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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

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.

True fans of the genre, get thee hence to Cabal II's closed beta

Betas, Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Humor

cabal 2
Are you a "true fan" of the MMO genre? If so, then according to a hyperactive press release by ESTGames, you'll surely want to sign up for Cabal II's closed beta on the official site.

The beta sign-ups for the sequel to Cabal Online are indeed live, and a focus test is already in the works for December 19th through the 22nd. Cabal II is an action-MMO with "fluid, skill-based combat"; it's aiming for a 2015 release in both North America and Europe.

[Source: ESTGames press release]

Ask Massively: Scoring last year's MMO predictions

Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Opinion, Massively Meta, Humor, Ask Massively, Miscellaneous

One of my favorite things to do every year is go back to the previous year's staff predictions. What did we think 2014 was going to look like in the MMO world back at the end of 2013? How wrong were we, and where did we hit eerily close to the mark? I won't include everything, just some of the more prophetic and ridiculous ideas our current staff offered a year ago. Feel free to share your own fulfilled prophecies down in the comments.

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One Shots: Cult worship

Screenshots, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, The Secret World, Humor, RIFT, Miscellaneous, WildStar

Have you ever been running along in an MMO and come screeching to a halt because other players are doing something inexplicably weird? Then perhaps you'd sympathize with reader Tyler in this situation.

"There are times in games -- especially games like The Secret World -- when one stumbles across something they simply can't explain," he submitted. "But nothing I have seen is as surreal as the sight that greeted me when I stepped into Agartha during the recent Halloween event: a circle of Atenists worshipping a girl in a bikini whilst chanting "ATEN! ATEN! ATEN!' I asked around in general. No one had any explanation for what in God's name was happening. It is a mystery for the ages."

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The Daily Grind: What's the worst character name you've ever seen in an MMO?

Fantasy, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Roleplaying, Humor, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

In writing his article about Final Fantasy XIV's character rename service, Massively's Eliot rattled off a few silly names he's seen in-game that could really use a rename token. What you didn't see was the list of awful names he passed along to the writers behind the scenes: Combyo Beard, Carfullof Whiteboys, Sharing Needles, Stupid Name, Popular Character, Avengers Assemble. And here I was thinking Ffxiv Blows and Mycat Isanimro were pretty wretched, but I should have known better. There's always something more wretched to reset the wretchedness scale.

How about you, Massively peeps? What's the worst character name you've ever seen in an MMO? Bonus points if it makes me laugh. Bonus-bonus points to the first person to call me out for the joke name I used for my Second Wind Torchlight II character. Names are serious business.

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

New WoW video is proof that Blizzard hates Gnomes

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Expansions, Humor, Subscription

It's been a long-running contention of the World of Warcraft Gnome community that Blizzard, erm, hates that race with a molten passion of a thousand forges. Now our pint-sized characters have proof.

Blizzard posted a new video today showcasing Warlords of Draenor's updated character models. Depending on how you look at it, the video could either be a cheeky promotion of the expansion feature or a horrific exposé on a developer straight-up torturing a Gnome.

We have it for you to watch after the break. Consider it NSFW if you are a diminutive underground gadgeteer.

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Goat MMO Simulator boasts one level more than World of Warcraft

Trailers, Video, Patches, Humor, Miscellaneous

goat simulator
Few moments in MMO history have been as pivotal and groundbreaking as what we are witness to today. For we, the humble gamers of the year 2014, are about to embark on an adventure that makes every online effort to date look like E.T. for the Atari 2600.

As of later this week, Goat Simulator will become an MMO (simulator).

The inexplicably bizarre sandbox hit is preparing to roll out a free DLC patch that will have one more level than that "other" MMO. With 101 levels, dozens of quests, five classes (including Microwave), and "factional warfare between goats and sheep," the newly christened Goat MMO Simulator will take the zany gameplay to the nth degree. Don't believe us? We have the video proof after the jump as well as 500 incredulous comments down below (commenters, please don't let us down on this after we vouched for you here).

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Perfect Ten: Lessons I've learned from working at Massively

Opinion, Massively Meta, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

In spring of 2010, I was asked to come on board Massively primarily as a feature writer who would also do a little news on the side. This opportunity was incredible since I was already blogging multiple times a day about online gaming, so why not be a part of the professional side of writing?

Over four years and nearly two million words written since, I've witnessed a lot here at Massively. I've gotten to interview some big industry names, been allowed to take on fun pet projects, gone to conventions as a member of the press corps, and made a lot of good friends. I've also learned several lessons that have helped me to grow as a person and a writer, and I thought I'd jot a few of those down for one of these lists.

Fun Perfect Ten factoid: When I proposed this column to the editors, I had done extensive research on lists that other sites had done (as to not cover similar territory) and drew up about 40 new topic ideas. In retrospect, it might have been overkill. I could have just written in an email, "People like lists."

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WoW's Iron Horde declares war on Times Square

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Galleries, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Humor, Promotions, Subscription

Finally! Here's the Blizzard we know and love. Why promote a World of Warcraft expansion with a pat press release and gory trailer when you can beat up an actual taxi in Times Square with a 15-foot replica of the epic Gorehowl axe? And that's exactly what Blizz did this morning to bemuse passing New Yorkers. Surveil the carnage in the gallery below.

