in-game store because of course it will be
  • EverQuest: Frostfell in this classic MMO brings Santug Cluagg and a host of new quests rolled out in phases.
  • Dragon's Prophet: Celebrate the The Silver Dragon Festival through January 15th.
A moment of silence, of course, for the SOE games no longer with us after this year's purge. Ahem.

If you're more the type to moon after Landmark and its futurespawn, EverQuest Next, check out MJ's hands-on with Landmark's PvE content update, which launches today. And peek back early next week for Massively's traditional MMO holiday event roundup for all the big games across the genre.

SMITE explores Awilix in depth and kicks off Saturnalia

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play

The lack of lore apparently meant that Awilix drank heavily from the well of Generic Fantasy Undress.
There are a lot of goddesses of the night or the moon, period, and there's no shortage of playable ones in SMITE, either. Awilix is also a figure without a whole lot of prominent lore trying to provide a different take on the general role of assassin. So how did the design team go from a name and a few details to a playable character? Through interplay with her pet jaguar, a different series of abilities, and an emphasis on mobility and hit-and-run tactics.

Already have all of the gods you need right now? You've still got a reason to log in to SMITE as the game runs its Saturnalia event, offering free bonus gems to everyone and doubled experience gains for each match played. A series of rolling sales on the pantheons of the game will also persist through the whole of Saturnalia, so if you decide you would like to pick up some new skins, you've got that option.

[Thanks to Sorenthaz for the tip!]

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Guild Wars 2 kicks off Wintersday events

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Patches, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

gw2
The event avalanche of Guild Wars 2's Wintersday has gotten up to full speed and is currently roaring down upon the game's population.

Today's update activates the previous years' Wintersday content as well as a few new additions. There's the Wondrous Workshop to explore, jumping puzzles, bell choir minigames, the Snowball Mayhem battle royale, and a quest to track down Grawnk to get a Wintersday tree for home instances.

The patch also activates a couple of PvP events, new Wintersday-themed cash shop cosmetics, the daily login rewards, and the latest overhaul of the daily achievement system.

Celebrate SWTOR's sacred Life Day by launching frozen orbs of water at each other

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Humor, Star Wars: The Old Republic

swtor
If there's a Christmasy holiday in MMOs these days, you can bet your bottom credit that there will be a snowball fight somewhere in it. Apparently, MMO developers worldwide got together in 2009 and signed a sacred pact to feature snowball fights in all of their games in December. And so it is with Star Wars: The Old Republic and this year's Life Day.

SWTOR's Life Day celebration begins today and will go through January 6th. It will feature snowball fights that have a chance of awarding parcels that can be traded for rewards, grumpy parcel droids that need a good cooling off, and several new cash shop items including a mini Wampa pet.

Get in the spirit of Life Day by listening to Princess Leia's legendary song from the Star Wars Holiday Special and downing some Wookie eggnog.

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR's 2014 report card

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Expansions, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Roleplaying, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR's 2014 report card
In 1996, Richard Bartle published a study of MMO gamers that eventually led to his 2003 book Designing Virtual Worlds, which was at the time the de facto MMO genre's design bible. Of course, this was before World of Warcraft hit the scene, but many of the principles Bartle laid out still hold true. In fact, if you don't believe me, take it yourself: GamerDNA still has an online test based on the Bartle study.

Bartle categorized players based on their interests in the game; I would like to do the same this year as I did last year for Star Wars: The Old Republic since it's a good way to measure the game against the average expectations of certain types of players. Bartle divides us all into Achievers, Socializers, Explorers, and Killers. I'll explain what each of those means as I discuss the different aspects of SWTOR. If you know what that means and so you have a point of reference, my profile is SEAK, which means that I interact with all types of players.

For fun, I've added a grade-card-style of rating system: A, B, C, D, or F. Just remember the information I give about that score counts for more than the score itself.

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Guild Wars 2 celebrates the holidays with a player murder spree

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), PvP, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

gw2
Don't get too comfy and cozy with that hot cocoa and crackling fire; Guild Wars 2 is calling all fighters to arms for epic PvP conflict over the next month. Today, the team posted details for the game's two upcoming PvP events, both starting tomorrow and ending on January 13th.

