One Shots: Our top 10 of 2010

It's been a crazy, busy year here at Massively. While there weren't nearly as many Western MMOs that came out this year compared to some other years, One Shots had an excellent year, with some truly first-rate images submitted by our fantastic readers! As such, I wanted to take a moment to run down some of the top picks in terms of MMO images that we've received in 2010.

First up, we have this ridiculously awesome image that reminds us of the potential that the All Points Bulletin character creator had. While we never did find out just how long it took Crabtree and his friends to create their 1970s-era Trek group, we do know that this particular screenshot got a lot of positive comments from readers and was one of the ones we heard about the most. Hopefully with GamersFirst rebooting the game as APB Reloaded, we'll once again see creative entries like the above image coming in to One Shots!

Curious as to the other nine in our top 10 for 2010? Join me after the break!

After a long wait and much anticipation, Final Fantasy XIV launched this year -- a bit prematurely, many would say. Still, it's very hard to fault Square Enix on the top-notch job it did with the game's graphics and overall attention to visual detail. This image came to us from Andrew B., who had mistakenly thought this lovely lady's outfit was chainmail. While our commenters were quick to point out that it was actually cloth armor that this lovely miqo'te lass is wearing, nobody had anything but praise for the eye-catching detail captured in this One Shots.

With ArenaNet hard at work on Guild Wars 2, it seems like many people who had initially played Guild Wars and then shelved it for a bit wound up returning this year as a means of prepping for the upcoming game. As such, we got quite a number of breathtaking Guild Wars screenshots in 2010 as well. When you see fantastic and highly detailed environments like this one from Sorrow's Furnace sent in to us by Massively Mob member Reg, it makes perfect sense why the team at ArenaNet has won so many awards for art over the years -- and why so many people are excited about Guild Wars 2.

In World of Warcraft, Blizzard didn't settle for just launching another expansion. No -- the world changed, the way players raided changed, and what was epic is now slightly less epic (or likely to be replaced with atrociously mismatched green-quality armor). Nonetheless, this year we saw the addition of tons of new content in World of Warcraft, which thrilled players such as Michelyne of the Caelestrasz (US Oceanic) server, who sent this lovely image to us after completing the Quel'Delar chain quest arc and getting her achievement well before Deathwing showed up on the scene in Cataclysm.

When it comes to overhauls, we'd be remiss to skip over City of Heroes, which added Going Rogue this year as well as an ultra mode for graphics, leading some to wonder whether this particular image was actually some type of digital painting or photoshop. We were assured that was not the case and that the image was simply a breathtaking combination of elements sent in by @ChaoticSunder. It was snapped in the midst of an epic battle against Honoree during the Lady Grey task force, and the battle certainly caught our eyes when it came time to look back at 2010's best One Shots.

There was no real shortage of battles captured throughout the year and sent in to us, but perhaps none fired the imagination quite like the epic PvP pew pew in EVE Online. The battle in LXQ2-T raged for some time, and despite crazy lag (and much grumbling about said lag), Tranquility managed to remain online while 3000+ pilots went for the kill. This image from riverini is one of the few fleet images we've seen from that confrontation. While no shots had been fired at the point this was taken, it does give us an idea of just how densely populated that area was. You know, in case the enormous red blob on the map didn't.

The year 2010 also saw pilots of a different nature spring up in completely different sectors (read: Cryptic-controlled space). Fans of the long-running and well-loved Star Trek series saw Star Trek Online launch this year, enabling them to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations (and kill them), and to boldly go where no one has gone before. Added to that were the "season" updates, offering players quite a bit of new content to enjoy -- which, in turn, led to this first image of fluidic space. The photographer, Matt (Charles@Tiberius1986), was not only happy with the new content, but fairly amused by the title bestowed upon him for exploring this wild new area: "moist."

Meanwhile, Cryptic's other cartoon-colored MMO, Champions Online, also netted a spot amongst our top 10 for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we love the bright colors and sense of depth in this underwater screenshot captured by Fenlock aka Lady Britain. Couple that with the threat of players facing off against sharks with frickin' laser beams, and we couldn't resist! With the game going free-to-play at some point in the not-too-distant future, we suspect we'll likely see some more super-heroic screenshots in our One Shots mailbox in 2011.


Of course, what would a One Shots roundup be without Lord of the Rings Online? The year 2010 saw a huge influx of new and returning players thanks to the game going free-to-play, which led to the number of Lord of the Rings images in our One Shots mailbox skyrocketing! People just can't resist the gorgeous graphics in this game. While this was particularly hard to pick owing to so many great moments being captured, this highly detailed image sent in by Foible from Laurelin (EU) just edged the myriad others out for top spot.

Finally, we have our one last best-of-year image, which came to us from the seemingly perpetually purple-skied lands of Vanguard. As a niche title, it may not draw as many players as some would hope for, but when we do get screenshots from this overlooked game, the comments are generally universally appreciative of the image captured. We couldn't resist the lure of the lush landscapes, either, such as this shot of a treehouse sent in to us by Sergei F.

In all, it's been an amazing year for One Shots. You've shared with us everything from your shiny new characters to the old characters you're retiring. We've seen raids, peaceful landscapes, and battles big and small. As the person who has curated our little virtual art gallery of MMO awesomeness for the last three+ years, I'd like to thank all of you who have sent in images for taking the time to share your screenshots and stories with us. As I've said before, One Shots really doesn't work without you, so thank you for allowing me to continue showing off all the best (and in some cases, the silliest) that the MMOGsphere has to offer.

Oh, and of course, if you didn't take part, it's never too late! Email a screenshot in to me at oneshots@massively.com along with your name, the name of the game your screenshot is from, and a note about what's going on in the image. It just might wind up on the site -- and in next year's top 10 One Shots.
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This article was originally published on Massively.