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Perfect Ten: My top 10 top 10 lists

Opinion, Humor, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

I've been doing top 10 lists here at Massively for well over four years now, mostly as a public service to make you feel good when I forget something that should really, truly belong on a particular countdown. On a biweekly basis I got to plaster the front page of the site with garish cartoon pictures -- and my editors never said boo about it.

Some of my lists were tongue-in-cheek, some were heavy-duty research, and some were off-the-top-of-my-head-because-I-had-a-deadline crazy. As I look back over the field of weird and wonderful lists that I've made, I can pick out a few of my favorites. So today let's look at my top 10 top 10 lists here on Massively with a little color commentary.

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World of Warcraft adds selfie support

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Culture, Patches, News Items, Humor, Subscription

Still no meaningful solo progression so im chillin #yolo #warlords #lol
Were you afraid that with the addition of Twitter support in the next World of Warcraft patch you would be deprived of the joy that is taking selfies in-game? Worry no longer. The addition of the S.E.L.F.I.E. camera in patch 6.1 ensures that you can indeed log in, find a nice view, and then duckface at the camera before shooting off a character picture for all of your devoted followers. It's the best thing in the expansion so far.

Grabbing the item requires nothing more than a rare follower mission with no significant bells or whistles, with another upgrade mission available to pick up a set of various filters for the camera. Our sister site has a guide to making use of the new device, along with the requisite speculation that it will tie more directly into the Twitter integration. That feature isn't currently enabled, but it can't be coincidence that the new camera arrived at the same time, can it?

Marvel Heroes hands out free cows and plans team-up revamp

Super-hero, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, Humor, Dev Diaries

marvel heroes
The Cow King is on the move in Marvel Heroes, and a call is going out for all supers to join the most ridiculous battle in the universe. During the weekend Cowtastrophe event, players will get an 40% XP bonus and a portal to the game's bovine levels, where they can slaughter beef for better loot. Marvel Heroes is even giving out a free mini-cow pet for any players who log in on Saturday.

In other Marvel Heroes news, one of the next big projects for Gazillion is a revamp of the team-up system. While all of the details of this revamp are not clear as of yet, we do know that the revamp will allow players to customize team-up's power pools much like main characters.

H1Z1 boasts 150-200 early access servers, including 'carebear' servers [Updated]

Betas, Horror, Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, Humor, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, H1Z1

Shut up and give me my ten bucks per month, little man. My Porsche needs some performance upgrades.
In preparation for the early access launch of zombiebox H1Z1, SOE's John Smedley has been busy on social media. Over the weekend, he asked Redditors for suggestions for 50 zombie-themed server names. Last night on Twitter, he indicated that the game will have far more servers come Thursday:
looking like we'll have 150-200 H1Z1 servers on 1/15. [9:19 PM - 12 Jan 2015]

we'll be announcing the distribution of them (i.e. rulesets, etc) in the next day or two. I think people will be happy. [9:19 PM - 12 Jan 2015]

even the disgusting PVE carebear servers will be ready day 1. I'm not happy about that but people tell me I need to get over it. [9:20 PM - 12 Jan 2015]
Don't worry, PvE players who've been buying SOE MMOs for 16 years. We're pretty sure he was kidding.

H1Z1 early access launches January 15th. Smed has previously warned players that they should "NOT BUY EARLY ACCESS" if they are hoping for a completely finished game, but given the number of servers, we expect no one is listening to that advice.

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Another university is adding League of Legends scholarships

Culture, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Humor, MOBA, League of Legends

Robert Morris University made waves last summer when it announced its intention to add e-sports -- and more specifically, League of Legends scholarships -- to its athletic department.

This week Kentucky's University of Pikeville followed suit when it publicized its offering of "at least 20 scholarships" to LoL players who will be treated like the school's other student-athletes. "There will be practice time and video time when they have to study other teams for upcoming competitions," said the university's new media director Bruce Parsons.

TERA puts the wraps on 2014

Fantasy, Video, Free-to-Play, Humor, TERA

Even though we're well into the new year, there are some who have yet to finish saying goodbye to the old one. One of these people is TERA Community Manager Tonka, who introduces a two-minute video tribute to 2014 in the game. And the above picture is misleading, by the way: He doesn't want to punch the year in the face so much as praise it.

You can get Tonka and a musical tribute to TERA's previous year after the break!

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RuneScape delivers its 2015 manifesto

Fantasy, Previews, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Humor

We don't know what's better: the above teaser art or the fact that it represents RuneScape's upcoming 200th quest in which players will go to "a parallel universe where you, the hero, never existed and the bad guys won."

This is just part of RuneScape's 2015 Manifesto, in which Mod Mark gives a brief overview of the game's next 12 months. He says that players will guide the game's development via suggestions from its RuneLabs site as well as additional polls. "You can be sure that next year will be a fantastic cocktail of your best ideas mixed with the best of ours!" Mark gushes.

Other events in store include several updates to skills, new combat tactics, an Ocean's Eleven-style heist, a purpose for in-game shops, and a tussle with Tuska the World Devourer.

Massively Speaking Episode 327: More bloopers, outtakes, and tomfoolery

Podcasts, MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Humor, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

Once again, our podcast editor is out for revenge by collecting our best bloopers, outtakes, and tomfoolery from 2014 and putting it all in a single episode for our embarrassment. But if you're not Bree or Justin, then you might be entertained by our missteps and general weirdness.

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
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Listen here on the page:

Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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One Shots: Mandy the Christmas Whale

Screenshots, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Humor, Miscellaneous

guild wars 2
Last year in our household we started up a new tradition, the legend of Mandy the Christmas Whale. Mandy, I told my children, was a green-and-red whale with lights on her tail that would swim through the first snow of the year to deliver cookies to the bedsides of good little boys and girls. Sometimes she even brought a snowsuit (an actual suit of snow) when it came to houses in warmer climes.

Maybe reader James' Guild Wars 2 picture here isn't of Mandy, but one never knows what she might look like in disguise during the other days of the year. Have you been good enough to deserve cookies lately?

Want to be featured in a future edition of One Shots? Send your favorite MMO screenshots to oneshots@massively.com, and don't forget to include your name, the name of the game, and a description of the scene. Large, colorful, UI-free shots that tell a story and really show off the game make for the best images. Look ma, we brought back One Shots!

Massively's MMO guide to the 2014 winter holidays

Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, Patches, Previews, News Items, Massively Meta, Humor, Promotions, Miscellaneous

creepy snowman gonna get you. i... might be the wrong person to do this roundup, being not-a-fan of holiday mmo events. ah well.
Winter break: that time of year when I think woohoo time to sit around all day in my jammies and play video games but instead I have to work and bake junk food and wrap presents and go to family gatherings. First world MMO problems, right? Those of you who get to game this week better bank some experience points for me, and maybe check out some of the MMORPG genre's winter holiday events and promotions, conveniently rounded up for you in our guide below. The list isn't exhaustive, so feel free to chime in with any we've missed that you love.

Happy holidays from the Massively crew!

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The Think Tank: Massively's MMO industry predictions for 2015

Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Humor, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

It's that time of year for looking ahead and trying to predict just what will happen in the MMO industry in the year ahead of us. Will we play it safe this year or predict all sorts of wild and crazy things that everyone can quote and laugh about next December? Magic 8 ball says yes. Go big or go home when it comes to predictions!

Join the Massively staffers for this next-to-last Think Tank of the year and share your own predictions in the comments.

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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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