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MMO Roundup: Last week on Massively

Shawn Schuster

Sometimes you'd like to know that there are other MMOs out there, right? Our sister site Massively can provide you with everything you need to know about all those other shiny MMOs! Check out this roundup of the latest news from the wider MMO world.
Massively's 2009 Winter Holiday Event Guide
It's that time of year again -- whatever holiday you are celebrating, the denizens of your favorite MMO are sure to be celebrating it too. Whether it's Festivult in Dungeons and Dragons Online, Wintersday in Guild Wars, or the Starlight Celebration in Final Fantasy XI, the theme is the same. There are presents, some sort of sugary treats, and tons of fun.
Massively's Guild Wars costume set giveaway
With this year's Wintersday in Guild Wars comes quite a few new features to the game. One of the most significant is the costuming system. These costumes allow your character to dress as they like with costumes that fit into special costume slots, not affecting your normal armor stats.
Free Realms Introduces player-to-player real money transactions
Sony Online Entertainment is taking an interesting step to help cut down on fraud and gold farming: beating them at their own game. As of today, if you are a Free Realms player over the age of 18 you have the option to use Live Gamer Exchange (LGX), a RMT service set up to allow players to trade virtual goods in Free Realms for real world cash.
Too late to start playing Lord of the Rings Online?
The trouble with any long-running game is that it gets top-heavy. This is especially a problem in games such as Final Fantasy XI, where you simply have to group to accomplish most things in the game, but it's really a problem even in the most solo-friendly game with an expansion or two. After all, more often than not there's an ever-raising level cap, gear curve, and expected knowledge about the game, not to mention stretches of previously endgame content that's no longer relevant.

The dangers of PvP-focused games
The trouble with PvP is... well, there are several problems with PvP. The problems of balance are always there, of course, as they are in every aspect of the game. There are the problems of making PvP both accessible to new players and rewarding for veterans, their are issues with keeping people engaged in the game without being gimmicky, there are issues with even such little things as how players get equipment.
More on The Secret World's Templar and Illuminati
Looking for further information on The Secret World's equally secret Illuminati and Templar societies? We're going to go ahead and assume that you are, as they're quite interesting aspects of Funcom's upcoming third MMO. Actually, considering much of the game's story and conflict revolves around the three warring secret societies, we'd say these two Illuminati and Templar interviews are required reading for anyone who considers themselves interested in the game.
Star Wars: The Old Republic gives an official reveal of Tatooine
Despite being an obscure planet on the outer rim in Star Wars: The Old Republic, everyone knew that the desert planet Tatooine was going to be in the game. No, really, everyone. It's like Hoth, it shows up all the time, probably because the first movie in the franchise started on it. BioWare has thrown us a few curveballs, but to think they wouldn't send us to a well-known and iconic planet in the franchise would be silly.
Cryptic: We didn't want to delete your Batman clone, we had to
One of the most talked about features of Champions Online is the outstanding character creator, practically a game in itself. It's a great part of the game, but there's a downside. It's so versatile, and you can do so much, that you can easily make the perfect Gollum or G.I. Joe clone. That's not as awesome as it sounds, because your character will get downgraded to a plain old shirt-and-jeans-wearing guy sooner or later.
Anti-Aliased: Rogue rage
There's always a rogue. Doesn't matter what setting you're really dealing with either. Medieval times? Rogues. Renaissance? Professional rogues. Great Depression? Organized crime. Modern day? Thieves. Sci-fi? Assassins. It's the one job that follows you no matter where you go.
Sony launching MMO for PlayStation Home
Sony is adding an MMO to the ranks of games currently offered on PlayStation Home. Sodium One launches today and is a sci-fi themed game involving a variety of games and community events. Players will begin their experience in Sodium One with VICKIE, an NPC who is responsible for assigning quests.
Final Fantasy XIV beta applications now open
There's something to shout about if you're looking forward to Final Fantasy XIV -- the game is now accepting applicants for its beta testing. We've heard that the game is slated for release some time next year, but this is one of the obvious indicators that it's closer than we might have thought. So if you're as excited about the prospect of getting to play the game as some of us, you probably clicked that link before you read any further.

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