Halloween's back in many of our older titles this month, and for those of you who have been away from a beloved classic, it may just be the best time to return for another go. Anarchy Online not only has the return of Uncle Pumpkinhead but some pretty good subscription deals right now. EverQuest has the Haunting of Norrath, Pixel Pirates is offering seasonal items in the store, Guild Wars probably toggled its Halloween 2013 switch, RuneScape's got a brand-new questline, and Dark Age of Camelot is up to its standard tricks with the Pumpkin Moon.
Of course, October wasn't just about trick-or-treating; plenty of other events have happened to the classic MMO collective. From a record-setting expansion to invasions to a very happy birthday, this month kept hopping (and growling, slithering, and lurking). Let's check it out!
Ultima Online: Revenge of the Enchantress
Publish 84 TC1 went live on October 15th, bringing a new chapter to the current story arc. Loyalty cities across the world have come under attack by captains and their minions, and these invasions must be repulsed for the greater glory of the realm (and also loot, of course).
The update also contained a new BBQ pit for Thanksgiving, so if crackling pork is your thing, then sidle right up and give 'er a click for some grub. Dang, that sounds tasty. Why can't there be a spell to make virtual food real?
EverQuest: Call of the Forsaken
While many classic MMOs have long since spun down their expansion wheels, EverQuest is hard at work pumping them out. On October 8th, the title released its 20th expansion, Call of the Forsaken, complete with new zones and AAs for mercenaries. If you missed it, in the last Game Archaeologist column I counted down all of 20 of the expansions leading to today.
Lineage II: Valiance
Speaking of expansions, Lineage II announced that it's going to be delivering a new one by the end of the year: Valiance. The expansion will include an updated Hellbound zone, 25 additional skills, a skill overhaul, a new ability system, and returning raid bosses.
Neocron: Support team interviewed on NeoCast
The fact that Neocron has a fan-run radio show is pretty surprising to me, but more power to it! This past week NeoCast interviewed a few members of the game's support team regarding the future of the game and its current operation.
Dark Age of Camelot: 12th anniversary
It really doesn't seem all that long ago to me when I was reading about how awesome and involving this brand-new Camelot MMO was. Flash-forward to 2013, and DAoC is in its 12th year with no end in sight.
There's a really cool retrospective (complete with screenshots) that's worth reading if you're a video game history nut like I am. For everyone else, the devs have unleashed a bevy of bonuses to XP, BP, and RP. I'm pretty sure the P stands for "points."
Asheron's Call: Shattered Masks
A sinister force in the game is turning the races' minds to its cause, one by one. Will an invasion be imminent? It looks that way, although players might be able to head that event off at the pass.
Asheron's Call 2: October patch
A sizable patch went into the game on the first of the month, bringing with it more XP for quest rewards and lots of tweaks to make questing more agreeable. Some of the best things in this update, in my opinion, are the changes to the UI to allow you to move and resize previously resistant frames.
EverQuest Mac gets its death notice
Wow, haven't we been here before? It was early in 2012 that EQMac was supposed to be shut down, but it got a reprieve of almost two years because of the Smed's love of Mac users. Well, the party's over and this MMO historical curiosity is scheduled for demolition on November 18th. Fare thee well, Norrathans!
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 email@example.com or through his gaming blog, Bio Break.