I like to log into as many MMOs that I can, mainly to check out how they have decorated for Halloween. Some MMOs go for a literal translation of the holiday, and some go for one that makes more sense for the alien world that the game is set on. I also enjoy seeing how the designers have come up with different holiday quests. Free Realms
is a massive live quest every year, for example. It's so cool to see everyone participating.
Halloween is my fave, but I'm not a big fan of real-world holidays in MMOs. Actually, I get downright irritated by them. They break immersions (hi, Ewok Cupid and Stinky the Hutt backpack) and show a lack of creativity (never mind a lack of inclusion). They've got to offer some seriously awesome rewards before I'll grudgingly enjoy them. I'll probably putter through some of the stuff in Guild Wars 2
if it's in the way, but most likely I'll wind up ignoring it anyway and just playing what I like instead of being distracted by candy corn elementals or whatever incongruent weirdness is jammed into the game. Games that come up with their own in-setting holidays, on the other hand, gain my utmost respect.
I dig Halloween well enough in meatspace, but aside from The Secret World
or possibly the superhero titles set in an approximation of the real world, it doesn't belong in MMORPGs. Not only that, but the events are typically another gear grind. So, no thank you!
Well I've already done the awesomeness that is The Secret World
's Cat God and Spooky Stories and Guild Wars 2
's Mad King event, so the answer may be "not that much." I've done Lord of the Rings Online
's Haunted Burrow plenty of times in past years, and I don't think there's really much going on in the other MMOs I'm playing.
Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday, but I generally don't do the special limited time collection-fests that the majority of MMOs call holiday content. I like killing the Headless Horseman a few times in World of Warcraft
or checking out decorations in games like TERA
or Guild Wars 2
, but mostly I just ignore it. MMOs, for me, come in bursts. I'll get really into something for a few days, then not play it for weeks. If I happen to be really into a game during the holiday stuff, I'll participate. But special events rarely cause me to log in.
That being said, you can bet I'm on the lookout for some adorable Team Fortress 2
This Halloween, I'll be celebrating by doing what the Mad King says in Guild Wars 2
. It's a Tyrian tradition to play Oswald's obedience game, and I'm willing to give up control for those sweet achievement points and the Mask of the Night!
To be honest, I won't necessarily be celebrating Halloween in Star Trek Online
, but what I will be doing is celebrating the release of the long-awaited Featured Episode on that day! I still prefer story-based missions, and I'm really looking forward to being able to play it.
What do you get when you throw the Massively writers' opinions together in one big pot to stew? You get The Think Tank, a column dedicated to ruminating on the MMO genre. We range from hardcore PvPers to sandbox lovers to the carest of the carebears, so expect some disagreement! Join Senior Editor Shawn Schuster and the team for a new edition right here every other Thursday.