WoW's Warlords of Draenor expansion launches this Thursday. Holla if you know of an Etsy shop where we can buy some #WARLORDS crime scene tape; that has to be a thing someone makes, right?

The Daily Grind: Do you ride your mount inside?

Sci-Fi, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, The Daily Grind, Humor, Star Wars: The Old Republic

Today on First World MMO Problems, we're talking about people who ride their mounts inside. These people are annoying. They're not quite as annoying as devs who allow mounts to be ridden inside, or devs who, in the case of Star Wars: The Old Republic, design interior spaces so cavernous that Star Destroyers can be flown down hallways and players feel compelled to ride their mounts inside just to save time.

I understand the need for travel efficiency, and mounts are generally faster than walking running. But, really? Do you have to park your 1970s repulsorlift station wagon right on top of the mailbox, clipping every player in a 20 parsec radius and generally ruining what's otherwise a visually pleasing interior environment?

What about it, Massively readers? Do you ride your mounts inside? Am I the only one who is bothered by this?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Does riding your mount inside and blocking vendors/mail make you a dick? Yes, yes it does!

Neverwinter resurrects its April Fools' Day event next week

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Roleplaying, Humor, Promotions, Neverwinter

Nope, it's not April Fools' Day, but it's going to look like it next week in Neverwinter. Cryptic is reintroducing Respen's Marvelous Game, its 2014 April 1st event, from November 13th to November 17th. The minigame turns your character into a tabletop miniature that slides around the tabletop skirmish map as you collect special dice currency and other rewards. Massively's Justin Olivetti included the event in his roundup of the top 10 MMO pranks of all time.

The event's reprise leads into the launch of Neverwinter: Rise of Tiamat, which launches on November 18th. We've included pics of the event below![Source: Neverwinter press release]

A dragon hourglass commemorates Guild Wars 2's Echoes of the Past

Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Humor, Buy-to-Play

We aren't sure why the skeleton is there. He just kind of showed up, and it would have been awkward to ask him to leave.
In advance of the next chapter of Guild Wars 2's living world story, Echoes of the Past, ArenaNet sent us a totally rad hourglass with dragons on it. While this thoughtful gesture may seem straightforward, there's a mystery afoot: A few days earlier, we had received a box that contained a shattered hourglass, as well as a very heavy marble base inscribed with a quote from the Pale Tree: "I've known since the moment we heard the roar."

Is it a coincidence that the coda of the Echoes of the Past trailer shows an hourglass shattering? Was this perhaps some kind of warning? Is the hourglass a time-traveling device that warped reality, allowing the present and past versions of the item to co-exist? Or was it just the tragic natural consequence of a five-pound marble base versus a delicate glass item in the same box? Whatever it is, we've been using the hourglass to count down the minutes until GW2's story starts again on November 4th. As of this writing, we've turned it over 4,329 times.

One Shots: Jolly pumpkins

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, City of Heroes, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, The Secret World, Humor, Miscellaneous

Halloween may be over, but its spirit remains alive in MMOs! Alive, that is, as long as there are spooky locales to explore and a population that's more than willing to dress up in costume and face down the terrors that slip between the shadows.

Our friend David here may be taking Halloween at face value in World of Warcraft, but can you really blame him? He and his demonic minion look to be having a heck of a time. Plus, there's a whole-hearted embrace of a pumpkin motif that will be all but extict come December. Enjoy it while it lasts!

The rest of this week's player-submitted screenshots may not be creepy in the least, but they do all share the same jolly attitude that exists in this moment. In a world that brought back One Shots, really anything is possible!

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Camelot Unchained devs play music, talk audio stretch goal

Fantasy, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Humor, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained

If you've ever wanted to see Mark Jacobs fend off a wasp attack, the latest Camelot Unchained dev diary video is for you! It's also noteworthy because Jacobs details how the crowdfunded PvP sandbox met its previous stretch goal and how it is now on to a "sound and effects" stretch goal.

"This is a very serious attempt to have triple-A sound and effects," he says, before going on to explain how CityState will hire a dedicated engineer, license a top engine, etc. Click past the cut to watch Jacobs, a wasp, Grumpy Cat, and the CU dev band.

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New King of Wushu video showcases graphics, awesome hair

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Previews, News Items, Humor, MOBA

King of Wushu
Snail Games wants you to know that its MOBA, King of Wushu, is not some chucked-together, low-poly, button-mashing spectacle -- it's a Cryengine 3 game with style. It's got Dynamic Flowing Hair and Cloth, people. At last week's Nvidia Game Festival, the developer revealed a new trailer to show off its graphics, and we think you'll agree that the character's lush mane is totally dynamic and flowing. And hey, the martial arts play is pretty spiffy too.

Revealed last June, King of Wushu is based on Snail's MMORPG Age of Wushu. The MOBA is destined for a 2015 launch. Check out the video below.

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