The fun and casualties begin with the WvW Sneak Attack event, which will change some of the established rules for this setting to make it harder to see who is attacking what and give a bonus to experience and rewards earned. Then the team is testing out a PvP ladder season, with prizes such as mini llamas and glorious hero's armor pieces to those who kick and claw their way up the rankings.

ArcheAge details its upcoming update, PTS, and holiday events

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

What do stockings, a vengeful sea goddess, and a dragon have in common? No, it's not a titillating new fantasy paperback. It's ArcheAge's next update. Version 1.2 Build 4.6 (as it is officially known) heralds the introduction of the Red Dragon to Erenor, an insane ancient Wyrmkin that will test the mettle of the strongest adventurers. Additionally, the jealous sea goddess Dahuta will make traveling the waters near her domain even more treacherous. Other update tidbits include a five-second forced delay between land claim attempts "in order to disrupt rapid spam-placement attempt tools" and the sale of the Comet speedster for 800 gilda. Players can test these new experiences out on the newly launched public test server. More information on all this and instructions for installing the PTS can be found on the official site and the PTS FAQ.

This update also introduces the Winter Maiden Festival for the holidays. Featuring buff-giving trees you decorate and stockings you assemble all from loot drops, the event sees players decking the mobs with swords and staffs all through the season. Plushie collectors have the chance to acquire seven new snowman plushies to decorate their homes.

EverQuest celebrates 15 days of holiday cheer

Fantasy, EverQuest, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Promotions

everquest
Whether you've been naughty or nice this year, SOE has plenty of presents to go in your virtual stocking. To celebrate EverQuest's 15th anniversary year, the studio is throwing 15 days of "holiday cheer" for the game's community.

On each of the next 15 days, there will be some sort of event or promotion for players to enjoy. It kicks off today with double faction points and double rare spawns. After that, there will be many daily sales, including cheaper severed hand mounts (because who doesn't want to ride on one of those?) and a 50% off housing items sale on December 18th.

Final Fantasy XIV rolls out the Starlight Celebration

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

The real reason for the season is, and always has been, cute dresses.
You could be forgiven for not remembering the imminent Starlight Celebration in Final Fantasy XIV. After all, there are weddings to worry about now. But it's back again, and like most holidays in the game, it brings with it a new outfit and a new minion for players to procure. Even better, it also brings a variety of housing decorations to help turn your room, house, or guild hall into a festive wonderland. A stuffed qiqirn is appropriate for any house all year round, after all.

The celebration starts on December 18th and runs until December 31st, with a main questline as well as daily quests for event rewards. Another batch of goods will also be made available to players starting on December 24th, so you'll want to be ready for more as the event rolls on. So take a little time away from wedding planning and relic weapon upgrades to celebrate the reason for the season. Also to unlock fake moustaches; that's pretty great.

RIFT brings Fae Yule back with new mounts and sweaters

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Subscription

Nice marmot.
What could be better than riding around on a festive squirrel while wearing awful holiday sweaters? Why, doing so on your way to fight a boss, of course. You'll get your chance to do just that in the latest incarnation of RIFT's Fae Yule event, running until January 7th. Players can send their minions out to find the missing Grandfather Frost, take on the new Golden Devourer boss, and take part in several new quests and special events during the event period.

And what do you get out of it? Aside from a new mount to carry you into battle, you can earn new pets, minions, holiday-themed weapons, cloaks, decorations for your home Dimension... lots of stuff, in other words. So get in-game and get moving because if you have an urgent need to deck yourself in all the holiday gear available, you've got only a little time to pick it all up. And who wants to miss out on horrible sweaters? No one, that's who.

SWTOR turning three, giving away anniversary decor

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Anniversaries, Housing

Star Wars: The Old Republic is turning three this month, and BioWare is celebrating by making the game's Coruscant and Dromund Kaas Stronghold housing instances available for three credits.

Which isn't as cool as it sounds, since their normal 5,000 credit price is pocket change that you can earn in 30 seconds. But hey, three! Fortunately the devs are doing something else that is actually cool. Namely, they're giving away slick-looking decor for your player house including a holographic projection of the galaxy, paintings, and a fireworks launcher.

You can pick these up at the Anniversary Personnel vendor in the Strongholds area of the Fleet from December 16th through January 13th.

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