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MMO Week in Review: Altering the deal

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At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

To ring in the New Year the way only it can, Sony Online Entertainment shocked fans of its current and upcoming MMOs (and made some of us question our most-anticipated and best-studio picks) by rescinding longstanding subscriber benefits for several of its titles, swapping industry-standard cash-shop allowances for a single time-limited monthly gift item and reducing the attractiveness of subscriptions on the whole. Massively's EverQuest franchise columnist remains unimpressed by the studio's claims that the nerfs represent "added value" for players, especially considering that EverQuest Next Landmark is likely to enter pre-order alpha by the end of the month.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.