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WRUP: Mists of what edition

A respectful treatment of foreign cultures.
I'm going to bet dollars to donuts every single person expected to see a panda up there after recent announcements, so yeah, there you go. I hope that the people still playing the game are chuffed about it; I'm not really in a position to say, as I haven't been playing for several months and have no desire whatsoever to go back to the game. For what it's worth, my reaction was the exact opposite of "oh, that's neat."

Anyway, it's time for this week's installment of WRUP, which does not feature anything remotely related to pandas. Instead, it features the Massively staff members talking about their plans for the weekend as well as whether they prefer to level in a group or by their lonesome. So check on past the break to see what we'll be up to for the next couple of days, and let us know your plans in the comments.

Beau Hindman, F2P and Mobile Columnist
@Beau_Hindman: I'll be playing a ton of RuneScape and getting ready to go through the Halloween quests in a ton of games like Milmo and Free Realms. I'm also looking at Golden Age, a new MMORTS from Aeria Games, for next week's Rise and Shiny. Other than that, I am going to be playing the heck out of so many games on OnLive. I just got a special deal and bought the Deus Ex Augmented Edition for $0.68! Looks like my weekend will be filled.

This is funny -- I prefer to solo, but I like groups. I prefer to solo because so many groups want to do nothing but grind away or get to the end so fast. A lot of them are rude about it or don't even want to chat while playing. I love getting together with people I know in real life to play, even better if they are in the same room. So for me, if the group is cool, then yes, I prefer a group.

Brandon Felczer, Star Trek Online Columnist
@bfelczer: Before this weekend, it seemed as if it was going to be a nice, relaxing weekend, just hanging with friends and playing some missions together in Star Trek Online. But due to the major Tribble patch that came out on Thursday, there are so many new things to test I have no idea where to start! Now I will be spending a majority of the weekend taking a look at all of the new ships, content, and changes that are going to make its way to the F2P launch. It's going to be exciting and I can't wait to talk about it in the next Captain's Log entry!

As for leveling up, I much prefer to do so with a party -- it's much more fun to do things with others. It's the reason we play MMOs, right? Despite that, I also do enjoy leveling by myself as long as I can still hang out and talk with friends on Vent or Skype. I sometimes like doing it when I am in a rush to level up a toon and don't want to spend the time waiting for other people to finish their tasks

Brendan Drain, EVE Columnist and Contributing Editor
@nyphur: I'll be failing horribly at League of Legends this weekend and getting some friends to try out EVE Online to gather some feedback on the new user experience. There's been a lot of talk about the Incarna expansion's failure, but the captain's quarters were really designed for new players. As my friend progresses through the game, he'll be taking notes so we can find out exactly how effective the captain's quarters have been.

I generally prefer leveling up solo, but when I do level in a group, it's usually with real-life friends. I think of MMOs as another way to spend time with my real-life friends, especially friends I don't get to see much face to face.

Bree Royce, Senior Editor
@nbrianna: City of Heroes for me! I'd like to try out the new Halloween mission. I'm trying to break my Glitch addiction too -- 11 days till Better Learning V is memorized. Yikes.

For the first time ever, I completely agree with Patrick on the bonus question (though you're going to read my reply before his). I don't always play an MMO to play with other people; sometimes I want to solo while chatting. That's especially true in games like World of Warcraft, which effectively penalizes players exp-wise for partying up for the quest grind. Quest-grinding in a group also leaves me feeling out of sorts since we're always rushing through quest dialogue or cutscenes and wasting a lot of chatter seeing whether everyone's gotten his fizzle-widget drop yet. But when I can handle the stress and intensity of grouping, there's nothing like cozying up with guildies to power through some City of Heroes missions, knowing that for each person added, we're increasing our rewards and creating maximum mayhem and particle effects.

Eliot Lefebvre, Columnist Extraordinaire and Contributing Editor
I'm nearly capped out my Gladiator on Final Fantasy XIV, and I've got a lot of other plans for leveling once I've hit that milestone. I've also been enjoying the heck out of playing Mega Man Maverick Hunter X on my PSP; it's a remake of a game I've beaten many times, sure, but it's a very well-done remake that's kept my attention marvelously well. That's all for the first half of the weekend, though -- Sunday evening is going to be devoted to a minor vacation with Ms. Lady, so that will also be awesome.

I prefer the option to level solo more than I prefer actually leveling solo. Given the choice, nine times out of ten, I'll probably be leveling solo. There are a lot of people whom I enjoy leveling with, however, and while we might not always have schedules that synchronize correctly, getting to group up and murder things in masses is more than worth it. Still, I'm not too keen on having grouping be mandatory, since there is that whole "nine times out of ten" thing.

Jef Reahard, Columnist Extraordinaire and Contributing Editor
Arkham City and Forza Motorsport 4. What's an MMO again?

As for the bonus question, I prefer not leveling up at all, but if I have to do it it's more fun with friends.

Jeremy Stratton, Contributing Editor
@Jeremy_Stratton: I am enjoying EverQuest II's Halloween events immensely. I'll be collecting candy, trying to make my way through the haunted house, and decorating my abode. Runes of Magic is on my schedule, as well. I need to start upgrading my Kawak gear.

Usually when I play, I slip into solo mode. I enjoy group play, but it's usually not needed for most quests. RoM was an exception for me, before I started upgrading my armor. Once I got to Savage Lands, everything was difficult. I needed help.

Matt Daniel, Contributing Editor
@mvmatt: I'm going to be playing some Vindictus in preparation for a retrospective of the game's one-year anniversary. Aside from that, I'll be roaming Arkham City as the GD Batman and jumping into Final Fantasy XIV for my CMA. Riveting, I know.

As for my leveling preference, I prefer parties whenever possible. I'm a very social gamer, and that's the reason I play MMOs to begin with. I like making new friends and playing with other players rather than pretending they're just particularly intelligent NPCs. Besides, if you don't have groups for instances, where are you gonna get all your phat lewt?

MJ Guthrie, Aion and Sandbox Columnist
Getting totally spanked in the newly released PvP arenas in Aion is on the docket for me! That, and I finally have some time to enjoy the Halloween festivities in EverQuest II, so I will be out collecting all the candies I can to turn into housing goodies. I simply never tire of housing and decorating, and EQII really has almost too much to handle! I just bought a new Freeport house and I still have others that are sitting empty...

Personally, I hate playing solo, leveling or whatnot. I go for the whole social aspect of the massively multiplayer part of MMOs! Weird, huh? Playing through a game with friends is much more fun. And did I mention I really hate to PvP solo? Hence all the tush-whoppin' I am getting in the arenas; I really work so much better as a team. Everything is better with a group!

Patrick Mackey, Champions Online Columnist
@mackeypb: I've been playing League of Legends a lot lately, and I've improved a lot. I'll be playing it some this weekend as MVpmack, so feel free to add me if you want to team up and roll some lanes.

I like leveling in parties as it's almost always more fun. However, a lot of the reason I level in the first place is to escape, so soloing has a big draw for me. It's kind of mentally exhausting for me to play with someone else and we have to level at our combined pace, which often means slower overall play. I'm a big fan of "being alone together" in MMOs, so soloing is nice some of the time. Being with friends is fun too, but it requires more mental energy and isn't very good if I'm trying to relax.

At the start of every weekend, we catch up with the Massively staff members and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" (Otherwise known as: WRUP!) Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game -- and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!

This article was originally published on Massively.