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MMO Roundup: Massively's week (and year) in review

Shawn Schuster

When it comes to MMO news and special features, Joystiq sister site has you covered. Whether you're looking for info on the hottest new MMO, or you're just curious about an old favorite, you'll find it at Massively. Check out our biggest features of the week:
Massively's predictions for 2010
With 2009 wrapping up today and 2010 lurking creepily around the corner, we're eager to release our predictions on what the next year may bring to the MMO scene. Even though we try to keep our news relatively neutral, it's the editorials and opinion pieces that garner the most reaction from the readers. Positive or negative, we appreciate that. So for this last day of 2009, we honor it by giving our own opinions (both positive and negative) about how 2010 looks to us.
Massively's top 5 news stories of 2009
It's that time again! Time when we look backwards and try to identify the top 5 big news stories that we covered here at Massively. 2009 was a pretty turbulent year when it comes to the MMO industry, as we were involved in lawsuits, game closures, multiple major releases, a rising set of indie studios, and more news than you could handle.
Hands-on with Klingons and PvP in Star Trek Online
If there's one thing that's almost more synonymous with Star Trek than classic catch phrases, it's the Klingons. They are the Captain Hook to the Federation's Peter Pan and thus it's important to several potential players that Star Trek Online do them justice. Understandably, when Cryptic made the announcement that Klingons would be primarily a PvP focused faction, people were concerned. Players don't want their beloved gruff 'n tough warrior race to become a second-tier faction.

World of Warcraft: Game of the Decade
Well, the fans and readers of industry site Gamasutra have voted for their game of the decade, and their choice is simultaneously surprising and yet unsurprising. In a list that's full of single player games, the MMO that redefined MMOs has hit the top of the list: World of Warcraft.
What will you change in 2010?
We can't, sadly, warp time to go back a full year. Once we do something, for better or for worse, we're stuck with it. But we can try and learn from things that happened the last time around, and there have certainly been things to learn from 2009, which we touched on yesterday. That's where the whole tradition of resolutions for the new year comes from. And as we all know, the second-best way to force yourself to do something is to make it public. (The first is to have someone following you around with a shotgun.)
Second Life 2009: The year in review
It's been quite a year for Second Life, through 2009. This or that media outlet still pronounces it to be dead, though it is quite a bit less common than last year or the year before. After five years of obituaries with no sign that they're any more credible now than they were before, a number of routine nay-sayers have turned their attention elsewhere, writing obituaries for Facebook and Twitter.
2009's defining moment
The look back has already started here and there, and we've got only two days left -- assuming you count today. And we've seen a lot of things happen over the last year, which everyone on-staff has their own opinion about. To some, it was the year of free-to-play. To others, it was the year of dying games. But there's no way to encapsulate everything about 2009 into just one statement, with the industry still changing and evolving. Sometimes even seemingly small changes are what we remember (fondly or otherwise) when viewed in hindsight.
Why You Should Be Playing EverQuest II: It's five bucks
When Steam offers a sale, Steam pulls no punches. This holiday has been one of the best sets of sales in the video game industry that I can remember, mostly thanks to Steam's Black Friday deals and this insanely long holiday special that's currently going on. Their deals are so great that the sales are actually crippling their bandwidth -- quite a feat for a service that has one huge bandwidth pipeline.
How MMOs infect other games
Games are rather viral in the way that their ideas spread around. You start off with perfectly self-contained genres, perhaps, but before long your characters are leveling up in a sports game and going through jumping puzzles in an action game (or a first-person shooter if you're unlucky). Next thing you know, you're shooting hoops before racing a car and shooting people and then solving a riddle... you get the idea.
2009 from a developer's point of view
We're finishing up our 2009 Reader's Choice Awards, but that doesn't mean we can't take note of the fact that the last year of the decade hasn't exactly been a stellar years. We've watched a recession hit hard, several games turn the lights off for good, several others lose staff, and generally not had the best of years.

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