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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.
Hands-on with Star Trek Online's early levels
There's been a lot of Star Trek Online coverage lately here at Massively, which is only normal given the looming early February release date. This particular feature is a look at the game over the course of around seven or eight "levels" of play. Sadly, that means I haven't acquired my first non-starter ship, although that goal will soon be reached even if it costs me more sleep. Still, you should check out the brand new beta gallery, because I was still able to catch plenty of cool stuff -- plus a classic Enterprise.
How the game of the decade haunts us
Yesterday I posted the interesting find that Gamasutra readers had voted in World of Warcraft as the game of the decade, which inevitably caused a huge spark of rage in the comments. Some readers lashed out against WoW while other readers defended the game's award. Needless to say, this is a very opinionated topic on our site.
Avatar: Why does this movie look so familiar?
If you're one of the few people who has not heard the buzz about Avatar yet, we'll catch you up by saying that the film's beauty is all anyone can talk about. MMO players discussing the movie will follow that observation up almost immediately with "...and did you notice how much it looks like [insert game of choice here]?"
The overwhelming power of community
"Without you, none of this would be possible!" While this saying is true for most things in the entertainment industry, it's mandatory for MMOs. A single-player game can make that initial retail box sale and never worry about keeping anyone happy after that, if they don't want to. Sure, most single-player game developers understand that they want their customers to be happy in case there's a sequel or future downloadable content, but for the most part, they can do alright with a relatively low maintenance developer-community relationship. Of course this isn't true at all for MMOs.

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.
Exploring PvP in Allods Online
Allods Online, the upcoming game from gPotato has turned out to be wildly popular, hitting the ground running even in Closed Beta Test 1. They're now into Closed Beta Test 3, and while there is still lots of progress to be made (that's kind of the point of beta testing), most beta test players are having a great time exploring and learning.
Star Wars: The Old Republic releases more intel on the Imperial Agent
One of the frequently-voiced concerns about Star Wars: The Old Republic is the possibility that the non-Force classes will wind up becoming almost irrelevant. Who's going to pay attention to being a spy when you can wield an energy sword and fling lightning, right? As a matter of fact, the Imperial Agent would like very much if no one ever notices they exist.
Near Death Studios closes down
If 2009 hadn't claimed quite enough lives for your tastes quite yet -- in terms of companies, jobs, and games -- you might have a bit of a morbid approach to things. We're just over the border into the new year, but it looks like there was one last item on the chopping block. Near Death Studios, the team behind Meridian 59, is no longer simply "near" death, but over the line into pining for the fjords.
Love's beta launches on January 7th
Eskil has done it! He has completed the "List of 26" and has shut off the "join Love" screen until January 7th, when the beta will officially open up to all new players. However, if you've been with Eskil through the Alpha process, you have a small thank you gift in the form of the servers already open for you and patched up with the beta client. So, if you have had an active account this past month, log in and see some of the things Eskil has changed and/or added to the game. Things like sound -- glorious sound!
Kidproofing your favorite MMO
It's inevitable: whatever bright, shiny game you are playing, the kids will want in on the action, too. Granted, some games just aren't made for sharing with kids. (This mom saw her Age of Conan debauchery relegated to late-night sessions after the kids had gone to bed.) But most MMOs make perfectly fine sandboxes for the kids, once you've helped shape a kid-sized mini-world within.
Do we want a caveman MMO?
While it's certainly not the only genre out there, fantasy has dominated the MMO market for quite a while. Game developers looking for a change typically head in the direction of sci-fi and the future, churning out titles like Fallen Earth and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Massively's top 5 original features for 2009
Not only are we here at Massively passionate about covering the news, but we also deliver on unique and original content. We're out in the trenches interviewing developers, talking about our favorite games, getting inside our games and meeting the community, and giving you our perspectives on the MMO industry. Sometimes you agree with us, sometimes you don't, but we'll keep writing as long as you guys lend us your support and keep reading.
Potential smoking gun found for Guild Wars security issues
It started as a surprise. Guild Wars players reported suddenly finding themselves hacked, their accounts cleaned out, no indication of what could have caused the problem. NCsoft and ArenaNet offered suggestions, security safeguards, new measures being taken, hints that the problem lay in a popular third-party website with an undisclosed name. But with the recent rash of problems that Aion players have been having regarding security, new facts have begun coming to light, and they paint a picture that isn't pretty.
Massively Reader's and Staff Choice Awards results for 2009
Not only are the results in for our 2009 Reader's Choice Awards, but we've also compiled our own list of winners according to what we at Massively think should win in each category. This year's vote turned into something quite interesting, we must admit. Instead of being a direct "reader's choice", it seems to be much more of a popularity contest among the fans of the largest games. This made many of you quite angry when Runes of Magic dominated every category literally overnight.

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