The Game Archaeologist: Classic MMOs in July

The Game Archaeologist Classic MMOs in July 20
It's been over a month since our last round-up of news, events, and community features covering the classic MMOs we know and love. You wouldn't think that a lazy summer month would contain a lot of new information regarding these older titles, but these past few weeks have been absolutely hopping.

We've had several anniversaries, patches, player celebrations, mobile adaptations, and more. I'm constantly encouraged to see how players keep the memories of deceased games and the spirit of currently running ones alive throughout the blogging community as well, so we'll look into that today too.

The Game Archaeologist July classic MMO checkin 20
1. Anarchy Online throws its 12th anniversary celebration

The 27th of June marked Anarchy Online's 12th birthday -- I know, I can hardly believe it either. While we all wait for that great graphical update (and whine that it's not here yet), the denizens of Rubi-Ka partied it up with special quests, loot drops, and events. The Borealis event is pretty notable in that the devs are going to make a few permanent changes to the location following players' involvement in that conflict.

2. Bloggers keep memories of classic MMOs alive

It's always great to see players blogging about not just the latest and greatest MMOs but the older ones as well. I'm particularly impressed with the fellow who's been keeping his EverQuest Online Adventures blog running over a year after the game's passing.

Then there's Heartless Gamer with a terrific post on the fight over abandoned properties in Ultima Online and Sephora's Closet with a continuing look at the fashion of Anarchy Online's outfits. Our own Bree even did a Second Wind for Ultima Online that should be required reading for game historians. It takes all types, people!

3. Happy birthday, Star Wars Galaxies!

Even though Star Wars Galaxies has been out of operation for a while now, it didn't stop Massively vets from gathering together to share their favorite memories of the game. If you missed it, check out our 10th birthday celebration of an unforgettable experience in a galaxy far, far away and raise a glass to this late, great sandbox.

The Game Archaeologist Classic MMOs in July 20
4. Patches galore!

There were a few patches this past month of note. Ultima Online put out Publish 82, which contained the King's Collection theme pack and a better system for distributing loot after fights. Dark Age of Camelot is sporting the 1.114c update, a patch that is mostly concerned with tweaking class balance between the game's many, many professions. Then there was news that Asheron's Call 2 was getting a quality-of-life update prepared for the faithful who are playing this resurrected title.

5. Puzzle Pirates comes to the iPad

A classic MMO making the jump to tablet? It might be the dream of many, but it hasn't happened too often yet. However, Puzzle Pirates recently made the leap, and we still have RuneScape to look forward to later this year.

6. EQMac celebrates 10 years and EverQuest welcomes Heart of Fear

EQMac, that throwback to a past era of EverQuest, made it through 2012 by the skin of its teeth. Now the game-within-a-game has hit its 10th anniversary, and its CM threw the loyal players a special "Battle of the Tomb" event on June 28th.

Speaking of EverQuest, the patron saint of MMOs is expanding with its Heart of Fear update. This is the final chapter of the current story arc that began with House of Thule three years ago.

The Game Archaeologist Classic MMOs in July
7. Asheron's Call gets Feelings of Dread

I think it's absolutely amazing and a great testament to the game that Asheron's Call is still running regular monthly story updates for its players. Not being one of the community, I have a hard time figuring out what's going on from reading the lore updates (it's like coming into page 672 of a novel), but it's still cool. The July update is called Feelings of Dread and has to do with the investigation of some questionable experiments.

8. RuneFest in November

Save the date for RuneFest 2013 -- if you're a RuneScape player, of course. The team announced that the convention will take place on November 2nd, although where and what will be there is still up in the air. Stay tuned!

9. Warhammer Online eliminates six-month subscriptions

Warhammer Online is one of the few subscription-only titles that's holding back from a free-to-play change. This past month we learned that there will be one fewer subscription option: The team is removing the option to subscribe on a six-month basis. As of June 18th, that option is gone, but the one- and three-month subscriptions remain intact. Is this signaling something important about WAR's future, or should it just be taken at face value? Time will tell!

When not clawing his eyes out at the atrocious state of general chat channels, Justin "Syp" Olivetti pulls out his history textbook for a lecture or two on the good ol' days of MMOs in The Game Archaeologist. You can contact him via email at justin@massively.com or through his gaming blog, Bio Break.

This article was originally published on Massively.